Arsenal vs Fulham Pre-Match. 110 years and we dream of Draxler


Additional Intro by 17 Highbury Terrace 

Our Maestro of Match Previews, Oz Gunner, has brought the goods once again but things in our little world of Bergkampesque are different this week and 17 Highbury Terrace also had started a match preview.  I’d like to include it here as it mirrors some of my own thoughts. 

Arsenal – Fulham Preview –Dedicated to James Bond

Bergkampesque is a blog about Arsenal Football Club, emphasizing the more positive aspects of the club and the team as exemplified in the beautiful and professional play of Dennis Bergkamp.  We have a match tomorrow, against Fulham Football Club, but one of our own, in fact our top comment contributor, James Bond, is going through an extremely difficult moment in his personal life (see comments, previous post), and I want to dedicate this preview to him.  James is an extremely optimistic AND passionate supporter of Arsenal and a great contributor to this site.  Despite much cajoling, he’s yet to write a blog post of his own, but he’s put out many interesting and bold ideas.  Sometimes we’ve gotten small glimpses into his personal life, but nothing on the scale of what he wrote yesterday.  Though blog comments tend to be about Arsenal, over time a community of intriguing individuals builds and many of us feel as if we know one another.  I’ve had fun, interesting, and heated debates with James (I often call him 007 or our Superspy…), always with an underlying tone of intelligence and respect.   We don’t “know” each other, but we do… All I can say, Bond, at this time, is that we’re all pulling for you and hoping for the very best outcome for you and wishing that, sooner than later, you can be back here on the site, discussing goalkeepers and center forwards, matches, transfers, finances, etc., in your inimitable way.

Maybe Arsenal can brighten your day tomorrow with a convincing win over Fulham.  I know you’ve been eager for a strong performance and a lopsided score-line, and I’ll wish that for you—along with my much bigger and more important wishes for you.  Being me, of course, I’ll take the three points, however they come.  Every match presents challenges, and this one feels no different.  Your challenges are on another scale entirely.  Best of luck, stay strong, keep the faith, etc., etc., my friend…


Preview Intro


A battle of teams on the opposite ends of the table, but Fulham will be looking to break a 110 year drought of losses against Arsenal at home. A win is a must for both teams but for different reasons. Arsenal needs 3 points to fend off the oilers, Fulham to fend off relegation.

A quick fire double saw Arsenal keep a resurgent Villa at bay taking it to 4 league wins on the trot.

Fulham were torn to threads (Shreds, Shreds of threads…) 4-1 last week by Sunderland making it 20 goals conceded in their last 6 games.

Let’s get in to it shall we: Draxler!

Missing in Action:

Diaby sick bay

Arsenal: Rosicky (Nose) – Broke it thanks to a gabby. A mask is an option but I don’t think he’ll be risked so soon unless absolutely necessary. Monreal (foot – this one worries me because info is water tight and Arsene appeared worried), Diaby (Knee/missing), and Sanogo (back – STILL!). Walcott (ACL – knee), Ramsey (Hip/thigh), Arteta (calf/shin), Vermaelen (knee), Bendy (Ankle/foot)…god we could almost field a whole team of crocked players.

Fulham: Etheridge (Hip/thigh), Briggs (Groin/pelvis), Amorebieta (Knee) – fitness test.


Predicted Line-up:

starting line-up (6)

The back four picks itself thanks to injuries. I expect Jack the lad to continue next to the junkyard dog Flamini. Ozil behind Giroud, Santi on the left, and Gnabry down the right. The only question mark is whether or not Arsene plays Podolski down the left. Gnabry down the right is a must because Fulham have really struggled on their left this season. Give the boy some legroom and he’ll make you pay! Draxler!

Previous Encounters:

Fulham v Arsenal 1 – 3

A bit of luck allowed Giroud to open the scoring and Podolski followed it with a brace. It was a confident and assured performance from the team, and it never looked in doubt. Bent managed to score a debut consolation goal in the 77’…he’s always had a bloody talent for scoring against us.

Fulham v Arsenal 0 – 1

Ex-gunner Sidwell was given his marching orders on 12′ for a dangerous tackle on Arteta. Despite this Fulham closed the game down in their predictable boring fashion. The BFG scored the breakthrough from a Theo free kick. A hard fought victory and it was 8 wins in 10 games for the mighty Arsenal! Draxler!

Arsenal v Fulham 3-3

This is the one which irks.  Early goals from Poldolski and Giroud made this seem an easy 3 pointer but Fulham, with 2 goals and an assist from Berbatov looked like they might actually take all the points.  A late header, from Giroud levelled it and then, at the very death, referee Phil Dowd awarded us a penalty when a desperate (and cheeky) Andrei Arshavin chipped a ball onto the arm of a Fulham defender Sasha Reither.  With such a strange turn of events and maybe not trusting normal forces (i.e. gravity, etc.) Mikel Arteta struck a weak penalty, easily beaten away by Fulham goalkeeper, Mark Schwarzer, costing us two very valuable points.


EPL Form Guide:               Arsenal:   : WWWWD         Fulham: LWLWL

Arsenal are unbeaten at the Emirates this season (not counting that diabolical opening fixture) and sitting pretty on top of the table. However, City and Chelsea are breathing right down our necks and it’s about as enjoyable as TMHT setting his sights on you… One slip up and it could be all over, red rover! We haven’t been at our best but like Man U of seasons past we are getting the job done anyway we can. We’ve heard it all before, sometimes you have to win ugly. I would like to see us belt a team soon though because this squeaky bum stuff is knocking years off my life.

Take away the one blemish game and we’ve conceded a mere 13 goals this season. A good defence has been a long time coming!

Fulham on the other hand have let in 46 goals this season. 11 more than any other team. This is a far cry from the Fulham we’ve come to know of seasons past. Previously I’d dread this fixture because I knew a goal against Fulham was like getting blood from a stone. The loss of Mark Schwarzer, a long term injury to Hangeland, an unsettled defence, and ex-Arsenal defender Senderos have made them easy to break down. Just ask Hull, they knocked 6 past them in Fulham’s last away fixture;  Relegation zone Sunderland also put 4 past them at Craven Cottage a week ago.  Since then, however, they dispatched Norwich in the FA Cup 3- nil. Two spots above the relegation zone means every point is vital for Fulham. Draxler!

Arsenal Archive

This week I’ve dipped into the Arsenal Archive and pulled out this video clip. It’s a 2 goal victory against Fulham during the 2004/05 season. Henry was on another level that day. What a team we had! Have a look: (Draxler!)

One to Watch:

This week’s one to watch is ex-spud and ex-red devil Dimitar Berbatov.


From the opening of the January transfer window he’s been linked with Arsenal (heaven forbid he actually came). I think he’ll be out to impress the home crowd and Arsene in this fixture. With Berba it all comes down to enthusiasm. Last season he was motivated, this season his clear cut chance conversion has dropped from 59% to 33%. He’s capable of great things but I expect Kozzer to entrench him firmly in his pocket.

Arsenal’s one to watch is none other than Santi Cazorla. Despite Podolski scoring 2 goals last time the two teams met I would have given the MoTM to Santi. The pitch was wet, the midfield compact and he had Parker snapping at his heels constantly, but he was on another level and oozed class. He hasn’t had the best of seasons (partly because we hold him up on a mantle after his exceptional first season) but when it all clicks for him magic happens. I’m sure Arsene would have told him how important he is going to be with Theo going down, and I have no doubt Santi will begin a meteoric rise once again.

Pre-Match Finger:

pre-match finger - injury curse

This week’s finger goes to our injury curse…again.

Come on, it’s getting a bit ridiculous now. We would like to win the title this season, rather than thinking back to what may have been. Surely the balance of luck should be tipped in our favour for the next 100 years.

Pre-Match Pat on the back:

This week’s pat on the back is going to the Big Feckin’ German.


great work by @The_Zama

What a massive difference he makes to this team! I really can’t say enough good things about the BFG. When he first came to the club I was over the moon. After a few performances… Not so much. The game against Chelsea a couple of seasons ago sticks in my mind. He appeared lightweight and despite his large stature he seemed to decrease in size when he went up for a header. Something changed. Now he tackles, he barks, he scores goals, and best of all…he organises the troops. Over the years I’ve thought a few players deserved to be taken out back and slapped around bit so they might pull their finger out and start to perform. After Mertz’s first season he definitely did extract a digit. Whether that can be attributed to getting his body right, settling into the EPL, getting to know the players, or Bould taking him under his wing, I’m not sure, but whatever happened, he has transformed into our most important player. I do enjoy seeing/hearing him let his teammates recognise when they’ve made an error out on the pitch (first the Ozil incident and then the Santi situation against Villa). It’s hard not to love the man. Draxler!

Ask the opposition fulham

‘Ask the opposition’ returns again this week. It is designed to get some friendly banter from our opposition fans and get their insight for the match ahead.  This week the answers were kindly provided by Cookie-6262 and dempsey’s revenge…there were others but let’s just say tensions are high for Fulham supporters these days. Let’s see what they’ve written for us this week:

1. What are your thoughts on the Morrison ‘taping up’ row?

Cookie – The tapping up row is a load of rubbish, Rene was asked about transfers and he replied “we have bid for Ravel Morrisson but it has been rejected.” He was then asked, “Do you think he wants to come” and he replied, “Yes, I think he does want to come.”  Hardly the crime of the century; he was just saying what he honestly thought.

DR – It’s nothing. They’re not playing him, so why would they care?

2. How is Senderos travelling?

Cookie – hopefully Senderos is travelling via Beijing and won’t arrive at the Emirates until next Thursday…. Most fans have him as our fifth best Centre back and our weak link yet he still sometimes gets games. Our chance of getting something from this game is 10% at best; with Senderos it’s about 2%.

DR – He’s an idiot, so he frequently loses his luggage. Hope to God he’s not playing.

3. What do you want during this transfer window?

Cookie – A left back is a must–someone who can go straight into the team.  To keep Berba but if he goes we will need a striker and possibly a centre back although young Dan Burn has come in for the two cup games and looked very good.

DR – All new players except for Riether and Parker.

4. What position/ player is your weakest link?

Cookie – Weak link is centre back, just look at the goals against column.  But Hangeland is back after 3 months out so hopefully he will make a difference.  Left back is an issue as well. Iif Walcott were fit he could have done double figures.

DR – All positions except where Riether and Parker play.

5. What position is Arsenal’s weak link?

Cookie – Do Arsenal have a weak link???  Possibly up front if Giroud is off form.  You are light up top, but does it matter when you have a midfield including Ozil and Carzola plus Podolski?

DR – Manager thinks he’s God.

6. Which Arsenal player would you love to have in your team and why?

Cookie – Ozil is world class and a joy to watch

DR – Nearly all of them. I’ll make this observation; Arsenal players nearly always thrive after leaving the team (but not Senderos), which shows that a) Wenger has a good eye for talent and b) the coaching there is top class.

7. What is your match prediction?

Cookie – Not expecting anything from the game but just hoping for a half decent performance and not getting a thrashing.  A good display in a narrow defeat wouldn’t be a disaster for us though you never know, a Mertesacker red card in the 2nd minute and Berba slots away the pen.  (You can but dream…)

DR – We will get our heads handed to us and probably slip into the zone as a result.


It will be an improved performance by Fulham thanks to the return of the big Norwegian Hangeland. However, it won’t be enough and I think he’ll be lost at sea out there as the team crumbles around him. Watch for them to park all the buses in Fulham in front of their goal. It won’t be enough though because Gnabry is going to kick a hole through them en route to a  4-0 victory!

What is your prediction?

What starting line-up would you choose?

What position is our weakest link at the moment?

What tactic would you employ to beat Fulham?

What two players would you buy during this transfer window and why?

By Oz Gunner

Draxler! (hey if I say it enough he just might come!)

170 thoughts on “Arsenal vs Fulham Pre-Match. 110 years and we dream of Draxler

  • With Chamberlain back, Rosicky’s broken nose shouldn’t be as much of a worry to me as it is. Tomas MIGHT be, I’m saying MIGHT, be the leader in that midfield. Yes, Flamini plays more and has a more visible style of leadership, yes Arteta has a cool head, yes Aaron has the best engine, but Rosicky settles us down and gets us to play whenever he enters the fray. I hope he is not out for long. Even when he is on the bench, I feel more confident about our chances for some reason, as if it is a close match, he can come in and help solidify our midfield. I’m more worried about concussion or the nasal cavity injuries that he suffered than the nose injury…He can play with a busted schnozz, but if it’s a sinus injury, or re-construction, or a concussion, those are more severe and you have to be more careful with those types of injuries.

    I think this will be a close match…I know I’m probably in the minority here, but I can see Fulham giving us some trouble. Don’t forget Kacaniklic was very good in this fixture last season, as well. Bent seems to have a knack for scoring against us, and Berbatov, IF HE WANTS TO, can pose some problems for us. I still see us winning, but it will be close, I think. I still see us winning though…I’m going to say 3-1 or 2-1 to us!!! 😀

    Come on Mrs. Bond!!!!

  • Sorry i’m late on the scene BJ. Wishing you and the mrs all the best. You both appear tough as nails and your mental stability through all of it is an inspiration in itself. Milo was bang on in his comment. Good luck with everything BJ, and as others have said your BK brothers are here for you in every capacity.

  • Shittttt!!! Thiiiird !! Thanks Ozzie and 17h!! Great read … Will comment tomorrow!! 😆

  • Great Intro and another magical pre-match from our Oz wizard !. Simply the best !.
    A great chance to bring our like for like factor back to level !, but as per usual, also a potential banana skin as unlike City who win easy 5+ nillers at home all the time, we seem to be scraping our results…..yes, when are we going to stuff someone with a Stretch 5 niller ?.
    True about the injuries, Oz !. Here`s a link to show we are not just top of the injury list table, but pulling fcuking clear of the rest with ease !.
    Thanks Fozzer and JB for your concern !, especially you JB, when you have more than enough to worry about, but just goes to show what a top man you are !.

  • Oz, a brilliant preview, as usual, but I must bow to 17ht, those words were needed, and I won’t add anything other than my prayers for our favorite spy and his family. I’ll post some thoughts tomorrow on the game and preview, but I must say I feel down… Hang in there JB.

  • the human warmth on the site has been sooo uplifting, and being there for James by us all has been amazing.

    17 thanks for the warm and well meant words for JB – you said it all perfectly.

    Oz, thanks for another TOTL preview. You always bring so much energy to BK with your preview. Simply awesome. Agreed with the line up and despite all injuries we are looking strong.

    Also big thank you to the Fulham bloggers! 🙂

  • Cheers cockie. I’m sorry to hear about mrs cockie also. Goes to show what sort of bloke you are when you’re dealing with that yet bringing so much laughter to us all. I hope the treatment has stopped it and are managing the symptoms comfortably. All the best!

    We can’t buy a break on the injury front cockie. Thankfully we have cover. I feel it is only a matter of time before we see verm at lb again

  • Brilliant opening 17. Very well said. It’s an honour to share a post with that perfect beginning.

  • Oz, great work as per usual, and an equal honor (our spelling) to get to nip in on top of it…

    Not really much to add except that I ALWAYS love hearing from the opposing supporters. (Those Fulham blokes are funny…) The team does rather pick itself, except that maybe (just as you say) this is a spot for Poldolski (moving Santi to the Theo-spot on the right, perhaps?)… Hard to say. AW hasn’t been shy about using Gnabry, but he did tire noticeably at Villa, I thought… Oh, also, excellent use of the subliminal (Draxler…)

    From the bottom of the last thread…GREAT NEWS 007!! Clearly there’s a way to go, but I’m sooo glad your “miracle” is in progress. Please keep us updated. Also, CM, thanks for sharing your story, too… Personally, I’m feeling very good about my fellow BKesquers and fortunate that I landed here…

    Back to the match… USUALLY I would highlight some of my worries or concerns or what I was looking for in the performance (concentration, professionalism, control of possession, a clean sheet, blah, blah, blah) but I think the forces may be lining up for the scoreline Bond asked for at the close of the Villa match. To quote him:


    So, put me down with Total and let’s give our top poster (numerically, at least…) his wish!!! I’m definitely feeling the VCC–Victoria Concordia Crescit (NOT the sharp end of a somebody’s zimmerframe…) this week, so why not go for the big scoreline? Fulham aren’t a bad team but they have some selfish types and their good win in midweek was due to rotating them out. (Former Spud Tarraabt is the worst…) Score early and often tomorrow and start this homestand (Coventry and C.P…) on the front foot! Fingers crossed also, for no new knocks…

  • Evening all

    Firstly, lovely words from 17.

    Bondy, it sounds as though your good lady is a fighter. Follow her lead, and together you can conquer all. God bless you both.

    Oz, another one of your pre match master pieces. I must say that a carear in journilism could be yours. Of course it would mean that five years from now you will be a horrendous alcoholic fatso with a penchant for unwanted groping, but at least i will still like you.

    I am convinced we will win tommorow. The most recent game that sticks in my mind was the 3-3 at the Grove. Fulham played very well, particularly Berbatov. However, we are a different beast these days and I cant see Fulham scoring, were as we have plenty of goals in the locker. Yes, could be a bit edgy but we will win, probably 5-0.

    Those Fulham boys seem like nice guys, saying good things about our players etc, but i dont trust people when they over compliment. The other day I was with some girl and she was lavishing me with praise “That pig mask looks really good on you”, and “The way you hold that rubber cosh is delightful”, things like that. But i wasnt sure is she meant it. Cant trust any one these days.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are stirring

  • @ 17

    I also enjoy reading their comments. Most thought I was “trolling” because of the Senderos question. I honestly had no idea how he was travelling, and I remember reading a couple of seasons ago that he was doing quite well. However, after reading a poll about him on their blog it became very clear just how loved he is down at the cottage haha. Not sure about the “arsenal players excel away from Arsenal” comment too.

    hahaha I enjoyed that comment from BJ. TMHT’s predictions always have me in stitches…same joke every time and I know the ending but I can’t help it!

    “it’s going to be a tough scrap, Fulham will be up for this one and welcome back the tough CB Hangeland. I expect some back and forth followed by some frustration…5-0 ARSENAL” hahahaha

  • @ TMHT

    seems you’ve got the system down pat. Rubber mask used to stop pepper spray and a cosh to bonk her over the head with! Good to know that however grotesque I become I’ll always have a friend in you!

  • To James Bond, we are here and pray for you and Mrs Bond towards a sweet and full recovery.

  • Good morning all, and yes, nice to hear from you JB with the improving situation. Hang in there!

    Like HT17, I too have had my moments with James, to put it mildly. That is partly because I can be a grumpy old git who has got to an age where, if something needs saying, I say it. I must get it from my mother, who when she was in her 90’s and we were still going out for regular Sunday dinners, any slowness in service would often get a comment, in a loud enough voice for surrounding tables and the waiting staff to hear …. ‘I think they must still be chasing that cow around the field …’ .. I am not yet in my 70’s, so be warned, I am likely to get a whole lot worse?

    However, I have with my posts, tried to reflect on the human side to footballers and their difficulties, so when it becomes a personal tragedy I have no difficulty in putting aside our differences JB, and sincerely wish you all the very best during your, and your wife’s life trial, and hope both you and ‘Jane’ can continue on your journey together.

    Here on BK, I guess we are at one, so good on you too, BK’ers everywhere.

  • hi guys am a follower though hav not been comenting. sorry to 007 but God wil push you through. Regarding Fulham i think they have been through alot lately and i think we have a a big chance of making our first mauling of the season so i wil go for a 6-1 to arsenal and podolski to start wth a brace. hope henrychan”hahaha” wil agree with me.

  • Hey. Glad to hear bout your wife’s recovery JB. Still praying for y’all.

    Nice opening 17 and write up Oz. I liked the Fulham folks (Especially DR, his comments got me rotflmao)

    Prediction: 5-0

    Line up- poldi in place of gnabry and slots on the left. Özil on the right and cazorla centre. They can always interchange during the game.

    Weakest link- wengers non-changes before 70th minute. 🙂


    2players to buy and why: I’ll leave that to wenger too. I don’t care too much for players unless they’re in the red and white. X_x

  • Hi

    First up, JB, great news so far! Glad to hear it!

    As for the game, well, jgc-damus calls it 2-0 maybe 3-0, seems out credo this year. For CM and others who want a blowout. I’d say 13 against barring one “weirdness” and less losses then those with blowout wins (including us sadly) is to me acceptable…

    Lineup, Gnabry vs Poldi is e question. An AW call I reckon and we will be surprised on the day… Or some of us…

    Oh, I too read And it’s worth it! So, I’ll call Ozil to assist and have a second assist (nhl style) with a “key pass” … Oh and OG to get one if their CBs are really that off..

    Regarding Draxler. He seems the real deal, and if his release clause is what they say, then IF, the big if, he wants to come NOW, then we should likely fork it out and move. I’m then calling him to become the first layer injured in a freak meteor shower or similar! 🙂

    It’s on here live at ungodly am in the morning, so, I’ll be late with comments. Best wishes again to Mrs Bond and Monster…

    Cheers — jgc

  • My prediction Arsenal 3 Fulham 0

    I think my starting 11 would be exactly the same except Podolski on the left wing IMHO. Cazorla needs to come inside because he needs to play with a bit more freedom to be affective, otherwise he struggles. Also I feel his work rate is far superior to Ozil and try’s to get involved more in the game instead of waiting for the game to come to him.

    At Real Madrid and in the Spanish league Ozil could afford to be abit more passive as their games are far more tactical in Spain. Where as the Prem is much more fluid and players need to give a lot more that’s why the world loves are league so much. I don’t think Messi or Ronaldo would be as prolific in the Prem because of the work required of them off the ball. And we see that in Ozil he doesn’t do enough off the ball to create space for other players and teams have quickly found out how to keep him quiet. That will come in his second season and with a full pre season with us.

    “DRAXLER”, get him please Arsene, I mean what a player, you can’t compare him to RVP he’s 10x that. The boy has everything Ronaldo’s shot, speed and size with Messi’s feet and creative genius. I think we’re looking at the next massive player in world football another serial Ballon do’r winner. We need to get him before anyone else we buy with him in our team we would never lose a league title. Yes I’m that confident in the lad from watching him play teams just wouldn’t be able to stop use scoring. Add him and a lethal goal scoring striker and that’s the end of Man UTD, Chelsea Liverpool and Man City.

    Imagine a team came out against you looking like this

    Szesney, Sagna, BFG, Koscielny, Gibbs, Flamini, Ramsey, Ozil, Draxler, Walcott, Suarez for e.g bench: keeper, Monreal, Vermaelen, Wilshere, Diaby, Gnabry, Podolski, Chamberlain, Cazorla, Giroud

  • Ht17 & OZ – Great preview. Plenty of X traterrestrial mentions for good measure.

    I looked at the team selected and I thought, ‘Yep spot on’ .. but then I remembered the training photos. Missing from action, in the released pictures? Alex Oxlade Chamberlain. I have kept an eye on this coincidence factor. Or is it? Since I made up a jokey team of people not prominently featured in the training snaps, it holds move value than the different coloured vests. So I will suggest that Ox may come on, on the right, and Gnabry switching the left? Santi, Poldi, and possibly Rosicky (also missing in the photos, mask not withstanding) as the subs if needed. I think it is just possible that the photo of Poldi with calf bandage is a blind too, and he could start in place of Gnabs, as his good scoring record against Fulham could continue?

    Opposition views are similar to the Villa ones(expressed on their blog site), giving a realistic view of how their team is performing. I don’t take too much from their win, other than the changes in personnel did bring an energy to their game. To my mind they will use some of those players to bring fresh legs and energy in the second half, if they can keep the score down in the first? PTB will be the order of the day, which is why we may have pace down both wings? Fully interchangeable remember, as both are two footed when it comes to shooting?

    The threat from Berby will come when somebody forgets he is there. His apparent slowness may be borne out of despair, or just age catching up with him, either way, give him space and time and he is still a skillful player. Luckily we have Kos. Hangeland will hardly fully up to speed after one game, but he is not averse to swinging an elbow either, even if he has given up the odd punch in the box these days? Giro is in for a tough time, but may get his reward if their defence fall apart?

    Yes, again I see this match going our way, but in similar fashion to the Villa, score early and add to it before half time. If we get 3 goals up, and don’t play silly beggars late on, we could add to our goal difference column, especially with Poldi for a second half bitz? However, they need some energy levels be kept up, so no surprise at Rosicky coming on, or even a late one for Zelalem if the score is looking good?

    The midfield defence is the suspect area regarding subs, with no Arteta; Coquelin back, but unlikely; my favourite Nico perhaps: or may be a showing from Frimpers before he goes to St Etienne:TV5 did not figure last time, but he is the obvious LB/CB cover if fit enough. Barring injury, Wilshere looks set for another 90. So Jenks & Fab rounds off the bench?

    Q.1, – Between 3 and 6 – 0 – I don’t do predictions.
    Q.2,- Cazorla bench, Poldi or Gnabs with Ox, back 7 picks itself with Ozil.
    Q.3,- Balance, and DM cover
    Q.4,- Attack hard, fast, and early. Pace and width from both FB’s .. Use them!
    Q.5,- AW is confident about ‘X tra’, suspect personal agreement, so only a matter of time/timing? If Frimpong loan opens the door, drag KZ4 through it, screaming and kicking if need be! I don’t name players.
    q.6,- What’s with all these questions …. 😀

  • Okay. I just read this article on bbc that ended with something like ‘for arsenal to be taken seriously as title contenders they have to give a convincing win against the top 4 or 5’.

    We lost against both Manchester teams in the first leg, beat Liverpool and tot’nam and held draws against Chelsea and Everton.

    What do y’all think?
    Personally, if we get same results in the second legs and win the EPL I’ll be happy. Except I really want us to beat both Manchester teams and London teams. Liverpool can win in their home. They’re not a threat right now.

    But what do y’all think?

  • Hi Xavier
    I agree, It’s how we do against the teams around us we will get these results I believe Man City Home Win, Man U Home Win, Liverpool Away Draw, Chelsea Away Draw, Spurs Away Win, Everton Away Win and that should win us the title. I tip Man UTD to do us a favour on sun and City hate playing away Liverpool like Spurs are far to inconsistent and Everton May fade as usual after January. We need to keep picking up maximum points against team from 7th- 20th as per first half of the season and we can the afford to lose a game or two against the top six

  • Morning Motivated Magnificent Male Member Marauders!!!!

    Once again… 17h with a beautiful piece for Mr and Mrs Bond … And Oz … Always a masterpiece!!! Cheers Fulham lads as well! 😀

    Now not many of the BK brotherhood have answered your questions fully so I will get the ball rolling and hopefully the other bastardos will stop touching their erogenous zones and do the same!! 😆

    What is your prediction?
    Feeling uber confident today and really wanting us to put the foot on the throat all the way to the end like City do week in and week out!! If we can’t put a team who is struggling to the sword how can we put the big teams away? I want a full 90 minutes with no handbrake please guys!! Replacements to come out firing!!
    6-00 to the Arsenal!!

    What starting line-up would you choose?
    Same as yours but with Poldi starting to get some much needed game time. 70 mins Santi on for Poldi, 80 mins Arteta for Flamini and Ox for Gnabry

    What position is our weakest link at the moment?
    I think left wing is not utilising the space enough with Santi cutting back in too often and if Poldi plays I would like to see him burn down that side and stretch the defense .. And get crosses into Giroud or back to Ozil who should have more space heading into the box.

    What tactic would you employ to beat Fulham?
    Our normal game, above and Jacky boy making runs deep into the box for Ozil to pick out. I feel Jacky has turned the corner formwise and he must grab this game by the horns and really make it clear to everyone just how much he wants that spot with another MOTM style performance!!

    What two players would you buy during this transfer window and why?
    If the Draxler deal can be brought forward then I would definitely get him in this window despite his injury as it will give him the chance to acclimatise and let’s face it … We all like to turn up to a party when it’s in full swing don’t we??!! 😆 Him arriving when we are ToTL with his German teammates smiling and welcoming him in… Timing could not possibly be better!!! 😀

    Second would be Morata who could play anywhere across the front and vitally in Ollie’s position as well.
    I see a bid has been rejected by RM from an English club? And this was not a loan move but an outright bid? Believed to be us or Liverpool?(Suarez?)

    Also great to see Sanogo back in training!! Check out picture number 2 in the training pics .. I found it very interesting!! You see a picture of Giroud side by side with Sanogo in full running gate … Giroud looking awkward as usual but boy does Sanogo look majestic!!! Worth a look ladettes!! 😀

    COYRRG’s!!!!!! 😀

  • @ SamArse

    Haha you’ve got it sorted already. A mauling is definitely what the doctor ordered. I want to see a Sheffield united like performance (carling cup mauling).

    @ Gerry

    Ox on the right and Gnabry on the left…jesus I’d love to see that! Power,speed, and youthful confidence! Nico has gone out on loan again hasn’t he? I’d love to see him get some game time but I fear the worst for Yennaris.

    @ James

    Regarding Draxler: I couldn’t agree more. To think what Arsene could turn him into…mouthwatering. I just hope no team swoops in.
    Great response to Xavier. I agree.

  • Oz, would you rather have Draxler – like Mertesacker his name sounds like a mean grass cutting machine – now or Reus in the summer….? 🙂

  • Predictions I dont like doing, but it is going to be either close – as a result of stubborn Fulham defending led by the still excellent Hangeland – or a big score. Seven for James would be nice. 🙂

  • Bloody lost my comment. Cheers fozzer and cheers for giving the questions a go. Cant disagree with that and i like the subs also. Haven’t seen much of morata tbh.

    @ TA

    Tough question. My favourite two non arse players. I’d go with draxler based on potential. Reus is a jet and would fit it pretty darn nicely though.

  • Wow that is quite a choice, Ozzer! I reckon Reus is made for Arsenal and possibly the final piece in attack for us. Draxler is immensely talented but I am not sure whether he would be a success at Arsenal. Love him to come though! 🙂

  • i think it’d chance on a day to day basis though TA! Reus would fit snugly that’s for sure!

  • Good evening guys

    Here’s to a 3 points to the good guys on behalf of mr & mrs bond

    My sincerest condolences. May everything from this point onwards be a positive step in your lives. May your wife recover fully. Your fellow mates from BK have said it all but i reiterate that we are here for you and we all wish you both nothing but the best in this trying time for your family,

  • Afternoon Mischievous Mound Molesters 😆

    Our top agent is 5 for 5, so being the superstitious type I feel we have carry on and today the battle cry is not just for The Arsenal, but more importantly for Mrs Bond !.
    Some say that when confronted by the evil villain name DRAXLER !, his pump action weapon goes into overdrive and has to have a silencer fitted by Kwik Fit and that, after confiscating all the Pussies from the worlds most evil villains he now coughs up more fur balls than Sylvester at a cattery !…………we all know him as our top commenter………..Jaaaaaa Beeeeee !.

  • Morning boys…Just up in time for Kickoff…w/espresso in hand…

    Not a very strong 1st corner of the day….

  • Same line-up as at Villa? Nacho playing? Looks like we’re trying to press the ball up front…

  • OK, that’s a little deep for a shot, Serge… Earlier they were replaying the Ozil run when you could here cheers and commentary on a Wilshere interception… All Arsenal so far…

  • G’Morning Dylan, Oz, Alex…Our early pressing seems to be dropping off a bit and we even gave up a corner…Gnabry is very active early but so is everybody really…Ozil too… Good spell of possession but another Gnabry long shot goes awry…

  • morning 17ht,
    The urgency has dropped off a bit, we need to keep pressing against the parked bus, if we get the first, hopefully the game will open up further

  • We’re fighting nicely, Serge as comfortable as anybody…Not a great shot there from Ollie…

  • Fulham doing better but Koscielny is EVERYWHERE…

    Need to do better here…Sir Chez saves a Sidwell shot…

  • I hate the ‘kick it out’ sportsmanship thing too. He bounced straight back up and they had time to re park

  • Failing to string our passes together now and Fulham are getting some belief… Time to regroup and do better…

    Berbs living offside?

    A bit better there but the 1-2 between Jack and Santi is too strong…

  • Chez off his line in successful if scary circumstances…Fulham’s got the possession more than we do at the moment…

  • City back ahead in their match…

    Agreed Oz about us in the final 3rd…Unfortunately those weak long shots by Gnabry only served to make them park it further… 2 FKs for us, The latter a decent shout for a right footer…Santi to take it?

  • Geezus, scary stuff on the break, but Sir Chez again off the line well…

    Sagna wastes it with a cross other end…

    A bit of pressure but zero end product for us…

  • Hey Admir…. If Serge gets those shots on target they serve as purpose…As it is, however…

    Half-time…. Can’t really find the idea for the final ball and Fulham a little scary on the break. SZCZ off his line and saving. Have Fulham had the better chances?…

  • Our attack has been too sterile and we haven’t done anything to break the worst defense in the league.

    Very, very poor performance. I’d settle with the ugliest 1:0 victory right now.

  • I think they have 17.

    Sick of these ugly games. Really need to start clicking and put these shit teams to the sword

  • I gotta say that I’m surprised Poldolski didn’t get the start over Gnabry (with Santi shifted out right or even Ozil out there)… Good to see Nacho isn’t hurt and Ozil finding him has been good. Santi very active today but we seem clogged narrow in the center. I’m not sure how we’re gonna change things up to create the chances (and the goals)…Hopefully AW and the players can…

  • Have to keep our shape a bit better so we don’t clog it up centrally. Giroud isn’t getting any luck in the air against hangeland so we can rely on crosses.

  • @ dylan

    And given santi’s enthusiasm and involvement i know who’d id go with atm

  • Ozil not moving off the ball right now…

    Giroud almost forces a keeper problem…

    Better from Ozil there with the pull back but nobody there… C’mon guys!!!

  • We need more movement and interchange. Giroud comes out but then doesn’t go back…

    One man show from Gnabry but saved…

  • That’ll make things happen well done gnabry.
    I know ozil is top class but his laconic nature annoys me

  • WOW…Kept out with multiple chances…Sagna and Gnabry both stopped but not


  • We become less static and actually move for one another and look what happens. Well done lads

  • Brilliant… Arrived just in time for beautiful goal… Been a frustrating afternoon so far?

  • More please…

    Love Flams sliding to keep it in their half…More pressure, more goals…Let’s go boys!

  • I love the sliding tackle by flamini. He always puts his body on the line. He gave him a gob full afterwards too haha

  • I don’t think i could handle see gnabry and ox playing together. Too much trickery and speed for my liking…my excitement levels could cause my heart to explode

  • Giroud faking injury again? When he does that thing with the hand it’s never serious…

    Bent on for Fulham…And Giroud is up!

  • Hahaha not sure what giroud was doing during that goal celebration…but hey the finish was that good so who am i to judge

  • Replay shows the goalmouth scramble featured a woeful miss from Kos…

    Poldolski stripping off…

  • German switch…Gnabry off, Lulu on… Decent outing today from Serge? He gets by the first defender well, that’s for sure…

    Dang, Poldi shot blocked…

  • Kos, great Defense after the poor Giroud giveaway…

    Possession but no penetration at the other end…

  • Santi, stop giving it back to them, please… Nice on the defensive end, however..

    I’d like a 3rd please… Ox coming on?

  • Santi blocks off Ollie and into row Z…

    Ozil off (slower than molasses…), Ox on…

  • Heavy touch for Poldi…

    Bent beats Sir Chez but Kos puts him off and he shoots wide…Clean sheet looked gone there…

  • @ alcide

    Don’t think anyone is. All packed up after the second it seems. No jugular just self preservation. Smart given our record in previous seasons

  • Ox heads over, but a pretty good effort just to get to it….

    Fulham corner at the death… Defended but now Ox fouls out wide…Where’s the whistle?

  • 3 points, santi finding form, clean sheet, no injuries (i hope), and we are the best team in the world!

    Nite all

  • Well, not quite the blow-out we wanted for 007 but comfortable after Santi’s goals… We looked clogged for much of the match but eventually worked it out… The offense still needs sorting, I think. That’s 5 clean sheets in 6 matches, with only the Benteke header as a blemish since the City match…


    There is a great thing about our recent victories – we always have a different hero. Wilshere dealt with Villa, Cazorla knocked out Fulham, Bendtner grabbed us points against Cardiff, Walcott did the job against West Ham and BFF gave us three points at St James Park.

    @17, Carlton Cole has scored against us as well since we had lost at City.

  • Thanks for the correction there, Admir… So, it’s only 5 clean sheets out of 7 matches (all comps) and 2 goals conceded. Regardless, it seems nice to have a defensive platform. The offense seems a little out of sorts, sometimes a bit too much standing around waiting for somebody with the ball to do something and all tight 1-2s. Ah well…Hopefully they can sort it… Nacho fit was a nice surprise…

  • I agree. Our defense has been brilliant this season. I had had my worries before the match started – we have conceded just seven goals with Arteta on the pitch and he has been injured for a while – but we dealt with Fulham’s attack without severe problems. Koscielny was fantastic, he was the second best man on the pitch today.

  • Villa are up a goal at Anfield and Suarez has spent a lot of time holding his hamstring and then his head…The dude fakes injury worse than Giroud… 😀

    Agreed about Kos–what a monster on defense…He should’ve done better with the open shot from 3 yards out, however…

    A couple of little shouts…1) Szczesny for coming off his line very smartly on two occasions to stop their best chances (on the break)… 2) Flamini made several interventions which kept the ball in the Fulham half and kept the pressure on. Even if our offense looks clogged, simply maintaining such pressure, I think, can sometimes open things up…

    2 nil Villa–Benteke header…

  • Hi guys 🙂

    Good result and another clean sheet which means we stay ToTL. I will comment about the match more during the match review post.

    In other new Kevin De Bruyne has gone to Wolfsburg and Anderson has gone to Fiorentina on loan.

  • I would also like to say I am sorry to hear what has happened to JB and his wife. You often hear of these stories but never think it will happen to someone you know, even if you have not met that person in person. I have enjoyed all of my discussions with JB and is he one of the bloggers I most frequently blog with. Hope your wife can get better and you can get back to blogging. TOP MAN! 🙂

  • I wasn’t expecting this…I’m deeply touched by all the love, affection , prayers and best wishes…all of you are top top top people and many many thanks to 17HT for sending so much positive energy our way …

    I wish there was something positive I could share with all of you right now…I wish I could tell you that she is pulling through and recovering well, I wish I could tell you my darling is out of harm’s way … I wish I could say we made it, …I wish, I wish…

    earlier today, she suffered from acute liver failure and the doctors told us to say our goodbye’s and begin preparing…

    she had just turned 23 last month when we were playing in naples, we had our life all figured out and were expecting our twin’s …

    in a matter of one week, my world has ……

    if there really is a god out there somewhere then now is the time…

  • Well done Arsenal !. We are now level points like for like !. Although I believe in Total OGAAT, I feel we are in our best position to possibly get a top 4 finish without the need for the usual last game Squeaky Bum Sunday !. Next target is a top 3 finish, so we don’t have to endure a Squeaky Bum Tues/Weds Night Qualifier !. 🙂

  • I`m so sorry JB. I will pray for you and your love. Your tragic events are truly heart breaking and I can only give you my complete sympathy. I cannot begin to think what you are going through my friend, you and your loves will be in all our thoughts.

  • James, so sorry to hear about the set back. Ar they doing anything about her liver failure? Don’t give up hope. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • JB, as TA says keep the hope. There is always a chance. I just cannot understand how the hell these things happen without any warning and to people at such a young age. 😦

  • really had to comment because of jb……..I’m really sorry……wish there was something I could do to help…..I visit everyday and your my favourite poster I Was really sad to hear wat happened…….I pray u get by dis and come out victorious

  • JB, I’m a bit angry at myself for not reading the comments on the previous article. 😦 I wish I could help you, mate. I know what being worried for beloved one means and how one feels when he can’t nothing but pray. Something is in my throat right now after I’d read what you’ve been going through. 😦

    I just hope there will be a miracle and that you will get a proper answer to your prayers. You have a BK family at your side.

  • Sorry to hear JB. Don’t give up hope. My sincerest sympathies go out to you. I hope you get that miracle you so thoroughly deserve.

  • Geez, 007…Not the news we wanted to hear…Just feeling so bad for you and at a loss for words. I’m sorry…

  • JB,, we are with you, and if you don’t feel like posting publicly, please stay in contact with TA,, he will find a good way to keep us informed. Stay strong.

  • Love, support, and hope from me and my family, JB. Don’t forget us mate. We’re always here from you. One BK Family. But take some time off. Just keep TA updated at the least so we can all continue our hope and prayer for you.

  • thank u to TA……I really like your blog and I visit as much as I can….keep up the good work …….COYG

  • JB – I am truly sorry to hear your news. I wrote the review for TA to post when, if ever, there is a right time.

    There are no words, how ever cleverly put, can ease your pain right now. But I hope hope you know people will always be here when you are ready.
    Take care, and try and treasure the time you had together, to help you through what might have been. Memories are what keeps love alive. However painful, keep them

  • JB,
    Your BK family wished you all the best. You are constantly in our thoughts and we do hope for that there is a God out there that will listen to our prayers. We are here for you.

  • Hi guys

    Gerry has written a match report and Dylan is working on a match analysis/ follow up. However, with JB going through such desperately sad and painful times I don’t feel it is appropriate to publish something right now.

    Football binds us of course, but it is hard to take joy out of our beloved team when one of us is going through such pain.

    I will think things through and get back to you all this evening.

    JB – I wish I was near you to put my arm around your shoulder. Keep strong buddy.

  • Gunz, thanks for the kind words and hope to see you here more often from now onwards. When you have a minute, please tell us where you are based and how long you have been supporting the mighty Red & White.

  • @ JB

    My condolences to you and her family.
    I may not be great with words but all I can say is may the Almighty God see you through this time, and like David in the Holy Book, weep no more as the storm is over and you can only have one way now which is up and up from this low point.

    Maybe out of context but the songs Rise by Gabrielle and The Storm is over by R. Kelly may be decent listens.

    Be well…

  • Hey JB … Big hugs ……
    There is a God that cares and he is not responsible for the pain and suffering in this world … It is his enemy …
    1Peter 5:7-“while you throw your anxieties on Him, because he cares for you”

    Prayers and thoughts with you JB.
    We as the BK brotherhood continue to be here for you.
    Be strong brother 😀

  • 007, All I can say is that I feel very (very) sorry for you. To the extent I can make you feel less alone, I’d like to do so…

    Also, I want to thank you for sharing what you have with us. We might like to think of Arsenal as a tidy compartment of our lives where we can go for a little excitement and (ideally, maybe) some joy or at least as a spot where we can let off a little steam…

    On this site I think people come to dig a little deeper and there’s a level of commitment that goes beyond spending your time and money (for tickets/telly contracts) and getting pure pleasure in return. We’ve got a lot “invested” in our club and we’re willing to ride the ups and downs. We can also turn off and step away when we need to… Real life doesn’t work that way…

    IMO, the extent to which we “engage” is a measure of our humanity. In this (new, strange, “modern,” etc…) culture and esp. on the internet we can engage and disengage as we like. That people choose to support their club and write about it, through thick and thin, is one level of engagement. That people choose to love one another, make REAL commitments to each other (including the incredible choice to make new people–i.e., children) is a WHOLE ‘nother one (as less than fully literate Americans say)… In our heart of hearts we KNOW that we will lose those we choose to love, yet we STILL choose it. (Wow…)

    So, thank you, Bond, for doing both. Thank you for sharing your love (and your overwhelming loss) with us. Right back at you, Superspy…

  • Bond, if you ever want to communicate more directly with me feel free to get my e-mail from TA. Nearly 30 years ago (when I was about Jack Wilshere’s age :shock:) I had a (broadly) *similar* experience. Of course, I still live with it as you will live with yours… I’m not sure that sharing such things “helps,” and this space is most certainly not the correct spot for it, but it was something that I wanted to offer…

  • there’s only so much they can do after she’s had an infection, sepsis, ards, organ failures, 2 kidneys failed, a kidney transplant and now acute liver failure with meningitis and pancreatitis @ TA… they are surprised as to how she is still even staying alive as they made it clear yesterday at the same time that her beautiful heart will stop beating next…. she is on a million drips, drugs and so on… i uploaded a picture to share it with all of you but i have decided not to put all of you through the agony i am going through…

    i am deeply touched and moved by all of your support and love and i would like to urge you to look after your loved ones, mother, fathers, daughters, sisters, wives and everyone you love that much more as we often take our beloved’s for granted not realizing what tomorrow may bring…

    i have booked marked this post and you can rest assure that i will be reading this a million times over and over again…and if there is something to convey, will write it here which is basically me saying the show must go on please continue publishing new posts and indulge in fascinating discussions like before…

    i love you all

  • F**ckin-A (as we say…) Bond simul-posting with me AND Chavs get a deflected goal (against the run of play)…

    In so many ways, life is simply not fair…

  • thank you 17ht for your offer, i would like to share with you what she wrote to me this morning at 5…

    ” you can now go to brazil in the summer and tell your bk mate 17ht that i am no longer the cause of your delay “…..

    i don’t know how you managed to get through your experience and end up doing ever so well, but it’s clear that you are a much stronger man…i would like to think and say that i am strong and i would like to think that everything’s going to be ok but at this moment of time it seems beyond impossible for me to ever be okay but thank you very much

  • JB – if you are still around and reading these posts? Can I just add my experience of loss .. No surprise we are talking of a dog here, but she was very special to me.

    It took me 8 years before I could take in the ‘bigger picture’ viewpoint that only comes when the anger, the hurt, the emptiness that goes with a loss were a more distant memory. The turning point? Well having built the family of dogs around, as though one never quite filled the hole in my heart, and then multiple puppies which went to different homes, and as he years passed I had so many come back and tell that the dogs they had were the best ones they had ever had, and filled so many with joy … Only then did I see that my Pip had ‘made room’ for this to happen, in the greater scheme of things.

    So my advice to you is, when you are ready to take in the world once more, do something that means a lot to other people, or for animals, so the ‘space’ your wife is giving you is a tribute to her and what she gave to you. Do that, and the anger and the emptiness will disappear,..
    the tears never do.

    That is all I can offer, but it takes time. Don’t let the despair of now keep you from feeling whole again … one day.

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