The Armchair Gooner

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

Pass Debuchy To The Left Hand Side. For Three Months…

Not so chipper at present…

Afternoon, you gorgeous bunch of scallywags.

Having not been able to post recently due to limited time and other ‘exploits’ taking precedence, it is with glorious fanfare I return to your screens – I should note that those ‘exploits’ aren’t quite as saucy or debauched as it might imply.

Since that howler in Germany on Tuesday night, we’ve had a lovely little 3-0 victory over the course of a weekend that saw great hilarity. Amongst many results that favoured us, my personal highlight was the ‘Gaalacticos’ quite wonderfully blowing a 2 goal lead away at Leicester.

All is fine and dandy at the moment with Arsenal. And then comes a little bit of bad news, welcomed like I’d imagine I would an ageing prowler brandishing frozen trout with a menacing glare (That’s not welcome at all, just to clarify). Continue reading

Debuchy Could Be Out For Months.

Could be missing for sometime…

Morning,. folks.

Quick one today, as it’s my day off and I fully intend to indulge in a few choice pursuits – mostly hedonistic, but nothing sordid and ungentlemanly. I am, after all, a respectable English gentleman. Kinda…

The news today centres entirely around Mathieu Debuchy’s injury and the defensive pickle we’re left in. The early rumblings, albeit unconfirmed, universally agree the injury Debuchy sustained on Saturday is a serious one, the only variation is the duration he’s set to face only the sidelines – the average guess seems to be between 2-3 months, which is a huge blow if true.

Unless he makes a miraculously recovery or the severity of his injury defies all expectation we are looking at the alarming possibility of playing all 3 of our senior centre backs (Koscielny, Mertesacker, Chambers) at the same time with little or no cover should any join Debuchy is the medical centre.  Continue reading

£25m bid for Griezmann and Jack misses 6 weeks.

“6 WEEKS?!”

Afternoon, folks.

There’s some extra bits of news today I thought, seeing as I have a little burst of free time, I’d share with you, if you’ve not already read of the events (you most probably have).

Firstly, the injury curse that has struck Arsenal with such maddening regularity has once again reared its hideous face and removed Jack Wilshere from the team. Whilst on utterly pointless international duty with England, Jack sustained a hairline fracture to the navicular bone in his left foot and is expected to miss the next 6 weeks of football, a spell that sees us face several very important fixtures. Continue reading

Replacements for Theo and adding insult to injury.

From afar, people gathered to watch the Internet explode.

Morning, all.

Remember what I was saying yesterday about an unexpected and huge news story appearing out of the blue to give us something to talk about until Monday’s game at Villa? It happened. I wish I hadn’t said anything.

By now, all of you will be fully aware that we’ve lost Theo Walcott for 6 months through a large piece of misfortune. At times like these, there are many choices of word or phrases that are apt. For example, a Gooner reading the news for the first time might exclaim, “dash unfortunate all this business” or perhaps, “Shame, poor Theo“. After a few moments careful consideration, I came to the conclusion that only two very simple words serve to perfectly summarise the collective feeling amongst supporters of Arsenal:

“F**king hell….”

Bloody typical, isn’t it. Continue reading

BALLS: Theo Walcott faces 6 months on the sidelines.

See you next season, Theo. Get well soon.

Evening, boys ‘n’ girls.

I don’t usually dedicate posts to news as it happens, but this one felt like something in need of reporting. I’m sure you’ve all heard the bloody awful news of the injury to Theo Walcott’s knee that will see him out for the rest of the season and quite probably the World Cup in Brazil.

It’s a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament to his left knee sustained during Saturday’s 2-0 win over Spurs, and it’s a terrible shame. Having just regained a starting place in the team and getting regularly amongst the goals, Theo’s season has been cut short just when it started to show signs of great promise. From an Arsenal perspective – I’m not all that concerned about England – it means we carry on our push for the title without a player capable of scoring very important goals. Continue reading

Arteta doubtful for Newcastle, more new kit pictures and thoughts ahead of the weekend.

Gervinho looked on in awe as Mikel managed to kick a ball towards that huge, scary rectangular thing with a net.

Morning Goonery boys ‘n’ girls.

Friday seems to consistently throw up bad news. Today is no different. Mikel Arteta’s solid and diligent performances in midfield are rightly credited as being the strength of our recent resolve. Like Gilberto Silva, he is often an unsung hero; his unflashy yet imperative work often goes unnoticed.

So it’s bloody bad news that our Spanish friend is highly unlikely to take part against Newcastle due to a particularly inconvenient calf problem. Currently he is being assessed by the club’s medical staff – who, I presume, can afford to take 5 minutes away from Abou Diaby – and we should know more about his chances at some point today.

If he does indeed miss out on the trip to St James’ Park, Arsene Wenger will have to decide wether it is worth risking Jack Wilshere from the start of the game. If he doesn’t, I can only assume Cazorla and Rosicky will play centrally with Ramsey doing the mopping-up behind. Giroud will be available having served his suspension, so Podolski will be able to drop back to the left of our attacking triumvirate.

That’s all speculative, however, and we will know a great deal more as the big fixture approaches. And that’s about the entirety of Arsenal stories. There are a few transfer rumours floating around, but nothing worth a mention. Most of what you see is the kind of guff that a certain site (Think; Emmanuel Adebayor is constantly…..) puts up with those irritating titles like,

“Hey!! Click Here! We want you to believe your favourite team are planning a mega, super, awesome, incredible, fantastic, daring, audacious, phenomenal double swoop for two Brazilian footballers that will cost a whopping £400m!! Please click on or site! Please!”

That same feculent rag attempted to take credit for this picture of a rather superb mock-up of what one of our kits might look like when Puma begins their sponsorship in 2014:

Puma and Arsenal: What it could be.

As it was pointed out yesterday on Le Grove, the person actually responsible, and the one that deserves the credit in full for a lovely bit of work is a very talented individual with the Twitter handle, @LAGVILAVA7. If you needed any more proof of the website I shan’t name’s utter abhorrence, then you have it.

And I think that’s were I shall leave it for today. With Sunday’s game approaching fast, I’m starting to feel the occasional burst of nerves, and my morning ablutions are less forgiving than usual. To say we have to win is something of an understaement. Failure to do so, to fall short and finish behind Spurs, to be dumped unceremoniously into the Europa League whilst that mob play with Europe’s elite, is unthinkable to me.

The very thought is about as appealing as attending a sex dungeon with John Terry as your date. In fact, I’m going to cease from mentioning it now, and punch myself repeatedly in the testicles until the resulting agony wipes my memory of this post.

All that is left if for me to point you toward the comments. Although – if you leave one I will have to come back to read it and be reminded of what I’ve said. And that means I’ll have no choice but to repeat the punching-testicles memory wipe. And that means I’ll come back should there be another comment…

This might go on forever. Don’t leave a comment.

As always, thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

Arsenal’s starting XI for the game against Manchester City (team news and preview).

Sunday Jan 13th; FA Premiership, Man City (h)

Afternoon folks.

There’s something about these ‘big’ fixtures that instills more belief in me for my team. Had we been lining up today against lower league minnows, or one of the Premiership’s so-called “lesser” teams, I’d be nervous and expecting something silly to happen. With the current title holders coming to town, my belief stems from the fact our players have a challenge to rise to, and our home support will be vociferous and constant.

The news on the playing front is very good. Only Lukas Fabianski remains on the sidelines, with Diaby and Santos both thought to have regained enough fitness in training to warrant a selection today. Only Olivier Giroud is doubtful, and he faces a late fitness test on a nasty gash suffered in last week’s FA Cup tie with Swansea.

Our team selection has been fairly consistent in recent weeks, and I expect Arsene to change little – perhaps again opting for the Vermaelen-Koscielny combination he deployed in the reverse fixture in Manchester.

We could/should/will line-up as follows:

UPDATE: Arteta ruled out with injury – Coquelin expected to start in his place.

City have a few notable absentees. The Toure brothers are away with the Ivory Coast for the AFCON, Sergio Aguero is injured, and Samir Nasri’s recent dismissal means he has to sit this one out – given his recent hollow words of debt towards Arsene Wenger it’s probably best for the irksome little mercenary.

With 2 games in hand over Spurs, a win today will do wonders for our chances of making the Champions League spots. Victory will require a focused team performance with attacking verve and enthusiasm. We are more than capable of beating Manchester City if we collectively turn up todasy. However, as is customary with this Arsenal team, a poor performance like so many we have witnessed will almost certainly end with defeat.

I’m confident today, and I think Podolski will bag the winner in a 1-0 triumph.

If you fancy putting some money down on the result, head over to Bet Victor. £25 worth of free bets awaits those of you that sign up a new members. You can register here.

Arsenal vs Man City odds.

That’s all for today folks. The comments await your thoughts on the team; what way would you line up? Would you start with a fit Giroud instead of Walcott? Let me know.

I shall return tomorrow with a review of the game. Thanks for reading today.