A new defensive midfielder? Non Merci! Arsenal v Chelsea Pre-Match


It was once the toughest away fixture in the Premier league, with Chelsea holding the greatest sequence of unbeaten home matches: 86, from March 2004 – October 2008. But hey, Roman Abramovich’s millions can buy you almost anything these days…yes it can even help you win the Champions League title.

In the present, they do not hold that psychological advantage over their opposition, so we should travel across London on Sunday showing no fear.  The only person who should be holding any sort of fear should be Rafa Benitez. In what is perhaps the most demanding managerial position in football today, the pressure is persistently mounting on him. It’s only a matter of time before he joins the long list of Chelsea casualties; we shall see who is next through the revolving door soon enough.

Last time around, we were beaten thanks to some set piece problems and a few important players missing. This time we have almost a full squad to choose from with Szcz, Sagna, and Wilshere available for the return fixture. Chelsea won’t know what hit them this time, because these three are perhaps our most important players in our starting line-up.

Let’s begin now shall we!

Missing in Action:

Sick bay edit (1)

Arsenal: Rosicky (calf) remains on the sidelines (not sure he left to be honest), which is unfortunate because he could provide a much needed rest to either Santi or Jack. Arteta (calf) and Fabianski will also miss out.

Kozzer returns from his one-match suspension. Gerv misses this one due to Coupe d’Afrique des Nations duty.

Chelsea: Romeu is out with a knee injury. Everyone’s favourite defender Terry returns after a two month absence. He appeared as a sub midweek, so I would not be surprised if he comes back in to the starting line-up for this one.

Chelsea are also devoid of both Mikel and Moses because of ACoN.

Predicted Line-up:

starting line-up (3)

I would not change the line-up from the one we saw midweek. As far as I’m concerned I think that is our best possible line-up. I like Coquelin over Arteta because he is faster and more tenacious, and his attacking link up work is also very underrated. Santi gives us the width that Ramsey doesn’t, but can also wander in field and create opportunities. Diaby is unplayable at times, and without Mikel he really has a chance to boss the midfield. Let’s give it a go again!!!

Expect to see Terry back at CB and Ivanovic to return at RB. Now Lampard has signed a pre-contract with LA Galaxy, it will be interesting to see if he keeps his starting position, or whether he relinquishes it to Ramires and Luiz. Chelsea will most likely use a 4-2-1-3 formation with Torres up top, Mata and Hazard on the wings, Oscar at AM, Ramires and Lampard central, and a back four of Tumbling Terry, Cahill, Ivanovic, and some traitorous swine known as Cole.

Previous Encounters:

Arsenal 1 – Chelsea 2

On September 29th Arsenal faced a Chelsea team that was sitting on top of the ladder and in red hot form. Diaby tested Cech from long range early on and subsequently injured himself in the process; an injury that looked rather innocuous at the time but kept him on the sidelines until last weekend. Chelsea responded with a goal thanks to a bit of skill by Torres from a set piece…however, it was the poor marking from Kozzer that allowed the expensive flop Torres to score. Gervinho levelled the score before half time with a rather impressive turn and shot (his only real involvement of the game it has to be said). Mata finished off the tie with a great free kick that took a slight deflection of Kozzer. Not Kozzer’s best game but I still maintain that he is our best defender when fully confident. Nevertheless, Chelsea got it done when it Mata’d…I’ll get my coat.

Arsenal 0 – Chelsea 0

Two great saves from Cech and some wasteful efforts from another traitorous swine meant Arsenal could not breakdown a robust Chelsea team.

Form Guide:               Arsenal:  WLDDW               Chelsea: DWLWL

Despite dropping points against the Manchester Oilers a lot of positives could be drawn from our second half performance. Although we only beat Swansea 1-0 midweek we played all over them for the entire match and could quite easily have belted them all the way back to Wales. The signs are positive, we must continue to build on the momentum we have.

Chelsea haven’t had too much luck recently (they did beat Stoke away 0-4 which is not to be scoffed at) losing out to QPR, Swansea, and drawing against Southampton in their last three home fixtures. Let us hope the nightmare continues.

Arsenal Archive

This week I’ve dipped into the Arsenal Archive and pulled out this video clip. It is a highlights package from our 2-0 win over Chelsea in the 2002 FA Cup final. Oh To, Oh To Be, Oh To Be A Gooner!!!

One to Watch:

Theo Walcott: He finally signed the thing! Hallelujah we can all breathe again. Now it’s time to get fully behind him and let’s see what he can produce under Arsene’s tutelage. His stats are undeniable, his speed is blistering, and his finishing is top notch. It’s time for him to put his money where his mouth is, and I have complete faith in him doing so!

Demba Ba…again! We had to deal with him not long ago at the Emirates and he managed to put two past us on that occasion. The man is a quality poacher and scores whenever given a sniff. If I was Torres I would be worried because Ba can deliver (as he showed midweek against Southampton) and is eyeing his starting position. It’s unlike Chelsea to do a shrewd bit of business, but I feel this time they’ve struck gold for a fraction of the cost.

Mata will also be one to keep our eye on; last time around he was afforded too much room, and we can’t let it happen again!

Key-Match up:

key match-up

Francis Coquelin vs Juan Mata

Our young midfield enforcer against Chelsea’s most dangerous player and creator Juan Mata (8 assists, 7 goals). Now that Walcott has signed his contract. all that remains for most Arsenal supporters is the need for a midfield enforcer/beast/monster/barbarian/troglodyte/cannibal, in other words a snarling midfielder who can protect the back four and boss the midfield. Nigel De Jong is only 174cm and 72kgs, Gattuso is 177cm and 77kgs, Flamini is 178 cm and 67kgs, M’Vila is 182cm and 80kgs,  Francis Coquelin is 182 cm and 75kgs and still developing. So you don’t have to be a brute to be a great defensive midfielder! Coquelin has his chance to usurp Arteta’s position (tough, given our winning % without Arteta is 14.28%) in the starting line-up (similar to how Flamini did to Gilberto) by putting together more strong performances like the one against Swansea. He and Diaby complemented one another brilliantly; what a partnership they could forge for both Arsenal and France!

Mata caused us all sorts of troubles at the Emirates (1 goal and an assist), so Coquelin must be watching him like a hawk the entire game. Not give him an inch, and he and the team must be careful not to commit any fouls around the box because he is deadly! Shackle Mata and we go a long way to winning this match.

Pre-Match Finger:

kid finger

This week’s finger goes to the Bori! They are a secret coven of demons responsible for the possession of bad luck. Searching the Encyclopaedia of Demons was the only next logical step to curing Diaby of his injury curse. He is a magnificent player who always slips so seamlessly into the line-up. He has a powerful shot, amazing dribbling skills, fluid movement across the pitch, long legs that allow him to dispossess opposition players easily…he is our Paddy V version 2. The only problem is he cannot stay off the treatment table for too long. Arsene has been very patient but how much longer can it last? He is commanding a good salary and potentially holding back another player in the squad.

Now rumour has it that to get rid of this demon one must say the word ‘iron’ repeatedly…I’m suspect though. because Jack is made of iron and surely that’d be enough to exorcise the demon from Diaby! The only other solution is a special dance; now Sagna, BFG, and Podolski tried it in the pre-season…

But, it clearly wasn’t enough because it only worked on Diaby temporarily. At the next home game we need everyone at the Emirates to perform the same dance once Diaby comes on to the pitch! Let’s vanquish this demon so we can unleash our own in the centre of the pitch!

Pre-Match pat on the back:

pat on the back

This week’s pat on the back goes to Jack Wilshere. Not because he is a future Arsenal hall of famer (he will be!), not because he’s going to be one of the best in the world (he will be!), not because every Arsenal male fan has a man crush on him (they do!); it is because he’s everything we love in a player. Not because he scored the winner against Swansea (it was darn good though!), but because the kid has a wise head on his shoulders. He has come back strong from a serious injury and does the little things on the field that others don’t. Against Swansea, towards the end of the game, he made a simple gesture to his team mates to ‘think about what you are doing’. We had the lead and the game was drawing to a close and he was making sure we didn’t lose our heads once again. Keep the lid on it he’s still young you say…sorry, that lid blew off when he scored this pearler at the tender age of 16.

see 1.19 mins

Ask the opposition (2)

‘Ask the opposition’ returns again, this week. It is designed to get some friendly banter from our opposition fans and get their insight for the match ahead.  This week the answers were kindly provided by CD from http://www.chelseadaft.org, and Blue Champion from http://www.bluechampions.com or his twitter handle @bluechampion. Let’s see what they’ve written for us this week:

1) What happens with Torres now Ba is scoring for fun? 

CD: Torres is still the clubs number one striker. He has been good at times this season but badly needed a rest. I expected a better reaction from him the other week against Swansea after watching Demba Ba score two on his debut at Southampton but he didn’t seem bothered for the first time and the fans turned on him including me.

BlueChampion: Torres goes to the bench. And in the summer (if not this month) leaves the club and saves about £9m per year in salaries. Earlier his results were poor and now his efforts are also poor. Barring a miracle, he’s a goner.

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

CD: Juan Mata once again is our best player with Eden Hazard a close second. Mata finds space and can hurt you. You have seen at the Emirates that he can take a set piece, he can score goals and create them. He is a perfect number 10. 

BlueChampion: Juan Mata. He’s the magician that pulls the strings for Chelsea. All attacks go through him and he has such chemistry with all forward players that he is a threat all the time. What’s he capable of? Wait until Sunday.

3) What’s your take on the Frank Lampard situation? 

CD: Frank Lampard deserves another contract in my book. He is still fit, still performing and scoring goals in the Premier League. People forget he missed half a season through injury two years ago and remains an important part of our squad. You need experience in the squad to bring out the best in people and if he leaves this summer, Chelsea would have made a mistake.

BlueChampion: He’s 35 this summer. I’m with the club. Happy for one-year extensions with pay cuts. We already have a crowded midfield with young talents – Ramires, Luiz, Romeu, Oscar, McEachran (on loan) and Kevin de Bruyne (on loan). Looking forward to his Bobby Tambling record. After that he should stay at club’s terms or go.

4) Benitez…how much longer will he last?

CD: I hope Benitez goes sooner rather than the summer but I can’t see it happening. He is too slow to react to situations that are happening in front of him on the pitch. Look at Wenger or Mourinho. If things aren’t going well, they make instant changes to try and affect the game from the bench, positive changes. He has had chances to do that in our last four three home games, hasn’t done it quick enough and we haven’t won the game. Apparently, he told the team at half time on Wednesday being 2-0 up against Southampton at home “wasn’t safe” and we needed a third goal! Who on earth would say that to a Chelsea team 2-0 up and cruising against Southampton! (No disrespect to them of course!). 

BlueChampion: Certainly until the end of the season. Remember his contract is for 18 months with an option to review at the end of the season. So if we don’t find a more permanent manager (which he is clearly not), he can continue his contract which runs till end of 2013/14 season. 

5) What position/player is your weakest link?

CD: At the moment it seems that at right back is our weakest link. “Dave”( César Azpilicueta)  has done well there but has been skinned twice in three league games against QPR and Southampton and we have conceded twice. I am hoping Branislav Ivanovic moves back out there with JT coming into the middle for Sunday.  

BlueChampion: Our weakest link could be the double pivot (two of Lampard/Ramires/Luiz). All these are basically attack minded players in the supposedly defensive double pivot. You would find acres of space in the middle of the park to exploit and you can easily win the midfield battle. If only you had Arteta!

6) Which Arsenal player would you like to have and why?

CD: Theo Walcott. For the life of me, I have never understood why Arsene Wenger has never played Walcott through the middle as a striker until it has got to the stage of him leaving? He is a readymade Thierry Henry replacement with his pace alone. Of course he still needs work playing there but his raw pace and ability should justify him starting week in, week out. I see he is about to sign a new deal but if it falls through, I would love Roman to bring him to Stamford Bridge!

BlueChampion: Theo Walcott. Because he brings in a new dimension to the Chelsea squad. He can be a great plan B. We have too many ballers now but we need players like Walcott who can threaten you with sheer pace and he is a good finisher too. He can be a striker option as well as a wide forward player. Hope he doesn’t sign that extension of yours (oops too late!). 

7) What is your prediction for the match?

CD: God knows to be honest. At home at the moment Chelsea are a nightmare. We have attacking flair, expressive players playing expansive football until we reach the final third and then find it hard to break sides down. Benitez talks of missed chances against Southampton, but there were hardly any real clear cut opportunities. Out of 18 attempts on goal just three were on target. If Arsenal come here and set their stall out to defend and hit us on the counter, we could have real problems. In saying that, if we can get at the Arsenal, we can cause you all sorts of problems too. Whoever defends better wins the game and it’s as simple as that.  

BlueChampion: My prediction is a 2-1 win for Chelsea. Will be an open match. Arsenal’s defence (minus Koscielny) would just suit our bunch very well. We are a much better team now than we had met you last at the Emirates stadium. Even John Terry would be back. But you’re losing Arteta and Kosielny. On paper, Chelsea do look a stronger team with a greater possibility of a win. 


Chelsea have only won one in their last seven home games, and I expect the bad run to continue. We will be choc-full of confidence after the Swansea game and the signing of Theo. It should be enough to see us get over the line on our way to a 1-2 victory. Now I wasn’t too sure about my prediction this week so I signed up to a free psychic website and asked a lady with 20-25 years of experience in the field a couple of questions:

Oz: Will Arsenal beat Chelsea this weekend? And by how much?

Jetember: More than likely yes. 1-0

Oz: Will John Terry fall over again?

Jetember: I’m seeing no

Oz: Bugger! My mate TMHT has had some bad luck in his life can you help?

Jetember: I can say a special prayer for your friend (she begins swinging a chain with a cross attached and speaking in another language. 2 minutes later…)

Oz: Thank you. Will we win the Champions League?

Jetember: Unfortunately no

That ended the conversation as I concluded that she knew nothing. I should have known considering she had rap music playing in the back ground. I’ll stick with my prediction! 1-2 to the good guys.

Written By: Oz Gunner.

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133 Responses to A new defensive midfielder? Non Merci! Arsenal v Chelsea Pre-Match

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Oz, another tour de force amigo! The best pre-match report in the Universe: full with insight, humor and entertainment. Always love to read the views of opposition fans, and many thanks for making all the effort to produce today’s prematch report. 🙂

    I am going to enjoy the videos now!

  2. thegooner19 says:

    Wow OZ! Another fantastic match preview, you have the most amazing reports!! I wish I could respond more in-depth but I’m heading out soon :(. I will back to respond later, and agreed with TA, always love the discussion with opposing fans at the end! Really gives us perspective on how the outside world views our squad.

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Oz, I watched that first video, and it is painful to watch the rubbish defending, but then all goals are repeated twice which is even more painful! 😦

    Love the line-up and I fully agree with it.

    No surprise, you are putting your neck out for young Coquelin! Let’s hope he will have another good game, together with Diaby.

  4. glic says:

    “You`re simply the best, better than all the rest ! ”

    I just dont know what to say Oz mate !. Embarrassingly I have a Semi !. 😳 hahaha

    Redders needs to invent a new word which is better than, brilliant, magnificent, outstanding, superb, excellent etc` !.

    Cant we have Jetember as our BK agony aunt !. hahaha

  5. thegooner19 says:

    Glic, judging by what I write below, I assume you’ll go from semi to full pedro:


  6. VCC says:

    Quick overview of that amazing pre-match Oz. You really are the master. I cannot do it justice yet, will mull over and digest it tonight, can’t wait.

    Latterz muvverz.

  7. glic says:


    I`m not looking at what you wrote below as I have the local Vicar and Sister Mary around for tea and cucumber sandwiches and I dont want the cucumber popping out and hitting Sister Mary in the mush !.

  8. Red Arse says:


    You have completely blown me away with that splendiferous pre-match!! 🙂

    This surely must be your opus magnum, but every time I think that you excel yourself the next time!
    Amazing — and I love your fickle finger, but the the sick bay ‘closed’ cartoon is wonderfully stylish!!

    Talent is your middle name! 😛

  9. thegooner19 says:

    Final comment before I head out, as for new ways to compliment Oz’s articles, here’s a suggestion:

    A ‘Wishering’ report or an ‘Iscoesque’ report.

    Disclaimer: If you just read this Glic, you’ve likely slapped Sister Mary in the face with an unexpected growth in your cucumber ;).

  10. Red Arse says:

    Just to bring a sense of balance to a great blog, I have to tell you something I heard in confidence, about Glic — so keep it to yourself.

    Mrs Glic 🙂 said he came home one day with a police escort, and this is how he explained it!

    — “I popped into the local DIY store for some drill bits for my love shack construction, and when I was ready to check out I put them on the counter to pay for them, and the grumpy cow of a cashier said, “Strip down, facing me.”

    Flabbergasted by her bossy tone, I made a mental note so I could complain to the Head Office, or to get a ‘judicial enquiry’ from that pillock, Cameron!
    Really — this increased security is becoming a bloody joke, but I did exactly what she said.

    After all the shrieking and hysterical remarks had finally subsided, I found out that she was referring to how I should position my credit card for the machine.

    None the less, I’ve now been asked to shop elsewhere in the future, and got a police warning!!.

    Damn it, it was only a todger semi and a skinny arsed smile.

    They really need to make their instructions clearer in the future!!”……

    Well, BKers, we now know where he has been all afternoon!!! 😀

  11. glic says:

    Hahaha Redders, you know me, I wanted to show her my sensitive side……….it`s that little area between my scrotum and anus !. hahaha

  12. glic says:

    I hope Jack stays in the ” hole ” position, he could turn out to be the best after the maestro DB10, but even DB10 couldn`t hold a candle to the very best…………..my Mother-in Law…….the candle flickered then went out as I back filled the hole she was in………..after all these years I still dont get that one fingered charades game she was playing !.

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Glic and RA have been in fine form again today. 😉

    Hi Redders, you had a good response to your post, with some interesting comments on AA. Excellent stuff. 🙂

  14. glic says:

    Sometimes I like to browse at the properties with a view of the Emirates or ones in the old stadium and around the two grounds. I would love to buy one with a view of the new stadium, but would have to sell up and the “trouble” is never going to agree to that !.
    Out of curiousty, I thought I would look at the price of a property near or around the bin dippers ground. I managed to find one a couple of streets away which was not burned out, £75,000 for a 4 bed eot, the price of a garage around Arsenaland !.
    I suppose you could do a list of what £75,000 would get you near/around each football club. Chavs and Fulham would be the most expensive I should imagine, where £75k would probably only get you the front door bell !. Are we third on the list after them two, or are there more expensive areas ?, QPR ?. I cant think of any club outside of London who would be in a more expensive area !. Is there ?.

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    Glic, you must be right with that one! 🙂

  16. oz gunner says:

    Thank you everyone for your kind comments, far too nice as always.
    Just glad TA gives me the privilege, and glad to have great Arsenal supporters wanting to read it.

    @ TA

    the defending was very painful to watch. The first goal was very painful to watch. It’s a shame he didn’t get a full pre-season in because it has definitely affected his game this season. Last season he was the best defender in the league only behind Kompany. I hope he finds his best form again soon.

    @ GLIC

    haha each time I do a pre-match I’m going to ask her some questions. They have a webcam so you can see there facial expressions which is great, thankfully she couldn’t see mine during the prayer because that was weird stuff. Has anyone seen Terry? I’m worried about his safety after 🙂

    @ VCC

    by all accounts Arsene had a sit down with Bartley in the pre-season and Bartley wanted to know what his chances of playing this season would be. He loves Arsenal but he wanted playing time, which is a big task being behind 3 international defenders. Arsene couldn’t promise it so he wanted to go somewhere he had more of a chance. Well played to him, I wish he was more patient because he looks very promising. Any player that Verm has to physically hold down in set pieces is quite an athlete because Verm doesn’t lose many aerial duels.

    Here it is in Bartley’s words:

    Ahead of an FA Cup third round replay against his former employers on Wednesday, Bartley said: “I’ve no regrets over leaving Arsenal because I believe everything happens for a reason.

    “I still had a couple of years left on my contract and if I wanted to stay, the option was there for me. But I wanted to go somewhere where I was more capable of playing games.

    “My thigh injury hampered that earlier this season, but I want to kick on from here.

    “I don’t think I’ve anything to prove to Arsene (Wenger). He knows what I’m capable of and the type of player I am. Unfortunately, I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

  17. oz gunner says:

    Cheers RA, still not a patch on your posts.

    @ 18.02
    brilliant haha

    Loved the female wants by age joke. Definitely a lot of truths to it. I think a lot of women NEED a partner so my advice to men is hang tight, they’ll want you soon enough regardless of how shocking you are. Mine must have been extra scared!!!

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    As I am just about to go and catch some sleep, there is Oz waking up early to catch up on the comments 🙂

    Oz, almost 3000 fellow Gooners have already read your prematch, so well done amigo!

    It has been a bit quiet in terms of comments, but this is often the case on a Saturday when the Arse are not playing. Catch up with you tomorrow, buddie. 🙂

  19. oz gunner says:

    @ GLIC

    wow 75 000 is nothing, Liverpool must be a real tip!! That would be very interesting to know. Find out what is the cheapest area yet still reasonably close to the Emirates.

    mmm I would jazz up a garage with a scented candle and a palm tree in the corner!

  20. oz gunner says:

    Cheers TA, thanks for letting me write for your great site.

    Enjoy your snooze

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    And you your full english, OZ 😛

  22. Herb'sArmy says:

    Nobody does as comprehensive and thorough pre-match as well as you, Ozzer, well done to you.
    Redders, I read your fine post over at ‘AA’, for me the change can’t happen soon enough.
    If – and let’s take a deep breath, there’s a way to go yet – Tottenham claim a CL place and finish above us, with a £50m less wage-bill, and altogether far less resources, who is to blame for that? They’re a big club, but not in Arsenal’s league, so where does accountability start?
    Mr Wenger has gambled throughout his tenure on buying players with serial injury problems, Marc Overmars (whose career was cruelly cut short, though thankfully not with us), Kanu had a major heart problem when we bought him from Inter Milan, and never established himself as an automatic first-choice, Abou Diaby had major set-backs at Auxerre, playing only 10 games in two years (why would anybody think that makes good business sense?), Tomas Rosicky (very aptly named), like Diaby, is now in his seventh year at Arsenal, which added together makes 13 years (6 1/2 each), and they’re both well short of 150 appearances. Per Mertesacker is another one with a history of horrible injuries in Germany. So why would any manager keep repeating such a flawed logic? We’re more like a convalescent home than a football club, and whilst Mr Wenger’s humanitarian qualities are to be applauded, his first duty is to make Arsenal as viably competitive as possible, and his propensity for gambling on injury-prone players and his obsession for dealing personally with Africa’s poverty has left us considerably short. Not to mention the sub-standard players bought from France.
    I genuinely believe that had he not inherited George Graham’s famous back-line, and more essentially Dennis Bergkamp, Mr Wenger wouldn’t have had the early successes, nor would we have seen ‘The Invincibles’. I find it odd that since declaring 38 goals was too many to concede if you want to win the title, four-five years ago, our defence has become increasingly worse every year. Identifying a problem is great, but surely he is paid to find a solution?
    Ahh but…The stadium move, and Chelsea and MC’s billions. How could I forget those? Well, I haven’t. Some Arsenal fans wear it as a badge of honour as the perfect excuse for failing for the last six years. Absolutely nothing to do with Mr Wenger ripping up the blue-print of what brought him his early success, and refusing to implement the recipe again, or his really woeful transfer business. Let’s look anywhere but in-house and blame others for the glaring inadequacies of our ordinary manager. The 8-2 humiliation at Old Trafford was shameful, especially for a major club celebrating it’s 125th year, brazenly wearing the motto ‘Forward’. The club’s worst defeat in over 100 years, but no explanation, no accountability, just passive acceptance that we’re not good enough to challenge for honours, but as long as we qualify for the CL, we’re alright. Does anyone recall Tottenham ever conceding eight at OT? And what of the differing mentalities of the two North London rivals? Each with a prized asset, and two contrasting outcomes. They sat down with theirs, convinced him of their ambition, and he signed a new contract, we sold ours to balance the books, and now we’re meant to be delighted that a very ordinary winger/striker has become our highest earner. Yes we’ve had limited resources, but we didn’t suddenly stop buying players, it’s just that those players have been poor (with one or two exceptions).
    I have yet to read a full and proper appraisal of Mr Wenger’s time at Arsenal, but considering what he started with in 1996, since Bergkamp retired, he has been shown to be weak, and carried far too many passengers. Call Mourinho what you like, but he made a very salient point in a recent interview. Referring to Mr Wenger, he said he’s got the safest job in football, with no pressure to deliver trophies or success. Mourinho went on to say that if he personally hadn’t won anything for two years, his professional pride would drive him to demand more, and he would apply pressure on himself. He might be a mercenary, but he’s a winner, and if you’re not in football to win, what are you doing? A club of Arsenal’s stature should always be challenging for the PL title as well as the CL, and in that respect Mr Wenger has been caught well out of his depth. He is an okay manager, nowhere near a great.
    I’m not looking to pick a fight, or argue with people, it is only my humble opinion, and not one many of you will share, but that’s okay too. Nothing will ever convince me that we have done the best we could have done since moving stadium, the ownership and BoD certainly hasn’t helped, but your greatest strength can also be your biggest weakness, and Mr Wenger has definitely been both.


  24. oz gunner says:

    cheers herb, much appreciated.

    Newcastle agree on 6million fee for Mbiwa. Can’t help but think that is a massive steal for them!!!

  25. oz gunner says:

    Arsenal sent scouts to watch him on Wednesday. Wonder if a bid will be put in place. Another CB/DM sounds good given Song’s departure

  26. thegooner19 says:

    Oz, not too concerned. Look at what happened to them with Remy :). I reckon us or some other team will come in and swoop for him at the last second!

  27. oz gunner says:

    That is true, hope it is us because I think he could really add to the squad. Every time i see a quality player like that priced so cheap I can’t help but think of Liverpool and laugh…downing and henderson hahahahahaha

  28. VCC says:

    Morning All.

    Thank you Oz for a great pre match report, loved every bit of it. It’s got me fired up ready for the Battle at the Bridge.

    I feel apprehensive about today’s game. Just hope we don’t start off timidly because we will get overpowered easily if we don’t get at them early on.

    Chelsea will come out of the blocks running, we must match them.

    Caught your comment on MBwia. 6 million is a steal for that guy. He can play both CB and DM. Go get him Arsene.

    Also read about Bartley. That’s OK him saying that he wanted playing time, but with him still under contract do you think SAF would have released him? I think not. Wenger let him go cheaply and far too easily. After all, we taught him his trade whilst young. Make him stick around for a couple of seasons then I’m sure he would have made the first team. We sold Keown too early then bought him back, I bet the scenario in a couple of years time will be “I wish we still had him”


  29. alexgunners says:


    What a masterful piece of writing, covered everything from all angles, great job. Great clips of the 2002 FA Cup final and Jacks wonder goal.
    Very resourceful reading and always a pleasure

  30. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Morning all.

    Oz, you trully are a master. No shit mate, i think you may have missed your true calling. I guess its not to late to get into journalism. I really like your layout for a pre-match, you cover every angle and its such a captivating read, even for a simpleton like me, and yes, i would even pay for an Oz pre match. (ok, now that ive said everything you have asked, when are you gonna give me my 10 bucks 😆 )

    Onto the match, im pumped! Just a little over 3 hrs to go till kick off and the nerves are still in check. I wonder if Theo signing will have any sort of influence on our game and players?
    It sort of feels like we have nothing to lose, yet we have everything to play for…weird, maybe its just me.

    Im not suprised to read the oppo fans considering our most dangerous player to be Theo. They know that with his blistering pace, all it takes is half a slip from old boy (wife thieving) Terry and hes in. Give him a couple of chances n its game over.

    For me im most worried about Luis, and here is why. I believe that Terry will come back into the fold, and he will partner Cahill at the back. Fat fwank is too slow for this game and i feel Luis will be played in midfield and thats where i worry. I think hes a mongrel of a player, a dirty mug who would intentionally go out to harm our Jack. I hope not, im just saying he has that ‘criminal’ about him.

    Was also reading up on Rafa, he is saying that when he was at pool he tried to sign Cazorla! Why does he mention that now. As an Arsenal supporter ill laugh that off, but if i was a Chelski fan (Thank God im not) i would be mighty pissed off and thinking ‘just friggin concentrate on the teaand club that is currently feeding you. Either way, for me he deserves the pre-match finger. I remember how he used to slag off Chelski for the way the club was run…hahha, money makes you lose those memory brain cells.

    Once again, top report mate, now where is that tenner? 🙂

  31. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    concentrate on the *team and club*

  32. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Morning VCC.
    I agree that we cannot come out of the blocks slowly. I believe Chelsea are on the ropes at home and if we get off to a good start and pinch an early goal, their fans will turn on the team and that ‘spanish waiter’ they have as a coach

  33. oz gunner says:

    @ VCC

    Cheers, glad you enjoyed it. I agree, we should have been a bit nastier but I still think Miquel will turn out to be the better player. I would have preferred Djourou to be traded anwe kept Bartley.

    @ Alex

    Cheers my Aussie compatriot, thank you for reading it.

    @ PPP

    I’ll slip the tenner under your doormat, nobody has to know. If I see the porch light come on I’m outa there though. I don’t want anyone thinking I’m paying you for that romantic dinner we shared the other day haha.

    As for being a Journo, I’ve got to learn English first, that’ll take some time!

    I’m pumped also, got the Mrs watching her one game a year tonight, I expect us to put on a good show. The last two she watched was the 3-5 at Chelsea and the second 5-2 against the sum so she’s my lucky charm.

    No one with a hair style like that is tough. I expect Diaby or coquelin to give him just as much!

    Rafa is a joke, he constantly mooches off arsenes work

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning all 🙂

    Match day! Really looking forward to the game and I so hope all are fit as per Oz’s line-up!

  35. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Podolski injured, maybe we might get to see our little Russian firecracker

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Herb,

    Thanks for a comprehensive comment last night. Nothing you have not said before, and I agree with some of your points.

    Now that Arsene has signed up Theo, I reckon Arsenal have entered a totally new book of Wenger-Brit-Ball, and I am fully expecting him to sign a new contract this summer and stay upto 2020. I am not saying this to annoy you, or go against you, but because I am fully convinced he is going nowhere and will get time and money to build another super-Arsenal side that can conquer all.

    The BoD will look at the last seven years as transitional; against a strongly increased competition due to Oil money. The future is bright and Wenger will get the support by the BoD to get the club to the top; by building on the Brit-core of the team.

    If anybody thinks Arsene has an easy job, you only have to look at the ‘pat on the back’ picture above. He is far from perfect, but still the right man for the job.

    Re the Spuds – they will falter once again and St T. Day is only a few months away! 🙂

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha PPP, you never give up on the prince of Melancholia! 😉

    Oz, I actually quite like Benitez and him winning the CL with Liverpool is still a tremendous achievement! 🙂

  38. glic says:

    Morning Sausage Wallet`s 😆

    Oz, regarding the cheapness of Bin Dipper property, I wonder if one of the reasons they are not moving stadium is because turning Anfield into residential apartments would not be profitable !. Once they have taken the building cost out of the sales, £ 1.60p isn`t going to get them much in the TW !. It would just end up as a drug and hooky plasma screen ghetto !.
    At best it would become a shell suit and curly wig factory ! Calm down, calm down !. hahaha


  39. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning Chipolata bumbag 🙂

  40. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Hi Total,
    How are you feeling this morning? A few ex players and pundits in Oz feel that we have a great chance against Chelski. If there was ever a time to play them at home, it is now.

    I have read that PSG will be willing to offer Arsene a 30mil contract over a 3yr period in the summer, with Carlo Ancellotti heading our way after stating his desire to one day return to London. Did i mention how much i hate transfer gossip?

    And no, i will not give up on the tzar of meloncholy 😉 With Gerv out and Poldi injured, he is the next best thing 🙂

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    Mornifng PPP 🙂

    I feel good about the team, but worry about our defence a bit. I reckon Cazorla will play on the left again.

  42. Herb'sArmy says:

    Morning all,
    if Tottenham get CL football at our expense, Total, he should be removed immediately, and this isn’t ‘Arry the Gooner’s side, AVB is doing a decent job.

  43. TotalArsenal says:

    Early days Herb. It is the final sprint that matters.

    Agreed AVB is doing ok at the moment.

  44. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Is anybody worried about Diaby having to play 3 games in a week? It could be suicidal.
    On the other hand, we’ve got Oz’s better half watching the game, and we now realise she is our new lucky charm….. Lock her up Oz 😉

  45. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Morning Herb, They will not get Champions league football. They will implode as per usual. I have however been impressed with how Rodgers has turned Liverpool around, even Henderson is showing glimpses, even though he is not worth a quarter of his fee.

  46. TotalArsenal says:

    Right, time to walk to dog in the snowed under park! 🙂

  47. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    walkin in a winter Henry land

  48. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi PPP, yes they look a different side now they’ve added Sturridge up front to help Suarez. That’ll be another big test for us in a couple of weeks, they’ll be stronger than when we beat them at Anfield earlier in the season.

  49. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Agree Herb. Sturridge has increased their firepower, but its more Rodgers style of play that has impressed me. Their short passing game has come in leaps and bounds all over the pitch, even Gerrard has had to adapt to the new style. It seems to be working ok for them, but in saying that i feel we have found our feet with Jack playing in the hole. For me, i find that Santi goes missing when he comes up against a bully in midfield where as Jack loves to take a player on, make space and release. Two very different players, and being a main role it sort of dictates the way Arsenal perform in general. I would still love a couple of new additions though.

  50. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Enjoy the game all

    Come on Arsenal. Lets do it

  51. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Chelsea: Cech; Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole; Ramires, Lampard; Oscar, Mata, Hazard; Torres. Subs: Turnbull, Ferreira, John Terry, Bertra Marin, Ba.

    Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Coquelin, Wilshere, Diaby, Cazorla, Walcott, Giroud. Subs: Mannone, Koscielny, Jenkinson, Santos, Frimpong, Ramsey, Arshavin

  52. Herb'sArmy says:

    It’s just a throw-back to the Liverpool of old, PPP, pre-1990’s when they were the dominant force. ‘King’ Brenny might do something there, but with a club the size of Liverpool, you’d have to be pretty dim to fail – Dalglish anyone? Rodgers took the plaudits for work that had already been done for him by Roberto Martinez at Swansea, he was sacked at Reading before that.
    A strong looking line-up today, good to see Coquelin get a start, it’s important to get out of the traps early doors at Chelsea, let’s hope they’re up for it.

  53. alexgunners says:

    Hi Guys,
    We need to get control of the game right from the start. We cannot let them settle and let their croud turn on them. I believe that we have our best possible line up ready to go.

    Does anyone have any news on THE OX? Not in the line up at all?

  54. thegooner19 says:

    Awful start, poor finish by Giroud and bad defending by Sagna.

  55. alexgunners says:

    how about the foul on the Coq???

  56. alexgunners says:

    I cant believe this, what are we thinking, our defending is woeful and we are giving the ball away far too easily. Very poor indeed

  57. thegooner19 says:

    Another phantom penalty call against us. These referees are against us, couple of brutal calls thus far.

  58. alexgunners says:

    agreed gooner, but we have not done ourselves any favours by the way we are playing. They are making us look horrible

  59. oz gunner says:

    What the bloody hell is going on?! Dodgy penalty and foul on coquelin before the mata goal! No one is working for each other at the moment. Chelsea are working 10x harder. Looks like we want to get back into the warm change rooms and forget the game

  60. alexgunners says:

    They just dont look interested at all. I am getting sick and tired of sub par performances from a group pf guys who know how to play. They look defeated as soon as they step out onto the field. No prode being shown which will not only impact this game but other games to come as well. Something needs to be done.

  61. Herb'sArmy says:

    Chelsea fans singing at Mr Wenger “We want you to stay…” The ultimate insult.

  62. oz gunner says:

    it sure does alex, they are hold and cold far too often. At least show your fighting for the arsenal, not just rocking up for a pay cheque!

  63. alexgunners says:

    damn right, have some pride

  64. oz gunner says:


  65. oz gunner says:

    cheers refs, thanks for that! Arsenal need to starting playing from the start, 45mins is not good enough

  66. alexgunners says:

    OZ, if we look at past games, we only play for 45 minutes, its a nasty habit that we have got ourselves into

  67. Red Arse says:

    Really disappointing first 45.

    Sagna seemed to be thinking of who he should be playing for next season.
    By the look of him it won’t be us.

    Theo took his goal beautifully, and looked good in the 2nd half — but still half hearted in the tackle, and could/should have scored the equalizer in the 2nd half too.

  68. Herb'sArmy says:

    Southampton were better at Stamford Bridge than us and Nigel Adkins was sacked.
    What a depressing shambolic mess this club has become.

  69. VCC says:

    Red Arse, will have to be short, considering my inebriated state, and being accused of knee jerk reaction.

    We were totally mugged off today. Inept managerial skills. Starting off lethargic, yet again.

    We can complain about incorrect refereeing decisions, ala, foul against Le Coq before their goal and wrong decision with awarding a penalty, but we only have ourselves to blame.

    Giroud clean through with only the keeper to beat within the first 15 mins (will look later on another site to read the excuses/he is the next world beater ha…ha…ha) should have been one nil up.

    Diaby giving away the ball in a dangerous position, and looking to just “go through the motions” to retrieve the ball.

    And yet, Theo is the guy to be singled out for critisim????? At least he scored a goal!!!

    Sagna was on another planet.

  70. Red Arse says:


    Difficult to argue with your points, in the circumstances.

    Theo was fine today, and took a great goal.

  71. Red Arse says:

    Just to cheer you up, VCC,

    I met a fairy last night — no not that sort of fairy, Glic — who said she would grant me one wish.

    Immediately I said, “OK, I want to live forever.”

    “Sorry,” said the fairy, “But I’m not allowed to grant eternal life.”

    “OK,” I said, “In that case, I want to die after the refs get their heads out of their asses, and treat Arsenal the same way they do Utd!”

    “You crafty bastard,” said the fairy.

  72. VCC says:

    Red Arse, although I’m fully behind you about the Premiership, we do get the rough end of the stick 95% of the time, but we still don’t help ourselves, keep shooting our selves in the foot.

    Properly managed we would have at least drawn that match.


  73. VCC says:

    Red arse 17:03….sorry, you always cheer me up. I’m just a tad down about how we approached that game.

    Chelsea beat us in a strole, and that’s not good enough in my book.

  74. Red Arse says:


    I think the worst aspect of our game is the dreadful defending.
    You would think we had never bothered with coaching defensive strategies and organization..

    Both wings were also left wide open, with both our full backs well inside our penalty area, and there was no attempt made (in the first half) to press the Chavs when they were attacking.

    Very strange!

    A night to sleep on it I guess.
    (We really could have won that — with either a different CF, or better crosses to Giro.)

  75. thegooner19 says:

    Are we even relevant in the Premier League anymore? 14 points off the pace, and 6 off a CL spot (with one game in hand). This is a nightmare…

  76. Herb'sArmy says:

    Try 22pts off the pace and 7pts off a CL spot (with one game in hand), Gooner.

  77. thegooner19 says:

    Herb, I was looking at Spuds’ points for some reason…I couldn’t believe they were ahead of us in the table for a second.

  78. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening guys 🙂

    Disappointing result; never deserved to lose though. But luck was not on our side today. I love and hate Ramires. He is exactly the kind of player we need at Arsenal: hard, streetwise, energetic and reads the game really well. He was the difference today and taught Diaby and Coquelin a lesson.

    2nd half was good, just a shame we lacked a bit of composure and luck to get the equaliser. We should play exactly the same formation against West Ham. I believe in this formation and players and we will go from strength to strength.

    Keep the faith fellow Gooners!

  79. Herb'sArmy says:

    The more you defend our spineless mediocrity, Total, the more you sound like a certain tired washed-up old manager who gave up our CL spot by selling our best player – “for footballing reasons…” according to PHW.

  80. glic says:

    For most fans the goals are to high !. Like a few, I thought losing RVP was a massive mistake and would have only been lightened by the arrival of a like for like quality player, but AW failed to do this. I like Giroud, but he should have been a better back up to RVP than Chamakh and I`m still not convinced by Pod. As soon as RVP went , my goals changed for CL qualification, we still have a chance, but it is most unlikely ( but, it is a funny old game though ).
    To me, it had come to the point when we entertained City, that losing wasn`t an option, now we have lost to the Chavs in another must not lose game, we now have 3 league games on the trot at home and they`re all must win games, it seems every game till the end of the season is a must win game !.
    I`m adament we will see good times in the future , but this season to me is a write off, we are losing to many must win games and the teams we want to lose dont look like losing !.
    Contrary to what people think or say. a season out of the CL wont kill us imo, we have been saving for a rainy day for years ! Liverpool and Spuds have had plenty of time out of the CL, but still manage to attract and keep top players, so dont despair, it wont be long before we are back competing !.
    The worst thing this season was losing RVP and the best thing was signing up the young Brit-Pack which is a great start for coming years !. If I said and gave the choice to you 16 years ago that we will only have one season out of the CL, you would have bitten my hand off !. 🙂

  81. thegooner19 says:

    I have faith that we’ll finish in a CL spot (as insane as it sounds), but that can’t be our objective! I’m more disappointed at the pace we’re off compared to the Mancs and AW’s reluctance to do anything about it thus far. Of course the TW isn’t over yet, but as it currently stands we need a lot of help if we’re going to turn things around. The inconsistency that plagues this squad is far too familiar (with other teams I follow in other sports) and I’d like to be proactive than continue with a “we’ll eventually come good” mentality.

    Just a lot of frustration, but I’m hopeful we’ll get back on track this Wednesday.

  82. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi GliC, are you saying that with far greater resources than our North London neighbours, it’s acceptable to be falling behind them? If it wasn’t for Fulop (WBA GK) on the last day of last season, they’d have finished above us then, so the warning signs have been there for some time. Arsenal Football Club are being embarrassingly mis-managed, and nobody at the club has the guts to stop the rot.

  83. glic says:

    Hi Herbster 🙂
    Our greater resources will put us back on top, no problem, these little teams always come along now and again and upset the apple cart, it`s just a minor one season blip, normal service will be resumed shortly !.

  84. Herb'sArmy says:

    Not with this regime or philosophy GliC. They’ve taken 4pts off MU this season, can you honestly see our lot giving MU a competitive game at the soul-less bowl after our insipid life-less showing at OT? Daniel Levy is showing ambition and strengthening his club, I doubt Kroenke either knows or cares how we got on today. Huge gulf in mentality.

  85. thegooner19 says:

    Is it terrible that I’m starting to warm up to the idea of signing Diame? The fee makes sense and despite not being as skilled as Diaby or Arteta, he’s more determined and physical than both. He would rotate wonderfully with Diaby and he’s less injury prone. He’s not the ideal beast DM, but it would give Coquelin more time to prove his worth and still not be a huge threat to Diaby’s long-term role with this squad (if he can stay healthy).

  86. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Whoever said ‘tour de force’ was spot on – thats a legendary pre match OzG.

  87. SharkeySuresGhost says:


    Truly awful first half from us.

    Who do we complain to about how Ramires gets thru that entire game without a card of any colour .

    Which ref ion the world could watch a video of his ‘tackles’ throughout the game and not deem any one of them worthy of a yellow individually, or on a cumulative or totting up basis ..??

    Song would have got to him. We miss his streak of aggression in games like that, and his willingness to make lots of little fouls, to disrupt the oppositions rhthym.

    We’re simply too nice to play against..no matter who the opposition are.

  88. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Sharkey 🙂

    Fully agreed, we missed Song and Ramires got away with everything. And yet, it is what we need badly in our team. Ramires is so streetwise and he put the fright up Coquelin and Diaby. I thought Coquelin fought back tremendously though, but a game like this shows how important experience is for such a pivotal role.

  89. Herb'sArmy says:

    Would that be the same Abou Diaby who was returning to show his world-class quality and save our spend-thrift club millions in the transfer-market? Having been grossly over-remunerated for six and a half years, he’s only three years away from a money-spinning testimonial. What a legend.
    A club’s playing style mirrors the philosophy and personality of its manager, so unless Mr Wenger has a complete personality transplant, we’re done. On the plus side, he’s got his over-sized sleeping bag and £7m a year to keep him warm.

  90. TotalArsenal says:

    Glic, I agree it is not the end of the world if we don’t finish in the top-four, but it will not happen. Arsene Wenger has the experience to guide us back in there and there are many games to come. A win on Wednesday and we have the Spuds in our sight again. I will bet with anyone a sack of spuds that we will finish above the Spuds this season.

  91. Herb'sArmy says:

    Apparently, Coquelin is out for at least three weeks with a hamstring injury.

  92. TotalArsenal says:

    That is bad news Herb. I guess good news for Frimpong?

  93. Herb'sArmy says:

    No, it wouldn’t be the end of the world if we finished outside the top four, but considering both Deloitte and Forbes rank us as the fifth richest football club in world football allied to our wage-bill (equivalent to that of Bayern Munich), it will be a major embarrassment, and a shocking indictment on those who are allowing this farcial situation to continue unchecked, particularly when the club is raking in £millions in revenue.

  94. Herb'sArmy says:

    Frimpong who collects red-cards like most people collect stamps. A player who most still doubt is good enough is hardly going to pacify the growing unrest and anger.
    More and more Arsenal supporters are getting the sense that the club have seriously betrayed and under-rated their level of ambition. A top four spot is the very least Mr Wenger should be achieving, but his gambling has back-fired to the point where he is beginning to look rather foolish.

  95. thegooner19 says:

    If Coquelin is out for the next three weeks, along with Arteta for the next 2, I see no chance that AW gambles and does not buy a DM. Frimpong is still not ready to be an Arsenal starter and Ramsey can rotate with Diaby. Diaby will need a rest or else if he continues to play, he’ll be back on the injured list. Diame, Gustavo, Capoue, M’Vila, here we come!

  96. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed dix-neuf, there is now even a better reason to get that beast of a DM, and not just anybody will do.

  97. VCC says:

    Herb……..Although not always agreeing with your views, I’ve always advocated it’s wise to keep guys like you on board for your opposite opinions, (and being a nice guy, lol)

    But, I found myself thinking of you at half time today. How much longer are we going to be subject to these inept displays. We never seem to learn from our mistakes. It’s painfully obvious what is going wrong with our team and yet Wenger just ignores the frightening signs

    The topical subject amongst the patrons within my local was……why oh why, do we keep getting mugged off with the same old same old performances from an Arsenal FC team?

    I’ve delayed posting for fear of knee jerk reaction, but we need to introduce at least two TOP quality players to stay in touch.


    Thanks for the great post Ozzy baby.

    I knew a psychic medium. For scientific reasons i crank called her a few times to work out if she knew it was me. In between heavy breathing armed with a sock in my mouth i would mutter “it is i” They never ever worked out who it was. hahaha

    I am in absolute agreement with TA. In the first half our midfield could not get a grip, and Rameriz was finding his highly skilled team mates to easy. Hes a top player, athletic, experiened, and skillful. Just what we need.

    Still think we will get fourth. Its up for grabs and the fight commences. We have the quality now we have to prove it.

    I understand why people are down. Its not great at the moment so i wont annoy any one with the reasons i think we are on track.

    The only thing i will say however is that sometimes in life one has to take a step backwards to go 2 forward.

  99. thegooner19 says:

    TA, it’ll be an interesting week for sure as we’re really lacking options at DM for this Wednesday’s clash vs. West Ham. Ideally, I’d like AW to have a player signed tomorrow and to join us for Wednesday, but that looks highly unlikely. In either case, a bid for Diame would be excellent as it would take away one of West Ham’s midfield weapons, he’s very solid/sturdy on the ball and premier league proven.

  100. VCC says:

    Arsene Wenger needs to open Arsenal’s wallet and buy at least TWO TOP players.

    I am getting tired of watching a sub standard display.

  101. VCC says:

    Terry, whilst ~I admire your loyalism, can you not see we are falling further behind ?

  102. glic says:

    A sack of spuds it is then Van Cloggenstein !. hahaha

    It will not surprise me if the Bin Dippers overtake us, but I`m not betting a dodgy plasma screen on that one !.

  103. TotalArsenal says:

    He does look good TG, but I want us to buy quality. When you look at Ramirez today, you know what we need. For me, Ramirez and Mata run the show at Chelsea and they are by far their best players. We have more quality in the team overall in my view, but we need to add ‘steel with experience’ in to our midfield.


    Vics, one area that definatky needs to be addressed is the centre forward role. The Club has allways had a tradition of going big for a top striker, even when rivals were interested. Super Mac, Charlie Nick, Ian Wright etc etc.

    Giroud is ok, but i have felt for months that this project needs a boost of a big name striker. Not easy to do, but they must take a risk.

  105. TotalArsenal says:

    OK Glic 5kg Spuds of fine quality. You say we do not end in top-four and I say we do.


    I believe it is only short term Vics, and we will get foourth and build from there. But as i said, a risk should be taken for a big name striker. It will benefit every one, from the tea lady to the players and manager, and of course the fans.

  107. glic says:

    With all that snow falling on the pitch, I`m surprised we didn`t build a snowman on the pitch as an extra defender, he would have at least been quicker than Spermsacker !. hahaha


    To be fiar Cornwall, even Sperminator looked slow when Torres was running at him.

    In the 2nd half we pretty much battered them but just fell short. Theres plenty of good ingredients there for Wenger and the Board to work with, but only if they keep there players and take a risk or two in the transfer market.

  109. glic says:

    Jan Venegoor of Hesselink is a big named striker !

  110. TotalArsenal says:

    hahaGlic, you love that name, but it would never fit on your hampton!

  111. thegooner19 says:

    VCC, as much as I’d love to see it happen, I just don’t think it will during AW’s reign. Perhaps if these players were to cost us less than £20 million each there’s a possibility, but TOP players often cost north of that figure. When you analyze our squad, there is depth everywhere, we just always fall victim to injuries or AW relies too heavily on “potential”. Players like Coquelin, Ramsey, Frimpong etc. all have good potential but their games are not refined enough to take over/compete for a starting spot.

    With that said, there are only three positions within our squad that could use a definite upgrade:

    1) There is no alternative LB to Gibbs. Given Gibbs’ injury history, it should be of utmost importance to find a capable back-up. We’re all aware that Santos is not a reliable option and Meade would fall into the same category as “potential” but likely not ready fill in as a full-time starter. Candidates: Chiekh M’Bengue, Jetro Willems, Nacho Monreal

    2) Defensive/B2B Midfielder – If AW continues to play Jack in the hole (most of us consider this his best position), then our only B2B options are Diaby and Ramsey and Ramsey’s “natural” position is supposed to be as an attacking mid. Arteta is not a natural DM, but has done a magnificent job filling in for the departed Song, being the engine for our squad playing further back in front of the back 4 and cleanly winning back the ball when needed. We can go down two routes with an upgrade at one of these positions. If we sign a B2B midfielder then Arteta and Coquelin (when both are healthy) will be our DM options and Diaby and the new signing will rotate at the B2B role. If we sign a DM, Arteta could shift to a B2B role and rotate with Diaby. Candidates: Diame, Capoue, Sissoko, M’Vila, Gustavo, Strootman

    3) Sign a new winger and make Theo a full-time striker. Giroud’s inability to find the back of the net with regularity is very concerning. You can make the case that his inconsistency is a result of a lack of playing time, but it’s been a weakness since his early season misses vs. Sunderland, Liverpool and Chel$ea. He needs more time to adapt to playing in the PL as the lone striker and he’s better suited to being an impact sub for now. However, he always puts in a full effort, holds the ball up very well allowing his team mates to get involved and provides a threat in the air. However, we need a more clinical finisher and Theo should have more time at the striker position to make it his own. If AW decides to do this, we are short on natural wing options (you could make the argument that we always have been) and should address this immediately. Candidates: Ben Arfa, Turan, Isco (not a natural winger but is a top talent), Zaha, Cabella

  112. glic says:

    Wenger gave an indication about the TW the other day when he said the players are cheaper at the end of the window, so around about the last hour of the TW we might see some action, but some of the quality may have gone elsewhere by then !. He say`s he`s been looking at Zaha, so he either rates him or not, but if he waits too long, Manu will be in as usual whilst he hesitates !.

  113. glic says:

    JVoH will do Total !. hahaha

  114. thegooner19 says:

    Alternatively, we can keep Theo at the RW and go for a striker, but it’s much, much harder to find a reasonably priced striker at less than £20 million than a winger. I’ve been quite fond of Arsenal’s financial sustainability over the years and that we never followed the philosophy of the plastics like Chel$ea and Man $hitty. Higuain has been linked, but I see no reason for him to leave Real Madrid at this point in time.

  115. VCC says:

    UMF 1 =

    We have one game tomorrow evening in which 5 guys (VCC/Herb/Oz/TG/PPP) have predictions to be accounted for, but the latest update is =

    Weekly table….

    Total …………9

    There have been 4 home wins, 3 draws and 2 away wins, so well done to Total for predicting all 3 draws, which promotes him up to sixth position overall.

    The prize for the Yellow Jersey wearer was declined by that Handsome chap VCC (as he feels guilty getting the award every week). He has instead donated his award to GLiC’s home for the retarded in Laurnstern, Cornwall. I’m sure you all wish GLiC well and a speedy recovery.

    The most popular prediction was WHU v QPR. 7 guys correctly predicted a draw.

    Overall leader board =


    Update to come after tomorrow evenings game.

    Cheers guys

  116. glic says:

    Handsome chap indeed !…….you look more like a Mrs Doubtfire after a mild stroke ! hahaha

  117. glic says:

    ” Spermsacker and Sperminator are coming for you ! ”

    Dont you think that would make a great T-shirt !.

  118. TotalArsenal says:

    What about SpermCoq?

  119. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks for the update VCC 🙂

    Interesting to see that PPP did significantly better for Redders than for himself…


    Tony Woodcock, great striker, great hair

  121. TotalArsenal says:

    They loved him at Koln as well!

  122. glic says:

    Tony van Woodenclog, he was good !

  123. TotalArsenal says:

    😆 Tony van Woodenclog 😆

  124. glic says:

    Look out for VCC in the next X-Factor auditions, the old git has been watching all these new boy bands like One Direction and has made a group out of his fellow senile mates in his care home and they`re called,…………..One Dire Erection !.

  125. glic says:

    And it`s a good night from me and if he could remember, a good night from him !.

  126. VCC says:

    GLiC…you can see us on you tube…..www.onedirection.cock.uk.

  127. VCC says:

    We are known locally as the three Johnies…=

    John Thomas
    John Hampton
    John (that’s me)

  128. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning 🙂

    Aim to issue a post around 3pm today.

  129. henrychan says:

    Hi guys.. Sorry for my late updating..
    As you may already knew that Jakarta (our capital city) had been attacked by heavy flood.. hehehe.. Water everywhere.. Too embarrassing to say.. Periodically dissaster every 5 years.. hiks..3x..

    I must agreed with Wenger that the Referee has stoled our game..
    Mata’s goal must be canceled.. because Ramires foul on Coquelin before that..
    And Ramires also dived for penalty..

    It a very hard night.. Not only because we lost.. but also because we are in the same point with everton and Liverpool..
    Wednesdsay game again WHU will be double important for us.. We will not lose or draw..
    If we want to realase from ‘january curse’.. because Liverpool also getting stronger…

    And Hope Wenger could find the right man in this soon ended – transfer windows..

    @VCC.. You didn’t miscalculating the point.. did you..??
    Draw is 2 points and Away win is 3 points isn’t it..??
    I picked 2 away win for Arsenal and MU.. and non one of them were correct..??

  130. Red Arse says:

    Good Morning All, 🙂

    Oz’s pre-match was soooo good I reread it this morning and enjoyed it just as much as I did yesterday!!

    The Boy’s a genius!!! 😀

  131. glic says:

    Morning Bone Zones 😆

    Shame Arsenal`s performances are not as good as Ozzies pre-matches !.

    Now listen here AFC, a few of us on here have been defending you with promises that the future is bright, so in a couple of years time ( the season after next, not even 2 years !. ) I dont want any of these inept shabby performances we`ve been having over this current season and expect us to be in the top two every season forever, so dont let me down, otherwise I will have to call you….Bastards !.

  132. glic says:

    I fear Ozzies performances are so good that we may lose him in the TW to one of the Clungechester clubs or Barca !.

  133. TotalArsenal says:

    New post – New POST 🙂

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