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October 2016
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Arsenal v West Bromwich. Podolski returns!!!!

By Bulldog Drummond

What will we do when the internet comes to an end in five years time (as New Scientist is predicting this week)?

The end (caused by a lack of carrying capacity, not a lack of hard drive space) will of course be the end of civilisation as we know it, which will be a shame.  But I think what I shall miss are those wonderful web sites set up by the strange and funny IT people who seriously believe that programming a web site and letting it run (without watching what is happening) is a reasonable way to do the business.

By way of example, take the increasingly bizarre, amusing and eccentric “Who scored?” website which I have mentioned a few times of late.  It has a man of the match predictor section, which this morning was showing this voting

Man of the Match

1.Alexis Sánchez
2.Vassiriki Abou Diaby
3.Aaron Ramsey
4.Lukas Podolski
5.Nacho Monreal

So that’s all right then.

Ahead of the game the Independent had an interview with Ramsey who amazed the newspaper’s readership by saying he wants to play in the middle.

“Santi is in my position at the moment,” Ramsey said. “He is the one who plays alongside Francis Coquelin and tries to get forward. I am trying to get that back.

“That is what I like to do, to get the ball and drive the team forward. I am not a  No 10 really, playing with my back to goal. I have to start from a defensive position, looking to drive the team forward, playing little one-twos around players, things like that. That’s where I prefer to play.”

The interview doesn’t say much in fact, as most of these pieces don’t, except one little snippet near the end in which he speaks of Arsène Wenger.  “His door is always open, which is a good thing. Yes, he’ll have his reasons but he will also respect yours, and value your opinions.”

So we are told there will be changes and that some players will get a rest ahead of the final, but on the other hand we have to avoid a major disaster and slip down to fourth.  Here’s the top bit with Tottenham 23 points off the top.

1 Chelsea 37 25 9 3 70 31 39 84
2 Manchester City 37 23 7 7 81 38 43 76
3 Arsenal 37 21 9 7 67 35 32 72
4 Manchester United 37 20 9 8 62 37 25 69
5 Liverpool 37 18 8 11 51 42 9 62
6 Tottenham Hotspur 37 18 7 12 57 53 4 61
7 Southampton 37 18 6 13 54 31 23 60

To go ahead of us Man U have to do achieve two things

1: They have to win and we have to lose

2: They have to increase their goal difference vis a vis ours by eight.  So a 4-0 win for them take their GD up to 29, and a 4-0 defeat for us takes us to 28.

As things stand if we both ended up with the same GD then I think (but we had a difference of opinion on this in the office on friday, so I can’t say more than think) we’d be ahead on goals scored, unless they won by plus five or more.

All a bit unlikely, but I thought you might like to know, and none of that affects our ability to sing “It’s happened again”.

I’m really at a loss to know what team we will put out.  Will cup final players really be rested en masse?  Or just one or two?  Could Szczesny be given a trot around in preparation for next weekend?  Gabriel? Another go for Gibbs?  A start for Jack?  A further rest for Santi C?  And Chambers is fit.  A game for him?

The latter case is interesting because Mr W said that he would play him at centre half in the Emirates Cup and on tour, so that could be of some interest in July.

All I can do is suggest this is possible…


Bellerin Mert Kos Monreal

Cazorla Coquelin

 Ramsey Ozil Sanchez


and that some of them might drop out given the context.   Francis Coquelin,for example might sit this one out, with Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla in the midfield.

So, using the team I’ve put up, lurking behind them on the sun and sand we have some of Szczesny, Diaby, Gabriel, Rosicky, Wilshere, Walcott, Gibbs, Flamini, Chambers, Gnabry.

The interesting name is Diaby, who seems ready to play.  How different his life would have been, and how different Arsenal would have been, had one injury not happened all those years ago.

So Debuchy, the Ox, Welbeck and Arteta, probably won’t be there for the cup final, but hopefully will make it back for the prelims in July (although the prognosis on Arteta is not good, and he might be later than that).   Alex and Mathieu are training, but not ready for a game.

West Albion just have keeper Ben Foster out.  Their form of late has been very good compared to earlier in the season.  In the last six it is three wins, two draws and one defeat. They’ve kept 10 clean sheets in 17 league games.

Here’s them and us

3 Arsenal 37 21 9 7 67 35 32 72
13 West Bromwich Albion 37 11 11 15 37 47 -10 44

Across the season, they don’t score that many, but the defence ain’t too bad.  And they have the arch-destroyer rugby man Pulis.  It must be horrible to have a season ticket for a club and find half way through that you are now watching a Pulistic team.

But I guess even that is OK if the alternative is relegation.  After 20 matches they were 17th but have been holding themselves at 13th across nine of the last 11 games.  Of late they have beaten Chelsea, Man U and Palace and drawn with Liverpool.

Overall we are unbeaten in the last eight league games with WBA, and we have won six of them.  But they did win 2-3 at Stadium Wenger in September 2010.   We’ve always scored against them in PL games however.  So just as we continued the run of not losing on a Wednesday, I expect we’ll also continue the run of doing the business against WBA.

But as the press are now going mad in saying we have only won one of our last five Premier League games, and the three consecutive 0-0 draws have been the first time that happened since February 2009, the Great Flood is about to happen, there will be a Second Coming and the World Will End.

And we ain’t had a defeat on the final day of the season for ten years.  During that time it has been nine wins and two draws.

That end of the season went like this

  • 11 May 2005: Arsenal 7 Everton 0
  • 13 May 2005: Birmingham 2 Arsenal 1

I went to both and both were fun.  Dennis B scored in that match in Birmingham – I remember it well, as we all dressed up in fancy dress for the day, and the police decided to search all of us going into the ground.  The guy in front of us came as a dinosaur, and a young PC actually did try and frisk the costume, including a tail that went on for about 1o yards.  Took him ages and he got redder and redder until his sarge came over to see what was what and told him to bugger off.  The sarge then shared a joke with all of us about the problem of letting the kids do football duty.  That’s the way to do it.

Unfortunately we had both earlier got refused entry to the ground for wearing masks (we went as Venetian dignitaries during the Festival).

Oh happy days.

As for the West Bromwich Wobbleyous the last time they won their final Premier League game of the season was against Portsmouth in 2005.

We need an uplift to help us on our way to Wembley.  Mind you, watching Villa on the TV last weekend, I am not sure they don’t need it more than we do.


An anniversary from the old days…

24 May 1919: Arsenal played a friendly at home against Tottenham.  This is of note for although hostilities  between the clubs over Arsenal’s move north had been ended during the war years with Tottenham using Highbury for wartime games, the bad feeling had reopened 10 weeks before this game.  This was due to Arsenal’s election to the first division in preference to Tottenham upon the expansion of the league.

Oh happy days.

25 comments to Arsenal v West Bromwich. Podolski returns!!!!

  • Masterstroke

    There’s two unlikely headlines: A) Venetians expelled from The Emirates
    B) Diaby fit to play for Arsenal
    Seriously though is he at last fit to play or is this a wind up by the “Who Scored” blog

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    The change in referee was caused, as far as I have been able to tell, by Me Clattenberg needing to have emergency removal of wisdom teeth – clearly a ploy on the part of the PGMO to enable them to install their standard thought control chip. Robert Madley is completely new to us and it will be interesting to see how he gets on.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    A 2-0 win for me would be great , with all 3 subs being used. Walcott for Alexis ?
    Come on guys , strut you stuff 1
    Up the Gunners !

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin.

    Let me see if my starts for our home game against WBA will tally with the Boss’ starts when he revealed them. If Szczesny is to keep the goal in the FA Cup final, I am of the thinking the Boss will give him a match fitness run in this WBA game. And as the Boss has said, some Gunners are fatigued and jaded in the Sunderland game. I am of a believe he will rest some of his regular staters for the Cup final game. My starts for the WBA game: Szczesny. ChambersDeAbreuKoscielnyGibbs. CoquelinRamsey. RosickyWilshereWalcott. Giroud. My bench: MartinezRhino’BellerinMonrealDiabyAkpomNiles. These my starters and benchers Gunners are more than guaranteed to convincingly beat the Baggies to all the 3 points that will be at stake at the Emirates Stadium this Sunday afternoon kickoff time.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Clattenberg……some wired things have happened to him this season. Maybe the was caught going to a One Direction concert. Shame we don’t see more of him. A good ref, seemingly given a hard time from his bosses.
    Expect more bus parking unfortunately

  • Josif

    Actually, Robert Madley did one of our games last season.

    It was the match against…wait for it…West Brom.

    It was the Capital One Cup match at the Hawthorns. Some Untolders weren’t happy with the performance while one of them made apology to the ref after he watched the game again.

    I would prefer Clattenburg as I see him as by far the best English referee and the one that doesn’t rob us. He is capable of making mistakes – that’s for sure – but he is not biased. Clattenburg is a good test for paranoia though – if one thinks PGMO is biased against Arsenal, he is most likely healthy. However, if one thinks Clattenburg is biased against Arsenal, that person probably carries aluminum foil over the head.

  • Gord

    Team: Ospina, Bellerin, Gabriel, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Coquelin, Cazorla, Wilshere, Ozil, Alexis, Walcott

    Subs: Szczesny, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud

  • Gord

    I still can’t find any news about Clattenburg, and some news sources still think he is refereeing us today.


  • Gord

    How to go Theo! Some news places placed his shot at 0:52 or so.


  • Gord

    How to go Theo! (Sorry, I’m repeating myself.) And Jack now as well. We still need a goal off a free kick guys. Some announcer babbling about Giroud being worried.

    Keep up the good work Arsenal.


  • Gord

    PGMO rises? Hull had 2 disallowed for offside, and now Chelsea get a penalty. And the spuds are trying to sneak into 5th, because Liverpool is asleep at the wheel.


  • Gord

    How to go Theo! (Yes, I am repeating myself.)

    4-nil, 4-nil, 4-nil, ….


  • Gord

    Come on Arsenal, don’t let them back in. Keep the pressure on WBA.


  • para

    Albion needed a goal else they would just not play anymore. 🙂 Glad to see the lads having fun and trying things without any pressure. Ox may come on later for a run out perhaps.

    When Alexis gets old 🙂 he will probably be a brilliant defender.

    I hope we do not get ANY injuries in International friendlies over summer. Love to see this team start well and all fully available next season.

  • Gord

    Giroud, you want a hat trick, get one. Ramsey, I think you need some goals too! Alexis, put that ball in the WBA net!


  • Al

    Sounds like WBA pulling a goal back put a smile on your face, para 🙂

  • Al

    Fellaini finally getting a red card in a ‘meaningless’ match….

  • para

    Al, only because they would show a little fight. Our players tend to relax when the opposition has given up. Could do with Giroud getting a hat trick though and Ramsey a goal or two (Gord 🙂 ), would boost his confidence for final.

  • para

    Love to see that Ramsey, a thinking player. That would have been goal of the season.

  • Gord

    Maybe fellelbowani gets many games for it?

    > I mentioned losing heads a moment ago and that is a shocker from Marouane Fellaini! He goes in for a tackle, Paul McShane clears it and Fellaini stamps on him. Nasty, nasty foul and a deserved red card.

    > McShane is bleeding and needs attention. A stamp to the nether regions.

  • Gord

    Ox was subbed in? How does he look?


  • Gord

    From the babbling BBC:

    > It is Liverpool’s heaviest league defeat since 1954.


    Spuds win, to finish in 5th. Bleech!

    Sorry about the clean sheet Ospina.

  • Gord

    According to some headline, Ashley (Newcastle) is going to live forever.

    > Newcastle owner Mike Ashley said he will be staying at the club until they win a trophy or qualify for the Champions League.

  • Gord

    With only the FA Cup Final left, a rather fine looking scoring table.

    Alexis Sánchez _ _ 3 _ _0 _ _3 _ 16 _ _1 _ 24
    Olivier Giroud _ _ 1 _ _1 _ _2 _ 14 _ _0 _ 18
    Aaron Ramsey _ _ _ 3 _ _1 _ _0 _ _6 _ _0 _ 10
    Santiago Cazorla _ 0 _ _1 _ _0 _ _7 _ _0 _ _8
    Danny Welbeck _ _ _3 _ _0 _ _1 _ _4 _ _0 _ _8
    Theo Walcott _ _ _ 0 _ _0 _ _1 _ _5 _ _0 _ _6
    Mesut Özil _ _ _ _ 0 _ _0 _ _1 _ _4 _ _0 _ _5
    Laurent Koscielny _0 _ _0 _ _0 _ _3 _ _0 _ _3
    Oxlade-Chamberlain 2 _ _0 _ _0 _ _1 _ _0 _ _3
    Tomas Rosicky _ _ _0 _ _0 _ _1 _ _2 _ _0 _ _3
    Hector Bellerin _ _0 _ _0 _ _0 _ _2 _ _0 _ _2
    Jack Wilshere _ _ _0 _ _0 _ _0 _ _2 _ _0 _ _2
    Mikel Arteta _ _ _ 1 _ _0 _ _0 _ _0 _ _0 _ _1
    Calum Chambers _ _ 0 _ _0 _ _0 _ _1 _ _0 _ _1
    Mathieu Debuchy _ _0 _ _0 _ _0 _ _1 _ _0 _ _1
    Mathieu Flamini _ _0 _ _0 _ _0 _ _1 _ _0 _ _1
    Kieran Gibbs _ _ _ 1 _ _0 _ _0 _ _0 _ _0 _ _1
    Per Mertesacker _ _0 _ _0 _ _1 _ _0 _ _0 _ _1
    Nacho Monreal _ _ _0 _ _0 _ _1 _ _0 _ _0 _ _1

    Jenkinson played the 90 for WHam, Sanogo was not on the bench for CPalace.

  • Gord

    Sam Allerdyce to the Kop.