Do it Again: Match preview

February 18, 2012

A week is a long time in football. Just 7 days ago we were wrapped up in enthusiasm following our last minute victory, and yet those happy days seem a long gone. Will the confidence of the team plummet because we got spanked by a rampant AC Milan? We shall see today.

I cannot remember a time under Mr Wenger when there has been so much uncertainty amongst the fans. It appears that the team go on a winning run and imbue confidence then implode leading to calls (from some) for the manager’s head. If we are confused imagine how the management at THOF feel. When your most reliable defender over the past 3 seasons make elementary mistakes like Vermaelen did,  then what can you do?

However, the Malaise in Milan was a team effort and it would be wrong to put blame on any one shirt. If blame is to be dealt, then the manager must be included because this is his team and his tactics. Mr Wenger will do all he can to improve things and hopefully the lads will do better today.

I really disliked O’Neill’s tactics last week. Sunderland parked the bus and played with 10 men behind the ball – if I were a paying Sunderland fan I would be seriously worried about the prospects of seeing entertainment over the coming seasons. I guess O’Neill could point to their extra time Cup game midweek and that the game was lost in the final 15 minutes but prior to that Sunderland offered nothing and their goal came as a result of pure good fortune (very bad fortune for Arsenal).

How will Mr Wenger respond today? I expect a much changed side – not a weaker team but one with different faces. There are players whose confidence will have taken a mighty bashing; Ramsey was completely over-run in a way he has probably never experienced, same for Theo, who must have been shakes to be removed at half-time. Should they “get back in the saddle”?

My Team:

Controversial I know but I believe Song needs a rest. He is unlikely to get one and Ramsey is more likely to be rested.  Rosicky has been playing well and getting far more minutes than I expected, but Ramsey needs to get his mojo back and that is best done away from home. – which is an awful indictment of our home “support” (more of this subject another time).

Another Sunderland Inventor;  This may upset some of our American readers but Edison did not invent the electric Lightbulb, it was invented by Sir Joseph Swan, an extremely hirsute resident of Sunderland. Swan (1828 – 1914) patented his lightbulb in England a few years before Edison took out his worldwide (bar UK) patent for an identical product (cheap Yank copy was the term used). The first building to be lit entirely by electricity  (1880) was The Savoy Theatre in London using 1200 lamps supplied by Swan. Swan also invented Bromide paper which is still in use when developing black and white photographs.

Bloody Septic stole my bloody invention!

O’Neill will see this as the ideal opportunity to take revenge upon a tired and shell-shocked Arsenal. The vast majority of the Arsenal baiting media will be looking to stick the knife in should we lose as they are predicting. It is up to our team to prove them wrong.


Written by Big Raddy


Pick up the Pieces

October 16, 2011

At last the chance to write about something other than rumour, tittle tattle and economics. And what a game we have today, none of that nerve wrenching, gut mangling, behind the sofa stuff of our last match against the lowlife bottom feeders – today we welcome those fine upstanding men from the frozen wasteland of Sunderland, who will be looking to gift us 3 points in their push for relegation. A day for Arsenal to get back on track and pick up the pieces.

Sunderland are owned by an American, Ellis Short, who has recently become chairman succeeding the excellent Niall Quinn. Will this isolate Steve Bruce and lead to his replacement, or will it have no effect upon the on-pitch affairs? More to the point, do we really give a damn?

There are lots of interesting stats about today’s game, my favourite being that Sunderland have not won at Arsenal since 1983. There have been 3 90th minute goals in our last 6 meetings, and whoever scores first wins – usually us.

No Bendtner today which is a shame. I watched him in Denmark’s excellent victory over the slimy Portugese (any team with Ronaldo , Mereilles and Nani is slimy and deserving of a good beating!). Nik played centrally and was, I can find no other word, poor. He finished off a fine move for his goal but even Clichy could have scored it. Nik’s absence could give Connor Wickham his first PL start, an interesting player as he showed against us last season at Ipswich.

We are just one point and one place ahead of Sunderland …  bizarre. You all know the problems, we have discussed them endlessly, unfortunately no-one has come up with reasonable solutions other than buying better players. Mr. Wenger believes he has the squad to challenge and one can certainly find reasons (not excuses) for our poor start. Injuries to key players and a rash of red cards have hindered our progress.

It will be interesting to see how Mr. Wenger solves the right back problem. Can he rely upon a very inexperienced 19 year old Carl Jenkinson to be an adequate understudy to Sagna? Or does he play Koscielny or Djourou at RB?  Another possibility is Coquelin. If there are to be brickbats (whatever they are) to be thrown at AW, it is selling Eboue without buying an experienced stand-in RB.

Upfront, RvP is in the form of his life, can he continue and get a brace today? Why not?

With Rosicky regaining fitness , will AW continue with Ramsey? Despite his critics I believe Ramsey is a fine player and should get the shirt with TR substituting late in the game

Is there any possibility of Arshavin getting the central attacking midfield role? Not in my opinion, in fact I doubt whether AA will even start.

My team:



I am hoping we will really attack Sunderland who are likely to play long ball and  look for set piece opportunities, hence the choice of Santos over Gibbs.

The Americans will not appreciate my choice of inventor born in Sunderland. Contrary to popular belief the electric light bulb was invented by Sir Joseph Swan and not by Thomas Edison.  The electric lightbulb was first patented by Swan in 1878 and his house was the first in the world to be lit by light bulbs.  He received a knighthood and the French Legion d’Honneur in honour of his invention. Top bloke, top beard.