The Armchair Gooner

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

Newcastle United: Team news And Predicted Starting XI.

No Rambo today

Greetings, Earthlings.

If you were of the persuasion to locate sticks to beat Arsene with, today would be something of a golden opportunity. The paucity of defensive options within our squad has long been documented and as frequently lamented by those against the manager’s position at the Club. Today is the perfect opportunity to spout terms like “mismanagement” or “dereliction of duties”.

I’m not a anti-Arsene kinda guy by any stretch of the imagination. All the puerile bleating and demonstrative outbursts are something I avoid – both from those for and against. I find the whole sorry saga deflating and utterly pointless. However, looking at our squad today, it’s difficult not to agree that we lack cover in defence and there is only one man culpable.

Koscielny, Monreal and Chambers all miss out through a mixture of suspensions and niggles. Continue reading

Arsenal – Stoke City: Team News, Line Up And Thoughts

Stoke-On-Trent is picturesque this time of year.

Morning, folks.

As as blogger who doesn’t blog particularly often at present, I thought it was an opportune moment to correct that. Whilst December brings with it severe challenges and lengthy hours for those of us who earn a crust in the catering industry, it doesn’t make for a legitimate excuse. Truth is, I’ve just not felt like writing for a long time.

The reason? Hard to say – I feel it’s a combination of pure indolence and a feeling of bewilderment at how online activities have become a haven for self-promotion, bickering and the relentless spewing of dross. That’s not to say I see myself as some sort of saint amongst sinners – I’m certainly not – merely a case of becoming a little tired of it all.

But I do love this blog. I genuinely do. As I believe all writing should, it’s an extension of myself and combines faults and flaws alongside virtues in equal measure. It is me, and I’m going to extract my finger from my arse and start doing it again.

So, today we head off to the murky underworld of Stoke, a trip fraught with perils and enveloped in darkness and evil. There is no love lost between the two teams since one of their barely-literate cretins saw fit to blunder oafishly into a young man’s leg in the centre circle. Continue reading

Brilliant Sanchez, Terrible Arsenal. 2-2 Against Hull City.

Diminutive, cunning, splendid player.

Afternoon again, folks.

Ordinarily, posting a review once the game has finished is something I make a point of steering well clear of. When emotions run high and frustration has you within its grasp, opinion can veer wildly towards bitterness and fury. The decision to write this post isn’t because of a bout of apoplexy or the urge to pour my soul into cyberspace, but because I currently feel none of those emotions. Instead, I’m slumped at my desk clawing at the keys with an air of resignation.

Should I be asked to describe a quintessentially ‘Arsenal’ poor performance, today’s match against Hull would be an excellent example; we start brightly, concede to the opposition’s first meaningful attack, go behind and only come alive in the final third when teetering on the precipice of defeat. The vast majority of the possession stats go firmly in our favour, only for that time with the ball to produce little or nothing.

There are moments of contention we can look at as a means of excuse. Diame impeded Flamini on his way to scoring the equaliser and the Referee was certainly a monumental bellend throughout the 90 minutes. Continue reading

Hull City: Starting XI (Predicted), Team News And General Thoughts.

Gibbs hated losing the race to get home for X-Factor…

Morning, folks.

Match day is here. The international interferences are a blip in our rear view mirrors, a speck on the horizon as we speed towards the glory of Arsenal and the Premiership. Today we face Hull City at the Emirates, a team I have fond memories of facing.

I recall that day last May vividly; the heat of the bar in Bristol where I watched the game, the horrendous stag-do I was attending at the time and the ill-advised, stifling Cowboy attire I was wearing. Most of all I recall the wonderfully contrasting emotions experienced and the speed total disarray turned into hope and then unbridled elation. That FA Cup Final was a long time coming but it was worth the wait.

Some 5 months on from that day quite a bit has changed. A few heroes are currently injured and we have one or two news faces upon which we pin our hopes. One thing that’s been ever present over the past years is injuries and today is no different. Continue reading

Bolster The Defence In January And the Release Of Ched Evans.

Arsene’s latest defensive recruit had opponents running scared.

Afternoon, all.

Yesterday saw the farrago of the AGM at Arsenal. As I take pride in being as honest with you delicious creatures as is possible, the point has arrived where I must express just how little interest I take in the whole thing. Undoubtedly it serves a purpose for some, offering valuable insight into the manner in which business is conducted behind closed doors. From the perspective of yours truly, it comes across as an avenue in which already angry folk can become apoplectic.

For ¬†that reason alone, I shan’t be discussing too much about it. The one point I will mention is Arsene Wenger’s insistence that the Club will delve into the market once the January window opens. Having confessed at the time the squad was “a little light” due to the recent spate of injuries, it would appear Arsene looks to amend what was, in my opinion, a glaring mistake over the summer. We should have signed another defender and there is little I can offer as a means of excusing this.

The who remains anybody’s guess. Names ranging from the established to the obscure are branded about with such frequency that it’s something of a lottery picking a potential incoming. The wonderfully named, Virgil van Dijk of Celtic is alleged to be someone we tried to recruit in August Continue reading

Arsenal Prepare To SWOOP For Player In STORY That Uses CAPITALS And Is Totally MADE UP

Crazy Twitter fingers send the news across the world…

Afternoon, folks.

We live in a world of misinformation. The past few days as I’ve traversed the tedious international break my beady eyes have noticed that Arsenal have “opened talks” with somewhere in the region of 20 players, if you believe that sort of thing. I do not.

In amongst that maelstrom of spurious dross there may lurk an iota of truth, one shred of legitimacy, which will forever be lost to us all. Often I liken such things to the frequency with which I spot large supermarket chains ensuring their own brand cereal has packing that, at a passing glance, appears similar to the more recognised brands – if you think you’re getting Kellogg’s at some unconscious level, you put the box in your trolley.

The same applies online these days. If you see a post with capitalised words and it reads as important, you’ll click away and be greeted with unsubstantiated drivel.

But hey, such is life… As a means of combating that you can always rely on me to post my own unique brand of dross. That’s what I’m here for, folks.

In a week that is so very quiet because of the international matches, there is little to discuss other than what ways I can gamble my money using my betting app or the squad and it’s interminable injury list. Joining what feels like an entire team is Mesut Ozil. Continue reading

Predicted Starting XI For Chelsea And General Thoughts.

Jose Mourinho was looking forward to the game…

Morning, folks.

Here we are; the morning of the big game; the day of reckoning; the toughest away game of the season; bloody Chelsea. There’s very little positivity from Arsenal fans across the outlets I peruse today. Few see the potential for a result against arguably the most impressive team of the season thus far.

I wish I could disagree. Pessimism isn’t something I particularly like, it’s an ugly, consuming emotion, but you have to be realistic enough to admit we face a very tough game today. Perhaps the 6-0 debacle clouds judgement, perhaps supporter expectation isn’t as high this season. Whatever the reason, a draw today would be snatched from the offerer with both hands and slobbering glee.

Can we win the game? Yes, we can – if you scour betting sites such as Betfair, we have a reasonable selection of odds. For all their attacking abilities, Chelsea do have weakness – Fabregas alongside Matic is an area I think we could exploit – and they have shipped just as many goals we have. We also have pace in the side today, and that was a feature sorely lacking from the team that were so thoroughly decimated on Arsene 1000th game.

There are reasons to have hope. I can’t sit behind the TV expecting my team to lose a game. Our attacking quartet of Welbeck, Alexis, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ozil can cause any team in football problems with their mix of pace and guile.¬† Continue reading