Has there been a compromise between Bould and Wenger?

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Arsenal’s performance against the Royals was just what the doctor ordered, and there were signs that Arsene and Bould are starting to find the balance between solidity at the back and a deadly thrust up-front.

Of course, it is early days, and just as I am the first to point out that a bad result does not mean Arsenal are rubbish, it also needs stressing that a good performance and result against Reading does not mean Arsene and Bould have turned the corner. It also needs stressing that Arsenal needlessly conceded two goals, and that we in fact drew with the Royals in the second half.

However, looking at the game for a second time, there seemed to be a pattern to our play throughout the game which might indicate that Bould and Wenger are starting to find the formula for sustained success for the rest of the season.

One wing at a time

Without Theo playing on the right wing, where he formed such a formidable partnership with Sagna during last season especially, Arsenal channelled their wing-attacks through the left for most of the game. Sagna stayed a lot more behind than usually and Ox had to work more in isolation compared to Pod. The German has less tricks to his disposal and relies a lot on support from Cazorla and especially from his brother in arms; the fantastically versatile Gibbs.

Ox is less dependable on support in order to work some magic on the right wing, especially if and when he is giving the most sought after commodity of all for an attacker player: space in front of him. There were signs on Monday that AOC is slowly rediscovering his form and – closely related – his confidence.

Reading allowed us a lot of space on the left wing and boy did we benefit from it. When Gibbs went forward to support our attack the rest of our defence stayed mostly in position, which gave the defence a well-needed stability. Something Bould will have been pleased with.

Vermaelen and Mertesacker more conventional

In general, I thought both the BFG and TV played more conventionally on Monday. They concentrated hard on keeping discipline and there was a strong focus on pushing up and getting Reading to walk constantly in their off-site traps. This worked out very well for most of the game, but as the two goals we conceded showed; further fine-tuning is a must.

It was also clear that TV ventured forward less than usual and this might be another compromise between Bould and Wenger.

Arteta even more our orthodox holding midfielder and Wilshere handed the biggest role of all

I thought Arteta did really well again on Monday. When he is allowed to keep it simple and sit in front of the defence he can be very effective for us. He has got a great positional sense and uses his intelligence really well in sussing out danger. He plays in such a way that you almost do not spot him for large parts of the game, as he allows the team – and us as spectators – to concentrate on the attacking opportunities ahead. We rely heavily on him which of course is a concern, but that is a discussion for another day.

The biggest role on the night was given to Jack. I cannot tell you how much I love this guy right now. What a difference he makes with his drive, intelligence and ability. Yet, he looked so fragile at times on Monday, and we have to wonder whether his body will be able to take the continuous physical challenges he has to face in this pivotal role.

Jack was everywhere and covered the area between attack and defence tremendously well on Monday. Supported by Arteta, he ensured we could keep continuous pressure on the Reading defence, and he was instrumental in winning back possession in midfield as well.

Cazorla played a lot closer to our CF

It was great to see Santi play so close to our CF, Theo, against Reading. I thought Santi played in the DB10 role on Monday and he did remind me of him at times. I did not know he would be so effective in the opposition’s box, but his runs into it, and his general awareness and prowess to finish off opportunities, were a very welcome surprise (at least to me). On top of that, he was just as effective in what he is more known for: finding clever through balls and dictating our attacking play in general. It truly was a top performance by the little Spaniard on Monday.

Jack playing in the lynchpin role and working his socks off together with Arteta, allowed Santi this free role and boy did he reward us for it!

One question that needs answering in the next few weeks is whether Santi can play as close to Giroud as he did to Theo. Theo is a more mobile and faster striker and can exploit space so well: he makes intelligent runs which are very hard to track by the opposition’s defenders, and for Santi, Theo is a dream to play with – just as Henry was for Bergkamp – as he both loves to feed the ball to him in space and likes to benefit himself from the space Theo creates for others.

Of course, we would also need to see how the combination of Walcott and Cazorla in the centre of our attack would work against the disciplined ‘park the bus’ teams, but a more permanent switch towards Cazorla in the hole and three more fluid attackers up-front could well be the way forward.

Plenty of food for thought, I hope! So. let’s discuss. 🙂

Written by: Total Arsenal.

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116 Responses to Has there been a compromise between Bould and Wenger?

  1. glic says:

    Total……….you is a naughty clogger, not saying on the last post…….New Post !.

    Vicky , I have put my predictions on the end of the last post !.

    Happy 100th Anniversary Total, well done my friend, consistant class.

  2. faisal says:

    lol..BFG and mertesacker?guess BFG means belgian footballing genius,then..

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers for pointing that out, faisal – I will change it now. Belgian Footballing Genius is quite a good one though! 🙂

  4. VCC says:

    GLiC…you are not taking this serious enough. Just because you are being left behind by more intelligent people you don’t have to throw your toys out of the pram 😉

    Your odds on the five predictions are….6878-1. If you continue to make duff predictions you will be getting a knock on the door and answering to two guys wearing white coats. Now behave and stay in there with us, don’t let it go completely. It would be a shame to lose you from society. Plus the fact if they came to take you away us BKers would only be able to visit you once a year as its in the outback of MongoliaCornwaldom.

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks for that ‘accolade’ Glicxster 🙂

  6. Sissoko says:

    Clearly we really need a midfield enforcer. Wilshere is the box-to-box all action midfielder, while Cazorla is the playmaker. We really need someone like Capoue or Strootman to protect the defence. Cuz when opposition keep on pressing Arteta or any other midfield, we need someone who has the physical to out muscled the opposition and tell them all ” I’m here, so you to got through me first”

  7. VCC says:

    Sissoko….Good reasoning. I havent seen much of the two players you mention but plenty of Gooners are singing their praises.

    I’m not too sure Wenger will spend high in the January window, I feel he will wait until the summer to re assess his squad.

  8. glic says:

    There`s an image to dampen Stretches `scope……Vicky with his zimmerframe pushing me in a pram !. hahaha

    Fine post Total.

    I could watch that game again as it was fantastic entertainment, fair enough the two conceded were sloppy, but, like you say, a work in progress.
    Good news rumours around and about that we are close to sorting out some long term contracts for our young ” Brit Pack”. I hope Theo is amongst them as I feel he will be a loss. I dont personally want , ” The Hunter “, at a rumored £100k per week, is he a better investment than Theo ?, dont think so, I wanted The Hunter years ago, not at 29 !.
    A beast of a DM and a Iscoesque sort of player and I`ll be happy, I`m ok with what we have up front if Theo stays ( especially centrally up front ).
    Another performance on Saturday like Monday`s is needed to put pressure on the Spuds.
    Lets make it 3 league wins on the trot for the first time since last March/April, yes it really is that long ago !.

  9. glic says:

    The Boxing Day game Vs The Hammers has been called off due to the Tube strike, so no excuses of players being tired over Xmas Arsene !. Although we will be tired either on 23rd or 26th January , when it`s rearranged for !. Tough run of games then….. Shitty, Chavs, Hammers, FA Cup or Hammers, Bin Dippers. Thanks Trannie Drivers !. 👿

  10. VCC says:

    Arsenals game v West Ham on Boxing day has been cancelled due to a rail strike.

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Sisoko, agreed: Arteta is good and can play everywhere – so a great squad player to have. But we need a tough, yet skilled, DM for sure.

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    that’s a shame! I like BD games, but it will be a welcome break: every year most teams drop points in the festive season, so it might be good to get this break….

  13. glic says:

    Total , hows the pup ?. I bet he`s been chewing all your clogs !.
    Has he bonded with you more than anyone else ? and does he follow you to the toilet when your off to read , The Daily Clog !. hahaha

  14. glic says:

    Cloggensteins little monster !. hahaha

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    Henry is so small still, but very feisty; a bit like Jack W!

  16. Red Arse says:

    A classic Cloggy Post! 😆

    Good stuff, TA, although I must take a slightly picky tome with you regarding the OX.

    When he gets the ball and decides to go past a player, he can and does. When Theo tries to go past a defender he just runs into him, or falls over.

    The Ox can put in a very good cross, Theo? not so much.

    It is easy to forget the age difference between the two, when the Ox reaches 23/24 hw will be a master — probably in midfield.

    Just saying! 😀


    Thanks TA

    The team played very well, with mobility and awareness. There seemed to be a purpose to our play that of late has been lacking.

    I have never thought there was a problem between Wenger and Bould. If you look at Bould closely hes the kind of guy that rarely looks another in the eye. Its always Wenger who turns his head to Bould and then Bould either continues chewing his gum or nods his head, but continues to stare forward.

    I have experience of this phenomenem with a Bouncer called The Eliminator. This guy took an instant dislike to me and always refused me entry to the Club. He would say that i looked drunk or that i might be selling drugs. But not once when he verbaly refused me did he look at me, just stared right ahead.

    Things came to a head one night when he refused me entry claiming my shoes were trainers. Admiitedely that night i turned up as drunk as a skunk and had loads of Cocaine in my pants, but the big ponce blamed my shoes for fucks sake.

    Anyway, i wouldnt take no for an answer so started telling him that i was going to batter him so bad his gay lover wouldnt recognize him, but his mother would because i would tell her about it that night whilst i was giving it to her.

    So yes, he gave me a bit of a pasting, not once looking at me as he punched and kicked me. After a few minutes i regained concisouness, and through blurry vision saw the Bastard standing there, still looking straight ahead. So you see there is no problem with Bould, some people are just like that. hahahahaha.

  18. The Gooner says:

    Terry, it’s hard for a guy to look at another guy when they’re playing with their telescope! Keep it in your pants next time and maybe he’ll look at ya mate 😉

  19. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Redders, agreed on your assesment of Ox. Big potential, but you have to admit he’s been below par so far this season; or do assists and goals no matter at this stage of his career? Where as Theo…. 😉

  20. The Gooner says:

    Hi TA, great article and congrats on reaching the century mark :). Really nice to see the Arsenal being analyzed from a tactical point of view. I agree with Ox being the best choice on the right and I absolutely love the lad. He must have seen my comment asking him to play like he did for England vs. Moldova because he was excellent Monday!

    FFP rules have been agreed to by premier league clubs with an overwhelming 17 agreeing. Villa, Fulham and Man $hitty were the opposing teams in case any of you were interested in knowing. The rules state that there will be a break-even rule and a cap on the extent a club can increase their wage bills each year. If enforced properly, Arsenal should really benefit under the new rules. Hopefully this signals a period of adjustment for a lot of other clubs, while we can find better deals in the transfer market and be the new model going forward!

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Terry, you remind me so much of a guy I used to know; also a total nutbum 😛

  22. The Gooner says:

    TA, I’d have to disagree with you on the Ox/Theo debate. Yes, statistics favour Theo but as a “footballer”, Ox is miles ahead. Theo often finds himself on the end product of his teammates’ creativity or hard work. His speed and goal scoring instincts allow him to pad his stats in my view. Theo’s certainly improved over the years, but in a pure footballing sense, Ox has the power, passing, ball control, dribbling, intelligence over Theo. Also, he can rip them from distance, something Theo can’t do:

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi TG 🙂

    Let’s hope so re FFP. Villa and Fulham should be ashamed and don’t start me on the Northern Oilers!

  24. The Gooner says:

    Glic, I see your infatuation with Isco grows day by day and your search for his inch length won’t be satisfied until you know ;). Here are some close-ups of him, so maybe there’s something in it for you and there’s zoom-ins on his abilities for the rest of us!

  25. The Gooner says:

    TA, I was surprised to find out that Villa’s and Fulham’s wage bills are over £ 200million! I’ve come to expect that from $hitty but it’s shocking to find out two mid table (or below) teams are spending that much and producing such poor results; I guess you need to attract talent to a club though. I’ve always had a soft spot for Fulham though, ever since watching a game at the Cottage as a kid with my dad.

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    Ox is miles ahead as a footballer… come on TG the boy has done nothing for us yet. Theo can go anywhere, and why is that? Ox has potential, yes; but THE O has 22% of either the assist or goal of all our PL goals over the last two seasons (not including this season).

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    TG, I didn’t know that either! What a waste of money, but surely Villa at least are changing now?!

  28. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi All, thanks for the Post, Total, and well done on hitting a ton. Here’s to the next 100 🙂

    Hi VCC, it must have been gut-wrenching for you watching from the stands as we went down to Swindon, and dastardly Don Rogers. He ‘rogered’ us alright! I later heard the night before the final, the whole Arsenal squad was struck down with flu, that’s a good enough excuse for me.

    Hi Gooner, I saw you generous comments yesterday, thanks for that. I did announce to Total the other day that I would give my honest opinion of Mr Wenger, but on further reflection I held back. Partly because of the Reading game/result, and partly because I realised how happy Total had been that one of his heroes was full of praise for another one of his current heroes, and I didn’t want to put a downer on a Post that must have gave him a great deal of pleasure writing. especially as he couldn’t wait to get it out on NN.
    Plus the fact that it annoys Redders, who won’t hear a bad word said about him.
    It’s all about balance and timing. When people are upbeat, particularly after Monday, we/they should be allowed to enjoy and savour it, there will be plenty of opportunity for recrimination in the future. We’re fifth in the PL, and in the last 16 of CL, so things could definitely be a lot worse.

  29. glic says:

    Dear Dr Stretch

    I would like to remain anonymous. I am probably the most heterosexual virile gooner in the universe, but that Mountie mounter TG, keeps pasting videos of Isco on BK, which is causing my table to rise and I`m thinking of torturing Total with some Lager Boarding ( probably the best torture in the world ) until he changes the site`s name to Iscoesque !.
    Could you please send The Eliminator over to Canadaland ?.

    Yours sincerely

    cilg ( not my real name ) aka wallcorn

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    That is very considered of you Herb! 🙂

    However, I fully respect those who are not in awe with Arsene and you are always welcome to express your views in the future again, as you have done on many ocassions in the past. 🙂

  31. The Gooner says:

    TA, I define a footballer on the skill and ability they bring to a game. Theo’s got great speed and can finish if given the opportunity. His crossing has definitely improved, he has below average decision making and passing, his ball control is average at best and his trademark move is to push it behind a defender and chase it down. There’s no variety to his attack. If it weren’t for his speed, he likely wouldn’t be a premier league caliber player.

    I don’t care about statistics when I am defining a footballer. Ox’s ability to run at a defender, take them on in tight spaces, play a dangerous final pass, accommodation to play anywhere, and his versatility make him a better “footballer” in the purer sense of the term. Theo is going nowhere with his crap attitude insisting to play centrally and lack of proof that he’s not a one trick pony. I think there are more effective players out there that would want to play on the right and would add more value to our team’s overall play.


    It was in the pants TG, all cocked up. hahahaha

    I was making a serious point. People have said that the body language is bad between Wenger and Bould but i think its more a case of Bould just not looking at you.

    I alwys remember the cup winners cup semi final when PSG had a corner and Bould was taking the piss out of Ginola, calling him big nose and all sorts. Not once did Bould look at Ginola. Unfortunitly this put merson off, who was almost on the floor laughing at Boulds piss take and thus failed to mark Big Nose properly and he scored. hahahaha

    Lovely picture today of our five British lads signing there contracts. This is the beggining of something very special for Arsenal Football Club as we march forward to our destiny as Premeirship and European Champions.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stiring.

  33. glic says:

    Being a sooth sayer, that EPL fair play thing was something I asked for a long time before it came about publically, added to the European FFP , the future`s looking bright for us !.
    Verification on something I posted earlier, great news ( I have never slagged off Ramsey and think he will be ok, maybe a loan, I`m pleased anyway ).
    All we need now is Theo to sign da ting, a DM beast and another small skillfull attacking player !. Do you know of any ?


  34. The Gooner says:

    Not to rain on everyone’s parade since I’m very ecstatic about those 5 young players committing their futures to the club, but what does a contract really mean in the football world today? If another team wants a player, they’ll just pony up the cash and wages to get them anyway (hopefully FFP solves this issue a bit). Anyway, just some food for thought, nice to not have to deal with more expiring contracts though!

  35. The Gooner says:

    Hahaha glic, your letters are amazing! In reference to a small skillful attacking player, this one reminds me of a blend between Cazorla and Wilshere. Have you ever heard of him or seen him play?

    You might wonder if he can perform vs. the big teams, but oh wait that’s Real Madrid!

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    TG, you are of course entitled to ignore stats. Theo has speed to die for, a great first touch (something most people don’t seem to spot) and is a very good finisher. He is also thick-skinned when it comes to criticism: an under-par performance one week can be followed by a brilliant one.

    Ox is a talent and has hardly done any of the things you described in your last post this season. Luckily, he did well on Monday andt that was mainly because he was allowed space….


    Dear Clit

    Dont feel bad about yourself. There are times in life when surpressed homo erotic tendancies inexplicably come to the surface.

    Try to take your mind off things by participating in sports or hobbies. Every time i have these hidden urges i indulge a bit of stretching exercise to help me relax, pehapes you can try the same

    Another tecnique is to reinforce your hetrosexuality by making more effort with your wife, or if that fails then anything in a skirt.

    If after attempting the above you still find yourself fantasising about Isco, then i suggest growing a handlebar moustache, buying some leather trousers and Biker Boots and embrace the new you. i personaly went through a phase of this and found it thoroughly exhilirating.

    I hope this helps. Please keep in touch, remember Dr Stretch is always at hand.

    Dr Stretch

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    Wenger continued: “Gibbs, Jenkinson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey and Wilshere represent a core of the squad and it’s an extension for a long period for all of them. I’m a strong believer in stability and I believe when you have a core of British players, it’s always easier to keep them together and that’s what we’ll try to achieve going forward.”

    Terry, there is the evidence for your theory of building around British talent 🙂


    Yes TA. I heard wenger alluding to it some time ago, makes sense.


    And its nice to know there all getting an Extension. hahaha

  41. glic says:

    Down boy, down boy !. hahaha
    I should be in the magic circle the way I make this table rise !. hahaha

    Not only is he skillfull, he plays with his head up, always looking.
    I`m heading for a big disapointment though, aint I !. 😦

    One thing I`ve seen and it`s that Malaga play in the away shirts I`ve always wanted Arsenal to have, our Iconic home shirt done in black !. First time I`ve seen it !. Nice !

  42. The Gooner says:

    TA, Ox has 2 assists in 5 starts and 6 sub appearances where he’s largely came on in the 75th minute or later. He dealt with an injury in the Norwich game and has never really had a chance to find form all season. It’s his first year dealing with the rigours of both International and Club football duties too. At a similar stage in their careers, Theo started more games and produced less. Ox already looks like a better footballer than Theo was at 18/19.

  43. glic says:

    hahaha Thanks DR Stretch aka Dr Tug Toner !. hahaha

  44. TotalArsenal says:

    hahaha Terry – typically you to spot that!

  45. The Gooner says:

    Glic, funny enough the majority of “kit” fanatics actually hate black kits. I’m with you though mate, I absolutely love black kits and think they look sharp. The black with gold writing that Everton are sporting this year are one of my favourite away kits. If I’m not mistaken, Utd have had black kits over the years and frequently have black shorts or socks in their uniforms. I think shirt sponsorships and Arsenal are aware of this and have strayed away from black for this reason (just a hunch).

  46. The Gooner says:

    hahaha Terry that’s great advice for any man, never mind glic! Though, I would also include grilling among the activities you should engage in more if homoerotic tendencies persist.

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    TG 🙂

    We have to agree to disagree on this one. For me, Ox is a very different player than Theo. Theo is delivering and Ox might come good. I hope he does.

  48. glic says:

    Dont forget tomorrow @ 10:30 ( UK time )


    Who do you want in the CL ?
    Personally I want Malaga, so I can see Isco in the flesh !. I already have the chlorform, trunk and Capri Ghia with specialist getaway driver Stretch at the ready !. hahaha

  49. The Gooner says:

    Glic, Malaga would be the most favourable match-up for us. They’re likely the best odds we have at advancing into the next round, despite being a formidable opponent themselves. Barca and Bayern would be nightmares, while Juventus is pretty scary with Vidal, Pirlo and Marchisio in the middle of the park.

  50. The Gooner says:

    Also, I really hope Tito Vilanova gets better. Very unfortunate news 😦

  51. VCC says:

    Herb….I was very fortunate in my youth to be able to see most of Arsenals encounters at Wembley live. The football team I played for used to get two tickets every year from the FA,and as I was the only Arsenal fan in the side I got one and the other used to get auctioned off.

    It was indeed a low in my Arsenal supporting life.

    That 1969 cup final was played on a quagmire pitch, only one week after being used for a horse show.It was cut to pieces, and had ruts all over it, a great leveller. Sure, both teams had to play on it but at the time Swindon were two leagues below us. Arsenal complained but to no avail.

    Bobby Gould had his blind Father in the stands, and had his wife relaying every move. He scored Arsenals equaliser and I swear he was running towards me in the stands. I was right in line with his path but he stopped short. He took a whack to the chest as he was scoring and showed a nice bruise after the match.

    You cannot beat the atmosphere going to Wembley to see your side playing in the cup final. I was lucky on several occasions.

  52. glic says:

    I dont mind Juve, PSG or Malaga, it`s the other 3 I`d prefer to avoid !, but saying that, it`s knock out stage now and anything can happen, who ever we get, you only have to look what happened with the lucky Chavs winning it !. What will be, will be.

  53. glic says:

    I`ve been to 4 finals.

    Lost twice to Leeds in FA Cup and League Cup. 😥

    Won against ManU 3-2 in FA Cup and Won against Liverpool 2-1 in League Cup. 🙂

    I dont think my heart could take another one live !. Unless it`s Charlestown in the Final of the CL !. hahaha

  54. The Gooner says:

    The plan should be to raid any team we face in the round of 16 to better our chances of getting into the quarter-finals! Unless of course it’s Bayern or Barca, in which case we’re just screwed…Can you imagine facing Malaga without Isco? BD without Goetze, Hummels or Lewandowski?

  55. glic says:

    Good thinking TG. I think I would be quite content with them four players as Gooners as the tiltle would be ours next year and of course I will have children by Isco !. hahaha

  56. TotalArsenal says:

    Glic, you just made the 6000th comment on Bergkampesque! 🙂

    I would prefer to avoid Juve and Barca and rather not play Bayern, but what comes our way will need to be destroyed, and destroy we will! 😉

    TG, sad news indeed re Vilanova – hope it can be cured.

  57. TotalArsenal says:

    The fact that all those British players have signed but not Theo, must tell us all he is on his way. It looks like Arsenal were planning a media-event and had been waiting for Walcott to be included…. But, I am just guessing.

  58. glic says:

    That calls for a Mutley Medal……gimmee..gimmee..gimmee 🙂

    Yes, come on Tito !.

  59. glic says:

    I thought the same Total when I saw them youngsters lined up. To have had Theo there aswell would have been a semi-statement of intent, but, we never know and a good Xmas present would be Theo signing !.

  60. glic says:

    Do you know thing`s like who`s made the most comments or amount of words etc ?.

    Obviously ( or is it ? ) that must be you !.

  61. Red Arse says:


    Sorry I have not been around to join in your discussion regarding Theo and the Ox.

    They are very different players as TA has pointed out, Theo has pace and he has a good shot to finish if he keeps his cool, whereas the Ox oozes class and has all the tricks – and pace — to blow away the opposition fullbacks.

    I owe you an apology, TG, I was slightly tongue in cheek mentioning my opinion of Theo and Ox, earlier on, because I know that TA has not changed his mind about Theo for the past two years, and he probably never will.

    But now you have voiced your opinion it seems I have met someone of a similar mind to me — which is probably not a compliment!! 😀

    You stick to your guns, TA, and I remember you said much the same thing about Stepanovs!!!! 😆

  62. glic says:

    Which Arsenal WAG would Arsene Shag ?
    Gervinho looks like he should be the lead singer with Earth, Wind and Fire !. hahaha


  63. The Gooner says:

    RA, I absolutely love Ox and have never been convinced of Theo. I’ve always felt that Theo shouldn’t even be a footballer and only survives because of his speed. I might have a bias against him because of his position demands and not wanting to renew his contract right now. Still, never been a big fan and think he lacks the quality of a pure footballer, but as TA points out, he has produced results for us this year and last.

  64. TotalArsenal says:

    GLIC, I get an overview of who has commented most over the last 1000 comments. Yes, I am commenting most as the blog owner, but you, RA, Oz, VCC are the top commenters, recently joined by Richie and TG. 🙂

  65. TotalArsenal says:

    RA – I have always loved Svonapets; how did you know?! 😛

    If and when Ox reaches the level of Theo in the next 3 to 4 years we can indeed say he did well. 😀

  66. Red Arse says:

    TG, 🙂

    Tazzer is a special friend, and I would not want to upset him. 🙂

    But Total also knows that I used to go to Barnet, for some years, to watch the youth and reserve teams, and I was blown away by the young Theo who murdered our then youth team, when he was still at Southampton, with his pace and finishing.

    I thought he was wonderful and I was excited when he joined us.
    But he has been a disappointment since, perhaps because of his many injuries, and, sadly I am not bothered if Theo stays or goes.

    I feel very differently about the Ox – he is the real deal!

  67. Red Arse says:


    The wonderful thing about Stepanova is that from his photos he looked just like Glic — yes, he too had a lying, cheating, boss eyed mirror! 😛

  68. glic says:

    Cant remember whether this ones been on before, tough, if it has ! 🙂

  69. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, when will be honoured with your dog gravatar again, amigo? 🙂

  70. The Gooner says:

    RA, see the constant through every assessment of Theo’s ability is pace. Without it, he would just would be a terrible footballer. Of course pace is an important aspect of the game, but if you’re analyzing a footballer in a pure sense (as I am in Theo vs. Ox), you have to bring more to the table than just that. That’s why I rate Ox as a more complete footballer.

  71. Red Arse says:


    I honestly do not know what happened to my lovely dog Gravatar. 😦

    When WordPress started to mess around with ‘logging on’, some months ago, I objected and for some reason I have never got my dog back.

    That is also true when I blog elsewhere, except when I visit Wigan Gooner where my gravatar is always shown properly.

    WordPress can be a bit infuriating — altho I might have messed it up when I was cross with them — but that does not explain the above variation!!

  72. Red Arse says:


    I hear you, but I guess TA is right, we probably need to park the Theo debate for tonight and each agree to disagree, as appropriate! 🙂

    [Anyway, I personally think the Gerv is worse] I hope my man TA does not read that, or I will be in trouble!! 😆

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, yes I reckon you need to log on! 😕

  74. The Gooner says:

    RA, don’t get me started on Gervinho. I would agree with you on that, his football intelligence is dastardly low, he can’t cross, is often victim of a poor first touch and has no clue what to do when taking a defender on in the box. Still, he doesn’t complain about playing time and creates space for us when on the pitch and displayed decent finishing earlier in the year. I like him as a squad player who rotates in every now and then, but nothing more.

  75. TotalArsenal says:

    I have a pound on leeds half time, Chavs full time and two on game finishing 2-2 🙂

  76. The Gooner says:

    By the way, RA/TA my assessment on Theo is based on his ability as a winger where ball control, passing and decision making are more crucial. As a striker, he still needs more time to prove himself and I feel his skills would be better put to use there.

  77. TotalArsenal says:

    Fair enough TG. 🙂

  78. Red Arse says:

    I have been keeping one eye on the Leeds/Chavs game, and I have to admit, because I want Leeds to win, I am very much enjoying it.

    Cannot stand Leeds tho’!

  79. RockyLives says:

    Good observations all, TA.

    We did seem a more balanced team against the Royals and maybe not having both fullbacks bombing on at the same time was part of it.

    As for January, I know most people want a striker, but I would like a world class DM. If Arteta gets injured we could be in doodooland (although maybe Jack could slot in back there, with Santi and Rosicky ahead).

    However, if we had a Gilberto type, we would then be able to use Arteta further up the midfield, alternating with the likes of Jack and Santi.

  80. Red Arse says:


    Had a bit of a problem today, but I tried to find the only chess set I have — it’s a small, 35 year old, travelling set with pegs etc, and …………………………. I found it — with half the pieces missing!! 🙂

    Maybe I will get one for Xmas!

  81. RockyLives says:

    So that VCC doesn’t turn up again at midnight with the baseball bat, I’m getting my predictions in early this week:

    Wigan v Arse A
    Citeh v Reading H
    Spuds v Orcs D
    Pool v Fulham D
    Swans v ManUre D

  82. RockyLives says:

    That’s OK – just play half a game!
    Simples 🙂

  83. Red Arse says:


    I have it on good authority that we are buying, Reina, Alves, Mbia, Huntelaar, Loic Remy, Isco, Downing, Strootman etc.

    That’s basically a new team!

    What do you mean you cannot believe it? I got all of that on NewsNow – got to be right!! 😆

  84. RockyLives says:

    Just don’t let the horse eat your prawns.

    (That’s how you play chess, isn’t it?)

    I prefer GLIC’s variation: Chest.

  85. The Gooner says:

    Hi Rocky,

    I agree that we could use a DM with a physical/aerial presence like Capoue, even if it’s just to rotate with Arteta every now and then to keep him fresh. To a lesser extent, Strootman fits the bill but he isn’t as disciplined defensively and not as physical in the air or on the ground as Capoue, but makes up for it by fitting the Arsenal style of play better and providing a box-to-box alternative to Wilshere (Diaby when healthy). Of course, a DM would also bring more options to our line-up and perhaps allow Cazorla to move out wide and put Arteta/Wilshere further up field.

    Another benefit to adding either Capoue or Strootman is that they’d both be eligible to feature for us in the Champions League as well. Neither would probably start over Arteta/Wilshere, but it at least gives us depth to prevent injuries or to be called upon in case of injuries. FA Cup, CL and PL games will all be occurring within succession of one another so it’s more important than ever to have squad depth.

  86. Red Arse says:

    VCC or 195, as you will, 🙂

    My predictions are frighteningly similar to Rockets, and, as he has been useless, that is a worry for me!! 😀

    All wins:


    The yellow jersey man!!

  87. RockyLives says:

    They’re nothing like mine Redders! What are you talking about man!

    Anyway, my performance so far only looks bad because I missed a week. I would have scored 12 points that week if I had played.

    So there.

  88. Red Arse says:


    I have been asked by Tazzer, a chess master to give him a game.

    You are clearly very knowledgeable, so I think it would be a good idea to take/play you, your horseys and prawns instead. A much closer contest!! £100 winner takes all? 😛

  89. RockyLives says:

    Thanks TG
    I don’t watch much non-English footy so I’m not that familiar with the likes of Capooey and Strootjacket.

    From what you’ve said, Cap sounds like the man!

    Although there’s a lot of internet gabble about some African DM called Stroppy Something-or-other. That would be more AW’s style – a promising person we’ve never heard of, who will probably go straight off to the ACN and break his leg.

  90. RockyLives says:

    As long as you don’t bash my bishop…

  91. VCC says:

    Cheers Rocky, the baseball bat has been put away for another week, glad I didn’t have to use it again.

    Thanks Yellow jersey man. Can anyone match you? I think this new guy The Gooner looks a bit warm.

  92. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Rocky,

    Fully agreed on an experienced, quality DM at Arsenal, so we have options in the team and can give Arteta a rest or another position at times. Also agreed with TG’s follow-up comment. 🙂

  93. TotalArsenal says:

    Redders, is there a more traditional gift you can get than a chess set? When I was 14 or 15 I got one for Christmas of my parents. I never forget it: it was a marble one with white and brown coloured, beautifully cut pieces.

    Anyway, hope you sort it out soon, so we can start our game. 🙂

  94. Red Arse says:


    The more I hear, the greater the concern!! A marble chess table and crafted pieces!!!!

    You are a demon, sir. Rocky’s ‘horsey’s and ‘prawns’ is more my level, altho’ my gut instincts tell me he is a bit of a whizz too!!

    Barbarians, the pair of you!! 😛

    Night, night!!

  95. TotalArsenal says:

    Nah RA, you have nothing to worry about! 🙂

    The Didit can provide you with a up to date reference re my chess skills: they are definitely more Squillaci than Vermaelen! 🙂

  96. oz gunner says:

    Real men play with pieces that are a metre tall! Chess that is!

    100 posts that’s cause for a dancing celebration, well done TA!

  97. oz gunner says:

    I’ve joined the dog gang!

  98. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi OZzer, funky video and nice doggie! 🙂

  99. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning all, busy today so wont be able to write a post till the evening.

  100. VCC says:

    UMF League update. Selections for week end 22/23 December, 2012.

    GLiC…. 6878-1 (Saddo)
    New v QPR (away) love you GLiC
    MC v Reading (Away)
    Swans v Scum (Home)
    Chelsea v AV (Away)

    VCC 20-1 (Handsome F—–)
    LPool v Fulham (home)
    MC v Reading (Home)
    New v QPR (Draw)
    Soton v Sund (Home)
    Wigan v Arsenal (Away)

    Rocky 113-1 (Thats better, early entry. No baseball bat needed this week)
    Wigan v Arsenal (Away)
    MCv Reading (Home)
    Spurs v Stoke (Draw)
    LPool v Fulham (Draw)
    Swans v Scum (Draw)

    Red Arse 7-1 (Yellow jersey man)
    Wigan v Arsenal (Away)
    MC v Reading (Home)
    Spurs v Stoke (Home)
    LPool v Fulham (Home)
    Swans v Scum (Away)

  101. VCC says:

    UMF 1

    Winners in November, 2012. with 6 points each =

    Red Arse…..Rocky…..VCC

    Wooden spoon for November 2012. with 2 points =


    Leaders in December 2012, with one week end to go with 8 points =

    Red Arse….OZ

    Wooden spoon so far in December, 2012 with 3 points =


    Good luck All this week end guys.

    So far 4 entries in, all 4 predict (not surprisingly) an Arsenal away win (Lets F—— hope so)

    Lets all wish GLiC lots of luck this week in the UMF League, (he needs it). He’s such a lonely old figure in far away Cornwall with no mates. He is useless at predicting football results but he’s quite good at digging holes, a highly skilled job. GLiC was once asked a question about digging holes but struggled with the answer. Can you help him?

    The question was…….If it takes 2 men 2 hours to dig a hole….how long does it take 1 man to dig half a hole?

    Answers on a postcard to

    Mr. Glitorious Nomates
    Inbreds House,
    The Middle of Nowhere Drive,

    Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year Bergkampeskers….. 😉

  102. Red Arse says:


    When Glic was asked the question “if it takes 2 men 2 hours to dig a hole, how long does it take 4 men?”

    His answer: 4 hours!

    You have to hand it to that lad — he knows where his overtime payment comes from!! 😆

  103. VCC says:

    I think he is travelling to the land of Orcs today. So we will have some intelligent talk today 😉

  104. VCC says:

    Champions league draw coming up. What odds Arsenal getting through this round?

  105. VCC says:

    Arsenal v Bayern

  106. Red Arse says:

    Hi VCC,

    I said elsewhere that I sometimes think these draws are fixed.

    In the practise before the actual draw we were drawn against Bayern M, and now in the official draw we get the same team.
    Just like 2 years ago when in the practise we drew Barca, and then in the official draw we got Barca!!

    Colour me sceptic!!

  107. VCC says:

    there might be some substance there Red Arse.

    RA may I ask you how I get subscription to Bitscores? and how much is it?

  108. richie59er says:

    I’m with you on the draw fix how they do it I don’t know,
    But I’m the most sceptical “bastardo” going. I’m convinced
    “The Lotto’s” No.s are fixed too but that’s another storey,
    Although UAFA would have probably preferred the 2 games below
    for the next stage.

    Madrid vs Manu’er
    AC vs Barca

    Juv got a peach, as did Bourussia & Schalke the others I think are
    fairly evenly matched. We’ve got one of the big 3 still left in our
    side of the draw out of Barca, Juv & Bayern although Borussia
    wouldn’t have been a day at the beach.
    If we can manage to squeeze past Bayern?
    I expect the next round to include

  109. richie59er says:

    @VCC9:08 When I was at school back in the dark ages I used to want to “Murder” those who thought up those sort of problem solving questions. Like “If it took a man a week to walk a fortnight; how much would a packet of crisps cost when he returned?

  110. Red Arse says:


    If you go back to Kelsey’s comment on AA this morning, you will find he posted a link to Bitscores.

    There are 3 levels of subscription, as you will see from there home page.
    I always bought the 2 month sub for about 6 euros. The longer you want the sub for the more it costs. I am not sure if they are taking new registrations but you can try.

    They are apparently being chased by the internet police guys, I think, so you could be risking your money, so be careful!

  111. Red Arse says:


    That’s where algebra can help. Not that I am offering. Glic is the maths genius on here!! 😀

  112. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi guys, I love the draw. Tough but winnable. Bayern will be branded the favourites and that wil suit us fine. I just did not want Barca, so I am relatively happy. 🙂

    VCC, many thanks for the thorough update on your UMF. I love the passion you put into it! 🙂

  113. Herb'sArmy says:

    Total, you haven’t updated, I’m on 9 now, and have lost my grip on the much coveted wooden spoon.

  114. The Gooner says:

    Afternoon All,

    I’m never quite as optimistic as TA and prefer to be a realist :). Matching up against Bayern is an absolute nightmare. I see us losing quite handily, we just don’t have the players to match up against them. But, the optimistic side of me says that you never know what can happen on a given day in the CL so I guess there’s a slim chance we make it to the quarters.

  115. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post – New Post 🙂

    Got to go, catch you later.

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