Arsenal: “You need more than a masters to play against them.”

By Bulldog Drummond

“Oh please let us be the exception”

Cup cock ups can occur anytime and bring down anyone.  Herbert Chapman knew that with the defeat to Walsall (his last ever FA Cup match incidentally), after which he immediately transferred out of the club the players he felt were responsible.

Managers don’t do that these days, of course, but the cock ups keep on coming.  Arsenal is not exempt yet by and large for every disaster there are 20 or more easy sails past lower league opponents.  That’s what we want.

So, let’s be certain, we had our Bradford when we lost to, err, Bradford in the league cup on penalties, and it isn’t our turn again yet.  And besides only one man has won the cup more times than Mr Wenger (and you can bet Mr W wants that record).  That upstart was George Ramsey who won it in 1887, 1895, 1897, 1905, 1913, and 1920.

Arsenal have won the cup 11 times, and been runners up seven – a record shared exactly with Manchester Utd who last won the cup in 2004.  .

As to who will play in this one, the reports say that Crowley, Akpom and Gnabry all trained with the team ahead of this game – and the news that Gnabry has finally shaken off all his injury problems is very welcome indeed.   Akpom might get a run if we are several up – but Chelsea have just warned us that 2-0 against lower league opposition is not enough.

Anyway this is our first FA Cup tie outside London since January 2013 – which was also at Brighton.   Our 3-2 victory was Brighton’s only defeat in their last 12 FA Cup home matches

Szczesny ought to have a chance to show that he isn’t addicted to nicotine and Martinez can find out what the beach is like at Brighton (stony).  (Here’s a funny thing – before Bournemouth moved their ground round 90 degrees some years back one end of the ground was built on very stony land, and so was called the Brighton Beach End.  Isn’t that something?).

Arsène Wenger says that Mesut Özil is bigger and stronger having realised just how little protection he gets in the League from refs.  This ought to be a good day out for him – his first start since October.  Mr Wenger said he preferred him in the centre, but of course, the team has to fit together.

And there is that Theo Walcott fella who we have just signed from a prolonged period in rehab.  Time for him to show us what’s what as well.

Which starts to edge us towards the issue of whether Alexis Sánchez and Santi Cazorla will play, or take the opportunity of a rest.  Having seen the weekend’s results Mr W might have a rethink.

Most likely to be missing are Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Héctor Bellerín with minor kicks (or major kicks but we get so many the scale of kickidity has had to be changed).  Danny Welbeck is out for another two weeks.

And Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere will by now be anxious about how they will ever get back into the team.

But Olivier Giroud has scored five goals in his last seven FA Cup games so he really must be there.

Brighton are on the up with Chris Hughton as manager.  They used to play in Hove, and I don’t think they ever played in Brighton.  Now they play in Falmer – a diminutive hamlet to the north of the town which houses two universities (Uni of Sussex and Brighton Uni).  So let’s hope Arsenal have a map.

A bit like Palace, Brighton are now winning every match on offer – three of the last four since the change of manager.   Their man Iñigo Calderón  has a masters degree in sports psychology.   He was the one who when asked to what extent he will be using his psychology expertise against Arsenal replied, “You need more than a masters to play against them.”

So, this is the fifth time we have played Brighton and Hove Albion in the FA Cup and we’ve won the lot.  Brighton have got to one final, the “And Smith must score” final (if you know your FAC history.)  Smith didn’t, Brighton lost.

Match Officials (notes from Andrew – many thanks)

  • Referee – Michael Oliver
    Assistants – Michael Mullarkey and Lee Betts
    Fourth Official – Simon Hooper

Michael Oliver has officiated Arsenal league games twice this year – both draws – Arsenal v Tots (1-1) and Liverpool v Arsenal v Arsenal (2-2).  His numbers were virtually identical in both games; 66 and 67% (weighted) overall performance.

In both games there were two wrong Important Decisions (second yellow card, red card, penalty and goal) all against Arsenal and the bias of wrong decisions against Arsenal was 85 and 100%.  In my opinion he cost us two points in both games.  He is a piss-poor referee for Arsenal but in a one-off cup game we should be able to prevail against both Brighton and Mr Oliver.

The team?

Smokin’ Jo Szchczczscz

Gibbs   Mert   Kos   Monreal

Coquelin   Ramsey

Rosicky   Ozil   Theo


On Brighton beach:

  • Cazorla
  • Sánchez
  • Flamini
  • Chambers
  • Akpom
  • Martinez
  • Zelalem
  • Campbell

Right.  Where’s my scarf?

The books

Anniversary of the day 

25 January 2003: Farnborough Town 1 Arsenal 5, played at Highbury.  Arsenal donated all programme sales income into Farnborough; the Arsenal fans sing “You’re supposed to be at home”

A full list of today’s anniversaries can be found on the home page

83 Replies to “Arsenal: “You need more than a masters to play against them.””

  1. i am an 83 year old fan living now in germany.i would like to know if thier are any vidios from two of the best wingers arsenal ever had danny clapton right,roper left.many thanks.

  2. It’s unlikely Kieran ‘One Foot’ Gibbs will be at right back, we’ll probably see Chambers there. And I don’t think we’ll see that much change in the front four either, although who knows. Didn’t Wenger say he expects Oxlade-Chamberlain to be fit for this match?

    Anyway, COYG!

  3. Would love to see Martinez get another run out this game. If not now then i cant see when he will, unless the other two get injured. Hopefully will also get a chance to see Akpom in action!

  4. agree Jammy j and Quincy on all your points, I thought Ox would be saved from what I understood from his Friday presser. Also, will Campbell even be on the bench if reports are to be believed?

  5. Seem to remember an article on here a while back suggesting refs are not under as many orders from above in the FA Cup so can do their job with more freedom.
    Of course Proberts performance in the non penalty final contradicts this suggestion, but think this is the best we can hope for with this young ambitious guy reffing Arsenal….that he is under no orders.

  6. Also I wiill be watching Theo´s workrate now that he is back, I know I won´t be the only one. In my book he will always be a watcher, a picture taker. Not an instigator, a creative aggressive threat. Amongst the few things I am seeing positive changing with the workman attitude of our team overall; if he doesn´t change he will only stickout more, when he doesn´t bust a gut to win a ball back…Ozil as well. Only I think Ozil is smart enough to see that.

  7. And Jammy J Chuba is one of those players that only needs that one game to put him on the map…you´ll be looking back next year at his video on Scout Nation youtube, and remember the month on the graph where valuation skyrocketed!!

  8. After so many big teams have gone out, the FA will want Arsenal to remain until the later stages. Not that I want any favours – just a level playing field. But will be particularly interested in the referee review for this game.

    As for the team, am expecting: Szcz, Chambers, Kos, Monreal, Gibbs, Coq, Ramsey, Ozil, Theo, Chuba. Was expecting Campbell to play – but he’s off. So probably Ox or Sanchez.

  9. “Hope we take this one seriously.”

    That is a very vague statement and begs the question, what is ‘taking it seriously’ ?

    What I mean is, if you asked 100 posters you could get 100 different answers.

    Surely there are so many ‘degrees’ of seriousness as to make it impossible to answer.

    Is playing the absolute first choice available 11 the only true expression of ‘taking it seriously’ ?

    Or can you ‘rest’ all the players in or near this mysterious ‘Red Zone’ (and only Wenger knows who that is) and still be taking it seriously?

    Or can you play all the guys on the fringe that either need a game, for fitness reasons, or for there moral, and still be taking it seriously?

    If we lost and Wenger had ‘rested’ just Alex and Santi, could the accusation still be made that he did NOT indeed take it seriously?

    To me it’s all too vague and basically just an opportunity for those that want to, to have a go at the Manager should things not go as they had hoped.

    Whatever team Wenger puts out I trust he did it, taking into account all the factors I mentioned above, and a whole lot more, and with the full confidence he had fielded a team capable of winning the match.

    If we do not, so be it, I for one will not start mud slinging and playing the ‘blame game’

  10. I think now Arsenal players are profiting physically from the pre-season regime set up by AW as always. So much for the useless discussions by useless people about his preparation methods a couple of months ago. I noticed many top teams in EPL are suffering from fitness problems because they went max early of the season. The 2-0 win in Manchester was a perfect team effort with perfect fitness condition. I hope the players continue this form in the FA Cup and repay the boss with a record win. A mature and professional attitude and performance will get them there. Good luck, Gunners!

  11. Maybe Pete, but also this tournament represents chances, however undeserved… to return FA and media darlings in the north west to silverware.
    Wouldn’t write off Palace or West Ham either in terms of plucky underdogs… relative terms of course.

  12. Are the PGMO the ones or the football players that are deciding the outcomes of the Premeir League titles? Let’s us not worry about any bad refereeing in today’s Arsenal FC FA Cup game against Brighton & Hove Albion FC at the Amex playground. The refereeing will be in order. The Gunners aren’t going to be embarrassed by the Seagulls. Seagulls flaps against the Gunners gunpowder shots? The Blues, the Citizens and the Spurds were pounced and gored. While The RedDevils and the Reds were held in an overthrow actions by the less privileged teams. Irrespective of those giant killings, the Gunners aren’t going to be caught in any trap set for the Gunners by Chris Hughton’s Seagulls, as the Gunners will down 4 hefty Seagulls with mere gunpowder shots. And takes them to the Emirates stadium Chef to prepare their dinner. BHAFC 0-4 Arsenal FT 90′ +. My Shooting Gunners Starts: (Szczesny.)(Chambers,Rhinosacker,Koscielny,Monreal.)(Flamini,Ozil,Coquelin)(Walcott,Akpom,Sanchez.) in a 4-3-3 playing style. My Bench: (Martinez,Gibbs,Rosicky,Cazola,Ramsey,Giroud,Oxchambo.)

  13. I don’t think Ospina should be demoted from the FA Cup run just because he got promoted in the league matches. Hope to see him between the sticks.

  14. You can bet that the Scousers and Manure will now be able to overcome the hindrances from the lower leagues. I would imagine that we were lined up for the chop before yesterday! We need to be aware again of another fast-tracker from PGMOL at our game. Why couldn’t we have a championship ref? Do these refs have an agenda? …. to do a good job, maybe. I really don’t know why I watch it, but it was satisfying to see Neil sh*t Ashton choke over his kitchen table pantomime this morning! The guy has so little grace.

  15. MOTD

    Danny Murphy

    “I’d rather concentrate on Bradford than criticise Chelsea”

    Since when is that the case when Arsenal lose?

    We get slaughtered.




    Wenger gets slaughtered, not least by our own ‘fans’ !!

  16. We will see within the first 15 mins if Arsenal are taking it seriously, i mean from the way the team plays and how much determination and togetherness they show.

    Hope it is a good game for our returning Theo and the youth forwards, that is if they play. Can’t see AW sacrificing this game, but it depends on the players, who should have enough experience to beat both(both?) Brighton and Hove Albion and the ref.

  17. Spot on jambug. There is very little in the news about this, and even then it’s just a handful of articles talking of how the Bradford coach spoke of turning down Mourinho’s handshake till the final whistle and some other nonsense. If it was us you would think the world was coming to an end. And I’m still not buying this Mourinho made x amount of changes; he brought hazard, fabregas and willian with the scores level at 2-2, yet Bradford still went on to add two more with those world class players on the pitch.

  18. In case anyone is wondering, the BBC MotD poll about the biggest upset in the history of the FA cup had 77.3% of respondents voting Chelsea home capitulation loss to Bradford from 2 goals up as the clear winner.

    I am looking forward to BTSport making a commercial with the match footage for next season.

  19. When Chel$ea lose 2-4 at home to Bradford it’s all about ‘the magic of the Cup’, that’s the tune they’re all singing. Pfff, spare us please.

  20. Now boys be sure you’re on the right beach. There’s an exposed beach as well as an unexposed beach. Smokin Jo be careful you might end up on one of these if you don’t keep a clean sheet. Good luck lads, play well. I’ll be watchin you!

  21. 77.3% only?! 🙂
    You can rest assured this will be ‘forgotten’ by next week, Bootoomee. They sho should really do a commercial on this one though, but very very unlikely.

  22. Bootoomee
    January 25, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Don’t hold your breath. These guys are hurting more than ‘the Portuguese’ (incidentally I hate that reference as I think its racist) as the media call him.

  23. I expect Chambers to play instead of Gibbs on the Right back. Probably as well Flamini and not Coquelin? Or Hayden? Thanks for the article

  24. The more I think about the Chlsea game the more hilarious it gets.
    How many times have aaa come on here after a bad result with the “Jose would never allow that” comments. Yet the tactical genius has managed teams that have let in 4 and 5 goals in very recent games, throwing away leads in the process.
    Sometimes, your idols just don’t match perceptions and expectations you have built up over them, some of the aaa have woken up today with that very uncertainty in their lives.
    They will need to find a better stick to beat wenger with than the specialist in eye gouging after recent games. They cannot use Pellegrini or LVG either, guess they are a bit stuffed on that front whatever happens.

  25. Szczesny, Chambers, Koscielny, Monreal, Gibbs, Flamini, Walcott, Ramsey, Ozil, Rosicky, Giroud

    Our BFG gets a well deserved rest, and Szczesny is back in goal. Sanchez also getting a rest. Don’t know who’s on the beach yet.

  26. And then there’s the beach: Martinez, Mertesacker, Bellerin, Coquelin, Cazorla, Alexis, Akpom


  27. The aaa, conspicuous with their absence, nowhere to be seen in the aftermath of a great result. Waiting to flood this place as soon as we get don’t get a positive result. Spouting nonsense like I’ve been a supporter since 1896 bla bla bla. Where’s the support then if you don’t show up when things are going well, if you really care as you would want us believe? Pathetic miserable people.

  28. Mandy, you forget Brendan ‘Tactical Genius’ Rogers, to add to Louis ‘No Better than Moyes’ Van Gaal and Jose ‘Invincibles 2.0’ Mourinho, and Manuel ‘[Insert Something Witty Here]’ Pellegrini.

  29. Come on guys , do your stuff , make us proud and lets get unto the next round safe and sound . A clean sheet would be great.
    Up the Gunners !

  30. Someone at The Guardian doesn’t know very much about PGMO trained referees:

    > And the referee, who let’s hope we don’t have to mention again but propably should do for posterity is Mr Michael Oliver.

  31. Who is it that joined the muppet clan at Sky? In any event, Sky was the first bunch of idiots I am reading today, which brings up Wenger’s coat.


  32. Va Cong – you are spot on mate. The TV bods need you rather than the idiots they’ve got.

  33. Have you heard second half analysis? clatter them! hmm can you smell what the poodits are cooking guys? smell like chocolate brownies! Brighton need to do more! Well it is only that they are chasing shadows and shell shocked after the 2 goals has winded them!

    Menace I would sing when commentating our sexy football! 😀

  34. Dive? Why no yellow?

    > 56mins: Nice run for Calderon into the area. Koscielny is tracking him but the Brighton player takes an embarrassing tumble with the ball at his feet and Michael Oliver waves play on.


  35. Sky has this little blurb:

    > Double change for Arsenal as Walcott and Giroud are replaced by Akpom and Sanchez. Just what Brighton would have wanted to see at 3-1 down…

    Gee, I didn’t think Brighton knew Akpom that well. 🙂

    Oh, apparently the first 4 shots on goal in this game, were all goals.


  36. From the bbc

    > 17:35 Alexis Sanchez picks the ball up on halfway and is fouled I think four times in the same move. Brighton swarm on him, three blue and white shirts bring him to the deck. No bookings though.

  37. >Another booking for Brighton, this time for Greer as Akpom knocks the ball through the defence and is taken out.

    Oliver not giving a penalty again?


  38. oh no Gord! They couldn;t even draw with a foul on Chambers to score a goal and cheating!

  39. Cannot believe how bad Oliver was. He allowed tackles from behind galore and kicks to our stars by Greer. The blatant block was last man & not carded. The PGMO midfield crow strikes again.

    A win but at what cost. Ramsey & Alexis took some late abuse.

  40. poodits: you can’t play football against arsenal you have to play through them show them your there! Its okay your fouls wont get penalized.

  41. After the BBC listed the drawin numbers for the next round, we have:

    > Peter Collins: About time one of the supposed ‘big’ teams made it into the fifth round! Very poor show from the established elite.

    Wasn’t therea big team who made it into the 5th round last year? Who were they? 🙂

  42. From the Telegraph:

    > Some of the travelling fans displayed a banner reading: “In Arsene We Trust. Arsene In”.

    According to one newspaper, the only mistakes Michael Oliver made, favoured Arsenal.

  43. They will concentrate on the Chambers hand ball , it will be the tenure of all media comments , Hughton’s post match comments will be replayed over and over and over again . ( beejeesus ) No mention will be made of the penalties not given to us or the potential red cards especially the three onto one against Akpom who looked very lively . We are in the hat for tomorrow but we need to work out why we ease up when things are looking too easy. It is a trait that has dogged us for a few seasons now.

  44. Amazing how the media work. Didn’t see the banner on TV in India either. I’ll wind ’em up on Twitter.

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