The Armchair Gooner

An Arsenal blog bringing you news, opinion and humour on a daily basis. Well, I'll try at the very least…

Borussia Dortmund Predicted Starting XI, Thoughts and Stuff.

None of this nonsense tonight please.

Morning, folks.

I might be in the minority, but the Champions League has lost a little of it’s appeal in my eyes. As we head into what feels like an annual fixture with Borussia Dortmund, I’m not as excited as I feel I should be.

That’s mostly down to the fact the competition has long been set up to ensure the progress of all the big teams. Understandable, I guess, in terms of revenue, however, it removes that sense of romance and unpredictability.

Of course, my lack of enthusiasm is probably down to the manner in which Arsenal’s campaigns invariably pan out; start the group well, qualify, field weakened team in remaining group games, finish 2nd, play European giant in last 16, go out.

Tonight we travel to Germany with real defensive problems. Debuchy is out for somewhere in the region of 2 months (allegedly – no confirmation yet), Monreal hasn’t travelled due to a back issue and Chambers is doubtful with tonsillitis. Continue reading

Manchester City Starting XI (Predicted), Thoughts And News.

Things happen…

Morning, all

Last season’s performances have made me dread 12:45 kick-offs. For whatever reason, Arsenal played some enormous games occupying the top spot at that time and proceeded to fabulously capitulate. I shan’t go in any detail. Like me, I’m sure the horrors witnessed during those away trips is burnt into your mind for all of time.

For that reason, amongst others, I’m rather glad today’s match is at the Emirates. Not just because we’ll have our vociferous home support to act as the much-fabled ’12th man’, but because the levels of terror rumbling inside my midriff is considerably less than it would be had Arsenal been travelling.

Either way, though, today is a stern test of our credentials. On paper, I consider City to have the strongest squad in the league – you could argue that Chelsea aren’t a million miles behind, but I’d sooner wallow in my own sh*t for a fortnight than offer those dubious scumbags any form of credit.  Continue reading

Norwich (a): Team News, Predicted Starting XI And Thoughts.

“The end is near, let’s hold hands!”

Morning, lovelies.

The end is near. It’s been a funny ol’ season, hasn’t it? What initially promised so much, perhaps rather inevitably, fizzled out at the business end and left us all pondering the ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys’. Whilst important questions that probably should be addressed, to me they’re irrelevancies. Whatever could have happened, whatever might have been, didn’t and wasn’t. We are where we are.

Maybe it could have been a different story had we thrown a little cash around in January like football’s equivalent of Jordan Belfort, but, for reasons unknown, we did not. Arsenal have secured Champions League football and next weekend gives us a glorious opportunity to end the silverware drought that’s plagued us for the past 9 years. If you remove all the bitterness and self-important rage splattered across the majority of opinion found on the internet, it’s hardly a disastrous campaign.  Continue reading

Manchester City (h): Thoughts, Team News And Predicted Starting XI

“Really, Olivier? Another one?”

Morning, folks.

If you’re wondering where my usual posts have been the last couple of days, I can explain… At present, my life is a marathon run of epic proportion in which I must navigate many stress hurdles. The perils of moving home and selling a house currently is paramount amongst those. In place of my customary tripe you’ve had a few guest posts – I’m using those to fill a little space and, hopefully, give you a little enjoyment – yesterday’s post with a quiz on Arsenal’s history is worth a look.

With a bit of luck, the mayhem will relent soon and I’ll be able to get back to writing everyday properly. As things stand, Daniel and I will be taking a break from the Goonersphere Podcast for a few weeks as he’s as busy as I am with the birth of his first child.

I’m sure you’ll all understand.

Right, onto more pressing concerns and today’s fixture; the visit of free-scoring Manchester City. Continue reading

Swansea (h): Team News, Thoughts And Predicted Starting XI

Andre Mariner’s pre-game preparations became more thorough.

Morning, folks.

What a few days it’s been. Barring the obvious horrors of recent football, I’ve been working far, far too hard for my liking. As I type, my weary bones creak and ache and I’ve bags the size of lemons underneath my eyelids. I look like a distressed Panda.

Mercifully for you lovely people, I retained just enough energy to write this post last night before a well earned snooze. Yesterday I discussed Arsene Wenger and some of the reaction to the notion of him being elsewhere next season. Seems to me the camp is almost completely split down the middle on that one. I’m still unsure myself, often veering wildly from one extreme to the other.

However, there is a slight glimmer of good news today and that comes, according to 888sport in the form of no suspension being handed to either Kieran Gibbs or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlaim after the Andre Mariner fiasco of Saturday.

Continue reading

Chelsea (a): Thoughts, Team News And Predicted Starting XI

Who is that mystical figure to the left?

Morning, folks.

With all the focus on Arsene’s 1000th game, it is quite easy to forget that it happens to be one of Arsenal’s most important games of the season today. Fate has, in no small measure, served up a meeting with Jose Mourinho on a day our manger celebrates a milestone.

Say what you wish about the Portuguese – I’m certainly no fan – but he knows how to win and he’ll use all the unscrupulous methods at his disposal. A trip to Stamford Bridge to play Chelsea is a formidable task indeed. A victory would be sweetest way imaginable to put the “specialist in failure” remarks firmly back from where they came and blow the title race wide open.

The team news has thrown up a few concerns. Continue reading

Spurs (a): Team News, Thoughts And Predicted Starting XI

The Kallstrom Ultimatum

Morning, boys ‘n’ girls.

I hope today finds you nourished, chipper and prepared for the stomach-churning wait until we kick of against that rowdy bunch calling themselves our rivals. Days like today are bloody murder if, like me, you possess an innate ability to fret before games. Some folks I know appear the picture of serenity before proceedings. I’m a nightmare; I pace, fidget and generally irritate anyone around me.

When we travel to White Hart Lane, it’s worsened. We all know Spurs are sh*t, of that there is no debate. However, when pride and rivalry comes into play, the form book is swiftly dispatched through the nearest window leaving the potential for anything to happen. Today could easily be 5-5. If I was looking to place a bet on LatestFreeBetOffers.com I wouldn’t have the first idea where to start with a prediction.

The team news is slightly worrying. Continue reading