Cazorla PL assists have dried up: Little Mozart to play in the hole? WBA preview.


When a team like WBA can be level with Chelsea and the Spuds, and five points ahead of us in the league, nothing else but respect for the Baggies is due. There are no big names in the WBA first squad: Myhill (Foster is injured), Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Popov, Yacob, Mulumbu, Dorrans, Rosenberg, Gera, Long, Odemwingie, Morrison, and Brunt. Yet, they are fifth in the PL, despite losing their last two games, which is simply amazing and a lot of credit should go to their current manager Steve Clark.

We are seeing more and more a shift towards quality management in English top football, where real football nous is now the most important job requirement, as many clubs simply do not have big budgets anymore to buy expensive stars on big salaries; like Bolton, Blackburn, Birmingham and many others used to do. Liverpool, Aston Villa, Norwich, Swansea, and also WBA have all appointed managers recently who know about tactics and building a team from the bottom upwards; who know how to spot a good footballer and getting the best out of his players. And in Steve Clark, WBA seem to have found a manager who can do all of this very well.

I find this a fantastic development for English football, although the downside is that Arsenal will face more and more teams who can have a real go at us; and on the day can beat us.

Enough has been said about the transitional pains we are going through once again this season, as a result of letting two of our best players go and having to incorporate three new ones. It is now time for our team to find our mojo, our rhythm, and our ability to play and fight as a team, and I hope that a week’s rest to most of our best players will have done them good.

Arsenal will be missing Pod, Theo and Koz due to injury and Sagna is a major doubt. Koz will be replaced by our captain and Sagna by Jenkinson: absolutely no rocket science needed to figure that one out. But it is less clear what Wenger will do with regards to replacing his ‘wingers’ Podolski and Theo against WBA. Furthermore, and most excitingly, who will Arsene play as the most advanced central midfielder; who will be his conductor?

Cazorla has worked his socks for the team in recent weeks and just for that I love him. But he has also produced just one assist in his last eleven PL games, and has been generally less effective in conducting the game for us recently. Add to that Rosicky’s fantastic performance on Tuesday, and you can see that it is not easy to predict who will be conducting our football against WBA.

Predicted Line-up:






I am going for Rosicky in the hole, as he is clearly a player who knows how Arsene wants Arsenal to play football, and he can give our team both shape and purpose. Cazorla can play anywhere and be effective, and I reckon Wenger will play him on the wing against WBA.

On the other wing, I expect Gervinho to start, as he is our most natural winger, and I hope he will rediscover his form and scoring ability today.

Let’s hope we will see an Arsenal team tomorrow with a strong spine: Szczesny, Mert, TV, Arteta, Jack, Rosicky and Giroud all to give us shape and purpose tomorrow.

Let’s hope we will see a cohesive team which is more than the sum of its parts; a team that gels a lot better and automatisms start to work properly.

Let’s hope we see an energetic and attacking Arsenal that play with a high tempo, collective chasing down of the opposition and a never-say-die attitude.

Let’s hope the boys do us proud and we end up worthy winners  today.

Let’s hope the supporters get fully behind our team today.


Total Arsenal.

118 thoughts on “Cazorla PL assists have dried up: Little Mozart to play in the hole? WBA preview.

  • Clockendrider 🙂

    Is your comment in response to dogo’s limited command of the English Language, or is it my post you are referring to?

    If it is the former, you might want to take into account that English is possibly not dogo’s first language. However, dogo, we are The Gunners and not gunas! 😉

  • EZ84 – I would let him come on after 60 minutes when Cazorla moves back in the middle for Rosicky. AOC is a great prospect, but yes, he is going through a lesser spell at the moment. What is causing this lack of form?

  • GERVINHO: We made the biggest blooper ever buying Gervinho. He is not a natural winger. He is not a natural anything! That man is not supposed to be a footballer: He can sometimes, if he can control his feet enough to actually BRING the ball WITH HIM or not kick it too far and over the line, beat players on sheer pace. He should never play a game for an Arsenal looking to win. Every time he gets the ball, our game is not slowed down, it is stopped: Everyone knows he is to take his man on: CAREFUL, CAREFUL, LEFT? RIGHT? LEFT? RIGHT? GO! Beat my man A LITTLE, go for the cross!? Let’s try it, let me just sort my feet position oout.. aand BLOCKED. He couldn’t put a cross in if his life depended on it. He has no technique for passing, isn’t a good defender, and is no goal scorer. He is quite possibly worse than Championship level Aaron Turnover Ramsey.

  • Seriously

    You are big a bit harsh on Gervinho there. He is not perfect by any means, but he opens up defences better than anybody else at Arsenal and don’t forget he was our topscorer at the start of the season. I hope the supporters don’t start rounding on him and let him play his football today.

  • morning all

    great pre-match TA, I love the starting line-up too.
    For me the one to watch is Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku. He’s scored 5 in 12 and at 6’3 is going to be a handful. I’m surprised he hasn’t been recalled considering Torres hasn’t exactly set the world on fire.
    He definitely is the next drogba

  • I wouldn’t mind Arsene deploying Santi out on the wing more often, he isn’t as pacey as the rest but I would certainly be a good crosser of the ball, which helps as Giroud has a mean header. P.S would love to see Jenks getting more game time also. Arsenal ’till I Die!!

  • gregarious13 – Corporal Jenkinson is the sort of player who needs to play regularly to reach and maintain a good level of football, so yes I am with you on that one. However, the Sagna-Theo train on the right has my preference (but both are not fit to play).

  • TA.. I agree with all your starting line up for tonight..
    but only if… just if we play 4-4-2.. not 4-3-3
    Cozorla and Rosicky play as duo AM..

  • I hope so TA. I watched a game of west brom’s recently and they were searching for the winner and he was everywhere. Any time the ball came near him he caused havoc.

    Bloody Chelsea, he was linked with us but their mega bucks forked out 18 million to get him.

  • Yes, he looks like the sort of player Arsene would have loved to sign – and I partly feel that’s why Chelsea signed him in the first place 😦

  • Good morning all, 🙂

    We are as one with that excellent pre-match, TA! Top notch!! 😀

    Tomas could make a massive difference for us with his creativity, altho’ after so long out of action he may find it hard going!! 🙂

  • Excactly the same team as yours..
    Jenkinson – Mertesacker – Vermaelen – Gibbs
    Cozorla – Wilshere – Arteta – Rosicky
    Giroud – Gervinho.. Duo G will be great as our strikers..

    And you know.. Santi cozorla – Wilshere – Arteta – Tomas rosicky is our SWAT (Special Weapon And Tactics).. hehehehe..

  • Morning Guys, just about. Apologies for lack of air time but I have been mega busy.

    Red Arse you have broken my heart hehehehehe.

    Still waiting for two entries…..Rocky and Oz.

    Be back latter.

  • Afternoon Rectumanium`s 🙂

    Quality per usual Total.
    Reading around the net, it`s come to the stage where the opponents such as today expect to get a result against us !. Hardly surprising looking at the league table, f**k me , The Orcs are above us !. So hopefully, no teams are going to park the bus for the rest of the season so we can exploit them and take them from behind, get around their backside , a bit of deep penetration !…….bollox….what was I talking about !…..oh yes football… wonder some of the experts are called Anal yst`s……I was getting carried away with my Anal yzing !. hahaha
    What do you expect, we`ve got all sorts on here fluent in more than one language and then there`s me effuent in bullshit !. hahaha

  • VCC
    It will be easier for you to phone The Tavern !……phone call for Mr RockyLives !.
    The number is : 02072261886 . go on, I dare you !. hahaha

  • King Henry has arrived…… at the home of the Totals! 🙂

    We picked up, Henry, our new choc Labrador puppy this afternoon. Let’s hope he’ll bring us luck and prosperity in more than one sense! 🙂

  • Excellent Total 🙂

    To bring more female gooners on sight, what better than a puppy to make them go all gooey !.

    Photo now !. hahaha

  • Morning All (Afternoon I guess :)),

    Great preview article TA.

    Cazorla on the wing?? We might actually get a cross in from out wide today! Rosicky in the hole would really give some directness and creativity to our attack; let’s hope he stays true to his earlier comments!


  • Glic,

    If it’s female gooners that you’d like to see on this site, I can certainly bring a few onboard. However, their footballing knowledge isn’t quite as in-depth as most on this site and I can’t guarantee they’ll post pictures of themselves for your pleasure haha ;). Unless it’s the thrill of speaking to a female that you’re chasing!

  • Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gervinho, Giroud.

    \ Martinez, Jenkinson, Squillaci, Coquelin, Ramsey, Rosicky, Podolski.

  • Hi TA,

    I wonder why Wenger doesn’t work on Gervinho’s crossing. He often gives the ball to absolutely no one in the air. It would make him that much more dangerous if he could cross…

    Santi’s dive could stain today’s result…unfortunately we needed that given our current form. We look much better, creative and direct today

  • I HATE how no one gets into the box for crosses, we are home for christ sake, go for it! Last time i saw a midfielder constantly getting into the box was Lansbury…before that Flamini

  • Let’s keep Gervinho and Ox on the wing, best combo we’ve had all year! We’re actually getting delivery and directness in our attack. Ox looks so dangerous on the right, finally seems to be fit again.

  • Oz, if Ox emerges you reckon it’s goodbye Theo? Another one of my upcoming articles 🙂

  • @ VCC

    i’m so glad i picked Chelsea and Norwich to win, and QPR to draw (@TA: ixnay ch@nge my tip$ (you’ll under$t@nd thi$ code))

  • definitely Gooner, depends where Arsene sees Ox’s best position though! we’ve got ryo though!!!

    (Frimpong was singing this in a recent fifa video and apparently Podolski always sings it at training hahaha)

  • LOL hilarious vid! Podolski would be hilarious dancing and singing that song. I think long-term Arsene sees Ox as a center mid, but in order to give him starting time he’ll be on the wing for the next couple years, in my view.

  • I agree, it’s definitely how Arsene goes about it. Always looks to make the youngsters add more to their game first.

    Great game from Arsenal. Defensively rock solid, Verm is back baby!
    Arteta/Jack MoM for me.
    Can’t fault anyone today.

    Night all

  • Oz, disagree on Arteta. Aside from the 2 penalty kicks, he looked average and make some errant passes that led to some worrying counter attacks. Wilshere is the MoTM for me!

  • I will leave my comments for a post I hope to write later in the evening. Good to read your comments though, which will help me to form my conclusions.

  • quick UMF League update…
    GLiC……..2 points to be added ……1 result to come
    VCC………2 points to be added…….2 results to come
    TMHT……2 points to be added ……2 results to come
    Herb……..0 points to be added…….2 results to come
    Henry……2 points to be added…….2 results to come
    Oz ……….2 points to be added ……1 result to come
    Total……..0 points to be added…….3 results to come
    Red Arse 2 points to be added…….1 result to come

    Red Arse is getting too good at this…..RA can you give Herb some lessons please….. 🙂

  • I will have to watch Arsenalplayer tomorrow, then maybe I shall make a vid !.

    Some good feeling stuff after a win ! 🙂

  • I have been interfered with!! I wrote an assessment of that heroic Gervinho and abracadabra – whoosh — there it is gone!! 😆

    TA you leave my snippets alone, or I will get the Glic to tickle you with his mirror!! 🙂

  • Hi Redders 🙂
    It`s amazing how good you can feel after an Arsenal win and just for you a glicism straight off the press.
    Mark Spitz has joined forces with Johnny Rotten and British Olympic Sailor Simon Hiscocks to produce bespoke sausages from my Cornish Small Holding.

    ” Sausages by Hiscocks Rotten and Spitz ” !.

    You would buy them wouldn`t you !. hahaha

  • RA – bloggers always blame wordpress and yet what usually happens is we click on ‘refresh’ rather than the ‘post comment’ button – happens to the best of us 😀

  • I`ve done that loads of times and it is a bastard if you have taken half an hour or so to write something !.

  • Cheeky sod, TA. We all know it was you!!!

    Glic I would like you to tickle up TA’s tricky bits with your magic mirror, but whatever you do don’t look!! 😀

  • Who cares about their football knowledge, bring them on ! hahaha

    Oh, and when we say we want some tasty Canadian birds on here, we dont mean Canada Geese, as Terry is trying to be faithfull to his loft pigeon !. hahaha

  • Yes I know. ….not a bad day ….hehehehahaha. …. 2points to add in the UMF League.

    Rocky did not submit an entry.

  • Hahaha glic, has the mrs. not been giving you your daily dose of attention lately?

  • Evening Bergkampesqueres

    Just back from the game and must say i am absoloutly delighted. Not with the result, though that helps. but with the effort and performance.

    Today we returned to a pressing game that totaly stopped Albion from playing. it was great to see, we kept winning the ball back

    The two wingers played well. When you watch Gervino live you see what he gives the team. his movement and work rate is exceptional, giving options to the rest of the players to hit passes.

    Jack wilshere was incredible. his performance screamed out, i am the man and ime better than you and better than my team mates and i am going to run this show and if you dont like it i dont give a fuck. At the final whistle Jack mad a point of going to each end of the stadium to clap the support. We have the new Tony Adams there.

    My hope for this season is restored. Theres plenty to come from this team and with one or two additions to the squad, things could get very interesting

    I also had two pints of lager, two large brandys, a horse meat burger, and a very attractive women seated one row and 5 seats to my right to stare at. i followed her home after the game, so this one has real stalking potential. So all in all a very fine day. hahahaha

  • A couple other notes on the game. Delivery from out wide was better today but Giroud’s movements were not on par as in past games. He wasn’t up to scratch today though I did like the emotion he showed against Olsson. Rosicky was a bundle of energy once he came on and made some good runs and played a good final ball to the edge of the 18 yard box, very pleased to have him back into the squad. Gervinho and Ox could be the combination on the wings going forward as they really brought pace and directness out wide for the offence. Wilshere was wonderful aside from his miss in what should have been a goal. He really dictated the game early with a surging run forward and looked composed and dangerous all game. Podolski and Gervinho missed a clear chance each in front of goal, which would have been unacceptable had we not been winning. Aside from that, good result and hopefully this gives us some confidence going forward.

  • Glad you enjoyed the game Stretch !.

    To play a pressing game you need to give it a 110% and as fans thats all we ask from our players, they may win, lose or draw, but as long as they give 110% we will respect them for trying !.

  • glic, after your request for more female gunners to the site, apparently you’re looking for more of a virtual stalk, mate ;). keep up the humour, i thoroughly enjoy reading what you write, especially about VCC and Terry!

  • TA, not so great today. By the way, how did Arsenal’s defence do last weekend?

  • Hi TG
    Think of BK as a virtual pub, where like minded gooner mates get together and have a good chat and a laugh ( usually at ourselves ! ). I have met VCC and Terry ( they have a lot of other pet names that I also call them ! hahaha) and they are lovely gooners. As are all the other commenters on here, even though I have not met the rest yet in real life, I have been cyber friends with a few of them for quite a while now and you wont meet a finer bunch anywhere on the net !. So it`s great to have you on board, a fine addition to our friendly crew. 🙂
    Have you been to an Arsenal game yet ?

  • What pleased me most today……the fact I felt comfortable watching and not feeling on edge with our defence. We hardly looked in danger of conceding. Will have to look again tomorrow cos I was getting carried away and drinking heavily as i was in seventh heaven. Did anyone else feel the same?

    Santi let us down I thought, but hey, what other team is squeaky clean?

    As QPR got a point as well I will enjoy my Remi tonight.

    Appy dayz….fellow Gooners.

  • You betya Total. I’m chuffed tonight. I see plenty in us today that warmed the cockles of my heart. Just take a look at Giroud when he was confronted by the WBA defender. That lad has b——- and long may it be. That’s an element we have been missing for some time. Not over the top but it showed me, Hey, don’t mess with me. More of that attitude and we will rise to the top toot sweet.


  • Total
    There`s a virtual tour of Charlestown on the link I put on the previous page. You can click on the coloured spots at different points to get more views, then click on full page.

  • Glic, I haven’t been to a game at the Emirates yet. I toured the facility a year ago, but unfortunately it was summer and the season was over by then. Unfortunately, I’ve only ever been to two Arsenal games. However, I was able to see Arsenal in all their glory at Highbury! I still remember the first game I ever saw quite vividly; an Arsenal 2-0 win over Aston Villa with Campbell scoring just after half time and Henry in extra time. I feel incredibly fortunate to have witnessed one game live during their Invincibles season :).

    You’re right though glic, bunch of quality Arsenal lads on this site and I’m glad to be a part of it now!

  • I concur VCC, we actually looked more like Barcelona today than we have all season (since Wenger aspires to play like them). Constantly pressuring the opposing team when they had the ball and winning back possession. Also, we relentlessly pushed the ball forward opposed to that sideways and passing crap that we had been doing too often during our run of bad form.

  • TA, it was an incredibly harsh call. The ball rolled up and hit Schmelzer’s hand in front of goal. It was accidental and maybe a penalty kick could have been awarded but a straight red was ludicrous. The 2nd Wolfsburg goal was also on a set piece, so defensively it wasn’t a complete failure considering they were already down to 10 men at that point. However, the last goal…no comment haha

  • VCC, I absolutely love it when our players show some emotion (within reason). I commented on the exact same scenario earlier and I particularly enjoy watching Wilshere always in the thick of things (re: Long knocking down Gervinho, Olsson and Giroud’s spat and Bale’s straight red on Cazorla).

  • The Gooner. …that display today just shows we are not that far away. Winning today should give us a massive boost. Spunk, bollocks, backbone, call it what you want, we had that in abundance today, throughout the whole team.

    Stand up and be counted now boys, show this premiership what were made of. We have nothing to be afraid of.

  • Who needs a chef with such recipes of ” Spunk, bollocks and backbone ” !. It`s no wonder you can charm the Lady Boys with such gastronomical delights and all from a microzimmerwave oven !. hahaha

    Nite all. 🙂

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