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Herbert had one wise eye on the future with national skipper Nelsen’s impending retirement, but the impressive Reid quickly won a starting berth at right back and soared to power home an equalising header in stoppage time against scary Martin Skertel’s Slovakia in their opening game of the cup, securing a 1-1 draw. He also did well in the startling 1-1 draw with Italy and 0-0 stalemate with Paraguay, and while New Zealand failed to advance they ended up being the only unbeaten team at the cup, after eventual winners Spain lost their first game to Switzerland. Remember that if compiling a pub quiz.

In a way, it’s strange that ‘flat track bully’ is seen as such a derogatory term in football. After all, games that a ‘flat-track bullying’ Arsenal would win account for 96 points in the league! A key reason for Arsenal’s season by season increase in total league points over the last few seasons has been our newfound ability to knock down the lesser teams, home and away. And central to that has been Olivier Giroud. With Giroud on the pitch, suddenly the opposition couldn’t rely on two deep-lying banks of 4 to keep Arsenal out of danger areas. Nor could their centre backs out-muscle and bully our man in the box. And no longer did we need to rely solely on pretty passing patterns. Arsenal had a ‘plan B’, a direct route to goal when facing packed defences or pushing for last minute goals. Furthermore, our ‘plan A’ was provided with an impressively solid fulcrum around which our smaller, technical players could weave those pretty patterns. He was also, a lot like Drogba at Chelsea, a


Not really. We could well go into the game with a defence of Valencia, Smalling, McNair and Blackett (and you thought Monreal at centre back was bad) so it could get very messy indeed and, if that is the lineup, I would be surprised if Arsenal don't score at least a couple. Hopefully De Gea has one of those games that Brad bloody Friedel used to have against us every season. Of course there is a chance that our attack has one of those golden days but the game plan that has served us so well against Arsenal since 2007 or so is no longer feasible, as we simply aren't solid enough

That kid watching from the colonies is now 55, with three grown-up daughters, three grand-daughters, and a grandson due in November.
Despite my age, I still sulk for two days if the Gunners lose a big match and my wife and kids can instantly tell the result by the shouting and banging coming from the downstairs TV room.
I blame Charlie G and his ’71 team-mates for all this as, 43 years later, I’m splashing down the road on a wet Bank Holiday Monday towards the Emirates Stadium at 9am, ready for a Legends Tour with George as tour leader

There are plenty of examples of AW’s non-linear thinking, but this is most obvious in his attitude to player position. Where to start? Well, off the top if my head, George Weah was a winger, Thierry Henry was a winger, so was Ashley Cole, Kolo Toure was a midfielder, that Dutch bloke was a winger, Lauren was a wide-midfielder, Vito Mannone was a playmaker, Petit was a left-back, Gibbs was a central midfielder.

Quality-wise, in the front 5 I think we have a very solid set of players. We have enough quality to deal with injuries/tiredness there. That doesn't mean quality won't drop, it will, but there's more than enough quality to do the job for those 5 positions. Rarely do you have a backup player who is as good as the player he's being benched for. Looking at the back 5, we have excellent quality in GK and LB positions, we're solid at RB with Debuchy, Bellerin and Chambers. I'm a big fan of Hayden and he was one of our best performers in the Southampton loss but that's just his 2nd senior game and perhaps a bit too little for a sample to judge him on but our other 3 CBs- Kos, Per and Chambers are quality as well. Put it this way, I wouldn't have a problem if we played Bellerin against a non-top-7 team in the PL. Monreal, during Gibbs layoff this season, was our most consistent defender. Chambers, from what we've seen is going to be very good. He's already very good. The DM position is where we don't

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more