Powerful Chelsea v Dainty ‘Ickle Arsenal

A guest post from @anicoll5


Good morning from a sunny and mild Norfolk morning. Very pleasant.

A fixture we had all marked in our diary has finally arrived, and for that I am thankful.

Reading the media this week, and dipping into the frantic noise that makes up the sporting social media, I was struck by the Chelsea v Arsenal game broken down by contributors into a series of contests, the gigantic and the personal. The final Clash Of Footballing Civilisations, Good v Evil, The Oligarch v the Self Sustainers (Roman v Stan), Loyalty v Lucre, the beautiful football of Wenger pitted against the pragmatic brutalism of Mourinho etc. And then of course there is eternally circular the Fabregas/Smabregas theme.

Underneath the avalanche I sense a whisp of fear among some Arsenal fans, still reeling from the lashing of the 22nd March. I spy with my little eye a Chelsea quietly confident that they will sit nine points above us by  4 p.m. today

Resist this nonsense if any exist among you Positivistas, put aside anxiety.

Two very talented football sides will take the field this afternoon, both packed with players from all over the planet who have developed and perfected their skills for just this day. And each player knows he will have seconds, literally just seconds over the 90 minutes to display their talents. Chelsea are the bigger, the muscular, of the sides, but with the ugly rapier of Costa as their weapon of choice (hamstrings permitting). We have the speed and the quality of sharp passing, sufficient to open the lock on the gates of St Peter. Eight goals on our previous three games suggests that we know where the goal is. Two strong defences, two good keepers, little to choose between them.

Where will the contest be decided then ?

It will be decided in  the collective mind, among the players who temper the quality of their play with discipline, who take the fleeting opportunities that will come their way, and chances will come as they always do for both sides.  And should misfortune come their way,  a stray pass intercepted, an ungiven foul, even worse a goal conceded,  it is the side that ignores that setback, does not panic or lie on the ground waving their arms and yelling at Fate, or Martin Atkinson, that will prevail this afternoon.


“There are no tricks in plain and simple faith.” 


So let that brotherhood of thought and mind be Arsenal this afternoon.


Enjoy the game !

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192 comments on “Powerful Chelsea v Dainty ‘Ickle Arsenal

  1. Fins: absolute hero.

    With regard to Mesut Ozil, I reckon that is now two matches where he has played a large part of the game with a serious injury. This of course is entirely consistent with a player who has no guts and no desire to play for the team.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Fins said it all for me. “Self-neutered” bloggers and podcasters. Instead of demanding that skilled players like Ozil be protected, they completely ignore when he is being kicked and hacked. Now he is gone for 12 weeks and it will be simply due to bad luck or even worse to Wenger’s ancient training methods.
    Let us not forget Cahill’s near smash of Alexis’ legs which only earned a yellow card is excused as an example of robust English tackling according to the neanderthals on Talksports where Wenger is at fault for not signing big robust footballers (like the entire bottom half of the Premiership and the rest of the English leagues). Lord help us.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Which is the most telling aftermath to Özil’s injury:

    that the terminally stupid are prepared to claim that the injury is a fabrication designed to save him from rigours of the EPL (which, of course, he can’t cope with);

    that the miserablists are already blaming the injury on Arsène;

    that you don’t have to go as far as Le Grove to find this small-minded self-serving nonsense?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Don’t have to go far at all, alas, Merlot.


  5. I don’t think you should just stick to football on the podcast tonight George;

    Ask Tim if he likes Piña Coladas ?
    Or getting caught in the rain ?
    Is he into yoga,
    or does he have half a brain ?
    Does he like making love at midnight in the dunes on the cape?

    (I shall obviously leave that last inquiry to your discretion)

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Payton has pulled out. I will spent the next 3 years moaning that he said he would meet me and didn’t

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Shotta; you have hit upon a potentially massive debate there about UK football, and whether its players and pundits are drawn from too narrow a socio-economic group when compared to other arguably more successful footballing nations.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Forever, I am kind of shocked though that he would have done so. It is like last year Bayern Munich–playing on the injury has just been in effective and made it worse. I am not one to question his courage and I love the player. But why is he playing if unfit? Santi was playing great. Ozil could have come off or not started, with The Ox starting. The whole situation is just sad. I am not feeling very positive today and the interlull makes it worse, so perhaps I should curtail further discussion. I just feel very bad for Ozil and for Arsenal. I was optimistic about our fixture list going forward, and I am sure results will improve, but I am worried that injuries and form are keeping the team from learning to play well together and already felt we lacked some balance to take on the best teams. We’ll just have to enjoy the players who can soldier on and hope Theo provides some of the goal threat we need and that the defense can recapture some of the solidity of last season with a good run of fixtures ahead of the return of Ozil, Ramsey, Giroud and Debuchy for a strong second half.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is a respectable and plausible piece – worth reading



  10. It disappointing for Ozil LG because the lad cant play and has quite a few boring weeks in front of him. Quite how many weeks we will find out nearer the time he gets back into training.

    As for the club though I don’t really feel any less optimistic about the next few weeks. We have a good squad of players, particularly in midfield who can come in and contribute, a couple of faces due back, and we have fixtures that on paper at least look perfectly winnable. It would be good to see Joel Campbell and Poldi get some game time as so far they have been on the margin.

    So I shall not lie on the floor and shout and wave my arms at the referee. Fate has dealt our hand, we shall play the cards dealt.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I think we will see Santi step up. His form has been excellent, as has Jack’s. That is one good thing about this interlull and one in November–time for Rambo and Ozil to get fit. I think the fixtures ahead are quite promising. My unhappiness is that many of our best players won’t be settling together, working on their patterns of play together and so on. Sanchez is such a delightful and unique talent, but precisely his style of play needs to be integrated better. Yes, we shall have to get along. Hopefully the injured will be fresh for the second half. I do think the holiday fixture period is going to pose some problems for the squad. You’ve half-cheered me up, so thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Limestone

    We still have a superb midfield, Rosicky, Wilshere, Santi, Ox, Arteta, Diaby and we can look forward to Walcott and Gnabry coming back

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Georgaki-pyrovolitis,thanks for the link to that article it was good to read something level headed, theres way too much sensationalism in the game at the moment, and the start of this season has been perhaps the worst for over reaction that I can recall.I also agree with you that we still have a superb midfield, and we’ve seen those lads holding their own for a while now.If only we could have Diaby at full fitness and playing like he did against Liverpool a short while ago, he can really change or control games when on top form.I suspect that this season might be make or break for him.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Georgaki, as I said above, Jack and Santi are both on form. And I could have added that I think Flamini has been good the last couple of games as well. But Artera is injured, isn’t he? You can’t really count Diaby until we see him string a few good performances together. We have no idea yet what level he is at. He looked decent to me in the first half v. Sunderland in the Leagur Cup and I was among the thousands heartily cheering him and giving accolades when he came off in the second half at the Emirates. His effectiveness dipped a bit in that second half and understandably match fitness must still be a little way off.

    I am one of TR7’s biggest fans. I don’t think he’s been at his best so far. He’s also getting on in age now. Hopefully, he’ll get into form with some opportunities though I don’t see him starting too often–probably will come on from the bench. And as an accelerator of play when we need more attacking drive, I think he can make a difference.

    Luckily this is the area of greatest depth in our team with Jack, Santi and Flamini a fine starting trio. They should be able to dominate Hull and Burnley in the center of the park in the next couple of games and then maybe Arteta will be back. It is a morale blow to lose Ozil and Ramsey though. The key now, I think is the Ox and return of Theo. A chance for a run in the team wide and rotating in centrally might see him take off. He has such enormous potential. And if Theo can get back to his scoring ways against Sunderlands and Swanseas, we’ll be very pleased to see that. Dortmund at home is a huge fixture. Hopefully this run of matches will prepare us for that. I’d like to see us avenge that loss with a convincing win.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Tim not so nice but dim Payton has pulled out? That’s a shame, but I guess those alleged genius PR skills could’ve been a factor in his decision making process. Hehe.

    George, you can ask those questions about the AST castrating itself whilst ignoring that the club was giving them more access and money then any contempories in the UK to Geoff instead (who’s signed up I think), if you like!
    On fitness facilities etc. at the club, I know AFC haven’t had all the same equipment up at LC that Gazprom have had of late. For example Andy Murray who is an Arsenal fan used their hydrotherapy pools for rehab, that’s something AFC are catching up on. But that’s just equipment (for rehab) and money so it’s no big deal.


  16. George has asked for Le Grove to be Payton’s second.
    I find it hilarious that they podcaster’s are struggling to find a WOB with enough cognitive response ability to step into the ring with George & Geoff.

    Some of our players have been sent over to France and Germany for longer term rehab.

    For instance Ozil hasn’t had a decent pre-season for 2 years, and has been playing nearly continuously since he joined us, any latent problems have come to the surface. I though we were using midfield rotation quite well up to now this season, even if some of it has been enforced.

    It’s a good job our midfield ranks are packed with so much quality and if Podolski gets a few runs out against some of the weaker league times – that’s all good too.

    After the Internationals, Theo Walcott, Mikel Arteta, Nacho Monreal & Aaron Ramsey should be back – there or there abouts. Serege Gnarby too?.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Gnabbers had some kind of mildly serious injury so if he’s ready to help out by the Xmas crunch I’ll be happy! Walcott should hopefully be back up to ramming speed sometime in November.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. If it is Le Groan please rinse him on his Melo fixation which the Groaners had for years, whilst referring to John Gregory’s praise upon that very podcast you are going on for Arteta’s character and leadership over the recent rebuilding period. Which the Groaners of course refuse to acknowledge even happened, because it’s not like clubs like Liverpool or Tottenham have struggled after losing just one Top player, when Arsenal lost Two, and have done well all things considering. That would mean that they’d have to give the club some credit! Can’t be having that. Can we?

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Shotta and Fins! What it is?

    Fins, yep. Adding another little one to the team is no joke! Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Le Groan worships everything Chelsea and Mourinho. That’s all anyone need know about that arrogant prick.

    France send back Koscielny due to acute tendinitis in both of his achille’s tendons. This is beyond ridiculous. Wenger needs to go to a Nigerian voodooist in London and make an offering to the injury gods.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Pauly!!!!

    George if you get Le Groan, ask him why he thinks we should turn into Man City or Real Madrid.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. I expect Tim’s dysphoria was playing up, mood swings, irritability, listlessness, impaired concentration and memory ………………

    All the classic indicators

    Liked by 2 people

  23. I just read about Kos! What in the world!


  24. Can we recall Jenks?

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Koscielny needed the summer off but he didn’t take it! As far as I know,which isn’t very far, rest is needed in these cases but he’s been happy to muddle through and ignore the physios who would’ve told him to take the summer off (a fair guess IMO hehe!).

    I guess that he’ll be fine for Hull but it’s playing every three days that’s the concern.

    I’ve no problem seeing either Hayden or Chambes in there. You all know my preference and bias, I can see either or both of the rookies challenging the BFG in the not too distant future, he knows, and it’s one reason he retired to focus on his club football.

    Don’t think Jenks can be recalled. Bellerin will play between now and January, he is raw but it seems obvious that this was the plan. Jenks was let go to aid his own development, he really needed constant gametime, and to give Bellerin this chance I believe, with Bellerin going out on loan next year and Jenks returning to put pressure on Debuchy. The best laid plans…ha! Unbelievable, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Guys! Guys!! Guys!!! Apparently, Mesut is not really injured but is being kept on ice and prepped for a January sale because he is “unhappy in the PL and doesn’t have the guts for it”. I really wish I made that up………alas, I did not!
    George here is my question……hope it’s not too late. Ask em why they support Arsenal,….not how they came to support, but the reason they do! I’m sure the response(s) you get would make its own blog post!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Ah! Just read that tiny Tim pulled out! Shame as I’m sure he would have gone home with a black eye (figuratively of course……..unless……nah, never mind)

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Final question if there’s still going to be anyone available to attempt an answer:

    Why have RedAction received so little support from the other groups over the long years?
    Why have the supporters groups not made more effort to unite with other fans to lobby for their interests, because common sense tells us that a lot of the concerns people have can’t be resolved by the actions of one club alone?

    Liked by 1 person

  29. When Le Groan tells you that it’s Arsene’s training methods which cause us so many injuries, ask him when was the last time he went to London Colney and sat in on a training session. And then, when he admits that he has no freaking clue what he’s talking about, ask him why he keeps writing crap like that?

    Liked by 2 people

  30. I have to laugh at people saying how great Cesc was against us. The guy was basically held in check apart from the pass for the second goal. Anything to take a dig at AW, it seems.


  31. Walcott and Gnabry will be back soon. Excellent news.


  32. I thought we did a good job by and large on Cesc. But in the end, one moment of real quality.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Could argue it was a rare error from the CBs but the team had to take the risks at that point looking for the equaliser so it doesn’t really matter.

    Was that five Arsenal players on the pitch? Welbeck, Wilshere, Gibbs, Chambo Mk I & Chambo Mk II

    I hope George mentions this, it could be the beginning of a new era (for England)

    Liked by 2 people

  34. I always thought that I could do as good a job as Arsene, if not better, because I predicted that England will become a force to be reckoned with when Gibbs, Wilshere, the OX and Walcott all play at once. Now we have Chambers and Welbeck to add to that. So, remember, you read it here first, have no worries, when Wenger retires you have ME……

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Fins
    Tidy up a few of your bits here into one article and you’re good to go with a post.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. ArsenalAndrew
    October 9, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Actually, AA, I’m rather worried about the like button, in that when I press it, a new screen comes up demanding my details – even though the lower box already has my name and email. I don’t wanna fill in more boxes. I’m not paranoid. (Lie).

    And when checking the comments and need to find the previous page, I now have to push the left or right button, and I always choose the wrong way. I am not stupid. (Lie).

    I wanna hear the peytonless podcast but’ll have to negotiate back thru zillions of comments as I’ve forgotten what it’s called. And where’ s PG’s’ podcast? Lazy git. Piss-arsing about on twatter, no doubt.
    Bet you ain’t seen “but’ll” before. I’m super-duper creative writer. (Lie).

    I’ve only now read about Kos. Oh ****! I’m on the ball. (Lie).

    Ah Bolix, I’m going to bed. (Lie. I’m already in it, innit?)


  37. Rantetta – no idea why you are getting a new screen demanding your details, I’ve never had that nor heard of it before (anyone else seeing this?).

    The arrow buttons are, I’m afraid, counter-intuitive (ie, you have to press the ‘backwards’ button to go forward and vica versa). This is not ideal. It could be corrected but at cost of having the newest comments at the top of the page, oldest at the bottom, which for most of us here accustomed to PA’s (and ACLF’s page layout from years gone by) would be even more disruptively counter-intuitive.

    The benefits of the arrows are most appreciated by those of us accessing PA by a small screen device (phone or iPad, foe example); in our pre-arrow world, following (and contributing to) debates was largely impractical once the comment count got beyond 40 or so. I, for one, can now keep an eye on PA at work without risking repetitive strain injury in my ‘scrolling’ finger which is, as they say, nice.

    The link below should take you to George’s latest fight: Bergkamp Wonderland: The WOB v AKB Royal Rumble –


    Hope that all helps.


  38. ArsenalAndrew
    Thanks so much for your response.
    I really wasn’t expecting to wake up and find answers, given my ‘middle of the bloody night bloody rhetoricals’. (Yeah, the Ranty Rhetoricals. More pseudo shite, and I’m not fully awake).

    This is the page I get. When I press “like”:

    Thanks for the link to the podcast. I’ve got to 8 mins. and have to pause – as I need to fortify myself prior to further listening so I don’t smash up the computer. (Pity I don’t drink).
    And yes, I must admit, the arrows are helpful. I’d previously wondered how to avoid the masses of scrolling. I hated it. Current system is better, and I dislike the social twatter system of ‘last in, top of page’. There’s summat weird about that!

    So again, thank you.

    (I’m dreading hearing what’s gonna be said on this podcast. All the effing negativity. I wonder if they’ll talk about our injuries coming from constant fouling? In fact, that’s really why I’ll listen. If it’s the same Moh from AFTV, it’ll just be full scale negativity. Clearly the first bloke is anti. The presenter seemed to agree with the opening salvo.
    Ah well, I’ll see how much I can take.)

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Just finished listening to the Bergkamp Wonderland podcast featuring our very own PG. Needless to say but George and Geoff were as good as I expected, giving honest answers on the basis of whatever evidence was available and made clear when they were speculating. Good, sensible stuff. The Gav chap is just an angry, frustrated individual who uses simplistic, if not not childish arguments, mostly all based on hearsay and myths.

    In fact, most of the discussions were attempts at unravelling myths and Chinese whispers. So, I often ask myself what is the point of these podcasts and blogs? Are they an outlet for people to vent their frustrations? Do they serve some kind of therapeutic role? Let’s face it I come here as my first point of call because I approve of the ethos of this blog. It is positive because we can be on the balance of the evidence we have available. I am persuaded that Arsenal football club have gone through a very tough period of austerity and that we will get stronger, year on year, from now. I don’t know if AFC took longer than necessary to get to this point or not. Some of our accountant friends seem to suggest that it did.

    Anyway, was PG excellent well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Ok, Ive had a go at writing some old bollocks.http://wp.me/p37nXa-15r


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