Young Guns Primed …. The Return of the Striking Viking?

September 25, 2013

The games coming like London busses. The Interlull followed by two games a week – but tonight we have the very enjoyable opportunity to see how deep our squad is.

Whether we win or not depends upon how WBA and Steve Clarke approach the game. If as I suspect they put out a first 11 then we are in for a tough evening, if like AFC they go with a weakened team, then we should see an exciting game.

The Capital/Milk/Rumbelow’s/League/Littlewood’s Cup is one we should have won in the past couple of years. The painful loss to the soon-to-be relegated Birmingham is a memory which needs to be replaced by silverware, but my guess is that Mr Wenger will insist his priorities lie elsewhere. Inevitable given our growing injury list.

The one area we could not “stomach” another injury was the attack. With Ox and Pod both out for the foreseeable future it is a blow to hear of Theo’s injury. Young Didit told me over the summer that Mr Walcott was our most valuable player and much would rest upon his fitness – I have to agree. Theo gives something to the team no-one else can and that is searing pace; he may not be the most lethal striker but he scares the bejeesus out of defenders.

It will be a big night for one of our players in particular – you know the one – that Danish nutter. It is good he will make his return away from the “cauldron” that is the Emirates, a cynical crowd could badly affect him. If Nik hits the ground running he could be a major player for us, sadly the evidence of the past few seasons suggests it may be a forlorn hope.

Unbelievably Fabianski was injured on Friday!  I really feel for the man – he has done nothing wrong and yet every time he gets an opportunity he suffers an injury.

Gnabry’s promotion to the first team causes problems. He will be needed at the weekend and this opens up a place for either another MF – Eisfeld most probably or another forward. . Little has been mentioned about our missing man, Mr Park. He is back in training with the first team, so why not let him try and earn his corn?


Come on Arsene, Make the Marketing Dept. happy

We have some experience in the squad and the game is well timed for the return of our Club Captain and the man with Lego hair.

My team:


We can have one of our midfield geniuses on the bench in case of problems, but my inclusion of Park (no, it’s not a joke 😀 ) shows just how bare the cupboard is. Of course, Mr Wenger could choose to start Akpom but I think his time will come – he doesn’t appear strong enough as yet.

As to West Brom. Quite frankly I know next to nothing about them (apart from them employing traitor Anelka.) I am sure they are hard-working and will sweat blood to beat the Mighty Gunners. However, much like the first team, your pre-match writer is taking a day off from researching the opposition!

Much depends upon how Mr Wenger views the CC.  I think he views it purely as a chance to give his youth players experience and if they do well then review at a later stage, as such the draw of a PL side away from home was unfortunate. However, a trophy is there to be won, so let’s go out and win one.


Just because it makes me happy


written by Big Raddy

Wishing and Hoping. WBA away.

April 6, 2013

Have you noticed a spring in the Gooners step since winning in Munich? Suddenly this new Arsenal is not the shoddy bunch of lazy artisans just trotting around and picking up money for nothing (and chicks for free), No, this is a team focussed and able to get a Top 4 spot – possibly even top 3.


The 4th Place Trophy. Currently residing  in N.17 😀

But let’s hold hard a second. Nothing has changed  – or has it? Has our defence tightened up with the dropping of TV and the addition of Monreal? Has our midfield improved with the loss of Wilshere and the injury to Diaby? Are we better without Theo?

Time will tell.

So, today we take on the mighty WBA ably led by Braniac Steve Clarke. Roy Hodgson took WBA to 10th, Clarke has taken them up to 8th, which for a small club is a job well done. IF WBA win today it will be their most victories in a season in the PL. WBA’s home record is just one point worse than ours, only 4 teams have won at the Hawthorns and as such I have concerns about this game. That said, they have won just 3 of their last 12 games. A draw seems likely.

We all know about the new “Drogba”, Lukaku, who is going to be a major star over the coming years; can BFG and Kos handle him? I hope so.

But as always, it is not how WBA play, it is how Arsenal do. The optimism created over the last couple of months has been grounded in improved teamwork and application. In Raddy’s opinion, the 4-4-2 is allowing Santi  the space he requires to influence any game he plays in – he has become an essential player in this team, which is remarkable considering this is his first season. A brilliant buy by Mr.Wenger.

This is the type of game which Ramsey will enjoy –  a midfield battle. I cannot see WBA parking the bus, nor can I see them being gung ho, what I expect is a tough game with us controlling the ball. Gervinho’s unpredictability, both in his possession and his positioning, was important against Reading, he will cause anyone problems should he repeat his performance – but will he? Who knows? Not Gervinho, not his team-mates, not the fans, nor his manager.

My Team:

brom v arse

I am assuming Wilshere, Monreal and Walcott are not quite ready to start but even if they were I would go with the above team (perhaps JW for TR7). I would love to see Podolski get more starts but Rosicky is the better midfielder and in an away fixture he has to be the safer bet.

Today’s English Explorer: Frederick Lugard, later Baron Lugard (1858 – 1945) soldier, mercenary, African explorer and administrator. Fred was a different type of explorer to those we have read about this this season, basically he was a soldier who went through Africa freeing slaves and kicking two colours out of anyone in his path, setting up Britain as the pre-eminent colonial power in Africa. It should be recalled that Britain’s great wealth wasn’t just created by brave fellows going out alone with a knapsack and a compass, it was also built through the gun and violence – Freddie was an expert.


Iron fist in a Velvet glove – Harder than PV4

Following a stellar military career he became the first Governor of Hong Kong where he founded the University of Hong Kong, then Governor of Nigeria where he attempted to put an end to the slave trade between the African nations (it being abolished in Europe). Highly decorated as a soldier Lugard was first knighted and then became a Baron. He died childless at the age of 87.

This is another huge game, not just because of the 3 points but also because of the rising level of hope and expectation surrounding the team.

And as we all know ….. it is the Hope that hurts .


written by Big Raddy