Rosicky to conduct, Nacho-Santi bulls on left, Sagna-Theo train on right: Everton preview

Little Mozart to conduct the symphony tonight?!

Little Mozart to conduct the symphony tonight?!

A rare treat for us nowadays: a meaningful mid-week game!

Having worked in Liverpool for a few years, I have nothing but respect for both Everton and Liverpool. The Liverpudlians know how to enjoy live and seize the day, and they know their football as well. And there is nothing but respect for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger over there, something the Mancs could learn a lesson from.

David Moyes is a fine, loyal manager, who, every few years, is able to put a talented team together with the potential to move into the top-four. It looks like he has done it again this year, and the Toffees come to the Emirates in great form – let’s not mention the embarrassing FA-cup exit though, but then, who are we to talk…?

This will be a tough game for us, as a confident and fully fit Everton will fancy their chances. A home win against the Northern Oilers and away draw against the Spuddies in recent games, Everton have proven they can handle the pressure and get results. The Toffees’ strength seems to come from the wings, and especially, from the centre of midfield, where the hard working Osman, Gibson and Fellaini form an impressive defensive wall as well as a fountain of creativity.

Eveton’s away record is not brilliant, with only four wins out of 15 games, although a glass half full Evertonian will tell you they only lost four away games all season.

So how are we going to combat the tough Toffees?

I reckon, Arsene will fall back to what he knows best and will stick with 4-2-1-3; and he will play his most experienced team.

Defence:

I am pretty sure Szczesny will return to the first team. The coded language from Wenger re Fabianski’s ‘injury’ tells me the Pole will be between the poles again tonight.

The back four is interesting once more: will Arsene drop TV again? I reckon, he will. This is no game for sentimentality and the best CB pair should play: Koz and BFG. On the right, I expect Mr Reliable to play, and on the left, I go for Nacho this time.

Midfield:

Zorro and Rambo to combat with Osman, Gibson and Fellaini in our double-DM pivot, with Rosicky in the hole. Given Arsene’s recent comments, Jack will get a rest and Rosicky is likely to replace him. Alternatively, Cazorla could be played ‘in the hole’, but I reckon the Professor will go with the Czech conductor this time.

Attack:

The above mentioned inclusion of Rosicky, would mean that Arsene has to choose to fill his three attacking positions from: Walcott, Gervinho, the Pod, Giroud, Ox and Cazorla. Will Wenger surprise us all and, after his recent comments re the Pod spearheading our attack any time soon, put the Pod centrally? I don’t think so: not for this game, as it would be too disruptive to our shape and system of football.

I feel Wenger will stick to what he knows and play Ollie centrally, with the Pod on the left and Cazorla on the right; although, I am also tempted to go for Cazorla on the left – forming a fine partnership with Nacho there – and Theo on the right to keep Baines busy….. But that would leave the Pod out, so maybe he will play centrally tonight…. pfffffff. Not easy, my friends, not easy. And then many of us want Arsene to buy at least one more attacker hahaha 🙂

I am going to go with Cazorla – Giroud – Theo up-front, as Arsene’s choices, but I probably get it wrong and won’t achieve an 11/11 once again tonight.

Predicted Line-up:

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Anyway, here is hoping for a fantastic game and Arsenal playing at their very best, and collecting three more super-valuable points. Let’s give the Spuds a better, more in perspective, view of the mighty, red and white Arse!

Come on You Rip Roaring Gunners!!!!!!!!!!! Do Us Proud.

Written by: TotalArsenal.

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168 Responses to Rosicky to conduct, Nacho-Santi bulls on left, Sagna-Theo train on right: Everton preview

  1. AFC says:

    TA, good pre-match report. 🙂

    I am busy so I will be very brief. Spot on with your line-up. I too do not see Podolski starting. I would love to see Fabianski stay in goal but if he is injuried Szczesny will come back in. For me Vermaelen has to be dropped for Mertesacker. Mertesacker is vital to our defence. The match will nor be easy as Everton know their CL dream rests on this match so this match could be very tough. I am not that confident we can win. For me it is 50/50.

  2. Red Arse says:

    Good Morning, TA, 🙂

    Well you have hit back at the Oz pre-match with an excellent riposte, and a very fine Post it is!! 😀

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    AFC, 50/50 is a fair feeling, but the boys know what they need to do and with Wilshere, the Pod, Gervinho, Vermaelen, The Ox on the bench we can add fire-power/ defensive power if required. 🙂

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Redders,

    You are very kind. 🙂

    Oz’s PMR are the bees knees but the man is busy, so you have to make do with me! 😀

  5. GoonerEris says:

    Yep. I will go with your line up save for the defense where I will retain Vermaelen-Kos partnership and Gibbs, instead of the BFG and Nacho. Everton have 2 Belgians and who better to take them on & offer tips than their countryman in our captain? As for the LB position, Kevin Mirallas’ speed and trickery may be too much for Nacho while Gibbs has shown ability to keep such players ineffective. We just have to go for the 3 points, irrespective of who plays, anyway.

  6. marcus says:

    TA,
    I’m sure you’re spot on with the line-up prediction. I wish that it would be Poldi instead of Giroud up front and the ox would get more playing time even if as a sub. Like 30-40 mins.

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    GoonerEris

    Excellent point about the Belgian threat and how to deal with it. On the other hand, The Toffee Belgians also know a thing or two about TV’s potential weaknesses…

    The BFG gives us organisation and discipline, so I reckon he will play. You might well be right about Mirallas’ threat!

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Marcus,

    I would like us to start playing Poldi up-front, but maybe first in a less critical/difficult game. Mainly because we would possibly lack the automatisms…

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    Out for a bit, catch you all later. 🙂

  10. Red Arse says:

    Gerry,

    I have just come in and was late in seeing your earlier massive missive addressed to me.

    Normally I would just move on, but you have put in the effort, so if TA doesn’t mind I will just answer you briefly.

    First: I am not being stubborn. I prefaced my response yesterday by admitting I was simply expressing an opinion, which was no better than anyone else’s. A view that you would do well to emulate.

    Second: I was paying AFC the courtesy of responding to his very fine Post.
    Again I started the chat by asking, why would we need to have Sagna as a CB or even a cover.

    Third: I never described AFC, or any of those bloggers who supported his view, as being stubborn or stupid or any such other adjective, and again perhaps you can also try to pay me the same courtesy.

    Fourth: I suggested that if he indeed saw a need for Sagna at CB or as cover, it implied there was perhaps a problem with our young support, such as Miguel, (my preference in such circumstances) in which case Arsenal should buy a specialist replacement, not take an old, slow (we all seem to agree broken legs have slowed him down) , physically inappropriate RB and convert him at the dog end of his career. AFC voiced his opinion — I voiced mine — geddit?

    Fifth: I don’t care who you want as your role model. It has nothing to do with me.
    I made the observation that players in the EPL, and Arsenal’s are among the worst, show very little loyalty to the club with their constant complaints about their salaries, and wanting to leave for a club that matches their ambitions. My view is fine — so don’t cry when the club takes a hard line with them too.

    You want to idolise them? Go ahead.

    Finally: You have made this sort of personalised comment to me before, and then passed it off as an attempt at humour. If it is the case here — learn how to show a smiley or an ‘lol”, or I will treat it accordingly.

    If you are serious, and feel the need to teach me, a doubly qualified accountant, what a ‘business’ is, and to also tell me, wrongly, that I am stubborn without apparently reading what I actually wrote, and the friendly tone of my very interesting conversation with AFC whom I have a lot of time for — then go fuck yourself!

  11. marcus says:

    GoonerEris,
    That’s a very insightful comment however I beg to differ. The TV5 Koscielny partnership doesn’t work at all let alone in a game where they have Fellaini whose aerial prowess can only be kept in check by BFG. I also would like to disagree with picking Gibbs over Nacho. Nacho is a far better defensive player than Gibbs. Also, he is better in the air which will be crucial if we concede set-pieces, which happens to be the toffees secret weapon.

  12. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, great match report as always! Don’t have time to give my full analysis, but really hoping Rosa starts today! Should give us the shape an purpose we need in attack :).

    I really enjoyed AW owning up to his mistake of starting Jack too early after his lay-off; it’s the sign that it’s stubbornness and an improving man who can admit his faults! That and him working with Poldi in training on becoming a CF was all I needed to hear. If he had more heartfelt regular updates like that, perhaps all the questions surrounding his choices would be less scrutinized?

    About to head out to sea, catch you all later!

  13. Highbury Harmony says:

    Also Oz and Gerry, I sometimes get emotional to stir up the pot and go against the grain. I often enjoy winding people up or else the discussion gets stale and too predictable. Also, sometimes I throw in the odd disliking OG comment for no reason just to get Oz to come out of hiding 😉 hahaha!

    My emotional state after matches though…

  14. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Fine stuff as usual TA.

    I find myself in the curious postion of diagreeing with your line up. Dosnt happen very often that i have a divergence of opinion with my spokesman.

    I would play Santi in the whole and have Theo and Gerv wide. Your line up looks too static for my liking. What are you thinking of man? hahaha

    Were i do agree with you, and we have discussed this before, is how scousers have a great knowledge of football and tend to be realy nice people.

    In fact there so nice, that a few years ago i even forgave one who pick pocketed me thus leaving me destitute. How could i get angry with the cheeky little scamp. He was praising Arsene Wenger to me whilst simultanesly bleeding me dry. Any one who praises Arsene is alright in my book. hahaha

  15. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    i wish to know were Herbie has gone?

    Its crazy, but i realy miss his negativity. hahaha

  16. GoonerEris says:

    TA & Marcus, I take your point (s) about the preference for the BFG and Nacho; however, note that Fellaini scored their equalizer in the reverse (not with his head, surprise!) with the BFG and Kos at centre back. Fact is BFG isn’t the most physical in the air and I suspect Fellaini will overpower him in that department. Nacho is a good defender but is hardly the quickest. In any case, what do I know? It is up to Wenger to call his team sheet which, for this game, is unlikely to have a 100% agreement amongst the fans, just because we have a relatively fit squad. The midfielders will have to do a great deal of support play to cover the FBs and keep Everton’s wing play in check. It will be an interesting game but no reason we can’t get the 3 points.

  17. marcus says:

    GoonerEris,
    You bring out some good points…On the positive side, it shows that we have enough depth in the squad so as to have this discussion.. 🙂

  18. henrychan says:

    TA..
    I think Vermaelen playing well in our last game.. So Wenger will keep him..
    You said about Belgian’s Spurs who know about TV weakness.. But in other hand.. TV also knows about them.. hehehe..
    I think Only Gibbs and Wilshere will change with Nacho and Rosicky..
    Walcott will also be our substitute.. Scesney in because Fabs was injured..

    I like the idea of changing Giroud with Podolski.. but not to sure it will happen so soon..
    But maybe it will be great.. Everton will be surprise with our starting eleven.. hehehe..
    (just hope not us.. hahaha..)
    Giroud is a great subs.. indeed.. Most of the time when he bring in late.. he score a dramatic goal.. So why don’t we try it..?? hehehe..

    And if we bring the spirit that we show again Norwich.. Then no team will beat us.. Not even MU or City.. Even Barca.. hahahaha..

    Hope Santi will bring back his magic and give victory to us..
    Go Gunners..

  19. Highbury Harmony says:

    Are we doing UMF predictions for the 4 midweek games? If so, here they are:

    Manure away win
    Arsenal vs Everton draw
    Chats away win
    Man $hitty home win

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    HH 🙂

    Time to sail away with your honey and make love under the blue sky – forget about the Arse for at least the next seven hours! 😛

  21. henrychan says:

    I don’t know HH.. maybe just too little to count.. isn’t it VCC..??

  22. kaboom says:

    i reckon mertesacker should start. he doesnt have the mobility but his height is vital against fellani, considered how vulnerable the team is against set play.

    no sentiment for flappy hand, he has enough chances to claim no1 but he flunked it in the past. at best, he is the third choice and szcy is second choice keeper. hope the cheque open for a proper keeper in summer.

    interesting article on soccernet that, 3 top scorers (walcott, giroud and poldi) only started 4 games together. really looking forward to see all three of them starting the game tonight. let santi plays in the hole and bring on ro-sick-y and ox in second half instead.

  23. VCC says:

    Nice pre-match Total.

    I’m really not sure how Wenger will go with this one tonight. He will have noticed the recent good form of Everton and be wary of their attacking prowess in Anichebe, Mirallas and Fellaini.

    I do hope he will resist the temptation to play Jack. I think he would be best left on the bench and come on for the last twenty minutes.

    A must for me is Theo. He has to start, as his speed and quickness to get forward will have a double barrelled effect = help with Giroud, and keep Baines on his toes.

    Baines likes to get forward at every opportunity, so Theo will have his work cut out tonight.

    I’d like to see Rosicky come back as well. He will drive forward at every given chance, helping to keep Everton’s midfield pinned back and in less dangerous positions.

    I totally agree with your assessment of the Liverpudlian football supporters. They are fair minded fans, who are both funny and vociferous.

    A hard game for us this evening, but we will conquer and win by the odd goal.

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry and Redders 🙂

    It saddens me a bit to see two of our wisest and usually most tactful and balanced bloggers squaring up a bit against each other. I am sure this would never happen in a pub as you would know and respect each other from just seeing each other, but that is just my hunch.

    I hope you guys can ease things between you, as I would not want to lose any of you to BK! 😕

  25. VCC says:

    Henry and Harmonious…….I think it’s better to just have the week end games this week. Many of the others won’t get to visit the site early enough to catch the Arse tonight.

    Nice of you guys to think about it though.

    HH, as Total says, you must sail away into the sunset and shower your loved one with champagne and strawberries this after noon so you get a license to watch the mighty Arsenal tonight.

    Watch out for that triangle!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀

  26. VCC says:

    kaboom….that’s not a bad shout…. 😉

  27. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    I wouldnt want to piss Redders off TA. Firstly hes 6 feet 5, and secondly he already knows about my tactic of avoiding a beating by faking an epeleptic fit, so i would get it. hahaha

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Terry 🙂

    I like the idea of Theo and Gerv starting a lot, but not with Cazorla in the hole. You might be right that Cazorla – GIROUD – Theo could be static, but don’t forget with Rosicky we have additional speed and thrust through the middle, and he is also good at picking out the widemen. I reckon we will actually see a lot of 4-4-1-1 with either Santi or Theo positioning themselves close to OG.

    If I were to pick the starting 11, I would play Gervinho on the left and Cazorla on the right, with both Giroud and Pod starting centrally, but that ain’t going to happen.

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    hahaha ‘Watch out for that triangle’ 🙂

  30. AFC says:

    TA, eliminating Baines could be the key. Baines is clearly there star players. Sagna must stop him at all cost from getting balls into the box. Baines is one of the best crossers from the league and he can cross the ball from everwhere. Sagna and Ramsey will have to double up on him and try to block any attempted crosses. And whatever they do, they cannot be giving away free kicks. Baines will surely make our GK work from any free kick he takes.

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    GoonerEris, really like your comments today and would be good to see you here more often. 🙂

  32. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    TA, i have just realised that you chose Theo instead of Pod. Were my eyes decieving me or did you change it when i wasnt looking?

    I apologise for my earlier post. Your team looks perfectly sound and balanced. I could have sworn i saw Pod on the right. Pehapes its true, to much stretching can damage the eye sight. hahaha

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    Good points AFC, Sagna will sort him out!

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    hahaha – you just fancy the Pod and imagine him everywhere! 🙂

  35. kaboom says:

    mignolet and begovic, anyone?

    they can have flappy + gervinho + chamakh + bendther + denilson

  36. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahaha, its true TA. Even though hes ethncicly Polish he realy does look German. i can imagine him in a Panzer Tank, or some weird ledehosen. Right, ime off before someone shoves me out of the Closet. hahaha

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    Terry,

    Re Herb, just to confirm it is entirely his decision not to post comments here anymore.

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Henry, how is it hanging in Jakarta?

    TV’s time is up this season, I reckon; unless Koz or BFG cannot play. But yes, he played ok against Norwich. However, Everton is a different proposition.

  39. TotalArsenal says:

    Kaboom some good points there. 🙂

    What I cannot understand is why you, and quite a few other fellow Gooners, refer to a guy who plays in OUR shirt and gives his all, as Flappy. He wears the shirt, he is one of us – support him!

  40. AFC says:

    * their star player

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    VCC, nice comments and all agreed. Hope you are right re your last sentence. A win would be fucking fantastic. 🙂

  42. Gerry says:

    RA@11.40 – Somewhere between the ‘Redders’ and ‘This is my alternative view to help you change your mind’, the tone of my response to your input got lost?

    If I have any time between now and November, I will keep my comments at a more general level. On this occasion it seemed justified as you were the one that put forward the business model. I am sorry, but I don’t do ‘smiley faces’, and I keep the ‘ha ha’s’ to a minimum.

    Hey, that’s life. I am following the HH had given him. Life is too short …

  43. kaboom says:

    sorry TA. his name is just a bit too long to type. LOL

    he is one of ours but he is just not up to the par.

  44. kaboom says:

    2 nil up in wigan and he fked in up. he just not top 4 standard keeper, let along chasing for the title.

  45. TotalArsenal says:

    okay kaboom, fair enough. 🙂

  46. kaboom says:

    i am really nervous for tonight game. if we win i am sure we can get third place. otherwise it all down the wire

  47. Gerry says:

    TA – I think you probably have it spot on. I think we will need Giro in defence to change things around, unless Ox is on for Santi, which I don’t see happening either.

    The are all must win games, and their relatively small squad must be feeling the pressure, does give us hope that our new intensity will keep bringing its rewards?

  48. TotalArsenal says:

    Key will be for Arteta and Ramsey to hold back a lot and stay together in tandem, and they should leave the attacking for Rosicky and the three attackers + plus one of the FB’s at any given time.

    I feel good about this one. 🙂

  49. Gerry says:

    AFC@10.33 – I guessed that. ha ha

  50. VCC says:

    Stop press…….STOP PRESS……..breaking news………

    Terry has come out……..he’s out of the closet.

    GLiC and I thought you were straight Stretch……..wait till GLiCtorious finds out, he will be most upset.

  51. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Gerry,

    There was ample proof of your view that Ox should play behind/next to Giroud more, in our last game. His time will come and he is a fine weapon to have on the bench, isn’t he?

  52. allezkev says:

    Nice post Total…
    I suppose the fact that there are so many line-up options this evening, should be viewed, I reckon, as a positive, I think?!
    Rosicky, BFG and Monreal back in the side for me.
    As for the rest of the line-up, God knows… 😀

    My accountant is one of my best mates… 😉

  53. Gerry says:

    TA – Yes, I don’t mid him being on the bench, as long as it is not just the last 10 minutes.

    As was said earlier, give him half an hour at the end, or an hour at the beginning?

  54. 17highburyterrace says:

    First off, it was very nice meeting Highbury Harmony yesterday in Miami and talking about our beloved Gunners with him. He and his lady make a lovely couple…..Watch the sunburn, son….

    More seriously….Very fine match preview and I agree with the line-up. Wenger’s coded talk (I usually say “lies”….) indicate that this is Sneezy’s big chance to show what he’s got. On that front, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Captain (TV5) also gets another chance. Those two running the defense was Plan A at the start of the season so why not at the crunchiest moment of crunch time?…. On the other hand, PM4 has earned his spot and his height at least gives set play specialists and heads up crossers (Baines) something to look at and try and avoid. Would Mert have done better stopping the Norwich goal?….Probably not….

    Likewise, the injury/lie story that everybody is (gratefully) accepting is the one about Rosicky and Jack. Rest/Rotation is the braver way of saying these things, but AW gave Jack his hour and got away with three points on Saturday w/o using TR7 so in the end it’s all good (as we say). Semantics, I guess, but an angry crowd hates being lied to….On that note, the code-readers might think that Ollie is just as likely as Theo to get yanked (for Lu-Lu and the Swerve) at the early spot (65 mins) if we need a goal….

    I sat out yesterday’s Sagna re-positioning “debate,” but found it very interesting and overnight (this morning for you guys….) there were some fine comments. For me, it’s interesting the way “positive” supporters work themselves around all these questions. I’m with RA on the whole question and believe the idea of keeping Sagna as a (4th or 5th) choice CB is downright silly. He was a lot more respectful in the way he observed the debate, of course….

    In my opinion (just mine, and no disrespect to energetic, fine writing AFC is intended….) the blog really should be “I value Sagna very highly and think we should do X, Y and Z to keep him.” (“And, in a Pinch, He Can Play CB….” ) Although Jenkinson looks a fine player, there’s a reason that Bac comes straight back into the starting 11. At his best, he’s the best right back in the PL, and one of the very best in all of football. In fact, had our guy Nacho (who should start today…) been trying to run at Bac in that most recent WC qualifier (instead of the bald guy who plays for PSG….) the defending champions (Spain) might be looking at having to win a play-off to get to Brazil…..

    So, obviously, I love Sagna and the kit I won (the only one I own) bears his name and number. I think he should have been made Captain over Vermaelen but he started the year injured so that wasn’t possible. (Gerry, the original leg break occured vs Spurs, so I’m not sure how it was Zabaleta’s fault. I remember, however, Zabaleta racially abusing Bac–probably along the lines of reapeatedly calling him “Negro” or “Negrito” as Spanish speakers, such as Suarez, often do–Uh oh, looks like I’m weighing in on that debate as well…..) In the previous thread I said we need to offer him a contract on the par of the one that Arshavin is currently running down, which I think is the real message I’d like to send to the club….

    But we’ve got a match–a season defining one, in fact–in less than 6 hours!–so that’s where (my opinion again) the focus should be. A draw would probably suffice (if we can take all three at Fulham….) but a win would be soooo much nicer given that (with the exception of beating 10 man Spurs and already qualified Munich) we’ve yet to beat ANY team of any (real) merit all season(!!) I have tons of respect for Moyes and the squad he’s put together. They are (much) better than the sum of their parts. Are we? Today’s match asks that very question…..

  55. Gerry says:

    Allezkev – If you drive a black cab then you need a good accountant … to hide all those tips??

    I drove one myself for a while before I went on to a ‘private hire’ car. Should be a good night for you to catch the match though, as Tuesdays are generally one of the quieter nights?

  56. TotalArsenal says:

    Real football to talk about, hey 17HT?! Nothing better than that. 🙂

    Am watching PSV – Ajax at the moment and Martin Keown is doing the commentary. Very good as well! Very impressive performance by Erikson; I might have to start changing my mind on him. Young Fisher (Ajax) also looks like a promising talent, but Strootman (PSV) was disappointing.

  57. Gerry says:

    17HT – Thank you for the correction on the first leg break. I had, at 530 this morning a recollection of it being at the time of Zabeleta bundling him into the ad boards, but that must have been something else.

    Regards the thread from yesterday, I think AFC was saying that Sagna could play another 3 or 4 years at CB. So it it not just in the short term whilst still occupying the RB slot for a little while yet? But when you have an able deputy like Jenks, then 3rd/4th choice CB is not bad idea. Another year on that, depending on the line up then, he may well prove himself to be a great CB?

    The main point was though, if he leaves now we miss out on that potential?

    Bellerin, although he is a very exciting prospect, he needs to be brought on slowly. He uses his immense pace to get back in position a lot of the time, and yet he is clever/skillful enough to still make a tackle, at his current level. I don’t think he would get away with it against an experienced attacker in the first team, should we be relying on him and Jenks for that spot. Luckily he will still be able to play the Next Gen games next season, so that should bring him along nicely, with just the odd Cup game to give him a taste of the real thing?

    I am amused at your coded Wenger talk. I think the ‘I am grooming Podolski for a central role’ is another. I think it is a media story he has put out to stop the ‘transfer chatter’?
    As has been pointed out by several people, he hardly needs to groomed for the role does he?

    This is my last free day for a while as their is not Flat racing on the Turf today, so my addiction to BK will have just crave for sometime to come.

    Hope for the run to continue tonight …

  58. RockyLives says:

    Nice pre-match TA

    I would definitely bring the BFG back – not so much because of his height (he doesn’t have much of a jump on him) – but because of the composure and organisation he brings to our back line. And his best partner is Kozzer. It’s tough for Verm, but that’s the way it is.

    Also, I would definitely start with OG up front, not least because of the excellent work he does at the back when we are defending set pieces.

    The only place I differ with you is in with the front three behind Ollie. Definitely Rosicky in the middle, but I would put Santi on the right and Pod or Gerv on the left. When TR7 has played central and Santi has played right, they have linked up brilliantly and I see no reason to mess with that chemistry. Also, Gerv is most effective on the left.

    I have a sneaky feeling that AW will play Ramsey wide right to help combat the threat from Everton’s left flank, but I hope I’m wrong. Aaron is really finding his mojo in the DM pivot role alongside Arteta – and we really need his energy to combat a very robust Everton MF.

    Whoever starts, we will have an awesome bench (GKs aside).

    Speaking of ‘keepers, I have a sneaky suspicion that Fab will start.

  59. TotalArsenal says:

    Hope so too, Gerry! 🙂

  60. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Rocky 🙂

    You might well be right re Gervinho starting on the left. I would also welcome that. I just feel with Theo and Pod back at least one of them will start, and the Gerv appears to play with less confidence at home right now (the crowd is not helping either).

    Really think Szczesny is starting tonight but you could be right too.

  61. 17highburyterrace says:

    TA, you are based in England, correct? The house-husband gig is the best, isn’t it? How many kidz?….For some reason my satellite company was giving me the channel with the Spanish football for a while but now seems to want me to pay extra. I’m actually less interested in Barca and Real matches but wouldn’t mind scouting some of the guys people are mentioning here on your blog. Plus, Granada has the occasional match and are working hard to stay up. Also, I like watching our own former Grinning Guapo/Smilan Mayan/Tubby Tapatio (Carlos Vela) getting it done for Real Sociedad…. For this reason I bought my boy (his 11th B-day is today….) a longer HDMI cable so I can stream to the big screen….

    Anyhow, I think the line-up you’ve picked looks very good. Am I the only one who thought Gibbs looked off the pace vs Norwich and that having the three Spaniards working together on the left (more or less…) makes us seem more fluid. The group that did the good work vs Swansea (our most recent more difficult match) plus Theo (who is never going to be considered off pace) seems the way to go. Also, I agree (with AFC and others?….) that Ramsey helping Sagna so that Baines doesn’t get too many free crosses into our box will be one of the keys today. Overall, if you throw out the idea that our “injuries” are just a nice way of keeping guys out of the first 11, we are looking as deep as I can recall for a looooong time.

    Fingers crossed, eh….

  62. jnyc says:

    Im fine.with szcez in goal. Rosicky if fit -great. Giroud for size on set pieces. Kozzer yes also. But i think cazorla might be a little tired, could use some rest. He could always come on as a sub.

  63. Gerry says:

    VCC – I thought I better put my UMF’s today. However, I have just played the predictor on the BBC website, Football page, so I could give them all right through to May 19th?

    Great fun to play btw. I relegated; QPR; Reading; and Norwich, with Stoke just escaping.
    The disappointment is, I have the following top 4 places:

    Man U – 93 pts

    Man C – 78 pts

    Arsenal – 77 pts … I am so gutted because we have a 6 goal better difference!!

    Spurs – 70 pts

    Everton 5th – 63pts
    Clelsea 6th – 62 pts

    Like I said great fun to play … have a go, I bet I’m nearest with the actual results?

    Anyway, the UMF’s:

    Reading – Away

    Newcastle – Away

    The two ‘S’ = Swansea v Southampton – Draw

    The two ‘W’ = WBA v Wigan – Draw

    QPR – Home

    Cheers,
    ps you will have mail shortly.

  64. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi 17HT – yep stay-at-home dad, based in Norwich. Just the one daughter, and a puppy Labrador (takes up a lot of time, but brings a lot of fun too!). What about you?

    I recall that you like Granada very much, is that right? It is one of my favourite places: especially the variety in fountains is very impressive.

  65. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Johnnie

    Cazorla is never tired and can play everywhere in midfield and up-front, so I am pretty sure Wenger will not rest him for this crucial game.

  66. jgc says:

    TA,

    Good post with all the usual speculative possibilities. I do have a beer on whatever the lineup it will have one surprise in it. For me:

    Fabianski unless really injured

    Sagna, Koz, Nacho and the BFG based on form and recent events bar last game. I think last game was a Wenger bet to get some legs into Wilshere and Gibbs et al

    Rosicky, Ramsey Arteta

    Cazorla, OG and perhaps the Pod (who might now return) based on better showing and legs than Theo, then the usual 60-70 minute changeover to Theo

    Hopefully, will find a good site for updates as Standard Liege are playing for top 2-3 in their weird post-season system here at the same time tonite, where top 3 get some form of Europe, so all TVs at ever pub known will be tuned not on Arsenal!

    cheers — jgc

  67. jgc says:

    RA,

    I wwant to point out my recent post didnt waffle, at least not too much by professorial standards, and that thanks to your reminder I found my brain this morning! 🙂

    cheers — jgc

  68. 17highburyterrace says:

    TA, one boy (11th birthday is today) He’s in a Spanish Immersion program here in the mountains (con muchos Mexicanos, mostly from Jalisco….) so the semester in Granada was a little twist for him. He adapted very well to the different Spanish–as well as the Malaga boys (Santi and Nacho) have to North London…His mother did well too as she also speaks French–(As a girl she also spent a year in your neighborhood—Yoxford, I think….) It was tougher on me, as the more Mexican Spanish I spoke, the more the Granadin(y)os felt comfortable correcting me….Andaluz is quite the dialect, as well….

    We also have a dog (Lab-Husky mix) who has been a great companion (esp. on the snow). Unfortunately, she’s on her last legs (she’s 17!!) There’s a bit of work at the end too (frowny face), but at least we’ve got (mostly) concrete floors….

    Norwich, eh? So you must be rooting for the Canaries to stay up? Or maybe not….

    Anyhow, big match today in our own relegation battle….

  69. rufus says:

    The Premier League is devalued in allowing four Teams to enter the Champions League. What incentive for a side to fight for the Title when the safety net of fourth place is in offing. It gives succour to Wenger’s claims that finishing fourth is a Trophy. I’m afraid the lure of Champions League football has taken the competitive edge out of the Premier League and until the system changes the integrity of the competition will be compromised. Sadly Wenger and a small number of his followers have bought into the id

  70. Bond James says:

    Sczny (although i really hope fabianski passes the late fitness test)
    Sagna Kos Per Nacho
    Arteta Ramsey Rosicky
    Theo Podolski Cazorla
    Subs in the 2nd half : Jack for Rosicky – Giroud for Podo – Ox or a defensive player for Cazorla depending on the situation we face
    3-1 Arsenal

  71. VCC says:

    Hi Gerry….thanks for your entries nice and early…..your odds are = 428-1..
    WHU are playing at home to Wigan, not WBA.

    I will try that predictor site tomorrow. Cheers.

    Every Saturday I enter the Sun super six, its free to enter, with prizes….Have a go.

  72. Bond James says:

    rufus,

    it’s not 4 teams, it’s 3 teams with the 4th one still having to win to enter .

    re- devalued, i disagree on that front, Chelsea finished 6th yet they went on to win the champions league, besides a luxury awarded to the EPL, it’s a level playing field for most of the leading footballing nations in Europe.

    of course we would much rather win trophies but in order to win trophies, first you have to be in them to win them…sadly we haven’t done that for a long time and not won the champions league but we have come frighteningly close to doing it.

  73. jnyc says:

    Probably right about Santi, TA. I trust le boss and our boys to take this match as seriously as they should. We can continue this run, confidence should be high.

  74. rufus says:

    Correction: IDEA.

  75. allezkev says:

    Yes Gerry, ‘tips’ certainly help make the world go around…
    See you on the M4 sometime, eh?

  76. AFC says:

    Rufus, you are right it is called the Champions League. 🙂

    They should make a new system like this. Winner of PL goes into the CL. Winner of the PL last season also gets into the CL or if the same team has won the title the season before it goes to the last team who has won the title before the current winners. Then the runners up of the PL also get into the Champions League with the runner up of the season before. If the team is the same, the last team to be runners up of the PL get into the CL.

    So in a nutshell. The winners of the PL and winners of the PL before (if same team, last other team to win the PL). The other two places go to the runner up of the PL (2nd place) and the runner of the PL from the season before. If the same team is the runner up the season before, the last team who was the runner up of the PL get into the CL.

    Let me know what you think.

  77. rufus says:

    BJ You’re an apologist for Wenger.

  78. AFC says:

    Rufus, this could be a better idea. Team who wins the PL and the last team to win the PL get into the CL. The third place goes to the runner up of the PL.

  79. rufus says:

    I can understand seedings for the World Cup being that’s every four years, but why seed Champions League Teams.

  80. rufus says:

    AFC see where you’re going with this

  81. AFC says:

    Rufus, I think it is so you do not end up with Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern and Arsenal in the same group.

  82. AFC says:

    Rufus, so you would either have to win the PL this seasaon or have had to have won it last season to get into the CL. The third place is taken by the runner up of the current PL season. That way you have only got teams who have won the PL or were very close to winning the PL. Obviously there could be a lot of crossover between the categories and solutions would have to be thought of.

    Also there would be no more of teams going to the Europa league when they have been kicked out of the CL. That is just stupid.

  83. AFC says:

    * season

  84. TotalArsenal says:

    17HT happy birthday to your boy – a young Gooner by any chance? 🙂

    I speak Dutch, English and German and basic French, but I have a real desire to learn Spanish. It seems such a wonderful, poetic language and I would love to be able to read the South-American top writers’ books in their mothertongue. Enjoy the game! 🙂

  85. AFC says:

    Rufus, how about this idea.

    Instead of each continent having their own version of the CL. Make on huge CL competition and make it every 2 years. It would work just like the world cup. You have to quality from your own group etc.

  86. TotalArsenal says:

    Johnnie enjoy the game – hope our team wins! 🙂

    jgc, hope you can find a stream! Pod on the left is indeed a strong possibility too.

  87. glic says:

    Evening Jizzaddicted Fagmonkey`s 😆

    Quality pre-match Van Floppenklompendildomeisterstein.

    Who was Martin Keowns interpretor ?…..Sshteve McClarensh !.

    Anyway, Me and Giroud are having a great time in Florida. Ollie asked me to talk to a full kit saddo on a Lincoln Mall Road Patio Rest , while he made waves and rocked the boat with the saddo`s bit of skirt !. I had to make up some Arsenal crap to keep the f**ker occupied, but he seemed contented after spooning him an hour of shit !.. Ollie is still mystified why my photo was on the bedroom ceiling of their boat !.

  88. TotalArsenal says:

    Is there a better competition than the Champions League? Don’t think so. The format has been a great success and it is watched by the 100 millions. I cannot see the link between the relative ease of qualifying for the tournament with a decreasing desire to win the country’s league title. Anybody who believes that should just have a look at Wenger during games.

  89. glic says:

    PS
    If OG is on the bench tonight……well it was a whirlwind trip !

  90. AFC says:

    TA, agreed on the CL being the best competition. The lrld cup has dropped.

    Especially for a dutch man like yourself, the world cup must be your biggest enemy. 😀

  91. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahahaha Glic 😛

  92. rufus says:

    AFC you’re basing your ideas on sporting achievement, where is the Champions league is purely a money making exercise.

  93. 17highburyterrace says:

    Arsenal Team

    Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Wilshere, Cazorla, Walcott, Giroud

    Subs: Mannone, Vermaelen, Monreal, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gervinho, Podolski
    Everton Team

    Howard, Baines, Gibson, Jagielka, Mirallas, Distin, Barkley, Pienaar, Coleman, Fellaini, Anichebe

    Subs: Mucha, Heitinga, Jelavic, Oviedo, Naismith, Hitzlsperger, Neville

    Shows what we know, eh….The English core gets the nod over the Spanish/German/Czech oldsters….

    Haha….American TV is showing a half hour version of Arsenal-Everton from Spring of 2006…Arteta straight to Jens….Now DB10 goes over….RVP scores then shoots for Pires to head home off the bar….

  94. glic says:

    17 HT

    I think them 7 subs could beat the Spuds in the state their in at the moment !.

  95. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks 17HT

    9/11 Not unhappy with that. Gibbs instead of Nacho was a strong possibility but Wilshere’s inclusion is a big surprise for me. At least I got the strike-force right! 😀

  96. 17highburyterrace says:

    Always focused on beating your spuds…. I thought you were a long-haul driver, not a stay-at-home dad…. (Smiley face)….

    And, of course, there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you invest in a keyboard protector….

    The team is fine by me. First goal will be key tonight….

    4-nil now in the ’06 match….and we’ve just gotten a very soft penalty call…Henry purposely off the arm? Farewell gift to Edu….5 nil….

    Are we such masters of debate that we’re already discussing the set-up of the European Super League?….There’s a (Summer) blog topic for ya….

  97. 17highburyterrace says:

    And a 6th from Bergkamp….first touch a little wonky but still esque-y….. (Reyes wide, sell him, must be too wet/cold….) Flamini after Henry cross and Reyes one touch to the top of the box. Sigh…..

  98. 17highburyterrace says:

    For a 7th goal….I meant to say….Look at me, keeping my posts nice and short….

  99. 17highburyterrace says:

    Oh, sorry the match is from 05….No wonder Arteta looks so young (not to mention everybody else)….Of course, he’s the only player on the pitch still (italics) playing for Arsenal….

    Sigh, again….

  100. TotalArsenal says:

    If we can equal that year’s score, 17HT, we will all be singing tonight!

  101. 17highburyterrace says:

    10 mins in and Fellaini, I think, is doing that beastly thing you guys like to talk about. All Everton so far, with the Spurs reject (Peinard, Penishard, Peinaar) only put off by Sneezy being (somewhat) quick off his line…

    Need a little offense boys….Go on

  102. 17highburyterrace says:

    I guess the down under crew are sleeping and/or avoiding me while HH is on his back, er boat, er both….We’re playing completely on the break. Man, if Theo could play a little football he’d be a player. Santi doing the Espanbellishment thing with the injury, we hope….

  103. TotalArsenal says:

    it looks like he is advertising himself tonight

  104. 17highburyterrace says:

    Jack trying to run onto a ball does the fakey lie-down thing as well….Every touch leads to a 50-50. Where are our footballers? (Back there in the 2005 match, maybe?….)

    Neither team can play this hard over the full 90 so the subs will be key. Still, we can’t let anything stupid in at the back. Set pieces (none so far) could be the key….Agree about Fellaini. Still not sure about starting Jack over Sicky. It’s tiring getting knocked down over and over and having to pick yourself up. He too (like Ramsey) tends to run in quicksand (overstride) rather than cutting down his stride to get to the ball. Our English core needs a little running coach—If we’re gonna take moments of silence for the Boston Marathon folks, let’s think about our own….

    Ref not calling anything. “Let’s get physical” is usually not our game….

  105. TotalArsenal says:

    17ht, disorganised, poor start: passing has been non-existant

  106. 17highburyterrace says:

    There’s a foul (and a card)….TA are you watching at home?

  107. TotalArsenal says:

    I am but a few minutes behind

  108. 17highburyterrace says:

    Theo and Giroud in the same spot so Santi’s long ball is wasted….Are we disorganized or just technically poor? Ramsey and Wilshere (and Gibbs?) aren’t of the technical quality of Fabregas, Nasri and RVP (for example–or Cole). That’s our future. Luckily, today we can bring on the likes of Lu-lu, Sicky or Nacho (if we go up a goal or two). Gibson with some American football there….It wasn’t a direct blow to the helmet so he’s stays on….

  109. 17highburyterrace says:

    So then, I shouldn’t do the whole YESSSS!!!! or FUUUUCCCKKK!!! thing? Theo taking a few for the team…..

  110. TotalArsenal says:

    I bet the ref is a hairy arsed Northerner!

  111. 17highburyterrace says:

    Match is getting out of control. Who is this ref? Giroud with a little message slide on an out of play ball. That would’ve been a good yellow to give (to settle the rugby match)….

  112. 17highburyterrace says:

    We are answering their cynicism pretty well…Arteta missed tackle leads to a good Everton chance. Sorry, but this is where we need help. If anybody should get converted to DM in our squad. FUUUUUUCCCCCK!!!!! (but not as bad as you might think…..)

  113. TotalArsenal says:

    yes we have been disappointing technically – cannot deal with their tempo/pressure – Looks like Moyes had advice from Red Nose

  114. 17highburyterrace says:

    I meant to say Koscielny is our internal solution at DM if Le Coq isn’t….Howard did enough there but the haters are gonna hate on the big guy…. Fuck again….

  115. 17highburyterrace says:

    Half time and we’ve withstood 12 man Everton thus far. Jagielka and Distin are pretty solid. So far this match seems a good demonstration of our problems. Our first 11 can’t really boss a game in the midfield AND we’re poor on the break….(If only Theo could really make his touches count….) At least we’re looking reasonably solid at the back. Subs earlier than later, pretty please….

  116. Danny says:

    Entertaining first half. While we haven’t been solid throughout, we’ve had our spells of good football. Particularly in the defending department, once again Koscielny has been brilliant (IMO). Unfortunate miss by big man.. Hope it doesnt end up hurting us too much. More or of the same in terms of overall play but I’d say the spirit is definitely with us tonight. Looking forward to the second half

    also, i dont want to jynx it but rambo has been looking pretty good tonight

  117. Danny says:

    by the way, 17 i absolutely agree on making Koz our short term/makeshift DM for now

  118. TotalArsenal says:

    17 we are best team in the league in 2nd halfs – let’s hope we can make it count again. We need to be able t o pass the ball round a lot better and start playing football.

  119. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening Danny – good to see another soul on BK 🙂

  120. 17highburyterrace says:

    Yeah Danny, the demise of TV5 coincident with the Captaincy is a huge issue. Neither he nor Kos have the ball skills, in truth, to play DM, but then again, Song didn’t either…. In truth, I fear that it’s a long road back for Vermaelen and that everybody might be better off if he were to go somewhere else. In England (with our one-eyed refs) confidence is everything and his is gone. If we could just get the goal today maybe he (and/or Nacho) could come in and shore things up….for one of those boring, boring results. As it is, we need to wear them down just a hair then bring in Lulu and the Ox. Even Gerv, I think might be an idea….

    Here we go….

  121. 17highburyterrace says:

    While you wait, TA, how old is your daughter?…. (My birthday cake baked nicely over the 45 minute 1st half….Papa’s on his game today…..)

  122. 17highburyterrace says:

    Gibbs and Santi not speaking the same language….Everton bossing it early, subs please….Though that was better….Howard up to Santi’s first timer…1st corner of the match?…We’re starting to make inroads. Santi misplacing things, 12 man Everton too physical for the little guy?…Gonna need those subs as Everton break from OUR corner…..

  123. TotalArsenal says:

    Almost nine years old , 17HT. Is it a theme cake?

  124. 17highburyterrace says:

    Everton set piece should have been a goal. Anichibe just a whisker off…We’re so, so poor defending them. Uh, oh, (woeful) Jack hangs Arteta out and Pienaar flops for a Baines classic….Wall stands tall and now we do our stumbly breaky thing….

    Subs please, before the reluctant ref decides this match….

  125. TotalArsenal says:

    Nesxt Giroud chance a goal? he saysin hope

  126. henrychan says:

    I hate to see us playing such game.. We don’t play the Arsenal’s way of football.. counter attack certainly not our style..

    We need Rosicky and Podolski for Wilshere and Giroud..

  127. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, an hour gone, Theo on the floor, time to shake it up. Is anybody even warming up yet? AW has been soooooo conservative with his subs this season and it makes me angry. WE’VE got the bench advantage today so why don’t we use it? (Maybe sicky is carrying a knock?)

    Baines corner somewhat poor there but we look tired. The teenage hulk guy goes wide….just barely….

  128. TotalArsenal says:

    Subs pleasease indeed

  129. 17highburyterrace says:

    The cake is just my standard special occasion carrot cake. It’s good however….We’ll do a little decoration but everything will be a little low-key….My boy is a reluctant gooner (and more of a computer geek, truth be told….) He wore my Sagna shirt at the Newcastle match but the crazy scoreline there maybe spoiled him for bruising matches like this one….

    Wilshere off Ox on, Theo for Lu-lu…. I like it….

  130. 17highburyterrace says:

    Bac and Santi look revitalized by the subs….and now we’re winning the corners and set pieces….

  131. 17highburyterrace says:

    He comes your man Jovetic or some other Balkan….SHITTTT….Don’t pass behind the guy who is offside, son….

  132. 17highburyterrace says:

    That was poor from Ollie…The ultimate selfishness is being offside (Ade-style)….Not that far off with the right, however….

  133. 17highburyterrace says:

    And now (82nd min) Ollie takes the ball off Per’s head from the corner. Geezus Santi can play (the deeper the better, however. Everton defending well and Fellaini falls over like a girl—and the whistle suddenly works (84th min)…. AW reserving the 3rd sub for after we score?….

  134. TotalArsenal says:

    much better now If only Ollie could find that bit of composure. Hard worker though!

  135. Highbury Harmony says:

    On my data plan from my phone and checked the score and commentary. Did I read that right about OG and BFG just colliding with each other when going or Santi’s cross hahaha! And it says 4 misses for OG, oh dear…please score Arsenal!

  136. Highbury Harmony says:

    What’s the point of making subs in the 91st minute and for a defender?!

  137. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, you better not tell on me either! Fiancé is sleeping and I stepped out to feed my Arsenal addiction 😉

  138. AFC says:

    I am actually quite disappointed. Walcott had quite a few chances and Giroud had chances as usual and did not convert.

  139. marcus says:

    Giroud should be dropped. He probably lost us those 2 points with his missed chances. Its sooooooo fucking frustrating when wenger is this stubborn..

  140. TotalArsenal says:

    Haha HH, you have missed a good combatetive game. Your new resolve towards Ollie would have been truly tested, though! 😕

  141. AFC says:

    For me, Giroud being in the team is making us change our style of play. All of our players seem to be continously crossing the ball and lumping the ball forward to Giroud. We are a possession team whose motto is not to lose the ball, so I do not understand why we keep taking chances by just crossing the ball or trying to lump balls up to Giroud.

  142. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nil-Nil even after Old Trafford added time. HH, like I told you yesterday (when we met–I was the old geezer, dontcha know….), don’t bend the truth to suit your anger….Ollie did his “best” (which isn’t good enough) but there are (far) deeper issues here. Gotta get three at Fulham, I guess. Maybe if they can get something from Chelsea they’ll be satisfied to take a breather against us….

    Nacho sub should’ve come 91 minutes earlier I think. Gibbs looks very leggy to me. Lu-lu, besides hurting Coleman’s stomach couldn’t do the deed and the ref only bought half of the Ox’s dives and only in spots where they couldn’t hurt Everton….

    So, my three points per match on BK-esk is over. Sorry guys….

  143. AFC says:

    What has happened to us. I remember when we used to be quite narrow and play through teams with great effect. I do not even know why we use a wide formation because at times our wide play is extremely poor. Maybe we should switch to a more narrow formation.

  144. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hahaha TA, even after reading all the comments on OG, please take note I have said nothing to further rag on him! It’s too bad he couldn’t convert for us today, we could have really used the 3 points.

    From the looks of the comments, AW’s subs will be a point of contention though. Hopefully Poldi’s ready to try the ST position soon! I wonder why he didn’t start AGAIN. Also, am I right that Ox played well again in his sub appearance (commentary on espn looks like he had an effect).

  145. Highbury Harmony says:

    17ht, if you take note, I never got mad at OG ;). Can’t when I’m basking in this sun and when I couldn’t even watch the game! Anyway, good start to my new outlook for not watching today’s match hahaha.

  146. Bond James says:

    sometimes i wonder if Wenger really does know what he’s doing ?

    5 minutes to go and he takes off gibbs who wasn’t doing half bad for Nacho who nearly costs us the game ?

    should have taken off ramsey/sagna and brought on Gervinho

    as usual, wenger and his tactics are to be blamed for a nil – nil , poor referring but i am not going to complain about the referees too much.

    wilshere had a poor game again, not sure why he was played ahead of Rosicky.

    time to buckle up and that meas Man utd becomes a must win if we want to finish top 3.

  147. Highbury Harmony says:

    Fiancé’s up, catch you all later! And many thanks to anyone who answers my ox inquiry :).

  148. 17highburyterrace says:

    Gotta disagree about dropping Giroud. I think you could try Poldoski or Theo (Gerv’s season is over isn’t it?) but I would keep my expectations for those guys (ultra) low. Giroud at least gives us a predictable shape.

    I think the big mistake today was Gibbs for Nacho and Rosicky failing to recover from his “injury.” Our “British Core” needs game time but you shouldn’t judge them as harshly as (say) everybody else or you’re bound to start worrying about the longer term ideas in play at Arsenal…. Cut and paste all you want but this team (and the manager) are playing just about as well as it can with the current personnel. Hopefully management gets aggressive in the transfer window, but past performance would suggest that’s a foolish bet.

    Go on you Cottagers (tomorrow). She’s sleeping, HH, go on then, wake her up, I say….

    Again, Sorry….

  149. AFC says:

    BJ, we really need to score so why replace a LB for a LB. The obvious reason is for fresh legss. But why is Wenger not more daring with his subs. Gibbs for Gervinho. It is simple. Sagna, Kos and Mert turn to 3 CBs which gives Gervinho the chance to attack.

  150. AFC says:

    * needed
    * legs

  151. 17highburyterrace says:

    Uh, oh, the birthday boy (and his mama are home)….Gotta run…

    Personally, I think it was a decent point and Giroud’s misses were no worse than some of Everton’s. With a whistle-swallowing ref our youngsters were gonna get beaten up in the MF. At least we didn’t concede when they did get their set-pieces….

    This team needs a (whole) lot more than a few cut and paste changes (in matches or over the summer). Does saying that make me a hater? Still, have at it, who knows? etc. etc.

  152. Admir says:

    Hello, Gooners. We failed to win and we’re no longer in pole position for CL spot. :S

    For tonight’s performance – I’d just say that Ramsey was our best player today and that Giroud’s finishing looked more like clearances of a no-nonsense central defender.

  153. AFC says:

    Admir, Giroud has got to hit the target when he shoots. What striker cannot hit the target after the amount of chances he had.

  154. Bond James says:

    we really need to score ?

    so it’s alright to bring on a defensive LB for an attacking LB then, makes perfect sense to me.

    he didn’t need to bring on a LB for LB, take the RB off , chuck ramsey in there and bring a more attacking option, it’s not like Everton were coming at you in their 5’s and 6’s.

    this was the game we really needed 3 points to put distance between ourselves and the pack below us.

    opportunity lost as usual and we have only our nonsensical manager to blame.

    if he starts Giroud on saturday then i am personally going to make an appearance at the emirates and start a petition against wenger.

  155. Bond James says:

    even teams fighting for relegation have got much better strikers than a “supposedly” big club like Arsenal.

    to hell with Giroud’s hold up play and his use of headers, i much rather have a clinical finisher who can at least have better control of the ball and isn’t all over the shop.

  156. AFC says:

    BJ, sometimes I wonder why Wenger does not play Vermaelen up front. At least he can score when he heads the ball. 😀

  157. VCC says:

    Waiting to read the blogosphere tomorrow, about all the excuses for Giro…..

    Hard working….energetic…..good in the air so we need him to defend…….blah blah blah.

    What a poor excuse for a centre forward…….He could and should have won that for us tonight.

    Whoever scouted him needs shooting.

  158. AFC says:

    VCC, you are correct. Giroud is clearly not a clinical finisher and if he was one of the best strikers back in France god help the French League.

    Al least with Gervinho we see glimpses of skill and clinical finishing, I see hardly any from Giroud. I am sorry to say this but he will eventually be the next Chamakh.

  159. Bond James says:

    AFC PERMALINK
    April 16, 2013 22:40
    BJ, sometimes I wonder why Wenger does not play Vermaelen up front. At least he can score when he heads the ball.

    ahahahahhahahahahaa oh my, you’re killing me, that was a good one 😀

  160. rufus says:

    What a bottler from The Ox took the easy option instead of burying it.

  161. AFC says:

    * At

  162. AFC says:

    Rufus, on the subject of not shooting, our players have got at least try some shots from distance. Podolski and Cazorla have absolute bangers of shots so for me they have got to be shooting more often.

  163. rufus says:

    Look we’ve always tried to walk the ball into the net under Wenger.

  164. AFC says:

    Rufus, we have always tried to walk the ball in the net but why can our top quality players not shoot from the edge of the box. There is a good chance that theu would score.

  165. AFC says:

    * they

  166. rufus says:

    Because they’re told to pass for the sake of passing

  167. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post – New Post 🙂

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