Arsenal v Huddersfield; the Billy the Dog preview

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Victory Through Harmony

By Billy El Dog

Phil Gregory sends his compliments but he has got yet another French virus, and has retired to his bed.  So the cleft stick has been used, the messagers have made their way through the jungle and here I am.

An excellent piece earlier I felt about Diaby – great shame about the crazed comments from one or two readers, but that’s how it goes.

Anything to do with Huddersfield relates to our history, and I would refer you to the article on Chapman at Huddersfield – it contains some information about Chapman at the end of the first world war that you might not otherwise have come across.  There’s also a nice pic of Herbert Chapman at the end of the previous article.

Speaking of history, here is a comment from Andy Kelly that has just appeared on the Arsenal History site:

This month’s Arsenal magazine has an article written by Jon Spurling titled “Turning Professional”.   Not only has he regurgitated the same incorrect information but he has added some more into the mix.

According to Spurling:
* David Danskin was instrumental in pushing the club towards professionalism and entering the Football League
* Royal Arsenal was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy between turning professional and joining the Football League
* Caesar Jenkyns was Arsenal’s first England international
* Royal Arsenal “hardly played at all” during 1891-92 and 1892-93

How much more can these journalists make up?

There is no doubt that if you want to know something to do with Arsenal history there is only one place to get the information.   And just to prove it, here is all you need to know about the visitors.

Huddersfield dates back to the time when the Saxons invaded our lands and kicked out the Britains, and their native language.  Nasty people if you ask me.  And this tradition of mucking about continued over the years as this was a major centre for the Luddities.  They went round destroying things like factories and machinery and in the normal fashion the army was sent in to ensure that the rich and wealthy remained rich and wealthy (not that I am some sort of revolutionary you understand, it is just that this is what happens.)  Of course no movement based on the stopping of the introduction of machinery ever wins its battle, but the movement did result in major increases in help and support for the unemployed.  (You don’t get this stuff on other football blogs you know).

Huddersfield are in the third division, and are third, having played 26, and won half of them, scoring 42 and letting in 32.   This compares with Arsenal who have played 23, won 14, scoring 48 and let in 22.

So to the teams… (or rather the Arsenal team.  To suggest I know anything about the Huddersfield team would be to stretch the imagination a little).


Eboue Squillaci Koscielny Gibbs

Diaby Denilson


Bendtner Chamakh Arshavin

Sitting with the duvets: Almunia, Clichy, Djourou, Miquel, Fábregas, Wilshere, Walcott, Nasri, Van Persie, Song   (“Sitting with the duvets” is, I believe, more exact a phrase, given that there is, and has never been, a bench at the Ems).

I had thought that we would see Afobe play against us, but the BBC is saying that this is not allowed under the youth player loan regs, so that is a shame.

My understanding is that Rosicky is not 100% assured of being ready to play after a very serious illness and that Sagna is not fully repaired.  Actually I loved the comment by Lord Wenger: “it was just concussion”.  Well, yes.  Except that concussion is not that minor an issue.  But back to Rosicky – if he is not fit, then who plays in that position?  Obviously we could use Cesc or Nasri, but if not, then who?   I am not sure there is anyone else of sufficient stature to play there.  Obviously if Ramsey was just a little more advanced in his rehabilitation (and not on holiday in Wales) he would be the obvious man.

Anyway, whatever the team put out, much will relate to the fact that we have Every Town Toffees on Tuesday – they were playing Chelsea on Saturday (it was 1-1).

The return of Diaby – just like a new signing?

Herbert Chapman at Huddersfield Town

Checking the Card Table

Making the Arsenal: an Arsenal book like no other

38 Replies to “Arsenal v Huddersfield; the Billy the Dog preview”

  1. Who’s the ref? Nice “Exclusive” on Guardian’s Twitter… “Manchester United are considering offers for Howard Webb.” 😮

  2. i think
    Alumnia will start, diaby will certainly not. Nor will rosicky. Ignasi miquel could make his debut. Squillaci, hmm….i still believe wenger is bluffing.
    Song shud play some part.

    I won’t be surprised if wenger plays shea(in fab disguise) in attacking midfield role just to scare the hell out of them.

    All in all i wud love it if wenger decides to start with 10 men and then introduce another if need arises.(can this actually be done?)

    Predictions : losing by more than 1 goal will be an embarassment,

  3. can any1 explain to me why on jupiter(much bigger than earth) we r regularly playing 2 games in 48 hours?

  4. hi tony, i saw our players tweeted about a man called Pat Boyle. I was wondering if you could tell us who he is or maybe write an article about him? from their tweets, he seemed a man who is very close to them

  5. Well just when we thought that we could not get any worse than Leeds at home- Nasri pulls up lame and Squillacci gets a red card for possibly the weakest case of a denial of a goalscoring opportunity I have ever seen. Foul yes- goalscoring opportunity- not in a million years. What do you know? the morons at the BBC support the decision. How predictable.

  6. How does Wenger not see how awful Squillaci is? Being down to 10 won’t make any difference without him

  7. Now we all kno how bad our 2nd string playrs are…very bad performance by almost every arsenal player

  8. Well it will be an interesting ref review I think. Lots of talking points.
    But for the impatient ones: as the game was not shown live on TV in my country I will have to wait till I can download the complete game summary from

    So it will be only monday afternoon when I can put it online.

    About the game: as long as Nasri was on the pitch we had them in a very solid grip and were will on top. Then Nasri got injured, Rosicky had to come on without warming up so we were playing with 10 men already at that moment and then the red card from Squillaci was the last thing from which we lost control in the game.

    Cesc once again proves that he is world class and changed the came completely back in our favour.

    Without Nasri getting injured we would have won the game comfortably. Just hope the injury is not that bad.

    And what about Denilson. What character to come back on the field. He clearly wasn’t fit but he didn’t want to give up and wanted to keep our number to 10 players. Otherwise we would have been down to 9.

    Well we are in the next round and that is all that matters in the end for me as a supporter.

  9. As a supporter i feel we now know how badly our 2nd string players are. Really sad performance by them. We always need Cesc, or Nasri or Walcott to save us. Plus very importantly, Song played horribly as a centre back. He clearly lacks the knowledge of being a centre back. He did not even try to jump for the header which was saved by Almunia. Kudos to Koscielny for playin as d lone centre back.

    I think the saddest part of today is that Nasri is injured.

  10. DP – this clearly was NOT a bad performance from ALL of our players, Arshavin had a very good game, I thought Nasri was good as well and Almunia coming back from the freezer pulled off a few great saves.

    There are a few questions, I agree, that need to be answered: 1) what happened to Chamakh? He looked like a very good performer @ the beginning of the season, and he is simply GONE. AW prefering Bendtner to him is not a matter of coincidence anymore – everytime both of them play, Chamakh is subbed ahead of Nic. Weird. 2) what happened to Gibbs? I used to think he had, at least, as much responsibility as Clichy, well not anymore. Really bad decisions. 3) How long is Nasri going to be gone?

    In the end of the day, i’m happy about the result, but could’ve used a relaxed 3-0 @ halftime match, really.

  11. We have been very, very poor – but to add to my point earlier that was once Nasri went off and before Cesc came on – we need that class in CM and thats why i dont Wenger for putting Nasri in there, we simply cannot perform without a class CM, the way we play dictates that we need it – and with no Rammo around options are in short supply. Talking about the quality of the squad is a different issue – given the squad available the team selction was bang on for me.

    The big plus is we have dug out a win when we were down to ten men and very much on the back foot – but we should never have been in that position. There are players such as Denilson and Arshavin that really need to have a look at themselves, unfortunately this was coupled with Diaby looking nowehre near fit and Gibbs, Eboue et al well below their best.

    Fair play though, its the FA Cup and a lot of teams are given a rough ride by lower sides with nothing to lose – Hfield played their hearts out. Given that the Carling Cup is wrapped up soon, and Barca is going to be a tough ask, there is no reson why we cant go far in this comp.

    A tough day, but we are through

  12. @Tommie Gun- obviously Nasri isn’t our 2nd string player. So was not talkin about him. Arshavin had a decent game, but no one picked out his passes, plus he did not hit the target in so many occasions. Even Chamakh is looking average now. Bendtner has a very bad 1st touch, his goal too was going wide, but we got lucky with that deflection. Probably he gets 1 out of every 50 first touches right, we got one against Ipswich, so cant expect it to happen again. Gibbs had a shocking game. I was scared he might get sent off with a 2nd yellow card, plus all the crosses was comin from his end. You can blame Arshavin for not supportin him but Gibbs did look very weak today. Diaby n Denilson are definately the weak link in our team today. Both did not provide good passes to our strikers and were horrible in keeping the possession of the ball. The blind back pass by Denilson which went to the opponent was probably the worst you can expect. Diaby was too slow with his passes and was weak in defending, did not even jump to defend for the opponent’s goal.

  13. ihave read a lot of the comments and it occurred to me that it might not be that the second string are bad but just the sheer number of changes is bound to affect even the balance and performance of barca, there has to be cohesion and you only get that playing alongside someone game after game. Maybe diaby is not convincing but its his first game back

    personally i am more concerned by nasri being out

  14. Terrific result, although it was a bit nervy at times!!! That’s Cup matches though. I also thought the Squillaci sending-off was a bit ridiculous. The guy just kicked it past Squillaci, effectively conceding possession. It was a yellow card without a doubt, but a very harsh red. There was no CLEAR goalscoring opportunity, since there was zero certainty that Hunt would regain possesion.

    Not too many players had great games. Good to see Diaby back, I thought he did well considering how long he has been out. He will need some more minutes. It was obvious we had very little understanding in defense. How many times have those 4 played together? Arshavin had his best game in a while. If he is starting to find his form then losing Nasri for 3 weeks may not be the disaster that many will make it out to be.

    Winning today was all that mattered. Same goes for Tuesday. I wont mind a 1-0 win with the referee giving a dodgy goal. This has been an unbelievably hectic period for us. Wins are all that matters. Manchester United have shown that this season. All those people expecting esoteric beauty every game are seriously deluded. We won today. That doesnt show how bad our 2nd string are, it shows how good our 2nd string are.

  15. Well Clattenberg had a shocker today. Every niggle by an Arsenal player on a Huddersfield was called. But none the other way. And Bendtner was held but very very soft pk. I would be outraged if I was a town fan. And if u give the pk, why no sending off? Where’s the consistency. In the end, it’s all about the result as United have shown all year. Doesn’t matter if you play like rubbish as long as you win. Funny how we’re “lucky” when that happens and “that’s what champs are made of” when United do it. Lol. Fun times. Anyway who cares…last 16. At this rate, I’d rather we play on away then at home.

  16. The good, the bad and the ugly, but we are through to the next round and thats all that matters.Lets hope the Nasri injury is minor, Gibbs is not ready to take over from Clichy. Stupid sending off but he shouldnt have even been in the position to have to block him, Arshavin gave the ball away again which started the break. Almunia did ok , second string did the job. Dont understand why the Huddersfield player wasnt sent off, it was more of a goalscoring opportunity than theirs!!

  17. Looking at Arsenal’s 2nd string player’s performance today, i dont think even the bottom team of the lowest tier in england will be scared of playin against us. What is most shocking is that even our 2nd string players are full international players and they dont even seem better than the players in the team 45 places below us.

  18. Dark Prince-
    Get some perspective. Did you watch the ManU or the ManC matches? You want the opposing teams to be blown away every match? You want to pick up on every individual performance in isolated situations and use that to judge the win? It is preposterous and foolhardy for you to suggest our “second string players” are no better than teams 45 places below us. The fact is we won and move on to the next round. Why would any team be scared of playing anyone?
    Again, get some perspective.

  19. Byo- Maybe you too should get some perspective. We won the match only bcoz of Cesc. As soon as he came, our fluency came in. And i’m not just talkin about individual performances, the whole team played badly for the half an hour between Nasri got injured and Cesc came on. Ok i can understand Diaby’s case that he was poor bcoz he has come back from an injury. But what about others? Denilson is not improving in any direction. Bendtner still hasn’t improved from how he was few years back. Dont know what to say about Squillaci, his performances speak for itself. Rosicky clearly has never come back in form since that injury few seasons back. When was the last time he scored a goal?

  20. 9 games in Jan…6 wins, 2 draws, 1 loss. Fair enough, in 3 of those games we were not at all impressive but it’s a very good return. Based on those 3 we should we worry more about Orient than Everton!

  21. Question: How do you turn a formality into hard work. Answer: let Wenger pick the team. What an embarrassment that performance was. When will Wenger ever learn, didn’t Ipswich and Leeds tell him anything? I didn’t think even Wenger could Vick Tues up but he tried, Super Nik saved him as he did again today. Had Chamakh played 90 mins and Nik not played we would have lost. Whenever Denilson, Diaby and Eboue play in the same side we struggle. Add those two incompetents Squillaci and Koscielny and you have a recipe for disaster. Where in Gods name did Wenger dig them up from? I have stated all season they are not good enough but we all know Wenger won’t strengthen, he will never admit to an error. We should have walled the PL this year but with Wenger in charge we can’t win it. He will always hold us back as The Vanity Project comes first and always will. Opportunities lost again. When will he learn

  22. Crikey, put the razor down Prince.

    It was our second string, we went down to ten men, and played below our capacity. But we still won didn’t we? So what if we needed Cesc to come on and add something, that’s what he was on the bench for.

    Watch the Utd and City games to get some perspective, please! Utd were dominated in the first half – they had to bring on Giggs and Nani, and wait for Southampton to tire themselves out and get sloppy, before they could get the win. And they didn’t have to do it with 10 men. Man City only rested about 4 players and they were rubbish today.

    Bring on the Orient!

  23. nyredbull, could you please come back the day we are out of a competition. We still are in all 4 competitions. City couldn’t win against an even lower placed team. United could only just win against a team as good as Huddersfield.

    A lot of ‘had’ and ‘haves’ in your comment. What about this one: Had we scored our first chances then we would have trashed them.

    And first you say that Wenger screws up and then you say that Nick saved Wenger. I don’t know how it works but wasn’t it “screwing up Wenger” who decided to play Nick?

    I bet you won this game on your playstation/computer/gameconsole with 9-0 and this surely makes you better than Wenger.

  24. nyredbull

    Anger always comes from frustrated expectations.

    We performed below par but we are through to next round.

    Its called “knock-out” and we knocked Huddersfield out.

    Well played Huddersfield by the way.

    Onwards and upwards.

  25. Im sorry but does anyone realise how many games we have played since the turn of the year.

    Dark prince I know your mad and I am big big fan of the invincible era but can you honestly say this second string is worse than the invincible second string. This team is young and if we win two trophies than who cares about the games history just shows the results.

    Maybe I have seen the light but too many arsenal fans are having a go at arsenal players all the time.May be its wengers fault for making us wait too long without trophies but there is something seriously wrong with the criticism labeled at our team. UTD play poorly in about 65% of their games and like fellow commenter said that is what champs do and when they play really good we have to hear about it all year long.

    Hypothetically speaking what would people have to say about our second string if we win the carling cup, league, and fa cup, I think players are getting it in the neck far too much, I suggest waiting to the end of the season

  26. All I will say is a big thank you to Cesc who saved a considerable amount of my bacon this afternoon. 1-1, 10 men, Eboue hopping on one leg and Denilson lame, an Arsenal win looked an unlikely scenario.

    The performance showed that Arsenal’s squad is vulnerable to accurate crossing from a good winger targeting big, able and willing central strikers. Huddersfield had five clear chances from that approach and I told three visiting supporters sitting near us, at the end, that they didn’t just deserve a draw, they deserved a win. Luckily for Arsenal, they didn’t get it.

    Leyton Orient away: a bit harder than Crawley Town at home, but a bit easier than Man City away. Arsenal have a reasonable chance of reaching round six if they treat their opponents with the respect they deserve.

  27. Just got back from the game… I reckon we could see our first referee in negative figures in the ref review!

    10 against 12 from where I was sitting – absolute fucking disgrace… despite the massive influx of tourists for this match I was proud that Clattenburg and his pals got serenaded to “You don’t know what you’re doing” as they left the pitch.

    Horrible game – very good win.

  28. Well done to Huddersfield for making us looked like a League One team. Shocking performance by the team and some of the players should hang their heads in shame. If Wenger needs further proof why we need a quality CB the performance of Squillici might convinced him to go out and buy one. Plus the fact that every aerial ball into our box caused panic even by lower division players. Special mention must go to Denilson because that was one of the worse I’ve ever seen him play. Anyway we are in the draw for the 5th round which is the most important thing.

  29. Nyredbull, may I remember you the fact that when Squillaci was on the field Huddersfield had not many chances. Okay, he mad a mistake but nothing came from it.
    But in the second half when Squillaci was not on the field Huddersfield created chances. So why do you blame Squillaci for those chances?
    This does look a bit stupid, dont you think ?
    The only thing one could blame Squillaci is that he brought the Huddersfield player down and got himself a red card. But I think that if Squillaci would have given the Huddersfield player a clear run on goal you would have blamed him for not bringing him down.

  30. @Wrenny-

    Both of you just proved my point-Its our 2nd string!! Have you both ever seen such a strong 2nd string players, all of whom are in their national squad, play so poorly against a team 2 divisions below us. If both of you are comparing our 2nd string to the 2nd string of Man U or City or Chelsea, do u guys honestly telling me that our 2nd string players are no better than their’s?? If Man U performed badly its bcoz they dont have good 2nd string players, but what about us? Are our 2nd string players as bad as their’s??

    Wrenny, if i remember correctly, you used to proclaim alongwith Walter that this is the strongest squad, whats the use of this strong squad if we have to use our starting 11 players to rescue us all the time??

    Gooner80- ‘this team is young’?? Which team are you talkin about?? The only players young in that squad was Bendtner, Gibbs and Denilson. Are you saying that Arshavin, Rosicky, Almunia, Squillaci, Eboue, Diaby, Chamakh, Koscielny are young??

  31. @darkprince
    Im not saying you dont have a point what I am saying is give the team a break they have played alot of games on the back of a world cup and played a lot in Jan.

    from my experience of football you cant just be warming the bench for many games and just get thrown into the thick of it and perform to your best. What I am saying is there is a lot of factors that contributed to the performance cant remember how many games diaby has been out for I am an advocate of the result over the performance every time this second string can play better than that if that team played week in weekout with each over I would put my house on it that they are better than this.

    what I am saying aswell is give the team a break destructive criticism serves no purpose and I would like to see other people perform at their best when you are told you are crap and not first choice, if we didnt have this second string I would say we would be out of a couple of the competitions already wait to the end of the season I know AW has been stubborn but he has shown some very positive signs that he has listened to the fans, Aw has cut injuries this season by rotating, he has taken alumunia out of goal the defense has kept more clean sheets, we have really gone for all competitions and this is our best chance since 2007/2008 of winning the league it is still in our hands, the team is mentally stronger.

    I honestly took a look at my self and criticism over the eboue situation it was disgusting how fans treated him when our role is to support them I am not saying wear rose tinted glasses just lay off their backs this sport is about confidence and stripping away their confidence only hurts Arsenal football club, we need to be the 12th man on the pitch no wonder the team has been struggling at ems because they are frightened of our reaction

  32. @gooner80- at the end of the season, it will all come down to whether you have won the trophies. And with that type of performance we wont be able to. Whatever excuses we make, afterall it will all be only excuses.

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