Swansea Preview: Giroud must play, Rosicky For Sale, Coquelin to Start?

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I must admit to being in two minds about our game against the Jacks tonight: one of anticipation and one of apprehension. As per yesterday’s post, Arsenal have a number of seemingly structural problems; every time we believe the team has made significant progress, they let us down again with the same problems resurfacing once more.

I am repeating a paragraph in yesterday’s post to sum it all up:

What is more worrying is the lack of form and shape to the team; the inability to organise our defence and get a run of solid defensive team performances; the lack of balance in midfield and inability to totally dominate this area anymore; the unsettledness, and unpredictable level of performances, by our strike-force; and most importantly, the lack of cohesion, leadership and collective fighting spirit throughout the team.

If Arsenal are to beat Swansea tonight, it will have to show a significant improvement in all the above areas, in my view. And that is where my apprehension is coming from: there is a lot that needs sorting and I am not sure we can do it all at the moment.

Swansea have nothing to lose tonight and will play their well-drilled game of absorbing pressure and try to catch us on the break.

It has worked against many teams, notably most recently against the Chavs, and why would they change it?! So, that is the tactics done again: Vermaelen to devour Michu and our team to play at a tempo that will not allow the Jacks to settle; oh and taking our chances when they arrive. Simples! 🙂

Rosicky For Sale?

What is going on with regards to Tomas Rosicky? He had a fantastic first half game against Olympiacos and then he got substituted and we have not seen him on the pitch ever since (if I remember correctly). I cannot get my head around the fact he was not played at all during the busy festive season, as the likes of Wilshere, Cazorla and Podolski could have done with a break.

Tomas is Arsenal through and through, signed a new contract not that long ago, he knows how Wenger wants to play better than anybody else, and he gives us shape and purpose?

So, why has he not played at all? The only answer I can give you is that Arsenal are planning to sell him during this transfer window, and for that they would have to keep him fully fit. Not playing him might also make him more keen for a move, as Tomas is the kind of guy who loves to play football rather than sit on the bench and collect his pay cheques.

Apparently, he has a slight muscular problem and won’t be fit for tonight….

Giroud must play.

Theo alone up-front is a work in progress and Arsenal cannot afford to play the same strike-force again against Swansea: the risk of another disjointed performance in attack is far too high. Swansea will also allow us little space which makes playing a fluid-three – Pod, Theo, Ox – up-front not our best option, in my view. Tonight, we need a strong pivot in attack.

I hope we start with Giroud in the centre and either Theo on the wing, or next to him in a 4-4-2 formation.

If we are to beat Swansea tonight, we need to get behind them as much as possible via our wings; and a lot will be asked from the most likely wing-combos of Sagna and Ox (or Theo) and Gibbs and Pod. Chelsea failed to use the wings enough against the Jacks last week, and they paid for it. On top of that, we need a strong target man, which Giroud clearly is. All other attackers should be able to benefit from Giroud presence in the box and I hope we’ll see goals by him and/or Pod, Ox, Cazorla (and Theo?).

Is this Coquelin’s chance or will it be Diaby again?

Enough has been said about Diaby’s rustiness in the ‘Arteta’ role and whether it is his best position in the first place. There appears to be a continuous reluctance by Wenger to play Coquelin in the Arteta role, and although I have doubts myself about his readiness, I feel Arsene needs to start him tonight. This should be the sort of game in which he can make his mark and we all need to know how ready he is for regular first team football.

Predicted Line-Up:

————–Szczesny——————–

Sagna——BFG——TV———Gibbs

———-Coquelin—Wilshere———-

—————-Cazorla——————–

Ox————Giroud—————-Pod

Predicted score: 3-1 to the good guys.

Written by: Total Arsenal.

Come on You Gunners!! 🙂 

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113 Responses to Swansea Preview: Giroud must play, Rosicky For Sale, Coquelin to Start?

  1. Fakazani says:

    great article

  2. Red Arse says:

    TA,

    Another scorcher of a Post. I had put tonight’s game at the back of my mind, but you have me fired up now!! 😉

  3. glic says:

    Will read later, but Sick note has a calf injury !. Laterz Muvvers

    http://www.arsenal.com/team-news

  4. Red Arse says:

    Talking about being fired up, I am just copying a line from that Glic Monsters recent comment while I was out, so I will remember later, the pleasure I will have on the footie pitch!!

    Here we go; — Glic said; “them BKOS are a load of banjo playing retarded hicksville muvvers”, well when this Hicksville Muvver catches up with him, he will be dangling by his gonads from the crossbar!

  5. Herb'sArmy says:

    Thanks for the pre-match, Total. As it’s our only realistic chance of ending the trophy-drought, I expect a first-choice XI, which will include Diaby, if fit, Giroud up top, Walcott wide right. Swansea are unbeaten in our last three meetings, so we need to restore our superiority over them.

  6. henrychan says:

    TA.. I think Diaby will play.. And you know Walcott will always play.. as a CF.. at least untill he sign the contract.. So nothing will change with the squad.. But the spirit of our players will change..They just know that this is a must win games.. WIN or DIE..
    And this is a vengeance game.. We lost and draw.. now it’s time to win..
    2-0 for Walcott and Cazorla.. hehehehe..

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, the problem is that kind of talk only arouses him! You have said it before Glic simply is ‘incorrigible’ (that is why he escaped to Cornwall many years ago, I reckon! 🙂 )

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Herb,

    You are probably right re Diaby but I just could not put it down as I feel a bit sorry for Coquelin at the moment. Maybe he’ll rest Jack and play Coquelin and Diaby with Cazorla in front of them….

    Theo on the right is also a big possibility, but I feel he might come on as a sub. Ox is our best winger at the moment, and we really need him to have a good performance.

    Hi Henry,

    This is a must-win cup game and I reckon he will go back to what he knows best which is Giroud up top.

  9. gunnerpete says:

    The only changes to your team that I would make is (A) Jenkinson for Sagna (everytime) and Diaby for Coquelin for 45 minutes. He is useless after that anyway.What the hell happened to the two German wonder kids we were going to play in all cups ,two months ago? where are they?

    As for Sagna…so many have not noticed that in our past 5 defeats he has been responsible (mainly due to bad positioning ) for over 80% of the goals against. He is trying to get sold ,just like his French buddies nasri & Clichy…..so do it now and get some more Brits who will fight for our club and not just turn up for the wages.

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi gunnerpete, good call on Diaby to start. Agreed on the German wonderkids; but I guess the game is too important for Wenger to dare to experiment…

    Totally disagree with you on Sagna though. He is our warrior! Read this if you want:

    https://bergkampesque.com/2013/01/08/bacari-sagna-the-2013-victim-of-fans-fulfilling-prophecy/

  11. Red Arse says:

    Hi Herb, 🙂

    Good to see you.

    I understand what you mean when you refer to ‘problems’ at Arsenal and undoubtedly the most pressing is the poor Public Relations the club has with its fans.

    As an accountant I do not need to ask someone to explain the Profit & Loss, and Balance Sheet to me. I can see what the financial situation is myself, but many others are not able to do so, and because no one at the club will issue a simplified statement to the fans, other than in very general terms (and there are some Corporate Governance problems with doing that, admittedly), it allows wild interpretations and deliberately misleading ‘facts’ to spread like wildfire among Gooners everywhere.

    In addition having an absentee owner, (a bit like the dreadful mess absentee landlords made in Ireland in the 18th Century), there is no real feeling of anyone at the helm or interested in anything other than appearing to monitor the club from afar.

    There are other matters too, of course, but I do not think all, or any of that should be dumped on Wenger’s lap. I think he too has been betrayed because he has not been given the support every top manager needs, but neither has Kroenke or the Chief Executive, Gazidis taken responsibility.

    Anyway, at every club, which is a proper football business, rather than an oligarch’s toy, you will find fans dissatisfied with how their club is run.

  12. VCC says:

    Red Arse 11:01….That’s right Redders, you tell him. Let me and Syrup know when the event is and we’ll come and watch. hehehe 😉

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Another fine ‘nutshell’ comment Redders. It is not rocket science: the club need to appoint somebody into a senior, yet hands-on position, who is Arsenal through and through, streetwise and has great liaison abilities (fans, media, other clubs).

    I reckon Gazidis has lots of business qualities but something is clearly missing…

    Also fully agreed on Wenger simply doing too much at the moment.

  14. VCC says:

    Total, I agree with your sentiments about Wenger doing too much at the moment, but I have the impression it’s how he wants it.

    He is making his bed, and he must lay on it i’m afraid.

  15. George says:

    Diaby wont start(he just came from his usual injury problems and he will have a big role to play agains chelsea this weekend)

  16. glic says:

    Still haven`t read the post yet, but caught Redders comment ! hahaha I thought them stretching exercises were Terry`s domain !. hahaha Anyway Redders, seeing as your over here, I had you down in the BKUK team, so you can grapple with the Didgeridoos of the boys from Oz !.
    I`m digging an hole for myself aren`t I, were as I should doing it outside !. hahaha

    For some reason I was thinking about Micky Flanagan and that got me onto Bethnal Green , where I was born. I miss the place, especially the humour, Micky Flanagan is a Bethnal Green boy as are comedians Lee Hurst and Gina Yashere ( although she`s not a boy yet ! ). Then theirs the Repton Boxing Club which has produced…Olympic Champion, Audley Harrison ( Gooner ), World champions John H Stracey ( my brothers school mate ), Charlie Magri ( not Repton but lived and had a shop in Bethnal Green ), Maurice Hope, Billy Walker etc and then theirs the villainy from Jack the Ripper to the Kray Twins (plenty of dealings with my old man ) and plenty more cockney spivs.

    So Bethnal Green in a nutshell is………… If you dont laugh at our jokes whilst we`re robbing you, we will punch you in the face or kill you !. hahaha

    PS
    Not forgetting the worlds finest food……Pie&Mash !. Mmmmmmmm

    Back to digging ! or shall I practice untieing my gonads from a crossbar, which one of these were you going to use Redders ? hahahaha

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knots

  17. Red Arse says:

    TA,

    I should not even pose this question, but underneath the hard bitten professional demeanour I have in business matters, I am just a kid at heart when it comes to Arsenal.

    Arsene might, or might not, buy two top, top players this month, for ‘big money’ subject to availability, or to having a ‘full’ squad with the return of injured players, etc, but why have we been linked to £3.5m Diame of WHam?

    Isn’t he the guy that Wigan decided not to offer an extension to his contract last summer, and WHam picked up for free?

    It is only rumour, agreed, but, if true, how does that work in with AW’s comments?

  18. Red Arse says:

    Probably a granny knot, Glicster!! 😀

    But if I am on your team, I will pick on Oz instead, because I am a fickle tart!! 😀

  19. adeysams says:

    Arsenal playing beta still comes down to having 1daful replacements in the team, not injury prone. A new DM is needed, Frimpong and coquelin shud get beta. New attacking midfielders are needed, consistent players(gotze,william), cazorla is jes not doing is job. He and poldi jes fizzle out most times. Players like eisfield, gnabry wants to play in d absence of new players n shud give few players in d rest. A new defender is needed, a player dt can b DC,DM, evn DR n DL comfortably. And AW needs to upgrade. I’m a fan of AW buh needs to accept changes to make a difference

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    All agreed adeysams 🙂

    Where are you based?

    It took me a few seconds to find out what 1daful meant, but I am with you now!

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    hI RA at 12.06,

    Like you I am in the dark about the veracity of any of these trasfer speculations, and we just have to see what will happen 😕

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    vcc, agreed! Arsene should ask/accept more help with anything outside the pure football stuff.

  23. afc says:

    michu is like a swansea robert pires if we take him out swansea won’t be a problem his strength and composed finishing hurts us on the attack hes like arsenal’s new drogba he will keep hurting us if we don’t stop him but if we do we will win without a doubt.

  24. adeysams says:

    Nigeria. Smiles. Honestly i dont believe speculations anymore. Have to see and hear from Arsenal site on confirmation of new deals and arrivals. AW truly as to accept backroom advices. Sure you dispose some but make use of the necessary 1s.
    Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone provided by Airtel Nigeria.

  25. VCC says:

    I haven’t got a Scooby how tonight’s game will pan out. One thing is for sure, if we don’t contain Michu we will be in trouble.

    Normally, I’m in the camp that thinks, how will they cope with our pace, style and quality. But, alas, time and time again, I get my hopes up, just for them to be dashed by a totally inept performance lately.

    Teams are no longer afraid, or play with caution anymore against todays AFC. We have become laborious and fizzle out at the cutting edge.

    Our defence are far too often beaten with set pieces, and fall asleep too easily.

    Our midfield look tired and bereft of any ideas, together with the forward line not being clinical enough.

    I hope we see a different Arsenal than the one we have seen recently.

    COYG

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    all agreed adeysams, best is to focus on game tonight!

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    We’ll Jack ’em all in, Vickers! 🙂

    all your pointsare valid though! 😕

  28. adeysams says:

    Where are you based? Well dts certainly d work of a good DM whilst others are attacking 2-3 players + d DM makes sure all counter treat are contained cos dts how we get beaten by dem most times and we seem not to learn frm dt
    Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone provided by Airtel Nigeria.

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    How we could have don with him, afc!

  30. adeysams says:

    Totally agree to that
    Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone provided by Airtel Nigeria.

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    adey,

    I am based in Norwich, UK, but originate from Holland. Great fan of Nigerian players: Babangida, Kanu, etc. Especially Kanu was a gent and a giant! 🙂

  32. adeysams says:

    Appreciate that. Really luv Holland as a country. Infact my dad was there for four yrs b4 coming back to Nigeria. Wuld b there smday myself. Norwich? Nice place too
    Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone provided by Airtel Nigeria.

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    Adey,

    Are there any promising Nigerian players we should be looking at?

  34. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Hi TA

    Have to be quick, am snowed under at the moment.

    We will win today and probably go on to win the cup
    We shall finish fourth
    We might win the champions league, but i admit i have doubts on this one.
    in my opinion we should not panic buy. Wait until the summer if neccasary.

    By the way, i am extending my loft. hahahaha. The only problem is that i will have no were to live for 6 weeks. Any one fancy taking me in for a while?. hahahaha

  35. adeysams says:

    Presently, wuld say let’s see in about a year or two. Others you already know. D likes of Victor Moses, Ahmed Musa. Others are probably stalling in terms of potential or not playing in a competitive league cause a stall in growth
    Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone provided by Airtel Nigeria.

  36. adeysams says:

    Smiles
    Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone provided by Airtel Nigeria.

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    I like Moses and Musa, and please keep us posted on a beast of a Nigerian DM developing anytime soon, Sir!

  38. adeysams says:

    My pleasure
    Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone provided by Airtel Nigeria.

  39. glic says:

    Extending the loft is probably the best home improvement you can do for adding value to a property, but in Stretches case more of a penthouse naughty step than for any financial gain !. hahaha

  40. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi Redders, sorry for the delayed response 🙂
    There’s too much complacency, and a lack of genuine quality in key areas.
    In all of our high-scoring games this season, we’ve been helped either by the opposition or officials. Nigel Adkins just got his tactical set-up completely wrong when we beat them 6-1 at the Emirates, but the recent game at St. Mary’s shows how quickly they’ve adapted and improved. Adebayor wants every game he plays against Arsenal to be about him, and stupidly got himself red-carded, which undoubtedly changed the course of the game – and even then we nervously got over the line – Reading are just one of those sides that we always scores lots of goals against, even when they were last in the PL under Coppell.
    They were like rabbit’s caught in headlights and offered little in the way of resistance.
    And the 7-3 against Newcastle seriously over-stated our ability when you consider that they had unluckily gone down 4-3 at OT three days earlier, whilst we’d enjoyed a week-long rest.
    They matched us right up to the 73rd minute, and it was only 4-3 right up to the 85th minute.
    When you take those extraordinary games out of the equation, it means that in our other 17 PL games, we have scored only 17 goals. Those four results mask quite a lot, but they only scratch the surface of the problems at Arsenal. This has nothing to do with resources, the fundamental football philosophy at Arsenal has been shown to be failing and as a club we are a long way short of where we should be. If major changes aren’t made, Arsenal will become a meaning-less middle-of-the-road club whose existence will become insignificant
    among football’s elite.
    Someone among the club’s hierarchy really needs to connect with the supporters and issue a mission statement, a shared vision of where Arsenal are going, because all they’re seeing at the moment are owners who are quite content to see the club being cast adrift. No supporter is entitled to or should expect their club to win trophies, but what they are entitled to is a club that puts their ambitions first, and fights for the right to win them, instead of meekly surrendering so that to all intents and purposes, we are to the top three what Reading are to us. That is unacceptable.

  41. glic says:

    Herb

    I think a trophyless, CL qualificationless season will make the shit hit the fan for the first time for AW. I`m not saying he deserves it, as I think he deserves more than one bad season for what he has done for us, but that is what will happen imo. Expectations have never been so high for a minimum CL place with todays impatient ” I want it all now ” supporters !.

  42. Herb'sArmy says:

    Time for Stan to stick or twist, GliC. The problems aren’t all Mr Wenger’s responsibility – far from it – but his transfer dealings over the last few years has been poor.

  43. glic says:

    Have we bought Isco yet ? ( legs and arms hissy fit ) I want him now !. hahaha

    Even though I`m aching from digging, I shall now go on the treadmill now, then some weights and sit-ups ( yes, I know what a hero ! ), then get ready for a night behind the sofa !. How long ?, 3 hours incase it goes to extra-time and pens ?.
    I actually feel good about tonight and may take a sneek at half-time to see whats happening !. hahaha

  44. richie59er says:

    The absentee landlord cum owner unfortunately strikes right at the heart of the matter! Although I have to disagree with VCC, because I remember Wenger giving an interview where he clearly stated, that because of the boards outing of DD everything was now in his lap, and he wasn’t comfortable having to do what he thought of as 2 jobs. Team coach & director of Football. Now I know in England many managers seemingly do both jobs but in reality they don’t! They employ a coach and they oversee. As in Ray Wilkins until a while ago at the Chav’s when surprise surprise they sacked him. One of the Chav’s many former managers Ancelotti wrote about Wilkins, in his autobiography “Ray is one of those select few coaches, always present, and without him we wouldn’t have won a thing.” That is the case with most of the clubs in the prem they’ve got a manager and a coach. Now many will say yeah but we’ve got a manager and Bouldie is the coach. Not true Arsene gets the success he has in player development because he works hands on with the players. Stevie B ain’t the coach, (he) like Ricey before him is Arsene assistant. I’ve also heard AW say that, the coaching and playing of matches is the only reason for him being in the business, he said he hates contracts and negotiations. Which in my mind at least explains why things are slightly amiss with the organizational structure at the club.

    When Wenger came to Arsenal in 96 he had only one thing to concentrate on, Football. Build teams, develop players, identify future talent and ask that they be bought, get those teams playing the best football the prems ever seen. I think he had enough work to do. Certainly he engaged in other managerial tasks that went far beyond his remit like, designing our London Colney training ground and facilities, and then later overseeing the building of the new stadium. Ask anyone at the club and they’ll all tell you Arsene was involved in every facet of the build. Fast forward to 22 July 2006 and the upheaval caused by the move to the Emirates (we’ve just had “Gods” testimonial) hardly had the dust settled when 8 months later April 2007 Dein’s gone and dear old Arsene is yet again the architect of his own downfall, he’s done so much, and it’s now all done, so why not let him continue to do more? He (Arsene) can coach the team and do DD’s job. We might have to pay him more but it won’t be 2 salaries.

    Now the question in my mind is this? Has Gazides as Chief Executive been employed to do the old Job DD did? Because from my limited observations either he hasn’t or if he has he ain’t much cop. It seems to me that for once I’m with RA Arsene ain’t getting the support he needs because he’s still doing way too much. I’ll try to break it down into simple terms (something I have to be good at as I’m just a simple man)
    Boats; There’s an owner, a captain, a 1st mate and a crew including your engineer, there might be also be a navigator and a radio man but that’s the equivalent of your fitness coach and physio. Now the owner decides where the boats going, the captain plots the course, and gives instructions to his first mate, who relays them to the crew and engineer. Now our boats owner ain’t ever on board and he doesn’t seem to mind if the boats in the Caribbean or the Med as long as it ain’t losing him money. Next up our boat ain’t got a captain, but we’ve got the best 1st mate afloat. The problem is our 1st mate has to first keep us safe = turn a profit. Second while making a profit he has to decide where we’re going and sail the boat through stormy weather, competing with luxury liners. Whilst filling in insurance forms and doing tax returns and accounting, luckily the boats got a chef and maintenance or he’d be cooking and cleaning. The boats owner should have recruited a captain just like our board should’ve appointed someone to do DD’s job long ago, but with an owner out of the picture that ain’t easy. I want our 1st mate to do what he does best run the ship, I want Arsene to do what he does best concentrate solely on Football not on business!

  45. glic says:

    Herbie baby !.

    Do you think that if Uzzy had bought all the shares and pumped loads of money into Arsenal a few years back, would we have won something ?. I think we would have and even though I like the way we are run and we get lots of slaps on the back for it, we are getting no thanks for it with trophies !. I will admit that if Uzzy would have provided the silverware, I wouldn`t be on my high horse saying it wasn`t right , I`d probably be a lot happier than I am now , if that is possible !. hahaha
    I just hope FFP gives us the bright future I expect !. 🙂

  46. adeysams says:

    Hello mate, richie59er, nice comment. U culd do well a writer urself if willing
    Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone provided by Airtel Nigeria.

  47. Herb'sArmy says:

    Not necessarily GliC. I’m as opposed to Usmanov as I am to Kroenke. I agree to a degree with Redders and Richie, regarding Mr Wenger’s work-load. Since Dein left, ,Mr Wenger has had to make more decisions than is healthy for him, and it has harmed the club too, but we don’t have enough football men among the hierarchy, which is another major handicap.

  48. Red Arse says:

    Glicster,

    As usual you can nonchalantly pluck a pearl of wisdom from the air!!

    I have a number of friends (mainly Yankee Doodles visiting London, who are associate Gooners because of me) and they have often said much the same thing as you

    They do not understand the fixation many Arsenal fans have about who owns the club, or what system they use to run it.
    As Gooners (Associates 🙂 ) who pay good money, when they are over here, they want to be entertained and they want their ‘soccer’ team to win!

    If some dude wants to pour money into the club, they say, why should they worry? Provided the team win and they get their kicks from supporting the best team – what’s the problem.

    Alternatively, if the self financing model works and the team win etc – that’s fine too!

    Now, because of my professional background, I would prefer the self funding, financially balanced model.
    However, where there are two systems allowed in the EPL, one of them being our model, and the other being the oligarchs pouring money into their teams, there will always be only one winner. The oligarchical cubs, because they have the money.

    Think about it;

    (1) What dictates who gets the best players? MONEY
    (2) Which teams win the most trophies? The teams with the best players!
    (3) Which teams gets the best players? See (1) above.

    Even the best run club in the world will never be able to match the money so profligately spent by Arab oil barons, or Russian oligarchs.
    Arsenal fans will have to hope FFP works (and I now have my doubts, because of the financial and political power of the rich owners), so the only thing then left to Arsenal fans is to suck it up, live with it, and stop trying to find someone to blame for a ‘problem’ outside the control of anyone at our club.

  49. Herb'sArmy says:

    If that was strictly true, Redders, I’m sure we’d all be well-mannered, well-behaved compliant supporters, enjoying our ‘lot’ and celebrating a top ten finish, but Arsenal are considerably bigger than that. Tottenham have a significantly lower wage-bill than Arsenal, they won at OT, and sit six points ahead (ok we have a game in hand which could reduce it to three), so they’re doing more things right than us.

  50. thegooner19 says:

    Hi TA,

    Rosicky has actually made two appearances since the Olympiakos start – 1 in the 80th minute vs. West Brom and 1 in the 68th minute vs. Bradford City. He was excellent in the Bradford City game and really clicked with Cazorla and gave our offence shape and purpose once he stepped on the field. It’s beyond me as to why Wenger isn’t playing him, unless he’s injured or up for sale as you suggested. Michu our new “drogba”? I have to very much agree, he can do nothing for the majority of the game but then he just changes the result in an instant, whether it be by his foot or head!

    @ Glic, I’m also quite optimistic about today and feel that Arsenal will be more organized and pull off a collective team win. Cazorla has not been playing well lately, so I suspect he’ll be the one pulling the strings and rebound in a big way (I hope anyway!).

    @ afc, I’d have to disagree with you on your Michu to Pires comparison. Pires had more pace and ability on the ball than Michu does. Pires was also more of a flair player/goal scorer and playmaker opposed to a direct clinical finisher, as he could chip some devastating goals over keepers too. Michu’s definitely a huge talent though!

  51. glic says:

    It is true Redders, I can be a bit of plucker !, especially with one of these self-indulging finely balanced models you are on about !. Send one around to me now ( yes, I know, I want it now hissy fit ! ) and I dont want it second or third hand after you and Stretch, especially as PPP said Terry was infectious !.

  52. richie59er says:

    RA’s argument only works if you take Barca out of the equasion. Most people agree they’re the best club side around, and they ain’t got a Russian or an Arab billionaire’s backing. What they have got is a great academy and a government who doesn’t block them when they want to bring in potential talent. Unlike the xenaphobic British govenment who have a policy of not allowing foreign (football) students in. As I’ve often stated if Arsenal scouts find the next Messi our government won’t let him in until he’s played for his country at International level. In other words he would no longer be a find he’d be a mega star we couldn’t afford. Unlike say both the Spanish (Barca’s Mesia Academy) or Dutch (Ajax Toekompst Academy) both of which can bring in potential almost at will. As you’ll all realise I prefer the self sustaining model with an expansion of our Acedemy. Why not produce more Jacks? (who’s been with us since he was 9) or at least try to.

  53. Red Arse says:

    Herb,

    I am realistic enough to know that what I am saying (however difficult it is to argue with it) is not palatable or acceptable to many Arsenal fans, because it is human nature to try and rationalise things and find a scapegoat when things go ‘wrong’.

    It isn’t a question of ‘big’ Herb, it is a question of money. Chelsea were on the verge of going bankrupt when Abramovich bought them, and had sod all in the way of trophy history, or being a ‘big’ club, but £1bn poured into them has produced a glut of trophies, which coincidentally also happened at City, at the same time we were at our most impecunious, and also trophyless.

    Tottenham are no different to us, in that they might have a good team capable of winning here and there, but they will win bugger all in terms of trophies, unless Joe Lewis, another billionaire pours more money into that club.

    But you are right — we together with Everton, Newcastle, and Spurs will always squabble around the minor places, unless [wait for it – that word is coming up again] more money is found by yet more disgustingly rich benefactors.

    I do not mean to pop your aspirational bubble, herb, and I hope I am proved wrong, but there is a reluctance by many fans to accept the reality that stares them in the face, and that leads to disappointment and anger.

    The world is not fair. Football is not fair. And the EPL, as it is at the moment – is not fair.

  54. thegooner19 says:

    @ OZ in regards to his comment from yesterday

    People who claim they watch the Superbowl for the ads are not fans themselves, they simply watch the NFL once a year because it’s the “popular” thing to do/ritual. It’s easy to lose interest in the Superbowl, especially if you are not emotionally attached (ie your team already being eliminated). However, there is a large contingent of fans who watch the sport because they are passionate about it and your sweeping generalizations are quite unfounded.

    In terms of your desire to continue comparing it to Rugby, I’ll say this – the two sports are entirely different and Rugby requires the use of aerobic systems and slow-twitch muscles, while NFL football requires the use of anaerobic and fast-twitch muscles. It’s like comparing a 1600m run to a 100m sprint. I’d much rather watch the 100m dash any day of the week than the long distance, endurance 1600m run. Rugby calls for a more primal, raw athleticism and Football calls for a more freakish, natural athleticism. After playing both sports as a teenager, I found football to be more demanding from a natural athletic perspective and rugby demanding more spine and constant drive. In terms of the natural athleticism aspects, Rugby players would never be able to dream of performing the way NFL players do in games, since they couldn’t match the speed/skill over the distances they run (in the same way NFL players likely wouldn’t be able to run for the duration of a rugby match at a top speed). I also felt that rugby never required a high level of intelligence – football players have to study film, memorize hundreds of plays from a play book and adjust in-game to audibles and shifts in formation etc.

  55. thegooner19 says:

    Remy to QPR confirmed, dirty ‘arry up to his usual TW tricks again…

  56. glic says:

    Of course we would all prefer a self-sustaining model which produces great players, great football and trophies frequently held high, but as my mukker Redders (I think) is saying, unless FFP brings us that Ideal, then we`re probably pissing against the wind !.
    Would I have groaned about us having the success Chavs have had with Uzzy at the helm and winning in Germany ?. No way, I would have still been clung to the ceiling as we speak now, whilst typing insults on a Spud site using my Hampton ( yes, I do have a very low ceiling ! ). hahaha

  57. richie59er says:

    @TG the word is Rosicky’s injured otherwise I’m sure Arsene would’ve played him, I believe the sale rumour is just that another rumour. Older players take longer to recover from nigles, (its why AW won’t give out long contracts to 30+’s). Its said he’s had a muscle strain.

  58. Red Arse says:

    richie,

    I had no idea that today was the only time you have agreed with me about something, so you will not be surprised that I disagree with you about Barcelona.

    They are a team who are seen to represent the Catalan province, and many Catalans are seeking independence from Spain – not that I care either way. As a result they are not simply a financially self sustaining entity.

    Over the years they have been given special tax exemptions, as have Real Madrid, because of political pressures. As well as that, those two clubs have been allowed to carve up the Spanish TV rights, amounting to hundreds of millions of Euros each, leaving only a pittance to be split between all the other clubs.

    In short they may not be funded by oligarchs, but they are heavily funded by national pressure groups, and unlike clubs in this country, they are so politically powerful that the other clubs in the Spanish League cannot object and that is why they regularly win La Liga between themselves every year, like Celtic and Rangers used to do, and will again, in Scotland, but on a bigger scale.

    Of course this is only an opinion, and i do not care really whether you agree or not.

  59. thegooner19 says:

    @richie, I certainly hope so! Rosicky has such a positive influence on your squad when he’s at the pitch and he’s Arsenal through and through. Definitely a huge boost to have a veteran presence like himself for our younger players.

  60. thegooner19 says:

    our squad*

  61. Red Arse says:

    Glic, 🙂

    You are not American like me are you? 😛

  62. Herb'sArmy says:

    No aspirational bubble, Redders. You’re right, the PL is unfair, and hasn’t been a level playing-field for years. There is something fundamentally flawed about our whole football ethos which has little relevance to our resources. It isn’t working, and that has nothing to do with Chelsea or MC’s billions.

  63. thegooner19 says:

    Pep to Bayern. Did not see that one coming…

  64. glic says:

    Redders

    I cannot understand how the rest of the Spanish Teams put up with Real/Barca getting away with it !. Being a simple person , I have this simple idea as to why dont the rest of the Spanish teams say we will strike unless the TV rights are evenly distributed, at the end of the day real/Barca are nothing without the other clubs. Could you imagine lets say the two Clungechester clubs demanding 90% of any TV mega deal and the rest dividing the 10% between them !.
    I should imagine you will give me a good reason as to why the rest of Spanish clubs are gutless !. Coz you are clever like that !. hahaha

  65. glic says:

    Yes Redders, I`m f**king away on my Banjo and plucking Daisy Dukes in the back of my Chevvy as we speak !. hahaha

  66. thegooner19 says:

    Just wondering Glic, ever since you tatooed Isco on your todger, does it only appear when you’re at full pedro? I saw your comment that you’re trying to steal my first love that I introduced to you hahaha!

    But in all seriousness, did some digging over the past week on transfer rumours. We’ve been linked to Urby Emanuelson of AC Milan, Adrian of Atletico, Diame of West Ham, Capoue and Aurier of Toulouse, Milito of Inter, M’vila of Rennes, Kaka of Real Madrid, Gourcuff of Lyon, Butland of Birmingham City, Fellaini of Everton, Salamon of Brescia, Strootman of PSV (and plenty more). Please wake me up when we’ve actually signed someone or when the TW ends…Of note is that a French Newspaper had claimed Capoue was on his way to Everton as a Fellaini replacement. I really hope we don’t lose out on Capoue as I believe he’d solve a great deal of Arsenal’s problems (unless of course we sign Fellaini but he’d likely go to the Chavs).

  67. Red Arse says:

    Glic,

    I actually do not know how they do it! But then I am dopey — and you are doc. 🙂

    The view expressed to me is that the reverse is also true, because the TV companies have said they are not interested in Osasuna, who they(?) 🙂 for example, because they have no value to sponsors worldwide, so it is Madrid and Barca or no deal.

    Of course carving up their league between them, has made them famous throughout the world, making shirt sales etc hugely profitable, and the Spanish speaking South American countries have special nationality deals for transference of players to Spain, so the whole deal has become self perpetuating!

    Politics, eh??! 😀

  68. glic says:

    The answer to your question TG19 is yes !, normally it`s just an “ipad” !. hahaha

    Oh dear, this TW is boring and I was so looking forward to it aswell !. We`ll probably have an exciting last 24 hours before being hugely disappointed !.

  69. glic says:

    Thanks Redders, for giving me some understanding of it . 🙂

  70. thegooner19 says:

    As per Arsenal.com, Coquelin comes in for Podolski and Mertesacker for Koscielny. Are we seeing the beginning of a 4-4-2 or is Cazorla playing on the wing?

  71. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi TG, it would be great if you could do a short match report and player ratings for tonight’s game. If the offer is still on then please go ahead. I can publish it tonight or in the morning; whatever suits you best!!!

  72. thegooner19 says:

    TA, I’ve got my laptop ready for notes! I’d prefer if you released it in the morning as I have a tennis league after the game and some other errands to run before I can consolidate everything and write the report. Cheers!

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    Excellent stuff TG19

    Here is the line up:

    Arsenal Team
    Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Coquelin, Wilshere, Diaby, Cazorla, Walcott, Giroud

    Subs: Mannone, Jenkinson, Santos, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arshavin, Podolski

  74. TotalArsenal says:

    Wilshere in the hole and Diaby and le Coq behind him according to ESPN!!! YES BABY! 🙂

  75. oz gunner says:

    it’s like a dream come true TA! it’ll answer a lot of peoples questions that’s for sure.

    Cheers for the pre-match!

  76. TotalArsenal says:

    Your welcome Ozzer, cannot wait to see Jack show us all why he got the nr10 shirt in the first place! 🙂

  77. thegooner19 says:

    TA, your wish came true! 🙂 Can’t wait to see Jack in the hole (sounds much worse when I re-read it)

  78. TotalArsenal says:

    I know TG19 – it is not the most elegant term. Jack plays in the hole of the mighty Arse! But it is what we need right now (or TR but who knows what will happen with him…) 🙂

  79. TotalArsenal says:

    Well if this first-11 does not work, then I don’t know what to say or do anymore. Theo and Santi on the wing, JW10 in the hole, Giroud the attacking pivot, and Diaby and le Coq behind them all. We are going to smash those Jacks tonight!!

  80. oz gunner says:

    I do really like this lineup!

    Coquelin is the answer for DM!!!

    @ TG

    I only compared Rugby to the NFL in terms of physicality. The rest has been with Aussie Rules Football. There is no lack of athleticism there, in fact there are loads with Walcott like pace. You don’t make it in the sport if you don’t have both pace and slow twitch fibres.

  81. oz gunner says:

    but anyway we are both as biased as buggery so i’ll stop it there.

    Phew…damn you bartley

  82. thegooner19 says:

    Excellent first half by Arsenal, lots to positives to write in the post-match report so far! All we’re missing is a goal, Vermaelen was absolutely robbed at the end of the first half there.

  83. TotalArsenal says:

    YesTG19 much better game in terms of shape and focus, with Wilshere doing great. Still rusty in the combinations up-front but it will come. Swansea are very well organised and don’t seem to give away anything for free, so we need to get a tat sharper in 2nd half.

  84. oz gunner says:

    are we sure bartley’s deal wasn’t just a loan 🙂
    Two games now against us and he’s been great

    I really like the look of this team. I’ve hyped up Coquelin that much that i feel like I’m watching my son out there haha

  85. TotalArsenal says:

    I fine son you have Oz, haha 🙂

    He is doing ok and getting better the longer the game goes on.

    We need a goal though – a bit more quality/composure up-front 🙂

  86. oz gunner says:

    He is TA, i’m very proud of him! he was unlucky not to score with that volley, vorm knew it too.

    You’re right we do, come on goals galore in the second!

  87. TotalArsenal says:

    Almost – great quick ball by Diaby

  88. thegooner19 says:

    JACK!!!!!

  89. Gooner4eva49 says:

    Glad to see the set up we had today. Could of been 10-0. Great game great play created loads of chances just need to bang those in keep our players/same group playing regularly and we will do well.

    Come on you gunners!!!

  90. Gooner4eva49 says:

    All were good but jack was immense. I love you Thomas but jack has captain written all over him

  91. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed Goon4eva! 🙂

    Theo and OG wanted it so badly but lacked the quality/composure today, but what a goal by S-Jack!!

  92. Gooner4eva49 says:

    How rude of me, good post TA. Been very busy I gotta catch up with recent posts!

  93. TotalArsenal says:

    Good to see you back G49. At last we have some positive stuff to analyse and talk about!

  94. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice one: Chavs gave a 2-0 lead away! 🙂

  95. Gooner4eva49 says:

    Yay

  96. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Our young players will get better and better. The club will also make some very big bids for some outstanding players, probably in the next couple of weeks.

    Everything is as it should be and all shall come to fruition.

    Dont lose faith now, just when we are so close to becoming a super club. Its just round the corner.

  97. TotalArsenal says:

    hahahahahaha Terrenzo – you are brimming the glass again! Love it, of course!! 😛

    Were you at match?

  98. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    No TA, watched it from the Loft. and very nice it was too.

    As you know my Dutch Master, i never joke about Arsenal hahaha. We have reached a stage now were our young players will stay and we will go in big on the transfer market. If we dont get a couple of big names this January, then we will be trying again in the Summer.

    In a year or two, we will be very hard to stop. I know deep down we shall be at the top again. This is what the last 8 years has been all about.

    Keep the Faith

  99. richie59er says:

    A 21 year (unofficial) “captain” leads his team to victory! Just to hammer home how I feel I don’t care how anyone else saw it but “I’ve got my Arsenal back” that’s how I expect “my” Arsenal to play. When a weak Arsenal were out played at home by Swansea many said the Swans out Arsenal‘ed Arsenal, I want to set the record straight “they didn’t”! To out Arsenal us you have to totally dominate possession and create chances for fun. As is typical of us we don’t do anything the easy way, its guaranteed to stop a healthy heart in full flow, especially one weakened by the extreme cold and 86 minutes of pure tension.

    Second half we were immense 26 goal scoring attempts, I only remember their “tidily wink” 🙄 have one shot on goal. We were back to playing our own game, the ball was pinged around at speed in the way we expect of our team; the movement from our own off the ball was Arsene’s Arsenal again. Yes our finishing needs improvement, on another night we could’ve finished 10-0. Can there now be any doubt that Girou (d) 🙂 should play as our lead, he didn’t score but his contribution was enormous. Off the ball his movement alone dragged the oppositions defence deeper in a far greater way than the threat of Theo’s pace. Now there can be no doubt that Jack will lead the Arse sooner rather than later.

  100. richie59er says:

    Something I just thought of sharing; sometime it’s all about resisting the clamour for signings especially those emminating from our own fans and the newspapers. I say this remembering the disappointment expressed by many over “Arsene’s” summer failure to sign Nuri Sahin from Real. He was discribed widely as the missing piece of Arsenal’s puzzle, anyone feel we missed out?

  101. richie59er says:

    Just for the sake of clarity and before some know it all tells me; I did realise Ki Sung-Yeung is in fact Korean and not a tidily. 😀

  102. thegooner19 says:

    Richie, you make a valid point about not making panic signings. However, I don’t think anyone would disagree that we could use a back-up LB given Gibbs’ injury history and Santos’ inability to defend anything on the pitch. Aside from that, if Coquelin can make the DM position his own, then we “technically” have all the required depth needed to go forward.

    Our depth currently is:

    Szczesny (Mannone…could be upgraded but fine for now)

    Gibbs (Santos…needs to go)
    Vermaelen & Mertesacker (Koscielny & ???)
    Sagna (Jenkinson)

    Arteta (Coquelin)
    Diaby (Ramsey)
    Wilshere (Rosicky)

    Cazorla (Podolski/Gervinho)
    Walcott (Chamberlain/Gervinho)

    Giroud (Walcott/Podolski)

    However, we know how precarious our injury history is and I wouldn’t be surprised to see several of our players re-injure themselves before the end of the season. With that said, I’d be more comfortable with a DM signing and a versatile winger/striker/midfield signing (together with the aforementioned LB signing).

  103. oz gunner says:

    My boy did well tonight guys! Finally we got to see Jack as an AM…and i loved every minute of it! Richie you’re correct Giroud should be leading the line more often, at least when crosses come in he’s a constant threat. When theo is up top and sagna has to send one in he might as well kick it into row Z because the defenders just gobble it up.

    I’m getting all giddy with the rumours of a 30 million dollar player coming to the emirates (i just hope it’s not a situation where the player was once valued at that but now is a lot cheaper e.g Villa). But I’m not fussy Arsene knows who we need.

    Good to see our passing game working last night as well. A bit more peripheral vision and more composure and we would have romped it in!

    Arsenal for the CL.

    Terry said the ghosts are stirring, i’m definitely a believer!!!! no wheres that Kool-aid

  104. thegooner19 says:

    Oz, where did you see that we’d sign a 30 mil player??

  105. oz gunner says:

    All over twitter and rumour sites, apparently the bid is for Cavani. Take it with a pinch of salt but a big bid for someone has left my mouth watering.

    Come on Goetze!!!

  106. thegooner19 says:

    Interesting Oz, I haven’t read anything about that rumour lately. In fact, Cavani’s latest comments suggest he’s pledged his future to Napoli and insists that he wants Balotelli to join him there (or so the tabloids suggest). I’d be completely ecstatic with him, but I certainly won’t hold me breath – AW’s never been one to splash out that amount of cash for anyone and I don’t see any reason as to why he’d start now.

  107. henrychan says:

    Morning all..
    At last.. We win a game without Arteta..
    Willshere dared to go forward because there was 2 DM backup.. Diaby and Coquelin..
    And Wilshere – Cazorla both do a great job.. They will be great together as double AM..
    I don’t really now why Podolski was absent.. Injured..?? But keep the 4-4-2 scheme will be great..

    And Chelsea draw.. hehehe..
    Make my day more colourfull.. haha..
    We can beat Chelsea.. easier at their homebase.. hehehe..
    Go gunners..

  108. henrychan says:

    Sorry.. I mean know.. not now..

  109. oz gunner says:

    I read that too TG. About how his family is settled and he is happy here ect. But this Geoff guy is apparently the most reliable source on twitter (if that’s worth anything haha) so the optimist in me has every finger and toe crossed. A shiny new toy!!! I want! I want! I want!

  110. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post – New Post!

    TG is back and you can tell he has had a good rest! 🙂

  111. TotalArsenal says:

    Some more fine comments overnight by the usual suspects. Need to find some time today to read them all. Top stuff guys! 🙂

  112. oz gunner says:

    @ VCC

    mmm he’s dropping more hints, the TA impostor will be writing in no time 🙂

  113. Red Arse says:

    Bonjour mes amis, 🙂

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