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August 2021

Arsenal v Man U. The dog speaks

By Billy The Dog McGraw

Dennis Bergkamp and I were able once again to catch up at his allotment just off the North Circular Road it is was in the potting shed that we chewed the fat about Manchester United plans to sign Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski.

Our issue was not that he would move, but rather that Man U would then have RVP and Lewandowski and that chubby fella who used to play for Everton.

What then for RVP?  Dennis expressed the view that the carrots would be good this year, but as I dragged him back to matters closer to him, he said that RVP could never have expected what Sir Alex F Word would have had in mind when he signed him on a £10,000,000 a year contract: namely a transfer after one year – namely one season and then a sub to the next hottest property in Europe.

RVP of course won’t get such a salary as he is on now anywhere else, especially as he’ll be 30 by the start of next season, so he will face a stark choice: a pay cut and playing on a shorter contract elsewhere, or finding his chances in the first team limited, and effectively becoming the forgotten man of football.

What a turnip! as Dennis is wont to say at these moments.

With such an immortal phrase ringing in our cider and chips we wondered about today’s forward line.

That proving to be a bit of a puzzle we meandered over to Old Ma’s across the NCR for a traditional bacon sandwich.

“Manchester,” I told Dennisas we dodged the traffic moving at its tradition 3mph, “is a diminutive principality ruled by King Effrod XI.  It is modelled somewhat on the Holy Roman Empire, in that all peoples are so supposed to bow down and give penance to the Almighty Sir F.  Of course most people don’t although much of Cornwall and Kent has been taken over by the Empire, and there are adherents too in the outer wilds of Norfolk.

“Does life exist in Manchester?” I asked Dennis.

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“Opinion is divided,” quoth Dennis and we left it at that.  “Many of their players are purchased from the fifth moon of Saturday, so won’t can’t tell too much about what is going on.

“Their ground, Very Old Trafford, was built in 1910, on the site of a chemical waste dump, which says something.”

We agreed it did.

Moving on to Arsenal we noted that we have three forwards we could use: Podolski, Walcott and Gervinho.  We could even play two forwards together , like Walcott and Podolski, although as we know and as Dennis’ time on the pitch showed us Mr Wenger doesn’t go for two up front although it would confound everyone if he did today.

However Dennis assured me that within the club Mr Wenger is saying that the pattern of recent weeks will be kept.  Which means it probably won’t.  “He does that sometimes,” Dennis said, and I nodded profoundly.

Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker will play in central defence – on that point we both were certain.

“Arsenal have won nine of the last 12,” sayeth the maestro, and you can’t argue with that either.  Well, actually you can because the AAA will argue with anything.  We could do another unbeaten season and they would moan that we hadn’t won enough cups.

But enough of such people.  Here’s one line up that I drew on our napkins:


Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal

Wilshere, Arteta

Rosicky, Cazorla

Walcott, Podiolski

Here’s another one


Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs

Arteta, Ramsey


Walcott, Podiolski, Cazorla;


On the beach we have:  Mannone, Jenkinson, Monrea or Gibbs, Vermaelen,  Coquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rosicky or Ramsey.

The ref is Phil Dowd who is a fairly average ref for both sides – meaning that results under Dowd in the Premier League have been similar to the results for the two teams in the PL generally.

Total won draw lost won draw lost Achieving








AFC with Dowd









So here’s our form: WDWWWW


“Makes you think,” I said to Dennis.

“This is it,” he replied.

And you know, I think he was right.


Arsenal v Man U:

Phil Dowd

Why Robin VP isn’t quite so important as we might imagine

The best solution to that irrelevant guard of honour

Why Arsenal fans should applaud Manchester United’s title winning side on Sunday


The most detailed study of Premier League Refs ever:The referees 2013.

The books…

The sites from the same team…

11 comments to Arsenal v Man U. The dog speaks

  • El tel

    I would like to see a more aventurous team with Monreal,Gibbs and Podolski attacking their wierd fouling little right back and the slug Rio the druggie.

    I would like to see The Ox on the other flank getting in the face of the over rated Evra and Theo or Gervinhio at CF.

    This would mean dropping Jack maybe as we will need Santi and Arteta in the middle.

    My team to start.

    Whoever is fit in goal as they are all poor.

    Sagna. Merteseker. Koscielny. Monreal.


    Chamberlain. Gibbs.


    Walcott. Podolski

    Other poor keeper

  • Gf60

    We gooners lost a great fan yesterday to a bloody heart attack. Bob Dodds and I started primary school back in 1947 and fought like cat and dog until we found out that we both supported Arsenal. As well as wanting a gooner win, let’s win this one for the memory of Bob.

  • Adam

    I do fancy our chances today.

    Respects to Bob Dodd & family.

    Cannot watch the game today due to family commitments, but wish for a big win. Personally I’d put Vermaelen upfront just to f*ck with Vidic & Ferdinand.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Let us just do it for four Bob.

  • Saketh

    Nice one !

  • dan

    Shame, we played well enough for win. The commentators talking crap as usual, Sagna clips the ball away. All respects to Bob Dodds.

  • Stroller

    The best first 40 minutes that the team has put in for a long time. What a pity that Sagna threw it all away so unecessarily. That seemed to knock the stuffing out of them and a point in the end was about right.

    The penalty call was tight but understandably given. Our players didn’t make much fuss about it either, they just looked gutted. As the game went on we looked less and less dangerous and they looked more so.

    Let’s make sure that we get maximum points from the next two games, which should see us home if other results go our way.

  • dan

    The 1st 40 mins reminded me of Borussia Dortmund, I’m real excited should this team remain together.

  • Mick

    Another terrific game for Ramsey, he is starting to show the doubters how little they know about football.

  • elkieno

    Mick: yes Ramsey was good but not great. He missed a couple of passes most important one being when he had theo unmarked on his right And Pod on left, he passed to Pod and chance went begging. Other than that he was good for us and can only get better, I am so happy for him and want him to succeed more than anyone else. As usual we are our worst enemy with Sagna being the error man this time, when will it stop?
    after spurs dropping points, we needed something from the game and we got it, so good stuff! Now we really have to play like that for next 3 games and then we can relax for a few months. God we need it

  • ARSENAL 13

    I think we deserved much more….

    And what a way to cover up……”they had a big party on Tuesday”.