Report & Ratings: Orcs slain, Rambo does it again, Özil is unbelievable

StartingvsOrcs (1)

After a tough midweek away fixture in France, Arsenal faced a visit from Stoke this weekend. Today was set to be Özil’s home debut and the fans would not be disappointed by what he had in store.

The game today saw Arsenal start out strong but become tired in the second half and start to drag a little, before some late substitutions brought some life back into the game.

One interesting note about our starting line-up today: Theo Walcott was set to start the game on the right wing, before a change was made about 10 minutes before kick off and 18 year old Serge Gnabry made his first Premier League start for Arsenal. From what Wenger said, Theo had an abdominal problem and should be fine.

All three assists today came from our record signing, Mesut Ozil. And surprisingly, we put three goals past Stoke through set pieces! This truly shows how good Özil’s delivery is.

Özil showed off his excellent delivery for the first time today after just five minutes. The German had a wonderful shot from a free kick just outside the box. Begović dove and managed to palm it away, only for the man of the moment, Aaron Ramsey, to fire the rebound coolly into the net.


Then in the 26th minute the Orcs would get lucky. A decent ball was hoofed in the box by Orc #1. Per was unable to keep up with Orc #2 and Orc #2 fired a shot against the post. Had it been on target, Szczesny likely would’ve gotten to it, but it cannoned of the post back to Orc #3, who put it in the net. Not much can be blamed other than Per’s lack of pace. Maybe someone should’ve been tracking Orc #3, but I’ll put this goal down to luck because the ball could just have easily hit the post and gone out, or bounced to Szczesny or anywhere but back to a Stoke player.

Özil would then show his class again, delivering a corner in to Per who flashed it across goal with his head, only for it to be cleared of the line. However, Özil and Per would repeat this in the 36th minute and this time Mertesacker’s looping header would find its way just inside the far post. It was an excellently placed header for the second time that game from our BFG. He looked thrilled to score for the Arsenal again, and it’s always great to see the goals coming from all over the team.

After half time the team seemed to tire. Playing three fixtures in a week really seemed to take its toll, especially on Jack and Aaron. I would’ve liked to see Ryo come on for Jack around the 60th minute to keep the team fresh and to protect Jack from the vicious Stoke players, but the subs would come eventually.

Özil would deliver his final assist in the 72nd minute, again off a set piece. He curled in a cross from the left side if the field and this time it would be Sagna to put a looping header over Begović. As far as I know, this was Sagna’s first goal since he played his part in the first 5-2 against Tottenham. We really need to get that lad signed up on a contract extension, even if he has to make the move to centre back permanently as he ages and his mobility leaves him. He knows the Arsenal style of play and has experience and talent; we really do need to keep him.

The game, once again ended 3-1 to the mighty Arsenal. The only real complaint being that we didn’t keep a clean sheet. However, we are once again top of the league and this time we will stay there.

Player Ratings:

Szczesny: 7/10; Had a rather average performance. Wasn’t at fault for the goal and did well smothering a low cross late on.

Sagna: 7.5/10; Also had a rather average performance, but did well to score the goal. Still looking solid in old age and needs to be resigned.

Mertesacker: 8/10; Was an animal at the heart of our defense today. Jumped on Jones’ bad touch when he was nearly through on our goal and scored an excellent header to put us ahead.

Koscielny: 7/10; A quiet performance, but sometimes that’s what you want from defenders. Just went about his business, did well to distract Begović on Per’s goal and it’s good to see him being less rash and not giving away penalties.

Gibbs: 6.5/10; Also quiet, but seemed quite tired. Didn’t do much going forward and Flamini seemed to be covering at the LB spot a lot, implying that Gibbs was out of position a bit too often. He did have his moments though.

Ramsey: 7/10; Was in great position to score the rebound off the first free kick, but tired quickly after so many games in such a short time.

Flamini: 7.5/10; Had fantastic distribution and did well covering for the tired Gibbs when he was caught out of position. He continued to show his value to the team and his signing looks to be a stroke of genius.

Özil: 9/10; Had fantastic delivery from set pieces. Four especially notable ones, including the three goals and Per’s first header.

Gnabry: 7/10; Had some good moves down the field. Could’ve been through on one occasion, had Huth not leveled him. Also looked strong defensively. Looked great for an 18 year old and hopefully he gets more chances soon.

Giroud: 7/10; Had a rather average game. Tried an acrobatic effort late on, but really didn’t do much creating chances for others or himself. However, was helpful defensively and won more than a few free kicks.

Wilshere: 6.5/10; Was clearly targeted by Stoke. Had his moments in the first half, but tired quickly and should’ve been taken off sooner.


Ryo: 6.5/10; Came on late for Gnabry. Didn’t do much, but added some pace to the team towards the end and did well to keep the ball in once down the right wing, but had a terrible cross. Overall, needs more time. I expect him to play midweek.

Monreal: 7/10; Shored up our defense at the end. Subbed on late for Wilshere.

Arteta: 7/10; Made his return from injury. Subbed on late for Özil in his more natural attacking midfield position. Will likely play midweek for fitness.

Note: This is my first time doing player ratings, at the request of JB. Please tell me what you think and if you would like me to continue doing this.

For now I’ll leave you with some questions:

  1. What did you think of the team’s performance today?
  2. How important is it for Arsenal to sign Sagna to a new deal?
  3. Do you think Wenger is responsible for the team’s good form and togetherness?

Thanks for reading. 😀

Written by: Dylan.

94 thoughts on “Report & Ratings: Orcs slain, Rambo does it again, Özil is unbelievable

  • Di Canio gone!!!

    Sunderland have parted with Di Canio; just announced on MOTD.

    That was one of predictions as well in TA’s predictions post. 😀

  • TA, it was announced as soon as MOTD started. They said they will be talking about it more later on in the show.

    I don’t what too think. The next manager to come in will have a huge job. I can see them going down. I also predicted that as well. 😀

  • Cheers Dylan 🙂

    Good choice by the Sunderland management, I reckon.

    Oz, previous post.

    It is good for us to have the Spuds competing with us right now: it is an extra motivation to keep winning and help us to increase the gap with the rest, whilst we all know the skinny chicken gets knackered in March and falls away hamlessly! 🙂

  • Dylan – really good match report in which you have covered the essence once more. Also agreed on the player ratings although I would have given Ozil an eight and Flamini an eight as well. Ozil played well and three assists from set-pieces is worth an eight but not more imo. Towards the end, Flamini was immense for us: he read the game so well and snuffed out danger constantly by being at the right place at the right time.

    I did not think we played very well today, but we were efficient and it was clear that Stoke missed a quality striker up-front. One again our defence was left exposed at times and we really need to play more compact at home (and away from our box). But yes, the team looked tired towards the end and all in all we played as best as we could and won it fair and square.

    It was great to see both BFG and Sagna scoring today, and like you said, it is good that the goals are being spread throughout the team at the moment.

    I thought Stoke played some decent football and except for the fouls on Wilshere, they were fair in the duels, and I was impressed with Nzonzi and Cameron (who took his chance well).

    Who is next for OGAAT?! 🙂

  • im happy with arsenal BUT I do wish we had a top striker, I hope we go in for wayne rooney in January. united look awful but rooney looks like hes playing for a move away. come on wenger bring rooney in

  • Today’s game between Citeh and Manure was great evidence of how 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 is likely to suffer against 4-2-3-1. MU were overran and outpassed in midfield and truly humbled today. MC looked sharp and hungry, but let’s see how they fare against Villa away next week…

    afc – Rooney deserves praise for his performance, agreed. Now that we have Ozil, I cannot see Wenger going for Rooney any more, but you never know.

  • Good win today.. We missed theo though, its much easier playing against us when theo isnt playing. I felt stoke were pretty comfortbale today knowing theres no threat of anyone going behind them, regardless of his individual performances, tactically theo is much more important than some people think, good to get the 3 points though!

  • nice one , Dylan and 11 out of 10 for adding in the player ratings as well to your weekly article.

    so we won 3-1 ? PG must be well chuffed as that’s his lucky number ; )

    our performance ? well, i said it as soon as OoooooooooOOOooZil came to the emirates that in him we have that 1-4 player , finally and he would easily relieve Theo of his set pieces and corners – The Visionary wasn’t wrong there was he ? i’m glad he’s returning his managers and The Visionary’s faith and trust in him (as well as paying a hefty return on that 40 million investment courtesy increased shirt sales, ha

    back to reality then, i wasn’t entirely convinced with our performance, but the important thing is that we won even when we were having a slightly off day ? we were not our usual best but that’s to be expected after a tiring period ? (what tiring period ? success is the best antidote that keeps one fresh), don’t believe all that jaded and tiring hoopla

    Sagna needs to Sign ASAP and i believe, he will do so considering he’s our 4th CB (a role, he is very happy to play at in the future).

    Wenger, if he gets all of the blame for our bad performances, then it’s only fair that he gets all the praise as well

    i’m very happy that TV5 is fully fit as i believe, PER deserves a rest (or being rested for a couple of games) as this will energize and motivate him, same with KOC as well – competition can only be a good thing and we certainly have 3 very very good CB’s.

  • G23

    Totally agree. Theo was missed today; we lacked that extra dimension. Gnabry did relatively well though, although I wished he cut inside less today.

  • Shocking to hear they sacked him already, AFC! I imagine Moyes will join him in the free agents department soon. 😉
    Thanks TA! 🙂 My logic behind the Özil rating is just that without him, I don’t think we would’ve ever put a set piece past Stoke. 😉 I agree Flamini was right on the edge of an 8, but I thought he was too quiet in the first half. He did step up big in the second half when we needed it though. 🙂
    Interesting thoughts afc. Do you think Rooney would adapt well playing as a ST again instead of a CF? Or would it be a case of Rooney behind Giroud? But then Özil has no spot? Or do we use a Barcelona style front line (with 2 wingers, a CF and no ST)? Rooney is an interesting one. But I don’t think we need him (on top of my dislike for him) 😉 .

  • Good summary Dylan 🙂 With respect to your questions

    1. Good professional win – nothing spectacular / flashy but that is what was needed.
    2. Sagna should definitely be retained and I think that is what is happening. He has always been one of the steady, reliable performers for the team. Happy to see him get a goal today! 🙂
    3. Yes, I do believe that Wenger should get credit for the team’s performances of late. It is quite heartening to see the efforts put in. Hope everyone is fresh and back in form once the big games start to roll in.

  • I wouldn’t really want us to go for Rooney. Why? Because we already have Ozil to play behind the striker as a no.10 which is Rooney’s best position. I cannot see Rooney doing a good job leading the line.

    Falcao would have been a very good buy as he too is a holding ST but is seems very unlikely we will get him. 😦

  • Dylan….good post but a bit unfair to our defenders who played very stoutly in the final 15-20 minutes while other players tired. Ozil is just getting warmed up and not even in his stride yet! We were without Walcott,Cazorla, the Ox, Diaby, rosicky,Podolski, and Sanogo PLUS we played 3 games in 7 days yet we still dismantled the Orcs while not even at our best!!! After watching United get embarrassed by City once again, I am sure,once we are fully fit, that we’ll be top of the heap until at least January. I also saw the Tiny Totts play and they looked very tough against a good defensive Cardiff side,only winning it in stoppage time. We beat them without Ozil, Arteta and all the other injured first team squad…imagine what we can do when they are all fit!
    To answer your questions:

    1) Read my comment above,
    2) A one-year extension is fine, or a 2 year deal if he stays as a backup CB,
    3) Of course it is Wenger’s doing as well as the team’s fantastic spirit and courage….represented by Ramseys world-class form at the moment.

  • Agreed TA. Man U’s 4-4-2 is old fashioned. The 4-2-3-1 is the way forward.
    Gooner23, agreed. Theo gives us some balance as well. Having one true winger and one shadow winger/attacking midfielder.
    Thanks JB. I agree we didn’t play particularly well today, but no team plays well every team. Arsenal never has in the past either. The difference in years past, is if Arsenal didn’t play well, they lost. But champions win even on a bad day. That’s what’s different about Arsenal this season and it’s exciting. 🙂

  • I think u were too generous on ur ratings and I also think Gibbs shd hv gotten a 7/10.I will like to see these guys show some physical presence on the pitch aswell.All d same,kudos to the entire team.

  • Good summary TA

    1. Well orcs have indeed figured the “x” button of their ps3 controller, but they still miss a few buttons to make it effective… I thought we had a good first half, and even if we did not see that much of the ball and defended deep, we really were under no threat. I am a little bit worried though that since the beginning of the season, we are not as successful as before in keeping possession consistently, even against teams I’d expect us to dominate in that respect. Maybe it’s due to Arteta’s absence? But overall a solid performance and 3 points 🙂

    Apart from Per and Flamini, as well as Ö’s assists (I won’t give him motm just because he’ll give us much more than corners and free kicks soon enough,) I enjoyed OG’s performance in making Huth and Shawcross suffer the whole game (he really is a handful if you watch him). I also thought Gnabry did a good job, I’m sure he was told to focus on tracking back, but it was obvious today that Sagna had an easy time on his wing with Serge’s defensive skills better than that of Theo. great news if we score from set pieces, with Ö’s service (and MA8 coming back), and Per, Sagna, Kos, Verm and OG there’s no reason not to be a threat in the air.

    2. Important, yes, maybe… The guy is loyal, has been working his ass off on the pitch for years, is still damn efficient and if he lost a bit of pace, still has a big volume of play, can and has covered in CF and still has a few years ahead of him as 1st team player or backup… What kind of message would we send if we dropped a player like that? We want to keep our core, let’s show by example.

    3. I believe togetherness is a notion that is important to Arsene, and I like to think he works in enabling the proper environment, including by player selection, so yes, I do believe he has a direct involvement with it. Good form is the combination of many factors, difficult to say the coach is not responsible for a bit of it…

    Two stats for the road:
    – we are having a good season start, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s interesting to note that last year we had won all of the same 5 fixtures, including Villa 🙂
    – we’ve apparently opened the score and taken the lead on our last 13 games, which is good of course, but it’ll be interesting to see how we react if we are running behind the score


  • By the way, I forsee Bendtner coming good and perhaps showing true class and goal scoring skills with a team like we have behind him. Can you imagine the chances he’ll get to score with Ozil, Ramsey, Cazorla and Wilshere feeding him?

  • Thanks Arsenal_vcc. I totally agree. 🙂
    Fair analysis weedonald. 🙂 I agree the prospect of our fit players returning and bringing people in in January gives me faith that we have a very good chance at all trophies this year. 🙂

  • Dylan, United got ripped apart by City. Moyes could well be the next but for some reason I just cannot see the guys at United giving up quickly on him. He will likely get a few seasons.

    Great match report Dylan. 🙂

    We got the points we needed today and we need to keep taking it one game as a time as TA has said. Let’s see how long we can go keep this winning streak up. I hope it can continue in the EPL for a really long time.

    Anyone thinks Walcott was just given a rest and could have played?

  • I thought Arsenal were given a football lesson in the second half! Agree that what ever his faults you miss Walcott when he is not there! Wilshere is beginnings to look ordinary. Without Flamini we would neverhave won today

  • Thanks Arsenal_vcc. Totally agreed. 🙂
    Fair analysis weedonald. 🙂 Maybe I was a bit harsh on our defenders. But I agree the prospects of a fully fit team and new players in January makes me think we have a genuine shot at all trophies this season. 🙂 Oh, and agreed re-Bendtner. 🙂
    Haha thanks Alcide. I agree. Interesting that you were happy with OG’s performance. He let me down a little. Or maybe he played normal and he’s just spoiled us lately. 😉

  • Ramsey is really shining. He is becoming a really good box to box midfielder who can do it all. He could easily play in a ‘2’ in a 4-4-2 formation and he would not struggle at all.

    That damn Paulinho scored a classy goal. 😦

  • Thanks AFC. I doubt Theo was put in the line up and then rested at the last minute. He also wasn’t sitting with the team. So I don’t think so.

  • Dylan, your probably right. At least he got a rest which is a good thing. He will be our main RW until Santi will be able to come back and play RW if needed to give Theo a rest.

  • Definitely a good performance by the team , with tired legs, although we never played with the high tempo we were still in control of the game. Sagna should have been resign months ago its rarely you find a player for right-back and center-half who plays at such a high level. It is without question that wenger seems to be putting things together slowly but surely, we did not sell any of our major stars and has brought on some reinforcement and base on the season so far i figure we will be close to the top or in front by december. If this actually becomes a reality it will be difficult beating us to the title. The Tots not scoring much at the moment but they are a threat to the title, a very strong squad which wont be easy to beat, so we must ensure we keep ahead of them…..

  • Thanks for the post Dylan

    I had a great day at the game. My daughter realy enjoyed the atmosphere and emotion of the game.

    Our seats were high up in the upper tier centre block. Its pone of those views that you see the whole pitch without having to move your head.

    What amazed me today was our new found shape when we do not have the ball. I saw it against Totnumb but can see that its now more refined.

    We create a very deep narrow block, giving up possesion but its very hard to breakdown, every player knows his job and great discipline is required. From an offensive point of view it gives us opportunities to counter.

    Its a different Arsenal this year, more mature and very tacticly astute.

    Good atmosphere at the game. The stoke fans made a lot of noise but a few things must have happened because the stewards and old bill moved in to take action.

    As for Arsene Wenger, what more can i say. the only thing i will add is that what ever is said to him, either in the ground, on the street, on internet message boards, or through the media, he will not listen and keep doing what he thinks is right and as far ime concerned long may that continue.

  • Agreed Reul Carvey. 🙂
    Agreed S J little. 🙂
    Thanks TMHT. 🙂 Good to hear you had fun and agreed re-Wenger. 🙂

  • Gnabry,

    i felt was a bit overwhelm and not prepared mentally for the game as he was playing at 30% of what he’s capable off, he wasn’t running enough at the defenders, taking them to the byline and so on, in the 2nd half it all sunk in a bit more and he started expressing himself a tad more.

    all in all a satisfactory performance by him considering the national team coach was seated there 😉 this kid is a special special talent and we will see the real him vs West Brom i reckon.

    glad to hear that your daughter enjoyed her first time experience at the emirates, i did note that the house wasn’t full today though, maybe 10 k vacant seats ? you must be chuffed cause that’s 10 k less misbehaving (stares) so and so’s to worry about , ha @ TMHT

  • *overwhelmed

    and yes @ Dylan – not only did we manage to win today but we won with a nice margin as well, just what the doctor ordered

    Swansea next in the EPL , i think that is going to be a cracking game, one where the MASTER’s put the pupil’s in their rightful place .

  • Terry 🙂

    Good to hear you a great time with your daughter 🙂

    Re Wenger: what makes you think he is not listening? Just look at the incredible changes he has been making over the last few years….

  • Good positive summary Dylan. I think our performance was a mixed one, to be fair; though I’m certainly not complaining about the 3 points. We do still look alarmingly open at the back at times, and if this continues we are bound to come really unstuck at some point in the season against a team who take their chances. Going forward was also a bit scrappy I thought – we didn’t have the pace, the slick movement or much incisive about us; the fact that we didn’t score through open play says something.

    I think you have been a bit generous with Ozil’s mark – yes he registered the assists, but his performance was less eye-catching than I hope we will see shortly. I thought Giroud had a good game, though no direct product at the end of of it; better than the stats might suggest. Overall, the team looked tired and missing some key people – Santi and Walcott in particular; I hope the latter is back soon, but don’t like all the vague comments about his illness.

    On a separate matter I confess to being impressed by the Spuds today; although they were lucky to nab the win in the end, some of their play was exactly what ours was not – fluid, fast, direct and with people not shy of getting shots away on target. Both Eriksen and Soldado look impressive to me, with most of the other new buys looking sound investments, if not as eye-catching. When they settle they will be a force, so I can only hope the settling process is a long one – but it looked to be progressing pretty well today.

    Manure’s mess was nothing but pure pleasure however! I’m enjoying us being on top of the league, but we need our injured folk back fast, and I can’t see how we can field a team this Weds that is both competitive and rests our key players. Part of me is not in the least bothered about the cup; but the other part just wants us to keep up our winning run, whatever the competition. Odd to have so many questions after what has been such a good day for us – the inevitable fate of the long-standing Gooner!?

  • Thanks lads

    Bondy, when you have a daughter you never get used to men staring. If there young i dont mind, its normal. But when you get a middle aged balding man with hairs growing out of his ears staring at a 16 year old it realy winds you up

    On may occasions i have been threatened with violence for doing it. hahaha

    Hi TA, whos Wenger listening to? All these changes are part of the master plan??

  • AB – fine comment and mostly agreed. The guys gave a lot against Marseille this week and it showed today. We can play a lot better than we did today, but as others have pointed out, key is to win these sort of games and move on. Dare I say it, I feel at times we are playing like Manure used to do under RedNose: calculated and taking our chances when they come.

  • Excellent report Dylan and great ratings. The only quibble I have is that I would give Gibbs an extra point as I thought he had a good game.

    All in all that was a VERY impressive and professional performance by a team that had played away in Europe in midweek and has not had the luxury of much rotation because of our injury problems.

  • i thought Merts was fantastic all day. I hope we rest everyone for cap one cup matches… play kids, and anyone who needs to sharpen their skills, bentner, Vermaelen, Arteta a bit, Ryo, Serge.
    we will need to be a little better for next match.

  • Hello Dylan,fine fellow goons

    Fine match report Dylan though i think Gibbo and Flams deserved slightly higher ratings..

    Yesterday’s match is the kind of performance that CHAMPIONS put together..even though we were not in anyway at our fluid best, we got the job done and THAT is all that matters

    TA had in an earlier post expressed his views on how The Arsenal plays this days..sit back, absorb the pressure and with ANY chance we get, kill of the opposition, which is what we did yesterday..a kind word for Oooooozil!!!..even when not at his MAGICAL best, he still positively influences the that’s a WORLD CLASS player!!

    On the obvious strong team spirit, i do think Le Prof has a HAND in it..assembles a squad of level-headed players, integrate them in the Arsenal-way and give them the trust, belief and confidence that only HE can afford them..end result, the players FIGHT for each other, for the manager and for the club

    Re Sagna’s ..its a no brainer..sign him ASAP!! don;t earn the tag MR.CONSISTENT for no reason!!

    Finally my favorite moments in the match were Rambo scoring and ‘shhhhing’ the orcs and the introduction of none other than the one with great hair…ZOLLOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

  • Good stuff dylan.enjoyed it.

    Thought giroud deserved more, although he didn’t score he man handled two of the biggest cb’s in the was a joy to see.

    @ AB

    You have to look at who we played against though.stoke had only conceded two before yesterday. Like TA said ‘it was a very manu like win’. We can’t be pretty all the time.

    @ Terry

    Glad you and your daughter enjoyed the game. I have to ask though…a middle aged bloke; bald; hair out of their ears…sounds like your evil twin was looking at her 🙂

  • Hi Dylan – I know your replies will largely be at the weekends, so I am not expecting a reply, ok?

    I think you got the right balance between the positives and the rather ‘workmanlike’ performance. So great job done in your super efficient way of getting it written up so soon after kick off.

    I have only just watched the game, so my only disagreement, apart from numbered rating which I dislike per se, and that is the view of Gibbs, also made pointed out By Alcide and Rocky.

    I think if you get a chance to watch the match again you would revise your opinion? TMHT made the point that our defensive shape has improved, and everybody knows his job now. If you follow Gibbs defensive work you will see that he tracks whoever comes in towards the far post(Gibbs side) and is there as an extra central defender. Yes, quite often in today’s game the wide man was covered by Flamini, Jack,and Kos, but that was not because Gibbs was ambling back from a fruitless trip down the wing. In this game he was hardly used even when he did get forward, as our attacks were mostly centre/right.

    I also thing you are wrong on the tiredness point to some degree. For most of our recent games there is a criticism that we do not press on after we score first. Now that cannot be always down to tiredness? Rather, I suspect, they know after they score the other team are going to try and get back on level terms, so perhaps it is a bit of ‘riding out the storm’ before taking the game to them later on. If that is the case, it seems to work against the lower sides we have been playing? I think it was only in the last 15-20 minutes, with largely the side that played midweek, tiredness, plus ‘job done’ mentality(after our 3rd goal went in), it did kick in. Which is why you have to give credit to the defenders for closing the game out. In fact I recall Gibbs dashing to save the ball going out, and otherwise giving Stoke a throw in by the corner flag … in the very last few minutes.

    The positives: The win; Ozil’s assists; Gnabry has shown we have one academy player who can be used in rotation, and will add to the squad with the more games he plays?; A good team effort that keeps the momentum going.;The return of Arteta, who played higher up the pitch than the excellent Flambeau. All good stuff. 😀

    OGAAT – WBA … expect many changes this time?

  • @ TotalArsenal September 23, 2013 07:26

    (You may wish to upload picture of DB’s book on the side of blog)

  • Stillness and Speed: My Story (Dennis Bergkamp)

    Quote from:

    “In Stillness and Speed, one of football’s most enigmatic stars finally opens up about his life and career, revealing the things that motivate and inspire him. Viewed by many as one of the most influential figures in Premier League history, and scorer of the goal that Arsenal fans voted the best in the club’s history, Dennis Bergkamp is a true giant of the game. As a youngster, Bergkamp learned from the Dutch master Johan Cruyff. By the time the pupil was ready to graduate from Ajax and move abroad, he was ready to spread the word, but in Italy he found few willing listeners. It was only when he moved to Arsenal and linked up with Arsene Wenger that he met someone else who shared his vision for football’s possibilities. Bergkamp became central to everything the club did: now he had become the teacher, their creative genius, and the one who inspired some of the wayward old guard to new heights, helping them to seven major trophies. Few footballers’ books make you think anew, but in Stillness and Speed Bergkamp presents a new vision for the game and how it might be played. He was a player like no other; his story is told like no other. It is a book that will inspire football fans everywhere, whatever their allegiance.”

  • TA- I’ve got dash – dog to the vet later – but I will come back on the Flamini issue from yesterday, later.

    Sorry to hear about your friend. I went through it with my late brother. It is tough on all parties.

    One piece of advice, although you are probably more mature going into it than I was, so may be unnecessary but – Cancer tends to take away large chunks of control a patient has over his/her life. They still want to have whatever control they can still manage ….
    So don’t do anything unless you are asked to do it, as long as they know they can ask you.

    All the best to all concerned.

  • Hello friends 🙂
    The Arsenal team more and more impressively on his way to keep score, things that did not knew doing prior.
    Flamini and Özil very good, Rambo varies between the very proper and less good, Gnarby had difficulty in finding his place on the pelouze and was good defensively as the second period,
    the subject who inquiete me is Jack Wilshere that I feels completely lost in his game, I do not know why Arsene insists has the to play as an offensive player while he should play right before his defendersby blocking space in the medium and ditribuant of good long ball much like Xavi Alonso but a notch higher;)
    We see that without Theo Walcott we miss a lot of speed and our Santi is sorely missed;)

  • Cheers Gerry, excellent advise and so true. Sorry to hear you lost a brother that way.

    JM – wow that looks like a must read! Thanks for the links. 🙂

  • Macko,

    Jack is definitely finding his feet at the moment. Yet, he produced, among other things, a fantastic potential-assist for Giroud’s left foot. Wenger believes in Jack even more than he did/does in Ramsey and I have no doubt he will keep playing him this season. Let’s give Jack a chance to develop.

    Agreed on missing Theo’s speed/thrust.

  • JM, thanks for the link… quite a few intersting quotes from that interview… gonna get the book…

  • All

    Dylan, fine report as usual… first to your questions and my thoughts that go with them!

    1. I differ with most here, as I thought it was very good. The reason. Football is about two teams, not just one. Thus, if you dont look 100% it could be you (or the fatigue certainly), orrr it could be the other team not letting you look 100%…

    Stoke do this very well. In watching (thanks again Oz! 🙂 ), you see consistently that Stoke have 6-7-8–10 players crowded in the middle in front of the ball. They gave us the outsides a lot, and refused to provide even the smallest space in or through the middle. This is a fine defensive tactic and it works…

    Thus, I thought:

    a. OG did well, tho a bit tired, trying to hold and find *some small crack* or opening and we came half way close a few times.

    b. You have to adapt and get to the end line and cut back, which Ozil and others tried, but still lots of bodies.

    c. You have to maximise set piees, which we did..

    Thus, I think Stoke did what they intended. Played for 0-0 or 1-1 at the outside. Theyve only given up 2 in 4 games before this… So, we did well and what we had to. We were fatigued in places but they played solidly at the back as always..

    I wouuld say that last year we would not have cracked that nut or needed that one magic deflection that Poldi got…

    OVERALL: Expect more and more teams, especially mid table and down, to do this to us and we will need to get more creative about how we cut into them…

    2. Id say get Sagna to a 2 or 3 year deal. He appears to still have the legs for it.

    3. IF we criticise AW for things we dont like, then it seems only fair to give credit, even if we do/dont want to, for the things we do like! Thus, still a genius and protecting the inviolable rightness of professors everywhere… 😀

    Further quibbles:

    A. Gibbs was excellent in tracking back and intercepting, especially in first half. I think he;s actually getting better and making it look easier. If you dont see defenders and the other side arent scoring then it isnt that they arent doing anything (presuming the other side does have the ball occasionally as Stoke did).. Instead, they are playing very well and making it look easy…

    B. JW likely wanted more time out…. IMO

    C. OG needs a rest, I expect NB on Weds

    D. I thought Gnabry did more than well enough, especially given the physicality of the play, The rest will come with time…

    cheers — jgc

  • Dylan,

    Great report. Great performance by the Gunners and even though we let them back in the game, i would like to believe this was more due to fatigue than anything else. We’ve had 3 games in a week and as we do not have the depth, it will infact be harder for us to deal with it. However, it is always good to see Zorro come back and even though he hasn’t played, TV is back as well.

    A couple of additions will definitely make a difference for us and i see that happening in the next Terror Window.

    Sagna, Sign da ting (or at least give him a contract to sign).


  • Sagna on the Arsenal website:

    “[The goal was] like a gift for the team. When I was injured, they helped me a lot and as long as I can help them, it’s good for me.


    I think we just have the right behaviour on the pitch. We just give 100 per cent and no matter what happens we keep going and looking forward.”

    We welcomed Flamini back after 5 years, why not reward those who stayed and consistently gave their best… I really hope we offer him a new contract.

  • Hi all..
    Great post Dylan..

    This week is very special..
    When some of our big rival going down.. we still constantly moving up.. both in PL and CL..
    We make all other team fans understand that We are back to Victory.. for real.. hehehe..

    I can’t rate the players for I don’t watch them lives.. but I think Ozil will be our motm..
    I still can’t believe that We scored 3 goals from set play.. and if We continue doing it.. then We not only wont lose but also win in every single game.. hahaha..

    About AGOOT.. I still prefer not every game.. a chosen game..
    Like COC in Wed for example.. I prefer We focus on the next game again Swansea and Napoli.. We don’t need to force our squad to battle WBA.. just give our second layer players do the job.. they are good enough.. Eisfeld.. Zelalem.. Frimpong.. Gnabry.. Miyaichi.. are good enough.. with some experience playet like Vermaelen.. Monreal and Arteta.. and Bedtner in front.. I think they will handle West brown.. hehehe..

  • JM , JM . JM, it’s nice to see you back and thanks for sharing that 😀

    re- Ratings, yes please Dylan, if you can incorporate them on a regular basis then that be great and if you can’t then that be no bother at all, it’s just that as you can see, there are people who will agree with your ratings or disagree and then there will be some lurkers who don’t post, come out and say no, bad ratings and so on – makes it a bit more fun, the numbers game

    while we’re at it, i think Ramsey deserves a breather now.

    so we move onto WBA with the following team of mine :


    Jenks KOC TV NACHO

    Frimpong Flam’s


    Gnabry Bentender/Akpom RYO

    Bench :Viviano/Fab Bellerin Ramsey Theo Akpom Eisfield/Frimpong e.t.c e.t.c

    sorted !

  • this is our Wizard of OZil :

    Mesut Özil
    dear fans,
    3-1 win and Arsenal top of the league. i’m still totally stoked about the fantastic atmosphere. thank you for your warm welcome #gooners!
    #arsenal #AFCvSCFC #biglove

    merhaba arkadaslar,
    3-1 galibiyet ve arsenal olarak ligin zirvesindeyiz. muhtesem atmosferden buyulendim. sicak karsilama icin tesekkürler #gooners!

    liebe fans,
    3-1 sieg und arsenal an der tabellenspitze. ich bin immer noch total begeistert von der fantastischen atmosphäre. vielen dank für den herzlichen empfang #gooners!

    hola amigos,
    victoria 3-1 y arsenal en primera posicin. an estoy encantado del ambiente fantastico! gracias por la calurosa bienvenida #gooners!

    note how this guy is absolutely top top class, finds the time to post regular updates not just in one language but in 4 ! absolute fantastic ambassador for ARSENAL and all our followers all around the world – he will definitely increase our fan base that much more, in places like Turkey, Germany, Spain e.t.c e.t.c

    a very humble fella and Perez and co can go suck a GLIC 😀

    speaking of which, hey Glic’s hope you’re ok and keeping well, we’re missing you and even Fozzie B seems to be losing his Mojo without you 😉

    nice comments as per usual by Gerry and JGC – i really should be mentioning one of their names and not both of the Aliases , ha

    sorry to hear about your friend @ TA – and also sorry to hear about your late brother @ Gerry, it’s very painful and tragic , such happenings…

  • ‘Morning boys…

    Great match report from Dylan (think of it as another AP class, with a report due each week 😆 ) and great comments from all the usual suspects. If it keeps you picking a strong fantasy team, it might be worth it… 😉 …

    It WAS a strange match with the late pre-match switch (Theo/Serge) and the home debut of our new midfield fulcrum (Ozil). Additionally, Stoke, while carrying some of the same faces are trying something totally different. Whereas they used to play for throw-ins they now play for possession. Very weird, but I think they’ll come away from the game feeling pretty good about what they accomplished…

    We should too. Giroud, though he didn’t score, looked a real homme up front against the twin evils of Shawcross and Huth. I think he suffers when Theo (and/or Santi or Poldolski) is out but he really kept the central guys occupied and didn’t give us a scare by doing his usual injury faking. Bendtner (of Nazareth–rising from the dead?) gets his chance on Wednesday…

    Ozil showed that if you can hit the head of the BFG from a corner good things will happen. I watched him at Real Madrid but never quite saw the full package of what he can do. IMO he has that rare ability to hold up the ball and freeze defenses or push things immediately, depending on the circumstances. Nothing really came off for him yesterday (in open play) but that was down to us being a bit makeshift with our attackers AND being staked to a lead (twice) so that our FBs were more in defensive mode rather than full participants in the spaces Stoke chose to give us. Terry’s observations from on high are very apropos–about our shape, rather than about old men and daughters… 😀

    On that note, the goal we gave up I would blame on work we still need to perfect regarding defensive rotation. Gibbs lost the ball in their half and Flamini filled in yet called for rotation bringing Kos his way. The ball over the top thus found Per beaten one v one and Stoke had good fortune from there. The scarier moment was when they almost did it again on their subsequent possession. Luckily Jones’ touch let him down…

    My biggest concern (at the moment) is the play of Jack Wilshere. Unlike Ramsey, who is oozing confidence and becoming a real threat with his running off the ball, Jack seems to need it (the ball) and seems not quite physically able to do what he wants once he gets it. This leads to playing for the foul, which is fine, really–two of those fouls led to the FKs which resulted in our first and third goals… Still, I think he will do better taking fewer touches. Working with Ozil will take some time and Jack should benefit with Arteta and Santi coming back into the line-up IF they get to play together. The question becomes: who sits if we’ve got everybody available? On the merits, it might have to be Jack, but really I think it depends on the situation. I would expect more Weng-uries and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Jack is the next to come down with the flu or a stomach muscle.

    Which brings me to Theo out and Gnabry…The latter played well but will need more time to morph from the killer individual player into our team game–an issue for all players trying to make the step up (i.e. Ryo on as a sub)… He looked ridiculously strong for an 18 year old and a full participant so I cannot fault his (full match) debut.

    OK, too long Sorry…but (as always) there’s more to say…My avatar suggests my stance on the importance of BS3… Otherwise, strange weekend in the league. Di Canio probably shouldn’t gesture at the traveling support, eh?… No draws means the bagel for me in the UMF…City looked pretty strong up there in the Derby but United can use the excuse of missing their “little boy” (RvP) who had to watch in his school clothes….

  • Macko,

    i left you a comment many days (or weeks) ago, regarding your query about Ticket prices and having to watch Arsenal at the Emirates – i hope you managed to read that ?

  • oh yeah @ 17HT

    the one man TEAM lost and wouldn’t it be ironic, if they not only failed to finish top 4 but also outside the top 6 ?

    let’s just,if by the end of December they are still hoovering around mid-table and out of the FA cup, Capital one cup (very likely) and struggling in the champs league (unlikely), then i can see a certain no.10 well and truly on his way –

    saying that, man utd have had a tough run in their opening games, they will have an easier run sooner rather than later now – but this team certainly lacks the guile and killer instinct.

    also, it makes you wonder, what’s going on with the Little PEA ? surely, he should be no.2 in van Pu$$y’s absence .

  • hello 007 No. I do not was not home, so the access to my computer that been what day please, in any case thank you for the service is nice 🙂

  • JB

    you wrote: “note how this guy is absolutely top top class, finds the time to post regular updates not just in one language but in 4 ! absolute fantastic ambassador for ARSENAL and all our followers all around the world – he will definitely increase our fan base that much more, in places like Turkey, Germany, Spain e.t.c e.t.c”

    Not to be a party pooper but I wonder how much of these the players run themselves. It is obvious from some that it is all them. But a smart player with a smart manager/father would use this with proper PR and write exactly that

    That doesnt mean he doesnt mean it. It also doesnt mean we dont get the outcomes you noted. In fact, it means we will likely get more of them.

    Mostly it might show he and his manager are very smart. All good things for a club that prides itself on being more cerebral then feral (in play and TWs), and for having players that are the same (note that we never really have the Cantonas or Suarez-biters)…

    cheers and off to get dinner — jgc

  • MACKO,

    here you go @ comments left at James Bond PERMALINK
    September 9, 2013 16:14

    course he’s smart @ JGC

    note the subtle use of “STROKED” after beating stoke 😉

    a fans favourite , indeed – either way, what’s there to complain ehhh ? we get regular updates and it’s a way to be kept in the “loop” i much prefer players like our wizard of OZil as opposed to those who tend to keep silent.

  • The year end accounts have been published upto the 31st of May 2013…

    i’m more interested in next years accounts to be honest, as that will take into account the purchases of September and January 2014….a much more accurate picture and a fair reflection of our cash reserves (which i’m hoping will still be hoovering around the 100 million figure )

  • 007, I guess you were posting the Ozil tweets as I was doing my longer thing… His English seems better than his Spanish… 😆

    In that regard…Yeah, little pea (along with Kagawa and Nani) seem frozen out up there. The Mexicans I know (locally) are beside themselves over their national team who are struggling to qualify for the World cup and Di Canio-ed their manager between losses in the last Int’l break. Sorry, but Gio Dos Santos (Barca, Tottenham reject) is not the answer. They need to forgive Carlitos (Vela) for hiring the tranny prostitutes and get him and Chicharito back (fully) into the team…

    Anyhow, I’d expect Hernandez to move to Spain (rather than our way) and Rooney, if he’s going anywhere it would be to Chelsea. It might be convenient, come January if BOTH those clubs were a few points back and needed to do some switcheroo dealings. I don’t see either club (nor manager…) really in trouble, however. The league is looking wide open, esp. with AVB getting the late result yesterday on top of Martinez doing likewise at West Ham on Saturday… Suarez back next weekend is also interesting…

  • JB and 17

    JB: what impresses me is he quietly manages his brand very well… That’s good for all associated, but wasn’t good enuff to outshine CR7. Maybe one non-football reason he left is that with CR7 and Bale et al, and Messi down the road his brand and football skills weren’t going to grow… Shows thinking, and I like thinking.

    I’m more in favor on reflection with my prior thoughts too that he’s a good cerebral fit for a cerebral club… Perhaps it should be saying things about the type of player, after skills, we look for to keep that chemistry. One could make similar stories about Zorro, BFG and the return of Flamini, and even Koz with regard to that line of thought..

    Gerry: Mexico is in deep and not seeing light. Talent wise there’s no reason, and one can only watch the train wreck… That said assure your friends that worst case the playoff with NZ is vs a team who couldn’t get laid in a whorehouse with a sac full of $1000 notes…

    Cheers — jgc

  • agreed @ 17HT but to me, it seems like the little PEA is unfairly treated, with Nani you can sort of justify it, with his lack of team work…and with Kagawa, well the manager doesn’t feel entirely convinced ?

    but Hernandez has delivered the goods whenever , he’s been put in the firing line or has hardly ever failed to have done so ….how long before this Man UTD side becomes a mid-table team ? i would say, not long considering their dodgy defence and heavy reliance on a certain individual – maybe ask Scholes to come out of retirement again ? i don’t know but i would be really chuffed if that happened sooner rather than later 😉

    Yes @ JGC

    whether you do it quietly or in a different manner to the usual suspects, as long as you are mighty effective in selling your brand – then all is jolly good, i actually like the way both OoooooOOOooZil and his team manage him and do the whole PR thing, like you – i’m both impressed and happy.

    thanks for sharing the link, so same old Song ehh ? i wonder if he ended up with a Yellow card by the end of it ? 😉

  • JB

    No yellow for Song but nothing new, you’re right. For all the wondering that deal is turning out to be pure profit considering what we developed last year and got free this year. That’s before the improved locker room too.. Maybe he’ll come back in a few years a bit wiser?

    I like the DiCanio bit because he takes responsibility. Apologised to home fans directly. Got rid of Sessegnon when he was at a casino instead of the park when injured and his team was struggling. Clear he wasn’t part of Sunderland and DiCanio did the right thing. Perhaps kind of like letting a certain little boy go… IMO, love or hate him, he at least was up front…

    Cheers — jgc

  • absolutely or in a few years time, we will have our own youngsters stepping up to the plate ? it was good shrewd business by AW – he knows what he’s doing better than most , if not all – agreed.

    oh hell yeah, the guy was wrong done by wanting to do the right thing for sunderland fc – but hey, this is football, and sadly , the more right you do the more you end up having people working against you, love him or hate him, the guy wore his heart on his sleeve and wanted nothing better for the club he was employed to work under.

    another one bites the dust thanks to player power !

    Ian Holloway , next ?

  • one last bit re- Song

    people will say that we reported a profit in this years account due to the RVP sale, i will say no , it was because of the Song deal we managed to report a profit of over £6 million 😉

    i’m actually glad the profit is a bit on the lower side as that means – less tax to pay, ha

  • JB

    I like that selling song and succeeding means we are in profit. Cash wise we may well cover some measurable chunk of Ozil in shirt sales alone (extra ones), especially if the results keep coming…

    Re: DiCanio, is it player power or that it’s easier to fire the coach then the team? Call me cynical… That said, they say that the coach doesn’t play, the players do, but DiCanio may well have had more heart than some few there. Be interesting to see how the rest unfolds, but they look set for the drop… Hull or CPR to get a reprieve from it?

    Re: Napoli, it’s away, right, 2-1 to us, but, risky here, they score first… OG back on the sheet if he’s rested weds… Maybe… 🙂

    Cheers — jgc

  • JB – OGAAT! Naploi is for next week.

    I saw your team for Wednesday, not bad, but dont you think it might be a good idea to have a stronger bench … or are you ditching the COC as an inconvenience to winning the title?

  • Geoff – Look, I think Bond is on to us. nice try pretending I had friends in Mexico, but he will get more suspicious when he finds it was me?

  • JGC,

    yes, it seems so but i wouldn’t be surprised if it was him saying to the board “go on, sack me if you dare ” take the easy way out you bunch of so and so’s , you want to use me as a scapegoat then do it now instead of waiting – walks out with his integrity in tact ?

    and it’s a home game not away @ JGC


    i don’t know how close Rosicky is, cause if he was half fit, i would take the calculated gamble on him and play him…. we have a relatively stronger bench with the team i put out there, we could possibly include one of JW (unlikely) or OooooOOOZil to the bench, i’m not taking the Capital one cup lightly, it’s just that, i feel that our team is good enough to win against the mighty WBA with a solid back 4 ? and 2 experienced pro’s in Flam’s and Arteta bossing the MF.

  • TA re my Flamini comment -i know you have been thinking that he is a great signing, but the quote that was buzzing around in my head at the time of writing was a reply you gave last week
    ‘…. a good player on free transfer, who you can bench, is a very good deal’

    Out of context and not 100% accurate, but that was I remembered when I was trying to generalise that point of view, i.e. that he will soon be benched. Instead, I ended up highlighting your name because I could not remember who said what before.

    Sorry about that.

    At least we can both agree he is a fantastic signing?

  • Thank you a thousand times James Bond, it’s super cool your link goes well helped me.
    Thank you of having taken some time to answer me if you need more information in France it will be with pleasure 🙂

  • you’re welcome @ Macko

    that link i gave you , save it as it’s a good one to buy tickets from on fairly short notice,if you ever wanted to watch any arsenal game (both home and away).

    no problem.

    try watching one of the domestic cup games, it’s much more reasonable/affordable and fun , i tend to do the capital one games as there has to be a result instead of a replay like FA cup if the scores are level.

  • Gerry — no worries

    JB — home, then, should be 2-0 or the new, it seems, score of 3-1?

    Cheers — jgc

  • JB – I was just testing you. I would like to see only 3 or 4 senior players out there, but iwould exect another 4 on the bench just in case.

    GK Fab

    Jenks – Per – TV5 – Nacho

    Arteta – Hayden

    Ryo- Olsson – Eilsfeld


    Bench. Viv,Akpom, Gnabry, Ozil, Giro, Sagna

    These are the ones I think are fit, Bellerin and Frimpong would be a treat too, but perhaps later?

  • 3 points in the bag should be splendid , as i have seen Napoli play and i believe, we can turn on the heat and put them in their place as long as we control Hamsik, it will be alright , be it 2-0 or the PG scoreline, i don’t mind as long as we have everyone available from the current crop available and maybe Santi (long shot ? !


    yep, thought so

    i really want us to do well in the capital one cup as i do enjoy it very much, besides , we might be a little stretched now , squad wise but bear in mind, if we progress to the next round, we have a good chance of having 2-3 more senior team players returning to strengthen our chances…

    i like your team as well but i would not leave out Gnabry from the starting 11, he’s one of the main reasons why i feel so strongly about beating West brom with a solid platoon of players behind , keeping everything nice and organized and ticking…the kid is 5 star, show him more faith and let him set the hawthorns alight….

    good call on Olsson .

  • Jgc, I really liked your short tactical analysis and take on the game, quite insightful I thought.

  • It’s a 50-50 hwether you start with Gnabry or Ryo. i figured he had the full game to get over, but bring on him and Ozil and you could turn around a 1 goal deficit in the last 20 mins?

    I would have had Walcott play if he only had a stomach upset, but it sound more troublesome … Time for the Flying Bellerin to fulfill his true destiny perhaps?

    As you say, who ever plays it should be a good game.

  • that might be me as i remember having a conversation which involved “Flamini back on the bench once Arteta is fully fit”

    agreed @ Gerry

    however, it would be great to see both Gnabry and Ryo operate on the wings, it will be scintillating to watch sheer pace and proper wing play for a change at arsenal.

  • Bellerin has done a great job doing a Gareth Bale, from wing play to RB, i’ll keep him there for now and let him be the under study of Sagna/Jenks.

  • TA – I couldn’t see where I thought it was, by you or anybody else. Further digging, but tomorrow. it has been a stressful day.

    night all

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