Wembley. Is it a Home or Away Fixture?

February 9, 2018

Stoke, Watford, Swansea, Bournemouth, Forest, WBA, West Ham, Southampton. All teams we should beat. We didn’t. What unites all of these? You’ve got it – they were all away fixtures.

Chelsea 4 times, Man City twice, Reading, Hull, Wigan, Our winning streak at Wembey.

Conclusion: We are rubbish on the road this season but have a very good record at Wembley. It’s our second home.


Unfortunately Spurs have done very well at home this season losing only once in the PL (I think. To be honest, I have little desire to check my facts about them)

So … will Arsenal view this as a home fixture where we are almost unbeaten this season, or an away fixture where we are clearly crap? This is strange and it is difficult to understand the difference in form. Much better qualified men than me work with the team to solve this problem, team psychologists, motivation specialists, individual positive therapy gurus, inspirational speakers, Steve Bould, Ian Wright; even Tony Adams has had a go. And we still lose to the bottom team in the PL.

But, Wembley is different. It has a proper pitch, centrally heated changing rooms with hot showers. It is in North London.

How Arsenal approach the NLD tomorrow will have a huge influence upon the result. We did them at home, we can do so tomorrow – assuming someone convinces the team that this is just another home game against weak opposition, if they can’t …. we are doomed.


How much do you know about Spurs?

February 9, 2018

Question 1 : Who scored the winning goal when Spurs last won the FA Cup in 1991?

Question 2 : How many managers have they had since 1996?

Question 3 : When did Spurs last win a trophy?

Question 4 : Who was the manager at that time?

Question 5 : How many times have they been relegated since they joined the Football League in 1908?

Question 6 : How many years did this mean there couldn’t be an official St Totteringham’s day?

Question 7 : Which former Tottenham manager was cautioned for kerb crawling in 1987?

Question 8 :  Why does the chicken standing on a basketball featured in the club crest wear spurs?

Question 9 : How many summers have passed since Spurs last won the League?

Question 10 : To Dare is To Do – what the hell does it mean?

Question 11 : Whose famous tweet led to Spurs fans mistakenly celebrating a Newcastle equaliser?

Question 12 : Who wrote the book entitled The Team that Dared To Do about Tottenham’s 1994/5 League season when they finished 7th?

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.


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.


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

Spud Bashing – Player Ratings

November 18, 2017

Team up for it, crowd up for it, great day in the Red and White side of North London. Grown men singing Sweet Caroline at the tops of their voices as they left the ground – Good times never seemed so good – and Neil Diamond was not wrong.

Cech: his maturity counts for a lot, solid as ever and a great save at the end to keep an impressive clean sheet. 8

Bellerin: excellent going forward, always there to offer an outlet on the wing, some decent defending and some down right worrying defending towards the end. 7

Mustafi: there was a reason why the defense worked today rather than not on other occasions and that was because of the return of Shkodran. A general in his organisation and a tower of strength to the other defenders around him and if that isn’t praise enough he set us on our way to the fine weekend that we are having now with a brilliantly headed goal, my motm: 10

(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Koscielny: seemed to be inspired and lifted by his fellow CB, some superb defending and some down right poor passing in the first half. Maybe this is harsh as the noticeable thing was that he was the only player who was looking for the Lacazette runs, I noticed in the week that the French national team understand our number 9’s runs and know how to find him, they are still working this out at THOF. 7

Monreal: a very calm, sensible performance nothing fancy nothing silly just went about his job in his professional way. 7

Kolasinac: the honey moon period is over now and there is a touch of the Emperor’s new clothes going on here, don’t get me wrong I am as pleased as punch with the Oxlaide-Chamberlain upgrade but I am still struggling to see exactly what he brings to the table and is what he brings enough? That said if you play in a team that beats spuds 2-0 you will always be worthy of praise and so should his compact, no frills performance today. 7

Ramsey: probably the player that raised his game the least today and as for playing in trainers for most of it, sliding all over the place and loosing possession cheaply, that was not good; he finally changed his boots and got a bit more to grips with things. 7

Xhaka: this player always worries me as it always only seems like a matter of time until he gets sent off — but he didn’t today, I am not known to be the biggest Wilshere fan but I would have Jack in that team ahead of him everyday of the week. Granit sprayed the ball around well and clearly has a lot of self belief which is a useful asset. 7

Ozil: here’s a question, were you a Bergkamp fan or an Henry fan? If you were like me a Berkamp fan and are of a certain age then there is a linage that you have followed: you loved Liam Brady, you secretly admired Paul Davis more than Rocastle, you liked Merson, you thought and think that Bergkamp was and is the greatest player you have ever seen in an Arsenal shirt and you were a great admirer of Pires and yes you still have a soft spot for Fabrigas. Why all this? Because they are all a similar type of player and can be traced through the decades; the more skillful type rather than the pure goal scorer and as such, you, like me, love Ozil more than any other player at the club. We’ve got Ozil, Mesut Ozil, I just don’t think you understand. 9

Lacazette: he is getting close isn’t he, you can sense that there is so much more from him to come but it is coming isn’t it. Interesting that Wenger remains cautious wit him, only ever playing him for 70 minutes. I suspect Wenger knows the levels of fatigue that the Christmas calendar has on players and wants to make sure he is still standing in the new year. Good day today. 9

Sanchez: another brilliant performance, committed as ever and Johnny on the spot again to fire home our second. 9

Match thoughts from a jubilant LB

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.


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:


Mustafi    Koscielny     Monreal

Bellerin    Xhaka    Ramsey    Kolasinac


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





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?


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.


Written by Big Raddy