The Armchair Gooner

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

Another Terrible Performance. Can You Defend Arsene Wenger?

“Oh sh*t….”

Evening folks.

It’s a shame my return isn’t under better circumstances. I had high hopes I’d be penning/typing a post-game report full of glowing praise and dreams of things to come. I shan’t be doing that. Instead I have the pleasure of detailing a performance that was monumentally bloody awful. Again.

Today’s defeat at Everton leaves us with a record of 20 conceded and 4 scored away from home against sides classed as ‘top 5′. Whichever way you choose to look at it, that statistic is utterly appalling. No side with aspirations of glory or that can claim to have our resources and intentions should have that fact help up to their faces. The truth is we simply aren’t good enough to compete for the title. Continue reading

Ozil, Arteta, Sanogo, Giroud and Vermaelen All Play Part In Huge Cup Win.

Joel laments conceding and, more so, not being in the embrace.

Morning, folks.

Feels glorious, doesn’t it. That sweeping euphoria of knowing that Arsenal have not let you down and that we will be front and centre when Wembley hosts the semi-finals. Whatever you may think about games other than the final taking place at the national stadium, being able to say, “Arsenal are going to Wembley” has an undeniably mellifluous ring to it.

Yesterday was a great performance when one was needed. Before kick off and up until we took an unassailable 3-1 lead, I couldn’t relax. My stomach churned, I paced and thought of nothing other than the fact there was a game. I often write about that sensation. At times it must come across as complaint when it is anything but. Feeling so on edge, so worried, is a beautiful thing; it means Arsenal are playing in a match that’s important.

And the FA Cup is important. Continue reading

FA Cup: Everton (h) – Team News, Thoughts And Predicted Starting XI

Jack’s grace and curious facial expression will be sorely missed.

Morning, folks.

Picture the scene; a tall, gangly Bristoilan barely able to keep his eyes open is writing this post at 3am. Having spent the night playing poker and occasionally bursting into glorious dance to records by Ke$ha - that happened, deal with it – I’m absolutely shattered, but instead of heading to a deserved slumber, I’m jotting this preview for you.

Dedicated, aren’t I? Well.. truth be told, folks; I can’t face having to get up to write this in time for the game today, so I’m boldly pushing through the exhaustion and the urge to dance again to do it whilst I have the will.

The game today is massive to such an extent I daren’t allow myself to ponder the ramifications should the result not be favourable. Arsenal are in 3 competitions and, realistically, two of them are beyond us – the league not so much, but the Champions League will need divine intervention to enable progression. Continue reading

Mesut Bashing, Double Pivots And The Power Of The Chocolate Digestive.

“Booing Ozil?! Nice work, guys…”

Morning, folks.

There is a pep to my step brought about my the onset of warmer climes. Whilst Spring and Summer may not be upon us yet, the scent is in the air, wafting across the wind pleasantly like the sensation of passing a decent burger joint at 3 in the morning. I hate the cold, you see; I’m not built for it and become less-than-enamoured by the concept of moving from the warmth. Cold breeds indolence in me.

Warmer temperatures mean more time for blogging as I’ll be inclined to sleep less. Those of you that have stuck with this site throughout the winter should see some improvements and small changes across the upcoming months.

The news out there seems mostly focused on as much negative spin that can be put on Mesut Ozil’s current ‘plight’ – for want of a better word. I’m sure our German friend himself would admit that his form isn’t where he would like it to be and he’s had a few bad games recently. Continue reading

Sanogo for the Cup, Giroud’s Philandering and a Summer of Changes

Arsenal fans took their expressions of rage to dangerous lengths…

Morning, folks.

As you might imagine, the Stoke defeat is still firmly sticking in the throat of many. Losing is one thing, it happens, but when the display is so toothless and inept at a time it needed to be anything but, you can understand why the folks out there are so angry.

Anger and frustration are understandable. When that transfers into hatred and bile, and our fans take to bickering amongst one another, I find it’s a good idea to step away from it all. Why waste your time with people who seem more eager to point you towards the supposed failings of others than they do with supporting their team? It’s a waste of time, folks.

Focus amongst my peers and collaborators has been on the fixture with Everton at the weekend. Continue reading

The wonderfully fickle world of the Arsenal supporter.

The bickering was too much for Ian and he finally snapped.

Evening all.

Christmas, aye? This time of the year is a bloody nightmare for those of us entrenched within the hospitality industry. The main reason for my lengthy absence from blogging is working long hours and feeling decidedly under the weather because of this.

However, my return is triumphant – like a majestic bird of prey swooping down onto unsuspecting food beneath it. Kinda… Well… it’s nothing at all like that to be honest. What the f**k am I talking about.

Sunday’s draw against Everton wasn’t what I would describe as a bad result – not by any stretch of the imagination. Roberto Martinez and Everton deserve enormous credit for the way they applied themselves to the game and on the strength of that one showing, I’d say they are the best team we’ve faced at the Emirates; comfortable on the ball, fluid and with genuine threat from both flanks and up front. Along with their intent to press at every available opportunity, Everton put in an extremely impressive display. Continue reading

Fellaini for £23m, Spectacularly over-rated keeper and Uzbekistan’s finest.

“£23 million, you say…”

Morning, folks.

Today represents something of an oddity; there are quite a few stories to talk about. Granted – they’re not exactly dripping with truth, and set in tablets of stone, but I’ll take what I can get.

First up is Everton’s Belgian enforcer, Marouane Fellaini. He of the ridiculous hair has been qouted as saying he wants to move to London. Well, I say “quoted”, the article istself contains nothing in the way of actual words attributed to the player, just a concoction alleged to have come from “close friends”, which is pretty much admission of bullshit.

I think it’s a safe bet to say Arsenal are interested. The problem seems to be meeting his £23m release cause, as our parsimonious manager isn’t quite sure wether it represents value for money. In a world where Andy Carroll can move for £35m, I’d say it certainly does.

Fellaini is an excellent player. He’s tough, good on the ball, and has the positional discipline we often lack in midfield – especially when Arteta’s not there. He’d be a blinding signing for us, and at 25-years-old he has plenty of time left to improve further. Taking the step up to a club playing Champions League football is the next obvious step in his career. If Arsenal and Arsene Wenger continue to dilly-dally regarding the price, someone else is going to beat us to him. I sincerely hope that doesn’t happen. We lost out on Juan Mata in similar circumstances.

As much as I hope for that to materialise, the polar opposite applies to Julio Cesar. I see nothing more than a good shot stopper capable of horrendous blunders when I watch the Brazilian play. Securing the services of an experienced keeper to keep Szczsney on his toes is certainly a good idea, and will improve the balance of the squad. There are far better options out there than Cesar. I’d go as far as saying I’d prefer we brought Eboue back to play in goal.

Lastly today, we have Odil Ahemdov, an Uzbekistan midfielder who plays for Anzhi Makakakkakakakalllakkakak (that’s right, isn’t it?).  If I’m not mistaken, this is a player we were supposedly interested in last summer, and his obscurity caused great uproar amongst fans.

It would appear those rumours have resurfaced, and Arsenal have retained their interest throughout the past year with regular scouting trips to watch him play.

Sometimes I read through certain websites around the Goonersphere whenever a player like this crops up, and there is always someone who claims to be an expert. They’ll say things like, “He’s a combative player with two good feet who plays well under pressure”  and invariably my first instinct is to think to myself, “Come on, you’re just making that up. You’ve never heard of him”.

I’m an honest kind of fellow; I wouldn’t know who he was if he burst through my window as I’m typing and urinated on my cat. To me, he is nothing more than a few videos on YouTube, but that doesn’t mean he’s a bad player, or a signing that lacks ambition. For all we know, he’s another undiscovered gem found by Arsene Wenger. If he does sign, then he deserves that benefit of the doubt. How many of us can claim to have known that much about Santi Cazorla before he came to England?

As silly-season plods along, I find myself getting increasingly exasperated with all the spurious fluff floating around. How I long to be able to discuss football stories that have some weight and relevance. Arsenal will make signings over the summer, of that I have no doubt. Perhaps they will even be surprising and welcome. Until then, it’s all aboard the speculation express.

Buckle up.

That’s all for today, folks. The comments are waiting below as they always are. Use the to empty your thoughts and hopes regarding player ecruitment. I shall endeavour to reply to a few.

As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.