QPR on Boxing Day. Arry’s predictions, Coquelin and maybe Theo.

By Bulldog Drummond.

This is one of those games where the journalists hedge their bets, saying simultaneously that Arsenal can’t lose and a shock could be “on the cards”.  (Isn’t it funny how journalists have their own little turns of phrase?  Does anyone say “on the cards” any more, other than journalists?)

Anyway, there is much talking up of Charlie Austin (a £4m signing from Burnley) as a goalscorer so the press reckon he’s bound to knock in a few against the worst defence in the league.   This is because he’s the top-scoring Englishman in the Premier League and has scored nine goals in his last eight league games.

On the other hand all of Austin’s goals were scored in Shepherd’s Bush, (a small principality to the west of civilisation)  and over half the teams in the Premier League have a worst defensive record than Arsenal’s,  but between them have only a fraction of the number of defenders injured we have.

So here we go…


Debuchy, Mert, Monreal, Gibbs


The Ox, Cazorla

Welbeck, Giroud, Sánchez

Now there are two possibilities of alternatives with this team.   Sánchez could be given a rest and Podolski play with either Sánchez or Theo coming on for the last half hour.   And Flamini could continue instead of Coquelin.

I still don’t know what Mr Wenger thinks of Coquelin – he could have been sold in the summer, but came back, went out on loan, and was pulled back as cover.  What’s more all the way through his Arsenal career since 2008, Mr Wenger has shown a keen interest in him, and even the poor year he had with Freiburg doesn’t seem to have destroyed his chances with us.

Now when people dismiss Arsenal’s defensive cover, Francis Coquelin is never once mentioned, but I still think there is a very good player there.   And it is easy to forget he has played for Arsenal 22 times.  He has played for France’s under 21s seven times, and started and completed all seven games in the 2011 Under 20 world cup in Columbia which means he can’t be utterly useless.  So I’ll go with the general Untold feeling that he really is part of the squad, and not someone who is going to be ditched – at least not this season.

Chambers is said to be in need of a break, so I think he will be on the beach today.

Freezing to death then we have a mix of Ospina, Martínez, Hayden, Chambers, Flamini, Rosicky, Podolski, Campbell, Walcott, Sanogo, Bellerín

Arry the Red has claimed that he has so many injured players that he can’t actually name them all – or that if he did the journalists would all be off home before he finished the list.

It is a clever ploy reprinted in almost all the papers.  Clever because as far as I can work it out the injured list is Faurlín, Sandro, Taraabt, and Yun with Zamora as a doubt.  That is four play one.

Our list is

Injured:  Arteta, Koscielny, Özil, Ramsey, Wilshere which is a straight five.  Plus

Doubts: Bellerín, Ospina, Rosicky, Sanogo, Walcott (five)

So QPR 4+1.  Arsenal 5 + 5.  We win.

But of course it is Arry what gets the publicity, because Arry is a Character (not the capital C) and is Loved by the Boys from the Papers.

Oh yes.  Cor stone the crows, luv a duck, makes you fink, this is it, and other meaningless phrases rarely if ever heard outside of an East Enders studio.

Some reports have Tomas Rosicky and David Ooooooospina available, but the other doubts are Real Doubts.

QPR’s form record shows a sort of WLWLW sequence, (yes three wins in the last five), but all the wins are at home and all the defeats are away, and add to that we don’t lose on Boxing Day (at least not much) and have won the last seven such games at home, (although I can remember having matches postponed because of tube strikes and the like), so its Arsenal all the way.

I mean, QPR did beat us at home 1-3 in the 90s.  That was the one that is celebrated in the Anniversary Files on the Arsenal History Site.

31 December 1994: John Jensen scores – Arsenal 1 QPR 3

But despite all the gloom and doom and gloom and doom and [yes we get the picture – Tony] we have only lost one of the last seven games, and only one of 17 Boxing Day Premier League games.  Hard to remember such things among the goom and dloom and oom and [I’m wanring you – Tony]

And here’s some more stats.

QPR always concede the first goal (well, nearly always) and   Mathieu Debuchy is the 20th Frenchman to score a goal for Arsenal in the Premier League.

And another, if we win today it will be win number 400 for Wenger.

And Santi Cazorla has scored three and had two assists in the last five league games.   Which is particularly interesting because a little while back his shots seemed to be more likely to end up travelling in the wrong direction.  It shows the value of allowing a player to play himself back into form, rather than just dropping him, as the moan and groan and moan and… would have liked.

Anyway, we’ve got the winter tyres on the Merc and we’re all off for a glass of the red stuff, and a little bit of fun for the late afternoon in the snow (or so the forecasters say).

Untold’s index

132 Replies to “QPR on Boxing Day. Arry’s predictions, Coquelin and maybe Theo.”

  1. I hope the QPR game will be OK weather-wise.
    I can’t help remembering the evening a TV weather man forecasting heavy snow overnight (which didn’t appear.)
    The woman newscaster on TV the next morning, complained to him
    “Where was that 8″ you promised me last night”? 😉

  2. This is a statement game. We need to start fast from the first whistle and win this in the first half.

  3. I think this is a sure win for THE GUNNERS. It’s time to prove that we are not a joking subject!
    But Rosicky and Theo should be give more rest on this and the next match(es).


  4. Hey guys – Media Watch on Arsenal.com notes Untold as one of three places to look today.


  5. Ajayi has been named on some occasions by the boss in his 18 man squad and he sat him throughout on the bench. The boss is yet to start him or make a substitution with him. I will love to see the boss start him alongside Chambers today at the heart of the Gunners defense line. Let us see what this guy is made off or will be made off. I love to see the boss play something new and different from the usual playing he has played. Arsenal playing formation styles have become well known and gotten use to easily played against by other teams. Consequently, we’d not gotten the results we wanted. I believe the boss can be audacious by adopting a new 4-3-2-1 playing formation style which has not yet been adopted by any team I suppose. It is a formation consisting of 4 defenders, 3 CDMs, 2 CAMs and a lone striker. Because of their been tired and not yet fully fit, I preferred to see some players rested or start today’s game from the bench. ( their names I with held) My starts: GK>Szczesny. DL>Debuchy..Chambers pair Ajayi..Gibbs. 3CDMs>Flamini..Coquelin..Podolski. 2CAMs>Sanchez..Welbeck. ST>Giroud. Sanchez and Welbeck are to attack from mid-field positions.

  6. I don’t really trust Martin Atkinson being the ref for this match especially after the last time.

  7. Half Time for Moaninho. No mentions of Jenkinson in the game commentary, in the general comments for all games there are two mentions of Jenkinson and the problems he is having with Hazard. Long time before we play.


  8. @onesmas not a joking subject???sounds gololash but he is always beaten we don’t need to lose today,but for your information i watched QPR in their last match and it was a massacre burton the shit head in untouchable and he commits fouls which are supposed to be reported to the police and his teammates are partners in crime.
    We have to be extremely careful especially when we have atkinson as the ref.

  9. My full ref preview has got lost between my Mac and Tony. Don’t know why/how but here are the summary points.

    Mr Atkinson is one of those names I shudder at when I see it come up in an Arsenal game.

    He can have a good game but rarely does when Arsenal are involved.

    He is not good at making Important Decisions (second yellow or red cards, penalties or goals) and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him get a number wrong again in this game

    The only good thing is that we are playing QPR and not Chelsea, City or one of the other top clubs and he might think twice about tilting the game too far which should ensure that our extra quality will win through.

    On the other hand, if any of our players give him an opportunity for a card or worse he will take it.


  10. Andrew, is there a copy in your sent mail folder?


    Drat, at West Ham tie would have been nice. Some commentaries mention a couple of possible dives. Come on Burnley, Palace, tie in Everton-Stoke, Leicester, Newcastle, tie in Sunderland-Hull, Villa and Brom.

    Still too long to wait.


  11. Dumb officiating again?

    > Could have been a shout for Newcastle. Juan Mata runs across the back of Yoan Gouffran as the pair enter the area. Mata seems to clip the Frenchman’s heels, and Gouffran hits the deck. But referee Mike Jones was having none of it.

  12. Bulldog gets 9.

    > Arsenal XI: Szczesny, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Monreal, Gibbs, Flamini, Cazorla, Rosicky, Alexis, Giroud, Welbeck.


  13. Very difficult conditions to play good football, bad penalty miss hope it doesn’t prove costly

  14. I always look at free kicks are pens with the eye of would I be happy if that were given against Arsenal. Could of been one but not 100%.

  15. @Walter if you a given a penalty and somebody pulls someone using two hands in the box you dont deserve another one because you have been given one before??
    And the whorelist on my tele says it was not a penalty and again he goes on to say even if it was a penalty we don’t deserve it??why do we have pricks always to analyze our matches?? does the PGMOL pick them for us?Secondly i don’t think we might get another penalty.

  16. get in thereeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ho HO HO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Some idiot in my TV is saying On-you-hahahha is not pulling Danny. Its just hands around the chest.


  18. Star Sports have an ex spud tubelight commentating. He is thicker than gravy & lacks brains.

  19. Any idea why alexis took the penalty. It’s not something he has done much in his career and of course he missed in the World Cup when Chile went out to Brazil. Once upon a time arsenal had a in house rule that the player fouled wouldn’t take the penalty. But fair play to him for not letting it affect his game like happened to poor Ozil against Bayern.

  20. @Menace

    We are looking into the same feed.
    Hahaha. That man sounds like a grinder. He also thinks the QPR attempt on goal (header) was not offside!!!!

  21. Just wondering why toure never got even a single card,if that was an arsenal player don’t you think it was a straight red card or maybe a yellow??

  22. 1 penalty from a probable 4 is not bad for PGMO cheats. The shit will book our players – there’s no doubt. There are so many obvious fouls being let but Atkinson is quick to blow fora foul agains Arsenal & converse with Gibbs in this instance about the surface having let Traore off a similar foul two minutes earlier on Alexis.

    We have our work cut out and have to score despite the fouling and poor officiating yet again.

  23. > Alexis Sanchez’s 10th Premier League goal of the season marked a pretty significant milestone for the forward as he became the second fastest player to reach double figures in Arsenal’s history, having done it in 17 league games.

    > The fastest? Ian Wright in 14 games.


  24. I counted 3
    1 on sanchez given
    2 on welbeck

    Still, bar traore and ferdinand, the QPR players are not using rotational fouling, thus limiting refshite. Hope Arry dont notice that!

  25. One stole cold pen, a couple of maybe’s that if it were given against us, a lot of you would be complaining that they were not pen’s.

  26. We are too slow again. No movement and no pace to our attack. Flammini slows the game down a lot as well.

  27. There you go the fucking cheat!! The ball was out and he gave a foul. Then Giroud gets pushed and he sends him off.

  28. Field day for the fucking media!!! Cunt Riley & Allen the StarSports commentator are from the same dung heap!!

  29. The two commentaries I am reading, suggest the QPR player should be booked for diving. If Giroud didn’t make contact with his head, he might see the red rescinded. Maybe. When pigs fly, sort of.


  30. av that arry!!!!!!!! get in therrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeee!ho ho ho !!


  32. Not sure why everyone is defending Giroud. Yes, there was embellishment. He still committed a clear red card offense, and absolutely should have been sent off for it. If it had been Ferdinand doing the same thing to Giroud, every Arsenal fan here would have been up in arms.

  33. What a cunt of a cheat the bastard gives them a penalty !! not unexpected even though it was a dive!!

  34. According to the BBC, ‘Arry is going to be whining about a missed penalty. And the press will only talk about ‘Arry’s and nothing about our 3 or whatever the count is now.


  35. Hahahahahahahaha

    Penalty!!! For having touched the ball.

    And at the other end!!!!…

  36. Steve0

    but why this shithead dive after “committed a clear red card offense” like giroud just kill him?

    is it a new rule? you need to show that there was a LITTLE TOUCH?

  37. Steve0, not everyone is defending Giroud. Contact or not, the QPR player should be booked for simulation.


  38. @Kampala

    He should have, absolutely. Doesn’t make Giroud innocent though. His reaction absolutely deserved to earn a red card, and frankly, it’s inexcusable with a 1-0 lead. He has to be smarter than that.

  39. Phew, well done Arsenal for hanging on there. Giroud – what were you doing, silly boy!

  40. I stand by Giroud. Though stupid. Its time we retaliate. People should know we are running out of patience….

  41. He scored 44.7% when he did the Chelsea game, I can’t see his score being much better today. Truly an awful referee should be banished to the Siberial mines

  42. SteveO – bollocks to you. The cunt Atkinson knew that giroud was pushed and he also knew that the QPR cunt dived but despite knowing all that he showed the red card. He has allowed Danny to be raped in the penalty box & says no foul!!! What the fuck do you want as an Arsenal supporter? The cunts from PGMO are corrupt mother fucking cheats.

  43. Sending off of Giroud = wrong
    Not sending off Ferdinand for two bookable offences = Wrong
    Not booking Traore for persistent fouling = wrong
    Penalty to QPR = Wrong.

    Shocker or cheating, you decide.

  44. Andrew Crawshank – don’t banish him just send him to the North Bank to sign autographs. I teach him to sky dive!!

  45. Also,

    Not booking Onuhoa for pulling Giroud back=wrong
    Not booking Onuhoa for simulation=wrong

  46. Another nail biter thanks to yet another incompetent ref.

    No penalty for the foul on Mert in the QPR box.

    A penalty for a good clearance by Debuchy.

    No red/yellow for Ferdinand the thug for gripping Giroud by the neck.

    The red for Giroud and the incident leading to seemed a bit strange – would need to see it again – the QPR defender seemed to go down as if shot with an elephant gun – despite what appeared to be a minor contact.

  47. I wonder how many of us in Arsenal position facing cheating refs, frequent assaults from opposition players would act?

    I remember one particular game against Mark Hughes Blackburn when Robbie aptly named Savage spent the game kicking and snapping at Gilberto. Gilberto clearly frustrated waved his hand… and I do mean waved his hand near Savage and the ref… sent him off (score 0-0). I remember Savage looking over to a clearly jubilant looking Hughes, you’d have thought they’d just scored… anyway we went on to win the game…

  48. Both Boxing and MMA have banned head-butting for the damage it causes yet the ref didn’t once check the face of the QPR player for damage. Surely, if you had been head-butted that hard to cause you to go down like that, there would be blood? Some Bruising? Maybe a little red mark?

    Atrocious reffing and someone needs to stop this.

  49. The Boss forever the diplomat – deserved Red card. Harry – Zamorras was a clear pen as were a few others????? The idiot is in cookoo land. The ball had passed boih Zamorra & Gibbs when contact was made by Zamorra.

    The one that stands out is the clutch be a QPR defender on WElbeck and he brings him down in the box – a clear pen in any match but not for Atkinson & idiot Allen commentating. It is a shame that football has sunk to this low in England – it really is shameful.

  50. With displays like that, you can see why fans at the ground go nuts and try to get on the pitch.

  51. @Menace,

    The arabic BeIn had a ref to talk on all matches, this is what he said regarding ours:
    1-Sanchez penalty, correct
    2-No mention of Welbeck penalty.
    3-Giroud red, he said it should have been a red, for the attitude, still there wasa push (yellow and foul) on Giroud before, and Ferdinand should have been red carded too.
    4-Hoiliet penalty, correct (I dont agree here)
    5-Zamora penalty, simulation, and he showed how he tripped his legs on slow motion, it was a simulation.

  52. Will. The eyebrow is full of blood vessels, and cuts open very easily. But I did have a head collision where one player was damaged on the eyelid. The incident was on the far side of the field from me, and when I got there, the eyelid was already completely swollen shut and stuck out noticably from the plane of the forehead. The player ended up spending 7-10 days in hospital. They were mostly worried about losing eyesight.

  53. Exactly Gord. Yet their player was back on his feet and running around like nothing happened. Oh wait, nothing did happen as their was zero contact.

  54. Gord in Atkinsons case his eyesight was lost because of the ‘weight of his wallet’. No bump on the head needed there!
    Will – The simulation that seemed blatant for most of the game was that of Referee by Atkinson. He should be fined and banned from football for 3 years on this showing. If other matches are taken into consideration a life ban would be kind.

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