Six Arsenal-transforming changes: Gibbs, Sagna, Rambo, Giroud, Ozil, Flamini

Mesut Ozil

There is a lot of talk about what Ozil means for this team, and some pundits are starting to pinpoint all our early success to the arrival of our new-Bergkamp. Ozil is a great player and the arrival of him was first of all a statement of intent to the fans, the players and the outside world. MO11 fits in very well and is indeed making a great difference right now. And the psychological impact of his arrival is almost equally as big.

But it would be a mistake to just focus on Ozil for the team’s apparent transformation. There is a tendency in people, especially lazy journalists, to simplify things. Ozil was the big buy and is producing most of the assists, so it’s all down to him….

I reckon there is more to this Arsenal squad that has turned us into a far better team. We have spoken at length about the difference Flamini is making in terms of defending in midfield, and how his extrovert personality adds so much good-old-fashioned leadership to the team. We have eulogised about the fantastic form both Giroud and Ramsey are in and how they have compensated so well for both Cazorla’s and Theo absence/lack of form until now.

But there is also Sagna’s transformation into a more than decent replacement for our big fecking German. Knowing that we have a good alternative for our real leader on the pitch is so important for the balance of the team. For years we have struggled to have two sets of decent CBs who compliment each other and who will last for a whole season. Koz and Vermaelen are very similar in style and type: the Keowns of this Arsenal if you want; whereas, BFG and now Sagna are more like our Adamses of this era. Moving Sagna into the CB spot, if and when required, was a mini-masterstroke by Bould & Wenger.

The other important improvement is the coming of age of the fantastic Kieran Gibbs. I saw the first glimpse of this when we played Bayern away last year. There was something in his performance that made me think this boy is about to announce himself at the top stage of football. Of course, it is still early and we should not get carried away, but Gibbs is quickly growing into an important player for this new Arsenal team. His improving defensive discipline combined with his wing-play and ability to defend very effectively against counter-attacks – from when we have taken a corner or a free kick in the other half – are all vital to the success of this team. He is also looking more solid and stable and far less likely to get injured now.

All other players have stepped up and add tons of value to this team, but I reckon that the above mentioned six players’ improvements/additions to the team are making the real difference right now. And long may it continue. 🙂

Written by: TotalArsenal.

135 thoughts on “Six Arsenal-transforming changes: Gibbs, Sagna, Rambo, Giroud, Ozil, Flamini

  • what I love here is the names that you haven’t included – Wilshere, Cazorla, Walcott, Arteta, Podolski, Ox. We suddenly have some depth about us, even before we look at the youth potential. Promising times!

  • Cheers Totes and a good ground leveller!! I agree with the analogy that the bk brotherhood have already aluded to, namely that Ozil is the fine icing to the deozilicious arsenal cake recipe that le prof has been working on for the last 17 years!! 😀
    Finally his key ingredients are not going to be taken away from him!! He can produce the masterpiece he knew he always could but with his own flare!! Hence I knew that ratatouille was a lot closer to popping out from his hat than a lot of people realised….
    😀 but instead we got Rango … Our new sheriff!!! Combining with a “flaming” defense and a “super second season Giroud” and the return of the lost sheep aka Rambo and voila!!! Beautiful!!!! 😀
    And we have Mozart, and Jake the Muss Wilshere, Ox, Prince Ahaaa to still arrive in full glory!! And Elmo Carzola too!! 😀
    These are truly good times and most of all the collective self belief of 22games is coursing through the veins so whatever injuries happen will happen right!??? 😀
    I mean we’ve withstanded this injury crisis we can withstand any right?
    …. (Sanogo get fit quick pleeeese 😆 )

  • Oh hell Cockie just power blasted my phone and floor with Holsten Pills !!! That was precious … Can’t speak .. Gotta clean … Shit . .. Shit … Shit .. Can see the roses tied to the zimmer as well …. Hahahhaha 😆 😆

  • Poor Jamelia Bondage is so confused he thinks me and Fozzie B are one and the same person hahaha I think a session with the Laser is needed whilst his nipples are Tasered…..that should make his Testis shaken not stirred !…………………….Then again he`ll probably enjoy that !. hahaha

    Your usual splendid post my Dutch Elm Diseased fiend !.

    I cant get too excited about us yet as I worry about it all coming down with a bang if we lose the “next game” !. OGAAT ( Ozil Gets Arsenal A Trophy ) please !. 🙂

  • Ecellentation TA

    I love the notion. Solutions found on three fronts. I) players improving 2) players aquired 3) players maturing

    My only quibble is that you have to throw Szcesney into the mix. He seems different this year more confident, mature, and seems to have super glue attatched to his gloves.

    Everything is going to plan, quicker than i thought. I was convinced that next season we would win the league, but it now looks we can do it this year.

    I to am having agreat time. I know you dont want to hear this TA, but ime going to tell you anyway. I am currently dating two women. One knows about the other and acceps it, the other dosnt and wouldnt

    The other night i was making sweet love with the acceptor when the wouldnt rang. I told the wouldnt how much i missed her and how i had never felt such a strong connection so quickly with someone. All whilst the Acceptor was accepting.

    I am going out with the Wouldnt tommorow night and plan to secertly film the liason and then show the acceptor.

    Yes, i am a vile and wicked man and deserve to be punnished. Hopefully tomorow night. hahaha

  • Humphrey OGAAT is here to stay Cockie!! 😆 you got to get some of that rectum Semtex from Totes!! We on a wave Cockie and even if its not the ride of our mutha luvin lives . …. It’s going to be one hell of a ride!! 😀 worst case scenario we take 2 zimmers down to Vickers local!! 😆

  • Sounds like it is all around to Stretches wardrobe tomorrow night then !. hahaha

    Bergkampesque Live From The Wardrobe…..Lights ….cameras….action…..Om nom nom nom !.

  • Interesting thoughts there Terry. Szczesny is just Szczesny this season imo, but maybe you are right and he did get even better 😉

    You will end with the pigeons again Terrenzo………

  • Have to go now Foz. I have some DIY to do tomorrow….. Hours of prepping, rubbing down and sanding………….which will probably leave me with a sore Cockie !. See you all in Stretches wardrobe tomoz nite for a Cookie Party !.

  • I’ll be in Amsterdam this weekend. Anyone know a good place to watch the Arsenal game?

  • When we were link with higuin I was hurmmm … He is very talented striker but who gonna supply him the assist. Then Suarez and di maria, I was oh okey. Then when Ozil name was link I was wow. Watch him play in 2006 world, I admit I’m fell in love with these guy style of play. And congrats with the signing of flamini, a big bro that would do anything for his brother. Threatening stoke player was awesome, know who,s the daddy. I know it is morally wrong but look what they have done in those years, really son,t want to see another Ramsey incident.

  • Great piece TA. Im so glad that you included Gibbs. I was recently thinking, Araene sees this kid as so important to the team, Monreal cant even get a start even though hes healthy.
    number two lb in spain, and doing a pretty good job since hes been with us- but the manager sees so much from Gibbs he wont leave him out.
    i personally would get Monreal some starts on occasion, just to get rest for Gibbs– but i do see how much he is contributing at both ends.
    much more mature and solid defensively. I remember when Clichy was sold, Arsene said that Gibbs must finally get a chance to show his talent. As usual, he seems to have been right. But not just this season, it really began early last year.
    i dont think his great form, like ramseys, is a hot streak– because its predicated on effort, i know it will last.

  • Hello, I think we can not put players forward a team is like an engine All parts have a role to play, there is did not better than the other after some are in the spotlight, but the other will have their moment in the very long season ahead.
    But I find good of recognize the efforts of Sagna that is often forgotten malgrés the work he provided. I look forward to Retrieve my Santi and especially my preferred 🙂 Theo Walcott.
    ps: Arsene Wenger and our YODA strength and with us 🙂

  • Good Morning all, but if you are on the dark side of this planet, or anywhere in between, it isn’t. But from here on it will be; (Arsenal Time).

    TA – Fine post to broaden the glow around the team.

    With Gibbs I think he deserves every bit of praise for getting where he is today, like Ramsey, going through injury hell and back.. With the former it was multiple blows, the latter one massive one. It takes strong characters to come through that, and lets hope that Diaby can do similar so he too can enjoy this group of players, and who knows, get involved enough to pick up a medal? That would be the icing on the cake?

    I had little doubt that Szcz would be back in the groove this year from the moment I saw the early photos with him laughing and joking with his team mates. That went missing sometime during last season, and it affected him badly?

    Bacs, out with a weng-ury, but so good to have him looking his confident self again, wherever he plays. The only disappointment is the lack of a new contract being signed.
    I hope and pray they do it before January when he can talk to other clubs?
    I may be wrong, but I feel Jenks is the real problem? He hasn’t improved that much that they can say it is either or, and Bellerin is not ready for the full time back up role(wrong position anyway)? So if they are going to get somebody in, it will be to replace Bacs if he moves on, or replace him over time, while he spends more time at CB?

    I cannot say more about Flamini than I did on Wednesday. Right man, right time, and invariably in the right place. ‘Nuff said.
    Have you all seen the stats coming out of the Napoli game: 100% tackle success, 93% passes successful. Most of his play going forwards down the right side, but made 3 crucial interception/tackles down in the Gibb’s corner. Fantastic. Mind the Mert/Kos passing was 96% successful …. That game is indeed one to savour?

    Rambo is a different player and gets his due praise, almost to the point you cannot see him stopping. He does need a break though.

    Giroud I always thought would come good. Sagna made some interesting comments on how he, and others have helped him, saying he was very open to what they were saying. So not the aloof guy that got portrayed last season? Intelligence and endeavor combined will bring him further rewards as the season unfolds.

    Ozil, yes he ooozes that magical thing call confidence.That has infected the young and senior players alike. We are not too far away from seeing more players imbibing this essence to make our season an ongoing thrill of a decade. Not a one man team, but one man has raised the spirits. I salute Mesult Ozil 😀

    Yes, but Sunday not far away while we ponder the number of Weng-uries we can get away with: Sagna and Cazorla in the bag. Mert yet to happen(during the WBA game -88th minute?); I guess Giro and Kos ain’t going to happen, otherwise people will notice the ‘misfortune’ that has struck us? 😆

  • TCM – That OGAAT dissemination was straight out of the glic(good likeness in conception) handbook – You’ve been rumbled! 😳

    I am happy you are feeling up to cookie crumbling though. Cheers.

  • Oh dear Sagna out for 3 with hammy – at least int break!! Jacky been a naughty boy!! 😦

  • nice one, TA

    yeah, Gibbs has come a very long way and the international break is coming at the right time for him much like many other players of international quality that won’t be called up…i hope the french don’t go on and ruin that for me by calling Flamini….

    Sagna i reckon is conveniently injured by the sounds of it ; ) good move that one i reckon !

    so far it’s been a collective team effort and when you’re on a high, the minor mistakes and blips are easily covered or let’s say the mistakes are easily overlooked because everyone else stands up and delivers the goods – it’s all about taking responsibility now, the kids are no longer kids and they are men – i noticed this with Theo last year and now everyone else is joining in the fun…maturity it is !

    saying that, JW has been a naughty boy, smoking and all that – that’s fine, he’s only a 21 year old lad, it’s ok but what i didn’t like was that he went onto defend himself by posting a picture of Zidane smoking, that for me is unacceptable, he shouldn’t be doing that…fair enough he smoked and was caught on camera …should have left it at that but to go on and in trying to defend himself in such a manner is unacceptable….i hope AW can keep him grounded.

    ahahahahhahahahahahahaahahhahahahha @ CM – Glics is that really you ? look into Fozzie’s eyes and tell the truth , ha

    ahahahhahahaahahahahaha @ TMHT aahhahahahahahahahahhaahahha @ Accepter

  • i see, Gerry has already beat me to it with the “injury theories” – but it’s nice to see that we’re often thinking along similar lines

    times for JGC to make an appearance soon , i reckon


    thanks for sharing the links @ Fozzie B

    yeah, Gary.N does good unbiased analysis – i like his style and his opinions, they are more pro Arsenal than most pundits out there.

  • You are going to be so jealous !. Who`s the first BKer to have a photo with Cookie Eyes Ozil ?.


  • Sexy photo cockie cruncher!!!
    Where are all the shirt lifters tonight?? Lurking in stretches closet waiting for the action to start? 😀

  • Evening guys 🙂

    Thanks for the comments and especially Gerry has added some good views. Interesting stats regarding Flamini, but not a big surprise really. Great to see how he is seizing the opportunity to make amends for leaving us in the first place. 🙂

    A Friday night never feels as good without a game on Saturday. It is just great waking up on Saturday knowing you have time with the family AND the Arsenal are playing later on. Some interesting games tomorrow though.

    Man City – Everton is the most interesting one I reckon: will the Oilers bounce back and will Everton let them? If the Toffees can avoid conceding early and play their football it might all become quite interesting. The defeat at home against Bayern will have rocked their confidence and Everton will go there with nothing to lose, yet knowing they have already beaten the Chavs this season…. A draw is a good possibility. It is either that or the Toffees get spanked by six goals; we’ll see.

    The late game is also interesting. Sunderland are desperate for points and MU have shown their vulnerability against West Brom. Are the Mancs losing the fear factor now and will Sunderland smell blood. For Moyes this is a game he cannot afford to lose, but Sunderland might get a point or more.

  • Hello my friends! Excellent posts this week that I am now caught up on. Really looking forward to this weekend. Hoping we break our away win record! 🙂

  • Hey Totes nice to have some life in the BK closet!! I agree the oilers v Everton will be a great one to watch! 😀
    Good to hear from you pad wan Dylan!!
    You will need to add a fag hanging out of your jacky boy avatar!! 😆

  • I reckon Suarez missed his chance now, but you’ll never know. We could buy him to play on the wing ala Theo or Cazorla….. Not sure it would be worth it though.

  • hahaha Fozzer 🙂

    Unfortunately the Jack doubters will be loving this right now – expect a (further) backlash over the next few weeks.

  • Fozzie, Jack said he did it on a dare. Maybe I’m foolish, but I have no reason to think he’s a liar so ill trust him. 😉

  • Yeah I agree Totes … I think it will be another marksmen in the greedy badgers mould … A genuine hit man …. Like a Cavani …. 😀

  • Fine beast of a striker Cavani is – a real predator but without the shoulder munching.

    We are you based at the moment Cooky Cruncher?

  • I hate to break it to you Dylan but look at this picture closely …
    See the spark at the end if the fag … Look at the surroundings … Who’s daring him?
    Personally I don’t see the issue of a cheeky puff – just not in season in public …

    But on the positive side … I’m sure jacky will use it to spur him on to the next level!!! 😀

  • Jambon 🙂

    Good point about the kids taking responsibility now. Having such a good age mix now is really good for the Theos, Gibbsies, Jacks and Aarons of our team.

  • I’m in Gatwick Totes …
    Can’t wait to see if we do get someone in jan for striker!! Not keen on anything but super quality now that’s all we are buying in the key areas!! What’s your pick of striker if you could have any? 😀

  • Where are Marcus, AFC, Admir, Gino, Umair, Red Arse? Come out and play guys! 🙂

    Glic hope you are doing okay buddy and you are being missed tremendously here. Without you we are just back rather than brokeback BK’ers: we need our uber brokebacker back! 😕

  • Lol I’m not the cookie muncher by the way … That be Glic!!! He in the lab baking a fresh batch as we speak!! 😆

  • I live there fella …. Yeah the BK brotherhood are in the closet fumbling through each others knickers looking for inspiration!!
    So Totes … Your striker?? 😀

  • re- JW

    i don’t mind him smoking but i do mind him having to defend himself like that – that’s not cool.

    personally, i don’t give a dang what he does in his “private life” as long as he doesn’t come up with lame excuses and tries to justify it – that was rather lame on young jack’s part

    anyhow – he is quality and he be smoking tomorrow against WBA and for Engliand 😉

    yep @ TA

    all these kids are maturing together, that’s the fun bit….

    Sczny (i doubt he will ever grow up but you know;) – JW-Gibbs- OX-Jenks—-Ramsey—-TW——–then you have players like Frimpong/Coquelin on the fringes as well as Yaya/Gnabry/Eisfield

    there is a really nice segregation of age gap, which isn’t too big nor too little for anyone to feel uncomfortable – makes it easier for them to gel and get on with each other.

    i read it a long time ago, how Man utd and SAF said that the famous 5 had one thing in common – a strong bond because they came through the ranks and grew up together, same is the case with our 5 or 6 or 7 (even sweeter) !

  • yep, the Cockie muncher be Glics – the giveaway was when he mentioned “AA”

    sorry for ever doubting you Fozzie — you’re still my number 1 😉

  • to add to TA’s shout out to the missing persons,

    JGC—-Wenger Ball —- HH —-Henrychan—–and the biggest supporter of Ramsey (you know who you are 😉

    oh and my favourite 17HT 😀

    come out all of yous.

  • More of an orthodox nr.9 pointing upwards, Fozzer! 😛

    Hi Jambo – agreed on the excuse issue.

    Off to bedski – catch you guys in the morning.

  • Good nite fickle fairies I’m hitting the hay too. It’s pay day and shopping with mrs p in the morning yaaaaawwwwn!!! Totes I think that would make a fine topic of a post in the interlull!! “Which striker should we sign in jan or summer?”
    JB my long locked man of mystery, stoke the closet and hopefully some of the team torso ticklers will appear!! 😀

  • Closet full of “Muppets” – nah…. make it a closet full of ” Martinis and fit russian birds” then we are talking @ Fozzie mark 3 !

  • Sorry folks, I take a harder line on smoking – You know what they say, a reformed smoker are usually the most critical?

    Let me put it in context. I gave up smoking in 1969. I was was on the tax free island of Guernsey. Fags were 2 shillings/5p for 20. I read a full page advert in the(then) full size D. Express on the amount of people who die from cancer against those that didn’t smoke .. Yes there are people who get caner without smoking, but at this time they knew little about secondary smoke?
    I can only remember a few of them, like these:

    Three times as many people die of cancer of heart disease than those who don’t smoke.

    Six times as many people die of cancer of the stomach than those who don’t smoke

    Twelve times as many people die of cancer of the throat than those who don’t smoke

    Thirteen times as many people die of cancer of the lung than those who don’t smoke

    Sixteen times as many people die of cancer of Bronchitis than those who don’t smoke.

    The latter was the biggest single killer disease at the time. There were about 10 others listed in this full page spread, but get the picture? I have not smoked a cigarette since.

    My brother gave up smoking about two years before he got cancer. He had two daughters aged 13 and 16.

    Sir Henry Cecil, much admired trainer of racehorses, including probably the greatest ever Frankel. During his period of remission after under going chemotherapy he was caught on camera before a race, smoking!
    I was fuming. I sent an email to Channel 4 Racing to say I thought he was a stupid, selfish prat.

    Jack Wilshere has two daughters. So you think I am likely to agree with Fozzie, and say ‘Jack’s been a naughty boy’?

    Not only is he a father, but his job requires him to be at the peak of fitness. It is such a well known fact that smoking impairs lung capacity, even without the above. Why do it?

    On my school bus run, every September I would run my anti smoking speech aimed at the first year’s who had just moved up to ‘big school’. It goes like this:

    Think of life being an enormous highway which has an endless number of traffic lanes. The ‘vehicles’ on this highway are the diseases and illnesses you might encounter.
    In the first few lanes you get the childhood diseases that nearly everybody will get caught by. They are the fast moving vehicles, as are things like the common cold. The slower moving ones, like mumps, many kids will miss out altogether.

    The further you go in crossing this highway you start to meet more of the slower moving, killer diseases. The quick common cold and the slower infuenza bugs are always present.

    The connection between smoking and diseases has been difficult to establish, but this illustration puts it quite simply. If you smoke it slows you down so you are more likely to get hit by the slower moving killers. In reality, it probably slows up you body’s reaction to what these diseases attack?

    If Jack Wilshere wishes to be treated like an 11 year old, I’ll gladly send him a copy of the above

    It would be better ha acted like a grown up, because smoking does not make look good, only a selfish prat?

    Here endeth today’s sermon ….

  • JB, TA et al

    Well I’m on the last day in Belgium, flying out all day Sunday so I will miss this one. Was going to post but all the activity was after I hit the hay. Then I noted that Gerry was last here and JB needs no more reinforcement on that, but I’ve a busy day packing and doing some last minute things.

    For Alcide, 17 and others who were more interested in who was drinking what during the second half vs Napoli, the count was 1 Rochefort 10 and 1 Westmalle Triple, and a dash of Cotes du Rhone red for dinner in between…

    So, to the post… I am mostly in agreement. I would note that all we are seeing is the maturation of our players. Sagna and Flamini in that later career second wind that some players get when they reinvent themselves. For Flamini it’s coming back to Arsenal, for Sagna, I think it’s heading toward centre back. I think he will sign in January, AFTER Wenger, and no one seems worried so…

    Fr the youngs guys, we’ve waited and watched, and occasionally given up hope, but now the harvest is coming in, and it seems a good one. I will second whomever it was that noted that it was perhaps more fun to watch that happen then (implied) buying a team.

    For WBA, I expect a tighter game with both “first” teams out for the most part. Barring Wenguries of course.. 🙂 I think thus that WBA will try to stuff the middle, like others, and be made to pay. Why? Because we can show we can go around and cut back with efficiency.

    Jgc-damus is calling a Napoli like game against less than Napoli like opposition who will sit back more and hope for some Sessegnon magic. Thus, 2-0 or perhaps 3-0 unless our boys in back get bored or stupid. AR to get one more this weekend and Ozil at least one assist. A closer game if OG doesn’t play because he is occupying so many peoples thoughts on defens these days and NB doesn’t do the same.

    Cheers — jgc

  • Top article TA. Couldn’t agree more. Ozil is getting all the credit is seems but that is very lazy journalism. At the moment it’s very much a star team as opposed to those teams with a team of stars. By no means do I want to disrespect the players though because as you’ve mentioned there are a few that are demanding attention.

    happy days!!!

    as for jack…he should know better. chalking it up as a prank is just as bad

  • Morning guys 🙂

    Star team it is Oz, well put!

    Have a good journey back Geoff and hope to see you back on the blog soon. How are you feeling about leaving Belgium (or are you due back soon)?

    Gerry – passionate stuff and all agreed. However, lets not turn a fart into a thunderbolt as the Dutch say: Jack is very young and there is no evidence whatsoever he is a smoker. Just because he held a cigarette/smoked a cigarette does not turn him into a regular smoker. We should allow our young players a chance to grow into men, and as with all of us, making mistakes and learning from it is a prerequisite of becoming responsible adults. Let’s take it easy on the little fella! 🙂

  • TA i I wish I could believe that was all it was. However, you are either a smoker or a non-smoker? I go back to what I said ages back before he played any comeback games, at the time of the possible Rooney signing.

    Sitting around drinking and playing on a playstation are things ‘Jack-the-lad would have to ditch.

    I fear this is one he hasn’t?

  • Up early (against my will, in truth…) and I’ll be watching the blue battle of the Greater Manchester area teams. Everton are the remaining invincible (unbeaten) team, but I think that could end today…

    Sorry (VCC) for being tardy with my UMF picks, it was a rough day (and now) night (it’s still dark here!) trying to coax some less than completely professional countertop installers towards finishing their job. I knew I shouldn’t have allowed a Friday installation (after they cancelled on Weds AND Thurs)…As it is, if we want usable sinks, I’ll need to replace the faucets myself today…

    I was hoping to get a comment in on another interesting and excellent post from our fearless (and all to hard working) leader, so I’m glad it wasn’t pipped by a preview…

    The players singled out are all stepping up (big time) but so are others. Koscielny and Scszesny have cut out trying to do it all on the tight plays (overconfidence?) and with it the chance for refs to call penalties. The manager also deserves tremendous credit for managing the squad through a period of injuries and (perhaps) enforced rest–what I’ve started calling Weng-juries. Just as Rosicky came back guns blazing, I would expect likewise from Santi, Theo, Poldolski and Sagna when they’re needed. Giving big runs to the likes of Gnabry (and tomorrow) Jenkinson “seems” risky, but if the manager is prepared to believe in these kids, so am I…

    I don’t want to be accused of oversimplification, but Ozil is so freaking good. Unlike other big money targets in the window (including the bucktoothed and the hair transplanted…) his game is about making others look better. Too bad for Real Madrid that Christiano already (italics) looks so pretty and that he didn’t think Messy could help him…Their loss is our gain…

    The big thing is that he helps (rather than inhibits… the runners in our squad, by happily moving away from the ball. Ozil is special in that he appears to NOT crave the limelight. It’s almost as if he’s constantly looking for the most efficient (easiest, least flashy, etc.) way to get the job done. The most glorious thing about our 4-5-1 vs Napoli was how smoothly the front 6 interchanged positions. Passing at pace is all about spacing. If players are standing and waiting to see the results of each others’ runs, positioning must be more highly respected and things become static. I think we suffered in this regard early at Swansea (Jack, maybe tired from too many fags AND having a 2nd kid 36 hours before…) was too tightly tied to his left touchline, as Theo often is on the right. Rosicky, Ramsey (and Santi) may extend Theo’s recover time and bring up a niggle to protect Jack from the spectre of being dropped…

    Whoa, two quick ones amongst the blues–Lukaku then Negredo…

    ‘Nuf said (for the moment 😆 😉 )

  • Hi Gerry yeah I think Jack the lad lurks just like Rooney the lad does but it’s a good wake up call for him as a father and role model in a World Cup year… Hopefully he’ll harness the negative press to his advantage …. I’m sure he will !!!! 😀

  • @ Gerry

    ditching drinking and Playstation…dear god man. Those are the best activities before you head out to a bar/club.

  • Did you guys here Aguero saying that Count Pelegrini’s team talks were uninspiring and that he is “too long in the tooth”??


  • @ 17

    ‘weng-juries’…I like it. It definitely looks like he’s getting better at faking injuries until after the lull. Next up will be the Kozzer “injury” so vermaelen gets a go for a while and Kozzer can go to dubai and rest up

  • Hey wizard of Oz are you doing a prematch? I was thinking with your masterclass photoshop skills you could do a Humphrey OGAAT pic with arsenal paraphanalia!!! Also Totes and I talked about once what Ollie would look like with a mean crewcut rather than the pepe le poo quiff?? Loving your prematches ozzy baby!! 😀

  • Gerry, I’m with you on the smoking… (Condolences on your brother, btw…)

    Jack’s got massive talent so he can “get away” with less than (what I would call) professional behavior. Still, now that’s he’s hit a few speed bumps (through injury), I think he needs to take it up a notch. There was an interesting anecdote on yesterday’s Arsecast (from the new BK book…) about RvP watching (an aging) Bergkamp doing extra training and realizing that he would have to rededicate himself if he wanted to really make a success of himself…I worry a little about Ozil on this account (oozing quality and appearing as languid as he does…) but Ramsey’s recovery has to be such an example for Jack and (everybody else in the squad). Looking at some of the fitness kings in the squad (I’m thinking Sagna and Rosicky in particular, but also late bloomers, Giroud and Koscielny…) you would have to think there’s a bit of collective pressure to avoid the “lifestyle” pressures that the likes of (Jack’s buddy?) Wayne Rooney would seem to exemplify… 😉

  • Agreed Oz–not so much about playstation, cigs and hitting the bars–but more about our next W-ingury coming to a CB…I’ve never bought into the whole thing about TV5 and LK6 being “too similar.” In fact, speed in Central Defense, esp. if we’ve got Flamini (and Sir Chez) doing the “captain” work of barking orders, is intoxicating and could lead to some tasty azz-whoopings (big scorelines)… In other words, the next “little knock” might be Mertesacker’s…

    Kompany out injured, Kun finally getting one after missing a hat trick of chances (and otherwise playing like poo)… 2-1 going to half time…

  • Agreed 17h on the fitness culture and mentality of the team being more positive. Really is up to Jack to pull his horns in and think of the people around him, family, team, country. Good wake up call at the right time and Jack needs to eat some humble pie not make up BS excuses… Man up Jack … You can still do it, there’s time to repair the damage …

  • Bon voyage JGC … safe trip back to Aotearoa …. (“Land othe long white cloud”- NZ for those not familiar with the expression) 😀

  • Gael Clichy on for Kut Kolarov…so this becomes a good moment to sing the praises of Gibbs. How lovely is it that he’s not called up by England? I guess Roy needs 3 points per match and Gibbs, maybe, isn’t the offensive force Baines represents…

    That’s sort of how I view KG. He’s quicker than Nacho so lots of recovery pace defending out goal. Our blonde Spaniard has the better passing skills, however, esp. cutting it back from the by-line. Gibbs is another one who should keep trying to work 1-2s with Ollie for a few more roof bulging goals… LB is another position where I think we’ll get some Weng-Rota-Juries. Gibbs AND Nacho make me feel pretty nice watching Clichy this morning. 😯

    Zabaleta goes down over a beam of sun-light and Kun makes it 3-1 from the spot… (Just barely…)

  • Gerry, TA, Fozzie et al …

    Topic first, IMO, JW won’t be allowed for too long. AW isn’t a taskmaster, but I also don’t see him putting up with lazy or stupid. In his own quiet way of course. Equally, our team chemistry is not aligned to heavily towards lad-ism, so I’d expect to see that effect him. Finally, tho it’s his choice, and if he sort of tosses it, it’s not like we’ve a lack of those keen to take his place…

    Thus, for JW it’s put up or sit behind an aging Mozart, Theo, AR, Santi and others if you don’t. The joy of some depth that…

    Regarding Ozil, well he is the make everyone better type. BUT, I hold my original view that he adds creation and new options. When you’ve less skill and even less real creativity you are predictable. We were that last year. Ozil adds the creative but also the step up of AR and OG in this area, aside from goals, is huge… If you think to the goal of Ozil at Napoli, OG starts it all the way on the side at 40m out near mids. Flicks to Ramsey who runs past, rather than into, the stuffed middle. He looks back and ignores the TR option, which is a pretty good one despite coverag, and cuts waaay back to Ozil…THATS creativity and flexibility we didn’t have last year and it equals more goals (period)

    Ozil enhances that further and now all our players must be watched and everywhere too. That equals more fear and more team Presence! … Equals wins…

    So, yes it’s Ozil but multiplied by step up by others, or vice versa… 🙂

    Gerry and TA: Gerry, I’m sure our Dutch leader would note that simplest, precise football IS BEAUTIFUL football. Isn’t it !?!?!?!? 🙂

    And yes, Ozil. Rings it. It’s also effective football because it doesn’t need magic talent to work, just good team play!

    TA: will miss Belgium, but I’m here a lot (next April). Have missed family so it’s time to catch up. I DID give a 2 hour lecture 2/3rds in French and was well understood, so I’m well pleased with how far I’ve come there. And the work has gone well too!

    I will miss easy access to good beer. However, before Fozzie goes off, Harringtons mate, Harringtons, it’s a great Christchurch brewery .. Belgian Tempest!

    Fozzie, finally: actually in the USofA for one. Onto working here and there and then back to spar with NZIS who don’t like that my children are NZ citizens traveling on US passports (with visas and as US citizens)… Which is to avoid, before you get upset about some yachting cup, because families on mixed passports scream out child trafficking, which is an even harder conversation..

    So, I’ve gone from football to child trafficking, and likely that’s far enuff, tho given how young so w players are signed these days ….

    Cheers — jgc

  • 17

    Seems like city will get there way, but not beautifully so nor with the dominance they should expect…

    — jgc

  • All

    A. One on city vs everton — it is said that the 4-5 minutes at the start and end of each half, and those after a goal is scored by your team, are the most dangerous moments. Most teams are aware and start/end as well as they can but..

    Looking at this game Everton haven’t learned! 1 min after Lukaku, and second at 45 mins… Shame that ,…

    FYI and my 2p — jgc

  • This match is oh-vah… (It must be if City can afford to play both Clichy and Nasri at the same time…)

    Of course I still miss Glic and HH and RA, but I’ve also got some call outs for some fine writers I miss from over the Summer…Where are the likes of Admir, Umair and Marcus these days? PPP, I see on match days, but contributions from AFC are almost Dylanesque these days…Are things going just a bit too smoothly to require the “therapy” of posting?… Obviously, the boss (Total Arsenal) has a “real” job these days so he needs help. Between my home projects (paid for AND DIY…) I’m pretty stressed as well…

    These are good times but struggles most surely await. Just because the team has been winning doesn’t mean that they should skip training. Likewise, writers shouldn’t stop just because the angst has relented…It’ll return and we’ll need bright writing to get us through the darker days… Keep your chops in gear by singing praise (if warranted)…it’s not (necessarily…) a jinx… 😀

  • Haha, Nasri goes one v one with the keeper instead of passing to the open Negredo in injury time…

    JGC, enjoy your travels…Seriously, if you’re interested in a possible meet up in California let me know…TA has my e-mail… I think we’re on the same page about Ozi… That he joins a tight group which was on the up but offers a transformative quality to Wenger’s famous vision of the “collective.” Flamini does as well… Both signings (2 or 3 less than many believe we required…) show that it’s not simply about plugging names into positions… “Transformative” isn’t a word according to my spellcheck, but I like it anyhow…

  • 17h Glic has his chops occupied with Kermits slime even your avatar is having a spell on the sides … Hope a prematch is on the way to bring the closet fairies out!! 😀

  • Hey Fozzie, Why don’t you do the pre-match?… 😯

    Yeah, Bac is injured/rested…Maybe I’ll have to work up a new avatar if not an entirely new persona…

    Whassup with Luis la mordita carrying his newborn through the handshake line…they’re bin dippers, not kidnappers, right?…

  • Yeah what’s up with that? I’d be scared if I were the opposition!! Double the bite!! Ouch!!! Awwwww hell 17h … Even Obama is having time out … Probably meeting JGC to go over the nz market!!! 😆

  • Guess the new avatar has already gone up… 😀

    Same guy who went out for pizza the other night?

  • Lordy, Suarez and Sturridge already have Palace beaten…Unless Chamakh can get a hat trick 🙄

  • Haha beauty avatar 17h hell I don’t like to see the a SS guard playing so well so soon after joining up!! He’ll only the second game back. Common palace!! 😀 big game for me coming up at 4 – nz vs South Africa rugby…. Have you been able to get into that 17h or is that a bridge too far? 😀

  • Hi Furry Burgers

    Bon Voyage Professor……watch out for them Iceberg Lettuce in the restaurant !. I too will be watching the WBA game in the USofA…………..U(nder) SofA !.

    Trying to think logically, the Scouse Thieving Bastards should be favourites to win the EPL !.

    1) They are not in the CL
    2) They are not in the Europa League
    3) They are not in the Capital One Cup
    4) The FA Cup is not until January
    5) And if they play their kids in the FA Cup their whole squad will only have to play 38 league games the whole of this season…no 2 games per week and no burnout !.
    They surely must be favourites, what can go wrong ?.

  • Holy hell Cockie!! … You on the genius batch super cookies today!! That is scary and true!!!! And add to that the support of a unique fan base!!!
    ….. Scousers!!! ….

  • hold your horses until they have played the big boys e.g US, $hitty and Chelsea @ Glics

    they are one injury or suspension away from returning back to the mid -table battles but you do make solid points, not having to play on thursday’s helps, however – only a matter of time before they are back where they belong…


    great comment,i do agree with you whole heartedly but you see the trouble with this is that he’s only 21 and is portrayed as a very mature 21 year old by the media – which we now know may might not be the case, however , AW will sort him out, that bit i’m sure about – Chamakh anyone ?

    it just angered me sumwat when he posted a pic of the great zidane to defend himself, the guy had already won loads before he was captured smoking – there was also something about Bradley Wiggins (sir ? ) – he’s a smoker but he smokes only when it’s off season ?

    i don’t buy that being a one off and him being dared to do so, from the evidence that can be seen – he looks like a proper smoker from the way he’s inhaling it , in a way i’m glad he was caught because now AW can give him a dressing down and maybe now we all know the real reason why he has looked knackered after playing 30 minutes in most games ?

    still 21 but still has a very long way to go – hopefully will get there under the watchful eyes of AW….as a punishment he will have to play on the wings tomorrow 😀

  • Got to get naked quickly … Nearly time for haka … It’s going to be emotional and tingly at the same time … 😆

  • oh , Glics asks – what can go wrong with liverFOOL ?

    in no particular order :

    1- Bitey back to his best – a suspension, dive and voila

    3: Daniel Sturridge , he’s their Theo Walcott meaning only an injury away, although i reckon he will pretend to be injured just before the game finishes today against CP – so he can avoid the internationals ?

    5: Steven . G , an injury and their defensive shape goes out with a bang bang bang.

    either one of the 3 and they come tumbling down , i reckon

  • Ok naked haka over … Really enjoyed it … Not so sure the in laws or mrs p bible class did but “hey ho that’s the way the cookie crumbled” as Cockie would say 😆 😆

  • Who the Fcuks this Glic character ?………Mr Monster to you !. hahaha

    Watch out Fozz !, whilst your doing the Cockie Haka a Scouser has just nicked your plasma Screen !.

    Watch this instead.

  • let’s not get Fooled by the score line of LiverFOOL vs CP – it’s only because Palace have been awfully awfully poor – nothing more nothing less

    had we been playing Crystal Palace right now, the score line would have been a 103 🙂

  • Oh man that is awesome Cockie!! Was that Jacky boys dad on the pipe?? Great timing after jackeys episode! 😆

  • That was a real lesson for me from grand cockienstein indeed!!! 15:14 saffas edging the kiwis before half time!! Blatant forward pass on the half way gives them the try. The ball is passed 2 feet behind the line and taken 1 foot in front. Not to worry we will prevail!! 😀

  • Sorry Foz…No Rugby for me, though I just finished watching Fulham-Stoke with Anthony Taylor and the swallowed whistle, so, close enough…

    Hopefully your boy Roy was watching to see England’s best striker in action: Darren Bent…

    My UMF results are going the same way as my Boingage…Into the gutter, up the muppet, etc…

    Does Sunderland have a manager yet?

  • nope, they don’t – but you never know with the black cats, they can beat a spineless team like Man UTD – i reckon 😉

    we need to win with a 3 goal margin at least tomorrow, to instill some real fear to the rest of the teams chasing us 👿

  • Wow see the lads swanning about naked in the pool followed by naked ultraviolet lights after!!! That didn’t look gay in the day but now it does?? Just shows you how crooked this world has gone!! …. On that note I’m going to chug a bong with mr snuffaluffagus during the half time… Cockie get some super happy cookies with the no paranoia icing, JB ill have one of your famous Marinis and a hot rusky for after. (Ill need a roofy to knock out Mrs P too in that instance)
    Bert and Ernie I suggest you watch that old arsenal training clip from Cockie … You might like to do that in private .. That’s how to use a half time baby!! 😆

  • As daddy fozzie would say so graciously …: “shit shit shit!!” Bookies back in front and 10mins in sin bin!! Cockie I’m surprised you don’t have sky … Come on you deserve it… 😀

  • Until they show the penalty at the end, I wasn`t sure which team was Arsenal !.
    If you`re not thinking to yourself…..” I`m a better player than all that lot “… must be a shit footballer !. Even with Jim Henson`s hand up my arse and a soaking wet blue fluffy suit on, I would look like Messi compared to that lot !.
    Anyone notice how the Goalie just boots the ball up field in every clip even though all 20 outfield players are in his area !. hahaha

  • Well the thing is Cockie Jim Henson has talented hand!!! 😆
    You know that “first hand” 😆
    That’s why that Enfield skit was classic – just showed you all that time they had!!! Did you see that pic I posted Cockie of Ozil surviving his initiation sucessfully?? 😀

  • Oops Vidic makes the same mistake he made in the Ukraine…Sunderland 1-0…. 😆

  • JB, Gerry, Fozzie et al,

    JB and Gerry: Hmm, 21 year old male, *with* money… Since most of us here, barring young Dylan are a wee touch past 21, can anyone recall anything, anything at all, about 21 that might indicate “mature” (cough, hack)…

    Fozzie: the joy of being an academic in NZ is you are forced into the public, even my salary is public record! Thus, search Geoff Chase New Zealand on Google and I am the first several links, or for pictures, not *Quite* so badass, see the images results, the first few rows are me or my PhD students:

    JB: the -damus has called 2-0 or 3-0 but if we screw up at the back or OG doesnt play it *may* be interesting

    cheers — jgc

  • All

    Watched M’Gladbach destroy BVD, by, parking 8 in the back, and *very organised* and counter attacking. They countered well and won 2-0 with two *good* goals when BvD overpressed

    Expect to see this all year long …

    The differennce? We already know how to go around the outside and cut back rather than 100% down the middle. BvD showed none of that in any real sense today… and lost..

    cheers — jgc

  • Well, well well. 38nz v 27sa and that’s a good job lads and big ups Humphrey OGAAT to you good things too!!!! 😀
    Thanks prof for the fine links… I didn’t pry into your wallet but nice to put a face to the name!! And if you don’t mind me saying so .. You have a fine resemblance to my learned friend “Sam the Eagle” a very learned friend of mine

    Great observation on BVD, shame Walcott won’t be there to blaze the flanks but I’m sure Gnabry will do just fine!! 😀

  • Not only is our Professor intelligent , but he looks intelligent as well, that is a picture of someone who looks intelligent !… look at mine, Fozzies and 17 ht`s avatars….be honest….do we look intelligent ?……don’t hold back !……we can take it…..and by the look of 17`s eyes….he is currently taking it !. hahaha

  • Hey Cockie Sagnas Mrs is hot!! If he’s taking it he’s one lucky bastardildo!!
    “My hammy didn’t get enough treatment today hunny!! .. By the way I got you the special cookies you like…. ” 😆

  • Gerry compared to Bendtner Jack is a saint, and you have been defending the former strongly recently. Give the boy a life and lets not blow things out of proportion. 😕

  • Further to Cockies comment on our learned friend JGC .. His new muppet resemblance Sam the Eagle also has a like minded personality
    From Wikipedia
    “Sam is appalled by the nonsense that passes for entertainment on the series, and does his best to keep things in check, even though his pleas for an end to madness are usually ignored. As noted in the first issue of The Muppet Show Fan Club newsletter, Sam’s overpowering burden is to act as the “moral center” of The Muppet Show. He would, in fact, like to concern himself with the morals of the entire world, but “regrets that it takes all his time and energy just to keep up with The Muppet Show”

  • I agree Totes .. A humble apology followed by action and hard work on the pitch is all that is needed … 😀

  • Cockie did you see the picture after Ozils initiation?? I gotta know you saw that one .. It had me in stitches .. :lol:!

  • Whoa, tide has turned in Sunderland…the Belgian Gnabry (Januzaj) has struck–twice!

    My wife says, “What’s good for the goose,”… ergo, the google-eye… 😯 Not sure about Ozil? Looked like he and Giroud were pretty *tight* in those post-match dressing-room photos…

    Yeah, JGC looks smart, except for maybe the haircut…I guess if you’ve got it, you gotta do something with it… Again, my wife chimes in, inviting him to Tahoe…

    TA, thanks for reading… 😀

  • Geoff – good to hear you are looking fwd to seeing family again and that your time in Belgium is to be continued in April. Lecturing in French to Belgians – wow je suis tres impressed hahaha 🙂

  • Proffesor, i had to do a double take on seeing your Boat, your the spiiting image of that Lembit Opik geezer, a liberal politician. To be honest, i would rather go with fozzies Sam the Eagle. haha

    I agree with TA and Proffesor Sam, lets give Jack a break. Relatively speaking hes just a kid for christs sake

    Smokings crap and for losers, thats why i do 30 a day. Combined with my drinking, opium habit, and nefarious activities ime surprised ime still hear, but sometimes theres no legislating for how the Cockie crumbles hahaha

  • Thank you 17 h yes your saw the Ozil initiation photo with Ozil and Ollie super tight in their towels!! Ozil giving the thumbs up and the extra wink!! Cockie is eating his own merchandise and is in the happy place right now!! 😆

  • Fozz, was it @ October 3rd 3013 23:01 ?….if so, I clicked on and didn`t see anything !. Try pasting link again. With me having staggered thinking of Cookies, Sex and Arsenal every 6 seconds, it`s hard to concentrate on other stuff !….Cookies…….Sex……Arsenal…….Cookies……Sex…….Arsenal……Cookies……Sex……..Arsenal……..Cookies……..Sex……..Arsenal……..Cookies……….Sex………Arsenal………Cookies………Sex………Arsenal………Cookies…….Sex……..Arsenal……….Cookies………Mrs Sagna……..Arsenal……..Cookies………Miss Piggy…………Arsenal……….Cookies………Ozil………Arsenal…….Cookies………Arsene………..Arsenal………..Cookies…………Bouldies eye liner…………Arsenal……….Cookies………Help !.

  • I cant do that TA. I did have an aprentice once but it ended badly, so never again

    Andrew was a lovely lad but had no idea about women, drugs, or conning people, so i made it my misson to help him

    Within six months Andrew went from been a shy polite young man to a furry dice, womanising, meddalion wearing lothario.

    Unfortuniataly he got ahead of himself and beleived his own hype. he stopped listening to my advice and i noticed a resentment towards me.

    It came to a head when i told him that one particular women was mine and that he was to leave her alone, he completely ignored me and worse he tried it on with her in my pressence.

    He was clearly trying to userp my authority, and though i abhor violence, i had no choice but to kick the shit out of him in a nightclub car park.

    The last i heard about Andrew was that he was in some drug rehab centre. I sometimes wonder, if i had left alone, he would have been better off. Married with a couple of kids, steady job, watching family fortunes etc ?

    But then i think nahhh, i gave the little shit the chance of a life time and the silly Knob blew it. hahaha

  • RM losing 2-1 to Levante, blimey and check this following bit out

    Six La Liga games without a goal for Karim Benzema now. The France forward has rarely threatened and Carlo Ancelotti has decided to replace him as the game enters the final 10 minutes. Even Cristiano Ronaldo has looked average by his sky high standards. His free-kick cannons into the Levante wall, Madrid need inspiration from somewhere.

    40 million for Benzema – stop dreaming, more like 20-25 million tops !

    oh dear, why would you do that Andrew, why oh why ? shot himself right in the foot there i reckon @ TMHT – there’s a lesson to be learned there for all @ Van Pu$$y , had you been more patient and shown a bit more trust and belief in the manager who made you who you are today then you wouldn’t have been struggling to score easy goals and then find yourself in the shadows of AR/ Giroud or even a player who had just come back from Suspension of 10 games – where are the boo boys when you need them!

  • Spanish La Liga
    GOAL – Levante 2-3 Real Madrid (Ronaldo 90+4)

    well then, RM owe another one to the ref’s i reckon .

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