BFG shows character, Pod and Santi disappoint, Fab saves us: Arsenal – Wigan Afterthoughts

Our real leader: the BFG.
Our real leader: the BFG.

We knew it would not be easy, and boy did we make it hard for ourselves yesterday. A game of great contrast: Wigan had nothing to fear, with an FA cup in the cupboard and Man City eliminated already this season; but we had almost everything to lose. And it showed.

The recent demoralising – some might say devastating – defeats against title and CL-place contenders Chelsea and Everton, as well as the loss against Stoke and the late equaliser against Swansea, have clearly had an incredible, and under Wenger unprecedented, impact on our players.

I really cannot recall an Arsenal game like this against a ‘minor’ team under Wenger. We were nervous, restless and had very little flow to our football. There appears to be little belief by our players in their qualities and our game plan, as well as any form within the team. But what we cannot say about our players is that they did not give everything yesterday to turn things round and try to win at all costs.

And despite the lack of flow and quality by our boys, they were the better team yesterday and deserved to come out as winners. Wenger had limited options for his starting eleven but I was pleased to see Sanogo start ahead of the knackered and unfocussed Giroud. Sanogo is clearly a work in progress: a raw diamond that needs a lot of sharpening up in the workshop. But what he gives us is energy and unpredictability and I liked what I saw from him yesterday for the entire 120 minutes. He is not ready to be our nr2 striker for the foreseeable future though, before anybody starts jumping on my back! 😉

For me, the real problem was that the two most experienced and successful in front of goal players – Podolski and Carzola – just were not able to influence the game enough: to add that bit of control and quality on which the whole team can build. And for what they earn and the responsibility they have been given by Wenger, this is not good enough. Both players need to play in a free role and depend heavily on the hard work of others in the team, and it was once more obvious that they cannot make our play.

We knew this about Podolski but some believed Cazorla’s best position is in the hole…. I think we know now for sure that he is not suitable for this: too slow, too ponderous and not demanding enough. I like Santi and there is a future for him in the team, but he disappointed me again yesterday. The same goes for Podolski who has ‘moments’ in every game but just does not influence the game anywhere near enough to justify a start. A super-sub for me, but I reckon he will be gone next season.

It was really good to see Ramsey back and he tried hard to motor on our team. Clearly, he is not fit enough to make a significant difference yet, but that will come. Arteta evidently struggled at times but he never gave up and fought through his self-doubts with a steely determination, which I really like about him. And his penalty, the all important first one for the team, was class.

Ox worked his socks off and was desperate to make a difference in this game. It is still clear he is also a work in progress with plenty of weaknesses to improve on, but as an attacking driver for the team he has made massive progress. He was our most dangerous man both in terms of creating and taking chances and let’s hope he will stay fit for the remainder of the season, to add the much needed thrust to our football.

I loved Mertesacker’s goal after an uncharacteristic, nervous mistake (against a player in front of him for once!) that led to Wigan’s goal from the penalty spot. There is something very pure about the BFG: he gives his all and knows about his weaknesses, yet he will give his all to get the very best out of himself – and that goal epitomised him. What you see is what you get and the man fights for our shirt with all he has got. For that we’ve got to love him.

Sagna, Mr Reliable, was once again fantastic: what a club player he is for us. Gibbs did well taking over from Monreal, but the man of the match was undoubtedly Fabianski.

He had little to do during the game, but as we were just not able to control our nerves and apply some much needed composure up-front in 120 minutes of football – except for BFG’s desperate goal and Ox’s fierce goal attempts – it was our other Polish keeper who became the unexpected hero.

There are two sorts of goalkeepers: the uber-confident, extrovert ones and the calm, calculated, introvert ones. Szczesny (and the Wigan goalie) belongs to the former and Fabianski (and Seaman) to the latter. I loved the way he stayed calm and on one spot for each penalty: focussing on the opponent and figuring them out, rather than behaving like an ape and trying to put the opponent off, like his opposite number did. Fab also has a very fine diving technique and he guessed right almost every time.

He made the real difference yesterday and is the reason we are in the FA Cup final. I hope we are still able to sign him up, and if not, that he will find a fine club where he can be the nr.1 goalkeeper for the rest of his career. This he deserves.

So, Hull in the final and still a great chance to win the FA cup. But the Hammers are up next and they will smell blood and tired bodies. More character will be required from our players and we, the fans, need to stay fully behind them.



292 thoughts on “BFG shows character, Pod and Santi disappoint, Fab saves us: Arsenal – Wigan Afterthoughts

  • Hi TA. Welcome back from your break! Its strange, even this win somehow almost feels like a loss – we are in such a bleak period. I agree fully with most of your summary. The mystery for me is why we are not getting more from Santi and Pod at the moment? On Pod, I would keep him still. I think we have not played him much in behind our front man – clearly his best position with Germany; and how ironic when we ended up with 2 strikers at the end, that he was not one of them! I would still like to have a season of him playing for us properly fit. Santi is a mystery. But it is telling that when we need him most to rise and be the heartbeat of the team he has disappeared. This was not the case last year though – so what has changed? Like you though, I think there must be space for him.

    I think the whole team morale must be in a terribly bad place. The cloud hanging over Giroud is palpable, and probably affecting the squad as well as his performances. And Wenger’s contract situation is also a major distraction, whatever he might say. I have read 17 and others say to folk “just accept that he will be staying here”; but the more time goes by the more I come to the conclusion that he has already decided to go – as others here will know, this would be a bitter disappointment to me, but I fear it looks increasingly inevitable now.

    As is the way with OGAAT, Tuesday now assumes huge significance. If we win all our games now I think we will get 4th – but can I really see us managing this? Whilst some players are coming back from injury, they will need time, and our core ‘fit’ squad will be absolutely knackered from playing 120 min yesterday. Surely we can’t start Rambo again after his long lay off? Can Arteta’s 33 year old legs be ready with 3 days rest? The Ox and Sanogo ran their socks off – can they recover in time? I just hope Rosicky is back, and I think Kos was given a possible shout for a return. But the task of lifting ourself for what will be a highly physical encounter is the proverbial ‘massive’; a time for Mert, Verm and others to show that the leadership character really is there within this new team. But its hard to see where many goals will come from at present, and we are not a long way behind Everton on goal difference.

    The only thing I can imagine making Wenger think about staying now would be the most almighty display of heart from our players in these coming games; a desire and absolute will to succeed, and a commitment to supporting his continued stewardship. It has been missing of late. Much though I pray to see it, I am sadly doubtful it will transpire.

  • Hey TA, Welcome back, great writing, but also a good one to miss as a live event…Too much pressure and it almost went very (very, very…) wrong. Didn’t bring out the best in the support, I fear…

    But I’ve said my piece on ALL that stuff… It’s Oh-Gaat stuff in the extreme so onto Tuesday and the Hammers, including 55 million pounds worth of Dalglish signings…Could the team they put out actually cost more than ours (in fees, at least)? If we can just keep winning ’em, much of the misery will go away, a bit lack last Spring, even if this season raised higher expectations…

    A trophy would be very nice but it’s not in the bag yet and we get a preview of our opponent next Sunday. But now I’m violating the Oh-gaat policy… Plenty of folks, I think, feel that it’s already gone too far as it is, so for this group (players and managers)–for some–it might be all dessert and no meal, or something…

    Re the players, I think you’ve got it covered, esp. the spot-on writing about BFG… Giroud’s experience added something (defense at set-pieces?) and Poldolski was the correct sub, despite the boos, I thought. Big penalty there from KK, too… We missed Rosicky for sure and he might’ve helped us get it done in 90. Hopefully he was only rested for this one, not truly injured. We’ll need some impetus from somewhere vs the Hammers… And speaking of injuries (Wengeries)… Might Szcz pick something up in training (as if there will actually be more than a light jog…) tomorrow?

    Great job and, though it was like giving birth, (or taking a crap the size of a watermelon…) we got the kid(s) (or the crap) out. Despite the pressure I didn’t sense heads were hanging (amongst those on the pitch at least!)… And there was some joy at the end—inappropriate, of course, for a “club of our stature,” blah, blah, blah… but joy nonetheless… My hope is that it might lead to more. As always, of course, that’s just me and people are free to feel differently…

    Welcome back…

  • A fine comment AB and almost all agreed. 🙂

    If Flamini is available, I can see us play him and Kallstrom in the double DM and Santi in the hole (or indeed Rosicky if fit). Giroud can start and Pod and Ox could start on the wing…. although Oxie will need a rest ideally.

    I am not sure what Wenger will do and like you I reckon the players know something we don’t. Bu we just cannot spend much time thinking about this as we have a game in less in than 48 hours. Win that one and the spirit will go up a notch or two! 🙂

    Re Santi. I reckon he needs to be free to turn up wherever and whenever he likes to ‘add value’. Opposing teams have figured him out and in the more central role – in which he has to give structure and impetus to our attacks – he appears to be limited. Yet on the wing, in a free role, he can turn up in and around the box at the right time and score or assist a goal. Play him with Ozil and Theo and he can be very effective but at the moment he is not offering us much…

  • thanks 17 and all agreed. 🙂

    How was your trip to Mexico?

    I was delighted to see the players and fans sooo happy with the result. It is about time we realise we are not owed anything and you only will win things if you really want it first. We need to taste success again and we are not above it: there was real humility and happiness by Wenger and the players yesterday and it was totally appropriate.

    Agreed re Giroud. He added something to the team and I should have written this into the report.

  • I wonder how we have done this season with BOTH Pod and Santi in the team. I reckon the stats will not look good but do not have the time to check this out. Maybe a good one for Dylan or AFC to write a post about…. 🙂

  • TA. Agreed! Except I’m not sure if Flam is available – is he not banned for 2 games this time? I could be wrong; rules are not my strong point! I would love to see KK get a start, but think it will need to be alongside Arteta; perhaps Rambo could give Art a rest after 60? As long as we are not defending a 1 nil! I’m not sure what Santi needs – perhaps a good night with one of Giroud’s cast offs (though not on a working night please!); he just looks in need of a lift. I don’t know what the news is on Gnab, but, like Ozil, I suspect Santi would be a whole lot happier with some pacy runners around him.

    My last post was a glum one – I’m tired and have had a couple of large whiskys; I should be more upbeat come Tuesday night – as long as the injury situation hasn’t worsened any. Hey, we could have Diaby back……

  • Bhunahabain – (may have got the spelling wrong!); my favourite Islay malt, if you are in to such things?

  • Hello, people!

    Welcome back, TA! 🙂 Hopefully you found in France what we had ordered. 😛 🙂

    Flamini is banned for West Ham – 10 yellow cards.

  • Whisky the only spirit I real enjoy. Tried brandy but, despite being able to tell a good one, it still never quite does it for me – would rather have a beer or a wine. But whisky is different. And doesn’t need to be expensive I agree (this one isn’t too much by the way!); but I love the different strengths and styles that go with different moods and times of the evening. Joy!

  • Mexico was a great trip, Total…Too short… How was yours? Sights, sounds, smells, (et)cetera?…

    AB, Whisky indeed…Might have to get some of that in my belly tonight, thanks for the suggestion…Whisky, (bigger brands at least) I found, is cheaper in the States than in the Saintsbury in Edinburgh… (That scottish brand of gin, Hendrick’s, I enjoy as well…)

    I still can’t get a read on Wenger and the contract biz, but I think if we win out he *can’t* go… It would be a bit like the momentum from last year’s run in when the questions just (sort of, for most) went away… Agreed, however, that it’s not gonna be easy. I do think, however, that we will get some positive (Diaby, Rosicky) to very positive (Ozil, Koscielny) “injury-news” very shortly. My hunch is that Wenger had one eye on the Hammer’s match. 4th and the cup are his only escape route from the gallows…

    I don’t agree about Ramsey and Arteta. Like Sagna, these guys are true professionals and they can run plenty (or not, in the case of Arteta, but still play his game…) on 3 days rest. I also disagree about Poldi. If he can’t score or get a run and cross (i.e., make assists) he’s a liability. Maybe he might start in a 442 but not as a withdrawn striker (or #10) just because the #9s we’ve got (plus) the manager are too inflexible to try something like that (if they haven’t by now). I know he’s a favorite of many and his FK wasn’t that far off, but (man oh man) if he’s at the center circle (or worse, trying to help on defense) it’s not a pretty sight and everybody knows that he won’t be getting into a scoring position anytime soon… Agreed that he will be off in the Summer…

    Santi is doing plenty of the cover work too, (but more effectively…) so he’s out of position, too. Rambo just didn’t have the acceleration (yesterday) to get forward much either and will have to do more to keep a spot when Flamini returns (vs Hull Tigers). The cloud over Giroud (well put…) needs to lift OR Yaya needs to break his duck or both. If a striker could score the MFs would suddenly get quite a bit more space, I believe and we might actually win w/o needing to keep a clean sheet…Which brings me to the keeper issue, which I’ll turn over to 007 now that he’s back…

    Whichever Pole in Goal, Koscielny might be big lift. Is it possible Wenger would allow a BFG “injury,” so that Kos and Verm might play at some point down the stretch here?…

    Anyhow, I’m letting a sliver of optimism creep in. Cockie (others…) please set me straight… If I go for the whisky, there could be almost a sense of (actual) hope… 🙂

  • 17, you have not given me your sights, smells, foods etc yet… 😛

    Anyway, France was great, especially Paris on a beautiful, warm and sunny Spring Day is pretty much the most beautiful city I have visited (it was my third visit). Reims was very sleepy and quiet and despite a rich history had very little to offer (unless you have an in-depth interest in religious buildings). Other than that it was eating food, swimming and walking (and reading the latest Tartt novel).

  • OK…One of the best things was eating street food and not getting sick (first time, for me…) Guadalajara is taco heaven even if I stick with the twice cooked pork (carnitas) and beef (carne asada) rather than the tongue, head, brains, etc… One place in the market was particularly good… Plenty of “hard-sell” as you walk through the stands as they try to get you to sit at their place..

    Roadside burning in the lowland sugar cane areas and more tropical spots is a smell that is extremely Mexicano, I think. Salt water (perfect temperature) makes a good sound when the bigger body surfing waves hit the sand… Speaking of sounds… A lot more people in the service sector speaking English and some people just really wanting to speak a little as they pass by. Maybe it’s the Guerito (my boy) but I don’t recall much English outside of the biggest tourist centers from my younger days… We went to places I’d been before but my memories were (all) a bit off…One new place (where we had a connection for the housing element) was a lovely beach but too gringo for our tastes… Finally, as I wrote sometime early last week, I should’ve made the effort to attend the clasico but the violence from the local Derby the week before was pretty shocking. That plus the ticket scenario (big police line so more trouble scoping the good deal with the touts–we call them scalpers, don’t know the word in Spanish…) plus just being pooped from walking the city put me off…

    No tequila for me down there (but plenty of beer–because you still aren’t supposed to drink the water…) but we did buy a local beverage called rompope…More like ice cream in a bottle, with the sugar and alcohol acting as preservatives, maybe…

    Good times. When you come to visit us in Tahoe I’d advise a swing through Mexico as well… 🙂

  • Oops, there’s a description of my Mexican adventure but It included swimming in the banned guy’s ocean or something…sorry, Jefe…

  • TA

    Good recap. Sounds like an impressive looking, but unproductive (thus highly frustrating) day at the office. That said, credit to Wigan who have beat all comers including a “trying very hard for revenge for last year” City, which is something we havent done this year, so …

    Not sure much to add. We need more depth to deal with injuries as well as others without losing flow and desire, I think.

    I would otherwise call what I have seen etc of the Wigan game as you did, but title it something more provocative like “Flappy-hand-ski’s Revenge!” … Several someone(s) including me were definitely shown something!

    cheers — jgc

  • PS: I am an all comers drinker – nowadays more so than ever given recent scorelines – and thus I would strongly urge AB to reconsider 8 year old Calvados (among other french treats)… Like expensive french women, they arent for every day but… 🙂 😛

    Total, how did you go to Reims and not go down a champagne cellar/cave?!?!?!?!?

    cheers — jgc

  • Please lets not kid ourselves, this was another poor, sub standard performance against a team from a division lower!! Apart from Sanogo and Fabianski all of the players in the Arsenal side are top squad players … so irrespective of the injuries, this side all recruited by Wenger, should be good enough to turn in at least a good performance, but once again they weren’t! Lets face it, the football that Arsenal currently play is not enjoyable, Wenger has created a side that plays boring sideways and backwards passing like a cheap imitation of Barcelona, without the quality of player to pull it off, however this was successful 3/4 years ago but the game has moved on now and big teams who play faster sharper and more direct football movement who are the new winners.

    An FA Cup Final win against a poor standard bottom EPL side like Hull should not gloss over the problems that Arsenal have. Sure it will be great in the short term, but if it means that Wenger is retained in charge then it will prove to be the worst thing that could have happened as he is the catalyst causing the problems, his tactics are out-dated and obvious, his team selection questionable, his poor use of substitutes until after 65 mins shows lack of vision or instinct and maybe fear, plus his lack of coaching drive is quite striking as apart from this weekend he can be seen match after match sitting back on the bench looking lost for ideas. Arsenal need a Martinez or Rodgers, a younger manager with drive and new ideas and the zest for the game that Wenger once had but that he has lost, apart from being able to offer excuse after excuse in press conferences that is!!!

  • Sounds great, seventeeno! Love your descriptions and you are a brave man to eat the market food! Sounds like you have been away from it all though, hence the fresh and multi layered comments of late?! 🙂

  • Hi jgc, not really the thing to do with a nine year old, but yes, that is a pleasant alternative for the sleepy streets! 🙂

    I like your alternative title. He was something special.

    When are you coming to Europe this year?

  • Well,it seems I am in a minority of one. I repeat. I think they played match very well.

    They made few passing errors in the first half. They did not try to push forwards until the opportunities were there. They not get exposed at the back, like they have been when they try to play ‘their game’, high pressing, etc, which doesn’t come off when players confidence is low, and their passing game suffers.

    Here, we worked our way into it, and it was a measure of their collective will which showed a greater maturity. After such a confidence sapping run, it was the right thing to do.

    On the minutia of the game:
    Poldi, like a few others, likes to have someone close that will take a defender away and leave some space.
    Santi crosses, and makes long passes better with his right foot, so his better playing area should be centre to right. However, his better scoring opportunities seem come from left of centre.

    Wigan played with 3 CBS and two solid MF’s shielding them. The middle was very crowded, and why neither of the above were going to find it easy.
    It is worth noting that Wigan use this formation to allow their backs to push forwards, and clip early balls in for a pacy CF … AW does it with 2 CB’s and a DM, and a CF????

    However, it does explain why goals were not scored going through the middle, despite a lot of ‘nearly’ moments?

    Several player rose to the occasion, not least Ox, who put the thrust into the attack. Sanogo for sheer effort and trying things when others would have given up. Ramsey for a solid return, and a whole host of them who picked their game up after being involved in the previous no so good ones.

    Despite the proximity of our next game, it is not quite the problem it might have been. Ramsey is probably the one that needs to be careful of overdoing now. Whereas the Ox and Arteta can be subbed earlier this time. The return of Kos will be a big boost, and Ozil to have a twenty minute run out.

    Does Kallstrom suffer with his back if he plays too long? It is the only thing I can think of him not starting before?

    See who else makes the party before designating this game a disaster, even before a ball is kicked.

  • Total and Gerry,

    Gerry, of three minimum as Total is mostly there and so is AB. But, I had the winning alternative title!! 😛

    Total, am in Hungary in June likely, and Belgium in November sometime… Was there in January too. South Africa in August it seems and California at some point too… My hate-love relationship with the airplane continues!

    Been wildly busy here this year, seems I’m leading a national science challenge and otherwise busier than last year… Still I dream of westmalle! rochefort and all my other Belgian “friends” as well as arguing in a friendly way (in French) with my local cafe man that the Arsenal game IS more important than BM or Chelsea… Mai’s, c’est le plus bon equipe, vraiment ! …

    He’s coming around! 🙂

    Cheers — jgc

  • Make it four Gerry…

    Sorry for my lack of contribution lately (not that it matters, TA, 17 and Gerry have said almost everything I wanted to), tight deadlines at work and home…

  • Hiya, BK, have released a list of the Arsenal players affected by suspensions and injuries.

    Flamini — Two-game ban — Return — April 15, 2014 – Against – West Ham (H)

    Diaby — ACL knee injury — NOT APPLICABLE
    Gnabry — Knee injury — Return — April 15, 2014 — Against – West Ham (H)
    Koscielny — Calf injury — Return — April 15, 2014 — Against – West Ham (H)
    Miyaichi — Hamstring injury – NOT APPLICABLE
    Monreal — Thigh injury – NOT APPLICABLE
    Ozil — Hamstring injury – Return — April 15, 2014 — West Ham (H)
    Rosicky — Knock — Return — April 15, 2014 — West Ham (H)
    Walcott — Knee injury — Return — July 2014
    Wilshere — Foot injury — April 2014

    The table will probably not come out, but I tried. 🙂

    So, Flamini, Gnabry, Kozzer, Ozil, and Rosicky will be available if they are right!

  • Evening chaps. A bit early yet for Calvados, but I agree the good stuff does stand out as quality! Its an occasion drink for me though – whereas whisky needs no occasion….

    The mutterings on return from injury all sound positive enough. I agree 17 the young players should be up for the next game after 3 days rest – but i’d like us to take care of Ramsey after over 3 months off. The mood tonight, pre-whisky that is, feels more positive. A win tomorrow, and with more people coming back soon we might get some momentum back. I can’t see Everton getting 12 straight wins – but good luck to them if they do! We just need to be at West Ham from the off tomorrow.

    As for the PL winners, I still would prefer an oiler to pool getting it – perhaps reminds me too much of what might have been for us….

  • Good to see you upbeat again, AB. Yes, we need a win tomorrow and agreed Everton are unlikely to win everything…. but neither are we… But OGAAT is what the doctor ordered and let’s hope we can get a winning team together tomorrow. COYG> 🙂

  • OGAAT for sure TA, and tomorrow’s looks tough given injury and fatigue. But with a good result, after that life could get a little easier…… Don’t worry, I will be chewing my nails hard tomorrow!

  • Cheers TA

    Every thing is going to plan my young Dutch Master. Its like when you see a women you desire. Examine her weaknesess and then play on them. Within time she will fall madly in love you and will appreciate your attitude of “I dont give a damn”. Arsene also has this attitude. Not to women, but to Arsenal supporters hahaha

    The 1930s team started there “Revolution” with the Cup and so will this side. Everything is in place for a great future. Fantactic history, Stadium, support, increased revenue, and a strong young core of talent.

    All the negativity is pointless. In a few years time Arsenal will clean up, with style and dignity.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring

  • loved the match afterthoughts @ Skipper – well done and it was an accurate refection on what had happened on the day.

    just looked at the training pics and guess what ?

    Ozil – Koc – Diaby – Ramsey -OX (?) – Bendtner (believe it or not) are all in the training pics !!!

    we really could do with TMHT’s prediction of 5-0 coming true tomorrow, as that defeat vs Everton did more harm than just the 3 points – a 5-0 victory tomorrow will go a very long way in getting us back to where we belong.

    good to see all the heavy weights commenting and JGC free flowing again – hope JGC-Damus is going to be making a prediction soon 😉 and the hand/arm’s better now @ Professor ?

  • Evening Mepraved Dasturbators ! 😆

    Thanks Total Arsenal, but there`s a new techtactical Guru in town !………Total Cockie !. 😆
    The 3 P`s….Pace Power and ……fcuk !, I`ve forgot what the other one is !. hahaha I will have to now look back !… it Penetration ?

  • Just had a look back and it`s ……..Pace, Pace and Pace !……so there, Total Cockie knows his stuff, even if he does sometimes forget what he fcuking on about !. hahaha
    I have said in the past that I don’t stay with one thought and that I can change my mind at the drop of a hat and indeed I am now thinking of more P`s….so it could be the 4 P`s……Power, Pace, Penetration and Possession !. hahaha
    I know Rediculous has posted something above about players coming back, but now I take of my Techtactical Guru hat off and place on my hand the gauntlet to hold the rod of doom and say, tomorrow we will hear all the old excuses of fatigue etc` as West Ham take at least a point….maybe more !.
    Yes, It`s great to be in the final, but as predicted by The Guru of Doom, it was fcuking close and we are still playing shit !. The injuries have taken their toll, with not enough games and time for any returnees to get match fit, leaving more chance of more injuries and set backs if rushed back !.
    As for the Summer TW, expect excuses galore for not spending the cash if we fail to get CL, yet Manshafter Std will spend more money than us without CL or Europa League…..actually, I`m willing to bet any of you Fuvver Muckers that Manshafter spend more money than us even if we get CL and win the FAC !. They wont be saying ( and in a little girls voice )….” we cant spend, as we`ve got to keep money back for not being in the CL and we will now have to sell our best players instead ! “.

  • that’s Glic’s way of basically wanting both Reus and ISCO at Arsenal next summer.

    he would settle for both Reus and Draxler as well.

    ; )

  • It`s also been said countless times that Arsene doesn`t know how to change tac tics !.
    Rubbish ! He has no problem !. How about when he changes Peach Passion for Grape and Lychee Twist !.

  • Barkley, Reus, Isco , RB, CB and DM Beast……how much will that cost Oh Oh Sevennnnn ?….at least £150M + !. The sort of money any TOP club would spend if they were going to be taken serious !. Just small change in my thinking !, that’s why Total Cockie should be manager and with my ability to speak any language accent and sound exotic with erotic bitches hanging off my arms, I will the new big headed cucking funt in town and make Morinho look like Zippy from Rainbow !. hahaha

  • you don’t have a big wish list as such Glic’s – that’s a very affordable list.

    Reus 25 million release clause (can only be activated in january 2015 though ) , so why not offer 30 plus and secure his signature ?

    not sure about young Ross, as we have Ramsey, JW, OX and possibly Draxler on the hit list.

    allow me to give you a list of my own –

    Lukaku – 25 million —-or Benteke for 17 million !

    Reus – 25- 30 million

    Bender – 22 million

    Iker. C – 5 to 7 million

    Morata – 2 million , 1 year loan with an option to buy.

    re-sign Sagna and AW = sorted ?

    ahahahahahahhahahaha – yeah, avatar avatar – I quite liked 17HT’s previous avatar of Luna… maybe when i have a bit of peace and quiet, and time for myself then I might think about it !

  • I would have loved to have Cavani / Suarez / Aguero / Costa and all them names on my wish list, but sadly, I might be an optimist but I am no fool – this is AW and Arsenal football club we are talking about – I can’t see us managing to get a world class striker this year, especially with all the bigger clubs looking for strikers as well.

    Benteke will do very well in our system and be a handful for the opposition defenders – i wouldn’t mind signing him up – he’s a gooner, so there you go.

    yes, the injury list is beyond a joke, agreed !

  • JB. Always happy to partake of a bit of transfer banter – though it bores the tits off me when we actually get into the TW ironically! I like your list – of course, I think most folk would. The problem is making it happen.

    I’m not sure Reus would choose us over manure or chelski – it seems very unlikely that we would be the only people in for him and others will offer a) more cash (for all concerned) and b) (sadly) more current likelihood of honours.

    On Lukaku I’m not 100% sure – sacrilege at present I know! Firstly, why would chelski sell him to us for that low price? I can’t see it. And for £30 – 35M, would we really want to give them the FFP cash and pass to go and buy someone even better? If he’s not good enough to be in the chelski squad is he really our dream striker….? I’m not sure.

    Bender – yes I have hopes. Steady Glic… We will need to pay more clearly. But a lot of our PL competition have got their DMs already, so may not be a bidding war. If he wants to come and the club are prepared to sell, then I’m hopeful. He is a Wenger type of course, so all bets are off if we have a new manager.

    Iker C and Morata. Hmmm. I would rather keep Fab to be honest. There’s something I don’t like about a player of that age coming from a ‘super-club’; will he really be up for it with us? And Morata, again just can’t see RM loaning him out for so little; if he’s not part of their plans then they should cash in if there are buyers willing. The question is do we feel confident enough to seek to buy outright? We have seen Lukaku lead the line over a season, but Morata has been only a support act. Much though I admire him, Wenger is not (normally) a bold risk-taker when it comes to spending on potential. Reyes anyone?

    That leaves us with Benteke and Sagna. I am not convinced by the former in terms of consistent play – and I don’t care for his attitude in relation to transfers. He may have learned on the last point though. Sagna, like everyone else, I hope he stays; but if he is hell bent on cashing in then we just need to stop hoping and accept he is gone – we are never going to give him 3 years on £100k plus.

    I don’t mean to be a downer JB; it just doesn’t look as easy to me. Bender, I hope. A quality striker too. A winger is almost inevitable. After that (and I will need picking off the floor with that!) then we are into young potential that most of us have barely heard of. A new manager though, and who the f*ck knows!

    Let’s just hope we can beat the ham tomorrow…..

  • Hi AB 🙂

    how are you doing ? hope you managed to out do your spud in laws with relative ease on saturday and reminded them the score this season 3-0 😉

    now onto the goody good stuff.

    nothing in life is Easy – and I must confess, when I said I wasn’t expecting a worldie striker at arsenal next season , i was playing the devil’s advocate there, slightly.

    Reus wouldn’t have any problems choosing us over any other club in England – reason being that his idol (rosicky) and the Germans are here – Chelsea, man utd and so on – boring boring football and he wouldn’t fit their style of play nor do I think that Chelsea will be in it for him … Man utd and City, as well as Real Madrid – possibly but remember the key word here “Puma”.

    Lukaku – well, it’s a long shot but he doesn’t share the same agent as Jose and he has already managed to rile him up – it’s a long shot as you point out but in Football you never know…re- us strengthening them by giivng them the cash then let’s not kid ourselves, Chelsea always get what Chelsea want, be it with FFP or without, thanks to their owner – they will find a way and I don’t buy this whole respecting FFP hoopla by them either – it’s just convenient for now hence they use this again and again to show the compliance there as it suits them for now.

    Bender – we are in agreement already, sweet.

    Iker. C – did you watch the CL clash against Dortmund ? he was the main reason why Dortmund were not able to knock out Real madrid in this years QF – any other keeper or on another day, Dortmund would have won that won with a 3 goal advantage at least – and this is a keeper who hardly plays… the key here happens to be the winning mentality and the perfect mentor for Sczny – like you, i don’t want Fabianski to leave but even if he didn’t – I would still get Iker as Vivano was a loan deal we got in to replace Mannone.

    Morata was only an example on how we can make the loan system work in our favour – personally, i would much rather promote Akpom , if not Afobe from within the ranks, provided we get in a decent striker – the names remain open to every one’s wishes, you could have Benteke, Balotelli , Remy or someone a notch above the rest – who is to rule out a shock return of RVP ? I wonder.

    that’s the beauty of AW letting RVP leave and granting him his wish – he left a door open for him.

    that’s my personal observation of all this.

    agreed re- Sagna – and you have a guy called Richards (injury prone but so was and is Sagna, but happens to be a gooner ? ) can play RB and CB and can reach the next level under AW at still being 24 years young.

    but first thing first – sign the dotted line AW , only after that, can we get to the nitty gritty.

    fun times await, indeed.

    in case i am not able to return


    the usual back 4

    Arteta …………Ramsey…..

    Ox……….Rosicky……………..Poldi (the hammers killer !!!


    7-0 Arsenal.

  • Loe the sunny outlook JB! Ox is the key ingredient in here – we can’t manage all three of Glic’s Ps, but we need at least one!!! Wenger has to 100% sure Rambo is ok for this game, as its going to be physical – I would like to see KK get a run out, but that may be a bigger risk as I’ve not been watching him in training! Wenger has been offering some kind words too about Giroud – if that’s an olive branch, then we need to see OG bust one to take it tomorrow. I crave a strong, confident performance and a good win – would take so much pressure off our team, and put it back onto Everton. But as ever, I will be grateful for the points however they come! COYG!!!!

    Yes, spuds in-laws very quiet – I could see the tension building during the penalty shoot out; and the crushing blow for them at the end…. Sweet!

  • OK, quick reply at lunch for me..

    JB: Hand works is good news. Bad news is that people want me to use it (CM, yes, I know what you’ll say but you dont know if I am a lefty or a righty) 😛

    JB and AB: Biggest needs this year are (IN ORDER):

    a. New medical team or training team. I think the latter. We dont seem to have the right base training going into or thru a season for players to last it seems. We are unlucky, which will come back for us, but also we seem missing something. I.e. some is the players we have (we take hits more than give as we play beautiful ball) and some is how we are base trained. This isnt AW or his staff. It’s the “training staff” who do more day to day base fitness.

    b. AW signed – second cuz I want it to be, and because a fit team like ours can win, we saw it!, but only if it stays fit. Without that fitness what we are seeing is difficulty regardless of the manager. IMO, any of the current great ones (Pep, SAF etc) would struggle with our side right now

    c. DM – we need a top flighter here. We can live with a solid backup ST, but need better solutions at cover for the back 4. Especially if we want to offer better formations (like 4-4-2) vs our current 4-2-3-1. To do that we need a Yaya-esque DM as first player in at any price.

    d. ST/Wing – prefer top quality (Reus) and prefer ST over Wing but able to play both (Bale? Perhaps they are tired of him in Madrid? Just troublemaking with that one). If it’s just a ST I can have a preference for Lukaku over Benteke, and Chelsea seem to be playing by the FFP rules so if they want to spend a squillion on a ST or MF, and keep Ba (who might well do in a pinch IMO), then Lukaku might come for a reasonable price. I still believe AW can make players better than they are (excepting Poldi for some reason, sigh…)

    e. Sign Sagna

    f. Keep Fabianski or get new keeper / Iker

    g. Backup defender of sQ (little “s”) as in solid top quality.

    I view virtually all those as “musts” but they are affordable too… We are not far off and the ghosts are stirring, I read it right here on BK!! 🙂

    AB: I like the quote, “you dont need an occasion for whisky” 🙂

    JB: Im busy too, jgc-damus has been rather more “dam” and not so much “us” lately. But, for you, I will say 2-1 or preferably 2-0 to the Arsenal vs WHU. Defenders are angry, Fab is fab, and AR gets his first goal on return… howz them apples!? 🙂

    cheers — jgc

  • Hi all..
    FA game confirmed us that we need a great stiker..
    Sanogo is good but not yet GREAT.. hehehehe..

    We missed Koscielny and Ramsey alot..
    When Koscielny was injured we lost more often.. Vermaelen just can’t be at his best anymore..
    When Ramsey was injured.. with also Wilshere.. then Wenger played Flam-teta..
    I always have a bad feeling if they both play together.. I don’t need to tell you all why.. almost every post I mentioned about that.. How many games when they play together we won..??
    Can anybody give me a statistic about that..??

    But we know that we will still on the track to be big four again.. and go to the Champion league..
    Ramsey, Ozil and Koscielny are back.. And they will bring us the FA Cup and top four..
    Everton on the other hand will lost again MU and City.. hehehehe..

    Next season.. We must buy a great CF.. If Giroud return to France and Sanogo still need time.. then we must bring a real-beast.. Last season we have some option for cheaper CF such as Bony.. but next season I think fans will demand more expensive ones.. but it will be great also..

    And if Wenger really leave who will you all want as our Manager..??
    Louis Van Gaal is an option.. hehehehehe..

  • Sticking with tonght’s game, and let the joys of TW keep until the 30th of June.

    In the hope that the backline is to include Kos, we may breathe more easily. If memory serves me correctly, Mert has been able to handle Carroll in the past? Gibbs, if he has no reaction to his extended run out, otherwise Verm will have to shuffle across. Sagna will be getting close to a red zone, with tough games coming thick and fast, and I suppose it is just possible to give Jenks a run out for his extra height? But Sagna first choice, (both now and in the future,AW??) .

    Midfield more or less sorts itself by who is fit, fitter, or fittest. One name that will be there is Flamini.
    If Kallstrom can start that might be an interesting pairing?
    Then Ozil is the likely replacement for Cazorla, who also needs a break. Rosicky for Ox or Ramsey, or both if Podolski pairs with Giroud, Keeping Yaya, Alex, Aaron and TV5 as principal subs? Who takes the last place could be between Jenks and Bellerin, plus whichever Gk is not playing.

    Similar approach to the last game; K x 3 for the first 10 minutes just to assess how they are going to play it. Hopefully with the Oz back, attacks should a bit more reward. A second half will be tough if we are not carrying a lead, as fatigue will play a part. Hopefully subs will keep it ticking over and we come away with all 3 points, and not fresh injuries or setbacks?


  • @ Gerry.. If Ozil is back.. then Cazorla will be play as LW.. not Podolski..
    Ramsey will be play as a DM or RW.. but I prefer as a DM..
    Kim.. we don’t know him yet.. maybe playing him with Ramsey as dobel pivot will do great.. Kim-sey or Ram-strom.. hehehe.. If Flamini avaliable.. then will be an advantage for us..
    Rosicky could be our RW to sub Ox.. and we still have Gnabry..
    Sanogo will be play more often.. He is good.. Wenger must give him more time to be great..
    Go Gunners..

  • Gerry/Henry……Flamini is suspended, so cannot play tonight. That’s why I would play Arteta.

    West Ham will play with aggression, and play to the extreme limit that the referee will allow. Allardyce always plays that way against Arsenal, as he knows we have a soft belly.

    Nolan and Carroll will put it about tonight, knowing our players will have one eye on next month. I hope the referee will protect our boys.

    In light of an anticipated physical battle my team would be =





    This would allow Sagna, Ramsey and Ox to rest for the rest of our fixtures.

  • Hey fellas, very busy this morning but will be around (sorry…) for the match…As such, as always, I’d prefer to hear the declarations BEFORE rather than during the match. In other words, Wenger Out, Arteta/Giroud/Poldolski/etc. is shit, our guys play without passion or like pussies (or pussycats rather than lions), seem things to say, if you believe them, right now, rather than in the heat of the moment… Of course, that’s just me…and there’s nothing more “democratic” than everybody with a keyboard and a box which says “post comment”…

    Giant winky and smiley faces all around, eh…

    See you at match time…

  • Evening Marsupial Mound Munching Molesters !. 😆

    Fair enough Squatchie Doo, Scooby`s Uncle !………well that’s how I read it with an assortment of words such as……. Shaggy, do it and the Squatchie !……I will .
    Monreal out !, Podolski out !, Arteta out !… the ones who will be gone anyway….Bendtner, Sagna, Kalstrom, Vermaelen and Flamini ( he plays a couple of games and is then banned for a couple games….what`s the point ! ).
    As for The Dark Sith Lord !……well he is on trial until the Summer TW ends and will pass my judgement then, however if we don’t get CL and lose the FAC Final…then the chit sunt can cuck my sock after the 17th of May !. hahaha

  • Honestly, Cockie, even Terry’s captive pigeon could not be paid enough corn seed to cuck your sock! 🙂

    What are those pies like that you are paid a fortune to deliver?

    I fancy one right now — or maybe 6 as I am a growing boy! Did VCC try on that slinky dress you bought him — it would go lovely with the Zimmer Frame and not only Terry would fancy him — I think the Dutch are adventurous, if you know who I mean?? 🙂

  • I wasn`t always….The Protector of The Chart of Doom ( which if we lose tonight, will have us at -1 point and a draw will have us level on The Chart of Doom ! ). When FFP was first announced, I was over joyed and thought, yes it will take a while, but I can look forward to an Arsenal future of a fair level playing field !…..that was until the likes of Monaco, who average a crowd of about a many as Stretch get`s in Mr Shahs corner shop !, PSG…..with a £167M deal with the Qatar Tourist Authority !, fcuk me, go to Qatar !..come to Cornwall, we have plenty of sand and as for the Qatari type heat, I will give you a sun tan with my flame thrower !. Then there is Mansour City !, bringing in £M`s from the sale of….. “Intellectual Property”…one of those being their own Bitches Team !….I don’t see Arsenal Ladies paying £M`s for Vic Akers input !….his cocks dead and it`s Ackers for the Knackers Yard !…….must be a thing going on with people called Vic`s, having dead dicks…..Vic`s Dead Dick`s….Taxidermy Specialist !.
    However, is there light at the end of the tunnel ?. Read my two links and give an opinion bastards !.
    If FFP is to have any effect, then the UEFA governing body should show some intent and make examples of the likes above ! .

  • 17ht,

    There is nothing wrong with pussies, and as to your bragging about your giant ‘winky’, I think Cockie will be the best judge of that – before or during the game. [Send ‘photo!!]

  • Hi Redders my buddy !. 😀
    If you`re ever in Cornwall, I will get you a box full of pies to sample, obviously free of charge !.
    Yes, them Double Dutchies are adventurous , only today I heard that in The Neverregions they are going to use luminous paint on their roads and save on street and road lighting !. Total van Lumincock was one of the guinea pig`s testing this product !. Unfortunately this product was to blame for Stretch divorcing his first wife !….the product was a glowing success, as Total testifies to it`s performance by being caught in Stretche`s wardrobe in the dark with his glowing knob !. Lucky enough Total got away, part due to Stretch being gullible and part to do with the fact that me and Vic`s were also guinea pigs for the luminous paint test and just happened to be in the wardrobe at the same time as Total !. Stretch fell for the story that we were acting out a scene from Return of the Jedi, where me, Totes and Vicks fought out a scene using our Light Sabres !.

  • Part two of my link to do with FFP !. This one is interesting to us and Everton, as for what ever happens in the Mansour City case, we will have the right to challenge and ask for tougher punishment, which could end up with Mansour City losing their CL spot !.
    I doubt it will happen, but it is the utmost that we challenge the decision if not in our favour !. Wouldn`t it be funny, that a club such as ours, who dubiously got back in the top division all them years ago through our legendry Mr Norris from the contents of a paper bag to the Spuds expense, would get back into the CL ( if not already qualified ) at the expense of Mansour City because of their financial doping !.

  • OK 17. My prediction is a nervous win for us, but perhaps 2 nil by the end. Giroud to score, and possibly Pod. If we are crap and get hammered I will be depressed, but won’t be calling for Wenger’s head – you knew that though! On first reading I thought you wrote “huge whisky all round” – which sounded good to me. I will start one at the beginning of the game to steady the nerves…

    No pace tonight which is always a worry. But have the ham got anything to exploit our weakness, esp down our left as per Glic? And have we got anything to help us get through their parked bus? It won’t be easy, and it won’t surprise me if we don’t score for quite some time in the game. Lets hope the ham don’t at all….

    Can you be confident in a nervous way……? COYG!!!!!

  • Yes, just read the team. No Ozil anywhere. However, it is a very youhful bench?

    I hope Bellerin get a run down the right at some point, especially if we are shoring up the defence?

    See how they go for the first half hour …

  • am Liking our team – so we are playing with 3 CB and mainly attacking from the right

    could this possibly be a 3-5-2 ? I think so.

    bring it on,

    where are all the Aussies ? where is me amigo

    come out come out where ever you are !

    7-0 Arsenal !

    will take a JGC-Damus’s 2-1 as well, no worries

  • Euro news
    He’s been mentioned as a transfer target for just about anyone, but Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is going nowhere by the look of it.

    Borussia Dortmund have just announced that the silky playmaker has extended his contract at the Westfalenstadion until 2016. They just need to tie Jurgen Klopp down now…

  • Haha…Too early for a huge whisky here in California…Already got the huge (actually very small, but powerful, maybe like various winkys, cockie’s etc…)

    Agreed with the FFP is a joke furry friend that there will be little in the way of overlap on the left, but that sounds good by me…Lulu cannot defend and I’d rather Verm try to score his first in a squatch-age on set-pieces only…This lineup sounds like a real 442 to me rather than the usual, but WTF do I know…In other words, we might see a little of AB’s Lulu-tucking-in sort of approach. Where does KK play, in the box to box role and helping on the left, I would guess…

    Gotta keep the clean sheet–stop them at set pieces, so (Sir Chez, in particularly…) hold onto your balls and may the bounces fall our way!…

    Up the Arse, Go on, etc…

  • as per me amigo’s wishes –

    not playing Fabianski – big massive mistake.

    I hope it’s not one that comes back to haunt us and our strikers can put this one to bed nice and early…

    besides, Giroud mostly or only scores in London anyway the flat track bully, ha

  • West Ham boss Sam Allardyce: “If we get a point I will be absolutely delighted. We know how difficult it is.

    “We have to perform to our best. It’s a local derby and our fans want to see us perform as we did against Liverpool and Sunderland.”

    PARK THE BUS TIME – it is, indeed.

  • Hey, 007…I blame you for baiting me into getting angry with the Aussies…This is a very early kickoff for them today, whereas, I’m only missing another (perfect, sunny) day of Spring skiing. Helping my wife with taxes–or at least offering her moral(e?) support, much as she is by watching the Arsenal w/me… She’s pumped up to have her little bird man (Kos) back… How’s Jane?…

    My wife’s least favorite player in (recent) English football is Andy Carroll. Normally she goes in for the hippy-scruffy types, but the rumors (rumours) of his girlfriend assault stuff (at his size, no less) rankles…

    Hey cockie, finally some love on the avatar… It’s a photo we saw in Mexico…Couldn’t find an image like it on the interweb so perhaps it’s an original (of sorts)…

    Sorry 007, Sir Chez vs Andy Carroll is better than that image I have of Flappy (living up to his name) vs Toonies a few years back…

  • hanging in there – thanks 🙂

    we shall see, as long as we win, I won;t be complaining, ha

    here we go then

  • Hi all,

    Santi looking very lively so far today! Must be the effect of having another skilled player up front in Rosa to play with.

  • Game on…

    Everybody switching spaces everywhere…Bac as a CB is fine, BFG as right back, not as much…

    KK having a bit of a struggle trying to pass it quickly…

  • Agreed HH…

    This is total football! Bacary now playing Center Forward! At the other end, Mo Diame looked strong but for the final ball into the big German wall…

  • West Ham pushing up well and we seem a little iffy with balls across the 6 yard… They will tire Unless we do something stupid like conceding the opening goal…

    Long ball game starting up and first blood goes to Carroll winning the foul on Kos…

    FK comes to nothing, fortunately…

    Breakaway started with a very good touch from KK, goes dead in Lu-lu’s corner…

  • Whatacross from Poldi! Can’t see how Giroud missed it… KK looks big and bright in the middle but totally left-footed. He and Santi are serving up some good balls but the runs aren’t there…

    Replay shows Giroud should’ve scored–couldn’t adjust in mid-air…

  • any other striker, would have least made contact with that delicious poldi’s cross.

  • Rosa just unlocks defenses so much better and gives us that forward movement that we sorely lack without Theo.

    I’ve also noticed that it’s very important to have forwards that have both strength, stamina, good ball control and pace. Look at how defenses sh*t themselves when Sturridge-Suarez-Sterling come at them or Ronaldo-Benzema-Bale.

    I’m still a believer that OG has a lot to offer but we need more pace up front. I think Poldi needs to go and the Ox needs to take the next step forward in his development. A front 3 of Ox-faster ST-Walcott would do wonders with Ozil just tucked in behind. As good as Santi is, I’m not quite sure where he fits in (maybe at LW but you lose a lot of pace).

  • Alright, nobody else commenting so I’ll wait for YESSSS!!!! or SH*****TTTTT!!!! moment… which seems sure to come in such an open match…

  • Good decision to go with Verm over Gibbs against West Ham or else that would have been a goal on the header. Battling physicality with physicality on defense today.

  • Also Arteta needs to go, god is he ever difficult to watch limping around out there. I like a rotation of Ramsey, Wilshere and Flamini in CM with a new signing this summer (the former two have yet to show they can remain healthy for long periods of time).

  • Haha spoke too soon, great to have you guys (back) on for the match…

    Very well said, HH, re: pace up front…The ability to adjust his feet is,er, not Giroud’s strong point…

    Agreed re: Verm (and KK) for physical presence…Agreed, AB, that they’re making dangerous chances, but the Poldi to Giroud was more than a 3/4 chance and the best so far…

  • Still feel Giroud will get a goal tonight – though may be too late if we can’t hang on under this pressure…. Our average age for outfield players tonight is 29.5 – wow!

  • Arteta, even if he cannot move, has a brain…(otherwise, sadly, you’re right, HH)

    Giroud = pretty useful at set pieces…Almost a little twinkly with the toes on the Sicky pass behind him…

  • Not sure what ST we could get at an affordable price that has pace. I’d be looking at Benzema if Real do in fact buy one of Suarez, Cavani etc.

    If he’s not available there aren’t too many at the top level that have pace and are proven. Taking on Morata could pay dividends but he’s unproven. If he develops well then he could be absolute class.

  • Incredible stat there, AB…Our kids are ALL fitness problems, it seems… Gotta get the opener sooner than later or the old folks are gonna sag…

    More long ball coming…

  • Diego Costa will likely go to a club that can pay higher wages/fee.

    Benteke is a little too injury prone, but is an option.

    Chelsea won’t sell Lukaku to a rival most likely.

    Reus is a pipe dream.

    Mandzukic is great but lacks the pace I’m talking about.

  • HH, any thoughts on Remy or the Croatian/Swiss guy? What about Draxler–young German for the old one (Poldi)…

    Diame, really trying to show his stuff for AW tonight?…

    Giroud, no right foot, blocked with the lefty toe poke which was going wide, anyhow…Very poor…

  • He might’ve been offside too… 3rd try is the charm?…C’mon Ollie…

    Need that goal…

  • OG doing his best to spike my prediction! Will it count if he scores after missing 15 clear chances….?

  • The main reason why we had nailed the Hammers in previous three occasions was our pace (more specifically – Theo) and their lack of it. With this team on the pitch, we forfeited our advantage in pace and accepted their ground – the physical one.

  • 17ht, Draxler isn’t a true CF. He’s more of a hybrid winger/#10. If we buy him then we’re saying we no longer believe in the Ox, which would be a shame. Remy is an ok plan B, but I think we can aim a little higher than that.

  • Speaking of Benteke, I don’t want him given that he is out until October (or something like that).

    Giroud… I don’t know why he didn’t try with his right foot. He scored a goal against City at Etihad with that one (the one that was ruled offside).

  • Admir. We would be playing Ox for sure if he were fit.

    Hi HH. Draxler still an option with Ox in the team. Wenger sees Ox move into the middle, and anyway we need a squad not just 11. But Draxler would I assume spell the end for Pod.

  • I will be very hacked off if we buy Remy this summer. Not because I don’t think he is decent – he is, not great, but decent. But if Wenger wanted him/thought he would fit/was satisfied with his fit in the team, we should have bought last summer!

  • I dunno, Admir, if the Ox is carrying a groin problem, this seems like about the best team we could put out, unless you believe that Sanago > Giroud… Of course we should’ve bought pace in January (i.e., you forgot “Wenger Out”…)

    Key interception there from Arteta, first goal IS the match, I fear, so stopping theirs with size seems important…Ox and Gibbs as the injection of pace if the need for a goal persists…

    Woeful touch and turn there from Lulu…

  • Players I would keep as starters: Walcott, Ozil, Koscielny, Gibbs, Sagna, Szczesny, Ramsey, Flamini.

    Players I would keep as bench/possible starters: Ox, Mertesacker, Rosicky, Jenkinson, Monreal, Giroud, Vermaelen, Wilshere and Cazorla (probably wouldn’t want to be here in this role).

    Extra squad players: Sanogo, Gnabry, Eisfeld

    Players to get rid of: Podolski, Arteta, Fabianski (rumoured to be leaving)

  • Agreed, AB, re the effort level (always subjective)…Need that goal, however…

    West Ham get it…sky is falling…

  • AB I don’t see Draxler as an option unless we’re giving up on Ox or not buying a B2B mid (which I would prefer to see us spend big on). Ox, Gnabry, Cazorla, Walcott, Ozil, Wilshere and Rosicky all are wing options since we can’t don’t have enough spots in the center of the park.

    What an awful goal.

  • That said, I so like Draxler a lot and would be ok with buying him so long as finally buy a durable B2B mid

  • The only real winger in there is Walcott though HH. A proper left winger would be something for us.

    We need 3 points tonight, nothing less. Big night tonight.

  • Sir Chez very unlucky lately with his parries…but, of course, you make your own luck…

    … = Wenger out @ Admir?…

    Things are looking up then?…

    Kallstrom, too much angle but Poldi-esque with the left foot…

  • Great finish and the pass from Santi had some picante on it as well, so great control too…No running involved…

    Another in the final minute?…

  • HH. I think the thing about Draxler is he can play in both positions – and play well at that. He would offer more pace and movement than anyone else we have at present on the left. But you are right, we can get excited about foreign players, but we can only see how they measure up against our won when they play here. As the spuds have found out!

  • What I’m trying to say AB is I don’t think Draxler should be a priority given CM and ST are bigger priorities for me. I don’t see whoever is manager buying more than 2 players this summer and I’m hoping they spend more than £10 mil on each.

    Lars Bender at under £30 million. A striker around £20-30 million would be good business too.

  • Nope, HT but at least we’ve seen the “issues” at play and can adjust…(Can’t buy a better striker, or keeper, if that’s your thing, but we can adjust…) Ox, Rambo and Yaya on the bench might help, but this group needs another before the sub time…

  • attention any decent striker who has been scoring 15-20 goals every season-

    join Arsenal if you wish to be scoring 30+ goal with relative ease – if you really want to turn into a world class striker – please apply at the Emirates.

    The hammer killer Poldi is saving us once more, history about to repeat itself ? I would like to think so, yes

    another 4-1 would be more than just welcome, if you know what I’m saying ?

    everyone is looking the part and playing well, however, OX for Rosicky will spice things up a bit after the 60th minute.

  • @17 … = I’m speechless. After all, “Wenger out” goes without saying. 😛 I honestly think that he doesn’t have future at Arsenal beyond this summer. I hope that he will go with six precise bullets in remaining opponents in the league and the cup final.

    We have won the last three matches against Hammers despite going behind with Podolski being heavily involved in our come-backs each time. Cazorla has had great games against Hammers on regular basis too.

    Let’s win this one!

  • Agreed HH (so nice of you to pop by…truly…) Draxler has size and the moves, can’t tell about the pace from what I’ve seen. I can definitely see why AW didn’t pay the huge money to give Poldi a final chance. That control and finish we just saw was class…Like Arteta though, I don’t think he’s got the legs for our (idealized) game…

    Oooh, the Giroud chance doesn’t look any better in replay…

    Their goal came from Kos clearing it against KK and bouncing the wrong way…Unlucky but also a whiff of panic…

    We’re OK here but only 45 mins to save the season (again)…Nothing easy for the Arsenal, ever…

    Good response, Admir, and thanks for a refresher about gifting Hammers the first goal. Sorry about getting testy… I could just really use a (relatively) easy 3 points once in a (freaking) while…

  • HH. Agreed, DM and ST are priorities.

    Hope the Ox is up for a 25 min cameo. I hope we don’t need to call on Rambo at all. KK settling still by the look of it. He could be good for a goal here too

  • Draxler = the next RVP , or that’s what Arsene Wenger will be trying to do with him to turn him into a Striker or SS.

    yes, that’s correct @ 17HT – WHU have scored first in both our last 2 encounters and ended up losing with a decent goal margin by the end of it.

  • actually i take that back, keep rosicky on and take off KK for the OX with the OX playing through the center sometimes and interchanging with Rosicky – will work like a dream that one.

    here we go, come on you gooners !!!

  • 17, we would all need an easy victory for a change. I couldn’t write a match preview for for Wigan due to awful headache on Friday night (probably connected with high blood pressure and the fact Arsenal haven’t won a league game since NLD). If this one ends up with a disappointment in a way Swansea match did, it will be another example of season when we were defeated by draws.

  • Agreed with AB…I’d like to see Rambo get the night off, the Ox too, if at all possible. Seems like one of the will have to play. Gibbs ahead of Verm on the left if we can get a lead?…

    We have kick off…

  • reduce the salt into in your diet @ Admir – will help with most health problems including High BP.

  • jeez , I thought Arteta was slowing down and losing pace – welcome to Arsenal KK.

  • I hear you Admir…These matches against teams which are “safe” from relegation (or nearly so) or should be a guaranteed 3 pts–And there’s some logic to the handbrake being transmitted from AW to the players…but that’s a discussion for later…

    Diame continues to look big and decent…Jarvis (the little guy) still the main issue…

    C’mon guys!

    Diame dances past Arteta (in slo mo) but the final ball, again, is wanting…

  • I’m trying to remember what ‘having a comfortable win’ feels like….? Seems an awfully feint memory..

  • Carroll too slow…Quicker and it’s 2-1 Hammers… Can’t get the ball at the moment…

    Too nervy for me…C’mon boys!!

  • Thanks, 007! 🙂 I’ve had issues with gout for years so it’s probably that my kidneys need rest of salt. I like food that doesn’t contain too much salt (my wife can’t believe that I can eat that kind of food) with a huge exception of pastirma. It’s an air-dried beef and it tastes so bloody good that I eat it even if it means I’ll limp in the next few days.

  • I’m onto my second whisky. Might need to blot things out… Classic end to end open, nerve wracking game. Why us always!? Reminds me of the end to last season. Lets hope for the same results

  • JB, I just don’t want another project for ST. We need to win now, or else the window will close for some players’ patience.

    17ht and AB, Draxler has good enough pace and the skills, but I wouldn’t say his finishing is top drawer or that he has the strength to play as a line ST up top. I’m sure he could develop that in time, but I’d prefer someone with more experience and strength as our lone ST.

    Diego Costa would be ideal but I don’t see AW ponying up the cash for some reason…

  • not sure about you but i was plenty comfortable after Fabianski saved the first 2 penalties in the FA cup semifinal a couple of days ago 😉

  • trying telling that to Arsene Wenger @ HH – I’m on your side

    thank god – Giroudddddddd finally scores, phew

  • AB, I think Suderland was comfortable…At this point, any win would be a comfort…

    2-1 with the RIGHT FOOT of Ollie…

  • And now for god’s sake lets not sit back! Lets get on and make this safe. Please, my nerves can’t take it otherwise

  • Holy shit! 😮 😮 😮 😮 Was this Dennis himself entering into Giroud’s body? 😮 😮 😮

    Holy shit! 😮 😮 😮

  • I think defenses would sh*t themselves if they saw Ox-Diego-Walcott running at them with Ozil supporting.

  • Surprised no one has mentioned the nice long ball by Verm there! Very nice touch by OG too!

  • ahahahahhahahahaahahhaha @ Admir’s reaction

    yes, miracles do happen – I did mention that giroud scores in london mostly or only before hand.

    what a worldie he is , ehhh 🙂 🙂 🙂

    come on giroud, score your first ever hat-trick and get our GD back on track with everton !!!!

  • OK. feeling better now…

    Atletico did enough vs Barca w/o Costa (and Falcao) and could easily win La Liga… That Simeone has got them really playing–all starts at the back, I think…but I’d love to hear yours…

    Cheers for the scouting on Drax… 37 million seemed a LOT for (injured) potential back in January…

    Decent there from Szcz to avoid giving the corner…

  • This was indeed a Bergkampesque’s goal.

    I didn’t see it well – was it KK that assisted or TV5?

  • Your thoughts re: Atletico… HH, is what I meant…

    Poldi special parried away…

  • I’ve not seen enough of Draxler generally – but from what I have, I can’t see anyone stumping up 37M, yet. The question is what would they sell for? I hope we are back in for him – 25 – 28 perhaps?

  • One little thing about Simeone’s Atletico.

    They exemplify today’s football that is played more without ball than with it. It’s all about off the ball movement. Three out of four teams in CL semifinals play more without ball than with it and that fourth team are Guardiola’s Bayerlona that have both possession-based football and ability to transform in dangerous counter-attacks. Barcelona are out of the big picture and they will be until they make another serious over-haul like they did in 2004 and 2008.

  • What predictions for the subs then tonight? Defensive, or will we be bold for once?

  • 17ht, let’s not forget Atletico are very skilled in their own right up front with Arda Turan and Koke as well! Diego has been outstanding, same with Villa. They’re also backed by one of the best keepers in the world in Courtois.

    Godin, Luis, Juanfran and Miranda are a very solid back four too.

  • Indeed, great long ball from Verm. Easier to keep him than find a replacement? How screwed are Barca if they can’t buy a defender or three?…Alex Song as CB makes me (almost) feel sorry for them…

    Santi, from a mile with the off-foot, almost finds the target…

  • be that as it may @ they are only as solid as their goalie and AT-M have a world class goal keeper who happens to be younger than our own.

  • Atletico thrive on the counter and can adapt their play to any situation. They can play on the counter against top clubs, possession against mid table or lower table ones or somewhere in between. They don’t ever really force anything and let the game decide how they will play.

  • was for HH that last one.

    come on AW – bring on the OX and let’s give WHU some more problems and our fans an easy night out for once !

  • Klopp is the ideal replacement for AW, if he would leave BD. Even if he couldn’t bring the likes of Reus, Gundogan, S.Bender, Hummels etc. with him, he would find other great alternatives. It’s very much about the system there and it’d be amazing to see how he would do with a bit more top end money to spend.

  • I think he will stay defensive as long as we keep this lead. He won’t risk Ox or Rambo if he thinks we are clear. Jenks perhaps? Not sure what Gibbs’ status is – seemed pretty good on Saturday, but guess he is nursing something?

  • JB, the scary thing is that he’s property of Chelsea…

    I’d welcome the signing of Casillas if he wants to leave, as per Santi’s comments.

    Too many giveaways by Rosa now, unleash the Ox.

  • Agreed, HH re: Atleti…

    Turan didn’t play either, which makes the rest even more impressive. They’ve brought a more dynamic and balanced approach to Spanish football than I can recall… Very glad to see that UEFA won’t enforce loan rules re: Courtois for the CL semis (I think)…

    We’re doing well avoiding FKs and corners and Hammers are getting tired… I’d still love that 3rd to avoid bitch twitch issues…

    Why would Klopp, Simeone or (even) Martinez leave their clubs?… Another reason AW needs a final contract–Sorry Admir…

  • I’d like to see Ox too. Make them more careful about coming forward – and we could nick another goal to boot. Goal difference still matters, big time.

  • On cue, we give a FK, and Rambo comes in for Sicky…That’s the sub I prefer, but that’s just me…

  • Casillas would be a good call. He has been benched at Real Madrid for two seasons (used only in CL and Copa Del Rey) but he is a world-class goalkeeper that has won pretty much everything and has been one of the best in each occasion.

  • @17 – it would be funny to appoint Dick Advocaat as our new manager. Than we would have Dick Advocaat and Dick Law so we could swing with two Dicks in transfer negotiations.

  • Bit of yelling at each other… Adjusting to the sub, maybe…

    Poldi just not as good further back and zero instinct to get forward from there…

    Old Rambo with the shot into a higher row…

  • poooooooooooldiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

    i love youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

    wo00000000000000000t wo0000000000000000000000t



  • We look miles more composed with Ramsey on the pitch. I’ve really grown to appreciate that lad!

  • New Rambo with the clever header for the assist…

    And we can breathe again… Yes….

  • HH – yes re Rambo, and Ozil back on Saturday. A bit of rest and some confidence….

  • If Jack and Ramsey could stay healthy and Jack played better defense, I would start then both in CM and watch teams sh*t themselves lining up against a front 6 of Ox-ST-Walcott and Wilshere-Ozil-Ramsey.

  • Ramsey running still bothers me…Cut your stride down rather than take bigger ones…less chance for muscle probs, too…

  • Saturday, cup final preview will be another strong test, Wenger resting Sicky and Kos on for the semi and Ox today looking better and better esp. in hindsight as the “pain” of watching that 120 mins fades…

    Jenks for Sanit…

  • Better night for Santi. And nice to see Jenks get a run out. Nicer still if we could get a 4th

  • Santi, not Sanit, geez…fingers getting too relaxed…

    Get Poldi off (Yaya on)… painful to watch Lulu (shuffling along), except, of course when he’s blowing up the net…

  • Giroud faking injury again…Quelle pansy, non? I’d stop caring but it’d be a big ask for Yaya to carry the load from here, I fear…

  • A really good night! A decent win, goals from our strikers, no injuries and key players rested/coming back. Happy gooner tonight – 3rd whisky time! Night chaps, catch up soon.

  • KK looks one to keep, for size and thunderfoot and experience if nothing else…

    The Old Men get it done! Full Time…

  • And yes, I meant gentleman, not gentlemen as only one of you are 😉

  • cheers for that @ HH 😉

    from one gentleman to another, i know what you mean’t !

    been a pleasure as always, AB, Admir and co – and am glad my amigo 17HT didn’t feel a bitch twitchy today due to Arsenal.


  • Enjoy, AB… Whisky needs no occasion, but an occasion never hurts (until the morning, at least)…

    Did enough, and the first goal took enough out of them…Very good that we got the equalizer quickly once we upped the tempo as the need increased… To bad our initial (good effort) couldn’t net one. Giroud showed good strength to win the key ball and convert…Route 1 is his strength, I hate to say, and (at least) AW allows the team to play to it when the need is there…

    A bit far from Bergkampesque or what we’d really like to see, over the long haul at any rate, no matter how good it was in the moment…Oh-Gaat, of course, for now…

    See you HH, would love to hear your “big picture” comments when you’ve got the time/inclination. Always a pleasure…

  • Hey, sorry if I’m not a gentleman, HH… You wanna throw down the gloves and go at it, Mr. Harmony? Naw, you’re already off…

    Yeah that’s right, who’s the bitch (twitchy) now?…


    Uh, just kidding, right?…

  • Hi guys, couldn’t post tonight (no network in the pub), but iot seems that was a much more pleasant discussion than in the previous game 🙂
    JB, we *do* have a reasonable good explanation as to why OG scores more goals when we play in London (he goes to bed earlier!).

    I thought KK did well, it’s not an easy position to slot seamlessly into in our team. OG, spoilt a few but fought well, and indeed had a DB moment… weird 🙂 TV5 did not do too bad on his wing, and it’s nice to have Kos back. I think he’s not only a top level CB, he also allows Per to be at his best (well except when he covers on the wing for Sagna!). Santi had better quick feet moments than recently, and Rambo immediately gave us speed, forward movement, and more attacking the box attitude the moment he stepped into the pitch. 4 to go!

    HH, I’d agree Draxler is not a 100% pure wingman, but he can do the job, and he would certainly give us the width, pace, and dribbling ability we need on the left, but #1 priority is a Bender type and quality indeed,

    Had too much beer and off to bed… Laters!

  • Lets not carried away too much mufftards !. 😆
    Even shit teams win sometimes !…..and lets face it, we have been the effluent`s bees knees of late !.
    Still only +2 points like for like, so try to not scramble for the rose tints……it was only West Ham !.
    Do agree that Draxler is an RVP in the making, his style reminds me so much of the bastard !
    Next up, the FAC Final rehearsal and hopefully a decent rest for the likes of Ox and Rambo tonight and maybe a cameo for Ozil against Hull ……first in a set of 5 must win games !. These last 2 games will at least raise the confidence of the squad which had reached rock bottom since the NLD win. May it continue so that I may eat some delicious humble pie !.

  • Big day. Not because we beat west ham, but because it marks the first time this season we came from behind and secured the win (overlooking the fa cup penalty triumph). Kind of a depressing statistic, really..

  • Uh, not technically true… We did likewise in the reverse fixture on Boxing Day… But it makes a reasonable point, that we tend to need to score the first goal (though we have salvaged a bunch of draws from losing positions) or that whatever success we’ve had this season has been based on a solid defense or that we just don’t have a lot of goal scoring fire-power. The fact that our biggest goal tally is only 4 (maybe) says the same thing…

    So, was it a big day or a depressing day? Depends on your perspective, I guess…

  • TA, 17 and Frozen

    OK,. soccerstats has the answers in part..

    Arsenal have scored first in only 20 of 34 EPL games (59%) and gone 18-1-1 in those games. Of these 20, 12 were home and 8 away. This record gives them 2.75 pts per game Arsenal scores first which … wait for it … leads the league… We need to do it more often.. !


    Same place different pull down menu. When the opponent scores first. This has happened 12 times and thus there are two 0-0 draws … When it happens we are 2W-4D-6L. This gives us a mere 0.83 points per such game. However, we are top third of table and the leaders in this regard are Chelsea averaging 1.43 pts per game the opponent scores first. However, second place City averages 1.13 points per game and tied 3-4-5th are Pool , Spuds and Everton at 1.0. We are 7th behind also ManU at 0.88.

    More interestingly, only Chelsea with a 4-1-4 record is “0.500” when not scoring first. Everyone else, as you can see by the numbers is well off. Well off.

    So, actually we are top of table when scoring first and do so often, but not well behind in the opposite. More importantly, you can see that scoring first matters HUGELY, and more than I would have thought in a relatively balanced league (bottm *can* beat top as we have seen, unlike almost every other major European league).

    TA, this might also make a good mini filler post at some point if you need it? Kind of fun to see the numbers that dont lie! 🙂

    cheers — jgc

  • Well I think AW can take a lot of credit for this win.

    Team selection, within the restrictions ‘ Very good. At least, all the right one were rested?

    Keeping the momentum going by first controlling the game, or at least our game.

    Subtle change in formation, help the attack.

    Above all, the team did not let going down a goal deflect them.

    Another brick in the wall of confidence. It seems we could yet end the season on a high note?

  • Fully agreed Gerry. For all his criticism lately, and I have been one, he can take lots of credit and satisfaction from last nights performance, especially in the second half.

    Resting a few key players and keeping the momentum going for the up coming fixtures.

    As you say, another brick in the wall. Lets hope we add to it in the summer.

    I know it’s not every body’s cup of tea (transfers) but there seems to be strong murmurings about us being interested in Mandzukic (?) I would love us to get him, strong, athletic and has a mean streak. On my summer wish list with a SQ DM and back up Central defender.

  • Morning Fuvver Mucker Sock Cuckers ! 😆

    Fcuk me, that was an old Arsenal side last night…Wengers oldest side ?………..surprised VCC wasn`t on the bench !. We`ve gone from project youth to project buss pass !.

    Todays topic ?… about who do we choose as Darth Wengers replacement ?….lets face it, the old clunge is losing it !. So it`s a toss up between me ( Total Cockie and his P`s ) and Fozzie B and his frog`s porn collection ! or we can talk about the flying saucer shaped objects which athlete`s throw in the Olympic`s……..discuss between yourselves !.
    Cockie In !.

  • You can’t beat the old uns Cockie. 🙂

    I would go for Klopp before the Spuds snap him up.

    Vicky IN…..Cockie OUT.

  • Good afternoon Hilariously Happy Hog Hammer Harvesters and Harpooners! 😆
    I have just enjoyed a fine ham sandwich with Dijon mustard to celebrate last nights win!
    Thank you Total Cooky Cockie for your vote of confidence …. In my frog porn collection!! 😆
    This development is only a very recent one I might add!! 😀
    It may come as no surprise to you to know that Mrs Piggy is a Hammers fan ! Needless to say I watched the game in different countries if possible!! I noticed a very strange reoccurring theme over the last few years after the Hammers v Arsenal games!!
    I would notice that leading up to the games … All pork scratching a
    Disappeared from the cupboards!!
    After the game as I walk in I would never speak about the game as I treasured my niagras dearly!! 😆 But after every game she would welcome me wih a smile on her face and said she ha already ordered my favourite ruby!!
    As Cockie has well documented .. This takes 40 minutes even though they always say 20!! 😀 When I heard the door bell ring I remember thinking “Screw me .. That’s a bit OTT isn’t it?” As a hyper active delivery man with a hajib AND a turban nervously handed over the Ruby’s !! 😀
    After enjoying the extra spicy ruby and hitting the hay, I noticed Mrs P had the windows opened up to maximum capacity !! When I woke up I would find myself outside on the grass with a sheet freezing my tits off !! 😆
    Now this was not totally unusual as I’m sure the BK brethren can testify to the special affect of a good ruby … Also known as the “Alladin affect” !!
    But when I came upstairs … Mrs P was blowing smoke rings with a smile on her face!!
    😀 … ….. I had already caught Mrs P with Kermit once before but thought that was behind us !!
    Here is wher MarleyKaze Watson comes into the frame ! 😀 I got him to set up a sting from the closet !! I don’t know how they didn’t work it out … Because he left a Markey the size of a small baseball bat on the bedside cabinet with a message on the side …. “Please smoke me, love MarleyKaze” !! 😆
    It was the only way MarleyKaze could enjoy his own splif undetected from the closet!! Haha !! Selfish bastard !! 😀
    So the footage shows me floating outside on the blanket on a spicy cloud and landing peacefully on the grass …. Then shazaaam!!!
    Chav Kermit appears … Naked …. No hajib … But keeps the turban on as he gets his frog legs twirling into all the kermisutra positions in the book!! .. And yes the turban stays on the whole time …. Kinky and skilful bastardo !! 😆
    And there brethren lies the beginnings of Fozzies frog porn collection!! 😀
    Now time for you talented yet not yet enlightened lot to pony up and make me rich. !!!
    Haha !! 😆 😆 😀

  • 17ht, not sure what you were asking. What did you request of me re: a bigger picture opinion?

  • Now my vote for manager is definitely Klopp with his “heavy metal” football philosophy to revolutionise our game in a fusion of “Classical Heavy Metal” !! I think it will start as a love child of Wenger and Klopp namely “Klopparse” !! 😆
    As the baby grows … The Arse will have a Klopp hoof so far up there that will be no prisoners !! Pressing and pace and a budget that the Kloppfather can utilise to bring in lewdowskis type gems that he can get the best out of and motivate!
    Be motivated or your boss will morph into a rabid dog!! 😀
    I can’t see it happening for a few years and he be my only choice. I know Totes rates Van Gael highly (apparently they use to hang out at the same klompendildo establishments trading sex toys and tulips .. 😆 ) and I would take him if there was no choice but I prefer a young, fresh an driven manager and most importantly a motivator!
    I think Klopp, Maureen, Martinez are motivators and I think Wenger has also but has loss his edge. If he signs on, then fine lets so some intent in the TW that will lift the whole team!!
    Protector of the Boner Chart of Optimism says
    +2 doughnuts on my gooner dialect boner!! 😆

  • Some stats for the Giroud haters!!
    I still want our fast Suarez style don’t get me wrong and as JB said in his striker job post!! … Come to Arsenal an double your tally !!
    Even our Barney the Dinosaur can do this ! 😀

    A player considered so bad by many that he’s posted the following figures in an Arsenal shirt: 69 games, 37 goals, 18 assists. He’s been involved in 55 goals in 69 games.


  • Without the benefit of you being here 17ht, I’ll see if I can answer your question (without being certain of what it is).

    Big picture, we need to finish 4th and do anything we can to remain in the CL (same story YOY). Going forward, winning the FA cup will be essential in creating more of a winning mentality in the current group and wiping the image of being “cup” barren. Winning the FA Cup and not qualifying for the CL will not be sufficient in attracting the kind of talent most of us would like to see at the Emirates.

    However, it’s clear that Wenger cannot take this club to the next level anymore. It’s not a matter of spending more either imo, as it is with a manager who has a better idea of how to recruit the right type of players with the given budget. AW has been the best manager for this club in his tenure imo, but the emphasis on playing “proper” football has come at the cost of finding players that are well suited for the EPL. We lack physicality, stamina and durability, which all starts in training and off-season preparation.

    As much attention a club’s offense gets, it is being built from the net out that wins championships (especially if you cannot compete with the oil rich clubs). Much attention goes to SAS at Liverpool, but Mignolet’s made many crucial saves for them as their back four isn’t exactly stellar.

    Liverpool are now the trendy club to aspire to for clubs with a decent budget but not as exorbitant as Chelsea or Man City. They’ve done a great job identifying talent at reasonable prices, however have taken many, many risks along the way, ones that AW is not willing to make. He strikes me as too conservative in the transfer market and his risks are on as small a scale as possible. There’s no saying that we’ll be better off under a different manager, but if we don’t take a risk, we’ll never know. Perhaps my appetite for risk is a bit higher than others, but I’m tired of this vicious cycle of battling for 4th.

    Of course, some will criticize me for being harsh on AW and the club given that we’re still a top club relative to the rest of the league and that we should be grateful that we can even somewhat challenge for the title and in multiple competitions. However, I’m an ambitious one and believe this club can and should aspire to more. However, I always want this club to win the proper way and more emphasis needs to be placed in the academy. Whoever the head scout is at Southampton should be poached and I’d give the managing reins to Klopp if he’s willing to take over.

  • Fozzie, great stats mate! I’m certainly not a Giroud hater and think he’s an excellent squad player that we should keep. I just don’t think he should be our main ST going forward next season. We’ll make due the rest of the way though!

  • Here here HH!! Blimey that’s a lot of H’s!! With you on that too re Ollie and Klopp..
    Imagine Klopp bringing Reus over !! Or just Klopp bt himself would be amazing like you’ve said! Still think he wants to win the battle over the Munchies!! Ideal situation if Wenger does stay on is that Klopp doesn’t get his goal! I fear if he does he will be there for a long ala SAF styles !! 😀

  • Fozzie, another option to replace Wenger would be Frank de Boer at Ajax. I think he’s accomplished everything he can in Eredivisie and he’s already working with Bergkamp and Overmars, which would be outstanding supporting cast to bring with him.

    Similar playing style to Wenger and known for a keen eye on spotting talent. However, he also plays a more direct attacking style and forces his players to press more on defense. He’s developed some talented prospects into even better players like Christian Eriksen, Viktor Fisher, Siem de Jong, Davy Klaassen, Niklas Moisander, Ricardo van Rhijn etc.

    However, of course he’s a big risk as he’s unproven in a bigger league and Jol had success with Eredivisie too but he wasn’t worth much at Fulham.

  • Hey HH, no not a fan of the Ajax man I’m afraid and not on Wengers level IMO. I did have a short peek at him but don’t think he is of Arsenal quality. Van Gael I would take if we couldn’t get Klopphound !! But I would extend Wengers contract in a heartbeat if it meant we could get Klopphound at the end ! 😀

  • Fozzie, there’s no denying that Van Gaal’s reputation and resume far exceeds de Boer’s, however I’m concerned about the distractions that come with him as a personality. He often has bust-ups with his players since it’s his philosophy or the highway. He will bring great discipline and structure to the squad, but we’ll certainly lose that ability to express under him.

    I can see players like Ozil and Santi become incredibly frustrated playing under such a manager.

  • That is true HH, but I think it is precisely the kind of shakeup and accountability that is required by our next manager and I agree that both the Dutchman and the German would be that kind of charismatic character. I think they need to be able to shake up the older players more which I think Wenger lacks at the moment. And since we have predominantly older players at the moment it is precisely the reason the side are not consistently motivated (tactics aside for now).
    Wenger always does well with mentoring the young, that’s a given. But not the Poldis etc. Our new manager must rattle a few cages that’s a given.

  • Fozzie, I don’t think it’s so much about shaking up the older players as most are very disciplined but are just not great players (I’m thinking Arteta here). However, I think the younger players would benefit more with a manager like Van Gaal, especially ones in need of more dedication to detail and structure like Ox, Walcott, Wilshere, Ramsey, Gibbs, Szczesny etc. I do think that we would get more out of Poldi and Vermaelen under Van Gaal though.

  • HH agreed on Van Gaals ability to nurture like Wenger and even tweak his philosophy further and to be more flexible in his tactics and more risk taking than Wenger 😀

  • But that will mean we will have the holy trinity of Dutchman !! Totes Goldmember Klompendildo the Second, Van Gaal “Mary”, and Cornish Van Bastard … Also known after a ruby as the “Unholy Spirit” !! Haha !! 😆

  • I will leave this one to the BK Accountants to make an opinion as may be there`s more to it than the black and white of the factual numbers as it reads like this to me……Chavs pay an average of £76,626 per week to their players and we pay an average of £75,037 !. They obviously get more out of their players for the extra £1589 per week !. Also, how come we pay just a little bit less than them in wages for a £10M player as they do for a £30M player ?.

  • Tomorrow night Arsenal`s youth team play the Chavs in the semi-final 2nd leg of the FA Youth Cup…2-1 down from the first leg….and it`s live on ITV4 @ 19:30 !.
    I will remind you tomorrow as you are a bunch of forgetful cazy lunts !.

  • Hahaha Thanks Fozzer for the preview of one of frogs porn vids, the second highlight of the week . The first ?….no not last nights average win !, but, did anyone see Game of Thrones on Monday ?…….King Joffrey, who must have the most “slapable” face known to man, got poisoned to death !……fair enough, I would have preferred to have taken my Bergkampesque Baseball Bat to his face, but honestly, it was the first time I have ever shouted with excitement at the TV screen for a TV show……” the bucking fastard is going to die ! “…..still not sure whether it is down to his excellent acting for coming across as a despicable cucking funt or that he just happens to have a face that attracts baseball bats !.

  • Chamakh starts for Palace v Everton, i hope he has a great game. He could well do us a massive favour tonight.

  • Thanks for that Cockie i did not know the under-21s were on tomorrow night.
    What match are you watching tonight, i cant make my mind up what to watch on the Everton match on at the mo , but el-classico sounds good

  • None PG !. I have to catch up on all the programmes I have Sky Plussed !. Actually it is the U18`s tomorrow night , so no Gnabry, Bellerin etc, but Zelalem , Crowley and Akpom are worth a look !. Laterz !.

  • Great to see Podolski in great form, i think he is going to be massive for us in the remanding matches . He is a must start for me at the moment , with Theo out even more so.
    The amount of times he was calling for the ball last night and no one passed to him was ridicules . He found space and was calling for the ball but the passes never came, i really wanted him to get a hat-trick last night, it would have been his first for the club. If you look at his form in the last few games, he must be right up there with the best.

  • Palace just hit the post , Everton very lucky to only be 1 nil down, come on Palace, its looking good so far

  • Good evening TA, i really think Palace will take points of Everton tonight and i am quite positive they can get the win. I would be happy with a draw though too.

  • Crystal Pulis are playing for us tonight. 😀 Come on, Chamakh! After all, you have been the best Marouane in the league this season by a mile!

    @Cookie – I actually wanted to beat the crap out of Chris (Sopranos). I think my body got wet whenever I imagine putting a fist on his face in attempt to split his eyebrow with one hit. His face was so punchable that his last name should have been the same like the goal-scorer from tonight’s game at Goodison Park. 😀

  • I have always likes Palace, since the days of Steve Coppel managing them and our legend Ian Wright playing for them, my favourite Palce moment is the semi final v Liverpool when it went to 4-3 to them. Great game. The game the IAN WRIGHT WRIGHT WRIGHT burst on to the scene . Then we brought him. so i have no problem cheering Palace on i hope they do them tonight, i think they will take points tonight. I am showing my age now lol.
    Steve Coppol what happened to him Cockie Monster?

  • Yeah i suppose , they have a really hard fixture list left with Southampton, City and United.
    1-0 to Real 10 mins gone i want to watch that but want Palace to get result more then anything tonight. lol

  • Did you notice the lack of service to Podolski last night TA?, i remember when you last went to a match you said you noticed how little we used to left flank.
    Perhaps when Ozil is back and him and Podolski finally get to link up that will be sorted out.

  • Palce defending and closing down is looking first class, it is looking very good now, i would not take a draw now. I want a Palace win, good old Palace.

  • Yeah good and fair shout TA. I always hated to Pullis of Stoke but he is perfect for Palace at he moment and doing a great job there, he really is. Stoke is a very different club to Stoke, he even seems a bit more humble since he has been there.

  • shit 2-1 that is not good, i still have faith in Palace, please don’t let us down. lol :/

  • Yeah he loves Chamakh, he is probably the highest quality striker he has ever worked with, bar Owen when he was at his peak, well and truely burnt out by the time he got to Stoke though.
    Palace is a good place for Chamakh to really get back on track, i wish him and Palace well. I get the feeling Chamakh would love to score to help us tonight, i could be wrong, but once a Gooner always a Gooner . Come on Chamakh

  • Hey PG… I’ve been in an out on this match and just returned to see Everton score. Fortunately Palace had already scored a 2nd while I was gone and now they’ve gotten a 3rd. Overall they’ve looked the better team in the bits I’ve seen…

  • They have played really well 17, they have been dangerous in attack, very clinical. In defence there closing down and defending has been first class, Everton have had very little in clear cut chances. They totally deserve it, what you have seen has been he same though out i think.

  • It feels like a long long time since loads of results went in our favour, toight could be the start of a few hopefully , it all went our way at the start of the season. Arsenal should still and i am sure Wenger is still aiming for 3rd even 2nd if possible. 1st is just to much to ask but you never know, woudn’t that be the bollocks if they all totally fucked up
    yess city losing 2-1 ha ah ha ha

  • Man City draw, Everton lose… and it’s my boy’s birthday! Nice…

  • phewww 2 very good results for us City 2 -2 Sunderland
    Everton 2 – 3 Palace , good old Palace 🙂

  • Mirallas did an air shot 3 yards from goal, missed the equalizer… CP wins with a Pulis performance.

  • 17 Happy birthday to your boy,
    Alcide its all good , we can breath a bit now and aim to finish as high as we can , even more so with City slipping up. 🙂

  • goal of the century from G.Bale in the final vs Barca, most likely has won Real the cup.

    happy birthday to junior 17HT !

    we are back in top 4 with our destiny in our own hands, today has been a good good day !

  • I have just realized something whilst watching El-Cashico

    Barca have the same problem as Arsenal – no real pace

    and Real Madrid have pace literally everywhere on the field and are the best counter attacking football team , currently – I have them down as the winners of this years CL , yep BM will be losing to Real

    agreed with skipper , re – Tony Pubis being manager of the year, deserves it alright !

  • good to see you back firing all cylinders @ FB

    Glics – don’t worry, the FFP are already seemingly working with both Man city and PSG under scrutiny and possibly facing a fan and hefty fines, due to the investigations currently carried out which basically means that for next season, you may have a transfer ban of incoming’s on Barca, Man City and PSG .

    I think i predicted that we will be winning the double this year, and it’s still on , The FA CUP and 4th Place (trophy).


  • It was a great Bale left attack goal, not sure about goal of the century . I agree that Real have loads of pace, when you think about it , they have a stupid amount of it. I think you may well be right about them winning the Champions league.
    When we have Walcott we are a different team, a much more dangerous attacking side, we have missed him massively . I also miss Gervinho, he was always dangerous on the wing for me and could have really improved given time, shame we let him go i think.

  • I would be happy with the FA cup and 4th, the FA cup is so important we need that so badly, i would pick that if i had to pick 1.
    I am happy enough knowing our team is not far of winning the title, we only need about 3 signings to challenge on all fronts, we all know it we have said it for ages, if them 3 teams do get transfer bans then it all falls nicely in to our hands.
    Who are your current few signings you would like and are a real possibilty. JB. i know you always pick real candidates . Il put my 3 out there after a few mins of thought.

  • Happy birthday to your boy 17ht! Bale really scored a brilliant goal… he was running 2 meters out of the pitch to overtake his defender, impressive.

    Agreed JB, Barca used to have more pace (more of the burst Jack Wilshere type than the Bale type), but they’ve lost some as some the team aged a bit… to me the big difference is Iniesta and Xavi being a tad slower/having a bit less energy and not managing one-on-ones as they used to, Messi who used to break defenses is also a bit off lately (certainly today – although he did score three last time vs RM), Dani Alves is a bit less speedy as well,.. Neymar missed the equalizer too (he should really have done better on that last chance, hardly did better than OG with his flick in the first half yesterday).

    Not sure RM is speedy everywhere – but they potentially have the 2 fastest players in action (Bale and CR) – I think 2 or 3 of those and you’re very capable counter attacking, and all you then want is to have 2-3 good passers to give them assists… Theo, Draxler plus a SQ striker with decent pace and we’re good for counter attacks 🙂

  • Henry scored a similar goal but Bale was fouled and went outside the field and had to run around his man – ok, not goal of the century but certainly goal of the season for me, considering the score line and how he won them the cup – this is what super quality and money do – they win you trophies, when we had our SQ (OZIL) fit and playing, least we were in the title hunt, without him we are lucky to still be in 4th – he is a massive player for us, make no mistake about that !

    you are spot on about Theo @ PG – however, every season he gets injured and if you ask me, we need to have a Reus , Di Maria , or someone we can really count on…i am sort of fed up of having to rely on theo theo theo for pace and every single season he gets injured at crucial moments or in spades.

  • Alcide,

    Di- Maria is no mug and Benzema is not half bad either… they have REAL pace , where it matters the most….it will be a fascinating semi final with BM and one I’m pretty certain may win you a few quid @ PG – provided you bet wisely ; )

    agreed with the rest @ Alcide

    I think I already gave my list earlier on, maybe was the previous post ?

    but here we go again, just for you @ PG

    Iker . C – Goalie.

    Winston Reid (CB from Hammers).

    Reus / Draxler

    Bender / Wanyama / schneiderlin


    with a loan signing of a decent striker, Hernandez (man utd)


  • I would buy Costa if there is any chance, it would seem he is Chav bound but we have to have a bid, we can and should match the 50m offer.
    Nani from United i think he is well worth a punt and it seems his price will be small, due to his lack of games lately. If united were willing to sell him he adds pace and a good option done the wing. 10m might do it 15 max i think.
    Draxlar, he is ideal for us and TCM would do his nut if we don’t get him soon ha ha ha ha but 40m is probably still the price.
    That is 100m , but Costa is very doubtful. I really wanted a DMB but i feel our attack is the most important thing and we must improve it. so.
    Costa or Ballatelli
    Then we would have some really deadly options and have plenty of cover in case of injuries.

  • no harm in dreaming @ PG but Costa will never happen due to the working relationship and understanding both chelsea and AT-M enjoy , so even though i am an optimist, i try to keep it a tad real, ha

    Nani – won’t happen because he has the same agent as CR, Jose e.t.c e.t.c which means a high add on fee and agent fee/comission – I don’t think we have ever had a player or have a player on Jorge Mendes’s books ? (I might be wrong) – he has a very close working relationship with Jose.Moron.

    Balotelli is a good shout , though ! but again, he is mentally not right so, I don’t know since AW doesn’t like them sort of players as we already have a similar nutter in NB on our books, no ?

  • Sorry JB, I wasn’t clear enough and didn’t bother to list all of them, but indeed Di Maria is fast, and Benz and Modric are no slouch – and that makes them the best counter attack team in the world, I just meant to say that having Theo back, another fast winger option on the left, and a striker that can keep up (not necessarily über fast, but capable of staying ahead when he is ahead) would already go a long way to improve our counter attacking to very decent levels! Add a “turbo diesel engine” DM and we’re looking much much better.

  • True JB on nearly all points i can’t disagree , Nani i don’t see why we could not have him , they still owe us for Robin van porter-porty cleaning van man. so a deal could be struck he is no use to them at the moment they may as well cash in.
    Lukaku is a great shout but Chelsea will not sell us him, they would not even let us loan Ba so for me, that is never going to happen
    Ballatelli is nuts, but not as nuts as Suarez and i would have loved him even though he is a shit, his football skill are world class, we could do with a little bit of nasty in our team, i think any way, i think he would be very handy

  • If Real do splash out then Benzema would be good though i don’t rate him really really highly. We need a world class striker, we have the cash and there is not many about, they have all been snapped up. So i think we simply have to spend BIG on 1, we can’t keep letting other big clubs take all the cream its time to compete for the best talent of the pitch this time round, we sould not just except that Chelsea and City take the best strikers anymore. We are well inside the FFP rules as well so that could help us this time round, we have to compete for Costa

  • oh yes, absolutely agreed 110% @ Alcide !

    Nani just signed a 4 year extention at Man utd with massive wages just to sit on their bench and most of the time, he’s not even on the bench – hint was the agent ,in my opinion no chance with his agents of him ever coming to the Emirates…but wouldn’t mind him though !

    Lukaku can always put in a transfer request – he is not afraid to publically take on Jose.Moron and so on, something not many would dare to do…I did however, give other more viable options as well.

    I would love Balotelli at Arsenal, make no mistake about that – it was a good one , both you And AFC are Balotelli fans and I’m aware of that ! @ PG

    coming back to you @ Alcide – it’s all easier said than done though but I am beginning to hear whispers that Sagna and Koc might sign a contract extension as soon as AW puts pen to paper , it’s their way of telling AW that you’re not the only one who can play mind games, ha

    what is the french media making of this whole AW contract situation ? do they want him to quit Arsenal and be the boss of France ?

  • Higuain or Tevez would also be very good they are world class. They would be perfect for me

  • I like Remy a lot i rate him, you have changed your mind on him. I take it that was down to his court case, he is a very good shout too.

  • I always wanted REmy and thought he could be our next Henry (he does look like him as well, no ? 😉

    yeah, due to the court case it all went a bit quiet.

    Higuain is a big fish now at naples, that ship has sailed since we didn’t up our bid to 30 million …and Tevez was a bargain at 5 million what Juve got him for (he won’t return to england, the guy hardly speaks any english even after staying in england for nearly 6/7 years).

    am off now PG – been a pleasure as always, see you sunday !

  • yeah me 2 and same as, night lads
    I too am interested to hear what France makes of Arsene contract situation though.??

  • JB – I would take Balotelli or Benzema over the strikers you listed. No talk of AW for France these days (that comes and goes).

  • i write a post on the BFG. just a little something on me thinking its time for him to get the armband.
    I know its been done before, but i just wanted to help and add a topic

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s