Swansea Pre-Match: Arsenal welcome new signing to the Emirates

Mystery man

Intro:

When it comes to writing a pre-match I normally walk up to my computer like a boxer at a weigh-in. I stare down the opposition team, flare my nostrils, I might even say a few things about their mothers. Swansea, however, they are different…I admire them. Unlike promoted teams of histories past, Swansea has come into the league ready to play attractive football. They really have been a breath of fresh air, but I and Arsenal need to roll up our sleeves and get nasty for this one.

We sit 7th in the table with 21 points (12 behind league leaders Man U), Swansea sit in 8th position on 20 points. A win in this one could see us jump into 5th spot as Everton and Tottenham face tough away fixtures against ManchesterCity and Fulham.

New boy Michael Laudrup has picked up where Brendon Rodgers left off and really turned this squad into a dangerous team. Whilst our fans appear divided on Arsene: some want him out the door; others know he can work his magic again.

Missing in Action:

Sick bay

Arsenal: Diaby (thigh), Kozzer (groin) is most likely out until Christmas, Santos (abdominal strain) is still out; Sagna (foot), Podolski (illness), and Walcott (shoulder) all face fitness tests. Expect Sagna to miss this one.

Swansea: Thankfully Spanish international Pablo Hernandez misses this one with a thigh injury. He has formed a strong partnership with Michu so his absence will help our cause considerably. Graham (illness) and Taylor are also out.

Predicted Line-up:

Arsenal’s new mystery signing isn’t likely to start the game but we could see him make a sub appearance. It’ll be interesting to see how he settles in with his new team mates. I’ve managed to track down some footage of him, here you go:

Jokes aside I’m very happy this Rosicky is back; he came back and sparked our midfield back to life. Can he do it again this season? I think he can! This is what he is capable of:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGFzttuvemM

starting line-up Swansea

I expect us to revert back to the 4-3-3 formation with Podolski coming back into the left position. The rest speaks for itself really, Jenks in for Sagna and Gibbs slotting into the left back position.

Previous Encounters:

Last time we met it was not a pretty match. An impressive Swansea outplayed us all over the pitch thanks to now Liverpool midfielder Allen, and fast wingers Dyer and Sinclair. Djourou and Miquel were our fullbacks and they were always in for a tough match. Ramsey conceded a questionable penalty after Dyer ran into his leg. Ramsey was also responsible for another goal after he was caught out in possession; this led to many fans using him as a scapegoat…something he’s struggled to shake off ever since. After drawing level in the 69th minute, Swansea scored a minute later to eventually go on their way to a 3-2 victory.

In the corresponding fixture last season Arsenal won 1-0 thanks to a Vorm mistake. Vorm rolled the ball out to his defender Rangel, who at the time was unaware of Vorm’s decision – the ball bounced off his legs and straight to Arshavin, who slotted home from an acute angle.

Form Guide:               Arsenal: DDWWD               Swansea: WDWDD

Coming off consecutive draws we are either in trouble or slowly clawing our way back into form (depending on which fan you speak to). We are divided, but personally I think we are on the up. Yes, there is cause for concern but with a few adjustments I think we can be a force once again. Arsenal haven’t lost in six matches and appear to be finding the defensive stability it showed earlier in the season.

Swansea has only lost one in nine matches and is once again showing they belong in the premier league. They’ve recently beaten Newcastle away, and West Brom at home, and drawn against Chelsea and Liverpool…good form in anyone’s eyes. It’s the sort of form that sends GLIC behind the sofa, Terry talking to his pigeon whilst rocking in his chair in the loft, RA crunching numbers or shouting words most of us think is a foreign language, VCC into a dusting and sweeping frenzy, Rocky shouting out expletives at the top of Mount Logan, Henry giggling uncontrollably, Herb shaking his fist wildly at Arsene, TA carving out new clogs to control the nerves, and me…peeping through a small crack in the doona, whilst I cower on the sofa. But hopefully our nerves are brushed aside early on.

One to Watch:

Giroud is my one to watch in this one. He has been left isolated in the last two matches thanks to ineffectual wing play. It won’t happen again and I expect him to get on the board in this one and make the Swansea defenders miserable all game. This season we have seen just what he is capable of with his head, however, last season he scored most of his 19 goals with his feet, so expect a lot more to come from this Frenchman.

Ahhhhhh-Michu!!! Dennis bless you! (I’ll grab my coat!) Michu has taken the league by storm so far scoring 9 goals in 14 matches. Signed as a midfielder for a lowly 2 million he has stepped into the striker’s role rather effortlessly; he must be watched over carefully!

Key-Match up:

Dyer

Our fullbacks are going to have their hands full in this one, as they face the dangerous Dyer and Routledge. Routledge is coming off a brace midweek and has scored four times thus far; Dyer on the other hand caused all sorts of problems for us last season. Although he has cut off all of his locks, he is by no means suffering from Samson-syndrome!

Gibbs has just come back from injury so two games in a few days is really going to test his fitness level. Jenkinson may well have to step up for this one given Sagna is a major doubt after suffering a knock to his foot against Everton. Our two young fullbacks will be tested in this one, it’ll be a great learning curve and I expect them both to come out on top.

Pre-Match Finger:

kid finger

I’m giving the finger this week to our fitness guru Tony Colbert! He joined Arsenal in July of 1998 as head of fitness and conditioning. Once upon a time our fitness was top notch, we ran over the top of other teams on a regular basis. Nowadays if a team parks the bus we are less inclined to break them down and we look just as fatigued. My biggest worry is players suffering soft tissue injuries early on in games or just after coming onto the field; IT SHOULD NOT HAPPEN!!! The warm up routine should be vigorous and prepare the body for the game ahead. Look at boxers for instance, they come out sweating before a fight, it is an art form! Koscielny is now out until Christmas, Diaby has a thigh strain that has kept him out for most likely the whole season, Ox a couple of weeks ago hurt his hip straight off the bat. My biggest worry is Colbert falling behind the game, not to mention he only has a Master’s degree; at this level I’d expect a PHD at the very least! Sports Science and strength/conditioning are forever evolving, perhaps fresh ideas will lift our conditioning allowing us to run out games, or better yet…IMPLEMENT A BLOODY PRESS!

Also, Stan Kroenke! A $132.5 million dollar ranch in Montana…really??? You greedy scoundrel. How about a cheeky couple of million thrown into our transfer war chest, after all you’ve probably got it tucked into your sock!

Pre-Match pat on the back:

pat on the back

My pat on the back goes to all the level headed Arsenal supporters out there. Yes everything isn’t hunky dory at the moment but it is not the end of the world. The apocalypse has not come, and even if the four horsemen Conquest, War, Famine, and Death came I’m sure Jack, Frimpong, Vermaelen, and Arteta would send them packing (Arteta could do it without putting one strand of hair out of place). We may not be world beaters currently but we will be soon enough. Hang in there and keep fighting the good fight!

Ask the opposition

This week I am debuting a new section to the pre-match. ‘Ask the opposition’ will show questions and answers by supporters from other blogs just to get their insight on the match. So let’s get a little bit of friendly banter going shall we!

This week the answers were kindly provided by Steve and Kevin, both Swansea supporters.

1)      What’s your take on the Arsene Wenger situation (should he continue or should he be replaced)?

Steve: I think you should stick with Wenger, as a fan of a small club who’ve come from the brink of extinction to where we are today, I can appreciate the way Arsenal handle the finances. In a couple of years’ time, you’ll be one of the only clubs in the country to be debt free, owning a state of the art stadium and still competing at the top. I think patience in your stability can see you go on to dominate while a lot of clubs go to the wall.

Kevin: Whilst I imagine some fans may want a change of manager and a new era following Arsene Wenger’s, I do wonder whether a new manager would make you any better than you are now. Sacking Wenger would mean you would lose that consistency with managers that are so rare in the game these days. We Swans fans know all about a constant turnover of managers and while it hasn’t affected us one bit, it may not be the same for you. The departure of Robin van Persie obviously hasn’t helped your cause either and he was always going to be almost impossible to replace in the current market. If I was an Arsenal fan I would just get behind the manager and his players as I’d be shocked if Wenger was sacked anytime soon.

2)      Who has been Swansea’s best player so far this season? What is he capable of?

Steve: The obvious player of our season for me to go for would obviously be Michu as he’s scoring for fun, but I’m going to go off the wall and say Hernandez (unfortunately he’s out tomorrow). I can see him going on to be massive for us. His vision is like nothing I’ve seen before in a Swansea shirt. When he first came in, he seemed to struggle a bit, but looking back now I think it was more a case that the rest of the team struggled to keep up with him and his little dinks forward.

Kevin: Michu is getting all of the credit for his goals and rightly so, but you can’t ignore the likes of Wayne Routledge and Pablo Hernandez who are consistently providing the assists for Michu, who’s goal tally has now increased to 9. Michu is not just a goalscorer, far from it. His work rate is excellent, he battles brilliantly to win possession and his finishing and desire to score goals is exceptional. It says it all when he was disappointed to score only 1 of the three chances he had at Newcastle a fortnight ago. Pablo Hernandez and Wayne Routledge are also up there with our best performers in recent weeks. Both offer something a little different. Routledge has pace to beat his marker while Hernandez is a tricky player – both have an eye for goal.

3)      What formations and tactics are you most likely to employ in this match?

Steve: We generally play with a lone striker with Michu in the hole. Wednesday, against West brom, we had Michu up front with Routeledge in the hole and it worked well. Tomorrow though, with Hernandez out, I’d expect Routeledge to switch back to the wing with De Guzman to step in behind Michu.

Kevin: Unlike last season under Brendan Rodgers when it would be easy to tell you the tactics as it never changed game by game. Laudrup likes to change it up slightly. While we keep to the same 4-3-3 attacking formation, he’ll change the wingers. He often alternates between Routledge and Dyer on the right. Against West Brom on Wednesday, his side had far more width, unlike in previous games where the wingers were more central to link up with the attackers rather than the fullbacks. The decision to set up his wide with more width paid off brilliantly as they produced probably their best 45-minutes of football since their Premier League debut last year.

4)      What position/player is your weakest link?

Steve: Difficult to pick a weak link to be honest as we’re back to playing as a team for each other, which was maybe lacking a couple of weeks ago. If I had to pick anyone though I’d have to say maybe young Ben Davies at left back due to his lack of experience. He’s done brilliantly in his debut season though, stepping up from the youth because of Taylor’s injury early in the season.

Kevin: There’s probably not a particular player that is a weak link at the moment. It would be harsh on de Guzman to say he is, and he doesn’t offer as much as his fellow midfielders and was dropped in midweek. We can concede some soft goals now and then which doesn’t help our cause, but right now we’re playing the best football we’ve seen in a long time. We suffered a drop in form after a good start but it’s back up there and the Swans will be as confident as ever on Saturday.

5)      Which Arsenal player would you love in your team and why?

Steve: Sorry, no room for any Arsenal players among the super Swans J

Kevin: I think Cazorla would fit in well with our Spanish contingent in the squad! I wouldn’t mind one of your centre backs too as Mertesacker seems to have improved a lot this season and then there’s Vermaelen too. We could do with another centre back as cover.

6)      What is your match prediction?

Steve: I fancy us to get something and I predict a few goals as neither defence have been particularly brilliant this season so far 2-2.

Kevin: It should be an entertaining game as both teams like to play attractive football but I wonder whether or not they’ll cancel each other like Swansea and Liverpool did last week, as they played out a goalless draw. There might be goals in this one though, as Arsenal clearly can score at home after the 5 they put past arch rivals Spurs, but then again they also struggled against QPR. A score draw would be a great result for us and would keep our unbeaten run going.

Prediction:

This is really going to be a tough one. It is imperative we keep our width in this one. Walcott wants to play centrally, Podolski wants to be the main striker, but it’s all causing too much problems, and it needs to be sorted out quickly! If we guard the dangerous Michu, and quell Swansea’s quick breaks I think we’ll snatch this one late…2-1 to the good guys!

Written by: Oz Gunner.

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112 Responses to Swansea Pre-Match: Arsenal welcome new signing to the Emirates

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Superb pre-match OzG!

    Love the Swansea supporters contributions – Cheers Steve and Kevin: all very informative. 🙂

    Your line-up is probably correct. The only worry I have is Arteta – he needs a break desperately, but who can take over? Maybe Coquelin gets a start in this one, but I doubt it. Rosicky for Cazorla in last 30 minutes would be great.

    All agreed on Giroud – we need to focus our service on him a lot more. We have a big, traditional striker now, so let’s give him proper service. Pod on the left (or ideally Gervinho) and Theo on the right need to work for Giroud. End off.

  2. oz gunner says:

    Cheers TA, sorry about the length. The idea is the structure won’t change but if you someone doesn’t like a certain part then just skip it. I don’t expect people to read the whole lot. I like the opposition idea because they have a different spin on Arsenal. 7 people and most wanted Vermaelen, yet a lot of Arsenal fans have thought he’s been average this season.

    I agree, Arteta definitely needs a recharge he is looking a touch flat. Excited to see Rosicky have a go at some point. His energy is like no others in the team, he turns and accelerates quickly, has a good pass, and overall is what’s needed to break up a press.

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    No apologies needed for the length, Oz. Why buy a paper, when you get a full-on, in-depth pre-match like yours? Top stuff my friend!! 🙂

    We are lucky to have both Vermaelen and Koz in the squad and Mertesacker leading the defence organisationally. And the best one of them all – well at least eventually: Miquel, is waiting in the wings to be released!

  4. Red Arse says:

    Absolutelyfandamntastic. Ozzer, 😀 😀 😀

    What a little genius has been unearthed!!

    I hope to be able to get back a bit later and chat to you, and the other guys — but I am genuinely gob smacked by that Post.

  5. zesushv says:

    greatly done.

  6. Red Arse says:

    VCC, 🙂

    Before I go;

    Wins for :-

    Manure
    Totbums
    Chelsea
    Shitty
    Pool

  7. oz gunner says:

    to kind RA, thank you!
    I hope all is well!

    @ TA

    very true, we are spoilt for choice at CB. I’m very excited to see Miquel develop further, i think he is going to be a real gem! His passing ability is top notch, I really like his switch of play also (something that we only really see from both he and coquelin

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    You better hand that 1/3 yellow jersey over now then! 🙂

  9. VCC says:

    Wow,Wow,Wow. …take a bow Oz. ..that’s a fantastic per match report. If it was a dinner I would distribute it as “delicious”.

    Informative, imaginative, compelling reading. Loved the connections bit too. Don’t shorten them either. Simply the best prematch post on the blogosphere. I’m off for another read.

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Oz, very few defender have the vision and ability of a long-range pass, but our Miguel has it in abundance. The new Beckenbauer!

  11. oz gunner says:

    cheers VCC, much appreciated.

  12. oz gunner says:

    I hope he continues his hard work because I’d hate to see another Gavin Hoyte situation develop

  13. VCC says:

    The pleasure was all mine Oz. Encore

  14. VCC says:

    Incidently Oz, will you be around at ko? No public house is showing the Arsenal game today, so need to find some links/streams. You seem to be able to find them!

  15. VCC says:

    Cheers Red Arse. 😉

  16. oz gunner says:

    I can indeed VCC, not a problem at all. Have you tried Sopcast and wiziwig before? They are the most reliable and if you have that set up on your computer it is very easy to set up for each game/sport you need.
    If not I’m more than happy to just post a stream during KO. The only problem with a stream is they are so unpredictable.

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    VCC, did you get Rocky’s prediction? 🙂

  18. VCC says:

    Red Arse odds………15-1

  19. VCC says:

    Cheers Oz . Your a star. I will try and download sopcast. But I have a mac, and i’m not too clever with computers.

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    I sent an email to him. 🙂

  21. VCC says:

    Still not got the entry.

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    Does anybody reckon Benitez might not last very long; especially if the Hammers beat them, followed by more points dropping in the next few weeks?

  23. VCC says:

    Hi zesushv. Where are you from?

  24. RockyLives says:

    Been a busy week folks – will have more time to talk next week.

    Quick predictions:

    WHam v Chavs D
    QPR v Villa D
    Fulham v Spuds D
    Pool v Saints D
    Arse v Swans W

    Read ’em and weep 🙂

  25. VCC says:

    Has any one seen Rocky?

    Calling Rocky

  26. VCC says:

    Hi Rocky….How about that for timing.

  27. VCC says:

    Rocky’s odds….

    303-1

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi, goodbye and thanks Rocky – catch up with you next week. 🙂

  29. Herb'sArmy says:

    Cracking Pre-match from our reporter down-under, well done Oz.
    You do however anoint far too much praise on Brendan Rodgers, the man who really started the Swans revolution was Roberto Martinez. He built the Swansea team that Rodgers got promoted.

  30. glic says:

    Afternoon Smegalomaniac`s 😆

    I have a lot to do, so I will be quick, in short…….. F**KING BRILIANT OZ !……. YOU ARE THE KING OF PRE-MATCH .

    KING OZ 1st OF AUSTRALIALAND.

    HE IS MEGA DOWNUNDER hahahaha

  31. richie59er says:

    Hi TA nothing to do with today’s wonderful offering from Oz G, of which I’ll comment forthwith. However I’m asking you for a comment. I encountered a total deletion on the site where we met. IMHO RL spouted a load of drivel concerning Israel’s right to defend itself and how Diaby and Hazard had no right to voice concerns about holding the under 21 tournament in the above mentioned country. I said I disagreed and I gave my reasons as to why I didn’t think it was appropriate to hold any sporting competition in a country practising both apartheid and occupation. It was still on the blog at 5 this morning but it’d now been deleted. It seems like someone has an agenda, RL is allowed to rebuke those that question Israel, but no criticism of Israel itself will be permitted? Blog Fascism indeed!

  32. richie59er says:

    Oz G don’t say sorry for a great article and a great format. Personally I think your structure is one of my all time favourites. It’s both compelling reading and thoroughly entertaining. Brilliant effort!

  33. VCC says:

    Are you there Oz? Any streams chaps?

  34. oz gunner says:

    sorry VCC the hunt is on. This is the stream on wiziwig. It’s a good one, i posted it midweek for the everton game also, it’s reliable also. It has little crosses on the screen but just cross them off.

    http://www.nutjob.eu/

    I’m going to find more just so you have options. Don’t want it going down without a backup. I’m still shocked you lot live over there yet i see it live on the tube down here.

    Cheers GLIC and herb (thanks for the info, i didn’t know that!)

  35. VCC says:

    Oz….it’s working at the moment. Fingers crossed. I will keep in touch via separate iPad.

    I LOVE YOU

  36. oz gunner says:

    I think so too TA, oh well he gets a good paycheck. God it makes me laugh though, after all they’ve spent too! I don’t rate benitez

  37. oz gunner says:

    glad to here VCC! woah…if you think your gymnastics moves are enough to woo me…you’re right haha.

    Enjoy the game everyone!!!

  38. VCC says:

    This ones good at the moment OZ. xxx. Just opened a bottle of bombardier, settling down.

  39. VCC says:

    Those last two don’t work me Oz. The first one is still working well. We look sluggish and second to the ball. We must speed things up

  40. VCC says:

    We need to keep the ball better.

  41. oz gunner says:

    good recovery by verm. he and jenks were caught in ‘touch me n you’ll get red’ territory

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Richie,

    Only just saw your comment. I try not to comment on other blogs on this blog, but I can understand your frustration. I will email you tonight or on Sunday, if that is ok (having visitors tonight). 🙂

  43. TotalArsenal says:

    Afternoon guys,

    Only saw last 25 minutes of game. Looks like we’re not gelling/ dominating at the moment.

    2nd half hopefully better: COYG!!!!

  44. oz gunner says:

    come on TA get your act together, halves are 45, none of this part time mumbo jumbo

  45. TotalArsenal says:

    watching a decent link now: we are looking good. Goal will come guys

  46. oz gunner says:

    giroud is a massive game changer

  47. oz gunner says:

    just wow, that’s all I can say! 0-2 at home come on guys that’s a joke

  48. VCC says:

    Hey GLiC….you can come out from behind the sofa now. We have been showed how to plat football.

    Shocking, shocking,shocking.

  49. TotalArsenal says:

    No excuses – we are in a deep dark place at the moment. Catch you all later.

  50. richie59er says:

    Yeah thanks mate.

  51. richie59er says:

    There was no reason to panic because we drew away from home, we had some tough fixtures. But todays result feels like a stake through the heart!

  52. richie59er says:

    Prepare for the onslaught! The doomers will arrive like the charge of the light brigade! This time they just might be justified, we were really poor!

  53. VCC says:

    richie59er.

    Your right, the charge of the light brigade + doomers and gloomers + knee jerkers, will inevitably be down beat about todays game, and rightly so. But surely the most ardent Wenger supporters must see there is something fundamentally wrong with the WHOLE set up at the moment.

    I have my thoughts, but its so hard to define where the problem lays.

  54. VCC says:

    Come on you super Hoops.

  55. Red Arse says:

    I could not see the game today!

    I understand some of you mentioning the ‘doomers and gloomers’ comments, but from what I have read on the blogs, even normally optimistic fans are deeply concerned.

    With a front 3 of Walcott, Gervinho and the Pod, we have one of the weakest attacks in the the EPL – physically and technically.

    VCC, you say you do not know what is the matter with the team but I have been saying for the last two years — and more recently on BK — that we have replaced great players with just OK players — and I do not feel good saying that, but it is true.

    Viera, Pires, Bergkamp and on and on — seriously, these players we have now are OK. some of them are good — BUT they are not great! Sorry!

  56. glic says:

    Looks like I had good reason to hide behind the sofa !. hahaha

    Although I want CL, I have a strange feeling a year out of it might do us well !. Dont worry about us not being able to attract quality players as other teams have attracted them in the past without being in CL. Money talks and we are a world famous club, so I dont see a problem, plus it will be the kick up the backside we need to actually buy some real quality !.
    We have enough money under Wenger`s mattress to take a years sabbatical from CL.
    Even bettter if we come low enough to avoid the Eureka League ( I found it on Thursday and it`s shit ), then we wont have any distractions and less fatique = less injuries to challenge for Title.
    This season is a blip. We have been lucky enough to have a great run in the CL for 15 years and on a few occasions we have just scraped through, so come on, we all knew it was going to happen eventually, it just hurts when it finally happens. Who knows, we still might qualify, stranger things have happened !.
    This morning, I was talking to a Brummie, I asked him if he would have rather kept his Carling Cup final win against with going down or lost against us and stayed up, with no hessitation he said, ” winning the Carling Cup was the worst thing that happened to them ! “.
    We are going about our business in the right way, one bad season is just a drop in the ocean compared to our Pacific sized future. Good times are not far away !.

    I said we would struggle this season, so I`m glad I dont wear Rose Tints, it makes this shit easier to swallow !. hahaha

  57. glic says:

    Agree Redders, I have been asking for “Super Quality” for ages ( possibly since the Dark Ages ! hahaha )
    Wengers mattress must be so high now, he`s kissing the ceiling !.

  58. glic says:

    If my comments sound/look a bit over the place, it`s because I dont know whether I`m coming or going, it`s the posttraumatic stress disorder !.
    One part of me wants to scream disenchantment and the other wants to keep cool and look to the good times ahead !. I need a dose of Terry !. ( and I dont mean a STD of the `scope ! hahaha )

  59. glic says:

    I bet that lot on Leg Over are screaming for the ” Guillotine ” !……I must go and have a look ! hahaha

  60. Red Arse says:

    Hi Glicster, 🙂

    You make a lot of sense! Altho’ post traumatic stress, or as it is commonly called ‘pst’ is something I thought only Terry Munchkins suffered from!! 😀

  61. glic says:

    Hi Redders 🙂

    You`ve just caught me as I`m going out to baby sit !. Hope you`re ok, catch you later !. 🙂

    PS
    The World is ending on Leg Over !. hahaha

  62. VCC says:

    Red Arse 17:51. I agree with you. Wenger has invested In mediocre players, and we are now reaping that problem.

    Wenger has been more than happy to part with quality players far too easily, and purchased fringe players far too easily.

    Trouble is, we the supporters have to put up with it.

    I had a chance mid week to obtain two tickets for today’s game. How pleased am I, that I failed to get them as I was a tad too late in answering the offer.

  63. Red Arse says:

    Hi VCC,

    I don’t really think they are mediocre, most of them are good professional players, like many others throughout the Premier League, below the top 5 teams.

    Some (most) of them are just not capable of reproducing the same superb quality of football as Bergkamp, Henry, Viera etc, and we cannot expect them to be any more capable of challenging for the title than any other of the ‘second tier’ teams! 😦

  64. VCC says:

    RedArse….maybe they are not mediocre. But there is something fundamentally wrong with our performances/system/motivation.

    ??????whatever it is, I don’t know. But something In there is starting to raise its ugly head. Is there a split in the camp? Do some/most of the players not want to play for the Manager/Arsenal. …What???? We all get frustrated and vent our feelings when we lose a match, but there seems to be a trend happening. Win enough games to survive ???? Draw the money ????

    Once BSR would say, cut me open and I will bleed Arsenal. Of that I firmly believe. What went wrong for him, what has gone wrong with Arsenal, what has gone wrong with Arsene, what has gone wrong with performances/motivation?

    The most ardent Wenger believer cannot deny there is something a foot. ….would you not agree?

  65. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Oz i have to say that is the best pre match i have ever read in my life. A future in jounalism awaits for you. I have heard some of these female journalists are very fast and loose and i can seem them now, just waiting for some Oz action. You lucky sod. hahahaha

    I am not concerned by our current plight. This is just the end of a cycle. I agree with Redders that some players are just not of the required standard. We will build a spine based on English talent and then when the finances swing in our favour will procure briiliant foreign talents that will propell us to the top.

    Our rise to the summit is inevitable. There will be gradual improvement and within a couple of years our dynasty will begin.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are stiring….in a couple of years. hahahaha

  66. VCC says:

    Terry, I hope and prey your optimism comes to fruition.

    Perhaps, if all BKers send a letter to Santa and ask him for an all conquering team like the invincibles. Fingers crossed.

  67. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Hi VCC hope your doing well mate.

    I feel great. Ime back in the living room gearing myself up for match of the day with a nice congac in hand. Dont concern yourself with our current plight. Arsenal are class and will return better than ever.

  68. glic says:

    Back from baby sitting and straight on to a dose of Stretch ! hahaha

    First thing my son said to me when I got back was, ” we`re shit ! “. I said to him he is lucky that he will see many years of Arsenal success in the future and that he hasn`t done too bad already at the age of 19, in which since he was born we have won 3 titles, 5 FA Cups, 1 Cup Winners Cup, 1 League Cup, a few other Finals and countless CL. Contrast that to my first 19 years, we won 1 title, 1 FA Cup and an Inter Cities Fairs Cup and 3 other finals !. I think he`s done well. In just 19 years he`s seen Arsenal win more than the Scum have won in 131 years !. I think we can forgive our great club for having a blip once in a while !

    In this day and age we all want things yesterday or today at the latest. I`m afraid we will have to have a bit of patience and wait a couple of years to see the benefit of our strong foundations of past visionary planning for the future.
    Were all experts from managers to tacticians to boardroom members to the tea lady, lets just be fans !.
    It`s probably going to get worse before it gets better, we`re in for a bumpy ride of a journey, but the destination looks good and it`s only a matter of time `till we get there, hang on muvvers !. hahaha

    Before I go, I just want to say one thing as an expert manager then I`ll go back to being a fan ! hahaha
    Please , when we do splash the cash, please buy some “Super Quality “, as the other bloggers are pissed off with me for constantly asking for it !. I mean ” Super Quality ” though, no Chamakh`s, Squilacci`s, Santossers etc`, I mean a ” Neymar ” etc`, ok, right, back to being a fan ! hahaha

  69. glic says:

    Oh yes, Stretch is right, that is the best pre-match ever !.
    Oz, When you are surrounded by ” Jack and Danny ” make sure your best buddy Bergkampesquers are your wing men. I`m jumping in first and claiming “chief vagazzler” !.

  70. glic says:

    Totals quiete !

    I hope he hasn`t topped himself by the death of a thousand clogs !.

  71. glic says:

    Or, the death of a Thousand Dykes. (a thousand fingers stuck up his rectum !) hahaha

  72. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Nice comment Cornwall

    Tell junior that unless he recants his “were shit” comment (even though we are shit) i have a client who sells 3d technology.and will use his services to 3d propell myself into the love shack everytime he has a bird in there. Im sure he wont like this, were as i will very much enjoy this advancement in voyerisim. hahahaha

  73. glic says:

    Stretch, I spoke to the timber framer today and the love shack will arrive first week in January !. So dont propell yourself there yet as you will end up in one of the concrete footing`s, worst case scenario, you will end up in the one with the MiL in !. hahaha she will devour you !
    Propel yourself in the first week of January at the erection stage !. hahaha

  74. glic says:

    Night Spunkarama`s 😆

  75. TotalArsenal says:

    Night guys. Shit day of football and we are all getting enough of this dark spell, but we got to hold on. Only five points behind third place.

  76. oz gunner says:

    Cheers Terry and GLIC, far too kind. Don’t worry when TA, RA, and I are world renowned bloggers thanks to BK you can be our ‘chief product testers.’ Although, after you are done with them we will most likely have to burn them at the stake to get rid of their sins! The love shack will become the new Bermuda triangle hahaha

    It’s a dismal morning. I too don’t know where too start! We look flat, uninterested, slow, and out of ideas. Beaten by Swansea at a game WE used to play is tough to take!

  77. oz gunner says:

    sorry richie, missed your comment, cheers for that!

  78. oz gunner says:

    Just to lift the spirits guys

  79. TotalArsenal says:

    And it still hurts 😦

    Morning everyone 🙂

  80. Red Arse says:

    Morning, TA, Oz, et al 🙂

    I think anyone that has blood in their veins will be disappointed in that performance.

    It was hard to watch knowing the result, (I had not seen it live) and it was obvious from his antagonized expressions on the touchline that Arsene now knows, if he did not before, that he has a serious team rebuilding job to do.

    The trouble is he will not be able to do much in January, other than be offered other clubs’ cast offs. Oh well, if anyone can do it – Arsene can.

  81. VCC says:

    Morning Total…….yep, that’s still hurting like hell. I’m she’ll shocked. Need to take a walk and get my head clear.

  82. VCC says:

    Still, on the bright side, im doing brisket today. One of my favourite Sunday dinners.

  83. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning RA, VCC 🙂

    What is brisket,VCC?

  84. VCC says:

    Used to be the cheap cut of beef. Not anymore though. Try it cooking In a slow cooker for several hours. The meat just falls off the knife.

  85. TotalArsenal says:

    Ahh, sounds lovely – I’ll bring the vin rouge! 🙂

  86. glic says:

    Morning Headaholic`s 🙂

    Dont bother with the vin rouge Total, you know VCC prefers your Mull of Kyntyrian cheese wine !.
    Right lets fill them holes with concrete !. Laters !.

  87. henrychan says:

    Another bad games..
    I missed the game.. so can’t really make any comment..

    But.. I am start to worry that it could be the worst season of Arsenal..
    It can be just the opposite of last season..

  88. richie59er says:

    Hi RA

    Let’s get real “Have you ever seen any team produce the Bergkamp, Henry, Vieira, and Pires quality of football”? I mean Manu’er are the top team in terms of league titles won and how many times have they played football of the quality of the above? They are the quantity club at the moment but quality? How about the Chav’s? They spent a pretty penny but with all that spending (and indeed winning) they weren’t ever the entertainers were they? Which is why the Russian fired the Portugese promotionalist. The great team that Arsene produced was a “one off” I doubt we’ll ever see it’s like again. I know in nearly 50 years of watching the Arse I’ve never seen another team in either the old first division or the prem that could hold a candel to the above. Even the Barca of Pep didn’t play that fast attacking sexy one touch at the speed of the entertainers, will anyone ever again? I doubt it, because ordinary teams can play in the Moronho/DeMatteo style and win the Champion league.

  89. richie59er says:

    No prob’s Oz G I just wish our football yesterday could’ve matched your post in terms of originality, entertainment and effort.

  90. richie59er says:

    Henychan I doubt it will be the worst season of Arsenal, we won’t finish in 17th, but it might just end up being Arsene’s worst if we don’t finish top 4?

  91. richie59er says:

    Francisco es la cabeza o el corazón que todavía duele 🙂

  92. richie59er says:

    Haar van de hond?

  93. richie59er says:

    Tu ai toujour la tête dans cul. 😦 🙂

  94. richie59er says:

    I’m still in pain the morning after and I never touched a drop! Honest

  95. VCC says:

    If you like meat Total, you will love Brisket

  96. Red Arse says:

    It never rains but it pours!

    Swansea v Arsenal in the 3rd round FA Cup. Yikes!!

  97. VCC says:

    1st Dec week 1 UMF League

    Herb 3 1 result to come
    RA 3
    Total 2
    GLiC 1
    Terry 1
    Henry 1
    Oz 1 1 result to come
    Rocky 1
    VCC 0 (only player so far to get all 5 wrong) (plonker)

  98. VCC says:

    Overall standings with 2 results to come = 1 for Herb + 1 for Oz

    Red Arse (smart arse) 9
    Rocky 7
    Total 7
    Henry 6
    VCC (flash in the pan) 6
    Oz 5
    Herb 5
    Terry 5
    GLiC (wooden spoon) 4

  99. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post – NEW POST 🙂

    Thanks for the update VCC! And yes, I love meat (sorry Henry). 🙂

  100. TotalArsenal says:

    Tough one indeed, Redders. Maybe our second team will do better than our first against them?!

  101. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi Everyone, thanks for the update VCC, GliC has robbed me of last place, but that was his cunning plan all along 🙂
    The current malaise at Arsenal is heart-breaking, but not altogether surprising.
    As I’ve said before, it is not conducive for the long-term health of any football club to have a major share-holder who has no love for the sport, no emotional connection with the club, and who distances themselves from the life-line of that club, the supporters. Phillipe Auclair has talked of major splits between the BoD and Mr Wenger. We have no leadership from the very top of the club, whose role is essential in offering supporters a vision of the future.
    On Phillipe Auclair, I’ve also mentioned him saying that Mr Wenger has no tactics, just a philosophy, and he operates like a maverick poker player. He gambles that the players he selects can just go out without any real structure, and that their natural ability will out-smart anything any opposition offers. It used to, but it hasn’t for a long time.
    On one level, Arsene Wenger loves the club, and strives to do his best for Arsenal. But an ugly truth we must also accept, is that on another level, he has grossly mis-managed the club in terms of the wage-policy, and it is now horribly manifesting itself out on the park with our turgid, passionless football. Gervinho had a free header at goal and it almost hit the corner-flag. Who are these charlatans that dare to disgrace our club?
    Mr Wenger has criticised Chelsea and MC’s spending, but we’ve had Champions Lge money for the last 16 years, so apart from the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea, we operate on a far superior level to the rest of the Premier Lge, yet you never hear a manager of a lesser club complaining that Arsenal have greater resources. I’m on record (somewhere), as saying Mr Wenger should have gone after the embarrassment at OT last season, and nothing I have seen since then has convinced me otherwise.
    Alan Hansen on MotD last night said we need two full-backs, a DM, and a striker – quickly – as opposed to the root and branch shake-up that is needed, but it’s a starting point..
    If something drastic doesn’t happen soon, Arsenal will be finished as a competitive football club and the whole Emirates project will have been a complete failure.
    I wish Peter Hill-Wood a speedy recovery.

  102. richie59er says:

    approuvez-tu n’aiment pas les Espagnols, vous le préfèrent en français
    Francisco est la tête ou le coeur que encore attristé

  103. richie59er says:

    approuvez-tu n’aiment pas les Espagnols, vous le préfèrent en français
    Francisco est la tête ou le coeur que encore attristé

  104. TotalArsenal says:

    Merci, je le comprend maintenant!

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