Ramsey, Ozil, Wilshere: who will be the next Fabregas?


On a night when eleven South-Americans made Chile Con Carne of a disjointed and uninspired England team, Jack stood out as the only one with ‘football intelligence’. It keeps amazing me how not a single national manager has been able to get a particular style into the England team since many a year, and Hodgson is also failing in this respect.

Chile are a decent team but not more than that; yet, they made England look poor on the night. They put pressure on England all over the pitch and never allowed them to have a sustained period of pressure on their goal. And when the Chileans had the ball, they passed it round so much better and with so much more purpose and penetration. It was a lesson in modern football for the English boys and a clear indication they have a long way to go.

Despite some committed performances by Rooney and Lallana, only Jack was able to break the stranglehold of the Chileans and then move the ball forward intelligently – leading to the (few) best attacks on the night. Yet, it is clear that Wilshere is nowhere near 100% fit and in form, and we really need to hope hard that this will change rather sooner than later, both for Arsenal and England.

This brings me to the discussion of who should play in the hole for Arsenal, both short and long term. There are various candidates but nobody has totally convinced me they have all that it takes to perform all the required tasks for this position to a high level.

I reckon in a 4-2-1-3 formation the one in the ‘1’ – the one in the hole – is the most important player of them all. He should:

  1. Instigate our attacks
  2. Help out defensively in midfield
  3. Give shape and structure to the team
  4. Produce a large number of assists and ‘penultimate assists’
  5. Score goals regularly

For me, the player who embodies these five qualities in a 4-2-1-3 formation better than anybody else is Cesc Fabregas. Our former maestro has it all but is currently wasting it away at his other boyhood club.

Super Santi ready to move into another gear?!

I reckon Cazorla is good at 1, 4 and 5, but his defensive abilities are not great and neither is he able to give shape to our team very well as he lacks the presence and physical strength to boss the middle of the pitch. He likes to wander off and move where there is space, rather than hold the fort in the middle.


Ramsey is growing into a great player now and offers a lot towards the above five points. He has started to score goals and produce assists, and his defensive abilities are impressive as well. He also has potential to give shape and structure to the team and instigate our attacks, but this is not showing a lot yet. I reckon he is best positioned in the box-to-box role right now, but could be considered for the AM role in the future.

Little Mozart needs an orchestra and a podium to perform on more regularly then currently is the case!

Rosicky adds drive and purpose and is great at instigating attacks. He does not score anywhere near often enough and neither does he produce a great number of assists, but his defensive abilities are great and, most importantly, he also gives a lot of shape and structure to our team when played through the middle. When Rosicky plays we often play our best ‘Wengerball’ football.

But for me, there are two candidates for the ‘man in the hole’ role: Ozil and Wilshere.


Jack is a natural midfield general and remains the best candidate in the mid to long term imo. He loves to stay in the middle and boss the area, he can defend and pick those defence-splitting passes, and he is starting to score goals now.

However, something is not right with him at the moment and it is more than a lack of form – and nothing to do with confidence as some believe, as I reckon Jack is a very confident person. No, something is not right with his body and fitness levels: it is to do with his running and feeling in his foot, and it all seems to stem from the operations he has had on his foot in the last 12 months or so.

I really hope he will come good and that we, the supporters, honour our role and support the guy through thick and thin (taking into account that he is still very young and what we were like around his age….).


That leaves me with Ozil, who does very well with regards to most of the above mentioned required qualities. He instigates attacks really well, produces a lot of assists and scores goals regularly, and his defensive qualities are okay but not great.

The one area where I still have doubts is in his ability to give shape and structure to our attack: to really boss the midfield.

Fabregas was brilliant at this, and I would like to see more dominance and presence of our record signing going forward. Some believe that Ozil goes missing at times, but this is only true in a ‘shape-giving’ sense, as he will always give his all during the match. Mesut is just a clever player who constantly is anticipating what will happen next and how to maximise on this (similar to Fabregas), and he will keep doing this as long as he is on the pitch.

It might well turn out that Ozil is best positioned ‘on the wing’ – in a free role; a bit like Santi in a way. But I would like Ozil to link up better with his fellow midfielders and to start owning the centre of the midfield more; to drive the team forward and to give more shape to our football and attacking play.

And I hope Wenger will get him there gradually, just like he did with our former El Capitan.


Or maybe, Wenger still has a space for our prodigal son? 😉


Written by: TotalArsenal.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

121 Responses to Ramsey, Ozil, Wilshere: who will be the next Fabregas?

  1. James Bond says:

    no.1 – always.

    moi !

  2. Fozzie B says:

    Fiiiirst bergkampesque buttocks breakers!!! 😆

  3. James Bond says:

    nice one @ TA

    Ozil – he is already world class and already in a league of his own , and maybe he can be the next Zidane.

    Ramsey can be the next schweinsteiger / Lampard

    which brings me to Wilshere, he can be the next Fabregas , as he has that spanish flare but he needs to get rid of the “we are English, we tackle hard, we get dirty mentality” reserve that a bit and be more intelligent and focus on his technical (Spanish side of the game) – he also wears the number “10” , so it’s safe to assume that in 2/3 years, he will be taking that role on a longer term basis and play further forward.

    he is also a natural born leader, something that Cesc also has.

  4. Fozzie B says:

    Barstardo 007 ignoring my insightful Chezzer comments from last post!! 😆

  5. James Bond says:

    that’s what you get for disrespecting The visionary @ Fozzie – hope you’ve learned your lesson for the future 👿

  6. Fozzie B says:

    That was a good fast drop Tarzan … I must say I’m impressed … Jane might get some loving tonight!! 😆

  7. James Bond says:


  8. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi JB 🙂

    Agreed on the we tackle hard etc rhetoric – absolute no need for that. He is a born leader and really wants to, and can, boss the midfield, which is so crucial for this role.

  9. RA says:

    Yet another superb Post, Total. 🙂

    Your reasoning throughout is first class and I can find nothing to disagree with.

    One thing I would say tho’ is that neither Jack, Ozil or Rambo are Cesc clones [that is clones not clowns, blue furry one.]

    What I mean is that I think you were referring to the sort of influence that Cesc had rather than a similarity in their style of play.

    In that respect there is no question in my mind that Ozil is the stand out player in terms of his impact on the team, with help from the other two.

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi RA and thank for the kind words 🙂

    That is a very good point. I was talking predominantly about footballing qualities/style of play, but you are spot on that Cesc had a certain influence on the team, a presence and ability to lead and enthuse, that made him so special.

    IMO, Ozil is indeed the stand out QUALITY player and yet Jack has more of those ‘qualities’ in the long run.

  11. I thought you had disappeared down a hole ! 😆

    Santi or Toad in the Hole for me and I`m not talking about my sausage in a batter !.

    Daft Wenger has already said that he sees Jack`s future as a deep lying midfielder !.

    Rambo is B2B all day because of his engine !.

    Love Rosicky , but he is not the future !

    As for Cesc mmmm, before Messi`s injury, Cesc was moaning about his lack of playing time, so who knows !. He left us for less wages, so money is not the defining factor with him, unlike Van Pussy, he is a sentimental character driven by his heart . Makes him a wild card !.

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    When/where did Wenger say that about Jack, Cockie-addict?

  13. RA says:


    The Cockie one is right.

    It was about three weeks ago when AW was discussing the future direction of the team in a general way and said that many people see Jack taking over the Arteteteteta role in due course and he did not deny it.

    I suppose that translates to ‘deep lying midfielder’.

    Up the Cockie!

    Well not up the Cockie exactly, because no one is that keen on being a catheter! 🙂

  14. A thought about last night !.
    Yes it`s great to have SQ players throughout a team, but is it about players or systems ?. Getting SQ players to play to a system is the goal. Last night it hit me straight away hearing Chile had players from Nottingham Forrest, Wigan and Cardiff with only Sanchez the recognised World Class player, yet against a team of so called top EPL players, England were made to look like mugs against a fitter, intelligent, more tactical system playing team who were more confident and not scared to receive, play, pass and move in any area of the pitch !. A fit team of players, knowing a system and comfortable with the ball, even if not SQ, will always beat an unfit team of Divas. As great a player as Lampard has been, he was found too slow last night and has lost his fitness edge !.

  15. RA says:


    Have you seen that very nice Glic monster?

    He was such a nice man and looked after old people like Terry and VCC. I miss him!! 😦

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    thanks RA, a deeper laying playmaker maybe…?

    Don’t give Cockie and Fozzie any more encouragement, RA; they get easily aroused by anything phallic! 😀

  17. Cheers RedickulArse. 😆

    Yes, I posted a remark about it the other day Totes. It was a Wenger quote, but cant remember when !.

  18. RA says:

    Blimey, Cockie, I cannot disagree with any of that @ 17:45. 🙂

  19. RA says:

    A deeper laying midfielder, TA?

    Are you suggesting that our Jack is an egg laying chicken? 🙂

  20. He`s resting Redders. I give him some respite whilst he looks after Mrs Glic !.
    Also, being superstitious, he wont come back whilst we are TOTL in case he jinx`s it !. 🙂

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    Spot on there Cockie Flockie 🙂

    System, discipline, fitness and togetherness go a long way.

  22. jnyc says:

    Nice one T.
    i agree completely in your asessments of santi, rosicky, ramsey especially.

    Arsene has said a couple times that he sees jack as deep lying player, but this is also because he just made our record signing in AM, and Ramsey has found his scoring confidence again. So not much choice. Btw, Rambos confidence is also spreading to his assists lately. im still sticking with my player of the year prediction 🙂

    we must remember that we were a bit spoiled by Cesc all around play and he became a great finisher also. I predict that Ozil will score alot more for us, this will be easier when we are firing on all cylinders. This means when we have theo and poldi to worry defenders as well as santi and giroud. I will say that i would like to see Gnabry used strategically when theo needs rest, but we still want speed threat on wing.

    one last thing, i think maybe if we have a lead, we need to get Ozil off earlier. He really seems tired late in matches, and we are all aware that Mourihno very often subbed him early. This is a tougher league to boot. We have depth in midfield when our wingers are back, so we just need to put away opponents earlier hehe.

  23. Here you go Totes. It`s mentioned in this article, but if you go on Arsenal .com, it`s on “Arsene takes over twitter” in ask Arsene !.


  24. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi JNYC

    All agreed, but not sure about Ozil tiring towards the end. For example, against Palace he was great in the latter stages, really taking the pressure of the defence. Actually, I would like to see more of this and Ozil becoming more central to the team, literally and figuratively…

    Agreed on Ozil becoming more influential once the speedier wingers return.

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Cockie 🙂

    Beaks need filling, so off to cook and will read later.

  26. Gerry says:

    TA – I think there is an ever so slight flaw in the way you present the question, and that is the assumption that we play the 4-2-1-3 formation, or at least, that is the best one we play with?

    Who should play behind the strikers, centrally? Whoever is in space there. Fluidity is the name of the game, and we play best when we are at our most fluid?

    In a way, you could add Giro’s name to the candidates when he drops deep. But this idea that we do play with a single entity in the central area is rarely borne out with the reality.

    I made the point in one of my replies that AW is trying to play with advanced wing backs, which may have sound like stating the obvious, because backs that play in advanced positions have been going on for years?. What I was getting at is, rather them being defenders who get forwards, they are now our wingers who come back to defend. In other words, their starting position is ahead of the twin pivot DM’s.

    You need the right players to play this system, and we have them at the moment. The key thing is to get the transition play right in both directions. In attack we have the luxury of having 6 players high up the field in the following manner

    ————————- Giroud———————–:

    Gibbs then, (Santi Ozil, Ramsey all alternating), Sagna

    —————Arteta —————–Flamini—————-

    —– Koscielny————————————— Mert —-

    ————————– Szczesney————————–

    Add to that the forward movement of either of the DMs as an extra body.

    When it comes to the defense while we are attacking, is basically the CB’s move out to cover any movement behind the backs, and the DM’s combine to stop any counter through the middle? But in a blink of an eye, Gibbs and Sagna get back to form one line of 4, and Santi and Ramsey create the second line of 4. Throw in Giro to defend, harry, chase, anything along the halfway line. This leave Ozil to find space to receive the ball to put the whole thing in reverse, with us swiftly on the counter again? Should either of the Flamteta pair be missing, then it allows Ramsey to drop deep and Rosicky to join Ozil in a fast transition going forwards.

    That is how I have been watching us play?

    But to your question of who will be our (temporary) Cesc Fabregas, before Zelalem gets his ID card that says he can legally buy acoholic drinks?

    May be we haven’t signed him yet? Cesc did operate in that central position, and very rarely moved out wide. Ozil is a mover and a shaker, but has the skills. Santi too, but he tends to twist and turn to find space, before releasing the killer pass, and Ramsey probably more so?
    Which means the finished article that could be Jack Wilshere is probably the most likely. But in the two years it is likely to take to get to that level. i.e. the start of the 2015/16 season, he will be up against the similarly naturally gifted player as Fabregas is, to steal it away from him?

    It is tough being a professional footballer/

  27. Gerry says:

    TCM – from the previous post.

    Stop slating our youngsters. Most of those appearing in the Under 18’s side are 16 year old juniors, because the very good, older ones have moved up to the Under 21’s, or in some cases drafted into the first team squad.

    I think Maitland-Niles and Lipman, were the only names you may know ,and then only if you have been following the older group’s progress.

    Add to that, the Chelsea youngsters are heading to top that league if they win their two games in hand? But it does not mean there are not some good player that are going to develop from that age group, probably starting next season with this experience under their belts.

  28. Gerry says:

    Senegal v Ivory Coast on BT Sport @ 7.0pm, if you want to check out Kouyate?

  29. Sorry Gerry. I didn`t realise that………..I bet our U16`s are crap then if all the 16 year olds are playing for the U18`s………..you’re now going to tell me it`s because our brilliant U14`s are playing for the U16`s…….what about our U14`s, I bet they`re crap……………………………………………………..and our U2`s are being represented by Semen !. hahahaha

  30. Dandy says:

    There really has to be a point to ur blogs, you don’t just have to write stuff just for the sake of it, or out of boredom .

  31. Dandy says:

    James Bond, and when Wilshere drops the hard tackling, I’m guessing you’ll be one of those who’ll complain dt we are too light weight in midfield.

    Jack’s best position is one of the deep two at the base of midfield where he receives the ball early and initiates attack, that is where the can exert his influence most.

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry, very good points. Maybe that’s the problem: nobody really owns the middle enough, and at times we look too much like two parts in the team: seven in defence and four in attack. The ‘1’ has such a big role to play in binding the parts together and keep the spine strong.

    I thought you would mention Zelalem, and what a prospect he is 🙂


    Evening Bergkampesqueres

    Excellent post TA, but before i comment on it, yeeeessssssss. Chesney signing his contract is further indication of our new found ability to keep our players and build a team to win the lot. It also proves that i can still get get it up.

    Not sure about the replacemet for Cesc TA. Things have moved on.

    Ozil will improve under Arsene, and thats frightening considering hes already world class.

    Ramsey will also improve of course. Absolutly love that lad. He has ingredients to score 20 goals a season simply through perpetual motion, fantastic asset.

    I still see Jack as an offensive player, though Arsene at this moment seems to disagree.

    Do we need another Cesc? Or does rotation, movement, and collective responsibility acheive our aims. Not sure TA, time will tell.

  34. James Bond says:


    i’m also guessing that you’re a shemale and you often wear a woman’s blouse before hugging trees ?

  35. James Bond says:

    oh wait, since you’re a shemale then my guess is that it’s your blouse @ Dandy

    Akpom and Dan crowley also played @ Gerry – it wasn’t as light weight but chelsea are stronger and they have spent a lot of money in their youth – you know that you have a strong set of reserves when one of the is considered to be one of the best 3 goal keepers in the world when he is aged 20 and the other one is a complete striker plying their trade else where (sure, they are not the products of their youth academy but just saying what money can buy you ) also worth noting that they won the next gen’s by beating our strongest reserves in the semis not so long ago, when our keeper had a shocker.

  36. James Bond says:

    speaking of Ramsey, he didn’t play for Wales at all ? wasn’t even on the bench ?

    very very good 🙂

  37. James Bond says:

    regarding what AW said about Jack, i reckon it’s all reverse psychology by Wenger , so JW rises above and proves him wrong , just the same way he said that JW is not a goal scorer and then he went on scoring 2 goals in 2 or 3 games, right after that (bear in mind that last year AW said that he is baffled as to why JW doesn’t score many goals as he has always been banging them in at youth level) .

    so i wouldn’t look too deeply into what AW has said about JW, he knows how to get the best out of him and he clearly knows what he’s doing – also worth noting, that the games England have played sexy football is when JW played in the no.10 role – it’s not a coincidence , the lad is that good but as 17HT often points out, we have plenty of quality no.10’s in this team already.


    Very good point Bondy

  39. TotalArsenal says:

    That’s the thing, James, we need more than a nr.10 in this position otherwise the gap becomes too big between attack and defence.

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey Terry 🙂

    Any anecdotes today?

  41. James Bond says:

    Ramsey fully rested – very good

    Ozil only 30 minutes – very good

    Rosicky – no idea , if he played or not but still 1 game , good

    Sagna – most probably going to play 1 game

    Koc – 1 game and sits the next one out, very good

    Per – only one game in 3 weeks, very very good

    JW – 70 minutes , good

    Gibbs, not playing any minutes (Assumption) very good !

    hopefully both Santi and Nacho come back in one piece

    point being ? most of our players are set until xmas minus Giroud , if he plays on tuesday (am hoping that Giroud is benched and Benzema starts with Remy), but i reckon it will be Remy benched with both Giroud and Benzema starting.

  42. James Bond says:

    yeah, and you don’t become a proper no.10 unless you have played on the wings, which is what JW has been doing lately, also it helps his defensive game as well when he runs back or covers our full backs, so what i’m trying to say is that he is learning all the tricks in the trade and becoming very versatile. AW rates JW hence he is grooming him in the Stevie G role , i reckon and then when the need be slots him further forward – nothing wrong with that – both Arsenal and England need him doing the Stevie G role for now and till the next 2-3 years.

    i get the feeling that you’re not having a good saturday @ TA – hope all is well ?

  43. James Bond says:

    *tricks of the trade

    am waiting for the spain game, don’t ask me who they are playing though 🙂

  44. TotalArsenal says:

    Quite the opposite, JB. 🙂

  45. geoffchase says:

    Hi TA et al

    A few quick thoughts:

    A. I disagree slightly that a player has one target outcome as it were and grows to it. Players grow, but have all sorts of useful stages and can be stars at each. Arteta maybe a best example of this.

    B. IMO, we are headed more towards a 4-2-3-1. Tiniest distinction in some ways almost all semantics. But said that way 4-2-3-1 the 1 in your article becomes 3 and implies defensive responsibilities to 2 of 3 that I know you didn’t mean to ignore anyway in 4-2-1-3. Nor does mine imply less offense, but, to me, more 2-way players..

    THUS, one can have multiple players contributing to your list. Multiple offensive foci all of whom are threats and offer the ability to guide a team incisively. Equally, they offer all these and more AS A UNIT, rather than individually.

    C. Re: Ozil, I think he’s being targeted more and playing more minutes. Thus, I think we will see more as he adapts. Equally as he, Theo and Santi gel.. Look out because as a unit they offer heaps…

    D. Re: JW, I think you have lots of it. He isn’t “right” yet and IMO needs time. Re JBs comment, I think that’s just trying too hard. Regarding his future.. I see him as follows:

    1. Recovery period of one year slowly coming righter and playing more and his old self, barring ankle disaster

    2. First stage, I see him in the role TR plays now. Hard charging, attacking and defending, and making things happen. Note that the point about TR scoring is true, but on at least two AR goals I’ve seen him doing brilliant things off the ball to make it happen drawing defenders away, which also counts in my book. Ie more forward and perhaps wider. Years 2-4ish?

    3. Second stage, a more aggressive Arteta going both ends, a bit like AR now really. Imagine the two like that!? Years 5-10ish bulk of career?

    4. Final stage, more forward towards where Ozil is, a grand master who sees and knows all, mentoring Ozil2… Years 11-13..

    That should take him to retirement contributing all the way…

    Just some thoughts!

    Oh, and TA been thinking about some topics to help out but if you’ve some ideas.. 🙂

    Cheers — jgc

  46. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi jgc 🙂

    Good points and yes 4-2-3-1 is often played. It’s just that against the Mancs and Dortmund we did not have the Fabregasesque midfield link up play and with something is missing IMO.

  47. I`m gunner go easy on Dandy seeing as the boy inside him is quite young !. So I will be applying the lubrication to my fist !.

    Hold on a sec` guys !…..if Arsene starts saying things and really means something else !, that is going to confuse the fcuk out of me !. So when he says, stop it Bouldy, my rectum is on fire !, he really means, carry on, I`m just getting warmed up !. I`m confused now, but I shouldn`t be as he did say we wouldn`t sell both Na$ri and Cesc !. 🙄

  48. I`m glad JB said, AW is grooming JW for the Stevie G roll and not the Stevie G-Spot !. Shrek has been aggravated trying to find it for years….calm down…calm down ! hahaha

  49. Dylan says:

    Sadly the man who it will be is not listed above. It will be the one and only Eis-Eis-Baby that will be the true “new Fabregas”! 😉

  50. See Total, just saying ” piss off ! ” is not subtle enough for Dandy`s kind. Let the Monster teach you ! . hahaha


    Yes TA

    I know you are a man interested in human nature expressed via an individuals personality.

    About five years ago through a linkeage of Chartered Blood Sucking Accountants and the Governments leaving care programme, i became a mentor for a 17 year old juvinile delinquent called Ross

    The poor lad had been in care homes all his life. His mother, a former prostitute, unfortunatly died from a drug overdose and his father had done a runner.

    He himself had been banged up a couple of times for roberry.

    He was a very sweet boy, but whilst he was telling you he loved you his hand was in your pocket nicking your wallet. Through lack of love he would basicaly nick from his grandmother, and he did. The old women had to take a restraining order out on him.

    Though he stole my wallet twice, broke into my office nicking the petty cash box, and pinched my mobile, i forgave him.

    By the end however, i became increasing frustrated at his inability to change. My fault really, i should have had more paitence.

    Anyway, one saturday night myself, Mrs Terry, and Ross, were to attend a dinner for the Mentoriing charity. Despite my best efforts i could not get hold of Ross, so despite his promises, myself and Mrs Terry had to attend the event alone.

    I was so depressed at the dinner, that we decided to go home early. Whilst pulling the car up int the drive, i thought I saw a shadow going across my roof. Mrs Terry saw it to and became fearful, so i advised she drove of to her mothers.

    When i got in, i could definately hear someone on the roof. They were trying to enter through the Loft.

    I called the old bill and waited at the loft steps, armed with my favourite cosh

    In the dark, i could see, yes you guessed it, Ross and one of his thiefing friends coming down the stairs.

    This is not a joke or made up story TA. As they came down I smacked the friend over the head, but incredibly he got up and legged it downstairs through the front door.

    Ross tried to go up, but i yanked him down by his legs. As i pinned him down the little bleeder said “Sorry Terry sorry, i knew I was late so thought i would surprise you”. incredible cheek

    He begged that i let him go since he would go down over this. I contemplated beating him senseless but my soft side won over and let him go.

    When the cops came i made out I made a mistake. After they had gone, I sat down with a large brandy contemplating these shocking events. I reached into my pocket to get put my fags and qucikly realsied the little Runt, whilst pinned down on the floor and begging for mercy, had nicked my wallet.

  52. May I say, Stretch, that you are a anomaly…….a kind and caring blood sucking accountant !. hahaha
    I`m also mystified and surprised that it was not you that had not turned the tables on Ross and nicked his wallet !. hahaha

  53. TotalArsenal says:

    hahaha Terry, another beautiful story the incredible love and forgiveness you harbour inside yourself! You are almost too good for this world! Almost 🙂

  54. TotalArsenal says:

    Dylan, I like Eisfeld too and have high hopes for him… but it will take a long time before he arrives, I reckon..

  55. geoffchase says:


    I think main issues right now and vs Mancs were:

    A. Teams press Ozil a lot and force us to win without him. Not sure Cesc would do hugely better.

    B. OG fatigue, missing that last step lately and extra bits to get ball..

    C. Perhaps a touch of lost freshness for AR as well?

    D. Santi coming back to form. We are not fully threatening without him at full go and form

    E. Loss of BFGs organization.

    Based on this I would say that our #1 in January is a backup or support to OG. Over summer, resign Sagna, and next BFG…

    Overall tho I think we will get there as we gel. Theos pace returning will be a similar threat TR offers in aggressive forward going so that will help remove pressure too. I think also as Samti and Ozil get used to each other this will get easier.

    Cheers — jgc

  56. James Bond says:

    Santi scored but Equatorial Guinea (yep, i know who they are now) are playing some lovely stuff and scored to make it 1-1 , they are very eager on the tackles and playing dirty though, plenty of reckless challenges , have already taken out Alonso (another madrid player) seems to be bad and maybe out for 4 weeks ? (2 Real madrid players down in 2 days)

    Santi is the captain now 😀 and spain go into half time with 2-1, so far Santi has been intelligent and not letting anyone get close to him so no dirty challenges on him thusfar.

  57. TotalArsenal says:

    You carve it up nicely, jgc, but I think my point is not coming across. Against the ‘big teams’, when we play two more conservative midfielders in the pivot, we miss the connect player at the moment, which I think has little to do with your a to e, other than a maybe. But that is always the case, and in such a role, and whoever plays in it, they have to deal with it.

  58. TotalArsenal says:

    Happy for Santi, JB, but let him not get injured please!

  59. James Bond says:

    fcuking hell, they have started targeting Santi now, take him off coach, take him off!!!

  60. James Bond says:

    thank you coach, after listening to my orders, he takes of Santi and brings on David Villa


    all is well lads, all is well 😀

  61. geoffchase says:


    Hmm I agree in a disagreeing way, or perhaps vice versa. However, I have my post topic if you are keen “is it the one or the many?”


    – jgc

  62. TotalArsenal says:

    good news, JB, good news 🙂

  63. TotalArsenal says:

    Sounds like a beautiful and geoffesque kind of post, and I cannot wait to see and read it! 🙂

  64. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey boys, I’m a bit late to the party…Great post, ToTL…(Also, nice story, Terry…Not sure how it applies but enjoyable all the same…)

    For me it’s all about touches…(heh, heh says the monster…) Cesc was the best one-touch player we’ve had in recent memory. This is why, slow as he is, he can slot in as a striker for Spain and Barca. If anybody has “filled” his role it’s been Arteta. As we strive to reach new levels, however, it’s easy to see why Mikel has been left out of the discussion…

    Our current (more attacking) MFs can move with the ball in ways that Cesc cannot, but as the old adage says, the ball (i.e. the pass) beats the fastest player (dribbler)…It’s good to have those sorts of guys–Barca have Messi and Iniesta who can do both, but Cesc (I believe) is there to be the long term replacement for Xavi, another sublime master of the single touch…

    To me the closest we’ve got is Ozil but, because he can also speed (or slow) play with the ball at his feet we want him to do more. Many have noted that his real skill is creating space and (thus) bringing others into play. He will be great wherever he is on the pitch as long as teammates are attuned to what he’s doing.

    Jack, if he can surmount his injury (and perhaps his personal…) issues can get to a similar level. Already I’ve seen him trying to get his business done with fewer touches. He’s not there yet but he’s not far off. Being small (like Santi) sometimes he needs the extra touch just to avoid the galoots crashing in on him. If you lined them all up it’s not quite like my avatar but Cesc, Ozil and Ramsey are quite a bit bigger than Jack, Santi (and Xavi, Iniesta and Messi)… I think a small player (such as Xavi )can do it (be the center of a tika-taka offense…) but he needs other great one-touch guys around him. Iniesta, Messi (always happy to drop deep) and Busquets are all better at the one touch game than our fellows, I hate to say…

    Maybe it wouldn’t fly in England–where the refs are as blind as the (drunken) supporters, and the pitches are muddy. Still, IMO, it’s a beautiful dream… Maybe when Arteta and Rosicky are pastured, the man himself can return. In the meantime, fewer touches and less running will lead to more efficiency and Wilshere will find his place in the center of everything making more and more “key passes,” assists and goals too…Ramsey has stepped into this void nicely but I like him best shooting the ball(!)–words I cannot believe I just typed…maybe because a missed shot is rarely a breakaway for the other team…

    Overall, the post makes me feel like we’ve got a lot of options and potential for improvement in MF. The team needs to evolve as a unit with all these guys as well as the FBs and the occasional deeper drop from our CFs (or wing forwards, Theo and Lulu). For me it’s all about the (quick) passing, which, if done right, could lead to some “dandy” stuff. Maybe it will be pointless, but still “dandy”…

    Thanks for reading… 😀

  65. JM says:

    Current active player that will fit in the “1” position of a 4-2-1-3 for our club:

    – originally started as a defensive midfielder in (his youth academy), but his balance, ball control and agility allied with his skill on the ball saw him make progress as an attacking midfielder.

    – (his national coached) quoted, “he is ‘the complete footballer’. He can attack and defend, he creates and scores.”

    – (his previous club coach) quoted, “I played him as a false winger, central midfielder, deep midfielder and just behind the striker and he was always excellent.”

    – FIFA recognises him: “It is in this position that his direct style and quick feet can be used to full effect, with the ball seeming glued to his toes as he races into threatening positions. (He) is a player known for his passing, dribbling, vision and movement.”

    – however, he has a buyout clause of €200 million.

    – (2008-2009) scored a vital equaliser from outside the penalty area in the final minute of stoppage time during the second-leg of the Champions League semi-final against Chelsea, securing the tie on away goals as the match finished 1–1. That goal sent (his club) through to the 2009 UEFA Champions League Final.
    He was quoted, “I connected with that shot with the outside, not the inside or the tip of my boot, but right from my heart, with all my might.”

    – named as (his league’s) Best Attacking Midfielder: 2009, 2011, 2012.

    – was named the “Best Player” of the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League.

    – named in the Team of the Tournament (UEFA Euro 2008).

    – scored the winning goal in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final in the 116th minute.

    – chosen as the UEFA Euro 2012 Player of the Tournament.

    – IFFHS World’s Best Playmaker: 2012.

    – earned himself the sobriquet: El Ilusionista (The Illusionist), El Cerebro (The Brain).

    He is …… Andres Iniesta Lujan. (Still the best attacking midfielder in the world currently, over Fabregas, Oezil and the rest)

  66. JM says:

    “Andres Iniesta Ultimate Skills 2012 2013 HD”

    This is what we need to be our playmaker.

  67. Gerry says:

    TA – Slight delay, with distraction on the dog domestic front – Grab the jgc offer?

    Hopefully the ‘muse’ will be back when I return to it later.

    In the meantime, here is a link that has a familiar theme?I :


  68. alexgunners says:


    Great post and great question.
    Rambo is a great player but is not of the CESC mould,
    Jack can be but will need to incorporate more goals into his game.
    Ozil is a WC player and can be the one but for me the 2 who can be the new CESC and only really needs to be given a chance.
    IMO, Toral is one player that can be moulded. For Barca he displayed his skills as an attacker and also someone who can create and set up chances. The other one is Eisfeld.

    These 2 players have the potential to be the new Cesc and we need to make sure they are given opportunities rather choosing to go to other teams where they will shine.

    On another note, Last saturday at 11pm Australian time, Isabella ‘Bella’ was born. 2 weeks late but she has arrived and is safe. Mum is recovering well.
    A big thank you to all of you for all your kind words along the way and be sure that she definitely is another Gooner in this world. She already as a Junior Gunner Membership.


  69. VCC says:

    Congratulations Alexgunners.

    Best wishes to your Wife, Baby and yourself. May you all have many happy, healthy years together.

    Balla’s a GOONER……..Bella’s a GOONER.

    God bless.

  70. VCC says:

    Alex……Bella in your avatar……….She is SOOOOOOO Beautiful.

  71. alexgunners says:


    Thanks buddy. I am extremely biased and she is so damn cute.
    That is definitely Bella in the avatar. My little Junior Gooner and future BK’er

  72. Congratulations Alex, great name, same as my Grand Daughter, who I have to secretly teach Arsenal songs to as her Dad is a mad Plymouth fan !.
    You cant make her a future BKer though, as I will have to change my act drastically !, me and Fozzie will only be allowed on after the 9pm watershed !. hahaha

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    Alex 🙂

    So good to hear from you and that baby Bella has finally arrived healthy, gorgeous and with a red and white heart. Good to hear your wife is doing well as it must have exhausting for her. Please send her my best wishes! 🙂

  74. TotalArsenal says:

    How much did Bella weigh, AlexG?

  75. alexgunners says:


    Thanks and i am already singing Arsenal songs to her as well. All Good, no need to change your ways because of her being a future BKer, she will have to learn all the wonderful things that take place here

  76. TotalArsenal says:

    Alex, do you have a picture of Bella on line somewhere?

    if you email me the link, I can put it on the blog, if you are ok with it of course…

  77. alexgunners says:


    Thanks for the well wishes. Definitely a red and white heart (nicely put). She was 50cm long (awaiting a joke from cockie) and weighed 3.4 kilos.

  78. alexgunners says:


    I do not have photos of her online yet but i will get some up shortly and I will send you the link.

  79. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice weight and length, Alex. Looking fwd to the link. 🙂


    Congrats Alex. Little Bella looks wonderful

    Now listen here young man. You have fullfilled your pregnancy paternal duties to the best of your ability and no one can ask more

    This is now the time to take a back seat and allow the Mrs to fulfill hers. You duty is now to play with Bella, work hard, and go down the pub

    Trust me. In a few years you will be thanking me for the best advice you have ever had.

    P.s. TA, I have done a post for the other place so I owe you one. i will work on an Anecdotal post for you shortly

  81. VCC says:

    Mr. Mancini………..We are waiting ……..but hurry.

  82. James Bond says:

    many congrats @ Alex

    baby Bella is gorgeous , bet both of you are proud parents and hope both the mother and Bella are fine and healthy !

    Terry, noooooooooooooo what other place 🙄 travesty , betrayal betrayal betrayal how could you 😮


    so that’s me looking forward to articles from Gerry, JGC and Terry, i thought 17HT also had one in the pipelines on Ramsey 😀

  83. James Bond says:


    good to see you .

    no doubt, Iniesta is the way to go but sadly, he won’t be leaving Barca anytime soon, he’s close to signing an extension with his club

  84. TotalArsenal says:

    That would be nice. Just make sure it is somehow an Arsenal related anecdote 😛

  85. I suppose it was only a matter of time that when you have the worlds top talent, Real Madrid and Barca will come sniffing. I don’t blame them when he himself acknowledges his talent is of SQ !. He will be a loss, who next ?…….Park !. Wenger out !!.


  86. No…..really !……your pulling my plonker !……. from that photo I would never have guessed !……and I will phone Stretch when I`m not busy finishing my “Jeff Blockley Die ” jigsaw to warn him not too accept any liquor from her furry cup !. Shame….this jigsaw is a bastard and could take weeks !.


  87. Fozzie B says:

    Fine post Totes! I love what you have done here because you are searching for that perfect man in the hole.

    What Jacky and Fab have in common is their directness and centralness in attack which is like an arrow down the heart of the oppositions heart!
    Ozil offers a more rounded package but not that speed and directness centrally.
    So I agree Jacky could be used as a super sub when Ozil tires in the hole which would be great.
    As JB says he is playing Jacky all over the pitch which is giving him that all roundness. He did the same to Rambo and now he is starting to reap the benefits … Jacky will hit that level sooner or later no problems.
    Just imagine the bumper Marlboro deal he will get then! 😆
    Congrats Alex to you and the mrs on your beautiful daughter!!!

  88. Fozzie B says:

    How rude of me!! 😀
    Good evening Frozen Flesh Flute Flogging Philanthropists 😆

  89. Fozzie B says:

    Looks like your one on one coaching with Mrs Sinclair really paid off Cockie!!Hell she’s a tall tranny isn’t she!! She would have scrapped her noggin on your beams in the tranny annex eh?? 😆
    A real knuckle dragged that one!! Vickers might get more than he bargained for if he met that one outside the Chinese!! 😆

  90. VCC says:

    Fozzie B……I think there’s more chance of me turning gay before I entertained that moron. ………. 😉

  91. Fozzie B says:

    *knuckle dragger 😆

  92. Fozzie B says:

    You’re not wrong Vickers .. She’s like Herman Munster mutated with Maggie Thatcher!! That combo can make a mans package spontaneously combust!! 😆

  93. VCC says:

    Anything associated with one of the top five people I hate the most ( Maggie Thatcher) would make me throw up.

  94. Hahaha Fozzer, I like it !.

    So Vickers, whose else is in the top 5 !. I`m putting money on Fergie being in there !. hahaha

  95. Off hand I cant think of anyone I actually hate and those who will point out my earlier remark about Jeff Blockley, I don’t actually hate him……..I just want him to die !. hahaha

    I can however tell you without any shadow of doubt that a current hate top 5 who are not people would be :

    1) The Spuds !. Who sit forever unopposed at the very top and that’s the only thing they will stay top of !.

    2) Man U

    3) Liverpool…..These top 3 will never change !

    and by way of just buying trophies in their short history and making a mockery of the rest of over 125 years of Football :

    4) Chavs and 5) Man City !.

  96. PS

    Although I hate these clubs, I do respect the top 3 !. However Chavs and City…..not an ounce of respect, you earn respect not buy it !.

    Fcuk me !…….where did all that negative energy come from ?. hahaha

    They do make it easy though !.

  97. proudgooner says:

    I too have to agree with Cockie in regards to Jack if arse invader of the 17 year kind has said he sees Jack a deep laying midfielder .
    I think Ozil will be that man, i cant see Theo losing his place on the right wing for this season at least only way he moves is for the centre forward positon.
    In Arsene we trust 1 🙂

  98. proudgooner says:

    ! not 1

  99. proudgooner says:

    Congrats she looks very sweet, you are a lucky man. Look forward to seeing her in a full Arsenal kit ha ha ha

  100. VCC says:


    1 = Adolf Hitler

  101. proudgooner says:

    Good to hear you are already teaching her the Arsenal songs, it would be fantastic if her first words were OHHHH SANTI CAZORLA lol

  102. VCC says:

    2= Alex Ferguson

  103. VCC says:

    3 – Margaret Thatcher

  104. VCC says:

    4 = Teddy Sherringham

  105. VCC says:

    5 = David O’Leary (Traitor)

  106. proudgooner says:

    Some players and club have got to hated and that is ok its ok to hate them in fact it is a must.
    van judus

  107. proudgooner says:

    united fans
    spud fans
    city fans
    chav fans

  108. proudgooner says:

    oh and refs

  109. proudgooner says:

    How do you feel about George Graham?

  110. Gerry says:

    TA – You have mail

  111. Gerry says:

    Alex – let me add my congratulations to both of you .

    Now the 18 years of worry will begin … then she will leave for uni, and you’ll worry even more?

    Only joking.

    Enjoy every minute. Life and values will take on a whole new meaning, and you will both be all the better for it.

  112. proudgooner says:

  113. proudgooner says:

  114. Fozzie B says:

    Nice link PG…. Wait till Tarzan sees as the number one striker!! He will be pissed!! 😆

  115. Fozzie B says:

    She’s cute PG .. You can see me in the background with my dialect boner!! 😆
    I don’t normally let kids play on my boner but it was particularly itchy that day so I had an open day 😆
    I also had a £5 competition for the best moon walk and running man!!
    Itchiness sorted!!!haha 😆

  116. AB says:

    Many congratulations Alex – a really special time; enjoy it through the (many) waking hours. I’m just at the stage of really missing seeing the gummy little faces – my two are now 3 and 4. I truly envy you. Best wishes.

  117. AB says:

    PG. After new babies, its probably a bit off to go straight to players you have to hate – but I will anyway! I can’t get past Judas at the moment – there may be many players I have a low opinion of, but usually there’s only 1 that I really can’t stand at any point in time. And even time has not diminished my sense of plain outrage that RVJ should challenge Wenger, of all people, on his strategy for our team. That he should publicly rule out signing a new contract, making his sale inevitable and our leverage on price reduced, and now be jumping around like an arse when he scores against us. There is nothing left of the Arsenal player in my thoughts of him – I don’t even wish to see his goals for us again. I just hope, like most others who have left us, that he ends up facing a long, painful reflection of a poorly judged decision. I could go on…….

  118. VCC says:

    proud gooner.

    I like George Graham……Every man has his price…Many men have taken a bung/bribe, he was the unfortunate one that got caught.

    Loved him as a player and liked him as our manager.

  119. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post: jgc takes us on another fantastic tour de force post. 🙂

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