gunnerblog

Gunnerblog is the brainchild of childbrained football writer James McNicholas. Aside from Gunnerblog, James currently contributes to Bleacher Report, The Mirror and ESPN.

All articles by gunnerblog

 

Aston Villa 0-3 Arsenal: Three points in four minutes

Aston Villa 0-3 Arsenal ESPN Player Ratings Well, that was just what we needed. Arsene Wenger has a fantastic record at Villa Park, and yesterday it brought him everything he would have wished for: a straightforward three points, and goals and garlands for the under-fire duo of Mesut Ozil and Danny Welbeck. It might have been...
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Dortmund 2-0 Arsenal: An apocalyptic performance, but not the end of the world

Arsenal were dreadful against Dortmund. Watching this felt like looking at a cruelly-drawn caricature of a bad Arsenal display. Jurgen Klopp’s team were outstanding, and had us on the back-foot for 90 minutes. That said, I feel like I’m a little more positive than most in the wake of this match. I think it’s because...
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Arsenal 2-2 Manchester City: Might we be this year’s Liverpool?

This game reminded me a little of the 1-1 with Everton last year… From beginning to end – and from end-to-end – this was a frenetic and fabulous spectacle. In truth, either side could have come away with three points. This was a game Arsenal could have lost, and yet arguably should have won. The...
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Arsenal vs. Man City: Back to the beginning

This Saturday, Premier League football returns to the Emirates Stadium. In more than one sense, it feels as if we’re going back to the beginning. Back to the beginning in that we also opened up the campaign with a match against the Citizens. In the Community Shield at Wembley, Arsenal ran out 3-0 winners. Something...
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Good news for Gunners who haven’t got BT Sport

Good news, Gooners: word has reached Gunnerblog that BT is currently offering to pay the cost of cancelling your current broadband contract when you switch your broadband and home phone to BT. Apparently the deal is only going to be open for a short while, but the timing couldn’t be better: Arsenal’s clash with City...
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Why Danny Welbeck reminds me of Emmanuel Adebayor

The Leicester game… …was the latest in a string of uninspiring performances that have formed our start to the season. After our convincing victory over Manchester City in the Community Shield, many expected us to make a fast start in the Premier League. Not so: we’ve looked leggy and listless much of the time. Part...
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Examining why Arsene Wenger doesn’t want to buy a striker

Well, here we are. Another season is underway. I initially wrote ‘well and truly underway’, but then deleted it. In truth, this period between the opening fixture and the transfer deadline always feels like an extension of preseason. The window ends, there’s a flurry of late deals, and then club football goes on a two-week...
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Gunnerblog is 10 today

To my considerable surprise, Gunnerblog is 10 years old today. I can’t believe that it was fully a decade ago when I took my first faltering steps in to the world of blogging. Although I have neither the time nor inventiveness to blog on a daily basis, the site (and its accompanying Twitter feed) has...
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Alexis Sanchez: The Brilliance Without The Biting

The signing of Alexis Sanchez has left me elated, but it shouldn’t leave anyone surprised. Looking back at the last 12 months, we should all be kicking ourselves for not calling it sooner. The clues were there all along. The trail begins last summer, when Arsene Wenger gave us the clearest indication as to the...
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Mikel Arteta on Alexis Sanchez, contract talks, & more transfers

Last night I was fortunate enough to be invited down to the kit launch by Puma, and was one of several bloggers able to grab a few words with Mikel Arteta. Here’s what he had to say. — On his reaction to the Alexis Sanchez news… I was really happy. Everyone was waiting for a...
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2013/14: Arsenal’s Season Blogged – Sagas, songs & a cup

As the enthralling World Cup comes to a close and eyes begin to turn towards next season, I thought it’d be worth a bit of a retrospective of the saga that was 2013/14. And so, without further ado… —- Please, Arsene: Don’t sign Luis Suarez | July 17th 2013 I cannot understand why a manager...
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Gunnerblog End of Season Awards 2014

It’s that time again. Ladies and gentlemen, please be seated. The results are in. PLAYER OF THE SEASON In a season of progress for Arsenal, there are several contenders for this award. Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny have been largely outstanding at the back, whilst Wojciech Szczesny has managed to grab plenty more crosses than...
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A Party 9 years in the Making

A cup nine years in the winning. A party nine years in the making. A blog nine years in the writing. The wait is over. Arsenal have a trophy again. And it feels fantastic. We didn’t do it the easy way, of course. As soon as the match kicked off, Hull played with an fierce...
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Red, Yellow & Silver: Gunnerblog’s FA Cup Final Preview

We’ve waited nine years for this. This week, I looked back at the blog I wrote after 2005’s FA Cup win over Manchester United. That was the last time Arsenal touched silverware. Think about that: nine years. In the 125-year lifespan of the club, it’s not a massive stretch. However, us fans are only here...
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Looking back at the Hammers, ahead to Hull, and up at Liverpool

The win over West Ham was huge. After being put through the wringer in the semi-final, a physical Allardyce team were hardly the ideal opposition. When we fell behind, the collective intake of breath was almost audible. However, Lukas Podolski’s instant response settled nerves. Goals from Giroud and Podolski again later settled the game. The...
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Thoughts from Wembley: Torturous afternoon’s Final flourish

I don’t know about you, but I remembered reaching an FA Cup final as a good deal more fun. Don’t get me wrong: I’m delighted to be there — and being there is undoubtedly what matters — but the journey was as torturous as a coach ride with that Man City fan in the Barclays...
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Everton 3 – 0 Arsenal: Is it over?

Is it over? Not the title race. That’s been over for a while. Not the “race for fourth”, either. That’s got a good way to go, and looking at the respective fixture lists, I still fancy us to come out on top of Everton. No: the operative *it* in this instance is the reign of...
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Everton Preview: My glass needs refilling

I’ve seen our draw with Manchester City cited as vindication of our abilities against the top teams. I can see why one might think that: it was a valiant fight-back against a team in rampant form who are still in the thick of the title race. My glass, however, is half-drained. I’m more inclined to...
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Ready, Set, Go: The Race for fourth is underway!

Arsenal 2 – 2 Swansea Even the most wildly optimistic fan has forgotten about the title now… With Everton making good ground behind us, all focus is on securing a top four finish. It’s a somewhat depressing reality at the end of an exciting season, but fortunately we still have the carrot of a potential...
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Chelsea 6-0 Arsenal: Bridge of Sighs

This was a dreadful day… The scoreline equals the 8-2 at Old Trafford as Arsenal’s worst ever Premier League defeat under Arsene Wenger. Speaking personally, I found that match more painful, due to my deep-seated hatred of all things Manchester United. However, on that occasion there were mitigating circumstances. Arsenal were in the midst of...
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Spurs beaten & 1000 not out for Arsene

Any kind of derby win is welcome… In these games, performance is secondary to result. Arsenal may have been on the ropes at times, but ultimately it was our hand that was lifted aloft at full-time. The truth is that, as they have done all season, Spurs struggled to convert their dominance in to presentable...
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Thoughts on FA Cup, Bayern & Spurs

There is a strange pressure about being FA Cup favourites… It’s an unpleasantly familiar sensation, much like the one we found ourselves in at this stage 2011’s Carling Cup. Surely, the lessons of that disastrous final have been learnt. We’re more experienced, more determined and more professional. We ought to do it. There are no...
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Arsenal 4-1 Everton: Giroud is comfortably our best striker

Arsenal 4-1 Everton Match report | Highlights | Arsene’s reaction Arsene gambled with his team at either end of the pitch… When it came to selecting his team, Arsene Wenger made two big calls at the extremities of the pitch. First off, he allowed Lukasz Fabianski to continue in his role as Arsenal’s cup goalkeeper....
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Stoke 1-0 Arsenal: Gunners fall to familiar foe

In truth, Arsenal couldn’t really afford to draw this game, let alone lose… In isolation, a draw at Stoke is a decent result. However, this game was not played in isolation. It was played in the context of a title race, and all our other results. A draw would not have been good enough, and...
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Thoughts on Sanogo, Sunderland + Win a Bergkamp Canvas Print

I’ve been away… …in Amsterdam. Working. No, not like that. I did manage to catch all our games while I was there, but given the demands of the job I was doing the Liverpool, Bayern and Sunderland matches had to remain blogless. I’d apologise, but I know that in this day and age you’re spoilt...
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Arsenal 0 – 0 Man United: We’ve missed the party

I had a more emotional reaction to this game than normal. The reason why is simple: I hate United. I loathe them. Their demise this season has made me cackle like the most perfectly played out slapstick comedy. And I so wanted us to be in on it. I wanted us to join the party,...
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Liverpool 5 – 1 Arsenal: Five Stages of Grief in Tweets

Liverpool 5 – 1 Arsenal My ESPN Report | Lowlights | Arsene’s reaction ...
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Arsenal 2 – 0 Crystal Palace: Ox in the box sees off Pulis

Arsenal were methodical rather than meek… At half-time I saw a number of people on my Twitter timeline criticising Arsenal for an apparent lack of attacking ambition. On closer inspection, it transpired most of these people were neutrals. Their disappointment was presumably based on ill-informed expectations. Tuning in to televised coverage of the game, they...
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Southampton 2 – 2 Arsenal: Arsenal guilty of cardinal sins against Saints

Southampton 2 – 2 Arsenal Match report | Highlights | Arsene’s reaction You can’t win ‘em all…
 In the heat of a closely-fought title race, it’s easy to forget that you simply can’t win every game. In isolation, a draw at Southampton is not a bad result. However, I suspect the Arsenal fans’ disappointment with...
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Some thoughts on Coventry, Podolski and Draxler

Arsenal 4 – 0 Coventry Match report | Highlights This was our biggest win of the season… …although the scoreline was arguably somewhat flattering. After romping in to a two-goal lead, Arsenal took their foot off the gas and instead applied the dreaded handbrake. On a side note, it’s vaguely amusing that a handbreak is...
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Arsenal 2 – 0 Fulham: Cazorla good, Ozil bad, Arsenal top

 It wasn’t just the team that was the same as against Villa… …the lackadaisical attitude was pretty familiar too. In the first half, Arsenal were poor. Fulham seemed to replicate Villa’s trick of lulling us in to a false sense of security before proving relatively dangerous – all within the space of 45 minutes. A...
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Aston Villa 1 – 2 Arsenal: Sheer Will From Wilshere

Aston Villa 1 – 2 Arsenal Match Report | Highlights | Arsene’s reaction Before the game… I was asked by People.co.uk to compare Aston Villa to a cartoon character. I suggested Spongebob Squarepants, as he’s young, full of energy, but ultimately not very good at football. I was wrong. They didn’t have much energy. Wilshere’s...
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Arsenal must find a way to replace Theo Walcott’s goals

It’s rare that a piece of Arsenal news shocks me. We live, lest we forget, in a world where Nicklas Bendtner has claimed to have the potential to be the best footballer in the world, and in which Emmanuel Eboue once dressed as a tiger. However, when I saw the news that Theo Walcott would...
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Arsenal 2 – 0 Spurs: I Sher-Woodn’t want to be a Tottenham fan

Arsenal 2 – 0 Tottenham Match Report | Highlights | Arsene’s reaction I’ll admit, I was worried about the XI Arsene picked… Before the game, Arsene said he’d treat this just like an important league game. He was fibbing. Had this been a league game, Szczesny, Mertesacker and Ozil would all have started. Perhaps Olivier...
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Arsenal 2 – 0 Cardiff: We have forgotten how to play without a target man

Arsenal 2 – 0 Cardiff Match Report | Highlights | Arsene’s reaction The Emirates was a pretty gloomy place in the first-half… …and not just because over the overcast sky that shrouded the ground in a wash of grey. Arsenal’s first-half performance was poor. Both the crowd and the team were subdued. At its best,...
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Not 1-1 at Newcastle (again)

Newcastle 0-1 Arsenal Match report | Highlights | Arsene’s reaction Big points… Apart from in the Emirates Cup, all wins are worth three points. Some, however, feel a bit special. Maybe it’s because the win put us back on top, maybe it’s because we were under the cosh for so long, or maybe it’s just...
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West Ham 1-3 Arsenal: Podolski delivers knockout blow on Boxing Day

West Ham 1-3 Arsenal Match Report | Highlights | Arsene’s reaction This was a thoroughly deserved victory… Even though the scoreline was 0-0 at half-time, Arsenal were completely dominant. I believe I’m right in saying there was one five-minute period in which we had 85% of possession. Sam Allardyce was recently on a SKY tv...
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Merry Christmas from Gunnerblog

Merry Christmas everyone. And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, just have a bloody merry day. There’s not enough merriness around. Your readership and support is hugely appreciated. The pleasure really is all mine. If you missed it earlier in the week, here’s a wee Christmas song I recorded with Arseblogger: ‘A Fairytale of North London’....
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Arsenal 0 – 0 Chelsea: Stalemate sees Mourinho in his element

Arsenal 0 – 0 Chelsea Match Report | Highlights | Arsene’s reaction This match was a Mourinho wet dream… Everything went almost exactly as he planned it. Having spent much of the build-up lavishing praise on Mesut Ozil, he subsequently set up his team to ensure the German would be denied space for the majority...
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Meeting Thierry + Win Free Warrior boots (It’s Christmas!)

On Tuesday afternoon, I was stood in the Emirates Stadium’s rather swanky Diamond Club, waiting for the screening of the new ‘Arsenal Legends: Thierry Henry‘ film. I was chatting away to Tim Stillman of Arseblog fame – two fish in unfamiliarly opulent waters. Suddenly, Tim’s eyes lit up. Someone was approaching us – someone Tim...
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Man City 6-3 Arsenal: Old habits return as Arsenal die hard

Manchester City 6 – 3 Arsenal Match Report | Highlights | Arsene’s reaction | My BR piece This was an entertaining but ridiculous game… Both sides are renowned for their attractive attacking play, and that manifested in an end-to-end encounter. However, without wanting to go all miserablist and Mourinho-esque about it, to proclaim this game...
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Napoli 2-0 Arsenal: A bit of perspective

Just a quick one from me tonight. Tonight was a mixed night for most Arsenal fans. We lost 2-0 to Napoli, but managed to progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League. However, looking at some of the mewling and moaning going on among Arsenal fans, you’d think we’d been doomed to imprisonment in...
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Arsenal 1 – 1 Everton: You can’t win them all, annoyingly

Match report | Arsene’s reaction | Highlights In the end, this was a fair result… It was a pretty extraordinary game, too. Both sides absolutely went for it: Arsenal because we had the carrot of a seven-point lead before us; Everton because their confidence was buoyed by a win at Old Trafford and they had...
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Arsenal 2-0 Hull: “Nicklas Bendtner: He scores when he wants”

Arsenal 2-0 Hull Match Report | Highlights | Arsene’s reaction It was a nice moment when Bendtner got the opener… With Arsenal going so well in the table, there’s a genuinely positive atmosphere around the ground. The reception Bendtner got was predominantly warm even before he headed us in to an early lead. It was...
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Cardiff 0 – 3 Arsenal: We’ve Got Our Arsene Back

Cardiff City 0 – 3 Arsenal Match Report | Highlights We’ve got our Arsene back… In stoppage time, with Arsenal winning this match by three goals to nil, the cameras caught Arsene Wenger bellowing at an Arsenal player. It  may have seemed unnecessary, but I interpreted it as a sign that his focus is greater...
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Arsenal 2-0 Marseille: Wilshere wings it as Arsenal edge closer to qualification

This was a 2-0 thrashing… Arsenal had eight attempts on target and should have scored at least two more goals. Mesut Ozil was denied from the penalty spot, while Aaron Ramsey will have been shocked not to have scored from close range. Marseille rested several key players and simply couldn’t keep pace with a dominant...
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Olivier Giroud and Arsenal profit from Boruc balls-up

After losing at Old Trafford in their last Premier League outing, Arsenal needed a response to reassert their credentials as title challengers. Thanks to a dogged and determined display, they did just that. Prior to the match, Arsene Wenger would have been cursing the fixture list that his team found themselves up against Mauricio Pochettino’s...
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Man United 1 – 0 Arsenal: Anticlimactic end to a good week

Match Report | Highlights | Arsene’s reaction This felt like an anti-climax… Arsenal had an opportunity to do something special, and didn’t take it. Given our momentum going in to the game, I fancied us to turn United over. Having witnessed their workmanlike but uninspiring display, I’m convinced an in-form Arsenal could have done just...
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Video: Arsene Wenger sings Cee-Lo Green hit to Robin van Persie

Alright gang. I’ve done another one of my silly songs. This time, my slightly strange brain has got Arsene Wenger belting out a version of CeeLo Green’s hit “F*ck You” at his former charge Robin van Persie. I thought it might be timely ahead of Sunday’s game. Enjoy: As regards the Dortmund game, apologies for...
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Arsenal 2 – 0 Liverpool: Arsenal win by 2 goals and £1

Brendan Rodgers over-thought this game… I think Rodgers is a good manager. He has improved Liverpool dramatically. He seems to have an eye for a player and a creditable core philosophy. However, he does have a tendency to over-think things. He seems to regard himself as an ingenious tactician, constantly seeking to reinvent the wheel....
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