Diaby and Gervinho to start? Szczesny and TV5 on bench? Never change a winning defence! Swansea pre-match.


Can we finally win at the Liberty Stadium? 

Tomorrow’s game against The Jacks – the first of ten consecutive Cup Finals – at the beautifully named Liberty stadium, is a massive one for Arsenal. Whilst Swansea can play this game with an incredible lightness of being – they have reached the magical 40 points mark, won the League Cup, are already guaranteed European football for next season, and their manager has just extended his contract – Arsenal have the considerable weight on their shoulders of having to pick up all three points; so we can put pressure on both the Chavs and the Spuds in our joint race/chase for a top-3/top4 PL spot.

The 2-0 win against Bayern midweek has given our confidence a massive boost. This season, other than perhaps our result against Liverpool away, we have not achieved a better result against a top team, home or away. And still there was plenty of room for improvement, in terms of our passing game and creating chances, which will continue to be work in progress.

The Jacks play football as it should be played, and this promises to be an open game with quality football on display. The big question is whether we will play conservative again – just as we did against Bayern – as in sitting a bit deeper, and our two DMs predominantly focussed on shielding our defence by staying close in front of them.

The risk of this conservative approach is not producing enough opportunities for our four attack-minded players, and as in most of our games this season, the key lays with whoever will be playing in the lynch-pin role. Jack is not available to face his namesakes tomorrow, and Ramsey and Arteta come with limitations for this pivotal role. Diaby has probably been our best lynch-pin player of them all, but that was at the start of the season, and his recent form has been quite poor.

Yet, I feel Diaby will start tomorrow, and so will Ramsey: I reckon they will be our ‘2’ in our 4-2-1-3 system. Maybe Arteta will start, but I cannot see him finish the whole ninety minutes. We need a lot of energy and running in midfield against the mobile and good passers of the ball; Britton, De Guzman etc, and that’s why I reckon both Ramsey and Diaby will start tomorrow.

The most intriguing question with regards to our line-up is what is Arsene going to do with our back-five: will Fabianski start in goal again, will Vermaelen once again be left out, and will BFG-Koz be our CB-pairing again? My answer to this is yes, yes, and yes. Sagna is injured so Jenkinson will get another game, whilst Gibbs will get a rest and Nacho will replace him.

I expect Arsene to take courage from the defensive performance against Bayern and only make the necessary change of resting Gibbs; who only just returned from a long injury. Why break up a ‘winning’ defence? At this time of the season, Arsene has to stick with what seems to be working, and build on top of that.

Up-front we will probably see a similar formation as we had towards the end of our game on Wednesday: Cazorla in the hole, Theo on the right, work-horse Giroud in the centre, and Gervinho to start on the left. I don’t expect Rosicky to get another start so quickly after his start against Bayern, but if that is the case, I reckon Gervinho will start on the bench and Cazorla will move the left wing again.

Predicted line-up


This should be a very good game to watch, and it will be a big test for our boys. If we win tomorrow, it will give us great momentum, and the Chavs and Spuds will start to get very nervous of the ominous sound of the roaring canon behind their sweaty backs.

Come on You Rip Roaring Gunners!

Written by: TotalArsenal.  

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179 Responses to Diaby and Gervinho to start? Szczesny and TV5 on bench? Never change a winning defence! Swansea pre-match.

  1. AFC says:

    Hi TotalArsenal, great post as usual.

    This match is a must win for us to catch up in the race for CL football.

    I think Szec will be in goal and as much as I want Gervinho to get a chance on the left wing but I think he will be on the bench. I really do not like Santi playing on the wing as he is not a natural winger. I do not see Rosicky starting but we might see Wenger play Ramsey in the hole with Arteta and Diaby behind him. Personally if Wenger is not going to play Rosicky and Gervinho I would like to see Arteta in the hole with Ramsey and Diaby further back.

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Vickers,

    Here are my UMF’s: Everton, Stoke, Villa, Reading draws and Liverpool away win.

  3. oz gunner says:

    Cheers for the warm-up TA
    Can’t disagree with any of that. I’d set up exactly how we did against Bayern (tactics wise). Swansea play open football so we can’t really afford to play helter skelter football. Against a stoke, sunderland, etc I’d expect to play one DM but this will do today.

    Nacho for me. He has better defensive skills and both he and jenks should marshall dyer and routledge well.

    1-2 for me!


  4. oz gunner says:

    @ AFC

    arteta in the whole? I fear his attacking game has been drilled out of him. I’d rather see Cazorla or Rosicky there. Time to dust the cobwebs off of rosicky, his drive and harassing will be very important to our run in

  5. oz gunner says:

    * hole

  6. AFC says:

    Hi oz gunner, I suggested playing Arteta in the hole because Wenger is unlikely to leave him out of the squad but he will most likely leave Rosicky out of the team. With Podolski out Santi is likely to start on the left so we are left with a choice of Ramsey or Arteta to play in the hole. Ramsey is better defensively and is the worst CAM out of everybody in the Arsenal squad. So why not Arteta?

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi AFC,

    I reckon Santi is effective anywhere in midfield or on the wing, but not as our main DM. However, if Santi is played on the wing, I feel we need a proper winger on the other wing (either Gervinho or Theo from what we currently have) who really does nothing else but classic wing-play.

    I am pretty confident Gervinho will start on the wing and Cazorla in the hole today, but of course I could be totally wrong – would not be the first time hahaha! 🙂

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    Oz, Michu is a real threat and what a fine find by Swansea. Let’s hope we’ll keep him quiet this time round! 😈

  9. AFC says:

    If Monreal and Gibbs played together down the left that would be a good combo. One at LB and one one the left wing, we would have good defensive cover, they will stay wide and not cut in and they are both good crossers which could be good if Giroud leads the attack.

  10. TotalArsenal says:


    I reckon there is a strong chance this might happen going forward. I cannot imagine Arsene wanting one of the two sitting on the bench a lot, and neither do I believe that Nacho or Gibbs would accept it.

  11. AFC says:

    It would also be good if we could play a 4-3-1-2 with Ramsey, Diaby and Arteta in the midfield with Cazorla behind Giroud and Walcott.

  12. AFC says:

    Now we are short in midfield with Jack and Podolski out maybe Arshavin should get a chance playing the hole as this is his actual position. Not sure if he can be risked in such a big game and if he will never play for Arsenal again.

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Not a bad formation, AFC. It would require a lot from the FB’s, in terms of providing width, that’s for sure!

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    I reckon the latter is the case, AFC –> Wenger has banned Andrey to Siberia till his contract runs out, so it seems.

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    AFC, did you ever see this funny video re Wenger’s substitution of the Ox with Arshavin?

  16. AFC says:

    TotalArsenal. Especially Jenk and Monreal/ Gibbs are brilliant going forward so we would be able to rely on them to provide the width needed.

    As for Arshavin, what a sad for the club, Wenger and Arshavin. Arshavin was once world class, in my opinion still is but is never played in his actually position. Arshavin has lost all morale and confidence and Wenger has lost his faith in his desire and abilty as a player. There now seems to be a breakdown in communication between Wenger and Arshavin. Maybe he should have just gone on loan to Reading to save his career. He is not getting any younger!

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    I think that Arshavin’s huge contribution to the second, and winning goal, against the Mancs at home last season, was the final straw.

    Very talented, but not a hard worker and very frustrating at times. Agreed though; a real shame for everybody involved!

  18. AFC says:

    TotalArsenal, really funny video.

    The day that sub was made by Wenger, RVP forgot who was the manager and I feel this is when RVP made up his mind to leave. Dunno how Arshavin must have felt when his fellow teammate did not even want him to set foot on the pitch.

  19. Bond James says:

    diaby has to start along with the ox, by all means bring walcott on in the 2nd half

    for me theo’s performances have gone a bit downhill ever since he signed that contract extension for some odd reason.

    having a midfield of arteta – diaby – ros/santi with the ox on the right and gervinho up front would be good.. (i know, i know, majority would disagree with me) but this is an away game, if we don’t concede a goal by half time, then not only do we have a strong bench but also game changing players, fresh and raring to go at a tiring defence….fast forward 2nd half, bring on theo and giroud.

    game set and match !

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    Refreshing thoughts there BJ! 🙂

    Gervinho centrally is indeed not everybody’s cup of tea. I like him to start on the wing, with freedom go and play next to Giroud when he can….

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    Right time to hit the pillow – catch you guys in the morning. 13 hours till kick-off! 🙂

  22. William says:

    I just hope Wenger doesn’t go back to pass and pass a thousand times before shooting.The defence
    played well and stayed close to the Bm players. No player,not even,Maradona or Pele will relish someone breathing down their neck/mouth.
    Michu had all the time and space to score. Now let’s see how Wenger will cope with him. Lose and it will be allover for 4th. Even the 100 million may not save the gunner from wandering in the cl wilderness for at least a few seasons. By then the gap with the top teams could have widened significantly.

  23. William says:

    When I read Arsenal can take great pride from their cl exit,it made me angry. The aim is to get tinto the sf and the gunners aint good enough thanks to Wenger tactics .All the best palyers left because they know under Wenger Arsenal won’t be able to win anything. unless he changes his style.
    The Bm could be an indication he has realised beletedly its no use passing all day and dominating the stats.Goals win games not the number of intricate passes.

  24. AFC says:

    Hi William, I think Wenger tactics were spot on for the Bayern game, Wenger just did not have enough quality players on the game.

    As for players like RVP leaving I can understand them doing so but no player is bigger than Arsenal and we are better off without them.

  25. bobby says:

    If you don’t mind me asking what were wengers tactics.

  26. AFC says:

    Hi bobby, Wengers tactics was to not go all out attack but to attack with purpose meanwhile having players back to defend, as we would have conceded. I think he wanted to keep a clean sheet and hopefully nick a goal or two by half time. Then when he thought when the time was right he would bring on attacking subs to help us get the goal(s) we needed. Uinfortunately we just did not score the final goal needed.

  27. bobby says:

    How do you think he’ll play the game tomorrow.

  28. AFC says:

    I can see Wenger playing a 4-2-3-1 formation with Ramsey as one of the DMs to try to contain Michu with most likely Arteta next to him (as Diaby might not be 100%) with Santi on the left wing. Either that or Ramsey will play in the hole with Santi on the left wing with Arteta and Diaby playing as DMs. Could see Rosicky but I doubt it. I think he will be on the bench with Diaby.

  29. bobby says:

    Interesting, on what grounds do you base your assumptions on.

  30. AFC says:

    Wenger sees Arteta as being key to our midfield. Wenger admires Ramsey’s work rate which helps to balance out Arteta being slow to make up ground. Often when Podolski has been out Wenger has opted to play Santi in his position. Diaby and Ramsey I am not sure about because Wenger rates Diaby highly but Wenger seems to only play him when he is near 100%. I also think Wenger sees Rosicky as our Giggs, someone who can come on when needed but not really a main starter.

  31. bobby says:

    Ok so you,re putting yourself in his shoes’ is that how you would play it ?

  32. AFC says:

    Personally, I would play Santi in the hole with Arteta playing DM with Diaby (if he is not fit it will have to be Ramsey). On the left wing I would play a natural winger i.e. Gervinho or even Monreal or Gibbs (they can switch between LB and LW between the match and put in plenty of crosses for Giroud as they are good crossers of the ball. This would also provide a lot of defensive cover). Do not think that Wenger will play both of his LBs incase one gets injured.

  33. bobby says:

    Would you play that team for the rest of the season, or just for the swansea game.

  34. AFC says:

    Just for the Swansea game because we have players out. For future games I expect to see Sagna back at RB, Podolski back on the left wing and Wilshere back in the midfield instead of Ramsey or Diaby.

  35. bobby says:

    How come we won our last game without wilshere in the side, what do you make of that, is their anything to it.

  36. Herb'sArmy says:

    Apologies for the delay.
    UMF Selections.
    Liverpool -win
    Stoke v WBA -draw
    Arsenal -win
    Sunderland v Norwich – draw
    Wigan v Newcastle – draw

  37. AFC says:

    Of course we do not need Wilshere to win games, we are not a one man team like Spurs. It is just that Wilshere will more than likely be fit when Diaby is not and is a better players than Ramsey. We can still win games without Wilshere but when you have someone of his desire, work rate and technical abilty it makes it much easier for us to win games.

  38. RockyLives says:

    Here are my UMF predictions:

    Everton v North Oilers D
    Saints v ‘Pool A
    Orcs v WBA A
    Swans v Mighty Arse A
    Manure v Reading H

  39. bobby says:

    So if everyone was injury free what would be your first choice eleven.

  40. AFC says:

    Yeah, for the midfield and attack. The defense can pretty much change as a lot of our defenders are around the same level in terms of quality.

  41. bobby says:

    Why doesn’t wenger put more faith in players such as gnabry and eisfeld, i hear their good players.

  42. AFC says:

    They are not quite the finished articles yet and Wenger probably wants to develop these players more as they are very young. They are definitely players for the future but are not ready to be in the first team.

  43. oz gunner says:

    I’d very very reluctant to see Gibbs and Monreal play as a LB/LW wing combination. Gives me goosebumps whenever I remember Arsene’s experimentation with Eboue on the wing in front of Sagna. Yes it can work well if you want to shut down a very dangerous winger (Ronaldo) but not as a regular thing surely.

  44. oz gunner says:

    I feel like I’m interrupting an interview here. As you were gents 🙂

  45. bobby says:

    I am sceptical about wenger introducing these youngsters in the future. He used eisfeld in the pre season friendlies and he did very well, yet hasn’t been given a run out.

  46. AFC says:

    Oz gunner, your right when you say this would be effective only when dealing with dangerous players. For example if we play spurs again we should try playing Jenk in front of Sagna. Then we will see if Bale can score then. Man City sometimes do this with Kolarov playing in fornt of Clichy to great effect.

  47. AFC says:

    A lot of the youngsters will never make the first team and will likely be moved on in the future. I think Wenger plays the youngsters during pre-season so he can see whether they are at the level they need to be to start to play games in competitions. The thing is with young players is that they all have potential but you do not know whether they will ever find it. This can take years to find out.

  48. bobby says:

    Forgive if i am wrong, but i thought that was the whole idea of his project to bring the youngsters through.

  49. bobby says:

    Changing topics i think ian wright was the worst sighning Arsenal ever made.

  50. AFC says:

    The idea of his project is to bring in few young players. But only the best of the best. Think of it like these young players are on trial. So for instance suppose you are a scout and you are told to find a new striker. You might start off by observing 5 strikers as you do not know which striker you want yet and do not know who would be the best for the team. You keep scouting them and then you narrow down your choices to just 2 strikers based on what you see on a regular basis and how they are developing and then you observe these two strikers even further until you have seen enough to make your final decision.

  51. davi says:

    How can Arteta not start? He’s our captain now! And enough about him not being a good DM – he was fantastic in that position last season but he can’t do it all himself. Song played a box-to-box role and provided that much-needed muscle which took some of the slack for him. Arteta is our version of Leon Britton, basically; massive for our playing style.

    @Oz – Well I don’t think Eboue had really played RW before, whereas Gibbs has played midfield positions throughout his development. Playing Eboue there made sense and was worth trying because he does have the basic skillset (pace, dribbling ability, crossing ability – although he rarely showed it for Arsenal, as with most of our players – and stamina) and it could have made him a really useful squad player, but he just never got his head around it. Just because it didn’t work out with him doesn’t mean it’s not worth exploring at some point with Gibbs or whoever, but I wouldn’t want to be experimenting like that at this stage of the season.

  52. davi says:

    @bobby – they will get their chance if they really are good enough (I’m quite convinced about Eisfeld personally) but they will have to wait. We’ve put out relatively experienced sides in the cups this year because of the pressure to win something, and in a typical season those sorts of players would have had a chance to play. Also I think this U21 European Cup thing has influenced things. They probably see it as a low-risk way of testing the players at a relatively high level.
    Btw the one I really think should be given chances soon is Yennaris. He handled Nani admirably at RB and just looks like the kind of personality that would really benefit the squad. Never looks fazed. I actually don’t think it such an understatement to say that he may be a Wilshere-level player but his skills are more defence-oriented.

  53. bobby says:

    What about the three spanish youngsters or is it four, anyway, any of them any good.

  54. bobby says:

    I did hear bellerin was good as he started out as a left winger and is now converted to a left back.

  55. davi says:

    I think there is something to us winning without Wilshere. It was a much changed side, and I think Koscielny’s inclusion made the biggest difference, but people seem to forget that we looked strongest at the start of the season up to that WHU game, and Wilshere wasn’t playing then. It could be a bit of the Fabregas/RVP effect, where the weaker personalities start to lean on these sorts of players. It’s pathetic, but I think there’s something to it. Trouble is, as good as Jack will probably end up, he’s currently nowhere near as effective as Fabregas was for us. He hasn’t actually done a huge amount in terms of directly contributing to goals, and I don’t think he’s even our best player currently. He just imposes his personality on games more than the others. You’d hope that his efforts would inspire others to work similarly as hard, but they don’t seem to. It’s more a criticism of the players around him than Jack himself. You couldn’t ask any more of him, and there’s little doubt that his goal contributionswill increase in the coming seasons.

  56. davi says:

    I haven’t seen much of the youth team. Re Yennaris, I’m just going on what I’ve seen in his few first team appearances, and I suppose the fact that he captains the youth side and seems to be a major player. All I know on the Spanish players is that Bellerin and Toral are highly rated. Bellerin seems to be doing particularly well this season, btu I haven’t seen it for myself.

  57. bobby says:

    You make good points about Wilshere.

  58. Highbury Harmony says:

    VCC, terribly sorry for the late UMF entries. Been very busy and stressed with work recently and just got home. Here are my picks mate 🙂 :

    Manure home win
    Liverpool away win
    Arsenal away win
    Newcastle away win
    Everton vs. $hitty draw

  59. Gerry says:

    Morning all. Lots of ideas on who should do what, but some things are a little more predictable than others. Swansea are unlikely to play an open game today as they have injury worries of there own, so I expect them to sit back and counter with Dyer’s pace and Michu’s finishing?

    Our team, and I agree TA – Nice blog btw – don’t change for the sake of change, especially in the back 5. That said, i cannot see AW risking Gibbs so soon after an early return from injury.

    Therefore, that part should be quite straightforwards:
    Fabianski – Why change here? He’s full of confidence, Szcz isn’t?

    Jenks – Mert(captain please?) – Kos( no question!) – Monreal

    Midfield? More difficult as AW may want to rest either or both, Ramsey and Arteta after a tough shift last time. AW might consider putting TV5 in the DM spot, but I doubt it? So I think it will be a combo of Ramsey and either Arteta, Diaby(just back from injury), or Coquelin – Or Vermaelin replacing all? AW’s choice;

    Arteta – Ramsey -(My choice TV5, may be with Le Coq as back up and B2B?)

    Ox – Cazorla – Gervinho – For the simple reason AW will not risk Rosicky in two quick games, Ox and Gerv provide width and pace, and did not play the full game in Germany.

    Giroud – (Poldi is still out, so no choice?)

    Davi and others – I repeat what I said earlier in the week. We are unlikely to see any of the youngsters for a while, because they have a number of games to play at their level, and unless we have a crisis of injuries up front, they are best gaining their experience there? At least until the first team have got confidence themselves of winning, without having to worry about inexperience joining in. Only my opinion, granted.

    Of the youngsters Davi, yes Yennaris has been in great form recently and in the DM positition!
    He has done little wrong when he has played at the top level, and will be great for the squad next season … if we can hang on to both him and Coquelin?
    Eisfeld is the one that could make the bench if he is fully fit. He has been working on gaining upper body strength and generally filling out. No question he has serious talent tough, and being slightly older than the budding stars of Akpom, Gnabry, and Toral, he is more possible to get a chance this season than the others. Bellerin is your right sided Gibbs, with serious pace, a few tricks, and not afraid to shoot. For similar reasons to Gibbs, he has also had to develop his defensive skills along the way, but again, a serious talent. There will be a big ‘cull’ from the young ranks though, and we may lose several that we thought would do well here? They should still make it if they find their right clubs though.

    No changes for the sake of change … except in that DM spot

    A simple repeat of passion and effort shown last time, should do the trick … a clean sheet and 2 goals will do nicely thanks?


  60. VCC says:

    Morning All.

    Nice pre-match Total

    Getting excited about todays game. Really want to see if we can push on after that wonderful display mid week.

    My team would be =




    Theo ……Ox……..Gervinho


  61. marcus says:

    This is a fine post TA. This season TV5 has been woefully off his game. I don’t know whether its the pressure of the armband or he has just lost form but my word he has been awful. His individual errors have cost us so many points and his fighting spirit seems to have faded. Or maybe he just needs a rest. Whatever it is, he needs to shape up. And soon.
    On that midfield though, I’d beg to disagree. I am of the strong opinion that only one of Diaby or Ramsey can play at a time AND Rosicky must be part of that midfield if we are to dominate. This is because I have realized that Cazorla is not like cesc or Wilshere in the sense that he doesn’t control games, rather he influences them. He plays best when he is given freedom to move with a partner controlling things alongside him. We both know that’s neither Diaby nor Ramsey. Besides we need as much technical skill as we can in that midfield if we are to impose ourselves on Swansea.

  62. VCC says:

    UMF 1

    Thanks Total/Rocky/Herb/HH/Oz for your selections. Your odds are =

    Rocky = 56-1
    Herb = 169-1
    HH = 60-1
    Oz = 140-1
    Total = 603-1

    That still leaves PPP.

    If some one would like to select five for him I will use those. Without a volunteer I will do the usual and draw out of the hat, so he at least gets a fighting chance.

    As always guys, thanks for your picks, and good luck.

    COYG………………………………….and COYQPR (lol)

    Have a nice week end all.

  63. VCC says:


    on the subject of Vermaelen. As you say there is something not quite right there. My opinion is his head has been turned with the speculation of being scouted by Barca. May be way off the mark, but his attitude and commitment has been woeful lately. This is the reason I would play Merts and Kos at the back.

  64. oz gunner says:

    If he doesn’t pop his head in VCC i’ll return the favour for PPP:

    West Ham

    Yep that should do nicely 🙂

  65. PPP says:

    Cheers Oz, I confirm that those are my tips VCC. If anyone comes on after me saying they are otherwise please ignore them as they are in fact not who they say they are! Thank-you!!!

  66. VCC says:

    Oz, your a star.

    Hows the studying going?

  67. VCC says:

    Oz…I like you faith in QPR 😉

  68. oz gunner says:

    Happy to help VCC. Looking forward to this one down at the local?

    It’s going…just bloody time consuming. the belts that they wore spits out data every 5 seconds…that over a 12hr shift makes for very fun excel spreadsheets. Any more time on the computer and I might get sucked in. If that happens first stop is rewriting the Arsenal history books, then a bank, then a porn website so i can sit in the corner and eat popcorn (if i don’t touch i can’t get in trouble from the mrs).

    I think QPR will win tonight VCC, just need to find consistency that’s all

  69. VCC says:

    PPP odds are 9076-1. That’s higher than GLiC’s. lol.

    Your right about QPR. Since Arry has arrived they have turned the corner, what a shame he weren’t there from the start of the season. Just shows what a decent manager he is in my eyes. I know many people don’t like him but I happen to like him. He speaks openly and is a motivator, that’s for sure.

    Keep up the good work at UNI. And if you become successful in the porn business, and get rich, don’t forget your uncles……..Terry/GLiC/Red Arse/Total and me.

    I’m off down my local at 15:00 GMT to watch the game live. He gets the Greek channels, and Arsenal are on this week. YIPEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

  70. oz gunner says:

    I think he’s hilarious tbh. From his interviews to sinking tottenham’s ship last season…oh and the twitching! But he is a good manager I agree. Handy acquisitions like Cesar, granero, mbia, and samba have definitely helped. Shame hoilett has had his injury worries though.

    Cheers, appreciate that. You may be on to something there VCC…managing hydration levels in the porn industry! I mean we can’t go having anyone suffering from heat stroke on set! I’ll be sure to invite you all though, I fear if I let GLIC and terry come they may not leave! Terry will set up shop in the roof with his telescope, and GLIC will keep pitching ideas to the director about him starring in ‘Laying Private GLIC’ or ‘Me, Myself, and GLIC’. Featuring GLIC and his mirror.

    Glad they are playing it at the local, hope they make it an enjoyable afternoon for you!!!

  71. VCC says:

    cheers Oz. I’m hoping my Son can make it from work for the second half to watch it with me.

    Once the Director sets eyes on GLiC, the only movie he would be in would be a horror film. It would be a cheap budget movie as they wouldn’t need any make up for GLiC, he’s a natural Frankenstein look a like. He’s really scary, and freaky. Would put anybody off their corn flakes in the morning.

  72. Bobby Sure says:

    TA once again a spot on job at picking the start up line. You always seem to pick the line up we should play irrespective of if wenger picks the same. Big chance for abou here to have a strong finish to the season. Hes looked indifferent since he’s been back shown a few flashes but just like jack when he came back he’s lacking that yard of pace. I love abou though and I fail to see how anyone who sees him at his best cannot realise that he is a prodigious talent. When he’s on form he’s amazing to watch, the combination of strength, power and technique and even a touch of flair is an incredible mixture that few players can boast. I really hope and think this can be a big game for abou diaby.

  73. oz gunner says:

    hahaha VCC 🙂

    Goodluck, I hope he can make it and you both enjoy a comfortable win! Beers, family, and an Arsenal victory…sounds bloody good to me!

  74. oz gunner says:

    @ Bobby sure

    I think everyone knows what a talent he is. It’s just whether or not we can get him on the park enough so that it’s useful. At the end of the day if he’s not playing more than half the season and in a row what’s the use? He could be an immense talent but it’s a big IF, and for me his time is almost up.

  75. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning fine Gooners 🙂

    Interesting dialogue between Bobby (for which paper do you write hahaha 🙂 ) and AFC (very impressive answers! 🙂 ).

    No surprise Gerry is trying to sell us playing TV as our DM hahaha.

    Hi Davi, I reckon A Treat won’t start because he looked exhausted at the end of die Lederhosen game, and there is now too much risk of him picking up an injury. Does Arsene really care who wears the armband? Don’t think so, and I would give it to Mert (agreed with Gerry) anyway: in the formation above he would be our best option for captain imo. 🙂

  76. TotalArsenal says:

    Bobby Sure, I am with you all the way. An Abou on fire is simple awesome. I just feel he will start and do well, at least for 60 minutes or so. I also believe that Abou and Ramsey is a better combination than Arteta and Abou or Arteta and Ramsey. But let’s see what le boss will do today.

    Less than five hours till kick-off!! CoyG.

    VCC, thanks for doing all the hard work chasing everybody up. If anybody else wants to make five predictions on PL games (home win, away win, draw); just post a comment! 🙂

  77. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    EY. ey ej aye????

    Nah fook Ozs tips, they could damage my whole campaign (although id love for them to come through), i thought TAs charity tips last week were suspect and bogus 😉
    which i suppose i should apologise and explain for not coming through last week and not being around at all.
    This year has been shit, both on the pitch and worryingly more so, off it.
    Arsenal has had to take a back seat due to a snowball of work overload and now family affairs. Last week i was meant to come back on before kick off but got a phone call saying my 2 younger brothers were involved in a car accident 😦
    A scary time for me but they both seem to be on the up. Lets just say it was that bad it kept me away from Arsenal…..Deep breath.

    Total, top quality as always! Thank you. For me, we are at a stage where tactics and substitutions and analysis and disecting and anything else means absolutely nothing if we dont leave our blood, sweat and tears on the pitch! and i include our support, both home and away! Its that simple, what does Arsenal mean to these players? What does it mean to us? I want Victoria Concordia Crescit with that extra 10%.

    Its SQUEAKY BUM TIME!!! 😆 😆 😆

    VCC, i would like to say to OZ…thanks but no thanks buddy 🙂

    My predictions in UMF1

    Pool= away win
    Toon= away win
    skid mark spudz v Fulham= draw
    Shitty= away win
    Villains v Queen Perv Rooster= draw

    Let the Cannon Lead the way


  78. TotalArsenal says:

    3xP 🙂

    Good to see you back here!

    Sorry to hear about your brothers’ accident. Hope they fully recover again. Seize the day my friends, seize the day.

  79. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Carpe diem indeed.

    Hi Total, can you tell me how Poldi got an injury and how bad is it? I cant find anything on it.

  80. TotalArsenal says:

    PPP, according to the Guardian it is his ankle and he is out till 30 March.

  81. oz gunner says:

    Damn you PPP, my attempt to sabotage you have failed!!! 🙂

    I hope your brothers recover quick smart and everything is in order. Take care.

    See you at kick-off everyone

  82. VCC says:

    Hi Prince. Sorry to hear your troubles lately. Hope your brothers make a full recovery. Arsenal obviously takes a back seat at times like these. Must have been pretty scary at the time. Take care Buddy.

    Your new selections are recorded and your updated odds are 223-1.

  83. marcus says:

    I’m not sure that’s it. He has been the weak link in our defense the whole season. It could be that since he was made skipper, he may have construed that it means he is undroppable (like his predecessors) and a result doesn’t work as hard as he used to. OR maybe the pressure of captaining a team on the decline is more than he can handle. Either way, he must do something. And quick.

  84. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Thanks boys, the worst is over. Onwards and upwards from here on in. Would really like to see a solid 50 or so minutes from the Ox. I feel that its now or never for the boy. Do the basics for now, have a solid pre-season, learn as much as you can and keep your head out of the media and i believe that next year will be his break out season, and i mean really shine. Also it wouldnt hurt to have a few winners/ leaders in our team or some more added to the backroom staff to help the development.

    Looking forward to the game now… its getting closer…and with the lyrics from “eminem- lose yourself”-

    ‘His palms are sweaty, weak knees like spaghetti…..’

    Can anyone post the clip please? Comes close to ‘eye of the tiger’ in terms of pumping you up imo 🙂

  85. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    next year *next season

  86. oz gunner says:

    I don’t normally play this dribble but for you PPP, I’ll make an exception

  87. VCC says:


  88. oz gunner says:

    Fabianski, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Arteta, Diaby, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Walcott, Giroud.

    Substitutes: Szczesny, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Coquelin, Rosicky, Ramsey, Gervinho.

  89. oz gunner says:

    Michel Vorm, Angel Rangel, Garry Monk (capt), Ashley Williams, Ben Davies, Leon Britton, Ki Sung-Yueng, Jonathan de Guzman, Nathan Dyer, Pablo Hernandez, Michu.

    Subs: Gerhard Tremmel, Dwight Tiendalli, Kyle Bartley, Roland Lamah, Wayne Routledge, Itay Shechter, Luke Moore.

  90. alexgunners says:

    Good Evening Guys

    Game time is upon us. Let’s have a performance with lots of heart

  91. oz gunner says:

    Gents want some cheap Arsenal merchandise go to this site, I brought heaps the other day for 30-50% and now some of it has gone cheaper. Have a look. Love the retro 71/79 stuff they sell


  92. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Your an absolute LEGEND Oz!!!!!!!!!!

    Come on Arsenal… LETS DO THIS

  93. alexgunners says:

    Hi PPP & OZ,

    How have you guys been?

  94. TotalArsenal says:

    CoYG!!!!!!!!! Catch up with you all at half time 🙂

  95. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Getting there Alex. Yorself mate? 🙂

    Come on boys, lets take control.

  96. oz gunner says:

    Good as always Alex, how about yourself?

    I can taste victory in this one, We’ll be all grinning after this one I feel!

  97. oz gunner says:

    Oh so close!

    He’s read your comment PPP and he’s ready to fire!

  98. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Ooooh Ox, so close my boy

  99. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    I hope so Oz. You know that Arsenal FC subscribe to ‘BK’, just ask Total.

    I feel our young core, the new famous five are starting to feed off each other, a positive battle attitude. To reap the rewards we must go to war first. And the remainder of this season are our front lines. We can do this, i believe we have enough….and more!

  100. alexgunners says:

    OZ, Definitely cannot complain. Busy but that’s life
    Let’s hope this feeling you have will be true and definite. We need this.
    Open game so far and not a bad start to it at all.

  101. alexgunners says:

    PPP, All is well. Just waiting for us to settle, get these 3 important points and off to the Grand Prix tomorrow

  102. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    15min mark Arsenal 32% posession.

    Must be a mistake

    This is starting to feel really nervous.

  103. oz gunner says:

    sort it out guys, being outplayed with ease at the moment

  104. oz gunner says:

    just in case guys. Best flash i’ve seen for a while:


  105. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    nice work. believe in your passing and play one touch. Lets go Gunners

  106. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Your absolutely right Santi, it is a yellow card offence.

  107. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    This would be poldi teritorry

  108. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    We are starting to get our own back… in stages

  109. oz gunner says:

    I can only recall Theo scoring one freekick ever…why does he take them so frequently? Arteta/Santi surely!!! Would of loved to have podolski then!

  110. oz gunner says:

    is theo’s contract nearly up because it appears it’s the only time he pulls his finger out!

  111. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Mertesacker knows his line Mr Michu

  112. AFC says:

    Oz gunner, agreed. Was Arteta not a free kick specoalist for Arteta. As for Santi everydody know he can take them, so Walcott taking free kicks is just bizarre.

  113. AFC says:

    Sorry meant to say, was Arteta not a free kick specialist for Everton. As for Santi everybody know he can take them, so Walcott taking free kicks is just bizarre. I can understand him taking corners but not free kicks.

  114. oz gunner says:

    @ AFC

    must be doing something in trying that we don’t see because you are right Santi and Arteta have both scored pearlers from that position. It reminds me of when Denilson scored one…next thing you know he was taking them all.

  115. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:


    Keep it up OX

  116. oz gunner says:

    shoot diaby!!!

  117. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    It sometimes seems like we play within ourselves and would rather concentrate on our shape rather than have some guts, add flair and create something. These days i really get excited when one of our own takes on a player. The problem though is that when a player runs into a dead end, we have no options. We fail to move up as a unit or one body so to speak, as though our defensive shape is critical at all times. Bit of guts and lots of glory. Santi is playing well, and on another day Ox would have 2 in the onion bag.

    Thats life and im Derryn Hinch

  118. TotalArsenal says:

    Encouraging first half. By no means brilliant and plenty to be critical about, but half way through we took the initiative and have been in control. Nice to see Ox very keen and focussed and Cazorla is trying desperately to drive our team forward. Giroud and Theo need red hot chillies inserted in their Arse nals, especially the Englishman.

    I feel DIaby holds the key: he was improving in the second half, but still not good enough to make the difference. We need him to give his all and beast the Liberty stadium in the 2nd half.

  119. bobby says:

    What a joke not one striker on the bench.

  120. TotalArsenal says:

    Surprised to see Arteta start, and no Gervinho but Ox, but at least the latter has done well in the first half. Not impressed with Arteta so far; feel that Ramsey would have been more effective.

  121. AFC says:

    Bobby you are right. Now with Jack and Pod injured our squad is even thinner. Few options on the bench. Sometimes I wish we still had Bendtner.

  122. AFC says:

    Suppose Giroud, Walcott, Gervinho and the Ox were all out, I wonder how Wenger would set up the team with no strikers.

  123. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Your right Total. Ramsey or even Rosa if we get desperate. I feel that Wenger is confident so long as we dont concede. I personally would like to take more initiative and see Ox have a decent run. I have a feeling if it doesnt work, Wenger will sub him too early and maybe sub the wrong man. I hope not and feel Ox needs and deserves a goal. He has it in him. Santi needs quicker personell to work with, Diaby creates more hard work for our side by being static at times

  124. oz gunner says:

    god after that great run…

  125. Highbury Harmony says:

    Shades of the old Diaby coming back, just rusty and lacking the touch in the final third

  126. TotalArsenal says:

    HH, he holds the key today and I think he’ll score soon 🙂

  127. Highbury Harmony says:

    Also, to those questioning the start of Arteta, you’ve all failed to mention how much more organized and disciplined we are defensively when Arteta wears the armband. Santi made a joke when he first came here that everyone in the squad saw Arteta as the captain and not Verm. For a new player to come in and see that, speaks volumes about AW’s failure in choice of captaincy. Hopefully his mistake will be corrected this off-season.

  128. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Hi HH,
    Tommi Gun has been superb prior to this season barring injuries. Wenger had every reason to pick him (not that its a huge issue with AW). Also a fan favourite at the time. It would be shocking to swap the arm band half way through a season without TV’s insistence or through some false PR, which i think is what is happening now. I expect to see a lot less of TV and maybe even sold in the summer. # Just a queasy feeling (queasy-is that a word?)

  129. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Agreed though, very organised with Arteta, always has been, but the engine is lacking the pace these days.

  130. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Told ya, too early for Ox. He needs to be fed constantly with his studs licking the chalk. Grrrr

  131. Highbury Harmony says:


    Arteta is definitely lacking pace.

    AW is saying himself that giving the armband to Verm might have been a mistake and negatively affected his form/confidence. He was out of form last season and just played well a few games when coming up with key goals.

  132. Highbury Harmony says:


  133. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:



    Not sorry 😉


  134. TotalArsenal says:

    We have ourselves another game changer hahaha.

    Cool and calm, quality! Nachoooooooooooooooo 🙂 🙂 🙂

  135. AFC says:

    Monreal has just scored to make it one nil to Arsenal. This is a match we must win to get CL football.

  136. AFC says:

    Monreal has to start every match for the rest of the season. To seems to be similar to Gibbs but is the finished article.

  137. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Dont be too hasty AFC 😉

    Gibbs has a lot to offer, and imo is a better attacking wing back due to his midfield experience.


  138. Highbury Harmony says:


  139. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:




  140. Highbury Harmony says:

    Very composed finish, excellent!

  141. AFC says:

    Gervinho has scored, finally got the goal he deserved. We have this one in the bag.

  142. TotalArsenal says:

    Who said no strikers on the bench hahhaha 🙂

  143. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Ooops, wrong blog 😳 wrong person. sorry

  144. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    No im not drinking Heinies 😉

  145. TotalArsenal says:

    I like the sound of 2-0 to the Arsenal, 2-0 to the Arsenal, 2-0 to the Arsenal, 2-0 to the Arsenal 🙂

  146. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Happy Days, great win, precious 3 points, wasnt pretty at times but it was a mature performance and we need cool heads like today for the run in

    Over the moon, and payback for sneaking a win in our backyard.

    “That’ll learn ya…ITS MY HOUSE!” 😀

  147. Highbury Harmony says:

    Two points out of fourth!

  148. TotalArsenal says:

    PPP, you will never know GiE might find the courage one day and blog here hahahaha! 😛

  149. TotalArsenal says:

    The Spuds and Chas are smelling the gun powder!

  150. oz gunner says:

    Enjoy the rest of your afternoon BK’ers! Arsenal with the goods once again, brilliant!!!

  151. AFC says:

    TotalArsenal, you were right when you said that the race for 3rd and 4th places are not over.

    Chelsea are inconsistant and Tottenham look likely to drop points with their fixtures soming up.

  152. henrychan says:

    Yeeesss.. 2-0..
    We make Vom.. big mouth.. cry..

    Nothing gonna stop us now..

    Night all.. will be a very nice sleep.. hehe..

  153. TotalArsenal says:

    AFC, The Spuddies are nervous after two defeats in a row! But I reckon Jol will do them a favour tomorrow, unfortunately. 😦

  154. TotalArsenal says:

    Night Oz and Henry Goonerlicious dreams 😉

  155. AFC says:

    TotalArsenal, I personally think that the spuds are only where they are in the table because of the likes of us and Chelsea having a bad season. We will see at the end of the season if the spuds really are as good as they claim to be.

    As for Bale he is a good player not a brilliant player. He is just a player who is in form. I do not rate him that highly (I.e up with the likes of Messi and Ronaldo) and will only rate him when he dominates games against the likes of Barca, Bayern and Real in the CL continues to score as many goals as he is currently scoring next season.

  156. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Nite boys.

    Total, the more the merrier.

    Can i just make a special mention to our defence and in particular ‘flappyhandskinomore’ . That is two clean sheets against two formidable opponents (who may have had nothing to play for). If anything, it will help us grow in confidence and in unity and belief in the managers.

    On that note, its 4am and the only game on is gonna be manurinated fc v reading. I would rather sniff glue, so good night BKrs and put the champers on ice, i feel a few bumps maybe on the road…..the same road that the chavs and spudz hav to trod. C’mon Fulham and the other lot playing chelski. 🙂

  157. Gerry says:

    I said I wanted a clean sheet and 2 goals, and hey presto! I shall have to ask nicely next time.

    Result elsewhere are good too?

    I am really chuffed that for all their effort they have come away with something meaningful, that will give them the biggest boost for sure.

    Well done guys, don’t let the interlull get in the way of this revival.

  158. TotalArsenal says:

    Totally agree AFC. I would not swap Bale for Wilshere or Cazorla, maybe for Arshavin, yes! 😉

  159. TotalArsenal says:

    All agreed PPP. Take it easy matey 🙂

  160. glic says:

    Afternoon Schlongburglers 😆

    I take it, it is safe to come out from behind the sofa !. 🙂

    A belated thanks for a fine post van Edamdinkel and thanks for the invite Oz, to participate in your porno`s, some catchy Title`s there !. hahaha If my missus finds out it will be more like…..” Saving Private Parts ! “.
    Now come on Fulham and West Hampton do us a big favour !. even though they`re not my teams, I shall hide behind the sofa tomorrow aswell !. hahaha

  161. glic says:

    Prince – Perfect – Poledancer
    All the best to your brothers mate !. 🙂

  162. Bobby Sure says:

    Great defensive performance once again back to back our two biggest defensive performances. Per and kos look formidable although flapianski made a very brief return. Attacking on the other hand. Boy was I wrong about abou, something doesnt look quite right or maybe he is just doing is languid mecurial french routine.

    Cazorla again magnificent and the difference between the two sides. He always knows what to do and hardly ever loses the ball. Great to see gerv score, he strikes me as a confidence player. Man was his first and second touch special the first time he recieved the ball on the wing. This guy is our best winger in hiding.

  163. bobby says:

    I don’t want champions league football only league winners should be in cl.

  164. TotalArsenal says:

    B Sure, agreed: whatever happened to the early-season-Diaby?? 😕

    Also agreed on Cazorla: once again our best player and driver of the team. Gervinho scored a super goal today and it will do his confidence a world of good! 🙂

  165. VCC says:

    UMF 1 …update

    Herb……..5 points……..2 games tomorrow
    Red Arse..1……………….1

  166. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Vickster, did you enjoy the game?

  167. VCC says:

    Yes, thoroughly. Was nice that my Son made it just before KO. We had a ball. Just the right result for us.

    Although we scored two goals I still think we need a top striker to give us more of a cutting edge.

    Top four is a possibility. Lets hope the Chavs and Spuds drop points tomorrow.

    A little upset about QPR losing after putting up a good fight.

  168. VCC says:

    I’m drawing up some rules for next seasons UMF 1 for all to peruse and vote for or against.

    Only suggestions though, and they would have to be unanimously voted in.

    So far suggestions are =

    1) All week end selections to be submitted before 18:00 GMT Friday

    2) All mid week selections to be submitted before 22:00 GMT the night before games.

    3) The same scoring points, ie 1 for home….2 for away…..3 for draw.

    4) Any player who is 15 points behind the leader may play a joker that counts double points. 1 joker only allowed each month

    Any other suggestions to be put before ALL.

  169. TotalArsenal says:

    Good to hear your son joined you watching the game. I expect spudddies and hammers to win tomorrow, but we won an away game, and they have home games. Next round it will be us playing at home and that is when we hopefully can make up ground.

  170. VCC says:

    On paper their games look winnable tomorrow, but as we all know…..Football is a funny old game.

    I don’t think Fulham will lay down for Spurs.

  171. TotalArsenal says:

    I reckon Jol will do them a favour.

  172. VCC says:

    No way. He will try and get one over on them. Plus they will be tired after their game on Thursday.

  173. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, you’ve got mail 🙂

  174. Highbury Harmony says:

    VCC, cheers for the UMF update :). Those new rules sound great to me, especially the joker rule as I could really use it right now!

  175. TotalArsenal says:

    I am not so sure VCC. Remember last season, last game of the season: easy home win for Spuds. Jol said this afterwards:

    Fulham boss Martin Jol: “If you concede a goal after 90 seconds it is always difficult, you make it difficult for yourselves.
    “We know that if you come to a place like White Hart Lane you have to play with flair and not be intimidated.
    “In the first half an hour they were better, stronger and sharper and had everything to play for.
    “We created a few chances and then they scored again after a bad clearance and that is exactly what you shouldn’t do.”

    Let’s see what happens tomorrow, and of course I hope you are right! 🙂

  176. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers HH, I’ll check now. 🙂

  177. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post – New Post!

    HH has used his fine scalpel once again to produce another razor-sharp and to the point analysis of our game against the Jacks (without the only Jack who really matters)!

    Enjoy! 🙂

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