Ox/Cazorla on wings, Mozart in ‘the hole’, Theo’s big chance? QPR preview.

Another cup-final awaits us at Loftus Road.

About time Theo starts to shine again!

About time Theo starts to shine again!

The (not so) Super Hoops were officially relegated last week and for them the game is more or less meaningless. However, a number of individuals, knowing that the game is televised as well, will want to use the last opportunity this season to showcase themselves, with a desperate hope that somebody will come and save them from Championship football.

And with HR saying today that nobody should expect QPR to go back up straightaway and that they might even do a ‘Wolves’ next season, I reckon he will have managed to scare them all into finding another club as soon as possible – and help the club to reduce the wage bill considerably in the process.

It looks like QPR find themselves in a horrible mess and who knows how it all will end…

Let’s hope that the likes of Julio Cesar (or Green), Taarabt or Remy, etc do not produce a ‘world-class’ performance against us on Saturday, as we could really do with QPR taking it easy.

I cannot help but feel that Arsenal are running on their last legs at the moment, especially up-front. As expected, Giroud’s suspension means we need to adjust our attacking formation and game plan. Arsenal are often slow to adjust to a key player missing out for a while (Mertesacker and Arteta’s injuries last year come to mind), and it remains to be seen whether our attack will be well-drilled, focussed AND potent once more against the Hoops.

Key question is therefore, who will start up-front: Theo, Pod or maybe even Gervinho?

Many have questioned whether Podolski is fit enough to play in the central striker position at the moment, and I have a feeling he will not start tomorrow but is likely to be used as a substitute. Theo on the wing has not done much for us recently, and I have a feeling he will start centrally tomorrow.

This leaves us with ‘the wingers’. I reckon QPR will sit back a lot and make it hard to penetrate them through the middle. Therefore, good wingplay is key, which in my view means that either Gervinho (my preference) or Ox will start – maybe even both?! But playing Gervinho – Theo – Ox together is untried and therefore risky; it would also mean Arsene would have to leave two of Jack, Santi and Rosicky out of the starting line-up – assuming that Wenger won’t tinker with the Arteta-Aaron axis in midfield.

So, who will start up-front and in the hole tomorrow. With a meagre two goals in our last three PL-games, Wenger will have to choose as many players as possible who can score a goal (or two) tomorrow, and yet he will need to have a threat from the wing(s) as well. I am going with Cazorla – Theo – Ox up-front.

This leaves me with the question who will play behind them: Jack or Tomas…. Not an easy choice right now. If Tomas is fully fit, I reckon he’ll start with Jack replacing him after 60-70 minutes. Jack does not look fully fit to me at the moment, but if he has been training well this week, he could start against QPR…. I go for Tomas.

As said above, I expect Ramsey and Arteta to play behind the attackers and in-front of our back four. Our back four will probably have Koz and BFG as our CB’s, and I reckon it will be Nacho on the left this time and Jenkinson on the right.

The full backs will be very important tomorrow as we need drive, confidence and quality contributions by them – both in defence as well as in supporting our wing-play. I am going for Nacho because Wenger seems to alternate between him and Gibbs from one game to the next, and for Jenkinson, because I reckon Sagna needs a little break and we could really do with the Finglishman’s drive and tenacity tomorrow.

My predicted line-up in summary:

Arsenal v QPR May 13

I am desperately hoping for a focussed, energetic and powerful display by the entire team, and taking all three points home tomorrow. Arsenal did not manage to win any of the last six away games in the league against QPR (L2 D4), so fingers crossed we’ll break that mini-trend tomorrow.

Come On You Rip-Roaring Gunners – Do us proud!

Written by: TotalArsenal.

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161 Responses to Ox/Cazorla on wings, Mozart in ‘the hole’, Theo’s big chance? QPR preview.

  1. Bond James says:

    good team selection,

    however i will stick with Poldi upfront and use Theo/Ox from the bench.

    let’s win 5-0 tomorrow, come on you gooners ! put harry and him chums in their rightful place.

    the twa* that harry is, he said that wenger’s greatest achievement ever will be , if he finishes in top 4 with this current team – up yours tomorrow Arry!!

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers BJ,

    You could be right re Pod but I just felt he was not right last weekend, and at least Theo is fully fit and very keen.

  3. Bond James says:

    agreed but i feel poldi will be just right for tomorrow 😉

    Theo can cause mayhem from the right tomorrow considering they are without their favourite spuds boy , samba is also a doubt requiring a fitness test.

    tomorrow is finally the day we show everyone what a quality team we are and how well we have gelled together – oh and we’re playing away (super).

  4. Milo says:

    I think Chamberlain deserves a start, for once. He seems to play better through the middle, but that cannot/will not happen anytime soon. I would play him on the right side. He is a player who is different to Walcott. I don’t see too many similarities aside from the pace factor. Walcott has improved his passing, but it still isn’t quite as good as Chamberlain’s, which could also improve if he is given more playing time and confidence. I think we need a change, more than anything, and using Oxlade-Chamberlain seems the best way to commence that process.

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    BJ

    I so hope you are right re your last paragraph!

    Do you think Poldi is anywhere near fit enough at the moment?

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    Milo, agreed. A good game to start the Ox.

  7. Bond James says:

    he is not fit to play more than 60 minutes i reckon, which just means we can switch theo to the middle and bring on OX to further pile on the misery on Arry’s troops.

    he does appear to have ankle problems, otherwise i could have seen him play more of a role in his first season considering he’s one of our highest earners (90 k along with Arshavin before Theo got his pay rise).

  8. Zealous says:

    The writer said we need someone to score goals nd defend quickly..This is the time Varminator to finish de job, AW shld drop Rambo and play Varmelen ahead of him at defensive midfield.he has every ability than Ramsey.Remember we need to goals nd defend them well

  9. Dylan says:

    I agree we have many selection delemas within this team. Which is good and bad. Bad because one is the striker position and none of our options are good. Good because there’s good competition within the midfield right now between Aaron, Jack, Rosicky, and Santi. So, my preferred line-up: Szcz, Jenks (not only because of Sagna’s dreadful form but also because I believe he has the passion, work rate and commitment to pull us into the Champions League not unlike Aaron), Mert, Kos, Nacho, Arteta, Aaron, Rosicky (we need to use him following a great performance last week in my opinion), Ox (has the passion and the ability make penetrating dribbles between defenders at pace which should allow him to tear apart QPR’s slow defenders), Theo, and Santi. I also urge Wenger to put Coq on the bench. If we need to hold out a game I believe he is a quite good DM we just need to use him more effectively. Perhaps alongside someone of Aaron’s workrate and taking on Arteta’s role. 🙂 Come on you gunners!

  10. Richard says:

    Win tomorrow and we make a good start to getting champions league qualification. It will be all eyes to utd on Sunday. Chelsea would have to win that for there any possibility of us finishing outside top four. Personally I think we will qualify with the spuds. I only see Chelsea getting 5 out of possible 12 and spurs getting ten points meaning Chelsea lose out. Tomorrows squad I disagree with I would have sagna and Gibbs I in and front three of Walcott podolski and cazorla our three most potent finishers

  11. Highbury Harmony says:

    Milo, I must confess that I was bored and looking for someone to wind up in the last article ;). Yourself and Fred just happened to be the ones who fell for my bait. Sorry if you felt offended by what I was saying, even though I do disagree with your opinion. Even though I disagree, kudos to fighting for the minority there mate!

  12. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Nice team TA. I agree with it, except i would make four changes.hahaha

    Sagna and Gibbs at full back, Jack in the hole, and Gerv up front with Theo wide

    Terrys team will beat QPR, in fact Terrys, team would probably win the league.

    I see Theo is making noises about playing up front. He should just concentrate on regaining his form. His performences since the contract saga have been very poor, though as usual his stats are still good. Concentrate on performing Theo and let Wenger pick the side. Dont let vanity be your downfall.

    I know all about vanity and its piffalls. Many years ago i used to frequent this Disco in Enfield. It was a great place. The only problem was every one hated me.

    One night,turning up on my own, no one else would come with me, Wearing my cream coloured suit, red flared shirt buttoned down exposing meddalion, and special shoes with instep, making me 4 inches taller. It was pre transplant so i wore my quiffed Travolta wig , No one could tell it wasnt my real hair.

    I done my usual and hit the dnace floor whilst others stood around laughing, obviously in admiration. I then noticed a yoing buck giving it all the moves. groups of girls were swooning around him as he gyrated. I wasnt having that, i was King of the floor

    Then my song came on, the Bee Gees classic “you should be dancing”, this was my chance to show them who should be playing up front. i gave it everything “My baby moves at midnight, yeaaahh”

    Unfortunately, i couldnt keep up. Half way through the song my back gave in and i crumbled to the floor. My collision to the dance floor ripped my cremed trousers exposing my yellow Y Fronts and the wig was now facing side ways.

    The Dj asked wether there was a Doctor in the house, and at this point the young buck stepped up to give me asistance, Though i was screwed, i noticed the girls swooning at the Bastard.

    He stayed with me until the paramedics arrived, even holding my wig as i was stretchered to he waiting ambulance. Though i was horizontal, i noticed the women drooling at him,

    Let this be a lesson to you Theo. hahahaha

  13. henrychan says:

    Morning all..
    TA.. I prefer Gervinho to start and Podolski as his subs.. Walcott for RW..
    Pod and Ox are supersubs.. hehe..
    But I think Wenger will play the same squad.. except maybe gibbs..

    But whoever Wenger pick up.. as long as We play with our best spirit.. then We certainly will win.. period.. haha..

    I hope Soton will return at their best after a big home lost.. and give some hard game for Spurs..

  14. mohamed says:

    guys, admit it or not we have worst team in Arsenal history. it is a fact

  15. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, thanks for another fine match preview! It’d be nice to take advantage of QPR’s poor form and try to get our attack force going up front, but it will be a big challenge since we have been inconsistent up front even with OG up front.

    I like all your choices for the starting line-up, especially Rosa if he is fit and I can definitely see Ox and Santi starting on the wings. Ox gives us the ability to take on a defender one on one and can open up space for Theo, who has once again been itching for another chance at the ST position. Ox seems to be regaining confidence and form as well, while Gerv has been headed for the opposite direction.

    Gibbs has not been pretty poor at LB since returning from injury and it’s been rather surprising AW opted to go with him consecutively in so many weeks (considering his form). His starting line-up decisions continue to baffle me, unless of course Nacho is also nursing an unreported knock like Poldi was. Sagna looks like he could use a rest and QPR are a prime opponent to give Jenks a start, but we all know AW will likely perplex us with his starter choices again.

    Oh well, hopefully we still pull out the 3 points with whomever he selects.

  16. VCC says:

    Prince and Richie have gone on the missing list, where are they?

    Perhaps Prince has gone sailing with Richie on his yacht and got lost in the triangle.

    I need Oz and Princes UMF entries please.

  17. Red Arse says:

    Morning, Guys, 🙂

    Loved the pre-match TA, trouble is it has got me thinking, and now it is an even longer wait until the KO. 😀

  18. useroz says:

    With where we are and QPR relegated, 3-5-2 should be the way to go if we have an ambitious and confident manager. Ramsey @) would do the trick.

    We can’t have Arteta dithering and unwilling to pull the trigger again in the 18 yard box. Arteta can take a nap till Rosicky gets tired around 70″ mark. Hopefully by then, we are 4 up and Arteta would come on to shore things up. Cazorla should play of course.

    Ox should start we need his fearless runs…don’t care about others all average anyway.

    GD could be key to decide the 4th spot so we must be prepared to press AND score till the 94″….

  19. useroz says:

    * Ramsey @ RB

  20. Gerry says:

    The missing option who did not play in the Under 21’s match on Monday is Gnabry, so he might at least make the bench this time?
    I for one am pleased with the late kick off. As for the AW line up, it will not be that different given the options.

    A couple of early goals could settle the nerves, but 3 points any which way!

    Must dash, lot to get in today …

  21. allezkev says:

    Interesting post Total.

    I think it was about this time, last season, that we came unstuck against Wigan at home.
    So I wouldn’t underestimate QPR…
    Hopefully they’ll be thinking about the beach.
    If not, then we could be in for a difficult afternoon.

  22. oz gunner says:

    swans vs city draw
    Arsenal
    chelsea vs united draw
    pool vs everton draw
    stoke vs sunderland draw

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    Dylan

    We prefer the same line-up then! 🙂

    Fully agreed with your reasoning.

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Oz 🙂

    BJ, fully agreed: a totally fit Podolski would have played more centrally this season.

    Zealous: TV5 as DM is a very good idea, but maybe something for next season.

    Richard: please note I am predicting Arsene’s Line-Up, which is not necessarily my preferred line-up. If Pod is fully fit he should play, agreed: but is he???

    Terry’s team will beat QPR! 😛

    Nice to see somebody sticking the Gerv in the centre, and you might well be right mr Colgate! 😀

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    Terry – Loved the Theo lesson hahaha 😛

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    HH 🙂

    All agreed, Wenger will baffle us all again with doing something different today. The idea of Cazorla, Ox and Theo up-front gives me a bit of hope we will have plenty of drive and energy today, as long as they are all up for it of course!

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning Vickers, Redders, useroz, Gerry and Allezkev 🙂

  28. VCC says:

    This is not going to be a stroll in the park. QPR will want to bloody our nose, but without Samba, it will be an easier task for us than if he were playing. I like the look of their loan player Townsend, but like Samba he will be missing too.

    Surely we will not begin sluggish. We must play with a high tempo from the off, just as we did against that scabby lot last week.

    Arsenal MUST win today as I fear my heart will not withstand the pressure over these last few weeks. We simply have to qualify for the Champions league.

    Good old Arsenal, were proud to say that name, while we sing this song we’ll win the game.

    🙂

  29. Red Arse says:

    Gerry,

    Gnabry played in the U21s game against ‘Pool last night. (we drew 1 : 1).

    No chance today, for the bench or even carrying the kit! 🙂

  30. Rohan says:

    Hey guys,I don’t think QPR stand a chance today. Can’t see QPR mustering anymore strength than when they were playing for survival.
    TA, i’m a big fan of the line-up that you’ve put up, but would much rather see Gervinho and Gibbs , in exchange for Nacho and Rosicky. Gervinho has had a tendency to perform well against poorer teams and I don’t see why today is any different.

  31. 17highburyterrace says:

    Morning boys….

    I’m glad to see that people are feeling confident about this one. I guess I do as well, but then I wonder why I’m up so freaking early. My concern, I think, revolves around the talent level of QPR and the desperation of those guys to jump off the sinking (already sunk…) ship. Players like Zamora, Remy, Granero and Taarbat are all pretty good. IMO we need to outplay them from the kick-off and show a willingness to do whatever it takes to put more goals in than they do. It seems like we’ve been able to do this, more or less, since being eliminated from all the cup competitions. With one match per week and the stakes so, so high, it shouldn’t be a problem. Still, you never know….

    And what a day in English football. The Championship wraps up with an automatic promotion spot and 2 relegation spots to be determined. There’s a big one in TA’s neck of the woods (as we say). Am I wrong or could Wigan be already relegated by the time they play us, if they get things wrong and Villa, Toonies and Sunderland get things right? Meanwhile, I’ve got a strange feeling that Spurs might just struggle a bit getting all three vs Soton.

    But back to our match. The spine of the defense (including Pep’s 20 million pound, 1st target–Koscielny) picks itself while maybe there’s some doubt about the fullbacks. I’d go with the foreigners (Sagna, Nacho) over the English boys (Jenks and Gibbs) but that’s just me. I think we’ll see Sicky in the 10 spot with Santi, Lu-lu and Theo across the front. My thinking is that Jack’s off season ankle surgery has already been announced, while I’m only speculating about Poldolski’s….. I wouldn’t mind seeing Gervinho in there either….Anyhow, fingers crossed that we make this a touch easier on ourselves….I haven’t cleaned behind the sofa lately so I’d prefer not having to hide there….

    Finally, congrats to TA for getting to the half-million level. The Goonersphere seems ripe for the multiple author model you’ve got in place, but it takes a level-head (and plenty of energy) at the helm to make it work. Keep up the great work…

  32. 17highburyterrace says:

    Everybody down at the pub? Sleeping? Stuck in traffic? Or maybe people don’t post on match day due to (silly) superstitions… My final guess is that nobody really cares about the matches themselves since you can’t pull the strings in fantasy manager style….

    Here it’s just me and my boy eating breakfast. Villa are winning at Norwich and WBA-Wigan are drawing. So’ton are getting the better chances over somnambulant Spuds after a traffic delayed start but maybe it’s better if they think they can bide their time. AVB too hoarse to shout them into action in the dressing room?….

    Anyhow, I’m just hoping for some company here, but maybe I’ll stream Granada-Malaga (otro partido de relegacion importante….) so I can ooh and ah over ‘Isco….

  33. alexgunners says:

    Morning Guys,

    TA,
    I actually like your line up, I think that it gives us speed and a certain degree of unpredictability for the opposition. The OX is saying that he needs more playing time, so lets hope he gets it and proves himself.

    Hope there are others here for the usual visit to the pub.

  34. alexgunners says:

    Confirmed line up for the Gunners

    Arsenal Team
    Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Arteta, Ramsey, Rosicky, Cazorla, Walcott, Podolski

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi guys,

    Thanks for great comments and Alex for line-up. Sagna again which is fine and the Pod starts, which is a bit of a surprise. Let’s hope they are all fit and ready to rock. 🙂

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    No Ox and no Gerv could cost us width and penetration today. This line up does not really excite me… 😕

  37. alexgunners says:

    TA,

    I agree, I think that the OX has a lot more to offer than we have seen due to lack of opportunity

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Alex, what time is it for you right now?

  39. alexgunners says:

    TA, It is now a little after 2 am here in Melbourne

  40. 17highburyterrace says:

    Well, that’s the exact line-up I picked….:D

    Soton need to hang on (or better) for another 15 mins…. Wigan and Villa both get needed wins, sorry about your town club, TA….

  41. alexgunners says:

    17ht,

    Southampton should be putting the spuds away, they have played a lot better

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi 17HT

    It is a sunny Saturday and most of us take advantage of that – in my case, it is also compensation for being ‘allowed’ to watch the footie game in a bit 🙂

    In 20 minutes the bread and butter stuff will start again, but I guess there is just not much to talk about prior to the game…..

    It will all change now.

  43. TotalArsenal says:

    That is dedication, Alex. Do you have any pre-game rituals, or just watch the game?

  44. TotalArsenal says:

    17HT 🙂

    I am not bothered about the Canaries. Any team playing in yellow and green does not deserve to be in the top flight hahaha 🙂

    Come on the Saints!

  45. alexgunners says:

    Damn Fu$%ing Bale

  46. 17highburyterrace says:

    Spurs have looked miserable today but the could still eke it out….approx 10 mins to go….

    I like the line-up. The OX is very direct as is Gerv but I think Theo beats them both as a passer (which is really saying somethin—and not something good….)

    F****CCCCCCKKKKKKKKK….Bale saves the f***ckers again….

  47. oz gunner says:

    burn in hell bale and totts

  48. alexgunners says:

    TA,
    No pre match rituals, just read up on Gunners news and thats pretty much it. Have a smoke or 2 and try to settle in for the match. What about you?

  49. oz gunner says:

    Cheers for the pre-match TA, perfect warm up as always, really like the line-up too.

    and oi…watch what you’re saying about yellow and green! 🙂

  50. 17highburyterrace says:

    Alex and Oz–indeed, I salute the dedication….

    Replay of the Bale goal shows that at least one of our two Poles in Goal could’ve reacted faster and blocked it….. More likely the guy with the broken rib, however….

  51. TotalArsenal says:

    Oz, National teams are a different matter 😳

    Alex, I just put my signed Arsenal ball in front of the tv, as a goodluck bringer! 😛

  52. alexgunners says:

    TA , let’s just hope that the ball does bring us the luck that we need

  53. Admir says:

    Hello, people! 🙂

    R’s are playing today for their future transfers. We shouldn’t be nervous despite that fugly person saved Spuds again. If we win, the burden will be on Chavs tomorrow so – let’s win today!

  54. 17highburyterrace says:

    “Puts a little more pressure on Arsenal who play in a few minutes,” says the commentator….

    Lloris tip of a Lambert FK onto the post looms large….15 million well spent, maybe?….

    IMO we need a strong TEAM performance today (plus the result, of course)….Spurs don’t deserve to get into the CL on the back of just one guy….(Although, wasn’t that our plan last time around….)

    TA, should I get the kid to wear my Sagna kit?…. (He already is having a good morning with my contributions to the “swear jar”….)

  55. alexgunners says:

    17ht,

    We need everyone to stand up and be prepared for a fight. Go in hard and lot’s of heart.
    3 points needed now more than ever.

  56. oz gunner says:

    @ TA

    my good luck ritual is drinking milo in my david seaman head mug (god that sounds shocking haha)

    You’re rite they are different, Australia doesn’t play internationals…at least we like to pretend we don’t. That is until we get better at it…then the whole of Australia pretends we are the biggest football supporters in the world.

    @ 17

    used to it to be honest. I can’t sleep knowing Arsenal are playing. Alex has it tougher on weekends though, I only suffer during midweeks when the games are later

  57. alexgunners says:

    COYG

  58. 17highburyterrace says:

    Assuming everybody is fit, or that Sicky and Lu-lu are fitter than Jack, I think this is our best 11.

    C’mon Rob Green—Do your England’s #1 thing….

  59. 17highburyterrace says:

    Here we go, Go on you….

    THEO

  60. alexgunners says:

    OZ,

    Here, more often than not, the times that the games are on do us no favours. But hey, it’s all worth it for the Mighty Gunners

    THHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOO.

    What a Start

  61. oz gunner says:

    JESUS!!!!!!!

  62. 17highburyterrace says:

    Good start….Green might’ve done better

  63. Rohan says:

    THEOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  64. alexgunners says:

    Thanks Green

  65. oz gunner says:

    I think i just spilt my Seaman!!!

  66. 17highburyterrace says:

    WOW….21 seconds in….And it was quite a few passes, too

    M’bia stomps on Mikel….Time for your TV5 as DM?…..

  67. alexgunners says:

    OZ.

    great line, pity about the Milo tho’

  68. oz gunner says:

    You’d feel pretty bad knowing the first time your team has touched the ball is after being 1 down haha

  69. alexgunners says:

    now, we just have to keep doing more of the same and not let them get back into it.
    We need more goals and not just sit on this lead

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    Great start – now it is important to keep momentum going. Often not easy.

  71. oz gunner says:

    agreed alex, can’t retreat into our shells like last week

  72. 17highburyterrace says:

    Loftus Road pitch looks like crap….but we are playing the ball at a nice, high pace….If only Ramsey could run and Theo could pass…. Sicky looks really bright early on….

    A second would turn this into a training ground exercise….

  73. alexgunners says:

    Last time we played them, Julio Cesar kept them in it. Let’s just keep on applying the pressure and not retreat

  74. 17highburyterrace says:

    Oz–Is the Seaman intact? Is the milo(?) still OK?…. Has PPP had to swear off watching (and posting) since the Plasma “accident” ?

  75. 17highburyterrace says:

    We are closing down well….Nice from Mikel there….A bit loose at the end from Rambo….

    I love the pace today….

  76. TotalArsenal says:

    Oz what is a Milo – a hot chocolate drink?

  77. alexgunners says:

    TA,

    Milo is similar to Quik or Nesquik, but just thicker and a lot tastier.

  78. 17highburyterrace says:

    We need Ramsey to track Park, who is the danger man in their MF….QPR forwards don’t look like they can be bothered to stay on-side….

  79. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Alex! 😛

  80. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cheers for the info on the Milo–and for re-asking the question TA….I’m telling you, these gooner blogs don’t just run without a good pilot….

    Sagna looks plenty bright down the right….

    Kos with a loose one there….What do you guys think of Pep offering 20 mil for him?

  81. alexgunners says:

    17ht,

    you are right. Park looks like the only one who can make our job harder. We all know what he is capable of.

  82. alexgunners says:

    keep your 20mil, we need Kos

  83. oz gunner says:

    @ 17

    thankfully the seaman is still robust are virile. had to relocate it from uni out of fear of it breaking.

    Agreed, park was a regular thorn against us while at manchester. I just hope that sod zamora is kept quiet. He always seems to be fit against us, every other time he’s in the sick bay

  84. TotalArsenal says:

    We are just not using the wings at all – come on Arsenal!

  85. oz gunner says:

    pep can stick it. He stole cesc, that was enough!

  86. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nice cross from Lu-lu to Theo, and before that a 1-2 with Ramsey….and now Nacho almost gets one through….We need that 2nd….

  87. alexgunners says:

    we seem to be getting balls forward but there seems to be too many misunderstandings between the players

  88. 17highburyterrace says:

    Theo close, but Green tips it onto the post!!! Sicky might’ve had the put back if he’d kept running….

  89. oz gunner says:

    I think PPP has been booked into an anger management retreat in Fiji. He was due to come home but someone mentioned to him (while he was on a lying on a beach chair) that BSR scored. He has since been transferred to Rikers Island prison where he resides in solitary confinement.

    Either that or he’s only the streets of Sydney pimping so he can save up for a new TV

  90. TotalArsenal says:

    A little bit better from the left wing now – Koz must stay.

  91. oz gunner says:

    *on the

  92. 17highburyterrace says:

    The quality of Theo’s touches on the wings is not the same as in the box….Park shoots over…Still some holes in our defense and they can move the ball quickly too….

    In truth, there’s no way a team with this much talent should be going down….

  93. 17highburyterrace says:

    QPR with a good spell there and a spicy corner from Townsend. Wouldn’t this be a nice match for Rambo to (finally) get a goal–or would it just make him try more (less than smart) shots?….

  94. TotalArsenal says:

    Forget about Ramsey’s shooting, it’s his energy and workrate in midfield that is making the difference right now.

  95. 17highburyterrace says:

    They’ve settled well and we look a bit less urgent going forward–I guess it’s hard not to when you score in the first minute! A second goal will take the sting out….

    Sneezy distribution is a weak spot….

  96. Rohan says:

    Not normally very negative but the distribution from szeczsney has been terrible and walcott’s been getting too cocky in the recent minutes.

  97. TotalArsenal says:

    Both Nacho and Cazorla always seem to want an extra touch – I would love to see pull the trigger a bit quicker at times

  98. 17highburyterrace says:

    Agreed TA–that discussion (yesterday) between the Canadian boys (HH and Milo) plus Fred, put me to sleep early for a Friday….

    Somebody willing to run all day, all season (from any position) is sometimes just what the doctor prescribes….There’s a lot more to this game than just plugging money amounts into positions….(I think….)

  99. 17highburyterrace says:

    Uh, oh…Sagna gets the softest whistle in a dangerous spot….

  100. 17highburyterrace says:

    Townsend is the new left foot at Spuds (after they sell G-Bale)?….

  101. Rohan says:

    Is anybody else watching the ESPN stream because the commentators are the most boring I have ever listened to

  102. Admir says:

    A commentator said that Ramsey is the player with the most attempts on goal without actually scoring this season – 0 out of 39. Speaking of Ramsey, his dwelling on the ball is not something I like about him.

  103. TotalArsenal says:

    Decent first half – shame we did not look sharp/decisive enough to score the second one. Pod and Rosicky have been quiet in the latter part of the half, and I would move Theo in the middle, Santi to the right and Gervinho on the left and take the Pod off. The guy has no stamina left it seems….

  104. TotalArsenal says:

    Arteta is playing really well and both he and Ramsey are doing a lot of the hard work for us.

  105. Red Arse says:

    TA,

    I agree that it would be good to pull the trigger a bit quicker. At least that would mean we actually tried a shot.

    We are toothless in front of goal, and Theo/pod have done nothing to make me change my mind about them not being the answer up front.

  106. alexgunners says:

    Gents,

    My notebook is about to shut down as i cant be bothered going downstairs to grab the charger. Lets hope for a better performance in the second half and a handfull of goals as well.

    Take care guys, always a pleasure

  107. TotalArsenal says:

    Admir, dwelling on the boal is a team disease it seems.

  108. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Redders 🙂

    Theo is playing a lot better today than he has done recently, but yes there is no reason to believe he should be our man in the middle.

  109. 17highburyterrace says:

    See you Alex….

    Agree with RA about our forwards, though Theo seems to perk up with the ball in the box. At least lumbering Ollie gets the ground shaking as he chases the ball around up there…

    We’ve let QPR back in as our energy (naturally) tailed off after the goal. Gotta push hard and get another….

    I’d like to see Santi, if he’s gonna take the extra touches, round some defenders. Sometimes I think he gives up early when these guys guarding him might let him go…..

  110. 17highburyterrace says:

    One thing–playing a high tempo passing game on an iffy pitch brings in a bit of risk–of turnovers…. We need to commit to running a bit more. I just wonder if Lu-lu and Sicky have it in them. And certainly, striker Theo doesn’t want to start until he’s got the ball–it seems….

  111. oz gunner says:

    take care Alex

  112. 17highburyterrace says:

    2nd half KO, Derry, greyer than me, comes in for M’bia….

    Granada still leading Malaga–that’d be a big three points in Andalucia….

    Ramsey dispossessed to start the half and now gives a hand ball in a bad spot….Townsend again?

  113. 17highburyterrace says:

    Lu-lu needs to do better on the break with the ball from Santi….

    Townsend looks a player….Lucky that Jenas and Remy couldn’t do anything there….

    Shakier start than I’d prefer….

  114. Admir says:

    Horrible, horrible performance so far. Podolski looks like Chamakh today.

    COYG!

  115. 17highburyterrace says:

    Professional foul from Nacho….and Townsend seems their best player…Is ‘Arry ‘oping to come back as Spuds coach?….

    Granada take all three points!

    Subs please….Sicky and Poldi are done….

  116. 17highburyterrace says:

    Kos gets our first shot since the goal?….Geez….

    Lu-lu (at least) earns a corner….

  117. Admir says:

    Perhaps we should send Van Judas a photo of Derry with a note: “Look at this every morning, you don’t need a mirror.” 😀 But then again, a photo of c**t would do the job as well.

    Wilshere, Vermaelen and Oxlade-Chamberlain for Rosicky, Ramsey and Podolski respectively.

  118. Admir says:

    @17htt, Walcott hit the post with a little help from Green in the first half.

  119. 17highburyterrace says:

    Subs please….

    Santi tries one from distance, so we’re at least getting a shot or two, still, it’s just so difficult to do the basics in MF….

    New blood, though I know AW doesn’t like to jinx things with changes when we’re carrying a result….

    Thanks Admir, I knew we had done something, somewhere….And another shot–easy for Green at the near post….Corner a bit better and we get a 2nd….

  120. 17highburyterrace says:

    Santi fouled….Maybe Lu-lu can get a shot off if the wall has to stand 10 yds off….

  121. Admir says:

    C’mon Poldi!

  122. Admir says:

    This wasn’t 10 yards even on PlayStation.

  123. Admir says:

    Whenever I see Walcott near the ball when we have a free-kick from good position to shoot, I want to be Arsene Wenger for just 10 seconds. Podolski, Arteta and Cazorla are allowed to take those as they actually scored some of those in their career.

  124. 17highburyterrace says:

    We’re looking better, but not using the subs is making me soil myself….I still believe that Sicky and Lu-lu are less than fully fit…

    Zamora was playing flop the who way there….

    Sicky run looked better but still, going down was easier….

  125. 17highburyterrace says:

    We’re lucky that only Townsend is playing for them. Gibbs not on the bench for the “strategic” sub?….

    Theo offsides. We lose points using only 11 men and the manager will get some uncomfortable questions….

  126. 17highburyterrace says:

    SCSZ saves from Remy….Geezus….

    No subs yet? Townsend wastes the corner…

    Finally, Ox for Lu-lu….

  127. Admir says:

    If there is anything positive to point out, it’s seeing Santi Cazorla playing defense like never before.

  128. Admir says:

    Arteta MoTM by far!

  129. Admir says:

    Vermaelen for Rosicky ASAP!

  130. Admir says:

    Luckily, Zamora is an idiot.

  131. 17highburyterrace says:

    Theo goes to CF….And our strategy is that we kick long balls to him????!!!!

    At least we’ve used a 12th player today….Ramsey taking 25 yarders? Better than Bobby z’s, I guess….

    And Jack is lucky #13 (on the day)….

  132. Admir says:

    Mr Wenger, thank you for reading our comments.

  133. Rohan says:

    Well Admir you got your wish

  134. 17highburyterrace says:

    Just as Admir called it….the sub that is….

    Is Traore on loan, what with the time-wasting?….

    Full time, please…..

  135. Admir says:

    Phew! Let’s take this three points and hope that United will thrash Chelsea tomorrow in order to give them no free space before Spuds.

  136. 17highburyterrace says:

    1-nil to the Arsenal, very nice….

    Boring, boring Arsenal….Eye gouging stuff, really but now we have a week to spend the fantasy money and re-create the team….or slag this guy, rate that guy, move ’em around, etc.

    Personally, I thought we looked quite a bit better than Spurs did. Ugh, relegation battles aren’t good for my heart/mind…..

    Go United (tomorrow)….

  137. Admir says:

    Too bad Saints failed to keep clean sheet at WHL, that would make things easier.

    While our players were killing all those healthy nerves in Gooners all over the world, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern played German and European derby without any meaning except hide-and-seek. Borussia took the lead by Grosskreutz before Gomez made things even. Neuer saved Lewandowski’s penalty. Of course, neither Heynckes nor Klopp sent their best players on the pitch.

  138. 17highburyterrace says:

    So, it finished 1-1 (BD-Bayern)?

    We’re most definitely limping in, but we’re getting there. Like Pep, I’m gonna spend my first 20 million on Koscielny–Nice find there, AW….

    Since Jack is out on the wing, I’m gonna say that our attack will be looking better when Cesc is back–lol…. Oh, and only one more match until our focal point, our CF, our big, hunky French Fella is back….I hope he’s got a cool haircut going…. 😀

    That was a long 93+ minutes to defend a lead…..

  139. Milo says:

    Well for crying out loud!!! I said we should play the Ox instead of Theo, Walcott scores, Ox comes on and does nothing… 😀 Oh well, as I said earlier, I still think Chamberlain should be given a shot in attacking midfield next year, if we don’t buy anyone for that position. Rosicky will be older, Cazorla seems better suited to a free role on the left, and Wilshere will need to play his way back in to the starting 11 and back in to form…It would be an option at least.

  140. 17highburyterrace says:

    Saints had the best chances in that match, Admir and Spurs did nothing until Bale got it on his left foot from distance. It was traveling at pace but I think Rob Green would’ve saved it. Boruc should be behind SCSZ and Fab amongst the Polish keepers on that evidence….

    We need these two Chelsea matches to help us before we play Roberto Houdini and his Wigan act….

  141. Admir says:

    17htt, I’ve seen a bit of Spuds-Saints match, I had to drive off my wife to their parents’ so I missed that ugly finish.
    I don’t know what to say about our strikers – I guess that’s not very flattering for neither Giroud nor Podolski that Frenchman’s absence proves his worth for our team than his presence. 😀

    Oh, one more thing – Walcott scored early goals against Everton (1:1), United (1:1) and now QPR (1:0). Last season Benayoun scored early goals in two consecutive matches (Norwich 3:3 and WBA 3:2). It’s not like an early goal should inject optimism in us, eh?

  142. Glic says:

    Evening Mega Muffatrons 😆

    I`ve been stuck behind the sofa since 15:30, it`s not just Arsenals game I get shit scared of, but also the Spuds game !, that’s a 4 hour media lockdown !.

    Thanks for the pre-match Totes. Also loved Stretches Theo lesson in the early hours !. hahaha
    The unbelievable thing about it was…….I was that Bastardo on the dance floor with all the ladeez drooling over me !. What a small world it is !. If I had known then it was a gooner whose syrup I was holding, I would have given you one of the ten ladeez I bedded that night, preferably the one that gave me crabs !. hahaha

  143. Glic says:

    Tomorrow, we should join the majority of people living in the ” South ” of England and become Manu supporters for 90 mins plus Fergie time !. Yes, even you Vicky ! . hahaha

  144. 17highburyterrace says:

    Glic’s out from behind the sofa and rooting for the Manc’s….Where’s everybody else?

    1-nil to the Arsenal with 93 minutes of squeaks between the cheeks is no way to live. Where’s the pretty football, the intricate passing, the imperious defense? Why are we being terrorized by an on-loan Totts trainee? Did Loic Remy do enough with his late curler so that HE can be the answer to our attacking woes?….

    I guess I’ll have to wait for the match report….. 😦 ….

  145. Milo says:

    Podolski is such a conundrum… He’s our best finisher, yet he hardly gets any chances at all…I think if we buy Jovetic and pair him with Giroud, then Podolski might move to the bench, and spell Jovetic from time to time. I don’t think he’ll be happy doing this though and he will leave, as the World Cup is coming at the end of next season. You see, Podolski probably scored most of his goals, from a central position, in Germany, by coming from behind the target man and latching on to chances made by the presence of a target man. Does he have the passing ability to play behind Giroud??? He certainly has the finishing ability…We won’t find out this season either, due to Giroud’s suspension, and the fact that Wenger would not think of playing Podolski as a deeper lying centre-forward, or attacking play-maker. This leads me to believe that he will be the odd man out next season as well, and he might leave the club before this occurs. Especially if we buy Jovetic. There are going to be a lot of questions regarding the central striking role/roles, next season. Theo wants to play there, Giroud wants to play there, if we buy somebody else, they will want to play there, it’s going to be interesting! I think we need a striker, but I’m not really sure who. I would love it if we bought someone to play behind Giroud, as it would offer something different to what we have, while really bringing out the best in a good and dedicated player to our club. It would cost a lot of money to buy a pure finisher, but maybe that is what we need, if Walcott cannot play through the middle, as he wishes. Very confusing and interesting 😀

  146. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening all

    Been busy over the last few hours and no chance to do a MR (and HH is flying back home today, so cannot do it either). Hope to find some time to write something in the morning.

    In the meantime, it would be great if BK readers could score our players’ performances against QPR on a scale of one to ten. If there are at least five BK readers player ratings, I will take the average scores and publish these in the MR tomorrow.

    You can either email me the ratings or post them as a comment; whatever you prefer. Emailaddress is: bergkampesque@gmail.com

  147. Milo says:

    I thought Szczesny deserved an 8 for his performance today, Nacho a 6, Sagna a 6, although he was marginally better than Nacho, Per and Koscielny both 7, Arteta an 8, Ramsey a 7, he did a tonne of hard running defensively, Rosicky a 6, Cazorla a 7, he had a tonne of “nearly” moments, Walcott a 7 and Podolski a 5, unfortunately. Lukas held the ball up very well, but just didn’t have the fitness to get back in to the box after laying it off.

  148. Admir says:

    Apparently, there are some reports from Spain that we agreed terms over Villa. In January, I’d take Villa in a heart-beat. Now…I’m not so sure that we should spend 12 million pounds on that 31-year-old given his injury record. He is better than Podolski/Giroud when he is fit but still…

  149. TotalArsenal says:

    Admir, if we want to lure birthday boy Cesc back to the home of football, it might help to get another Spaniard in the team… 🙂

    Milo thanks for the ratings and agreed on most re your Pod comment. I don’t think he is fit at all, so it is difficult to judge him at the moment.

  150. 17highburyterrace says:

    Milo, I’m loathe to engage here as that last bit about Cesc and Ramsey you got into with HH (and Fred) had me wanting to drill holes in my head….

    Poldolski seems a good step slow and possibly carrying an extra 3-5kg. I hope it’s due to injury and that we’ll see our highest paid player return to reasonable form next season. I think he’ll have plenty of opportunities next season at Arsenal. Germany is a tough team, however…. Our 2nd highest paid guy, Theo, early goals notwithstanding, needs to do much better wherever he is played and keep an eye out for spacing. He’ll get chances too, and England should be a (far) easier team to impress. Giroud is by far (IMO) our best option at CF and there’s a reason he and Benzema are currently France’s best options…..What I’m trying to say is that we’ve actually got a decent bunch up front but they all need to get fit, get past their bans and do whatever the team needs them to do. Poldolski got a good cross in from the left (better than anything Theo did from the wing) and Theo got another early goal. The match was anxiety producing (in the extreme….), but we did the job.

    My ratings (naturally are going to differ, as well—SCSZ 7, BS 7, PM 7, Kos 8 (MOTM), Nacho 8 (smart professional foul, had to play by far their best player, Townsend….) Arteta 7, Ramsey 6, Sicky 7, Theo 7, Santi 7, Lu-lu 6

    I should end here but I think a little moaning is in order…(Sorry again Milo, as I know that’s also not your thing….)

    The overall technical level of the team is just not good enough. We’ve got some heart and we’ve got some discipline but it was amazing to me that Koscielny, a defender who was in French Ligue 2 until he was 25, had some of the nicest touches in our attacking half. Rosicky, of course, runs well for an old guy and has a nice right foot and Santi can do amazing things with close control and balls through the air. If SCSZ (that’s for Gerry….) could only throw the ball as well as Santi kicks it….Nacho, Sagna and Mert also can play football pretty well for defenders….

    The goal was awesome so it was bound to be a come-down from there. Still, I think the miscues and technical errors take their toll as the match (and the season wears on). We’re simply not as good playing guys like Ramsey, Poldolski and Theo where we used to have Cesc, Nasri and RVP. We’ll be finishing in the same position because the former group has heart while the latter were mercenaries–(Theo tried the mercenary approach, but City bought Scott Sinclair and ‘Pool decided to stick with 17 year old Raheem Sterling.) If we want to compete at the next level we need to improve dramatically…. You can almost feel the air go out of our better technical players (Arteta, Santi) when they see the simple things bungled over and over and over. To their credit, they have stuck with the project.

    Finally, the unwillingness to use subs until, very, very late is worrisome. Ox (I’d give him a 7 as he had no scary turnovers) just doesn’t quite seem to pick his head up early enough or otherwise sense where his outlet pass will be. I guess with no Gibbs on the bench, the “strategic” options were less available….

    Next up, a more inspired Wigan squad with some very good technical players of their own (and some real “triers”), a manager who specializes in great escapes AND something to play for…. Hopefully we buckle down and do whatever it takes, one more time….

  151. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers 17HT (in-depth comment and ratings) 🙂

    Off to bed now. Catch you guys tomorrow.

  152. AFC says:

    Hi guys,

    I was out all day and when I came home I heard the good news. 3 points was a must after Spurs won their match. We must keep fighting and hope Chelsea and Spurs drop points in their next fixtures.

  153. Bond James says:

    Ramsey a 7 ? you got to be kidding me.

    games like today is where it was evident that what a weak link Ramsey really is in this team, the more i see him the more i am convinced that he is better suited to a mid table team instead of a top tier team.

    i really do hope we start with wilshere against wigan and bench ramsey for the remaining 2 games.

    will leave rest of my detailed comments for tomorrow.

  154. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Hi TA, I dont realy do marks, so to help you out contacted my friend Professor Liebenshitz of Viena University for his.

    Sczeney, fine handling of the ball. A mastery no doubt honed as a teenager with only a magazine and over active sexual imagination for company: 8

    Sanga: juvinile hair style, portraying a man desperate to hang on to his cool: 7

    Nacho: A startled looking expression displaying a feeling of “Que”: 6

    Kos: A true Spartan. If i, Professor Liebenshitz of Viena University was homosexual i would desire him, but of course i am not: 8
    *
    Mertz: Superb German positioning. Deutchland Deutchland Uber Alez: 8 (if any one reading suggests that i, Professor Liebenshitz of Viena University was good friends with Reich Marshal Herman Goering during the war, i will sue them)

    Arteta: Commited to the cause like no other.Excellent follicle and ball retention are very highly correlated: 8

    Ramsey: Remarkable energy. Indicative of a youth running away fro amorous sheep, indeed, possibly even running after them: 7

    Rosiscky: bundles of skill and creative energy. I suspect this man would make a good artist, or nude model: 7

    Theo: Capricious nature. One moment effective, another not. Love or loath, he makes a difference: 8

    Santi:A cheeky chappy. Reminds me of my days as a young man when i visited Madrid and became very freindly with a beautiful youth named Pedro. Things might have happened if i, Professor Liebenshitz of Viena university, was a Homosexual, but of course i am not.: 7

    Pod: Very static and imobile. This man shows all the symptoms of pain in the Testicle area:He would very much like to shoot, but can not: 6

  155. Highbury Harmony says:

    After watching the game on MOTD, I’d have to say that I concur with 17ht’s ratings, with the exception of Ches and Nacho. I’d give Nacho a 6.5 (not his best game, clearly off form) and Ches an 8. In addition, I’d likely give Poldi a 5.5, as I thought he was the worst player on the pitch today.

    BJ, I feel as though Milo has a bias towards Ramsey, so don’t be too harsh on his rating hahaha. I’d agree with yourself and 17ht that I was not impressed with him. He can run for days but doesn’t really do much with all that hard work. For me, he’s a player who works hard but lacks the skill and vision to create and work smart. He was a definite 6 for me.

  156. Milo says:

    That was actually the first time I’ve ever done match ratings…ever…I’d say it was a pretty decent attempt.

    It wasn’t anything in the attacking third that impressed me with Ramsey…just that he was able to get back in to position alongside Arteta, and defend solidly. He made two gross errors in the final third, but hey, we only got one goal, and no one really, really stood out for me in the attacking third. This match was more about defending than attacking, and I thought Arteta and Ramsey were tremendous in tracking back. No, it isn’t enough, just to defend, and yes Ramsey does have to improve his play in the final third. I have never denied that. I don’t think we can afford to bench him though in favour of Jack. Jack isn’t quite as good defensively as Aaron now is, and if he’s not fully fit, offers something very similar to him in attack as well. Jack is the better player, but no one knows for sure if he’s fit or not.

    HH, if you are looking for a fight, you’ll get it…again. I’m not biased towards any of our players. I thought my ratings were pretty fair. You seem so quick to judge others attempts at making coherent arguments, if the opinion doesn’t match yours completely. I know just as much about football and life as you do, and I’m not going to back down.

  157. Highbury Harmony says:

    Milo, I will fight you any day of the week. Just give me a time and a place. I was actually defending your assessment and calling for BJ not to be too harsh on your rating. You probably should not publicly let yourself get so wound up, it makes you an easy target and I feed off individuals such as yourself.

    Ramsey is Wenger’s love child by the way.

  158. Admir says:

    If you ask me, I’d say Arteta was our Man-of-The-Match by a mile. He picked himself an assist and did a marvelous job in the middle in both ways.

    I already did player ratings for allarsenal.com as well as match report. I will just mention marks I gave. Commentators at allarsenal.com didn’t exactly like my marks, especially regarding Rosicky and Ramsey.

    Sczszesny 7,5 – Sagna 6,5, Mertesacker 7,5, Koscielny 7,5, Monreal 5,5 – Arteta 8,5, Ramsey 7,5 – Rosicky 6,5 – Walcott 7,5, Cazorla 7,0 – Podolski 5,0.

  159. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning guys 🙂

    Love the comments and player ratings many thanks.

    Terry, you are a comic genius! 😛

    Writing something up now.

  160. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post – NEW post 🙂

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