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Betting odds on Arsenal finishing in the top four this season were cut to 4/6 after a thumping 4-0 victory over Swansea at the weekend, but the Gunners are still fifth favourites to make the top four. The bookmakers think Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and Man City all have a better chance than Arsenal of securing a lucrative Champions League place. It echoes the punditry of Paul Scholes, Owen Hargreaves and Robbie Savage on BT Sport on Saturday as each of them tipped Arsenal to finish outside the top four.

And then on Sunday, Man City were annihilated by Everton, while Liverpool and Man Utd both dropped points in the late game, drawing 1-1, and lo and behold, Arsenal finished the weekend in the top four. When will the pundits, the bookmakers and every other naysayer in the land wake up to the fact that Arsenal always finish in the top four? Arsene Wenger has been manager for two decades now and not once has he failed to do so. Last season Arsenal finished second and before that they finished third. They have not even struggled to make the top four in the last few years, yet these pundits just sit there writing Arsenal off, time and time again. If Wenger can steer Arsenal to the top four with the likes of Nicklas Bendtner, Emmanuel Eboue and Gervinho in the team, he should have no problem doing it now that the stadium has been paid off and he is able to spend serious money on the squad.

Stars like Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are genuine game changers and Arsenal should have no fears of Europa League football. Bookmakers are offering betting odds of 4/6 on Arsenal reaching the top four, and you should bite their hands off for that. To be behind Man City is laughable after the way they capitulated against Everton. Arsenal have had their wobbles this season, but they have scored seven more goals than City and conceded four fewer. City have the worst defensive record in the top seven and their weak backline and lack of tactical nous keeps letting them down. There are also serious question marks over Liverpool’s defence, while a four-point lead over Man Utd has been restored.

Of course, top four is not enough and fans are rightly demanding more than simply to qualify for the Champions League again. Arsenal are eight points behind leaders Chelsea, with 51 points left to play for. Betting odds have Chelsea at 4/6 to win it, while Arsenal are out at 12/1. Tottenham, meanwhile, are as low as 13/2, and it would be a tragedy for Arsenal fans if the Gunners were to finish below Tottenham for the first time since the mid-1990s. Imagine a season without St Totteringham’s Day. It almost happened last season, but Spurs capitulated. This season Arsenal need to kick on and surge ahead of their North London rivals. It won’t be easy as Spurs are the league’s form team at present, but on their day Arsenal can beat anyone, and they have an intriguing run of games ahead.

Arsenal have back to back home games against Burnley, who have recorded just one point on the road all season, and then struggling Watford. Take six points from that and things start getting interesting, particularly as Tottenham play Man City next time out. Then it’s the big game as Arsenal travel to Chelsea. The Blues will be tired from playing Liverpool five days earlier, and Arsenal can capitalise. Play like they did when the teams met at The Emirates earlier this season and we could see a repeat of that 3-0 win. Chelsea are a much tougher nut to crack now that they have gone three at the back and won 14 of their last 15 games, but if Arsenal can do it the title race could be blown wide open by early February and that 12/1 will have shrunk rapidly, so get on it now if you think they can do it. You can also go each way and take a quarter of the odds if they finish second. If Arsenal are to ensure a St Totteringham’s Day this season, they could well have to finish in the top two, and Wenger has never failed to finish ahead of Tottenham, so that looks another interesting bet.

For those of us who are passionate football fans, we all love to show our allegiance to the club, by always wearing a football shirt, jacket or other item of clothing with the beloved crest of our team on display for all to see.

Whether you are wearing the latest piece of kit, or going for a more nostalgic look, football kits are comfortable, look good ( with a few exceptions) and are quick and easy to wash. Unfortunately, however much we love our football kits, our partners may not share our enthusiasm, and even we have to acknowledge that there are some occasions when wearing a football shirt may not be acceptable for the occasion. Here is an infographic on the worst ever football kit designs:

Unless you are a fashion guru, or fancy giving up a entire Saturday with your partner tramping round clothes shops (in my opinion a fate worse than death) shopping for clothing on the internet could be your best option.

Not only will you save time, but you will also potentially save money especially if you can find a site such as Standout, that sells top quality designer clothes at bargain prices. Before you go wild, though, here are some things you need to take into consideration when buying clothing online.

Know Your Size’s

This might sound like a really stupid thing to say, but ordering items, and then having to send them back because you got the sizes wrong is a lot of extra hassle that you don’t need and can be easily avoided. Make sure you know your sizes, don’t just guess.

Be Aware That Colours May Vary

Although computer technology has come on leaps and bounds, when ordering certain colours, how they appear on a computer monitor may vary compared with in real life. This is one of the negative aspects of buying online, and you will need to be a little bit flexible if you want to benefit from shopping online.

Check The Returns Policy

Nobody buys clothing with the intention of returning an item, but it is important that you fuly understand the returns process before committing yourself to a purchase. Will you have to pay to return an item? Do you have to use a certain carrier? Will they collect it from your home address? All of those questions are important to know before you buy.

Research Brand Types And Sizes

While you might expect all clothes to fit the same, the reality is that certain manufacturers clothing will come up small, or large. A little bit of detective work will quickly guide you on this, meaning that you can factor in those details when choosing your sizes. Keep a mental note yourself of how your favourite manufacturers clothing fits you.

Buying designer clothing might not be as fun as buying the latest football shirt, but once you wear it, you will begin to appreciate the extra quality, and much as I hate to admit it, it does look and feel much better.

Hopefully, some of the tips above will help you to get a great deal and impress your partner with your new look.

Bayern Munich and Arsenal are slowly becoming a nice little couple as the years goes past. They seemed to be constantly meeting each other and 90% of the time Bayern are becoming the dominant part of the pair. Yet, for the first time in a while, this season Arsenal managed to top their group making them avoid the big guns and playing a ‘weaker’ team in the latter part of the competition. But the Champions league just doesn’t give Arsenal a break does it, because despite finishing top , they only ended up getting Bayern Munich in the first knock out stages. Regarded as one of the best teams in the world, Munich have knocked out Arsenal on 3 occasions , so it’s going to prove to be a hard test for Wenger’s men. That said, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself- as the first leg is going to be played in Munich there will be a number of ways to enjoy yourself whilst watching this infamous match-up. Before you do head to Munich, make sure prepare and book your airport parking in due course so you can avoid any delays and take advantage of those cheap airport parking prices.

Now that you have the parking sorted, let’s look at a few ways you can watch Munich/Arsenal game

Going to the game

If you’re lucky enough and have the money to do so, I highly suggest you go out and watch the game at Munich’s stadium. Away games are usually the most entertaining fixtures and the German Football fans are so passionate it will make for an intense but atmospheric affair.

Watching it a Fan orientated Bars

Usually, for any club, there will be fan orientated pubs/bars also known as the ‘team’s pub’. For example Arsenals associated pub is the Tollington Arms. On match days, the atmosphere here is crazy, it’s always packed out and 9 times out of 10 you’ll be surrounded by a platoon of arsenal fans. If you’ve never been, than this is something you’ll need to experience.

Beer Gardens

In the early spring, Bavaria’s ‘liquid food’ is served in these hip beer gardens; the breweries market their craft beers such as Salvator, Maximator or Triumphator. So no matter what you drink, whether you’re an ale drinker, light beer drinker or you prefer a wheat beer, these beer gardens will fulfil your needs. What better than to sit on a wooden bench beneath the chestnut trees, sipping a MaB of beer whilst eating pork sausages or grilled fish watching this intense and highly competitive football match? In addition to this, Henry the Lion transformed Marienplatz into the centre of Munich and remains the central hub of the city. This is where the New town hall stands and is where the major public transit lines meet, the locals and visitors alike are able to stroll past street entertainers and dine at exquisite restaurants or café patios lining the square. It’s the heart of the city and a pedestrian zone for all visitors and locals. The square begins at the western end of the square and leads off from the north offering a host of attractions to keep you entertained while you support the Reds in their Champions League first leg.


Mascots are a huge part of American sports, and when it comes to choosing the best mascot moments, the majority of the teams’ mascots listed are generally from American sports teams. This culture of mascots is an important part of the show in all American sports, and are a huge part of the affiliation of the team. They help to promote the sports teams, but in England, mascots aren’t deemed to be as important. While there are a number of football teams in England who do have mascots that visit schools and support the team from the side-lines, generally the mascots are almost ignored, with teams being recognised by the colour of their shirts and the badges rather than by their mascots. Here, we’re discussing the different mascots that you can find in English football and what impact they have on the game, as well as why they’re not as big as in America.

Kid Mascots

One of the biggest traditions in football is where the children walk out with the players, rather than a big cuddly teddy bear on the side-line. This has not always been the case, and one of the earliest occasions where children mascots were use was in the 1999 FA Cup final where two boys walked out with Manchester United and Newcastle, but it wasn’t until around the time of the 2000 European Championships where a full squad of children walked out with the team. One of the reasons why children as mascots may have come about was through FIFA’s partnership with UNICEF and the ‘Say Yes For Children’ campaign. This campaign was created to try and improve and protect the lives of children, while showing football making a difference for them. The children mascots could ultimately have been a visible way to promote the campaign. Now, a squadron of children are paraded onto the pitch for every top men’s European league match, Champions league match and senior level international match, and it appears that this tradition has continued, rather than using the more Americanised style of cuddly mascots that can be found in a huge range of sports.

The Mascots In Football

If you look hard enough, you may find a number of mascots in lower league football, but some of these have been dubbed as scary. However, it isn’t just lower league clubs that do have mascots, with the Gunnersaurus Rex for Arsenal who has had a reputable success at the club. Gunnersaurus is a dinosaur mascot who has been around since 1994, and regularly been driven around in open top cars and shaking John Terry’s hand pre-match. There are a number of Premier League clubs that do have mascots, and these are generally found in the news for winding up the managers of opposition teams. However, the mascots don’t seem to have as much of an influence as many American Football, baseball and basketball mascots. This may be down to many of the American teams having nicknames, making the process of their creation even easier.

Sports fans are always coming up with new and inventive ways to show their chosen teams how much they are admired and supported. Sporting events and games are very popular with people of all ages and background and really help bring people together regardless of their background. No matter what sport you support, be in football or Quidditch (yes-that is a real sport believe it or not!), there is always a way to show your dedication. From grand gestures that require a little effort like arranging a social gathering, to championing your favourite player by putting their name on bespoke pin badges, there is something on our list for everyone!

Purchase Some Merch

No matter what size or type of team you support, one of the best ways to show your loyalty is by buying some merchandise. If you drive, consider buying flags or car stickers for your vehicle. If you’re more conservative by nature then purchasing a branded mug or keyring can go a great length to showing your support. It means that whenever you make your favourite hot drink or get your car keys out you are given a reminder of your favourite team and may even be reminded to book tickets to their next game!

Get Creative

While this involves a little more effort than buying a hoodie or cap from the team’s shop and wearing it to a game, it can be even more rewarding to get creative and get involved in making a spectacular statement that will make you stand out from others. Why not make your own t-shirt by getting your mates together and buying some cheap fabric paint and t-shirt? Using colour to customise a plain top with your favourite player names or slogans is a fun way to really show your dedication. Some companies also offer the opportunity for people to design their own bags or pin badges so that you can really make a statement with your attire. If you’re not a fan of wearing your creations, then don’t be afraid to create a sign to take to a football match, for example? Your sign can be funny, simple or as detailed as you like, as long as the letters are large enough and clear enough to read!

Give A Donation

Giving your favourite sporting team a donation is particularly beneficial if you support a smaller, more local team who possibly have less funding than other, larger teams. Your donations can help keep the club and team going by helping pay for scholarships, after school clubs/youth clubs or renovations. Sometimes the smallest contribution can go a long way in the long term success of a team and acts as an investment in its future.

Social Media

There are so many fun ways to show your love for your favourite team on social media these days. Twitter allows you to add a little sticker to your profile image so that you can show your support to a team publicly and easily. This is also a great way to meet likeminded individuals and strike up a conversation! Similarly, joining Facebook groups can let you chat to new people and even arrange fan meet ups.


"Arsenal 1 Stoke 0 injury time" (CC BY 2.0) by oddsock

We’re now midway through the 2016/17 campaign and Arsenal are there or thereabouts at the top of the Premier League table. The Gunners are nine points behind current leaders Chelsea but a new arrival in the upcoming transfer window could give Arsene Wenger’s side a much-needed boost ahead of the business end of the season.

Valencia left-back Jose Gaya has been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium before the end of January and most Arsenal fans would welcome another addition in defence. The 21-year-old has been labelled as one of Europe’s top defensive prospects and Wenger will be quietly confident of luring the Spaniard to the Premier League.

He was linked with a transfer to Spanish giants Real Madrid last summer but pressure from Valencia’s passionate supporters put an end to a proposed £30 million move. However, his time at the Mestalla Stadium may be running out. A fresh start in England’s top flight and the chance to feature in the Champions League may make his mind up for him.

 Gaya has made 14 appearances for Valencia this season, helping Cesare Prandelli’s men to avoid defeat in exactly half of those fixtures. Incredibly, he has picked up just one yellow card in 845 minutes of La Liga football and his reliable disciplinary record will go down well with supporters at the Emirates Stadium should a move materialise.

It would be unfair to claim that Gaya has fallen out of favour under Prandelli but rumours surrounding his future have certainly rocked his focus in recent weeks. Because of these links, the Valencia left-back has played just 170 minutes in their last four encounters – and this could suggest that the club are willing to sell the youngster if a decent offer comes in.

Arsenal will face stiff competition for Gaya’s signature and the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool – three of Arsenal’s main title rivals – could be set to enter a bidding war with Wenger’s men. The Gunners, 6/1 to win the crown with, may be the best fit for Gaya; especially as compatriot and current left-back Nacho Monreal could help him to settle and adjust to life in England.

At 31 years old, Monreal isn’t getting any younger and it might be time for Wenger to bring some fresh blood into the defence. Shkodran Mustafi’s arrival has certainly helped to shore up the back line in the first half of the campaign and another addition might give Arsenal that added edge in the title race. Wenger’s side have conceded 19 goals in 17 league games this season and Gaya’s reliability on the flanks would provide some additional cover for the back four.

Gaya is one for the future and Arsenal should seriously consider paying up to acquire the Valencia star. The 21-year-old is only going to get better as he continues to develop and Wenger cannot afford to pass up on the opportunity to sign such a talented young player. It might take some time for Gaya to fully adjust to the pace of England’s top flight but all signs suggest that he could enjoy a fruitful career in the Premier League.

The FA Cup, the oldest competition in British football, returns to our screens in the New Year and all of the Premier League teams will be in action. Current holders, Manchester United, will take on Championship side Reading, with their own former player Jaap Stam at the helm. Mourinho’s former side, Chelsea await the outcome from the Notts County vs. Peterborough United replay, Liverpool also await a replay in the form of Plymouth Argyle and Newport County.

Meanwhile, Arsenal, the joint record holders for most FA Cup wins, look set to add to their 12 wins this season, especially in what is rumoured to be Wenger’s final season.

Preston North End

It’s been a mixed season thus far for Preston. Simon Grayson’s side suffered defeat in six of their first eight games. They currently find themselves in 14th place in the Championship, and have already crashed out of the EFL Cup following a 6-0 defeat at Newcastle. With a league victory highly unlikely, the FA Cup remains their only (albeit slim) chance of winning any silverware this season. There has also been controversy off the pitch with Preston starting their new sponsorship deal with 888sport. Pressure from Preston fans has seen 888sport agree to remove their trademark tangerine colour from Deepdale. The general consensus was that the tangerine colour was too similar to the colour of Blackpool, fierce rivals of Preston.

Arsenal’s Form

It has been a very strong season for the Gunners. An opening day loss against Liverpool looks like little more than a hiccup as they have been unbeaten in the 13 subsequent league games. Along the way they have enjoyed a 3-0 win over Chelsea, and 5-1 over West Ham in their new ground. They are also unbeaten in the Champions League with four wins and two draws, allowing them to finish at the top of their group for the first time in four years. Despite their good form, Arsenal crashed out of the EFL following a fifth round defeat to Southampton.

Key Players

On paper, Arsenal should win this one fairly easily. However, they have already suffered having underestimated Southampton, and will be keen to avoid making the same mistake twice this season. Alexis Sánchez has been Arsenal’s best player this season with 13 goals in 20 appearances. He has looked like a new player where he has started most of his matches up top as the striker, as opposed to his regular wide position. Theo Walcott, now a veteran of the Arsenal team now in his 12th season, has been playing some of his best football and has scored 6 goals from his 17 appearances. If both Sanchez and Walcott play against Preston, then Gunners fans should be rest assured of a win at the Deepdale and progression into the fourth round.

  • 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