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

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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


Spurs. A worrying trend.

November 16, 2017

Remember when they were a laughing stock? Doesn’t seem that long ago. This is the  bunch who employed Harry Redknapp thinking he would bring back the Glory Days  😀

Times have changed and it started a few years back. I loved it when the muppets had to sell their best assets and then waste the money on overpriced dross. Modric and Bale wouldn’t stay and who can blame them.

Spurs have always been good at getting top money for ordinary players and even better money for their stars, the difference today is that they are developing players and keeping them. With 3 players who would certainly cost upwards of €100m a piece they are looking good. Eriksen, Kane and Ali are hot properties with a host of European Giants willing purchasers, though Pochettino says he will not sell.

They have accidentally found a proper manager, a young man with competence. Add in the new stadium and Spurs look as though they will be a force to reckon with for some time.

Thankfully, they remain Spursy.

Oh, and in case Spurs fans get lairy,  just point out the empty Trophy Cabinet. 😀

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written by Big Raddy


Champions 2017/18?

August 10, 2017

How do you think we will fare this season? Will the strengthening of the squad be enough to propel us to the Title? Will it be enough to regain our Top 4 status?

Here’s what BR thinks (subject to change depending upon results 🙂 )

Let’s look at the opposition, starting with:

Chelsea: We have recently  beaten them twice in two important games and lost a meaningless friendly. We are better than them – full stop. Yes, they may be Champions but I fear for them and doubt they can repeat their mid-season run of form which propelled them to the title. They are lacking in midfield (why sell Matic??), are half the side without Hazard and are about to sell their best attacker. Morata? €60m is a huge gamble on a man who has yet to play a full season in a first team (RM made €30m profit  on him after just 26 games!!).

We will finish above them.

Man City:  Spent a fortune – over €100m on just full backs! Almost €40m on a GK who has yet to gain a full International cap. If their first 11 stay fit and Stones starts to show why he is so highly rated they will do well.

Champions? A team with De Bruyne, Sterling, Aguero, Gundogan and Sane will not be far off but somehow, they just don’t do it for me.

Man Utd. Mourinho has to deliver. Winning the Europa was good but not considering the massive investment made in the summer of ’16, Finishing just 6th could have been a sackable offence. Over €150m spent (added to the €165m last summer) makes this a hugely expensive squad. They have managed to recoup less than €10m in sales! MU should have the best squad and if they had a manager who had the slightest intention to entertain we should be happy to see such wonderful talent in the PL BUT they don’t, and MU remain a dull team to watch. The purchase of Lukaku points to a Route One season They were awful in the Supercup where Real Madrid made them look amateur.

MU should be favourites in a financially doped league.

Spurs: If any other team had achieved what Spurs have I would be delighted and rooting for them to go one step further – but it isn’t, it is Spurs and I have an innate dislike of anything Blue & White – to the point where I will not even allow a blue & white toothbrush into my bathroom. FairPlay to them, they have managed to retain the bulk of their squad (so far), sold players for massive profits and look potential Champions. But, there are two huge problems , firstly, they are playing at Wembley, and secondly, and much more importantly, they are Spurs.

Relegation awaits.

Liverpool: Dark horses. On paper they look excellent. Solid in every position. If they can keep Coutinho it will be a signal of their intent. Salah is a good signing and if Sturridge can form a partnership with Mane, they are strong in attack. Klopp remains a terrific addition to the PL . Good enough to move on and win the title? Good enough to maintain a top 4 place?

I doubt it.

Everton: Given their ambitions and expenditure they have to be considered. Koeman is doing very well and has created an excellent defence, strengthened by Pickford and Keane. Given the loss of Lukaku how will they cope in attack? Will Rooney have the legs? Where does he fit into the team? Not in midfield where Everton have Schneiderlin, Barkley, Davies and Barry. Goalscoring could be problematic.

6th

Arsenal: If Sanchez, Ozil and Ox stay plus we sign another body, then the title is ours. The development of Iwobi and Xhaka, plus the purchase of Lacazette means that both Ozil and Sanchez can leave in 2018. However,they need another season to bed in. Rumour abounds about Gabriel being sold but I doubt it, nor Chambers who has a future at AFC. Mustafi has had a bedding in season and the 3-4-3 means that we have choices, especially given the exciting arrival of Kolasinac.

Champions

written by Big Raddy


Alexis IS starting

February 7, 2015

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin ……

I am a chilled person, I have had a life of meditation leading to an understanding that negativity invites negativity, but for all my working of the 12 step programme and the tenets of Buddha there remains one major stumbling block

My name is Big Raddy and I detest Spurs.

Believe me I have tried to feel less revulsion but even when we went all those seasons unbeaten against them the dislike remained. And unfortunately it is a progressive disease – my abhorrence is worse now than it was in Spurs “glory years” …. you know, those days of yore when the magnificent Steve Perryman and Ralph Coates graced the First Division

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No comment needed

By the way when you hear Spurs fans talk about their great players tell them to think on this – Gascoigne, Lineker, Bale, Klinsmann, Ginola, Les Ferdinand all played less games for Spurs than young Szczesny has already played for Arsenal!! Basically anyone who is any good gets out of there are fast as possible.

Just wait until summer when Eriksen and Lloris leave the Lane like rats from a sinking ship, then the miscreants who run the circus can waste another shed load of money on rubbish like Soldildo and Paulinho (over €40m between them)

Onto today: Imagine you were a neutral (impossible, I know). How many Spurs players would get into a combined team? Perhaps one, at most two. Lloris and Kane. Eriksen is quality but better than either Cazorla or Ozil?  Furthermore, as good as Kane may be he is not as good a centre forward as Giroud (yet).

Just for once I will send a little time writing about the knuckle-draggers (normally I dismiss them) but they are serious competition this season and I wonder why. A superb GK and a regular back 4 helps but let’s face it, their FB’s are average as is

Oh …. I can’t be arsed to write about the individual awfulness of the sad fools who have taken the filthy lucre to wear the cheap nylon shirt with the skinny cock emblem.

Let’s talk about the good guys.

Sometimes Mr Wenger is too honest for the team’s good. Whether Alexis is injured or not it would have made sense to pretend he was a certain starter. Puke-tino would have spent all week training his team to kick lumps out of our marvellous Chilean, instead AW tells the world and Spurs that he is out. Makes no sense to me unless it is a double bluff and Alexis starts!

If Alexis is injured the team almost picks itself; the same 11 who demolished Aston Villa though Mr Wenger may choose to beef up the defensive midfield by dropping either Santi or Mesut and playing Flamini alongside Coquelin. I hope not.

Many years ago I read a biography of Dave Mackay (google him) – couldn’t have been an autobiography as reading and writing are not skills associated with Spurscum – and in it he said something very sensible … “the best form of defence is attack.” Now George Graham and Me-rinho would disagree with Dave and their methods bring results.

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Mackay demonstrating his football ethic

Recently the media congratulated Arsene on his change of tactics in the win at Man City but we had done the same many times before, not least last season at The Lane. I don’t like it, it is likely to cause me a heart-attack and I don’t want to depart this mortal coil until we have won the Champions League.

One of my major concerns is how our heroes will perform on the primordial ooze that is called the pitch at WHL; if you emerge from it like the Harry Kane I guess it is playable but to players used to enjoying England’s pleasant pastures it is a challenge. Hopefully we will have specially adapted boots.

Will we win today? Who knows? As always it is just 3 points and even if Spurs fluke a win we will still end the season above the knuckle-dragging Miscreants, but Mr Wenger has a fine record at WHL and we have reason for optimism

COYRRG

written by Big Raddy (who apologises for both the stomach-turning pics of Spuds and the intentional misleading headline)

 


The Magic of the Cup? And Spurs/Arsenal Combined Team

January 4, 2014

I am at a loss. We are about to play our local rivals in an FA Cup game at our home ground and yet ….. look at this face …… Is it bothered? Be honest …. are you as tense as you would expect?

So what is this lack of enthusiasm?  Is it the belittling of the FA Cup? I loved it as a child when everything was focussed on the “most important Cup in world team football”, but the Champions League has dulled my passion. Even more worrying is that we are playing Spurs and  …. I had better stop – I am boring myself.

Any visit from the miscreants who leak their way through the primordial slime of Tottenham into the magnificent arena that is the Emirates is a chance to retain bragging rights. Today is no exception. And perhaps here is the rub ….. I don’t consider Spurs as rivals, and haven’t for a number of years. Yes, they have done well in the recent past and almost achieved something significant, but the fact is that they haven’t. They are Forever in our Shadow.

Not surprisingly Spurs fans see things differently; when they beat us last season my mail inbox was full, I had phone calls from all around the world, I had over 20 text messages within 15 minutes of the final whistle – every man jack Spurs fan whom I had ever met felt the need to crow, “The worm had turned, Arsenal were doomed, Spurs were on the march to London domination. AVB is a genius ( 😀  ), Wenger has lost it, etc etc”.

Do Gooners respond to an Arsenal win in the same manner? Of course not and for many reasons, primarily because we know that we support a bigger club: Not just in terms of trophies, fans, stadium, history but also in every single aspect of a football club.

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Spurs are very confident going into the game – so they should be after beating MU – it was a fine victory. Ade is playing his 6 decent games a season and we all know he scores at the Emirates, Eriksen looks like the creative player they have been missing, the central defence has improved with the signing of  Chiriches and as ever they have strong attacking FB’s.

And …. we have an injury list as long as a whale’s todger.

We are none of us particularly interested in the ever-so-dull Spurs, so lets move onto the men who matter ……

Arsenal: Who knows whether Mr Wenger will prioritise the FAC?  This is  another opportunity to get the trophy monkey off his back but given the injury list and his focus on the CL and PL, Mr Wenger may choose to play a weakened team. I don’t believe he will as he knows how important beating Spurs is to the fans and winning is a habit. As such, and given there is a week until our next game, I expect to see us line up with a strong team.

Ramsey, NB, Gibbs,  probably Giroud, maybe Ozil and the usual suspects are out.

If OG is out we have little choice but to continue with Theo and Podolski in a 4-4-2, it didn’t work vs Cardiff but to be fair the Welshman defended very well and there was no space for our attackers. Today should be different , especially if Özil is fit; he knows Podolski’s game and is starting to find Walcott’s runs.

I don’t like the Arteta/Flamini combo, and would much rather see Rosicky start alongside Arteta but AW will play safe.

My Team

nld

Our problems may arise should we be losing with 20 mins to go and need some attacking thrust off the bench – there is none. We can hope for something special from Gnabry or Ryo but this puts quite  some weight on very young shoulders .

Expect Spurs to play the entire game on the counter-attack. Both their goals at Old Trafford came from breakaways and it will come as no surprise to see Sherwood park the bus, pack midfield and look for the pace of Soldado and Lemon to set up Ade.

Combined Team: Not as easy as I first thought.

GK: Two excellent young keepers, both prone to silly mistakes, both first choice for their countries, both highly thought of by their team’s fans. Having done some research as to which GK made the least mistakes leading to goals in 2013 I was surprised to find it was our TPIG!

Defence: Our defence works as a unit, individually there may be some question as to whether Sagna is better than Walker or if Rose is the equal of Gibbs but our CB’s are the best in the PL as is our goals against record.

Midfield. OK. Sandro is a decent player, so is Dembele. Eriksen has potential. Capoue is a player I hoped we would sign but instead we got Flamini. Let’s be honest all our MFs are better, even our B team midfield would get a gig at WHL.

Attack. Giroud or Soldado?  Lemon or Walcott?  Ozil or Townsend/Ade or whoever else Spurs have who can play as an attacker?

so ….. here it is the combined Arsenal/Spurs team:

combined 11

I know what you Spurs fans are thinking ….. where are Wilshere, Rosicky, Podolski, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Monreal, and Vermaelen (all internationals)?  And you are right. sadly there are only 11 places up for grabs.

The bookies have us as favourites and they are seldom wrong. Given a fair performance from referee Mark Clattenberg, the 4th round awaits.

Written by Big Raddy