New signings to hurt the Saints.

Imagine you are the Southampton manager. You have taken an exciting young team into the PL – a huge achievement . You wait for the fixture list all summer. You get your first look and you see that your team will be playing the Top 3 clubs in your first 4 matches. What do you do? Do you think “Excellent, we will show them just how well we play ” or do you think “Bum, that is a swine of a start”?

Fair play to Nigel Adkins, he has stuck to his football ethics and played attacking entertaining football, giving both MC and MU problems and in both cases being unlucky not to take at least a point. But, and here is the rub, they have Nul Point, di nada, niente, ingen, zero, nothing, to show for their fine play. The defence has conceded 8 goals in just 3 games and the prospect of playing at the Emirates Stadium against a confident Arsenal must be a cause for concern.

What is my point? Well, given these circumstances would you tell your team to go out and express themselves or would you say, “keep it tight at the back and see if we can get through without conceding”? So ….Parkere Bussen eller Ikke?

What do you expect to happen if Southampton play an open attacking game? Be honest, you would expect a healthy Arsenal victory. I know we can point to Norwich etc from last season but this is a different AFC – one with defensive discipline. Can you see us conceding 2 goals today?  I can’t. (writes BR with fingers crossed). Other bloggers have predicted an end to end proper game of football but I have my doubts. On the open spaces of Ashburton Grove the burgeoning genius of Santi Cazorla and friends could run riot and Adkins will have noted how Sunderland’s negative tactics nullified our attacks.

Southampton’s Past, Our Future

Southampton: Adkins has made a fine signing in Ramirez, we can expect him to be a significant figure through this season. Lallana was called up to the England squad and at just 24 has made huge strides, he is an attacking midfielder with a deft touch. Ricky Lambert has scored against both MC and MU – let’s hope he doesn’t continue his fine form. Mr Wenger is a great admirer of Southampton’s Youth Project, he says of the club , “It is unbelievable. First of all, it is fantastic scouting and they have a good development and coaching programme with young players” Another supposed Arsenal target is Luke Shaw an exciting 17 y.o left back but with Gibbs just settling in I would be surprised to see Shaw bought.

Luke Shaw. Another Future Gunner?

As to our team. Not an easy call what with the CL trip to France on Tuesday. Will Mr Wenger risk the rejuvenated Diaby? Or the young but powerful Ox? I expect to see Ramsey start, though I would equally happy with Coquelin; Ramsey will be a top player but I thought he was too young and raw to take the weight of creative responsibility last season; rotation in midfield will greatly assist AR’s development and this is just his sort of game.

The biggest dilemma for AW is the return to fitness of Koscielny, a man who in my opinion was the most improved player at the PL last season. If he plays who will he replace? Both BFG and our Captain are in fine form and have yet to concede; what kind of reward would a bench seat be for such sterling work? The Corporal is settling into his position so it would make little sense to play Kos at RB. Furthermore, Santos is fit and ready to reclaim the LB slot; is he better than Gibbs who is developing into a decent defender even if his final ball is poor? Then there is the return to fitness of our first choice keeper. Mannone has done well but TPIG  should play when fit.

My team:

This team will change for the Montpelier trip with Kos returning and probably Santos and O-C, but surely it is too early to change a defence which functions so well. The prospect of a fit JW, Sagna and TR will further enhance what looks like an excellent squad. We have quality cover everywhere (except perhaps for Arteta).

I was at Highbury the last time Southampton beat us with a Danny Wallace goal – it was a salutary experience and not one to be repeated, but I was also there  the day we beat them 6-1 with Jermaine Pennant scoring a hatrick on his debut.

I would like to dedicate this post to the above mentioned Danny Wallace. A fine player whose career was ended at just 30 y.o. by the awful disease multiple sclerosis. Any man who can run the London Marathon suffering from MS and take 5 days to do so (which he did in 2008) deserves the utmost respect.

We need to score at home. We need to see Giroud open his account and I need Podolski to score to win my bet with Didit. Cazorla will score with a free-kick. All of which predicts a healthy victory secured by our new signings.

I wish Southampton well through the season and hope they can stay up keeping faithful to Adkins footballing philosophy, but just for today I wish them a humiliating defeat!

COYRRG

Written by Big Raddy

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225 Responses to New signings to hurt the Saints.

  1. 26may1989 says:

    Oh happy days, finally my four month wait for a return to THOF is over. Frankly, I don’t care who’s in the starting line up today, I’m just feeling so giddy about getting back there. But it is nice to see the manager having plenty of options today. And an excellent prematch as ever Raddy.

    And I hear Peaches’ legs will be on display today, excellent news. :)

  2. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Very nice touch with the Danny Wallace tribute, Raddy.
    For that, I’ll forgive the lack of a bearded one. Thanks.
    Yip, I agree with your selection, but you are going to be seriously disappointed this season. Ollie will be top scorer by a country mile.
    Get in there Monsieur Giroud.

  3. MickyDidIt89 says:

    26,
    You also read that article about the Peaches Bare Legs in the Ladbroke Grove Gazette. Cracking article it was too.

  4. Big Raddy says:

    Does Peaches have legs? I thought she floated a few inches above the ground.

    26. I am deeply envious

  5. goonermichael says:

    Fantastic write up as usual Raddy. I think we’ll score 5 and concede 6

  6. oz gunner says:

    @ Big Daddy

    Don’t act all surprised, I caught you sneaking a peek when we were in peaches pocket.

    Cracking pre-match as always (even better after a lull)
    I agree with not changing the defense just yet, they’ve been doing a great job. Looking forward to seeing this shaw in action, considering he looks next in line to be pinched by Arsene

  7. goonermichael says:

    LOL
    Someone changed my comment :)

  8. Red Arse says:

    Fine pre-match epistle, Great Randy. :-)

    I noticed your question on the subject of peaches.

    Peaches have been described as akin, in appearance, to a perfect, fuzzy, pinky hued bottom, and noted for their pure, sweet succulence.

    They are also believed to symbolize strength and longevity, while, at the same time also being fragile and easily bruised, and exquisite care should be taken when handling.

    The only way to know a peach is to experience one!

    What they do not have is legs!! :-)

  9. oz gunner says:

    @ RA

    haha brilliant! a fuzzy bottom

  10. VCC says:

    Smashing pre match Raddy, as always.

    Got me all excited in anticipation for 15:00 hrs. Down my local with lucky pants, Arsenal tank top, and a little cash in pocket for a few peroni’s. Wish I was at the Tavern this afternoon.

    Call me an optimist, but I cant see anything but an Arsenal win. Would be icing on the cake if we could keep a clean sheet and Giroud gets off the mark. 3-0 to the Arsenal has a lovely tone.

    The only change I would make to your line up is a start for The Coq instead of Ramsey.

    COYRRG

  11. slimgingergooner says:

    3-1 Giroooo 2 Cazorla 1

  12. Rasp says:

    Top pre match Raddy and well done on crediting Danny Wallace.

    I’d like us to be in control from the start today and be professional and clinical. Coquelin is the man to replace Diaby for me.

    Ramsey has had a couple of pretty poor games for Wales and he hasn’t regained the form and potential he was showing just before the leg break when he had finally replaced Denilson in the team.

    I’d have been happy to see Ramsey go out on loan until Christmas to give him a chance to regain his form and just to get match time.

    Definitely expect Giroud to get a goal (or two) today. And I’d like to bet TotAl and Rocky that Chamakh won’t score :lol:

  13. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Are you going Rasp?

  14. Yes Rasp is going Micky :P

  15. LB says:

    Ahhh, a BR pre-match, now it is time to get ready.

    I am going for 3-1.

  16. Wonderful preview as always BR, and i loved the Danny Wallace piece too, quality.
    4.1 today with Giroud to get 2.
    Hope Coq replaces Arteta who replaces Abooooooo.
    BFG has to continue for me as well.
    OK enjoy your day people, if you want a decent reliable hi quality stream try “liveonlinefooty.com” though they charge a couple of quid.

  17. RockyLives says:

    What, no Chamakh? :)

    It’s OK Rasp – he’ll score from the bench :)

    Fantastic pre-match BR – you hit the nail on the head with you question about what approach Saints will take. Given the goals they have conceded you would expect them to have worked on defence. But given the goals they have scored against top teams, you would also expect them not to want to blunt their attacking edge too much.

    I would be very happy with another tight defensive showing from us, with the sort of fast attacking we showed against ‘Pool. My guess – 2-0 to the good guys (Olivier and Marouane :) )

  18. slimgingergooner says:

    Does no one have sky on here!? Tight sods! :)

    You know I can get you it half price, right?

  19. goonermichael says:

    photo/1

  20. Hi Slim
    Its not on Sky mate

  21. GunnerN5 says:

    BR:

    Your pre-match is always a winner and this week you have once again showed how to write superbly without trying to be Dickens.

    I am a tad nervous about today’s game as I see it as a water shed game – it will show us whether or not we have modified our style of play effectively enough for it to become a permanent improvement.

    I would prefer Arshavin to Walcott, Coquelin to Ramsey and I would not damage Mannone’s confidence by playing Szczesny – but I agree on not changing the defence. However you are usually correct in your choices.

    Another clean sheet would also give the team a new record and would add to their confidence level going into a critical 5 games during just 16 days.

    Thank you for keeping up your high standard.

  22. goonermichael says:

    Kate Middleton = Naked Tit Model (perfect anagram)

    From twitter

  23. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Top shelf as usual Big Raddy!

    I really do hope Giroo gets off the mark today, the headlines will go ballistic with comparisons to Bergkamp and Thierry ( i think they scored their 1st goals against Soton). I also think Ox should start before Theo, and there is no reason why le Coq shouldnt be first in line for a starting spot ahead of Ramsey..Coq’s form has been great when filling in and deserves his chances..

    Not predicting anything today, as we havnt done too well against promoted teams recently :-(

    But the job must be done and 3points are crucial in what i believe will be a very tight season..

    Looking forward to a cracking game.To all you gooners out there wherever you may be watching- Enjoy!!

    COYRRG!!

  24. slimgingergooner says:

    Jonathan.

    You win! Was just a test :) honest…..

  25. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Free live streaming on “wiziwig.com” and its not bad quality

  26. slimgingergooner says:

    Giroooo had that knock for France so not surprised he’s on the bench really. Pod through the middle with Gerv and Ox wide. With Diaby, Ramsey, Wilshere, Koscielny, Santos, Sagna, Giroo, Theo, Rosicky, Arshavin not in the side!!! How strong is our squad!?

  27. Big Raddy says:

    Hope Pod gets a couple, but I am disappointed not to see Giroud. Major pressure on our MF to score today.

    BTW. How diid that guy get the team sheet so early? A might suspicious….

  28. oz gunner says:

    @ PPP

    ready for some lu lu lu magic?

  29. Total says:

    Excellent PM Raddy and thanks especially for the level of respect and attention to detail on our opponent today. Very informative and a nice touch of you with the Danny Wallace tribute! :)

    I agree Ramsey would be Wenger’s first choice replacement for Diaby but with two tiring games and an away trip to Serbia in his legs, it makes sense he’ll rest him. Le Coq has been shouting for more game time and it will good to see whether he can match his confidence off the pitch with a good performance on the pitch. Compared to Ramsey he still has a long way to go.

    If the Ox is playing and not Theo, as rumoured, it really looks like the latter is on his way out. I hope not though. Ox is just a prospect with lots to learn and Theo has fully arrived.

    Anyway, agree with Rocky 2-0 to the Arse, maybe 1-0. Arteta to score. :)

    Enjoy the game fellow Gooners – COYRRG!!!! :)

  30. oz gunner says:

    @ TA

    if Theo has fully arrived then i’d be very worried. Personally I feel Coquelin has surpassed Ramsey (based on last years form anyway)

  31. Total says:

    If the rumoured line-up is true, I bet GiE will be very pleased, as he has been banging on for need to rotate players more (and I agree with him).

  32. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy,
    “I am disappointed not to see Giroud”… eh?
    Do you know team news?

  33. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Someone..Total..help me out. Rumoured line up?

  34. Total says:

    Micky, see GM@ 1.34

  35. RockyLives says:

    TA
    I think Theo was ill, which is why he didn’t play for England midweek, so I’m not surprised he’s not in the starting line up. No mention of the subs yet?

  36. RockyLives says:

    Tsk tsk Micky
    Are you skipping comments? :)

  37. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp, Peaches, Chas, Chary and 26 will be downing the last pints right now :-(

  38. Total says:

    OZ, very worried? Why? His stats don’t lie…

  39. But today is about us and Southampton, fine pre match as ever Raddy, i fear Lambert think he will be this seasons Grant Holt.

    Hopefully they come and play football and it should be an entertaining game whatever the result.

    Nice piece on Danny Wallace, i liked him as a player.

    Apparently today at 3:06 there will be singing of You’ll Never Walk Alone by the Arsenal fans in memory of those 96 that lost their lives at Hillsborough, will be pretty moving occasion, i remember being in the North Bank the day it happened and hearing the news over the wires, i also remember a couple of weeks later whilst beating Norwich 5-0 both Arsenal and Norwich fans sung YNWA with scarves aloft.

    Finally a public announcement for those in MacLand:
    Sopcast is available for OSX so no more dodgy flash streams instead pick up the SOPcast URL from wiziwig and load it up, watching the WH v Norwich game at the moment and its a good quality stream.

  40. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Total/Rocky,
    Ah. I do skip straight over Tweets, but great looking team if true.
    Pod through the middle. I’m disappointed not to see Giroud (and not just a bet) as I think it may be a great game to get him out of the traps.
    Delighted to see Coq start.

  41. Red Action are starting a new song today:

    There were ten tottenham points in the gap
    There were ten tottenham points in the gap
    There were ten tottenham points, ten tottenham points, ten tottenham points in the gap

  42. Total says:

    Did anyone read the Guardian Sports section today. Brilliant front page (main) article/picture of our current defence and the TA-led defence of the past. Apparently, we have never started a season with four clean sheets in a row in the top-flight. There are also quotes by Wenger – which I read now for the first time – that he has specifically given Bould the task to improve our defence:

    ‘He has taken over for the defensive job, where he is doing very well. Will we finish with the best defence in the league? I hope so.’

    I did not realise either that Bould will be managing the team in the next three CL games with Wenger in the stands. Will be good to see how he will manage that!

  43. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky,
    Was Theo ill?
    I don’t suppose he enjoyed starting behind Ox in the first game.

  44. Total he will just stand and stare at the players until they do what they should :D he’s a hard bastard

  45. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE,
    Stare :-)
    That Arsenal Gentleman very nearly makes me want to open a Twitter account. Brilliant.

  46. Total says:

    GIE :)

    Stare with bould lightning in his eyes. Maybe Oz can produce a picture for the pre-match on Tuesday! :)

  47. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Total,
    Guardian? ROLF
    There aren’t any students/teachers on here, I don’t think :-)

  48. Total says:

    Best read paper/online news site in the UK, Micky!

  49. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Oz,
    g’day buddy. Hows things out west? Yeah im looking forward to some Lu lu lukas magic..It should be a glory poldi alleluia evening, and cant wait to see coq play.. santi, coq reminds me of cesc, flamini partnership… “dangerous” is an understatement..

  50. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Total,
    Are online papers free?

  51. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Oh yes there is and he reads the Guardian :-)

  52. Total says:

    The same Guardian is reporting that the poorly Saints are the sixth-highest net transfer spenders in Europe – fourth highest in the PL…

  53. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Is Theo on the bench?

  54. Total says:

    For some you need to pay and some finance themselves purely through advertising. The Guardian website is second to none in my view and is ‘free’.

  55. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ooops, sorry Raddy. Forgot.

  56. oz gunner says:

    @ TA

    I like Theo and his stats are impressive, I just prefer to think of him as developing because there are a lot of attributes he can improve on. If he was the finished article I’d be a touch disappointed tbh.

    @ PPP

    beautiful, weather is heating up and shorts and singie season is upon us. I agree, it’ll be a joy to see, Le coq is very flamini-esque just with a touch more skill (I’d say less drive into the box but we haven’t seen much of him in his favourite position.How’s it on the east?

  57. Big Raddy says:

    Best get on liveonline….

    GIE Cant get it to load on my ipad.. Strange.

  58. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Moments before The Arsenal kick off. Isn’t this the best time of the week?

  59. oz gunner says:

    sure is Micky, the one moment where everything seems right in the world!

  60. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    singlet and thongs Oz. Enjoy the 1st half, talk l8r :-)

  61. Big Raddy says:

    COYRRG

  62. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    thats it Raddy, belt it out my friend..

    Cmon Gunners!!!

  63. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Come on you Gunnnnnnnnners

  64. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Podolski= SNIPER

  65. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Thats it Micky…love it

    Up the ARSENAL

  66. GunnerN5 says:

    Yet another team plays 4-5-1 against us………………..

  67. oz gunner says:

    that was all lukas, that was walcott vs chelsea stuff. great to see! a real fighter

  68. Big Raddy says:

    Brilliant play from Pod

  69. GunnerN5 says:

    The defence got in it’s own way ……..

  70. evonne says:

    this is all too fast for me :) :)

  71. Fantastic work by the Pod, nice pas to Gibbo, and a good cross. 1-0 Arsenal

  72. Need 2 more before half time please and i can light a cigar and open the brandy for the second

  73. fark, my whole street blacked out for 5 or so min after the goal..

    need i say it was ze purrfect :-)

    Wengerball is back baby

  74. We are gonna enjoy this season my friends, even if we go without a trophy, we are watching the sexiest football in the universe..

    Farca who? dont even mention em in the same sentence..

    They are all in our shadows :-)

  75. oz gunner says:

    brilliant!!!! eat sh*t bsr,thats how it’s done!!!

  76. Just calling it how i see it ;-)

  77. Robin who????

    Fantastic strike by the Pod

  78. Big Raddy says:

    Worried Didit?

  79. oz gunner says:

    es gibt einen Fußballgott!

  80. Stoke are beating City ROFL

  81. Big Raddy says:

    Break out the brandy and cigars…..

  82. oz gunner says:

    stick a fork in it,the leagues done! what a pass

    crack open the brandy GIE

  83. Great past by Arteta, good run by the Swerve and a lovely finish

  84. Big Raddy says:

    Beautiful ball from Arteta to Gerv

  85. kelsey says:

    I am absolutely loving this, brightens up what has been a shite few months

  86. evonne says:

    foocking hell, we is good

    Did both Mancs struggle againt S’ampton, really?

  87. oz gunner says:

    hahaha gibbs the own goal specialist

  88. Screw the Brandy and Cigar straight on to the Port and Pipe

  89. Adrian says:

    4-0 even before halftime!! Arsenal firing on all cylinders here!

  90. Big Raddy says:

    Boring, boring Arsenal

  91. evonne says:

    doom and gloom experts, 3:1?? 4:0 already :)

  92. Good to hear it Kelsey, what is they sing about Arsenal?

    You are my Arsenal my only Arsenal,
    You make me happy when Skies are Grey,
    You’ll never know just how much i love you
    Until you take my Arsenal Away….

    Na na na naaaaa na na na na naaaaa na
    :D

  93. oz gunner says:

    come on! haven’t scored in a while!

  94. Adrian says:

    Every single player on the pitch is having an excellent game, gotta wonder what they had for breakfast today! What a game.

  95. oz gunner says:

    nooooooooooo our clean sheets!

  96. Adrian says:

    No 4th clean sheet in a row :(

  97. Poor from Szczesny, just stay on your line, no need to make yourself busy!

  98. Say we are 2nd in the league, say we are 2nd in the league!

  99. Adrian says:

    This game should highlight the importance of scoring early. Not only does it boost confidence but it offers much more freedom for creativity for our players. Look at that crisp passing today.

  100. kelsey says:

    agreed GIE, must say jenkinson looks more and more composed with each game.

    Szczesny hasn’t played since those two howlers at the Euros.

  101. oz gunner says:

    you can have your brandy GIE i’ll have mine:

    here you go TA:

    http://imageshack.us/a/img254/2140/stevebould.jpg

    (i think i say these after the conceded goal!

  102. Big Raddy says:

    S’ton left back is having a nightmare, but then so is tthe right back, midfield ,attack, CB’s and keeper.

    Brilliant half from 10 of our lads. Everyone of them superb.

  103. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Holy Shmoly, that was some performance.
    Raddy,
    Pod scoring is very good news always in my book.
    If he grabs 30, I’ll be delighted, because it’ll mean 61 min between him and Ollie. :-)

  104. Good point Kelsey, hadn’t thought of that, well hopefully thats them out of his system now, hopefully the back 4 will tear him a new one at half time, they are playing as a team/group, and he is still a little bit too full of himself.

    Very impressed with Jenks and Gibbs that half

    The bench is looking keen to get on too.

  105. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE,
    Have you fired up The Winston indoors?
    I have a self imposed indoor smoking ban since children, so just popping outside. Enjoy your last dry, warm, smokes :-)

  106. Wenger is a GeNIUS.. some people take him for granted, but i just want to thank him..

    Now raise your glasses, gooners :-)

  107. Adrian says:

    Did you guys take a look at the bench we had? Not a bench to be taken lightly for sure.

  108. GunnerN5 says:

    Poor decision and even worse execution from Szczensy, I’d hoped the AW would have keep faith in Mannone.

    Kelsey – what should we call 3 howlers in a row?

    A side – splitter ?

  109. Total says:

    Hi Oz, great Bouldy picture! Many thanks :)

    You are right re Theo – I hope he will develop further too. But if he can at least repeat last season’s performance this season (in terms of stats), I would be very happy still.

    Great first half, although I missed the first thirty minutes due to having to pick up daughter from a party.

    Although, Szczesny was to blame for the Saints’ goal, I thought our defensive shape was not good during the last five minutes of the game and I could see it coming. :(

    Let’s hope next goal is ours.

  110. oz gunner says:

    @ TA

    you know what to do next time…give her bus money haha

    @ Kelsey

    I agree, fullbacks looking good

  111. oz gunner says:

    @ adrian

    very impressive bench, loving our depth

    thought it was unfair to have AA sitting in the back row though

  112. oz gunner says:

    our passing has been top notch today. arteta especially, a few rippers from coquelin too

  113. GunnerN5 says:

    Memories of Newcastle ????????????
    Dread the thought.

  114. Big Raddy says:

    We have started the half so deep.

    Come on boys, more of the first half play

  115. weve taken our foot off the pedal a bit..

    agree Oz, precision passing, im really enjoying watching coquelin.. i think he could be special, very special

  116. oz gunner says:

    time to start wrapping up the boys in cotton wool I think ready for Tuesday.

    AA-Santi
    Poldi-Giroud
    Ramsey-Arteta

  117. Big Raddy says:

    Agree oz

  118. no Oz, i need my fantasy points

  119. Are we being lazy or just soaking up and countering?

  120. kelsey says:

    tricky decision as to what to do.In essence we have the game won but AW will be thinking about CL and possibly City next week just needs the right balance.

  121. oz gunner says:

    well done by ramsey.love his energy

  122. Cazorla is different gravy, great skill by Rambo and well done the Swerve for following it in.

  123. oz gunner says:

    santi has a big tank,never stops running and pressuring

  124. kelsey says:

    I said this morning that gervinho plays much better for his country when he doesn’t hug the wing and cuts inside more,and today he is doing it.

  125. goonermichael says:

    I said 5 and we’d concede 1

  126. oz gunner says:

    @ GM

    still time for a giroud hat trick though

  127. Big Raddy says:

    Oh no …. We could be in trouble. The Prince has beeb subbed

  128. TV5 got bored again hehehe

  129. Total says:

    Third with the highest goal difference!

  130. evonne says:

    GN5 – Newcastle? That was a long time ago, we moved on since :)

  131. Big Raddy says:

    So many excellent performances. Back 4 superb.

    & Santi Cazorla…… I am smitten.

  132. evonne says:

    why is Shitty game still going on? Chavs drew

  133. Total says:

    haha Oz, he is some player :)

    I just cannot believe we have the best goal difference in the league with an average of ‘just’ two goals per game and drawing blank in the first two games….. What a start to the season for us!! :)

  134. Big Raddy says:

    Mrs Raddy out for the evening. Must be time to open a decent bottle of Prosecco.

    Rustle up a quick chicken curry and wait for MOTD (who will no doubt focus on MU)

  135. Total says:

    BR, don’t forget there is a relegation battle on in just 15 minutes! :lol:

  136. Right off to dinner with a dipper later so time to watch Sunderland so i can make sure i can highlight just how shit his team is :D

  137. kelsey says:

    I do worry about our keeper.he looked visably nervous the whole game yet had little to do.2 shots in the second half thankfully went wide,but he was beaten
    .his distribution was also poor.hope he doesn’t go the way as the other Pole.

    Hardest games of all when ones keeper has little to do and concentration is key.
    Anyway a great all round team performance and if i am critical of szzney i think it is justified.

  138. Rasp says:

    Volunteer required for the match report on that fantastic game please

  139. TA i am very impressed at the intelligence of the TV companies having a weekend of relegation battles on TV, Norwich v West Ham today followed by Sunderland v Liverpool and then Reading v Spurs tomorrow. Sometimes they get it just right :D

  140. Rasp Oz watched the whole thing…..just saying :D

  141. Total says:

    Fully justified Kelsey and interesting to see what Bould will do next… Manone might get the nod against Montpelier and possibly even Citeh. Hopefully it is just a blip for Szczesny.

  142. slimgingergooner says:

    Been out on the lash with an old friend so not seen any of the game or banter on here! Also hate it when Thommo does our matches, but I’m assuming we played pretty well! Anyone remember the 6-1 from years ago when Pennant got a hat-trick, think it was last game of the season? Gervinho seems to have done well today and good to see Pod add to his tally.

    Confidence is better than any single player in football, and if you have it, you can be unstoppable, if you lose it, your terrible, let’s hope we are carrying it into the next few matches!

  143. kelsey says:

    Of course the improvement with gervinho is simple. Since he took the beads out of his hair,he can actually see where he is going :)

  144. Total says:

    Hi Rasp :)

    Some of the finest match reviewers were at the game today and it would be great if one of you could give a proper match report. My stream was very poor and I missed the first 30 minutes, so I wont be able to do it.

  145. kelsey says:

    pennant did get a hattrick and that was his last or last but one game in an Arsenal shirt. Attitude problem

  146. VCC says:

    GIE 3:40. That’s my ring tone on my mobile.

  147. slimgingergooner says:

    If GiE’s earlier comments are anything to go by then I’m worried he may be injecting Heroin and drinking Unleaded by now! Hope Liverpool win to calm him down!!!! :)

  148. slimgingergooner says:

    Total,

    So you missed the game then!!!? :)

  149. jnyc says:

    I worry too much about let downs, especially against weaker opponents- but its good to see the team has real confidence. We are just starting to pick up speed :-)

  150. Total says:

    Only missed first goal Slim, but the stream was so crap I could not even see the shirt numbers. Love your avatar btw – very stylish! :)

  151. Adrian says:

    Bloody great performance by every single player today, what made today’s win so much more satisfying and thrilling was that the win was a team effort through and through. Every single player played fantastically well (with the exception of Sczescny, didn’t seem too confident today, guess that’s what happens when you have a terrible tournament at the Euros and barely played after that) and the goals weren’t being scored by just one player. The teamwork today was magnificent, only thing I would change is Ramsey’s goal, wished he’d gotten it instead as it would do wonders for his confidence. Nevertheless we seemed to have caught glimpses of his true form before that horrifying injury.

    Now we just need to string up a couple more of this performances especially in the next 2 weeks or so and this season will start looking really bright.

  152. Sav from Australia says:

    Had an old friend of my dad’s staying over and he is a Man Utd supporter, so I didn’t watch the game LIVE. Watched Man Utd instead – the pain!

    Such a sad moment…can’t sleep…stupid Australian TV when is the replay damn you!!!

    [quiet crying]

  153. Adrian says:

    By the way, easily gervinho’s best performance in an Arsenal shirt today for me. Loved Walcott’s cameo goal with his weaker left foot, especially loved how he didn’t celebrate and went to applaud the Soton fans with the ox at the end of the game.

    And Wilshere, Sagna, Rosicky and Diaby are just about returning to full fitness!

  154. Total says:

    Adrian, were you at the game today?

    Sav, I don’t know you mate, but you got to be more selfish. Arsenal first in your own home every time!! :)

  155. Total says:

    Love this picture of the Pod – he is one focussed, happy Gunner! :)

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/19528203

  156. jnyc says:

    Nice to see the REAL chelskie (without the penalty help)

  157. Big Raddy says:

    L’pool fans must be happy

  158. evonne says:

    Sav – subscribe to LiveOnlineFooty and watch the Team anytime you want, simples

  159. Big Raddy says:

    Once again we looked very secure at the back with BFG outstanding. As I said in the post, where does Koscielny fit in? Capital One Cup???

  160. Helloooooo I’m home ………. who wants the match report, come on don’t be shy………… :)

  161. slimgingergooner says:

    BR,

    Fortunately football is now a squad game and not a first XI. Kozzer will have a big part to play, no doubt about that. We have often lacked decent players to come in and do a job on a minutes notice, that is no longer the case. Players like Rosicky, Kozzer, Santos, Theo, Gerv, Ox, Coq etc are all capable of instant performances. We have the depth to do very very well this season

  162. Is Santi better than Cesc?

    haha, im still buzzing…it could have easily been 12-0. haha, if we peak at the right time and stay consistent without the injury frustrations, we will win the league and take Old Big Ears back to THOF..

    I Love the ARSENAL

  163. slimgingergooner says:

    Cheers TA,

    Took much deliberation and DB10 was definately an option, and one of my first memories is Seamans penalty save against Sampdoria, but being just 27 (sorry to keep rubbing that in everyone!) my best memories are of the invincibles. Not bad memories to be fair!

  164. slimgingergooner says:

    PPP,

    I think your asking the wrong question. both are fantastic footballers in their own right, but if you ask who has the best supporting cast to make them the better player, then there is no competition.

    It sounds daft now, but Santi is our best player since RvP. Give it a year or two and I think that sentence will make sense.

  165. slimgingergooner says:

    Anyone seen much of this Shelvey kid at Liverpool? He looked pretty average a year or 2 ago but was excellent in pre season and against us and looks like he could be half decent.

  166. goonermichael says:

    I haven’t seen anything of the game. Some people are saying “it was only southampton” That would be the same southampton who gave both the mancs a scare.

  167. rhyle says:

    Just back from a half-decent afternoon at the Arsenal..!

    Just read through your post, Raddy – borderline spot on and a cracking read as always.

    Highlight of the day was Podolski’s free kick and the rebirth of “he scores when he wants”…means I don’t have to teach my 3yo boy a new song – just to sing LP’s name instead of that other fella…you know – the one with the injury…

    Giroud’s Hey Jude inspired number was pretty nifty, too.

    Now for some celebratory bubbles…all in all? Good day.

  168. goonermichael says:

    our goal difference is 14 better than this time last season

  169. rhyle says:

    Peaches…can we just post the word “AWESOME” in really big letters for the match review tomorrow?

    Best I’ve seen for ages.

  170. Rasp says:

    Hi rhyle, where do you partake of beverage before games?

    Terrific team performance today. I was surprised when it looked like Ger was going to play in the centre of a front 3 but in reality the movement was so fluid all 3 (the ox and pod included) popped up all over the place.

    It was Gervinho’s best game for Arsenal I’ve seen.

  171. chas says:

    Super pre-match, BR.
    I read it out to my bro on the way down in the car. He was saying ‘no way will Ramsey start’ and ‘Walcott was poorly in the week’ so wouldn’t start either. Haha.
    I doubt anyone in the world would have picked Gerv, Pod, Ox as our front three except Monsieur Wenger.

    What a great performance – Gerv as a false 9, who would have thought.

    Great to see Peaches, Rasp and 26 in the Tavern. Shame chary was to be busy with his plectrum to join us. :)

    Poldi’s free-kick was so much better than we’ve been used to from bsr.

  172. chas says:
  173. chas says:
  174. evonne says:

    Chas darling – did you know that the whole handshake malarchy was introduced against us? It was because teams complaint about our lot intimidating them in the tunnel and winning the game in the tunnel. The handshake was to take some of the fear players had of TA, DB, Keown and Vieira.

  175. evonne says:

    Ratty – I forgot to thank you for yet another excellent prematch. The mention of 6:1 was uncanny, how clever are you?

  176. GunnerN5 says:

    Lat season I was openly critical of Aaron Ramsey, and I feel my criticism of him was fully justified. So far this season my feelings are quite different, he has a renewed confidence and is turning into a super substitute.

    Right now I believe our weakest link is goal tending, lets hope that we don’t have a Shake-sne-y on our hand, and if we do lets also hope that AW acts quickly..

    Great overall performance today, as good as we’ve seen in several seasons, long may it last.

  177. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    Fantastic performance today, and while it seems churlish to pick someone out…I will.

    Lukas Podolski.

    The guy just exudes something that seems to spread thru the team. His walk, his look, his fighting spirit. I found myself asking how we managed to get such a good player ahead of some of the clubs with so much money to spend.

    I could say the same about Santi.

    Oh and Mert…what a capture…and Verm…oh and can’tforget Kozzer.who’s actually my favourite CB.

    Todays bench…OMG.

    Arsene out…..lol

  178. Has anyone decided they’d love to write a match report yet??????

  179. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    Masterpiece of a write up Randy, and your homage to Danny Wallace is truly commendable. Sterling, sterling work.

    Ps. Its Gooner Michael Watson on the left of the pic welcoming Danny across the finish line.

  180. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    Sorry RHWP,I’m working all day tomorrow (logging in from home) starting at 9.30…early night for me.

  181. rhyle says:

    Rasp…over the last few years we’ve been drinking in the Hen & Chickens on Highbury Corner, though my old man thought the barmaids were miserable today so we ended up over the road in The Junction. True story…not an interesting story, you understand…but true nonetheless…

  182. 26may1989 says:

    Sorry chums, you’ll have to put up with my match report tomorrow….

  183. oz gunner says:

    dammit a 26 post! :wink:

  184. Total says:

    Hi 26, fantastic news! Cannot wait to read it tomorrow. :)

  185. slimgingergooner says:

    1) how good is Cazorla?

    2) Arteta’s pass to Gerv is different gravy

    3) only goal we have conceded was a keeper mistake

    4) Coquelin and Ox are worthy of first team football

    5) a bad game by a GK doesn’t make him dreadful or incapable of being first choice.

  186. Gooner In Exile says:

    I’m starting to understand why Martinez didn’t take Liverpool job….no point making a sideways step is there?

  187. 26may1989 says:

    Agreed Exile, but Wigan looked woeful today.

  188. RockyLives says:

    All true Slim… But I am worried about Szczesny.

    He was poor in the last part of last season, awful in the Euros and very poor today.

    What if he’d gifted that goal against Man Shitty with the score at 0-0?

    Also, a better team would have punished us on some of the occasions when he kicked the ball to the opposition (even when not under pressure).

    His kicking has always been way below the level it should be for an EPL keeper but at least he seemed to be able to command his area. Not sure what’s gone on with him, but part of it may be the way he has been over hyped by supporters.

  189. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rocky I think his hype is in his own head….starting to get NikB syndrome.

    That said he has all the tools to be a top top goalkeeper and he is still only 22. Time to learn but think he needs a bit of confidence boost from the coach/manager plus more work on training ground with GK coaches. There is only one place a keeper regains confidence, and that’s on the front line.

  190. Gooner In Exile says:

    26 based on highlights woeful is an understatement…

  191. kelsey says:

    Morning all, yes I am up even earlier LB ;)

    Well we all seem agreed that it was an outstanding TEAM performance and never mind who the opposition was they have already given other top teams a fright this season.

    No doubt we now have an interchangeable front line and it’s ironic that Theo always insists he wants to play more centrally yet by yesterdays performance Gervinho at this time appears the better option.
    4 of our goals were started from the left flank and Gibbs was instumental with most of them.

    The partnership between Santi and Podolski seems to come second nature to them, and both have fantastic workrate and podolski tracked back many a time (are you listening Arshavin.)

    Then we come to the little concern of our keeper which many have already highlighted.

    Only 2 seasons ago Fabianski was being hailed as our new wonder keeper and then that away CL game shattered his confidence. I concur with everything Rocky said above about Szczesny.

    When you kick the ball iterally straight to the opposition it is either lack of concentration or nerves, not inexperience, but to me he looked nervous the whole match.
    Mannone has played reasonably well and in a perfect world if you put the good parts of each of the keepers as one we would have the solution.Fabianski has lightning reflexes, Szczesny needs to work on his kicking yet generally he controls his area but yesterday was either a lack of communication or he made the wrong decision to come for the ball.
    Mannone is a good shot stopper and has the best kick of them all,but can’t as yet command his area and often looks lost when crosses come in.

    It is worth a debate as there will be games which are really tight and one mistke could cost us 3 points. I accept other keepers have bad runs (Reina as an example at the moment) but the lad is only 22 and and who knows what is in his head. United have the same problem with De gea but he can be interchanged with a keeper (forget his name) who is equal and sometimes better than him.We don’t have that luxury.

  192. oz gunner says:

    Morning Kelsey,

    Good point about the keepers. Personally I don’t think Fabianski has the quality we need. Yes he is a brilliant stopper but he doesn’t command the area enough and has trouble with the high ball, which spells danger in the EPL. In another league where the high ball isn’t a tactic then he’ll be fantastic. Mannone (besides that one howler in the Champions league) seems very calm and assured, and I think his two seasons at hull have progressed his development nicely. I think Szcz should definitely be persisted with. His game against Liverpool was a beauty, and besides a few errors he has been consistent, and a far superior upgrade to almunia. His confidence means he won’t shatter like Fabianski did, so he’ll get through this.

    Szcz=1
    Mannone=backup
    Fabianski= new club to further his career

  193. Morning all,

    I agree Oz.

    Im sure Arsene will let WS know about his error last night without knocking that confidence of his (which was missing in the game).

    The thing is, i suppose as a manager you have to decide which way you want to go..Do you swap your keepers every time a mistake is made like at Manure or does he persist based on form over a greater period of time? i prefer the latter. I remember GiE wrote a post on WS and 90% (if not more) agreed that he should remain as No1…

    Personally, i want his arrogance back that people have been bagging..its what makes the kid No1 in my eyes at least…Over the course of the season WS will win and save us more points than he will cost us..

    rant over

  194. How good was that game? :-)

    I dont care about these muppets who say that the opponent was crap. Soton took it to both manC clubs and didnt bring it to THOF..well i say , tough tits.. They were deflated after conceding the second goal..

    What i loved the most was the precision passing. So quick, so intricate, so telepathic..Oh and seeing the 3-man weave..Its all Arsenes genius my friends,.

    Another thing that Chas mentioned was Gerv asour false 9…What a great idea Mr wenger..his dribbling is fine but his shooting from distance is iffy, so lets bring him closer to goal so he cant miss… I love it.. :-)

  195. Prince Poldis’ free kick?

    purrrrRRRRFECT :-)

    After bsr i said i wouldnt get emotionally attched to another player again (unless international) but with Lu lu lu Lukas Podolski, what’s not to love?

    Dream signing

  196. oz gunner says:

    haha I agree PPP, although ever since I saw him in at the World cup all those years ago he’s been my first signing in Fifa. He’s simply a gun! His transition has been pretty much seemless, it’s great to see.

    Watching them last night and against Liverpool you’d think they have all been playing together for years

  197. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Got cut off second half (BT, you’re engineer better sort out my broadband on monday, or its satellie broadband for us).
    Just watched on Arsenal iplayer, and wow, the movement from Pod and Gerv was fantastic. Quite impossible for defenders.
    Delighted we are getting a “live” report from 26.

  198. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ooo, and another thing.
    Any more performances like that, and I could have a very large helping of humble pie to get through.
    First, and although I haven’t mentioned it, I was beginning to have very serious doubts over Gerv., and second. I could never see how Podolski would fit into the Arsenal system. Now I do, and I’m delighted.

  199. kelsey says:

    Oh and yet another another thing :)

    We saw the best and worst of Theo. he was well positioned (centrally) to be on hand when Vermaelen’s shot cannoned off the keeper to slot it into the net but prior to that his stalling when on the right to cross first tme to the unmarked Giroud,most probably cost the frenchman his first goal.This is where Walcott’s vision often lets him down.

  200. oz gunner says:

    I was thinking the same kelsey. Would have been an easy tap in for Giroud and would have taken a lot of pressure off of his shoulders!

  201. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all

    I was thinking it was unlucky for Giroud that the ball didn’t bounce back to him from TVs effort….and I’d forgotten about that Theo delay incident, he did seem to be focused on giving Giroud the best chance to score.

    Anyway according to the record books OG got two yesterday :D

    Picking up on Kelsey’s point about the Swerve I think LB figured he was the natural central replacement at some point last season.

    MotD was interesting last night with Hansen admitting we could be on the verge of something special at THOF.

  202. evonne says:

    3rd in the table already, only 2 points behind the leaders :) Where were we this time last year?

    The future is bright, the future is red and white.

  203. Gooner In Exile says:

    Also watching the highlights it was noticeable how much movement there was across the top line with players dropping deep and others making runs into holes left in the defence.

  204. MickyDidIt89 says:

    This afternoon’s Relegation Battle between Reading and Totnum could be an entertaining encounter ROLF

  205. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE,
    Second that. Gerv was left, right and central. Meanwhile, Pod’s movement, awareness and work rate were fabulous to watch.
    Very interested to see who our man-on-the-spot, 26, saw as MOTM.

  206. evonne says:

    MotD highlights of the Chelsea game lasted less than 2 minutes, must have been hell lot of a game, sheer excitement :)
    Oh yeah, and 1 minute was about the handshake

  207. evonne says:

    Micky – easy, AW the Genius

  208. kelsey says:

    Nice touch at the end of the match to see the ox and theo go over to the southampton supporters,or were my eyes deceiving me.

  209. kelsey says:

    who is doing the match report ?

  210. Morning all

    kelsey – great comment from you early this morning. The goalkeepng problem rears it’s ugly head again :(

    26may has written a post for today but we don;t have any player ratings, does anyone fancy writing some for me to add to the post?

  211. Yes kelsey, Theo and The Ox went over to the Southampton supporters but the interesting thing was that Theo looked so embarrassed when he scored – originally I thought it was because I’m sure the idea was that he would help Giroud to his first goal but then I realised it was because of his Southampon connection. He did look pretty miserable though :lol:

  212. Big Raddy says:

    Just to put some doomer balance in …..Let us hope this is not an Indian summer.

    OK that is enough balance. What a performance and as I posted midweek – we’re gonna win the league.

    The signing of Pod looks to be inspired – as is Cazorla. Amazing to think that after just 4 games Santi is already the hub of the team, what a player!

  213. Rasp says:

    Morning all, we have an inspiring ‘Reed’ for you today ….

    …… New post …….

  214. t-square says:

    wth tht line up we will win

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