Match preview: Leicester vs Arsenal plus food for thought!

Welcome to the GunnersoreArse blog. Being blogged 918.74 kilometeres (in a straight line) from the Emirates Stadium.

You have to go back to the premiership of 2003/04 for our last away game to the Foxes, it ended 1-1 and in 2000/01 we beat them 3-1 at Filbert Street.  On those two occasions Leicester went on to be relegated. In 1929/30 however, it must have been a right cracking game, finishing 6-6. Some of you on here may have been at that game? A famous supporter of the club was Engelbert Humperdinck, who when I googled him, is surprisingly still alive) and Frank McClintock played for them from 1957 -1964 before he came to the Arsenal and was also their manager in 1977/78. Out of 60 games at Filbert Street, Leicester have won 21, we’ve won 18 and 21 have been drawn. But since Wenger we’ve not lost a game against them.

In their first game in the top flight for a decade Leicester managed to keep Everton to a 2-2 draw at the now King Power Stadium, coming back twice from behind to deny the Toffees the three points. Then a week later against Chelsea the Championship winners caused the Chelsea defence some anxious moments. They appear to be very good on the counter attack and have a couple of good strikers in Nugent and Ulloa. They have also just signed Cambiasso from Inter Milan but I doubt if he’ll be ready for today’s game.

News from London Colney is that Arteta and Gibbs are still not ready to return, Diaby played 45 minutes in mid-week for the U-21’s so will probably not be included today. Ramsey is available again after being suspended for the game against Besiktas. David Ospina is now back to full training and is available again but not entirely match fit. Gnabry is progressing but is nowhere near to being back in the group.

I have a feeling that Sanchez may be rested or at least start on the bench. He has had three tough games since the start of the season and on Wednesday night against Besiktas literally ran until he dropped. I’d be surprised if Wenger plays him from the start. Leicester aren’t going to be a walkover but it could be a good time to rest him. Campbell, Oxlade, Sanogo and Cazorla should give us enough options up front to do the job today. The other night Mertesacker didn’t seem fully up to speed so perhaps Chambers will step in next to Koscielny. I don’t see any reason why Wenger should not go for an attacking team line up, so my amateurish guess will be:


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Bench: Martinez, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Flamini, Rosicky, Sanchez, Podolski.

Flamini could be used for the defensive midfield role but on Wednesday night Jacko had an excellent game and I could imagine Wenger giving him a chance to build upon that. And Sanogo could always start instead of Campbell but my thinking is that Joel needs a start and I’m not sure if Sanogo is 100% fit. So surely this would be the game to let Campbell stretch his legs, despite having played in mid-week in the U-21 game. But then again, there have been rumours galore this week that Campbell is on his way out on loan again, I would be very doubtful if that were true.

Wenger still has lots of options for team rotation despite our current injury list, however, his comments in recent press conferences have intimated that he hasn’t finished in the transfer market. We have till tomorrow to find out if he has been active or not. For todays game, whatever the starting XI, I’m predicting a cheeky 3-1 to the Arsenal, Ramsey to get at least one.



The  Sunday Recipe.

This idea has been marinating in my head since I first started this blog and a few days ago on Arsenal Arsenal the talk turned from football to food. Whilst reading some of the comments my idea started to cook again as an idea for this blog. This simple but delicious recipe was given to me by  Claudette, a neighbour of mine when I first moved to Avignon. Claudette was from Normandy and often used to invite me to eat with her. She was 84 years old and still loved to cook. So I’m going to call the dish,  ‘Claudette’s Boozy Chicken’, it’s a creamy, alcoholic dish with hints of orange.

Ingredients: (serves four)

4 lean chicken breasts without skin

Flour, seasoned with salt and pepper

Two diced onions

40g butter

half cup of Grand Marnier.

half cup chicken stock

250ml single cream

Coat the chicken breasts in the seasoned flour and shake off excess. Heat the butter in a large frying pan and fry the chicken until golden brown, turning once. Remove from pan and keep warm. Fry the onion gently until translucent and return the chicken pieces to the pan. Add half of Grand Marnier and the chicken stock, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the chicken to a serving dish and keep warm.

Add the remaining Grand Marnier and the cream to the pan, stir gently until warmed through, check for seasoning and then pour over the chicken. This dish is good served with rice but my favourite accompaniment is roasted new potatoes and carrots glazed in caramelised sugar. It’s a very quick and tasty dish to do. bon appétit!

Right, time for a glass of wine and some spicy chorizo…. hope you enjoyed your visit. Until the next time.

à bientôt

GunnersoreArse, the Sunday supplement to beat all Sunday supplements. A creamy boozy mix of football and other stuff whenever ever it takes my fancy.  The Arts supplement can be seen here:  

This week a brief examination of ‘erotic art’.






For better or for worse…. till death do us part!

Welcome to the GunnersoreArse blog. Being blogged 918.74 kilometers (in a straight line) from the Emirates Stadium.

Loyalty and staying with the same partner for life….. till death do us part! Or in this instance….. staying loyal to, and supporting the same football team for life, which when analysed, throws up all the same experiences, emotions, disappointments and joys similar to a marriage. Some people can devote their whole life to one person, for better or for worse, unfortunately I’ve not been very good at it, hence three failed marriages. But when it comes to the Arsenal……..   I’ve devoted my life to her, plus quite a substantial amount of money and emotional investment, see, just like a marriage! So how do we do it? What makes us able to stay faithful to the Arsenal for life but not always stay faithful to a partner? Can the simple word ‘Loyalty’ really convey what it means?

I took my marriage vows with the Arsenal when 8 years old and I’ve never been unfaithful to her, never once have I dipped my chorizo into another teams sauce, not yellow mustard vinaigrette, not white béchamel or creamy blue cheese. Arsenal to me is what Red thai curry is to white thai rice, what Bolognese is to spagetti, what mint sauce is to lamb, what chili is to con carni……in other words, a perfect marriage. For 52 years and hopefully for a good few more, it will only be death that eventually separates me from the Gunners and I finally go to St Peters Italian Deli in the sky. In comparison, the longest I’ve stayed with one partner is 14 years and during that time I have to admit, occasionally I dipped my spicy chorizo into a bit of tasty french mayonnaise, a well seasoned tzatziki a la grecque, a piquant chinese oyster sauce, plus, on a regular basis I got my chorizo nicely warmed in some deliciously comforting and fulfilling Lancashire Hotpot. And if you are reading this Lisa from Southport, “I still think of you!”

Some of you will call me weak, and yes, I agree, on occasion I have preferred to look for some nice sun dried tomatoes in virgin olive oil rather than eat luke warm tinned tomatoes at home. But with the Arsenal, I’ve been much stronger in my resiliation to stay faithful and loyal.

So the question is, could I be unfaithful to my Arsenal? Would it be possible on occasion to share my spicy sausage with some Tottenham kosher potato tart , a Chelsea currant bun, Cardiff Welsh rarebit or some Norwich roast mutton dressed as lamb and cheat on my Gunners? No of course not, it would be unthinkable, it would be akin to being offered perfectly cooked Smoked Duck Breasts with a Ginger butter sauce and saying, “I’d rather have some spam with ketchup.” Or being invited to dine at a three star Michelin restaurant but turning it down and going to a hot dog stand on Tottenham High Road.

I am proud to be a Gooner, my Greek Keftethes swell with pride when I tell people that the Arsenal are my team. My spicy chili sauce gets spicier when we win a game, but sometimes I’ve had to accept eating cold pizza that’s been left in the fridge for a day or two longer than it should have been.

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege to sample some of the best culinary delights possible, with a dash of international influence and creativity. Hollandse Nieuwe Haring, Bûche Chocolat gourmande a la Française, Irish beef in Guinness, Swedish Meatballs, Romford Pie and Mash and of course, Spanish Tapas. But on other occasions, I’ve had a plate of unsavory overcooked sludge plonked in front of me which you wouldn’t even give to your dog……. but I’ve eaten it! My analogy here is the Arsenal, not women, well, if I’m truly honest…….. Damn, I’ve been a slut sometimes! But my point is, if your wife served you a load of trollop on a plate on a regular basis, you’d start to think, “Is she the right one for me?” and “maybe I should go out and find some Steak Diane or Crêpes Suzette”. Whereas the Arsenal serve up some unappetizing fodder on a regular basis but we go back for second and third helpings and over the last few years, that would be ‘fourth’ helpings as well. This is to me the essence of fan loyalty and faithfulness, no matter what’s on the menu, you’ll eat what ever is dished up. Never thinking that there might be some ‘Cordon bleu’ somewhere down the Fulham Road in a restaurant where they change their chef as regularly as they change the table napkins.

Psycologically I’m basically a loyal person, for instance, I’m very loyal to friends and family, and also to certain commercial products, Nivea, Gauloises tobacco, Spanish chorizo, Pataks curry pastes, Heinz baked beans, pastis 51 and Durex, though nothing puts me off my meal more than having to wrap my chorizo in clingfilm! I’m also extremely loyal to the Arsenal and this begs the question, where does loyalty come from? What are the psychologically complex factors which define us as loyal followers of just one football team. Psychologists have studied the complex and opaque neurological processes which add to the psychological make up of a loyal fan. They have also spent quite some time analysing the psychology of infidelity and adultery. But it’s as complicated as the recipe and ingredients for a Marseille Boullabaisse. I may have a go at preparing it for you on another occasion.

Is it easier to commit adultery with another woman than to be unfaithful to your football team? Are the prohibited Nouvelle Cuisine menus of infidelity easier to digest than the taboo of dipping your chorizo into a cold blue piece of stringy pidgeon standing on a soggy meatball? Is loyalty to the Arsenal more powerful within us than the ability to stay loyal to a spouse?

In fact, does it ever cross our minds that we could stray from the righteous path of only  supporting the Gunners? Whereas the temptation of a juicier meal away from home may  intrude upon us from time to time, and we can sometimes give in to it. Do we sometimes look at another teams attractiveness, sexiness and charms, being overcome by lust and temptation for some forbidden fresh fruit cocktail? Would we actually take that fateful step into another teams restaurant and consume a three course ‘a la carte’ meal with all the trimmings just because we have an urge rising in our Moulinex mixers to whip up and serve some Crème Anglaise?

I think I can catagorically say no for all or at least, for most football fans on those questions. For us, fidelity to a football club is sacred, it would be sacrilage to even contemplate having an affair with another team. We would be a Prune and Port Fool. Our loyalty means we will happily accept the occassional crap dinner, knowing that there will also be times when we can savour the taste of the authentic and appetizing delicacies of well cooked football, prepared by a gourmet Chef de cuisine, tempting our tastebuds and teasing us with the delights which are to follow and if we’re lucky, ‘Silver Service’.

You may think this has all been a load of Falafel and Chocolate Profiteroles,  and you’re thinking perhaps whilst I’ve been typing it I’ve chucked far too much Côtes du Provence rosé down my neck. This may be true, but writing it has been like slipping my tongue into a Rum Cream Trifle and eating Cherries marinated in Maraschino liqueur……….  Yummy.

I, Northbank, do take you, Arsenal FC, to be my Football Team, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; until death do us part. And hereto I pledge my faithfulness.

Right, time for a glass of wine and some chorizo (perhaps dipped into a creamy prawn sauce)….. hope you enjoyed your visit. Until the next time.

à bientôt………… et bon appétit 🙂

And don’t forget….. GunnersoreArse is always a blogging good read, every Sunday morning at 9am GMT.  Tune in and join in! But occasionally, I may be unpredictable…. and when the fancy takes me, I’ll scratch my GunnersoreArse on another day.