Twenty Minutes of Heaven: Theo Stings Like a Bee, Full Backs Asleep, Ox Matures Fast.

theo walcot

Wow, what a crazy game of football at Ashburton Grove tonight!

It all started so subdued; I had to pinch myself to see whether I was actually awake. NU were allowed to pass the ball around as we did not pressure them anywhere near the required levels to gain control over the game.

Although Newcastle had more possession than us, and were also allowed to have it in our own half regularly during the first 45 minutes, I felt we were well organised at the back and there was only a small chance they would hurt us.

Theo’s anticipation of the Pod’s through-ball was first class, and so were his run and finish, and the ‘1-0 to the Arsenal’ felt great: surely we could build further on this performance and punish the Magpies on the break a few more times?

Unfortunately, we managed to give a few unnecessary free-kicks away in the first half and one of them cost us dearly. Sagna seemed sedated today: is he not fully fit or simply missing a yard or two in speed at the moment? I did not think he was at his best against Wigan, but today’s performance is starting to worry me a bit. He gave an uncharacteristic free-kick away in a dangerous position and Demba Ba cleverly aimed for Jack’s head – what was he doing there anyway – to guide the ball past it. Okay there was a lucky deflection, but Jack should never have chickened out.

1-1 was a fair score at the end of the first half, though, and we could only hope for Arsene to wake our boys up properly; in order to regain control over the midfield, start pressing them in their own half, and stop relying purely on launching Theo into space at the first opportunity.

Ox’s goal at the start of the second half was a beauty; and one that had been coming for him for a while. We can all get excited about potential new signings in the next TW, but there is nothing better than witnessing one of our talented youngsters growing into a man right in front of us. Ox is quickly making the RW position his, and regular goals (and assists) are the only thing that is missing in his game at the moment. But today he made a big step forward with a classy, timely and important goal from just outside the box – perhaps the most important of the whole game, as this one gave us the necessary momentum to start playing proper football again in the second half.

However, the Barcodes pounced again on Sagna’s apparent slowness, as Obertan was able to beat him with relative ease to put the ball right across our goal to the far post – Koz did not manage to get his full boot against it, but could only slightly divert it – where Marveaux  was left totally unmarked for the easiest of tap-ins.

It should come as no surprise that Wilshere was involved in getting us in front once more, with a determined run and a very good ‘hanging cross’ over Krul, to the far post towards Theo. It created total chaos amongst the NU defenders, and the Pod dealt with it all in the deadliest manner. I have been really impressed with Pod’s hard work rate and omnipresence on the pitch tonight.

But, but, but it all went pear-shaped once again, when Marveaux was able to put in a very clever diagonal ball from outside the box with the outside of his boot into the penalty area – arguably the best assist of the entire game – and Ba was able to beat sleeping beauty Gibbs with total ease.

Although the CB’s were the main culprits for conceding the 2nd and 3rd NU goals, it was also clear that we missed Mertesacker’s ability to bring order and structure to our defence.

It started to feel like we would never be able to kill the Magpies off in this game as our defence had simply become too fragile in the second half. But then, somehow, Arsenal found the afterburners and NU did not get another foothold in the remainder of the game.

It is fair to say that the Barcodes will have been tired at that time, having played at Old Toilet only a few days ago, but it was nevertheless impressive how we were able to up the tempo and pressure, and create a great number of opportunities in the last twenty minutes of the game.

Walcott 2nd goal was almost as good as his first one. His spatial awareness, combined with his decision not to blast the ball as soon as possible, but allow himself a touch in order to take proper aim, were very impressive. It turned out to be the blow from which the Magpies would recover no more.

Theo then became provider for the hungry substitute Giroud; first with a peach of a cross which OG headed in with force, and then with a determined run and ‘pass’ into the box which the Frenchman despatched aggressively with his venomous right foot. It was really nice to see Giroud taking his chances with such determination, and celebrating his goals with great joy.

But the final say was, ever so appropriately, for Theo.

This was his night; his announcement to the home crowd that he should play in the middle and what this could mean for us. From a ‘one-two free-kick’ taken near the corner flag with Jack, Theo slalomed past a few NU players, then somehow evaded a tackle, and got back up on his feet to beat Krul high into the roof of the net with a measured, rising chip. A truly fantastic solo goal.

Theo is all about speed they say; well, today he showed that his arsenal of attacking weapons is pretty well stocked. He will need to do this on a regular basis to win over the seemingly eternal doubters, but today he announced himself properly!

It was a great performance by Theo and a nice gesture to thank the crowd whilst holding the match-ball above his head. Whether you still have doubts about Theo or not – as a winger or a striker – it will be hard to deny that since he has been playing in the central striker position, Arsenal have had two out of three performances in which we looked a bit like our former self again, in which we had that extra dimension, and that so longed for cutting edge and bite; and with the team scoring 13 PL goals in just three games – a third of our PL total this season in 19 games – it would be madness not to continue with him in the middle of our attack – possibly with Giroud – for the time being.

A crazy game, a great result, and lessons need to be learned in defence; but today we witnessed the coming of age of Theo Walcott.

Written by: Total Arsenal.

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109 Responses to Twenty Minutes of Heaven: Theo Stings Like a Bee, Full Backs Asleep, Ox Matures Fast.

  1. Wolfgang says:

    So it’s 4 epl win on the trot. With MC and Chelsea lurking,can the gunners continue the winning streak?It can be done if the defence doesn’t fall asleep. These two teams have forwards who are frankly more dangerous than what NU have.Beat these two teams and if the defence can stop leaking goals ,anything is possible.
    Remember it’s the defence that helps to win games and trophies.Chelsea beat Barcelona with a negative approach. That’s what red faced is famous for. I know he doesn’t play that way but he will depending on the opposition.

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Wolfgang, a solid defence is paramount for winning anything, as sooner or later the goals will dry up for a while. I reckon we need to buy a strong defensive midfielder to help shield the defence and allow Jack to get better into the game. Santi can then move closer to the attackers and that’s where he is the most dangerous for us.

    What do like to happen to the team in order to strenghten our defence?

  3. weedonald says:

    Overall a fine summary of the game BUT , your statement that Wilshere ¨should never have chickened out.¨ is sheer stupidity and ignorance and shows you haven’t really played the game. Getting hit in the face or head from a free kick , by a ball that weighs almost a pound(about half a kilo), going at anywhere between 60-80 mph (100-120 kph) hurts like hell…and I am speaking from bitter experience. The ball actually has an impact weight and force of anywhere from 30-40 kilos(60 pounds) and can knock you out if you get it in the wrong place….the groin is also a dangerous area!

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    He chickened out, alright.

  5. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Love the post TA. It was a very strange game. The first half was as limp as a night with Susan Boyle. We were slow with the ball and did no pressing off it, Theo stilll looked dangerous though.

    2nd half we moved 10 yards up the field and forced the barcodes to hurry there game, which resulted in mistakes.

    Theo was tremoundous and in my mind just reinforced what i have always believed, that if the mercurial Arsene Wenger could keep his players, Arsenal would develop into one of the best, if not the best, teams in Europe.

    The exciting thing is that maybe, just maybe, we are reaching a point were Wenger can develop a team uninterupted. when that happens we shall be back were we belong, the top.

    Weedy, that is a very spiteful comment but i do agree with you on one thing. The groin is indeed a very dangerous area. i hope you havent had a bitter experience down there as well. hahahaha

  6. alexgunners says:

    Hi TA,

    Last night was a very strange game indeed. In the past i have criticized Theo for his lack of vision but he has started to show a great deal of improvement. Our leading goal scorer, 2 hattricks this season has to say something about his ability.
    The OX has stepped it up and it’s great to see some consistency, a well deserved goal and hopefully there are many more to come.

    We do need a bit more cohesion in the back, we have all said it before but there is one piece missing in the puzzle, against a more potent strike forces we may have well lost this one.
    The signs are better and it is great to see The Arsenal scoring goals again.

    I know that Wilshire is partly to blame for the 1st goal (Sagna is responsible for the unecessary foul) but Jack’s willingness to run at defenders is a pleasure to watch. He created the 3rd goal. He made it look easy and i for one can see him being a future leader at the club.

    Giroud, what a game he had from the bench and very unlucky not to get his third as well.

    Definitely a game worthwhile watching again as i am doing right now.

  7. richie59er says:

    @WD When you make a crass statement it shows that you too haven’t played the game at a level that would allow you to make an informed judgment. 1st off Jack turned his back on the ball which for a pro is totally unprofessional. 2nd the ball struck him on the back off his head, not a great place to get hit with a hard fast moving object. If Jack hadn’t timidly shied away from his responsibilities he could’ve met the ball with his forehead and headed it away, instead he turned his back in a childish manner, which for someone normally as bullish as JW I found shocking. He bottled it!

  8. kaboom says:

    gibbs went AWOL in penalty box costs the team 2 goals. but love his effort going forward.

  9. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi Total, thanks for the report. An unmissable game from the first whistle, and one to thoroughly enjoy. Some shoddy defending was more than compensated for with our incisive attack. What a game Walcott had! His hat-trick and cross for Giroud’s goal were top-class, mostly through pure instinct. Can he do it against better opposition, who are far less tired?
    Reading, Wigan and a travel-weary Newcastle are hardly the sternest of tests to measure his worth. If he can do it against the top six, he’ll get my full support.
    I think I would make a left-back top priority this Tuesday. Maybe a new right-back is needed too. After two unfortunate leg-breaks coming in such a short space of time, Sagna may never get his sharpness or full fitness back. I know you want a DM, Total, but we need to build from the back and create a solid defensive unit. Getting that right immediately improves the balance and mental strength, and spreads confidence through the side.
    It’s worth remembering that they were short of a few of their strongest players, and it took until the 73rd minute before we finally broke their resolve.
    But aside from that, what a fantastic way to end the year!

  10. The Gooner says:

    TA, great summary! Reading the review basically negates having to watch the game :), although a lot of the excitement can only be gained from watching it live…what an amazing game it was, not as dramatic as the 7-5 win at Madjeski but definitely against a more impressive side. If you watch the replay, Jack’s positioning on the free kick was Szczesny’s call though – not quite sure why he placed him there in the first place!

    This is how dangerous Theo can be when given space. He even looked fantastic on the right side and I think if we can keep a rotation of Theo and Giroud up front and Theo and Ox on the right, we’d be pretty much set. It’s nice to have Theo as a contrast style of striker to Giroud since it makes our game plan less predictable. Having Newcastle play into our style of attacking football really benefitted us and let’s keep in mind that we still need to find an answer against teams that play boring defensive football.

    This was Podolski’s best game of the year, his delivery, work rate and positioning were excellent today and it’s a stark contrast from the majority of his performances this year where he fades throughout most of the game. I hope he can continue this form!

    Nice to see Giroud finally score a EPL goal along the ground and what a strike it was with his right foot (his left is his preferred)! Ox should also gain a ton of confidence going forward after finally breaking his scoring duck this year. Ramsey was great in his cameo appearance and looked like a completely different player from the one we’ve seen up to this point in the season.

    Arteta does a lot of little things that the average viewer may not realize – he dictates the play vocally, moves into safe spaces to receive passes, makes very smart passes himself and sits back deep and helps break up the play. I know several of you are calling for a more physical presence in the heart of the midfield but I’m not convinced AW will go that route, unless it’s a player to eventually replace Arteta (getting older). Santi and Arteta have an innate sense of where to give and go with each other on the pitch and Arteta’s style of play is perfect for AW’s fluid, passing strategy.

    All in all, an amazing game where we never gave up, stuck to our game plan and forced NU to play to our strengths. Not many teams can beat us when trying to match us tactically and I hope we can dictate games like this more often in the new year. My only concern is that AW will view this string of successive victories as a signal that we are competent enough to compete even with injuries. It’s clear that we lack depth past our starting 11 and that we could use another creative distributor to help further break down opposing teams’ defences when they form a defensive shell (ahem Isco, ahem Turan).

  11. The Gooner says:

    @ Herb, agreed that we should reinforce our defence. Championships are built on a solid foundation at the back and it’s what we’ve lacked for years. Past teams had Campbell, Toure, Adams, Lauren, Cole, Clichy, Keown and midfielders who could play solid defence in Vieira and Gilberto.

    However, I’d give more time to Sagna as he’s generally been solid at the back since his return and we’ve got a very competent back-up in Jenkinson. A back-up left back is a must and should be one of our top priorities. I’d prefer a seasoned left back (~ 28 yo) who won’t complain about starting minutes and be good enough to fill in for Gibbs if he needs a rest or gets injured. Past that, I’d prefer another exceptional talent at the wing position like Turan or Isco to provide more creativity and class to our side so teams cannot close down on Santi. Finally, my third area of concern would be a physical DM who can rotate with Arteta and really intimidate opposing teams, yet still play Arsenal football (Capoue comes to mind). The only reason I place less emphasis on the DM is because once Diaby comes back (and potentially Frimpong from loan), that leaves us with 8 midfielders (Cazorla, Wilshere, Arteta, Coquelin, Rosicky, Ramsey and the aforementioned 2) battling for 3 starting positions and 2-3 bench places.

  12. richie59er says:

    @TA as usual I concur with your match review, you certainly saw the same game I did, I don’t mind admitting that at 3-3 I shit myself! Momentarily I wished I was behind Glic’s sofa, at 4-3 I still wasn’t sitting comfortably, only at 5-3 did I then suddenly feel like I didn’t have piles. Then what followed was sheer elation. Theo took a real strikers hat trick, what a shame OG rapid brace didn’t turn into a HT of his own, as he hit the bar at the end. The more I see, the more I’m coming round to TA’s view that we are in need of a tough DM to supplement Arteta’s sterling intercepting work, where’s Frimpong? Because I’m not sure we need to buy, if Le Coq can’t do that job what about Arsene developing Emmanuel?

  13. richie59er says:

    @TG our other creative mid is Rosicky if he can be kept fit.

  14. The Gooner says:

    @ Richie, I’m aware of Rosicky’s creative talents but I was hoping for more creativity from the wing. I love what both Ox and Pod bring to the table but neither are in the mould of a Mata or Hazard. Both Ox and Pod can play direct football, can finish, have good pace, but it’d be nice to have a creative player out wide to help Santi unlock opposing defences if that makes sense. In my mind, that’d bring another dimension to what can be a very potent attack.

  15. richie59er says:

    I’ve been hoping to see a mid of Arteta Santi Rosicky Jack and the Ox play together.

  16. Ain't Got A Kalou says:

    Amazing pre and post match reports from this site. Theo’s last goal was something to remember, sheer determination.

    @ wee, man it’s cool to say you don’t agree with his criticism on JW’s involvement on the free kick goal, but unnecessary to personally attack someone.

    @ TG and rich, I’d like any new players that are of a high caliber to be added in jan. wouldn’t be disappointed with a defensive mid either, anything that improves the team.

  17. kahn says:

    Arsene must make sure that Theo stays,by the way we end 2012 in style.Arsenal 4 lyf

  18. Gerry Lennon says:

    I think criticism of Gibbs is a bit OTTt .For a start, observant watchers of the game will have seen that it is clearly a training ground role he takes up? Rarely is he a fullback blocking crosses from attacking wingers. That has largely left to Podolski. At set pieces it looks like he is there to cover the late run of opponents that zonal marking doesn’t seem to adequately block?. Prior to the 3rd goal you can see him doing that job well?
    With that 3rd goal BA was out wider, which he noted, but also had an eye for Cisse who was lurking nearer that side of the goal. It was clear to me if he moved out earlier to get closer to BA it would have left Cisse with a clear run to that left-hand post? Only when the ball came across was it obvious it was bypassing those close to goal, and yes, Gibbs got caught out.
    That will no doubt be sorted out when they review the match. But to suddenly make it a priority need for a new, top class(if there are any available that want a move?) left-back that will cost probably twice as much in wages, just shows how futile these knee-jerk reactions are? If they are followed up with a Danny Alves type buy, then you can kiss goodbye virtually all other transfer activity, except a Henry 2 month loan, and another ‘young potential’?
    Be serious.

  19. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning all and thanks for some fine in-depth overnight comments! 🙂

    I’ll comment a bit later. 🙂

  20. Red Arse says:

    Magnificent Post Match report, Total — now there is a surprise — NOT!! 😀

    Oz with his stunning Pre-Match and now your Post are simply quite unbeatable anywhere else in the Blogworld!! Well done guys!! 😀

  21. Red Arse says:

    Once again I loved reading back over the ‘night’ comments, with good contributions from all.

    WeeD always seems to have to mix his opinion up with a gratuitous insult, which is against site rules, and I wish he would stop doing it.

    Posts take a great deal of time, effort and talent on the part of the authors to produce, and they deserve respect from other bloggers!

    Cut the insults and we will all enjoy the blog better, please.

  22. Red Arse says:

    My tuppence worth on Jack and that freekick, is that I winced when the ball deflected of his head, and thought what the heck was that.

    It is a natural reaction when some object hurtles towards you is to duck.
    Forwards do not have to deal with that very often, and unlike defenders who are used to and expect to head the ball away in those circumstances, can and do muck it up.

    Jack is a hard little feller and does not lack courage, but he will have been embarrassed when he looks back on that – bet it does not happen in the future.

  23. glic says:

    Morning Cooter boogers 😆

    Fine post Total

    As redders has said, it is a natural reaction to duck when an object is coming at you. Did Stretch duck when dodging the knives, frying pans, kitchen sink thrown at him when his missus caught him having his abacus fondled by his 18 year old trainee accountant ? ( I have first hand knowledge of this , as I was peeping from the wardrobe at the time ! hahaha ).
    I`m now going to watch the whole game on `player. I will then give my expert tactical opinion on it, so no interupting me please, this could be my final semi of the year !.
    Right, just a matter of shifting the wardrobe in front on the computer screen with a nice little gap to peep out off !. hahaha

    Laterz Muvvers

  24. henrychan says:

    Hi everyone..
    What a magical night we had.. 7-3.. almost 8-3..

    Very dramatic game.. 1-0, 1-1, 2-1, 2-2, 3-2, 3-3..
    When the score was 3-3 and Giroud was ready to came in.. I though it would be Walcott to replaced.. But then He scored his second goals.. wow.. 4-3.. what a magic..
    And Giroud in for Ox.. a very clever of Wenger..
    As soon as Walcott play as a RW.. and give a very nice assist.. Giroud score.. 5-3
    And he did it again.. although not too nice.. but goal.. 6-3.. wow..
    And Walcott give himself a hattrick.. with his own efford.. 7-3.. very fantastic..
    Remind me of Chelsea away.. 5-3.. hehehehe..
    Beyond my imagination.. I though 5-2 is our best score.. but a very special gift for newyear really come.. 7-3 with almost 8-3.. I wish we do that again MU.. hahahaha..

    Demba Ba is awsome.. his second goal is a class.. a bit similar with RvP (sorry TA..).. hehehe.. but after watching lastnight game.. I doubt we will go for any CF.. hahaha..

    And don’t put any harm to our defenders.. they did oke..
    As I always say.. No need to worry about losing 2 or 3 goals as long as we can score more.. hehehehee..

    Just hope Everton can handle Chelsea to a draw.. so my point will raise for 2.. hahahha..
    Have a nice day..

  25. VCC says:

    Good Morning all.

    Well that was a fine day to be a Gooner. Have watched the action again this morning and we were simply superb. It all became a bit of a haze yesterday as the alcohol flowed (hehehe, Henry get down) 🙂

    Conclusions from that display is we don’t need to add to our attack if we can keep Walcott.

    Agree with Total now that we need to obtain a monster defensive mid fielder and my drum hasn’t stopped banging regarding our left back position. We need to replace Gibbs, pronto.
    Looked at it several times and he was totally at fault with third goal, no mater what is around you, if you are as near to goal, and the ball, you clear your lines, simples. He was also drawn towards the centre of goal for the second, Kos and Verm were there to mark the two forwards and he left his position open which lead to an open goal for the right winger, not quality defending in my book.

    Get those two positions sorted in the January window and it just might be a happy start to the new year.

    Great report Total, spot on.

  26. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Good Afternoon Bergkampesqures.

    I have been put away for a few days so just want to wish you all a happy New Year.

    2013 is the beggining of a new era. We will win the Champions League in May and then go from there.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stiring

  27. VCC says:

    Nice optimism TMHT.

    I’m not getting carried away as Newcastle clearly tired towards the end. But you can only play whats in front of you. And as I said in my previous post, we need a quality first choice left back and mid field enforcer in January. Sorted.

  28. VCC says:

    UMF League.

    RedArse……………….24
    OZ……………………….21
    VCC……………………..21
    Rocky……………………20
    Henry……………………19
    TMHT…………………..18
    Herb…………………….17
    The Gooner…………..16
    Total…………………….13
    PPP……………………..12
    GLiC…………………….11

    PPP and TG have two games today

    TMHT/Henry/Rocky/Herb. have one game today

    Full update after todays games.

    Well done RedArse for predicting 4 correct this week. (This guy sure knows his stuff)

    Wooden spoon still held by GLiCtorious, apt as he’s a big stirrer.

    Yellow shirt for the week and overall is held by RedArse.

  29. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Afternoon Muvvers.

    Awesome match report TA, love your work. 🙂
    Ok, on this whole DM Beast thing. Its NOT going to sort our problems at the back. Some people make it sound like Arteta is at fault for the individual errors we have at the back. He is not. Our defence is the 3rd best in the league, our goal difference shits all over what we had last year, and although the sound of BEAST DM appeals to many i think that the problem is at the back and this zonal marking mumbo jumbo. We strive to play total football, just like farca fc do and maybe a handfull of clubs. But even farca use busquets and a Beast he is not. We had a beast! Remember Song? Yeah WE let him go, BIG MISTAKE IN MY BOOK!!… Anywho

    I agree with VCC, i would love to splash 10mil on L.Baines as LB but i dont have the money, unless someone would like to lend it to me.hahaa. All seriousness, Gibbs is awesome, but Poldi does all his defending. solution= purchase a proper LB who can defend and get stuck in, and push Gibbo up field to fight for a place with Poldi. Send Santos to driving school and cut our losses. hahaha. Maybe Wenger could even make a prank call to Ashley Cole telling him we are prepared to meet his wage demands of 65k a wk 😆

    On the Jack issue. This is what i think! WTF was he doing there in ‘static animation’?? he was neither here or there. He was not part of the wall and when WS asked/positioned him there his job was to go charging towards the kick taker and cut off the angles, otherwise he should not have taken up that space..

    Heaps to talk about, i have a few things to do, will be back to talk later, but the main thing is – Im doing everything with a smile today- Wonder why?

    I’ll give you 7 good reasons 😉

    @ Merry Terry, if i dont catch you before hand, would like to wish you the greatest new year with good health, lots of stretching and a reduced price in chloroform (?) might need a fair bit for Theo…he is a quick bugger

    Laters amigos

  30. oz gunner says:

    great summary as always TA, exactly how i saw it also.

    I also agree on the wilshere thing. If get paid that much you should never pull out like that. After all he can always buy a new face.

    Terry is right, the ball bag is another story. In under 16s I slid across the ground on my knees to catch a water logged Aussie rules football, unfortunately i mistimed my slide and instead of catching it on the chest it got me in the groin. It felt like i’d been hit with a medicine ball, and i had to crawl over the boundary line! I still don’t think i’ve recovered from it!

    4 right!!!! Damn you RA, damn you!!!

    agreed the champions league is ours!!

  31. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    VCC,
    We havnt even reached the mountain climb!
    Redders can ‘borrow’ the yellow jersey…….for now 🙂
    I dont think you all realise just how ugly this Aussie boy is!

  32. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Hi OZ,

    Ouch! i hear ya man, i hear ya.
    If your voice sounds anything like David Beckham than your right…You havnt recovered 😆

  33. VCC says:

    PPP/RA/ALL.

    People say I keep picking on Gibbs. Maybe I bang this drum too much, but imo he cannot defend.

    He gets forward quite well and links up with Podolski ok, but he keeps letting us down defensively though. Far too often he is caught out of position or simply lets his player go (as in the third goal yesterday) that was rank bad defending.

    This occurs far too often and until we sort our left defensive situation out we will keep leaking easy goals.

    Opposition managers have spotted this and play towards our left weak flank.

  34. VCC says:

    PPP, you sure are ugly, but not as ugly as that twat GLiC.

  35. alexgunners says:

    Hi guys,
    what Is this UMF league you have going?

  36. richie59er says:

    Re-the Gibbs thing I said he was at fault defensively and he was, offensively KG’s fine and he’s young. IMHO he needs to work more on his defensive positioning and get more experience, especially since his injury- lack playing time. I’m not into knee jerk unless (thinking Glic-like there’s a woman involved) I’m into AW’s being allowed to develop, I think Gibbo’s got enough potential to become a great LB. Our only problem is keeping him fit, but that’s also true of a lot of our players. The name “Arteta” immediately springs to mind along with my fear of him being injured even for one game. Miquel is such a great midfield general that he can occupy any position in that area and that’s our problem, without him our centre is wide open. That’s where we need a replacement.

  37. glic says:

    Afternoon Pusswiggle`s 😆

    Thoughts of glic the analist ( I usually analyse Beyonce`s arse ).

    JW would be beast of a DM, but Jack has too much talent to be wasted there. !

    I thought Gibbs played well, he was at fault for Ba`s second goal, but imo he wasn`t for Marveaux`s goal as he was only doing what was expected of him, of drifting in and covering, Jack and Pod were just jogging back and either one could and should have picked up Marveaux.
    Other than that, what a great advert for football and credit to Newcastle for playing ( and I mean playing football ) their part.
    Ba was a handfull, but I still dont want him, Theo needs to be retained and we have Giroud.

    Tiote, I thought was impressive and would be an Ideal DM, but the trouble with these African players is that they go missing to some stupidly arrranged Cup that no one gives a toss about unless your African !. Saying that, If I was an African gooner, I wouldn`t give a toss about it either, just as my allegiances are to Arsenal and not England`s national team !.

    Oz
    If your going to be hit in the Jacob`s with anything, I suppose a medicine ball is best !. A bit like, if your going to be given a BJ by someone with sharp teeth and a stutter, make sure she ( or he , depending on who your batting for ! ) is a Doctor or Nurse !. hahaha

  38. VCC says:

    alexgunners…….Hi Ya. The infamous UMF 1 League is a fun thing. Each week the eleven of us predict 5 games. We collect 1 point for each correct prediction.Its been going for eight weeks, and I think we are all still having a laugh with it.

    As you can see there is one Smart Arse called Red Arse, he is wearing the Yellow jersey at the moment with 24 points, and the wooden spoon is in the safe hands of GLiC, with 11 points. Although GLiC is only allowed out of his home each week end we allowed him to take part to try and cheer him up. It’s sad cos he ain’t got many friends.

  39. Herb'sArmy says:

    Terry, wherever you are, I hope you enjoy your Birthday. Many happy returns of the day, old boy.

  40. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Your Birthday Stretch???

    We have all pitched in with GliC for your present. She has “sharp teeth and a stutter”.
    Hope you enjoy. 😀

  41. Herb'sArmy says:

    Does anyone else think we now have the personnel to operate a 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1?

  42. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Glic,
    I would prefer TV5 to be moved upfield alongside Arteta as that “BEAST” defensive midfielder. Like you say, Jack could play there, hell, im sure he could play anywhere in the outfield but it would be a waste. However TV5 has had lapses at the back this season and he doesnt mind roaming around the pitch. It seems to have worked for Sideshow Bob (Luis) at chelski. He too is now playing as DM and has the opportunity to shoot more, which is something TV5 would enjoy im sure.

    Think of the money we could save, by promoting a DM in house. You could have your Isco and do the Disco in your pants. hahaa

  43. VCC says:

    Herb. 15:10…..Yes I do, as long as we replace our left back.

  44. glic says:

    Is it Stretche`s Birthday ?
    Sharp teeth and a stutter is just a starter for him, he has an “Award Winning ” ( invented by yours truly )new hybrid fusion of Kerplunk the experiment and Ker Plunk the game.
    Basically, Stretch and male family members stick their Helmet cheese covered Hampton`s in a tube full of Rodents and the winner is the last person to remove his Hampton !.
    An Aussie version is available on request, called, “Piranharghhhhhh !” , just an Aquarium full of Piranha and away you go !.

  45. Herb'sArmy says:

    Agreed VCC. I was trying to think of a formation that accommodates Giroud and Walcott in a striking partnership, and in a 4-4-1-1 Walcott could operate centrally as the support striker on the shoulder of Giroud.

  46. glic says:

    hahaha Prince, good idea, I will have to get my Jacobs vagazzled and some strobe lighting fixed dangling from my rectum !. hahaha

  47. Red Arse says:

    Alex,

    The UMF League (Ugly Mother Fuckers – President Glic Monster) is run by VCC, and we each forecast 5 results every time the Premier League teams play.

    I am sure we can include you as a late comer — another one for me to beat!!! 😀

    In January we are changing the format slightly (when Victorious Charlie Curlywinkle) will keep the records for each of the 5 forecasts with;

    Draw = 3 points

    Away win = 2 points

    Home win = 1 point

    Hopefully VCC will read this and give you an adjusted points total, based on some averaging score for the season to date. 🙂

  48. Red Arse says:

    Hi Herb, 🙂

    Your 15:26.

    I agree that would be the best formation to accommodate the Giro and Theo in the team.

  49. VCC says:

    Cheers Red Arse…..15:40

    Alex…..If you want to come into the UMF League you must make your entries prior to KO each fixture day.

    Please submit early enough for me to get your odds, don’t be a tinker like The Gooner who waits till the last minute ( 🙂

    As from the next fixture list this coming TUESDAY 1st JANUARY, 2013. There will be a new scoring system.

    1 point for home prediction
    2 points for away prediction
    3 points for a drawn prediction.

    Alex, as we have been going for 8 weeks you will have to come in at the bottom score, to make it fair to others ( like TG ). How about if you start at 11 points with the next 6 weeks you have 6 selections ( same as TG) as to the rest having only 5.

    Please guys the earlier the better for your choices.

  50. TotalArsenal says:

    Terry at 1.49

    Agreed. Why is it that for the second time in a row we started a game too deep, allowing our opponents to pass the ball way too much?

    Alex at 2.12

    Cohesion, discipline and shape at the back is indeed needed. I feel that Koz and TV are similar players: carf biters who are great at completing a defensive task. But they are not (yet) strong at organising the defence, keeping shape and discipline and that is what BFG brings to the table. If Djourou is indeed to leave, maybe Arsene can push Miquel forward to into BFG’s nr.2, or maybe we need to buy (not easy though).

  51. TotalArsenal says:

    I reckon Weedonald has blood pressure issues, and he definitely lacks blog etiquette, but more than anything he does not know what he is talking about half of the time. An angry wee man, hiding behind a keyboard. 🙂

    Hi Herb,

    Agreed on Theo doing it against the top-teams, although I have little doubt he will be able to do that (he has already scored against all the other top teams in his career).

    Agreed on the defence needing to become more solid and BFG is our key man in this. The DM would also help in that department, but more importantly, in my view, he would allow Wilshere to play a bit less deep, which in turn would allow Cazorla to play closer to the attackers. This is essential if we are to make progress.

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi TG,

    Thanks for an in-depth follow up comment. 🙂

    Agreed on Pod and Giroud’s performances. Theo did not need space to show his qualities last night. His second was clever fox in the box stuff (and his first touch was what made the real difference) and his third was Gervinho-like close control with a deadly end-product.

    We both agree Arteta is an important player, but I reckon we could have / need to have a better allround DM in our team. Arteta can play anywhere and will remain important to the team. Let’s see what Arsene does this January! 🙂

  53. VCC says:

    New Years Day fixtures……UMF League

    VCC….=
    Soton v Arsenal Away
    Wigan v MU Away
    MC v Stoke Home
    Spurs v Reading Home
    WHU v Norwich Home

  54. VCC says:

    VCC odds = 9-1

  55. TotalArsenal says:

    Richie at 3.19

    Agreed on all those emotions – what a bizarre game: in a way, quite dreamlike! 🙄

    The DM we need to find needs to possess both overview and positioning qualities, good passing, and on top of that ability to win the ball in one to ones constantly. I just cannot see Frimpong do this (yet at least). Coquelin is good at the one to one stuff, but lacks the awareness and overview at this stage in his career. If we can find the missing link and use Arteta cleverly as well, we could really make a step forward.

  56. TotalArsenal says:

    I agree with the Gooner on the desireability of bringing in a very good winger. That would be my second priority on the shopping list. But I do like Ox’s progress at the moment. However, we need strength in depth and, ideally, better quality in this area and Ox, Pod and Gervinho (and Theo reluctantly) is not really enough for two key positions.

    Richie, it would be great to see your midfield of Arteta Santi Rosicky Jack and the Ox play together. Let’s hope we’ll get a chance soon. 🙂

  57. glic says:

    It`s hardly surprising QPR are knackered today , playing with theirselves yesterday has really took it out of them !.

    Vicky
    Are we allowed to pick from the games on Wednesday aswell or is it just New Years day ?.

  58. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers AGa Kalou! 🙂

    Why the name, if I may ask?

    Gerry L

    Welcome and thanks for a well reasoned comment, with which I agree a lot. 🙂

    Agreed on taking it easy with Gibbs. I am a big fan of the Pod’s twin brother, and I reckon he will become top class if he manages to stay fit. I was a bit disappointed in his defensive performance but as he is young and I was not too impressed with the leadership of the CBs either, I am not going to be too hard on him.

    Hi Redders, agreed on Jack. He will learn from it (maybe he did not want a blue face on his mummy’s birthday party!) 😛

  59. VCC says:

    What do you think GLiC? ..I will go with the flow, not fussed. I probably would leave it to just one day as it might get confusing.,

  60. glic says:

    Winger !. If we dont get Isco, I wont be a Happy Bunny Boiler !. 👿

  61. glic says:

    In that case, Mystic glic predicts………………….

    Fulham
    Orcs
    Vanilla
    Reading
    Syrupgan

    All to win.

  62. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Henry, good to see somebody thought our defenders did okay! 😉

    VCC, you have always been consistent in your views on Gibbs and last night’s performance was below par. But the boy is young and learning quickly, and he missed the guidance of the BFG in my view. We do need back up, ideally;or maybe Gibbs should become back-up again. If we could get Baynes I would also be a very happy bunny, but not if this means no DM or quality winger.

    RA, well done in the UMF, and I am excited about the new scoring system you suggested. Fair play to you, Sir!! 🙂

  63. glic says:

    Redders only suggested it so he can play with his abacus balls !.

  64. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi px3 🙂

    It was a mistake to let Sohginho go, agreed. My main reason to get a beast of a DM is not to improve the defence – that is indeed the defence’s responsibilities first and for all, and Arteta does a very good job in that respect anyway – but to improve our midfield balance and ability to dominate this crucial area.

  65. VCC says:

    GLiC…syrupgan. ?????

  66. TotalArsenal says:

    Oz, I can only say Ouchhhhhh! 😦

    Hope you had a girlfriend back then who applied her TLC generously! 😉

    Glic, I also liked what I saw of Tiote, but want to watch the game again to see whether he could be the answer.

    Terry, if it is indeed your birthday, have a great one compadre! 🙂

    Herb, yes yes yes, we do have the personnel for 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1, and if we were to buy another striker it must mean we are moving to it. Santi and Ox on the wings, and Jack, Arteta/new DM in the middle. Plenty of quality back up players as well, although we could always need another winger.., 🙂

  67. TotalArsenal says:

    px3 TV5 as DM has been discussed a few times in the past. I agree with you, it is at least worth trying out. 🙂

  68. glic says:

    Syrup = Wig !. Syrupgan = Wigan !.

  69. glic says:

    Must be odds of 10000/1 for them picks Surely….I mean Vicky !. hahaha

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    My predictions:

    West Brom draw
    Arsenal away win
    Wigan draw
    Norwich win
    Swansea draw

  71. VCC says:

    Total…yes I have seen frailties in his defensive duties. He is good going forward, but I want my full back to be able to defend, and IMO he cannot do this adequately enough if you seriously want to win titles.

    He is hardly a boy in football terms. He is 23 years of age and played 78 games with a further 11 as substitute. Which include 14 matches in Europe. So I don ‘t consider him a spring chicken.

    He has a nasty habit of turning his back on the ball/opponent. This for me is ingrown, a natural way of his play.

    Until we replace him with a stronger and better quality defender we will concede goals. Managers have spooked this weakness I’m sure.

  72. VCC says:

    GLiC ..odds = 10181-1
    Total. Odds = 334-1

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    VCC – you might well be right, but for me it is far too early. What is 78 games, and how many of those games has he played in a settled back-five?

  74. VCC says:

    Run Total 30th Dec

    RedArse………… 24 Overall Yellow Jersey
    OZ………………… 21
    VCC……………… 21
    Rocky…………… 20
    Henry……………. 19
    The Gooner…… 18
    TMHT…………… 18
    Herb …………….. 17
    PPP …………….. 14
    Total…………….. 13
    GLiC…………….. 11 Overall Wooden spoon

    Wks winner

    PPP………………… 5 Weekly Yellow Jersey
    RedArse…………. 4
    The Gooner….. 3
    OZ……………….. 3
    Herb ……………. 3
    Rocky………….. 3
    TMHT………….. 3
    GLiC/VCC…….. 2
    Henry…………… 1
    Total……………. 0 Weekly wooden spoon

    We have a hustler in the UMF League. (PPP)

    Well done to PPP for correctly predicting 5 results. Lets see whether this is a flash in the pan or can he maintain this star performance in the next window.

    Again guys, thanks for participating, hope your all still enjoying a bit of fun.

    Please can we have ALL predictions in by KO 1st January, 2013.

    I’m off to put £1 on GLiC’s five.

  75. VCC says:

    Total 18:01….. Point taken. It’s unfortunate we haven’t had a settled back line in his playing time with us. I hope I’m proved wrong, because he is decent going forward,but together with being made of glass I would look elsewhere now. Don,t forget, “you don’t change the spots on a Leopard”

  76. I will be in William Hills tomorrow with my £1 aswell, it`s more interesting than the Lottery and I`ve got more of a chance of winning with my uncanny ability for wooden spoons !. 🙂

  77. How dare you Total, nicking my weekly wooden spoon !. Wooden footwear not enough !. What next ?, Stretches wooden `scope !. The lengths ( pun intended ) you will go, you just wouldn`t ( and again ) believe it, would ( and again ) you !.

  78. TotalArsenal says:

    Muhahahahahaha 😈

    You are even rubbish at losing on purpose muhahahahaha 😛

  79. Red Arse says:

    Total,

    What worries me is you got zero and you were really trying hard!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

    Let’s see — Wooden spoon; Gervinho — I think I see a trend there!! 😀

  80. TotalArsenal says:

    hahaha you sussed me out Redders 😛

  81. How many of you are actually betting on these odds ?.
    I will actually be in W Hills tomorrow to waste a £1.
    The other £1 bet I do, is for all the teams to score. I had 4000/1 yesterday and some bastards decided not to score !.

  82. RockyLives says:

    Good report of a great game TA

    My predictions:

    Citeh v Stoke H
    Swans v Villa H
    Spuds v Reading H
    Wigan v ManUre H
    Soton v Arse A

  83. VCC says:

    Cheers Rocky. Your odds are 24-1.

    By the way Rock Star, did you see the new scoring rules?

    1 point for home prediction.
    2 points for away prediction
    3 points for a draw.

    It’s a shame you missed a week, you would be up there with RedArse, maybe.

  84. Red Arse says:

    VCC,

    I am playing chicken, until I see who is going to be adventurous – other than that barmy Glicster!! 🙂

    City = Home win
    Swansea = Home win
    Spudolas = Home win
    Wham v Norwich = Draw
    Manure = Away win

  85. RockyLives says:

    Damn!
    I didn’t see that VCC. This is the first time I have gone for a bunch of home wins. Typical.
    Can I change my mind?

  86. Red Arse says:

    Don’t let him sweet talk you VCC — that justs confirms he does not read our worthy, weighty worrespondence!!!!

  87. Red Arse says:

    On the other hand, Rock man, I do read your pitiful, pithy prose, and saw you had put Wigan down for a home win against Manure!!

    So, none of this “I didn’t see that, VCC” nonsense!! 🙂

  88. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Rocky

    Really enjoyed reading your own in-depth match report on Arsenal Arsenal today. 🙂

  89. VCC says:

    Of course you can Rock Star. After all your the nearest thing to Dennis on the blogosphere. 🙂

    I await your new selections. 😉

  90. VCC says:

    Red Arse odds = 13-1

  91. Red Arse says:

    Oh, phooey, VCC — and chicken!! 🙂

  92. VCC says:

    I know Red Arse, Im a soft touch. 🙂

  93. TotalArsenal says:

    VCC – I predicted the draw at the Stoke game, so that is one point. Still better than Glicxster though. 😉

  94. VCC says:

    Ok Total I will consult my spreadsheet. Give me five.

  95. TotalArsenal says:

    No worries Vicster! 🙂

  96. VCC says:

    So sorry Total. You predicted five draws. Yes you are on 14 points.

  97. VCC says:

    Total. You still need to pull your socks up. Oh sorry you don’t wear any with clogs do you. 🙂

  98. VCC says:

    Total the widget in the top right hand needs updating.

    Looks like the UMF league is growing. Alex may join this week. The new points system will start on Tuesday, so there is plenty of scope for guys to catch up. Only trouble is that RedArse is a mean tipster.

  99. TotalArsenal says:

    14 my favourite number at the moment! 🙂

  100. TotalArsenal says:

    No socks in clogs, VCC, you’re dammed right! 🙂

    Sock around your todger, on the other hand, is common practice! 😛

  101. VCC says:

    At my age Total, my Todger is redundant, much like me. 🙂

  102. thegooner19 says:

    Hi everyone, how are you all doing after that fine win :).

    I’ll be a little Mia for the next while skiing so my apologies in advance! VCC, what’s this that I get 6 predictions?! How come I was never notified of this?? Also, I thought I got 4 correct this week haha unless I forgot my picks (my overall score reflects it but not my weekly prediction score ;)). excited for the new scoring system!

  103. Lucky enough, I have just invented the worlds first ” Award Winning ” Zimmer frame for Todgers !. The Zimmer Todge comes in sizes ranging from XXS to XXXL and can be intergrated with my Tackle Nav for effortless shagging !. hahaha

  104. TotalArsenal says:

    VCC, you sound a bit sad saying that. 😦

    Without you we would not have the weekly fun of the UMF and your football insights. Something will come your way again, but in the meantime, let’s have fun and enjoy life!! 🙂

  105. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post – New Post 🙂

  106. alexgunners says:

    Hi Red and VCC,
    Thanks for explaining the UMF. I would be happy to join along at the bottom of the league.

    Here are my predictions for the next round:
    Gunners Away
    ManUre Away
    ManShitty Home
    Norwich Away
    Spuds Home

  107. alex, Vicky said, for first 6 weeks you can have 6 selections so to catch up ! 🙂

  108. alexgunners says:

    thanks
    my last prediction is

    Swansea Home

  109. RockyLives says:

    Thankyou for the opportunity to change my selections – but I think it will jinx them if I change now, so they stay as they are.

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