Why were so many off their normal game on Saturday?

Rotation v Fatigue

Giroud has often disappointed many Arsenal fans this season.

The hardest working Striker in the CL is seldom appreciated for the total impact on our game (comment TA).

Rotation? Do it to beat fatigue? Or don’t do it and ignore fatigue as long as possible?

Fatigue? Is it all in the mind? Or is it a genuine reason for under-performing?

I must admit I do find it strange that so many see fatigue, either as an irrelevance, or should not apply to professional footballers. So that is my starting point.

In almost any sport you care to mention, from Darts and Snooker through to Tennis and Track and Field events, those involved will, without exception, say that back to back performances get harder and harder. So why should footballers be any different?

Dart players need to concentrate to repeat actions over and over again. You may think that is simply a mechanical thing, so that if you practice a lot you don’t have to think about it. Well certainly practice helps. But in the pressure of performing in front of a live audience needs control of both emotions and their concentration level. Distractions can mean just the slight deviation in the flight of the throw that can mean victory or defeat? Repeated demands on the concentration levels always leaves its mark.

In snooker too: you are in a one on one situation, where you alternate between playing and not playing, but with a difference. You never know how long the sitting out periods may be. In darts, it is three arrows from your opponent and you are on. With snooker you can sit out a whole frame without getting your cue in action. You can play short round matches that may only last and hour. Or you can play the longer matches over two days, with several sessions a day. Worst still, you could be playing late into the night getting through one round, and then have to be ready to do the same again the following day. So even if the previous night was one of great satisfaction, and a great boost to the confidence level, if you have beaten a higher ranking opponent. But the records show that it is rarely repeated at that same level the next time. All snooker players can claim to have an advantage if they have just one day off between each match.

Moreover, with both these high intensity sports that lack the physical aspect, the victors at the end of a long tournament say they need a break. A physical break, before they can look forward to competing again.

But if you want to throw in the physical aspect on to an individual sport, then singles tennis events are probably the most demanding? The intensity of a partisan(?) crowd, the strength of your opponent, and often the climatic conditions are all their to test their mental strength. They too, see an advantage of having longer gaps between games than their opponents, irrespective of how they played previously. They too are drained at the end of a tournament where these demands are the most extreme.

With track athletes it is all about the physical performance. So they may have to stretch their stamina resources when they have two elimination rounds in one day. By the time the final rounds come along, it is usually the ones with the most ability that have been able to ease through the qualifying rounds, without extending themselves too much, that come out on top.

So when it comes to football, they not only have the physical effort to manage, but also the concentration levels too. Not for the two hours of a marathon runner, unless their is extra time, but way above the 10 seconds of the 100 metres sprint. Yes it is a team game, and the players are not involved all off the time, not to the physical extreme that is true. But the concentration level should always be on alert, because you can never be sure when you are going to have to make a tackle, or receive the ball. Fatigue in this area is what is so costly. An unexpected error will throw out what your fellow players were planning for, and that can be more draining on them?

So, just because professional footballers are well paid, have good facilities to train and recover from matches, does not mean that playing up to 95 minutes once a week does not leave them below their full level of all round fitness – mental and physical.

I have read that top football coaches think as much as 50% is lost by the following day. This is probably why if they do any training the next day, it is only light by nature? They then go on to say that by the second day, a player may recover 75% of what was lost in their last match. Which is still a significant drop, and will vary amongst the players. Another variable is just how demanding the previous game was? Another may be just how many demanding games have gone before the latest one? Travelling too, is not as relaxing after a bit of light training?

On top of all that you have the different demands that these factors are taking on the individual players. I said with the track athletes, if they are real top class performers they can breeze through their early rounds. However, the athletes that just scrape into the qualifiers are very unlikely to beat these same athletes in the final round because of the extra effort it took out of them? It is the same with teams of footballers. Some players will be stretching their ability in every game, while others are capable of making hard things look simple, because they can. So, a team of all round better players will be able to get through matches easier. That does not necessarily happen because of the ‘one off’ factor, when a lesser team has a game when it all comes together. But over the longer term, a full season, ‘the usual suspects’ are invariably somewhere near the top?

So, I ask again. Why is it so difficult to accept that football is a demanding game, and fatigue will play its part?

Take the run of games that Arsenal played:

Sunday match v Everton: Tough match, slightly added to (mentally) by not holding the late lead?

Tuesday fly out to Italy, probably still only 70% recovered?

Wednesday they played Napoli: tough game. Guess a %age below peak around 90%

Fly back early hours Thursday, now only 45% fit

Friday, just getting up to 65/70%?

Saturday, early kick off. What? 85% recovered, playing away from home against a very talented side.

Well, you know what happened. Does it make a bit more sense why so many were way off their normal game?

I hope so. Because this is why rotation is not just an option. Playing every 3 days will mean if we played the same 11 players for all these matches, there are some that will not make it past the third game, given they will not have recovered fully by the time the next game comes along, which compounds the drop in their ability to deliver once more.

The pros and cons of our run over this periods are: We have 3 good days to recover from the Chelsea game; Away match against West Ham, no real travelling; Unlike 2 good days, but match messed up by travel to Newcastle – the tricky tie I identified earlier.: We then have two good days, before we play Cardiff at home. The previous three results will help, but we are going to be down on our levels. Be warned, Cardiff will be fighting for their survival!: Next, FA Cup v Spurs will be just the tonic, even the most knackered will find something deep down for this one, albeit with only 2 good recovery days on top of all the rest. But then we get a 9 day break before our repeat fixture with the Villa.

A bad result against West Ham could mean one set of 11 players will be running on empty by the time the Cup match comes around.

So, all agreed? Rotation Rotation Rotation.

Done sensibly of course?

Written by: Gerry

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92 Responses to Why were so many off their normal game on Saturday?

  1. VCC says:

    Nice one Gerry.

    I think we can all agree Arsenal against Manchester City showed Arsene Wenger cannot expect the same players to compete at the highest level within such a short period. And yet he pushed his luck, and failed.

    We were jaded against City, so much so it was pitiful to watch Jack Wilshere get hussled and bussled off the ball and just lie on the turf giving in. He was not the only performer that played under par against City.

    Glic has a point, you either go for the League alone (and compete) and forfeit the other competitions or you rotate and use young/back up squad.

    We now have =
    Szczesny/ Fabianski……Keepers

    Back up =

    If we are to persist in competing in all competitions we MUST rotate, even if it is on a small scale.

    The only regular switch I see is Monreal and Gibbs.

    With Podolski and the Ox coming back shortly, surely Wenger can rotate much more.

    Why not start with Gnabry against West Ham?
    Why not bring replacements on BEFORE 70 mins?
    Why not try Hayden after 70 mins?
    Why not try Eisfeld after 70 mins?
    Why not try Olsson after 70 mins?
    Why not try Akpom after 70 mins?
    IMO our strongest team is =

    That gives us a back up of =

    Podolski and Ox will soon be back also.

    There are six players in the back up squad Wenger does not hesitate to bring on if he has to late in games, why not trust/play one or two more regularly to alleviate stress/fatigue?

    Great article keep it up.

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry πŸ™‚

    Thanks for a fantastic post. Love the link with other sports and the importance you give to our ability to focus and concentrate in each and every game. A really nice read.

    Rotation makes sense, I cannot argue with you much on this. Why did Wenger not use his experienced and eager captain once as a starter against Everton, Napoli or Man City??? Especially Mertesacker could have done with a break…

    I reckon it is to do with momentum and team togetherness/cohesion, as it is unfortunately often the case that a rotation in Wenger’s teams, whether forced or not, leads to a dip in team performance, and often, results. Furthermore, Giroud has not been as good since he was rested, which could be an argument against rotation/resting….. Maybe he should have been rested earlier…. but it is just not as easy as it seems.

    A yes to rotation for me, but I reckon we will not see Wenger change much in this area; and to some extent I can see why he is reluctant to rotate more than the absolute minimum.

  3. James Bond says:

    nice one @ Gerry

    all that is very well put and eloquently done, however, here comes the problem – it’s more or less the same, IF not worse for the other football clubs or big clubs so to speak….

    Yes, If I were to take that on board, had we still been in the COC , imagine the scheduling then ? it would have been an absolute nightmare, yet you look at teams like W.H.U, fighting relegation, they make a number of changes and yet , come out on top with fresher legs and a new mindset of players.

    the problem, you rightfully pinpoint along with VCC (Great comment by the way), is ROTATION…not only do you bring in a fresh pair of legs, but the mentality is fresh, there is more hunger there as the player given the opportunity wants to show that he belongs there and deserves an extended run – WHU’s goalie has been immense, yet when they played a rookie last night (Adrian) , he won them the game by making vital and key saves.

    This is where AW needs to be a tad more trusting and ruthless, Rotate , especially when we have a good standard and quality of players on the bench and in the squad now

    be a bit more clever and trusting, voila – we come out of this tricky little passage on top ? i would certainly like to think so.

    re- last article comment on lowering sights – don’t blame me for wanting Craig to come back and play a little more – Carrot and stick πŸ˜‰

    on a different note, I received an intended notice of prosecution through the post today, doing 57mph on a 50 mph, arghhhhhhh first time ever, have 28 days to respond in – what to do what to do – Glics, save me, ha

  4. James Bond says:


    I think he just doesn’t trust his squad enough or feel comfortable to do that, which is wrong.

    you can argue that it may have something to do with him thinking ” why fix something when it’s not broke ” – and i would argue for the very same reason, why stick to the same, when it becomes one dimensional and makes you very very very predictable.

    his reluctance to use Theo or Gnabry was even more baffling in games when we needed to use the full width of the pitch a tad more and to create more space through the middle for our creative MF’s.

    hopefully, we will see some changes to that effect as we do have the Pod fully fit and raring to go, and AOX isn’t too far behind either.

    JGC πŸ™‚

    we may change formations during the game and play a 4-6 with Giroud coming deep and so on – however, that is not what I wanted when i said element of “surprise” – you see , we still start and play with a target man up front, this makes it easier for defenders to mark him and know what to expect – If we start with no Giroud, then I reckon- it’s any defenders/defence’s nightmare, they simply do not know who to mark and it causes a lot of confusion, as you are having players take turns to play as a false no. 9, ranging from Theo, Poldi, Rosicky, Ramsey, Ozil and so on and so forth.

    changing during game time and starting with such a formation are different and can be used for both impact and positive , desired results – sure, we can always change things by bringing in a Target man as the game goes on, so it’s not putting all your eggs in one basket either.

    I see, the Damus has made a return and has gone for a 2-1, well, i’ll take that for sure !

  5. Gerry says:

    VCC – That is the spirit. Look at the problem and come up with a workable solution.
    Nice one, thanks for that.

    It should get the ball rolling?

    There is one name always being mentioned, but he falls out of my thinking when it comes to having players in the squad. Who? The joker, the jester, the midnite taker … err no, that is the song.


    He has been back from injury for a while. Usually seen training with the squad. Is he playable? If he is, get him out there. The Flameteta arrangement cannot be relied on indefinitely as the ‘Art’ half must be close to 5 yellows, as is Wilshere. He at least would give Presence! in that role, if his knees are up to it? If he is on the bench for the next game, give him some minutes pleasel.

    However, with Dean as the Ref he would probably red card him just for looking at him …while he is still on the bench πŸ˜† Mind, that is what Presence! does for you?

    There is a case for doing three changes for the W.Ham game, back to the Chelsea line up, bar a couple for Newcastle, Back to the W.Ham line up, minus another 3 who have played twice or three times, then back to the Chelsea line up with just a tweak or two for the Cup match? Which sound doable until you just know sod’s law will prevail, and we get injuries where we can least afford them?

    It is not going to be easy, but other teams will be faced with similar problems, and the only side that we meet with any real depth is Chelsea? So if we get off to a good start against the Hammers, may be we can do more of those substitutions that you have put up for consideration?

    Another big problem is having the right bodies on the bench? We only have 6 slots for outfield players, as you cannot risk going without a GK? Without Koscielny, we are down to our bare bones for a crocked CB, so either Jenks comes on ans Sagna moves across, or it is Hayden? No problem if he gets some playing time from the bench first, rather than thrown in out of necessity?
    I hope Frimpers makes the bench, and for the same reason as above, play him.
    I suppose we could keep Rosicky as a permanent sub for all games? Same with Nicky B? If they are not used, then they could be available for a start? Monreal is a given, with or instead of, Gibbs. Wilshere, taking the last available place?

    So that would mean Hayden and Arteta taking over from Fimpong. Rosicky keeping out the Olsson/Eisfeld duo, and Gnabry and Bendtner keeping out Akpom.

    See who can do better?

    Damn it, I’ve just mini posted off my post. Over to you now.. honest πŸ˜€


    Gerry, a lot of the times I use the term fantastic post but ime just been polite, but in this case I mean it.

    Whilst I fully concur with your logic and accept all your arguments, like all things in life there is the other side of the coin.

    Players want to play. The more they play the more confidence grows and the more needed they feel, hopefully bringing better results. A classic example of this is the Man Utd squad that won the treble. Running on empty, but desire and self worth (and luck) saw them through.

    Then there is the obvious one of rhythm within the team. To many changes and the collective game can go to pot.

    It is therefore a fine balancing act between selecting a side which safeguards against fatigue whilst still been able to achieve the necessary results.

  7. Gerry says:

    TA – I take the point about cohesion. But if these fringe players are training with the squad, the only way to integrate them is by giving them playing time? Only then can you see who gels and who doesn’t?

    I think for these 5 games AW is going to have to be bolder and test out players even if we are only 1-0 up, or even 0-1 down.

    The ‘don’t fix if it ain’t broke’ line which a lot of people do feel is the right approach, is flawed when you face with 5 games in 12 days. It will get broken badly, unless my post has not registered the true impact on players.

    I agree, AW will only like to do the max of 3 unforced changes, which is why I outlined that step in my earlier response. Done at its simplest, you could refresh 9 of the original 11 from the Chelsea game, by the FA Cup game. But ‘simplest’ does not allow for sod’s law!

  8. Gerry says:

    Thank you JB – you have it in a nutshell Refreshing players.

    Not only from game to game, but to and from the bench.

    I am hoping with all the festive goodwill with their Christmas party and things, we will start more or less with a clean slate for the Chelsea game, but the 4 that follow are where it we cannot just hide behind OGAAT and hope things go alright.

    Some proactive thought has to be given in my opinion, so i am glad you think so too?

  9. James Bond says:

    very much so – agreed, besides what better way to silence your critics and the bench warmer aka Michael Owen by not winning but also putting on a show, lighting up the PL during the festive period, and sitting pretty at the top by the end of it ?

    3 games = 9 points and a 5 point gap, at least by my calculations, if things go according to plan.

    the xmas party and dinner was a stoke of genius really, even better than my suggestion of the whole squad going to dubai for a bonding trip – this really was what the doctor ordered and like you said, it may pay dividends now and for the longer term.

  10. Milo says:

    To answer your question Gerry, it’s because we stink! Just kidding πŸ˜€ I think we will beat Chelsea next match. I hardly ever think we WILL win a match, but I have every confidence we can win! πŸ˜€ I even think we can beat City when they come to the Emirates, later in the season. We managed to score a few goals this time, instead of going in to our shell. We’ll do well against Chelsea. Very well! πŸ˜€

  11. Gerry says:

    Terry – I think you’ve got … but then you lose it?

    Of course players want to play, but not just the ones on the field. As JB has just pointed out, their keeness to impress is just as valuable for the player hoping for a run in the side, as the one hoping to keep his run going? We have to utilise both to get the best outcome?

    I am not saying this is how we manage the rest of the season, by routinely pulling off players when they are playing well. But to have 4 games in 9 days, a 3 day gap between each, is asking a lot, and almost certainly too much for most? If a player misses one game but plays the next, the 6 days in between are hardly going to disrupt the individual’s rhythm?

    I am not saying it will be easy, but to do nothing more than tinker around the edges I can see Cardiff walking off with 3 points, and the Totts knocking us out of the Cup … on our own patch!

    I agree with you on having the ‘feel good’ factor when you are winning makes it a whole to easier to carry on. I made that very point with the WHU game. If we can start the ball rolling there it will breed confidence for those that come back into the side for the Newcs. Then the Cardiff match may not look so daunting when they throw everything at us. Stand firm, then bring on fresh legs and it could be a 12 point haul while others are dropping points around us. Then by the time we come to the Cup match, we will feel like we are invincible, whatever team we put out?

    Good heavens, If the January sales go as well as some of us hope/expect, we will be able to integrate even more players to the point where fatigue is a thing of the past?

    But yes, a fine balancing act, which I did say should be done sensibly.


    No worries Gerry, I am well known for losing it. hahaha

    As I said, on balance I agree with you. the modern day need for rotation exceeds the positives of playing the same team.

    Anyway, ime in such a good mood today I will tell you all some thing that will enthral. Whilst dining out this lunchtime with a client, I pulled the most delicious looking Bulgarian waitress since Stoichkov.

    I am meeting her tomorrow night and am sure you all share my delight with this marvellous news.

  13. James Bond says:

    Sunderland boss Gus Poyet warns that England’s World Cup chances will continue to be hit until Premier League chiefs vote to bring in a winter break, with his side facing 11 games in 38 days.

    Poyet said: “The next five or six weeks is something I don’t understand – why the rest of the world are probably on holidays next week and we have to play 250,000 games in a month and a half.

    “Nobody will convince me – it’s not normal. I will even give you Boxing Day – I agree it is a special day in history and everybody wants to play that day – but then take the 27th off until the middle of January.

    “Then probably your national team players will get you to the World Cup in a better condition. But I’m not in charge. It doesn’t matter how many times I say it – the winter break is needed and we don’t take it.”

    hence my point, every team if not, most teams have similar problems hence who ever has that killer instinct and is willing to go the extra mile with their planning, shrewdness and training regimes, will come out on top.

    3 players can easily be rotated on a weekly basis, if not on a game to game, like the formula Gerry and VCC have devised – it’s something realistically and very appropriate.

    Santi needs to start in Ozil’s position every now and again – and i’m plenty certain, we will have desired results, as long as we have Theo on his right and Poldi on the left = Sorted .

  14. James Bond says:

    *realistically done

    so, TMHT get’s lucky with a Bulgarian chick and I get a speeding intention of prosecution – ah, life is not fair


  15. Gerry says:

    Hi Milo, I hope you are right re the Chelsea game.

    I have a feeling that Mau mau will be deep in the dark arts, and with Dean in charge it will be licence to kill?

  16. James Bond says:

    JW – Banned for 2 games, that’s a bit excessive and harsh in my opinion – not consistent also, considering Suarez got away with 1

    I didn’t want him involved in the Chelsea game but I did want him playing against WHU, hmmm

    no worries, in Rosicky we trust.

  17. Gerry says:

    One less to rotate with, but he needed a break

  18. James Bond says:

    or one more to rotate with for the Newcastle trip ? with JW starting and us giving someone a much needed rest ? (Ramsey ?

  19. Fine post Gezzer, but like I`ve said before, I don’t get the “fatigue factor !” and this is not from someone just sitting in front of a TV watching over paid divas complaining of hard schedule and thinking ..work in the real world !….this is from my personnel experience of playing football, doing weights, running and squash week in week out !. Even in my mid 30s I was fcuking fit and had opposition players begging me to stop fcuking running !. It`s all down to hard work, you can either be a Mr Perpetual motion Geordie Armstrong or a fcuking lazy khunt Arshavin ! It`s all a simple excuse to me, I`ll say it again…Mo Farrah could play seven times a week !.
    However if these spoilt brats are complaining, then do as I suggested….prioritise one competition !. We will win fcuk all this season, just concentrating on the EPL would have been our best chance, possibly winning it, with at least top 4 place but by going for the lot we will put 4th into jeopardy and possibly end up with nothing. We should have rested all the main players versus Nipples and as for the Everton game ( I don’t think you are using the “fatigue” excuse for this one ! ), Everton had a more “fatigueing” game previous to it versus Manscum, compared to our Vickers tea party versus Hull, where players were rested, yet by all accounts Everton looked the livelier !.
    If we are to keep moaning of fatigue, then that’s another example of my lust for an Usmanov !……So we can have a SQ squad to match Man City and virtually have two 1st teams and the so called “fatigue factor” will be extiguished !.
    A massive break from our last game, so the boys should be as fit as a Vicars outing at a village crΓ¨che !. Our chance to put our mini dip behind ard start another run, but we will probably be affected by something more problematic than the fatigue factor !….yes….the dreaded Psychological factor that the Chavs under Mourinho have over Arsene !.
    If we beat them, then expect Arsene to slide along on his knees naked in front of the Clock End screaming ………….Ouiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii !

    Sorry to hear about JB`s speeding fine, but tree vines don’t usually have speedometers and obviously the Loin Nav`s battery was low !
    Also a post dated sorry for Stretch when he wakes up Saturday morning gagged and bound with a used Bulgarian Dildo stuffed up his rectum with his car keys and wallet missing !.

  20. James Bond says:



  21. Gerry says:

    That is fine glico, but were your games of football under the scrutiny of thousands, was your livelihood dependent on you playing games of football.

    All the stuff I put in there was about top class sports, and top class sportsmen delivering the goods under pressure. I have no idea what your footballing history is, but I doubt the opposition were all as fit as as you? Professional teams in the league are all of a pretty high standard, but I bet Jenks Ramsey and Gibbs ability to keep going for 95 minutes up and down the pitch has very little to do with them putting in extra hours training, but more to do with their metabolism and physique which gives that gives them an inbuilt stamina level over their other hard training colleagues?

    Whatever you were like when you were younger you would be hard pressed to match them. No disrespect to your former colleagues, They probably had bigger hamptons than yours, so the only way you could show them up was by running them into the ground? πŸ˜†

  22. Fozzie B says:

    Good evening Severely Sincere Substituting Scrotum Soldiers !! πŸ˜†
    Fine work Gerry and loads of really good points coming through!! Such as an explaination for Tarzans speeding fine and Bulgarian premonition from Lesbania!! Haha!!
    Seriously for Ol Red nose was the king of good substitution!! He always looked to rotate a lot more than Darth Wenger even when squads were comparable a long time ago. And even in latter years when his squad started to decline he still rotated a hell of a lot more. The result? Some games were lost but had a much better prepared squad that were ready when the inevitable injuries came. Wenger always says the magic “2-3 subs only ” but he only employs it during the busiest part of the schedule when he could be doing it over the not so busy part and then the whole squad including fringe players would be a lot more up to speed and have a greater impact during the toughest period now? Maybe he will get more like this as the squad gets stronger but I agree with Vickers that players like Eisfeld, Zelalem, Afobe, Hayden should get more chance.
    Hopefully next year might be there chance as Gnabry was for this year… πŸ˜€

  23. Gerry says:

    Spot on FB. Certainly the key ones like Hayden, and we probably get Yennaris back in January, if he does not extend his loan. Now Martinez has had a starting role at Sheff Wednesday he wants to keep, so he looks like staying put for a bit. But the DM CB and RB roles are where we are a tad light, so they should get some game time.

    However, when we have been in must win games, pretty much all season? It is very difficult to squeeze a couple of academy players on the bench? I do think they will have to bite the bullet this time around? Mind if we get the right players in, and can hammer in some quick early goals that should give them a bit more room to juggle the players around better.

  24. Gerry says:

    Right, I am off to watch Amazing Spaces …

    Later, tomorrow probably, i’ve been up since 3.40am …zzzzzz

  25. Fournier Michael says:

    Really so I guess I should tell my boss “I am off my game today” as I worked a 10 hour shift the day before I need 3 days off to recover. This is not about a game that last 90-95 min or so. IT IS 10 hours of construction labor and I start at 5am when these over paid ballers are still in the sack. I work a 8 hour shift at work then look forward to playing in our league (mens club league Tuesday and Thursday night.) Im 48 playing against players in their 20s and 30s and I have to get up the next day and go to work. These guys get paid to play a game. Now I admit if the other team had more rest it can effect the outcome but didn’t man city have a CL game during the week also? Arsenal played poorly throughout the match and we have rotation options.

    Start 11 vs Napoli was
    25 Jenkinson
    28 Gibbs
    08 Arteta
    04 Mertesacker
    06 Koscielny
    07 Rosicky
    20 Flamini
    12 Giroud Booked
    11 Γ–zil
    19 Cazorla
    10 Wilshere
    14 Walcott
    16 Ramsey
    17 Monreal
    21 Fabianski
    23 Bendtner

    Starting 11 for City match was
    3 Sagna (did not start in Italy)
    04 Mertesacker
    06 Koscielny
    17 Monreal (did not start in Italy)
    20 Flamini
    16 Ramsey (did not start in Italy)
    11 Γ–zil
    10 Wilshere (did not start in Italy)
    12 Giroud
    14 Walcott (did not start in Italy)

    That is 5 changes to the side that started in Italy compared to City made 6 changes from their CL match starting 11. SO was it fatigue or is or are Arsenal’s rotation of players not a strong as Man City’s ?

  26. The Cockie Monster says:

    I understand where you`re coming from FM. I`m 57 playing against the 20-30 year olds after driving for 12 hours and can still hold my own ( not too heavy a burden ,Gezzer πŸ˜‰ ) just a bit of hard work !. πŸ™‚
    I think your evidence just explains City`s greater quality depth, one which imo suggests my plan of a wealthy benefactor to rectify !.
    Forget about any EPL title whilst Kroenke owns us !.

  27. Fozzie B says:

    Quick Stretch!! Flash those pearly whites and save Cockie as he’s about to enter a another Usamanov CockieKrishna Trance!! All in the Tranny Anex are forced into Usmanov Buddha worship!! I have received an SOS from Vickers who after being illegally entered by your waiters brother… Has now so many incense sticks up his backside that he’s been contacted by NASA for illegal airspace entry into North Korea!!!
    At first they they thought he was part of the Star Wars program until he spoke fluent Uzbek and had incurable cookie fetish!! πŸ˜†

  28. James Bond says:

    we rotated for the wrong match, those 4 out of 5 changes should have been made for the Naples match @ FM

    how much of that was down to city resting their 6/7 players for BM, i wonder

    either way, AW needs to sort this one out in real quick time or else, it may end up being a tad too late.

    Also, this article was written mainly by keeping an eye on the future matches, hence you see the discussion moving forward.

    little point in looking back with the luxury of hindsight – the same mistakes should not be repeated again – 5 changes are 2 changes too many, 3 is the magic number for me plus better subs.

    we had a much stronger bench than man city on sunday, who knows, had we not had to use TV5 for Koc, we may have yet come out on top with another offensive sub – anyhow, we move on.

  29. Fozzie B says:

    Being a quick, fit barstardo with a never ending supply of revlon lippy, Cockie runs around the Tranny Annex naked doing figure 8s like a human scalextrix using running his todger along the alpine floor with Totes award winning clog condoms for protection!! Each rub of Buddha Usmanov and Cockies under carriage is rewarded with several “hail Usmanov” chants and a free lippy!! Haha πŸ˜† All the Trannys get so excited, they get catatonic and begin inserting each others rectums with Cockies incense sticks, which in an emergency can be used as arse javelins!! Ideal for when you get caught behind enemy lines .. Like Vickers!! Haha!! πŸ˜†

  30. Fozzie B says:

    Full fancy dress costumes for the Crimbo party!! Over to professor JGC for psychological profiling! πŸ˜†

    Who got “rotated” that night eh?haha πŸ˜†

    Arteta – Zorro
    Bendtner – Buzz Lightyear
    Cazorla – Super Mario
    Fabianski – Robin aka The Boy Wonder
    Flamini – Woody (Toy Story)
    Frimpong – B.A. Baracus (Mr T)
    Gibbs & Walcott – Bananas In Pyjamas
    Giroud – Captain America
    Jenkinson – Wally/Waldo
    Koscielny – Avatar
    Mertesacker – Jack Sparrow
    Miyachi – Fred Flintstone
    Monreal – Michelangelo (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle)
    Oxlade-Chamberlain – Colin Kaepernick (San Francisco 49ers)
    Γ–zil – Superman
    Park – Santa Claus/Father Christmas
    Podolski – The Incredible Hulk
    Ramsey – Rambo
    Rosicky – Spiderman
    Sagna – Some say Rambo but we think he might be Terry Crews’ character from The Expendables “Hale Caesar”
    Szczesny – Robocop
    Vermaelen – Scream
    Viviano – Jester/Harlequin
    Walcott & Gibbs – Bananas In Pyjamas
    Wilshere – Batman

  31. Fozzie B says:

    AVB has a new job! That didn’t take the ex-football manager long


  32. Fozzie is on the Wacka Wacka Wacka Backa again !. hahaha
    I see from the fancy dress photo that Frimpong and Santi come as themselves !. hahaha

  33. AB says:

    Good analysis Gerry. Yes, small margins make a big difference, the wife tells me…. And so it is with the Arsenal. We have suffered from fatigue in key games, and we will have to rotate during periods of frequent play.

    People seem to be assuming that Wenger is anti rotation here? Whilst I agree with TA’s view that we have made a strategic choice to have a small, close-knit squad and to build familiarity within the core group, I also think that Wenger’s hand has been forced by sheer lack of options brought on by injuries. We lack depth at the back (except LB) and up front, but we have been stretched in the midfield with Santi, Pod and Walcott all out for spells; lets not forget, that was our midfield attack for much of last season!

    Santi still looks rusty, and Pod is yet to return, but Walcott’s return looks really well handled now, given his most recent performance. Oz and Ram look over-played to me, whatever the stats may say. But if Santi can get back to his best again then we really do have the depth in quality to rotate properly, as well as pick the best fit for the style of opposition. Unless injury strikes us again I fully except to see Wenger do just this over the next few weeks; he won’t leave Santi, Walcott, or Jack (when back from his ban) to rot on the bench.

    But we do need to re-establish the momentum, the string of wins, and hopefully a lead at the top. I can’t share the level of confidence that many have expressed for the Chelski game. I am sure we will see a positive response from the players. But there will also be more nervousness and pressure than we have been used to of late – another loss and we into full blown ‘wobble’ space. And we have next to no cover at the back now with Kos out. I would love to see Giroud score early – its been too long for him. But at the moment, something from Walcott looks the more likely. After shipping 6, will be get back to our clean sheets – would be great for Verm’s confidence if we did?

    I will leave it there as I’m talking myself into even more doubts! Some slip ups from the competition on Saturday and Sunday would be nice, as well as some more good news on our folk returning from injury. TOTL and OGAAT.

  34. Gerry says:

    Good Morning all, later than usual as I needed the sleep.

    FM – I’ll start with your little ditty. When comparing different types of work, it does help if the comparison is a reasonable one. If that is your work fine. But are you in competition, other [people stealing your bricks? Do you think your job compares with those who work in the medical profession for example? So leave the trite comparisons out eh?

    At least TCM is comparing his experience in the same area. However, the people he plays with or against are not, with all due respect, at the very elite end of the game. That is where the pressure comes over and above the physical effort.

    So you point out the difference between the last two games, and yes, you have a point in some cases.
    1, Walcott – He was one of the positives.
    2, Wilshere – He has been below par, one of the reasons he may have been left out in Italy? Personally, and it was my view at the time, I think the score was key. At 4-2 his head went, sadly.
    3, Ramsey – Well he has been in every other game, and it was beginning to show?
    4, Monreal – No excuse on fatigue grounds, as he should have built on his splendid Everton performance. However, I will come back to that in a minute.
    5, Sagna – He was rushed back from a hamstring injury, and did amazingly well not to tweak it again, considering how the game went?

    So, at the back you had the magic triangle of Szcz, Per, and Kos. The latter going off injured at, 3-2 I believe? Apart from being overrun in midfield and having to defend against mistakes, I don’t think they lost the plot. Per was definitely hurt by the scoreline, perhaps more than anybody else on the field.
    In midfield, Flamini who covers at big area of the pitch, normally in defense, Ozil who has started every game since he signed, but carries a big expectation level to pull something out of the bag in every game, and up front we have Giroud, who has been putting in big, physically demanding shifts for club and country, and probably has the best case for the physical fatigue factor?

    However, I think the Man City game 6 days after a disappointing draw against Everton, missing top spot in the CL game 2.5 days earlier, and a tactical plan that went wrong.

    By that I mean, AW sent them out to attack, get an early goal, look to counter, and wear them out by keeping good possession. That way, as long as we held a lead, the fatigue factor to our key midfielders, Ozil and Ramsey, might be kept at bay?
    I don’t think it was his intention to not defend down our left flank, nor to lose possession by poor passing, or indeed by some dubious tackling, which on another day, another ref, could have seen a red card, and a few more yellows issued which might have curbed their enthusiasm for such tactics?

    We have no idea if Monreal was told to help block Toure’s runs in the middle? We can assume that it was supposed to work if any one of Flamini, Ramsey, and Wilshere went forwards, the other two could cope at the back?

    Whatever. It happened. They key, and the reason for the post, was to focus minds on this particular period of games with the squad we have, so we don’t take take it to the limit and fall apart again.

    Whilst I thank you for taking time to write your opinion, I am not sure what you were trying to say. Beyond that they shouldn’t be this and they shouldn’t be that, so they must be crap to lose 6-3?

  35. Gerry says:

    TCM – If you mention the Russian again, I shall cross the border with my army of dogs and get them to remove whatever is left between your legs, probably your brain, so Lesbania can be free to return to its roots.

    We have history. We are The Arsenal!

  36. Gerry says:

    JB – Thank you for pointing out FM’s missed opportunity to support the boys. Life is tough at the top .. but we want them to stay there.

  37. Gerry says:

    Fozzie – My dogs can’t swim that far, but I might invest in a drone – sponsored by Buddhists for soiling their icon with a foul name!

    Nice work on the Christmas party. Let us hope they return in good spirits, not fueled by good spirits?

  38. Gerry says:

    AB – Thanks for your very good comments.

    I think AW is a bit Jekyll and Hide when it comes to rotation.

    Like you say, not anti, but may cling on to what is working for a tad too long? This may indeed be down to lack of alternative at times. I just think more names could have expanded the squad into having some ready, if not like for like, but at least able to step in player. We may worry about Jenks, but he can still put in a good shift?

    With Santi, i have a feeling he is having an ‘Arshavin’ period. No! TCM, not the ‘lazy bastardo syndrome’ your so readily apply to a very talented player.

    No, more the Arshavin before he said ‘fcuk this for a game of soldiers’?
    If a player is not in his best position to produce his game, sooner or later his performance level will drop. Yes, I know we have this flexible 6 formation that means the creative players can get around as and when the space appears. But at the moment, and I understand why, it is largely dictated by where Ozil goes? It suited Wilshere(once?), but not his other game of being in control of things. When Ramsey gets involved it is usually in tandem with Ozil, and, when both are on their top games it compliments each other?

    Not so with Santi. So, he either plays when Ozil doesn’t, which means rarely, except if he is subbing him? The alternative is as JB suggests, put him in the ‘hole’, that almost false 9 position, but with Giro just ahead of him. That puts him as the scond ‘1’, in the paper formation of 4-4-1-1, and the four could house Ozil, Ramsey, Flamini and Walcott, for example? Get an Ozil Gibbs partnership going that will match the Sanga/Walcott one? And if Ozil goes right it leaves space for Ramsey.

    I think that will do for Santi, as it might have done for Arshavin?

    It also has scope for a half time subbing for Rosicky sharing the Ramsey load? As for Ozil, if he has players who are of quality to make use of his passing skills, then he too will feel more appreciated, but the likes of Gnabry in tandem with Rosicky, Ozil too can take an early bath occasionally?

    They are the easy ones to sort.TV5 will be fine WITH Mert, as long as he does not try and do the full ‘Kos as sweeper’ bit, as that was something else that left our left flank exposed. Maureen will have seen the tape, don’t you worry about that … No, do worry about that?

    Sagna might need a rest at CB over this period too, just to save him from too much running the line? Arteta refreshed will be a bonus too, as long as we do not get any fresh injuries.

    I have a feeling Maureen is bluffing about this 1-0 story, but I do think he will try and repeat Man City’s tactic and go for an early goal, and then use Hazard and co to do us on the counter?

    Right, I have overrun my time slot, dogs to walk between the showers I hope?

  39. James Bond says:

    Santi troubles are no pre-season with the team, then getting injured and sitting out for a few weeks and then taking time to develop an understanding with Ozil, as he was pretty comfortable playing with the likes of Poldi and co.

    he will get back to his usual best vs chelsea , too good a player not to really.

    Re- Mourinho beating Arsenal easily by 1-0 – let him dream , as his dream may well turn into an utter nightmare which leaves his team sitting 4th in the table come this Monday….

    I might sound a bit biased here, but Chelsea will be very lucky to come away with a draw – I’m expecting a thrashing and statement of intent from the champions of 2014.

  40. James Bond says:

    Suarez signs a new bumper contract at LiverFOOL – no doubt , one with a much clearer release clause inserted in and at a Β£60 million figure, at least.

  41. Gerry says:

    JB – I do like your optimism, but I doubt it will be that simple.
    One question:
    1, Are Chelsea really as bad as they have been playing recently, or can they come out of a temporary slump?

    I think they have the ingredients to do what Man C did. Torres to try and get around Per. Et’o to be the second striker. Essien and Ramires to be their ‘bully’ boys. Creativity from Mata and Hazard, and Oscar thrown in for good measure. Attacking fullbacks. Solid GK.

    It does not sound like a team that will be thrashed … unless they really are that bad?

    Is that Suarez exit clause available from summer 2014 only?

  42. Gerry says:

    Interesting post-Christmas table put up by Untold’. I would like it to be true, but we have got a lot to do to keep our bit on track.

    The new ‘F’ word is FOCUS!

  43. James Bond says:

    it doesn’t matter how bad Chelsea have been or how good they have been, what matters is that how bad we have been and I certainly expect us to improve plenty more on monday, if we play anywhere close to our 100% then we will win, hands down.

    I don’t care about chelsea or any other team since I know how good my team is and what a capable bunch they are on their day, any one can win us the game, even from a set piece,TV5 can score a few.

    don’t know , but It’s an interesting one because If he stays in the summer he gets Β£200,000 p/w now he is on a Β£160,000 – so I’m gonna assume more transfer fee for Liverpool and the release clause is there for both windows.

  44. Total, you’ve got mail…

    Hey boys… I’ve got a little case of the “bah humbugs” here in tinsel land so pardon my lack of participation in this thread. I still can’t figure out what our boys were “of” in the City match. I think they were full of mistakes at the defensive end, mostly…

    Gerry, I would think 007 is only guessing at the terms of the new Suarez contract, much as our (well-paid) transfer agents were guessing at the last one… But maybe he or his people actually know something…

    Look, the LAST thing I want to do is talk more about our difficult run of 3 matches in 6 days and how I (as manager?–hahahaha…) would have put out the team but yes, to me at least, this is where the money-down-a-hole clubs have the big advantage. There will always be periods where quality in depth will be tested. When City and Chelsea can rotate AND their fans aren’t concerned about it being THEIR money (ticket prices up another 3%) paying for the extra players… And if the Shiek or Abramovich can pay 10s of millions of pounds for players who only have to “perform” on the day (rather than carry the team, or believe in the project or salute the fans–with clapping, not middle fingers…) then what’s a million quid here or there for a linesman or a Mike Dean? Some things in life just aren’t fair, it seems…

    On the other hand, I WILL try and rest up (and maybe drink less…) for my next game of darts or snooker (we call it “pool” over here)… πŸ˜€

  45. James Bond says:

    no guessing at the bumper wages,

    it shoots upto Β£160,000 from now instantly – and in the summer it goes to Β£200,000 for the remainder of the 4 years.

    in total , it’s 6 months at Β£160,000 and 48 months at Β£200,000 (if he wishes to stay, that is).

  46. 17highburyterrace says:

    Or maybe Bond does know (about the Suarez contract)…

    It’s interesting, knowing that John Henry (Pool owner) is already up to speed with paying the players (as done in American Baseball) while Kroenke is more about the real estate and other developmental tie-ins with his ownership empire and does not own a baseball team (where, the upside, except in terms of personal pride through winning, is so much lower…) Yes, it will be curious what happens in Suarez saga… The voice of reason says that Arsenal people should be prepared to enjoy it from the sidelines… (Sorry…)

  47. Gerry says:

    17HT – I had a touch of fatigue myself, so I had a quick nap. You might try it?

    Btw, ‘Pool’ is pool over here too, but the one where you get behind the 8 ball, I think? Snooker is the 15 ball game, plus a cue ball.

  48. Gerry says:

    JB – They are clearly banking on on a top 4 finish, or better, and CL is going to pay for it?

    TCM will love that …. a moneybags gambling on a player for future results? πŸ˜†

  49. Evening Arsenes Arsebandit Argonaults ! πŸ˜†

    Sorry Gezzer, I wont mention the “Lazy Russian Khunt Arshavin” again !. However I can talk about my hero……Jabba the Uzbek !. hahaha
    The Chavs !…….these bastards have basically a Chav Pensioner team…….JT 33, Cech 31, Fatso 35, Essien 31, Ca$hley 33, Eto 32, Ivanovic 29, Torres29…..now if we cant beat that lot with their fatigued pension books, then the title if of ( of is the off ! hahaha ). Play the old khuntz on the pitch, not their ageing reputations !. Saying that……we will hit the psychological wall which emits from Maureens Mind and lose !.
    Suarez !………..If this night walking muff diver has any sense, his new contract will have a proper release clause and shouldn`t be too hard for his agent to let it slip out to what this amount is !.
    1) If it is Β£60,000,001….then we can afford it !
    2) We can better the wages !
    3) He will probably get a chunk of the fee or signing on fee !
    4) It`s in the interest of someone even more despicable than said player…..the players agent, I should imagine he will get a massive lump sum and give himself a massive lump in his pocket !.

    The real voice of reason has spoken ( not that impostor from Yetiland with the big snowballs ! hahaha)

  50. I got my if`s, of`s and off`s mucked up….maybe I should just eff off ! . hahaha

  51. 17highburyterrace says:

    No no Cockie, I bow before your balls of blue… You speak pure logic…Too bad it means we’re gonna lose on Monday 😦 …

    Back in a moment with a real retort…Then yes, Gerry, it will be nap time for me…

  52. Fozzie B says:

    Good evening Challenged Chav Chomping Chiquitos!! πŸ˜†
    The timing of Ratatouilles new contract is perfect from all sides!! In case anyone wants to take a bite … The battle lines will finally be clear!! Really makes Jans tranny window even spicier!! He deserves that contract so regardless of how long he stays, I’m glad he is getting the recognition he deserves!! Do you think the have a biting clause in there?? πŸ˜†

  53. 17highburyterrace says:

    Mourinho’s mind games, at the moment, are directed at his players… He’s basically saying, “put the fecking games away and stop missing your shots, bungling your chances, etc. From what I saw, the COC match at Sunderland should’ve been 3 or 4 nil and better finishers would’ve scored at LEAST that many vs CP last weekend…(The CP keeper played a blinder as well…) He’s setting them out for a draw meaning that if they fall behind they will be really under his scrutiny to go and get goals and if the result goes bad he will ring the changes for the other matches in the tight Holiday schedule. Easy to do when your 2nd 11 is just almost as good as your 1st, I might add…

    I, like the other furry fellow, Fozzie, am a bit more optimistic about the match. Bowing out of the CoC is really poor for Moo and his old cows…The domestic cups, I think, should be a complete Sheik-o-garch, with City and Chelsea playing each other in final after final…Surely it can’t cost very much at all to be kept apart in the draws?…

    And this brings me to the topic at hand. I don’t know my snooker (or my darts…) but Gerry is certainly correct that in the positions where chances are rare and concentration and mental readiness the key (the two ends of the pitch…) mental fatigue is as important as physical. Normally alert Koscielny switched off and City were ahead. Then he went and hurt himself on their 2nd goal (also a mental error–getting hurt often is)… Take those two away, along with the payoffs to the linesmen and we actually win the match…

    No, we would’ve figured out a way to lose it… We were always up against it given the schedule and the importance of our Wednesday match vs the “bonus” nature of City’s trip to Munich a day earlier. That people, like our dear Craig,–Damn, I thought we had a live one there–want to make it out to be the same as losing by 5 (at home) to Liverpool doesn’t help either. Our players, who have thrown in with our manager, are under enormous pressure. Giroud and Szczesny try even harder (too hard, sometimes) to repay the faith the manager who has shown in them…Guys like Hart and Lemonpants or Kun, Negredo and Nasri, (not to mention Dzeko and Adebayor) have their own agendas. They’re under pressure because of the guys pushing them from behind but like Ozil (maybe?) they aren’t overly concerned with their supporters and are able to focus on the technical parts of their games…

    Anyhow, I was gonna offer this sort of blah, blah, blah to Total in the guise of a new post (plus some more on the other matches ahead and, maybe, even the transfer window…) but I haven’t heard back, so there you go…

  54. 17highburyterrace says:

    Oh, and sorry Cockie, this voice of reason says no to the Suarez deal. First off we will not be putting all those eggs into one basket…If he can bite he can also fake injury and collect his check (cheque?)…2nd, Henry knows that you just don’t sell to Wenger, much as Kroenke (if he actually gave a sh*t…) should’ve known that you don’t sell to Sir Alex. 3rd, There will always be Sheiks and Perez-o-vitches out there who will outbid us…Finally, if anything, the value of a great AND motivated player has been seen in the Bale example. Henry’s already had one not-so-bright manager go on a spending spree (after the Torres sale) and I doubt he’s gonna let Rodgers (15 million for Jay Allen?!?…) do likewise. Besides, has 007 (or one of his minions…) done the due diligence on the buy out clause? I just can’t see it happening in January except for a world record (100M+ Euros/Pounds)…but that’s just me and, as always…WTF DIK?

  55. Arsenal U21`s Vs Manscum U21`s tomorrow night @ 19:00 !.
    This game will probably be on the Arsenal twitter account and will be a test of Gezzers endurance watching the young boyz as he will get an uncontrollable surge of testosterone in his betting slips and after rodgering his puppies each way, the accumulation effect could make him end up with Friday Fatigue !. Any odds on that Vic`s ?. hahaha

  56. Fozzie B says:

    Hahaha Cockie, Vickers is still behind enemy lines trying to slay his way out of North Korea using your incense sticks as Arse Javelins!! Remember!? Haha!! πŸ˜†
    Good stuff 17h … Keep it coming!! πŸ˜€ off to Bob Marley museum soon! MarleyKaze is well excited!! He has some Cockie equivalent cookies ready to go to add the experience!! Barstardo has also asked if I can go au natural as he will be pimping me to the Mozzie locals!!! πŸ˜†

  57. I have an idea ( probably not original….someone else has probably said it before, so sorry if I`m stealing your thunder ) as to the “psychological wall ” or “Big 3 factor” reason why we hardly beat them ( last time, somewhere in 2011 ). Could it be that every other minnow team or other can beat them apart from us because, most the other teams do not compete with them possession wise and are constantly on the back foot and only have a chance from the odd counter attack or set piece !.
    Whereas we(Arsenal) in the spirit of Arsenes football philosophy always try to attack and out play these “Big 3” and end up ourselves getting counter attacked !. Maybe a change of tactics or a horses for courses approach is needed to beat them !. We defend against them first and foremost and attack when possible !.
    Simple and was there all the time, if the trees were not there, we would have seen the wood !.

  58. I told you Fozzer…..stick to the Vickers method….cover up your modesty with a jar of strawberry jam stuck on it !…..you will end up with a Glastonbury festival sized mozzie following singing the worlds largest rendition of……Jamming !…Jamming…I want to strawberry jamming with you !. hahaha

  59. Fozzie B says:

    Hahaha!! Love it!! Pour splurted over the swim up bar!! πŸ˜†

  60. Although be warned !!!……..with that many Mozzie bites, you will end up with a swollen cock the size of a …..Buffalo Soldier….Dreadlock Rasta !. hahaha

  61. Gerry says:

    Yes, good stuff HT, you have earned your lie down.

    Don’t be too hard on TA I am not sure if it is not still work related. You could always do what I did with the last one. Send it in on a ‘use it if okay’ basis?

  62. AFC says:

    17ht, agreed. I cannot see Suarez leaving in January and joining. Wenger has said very few players are worth over 50 million. I cannot see Wenger spending in the region of 60 million plus on any player apart from Messi or Ronaldo. I think Wenger’s moved on and so he should. Now don’t get me wrong Suarez is class but is he worth over 60 million (which is the price Liverpool would be willing to sell for)? Then add wages of over 200k a week then it becomes very costly, along with his baggage and potential of him doing something stupid and getting banned for a third of the season. I would rather spread that 60 million on two players. A world class midfield destroyer/general who can play in the DM role next to Ramsey who is young and will be able to contribute for 8-10 years like Ozil who would cost around 30-40 million and Benzema for around 20 million when Real are willing to let him.

  63. AFC says:

    Gerry, great post on fatigue and it is present in every sport. πŸ™‚

    I am all for rotation. Every player no matter how good or fit needs a rest at some point. Wenger has said that he can afford to rotate in some positions and not others. Going through the team the LB area is well catered for (two quality LBs which none of the other top teams have), as our the ‘3’ positions behind the CF/ST. So in these positions fatigue really shouldn’t be an issue however if you continue to go through the team it is harder to rotate and prevent fatigue. Can you afford to rest Sagna for Jenkinson? I don’t think you can. Same goes for Mertesacker. If you rest Mertesacker, you must switch Sagna to CB as the combo of Verm and Kos doesn’t work, but if you do that then you are left with Jenkinson. Not really ideal, you could always play Flamini at RB but he is one of only two ‘holders’ in the squad so he is needed in midfield. Can you rest Ramsey without losing that drive in the middle of the park? Again I don’t think you can.

  64. AFC says:

    Kos can be rested for Verm but then is the partnership between Verm and Mert as good as Kos and Mert, probably not. Giroud can be rested for Bendtner but is he the ideal replacement?

    So rotation should happen for certain four positions (LB, CAM, LM and RM) but after that you are taking a risk.

  65. OK, quick responses then naptime (I’m getting the x-mas sniffles to boot…)

    AFC, Suarez IS more valuable (than Ozil, for example…) as a player at the moment. Hell, he’s the best player in the world on current form by quite a bit. Everybody (however) should remember that it’s still Autumn, and he had a lot to play for–and he got it!…Agreed that we can’t rotate at every postion without a drop in quality. As such we need to do it when we can get away with it (i.e. the Hull match looked promising…) but it’s unrealistic to think we’re in good shape for 4 comps/season and the tighter parts of the schedule will always bite us more than they will the sheik-o-garchy…

    I think Cockie is right, that given everything that’s up in the air (i.e., world cup coming) Liverpool down to just 2 comps (if Ratat-Louie stays, and stays fit and psyched…) is a real bonus and they “could” be in the mix for the league. If they drop points vs the silly money teams over this next run it’s right back to top-4 at best and much more of a dog-fight…(and a fight to keep the dog…)

    I also agree with the cockster that, to my eye at least, we should alter our tactics more depending on the competition (and the in-match) situation. We’re already showing that we’ve got trouble with possession football, which I think is a function of our boy-keeper still learning proper distribution, the tall guy in my avatar being very gangly on the ball and the little guy (next to him in the photo) not getting a chance to do his bit through rotation (or being dropped?)… Add in Jenkinson (who really only shines with his crosses) and rotating (dropping?) Arteta and it’s a lot of Route 1 or very worrisome playing it out of defense. (Ozil to Flamini, oops, Fernandinho, was the real killer at City…) Why we didn’t set up with better long ball outlets vs Everton and in Naples (i.e. Theo Walcott…) will forever remain a mystery to me. Maybe it was a fitness thing (Theo AND Sagna)….

    Anyhow, looking forward to MNF (Monday Night Football), it’s all about our collective motivation and concentration and winning for the manager (who will be booed off if we lose…) vs Mourinho “threatening” his players with a more defensive or boring or “tactical” approach IF they cannot do more with their chances. πŸ™„ HE is the one who should be under the microscope after loaning Lukaku and marginalizing Mata. Unfortunately, he’s got the long leash, given that Abramovich has already had his own fun firing AVB…

    So, are you guys excited or worried? Check out this guy, he’s pumped…Too bad all that military hardware is no longer available after comparing our Prez to Hitler… 😳 It is, however, what the marketing guys are aiming at 😯 ….

  66. Gerry says:

    AFC – The point I was making in the post is that it is a bigger risk not to?

    For all his faults, Jenks will do a job. I agree on the CB point, And in a way, although not resting Sagna, by switching him to CB, say for the odd game, he could be the ‘sweeper’ behind Per, as well as cover for any Jenks lapse? Gibbs can cover Per’s back on the other side.

    Ramsey, as I said in a reply earlier, can time share with Rosicky?

    Giroud likewise with Bendtner – He looked pretty sharp with his ‘offside’ goal as well?

    Looks like we will have Poldi on the bench to back up the attacking front too. Him and Gnabry could be another alternative?

    DM is the area I worry most about, as Arteta is fine with someone alongside him if we are looking to press high and do our slick passing, but I guess he and Flamini will alternate, with either Ramsey, Rosicky and Wilshere. I would like another more ‘solid’ option. Both Frimpong and Hayden look like playing in the reserves tonight, so either could push for a bench place for Boxing Day?

    Nothing is going to be ideal between now and Jan 4th, that is for sure?

  67. Gerry says:

    Like the video HT – Alas, can remember Hank Williams snr πŸ™‚

  68. Nice 17 !………good to see all them pumped up, muscle bound, shade wearing, moustachioed razza-matazzers, yes some fine looking ladeez you have there !. No wonder the men wear padding, straps and helmets !. hahaha

  69. Gerry says:

    The Under 21’s are now in the 2nd half,and Eisfeld has levelled at 1-1

    No Frimpers, he must be heading for the bench Monday then?

  70. Gerry says:

    I should add that Hayden gave away the penalty that had it at 0-1 at ht

  71. James Bond says:

    the 2nd Arsenal way is on the way…

  72. Gerry says:

    Yep, and Toral on for Afobe

  73. James Bond says:

    Akpom needs to do better.

  74. James Bond says:

    blimey, so close yet so far, how did that not go in ? unlucky Eisfield

  75. Gerry says:

    So near, but it ends 1-1

  76. Just realised I said the game was tomorrow instead of tonight ! 😳

  77. Gerry says:


  78. Gerry says:

    Well I am off to watch a bit of tv …

    tomorrooooowzzzzz …

  79. Fozzie B says:

    Good video on our chances in CL (not good) and chalvski (very good!) all statistics and no monster logic!! Haha!! πŸ˜†
    Must view!

  80. Fozzie B says:

    Very interestinglink on transfer bids

    Apparently we put a 26k wedge on di Maria as well as Ozil!


  81. The scummy bastards employed them but of course are going to say they had no idea what they were up to !. Just like I had no idea what the window cleaner was up to !………bastard, he`s only gone and cleaned my windows, well I never !.


    And……these scummy bastards are going to get our/taxpayers money to pay for transport infrastructure etc`, when the money should be going to schools and hospitals etc` not a scummy football club !. Arsenal paid for the whole of the Emirates move, relocations etc` with no tax payer handouts !. Why are we/taxpayers paying towards a private Spud investment ?. They wont be getting 60,000 for a fcuking Spursday night !.
    I fcuking hate them khuntz !. πŸ‘Ώ

  82. Dylan says:

    Hey guys! Finally have two straight weeks off school! So you guys can look forward to having me around for a while again. πŸ˜‰ To start off my break I decided to do a little research on the Invincibles (as I was obviously too young to have witnessed them myself and much of footballing history to be fair). So I decided to watch this video of the whole 49 game unbeaten streak:

    It’s a wonderful summary of the season (if you have the two hours to invest in it) and I feel I learned a few things from it:
    1. The Invincibles were mostly a one striker (Henry) team, much as we are now with Giroud. The Invincibles had Kanu as back up, but from the video it appeared to me as if we only had one true striker for many of the games that season.
    2. Pires seemed the best player in the side to me. The way he could move the ball around the field, dribble, swing in a cross, score, and everything else! The player in the current team most similar to him is (in my opinion) Ozil. However he plays in a more CAM position (as Bergkamp did). So I wonder if what we’re missing most in some games is that spark from the wings, maybe looking into a Pires type player could be exactly what we need. Some may argue Santi could be that type of player, but I still believe he’s more suited for the center position in our midfield.
    3. The team was extremely unselfish. This team seemed like they wanted everyone to score in every game. They passed the ball all around even when in excellent shooting position. The current team seems to have begun doing this as well.

    I wonder if the growing similarities between the current team and the Invincibles could be Wenger trying to recreate the Invincibles. Granted this is just from one video so I could be totally wrong, but I’d love to see what those of you who were actually watching when the Invincibles were around to tell me if there is any basis in my observations.

  83. Dylan says:

    Hmm…Pires type players anyone? Allow me to put down some suggestions:
    1. Mohamed Salah
    I seem to recall being linked to this kid before. Looks to have huge potential, and had a hattrick across two legs against Chelsea in the CL this season.

    2. Kevin Volland
    Fairly confident we haven’t been linked with him. But I’ve watched him play a few times this year. Like Salah, still extremely young and could have huge potential.

    Both could probably come for around 10 million pounds (maybe Volland would be slightly more). Both are young with huge potential and I’d love to see them work under Wenger.

  84. Dylan says:

    Hmm…Pires type players anyone? Allow me to put down some suggestions:
    1. Mohamed Salah
    I seem to recall being linked to this kid before. Looks to have huge potential, and had a hattrick across two legs against Chelsea in the CL this season.

  85. Dylan says:

    2. Kevin Volland
    Fairly confident we haven’t been linked with him. But I’ve watched him play a few times this year. Like Salah, still extremely young and could have huge potential.

    Both could probably come for around 10 million pounds (maybe Volland would be slightly more). Both are young with huge potential and I’d love to see them work under Wenger.

  86. Gerry says:

    Bloody Hell, Dylan! Are you trying to ruin AW’s carefully laid out plan of misinformation?

    Suarez? – ‘I dream about him’

    Costa – He has a Β£32 release clause – Why would they know that?

    I went to great lengths with my cryptic clues to keep actual names out of the media gaze …
    errr ‘ …. somewhere like, let’s say, Holland’.

    My no1 choice arrrrgh!

  87. Gerry says:

    TA – if you value our chances in the TW, delete these links … err well one of them, Twice!

  88. Gerry says:

    P.S. to Dylan. Unfortunately, others are making the same link, but for now ‘Arsenal have made no inquiries’ … but that is part of the master plan.

    I think Chelsea want to outbid us on any striker we go for, whether they need him or not, just to make sure we do not have that cutting edge that could make the difference … Lukaku as bait for Costa for one? Oh, the latest is, your first choice might be heading to Liverpool?

    I do like the direction that you are thinking. If you want the clues again, they are at the back end of the post before your review. But what I saw in this player is him being completely compatible with the team style, players (he is German), and team ethic(many assists, as well as goals). Many people will dismiss it because his primary position is Walcott’s area, but I see him used more centrally because he can dribble … sorry Theo, but there is more than pace if you want to play as an outright striker?

    Glad you are doing your research though. I cannot help you much on the ‘Invincibles’, as I was not able to get into football at that time. I even had a job noting how my home town, Coventry, were doing. Bit like you with your school work I guess?

    Are you putting yourself forward for a preview/review btw?

  89. Gerry says:

    On that Coventry link, there is a nice story about Kirkland, ex of Coventry, now the goalkeeper at Sheff Weds. Our Damian Martinez has temporarily replaced him, but says Chris made him a cup of tea at half time to help keep him warm. Nice eh? Both for CK’s attitude, and DM’s for reporting it.

  90. Gerry says:

    I do not know how much notice you are taking of the long range weather forecast? But there is a very real possibility that our much vaunted Chelsea game could be called off.

    There is an area of low pressure moving in on Sunday, and is it makes its way northeast, the associated high winds move ever closer to the London area, and sending a belt of prolonged heavy rain.

    Worst case scenario would be like that FA Cup match the other night. They played for 75 minutes before they abandoned the game at 0-0, and so have to do the whole thing again. I think in a league match, that amount of time might constitute as a result? But neither side could play proper football in conditions like that, and there was a great chance of a player getting injured.

    Despite the congestion in our fixtures, I hope we can get it out of the way. On the other hand, this same weather system continues its northerly path it does herald a cold spell with lots of snow … err especially in the north of England … mnnnn Newcastle perhaps?

    Just a thought at the moment.

  91. Gerry says:

    Just squinting through the other reports, I see Jorge Bird says it was Zelalem that gave away the penalty last night.

    Not a good night for those trying to impress for loan deals though. I shall be interested in what JB thought, as I got the impression he might have been watching the game?

  92. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post πŸ™‚

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