Arteta/Rosicky DM pivot, Zelalem in hole, Ox & Ryo on Wings? Coventry preview

FA Cup 4th Round



This is not your usual preview, where most of us are familiar with the opposition, their players, and their style. So, bear with me if I spend a little longer on what we might expect. I asked for this assignment because CoventryCity is my home town club, and despite their well documented off-field problems, I still follow their results and progress keenly.

I would like to open this report up with this link for an insight into their manager’s self awareness, and hopefully through that, allow you a more rounded respect for our opponents on Friday night?

So, from the above I think Coventry will play with the freedom that will allow them to be at their very best, even though a victory is very unlikely. That is a dangerous combination, if the Arsenal players simply think they only have to turn up and they are in the 5th round. Coventry will play to the 95th minute and if there is the slightest chink in our application, they will pounce.

Here are a few players to look out for from the team I expect will play for the Sky Blues:

Franck Moussa – Belgian youngster who plays as an attacking midfielder, and scored last weekend with a 35yd rasper in injury time. Very popular with the City fans.

Carl Baker – Now the senior pro in the midfield. Plays out wide, with pace. Skilful; takes the penalty shots, and has got the most assists, with 8 this term.

Cyrus Christie – Young, athletic left back. Likes to get forward a lot. Pacy with it.

Leon Clarke – He is the senior striker of City’s front pair. He scored 10 goals from 14 appearances last season. He is their leading scorer with 18 this season. However, there is talk of a transfer to Wolves, but as they are out of the Cup, I guess he will want to play this game before any move is completed?

Denzel Slager – Recently signed late entry for a start.

Joe Murphy – A very capable ‘keeper on his day, and has been with City for the last 3 seasons. Has made more saves this season than our Chezzer!

Predicting the Arsenal line up is tricky, given surprise injury recoveries, but this will be something like it. They will rest a few seniors, but there will be a solid core:

Ars v Cov

Subs: Szcz; Sagna; Frimpong; Ozil; Santi; Eisfeld; Podolski.

It is a youthful midfield that will not last the 90, but by having Ryo ahead of Gibbs means that latter can monitor the dangerous Baker. In a more 1-4-1-4-1 formation, I think Rosicky will do the prompting, feeding Zelalem to find the key passes to both wide men. Good crosses will suit Bendtner’s better heading ability? Ox and Rosicky can interchange to provide another threat in the central area.

Coventry line up will be something like this:

L.Clarke – D Slager


Moussa – Fleck – Baker


Christie – Webster – D.Seabourne – Adams



Subs will include: Midfielder Adam Barton and J. Clarke, defender.

Callum Wilson – Usually the pacy young partner to Leon Clarke, but he is injured and misses the game. Big loss for them.

How the game will be won or lost:

Overall, Coventry score regularly, 55 this term in League 1, with 45 against.

I think they will play the two up front and really go for it. It may be tight in midfield, but they can break equally quickly, and Moussa capable of firing in from any range.

It does mean they will be vulnerable if they go to open, but it should be an exciting game. Their manager will expect them to put in a good effort, so if they lose it will not be because anybody shirked their responsibility.

Well, possession, as always, will be key but it is not the whole story. Coventry will play on the counter and hope to win the ball in midfield. They have pace down both wings, so balls played inside to the dangerous Moussa means any lack of concentration will be punished. With the team above, Arsenal should have the numerical advantage in midfield and I expect them to win this area comfortably enough, but with Ryo on the left, and Ox and the overlapping Jenkinson, on the right, I think less will be played through the middle … unless of course they do play the full senior squad in midfield?

Personally I do not think it will be necessary. I think our strong defence will be too good for the likes of Slager and Clarke. Moussa is a bit of a maverick, so best not let him get any clear shots on goal. Ox and Rosicky helping out Arteta to stop Fleck from getting the ball through middle, and Gibbs is probably the better option (over Monreal) to handle Baker’s pace. Jenks will have to be quick on the other side if he gets forwards himself, but hopefully Ox will be on that side to help out.

Zelalem is my quirky option to start. It should be a game that suits his passing game a treat, and with Ozil on the bench, it can be rectified if he looks like getting overwhelmed. Both Rosicky and Vermaelen are subject to their fitness. With a good break before our next game Koscielny is the obvious replacement in defence. If Arteta is not available, then Wilshere may have to partner Frimpong or Yennaris, as both played in the Under 21’s last time? Therefore if Arteta is fit, I think Rosicky’s better defensive work holds Santi out? Whilst Ozil could start and have a real influence on the game from the start, I think they will save him for midweek?

Zelalem up against Fleck might be a different challenge? I can see Podolski coming on, or even starting, and the switch will take place with Bendtner around the 70th minute. The rest will be score dependent, barring injuries.

Goals should come from Bendtner’s heading at set pieces, and Rosicky and Ox should have plenty of opportunities too. I do not see us keeping a clean sheet, but I think 3-1 to the Gunners, even if it will be late on before it is wrapped up. I will repeat, Coventry will keep it going right up until the final whistle.

So remember we play Southampton on Tuesday and Coventry are a League 1 side:

Q.1 Would you rest some of our key players? If so how many?


Q.2 Who from the YouthAcademy would you like to see get some game time?


Q.3 What is your score prediction?

Written by: Gerry

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165 Responses to Arteta/Rosicky DM pivot, Zelalem in hole, Ox & Ryo on Wings? Coventry preview

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Gerry 🙂

    Comprehensive and very insightful preview and thanks for the insight into the Coventry players and style of footie. It all sounds very promising. I think your line-up is a bit too light and more a reflection of what you would like to see than what Arsene is likely to do?

    I’d replace Zelalem with Jack and Ryo with Pod, and if Ramsey is fully fit, I can see him start instead of Rosicky. Agreed with the back-five and Arteta and Bendtner though.

    Back later 🙂

  2. AB says:

    Like it Gerry. I wonder though if Ox will play through the middle, with Gnab keeping his place out wide? A good opportunity to play the Ox where he prefers, and keep an eye on Gnab for his consistency of performance. Not sure I see Zel starting, but a cameo role, why not?

  3. davydavy says:

    Nice preview Gerry! I too have a soft spot for Coventry (having gone to nearby Warwick University) and I really feel for their supporters at the moment. They seem to have a good exciting team to watch at the moment though.

    I like your selection, but would start Frimpong instead of TR7 alongside Arteta to strengthen the defensive midfield side of things, and would also give the BFG a rest and not risk injury in this game. A good opportunity to see what our young centre-backs can do.

    3-1 to the Arsenal I think (or 3-0 if the BFG plays which I hope he doesn’t)

  4. James Bond says:

    nice one @ Gerry

    interesting team selection there but I’m gonna go for something like this …( agreed with your back 5, but if TV5 is not fit then we play KOC)

    —————-THE OX
    —–Gnabry —————JW———————Poldi


    Subs : Ryo , Zelalem, Nacho, Eisfield, Ozil e.t.c e.t.c

    Rosicky is injured or more like being saved for Saints ?

    we couldn’t space the games better, giving our boys a decent time to recover, a game every 4th day or 5th, leaving us 3 days to recover and train again – Smashing

    win it nice and early, then rest JW, Poldi and Gnabry or the OX with Ryo, Eisfield and Zelalem

    not gonna go for 7-0 as I want to see that on tuesday, considering we beat them 6-1 last time when we played coventry, am gonna go for a 5-0

    PS: Cheers VCC – hope you enjoyed the Vino Tino 🙂 , and everyone else – all your love and kisses given, however, Xavier – I’m not so sure about that big ass box of chocs as I’m sure as soon as she is back to full health (fingers crossed) she will start moaning at how I made her put on weight and how she no longer fits in this dress that dress blah blah blah , it always ends up with her maxing out the credit card at the weekend, in short, not so good for me 😀 — and Dylan, I agree re- Salah, he made a mistake signing up for Chelsea, took a step backwards in his career, it appears unless they lose a few players to injuries, I’m with you on that one.

  5. DanG says:

    Arteta & Rosicky are out… Stopped reading after that

  6. Xavier says:

    Good post Gerry. And the insight into the Coventry team is awesome.
    On the lineup, I think we’ll see a verm(if fit)- kos partnership. Midfield may have arteta-zelalem with carzola playing behind the striker. Poldi should get a rare start and Wilshere on the right. I’d like Sanogo to strike for us, but I reckon it’ll be bendtner if he’s fit enough.

    I read somewhere a couple of days ago that Coventry have been training 11 vs 12 to be able to deal/cope with our overloading midfielders. Don’t know how true it is.

    I predict a 4-0 to the arsenal if per starts. A 4-1 if he doesn’t.

    @JB Hahahahahahaha. Forget I even mentioned the big ass box of chocolates. Hehe.


  7. Nice job Gerry…and the linked article was good too… Nice also to know your thoughts about some of their players…

    The Wenger presser suggested that Arteta and Vermaelen (and Ramsey and Rosicky, I think) are all out for this match, so I think there will be quite a few changes to your line-up. It was good to see Rosicky warming up (and part of the goal celebrations vs Fulham, but maybe if he waits a bit he won’t have to do the mask thing…

    As such, I agree with AB and I think Gnabry will keep his spot on the right and the central MFs will be Ox, Flamini and Jack. If I were Ryo OR Poldolski I’d be a bit worried if I didn’t get a start for this one esp. if I was reading the press about my upcoming loan (Ryo) or swap deal back to Germany (Lulu). It could be rather make or break and a bit of a chance for both. Bendtner is available, but maybe it’s like the Cardiff match and Lulu is given a chance up front alone with Nicky as his sub after 65…So, after all that I’ll guess:
    Jenks, Mert, Kos, Gibbs,
    Flamini, Ox,
    Gnabry, Jack, Ryo,

    Bench of Viviano, Sagna, Monreal, Sicky, Ozil, Bendtner, Giroud. (I would think Santi serves a one match ban for getting photographed with the Spurs are Sh*t sign… 😀 but maybe if Sicky is really out he has a spot on the bench too…) I would love to see some younger guys (Zelalem, Eisfeld) but Wenger-talk suggests not…Of course he lies, so all we can do is guess… (In fact, Total, I might put together a little post about his lies, if you’re interested and don’t have too much in the hopper…)

    007, not to pry, but is the missus out of the ICU (or do you guys have a different name for it?). Last time you said, “critical but stable.” Has that been upgraded? Anyhow, glad you’re back at it even if your expectations (in the Window) are completely absurd… 😉

  8. James Bond says:


    the post may have been written well before AW gave the injury update this afternoon ? but how very kind of you to tell us which 2 players you would opt to play instead of Arteta and Rosicky, many thanks for your very productive and constructive criticism – well done.

    too late for that now @ Xavier 🙂

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    So grumpy DanG is right: Arteta, Rosicky and Rambo are not available tomorrow. Will Arsene play Flamini and or Frimpong….. We need the experience and we need the steel…

  10. prince Marshallz says:

    I see Podolski starting this one from the left n Ox in the middle with Gnabry playing from the right! We would have a couple of kids on the bench as well as park!! Nice write-up though! Its 3-0 to the good guys!!

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Go for it, 17! 🙂

  12. 17highburyterrace says:

    Frimpong isn’t off on loan yet? If we’re going for the wild guesses, isn’t Le Coq back on our books after an unsuccessful loan spell in Germany? I always rated him above Dame Judy (Frimpong, Dench, or whatever we’re calling him…)

    Can’t read, but can post… Somehow Mr. G, I fear, ain’t gonna like this place… 🙄

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Welcome Prince M 🙂

    Like the line up a lot, maybe with Flam and Jack in the double DM pivot?

  14. Dylan says:

    GZ to start? Delicious! 😉 Excellent post Gerry. Only curious thing to be is GZ at CAM. From what we saw in the summer Wenger seemed to see him as a more box to box player? Could be wrong.

  15. Dylan says:

    Also, terrible news:
    Chelsea have stolen my little Egyptian Messi/new Robert Pires.

  16. James Bond says:

    still in ICU and STABLE (no longer critical) @ 17HT – they are still monitoring her the same way, will continue to do so for a fair few days, there is improvement, slow but steady , she might not be back home for another 2 weeks according to them as they are cautious, however, good news, she ate for the first time in a long time…managed to have a couple of bites of this
    [IMG][/IMG] ( before you raise your eyebrows, it’s a private hospital hence it’s not the usual sandwich you would expect in a hospital )

    it’s going to be a slow road to recovery, as you would imagine, so it’s still very much ODAAT sort of thing but hopefully it’s all upwards and headed in the right direction !

    and don’t say you don’t like the options I present or put forward, after all it’s called the terror window for a reason, ha

  17. James Bond says:

    try this if the above link doesn’t work

  18. James Bond says:

    I agree with Prince Marshallz – Poldi must start, if he doesn’t then that may well be worth a story (post) on it’s own and very much meaning that he is not a part of AW’s long term plans. (I’m hoping that’s not the case though, as I am a Poldi Fan) , for 11 million he has something like 19 goals, 11 assists , if I am not mistaken, that’s so much more than what Spuds for spending £110 million put together 👿

    hoping to be back tomorrow and join you all, for now , it’s ciao0000.

  19. 17highburyterrace says:

    Dylan, who will sit at Chelsea if Salah plays? Certainly it spells the end for Victor Moses (who hardly gets a match at Liverpool). Will Hazard or Willian get less playing time? Schurrle hasn’t been playing much. Does this mean even less time for him? Mata is going North and surely Rooney will be going the other way in the Summer. It’s a lot of changes, I think, but Mourinho *must* know what he’s doing, no?

    I assume you would’ve liked Salah, but at the expense of whom would you have wanted him to play? Gnabry or Santi, I assume. He would slot right into our line-up meaning that Ramsey (Ox, Poldolski and Rosicky) wouldn’t. I guess if he’s as good as Messi, these are the sacrifices which must be made… 😉

    I’m only goofing, (AND I’ll be giving 007 and other greedy sorts the same inquiries, in spite of their personal issues…) but to me we’ve got a pretty good and reasonably deep squad and I think these questions are important to consider…

  20. TotalArsenal says:


    Really nice to hear Mrs Bond is drinking and eating again. They even honoured her with putting seven mini tomatoes on the first cracker. Now that is class! 🙂

    Keep taking it day by day and upwards and forwards and give Mrs Bond a hug and kiss from us all. 🙂

    Night all 🙂

    And agreed, 17, they have to fit in somewhere.

  21. I guess I’m in a bit of a critical mood…but I can see what Dan G is getting at. Might I ask why BKesque chooses to publish a match preview several hours AFTER information is extant suggesting that (some of) the author’s ideas are moot?

    I know we’re all a little shaky what with Bond’s family health issues, but certainly headlines like this one are not going to get clicks from the sort of intelligent, informed supporters with whom I’d like to hang out…

    It’s a shame, too, because lots of blogs put out boilerplate match previews (changing just a bit here and there for each new opponent) and this one was different given Gerry’s good knowledge of the opponent. TA, if you’re too busy to get the articles out with current info, maybe you need a little back-up support… I’d even consider volunteering, maybe…Again, you’ve got my e-mail AND I accept PayPal… 😉 😀

    Sorry… I guess if everything is looking up in 007’s world, somebody else has to pick up the slack on the bitch-twitchy end of things… 😳

  22. Gerry says:

    Back again – I thought I better check in … My, you are all keen?

    Yes, the post was written up on Monday, but amended on Wednesday, which is why I did put a few caveats in about who might start.

    So let me just run through my reasoning.

    I think better to start with the young guys, rather than them being the subs.

    We do not want to risk injuries ahead of a difficult game on Tuesday.

    Vermaelin was a doubt earlier in the week, so we may end up with the Mert/Kos pairing which should be pretty strong.

    Flamini I thought was out, but instead it is likely he will partner Frimpong, who did the full Under 21’s on Monday. HT, I don’t think Le Coq has played much recently?

    It is Zelalem’s birthday on Saturday so this is his last chance to get a first start while aged 16?
    However, Dylan you are quite right, he would play a more floating Ozil role, rather than an advance Cazorla one?

    Gnabry is less likely to play this, and turn out again on Tuesday?. Ox is a like for like swap.

    Ryo starting over Podolski depends on Pods fitness too? I think he may still come on late for NB23.

    Baring injuries, I would like Ozil (for GZ) and Eisfeld (for Ryo) to be the other subs.

    Losing Rosicky is a bigger blow.

    So yes, with lies, damn lies, and AW on who is available, the Arsenal line up is very much an open forum.

    The Coventry line up will not be too far out. It is just possible Moussa will push up to partner Clarle, with Barton coming in in midfield. Do bear in mind that 7 or 8 of their players will be under 23 years of age. So there will be a few nerves jangling. I just think we will have the edge even if Zelalem is writing his name into the history books. He is looking a tougher proposition now from the pre-season guy. His clever passing could be just what is needed?

    I am looking forward to the whole build show tomorrow. It will not be a dull 0-0, but I don’t want to see a 6-0 either. You never know, we might want Moussa to come back?

    I run through the individual points tomorrow.
    Thanks again.

  23. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ah dammit, it seems I’ve missed the object of my criticism and now it sits for him to find over his morning beverage…

    Please people, bury my comments…

    Arsenal to win 5-2, but it would’ve been 5-nil if it was Mannone between the sticks… 😀

  24. Gerry says:

    Sorry HT – I put in in early to allow time for TA tor sort it, and ,Yes, the headline does not help the much. But I am guessing he lifted it from my list before seeing AW’s presser?

    I had another post on the go all week, which I only wrapped up this morning.

    However, if you are putting an offer in to the review, I do not think you will be turned away?

  25. 17highburyterrace says:

    No, Gerry, I wasn’t thinking of a review…I wrote a bit about AW and the lying (which I understand but don’t condone… 😀 …) so it was a (much) broader sort of thing…Coventry are your team so you should do the review as well, if you’re up for it…

  26. proudgooner says:

    Gerry good post, lots of good info,
    Great news mate, that is really good to her she is eating and drinking again. Oh and take her some pucker munch in , don’t let her eat that crap hospital food. Great news JB so glad to hear this, best thing i have heard all day.
    I like the team you would play and mine would be the same. Podolski has to play this match for me.

  27. NOOBGOON says:

    Hey ya.ll. i wouldnt wanna start with too many youngsters as i.m thinkin lower leagues will compensate physicality where they lack talent and really harrass ouf young guns. We can keep possession and take our time. I cant see us being too clinical in front of goal but i can imagine it.ll be tight at the back with flappy fa ing plenty of long range stunners. Think of the cardiff game. Tight. But a comforta le win. Would love to see early goals and youngster introduced smoothly…..

  28. Gerry says:

    6 hours later …

    TA – Yes, It was more planned that Rosicky would provide the solidity and experience to the youthful Zelalem and Ox in midfield. At the time he looked the most likely starter.

    Zelalem will play at some point though, I am sure.

    Ryo I think would be a gamble, but I think Gibbs needs to concentrate on his defending more. Certainly in the early part. I am equally happy if Pod starts, but Wilshere is the most likely replacement for Rosicky.

  29. Gerry says:

    Thanks AB – Unless Ramsey is certain for Tuesday’s game, and a lot of my thinking has been centrered around getting the balance right between the two, then I don’t see Gnabs starting this one. In isolation, and OGAAT mode, then he and the Ox on the left would be be a powerful threat, agreed.

  30. Gerry says:

    davydavy – Yep, I have a soft spot for Warwick Uni. I use to love their film nights and live gigs.

    Re Frimpong. I would love to see how he shapes up these days, and he wasn’t that evident in the training photos 🙂 (see earlier posts for that theory). It would be no surprise if Hayden starts though, as it is the first time I did not give him a mention. Both of them, and Yennaris, played in the 1-4 defeat on Monday which does not auger well for them? However you cannot tell their overall contribution from the snippets, and ‘Pool’s striker looked physically massive.

    But hopefully Flamini can start alongside one of them and allow the attackers more freedom?

  31. Gerry says:

    JB – So nice to have you able to comment on the footy again. Hope things can continue that way?

    Your line up is very plausible in OGAAT mode – see above. I think they will be very careful with Poldi if TW chatter is anything to go by? I can see him starting, but I like my triple German substitutes to come on around the hour mark; Poldi, Eisfeld, and Ozil? I can see the headline now – ‘ German subs torpedo Coventry’s chances’ 😀

    We will see who AW gives the nod to later. They all looked very happy in the training pics. I got the magnifier on to try and pick out the hidden bodies. Park was in there and he has made the bench before … perhaps a bit of advertising before the TW closes?

    I also noted Sanogo doing some running, but he will have to take it very steady, but we may get the odd 20 mins this season. Perhaps in the next round if we do our job tonight?

  32. Gerry says:

    DanG – Sorry that put you off, but never judge a book by it’s cover? But thanks for giving the comment numbers a boost … err twice, with my reply.

  33. Gerry says:

    Xavier – Thanks for that. One of the reasons I felt allowed to spend more time on the opposition is because I thought it might help those regulars who may not get much insight into League 1 teams? My fellow Coventry buddy, now living in London, and I have weekly chats about racing and the City, so it keeps me pretty well informed on how they are doing. I am pleased that the info I have passed on has been well received.

    You will have to be patient with your support for Sanogo I feel. Santi following up on the last game? Possibly. Jack on the right … mmn … No. I think we will not see him moved out of the central hub unless injuries force it? You will love my next post that I have been working on. Right up your line of thinking? There is a teasing thought for you ..

    I think both managers are using the media for their own ends. The link I put in on Pressley gives you an sight into his mindset. He knows he can send his young players out with a ‘nothing to lose’ attitude, but at the same time instilling a chance of causing an upset. AW – ‘We know they can be dangerous’ to focus minds.

    I’ll settle for 3-1 and rest Per. But it should be a proper cup tie, and a good game to watch and enjoy. I hope you can do both?

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning guys 🙂

    Match Day! And on Friday….. Feels strange.

    17 hmmmm. I’ll email you rather than respond publicly. 😕

  35. Gerry says:

    17HT – I like your thinking of Poldi trying a reprise of the Cardiff game, if only because it could be a chance of seeing the Ox – Gnabs – Poldi, which I mentioned after that game? i.e. keeping Poldi left of centre where he operates best, imo. However, more likely NB23 will do that role, not Gnabs?

    I see you are taking no chances with your bench either 😀 You are probably right, but I think GZ will find a spot there somewhere?

    I am beginning to repeat myself, but as I said in my (defence) reply last night, picking our starting line up is very much an open forum.

    On the later posts which crossed, I know what you were getting at, and it was unfortunate. No Probs.

  36. Gerry says:

    Dylan – Yes, it is a nice thought that GZ could be the youngest player to start an FA Cup game for Arsenal apparently? One day before he is 17. AW clearly rates him. He has been training with the first team squad for ages … and we are not playing premier league opposition, so there is hope?

    Repeating my above comment to TA, I was thinking that Rosi was almost a certain starter, and he would have buzzed around him always giving him an outlet ball. Take that out, and he looks a tad more vulnerable? Unless of course he is indeed the ‘new Cesc’ ..

    Cheers D, I hope you can get to watch it live?

  37. Gerry says:

    princemashallz – That works for me too. Nice to hear from you.

    Thanks for your comment .. Sorry replies are getting shorter

  38. Gerry says:

    PG – Thank for your comment. With the latest updates on injuries, I would lean towards JB’s pick too. but I still have one eye on Tuesday’s game. If Gnabs plays I am guessing Rambo is likely to start against Southampton?
    Cheers, enjoy the match.

  39. Gerry says:

    NOOBGOON – You have the right thinking when these ties are normally played. However, from my knowledge of the City players, they too are more young and talented, rather than your over physical types. Not that they are not backed up by solid seniors players, but they are not a dirty side, as such.

    But that is why we can all take a different view. I think our younger players would be in their trying t show off their skills for future places. No matter how much you want senior pros to go out there and do their normal game, there is that psychological thing that says ‘we can beat these without even trying’ and that is when it will fall apart? I went for a strong defence, young midfield, pacy but with great talent, and a striker with something to prove also. But I repeat, it was based around Rosicky playing.

    Nice to here from you, I hope you can enjoy the game whoever plays 😀

  40. oz gunner says:

    @ BJ

    Great news. Brings a big smile to my face hearing any sort of positive news from you. Your Mrs is tough as nails…no wonder why she wears the pants 🙂 Look forward to hearing more good things soon.

    @ Gerry

    Brilliant as always. Your knowledge on youth and Coventry is top class. Always a pleasure.

    @ 17

    I get the feeling it’s all in good fun for TA. This site is for like minded gooners that have moved on from soulless sites that aim for hits, cheap tricks and countless ads. I for one couldn’t care if a headline on my post read “don’t read this shit; this guys a joke”…just as long as all the regulars enjoy it. Good Arsenal fans may come but I think a lot of idiots would too making TA’s job a hell of a lot harder. Anyway what do I know 🙂

  41. Gerry says:

    Morning TA – You see I have done my bit for the hit numbers … and HeHeHe Henry still to come

    Friday or not, I am really looking forwards to this tonight. BT Sport, for those who have it, do a great job with a very intimate, on the pitch style build up, that makes it feel like a mini version of the big day itself. For Coventry right now it is a big day. Neither side wants to lose it by playing badly, so let’s all sit back and enjoy it.


    Thank you Gerry

    First of all I apologise if I offended you in any way with cracking jokes over your break in. It was insensitive of me.

    It is not often I disagree with Arsene, but I will be very disappointed if we field a strong team tonight. I get the feeling that the pressure to win a trophy and last seasons debacle against Blackburn are influencing decisions

    I would play everybody that needs a game, and then all the youngsters that Arsene would like to see perform in front of a large crowd.

    This would make the game close, so we will probably win 5-0.

  43. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    Gerry.. I don’t agree with your team..
    As we all know, Wenger will not change his team more than 5.. Usually only 3..
    And he put FA Cup a serious game.. and a must win game..
    so I don’t think he will put all together the youngster.. even against Coventry..
    There be no such sentimental – drama for Wenger.. only because Zelalaem will be 16 soon, so he put him start to break his record.. no way.. hehehehe..

    I think Szczney and Ozil are the players who need some rest most.. I never see them rest.. cmiiw..
    Podolski and Bendtner will play..
    And Ramsey will start.. if he fit enough.. to keep Wilshere fresh against Soton..
    So the changes will be on that 3 or 4 players.. except for injured..
    My team are :
    our fantastic four,
    Flam-sey / Flam-shere,
    Ox, Cazorla, Podolski
    Subs : Szecney, Jenkinson, Vermaelen, Rosicky, Eisfeld , Miyaichi, Giroud,

    I think we must win a lot at home.. so the second round will be a free game.. and we can play most of our youngster there.. include Zelalem and Frimpong..
    3-0 is my best prediction.. because Coventry won’t play an open game.. They will do what Chelsea did.. Park the bus.. hehehehe..

  44. Gerry says:

    Sorry, nipped away to look at the gossip.

    Oz G – I wasn’t expecting you this early. Thanks for the compliment, wich from the master of previews is high praise indeed.

    Don’t be too hard on 17, he was not aware of all the facts. I posted my latest version before I read TA’s email saying it wasn’t going out until late. So I could have held back for the later team news, if I thought about it. But I explained the problems of picking the side within the post.

    I made a point that you long distance Gooners will not know too much about Coventry prior to the game, hence the longer coverage on them. Plus, I have been keeping up to date with their games.

    I hope you can get a feed, and the info proves useful?

    Cheers and enjoy.

  45. Gerry says:

    Henry – On cue 😀
    You have gone for the minimalist approach then? With Ramsey out, your front 6 look highly likely.
    I am not sure if your back four includes Gibbs?
    Not resting Sagna might be a tad too safe?

    You exaggerate the sentiment re GZ. AW does rate him. He would be in the team on the Saturday, on merit, if that is was the case. The age thing is just a back drop.

    The need for Giroud on the bench is a necessity if both Bendtner and Poldi start, as neither may last the full 90, but it certainly is a strong looking front line.

    Your final bit is a little mistaken. These are knockout games, unlike the COC, so the only way we play again would be a draw .. heaven forbid. But you score sounds reasonable, although I give Moussa to get at least a couple of opportunities, and he’ll take one?

    Enjoy the game.


  46. Gerry says:

    Just hanging on in case the rain stops .. not likely.

    JB’s wish on Poldi could be safe. And even a signing announce tonight .. That would be nice, eh?

  47. oz gunner says:

    @ Gerry

    all the info is greatly appreciated. I like to know going in to a game who are the dangerous players and usual tactics etc. That way I know when to be nervous and when to relax.

    I get it live on satellite…at 340am 🙂

  48. henrychan says:

    @Gerry.. hehehehe.. Thanks for your correction.. Yes.. how come I forget about that..
    I think Giroud can still on bench if Bendtner replaced.. Podolski can fill his position and Miyaichi can play as LW.. or Cazorla can do also, with Rosicky / Eisfeld for our CAM..
    Yes Gibbs is my man.. and why I don’t think Nacho must put on the bench, because Vermaelen can play as LB if needed.. and I put Jenkinson there for Sagna if needed.. hehehehe..

    I know Wenger do rate Zelalem.. but after his return from injured.. I never saw him in our bench.. cmiiw.. Maybe Zelalem need more time to be on our first team.. He must learn a lot from his hero “Ozil”.. hehehehe.. I think Eisfeld is more mature.. but I don’t see him either lately..

  49. Gerry says:

    Yes Henry, I not quite with you on playing Poldi and Bendy, because I don’t think either with be able to do the full 90, so if both are off for the final quarter, without Giro on the bench we would have nobody up front. That was my point about him being needed on the bench.

    I would also have Sagna on the bench to cover both CB and RB positions?

    Subtle differences, but can have impact on who is on the bench.

    Re Eisfeld. We are talking a different type of player here. But as you will see from one of my earlier replies I want to see how good he is with good players around him.

    As for Zelalem, I will refer all to this link:

    I rest my case 😀

  50. Gerry says:

    Henry – I forgot your earlier point on Coventry ploy of PTB? I don’t think it will be quite like that.

    Both teams can hit quickly on the break, and we should expect Arsenal to have the majority of possession, okay? But I think City will be using their young players to get possession back high up the pitch, and as long as they are still in the game they will keep doing that. It will be in that last 20 minutes where it will begin to tell, and we finally put it out of their reach.

    So rather than continuous pressure from Arsenal, I see it going end to for much of the first half and early part of the second. So an exciting match to watch. Luckily for me, I can wear my ‘lucky’ Arsenal scarf, and my 1966/7 Coventry scarf without having to feel guilty. I want Arsenal to win. I want Coventry to do themselves justice and be proud of their performance … then they can set about getting into the play offs.

    One big wish. No injuries on either side.

  51. VCC says:

    HI Gerry, sorry I’m late on the scene, but I think you know why.. 😉
    That’s a mighty fine pre-match, I particularly enjoyed the insight to the Coventry players. They are not a house hold name so it was much appreciated.
    I’m afraid my feeble response is not a worthy answer to the work you have put in. My blogging time has taken a back seat these past several weeks, I hope to spend more time here in the near future. I always read the comments but alas don’t have the time to respond with adequate replies.

    Question 1) Resting key players. My take on this is we should rest as many as practicably possible. Not that I think Coventry will be a push over, far from it, but I want to remain fresh for the EPL.

    Question 2) Bellerin, Zelalem and even Crowley with perhaps a 10 minute cameo if we have enough slack at the end of the game. If your good enough……your old enough.

    Question 3) 2 or 3 nil.

    Many thamks Geezer.

  52. Gerry says:

    Hi VCC – if only a few like what I put in I am happy. No worries

    Your answer to Q.1 is funny in a way. I have had a look around quite a few websites and not one agrees what the line up might be 😀 I hope DanG found one he likes?

    Q.- Shows you haven’t been around much. Bellerin is having a second loan spell at Watford, and Crowley got crunched in an under 21’s game at M’boro – out for a few weeks.

    Q. 3 I would be happy with that. My City supporting friend in London is having a ‘behind the sofa’ crisis – Up to 4-0 okay, 5 or more would be embarrassing – He fears a thrashing. Mind he thinks the Arsenal firt team squad are going to appear … in a couple of hours we will know?


  53. Fozzie B says:

    Good evening Carnivorius Coventry Codpiece Conquerors!! 😆
    At work so can’t play tonight but thanks Gezzer for a great insightful prematch!! Knowing both sides like that is like having a second 007 in our ranks!! 😀
    5-0 as Stretch would say!! Only one or two changes tonight to the team and really hope Poldi gets more time!
    COYRRG’s!!! 😀

  54. VCC says:

    Gerry, Coventry featured heavily during my visits to Highbury in the seventies. I can remember in those days they had a good away following, “The Sky Blues”, and well behaved too.

    They are three years older than us.

    One of my fond memories of the FA Cup is watching John Sillett and George Curtis dancing on the Wembley Pitch after their FA Cup triumph in 1987. AAAHHHHHH the wonder of the FA Cup.

  55. ‘Morning boys…Back to the sunshine today…Maybe the clouds and wind (and some snow showers) were what turned me towards the cranky side… Or maybe I’m just like the manager–according to Mourinho–always complaining… 😆

    I haven’t gotten my e-mail so I’m a bit worried… On the other hand, it appears I also haven’t been banned…yet… 😉

    No news about lineups yet but I thought the Guardian article about Zalalem seems promising. Surely they wouldn’t print such a thing if he wasn’t going to make the squad…

  56. James Bond says:

    quite a few like what you write as posts @ Gerry

    don’t be disheartened as to what the minority (trolls) have to say and like you say, who knows Rosicky might start tonight, what happens then ? wasn’t it the week before when Nacho was supposedly out with a serious injury for 4-6 weeks and then I looked at the players and he played a full 90 minutes ? this is called a predicted team not an actual team for all those unhappy about it.

    yep, I like how you put it with the German Revolution of sorts, ha – don’t mind Yaya but I feel he can do much better getting fitter for now and then playing in the reserves for a little bit once he is back to full physical fitness.

    I see my amigo 17HT is keeping the bitch (twitchy) alive, let’s hope we can finish the job nice and early this evening to avoid such twitchy feelings from taking place 🙂

    Poldi must get more time, it’s a no brainer really and he must play at the LW as well, since that is where his best position is especially if Gibbs is at LB , it will also serve well for the Saints game on tuesday or Crystal Palace @ FB

    take this one with a pinch of salt – an official bid has been made for a player you may like to see at Arsenal.

  57. Gerry says:

    VCC – Yes, the pity was Curtis did not stay on as manager. He had the Fergie ruthless streak. Sillet was too buddy buddy. I think our friend up the road will have the Sillet problem too?

  58. Gerry says:

    Morning to you HT – I guess Totes is still working he will be around. If I had not written such a long excuse I might have save you. But don’t worry about it is match night. Goodwill to one and all, I say.

    There are many blogs had Zelalem starting. I think the Guardian possibly inspired a few stories too.

    I was wrong on two count though. GZ is 17 on Sunday – Sign him up quick! and with a £50m release clause 😀
    And he is the first player who was born after AW became manager to start a game. A good trivia question in the future no doubt. Stability is good, No?

  59. Evening Frolicking Friday Felchers !. 😆

    No word of a lie !….I was filling the van up with diesel in Tesco`s a couple of hours ago and a women in a BMW Z4 pulls up opposite me, opens her door and opens her legs at the same time displaying her Beamer !. Well, at first I thought she was trying to suffocate what looked like Stretches syrup !. Not a pretty site, when I got to the till to pay, I demanded extra club points for the inconvenience !.
    Thanks Gezzer for a top PM.
    Normally I would like to see all the youth play ala Sheff Utd 6-0, but the ones I want to see play are injured ( Crowley ) or on loan ( Bellerin and Akpom ). So even though this goes against my thinking of prioritising the EPL, this should be a walk over and the strongest team available for me, so there is no replay and being a Friday nighter it gives us a longer rest than most `till our next league game !.
    I shall still seek solace behind my sofa and record on BT Sport, which I will then watch at around 9:45 pm, provided my missus gives me the ” you won thumbs up ! ” without disclosing the score !.
    I see on newsnow that there`s a lot of London places in the top 20 ( half in fact ) of most burgled areas in the UK . Guess what ?….. at #16 is our own Stretches area….Bounds Green !. Although quite weirdly ( or not, as we BKers know ! ) 99% of burglaries there involved women`s under wear !.
    Glad I moved out to the green pastures of Lesbania !….although Gezzer could quite rightly think different !.

  60. Gerry says:

    JB – I am happy to respond to anybody. So I was really chuffed at the numbers. It gives me a chance to explain my reasoning.

    For instance Poldi starting. My worry is if he fades towards the end if he plays with Bendtner, as he too might not too sharp either, after 70mins?

    Same thing applies in midfield but for different reasons. So I really hope you are right about Rosicky.

    On the TW front. I would like us to put a cheeky matching bid in for Salah and hold up the Mata transfer a bit longer?.:D

    We will be entering the final week tomorrow, so things should get sorted pretty soon?

    Talking of transfers, I am transferring to TV mode ….

  61. James Bond says:

    TEAM NEWS- Arsenal v Coventry (1945 GMT)
    Bad news Coventry fans – Arsenal have named a strong, strong side. Mesut Ozil had already booked the weekend off and was on his way back to Germany when he got the call.

    Coventry’s top scorer Leon Clarke starts despite his recent transfer request.

    Arsenal XI: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Gnabry, Podolski, Bendtner

    Coventry XI: Murphy, Christie, Webster, Seaborne, Adams, Baker, Thomas, Fleck, Daniels, Moussa, L. Clarke

    PS: great catch on that 7 Tomatoes @ TA 🙂

  62. PS
    If any BK WAGS have no problem in buying second hand under wear, then may I recommend ….Stretches Second Hand Lingerie Emporium !……down a little alleyway next to Ladbrookes in Bounds Green Rd !.

  63. James Bond says:

    I got 10 out of 11 , right – very happy with our team selection and well chuffed to see 4 german’s start with 4 Englishmen

    fair enough @ Gerry – Enjoy the game with the lucky scarf on !

    Evening @ Glic’s 🙂 – don’t forget the 5 out of 5 thingy and counting 😉

  64. Gerry says:

    Mnnnn! I haven’t seen the bench, but it is the first team out there Bar Sagna?

    Only two wrong with the City line up though.

    I think I shall have to hold the City scarf to stop the slaughter 😀 😀

  65. My Boss…the Cov fan, is really pissed off with his club for turning down the chance of more allocated tickets ( they could have had 9 thousand ! ), he wanted to take about 8 of his family and has ended up with none !….yet Coventry took about 5 thousand to an away game at MK Dons recently ( I think, It was on talkSPORT ! ). Not sure what politics were involved, but he said….”the club are a joke ! “.

  66. 17highburyterrace says:

    Well, I missed a couple…The most interesting element is that Ox and JW will man the double pivot…Or another way of looking at it is that we’re not playing a holding mid at all. Wenger actually mentioned that Ox requires a more defensively minded player near him. Jack is supposed to be that guy? Not sure about that one, Gaffer…

    Zelalem on the bench amongst the old guys…

    Ryo nowhere to be seen…Arsenal career over?

    Kickoff at 7:45?

  67. proudgooner says:

    Evening BKers,
    I am predicting Lukas Podolski to score first 4-0 to the Cannon blasters.
    yeahhh COYG!

  68. Hi James, you are 6 for 6 !. 😀

    It is a must if we are to win !………..our fabulous super spies….aka…James and Jane Bond with a battle cry duet !…….Some say, that he has been lasered by so many evil villains that his body is as smooth as TMHT`s transplant follicle donating arse and that because of continuously splintering his special one with wooden condoms, only rubber trees are allowed to be planted in his jungle !……..but we know him as ………Jaaaaaay Beeeeee !……………………………………..

  69. Alcide says:

    Gerry, very nice preview, especially the insight on Coventry.

    I like our offense oriented line up, we’ll see how Jack copes with perpaps a more defensive role than usual. I really hope we can get a couple goals early, so that we can see GZ in action. Pity that Vermaelen is not fit, that would be ideal for him to play today and rest Per or Kos.

  70. alcide says:

    Gerry, here’s the bench:

    Viviano, Sagna, Monreal, Zelalem, Flamini, Cazorla, Giroud

  71. James Bond says:

    nice one @ Glics 🙂

    ah, not many opportunities for the youngsters then as 17HT points out and cheers for sharing the bench…

    would have liked Eisfield on the bench as well, tbh or Nico – plenty of first team players involved today, let’s hope we don’t lose any players tonight due to injuries or else it may come back to haunt us.

    what’s this I’m hearing about Ozil first told he could have the weekend off and was on his way to Germany before he was asked to come back and play ? (someone picked up a knock just before the game is my assumption ?

  72. proudgooner says:

    ha ha ha ha loving the tarvan pre-match war cry.

  73. oz gunner says:

    Really like this lineup. The ox is back!

  74. 17highburyterrace says:

    And…We’re off…

    Midfield looks very fluid with Ox and Jack furthest back…

  75. Dylan says:

    Gutted not to see GZ start.
    JB, the way you word that… “A player you may like to see at arsenal” doesn’t scream DRAXLER to me. Hmm…any hints? Nationality or something? 😉

  76. oz gunner says:

    Really want to see podolski get a little space an fire in a shot. Last week the post nearly exploded…reminds me of when fulton reed gets the puck in mighty ducks

  77. 17highburyterrace says:

    Jenks cross to Lulu…Not his best effort there…

  78. oz gunner says:

    Agreed dylan,seems like a mixed emotion signing. Like a demba ba kind of thing

  79. 17highburyterrace says:

    You guys are trying to decipher 007’s little hints? Good luck with that…

    Jack is looking very sharp in MF


  80. oz gunner says:

    Lu luuuuuuuuuu!!!!!

  81. Dylan says:

    Great ball by Ozil.

  82. proudgooner says:

    Get in there !!! Podolski

  83. 17highburyterrace says:

    The three Germans combine!! Per to Ozil to Poldi who rounds the keeper and finishes from a tight angle…


  84. oz gunner says:

    He sure is 17. The thought of both he and ramsey playing together long into the future has my mouth watering

  85. James Bond says:

    Ozil + Poldi = We score when we want.

  86. 17highburyterrace says:

    Wow…Fabianski called into action…Mert turned pretty easily…Nice save!

  87. oz gunner says:

    Well done fabianski. Cant switch off mertz. Need to go for the jugular

  88. Dylan says:

    Carl is all over the place.

  89. proudgooner says:

    FABulous save

  90. 17highburyterrace says:

    Jenks, school yard issue there…Not quite a rock on the right…Sagna = our most important signing?…

  91. James Bond says:

    fabulous save @ Fabianski !

  92. James Bond says:

    😆 @ Dylan

    my lips remain tightly lipped.

  93. James Bond says:

    let’s make it 3-0 at HT and then bring off Ozil and both JW, if you may for Zelalem and Santiago

  94. 17highburyterrace says:

    LULU AGAIN from the corner…
    3 Germans again, Gnabry, Mert, Poldi!

  95. oz gunner says:

    Great flick by mertz. Lu lu brace

  96. proudgooner says:

    Go on my son, He scores when he wants, he scores when he wannnntss Lucas Podlolski he scores when he wants.

  97. proudgooner says:

    Here here JB, i would love to see Zaleam play a good half hour in the 2nd half.

  98. 17highburyterrace says:

    Oooh, Bendtner hopefully didn’t hurt himself kicking all that air there…

  99. 17highburyterrace says:

    Jenks looking pretty good as an attacker…Lulu attempt at the perfect hat trick well over…

  100. proudgooner says:

    i should have of put the bet on i meant to and forgot. I bad feeling i have got a bad feeling i have missed out here. podolski 1st 4-0 is looking really good.

  101. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ah geez, Jack hurt…Right Ankle or knee?

  102. oz gunner says:

    No point risking him. Chuck on gidion

  103. 17highburyterrace says:

    Jack’s back and looking fine…Pulls his shot wide, however…

  104. James Bond says:

    let’s take these players off at HT

    JW for Z

    Ozil for Santiago

    Poldi or Ox for Viviano 😆

  105. oz gunner says:

    Espn fc: no mention of arsenal as contenders. All chelsea and city. When asked why “city do everything better then arsenal. Attack, defend, speed”

    Wankers. Look forward to them eating their words

  106. alcide says:

    Attack and speed, arguably, but defend better?

  107. oz gunner says:

    That’s what i thought alcide. 19 vs 25 goals suggests otherwise

  108. James Bond says:

    by defending them must have meant the protection they get from the referee’s ? the way the ref’s defend them and favour them is the best I have seen , it’s almost as if watching Barca and RM play in England with 12 vs 11.

  109. 17highburyterrace says:

    Big Coventry chance and then an injury…

    We need to put this one to bed…

  110. James Bond says:

    few, Fabianski my hero !

  111. alcide says:

    Kos should be careful with these desperate, late tackles in the box, he’s going to give a penalty away and be carded one of these days

  112. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ox doing some good stuff but that was quite a dive… Jack looking sharp again too… Otherwise not a lot of urgency in our attack…

    Coventry hit the post…let off there…

    C’mon fellas!!

  113. James Bond says:

    JW , Gnabry off right now,

    come on AW – do it

  114. oz gunner says:

    Nicky b…..what a set up by ozil and jack

  115. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nice play there…jack and serge in MF then Ozil to jack to Bendy who fluffs it woefully…

  116. proudgooner says:

    Id take of Jack on a yellow card and play Zaleam

  117. 17highburyterrace says:

    More chances for Coventry… More let-offs…

    Lulu pulls it back when the shot was on!

  118. James Bond says:

    NB showing everyone why he should have won the BalloOn’d’or this year.

  119. proudgooner says:

    To be fair this is an area we need to be better at. City would be taking these chances and be ruthless smashing in 6-7s we need to keep the foot on the gas and keep scoring

  120. 17highburyterrace says:

    Play stopped…Fan on the field…A streaker maybe? Is it really warm enough for that sort of thing?

  121. 17highburyterrace says:

    GZ and Santi on for Bendy and the Ox…

  122. alcide says:

    We’re not putting in enough of an effort here, sub time…

  123. James Bond says:

    as much as most of us love AW – there’s a case to be made against him when it comes to making or using the subs bench, when the game is already won and could be moved forward with more venom and goals scored –

    sort it out @ AW

  124. oz gunner says:


  125. James Bond says:

    and then there came the substitutes – better late than never, I suppose


  126. oz gunner says:

    Ex-arsenal henri lansbury is doing alright in the championship. 7 goals in 25 appearances.not bad from a keeper 🙂

  127. 17highburyterrace says:


  128. 17highburyterrace says:

    Finally, a bit of class esp. from Santi and Ozil getting the ball upfield…Gibbs did well and the finish was excellent…

  129. James Bond says:

    now that’s what you call a strikers finish ehhh @ Giroud

  130. James Bond says:

    banner change, quite liked the BFG one tbh but this ones not bad either;) @ TA

  131. oz gunner says:


  132. 17highburyterrace says:

    That seemed a sure 4th…Santi boots it over…

    OK, Given our lineup I’d have thought we could really control this match in the middle of the pitch. As it was only Coventry let offs made it easy…

    Santi!!! There’s #4!

  133. proudgooner says:

    I feel sick i just missed out on about £400 great result though.

  134. proudgooner says:

    Il get you next time bookies , il be back lol

  135. oz gunner says:

    Half the time i think the kids/fringe players do better in matches against lower opposition as they’ve got something to prove. The rest are just cruising. Guaranteed if we were playing chelsea our defence wouldn’t be giving them this many chances

  136. James Bond says:

    to be honest, our players were functioning at 50% in the 2nd half and still are,

    we play on tuesday and everyone is playing a smart game by conserving their energies, could have backfired had coventry scored like 17HT says.

    anyhow, that’s me all done now – ciao0000

  137. 17highburyterrace says:

    More terrible finishing from Coventry…

    Ozil hits the post!

  138. oz gunner says:

    Spewin PG

  139. oz gunner says:

    Farewell BJ. Chin up mate

  140. proudgooner says:

    OZ, That is all that really matters mate im happy enough just for the win, but it was a missed chance shame.

  141. 17highburyterrace says:

    FT… Yeah, a bit too much cruise control but completely unpunished…in the end the scoreline flatters…We’ll need to kick it up quite a bit at So[ton…


  142. alcide says:

    Nice first performance from GZ I thought.

  143. James Bond says:

    Jan Aage Fjortoft says fee agreed for D – he did this in the last hour (21:00) – he is quite reliable when it comes to German transfers.

    ah, it seems the “official bid ” reported at 18:16, no longer should be taken with a pinch of salt 🙂

    let’s get the personal terms sorted ASAP.

    this is going to be an immense next couple of days…

  144. oz gunner says:

    Bond…you just made my morning

  145. proudgooner says:

    Gnabry looked very sharp and played well the first half. For a young boy he is class, he is going to be the real deal.
    We have a great squad , when you think we still have Rambo to come back next couple of weeks, Arteta and next season Theo and they all have there best years ahead of them and have not hit top form yet. The team will be deadly from now on and years to come 🙂

  146. proudgooner says:

    WOW that is exciting man that would be awesome thanks, hope its true

  147. James Bond says:

    bbc :


    The TV cameras did their best to dig out a line from Arsene on his reported interest in Schalke midfielder Julian Draxler, but the wily old boss just smiled and said there was no news on any transfers. Watch this space.

    PS: comments in moderation and am absolutely buzzing now @ OZ – do you remember when I first reported the genuine interest and bid we made for D last summer ? I didn’t even know much about him and you were the one to fill us all in on how good he really was… ring a bell ? seems like he may end up adding to our German Revolution sooner rather than later (fingers crossed) and yes, Dylan it was for D that official bids 😆

  148. James Bond says:

    bbc :

    10 pm

    The TV cameras did their best to dig out a line from Arsene on his reported interest in Schalke midfielder Julian Draxler, but the wily old boss just smiled and said there was no news on any transfers. Watch this space. 😀

    PS: comments in moderation and am absolutely buzzing now @ OZ – do you remember when I first reported the genuine interest and bid we made for D last summer ? I didn’t even know much about him and you were the one to fill us all in on how good he really was… ring a bell ? seems like he may end up adding to our German Revolution sooner rather than later (fingers crossed) and yes, Dylan it was for D that official bids 😆

  149. James Bond says:

    5 comments in moderation now, 6th time lucky perhaps ?

    PS: comments in moderation and am absolutely buzzing now @ OZ – do you remember when I first reported the genuine interest and bid we made for D last summer ? I didn’t even know much about him and you were the one to fill us all in on how good he really was… ring a bell ? seems like he may end up adding to our German Revolution sooner rather than later (fingers crossed) and yes, Dylan it was for D that official bids 😆

  150. James Bond says:

    sorry about you losing out on £400 @ The Punter , do another 4-0 for Tuesday and maybe make more than £400 provided your prediction comes true of course ( go for a 7-0), ha

    this is what the bbc are reporting now…

    The TV cameras did their best to dig out a line from Arsene on his reported interest in Schalke midfielder Julian Draxler, but the wily old boss just smiled and said there was no news on any transfers. Watch this space.

  151. James Bond says:

    sorry about you losing out on £400 @ The Punter , do another 4-0 for Tuesday and maybe make more than £400 provided your prediction comes true of course ( go for a 7-0), ha

    this is what the bbc are reporting now…

    “watch this space regarding D” along them lines – not being let to post the exact text, have 5/6 comments under moderation for some strange reason, very annoying

    anyway, am gone now and am absolutely buzzing – let’s get this on the front page of the bbc or Arsenal . within the next 48 hours shall we ? that be splendid

  152. proudgooner says:

    mine is under moderation now mate

  153. oz gunner says:

    That i do BJ. It reminds me of the ozil situation. Arsene had big wraps on him before real stuck their beak in. But he got his man. A couple of seasons ago arsene wanted drax but they held on. Now he might get his man again. Germans are arsene’s new favourite 🙂

  154. Fozzie B says:

    Evening Muppets!! 😆
    Haven’t watched the game and still working but can see the excitement about Draxula!! 😆 …… I did say if I only had the one signing it would be to bring the Draxler deal forward to give him 6 months in Walcotts position which he was always going to start on before developing later to the striker role?
    Still means we can get out number one striker target for Jan!
    We are so close to having the best combinations it’s scary!!
    And to back up the Draxler done theory after Wenger’s interview and Heathrow ventures is this money shot!!
    After the Coventry game … Wenger the sly fix has found the nappy mutha load!! 😆
    You have to wait abit for the link to kick in but it’s worth it!! 😆

  155. Fozzie B says:

    *fox 😀

  156. TotalArsenal says:

    Great win guys. Needed the first teamers to do it, though. Credit to Coventry. They played well in second half and deserved a goal.

    Night night! 🙂

  157. Admir says:

    Hello, fellas! 🙂

    Four-nil tonight, four more victories in this competition before we add a new piece of silverware to our trophy room. 🙂

  158. Fozzie B says:

    Ozzy … How do you copy the you tube clip so only the picture shows instead of the link like what you did above? 😀

  159. oz gunner says:

    Foz just go onto the clip you want and copy the link in the address bar. Then paste it into bk’s comment section. My first one stuffed up because i was using my ipad so it had the ‘m’ in the link.

    Sorry TA if my helping fozzie turns BK into a granny porn site 🙂

  160. Gerry says:

    Good morning all. Sorry for not coming back on last night, my broadband started playing up because I left the computer on in sleep mode, and bloody I-Tunes broke in with an update. I wasn’t there to agree to it, so BT snapped the connection. After the game I couldn’t be bothered to go through all the restart stuff to get it back. Mind, it wasn’t helped by the fact that before the match I was in danger of dozing off. So I resorted to my favourite tipple, Pernod and lemonade, which helped me enjoy the game no end … but when that wore off I just needed some sleep.

    So the game itself? The strong line up really got to the City players a bit. The quick closing down gave us overwhelming possession, and the goals were only a matter of time. The second half I thought was summed up when Per had a real go at the midfield because the idle beggers were just leaving it to someone else to be ‘available’, and in the end Per had to pass back to ‘Fab’ Fab. That is where we miss Rosicky?

    But at least that gave me some pleasure to see Coventry in a better light. Moussa was a disappointment, but it would perhaps have been better to have had a striker on and kept him in the midfield. Still, a couple of the others did well, but were out on their feet at the end.

    Don’t be too hard on NB23. He was never going to be razor sharp on his first time back and his coordination was a millisecond out on his shooting chances. Unlike Giroud?

    Zelalem, like the calls during the game, I would have loved to have seen more of him. But what we did see showed why he will be a shoe in next season’s squad? i thought there was some lovely little turns while he got to see who was where, then in an instant, the little stab pass, which although it went quickly it was easily controlled. A bit like a snooker stun shot and the cue ball stops dead after contact? There are many that could learn that trick from our Gedion?
    Just look again at the build up to the Cazorla goal. It was his pass in a crowded area on the edge of the box that began the one touch stuff, and Cazorla finished off. We could have had more of that?

    Overall I was a happy man. Scoreline reflected the class difference. The City boys did not let their manager or supporters down. We are in the next round – draw at 5.30pm tonight? – and it was a good game to watch.

    Just need a few signatures …Sagna, Mert, Rosicky, JD, AW, and ? or ?, and a bonus ?

    Whilst I can see we can do the transfer fees okay, but too many expensive contracts are really going to take a huge chunk out of the new Puma deal over the coming years?

    Talking of wages – The Shrek being offered £300,000pw to stay at Man U? Madness?

    It is a good day to wake up on a Saturday morning and have our weekends work done.

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