Giroud deserves a Start.

April 10, 2017

We have a difficult run-in and two  tough games in the FAC. Should be exciting. Tonight is one of our best possibilities for 3 points.

However, Palace have won 4 out of their last 5 games including a win at Chelsea and will expect to get points tonight, but we need to win in order to keep open the possibility of Top 4 (sorry, this is obvious but I am tired, it is early and I have people to see!)

My Team:

Martinez

Bellerin     Gabriel       Mustafi     Monreal

Elneny      Xhaka      Ozil

Walcott     Giroud     Sanchez

Giroud deserves a start after his excellent goal midweek. Otherwise, why change a winning  team? Sure, we have some great players on the bench who are going to be unhappy at not starting, but that is why we have a quality squad.

As you will know, I am no fan of the Palace manager, his manner, his football philosophy and his looks are all unpleasant. The bloke is sure to tell his team to kick our soft overpaid Jessies , and Benteke to bully our CB’s. Normal Fat Sam tactics.

Score early and we should win but I write that in every game.

COYRRG


The Thin Red Line

December 5, 2015

I should stop here – this post will not get better than the title 🙂

images-1

The Northern Hordes are coming to the Emirates flying the flag of Attila Allardyce and our brave few are going in to battle defending the honour of free-flowing, intelligent, attacking football.

I have written enough about The Walrus and his brand of football but if one wants to see the damage he can do to a club just look East of the Emirates to West Ham. A sorrier tale of a club’s traditions reneged for the sake of points will be hard to find. Sure he could  keep a dreadful Sunderland team in the PL but at what cost? He is the prime example of Money over Aesthetics. Serve up “19th Century Football” (thank you Jose) and you may win points but certainly no fans and the locals will hate you for it. Keep doing it once you are secure in the billionaire playground of the Premier League and you get the spanish archer (cockney slang for El Bow”).

A man who will never get the spanish archer is our manager. Many believe Arsenal are wrong to commit so firmly to the Wenger philosophy but win, lose or draw people watch Arsenal. Why? Because in a few seconds you may see something not witnessed anywhere else in England – imagination of pass construction at a speed of thought which at times seems inhuman. OK, we do not win as much as a huge club should but in my opinion the manner of victory is more important than the victory. The only time I have considered giving up on Arsenal was in the last few Graham years – I just couldn’t stand watching them any more.

Can I get through this without mention Santi, Welbz, Little Jack, Alexis, Tommi, Arteta, Kos, Gibbo et all? Clearly not, but they cannot help us this afternoon, so who can?

Will Mr Wenger let Theo play against a team committed to hoofball or will he sacrifice Campbell? Given the big game midweek I would give TW 15 minutes .

There remains enough attacking talent to win. Concentration and strength at  defensive set plays will be essential. If we go behind it will be a long climb back.

Given our recent poor form and injuries I hesitate to suggest we will win at a canter but I do think we have enough to win this

COYRRG

written by Big Raddy

 


WHU: Jump

December 28, 2014

This is going to be short as Mrs Raddy has plans 😦

West Ham. The Boleyn ground. Unhappy memories of this place. Bananas thrown at Kevin Campbell. The Chicken Run and the Inner City Firm (look them up). Returning to the car and finding it keyed. Liam Brady playing against us. Can you believe that in the late ’90’s the men’s toilets had nowhere to wash hands? Hateful place.

Of course it wasn’t always thus; there were the days post-’66 with Peters, Moore and Hurst. The Football Academy developing the skills of Trevor Brooking, Alan Devonshire etc etc.

Sadly, new ownership and poor management ruined the club. Until now….

I hate to say this but Allardyce is doing a great job. He may be a gum-chewing walrus but his team are punching way above their weight and this is due to his management. Teamwork, pace, strong defence and midfield, and hard work have pushed WHU to the top 4. Add to this the attacking power of Carroll, Sakho and Valencia and we can see West Ham have the potential to surprise

Yet, we have a fine record against the happy Hammers and should not be cowed by their physicality. Admittedly we are down to the bare bones in certain areas of the pitch (defence and midfield) but we have enough to compete.

Then there is Alex Song. A majority of Gooners seem to think we should have taken him back – especially as it is a loan deal. Why didn’t we? My guess is that AW feels we have enough midfielders and that Song was simply not improvement upon what we have. I think he was wrong  – just as I think he was wrong not to re-sign Fabregas. Rumour has it that Song became Jimmy Big Bollocks in the dressing room and the players were happy to see him leave. Could be true.

Given the 3 game ban for OG there is a possibility of playing an extraordinarily fast forward line of Welbz, Theo and Alexis. Could be very exciting.

My concerns are the set pieces. We have a nasty habit of giving away free-kicks around our area and WHU have the personnel to take advantage. Allardyce knows this, so does every Tom, D & H, and if we all know it why can’t it be fixed?? Buy. Buy. Buy.

A tough fixture against a team bang in form. A win at the Boleyn would be an unexpected Xmas Sale gift.

COYRRG

written by Big Raddy

 

 


Time to Man Up

April 15, 2014

If there is a team we do not want to play after a 120+ minute bruising game at Wembley it is any side managed by Allardyce. If there is one player we do not want to see it is Andy Carroll. Sometimes the  football Gods kick us in the goolies.

Can our battered and injury strewn team gain a vital victory in their quest towards another season of the Champions League? We shall find out tonight.

Unknown

Allardyce has stated that WHU are not safe yet which is true but I would be hugely surprised if they are relegated – there are some awful teams in the drop-zone and WHU  are not one of them. West Ham, as any Fat Sam team is, are well organised, battle for 90+ minutes and play dull, dull, football which sadly gets enough results to avoid Sam getting gardening leave. This season we have seen managers with attacking instincts being replaced by those with a more pragmatic view, perhaps clubs look at the survival expertise of Allardyce and think “sod pretty football, keep us in the PL” – an understandable viewpoint.

What do you think Sam will be telling his players to do tonight?  Do you think he will be saying, “let’s retain possession and pass it through their midfield”? Nope – IMO he will be saying “8 men behind the ball, look for the wingers and then lump it into the middle for the Big Man,” “if one of their Fancy Dans gets past you kick him hard”, and “look to get set pieces as often as possible”. Arsenal have to fight and stand up to the physical battle.

Would you like to see Andy Carroll at Arsenal? No, really – joking aside when fit he is a major handful, a proper old fashioned centre forward. If (huge IF) we had a player able to feed off knock downs he could do a job for us. Surely a better sub than Sanogo but a far more expensive one. Mr Wenger has identified stopping crosses into Carroll as being vital “Yes [we must take special care with him] because once the ball is up there, you do not find many people who can compete with him and win the challenge” – which means BFG is in for a tough night.

As to our team, I would like to see our Scandi Supersub get a start. He looks as though he can handle himself and deserves a reward for his excellent weekend penalty. Given that Flamina is still suspended and Arteta is knacked Kallstrom appears to be an inspired signing !

Unknown-1

SuperSub

Or could we see Vermaelen given the DM berth many have proposed for him? To play a back line of Sagna, BFG,  Kos, TV and Gibbs would allow Gibbs to act sit a little further forward. TV could help nullify the threat of Carroll and it gives us a chance to play 3 at the back. What do you think?

Upfront, we have to start with Giroud. We remain a blunt instrument but he is our sharpest blade. Sanogo or Podolski? Given the need to stop the supply of crosses, Podolski. But and this is a huge BUT, there is a chance that Ozil will return which would be brilliant for both us and OG.

Playing Fat Sam teams is never easy especially given the negative physical effect of an injury blighted season and the draining weekend but 3 points are very, very important.

written by Big Raddy

This is arnie’s suggested line up

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Your girlfriend is right after all……Size Does Matter

October 13, 2010

Today’s post was written by Red Arse over the weekend and continues the discussion about serious injuries.

Written by Red Arse

Like most Arsenal fans, I greeted, with relief and joy, the news, that “Rambo” Ramsey was not far from resuming full time training, with a view to returning in the New Year. It is wonderful, not just for us as fans but for the player himself.

But it led me to think back to the horrific injury that we were shown happening to him, in all its gory detail, on Sky TV, in full HD close up. The recollection brought an involuntary, empathetic shudder as, in my minds eye, I saw his leg bending in several completely unnatural directions and how it appeared to be held together only by virtue of his red and white sock. Yeuk and double Yeuk! I felt sick to my stomach reliving it, even in flashback.

But, hold on, that was not Rambo I was envisioning, it was Dudu, smashed by Taylor; but no, oh God, no, it was neither, it was Diaby, with his ankle apparently sheared off at Sunderland. Wasn’t it?

Well, it seems that they have all become one amorphous whole, each as shocking as the other.

This week’s news, that Danny Murphy had lambasted the thuggish gorillas, sent out by even more thuggish managers, to brainlessly assault more skilful players in more skilful EPL teams, in a manner likely to cause appalling career threatening injuries was amazingly refreshing and unexpected. He even named names; Fat Sam, stupid McCarthy, sickening, self justifying Pubis. Wow!

Picked up by other publications, his comments received mainly positive responses, with many a sage nod of the head, and a general agreement that such thuggery was wrong and that something must be done to curtail these wanton acts of aggression.

Contrast this with the xenophobic “Whingeing Wenger” headlines that greeted similar comments by our esteemed manager. The same moronic “it’s a man’s game”, and “I know him, he would not do that deliberately”, yada, yada, were soon churned out by said thuggish managers, of course.

Sometime ago, I wrote a Post highlighting the cretinous cabal of professionally limited managers, who encouraged and condoned this appalling, “in their faces”, tactic, inflicted by their physically imposing but cerebrally challenged minions. To Danny Murphy’s list I had added Mark Hughes, Owen Coyle and others, on the margins, whose teams occasionally dabble too.

Surprise, surprise, several of the usual suspects popped up; Kevin Davies, Shawcross, and de Jong among them, claiming they had always behaved like choirboys and their sainted managers had never issued any such instructions, nor incited them to inflict damage on skilful opposition players.

Now, at this point, I intend to leave that stream of thought and perhaps shock you, by coupling these Neanderthal antics with our lack of success, in recent times.

Following our defeat by Chelsea, I have lost count of the number of times opposition fans have said, “Your team were out muscled and well beaten” or “They never remotely looked capable of winning, because they were up against a better team, who were far stronger, taller, heavier and more powerful”.

I also lost count of the number of times I denied this was so. “We played well, and were unlucky to have lost”, I said, “We could have won, if we had taken our early chances”, and so on, and so forth.

All the time, at the back of my mind, I was thinking the unthinkable. “These guys could be right!”

In my opinion, even though I think Arsène is the best manager I have ever seen, I think he is complicit in our setbacks against the other top 4 teams, or the intimidating tackling and long ball tactics used against us so often. This is as a direct consequence of the type and size of players he has bought for us, over recent years.

We have often argued on this site about the pace or strength of our current players, with the implicit criticism, by some of us, that they were not quick enough or big enough physically.

Underlying this argument is the indisputable fact that when we were kings of the EPL, winning not just one, but two Doubles, we had in our team colossal players like Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Paddy Viera, Sol Campbell and many others like Manu Petit, Titti Henry and the incomparable Denis “Iceman” Bergkamp. I use the term “colossal” advisedly.

They not only had great skill, but they were giants physically. All of them strapping fellows with muscles on their muscles; they were all well over 6 foot tall, with great long ball winning legs, and a hard bitten, “take no prisoners” attitude in the winning of titles.

And then it all changed!

Arsene fell in love with seemingly fast, small, amazingly skilful players. Their brand of football is an entertaining, breathtaking style, with fast flowing, exquisite passing at its core. This appetite for physically small skilful players has now extended to defenders, with our latest recruits having very modest physiques.

Unfortunately, these little guys do not win against the “Big” teams. And they do not win trophies.

That is the crux of my disquiet. For reasons I do not pretend to understand, AW has decided that our best chance of winning trophies is by recruiting players half the size of those wonderful Double winning teams of yore!

This is not working! Please, Arsene, change your mind!