Sunderland away. It’s time for the After Eights.

Sunderland v Arsenal

by Bulldog Drummond

So, what do Sunderland do after letting in eight and giving the away fans a refund?  Pull back in defence and follow the Hull style of time wasting I would imagine.  In which case I wonder if the Sunderland supporters will follow Hull fans by arguing that slowing down the game by wasting time is legal, and anyway “don’t tell me Arsenal have never done that”.

The commentaries that were written re Hull were interesting in that there did seem to be so many people who couldn’t see the difference between legal and illegal time wasting.  Or who felt that it was somehow either clever or original or insightful to hurl abuse at the site.

But of course other clubs have supporters who hate their own team, manager, owners etc, and Sunderland are up there with the best of them, with whippings, brain surgery and electrotherapy being recommended in one quarter for the employees of the club.  Forgetting perhaps the feats of Mannone against Man U last season.

And that’s the trouble with the ranting form of anti-support.  It has no historical perspective.  Speaking of which there was an interesting piece on the Arsenal History Society site this week quoting the Arsenal programme as suggesting that Arsenal faced on that day “Injury problems as great as those ever faced by an Arsenal manager.”

The date was 28 February 1959.

Anyway at Sunderland all eyes will be on the home side, and not Arsenal, for once, although there will be a lot of looking to see which newspaper is correct about the whereabouts of Theo.

But as for Sunderland I don’t think anyone knows what team they will put out.  Blame one or two and drop them?   Scrap the lot?  Let them all atone?  Who knows.  The one problem they do have is a very small squad, so the chance of rotation is limited.

250 year old [I think he’s 34 – Tony] full-back Anthony Reveillere joined Sunderland as a free agent this week and could play.  Sebastian Coates, Billy Jones, Emanuele Giaccherini and Ricky Alvarez are injured.

For us the obvious team news is that Jack is suspended and Wojciech Szczesny returns from his one match Euro ban with Martinez on the beach.

Missing is probably Theo, although they might allow him to sit on the luxury chairs but with no chance of coming on.  The Telegraph has him “in the squad”.   The line is that Theo was training so well he might be tempted for this game.  Although he could have another game against Stoke in the under 21 league – but that sounds dangerous to me. Meanwhile as Dr Billy pointed out Laurent Koscielny has to let his Achilles take its time,   The long termers are out: Ozil, Ospina, Giroud and Debuchy

There is one lovely line in Wenger’s media interviews though about Theo.  “It takes time to settle and to get used to being kicked again. I am not sure to involve him tomorrow. He needs a game to feel completely confident but he is not far.   Fitness-wise he is there to take part in a game, but on the contact front he needs a bit more time.”

“He is a very polite and social guy but behind that he is mentally very strong and what he has gone through in the last nine months…you gain even more respect for him because he has had some difficult times but always responded very positively, He has a young baby, there were some problems after… but he has done extremely well.”

Per Mertesacker will of course play presumably alongside Nacho Monreal

So maybe we have this…


Chambers, Monreal, Mertesacker, Gibbs;

Arteta, Ramsey;

Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sánchez, Cazorla;


On the beach…

Martínez, Podolski, Rosicky, Bellerin, Coquelin, Flamini, Campbell, Zelalem, Hayden, Gnabry, (Theo?)

Arsenal have not lost in the last nine games against Sunderland in the League and have won the last three at the so-called “Stadium of Light”    The last time Sunderland beat Arsenal, and it was their only win in the last 21, was in November 2009.  They won 1-0.  In the last 26 league games against Arsenal they have scored two first half goals and even then weren’t in the lead at half time.  Overall Sunderland are very good at own goals, 16 since August 2010.

On the plus side Sunderland are unbeaten at home in the league so far.  One win and three draws and despite last week are doing far better than last season at this stage.

And if Alex Ox plays it will be his 100th game.

Back to reality

106 Replies to “Sunderland away. It’s time for the After Eights.”

  1. Interesting match up today which I would normally suggest might end in a draw , but we desperately need a win, so win it is , good luck Gunners getting firing.

  2. Nice one Bulldog.

    One observation come question; I notice you have not even included Diaby “on the beach” at least. Is there something you know that we don’t re his fitness or something else?

  3. If I can answer that, Diaby played in the under 21 match with Theo and Gnabry, but we’ve not really heard where he is in terms of fitness. The general feeling among the Untold team is that Wenger won’t play him until he is 200% certain that he’s not going to suffer another set back.

    Also the fact that the under 21 league does allow 3 over age players is being used now as a way of getting players match fit, rather than just throwing them into the first team, and Arsenal seem to first team.

    But beyond that, I don’t know if he’s got another injury.

  4. Well we know exactly what to expect.

    Poyet will have been preparing his players all week and we can expect Sunderland to dictate the pace by slowing the game down, let us have the ball up to halfway, pressure our weak CMs into conceding possession, hit us hard with tackles, play long high balls over our high defensive line up both flanks when our fullbacks and midfielders are in wanderlust, and stop us by any means necessary early on any break.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 0-0 today followed by an almighty and amusing moanfest on here about the ref robbing us and the media hating us to fortify the siege mentality among the troops.

    One thing is for sure, if we lose points today due to a Nacho brainfart because he is playing out of position Wenger can justifiably expect both barrels from the media and fans for his negligence.

  5. Somehow get the feeling anything less than the 8 nil drubbing Sunderland received last week won’t be enough to placate our “long-suffering” Arsenal fans, as the media would like to put it. COYG!

  6. Excellent preview by InitialsBB.

    I haven’t seen such a comprehensive match preview with such a high quality analysis, insight and reasoning. Way to go InitialsBB….

  7. Hmm, this BB character should ‘eff off back to the Chelsea or Tottenham blogs or the newspaper where they work. A disengenous person indeed.

    But even if this BB character ‘effs off, another with the same agenda and same words but a different moniker shall come along, alas for easily created email addresses.

  8. How many rank and file bloggers on the Internet are ‘real people’ and how many are journos trolling and pretending, one does wonder…agendas seem prevalent on Arsenal blogs at least.

    And its not just Untold, dear me.

  9. A new low. One of the doommongers having a moan before the game has even taken place! What a plonker.

  10. Sav I think what Fins wrote the other day on PA, about meeting a friend of a Groaner said it all!
    COYG! Aha and Amen!

  11. I am positive the Gunners will be fully armed with cages and rats to cage the Back Cats when they got to the Stadium of Light. What Gunners need to do is to release some rats into the playing turf to entice the Cats out from their hidings, then catch at least 4 Cats and cage them, take them away to the Emirates Stadium as loots from the Sunderland battle. The Gunners might not need any application of armour as defense from the pawing and biting by the Cats. I am sure by mere seeing the Gunners coming with Cages with rats, the Black Cats will quack. Black Cats 0 – 4 Gunners FT 90+. My starts: Szczesny-Chambers-BFG-Monreal-Gibbs. Flamini-Ramsey. Sanchez-Cazola-Podolski. Welbeck. Bench: Martinez- Bellerin- Ajayi- Arteta-Walcott-Ox Chambo-Cambpell. Let’s see the boss starts and bench if I scored up to 70% of his starting X1.

  12. I am positive the Gunners will be fully armed with cages and rats to cage the Back Cats when they got to the Stadium of Light. What the Gunners need to do is to release some rats into the playing turf to entice the Cats out from their hidings, then catch at least 4 Cats and cage them, take them away to the Emirates Stadium as loots from the Sunderland battle. The Gunners might not need any application of armour as defense from the pawing and biting by the Cats. I am sure by mere seeing the Gunners coming with cages with rats, the Black Cats will quack. Black Cats 0 – 4 Gunners FT 90+. My starts: Szczesny-Chambers-BFG-Monreal-Gibbs. Flamini-Ramsey. Sanchez-Cazola-Podolski. Welbeck. Bench: Martinez- Bellerin- Ajayi- Arteta-Walcott-Ox Chambo-Cambpell. Let’s see the boss starts and bench if I scored up to 70% of his starting X1.

  13. Looks like chambers as CD and Bellerin as RB. Arteta back as well? Think Arteta if fit,can have a positive impact on our performances.

  14. I think we can expect a reaction from Sunderland after last weeks drubbing, in front of their own fans.

    A match where Arsenal were always likely to start favourites has taken on a whole different complexion.

    Although Sunderland’s confidence has taken a blow I do not expect an easy game, in fact this one is likely to be a battle from start to finish.


  15. Sav- I wouldnt expect you or anyone from Australia to understand that you dont change the club you support when you have a connection with the club that has been there long before the current regime and will be long after Wenger is gone in the next 3 years. There is a common misconception spread on this site that wanting Wenger gone is the same as going against the club, when it is not. Why do you even support Arsenal anyway, shouldnt you be chasing the egg or surfing or something?

  16. Well well, InitialsBB.. Therz also a big misconception that ‘opinion matters’. In reality, it doesn’t.

    No matter how much, ever, you want ARSENAL to perform badly just to see the back of Mr Wenger, it’s not going to happen for 3 years atleast. So sit down in peace and support the club when you can…

  17. BB you weren’t referencing Wenger you were just slating Arsenal saying we would be crap and our CM is weak (really don’t see that), that isn’t anything to do with being anti-Wenger that is just having a go at the team with no basis.

  18. Well as long as we win, i don’t really care by how much, although some goal difference build up would be perfect.

  19. The league of extraordinary football fans state that Arsenal is a local club for local people.

    Strange people.

  20. James.

    I merely made a prediction based on what I have seen this season, and the one before, and the one before that. In fact its based on what i have seen since the Fergie figured out all you have to do is let us have the ball and disrupt our rhythm with niggly fouls- so since 2004!

    I hope I am proved wrong and Arsenal win
    by 5. But I have no confidence in this team, and why would I when I see the same mistakes, the same fragility season after
    season for a decade

  21. I can tell you all, as someone who grew under the shadow of Highbury, who is writing this text whilst staring out the window at the two stadiums, these AAAA trolls are not “proper Arsenal”, but as far from it as you can imagine. As witnessed above, They have disappeared up their own Arsenal’s. Which is why they have to invent this Arsene FC gibberish. It’s all they have to hold on to.

  22. Why take Finsburys word- you know nothing about him and he could easily be a liar. Why not just go to Arsenal Fan TV and see how the fans you know have been to games are feeling..

  23. So you see those ‘niggly fouls’, which as per the refs, the pundits and the media is the only way to play against us. Yet you say ‘its the same mistakes’.

    Who is the one comiting that mistake??…Us or the referees (who lack balls to call foul a foul)??…

  24. Indeed. You get some interesting and sane opinions on Robbie’s channel. You also get the same old Groaners, who Robbie doesn’t always agree with, making idiots of themselves in a public space:

    No need to anything else to this is there? Covers all the bases. Job done!

    There’s nothing there! In the case of the troll above, ne’er a truer word was said.

  25. You also get to see real people, real supporters- not an image of santi and an alias

  26. Jenks getting the minutes at the same time as Bellerin, the two of them will be well set up to compete for Debuchy’s shirt, eventually.

    But where’s the plan? 😉

  27. But if you don’t like what I have to say, Tony has exposed the failed and bigoted xenophobic agenda of the AAAA on far more detail then I. His picture is there above. Ok the header.
    But I guess when you prove week after week that you cannot even follow what happens on the football pitch, that spotting a picture on a website would be a big and unreasonable ask.

  28. Wojciech Szczesny returns from suspension to replace Emiliano Martinez in goal

    Mikel Arteta and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain come in for Aaron Ramsey and the suspended Jack Wilshere.

    Theo Walcott returns to the first-team squad to take his place on the bench alongside Wendesday’s match winner, Lukas Podolski.

  29. Hope Arteta plays the box to box position, cause I like him near the opposition box. His shot is to scary!

  30. Nice preview Bulldog,

    I expect Sunderland will come out to make a statement after last week’s debacle but think we’ll get all the points today.

    Off topic: Anyone else watching the City- WHU game, and notice how all the goal line cameras worked perfectly literally right after the play to show West Ham’s 2nd goal went in? Where was this technology in the Spurs game again?

  31. Bb
    I find your comments bordering on the xenophobic. It doesn’t matter where Sav is, his opinion doesn’t lose weight because of his geographical location. You make it sound as if being in the UK makes you a better individual than Sav. Think last week or two weeks ago you were picking on Walter’s English. I find that very ignorant and stupid to pick on someone’s command of English when they’re not a native English speaker. You should be praising them for being able to speak English on top of their mother tongue, something which I doubt you are capable of; speaking more than one language that is. Yes Sav may not have been to the Emirates, but so what? I’m pretty sure there are thousands of fans here in the UK who have never been to the Emirates too. You should actually be impressed that Sav knows a lot about English football than you do about Australian sport; bet you can’t even name the Australian league, let alone a single team. I also suspect the furthest you’ve been away from the UK is Spain. With the ignorance you’re displaying I bet you’re the type that thinks Africa is one country. Fool.

  32. City trailing 2-1 to west ham in injury time. City needs to buy a monster of a DM. Oh wait, they’ve Toure. And Fernandinho….

  33. Al
    Guess who put the Man Of The Match performance for West Ham?
    Yes you guessed it, Alex Song. I wonder what position he plays .
    Oh yes, DM 🙂

    He outmuscled Fernando , silva and Yaya Toure for the ball on numerous occasions and made some telling passes in the final third.

    Now it’s Arteta’s turn to do the same for Arsenal.

  34. The Ox shoved off the ball charging into the box, nothing doing. First yellow to Gibbs seconds after…. Predictable.

  35. Don’t care if we go on to win 8 nil or lose this, we’re being screwed here. And anyone who can’t see this has got to be blind.

  36. Hahahahahahahaha

    Take that you idiots….

  37. Carzola doubled up on by two Sunderland players on the edge of the box, no free kick. Ooooh, Sanchez had his left ankle trod on by Larsson, that must’ve hurt! Deserved yellow for Larsson.

  38. 3 free kicks ignored by ref. Well done Alexis. 0-1.
    Anyway more goals please, just in case the ref attacks more.

  39. What is happening to Friend? I thought he was way better than this!
    we are winning but this is a disgrace! Bias! Why? Is he under orders from above?

  40. The PGMOL cheat has allowed so many fouls against Arsenal. Alexis has survived several leg breaking attempts as has Chambers. Wes Brown took Ox down and the cheat ignored it. Soon after, Brown screwed up control only to have Alexis collect the ball, run toward the Sunderland goal and lob the approaching Mannone. Just desserts. How Arsenal have not had another broken leg is blessings from God.

    I wondered why no one was commentating on this match. I presume it is being kept off air so that the abuse cannot be reported. MOTD will slice all the dirt and show Arsenal at its worst.

  41. Another game with a lot of possession but not yet creating enough. Sanchez superb and a world class finish. Ref let Sunderland off with a few fouls, but also let us off with a few too. Could of really nasty ones from Sunderland though – one on Sanchez and one on Chambers (the latter of which should have been a straight red, but not even a yellow given… 2 minutes after Gibbs gets a yellow for a little trip!)

  42. Yassin
    As long as it’s a pgmol appointment expect the worst. Gone are the days we used to fear dancing dean only.

  43. Arteta lucky to get a yellow for a high boot that connected with Rodwell. Would have been red in my book.

  44. Think Arteta wasn’t aware of the Sunderland player’s presence. Even the commentator, whose opinion I still don’t value, said so. Wickham getting revenge on Arteta….

  45. When’s a ref not a Ref?

    1: He’s a supporter.
    2: He’s bought.
    3: He follows orders.

    You choose.

  46. Oh I know… He is a 91 year old brain trappd in a 19 year old body. So good and calm for a young player…

  47. OT: Making Football Videos to Demonstrate Points

    @BJT (and others)

    LongoMatch is a package more or less oriented to football (which one?), whereas Kinovea is more generic.

    LongoMatch has been a couple of years since its last update, but it has forums (English and Spanish) which seem up to date. Available for Linux, Windows and MacOS. It if Open Source software, so it shouldn’t surprise you that it is free (free speech and free beer). There are tutorials on YouTube for different sports.

    Kinovea looks like free software only for Windows. It is available as source code. I see little evidence that it runs on Linux or MacOS. There are topics in the forums of definite use to people analysing fouls (frame interpolation, leg speed, …). It apparently runs under WINE on Linux. There seems to be quite a bit more literature about Kinovea (a For Dummies document, scientific documents, …).

    Here is a paper out of Norway in 2013, which seems to describe the current state of the art. It seems to be capable of doing what Sky Sports (or Arsenal) would do, not this Untold Arsenal project.

    And back to our regular programming. 🙂


  48. …seemed to be a weird atmosphere at the game, glad we won though! COYG! Well done Alexis.
    Listening to the German radio today,Klopp is getting slagged off to high heaven this season, the pundits reckon he can only do wrong.Sound familiar?
    Onward and upward!
    COYG! Aha and Amen

  49. Why wasnt Flamini given red card for that??

    May be ref thought the foul was too soft by flaminis standard.

  50. I have no idea if I am the real Tony. Much of the time I feel completely make believe, and sometimes less real than that.

  51. A quote from Arsene after the match (BBC):

    > “I think Kieran Gibbs has a hip problem. He wanted to go on but he couldn’t. Mikel Arteta got a kick on his thigh but I don’t think it’s bad.”

  52. Four minutes ET from the PGMOB stopwatch at the end of te second half today.

    Six minutes against Hull.

  53. Did I see a Bumbling Buffoon anticipate earlier in the day that we might draw at best? And did I see the same tosser predict trouble for AW if we lost – where is the Buffoon now – cowering on Le Groan or better still under a stone.

  54. @Gord

    Thanks for the info – I have saved it & will it out as soon as I can.

    Very many thanks again.

  55. I don’t know how many injuries were collected today. Gibbs was the obvious one. Danny took a few and Alexis was targetted once again. I’m looking forward to a few special lessons when we have our full squad. I know we have some good moves in the locker.

  56. Really good 3 points. Well earned.

    Always difficult, after a midweek European away match, to play away from home again in the league. Never easy just look at Man City’s result.

    I wonder if Dortmund have their own AAA types. That poor Jurgen Klopp must be getting all kinds of abuse them today.

    Klopp out! lOL

  57. Good away victory. Watched it with I think it was Turkish commentary. Quite lovely. Had the crowd sound without the English media bias commentary – excellent.

    Sanchez works so hard, it was no less than his due.

    And the team has yet to start clicking. Ohoho, fun time ahead.

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