The Armchair Gooner

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

Fabianski, Ozil, Sanogo and The Ox Shine as Arsenal Progress.

Oxlade-Chamberlain is a little pleased with himself.

Morning, folks.

When I saw the team sheet for yesterday’s fixture, I wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about it. I knew the rotation was coming, with Bayern coming to town on Wednesday a few changes was inevitable. Call me a soppy old romantic, if you will, but the FA Cup still holds significant sentimental value for me. I didn’t really feel too glum about the selection or those involved, just a little disappointed by the absence of a few players. As it turns out, other than Szczesny, the changes were largely forced upon Arsene.

The team that took to the field might not have been out strongest 11, but it was an exciting team with a few eye-catching performances. Yayo Sanogo made his full debut and whilst still very raw, certainly caught the eye with an impressive debut. He’s a big lad with a decent touch and he gave Agger and Skrtel all kinds of problems, comfortably out-muscling both on numerous occasions to such an extent they began to resort to cheap fouls. Continue reading

FA Cup: Liverpool (h) – Thoughts, Team News and Predicted Starting XI.

Bad, bad, bad day at the office.

Morning, folks.

As I might have mentioned a few times in the past, my gainful employment puts me in close proximity to 3 fevered Liverpool fans. The previous week hasn’t exactly been a barrel of laughs. Far from it, in fact; the taunts are interminable and predictably insipid. They’ve been relentless, and maddeningly so.

Arsenal should be out for revenge today; to put right one of the worst performances in recent history; to progress forward in a cup competition we stand a very good chance of winning and to make my working life immeasurably more bearable – being able to return some of the “bantz” would be extremely enjoyable at this point.

Shortness of time and the desire to have some breakfast before heading out means I intend to make this little preview relatively short. I touched on some of the team news yesterday, and not much has changed since then. Continue reading

van Persie returns, Mourinho’s Snide Blathering and Early Liverpool Bits.

News explosion!

Morning, folks.

Yesterday there was an eruption. It was an explosion of news and most of it was of the silly variety. There were no fabulous moments of blinding clarity or life-affirming statements from ethereal creatures ordained by god to share their message of enlightenment. This is the world of Arsenal on the internet; it was mostly balderdash and stuff that irritates.

We’ll deal with the balderdash first.

You know those folks who claim to have insider knowledge and say things like:

“I’ve got huge news about Arsenal. Will tell you all in 3 days. It’s a mega exclusive.”

They get right up my arse. They really do. I know, I know – allowing anything that’s said online to wind you up is essentially an act of monumental futility. Where possible I try to just ignore it, but sometimes I can’t. Continue reading

Balotelli to Sign (Rumours), Daley Blind, Velociraptors and Stuff.

“Errr, Help…”

Morning, folks.

As we wind down from disappointment and look forward to an FA Cup tie with Liverpool on Sunday, the news in between invariably drops off. Sometimes, I kinda like this; having nothing of any particular note usually brings out my creative side and gives me the freedom to write pretty much anything I please.

I’m fully aware that upsets some folks, but, hey – there are plenty of Arsenal blogs out there that are serious and provided statistics and such things. This is one of the sillier publications I’m afraid. On that note, I’m going to discuss the latest ‘big name’ rumour doing the rounds – these stories don’t stop, regardless of the time of year – Mario Balotelli’s representatives are alleged to have met with Arsene Wenger to thrash out a deal. Continue reading

Tasic, Travel Troubles and Win an Anfield ’89 Shirt.

It’s up for grabs now.

Morning, folks.

Ahead of the monstrously important fixture with Man United, today is a relatively quiet day. The minutes will tick by in their customarily ticky-tocky fashion and the odd nugget of intrigue is certain to appear as the day progresses. As things stand, it’s tumbleweed central.

With that in mind, I shall keep today’s post relatively brief. One little snippet that caught my eye was the news of Arsenal being impressed with the recent trial of  15-year-old winger Filip Tasic from Swedish side Djurgardens. He popped down to the Emirates to strut his stuff, met his Idol, Mesut Ozil, and left having impressed everyone enough to be offered another chance to visit the Club. Continue reading

Arteta, The Ox and Arsene, Post-Liverpool Fury and Two Refuse Deals.

The players now feared half-time…

Morning, folks.

As you all probably know, much of the furious anger at Saturday’s defeat is yet to subside. It’s a minefield out there, folks. You need only once inadvertently say the wrong thing – usually positive – to have the combined wrath of Twitter fall upon you.

I wouldn’t really want to dispute with anyone about their right to be angry. God knows, I’m angry. We lost in the most pathetic way imaginable in a game that was of huge significance. Had we taken a moment to envisage the worst case scenario before kick-off, the thoughts and views conjured would probably bare striking resemblance to that which occurred.  It was an altogether sh*tty day – compounded for me by a startling shaving error that resulted in the need to remove the vast majority of my beard. Continue reading

Arsenal Got Served: Worst Moment Of The Season So Far.

Matt Damon’s character in Elysium opens the scoring.

Morning, folks.

Where to start, huh?

Saying that things “didn’t exactly go as planned” might be the biggest understatement in recent times. With the well-documented run of tough fixtures heading our way, it was considered crucial to get things off to a good start; to lay down a marker of intent and strike fear into opponents, making even the most snide of media pundit finally sit up and take notice.

Arsenal did a fantastic job of taking that concept and doing the complete opposite. Even now as I’m typing, words are failing me. Knowing how to explain such a monumental failure is a tricky thing. There isn’t much you can put it down to other than an off day, which almost sounds like a cheap excuse. I know some are angry; some wish for heads to roll and those responsible to be subjected to horrendous tortures in very public places.  Players have been singled out and mercilessly ripped to shreds by people with zero playing time as a professional footballer.

I find all that kind of stuff tiresome. All the factions have re-emerged, our fan group is bickering and abusing itself. Continue reading

Liverpool (a): Thoughts, Team News and Predicted Starting XI

Ramsey accomplishes the impossible and strikes the ball past Toure’s arse.

Morning, folks.

“Hold onto ya butts”

That line delivered by Samuel L. Jackson in Jurassic Park has always stood out. As a young man, I saw that particular Spielberg blockbuster in the cinema the day it was released and recall being the only person to find it amusing when Jackson said it. All these years from that point, I figured it was a good piece of advice with our run of tough fixtures starting today.

Are you filled with a mixture of nerves and excitement? I am. I really am; my bladder feels like a violent whirlpool and my stomach is growling like an injured beast. Yet, I can’t stand still. Finding the concentration to remain seated long enough to type this review hasn’t been an easy task. The only reprieve I have from the startling urge to dart toward the lavatory is glorious hope.

The team news is as you’d expect. Continue reading

Beating Liverpool is Important and No Thanks, van Persie.

Arsenal fans waited patiently for Robin to return to London.

Morning, folks.

Consider today the calmness that occurs before all great storms. Arsenal’s fortunes will be put to the test in no uncertain terms, and tomorrow it all begins with a tough trip to Liverpool.

What’s so wonderful about the upcoming fixtures, in my eyes at the very least, is how excited and nervous I am about it. In previous years we’ve seen Arsenal drop unceremoniously out of competitions to lesser opponents. The team whimpered embarrassingly when they should have roared.  I’m not saying we’re going to win all the of the upcoming fixtures – not at all – I merely see us at a point were I doubt we’ll be unable to compete; where we won’t allow ourselves to not put up a fight.

It’s the mentality of this Arsenal that stands out. We have leaders; we have fighters and we couple that with fabulously gifted individuals that play for the team. Continue reading

Draxler Rumours Hotting Up, Liverpool In The Cup and Podolski

“There’s a new rumour out! SCRAMBLE!!”

Morning, folks.

There’s quite the abundance of rumour today. As the horrors of January’s window head into the last stretch, everything becomes heightened; speculation doubles, hopes rise and the whole sorry saga transforms into farce. As an Arsenal fan hoping to see our title bid bolstered by a new addition, I’m finding myself at the point of beginning to hope we might do something.

Arsene certainly is a wily character. He’s not known for being one that offers anything other to the Press than what he wants the world to hear. Behind closed doors his activity – or lack of – is guarded with secrecy – I like to think of him as the Christopher Nolan of the footballing world. Le Boss might say one thing, but you can never truly be sure wether it’s the truth, or simply just the cautious I-don’t-want-to-say-anything-that’ll-f*ck-things-up approach.

The rumours surrounding Julian Draxler won’t relent. Continue reading