Fulham Preview: Podolski’s last time to shine – OG on bench?

craven-cottage

Intro:

Here we are again, one week after our disappointing season opener. Tomorrow Arsenal head off to Fulham, in a game that we really should, and have to, win. A victory tomorrow will put us back on track and help shake the “team in crisis” tag the media has been quick to label us with.

This fixture last year:

Last year, away to Fulham, Arsenal scraped out a 1-0 win. Sidwell got an early red card that would later be followed by a late Giroud red card. However, it was Mertesacker who scored the winner on the day: Kos headed the ball across goal from a set piece and Mertesacker ‘tapped it in’ with his head from close range.

Ironically, Mertesacker is our only recognized centre back eligible to play tomorrow. Let’s hope he can repeat last season’s feat and score a winner at Craven Cottage.

Here is my expected line up for tomorrow:

PredictedvsFulham

I think Wenger will replace Giroud with Podolski. Perhaps he’s been resting him specifically for this game, as Giroud didn’t have a great game last time we visited the Cottage. Maybe Wenger thinks that Podolski’s speed will help the team break down Fulham’s defense easier than Giroud’s style of play. After all, Riise, Hangeland, Senderos, and Amorebieta are all very slow defenders and the pace and intelligence of Walcott, Santi, Rosicky, and Podolski should be able to open them up.

As for the defensive midfield pairing, we don’t have much choice. Aaron and Jack will have to do, but I honestly don’t dislike this pairing as much as others do. The Fenerbahce game showed us that this pairing can work defensively as long as Aaron and Jack communicate properly, which it appears they are learning to do.

In the defense, I expect Wenger to give Monreal the start ahead of Gibbs because he should be nearly fully fit now, and Santi works better on the left with Monreal than with Gibbs. I also expect Sagna to play LCB and Mertesacker RCB, because Sagna is far more comfortable with his left foot than Mertesacker is.

Key Battles:

Walcott vs Riise: Walcott will either have an easy time or a long day down the right flank. Theo needs to be prepared to use his pace to run past Riise and receive the ball over the top. Theo will easily outpace him, but trying to split the defense on the ground may be difficult. Theo should prepare to do a lot of running in behind the defenders. If he does this, he should find himself with a load of scoring or assisting opportunities.

Mertesacker vs Berbatov: Berbatov is a lethal striker on his day and he will make us pay if we don’t keep a close eye on him. Mertesacker will have to do what he does best and position himself well to stop Berbatov from getting open shots at goal. Neither players involved in this battle are very quick, but both are intelligent players and this battle will be more of a chess game, with positioning being key.

Podolski vs Wenger: Podolski has been a noticeable absentee from both of our games so far this season. He was featured heavily in Arsenal’s training pictures today and I expect Wenger to give him his chance up top again. Poldi needs to take this game with both hands and make it his. He can’t be passive and wait for opportunities to arrive; he needs to step up and try to make opportunities for himself and others around him. If Wenger really is considering letting him leave (whether it be on loan or permanent), this may be Poldi’s last chance to prove he has a spot in this squad and I hope he does. That being said, if Poldi doesn’t start tomorrow’s match I fear the worst. The worst would be him being kept safe from becomming injured ahead of a possible move away from the club.

Casualties of War:

WengerWincing

Arsenal: Arteta, Diaby, and Ox will all miss out on this game due to their long term injuries. Vermaelen is back running, but is still a few weeks away from match fitness. Ryo is also likely to miss out, but isn’t far away from being match fit. Nacho is back to match fitness and will be in the squad this week.

Fulham: Richardson, Amorebieta, and Stekelenburg will all miss our match against Fulham. We need to capitalize on Stekelenburg’s injury especially as Fulham is likely to have their second string goalkeeper in net.

Predictions:

I’m hoping for a high scoring game with the Gunners winning 3 or 4 to nil and Jack, Podolski, and Santi opening up their scoring accounts for the season. It will likely be an open game that will be won or lost based on how our team responds to last weekend’s loss. The team needs to be physical (but not overly physical) and not be pushed around. They need to mature and not let Fulham’s physicality run the game like Villa’s did. I predict a tense game with the possibility of a sending off just like last year! Especially if we can frustrate Fulham and get a three or four goal lead.

Here’s a link of last season’s encounter between Fulham and Arsenal at the Cottage:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdINlfBSZbc

Questions:

  1. What’s your preferred line up?
  2. Will Podolski win his spot back?
  3. What are your predictions?

COYG! Let’s set Craven Cottage ablaze!

Please note: This is my first match preview and I’d love suggestions for how to improve for next time! 😉

Thanks for reading. 😀

Written by: Dylan. 

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407 Responses to Fulham Preview: Podolski’s last time to shine – OG on bench?

  1. VCC says:

    Fine first pre match Dylan. Covered all angles. Last seasons encounter and predicted line up for tomorrows interesting game.

    Fulham are not normally a kicking (physical) side so we can play our football.

    I think you have it almost spot on, but imo Wenger will play Giroud up front instead of Podolski though.

    Not sure how this one will pan out. We will be fatigued late on as we played away to fener in the week, and a long journey. Thanks to our Manager we are short on the ground with replacements, so tiredness will play a part.

  2. Dylan says:

    VCC, from what I’ve seen, Fulham is a fairly physical side. I could be wrong though. I fear if Poldi doesn’t start it could be the end for him.

  3. Milo says:

    Gotta have the pre-match finger…ask TA what I mean by that!!! 😀 I would explain but I have to do some housework!!! 😀 Ok… I’ll try…It’s who to give the middle finger to before the match. Who to say “fuck you” to on the opposition!!! 😀 Always fun, and it never hurts to build up some antipathy towards the opposition, even if it’s “only” Fulham! 😀 It can be a good history lesson too, for those who forget whodun us wrong in the past!!! 😀

  4. Dylan says:

    Milo, I know what the pre match finger is. 😉 I didn’t want to steal Oz’s thing though, 😉

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Welcome to the army of pre-match report writers of three, Dylan 😛

    And your maiden PMR is very, very good. I reckon Wenger will stick with what he knows and build further on the togetherness/feel good factor of the last game. I reckon, we will have a battle on our hand in midfield where Sidwell (a total nutter) and Boateng (who I know less) will try to out-muscle Jack and Aaron. I will call for Frimmers once more, especially as he knows the Fulham squad quite well from his loan spell last season, and he will add defensive solidity to the back-four. Playing Jack and Aaron again will be a big risk against Fulham imo.

    Pod instead of OG is an interesting call and you make some good sense there. But it looks like Pod is our super-sub at best this season, and AW needs OG to keep the shape of the team in tact; so I am going for OG.

    I predict a draw or a narrow win if we can hold out till the end when fatigue will play a big part; but it is unlikely to be very pretty.

  6. RockyLives says:

    Good preview Dylan

    The Cottage has not been an easy hunting ground for us in recent years but I agree with your analysis: I expect a comfortable win tomorrow, with our fast inter-passing play being too much for Fulham, provided we’re not too silly at the back.

  7. RockyLives says:

    UMF predictions:

    Fulham v Mighty Arse – A
    Villa v ‘Pool – D
    Toon v Hammers – A
    Cardiff v Citeh – A
    Spuds v Swans – H

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    I have been to Craven Cottage a couple of times, and saw Arsenal there once in 2000 or 2001. Late in the game, I saw the one and only DB10 score this cracker right in front of me:

    What a team effort and what a finish! 🙂

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Rocky 🙂

    We have a dedicated page for the UMF now to make things easier for the Zimmerframe – please see top of the blog.

  10. Dylan says:

    I agree with you TA, except about Frimmy. In a tough physical game he’s too likely to be sent off. And I think our Wengerball play will see off Fulham comfortably, IF we use Podolski.
    Thanks Rocky! 🙂 I agree.

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    That is a cliché we have to start dropping imo, Dylan. Frimpong, if fully fit, will be clearly instructed to control himself. But we need players who know how to defend properly, and can tackle and not get bullied. Both Aaron and Jack are likely to struggle tomorrow as Jol will instruct his midfield to be physical; and we’ll really need the referee to protect them.

  12. Dylan says:

    TA, just because Frimpong is instructed to control himself, doesn’t mean he will. I say we try to take control without Frimpong and put him on at halftime if it doesn’t work.

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    I have confidence in him, Dylan. Maybe Flamini gets signed in the morning… 😉

    Wenger has said he might rotate a bit and I guess he can do that in midfield and up-front. We’ll see what happens, but unlike you, I do not have much confidence in the Ramsey-Wilshere pairing right now.

  14. Bongo says:

    Holding a white flag as a Spurs fan, don’t pelt me.

    Fulham will be no mugs, they have made a lot of signings who will need time to gel. Scotty Parker is a great signing for them and there is a lot of spurs influence which may work in their favour (Martin Jol, Berbatov, Parker)

    I am also quite wary about you gooners, we are supposed to have an equal if not better side for the last few years but you have always finished above us. So although you gooners are angry about the transfer window, Arsene Whinger still knows how to finish 4th and it is up to Spurs to change that.

    I’m sure it will be close again, your bums would have been twitching a bit last year. I personally think it is great that we are on a par now, it makes for an interesting season and St Totteringams day is getting later year by year.

    Totally footy unrelated, I have just finished in the army after 18 yrs due to redundancy and have started a video log on you tube. If you feel you want to give me pelters then please feel free to watch it (link below).

    And Berkampesque, if you want to do a question the opposition thread prior to our North London Derbies I’d love to help you out.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheRedundantSoldier

  15. James Bond says:

    great match preview @ Dylan (thank you).

    agreed with your starting 11, entirely

    but one look at our bench and things start looking mighty frightening…you see, until last week, i had a quick glance at the subs and had “Poldi” there, so that was rather assuring to an extent that we have a potential game changer there….now we have Giroud (let’s hope we don’t need him) he deserves a rest…

    Fulham is always a very tough place to go and get a result, i’m never looking forward to this particular Derby – but i believe in the lads , hopefully it will be a 1-3 to the mighty Arsenal

    Poldi will deliver the goods as will Theo.

    key player or one to watch out tomorrow ? : Santi Cazorla.

    JGC, (from previous article)

    we have been pretty decent since our last Ashes defeat down under (which was like a million years ago now ;);) …

    the kiwi’s on the other hand, i reckon the team you had in the late 80’s and early 90’s was superb, with the likes of Martin Crowe, Ken Rutherford, mark Greatbatch , Morrison , Harris e.t.c e.t.c the team Fleming built was more based on all round team effort as opposed to individual brilliance as a whole…. you’ve always had the individuals of top notch quality, but getting the most out of them was fleming’s forte which this current team lacks (feel sorry for Ross taylor, shouldn’t have been stripped off the captaincy) –

    ah, you chose the best time for a vacation in Europe – well done 🙂 i wish i was this fortunate with the weather on mine ahahahahahahh yep, i do envy you ! (hope it keeps behaving though!

  16. James Bond says:

    the more the Wilshere-Ramsey plays, the better their understanding gets

    it can’t get any worse is the hope, real time match play is where they will mature together and learn tricks of the trade – this could work for the time being and let’s face it, we don’t really have a lot of options at the moment….

    we can rest one if not both on tuesday to try Frimmy .

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    Bongo – welcome to BK and a good analysis of Jol’s signings. I have little doubt it will be tough tomorrow for us, and fatigue will play a big role. I will be over the moon with a win but expect a draw.

    Your team has made some good signings and yes it will be tight again. Do you reckon AVB has what it takes to get you into the top-four?

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    Do you see the Rambo-Jack combo as the future, JB?

  19. James Bond says:

    nice one, Bongo

    nah, i was never in a spot of bother at any point during the last 2 seasons, besides we all love celebrating St.Tottenham’s day !

    i told the lads the other day, i hope you lot finish 2nd this season because that would mean we won the title 😉

    banter aside, how far do you reckon you will go without Bale and -minus your star signing betrayal aka Willian ?

  20. James Bond says:

    TA,

    honestly – no

    Jack wilshere has to sacrifice a LOT in order to make it stick , as a stop gap or a temporary it’s fine if need be, ideally, if both started together then i would much rather have a proper DM or ARTETA along side Ramsey and JW in front of them.

    however, for now both the lads are working their socks off to make it work – and they will need to be at the races tomorrow cause Fulham has a history of bringing their A game to the table against us…

    a 4-5-1 should be ok, tomorrow.

    fingers crossed !

  21. oz gunner says:

    IMPOSTER 🙂

    great pre-match Dylan. I’m a touch nervous about today’s game, I don’t know what it is but I just really hate playing Fulham.

    They always seem to get results against us and strangle our attacking threat.

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    All agreed, JB.

    I am worried about injuries to either Rambo or Jack, as they will try to overcompensate with their running and putting their body on the line…. and Sidwell likes to leave his foot in.

    I cannot see Arsene going for Jack and Aaron again after last Saturday’s match. Maybe Monreal makes a surprise appearance in midfield…

    We’ll see how it goes… at least we have the bit between the teeth already this season. 🙂

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    ‘Morning’ Oz 🙂

    How is it hanging – South or Northampton?

  24. oz gunner says:

    Podolski situation is a tough one. I think there may be more to his injury than we know (whether it’s an injury he needs to be managed through for the rest of his career I have no idea). Pure speculation though.

    I’d like to see us play with the exact team that lined up on Wed (sagna for koz of course). It allows us to get on top in the midfield and is my favourite in away matches.

    Let pod, nacho, and gnabry play midweek.

  25. James Bond says:

    yep, tomorrow hopefully is the last time we get to see both in them positions – both deserve bit of a breather after tomorrow, hopefully no injuries and 3 points in the bag…

    i leave you all, with a gem from AW….

    Wenger: “They find something here they want to know again when they go elsewhere. Many, many, many players, believe me, ask to come back”

    good night peeps !

  26. oz gunner says:

    🙂

    Great as always TA. Saturdays are always beautiful. Big breakfast, gym, aussie rules, the ARSENAL, doesn’t get much better than that (although a touch nervous about the game, don’t tell anyone though!).

    Is it good to be back home again?

  27. Bongo says:

    Total Arsenal

    I really don’t know if we can make it to top 4

    I love Spurs as much as you love Arsenal, you are so used to being in the champ league.

    I honestly feel that we will come close again, finish 5th and AVB will get sacked.

    Being a Spurs fan has turned me into a pessimist.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheRedundantSoldier

  28. oz gunner says:

    Shit my UMF tips!!!!

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    Good to hear that, Oz. Carpe Diem, Carpe Diem. 🙂

    Yes it is good as the weather has been fantastic recently and Henry the dog is settling well into the family.

  30. James Bond says:

    ah, bugger

    the quotes didn’t come out right

    2nd time lucky perhaps and then off to bed

    Wenger: “The desire of the players to join us makes me confident and the fact that we have some funds available to do the transfers”…………………..Look, many players want to join us because they know… even more so, all the players who have been here want to come back here”……………………..They find something here they want to know again when they go elsewhere. Many, many, many players, believe me, ask to come back”

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    A good friend of mine is a Spurs supporter and you sound just like him. AVB might get you there and it might all become a London battle this time round with the Manc clubs losing out.

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    It little less conversation, a little more action – a little less bark and a little more bite.. 🙂

  33. oz gunner says:

    @ BJ

    god I hope so.

    @ TA

    glad to hear, Henry has been brought up a proper gooner so how could he not get along with everyone?!

    Very jealous of your good weather (although it’s going to be 25 today). I’m sick of the cold. I wear double pants and triple layers up top when it’s 18 degrees so it’ll be nice to shed some weight.

    I think you’re dreaming if you see Nacho in midfield 🙂

  34. oz gunner says:

    @ Bongo

    great comments. Could you send your email to bergkampesque. I’d love to grab your thoughts for next weeks game

  35. Dylan says:

    TA, I kinda hope we sign Flamini for one year until Bender arrives. 😉
    Bongo, thank you for your calm level headed post! 🙂 I will respond like-wise. Tottenham have made some very good signings and I somehow see this being one of the best North London Derbies (from a neutral perspective) for a long time. With lots of goals from both sides.
    Thanks JB, I agree! 🙂
    Hahaha OZ. 😀 I have faith in the lads. You should too. 🙂
    JB, stop teasing my Cesc coming back! 😉 I need him back, please just make it happen. 😉

  36. Bongo says:

    It would be great to see the two Manchester clubs dropping out the top and having Arsenal & Spurs going for it every year. I hate to say that I’d rather Chelsea lost than you lot, does that make me a turncoat?

    Obviously I love it when you lose and shout “Yeah, the Arse lost” but call me old fashioned, you haven’t bought your success (if you call it that).

    What is your honest opinion? Do you think we will finish above you? My opinion is I don’t know, Spurs Arsenal will be 4th & 5th, I just don’t know the order.

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    Oz – it is here between 22-25 degrees, but I like it like that. Perfect weather.

    Henry is a babe magnet and he’s picky as well – only the best get his attention! 🙂

    I am more like nightmaring about our midfield, Oz. But Wenger might surprise me tomorrow. 😕

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    My Spurs friend said you had the best chance to finish above us in the last two years comparing the squads. I reckon as long as Wenger is our manager you will not end up above us – he just seems to have a massive psychological advantage over whoever has managed Spurs.

    I also despise the Chavs more than your team but you will find a few bloggers on here who feel quite differently. 😉

  39. oz gunner says:

    @ TA

    30+ for me! haha definitely Arsenal in his blood. Although every now and then he may get lonely and go for a Squil-lassi type.

    I hope he does also, flamini would be a start. would only paper over the cracks though.

    @ Bongo

    Did you have an Arsenal supporting parent or relative? Something doesn’t add up with you 🙂

    At the moment (squad wise) it’d be very tough to finish above your team. I’m hoping Bale leaves and we sign a few though so I can sleep easier at night.

    I’d like to see both Manc clubs drop off also (hope Moyes doesn’t have that fergie magic and drops them off a bit). But sorry to say I’d like Tottenham to drop off also. I’d be happy seeing Everton, Swansea, and Newcastle takes your places.

  40. oz gunner says:

    nite TA

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    Squil-lassi types hahaha 🙂

    He likes them to Bendtner over hahaha 🙂

    Really gone now.

  42. Bongo says:

    oz gunner

    Can you pass my details to the author, theredunsoldier@gmail.com

    I have a 15 year old son who will help with the computer side of things. I’m sure we can have a sensible chat. I am impressed that you have kept your site genuine.

    If the author could ask me a maximum of 10 questions covering more Arsenal than Spurs as it is a Gunners site, probably a 7 – 10 ratio and give me a couple of days I would be more than happy.

  43. oz gunner says:

    Done Bongo cheers, I’ve sent you an email

  44. oz gunner says:

    @ TA

    hahaha 🙂

  45. Bongo says:

    Oz Gunner

    In reply, none of my family are gunners, though a lot of my fiends are. I don’t hate you like I’m supposed to because there are really more important things in life (apparently)

    I came upon this site through newsnow and the comments seem to be quite adult – ie you don’t get “your spurs and you s%^t” “yeah you gunners are %^&”

    I’ll always be honest in how I feel, even though it will be slightly Spurs orientated.

    Good night guys.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/TheRedundantSoldier

  46. Milo says:

    I agree with TA, I despise Chelsea just as much if not more than Spurs at the moment!!! They have bought all their success, AND have players whom anyone would find easy to hate, as well as a manager of questionable character as well. Not to mention their owner who reportedly obtained millions if not billions of dollars, through questionable means!!! Sometimes, or a lot of the time the bad guys win, and it’s too bad that they have been successful. I hate Chelsea even more than Manchester City too…waaaaaaaaaaaaay more. Also not being from North London, and having only followed Arsenal since 1997, there hasn’t been as big a rivalry against Spurs in my opinion, during these years. It’s been Man United, Chelsea, and then Spurs. Now the rivalry has rekindled, due to our lack of success on the trophy front as well as our lower finishes in the table, relatively speaking. I dislike Spurs more than I did back in say the early 2000’s, when we were vastly superior. I think the quality of both clubs defines the extent of a rivalry. If both are relatively equal in terms of quality, then I think there is more to the rivalry, as there is more of a threat to be directed towards both club’s feeling of superiority. Spurs are our biggest rivals nowadays no doubt, but I hate Chelsea more, is what I’m trying to say, I guess.

  47. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    Good job Dylan..

    But I think Giroud and Gibbs will play.. especially Gibbs.. He is on fire..
    Wenger need a fast goal.. and he will pick Giroud..

    If the Referee do his job properly.. than We will win the game..
    I think after what happened to us again Villa.. all team will play hard and wish for referee to back them up.. hahaha..
    What happened to that Taylor..?? Any news.. Do FA did their job..??

    TA.. you know me so damn well..
    Yes.. my ruotine activity is hughing my Yoona in my shoulder and take her walking in the street for one or two hours in the morning.. 6 to 8 am..
    She need to get some sunshine.. so do I.. and I also need to walk.. for I almost don’t have time to exercise.. hehe.. Win win solution.. haha..
    After she was sleeping then I have more time to reply to all of you.. hahaha..

    Bongo.. wellcome to the jungle..
    Most of people here are goodman.. but sadly Spurs hater.. hehe..
    I’m luckily not one of them.. hehehe..
    We don’t have that habbits in Indonesia.. We never fight with the same town clubs.. hehe..
    But to be honest.. I think your BoD mismanaged your club.. and if they can not sell Bale.. your club will get a lot of trouble.. hehehe..

  48. Dylan says:

    Henrychan, the Taylor is under review by the FA currently. I feel after last week, the refs in our next few games will be very strict to whoever is playing against Arsenal, for fear of making the same mistake as Taylor.

  49. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Great write up Dylan

    You have a fresh and optomistic writing style that i like. How to improve your pre match? I suggest meet and marry a rich bird. Women with money can be bossy, but so are skint ones.

    So your thinking, whats that got to do with pre match reports? Trust me Dylan, if you get fleeced by a women to the extent that even fraudsters refuse to nick money from you, then you wont even be writing reports. You will be to busy worrying how you get your next opium fix or why the microwave isnt working.

    The key to todays game will be our ability to overcome Fulhams pressing game. The tried and tested tactic when you play Arsenal is to disrupt the passing game and then counter attack. This is our fundamental weakness, when we can not move the ball around we struggle for alternatives and have a vulnrability positionaly when the ball is lost.

    If Fulham get it right in there efforts to swamp us in midfield it will be a very hard game, if not, then our quality will give them a good beating.

  50. henrychan says:

    Dylan.. Good if it so.. Then we will win the game.. hahahha..

  51. kaboom says:

    love to see OG and gibbs start the game. no reason to rest any players since it is only the second league of the season. anything less than 3 points is failure…

  52. Gerry says:

    Good morning Dylan. My, it looks like a fine, sunny morning … is it the weather? No, but there is something different about it … If only I could put my finger on it? 🙂

    Yes this is definitely a Dylan-esque pre-view, but in answering your second question first, I think you need to decide on one thing:

    Am I writing the for what I want to see in the line-up.
    Or am I writing what I think AW will select.

    Once you are clear on that, then you can analyse the way the match will unfold. Today I think you got sort of 50/50 between the TA model, who is nearly always close to what AW does, and part of what you would like to see, which is my tendency?

    So, my suggestion would to get more into AW’s head, and that leaves you room to add suggestions as to where you think it might be better …But be humble(as you always are), as AW has been managing Arsenal before you were born, so where you can give a modern view, we are only talking about tweaking players here and there, it could be a refreshing take, as well as stamping your individual style on it.
    Okay? 😀

    For instance, AW never makes too many changes to a side unless forced to do so.

    So you have introduced two changes, and neither are forced?
    What will Monreal add that Gibbs doesn’t – The link with Santi is a good point, but Gibbs is quicker, and having to defend turnover balls means he is more likely to keep his place, for AW at any rate?

    Podolski is certainly a possibility to start, if only to give him confidence and squash speculation. But as previous efforts at playing as the main striker, that could easily backfire? Not to mention that his current efforts hardly warrant it, especially to replace Giroud? If he plays, I think AW would have him alongside Giroud?

    Which is the other point. You have done a good job on highlighting the opposition players, and in Hangeland they have a particularly good set piece player … in the air! Giro will be needed for his defensive capabilities, as much as being the only one likely to win any long ball clearances?
    Stockdale is a pretty good keeper, but we need to get shots on target, so your shout for Poldi is not a forlorn one, as a second striker? That said, I think Gnabry might get the nod for his pace.

    Midfield is the area where I think forced changes may happen. Much as we need Rosicky’s energy and skill going forwards, his injury record and playing 3 games in 8 days may be one too far? He was also not so effective last time, so a change here will almost certainly limit changes elsewhere … If you are following Arsene’s first rule – keep changes to a minimum.

    And this is why the worrying double pivot is likely to persist. I say worrying because Fulham will have far more know how to exploit the spaces they leave that Fene did. But I cannot see Arsene risking Frimpong until he has at least got some minutes under his belt.

    The final part of this tutorial 😀 is the bench. Three players who were kept out of the Under 21’s last weekend, and did not get selected for the squad in Turkey, were Zelalem, Hayden, and I think Akpom. I think both the former pair will be on the bench, and it could be Zelalem may get a start. I know this an area where we do not know what AW’s thinking is, but it is one of those you could speculate upon, given it is coming out of need, in Rosicky’s case?

    Alas it is always tricky finding out who is involved in the Under 21’s on match day on the Official website, but a shrewd guess might mean it was this game the were being kept back for, even though I believe the Under 21’s have/had a match against Fulham?

    Summary: The AW model, will be; your back 5, but Gibbs for Monreal; double pivot as given; Santi at the head of the MF trio, Gnabry left, Walcott right; Giro striker.

    Alternatives: Writers preference model: your choice given the above background?

    For me, as TA has pointed out, we may get better refereeing decisions whilst we are under more scrutiny? Soooooo :;), Santi on the left, Zelalem in place of Rosicky, and Eisfeld, Gnabry and Hayden to come on for Zelalem, Santi, and Wilshere.
    Simples 🙂

    Well you did ask D 😆

  53. oz gunner says:

    some solid advice there Terry.

  54. macko says:

    hello, beautiful abstract, the thing that make to me very scared with this team of Fulham is its trio of midfield player Adel Taarabt and Darren Bent is going to have Jack remains far position of in front of the defense with Berbatov if we are going to cause to be opened like a tin 🙂
    I’m happy to see Podolski start the match and through against very very disappointed if he was led Starting from the club.
    the match is very important to us, we have to win I count on them boy image for not let go of anything, ca will do doubted them Tottenham players;)
    GO GUNNERS 🙂

  55. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning all –> MATCH DAY MATCH DAY MATCH DAY 🙂

  56. TotalArsenal says:

    Milo we share the feelings about the Chavs 😈

    Terry – superb advise and good analysis. You were at the match and saw what went wrong and we need to put that right in this game…. but it won’t be easy.

  57. Gerry says:

    VCC – Can I suggest that on the UMF site you put the most recent comments first?

    Otherwise the scroll down to find anything about our latest selection/odds/position will be mind bogglingly long in the very near future?
    Thanks 🙂

  58. TotalArsenal says:

    Henry 🙂

    It sounds you do great things with your Yoona and good to hear you are able to give some Yoona and Me time every day. Every month it will get better and especially the 6 months to 1 year I remember as a very special period. Do you sing Arsenal songs to her? How is your son taking it all?

  59. VCC says:

    Cheers Gerry. Not sure how I do that. Will look into it. Spot on though. 😉

  60. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry – just press the ‘End’ button (under home) on your keyboard and you are at the bottom of all the comments in one go – and then press the ‘Home’ button to be all the way up again. 🙂

  61. TotalArsenal says:

    kaboom – you might get disappointed today. We NEED the three points and the boys will fight for it, but we might see a point as the best we can get today.

  62. VCC says:

    cheers Totes. I love you. 😉

  63. TotalArsenal says:

    Some sound analysis and advise there, Gerry 🙂

  64. TotalArsenal says:

    How are you feeling about the game today, Vickers? 🙂

  65. macko says:

    Personally, I find that Zelalem and Eisfeld are exceptional, especially Eisfeld I do not understand why did not give him his chance with Akpom they are explosive;)
    But arsene This is overdid it criticizing when he given a chance to young players and we had serious injury on rambo for example!
    But Gerry I agree with your analysis except for Monreal which to me is more solid and it plays more simply and defends very well which is becoming scarce in our days;)
    ps: I find very good Gibbs Also this position;)

  66. TotalArsenal says:

    Predicted line up, now that I slept on it and taking into account fellow bloggers’ views:

    Sir Szes
    Corporal Jenks – Super Sagna – We have a ….. – Gibbs the Gooner
    ———–Cool headed Frimmers ———- The Welsh Engine——–
    —————————-Jack or Santi (cant decide)———————
    The O——————————- O G——————————–pOd

    Rosicky to come on in second half to replace Pod or Santi/Jack.

  67. TotalArsenal says:

    Or:

    Sz
    Jenks – BS – BFG – KG
    ——AR———JW—–
    ————Santi———
    Theo——OG—-POD

    I hope it is the first one, but I would put my money on Wenger going for this one.

    I would put Nacho next to Aaron and instruct to keep it tight, with Jack running the show in front of them and theo-OG and Pod/Gnabry up-front. But that is not going to happen.

  68. TotalArsenal says:

    Bonjour Macko 🙂

    Comment ca va?

    I like your focus on our young players, but I reckon Zelalem is not ready yet (has to work on his all round midfield footie skills). I would like to see more of Gnabry and especially Eisbaby. Maybe Tuesday… ? 🙂

  69. VCC says:

    Total, Strangely enough, I feel confident about todays game. Fulham have some new starters that will take time to gell. Taarabt, Bent and Parker. All fine players but gelling together is not easy.

    I fear Berbatov, of course, he is a super striker that can hurt you in an instant. A trait we need at Arsenal.

    My only fear is our fatigue. We had a long journey mid week and to say we have limited resources is an understatement, cheers Arsene.

    I also agree some comments on referees being under the eye after the abysmal outing of Taylor last week.

    Although I thought he got both penalties correct, he definitely favoured Aston Villa, and held our play up far too often for us to get some steam up.

    I hope last week was just a bad day at the office.

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    All agreed Vickers, although the second pen was harsh in my view (when did the Mancs ever get two pens against them in one match at home??).

    It will be a balancing act between overcoming fatigue with the positive vibes of the last match and adrenaline. I just hope we win it somehow and nobody gets seriously injured. Especially the BFG, Wilshere and Sagna will be in the zone Rouge right now. 😕

    Agreed on the pathetic situation re our depth right now. But let’s not spoil ze party. 🙂

  71. VCC says:

    Total, don’t get me started on the bias towards ManUre theme. I have seen it all my life. That is why my hatred towards them is greater than the Spuds.

    Things might change a little now old Red nose is out of the way. He has been the best manager in the premier league by far, but boy he certainly had a helping hand along the way.

    On the second pen I disagree. If you watch the Chris Kamara clip you will see Kos took Gabby’s ankle away before he got the ball.

    You will have noticed my absence recently commenting on BK. I have been in the background but this transfer window has pissed me off big time.

    Before the end of the season Wenger said it is best to get players in well before the next season starts so they can gell and get used to the squad. He and Ivan also stated we had money to spend. Why dither and dally just to save a bob or two? I’m sure that’s the main reason we lost out on several players.

    Now we are playing catch up and will be left with the dregs. Managers will know we are bordering on desperate and they will up their price.

    imo this transfer window has been a fiasco, total shambles created by the Krankies. You can only blame them, and Wenger must take the rap.

  72. James Bond says:

    007 exclusive :

    Plenty of rain in London. ..

    not sure if benching giroud be wise , if it continues to rain cat and dogs.

  73. Prince Paprika says:

    Match day!!!!

    Gday all, is anybody as nervous as me? Im sure we will score goals but im feeling insecure with our defence and lack of depth.

    Dylan, great write-up buddy. You could very well have a point in regards to Prince Poldi. I too have heard loan rumours with Schalke being a likely destination. The way i see it, Poldi is not 1st choice these days because a. Wenger sees him as a mature super sub and rotation player where he will guarantee Arsenal 15-20 goals in all comps and maybe the same amount in assists, which in my book is fantastic. However, Poldi at his age and possibly carrying a long term knock realises its a WC year and his odds of getting a starting birth over Rolls Reus on the left for Germany will be very slim if he is not playing regualarly. I also believe Wenger has been honest with Poldi and knows that another winger, midfielder, shadow Striker WILL be coming in. Is it a last chance for Poldi? In my book its a long way from last chance. Wenger trusts Poldi to deliver, in his experience and his returns are amongst the best in the league for a non starter. Just depends if Poldi gives in to laziness ala our EX melancholic czar AA23 or decides to fight elsewhere. In terms of Arsenal, he is only into his 2nd year of contract and i believe Arsene will keep him at Arsenal/ under contract for a while yet.

    I like the line up, and i personally would like to see Poldi get some decent game time. In my book he still has one of the best left pegs in the world (top 5). Absolute cannon. Lets hope he shoot Fulham down to size!!!

    Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners!!!!!!!!!!

  74. alexgunners says:

    Dylan,

    Great pre match. No improvement needed from your first pre-match.
    The beauty of having different people writing is that you get to appreciate different writing styles and different views.
    All i can say is keep up the good work and be true to your style. No need to change.

  75. James Bond says:

    007 exclusive team news time :

    Rosicky, Ramsey & Santi in Midfield. Podolski on left.

    . No Jack.

  76. alexgunners says:

    Good Evening Fellow BK’ers

    Just over an hour away to kick off.
    Like Prince, I am also a little nervous about our depth.

    Let’s just hope for a fighting performance and a 2-0 win ( I will accept any win).

  77. henrychan says:

    TA.. I only knew several arsenal Song.. like Good Old Arsenal and We’ll win coz we Arsenal (Go West), Arsenal til I die and You are my Arsenal (sunshine).. hehehe..
    I love the last.. you are my sunshine,, the most.. Cause I can sing it both.. the original and Arsenal’s.. hehehehe..

  78. VCC says:

    Hi guys. Ive tried to substitute Kos with Vertinghen in the Boing league. ??????? It wont let me change the team ??can anyone help?

  79. alexgunners says:

    VCC,

    It’s too late to change for this week but you can make transfers for next week

  80. James Bond says:

    Sorry VCC , you’re about 24 minutes too late. … deadline for changes on match day at 11.30 am.

  81. VCC says:

    Just for you Henry.

    Go Gunners…win for Yoona the Goona.

  82. Prince Paprika says:

    Hi VCC, how are you? 🙂

    There is a certain deadline (time) i cant remember. I think its lights out for this transfer week. You will be able to make the change for next week once this round has started. Also, any chance i can get my odds up please?

    Where are you watching the game VCC? Nervous?

  83. Prince Paprika says:

    “(any win will do)”- Alexinho.

    I think you will find that 99% of gooners will agree. The other 1% hide in the depths of Leg Over (LG). For me, losing is not an option and concentration for a full 90+ min is a must. 3 points will have me on top of the world and buy us another couple of days in the Transfer market. If that will help 🙄

  84. VCC says:

    Hi Princey Baby.

    Your a little tinker giving me late predictions. I’ll forgive you this time cos I like you. 😉

    your odds are = 89-1

    Thanks for he heads up with the boing league guys. I will have to get in earlier next time. I will lose points this week. ;-(

  85. James Bond says:

    we have all been there before with our transfers@ VCC

    maybe it’s a blessing in disguise as the player you wanted in may have been red carded/yellow carded ? 😉

    thanks to TA for changing the background colours – much appreciated !

  86. VCC says:

    Prince. I am getting ready to walk up to my local and meet my Son to watch the game. They have a fun day today. Face painting…bouncing castle and Footie. Shame its pissing down.

    I’m going to ask if they can paint a cannon on my face, hehehehehehhe

    I feel quietly confident. I’m a tad worried about our lasting power today considering the long haul mid week.. We should be ok though. Come to think of it We HAVE to be ok.

  87. alexgunners says:

    Prince,

    We are All Arsenal Mad, Nothing but a win will do!!!
    As for the TW, I have been avoiding it simply because i am so frustrated.
    I have been reading the posts lately even though i am working away from Melbourne but this TW has been the most infuriating one for me. It’s a sentiment I believe most of you will agree with.

  88. Dylan says:

    Hahaha thanks TMHT. 😉
    And thanks Gerry for all the advice! I will take that into account. 🙂
    Fair enough kaboom.
    Macko, I think our team mature enough to handle their experienced side.

  89. alexgunners says:

    VCC,

    I will be losing points as well since Jack is on the bench

  90. James Bond says:

    hey but the good news is that for next week you will have 2 transfers (allowed without points deduction).

    😉

  91. Dylan says:

    Thanks Prince. 🙂 I totally agree.
    Thanks alex. 🙂

  92. VCC says:

    007. I didnt want to transfer I just wanted to change Kos with Vertonghen who is on the bench.

  93. Prince Paprika says:

    Victorious, you are a gentleman. Thanks mate. I hope your rewarded with a comfortable and stress free victory for the good guys 😉 Enjoy your day, always good to spend the day with family and watching the Arsenal.

    Alexinho, as 17HT has stated. Only victories ( 3points) will ease us fans through the transfer window, at least until we sign and strengthen in numbers. Lets start with Fulham today!!

    To all, is there any history between the Arsenal and Fulham, considering we are both London clubs?

  94. Prince Paprika says:

    Enjoy the game, Gooners 🙂

    COYRRG!!

  95. alexgunners says:

    Likewise Prince

    COYG

  96. Prince Paprika says:

    TEAM NEWS: Podolski and Jenkinson start
    Arsène Wenger has made two changes to his team for this afternoon’s trip to Fulham in the Premier League.
    Carl Jenkinson comes in for the suspended Laurent Koscielny while Lukas Podolski replaces Jack WIlshere, who is on the bench.
    Meanwhile, 16-year-old Gedion Zelalem is named among the substitutes.
    Team in full: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker (c), Sagna, Gibbs, Ramsey, Rosicky, Cazorla, Walcott, Podolski, Giroud
    Substitutes: Fabianski, Monreal, Frimpong, Zelalem, Wilshere, Gnabry, Sanogo

  97. James Bond says:

    ahahahahahahahaha @TMHT

    some priceless advice there for young Dylan, from Terry !

    Terry, where were you when i needed your advice’s ahahahahahahahahhaah

    look at our bench and i say no more.. .. 🙄

    Subs: Wilshere, Monreal, Fabianski, Sanogo, Frimpong, Gnabry, Zelalem.

  98. alexgunners says:

    Poldi to score a brace tonight

  99. James Bond says:

    Poldi to score a hat-trick @ Alex

    🙂

    come on you gooners !!!! hee haaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

  100. Prince Paprika says:

    A Poldi brace…..I’ll drink to that.

  101. James Bond says:

    Worrying signs for Fulham fans as striker Dimitar Berbatov looks in trouble during the warm-up. The striker is sitting on the turf shaking his head.

    But, there is no lasting problem – probably. A slow-motion replay shows he has taken a shot from a team-mate in, er, a painful place, but he is up on his feet, although he is not really smiling too much.

  102. Prince Paprika says:

    Both JB and VCC have mentioned the rain. Is it pissing down?

  103. James Bond says:

    lightening up a bit now in london @ Prince

    not as bad as when i first woke up and shared it with all of you !

  104. James Bond says:

    not as bad as it was last night and early morning, ground should be relatively dry now happens to be a good drainage system across grounds in England.

    our starting 11 is mighty fine, if i may say so.

    enough quality there to get the business done !

  105. Prince Paprika says:

    Cheers JB.

    Maybe, Wenger realises the conditions and has made the Wilshere sub in a tactiful switch with strict conditions to shoot low and hard. I hope Rosa and Santi can lay a few on the plate for Poldi.. The rain might be a blessing in disguise.

    Excited now……….

  106. James Bond says:

    great point @ Prince

    that might just be it – Wenger knows best !!!

  107. alexgunners says:

    JB,

    Brace or a Hat-Trick, so long as we come out on top.

    For the first time ever i agree with what Mark Bosnich is saying.
    ‘Arsenal are a big enough club to buy players and should not be in this sutiation’
    Not bad coming from a coke addict

  108. 17highburyterrace says:

    Morning boys…4:45 am kickoff for me…

    Walcott close! From Sicky, well saved…

  109. Prince Paprika says:

    so so close……walcott

  110. 17highburyterrace says:

    Giroud with an open header from the corner–too wet! (or something)…

  111. Prince Paprika says:

    Gday 17HT,

    lets keep up the pressure. On reflection, that was a great chance made by Rosa. Hope Walcott gets more in the game

  112. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey Princey….Nice to see your boy get a start, eh?

  113. 17highburyterrace says:

    GIROUD!!!!!

  114. Prince Paprika says:

    Indeed it is.

    Yessssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Fucking YESSS BABY

  115. James Bond says:

    Giroudddddddddd

    you lillllllll beautyyyyyyyyyyy

    get in there

    wo00t wo0000000000000000t

  116. Highbury Harmony says:

    What a start!!!

  117. Prince Paprika says:

    ala bipo inzahgi. haha. twins 😆

  118. alexgunners says:

    1-nil to the Arsenal
    1-nil to the Arsenal
    1-nil to the Arsenal
    1-nil to the Arsenal

  119. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ramsey shot gets tangled in the big guy’s feet!!!

    Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah-nah-nah-nah GIROUD….

  120. Prince Paprika says:

    Im a tall lanky bloke. I have scored many a toe poke. Dont underestimate the toe poke. haha

  121. Highbury Harmony says:

    Oh no, breaking down defensively again like last week…

  122. 17highburyterrace says:

    Geezus—Too much space given but Sir Chez makes a double save!

  123. alexgunners says:

    Great saves by Chezza

  124. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey HH…looked like Jenks wanted more help from Sagna over on the right….

  125. Highbury Harmony says:

    Silly challenge by Rambo…

  126. 17highburyterrace says:

    Tar-Bat wins a FK…

  127. 17highburyterrace says:

    Into the wall…to slow it down…Sir Chez gathers…Ramsey on a yellow suddenly slow with the ball…

  128. 17highburyterrace says:

    Taarabt doesn’t like a pass…We need to string together a bit of possession…

    Former Spuds failing to find the target…

  129. Prince Paprika says:

    Lapses in concentration 🙄

  130. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sorry, but slow surface plus slow Ramsey at sitting mid scares the poo outta me…Ideally WE should be putting more pressure on Fulham higher up the pitch…

  131. Highbury Harmony says:

    Ramsey’s going to pick up a 2nd yellow, I can feel it. Very, very unintelligent challenges right now.

  132. 17highburyterrace says:

    Settle down AR… Taarabt always looks out of shape and despises passing…To me at least…

  133. Highbury Harmony says:

    Theo’s got to make that pass sooner

  134. Prince Paprika says:

    That was criminal from Arsenal to miss that chance with 5 players on the left. We gotta bury our chances in these games

  135. 17highburyterrace says:

    Great chance on the break wasted by Gibbs shooting wide…Find Santi, Mr. Walcott!

    Other end, Riise shoulda shot…

  136. alexgunners says:

    Theo has to pass the ball earlier

  137. Highbury Harmony says:

    POLDI!!!

  138. alexgunners says:

    POOOOOOOOOOLDI

  139. 17highburyterrace says:

    LULU on the rebound!!!

  140. Prince Paprika says:

    PRINCE PURRRRRRRRRRRRFECT POLDI

    Oooh baby Here we go. Woohoo!!!!!!!!!!

  141. Highbury Harmony says:

    That’s why we need to keep the lad. He’s just clinical in front of goal!

  142. alexgunners says:

    Insane not to have Poldi on the pitch. Only Poldi and Santi shoot from distance

  143. Highbury Harmony says:

    Alex, this is the line-up I would have gone with from the start, with Jack and Rosa rotating for midweek games.

  144. 17highburyterrace says:

    Can I ask (WTF) Rambo is doing so far forward giving the ball away here at the end of the half?

    I don’t see us shipping any more players (Lu-lu) after the way the summer’s gone…

    Too Unselfish there!!

  145. Highbury Harmony says:

    Jesus we should have scored there!

  146. Prince Paprika says:

    Where is the run on the back post????

    Poldi should have just buried it, it was neither this nor that way. grrrr

  147. Prince Paprika says:

    Fulham should be 4 down. No bullshit.

  148. alexgunners says:

    HH,

    Poldi adds a different dimension to the team. How many times has he closed players down to add some pressure on defenders.

  149. 17highburyterrace says:

    Half-time… 2-nil…

  150. Highbury Harmony says:

    1441 the time of the goals. I find that amusing for some reason…

  151. James Bond says:

    time to take Ramsey out and bring Frimpong for the 2nd half i reckon

    Poldi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! he should have scored another one 😉 but that would have been a fine assist had anyone been there.

  152. Highbury Harmony says:

    Time to bring on Flamini more like it! He’s going to be our big signing this summer!!

  153. 17highburyterrace says:

    I dunno PPP, we’ve looked a little leaky, esp. down the right…Just as Poldi should’ve shot there at the end, Riise gave up a shot with Per reacting to block the pass. Double save from Chez earlier was class, too…

  154. Dylan says:

    Let’s get 3 more so GZ can make his debut and become our youngest ever player! 😉

  155. 17highburyterrace says:

    To the tune of “We are Family” by the Sisters Sledge…

    Mathieu Flamini

    We got him in on free…

    🙄 😆

  156. 17highburyterrace says:

    “in on a free”—to get the meter correct… 😳

  157. Prince Paprika says:

    we won the first half. If we concentrate and win or at least draw the second and the 3 points are ours. OURS I TELL YOU. Muhahaha

    COYRRG!!

  158. 17highburyterrace says:

    Geez, quiet half time…Must be prime drinking hours down under… 😀

    Another good save from Sir Chez from selfish spur…Corner easily defended…

  159. alexgunners says:

    We need to get Rambo off, he will cop another yellow

  160. 17highburyterrace says:

    Taarabt is trying to get Rambo sent off…Our guy needs to be careful…

  161. alexgunners says:

    17ht,

    Nahh, just too much tension, we know our team only too well.

  162. 17highburyterrace says:

    Lucky he cannot pass/cross/etc. (Tar-bat, that is…)

  163. Prince Paprika says:

    i have already had a schooner of cognac. 🙂

  164. Prince Paprika says:

    Can we clone a young Sagna?

  165. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sagna, so quick, so good…

  166. alexgunners says:

    Prince,

    It better be a Hennessy XO

  167. Alcide says:

    So who’s on the double pivot with Rambo? Or are we playing 4-1-2-2-1?

    Gutted that I can’t see the game… COYG

  168. Prince Paprika says:

    DOUBLE XO my friend. Non other than Hennessy mate.

  169. 17highburyterrace says:

    Big match for Ramsey…Can he stay on the pitch? Can these forward runs work and not leave us exposed at the back?

    That was a corner, no?

  170. henrychan says:

    Any link for live.. please..

    If Ramsey have a hard day.. then replacehm withwith frimpong or Zelalem..

  171. alexgunners says:

    I thought it was a corner as well

  172. Alcide says:

    Hahaha Prince, I had been thinking during the Fenerbahce game… Wouldn’t it be nice to have Sagna in both RB and CB 🙂

  173. 17highburyterrace says:

    A schooner sounds sizable…

    My liquor cabinet is light in the Cognac department…Cheer for reminding me…

    Game is settling just a bit but we seem happier trying to play on the break 😯

  174. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cheers, I meant, of course…

    Inneresting work from Gibbs, Theo and Rambo…

  175. Prince Paprika says:

    Alcide, the older Sanga for CB=experience, the younger Sanga for RB= hunger, talent, drive. That right back corner would be unbreakable. haha if only

  176. 17highburyterrace says:

    Bent in…

    Between him and Berbs you’ve got two deadly but (these days) very slow forwards…Luckily Taarabt won’t give them the ball…

  177. 17highburyterrace says:

    Giroud, that was poo (attempted flick-on…)

    Defensive shape seems the key now…

  178. 17highburyterrace says:

    Where’s Bryan Ruiz today? Taarabt off, so maybe better passes to the two finishers?…Next ten mins (and a 3rd Arsenal goal…) seem important…

  179. Prince Paprika says:

    We are heading into that dangerous part of a game when leading 2-0. Personally id keep the pressure on and try kill the game but who knows, if our boys concentrate and hold Fulham out, our young players would make them look like a team consisting of has been rejects who sound dangerous on paper. Oh please let that be the case.

    COYRRG!

  180. 17highburyterrace says:

    Settle yourself AR…

    Santi passing and feeling a step slow? Poldi did the work to slow down their break…

    Let off after Berbs crowds Kasami on the shot

  181. Prince Paprika says:

    Id look at taking Ramsey off now.

  182. alexgunners says:

    THERES THE POLDI BRACE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  183. henrychan says:

    VCC.. AlexG.. thanks..
    3-0 will be great..
    Did Ramsey replaced??

  184. 17highburyterrace says:

    LULU from Santi…Game, set, match!!!

  185. Highbury Harmony says:

    Poldi again!!! What a beautiful strike!

  186. Prince Paprika says:

    Purrrrrrfect. Yep we all called it and he has proved how important he is.

    I LOVE THIS GUY!!!!

  187. Highbury Harmony says:

    Wow, I forgot Rosicky was on the pitch.

  188. James Bond says:

    Poldiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

    you lil beautyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

    get in there

    wo000000000000000000t wo000000000000000000000000t !

  189. Highbury Harmony says:

    Why risk Jack?

  190. James Bond says:

    Rosicky was defending more and staying back @ HH

  191. James Bond says:

    because Wenger doesn’t know what he’s doing – Frimpong it should have been.

    and why keep Ramsey still on the pitch ?

  192. Prince Paprika says:

    HH @14.13, 😀

  193. 17highburyterrace says:

    Giroud did well to get the ball out of his feet and get the break going. Pure class and coolness from Cazorla to pick the pass to Poldi…

    Say that 3 times fast…

    Sicky off, Jack on
    Giroud off, Nacho on

    Younger guys in midweek?

  194. Highbury Harmony says:

    I would have put on Frimpong at CM, Nacho at LW for OG and Gnabry at RW for Theo.

  195. Prince Paprika says:

    Dirrrty Parker. Mug

  196. James Bond says:

    not sure about the rest of you, but i would like to see a bit of Gnabry for Theo ?

    yes, we are spoiled for a change ahahahahahahahah

  197. 17highburyterrace says:

    You guys dissing the subs?

    Jack and AR need time together as a MF combo…

  198. James Bond says:

    let’s hope the gamble of keeping Ramsey doesn’t back fire or else it will be very costy – wenger knows best 🙂

  199. 17highburyterrace says:

    Agreed re Parker…he might be my second most hated English player, after Rooney… 😀

    This match is over…so yes, let’s see a youngster for our 3rd sub…Gnabry sounds good…

  200. James Bond says:

    all tongue in cheek @ 17HT

    Ramsey deserves a breather – and i wouldn’t risk both against Fen unless needed as 2nd half subs

    gotta look forward to thrashing the spuds now !

  201. Highbury Harmony says:

    Of course, the Arsenal killer scores

  202. Prince Paprika says:

    Cheap goal….wake up

  203. Highbury Harmony says:

    Jenkinson’s fault, who was he covering?

  204. 17highburyterrace says:

    Clean sheet gone…S*it

    All Berbs…Sir Chez too close to the near post?

  205. James Bond says:

    no clean sheet –

    booo

  206. alexgunners says:

    We dont need this pressure on ourselves. We tend to switch off before the job is done

  207. Prince Paprika says:

    Not you HH…our defence

  208. James Bond says:

    time to keep the ball better now and run the clock down i reckon – be more clever and let them come for the ball.

  209. Highbury Harmony says:

    LOL imagine Mertesacker scored there

  210. Highbury Harmony says:

    What a stupid foul by Jack

  211. 17highburyterrace says:

    Geez Multiple chances…

    Jack gets yellow…Defense inviting trouble here after the subs…

  212. Prince Paprika says:

    Time to make some happy memories Yaya Sanogo.

    Yes i love fairytale Arsenal stories.

  213. 17highburyterrace says:

    Yaya, invoking allah, comes on for his debut…

  214. Highbury Harmony says:

    Wtf?! Bring on a ST when you’re up 3-1? Take off the guy who clearly needs this game for his confidence and could score a hat trick?

  215. James Bond says:

    no no noooooooooooooo

    why take off poldi ??????????????? noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

    Wenger – OUT

    ahahahahahahahahahahahhaha

  216. 17highburyterrace says:

    Lulu should have his confidence well managed with the brace…

    Seems like we’re confused with the two LBs in the match…All Fulham attacks down our left…

    Whattacross from Jenks there…

  217. Highbury Harmony says:

    There’s that burst of speed from Jack

  218. Prince Paprika says:

    That was so seXy that move. Jack the warrior!

  219. 17highburyterrace says:

    Composed defense and running from Jack (on a yellow as well)…Put a little height on the cross and it’s a tap in for Yaya

  220. Prince Paprika says:

    Jenks cross…. twas Lethal.

  221. 17highburyterrace says:

    Santi is dead on his feet…Nacho does the greek on Kara…

  222. 17highburyterrace says:

    Seems weird to me that Nacho is playing ahead of Gibbs (as a LW) didn’t Gibbs come up as a MF? Maybe they both did…

  223. Prince Paprika says:

    FEO……

  224. 17highburyterrace says:

    Commentators name Rambo man of the match….Hmmm….

    I guess he did get an assist on the first goal…

    Santi to Theo but straight at keeper!

  225. James Bond says:

    Theo should have scored there.

  226. 17highburyterrace says:

    PM4 perfectly positioned for crosses all day long…

  227. Prince Paprika says:

    Im happy with the 3 points. Anyone else?

  228. Prince Paprika says:

    Per and WS= Solid

  229. alexgunners says:

    Definitely Happy with the 3 points

  230. Prince Paprika says:

    YES YES YES.!

  231. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, that should do it…

    Good match, very good to see Poldi get off…A bit of rotation for mid-week, maybe even a new signing or Flams in the squad?

    We’re scraping by…Big result…

  232. alexgunners says:

    Good work Lads,

    3 important points, and some positive work.
    Cant ask for more than that right now

  233. alexgunners says:

    Time for me to go out now.

    Enjoy your night guys and enjoy the cognac Prince.
    ’til tomorrow

    COYG

  234. 17highburyterrace says:

    That’s a big one…London Derbies only seem easier when they’re in the bag…

    To me we’re still very loose in MF and inviting too many attacks but we stood tall…

    If Santi and Lu-lu can round into shape we’ll be looking good. Who needs a “SQ” striker? I’d say some bodies at the back are the priority, and maybe a better use of funds…

    3 very important points…

  235. James Bond says:

    congrats everyone – we are back up and running !

    Chelsea – Man city – whoever , watch out – there’s a hurricane (Arsenal ) coming !!!

    in all fairness, it was a really tough game, the score line is a bit flattering 3-5 would have done it more justice – entertaining none the less

    cheap goal , conceded , indeed @ Price.

    this win gives AW some breathing space – buys him another 1 week in the TW , ahahahahahhah

  236. Highbury Harmony says:

    How many more chances will Theo get before he scores?

  237. Highbury Harmony says:

    PP, how could anyone not be happy with the 3 points??!

  238. James Bond says:

    exactly @ HH

    if he doesn’t put those chances away then he can forget being one of the best in the PL – that was a bread and butter chance for a top winger – i reckon….

    is it me or everyone targets JW unfairly – not enough protection from the ref’s – FA go suck Glic’s cock and die !

  239. Highbury Harmony says:

    JB and the FA respond by saying, can’t suck what you can’t see!

  240. 17highburyterrace says:

    Yeah, agreed about Theo…his first touch kept him a threat all day but the final one let him down…chip that cross for Yaya and it’s a tap in, for example…and that ball from Jack just needed a couple feet right or left of the keeper instead of straight to him…

    NOW it’s time to get busy in the window…We should have a conundrum about which player to add for the 2nd leg of the qualifier!

    Now we get to watch Wanyama AND Poland’s #1 (Boruc) plus a brand new Sunderland team (plus Seb Larsson and the best right footed FKs in the PL?…)

  241. 17highburyterrace says:

    Poor Glic–the smaller the letters, the more the tattoo hurts…

    Or so they say…

  242. Prince Paprika says:

    Alexinho, have a good night budz.

    HH, some people on some sites have been calling for a loss. Obviously you wont see them now till the dust settles.

    Difficult conditions today and i thought WS had a great game. Must watch replay on the goal conceded. Ramsey showed discipline today by lasting the game when carrying an early card in wet conditions and still breaking up play and pushing us forward. World class players show that sort of maturity and it must be recognised. I am happy for the boy,

  243. James Bond says:

    ahahahahahahhahahahahahahahaha @ HH

    that was cruel ahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahhahaha

    i’m in stitches here ahahahahahahahahahhahahahaahaahhaha

    17HT , agreed and agreed.

  244. 17highburyterrace says:

    It was a huge thing to have a good, or at least predictable ref in Webb out there today. If he didn’t send anybody off (until extra time) in the World Cup final, he wasn’t gonna today–as long as they didn’t do anything stupid….

    I still get worried about Ramsey chasing balls, esp. off his own heavy touches, but he kept some space playing defense today even as Taarabt tried to get him sent off. He moves smoother than Alex Song (which isn’t saying a whole lot, I know)… Still, a tidy, experienced MF who can do more with his passes is what we require. Running with the ball is great but passing keeps our shape. International break hopefully allows time for Arteta to get back into the team… A quality signing in MF allows him more time…

  245. Highbury Harmony says:

    PP, that’s ridiculous. As much as I’m unsatisfied with our lack of transfer activity, I would never be happy to see us lose. Losing won’t make management change their minds about us buying players. Either we will buy them or we won’t – AW is a stubborn sod and will do things his own way regardless of the results on the pitch.

  246. James Bond says:

    love him or hate him but you gotta admire his work rate – Ramsey’s

    it’s all good giving him the man of the match and all that but he was only one tackle away or a foul away from a 2nd yellow…

    why keep Frimpong on the bench when you’re 3-0 ahead with less than 20 minutes ago ?

    some of the decisions AW makes are rather baffling at times – it worked this time, so all jolly good , however, for crying out loud – why make it more difficult for ourselves when we got options ? and like a 3 goal cushion ?

  247. 17highburyterrace says:

    Is Frimpong actually fit to play?….Seems like it might be window dressing, if you know what I mean…What’s the latest from the sauce, 007?…

    Larsson delivers two of the sweetest right-footers and the second one nets a goal (through Gacherinni–or however you spell it)…1-nil Sunderland… Wanyama right at home in MF for So’ton and an equalizer ruled offsides

  248. Highbury Harmony says:

    JB, the only rationale I can think of behind AW’s subs are that he wanted those subs to get a run out before starting them on Tuesday vs. Fenerbache?

  249. 17highburyterrace says:

    Flamini as a sub when we’re ahead will keep my pants clean in a way that Frimmers cannot…Is that move complete?

  250. Prince Paprika says:

    Cant argue with that champ. Agree with all you say, i just said that ‘there are people wearing Arsenals colours in blogville’ calling for a loss to justify what we already know is tedious management of the transfer window at best. Your a passionate supporter and would never question your loyalty. You have too much knowledge of the Arse (no pun intended 😉 ) to want bad things for your team…

  251. Prince Paprika says:

    Is Rosa in need of a rest, or was it the game that dictated his performance??

  252. Prince Paprika says:

    my 15.11 twas for HH

  253. 17highburyterrace says:

    We can’t do a total rotation for Tuesday…But yeah, Sanogo up front seems like an idea, Nacho in for Gibbs, Fabs in goal, Flamini in for Rosicky or Wilshere. Ramsey, I think, has to make that engine count…It’s still shocking how thin we are, but a 3 goal cushion is pretty sweet…

  254. Highbury Harmony says:

    17ht not yet, but it’s “close”. I read a report stating that AW didn’t want to make the official statement until a bigger name came in, in fear of backlash by fans.

    However, I do not believe that as AW does not give a rat’s ass about what the reaction will be, just the way he’s always worked and it should remain that way. Flamini is another body and there’s nothing wrong with that considering our lack of options at DM to begin with.

    Flamini as our 4th DM is fine by me. Send Frimpong on loan again and buy another CM. Cabaye would be just fine for me. A continual rotating DM of Cabaye/Ramsey/Arteta should do wonders in terms of keeping them all healthy and fresh. Choose the best two/most on form two for the big games.

  255. Highbury Harmony says:

    Or, keep Frimpong and play him in all cup games

  256. 17highburyterrace says:

    Agreed HH, we’re way past AW trying to manage the PR aspect. It’s all about results and the NLD is huge…

    That said, since we appear to be in the CL group (6 extra games plus six PL games on short rest…) we NEED bodies…AW also needs a deadline surprise to warm the cockles of the pretense that we can give the big money 3 a decent match on any given Saturday…

    Soton pitch looks plasticky just like at the Grove…In Spain I met an architect (from Leeds) who had worked on the Soton training facilities…They’re on the up, for sure…willing to spend their money, at least…

  257. 17highburyterrace says:

    Larsson can bend a ball! Wow…almost scores from a corner…

    HH, are you watching on a tele or a stream this morning…I still can’t figure out the new TV situation…My eyes aren’t as young as yours I fear…

  258. Highbury Harmony says:

    17ht, watched the game on NBC sports on TV my friend.

  259. 17highburyterrace says:

    But now the only 3 o’clock match is Soton-Sunderland…No extra channels, right? I need to figure it out…It appears I need to pay a mint if I want BEIN-TV for some Spanish footy…

  260. Bobby Sure says:

    That is the best we’ve played out from the back in two seasons. So positive. Its exactly the philosophy you need ala barcelona. Relentless play out from the back forcing the pass, very exciting. Tactically the biggest change for us was the fullbacks sitting on the halfway line, creating the perfect angle for balls to be played into an AM in the oppositions half. Too often in the past two seasons the full backs drop to deep into a flat four and its easier for teams to press from side to side and cover a smaller space. Jenkinson was key. Man of the match for me, although he slept on the goal.

    Walcott will be the key for us this season lads. He will be in the most dangerous positions consitently game by game. As long as he makes the right decisions we will score goals. Wilshere from the bench for now. He’s trying too hard and his movement is too square and static. Needs time. Top performance.

  261. Glic says:

    Afternoon Arse Bandits 😆

    Listen Shifty Shirtlifters, how am I ever going to call you anything else or other, if all you do when I`m not here is talk about my cock !. hahahaha

    Rain !, what`s that ?. another scorcher in Kernow !….probably aided by the extreme Solar activity emitting from the BK background colour via my screen !. You lot must have tans as well from Totals new background !.
    I shall now go and watch the game I recorded on BT Sport.
    Lets hope AW doesn`t think everything is now OK after two excellent away wins.
    Still doesn`t take away the fact that Arsene Wonga needs to get the cheque book out !.

    Oh and thanks for a terrific PR Dylan !.

  262. James Bond says:

    sorry 17HT, i have been told to sleep until Tuesday and if there’s any movements in the TW before that, he will be in touch…

    last updates were :

    a bid submitted for Di Maria – wednesday night and talks opened.

    nothing concrete on Benzema YET- but Rooney ongoing.

    CB was also on the horizons .

  263. James Bond says:

    makes sense – re Frimmy and Wenger wanted to try out the subs before starting them on tuesday.

  264. 17highburyterrace says:

    CBs on the horizon? Lordy…I can’t see my horizon here for smoke from a (big) forest fire…

    Please no more Rooney talk…In my mind he’s already the new Torres but not so pretty in the tight blue Adidas kit (Chelsea)…Ugh, stomach churning at the thought of it…

    Di Maria is interesting but I cannot see it happening…

    Give me Flamini in the squad for Weds plus the 3 points today and I’m content (for the moment)…

  265. Bobby Sure says:

    I hate to break it to a lot of you but statistically we actually have the numbers. 18 players is the standard for regulars and we have that number. Quality is another question, whether or not you contest on this point. Personally think we have the quality. But if you can add someone like di maria, benzema or anyone of their ilk than we will be even stronger number wise and quality wise. No need to just make up the numbers thats why flamini will be a better signing than cabaye imo.

  266. 17highburyterrace says:

    The thing about our MF play is that AW doesn’t think about traditional DMs…It’s all about keeping shape by passing the ball. Wilshere and (even) Ramsey have decent skills relative to other PL MFs but we need somebody who can really keep it ticking over–i.e., Arteta… As it is, Jack and Aaron (and Tomas), when pressured, all want to run with the ball. When they do, if we lose it, we’re exposed…Better teams will punish us…

    Tuesday provides an opportunity for the two young Brits to try and stay disciplined. It’s a risk ahead of the NLD but that’s not ’til next Sunday so I think we may see both start or play a half hour together later in the match…Flams would be a tonic, I think, if not a long-term solution…

  267. James Bond says:

    we have the numbers for finishing 4th @ Bobby sure

    and we have the quality only if we don’t get injuries, suspensions and so on – and going by past practice , that 18 is more like 14.

    17HT,

    if it makes you feel any better than Suarez deal isn’t completely dead either 😉

  268. Prince Paprika says:

    This talk of Flamini might be a bit pre- mature. He wasnt good enough for AC Milan, and if he is out of form, un fit, or on the down, i dont want him on our books unless its a pay as you play agreement. I trust Arsene to make the right call on this one but after saving all our shiny pennies and clearing the deadwood, the last thing i want is another player that might end up dross, collecting a hefty wage, when i would rather wait (if need be) for Bender or a player of that ilk.

  269. James Bond says:

    considering i haven’t heard anything on the DM front then i guess we can safely assume, Flams is the way forward until January ?

  270. macko says:

    What a pleasure to win despite the English well weather 🙂
    I think Podolski has put everyone agrees, which debute the matches he scored.
    Always them same small problem in midfieldI find that Ramsey drags to give the ball of the passes or tries a crazy but good progression is the little man can not deny
    I am happy it’s going to silence every detractors Arsene Wenger and I love that 🙂
    GO GUNNERS

  271. James Bond says:

    Prince,

    Flamini is a utility player, can serve us well in arteta’s absence, Arteta should be back in about 3-4 weeks (there are international games in between as well), so hopefully he slots straight back in after the world cup qualifiers is my take.

    ideally , getting a decent DM should be priority but such is our confidence in the TW market that we’re willing to see Flams back – in the end,

    good point re- Pay as you go contract – should have one with Diaby as well !

    🙂

  272. Ain't Got A Kalou says:

    Good match preview Dylan! Very happy with the 3 points too.

    Bobby S, we may technically have 18 players in the squad, but how many do you trust to stay healthy and/or play regularly?

    Frimpong, Miyachi, Gnabry, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Ox, Verm, Sagna, Nacho, Poldi, Fabianski, Szczesny, Zelalem, Sanogo, Diaby and Ramsey have all either suffered major injuries, are injury prone or are inexperienced.

  273. James Bond says:

    Chamakh SCORES!!!!

    do we have a buy back clause ahahahahahahahhaahhaahahhahahahaha

  274. Ain't Got A Kalou says:

    Forgot Rosicky, he’s also injury prone too.

  275. 17highburyterrace says:

    That’s why I went for the toothier smiley guy on my new avatar–he’s on a zimmerframe, you’ll notice, if you squint…

    007, when are you gonna write a post?–Maybe an interview with your sauce once all is said and done with the window. I think the support could use an inside view of Arsenal’s public relations machine 😆 🙄

    Agreed that we need numbers…2 CBs, 2 MFs and a winger/striker. GK looked better, but Fabs is bound to get hurt on Tuesday, no?

    Remember, Internationals are coming, plus those 6 extra matches for the CL group…

  276. Prince Paprika says:

    When will Dench get his chance if we keep pushing him down the pecking order? Why do other players get so many opportunities to justify their inclusions. Unless its SQ in this dept, id rather give our homegrown beast a chance and use that non-home grown spot on Karim Benzema.

    I used to love Flamini. I suppose if he is 85% of what he is capable of, id take a punt on him. The fact that he is a utility player and can play at both fullback positions would sway me, BUT…………..

  277. Prince Paprika says:

    17HT, i thought your avatar was a spider on a tight rope…..different strokes for different blokes, eh.

  278. 17highburyterrace says:

    Is Frimpong actually fit? Both ACLs have now been rebuilt? Still, it’s a long road back from that injury…

    I think we’re filling out our bench with unfit players, which says it all about our depth. Maybe Gnabry will at least get some garbage time on Tuesday. Yaya (I hope) wasn’t 100% today–or maybe his feet are just too big to make him appear as if he runs well…Perfectly positioned for the tap in that Theo couldn’t get to him…

    Personally, I cannot wait until the torture window closes, hopefully on the back of a modest surprise or two…And 3 points vs Totts…

  279. Bobby Sure says:

    JB- Actually read an article statistically analysing chelsea, us, man utd and city. Cant find the link but the mean number of all those teams for players who saw 20 plus games a season was 18. We actually have those numbers. Teams have won with a squad our size consistently every season. You forget we have significant injuries at the moment – these players will come back at some stage. Unless its a quality signing that would add something different, we dont actually need anybody.My guess is if we sign someone it will break our record transfer and be a significant signing. Wenger has been too patient. Situation is nothing like two seasons ago or last season when we desperately needed signings and it was pretty much non negotiable. Definitely not the same desperation by any means.

  280. James Bond says:

    not anytime soon or like never @ 17HT 😉

    ah, the sauce wants to smack me every time i bugger him for some inside scoop…he deals with all teams – in London.

    but says that getting anything with a substance from the Arsenal camp is like mission impossible, it’s all very very tight lipped in there unless it’s done on purpose or leaked by the other party ..hence his success rate re- Arsenal isn’t as good as West ham , Crystal Palace , QPR e.t.c

    in his defense, i doubt if anyone’s is when it comes to Arsenal.

    it’s just illogical for liverfool not to sell us Suarez when they would let him go for RM and then we get Benzema – the end result is such that we will get a SQ striker anyway and they will be without Suarez, may as well take the larger chunk of cash in one go from us – and be done with it….(they are wasting time in trying to get Suarez to sign a contract extension on new terms, more clear release clause UCL for £55 million and a pay hike- yet to be signed by Suarez).

  281. Bobby Sure says:

    http://abehnisch.com/on-arsenal-squad-size/ . . Heres the link if anyone cares for it. Dont know if im allowed to post links or not. Apologies if not

  282. ProudGooner says:

    Podolski time to shine today indeed Dylan, the Prince did well today he looked like a beast out there saving his energy for big impacts and he did it well. Every player out here put in a MOTM performance for me the best players today were Podolski , Szecency , Theo were right up there but Rambo just deserved it Giroud to did very very well a great week for the lads.
    COYG Proud Gooner i am indeed 🙂

  283. James Bond says:

    Bobby sure,

    good points, however, we could easily lose more players due to burn out , injuries and so on…which will thin our squad even more…

    take our bench for today’s game as an example – there were no game changers there….that is the difference between us , chelsea, utd and man city

    they will have least 2-3 game changers there…i.e. Mata/Lukaku/Schurrle………man city : Negredo/Nasri/Dzeko

  284. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey, Bobby, I get your point…The problem is that we’ve got too many key players who have had injury probs their ENTIRE careers. In that group I’d put (from back to front…) Fabianski, TV5, Gibbs, Arteta, Rosicky, Diaby and Wilshere. Theo, I think, is over his shoulder troubles…Ideally we’d get guys in who are BETTER than these players, plus somebody for the OX who, I fear, will have his seasoned compromised too… If not, at least people who can rotate with these fellas as they regain their fitness.

    Monreal was a good (desperation) solution at LB in January and Flamini might spell Arteta, still a body at keeper (or has Martinez really upped his game?) might be smart. We simply must get a CB in before the deadline…TV5 is hurt AND dropping him last season was key for our run-in. Some guys, sad as it is, never regain form after big injuries…

    All of that would be just to stay even and have a shot at keeping 4th…To climb higher (and deeper–in the cups) we need players who might put current guys on the bench. Who knows, with musical strikers being played a late opportunity might arise…I’m not holding my breath, of course…

  285. Prince Paprika says:

    yes you are 17ht….deep down we all are. haha

  286. James Bond says:

    cheers for the link Bobby,

    you see in theory it’s all jolly good that 18 member squad , however, psychologically it’s not very assuring considering you have least 3 players in the current 11 who are injury prone (JW,Gibbs,Theo).

    we don’t have the quality to cover 2 out of those 3, if for instance they were to break down tomorrow (hope not)…

    it’s playing with fire and i much rather utilize our funds very wisely and smartly, in getting 2-3 players – sorted.

    i’m convinced we will break our transfer record TWICE – no problems there then – just wish we hurry the fcuk up though!

  287. Bobby Sure says:

    JB- We will never have a comparable bench to the likes of city. That costs them hundreds of millions of pounds to have that luxury. In fact look at barca. Barca have a far less impressive bench match in match out compared to say a city or even a real madrid. But they get the job done, often with a bench and back ups filled with b team players or fancied journeymen like an adriano who act as temporary stylistic fillers. By the time you bring on subs you shouldnt really be looking at a last roll of the dice situation. If the core cant get it done consistently in that opening 65 then your never going to challenge for anything anyway. The real meat and drink of barca or any side is that core 13-15 players. As 17HBT raised the point, unless we’re replacing guys and putting current players on the bench, there isnt much point. That should be the transfer aim and if you look at the targets, it has been wengers aim thus far and I dont see any reason to subvert and buy for numbers sake. We dont really need to take any risk, financially. Unless we get a big player that we know is going to be a core member. City just buy. They dont consider these finer points. Thats why they end up with 2 or 3 guys who are exactly the same and thats why these teams never have sustained success. Which is what we should be aiming for. A run of 3-4 seasons winning trophies with the same core of players. Money has yet to do that for anyone.

  288. 17highburyterrace says:

    Good call PP(P?)…re: the breath holding 😆

    I agree that we’re in a couple of tantalizing triangles with RM (for Suarez and Bale) with Di Maria and/or Benzema possibly coming our way. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if at least 2 or 3 of those guys stay put. My hope is that something completely off the radar might be happening…

    If Poldolski could move like Walcott and Theo (and OG…) could finish like Lu-lu we’d be set. As it is, we’ll still feel the butt-hurt whenever RvP suits up for United…As such a 4th forward/winger type who can play the game AND get goals is sorely needed…

    More pressing issues further back, I still say, if we want to keep the restocking clubs (Spurs, Pool) in the rear-view…

  289. James Bond says:

    Bobby sure,

    let’s not be so sure about that just yet, maybe our bench can be better than $hity’s ?

    how ?

    the transfer window hasn’t closed yet.

    allow me to play the devils advocate…and let us all take a deep breath and imagine this :

    come 3rd of september we have the following players :

    Cesc/Rooney (1 of 2)

    Benzema/Suarez (1 of 2)

    Di Maria

    is our bench beginning to look a tad better now ? perhaps not even comparable but better than $hity’s ?

    all i’m saying is, that the window isn’t shut yet and by the end of it, we might end up with SQ players – and one thing you get with quality players is that they don’t need that much time to settle in as they are good to go !

  290. ProudGooner says:

    Did you Gooner’s notice Wenger played both Gibbs and Monea at the same time down the left for the last 20 minutes.?? I said in the last post i thought that could possibly work, i was pleased to see Wenger do it. It just goes to show them 2 are really good players and either could play as a wingr they are that goo, Gibbs played as a winger as a kid. It was Wenger that turned him into a LB. Your thoughts on that.??l

  291. James Bond says:

    Nacho was played because he might be starting vs Fen and also to give him some minutes after the injury @ PG

    we could do it because we were 3-0 ahead as well.

    most wingers turn into quality full backs and vice versa,

    Bale was a LB turned winger….

    one of our own at youth level currently is playing at RB when he was a winger – hector bellerin (he is quality, one for the future, for sure)

    plenty more examples like that @ PG, it’s all pretty normal but yes, they can be played there, why not ?

  292. 17highburyterrace says:

    I (continue to) agree with you, Bobby…and it’s bad for the game the way teams like RM, City (and Chelsea, if they actually land Willian and Rooney) stockpile the players…Hell, their 2nd 11s might give our first a run…

    While we’ve kept our squad over the summer (for the first time in 3 years) we’ve got no youth players making the jump to the first team (as of yet…) and the usual injury issues. Over time, buying cheaper guys is partly down to their injury history…Also, with TWO domestic cups and woeful or at least lax reffing in England, squads need to be deeper than say in Barca’s situation…A final item is that a lot of our boys travel and play with their national teams while the mid and lower table teams stay put and work on their reducers…

    We’ve got a good thing left over from the run-in last season, but the atmosphere at the home stadium is toxic from high expectations and mishandled public relations…

    Still, we’re doing better than we were a week ago…Big week coming…

  293. James Bond says:

    Nacho was played because he might be starting vs Fen and also to give him some minutes after the injury @ PG

    we could do it because we were 3-0 ahead as well.
    most wingers turn into quality full backs and vice versa,
    Bale was a LB turned winger….

    one of our own at youth level currently is playing at RB when he was a winger – hector bellerin (he is quality, one for the future, for sure)

    plenty more examples like that , PG, it’s all pretty normal but yes, they can be played there, why not ?

    PS: my comment awaiting moderation so re-posting it again

  294. 17highburyterrace says:

    Bond, I’ll take those bets if your bookie won’t, you are worse than the kids…

    So’ton equalize at the death…

  295. Bobby Sure says:

    ProudGooner – he did this against fenerbache. Interestingly, monreal player as the winger on both occasions.

    JB- Thats a big if mate in regard to those signings. We would be lucky to get one and i’d be thrilled to have one. One of those would make a massive difference. However I prefer not to deal in hypotheticals in regard to transfers. The same can be said for injuries. Yes there is an inevitability to every squad having a couple injuries but as long as core players stay fit. Our core can shift quickly too. Right now. In my opinion. We actually have all core players fit. Arteta is looking like he might play second fiddle to ramsey, chamberlain has never been a consistent starter and tv5 was on his way out of the starting 11. Arguably they are all bench players at this point. Still important. But as I stressed. You need your best players to stay fit to win trophies. Look at barcelona again who are in a similar situation to us. As long as xavi, messi, iniesta stay fit a majority of the season they will do well. Same can be said of us. If walcott, cazorla, giroud stay fit we will do fine. Although we are more egalitarian than barca the season will be decided by far fewer players than a whole squad of even 20. 5-6 guys playing at full potential are the key. Unless we get someone who is going to be one of those guys then we are just buying numbers. And wenger has always been a risk taker when its down the periphery players. One big difference between wenger and SAF is that wenger will take a chance on a squad player. Ferguson will pick the most solid reliable guy around.

  296. henrychan says:

    One win is better than two draw.. hehehe..
    The most important next.. is not CL qualification.. but next week again Spurs.. can We beat them 5-2..?? Hehe..

    So some players must get some rest.. and our youngster must play..

  297. ProudGooner says:

    17,
    I think we have got some young players making a break into the first team. We have Gnabry , Eisfeld, Zarleam excuss spelling. Akpom to name a few , i would bet all of them wil play for the first team this season. Compared to every other PL club we have both the best young players and the most pushing for a place.
    Do you not think that? All the players above are really really good.

  298. 17highburyterrace says:

    I noticed it PG and noticed we got a lot of trouble down the left (including the goal) once they were in…

    Bobby, still not really arguing with you and I agree about Bond and his transfer lunacy…City got our guy (Jovetic) and still couldn’t get him on the pitch in their opener…Sorry, but our bench will not be matching that…

    IF this is our squad then we’re only hoping to hold onto 4th and we need to get out of the cups ASAP…Maybe we can give the youngsters a run and give Fenerbache our spot come Tuesday…Oh wait, they might still lose their appeal on match-fixing… 🙄

    Again, I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is James and I’m mostly hoping for bodies and maybe something off the radar to warm up my heart and dull the pitchforks amongst the ticket buying support…

  299. 17highburyterrace says:

    PG, yeah, CapOne cup for sure. As real fill in, however, I have my doubts… We’ll see who plays on Tuesday, however…Even that one should be taken with a grain of salt. Fener must be looking past that one…

  300. ProudGooner says:

    17,
    That is a good point the Gibbs-Monreal down the left, it could confuss and cost a few goals if they were not drilled in to how to do it properly i suppose but i don’t think Wenger would over look that. I think that is something we will be see some more of. I like the idea and if done prperly i feel both defence and attack could do very well with those 2.

  301. ProudGooner says:

    17,
    Wenger has already said he will field a full strength team for Tuesday night, he said he will take no chances and get the job done.

  302. 17highburyterrace says:

    3 draws amongst the lower 14 (and their 3 pm kickoffs) should get the UMF people going…

    Benteke or Mingolet to win the late match? (for the Boingers…) I’m going for a 1-1, but the Villa goal from elsewhere…

  303. ProudGooner says:

    Villa at home ghives me some hope, lets be honent Liverpool should beat them easy but Villa are in form. Il go for 2-2. Though i fear Liverpool will win 2-1 i hope not.

  304. 17highburyterrace says:

    Every team AW puts out he “belieffs” in, PG…Just as every player he rotates out is carrying a knock…

    In other words, our manager speaks with a forked tongue. Other, less supportive types, might call it lying…

    Given a Tuesday-Sunday turnaround (Do Spurs play on Thursday?…) I think it will be a chance for the Wilshere-Ramsey combo to work another hour at least…Or will Flamini be in the fold by then?…

  305. ProudGooner says:

    IMO Flemini is a no brainer, but Wenger has watched him for the last 2 weeks so he knows better then us. As long as he is in form then it makes perfect sense at the moment surly.? Yeah agreed Wenger is not 1 to give his tactics away and to right really. Though at times its fustraightoing for us fans who want to know some news or what is going on especailly with transfers.

  306. James Bond says:

    Bobby Sure,

    fair enough the transfers may well be hypothetical’s (or maybe wishful thinking on my part), however, the injuries are not based on our last 8 years..

    let’s put it this way…

    i want us to have a decent group of 22 and not 18 ? why ? because when you train, you train hard and in training you need competition – leaving the rotation bit aside for now…how will our current crop improve if there is no one to push them and even make them aware that alright, if we fail to deliver, our place might no longer be a guarantee – hence they keep you on your toes – besides, man utd can completely change their team or back 4 and still win a football game,

    or they could easily choose 2 different teams capable of winning within 3 days of playing …our current crop with 18 is not good enough to do that in my opinion (even if we have all of them fit and raring to go).

    17HT,

    of course, it’s borderline lunacy but hey why blame me for it ? we are a big club with 100 million burning in our pockets – besides the transfer window hasn’t shut yet – impossible is nothing

    i appreciate that all of us are frustrated, but just because man $hity bought a few players, then it doesn’t mean they will automatically begin to deliver (Jovetic), he is good but not as people are expecting him to be i reckon.

    anyhow, let me know about the odds you’re going to be offering and i say, why not ?;)

    Henrychan,

    agreed – bring on the spuds

    roll on sunday !

  307. James Bond says:

    i have a comment in moderation for you PG, left that one straight after your comment – cheers.

    to add to the above comment re- hypothetical’s – then the transfers may well be, our injuries are not based on the last 8 years hence it’s hard to ignore them and then play in 4 competitions at the same time actually 5 competitions (international’s).

  308. James Bond says:

    let us all take a deep breath re- Transfers and relax,

    besides, it could be worse

    spare a thought for NEWCASTLE.

    🙂

  309. ProudGooner says:

    JB,
    Ok. On the Transfers yeah best not to let it all whind you up, i think i have been that fustraighted with it that now i just dont mind any more. Wenger will find great players IMO fact, Its still open, JW comments on Wenger were telling , players love playing for him regardless of his mistakes he deserves our respect. Jacks comments were needed fans must realise that we have a great manager. Lets just worry about the football on the pitch for a week or so.

  310. James Bond says:

    while we all doing that, also enjoy this from AW :

    on if he’ll strengthen before the Fenerbahce game…?

    Before the Fenerbahce game? No.

    guess the sauce was spot on after all – sleep time till tuesday it is.

  311. James Bond says:

    exactly @ PG

    was a great game to watch though even for the neutrals, should be the first one on MOTD tonight i reckon ! great entertainment and we should get box office on the beeb, i just hope that mug Alan.S isn’t on the panel

  312. ProudGooner says:

    I have to say as well the goal keeper was awesome today, he had a great match and for me was as much MOTM as Rambo

  313. 17highburyterrace says:

    007,

    Toon got a draw against mighty West Ham today. To be fair, it appears Fat Sam was protecting Andy Carroll from the rabble up there. (Or is hurt, perhaps a beating at the hands of a girlfriend…) Par-Dieu hasn’t exactly worked the French connection quite to AW levels…

    OK, Rooney & Cesc coming to Arsenal…I’ll give you 10-1 on either and 50-1 on both…Why don’t you just send me the money?…I take Paypal…

    😆

  314. ProudGooner says:

    JB,
    For me its Lineker that does my head in on MOTD he is always taking swipes at Wenger and the Club. I cant stand him anymore and i used to love him when he played for England even though he was a spud, it was deffo to best match of the day.

  315. 17highburyterrace says:

    Or is *he* hurt…

    Rambo, Sir Chez MOTM? Surely it was Ollie…Taking that shot of Ramsey’s out of his own feet for the 1st and doing likewise to lead the break for the 3rd…

    Goal a game for the big fellow…

    Likewise for Sturridge at Villa in the 21st min

  316. James Bond says:

    Andy.C is not match fit just quite yet,

    you can do better odds than that, come on ahahahahahahhahahhhhhahaha

    on a more serious note, Rooney has been plan B from my understanding but we all know, you really love his new hair 😉

    PG,

    Sczny had a good game but in between, he did have his moments as well – he can still do better.

    Santi Cazorla had a great game for me – perhaps he needs to play at his normal position a tad more with poldi on the left ?

  317. ProudGooner says:

    17,
    Big Ollie did very well, he was another that could of been MOTM there was loads of hem out there today everyone played really well. I mean you could put a strong case for Podolski.

  318. ProudGooner says:

    I don’t like seeing Toure in a Liverpool shirt,

  319. ProudGooner says:

    does anyone know if Alex Song has even kicked a ball for Barcelona this season yet? He made a huge mistake going there.

  320. Glic says:

    Well that was an enjoyable match to watch !. I have never had Sky Sports ( too much money imo ) so this free BT Sport is great !. I was really impressed with the format. There was an interview with AW, in which AW revealed Higuain was not a special target ! and that he ( as he has said many a time before ) is after Quality not quantity, he also said he was looking in the striker and defender department, but because of injuries he is also looking for midfield as well , didn`t mention goal keepers !.
    Tony Adams did a little technical performance with some youngsters showing how/why Arsenal`s midfield were at fault against Villa, basically they ( Ramsey ) pushed too high when they should have kept deeper and not given Benteke room in the “hole” between Arsenals Flat 4 lines of defence and midfield !.
    I know he is nuts but TA made a lot of sense, especially that we need a vocal leader in the middle of defence who will command, instruct and organise not only the defence but also those in front of him, basically we need another Adams !.
    As for the game, I thought everyone played well. Szczesny pulled of a great double save and looked his usual uber confident self. Theo, although not on the score sheet always looked threatening. Sagna looks comfortable again as a make shift CB and although Ramsey got the Motm award for a full of running keeping it ticking over display my Motm was Santi, great feet, love it when he feigns to shoot but doesn`t , just gave the impression of when he has the ball close to the oppo`s area, something is going to happen !.
    Great display of passing the ball in conditions where a snorkel wouldn`t have looked out of place !.
    But lets not forget, he still needs to buy some SQ, as our bench lacked depth and experience !.

  321. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nice match report, Glic…’Twas moist, no doubt, a condition I’m sure you enjoy…

    Good to know that our next manager (Adams) can do the xxxxs and oooos….

    We (or at least I…) need Villa to get up for the draw (at least)… Whoa…Benteke 2 feet higher than Kolo, heads high…

  322. 17highburyterrace says:

    Oh, watching the match we’ve got the craziest hair restoration of them all on display…Can you, Mr. Glic, comment on the Clattenrug?… 😆

  323. Glic says:

    I think Stretch has a pair of wide trousers the same colour as this background which he wears at the Brentwood and Harlow night clubs to impress the ladies !. Known as his Solar Flares !…that aided by his teeth going supernova the blinded bints have no chance !. hahaha

  324. 17highburyterrace says:

    Glic, I’m picturing Terry, minus the syrup, of course, to appear just like my avatar…Toothy and riding the zimmerframe (known over here as a “walker”)….Please advise me… I’m trying to teach my son the type of fella to run away from, no matter how much candy (or liquor or special pills…) are on offer…

  325. Glic says:

    Clattenrug hahaha and yes 17….I have been known to make the ladies have a mini tsunami in their underwear !. 🙂

  326. Alcide says:

    So who played with Rambo on the double pivot? TR7? Or did Arsene go 4-1-2-2-1?

  327. 17highburyterrace says:

    I didn’t see much of a double pivot…To me it was a straight 4-3-3…Rambo went forward over and over and over…He tracks back more (perhaps) so people were worried he’d pick up a 2nd yellow after the silly early challenge…Back 4 (again) were rather on their own, I thought…

  328. Glic says:

    17ht……VCC`s the one with the “walker”…..a troubled soul….only the other day he kept pestering me about how he is really into the “3D TV`s”…..the bastard would tune into his favourite LadyBoy porno channel, strip off, put on the 3D glasses and try and ride a Lady Boy whilst blowing on another !……fair enough, each to their own, but in his local Curry`s/PC World store full of children !….no wonder he`s been banned for life !. hahahaha

  329. VCC says:

    GLiC……were you there ? I had so much fun. I got banned from John Lewis as well. 😉

  330. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sorry for the confusion…I can’t keep you guys, er, straight… 😆

    Villa fail to get it by Mingo-Lay… two matches, two 1-nils to the you’ll never use your walker alone types…:roll:

  331. ProudGooner says:

    ha ha ha ha ha ha

  332. ProudGooner says:

    i think we should all chip in and get VCC a 3D TV so the streets are safe again.Or next he might take a tube of KY jelly then the people in the store will really be in trouble.

  333. ProudGooner says:

    what does VCC stand for?

  334. Glic says:

    Vehemently Consumes Cock !.

  335. Glic says:

    Victoria Concordia Crescit ……..” victory comes from harmony ! “

  336. ProudGooner says:

    ha ha ha haaa
    i might watch a bit of the sampdoria v juventus game, i cant make my mind up what take away to ave.? Images of VCC in his 3D glasses are not helpling . ohh what to ave.??

  337. Glic says:

    You can scout Pogba for us PG !.

  338. ProudGooner says:

    Ohh does he play for them. Ok i will do Doctor, i will let you know my if he is good enough for to walk on our hallowed turf in my expert opinon.

  339. ProudGooner says:

    its on BT sport, i am watching it now on the lappy.

  340. VCC says:

    Proud Gooner…..I’d like a 60″ one please

  341. Highbury Harmony says:

    PG, did you watch the same game? OG did very well? He scored a goal but did not do much else, yet again.

  342. Highbury Harmony says:

    I disagree 17ht, I thought OG was very invisible yet again today. He had two nice plays and good defensive contribution but not much else.

  343. shemmel says:

    Glic, Latin word order is subject, object, verb. Crescere used transitively means to cultivate. So victoria (victory, subject) concordia (harmony, object) crescit means “victory cultivates harmony”. Instructive considering the current boo boys at the Grove.

    Also am I the only person to think that Wenger has never made use of the expansive pitch he insisted upon at the Grove? Always thought Highbury was more of a fortress, and think it can only be because of the small pitch we enjoyed there; AW remarked on Fulham’s small pitch pre-match but I thought we looked much better/resembled the way we used to play at Highbury on that than we ever do at the Grove.

  344. Highbury Harmony says:

    I would like him to be more involved in the build up and hold the ball up more often near the box, but it seemed that the majority of our play came from deeper today and the flanks. Could maybe have been a case of OG being invisible because he does not fit into our strategy as much (less crosses today).

  345. ProudGooner says:

    its still on now in 2nd half. Pogba just got a lovely assit for Tevez he is playing well, a very unselfish asist 1 nil juve

  346. ProudGooner says:

    i got a little distracted whilst eating my T-smoked chicken my tooth half broke off, thank you kitchen sink , it was the best chinese i ever eaten as well bitter sweet lol such as life, im still wacthing and scout mr Pogba though.

  347. Milo says:

    Giroud is Giroud…He’ll never be Dennis Bergkamp or Wayne Rooney, or even Matt Le Tissier, or any forwards of that ilk, who are constantly involved in the build-up 😦 But what he will do more of this season, is finish off his chances!!! 😀 I still think his flick-ons are improving, but his passing isn’t very good. What does this mean??? He won’t be a starting striker for us, if/once we find a better player or “solution” as Wenger likes to say! What he will do is a good job for us, and he’ll get on the end of things and score scrappy goals like the one he did today. If he can do this on a more regular basis than last season, I will be happy. He does draw a lot of attention from defenders on set-pieces, as well as from open play, and I think this is valuable. I know you are all about the flash HH 😉 but as Wenger said, he is an old fashioned English number 9, who does have some value, if only as a plan B for our club. I would rather we have a more mobile centre-forward as well, but for now, I think he’ll do a good enough job for us. That does’t mean I wouldn’t want to have a better player for our system though!!! Benzema, Suarez, Villa, even Cazorla MIGHT be better options for our system, but for now, it’s Giroud, and I’ll back him IF he keeps scoring goals.

  348. Highbury Harmony says:

    Agreed Milo, I am happy with what Giroud provides for us. He is good in the air and acts as a quality target man. He’s also happy to be here and based on his comments he even understands that Arsenal need another striker and one that fits the mould of Wengerball more.

  349. ProudGooner says:

    HH,
    OG ran his nuts of almost in a knid of defend high up, very high up if you see what i mean kind of way, the only real chance he had he took and scored. It was was energy i liked and his willingness to get stuck in.

  350. Highbury Harmony says:

    Milo, it’s not necessarily about the “flash” mate. It’s about having a ST that can find those soft spots (similar to how Poldi did today) and one that can create something out of nothing. Also, a more fluid/mobile ST would allow us to create all sorts of confusion for opposing teams in seeing that we play with two free role wingers as it is right now.

  351. Highbury Harmony says:

    PG, I wouldn’t say he had a great game though. Running nuts is useless if you’re not running smart – he chased down Parker but he just had to turn twice and OG fell on the ground because he couldn’t keep up. He finished the one chance he had which was great, but he was lucky to get that as he tried to get out of the way and the ball happened to hit his foot. Still, one must be lucky to score sometimes!

  352. ProudGooner says:

    Milo ,
    I also agree with most of what you say, i like to think of him as our modern day Alan Smith. Think of him like that and everyone will see he is more then just useful

  353. Highbury Harmony says:

    One of Poldi, Santi, Sagna or Jenkinson (mental lapse on goal aside) had to be the MoTM today. I thought Ramsey was good, but wasn’t too fond of his turnovers and silly challenges.

  354. ProudGooner says:

    HH,
    he got his chance by doing the oppersite to what you said making (useless runs) he made a good run chasing things up. His scored in his last 6 games i think, he is not making useless runs at all, far from it. He is improving all the time. Like you said he wants another striker as well everything says his working hard and wants what is best for the team all of which i like. I think he had a good game.

  355. ProudGooner says:

    Szec had a good game as well, the whole team played well, you could make a case for many of them. Micheal Owen decided MOTM he deffo played very well.

  356. Highbury Harmony says:

    PG, when I said OG makes “useless runs”, I was clearly referring to when he was chasing down Parker, get your understanding correct. Second of all, I never said his run was useless when he accidentally got the ball on his foot from Ramsey’s shot. I said he happened to get lucky when the ball struck his foot since he was running in – he was looking for a rebound shot.

  357. Highbury Harmony says:

    There were times when you couldn’t even tell OG was on the pitch. He was pretty invisible today ASIDE from the goal and his nice touch to bring the ball down that led to our third goal.

  358. Milo says:

    Yeah I know, Ramsey did turn the ball over too many times!!! He seems to do it in the second half of matches too, which is usually the more critical half of a football match!!! 😀 hahahahaha 😀 I hope he does clean those up!!! His turns are much tighter and sharper than they ever were before, but sometimes he can fall in love with them…That’s not good.

  359. ProudGooner says:

    you clearly dont like the player, if when his scoring goals week in week out, you still what to slag him off or puck him out and fault him. Then there is nothing i can say that will change your mind. what more has the man got to do.

  360. ProudGooner says:

    he scored v – villa v-fener v-fulham. maybe he was a bit tierd coz his been working his nuts off. IMO he played well,

  361. Milo says:

    I think HH likes the player, he just doesn’t see him fitting in to our system at it’s OPTIMUM level…I agree with him on that. Giroud IS improving on the more technical aspect of his role, and who knows how good he could become??? I just don’t think he’ll ever be a natural regarding the finer points of possession football for a striker in our system.

    Also, don’t get me wrong, if I were to have a player’s replica kit form this squad it would be Ramsey’s as that boy has got all the heart one could wish for!!! He also has more than enough talent!!! He DOES have to stop turning the ball over cheaply though, and I think if he cuts this out of his play entirely, he will become as good as Arteta.

  362. Highbury Harmony says:

    So, any criticism of a player’s game automatically means that I hate them? I didn’t think Theo had a great game either, he was also decidedly average, so does that mean I hate him? I also criticized Santi the past game for looking lethargic and not influential enough, so does that mean I hate him?

    Again, I thought OG did not have a great game. I thought he was average and the fact that he scored was great, but far from a “good” performance. Not nearly involved in the offence and build up play for me and I just didn’t really notice him aside from two plays.

    To suggest he was MoTM material because of two good plays is ridiculous. Look at the larger picture, the player who deserves MoTM is one that is involved from start to finish. Just because you score a goal, does not automatically mean you had a “good” performance.

  363. Highbury Harmony says:

    Thank you Milo, that is EXACTLY what I was saying. I don’t hate OG at all, I just don’t think he fits the system. He’s an excellent plan B and the perfect option to join in a game as a sub to help give us some diversity to our attack.

  364. Highbury Harmony says:

    Milo, the silly challenges and turnovers were my only criticisms of Ramsey’s game. I thought he played better than average though, just not as great as he was vs. Fenerbache!

  365. Highbury Harmony says:

    I should also mention that I thought Per had an excellent game. It was criminal that we weren’t able to keep the clean sheet, as he was blocking shots and clearing balls left right and center.

  366. Milo says:

    I always get pissed when we let in the final goal of a match!!! It doesn’t matter if we’re winning by 20, you don’t want that feeling of concession to carry over in to the next match!!! Not to mention, we had such a great chance to keep a clean sheet 😦 I don’t know how we conceded really…I mean we obviously fell asleep, but how do you at this level??? It’s an even higher level than the other professional sports, as EVERYONE AND THEIR SON PLAYS FOOTBALL!!! There is sooooooooooo much competition for places and all that. We should and have to cut out those silly mistakes!!! Look at Liverpool today. They didn’t give Villa a sniff, and if it is anything to go by, the start of the season is showing that they WILL be a force this season. Their squad depth will hurt them a bit, but they still have players like Sterling, Cissoko, Wisdom (Whom I like a lot) and maybe someone I am missing on their bench, not to mention that Suarez WILL come back eventually, if he isn’t transferred. The competition is fiercer than ever this season, and we have to be up to snuff in every department of our play!!!

  367. Highbury Harmony says:

    Milo, Liverpool are a good team if they keep Suarez:

    ST – Suarez, Sturridge, Aspas, Borini
    LW – Coutinho, Assaidi
    RW – Aspas, Sterling, Borini
    CAM – Gerrard, Henderson, Alberto
    DM – Lucas, Allen, Ibe
    LB – Enrique, Cissokho
    CB – Agger, K.Toure, Skrtel, Coates
    RB – Johnson, Wisdom, Kelly
    GK – Mignolet, Jones

    As you can see, not EXCEPTIONAL but will definitely challenge for 4th-6th.

  368. ProudGooner says:

    the pair of you forget something Wenger designed our style of play, he brought Giroud and rates . If you 2 think you know better then him then you are wrong. We all have an opinion but to think you know better then Wenger well,i think he is coming on loads and if he puts him in the team and he scores. I would not have picked OG for MOTM and yes i watched it all live. I would have picked either Santi, Rambo or Podolski, i said many players played a MOTM performance yes

  369. Highbury Harmony says:

    PG, none of us are saying we know better than AW. You can just see that our offensive play looks somewhat disjointed when we try to include OG in the attack. The play isn’t as fluid and our players are not used to playing the ball through the air (aside from the GK who uses OG as an outlet).

    The amount of crosses we throw into the box is a result of OG being our lone ST. This was never a normality during RVP’s time here and has since been included. If you look at the majority of our build up play when we’re successful, the ball ends up on Theo’s foot along the ground. The midfielders look to send him into an outlet where he can run to and we create scoring chances at our best in this way.

  370. Milo says:

    Yeah, did you know their record without Suarez is almost TWICE as good as with him in their starting 11??? I was shitstruck when I heard that!!! :O

    By the way, Lee Dixon did the commentary for NBC, and I thought he was terrific!!! 😀 Not to mention him always harking back to the good old days, when he was with us in that famous back 5/6 (If you include Bould)

    I haven’t seen Spurs play yet, and I’ll probably miss tomorrow’s match 😦 I hope they get their asses kicked in through their ears!!! 😀 That would be good.

    I think Andre Wisdom can play as a centre -back as well, and I was surprised he didn’t and doesn’t get more match play with Liverpool!!! Wouldn’t mind having him over here with us in the future, if he shows a good enough level!

  371. Highbury Harmony says:

    Our best offensive plays come when Santi, Ramsey, Jack or Rosa are dictating and send in Theo on the right, with Pod and Gibbs combining well on the left along the ground too. Pod is great at finding the soft spaces and has a better understanding of where to be in the box to score goals.

  372. Highbury Harmony says:

    To be fair Milo, Kolo Toure has been in excellent form for Liverpool during pre-season and the EPL season so far. It’d be difficult to displace him out of the current line-up right now.

    Normally, that statistic would have shocked me but I did a ton of research on Goofy once I heard we were bidding for his services. Liverpool play looser when Suarez is on the pitch because they are not as concerned about scoring since they will create more chances when he is on the pitch.

  373. Highbury Harmony says:

    Wenger confirms that we will not be strengthening before Tuesday’s match against Fenerbache. Also, he states that he’ll go with a strong line-up yet again.

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wenger-on-victory-transfers-and-ramsey

    Here’s to hoping none of our players get injured from playing three games in one week…

  374. Milo says:

    I can see both sides to the Giroud thingy…Wenger rates him, he is scoring (right now) and he seems to be a good guy! 😀 On the flip side, we could do with a more natural fit at centre-forward for our style of play, AND Wenger knows this, as he has gone/is going after at least one of Suarez and Benzema. I really do see both sides…Wenger does too, so to stick yourself on one side completely would be erroneous. I think if he had his choice, Wenger would have both types of players at his disposal, and rotate depending on fitness and opponent. That is just MY theory, and I’m only speculating here.

  375. Milo says:

    True regarding Toure HH, although I’m NOT a member of the Glenn Johnson Fan Club, if you know what I mean!!! 😀

  376. Highbury Harmony says:

    Milo @ 22:10, 100% agreed. OG offers great variety to our attack and a dimension that we have not had in a while. If we could sign a SQ fluid, mobile ST, I reckon they’d start 70% of games and OG would start the other 30%. However, if need be we could even pair both together and we’d maximize OG’s abilities since he wouldn’t have to drop back and try to get involved in the build up.

  377. ProudGooner says:

    fair enough i dont come on here to argue and i done with the OG talk for now, but Wemger clearly wants that kind of striker in the team, before him it was Chamahk both similar kind of players except OG is tons better. Wenger like OG even when we get another striker i think he will still be here for a good few years.

  378. ProudGooner says:

    But if i feel someone is being over critical of one of our players when he is giving his all and scoring i will stick up for em

  379. ProudGooner says:

    milo
    22:10 that is right, you can have an edudo in your team, but play him agaist stoke and they kick him bits, bust him up

  380. ProudGooner says:

    agianst half the teams in this league you need to be strong and commited in challenges etc, or have a strong arial game all of which Giroud is the man

  381. Milo says:

    Oh for sure, PG. Wenger wouldn’t get rid of Giroud just because he brings in another striker, and you can gather that from Giroud’s and Wenger’s quotes. He won’t kick up a fuss, in fact he said he would welcome the competition/help that another striker would bring to the club!!! 😀 At the best clubs, you NEED to have a deep AND diverse set of players!!! 😀 To rely on one style of play is risky, and although Wenger doesn’t always admit it, we had two styles of play last season, and it worked! We can also combine these two or however many number of methods, to overcome certain opposition, for sure! Too much of one thing (ala Barca) is easy to defend against once you figure it out tactically. You cannot play offside for a quicker striker, while still covering behind for a long ball to Giroud, or something like that!!! 😀 hahahaha, I was never the most tactically adept player, but you know what I mean. It’s hard to defend in to different ways at the same time, if not completely impossible!!!

  382. Highbury Harmony says:

    PG, when did I say I didn’t want OG in the team?! I’ve always maintained that OG is a fantastic plan B and a perfect option to add variety to our attack in games where nothiig else is working for us.

    Just because I was not thrilled with his performances the last two games does not mean I want him gone…

  383. Highbury Harmony says:

    PG, to give you an accurate representation of how I felt our starters did today:

    Great game: Per, Sagna, Santi, Poldi
    Good game: Ramsey, Jenks, Gibbs, Ches
    Average: Giroud, Theo, Rosicky

  384. Highbury Harmony says:

    Uhh did someone compare not needing depth to Barca’s situation? Barca doesn’t need depth because they also have a plethora of world-class players in their squad that also happen to be fairly durable.

    I don’t think a single one of our current players would displace a single player in Barca’s starting 11, bar Koscielny.

  385. ProudGooner says:

    i just dont think you should single him out, saying he was invisable when scored, like the last 3 games. when we won and everyone played well, and you singled him out as the only player that had a bad game.
    Even just calling him a plan B , you have not seen his best yet, his just finding his feet.
    I know from posts weeks ago that you was not his biggest fan, i can remember i few things you typed about him, just give the man a chance, his trying his best and his scoring.i never said you hated him i said you didn’t like him. He wants a strike partner. Last year perhaps that is why the burden was so hard on him. Where as Sonogo will get a chance to find his feet in good time.

  386. Milo says:

    No HH, I said that Barca didn’t have any other way of playing and therefore it became easy for Bayern to beat them. If you can defend even just well, you have a chance of beating Barca. I didn’t compare our depth to theirs…That would be reallllllllly stupid of me.

  387. Highbury Harmony says:

    PG, I’ve criticized Theo, OG and Ramsey for various aspects of their games today alone. Scoring a goal means SHIT! It’s great that a player scores a goal, but when they go on to do basically NOTHING ELSE like he did at Fenerbache, it DOES NOT mean he had a good game!!!!!

    Just because you have a hard on for OG, does not mean that I have to reserve my criticisms of his game. I am not OG’s biggest fan and am not overly fond of him in any way whatsoever. However, that does not mean I want him gone from the club.

  388. Highbury Harmony says:

    Milo, I was actually referring to Bobby S mate ;).

  389. Glic says:

    Wenger say`s nothing before Tuesday`s game and it`s only a possibility before the Spud game !.
    Can you imagine the shit that will hit the fan if we actually don`t buy anyone and then lose at home to the Spuds !. Surely we are going to buy….aren`t we ?.
    Sunday week could end up being one of the most talked about day`s in Arsene`s career and for all the wrong reasons !. Could be entertaining and a news reporters dream !. hahaha

  390. Highbury Harmony says:

    Glic, to be honest at this point the results won’t make a difference if we buy or don’t buy. AW simply does not have the urgency in bringing players in and is hinging his hopes that player prices will drop significantly come deadline day.

  391. Milo says:

    Who’s Bobby S again/for the first time??? 😀 hahahahaha 😀

  392. ProudGooner says:

    see i told you he didnt like OG , you just showed that you dont fully understand his value, his scoring goals is great but i dont thi nk you understand the other work he does on the pitch.

  393. Glic says:

    HH
    If we beat the Spuds Sunday week after not buying anyone of SQ, I will be bouncing off the ceiling !. Once I`ve calmed down ( could be weeks later ! ) I will be calling for AW`s resignation !. Only 8 days and a bit for him to change my mind !. Not that my opinion or anyone else`s on here mean jack shit to AW !.

  394. Highbury Harmony says:

    Milo, the poster’s name is Bobby Sure…he made some good points about us technically having enough players in our squad to contend in multiple competitions, but his theory fell short since he was not considering the sheer number of injury-prone players contained within that number of 18 squad players we have.

    He then went on to claim that 18 was more than enough and that we didn’t need numbers and only quality since Barca work with the same number or less! I agree that quality is needed, but we’re also short numbers too…

    I gather the 18 he was referring to were Szczesny, Fabianski, Gibbs, Monreal, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Sagna, Jenkinson, Ramsey, Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla, Rosicky, Walcott, Chamberlain, Podolski and Giroud.

    However, looking at that group of 18, I count 12 that are either currently injured or have a history of injury complications.

  395. Highbury Harmony says:

    PG, are you mentally delayed?

  396. Highbury Harmony says:

    Why can’t you single out players who didn’t play well when we won and scored goals? There’s no such thing as constructive criticism? You are hopeless…

  397. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post 🙂

  398. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hahaha Glic, be prepared to be likely disappointed in terms of not buying any SQ player before the Spuds game.

  399. TotalArsenal says:

    HH you are going to love my match report hahaha 😀

    Please keep it friendly guys. 🙂

  400. ProudGooner says:

    No there is nothing wrong with, i aint the 1 with the problem you clearly are.

  401. Highbury Harmony says:

    It’s difficult to keep it friendly when there is an individual in the thread who continually fails to comprehend the English language.

  402. TotalArsenal says:

    Come on HH, you do not need to insult a fellow blogger – you are bigger than that… 😕

  403. ProudGooner says:

    its ok TA il leave it there i said all i wanted too. lol

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