What happens when everyone is fit?

Once again we are coming off a victorious weekend where we brushed aside a strong side while some of our rivals dropped points. Ok, brushed is too harsh a word because as predicted Soton proved to be difficult to break down and it took 2 mistakes from them to gift us the points. I am not complaining, though. Anyway, enough has been said about the game.

Tomorrow we play a Marseille side who even at their very best would struggle against us let alone the injury ravaged side they have currently. They have Gignac, Payet, Ayew, Valbuena and N’koulou all out injured. It was as if we went into a game without Koscielny, Giroud, Ramsey, Mertesacker and Ozil. Needless to say, I expect us to bag all three points. We can’t underestimate them or get complacent, though.

Its good news for us as Lukas Podolski is back in full training and is expected to play in a few weeks, which brings me to the subject matter of this article. Our team is currently bursting at the seams with talent and it’s only going to get better once Poldi and the Ox return. Once everyone is fit and firing, Arsene will have one of the biggest selection headaches in recent history.

If you look at teams such as city and Chelsea, they have massive squads but you find that there is a bit of a gap in class between the starters and subs. I mean at Chelsea save for the Juan Mata fiasco, the first-11 virtually picks itself. Even at city it’s the same thing. Dzeko is good but nowhere as good as Aguero. But here it’s going to be very different. For example once everyone is fit and in form, do you drop Wilshere for Walcott? Does Podolski replace Santi? How will the team line up?

Sick bay edit (1)

You have a pretty established back 4 but that is where certainty comes to an end. Do you play a double pivot of Flamteta? If so what happens to Ramsey, Walcott and Wilshere? If not, which of the 2 will you drop considering their form? Considering that an in form Podolski is a massive goal threat, do you drop Cazorla or Ozil? If not how will you squeeze them in and what happens to Walcott and Wilshere?

We all know that when Wilshere hits top form, he renders himself undroppable so what happens then? Ramsey has cemented his spot in the middle and Theo is the best winger we have so what then? Cazorla was our best player by a mile last season and Ozil is…well Ozil, so how do you work this team ensuring you keep everyone in top form and happy? Note that to sustain a players form, you have to play them.

Santi Cazorla celebrates after scoring against Reading

Also what does this abundance in class mean for the form of the team? I mean rotation MUST be employed but too much rotation will disrupt our momentum, so how does the boss strike the balance between giving everyone game time but at the same time ensuring the whole mechanism of the team keeps running? And I still feel that Giroud needs a world class striker helping him, and so does Wenger, despite his recent comments, so we have a real conundrum on our hands.

There is also the small fact that we are a team based on development so players like the Ox and Gnabry must also find game time one way or another making this a very very interesting situation on our hands. Ultimately I think it bodes well for the team but we risk losing some players, especially this being a world cup year if a balance can’t be struck. There’s already been murmurs about Monreal and Vermaelen leaving and it would be a massive shame if either of them left.

To conclude, I have to say that no one knew how to rotate a team like Sir Alex did. At the end of a season, every player felt they had contributed to the success of the team. Here though, I feel like Monreal deserves a bit more game time. When it comes to rotation Wenger has his well documented shortcomings. However I trust him to find a solution based on his experience at the top level. I am becoming more and more certain that we will end our barren run this season.


Written by: Marcus

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

245 Responses to What happens when everyone is fit?

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Marcus thanks for a great post 🙂

    Yes, those are wonderful dilemmas to have and it would be good to know what everybody’s favourite line up is if and when all are fit.

    Guys and girls,

    No pre-match tomorrow as I am travelling up and down to London. It would be good if you all had a go at predicting the line up, the final score and the first goal scorer, so we can see tomorrow night who is the true visionary among the BKers! 😆

    Night all.

  2. James Bond says:

    was there pun intended in your last line @ TA ? 🙄

    nice one @ Marcus

    a brilliant headache to have this, it helps us in the longer turn as we can rotate more effectively and efficiently, besides the FA cup will soon be upon us as well and before that, we have a very very busy December – right time for Poldi to be returning

    hopefully we won’t lose out on any more players from now until January – this can ensure our safe passage to the title and knock out stages of other competitions, certainly.

    however, let’s still take it one week at a time and see how things pan out – i reckon, other teams will suffer our type of injuries and drop more points , whereas we have learned how to cope without our key players due to our (7 year experience – practice does, indeed make perfect) – with that being said, i feel that we will have game changers on the bench and both starting the game, that’s a fabulous option to have in any game and competition.

  3. James Bond says:

    for TA –

    ————————–you know who

    ———–you know who back 4





    Sorted !


    champions, Gooners – Brilliant !!!

    start the engine time


  4. Tom says:

    Plus, you’ve forgotten Rosicky in that midfield mix!

  5. Mike says:

    defense sorts itself, but rotate nacho, verm, and jenk a bit more

    in must win game, i’d go with




    podolski gives giroud/santi cover, theo on right or through middle, and Jack in either pivot or on the right (looked goot vs napoli)

    I know most wouldnt start rocky, but he’s been tremendous, and player i trust most in a big game.

  6. Dandy says:

    Leave that problem for the manager, that’s what he is paid to do.

  7. James Bond says:


    Rosicky comes on after 60 minutes for Theo – as an impact sub and a goal scorer

    Marseille , tend to tire down after the 60-65th minute mark and this is where we can go bananas after controlling the game really.

    ah, Bendtner is back to his old self – would like to hear Gerry’s thoughts, as he is the one who often ends up defending him (not quite sure why though)


    PS: i know i know Tom, you meant Rosicky in the grand scheme of things in context with Marcus’s fine article, but i was killing 2 birds with one stone, ha

  8. James Bond says:

    oh Dandy, you get 11 out of 10 for putting us all out of our misery, where would we be without you ? would we all be fine and dandy ? you betchya.

  9. Welcome Pod we’re really missing you i can’t wait to see you running in the field

  10. geoffchase says:


    3-0, or 3-1 if we get mistake prone… My lineup:




    Theo – Ozil – Cazorla


    I could also see TR start and Theo to come on or vice versa depending on how progressing. If we get going quickly then expect JW for some time later in second half, for Flam perhaps..

    first goal to … hmm..

    a. Theo if he starts, released by Ozil
    b. Elsewise to AR

    And waaaaaay out on a limb it will happen in the first 20 minutes.. There that should keep me in/out of trouble.. 🙂

    cheers — jgc

  11. geoffchase says:


    Regarding who plays.. I think it comes down to:

    a. Who is most hungry and thus some competition for time will be good for our players and game overall

    b. Best combinations. I.e. Gibbs-Podolski seem better matched then Gibbs-Cazorla?? And other difficult calls…

    Will be interesting to see… There is always a 1-4-6-0 🙂

    cheers — jgc

  12. weedonald says:

    Obviously AW wants to try and stick with the lineup that has given us the most points. That means Giroud starts and Walcott,Ozil and Cazorla in the attacking midfield and wings, with Ramsey and Flamini paired to start and the obvious back 4 starts. Ozil will be replaced by Rosicky once he begins to tire or we are well ahead, Monreal in for Gibbs shortly thereafter and perhaps even Vermaelen in for Flamini. Wilshere will come in for Cazorla if the Spaniard tires. Bendtner won’t even get on the bench I hope, so Gnabry will be the first choice backup to Giroud. Aren’t these type of selection headaches the cat’s meow????
    Arteta on the bench with wilshere, Gnabry,Rosicky Vermaelen and Monreal!

    What would the Spuds have paid to have this lineup starting last Sunday!!!!

  13. Marcus says:

    My thoughts exactly..

  14. Marcus says:

    Fantastic way to look at it.

  15. Marcus says:

    My bad. TR7 is very much in that group.

  16. Marcus says:

    I agree. Nacho and Verm deserve some game time as Kos and Gibbs need a breather.

  17. Marcus says:

    Interesting perspective. We’ll see how Wenger plays it.

  18. VCC says:

    Marcus………fine article. I nice head ache for Wenger to have.

    I go with James Bond 22:56. = Same line up, and same score.

    Would like to see Gnabry, Rosicky and Monreal come on in the latter stages.

    Beers all ready in the fridge for 19:30 sofa time.

  19. Gerry says:

    Marcus – Good post to us members of the chattering classes going, and I am a fully paid up member, just ask 17HT? 😆

    Okay, let me deal with the questions raised by the post first, before moving to that little aside of a real live match, and of some importance.

    How to keep players happy? How to keep them fresh? How to get the best out of the team as a whole?

    Questions, questions, questions.

    I think AW makes it more complicated than it need be by worrying on the former.

    SAF’s attitude was ‘Fcuk them! If they want play for the club, they play when I say so!

    End of

    AW may like to put an apologetic aside in there, but tough love is how it has to be.

    Over playing the main set of players, even beyond January, is the biggest threat to our long term success, with or without injuries adding to the problem.

    There are two ways of dealing with this: One is better use of substitutes. The second, which I think we are already seeing a bit more of, is selecting the type of players for the type of opposition? Not enough, but getting there?

    With substitutions: With the right balance of balance of players on the bench, you can cover nearly all positions with 4 or 5 players. That will leave you with two tactical places. The allowance for injuries, particularly in an overstretched squad, is always a delicate balance. To my mind, if you get the 5 bench players right i.e. GK; LB,LMF; RB,CB, RMF; AM,Wide; ST then you can add the tactical options that will, in all bar the GK,, overlap the other areas.

    Now the tricky part. Some of it dispenses with our current fan roll of OGAAT. The next sequence of games can influence thinking. But if you want to keep players fresh, use them for shorter periods so they are more effective in those minutes they are on.. Half time, well planned, and fully practiced beforehand, substitute could be a surprise element that the opposing manager can have little control over(in counteracting). An impact sub that means we start the second half and go for it big time. Then the 55/60 minute one that can also keep our players on their toes, whether in attack or in defense. Finally, the last twenty minutes haul off the player that might be carrying a knock.

    That is the theory. It rarely works out like that in practice? Take Flambeau’s hamstring one inside 10 minutes? The key is to have players on the bench that are ready to do a job. For that they have to have playing time, no matter who the back up is. I have been pushing for Hayden to get game time alongside either either ‘steady Eddiie’ Arteta, or vocal motivating Flamini, to gain his education of how to do things. Instead he has been idling on the bench, then turns out in the Youth tournament last night, probably trying too hard to impress, makes a rash challenge and gets sent off. Do I think it would have made a difference if he had had the odd twenty minutes here and there, and been ready to take over from Arteta on Saturday, and then come into the Youth game as a senior pro? You bet I do!

    The trouble is, he is not the only player in that category.

    The big problem to all of that, we are now in a position where all our games are ‘must win’ ones, including the two after this one?

    The last part of my trilogy is the one where I think AW ignores to a large extent? I think he puts out players who he thinks are intelligent enough to work it out on field?

    Where that fails is when players are working on instincts that have made them the players they are, and are working ‘in the moment’ when instinctive play is the only option, it may not allow think time to play in a colleague. I have mentioned before the way Santi plays down the left is so different to the way Podolski plays. Santi wants to turn inside and head to the middle, Poldi wants space to run directly forwards. One requires Gibbs to do the give and go, the other doesn’t require Gibbs at all. On memory, in the last game, Gibbs got down the line a few times and put crosses in … but I do not remember any occasion where he was played in by Santi?
    That is why Geoff’s observation on the pairings is so true.

    In other combinations it is not so glaring. Rambo and JW got themselves attacking the same ball on Saturday. An Isolated incident, but it shows the difference between that pair and Rosicky. Can you remember when Rosicky last tripped over a colleague/ Ozil would have an excuse in his first season? Flamini too, has an excuse if he sees a danger that needs clearing? We have seen Santi running into spaces that others want to go for?
    I suppose this is the flip side of ‘Fluidity’?

    Whatever the problem is, it should be got rid of. So when we have an injury free squad, a utpoia we can only dream of, some of the poor combinations can be left behind. How AW deals with it, (or not?) could well decide the outcome of crucial games.

    For my part, the team operates best with quick passing, fluid midfield, and quality in the final third. That involves the whole team playing well together. the players that can produce that are the ones that should be playing …

    Over to you AW …

  20. davydavy says:

    I agree – nice perspectives by geoffchase and weedonald. Definitely a must-win game so I wouldn’t want to start the game with unknown/untested combinations, and Jack was in such great form against Southampton that I think he must start.

    So I would go with:


    New legendary back 4

    Flamini – Ramsey

    JW – Ozil – Cazorla


    ..and go with weedonald’s game plan; bring on Theo and TR7 to up the tempo with about 30 minutes to go, and if we get to the point where we are under pressure to defend a lead, bring on Monreal for the last 15 or 20. Gnabry could also make an appearance at some point too, perhaps to relieve OG?

  21. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    Marcus.. how often in our last ten years.. We have over supply players.. hehehe..

    As you said Marseile lost their stars for injury ploblem.. and we play at home.. So I think Ozil and Giroud can rest and warm the bench for a while.. Get Cazorla back to Ozil position.. and play Rosicky..
    Bedtner.. if nothing serious in his little criminal thing.. I see him playing as our CF.. why not..??

    Nacho.. Verm.. Jenk.. are also can play.. but as We know Wenger.. he only will change 3 to 4 players.. So I think our back four will stay the same.. only maybe for Nacho..

    If Gnabry is fit enough.. he can subs Walcott cause Walcott is still on recovery.. so 60 minutes is enough for him..

    So my men for tonight are :

    We will this game.. and although I was admired by Dortmund.. I hope they draw again Napoli.. so We only need to get draw again Napoli.. hehehe..
    Cause We must play again Everton and City in between..

    Go Gunners.. We are the Champions..

  22. oz gunner says:

    good stuff marcus.

    it;ll be a nice dilemma to have but past history suggests we’re not that lucky! Every time we think our squad is brimming with talent a kozzer, gibbs, and giroud will go down and we are left making do again. I’m always optimistic but not with our injury record. It’s woeful more often than not

  23. allezkev says:

    Interesting post Marcus…
    What a terrible dilemma, so many great players to pick from? 😉
    Agree about Monreal, would like to see him start tonight tbh..
    Nobody, save Bendtner, should be allowed to leave in January.
    We have so many difficult, energy sapping game to negotiate in the EPL, CL and FAC, we need them all.
    I suspect with injuries, suspensions and rotation that all our players will get a chance to fully contribute in this congested season…

  24. allezkev says:

    My team for tonight, would be;

    Sczesney, Sagna, BFG, Kozzer, Monreal, Flamimi, Wilshere, Ozil, Santi, Walcott, Giroud…..

    I’d give Ramsey a rest in anticipation of his visit to Cardiff this weekend..

    Depending on the way the game is going TA, I’d use Verm, Gnabry and Rosicky from the bench….

  25. Good post Marcus and one that could have see us through this match tonight. Obviously we need the win and then we need to keep winning our league matches. We’ll also need a result at Napoli. As I asked yesterday, is there any word about that game being played behind closed doors? My bet is that UEFA is gonna back down on the threat in favor of the money… Regardless, it will be interesting to see who plays tonight and, ideally, that will be the talking point, IF the result goes to plan…

    I can’t match Gerry’s post here for length, as I don’t have that much coffee in the house 😉 and maybe because I have greater faith in the manager… However, I will say this: We will never have everybody fit. Injuries happen and if they don’t then the “Wenguries” will. In other words if the team is going well “injured” players get more time to return to fitness. If results falter then players are suddenly fit while others, instead of being “dropped,” pick up little niggles… I have a feeling for example, that if we get a bad result and Santi (or Jack or Ramsey…) continues to seem (in the eyes of some…) to be struggling, Lucas Poldolski will be fit sooner than later. It’s a cynical view, but there you have it. It’s all designed to protect egos as well as limbs…

    A side note and a reason that few youth players have been able to get in the team…This Autumn we’ve had no easy games. Our CL group is (by far) the toughest and we got a tough draw there in the COC and a quick exit. By contrast, United and Chelsea have stumbled in the CL and still will qualify this week. (We won’t…Anybody who thinks Dortmund won’t win tonight is a very hopeful sort…) City, though drubbed (at home) by Bayern, are already through…

    The note on combos is important. Attackers (ideally) will be rotated in groups or duos though some, often the more mature types (Rosicky, esp.) can fill holes as needed. To me, certain players look very controlled in their play (Ozil, esp.) and only need the occasional 20 minutes off. Anytime we can secure a result early that’s the sub (Sicky for Messy) I would expect. Others, esp. the younger guys, may go 90 if they get the start…

    Finally, the key to any sort of player rotation is that the team must come first. Players coming in must do what they can to secure results…This means disciplined play and bringing others into the game. Trying to exploit one’s “chance” leads to results like we saw on Sunday…Brilliant if you’re in a deep squad like ManCity’s not so good if you’re in a deep squad like Tottenham’s… 😀

    OK, off to roast some (coffee) beans so it’s possible I WILL have enough coffee to keep up with the guy with the dogs…

  26. RA says:

    Great write up Marcus, I enjoyed it.

    I had a word with Arsene this morning and told him the team names, so when you see it announced tonight you will know what I wanted. 🙂

  27. RA says:


    You are not going to believe this but back in the day, I was accused of writing comments that were too lengthy.

    Compared with you guys I was brevity personified! And, unlike you two, I wrote crap. 🙂

  28. James Bond says:

    Henry Henry Henry 🙂

    hope you’re well , our paths are crossing after a long time – but good things come to those who wait , so The visionary comes to you 👿

    i disagree with your team selection , strongly – why ?

    it’s simple, we have the opportunity to finish of Marseille and have one foot strongly mounted in the knock out stages and towards finishing as leaders of the group – regardless of what dortmund vs napoli –

    we take care of business tonight at home of football with our strongest possible starting line up – bear in mind, that most of our players have come back fresh from international adventures and they need playing time together to get back to that match sharpness and understanding – we sort of got lucky against southamption as we didn’t create much at all ? we can not expect us to win in that manner every week, hence we have to sort out the rust and play our strongest team today – as well as that, december is a massive massive month , about 9 games if , memory serves…

    so, if we do happen to get favourable results today (dortmund vs naples a draw, very unlikely as i have penned down dortmund as winners) , we can go to Naples in December, resting a bit of our midfield provided all are fit – this is a luxury we can afford as that is the game Podolski is expected to play from the start.

    plus, Bendtner shouldn’t be near this team anymore – the guy is a disgrace and an ungrateful + delusional fool based on his recent comments which were not taken out of context by the media by the looks of it.

  29. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hey Marcus, thanks for writing that article! It’s certainly a nice predicament to be in and there will certainly be some unhappy campers not receiving consistent playing time. However, if we’re continuing to win, there’s not much players can complain about and frequent rotation will only keep us healtier and more competitive on multiple fronts.

    If we can successfully convert Podolski to a central ST, then we can get some much needed rest for OG and have a different dimension to our attack, while keeping the free flowing rotation of wingers to get Santi, Jack, Rambo and Theo into the line-up.

    The only must starters for me right now are Szczesny, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Sagna, Gibbs, Flamini, Ozil and Giroud. Santi and Theo would be my choice for the tougher opponents on the wings, with Ramsey and Arteta rotating next to Flamini. Jack, Rosicky and Ox can rotate in on the wings and at CAM when needed, with Poldi filling in at ST.

  30. James Bond says:

    by the way, Marcus

    i do agree with you on how AW sometimes doesn’t do justice to squad rotation – for instance he is really under using Nacho and i feel that Nacho + Santiago is the best left combo, as opposed to the gibbs with Santiago one, but either way, i would like to see Nacho start more, this both keeps gibbs fresh and hungry when he gets the chance to play, mixing it up a bit is a way to go – this is a luxury we can afford on the left side of the pitch without dropping an ounce of quality and i’m hoping to see a bit more of that from now to December.

    i really do feel for Nacho, the lad has not put a foot wrong and always seems to be keen on putting on a shower and doing well – i was having a conversation at the beginning of the season where i told a mate of mine that we should use Gibbs for the home games and we should use Nacho for the away games, sadly my mate’s name wasn’t Arsene Wenger.


  31. James Bond says:

    oh stop the press, stop bloody everything – this is sparta , it’s a plane , it’s a bird, no it’s a train oh no, it’s someone we once used to know 🙄

    hello stranger 🙂

  32. Evening Knobbatron Knobbards ! 😆

    Thanks Marvellous Marcus.
    I`m with Oz and He he henry, I cant remember a time when at least a couple of our top players were not injured !. Some where along the line Arsene has pissed off the Dennis of Injuries !.
    I see from Tarzans link that Bendy got arrested !. Have we any legal eagles on here ?. Can Bendy get life or the death penalty for trying ( and succeeding badly ) to impersonate a World Class footballer ?…..not even a chance of being sent to a leper colony and becoming an Australian citizen !. hahaha

    Most normal people when driving long distances probably mull over the grey matter and think of life and stuff, my first thought today whilst driving…….. 💡 ” If a gay man is known as a Shirt Lifter…..is a lesbian known as a Skirt Lifter ? “. hahaha

  33. Gerry says:

    Ho Ho ..My afternoon ‘power nap’ has left me little time to say what I might have said, fuelled as it was correctly reported by HT, by my morning coffee …

    Right to business. Marsielles is it. The team that have won their last two games … over the bottom two clubs in Lique Un, played on Friday, due to play on FRIDAY again … and in their last match they played all the players that are reported above as being missing? I would say HT, if any side has any ‘wenguries’, it is Marsielles?

    That does not mean it will be an easy game. Nor does it mean they will tire in the last 20 minutes. They will field a side without Valbeuna, who is their main inspiration, and causer of the collapse in the latter stages, because they over rely on him. Instead, they will have some youthful replacements who will run a lot harder to impress. They will not want to lose. And they are very capable in the ‘dark arts’! No it will not be easy.

    My team selection, according to the microphone I had concealed when Ra told AW what side to put out To be fair Aw did put up a fight, but eventually agreed, JW will be rested.

    I tend to agree with HT, or should that be 17? – sounds a bit ’70’s Port Merion to me – Note to overseas and younger readers, that was a TV drama filled in said town of that name, which was entitled ‘The Prisoner’, and yes, they were all known by numbers – So to 7H there are some players it is pointless playing together most of the time because they do a similar role, and some are better at being impact players. Walcott, Rosicky and Gnabry in particular. If you are playing Santi, then play Monreal for reasons I gave earlier.

    So my expected team will be; Ozil, BFG, Santi, Giroud, Rosicky, Sagna, Szcz, Flamini, Ramsey, Gnabry, and Monreal.

    Ergo, the line up is different:

    ————————- Ozil ______________
    BFG________ Santi____Giroud_____Rosicky
    ________Sagna ___________Szcz________

    However, do expect some fluidity on that? The ‘keeper has exceptional peripheral vision.

    What do you mean Davydavy, this is an ‘untried/untested’ line up? They are part of the 14 man team keeping this club going for the last 3 months ToTL and all that. It is just up to you to see beyond the obvious.

    JB, I am coming to you to support me on this. Apart from a slight tweak here and there, that team looks dangerous wherever they put themselves?

    Oh No! I’m sorry I was coming to you on NB23. I defend him and other against unfair criticism. But he is a media ‘milch cow’. They tickle his teats and he coughs up what might be pure milk, but instead of making it into top class butter or cheese, they p*ss in and use it for fertiliser. Which in turn gets gobbled up by the various plant form that thrives on.

    If he made contact with that Sagna cross against Man U would you still be digging old dirt today?? Would he have been a pointless target for OG’ ‘finger’. Would we be worried if he stepped off the bench for the last 20 minutes

    Well would we?

    Does 2 inches make so much difference? … as the Bishop might have said to the Actress ..

    They guy will be gone in January. Just leave him be, eh?

    Right, My tea time, with a small coffee to keep me up for the match.

    Don’t do forecasts, but an early goal will settle the nerves, But whatever way they line up, they should do the business. Okay?

  34. James Bond says:

    i see what you did there @ Gerry

    you know me, any team that has Rosicky and Nacho – i’m all up for 🙂 chuck in Ger-Na-Bry and i’m sold, ha

    but sadly, i doubt if , AW would see it as such and i have watched that Cardiff game twice now as they are our next rivals, i reckon, Gnabry will be very well used there with Theo coming on as a sub – it’s a big ground that one and width needs to be properly used and abused there.

    so for that reason, i suspect that Gnabry might not get an outing at all today but i do expect Rosicky or Theo to start, one of the 2 to start and the other coming on as a sub !

    re- Bendtner, i get your point but even if he had scored against the mancs, it wouldn’t have changed my opinion of him one bit, the guys a lunatic and the sooner he is out of Arsenal, the better it is for all parties involved – i’m hoping we can terminate his contract due to his latest shenanigans, by all means, put park on the bench .

    i hope you are going to be wearing your lucky scarf tonight ?

  35. 17highburyterrace says:

    Lovely to see RA and HH pop round even if they aren’t gonna write long and/or cyberbully anybody… 😉

    Interesting to see that Giroud makes HH’s list of must-starters while (whilst?) Ramsey is left off… We always lauded those two as work horses but for them to be carrying the load as our goal scorers is something nobody could have predicted. Is it possible that Arsene knows (as the saying goes) something more than your average blogger? And, Cockie, they’re called Wengeries (trademark pending)… Even the Dennis must bow down before our leader as he tells his players that they’re taking one for the team…

    So never a full squad but more scoring to be spread around as the season progresses. As long as Ozil stays fit there’s no way that Theo and Lu-lu will be kept out…San Diego (Santiago or James, same as our super-spy…) Cazorla and Wilshere and (even) Rosicky will knock some in too…We may not catch City on goal difference so we need to keep ahead of them on points… BTW, when do we get an announcement on those going out on loan, Bond?…

    OK, drugs have been processed (coffee roasted…) and I’ve got some addicts coming by…so now I need to clean the house (and/or teach the kid how to do likewise–he’s got the whole week off for Thanksgiving, WTF?…) before the match…

    Hopefully a few will be around for the GDC (game day chat)…

  36. James Bond says:

    no idea @ 17HT as to when, as the clubs up north is not everyone’s cuppa and not as efficient as some would like, but there you go –

    ha ha, good luck in trying to get the a helping hand from the young one 🙂

    i’ll be here for the quality game day chat and banter, no worries

  37. James Bond says:

    and sorry to not answer your query before but Naples only got fined 20 grand, they are allowed to have a full house by UEFA.

    so we will be playing in front of a full house and crashing the party as usual (something that’s our forte 🙂

  38. 17highburyterrace says:

    Looks like Gerry posted while I was writing…Trying to figure out that formation gave me a bit of a headache…Gnabry, only 18 will get his chance, maybe spelling Theo if we’re on a lead tonight. If not, time is on his side… I kept looking for the 2nd central defender but I guess you feel we don’t need one. Genius or crazy? You tell me?… Could be too much time conversing with the puppies?… Personally, I’ll remain happy that AW is at least #2 here on the island…

    On the other hand, that’s some funny stuff there about the Nicky Bendtner media punching bag…Yep, off to Barca in Jan. to join Hleb, Song and Cesc…Will Thierry Henry be going back there too after getting fit with us? AW says “no chance” to another loan…Thank god he’s never told an untruth…

    OK…must get my apron on…

  39. davydavy says:

    Gerry, I love your analytic viewpoints as always – you should be a football coach!

    Yep, I did say untested but all I really meant was that there are a few combinations that have hardly been used this season, eg Ozil + Theo, and with such an important game I’d play it a bit safe and not start with them (and Jack is coming into some good form again I think).

    I also liked the point made above about Marseilles being a team that tires after an hour or so, and it would be good for us to introduce them to TR7 and Theo for half an hour.

    Great to have all these options now, with more to come.

    Cheers and COYG!

  40. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cheers, Bond, on answering my queries…If you (and your sauce) won’t post anything here it could be time to initiate your own blog…Arsenal Super Spy (A.S.S., as we spell it over here…) or Arsenal’s Redoubtable Supply of Enformation (as you guys might write it)…

    Twenty grand?…That’s tickets from 500 traveling supporters… or the cost of 200 workers (for a year) in Qatar… UEFA: “We Sell Trophies”… 🙄

    Perhaps, I’ll have to write about what (little) I can remember from my trip to see Napoli-Roma in 1990… Sadly that’s about it… (3 nil to the home team, at least one Maradona dive/pen conversion and walking through a tunnel from the train to the stadium…)

  41. Gerry says:

    JB – I was unaware of the latest NB happenings – Perhaps he had been told he will not be travelling to Ashburton Grove tonight?

    Yes, I feel ‘The Gnab’s’ was left out of the important Youth Match because he is wanted to play here. It is a choice between him and Walcott who starts, but either will not do the full 90, so both will be ready for our next one. They (CDF) do seem to raise their game for top clubs, so I am glad you are taking it on board.

    I figure you have to play either Ramsey or Wilshere for this one, and given they can dish it out, and he of suspect ankles may not get away with it

    I feel they will come with the intention of not losing. If that means a bit of rotational fouling, well let us wait and see. I caught an article on UA about the sly use of the treading on insteps as a way of eventually bringing an opponent to a halt. Something to keep an eye on I think? They are the fouls that don’t get carded because they look like they are just mistimed . I wonder?

    Yes, the scarf will be out as I can watch it on ITV 1 as I recall. Alas, that means my computer monitor will revert to usual mode of being a TV set. So I will not join you in during the match banter, but young D might be available if he has time off for good behaviour?

    Still an hour or so to go, so I check in again later …

  42. Gerry says:

    Trust you H7 to find the flaw in my set up, it means it will be more fluid than first envisaged, diving to the bench every time we defend?

    Yep, Kos will be there, I don’t think Santi has the pace … er or the height …. err or the build?
    I did think TV5 might get a shout, and still might, but I think that will wait until the next one.

    So I guess that leaves Rosicky as the impact 30 minute guy?

  43. Gerry says:

    davydavy, were you being a tad sarcy there? Tut Tut.

    Rather than a coach, i was a school bus driver. You know, lower league stuff 😀

  44. James Bond says:

    wow, you watched Diego in his prime and at best (diving and penalty), must be some day ehhh @ 17HT – brillaint !!!

    like you said, leave him be @ Gerry – he’s not worth our time and he’s a world class loser. (all pun intended).

    here we go

    Arsenal: Szczęsny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Ramsey, Wilshere, Özil, Rosický, Giroud

    thoughts on the starting 11, people 🙂

  45. James Bond says:

    that is a mouth watering like up, blimey – Nacho on the left with Santiago

    Rosicky interchanging with OoooooooooooooooooOooooZil

    Ramsey working in tandem with Wilshere and Flamini bossing it

    hats off to AW !!!

  46. James Bond says:

    sorry, there is no Santiago, he’s on the bench, Wilshere or Rosicky switch on the left/right


  47. RA says:

    I have some problems getting on to blog at the moment, not just because I am in the US but also because I have commitments, but I do avidly read the commendable Posts and comments of the wise and knowledgeable pundits of BK. 🙂

    Some blogs count the number of comments as an indicator of success, but if the quality and length of the comments were considered, BK would win hands down!!

    Good on you, guys!!!!!

  48. James Bond says:

    Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Ramsey, Rosicky, Ozil, Wilshere, Giroud.

    Subs: Fabianski, Vermaelen, Arteta, Walcott, Cazorla, Bendtner, Gnabry.



    PS: i hope he’s not injured ?

  49. James Bond says:


    we are not the same without your input though , so do try to find a little time every now n again for comments, besides , we are top of the league and top of the table – if you stuck by the mighty arsenal through all the testing times, then this should be enough reason for you to make hay while the sun shines 🙂

    on a different note, ( @ TA)

    we really should consider doing a controversial article with a very controversial title e.g. Why Man utd, Tottenham, Liverpool won’t be finishing top 4 and why Chelsea have over achieved

    should be fun that one, ha

  50. Highbury Harmony says:

    17ht, if I may defend myself. Ramsey was left off as a must-start only because Flamini in my mind is indispensable and depending on the opponent, a case could be made for starting either Arteta/Ramsey. I’m still not sold on Rambo on the wing, as he’s much more effective centrally and players like Theo, Santi, Ox, Jack etc. tend to be more effective out wide.

    Ideally, we could fit all these players in the line-up, but such is not possible because we can’t field a 18 man starting line-up! Just goes to show how great of a roster builder, the magnificent AW is!

  51. Thank you RedickulArse !. About time my quality was appreciated !. hahaha

    17……I think 007`s Blog should be called……..Brown Spot !…..Bond Reveals Optimistic Wenger News….Sauces Provide Outrageous Transfers !.

  52. Plenty of width to come on if need be !.
    Don’t think Bendy will see much action, his electronic tagging will not allow him to wander more than 50 feet from the bench !.

  53. davydavy says:

    Gerry sorry I wasn’t meaning to sound sarcy .. I really do like the thorough way you analyse things and didn’t intend anything otherwise 🙂

    Quite like Arsene’s starting line-up and good to see I got my wish with JW starting, so that I can be proved wrong again!

  54. James Bond says:

    oh Fozzie B, where art though mate ? TCM isn’t the same without you !!!

    none of you have even noticed or commented on the starting 11 and our bench with no GIBBS ?

    🙄 shame shame on you !

  55. Gerry says:

    JB – I am not surprised at Gibbs resting this one. And I rather they do not do the half bit on the bench when there is cover there. Mind, in this struggle for balance in MF, he or Wilshere were the obvious targets?

    Of that lot, I would put JW alongside Flamini, and have Ramsey higher up the pitch, But use his energy to get back as the extra defender. Rosicky the engine, Ozil the driver, with Giro as the track engineer seeing it is all clear.

    Subs: TV5 and Arteta are the defensive back ups. Cazorla and Walcott the AM and wide, and Gnabry as ST. .. You see, my message got through this morning?

    Caz and Theo for Ozil and Ramsey/Wilshere/ Rosicky (depending who gets carded?) on the 70 mins.

    If no injuries, then Gnabs for Giro on 78 minutes.


  56. James Bond says:

    *where art thou

    and we have DD and Glics finally noticing the starting 11, good stuff

    very surprised to see JW start – maybe Wenger already has an eye on squad rotation and has listened to both Henry and Gerry

  57. James Bond says:

    agreed @ Gerry

    to be honest, just before the game i did raise the point re – Nacho and i know you’re on the same page, so it’s a good team selection

  58. Apparently Gibbs is ill !.

  59. Gerry says:

    davydavy – I really did not mind either way, but nice of you to clarify.

    I am just the thinking person’s responder … with the handbrake off 😆

    Cheers enjoy the game.

  60. James Bond says:

    i thought so @ TCM

    makes more sense, so he has the night off due to illness, i don’t mind !

  61. I`m going to do my usually scaredy cat thing and record the match and watch it after it has finished providing Mrs Monster has told me that we have won and without revealing the score !. hahaha

  62. Gerry says:

    JB it may be wenguflu?

    I off to get the scarf out and turn on to telly mode. keep a close eye on those sly tackles, I’ll be testing later to see if you get the right number, okay?

    Enjoy it, Take the odds on a red card, it has that feel about it?

  63. proudgooner says:

    Evening all, il go for Giroud to score first Arsenal win 2-0

  64. James Bond says:

    might well be but there’s no LB or RB on the bench though @ Gerry – see you later and enjoy the show !!

    yep, you called it, re- red card, when was the last time we played against 10 men ? long over due i reckon, ha

    and go on , do a runner as usual , Glics 🙂

  65. James Bond says:

    evening @ The punter

    you got money riding on a 2-0 then ?;)

  66. AFC says:

    Hi guys! 🙂

    Kick off very soon. Just seen the team and it looks like this team should be able to the job. Very happy to see Monreal get a (rare) start. Gibbs not be in the squad could be AW giving him a rest. Also good to see Walcott will not be thrown straight in the firing line and will have a bit longer to fully recovery. With Wilshere on the right and Rosicky on the left we could struggle with width but we have plenty of options i.e Walcott and Gnabry to come off the bench and provide width.

  67. James Bond says:

    oh hello stranger !!!

    how have you been and where have you been ? @ AFC

  68. AFC says:

    JB, very busy. 😦

    Cannot believe Roy Keane is still not convinced by Arsenal. Let’s hope our team can make him look the fool tonight.

  69. James Bond says:

    are you surprised about that though @ AFC

    once a man utd (SCUM) always a manc scum !

    allow his biased, he’s out numbered anyway, ha

  70. geoffchase says:

    JB, Gerry et al,

    I liked (shit, I forget) but I think JBs point or Gerry’s (???) about rotating combos. I think that and injuries as noted will be the driver. The very interesting questions then are

    a. which is better? Gibbs-Poldi or Nacho-Santi?? Very different flavors there in terms of game but both effective. Pick by opposition style?

    Equally, and as an outcome really:

    b. doesnt thsi indicate that what we really need then are more outside backs? Ie if combos is where it’s at and we only have limited outside backs… Just a weird side effect..

    cheers and almsot game time… I called 3-0 with first goal in 20 minutes to Theo released by Ozil or OG autrement.

    cheers — jgc

  71. James Bond says:

    Giroud prays the same way as Ozil ?

  72. proudgooner says:

    It is and feels very much like a workmen like job and set up for the team tonight , that is why i think 2-0 just feels like the right result and would be the logical result they will aim for.
    I have just seen the line-up, quite surprising in a few ways but good changes or most of them as we have some really good players who need to play and some need a rest.
    The Cazorla not being named to start is 1 that is making me think. Talk in the stands from a lot of fans was that Cazorla and Ozil can’t play together. . Against the saints both played out wide and most will say both are better and more useful in the middle, this is probably a bigger topic for another day so il leave that there.I will just say can’t is nota word that should be used for these skillful players and i am sure that they can play very very well together it just needs to be worked out, Wenger will sort it out. GOOAALLL

  73. James Bond says:

    sloppy start, boo




  74. proudgooner says:

    i waas going to back Jack for 1st goal, well done son CLASS

  75. 17highburyterrace says:

    Whoa…WhadidImiss?… 😆

  76. James Bond says:

    that was me @ JGC

  77. AFC says:

    Wilshere already! Good goal!

  78. proudgooner says:

    N ow i am thinking 2-0 is not enough could be 3 or 4

  79. Alcide says:

    Hi guys, I’m back from mission…

    Superb 2 passes, and brilliant finish from Jack!

  80. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, now what?…

  81. proudgooner says:

    Jack is looking really sharp. Looks like he is hitting form , hope he can emulate Rambo 🙂

  82. AFC says:

    Ramsey should have put that away. 😀

  83. 17highburyterrace says:

    Great Save Mandanda! He guessed right…Rambo should do better?…

  84. proudgooner says:

    Great start, the game is only being played in 1 half of the pitch.

  85. geoffchase says:

    JB who released JW fior the goal???

  86. 17highburyterrace says:

    Geoff, I think it was Sagna, but not sure as I was just sitting down…

    Ozil mishandles Ramsey’s chipped pass? 😯

    Sell Him NOW!!!!

  87. 17highburyterrace says:

    Whoa…Not good there…Gignac should’ve scored though replay shows Scsz was quick and Ozil marshalled him away from goal…

    Nice combo before that w/Wilshere, Sagna and Giroud trying to chest down to Jack…

  88. James Bond says:

    i missed the assist as i was typing here, ha

    yep, Ozil and ramsey both should have score, sell both of them now !!!

  89. James Bond says:

    it was indeed, Sagna @ JGC

  90. 17highburyterrace says:

    For what we paid for Ozil (plus Flamini and Sanogo…) We could’ve bought Soldado, Capoue, Lamela, Eriksen, Chadli, Sir-Riches (who am I forgetting?)…or at least a couple of them. F**king cheapskate Wenger…

  91. James Bond says:

    don’t forget TA’s favourite – JOVETIC @ 17HT


  92. AFC says:

    Anyone notice how Flamini is organising our positioning while defending?

  93. proudgooner says:

    “were the Bergkampesque , were the Bergkampesque of Highbury!

  94. James Bond says:


    where is the match pre-view you promised to do ? ? ? not good mate 🙂 only joking !!!

    good to see you back

  95. 17highburyterrace says:

    Oops…Forgot Paulinho…Who saved them 2 points late on at Cardiff…

    Umm Kay…I’m ready for a 2nd…

    Also, Geoff, it was me talking about rotating in combos…

    Finally Gerry (off line I know…), I too suspect a Wenger-Flu in the case of Gibbs…

  96. James Bond says:

    how was that not a penalty and foul on Giroud ?

  97. 17highburyterrace says:

    I guess it’s not a pen if the guy you’re pulling down still almost makes an assist for the other guy being fouled?…

  98. James Bond says:

    penaltyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy to arsenal

  99. geoffchase says:

    17… 🙂

    and a makeup call!

  100. James Bond says:

    was outside the box on ramsey but i don’t mind

    ozil steps up

    and ozil scoooooooooooooooores


    no missesssssssssssssssssssssssssssss


    still 1-0

  101. 17highburyterrace says:

    PEN (outside the box, I think)….Oh well…

    Ozil BLOCKED!!

  102. geoffchase says:

    blew the first one gave the benefit on teh second..

  103. geoffchase says:


  104. 17highburyterrace says:

    Justice served, eh Bond?

    And now Ozil at the top…Looks like we’re working on a “new” part of our game…

  105. geoffchase says:


  106. proudgooner says:


  107. AFC says:

    Very poor from Ozil. 😦 but was justice done? The fouled looked to be just outside the box.

  108. 17highburyterrace says:

    Not much of a FK there from Rambo…Hoping for the wall to jump? Looks like we’re pushing for a 2nd before the half…

  109. James Bond says:

    justice served @ 17HT


  110. 17highburyterrace says:

    Mandanda didn’t commit and that was Ozil’s whole plan…Time to sell? Of course, keeper was 2 yds off his line, too…Giroud takes the next one, I bet…

    Sagna’s crossing looking pretty sharp to me…

  111. James Bond says:

    Ozil – OUT

  112. 17highburyterrace says:

    Jack chips (punts) over….Might’ve gone to ground just before that if we’re working on our flops…

  113. proudgooner says:

    We could have been easy 3 nil up 17 and maybe 4 or 5 , still a strong performance, COYG
    At least Ozil hit the target but that is not the way to take a pen pick a corner and bury it1

  114. 17highburyterrace says:

    I’m being sarcastic (joking)–you too, right Bond?…Also, if Ozil should be out, shouldn’t the guy who bought him go as well?

    Wenger OUT…

    Coffee deal about to go down…see you guys for the 2nd…

  115. James Bond says:

    jokes aside, Ozil is a very soft sort of player, no ? pulls of out anything 40% 60

    e.t.c etc ?

  116. James Bond says:

    course, it’s banter and jokes @ 17HT – tongue in cheeks – indeed !

    love ozil !!!!

    but yeah, the punter is right, we should be 3-0 already.

    i don’t like this scoreline and after the break, Marseille can still come out at us and score.

  117. AFC says:

    Agreed with those who believe we should be 2, 3 nil up. If the guys can go out in the second period, up the tempo and get a second goal that would be good as we could think of resting the likes of Giroud, Ramsey and Ozil.

  118. James Bond says:

    plenty of yellow cards for napoli in the other one, how about a red card or 2 for them in the 2nd half ? that will be very good for us, even better if it’s Higuain (Already on a yellow)

    1-0 in that one

    i actually want Dortmund to win that one as i feel we can top the group easily by drawing at naples , if not by winning of course !

  119. geoffchase says:


    Ozil is a distributor and creator, not a hard tackler feisty type. That’s JW or TR for example, or AR as well… His extra comes from touch and vision .. IMO, it’s a nice offset/combination vs JW/TR/AR …

    cheers — jgc

  120. James Bond says:

    we need Theo, this game is screaming for his name – take off JW/ Giroud and bring on Theo

  121. geoffchase says:

    Sadly, may miss half two as it’s the only timie today I can get out for a run… 😦

    cheers — jgc

  122. James Bond says:

    run over Arsenal ? come on @ JGC – get your priorities right !!!

  123. James Bond says:

    i get that @ JGC about Ozil but sometimes, it’s no harm going in when it’s 60/40 in your favour, i can understand the 50/50 but come on !

  124. James Bond says:

    the one man team aka barca losing 2-0 to Ajax 😀

  125. James Bond says:

    here we go again,

    come on lads, let’s score 2 more goals and make me richie rich !!!

  126. geoffchase says:


    Well, it’s the one chance to spend time out of work sometimes… plus you’re cheering loud enough for us both! 🙂

    I dont really disagree about 60-40 but percentage is in teh eye of the beholder … I guess I am not too fussed… it will matter at some point, I agree, and I hope then he does go in.. until then…

    cheers — jgc

  127. AFC says:

    Walcott warming up! 🙂

  128. James Bond says:

    fair enough, enjoy the run then !

    yep, looking good @ AFC

  129. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey guys…drug deal complete…and only missed a minute of the match…

    I think this comes back to the lion vs kitty kat stuff, so I don’t want to argue with too much passion…

    Ozil avoiding injury is still world class…You can call him what you will but it’s a long season. Risking your health in a match we’re going to win is for silly boys…Hell, I don’t (even) want Ramsey to do it again… (and he jumps away from a slider he might’ve contested just there…)

    Giroud deflection almost…

  130. James Bond says:

    ozil nearly scores and should have scored, good save by their keeper though

  131. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nice save there from Mandanda…Tough angle…(Cheeky handball by Ozil, the replay shows…)

  132. James Bond says:

    blimey, the game changer comes on for Marseille – bring on Theo already @ AW

  133. 17highburyterrace says:

    Valbuena, inch for inch, is a pretty good player…And Thauvin is supposed another one Spurs should buy… and immediately they fight over a FK…

    Time for a bit of nerves?…

  134. James Bond says:

    what regular and clever chips from ramsey, in the entire game so far, and all of them were onside not offside you twits aka refs

  135. 17highburyterrace says:

    Not offside…Refs not up to snuff…

  136. James Bond says:

    time for theo , i reckon @ 17ht

  137. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nice ball there from Nacho…Theo for Sicky? (lotsa loose balls today) or for Giroud as he slips?… And gets the song… lol…

  138. James Bond says:

    i’m beginning to get a bitch twitchy now,

    these are the games that we can easily lose or draw, when we should be well ahead.

  139. James Bond says:




  140. proudgooner says:


  141. 17highburyterrace says:

    Jack…from Ozil…

    There’s # 2

  142. James Bond says:

    ozil is back – king of assists for wilshere , laid it on a plate for jacky boy !

  143. AFC says:


    I would bring off Ramsey, Giroud and Ozil for Bendtner, Walcott and Gnabry.

  144. 17highburyterrace says:


    I may have to use this quote of yours Bond, next time we’re in a tight one…

    i’m beginning to get a bitch twitchy now


  145. proudgooner says:

    Jack showed moments of real class on Saturday , now he looks like he has found some real form 2 in 1 game that is a first for super Jack, well done son. I cam see a lot more coming for him now 🙂

  146. 17highburyterrace says:

    Rambo felled by the man-child…Settle down now, kids…

  147. proudgooner says:

    Arteta for Rambo Walcott for Giroud.

  148. James Bond says:

    time for Santiago and Theo to come on !!!

  149. proudgooner says:

    Surley give Giroud a little break?

  150. James Bond says:

    ahahahahhahahaahahhaahhaahahahhahahaha @17HT

    works like a charm – everytime that one , i tell you, ha

  151. proudgooner says:

    Monreal has had a really solid match.

  152. 17highburyterrace says:

    And maybe Verm for Sicky (push Nacho forward)?… Any day now, A-dub…

  153. James Bond says:


    nacho clears off the line….


  154. proudgooner says:

    Well done Monreal

  155. 17highburyterrace says:

    Santi and Theo are the two…

    Bitch Twitchy…not a typo, Bond?

    Nacho clears after Sir Chez blocks Thauvin!!!!!

  156. 17highburyterrace says:

    Jack and Sicky off…

    (much like Theo’s first touch…)

  157. AFC says:

    Subs finally on. Walcott and Cazorla for Wishere and Rosicky. I would like to see Giroud or Ozil taken off to lessen the risk of either getting injured.

  158. James Bond says:

    great save by Sczny, still keeps my hope of 3-0 alive

    well done, sir 🙂 🙂 🙂

  159. proudgooner says:

    Did you hear that? Fucking Townend 1 Get in, Chelsea scum. he don’t like Arsenal clearly

  160. 17highburyterrace says:

    Flams beaten at the point…Sir Chez NOT beaten at the near post….

  161. proudgooner says:

    Great save JB 😉

  162. proudgooner says:

    Ajax 2 barcelona 1 hmmm

  163. proudgooner says:

    my 2 nil to us is lookinh pretty good now. the game is over and safe.

  164. 17highburyterrace says:

    Theo pace behind is a threat…the pass a bit less so…

    Barca already qualified and top of their group?

    Ozil off, Arteta on…

  165. 17highburyterrace says:

    PEA makes it 3-1 Dortmund…

  166. proudgooner says:

    17 ,
    no Milan can still take top spot

  167. davydavy says:

    If Dortmund win, we want them to win well I think! Great night of football so far..

  168. 17highburyterrace says:

    Thanks PG…

    Arteta looking lively…

    Santi blasts over…(poor)… Nice cross-shot from Theo left Santi a sitter…

  169. 17highburyterrace says:

    Chelsea give up a late goal at Basel… Wow…

  170. James Bond says:

    basel score against chelsea – 1-0


  171. 17highburyterrace says:

    Theo just wide…Needed another touch?

  172. James Bond says:

    GOAL – Basel 1-0 Chelsea – Mohamed Salah
    Chelsea will have to wait at least another week. A long ball from the back picks out Mohamed Salah’s run in behind Branislav Ivanovic and this time the Egyptian holds him nerve to lift the ball over Petr Cech and set off an eruption of noise in St Jakob Park.

    so i will take our 2-0, even though it should have been 3-0, 4-0 or 5-0
    but never mind !

  173. proudgooner says:

    Totally dominant performance a job well. On the other side wasted a lot of great chances, room for improvement , great to see Jack with 2 goals on the score sheet 🙂

  174. 17highburyterrace says:

    That Theo effort might make betting man Bond a bitch twitchy? PG still looking good on the the 2-nil…

    Chelsea still good to qualify, no?


  175. AFC says:

    Got the result we needed. We only need one point in Naples right to top the group?

  176. James Bond says:

    this lad, Salah is some player and winger i tell you all.

    why has no team made a bid for him ? certainly worth a punt in January !

  177. proudgooner says:

    Super super Jack, super super Jack, super super Jack, super Jacky Wilshere!

  178. proudgooner says:

    You discovered a gem JB? I never heard of him

  179. proudgooner says:

    Barcelona lose to Ajax 🙂 well done Ajax

  180. James Bond says:

    a point will suffice, yes @ AFC

  181. AFC says:

    Thanks JB, I really want us to top the group as we have really already qualified unless we lose by 3 goal in Naples.

  182. James Bond says:

    Salah is quality, i have watched him for 2 years now, he put the whole spud team to the sword, Chelsea and i think man utd as well ?

    he’s their stand out player, a winger and a real quality one – SQ i would say

    he caught my eye back then and he still doesn’t disappoint , has got some serious pace and is a team man !

    @ PG

    we can do it easily @ AFC

    don’t worry, it’s in the bag, Marseille at home won’t be easy for Dortmund with their injuries and suspensions !

  183. AFC says:

    See you guys later. 🙂

  184. James Bond says:

    laters @ AFC

    am off as well now

    take it easy and keep smiling !!!

  185. proudgooner says:

    later on chaps.

  186. 17highburyterrace says:

    Missed the goodbyes… Didn’t realize about the GD scenario for the Napoli match…Sounds good, but yes, winning the group sounds better…

    O-Gaat, however, as my Dutch friend likes to say… Thanks for the chat…

    Next stop, Wales…

  187. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening guys and good to see RA, AFC, HH and Alcide back 🙂

    Good, efficient win and what a night for Jack!

    Well done to those predicting 10/11 of the line-up.

  188. Gerry says:

    Well I enjoyed re-living the game from the ‘live’ chat above. Thank you.

    Big positive was Monreal for me. Best game I have seen him play I think?

    Second was Jack the lad. Not because he is good at RW. More that he moved around ..sensibly. He also looked a more mature player in the post match interview. Perhaps he has got the message not to try too hard?

    I know I am stealing JB’s thing here, but here’s another positive

    Clean sheet for Sir Chez, mostly self made, with a little help from Monreal.

    What else, Sagna back to his good crossing. and good to see Flamini doing his thing too.

    Negs? One really. Sloppy. Sloppy. Sloppy.

    Funnily enough they seem to apply themselves better after Mars brought on their big guns, and made the game more open. otherwise it had that 89 minutes of always looking like 1-nil.

    Santi just cannot help himself can he? Even when defending he has to turn inside. That little waltz he did across the front of our box was dangerously mad?

    Overall I thought they did achieve better balance in the side. Plenty of attacks, or at least movement down the left. Ozil seems to be going through a spell where it is just not happening for him, but that may be because those around him have not been on fire? It might be interesting to see how well they do without him for a game or two? Chavs and Mancs should sharpen him up?

    OGAAT, but with one eye on what is around the corner. Maureen says we could be 3rd in the table in 10 days time … perhaps he should check his own side’s position first?

  189. Gerry says:

    Geoff – In answer to your questions a, and b, ..

    It is not that simple to compare the two combos of Gibbs/Poldi v Nacho/Santi because it is more how they integrate with the rest of the team.

    Gibbs gets more use made of him with Poldi ahead of him, or Rosicky switching play.

    Nacho, on his display last night, may not get and better service off Santi (when he is obliged to play on the left), but can come off the line himself, leaving Santi to take defenders away?

    We can only play one or the other LB, so why does it require more. unless you are thinking proper wingers, and leave them to defend?

    The answer to me, is that with or without Ozil, or Jack for that matter, Santi is better in the free role central. How the others play around him is down to them going into spaces to receive passes. It is rather like the Arshavin conundrum which, imo, we mishandled badly?

    Ozil and Rosicky are both capable of working around a free role player(singular), with experience and skill combined. The problem arises when you have Ramsey and Jack both wanting to go where they want to, and throwing Santi into the mix just adds to the confusion? Great when it all clicks. Clumsy when it doesn’t.

    Interestingly it does not affect Walcott, as he stays on the chalk until the final third, and then it is down to the movement of others where he goes. So perhaps a call for a left winger might just be the answer ….

    JB – Which side does your man Salah play?

  190. VCC says:

    Gerry….Totally agree with your assessment on Monreal. Best game in an Arsenal shirt by a mile.

    I think someone has had a word in Jack’s ear. He looked back to his best almost last night. He needed to pull his socks up and it looks like he is beginning to do so.

  191. Afternoon Shartabate Sniffers 😆

  192. James Bond says:


    talk is petty, so i will just get on with it and share with you a couple of videos of his – the lad is very talented and one to keep an eye on – he’s left footed so mostly on the left wing, however, he’s found on the right wing more often than not and in essence and play up front in all 3 positions .

    and he took down Spuds on his own here, naturally any player who takes spuds down gets a special mention – plus he’s “our” type of player – here is the spuds match bits

  193. James Bond says:


    i have said it before and will say it again, he’s the best crosser in this Arsenal team…or let;s say he’s the best crosser that hardly ever gets an opportunity.

    AW – sort it out please and give the lad more opportunities, go with my formula of playing gibbs at home and Nacho for the away games.

  194. Gerry says:

    JB – Salah looks lethal against teams that don’t use defenders? Not quite so clear cut against Spurs?

    I do like his effort though. still running at speed even in the second half. I also like his shoot when the opportunity arises … something our boys could learn from? Add to that, he makes good decisions between assists and greed?

    Switch Walcott to the other wing to do the same over there, and it could be quite a lethal pairing?

    I think we would have to play only one DM to accommodate that, and a trio of creative midfielders?

    Put his name on the list by all means.

  195. James Bond says:

    he was the african player of the year if memory serves , an upcoming or promising one, he also took Chelsea to the cleaners last night (should have scored 3 at least)…he had 2 people marking him as well, sometimes.

    also, he was mighty effective at stramford bridge…

    from a couple of weeks ago

    the goal he scored against them yesterday (look on the face of Jose- priceless

  196. Gerry says:

    Yes, like I said, there is a lot to like about him. But for all his industry there was very little ‘end product’ in the first vid?

    The second one, the commentary is reminiscent of the Norwegian one? It also repeated what I saw in the other vids, that he keeps going right to the end, and still had enough about him to fool Cech with the chip.

    I can see him doing well at Swansea perhaps? I am not sure we need him to be honest?

  197. James Bond says:

    no, not when we have a certain Joel campbell who is rather similar, but Salah is the one i reckon can go places under AW.

    we are looking at our left wing, with strong interest in D, R , so why not look at someone who offers us direct pace and end product with constant threat on the flanks – like you said, with Theo on one of the flanks and him on the other, Ozil would be spoiled for choices – all this is wishful thinking on my part though…

    i know that Glics wanted Bernard over, well, he to me is a better alternative to Bernard from Braazil.

    why i am talking about the LW ? Santiago (29) Poldi (soon to be 29) Alex can play on the LW, sure as can Joel but it’s an interesting position to strengthen.

  198. I just googled Salah expecting him to be about 27/28/29ish……he`s 21 !…..after Kanu, he`s got to be the oldest 21 year old I`ve seen !…….can you trust passports from the African countries ?.

  199. James Bond says:

    i thought he was 20 😆

  200. James Bond says:

    so he’s another Falcao in disguise, reckons Glicster

    time for man utd to lose or Rooney to pick up an injury – well over due i reckon, ha

    Kun Aguero to pick up an injury as well (fingers crossed ) yeah, i know i’m bad

    but hey, i gotta a question , let’s see if anyone can get it right…

    – Aguero – Cavani – Suarez , what’s that one thing they have in common related to Arsenal ?

  201. They wont be joining us !.

  202. James Bond says:


    the eternal optimist aka as TCM aka Glics

    Fozzie B has gone AWOL, hope all is well with him !

  203. Bears hibernate, he is probably in some cavernous hole somewhere…………..so that could be one of them girls from TOWIE`s pussy !. hahaha

  204. James Bond says:

    wasn’t Fergie meant to be retiring and going to france and not be like breathing down and following Moyes, everywhere everywhere ?

    very odd and strange to see him present even at away matches as far as Germany.

  205. James Bond says:

    or he lost track of time in them spin classes he likes so much with that sexy instructor ?

    teams on 9 points, like chelsea and man city have already qualified, yet here we are playing the best footy in England, sitting pretty at 12 points with a healthy GD – still not assured qualification


  206. James Bond says:

    i’m calling HH out 😉

    Munich 0- 2 Arsenal,
    Dortmund 0-1 Arsenal, Schalke 0-3 Chelsea, Leverkusen 0-5 Manchester United. Bundlesliga definitely better than PL.


  207. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning BKers! 😉

    Hope to issue a post tonight!

    If anybody wants to write something would be good too. Just email it to me.

    Have a good day. 🙂

  208. Gerry says:

    Good Morning all – Just looking around NewsNow for topics of interest.

    Transfer gossip has us ‘close’ to Real Betis winger. Main reason why Salah is an unlikely signing?

    Swiss player also ‘strongly linked’, as is the expensive one from Shalke – in January!

    Seeing as Chelsea are also ‘close’ to replacing their loan player Lukaku with Martinez (Porto), will will need somebody in January methinks.

    Away from that, to the murky world of WC 2022, which is explained further on UA, where Mandy Dodd was on hand to release the betting scandal in our lower league, with three players arrested?

    Oh yes, another reason why I’d give ‘Give Me Sport’ a wide berth – With their daftest article ever, they suggest we should ‘swallow pride’ and resign Adeybeyour on loan .. from Spurs!?!?

    I ask you? Apart from him not being a Spurs player to loan him. Apart from the fact the he left because he was pretty useless. Apart from his subsequent actions. Apart from the fact that he has hardly played because Soldada is keeping him out of the side( 😆 ). It seems they haven’t noticed we have moved on from players of dubious ability to super quality players …

    Oh yes, the cut down shirt sleeve nonsense. The price of Flamini’s charity sleeveless shirt has rocketed, as I said it would at the time, I am not sure it was too wise of AW making a public stance over this issue? If the sponsors are unhappy, let them produced a limited edition sleeveless shirt. But Le Flame has promised not to do it again .. with all the cold weather forecast coming, wise man?

    Sad news on Pat Rice’s health problem too. Best wishes in his battle ahead …

  209. VCC says:

    FCUK………Just read about poor Pat Rice.

    Thoughts are with him and his Family. Wishing for a full recovery.

  210. James Bond says:

    Good Afternoon Gerry, VCC and everyone one.

    indeed, sad sad news re- Pat rice, hopefully he will get the best care and be up and running in no time – thoughts with him as he is part of our gooner family, get well soon , Pat !

    that Flamini shirt episode, AW was asked a question in public and he had to answer and he did it quite brilliantly, it wasn’t about charity as it’s being made out to be with Vic, it’s more to do with the club tradition (some may call it silly some may not bother) but the bottom line is that , if 99.99% of the players have always followed the rule and the current players are doing it, then i see no sense in Flamini going the opposite way (rebel) and making statements such as ” i have been a professional for 10 years, don’t tell me what to do” – yes yes, Flams, we know you are french and we know you are stubborn but hey , guess what pal – meet ARSENE WENGER – he didn’t really have a choice other than to promise it won’t happen again.

    one thing you do not want to do when you are french is that to piss off another fellow french seems to be the mantra when that french person happens to be your boss and goes by the name of one Arsene Wenger.

    re- Martinez, i know that JM was rather keen on him and with him having a £35 million release clause, it’s seen to be a cheaper alternative to Falcao at £55 million ? Falcao seems to be interesting Chelsea ALOT but as reported many moons ago, Falcao wants to head back to Madrid ? but what i do agree with is that, if Chelsea get Martinez then it makes things very interesting.

    on the one hand you have good cop ( IG) saying openly, we are going shopping for a striker in January and on the other hand , we have a bad cop ( AW) playing mind games, in trying to motivate his current players, saying we may not need to do that , if Theo and Poldi can score us a few goals

    but what we do know for a fact is the Following :

    Chelsea sell Sturridge get BA

    Chelsea loan Lukaku to get a player well past it and only to pay him 3 times as much as Lukaku in Eto’o

    Chelsea loan Mosses (a very fine Winger) only to pay in excess of £30 million to get Willian

    so i say, let the insanity continue and let them sell Mata in January to PSG and get Cabaye, no worries.

  211. James Bond says:

    looking forward to the next post later on @ TA !

  212. Good stuff there Bond…Someday we might have to bump you up to MI-6… I think the deeper issue is that when you have new managers they have to remake their teams in their own image. AVB (currently on the rocks elsewhere in London…) was a little quick in throwing out the old guard at Chelsea but Mourinho seems extra keen to not work too much with the guys the other Portuguese fellow brought in… Luckily, money would tend to grease the squeakiest of wheels there in West London…

    Of course, Chelsea lost their CL match and still get through to the eliminations. Maybe money helps with the group draw, too… ManU seem recovered and steaming into Middlesex after their trip to Leverkusen. Could be more trouble for AVB and his merry men who play near the Arctic Circle tonight…

    But, this is an Arsenal blog, no? I guess if all we can fight about are sleeves it’s natural to look beyond ourselves… Still, a little energy might be spared to unify and send good vibes towards Pat Rice… Likewise to all Gooners everywhere fighting all their fights… Today is the US Thanksgiving holiday so not the worst time to take stock and attempt to appreciate things like health and family and all that…

    Personally, I’m thankful for many things. Keeping it to the football front, I’m most happy that we’ve had a good start to the season and built it upon the foundation of what we dug out of the deep poo of the last couple… Everybody in our squad seems to be pulling in the same direction and THAT is a priceless commodity. The blogosphere isn’t quite in line yet (many “gooners” having staked “their” intelligence to the failure of the team, manager or certain players…) but most seem happy enough. Already this week we’ve got Wilshere looking assured and scoring as well as (Overpriced? Overhyped?…) Ozil “failing” then putting one on a plate for the guy he’s mentoring. Luckily, with the new “instant” media, people had a full 20 minutes to slag off our best player for not caring enough if not outright being shit (shite?). I love the combo of Messy-Jack and I envision the latter learning technique and field sense from the former. Just gotta keep him fit. As Gerry mentioned, Jack’s post-match was very smooth… Somewhere between Jack’s fiery demeanor, fronting up, etc., etc. and Ozil’s controlled (barely awake?…) and very technical persona, an ideal (mental) approach may lie…

    Will those two even play when Ramsey returns to Cardiff on Saturday for (we hope…) his hero’s welcome and a demo as our engine in MF? He should be extra hungry for that one and still smarting from being thwarted twice by Marseille’s best player–their keeper. Mandanda went to his right both times. He guessed correctly with Aaron clear through but waited on Ozil’s pen (“won” by AR)… Good stuff and he was (single-handedly…) able to keep things “bitch-twitchy” 😉 for 65 minutes, at least… Having watched free running Cardiff vs United on Sunday, things should be a lot more open and Ramsey’s running much appreciated… Is he (or Ozil or Giroud…) the one attacker who must start? A bit of extra pace (Theo) should surely be employed to answer Cardiff’s approach. But now I’m getting ahead of myself. We’ll know a lot more after these next three (league) matches before the “must-draw” in Napoli and the tough trip to the Eastlands…

    So, coming full circle (and still trying to respect Marcus’ topic…), it seems to me that we’re getting close to strong enough that we could rest (almost) anybody at (almost) any time…

    Thanksgiving, indeed…

  213. Gerry says:

    JB – Defending the anarchist, naturally. The reference to the charity was the first cut up shirt – now a collectors item.

    Having responded the first time, it was inevitable he would get asked questions when he appeared in a cut off another one against Marsielles?

    Give Me Sport, stirring the pot a little, suggested he should be made Club captain, then they would all be wearing short sleeves?

    I just think it is a non story.

    So much talk and chatter on the transfer front, some of it deflection like the link GMS (again) ran that we are going to take Cavini off PSG’s hands …
    … but not at £69m and £8m a year, I guess?

    You only have to look at the other players linked, however accurate the stories are, the accumulation of players possibly arriving in January or summer, is going to take all of our annual spend, even if we only get two or three, especially if the expensive one from Shalke is coming?

    Cavani would have made sense if, like Suarez, it was to be a one off purchase. But we spent big on Ozil since then. So I only see one purchase at the top end, but several younger players for the future. Mind, they might stretch it to two if it is a ‘steal’ comes along, and could make the difference to winning or not winning CL/FA Cup/ League Championship, whether singular or more than one?

    Yes, Chelsea do like to do it daft when it comes to spending. I think Martinez will upset their camp quite a bit, re Et’o, and or any of the midfielders that has to give way?

    I am considering chucking something TA’s way, before the big preview, so I’ll catch you later.

  214. James Bond says:

    ha ha @ 17HT’s subtle use of wit – save that one for when we need a goal or 2 😉 of course, it was a typo at the time.

    Cardiff, they won’t even know what hit them this saturday – it will be the Walcott show and Ozil show ! they do have a big pitch and one that we should particularly enjoy retaining ball possession , me thinks.


    agreed, it was a non story but once it was made a story and brought out in the open, AW had to do what he did and it’s been taken care of in a very amicable way – kudos to Flamini for saying what he did , smart fella , no doubt.

    i did ask a tasty question yesterday when i asked :

    what’s that 1 thing in common with Aguero – Cavani and Suarez related to Arsenal ?

    there was strong interest in all 3 by AW, however we came short money wise (bid).

    in January, we made a £30 million bid for Cavani

    in Summer we made a couple of bids for Suarez.

    point being ? we still have money for a “one off” striker, which is evident by the £30 million bid of January 2013 and £40 million for Suarez – that money is still there, so if Cavani becomes available, who is to say that we may not go back for him ? although it’s very unlikely to happen with Cavani now, the boats sailed in my opinion – the time was in January to up the bid to £40 million and we may have had him already but i do understand that in January our entire budget was £40 million and we used some of it on Nacho.

    looking forward to your post for later today or tomorrow then 🙂


    re- JW, no one doubts his abilities and skills on the football pitch and we are not surprised by his latest performances either – it’s just that he needs to keep his head down and get on with it, instead of trying to take on the world – Ramsey has been a top notch example on how to be a professional and let his football do all the talking, but i guess different personalities but i am well chuffed for the lad, saying that, let’s keep him grounded as it was Marseille – Gerry before the match had pointed out the fouls but there was hardly ever any contact or foul play by Marseille (maybe, a gentleman’s agreement on fouls before the game between the 2 teams, ha )

  215. James Bond says:

    Team news: Who’s fit to face Cardiff?

    Arsène Wenger has revealed the following team news ahead of the Premier League game against Cardiff City on Saturday.
    on the team news for Cardiff…

    No, nothing is different from Marseille really. We have no injuries. Of course we have some little concerns. People were a little bit rested like Arteta but they are all available now.
    on Gibbs..
    Kieran Gibbs was sick but he has already recovered yesterday. He is now back in the squad.
    on Podolski’s progress…

    It will be three weeks until we could see him in the team.
    on Oxlade-Chamberlain…
    it will be the New Year for him.

    credit to Arsenal.com !

    Podolski has been 3 weeks away from the last 3 weeks, hasn’t he ; )

  216. Gerry says:

    TA – you will have mail within the hour … Don’t worry, it is a shortie, but relevant?

  217. 17highburyterrace says:

    More good stuff, 007… You can’t get so twitchy when we’re controlling matches AND our keeper is getting better at seeing shots and stopping them…IF they had scored we had plenty of time to get back on top…

    So, it sounds like AW was ready to make a splash, and with Ozil he did… What say you (and the sauce) about any younger or under the radar goal scoring (or big, hold-up) types? Unfortunately it appears that Sanogo is a real injury problem…He didn’t even make Wenger’s update!

    Kieran Gibbs was sick but now he’s better–uh, yeah, sure, whatever you say, boss… Kos maybe next (cough, cough…) to get TV5 a run out?…

  218. James Bond says:

    forget the sauce and allow me to give you my opinion .

    give me £4.5 million euros and i will get you a young, mobile, technical and a striker that can play in all 4 positions up front – and as you would have it, would fit like a glove in our team because he was educated at Arsenal.

    yep, it’s one Carlos Vela.

    re- controlling games, we know it all too well by now, don’t we ? you can control games all you want and all it takes is a fluke or a moment of madness for the other team to score and get back at you when you are 1-0 up or at 0-0, just ask Dortmund how they feel after controlling the game and losing to us 0-1 or ask us how we feel after we controlled the game at 1-1 and only to lose 1-2 to Dortmund, hence the twitchy feeling you see.

    i just want us scoring more goals when we are in total control, this is something that Barca (of yesterday years) , Munich of now and Real Madrid do ever so well and consistently.

    good shout on KOC, we play cardiff and then Hull, don’t we ? AW has already said that he will be rotating and good on him because we then have Everton and Naples – the time to rotate and keep things fresh is now.

    by the way, november is the month that makes a team or breaks a teams season – Chelsea only managed to win what 2 games altogether ? and we only lost 1 game ? not bad at all i says.

    9 games to look forward too, we win our next 3 games and we give ourselves a great chance of going into the festive period as number 1’s even if we fail to beat the likes of man city or chelsea, no worries.

  219. James Bond says:

    ah, and Yaya – i think it’s best to forget about the OX and Yaya until the FA cup match, tbh.

  220. proudgooner says:

    We should have snapped up Loic Remy in the last window he was cheap as chips and Newcastle got him, we should not have let that happen. There is better out there of course but i see him as a 20 goal at least a season striker and for the short term at least he would have been very good.
    Then again we still have Sanogo and none of us have really seen what he can do yet, he unexpected injury is a shame i know AW has big hopes for him and he has been forgotten about a bit. Is he the next big thing, i hope so . Lukaku would be awesome at Arsenal.

  221. proudgooner says:

    ha ha ha JB, you were thinking and beat me to Sanogo mention

  222. proudgooner says:

    I suppose i will watch spurs game. I am think the swansea v valencia game should be interesting

  223. James Bond says:

    Remy had a nasty case on going, no ? still has – connected to rape or along them lines ?

    that was the downer at the time, which made us not interested

    with Theo back, i think we are ok re- striker wise until Poldi comes back – actually, i might be tempted to play Theo as a striker in one of the 2 against Cardiff or Hull and benching Giroud.

    why do i want to do that ? well, we have to give our other options a chance just in case, Giroud does get injured, we need to know where we are without him and the upcoming 2 matches in particular are a great opportunity for AW to try out Theo as a striker with Ozil behind him.

  224. proudgooner says:

    the europe league is a joke, avb loves it lol

  225. James Bond says:

    the joker loves jokes, no @ PG 😉

  226. proudgooner says:

    plus Giroud cant play every single game, he has to have a rest. I would preferOG play the 1st half with theo on a wing, then OG 45 on the bench theo CF

  227. James Bond says:

    put Gnabry on the wing with Theo up front – Giroud on the bench

    if the situation demands , then bring on Giroud.

    take off Gnabry and move Theo wide.

    Sorted !

  228. proudgooner says:

    He is a clown JB, AVB has built his carrer on the back og winning it of course but any of our top 4 clubs should – could win it easy. We could easy win that its not anything difficult even more so for 17 year in a row CL club , that is 17 years we have never been in it 🙂 tottenham mugs

  229. 17highburyterrace says:

    Uh Gerry, I just wrote something and I’m thinking about sending it to ToTL…It’s about Ramsey and his return to Cardiff…What are you writing about? I don’t want to pip you (as we say; it’s a baseball reference, I’m pretty sure)…so I can hold it off for another day…

    JB, Vela, which can mean both “candle” and “sail” in Spanish, I think in this case is the latter…as in a ship which has “sailed.” I love the guy and tell every Mexican I meet that he’s (by far) their best player. The transgender prostitute thing (at the team party) may keep him from going to Brazil now that they’ve qualified. Good as he is, I just don’t see AW coming back in for him (for much bigger money), but what do I know?… I also think that it’s a lot easier for him to throw his weight around down there where the refs (mostly) drink after the matches… Personally, I would love it, I just don’t think so… So he goes into the Suarez, Rooney, (Ibra, Cavani, etc., etc., i.e., never gonna happen…) category…

    Anybody else?…

  230. proudgooner says:

    What about Balatelli?? lol I know he is a nutter but i quite like the thought of him at Arsenal 🙂

  231. proudgooner says:

    You heard it here 1st, i have never heard anyone say they want Mario Balletelli at Arsenal but i do, i think he could be a world class player with us

  232. 17highburyterrace says:

    Haha, PG…Two seasons ago, in that match where he almost crippled Alex Song and eventually got sent off for a 2nd yellow–I was saying that I liked the thought of Balotelli at Arsenal (on a different blog, of course)… Soooo much talent, a bit too much of a psycho-rehab project… I don’t see him coming back to England anytime soon, however, and certainly not under anybody’s radar…

    Gerry, calling Gerry (or Total…) about what’s in the hopper…

  233. Gerry says:

    17HT – Yes, I posted mine off an hour ago, so it will be up to TA what he does.

    Mine is only a shortie – on the discussion above, funnily enough – Rotation.

    It really follows on from Marcus’s post .

  234. Gerry says:

    I watch the Google bit with Jack this morning. Then followed a load of single quotes of what he said on various websites.

    My favourite was what he said about the Podolski – He thinks he is the funniest guy on campus. even when things are going badly, he can still make you smile

  235. Gerry says:

    HT – I don’t think TA will be back for a while.. He posted his morning message at 4.2 am, so he ain’t getting much sleep/

  236. Gerry says:

    I have just read Nico Yennaris is off to sunny Bournmouth. I hope he get plenty of paying time!

  237. If it`s just between us two, then welcome Gerard !.
    I watched against the Bindippers and if wasn`t for Mignolet, he would have had 4 !.


  238. Gerry says:

    Sorry to disappoint TCM, but I am about to disappear too.

    The dogs woke me just after 4.0am this morning so I am beginning to flag. Don’t think I’ll be watching any footie either

  239. Gerry says:

    I cannot believe that we are in for that barca starlet. I understood it was the young Peruvian defender?

  240. Gerry says:

    I guess we were just ships that passed in the night then?

  241. 17highburyterrace says:

    Got a bit distracted and have cooking and good weather to enjoy…but, OK then, Gerry, since it’s a different topic, I’ll send mine along to TA as well…Cheers…

    Cockie only needs to get Fozzie back on board and then he’s never lonely… 😀

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