Chelsea Preview

August 6, 2017

Tempus Fugit. Seems like yesterday  … actually it doesn’t, much talk and some action has taken place since season’s end, some good, some not so good, some still to happen. Has anyone left from the 1st team squad? Will they? Loans must be the order of the day as we try to clear the decks. We need more bodies etc etc

But today we have the little matter of a Wembley appearance, and we are good at Wembley, aren’t we? 8 wins on the bounce. Though we play for bragging rights and a Shield which isn’t really a trophy.

Unusually this is a repeat of last season’s Cup Final which was FAR more important and left Chelsea dreaming of the Double. On the day, we were so much the better team it was embarrassing and one was left to question how it was that Arsenal failed to achieve Top 4 (or even the title).

This is our 22nd appearance in the curtain raiser – a record.

Injuries abound which is worrying in a quiet International summer. Ozil, Sanchez, Cazorla, Gabriel, Mustafi, Koscielny, Wilshere and Coquelin are all knacked to some extent. If I were Mr Wenger I would be giving all concerned a rest or at most a bench seat.

I am excited by the current squad; the addition of Lacarazette and the other chap have given the boost we needed, one more body in midfield will see us cushtie and title pretenders.

Unknown-1.jpeg

3-4-3 this afternoon with Holding, BFG and Monreal at the back – it worked last time

Ospina

Holding    BFG   Monreal

Ox   Ramsey   Xhaka   Kolasinac

Ozil    Lacazette     Welbeck

As I have done little AFC study over the close season this team could be way off the mark but IMO it is a winning 11, particularly as we have such a strong bench.

Unknown.jpeg

Chelsea will be looking for Wembley revenge. Denuded by the loss of Costa (Conte must be mad to sell him) they have spent huge sums but look weaker on paper.

If you are lucky enough to be attending Wembley this afternoon, give the lads a cheer for us sad souls stuck on the sofa. The pre-kick-off rituals of Wembley are some of my finest footballing memories.

The serious business starts next week but another trophy/shield would be a great start to the campaign…

Let it be So.

COYRRG

Advertisements

Everton. A Chance to say Goodbye?

May 21, 2017

Will this be the final time Alexis and Mesut grace Islington’s most sacred turf? Hope not , but if it is let’s win this afternoon with the style and brio they have both brought to the Arsenal.

Unknown.jpeg

Everton are a good team and Koeman has done well to keep them in the mix until the last month or so, they will finish in 7th at least 14 points ahead of 8th. With a much smaller budget than the Top 6 it would be fair to say, they have comfortably won League 2 of the PL. Whether they can push on is doubtful without massive investment.

Everton will be no push-overs, they are good all over the pitch and AFC will have to play well to secure the points. This being the case I do not think AW will rest his best players ahead of Wembley.

My Team:

Cech

Holding     Mustafi    Monreal

Bellerin   Ramsey   Xhaka     Gibbs

Ozil      Sanchez

Welbeck

Such a pity Ox is injured as he adds a better attacking punch than Bellerin but Hector is a wonderful replacement and gives the immature Holding fine back-up. Ramsey wasn’t as crocked as I feared, Kos is still a doubt, the rest pick themselves. Apart from upfront where despite the gulf in the goal stats I still prefer Welbeck to the FFP. Why? Movement. Versus Boro we looked so much better when Iwobi and Welbz came on as subs.

Thinking Iwobi, AW has to find a place in the first team for this young fellow, the man is just terrific and probably the man to take Sanchez’ or Ozil’s shirt when they leave.

I hate the end of the season. I need the weekly injection of football in my life. What happens in the close season? Gossip, speculation and fantasising (and in my case a long sun-filled holiday in Italy). Thankfully, unlike our noisy neighbours, we have another week to enjoy.

Will it be Weds or Thurs evenings? Quite honestly, I don’t really care. As an armchair fan I do not get the thrill of seeing Messi, Ronaldo, Cavani, Dybala etc in the flesh. If it is to be Thursdays I will have the enjoyment of seeing teams I know nothing about, safe in the knowledge that Arsenal have a good chance of winning well and seeing loads of goals.

But that is for another day, today is all about beating Everton. It can be done and I will be sending positive waves all the way to North London alongside shouting at my television in support of my team.

For the final time this season a win at THOF is possible. Can we do it? Of course.

Let it be So ….

COYRRG


Who goes? Who stays?

May 3, 2017

Which players shall be sent away and why?

Cech – Ospina – Martinez – Szecesny

Bellerin – Chambers – Jenkinson – Debuchy
Monreal – Gibbs
Kos – Mustafi – BFG – Holding – Gabriel

Xhaka – Coqueiln – El Neny
Ramsey – Wilshere – Cazorla

Ox – Walcott –
Iwobi – Ozil – Campbell
Sanchez – Jeff

Giroud – Wellbeck – Lucas – Akpom – Asano – Sanogo

Here is my start:

Cech – Mustafi, Koscielny, RECRUIT – Bellerin, RECRUIT, Xhaka, Ramsey, RECRUIT – Sanchez, RECRUIT

Recruits as starters:
DC = Ideally Bonucci but can live with Pepe or Varane
LB = Ideally Mendy but can live with Rodriguez or Gaya
CM = Ideally Vidal but can live with Sygurdsson
FW = Ideally Lukaku but can live with Vardy

Must leave:
Scezcesny
Debuchy, BFG, Gabriel, Monreal, Gibbs
Coquelin, Ozil, Campbell, Lucas, Asano, Sanogo

Loan out:
Jenkinson or Chambers, Akpom

Your team (without players on loan) shall consist of 27 players MAX and at least 23 players.

written by RC78 (cobbled from a couple of comments)

 


Bellerin. Mid-Term Report

April 20, 2017

Hector Bellerin. Now there is a problem arising for whomever is to be our manager.

Has a last decent season and thinks he is Jack the Peanut. Believes he is already the finished article and all he needs to do is turn up then bide his time until Barca/Real come calling.

Unknown-1.jpeg

Big Raddy’s Pre- FAC SF Report:

Dating the fit and famous may do wonders for your rep in the dressing room but some fans just think you are a flash ponce. Well … let me tell you laddie … a pony tail does not make a man (I know, I have had one) nor does a few tattoos. Nor does belting upfield looking for the spectacular pass and forgetting that Mustafi is not the fastest on two legs.

No, my young man, defending is the essence of the work of the full back, just ask Dicko, Ralph or Nige, they will tell you. TA would have given you a forearm smash for some of the recent performances. Yes, an attacking fullback is very modern and you have been excellent at getting forward to support Weak Theo but what do we remember you for? We remember the brilliant last ditch tackles when your pace got you into positions no other FB could manage. Practice and repeat.

Being dropped at Boro was the start. You are not an automatic first team choice if you do not put in the yards, and it comes as no surprise that you were booed post-defeat by the away fans at Palace (though at least you went over to them).
Potential is what you have, make it a reality and become the great player you could be; it requires application, concentration and determination. You have all the God-given tools, use them.

5/10

written by Big Raddy

 


Arsenal News or Lack of.

March 31, 2017

I write posts, a lot of them. Well over 500 in the AA years since 2010 (?). Yet here I sit, staring at my keyboard completely bereft of ideas for a post. Why? Because of the Interlull.

It is crap. International games have become meaningless as most of our players play for countries which invariably qualify top of their Euro/World Cup groups. Quite frankly, we do not care about watching England struggle against Lithustania.

Other players are involved in long-distance travel to S. America or Africa, expend huge energy in travel, training and playing time, then return to AFC (their wage payers) Kerry Packered or injured.

My suggestion is that for the top National teams they stop qualification tournaments which are dull and only exist to make money for already rich Associations. The big tournaments should be seeded.

Right, enough of that train of thought ….

Bored with “will he stay or should he stay”

Bored with “will they sign a contract extension”.

Bored with discussions about Silent Stan and his cohorts ideas for the future of the club.

So what to write about?

I could , of course, pre-empt my pre-match and start the ball rolling on a discussion about our huge game on Sunday, but what of tradition? We have still three days to go and what do we discuss tomorrow and Sunday morning?

I could express my dislike of small dogs, plimsolls, coloured Doctor Martins, and my love of sliders and ladies with “abundance”, but we have done that, haven’t we, and at least the posts should be football related.

Or we could not have a post at all. In my opinion the site would die if we only post a couple of times a week and I would hate that to happen.

So … I remain blank. Perhaps you have an idea?

written by Big Raddy


R.E.S.P.E.C.T

March 7, 2017

We were humiliated in Munich. Did OK in the first half and got smashed in the second.

Will AW give it full gas against BM at home? He tried it at Liverpool and despite a second half revival we got sucker-punched. Or should AW batten down the hatches and hope for a morale boosting draw or even a narrow victory?

Unknown-1.jpeg

No Ozil, though he was conspicuously absent in Munich, so his input will hardly be missed. Sanchez is likely to start if only to shut up the media.

My Team:

Ospina

Bellerin   BFG   Koscielny    Monreal

Ramsey    Xhaka    Iwobi

Ox    Sanchez     Welbeck

Walcott is so out of form he surely cannot start but perhaps AW will give him some pitch time in a no pressure game. I would drop Coquelin, he just isn’t good enough to compete at the highest level.

I would like to see BFG return to the side and add some calm to a nervous defence

I am sick and tired of my friends ribbing me about Arsenal following the BM game. Given the milliions spent on the squad  we should be able to compete. We are good enough to do so but have lost our way in recent weeks.

100% application and pride in the shirt is all I ask.

COYRRG

 


An Afternoon for Attack?

January 28, 2017

Are you confident of a win today? Really?

We always used to win at Southampton but in recent years our win ratio has plummeted.

Unknown-1.jpeg

Given the lack of Elneny, Xhaka and Cazorla we are reduced to just two effective MF’s -Ramsey and Coquelin, a partnership which has yet to blossom. Furthermore, we are playing Watford in the PL on Tuesday and away at The Bridge on Saturday.

AW has problems. How will he resolve them? Will he play AR/Coq in all three games? Or Sanchez and Ozil? Or will he prioritise the PL? I know I would.

Much as I love the FAC the need to have our best team available and fresh for Chelsea is paramount. So, what is the solution? Do we go all gung-ho in Didit style or do we throw in an extra defender in the hope we can keep it tight and sneak a win?

I would prefer the all-out attack route, either go down in flames or live to fight again following a glorious victory.

My Team:

Ospina

      Gabriel     Mustafi    Holding    Gibbs

Ox     Coquelin     Iwobi

Perez    Sanchez    Welbeck

There is zero chance AW will play this team, but it would be great if he would.

I would keep Bellerin for Tuesday and play Gabriel, giving instruction to Ox to play the Ramsey role and get up the wings. In other words, a 3 at the back with Gibbs pushed further into midfield.

Imagine how worried the S’ton defence would be to face such a potent front line. If only Theo were fit to play his former team, but Perez is a fine replacement.

Is Welbeck ready to start a game? If so, should it be at St. Mary’s or at the Emirates on Tuesday. I would give the fellow a run this afternoon but doubt AW will.

Mr Wenger has said he will play one or two youngsters, so perhaps Maitland-Niles will start alongside Coquelin with Ox pushed further forward. Or even better we may get to see The Jeff!

Mr. Wenger will have a chance to rest his ageing bones in the stands, talking into his sleeve to Steve Bald (sp.) who will undoubtedly ignore him.

And what of the opposition?  They play in red and white striped shirts and black shorts. Matt Le Tissier used to play for them. So did Kevin Keegan and Gareth Bale.

And they have a very good young Danish MF called Højbjerg  (which means High Mountain) whom they signed from Bayern Munich.

We have a mountain to climb this afternoon. We have the necessary equipment, all we need is a bit of luck, the right weather and steely determination. It worked for Hillary and Tenzing – it will work for The Arsenal

images-1.jpeg

COYRRG