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

 

Arsenal 2-2 Hull City: Fragile Arsenal Falter Again

This was one of those draws that seemed like a defeat… There were only a few minutes between Arsenal’s equaliser and the final whistle, but it was enough time for the air of relief to sublimate in to regret. This match fell somewhere between a ‘should-win’ and a ‘must-win’. By the time the fans trudged...
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Video blog: Arsenal 2 – 2 Hull City – Reaction on the whistle

Shot this quick video with my immediate thoughts at full-time. More considered stuff to follow. Disappointing day, all told....
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Arsecast Extra 37: For fans of internationals and injuries…

If you’re still looking for things to fill the time between now and Saturday, why not listen to the latest Arsecast Extra? In this episode, we attempt to work out if any of our players are not injured. It’s as tricky as you’d imagine. You know the drill: you can subscribe to the Arsecast Extra on iTunes...
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Video: Discussing Danny Welbeck’s Arsenal career thus far

Here’s a quick video piece I did for Bleacher Report on Danny Welbeck’s Arsenal career to date. Despite limping off against Estonia during the international break, Welbeck is apparently fit and well and raring to face Hull this weekend....
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Some thoughts on Chelsea and Mesut Ozil

Another match away to a top team, another defeat. A few days have passed since events at Stamford Bridge but it doesn’t feel any better. I’m not exactly OptaJames, but I believe I’m right in saying we haven’t beaten a good team for more than a million years. I’m not inclined to dwell on refereeing...
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Arsecast Extra 36: Live edition featuring Amy Lawrence and Philippe Auclair

Last night, Andrew from Arseblog and I hosted the first ever live Arsecast Extra at the Union Chapel in Islington. What with it being some of a venture in to the unknown, we recruited Amy Lawrence and Philippe Auclair to lend some support. Their insight and eloquence, as well as the warmth of a lovely...
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Arsenal 4-1 Galatasaray: Danny Welbeck’s pace and potential light up the Emirates

Well, that was very enjoyable indeed. I’m on holiday at the moment, so forgive me if this entry is a little shorter than usual. Thank God we got Danny Welbeck… It hasn’t been the subject of much discussion, but Yaya Sanogo has missed every Arsenal match since transfer deadline day with injury. Had Welbeck not...
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Arsecast Extra 35: Derby Day Edition

I’m interrupting my holiday on the stormy isle of Mallorca to bring you the latest Arsecast Extra, recorded between Dublin and the wee town of Pollensa. Unsurprisingly, the focus is primarily on that slightly underwhelming 1-1 derby draw. We discuss the bizarre team selection, Flamini’s costly error, and our feelings about a slightly disappointing start...
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Video: Analysing Arsenal’s Top Four Prospects

As part of my role as Bleacher Report’s Arsenal Correspondent, I spoke to Ryan Bailey about what Arsenal need to do to say in the top four for this video. Even if you don’t agree with my analysis, it’s impossible not to be won over by the funky backing track....
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Arsecast Extra Live: Tickets now on sale

As you may be aware, the Arsecast Extra is headed to the Union Chapel in Islington. And, as Martin Tyler would excruciatingly shout before cutting to Ray Winstone’s disembodied head, IT’S LIVE! It’ll take place on Monday October 6th, which is the day after we are scheduled to thrash Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Doors open around 7pm,...
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Arsenal 1-2 Southampton: Alexis is a maverick, Podolski is a misfit

Whatever you think of the League Cup… …it’s never good to go out of any competition. It amazes me that some can greet a cup exit with a shrug. A few fans even expressed relief. It seems they forget that in each season there are only four potential prizes, and that’s one gone. Had we beaten...
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Audioblog: Immediate reaction to the Southampton defeat – Podolski, Rosicky & more

So there we have it: Arsenal are out of the League Cup. There are only four competitions we can win this season. That’s one down. Listen to the audioboom above for my immediate thoughts as I walked away from the ground. I’ll have something more considered for you tomorrow....
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Arsecast Extra Episode 34: Danny Welbeck, Aaron Ramsey & spaghetti hair

The latest edition of the Arsecast Extra is here, replete will all the hot topics off the back of the weekend’s action: United’s defending, Ozil’s position and Gervinho’s hairline. You can listen via the player above or download directly here. You’ll notice that during the pod we make mention of a live recording taking place...
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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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