Zelalem even better, Arteta true captain, light in defense: MR


Here are my thoughts on today’s pre-season friendly against Nagoya Grampus.

In today’s match, Arsenal came up against much tougher competition than we have faced so far this Asia Tour. We had another quick start with another good goal from Giroud, but the Japanese side showed their class and held us for a while after that.

Our first goal was an excellent cross from Rosicky to an unmarked Giroud, who headed it calmly past the near post. I have to say, the unsung hero of this pre-season has been Rosicky. His most memorable moments being his assist to Olsson, his assist for Giroud’s first in the Vietnam game, and this cross today among other things. If he can stay fit all season, he will be big for us. He seems to be someone in the squad who connects well with everyone, and I hope when he decides to retire he will go and get his coaching badges and stay with Arsenal.

It took until the 25th minute for Arsenal to break through again. Theo picked up the ball and brought it down, slipping it past the defender to Giroud with the outside of his foot. Giroud saw he had no space and as he was slid, tried to lay the ball back for Ryo.

Many people are saying it wasn’t a penalty as Giroud was never really hit by the tackle. They are correct, BUT the penalty was NOT called for a foul. It was called for a handball by the player who slid at Giroud, therefore the call was correct. Arteta stepped up like a real leader and let our young Japanese winger take the penalty in his home country. Ryo stepped up and put a powerful penalty just inside the left post. It was a fantastic penalty and he, the crowd, and the Arsenal players were thrilled for him to score in his home country.

At halftime Arsene made only a few changes. Wilshere came on for Rosicky; Zelalem came on for Mikel; Podolski on for Giroud; and Gnabry came on for Ryo. It was after these changes that Arsenal picked up the pace. Gnabry made a few good runs on and off the ball, and had a couple of chances. Theo also had a few shots and the team looked far better. I will put this down to Zelalem.

Zelalem came on and looked even better than before. His normal composure and desire to do well was there, but coupled with good movement from Walcott and Chuba, he had a few defense splitting balls that left the opposition’s defense standing in awe.

One of these through balls led to our third and final goal. Zelalem picked up the ball, saw Theo, and placed a pass with pace, on the ground, between three or four defender, and Theo took a good touch and chipped the keeper from close range.

A few more changes were made throughout the game with Miquel coming on for Gibbs, Aneke on for Ramsey, and Akpom on for Theo. After Miquel came on for Gibbs we must note that there were no defenders on the bench. Wenger really ought to think about buying a new defender, preferably one that plays centre back, but can play as a right back as well. This would mean we have two full defensive lines, as well as a CB who can play left back and a CB who could play right back. Two defensive injuries and an absence should not leave us with only four first team defenders, especially when one is playing out of position.

Nagoya Grampus’ goal was poor marking by our defenders, but Fabianksi really should’ve had the relatively weak header Kisho Yano put in.

Overall, the team played well today, but we need to test ourselves against an EPL strength team to make sure we’re truly ready for the season.

For now I’ll leave you with a few questions;

  1. What did you think of today’s friendly?
  2. Does Arsene need to bring in a new defender? If so, what position/positions should they play?
  3. Will Rosicky be a key player for us this season?

Thanks for reading. 😀

Written by: Dylan.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

121 Responses to Zelalem even better, Arteta true captain, light in defense: MR

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    No dylan-dallying over that match report, is it Dylan?! 🙂

    Very fine match report and it makes me want to watch the game now, which I am about to do.

    Really good to hear Zelalem had another good game and Giroud, Theo had goals. Nice one by Arteta re Ryo – the sort of class we like at Arsenal (hey JB, Gerry…. 😀 ).

    Will get back to you after I watched the game.

  2. Dylan says:

    Thank you TA. 🙂 Agreed, Arteta’s class was nice to see and just what you want in a captain.

  3. Savage says:

    I think the Williams links are real, which indicates Wenger was already thinking about a 4th option before the Kos/TV injuries.

    Regarding Rosicky, we need a goal-scoring CAM. Cazorla is probably the most likely of these. We need the Rosicky that scored that goal against USA just after we signed him.

  4. VCC says:

    Nice one Dylan….Spot on report. ~I agree Arsene Wenger needs to bring in another centre half. Koscielny is injured and with Vermaelen long term injury, this highlights the need imo.
    If he can find a versatile back line player who preferable can play centre half and full back would be a bonus. I believe MBiwa of QPR is in this bracket, perhaps it would be a good shout to test the water with Redknapp.

    I still feel we need a world class finisher though.

    With this type of after match reporting, you will have to be careful as Total will abscond you and give you the job permanently. 😉

  5. mA says:

    nice post about today’s game…

    Zelalem, Zelalem, Zelalem, Zelalem,Zelalem, Zelalem…in a song

    Definitely a defender is required, and I would prefer a Right-back so that Sagna can play at the centre. He appears composed in this position perhaps because it’s less demanding physically (remember he is 30 yo). Him, BFG and Koz could form a formidable pairing though the center.
    Rosicky is invaluable and his influence is there for all to see. Hoping he stays fit for the upcoming season.

  6. Dylan says:

    Savage, I agree a goal scoring CAM would be nice, but I think Rosicky can still be very good for us especially if we bring in a world class striker for him to play balls to.

  7. Chuck says:

    Zelalem is a beast. Wow, I haven’t seen such passing since, dare I say it, Fabregas or Laudrup!

  8. Dylan says:

    VCC, M’Bia wouldn’t be a bad option. He’s very similar to a player I’ve mentioned before, Kouyate. Either would be a decent buy and would come cheap, but that may not be what we need. 😉

  9. Dylan says:

    mA, fair point moving Sagna to CB. Who would you want to come into the club and play RB?

  10. Dan more a gunner you will ever be!!!!! says:

    Zelalem WOW!!!!!!
    He is pure class already!!

  11. jnyc says:

    Great detailed report! keep it up.

  12. Dylan says:

    Thanks jnyc. 🙂

  13. mA says:

    ooooh Dylan, you’ve caught me

    honestly am not good when it comes to predicting who could be a success at Arsenal. However, I believe that there are numerous Right-backs out there and Wenger can identify the best. I would prefer one who is 25 yo or below so that we end up having young blood on both sides of the pitch at the back (monreal/Gibbs situation).

  14. Dylan says:

    Fair enough mA. I still like Micah Richards so City. He’d add to our English core, can play RB and CB, has EPL experience, and is young.

  15. Dylan says:

    *of not so.

  16. davydavy says:

    Thanks Dylan, nice match report. That Zelalem looks the real deal, doesn’t he? I enjoyed seeing his passing range and the much-improved movement up front from the strikers.

    I agree about needing to reinforce the defence, but would prefer to get a good young centre-back like the ones you mentioned the other day (Zouma) that can grow with the team into a top-quality defender. We won’t get a top defender to come in and be fourth in line behind Vermaelen, Mertesacker and Koscielny. We ahve a few understudies to Sagna at RB, like Jenkinson, Yennaris and maybe Bellerin.

    How did Fabianski go by the way?

  17. bc says:

    Personally I think bellerin will be the defensive addition you are talking about meaning sagna will be your player who can play cb and rb. Also.let’s not forget we have 3 cbs who can play left back miquel kos and tv5 whilst sagna and jenko have also played there is also yennaris. I know many of these are inexperienced and it is not ideal but bellerin yennaris miquel and even boateng might just be able to do a job at least from the bench.

    Likewise martinez aneke zelalem eisfeld olsson gnabry akpom and ryo have also all showed they can be relied upon if needed.

    I will be more than happy for the kids above to
    replace the players departed and also the likes of bendtner gervinho chamakh and park who simply have to go.

    These kids are giving us signs of real squad depth. So much so that we almost have 3 full teams and more.

    However if we are to compete with the best in the epl and in europe we simply need to add 3 or 4 world class players. I would say through the spine. CB DM CF and GK. I would be ok if the CB was a DM that can play there or a CB that can play DM. Gustavo Cesar and Higuain or Suarez will do for me. Anything else is just icing or cherries (williams fellaini capoue bernard cesc)

  18. GaryH says:

    Zelalem reminds me of Wilshere at that age in that they have a great range of passing and good football intelligence but look physically weak. If Zelalem can bulk up and remain injury free I can see him really pushing for first team football next year, for now he should be used in cup games.

    Gnarby should step up into the first team this year replacing the departing Gervinho. Would give us a combo of striker/wingers with Podolski and Walcott or more otherdox midfielders in Gnarby and Chamberlain.

  19. Dylan says:

    Thanks davydavy. I agree a young CB would be good. 🙂

  20. Dylan says:

    bc, as far as I know Kos can’t play LB. And he’s right footed so probably would be better on the right. But I agree with everything else you said. 🙂

  21. AFC says:

    Hi Dylan, top match review. 🙂

    Very good to hear that the team was playing well and let’s just hope no more squad players get injured.

  22. Dylan says:

    Agreed about Zelalem for sure GaryH. Definitely cup games and hopefully a few EPL/CL blowouts. 😉 I’m still unsure about Gnabry though. Sometimes he looks amazing and other times he looks out of his league. Cup games for him are a must and maybe a few EPL/CL blowouts (like Zelalem).

  23. Dylan says:

    Thanks AFC. 🙂 I agree, we don’t need any more injuries! Especially defensive ones!

  24. AFC says:

    Dylan, here is a list of our current senior defenders and where they can play.

    Jenkinson- RB, LB and CB.
    Sagna- RB, LB and CB and use to play RM/RW back in the day.
    Kos- CB and RB.
    Mert- CB.
    Verm- CB and LB.
    Gibbs- LB, LM/LW and DM (I think).
    Monreal- LB and LB/LW.

  25. AFC says:

    Gerry, let’s say we add a GK, CB, DM, ST and maybe an AM/RW we will be serious contenders for the EPL, FA & League Cups and will have a very good chance of winning the EPL title and maybe one of the other domestic cups BUT if we really want to make a stand in Europe (reaching the final of the CL or winning the CL) as well as challenging for domestic cups season after season the likes of Gervinho and Giroud will have to be moved on so better players can come in (internally or externally). Giroud MIGHT improve like we said Gervinho would but I do not think he will improve by much.

  26. James Bond says:

    thanks, Dylan and a nice one !

    just what the doctor ordered and you delivered !

    Yes, Rosicky has a key role to play in the upcoming season as he did last season and the season before that, hopefully next season he manages to stay fit (and Wenger can rotate squad by keeping players fresh)… Rosicky is one of the players who happens to be “perfect” for wenger ball as he can speed up play, thread a pass e.t..c e.t.c the more he works with JW the better we get even if Cesc doesn’t come back this season, we can still make it stick. (make do i know but hey it’s not as bad really).

    now to the next Fabregas i mean Zelalem, he really does look the show, doesn’t he ? a few cameo’s for him here n there in the first team might do both him and Arsenal a world of good i reckon from time to time !

    also, worth nothing the passes being fed to Theo by JW , class considering some of them were from his left foot very Cescque 😉

  27. Dylan says:

    Thanks for the list AFC. 🙂 I wouldn’t be sad to see Gerv go but Giroud needs to stay. In my opinion he is a fantastic target player and will do much better next season. His passion and desire to do well is something we need. He is always striving to prove himself and bringing in a world class striker to test himself against will be perfect for him. Maybe Higuain is a smoke screen for Benzema and Wenger will try to bring Giroud and Benzema together so he can take over the French national team when he’s done with Arsenal and already have a perfect strike pair. 😉

  28. aman says:

    Great report dylan

    I still believe we need two strikers, 1 striker if walcot is played up front this season.

    Reports are saying that we will sign the brazilian speedstar bernard- will he be a replacement for walcot if he’s put up front or is it a replacement for gervinho who could be leaving.

    To answer your 3 questions I believe that we have a very promising side which can compete, BUT is it a winning side? Don’t know.
    1 defender is needed, someone versitile who can play across the defence.
    Finally rosicky will be a very important squad player next season, he won’t be playing week in week out but he sure will have that experience along side our vice captain arteta and both of them are massive and we can’t afford for them 2 to get injured.

  29. AFC says:

    Seems United will go back for Fabregas with a final bid for 35 million. Good luck. 😀

  30. Dylan says:

    Thanks JB and I agree completely. 🙂 Zelalem will be class. Imagine a Jack,
    Zelalem, Cesc midfield?!?!?!

  31. Dylan says:

    Thanks aman. 🙂 I agree with everything you said although Wenger denied the Bernard rumours. He could be lying though.

  32. AFC says:

    Dylan, I just feel if Giroud does not perform next season with the addition of a top ST somebody much younger like Lucina 😉 could come into the squad and we could end up with two top STs who we would be comfortable playing in the most important matches.

  33. Dylan says:

    Fair enough AFC. 🙂

  34. GaryH says:


    I agree the step up for Gnarby will be huge but he physically he looks ready far more so then Zelalem. What will help his consistency is playing regularly in the reserves/cup games with some first team training. I see Gnarby making the bench for sub appearances, I don’t think he will start any premier league games (especially if Bernard does sign).

    I feel signing Fellaini should be a priority.

  35. James Bond says:

    is it me or Bernard remind anyone else of Messi as well ? his technically very gifted i must say ( this from youtube clips but least you can see his technical abilities and close ball control).

    let’s just say i wouldn’t be disappointed if we signed Bernard.

  36. allezkev says:

    Very interesting post.
    I didn’t see the game, but your report, especially concerning our youngsters, is very encouraging.
    Your point about defenders though, is quite worrying.
    Maybe Nico Yennaris can do a job at right-back if need be with Jenkinson moving inside?

  37. Dylan says:

    GaryH, I agree re-Gnabry. However, I still don’t rate Fellaini. Don’t know why, I just don’t see him making the step up to CL.
    JB, I agree. He looks very much like Messi and could be quite the gem. Even at the reported £22 mil his versatility, skill, and young age makes him worth it.

  38. Dylan says:

    allezkev, maybe Jenks could move inside, but I like him on the outside more so he can cross. And I don’t think Yennaris is the greatest at full back. I’d prefer I new versatile defender.

  39. Dylan says:

    allezkev, maybe Jenks could move inside, but I like him on the outside more so he can cross. And I don’t think Yennaris is the greatest at full back. I’d prefer a new versatile defender.

  40. James Bond says:

    man utd will go back for the 3rd time with a 35 million bid (nah raise it to 50 million so least it forces Barca to consider).

    anything below 50 million for Cesc, Barca won’t consider selling as they can have 25 million from Arsenal if they wanted to offload Cesc…

    if Barca get offered 50 million for cesc then they are making 25 million and arsenal get 25 million.

    at 35 million (barca only make 17.5 million with the other half coming our way if we refuse to buy him).

    are man utd doing this on purpose so they can work on their real targets ? i don’t know, well might be !

  41. Fsumba says:

    I think we are under-estimating the creative gulf experienced last year. If you can recall the games where we went entire 90 minutes without shorts on target. We failed to create enough. This needs to be addressed. The midfield balance is off and we over-compensated by defending in numbers. We have TR7,Carzola and JW10. Given Wengers like for a creative ball retaining winger, i believe Carzola will retain his position as a winger in the front three. One of Walcot and Podolski will be on the bench. TR7 is 31 and on his .last year. TR7 and JW10 are coming back from long term injuries. We need more creativity so as not to overburden Carzola and ware out TR7 or JW10. To me,the priority is a striker, 2 midfielders and a defender. If Wenger is pushing AOC15 into the midfield,then one midfielder will come in. A central defender and goalkeeper may not come in and any deal for them is not a priority. The midfield balance is the main challenge. Do we get a defensive one? Do we get a box to box Diaby type or do we get a purely creative one? This is the question.

  42. GaryH says:

    Sakho would be my first choice defender being able to play both LB and CB. The fact he was 3rd choice last year at PSG and they have just bought another defender in Wellington for around £30mil he is effectively now 4th choice. I don’t see him staying there for that role.

    If we wanted to go for a younger backup I have heard Kurt Zouma has great potential and will be challenging the full squad in years to come.

  43. davydavy says:

    JB – Bernard looks very skilful, I think a bit quicker than Messi I think but the player he reminds me of most is no less than the great DB10 in his youth!

  44. Dylan says:

    Agreed Fsumba, we need more midfielders. Also, Sakho is very good.

  45. GaryH says:

    Not sure on that comparison, Bergkamp never had that pace EVER, his speed was in thought. Bernard looks electric quick, genuinely two-footed and very tricky …. more like a Cazorla to me 🙂 He can play anywhere across the attacking three.

    I like Fellaini especially when he destroyed Manu 🙂
    He adds size in the middle and can play box-to-box
    I see Chamberlain possible switching to the centre in a few years

  46. aman says:

    Yea I can see where your coming from dylan, wenger could be lying about bernard. I think wenger is playing a game of chess with the other clubs buts its proving very risky, why do I say that? Because we had the chance to sign jovetic who I believed was our next bergakmp in terms of style of play.
    Barca won’t accept no bid from man unt because arsenal will straight away activate his 25m clause, so he’s probably waiting for that to happen.
    With suarez I just think he’s waiting for madrid to make a move with higuain going out and bale going to madrid, that way suarez will have no option but to sign for arsenal if he decides to leave.
    If wenger doesn’t be more aggressive in the market I feel it will go very pear shaped and arsenal fans will be disappointed once again because we are expecting a world class signing. Fabregas, rooney, suarez, higuain, mata, sanchez, fellani or any big name that I haven’t mention so Dylan, who would you love to see the boss sign?

  47. Dylan says:

    Well aman. Bender, Higuain, and Gundogan would be fantastic. I would at least one of Bernard and if Gerv leaves, Tello of Barca. And a CB who can play DM or RB would be fantastic. That’s why I’m tempted by Kouyate. And of course, Cesc would be my number one choice. 😀

  48. aman says:

    But dylan do we really need to sign 2 midfielders, we have a lot of option in the midfield but a DM will be enough in the middle of the park. Another thing. dylan should wenger go back to 4-4-1-1 like the invincible days, or the 4-1-2-3 or stick with the current 4-2-3-1 system?

  49. James Bond says:

    not sure if this means anything but Liverpool have made a bid for Soldado (Suarez out ?

    win win for Arsenal if it happens, Spuds won’t get Soldado and we will get Suarez , wicked laughter time ahahahahahhahahahahahahah

  50. Glic says:

    Another Dylanesque report ! . 🙂

    Thought I would watch the whole game on Arsenalplayer, but you can watch the 2nd half now and the 1st half wont be on until Friday pm !…what the f**k is that about ?….is that f**king stupid or what ?.
    So I watched the highlights instead and someone said that Zelalem`s passing was like Cesc`s, I`m not going to go too over the top with this boy and I emphasise “boy !”, but in those Asia games so far, the nearest passer of the ball I can liken him to is……. ” God ” himself !. Normally a goal gobsmacks you, but passing from a 16 year boy giving me a boner !. F**k that sounds a bit Savilesque doesn`t it !. hahahaha


    Brilliant stuff Dylan

    You are a lovely lad, i bet any money you have a luxourious head of hair. Your girlfriend probably enjoys running her fingers through it. I think i will stop there. hahaha

    What has struck me form our tour so far is that Arsene will probably persist with the Arteta/Ramsey axis, and as last season, Jack Wilshere is physicaly behind.

    The Wilshere scenario is beggining to worry me. in the last two years the guy has probably been at his physical peak for no more than weeks. I am not an expert by any means, but this cant be good for a proffesional athlete can it? Things will probably work out in the end, but as i said i am having concerns.

    Despite Ramseys critics, his partnership with Arteta is now a no brainer. They combine very well with Arteta using his nous to protect the back four and Ramsey like a dog chasing and harrying the bone. They also both have the required skill set to tick the team over.

    Zelalem and Gnarbry are babies. Wonderful talents with the world at there feet, but the premeirship is an unforgiving merciless place. Expect them to feature in the Coco Pops cup for now.

    My only whinge is that the Club is missing some experienced attacking talents who will nutmeg you, put you on your backside, and score and make great goals. Lets hope Arsene and the Board can add that missing quality.

  52. Dylan says:

    Strength in depth aman. I’d rather have too little than too many. I’d say a 4-1-2-3. With the 2 consisting of a box to box midfielder (Wilshere/Gundogan) and a CAM (Santi/Bernard/Cesc). 😉

  53. Dylan says:

    JB, anything involving Spuds missing out is good (unless they’re missing out on Bendtner. Can we send someone over there to convince them that Bendtner is the next Messi?).

  54. Dylan says:

    Glic, that is ridiculous. Why only the second half? Even just the first half would make more sense! :p

  55. Dylan says:

    Thanks TMRT. 😀 I’m not too worried about Jack. He just needs a little time. As for some nutmegs, that’d be great. I think Bernard could provide that… 😉

  56. Glic says:

    You have to give up this obsession with hair !. No wonder your wife`s pussy gives you evil looks !. Extracting follicles from It`s gonads and implanting them on your good self might give you a smile like a Cheshire Cat, but being a furry pussy with smooth silky bollox gets him no street cred whilst out with his mates for a night on the tiles !. hahaha

  57. AFC says:

    TMHT, fully agreed.

    When it comes to the front four attacking positions we could do with adding two players and maybe selling Gervinho. We need to add a top ST and then we have the choice of either buying a no.10/AM with the Ox as back-up for Theo or buying a RW and move the Ox in the middle. I would rather Jack drop back in the box to box role which is his best position in my opinion.

  58. TotalArsenal says:

    Dylan 🙂

    Your report is totally on the spot.

    Watched most of the game now and agreed with Terry that the Ramsey/Arteta combo is likely to be the central base for the team again.

    Zelalem is a promising talent indeed. Long way to go though.

    Really liked our quick turnarounds from defence to attack. Rosicky, Wilshere both played quick balls forward and Theo made some awesome runs today. A pity his finishing was below par otherwise he would have had a hat-trick. Loved Ryo’s team play and speed of thinking and acting. Sagna was impressive and you could see that partnership between him and the BFG develop further. The only disappointed bit for me was the rusty full backs: both Gibbs and especially Jenkinson did not impress me. But they are both players who need to play a lot of games to get some good form, and we need to remain positive.

  59. AFC says:

    TA, instead of Wenger spending 12 million on Williams would you rather Sagna play CB with a RB like Abate signed?

  60. Dylan says:

    Thanks TA. 🙂 I don’t think the full backs were too rusty. Especially Jenks.

  61. TotalArsenal says:

    Don’t know AFC. Would like to see more of Jenkinson in RB and also Belerin. It is a great opportunity to get a squad player ready for that position without having to buy from outside. But Jenkinson needs to be up for it.

  62. TotalArsenal says:

    Are you sure, Dylan? Jenkinson looked like a headless chicken most of the time, in defence and attack.

  63. Dylan says:

    Jenks wasn’t great defensively, but I thought he was ok going forward. Or at least he was trying. He looks set to play a big role this season.

  64. AFC says:

    TA, Belerin is only 16 (if I am correct?) and it is very unlikely Wenger will think he is ready for the PL and Jenkinson is not ready yet to be no.1 RB. With the injuries in defence I would rather we not waste 12 million on Williams (an average CB) and just move Sagna there permanently with an experienced RB (someone like Monreal) for around 8-10 million come in.

  65. TotalArsenal says:

    Lets hope so Dylan.

    Night all 🙂

  66. TotalArsenal says:

    Nah AFC, I am happy with the cover we have, unless Jenkinson does not hit form the next two weeks or so. I would love Williams to come as I rate him, but also agree with you re Sagna being good CB cover.

    First the DM though, because an injury to Arteta…..

    Anyway, night all. It’s been a good day of blogging. 🙂

  67. AFC says:

    Night, TA. 🙂

  68. henrychan says:

    Morning all..
    Great post Dylan..

    I was worried a lot for Arteta subs before.. but I think now I can rely on Zelalem.. is it too soon..?? Hahaha..
    Maybe.. Wenger can start playing Zelalem and Ramsey first again Urawa.. to test their chemistry..

    I love to see Miyaichi scored.. although only from penalty.. which should be Arteta’s.. so happy to see him in our team..

    About Bernard.. I think Wenger wasn’t lied.. rumours said that Bernard will come on Friday.. and Wenger said it was untrue.. cause he will come sooner on Thursday.. hahaha..

  69. Dylan says:

    Thanks henrychan. 🙂 I certainly hope Bernard comes! That’d be fantastic! 🙂

  70. henrychan says:

    To all my English friends..
    Congrat for a new born.. the royal baby.. the prince of Cambridge..

  71. Wengerball says:

    Tops match report Dylan.

    Think Rosicky is our Andrea Pirlo… 3 assists in 3 games… ( for Olsson and Giroud twice) #experiencepersonified and all in a composed and not laboured performance…

    Zelalem = massive vision. 2 assists in 2 games ( for Miquel and Walcott)… anyone remember the Fabregas assist to Iniesta in the World Cup 2010 final…

    Ramsey and Gnabry = the oooohhs and aaaahhs in the game… great dribble display from them…

  72. Dylan says:

    Thanks Wengerball. Agreed completely. 🙂

  73. Milo says:

    We were linked with Nathaniel Chalobah of Chelsea a year or so ago. Oh, how I would love it if we pinched him from them, just because they are Chelsea. He can play in central defense or in central midfield, and he ran Watford’s midfield last season, by all accounts. They say he is the next Marcel Dessaily. He might not get the chance to prove it at Chelshit though!!!. The last time we bought a defensive midfielder from Chelsea, it didn’t workout, Lassana Diarra anyone??? I think it could work out much better this time, if we went and got Chalobah.

    Maybe Wenger is giving Aneke more serious consideration than most people think??? Maybe this is why he hasn’t bought a defensive midfielder??? WHAT A GAMBLE, if this is what his plans are. I would love to see it happen and WORK, but I don’t have any idea what the chances are of this happening really are.

  74. Charlie G says:

    We really need a class attacker and midfielder. Wilshire and Ramsey are mor central box to box type. Rosicky if fix would be great, hence Bernard would be a great signing, playing alternatively with Rosicky. We may need reinforcemment in the defense; but, depends on fitness of current players, don’t want to overload that area when everyone is fit. Maybe a young defender with hugh potential would be ideal. Can’t see a player like Williams sitting out the season on the bench.
    I do not think we will buy a DM. Arteta and Ramsey will occupy that position. The experiment last season was a qualified success and the Boss may continue with this trend of playing a mobile DM as opposed to a purely defensive cover.

  75. Simba Murerwa says:

    Benard is a fantastic talent who will definitely improve us and with us. Why are fans not excited abt Eisfeld who to me can be our No 10. JW10 is a CM or winger and not a number 10. Eisfeld is the mould of Cesc a true number 10 a player with vision, goals, assists. I compare JW to Iniesta a winger who doesn’t play by the line to cross the ball but to leave opponents there whilst he drifts inside to create havoc (assist n score). We need players who are going to improve the team n not increase numbers. Giroud is underrated coz he is a beast. If we get a proper number 10 we might not need another striker coz definitely Giroud, Walcott and Podolski will score many many goals. IMO we don’t need another defender as Yennaris can play) n Miquel left back. Miquel will be our 4th choice CB.

    Sagna. Koscielny TV. Gibbs

    Walcott. Ramsey. Arteta. Wilshire



  76. Gadman says:

    injury free Rosicky will improve any team considerably.
    Zelalem- new Fabregas……yeah maybe more potential.

  77. Gerry says:

    Damn you Dylan – You get your match report so quick, so by the time I get to read it, and the 75 comments, it has all been said, blast you!

    I watched the match ‘as live’, and saw it much as you did, in your impeccable reporting style.

    Two thoughts. One, I agree with TA, the 1st half I thought we played better, albeit, there were spells that came to nothing thanks to the odd pass or take up(whoever you care to put the most blame on?), so instead of being 5-0 .. it wasn’t.

    The key was Rosicky. The same with our run-in(s)? He is the one player that picks the ball up quickly and moves forward, and during that half the number of players that went forwards with him meant there were options in and around the box.

    To me, the second half dropped off that intensity after the 3rd goal went in. This made it harder for the likes of Gnabry, who had to come from deeper, Akpom who was isolated in the box, and, had it not been for Zelalem I don’t think we would have scored another goal. If they got their goal and made it 2-1 we could have been under some late pressure?

    That said, at 3-0 it was very comfortable, and there were some good bits of play throughout. The lack of Rosi’s drive, which normally the Ox might provide, and the presence of somebody extra getting into the box, that Eisfeld might have done, just left me feeling they were going through the motions in this period?
    Perhaps I need to see it again?

    The second point I think is worth noting, is the ease at which Per can switch from RCB to LCB to accommodate whoever seems effortless. The combo of him and Bacs, and him and Kos are mirror images. They both do the quick interceptions while Per does the positioning and organisation.

    Dylan, I had to chuckle when you wrote ‘we need one new CB who can play LB, and another who can play RB’ … I thought, Yes, and they are both playing? ha ha.

    I agree with above comments, a better bet would be a CB/DM. Maybe one from your trio yesterday, or indeed a straightforward CB like Sakho? The latter will not swap being 4th choice for 4th choice here. However, if he was Per’s rotation when everybody is fit, and in the meantime be the first choice pairing with Per? Maybe?

    I disagree with most of the comments above pushing for Sagna to move into the middle. He is, and until he prove to be not quite up to it, our RB. Whatever else he can do, and I would include DM in his capabilities, ahead of TV5, Kos, Gibbs, or anyone else moving into that position, but for now RB is his, the rest can come later.

    i think you undersell Yennaris at RB. He is very good at at doing any job given, and as a defensive RB no problem. What he will not be so good at is bombing down the wing putting in crosses. Personally, I want him to come on an replace Arteta in a few games and see if he could hold down that double pivot spot in the future?

    Q1 – Some players are sharper than others, but it is the best pre-season we have had, bar injuries.
    Q2 – Yes, CB or CB/DM

    Q3 – If we can get rotation done well enough to include up to 18 players getting regular, games, then Rosicky will be one of many who will be ‘key’. The other five in the squad will be the academy players who will get experience with the odd 15-25 minutes from the bench.

    The last comment was what I would have made yesterday. I don’t think any single player will be key in our progress, but I do think many will have key moments throughout the season that will make it special.

  78. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning all 🙂

    Some very fine comments overnight and this morning, especially Gerry’s typical helicopter-view analysis. Top stuff compadre! 🙂

  79. VCC says:

    Total ..fine comments indeed……all except from that despicable man Mr. TRANSPLANT…..
    I would like to reply to his entry yesterday July 22 @ 13:54, regarding false information on an Arsenal target.

    Being a part of the infamous Greek mafia, I thought he had it on sound, irrefutable advise that Mr. Higuain the Real Madrid striker, was signing for Arsenal within hours of his post.

    Well, you can understand my fury when I find this is not the case. 😦

    As soon as I read the article in question, I immediately visited a fine tattooist in Grays, Essex. I was so chuffed with the outcome of my new markings put upon my lovely todger. “GONZALO GERARDO HIGUAIN” all in capital letters!!!!!!!!!! In fact the ladeeeez at my pensioners home were suitably impressed too. So much so, they had a little play to see if they could stretch the lettering, it was a splendid experience for me, as you can well imagine 😉 they invited Mr. Terry Transplant to visit us all this coming Saturday to enjoy a fun night, which includes our favourite pastime “bingo”. He was going to be the guest caller, clikety click (66) two fat ladies (88) two little ducks (22) 1 idiot (1….Mr.GliC) and all that.

    We had arranged for some special Salmon and cucumber sandwiches to be laid on, they were going to be placed on our treasured Dalton plates, ready for him to smash into our fire place.

    I was so looking forward to show him my new invention too……A stainless steel Zimmerframe.

    This monster device is wonderful for us older generation people, as it does not stain (for obvious reasons~)

    Well you can tell him from me……He is no longer welcome at our wonderful venue anymore.

    It’s such a shame as we had a whip round to get him a new syrup….. 🙂 …that’s out the window now.

    It’s a good job I don’t blaspheme, or I would tell him to go away, in no uncertain words.

    Yours frustratingly

    Mr. Vicky

  80. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahahahaha Mr. Vicky, top stuff! You were well and truly left in the lurch by Terry the Transfer Torturer! 😛

  81. Dylan says:

    Milo, I’ve heard Chalobah is quite good. Is there a decent chance we get him.
    Charlie G, I agree with everything you said. I hope we sign a DM, but chances are you’re right and we won’t.

  82. Dylan says:

    Simba Murerwa, I agree Jack isn’t a number 10, but I don’t think he’s a winger like Iniesta either. I think he’s more box to box. I also still would rather loan Miquel out because I don’t think he’s ready for the EPL and I would like one more young defender (CB or LB is what we appear to lack in our U21s).

  83. Dylan says:

    Agreed Gadman. 🙂
    Thanks Gerry. I still haven’t seen Yennaris enough I guess. As for Sagna in the middle, that does mean we lose him going forward which is unfortunate because of his crossing and good partnership with Theo.

  84. oz gunner says:

    cheers for that Dylan, top report.

    Brilliant Vickers!

  85. Gerry says:

    Dylan, I’m glad your up and around now. I am having real difficulty running the computer with the TV as monitor in the evenings, because the two of them are generating heat equivalent of an 850 watt electric fire. The room temperature is already 26degs, and 66% humidity, as the sun moves towards the west. So I am clicking off around 4.30pm(3.30 gmt), Not around until about 5.0am each morning.

    I know your thinking very highly of Zelalem right now,but the chances of him getting into action with the first team are slim, this side of Christmas, and probably not until the next season 2014/15.

    The reason is that he does not qualify as ‘home grown’, nor has he been with us for two years. That was Gnabry’s problem regards the CL last season, hopefully not this? The EPL rules are slightly different, but even so, when I went through ‘my squad by numbers’ there are not that many slots available.

    I would want to include:
    Eisfeld – if he makes sufficient impression during the more difficult games pre-season
    New striker – Begins with ‘S’?
    New AM – Begins with ‘B’?
    New CB or CB/DM
    Miguel – At least until the next TW as 4th CB or 3rd LB, then he might open up a space if he goes on loan?
    plus the following;
    Fabianski or new GK, because he will leave?
    ( I would leave off Martinez as I think the is an allowance to add in case of GK injiuries?)

    Of course the need for Miguel is really to see how serious Monreal’s problem is. Like TV5, it is his back?. Once either of those are fit we should get by okay. Which would allow for Campbell to be added if Miguel went out on loan?

    But that is how tight it is?

    Providing Yennaris and Gnabry qualify, I think the rest, which include the Ox, should be okay from the ‘unlimited’ category, but I’m not sure about Zelalem?

    Food for thought, eh?

  86. Gerry says:

    Just to add to that, I’ve been reminded by Arseblog that Bendtner has not gone anywhere either.

    Nor did I include Ryo as a possible candidate, although he has been out on loan during his 2 year qualification period, if that makes a difference?

  87. VCC says:

    If ManUre get Fabregas I will be seriously P—– off. 😦


    hahahaha Vicks.

    A new syrup? if you had told me that i would have driven to Spain myself. kidnapped the Bastard at gunpoint and forced him to sign there and then. hahaha

  89. Dylan says:

    Thanks oz gunner. 🙂
    Gerry. Zelalem, Eisfeld, etc don’t need to be included in the PL official squad because they are under 19 years old. At least, I think that’s the rule.

  90. James Bond says:

    not sure if that is good news or legit, Dylan

    but it appears liverpool have had their bid accepted for Soldado , which means Spuds lose out and also that is likely to be the end of Suarez … 😉 😉

    also, Real madrid are not interested in Suarez and will be launching an 85 million bid for Bale to better man utd’s 60 million bid…

    i hope Levy does his usual and sells Bale last minute to RM which means they won’t have the funds to strengthen the squad before deadline – a repeat of Modric would be perfecto aahahhahahahahaha

  91. Dylan says:

    JB, it’s good news. Just a matter of if it’s legit or not. 😉 And I agree, a repeat of Modric will be great. Especially if he ends up sucking like Modric did. 😉

  92. James Bond says:

    i doubt if he will suck like Modric though, to be honest with you and putting my spuds hatred aside, he’s world class player (nothing to do with him being a gooner;)

    but yeah, he will do well at RM or any team , imagine him bossing the LW or LM with Ronaldo on the RW and RM

    Real Mardid are not fools for trying to get into his head, using every possible advantage they can and then prepare a 85 million pound bid for him, they obviously see the potential, talent and skill there

    and mind you, he has been rather consistent over the last couple of years.

    let me use an example of Messi here, before Pep was the manager of Barca, he wasn’t as massive as he was after Pep started utilizing him better… the same is the case with Bale i reckon, he has reached that next level under AVB

    i see RM buying bale as a replacement for CR by the way, i don’t expect Ronaldo to be at RM next year .

  93. Gerry says:

    Hi guys, I am trying this out on a smaller TV, which so far it does feel a lot cooler.

    I am waiting to see if the £42m for Saurez goes through? If as you say JB, if they have Solddao in place it could look a whole lot different over the next few days?

    The word on Bernie the Bolt is that they want to concentrate on the next match – where they have to overturn a 2-0 score, but they are at home – so he will not discuss it until they are out of the competition? But it sounds like a done deal bar the formalities?

  94. James Bond says:

    Hi Gerry,

    i’m not sure if it’s 42 million or 41 million but one things for sure, we’re deadly serious about him and liverpool have to sell him i feel, considering they have been making noises of him being sold for 55 million or closer to Cavani’s price… (yeah right, none of them are serving a 10 match ban or have had discipline issues), 35 million plus 6-7 million add-on’s is the right price, they need the money to get their own transfers done as you have pointed so i do expect something fruitful rather soon – fingers crossed

    Bernard deal at 15 million up front cash plus add-on’s with Suarez at 35 million up front still leaves us with 20 million to play with ( Enough to get Cesc).

    that’s the 3 quality signings done if it happens.

  95. TotalArsenal says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA £85m bid for Bale hahahahahahaha 😛

    Thank you JB for giving me such a good laugh 😆 😆 😆 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂 🙂

  96. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening guys 🙂

    The Transfer Torture just does not let off, does it?! 😈

  97. Gerry says:

    Dylan, I think you have the rules correct over Zelalem, not so sure about Eisfeld? He is that bit older remember.

    It seems that Coquelin would have slipped out this season too, so the loan was a good move? I think I am right in saying that is the case for Ryo for the 2014/15 season, so this will be a make or break season for him?

    I have to say, for someone with so little time actually playing, he did look quite sharp yesterday. He was only a few inches away from scoring in open play, before the penalty.

    if we can have these players on list B it will be a real bonus, but the 17 man A-list makes it very tough now, with Wilshere, Walcott and Gibbs all requiring a place?

  98. TotalArsenal says:

    Bale won’t go anywhere this season imo. Despite his appearance he is actually not so stupid as many of us think. He has seen what happened to the careers of McManaman and Owen who left too early. And if he goes, it will be not more than £35-40m and it will be to the Mancs, and not abroad. I reckon he knows he is not ready for that.

  99. James Bond says:

    i’m gonna save this post and article for future reference, to be precise it’s TA’s post at 19:14


  100. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry, agreed. His passing and link-up play were impressive and he almost scored.

  101. TotalArsenal says:

    JB – make sure you save the 9.18 as well hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha 😛 😛 😛

  102. James Bond says:

    35-40 million, now that really is a nice joke 😀 cheers TA

    comfortably over 60 million , if you’re up for it, we can put a nice little wager on it to make things a tad more interesting


  103. TotalArsenal says:

    No need to make a wager as he will not be going anywhere. You can take the boy out of Wales but not Wales out of the boy…. 😉

  104. TotalArsenal says:

    Catch you later chaps. New post about 10pm. £85m aaaaaaaaaaahhahahahahahahaha heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee 😀

  105. James Bond says:

    that’s deep 😉 and in other words cough chicken alert cough cough

    you a fan of Bernard then, TA ?

  106. TotalArsenal says:

    Don’t know anything about him, JB, and rather not look at youtube vids to judge a player. What do you make of him? (wont get excited until his signing is announced on Arsenal.com).

  107. James Bond says:

    my knowledge of him is limited to the youtube videos posted by Glic, dylan and co

    but one of my brazilian mates was telling me how everyone is excited by him, if Neymar was no.1 then he is no.2 in the pecking order and they believe that he is the brazilian version of messi if he keeps progressing he is capable of reaching them heights.

    i’m on the fence on this one to be honest, won’t mind him being signed nor wouldn’t be bothered if we didn’t.

  108. Dylan says:

    Gerry, you are correct, Eisfeld is 20.
    And with Ox there as well we will run low on squad spots. But remember Arshavin and Squlliachi aren’t taking up squad spots anymore. And I imagine Chamakh may not either. So that’s possibly 3 squad spots freed up from last year.

  109. Dylan says:

    JB, we need to sign Bernard! He has an 86 potential in fifa!! 😉 Only joking (sort of) but he does look very skilled and I would be very happy if we got him. 😀

  110. Simba Murerwa says:

    Hi Dylan
    IMO Iniesta plays on the left wing bt in the mould of Llungberg (on the right) bt very different from Giggs, Beckham, Robben, who play next to touchline. In your opinion who’s the best when they are fully fit and in their best form Kos, TV5 or Per?

  111. James Bond says:

    fifa rating of 86 for a 20 year old ? how many 20 year old’s have a rating greater than 85 on FIFA, Dylan ? 😀

  112. Dylan says:

    Simba Murerwa, I think it’s very debatable. Probably Kos, but I could be Verm purely do to his goal scoring.
    JB, no no no. He’s rated a 79. 😉 But he can grow to an 86, minimum. 😉 However, to answer your question, there’s only one 20 year old or younger who’s rated an 85 or higher. Can you guess who? 😉 Side note: lots of players who are 20 or under have a potential of 85 or over.

  113. Dylan says:

    *it could be. Not I could. Goodness. I can’t play CB.

  114. James Bond says:

    has to be neymar, can’t be the ox, surely not ?

  115. Dylan says:

    Neither. Good guesses. Ox is 77. And Neymar is only 83. The correct answer is Goetze. 🙂

  116. James Bond says:

    i see, isn’t Gotze like 21 now ?

  117. Dylan says:

    JB, yep. So is Neymar. But in the current fifa they’re still 20. 😉

  118. James Bond says:

    my bad,

    how’s the new post you were working on coming along ? a lil birdee told me it was one for the pessimist and the ones losing hope ?

  119. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post 🙂

    Marcus, in a great post, takes us through THE most important topic of this summer. Enjoy! 🙂

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