Rambo/Coq in DM pivot, Iwobi/Theo on wings, Alexis CF: Arsenal v Spurs Preview and likely Line-up

A short but sharp match preview as we all know what is at stake here: pride, NLD bragging rights, a six point gap, and leading the table before the November interlull. I reckon it has been a great achievement to get level with Pep’s City and now we have the chance to overtake them, which would just be bliss. Of course Pool will have something to say about who will lead the table at the end of the day, but we must just concentrate on our challenge. It is about time that we beat the Spuds again, but it will not be easy despite their recent form.

Wenger has been able to rest the players who do most of the running for us: Nacho, Bellerin, Iwobi, Ox, Elneny and Theo. It is not entirely clear who of those are deemed fit to play as Arsenal.com has not updated its info re this since Thursday. It is to be expected that the Spuds will mainly play compact at the back with a desire to spring a counter as soon as we make a mistake. They will also press us high when they can but always in such a way that there is very little chance we can break them easily. Pochettino has his teams play a lot like Mourinho’s old Chelsea: they are hard to break down and score against and rely heavily on an in-form striker or two to win games for them. The latter they do not have currently and let’s hope this will remain the case today. We must play with care but also take the initiative and without any doubt will give away a few chances today, so our defensive discipline and their ability to take their chances will be a key factor.

Having said that, Arsenal have an in-form strike force and a strong midfield to boss the Spuds in their own half, and can create chances in the process. But we will have to take those opportunities early on to have a really good chance to win. If we are not leading by say 30-35 minutes it could become a tricky one for us.

I reckon, subject to fitness, that Arsene knows 9 of his 11 starters. The two areas where he will have some doubt is who to play next to Coquelin and whether to play Theo, Ox or Rambo on the right. We need to be solid in the double DM pivot with a strong focus on defensive duties and athleticism to cover the box to box challenges. Santi could play a big part in helping Ozil to crack open the Spuds’ bus but he may not be fit enough to play. I also doubt whether he is the right player to play as B2B in today’s game. For me, it is either Xhaka, Elneny or Ramsey. I would go for the Egyptian and play Rambo on the right ‘wing’ position. But I expect Wenger to play his strongest and most exciting team to watch.

Predicted Line-up:

submit football lineup

Whatever team will play, I am sure they will give their all for all the reasons given above; and let’s hope we will beat the Spuddies playing football the Arsenal way. Ooh to be…


By TotalArsenal.

Gnabry and Zelalem to start, Santi and Theo in middle? Match Preview.

Arsenal vs Spurs Preview: Road to the FA Cup Final



It has only been a few days since our breathtaking last minute surge against Cardiff. Now we face a big test: a North London Derby. In a cup no less! A loss here is far worse than any normal loss in a NLD, as it means elimination from a cup that we really have a shot to win this season. We need to win here. We just need to put up a strong fight and play without fear. We are the better side and deserve to win. This game is for bragging rights and progression in a cup that we want to win.

This fixture last time:

The last time this fixture occurred was earlier this season. It was a massive turn around after a terrible loss to Aston Villa. It was a simple 1-nil to the Arsenal. Giroud scored a cheeky outside of the foot, near post shot against Lloris. Walcott swung in a great cross for him and Giroud took his chance well, on the one touch finish. Sadly we are missing Giroud this time, but we do have Theo and a strong squad.

Here is my expected line up for tomorrow:

PredictedvsSpursFA cup

I think Gnabry and Zelalem will be making a huge start. Theo will fill in at striker, seeing as Podolski wasn’t great there against Cardiff. Podolski will then slide back on to the wing and Santi will take up his best position in the center. Monreal will fill in for the injured Gibbs at left back.

Key Battles:

Sagna vs Eriksen:

Eriksen is an incredibly creative player (a player I wish we’d bought), but due to Spurs new two- striker system, they don’t have room for a true CAM. Therefore Eriksen is being played in more of a Santi role, as a CAM playing LW. He could punish us, as he did Manchester United, if we’re not careful. However, I have faith Mr. Reliable will shut him down.

Podolski vs Walker:

Walker is a class right back who will do everything in his power to shut down our service from the wing. Podolski will have to be 100% and ready to run his socks off to beat Walker’s work rate. He will have to be prepared to dribble around Walker and swing in quick crosses to avoid being shut down. I think Podolski will struggle with this for a while, but if Santi begins to drift to the left more, he will have the support to break him down.

Zelalem vs Expectations:

I don’t know about everyone else, but I have huge hopes for Zelalem in the future. He just has to make sure that he doesn’t screw up and become a scapegoat on his debut. Debuting against Spurs could put him in the history books. If he just focuses on not losing the ball and taking the opportunity to try the occasional tricky ball, he might just get an assist and put his name in our history books.

Casualties of War:

WengerWincing (1)


Bendtner, Gibbs, Ramsey, Diaby, and Ox are all definitely out. Ozil and Giroud both face late fitness tests, and Wenger says it is likely both will be out. It’s unfortunate that we will be without our two out and out strikers, who are both in great goal scoring form, but we do have Theo, Poldi, and Gnabry who can all play striker. I’ve wanted to watch Gnabry play there, but it’s unlikely as Theo is in incredible goal scoring form. If Ozil was fit, I’d actually be tempted to try him there and see if he could really be like Bergkamp, but that’s unlikely.


Vertonghen, Paulinho, Kaboul, and Sigurdsson will all be out. Holtby, Defoe, and Townsend are all just returning from injury and are unlikely to play. Adebayor also faces a late test, but claims he is fit to face us. Let’s all secretly hope he’s not fit so he can’t score against us.


I predict a shock 3-0 to Arsenal. We will come out firing on all cylinders and Spurs will be cocky after their away victory over Manchester United. I think Walcott will score a great goal, as he has been in fine finishing form. This goal will likely be assisted from Lulu on the left. Next, I think Gnabry will score a simple tap in from a one on one, assisted by Zelalem. Finally, in the dying minutes Zelalem will score a self-assisted screamer, and put his name in the hearts and memories of Gooners everywhere.


1. What are your predictions for the game?

2. What is your preferred line up?

3. What do we do about our striker situation?

COYG! Let’s win another NLD!

Thanks for reading! 😀

Written by: Dylan.

A game of transfer window repercussions? Arsenal vs Tottenham Pre-Match


It’s DERBY time again. North London will be split in two once again for this very important game. On one side we have the mighty Arsenal. A team that optimises and oozes class. The other side…a cock on a ball, oh and Adebayor…enough said!

No time for the Transfer window, no time for injuries, we must focus on this game and give it all we’ve got again. Come on Arsenal faithful get behind the team and roar loudly.

Let’s get in to it shall we:

Missing in Action:

Diaby sick bay

Arsenal: Podolski (Hamstring), Vermaelen (Back), Ox (Knee), Arteta (Thigh), Diaby (Knee). Jack (Ankle) and Ramsey (Groin) should be right for this one.

Tottenham: Assou-Ekotto (Knee), Lennon (Ankle/Foot), Bale (apparently ‘Ankle/Foot’ – also known as ‘Almunia’s elbow’)

Transfer window update:

Tottenham have quite the long list. Whilst they have lost one primate, they’ve added Eriksen, Lamela, Chiriches, Paulinho, Soldado, Capoue, and Chadli.

Arsenal on the other hand have signed Flamini and Sanogo. Reading that definitely sends a shudder down the spine (even more so when you take in to account our injury record and our current long term injuries). The optimist in me says “let’s wait and see what the remaining days bring us”. The current Oz says “sharpen those pitchforks gents because if we don’t get some significant squad bolstering and major signings we may have to storm the gates”.

Anyway, welcome back Flamini. That 2007/08 season of his was a ripper. I loved how he went about it; he brought energy, drive, and a fighting spirit. His experience and determination will definitely help the cause.


Predicted Line-up:

starting line-up Totts

The best available should line-up for Arsenal in this must win home fixture (lose and we are already playing catch-up, and a loss to our neighbours will dent the confidence of both the team and the supporters).

Koscielny returns from his one match suspension for a great tackle. This should knock Sagna back to RB and move Jenks to the bench. Podolski’s injury should see Santi move over to the left (no other real options unless we chuck Ryo or Gnabry out there). Gibbs will line up down the left, and the rest picks itself. It’d be nice to see a cameo from Flamini (when we are 3-0 up). A look to our bench shows us just how incredibly light on we are at the moment.

Previous Encounters:

Tottenham v Arsenal 2-1

Can’t remember. Didn’t happen. Must have been a friendly or something?!

Two defensive lapses in a blink of an eye saw us go down 2-0. The BFG gave us some hope of a comeback…but it was not meant to be this time. It’s terrible that we were caught out by a monkey and a bloke who shaves lines into his eyebrows and head (I’m sure somewhere in the rule book that constitutes a straight red?!). After that result Tottenham moved into third position with a 7 point advantage over Arsenal…hahahahaha oh how things can change.

Arsenal v Tottenham 5-2

2012 was a good year for derbies. This game saw the best and worst from our dear friend Adebayor. A goal at the 10’ mark, and a straight red for a studs up challenge on Santi at 20’. Cheers Ade!!!

Per kick started the revival again and we went on to smash the spuds into the ground.

Arsenal v Tottenham 5-2

Words don’t do this match any justice. Have a watch to relive the memories:


Form Guide:               Arsenal:  : WWWLW          Tottenham: WWWWD

A convincing win against Fulham was sandwiched by Champions League qualifier victories against Fenerbahce. Hopefully those three victories were enough to brush aside the disappointment of our opening fixture against Villa.

Tottenham won their Europa League game midweek and rested quite a few players while they were at it (so don’t expected a tired outfit this Sunday). Both Premier League victories came from penalties put away by their new signing Soldado.

Arsenal Archive (1)

This week I’ve dipped into the Arsenal Archive and pulled out this video clip. It’s a collection of great goals against our North London rivals (here’s hoping we had a few more this weekend).




One to Watch:

Jan Vertonghen was a real enforcer last time we played. He was a very nice bit of business for Tottenham, one I’m still shaking my head about (why didn’t we get him???). Giroud will definitely have his hands full with both he and Dawson forming a solid CB pairing.

I’m looking forward to seeing how Aaron Ramsey backs up his brace against Fenerbahce. He will have his hands full against Paulinho and Capoue but I think his work-rate will see him take control again. Rosicky and Wilshere will definitely help see our midfield wins out.

Key-Match up:

Theo Walcott vs Danny Rose

Going forward Danny Rose is good, defensively he is questionable. We will definitely be going through Theo a lot in this match in an attempt to expose Rose’s weaknesses. Theo always comes to play against Tottenham and I see this game being no different. Mrs Rose has said Danny has had a few restless nights (nightmares, sweating, tossing and turning) in the lead up to this. Beware Danny…Theo’s coming to get ya!!

A nightmare on Arsenal's wing

Pre-Match Finger:

kid finger

This week’s finger goes out to…our injury curse! Podolski is now injured and will be out for 8-10 weeks. We really can’t catch a break from it. It’s bad enough that our squad is paper thin at the minute but come off it! It’s as though we are picking up one after every game, or worse…at training (Arteta). I’m an optimistic person but it is getting very hard to believe in the stability of this squad. Vermaelen and Wilshere have been plagued in recent seasons which have cost us dearly (from a quality player and a development standpoint). The Ox is out for an extended period (who here has that horrible feeling that we will hear “Ox hasn’t recovered as well as hoped so we’re sending him in for surgery. Return unknown”? I know I do, we’ve heard it all too often!)  Diaby is well…Diaby. Rosicky, Wilshere, Gibbs, Theo, and Ryo are all ticking time bombs. Imagine the squad we’d have if we could keep these players together…oh well we’ve always got FIFA!

I’m going to send another finger out to the transfer window. It’s long, draining, painful, frustrating, and miserable (if it was a guy we’d all undoubtedly be locked up because of the unspeakable things we’d do to him). Once it closes I hope we are all sitting back thinking “yep the juice was worth the squeeze” as opposed to sharpening our pitchforks and marching down to Ashburton Grove.

Pre-Match pat on the back:

This week’s pat on the back is going to Aaron Ramsey. In his short career not only has he had to come back from a career-threatening injury, but he’s had to endure the ridicule and torment from a large division of Arsenal supporters. His work rate and engine are unbelievable. Combine that with his mental toughness and he’s definitely going to be one hell of a player, and I’m glad it’s going to be with us. From ‘deadwood – squad player’ to 3 goals and 1 assist in 4 games this season. I don’t care if those goals came against Fenerbahce; if it was Santi or Jack every Arsenal supporter would be dribbling and crowing about their greatness. Well done Aaron, may you continue to serve up some delicious humble pie to those who doubted you.

Ask the opposition - spurs (1)

‘Ask the opposition’ returns again this week. It is designed to get some friendly banter from our opposition fans and get their insight for the match ahead.  This week the answers were kindly provided by Adam (Some will remember Adam when he dropped in last week under the name ‘Bongo’. Check out his youtube channel here: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyU0e0F45uQLG25qOJSKARg ), and Spooky (a top class Tottenham supporter from http://www.dearmrlevy.com/ ).Let’s see what they’ve written for us this week:

1) You’ve probably heard this all Summer but…Bale. Is he staying or going?

ADAM: I think the whole world knows that Bale will be off to Real Madrid in the next few days.  What I’ve been impressed with though is the way our board have not allowed RM have it all their way.  It was an open tapping up which they seem to get away with year in year out but I think Levy has stood up to their bullying, selling when we are ready, and making them have to postpone their big announcement parades.

SPOOKY: Going. Gone. See ya. Ignoring all the media hyperbole and their creative spin and the variety of headline hunting agenda’s that dominated the football news all summer long, the crux of it all was simple. Bale was not for sell. The player was happy to remain at Spurs another season. However, if Real Madrid showed interest and they bid a bid worthy of acceptance then he would have no issue with leaving as long as Spurs and Madrid could agree to it. The reason it’s dragged is Spurs have stood firm with the asking price. Once that was agreed, I guess the payment plan was the next stumbling block. To be honest, I actually think even if Madrid didn’t bid Bale would have pushed for the move (or at least his agent).

You don’t know what might happen in football. As a player, he might not have the chance to join Madrid next season so he has to take the chance this season. The irony is, Madrid are probably only bidding because they failed to sign Neymar.

I wish him well. Honestly hope he destroys the league out there. Going to be interesting to see him play alongside Ronaldo and Ronaldo’s ego.

2) If he goes do you think you will manage with the new additions to your squad?

ADAM: Obviously a player like Bale will be missed a great deal as you will be only too aware having lost a few star players yourselves over the years, RVP & Fabregas to name a couple.  What it does though is open up an opportunity for someone else to step up and become a hero, and though we will be weaker in one position without him, we have strengthened in most other positions, so yes I believe we will not only manage with the new additions, but will be a more balanced side.  Hopefully one of the new players will take up his mantle.  It looks like Lamela has signed (fingers crossed) and I think he will be the player Spurs fans will be most excited about.

SPOOKY: Players come and go, the supporters remain ever present. We’ll survive. The harsh reality is we have a 36k stadium and Daniel Levy’s sell-on philosophy does work (even if it’s held us back in the past – Carrick, Berbatov, Modric). For the fee he’s going for, whether we’re spending the money or being funded by Joe Lewis – it’s a new chapter. It’s exciting. New heroes at the ready. Shame he didn’t give us one more season but it’s easy for me. If you don’t want to play for the shirt then play for someone else. Only concern (a minor one) is that we may take a few weeks to bed in all the new players. Still, it’s a wonderful ‘problem’ to have.

3) AVB how’s he travelling? Will he take you places?

ADAM: I like AVB a lot.  He comes across quite cool and seems to be able to handle the pressure, and to be fair he was being hounded by the red tops at the start of last season right up until we beat Man Utd away (when he made Sun reporter Paul Jiggins look a fool).

He has the potential to take us to cup finals and into the promised land of the top 4 definitely.

SPOOKY: I hope so. He’s the first coach we’ve had that actually has an ethos, a methodology to his preparation and a blueprint to the way he wants the team to play. Last season felt like the foundations we’re set. Got many of the basis sorted. Our away form was phenomenal. I remember the 90s, we couldn’t’ win away. When we won away it was like a cup final. Christ, we’re woeful. From Jol to Redknapp to AVB there has been sustained progression. But more so under AVB there has been a clearer indication of direction. Hoping for more expansive football this season at home.

4) What player/position is your weakest?

ADAM: I’d say left back is currently our weakest position.  AVB seems to have dropped Assou-Akotto who was competent though prone to make mistakes.  We are now relying on Danny Rose who is still young.  Though we have cover there in Kyle Naughton and Jan Vertongen it is not their main position, meaning unless we get in a left back before the window closes this is not our strongest position, shall we say.

SPOOKY: I worry about left-back. Benny appears to have been told not to turn up for training which might be a polite way of suggesting he’s having medicals for other clubs. Danny Rose is solid going forward but I’m unsure about his defensive qualities. He’s also a touch small – when compared to some of the beasts in the side. We need a new left-back. Right back will probably be covered by Kaboul although would also prefer to see competition for Walker.

5) Which Arsenal player would you like and why?

ADAM: I like Jack Wilshere as a player.  I was at White Hart Lane last year (I’ll not mention the score) when you visited and the way he kept possession, and his distribution, was quite awesome, especially at his age and build.  Even though we won I felt he was the best player on the pitch that day and would fit easily into our side, and most sides in Europe.  I think his love for Arsenal is very noble and I can see him becoming your loyal Steven Gerrard type player though, so I don’t expect us to sign him from you any time soon.   I hope he stays fit this year and plays well as he could be a key member of the England team in Brazil.

SPOOKY: Cazorla. Plays both flanks? Although actually, we might have enough cover there now. Had you asked me this question 10 years ago the answer would be so different. Oxlade-Chamberlain. Young, another Soton youth player. English. I like what I’ve seen so far but I worry (not so much for Arsenal) but when I look across at Theo Walcott I hope ‘the Ox’ has a better footballing brain because pace can only get you so far (although tbf, Walcott always…always plays a blinder against us – aided by our own capitulation of course).

6) Which player/position do you feel is our weakest?

ADAM: Most would say your defense is your weakest position but I think it is that strong defensive midfielder that you are missing.  You have flair and pace going forward, but sometimes the defenders need to be helped out further up the pitch, and I don’t believe you have ever really replaced big Patrick Vierra.

SPOOKY: Goalkeeper. You could do with a giant there. Mentally rather than physically. I think it’s very strange how Spurs appear to have signed players that Wenger would have lapped up once upon a time. Also, defensive midfield – you need a powerhouse in there. You’ve lacked that for some time.

7) If Arsene fails to strengthen significantly is it time to go?

ADAM: I would say so most certainly.  My understanding of how Arsenal work, and no doubt your readers will correct me if I am wrong, is that Wenger is in charge of all footballing aspects of the club.  So called Marquee signing is not essential but they raise the spirits of the fans, who are the life blood of the club.

On that point, I don’t think you are upset that you haven’t got in a big name; you just want to see an improvement in the ever depleting squad you have.  If he doesn’t strengthen and you get in the top 4 again and win a trophy it will be difficult for the board to let him go.  If he drops out the top 4, then I can’t imagine why your board would renew his contract.

A few of my Arsenal work colleagues think it may be best if you did have a nightmare season so they can get rid of him.  It feels to me as though they are saying “Thanks Wenger for all you’ve done, please retire now so we can still call you a legend, don’t let it go sour”.

SPOOKY: I can’t answer that. See from my own perspective this is how I see it. Wenger changed your club, he made Arsenal out of his own ideology and introduce football you lot we’re never accustomed too (even when you we’re winning titles under Graham). Okay, sure, he inherited a back four of immense quality, stole our judas captain but credit goes to the scouting and the technical football. Was a good time to hit the jackpot what with Sky Sports exploding. The top four back then dominated because they were several leagues ahead of the rest of us, granted only Utd (with Liverpool and one other occasionally) showing fight. But all football cycles have a conclusion, they all end.

I don’t know what Arsenal are up to with the alleged war chest. I thought you cleared all debt. It’s obvious the impact of City/Chelsea means the top top players are out of reach. Scouting isn’t as clever as it was. If Wenger is stubborn, then he’s going out fighting. He deserves respect but perhaps the best thing is for someone else to take the helm. Refresh the club. Seems you’re all too busy trying to hang on to the past.

Still, testament to his ability, he still inspires you lot to grab that 4th spot. Although I think Arsenal’s team is vastly under-rated by some. Perhaps that’s part of the trick. Makes Wenger look like he’s working miracles. If you do have £100M + in the bank for new players then I’d be upset. Especially with the ambition we’re showing, backing AVB.

8) What is your prediction for the match?

ADAM: Because it is still early in the season and you still have a full squad, and our squad is still settling I’d probably ought to say a draw 1-1, however I’m going to say Spurs to win 0-2, not based on anything other than I am a Spurs fan on an Arsenal site. Thanks for having me.

SPOOKY: 5-2. Ha! Christ, I hate the NLD sometimes. The footballing Gods are twisted. If we play and we lose then I’d rather we lose because we’ve been outplayed or beaten on the day without the dramatics of red cards or the usual capitulations. We’ve started well against you lot but twice it’s gone to shit. And Arsenal do love to turn up for this game at their ground. I think it’s going to be a score draw. I hope we nick it. Not sure the game will be a catalyst for either side like the past couple have been. Very early in the season, but no doubt the bragging rights are just as important as three points. You what, screw it. 5-2 Tottenham. It’s about time those footballing Gods repaid us for the past 18 years.


We haven’t lost our first two home games since the 1949-50 season and Tottenham have only beaten us once since the 1992-3 season…I’m confident that after the game on Sunday both records will remain. Yes we have injuries, yes it’s a new look Tottenham line-up, but we always turn up for this game! We shouldn’t underestimate team stability, that’s what we have at the moment. Our players know each other inside out, and that will be the difference in this one. Arsenal to win 2-1

Theo – Soldado – Giroud!!!

For this week’s psychic prediction I went back on to the free site in search of my pre-match friend, unfortunately Yakman is no longer. Fear not we have an English man by the name of ‘Eagle Star’. Here are his responses:

Oz: Will Arsenal beat Tottenham on Sunday?

Eagle Star: The devil in me says Arsenal will win.

Oz: The devil? You must be mistaken. We at Arsenal are good folk, Tottenham are the demons of North London. Score?

Eagle Star: Arsenal 2-1

Oz: The transfer window closes on Monday. We’ve had a torrid time of it so far. How many players will we sign between now and then?

Eagle Star: Logic says 1, but I think it’ll be 4 (another psychic ‘Nova Leone’ also predicted 4 – fingers crossed)

Oz: Thank you. See you next week

What is your prediction?

Will Dawson and Vertonghen stop Giroud in his tracks?

Which Tottenham player would you like in our team?

Written by: Oz Gunner

How would ‘Bale going to Real Madrid’ affect Arsenal?


This week it has all been about Gareth Bale’s possible transfer to Real Madrid. Real have made a £85 million bid for Bale but have seen it rejected by Levy with various sources reporting Bale has told AVB he wants out of Tottenham. Maybe, Levy wants a player involved in the deal. Reports are saying Luca Modric could be involved in the deal but I cannot see any player(s) from Real going to Tottenham for two reasons.

Firstly, why would any top player from Real Madrid want to go to a team that is not even in the Champions League? I know it is a World Cup year but surely if you want to come to the EPL, you would try and sign for an EPL team that is in the Champions League such as Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United; if failing that, you would likely go to another team in Europe that have at least qualified for the Champions League. Also, what player other than Bale would want to be involved in such a deal. It would be pretty demeaning for the player involved, as if he was just a mere accessory in the world’s biggest ever transfer.

I think Levy does not want any player involved in the deal and would just rather Real offer a bid closer to £100 million which I am pretty certain he’ll accept.

The deal looks very likely to go through and next season we will probably see Gareth Bale in a Real Madrid shirt, as Madrid normally get their man. So, if we assume that Bale will be sold for at least £85, what effect will this have on Tottenham and Arsenal.

The first scenario, and perhaps the simplest way to look at the transfer of Bale to Real Madrid:

Tottenham have already signed: Chadli from FC Twente for around £7 million, Paulinho from Corinthians for around £17 million, are close to signing Soldado from Valencia for £26 million (with personal terms being discussed between the Soldado’s agents and Tottenham representatives), have sold Caulker to Cardiff City for around £8 million and I think are also looking to sign a defender (CB or LB) of some sort.

There could be a scenario where the Spuds lose Bale a (super quality player) but reinvest the money from the sale of Bale by purchasing two top quality attacking players (whether that be two wingers or a winger and an AM) and maybe buy another defender (CB or LB). Spurs would replace the quality of Bale and would have strength in depth.

If this scenario was to become reality, how would Arsenal be affected?

Arsenal would be affected in a number of ways:

1) Our chances of winning the EPL title or at least challenging for the EPL title will decrease.

If Spurs can reinvest the money from the sale of Bale in some quality players, in addition to the likes of Chadli, Paulinho and maybe Soldado, they will no doubt be a stronger team. They would have the quality and the strength in depth required to put in a serious title challenge, and if Wenger does not make the signings needed to take us to the next level we might not be celebrating St Totteringham’s Day at the end of next season.

2) Our chances of finishing in one of the coveted CL spots next season would be significantly reduced.

A follow on from the first point really. Although the Spuds will have the resources to challenge for the EPL title, the likes of United, City and Chelsea also do. So it could come down to the wire once again next season and if Wenger does not make the right signings we could be the team finishing 5th behind Tottenham. So in addition to Spurs finishing above us (which they have not done for 18 years), we could also end up in the Europa League. From that point we could go on a downwards spiral like Liverpool.

3) Winning the other domestic competitions i.e. FA Cup & League Cup would be even harder.

Spurs have always been a good cup team winning the FA Cup 8 times and the League Cup 4 times. Spurs have always been more of a cup team than a league team as they struggle with consistency and with the right squad they will have a very good chance of getting to the latter stages of the cups (semi-finals and finals) and may well knock us out in the process. They would also be able to field strong teams in the cups as well as the league due to the addition of more quality players.

Spurs may well become title contenders, be able challenge for the FA and League cups and definitely be in the running for one of the Champions League spots, as they would now have the quality and strength in depth to sustain any success/form.

However, there is another way to look at it. The loss of Bale and Spurs getting a substantial amount of cash as a result, could actually leave Spurs in a worse off position than had Bale stayed. This is the second scenario.

With Bale gone, Tottenham would have to look to bring in one or two quality attacking players to replace the firepower of Bale, as well as maybe purchasing players in other positions. But this could prove to be very difficult for Tottenham when they actually try to do this, for a number of reasons:

1) Lack of top quality players left on the market

Most of the top quality players who Spurs would be looking to sign, to replace Bale and/or add depth to other areas of the squad that need strengthening will be unavailable. These players will either have already moved clubs, signed a new contract with their existing club (dedicating themselves to their current club) or just will not be for sale at any price.

2) No Champions League football

This is perhaps the biggest stumbling block Tottenham will hit when trying to sign top quality players. Spurs are not in the CL and therefore cannot offer the (very important) prospect of playing CL football which is vital in attracting the top quality players they would need to replace Bale. AVB would also not be able to offer ‘playing with Bale’ as an incentive either which is how they persuaded Paulinho to join them. Paulinho was given assurances that Bale would not leave Tottenham.

They would find it very hard to be able to get this caliber of player to buy into their project (qualifying for the CL and eventually challenging for and winning trophies every season) as Bale who is the biggest, most important and the key man of the project has left the club. If he did not believe in the project, why would these players.

Players can of course be persuaded to join clubs who are not in the CL, by the club paying the players huge wages. Just look at Monoco. They have signed the likes of Radamel Falcao, João Moutinho, James Rodríguez, Ricardo Carvalho, Éric Abidal and Jérémy Toulalan but the problem is Tottenham just cannot pay those sort of high wages needed to persuade top players (who may be motivated by money as well as success) to join their club.

3) Lack of time to bring in quality replacements

We all know that Spud’s chairman Daniel Levy drives a hard bargain and is one of the best around when it comes to getting the best deal possible for players who want to leave Tottenham. The problem here is that while the deal is being dragged out and Levy is waiting for an offer that is right for him to sell, the very few top quality players who are still available and the even fewer amount of players who are willing to join Tottenham, even though they cannot offer CL football is getting even smaller. This could lead to Levy having to panic buy and bring in average players as last minute replacements close to (or even on) deadline day or may even bring in no replacement(s).

4) Inflation on price of transfer targets

It will be known to the world that Daniel Levy and AVB will have millions to spend after the sale of Bale and more importantly they will be looking to spend it. Clubs who Spurs are looking to buy from will most likely inflate the prices for their players, in order to get the best deal possible, knowing that Spurs have money to spend. This could eventually lead to Levy and AVB having to give up their pursuit of trying to sign top quality players and instead paying over the odds to bring in average players or again bring in no replacement.

Points 1 and 4 (possibly in the case of Higuain) apply to us as well. Even though we can offer CL football to players, we are struggling to acquire the top quality players we need to push for the title (put a genuine title challenge in) because a lot of the top players are either unavailable, happy at the club they are currently at or would rather go to a club that is in a better position than ourselves right now. A club that is regularly challenging for titles as well as winning them. If we are finding it hard to attract top quality players even though we can offer CL football, imagine how hard Spurs will find it.

So in fact there is a very good chance that the Spuds would not be able to replace the quality of Bale for the reasons mentioned above.

If this scenario was to become reality, how would Arsenal be affected?

Well the answer to this question is very simple. Even with the additions of Chadli, Paulinho, maybe Soldado and another defender, Tottenham would find it very difficult to finish in the top four regardless of whether we make any signings or not. While they will be more solid defensively and concede less goals with the signing of Paulinho and Sandro returning from injury, the likes of Soldado and Chadli will not be able to replace the quality of Bale. Bale was Tottenham’s leading goal scorer with 21 league goals. He created a lot of these goals by himself and a fair bunch were wonder goals. So Tottenham would have to improve their overall team play i.e creating chances and breaking down the opposition, if the team (as a whole) are going to score anywhere near the amount of goals Bale scored last season. The problem is Tottenham are not blessed with goal scorers so they will struggle achieve this.

So we would almost be guaranteed 4th place again if were to make the right signings and could be genuine title contenders. With Arsene fielding more experienced teams in the domestic cups we would also stand a very good chance of winning a cup.

In conclusion I feel the sale of Bale to Real will lead to the second scenario becoming reality. The second scenario represents the reality of the modern transfer market, where they are twists and turns at every corner and if Bale goes to Real Madrid we should have nothing to worry about.

Although, Spurs have already acquired Chadli, Paulinho and are close to signing Soldado, by selling Bale to Real Madrid they will be taking one step forward and two steps back, in my opinion.

This transfer window we will be looking to add quality players to our current squad, which will compliment our current quality players i.e. Santi Cazorla, Wilshere, Walcott, Koscielny etc, meanwhile Tottenham will be looking to replace their best player and rebuild their team before the start new season which is only a few weeks away.

Good luck!

Would Bale going to Real Madrid improve our chances of winning/competing for trophies?

Which scenario (out of the two) will become reality for Tottenham if/when Bale goes to Real Madrid?

Written by: AFC

A special thanks to Aman who suggested such a post be written on Bergkampesque.

Spurs – Arsenal: midfield drives on, but defence and attack let us down again

Another game in which we gave away the game in the first 45 minutes; another game in which our defence was too easily breached; and another game in which our attackers lacked composure and intelligence to hurt our opponent.

Against the top seven of the PL we had just one win in all our away games: against Liverpool. We drew at Everton and Man City, and lost to MU, Chelsea, and now to Spuds; and we still have to go to Newcastle United (last game of the season). We lost all these matches with a 2-1 score, and every time we gave our game away with sloppy, undisciplined defending in the first half.

We started well and worked very hard to dominate the game against a defensively well-organised, and equally energetic Spuds team. The defence and midfield looked sharp and it looked like a goal would only be a matter of time. However, it became soon clear that our attackers had difficulties in finding each other and also struggled badly to both make clever runs and deploy composure in front of goal.  The Spuds defended well and did not allow us much space, but we still should have done better in attack.

I see more and more similarities between Giroud and Ramsey: not only do they look each other – they could easily be brothers – they are also great workers and very likeable chaps, and I would never slate them because of this, but they also lack the necessary quality for the level Arsenal should be playing at. Perhaps both players are going through a bad patch, but I have seen enough now to realise they are at best first-18 squad players, rather than automatic choices for the first-11 team.

Theo Walcott also had a disappointing game. He did not receive the best of service and Spuds did a good job defensively against him, but in games like this he needs to be more dominant and force himself into the thick of the action. In general, I felt we lacked wing-play today as both Theo and Cazorla, and of course Jenkinson and Nacho, faced strong opposition and did not have the discipline and/or skillset to add another dimension to our attacking play. Although Jenkinson managed to get a few decent balls into the box from the wing, and he had a decent game in terms of supporting our attack.

I thought Cazorla was our best player today and I loved his drive and energy. And this brings me to the one really good thing about our team today: it had drive and determination from the start and the likes of Arteta, Wilshere and Cazorla, but also Vermaelen, Nacho and Jenkinson, and of course also Ramsey and Giroud, all played with passion and a real desire to win today.

I thought we played well in midfield and were able to dominate this area for large periods of the game. In that respect, Ramsey should be credited for his  hard work and focus, and the same goes for Arteta who was a warrior for us, although not without fault, today.

I felt that Jack struggled to find the quality openings which we know he is capable of, but together with Santi he always adds something to our football, even when he is not at his best.

I won’t be telling you anything new when I say that both our defence and attack were well below par, and the main reason we lost against the Spuds. Had only one of these departments been at the required level, we would at least have drawn this game.

I don’t want to talk about our rubbish defending in the first half – in the second half it was not much better but we rode our luck a few times – as it depresses me too much right now. Let’s analyse it again during the week.

There is also not much new that can be said about our attack: plenty of hard work and willingness but not enough composure and quality; and as a unit, our attack is missing cohesion, creativity and focus.

So, to give you our current situation in a nutshell: Arsenal are in transition and there is still no light at the end of the tunnel; our defence is disorganised and lacks confidence and leadership; our attack lacks cohesion as well as individual quality, and our midfield has become our stronghold and driver of the entire team. At least we have that to build our hopes on.

Written by: Total Arsenal.

Ramsey or Diaby, Jack or Santi in ‘the hole’, Podolski central? Spurs Match Preview.

Bale's favourite vegetable...
Bale’s favourite vegetable…

Arsene has some big selection decisions to make for tomorrow’s crunch game against the Spuds. I say crunch game as this is a game in which we must perform really well, in order to set the tone for the remainder of the season. It does not necessarily mean we need to win, but it is of vital importance that Arsenal fight for the shirt and play our best football tomorrow.

I reckon we will see the best side of Arsenal, despite recent concerns about the solidity of our defence. In the end, Arsenal still hold the best away record in terms of goals against in the PL, and we have too many good defenders in our team for us not to be able to become more organised and disciplined  again.

Tomorrow would be a great game for our ‘back-five’ to show unity and collective discipline again. I say ‘five’, as Szczesny has to be seen as an integral part our defence, and his triangular partnership with our CB’s is of great importance. A lot has been said about Mertesacker making our defence more vulnerable because of his lack of speed. The tall German has compensated for this time and again with his positioning and general reading of the game. He will need to display these qualities once again tomorrow, otherwise I feel he will struggle.

We will be missing our trusted warrior at RB, Sagna, and Arsene will have to make a big decision on who to play in defence for Sunday’s game. I reckon Jenkinson plays at his best when Mertesacker is his nearest CB, and the young Englishman seems to offer good cover for Mertesacker’s lack of speed. So for that reason I go with Wenger opting for a defence of: Jenkinson – Mertesacker – Vermaelen – Nacho. There is a definitely a chance we could see a CB pairing of Koscielny and Vermaelen, but my gut-feeling tells me Arsene will leave Koz on the bench.

The Spuds don’t score that many goals at home – 15 less than Arsenal this season – and let’s hope we’ll it keep that way. On our travels, we don’t concede many goals, but we don’t score many either – a meagre 17 until now – and let’s hope Giroud or Theo, or both if they start together tomorrow, will rediscover their form just at the right time. This is the time for the boys to get the cannon roaring again!

But as in most games, our encounter with Team GB, will be determined by who wins the battle in midfield. There will be no Huddlestone or Sandro to bully us in midfield, but instead we are likely to face the undervalued Dembele, and Parker; with Holtby ahead of them.

So how are we going to win the battle in midfield? I reckon Arteta is a given tomorrow, and that leaves us with two more positions to predict. Who will play next to Arteta and who will play in the more advanced role?

I reckon we need Jack to play as our ‘man in the hole’; he is the one to drive us on and conduct our attacks, and this game is crying out for him to play just there. If this is the case, it would leave us with either Diaby or Ramsey, or possibly Coquelin, to play next to Arteta. If you ask me, this is the most difficult decision Wenger will have to make regarding his staring eleven, and it is likely to decide whether we can dominate the game in midfield, and possibly even whether we’ll win or lose tomorrow.

Arteta plays naturally with ‘the handbrake on’, and the player next to Mikel needs to be able to find the right balance between supporting defence and attack. Diaby was the best player in this position at the start of the season, but in recent games he has also been playing with the handbrake on.

Ramsey has tons of energy and willingness to make things happen, but is lacking the quality recently to really add value to the team. Especially in the second half against Bayern, Ramsey came short time and again with giving away regularly free-kicks in dangerous positions, inaccurate forward passing, and losing out in one-to-ones too many times. But Bayern are far better than, the once again over-hyped, Spuds, and this could be a good game for him….

Coquelin, or even Rosicky, could also play there, but I reckon Arsene will choose between Aaron and Abou. My gut-feeling tells me he will give Diaby the nod, and I hope he will play with all he has and not worry about his body for one second (and that Dembele does not time his tackle wrong either…).

The final area of consideration is our three in attack. If, as I predict, Jack will play as our advanced central midfielder, Arsene will have to choose three from Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud and Theo. Hmmmmm, not an easy choice to make. Cazorla is in super-form and should really play tomorrow: I reckon he will start on the left wing again, where he forms a fine partnership with Nacho. However, this would leave Podolski out, unless we start him centrally tomorrow….

For me, Theo on the right, with a licence to join our central attacker, is almost a given, which leaves us with a choice between Pod or Giroud centrally. The only other variant I can see is Theo in the middle with Pod and Cazorla on the wings, but this has some way to go yet, and I cannot imagine Arsene playing it again in such a vital match.

So the choice to make is Giroud or Pod to play central tomorrow, and I reckon it is time to give Podolski a start there. It is just a hunch, but I reckon he’ll be the man to lead our attack against the Spuds.

Predicted Line-Up in summary:

Arsenal v Spuds

I have a good feeling about this game, and I reckon we see a very strong and focused Arsenal tomorrow. Whether we will have enough to clinch a win remains to be seen, but the most important thing is for the team to play really well, press them all over the pitch and pass them to bits, and do us proud tomorrow.

Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners, let’s mash the Spuds, and make them all look like a Bale of Tortoises!! 🙂

Written by: TotalArsenal. 

Arsenal – Tottenham Analysis: Five Improvements and Two Setbacks!

Jack and Santi pull the strings, all our attackers on the score sheet, a secure Pole in Goal, and much more.

It was great to see Thierry and Sol together attending the match, and the collective singing of Arsenal supporters at the start of the game was an absolute joy too.

It has been said many times in the last few days: this was a game Arsenal had to win, and win we did!

We will never know whether we would have won so comprehensively if hothead Adebarndoor had not been so reckless against the smallest man on the planet – let alone Arsenal; but that’s not for us to worry about.

The sending off was deserved, and of course it made a big difference to the outcome game.

However, Arsenal were 1-0 down when the Togolese was sent off, and there would have been every reason for the Spuds to lay siege in front of their goalie, and fight with their lives to not concede a goal during the entire game. With Sandro and Huddlestone in the centre of their midfield and a half-decent CB-couple, they would have had a chance to survive an Arsenal onslaught. But, for whatever reason, the Spuds did not keep their lines tight, and Arsenal were fully able to profit from it.

Arsenal managed to score five goals from the described above scenario, and a lot was down to us dominating the midfield – after a bit of a rugged start – and using the flanks really well. The team did us proud and Arsenal can now build further on this fine win.

All in all, I saw five improvements/positives and two setbacks/negatives.

I will start with the setbacks.

Setback One

Quite surprisingly, the Spuds targeted regularly our right-back area, rather than mainly focussing on the left-back area; where Arsenal have been most vulnerable this season. Vertonghen’s ball over the top for their first goal was a clever move by the Spuds and both Sagna and Mertesacker should have anticipated it; but they did not. And they were also too slow to react to the situation that ensued: Szczesny did brilliantly to make a safe, and the rebound should have been for one of our defenders. Instead, it was Adebarndoor who was there first.

Arsenal almost conceded a third goal from our right-back area once again; when Bale was not dealt with properly and he was allowed to move into our penalty box. Had he not been selfish, and passed the ball to Defoe instead of shooting at goal from a tight angle, the final score could have been very different.

Sagna and Mertesacker will have to work hard to get a better understanding between each other in the next few weeks, but they are both fantastic defenders and I am sure they will sort it out between them.

Setback Two

Shielding our defence by our central midfielders has been an issue recently, and once again we failed to do so today. For the second goal, Bale could move towards the area in front of our ‘D’ with ease, as Arteta was caught out of position – he was too high up the pitch – and the Welshman was able to shoot unhindered, despite Koscielny’s last ditch attempt to throw himself in front of his shot.

I noticed the same problem in recent games against Norwich (which led to us conceding a goal), and in the second half of our recent away game against Schalke 04 (but that time Arsenal got away with it). Arsenal will need to work really hard on protecting the back-four better.

Improvement One

Szczesny back in goal was a big improvement. Wojcieh looked happy and healthy in his bright yellow outfit, and the rest of the team looked a lot more confident with him behind our back-four.

Improvement Two

Arsenal’s attackers are not just hitting the net more now; they are also working together a lot better. This newfound collaboration was epitomised by our fourth goal. Giroud wins a header and Theo is ready to move forward with the ball; he passes it perfectly weighted to the Pod; who crosses the ball beautifully towards the right hand side of the pitch; where Cazorla puts the ball coolly past the flabbergasted Frenchman. A super team goal, and with goals by Cazorla, Theo, Giroud and Podolski today, we can definitely say that our goal machine is starting to purr properly now.

Improvement Three

The central midfield combination between Cazorla and Wilshere made another step improvement today. They are starting to find each other a lot better, and shared the ‘play maker’ role between them throughout the game. When Jack moved forward to pull the strings, Cazorla would become another attacking player; and when Cazorla was orchestrating our attacks, Jack often sat a bit deeper. I bet, with a bit of luck in terms of fitness, we are going to see at Arsenal over the next few years, one of the best central midfield partnerships in Europe.

Improvement Four

Today, our crossing into the box was a lot better than usual, especially from our right wing. The partnership between Theo and Sagna is starting to resemble that of last season, when Arsenal were so lethal from the right. Theo was brilliant today, despite a couple of fluffed opportunities. His cross into the box for Mertesacker’s equaliser was simply sublime, and his semi-assist for our fourth goal showed another good side of Theo; but the crowning on a great performance was his killer-cool finish for our fifth goal.

Improvement Five

I thought the way Arsenal saw out the game during the last ten minutes was great. Of course, this was made a bit easier for us by the Spuds having only ten players left on the pitch, as they were simply too knackered to chase the ball for long. Nevertheless we did well to play the ball round, and keep our shape and discipline till the final whistle.

In Summary

A great and much needed win, and with Everton, Chelsea and MU losing, it has been a very good Saturday for the Gunners. Let’s hope we can build on this further with a great performance against Montpellier on Wednesday.

Total Arsenal.

Arsenal v Tottenham Full Pre-view: A Little Déjà Vu!


Let’s set the tone early on shall we:

This game feels eerily familiar to last season’s match against Tottenham. We were down in the dumps; besieged – just like we are now. We responded then, and we will take action now. If we do not, the players are not worthy of wearing the Arsenal crest. The game at Old Trafford was a letdown, as was Fulham, but it’s now time to atone for our sins and get this season up and running again.

Missing in Action:

Arsenal: Diaby (thigh), Rosicky (tendon), Gibbs (thigh). All are not back and won’t be ready to play in this fixture. But hey what’s new? These three are regularly out, and never come back when scheduled. I don’t know whether Arsene says it’s to get our hopes up, or they have in fact had set backs, but it happens far too often. When was the last time you can remember an Arsenal player coming back on schedule? Gervinho (ankle) is due back next week, but if I factor in the humidity and wind resistance, and X that by player softness, and  + Arsene/medical team lying  through their teeth…he should be back just in time for the African Cup of Nations.

Walcott (muscle), Szczesny (ankle), and Ox (hip) face fitness tests.

Tottenham:  Dembele, Kaboul, Parker, and Assou-Ekotto are out. Walker, Lennon, and Defoe face fitness tests. I expect Walker will find it tough to get up for this one, but the other two are likely to play some part. Tottenham will be hoping Defoe is fit otherwise they are left with the goalless Adebayor up front.

Predicted Line-up:

A lot has been said this week about Arsene trying a different approach by using a 5-3-2 formation. However, I don’t buy into it: it will be business as usual this week with a 4-3-3 set-up. Although I would like to see something different and perhaps some different tactics thrown in the mix, I just don’t see it happening.

Jack slots back into the line-up this week having served a one match ban for a reckless albeit deserving  tackle on Evra (whose a boy now Evra? huh? huh? huh?). I’d like to see Giroud continue up front because if Gallas is playing he is going to give him all sort of difficulties.

Walcott should continue where he left off last season against the spuds. Podolski could do with a rest having played midweek for Germany, but he won’t be. I’d really like to see Eisfeld, Arshavin, Gnabry, or Ox take his place because without Walker they could create all sorts of problems, and Podolski, while brilliant, won’t expose them for pace. Hopefully Szczesny returns in goal for this one. It’s his time to shine again!

Previous Encounters:

Before our previous encounter we were 10 points adrift from Tottenham on the table and, had just been smashed by AC Milan, and beaten by Sunderland. A power shift in North London was being mooted by the media. Power Shift? Heavens to Betsy; no way is that happening anytime soon! The game got under way and before we knew it the score line read 0-2, thanks largely to a very fluky deflection over Szczesny’s head, and a Bale dive.

Luckily we turned it around because at that very moment Arsenal fans and blogs were going into a state of meltdown, and if it continued any further we would have experienced an Internet Chernobyl. Sagna got us back into the game with an emphatic header (the way he attacked the ball with fearless intent was thrilling), followed by a goal by Rosicky (rumblings around the club suggest he still exists. I’m not so sure, I hear he only visits during contract time), and a brace from Theo. The score ending up 4-2*. The win catapulted us into some good form while sending Tottenham into a nose dive. Happy days!

The highlights can be seen here (brilliant passionate commentary)


* all traces of RVP have been stricken from the record.

Form Guide: Arsenal: DDLWW             Tottenham: LWLLW

We find ourselves going through a bit of a rough patch, whilst Tottenham have been inconsistent thus far. They do however possess the best away record in the league at the moment winning 3 of 5. AVB is struggling to win over the Spud faithful, but a win at the Emirates to go along with their win at Old Trafford will certainly get them chanting his name. I don’t know about you but this fixture doesn’t feel the same without the Wheeler Dealer at the helm of Tottenham. I did loathe him, but he was always good for a laugh, and I loved seeing him go into ‘twitch’ mode when his team were losing.

One to Watch:

*Temporary* Arsenal speedster Theo Walcott. Devoid of recognised fullbacks at Tottenham, Walcott has a real chance to smash this game wide open. Last season’s demolition saw him play a game of two halves, first half he was non-existent and copped it from a few supporters, second half he finished off with a brace. Theo likes a big game and undoubtedly will be up and about for this one also.

Young up and coming CB Steven Caulker is our opposition watch this week. At 20 years of age he looks like a real find for Tottenham. He really matured out on loan for Swansea last season; it’s a path I’d like to see followed by our young Spanish CB Miquel to speed up his development. Caulker scored midweek for England, and has scored twice recently for Tottenham, so he ought to be watched during set pieces as he brings an aerial threat with him.

Key-Match up:

Sanga vs Bale

Bale, the most overrated winger in football, today, lines up against perhaps the best RB in football; Bacary Sagna.

Two games against Inter Milan, alongside a few great games against lower opposition, do not make you a superstar! Well at least I think so anyway. Yes he is super quick, but what does he do that is any better than Theo? Nothing! Most teams tend to double up on Bale (the sort of player for which Arsene would play Eboue on the wing, in front of Sagna; in an effort to quell his influence), but with Assou-Ekotto out, Sagna should bomb forward as often as possible in an effort to make Bale track back (something he does not do well). Arsenal have a similar situation with Podolski when he plays without Gibbs; he is not as influential without a quality defender behind him. Yes Bale is quick, but so is Sagna. Not a problem here: Sagna will stop him quite easily.

Pre-Match Finger:

This week’s finger goes to Zlatan Ibrahimovic! It was a wonderful goal no question, I’m just jealous it wasn’t an Arsenal player who did it! The audacity needed to try something like that let alone the skill, technique, and power needed to pull it off just amazes me. Ibra you are a great player but I still hate your guts for diving against us last season and playing a part in kicking us out of the Champions League…also get a haircut!

Pre-Match pat on the back:

This week it goes to young Corporal Jenks yet again. This time, for signing a new long term deal with us (yes I know long term deals mean nothing, just look at Fabregas etc). He has ‘Arsenal DNA’ and as young Jack said “would run through a wall for Arsenal, he loves the club that much”. Too bad others at the club don’t share/show that sort of passion presently.

Frimpong also deserves a mention for showing just how much he loves the club. Reports midweek suggested he would be sold in January, but he quickly tweeted that the stories were wide of the mark. He is likely to close a loan deal for the remainder of the season with either Ipswich (Mike McCarthy is now there manager, previously of Wolves) or Wolves (having spent a brief period there before his suffering a horrible knee injury). It’s what he needs to develop greater positional nous and experience; at the moment he is a touch too gung ho in his approach, and tends to chase the ball too often. His reaction to the loan was very mature, and he stated he wants to improve so that when he returns to the club he loves (Arsenal), he can fight for a position.

Jenks, Wilshere, and Yennaris…loyalty still exists!!!


I’m predicting a comfortable 2-0 victory. The game will start ferociously but after scoring early we will (need to for our confidence) control the game; scoring the second one in the second half, on the break as they push numbers forward. Time to jump start our season again and this is the right game to do it! The Arsenal fans will no doubt make the place shake, just like they did last time.

Good luck, be safe, enjoy the game whenever you are, and give as much sh*t as you possibly can to any Spud supporters you come across. WE are the pride of London, and YOU are forever in our shadows!

Grow a Mo for Movember

Written by: Oz  Gunner.