Has Arsene seen enough?

7cb7581c-9624-4a25-b3dc-671eb4992883_OzilWenger_tussenbeeld 

During the previous inter-lull, I wrote a post stating that the following seven games might determine whether Arsene would stay or not. We had relatively easy matches against Norwich and Palace and a Mickey Mouse game against the Chavs, but also four real tests of the steel, character and quality of Wenger’s current crop of players.

I reckon the boys did well in those four games. The win against Pool was perhaps the most important result this season and it was not just the three points that mattered here. It was also the style of football and dominance of our football that was really important. We bossed the Scousers in every area and played some fine football during that match.

Our two encounters with Dortmund were also great matches, at least from a tactical point of view. I reckon the Gelb-Schwarzen are a bit further ahead of us but we both got three points out of our two battles, which is better than two draws in the end. Wenger thought his team had been a bit naïve in our home game, conceding the cruel hammer blow of a Dortmund late winner just when we were playing our best football. Anybody who plays a bit of chess knows the danger of attacking aggressively and neglecting their defence, and playing a team like Dortmund is basically the same as playing a game of giant chess.

I reckon our two matches with Dortmund were timed perfectly and have been great learning experiences for our first team. We will reap the benefits for a long time to come. Arsene was complementary about the maturity of his team in our away game, and I reckon he will have seen enough to make him think this team can get somewhere this season.

Unfortunately, we lost against the Mancs as a win at Old Toilet would have been the icing on a very impressive week. It was not to be, and Arsene claimed his team had been a bit nervous against Manure. We did appear to miss a bit of courage and we were perhaps a bit too conservative in our line-up and approach to the game – maybe Arsene himself had been a petit peut nerveux…

Yet, for the first time in a long period we were able to control large parts of the game at OT in the second half, and with a bit more luck and strength on the bench, we could have taken home a deserved point, or even more.

I am not yet 100% convinced this team can win the PL this year, but I am feeling more confident every week. Even the ‘small loss’ against the Mancs actually left me feeling mildly positive. I guess I will start feeling 100% certain we will win the league when we no longer see a significant drop in the team’s performance after a player in the spine suddenly gets injured; when the likes of Mertesacker, Flamini and Giroud can be replaced with like for like quality and no adverse impact on our football and results.

coaches bikes

Whether Wenger believes enough in this team to sign a new contract is anybody’s guess, but being ToTL and top of the CL ‘group of death’ must go a long way to convince him that he finally is putting something very special together again. And with Ozil, Jack, Santi, Theo, Rambo, Ox and Rosicky he now has the sort of players who can make Arsenal play the finest form of Wengerball once more.

Written by: TotalArsenal.

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72 Responses to Has Arsene seen enough?

  1. Fozzie B says:

    Fiiirrrrrsttt Sleepling Beauty Bk Ballerinas!!! 😆

  2. Fozzie B says:

    Nice one Totes and good pragmatic report on the first quarter! 😀
    I’m very proud of the boyz as well, they have played with passion, spirit and intellegance!!
    I think Cockie’s injury hit list shoes that we have accomplished beyond expectations and hopefully when we get further down that injury table we will get even better!!
    Considering no Theo, Poldi, Santi, Ox … We have done so well … And with those extra arrows in Wenger’s quiver we will be more lethal provided we have no major injuries.
    If we lost BFG it would be nearly as lethal as losing Ollie .. But fingers crossed they stay fit!!
    I agree on the old toilet result… As soon as I heard BFG and Rocky were out I thought we would struggle for the win. But the truth is they were on a good day and we were on our worst and we could easily have had the draw. If anything it gave me massive confidence going forward. I reckon Manure will start grinding out results whilst Chelvski and Oilers will still have the odd shocker so it’s uontinus to be consistent!!
    Hoping for some CF backup in Jan .. Even if just a loan … Followed by a killer SQ striker in Summer and maybe a killer SQ DM then as well for Zorro/Flame …. 😀
    Great for Toral and Afobe to be back from injuries too … Well done lads!! 😀

  3. robin says:

    I don’t quite get what this article is about!

  4. Fozzie B says:

    Hey wakey wakey you lot caught in Cockies tranny annex!!!
    I’ll be out minding Animal all weekend starting tomorrow… This is my last chance to play selfish bastardos!! 😆

  5. Fozzie B says:

    Welome Robin!! 😀 … I agree multitasking is a great challenge to us menfolk but if you’d kindly remove batmans boomerang from your nether regions and read the post again and previous you might receive an epiphany of from another dimension!! ……. (Although incredibly close to your rectum as well). 😆

  6. geoffchase says:

    Hi TA

    I’m not to sure that AW is too worried about it. Per Fozzie, and you, I think we’ve done quite well and with less injuries we will be better as we go further in the season.

    So, so far, so good. I think, we will see more of AW…

    Cheers from Canterbury — jgc

  7. bc says:

    Have to agree pretty much. We are very close to having at least 1 top quality back up for each position. The areas that concern me most are RB where jenkinson is not a top quality back up. RCB where neither kos verm or sagna are the right player, to replace mertesacker. All can play with him but struggle alongside each other. If everyone is fit I think the midfield 5 has a top quality back up arteta/flamini, ramsey/wilshire, walcott/chamberlain, ozil/rosicky, cazorla/podolski is a formidable line up. Whilst the back up of frimpong zelalem gnabry diaby ryo is not so sad either. Between the sticks viviano should be the top quality back up whilst fabianski is a gud 3rd choice. However up front we don’t have a top quality back up to giroud and in fact I would say we have a great back up striker in giroud but we need a world class finisher. The likes of bendtner park afobe sanogo and akpom are all worthy of being the 3rd choice but no higher at present. So for me the first 3 signings in january should be in order CF, RB, RCB. I would love to see us add a winger as the eventual squad replacement for rosicky and a proper DM as the eventual replacement for arteta. Whilst I think flamini will only be around 2-3 seasons so perhaps the re- signings of fabregas and song are not out of the question as their replacements and who knows pedro or reus as rosickys replacement. I amcertain dortmund would take 40m for lewandowski and reus especially if we included rosicky and bendtner in the deal. That would leave us to go for richards where the loan of jenkinson might help to seal that one. I would then go for adil rami as rcb he has played with kos and sagna for france and
    is available in january
    So to recap in
    Lewandowski now
    Richards now
    Rami now
    Reus in the summer
    Fabregas in 18 months
    Song in 18 months

    Out
    Bendtner now
    Park now
    Diaby now
    Rosicky end of the season
    Arteta in 18 months
    Flamini in 18 months

  8. Fozzie B says:

    Hey Sammy the eagle JGC!! Welcome back to Aotearoa!! Good timing with the weather!! You have got that sussed eh? 😀
    BC I love your transfer articulating .. Breaks the tranny window to bite size chunks…
    This helps us get a real perspective of where we are … And when we get theo, Poldi and Ox back? Lookout!!

    https://mobile.twitter.com/FASfootball/status/400936201718599680/photo/1?screen_name=FASfootball
    😀

  9. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey ToTL…Nice post…Sorry about getting caught up in definitions of “nervous” while using up my (limited) ‘puter time…On that note, I think you mean “mettle,” not “metal”…

    I think we’re a long, long way from being able to make any conclusions about who will finish where. Lots of twists and turns and the key may be avoiding the double-blip, i.e., responding in style to (perceived) set-backs. There are many good teams in the English league this year and it would be an improvement to finish ahead of any of the three teams who beat us last year. We also need to do our part to keep those below us down…

    So far we’ve gotten where we’ve gotten with an extremely thin but spirited and (perhaps) over-performing squad. Who could’ve guessed that Ramsey would become the freest scoring MF in English football? Scszesney and his (generally intact) back four have kept us in matches where our offense struggled and Giroud has been a work horse at the other end. Playing 5 midfielders match after match has ranged from beautiful to a bit one-dimensional and toothless. We’ve been fortunate that we’ve only rarely not taken the first goal. Such a formation (esp. with little in the way of explosive attacking options on the bench…) works even better when defending a lead. Unfortunately, Old Trafford, with a virus hitting the squad, was a step too far. A set back, for sure, but plenty to remain upbeat about…

    The teams that *should* be ahead of us have all struggled (maybe) with the opposite–too many healthy players–and, on enough occasions to drop more points than we have, it’s lead to uninspired attacking and defensive errors…Our task between now and January is to keep racking up the points while bringing more bodies into the rotation. We also need to play at a consistently high level and our best against the best. Hopefully, come the new year, our adjustments will seem minor and it will be more about shoring things up for the rest of the season and the longer term.

    The Ozil transfer was huge and because of it players will be (truly) shopped our way. I wouldn’t expect us to splash big again unless an(other) amazing opportunity presents itself. We’ve got a nice combo of young and old and Ozil represents a huge leap in technical class to which the others can aspire. The leadership (and general spirit) must, however, remain collective. I think it’s a marvel that our captain isn’t even in our regular first 11. Clearly there’s a new onus on EACH player taking a measure of responsibility for the what happens. If we can keep this up, add class through returnees from injury and maybe one or two youngsters and/or new signings in January there’s no reason to not be excited about each upcoming match.

    I know I am… 😀 …

  10. Domhuail says:

    TA….he has already decided to sign a new contract….everything he does speaks to that. His 8 year project is finally coming to fruition and I can’t see him abandoning that.

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers for comments until now – will get back to you in morning. I wish I had half the energy of Fozzie Bunny 😉

    Night Night

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    Let’s hope he will be holding up those cups again soon 🙂

  13. allezkev says:

    Good post TA…

    Will Arsene sign?
    Hmm, not sure that Ozil would have joined if he’d thought that Wenger didn’t have long term plans?
    Plans that Wenger himself was gonna be in situ to put in place…

  14. Gerry says:

    TA – I am with you on the view that we are better than some fans think we are, and that the team, and emphasis on ‘team’, has done better than they might have thought possible.

    I agree with 17HT that there will be many twists and turns before January, so it is one thing to speculate on our future line up for the second half of the season, and totally another to be certain?

    I also agree with Allezkev … Where have you been? The cabbying must be keeping you up all night 😀 ? – On the Wenger signing. Not only players like Ozil that have signed, AW will have a major effect on who comes in, and possibly who leaves?

    We all know that January is not an ideal time to sign SQ players as a rule, but just may be this WC year will have an effect? HT’s point about at least waiting until we see the final line for those competing before committing names to our wish list.

    Bookies usually have their inside information pretty well sorted, and if JB’s sauce is saying there will be some activity this January, I for one would not bet against it.

    Again, it may come down to AW squeezing a bit more from the squad over the next 6 or 7 weeks, dangling the carrot of ‘I’ll stay if we are still in contention’, but that is too simplistic?

    What isn’t, he needs to put pen to paper first, then get Sagna and Rosicky to sign their respective extensions. Continuity has been a major part of our success so far this season. Both these players have proved their worth to the squad this season, and are unlikely, barring serious injury, to drop below that level next season, even if used more sparingly? Beyond that, as I said in the previous post, both can offer so much in mentoring the young guns coming through the ranks, that maintains that continuity. That could be priceless in the way the transfer market is heading?

    So, to the question posed, has Arsene seen enough, and made his decision?

    I will pose another twist to that. Has he seen enough to know he can leave on a high note?

    That people, opens up a whole new area of speculation …

  15. Gerry says:

    Just a slight digression – catch this one time target:

    http://hereisthecity.com/en-gb/2013/11/15/sp-video-jaw-dropping-arsenal-target-scores-hat-trick-for-france/?

    Hugely talented, but what an obnoxious personality? He makes Ravel Morrison look quite ‘saintly’?

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Excellent question Gerry. And will he spend again if he feels this team will not make him leave on a high note?

    I am half expecting him signing a new contract before the new year, as I think he has seen enough to believe in this squad.

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    Fiozzer agreed, Manure will be hoping to grind out results and let’s hope Newcastle will wip their arses

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    Bc, agreed on RB position, although Bellerin or Flamini could be the temporary answer. Disagree a bit on the CB position as I think Sagna is pretty similar to BFG….. But then he’s our main RB

  19. Gerry says:

    TA – That was my first thought ..

    However, committing to another 3 years when there could be a back step in that time, the thought of the repeat of the abuse earlier this year just makes you wonder?

    I doubt though, that he will just go without his successor being selected, and may be another role e.g. ‘Director of Football’ (with particular duties at the head of scouting?) were already in place?

    That would be a masterpiece in secrecy if that were so ?

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    17, nice multi faceted comment. 🙂

    Is our squad really that thin? Has it not just proven how deep it is, making us forget about Ox, Theo, Podolski and Santi for long periods? One or two areas need strengthening but to call our squad extremely thin is not correct in my opinion….

    Back later today.

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    Good points Gerry, I just think he wants to manage a ream for another five years, but am not entirely sure whether it will be Arsenal

  22. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Nice one TA

    What ever Arsene decides about his future is alright with me. The mans a legend and deserves respect.

    If hes up for it, and I think he is, he should stay and reap his rewards.

    Twelve months ago we were apparently heading nowhere Stan was in it for the money, Ivan was a lying numpty, Arsene a busted flush, and the suger daddy clubs and Utd were going to freeze us out for ever. Bolloxs

    We were always going to come back, and were doing it earlier than expected.

    We have every chance for the title this year, but going forward, probably next season, we will stand out as the best team in England.

    Hows that for a Club lacking ambition and going nowhere?

  23. Gerry says:

    The other CB we are linked with, who you have to say, sounds an ideal signing(Kouyate), except for one acronym

    AFCON???

  24. Gerry says:

    sindy – in sunny South Africa, can I recommend you bookmark this site after reading the article:
    http://arsenalyouth.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/toral-impressive-as-arsenal-u21s-continue-good-form-with-win-over-aston-villa/

    It answers your questions about the CB’s, and my thought as to where Hayden’s future lies?

  25. Gerry says:

    Sorry TA – I am cutting across your post somewhat, but I am focussing on two areas where where you suggest we may have a problem.

    The first two links address the Mert one, and Hayden’s deployment as DM, alongside Frimpong might indicate who he is shadowing?

    Striker role is just too silly to put up links?

    I do remember arguing that had we signed Suarez, the goals he might score could help the second tier get more game time. Whilst on the one hand, he would reduce the number of midfielders we can play, but we might be in more comfortable winning positions that enables more subs to be used from the academy?

    The same will be true of any class signing, if they can score from the multitude of opportunities that our gifted midfield can throw at them? I just how AW gets the best one available, and helps keep the same unity in the team that we have now?

    In the meantime we have to watch and hope that our buddies on duty come back unscathed?

  26. allezkev says:

    Gerry, really enjoyed your post on the youngsters.
    We has some exceptionally talented young players. I really like Olsson, Akpom and Bellerin…
    Not seen Toral yet, but comparisons of him playing in a style similar to Rosicky is exciting…
    Very encouraged by the way the present 1st team has been performing.
    Despite having a succession of ‘must win’ games against sides expected to trip us up, we’ve sailed thru these encounters, ManU excepted…
    Yeah mate, I have been busy mate, thankfully. 😉
    Hope you are ok?

  27. James Bond says:

    nice one @ TA

    AW, has worked hard over the years and has finally built what he always wanted, all his teams including the reserves playing the way he wants according to his philosophy and the Arsenal way !

    it is no coincidence that the under 21’s and the 19’s are playing such brand of football, it’s because AW knows he has created this and for that reason, i doubt if he will want to leave Arsenal the way we are (Trophy less) – AW is a man of dignity and one that takes great joy and pride when his Arsenal wins, in short , he is going to stay for another 3 years – after that, what happens no one knows but yep, the sign of real intent for me was last in January 2013 – when we submitted a bid for CAVANI , sure £30 million wasn’t enough to lure him out of Italy at the time but we have known it since start of the year that we are only going to be splashing the cash for a SQ striker, hence we went back in for his fellow country man in Suarez – we ended up with Ozil instead, however, the striker money is still there to be used and i have no doubt, that we will be trying to secure another top notch signing in January –

    why do i remain confident that this time we will succeed ? well, us being top of the table or fighting for the title and being in the champions league knock out stages might be a big reason as to why most SQ strikers would want to join us as opposed to last january when Cavani and co turned us down.

    what i’m trying to say is that AW has put 8 years into baking this cake and now it’s time to eat it too and keep eating it for another few years and in the process, fill up that trophy cabinet.

    people often reckon that he will do a fergie , after winning the EPL he’ll hang his boots but i reckon he will want to win the Champions league with Arsenal and put the 2006 final right (we were robbed that day).

    and it still hurts.

  28. James Bond says:

    Robin,

    this article is about batman, you gotta read it 3-4 times to find him though 😉

    welcome back @ JGC

  29. Gerry says:

    allezkev – Yes, I’m okay, but I have a couple of dogs slowing up. Double dog walking most days. Two short ones, one longer one.

    For Toral check this link from his Barcelona days:

    http://hereisthecity.com/en-gb/2013/11/13/arsenals-barcelona-wonderkid-on-fire-after-injury-heartbreak/

    And for written confirmation, the link i put up earlier @12.44.

    Two goals and two assists in two games in his only starts since the beginning of the year?
    That shows real class? And a team player to boot.

    I just hope Barca don’t come back the way they did with Cesc?

    Try and get a fare to nearby next time they are at home, and have an extended break 😆

  30. They seek him here, they seek him there, that elusive Total van Pimp email……I thought he`d gone back to lap dancing in the red light district……the Amsterdamsel !. 😆

    Being the most pessimistic feet firmly on the ground BKer, the only time I will be 100% sure we`re gunner win it is when it`s mathematically impossible for anyone to catch us !.
    Will Daft Wenger sign a new contract ?. I have been vocal in my support for him, but also critical of him !. He has bouts of brilliance and bouts of astonishing naivety and I ( and you ) can say what I/we like and have an opinion on everything Arsenal as it doesn`t really matter as we are not his mates or close confidants !.
    All I ever want Arsenal wise is for us to be competitive, do that and the trophies usually follow suit. If he can get us back to being that, then I`d love him to stay . So touch wood and some more SQ !. hahaha

    As I have said, I can be critical, I did post a link how we are TOTL for injuries and remarked imo that it will be our downfall, but saying that, as others have said, if we are TOTL (EPL) whilst suffering the abnormally bad luck of these injuries, then Dafty has to be praised and the deep buried sub-conscience optimistic Monster would probably be knocking one out inside me ( dirty bastard ! ) and jumping for joy ! and If our injury luck takes a turn for the good, then who knows !.

  31. Too late JB…..Robins hanging upside down in the bat cave sucking Batman off !.

    KAPOW !!…..KARAANG !!…..SCWAAACK !!….HOLY SMOKES BATMAN….YOU JUST JIZZED OVER MY FACE !!

  32. James Bond says:

    wtf ahahhahahahahahahaahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhaha

  33. Me and Ozil are best buddies !.

  34. Gerry says:

    Well, as I got side-tracked doing a D.Mail sudoku puzzle, you lot seemed to have disappeared too?

    I have to admit, their 4 star puzzle was a bit of a so-an-so. I had to rest it once, but I was not going to be beaten. I kept saving it, the resting, then coming back to it. 40 minutes it took, but I got there in the end.

    If nobody else is about soon I shall switch over and watch the footie .. well I’ll do that anyway, but just a bit earlier ..

  35. Watching the England crap, it says something when the Chilean goalkeeper would walk into this England team as a ball playing midfielder !.

  36. Even VCC would get into the team, quick into the attic, cobwebs off the Dial Square boots and a carpenter to fix some new wooden studs and you`re on !.

  37. James Bond says:

    ah, Koc the hot headed one – gets a red card

    sagna didn’t play

    giroud got subbed at the 70th minute…

    france the one man team (Ribery) lose 2-0 to ukraine

    everything has to go through ribery from the left , you close him down – you close out France

    anyhow – happy that sagna didn’t play and koc got a red right at the end

    hopefully Giroud gets benched on tuesday !

  38. James Bond says:

    AW is a clever and smart person, he knows he be putting his reputation and legacy on the line even if he was to consider taking the french job – it’s just not worth it in my opinion. (sorry Macko and Alcide) i know you guys must be gutted, i was watching and wanted you guys to win .

  39. At least our French players will have a nice break in the summer !.
    Always liked Alexis Sanchez, another top player I`ve wanted Dafty to buy, actually all the players I`ve wanted Dafty to buy at an earlier age have gone on to be SQ, that’s why I call him Dafty…..as he doesn`t listen to me….Arsenals top young talent scout !. hahaha

  40. James Bond says:

    very impressed by the way the saints players press ,i noticed it when scouting Southampton games, even though we lost 0-2 tonight, it wasn’t as bland as usual.

    Lalana got injured 😉 kinda good news for Arsenal ?:)

    Bring on Germany next, i predict a 5-0 for the Germans 😀 they drew 1-1 against the italians and hit the woodwork 3-4 times, our guy Messy ( @ 17HT) came on in the 2nd half.

  41. VCC says:

    Cockie 20:58…….I’ve still got those boots………In my Yoof, I’m sure I could have done better than Milner.

    All I’m worried about is the Arsenal players don’t pick up any injuries.

    A bit concerned about Jack. imo he is nowhere near his best??????

  42. James Bond says:

    yeah, Sanchez is a quality player, under used and under achieving at barca in my opinion –

    on a positive note, Jack wilshere look really good today, he looked at ease through the middle and did okay for me , no doubt will be on the bench on tuesday , even though i would like him to play.

  43. James Bond says:

    that’s surprising @ VCC – i thought he did a decent job through the middle in his best position, also had a pop at goal from distance a couple of times – his defensive work still leaves a lot to be desired though but he did make a few promising bursting runs and some of his passes were top draw in patches, not all gloom for me but definitely room for improvement…

    coming back to the French game, yeah blessing in disguise for the summer if they bow out – but their captain (goalie , lloris) should have saved both the goals in all honesty, the first one he could have done much better and even on the penalty he got a hand to it but was a weak one.

    a tad concerned about KOC though, he has this nag of picking up silly cards and conceding penalties , way too often for my liking.

  44. allezkev says:

    Gerry, thanks for the Toral vid.
    He seemed very calm in front of goal, a good habit to have…
    Getting a fare to Borehamwood would be very welcome mate…
    As for your dogs, don’t knock it, all that walking will keep you trim… 😉

  45. Gerry says:

    JB – You are jumping the gun on France’s demise? They have a return leg to overturn this result.

    On England briefly. I thought, as most did, it was like the team did not know each other. Consequently, there were no passing triangles, or understading, even between the ones that did play before.
    The GK looked nervous – not in the euphemism for ‘fatigued’ sense – especially when the ball was played back to him.

    Lallana was probably our best player in what he did, and did play on after his injury. One to watch in our next home game.
    Baines hardly got into the game, and although Wilshere had his moments, we do have to remember his age .. he played like an eager schoolboy. While Jones played like the school bully.
    The shrek tried hard, but could not get team mates on the same level.
    Milner was trying too, very trying.
    The best of the subs was Ross Barkley, and he looked as though he deserved a start. Last time I saw him he was a little feller. Now he is big, with attitude .. and no little skill.

    Warning to Arsenal – Too much fresh blood can ruin the cohesion, even in a team that was unbeaten for 10 games?

    So, still more interlull to come …

  46. Gerry says:

    allezkev – re Toral .. He hasn’t lost that calmness

    Cheers, keep trucking ..

  47. Gerry says:

    TA – You will have mail later today

  48. Fozzie B says:

    Morning Cagey Catwalk Kiltlifters!! 😆
    Look what floated out of my little ponys gob yesterday … What s numpty!!
    “I want to get away from Arsenal. Whether it is in the winter, we must wait and see,” he told reporters while away on international duty.

    “I will make my decision depending on where the greatest sporting challenge lies. Finances, in this context, mean very little to me.
    After initially refusing to speak about the matter on Wednesday, Bendtner added: “I was sick and angry of answering questions yesterday.

    “I think I had said that I did not want to comment on questions about Arsenal and I became sick of it when asked the third time.”

    … Bring on a replacement loan minimal for Jan!! 😀

  49. Fozzie B says:

    Ozil rested for England!! Good news x 2!! 😀

  50. James Bond says:

    Yes. Gerry, they do have the return leg but since Ukraine was in our group, i know what a nuisance of a team they can be when they park the bus, something that they do really well and hit France back on the counter – if i was a betting man, i would put my money on Ukraine going through 😉 but you are right, it’s not over until it’s over, so France have still got to believe and who knows, Ribery might just fire on all cylinders and take France to Brazil and win the world player of the year award in January ?

    yes, Lallana is a good and intelligent player, one thing they do really well at Southampton is to press press press – which basically means that after the 60-65th minute mark, they do tend to tire and this is when we can dictate play and find gaps – yes, as you can see i am already looking forward to our match against them

    very good news regarding Ozil @ Fozzie

    so that’s, Ozil, Rosicky,Koc, Ramsey, Rosicky, Per, Sagna, Gibbs – not having to play 2 matches.

    hopefully jack wilshere plays, as he needs more minutes under his belt, nacho needs to play as well, so i am not fussed about the spanish team but you have to wonder about the teams they have to play, so much travel – they really must have the best air mile points on their cards though !!! oh nearly forgot about Santi, he’s my only concern as he has just returned from injury not so long ago.

    re- Bendter @ Fozzie B

    i was very peeved off when i saw him in the team for man utd, the guy shouldn’t even be in the squad anymore, let’s use Park instead, surely he can’t be any worse than bendtner – appalling appalling attitude, worst of all he doesn’t even shut up .

  51. Gerry’s got a new post coming (perhaps?…) so I won’t write too much… hahaha… Why am I up (in the dark?…) if there’s no footy on?… (Actually there is…a replay of Mexico-New Zealand from Azteca…ouch…)

    French troubles and Koscielny getting sent off I don’t think is such a good thing. Yes, it could be seen as “rest” but (I think) we want our guys playing under the bright lights and shining themselves. I must admit I was highly distracted during the matches yesterday AND my stream of the France game was woeful so I didn’t see much… If France can overcome the deficit and qualify w/o the help of our players isn’t that a bit of a worst case scenario?…

    Interesting that there are different views of Jack’s play for England yesterday. To me it looked like he was playing well forward and trying to make things happen but, between his own touches and those of his teammates, nothing was coming off. Am I wrong or does he need to be able to cut his stride down to get on the ball just that little bit quicker? Bouncing around doing pointless defensive work makes him easy to spot, but doesn’t seem particularly worthwhile. Like I said, I was already distracted and trying to watch the playoff match… Nothing very “friendly” about fans watching the national team lose in the home stadium, eh… The French commentators on my stream (according to my wife) weren’t too pleased about their display/result, either…

  52. James Bond says:

    i was happy with Jack’s last night performance as a whole , my only worry happens to be with his defensive work @ 17HT – he could be a tad or 2 more intelligent with his runs and positioning’s in my opinion but overall he was better than he has been for Arsenal in the past few games and seems to be getting there slowly, yet surely.

    i couldn’t understand the commentary as i was on a russian stream but i can imagine them not being happy about it, both the goals could have been stopped by captain hugo – he got a decent touch on both yet couldn’t keep it out.

    can i just say that i was very surprised at Sagna being benched and debuchy playing ahead of him, i thought at the time that this may turn costly and it did, as everything was almost coming through the left (Ribery) , had Sagna played then it may well have been a different story for not only France but also for Giroud, he could have fed him balls from the right.

    France are very heavily reliant on Ribery, no wonder that Diaby is such a must for them through the center, as when he plays he gives them another dimension …no disrespect to Pogba but he isn’t Diaby and there is no substitute for experience, of course this is football and France could give ukraine a thrashing in the return leg , one that i doubt will happen though when you look at such comments from one of their strikers B “i am no understudy of Giroud”.

  53. James Bond says:

    so it’s official now, sczny has signed a new 5 year contract at crazy wages !

    that basically means we no longer be looking to sign other keepers, and he’s our number 1

    hopefully he will repay the faith shown in him by AW and goes onto become on of the best in the world 🙂 i still have my doubts though 😀

    with him getting close to the reported 100 k p/w, i reckon the writing is on the wall for Fabianski (60 k per week) – to be replaced by an older 2nd choice keeper who would earn less money at arsenal than 60 k to off set the wage rise for our number 1 ? sounds logical to me.

    or maybe we sign Viviano on a permanent at the end of the season ? he earns what ? 20 to 30 k per/week ?

    saturday isn’t saturday without real football, yawns.

  54. 17highburyterrace says:

    Agreed Bond… Sagna and Kos (at the one end) and Sagna/Giroud at the other and you’ve got something…Take out the blonde extensions and it’s just a couple of old white guys from Ligue Deux, non? Debuchy is most certainly NOT the French/Toon guy I would think could get into the first 11… Cabaye (or even Ben Arfa) might have helped them through the middle so everything didn’t have to go through Ribery. Matuidi seems good in the open field but I wonder about him closer to goal. A final note…Giroud is a limited player but (unlike many strikers…) he wants to work with his teammates and do the 1-2s and near post runs. I’m not sure he’s at his best amongst the “all-stars” who don’t know his game…

    WTF do I know about any of this?… I’d like to hear what Alcide has to say (and Macko too, even if the Google translate does him no justice)… Also, isn’t Valbuena (not Ayew) the Marseilles guy who has to play? And what about Le Gren and Gourcuff? Additionally, France seem to have a LB problem with the Manc players (Evra, Clichy) not good enough for the Yarmalenko fellow…

    Quite a fall from world (and Euro) champions (not that long ago) if they cannot reverse the result…

  55. 17highburyterrace says:

    Tough times there, Bond, tough times… Sir Chez, I think, has done pretty well and I think AW (and maybe some others…) were impressed by how he responded to his benching… He comes across as a bunch of bluster and he’s got the GK strangeness (his father’s statements don’t help…), but, by all accounts he works hard…

    With the new contract, don’t be surprised if he becomes Captain before too long…

    😉 😯 😆

  56. James Bond says:

    that is it @ 17HT – you’ve nailed it really.

    i reckon , they haven’t yet learnt their lessons from the last world cup – no team harmony and some of those players are still there, Evra , nasri and co – you easily see there is a lot of individual attitude in this team as well – i think a few weeks ago, Evra had an open dig and go at the french commentators and yet he’s still playing ?

    yeah, say whatever you will about Giroud but the lad seems to be a real team player, that’s for sure.

    i was particularly concerned when i read the views of Benzema no longer being the french no.1 or having to compete with Giroud, quite baffling that.

    ok, England are not as good as our media makes us out to be , but really, the team we put out there yesterday was at best our 2nd 11 minus Rooney ?

    what’s going on with greedy and selfish Sturridge ? liverpool players seem to be getting it easy with Roy (favours favours ?

  57. James Bond says:

    ah, bugger – i know we have our banter @ 17HT – but to suggest that sczny might be the future arsenal captain is stretching it a bit too far, don’t you agree ?

    just imagine this, when the team needs inspiration from their leader – he does the following to inspire them :

    or sings this to them

    🙄

  58. Fozzie B says:

    17h and BJ … Must admit I’m shocked by the scale of that contract… It’s even better than the Brit packs no? Or did they all get 5 years and Theo is the only one on a 3 year right?
    I admire the strategy though I must admit because Chezzer is pretty much homegrown through our ranks and he could eventually be a true leader in heart, spirit and ability.
    You can buy an arsenal heart can you?
    😀 sure I would take lloris at the moment because he is outstanding but will he ever have a true spud heart? ….
    Hey that would make it a heart of French fries then eh!! Haha 😆
    Chezzer is still learning and if he picks up on lloris movement in the box and applies it that would help him more.
    I agree an old experienced hand to mentor him would be good if Flappy leaves …. 😀

  59. Fozzie B says:

    *Can’t buy an Arsenal heart 😀

  60. 17highburyterrace says:

    Can’t write much this morning…but I will say this…

    GK is the greatest of all the positions because it exemplifies all the difficulties of football. The margins are minuscule but completely determinative. Decisiveness is essential but can leave one completely exposed. Sublime to ridiculous (or visa versa…) in a heartbeat…

    We see THOSE things and, in the end, they are all that really matter, but we don’t see the work and mentality (mental work…) between those chances. For keepers, on the better teams, the chances come less often and are even more important. As such, moving up is even tougher. It’s one thing looking good blocking shots as your team fights (off relegation or) fights for promotion, but another blocking THE shot (at your near post…) after the #1 keeper gets sent off after his own moment of madness…

    My point…and to bring it full circle about Arsenal keepers on lucrative, lengthy contracts…If Flappy takes his leave, Who do we bring back as 3rd choice (to mentor Sir Chez): Mad Jens or the Aluminum Man?….

    😀

  61. 17highburyterrace says:

    Bond, What does your sauce know about Brazil #1 and my favorite Roman Emperor (Julio Cesar)… Certainly he must go somewhere in January, no? Of course, he would require first team football. Should we look for keepers getting hurt (or suddenly pulling up lame…) in the festive period?…

  62. Afternoon Frantic Frenzied Felchers 😆

    On The PiG………I`ve always wondered why there has been such a song and dance about our goalie position !. Szczesny is a proper Gooner and imo, a top pair of safe hands. I have never doubted him and there`s plenty more other positions that we should have been more concerned about over the last few years…goalie is not one of them.
    I would put Beast DM, Suarez type striker and Ribery/Robben/Shaqiri type winger as the top of the list ingredients to bring home the silverware !.

    The Voice of Reason has spoken !. hahaha

    PS
    Although I wish Szcz had the passing ability of the Chilean goalie last night…..people talk about false # 9`s…..he was like a false # 1 !.

  63. Fozzie B says:

    I must admit 17h I thought Jules was definitely coming in the Summer and was surprised we got Viviano instead!!

    This is must read BK Brethren!!
    It will put a smile on all your furry faces!!! 😀

    Why Arsenal WILL win the Premier League
    Posted by Touchline Talk

    http://www.footballdigest.org/2013/11/16/arsenal-will-win-premier-league/

  64. James Bond says:

    not spoken , am hoping to speak on tuesday and get an update on podolski, ox , theo and e.t.c poldi in particular as we are missing him more than theo i reckon.

    Re- Cesar , if memory serves then it was all to do with his weekly wage and agent fee, it was one that put us off ? maybe that has changed now and he is willing to take a pay cut, i don’t know it’s just thinking out loud but you’re right, he needs to be playing more regularly but he won’t be getting much playing time at Arsenal either by the looks of it.

    Viviano is a decent keeper though, the feed back i got back was quite positive , so you never know !

  65. Fcuk Cesar and fcuk Cleopatra, what I would love to know is, why did Dafty not get Remy on loan ?, I`m sure he would have rather have come to us than the Auf Wiedersehen Pets !.

    And he`s a lot better than Fozzie B`s brother……….Nikki B !.

  66. All that bloody talk of how good our youth are and the fcuking Chavs go and thrash our U18`s 3-0 @ Colney !. Can we beat them bastards at any level ?. 👿

  67. Where the fcuks Van Felching nowadays….hunting blood sucking BK accountants ? . hahaha

  68. Fozzie B says:

    How did you know I was a hiding a my little pony samurai tuft under my hat Cockie???!!!! 😀
    Oh yeah I remember … It was very early on when you asked me to play marbles as youngin outside your tranny annex!! Except they weren’t marbles but roofies!! You said I had to do the teeth test on the marbles an after that I woke up in your dungeon staring at naked womble pictures watching tranny reruns such as, “Starsky and Crutch”!! 😆

  69. Fozzie B says:

    I agree Cockie, Chalvski have the wood over us at the mo…..
    If you look upwards you can sometimes see Maureen’s blue blood engorged boner silhouetting on the moon or the sun!!
    Turn the other way in disgust and you will see abramobitches boner!! 😆
    That’s why the loss killed me in your COCkie cup … Not because of the comp but because of Maureen ruling the roost in our house!!
    I’d like to Piñata that boner and bottle that blue stuff up for later use!! 😆

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