This was written some 6 years ago and at last we have to concede that St. Tott’s can have a break. But at least we have a pot to show for it and can claim that we’ve won the league, cup and shield on their home ground!
There are no games in the season that fill me with more terror than the Spuds. It’s 90 minutes of having a pulse rate way too high for an old fart, bitten fingernails, and nervous twitches…and that’s when we’re a few goals up.
Yes it has been 10 years almost to the week since the scrawny chickens raised more than a croak in the league against us. Our record since 1999…10 wins, 8 draws 0 defeats. But every year the tension gets higher. Every year, the thought that they could fluke a winning goal against us, or even worse a winning own goal, with their supporters carrying on as though they’ve just won the World Cup, the European Cup and Aunt Gladys’ tea cup, is sufficient to give any Gooner the horrors.
And that’s the biggest problem. Their supporters just have no class. It’s not a question of 3 points…or the loss thereof that fills me with terror. It’s the spuds rattling on ad nauseum that they are North London’s finest.
They do that regardless without even beating us; St Totteringham’s day being an unfortunate fluke; the absence of a Championship at the slough of despond for 48 years, a mere oversight. Of course we know it’s all bollocks but they still believe that wishing it to happen will make it happen. They are so pathetic.
They still get more pleasure from us being beaten by anybody in preference to their side actually winning a game. Which probably explains why they’re such a miserable shower…they get little in the way of happiness.
My first exposure to a derby probably explains my antipathy to most spud supporters (although many old friends are spuds!). Funny I’ve never disliked the side as such and used to visit regularly when we were away and they were playing some good football back in the 50s and 60s.
It was 1950, I was 8 years old. My gran, a spud I fear to say, had lost the battle for my allegiance 2 years earlier when I was taken to see my first game at Highbury, and decided that my Christmas present should be a seat next to her on the 23rd December.
Equipped with rattle and scarf I was in my element up until the moment that I realised that we’d lost 1-0. Then the tears came. As did the whispered comment from the spiv type sitting next to me, “That’s yer Christmas present yer little Arsenal shit.”
Now I’d never heard the word before and gran hadn’t heard the comment so nothing was said until I got home and asked Mum what a “shit” was. I got a clip around the ear and the warning that I’d get no Christmas presents this year or any other year if I ever said that word again. And the final blow…”no more watching football for you if that’s the sort of language you learn.”
That spud took out about 10 months out of my supporting programme and might explain partly my ethos that “If it’s bad for the spuds, it’s good for Gooners”
Having said that there is a big BUT. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I for one object to the fact that the Chel$kis and Manchester F***** United have taken the spuds previous pride of place in the jeering/taunting stakes. It’s not really our fault, the spuds have been more deserving of sympathy, a pat on the head and “There, there, there” than a good gloat.
They are the real oppo, always have been, always should be. Please may they never screw up another season like 1977/78 and get relegated… because a season without “the terror”, is so terribly boring. But it goes without saying that should the impossible ever happen… we screw up, St Tott’s day does not occur and we’ve been beaten by the spuds… it will be next century already so I can just roll in my grave.
(Not quite the right one)
do you seriously think welbeck can bench giroud? i dont think so. last season was just a season wenger tried to percify alexis maybe he will renew. and we paid for it big time by losing our place in the top 4. as for welbeck, its only a matter of time for you to play a striker who doesnt give you goals or assist. we won the facup with sanchez eirher not playing at all or playing his traditional wing forward role. all this theory of alexis being a good centre forward will not take the club anywhere. he doesnt even play that position in his national team and wont go near it if he moves to city or bayern. why do we like to message some player ego by doing things that do not help us on the long run. remember when nasri said he will only sign extention if he is allowed to play in the middle, 7 years after, he is yet to play in that position. as for giroud not being able to fit into our new formation, its a fallacy! when benzema was playing for france, they saw olivier as plan B but few years down the line we know better. i think what giroud is saying is to have fair oportunity. i dont think he is someone who is afraid of any challenge as long as it is fair. if costa can operate in that system why wont giroud?
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Exodus – a look at what might happen our squad this summer
[A]nd the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land. (NRSV 11:10)
Unlike Pharaoh, Wenger will happily let some of his children out of the Emirates this summer. Now he is unwilling to see any of his main men leave, and rightly so. Arsene has stated that our squad is currently too large, and that we have to trim it, to make room for the couple of quality signings he wants to bring in. He is firm in his view that we need to keep Ozil and Alexis, regardless of their contract situation, with one caveat, “if they are so unhappy” that they demand to leave. But he did add, that “there is no sign of any such unhappiness” from either player.
So how does our squad numbers add up. We are, under BPL rules, allowed to name 25 players over the age of 21, with 8 of them having to be homegrown.
An u21 player is deemed any player u21 on the 1st of January in the year the league commences, for example Alex Iwobi, who turned 21 in May, is an U21 player, But Rob Holding who turns 22 in September will this season have to be included in the 25 man squad.
Our players over the age of 21 is currently at a massive 37 – (18 of which are home grown)
Goalkeepers – 6
Cech, Szczesny, Ospina, Martinez, Macey, Iliev
Central Defenders – 6
Koscielny, Mustafi, Gabriel, Holding, Chambers, Mertesacker
Right Wing Backs – 3
Bellerin, Jenkinson, Debuchy
Left Wing Backs – 4
Kolasinac, Monreal, Gibbs, Bramall
Midfield – 10
Xhaka, Ramsey, Ozil, Coquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Elneny, Cazorla, Wilshere, Toral, Kamara
Forwards – 8
Alexis, Walcott, Giroud, Welbeck, Lucas, Campbell, Akpom, Asano
Now the BPL 25 man squad can have players changed again from 1st of January, and a the squad must be listed again on 1st February.
So that means that if reports are true about how long more Santi will be out injured, we can omit him from our list for the first half of the season. So that brings the minimum number of players we have to make decisions on to 11, and that is not allowing for any incoming player over the age of 21.
Well from the list above, you can clearly see a large number of players who have played very little or not at all for our first team – Martinez, Macey, Iliev, Bramall, Kamara, Toral, Akpom, Asano, and in the case of Asano we may have to loan him out again this season due to work permit issues. Some others will almost certainly be loaned out, but there is certainly the prospect for some of them, if we keep them, being unable to play in the BPL, but they could still play in EL, FAC and LC, as different rules apply to each of those cups.
We are almost certainly going to sell Jenkinson and Debuchy, as the Ox was preferred to both of them despite never having played in defense before. There is certainly scope to loan or sell a couple of our goalies, we currently have 6.
Left back is an interesting one, I would expect Kolasinac to be first choice, and Arsene Wenger has said that he now very much sees Monreal as a CB in the 3 man set up. Bramall might be given his chance in preseason to stake a claim for the back up slot meaning Gibbs might be let leave,
now if Monreal is seen as a CB, that means we will have 7 senior CB’s, which is a bit overstocked. If we are letting Jenkinson and Debuchy go, it might mean Chambers being seen as an option to be Bellerin’s back up.
Midfield has scope for some exits, as stated already, we can leave Santi our of the squad till the new year. Kamara likely to be nowhere near the 25 man squad, and its also doubtful if Toral will be either, like Bramall, he might be given preseason to stake a claim to be included.
That brings us to the big questions, Wilshere and AOC.
Jack has not fulfilled his potential, he had a less than stellar loan at Bournemouth last season, yes lots of games, but no goals, no assists and ended up injured again. He really looks to be in last chance saloon as far as making it at Arsenal is concerned. I don’t think many of us would be overly surprised to see him sold this summer, even if it would sadden most of us.
Ox, midfield, winger, wingback, just what do we do with Alex. even when he was played and did well at wingback end of the season, Wenger said he still sees him long term as a CM. Unlike Wilshere, I think we would all be surprised if he is sold this summer, well unless he forces his way out.
That brings us on to the forwards. The most likely to leave are Campbell and Akpom, and of course Asano due to work permit. Campbell had a poor impact on loan last season, did not start a game from January on. Akpom too had a less than stellar loan, failing to hold down a starting place, but he is more likely to be sent on another loan, with Campbell the most likely to be sold.
There are lots of rumors that Lucas will be sold too, he barely featured in the first team one Welbeck returned from injury. So unless one of those ahead of him gets a long term injury in preseason, then our Spaniard may be a one season wonder at Arsenal.
We don’t know who the two quality players wenger wants to sign are, or what age they are, and if they would impact much on the make up of our 25 man squad. Mbappe is the big rumor, and age wise he would not impact on the squad, but his signing might very well make some surplus to requirements. We have been linked with a few midfielders under the age of 21 too, so again a signing there might just mean more bodies to pick from, and less game time for an over 21 player.
The only thing we know at this point is that regardless of signings, we will be seeing an exodus of players from Arsenal this summer, be it permanent or on loan. A dozen or more could leave in one form or another.
layksite the questions is not can giroud play in our new formation, the fact is, that once we moved to it, he was still back up, as he had been in the 4-2-3-1 formation for most of this season. Danny only started 3 less BPL games this season, despite being unfit for 2/3 of it. So no matter what we think should or should not be, the fact is Danny did relegate Ollie to back up position. So its odd you ask does anyone think Danny can bench Giroud, as the fact is he did in the new formation.
no edu, right from the start of the season, wenger has played alexis ahead of olivier even though welbeck was injured that is why he started only 11 games. and by the time we switched, it was still the same thing. the fact is it is too premature to say he can play our new formation because players of same qualities do so in other clubs that play same formation. just like the case of szczezny that many people criticise at arsenal is now being seen as a better golie than cech now that he is juventus bound. the problem olivier has is the fact that his arrival to this shore was underwelming from the start because of the rvp saga. his record with us is fantastic and there is no reason to doubt him.
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that totally ignores that once we went with alexis wide, Giroud still ended up back up to welbeck, once danny got fit, and this despite his impressive scoring record all season.
wenger was under lots of pressure toward the end of the season and might be the reason for some of his decisions. but record and stats show us that giroud is better. that is why i see giroud saying that he want to stay but the competition has to be fair. i have nothing against welbeck as him and giroud can play together but to suggest that he is better than olie doesnt have any stat to support such claim. remember wenger never tried to play mertesacker even when he was fit not because he was worse of than those we were parading every week but because the concensus was he is too slow and can not play with 3 at the back. if gabriel and kos have been available, the naration would still have been that mertesacker cant play in 3 at the back formation. so he was consigned to the bench by gabriel and mustafi but no one can there say now that those guys were better than per. hazard ran us to the ground while costa had a field day when we played ealier but these two players are still in per’s pocket as we speak
Welbeck: knee. Odds are he won’t start 30+ PL games.
Please note: This is what happens when players are crocked by fouls that aren’t properly called as in zero protection for AFC players: England are yet again saved as a football team by an AFC players that has finally recovered (takes a long while) from previous unprotected hackings. And yet again he outperformed the pumped up hype merchants. I hope that the player’s agent and the agent’s blagging mates weren’t watching.
All of which means that you keep Danny Bwoy (England’s best striker ATM by the record, who will hopefully complete his recovery next season) and Europe’s leading target man in your squad!
We’ve said it before and it’s worth repeating:
Re-signing chambo > re-signing Alexis (he may be my fantasy signing but he ain’t got that HG status!)
BFG wasn’t starting because he wasn’t match fit.
Fortunately he had a good run out against Everton and then a week of intensive cup final training to prepare for that match. And as has been pointed out, he trained over the previous months like a German World Cup winning legend these past few months, the obvious inference being that most pros don’t carry themselves like the BFG when out of the starting XI
He certainly had his wits about him when dismissing the petty plundits after the match. Not fatigued at all!
All the above is a fair guess no?
BFG has always been jaw droppingly insane when players run at him. As he was in that cup final. Most opponents would give up trying to dribble past him before they even get close.
He can’t be starting six games in two or three weeks anymore but definitely not a bad reserve to have up your sleeve. Or in a dressing room.
Ox scored one of englands goals today in their 2-2 draw with scotland.
the standard of goalkeeping on show was not good at all.
Manchester United have agreed a deal with Benfica for defender, Victor Lindelöf. reported £30.7m fee
Mustafi has scored for Germany, who are currently 6-0 up on san marino
Germany won 7-0 and are now 5pts ahead of N Ireland, and a full 9pts ahead of the czech republic
Robert Pires exclusively to @SportBILD: “I know Mesut Özil loves London and wants to stay.”