Season Predictions.

August 11, 2018

We know our squad, we know the strength of the opposition squads, where do you think we will finish come season’s end?

I am excited (as always) by the prospect of a winning season for The Arsenal and IMO we have almost all the assets to do well; a mixture of youth and experience, a new manager with an outstanding past record, new coaches and backroom staff and, above all, some variety in attack.

Much has been made of the defence and with good cause, we certainly looked shaky in the friendlies, particularly at centre back. Given the PL inexperience of the Greek chap and Mustafi’s inexplicable lapses it was a huge gamble to loan Chambers but perhaps Holding has impressed in training, or we had our sights set on a solid CB and the transfer did not come to fruition. Whatever, it is cause for concern. And what of the full backs? We look strong on the right with the Swiss bloke being a fine addition (if he remains fit) but on the left?? Nacho is losing pace, The Beast is not a proper defender nor is M-N. Much will be expected of The Terrier (we need a Jack Russell as opposed to a Westie).

Our attack lacks a winger and I hope UA will not try to make PEA into a TH14 – he is a very effective central striker. How UA makes space for Ozil, and Mhiki will be interesting, as will how Iwobi develops. Unlike many, I believe Iwobi has all the talent to become a top player.

And what of the other teams?

Man City are a superb team and odds-on to repeat their PL victory. Mahrez is a good addition. I cannot see anything but them being crowned Champions again and doing much better in the CL.

Man Utd. I have never hidden my dislike of Merino and he has created a team in his image.  Their arrogance can be seen in the antics throughout the club with Pogba being the worst culprit. Shame because they have some fine players. I wish them ill and will laugh as their managers moans about lack of investment.

Liverpool. Where do they get €200m+ to spend in one summer? Why can’t we get someone in who is prepared to do the same? Klopp has to deliver this season. 4th is not good enough, though a losing CL final appearance is testament to the improvement under his management. Can Salah have another wonderful season or is he another Clive Allen? Can the Scouse finally win a title? Not in my opinion.

Spurs. Got better and better in 2017/18 but ultimately they got Spursy and won sweet FA. No signings but no departures. New ground on it’s way hence tightened purse strings.  Last won the title in 1961 and despite the last 8 years having a 1 in them, they continue to flatter to deceive.

Chelsea. Expensive but worse GK. Kovacic and Jorginho will take time to settle. Can they get back to Top 4 under a new manager? They need a proper finisher and it is a major surprise they continue with Morata, OG (WC winner) and some other bloke.

Everton. The Nearly Men. Spent big money, have a decent squad plus Theo. Have High Hopes

So, how will the table look at the end of the season?

My Prediction is:

  1. Man City
  2.  Liverpool
  3.  Arsenal
  4.  Chelsea
  5.  Man Utd
  6. . Everton

What do you think?

written by Big Raddy

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Guardiola is right to be unhappy & Sorry Spurs

April 11, 2018

Elneny’s red card has been rescinded. His sending off could have been costly, the completely useless Andy Marriner clearly lost the plot when the game got heated (as it should be) Has Marriner been punished  with a suspension or demotion? No, he hasn’t Should he be?

The referee and two linesmen wrongly decided Sane was offside when scoring for MC last night possibly costing MC the victory and with it many millions of pounds. Were the referee and linesmen questioned about their mistake? Has there been any fuss apart from Guardiola being sent to the stands for stating a truth?

This post could go the VAR route but we have covered the subject in depth, instead I am questioning the punishment of referees who make blatant errors.

Chas mentioned Graham Poll yesterday, my example would also be against Newcastle when Phil Dowd gave the worst example of refereeing in my footballing experience in a 4-4 draw at St James in 2011. Dowd escaped with an unblemished record having given Diaby a red card, awarded two highly dubious penalties to the Magpies and allowed Barton, Tiote and others to repeatedly kick our boys.

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Yes, I know the argument about referees only being human and mistakes can be made but the general standard is poor. And of course, all referees are wa**ers, They have to be to pick up the whistle.

On another subject …

Did you know that since Spurs last won a major trophy (i.e. not the Carabootee Cup) in 1991, Arsenal have won the same number of trophies as Spurs have in their entire history!!

Ooh to be, Ooh to be, Ooh to be a Gooner

written by BR


Will Anthony Taylor be the deciding factor in the NLD?

February 10, 2018

Given Pocchetino’s honest but appalling admission that Spurs players dive, how would previous  managers have responded? Bill Nick would have tut-tutted then stubbed out his ciggy and ordered another pint (check out his nose),  Pleat would have cruised home in despair, Harry would have congratulated Poch upon a fine coaching job. Hoddle would have re-arranged his cilice (look it up!) They have always been morally bankrupt.

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Consider Gazza: Violent wife-beating nutter. Hoddle? Diamond Lights. Lineker? Adulterer. Klinsmann? Serial diver. Sheringham? Without doubt the most scurrilous, unpleasant player of the last 30 years. Ruddock? Vicious thug. The list is very, very long.

No wonder Defoe and Bale left as soon as they could.

And what of the current bunch of swindlers and soap-dodgers? Alli? oh dear? He was a wonderful prospect before he got Spurred. Dembele? Would you leave your children on their own with him?  Kane? England Captain and cheat – which says all we need to know about the FA.  Eriksen? Already booked the removal company to take his furniture to Spain.

Still enough of them

My Team:

Cesc

Koscielny     Mustafi    Monreal

Bellerin    Ramsey     Xhaka    Iwobi

Ozil    Miki

PEA

The early signs of the New Arsenal are very encouraging. Whilst accepting Everton were rubbish it was our new attack which made them look rubbish. Pace, power, vision and an ability to find space will bring success over the coming seasons. The portents are very positive and whilst I remain in doubt as to whether they will gel immediately I am convinced that 2019 bodes well.

We know our weaknesses. A defence that gets flaky under pressure, a midfield which loses concentration and wing backs who get too adventurous. Spurs have the team to take advantage but hopefully we will be out of sight by the time they score – and they will.

A worry:  Monreal left the pitch holding his buttocks which could indicate a hamstring injury. If it is, there is the distinct possibility that Kolasinac will start. It hurts to write that in the time he was on the pitch last weekend, his pass rate was less than 60%. Easily the worst in the team and as bad as the worst Everton player. Add to that that his appalling defending for the Everton goal and he clearly has problems.

Let us pray Nacho is fit or that Maitland-Niles (Cons) gets picked to play left back.

If AW sends the team out to start on the front foot with positivity and attacking purpose, we can win – just as we did in the home fixture. Go out half-asleep and concede early, as we have done so often this season, and trouble awaits.

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I am sure I speak for everyone when I say we need a referee who can spot the cheating (unless it is to our benefit) . Given it is the fool Anthony Taylor, the man who gave a penalty to Chelsea when Hazard dived under pressure from Hector and the chap who mild-mannered Arsene Wenger told to F**k Off at Burnley, this could be an afternoon when the referee becomes the centre of attention. Let’s hope not.

Should be an exciting afternoon

COYRRG

 

 


Can VAR stop Spurs Cheating?

February 5, 2018

An exciting game at Anfield left Mr. Klopp fuming and a few million viewers shaking their heads at another example of the lack of moral fibre in the Spurs Miscreants. Which , to be candid, comes as no real surprise.What is surprising is that following at least a dozen slo-mo replays there was disagreement about both penalty decisions.

So how will VAR improve matters?

Let us look at both decisions.

Penalty 1. Kane is offside when the ball is played. It hits Lovren and thus Kane is adjudged onside (according to the TV referee Dermot Gallagher who has, at best, a loose knowledge of the game). Kane then sees the GK come towards him and dives, trailing his leg which brushes the GK’s arm. It is a clear dive. The man was falling before being minimally touched.

Much discussion followed. Penalty given.

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Penalty 2. Lamela gets into front of Van Dijk. Backs into him as Van Dijk attempts to clear the ball and hits the deck mortally wounded. No way a penalty – it was another example of crafty cheating.

Yet … penalty given and despite replays many would agree that it was a penalty.

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Would VAR have corrected either decision?

Alli got booked for an obvious dive earlier in the game, Lamela and Kane were simply better cheats.

We saw a similar act in our game vs Everton, when some no-mark got in front of the defender running at speed into the penalty area  -I think it was Calvert-Lewin – then halted abruptly causing the defender to run into him. The inevitable dive followed but the Everton miscreant was not booked, hence his cheating went unpunished.

Many say VAR would slow the game down whilst the decision is being made and that the fans would see less football. Given that the ball is in play for less than 45 of the 90 minutes, something could be done to correct this i.e. stop the clock when the ball is out of play at throw-ins, free-kicks and goal-kicks. It is an easy solution. What isn’t easy is finding a unbiased panel of referees to act as VAR officials.

In my opinion anything which stops a player cheating is beneficial, whether it is 100% accurate or not. There are players and managers who use diving and foul play as a tactic, VAR can help with this.

It is not perfect but IF, the replays are shown to the fans it can add to the excitement, as it has in rugby; unfortunately I doubt very much whether the replays will be shown to the attending fans. Which raises another point – VAR is for the home viewer, the billions who watch the PL around the world, not the tens of thousands who attend the game. And it is their dollar which counts.

Do you think VAR will make professional players stop cheating?

p.s. If you did not see the Anfield game, you will just have to take my  judgement as fact – after all, I am completely unbiased 😀 😀


5 things we learned from Saturday

November 20, 2017
  1. I will start with this because IMO it is the most important. We had a proper 12th man. The fans were wonderfully raucous from before kick off until well after games end. It makes a massive difference to the players. Just imagine you were on the pitch (a dream, I know), which would inspire you, The Library or Saturday’s passion? We need the same every week.
  2. We work best when we have our first choice 11. Obvious. How many times this season have we lined up with the same defensive 6? Once or twice? People write about how there are open spaces across our defence and we are too gung-ho/undisciplined/tactically naive etc etc. Simple matter is that when we have AW’s chosen men we play better.
  3. Hard work pays. Ramsey led the ranks as usual, but all the players ran tirelessly. Surprisingly Spurs ran more than us! The difference was that our players ran with purpose.
  4. We should have scored more. We totally dominated the last 15 minutes and a 4-0 would have been even more dispiriting to the WHL miscreants. Subbing off Lacazette for Le Coq was unnecessary given how dominant we were. Mr Wenger has developed this habit of securing the points rather than going for the jugular but given the quality of the top 6 teams goal difference could be very important.
  5. Despite rumours to the contrary, Spurs are and always have been … merdre

 

written by BR


Form is Temporary, Class is Permanent

November 18, 2017

The last two posts have given begrudging admiration towards  the positive developments happening down the Seven Sisters Rd, but let’s be honest … you can’t polish a Richard 😀 😀

Always in our shadow. Flash in the pan, One swallow – summer, a pig’s ear doth not a purse make etc I am sure you can add a few more.

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Our Trophy Cabinet (for Aaron)

You know the stats, it will take a generation of poor results for the heroes in Red and White to be overtaken by the incestuous, heathen hordes from Wembley.

We have had to wait for 50 years to see a Spurs team capable of finishing second 🤡🤡

As to their fans – have they developed along with their team? Sadly not. They remain fur covered knuckle-draggers, only slightly up the evolutionary tree from Orcs.

As to today, Arsenal still have selection difficulties. If fit, should AW find a place for Welbz? Iwobi is unlikely to start given his heroics midweek for Nigeria. Is Mustafi ready? Dare we play a back 4 given the current form of Eriksen (the papers over here are comparing him to Maradona!!)?

My Team:

Cech

Mustafi    Koscielny     Monreal

Bellerin    Xhaka    Ramsey    Kolasinac

Ozil

Lacazette    Sanchez

 

I know he is a  bit marmite but Theo loves a goal against Spurs and should certainly get at least 30 minutes. I really do not want to see Coquelin on the team sheet. We have enough strength to cope with Spurs attack assuming that the lads play as a team and CONCENTRATE.

As always, we have a very strong bench even without Giroud and Iwoi.

One fly in the ointment is the referee. How can Mike Dean get another Arsenal game? The stats show that this man is not just incompetent, he is also biased. The Man City game was evidence that refs can ruin what could be a good performance. We got stuffed at Stoke and the Etihad, and No, it does not even out over a season.  Whatever happens we can be sure Dean will be in the spotlight and it is a forlorn hope that he will shaft the Lillywhites. Grrrr

So, what do we expect from this afternoon (another stupid k.o. time)? Certainly a fighting performance. Some artistry and lightning fast attacks would be good. A few long distance shots on target (no Lloris). A goal or two.

Win, lose or draw, Spurs will always be in our shadow

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COYRRG

 

 


Spurs. An Obsession?

November 17, 2017

Over the years of AA we (or should I say “I”) are often accused of being “obsessed” by Spurs. Is it true?

Judge for yourself.

Firstly, I was born in North London, equidistant from AFC and THFC. Most of my friends were Spurs, my father was Spurs, thankfully my Uncles had more sense, though one had a season ticket at Chelsea 😦

Before girls and music football was everything, break time at school, after school, all weekend we played or talked about football. It was always Arsenal vs Spurs in the park, playground, wherever. It mattered and it mattered big time. Was I obsessed – certainly. We all were.

I expect this is different for those born away from North London but it seems the principle remains; it is almost impossible to love Arsenal and have anything but begrudging respect for Spurs.

Let me ask you this, which is the first result you look for after Arsenal’s? For a select and deluded few, it will be United, perhaps Chelsea, but for the vast majority it is Spurs. If we lose the only thing which eases the pain is if Spurs lose. It has been so for as long as I remember.

If you happen to support Spurs and read this Arsenal blog, tell me it is not the same in reverse for you?

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Just think back to when we won the League at White Hart Lane in 2004, Spurs fans celebrated as Keane scored a dodgy penalty to get a draw. It was more important than the realisation that we had become Champions at their ground (for the second time :_D )

For 20 years there was little rivalry thanks to the descent of the Lillywhites into mediocrity, this was good and bad because IMO we need a NL challenge to enliven the season. Their temporary improvement also brings another team into the fight for a Top 4 place. 75 points may no longer be enough.

IMO we are very interested in Spurs, they are our noisy neighbours, it has been thus for  almost 100 years. Obsessed … No.

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Written by Big Raddy