Koz – BFG – Szczesny: An Impenetrable Triangle is Slowly Forming

Since Arsene dropped his captain and first choice goalkeeper to the bench, after the painful and costly loss against you know who, Arsenal conceded just five goals in ten games: 0.5 goals per game.

Vermaelen has started just one game out of those ten (against Norwich) but Szczesny was reintroduced to the first team against Everton, after which he started in all games again (five in total). Koscielny basically took his chance with both his floppy ears and never looked back. Fabianski did well in his five consecutive games, conceding just three goals. But then he got injured, apparently, and his last chance to claim the nr.1 goalkeeper position at Arsenal went up in smoke.

We will have to see what will happen with Fabianski and Vermaelen this summer, but I reckon not many of us are expecting them to be here come September. I hope the Lion of Flanders will stay and fight for his position, but for Fabianski it would no doubt be best to find himself a team where he will be regarded as the nr.1 goalkeeper.

Nine games of (new) partnership between Koz and Mertesacker are not really enough to make a strong claim about the long term viability of it, but with conceding just four goals in all games,  including Bayern, MU, Swansea and West Brom away, there is plenty of reason to be optimistic.

Of course we should take into account the additional support our defence has had in those last ten games, by both playing Arteta and Ramsey in a more conservative and deeper set-up in midfield and by clipping the wings of our full backs to some extent. But the German and Frenchman have formed a great partnership that deserves credit.

For me, despite Fabianski doing well too in his games, both Koz and BFG are not complete without Szczesny behind them. This is a very promising triangle in the heart  of our defence and I am starting to feel very positive about it going forward. Somehow, these three get the best out of each other, and the whole is a lot greater than the sum of its parts.

Szczesny is an extrovert and ‘confidence-player’, who imposes himself on his opponents. He also has great technical ability, but his cocky-nature can get him into trouble which sometimes leads to poor and costly mistakes.

Mertesacker is an imposing figure and a natural organiser; he has great overview, and is a fine reader of the game. He is also calm under pressure and deals well with personal mistakes and set-backs for the team. However, we also know he is not the fastest and gets beaten in one-on-one situations at times.

Koscielny is very energetic and athletic, a great tackler and strong in the air. He reads the game, and positions himself, very well. But, his over-exuberance makes him prone to the odd mistake which sometimes leads to costly (own) goals against us.

However, Koz has hardly made any mistakes recently and the same goes for Mertesacker and Szczesny. There seems to be a growing a fine understanding between the Frenchman, the Pole and the German and they are compensating for each other weaknesses to a large extent.

Mertesacker’s organisational skills and natural calm seem to help Koz and Szczesny with balancing their energy levels, composure and decision making. Koz and Szczesny’s speed of thinking and ability to act quickly and decisively are covering well for the BFG’s slowness in turning and vulnerability of being left in a one-on-one with fast and agile attackers.

The three of them are bit by bit forming an almost impenetrable triangle and it also looks like the FB’s are both benefiting from this, as well as adding further value to our solidness at the back.

Sagna and Mertesacker work well together, but I have also noticed how Jenkinson and Mertesacker form a fine partnership on the right side of our defence – both compensating for each other’s weaknesses (inexperience and positioning in case of Jenkinson).

Koz and Gibbs are also starting to gel and support each other better and the same goes for Koz and Nacho. Although, the latter partnership is still more of a work in progress.

All in all, there are some really positive signs with regards to our defensive solidity and although it is still early days, I reckon this is an area Wenger and Bould do not have to worry about too much this summer (except for adding some strength in depth in case Vermaelen does not stay).

But would you agree with that?

Written by: TotalArsenal.

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120 Responses to Koz – BFG – Szczesny: An Impenetrable Triangle is Slowly Forming

  1. Bond James says:

    how timely (stolen) 😛 thanks, TA

    i did say in the previous article that both Koc and BFG are the best if not one of the best CB pairing in the PL , maybe chelsea have a better CB and goalie than us but we’re not that far off and i hope we can keep this pairing for years to come.

    BGF has great positional sense and can read the game really well,

    KOC is more hands on and likes the battles,

    i also like how they both pose threat on set pieces and score important goals, when needed the most

    i’m not too sure about szny though , maybe with more time he might end up maturing into a better player but for now i’ll take Cesar if possible or any other experienced goalie.

  2. AFC says:

    TA, top post as usual. 🙂

    Koscielny has really improved. He is no longer scoring own goals for fun. 😀 He is starting to form a really good partnership with Mertesacker. Mertesacker is calm and humble which balances out Szez’s cocky, arrogant attitude and Koscielny’s rash and crazy actions at times.

  3. Bond James says:

    just to add to the lovely piece written by TA, i heard that

    we’re undefeated whenever Koc and BFG are paired together ? if it’s true then it’s one hell of a record (i’m not sure if it also included CL matches but sounds fantastic to me if true).

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    Gjeesh Kebab you guys have been busy whilst I have been writing tonight’s post! 😛

    AFC,

    Yes there seems to be a fine relationship between the two full backs and the gk.

    BJ,

    It is true that I often use comments made by bloggers on BK as a prompt for a post – you might well have done so with your CB-pair comment… 😉

    Btw, I am convinced you could write some fine posts for BK and I would be very happy to issue one, or two, or more 🙂

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    BJ, would be great to verify those stats somehow (without having to revisit every single game).

  6. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Great post TA

    I find it imposible to disagree with any of it. At the start of the seaspn i envisoned this “Triangle” in some excitement and was very disapointed to se Kos left out. I was even more upset when Arsene left out Merts for the Chelsea game.

    I think chesney needed a kick up the arse so his dropping was no bad thing, but for me he is Arsenals number 1

    With all the talk in recent days about the qualities of respective european leagues and which one is better, i think one thing we can all agree on is that these leagues are all different in culture, and qualities required to succed in them can differ.

    This is what i like about our “Triangle”. Not one of the three is English, but its balance suits the premeirship very nicely. Kos is fierce and mobile, Merts add physical presence and composure, and Chesney is very gifted and has the required height to deal with crosses and long ball.

    Feel sorry for Verm. One of the most gifted players in the squad, but in my opinion rightly left out. Strange game football.

  7. 17highburyterrace says:

    I wrote about this stuff in the last thread and I’m still waiting on my personal reply from the blog writer….Perhaps it got lost amongst all the hair in the drain ;)….

    TA, you and I have a lot in common it appears….I’m 49 and my kid is 11 so we both had our young one (and only) at 38, if my maths are correct…. And, we’re both fond of the Arsenal…. 😀

    Indeed, it only gets tougher past 45–reading glasses, gaining 5 lbs with every big meal or evening of ales….If you’ve still got your hair I’d say, “watch your back.” I had a very disquieting battle with sciatica this Winter. (It came on the day of the Liverpool home match, but not because of the two goals we shipped….) It seems everybody of a certain age has dried out spinal discs, prone to herniation…..

    Anyhow I’m sure it’s nothing Doctor Glic cannot fix….Or maybe 007 can sell me some sort of elixir to cure me of my ails….(Or ales to cure me of my elixir….)

    But back on topic…. I’m very much in agreement with the post, but…. How come these three cannot play the ball out from the back and we’re left with hoofs from Sir Ches?….I would suggest some of the issue comes from our (much criticized) double pivot boys and our overworked FBs…. It all seems OK when they clear it straight to Santi, who heads forward to Lu-lu for the goal, but that was from a team that was already down and out. We need big improvement in this area (over the summer with one or two midfielders in) AND in preseason with some routines for getting the ball across the halfway line and in personal effort to get our keeper’s throws (and kicks) under control. I think this is actually a reachable objective (as opposed to the more fantastical ones….) and I’ll be watching to see if it happens….

    What’s the latest from the mill of transfer news (you know, the rumours, or rumors depending on your side of the sea…) about who will pay what for TV and Fabianski? I love (irrationally, of course…) everyone who wears the shirt and hope that we can keep them, but sometimes, even I have my doubts and start to wonder if some guys might be happier elsewhere….

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    Terry, whilst reading your comment I find myself coo-cooing along like that loft-pigeon of yours hahaha 🙂

  9. allezkev says:

    Excellent post Total.

    BFG, I think, suffers, like all really tall players, in that when they make a mistake, their size seems to magnify it and make them look even more awkward.

    I’m not so sure that BFG is as slow as people think.

    OK, he’s never gonna be Des Walker, but nor is he as slow and clumsy as many (The German baiting Press) would have us believe..

  10. Highbury Harmony says:

    Really BJ, our triangle 3 is better than $hitty’s? Could have fooled me! Imho, we are right behind Chavs and $hitty, bundled together with Everton and Manure (when Vidic is healthy). Liverpool are a curious case, as they have managed quite a fair few clean sheets, but concede quite a few when they get scored on.

  11. Wolfgang says:

    It’s too early to tell whether a triangle has been formed. I will really believe it when they can beat NU.The scars of the 4-4 draw are still etched in my memory.

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    I was 37 when my daughter was born (she will be nine next month) but yes there is a lot of similarity between us!

    It is really nice to know there is another stay at home dad with one daughter who likes the quiet, natural life and supports the mighty Arsenal at the other side of the world (which happens to be one of my favourite places in the world!). 🙂

    I just read the comments from the last few hours and they could easily be copied into this post.

    Very good points about playing the ball out better by our Cbs and goalkeeper, but like you say, something they just have to work on. A fit Jack would also make a big difference in my view as he is very comfortable with the ball in tight, pressurised spaces.

  13. Bond James says:

    TA,

    thank you for the kind words, i’m glad i am able to help indirectly in such ways and provide you with the ammunition required 😉 but the credit rightly goes to you for thinking on your feet and turning into a healthy discussion.

    i’m sorry, i tried looking for stats but couldn’t find the last time arsenal lost a game when both BFG and KOC were paired together, (checked the losses against spuds, chelsea and man city ) so maybe there is some truth in Arsenal not losing when BFG and KOC have been paired together in the EPL ? maybe someone else can use google better than i do…

    HH,

    no, not the triangle, only our CB pairing of Per & Koc i reckon, as you can clearly see i don’t think szcny is right up there yet, i did concede chelsea being better than us though.

  14. allezkev says:

    As for Fabianski, why not give him a new contract?

    I was pleasantly suprised at how well he did during his short return between the sticks.

    His reactions and shot stopping are, imho, superior to Szczesny..

    A bit of competition cannot do any harm.
    Just goes to show what a bit of confidence can do for a career.

    Kozzer is simply brilliant.

  15. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, top notch stuff as always! Our CB pairing often gets overlooked due to it not being flashy, but often when they are invisible, it is because they are performing their roles very well! I am not concerned at all about the future of our back four and GK, since they are all relatively young and have been afforded time to finally grow together (as a CB, aka a non-physically demanding position – is that even a word?-, Per can be considered “young”).

    As you stated, Mert is the perfect equalizer to our younger, riskier and more exuberant players, such as Gibbs, Jenkinson, Kos and Ches. As Kos solidifies himself into the starting line-up, he has become more conservative and composed as well. Whether it has to do with confidence or Mert’s presence is insignificant since we finally have achieved balance at the back.

    It might be wishful thinking, but I am hoping that Kos-BFG-Ches can remain a solid trio for the next 4-5 years (at least!). With Gibbs/Nacho and Jenkinson (maybe Sagna, new RB, Yennaris or Bellerin), we are completely set going forward. If Miquel can establish himself as a quality PL defender, then he will ultimately claim the 3rd CB slot in the future.

    I hope you haven’t jinxed Kos with your first red highlighted paragraph though…

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Hehehe Wolfgang, are you trying to bring me back to earth, you rascal?! 😛

  17. Highbury Harmony says:

    BJ, Nastasic is a top defender in the EPL. Not only from personal viewing, but the statistics back up my claim as well. Nastasic & Kompany > Kos and Mert as well.

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    allezkev

    I reckon Fabs needs to play first team footie now. I find Fabs and Sz too similar as neither are totally there yet and have the necessary experience. So I would prefer an experienced PL goalkeeper as our nr.2 behind Sir Szes.

  19. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Very pleased i have you coo cooing TA.hahaha

    i think 17 makes a very good point about playing the ball out from the back, Not so sure about trusting Dr Glic though. hahaha

    This is why i believe Arsenes instinct was to go with Verm, the guys a great footballer. Arsene wants everyone to be comfortable on the ball but i feel as the season progressed he opted for the more traditional defender as opposed to the ball playing type.

    I think the results indicate that for the current balance of the side, this was the right move.

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    All agreed HH, and I am hoping Miquel can become Merts long-term replacement – somebody who is good at distribution, 17HT! 🙂

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    I would have jinxed them all three then, HH 😛

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    Coo Coo Coo Coo 🙂

  23. Highbury Harmony says:

    One thing Mert is not good at is decision making and playing the ball. These are two areas where he truly fits the moniker of an oaf, as he often telegraphs his passes, leading to interceptions where Kos/Verm need to bail him out. Mert’s ability on the ball leaves much to be desired and ideally we’d have a faster and better on-ball defender, with the same composure, leadership and physicality.

  24. Bond James says:

    Nastasic hasn’t impressed me as such, he is ok but i wouldn’t say he is better than Koc , HH

    the FA cup final against wigan was a classic example of that.

    but since you’re the stats guru then please, do let us have the stats for both Koc & Per and then Nastastic & Kompany, if possible do let us know when was the last time Arsenal lost when both Koc & per started and then when was the last time man city lost with Nas & Kompany

    it will be healthy to see the comparisons !

  25. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Funny you say that Harmonious. When Merts looks for a pass he reminds me so much of Tony Adams in his gait and shape. I guess been 6 feet five he can forgiven for been a bit clumsy. His brain and feet are along way apart. hahaha

  26. Bond James says:

    *Arsenal lost in the PL when both our first choice CB’s were paired together

    i know we lost in the CL against BM at home but apparently, we’re still unbeaten in the PL with both of them starting.

  27. Highbury Harmony says:

    BJ, defending is a team task, not something that falls completely on the shoulders of the CBs. To view it in such a light is entirely misguided. It’s the equivalent of suggesting that we purely look at clean sheets over the course of the season or which CB pairing was more successful at wins against the top clubs as the only indicator of which of Kos/Mert or Nas/Komp was better.

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    HH,

    Once we get the midfield sorted there will be plenty of options for our BFG to distribute the ball to, but good point.

    But that is a different sort of post hahaha.

  29. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hahaha Terry, it’s very true re: Mert. If you watch him carefully, he takes about an extra 3-5 seconds than the average player to make a decision. Ultimately, when he does make up his mind, the pass sometimes lacks the necessary pace to make it to the intended recipient as well. But such is the compromise we have to make with Mert, considering all the other positive qualities he brings to this squad, specifically the back four.

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    Right guys, off to hit the pillow.

    The good news is we will have a super duper match preview by the one and only Ozzer on Saturday night. The even better news is there is still space for a Friday night post, and if any of you guys have something you want to put in a post…. be our guest! 🙂

  31. Highbury Harmony says:

    http://www.eplindex.com/27392/best-centre-back-premier-league.html

    Here is a very good, statistical analysis of the top CB’s in the PL. Unfortunately, what it does not cover is errors leading to turnovers, which Mert has committed several of. Also, since Koscielny’s resurgence was after March, it’s not an entirely fair reflection on his play as a defender. However, the point was to highlight that Nastasic is right at the top of the discussion in terms of top CB’s in the EPL.

    Also worth noting, is that Kos & Mert’s partnership is a smaller sample size and results cannot simply be extended across an entire season since there are many extraneous and confounding variables (such as the fact that Kos and Mert have not played any top teams aside from Manure together).

  32. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Its all about balance i guess, The one game were Merts distribution stood out was Liverpool at home. Sturridge, Downng, and Suarez pressed up realy high and Merts played some fantastic balls, to Sturridge, Downing, and Suarez. hahaha. Koz played the safe option booting it long, buth the problem was it kept coming back, usualy to Sturridge, Downing and Suarez hahaha.

    Each game has a life of its own and some times it can go wrong, but Merts and Kos have been a heroic combination and i love them for it.

  33. Bond James says:

    however, if the pairing of Per & Koc haven’t lost a game when played for Arsenal then that in itself is a massive statement considering we have had the individual errors left, right and center (more right then left) but you know what i mean.

    you said you had stats to back it up with (in favour of man city pair) and i was merely interested in seeing them mainly for the reason i was discussing with TA above, i find it fascinating that we’re yet to face defeat in the EPL with them 2 as CB’s in our team.

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    and Bayern away, HH with a luvvely clean sheet.

  35. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, what about against Wigan, WBA and Reading where Kos & Mert have started yet failed to keep clean sheets against sides well below us (2 in the relegation zone)? Surely, the partnership is producing results in wins, but it cannot be considered better than that of the aforementioned Chavs (as BJ stated) or that of $hitty who’s clean sheet record speaks for itself. As the saying goes, form is temporary but class is permanent. Kompany is having an off-year too.

    BJ, you have proved my exact point. You cannot compare a triangle three’s defending without comparing overall team defense. However, what you can compare is individual performances at their respective positions and Kompany & Nastasic > Koscielny & Mertesacker. As I stated before, the sample size for the latter two is too small and results cannot simply be extending across an entire season.

  36. Highbury Harmony says:

    Also, BJ, the undefeated track record of Kos & Mert in the PL is impressive, but slightly diminished by the fact none of those draws or wins have come against the top sides, aside from the tie against Manure, a game we were lucky to come away with a point.

    In order to make the clean sheet statistic more indicative of their ability would be to test the partnership against Chavs, $hitty and Spuds next year, opposed to comparing it to mid and lower table sides.

  37. 17highburyterrace says:

    Uh oh, I’m gonna have to agree with HH again, though I’m confused by his bullying tactics and his desire for a cyber-fight. My instinct is usually to try and be as nice as possible until I just can’t take it anymore. Of course I can (usually) beat people down with the word count…. BJ seems like he can take it, however…. (And seriously, dude, 3-5 seconds to make a decision, hell, I can write a paragraph about my hair trouble–and comb it–in that time….)

    I think the Sir Ches/BFG/Kos group has a ways to go before we get too excited and I most definitely think TV5, if the offers from afar aren’t good enough, can get back into the starting 11. Two quicker CBs should (italics) be able to play the high-line-and-recover defense we seem to be pursuing…. But, as HH points outs, there are many other factors (including the FBs and CMS), that also colour (color?) the debate….

    That being said, Mertesacker has been a phenomenal signing. He’s been a real professional and HE’S able to deal with those gangly moments of shame even if the “supporters” cannot…. And that front post routine on corners has led to some important goals, even if he doesn’t always score them.

    Overall, it’s the classic competition for places scenario that we love to see, with the weak link being at keeper, where the back-up cannot seem to get a break fitness wise (if the injury was real)….If it wasn’t then Fabianski is surely bound for greener (more continental…) pastures. At least Sir Chez has more or less commanded his area and made good decisions about when to come off his line. Yes, in this run-in we have yet to play a good team who actually needed a victory, but we’ve done enough (defensively at least) so I think that’s a bit of straw man….

    Finally, TA has gone off to sleep, but my kid is a boy (named after a river that runs through Glasgow and one of the basketball players in the video I posted above….), and Terry, I’m (very) jealous that you get attend the matches, not to mention the success of your hair restoration….

  38. Highbury Harmony says:

    On another note, AW’s most recent comments as to why Cazorla does not receive more recognition are both true and yet somewhat not surprising. His comments stemmed from the fact that he was left out of the PFA team of the year.

    On the one hand, Santi’s statistics this year speak for themselves – 12 goals and 11 assists in 37 EPL matches. He is one of the top producing midfielders in the entire league and how he was left out of the PFA team of the year is a complete mystery. .

    On the other hand, it’s easy to diminish Santi’s statistics and impact at Arsenal because the criticism is that he often drifts in and out of games, or fails to make an impact at all. When he does produce, it comes in bunches and the argument could be made that he is not consistent enough. However, when he is on form and engaged, he can simply dominate and take over matches, pulling all the strings and dissect any opposing team’s defense.

    With that said, Hazard is often the victim of inconsistency, scoring in bunches and drifting in and out of games, yet he made the PFA team of the year. (Whether the result of Santi’s inconsistency is a result of playing with inferior teammates to that of Hazard is a different matter altogether.)

    So then, one may have to look beyond the obvious arguments of statistics, distribution of scoring and consistency game to game or even within a game. Thus, the argument could be made that Santi’s stats relative to the team’s place in the table and return on silverware/results in cups are not impressive enough to justify him being in the PFA team of the year.

    What I mean by this, is that his stats are not out of this world, as van Judas’ were last season and Santi’s output has not correlated to results domestically or in International club competitions (if it comes into consideration at all). I would like to know if players can isolate EPL performances from that of results in other competitions (i.e. FA Cup, COC, Europa and CL).

    If one considers results in all competitions in a season, then the choice to appoint Hazard over Cazorla makes somewhat more sense/is somewhat justifiable since the Chavs won Europa, made it one round further in the COC and two rounds further in the FA Cup, despite qualifying one round less in the CL. Overall, it could be justified that Hazard’s statistics and play benefitted his team in all competitions more than Santi’s did (if all competitions are considered and based on the fact that we are human, we simply cannot entirely ignore the fact that players can completely separate EPL play from that of all competitions).

    To conclude, it might not come as much of a surprise if results from all competitions are ultimately factored in when players select the PFA team of the year. Now, I’m not saying I agree with the choice, but that it is simply a confounding variable that we must consider. If Arsenal players are to gain the recognition they feel they deserve, then perhaps they need to perform better in all domestic AND International club competitions.

  39. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hahaha 17ht, perhaps I should change my name from Highbury Harmony to “Cyber Bully” or “BK Enforcer” since you seem to enjoy labelling me as such recently ;). Not sure where I cyber bullied BJ, simply disagreed with his opinion. Your bold statement the other day I said was complete bs, which in a way could be considered “cyber bullying”. Glad that you agree with me though mate, I value your input a lot (along with everyone else’s too).

    I concur that Per has been a massive signing for us and the back four play better as a whole because of him. What I particularly like about him (outside of the obvious positives) is that nothing really seems to bother him. Whether it be a cultural thing or an individual personality trait, he never seems overwhelmed or unphased. If he makes a mistake, he simply shrugs it off and does not let it affect his confidence or even the rest of the game.

  40. Highbury Harmony says:

    By the way 17ht, we were originally labeled as the Broke Back Bergkampesquers…look how far we have fallen and what we have resorted to calling one another over this past week and a half :(.

    I blame it on the fact that we need to drive discussion in some way or form because others are simply not living up to the task of posting enough ;).

  41. 17highburyterrace says:

    Different styles HH, nothing more, I think…. Being older and having grown up before internet debates maybe I’m more sensitive… (I think the kids say, “He gets butt-hurt easy…. 😆 )

    Also, on my days when I can, I think I hold up my own with the comments, if not the posts….

    Yeah, these are somewhat dark days for the Arsenal haters, but there’s always a chance we’ll stumble up in the Northeast (though I’m confident we won’t)….

    I think it’s important to enjoy (or live out) each moment as they come, but keep an eye on the bigger picture as well….In truth, the discussion here seems pretty wide ranging and lots of fun. Still, it’s important that people keep exploring the definitions or the “terms of the debate so as to be welcoming (or at least not too intimidating) for the lurkers or the many who are looking for a place to talk Arsenal….

    I think Hazard got the nod in the PFA team for kicking that Swansea ball kid, something that almost everybody can admire (and he got all ball)…. 😉

  42. Highbury Harmony says:

    Very fair points 17ht, no one ever said you did not hold up your own on the comments ;). At our roots, we have very similar opinions on all Arsenal matters. We are very much realists who see the room for improvement and openly acknowledge our team’s collective and individuals’ weaknesses. Where we tend to separate is on matters not pertaining to Arsenal at all and in cross country competitions.

    In either case, I’m sure Glic will resume in calling us BBB’s soon enough hahaha (my comments to you are meant to be slightly sarcastic with a hint of jest in case you were not aware 🙂 ).

    If it appears as though I disregard others’ opinions simply because they do not match my own or try to curb their freedom to speak their minds, that is not the case or what I intend to do. In Internet debates, tone and expression are often lost and there are times I am simply questioning a poster’s reasoning so as to elicit further understanding in their point (I also have a guilty pleasure of winding people up, which is perhaps a shortcoming of my own). However, this polite questioning often gets lost on others over typing and so ensues some form of name calling/disdain that leads to a long winding, heated debate.

    What I do enjoy, is learning more from posters with views that entirely contrast my own, such as those of Gerry, Milo, Richie (if he ever comes back) and to an extent that of Terry, TA and Oz too. Hopefully, they learn something from the opposite view at the same time.

    I, and a few others, often clash with the more optimistic Arsenal supporters who choose to ignore some of the faults of the club and its players, who instead dismiss our perspectives as an unnecessary source of debate/discussion. The same could be said for clashing with overly pessimistic Arsenal supporters who see nothing positive with the current squad/club and look to diminish it in any way they can.

    Personally, voicing my displeasure with certain aspects of the club is simply a way of blowing off steam and keeping my expectations in check (not to be taken too seriously). Unfortunately, this is often misconstrued as a personal attack against another poster’s opinions or a misinterpreted belief that vehemently hate this club/cannot recognize potential hahaha!

  43. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, understood, I’ll to keep my tendency towards butt-hurtedness under control, to the extent that I can…. 😉

    This will be a great thing to get up for 4th (or better–fingers crossed, of course….) but we all want more. At the same time, improvement will be incremental–it’s the only way to go when your ownership refuses to try the total makeover approach. For me that’s OK. I’d like the appreciation I feel for the boys who wear the shirt to continue on and be part of getting from here to there–It’s not all about plugging new pieces into a puzzle and I think that will make the eventual return to the promised land (after all these desert years….) all the more satisfying….

    In fact, if experiencing the thrill of winning is the ONLY thing then everybody should expect frustration except for those bitter souls who can only take results as absolutes. It’s funny, but the same people who salute ManCity for their “commitment to success,” will also salute Wigan for beating them, all the while doing so on Arsenal blogs (and going strangely quiet after our victories)… For me, it’s good to be away from that crap and high(er) up on the (BBB) mountain….

    Anyhow, off to (an early) bed….

  44. jgc says:

    Hi TA et al,

    Great post and comments, I Am late to this game too… But some thoughts to you and in reply to others (with apologies if I attribute imperfectly).

    First, never underestimate the power of communication.

    Second, allezkev noted BFG may not be that slow. I’d add that as a former tall (6′ 3″) defender, who was sub-21 at 200m, the question isnt often speed but turning radius and the first 2 steps. Those require the defender control and have the right approach to the attacker, and control doing it in the righ place.

    I think what Koz may do for BFG is simply ensure that even if a speedster gets by, they do so with enough warning for him to set up the encounter to ensure he isnt as easily turned and can play to his strengths (this is defender 101 anyway). I.e. not stranded way out from the 18 where the attacker has more choice of how the confrontation occurs. That’s also as sign of communication and working together.

    I am not sure TV5 did this so well, even tho he appears less impetuous than Koz, Koz may well leave BFG in better positions…Maybe because BFG is senior to Koz and wasnt to captain TV…(??)

    Third, TA et al, a reliable center lets the outside backs commit to their space and men without worry. This means tey gain that extra half step etc towards the ball and appear more effective and tighter than before. All good if you are rooting for the defenders side! 🙂

    Just some pence to contribute…

    cheers — jgc

  45. jgc says:

    TA and 17HT

    Ha, I have you both beat! 🙂

    49 with oldest a 10 year old… I can see your reading glasses and raise you bifocals!! And arthritis and some other groaning bits..

    TA, per an earlier you made last post, cycling is the new golf, so get out there! 🙂 … I raced semi-pro but on the road for a number of years, so remember your helmet and protect your egg!

    Finally, I can sadly recall, looking back on it all, that many things, fitness especially were better and easier younger.. My new saying “fitness is temporarary (like form), but class is forever” … now I just have to convince the rest of my body to believe it!

    cheers from way down under — jgc

  46. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning guys 🙂

  47. Red Arse says:

    Morning TA, 🙂

  48. TotalArsenal says:

    HH wrote:

    ‘TA, what about against Wigan, WBA and Reading where Kos & Mert have started yet failed to keep clean sheets against sides well below us (2 in the relegation zone)? Surely, the partnership is producing results in wins, but it cannot be considered better than that of the aforementioned Chavs (as BJ stated) or that of $hitty who’s clean sheet record speaks for itself. As the saying goes, form is temporary but class is permanent. Kompany is having an off-year too.’

    What about it, HH? 🙂

    Wigan played attacking football and scored one from a set-piece – shit happens. Mertesacker made a big mistake against Long, leading to penalty, in the WB game – I never said he was perfect, though. No goals against Everton at home, and Swansea, QPR and Fulham away have been priceless in this mini Koz-BFG run. I am sure I could find similar goals conceded by your favoured CB-pairings as well.

    The point is they appear to be growing into a good CB-pair, and with Szczesny into the all important solid triangle. I don’t really care too much about the comparison with the Chavs, Mancs etc pairings – it was not a point I made anyway: I care about what is developing at Arsenal, and luckily we both agree it’s very promising at least. Something to build on. Class we already have, lets add some continuous form! 😉

  49. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning Redders 🙂

  50. Gerry says:

    Bah! You youngsters talking of creaking old bodies … I am 67 with a collapsing right knee, but I still have hair on my head, LOL

    TA – Nice post ahead of our final (most important) game of the season. I said a long time back, when criticisms were raised about Per, that you have to take ‘the whole package with him’.

    I hold the same view about Giroud. But for HH’s benefit(insert you own choice of ‘smiley face’, with or without the wink?), that does not mean I ignore their weaknesses. I rather I look to see if their plusses bring benefits to the team, and their absence bring a minus.

    The jury may still be out on the latter, but I will say this. Man Utd played a very astute tactical game by targeting Per whenever he was slightly isolated. Two players would close him down quickly, leaving him the only alternative to play it back to our GK. He was then pressed into a hoof upfield … and in the absence of Giroud, the alternatives targets are either; Santi(midget), Walcott(lightweight), or Podolski(who cannot jump – on recent evidence standing in the defensive wall?). True, Giro might not always be able to pass/ knock the ball on to one of our players, but he does stop the opposition defenders from having a ‘free header’ to set up their next attack. Look again at that Man U game and see how many times that happened.

    That is why I think Giro will be back on Saturday. It will give Szcz an alternative to just rolling the ball out to Per(mostly), and so make pressing forwards less likely to dive in?

    I also think that Gibbs will keep his place, unless he does have a twinge (he did look a little uncomfortable at the end of the Wigan game?). Which is my last point, on which you say the Kos/Nacho partnership is a work in progress? I think the key difference is that Nacho does seem to get beaten when he shouldn’t, so it can catch them out? Gibbs gets beaten when it is a possibility that he might, so Kos and co can set themselves for it?

    I am still slightly confused as to why we should have that 4-4 score as a negative when playing Newcastle though? We absolutely slaughtered them to go 4-0 up, and despite the one-in-a-million goal from Tiote (he keeps trying to repeat it, but fails) that started their comeback, if the ref was not so caught up in the game we would/should have still won 4-3. I cannot see Webb doing the same this time around. Not that we should take the game lightly. If we start like we did in the last match, and then press and GET the second goal, the golden triangle mentioned above should be more than enough to see us through?

    Mind, a burst of ONE OK ROCK in the dressing room would also help!

    p.s One of my alternative additions who my even be on the primary list, would be a perfect partner for Giro – the French Zaha(PEA). If Jovetic is having doubts Higuain would be a bonus too …
    But that is for next week’s chatter eh?

  51. Red Arse says:

    Wow, 🙂

    JM,

    That is a tremendous Post, and should be pinched by TA immediately for re-Posting in its own right!! 😀

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry 🙂

    Thank you for stopping by and leaving such an insightful and fun to read comment. Your knee might be dodgy but your brain is as sharp as an Arteta penalty, or Koscielny interception. Top stuff compadre! 🙂

  53. TotalArsenal says:

    Top stuff JM! 🙂

    I have taken the comment out and hope you are ok for me to publish it tonight as your post but with a bit of editing to make it ‘post-friendly’ (obviously not touching the content though). Let me know what you think.

  54. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi jgc

    Another sharp comment. Yes, communication goes hand in hand with vision and organisational skills, and that is where the BFG excels. He would never have played so many Germany caps without it.

    Good point as well about his oil-tanker turning circle more being an issue than his actual speed.

    And I fully agree with this:

    ‘I am not sure TV5 did this so well, even tho he appears less impetuous than Koz, Koz may well leave BFG in better positions…Maybe because BFG is senior to Koz and wasnt to captain TV…(??)’

    BFG is our natural leader (at least in defence) but he is also a gentleman and would not undermine Vermaelen, the captain. TV needs to be led, even more so than Koz. The latter has potential to grow into the Mertesacker role, though. In my view, Wenger needs to make Mertesacker the captain and convince Vermaelen to fight for his place with Koz – or become our DM 😉

    All agreed on your third ‘pence’ 🙂

  55. TotalArsenal says:

    Some excellent 40-50 year old bloggers on here then, jgc! 🙂

    Nice to see you have such a sporty background, jgc.

    Yes all agreed about the need to protect the egg, especially in the UK where drivers are less used to cyclists compared to cycle-path heaven in the Netherlands.

  56. TotalArsenal says:

    Right too much TA and Tesco is waiting to pull some money out of my wallet.

  57. TotalArsenal says:

    Before I go: Redders, hope you are feeling a bit better recently. Reading your comments on here and AA you seem to be, just like our beloved boys in red and white, on the way up?! 🙂

  58. JM says:

    @Red Arse, May 17, 2013 09:00

    Thanks for your reply. The way I see transfers and contracts is a little different to most, as I counted the commercial/sponsorship side of things as well as the club vs player & agent/agency + solicitor point of view. Mutual beneficial or a win-win situation to all parties in negotiations, with some indirect “push”/help from some marketing/branding aspects factoring in.

    This is the PUMA link with footballers I have mentioned, in case anyone has difficulties in finding. (http://www.puma.com/athletes#football) And this is only the tip of the number of footballers that have endorsements with them.
    (I should mention, Jurgen Klopp, also endorses PUMA’s sportwear. The Dortmund team
    as well)

    Players trades/exchanges between Arsenal & Dortmund/Newcastle/Cardiff City/Stuttgart/Hoffenheim/Sporting Lisbon/Espanyol/Feyenoord/Palermo etc could materialise easier (after the formal contacts were established)

    PUMA have a large monopoly of sponsorship deals with national sides in Africa continent
    , coupled with our club’s commercial deal with Imperial Bank, we could have a helping hand in tying up some deals from there.

    If we can get their shirt sponsorship starting from 2014/2015, it would be beneficial for both parties: We could improve our chances in securing players who are endorsing their products; they make further inroads with their branding in EPL with a major club, alongside Newcastle and the recently promoted Cardiff City.

    Coupled that with Emirates sponsorship (where they have also PSG, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Hamburg SV in their sponsorship line-up).

  59. JGC says:

    All

    Gerry, good point, I too have hair, but I will challenge you on arthritis (every joint below waist, bar right hip) and do pretty well on knee surgeries (3, tho luckily all modest) !! 🙂

    TA, was sporty, was … I now train and maintain good fitness merely to support my beer and. Ice cream habits! Both of which have become more refined in Belgium, where they tell me that they are the home of cycling! 🙂 … Truth told tho I’ve never seen more bikes parked in any one place than in the Netherlands…. Unless you count motor scooters in Taiwan (the home of petrol cycling?? :)..

    Cheers — jgc

  60. JM says:

    Fresh news from France, RMC Sports website:
    http://www.rmcsport.fr/editorial/380310/auxerre-sanogo-quasiment-a-arsenal/

    Yaya Sanogo (20 yrs, 1.91m, CF) from Auxerre could be joining our club on a free transfer.
    (We have previously signed Sagna and Diaby from Auxerre as well). Likely going either to our youth or reserve side.

  61. Red Arse says:

    Hi TA,

    Yes, thank you for noticing, things have become a bit better, at least in my mind — life goes on.

    Perhaps it is because I have just come to accept things as they are, and counted my blessings!! 😀

    I think your latest gravatar is great, and perfect for BK, even tho’, as a dog person, I loved your little friend too. 🙂

  62. Red Arse says:

    I have to say, TA, that a Glic impersonator on AA, [In yer face, or Ian Ure Face] had me chuckling yesterday, and that always lifts spirits — such a natural comedian, that love shack builder is!! 😀

  63. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers JM 🙂

    I have taken the second part (addressed to me) out of your last comment as well. Would you like me to email the draft post to you first, or are you happy with me to edit and then issue it? Also, I can issue the post tonight or after Sunday, whatever you prefer.

  64. TotalArsenal says:

    Really good to hear that Redders, and long may it continue! 🙂

    I took some new pictures of Henry in and around an Arsenal shirt, so will use one of them in the near future again. He is becoming a big boy, and the women in the street just cannot leave him alone. A chocolate coloured dog is pure babe magnetism! 😛

    Yes Glic is balm to the soul – somehow… 😕 😀

  65. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi jgc – Belgium is perfect for cycling as they have the Ardennes. Holland just has great infra-structure for ordinary bikes, or ‘city-bikes’, but Belgium is perfect for sport cycling.

  66. JM says:

    @TotalArsenal May 17, 2013 12:24

    I gather the combination of both parts would come close to a 2000 word post?

    You may edit (any material that might be “sensitive” for publication previously and the unnecessary parts) and then issue the post after we beat Newcastle on Sunday and after the match report has been issued, to keep away any distractions from our readers, supporters (and players if they read the blog). Let our focus, till then, to be on our team’s pivotal match coming up next.

    Thanks.

  67. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Know what you mean TA. The other day i went out with Sylvest, my favourite pigeon sitting on the top my head, nicley nestled on my favorite bufount wig.

    I went into my local sweet shop to get some fags and the owner couldnt take his eyes of my head. Hes usualy very chatty, but this time he just served me in wide eyed silence.

    I then loped down the road, fag in mouth, whilst Sylvest enjoyed all the second hand smoke. It was at this point that i walked by some school gates were all the hot mums were waiting for the kids that i realised waht a Babe Magnet this look was.

    This women were all staring at me and huddled together in a mass pointing. Look, i know when ime on to a good thing, so with a big grin on my face started walking towards them to try my luck.

    I got a few yards, when all of a sudden this arm came out in my path. It was some unsavoury looking man, probably a scrap metal merchant, blocking my path.

    Scrap Metal man “Do you know youve got a pigeon on your head mate”

    Terry “Yeah, i know, now get out of my way. Theres a group of Birds over there that want me to go talk to them

    Scrap Metal man “The only Bird that wants to get close to you mate is that one sitting on your head. And that hair, is that a bloody wig on somefink?”

    Anyway, this got me realy upset TA, so i got into a scrap with scrap metal man. Luckily for me Sylvest realised what was going on and landed on Scrap Metals head and gave him a right good pecking.

    Unfortunately this whole undignigied episode must have put the ladies off because they started shouting they could the police, so me and Sylvest had to leg it.

    Ive seen the impact it cab have though TA, so tommorow me and Sylvest plan to hang around some school gates and try our luck. hahaha

  68. Red Arse says:

    JM,

    We have some great authors writing superb Posts on BK, and the resultant comments from knowledgeable guys all over the world are also first class, but you have a special talent and bring a unique attribute to the site with your fantastic, detailed knowledge of intricate football ancillary matters worldwide.

    No one else can match that — class act! 😀

  69. TotalArsenal says:

    hear hear Redders! 🙂

    JM – so be it, we’ll issue the post on Monday or Tuesday evening next week. Thanks again!

  70. Red Arse says:

    TMHT,

    You and that man, Dr Glic are both bonkers, but have a quite enchanting humour.

    I saw your comment to me on AA, and thank you very much for your concern, and one of my targets is to meet up with you guys at a game, once the tide turns. Slow old process unfortunately, but the interesting fellow bloggers on BK, and their knowledgeable comments keeps my mind active, and the humour is quite infectious! 😀

  71. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha Terry to catch a big fish you need a small fish, and to catch a magnificant bird you need a scrappy one on your head. 🙂

    Coo Coo my master wants to make luuuvvvvv to you and you and you and you and you, coo coo 🙂

  72. Red Arse says:

    TA, you are as barmy as they are!! 😀

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    hahaha, just like you I might have the odd barmy army moment, Redders, but to be as bonkers as they are, is like saying Chamakh deserves a place in Arsenal’s all time top-11! 😛

  74. Wenger's coat says:

    Yaya Sanogo. what a name. Wenger’s first signing it seems. A free transfer I hear

  75. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, I inserted that ridiculous comment in response to your random comment about the clean sheet against Bayern, which had nothing to do with the conversation at hand. BJ and I were discussing Kos & Per’s undefeated run against clubs in the EPL, not outside of it.

  76. Highbury Harmony says:

    Gerry, very nice comment mate!

    The question then becomes though, does the onus fall on Per to improve his on the ball skills/decision making or for OG to improve his finishing, pace and on the ball ability? Obviously, both players bring clear positives to the team, but I fear that by having lesser players in the squad, we are wasting the talents of players at other positions to compensate for their weaknesses.

    Don’t get me wrong, I feel as though both have a crucial role to play in the squad now and maybe in the future, but at what point is good not good enough if we’re a club who finally wants to challenge for silverware (AW’s words). It’s either that or the fact that I’ve never had an affinity for the blue collar type player (OG, Ramsey, Mert etc.) since I myself am a fluid and skilled player in every sport I’ve played.

  77. Red Arse says:

    TA,

    I apologise if someone put this on BK earlier, but as I put it on t’other site, I thought maybe the BK guys might want to read it.

    Sanogo, who would become Wenger’s third notable signing from the Ligue 2 outfit, following Abou Diaby and Bacary Sagna, has scored 9 goals in 11 league appearances this season, netting four in one match against Laval.

    The 20-year-old French under-21 international is set to sign up for four years at the Emirates Stadium on a free transfer but doubts remain over his fitness, a problem which seems to have deterred other clubs from snapping him up.

    After impressing for French under-19 side Sanogo missed almost the entire 2009-10 season after breaking his leg and a torn muscle him ruled him out for much of the following season.

    The player was first tracked by Arsenal in 2009 when scouts spotted him at the Montaigu Tournament, an international competition contested by under-16 national teams but he signed for Auxerre soon afterwards.

    Sanogo’s first setback was as a 13-year-old when he was rejected by the prestigious Clairefontaine academy.He instead signed for Parisian club Les Ulis, where France’s record goalscorer Thierry Henry started out and began to make a name for himself.

    At 6ft 3 ins, the young Frenchman is an imposing figure, with physical strength and pace making him a scary prospect for opposing defenders.

    Speaking ahead of the weekend match at Newcastle United, Wenger said of the deal: ”It is in advanced stages but it is not done.”

    Sounds an exciting prospect but has a worrying injury record.

  78. Highbury Harmony says:

    RA, as long as Sanogo is not our big striker signing this TW, then I see nothing wrong with this move as he could further refine his skills and hopefully develop some stability in health/fitness with the reserves.

    Considering AW’s history in the TW, I’m somewhat frightened that this is our answer at ST…

  79. Red Arse says:

    Hi HH, 🙂

    I think AW sees Sanogo as one for the future. He has only played in French Ligue2, so he will not be mature enough for next season — after that…… ?

    Who knows who we will get in the summer, but I think it will be a ready made ST.

  80. AFC says:

    HH, my comments from last night which you might not have seen.

    HH, I think the free kick problem is also down to Wenger and the coaching staff. Why is Walcott taking our free kicks? Surely Cazorla, Arteta, Podolski, Rosicky and Wilshere are all better free kick takers. I can understand why Walcott takes corner. He has no height, and does not have accurate and powerful shots from distance however I would have him in the box, in front of the opposing GK making a nuisance of himself and scoring tap ins’ when the GK spills the ball or cannot reach the ball.

  81. AFC says:

    HH, Rogério Ceni is the man we need. An experienced GK who has banged in millions of free kicks. 🙂

  82. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hahaha AFC, I was wondering as to why Rogerio Ceni was (I thought he was a current player)! I guess we’d kill two birds with one stone in signing him 😉

  83. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hi RA :), fingers crossed that he isn’t our big signing this summer! I wonder what happens then to all the other strikers in our academy/reserves. We really are in quite a predicament right now with transitioning youth and perhaps AW looks to accumulate as many as he can in order to find the gem, opposed to just developing the ones he already has. With the youth, it’s either a potential starter or bust it seems…

  84. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, credit where credit’s due though. Theo’s corners have actually been fairly accurate, it’s his work on FK’s that has been less than stellar. I know he registered an assist against SOTON (ended up being an own goal), but aside from that, I can’t recall a league game where he’s scored another this season. He has the accuracy to hit the target and the ball over the wall, but lacks the power and dip to be deadly.

    Santi seems to be far too inconsistent and hits the wall more often than not, while Arteta’s FK against Bayern in the first leg still gives me nightmares and he’s seemingly regressed in that aspect as well. Poldi should definitely take our kicks from 25 yards out and further as he’s the only player capable of striking it from such a distance. If he could develop some dip and further accuracy on his FK’s then he’d be our answer!

    Also, I do believe Jack is fairly accurate, but is better at sending in crosses from spot kicks, opposed to actually trying to score goals (he’s assisted a couple goals from set pieces, most notably Giroud’s tying goal vs Liverpool).

  85. AFC says:

    HH, do a youtube search on Rogerio Ceni. He is near the age of 40 and of course brazilian and has scored over 200 goals I believe.

  86. AFC says:

    HH, agreed Walcott’s corners are accurate but he should not be taking free kicks.

  87. AFC says:

    HH, sorry Rogerio Ceni has scored over 100 goals (all from free kicks and penalties) throughout his career and is the only GK ever to do so.

  88. AFC says:

    HH, we could probably get him on a free transfer if we really wanted.

  89. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hahaha AFC, his FK’s are disgusting and exactly what we need. He can score from distance, in close, dip and hit the target with accuracy!

  90. TotalArsenal says:

    Afternoon, fine fellow G’s 🙂

    Decision weekend is upon us.

  91. TotalArsenal says:

    RA

    Thanks for the Sanogo link – not sure whether to say neh neh or yaya to that one…. Let’s hope it is a Wenger-gem for the future.

  92. AFC says:

    HH, we should be trying to sign Rogerio Ceni.

    Hi TA, do you know about Rogerio Ceni?

  93. AFC says:

    HH, from what I have seen, he can score from FKs from any position.

  94. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, he is perhaps too experienced to actually be an Arsenal target (aka too old). I would prefer someone who can actually still play and contribute for a few years! Despite his ability on FK’s, we’d still need him to actually play goal at the highest level (EPL is much different quality to that of Brazil Serie A).

  95. Bond James says:

    RA,

    King Henry also played for the same club as Sanogo, ; )

    besides, any promising youngster with promise and coming on the free with minimal amount of compensation will do, he can be further developed and who knows may well out turn out to be the next Lukaku 😉

    but i concur with HH, as long as he is not counted in the 3-4 player quality signings we’re after, it’s a welcome addition.

  96. AFC says:

    HH, you right. We should have brought him years ago.

  97. AFC says:

    * your

  98. AFC says:

    HH, he has also represented Brazil at two world cups according to wiki.

  99. Highbury Harmony says:

    BJ, the better question is why would a 20 year old sign with us to be an academy/reserve player for a couple years? He’ll likely be looking to be a first-team player, which sort of concerns me, but I guess we could always use depth at the ST position!

  100. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, I actually never noticed him in the world cups and was surprised when I saw that statistic myself. For as long as I can remember, Dida, Marcos and Cesar have been Brazil’s GKs, but indeed Ceni was there too! He just never really appeared for his country and was always 3rd choice…

  101. AFC says:

    HH, that is why I have not seen him at international level either.

  102. Bond James says:

    HH,

    for the same reason many young french players do, Arsene wenger and him having the ability to turn them into superstars.

    we have been keeping tabs on him since a long time, which shows AW’s been a long admirer of his talents.

    here’s a little teaser

  103. Highbury Harmony says:

    BJ, all I’m saying is that if Francis Coquelin is anything to go by, moving to Arsenal at this time may not be the best move for his career. Bear in mind, if we do sign a ST like Jovetic this summer, Sanogo would be behind OG, Poldi/Theo on the depth chart and competing with Akpom, Campbell and Aneke in the youth ranks. Unless he rises to stardom immediately and resolves his fitness/injury issues, I can’t see him getting significant or any minutes with the first team.

  104. Highbury Harmony says:

    BJ, if he can stay fit and add some strength, he looks like he could be the next Benteke. However, the first half of the video only showed me that he can be extremely wasteful and misses quite often hahaha!

  105. Bond James says:

    hence i called it a “teaser”.

    Coquelin might be loaned out instead of being sold me thinks (wishful thinking), after all coquelin has come through the ranks and has formed a strong bonding with the likes of wilshere, ramsey, the Ox, sczney, gibbs e.t.c

    in football forming relationships and bonding is just as important, hence one of the reasons why man utd have been a step ahead of all the other clubs as well.

    i for one would hate to see coquelin being sold.

  106. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, are you still in search of an article for tomorrow? I’ve sort of started a mini article that could be a nice segway into Oz’s fantastic pre-match report this Sunday. The topic is francis coquelin and our mysterious youth.

  107. jnyc says:

    I totally agree about the free kicks. Pod or santi are both specialists at these. I love theo, but hasnt shown any special ability with free kick, but as couple people have said, not bad for corners.

  108. Bond James says:

    Jnyc,

    ideally i would want poldi to be our nominated fk taker as well as penalty taker but trouble is, he isn’t a guaranteed starter, so we should be letting santi and jack (has a decent left foot on him) be the regulars in it ( and theo as well, he can only improve and who knows may end up being that 1 in 3 forward we have been craving from so long, he’s still 24, so i expect him to get better)

  109. Highbury Harmony says:

    The strange thing is that Santi is capable of some beautiful strikes with great dipping movement on his shots (see goal against West Ham), but fails to produce the same result on FK’s. Whether this has to do with the wall or that he’s more effective when in motion together with the ball remains unknown. Either way, Santi is definitely our best FK taker from short range, but has just not been impressive since joining Arsenal.

  110. Bond James says:

    one things for sure though, we have to do a lot of hard work in our training and work on our set pieces, corners (especially) and free-kicks.

    Santi will adjust and get better in his 2nd season, no reason why he can’t be our Lampard in scoring 20 goals every season from next season on wards !

  111. Welshman says:

    Yes, no more to say other than spot on!!!!

  112. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi HH,

    I have emailed you back 🙂

    Cheers Welshman! 🙂

    AFC, I dont know him at all – but 11/10 points for originality! 🙂

  113. Glic says:

    Evening Broke Back Bergkampesquers ! 😆

    Fine post Totes, along with the Chavs, we have the best last ten games record in the league and a big part of that has been the tightening of the defence, in which a lot of praise should be reflected on how well Ramsey and Arteta have performed in giving extra cover !.
    I don’t know the stats, but I would be surprised if we were not at our best in the past with a defensive double shield in which one is a B2B, Petit and Viera, then Viera and Gilberto !.
    From the rumours of the past, it took Tony Adams to voice his concerns that the midfield ( Petit and Viera ) were not providing enough protection for the back four !. Out of the calm , mild discussion from Adams came the start of a dominating defensive double shield !. Bring it back I say !.

    The talk of triangles must have had Stretch sweating !. The poor f**ker has lost so many of his German racing pigeons from his loft….also know as his Loftwaffe !. He wanted the best for them and trained them to succeed, but after filling them full of seed from the constant sucking of seed, they have started to mysteriously disappear in the Bounds Green Triangle !. hahaha

  114. TotalArsenal says:

    hahaha Glic and a good evening to you, biggest BBBer! 😛

  115. Glic says:

    As for the news that Arsene is near to getting this kid from Auxerre, well, it better not be our only purchase !, as……that’Sanogo for me !.

  116. Glic says:

    Hi Totes 🙂

    Twelve hours of driving, so I`m a bit tired !. I want my pillow….it`s so nice and softtttzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  117. TotalArsenal says:

    Good to hear you are safe and sound back from your weekly charity work! 😛

  118. James Bond says:

    an interesting article, highlighting what a top 4 finish means for us and the spuds…

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2013/may/17/tottenham-arsenal-champions-league-finance?

  119. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post 🙂

    Who has not been hopeful Coquelin would break through to the first team? HH has written a fine post about the young Frenchman’s current predicament, and also looks at the future of the youth academy in general. And he would like to know what we believe will happen to our youth players now that more money is avalaible to buy ready-to-go players going forward…

    Should be a fun debate! 🙂

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