Wolves Arsenal – Player Ratings

April 25, 2019

Four at the back with Mustafi and Kolasinac moving to the bench. Our strongest double pivot and wing attackers who will be required to add to the midfield too. Mesut sat in behind Laca. Sounds a promising line up from Senor Emery.

First Half

We had three times the amount of possession and passes of Wolves but they scored the three goals.

Second Half

We had a couple of decent chances before Papa scored a close range header from a corner. The 4th goal from 4 efforts on target in the whole game.



More garbage. Palace gave us a clue what to expect.

I blame Venga for instilling a culture of possession for its own sake. (This is meant to be irony)

Heaven knows how we can turn this around for the Europa semi?

Maybe beat Leicester on Sunday?


Can’t be arsed – 5 for everyone including subs and manager?

OK, maybe too generous – all 4s or all 3s?

What do you think?

Maybe a 1 for the manager who has singularly failed to improve both the defence and our away form from last season.

p.s. an extra point or two for Nketiah who at least looked like he had some spark when he came on for the last twenty.


Stuart Attwell – can’t even blame that knobhead for this one.



Battlers or Bottlers?

April 24, 2019

Big night for AFC and Gooners are concerned, my guess is that you are too. Yet it all looked so good just a week ago …

It doesn’t take much to burst the bubble of Gooner’s confidence, does it? I don’t understand why this should be – we are not the Nearly Men of N17. We have a trophy cabinet which provides evidence of Arsenal’s ability to grind out results and win trophies. Until just 2 years ago we had been in the CL for 19 successive years, this is not evidence of a team of bottlers.

In other words – we can win tonight.

The Great Dane

Battlers or Bottlers was part of yesterday’s comment discussion. One game will not give a true reflection but IMO we have finally got a team of battlers. Name two players who you think are not up for the fight (OK – I would have to agree – now name three 😀  ). Lack of effort was not the reason we lost on Sunday, it was poor team selection and individual errors.

What of Wolves? Nuno Wagnerito has done a fantastic job and must be in contention for Manager of the Year (Media Darling Klopp will win it). 7th in the table, in the FAC Final  with a team just promoted. Excellent. Expect to see him at Spurs when the Podgy One leaves. Midfield is their strength. They have a good home record, unbeaten in 9.

We, on the other hand, are crap away. This gives cause for concern. The footballing Gods smiled upon us at Watford, we must do all we can to attract good fortune. I will be sacrificing a virgin (if I can find on in Østerbro).

Losing Ramsey was horrible but The Big Greek chap is back and that could be a deciding factor. He has been immense alongside the rejuvenated Koscielny. Keep Mustafi in London, AMN on the right, Nacho on the left. Back 4. Kushti.

The pundits are convinced of a home win. Who do you trust – Lawrenson, Merson, or Unai Emery?

Win 7 games and Top of The World, Ma. Not asking much 🙂


Arsenal FC – Our away record against Wolves

April 23, 2019

Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club was founded in 1877 as St Luke’s F.C. by John Baynton and John Brodie, two pupils of St Luke’s Church School in Blakenhall, who had been presented with a football by their headmaster Harry Barcroft. The team played its first-ever game on 13 January 1877 against a reserve side from Stafford Road, later merging with the football section of a local cricket club called Blakenhall Wanderers to form Wolverhampton Wanderers in August 1879.

Having initially played on two different strips of land in the town, they relocated to a more substantial venue on Dudley Road in 1881, before lifting their first trophy in 1884 when they won the Wrekin Cup, during a season in which they played their first-ever FA Cup tie. Having become professional, the club were nominated to become one of the twelve founder members of the Football League in 1888, in which they played the first Football League match ever staged (against Aston Villa).

Molineux – Proper old football ground

They ended the inaugural season in third place, as well as reaching their first FA Cup Final, losing 0–3 to the first “Double” winners, Preston North End. At the conclusion of the campaign the club relocated for a final time when they moved to Molineux, then a pleasure park known as the Molineux Grounds. They have played at Molineux Stadium, capacity 32,050, since 1889.

In 1953, Wolves was one of the first British clubs to install floodlights, taking part in televised “floodlit friendlies” against leading overseas club sides between 1953 and 1956 before the creation of the European Cup in 1955. Wolves’ traditional kit consists of gold shirts and black shorts and the club badge one or more wolves. Wolves have long-standing rivalries with other West Midlands clubs, the main one being with West Bromwich Albion, against whom they contest the Black Country derby.

Major Frank Buckley

With Major Frank Buckley (1927-1944) at the helm the team became established as one of the leading club sides in England in the years leading up to the Second World War, as they finished runners-up in the league twice in succession (1937–38 & 1938–39), as well as reaching the last pre-war FA Cup Final, in which they suffered a shock defeat to Portsmouth. In 1937–38 Wolves came within a whisker of winning the club’s first English league title: a win in the side’s last game away to Sunderland would have clinched things, but in the event Wolves lost 0–1 and thus ended the campaign one point behind the eventual champions, Arsenal.

One of the things Major Buckley and his Wolves side attracted a lot of attention for in the last two full seasons prior to the outbreak of the Second World War was Buckley’s insistence that his players be injected with monkey gland extract to enhance their stamina and performance, a practice that the Football League elected not to sanction.

Still couldn’t beat Arsenal to the Title in 1937/8

Club Honours

Football League First Division:

  • Champions (3): 1953–54, 1957–58, 1958–59

EFL Championship/Football League Second Division (1892–1992)

  • Champions (4): 1931–32, 1976–77, 2008–09, 2017–18

EFL League One/Football League Third Division (Tier 3)

  • Champions (3): 1923–24 (North), 1988–89, 2013–14

Football League Fourth Division (Tier 4)

  • Champions (1): 1987–88

FA Cup

.   Winners (4): 1892–93, 1907–08, 1948–49, 1959–60

Football League Cup

.   Winners (2): 1973–74, 1979–80

FA Charity Shield

.    Winners (4): 1949*, 1954*, 1959, 1960* (* joint holders)

Jack Kelsey gets the ball before Roy Swinbourne – Molineux 1955

Chamakh opens the scoring in the first minute – 10th November 2010 – Associated Press

In the Premier League we have a perfect away record against Wolves; however since the arrival of their current manager, Nuno Espírito Santo in May 2017, they are a very different proposition and I expect that it will be a difficult game.


What does April hold in store for Emery’s Arsenal?

March 31, 2019

Three Monday night games. Two home games, four aways in the Prem and a Europa quarter final against Napoli. Pretty exciting maybe?

Of the three Monday night games only one is at home, which just so happens to be tomorrow night against Newcastle. On April Fools’ night the UK parliament is going to, yet again, attempt to extract its head from its back passage.  Don’t hold out much hope for that, but at least we have a fighting chance of turning Newcastle over!

Next Sunday, March 7th, sees us at Goodison with a 2.05pm kick off. The Toffees are on the up and we’ll need to be better than the chavs were on their recent visit to the wild wastelands of the North West if we want to come away with something.

Mesut scores in a 5-2 win at Goodison in October 2017

We’re back at the Emirates on the 11th for the home tie of the Napoli QF. It’ll be interesting to see Unai’s priorities for each game in this really busy month. At present the League appears our best route to a CL place since we sit in a top 4 place (well we did before the mancs luckily sneaked past Watford yesterday). Juggling both Prem and Europa balls is going to be tricky. One game at a time, I suppose. 🙂

The subsequent EPL game is away to Watford on Monday the 15th April, which does gives us an extra day after the Napoli game to regroup if you were trying to look for the positives of Monday night footie. Watford are a bit up and down but can be a stern proposition at Vicarage Road if it gets buzzing and Deeney puts that hideous mask on again.

Three days later we head to Naples, hopefully to finish off the job we begun in London. This is Arsenal, though, so don’t expect 3-0 at home and a clean sheet away in Italy. We don’t do easy.

The distance to the pitch in Naples will help but it’ll still be a hostile atmosphere

Yet another three day break follows and on the 21st we entertain Crystal Palace at THOF for the 4pm kick off. I’m particularly excited about this one as it’s my next trip to see the boys in the flesh.

Wolves in midweek on the 24th of April will be a tall order after such an intensive series of games, but if we can’t match them under the Molineux floodlights ….. we shall see. For some reason, this fixture seems one of the trickiest of the month, so expect us to cruise it.

April is topped off on the 29th with the third Monday Night Football we’ll have to endure over the next month. Away at Leicester is never easy but it just so happens to be the venue for my favourite away trip fixture of recent years when we beat them 5-3 and the beer was just delicious.

All in all a very busy, very exciting and potentially rewarding month is in store for Unai’s Arsenal. After the arid, uninspiring desert that was the second half of March, it’s going to be a headlong, bumpy sprint riding on the back of a camel desperate to dip its head into the oasis.

Before you go, what do you think the dippers v spuds score might be this afternoon? Take a punt


Arsenal FC Player ratings – Almost Savaged by Wolves

November 12, 2018

This was always going to be a tough fixture against a team known for being hard to break down and quick on the break. Arsenal’s attitude was going to be key, matching the intensity of David Wagner’s boys. 🙂

First Half

Unfortunately Arsenal’s attitude stunk the place out early on. Yet another slow start not helped by yet another dreadful referee who allowed the same niggly fouls all over the pitch as the norm. He even allowed a blatant bodycheck on Wobbly which was a stonewall penalty if you view the replay.

The stats for the first half were …… shots for Arsenal 3, with a big fat zero on target. Wolves had 7 attempts with 3 on target including a decent goal on the counter after a Xhaka-induced turnover. The only stat we won was fouls – Arsenal 1 Wolves 8 which adequately illustrated both teams’ commitment levels.

Second Half

Emery’s tactical change at half time to shore up the exposed left flank of Arsenal’s defence, was both timely and effective. The Wardrobe looked anything other than a competent left back in that first half but why the players on the pitch couldn’t see he wasn’t getting any support, Dennis only knows.

Guendouzi made an immediate difference and with Wolves content to protect their lead and hit us on the counter, the game took its familiar ‘second half at the Emirates’ shape with all the action moving towards the North Bank goal.

To be fair, Wolves restricted the red and white chances to some extent. Terrier drew a fine fingertip save from the keeper. Hector failed to keep the ball down with his left foot when scoring appeared a formality and worst of all, Auba (POTM for October due to his impressive strike rate) hit the post from the edge of the 6 yard box when it seemed impossible to miss. If we’d have scored then, I don’t doubt we’d have gone on the win even if we hardly deserved it from the balance of play up to that point.

The subs sparked new chances which found the Wolves keeper in the right place when called upon, until he was finally beaten by a fizzing curling cross from Micki which was missed by everyone and nestled into the far corner. The Wolves players bleated about a non-existent offside assuming the ref would reprieve them in the same fashion as he’d given them everything else, but hard as he tried, him and his linesman couldn’t find anything wrong with the goal.

Wolves had a couple of excellent chances to seal victory on the break as Arsenal resorted to the old kamikaze Wenger style of throwing everyone forward, even when the opposition have brought on a speedy forward who looked as though he had a dead hamster on top of his barnet.

We couldn’t quite manage an undeserved victory in amongst our attempts at professional suicide and the game ended in a draw.


Wolves played very well with little possession and are an extremely well-organised and efficient outfit. Expect them to become features of the Premier League for many seasons to come.

The first half was appalling yet again and it was a miracle it didn’t cost us defeat. Auba and Laca on the pitch from the start is shoehorning which just doesn’t work. How many more times? The back 6 and front 4 had no link. Poor.

The amount of stoppage time at the end of the second half was a complete joke. There were 5 substitutions (the Wolves’ ones taking at least a minute apiece); the Wolves lad at the end play acting was on the floor for 3 whole minutes including one of the added on minutes; the referee himself wasted 3 minutes by insisting play was halted every time there was a booking so that he could find his pen to write the player’s details on his piece of card; not to mention all of the time wasting at goal kicks and when the ball went off the touchlines. A conservative estimate would have been 8 minutes. How can you discourage time wasting if you don’t add it all on?

The unbeaten run continues ………… just. 🙂

Ratings (based on the BR ‘miffed that we played so poorly’ system)

Leno – MOTM, which says a lot …9

Bellerin – as dangerous as ever, missed a glorious chance …7

Mustafi – iffy in defence and his passing isn’t that good either…6

Holding – holding the defence together – who would have thought …8

Wardrobe – not a left back, more of a massive Welsh dresser …3

Xhaka – another costly mistake …6

Torreira – efficient and tidy – the ref allowed him to be kicked as usual …7

Ozil – before the game Arsenal put up a clip asking him who people should put in their Fantasy teams, Auba or Laca? He replied “both”, as he would assist both. Not on yesterday’s performance, Mesut …5

Iwobi – never looks comfortable on the right – sacrificed for Douzi at the break to give us some balance …6

Aubameyang – left his scoring boots at home with his award. Seems to have lost that smile he was playing with when he first arrived at THOF. Mind you, there wasn’t a whole lot to smile about for Arsenal on the pitch yesterday …5

Lacazette – not much service, but poor touches when he did get a sniff didn’t create a good impression of the Frenchman’s performance …5


Guendouzi – gave Arsenal some control back …7

Mkhitaryan – scored …7

Ramsey – popped up in a couple of good positions …6


p.s any Wolves fans daft enough to read as far as this……yes, it’s biased but if you read between the lines, you’ll see that it agrees you should have won. 🙂

Wolves: A Difficult Afternoon?

November 11, 2018

After two draws, can we return to winning ways this afternoon?

Wolves have lost their last 3 games, we are on an unbeaten run stretching back to 1982, the portents are good. But before we start assuming an easy victory Wolves are the only team apart from L’pool to take points off Man City and drew at Old Trafford – they have ability.


Every time I have visited Wolverhampton it has rained, and I have to say, it is a grim place enlivened only by its proximity to Tipton (home of Steve Bull). A historical highlight for W’hampton is that the first automated traffic light in the UK was sited in Princess St. (1927).   Slade come from Wolves as does the teams most famous supporter, Robert Plant of Led Zep fame. That’s it really.

Apart from it’s football team. Billy Wright, later to become Arsenal manager, is their signature player, a man whom in his day was the biggest star in English football.

In David Wagner they have a fine manager who is doing a wonderful job with very limited resources. By far the most impressive of the promoted sides, Wolves already have 18 points, just 2 behind the incredibly lucky Man Utd.

Mr. Emery must be delighted with his start in the PL, to take a team which is in a transitional period and go unbeaten for 14 games is remarkable. True, we haven’t hit the heights of Wenger’s first season but nonetheless the green shoots are clearly evident.  Our new signings have all bedded in well and both Terrier and Curly look amazing purchases.

My Team:


Catwalk    Mustafi    Holding   Wardrobe

Terrier    Xhaka   Mhiki


Laca   PEA

Towards the end of the Sporting Lisbon game Iwobi looked shot, perhaps he is carrying an injury because his stamina has never been an issue; as such I would start Mhiki.

Perhaps the Greek Bloke for Holding who could use a rest, otherwise the team picks itself ahead of another Interlull.

It would be excellent if we could go into the break on the back of 3 points, especially as the Top 6 are consistently winning.


Remembrance Day. 100 years since the Armistice.  5 out of the 23 Arsenal players who served died in the conflict. Humbling.


Arsenal FC – Our home record against Wolves

November 10, 2018

September 24th 1904 was the date we played our first game against Wolves and also the day we scored our first ever top flight goal.

Charlie Satterthwaite holds the honour of scoring Arsenal’s first goal in the First Division. The striker had a keen eye for goal during his six-year spell with the Club and scored 48 times in 141 appearances. Satterthwaite opened the scoring on that day in 1904 in a 2-0 victory over Wolves – both Arsenal’s first goal and also first victory of their maiden campaign in the top flight of English football. He had joined five months earlier from West Ham and made his debut on the opening day of the 1904/05 campaign in a 3-0 loss to Newcastle. Satterthwaite finished as the team’s top goalscorer that year and also in 1906/07 (with 19 goals) before retiring in 1910 at the age of 33. His younger brother Joe also played for Arsenal, which made them the first siblings to achieve the feat.

The following is an extract from the book Fighting for Football: From Woolwich Arsenal to the Western Front by George Myerson.

Getty Images

Getty Images


The title race …. will Arsenal wait on amber or go on green?

February 12, 2011

Nothing repeat nothing in football would make me happier than for Arsenal to win the title this season, if one could add the relegation of a Mick McCarthy team life would be even more rosy. Add in  the relegation of a Pulis team and my cup would runneth over (is that a naughty expression?)

Like millions of Gooners I was down-hearted at 5 p.m. last Saturday, despairing of my flimsy team and the imbecility of 3 men in black whom I wouldn’t trust to referee a park 5 -a-side. Who would have thought Wolves would cheer us up? Bottom of the table, managed by a Cro-Magnon man (just check his forehead) and playing a team who were unbeaten – no-one could have envisioned the result (though those with hindsight would point out Wolves fine record against the top sides).

Wolves last 3 victories were against MU, Chelsea and Liverpool – this is going to be no comfortable stroll, but if we are to confirm our pretensions to be Champions this game is a must win. No silly mistakes, no retaliation to what will surely be a very physical battle, and above all no drops in application or vitality. Hopefully last week’s lapse is a thing of the past and not a harbinger of a sad end to our season.

McCarthy is “bigging up” Jamie O ‘Hara saying he will have a major influence upon the game. Get a Grip man! This is a player who couldn’t get into the first team of Harry’s Muppets. That said, I expect us to go into the game with a weakened midfield, so perhaps MM will be right.

Diaby’s reaction last week undid the fine work he put in during the first half (despite the lengthy discussion on AA I still believe he cost us the 2 points). It is a shame as he played well for France midweek and today would certainly have started, instead I expect to see Denilson start. Song is just returning from a muscle injury and with Barca midweek he will surely be rested. Same with Nasri and JD.  Had Sagna not been banned for the midweek game I would have rested him but knowing that Messi will be fearful of playing against a rejuvenated Eboue, Sagna starts.

My Team:

This team will hopefully have enough to get the 3 points on offer. Depending on the fitness of Nasri I would play Arshavin, if there is any chance that Samir will not be fit for Wednesday, I would play Rosicky and rest AA who played a full game midweek.

I guess we willl all be tuned into the midday match. I hope for a draw which should Arseanl win would put us 2 points behind MU and 3 ahead of MC with a game in hand. A loss for MC will surely put them out of the title race. Actually, what I really hope for is an abandoned game due to an 18 man brawl with 5 red cards and a 3 points reduction, but if it is not to be I will take the draw.

England’s first ever automatic traffic lights were erected in Prince’s Square Wolverhampton. This is also the home of the mighty Noddy Holder and Slade. One of my early heroes was the Wolves legend, England Captain and Arsenal manager Billy Wright CBE, whom I once had the privilege of meeting. Another of my football faves was the Tipton Terrier – Steve Bull MBE, they don’t make them like him any more (for which Koscielny will be delighted!).

Let this be the continuation of our 8 match unbeaten PL run.