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

 

On The Whistle: “We won the cup… again!”

Here’s some video reaction from Wembley. If my arm works well enough I’ll type some more thoughts tomorrow....
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On the whistle reaction to United 1-1 Arsenal: “Weird game, decent result”

Quick video reaction to the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford....
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Arsenal 0-0 Chelsea: A different kind of frustration

I’m used to finishing matches between Arsenal and Chelsea with a feeling of immense frustration gnawing at me. It generally floods in to replace the dread that’s accompanied the build-up to such games. However, this time round it’s been different. Heading in to the match I was actually excited. We had such a weight of...
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Reading 1-2 Arsenal (AET): No semi-final flourish but Gunners get there

To be perfectly honest, I’d rather look forward to an FA Cup Final than back at a less than inspiring game. Just like last year, we made hard work of Championship opposition at the semi-final stage. From around the hour-mark, this game really could have gone either way. There was something miraculous about how we...
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Video: On the Whistle reaction to Burnley – “They can’t all be pretty”

Here’s the On The Whistle video after a 1-0 win over Burnley that could be described as ‘gritty’, ‘niggly’ or plain ‘ugly’ depending on how generous you’re feeling. After eight league wins on the spin, I’m feeling pretty generous, so I’ll say it was ‘unusual looking’. Maybe it could be a model – not like...
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Arsenal 4-1 Liverpool: Is there a better team in England?

This might seem like the hyperbolic tubthumping of the deluded fan, but I’m not sure there’s a better team in England at the moment than Arsenal. Before you say it, it’s not Chelsea. They might lead the league table, but friends behind enemy lines assure me they’ve played well just once since Christmas. The January...
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On The Whistle: Who would you swap Giroud for?

It’s an interesting question, isn’t it? Right now, who would you trade Giroud for? On current form, I’m not sure there’s anyone in the Premier League I’d rather have. There are better players out there, but I’m not sure any of them are outperforming the Frenchman. Anyway, have a watch of the video. I’m off...
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Video: On The Whistle Monaco reaction – “Why do I do this to myself?”

Ah dear....
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Arsenal 3-0 West Ham: On What Might Have Been, and Why It Wasn’t

With a tireless Aaron Ramsey feeding off Olivier Giroud’s excellent hold-up play, this performance was almost reminiscent of our table-topping performances of 2013/14. With West Ham without three of their first choice back-four, Giroud’s powerful hold-up play and deft touch was simply too much for them to handle. Arsenal also benefited from another virtuoso display...
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Arsenal win another big game: Is it getting better?

For a long time now we’ve collectively lamented Arsenal’s failure to cope with the big occasion. After the stirring win at Old Trafford, the question begs: are things finally improving? For me, United is the definitive big game. Perhaps it’s because I grew up amid the red-hot rivalry of the late 90s. United were so dominant...
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New video: On The Whistle – “Thankyou Danny Welbeck!”

Get in....
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Video reaction to Arsenal’s win over QPR

Here you go, Gooners....
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Post-Everton thoughts on Ospina, Gabriel, Walcott and more

Give David Ospina his dues… Would I pick him over Wojciech Szczesny? No. Am I convinced he’ll be Arsenal’s long-term number one? Not even nearly. However, credit where credit is due: he was excellent against Everton. As anticipated, Arsene Wenger dropped Per Mertesacker for Gabriel. However, what was arguably more intriguing about his team selection...
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Arsenal 1-3 Monaco: On our never-ending naivety

A despondent Arsene Wenger had finished giving his press conference, when a voice cried out from the back of the room to ask if he would mind answering one question in French. Wenger stood at the head of the media lounge. He didn’t respond, but nor did he depart, so the voice went on. What,...
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Video: On the Whistle reaction to Arsenal’s crushing Monaco defeat

My god that was bad. Video here....
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Win a 1955 shirt signed by 4 Arsenal players!

I get bombarded by a lot of potential giveaways at Gunnerblog, but this one is genuinely cool. Arsenal partner Citroen are celebrating the 60th anniversary of the launch of their DS brand, and have managed to get some Arsenal players in on the celebration. Laurent Koscielny, Mathieu Flamini, David Ospina and Theo Walcott recently took...
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A very lucky fan

There was a moment on Monday night when I found myself stood briefly between Sol Campbell and Jens Lehmann. Someone nudged me and whispered, “big guys”. He wasn’t kidding. The first thing that strikes you about the Invincibles is their size — in every sense, these are sporting giants. It’s easy to see why their...
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Video: Reaction to Arsenal’s win at Crystal Palace

Some quick video thoughts on the Palace game are available here. If that’s not enough for you, here’s a Bleacher Report piece on the covert contribution of Danny Welbeck....
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Arsenal 2-0 Middlesbrough: Olivier Giroud is answering all his critics

Olivier Giroud is showing you don’t have to be young to improve… Giroud now has 10 goals from 12 starts this season, the most recent a thumping volley from Alexis Sanchez’s quick-thinking corner. It seems to me as if he’s answering almost every criticism of his game: he’s become more prolific, he’s scoring against big...
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Arsenal 2-1 Leicester: The fixtures favour Arsenal + Theo thoughts

Arsenal edged past Leicester on a nervous night at the Emirates Stadium. Our performance wasn’t much better than the one we produced at Spurs, and a side equipped with better finishers would surely have punished us. However, coming off the back of that defeat, this game was all about getting the points. It’s our capacity...
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Spurs 2-1 Arsenal: Kaned and Unable

I seem to bang on about ‘fine margins’ an awful lot at the moment. So much so that I’ve started using online thesauri to try and come up with some alternatives. The best I can find is ‘narrow gap’, which funnily enough is precisely what has opened up between Tottenham and Arsenal since our derby...
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New video: On the Whistle reaction to the North London Derby

Urgh....
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Video: On The Whistle – “Rosicky is Peter Pan; Flamini is a Lost Boy”

On the Whistle video reaction to Arsenal’s FA Cup win over Brighton – from California!...
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Is Arsenal’s victory over Manchester City down to the manager or the players?

I don’t quite know what to make of Arsenal’s win over Manchester City. My initial response was, like yours, one of shock. An Arsenal side guilty of making the same mistakes again and again appeared to have suddenly learnt from them. Frustration at their slow uptake was secondary to the joy of an unexpected victory....
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Video: On The Whistle reaction to City – “I’m still in shock!”

On The Whistle reaction to Arsenal’s win over Manchester City....
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Meritocratic selection sees off Stoke + Arsecast Extra 50

Arsenal recorded their 13th consecutive home win over Stoke City, and in doing so put in one of their most cohesive performances of the season. It was interesting to see that Arsene Wenger’s team selection was not swayed by the renewed availability of some big names. The manager chose to keep Mathieu Flamini, Aaron Ramsey,...
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Video: On the Whistle – “Alexis Sanchez is world class”

On The Whistle video reaction to another Alexis-inspired victory....
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Arsecast Extra 49: What we think we’ll spend in January

The latest Arsecast Extra is here, featuring lengthy discussion on Theo Walcott, Francis Coquelin, and Joel Campbell. Andrew and I also make our prediction as to what we think we’ll spend in January. It makes for scary listening. Arsecast Extra is brought to you by Audible.com – you can get a free audio book download...
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Video: On The Whistle – “Now put your feet up Alexis – please!

On The Whistle response to the cup win over Hull....
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5 questions from Arsenal’s defeat at Southampton

Will Arsenal win three consecutive league games this season? We haven’t managed it yet. Arsene Wenger is quick to point out that consistency will be the key to making the top four, but it’s precisely that which evades us at present. Every time we seem to be building some momentum, that nefarious handbrake slams down...
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Video: On The Whistle – “Szczesny was in full Almunia mode”

Here’s the video response to our 2-0 defeat at Southampton. In the video, I inexplicably claim the scoreline was 2-1. Call it wishful thinking....
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Arsecast Extra 48: Coquelin, West Ham and a horde of eels

The latest Arsecast Extra is here to warm your wintry ears, in which we answer the biggest question of all: who is the real villain of The Lord of the Rings? This Arsecast Extra is brought to you by Audible.com – turns out you can get a free audio book download and a 30 day...
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West Ham Reaction – Thoughts on Coquelin, Welbeck & Akpom

Well that was fun. After being horribly ill on Boxing Day, I was well enough to attend Upton Park yesterday and had a brilliant day. It’s a proper old-fashioned ground (forgive the cliche), and if you’ve never been I urge you to try and attend in its final season next year. I’ll miss it. My...
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Quick thoughts on Anfield + Arsecast Extra 47

It feels a bit like those two 4-1 wins never happened. That’s the problem Arsene Wenger has now: patience has worn so thin that each set-back seems to eradicate any goodwill or momentum he has managed to build up. At the core of most fans’ frustration is the fact that Arsenal conceded a late equaliser to...
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New video: On The Whistle – “Without Szczesny they would have been out of sight”

On The Whistle reaction to a very very weird game of football....
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Tactics truck: Why Alexis, Giroud & Welbeck works so well

That might have been Arsenal’s best performance of the season thus far. Scoring four times against a team who had conceded just two goals in their previous seven games is not to sniffed at. It’s somewhat ironic that a cobbled-together XI managed to put together our most fluent 90 minutes of 2014/15. Key to that...
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VIDEO: On the whistle reaction – “Giroud’s goal was reminiscent of Eduardo”

On The Whistle video response to a heartening 4-1 win over Newcastle United....
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VIDEO: Arsene Wenger sings “Let it Go” – Cesc Fabregas edition

Bit of a festive treat for you all this morning: a new video. Enjoy, and share if you do. I think it’s time we let it go....
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Video: On The Whistle reaction to Galatasaray – “Did we learn anything new about Lukas Podolski?”

On The Whistle video reaction to an enjoyable win over Galatasaray. Bring on Monaco....
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Arsecast Extra 45: Stoke, Wenger and the screams of Joel Campbell

Hello all – just a quick note to urge you to have a listen to the latest Arsecast Extra, in which Arseblogger and I dissect the weekend’s events. This Arsecast Extra is brought to you by Audible.com – turns out you can get a free audio book download and a 30 day free trial. Click...
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Stoke 3-2 Arsenal: Own up, Arsene

Believe it or not, I was actually considerably cheerier at half-time than at full-time. When the whistle went for the break with the score 3-0 to Stoke, I was actually able to laugh at our risible performance. By full-time, any sadomasochistic smiles had faded. Perhaps it’s because there’s something purgative about an unadulterated thumping. There’s...
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Video blog: On The Whistle Reaction to Stoke Defeat

Urgh....
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Arsenal 1-0 Southampton – Olivier Giroud: The man for some occasions

Alexis Sanchez might have been the match-winner, but Arsenal undoubtedly owe a debt of gratitude to Olivier Giroud for this vital win over Southampton. Giroud’s contribution has sparked the butterfly effect of opinion, evolving swiftly from the initial and innocent musing as to why he didn’t start in to the bellowing demand that he play...
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Video: On the whistle reaction from Arsenal 1-0 Southampton – “Giroud changed the game”

Quick vid for you from the stadium....
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WBA 0-1 Arsenal: Is Arsene Wenger trialling a formation to suit Theo Walcott?

I was intrigued by Arsenal’s starting XI at West Brom. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was afforded a rest, so Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez both started on either side of Olivier Giroud. It was a proper front three, with the two wider forwards frequently rotating and drifting in to the centre to join the Frenchman. Welbeck performed...
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Taking it a game at a time

Well, that was much more like it. Borussia Dortmund might be struggling in the Bundesliga, but they remain a team packed with individual quality. A 2-0 win is undoubtedly something to celebrate. A lot was made of the difference between our performance against United and Dortmund. In reality, I think the biggest differentiator was the...
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Arsenal 1-2 Man United: Why the players have to take blame too

It’s never just one thing. The culture of football analysis is such that, at full-time in any given game, there is an immediate and intense desire to attribute the result to one particular factor. Journalists hunt for a line with all the fervour of coke-addled addicts, and fans fight to make their post-game punditry concise...
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Arsecast Extra 42: Podolski, Campbell, shirt numbers and sharks

Here’s this week’s Arsecast Extra to relieve you of your interlull malaise. It features discussions on the futures of Rosicky, Podolski and Campbell, as well as a load of other nonsense. Don’t forget, you can subscribe to the Arsecast Extra on iTunes by clicking here. Alternatively, you can dodge the delays and subscribe directly to the feed URL. Enjoy....
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Video blog: A crushing capitulation against Anderlecht

Decided to keep a video record of my evening at the Emirates. Enjoy watching it steadily unravel....
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Arsenal 3-0 Burnley: Arsene Goes Back to the Future with 4-4-2

This might have been Arsenal’s best 90 minutes of the season… There were dazzling 20 minute spells against Manchester City and Hull, but neither of those was sustained for an entire match. The wins against Aston Villa and Galatasaray might have been more eye-catching, but there were mitigating circumstances which took the shine off both those victories:...
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