Aston Villa preview: five demands of our players + predicted line-up

Will Arsene and Steve have prepared the troops well mentally?

Will Arsene and Steve have prepared the troops well mentally?

Only the uber-optimists will not feel a bit down at the moment. It has been a tough week for us Gooners with our FA-cup exit and an almost certain CL-exit in the space of just four days. Best not to talk about these games anymore and move on to tomorrow’s game against Villa.

We are desperate for a shot in the arms and a home game against Villa should provide us with a good platform for it. However, Lambert managed to get a result against us at home last year with Norwich City, and after Aston Villa’s win against West Ham in their last PL game, they will feel they at least have a chance against us; and if Blackburn can beat us, then they could do it too.

Five demands of our players tomorrow:

  1. Focus: I want to see our team fully concentrated and focussed from the start tomorrow. No more silly defensive mistakes. Somebody needs to be the clear leader at the back and the rest need to follow suit. We have good defenders and now it is time to raise the level of organisation and professionalism between them.
  2. Pressing from the start: when I watched us against Blackburn, I had that horrible feeling from the start that the team were not in the game somehow. We need a high tempo with lots of pressing of our opponents: not half-heartedly going through the motions, or having difficulties in ‘finding each other’.
  3. Taking our chances: we have not been scoring anywhere near enough goals recently; scoring only five goals in total in our last five games (all competitions) is not good enough. Yet, we produce plenty of opportunities and I would like to see the likes of Theo, Giroud, Podolksi and Cazorla being a lot more prolific tomorrow. If we do manage to score an early goal, which is well overdue, we need to push on by keeping up the tempo and gunning for more goals.
  4. A step improvement in our passing game:  I often hear fellow Gooners complaining about us passing the ball too much. I, for one, would like Arsenal to improve their passing game, but definitely not reduce it. Too often the ball is played to a fellow player who is surrounded by one or more opposition players and nobody goes and helps. I would like us to’ gel’ a lot better and be a close unit, and play the familiar triangles again on Saturday; with a high tempo and with full intent to penetrate the opposition’s box constantly. We have missed the confidence, intent and invention to do this recently, and it needs to return again tomorrow.
  5. Passion. Enough said.

Predicted line-up against Aston Villa:

Arsenal v Villa

A win tomorrow will not take away all the disappointment of the recent cup exit(s), but it will restore a bit of faith and hope that we can still finish the season on a high.

Come On you Rip Roaring Gunners!

Written by: Total Arsenal.

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178 Responses to Aston Villa preview: five demands of our players + predicted line-up

  1. Milo says:

    I think Rosicky deserves a start. Have him in the playmaker’s role, have Jack a bit deeper and put Santi on the right. Tomas and Jack really drive the attack forward and take it to the opposition.

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Jack in the hole for me, Milo. I like Rosicky and would like to see him start tomorrow, but I don’t think he is in Wenger first-eleven plans anymore.

  3. Milo says:

    Yeah, I know you are right 😦 He was our best player against Blackburn though, and didn’t shame himself when he came on against Bayern. I thought we attacked with a lot more urgency when he came on the pitch. I think he’s worth a go, but I doubt Wenger would actually do it 😦

  4. TotalArsenal says:


    I am really suprised how little Rosicky has featured this season – could he have fallen out with Wenger?

  5. VCC says:

    I think Wenger will start with Giroud up front tomorrow. The rest of the team, who knows?

  6. VCC says:

    Total, I need your 5 selections please you scoundrel. 😉

  7. Milo says:

    Possible, but the press would be right on that if he did,I would imagine…not one word about it really. He MIGHT be a bit miffed that he has only been offered a one year contract, but I thought he signed for two years, last season??? Correct me if I am wrong on that one!!!

    I think it’s just that Wenger doesn’t want to start him because he feels he isn’t better than Jack or Santi as the playmaker, and he isn’t better than Cazorla on the left-wing. I don’t think he could play the wing anymore either, but I feel Jack is best when he is given the room to run at opposition defenses, or organizing the play form deep. Put him too far up the pitch and it’s harder to find space in which to run at the opponent??? I don’t know, I’d love to see a midfield of Diaby, Jack, and Tomas with Cazorla cutting in from the wing. That would make a lot of sense to me…

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    UMF predictions: Norwich, QPR, Reading, West Brom, West Ham ALL draws 🙂

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    You only have to ask hahaha 😛

  10. Milo says:

    Later boys. I’m gonna be on this when it’s about 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning for you because I live in Canada, which is about 6-8 hours behind England??? Not sure…

  11. VCC says:

    Cheers Total. Off to bed now, nite nite all. Catch you all in the morning. Sweet dreams.

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    Milo. Jack wears the nr10 shirt for a reason. I can see where you are coming from, and once we get a beast of a DM, it could work really well. But I feel when he plays next to Arteta he is sucked into defending too much, which leaves a gap between midfield and attack currently.

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Night Vickers, catch you later Milo 🙂

  14. William says:

    I expect AV to play anti soccer. If Wenger goes Kami kaze on the attack as usual,don’t be surprised he will lose. He played the same way against red faced in the leae and cl sf .When the attack broke down a swift counter and Ronaldo and the ugly brit bul dog had all the space in the world to pick the spot and score.
    So don’t be surprised the defnce will concede agin. It all boiled down to Wenger.Sometimes a dictator has to be ruthless ly exiled and baniished for good.

  15. Samantha says:

    Santi on the wing is a complete waste. Should put JW10 where Diaby is and Santi as CAM. Theo on the right and Poldi on the left with Giroud in front. That has been our most effective lineup thus far.

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Samantha, I reckon Jack is a far better CAM than Santi in our 4-2-1-3 system. He drives the team forward and safeguards our shape really well, whilst Santi is predominantly looking at getting in scoring/shooting range. For me, the Spaniard can do that also on the wing, but we need Jack to drive and shape our team. If we would have a very solid DM, I would like us to play 4-1-2-3 with both Jack and Santi in the two, or Jack and Ox, or Ox and Santi, or Santi and Rosicky etc. But for now JW10 is the CAM for me.

  17. Milo says:

    I agree that ideally, we would want a defensive midfielder capable of holding down the opposition while the other two central midfielders attack. I don’t know if Wenger will buy anyone though.

    Jack was given the number 10 for a reason, but he is so versatile that I wouldn’t let a squad number limit what he can offer to the club. I still think his best position is coming from deep, where he can either organize play, like Xavi, or run at opponents from a distance like Iniesta. He really is good enough to be able to do both jobs. When he gets older, he will have to either play in a more advanced position or a more withdrawn position, but while he is still young, why not make use of both of his talents??? 😀

    Night guys…we better win tomorrow!!!

  18. henrychan says:

    Morning all..
    It’s time to play 4-1-2-3..
    Jenkinson – Kosc – Verm – Nacho
    Willshere – Rosicky
    Walcott – Giroud – Cazorla..

    I agree with Milo and VCC..
    I think the SWAT (Santi Cazorla – Willshere – Arteta – Tomas Rosicky).. must give a try..
    Again Munchen they did fine.. just didn’t have enough time..
    Although they don’t play 4-4-2 with SWAT in the middle.. but Cazorla as a LW seem okay..
    and We need Kosc to stop Benteke.. Mertesacker can’t do it..

  19. alexgunners says:

    Hi to all Fellow BK’ers,


    Tough game later on, and i think that it will be a challenge for us due to the 2 defeats in the last two games. It will be interesting to see the mindset of the players and who will stand up and be counted. I agree with you TA in the sense that we need to be focused, get a great start (perhaps an early goal to calm the nerves) and of course passion.

    In terms of your line up i would not play Santi on the right. Lets get Theo there with Santi sitting just behind Giroud. As for Diaby, he had a good influence in games before his last injury but i dont believe that he will ever be the player he was supposed to be. Let Jack play there instead with Rosicky just in front of Mikel and JW10.

    I just hope for a team performance as we only have this to concentrate on and we must make every game count. No Excuses!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Sorry for the late predictions, Here they are:

    Gunners (H)
    Everton (A)
    ManUre (A)
    Man$hitty (H)
    Barcodes (H)


  20. Jamesofsouthwales says:

    I agree Wilshere needs to be in the hole more than Santi but what about giving the Ox a go there, we saw what he did to milan. Santi has become very side to side with his passing ( prob down to tiredness and a drop in confidence) slowing our attacks down. The only problem for me is playing Arteta and Diaby together again Arteta has become very very side to side with his passing is slow to recover in defence and lacking in confidence and Diaby the same but Diaby tends holds the ball for far too long. For those reasons I would persevere with Rambo there the foreign lads don’t seem to have the will to do anything for the win and Ramsey has impressed me of late especially with his recovery to help the defence ( as long as the centre backs communicate with him ).

    What do you think of this team:


    Jenkinson- Kos – TV – Nacho

    —— Ramsey – Wilshere ——


    –Walcott – Giroud – Podolski —

    For me we need more fight than grace at the moment and Jack and Aaron give that whether they play well or badly. Remember how we purred over them as a partnership when we beat UTD a few seasons back at the Emirates they destroyed Carrick and Spotty Scott we should allow this partnership to develop.

    Then the forward 4 Theo and Lukas have to start working off and using Giroud as well as just whipping balls in for him. The prolem is our wide men don’t come inside enough to link with Giroud, all the times this season I’ve seen theo and Lukas do this they have scored more of the same today please boys.

    Then the Ox, I think this boy will thrive with Giroud to work off in front of him and Wilshere and Ramsey creating behind him. Alex like jack is good on the ball an intelligent passer and can drive at the defence with ball at feet. But there is one added bonus he has over Wilshere, that shot when on target he scores time for Wenger to give this boy a try in the hole.

    I built this team to press and push the team back into the final third (with fear of what mighthappen if we counter). Then there’s the option normally we look like we have one idea “pass and pass till we score”, this team can pass and pass as well as whip the ball in, lay the ball off to shoot, play the ball into the channels and link with the target man pitty I’m not the guy piling the team today because I’m confident this team would do a lot of damage to any team.

  21. Gerry says:

    Sorry guys, I am busy, busy, today, so I will be brief(-ish), because I am pinching something I posted elsewhere. Sorry, I cite Redder’s as my precedent.

    I think the suggested line up is far too attack minded against a youngish Villa side that will use pace as their main offensive weapon?

    So my alternative line up is this, from midfield up;

    Rosicky for Diaby, but with Jack staying deep with Arteta as the DM pairing.

    The Ox for Santi, on the right, too drop back and support Jenks, as well as give pace in attack.

    Giroud for Poldi, and Theo on the left, on paper at least.

    Formation would be a 4-4-1-1 when in possession, and a 5-3-1-1 when defending, and with Giroud probably dropping deeper than Theo.

    Jack will have to be more selective in his drives forwards. instead, turn defense in to attack by getting the ball quickly to Rosicky ,or the Ox and Nacho on the wings .. hence the need to stay deep to hold up any counter attacks?

    We should have learnt from the Bayern game that it is pace from defense to attack that opens up opportunities. And equally important to get back id defensive shape quickly!

    Strong bench too, with Caz and Poldi available for more attacking options, and Diaby and Ramsey to hold what we have? I am guessing we may not see any fresh faces on the bench because of the Next Gen matches, but it would be nice if Gnabry or Akpom were there if we are in a strong position late on?

    I’ll catch up around mid-day, okay.

  22. VCC says:

    Alex….thanks for your selections…your odds are = 20-1

    I’m still waiting for =
    Red Arse

    Get your fingers out please guys.

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning all 🙂

    Please note the line up is my predicted one, not my favourite one. Favourite is 4-4-2 with Giroud and Theo up-front, and Pod – Jack – Arteta – Cazorla in midfield.

    VCC, I submitted my prediction last-night amigo! 🙂

  24. VCC says:

    ok . I’ll go back and find it, cheers.

  25. VCC says:

    Total your odds are 649-1.

    I’m still waiting for Red Arse, PPP, Oz. If they don’t respond before KO today I will draw their selections out of the hat.

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    Good idea Vickers 🙂

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    Good points about Jack, Milo: he is totally versatile, but the man in the hole is Arsene’s most important position, and Jack and Tomas can play there equally well. However, Tomas is not getting the nod anymore…

  28. VCC says:

    Viagara is now available in tea bags

    It doesn’t enhance your sexual performance, but it does stop your biscuit going soft.

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Henry,

    Just as well you did not put Theo in your SWAT mix, otherwise you would be swearing (which is very unlike you!) 😛

    Happy to see Mertesacker out and Koz in, but will it happen… that is the question..

  30. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Gday BKrs. How are we all? 🙂

    Great pre-match Total. You are totally correct in your/our demand on our players, but these demands should not only be for our game with the Villains but also every game here on in. In fact, when reading over again these are the minimum demands that should have been put in place once our squad became settled, but for one reason or another many players have slackened off.

    -Focus is something we have lacked until we have either conceded or started the 2nd half.
    -Pressing is one thing this team lacks completely and i am yet to see us master this, even if only for a certain period in a game.
    -Taking our chances. Hmm, this may or may not have alot to do with confidence. I always feel that if we put an early goal away, the confidence goes sky high that we would and have in the past gone on to score many more and be rampant in attack.
    -Steep improvement in our passing. Yes please, i agree. I think our passing game is lacking and lacking badly. I cant remember a team under Wenger that has been so error prone when it comes to passing. Ok, its given that this team is new to each other and the telepathy is yet to be ressurected but it also has a little to do with the confidence issue again. On a side note, have you noticed when we kick off (be it 1st or 2nd half) the ball gets passed back to one of our centre halves (Kozz or TV) only for it to be hoofed upfield towards the sideline. Im not kidding, this has happened from every kick off this season (keep an eye on it tonight)…maybe its a confidence issue again, but under Wenger and in trying to play and achieve Wengerball, it looks SO novice. grrr
    -Passion. If it could be bought in a transfer window, id be singing “spend some f**king money”. Barring a few players, we miss this badly. Maybe this has to do with the changing landscape in world football where players are mercenaries rather than ‘soldiers for the cause’. or players dont care for the supporters or their employers after hearing the echoes of boos. I dont know, but what i do know is that, without it we will come short for a top 4 spot.

    People can say what they want about Gallas, but he cried for Arsenal, not for himself but for our club. He was a leader on the field (off the field is another kettle of fish) and maybe TV5 could watch and learn from a few videos in the archives.

    Again, thanks for the pre-match Total and lets get the 3 points against the Villains. Hopefully create some momentum for the run-in and develop some much needed confidence and passion.

    Come on You RIP ROARING GUNNERS indeed!!!!!!

  31. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Hi VCC, how you doing champ? Hope your seeing better days. 🙂

    UMF predictions:-

    Fulham v Stoke= draw
    Shitty v Chelski= draw 🙂
    Reading v Wigan=draw
    West Ham v Pond life= draw 🙂
    Manchester urinated fc= away win 😦

  32. VCC says:

    Prince, can I have your 5 selections please,

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    More of this today boys, please!!!

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi PPP 🙂

    How are you rockin? Have you had a few Freddies yet? 😀

    I know these points are not rocket science and agreed they should be in place for every game. Mid-way through the season, there are really very few excuses left for not adhering to them every single game.

  35. Red Arse says:

    Good Morning all who blog on the good ship, BK. 🙂

    I love the look of that team, TA, even with my reservations about Theo (much better on the wing), but AW might shake things up and surprise us. 🙂

    We need to be cautious and not take Villa for granted. If they get away from us early on, things could go badly wrong because of our lack of confidence after recent losses.

    Hope I can get a decent stream this p.m.

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    PPP. I will keep an eye on the way we kick-off our halves, now you have pointed it out!

  37. Red Arse says:

    VCC, 🙂

    As you lot are hopeless with making good predictions for me, I offer you my own selections!

    Fulham v Stoke = draw
    Reading v Wigan = draw
    West Brom v Sunderland = Draw
    QPR v Manure = Away win (sorry, Victoria) 🙂
    Norwich v Everton = Away win

    I am keeping strictly away from Arsenal — don’t want to bugger up a home win!!!! 🙂

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Redders 🙂

    I think Wenger will want to try Theo up-front again, but I have my reservations as well. Today could finish in a loss, a heavy win, or a draw: it is utterly unpredictable in my view, and you are right: if the Villans score first we could be in big pile of steaming pooh. 😕

  39. VCC says:

    Red Arse you illusive pimpernel, can I have you 5 please.

  40. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Hi Total,
    Ive given up on the freddies for a while. Yeah, i know, i know, nobody likes a quitter 😉 haha but a few things in my life have taken a priority. I will email you as soon as i get a few minutes of quiet time, as it has also taken away from my blogging responsibilities 😦

    In regards to the kick off, ive taped everygame this season on my ‘foxtel’ box or what i believe you guys have as ‘sky’? I noticed this a few weeks back and then kept my eye out in our next game. Shock horror, i saw a repeat of this non-sensical tactic which made me go through our whole season and it seems to be a reccurring thing. Knowing my luck, it will not happen tonight and the boys will make me out to be a liar, in which case i will say that the Proffessor has adressed the issue 😀

  41. VCC says:

    cheers guys.

    PPP odds = 215-1
    Red Arse odds = 142-1

    Good luck all

  42. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    YAY, Redders is back to competing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now my victory in the final stretch will have some merit. Mind you, if luck has anything to do with it- im stuffed. Recently i was put in a barrel full of nipples, only to come out sucking my thumb. Now that is my luck!!

  43. TotalArsenal says:

    PPP, the first thing Le Professeur does in the morning is check BK 😉

    You are a great blogger, PPP, and your input and presence are missed when you are not around. An embargo on Freddies.. sounds serious then! 😦

    I would just blame those damn hot summers in your corner of the earth!

  44. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    I think ‘Ivan Milat’ (the outback kidnapper) has taken Oz hostage somewhere in the desert. If you would like, i can try predict 5 of the best for his trully? your call mate…..

  45. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Alex, agreed with a lot you are saying. I was trying to predict Arsene’s line-up, but it is not necessarily my favourite one. However, I prefer Jack the lone CAM position in our current formation. 🙂

  46. TotalArsenal says:

    James of SW, what a great addition to the side you are! No surprise you are flogging Ramsey to us hahaha! 😛

    Agreed with a lot you are saying. Ox could be a revelation up-front with Giroud, but then I would want us to play 4-4-2, as I reckon the gap between our two ‘DM’s’ and Ox would quickly be too big, and I cannot see Ox holding on to it like say Jack, Santi or Rosicky can.

    The problem is every time Arsene makes such a ‘big’ chance we seem to be lacking the necessary automatisms again, and a lot of effort and energy gets lost through miscommunication.

    I based my predicted line-up on what I reckon Arsene will do today. However, Diaby has to play again and get back to his very best: he is the ideal box to box midfielder if in form. I like Ramsey too, but Diaby is better defensively and in term of holding on to the ball and making the penetrating, Vieira-esque runs. I feel Jack is waisted next to Arteta to a large extent, unless Rosicky is played in-front of him.

    Anyway, I like your line-up and would like to see it today, but I don’t think Arsene is going to play the Ox in the hole.

  47. VCC says:

    Red Arse, try this one

  48. VCC says:

    Prince. That’s a great idea for your fellow Aussie. please submit them asap.

  49. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry, Gerry, Gerry, far too attack minded?! Really?! Three midfielders who can all defend and Pod and Santi who will track back, and just the one striker up-front – not too attack minded at all in my view.

    I don’t know why you think Ox would give more defensive support than Santi: they are both not great at it, but they will do an ok job, and with three midfielders with good defensive qualities, we can afford at least one attack-minded player on the wing.

    Other than that, I agree with your some of your thought-processes, but I was predicting today’s line-up and not posting my ideal one! 🙂

  50. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    OZ’s UMF predictions:-

    the Arsenal= home win
    Wigan= away win
    Naarich v Toffees= draw
    Barcodes v Soton= draw
    WBA v Boring O’neill= draw

  51. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Who changed the font 😕

    I refuse to wear glasses before i hit my half century

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    Am trying things out PPP, bare with me amigo, bare with me! 🙂

  53. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Your worse than the proffessor, Total 🙄

    You must sort these things out before the season commences, not in the run-in 😉
    But, i still have faith in you Total, im sure you will work it out.

    In Clogs we trust!

  54. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    I like this one. Just an opinion

  55. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers PPP 🙂

    At start of season there was no BK, btw! 😛

  56. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    I must have been on the freddies back then 😀

  57. VCC says:

    cheers Prince

    Oz selection odds are 159-1

  58. Jamesofsouthwales says:

    Completely agree with you The Ox would be abit lost in a 4-4-2 unless he plays wide or we play a 4-4-1-1 but in our current system he would be great. But your right about not changing things too much, the time for experimenting is up we need to get cracking with the systems we use now and reform in the summer.

    I really think its about time we gave Cazorla a well earned rest and with Rosicky looking like giving us abit of form, I’d rather he starts especially against Villa who are 4th bottom. Diaby is key but he needs to start watching the videos of the start of the season and stop being so well ….. French lol, give and go is his strength and when he gets into 5th gear he’s unstoppable.

    I don’t understand why but I feel Arteta has lost his mojo and its showing in his play. He seems to have become too safe with his passing so for that reason I think it may be best we drop him to the bench. Then if we can get 2-0 up bring him on to steady things and control possession for us.

    I’m hoping for a backlash from the boys today they have got a lot of stick from the media , the last two weeks in particular 4-1 to the gooners today 😉

  59. Red Arse says:

    Vicky Victoria,

    Oops — I have just had a sign – as soon as I typed your name the font changed back!! 🙂

    We might need to have a re-think of the UMF points scoring for next season.

    Someone picking a ‘draw’ gets three points, whereas, after much deliberation, a genius could pick 3 matches for a home win and only get the same number points.

    That means the smart asses doing a blanket 5 draws only need 2 correct guesses to beat someone with 5 correct home win predictions.

    Could be an idea; we should leave the home and away win points as they are, with a bonus 2 points for all 5 correct; and a nil nil draw should be 1 point, and a score draw will get 2 points.

    Current system:

    5 * home wins = 5 points
    5 * away wins = 10 points
    5 * draw = 15 points

    [or whatever combination]

    New system:

    5 * home wins = 5 points + 2 bonus points for all correct = 7 points
    5 * away wins = 10 points (no bonus) = 10 points
    5 * no score draw = 5 points + 2 bonus points for all correct = 7 points
    5 * score draw = 15 points ( no bonus points) = 15

    [or whatever combination]

    The new system rewards those taking a chance with ‘away wins’, ‘or score draws’, but the ‘all correct’ bonus points for the ‘home wins’ and ‘no score draws’ predictions helps to smooth out the distortions against those doing a ‘blanket draw’ predictions, which is the case at present.

    What do you think?

  60. Gerry says:

    TA – I get it that you are looking into the mind of Arsene Wenger for your above line up, whereas I am looking for a more ‘ideal line-up’ for this match.

    However, I don’t see AW thrusting Jack up behind Giroud and Theo, if that is not too close to being a ‘glic-ism’?

    If you do that then who links the midfield with the front players? Ramsey, better of late, but still veers towards a sideways/back pass, and Arteta does it on a routine basis, all in the good name of keeping possession?, If Diaby plays as he has been, whilst defensively strong, he too can ‘dawdle’ a little too much?

    I concur with the above comments, which I did not have time to read this morning, that with Jack getting hold of the ball in deeper position, particularly if it is a turnover ball, one quick drop of the shoulder and he’s turned it around in a flash. If Rosicky is ‘in the hole’, and hopefully in space, he can run, pass, and move, without Jack running out of options high up the pitch?

    Santi, I don’t think has the speed to get back behind Jenks, or even stop it being passed around the pair of them? Yes, he is great at nicking the ball high up the pitch, but I don’t see him getting stuck in around the corner flag either?

    Another thing, players who played in midweek may well be fired up to make amends, but so too will those like the Giroud, Ox, and Rosicky who missed out?

    Whether AW is bold enough to drop Santi, is another thing. However, I do think he will look to freshen it up with those who are keen to show something. No surprise if Coquelin started for example, but we shall see very shortly?

  61. VCC says:

    Red Arse…..I’m so chuffed that you and others are still showing commitment and enjoy the fun of the UMF !.

    Im open to any suggestions, and in fact have tweaked it a couple of times since we started. I only run it and keep data, its eveybodys toy, as I say Im so pleased it appears guys are still enjoying it too.

    I will keep those ideas and perhaps at the end of the season we can pick all ideas and tweak them to suit everybody.

    The only thing I would like is whoever wants to start, they enter their selections in good time for me to enter on data excel sheet.

  62. TotalArsenal says:

    Congrats Vickers, you jus wrote the 12500th comment on BK 🙂

    PPP 🙂

    Gerry, I get back to you soon.

    Redders, I have updated the ‘Red Arse Posts’ page above. Now you can quickly read back your post and anybody wanting to read your great stuff can do so with only two clicks! 😛

  63. TotalArsenal says:


    Will get back to you soon too.

    90 minutes till kick-off. COME ON YOU GUNNERS!!!!

  64. VCC says:

    woweeeeeee. 12500th . does that mean Im in the hall of fame?

  65. TotalArsenal says:

    Eternally, Vickers!

  66. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    You already were Victorious. Where as, Glic can be found down the hall of the local looney bin 😆

    Redders, great ideas for the UMF. We could just keep the points system as is, and add 5 bonus points for getting all 5 correct. Im sure by seasons end, everybody will have an idea to add. 🙂

  67. VCC says:

    Red Arse and PPP. again thanks for your input.

    Would you believe that since we have been going, no one has forecasted all five correct in the same week!

    PPP is the only one to achieve double figures, but that is with a 6 predictor.

    My take on the 3 points for a draw is = If players are falling behind they take more chance and select more draws to catch up, whereas they might not necessarily have selected the same forecasts.

  68. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Can somebody please give me an update on weather conditions in North London. I believe i heard that it was lightly snowing earlier in the day. True?

  69. Red Arse says:

    PPP, 🙂

    It was ‘pretty’ snow. The sort you would see in a picture painting, but it was not settling, and has now stopped.

    I live North of London, within 20 miles or so of the centre, and it is usually colder out here in the sticks, but much the same overall. Across the river in South London it can be different but there are no problems with the game. 🙂

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    10/11 – Giroud instead of Pod with Theo and Santi on the wings and Super-Jack in the hole! 🙂

    Arsenal Team
    Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal, Arteta, Diaby, Wilshere, Walcott, Giroud, Cazorla

    Subs: Mannone, Koscielny, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Gervinho, Podolski

    Aston Villa Team
    Guzan, Lowton, Clark, Baker, Bennett, Westwood, Delph, Agbonlahor, Weimann, N’Zogbia, Benteke

    Subs: Marshall, El Ahmadi, Holman, Sylla, Bowery, Dawkins, Lichaj

  71. TotalArsenal says:

    Just one defender on the bench… but a decent bench in terms of attacking options

  72. VCC says:

    I’m approx. 20 miles from the Emirates PPP. It’s flakey snow and bitterly cold.

  73. Red Arse says:


    I think that is a good idea, and as PPP has said, others might have some good ideas too.

    It is possible to take a mathematical/odds attitude to the predictions as if there was betting/money on it, (which I used to do) but it is much more fun backing your hunch without being penalised with a points system distorted by a very small data base.

  74. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi James 4-1 would be briLLIANT! 🙂

  75. TotalArsenal says:


    For me, Jack needs to play in the hole as per reasons given in various comments: he drives, structures, and is the best through-baller of them all, and next to Arteta he gets sucked into the (underperforming) defense too much. Free him up and let Diaby do the link-up stuff – and if Abou cannot do it this season, he will never be able to do it at all. Time to deliver now!

  76. alexgunners says:

    Good Evening Guys,

    Here we go, almost approaching KO time. Looks like a good line up and lets hope for a great performance

  77. VCC says:

    Red Arse. Im on that web site at the moment watching sky sports and it is working well. Usually good for the game. My local is not showing the Arsenal game so I will be watching it on computer.

    Every now and again you need to click on the tiny x that appears on the screen. A little bit of a pain but you still get to see the game. Good Luck

  78. alexgunners says:


    If you are looking for another feed try

    I have used it in the past and generally it is pretty good

  79. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Cheers for the weather update Redders and VCC.
    Beautiful snow on a bitterly cold day. Nothing like a few early goals for the greatest team in the universe to warm our hearts and ease our minds 😉

    Total, with 10/11 again. Mighty impressive…. move over Steve Bould. 🙂


  80. alexgunners says:


    Where in OZ are you?
    I also liked the comment on Ivan Milat

  81. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Hi Alex, did you get any sleep before kick off? Or are you an eager beaver like myself?

  82. alexgunners says:

    I only sleep once the game is over, never before. Lets just call it nervous tension before a match

  83. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    hahaha. Wrote a msg at the same time as you. Im in Sydney now. I was in Perth and then Melbourne a few years back. Some people say that ‘ i know how to get around’ but they are all jealous. How is Melbourne?

  84. VCC says:

    Alex 14:41. Thanks very much. Your a star.

  85. alexgunners says:

    VCC, Youre welcome.

    PPP, Melbourne is still Damn Hot, sick and tired of sleeping with the air con on.
    Had a stretch of 13 days of over 30 degree weather. It’s all great working indoors but outdoors is a real pain in the ass

  86. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    So much for predicting a draw. Damn you Berbatov and more so Walters for the penalty miss. (must be a record for penalty misses in a season) 👿

  87. VCC says:

    catch you latter guys. Off to see the game…..COYG

  88. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Outdoors jobs often gives you a day off, especially with Melbourne weather. I do flooring, so i never get days off. 😦

    Right, catch you all at half time. I used to comment during games but i fear that everything i have done till now is a jinx. Cant help how i feel.

  89. alexgunners says:

    Here we go guys

  90. alexgunners says:

    We never stop, rain or heat. Jobs have to be done. We are non union based so no stop work for hot days.

    Catch you guys at half time

  91. alexgunners says:


  92. Highbury Harmony says:

    SANTI!!! Jack assist 🙂

  93. Highbury Harmony says:

    Arteta needs to leave the field, he’s had like 4 turnovers already

  94. alexgunners says:

    we started off so well and now we are struggling to get a shot at all

  95. TotalArsenal says:

    Only managed to get a bit of streaming towards the end. Good to read your comments on here, Alex and HH. 🙂

  96. VCC says:

    Arteta is struggling. He cannot find a red shirt. We need to sub him before it gets costly

  97. TotalArsenal says:

    By the looks of it Diaby is having a decent game at the moment.

  98. VCC says:

    good start, but now gone into our crab like style again.

  99. TotalArsenal says:

    Yeah but no but, I take a 1-0 lead at half time, hopefully we will see another good 2nd half now. 🙂

  100. alexgunners says:

    defensively we are not looking great. We are lacking cohesion on the final third as well.
    Too many passes instead of tasking a shot and too many misunderstandings between our players as well.

    It is really bad to see all those empty seats around the stadium. Judging from the atmosphere it is very quiet and the fans are not confident at all

  101. VCC says:

    Total, I think its the type of game that Rosicky could thrive on. Plenty of space in midfield to press forward and go past people. Take Arteta off Rosicky on.

    Giroud looks average again. Far too slow to react all the time.

  102. alexgunners says:

    Diaby seems to be lost a bit in midfield and is not chasing back enough. The last few games which Diaby has played, he has not covered the space between our defenders and midfielders

  103. alexgunners says:

    Agreed, bring Rosicky on

  104. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers VCC and Alex, my stream keeps breaking up for a few seconds at a time, so really hard to judge any of the players.

  105. alexgunners says:

    how is your stream?

  106. alexgunners says:
  107. VCC says:

    Alex good thank you

  108. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Im so very glad that Silent Stan has come to town, and to see a lot of empty seats. Ok, its disappointing but i hope Stan soon realises the he should not take the Arsenal lightly. Thats it for the politics.

    In regards to the game, im stoked we got the early goal, as i thought it would settle us a little, and it has, well the crowd at least. The team seems a little on edge with many stray passes from more than four individuals. 😦

    I cant complain though, otherwise i would sound like my mother when i was at school. I once brought home a result of 96/100 in commerce and she turned and said “What happened to the other 4 marks?” ….Sheesh, that was a real boost of confidence……NOT.

    We can and WILL do this.

    Come on you great Gunners!!

  109. Highbury Harmony says:

    I’m using that stream as well alex, but unfortunately I have dog intermissions breaking up my stream haha. I’m dog sitting for my neighbour and he’s following me around everywhere and has figured out that if he looks at me with his big eyes and tilts his head, he can get me to do anything. I’ve gone on two walks in the first half of the game already…

  110. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    look for the ‘nutjob tv’ link. its in english.
    damn, i wish i knew how to paste the link

  111. alexgunners says:

    Perfect time to give the dog some beer and knock him out a bit, at least until the game is over

  112. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Guys, we lead the league in 2nd half performances and results. Please be happy we went into the break with a lead 😉

    VCC, agree Rosicky for Arteta and slot Jack back into DM. Poldi must be licking his lips and itching to come on

  113. alexgunners says:

    Its time for Poldi, Agreed

  114. alexgunners says:

    Diaby injured again. Time to cut our losses. Unfortunately it will never happen for diaby

  115. Highbury Harmony says:

    I really hope Diaby isn’t injured again, please be precautionary!

  116. alexgunners says:

    Any opinions on Giroud today?

  117. Highbury Harmony says:

    Mediocre from what I’ve seen. He always seems to be a step off the pace of everything; crosses, shooting on goal, his lay-offs etc.

  118. Highbury Harmony says:

    Very clear we need a better striker though

  119. alexgunners says:

    OMG, as i said defensively we are so poor at the moment, it will cost us more points. Villa has just shown how easily we are carved. 1-1

  120. Highbury Harmony says:

    That was AWFUL by Szczesny

  121. alexgunners says:

    Szczesny should have done better

  122. alexgunners says:

    FFS, why has it taken so long to bring Poldi in???

    Always too late to salvage the game. F$#@ing 70th minute substitutions

  123. Highbury Harmony says:

    Is Ramsey moving to RB? Why did we take off Jenkinson?

  124. alexgunners says:

    Looks like it

  125. Highbury Harmony says:

    Giroud has no finish, he misses free headers every game

  126. alexgunners says:


  127. alexgunners says:

    Poldi should have really scored moments earlier

  128. Highbury Harmony says:

    Santi Cazorlaaaaa

  129. Highbury Harmony says:

    Nacho assist!!!

  130. VCC says:

    that was hard work. Off to watch the rugby.

  131. VCC says:

    HH 16:40. That’s because he is second rate

  132. alexgunners says:

    In my view, that was a dreadful performance, we looked like a team that had never played together. Very lucky to have come away with the result. Santi, what a legend!
    Nacho played well as so did Jack despite the fact that his early passes dis miss the targets.
    SZCZ needs to do better, Defensively we were all over the place.
    Poldi needs to be given a chance up front as Giroud was not good at all.

  133. Highbury Harmony says:

    VCC, another awful week for in the UMF…Norwich scored late! NOOO!

  134. Highbury Harmony says:

    for me*

  135. Gerry says:

    I can see I shall have to dumb down Cazorla more often if he is going to produce performances like that?

    Well done TA – Good call.

  136. TotalArsenal says:

    What you mean ‘oh no’, HH – that is brilliant for us! Forget about the UMF – the league is what really matters! 😈

  137. Highbury Harmony says:

    Three very important points today, edging closer and closer!

  138. Highbury Harmony says:

    Haha very true TA, forgot that an Everton draw would have put them ahead of us! I thought Everton were 2 points behind us for some odd reason?

  139. Highbury Harmony says:

    Could have fooled me, Glic seems to take the UMF league very seriously!

  140. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:


    Told you guys we would win, but to be honest i was more trying to comfort myself. That was really painful to watch, and in the last 5-10 min i think i sweat out half the amazon. Still, a win is a win and we are only 1 point outside of fourth with the Toffees dropping points.

    Come on West Ham, do us a favour and we will give you Chamack……FOR FREE 😀

  141. TotalArsenal says:

    I thought we played well, at least in 2nd half. Giroud and Theo badly out of form at the moment, and how did the Pod miss that chance: look like a sitter to me. I cannot believe that Villa still managed to score one, although they did work their break really well. Szczesny…. need to look again but it looked like he should have saved that one.

    Jack – Nacho – Cazorla worked a bit of magic in the end and well done Nacho for the quality pull back and Cazorla for low, placed finish (how many would have blasted that one??). Top stuff.

    Very important three points: we either get two points closer to the Chavs and Citeh, or three points closer to one of them (hoping it will be the Chavs).

  142. TotalArsenal says:

    HH they were two points behind us and that is now five, which makes a big difference at this stage in the league!

  143. Highbury Harmony says:

    Very big difference indeed TA, was slow in updating the table! It showed Everton at 45 hahaha, I was so confused!

  144. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Gerry, I guess Cazorla is basically given a free role on the wing and that seemed to suit him well today.

  145. TotalArsenal says:

    Chamakh for free hahaha PPP 🙂

  146. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Based on the last few performances, Sczezny should be given a breather. The problem is that we have no confidence in our substitute keepers. I feel for Mannone, he must be thinking “what do i have to do to get a break around here”. It seems like only injury will displace WS, and that in my eyes is wrong and sends the wrong message to all our keepers.

  147. alexgunners says:

    Time to head to bed. A win is a win but after today i am unconvinced.
    of course i will accept the points but we have to somehow improve our performances.

    Good night to all

  148. TotalArsenal says:

    All agreed PPP and Alex 🙂

    A win is a win, but we there is still a lot of work to be done!

    Sleep well chaps 🙂

  149. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    I bet you missed our kick off? Sadly it was the same thing with TV5 hoofing the ball out to a midget like Theo, and shows no confidence for a ‘posession’ team like us. Can you remember a team under Wenger that plays the ball so much in the air? Its not our style, and if it is now than i loathe it.

  150. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Night Alex

  151. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Glic, you can come out now.

  152. glic says:

    Evening Cameltoes 😆

    There`s nothing better than emerging from behind the sofa and looking at the BBC text through my fingers to see we have won !. hahaha

    Indeed HH, I do take the UMF seriously, there`s no way I`m going to put the Clungechester`s, Chavs, Everton and Semengarglers from Shite Fart Pain as winners and rejoice like Vicky does when they win as his picks, being bottom of the UMF makes me the winner in my eyes, in that I always want the previously said to lose !. hahaha……..I am bottom of the UMF…….I am bottom of the UMF…….hahaha

    Fine post van Klompenstein, I did remark on yesterday`s post and thought it had been lost, but it must have been in moderation as it has now reapeared on yesterday`s post @ 18:04 !. hahaha

  153. glic says:

    Princey baby, is it wooden floors you lay ?. I`m having Oak engineered boards for the Love Shack. I have had 22mm tongue and groove real oak in the past ( unfinished and finished ) , but due to the Cornish climate it can move a bit !. So going to try the engineered stuff !.

  154. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Hi Glicster.
    It seems to be the way most people are heading (the engineered boards).
    Well PPP says “different strokes for different blokes”. Climate would have a lot to do with it, but its a shame on the 22mm oak.
    I cant talk up the pre-finished boards. I know it seems to be the new ‘in’ thing and most are happy of not going through the sand and polish process, but its just as, if not more expensive than your raw timber floors (supply and install) and in 10 years when you get scratches and divets from the Mrs’ heels you cant re-sand and re-polish.

    Can i get some pics sent to my email? Just ask the ‘clogged one’ for my adress. Im sure hes kind enough to pass it on.

  155. glic says:

    I dont literally hide behind the sofa guys, I browse the net for a couple of hours. I came across a some property in the beautiful St. Ives, £35,000 !……for a parking space ( 12`9″ X 6`8″ )….thats London prices is`nt it !.
    You lot can have a time share tent on my field for that and I will chuck in two horses to rodger you aswell !. hahaha

  156. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Glic, with the 22mm oak, was it laid on ply?

    (haha, i just thought of a mad saying to put on my business shirt and cards….” i get laid 7 days a week “)

  157. glic says:

    Prince, as with Vic`s, I will send you the complete stage by stage photo`s when I`ve finished, hopefully that shouldn`t be too long !. 🙂

  158. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    😆 Glic, so thats 2 Van Nistleroys for rodgering pleasure. Keown might find that satisfying

  159. glic says:

    It was laid on 18mm chip board which intern was laid on joists, it was pre-finished and 6 inch wide, cost £20 M2 and that was quite cheap !.

  160. glic says:

    Hahaha There is an uncanny resemblance !

  161. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Quite cheap indeed. That’s just for material, right? Or did it cover installation?

  162. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    You would think there would be more people around. HELLLLLOOOOO, WE WON THE GAME!

  163. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Im gonna take a stab in the dark and say that Brits are very old school in that they stick to traditions and having a family dinner. That would explain why most bloggers are shy from 6pm to 7-8pm.

    AUs land has become very Americanised and we just eat on the go.

    Also, i just read that Van Judas got subbed for Welbeck in the 41st minute. Has he finally got injured?

  164. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Tomorrow the war cry begins, its time to rally the troops. Its that time of year. 5 to 2 and spuds eating our dust.

    Night night Britain

  165. glic says:

    Just the Quercus only. I`ve done up a few properties in the past from renovation to new builds and most of the people who lay floors are usually chippy`s ( carpenters ) !. Last chippy I used was £15 per hour !, but there are a lot more expensive one`s than that, especially in London !.

  166. glic says:

    Night Princey !.

  167. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    With his first goal on Saturday, Santi Cazorla became the first Arsenal player to reach ten goals in his debut season with the club since Thierry Henry in the 1999/2000 campaign. While it is unlikely the Spaniard will go on to surpass the Frenchman’s eventual goalscoring exploits for the club, that is still some pretty impressive going.
    With his second goal on Saturday, Cazorla then ensured Arsenal beat Aston Villa after a difficult week and as a result kept them firmly in the hunt for the all-important fourth place in the table.
    All in all, a successful afternoon’s work for the former Malaga man.

  168. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    With two goals on Saturday in a West Brom win, Romelu Lukaku took his tally for the season to 12 – a full five more than a certain striker at parent club Chelsea.
    It remains to be seen whether the young Belgian will get the chance to press his case for regular football at Stamford Bridge come the start of the next season, but – with impressive, all-action displays like the one on Saturday – he is certainly giving Rafa Benitez, and Fernando Torres, a few things to think about.

  169. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    With a 2-0 defeat to Manchester United, QPR failed to score at Loftus Road for the fifth successive game. It is the longest run in England’s top division since Portsmouth in 2007, as the South Coast club went six games at Fratton Park without taxing the home scoreboard operator.
    At the time Pompey were managed by Harry Redknapp, and the Englishman seems to be seeing history repeat itself at his current club. That season, of course, Portsmouth actually ended up finishing eighth in the table – somehow we don’t see that particular finish quite panning out for Redknapp and the west Londoners this time around…

  170. glic says:

    As I said yesterday or was it the day before ?. The Summer TW could be the most exciting ever for us !.

    In 2011, AW said if he had the money ” He would put it on Neymar ” but he didn`t have the money, now he does !. Neymar or Isco, both or either one will do !. 🙂

  171. TotalArsenal says:

    You are a dreamer Glic. We are going to get Song – the Beast – back, and Seedorf – the Vet – and a 19 year old up and coming talent – the promise – from the Ukraine. 😛

  172. glic says:

    I see a Banksy mural stolen from North London is going under the hammer in Miami with a price of around £500,000 . How the f**k did they manage to remove it in one piece ?.
    I dont know about going under the hammer , but Me and Stretch took a hammer to one in Bounds Green with a less professional job, so if anyone wants to buy a Banksy masonry Jigsaw puzzle for £50 let us know !.

  173. glic says:

    On a unrelated subject, Stretch was arrested last night in Brentwood !. Some over 30`s bint manhandled him down the side alleyway of a house, he made a mess and was arrested for making a wanksy on someones wall !. hahaha

  174. TotalArsenal says:

    Glic 🙂

    He must have overdosed on the Tzaziki then! 😛

  175. Milo says:

    I know this blog is about the first team, but I also follow the results of the youth teams, and man, things are not going well at the moment. Youth development is NOT all about winning, but it certainly gives confidence to the young players that they are good enough to be able to at least compete with the best in the country and now in Europe, with the NextGen series. The most recent results from today and in recent matches suggests that we might not be as far along as an academy as we think we are. How are we going to find more WIlshere’s if our academy isn’t up to par???

  176. TotalArsenal says:

    thanks for update Milo 🙂

  177. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    New Post 🙂 New post

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