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 ūüôā )

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? ‚ā¨60m is a huge gamble on a man who has yet to play a full season in a first team (RM made ‚ā¨30m profit ¬†on him after just 26 games!!).

We will finish above them.

Man City: ¬†Spent a fortune – over ‚ā¨100m on just full backs! Almost ‚ā¨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 ‚ā¨150m spent (added to the ‚ā¨165m last summer) makes this a hugely expensive squad. They have managed to recoup less than ‚ā¨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.


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.


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


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 ‚ā¨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.


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


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 ( ūüėÄ ¬†), 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.


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 √Ėzil 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


Our problems may arise should we be losing with 20 mins to go and need some attacking thrust off the bench Рthere 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

Hull Tigers Tamed?

December 4, 2013

Who would have thought that Hull Tigers would be in 10th place and in the top half of the table? Justifiably so – any team who can hammer Liverpool (even sans Sturridge) deserve plaudits. – but it should be remembered that prior to this they had lost to relegation fodder Crystal Palace and Spurs.

I had the misfortune to watch the first half of the Spurs game and it is a testament to the human spirit that people didn’t die of boredom.

Of course Hull have an ex-Spurs midfield pairing of Fattlestone and LillyLivermore. Despite being shipped out of Spurs as even more useless than the lemons whom they signed so expensively, they are doing well and Fats and Lilly are only 4 points behind their ex-employers! ¬† Luckily for Bruce’s team they have a decent player in Elmohamady alongside them but I think for the first time in a couple of months we are going to see a large bus parked in the Hull half of the pitch. Expect Hull to play long ball up to Sagbo and then hope to score from set plays.

Bruce chose to play with 3 at the back against the Scousers and it proved to be effective but there is no chance he will do so tonight, especially if Walcott starts.


Tom Fattlestone. Pre-Season Training

I am no Hull expert though I have had the honour of visiting the town which rightly has been chosen to be UK City of Culture in 2017.  Anyone who has driven over the suspension bridge and into the green and vibrant city will surely agree.

Stats: Hull have lost 5 out of their last 6 away games, and have won only one of their last 30 games on the road. Arsenal have been winning at both half time and full time in their last 5 home games. Before I get too confident it should be recalled that Hull beat us at The Emirates just a few years back (2008 Рtempos fugit!). A repeat would be painful.

Arsenal:¬† Mr Wenger has already spoken of rotation so who gets rested? Looking at who has played most minutes this season (including internationals) it has to be Ozil, Ramsey, BFG and Giroud. Sagna is out with a hamstring tweak. Do we dare go into an important game with Bendtner and Walcott upfront? Can we drop over half the midfield? I don’t think so …. 3 points against Hull is just as valuable as 3 against Chelsea.

My Team:

a v h

I am averaging 9/11 so far this season but am very hesitant about the above team. The balance of Cazorla and Rosicky may be a bit lightweight and I would love to rest Giroud but think he has to continue until Walcott has game time and Podolski is fit. I hope to see Gnabry get some minutes tonight – it will be the first time I will see him in the flesh because …..

BR is going to the game and will be indulging in pre-game dinner and drinks. See you there.


written by Big Raddy

Season Low Points Pt.1 Off-Pitch

May 29, 2012

Recently, we were treated to a fine post from Chas filled with vids of the highlights of the season. but what were the low points? I am not talking about on-pitch stuff (was Ewood worse than OT?), No, I mean the off-pitch drama – those things in football which are not the result of the bounce of a ball.

Fans: ¬†One of Chas’s vids showed the superb support of the Dortmund fans, perhaps the best I have seen. Fervent, happy, funny, enjoying their day out at The Home of Football. Compare them to the Stoke fans. In all my years of football fanaticism I cannot recall being so disgusted by the actions a group of fans as when the whole of ¬†the Britannia booed Ramsey’s every touch. Can you?

Yes, we joke about their team of Orcs and we actively dislike both the Orc Leader and his henchmen,they deserve it,  but for their fans to boo a young man who has been seriously damaged in front of them is beyond ignorant. These people deserved National castigation, instead on MOTD the fool Lineker imitated their aping of Wenger ( fairplay to Hansen who condemned their behavior).

Did the Head Orc (Pulis) say anything …. No, of course not. Did anyone at Stoke? No. They silently condone the booing. Have the FA said anything? No, of course not. ¬†Redknapp or Rednose (SAF) get abuse and the media are up in arms – yet ¬†there was nothing was in the press about the behavior of the Orcs, apart from laughing at Wenger.

Fans: ¬†Over the years, my dislike of ¬†The N15 Neanderthals has lessened due to their comedic ability to grab tiny seeds of hope and blow them into successes (“We’re going to win the the League, or Bale is World Class” ). ¬†West Ham and then Chelsea became my most disliked opposition (thanks to their racist and fascist fans), but when T-Shirts are made with “MInd the Gap” on them and they are then displayed at THOF, things have gone too far….. HaHaHaHaHaHa.

Club Action: Can anything be less enlightened than a Club and manager supporting a player who has been judged to make a racist remark? And then to wear t-shirts in support of said player? Liverpool shamed their great tradition and for that alone Dalglish deserved his dismissal. For a club who are rightly so sensitive about their history, this wasn’t just ¬†misjudged, it was an act of madness. ¬†Whether Suareze is a racist or not was not the issue – ¬†he was found guilty of making a racist remark not of being a racist. How could the management of Liverpool get it so wrong?

Management Action: ¬†Capello and England. I come from a generation of fans to whom being Captain of England is the very pinnacle of achievement. To Captain your country at Cricket or Football was not just a job given to the most experienced player, it was a mark of the respect the sport had for the incumbent. The idea that love-cheat, bribe taker and now racist John Terry has worn the same armband as Bobby Moore and Billy Wright is just sad. ¬†That it took the Ferdinand affair to remove him of the Captaincy speaks volumes for The FA’s lack of understanding of our footballing heritage. As to the CL Final appearance – words fail me.

What are your off-pitch low-points? How do you think the Press write about Arsenal, are they even-handed? Do we get worse press than any other club? Do you think the Board of Directors are finally getting their act together or are they ruining our club? And what of the fitness regime’s? How is it that our players were in the Red and Wigan’s weren’t?

Written by Big Raddy

Arsenal 4 – 1 Them Lot:Spurs Are Such Nice Hosts Aren’t They? – written by irishgunner

September 22, 2010

Written by Irishgunner

I don’t know is it because they want to be us so much that they helped us out last night, or is it that they are yet to figure out they are a pale shadow of our greatness? Either way, Tottenham must stop trying to out-pass the mighty Arsenal, instead they should play like Stoke or Blackburn. Oh wait, of course that is right, they did! Maybe they thought Jack Wilshere was the ball and that’s why they kicked him so often…. All credit to Little Jack (who isn’t so little anymore) who kept dusting himself off and getting on with the game.

Aside from all the kicking, Spurs were good hosts though: they let us have as much possession as we wanted, when we struggled to score they handed us two penalties, and then, in the nicest gesture of them all, they scuttled away out of their own stadium so our wonderful travelling fans could get on with the celebrations.

Playing “those lot” is always exciting, but when it comes to the Carling Cup it’s hard to know what to expect. I always expect us to beat them, but we know Arsene likes to rest up for the “fizzy cola alcohol Mickey Mouse” League Cup. So, it was with great glee that we saw him name a very strong squad for the game last night. Rosicky, Nasri, and Wilshere formed a tasty midfield and did not disappoint.

Just how bloody impressive is Jack Wilshere? I’m not one for thanking Bolton Wanderers for much, but that loan spell he had with them last season has done him the world of good. His left foot is majestic, he has an eye for a pass, is composed on the ball, demands possession, and isn’t afraid to get stuck in. Its like watching Cesc again when he first broke into the first team, you really wonder can this really be only a kid you are watching.

Its hard to pick holes in last night’s performance.

Fabianski was poor for Keane’s offside goal, but to be honest I don’t see the point in having a go at him today when it’ll just take up gloating time. Having said that, you can see why Chesney is a bit peeved with the whole situation.

Koscielny had a good game for me. He’s a tough nut and really gets stuck in. I don’t see him as first choice yet but he is a very good understudy and is new to this level of competition. His performances have been up and down so far, but he’ll learn and could prove to be quite the shrewd signing.

Gibbs had a great game again, and its of no wonder Clichy’s performances have upped lately with this guy hot on his heels for a starting spot. Eboue was Eboue, didn’t do much right or wrong. Djourou looked very rusty, he was caught out a few times but considering his lay off, we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. He did make one fine last ditch tackle in extra time.

Denilson played well for me. He got stuck into the dirty work and kept going all night (I’m being nice and not mentioning his shooting….oops). Same goes for Henri Lansbury who is a very game kid and he took up a great position to score the opener. I was slightly disappointed in Vela who I hoped would influence the game more.

We knew Arsene meant business when he brought on AA23 and Chamakh. The Moroccan continues to impress with his work rate, while Arshavin was himself of late Рlooked off form but still managed to score.

Speaking of Arsene, I wonder just what he was doing on the Blackberry. I’ve my suspicions that he wasn’t getting in contact with Pat Rice at all, why do I feel when ‘Arry checks his phone he’ll have a load of messages like “Ur sh8” or “Who r ya?” Or maybe Arsene was tweeting?

Either way, I’m sure Arsene was gloating to someone. Speaking of gloating, no individual ratings today, we beat the scum and beat them well, 10/10 for everyone, now lets get gloating.

Into the House of Darkness – WHL – written by BigRaddy

September 21, 2010

Let us start here. There is light and there is darkness, there is good and there is evil, there is N5 and then there is N17. N5 is blessed with parks, glorious architecture, fine restaurants, great bars and the finest football stadium in Britain; whereas N17 is a total toilet, the parks littered with dogshit,  litter and hoodlums, the architecture can only be described as urban wasteland, the restaurants vary from appalling to mediocre, the bars imbue such depression that suicide is an attractive alternative, and the football ground (it cannot be called a stadium) is a complete joke.

If you win the Lottery you may well choose to live in Highbury, if you have descended into a life of crack and crime, you probably live in Tottenham.

(N:B: The above is written in jest, but there is a little truth in there…..)

And the football teams reflect their surroundings. Arsenal have an urbane, intelligent manager, Spurs a semi-literate ‚Äúwheeler-dealer‚ÄĚ (Sky tm), Arsenal have a team who play with brio and flair, Spurs have Huddlestone and Crouch, Arsenal have a warehouse full of silverware, Spurs won the league in Black and White.

And so we come to the Carling Cup. When we drew the mugs from N17, I despaired because the Carling Cup is a meaningless trophy for us but any game against the forces of evil is big, and the potential of losing to them hurts, plus we know how Mr Wenger views the CC with his attitude towards playing only the youth and fringe players. The last time we played in the CC at the Lane, we left humiliated (though the 5-1 scoreline hardly reflected the game).

However this time could be different because somehow Spurs have found their way to the top table and have to prioritise just as we do. In other words we will find out by Harry’s team selection whether Spurs really are a Top 4 side or just pretenders who know they will get bounced out of the CL and finish outside the Top 4. Will Redknapp play any of his first team with West Ham away and Twente at home inside a week?

If not we could be in for a treat because we have such strength in our reserve and youth teams. Unfortunately the injuries to so many of our first team precludes AW from playing some of the second string (JW, Vela Kos/Squil,Denilson, Ramsey etc), but we are sure to see Gibbs and Djourou. Perhaps an outing for JET who is set to cause havoc.

The Young Men in the White Hats……

My team is made up from a process of elimination, with the plethora of injuries in the forward positions we will have to pack the midfield, plus many of our best youngsters are out on loan.

To me the games rests upon the team Harry plays, has he the courage to play a reserve team in front of an expectant full house at WHL? He knows that the record breaking win (as in they broke our undefeated record) set Tottenham up for their late run to the CL, and also how important a win is to his knuckle dragging acolytes Р Harry is nothing if not pragmatic. I expect Spurs will line up with some big players, Keane, Jenas, Palacios, Hudson, Krankjar, Dos Santos, Corluka and who knows maybe our mates David Bentley and William Gallas Рall Full Internationals. They will not want to be beaten by kids

The final word must go to Bobby Smith who died on Saturday. I was raised in a Tottenham loving home, my father was Spurs and took me many times to WHL to watch the Double team of 60/61. In a side of hugely divergent talent from the silky skills of Blanchflower to the destructive aggression of Mackay one man stood out for me, his name was Bobby Smith. A proper centre forward , hard as nails, great in the air, a tremendous shot and no mean skill on the ground, a natural goalscorer.  Bobby Smith was my first hero , at this very moment I expect he will be scoring hatricks  on the Elysian Fields. Gone but not forgotten.

Can we win? Of course. Will we win? Unlikely