Arsenal v gobble gobble gobble. A preview.

By Bulldog Drummond

So, having brought you Arsenal against some toffees it is now time to face the turkeys.

I don’t have to bring you the news about Giroud since it is all over the papers, displaced only by the heroics of the players from one of the Empires greatest ancient cities – Milton Keynes.  Indeed not many people realise that the battalions of engineers and sappers from Milton Keynes were instrumental in the success of the D Day Landings.  [Are you sure about this? – Tony]

But let’s get the “he’s not there” stuff out the way first.  These absences don’t matter because our lads are made of stout stuff and stouter pay packets so we know they’ll do their bit.

  • Arteta has a bad ankle
  • Giroud felt he wanted to be part of that elite circle of ankle worriers, so he has or doesn’t have a broken ankle.
  • Ramsey was sent off for a pull on a shirt while others around him were being torn to shreds by the rampant hordes.
  • Gibbs is out for a couple of weeks.
  • Theo ain’t fit yet.

Mr Wenger said, “Experience plays a big part. We have big experience of playing in the Champions League and in highly pressurised games. We can use that.  But what’s more important is putting in a good, strong performance. I’m confident this group is mentally prepared and ready for the fight.

“For us the Champions League is very important. We want to play at the top level, at international level.   But nothing is unthinkable – it (not qualifying for the group stage) has happened to 99% of all the big clubs in Europe.”

In terms of transfers Mr Wenger said. “What you think about when you want to buy players is the quality of the player and then you look if you have the money available. But first you need to find the quality of the player.   If we don’t qualify, it will affect us because we will have less income. But it will not affect our balance sheet in a dramatic way, because we can survive without that.

“We want to be in the Champions League, we want to play top-level football. Financially, we have always adapted. When we had very small resources, we adapted to very small resources.

“In England, as soon as you have a problem people want you to buy.  Unfortunately I can give you clubs with plenty of players who every time they lose say they have to buy more. But if you give the number of strikers we have it is unbelievable.”

As for Alexis Sanchez playing at centre forward, that is not off the menu.  “You do not convict a player on one half. It was not all bad what he did.   There was some quality in what he did. I just felt, on the day, we needed some more physical presence because I knew we would play in one half in the second half, and would need more presence. And once you are 2-0 down you will not play on counter-attack.

“Sometimes it’s form on the day. There are many different factors such as the game and the balls we played to the front. In the second half we dominated.  Our basic positional play up front was not right at the start. We modified that at half-time. It was easier to play up front in the second half than in the first.”

But of course the down and outs who go under the codename journalists say that the season is now over for us.  While Man U and Liverpool will of course recover from their mishaps Arsenal won’t because we have…

a) Injuries!!!!   No one else ever has any injuries, but we do.  (I read that in the papers).  Sanogo is injured, the world is over.  Pack up now and go home.

b) Red Cards.  You can feel the old story about this being the 93rd red card for Arsenal since last Tuesday.  It will be the death of us all.

c) Bad Form.  Alexis Sanchez has lost all his form and won’t ever get it back so he should be sold to Darlington or Tierra del Fuego reserves.  Phrases like “completely ineffective” are being used (honest, I’ve seen them).

d) Build up to knock down.  We’ve seen them do Jack in with this technique.  He was going to win the world cup single handed but when he didn’t it was his fault and his fault alone.  Not some Liverpool player who was supposedly captain.  Of course not. It was Jack’s fault.   So Alex Ox watch out mate.  They are out to get you.

e) Tiredness.   The plane got diverted on the way to Crystal Palace [I think you mean Turkey – Tony] and we’ve never recovered since.

f) Slaven Bilic knows how to smoke a ciggy and Arsene Wenger doesn’t so we are quite clearly doomed.  Bilic made Steve McClaren look a bit silly, so that’s the end of Arsenal once and for all.

g) Besiktas have got accents in their name making them quite impossible to play against.

h) Gonzalo Higuaín was spotted at the airport last summer, took one look at the traffic jam on the M4 and flew home again.   Actually if you believe that we really wanted to Higuain then you’ll believe anything, so quite possibly you can believe all the other stories.

i) Arsenal’s transfer team smoke dope.  That is what John W Henry said when Arsenal made a £40,000,001 bid.  It was not until he was safely back in the US that he admitted he had lied.   But we mustn’t keep on about that because, well, telling fibs is a bit un-English isn’t it?

j) We must forget that Podolski exists and can score goals.

k) Campbell was one of the heroes of the world cup, but it is important to forget that and do him down now, because this is Arsenal and doing-down Arsenal is what the press does.

Actually having built up that list I doubt that we have any players left for this game.  Probably going to be quite impossible, backs-against-the-wall stuff.

Let’s try a team out…


Debuchy Mert Kos Monreal

Flamini Jack the lad

Cazorla  Özil  Podolski


Which leaves us with: Martínez, Chambers, Diaby, Miquel, Bellerín, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Campbell, Rosicky

Blimey – here’s a thing.  We’ve got a team AND a bench.  I’m staggered and amazed.  Could the national press have got it wrong? No, surely not.

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79 Replies to “Arsenal v gobble gobble gobble. A preview.”

  1. “Could the national press have got it wrong?”

    How dare you even suggest such blasphemy.

  2. Good laughs in that.
    Seems likea fairly probably line-up, but wouldn’t rule out Rosicky starting

  3. I haven’t the data to do a proper preview but on past experience expect the worst from the officials.

  4. Who are the officials and where are they from?

    Absolutely critical to avoid a red card as that would really stuff us.

  5. As always people fear death but want to be Angels,how can you be an Angel without dying?? Arsenal have always been Angels but those who have not died do not believe it. We have been there before and they don’t know up to this time why?? Actually in every season(nine seasons ago) the Magwampas don’t want us to qualify but because GOD knows that we fight with the devils all the time he gives us the strength to destroy the devil and that why we always prevail.

  6. Please, please lads, qualify us, and quickly too, for Giroud. I hate it when I have to wear my nails out in the final minutes. Besides, there have been no time for them to grow back since that draw at Goodison last Saturday.

  7. How on God’s earth will Besiktas survive tonight? Whoever gets fielded is going to be as tame as a hungry lion. Tell you what those turkeys are going to get. A walloping and a bloody nose. Good post man, good post.

  8. Should be an exciting affair. Beskitas will need to score, as a nil nil draw won’t suit them So I expect them to come out. They might want to do that on a counter though so maybe won’t be an open match as such.

    “I just felt, on the day, we needed some more physical presence because I knew we would play in one half in the second half”

    This is exactly what myself and others said after Sanchez was taken off, it was a smart move by the manager(who should be clueless on tactics by the way), not that Sanchez was terrible. But the AAA and media will always push the line that suits their agenda…

  9. Line up
    Szczesny, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Wilshere, Ox, Flamini, Cazorla, Ozil, Alexis

    Martinez, Chambers, Coquelin, Rosicky, Podolski, Campbell, Sanogo

    That’s an impressive bench I must say. With Theo & Arteta still to come. Striker crisis….what crisis?

  10. Didn’t know Ba had that sort of speed. He shot between Kos & Per and only quick reaction by Czez saved a goal

  11. Sanchez. First of many. Did we get away with a penalty against us a bit earlier? The Dutch commenter on the stream I’m watching kept saying the P word accusingly.

  12. Yyyeeeeaaahhhhh…..

    Alexis opens his account.


    Glimpse of what is to come. Santi. Ozil. Wilshere. Ox. Alexis.

  13. Oldgroover,
    There was two penalty shouts for besiktas
    First was a penalty i think, didnt know if debuchy touched the ball. But there was a foul just before it by Ba on Per who was going to head the ball. So i say justice served.
    Second was a damn dive, Wilshere slid for the ball, and when he knew he wasnt going to get it, he took his legs back at the same moment the Besiktas player dived, who then faked an injury to avoid being carded.

  14. Had to say alexis and ozil are on fire today, so is Wilshere. But the hell is going on with Cazorla, best player on the field, why doesnt he do this always. Ah yes I remember,the refs in EPL usually dont call the fouls and he usually cant dribble when fouled.
    MOTH: Cazorla. Come on get back to what you were before.

  15. Yassin

    Yes, watched it at half time and as you say Debuchy probably, Wilshere not.

  16. 2 red cards in two legs, very very soft ones too. Debuchy’s second is nothing short of scandalous

  17. More cards than a poker game. Anyway, on we march! Well done the lads,especially Sánchez.
    COYG! Aha and Amen!

  18. Phew! I don’t think there’s any doubt football is fixed.

    Well done Arsenal. And Alexis, your goal is worth the fee we paid for you. Fabulous!

  19. I would really like to be in a refs mind during a game, what was this one doing?

    Anyway well done lads, still sharpening our edge, well fought, a bit nervy at the end though.

  20. THANK GOODNESS!!!!!!

    That was intense. The players gave it their all. They are all Men of The Match to me.

    17th consecutive seasons in the group stages of the Champions’ League: Arsene Wenger, you are the best!

  21. Very very well done, heroes the lot of them. If anyone doubts refs are bent, biased or in the hands of betting syndicates this should provide the answer. The ref was a complete shambles, not fit to be a ref…..if UEFA don’t investigate his performance…..and yellow card betting patterns , amongst other things, there is no hope……unless of course this guy was under UEFA orders as opposed to some bookie or mafioso.
    Sanchez has repaid his fee in this game, Santi immense……as were they all, that was real pressure, they were up against it all.
    Have we had one fair ref yet this season?

    Still, visitors to this site, worrying we may lose, and the guy …who thought Sanchez and Ozil not in the Champions league would be hilarious…. in his recent post……look forward to hearing from you guys.
    CL for another year, Wenger, you are amazing!

  22. Well,1-0 to the Arsenal. Arsenal still made me chew on my mail-less fingers though. The ref. also did his best to exhaust his yellow cards on Arsenal players…including Callum, before he even got to kick the ball. Relief!!

  23. I surprised the ref didn’t book Wenger for being Wenger just to please the AAA
    COYG! Aha and Amen!

  24. Good win and through to the next round, excellent overall performance but hellish nerve racking.

    What a dysfunctional ref – Mandy you could be right about betting patterns.

    Great effort from the guys!

  25. Apart from being card happy, I think the ref was ok.

    The 2 penalty calls were dicey. The first could have been given and I wouldn’t really be able to complain. The ref’s view was blocked and unlike PL refs who are scared to death of the media if they call wrongly in favour of Arsenal, he chose to not punish as he wasn’t sure (which how it should always be).

    The 2nd was a dive, or to give the Besiktas player benefit of the doubt, he fell on his own. Wilshere didn’t touch him and it was clear to see that he didn’t on replay.

  26. Somebody, somewhere put up a post saying the bookies were giving 4 – 1 for an Arsenal win!
    Are they particularly good odds? Were those odds true?

    I praise the team Highly.

  27. If there was a fix in then what usually sensible people here are saying is that it was fixed for us to lose, in which case why wasn’t a penalty awarded against Debuchy in the first half, or even when the guy dived in front of Jack just before we scored. If there was a fix, two great opportunities.
    The second yellow he received was wrong ( poor decision ) )and the fourth official seemed to cock up the Chambers substation.

  28. @Oldgroover,
    I dont think there was any fix to make Arsenal lose, the ref was just nOt good enough and made a mess of it. But what the commenters here are implying, specially Mandy, is that there is something between the ref, yellow cards, and betting, it the second time in Champions league.

  29. Fixes are not always about winning and losing Old Groover, huge betting markets on many things, including cards. Some of the cards handed out were a complete and utter farce. Apart from those mentioned, Szcz booked for time wasting….he took what five seconds ? A substitute running on. After clearance from his fellow official…any opportunity went for this guy. But will wait and see what Walter and co say for more validity

  30. Still trying to understand why he showed Debuchy a second yellow; there was no contact as far as I could see, and Debuchy got the ball anyway. Unless it was just because he wore the wrong colour. Two very very soft red cards, some have argued that home pressure influences the refs’ decision making but I don’t think that’s the case with us as it felt like we were the away for the majority of that match. If the refs stick with this standard of refereeing it will be difficult to find a match that finishes with 22 men this season.

    Chambers’ yellow should be rescinded if Uefa have any dignity left in them, he was clearly told he get on to the pitch by the 4th official. It’s not his fault if the bungling officials fail to communicate.

  31. Both were definetly not penalties. Debuchy got the ball perfectly and only afterwards was a minor collision. Aside from the second yellow foul which was not very smart, Debuchy had an amazing match. Saved two clear goals and worked his socks off.
    We were very unlucky not to score before that, too.
    Best thing though is Alexis sparked up ! He is amazing on the right ….

  32. Yassin
    No names mentioned, but you’re right, and the F word has been mentioned a few times on this thread. Also if this person is putting yellow cards & betting together then that means corruption.
    I just don’t believe it at all
    Terrific game though wasn’t it. Alexis was absolutely ace throughout.Ozil, jack & Santi & Ox were really sharp and Flamini had great passing game, I didn’t notice any go wrong.

  33. Arsenal performance was absolutely putrid.

    Only thing worth anything was the result.

    Jack was just awful.

    I fail to see how or what formed the opinions of the so called pundits.

    Worst performance I have seen in almost 20 years.

    However I AM an Arsenal fan still, but only just.

  34. TommieGun,

    I have looked at it again and I agree with you. Debuchy got the ball. But to my earlier point, the ref did not have a clear line of sight to make the call. Had he called it, it would have been guesswork. But AWARD of penalties shouldn’t be guesswork.

  35. Job well done Arsenal despite a determined ref. Seriously the term “good referee” should be classified as an oxymoron nowadays as it seems none of them know what refereeing is. Where do they get these guys? What an utter plonker of a referee but thank god he didnt succeed to derail us inspite of his best efforts.

  36. OK I will give a little.

    The whole team worked very very hard.

    Only what you would expect or hope for.

  37. bob mac,

    “However I AM an Arsenal fan still, but only just.”

    I hope no one is holding a gun to your head.

    If this is the worst performance that you have seen in almost 20 years, I find it extremely difficult that you have been following Arsenal for almost 20 years.

  38. Bob
    That’s a bit unfair isn’t it? I thought it was a really good team performance and the only thing lacking was some better finishing. We should have scored a couple more, but so should they have.

  39. Surprisingly, we seemed to be more in control when we were down to 10 men and had more chances to score than they did.

    Hard to choose MoM. All were superb.

  40. Al, I can assure you the likes of Real….Bayern….Barca will not be subject to this standard of refereeing…….unless of course it is in their favour of course!

  41. Mandy
    Seconded. Even the spuds, whatever century they’ll get into the CL, wouldn’t be treated like this.

  42. @Bob mac,

    Man this was ome of the most beautiful exciting matches. I would say promote both teamd to CL.
    plus how did u find wilshere aweful? And how was this worst performance. We were like lightning right their, yes bad finishing as Oldgroover said, and less fingernails, bit come on man ve fair.

  43. @bob mac,
    don’t let that just hold you back, I’m sure there’s other clubs looking for supporters like you.

    And Jack was awful? I really hope that was sarcasm, because anyway that complains after that performance either will never be pleased with his efforts or needs their vision checked.

  44. Re the supposed penalties against us, why no comment about Ba fouling Per just before the Debuchy challenge?

  45. Mandy/ Al. Why do you guys think the referees have it in for us in the PL and the CL? I can understand why it happens in England with the history between Arsene and Riley, but my perception is that we are well liked as a club around Europe, so I am puzzled as to why we always seem to get ‘the wrong end of the stick’ from officials in European competition too. Platini?

    As for tonight, relieved to be through. Excellent performance in the second half and with better finishing we could have been 3-0 up by the time Debuchy was unluckily and harshly booked. I think we are improving by the game and Alexis found his feet in the second half tonight.

  46. BB….wish I knew, my hunch …..and yes it is potentially libel…or whatever, but this ref was on the pay.
    But on the wider issue as to UEFA refs …perhaps at the behest of their parent organisation who may have it in for us, remember this

    UEFA tried to do Eduardo retrospectively….not via the ref report, fairly unprecedented….Arsenal talked at the time about the influence of Scottish friends of UEFA. Of course our lawyers took them on , won hands down….made them look like muppets. UEFA and FIFA do not like being taken down the legal route……or being made to look like muppets
    In short, think UEFA are not out to do us any favours…far from it, look at the draws and refs we get in the ECL…and that the corrupt know this and act accordingly, as we may well have seen this evening, in the first leg, in Munich, in Braga, in Milan, in Barca, in Paris……… most match fixing already exposed, refs are the weakest link for criminals to get to

  47. Mandy you are spot on. The officials were on the game. There were cards for Christmas – in Portugal!!!

    Blindness is one thing but referee blindness is big business.

  48. To understand why always Arsenal. When a club and its practice is clean and based on sporting principles it stands out. It is against the grain of brown envelopes. It is outside the ring of ‘bright water’.

    When a man like Wenger stands up to cheating in France and succeeds in getting cheats caught, it upsets the corrupt. There then follows a group of vengeful individuals who try their utmost to taint everything about him. The media are the source of all greed and have very little care about sport. They all want to sell papers or collect clicks. Arsenal have survived endless abuse and Wenger has shone like a beacon in a storm.

    Wenger has been clever with agents who disturb football. They hate his guts because of his courage. They hate his guts because of his intellect, his intelligence and his impeccable knowledge of the game.

  49. Well done lads. I felt we didn’t close them down well enough especially in their own half thereby making them too comfortable on the ball. Had we mounted pressure on them when they had the ball, we would have scored easily from their mistakes. What do I know anyway; and seeing that they had about 1 shot on target, Arsene tactics today cannot be questioned imho.

    The ref was inconsistent in his decisions. Arsenal should protest against Chamber’s yellow.

    Thank you Alexis and the rest of the boys. Thank you Arsene Wenger for the 17th consecutive CL footbal.


  50. Menace
    Agree with your take on why Wenger and Arsenal are hated. Mandy’s observations are correct too, as we’re detested by different people, and it’s not like they all have one reason.

    I once gave the analogy of a squeaky clean employee working at an organisation where pilferage is the order of the day. If that employee tries to do things the right way you can bet he’ll make lots of enemies, from his fellow employees to the security that’s supposed to stop such things happening in the first place. It’s natural. Football agents and players dislike Arsenal coz they don’t pay stupid fees, other clubs(if you put Madrid, PSG and Arsenal in one room you’ll find the first two ganging up on the later, and not because of any footballing rivalry as they all play in different leagues), refs who are human and also have their favourite clubs will hate Arsenal and it’s clean way of doing stuff, oligarchs who think Arsenal interferes with their money laundering schemes, footballing bodies who dislike the Arsenal model as it means less money for them…. Many angles. But bottom line is it all comes down to one thing, the Arsenal model means if all clubs followed it there would be less money flowing in football and less to line their pockets.

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