Arteta leads, Szczesny stands up, and Ozil, Rambo and OG pure class

But above all, another great TEAM performance!

The captain answered his critics once more...
The captain answered his critics once more…

Well, Well, ToTL with 22 points and a fine goal difference of 11 after just nine games! The boys did us proud today. Chris Foy tried his best to ruin it for us, but even he could not stop us.

I thought before the game this would either be very easy or we would have to dig deep; and as we all know, it became the latter. Just as against Norwich, Flamini had to leave the game very early, but this time it seemed a groin injury rather than a reoccurrence of his concussion. And just as last week, we lacked a bit of shape and rhythm once he had gone, although Arteta impressed with not just his positioning but also his willingness to put his body on the line.

The pitch was very slow and the Eagles defended resolutely, but we also played at too low a tempo and often not close enough to each other. And when we did play a bit closer together, our triangles did often not work out, due to inaccurate passing and under-par first touches. However, the boys managed to get into the box a few times and got close to scoring with chances for the (still very rusty) Cazorla, Rambo and Giroud.

To be fair on Palace, they played well in the first half and created a few good chances themselves, as once again we allowed them to play football in the space in front of our ‘D’ and were opened up a bit too easily. Part of their strategy was to get easy free-kicks in put-the-ball-into-the-box areas, and Foy easily obliged to support this ploy. But we also were a bit naïve in giving away such free kicks too willingly, making it easy for the 13th man to have his influence on this game. Luckily, we defended most of these free-kicks (and corners) resolutely, which was a welcome sight.

0-0 was a fair score to go into the break with, and it was clear we had to up the tempo of our passing and make better runs into the danger area, if we were to get the three points from this game.

We did not have to wait long for a break. Gnabry, who plays with such an incredible maturity and composure for his age (born in 1995, the same year Dennis arrived at Highbury!), found himself in the box with the ball – after good, patient and incisive triangle-combination football by Arsenal – and he cut the ball back superbly, denying the onrushing Guedioura any opportunity to control his adrenaline surge before it was too late. As a result, the Algerian fouled the young German in the box and this time Foy could not get away with denying us a penalty (we could have had one in the first half).

Up steps our captain, and you kind of feel if he misses this one we will not win today. But his penalties are as sharp and immaculate as his haircut and bionic stare, and he makes it 1-0 to the good guys with an unstoppable effort.

The game can now truly begin, as Palace will need to come out of their defensive setting to get anything out of it. We press and play with a lot more swagger and it seems only a matter of time before we will score the all important second goal. But Foy was still part of the ploy and he grabbed his opportunity with both hands when Arteta and our former Moroccan Gunner collided about a Boeing 747 away from our goal. The gel-man tried to compensate a characteristically bad first touch (his feet have never been his strength) from what was a very promising through-ball with barging into Arteta: they both went to the floor and Foy sends our captain to the showers. It is easy to be resolute if you know what you are doing…. 😕

Arsenal now had to defend and Arsene made excellent substitutions with bringing on our best all-round midfielder Wilshere and safe pair of hands Nacho for the tired Cazorla and, the tactically sacrificed, Gnabry.

We have discussed the need to keep a clean sheet more regularly if we want to beat the Chavs (and others) to the title this season, and today we really needed it to clinch all three points. Up steps our Pole in goal; first denying a beautifully executed shot by Joel Ward with a full stretch, ever so slight fingertips-touch onto the crossbar; followed by a strong, one handed match winning save from Jedinak venomous volley from just outside the box. Szczesny remains a work in progress but today’s performance, for which he was given the MoTM award, will help him tremendously – and he needed it.

The team looked tired but ALL worked hard to fight for the three points. I loved the way Ozil picked up balls in and around our own box and kept it to win time and space, and what a fine, strong balance he has. Jack was able to keep the ball under pressure and move forward with it, not allowing the Eagles to sustain their attacks. Nacho did great work on the left wing, both defensively and in attack, and almost scored a Theo-esque goal late on.

I looked at Giroud and Rambo and they seemed exhausted; the game against Dortmund and the 10-men second half efforts against Palace clearly taking their toll. But they never gave up and dug very deep into their reserves, and this is what we should remember when either of them has a less effective game: these boys really care about Arsenal – the absolute opposite of mercenaries!

And it came as no surprise that the final word of this exhilarating game was for our finest work horses. Giroud collects the ball in midfield with his back to the opponent’s goal – who is currently better in the PL at doing this?…. – and passes to Rambo, who is still able to accelerate past a few Palace players into the box, and somehow finds the composure to produce a measured ball onto the head of the onrushing Frenchman, who places the ball just above Speroni’s left shoulder, leaving him no chance to save it: 2-0 to the mighty Gunners and game over.

A hard fought win, three points, ToTL, and more evidence that this team has real backbone: Ooh to! Ooh to be! Ooh to be A Gooner! – Ooh to! Ooh to be! Ooh to be A Goooner!

Bring on the Oilers! 🙂

Written by: TotalArsenal.

43 thoughts on “Arteta leads, Szczesny stands up, and Ozil, Rambo and OG pure class

  • great result. real worry about DM role though if Flam injured and Arteta suspended. What’s the prognosis – 3 games?

  • EPL is the toughest league in the world and EPL also have the worst referee in the world currently.

  • Evening Broke Back Bishop Bashers 🙂

    I recorded the game and went to DFS as they have an enormous variety of Sofas to hide behind and they were having a SALE !.
    I returned home and asked Mrs Monster whether we had won or not ( I just delete it if we lose or draw, why torture yourself ! ) and not to tell me the score if we win. This suits me just fine as I can watch every Arsenal win without knowing the score and feel relaxed without any stress, I also never get to see Arsenal lose with my system ( unless of course I go to a live game ! ), surprised no one thought of it before !.
    Anyway, the team were at full strength due to me for my Cocknotism of Arsene !. How lucky you bastards are for having a BK regular who works behind the scenes at AFC….fair enough, I haven`t got a contract yet, but that is only a matter of time……10 minutes actually and Gazidas will be under !. hahaha
    Great win and now rest all the regulars for the Chav game ready to take on Ruck Fodgers in the 24/7 Tanning booth…….I will Cocknotize Ruck Fodgers to sell us Suarez !.

  • nice one @ TA

    the game was tough tough, just what you would expect from a bottom of the table team…glad to have come out with 3 points.

    it’s interesting to read AW’s comments, seems like we will not be appealing against Arteta’s red card if it’s only a one game ban (interesting, since he like much of us, isn’t clear whether it’s 1 or 3) .

    the ref was incompetent/biased or call it whatever you want, but there were plenty of fouls, advantages and so on , he got wrong , not to mention 1 or 2 more penalties that could have easily been given in our favour.

    oh no, Flamini is out for 3 weeks ? @ Macko

    groin injuries can be tricky, so 3 weeks mean, that he will be back after 4 weeks , the international lull vs the saints ?

    massive massive lost just before we have to play 4 big matches, bugger.

    no worries though, i saw Frimpong train yesterday 😀

    on a side note, how cool was Nacho when he came in and started playing, i’m not sure if Gibbs should be playing ahead of Nacho at times, you know ?

    i think Nacho is our best crosser and long ball passer.

    Giroud needs to work on his finishing – that’s his main job, some of the chances he missed were the ones that top class strikers thrive on and convert…he needs to be more greedy and mean, numbers wise he needs to be doing a lot better , very happy with his overall work rate though.

    for chelsea, i reckon AW will be using Rosicky, JW, Gnabry, Bendtner for sure.

  • ah, i forgot to do my 3 positives and 3 negative for today…

    here we go :

    3 Negatives :

    – Losing Flamini to an Injury , most likely for 3 to 4 weeks..

    – FATIGUE – i hope AW manages to get a few players back from injury ASAP, as this will allow him to properly rest a few players, the injury to Flamini has come at the worst time possible.

    – teams can hurt us on the counter attack, especially from corners, we need someone with pace waiting on the edge of the box to run back and help the brushing up – usually it’s Theo , if he doesn’t take the corners, we are missing that hence Arteta was in that position with very little support.

    3 positives :

    – Sczny, those 2 saves were magnificent , more of the same please, however, it’s against bigger oppositions where he seems to have a mental block thing, big massive 3 games coming up for him to put it right – never the less, a deserved man of the match performance

    – Nacho , just goes to show that even when you haven’t played for so long, he can come in and play with such confidence and can do a reliable job , when called upon – very impressed with his commitment and attitude

    -Ramsey , cool calm and composed, how cool was his assist for Giroud ? done a lot of running and work as usual all over the pitch as well, very good !


  • last but not least,

    anyone in Favour of Sagna playing as a DM or filling in for Flamini – say AYE


  • nice post Total

    Well, we made it difficult for ourselves by not doing the simple things right. How frustrating it can be when a team decides to attack using only the right side, and it is not working. Nevertheless, I always prefer a balanced attack through the left, center and right. I felt we were too one-sided and predictable at times. Also, few players showed up for the ball by creating two or three yards for themselves. On a positive note, good work from the 10 Arsenal boys for taking their chances against TWELVE men.

    Don’t know what will happen in the next weeks without Arteta and more so the Flames. I just thought Wenger would go back to the Arteta-less formation we saw the first few weeks of the season.Ramsey-Flames was a match made in heaven. Did referee Foy accomplish his mission by sending off Arteta after the great Flame’s injury? Was he sent on a secret mission to ensure that some crazy things happen?

  • This is where our small squad size starts to bite. I don’t see Sagna fitting in too well at DM; my choice would be Nacho because of his experience and passing skill. TV4 might also do a job there but he has less match fitness.

  • good point @ davydavy

    and we need Sagna out wide with his crosses and running up n down, agreed

    Nacho seems to be the better choice over Sagna but i reckon TV5 is physically more suited ?

  • So what is the situation re suspensions – does Arteta miss 1 or 3 games? I assumed 3, but some quotes suggest it will only be 1, and the cup at that.

  • we don’t know AB, even Arsene Wenger doesn’t know – hence we wait.

    1 is very likely though.

  • on whether he will appeal Arteta’s red card…
    I think we have good grounds to appeal. If he’s only suspended for one game I won’t do it because he’s suspended for Tuesday night and anyway I would not have played him but it was more today’s game that was at stake. It was the wrong decision because it has to be good goalscoring opportunity, he was far from goal, it was an accidental foul, he was not the last man. I think the referee got that one wrong and after that we dealt well with the situation

    credit to :

  • The ‘if’ in Wenger’s quote is so strange – surely this is prescribed somewhere in the rules, rather than a matter of conjecture? Hope we get clarity soon. The CC can hang in my view, but if we are without both Flam and Arteta for Liverpool and Manure, then we do have a problem.

  • Hi

    IMO, CPs interim had them exactly prepped for us. 9 players back plus GK, and all in middle and at edge of box… They defended well and with energy, and consistently (only 38% of ball)… Credit to them. IMO, for them it was as perfect as it gets, plus help from Foy..

    2-0 to me is thus ok…

    Flams out is not. Bummer!! IMO, TV or Nacho, not Sagna who’ll be needed out wide and his overlapping.

    Given how arsenal has played, IMO, expect more clogging and slowing the game from all. Pool alone might be foolish enuff to come out at us. They are on form, so … THAT could be interesting…!!

    Even Chelsea and ManCity will be measured.

    Finally, interesting to hear Ozil was ill before BD and appeared flatter today. So, some rest will do there too..

    I differ finally about OG as he head to work right hard in the middle of the entire CP team. His misses were only half chances for me. Others convert them in our minds but really at same ole rate, as we only see lots of success on highlights of the weekend.

    S’all! Cheers — jgc

  • Not sure if someone mentioned it, but Palace doctored the pitch today….not watered and employing Moles to make it bumpy, so even more credit to The Arse for beating the cheating bastards with one less player !.
    A positive for them though…..their crowd sounded like Dortmunds on my TV, constantly making a noisy atmosphere…..take note Library !.

    Night night, sleep tight, don`t let your WAGs give Cockie Monsters cookie a bite !. hahaha

  • CM

    Not doctored, “free range” and “all natural” … Think of it as old school, as in “before skills” … 😀

    cheers — jgc

  • Great game, even down to 10 at no point i thought arsenal would lose, i think ver would be right for the job in the cup game tues, let ryo and gnarby have a go at them with rosicky directing traffic

  • Hi all..
    We are the Champion.. hehe..

    What’s wrong with the referees.. all seem to again us.. and still behind MU.. hehehe.. you know what I mean.. it could be their third fail at home.. hahaha..

    I think it time for Frimpong to show us his quality.. and prove to be a real gunners..
    If not Vermaelen will be another choice to choose..
    I don’t like to watch Ramsey – Wilshere as our double pivot.. not again.. hehe..
    And that can start with Chelsea.. I think Frimpong will shine.. just like Gnabry lastnight.. hehehe..

    Just hoping Walcott will arrive soon.. eventhough Gnabry did okay.. And also Cazorla find his way back to his great performace.. as he did last season.. and I’m sure he will..

    For now.. just want to be a Freddy Mercury.. and sing.. We are the champion.. my friend.. and We keep fighting till the end.. We are the Champion.. We are the Champion.. no time for losser.. cause We are the Champion of the world..

  • great stuff TA, top match report. I will be offering up my Mrs to Ramsey after seeing that turn and then the assist to Giroud. What a season he is having. If he isn’t leading the player of the season race then we might as well burn the administration to the ground.

  • I agree Nacho and Vermaelen are better than Sagna for the Place de DM, Sagna and too important to his post.
    Nacho has a soul Gunners, it lache nothing and gives everything he has in the belly, I love this kind of player. It is time for Ping-Pong to show us it is worth

  • TA – I think you have got the mood for everyone who watched the match, supporting Arsenal that is.

    The positive was the 3 points. Team effort great also, but now they need more ‘restore’ time..

    My heart (and confidence) sank when Flam went off. You can guess he knew it was serious, as he is not the type to throw in the towel with just a slight niggle?
    Just as I have noted on the past two games, he goes, and then there is an instant switch that the opposition clicks, and says ‘ We’re in here lads’?

    Twofold impact. We lose potency up front, and somebody with nous, not to mention Presence! in defence.

    Fortunately the AW half-time team talk reminded them that they still had eleven players .. little did he know what lay ahead? .. and to be a bit firmer with the passing … with a stern eye at Gnabry, I imagine?. The lad does seem to take time to get into it when he misses a few games?

    Sure enough SG44 has a more positive run and turn, in the box, which even M. Owen could not deny. The earlier one where he(MO) was adamant it was outside, watched the reply as though that justified his assertion. Whereas I think, if you see the right foot that does the tripping left a mark right close to the line, which means Gnabry was inside the box?

    The sending off. I have a theory that it may have had something to do, in Foy’s mind at least. It concerns the 3 tackles done by Ramsey earlier, and any one could have brought a booking, that were also a bit cynical – man if not the ball type. So when he sees Chamakh go down when looking to have a clear run on goal, he’d already made his mind up?

    It s only conjecture as to whether he could have scored, or whether Kos would have got back, and he’s was being tracked by another Palace player. So contesting the ban could carry risks in that they may increase the punishment if they deem an appeal frivolous. They usually support the Ref’s decision unless it is absolutely clear that a mistake has been made? Or, indeed, should the Ref have a change of heart and decides he was a bit harsh with the Red card, and lowers it to just a yellow. You have to be a super optimist to think that will happen, and be ‘on something’ if you think he will think it was not a foul at all????

    Substitutes, right ones, although there was a slight delay in getting Monreal on when it was clear we needed an extra defender? Perhaps deciding who to take off? The Gnabry one was a positive compensation for what we lost in losing Ramsey’s effectiveness, and eventually paid off in the second half. Jack coming on for Arteta, losing Gnabry, and a few minutes later for Santi, were all sound choices.

    Credit to Palace, at nil-1 they sent on all attackers, which left them open to the killer goal.

    I will not argue with MOTM, but I think Sagna was outstanding too.

    JB – on Szcz(natch) Can I remind you he made his debut against MU, and was brill. Stop punishing him for last season where he had personal issues to deal with. He’s back now, and most definitely our No 1 GK.

    So we move on, still ToTL. Move on to the COC that is; Kids versus kids?


  • Comments on who is our replacement for Flamini does somewhat confirm his importance to the team? Perhaps it might be better to wait and see who might emerge from the academy in the COC?

    Plus you will have TV5 to show how sharp he is, and perhaps Jenks will do his chances for a recall no harm either. Who knows, it may be an opportunity to try Monreal as a DM in this game. Time for the B54 to hit the big time … err actually that should be the BOO54 – Brandon Ormonde Ottewill. These are the possibilities. Of course a fully fit and at his best, Nico Yennaris would be my choice to partner an experienced player, and that would be job done?

    Sagna is the nearest player,like for like, to Flamini, and he would be on hand to support Jenks advanced runs. For and against the Gibbs – speed and Monreal – experience – TV5 – physical.

    So let us wait and see what, and who emerges from the COC first, eh?

  • Good morning Cojones cuddlers!! 😀 Great work Totes and interesting reading the comments about Ozil being crook. What a professional he is!!
    Yes I thought le prof did a real good job with his subs today! And everyone who came on seemed amped! Nacho was on fire, Wilshere was composed and direct, Gnabry used the touchline well and earned his pen.
    I’m just thankful the Pole did the business between the sticks or else Cockie would be behind the sofa and I will be back in the BK closet looking for Jim Hensons severed hand for comfort!! 😆

  • To me although chamakh leant into Zorro, in real time it looked like a foul and it was a clear 2 on 1 situation if he got past that. Zorro knew it was 50/50 that he would be sent off and he took the risk. Can’t complain with that really…. Good wake up call for the team really. 😀

  • No way would we play Sagna, Nacho, or Verm as our DM. We have specialist players available in that position. Frimpong is good to go, Hayden is ready, and so is Yennaris.

    Give Frimpong a go, it’s his position. He knows the tactics, he knows where to position himself, and he has the ability.

    Time to DENCH Chelsea!!!

  • Off to the enemy camp today for chelvski v oilers…. Kermit is well excited. We both plan on making full use of the hospitality …epileptics turn away now Fozzie B will not be held responsible for green and brown flashing images!! 😆

  • Definitely not a foul. Cham pushed into Zorro and there was a tangle of legs. It should have been play on. But that’ll happen when replays aren’t allowed. It’s a shame because the game could have been decided by that call.

    Use the technology you outdated fossils. If you allow players to roll around on the ground you can’t complain that replays would slow the game down.

  • Hey Oz!! I reckon AW will put Hayden in for DM like he did last time. Would like for Dench to get a run out though! He is long overdue a run out but appears to be behind the pecking order? Maybe Hayden will play CB and Dench will get his chance … Wouldn’t mind that really 😀

  • I agree with you Oz on the replay it shows it clearly but in real time it looked a foul

  • Morning guys 🙂

    Great follow up analysis and good to see many recognise the fine 2nd half efforts of the team. I reckon Arteta will be back against Pool, and we’ll play Wilshere and Frimmers against the Chavs. But it’s worthwhile doing as separate post on the topic…

  • Saying all that, I have to agree with that rascal Hansen on MOTD that is was dreadful positioning by Zorro in the first place and why wasn`t someone with more pace in that position ?. Anyone notice Palace had a player sprinting through the middle to help Chammy if the collision hadn`t happened !. I will have Cocknotize Bouldie about this, when he isn`t wearing his Anti-Cocknotism eye-liner !.

  • I see on newsnow that the inventor of the Doner Kebab has died aged 80 in Berlin !. Apparently from a dodgy Kebab !. Amazing when you think with all the Turks living in Germany that they couldn`t find a Kebab Donor !.

  • Hahaha as Cockie as ever! 🙂

    The ref was rubbish and was clearly keen on giving our opponents an advantage imo. All those easy free kicks for them in our half told me enough…

  • Well done, Gerry, for leading the Boing league this morning. All that preparation during the week seems to be paying off for you! 🙂

    Not a good week for you, Dylan… and HH…..that is what marriage can do to you hahaha! 😉

  • Nice one TA

    Thought we done well yesterday and deserved he points

    Crap pitch, bent ref, fatigue from the Dortmund game, yet we still win.

    Foy did not want us to win, the guys a raging bender and i would lke to punish him.

    Whilst ime at it, Cockie, why you defending Hansen? The stupid twat tried to justify his general point by highlighting a clip from 2010

    Hansen and Foy have simply got an anti Arsenal agenda, so anything they say or do, wether correct or not should be disregarded. They both deserve to be punnished, preferably by me wielding a feather duster and firework.

  • Afternoon TA – I had no idea I topped the Boing! league. I don’t check before Tuesday.

    I now have a routine where I ; Check results Tuesday; Have a look at the up coming fixtures and pick my team: Thursday I look at at the injury list – I had all 3 subs injured the other week! – and then a quick look for transfer options: Friday make a transfer, and check again at likely injuries. Pick my final team.

    Like you say, it must be paying off as last week was my first sub average score by one point. Long way to go though before thinking of prizes. That Dylan always seems to sneak back in front of me. HH must have started paying attention too. Rather than doing a Man U, struggling in mid-table? 😆

  • Oz – I am not sure you are up to speed re Frimpong. To my knowledge he has yet to play this season, but I could be wrong. He has only just returned to training, he look fatter than an out of season Bendtner in the training photo, and he has dodgy knees.

    If Sanago needs careful handling, then Frimpers is right behind him.

    We are talking about the ‘pool and Man U games, presumably alongside Arteta if the double defensive pivot is to be employed.. Yennaris will play that position in the COC I would imagine, and Hayden at CB, as you suggested, Probably alongside Vermaelin. Although, the clever AW might just put Jenks alongside TV5, and push Hayden forwards with Yennaris as the more advanced of the pair, something he has done previously.
    That would allow the devilishly quick Bellerin to be the RB? Olsson and Eisfeld as the creative pair with any two from three up front; Bentner, Akpom, Gnabry?

    It may look a weakish side to put out, but, Chelsea, coming off a tricky game today will more than likely go for something similar, and both packing the bench with players you hope don’t get used?

    That is the way I would do it, but I am not AW.

    Don’t dismiss Sagna from the DM role either. If your read his stats from yesterday, it does read very much like what a good DM would do? But is does come down to whether Jenks, or even Bellerin, does enough to be Per’s right-hand man if Sagna moves to the middle?

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