Has Arsene already signed the new Pires and Ljungberg?

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For all those of you checking constantly whether we have bought somebody yet, these are not easy times. I used to be like that, but I have learned not to bother with any gossip unless it is confirmed by Arsenal.com or the BBC. The combination of a relatively low position in the league, our current inability to hit some decent form consistently, and the lack of transfer activities, is making us all restless and grumpy.

Firstly, let me state that I am hoping for 1) a beast of a DM, 2) a traditional winger and 3) a back-up, PL-experienced goalkeeper. If nobody arrived by the end of the month, I will be very disappointed. But, it is pretty useless to talk about potential targets, as Arsene is utterly unpredictable and probably does not exactly know what/who he wants himself at the moment; as per his recent comments.

However, with the return to fitness of Diaby and Rosicky, and the rest of our squad all fit and available, and Theo now being played through the middle regularly, we could potentially see a change in formation to 4-4-2, and I reckon we have the players for it.

For the sake of discussions, let me first give a few of my personal views:

  1. Ideally, we need a strong, physical DM, who can play football as well;
  2. Arteta and Jack don’t offer enough in terms of physical strength/ ball winning skills;
  3. Jack does not wear the nr.10 shirt for nothing; he should play higher up the pitch;
  4. Cazorla is a great player, but I would play him on the wing; he does not give our team enough shape and purpose when he plays in the advanced midfield position in our current 4-2-1-3;
  5. Both Jack and Rosicky are our best players in terms of conducting our play i.e. giving shape and purpose to our football: one of them should play in the advanced midfield position;
  6. Podolski is not a winger, but he has formed a good partnership with his twin-brother Gibbs, and if he could get fitter and sharper he could become fantastic in that position for us.
  7. I like the thought of Theo and Giroud play together up-front, but it will take time and it will only work in my view if Arsenal start playing in a 4-4-2 formation.

Given the above, I would absolutely love it – and I know I am not the only one who would welcome this – if we were to change to 4-4-2 from now on. In an ideal world, Arsenal could line up in midfield and attack like this:

Cazorla – Wilshere – New DM/Diaby – Podolski

———————–Theo—Giroud———————–

Giroud could be our attacking pivot, and Theo could have a free role: at times adding support to our wing-play, and other times combining with Giroud to create and score goals, or running on to through-balls from our midfielders. The longer Giroud and Walcott would play together the better their partnership would become.

With Cazorla and Wilshere we have two fantastic midfielders who can help on the defensive side as well as creating chances for others. However, it is important that we add more steel in the centre of defence. A fit Diaby could do it, but we cannot count on him for long: therefore, a new DM should be bought as soon as possible.

I would love to see Cazorla and Podolski on the wings in this 4-4-2 formation: they would both add defensive support as well as a real assist and goal threat. Cazorla could be our new Pires, although not playing on the left but the right, and Podolski could be our new Ljunberg, although also playing on the other side. With Ox, Coquelin, Gervinho, Eisfeld, and Rosicky we also have decent cover for our left midfield and right midfield positions.

Cazorla could be cover for Theo and Podolski could replace Giroud, and I would not be surprised if we were to buy another central striker if we were to change to a 4-4-2 formation. I hear some of you say, Arsene will not go back to 4-4-2, no way! You are probably right, but don’t totally disregard it, as I can not see him putting either Theo or Giroud on the bench for long spells.

But, let’s say, Arsene sticks to his beloved 4-2-1-3 formation: how could it work better for us?

Well, as per my personal views above, I would like to see the following formation in midfield and attack:

——————Arteta/Diaby—New DM/Diaby—————-

————————-Wilshere/Rosicky—————————

Cazorla/Ox——-Giroud/Theo–Pod/Theo/New Winger

I reckon Arsenal would play far better football than we currently do with this combination of players. Jack or Rosicky would give our play purpose and structure; a proper DM would give us steel in midfield; or, if and when Diaby is fit, he could form a fine partnership with Arteta (as per the start of the season).

Arsenal could either play with Theo or Giroud in the middle, depending a bit on the opponent and/or current form. There are also good options for the wing, although it would be great if we were to buy a very good, dedicated winger to give us more variety in this area, in the next few weeks.

All in all, plenty of opportunities to further fine tune the team for Arsene, and it will be interesting to see what will happen in the next few weeks.

Written by: Total Arsenal.

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171 Responses to Has Arsene already signed the new Pires and Ljungberg?

  1. Although I think Cazorla would be most effective on the wing, how good is he with the defensive side of it?

    I’d hate for a player of his talent (arguably the best close control of any Arsenal player that I have seen) to end up getting stick from the boo boys for not tracking back (Arshavin springs to mind).

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    El Greco

    I reckon, he would be fine defensively. He has a good engine, and tracks back a lot in his current position. But you are right re the boo boys :(

    However, Santi is made of different material than Arshavin, and if I am right he plays often for Spain on the right side.

  3. I would not want to Carzola wasted out on the wing. I would also like to see Poldoski get a few games playing in a central striker role.

  4. Yemmy Akinleye says:

    Good write up. Beautiful & inspiring effort by you. But who will Mr Wenger sign? Probably, nobody. With Theo committing & Diaby/Rosicky coming back, oh, we’ve just sign new players. While Tottenham, Chelsea & even Man City are fortifying, Le Professor is still day dreaming. Why I am yet τ̲̅ȍ get a cardiac arrest anytime Arsenal are playing I do not know, but I remain grateful τ̲̅ȍ God Fø̲̣̣я̅ it & remain a Gunner Fø̲̣̣я̅ life.

  5. rooben says:

    Ramsey is not included in your plan! Arsene would not pay heed to your suggestion. He would prefer play him in any position provide he play. Rosicky
    who is better has not been given the opportunity to show his worth. No discussion or suggestion .

  6. marv says:

    Even though I agree with your sentiment of pushing Cazorla to the wing, and playing Jack through the middle in a 4-4-2 formation; I can’t justify dropping Arteta. He is extremely underrated, and I consider him one of our best players. He deserves a starting place.

    May I suggest a 4-3-3 with only 1 holding midfielder (similar to Barcelona):

    ——–New DM/Diaby——-
    —–Jack———–Arteta—-
    Cazorla——Theo——Pod

    Although it won’t fix the Theo+Giroud problem (and probably won’t fix our defense either), it will allow Arteta to play in a higher position, which can only be good.

  7. pj says:

    I dont think arsene is going to drop arteta, period

    Its extremely frustrating seeing rosicky sitting on the bench every week when hes a much better choice than ramsey or gervinho(a.k.a the new eboue)

    I hope we buy a DM and another striker

  8. Limpar's Wand says:

    Interesting post. Thanks!

    Personally I think going back to 4-4-2 is as much about the personnel up front. You really need a CF who is as much a CAM as a striker, a no.10 like a Bergkamp, dropping deep for the transition. Man Utd do it with Rooney, who is more a midfielder than a striker. The fact we didn’t once try it when we had the closest thing in the game to bergkamp in van persie, instead developing him more as a no.9, suggests Wenger is done with 4-4-2 for good.

    The fact that virtually every team in the PL and CL now play with a 5 man midfield full of technically proficient players who can keep the ball means you’d possibly be overrun too much for it to work.

  9. Ozzie says:

    4-4-2 with flat midfield is dead, the top coaches killed it by playing 3 CMs with a creative No10 operating between the lines. 4-1-3-2 or 4-1-2-1-2 might suit the current squad as follows

    Sagna Mert Kos Gibbs
    Verm
    Art/Ox Jack
    Santi
    Theo Giroud/Poldi

  10. kevin says:

    apparently u have never watched arsenal play as the formation is usually useless as arsenal player usually go were they what or it could be were arsene tells them to roam for example neither cazorla nor walcott play the postions posted as cazorla usually drifts to the left wing or right then dribbles inward, in walcotts case he usually in the middle or very close from the right and is rarely used as right winger unlike ox who hugs the touchline podolski is mostly on the wing but with gibbs forward runs gibbs becomes the winger podolski becoming the second striker and the dm becoming the lb and usually jack/artea is left alone this doesnt occur on the right leaving problems as sagna also ventures fwrd but mertasker usually attepts to cover but unlike gibbs lacks that recover speed and has less help as neither walcott nor ox has found the right balance between both such as ox in the newcastle and southampton games the real problem is the lack of movement from central players like cazorla who likes to wait outside the box to shoot like many of his goals this season and aslo wilshire cant always venture into the box and giroud and wilshire is usually not central enough when playing but other than that the biggest problem is team cosistency as one week we are almost barcalona quality then we are below the standard of a mls team

  11. nate278 says:

    I fully agree with your assessment of having to buy a new DM and a winger but I do not agree with the purchase of another because I like our no.1 (if it keeps him on his toes then so be it). Good writing and the line up is exactly the way I see it. Without some sort of height power and athleticism in the midfield we get over run. I like the 3 players we have but I do not think they gel well and connect. Arteta is brilliant and has great positional size but he is too slow and lacks the power to break up play. Playing on the wing will allow cazorla more time on the ball because I was at the swansea game and he hardly had a touch until podolski came on and played through the middle and cazorla played further wide. I think jack and diaby would be amazing together and then another big DM for when he gets injured.

  12. gabriel says:

    This will be the worst mistakes of the new the coming of diaby and rosicky, for diaby after the transfer windows closes he will play one game and go back to where he belong. He will make nobody not to come which he will not even play up to three match, wenger has lost his sense of reasoning why this is happening to arsenal. No one want to indintfy arsenal’s problem which i think is arsen wenger, bye i like to watch tottenham, and man united they self determined.

  13. gabriel says:

    wenger must go.

  14. hi_rush2001@yahoo.com.au says:

    carzola and rosicky across midfield would be magic…
    chuck in flemani or yanna villa to cover the always injured diaby …
    and bring in the spanish hitman villa..

    then chelsea can fuck off and leave our targets alone..
    usmanov would crash them in transfers….

  15. harshil kachhawa says:

    Though i like your point of view about the formation. But i personally feel we are already playing a 4-4-2. Though not on paper but in half of the game we are playing a 4-4-2 with Theo getting in the middle most of the time.

  16. Alex says:

    There is an article on the short fuse which makes the opposite argument which I tend to agree with more. Wilshere’s final ball is not yet good enough to play number ten. Stick him on the wing instead.

  17. Dgob says:

    I like this thread and it’s refreshing to see a less fickle AFC blog in the blogosphere.

    On Santi, I think finding another position for him is difficult. On the wings he faces challenges regarding speed and defensive responsibilities and the Arshavin example seems significant. However, and this might be a little controversial, I think the challenge is to choose ‘either’ Santi or Jack for our advanced creative midfielder. It’s kind of like to Lumpalard and Gerrard issue with England. Both are similar and give of their best in the same role. To use both seems to reduce the effectiveness of whichever one undertakes the less familiar defensive role, as well as interfering with the one occupying their more familiar role (a ‘lose – lose’ situation). That’s why I would alternate the pair and support them with a more defensively imposing box-to-box midfielder such as Diaby (or, in an ideal world, Fellaini).

    That would form the new pivot of my team and (with the dreamed of inclusion of Fellaini) would allow issues such as fitness and form to be better managed. Diaby, Wilshere being my first choice and Fellaini, Cazorla my second choice. Of course, along with their form and fitness, it could also mean that we can select according to the opponent while resolving the team around this two point axis..

    You’ll notice that I baulk at the prospect of selecting the rest of the team as fitness, form and opponent would give far too many options in my ideal team and approach with our available resources.

    Thanks for the read

  18. VCC says:

    “Has Arsene already signed the new Pires and Ljungberg”

    I’m not too sure about that, as they are a hard act to follow. But, I fear Arsene will say “It’s like two new signings with Diaby back fit and Walcott signings his contract. It will be his get out of jail card after being quoted he will buy in the January window. I cannot see new signings coming in this January.

    Arsene will not revert back to a 4-4-2. We will have to get used to his beloved 4-2-1-3.

    Total, your No.6. You say Podolski is not a winger but you put him on the left of a 4-4-2 .

  19. ARD88 says:

    El Greco (@Elgrecoandros) – If you watch carefully how Cazorla reacts when we don’t have possession, especially if he gives it away, his attitude cannot be doubted. He tracks back quite a lot and is a fighter – unlike Arshavin. With regards to this article, I have to agree about playing out wide because so often in games, Cazorla + Wilshere both try ‘too hard’ at times for the team by trying to dictate the play by themselves. We only need one playmaker in the centre, and someone effective out-wide; where Cazorla would be brilliant. I believe we need a solid DM to break up play and be disciplined in that role, a tricky winger who takes on defenders and can supply in the air/to feet when the likes of Giroud/Walcott are making the runs and another CB as we only have 3 first team players. The likes of Miquel and Angha need a run in the first team to get them up to speed, so unless they get promoted and we need another CB as 3 aren’t enough for an entire season. I hope we never see Squillaci play to be honest.

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning Vickers :)

    How was the film?

    He is not a winger but with Gibbs behind him he can be effective on the wing nevertheless, especially in a 4-4-2 formation.

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    All agreed ARD88, we are exactly on the same wave length! :)

    What does the name stand for, if I may ask?

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Dgob,

    Fine point about playing either Jack or Santi in our current formation. I think Santi would be effective almost everywhere and he would work out a fine partnership with either Gibbs or Sagna, no doubt. He would also provide us with the necessary goals as he will make the clever runs and can take his chances, ala Pires/Ljunberg.

    Can they play together? I think they can but we need a more physical DM than Arteta (who I rate highly nevertheless). A solid DM should free up Jack to play closer to Santi, who then can move closer to the striker, where he is most effective.

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Alex

    Wilshere is such a good player, that like Santi, he can play almost everywhere. But I reckon he conducts play more naturally. Yes, his final ball can still improve, but I reckon it is sometimes fatigue that makes him getting it wrong, and it should improve soon.

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    harshil, you have got a point about sometimes already playing 4-4-2. My point is that we need to change round a few players.

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi nate278

    I would like an experienced back up for Szczesny, in case of injury, suspension, which could unfortunately happen any minute. Agreed on the rest.

  26. harshil kachhawa says:

    Your 4-4-2 above suggests
    Cazorla – Wilshere – New DM/Diaby – Podolski

    ———————–Theo—Giroud———————–
    And i was talking about the same thing. I noticed it mostly in the last Swansea game, the formation you are suggesting was seen after the introduction of Podolski for Ramsey. It was just Arteta instead of Diaby. And now when Diaby is fit i think we’ll get to see your suggested formation soon.

  27. jesoes says:

    where’s KING RAMSEY..?????????

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Spot on harshil and I hope we’ll see it more!

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    Good question jesoes. At the moment I don’t see him get a first team spot.

  30. harshil kachhawa says:

    We will see it as i do not think Wenger has plans of buying in the summer. Even if he does i do not think he’ll buy more than 1 player and that can be at any position. His comments about Chamakh and Djourou leaving make no sense as they both have not even made to the bench for most of the games this season. And with Diaby and Santos ready as back-ups, we should not expect a lot more than Theo signing.

  31. harshil kachhawa says:

    I meant to say in winter

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    Harshil, I really cannot tell what will happen, but Arsene knows about Diaby’s vulnerability and there is a clear need for at least a solid, quality DM.

  33. VCC says:

    TA….Agreed, Podolski does link up well with Gibbs on the left hnd side.

    Regards the film……it went T—s up. Only see the first 20 mins.

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    VCC, so you got fed up watching it. I bet you started thinking of nutbum GLIC :P

  35. VCC says:

    GLiC, is on his way to Orcland. That’s where he is most at home with the inbreds.

    I wonder if he is aloud out this week end?

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    haha, VCC, it would lead fo his insanity :lol:

  37. Gooner4eva49 says:

    Yes, yes, yes and yes!

    I believe in what you say Total. Did you steal your post from my head?!?

    I know it’s gonna sound crazy, don’t get me wrong I love wilshere and he is fantastic, but I feel as he is young enough I believe he can wait to play games. A new beast linking up with arteta and wilshere as an impact sub who can support both areas of play or to rotate every few games. I do fear to an extent of a young player getting burnt out as they say. Look what happened to him for playing those amount of games when it wasn’t suppose to be the plan in the first place to play all season. He can still develop just as well. That would make us so strong in “reserve”. Arteta can even play the “advanced” role he done so well at it for Everton. Diaby is a box to box player it would be a shame for him to be solely the defensive midfielder. Yes possibly he could do it well but for now and having not played many games its too soon I believe to change his play and restrict his playing instincts.

    Him and arteta did work very well together again it will all be about rotation. No fears of cazorla out wide have believed in it for a while think how deadly he will be drifting, cutting inside passing shooting with either foot. It will be devastating.

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Gooner4eva49 :)

    Off to do school run, get back to you in a bit.

  39. davi says:

    @El Greco – Cazorla is a very conscientious player. He often sits too deep in games when the opposition is looking to counter-attack because he is looking to prevent that threat. In games where there is little attacking threat from the opposition he’s often run the game because he’s been able to get closer to the CF.

    Completely agree with the sentiments of this article. We certainly should try to be more flexible in our thinking, to say the least. Another point is that Podolski could be a good striker in a 4-4-2 formation, but I don’t think he’s really made for the lone forward role, as many others seem to. I think there’s a strong chance he could work well with either Giroud or Theo. Also Jack always looked like a very good right midfielder to me in the early days – like Ray Parlour with a bit more vision and goalscoring ability. That’s important because I would have thought a change to 4-4-2 would still have to include Arteta in the centre, alongside the big bastard CM that we have been missing all season, so we could look something like:

    Wilshere/Caz — Arteta — Diaby/new CM — Wilshere/Caz/Pod

    Walcott/Giroud — Pod/Giroud

    Obviously there would be a lot more flexibility with the 4-4-2 system with players like Oxlade and Rosiky capable in a few positions. Oxlade might even be a useful option at 2nd striker?

  40. alexgunners says:

    Hi TA,

    Great article but have we signed the new Pires and Ljungberg? Tough act to follow. These guys can play in other positions and make us better. Let’s remember that Pires and Ljungberg had support from some great names around them, whilst we do have some good names at the moment they are not great. The other ingredient that is missing is ‘CONFIDENCE’. Once we find this ingredient they perhaps can be viewed as greats. I am in no way saying that the Pod and Santi are not great players because they are but they need others around them to step up on a consistent basis.
    The other issue is of course AW. Will he see that he needs to change the formation and do something different. By doing this we will not be so predictable to other teams and who knows, maybe he will discover that a change may be exactly what this team needs.

    We do need the Beast that you have been going on about, but i am starting to accept that not much will happen for us in this TW.

  41. Gooner4eva49 says:

    Kevin and Djob very good assessments

  42. davi says:

    @ozzie – the diamond midfield you suggest is another good idea imo

  43. TotalArsenal says:

    Yemmi at 2.21 ‘the professor is still day dreaming’ – nicely put! :)

    Rooben at 2.33, Ramsey has not been played as a starter many times recently by Arsene. Obviously he is still hoping the Welshman will come good, and so should you and I, but it is starting to look now that he will not make the grade. :(

    Marv, at 3.19 thanks for a fine comment. Agreed with your alternative formation and your sentiments re Arteta: 4-1-2-3 could also be an excellent formation for us, as per the players you suggest! :)

  44. Gooner4eva49 says:

    Davi, agree with you completely

  45. TotalArsenal says:

    Limpard’s Wand and Ozzie, fine comments. :)

    When we played with Bergkamp in the hole, our formation was more like 4-4-1-1. I am not suggesting that, but in Cazorla we could have the player who in terms of style and skills could resemble DB10 quite a bit.

    But I am suggesting to play 4-4-2 with Theo in a free role and Giroud our attacking pivot, who also has the stamina and skills to support our midfield at times (whilst Theo is lurking for a through-ball).

    I have heard the argument of the midfield not being strong enough in a 4-4-2 formation many times, but I reckon we have the most exposed midfield currently for as long as I have supported Arsenal. With 4-4-2 both Cazorla and Podolski offer extra cover as they will naturally play more as midfield unit. Our current midfield gets constantly stretched vertically, leaving huge gaps behind, and making it very hard to dominate the opposition in their own half. In a 4-4-2 we would really need to get a classical DM, although we need him in our current formation desperately as well.

  46. glic says:

    Morning Dildobates :lol:

    Thankyou Total

    My problem ( apart from the obvious one`s hahaha ) is that I read the article and it makes sense, then I read some of the comments that contradict it and they make sense too !.
    I cant agree that we have the new Pires and Ljungberg, we`d need the new Henry, God, Cole etc to make that happen !.
    There are so many permutations of formations and tactics that it hurts my brain !. Give me a squad of “Super Quality ” players and let the other teams worry about us !.
    As a club, we are now saying that we can compete in the TW with the rest due to FFP and new sponsorships, so come on Arsenal walk the walk. There is a rumour going about that the Chavs failed a trial FFP test and are trying hard to meet the new regs, so the future may be bright !.
    I dont want to hear that Chavs , City are the ones to get Isco, Goetze etc, I want it to be us, we can afford it now, f**k me, it was in 2000 that Leeds bought Rio Ferdinand for £18m and 2002 when ManU paid £30m for him !. 13 years ago and we still haven`t competed with Leeds ! hahaha.

    The Chav rumour link.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/EPL-transfer-talk-Chelsea-going-cheap/tabid/415/articleID/282046/Default.aspx?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+co%2Flehb+%28TV3%29

  47. glic says:

    The final leg of the digging today, then it`s all left for the Timber Framer to do the rest when they start on 28th Jan to build the Love Shack !. I need Vicky and his four pronged ZimmerKango !. hahaha

  48. TotalArsenal says:

    Gooner4eva – good to see we are on the same wave length. :)

    Should Jack be rested more and not have all this weight on his shoulders? Yes and no, imo. Yes, because it would make sense for his fitness and ability to grow more slowly into the star he seems destined to become. No, because he has the drive, he represent the soul of this team, and he looks so keen to play all the time. And no, because the best way of finding his best form is to play constantly. It is hard decision to make, but Arsene needs to him (too much) at the moment to leave him out, it seems.

  49. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Alex, fully agreed, fine comment. :)

    In my view, Ljungberg and Pires were somewhere between good and great players, and Bergkamp, Henry and Vieira were full-on great players. Freddie and Robert benefited so much from the super service they got and it is true that both Podolski and Cazorla would need similar quality on the pitch to become as good as the Swede and Frenchman, and we are clearly not there yet.

  50. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Davi, fully agreed on Podolski being a great option in the ‘2’ of a 4-4-2 formation.

    For me, Jack has strong conductor qualities and this would be wasted if he is not played in the middle. In the current formation, and with the players we have, Jack is held back too much and I feel the team is suffering as a result. However, he could play at rm and still be very effective: Jack is just a great player who can play almost everywhere. :)

  51. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Glic, my daughter would call your comment a ‘bit random’, but I do in fact agree with most of it! :P

    A squad of super Quality players is unlikely to happen any time soon. But with a few purchases and Arsene further developing our very promising talents we could get there again. :)

  52. VCC says:

    GLiC…..When do you think the opening ceremony will be for the Love Shack?

    Terry tells me an early BBQ in March/April is at the Love shack for all us Gooners, and beers are on you.

    Then there’s the summer beano at Richie’s pad in Malaga, with the San Miguels on him.

    Then in the Autumn its round my gaff ( South Ockendon home for the poor/senile) (contributions are warmly welcolme ;-) ) Tea and Digestive’s on me.

    Total can’t make any meeting cos he’s at the Dogs home trying to tame Henry and Red Arse is Head Speaker at all venues.

  53. VCC says:

    Total, do you, hand on heart, think Arsene will make a top purchase this January?

  54. TotalArsenal says:

    I will take Henry with me Vickers! :)

    I don’t know whether Wenger will buy somebody, but I would be disappointed if he did not. You just cannot tell with him and it is very frustrating for all of us.

    Having watched Chelsea being outdone by Swansea by the Mourinho / Di Matteo way was very enjoyable, and also showed us that buying players constantly is not necessarily the solution either. Of course we need good and great players and we have a few vacancies in my view, but I am also a great believer in making players play a good system of football based on a great vision of how football should be played. Arsene can do it, but he needs to hold on to his players and the time to make it happen again – as you know, both are no guarantees anymore. :(

  55. Gooner4eva49 says:

    Total what is your favourite jack wilshere performance? Mine has to be against Barcelona 2-1 at home.

    Do any of you buy that fellaini has a 22m release clause? If so would you want him I certainly would and I think that is an appropriate fair price. Even for Wenger I believe so

  56. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Hi TA

    I cant see santi playing wide with our current system. If we switched to 442 then he could, but it would mean that the other wide player would have to drop into the middle when we lost the ball. A bit like the Parlour, Overmars combo of 1998.

    I think Wenger said the other day that santi is not the best defensivly, but maybe i was imagining it. I still want Mvila but cant see it happening. He will probably end up at Tottenham and be crap. hahaha

    Lets face it, Jack and Ox etc have still some way to go before they reach there peaks, but when they do we should have a team capable of beating the best.

  57. TotalArsenal says:

    Gooner4eva

    Easy answer: indeed the home game against Barcelona. He grew up into a man during that game. Whilst playing, he found the secret of unlocking the deadly suffocation of Barcelona, with his ability to turn on his own axis with the ball and by doing so create the necessary space and time to counter-attack. Nobody saw and did this better than little Jack on the night! A super, super talent!!! :)

    I like Fellaini too, but find him too light footed for the DM role. Where would you play him ideally?

  58. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Terry,

    All good points. Santi on the wing would work best in a 4-4-2, agreed.

  59. Gooner4eva49 says:

    Agree to some extent with fellaini a more typified box to box player. I believe we have more players in this position/role but we need a solid constructed moulded ready made beast of a defensive midfield player. So thinking about it we don’t essentially “need” that type of player. Again I would love to see vermaelen have a go at that role. How about cheik tiote? I wanted him at arsenal beginning of last season

  60. VCC says:

    Morning Terry…..Were you able to sell any of that sand to the Arabs for me? :-)

  61. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheik Tiote looks like a promising player. He has all the attributes but lacks the experience (naturally), and with good coaching could become our beast. In an ideal world, I would like Schweinsteiger or Alonso as they also bring the experience of winning things and have the right attitude. Both le Coq and Frimmpong could then learn from the master (I am a big believer of developing players along the lines of learner-master pairs).

  62. Sebastian says:

    Personally I’d go:

    ——-Diaby—-Wilshire——

    Cazorla—Rosicky—Podolski

    ———–Walcott————-

    Rosicky is so under-rated, it makes me so angry when Wenger brings Ramsey on but leaves Rosicky on the bench! Everyone in the stadium can see that Rosicky is a much much better player!

  63. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Morning Vicks.

    Send it over and i will see what i can do. I went to Egypt a few years back for a holiday and got so fed up with the locals trying to flog me things that everytime they tried it i whipped out a souvineer camel and tried flogging it to them. They got so confused and disoriented they left me alone after that.

    No offence, but some of them are quite a seedy lot. Several of them kidded around they would like to buy my 15 year old daughter, well i think they were kidding. hahaha

  64. VCC says:

    Yes Terry, I have heard stories like that as well. Makes me feel sick just thinking about it.

    Your faith in the Arse is sometimes overwhelming. As you know I have worshipped Wenger since he arrived’ but I just see him making the same old same old mistakes now and it doesn’t seem to sink in anymore.

    It’s blatantly obvious (to me anyway, but then GLiC would say I’m senile, and who could blame him?) we need at least two top experienced guys to pull us through. Don’t you think?

  65. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Sebastian, I like that line-up very much too. If we play in that formation and those players against MC on Sunday then we should have a very good chance to get all three points.

  66. VCC says:

    Sebastion…..We are stuck with Ramsey I’m afraid. I’m with you, why play Ramsey out of position? when we have others more suited.

    It mystifies me.

  67. leonard ndungu says:

    arsenal should also find a striker who is more a killer.

  68. steve says:

    I just found this page at arsenal media watch & am so happy to see an arsenal blogger that knows football this well without being biased, some arsenal bloggers always support wenger and the board, even when they are obviously doing wrong. Well done, you are doing a fantastic job, keep it up.
    I totally agree with all you’ve written, first we need a dm like etienne capoue or victor wanyaman. One of Our biggest problem this season is arteta playing as a defensive midfielder, it has cost us a lot, a lot of people might not see that but it should be the first problem that should be addressed. We also need another central striker that is mobile, athletic, a good finisher, has good movement, fast & hard working. We also need. 2 Quality central defenders that can challenge the starters and also be backup, then let squillaci go. I know we need a classy winger, but we can decide not to buy for now. The most important positions to strengthen are dm, striker & defence. Another big problem we have this season is wenger’s tactics, we always seem to pass the ball the wrong way, it looks like wenger told them that its a most that they pass the ball from per to Vermeer or vice versa, then to the full backs, when there are better options to pass to the midfield, Our passes are now very slow, we no longer see crispy and audacious passes in arsenal, we hardly see our central midfielders make 3 or 4 pass exchanges together, and we find it very difficult to win balls.
    I would love to see coquelin and rosicky get more games in our midfield. Coquelin has what it takes to be one of the best midfielders in the world in future, he is hard working, has a never say die attitude, technically good. He only lacks height.
    The case of ramsey is another big problem that am tired of complaining and I know wenger will never stop playing ramsey probably bcos he takes ramsey as his project. In fact, ramsey does not deserve to play for reading! Yes! He is that bad. The likes of santos and squillaci have no biz in arsenal and should be sold.

  69. emanuel massawe says:

    yeah i agree we need a DM for good… i wonder if arsene have the same worry as we do b’coz the shoes happen to be over-size to ur vice-captain though he work hard in his new role.

  70. Gooner4eva49 says:

    Ha ha Terry I can picture exactly what you went through. I went to Dubai a couple of years ago and headed down to “the streets” and every second was practically “come, come, come into my shop my friend” “you want gold you do want gold!” “Try this material”. We got there goods practically thrown and wrapped around us so we had to go back and return it and they trapped us in the shops. To get in the spirit I was trying some clothes and it was like torture being held at gun point being told the xxl tent shape top or the ladybird kid size clothes looked good on me and I must buy buy buy.

    I learned that I had to pretend to be death and dumb and confuse the hell out of them so they got p’d off and started on some other poor bugger.

    I enjoyed it to some extent but was totally thrown. Next time I’ll know how to be and react accordingly!

  71. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Vics, i dont disagree. in the short term, if we are to compete at a higher level we do need a couple of top quality players. The thing for me however is that we have top quality potential, that in a year or two could take us to the top. My feelings are that the best man to develop these young guys and produce a top team is Wenger.

    G49, yeah, its a bit of a laugh, but also draining. I must admit, i didnt like there comments about my daughter. If i ever go again i might walk around with a placard on the front saying “my daughters not for sale” and on the back “but my wife is” hahahaha

  72. TotalArsenal says:

    haha Terry – no wonder you end up in the attic regularly :)

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for your comment, and I agree with a lot of it. I still reckon we have good CB’s but we could always improve in this area. However, the longer BFG and Koz would play together, I reckon the stronger they would become. For me, the problem is that Arsene made TV captain, whilst BFG is the real leader in defence,

  74. Azzajayboy13 says:

    If Diaby can somehow stay fit long term then he has to start

    I would go 4-1-4-1

    Sagna – Kos – Verm – Gibbs

    Arteta

    Walcott – Wilshere – Diaby – Cazorla

    Giroud/Podolski

  75. marcus says:

    Hi TA,
    I think cazorla should remain where he is for two reasons. first of all he is the best passer of the ball we have. nobody in that arsenal team can pick out a through pass or long ball like he can. Besides, playing him on the wing would compromise one of his greatest assets, his ambidexterity. which brings me to my 2nd point, his shooting/ability to score. he is the highest scoring midfielder in the league and moving him to the wing would limit his movement and ultimately, his goal scoring. He is the only player willing to shoot from outside the box and score, so lets not change that.

  76. glic says:

    ” I`m digging in the rain, just digging in the rain, what a glorious feeling,…….. I`m knackered again ! “.

    Simple way to sort them Egyptians out, you can borrow my Mummy – in – law !. Either wrapped in bandages after I have bludgeoned her to death with my Arsenal slippers or even more sickening, I dress her up in a St Trinnians School girl outfit with a for sale sign attached to her tits dragging along the floor !……..hold on a sec`, I must go and be sick !. hahaha

  77. marcus says:

    although TA, i know where you are coming from..cazorla has been played in almost all the games this season and in the last 2-3 games his form has suffered. Alot. same to arteta. these 2 players need a breather asap otherwise they’ll continue to struggle. Rosicky should get a run of games to allow cazorla to rejuvinate and a new DM brought in to alleviate the pressure on arteta.

  78. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Marcus :)

    What is happening in Kenya today?

    Let me be a bit controversial and say that a) Carzorla shoots too much and b) he does not make enough through-passes in my view. Yes he is scoring some good and important goals but his shots per goal ratio is not so good, and everytime he decides to shoot and it goes wrong another chance is wasted.

    If he would play on the wing, he would have plenty of shooting opportunity, both inside and outside the box, and his ambidexterity would be just as useful imo.

    If we were to play in 4-4-2 the shooting on goal from the centre of the pitch would be done by Giroud and Theo.

    For me Cazorla does not conduct enough as in protect the shape of the team, and either Rosicky or Jack would do a better job. But, as always, I respect your well-reasoned point of view! :)

  79. TotalArsenal says:

    Glic, you need help my friend!

  80. mullah says:

    Look this!
    Rosicky—-Wilshere—-Diaby—-Carzola

    Arteta/Arshavin

    Giroud/Podolski
    What you think about that?

  81. TotalArsenal says:

    Haha Marcus, with that last comment I agree at least 100%!!! :)

  82. TotalArsenal says:

    Mullah, brilliant! I was wondering how long it would take for somebody bringing up Arshavin in the hole position. It would be Arshavin’s best position and I can only imagine that his lack of workrate has been the reason for not giving him the chance to play there. A real shame.

  83. TotalArsenal says:

    Azzajayboy13,

    Your 4-1-4-1 looks attractive too. With Theo wanting to play centrally, it would be hard to implement, unless he would be free to go more centrally if and when he wants…

  84. glic says:

    Just seen on Newsnow that the Government are thinking of building a new Super Prison near London to accomodate 2000 criminals ……..brilliant !…… what a great place for all our Aussie Gooners to stay, they say they always return to the scene of the crime !. Sorry Oz, Prince , Alex, I couldn`t resist it ! . hahaha
    If they make it a “D” cat`, you`ll catch a game on day release !. hahaha

  85. glic says:

    Total, yes I do !. It`s only just over 6 hours to here, bring a shovel !. hahaha

  86. TotalArsenal says:

    hahaha Glic, your are in fine form after a bit of open air digging! :P

  87. Gooner4eva49 says:

    Ha ha very funny Terry. I didn’t get anything like that I believe the UAE law is a lot more strict than Egypt. Then again I read and hear about double standards. No need to get into this i know another time another place. Everyone was staring at my girlfriend proper eye goggling her, dressed appropriately, and a couple of kids must of been early teens literally tip toed and magically grew an extra 2 feet and looked right down upon her breasts!

    Glic I take it that formative aproach has worked out well for you in many scenarios. Love it you share your valuable knowledge with us. People take note

  88. glic says:

    I`ve just been watching Three Squirrels ( Mum, Dad and Baby I think ) jump from an Ash tree to a Maple onto a Beech, then along the ground to a Cherry tree and are now hanging upside down munching on my nuts and fatballs I put up !. The pain of helping the wildlife !. hahaha

  89. steve says:

    Hi TotalArsenal,
    Thanks, our defensive problems has to do with tactics, organisation and sometimes individual errors. I know we have 3 quality central defenders, but that is not enough, we will be in great trouble if 2 out of 3 of them gets injured. We need about 5 central defenders, the 4th and 5th df might not be high profile players, but players with quality that to do the job efficiently when called upon.
    Per and kos are our best pairing, wenger should bench vermeer, captain or no captain. Kos reads the game well and covers well for others, he is faster, technically better, uses his brains better than verm, thou vermeer has bite and command which kos dosen’t have, vermeer is also better in d air.

  90. glic says:

    One of them has got it`s tail running up its back and covering it`s head, it looks like it`s wearing a syrup !, I shall name this Syrup Squirrel , Terry !. hahaha

  91. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    I like wildlife too Cornwall. Many a time in my teens i used to hang out of my bedroom window, armed with my older brothers Air Rifle, experiencing the delights of nature. hahaha

  92. glic says:

    hahaha I used to live in Hanbury St ( One of The Rippers victims was murdered there, which reminds me I must do another Bergkampesque Cluedo one day, who shall be the victim this time ?. ) off of Brick Lane, My House used to back onto the Brady Club, it had a 5 a side roof pitch with flood lights. I used to have my air rifle poked through a window gap with the curtains closed and lights off like a sniper and shoot at the floodlights while people were playing footie. I had to surpress my laughter as they all run for cover when the bulbs exploded !. hahaha
    I sold the said air rifle to a mate, who held up the local sweet shop with it !. I just hope he wiped my prints off of it !.. hahaha

  93. glic says:

    PS
    Like all the exfootball players who are now pundits and used to foul, abuse and cheat, but dont condone that behaviour now because they are sweet innocent goody two shoes, I also do not condone the behaviour of juvenile delinquents brandishing air rifles like I used to do, as I`m now a sweet innocent goody two shoes !. Behave delinquents, do as I say, not as I did !.
    The Right Reverend glic.

    hahaha

  94. diego says:

    We dont have the players to play on the wings or outside on the midfield, except a few players that can. I rather prefer a 4-1-2-1-2 or 4-3-1-2 formation. If we buy a good CDM we have good options for the midfield to rotate and for the CAM position there can be rotated as well with cazorla/OX and even wilshere. Then Podolski/Giroud/Walcott can rotate for the CF position. And vermaelen shouldnt be playing CDM, then the options to rotate in the CB positions is gone. Why does nobody wanna put a GOOD player on the bench? Why you all whining about Wenger doesnt buy good players then, we have an actual good starting line up..

  95. glic says:

    When Vicky was a Juvenile Delinquent, he used to try and shag the Suffragettes chained to the railing`s, it`s the only chance he had without them running away !. Of course he isn`t in a fit state of mind to remember this or deny it, but Stretch can vouch that he looks the type !. hahaha

  96. RockyLives says:

    Good stuff TA
    I wouldn’t mind seeing Caz out wide and Pod having a run through the middle. The German is a strange player but he knows where the goal is.

    Been crazy busy lately – sorry I haven’t been around much but I’ve been enjoying the posts.

  97. RockyLives says:

    Predictions:

    Everton v Swans H
    Fulham v Wigan A
    ManUre v Pool D
    QPR v Spuds A

  98. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Rockster, agreed on the Pod; he is a goal machine!

    :Loved your Spuddy post the other day :)

  99. TotalArsenal says:

    HI Steve at 14.27, mostly agreed. Miguel is our nr.4 CB now, and we still have Squilaci for absolute emergencies. Maybe Arsene will buy another one but I doubt it very much.

  100. TotalArsenal says:

    RL, you need to predict 5 games :)

  101. William Michael says:

    Nice analysis

  102. Red Arse says:

    Hi TA, :-)

    Another first class Post on a very interesting topic. How do you do it mijn vriend? :-)

    Don’t be unkind to Rocky, he has never been good at math, so I hear!! :-)

  103. TotalArsenal says:

    HI Redders :)

    Good to see you back, and hope you’re okay compadre.

  104. Red Arse says:

    Thanks, TA, been a long old day! :-)

  105. TotalArsenal says:

    Just like no cornflakes, it’s not the same without you on BK in the morning!

  106. CoenHaak says:

    I agree with your article. Cazorla on the right, Poldi on the left and Theo through the middle. Although I like Giroud, I dont think he’s quite good enough for first XI. He should become a little bit more physical and work on his positioning at times. I also believe he is quite a good substitute to bring on (as you saw against newcastle). I agree we need a new DM, losing Song was a big mistake and we should bring in Vidal from Juventus, as his replacement. He is an absolute beast and being Chilean he would adapt well to our fast paced football. Get on it Wenger!

  107. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Coen, great call on Vidal! Also agreed that Giroud has some way to go.

  108. Red Arse says:

    TA,

    It is great that BK is attracting some terrific bloggers. The diversity of responses, and the politeness of everyone too, is such a boon!! :D

    [Well apart from 'you know who'!!] :-)

    Still once he has finished digging up half of Cornwall, it would be great to turn up one day, unannounced, and take over his love shack!!

  109. Red Arse says:

    Cornflakes? :-)

    It’s so cold going out at 6 a.m. it has to be porridge for me!! :D

  110. VCC says:

    Red Arse……Don’t tell GLiC but I’m going down there tonight with Terry, we are going to fill all the holes in…Shhh don’t say anything…….He’s so stupid, when he gets up in the morning he’ll just think he never done anything yesterday. ;-)

  111. VCC says:

    Sir Rocky….thanks for your predictions but I need another one, you need to submit 5 entries old boy. Please don’t get like me (senile~) in your old age. :-)

  112. VCC says:

    Total….just gone through todays comments. As Red Arse says, some fine blogging today. What with here and AA, It’s a good job I’m out of work cos I wouldn’t have time to read it all, and would miss out on some fine Gooner stuff. Keep it up.

  113. TotalArsenal says:

    Porridge on a cold morning, I am all for it Redders! :)

    Cheers VCC, it is hard to write something every day, but somehow something keeps coming up to write about.

    Today has been by far the best post ever. Top on NewsNow, over 27,000 views and many new bloggers posted today with quality comments. Very happy indeed!! :)

    But it would not be a good blog without the regulars who make it a real home. Thanks guys!! :)

  114. Mertesacker is trash says:

    4-1-2-1-2

    Def- jenkinson, vermaelen, new cb, gibbs
    Dmid- diaby/arteta
    Wngrs- wilshire, podolski
    Amid- carzola
    Strks- Walcott , new striker

  115. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahahaha, Redders has jsut done some fine plugging of Bergkampesqueres at that other place

  116. Yaseen's Mum says:

    There have been some good suggestions and some naive.
    Arteta isn’t effective as the DM, at least not alone. His partnership with Diaby, in the early part of the season, was though. Diaby adds tenacity and his physical presence to our midfield. They both rotate in terms of attacking play and going upfield. It is a shame that he is injury prone, a replacement is needed. So the top-four winning question, as far as I am concerned, is who can act as a DM pivot and still add something different to our attacking play. (Coquelin is a good prospect and can be considered a replacement for Arteta), I would suggest Fellaini, who has PL experience, but Moyes would not be willing to sell to a top-four rival. With the right defensive protection behind him, Cazorla would refer in an AM role, rotating with Rosicky and Ramsey.

  117. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi everyone, another Dutch master-piece. I think you’re a little harsh on Pires, Total, he regularly weighed in with 15+ goals a season, his link-up with Henry was first-class, and his dive at Highbury against Portsmouth was crucial in our unbeaten season :)

  118. glic says:

    I may not come across as a normal person, but if any of you have odd idiosyncratic tendencies like……..Ice Cream for breakfast, Curry for breakfast Porridge for lunch, Tomato sauce on Sunday roasts and Curries, Have an Arsenal media blackout in game time and have to be in a room on my own when looking up the final score on BBC text through my fingers, then I`m somewhat surprisingly normal !.
    Lets hear it for the normal guys !. hahaha

    Total, although you write superb posts and Oz does the best Pre-match anywhere on the planet, surely It must be the title which will get most views ( and hopefully gets them hooked ) as I`m sure a title on Newsnow of, ” Wengers gay porn video`s “, will get more hits than, ” 4-3-3 or 3-4-3….that is the question !”.
    PS
    Dont worry AKB`s, the video`s are in a safe place !. hahaha

  119. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi Redders, may I commend you on your own epic master-piece yesterday. Absolutely brilliant, and fine follow-up comments from a supporting cast. Could you send my congratulations to GiE on the birth of son George, please. Much appreciated.

  120. Herb'sArmy says:

    By the way, Redders, new episode of The Big Bang Theory, E4, 8.30 tonight, or 9.30 on E4+1 :)

  121. Red Arse says:

    Thanks Herb, :-)

  122. TotalArsenal says:

    Yaseen, Fellaini is a fine player but not suitable for a hard-arse DM: he is too light-footed in my view. He could do it but he would be more like Arteta, who btw does relatively a very decent job, as he compensates a lot with his reading of the game and positioning.

  123. Red Arse says:

    Glicster,

    GoonerB asked me to tell you he misses your madcap humour! :-)

    Herb,

    I have passed on your congratulations to GIE, as you requested! :-)

    I am like a human carrier pigeon!! :D

  124. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Herb :)

    Agreed Pires was very good, but then he played in a different era when the team either had lots of space to play in, especially on the counter-attack, or had people like Bergkamp who could make space with their movement and passing. Pires was a classy player who really fitted like a glove into our team back then. Such a shame we did not keep him a few more years.

  125. Herb'sArmy says:

    Thanks Redders.
    Surely anyone who can deck Ryan Shawcross deserves some respect, Total?

  126. TotalArsenal says:

    You have got a point there Herb. I just don’t rate his tackling very much (especially his timing), and I believe Everton now get the best out of him in the more advanced midfield position.

  127. Herb'sArmy says:

    True Total, he does seem to have excelled in a more advanced role. Maybe worth a punt as a box to box midfielder alongside Wilshere? I don’t think playing Cazorla wide would compromise his goal-scoring, we’ve always had goal-scoring wingers.

  128. VCC says:

    Hi All…The UMF League is crying out for entries from =

    Alex
    PPP
    Red Arse
    Terry
    The Gooner
    Oz
    Herb
    Rocky (1 more selection please)

    Cheers all, please get them in before KO Saturday.

    Sorry to but in on excellent blogging today. I’ll be off.

  129. glic says:

    hahaha Redders, Indeed he doesn`t need a passport and as far as I know he`s not banned from Bergkampesque, although he would have undergo a clogg inspection by our nine fingered double Dutch agent !.
    Busy doing technical drawing`s for the Love Shack`s kitchen and all by hand, no computer stuff, I like getting down and dirty with my scale ruler !. Hold on a sec`………..zip…………nice……..using the scale ruler…….and a scale of 1:20……..I can fit more than an Isco on my Hampton !. hahaha
    I`d better get back downstairs, I only popped up for a leaded pencil with a rubber on the end ! hahaha

  130. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed Herb, and in Cazorla we have somebody who at least can cross well into the box.

  131. Herb'sArmy says:

    Any idea what’s up with Giroud, Total? Looks like we’ll be relying on Walcott on Sunday.

  132. TotalArsenal says:

    Herb, Arsenal.com are saying he has a cut above his knee from the Swansea game, and will be assessed on Saturday (50:50 chance apparently). My gut feeling is that Arsene will want to play against MC with Pod-Theo-Ox and have Giroud on the bench. What do you think?

  133. Herb'sArmy says:

    I think you’ve called it spot-on Total, we have limited options with Gervinho away for a month.
    It’s a crucial period for us with Bayern Munich fast approaching. The next month or so is really going to test our mettle and strength of character, and we’re going to need the players to step up their game if we’re to stay in contention.

  134. TotalArsenal says:

    Fully agree, Herb. That is what I like about these two months: it will tell us once and for all how far the current squad is and can go. I also believe this team needs these games agains MC and Chelsea, and Bayern now: they need to test themselves properly.

  135. VCC says:

    Herb/Total.

    We will see exactly what we are made of in the next couple of months. I’m putting my money on Arsene getting us through this period. I wouldn’t like to be in his shoes as we need everybody in our line up to remain fit.

    Our squad have replacements for almost every position, but it remains to be seen whether they are good enough to stay in the top four, and pursue a successful FA Cup run.

    That is the 64 dollar question.

  136. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi VCC, a win on Sunday would be a great start and if our defence can get themselves properly sorted and avoid big mistakes, I reckon we can do it.

    All agreed on the key players remaining fit, despite the current strength of our bench.

  137. VCC says:

    Total, I look forward to every single game that Arsenal play, but this week end against the current Premiership champions is mouth watering for us.

    Can we – Can’t we ?

    I am so up beat about this game and think/hope we will turn it on against the Northern oilers.

  138. TotalArsenal says:

    Me too, Vickers! It is always the football itself that I am most excited about. Just to see eleven Gunners on the pitch is a joy to behold.

    Am knackered after a worthy day of blogging, so off to bed. Catch you and other BK’ers tomorrow! :)

  139. VCC says:

    nite nite Total.

    Congratulations on the continued success of a fantastic site.

    Long may it remain.

    Hasta.

  140. Herb'sArmy says:

    It’s bound to be a white-knuckle ride, VCC, pulling our emotions all over the place from abject anger to euphoria and plenty in between. But as Total says, we have to test yourself against the best to get a true measure of where we’re at. I personally think Bayern offer us the most difficult challenge, beat them and we can beat anyone.

  141. nice to hear that plz make sure u buy stronger DM like yann; villa or lucas biglia.. Thank 4 d post

  142. oz gunner says:

    great post as usual TA, glad the site is roaring on! Oh how i wish we had players of that ilk at the club. I loved Bobby Pires, his chip goal was just magnificent. Personally I’d just like to see something different for once, try santi out wide, try pod down the middle, mix it up and keep the opposition guessing.
    If it’s true Giroud is 50/50 because of a cut above his knee that is shocking. Was he hoping for a career as a knee model hen he retires? Strap it up and get out there. Players are babied so much these days.

    Great comments on here today, thoroughly enjoyed reading them all.

    @ RA

    hope all is well. loved your post the other day, wish i had a chance to comment on it while its was the talk of the town. I like the ‘just something little’ then you go over and read it and it’s a bloody good read

    @ VCC

    UMF league:

    Totts
    Chelsea
    Arsenal vs City draw
    United
    West Brom

  143. Nir says:

    do you need a stick mate? where is Arteta in your plan 1? He is our best midfielder from last season to date.

  144. VCC says:

    Morning Herb….supporting Arsenal at the moment is truly a roller coaster of emotions. One minute we look as if we have turned the corner then the next we come bumping down to earth.

    I have resigned myself to the fact we most likely won’t be making any significant signing in January so we must roll our sleeves up and get on with it.

    Not only Bayern in the Champions league, but the rest of the season it is going to be an uphill battle. I’m sure we can manage fourth in the Prem but will fall short IMO in the Champions league. Fingers crossed we may have an exciting run in the FA Cup.

    Hi Oz, thanks for your pick of five, good luck, someone needs to challenge this hustler Red Arse…. :-)

    This week has been an exceptionally tasty and fine blogging experience on here and AA.

  145. VCC says:

    Red Arse…..how are you today? Keep smiling Amigo.

  146. Red Arse says:

    Morning Fellas, :-)

    Hope to be around a bit later.

  147. TotalArsenal says:

    Nir, fair enough Art can alternate with Jack.

  148. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning guys and girls :)

    Busy this morning, hope to do a post in afternoon

  149. TotalArsenal says:

    Oz, hi – good point about G’s ‘knee cut’!

  150. oz gunner says:

    it’s too tempting to go for the draw VCC, i want to catch up but like last week i end up further behind. No wonder why RA was for the new scoring system,he’s sitting there grinning while we are going for broke!

  151. VCC says:

    Oz, speculate to accumulate, or a home cert is better than a risky draw? Decisions decisions decisions. :-)

    All too much for me on a fine Friday morning.

    I wish them other monsters would get their selections in. The monkeys. ;-)

    Looks like Total is going to be saddened by the fact us not signing a beast DM.

    Perhaps Sunday will tell us a lot about ourselves, don’t you think? A tough January for us coming up.

  152. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Congrats on your top spot on NewsNow.

    Its Frankly quite amazing how far this blog has come in such a short space of time. Hats off to you

  153. oz gunner says:

    If he doesn’t sign anyone VCC i might just murder someone! This 2 for every position, 3 too many ect is tough to stomach. Fair enough if Diaby and Rosicky could be relied upon, or if Arshavin was used more but they are not!

    If Diaby’s return and theo signing is all that happens there are going to be ALOT of angry fans!

  154. Red Arse says:

    VCC,

    I am withdrawing from the weekly forecast league. I know I will have problems in the coming weeks, and it will be more difficult to stop then.

    Sorry!

    Someone asked me what the mathematical chances were of randomly selecting a ‘draw’ when predicting the likely outcome of a football result?

    Well, let’s have a look.

    The number of events is 1, since there is only 1 draw possible for each game, but there are 3 possible outcomes, [1 draw, 1 home win and 1 away win] so the odds are 1:3 or a 33.3% chance of success. So the maths is easy — and we already knew the odds, anyway! :D

    So, the math alone without weighting the result for form, and knowledge of injuries etc is not very helpful, it seems.

    The outcome clearly depends on other non-mathematical factors — knowledge of the teams involved, their form and ………………. luck!! :-)

    For you lot, you might want to measure the random pick against your judgement and see which system works better for you.

    Method 1. Have a look at the available teams and pick five and make your predictions based on your knowledge and gut feeling. Write down your decision for each team.

    Method 2: Put one red (draw) object in a container, with one yellow, (away win) and one green (home win), and, without looking, pick one out, and write down the result for each of your selected teams. (Colors are optional).

    After the games, compare the results and see which is more accurate – then stick with it. :-)

  155. Red Arse says:

    Oz, :-)

    In AW’s latest interview he is back to his ‘now I say it, now I don’t’ mood.

    He is saying that we already have two players for each position, and he will not buy unless we sell someone, BUT he is trying to keep everyone. WTF?????

    He also said that he was looking for exceptional players — and he could not find anyone. WTF?????

    He went on to say that he had many agents offering players, 99% of whom we could afford, but he did not want them. Groan?????

    I just wish he would not keep playing with fans expectations, as this is so different from what he has said previously.

  156. VCC says:

    Hi Red Arse….I’m sorry to hear you will be withdrawing from the UMF League.

    Your health is far more important than the UMF 1. naturally.

    It’s only a fun spin off thing, that hopefully pulls out a bit of friendly banter, which I think is a good thing within an environment such as a blogging site.

    More importantly, I sincerely hope you can still drop by and contribute every now and then. It would be a sad lose to the blogging fraternity if you were to abstain from participating.

    I hope all goes well with you. My email address is available, via Total, if there is anything I may be of help in.

    Up the ARSE.

  157. VCC says:

    Oz 10-02……If Wenger does not sign any one in the transfer window, I might just be your accomplice.

    Frustrating times for us Gooners, as most can see the advantages of signing two top quality performers. It’s surely all we need to secure a top four finish and beyond.

  158. niklas says:

    I could see us play a very versatile system.
    Defense: Vermaelen – Diaby/new defensive midfielder – Koscielny
    Wingbacks: Gibbs – Jenkinson
    CM: Wilshire – Santi/Ox/Arteta
    Attack: Ox/Santi – Theo – Poldi/Santi

    Defensive midfielder that needs good defending qualities, like Alex Song =( or Javi Martinez or Sergio Busquets, dropping deep to provide more defensive stability. I think Diaby is not good enough at defending in that position, so maybe M’Vila or Yanga-Mbiwa could that player.
    We need to play a deeper line as well.
    Going forward the defensive midfielder joins the 2 in midfield to create the play.
    Front three switching positions often, so everyone can appear everywhere and opponent’s defence never have a certain player they mark.
    We also need to learn how to press directly after losing the ball. Here in Germany its called Gegenpressing (Gegen = against). It means players do attack directly no matter in which position they are. Its the key to Barca, Spain, Germany and Dortmund succes. All of your front players should be alike each other. Same qualities of pace, control on the ball, passing, closing down up front. We won’t need any phisical players like Giroud in that area.

    Would love to here comments on this…

  159. VCC says:

    Hi niklas and welcome. Gooden Morgen.

    I agree with your analysis on Diaby. Although he is a good box to box player he lacks defensive qualities (ala ManUre own goal)

    Sagna and Gibbs would be good at the attacking full back positions.

    I’m not too keen on MVila but would far sooner have MBiwa.

    Adios amigo

  160. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post – New Post :)

  161. PJ Mapp says:

    M,Vila, wiltshire and Santi in midfiel what a winning combination

  162. TotalArsenal says:

    PJ fully agreed, and what a good back up with Arteta, Rosicky, Coqueln and Diaby.

  163. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Niklas, definitely more need for gegenpressing, and when we do it, we are great. But with our 4-2-1-3 we are often not compact enough – too far apart – to press against (hunt down) the opponent to get the ball back. We really need to add a DM as you also pointed out in your fine comment.

    Woh in Deutschland lebst du?

  164. TotalArsenal says:

    thanks Sharkey

    How’s life treating you?

  165. RABIU says:

    Wenger should sign winger/striker b4 is 2 l8.

  166. tunde says:

    i think u are right but arsene wenger is too storbon he wont change to 4 4 2 fomation because is too dull to see is fucking 4 3 3 – 4 2 1 3 is only bringing falure i think is just year to distroy the club

  167. Nura usman kwatta says:

    Yea this formation will the solution of arsenal goals drought

  168. Iyedoh Martin says:

    Our darling club once a beauty to behold is now synonymous with heartbreak.Any other club hoping to end a losing streak or a bad run simply has to wait for their fixture with Arsenal fc. Diaby should be sold, he is the most unreliable player Arsenal has ever had same with Ramsey- he doesnt know when to dribble, pass, or shoot. We need a defensive midfielder of the mould of Viera, Flamini at his best, Alex Song whom i still can’t understand why he was sold. Diaby is no DM, he is a creative midfielder who is filling up a vital squad space because he is always out injured. Wenger should start living in the real world before Arsenal crumbles completely. Gunner4life.

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