Tag Archives: Swansea

10 reasons why we will beat Napoli and starting XI

1.. It was a fine away win against Marseille to open up this years Champions League, a home win tonight should put us a win and a draw away from the next round.

2.. Whilst you can’t really complain against any of our back 5, it has still been 4 games since a clean sheet.. Napoli are not much better in the clean sheet stakes with 3 out of their 7 games this season.

3.. Flamini will love tonight, this is his kind of game and the way he has settled in the middle Wenger would be very foolish not to play him tonight.

4.. Ozil, We are still yet to see the very best of him. He had a great home debut and tonight he has another chance to live up to his high transfer fee.

5.. Rosicky is fit, god knows how long he will last this time but it Is great timing. I can see him playing attacking left and Jack making way for him in the starting XI.

6.. Ramsey, what more can be said than I haven’t already in the last few weeks that with Rosicky back and a more balanced side he could and should run riot down the middle, again.

7.. Gnabry, I was so happy to see him not only have a great game at Swansea but also to score. He looked so dejected after the penalty miss Vs WBA and that game will do his confidence the power of good. Amazing to think he only turned 18 this July.

8.. Who needs Higuain when we got Giroud.

9.. Napoli got off to a flyer when we played them in the Em Cup in the summer but they will be more cautious in a meaningful game. I fully expect them to try and hit us on the break and with Flamini’s knowledge of the Italian game he will be well used to their tactics.

10… Today is 17 years to the day a certain Mr Wenger arrived at our club. He knows how to win a group home game in the Champions League and I’m sure the players will be right behind him tonight.

Likely Starting XI – Chesney, Sagna, Kos, Per, Gibbs, Flamini, Ramsey, Rosicky, Ozil, Gnarby, Giroud

Time for train companies to be fair to football fans

Firstly allow me to start this blog off with an apology. Yesterday was the first day since the new site went up that their was not a blog. I blame National Rail for it as no trains back to London from Swansea after 7.30 meant The Arsenal away support had to spend the night in Wales. And what a night it was.

Millions of football fans travel up and down the country each week for football. Whether it is Arsenal fans using the London Underground to Finsbury Park, Manchester United fans getting a Virgin train out of Euston to go to Old Trafford, or the loyal away fans of every club getting a train from which far fetched corner of the country they live to whichever far fetched country they are going to. Football fans are hugely reliant on public transport.

The private companies running the trains also benefit big time from football fans. Were it not for football fans, there trains would be nearly empty of a weekend. I would estimate that football fans put over £100 million into the pockets of these train companies. We are key customers for them.

Therefore, I am questioning why we are treated so badly by the train companies. I will not mention the awful British Transport Police, as we all know they create more problems than they solve. It is the train companies themselves who get right up my goat.

The last 2 away days have been to Sunderland and Swansea. And what a nightmare they have been for the travelling fans. At Sunderland, you have to get the train from Newcastle to get back to London. East Coast trains decided to schedule their last train out of Newcastle to London at 5.50pm. This gave fans less than an hour to get out of the stadium, walk to either Sunderland or St Peters Station, do the 20 minute tram to Newcastle, walk to Newcastle station, buy beer and find the train. Talking to a few supporters, they were leaving the game 10 minutes early to ensure they got this train. Failure to do so would have resulted in a 5 hour 3 train journey taking you via Sheffield & Loughborough before getting into London at midnight.

It would have been very easy for the train companies to put on 1 more train at around 6.15, just to ease the pressure. Make life a little easier. But they did not.I bet if One Direction were playing in the Gateshead Arena they would have done, or if the athletics was on there would have been an extra train, but when it comes to football fans…no chance. The Sunderland train ticket cost us nearly £100 – more on this later.

This was not a unique experience. As mentioned, we had to stay in Swansea due to the lack of public transport after the game. The last train out of Swansea was at 19.32. Impossible to get unless you left early. All that was needed was a train 15-20 minutes later and everyone would have been all right.

But no, the train companies do not treat football fans like human beings. They clearly have a ‘stuff you’ attitude. Knowing that fans will attempt to get to the game not matter what, they become inflexible and do not do anything to help a fan out.

Then we come to the cost. The average away game outside of London costs £50-£100 to get to. When you take into the rising cost of ticket prices, you are looking at an away day now costing between £150-£200 once you add in food and a couple of drinks. I went to Benidorm for a week, all inclusive, including flights, for £250 a few years back.

And flights is another thing. Easy Jet, Ryan Air, British Airways, and more, all hyke the price of a flight up when it comes to away fans. Return tickets for Dortmund were north of £200 within minutes of the scheduling being announced. If you went another random mid-week, it would cost £50. How can they justify this? If it was not football fans, the European Commission would be getting involved and telling these companies that they can not fix prices like this.

And again, the airline operators should be grateful. If it was not for football, they would not sell any flights to Naples on a Tuesday from London. Rather then be happy with a few extra bob made from a football game, they have become greedy, knowing some fans will pay whatever just to go to the game. It is unfair.

Luckily we live in London, so can get nearly anywhere without too many changes. I do feel for fans over other clubs who often have to come into London just to get elsewhere. Adding to the cost and time.

Train companies, stop scheduling non-essential engineering works on match days. Put on later trains. And everyone stop putting up prices and screwing every penny out of football fans.

It is time the train companies helped the football fans out. Continually screwing them over is not good for anyone. They need us. We need them.


Ps: the ironic thing is I’ve written this whilst my train has been delayed by 30 minutes due to overrunning engineering works between Clapham Junction and Twickenham.

10 Reasons why we will beat Swansea + Starting XI

1.. Sagna, he finally got a rest mid-week and he deserved it as he’s been quietly but professionally been getting on with his job this season no matter where he’s been asked to play.

2.. Mertesacker, proving that if you don’t move fast you can play all day and all night. The fella is turning into a robot, always reliable, always in the right place and not scared to give it a hoof when needed.

3.. Ramsey, another week another set of booing opposition fans to shut up. I will never understand why the Stoke fans boo Ramsey, idiots but it’s only normal for Swansea fans to boo an ex-Cardiff player. He did pick up a knock but looks likely it wont stop him playing and hopefully keeping up his amazing scoring record this season.

4.. Jack Wilshere, firstly congratulations on the birth of his daughter this week. Not having the best of times right now on the pitch, Wenger is asking him to cover the left side of the pitch and that’s not normal for him. Neither is having Ozil taking up positions he likes to get into. He is a clever lad, he will work it out but may take time and of course he needs to add goals to his games.

5.. Swansea are having an average start to the season, they have already lost to that lot from Middlesex and Man Utd. Their best prem result so far is a draw at Liverpool. Scoring only 7 and letting in 7, 6 of which were at home.

6.. Ozil, everyone must be impressed with his start. It’s never easy when a player hasn’t had a pre-season and hardly any training with a new team but I guess when you are world class you should be able to play with anyone. 3 assists against Stoke made a great home debut and I fully expect him to have a field day today playing against a Swansea team who like to play the game the right way.

7.. Gnarby, I felt so sorry for him when he missed his penalty against West Brom. Out of our emerging youth players he is the one whose likely to play a good few games right now due to our horrific injury problems in the attacking wide positions. He is an exciting prospect and it’s now up to him to show some old fashioned balls and take his chance and stake his claim before players come back from injury (obv this will not include Diaby).

8.. La La La Lalallaaa…Giroud, 4 goals in 5 prem games this season and again someone who earned a rest mid-week. Right now we would be doomed without him and he must be the 1st player subbed once we are in a match winning position.

9.. 11 straight away wins now and I don’t care what anyone says when you play a cup game and you win, you have won. It doesn’t matter if it was in 90mins, extra time or on pens, you have won. So let’s put an end to that bloody nonsense.

10.. It’s been 17 years since Mr Wenger walked into our club and history will record him as a man of two half’s. The first being the most amazing free flowing football with fresh ideas which not only changed how The Arsenal is run but also world football and he will go down as one of the greatest managers ever. The second half hasn’t been so good, people have caught up, taken over and he failed to progress. He now has the record for the longest trophy free run of any manager of The Arsenal.

Likely Starting XI – Chesney, Sagna, Per, Kos, Gibbs, Ramsey, Jack, Flamini, Ozil, Gnarby, Giroud