One Team in London & How Many Chelsea players would get in our team?

Today is not just about the 3 points, it is also about regaining our position as top London club. As everyone in the world knows (yes, even those without access to TV/Radio/Internet) Chelsea bought our natural place as the Capital’s Premier club.

This is no jest made by a biased Arsenal fan – it is a fact.

Arsenal have been London’s finest since the Days of Yore. It is seldom stated but in the Magna Carta (1215), under the section Amendment to The Charter of Liberties, King John is instructed to commit the then Mayor of London  - a fellow called Serlo Le Mercer (I kid you not) – to enforce legislation that there should henceforth be but “One Team in London,” and that this club should be The Arsenal.

Much water has flowed under London Bridge since those days and the Charter has been consigned to the dusty confines of the British Museum but nonetheless it exists.

As in any legend the time of Yore is followed by a time of Chaos. It took an outsider to usurp King John’s edict and that man was a Russian by the name of Abramovich. His arrival with buckets full of gold and supported by the Forces of Evil in the shape of John Terry etc  led to a temporary change of who held the title of “The One Team”, this has to be resolved.

I ask you ….. is there any right-minded person who would prefer a financially doped team of  cloggers managed by a man whose main claim to fame is he won the CL with the worst team in recent memory (Inter)  to be London’s No.1 club? Of course not.

Chelsea. Can there be any doubt that Abramovich  went down to The Crossroads and sold his soul to the devil? How else can anyone explain the unbelievable run of good luck and dreadful refereeing decisions which led to their winning the CL and Europa Cups?

Mourinho: I have to admit to having a grudging respect for the man. The mere fact that Mr Wenger has yet to beat him is proof of his managerial abilities, but unfortunately it is the circus he brings with him which I object so strongly to. It is never the team who wins, it is The Chosen One – not surprisingly when they lose it is the team who lost!

What would any football fan rather watch – a Mourinho or a Wenger team?

Chelsea come into the game full of confidence and good form. In Hazard they have a young Belgian who will surely be one of the stars of the World Cup in Brazil – a fantastic ball-player. Add in Mata, FatLamps etc and we have a tough evening ahead. As with any Moaninho team they are set up to defend first and to counter-attack. I wonder if Ashley will start or if the chap with the unpronounceable name will try to stop Theo.

As usual for a tactical or statistical analysis …. look elsewhere.

Arsenal. This time round there can be no “tired legs” excuse, 9 days of rest should allow the team to play a hard running 90+ minutes. We lose Jack to the usual FA witch-hunt of Arsenal players. Koscielny is out which could prove costly, but we have a more than adequate replacement.

Should Rosicky or Cazorla start or neither? Would we be better playing both Flamini and Arteta and allowing Arteta to play further forward? Tough decisions and we still miss Podolski and The Ox!

My Team:

aabb

As always the attacking MF’s have lease to roam at will, Flamster must be disciplined in his role as cover to the defence as we are lacking Kos’s covering pace. Our bench remains strong and it would not surprise me to see  Rosicky on for Cazorla on 70 mins. If we are in front we will surely see Monreal.

Combined Team:

As you know, I write this page primarily for my own enjoyment and in the last post I wrote about a combined AFC/MC team. It was fun researching the opposition players and weighing them against our heroes. I have to admit that had I written the team post our defeat it would have been different!! But I will give it another go.

GK. Not easy. Cech is not as good as he once was, but he was exceptional. I expected him to fade to grey this season but he has been very good. TPIG let in 6 last week – none were really his fault but I have to give this to Cech, he has been the standout GK over the past decade.

FB’s.  Ivanovic is a beast. Sagna is good but this fellow is IMO Chelsea’s best defender. On the left there is Ashley or the other chap vs Gibbs. I have to take our boy who has improved hugely this year and if emotion were not in play would go to Brazil ahead of Cole.

CB’s. BFG /Kos/Vermaelen/Terry/ Luiz/Cahill. We don’t want Terry anywhere near this team and he is not as good as BFG, though he may have been in the past. A more interesting comparison is Cahill and Koscielny. I was hugely disappointed when we failed to sign Cahill – he is a Wenger player, but I was wrong to doubt the Great Man because Koscielny is becoming a world class CB – pacy, intuitive and strong, though still subject to lapses of concentration. Luiz should and could be a brilliant player, he is yet another example of a player ruining his career by being attracted to the money and not what is best for him.

Midfield DM. In an attacking team we should look at Ramires, Flamini, Arteta,and Mikel. Ramires just shades it, he is all-action, can score (unfortunately) and is younger.

Midfield Attack(ish). Ramsey is an automatic starter in any PL team, so is Mata. So out of Cazorla , Rosicky, Hazard, Wilshere, who gets the last MF place? Heart says Santi, head says Hazard – the Frenchie is a very good wideman.

Ozil or any of the Chelsea playmakers/attackers? Even Mourinho admires our German. I like their German (Schurrle) and predict he will have a fine PL career but Ozil is undroppable.

CF. Eto’o, Theo, Podolsi, Ba, Torres or Giroud? Torres loves a goal against us (as does Mata) but OG is the best frontman in a team needing a back to goal CF.

so ….

aacc

5 of theirs and 6 of ours which may show my AFC bias! This team would easily win the title – perhaps a little attack focussed but what the heck ….

Can we win today and regain our TOTL? Yes, says a quietly confident Raddy.

Why?

Because the Forces of Good and The Righteous always overcome the DarkSide.

written by Big Raddy who wishes each and every one of you a Merry Xmas

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247 Responses to One Team in London & How Many Chelsea players would get in our team?

  1. Manthan says:

    BR, Cheers mate!!!

    All the AAers there.. advance Marry Xmas to you all, May god bless all of you… Coming to match I am really scared about this match but win or lose in this match will not break our title hopes but ya a win will silent all so called pundit so keeping finger crossed and hoping for the best…

  2. Manthan says:

    Heard news of Mackay problems with blue bird owners.. its shame he looks like a good manager who can keep cardiff but if they sack him then cardiff will be in problem….

  3. wambam says:

    Hazard isnt a Frenchie, he’s from Belgium :) otherwise, nice comparison

  4. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great stuff Raddy. Thank you.

    I thought everyone knew about the Magna Carta Ammendment.
    Brilliant, love it :-)

    Have to say, I’d take Torres over Giroud every time. Agree OG is better back to goal, but Torres is so much better facing the net, and he’s be a perfect fit.

  5. Big Raddy says:

    wambam :-( Silly mistake as I had mentioned that earlier!

  6. Manthan says:

    BR,

    I thought you told harzard fernchie as he came from Ligue 1 :D

  7. Big Raddy says:

    Mantham. Belgian/French …. they share a border and some of them a language!

  8. LB says:

    To every single Flem in Belgium, Hazard is a Frenchie.

    Nice one BR

  9. Charybdis1966 says:

    Thanks for the top hole PM Big Daddy, definitely a must not lose game.
    I’m sitting here in my hotel in Tenerife with the temperature about 23 degrees and hearing it’s not so nice on Blightu; apparently some are saying the match may be called off if the weather is bad.
    Getting nervous about the game already.
    I hate The eye-gouger, aka Maureen-Yo.

  10. Rasp says:

    Lovely historically accurate post Raddy – actually I believe the bit about us being the top club in London was also recorded in the Dead Sea Scrolls :)

    I was at the CC game against the chavs and we allowed them to bully us in midfield – that can’t happen tonight. Its going to be tough, cold and rainy, maybe not the night to start with Cazorla. Hopefully Ozil will feel he needs to make a point and run the game for us after leaving the pitch with Merts screaming at him last time out.

    A draw is the minimum requirement. It would seem the pundits have Everton as more likely to finish in the top 4 than us? – we need to start proving people wrong again. Tonight we have to show our mettle, win the 50/50s and play like its a cup final.

  11. Manthan says:

    Hahahah Rasp that quite funny that pundits sees Tofees getting into top 4 but no us. Pundit will never ever praise arsenal…

  12. arnie says:

    Motning for me, and afternoon to AA ers across the pond. Unfortunately it seems weather is not so nice? What the heck, the winds are probably blowing in the right direction for Arsenal.

    Lovely pre match as ever, Raddy. The research deserves a place in the Annals of World History!!!! Lovely team as well, And the combined team, nothing to argue about. It has to be managed by Arsene of course.

    Finally, lovely gusty snowflakes as well. Merry Christmas Raddy, Merry Christmas all!!!!!

    Cannot wait for the action. :D :D :D

  13. GunnerN5 says:

    Oh dear, here I go again!!

    Yesterday was an embarrassment for AA. Timmy’s post which was among the top posts of the year went, almost unnoticed. Where were the regulars who neither posted or bothered to read the post – this includes some of the site principals.

    I know the excuse already, you were too busy – well
    why did you decide to waste a marvelous post by putting it up on a Black Sunday! Very, very sad.

  14. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good day AAers,

    Just back from the Great Norfolk Metropolis, otherwise known as Norwich, Christmas shopping all done, booze cupboard topped up, it’s going to be a lovely quiet holiday, just me and my wife as the rest of the family are all away.

    Raddy you’ve more than whetted my appetite for tonight’s game, thank you.

    I reckon Arsene may surprise us all with his team selection, just wait and see!

    I thought Howard Carter had discovered a cartouche in the tomb of 14th-century BC pharaoh Tutankhamun which when translated stated that, “When it is finally built London would have only one team and that team shall be called Arsenal”. This was backed up by the tattoo on Tut’s back ” Gooner for Life”.

  15. arnie says:

    AA ers, make a trip to sleepy Hereford, to the lovely cathedral there, and take a close look at the Mappa Mundi. London is represented on the map by a medieval cannon, standing for what other than the One and Only Arsenal.

    Now, if that is a step too far, travel to Luxor, southern Egypt, cross the Nile to the land of the dead, and on to the Valley of the Nobles. To the farthest west of the map of the world as the Egyptians knew it lies England. London was not yet there on the map, but at its centre of power, a game of footie played with skulls of fallen heathen armies, together with hieroglyphics representing the One and Only Arsenal Football Club. :razz:

  16. arnie says:

    What are the odds on Poldi playing some part of the game?

  17. RockyLives says:

    Ouch. Hangover.

    Morning all :)

    Top stuff BR.

    There is, of course, the famous palaeolithic cave painting in Lascaux in south west France, depicting – among the mammoths and aurochs – a wild cockerel being torn to pieces by a sabre tooth tiger.

    What’s notable is that the tiger has a red body and white limbs and the whole scene is set above a pictogram of a river whose course looks remarkably similar to that of the Thames.

    Coincidence?

    Who knows, but those stone age fellas knew a thing or two…

  18. arnie says:

    Good fun, Rocky. Welcome back to the land of the living!!!! :D :D

  19. Rasp says:

    GN5 @ 1:52 – “here you go again” … indeed!

    You should consider the following:

    1. We weren’t to know that a lot of the regulars were going to be unavailable on Sunday – how could we?

    2. Those of us who could get on (myself included) unanimously agreed that it was an excellent post and there was nothing to disagree with. By now you should be aware that it is disagreement that stimulates debate – today, Raddy’s small mistake with Hazard’s nationality provoked responses.

    3. We’ve been going 4 years; we’ve published 1,434 posts, had nearly 4 million hits and over 200,000 comments. Timmy’s was the only post available on Sunday. We liaised with Timmy about the timing of the post.

    4. Peaches and I are professional people (not retired) and we are pushed to the limit on occasion as we try to output something of quality every day. It costs us to run the site and we turn down offers of income from advertising on a daily basis.

    5 It is because we run the site in the way we do that excellent writers like Timmy want to be a part of AA – and that means others (like you) get to read top class articles like Timmy’s

    6. It doesn’t matter how many times we explain that ‘we can’t please all the people all the time’, we inevitably find we have to dedicate unnecessary energy in defending the way we do things. I can assure you that if anyone came along and offered to take the site off our hands and continue to put in the work and maintain the standards we have set – we’d be only too happy …… any offers?

  20. May the Force be with us !

  21. jnyc says:

    Merry Christmas to everyone.
    We should be winning this match. More pressure after the last two results. A team that expects to challenge should win this at home. A loss would say we are probably not good enough. But I believe that we are . Let’s get the job done.

  22. Rasp says:

    As far as the provenance of the rite of passage of Arsenal as the top London club – Rocky’s example dates back to the Jurassic era, but I believe that if you unravel the genetic code of the first amino acids that formed life on earth, the DNA actually spells ARSENAL ….. beat that :P

  23. Rasp says:

    Thanks jnyc and a Merry Christmas to all you across the pond. We’ve always had a lot of readers from Canada and the States, but this year the input in terms of comments and posts has been fantastic

  24. arnie says:

    Rasp: “I believe” – what belief. It is a fact!!!!! :razz:

  25. GunnerN5 says:

    Well Rasp I finally had enough of your self righteous attitude and this will be my final comment on AA.

    I want all of my articles deleted, as I no longer want to be associated with the site.

  26. RockyLives says:

    I can beat it Rasp.

    The “Big Bang” occurred when God, wearing his Arsenal shirt, volleyed the ball into the top left corner of his heavenly goal and shouted “Come on you Gunnerssss!!!!” :D

  27. Rasp says:

    :lol: arnie, I’m waiting for someone with access to the Hubble space telescope to tell us that they’ve seen a Monolith on a planet in a distant galaxy with the inscription … Arsenal, top team in London :?

  28. Rasp says:

    Haha, just as I’d posted my comment Rocky trumped me … Doh! :oops:

  29. arnie says:

    Come on, GN5, Christmas time, cheer up. We all care about one thing, and that is all matters Arsenal. On with the show!!!! Stay on … hold on tight, seatbelts on, Here come the Arsenal!!!!! :D :D

  30. RockyLives says:

    My thoughts on the game today…

    Given our recent results and performances, this now feels like a Must Win to me.

    Not for the points (although they are important) but because we need to show we can beat our domestic rivals and prove (to ourselves) that we don’t have some kind of psychological issue in these games.

    I know there were extenuating circumstances at Old Toilet (sickness) but we should really have beaten that lamentable ManUre team. The fact that we didn’t made me wonder whether we still have a bit of an inferiority complex.

    As for whether we will win tonight, I’m really not sure… :(

  31. arnie says:

    ha ha ha, great fun guys!!!!!! :D :D :D

  32. Rasp says:

    GN5, surely when you launched an attack on the site using phrases like “Yesterday was an embarrassment for AA.” you expected/wanted a response – well that’s what you got. I don’t find it at all embarrassing to publish an article of that quality. Obviously as we said ourselves yesterday, it deserved a greater response – unfortunately that didn’t happen

    I have explained to you why I feel the tone of your comment was unjustified. You take pride in being a shoot from the lip, tell it as I see it, type of guy and yet display a very thin skin when it comes in the other direction.

    Come on now, no one wants you to resign from the site. Your articles over the summer were nothing short of magnificent. We quite enjoy your pithy style … but don’t you think once in a while it would be worth considering the bigger picture before you push the ‘publish comment’ button?

    Your resignation is declined :? we want GN5 on AA … all those in favour say Aye…..

  33. RockyLives says:

    Aye

  34. kelsey says:

    Well looking out of my window conditions will definitely become a factor.

    I bet deep down we are all extremely nervous.

    No Drogba at least and actually in our results against Mourinho we have on several occasions taken the lead,only to lose.
    Not sure if Rosicky or Santi should play. Santi has been out of form but if back to his best he is an added bit of gun powder with both feet, something Rosicky now lacks.

    Walcott has a habit of scoring in these games and like others I really think nothing but a win is imperative.

  35. RA says:

    Aye, aye! :-)

  36. evonne says:

    You foreigners are blissfully unaware of what is going on in North London. Arma bloody ghedon, I cannot see the game being played in such condition. It is lashing out non stop and the wind is unbelievable, the ball couldn’t stay on the ground

  37. Rasp says:

    Hi Kelsey, evonne. We routinely water the pitch so the ball skids off at pace so maybe these conditions will play into our hands. Having said that, the chavs do possess some every skilful players too. I’d rather the game was played, we don’t want to go through Xmas with pool at the top of the table.

  38. GunnerN5 says:

    Well the people I respect the most are in my corner – so I will stay on. But I remain miffed about yesterday and still feel that more could have been done to avoid such a low response

  39. kelsey says:

    You foreigners …..hahaha :)

  40. kelsey says:

    Rasp

    It might not be the pitch it might be health and Safety interfering with 60000 people attending.

  41. kelsey says:

    Perfect weather for diving

  42. RA says:

    Now here’s a thing, I chuckled and I chortled while reading the Post and thought to myself, that is a wonderful article from the lobster molester of ye olde Devon, full of imaginative humour and spirit lifting ‘facts’.

    I suppose I should apologise to both, but I won’t, as it speaks of my huge admiration for both! So there! :-)

    [There was however a small blot on the escarpment, in the mention of the abominable Maureen by Micky - or was it Raddy.!?

    The man has no redeemable features!]

    Ed:

  43. Rasp says:

    I know Kelsey. chas will have been driving down for some time now, you’d hope the club would make an early decision if the game is to be called off. The police will have the power if they think personal safety is at risk and they can take that action any time before kick off I suppose.

  44. evonne says:

    yeah Kelsey, you are now in UK, but until recently you were a foreigner too :)

    Rasp – I hope that your eternal optimism is not misplaced tonight

  45. RA says:

    Damn.

    I wrote the most amusing comment about the Post — well I can claim what I like, you lot will never know any better! :-)

  46. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Very busy fending of people with smiling faces. I am convinced they after my money.

    GN5 – AYE

  47. I love it when people throw their dollies out of the pram !………so it`s a nay from me !. hahaha

  48. RA says:

    Look, who is messing with the timing of these comments appearing on the blog?

    Damn! Now you all know I lied when I said ‘Damn’ before! :-)

  49. RA says:

    I have a phobia about men who wear their syrups back to front and frighten me with their duck’s arse faces.

  50. GunnerN5 says:

    RA you made that sound really as sweet as syrup?

  51. kelsey says:

    We know that RA, it is the best kept secret on AA ;)

  52. RA says:

    Hi Kelsey, :-)

    I don’t have any secrets. Every time I kiss one of the boys it is broadcast through Twitter to a world wide audience, by you. :-)

    You sound well, oh hairy one, so I hope things are looking up.

  53. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GN5
    Have to say it was a bit of a weird criticism when you posted a total of only three comments yesterday, of which only one engaged with the post itself.
    To my mind, having a go at the site “principals” was uncalled for, and while everyone is being seasonably charitable, I’d welcome an apology to those “principals”.
    End of.

  54. chas says:

    Haven’t read the pre-match, yet.

    I bottled out of the five hour round trip in the car after only 30 minutes of shocking visibility on the M1 with the prospect that it was only going to get worse as I headed south and the game could have been in doubt anyway.

    I’d imagine it could still be called off as the pitch becomes so sodden it can’t shed any more water. Hope not, though.

  55. Big Raddy says:

    Gn5. Aye.

    Though I do feel your attack on the timing of Timmy’s excellent post was unnecessary for all the reasons Rasp gave.

    I think the folk who run the site do an absolutely fantastic job, as do all the post writers. It takes time, commitment and a love of both the Arsenal and AA to keep the site going.

    By the way, one of those who didn’t comment yesterday was Timmy himself.

  56. chas says:

    I only posted 15 comments on yesterday’s brilliant post, 95% of which were utter trivial garbage.

    Apologies everyone, I will try harder to make some sense on the odd occasion.

  57. Big Raddy says:

    GN5. Micky’s and my comments were synchronic – nothing untoward meant!!

  58. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Read the PM. Think I waste all my morning for you to give it the spanish archer?

  59. chas says:

    Super pre-match, BR.
    Happy Christmas to you and yours in return.

    Chelsea are so loathsome. Even their fans realise that none of their recent success has been genuine but simply bought at the local trophy supermarket. They will always begrudge the fact that compared to us they are utterly classless and without style.

    I couldn’t bear any of their team in ours apart from Mata, who we would have anyway if we hadn’t been gazumped.

  60. GunnerN5 says:

    MD89,

    To each his own.

    My criticism remains unchanged and you need to take a good look at your own contribution to the post before you challenge mine.

  61. Rasp says:

    Hi chas, we love your trivial garbage …. keep it up :) Are you at the Tavern yet?

  62. chas says:

    Btw, I always read every post, but I’m sometimes guilty of reading the comments first.

  63. chas says:

    I’m at home, Rasp.
    See my 5.08.

  64. GunnerN5 says:

    Raddy,

    All is fine you are, like myself, entitled to an opinion and they don’t always have to be in agreement.

  65. GunnerN5 says:

    Chas, please remain as trivial as you like, it’s always welcome.

  66. Rasp says:

    Sorry chas, I missed that comment – I don’t blame you. I must admit that I’m quite relieved I don’t have a ticket to the game tonight, hats off to those brave souls who are going.

    Magnificent as The Emirates is, you can be sitting in the upper tier, half way back and somehow the rain still manages to fall on you. Those wide gaps in the canopy were apparently something on which AW was keen as the air circulation is good for the pitch, but it doesn’t half get draughty round the gorbals :?

  67. GunnerN5 says:

    RA, will you stay in the U.S at the end of your contract?

  68. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GN5
    Big difference is, I don’t criticise writers, posters, and those who put the hours in.

  69. Big Raddy says:

    You are lucky to have gorbals. Lost mine in the second divorce!

  70. RA says:

    Excuse me Chas, but when it comes to a matter of ‘trivial garbage’ I must make a claim to be the biggest champion of absolute trivialist garbage!! :-)

  71. Rasp says:

    :lol: Raddy, but there is a silver lining to that cloud – I’ve seen the photo :P

  72. kelsey says:

    No trains into Finsbury Park from the North

  73. RA says:

    Oh Rasper darling, do keep up! :-)

  74. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Off to the boozer to try and watch on a proper screen.
    Come on you Gunnnnners.

  75. fatgingergooner says:

    We have to defend well tonight otherwise we could need 3 or 4 goals to win, which is tough against Chelsea. They have been poor away from home this season so hopefully we can take advantage.

    We need a big performance from Cazorla tonight who has struggled to hit the heights of last season. I hope it’s a temporary dip in form due to injuries rather than him going into his shell after the arrival of Özil. If he and Özil retain the ball well tonight and work hard then we have a good chance of 3 points.

    Also want to see Theo carry on his form from the last game and get into central positions in support of Giroud. I still think he will start wide, but runs in behind Olly will be crucial.

    A massive game for us to start the Xmas period and one that we need to win. The next 4 or 5 fixtures look a lot easier coming off a victory against Chelsea than they do coming off 3 straight losses. Confidence levels heading into xmas could decide wether we finish top or top 4.

  76. RA says:

    GN5,

    I am out of contract at the moment. It was supposed to last until the end of the month but with the Xmas break I called it a day.

    Not sure what I will do at the moment, as health issues intrude, so to speak.

    Thanks for asking. :-)

  77. GunnerN5 says:

    RA,

    I’ve also encountered many crossroads in my life that continue to this day. It’s never easy to know which road to take especially when health issues complicate the situation.

    Good health is always the number one goal so I hope your new road leads to a full recovery.

  78. GunnerN5 says:

    MD89, I will always be outspoken and all comers have never been able to change that side of my personality.

    I prefer to be open and honest in my opinions even if they offend some folks, and contrary to what Rasp said earlier I am very thick skinned – being as outspoken as I am I have to be.

    I am not a Rah Rah person and I don’t have a need to be liked or even likable.

  79. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Ime going tonight, but am worried about wind

    Am upper tier right at the back, and thats where wind tends to get a terrible hold. Will have to use super glue on the rug.

    Great post Raddy. I am convinced were better than Chelsea, but always think that anyway, even when they won the league I am still of the belief we were better.

    The two Clubs cant be compared. Chelsea fans I know regard me as arrogant, typical Arsenal snob they say.

    I have no idea why. I am always nice to them when we meet, offering them the opportunity to clean my windows etc.

    I think it will be tough tonight. A close game that we will edge. Probably 5-0.

  80. GunnerN5 says:

    Terry, borrow a wet suit. preferably a red one with white sleeves.

  81. RA says:

    Thanks GN5, that’s appreciated.

    Have to go and get something to eat before the game, so hope to see you later.

  82. GunnerN5 says:

    Monday night’s Barclays Premier League game between Arsenal and Chelsea is set to go ahead despite heavy rain and strong winds.

    Groundstaff have been working on the pitch at the Emirates Stadium throughout the day as a pre-Christmas storm sweeps across the country and no problems were reported at 5.30pm.

    However, officials are continuing to monitor the weather ahead of the big London derby which is scheduled to kick-off at 8pm.

    Conditions have deteriorated during the day and both clubs have advised fans to allow plenty of time to travel to the game as some transport services in the capital have been disrupted.

    Arsenal will return to the top of the Premier League table if they can beat Chelsea, but a win for the Blues will see them join Liverpool at the summit on 36 points.

    Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has yet to oversee a victory over a side managed by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho with four draws and five wins for the Portuguese in their nine previous meetings.

  83. RA says:

    Have you considered a large bung up the jaxi, Terry?

    That should sort out your wind problems. :-)

    Enjoy the game, my friend!!

  84. evonne says:

    poor darling, I was thinking about you battling the elements. I am glad you are safe at the Tavern; let’s hope the game is not called off, but it aint pretty out there

  85. Big Raddy says:

    My concern is that if the game goes ahead Chelsea will have an advantage.

    It will be a game for Orcs not nippy skilful ball players.

  86. GunnerN5 says:

    BR surely the game would not be cancelled within two hours of kick off?

  87. JanMan says:

    Good post today and lets hope for the three points tonight. As an after thought it gets on my nerves when people like GN5 get on their high horse and throw a tantrum (this is not the first time). People do have lives, families and jobs and therefore cannot be on AA all of the time. I would think that someone of GN5′s age would be more respectful to the owners of this site. I personally think they do a great job and do not deserve to be criricised. I certainly do not have the time that they do so respect there and GN5 perhaps you should think a little more before you post in the self rightous mood! Merry Christmas to all on AA:

  88. Big Raddy says:

    9/11

    Arteta for Flamini and Rosicky for Cazorla. Understandable but I would prefer to see Santi, he is such a wonderful player

  89. fatgingergooner says:

    Typical Mourinho line up against Arsenal.

    Defensive and powerful. They will defend properly and wait for us to make a mistake, which over the years is something we’ve always been happy to do.

    We must defend well and get in behind their narrow back 4. We know they will play narrow with Ramires and Mikel say in front of the centre backs which makes it very difficult for us to play our little 1-2′s. We’ve seen it time and time again against Mourinho sides, yet Wenger still doesn’t seem to have worked it out.

    Hopefully the pin has finally dropped and we get in behind them.

  90. Big Raddy says:

    Both Bendtner and Podolski on the bench. Getting stronger ….

  91. fatgingergooner says:

    Crosses could be key today. We often struggle to break Chelsea down through the middle, but with Walcott on the field and Giroud in the box, we have opportunities to cross the ball. Something we’ve not always had in previous years.

  92. Gööner In Exile says:

    Team for those who don’t know yet:

    Szczesny

    Sagna…..BFG…..Verm….Gibbs

    ……Rambo…….Arteta
    Theo……Ozil…….Tr7

    ……Giroud.

    Fine pre match Raddy, now let’s hope we can win it.

    Chelsea have gone for a surprisingly attacking option too, but fear their full backs will have to join in less

  93. arnie says:

    aye aye aye. yo hoo hoo. :D :D COYG, bring on the game!!!!! :D :D :D

  94. Gööner In Exile says:

    Cech

    Ivan…..KosLite….Poundland…..Topscrabble

    Ramires…..Hellboy……Fatty

    WillIAm…..Torres……..Hazard

  95. GunnerN5 says:

    Janman.

    What do you know about someone my age? Giving me your opinion is a pure waste of time as it only serves to strengthen my negative opinion of you.

    And I gave this a lot of thought – and will now press click!

  96. Sav from Australia says:

    I’m on a bus to work this morning so no idea what’s happening. Oh the tension.

    Another brilliant post BR! You never fail to amuse and set the mood for matchday perfectly. Cheers!

    Off to read BBC live text and try not to scream and wake up the other people on this bus.

  97. fatgingergooner says:

    1st goal is key

  98. Rasp says:

    I fear that this is going to be yet another example of poor refereeing, that was a definite yellow card and he bottled it. They will continue to foul and then we’ll get a yellow for a nothing challenge

  99. Rasp says:

    I hate Allan Smith, he’s overtly anti Arsenal in his comments

  100. Big Raddy says:

    Weather looks dreadful. We are probing for an opening but need Theo to get further forward and onto the shoulder of his FB

  101. fatgingergooner says:

    This has 1-0 written all over it. Which way though?

  102. RA says:

    Rasper,

    You are right about Dean.

    I guarantee he will issue a blizzard of cards later for much less fouls.

    Tosser!

    The team seem very diffident and not passing too well.
    And by the way, I hate our defensive zonal marking system.

  103. fatgingergooner says:

    We are putting no pressure on the ball in midfield or attack. After 9 days off we should be pressing much higher up the field.

  104. Rasp says:

    Both Ramsey and Giroud are below top form of late, theo not in the game enough, luckily TV and Sagna are performing well

  105. Rasp says:

    Dean is an arsehole, that was a pen

  106. fatgingergooner says:

    Red card and broken ankle, and penalty, ref gives Chelsea throw!

  107. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. You called it. Definitely a foul on Theo

  108. Rasp says:

    I hope our boys get really angry at the injustice and take it to the chavs

  109. fatgingergooner says:

    I want to see Cazorla on the pitch but not sure who I would bring off.

  110. Rasp says:

    Hi fgg, on performance so far it would have to be Ramsey

  111. Rasp says:

    Let’s hope he score now to prove me wrong :)

  112. JanMan says:

    Some of these English ref’s need to learn what a potential leg breaking tackle is and what a penalty is! Anyone’s game at the moment but I would love a 1-0 to the Arsenal

  113. Big Raddy says:

    Interesting half and to be fair Chelsea have had the better of the game

    BUT once again we are being shafted by the referee.

    Red card for Mikel? Yes.

    Penalty? Yes.

    That said we need more from many players, The defence is playing well as is Arteta but apart from Rosicky we are lacking spark. Ramsey is all.action but it isn’t happening for him.

    I want more from Ozil, Theo and OG

  114. RA says:

    I would swap Theo for Gnabry, except he is not even on the bench.

  115. fatgingergooner says:

    Rasp,

    It would worry me how open we would be to counters if Ramsey came off.

    This is like a re-run of loads of Arsenal matches. We look toothless in attack, they nick one on the break, and then we spend half an hour trying to break down their 11 men.

    We have to score first. I would like to see us play with more width. If we get to the bye-line we will create chances.

  116. Big Raddy says:

    In slo-mo Mikel’s tackle is even worse – a real leg breaker yet he didn’t even get cautioned.

  117. Gööner In Exile says:

    Mike Dean hates Arsenal, we should have known this before kick off….we know it now.

    Alan Smith a man for whom contact is normally enough when Rooney goes down says “not enough to make Theo go down”

    Sorry Smudger when did a player have to be made to fall over for it to be a penalty.

    Excusing Mikels lunge because both players were committed to the ball”….failed to notice Arteta plays ball with his laces, if he was second to the ball the greatest danger would of been to himself buckling an ankle, Mikel on the other hand was the height of cowardice in that challenge.

    Having let Topscrabble get away with upending Ramsey Dean has also made it virtually impossible for himself to give a card out. He should have been booked and it would have set the standard, if he had booked him I doubt TR7 would have made the three potential yellow card fouls he has.

    Right that off my chest….we need a bit of reciprocating belief between players and crowd, a bit of pressure on the officials from the crowd wouldn’t go amiss either (take a leaf out of City’s book last week).

    But I think the crowd have seen this kind of Chav performance too often it’s almost like we are waiting for them to score, the players seem to be doing the same.

    I know Rambo should have just kicked into touch but look at the situation, back to goal, three Chavs pressuring him and only TV and BFG are behind him,….there is a line of red and white shirts on the 18 yard box, how exactly do they expect him to find him from there?

    I would actually mix it up, go three up top Pod, Giroud and Theo, take off Ramsey and play a middle three of Arteta, TR7 and Ozil. If that doesn’t work bring on Santi for Theo and play Ozil at the top of the diamond with Santi and TR7 wider.

  118. Rasp says:

    Has Mike Dean ever officiated in a match where we’ve had the rub of the decisions – yellow/ red card missed and pen not given. He looks like Jasper Carrot but is definitely not funny, he’s going to cost us the game if he carries on like this

  119. fatgingergooner says:

    BR,

    Did he even signal advantage as though he thought it was a foul!?

    The panel should be looking at that tackle, not Wilshere sticking a finger up to the crowd.

  120. Gööner In Exile says:

    We are so on our heels!!!

  121. fatgingergooner says:

    I know conditions aren’t great, but both us and Chelsea look off the pace tonight. Man City will be loving this.

  122. Rasp says:

    I’m afraid Giroud’s lack of pace and mobility has been exposed tonight

  123. Gööner In Exile says:

    Why the fuck is Theo closing Ibanovic there? Straight out of the lazy arse defending handbook…go shut the shortest run rather than work your arse off to get back!

  124. Rasp says:

    Ramsey is back to his old ways, not playing the ball early enough

  125. fatgingergooner says:

    I hate the way Mike Dean gestures as though everyone in the stadium cares what he’s saying. If he wants to be a celebrity, he should f**k off to the jungle.

  126. fatgingergooner says:

    Get Cazorla on for Rosicky.

  127. Gööner In Exile says:

    Rasp I think the whole team is guilty of it…Arteta has done a couple, players starting then stopping runs, players dummying passes and then not playing it, and it’s breaking down.

    Must play with more conviction everywhere.

  128. Rasp says:

    Dean makes a pantomime out of a nailed on yellow, instead he play acts and winds up the players – twunt

  129. Big Raddy says:

    Once again Dean bottles it. Dreadful. One of players will get seriously injured because this buffoon let’s foul play go unpunished

  130. Rasp says:

    Yes I agree GiE, we haven’t been on our passing game for a while now

  131. Rasp says:

    Why not give Podolski a chance?

  132. JanMan says:

    Dean is going to let someone get badly hurt. He is useless!!

  133. fatgingergooner says:

    Rasp,

    I agree Ramsey is having a shocker but I’d hate for people to start accusing him of being average again. He’s been brilliant this year and even quality players have poor games.

  134. Big Raddy says:

    Dean is having a nightmare. Ivanovic almost takes Ozils head off and he warns Ozil for getting unhappy about it!

    Shocking officiating again after last Saturdays debacle

  135. Rasp says:

    I’m the last person to start a witch hunt on Ramsey, I stood by him when it wasn’t going for him

  136. JanMan says:

    Bring on Poldi and Cazorla…please

  137. Big Raddy says:

    The heavy rain is making passing difficult. Gives the boys a break

  138. fatgingergooner says:

    Fair enough Rasp,

    Although it seems our own players are having a go at him now! :)

  139. Big Raddy says:

    Oooh OG. That is a horrible miss.

  140. Rasp says:

    Van persie would have buried that, he had to get the shot on target

  141. fatgingergooner says:

    Beautiful from Ramsey. Only thing he’s done all game.

    Podolski on for Giroud?

    35 yard screamer from the hammer would be nice.

  142. JanMan says:

    OG:::That should have been 1-0 to the Arsenal

  143. JanMan says:

    Come on guys get off of Ramsey’s back.

  144. fatgingergooner says:

    Love Giroud, but is he clinical enough in big games when you only get 1 or 2 chances?

  145. JanMan says:

    I don’t think 0-0 is good enough for us at home.

  146. fatgingergooner says:

    Don’t lose the game. A draw isn’t dreadful.

  147. Big Raddy says:

    FGG. You make a good point and that is why AW tried to sign Suarez

  148. JanMan says:

    I love Giroud but we so need a top top class striker.

  149. fatgingergooner says:

    Mourinho deserves to lose with his negativity.

  150. Rasp says:

    Chavs 3 subs, arsenal 0 – are we playing for a draw now?

  151. Rasp says:

    TV has had a good game, Flaminis voice is missed, too pedestrian in midfield

  152. JanMan says:

    Playing for the draw is just not good enough for a home game

  153. Rasp says:

    Come on the reds

  154. JanMan says:

    Dean should be wearing a blue shirt

  155. evonne says:

    LB thinks that Wilshere is costing us points. Yeah right, and Giroud isn’t?
    I have had enough of him. He wastes far too many chances.

  156. JanMan says:

    Well a point is better than nothing but if only we had taken our chances!!
    Good night all

  157. RA says:

    Giro and any number of midfielders have not played well but not a single sub. Que?

  158. Rasp says:

    Not good enough, why didn’t we make some subs to try to change the game?

  159. Gööner In Exile says:

    More important to take 9 points from the other three Christmas games than lose a point in this one. Although I think only one team was playing for a draw at the end….no surprise from negative Jose.

    Now on Girouds chances people do seen to forget the rule of three for RvP….Micky will remind you.

  160. Big Raddy says:

    Disappointed with that performance. Once again I feel AW played too defensively – no subs?

    We should have put both Podolski and Bendtner on for the final 5 minutes.

    But that said the conditions were awful and passing – particularly long balls – was difficult.

    2 points from the last 3 games is poor

  161. Rasp says:

    We haven’t fired as a team for several games now – something needs fixing!

  162. fatgingergooner says:

    Evonne,

    In fairness he had 1 chance that wasn’t exactly easy. The second one was good defending.

    Not a terrible result. Chelsea should be embarrassed in how they came for a draw at this stage of the season when we have been losing recently. Mourinho took off his best attacking player in Hazard and then took a striker off for a centre back! At least we looked like we wanted to win the game.

    Also a clean sheet is no bad thing after losing 6-3. No mistakes which was key.

    We were poor today, but conditions weren’t great. Away games at West Ham and Newcastle will be big, but with players returning I expect good results.

    Joint top of the league at Xmas, I’m not complaining.

  163. Big Raddy says:

    Newcastle away will be tough

  164. Adrian says:

    9 days of rest and Chelsea pressed us way more than we did to them as if they were the home side. No conviction whatsoever, and if today doesn’t further highlight the need for an alternative, pacier striker with good finishing I don’t know what will. Service to Giroud has been piss poor as well, I don’t know why we didn’t at least bring the Pod on for the last 10 mins. Cazorla as well.

    Mike Dean once again proving what an incompetent ref he is, you’d think for big games like this we’d be assigned a decent ref instead of a clown. A red card and penalty not given, what a joke.

    I fear that a downward spiral is starting, time to buck up Arsene. When we got beaten 6-3 last weekend, Arsene said it was down to fatigue due to the CL. Well we had 9 proper days of rest and yet the whole team didn’t look sharp at all.

  165. fatgingergooner says:

    If you wonder why we didn’t make subs then look at the Xmas fixture list. Keeping players fresh is difficult at this time of year. Now we have Monreal, Flamini, Cazorla, Podolski all fresh for the next game.

  166. Sav from Australia says:

    Mike Dean and the PGMOL 1 – Arsenal nil. Chelsea will regret it. They needed a win more than Arsenal. Joint top going into Xmas. Didnt fall to a mourinho sucker punch. Lessons learned. I feel…stoic. Haven’t watched the match as I’m at work but I am certain the boys did their best and will take strength from partially thwarting Dean and Mourinho.

  167. chas says:
  168. Gööner In Exile says:

    But here’s the run…..Mourinho knows one way to beat Arsenal, defend and counter, and as we know it’s been highly effective over the years.

    Anyone have a way they think we can beat that?

    Surely if we sit back they will just take the draw (remember Chavs away at OT a few years back? Neither team left their own half).

    Tonight for the first time we actually played to win “and” not get beaten, it means you have less chance of winning, but also less chance of losing.

    We could have made attacking substitutions but we would have been more open to losing the game. In my mind it was progress, Chelsea threatened little in the second half unless we didn’t do the basics, I’m looking at you Bacary Sagna and you Vermaelen on 90 minutes which allowed Chavs the last three minutes of possession.

    How Dean only found three minutes of injury time when Chelsea were content to waste time from about 70 minutes onwards is anyone’s guess.

  169. Rasp says:

    Not enjoying watching Chelsea TV – are they actually going to talk to anyone from arsenal?

  170. Gööner In Exile says:

    Adrian sorry mate but how would a better striker do better with as you say pisspoor service?

    For games like this you need a Drogba, they’re very hard to find unless there’s one available lurking round the leagues that no one else has seen either.

  171. TT says:

    Frustrating night, but I think defense was sufficient. Arteta was solid. Wenger stopped the negative trend. Arsenal is still just goal difference from the top. Liverpool are facing two tough away matches, so it’s hard to see them remaining there. Keep the faith.

  172. Can someone put together a few words about the game for a post tomorrow please ………

  173. arnie says:

    A bit disappointed, but not losing is sort of OK, I guess. Getting a bit worried with the indifferent run of games and results. Well, still all to fight for. Onwards and upwards!!!! :D :D :D

    I just hope that we revert to better form in the next few games. :D

  174. TT says:

    GiE 10:02, excellent.

  175. Big Raddy says:

    I know I am watching on a stream which is not the best but where was Ozil tonight?

  176. arnie says:

    Yes, the performance in defence was positive. But a bit frustrating that we create so little up front. Good possession tonight though. Have not looked at stats, that that is teh feeling I had watching the game. :D

    Laters.

  177. Rasp says:

    I assume podolski was fit as he was on the bench – so why wasn’t he brought on for Giroud in the last 10 mins?

  178. fatgingergooner says:

    I understand negativity towards the performance, but let’s not get carried away. We are joint top at Xmas, through from a very difficult CL group and we’ve had loads of injuries and therefore have used a small nucleus of players for the first half of the season. Tiredness is to be expected and our last 4 games have been Napoli, Everton, Chelsea and City!

    We have players coming back now and some winnable games coming up.

    There are better squads in this league than us, and we are above all of them! We had a great start to the season because the majority of sides we played were lower down the table. We’ve played the big boys recently and been found out a little. That doesn’t mean we can’t win the league, but it does mean we have to keep beating the lower sides and pick up all the points we can against the big boys.

  179. TT says:

    I think taking out Giroud would have meant bringing the ball into the final third on the ground, which seemed quite hard tonight. Özil dropped back several times to help with that effort, but he could do it either.

  180. Rasp says:

    Podolski has the best and hardest shot in the squad, we needed someone to at least test Cech

  181. fatgingergooner says:

    GiE,

    To win the game you need the rub of the green ie Walcott penalty, Mikel red card.

    Also a player that can do something a bit special ie Suarez.

  182. arnie says:

    GiE: nice comment at 10:02. Progress yes, but slow progress. We know where the team stands. We also know a bit more about Arsene’s thoughts about the team. Our formation has been consistently defensive against big teams, despite the fact that the BFG-Kos combination, and the BFG-Verms combination today, has worked very well in central defence.

    Let us now see the good guys return to winning the next three games. Newcastle will be tough though. All in all, not too bad, but could be better.

    Giroud, oh Ollie, what a miss!!!!! :sad:

  183. Gööner In Exile says:

    FGG agree on the penalty, not so much on Suarez, he is a fine player but I’ll be interested to see how he does against some of the better defences.

    Liverpool play to Suarez, we play off Giroud.

    Look at Suarez’s goals scored and the games he has drawn blanks? Manchester United Home, Arsenal Away.

    We score more goals against poorer defences, because they fail to track the runs of Oli and Olis hold up play. Against better defences/midfields we struggle to support him quickly even if we get the ball to him.

    Liverpool score more goals against poor defences because Suarez tears them a new one, but also because their midfields allow the ball to get to him. Better defences/midfields are not so easy to pick open.

  184. TT says:

    FGG, love your comments.

  185. arnie says:

    I will still put my money on being Top of the League till the year end!!! :D :D :D

  186. fatgingergooner says:

    I see your point GiE, but Suarez is only an example. Any special player would do! :)

  187. arnie says:

    FGG: We need a special player, perhaps more than one, but who play for a special team. Not individual brilliance. And not just any other player. We will create our own special player(s)!!!! :D :D This will come in time. For the moment, Suarez or similar as a stop gap arrangement will be OK!!!! :razz:

  188. Gööner In Exile says:

    We have a truck load of special.

    What I think we could do with importing? A couple of 25/26 year old Championship winners, with the energy to instil some of that confidence and knowledge to others in the team.

    Anyway we will know whether we have the squad/ quality to do something it’ll depend on where we are on 1st Feb

    West Ham A
    Newcastle A
    Cardiff H
    Villa A
    Fulham H
    Southampton A

    18 winnable points….to get the confidence back or tear it to shreds.

  189. VCC says:

    Big Raddy, I think Ozil bottled it against the physicality of Chelsea.

  190. fatgingergooner says:

    GiE,

    We definitely have potential to be special, but maybe not many who are the finished article. Wilshere, Ramsey, Ox and Gnabry could be great but are not the finished article. Ox was my favourite to be something special but his injury was such a shame. Having said that he’s still the one I think could take us to the next level. I feel Barkley is stealing his headlines at the moment. He has a similar power and build, and could definitely be a force in that attacking midfield position.

  191. fatgingergooner says:

    GiE

    I would also add that 25/26 year old Championship winners are not players you can sign easily.

  192. Gööner In Exile says:

    I know FGG, but they’re better than 29/30 year old ones looking for their swan song contract.

    Rooney would be one….

  193. neamman says:

    OG has always been a streak player for us, we need him to find the net soon and then knock in 4-5 goals in the following 5 games

  194. arnie says:

    I agree, GiE.

    VCC: My own personal opinion is that Ozil was his usual self, not better not less. Yes, he has lifted the team, but he has never been at his best so far for Arsenal. Maybe, I am wrong, but I believe Ozil is a much better player than a couple of moments of brilliance every game. At his best, he works tirelessly and completely monopolizes the midfield. That is the Ozil I remember from before this summer. He will get there, but perhaps he needs one other partner in crime at his level in the midfield. Perhaps Ramsey sometime soon. But at the moment, Rambo is a bit inconsistent!!!! That is what I feel. :D :D :D

  195. fatgingergooner says:

    GiE,

    The only players we could sign like that would be players who had won foreign titles. Özil for example who was £40m! Gustavo would’ve been another from Bayern. Or maybe Casillas?

    Anyone watching the Henry 100 on Sky? Had forgotten some of these gems!

  196. fatgingergooner says:

    Arnie,

    I think it’s Cazorla and Ox who could bring out the best in Özil. They are both great attacking players who could tune in to Özil’s tempo. Not to take anything away from Ramsey, Wilshere or Walcott, but I just feel these 2 have more of the continental style that would help Özil flourish.

  197. arnie says:

    FGG: I am personally not in favour of getting a player who has reached his peak. Much better get one who is 3 years away and develop the kid. That is the style of developmental football that Arsenal plays, and they are unique. I would be sad if we were to run after top players and lose this unique character!!!! Maybe, just my preference, but there you are!!!! :D :D :D

  198. arnie says:

    FGG @ 11:25: Yes, agreed, you could be right. My previous comment was a response to your 11:21.

  199. arnie says:

    FGG: Mom and babby doing well? And dad as well? :D :D :D

  200. Gööner In Exile says:

    I think we are well set for flair and skill, take Eisfield and Gnabry two more young Germans waiting to break through.

    I think it’s that maturity of knowing the right thing to do on occasion and for that you need senior players to show the way….and that’s where Lampard, Ivanovic and Terry have more to offer their teammates than Arteta, Sagna and Vermaelen for example.

    The three experienced Cheksea heads looked more calm tonight than our experienced three. BFG being the exception in my opinion.

  201. fatgingergooner says:

    GiE,

    I agree that Chelsea have more experienced pkayers than ours, but if we are reluctant to get 30+ players then the only way you can get Championship winners is to buy them (£20m+ at a time!) or create them (win the league!).

    We have a whole team full of potential winners and experience, but to get to the next level we have to start winning things. Easy! :)

    Arnie,

    All are good thanks. Although I’m not sure Jack is watching these Henry best of 100 goals closely enough. I shall be having words. After all, if you’re good enough you’re old enough, and at 11 days old he could be our next star striker! :)

  202. arnie says:

    FGG: :D

  203. Gööner In Exile says:

    :D FGG, 11 months in and Geirge cried when I celebrated the Santis goal against Liverpool…..was a bit confused by Daddy jumping out of his sofa shouting “Geeeett In” Thankfully he was in bed tonight and didn’t get his first lesson in how to swear at referees.

    Peaches/Rasp Report in drafts if needed.

  204. Good result for Arsenal. Still in front of Shitty and Chavs with Pool now being in a false position because they still have to play Shitty and Chavs.

    Let’s also not forget that Shitty, the team everybody fears, have played 6 of their 7 games against the other top teams at home. Considering their away form, if they don’t address that problem, they’re gonna have a dreadful second half of the season.

    This year’s January transfer window might be decisive to clinch this very tight Premier League…

  205. fatgingergooner says:

    GiE,

    So far Jack hasn’t had to experience that as we’ve lost 6-3 and drawn 0-0 since his birth. However, I do have BT Sport and I’m expecting big things away at West Ham so he may be slightly startled when I jump off the sofa and scream ‘get the f**k in’ when we score! Obviously some of the words may be adjusted for his sake! :)

    B Rochet,

    I wouldn’t say it was a good result, as we need to win the home games, but it wasn’t a disaster. Like you say, it’s going to be a very tight season, but I still think City have the depth to win the league. Picking a top 4 from Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, City, Everton, Spurs and United is almost impossible, which tells you just how tight things are.

  206. GunnerN5 says:

    Holy cow, so much gloom and doom on here after we just gained a point against one of the best tactician’s in football.

    We are second in the PL half way through the season – how many of you would have salivated for that in August?

    Small wonder that blogging drives me crazy so many wise men that know so little and cannot enjoy the moment – good grief!

    Rasp I gave it a lot pf thought and here I go press……………post comment.

    Good night and a very happy Xmas and a very healthy New Year to my remaining friends on AA.

    t

  207. MickyDidIt89 says:

    There are many reasons I loathe Maureen, but his anti-football really stinks.

    I stopped watching at half time I enjoyed it so little, and thought I’d catch the result later as the final score was going to be the only interesting bit.

    Not upset with the point, as it also denies Chelsea two points as well.

    My thoughts on the first 45 are the same as they were after Everton. The team relied on the stunning form and goals from Aaron. When the side clicked last season, it was the form and position of Santi.

    In short, we always need to “click from the middle”.

  208. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Would love to see us go to W’Ham with a fresh and fighting fit midfield trio. Santi back in the middle, with Pod and Theo bringing the goals and thrust.

  209. chas says:

    Yep, Power, Thrust and Intensity definitely required against the burgermeister.

  210. chas says:

    One of the good things about last night was that I wasn’t there.

  211. chas says:

    Rasp and peaches,
    I did send that post about the 2002 cup final at the start of December, if you have a Black Sunday type day to fill.

  212. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thank goodness you didn’t make the journey for that, Chas.

    A mate of mine (and Rocky’s) used to go to most away games, but I’ll always remember him saying he’d always give the Bridge a swerve when Maureen was last in residence for footballing reasons.

    So glad I bunked off at half time.

  213. chas says:

    Yep, one of my better decisions turning back.
    Some on twitter travelling by train, didn’t get in till 4 in the morning!

  214. chas says:

    I thought they were going to go for us.
    Should’ve known him better.

  215. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas
    So so jealous seeing that. We haven’t been out for about two weeks due to shite winds.
    In fact only five minutes ago, my son came racing in holding a laptop “Dad, Dad, perfect conditions Jan 2. 1 mph wind from the SE”.

  216. chas says:

    Haha, checking surf conditions 10 days away. Brilliant.

  217. Shard says:

    Good morning everyone and merry Christmas to all! I thought I’d have more time to myself and to blog after the exams, and was I ever mistaken! All the social commitments that excused myself from due to the exams over the past year have come back to bite me really hard.

    On the match yesterday. I’m surprised at the negativity to be honest. Like GIE said, we played to win AND not lose by throwing away the game. I thought it was a mature tactical performance, even if it went against our usual style. Chelsea play on the break and are threatening. We ensured we didn’t make too many mistakes to give them chances. Also with Dean quite clearly robbing us of not only a penalty, but also momentum, in his usual sneaky, weaselly way, it’s no big deal that we didn’t create as much as we would like.

    I did feel the need for a different type of striker to Giroud, but despite that one missed chance, he did well in the game. The second chance wasn’t a miss. It was a great save by Cech.. Ramsey was fairly poor but still created that one chance.Another player who disappointed me was Walcott. Rosicky I thought was fantastic, not just in his passing and how he adds impetus, but also how he stepped up and responded to Chelsea’s hooliganism. He risks a yellow card every time simply because of the shirt he wears, but he never shies away from the battle.

    No substitutions felt strange but frankly the team was playing quite well towards the end and changing it up also carries risks, especially in conditions like they were – both natural and ref made. Besides, the busy schedule is an issue. Why risk injury, fatigue and suspension to more players in a game that is likely not going to (be allowed to) go your way anyway. It’s tough to see as a fan sometimes, but that was possibly a smart decision by the manager. Flamini, Cazorla, Podolski, Monreal, possibly Gnabry and Bendtner, all candidates for West Ham.

    All in all, I thought it was a good performance without being too free flowing. Not the ideal result, but to come away with a draw feeling like we should have won is still a positive against the Moronho-Dein combination.

  218. MickyDidIt89 says:

    He does it every single morning. They have a weather buoys all over the Atlantic.

    We have Buoy 62108, or K3, which is a few hundred miles West of Ireland which is good for a few days ahead.

    For longer range, East of Carribean is what we’ll get 10 days later.

    http://www.stormsurf.com/page2/links/atlabuoy.shtml

  219. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Here’s a pic of one (top left)

    A mate of mine moored up to one when rowing across the Atlantic.

    http://www.newton-noss.co.uk/weather/buoys/

  220. chas says:

    Motning, Shard.

    Looking back at the post match comments, I didn’t really see much negativity. There’s always disappointment after watching Maureen park the bus but apart from that……..

  221. chas says:

    I love the idea of looking at the weather in the Caribbean every day.
    Right off to shift some lard. :)

  222. Shard says:

    Chelsea were like Stoke during the throw ins. They took 30+ seconds almost every time. They came looking for a draw and hoping to nick us on the break. We almost sucker punched them in the last 10 mins. Which would have been great, but wasn’t to be.

    Looking around the net, I think that we, as Arsenal fans, have become too demanding of perfection and anything short of it is worthy of blowing up into an issue. I blame the media. If Chelsea had played like we did in the first half, they’d have been talking about how they are dominant and Arsenal have been under the cosh, despite creating one good chance (which Lampard was unlucky with, but Giroud would have ‘missed’). They would have blown up the penalty issue (not that Chelsea would ever be denied a pen), not brushed it off. We get the first goal there and Chelsea can no longer play to their southorc strengths. And Mourinho’s teams struggle without their orc masks on.

    By the way, I am so glad we didn’t get Hazard. I just thought that (again) during the game yesterday. 32m pounds. Good player, great talent, but a banned word and an under-performer.

  223. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I too must offski.
    Saddling up, and off to London shortly.
    Have a great time one and all.

  224. Shard says:

    hi chas

    Perhaps negativity was the wrong word. Wasn’t implying that people were being the pain in the arsenal type of ‘fans’. I was surprised by the tone of some of the comments though since I was quite proud of the performance, while recognising that it wasn’t the best football we’ve played.

  225. Shard says:

    Well that’s just great. I finally get here and everyone runs off… *Forever alone* :(

  226. Adrian says:

    Gie, yes the service for Giroud was piss poor yesterday, but on the 2 occasions where he had great chances to convert I felt that he should have done better. I think a Suarez/Aguero like player (Yes, it’s xmas and I’m allowed to have wishful thinking!) would have done just as well as a Drogba would in games like these. A striker with good pace and flair that can make runs and dribbles to unlock tight defenses. I mean Giroud’s hold up play with his back facing the goal wasn’t really effective in games like yesterday’s.

  227. Adrian says:

    By the way, anyone seen the crowd’s reaction when Ramsey kicked the ball out of play when Ramires was down injured? Yes, always play to the whistle and it’s not a head injury, but I felt that the crowd’s reaction to Ramsey displaying decent sportsmanship was a tad bit excessive. Though I could understand where they’re coming from.

  228. Shard says:

    Oh Hi Adrian.. Will you be my friend? :D

    About the Ramsey and Ramires incident, I was one of those that got annoyed, as did some of the Arsenal players. Chelsea are known cheats. Only Ancelloti got them playing some decent football with some decency. Mourinho has been the worst of the lot. I remember a Drogba goal scored against us which came from a situation where Arsenal kicked the ball out in good sportsmanship for their players, and they returned the ball for a throw near our corner flag and pressed us, which broke for Drogba to score. They can be bleeding to death on the pitch but they don’t deserve a freebie. Ramires was completely fine anyway. It was quite obvious.

  229. Gööner In Exile says:

    Morning all. The putting the ball into touch is always difficult, Ramires was substituted immediately so we know he wasn’t feigning injury.

    But I need to look again and see whether Chelsea went to play forward immediately after he got injured or whether we got the ball straight back, if Chelsea start to play forward then they have no right to demand the ball be put out if they made no attempt to do so.

    And as Ramsey was the one who injured Ramires you never know if he actually heard a crack or something and was more concerned for the player.

    Shard you refer to Mourinho’s dark arts, that’s actually where he annoys me the most media will say it is the sign of the winner but it’s just cheating, Dean spotted (amazingly) Mikel bumping Szczesny off the ball at a corner but there are all types of things he didn’t. Some dark arts and some just plain for all to see, Ivanovic with his studs grazing Özil’s eyebrows not even a free kick. But what really sticks is that the media (and the Sky commentary team last night) fawn over him. They laughed as Mourinho indicated to Dean that Lampard had not fouled Sagna, whereas Lampard actually went through his calves before playing the ball, if a centre back made that challenge on the half way line I would expect it to be a foul.

    He is a very unlikeable human being lets not forget this is the man that gouged the eye of a fellow football coach. And I really wish someone would knock him off his pedestal.

  230. Gööner In Exile says:

    Apologies Shard I thought Ramires went off after that injury….just checked BBC he didn’t.

    Anyway surveying storm damage I am two fence panels down and a few more damaged…off to get roof rack and then the fence panels.

    Joyful start to the holiday season!

  231. LB says:

    “Tonight for the first time we actually played to win “and” not get beaten, it means you have less chance of winning, but also less chance of losing.”

    I thought this was very insightful.

  232. Shard says:

    GIE

    I was just going to say that I must have missed Ramires being substituted just then. Also, I think it was Giroud that ‘injured’ Ramires. Ramsey’s reaction after kicking the ball out also seemed to suggest that even he didn’t believe that Ramires was injured, but felt obliged to do what he did nonetheless. Which in my view, is naive. I love Arsenal being the good guys. But it has to have its limits. Niceness to those that deserve it. Chelsea don’t.

    As for Mourinho. It is a sign of the times that the likes of Mourinho are lauded by the media. That’s the only pedestal he’s on. You just have to read his post match views sucking up to the English media with nonsense about ‘English blood’ and foreigners like Arteta overreacting to know that it’s a two way street with him and the British media. He was widely hated in Italy and Spain. It’s also always about him with him. Not about his club. Only when it goes well of course. It is also telling that for Chelsea, a draw against us counts as doing well. A few years ago, that would have been unthinkable.

  233. Rasp says:

    I think the chavs are one of the nastiest teams around – a perfect reflection of their manager. They got away with so much horrible stuff yesterday that Dean just turned a blind eye to. Ivanovich nearly took Ozil’s head off (yet another definite yellow) and then he went after Ozil as if he was the aggrieved party. Ramirez is a nasty piece of work and shouldn’t have been on the pitch. Rosicky made an innocuous challenge and go a yellow for no reason. I have to say Cahill was good and showed you can play hard without being dirty.

  234. Just sorting the post, back in a bit

    Morning all

  235. Big Raddy says:

    Agree with all being written about Chelsea’s tactics. We got a physical battering and yet were the ones “knocking on the door” at the end.

    In a just world we would have won 2-0 against 9 man Chelsea

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