Giroud suspended: Podolski, Gervinho or Walcott to lead the line?

Giroud Red Card

As you all know, Giroud has a three match ban after being sent off by referee Andre Marriner in the 90th minute of our last match against Fulham, when he caught Manolev with a slide tackle. Giroud has told Arsène Wenger that is was accidental and that he slipped, and our manager has said he can understand why Giroud was shown a red card. Nevertheless, Arsenal have appealed against Giroud’s dismissal.

A statement from Arsenal says “We have lodged an appeal to the Football Association for the wrongful dismissal of Olivier Giroud against Fulham.”

If Arsenal’s appeal is unsuccessful Giroud will remain suspended until May 19th which more or less means that the season is over for him. But if Arsenal’s appeal is successful, Giroud will still be suspended for at least one game.

Giroud has been criticized by lots of Arsenal fans for his missed opportunities this season, so there are plenty of Gooners who will not miss him; but there is no doubt that Giroud will be missed by our team. In our current team Giroud is very important to our attack. His work rate is excellent; he has the desire to do well for himself and the team and is the focal point for our attack.

So now with Giroud suspended for three matches (although if Arsenal are successful in their appeal against Giroud’s dismissal, Giroud would only be suspended for one match), Wenger will have to choose someone else to lead the line for us.

Gervinho has played as our main striker on a number of occasions this season but has been very inconsistent throughout the season, so I doubt he will start any of our upcoming matches- that is unless there are injuries. Gervinho is also much more effective on the wings where he can add the much needed width, which we so often lack.

So Wenger is now left with the dilemma of who should lead the line: Podolski or Walcott.

Podolski and Walcott are very different in terms of what they have to offer when leading the line. Walcott offers his lightening pace, meanwhile Podolski offers his clinical finishing with his powerful and accurate shots from distance, which can trouble any keeper.

is a clinical finisher who thrives from getting into the correct positions in and around the box, where he can look to get into good goal scoring opportunities and then score capitalise on them. His long shots are also something to be desired. They are accurate and powerful. He will run at defenders and take them on, dragging them out of position which allow his teammates to exploit the spaces left behind by the defenders.

Podolski is also no pushover and is an absolute beast. He will score goals inside or outside the box, on the volley or even by his head. He is by far our most experienced striker with over 100 caps for Germany.

Walcott has superb pace and he is usually the quickest player on the pitch. I cannot think of many players much faster than Walcott. Walcott can use his lightening pace to draw defenders out of position which makes it much easier for our other players to get into good goal scoring opportunities, or Walcott can simply use his pace to knock the ball past defenders and beat defenders to the ball, at will.

He often does the latter when playing on the right wing. When Walcott is playing up front he still uses his incredible pace to very good effect. Walcott will often get in between two defenders of a team who are playing a high line and look to beat
the offside trap. Teams playing against Walcott know this is what he will try to do but it is very hard for them to stop him from him from doing this. Once Walcott has beaten the offside trap no defender can even get back in time to make a challenge on him. This often leaves him with a one on one with the GK of the opposing team where he will look to simply slot the ball low into the corner of the opposition’s net with a cool finish.

However teams can manage to tame Walcott by defending deep in their own halve. Many teams who defend deep will often deploy two banks of four which means that Walcott no longer has pockets of space in front of defenders where he can run into sometimes, making his lightning pace pretty superfluous.

So for me, if the team(s) we are facing in our next fixture(s) are defending with a high line Walcott is the man to lead the line. However, if we are coming up against team(s) who defend very deep in their own halve, Walcott is not very effective so Podolski is the man to lead the line.

For me it is very hard to tell whether Wenger will pick Walcott or Podolski to lead the line. It is said that Wenger is grooming Podolski for this role, and Podolski does have more experience than Walcott playing as the main striker throughout his career, but Walcott has excelled when leading the line for us early this season, when Wenger gave him an opportunity to do so with our manager being very impressed with him. So whether Wenger will choose Podolski or Walcott to play as our main striker, is any man’s guess.

Who do you want now to see lead the line?

Who do you think Wenger will choose to lead the line?

Do you think the team will perform better with Walcott or Podolski up front?

Written by: AFC.

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161 Responses to Giroud suspended: Podolski, Gervinho or Walcott to lead the line?

  1. 17highburyterrace says:

    FIRST (not…., as Madge used to say….)

    Hey AFC, great post (as always) and I hope it’s OK to dip my toes into the water here…. 😉

    (You guys move too fast for me, and I was still trying to absorb the United Trophy lifting….I’m really hoping they’re not too serious about trying for an historical point total or that we have the spirit–and the midfield 😉 —to stop them come Sunday….)

  2. weedonald says:

    I have seen Podolski play in Germany and your description of his style is absolutely right. He is a man for games where a fox-in-the box is needed, and when a tight defense packs the box. He is deadly from outside the box but can attack a defensive wall and raise hell with it. I have never seen Walcott live but I do know his pace and agility, when given space, are enormous. That said, against an 8 man defense that is covering the box, all he can do is cross into the box…his pace doesn’t serve him at all. Therefore I’d choose Podolski over Walcott since he is tougher, deadlier and as mobile in close quarters as any of our current strikers, other than Gervinho. He is also a better shooter than Gervinho or Giroud. The Ox is more like Podolski and Walcott is more like Gervinho (who is very pacey as well) so maybe giving the Ox a chance to play behind the striker and shoot from distance would make sense, since he has Walcott’s pace but Podolski’s strength.

  3. AFC says:

    17ht, I would just like to apologise for the harsh words I said in my comments to you last week. I thought you were making personal comments to me within your posts which led to me writing those comments. I probably misinterpreted your comments and for that I am sorry. I hope we can put this behind us. 🙂

  4. 17highburyterrace says:

    I was first, I was first….but now I have to read the post. I was “assuming” that it was of the normal (outstanding) quality…. 😀

    I agree with the conclusion but I actually think we might go with a bit of a 4-4-2 with both LuLu and Theo up front, with Santi, Wilshere (or Rosicky) and (of course….) Ramsey and Arteta. It will be listed as a 4-3-3 or a 4-5-1 (Lu-lu spearheading things) but in practice I don’t see Theo (nor Santi) hugging the touchline. Is this the “narrow” formation people have been suggesting?….

    IMO it could very well yield dividends, but I would sure like Ollie on the bench rather than in street clothes…..

  5. AFC says:

    Weedonald, Thanks for commenting. The Ox is definitely one for the future. He will probably end up playing behind the striker in a 4-4-1-1 formation in the future. For me Podolski can also do this role.

    Regarding Walcott and Gervinho they are more different than you might think. Gervinho looks to dribble past players and take on players whereas Walcott will look to knock the ball past defenders rather than take them on. But they are both as fast as a bullet. 🙂

  6. Bond James says:

    who would i want in the leading role out of Podolski/Walcott/Gervinho ?

    ALL 3.

    start and play all 3, with all 3 slotting in and rotating, taking turns whenever they get space – call it a free role for all 3 as long as they track back leaving least 1 of them up front.

    we do this and i have no doubt that we will get a result against utd, their defence isn’t that great and we can seriously take the game to them

  7. AFC says:

    17ht, glad we could put our dispute behind us. 🙂

    Are you referring to a diamond 4-4-2 formation where we have a CDM, LCM and RCM with an CAM behind the two strikers?

  8. AFC says:

    BJ, the only thing is Wenger is likely to play Cazorla/Walcott on one of the wings in a free role.

  9. AFC says:

    17ht, the narrow formation I often refer to is either a 4-3-1-2 or a 4-2-3-1. However there are two variations of the 4-2-3-1 formation (as you will see if you play FIFA 13). There is the one with two DMs and three AMs behind the main striker (this is the one I want us to use) or there is the variation with two DMs, one AM and a LM and RM all behind the striker.

  10. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cheers mate (as they say…..)—Seriously, I didn’t mean to tread on your toes or upset ANYBODY. I sometimes try for humor (humour?….) but I can see I need to up my use of the smileys or work harder to observe the sensitivities of others which are very much like my own…. 😳 My comments were more heated (and more brusque) than usual because of the performance (which I’ve seen plenty of people describe as “insipid”)…and because I’m really worried about our chances with OG, limited as he is, in street clothes…..Here’s to the ban being brought down to one match….

    I’m really hoping that United take the afternoon off (or are still stinky with Champagne…) but I don’t believe we can count on it. It’s nip and tuck to the line—very exciting, but also pretty worrisome, I think.

    This season has been a(nother) torture test for the true gooners, but we’re almost there. Where’s the “I need a hug” smiley?….

  11. AFC says:

    17ht, the one with 3 AMs is the tight 4-2-3-1 whereas the one with 1 AM and a RM and LM is the wide 4-2-3-1.

  12. Bond James says:

    not necessarily,

    if he does that then he takes the element of surprise out of his game and becomes too predictable.

    every time i have seen arsenal vs manu over the past donkey number of years, i have always seen different tactics or squad players being used… utd seem to do it more frequently then us but i reckon wenger won’t use 4 midfielders this time round – call it a hunch if you may.

    i much rather have Cazorla pull all the strings behind poldi/theo/gerv

    we tried the 4 midfielders earlier against them in the season and failed miserably, it was one of our flattest performances ever…even though it was ramsey on the wings but still it was the likes of arteta/wilshere/santi/ramsey (i hope my memory serves me well).

    attack is the best form of defense sometimes.

  13. AFC says:

    17ht, I was actually looking forward to this season. I knew we would not win the CL or PL, but I thought we could win the FA Cup or League Cup at least. I was completely wrong, we have had the same season we have always had in recent years. I am not that worried with players leaving this summer as we have pretty much sold all of our world class players and the quality payers we have brought have just joined us, so it is very unlikely they will leave.

  14. AFC says:

    BJ, we could just do what SAF does and copy their formation for the match. Your thoughts?

  15. AFC says:

    BJ, I am guessing that we could see Rooney next to Carrick in the midfield so the midfield battle would be an intersting battle. But because Rooney could be playing deeper this could mean that Arteta and Ramsey could be under less pressure than they normally would be with Rooney playing higher up the pitch allow them to actually pass the ball forward.

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Timely and great discussion post, AFC. Merci beaucoup!!! 🙂

    In the current formation, I reckon we will struggle to see us regain shape and purpose without OG up-front. Theo and Pod are both not ‘holding strikers’ and I can see us have a lot of miscommunication/ misplaced balls if any of the two has to play the OG-role.

    So, for me it is a question of formation and I agree with 17HT and a few others that we would be better off playing 4-4-2 with BOTH Theo and Pod in the ‘2’ or in the ones of 4-4-1-1.

    The other option is the play in the ‘fluid-three’ as we did at the start of the season. And as Bond J says, this means we play Theo, Pod and Gervinho up-front with Cazorla or WIlshere in the hole and the rest keeping it tight in midfield and at the back.

    But the risk of the fluid-three is also a lot of miscommunication and misplacing of balls…. Plus who is going to do a bit of wingplay for us…

    If I have to choose a striker for our current formation, I’d go for the Pod but I really hope Wenger changes formation to get the best out of our strikers.

  17. 17highburyterrace says:

    BJ, with the hostility towards Gervinho in the home crowd and the relative lack of same towards Theo (since he signed da ting, but also stopped scoring…..) I think it’s Santi, Poldi and Theo across the front with Ox and Gerv (in that order) across the front.

    I hate to say it but Lu-Lu looks unfit as do Jack and Sicky. We’re limping in….

    On the bigger issues (from watching RvP and his teammates/manager celebrating….) here’s what I was writing as the new post went up….

    The 4 semi finalists CL ARE super-clubs and Dortmund IS the Arsenal model….So (longer term) we CAN get there (in my opinion)….

    We’ve got trouble, however, because of Chelsea and City money and United matching them on a debt model (though they fill the stadium and sell the shirts….) Financially, we are #4 in England and we’ve got serious nippers on our heels in Spurs (a pesky local and emotionally charged issue) and Debt Model ‘Pool who are very wobbly due to Daglish mistakes and banking on players like “La Mordida” (today’s earlier blog topic)….Also, the wealth of native (British) talent, isn’t quite what Germany and Spain provide, so I have questions about the whole Brit-Core model. Finally, now that PSG (and Newcastle…) are plundering in France we need to keep working the two better leagues. I’m really hoping we can pick up the talent which the CL finalists leave on the shelf and we’ve done well with the Spaniards….

    OK, whew that’s as short and quick as I can go….(And I’ve still got shit to say–already written–about Suarez and RA’s stuff about salaries, if I can find a spot….)

  18. joe says:

    Why one game ban if Arsenals appeal is successful

  19. Bond James says:

    that’s the thing though,

    you don’t know what formation SAF will be using, he keeps that element of surprise vs Arsenal and 9 times out of 10 , he gets it right and win

    don’t be surprised to see him Starting Nani /Danny W next week against us – but remember you heard it here first.

    good thing about playing manu is that it will be a game of football and not rugby i.e. Everton.

    and when someone actually wants to play football with us then it is not only free flowing but can also be highly entertaining – we will have an 8 day rest compared to utd’s 6 – let’s make it count and play it like a cup tie.

  20. 17highburyterrace says:

    Oops, I meant Ox and Gerv coming on as subs, in that order, if we’re chasing the game, I meant….

  21. William says:

    I don’t care who leads the line against the red faced.What I want is a win.Wenger’s record against the red face has been very poor,very poor in the last 7 years.His
    all out attacking style plays into the red faced counter attack.And yet he shows no inclination of change with his over emphasis on possession and million passes.
    As Myles Palmer so rightly points out ,Wenger /Arsenal continue to struggle against determined opposition and may finish 6th.Theproblem is when when the gunner attack,the speed is missing as they indulge in passing all over the place.As so oftenis the case,a swift counter by the other team often results in a goal by the other side.Still tfm insists his style is the way.
    If what Palmers said is true of the gunners finishing 5th /6th Wenger in all likelihood will probably leave on his own,imho.He has come to a cul de sac. I just hope I am wrong,

  22. 17highburyterrace says:

    BJ, I’m almost positive that RvP will not be in the stadium—Rooney at Everton style….

    (WTF do I know, as always, of course…. which in textwrite is WTFDIKAAOC, which for some reason, has never caught on….

  23. AFC says:

    TA, you are totally correct. At times Giroud, when in front of Cazorla up front, has dropped very deep. I rememeber in one match it looked like Giroud was playing CF rather than ST. So at times we look to play a standard 4-2-1-3 formation while at other times we seem to play a false 9 formation.

    A 4-4-1-1 formation can be used to good effect. I saw this when Spurs played a 4-4-1-1 formation with Van Der Vaart playing as the AM/CF. We could play the Ox behind Podolski or Walcott which might be a good idea.

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    17HT 🙂

    Good to see you back and I have caught up with your comments. If you have any comments typed up/waiting then you should send them over either per email and we could look at turning one into a post, or just post them as comments.

    Your opinions are always well expressed and based on sharp observations: so please, don’t hold back! 😛

  25. Tom says:

    Definitely not Gervinho!
    Would like to see a front 3 of Pod, Theo and TheOX
    We’ve got to go out and win our games and we’ve got to get something from the ManU match.

  26. 17highburyterrace says:

    Agree BJ, we need to get healthy (in a hurry) and hope our skeleton squad can give a game to the deeper parts of United’s team. I think we can….

  27. AFC says:

    BJ, spot on. 🙂

    Guessing the formation is hard enough but to guess the players he will use, is mission impossible. I remember the days he used to basically save Park for the matches against us.

    Maybe we should shock SAF by playing with no recognised striker or with 3 CBs. 😀

  28. Glic says:

    Thanks AFC.

    Who knows may be Arsene will surprise everyone and play Arshavin up front again !. That must be up there in AW`s Top Ten of mystifying corkers !. hahaha

    Nasri recently said it was Kroenke who had the final say on him being sold as he ( not too dissimilar to Nasri ) wanted the money !. Even though we have heard the rumours of SAF pestering AW for RVP`s signiture, It wouldn`t surprise me if Kroenke had the final say.

    I wont say Kroenke`s Idiocy handed the Title to the Mancs, as I have no doubt their unstoppable juggernaut would have won it anyway.
    What Kroenke has done is give me ( you can speak for yourselves ) is another stressfull end of the season, which imho would not be happening had we kept the fatherless Dutchman. Another 4 squeaky bum matches to endure. The tension is pounding my head because of Kroenke Kuntz.
    If we dont get top 4, then as far as I`m concerned there will be no forgiving Kroenke Kuntz as his greed for £20m will end up in a double that amount loss. Makes you wonder how he gained such a fortune with shit business sense like that !. TWATTTTTTTTTTTTTTT.
    Two Billionaires wanted Arsenal. One richer than Abramobitch and who would be creaming himself at the thought of getting one over the Chavski Kuntzski and we end up with the one whose richer wife slaps him about with a Walmart Value Syrup !.

  29. AFC says:

    Tom, thanks for commenting. I take it that you want Walcott to play up front?

    That could be a possibilty, but as some people have suggested it might be a better option to play Podolski and Walcott upfront together.

  30. AFC says:

    Glic, could you imagine SAF’s face if we played with Vermaelen or Arshavin up front. 😀

  31. Bond James says:


    we actually have no recognized striker, so there goes the element of shocking 😀 we have cf’s but no striker as such.


    let’s hope so 😀

  32. AFC says:

    BJ, Podolski is a CF/false 9 but you could argue that Giroud is a ST who just plays on the RW.

  33. AFC says:

    BJ, sorry I meant Walcott.

  34. Glic says:

    One would be interesting to say the least AFC, with his power and pace, where as the other….well… would see more work rate on a gay priests cock in a Polish pole dancing club !.

  35. AFC says:

    Glic, Vermaelen up front would be very interesting. He would easily score the most goals from headers in the PL. 😀

  36. 17highburyterrace says:

    Thanks, TA, I’m still new here and need to catch up and figure out everybody’s style and proclivities. I told you that the emotion of the run-in might be trouble 😉 Also, I’m just an old dood trying to figure out this interweb thingy, (again 😳 ) so please bear with me….

    Speaking of which….Glic, I gotta say, I totally agree about Kroenke AND you are a very, very (very) funny fella….I need to lay off the masturbation humor (humour?) for a bit, so as not to step on anybody’s unit, but I know you can (easily) hold down the fort….

    Maybe if I played the video games I could do the formation stuff, but for me it’s too much. Given that we lack true depth I really feel like these things just don’t matter and that we must rely on players knowing where their teammates are heading and filling spaces accordingly. (Again, this is just my opinion or way of looking at things, sorry….

    A giant problem in this regard is that our one footed guys (Rosicky, Ramsey and Wilshere, not to mention the FBs) take a lot of space to turn with the ball and we get out of shape very easily–a big reason we cannot afford too many turnovers. Marry that to our current lack of pace at the back (the BFG and our ostensible DM, Arteta) and a very green keeper (with serious distribution problems….) and it means our possession game is (more or less) gone AND we look awfully sketchy when teams break against us. Many have argued that we’ve changed our game to suit Giroud, but I see it the exact opposite. He’s had to change his game to bail us out and let us ease pressure by going Route 1….

    My hope is that United, with the title in hand, (and unlike the drubbing at Old Trafford….) let us move the ball on the ground and roll over in other ways (with heavy rotation and giving RVP the day off)….Doesn’t really seem like Red Nose’s style, however, and I worry that their squad players might outplay and outshoot our best 14….

    But then again, I’m a worrier (and think over-confidence is a bad thing)….We’re gonna crush ’em!!! (maybe….)


    Lovely AFC

    Gervinio for me. The Gerv proved at the start of the season that he is a very good striker who creates space for himself and others. I would plump for Pod on the left and Theo on the right with santi in the hole.

    I cant understand the negativity for the Gerv, hes a fine player.

    Now for the good news, f*uck Van Pisses, i now have lift off. Yes, my loft conversion has been granted approval. Soon i will be living it up in style. Instead of one pieogen for company i will have several. hahaha

  38. AFC says:

    TMHT, you the first person to say Gervinho. In my opinion he is much more effective on the LW where he can dribble past players and add the width to our team which we need. But saying that Gervinho did score quite a few goals when leading the line for us so you could have a point.

  39. AFC says:

    * you are

  40. bc says:

    For me we should play 4312 with chamberlain and podolski up front and santi playing behind them.the ox and poldi seem to work on the same wavelength as does santi. Similarly jack and rambo are good together and alongside arteta in a 3 man midfield they will be dominant. On the bench we would have walcott gervinho and rosicky along with gibbs vermaelen and either coquelin or jenkinson.

    For me this solves all the problems and I believe actually means all our best footballers are on the pitch.

  41. AFC says:

    Bc, thanks for commenting.

    I am not sure if the Ox can play up front in a ‘2’. I think he is more of a CF/AM. We could play a 4-3-1-2 formation with the Ox behind Podolski and Walcott with Santi dropping back to play with two of Arteta, Rosicky,Wilshere, Ramsey.

  42. TotalArsenal says:


    In general, this is a relatively mellow weblog where most bloggers operate under the ‘I am ok – you are ok’ mantra. This does not mean everybody agrees with each other though; far from it. I am like you that after a game in which we played under-par, or even worse; lose, I am more prickly and occasionally aggressive in my comments. The longer we blog together the more we get to know each other styles, undertones and viewpoints/values, and the more we can blog on the basis of mutual respect.

    You are exactly the sort of blogger this site was set up for, and I hope you will feel more and more at home and at ease here. 🙂

  43. TotalArsenal says:

    hahaha Terry, when the loft conversion is finished, I will pay you a visit and might even bring some fine birdies along 😛

  44. TotalArsenal says:


    Is it going to be like this one? hahaha 🙂

  45. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, another quality article, congrats on a good read!

    However, one small point of contention :). Giroud is not the focal point of our attack, he is the most forward player in our attack and we try to incorporate his playing style into our strategy and depend on a degree, on his flick ons and ability to control the ball and distribute it to others with his back to goal, but in no way do I believe our attack to be focused around him.

    Instead, I believe that Wilshere or Cazorla are the focal points of our attack. In typical Arsenal fashion, the main cog is usually the distributor or the creative maestro. When either Jack or Santi do not show up, our attack inevitably becomes useless and too predictable.

    Anyway, onto your article and the question you asked. Very accurate detail on both Podolski and Walcott’s games. What should also be noted is that Poldi has the pace and technical ability to drop back in the build up and to rejoin the attack (opposed to OG)! I also find that Walcott lacks the strength and diversity in attacking philosophy to play as ST. He’s too easily pushed over and expects to score in a certain manner (running behind defenders on a breakaway). OG at least can still test the goalie with headers or an effort from far away if his hold up play is bearing no fruit.

    With all that said, I would like to give Podolski a try up front. In his two games at ST, he was invisible and it was clear he was not ready at the time to lead our line. Also, he did not have Theo or Jack distributing or opening up space for him in those games. He has hopefully matured in his development with AW and hopefully he can prove to us that he’s the man to take us forward with his already renowned clinical finishing. He deserves to start if he’s not injured and I’d like to keep our players happy so they do not request transfers away from our club too!

  46. William says:

    Wenger hasn’t plated the same guy in a central striking role for more than seven games consecutively,if i anait wrong. aint wrong.The reface will be keen to kick out Wenger from the cl .He will be wary because the gunners have cl experience and could ,in theory,thwart his cl plan.
    So don’t be surprised the gunners lose exespecially if the gunners play like in the Fulham game.

  47. AFC says:

    HH, good to hear from you. 🙂

    I see Giroud as the focal point of our attack. At times Wilshere has been injured and Cazorla has played out on the wing the attack has been based around Giroud. At times this season Giroud has been playing very deep, at times just infront of Cazorla rather than leading the line. I could be wrong though.

    For me Podolski is more a all rounded player which means he can drop deep and do pretty well in link up play deeper (around the midfield). Walcott is one dimensional, however he is very hard to stop. Once he beats the offside trap the defenders are pretty much pissed and it is down to the GK to stop Walcott.

  48. Mk says:

    I will go for Gervinho who has both pace and technical ability he can dribble he can open up defence,bring others in the game , drawing defenders to himself opening space for others. He has proved that he can step up to the challenge at the beginning of the season by scoring crucial goals as a CF.He has been on outstanding form recently scoring and assisting.I don,t even know why he has been drop to the bench in favour of Walcott whose recent contribution has been minimal.For those who don,t want to see Gervinho it’s just a question of their attitudes not his ability as a player.He doesn’t, deserve all the negativity from the home fans.Mr Wenger said it correctly when he spoke about the negative atmosphere which Gervinho plays in,not from opposing fans but from Arsenal fans.With fans who boo attack their own players in the pitch Arsernal will continue to go down the drain

  49. AFC says:

    William, all we can do is remain positive and hope we can get some kind of a result when we face United. If Wenger can get the players to replicate what we done against Bayern in the second leg of the CL, we are very good contenders to finish 3rd abd get into the CL once again.

  50. Adekunle says:


  51. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, here’s where we agree to disagree then. For me, the focal point of our attack has to be the player, that without, our team would inevitably be close to losing most games.

    Take Santi out of the equation and suddenly we become a mid-table team. For me, he is the focal point of our attack despite what position he plays. It’s through his creativity and vision that most of scoring opportunities are created. On days he is not at his best, our attack

  52. Highbury Harmony says:

    On days he is not at his best, our attack inevitably suffers and we generally do not create many scoring opportunities*

  53. 17highburyterrace says:

    Thanks again TA….I will submit something at some point–Over the long, (dry?) Summer…..You’ve got a fine group here and I can tell there’s a mutual respect that comes with people putting out their own posts and then having to back them up. It’s too easy for comment writers to post and hide….

    Still, it’s freakin’ hard to keep up with you guys….Today, it went from Suarez (sorry, but no chance there what with our tiny central Russian Doll full of “values,” 😉 ….among other reasons…) to RA’s stuff about salaries and how to amortize transfers, to Fred scouting the Basque we need to buy. And then (for the masochists) we had to absorb our Gray (grey?) haired Judas scoring a freaking hat trick to take the title AND the PFA award from the toothy/bitey fella (who gave it away yesterday….) Geez….

    Also, while I’m most certainly not a “hater,” I like to think of myself as a realist and some of what I see isn’t very pretty. As Arsenal supporters our expectations were raised soooo high that (these days…) it almost seems like a full-time job to try and stay upbeat about things and some of the ways we go about it are a little out there….I like to keep things positive but also reality-based, so I appreciate keeping the focus on what’s directly in front of us. This article is a fine example of just that….

    Of course I also appreciate “off-topic” stuff sometimes too….

    Here’s one….If Wigan are going down AND Arsene is spread too thin in his duties (on-pitch stuff plus scouting plus selling his “vision” to the board/owner, etc.) AND we’re keen to continue exploiting the Spanish market….is Roberto Martinez a guy we might like to get on our payroll? (I give it little credence but)…rumor (rumour) has it that Bouldy is gonna replace Tony Pulis at Stoke…..So maybe we need a new #2 or a 1st team coach or something….

  54. 17highburyterrace says:

    HH, totally agree about Santi, but I also see how AFC is seeing it. 3 in a week looked tough for Santi (and there was some news that he was carrying a knock….) I think one per week will be just what the doctor ordered….

  55. Highbury Harmony says:

    17ht, completely agreed that starting too many games at a high premium position is a lot to ask from Santi, Ramsey and Arteta. But you take Santi out of our attack and suddenly we become very ordinary. He has to be the focal point for me, all the creativity and attack generally start from him in the final third. OG is simply supposed to be the end product of our attack, much like Henry was. In the same way, I don’t think many would argue that DB10 wasn’t the focal point of our attack during his time at Arsenal either.

  56. 17highburyterrace says:

    I think it’s a fitness issue with Santi. The demands of the English league are prodigious….Except for the super-classicos there’s a lot of start and stop action in La Liga by comparison. Athletico Madrid have some decent players but they are a selling club to beat all others. Obviously Malaga was doing something interesting and Valencia and Sevilla tend to have some very good players but, to me at least, it seems a whole ‘nother ball game (as we say). Hell, Carlos Vela and Sociedad are threatening for a CL spot….

    As this season has gone on I’ve gotten more comfortable with our slow starts knowing that Santi is more aware that opposing teams will tire out if he just keeps pushing. Bring on the subs and let Santi either drift deep and hit them with those amazing long balls or get pesky in and around the box to set something up or finish it off. That said, I’ve been making Santi my fantasy captain these past few matches and he’s been killing me….

    The little lay-offs with Giroud haven’t been coming off either. We’ve got to hope that whoever he plays with he can work the one-twos OR that the United defenders can’t be arsed to stretch a leg and block his shots. Santi’s just too small and lacks the acceleration to really get his shot off or get past opponents and it’s best when he uses those wind-up moves as decoys. We need his fellow forwards to clue into this a little more….

    So yes, you can argue that Santi’s the focal point of the offense but, shape wise and as a target for Sneezy long balls the Giroud red card means a major readjustment…Hopefully we’ll be working on it while United are drinking their champagne…. 😦

  57. TotalArsenal says:

    Good, sunny morning fellow G’s 🙂

    Looking fwd to the CL game tonight – should be good footie.

  58. TotalArsenal says:


    It has been a bit frantic yesterday as I issued two posts, after not having one at all on Sunday. We are back to one post a day again (next one tonight around 10pm GMT).

    We all like to be seen as realists, but some like to emphasise the positives, or negatives, more than others and will call that still being realistic. My view is there are a lot more positives than negatives, including this season, and I am happy to watch our boys every time. And there is always next season…. hahaha 🙂

  59. VCC says:

    Happy St. George’s day all BKers.

  60. VCC says:

    Does anyone want the Sun’s 8 page tribute to ManUre before I wipe my arse on it?

  61. VCC says:

    UMF update ( 23rd April 2013..St.G Day)

    Overall standings =

    Henry …… 98
    HH……….. 89
    PPP………. 85
    Red Arse… 82
    Oz…………. 78
    TMHT……. 77
    Total……… 75
    Alex………. 74
    Rocky……. 70
    GLiC…….. 47

    Weekly scoreboard =

    TMHT…… 5
    Alex …….. 4
    HH……….. 3
    PPP……… 3
    Oz……….. 3
    Red Arse..1

    Well done to Henry this week, getting 8 points taking him within 4 points of Vicky. Giving Vick’s a squecky bum time 🙂

    Red Arse just avoids joining the Zero club, with a home win last night. 😀

    5 weeks to go guys, everything to play for. Except the wooden spoon which is now on its way to Cornwall. A nice handle engraving reading “PLONKER”

    Ava G8 week guys. Stay out of trouble, and keep safe, as Stretch would say…..”Here’s to a 5-0 win on Saturday” 😉

  62. VCC says:

    HI GLiC. your predictions this week are =

    Soton v WBA
    Read v QPR
    MC v WHU
    Wigan v Spurs

    All draws.

    I cannot work out the last one????????

  63. TotalArsenal says:

    You may wipe it, VCC 😈

    Thanks for the UMF update; widget updated.

    Super week for Henry in more than one respect! 🙂

    Keep rockin’ Vickers! 🙂

  64. AFC says:

    TA, who is the focal point of of our attack in your view?

  65. AFC says:

    * of our attack

  66. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning AFC 🙂

    You are right; the focal point of our attack is Giroud. He is responsible for holding our shape up-front and act both as our ‘holding striker’ – playing with his back towards the oppositions defence – as a target to aim at for completing an attack.

    He is not our conductor, though. This is either Wilshere/Rosicky ideally, or Cazorla.


    Yes TA, thats exactly what it will look like….once finnished. hahaha

    i will let you know once complete. When we go to a game next season you can come round and we can have an aphrodisiac before the match. hahaha

  68. alexgunners says:


    Great post. In my opinion and it is a quick one today as it is already late here. I believe that Poldi needs to get the nod. He is one of my favourites, He seems to take no prisoners and can actually control the ball.
    He is currently been underused and he needed to be played in the central role more often.
    he has a powerful shot and can score in tight situations. We need a forward that can bully defenders and doesn’t dive anywhere near as much as OG.

    Walcott needs to stick to the wings and run them efficiently. He simply does not have the strength to play in a central role. He gets out muscled easily and and lacks close ball control.

    @ GLIC 23:02

    I agree with pretty much all that you have said. Yes football is a business but dont try and make profits by selling all the players we have in the last couple of years. You want to bring in more revenue, try fielding a team that can challenge for titles and you will improve the commercial appeal of The Arsenal. More success = more money, surely you do not have to pay some over paid monkeys millions of dollars to try and work out that one. We have sold what we have tried to build on for so many years. Na$ri, Clichy, champs last year with Man Shitty. Really Vile Prick to the ManUre and guess what he gave them the goals that we lacked up front this season.

    AFC, sorry for going off track on your post but Glic did bring something up that I completely agree with. Great post.

  69. AFC says:

    Alexgunners, thanks for your thoughts. 🙂

    Regarding Walcott I do not see it being totally neccessary to be strong. If he can master the one act of beating the offside trap and then scroing he will be a lethal player. There are many strikers out their who are not that strong. One I think is Obafemi Martins, not sure how strong he is but did not appear that strong when I have seen him play. If you are intelligant enough to be able to get yourself in the right positions again and again, strength is not that much of an issue. Saying that Walcott as I have said in my post can be ineffective against teams who defend deep.

  70. AFC says:

    * scoring

  71. Ain't Got A Kalou says:

    TA, the player who gives our attack shape is Santi. There is no differentiating between focal point and conductor, it is the one player whom opposing teams need to worry about most in dissecting their defence!

    By definition, focal point is the center of activity or interest. Everything that goes through the conductor is this the focal point. OG is certainly important to our attack, but not the center of activity or interest.

  72. Ain't Got A Kalou says:

    Great article by the way AFC. I would actually go with Walcott. I like his speed and he’s scored 4 goals an had 2 assists playing as ST this year. Pod too invisible for me at ST.

  73. Ain't Got A Kalou says:

    Also, why not play with 2 up front like Santi behind Theo or Ox? Need someone strong like Ox to offset Theo’s lack of ability to hold up play, but Theo still best finisher on the run.

  74. Ain't Got A Kalou says:

    Meant to say Santi or Ox behind Theo

  75. AFC says:

    Ain’t Got A Kalou, thanks for your comments. 🙂

    I do not think the Ox would be effective up front. I would play him behind Walcott and Podolski.

    I am on the go, so I will expnad more for you later.

  76. Ain't Got A Kalou says:

    AFC, it is what I meant. Ox behind Theo or Pod.

  77. AFC says:

    HH and Ain’t Got A Kalou, the focal point of the attack is not necessarily your most creative player or best players. For instance Diaby can be a foacl point for us if he was playing. PV, one of our best ever midfielders can be a focal point despite Bergkamp being our most creative player and some would argue (I am presuming TA) our best player.

    TA might be able to make it much easier for you guys to understand.

  78. Ain't Got A Kalou says:

    PV was the engine of our team and attack, not the conductor or focal point. Best player doesn’t have to be focal point, but focal point does have to be where attacks all mostly come from, which is Santi. DB10 was focal point before and Cesc after that, then RVP last year.

    Olivier is too isolated up top to be focal point, attack is not made to go through him, but he is still important in plan B when our normal approach ain’t working.

  79. Ain't Got A Kalou says:

    Also AFC, just because TA says so does not make him right 😉

  80. AFC says:

    Ain’t Got A Kalou, I was using PV as an example of what a focal point can be. For instance Barca’s focal point is Messi but if they reall wanted to could make Song there focal point. Do you get what I am trying to say.

    I also said Giroud was the focal point of our attack first and TA confirmed it. 😉

  81. Ain't Got A Kalou says:

    AFC, just because you said it and TA confirmed it does not make you right.

    Messi is focal point for sure, Song hardly plays, how could he be focal point? He also isn’t given the license to attack like at Arsenal. Xavi is engine there too. Isco is focal point at Malaga, Goetze at BD, RVP at UTD. It usually is the best player, but true not always the best player.

    Still, Santi is focal point in that he is the center that leads our attack.

  82. AFC says:

    * really
    * their

    Ain’t Got A Kalou, in my post it says that Giroud is the focal point. Yourself and HH said he is not and TA agreed with me and said that he is. ; Ain’t Got A Kalou

  83. AFC says:

    Ain’t Got A Kalou, sorry Song is another example.

    Supoose Diaby is fit and is playing in a 4-1-2-3 in the ‘2’. He could become the focal point of our attack.

    Rooney and RVP struggled to form a partnership because they are both focal points of an attack, however you cannot have two focal points in an attack. So you could say the all of their attacks go through Rooney so he is the focal point however RVP can also be a focal point at times. Teams often change their focal points.

  84. AFC says:

    * suppose

  85. TotalArsenal says:

    AintGAK 🙂

    Good to see you back.

    You are so right, I only have opinions hahaha 😛

    Santi is not a conductor IMO. He can play close to the box, or on the wing with the aid of others. Conductors are Rosicky and Wilshere and the latter will become the absolute beast of a conductor just like Fabregas used to be IMO. Cazorla would function best in a 4-4-1-1 behind the striker, or in a 4-1-2-3 in the ‘2’.

    The focal point of our attack is definitely Giroud. Everyone looks to link up with him or get him in position. His positioning, hard work, link-up play and physical attributes – all of which need further improvements next season – make him the focal point of our attack.

    If and when we play with a fluid-three: three out of Gervinho, Theo, Pod and Ox, we do not have one focal point in attack. Only Giroud (and Chamakh) can play this role IMO.

  86. AFC says:

    TA, do not forget Bendtner. 😉

    Your focal point can also be in midfield. For example Fellani.

  87. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi AFC

    I think we are talking about two different things: the focal point in attack, which is either an attacker or it is fluid, and the conductor role, which is usually played by a midfielder.

  88. JM says:


    Mario Goetze has signed for Bayern Munich on a pre-contract agreement. He will join up with Bayern and their new manager, Pep Guardiola on 1st July 2013.

    Bayern met Goetze’s €37 million buy-out clause.

  89. AFC says:

    TA, am I right to assume that the conductor is the main creator.

    Giroud is our focal point but suppose we played a 4-2-1-3 formation with Walcott leading line and we had, let’s say Fellani in the hole, is he now not our focal point.

  90. JM says:

    I would prefer our team to have little to no focal point of attack, which means any player starting in our attack positions has the ability and intelligence to deal the killer blow to any opposition (be it for giving assists or scoring goals).

    For my case, we play 4-6-0. With same backfour (Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal), 2 facilitators (Arteta and Ramsey), 2 creators (Cazorla and Rosicky), Gibbs on Left midfield duty, The Ox on Right midfield duty. And any of Podolski, Gervinho and Walcott on the free role (to probe and harass opposition’s defence – be it their fullbacks or centre backs) slightly in front of both our creators and wide midfielders.

  91. JM says:


    “For my case, we play 4-6-0. With same backfour (Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal), 2 facilitators (Arteta and Ramsey), 1 creator (either Cazorla or Rosicky), Gibbs on Left midfield duty, The Ox on Right midfield duty. And any of Podolski, Gervinho and Walcott on the free role (to probe and harass opposition’s defence – be it their fullbacks or centre backs) slightly in front of both our creators and wide midfielders”

  92. AFC says:

    JM, the 4-6-0 is basically a 4-2-3-1 with no recognised striker. I am not sure of who you want to play in the front four positions?

  93. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi JM

    It is in a way depressing news that a club like Dortmund can also not hold on to the players they ‘create and build’. Bayern are like RM of Spain or Mancs of England: buy, buy, buy your way to success. Depressing 😦

  94. AFC says:

    JM, I get you now. 🙂

    There are two formations with no recognised striker. There is the 4-6-0 what you mentioned and a 4-3-3 false 9 formation.

    Do you know the 4-3-3 false 9 formation I am talking about? If you do not I will be happy to explain it to you.

  95. TotalArsenal says:

    AFC, perhaps Fellaini could become our conductor in that position, but not the focul point in attack. It would be either Walcott, who in my opinion cannot play that role, or it is fluid, as per JM’s comment.

  96. AFC says:

    TA, understood now. 🙂

  97. AFC says:

    TA, I think we will have to do what Bayern just done. To get the top players we may have to meet their high release clause.

  98. TotalArsenal says:

    that is not really the Arsenal way in recent years, AFC…

    Let’s see what happens this summer 🙂

  99. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA & AFC,

    If I may interject, I quietly disagree with both of you :).

    The attack, for me, is a larger picture than your last description TA. For me, the focal point of attack includes all of the final third, not simply our play around the box. When Jack is fit and playing at AM, he is the focal point of our attack. All of our play comes through this player and he is both involved in the build-up play AND our attack around the box. Teams look to shut down Jack and Santi, not so much OG. He is often left uncovered in the final third since defenders know that our football is played along the ground, in addition to the fact that it’s easy for defenders to catch up to him when he gets the ball.

    With Jack and Rosicky injured for a lot of the season, the focal point then becomes Santi. The definition of attack for me, extends beyond direct statistics and play around the box. Thus, I do not believe Giroud to be the focal point of our attack. AGAK is correct in stating that OG is far too isolated up front in our set-up to ever be considered the “focal point of our attack”. RVP was the focal point because he also dropped back to join in the build-up, as well as being the focus that all our players looked to pass to, in order to score goals.

    TA, you are correct that Santi is not a natural conductor, as he lacks the pace to drive our attack forward. However, he often drops back and starts the play from deep or around the box and is the main player in “the center of activity” in our total offense. Focal point is greater than play around the box, OG is definitely more important closer to the box, but when he drops back he does not have the pace to move forward to rejoin the attack either. Santi dictates the play and is often the main player around the box who receives the ball, looking to either score or set others up. OG, Theo and Pod etc. are simply pawns for Santi (when Jack is out) to capitalize on to kickstart our offense.

  100. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, an example of where the best player is not the focal point of an attack is RM. Ronaldo is by far the best player on the team, but the focal point of attack is Ozil. RM look to get Ozil the ball to set others up, despite the fact that Ronaldo is often the end product on a lot of goals. Ozil pulls the strings and draws defenders away from Benzema/Higuain and Ronaldo, in order to find them for prime scoring opportunities.

    For me, Santi is the exact same type of player as Ozil when Jack is out (has been for large portions of this year). There is no different between a conductor and a focal point of attack for me, so perhaps we are arguing different things. As AGAK pointed out, by definition the focal point is the “center of activity or interest”, which is exactly what a conductor is.

  101. AFC says:

    HH, that is why I used the example of Fellani in my discussion with TA.

    So who would you say is the focal point at Juventus.

  102. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi HH 🙂

    Happy to agree to disagree on that one, and I have written enough about it now. 🙂

    How do you feel about Gotze moving away from your German team?

  103. TotalArsenal says:

    Shit! 😦

    From BBC:

    Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud will serve a three-game ban after he lost an appeal against his red card in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Fulham.
    The 26-year-old France international was sent off late on for a foul on Stanislav Manolev but claimed he slipped as he went for the ball.
    A Football Association independent regulatory commission rejected his claim for wrongful dismissal.
    He will next be available on the final day away to Newcastle.
    Giroud will miss games against Manchester United, QPR and Wigan as the Gunners chase a Champions League spot. They are third with 63 points, two ahead of Tottenham, who have a game in hand, in fifth.
    He has scored twice during the Gunners’ six-game unbeaten run in the league – in a 4-1 win against Reading and the 3-1 victory over Norwich, and has scored 17 goals in total since his summer switch from Montpellier.

  104. AFC says:

    TA, that is bad news.

    Now we will actually see if this story about Wenger grooming Podolski for the CF position is true.

    Wenger could play a 4-4-1-1 with Podolski behind Giroud.

  105. AFC says:

    * Podolski behind Walcott

  106. TotalArsenal says:

    That’s what I reckon it will be, AFC 4-4-1-1 with the Pod creating mayhem in the hole hahaha 🙂


    TA, i have sent you an email “Guess the Bergkampesquere” hahaha

  108. Glic says:

    Evening Fish taco`s with extra tomatoes 😆

    Vicky Bollard . The last one was Arsenal Football Club Vs Man Cunited….Draw !.

    Thanks Alex for agreeing that with me that Silent Stan ( Some sort of gagging order….his wifes beaver toupee is stuffed down his throat ! ) gets slapped about by his missus with a Walmart Value Syrup !.

    What a crap St Georges day I`ve had, been down to Andover and New Forrest, but the socket for the sat nav didn`t work, so I had to use some devise called a….map !…..f**king hopeless without my reading glasses !.
    Then I get home and my boy tells me Goetze is going to the Munchies, why dont we out bid the Nazi Kuntz !. Oh well that just leaves Isco and Iker …..and dont mention the Full Montenegrin…..overated…..especially by you beaver baggers !. hahaha

  109. Fred says:

    Hi guys, great post AFC. I have to say I would like to see us use a 4-4-2 formation with Walcott and Podolski upfront together. I am not too sure if either of them are physically strong enough to deal with Utd’s CB’s and whilst we may be giving them the guard of honour we can try our hardest to stop them entering the record books. Utd’s big weakness is their midfield, which is why I think we should try and overwhelm them in the middle of the park. Also it doesn’t mean we would need to change our defenders as they have been fairly solid in recent times. So I think our midfield and attack line up should like a bit like this:


  110. Glic says:

    He`s a good looking boy !. Franck Rubbery Face Mask !.

  111. Admir says:

    @JM, you’re the closest to my suggested line-up, except I’d go with Jenkinson on the right full-back and Sagna as the right midfielder. That would nullify advantage that United have on flanks. Podolski would be only striker while Cazorla would fill the hole. Arteta and Ramsey would be in the central midfield. 0:0 until 60th minute would do just fine for us and then Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott and Rosicky/Wilshere might come in and create goals for us. 🙂

  112. Highbury Harmony says:

    Agreed TA, happy to agree to disagree. That is the beauty of football and the world of debating. We all see things differently and have our own opinions. Neither side is wrong or right :).

  113. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, at Juve it is my opinion that either Pirlo or Marchisio are the focal points of attack, with Vidal and Pirlo being the engines that make them tick.

  114. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, you cannot imagine my disappointment when I read the news yesterday night. The only consolation was that he did not join an EPL club…I see him in a similar light to van Judas now.

    However, this leaves the door open for Reus’ departure too. He’s an avid Arsenal supporter, AW get it done my man!!!

  115. AFC says:

    Fred, good to hear from you. 🙂

    I would like to see them up front together as well but I think Wenger will stick to 4-2-1-3. Podolski is a beast and definitely is strong enough to handle himself. He is no pushover.

    As regards to your tight diamond 4-4-2/4-1-2-1-2 (not sure which it is) do you think we could be left defensively exposed. Arteta is not the quickest and Rosicky would not be able to help him much defensively.

    I would play a 4-3-1-2 with the Ox or Santi behind Podolski and Walcott with a midfield 3 of Wilshere, Arteta, Rosicky/Santi. Or Ramsey in the midfield 3 so we are not left light defensively.

  116. AFC says:

    Admir, thanks for commenting.

    Two questions for you.

    Do you not think Sagna would not be very effective at RB, due to pace and attacking edge etc?

    Why should we play a defensive formation in a match we need to win?

  117. Fred says:

    True I see your point about the left being exposed but the main reason I listed those four in the midfield is because they are very versatile and can easily interchange positions. If we do stick with the 4-2-1-3 formation which is a lot more likely, we could potentially be overwhelmed in midfield in the Utd game, which would be a shame because our midfield is vastly superior to Utd’s who tend to play a sort if 4-2-3-1 formation. Purely for this game I think we need at least 4 in midfield. If we are concerned about exposure down the flanks then we could always do a 4-4-1-1 formation like this:

    And then have the likes of Santi and waltcott ready to bring on around the 60th minute. One of the reasons I have suggested this line up is because like Podolski Wenger has said he see’s Ox’s future down the middle. If we let the Ox lose on Utd’s defense for about 60 mins then he could easily tire them out and “beat them up” as he is stronger than Walcott and adds a bit more muscle to the strike force. Then we bring on Walcott and exploit his pace on the tiring defense. I know it is unlikely that we will start like this but could be an interesting formation.

    On a slightly different note has anyone seen Malaga’s Camacho? He looks like he could be the DM “beast” we have been craving and he’s pretty good technically as well.

  118. Admir says:

    @AFC – any time, it was pleasure to read this kind of discussion. 🙂

    1.I have a feeling that Jenkinson has been more consistent than Sagna in terms of defending. I like Sagna a lot, I always say that in form and 100 percent fit Sagna is the best right full-back in the world, but he has been caught off position too many times this season. Perhaps it would be better if Sagna plays as right midfielder in order to close down Manure attacks on the left flank. In a way, that would be a same thing that they did to us in reverse fixture – back then Ferguson nullified our quality in the midfield by dropping Rooney to midfield in order to keep Arteta under control. This way we would nullify their flanks that were killing us in past three defeats. Monreal and Gibbs would have even bigger importance as their right flank is filled with the likes of Rafael and Valencia.

    2.I’d say it wouldn’t be as much defensive formation as much as effective one. That sort of formation might do a trick in a way 4-2-3-1 deep did in Munich and that was also the match we had to win. The most important thing is to keep control of the match. After all, it won’t be too late to score a winner even in 94th minute. 🙂

  119. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice picture Terry – is it Vickers in the middle and you are the one with the colgate grin, and the bruiser on the left of Vickers is Glic? 😛

  120. TotalArsenal says:

    Sorry to hear you had to read a map, Glic! 😛

  121. TotalArsenal says:


    There is something really wrong about a top player going to the nearest rival. I know we did it with Campbell but for Munich to buy away Dortmund’s best player is just so cynical. Shouldn’t be possible!

  122. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, for me I don’t understand why the news would be leaked prior to the completion of the CL.

    I understand that MG is German, but has he no respect for the BD fans? The club that developed and stood by him during his injury last year? What else does he have left to prove in the Bundesliga? Why not play for the best in the world at Barca or RM?

    Maybe Pep influenced him to join Bayern or there was something going on behind the scenes, because it just does not make sense to me. Going to Bayern from BD is more than an issue about ambition, it’s just being a bloody greedy traitor!

  123. AFC says:

    Admir, understood now. 🙂

    However, as you know from my post on Sagna for CB, I think Sagna is better in a more defensive role. I would like to see Jenkison in front of him as he is quicker and can get up and down the pitch, not sure if Sagna can still do this.

    Fred, your 4-4-1-1 is a very good line up. 🙂 Ox in the hole and Walcott as an impact sub.

  124. Highbury Harmony says:

    I guess there’s something to be said about Bayern being one of the best, didn’t mean to discredit them, but why not broaden your resume and prove yourself in another league? I believe this is a huge reason he is behind Ozil on the German national team (well Ozil is also just better and older too).


    Thats the one TA. Dont publish it, The Sweeney are after Cornwall, ime wanted by Interpol, and Vics carers have sent out a search party. hahaha

  126. Glic says:

    £32M for Goetze !. Someone tell me why we could not out bid them with £35M+ ?. Then again dont bother, it would only be some petty attempt at justifying our stingyness !.
    F**k me it`s not even the proper window yet and Munchies have a £32M bargain in Goetze, Chavs have Schurlle or what ever his name is, WTF going on !. I know I`m being an impatient bastard but I want my cake and I want to eat it !.
    Just ignore me, I`m still suffering with the fact that we might not get CL because we let our best player leave when we didn`t have to let him go !.
    Am I coming across as bitter and twisted ?. hahaha

    Back to the game before them bastards invade someone !.

  127. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hahaha Glic, I think our most realistic top, top quality transfer targets are Isco and Jovetic. They have been continuously linked to Arsenal, with the latter’s interest and affinity for the club confirmed. Also, it was confirmed that Jovetic is at the top of AW’s wish list and he reminds me of a certain DB10 😀

    In the case of Isco, in the EPL it’s between us and City, with the only leverage for us being the Malaga connections and another Spaniard in Arteta. If we qualify for CL, then the only differentiator will be wages and us hopefully meeting his release clause. However, FFP may work in our favour with Isco ;).

  128. Admir says:

    @Glic – we couldn’t outbid Bayern as Borussia had to accept their bid. Goetze had minimum fee release clause set at 37 million euros.

  129. TotalArsenal says:

    All agreed, HH.

  130. henrychan says:

    Good post AFC..
    I like the way you and 17ht do your reconsilistion.. hehe..

    I choose Gervinho..
    Podolski-Gervinho-Walcott will be great..
    They can change their position one to another smoothly..

    And I like to see us playing 4-1-2-3.. with Rosicky and Santi as our duo AM.. Arteta alone will be enough for DM..And I think MU will not playing RvP again us.. he will play Hernandez instead.. to make him happy.. hehehe..
    And We will win my freinds.. We will..
    Nothing gonna stop us now.. especially with team who have no need to win anymore.. hahaha..

    @VCC.. thanks for updating UMF.. As I said needed extra luck to win the league over you.. hehe.. but be carefull my friend.. I’ve got my lucky star now.. Yoona the Gonna.. hehe..

    Bayern do a very great job again Barca..
    It seem they learn a lot from us.. hehehe..
    And look like We will be the only team who had beat them in their homeground.. haha..

  131. AFC says:

    Guys, what you have to remember is, why would a top player want to sign a pre-season contract agreement with us when they cannot be guaranteed of CL football next season when they are playing for us.

  132. Fred says:

    To be honest although Goetze is a great player he is too similar to what we already have. I would rather see the £32m that was spent on him by Bayern spent on bringing in Jovetic and a good DM “beast” now that Goetze has left I can’t see BD selling Sven Bender or Reus this TW. So I would make the signing of Camacho at Malaga another priority. He is 22 years old and currently has the best tackling and interception rate out of any other DM in La Liga and he is good technically. Those two would cost us the same amount as Goetze and would improve our team in areas which drastically need stregthening.

  133. AFC says:

    Wow, 4 nil to Bayern. Barca’s CL is basically over.

    Could this be the beginning of the end of Barca being a dominant force in Europe.


    hahaha Barca getting Mullered.

    Think your right there AFC. Barca are no longer the dominant force, nothing lasts for ever.

  135. AFC says:

    Henrychan, glad to see you are optimistic for the match against Man U. 🙂

    Why Gervinho?


    This of course leaves the door open for us. if we can just make use of hugh potential, we could take there place as the dominant force.

    Besides, we beat Byeren 2-0, so by rights we are the best side already.

  137. AFC says:

    TMHT, I was telling TA that their tactics have been clocked. They have played the same way for years and teams know how to counter their style of football just like our style of football has been clocked. I think they got figured out last year but have continued to win only because of the calibre of players they have.


    I agree with that AFC. Teams have devised game plans and are carrying them out more often

    Barcas major saving grace is Messi is King of camp nou. He can score goals and turn games against anyone there

  139. Glic says:

    I know you lot are creaming yourselves over Blow Jobetic, but I`m completely underwhelmed by him, give me Isco or Muniain any day of the week !.

  140. Highbury Harmony says:

    What today’s result tells me is that Cesc is coming home 🙂 🙂 🙂

  141. Highbury Harmony says:

    Glic I would rather OG lead our line than Iker or Isco…completely different types of players than a striker you bloody fool hahaha!

  142. Fred says:

    Glic, I know Muniain is awesome right? I was just pointing out that for the same price we could get Jovetic and Camacho which would solve our DM problem and CF problem, Munian would solve our winger problem. If we got those three it would be a very good TW in my opinion and would definately come in at less than the 70m mark including wages.

  143. Glic says:

    Who the f**ks talking about OG, my attention span lasts about 5 minutes and that post was about 24 hours ago ! Since then I`ve been to Lesbania and back ! hahaha

  144. Highbury Harmony says:

    Fred, I think it becomes a serious issue if we continue to buy Malaga players. What gets lost amidst all this transfer talk is why the hell aren’t we developing more talents like the ones we want in house?

    If we continue to buy from Malaga it’s an insult to our own academy and something has to change! Basically, Malaga will be our feeder club hahaha.

    I am still really high on Lars Bender for the modern B2B role and to play in a dual DM pivot with Arteta, with the latter acting as a deep lying playmaker a la Pirlo. Price pending of course 🙂

  145. Glic says:


    From what I`ve read, Muniain would be cheaper than Jovetic !.

  146. Fred says:

    @ HH, I can see your point, but every good club has a feeder club, its about time we had one instead of being one. The reason I am looking to La Liga is because there are a lot of good defensive midfielders there. If you look at Camacho’s stats this season defensively he’s been better than Busquetes and a lot of other DM’s in the EPL. He’s been averaging 5 tackles a game and about 4 interceptions per game, as well as chipping in with a few key passes. I can see why you would want Lars Bender as he is a quality player, it all depends on how wenger wants to line up. If he wants a B2B type player Lars would be better but if we wants more of a deep lying midfielder then I would personally go for Camacho.

    @Glic, Muniain would be cheaper han Jovetic, but Muniain is predominately a Winger, and we also need a striker, if we could get Jovetic, Munian and Camacho/Lars Bender then it would be a very good TW and address all of our weak spots.

  147. Highbury Harmony says:

    Fred, unfortunately with Kroenke at the helm, I have my doubts that Arsenal will ever stop being a feeder club for others.

    Also, the issue is what do we do when the Malaga well runs dry? The ONLY reason we are able to buy good players from them at lower prices was because of their incompetent owner disappearing and the club needing to finance it’s debt after it’s massive expenditures in 2011.

    I’m not against Camacho, but I’m not sure if AW wants a classical DM either. Arteta would be better served playing alongside a modern day B2B DM like we had with Song and how Juve line up with Pirlo and Vidal. He no longer has the pace to play up and down and could be a great deep lying playmaker if allowed to push forward a little more. However, our attack becomes somewhat limited without a pacy, B2B player playing next to him since Arteta is not fat enough to join the attack.

    Of course, if you’re taking Arteta out of the starting line up, it’s a different story. However, his leadership is invaluable and he’s the engine for our team and organizes everyone else on the pitch.

  148. Highbury Harmony says:


  149. Highbury Harmony says:

    Fred, Muniain, Jovetic and Camacho/L.Bender is aiming quite high!

    I’d be happy with one top, top player (dreaming for two 🙂 ), an experienced GK and maybe a CB if Verm is sold (apparently AW personally met with A.Williams).

  150. Fred says:

    True and for that role Lars Bender would be much better than Camacho, but in La Liga you have tonnes of bargains that can be picked up, especially in CM/DM as there is a wealth of talent in Spain in those positions. Another potential bargain from La Liga in that position could be Benat, with a buy out clause of 10m euros he would be a lot cheaper than Lars Bender. Benat over the last couple of seasons has also been statistically beter than Busquestes and is a lot stronger than the great diver.

  151. Highbury Harmony says:

    Fred :), I tipped Benat as a potential DM option a couple months ago, great minds think alike! Another is Kongdogbia of Sevilla.

    There are plenty of underrated talents there that I’m sure could do a good job, but if the money is available, I would rather spend it on an established top, top player opposed to a good player who has great quality who was bought simply because he could be had at a bargain price. Eventually, buying quantity and not the top, top quality catches up to you.

    Benat and Camacho are better than anything we have at DM, but I want a massive signing there. There’s enough squad players and good starters, we’re just lacking those high-end players with that extra but of magic.

  152. Highbury Harmony says:

    Bit of magic*

  153. henrychan says:

    AFC.. there are some reason why I choosed Gervinho..
    First.. Wenger will not speculate this game for Podolski.. that just ain’t Wenger.. hehe..
    Secondly.. I think Gervinho is better in that position than Walcott.. as long as I remembered.. We did it better with Gervinho in CF than with Walcott..
    Third.. as I said that three of them can easily change their position.. as they all know how to play in both.. central or winger.. and Gervinho is the one who can play in 3 position.. LW.. CF.. RW.. So he must be in the middle.. hehehe..

    Love to see Barca beaten very hard..
    They may excuse with an offside second goal.. but they also got a lot in their way..
    And I love the referee.. he didn’t spoiled Barca men.. which as usuall to easy to fall down.. haha..

    And yes Munchen must thank us a lot.. for beaten them in their homeground.. They are a better Munchen now..
    And I think they will win the cup.. altough I still want Dortmund to get them.. hehe..

  154. Fred says:

    HH, I know that aiming for those three players is aiming quite high, but surely Wenger must have realised that these are positions that need to be strengthened. With the rumours linking us to Jovetic it is clear he has recognised the need for a striker and he must have realised this season we have been missing a B2B/DM player, and if Podolski is made a striker then we have a lack of wingers and Muniain fits the bill perfectly in my opinion. I am not too sure how much Lars would cost us but we could easily afford Camacho, Muniain and Jovetic including wages.

    Jovetic, fee = 18m, current wages/year = 2.5m total = 20.5m
    Munian, fee = 15m, current wages/year = 2m total = 17m
    camacho fee = 8m, current wages/year = approx 2m total = 10m

    which means overall that is only 47.5m including wages. Well within the 70m figure that has been quoted. Then with an easily affordable experienced goal keeper that would cover all of our weak spots.

  155. AFC says:

    Henrychan, gervinho did score quite a few goals when playing as our main striker. All the reasons you gave for playing Gervinho as the main striker were spot on and could not have been any better. 🙂

    I loved seeing Barcelona get battered as well. I think this is one year they will not be winning the CL.

  156. Highbury Harmony says:

    Fred, your numbers are extremely generous on Arsenal’s end.

    Jovetic will cost £20-25 mil plus £5 mil in wages.

    Bilbao are shrewd negotiatiors and they’ve been quoted saying they won’t sell Muniain for anything less then £20 mil. Plus there’s be another £3-4 mil in wages.

    Camacho’s wages and few were in line with what I’d expect though.

    It’d still be within our rumored transfer kitty, but we haven’t taken agent fees into account or the fact that we still need a GK. In addition, one or two players will be coming through the academy to fill squad spots too. I love Muniain, but with Gnabry coming up, I’m not too worried about the wings (despite the fact he’ll likely eventually play centrally).

    Also, bedding too many new players into a squad is a recipe for disaster in terms of chemistry on and off the pitch, together with playing time for our current players and new purchases.

  157. Highbury Harmony says:

    Gervinho’s confidence is too low to play him at ST at such a crucial point of the season. It has to be between Theo or Pod as both want to play ST and AW’s work with both at the position will have been wasted if they aren’t given the opportunity to prove themselves there.

  158. Highbury Harmony says:

    Also, one cannot ignore Poldi’s recent form as he has scored and assisted some goals in limited playing time. Theo is more versatile and could play off of Poldi very well if he’s disciplined enough to stay out wide and only come in centrally when the opportunity is actually there.

  159. Fred says:

    HH, the wages are all what those players are currently on (before bonuses) if you assume that we could pay them 10% more than what they are currently on it still isn’t that much in it. I’ve gone with the lower estimates for Muniain and Jovetic, but if you add on 13m, that still leaves us with 9m spare. I’m not sure if that would be enough to buy Lars instead of Camacho or not, but if it was then we wouldn’t have enough for an experienced goalkeeper, but for me that is the least of our concerns. I would rather see us keep the players we have, sell the dead wood and buy a winger, striker and DM.

  160. Highbury Harmony says:

    Fred, player wages do not simply rise by 10% when players transfer teams. In the case of players like L.Bender and Jovetic, they signed with their respective teams when they were quite young and were less established players. When they finally make the move to a bigger club as established players, their salaries increase significantly.

    One’s agent simply needs to point to other recent contracts signed by players of similar quality and they’ll be remunerated accordingly by a club that is willing to pay them market value.

    You aren’t the first to say “I want to sell the deadwood” without realizing that their squad spots are already accounted for. Arshavin, Fabianski and Squillaci all come off the books this summer and Mannone will likely be sold as AW is not no longer in him as a backup keeper. Park, Chamakh, Santos, Djourou, Denilson, Bendtner etc. have already been accounted for (provided they can all be sold) by Podolski, Giroud, Monreal, Cazorla and eventually academy players like Miquel, Eisfeld and Gnabry etc.

  161. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post 🙂

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