What is the score The2-0 Wal2-0tt? Reflections on 12 tough days

ARSENAL v TOTTENHAM

&

A reflection of a demanding 12 days

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Due to a mis-communication, the review is somewhat later than might have been the norm for such an important game like an NDL. But maybe we needed some time to celebrate the victory, without analysing the various aspects that went to produce such a stunning victory.

Perhaps Jack Wilshere summed it up best when he said … ‘Arsenal have clicked’?

So let me just roll the clock back to where our Christmas schedule began: December 23rd, a home-tie against Chelsea. We had not won a match since December 4th. We drew 1-1 in a very open game against Everton, Then lost away at Napoli in the Champions League, but it was enough to get us through to the group stages. Then came the dour home game with Chelsea that finished 0-0. Not surprising, given how few shots on target by either team. But that point is the difference between us and the rest of the chasing pack right now. It might have been a disappointment at the time, as a win would have pushed us 7 points clear, but less so now?

Three days later we travelled the short distance to West Ham. This was the game where we lost Aaron Ramsey, and welcomed the return of Podoski from the bench. Two goals from Theo Walcott and a sealer from Lukas Podolski, meant we ran out comfortable winners in the end. For Theo it was an impressive return to his best, after being shut out against Chelsea. It also got us back to winning ways.

Three days later we make the long trek to Newcastle, who were in impressive form themselves. Another game remembered for injuries and sickness before the game, and big ones in it: the changes that were made because Vermaelen and Monreal did not travel through sickness. Ozil was left behind because of a shoulder injury. Then, both Gibbs and Giroud came off with injuries that would mean they would miss the next two games at least.

Despite starting the stronger of the two sides, it took until 65th minute for Olivier Giroud to have a glancing header and thus break the deadlock. It left it for Newcastle to dominate the final 20 minutes, but our defenders stayed calm and we secured a 0-1 victory. Those three points took us back to the top of the table going into the New Year, but it was MOTM performance by Tomas Rosicky that gave the team the drive and determination that helped maintain this winning sequence.

Yet another 2-day break before we took on Cardiff at home. Nacho Monreal recovered enough to replace Gibbs, while Jack Wilshere replaced Rosicky, who had a slight injury from the previous match. But it was over to Lukas Podolski, making his first start as the central striker, replacing the stricken Giroud, with Waclott continuing on the right and Santi Cazorla on the left. This game needs little in the way of refreshing the memory, it being the most recent. There was the disappointing return of Podolski as the main striker; and Cardiff seemingly able to keep us out. So it was no surprise to see him being replaced Nicholas Bendtner in the 65th minute, along with Tomas Rosicky, after Flamini was withdrawn.

Almost immediately the balance of the team looked better, as Arsenal lay siege to the Cardiff goal. The dramatic concluding minutes will long remain in our memories? A nice interplay with Cazorla and Monreal and his cross to the far post, Sagna sees his header saved by the ‘keeper, but only to witness Bendtner arrive and rifle in a bullet across the goal and into the far corner.

1-0, but the drama did not end there. Nicky B landed on his right foot and it got caught under the diving keeper. Yet another injury, out for 4 weeks minimum with a sprained ankle. But he had barely made his assisted walk around the pitch to the much relieved fans applause, when a quick breakaway saw Walcott dink a second goal. His first home goal of the season. 2-0, and still TOTL!

That was the backdrop to this FA Cup and NLD match.

I felt it was worth taking that in, to place this fixture in context if you like. It was not just any Cup game. It was not just any NLD. It came on the back of some extreme physical effort from the entire squad that took part, and could be forgiven if the whole thing suffered because of it.

However, nothing could be further from the truth – apart from the opening few minutes when Spurs moved the ball about nicely, and a misplaced clearance by Koscielny went straight to Ericksen. He got first run on Sagna and only had Fabiansky to beat, but delayed too long and Fab blocked it away for a corner. Thereafter it was Arsenal who made the quick passes, got the better chances, and really dominated the game with ease.

We were superior in virtually every department. Spurs had moments of individual skill, but Arsenal had the collective skills, and it was that which proved decisive. Perhaps also, it was the speed at which we could move the ball forwards. No surprise then, that it was another master class from Mr Endeavor himself, Tomas Rosicky, who provided much of that, and for once he got his reward with a goal he created by that very tireless running that I speak of now. That was an individual moment which he thoroughly deserved.

However, in the collective spirit he was ably assisted in the running of Walcott, the interplay with Cazorla and Wilshere, but special mention has to go to Serge Gnabry. 18 years old, playing in his first NDL, indeed, having his first start since September, and he positively shined. His interplay with Walcott was great. The perfect pass for Cazorla’s goal was sublime. He made a couple of others of equal merit, and had a snap shot from the edge of the box that skimmed over the bar. If it was somebody’s first visit, they would not have known he was: a, not a regular team member; or b, just 18 years old, such was the mature performance he put in.

The second goal came about after Danny Rose thought he’d be clever and twist away from the rapidly closing Rosicky. So, in failing, and being the last defender, he doubled his ignominy when Rosi darted away for a one-on-one with the keeper, and delightfully chipped him with a sand wedge instep.

It was not a game without flashpoints. Wilshere squaring up to Bentaleb, the Spurs youngster, but the ref dealt with that quietly. Chiriches clipped Wilshere late, but advantage was played and he escaped a booking. Indeed, he escaped a ‘second’ one where he caught Walcott on the foot when he had no chance of getting the ball. A couple of penalty shouts, both denied.

Other things like injuries did not leave us alone though. First Vermaelen was replaced at half time with a cut just below the knee. Then, after we had changed Arteta and Wilshere for Flamini and Ozil – nice to have replacements like that? -Walcott picked up a knock, accidental this time, and had to be stretchered off.

This led to one of the photo moments of the game, as he was carried past the Spurs fans who, it is reported, sang some distasteful songs at him while he was being treated, to which, two fingers and a zero reminded them of the score. One for the album without doubt, but the unfortunate stretcher bearers received more missiles than some of their counterpart did at times in WW1.

Very sensitive, and no sense of humour these Spurs fans?

So the final 10 minutes or so we were down to 10 men. But even then the Spurs could not muster a worthwhile shot on goal.

It was expected to be a tough encounter, but with the ease that Spurs were brushed aside, I think we can safely say … …. ARSENAL HAVE CLICKED!

Discuss: Key battles?; Does 4-3-3 always beat 4-4-2?; Overall tactics?; Greater loss – Giroud or Walcott?; MOTM… majority say Rosicky, and I agree.

But remember what the squad has achieved over this short period is nothing short of a miracle, built on sheer hard graft and a collective desire to win, and keep winning. 

Written by: Gerry.

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128 Responses to What is the score The2-0 Wal2-0tt? Reflections on 12 tough days

  1. Fozzie B says:

    Fiiiirst Flooded French Fry Faithful!!!! 😆

  2. Fozzie B says:

    French Fry Faithful = Wenger Fried Spuds!! 😆

  3. Fozzie B says:

    Great summary Gerry and pretty much hits my “G” spot!! That’s General opinion before you filthy bastardos say any more!! Such filth … Haha 😆 I am very happy with the cohesion of the Spuds game at the end of this tough period and if they can keep that up … We will be ready to give any side a challenge that’s for sure!!
    There will be a lot of OGAATING from the BK Brethren I suspect in the comments to come so have your nose pegs ready!! Haha 😆 Since I’m a big furry unit who sleeps for months ….’I’ve saved one massive OGAAT for the brethren!!!! 😆
    OGAAAAAAAAAAA ….. AAAAAT!!!! Aaarrrrr!!! 😆
    Now that I have OGAATED and filled this room with the sweetest nectar … I invite ye all to join and bask in the ambience!!
    Don’t worry if your OGAAT gets messy …. Totes just happens to have a blog roll!! Haha 😆

  4. Thanks Gezzer for a decent read in a game less week !.
    I think you`ll find it was Dembele who had the fracas with Wilshere, which Clattenburg dealt with intelligently !.
    Also no mention of Sherwood trying to exchange padded jackets with Wenger at half-time and that he also went into the Arsenal dressing room at full time for autographs of all Arsenal players with the excuse to the livid Levy, that it was for his dad !.

  5. Apparently, Tim Sherwoods dad was the instigator of the fans singing …..” Tim Sherwoods a Gooner ! ” ( to the tune of the Santi Cazorla song ! )

  6. James Bond says:

    splendid @ Gerry – very well done and many thanks for taking us all back to our start of the festive period fixtures – put it all in context then yes, it all looks that much more sweeter

    but one thing I have noticed is that we have been losing on average 1 to 2 players every game since the start of these fixtures on a consistent basis, hence this break is more than welcome for 9 days…

    saying that, we have also been getting some key players back, and it’s harsh to write off Poldi based on him being maybe 60% match fit and starting as a striker…he will only get better and improve in my opinion, remember – patience is the word after a 4-5 month injury, it takes a while before one is functioning close to a 100% in match situations but anyhow.

    no, 4-3-3 is not always the solution to a 4-4-2 , it only works when you have the “right” players at the right position for a 4-3-3 to work, which which did against spuds, note how Man utd have been playing a 4-4-2 and we have not had much success against them, it’s mainly due to AW going with a 4-5-1 in absence of the right players or maybe due to some other tactical reasons – anyhow, my preference of 4-3-3 is only feasible when we have a fluid front 3 with pace , hence the Theo’s, The Ox’s, the Gnabry’s and to an extent the Poldi’s will do well both as part of that formation and on the counter attack….. to cut a long story short, every formation has it’s flaws and 4-3-3 isn’t flawed proof either, that’s why a team may start with one formation and may switch to another half way through the game or during it.

    onto my 3 Negatives and 3 positives then.
    Negatives first:

    1: The injuries to both TV5 , TW and Arteta (maybe? ) – Poor AFC wanted Theo taken off and I had no problems with that but he wanted Theo replaced with Park 😆 that was my only issue, anyhow – it was strange to have kept playing Theo considering Theo and Sagna were the most vulnerable to injury since they had played in all or most of the festive fixtures ? and then boom, we had to play with 10 men in the last 10 minutes anyway – bad decision by AW to keep him on.

    3: Referee – Yes, I don’t mind Mark. C but he could have possibly given out a few cards, Theo was literally battered at times and Nacho was stamped (retrospective action ? forget it as the FA are a joke, they much rather concentrate on Theo’s classy Banter than something legit )

    5: The score line, am gutted we didn’t put 5 past them 👿

    POSITIVES :

    1: No more Flamteta in the starting 11 at home – Yep, one of the main reasons why we played fluidly and were more creative with our offensive play, I feel this is the key ingredient to use , at home start with either one of Arteta or Flamini and away from home you can start with both, and it may pay dividends on a consistent basis.

    3: The shoot on sight policy – certainly kept everyone on their toes, including the crowd hence FB, you have that electric atmosphere at the Emirates gone up a notch – this is something we need to do more, if you get an opportunity to shoot, just take it like we did this gone Saturday, was good to see.

    5: everyone will no doubt mention everyone else but I am going to give a special mention to SAGNA , he’s played so many games in a row and in every single one of them, he’s put a serious shift in at being 30 years young, what a warrior – SIGN HIM UP AW & IA, another 3 year extension to his contract at 85k p/w – SORTED.

  7. What happened to points 2 and 4 ?.

  8. James Bond says:

    that be telling ; )

  9. Arsenal away to Peterborough in the FA Youth Cup tonight @7pm and on Arsenal Twitter !.
    On Arsenalplayer…..the ClockEnd @ 7pm

    # Bad Breaking News ! #
    Theo out for 6 months !!!…………..time for the cheque book !

    https://twitter.com/Arsenal

  10. That`s a massive loss and a possible title ending injury !.
    How many times have I said about covering for potential injuries with purchases !.
    Great beating the Spuds, but at what cost to the Title, I did say prioritise the EPL and play youngsters in Cup !.

  11. No World Cup for him either !.

  12. Time for Serge to step up to the plate ? and could do with the OX back as well !.

  13. James Bond says:

    wtf ?6 MONTHS ? WTF

    IS THIS CONFIRMED ? ANY LINKS TO IT

    YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS

  14. James Bond says:

    bloody yell, if it’s confirmed and if he really is out for 6 months then it’s time to get in Draxler – bring the deal forward AW,

    blimey, this is a massive massive loss – here is the link

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/theo-walcott-ruled-out-for-six-months?

    Glic, you bearer of bad news 😦

  15. James Bond says:

    I’m gutted for Theo, the lad always seems to miss out on the world cup when he looks so good, fcuking bad luck

    and it’s his knee as well, when they say 6 months, it’s more like 9-12 months

    ffs

  16. I`m sure someone will come on and say we will cope…X player this….X player that…… blah blah blah, but at this moment in time, that is terrible news and I`d rather had lost against the Spuds and kept Theo OK !. 😦

  17. Correct JB……they say AT LEAST 6 months !. 😦

  18. James Bond says:

    it’s all fucking Clattunburg’s fault, before he ran back and received another knock chasing back, he was down and out for a good fair few minutes, the ref didn’t stop the game nor did our players protest, Theo got back up and started running

    it was the challenge before that must have caused it, argh

  19. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thanks Gerry, fine stuff.

    Terrible news about Theo. A nice lad who obviously loves his mum. He didnt deserve that.
    At least he has played enough games to still pick up his title medal in May.

    Saturday was brilliant. The game for me was all about the genius of Arsene Wenger. Which other team in England can play football like that?? certainly not ‘nice but dim’ Tims Totnumb.

    Thats the main reason why we as a Club can turn a 20 point odd defecit last season into a side top of the league this.

  20. He will be like a new signing next January !.

  21. AFC says:

    I’m shocked. How the hell is Walcott out for 6 months. This is the worst injury news I have heard for years. Walcott has barely played this season and I thought this was going to be the season he dominates the EPL.

    I do not think anyone can say we do not need another forward of some sort. I think Wenger should look to bring in a winger/attacking midfielder of sort sort on loan until the end of the season regardless of whether we get another ST or not.

  22. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    When I broke my leg, there was some geezer in the same ward who had a ruptured cruciate and the poor bastard was in agony. I think at one stage he screamed at me to put a pillow over his face. Hope Theo dont go through that.

    Pires and Overmars had the same injury and came back, and so will Theo.

  23. AFC says:

    JB, do you see why I wanted Park to come for Theo? As soon as he first went down I would have taken him off but what’s done is done. Luckily Santi can play on the RW and we have the up and coming Gnabry. So we still have a lot of options on the wings.

  24. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    AFC, its a terrible blow for us. Not only is Theo our best player ‘off the ball” he is probably the best in the league at that.

    However, in the 2002 season Pires was our best player until his injury, but we found internal solutions to win a Double.

  25. Gerry says:

    Thanx Fozzie – glad you’re running the positive spin

    JB – IT is funny you mention the Manchester game. I think if we had gone there with the confidence we have now, we might well have clawed back some of that 8-2 drubbing. Even with RVJ
    and Rooney they are so shaky at the back. Instead we let West Ham and Spurs do the honours, and we have beaten both since?

    On the injury front, it does show how much such a tight schedule does take out of players. Of course some are the direct result of lax refereering? An early card might have save one or two.

    I wasn’t writing Poldi off in the above, just stating that it was a disappointment, obviously to AW as well, as he dropped him for the Spurs game? He looked very sharp in the previous game, so I am not sure how much match fitness had to do with it? It is my own view that he is happier on the left side of centre. If you think of Cazorla’s goal, I can see Poldi doing the same? I don’t think he could on the right. See where he plays next time eh?

    I am not happy with your Walcott negative either. You point out one player who could have been at greater risk in Sagna. Plus, it was an accidental collision of knees that could have happened any time or not at all? So that is a hindsight negative for me.

    The Nacho stamping … err it wasn’t. I think I am correct it was Bentaleb involved? Nacho sprawled and got the decision, and his hand was spread out. But the guy knew what he was doing, if he wanted to stamp on the he couldn’t have missed. It was one ‘Grrr, if only’ moments. It was Flamini that called him back, but if there had been any contact, or he couldn’t convince it was a joke move, then I doubt that Le Flam would have left it there? But he did …

    I would not rule out Flamteta if we play 4-4-2(or 1-1) though. With a solid defence minders in place it give the speedy creative types more licence to go for it/

    I been saying too often about Bacs, I now think he is worth £90k, no messing.

  26. AFC says:

    Terry I hope we can find a solution. Gnabry might offer us the most like for like replacement for Theo. I think this means that Podolski now becomes a regular starter playing on the LW with Santi switching to the RW.

  27. AFC says:

    Gerry, I’ll be back to respond to your post. 🙂

  28. James Bond says:

    thinking of solutions now,

    hmmmmm

    Theo’s is OX’s gain (how cruel, one player comes back after 6 months and then the other goes out for 6)

    also, Gnabry’s gain as well.

    The Draxler’s and Reus’s are options but they tend to play on the LW or LM …I say options because both have release clauses which are water tight , D’s is a little more complex but there is nothing that a few extra million here n there can’t do

    is it desperate times yet ? had Giroud been out or if Giroud gets injured Against Villa, then yes.

    for now, we can cope

    but still, it’s the ghosts of injuries that are stirring – could this possibly be the turning point Ala 2007/2008 ?

  29. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Good call AFC. What Pod and Theo have in common, apart from extraordinary good looks, is there effeciency. Were going to need Pods goals now.

    Serge and Ox are very inexperienced, but have incredible talent. Are they are best two dribblers?

    We cant replace Theo, but we can find solutions.

  30. James Bond says:

    AFC,

    I wanted Theo taken off as well and was with you on that one but not for Park, that’s all

    on a positive, Gnabry’s a better corner taker than Theo 🙂 what a chance for the young boy

  31. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahaha, the ghosts of injuries Bondy? Without a doubt, if Giroud got a bad ghost then we would be in serious trouble.

    I think Arsenes hand may be forced here. We need cover up front.

  32. Gerry says:

    TCM – I will accept your correction on Dembele. Needless to say they did not show that on the highlights I watched while I had my dinner today.

    When you get to my age you will find that your memory plays tricks. I had Chiriches fouling Vermaelin in an earlier comment I made on Sunday, but it was on Jack. Unless there was a third incident somewhere, I got that wrong too. Annoyingly, at the time I remember following the player around until I saw the No6 on his back, just got our player wrong 🙄

    Just read your latest news on Theo. That is tough.

    JB – stop trying to convince youself you are right. The earlier one was the Chiriches one on his outstep/achilles area. The knock he got in the clash was knee to knee, and as I said at the in my earlier comments on Sunday, it stretched the inside of his knee. V.painful,and clearly ligament damage?

  33. Not too worry Gezzer, all I know is Vlad Chiriches is an anagram for……Dirty Romanian Cunt !.

    .Remember when the unknown 18 year old Anelka came into the Arsenal team and we won the League !. You can do it Serge baby !.

  34. Gerry says:

    Thanks Terry – Glad you enjoyed the game.

    Yes the Walcott news is a real bad break for him. Mind on my list of player we might try to sign, and TA has a copy of same, could well be the answer?

    No JB, I am not going to say ‘it is a blessing in disguise’, because it is a tragedy for Theo!

  35. James Bond says:

    Gerry, are you on your period ? 🙂

  36. Guys, I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around the Theo injury. He clearly was in no pain leaving the pitch flashing the score and smiling…On the other hand he needed the stretcher so maybe there was instability when he put weight on the leg… At this point all we can do is wish him a complete recovery… The taunting was great (and harmless…), but it seems the Spurs supporters maybe got the last laugh here…

    I gotta say, I think that this will hurt us even if Theo’s effectiveness was on display more than usual because Spurs tactics played into our hands. Pushing up (high back line) AND not pressing the ball makes it a field day for a speedster like Theo. I guess the idea is that Lloris plays the sweeper and is better at that sort of game than blocking shots on his line. We won’t play too many teams who take such an approach, and it’s unlikely Theo would be equally effective against a more “normal” approach. Alas, it’s all moot, given that he’s out until next season…

    No, it will be different against teams who park the bus and sit deeper and being able to have a big CF (Giroud) gets a little more room for the others and helps brings the FBs into the attack–crosses can be effective. If Ollie can’t play (and we don’t buy a quality CF) I think we’re looking at a plan C, trying to play 4-6-0, which I find worrisome. We’ll have to up our ability to kill games with possession (not really our forte thus far this season…) and our defense will need to be as strong or stronger–not easy considering how well it’s been going at that end (4 clean sheets out of 5 in the festive period). O-Gaat and all that, but I find myself pretty down in the mouth about our prospects…

    Nothing much to do but see how it goes the rest of the month, performance, result AND squad building wise. Luckily the fixtures are manageable but we need to come out of the month with a solid idea of how we hope to finish the season and buying (at the attacking end) seems imperative. Doing deals from such a weak bargaining position, however, doesn’t seem like standard operating procedure for management, You would think this news about Theo just added 5-10 million pounds to the price of the (very) few attackers who might move in this window… Count me as concerned…

  37. Dylan says:

    I just got home from school to discover the Walcott news. 6 months. I’m gutted. Absolutely gutted. We must go after Reus. He, like Theo, can play winger and striker. We MUST chase him as he is the only one who is world class NOW and can fill that role.

  38. Maitland-Niles and Akpom….2-0….Crowley pulling all the strings again !.

  39. Gerry says:

    Having had Draxler around for a visit, I think we now know who the summer target was?

    I am not sure if another £5 -10m will make Shalke change their minds, let alone Draxler, but who knows? Reus is a non starter I think,as he will stay with the Dortmund project.

    I do think they will have to get more serious about signing whoever they had in mind, irrespecytive of our bargaining position? If we get further down the CL road, or win the league, whilst not guaranteed, it would more than pay the extra, even if it goes against AW’s need for value

    Tthe Under 18’s were two up when I checked – Maitland-Niles and Akpom

  40. It`s funny, (not haha) but last night I was lying in bed thinking what a destructive young threesome, Theo, Ox and Gnabry could be for Arsenal, a sort of Bermuda Triangle !……a Blurr Triangle !.

    PS…..Lets get this straight….I`m not a Priest by trade and don’t normally lay in bed thinking of young boys !. hahaha

  41. Gerry says:

    JB – No,but I have had earache for the last few days. I just get irked by callous comments 😀

  42. Alcide says:

    Well I’m gutted with the news about Theo, and can only imagine how he must feel…

    JB, thanks for mentioning Sagna… yet again, he had a fantastic game; his consistency has been immense.

  43. Gerry says:

    HT- Yes, I am surprised as you at the Theo news. It shows shows the fine margins these players are running on. I was lucky when I did my knee and 180deg twist. It took over two years to get it back to normal, and even then it is delicate when I tweak it slightly. Mind the only treatment I had was 4 weeks off from driving the school bus, and very slow dog walks. 😀

    When I put him in as a comparison with Giroud for the greater loss, like yourself, I had in mind that the Villa game would not matter too much as space will be very tight for his type of game.

    It is Ironic though , the moment we get players coming back, another one drops out. Like you say this month, FA Cup game replays notwithstanding, it is a fairly reasonable schedule until the CL kick in again by the middle of February. We should know our fate re the TW by then, so fingers crossed. The Ox and Gnabry looked to be the ones who will share the load in between time?

  44. Gerry says:

    I cannot believe they are talking about the Theo news as something to ‘galvanise’ the squad. They are bonded pretty tight already?

    It was Gnabry in his post match interview that said he and Theo work well together.

    Sometimes fate just likes to knock you down when things appear to be going well?

    It is what the weather patterns are doing right now. Nature saying, ‘this is what I can do sonny!’

    I am sure the Club will find a way through it. I know AFC mentioned bring back Joel Campbell from Greece, who would be an obvious candidate? But I doubt if they have a legal leg to stand on if it is a solid year loan contract?

  45. Gerry says:

    Akpom with a second goal, now 3-0 up

  46. Gerry says:

    Make that 4-nil up, Akpom hat trick

  47. James Bond says:

    Carlos Vela, anyone ?

    no worries, Gerry – hope you get well soon as ear infections can be rather painful and annoying at both times.

  48. AFC says:

    Gerry, a really good summary of Arsenal in recent times and our match against the Spuds. We played really well, won every battle. We kept the clean sheet and the CBs contained Soldado and Adebayor. The constant movement between our forward players had the Spurs players confused as to who to mark and when to follow the run of our forwards players and when to stay in their positions. 

    To answer your question on does 4-4-3 always beat 4-4-2. Well I think it is about what variation of 4-4-3 comes up against what variation of 4-4-2. If a standard 4-4-2 (so that’s with two CMs which are preferably box to box midfielderers) comes up against a standard 4-4-3 (which has three CMs making up the midgield trio) in theory the 4-4-3 should always come out on top. However if the standard 4-4-3 comes up against a narrow 4-4-2 or a defensive 4-4-2 (which has two DMs as opposed to two CMs) the standard 4-4-3 may find it harder to come out on top and you could argue it is now a level playing field. And then you could argue that a narrow 4-4-2 should beat any variation of 4-4-3 in theory and that other variations of 4-4-3 (whether that has one or two DMs, one or two AMs, one or two CMs in whatever combos) should smash a standard 4-4-2; some variations of 4-4-3 would beat a defensive 4-4-2 and some variations of a 4-4-3 would not. Of course the players in these systems and the managers and their philosophies play a huge part as well on whether 4-4-3 always beat 4-4-2. 

    Walcott is a greater loss than Giroud for me. Walcott offers a dimension to our attack which very few players can offer. That hybrid winger/supporting striker player who is as potent as Theo in goal is very hard to find or replace in my opinion. Giroud gives our team the platform to play but Bendtner can also do this in my opinion.

    MOTM was Theo for me. He did not play as you would have expected him to play. You would expect a player like Theo to want everything over the top or played in behind defenders like Hernandez however he Walcott was willing to link up with the midfield when and bring others into play when possible, playing the false 9 role very well.

    Good win and I am confident that we can actually win this competition if we are take the FA Cup seriously which I think we are this year.

  49. TotalArsenal says:

    Excellent post, Gerry, and many thanks for doing one at short notice. The Spuds mashing was the icing on the cake of five very good games, including the first one as not losing to The Chavs was key. Rather than pulling too many conclusions from the Spuds win, I agree we should not get carried away as they were all over the place on Saturday and tactically poor. Against the Villans it will be very different and I for one am glad to see OG back up-front.

    A special mention to the defence who have been rock solid with just one goal conceded in five games.

  50. TotalArsenal says:

    Theo injured is bad news indeed and am gutted for him re World Cup. Just as well Sven took him along to a World Cup…

    We will miss his goals and assists, especially in the bigger games….. Bollocks!

  51. Gerry says:

    JUst sorry I missed the earlier email. You were right in think that is is better if I can watch the game before the early hours of the morning. Better get a roster going for future ones?

    Unfortunately the news on Theo has kind of knocked the gloss off the week?

    The Under 18s were 6-nil up last time I checked, Crowley with a brace – I’m so glad it is Peterborough though, as their manager cannot run to daddy to bale him out anymore? He is favourite for the job at Brighton …
    They must be mad!

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    Yep, it is a downer Gerry. If there is a bit of Karma then maybe we get six months out of Diaby….

  53. James Bond says:

    hear hear @ the Footballing Gods

    speaking of Diaby, he’s been on a religious pilgrimage lately and hopefully should be back stronger than ever , both physically, mentally and perhaps has done some spiritual healing

    fingers crossed for him, he was due back in training by the end of january/feb.

    Gnabry will keep things ticking nicely until the Ox can function at full throttle.

    one signing solves most of our problems and it’s an ex gooner as well, who can play the arsenal way – yep, Carlos Vela at 4.5 million Euros be a bargain, in my opinion.

  54. Gerry says:

    AFC – I think I got what you meant about the type of players behind the numbers. With the fluidity that we tend to have, it does become slightly irrelevant, and is the point Sherwood was making in how they played, rather than by players normal positions.

    It is funny that Soldado reverted to the AVB version of himself, shooting hastily from long range? I wonder whether it had anything to do with Adebarndoor having an off day 😀

    I find your choice of MOTD interesting, and you make a good case for him. The question of him or Giroud I only put in thinking it was about 4 weeks out for both of them? The news scuppered that one. However, there is something special when Rosicky is on song, and he keeps the machine going forwards at every opportunity. So he edged it for me. His goal was a bonus too, as it gave us breathing space. Theo missed a couple of chances that could have made things easier as well. But Serge G did acknowledge how well he like playing with Theo. I am just hoping he will get time to play with Ozil now, as that could be a special relationship too?

    I think the League is top priority, but that could change if we don’t get through the next month with a 100% record, which I think the way they played over these last few games i think they can, but if we are not out in front come March, knowing teams have to beat us, rather than the pressure on us to win, it might be that the FA Cup will be a nice consolation should we miss out?

  55. Gerry says:

    JB – I don’t think Carlos has very good memories here, and does not want to return?

    I mentioned him and Giroud making a good pair when I suggested a ‘What might have been’ had we not got RVJ. Which brings up another injury for a player would could be that second striker … Birmingham anyone?

    I think there is already been movement on the transfer feelers, so i would not be at all surprised if somebody is not announced over the coming days, but it will not be in the Draxler price range.
    But Gnabry should be fine for the Villa game, but how many he can do on the spin is another matter?

  56. TotalArsenal says:

    I am hoping for Reus, James, and am happy to wait if necessary. Any news on Jovetic coming our way? 😛

  57. James Bond says:

    he was educated the Arsenal way and AW sold him with a sale back clause which we have the option of activating ? if he wasn’t happy with us then the release clause may not have been inserted.

    make him feel loved and find him a place in the starting 11 and he would jump at the chance, in my opinion

    @ Gerry

    TA,

    that would be brilliant if we could @ Reus

    and not too keen on Jovetic to be honest, never was 😀 chuck in his injuries and so on, makes it even less likely.

    we need someone who would fit in like a glove and there are 3 players who would, I reckon

    1: Vela

    3: Reus

    5: D

  58. TotalArsenal says:

    Not sure about Vela, JB. I thought he was PL lightweight. Reus is apparently a big Arsenal fan AND is with PUMA, who will be our shirt sponsors from next season onwards….

    Draxler looks okay but I have a feeling he is still too young, inexperienced to come across to England..

  59. James Bond says:

    give it a couple of days if not hours and watch the Vela links pop up : )

    Reus would be a dream come true (HH mode on ).

    D is quality, and when you are quality, age becomes a mere number

    It’s just sad that we lost Theo , spoils the entire week and leaves everyone feeling gutted for him (minus all the thugs aka spuds fans )

  60. James Bond says:

    you mean he was like Ramsey, when he was developing as a 17-21 year old at Arsenal, who has beefed up now and learned all the tricks of the trade playing in Spain ? 😉

  61. TotalArsenal says:

    The thing with Theo is, though, he is super healthy and I would not be surprised to see him recover quicker than six months. He might still go to the world cup but for Arsenal it is over and out this season. But as Johan Cruijff likes to say: every disadvantage has an advantage and it might well be that another player – internal or external – will come and blow us all away in the next few months. Maybe, like others have said, it is time for the Gnarb! 🙂

  62. TotalArsenal says:

    You might be right, Jammers. He could be the answer. 🙂

  63. Gerry says:

    I am doing my usual, ‘reading between the lines’, and I cannot see us going for both Reus and Draxler. So if he has had ‘the tour’ and Reus saying he is happy at Dortmund, I think the former is the more likely of the two. Especially as it is now public knowledge that D has had the tour, it must have been with Shalke’s approval? They are worried the the speculation has put him off his game, so my guess is some kind of pre agreement is in the offing?

    As to Vela’s buy back clause. Isn’t it more likely it is a ‘first option’ clause at a the agreed price, but is not binding on Vela to accept? Otherwise it would be a loan deal. He is not registered with this club. The only thing they can do is insert a first option clause in case they decided to sell him on at a big profit?

  64. Gerry says:

    Where is JM when you need him. Not only do I want some more funk music. I want to know if it is true that Costa has 3rd party issues. If so, we can strike him of the list?

  65. James Bond says:

    watertight 4.5 euros buy buy for Vela @ Gerry

    Also, Costa has no 3rd party issues I was told today….it was AW doing what he did with Cavani…..

    journo : You want Cavani

    AW : ooooh, I don’t know,he will be expensive 95 to 100 million, he’s a good player, I have my banker with me these days but yeah 100 million, it’s expensive you know.

    to put it bluntly, Liverpool made an offer for Costa and offerened him 150 to 200 k/per week, he refused to join Liverpool

    hence Arsenal has done the maths on his 5-6 year wages at 200-250 k p/w + agent fees and image rights and so on , which take it above 130 million , as he joked.

  66. James Bond says:

    *buy back clause

  67. James Bond says:

    the enemy of my enemy is my friend @ Gerry

    no need for me to look away, quite enjoyed that actually, had a nice chuckle !

    I have nothing against Sczny, let’s make it clear, I just don’t think he’s ready yet to be our no.1 and he should have been by now, that’s all…course it’s not his fault, as AW makes such decisions and he should be the one bringing in solid competition to improve and compete.

  68. Gerry says:

    Apparently that competition is coming fro Reading?

    But I love Szcz. He is right up there with Frimpong when it comes to taking the piss.

  69. James Bond says:

    no doubt about that, if only frimmy was half decent on the pitch, ha

  70. Gerry says:

    You are stretching that Costa thing a little. He is unlikely to get more than a 4 year deal at his age. The total bill for wages comes to £52m @£ 250kpw, over 4 years, plus the £32m release clause.
    The big figure I saw quoted was £145m?

    Bit of a difference from £84m.

    JM – Where are you?

    What was that about asking Cavani to take a pay cut, down to £135k Why an earth would they pay him £250. I doubt if he is on more than £100K now, even less if he kept his image rights?

  71. James Bond says:

    you would make a better accountant than me @ Gerry

    it was done to give you an example and not to be precise, you dwell on the wrong things sometimes.

    you missed the focal point of it all – the hint was the conversation Aw had with the Journo, last year at the same time approx.

    the figures become irrelevant after that.

  72. Gerry says:

    If the figures are irrelevant, how can you be so sure of no 3rd party issues?

    When anybody mentions image rights separately I get to thinking … Mmmnnn?

  73. James Bond says:

    Think Neymar @ 3rd party issues.

    and think of Higuain @ image rights.

    that should get you from thinking mmmmmmmmmmmmm to ummmmmmmmmmmmmm !

  74. Gerry says:

    That is why they neither play in the UK then?

    It is now past my sell by date time.

    Perhaps overnight you can come up with an argument against my my reasoning re Reus and D?

  75. James Bond says:

    no , I don’t need to argue against your every point @ Gerry

    what you said has merit , I don’t argue for the sake of arguing, ha

    sleep well

  76. Admir says:

    Walcott’s injury is a real nightmare. 😦 I just hope he’ll get well soon.

    This leaves Wenger with a lot of worries – he has a full wallet, a squad that has been massacred by injuries this season and a chance to win the first trophy after eight years so there is no place for austerity in January.

    Before those news about Walcott’s injury I had urged for Miroslav Klose’s signing. Perhaps that wouldn’t be a bad idea.

  77. James Bond says:

    I know it’s a real shame with Theo and his injury…but look at these 5 players :

    RVP

    Diaby

    Rosicky

    Theo

    Gibbs
    put those 5 together and you will get 10 years of accumulated time lost to injuries…

    4 of them are still at Arsenal, it make you wonder a lot about our medical department and leaves a lot to be desired –

    I don’t want to make it sound worse than it already is but Flamini is also an injury prone player and lost a lot of time due to injuries at Ac Milan..and Arteta mostly look vulnerable.

    we are left with 2 options here,

    Either get decent cover, by that we are looking at 2-3 players in this window

    or

    we get 1 decent player and the rest we promote from within , from our junior ranks , do a Gerry

    good news it that January is kind to us with matches, it gives our whole squad some breathing and recuperating time, however, Feb it goes up a notch and then March is where it really gets interesting (look away for those with a week heart)

    Munich away – Tottenham – Chelsea – Man city (all in 2 weeks , last 2 weeks of March).

    now to make you all feel a little better,

    if we win our remaining January matches and 80% in Feb, then come March we might be sitting pretty at the top with a +4 to +6 different ( stares at Glic).

    anyhow, we now have to go out and win the FA cup this year and dedicate it to TW, for sure – poor bloke always seems to miss out on the world cup for one reason or the other, arghhhh

  78. James Bond says:

    the key to happiness is no expectations or low expectations as 17HT puts it,

    I wonder how many of us would welcome the likes of Song and Vela back , if push comes to shove ?

  79. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    Bond.. I’m with you for Vela.. Carlos Vela is my favourite strikers.. Bring him back.. He will be our own Suarez.. He have the skill..
    And if we still could bring Wilfred Bony from Swansea.. hehehehe.. then we should..

    Song seem had more time playing under Martino.. so he would not leave..
    Pedro in the other hand will get less time if Sanchez playing well..
    But bringing another winger would mean problem for Gnabry and Ox..
    Ox back just in time for Walcott.. pity Walcott.. hope he will back in 4 months not 6..
    I love to see Miyaichi play.. He is the only player who can compete to Walcott in mattters of speed.. maybe even better.. but need to learn how to cross..

    Diaby will come back soon.. with all his mighty.. hahahaha.. You will see that soon..
    Ramsey and Bendtner also..
    But If in a worst case we dont get any CF.. and Giroud also injure.. we will still have Park.. Let’s play him.. hehehe.. Sanogo or Apkom also still avaliable.. but bring some more young star will be good for us..

  80. Gerry says:

    Henry – Don’t get your hopes on Vela. Whatever clause was written into his contract, it means nothing if he is not for sale. And even less if he chooses not to return?

    There is also the slight inference of ‘absence making the heart grow fonder’? Just because he is doing well in Spain, you have to asked, would that necessarily translate back in the EPL, given his earlier history?
    I would defer to 17HT on that, as I guess he sees more of him on his TV than we get here.

    JB – Can I take it that, in future anything you do not comment on in my posts, you agree with me?
    🙂

    If I am right on D, then it sort of defines who we are looking for re a striker does it not.
    a, There will not be another £40m+ purchase in the summer or in this TW?
    b, He comes as an CAM, and possible No10?
    c, The likes of Ramsey, Rosicky(if he signs), Wilshere, Ox, and even Ozil will work around him?
    d, Therefore the position up front is most likely to be a versatile, young, athletic(but strong) type who can play across the front? A bit like the one I was recommending last year in PEA?

    Actually, the question of age really is only relevant to price. Someone of 26-28 years could be the filler, a very good filler though, to bridge the gap with the academy players coming through? But an experienced guy of quality will undoubtedly cost more than an unearthed gem that AW likes to find?

    I am still assuming that our CF strategy remains focussed on having Giroud in the side, and may be NB23 for a longer term if he can prove himself over the coming months? So we are always thinking more of a Costa/Cavani type that could replace either when needed, primarily there to score, and make assists for others? Rather than a straight replacement?

    I think to cater for such a strong midfield, we will also turn our attention more towards TA’s hopes as a priority signing? We are still in double figure odds at getting someone at the moment, but I expect that to shorten if AW can negotiate the price down a little 😀

    Whoever AW selects, they will be a ‘team’ workers for sure.

    In the meantime, we can focus on the Villa game. Perhaps in the Midlands we may get a ref who does not fall for ‘Gabby the Gob’s’ innocent smiles as he repeatedly fouls whoever, like JW last time? Villa are in a bit of trouble now, as lack of goals from Benteke has dropped them down to the, rather large, relegation scrap. With a sometimes suspect defense, they tend to lose to fellow strugglers. Which probably means they will be on their game for this one. But despite the loss of Walcott, we should prove far too strong for them. Perhaps Terry might get his dream score right, which would be the ideal payback?

    Right that is my thoughts for the day, except to say…..

    Best wishes and a speedy recovery, Theo

  81. geoffchase says:

    Hi

    Saw game and not much to comment on play. Open and favoring us, so we do I aged most every aspect. Main talking points:

    A. Quality of Gnabry, … Just in time it seems. Very mature game in a reasonably pressurized derby

    B. Nacho I thought was excellent and a main reason they had no joy in that half of the park

    On Theo, JB, Gerry and the TW… I’m thinking of writing something, but simplerly ( a word I must made up ! ), I think

    A. We still need a ST, perhaps more now.

    B. Rest remains the same if we get one

    C. Lock down Sagna … Like a new signing for next year but knows the system. 🙂

    D. If you can’t get A but a Draxler or Reus is available! then shift as needed

    Oh and E, I’m in board with JBs comment on not mixing Flamini and Arteta at home. Equally, Gnabry gets his chance and now also JW will get more time too to step up further..

    Cheers — jgc

  82. geoffchase says:

    Ps: why not a reverse, as it were, loan deal for Vela?

    Long term he gets what he wants, short term we might get what we want.. Presuming he can deliver..

    Thoughts?

    Cheers — jgc

  83. TotalArsenal says:

    Good comments this morning. 🙂

    A jgc post would be nice – it’s been a while! 😛

  84. Gerry says:

    Geoff – That for comment on post. Not so sure about the second one, re Vela?

    For a start, his club has no call to sell or loan. No advantage for them to loan as they are minus a striker … for a loan fee??? As far as I know he plays regularly, but I do not know their situation as to whether he is ‘surplus to requirements’ or not.

    But none of it gets past the basic problem of him never saying he wants to come back here. The reverse is the more likely?

    On D – Neither are or will be available this January .. unless Moyes throws silly money their way?

    My thoughts are that the Walcott injury has not changed the situation very much at all. We need a player in this window to assist our main striker. However, if a summer signing is agreed, that player will not be in conflict with future plans. That, if it is the case, narrows the search area. That was the case before Walcott’s injury.

    However, if Wenger doesn’t get a move on, not only Man U will be there to out bid us, but very shortly Chelsea will, once they have raised funds from the sale of Mata and De Bruyne, may be Luiz too if their shopping list is expensive?

    So it is make your mind up time AW. Settle on who and pay the price, even if you dip into next season’s budget? The asking fees will not get less if you dither.

    So Geoff, I should get writing your post, the situation might be different in a few days time?

  85. oz gunner says:

    Morning all. Great post Gerry. Always a fan of your work.

    Spewing about the Walcott news. Was worried yesterday when a month was being mentioned. Then i wake to the news of 6 months…gutted. I just hope this doesn’t have the same sort of impact that the eduardo injury had (obviously not psychological but player wise).

    No bendy, no theo, ox out for the first half of the season, and a young gnabry = cheque book time. We are not Arsenal of previous seasons when we made do with other players. This season we have a VERY good chance of winning it so I hope this is not our undoing.

    Reus (never happen) or Draxler…Yes bloody please!!! Draxler averages 5.1 completed dribbles per game which is the second highest in Europe behind Franck Ribery. 4 goals and 5 assists in 19 games…make it happen Arsene

  86. henrychan says:

    hehehe.. Why not Gerry..
    We also wish for Suarez.. don’t we..?? As you also hope for Costa or Cavani..
    I think your hope is harder than I am.. hehehee..
    Atlatico Madrid will never sell Costa this winter.. They wish to handle Barcelona in League and go further in Champion..
    And If we talking about speed.. Alexander Pato had it.. Thauvin also.. hehehe..

  87. Gerry says:

    OG – It will be in the summer, not now. I do not think Walcott’s injury will have any negative effects on the team. For one thing it was a pure accident. I read up on ACL, and it says that the easiest way to damage these ligaments is either by pulling up quickly for athletes, or a blow just below the knee from the side while the leg is in forward motion ..

    If anybody cares to look at it again, you will see the two knees are not quite at the same height. It could have happened it the opening minute, or a different knock higher up, just a bruise. He was just very unlucky.

    He will be very down right now, but he will recover alright. He has so many players who can share the same experience, Diaby, Gibbs, Frimpong twice. Add to that, the 6 months quoted may be overly cautious. back in the gym and doing Gibb’s T’ai Chi exercises, he may well get to walk up the Wembley steps for his Cup winner’s medal 😀

    That for the comments, but I’ll be glad when you are back to do the legendary previews!

  88. AFC says:

    Gerry, I still think the the formations/systems and the variations of the formations and systems have a huge effect on how well a team does regardless of whether the players positions are set in stone, so to speak. This is because although some teams (such as ourselves) play a system which is fluid with players rotating the base positions remain the same. So when teams are defending or are playing against top opposition you will likely see players revert and go back to the positions they are pencilled in on paper with the team becoming more conservative and rigid. That is why I would say that formations and systems are more important than players and philosophies even if they do play a part in outcomes. That’s my take on this it.

  89. AFC says:

    By philosophies I am referring to the likes of total football.

  90. Dylan says:

    Wind chill is making it about -20 degrees Fahrenheit here. No school! Woo!

  91. Hope you boyz in North America are all OK. Obviously Dylan is OK with time off school and HH……well he`s still going through the “Just Married” stage , so is probably still hand cuffed in his bed !.

    It`s 17 `I`m worried about ! , our snowbound Sasq` explorer likes venturing out side. I`ve been reading on newsnow that it is getting down to minus 53 degrees in parts ( with wind chill factor ) and they`re calling it a….Polar Vortex !.
    I thought a Polar Vortex was when17 once had to shag a Polar Bear once to stop his cock getting frost bite !…..that was OK, it was only when he tried to get the Polar Bear to tea bag his snow balls in minus 20 degrees that he nearly ended up with minus his testis !. Which although works, is a very extreme way of eradicating hair loss !. hahaha

  92. Gezzer…..get onto Arsenal player now !……I know you`re getting on a bit, but watch Crowley make 4 goals and score 2 in the 6-1 win and some sublime passes !…….a stirring in the loins you haven`t felt for years could be resurrected !. hahaha

    I know Zelalem was the surprise success of the pre-season Asia tour !….don’t be surprised if Crowley is on the next pre-season tour ( where ever it is ? ). Dan Crowley….remember the name !.

  93. Weird one !….FAC game against Coventry is on a Friday night….it`s live on BT Sport !. They are League 1, aren`t they……I may be a brave Monster and watch it live !.
    Oh !…..and that’s Gezzers other team !…..could be like “the second coming” for his loins….after watching Crowley !. hahaha

  94. Oz .
    ” Draxler averages 5.1 completed dribbles per game which is the second highest in Europe behind Franck Ribery ! “.
    That’s nothing !…..Stretch is way over double figures for completed dribbles watching Pigeon Porn on the net and possibly even more disturbing is he is second only to VCC and his dribbling over Franck Ribery !.
    The sad Bastardildo even has Franck condoms or Rubber Ribery`s, as he likes to call them !. hahaha

  95. Admir says:

    What if Wenger sends an offer for Van Judas? Say, 10 million pounds?

    It’s hard to find a striker that would be eligible to play in the Champions’ League but I’d like to suggest a few:

    1.Max Kruse – currently at Borussia (M); signed for them in summer but made an immediate impact. Earned an international cap as well. Left-footed, pacey, can finish.

    2.Christian Benteke – currently not in good shape at Aston Villa. Can do a lot of good stuff, strong, pacey, can finish. He’d have been one for the future.

    3.Miroslav Klose – currently at Lazio. The experienced German international who is eager to score two more goals in Brazil in order to break Ronaldo’s record. Incredibly intelligent and honest player, elegant finisher that has had a very good spell in the national team alongside Podolski (his former team-mate from Bayern too) and Özil.

    4.Dmitar Berbatov – if he had an attitude to match his talent, nobody would have remembered Hristo Stoičkov by now. But, he went to the graveyard of promising East-European strikers aka Spuds (Rebrov and Pavljučenko might say a few words about it) and then to Manure. Spuds would have hated him a lot if he had signed for us. Not going to happen.

    5.Nikica Jelavić – he has struggled in Everton in 2013 but it’s not like he doesn’t know where the goal is or how to create it for his team-mates. I’ve seen a picture of him in an Arsenal JVC shirt from his family album which is not the strongest argument to sign him, of course, but can be a bonus to his playing qualities. He would be a like-for-like cover for Giroud.

  96. James Bond says:

    ahahhahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahah @ Glic’s

    Admir,

    some solid options there,

    allow me to name a few of a few in our price bracket and realistic ones, apart from the more adventurous ones…

    1: M. Salah – left footed and can play in all 3 positions up front, can do the Bale role as well, cutting in from the right and then cause havoc – can play the Arsenal way and can fill in for Theo – price range is from 7 to 12 million, not bad business.

    3: Already mentioned about Vela , he can solve a lot of our problems as he can also play anywhere in the front 3, also on his own as a target man , if need be…. Gerry makes a valid point that he also should want to come back and we shouldn’t have it as a given that he be returning…but anyway, this is how he has been doing in La Liga

    it’s harsh of people to say that he couldn’t make it before in the EPL hence he was let go, he was doing rather well in my opinion and didn’t get a fair chance but now he’s developed into a fine fine striker/winger/SS and so on…and can play with both feet , something we could do with up front.

    Benteke along with as Admir suggests, Berba – may well end up being dark horses as perhaps, with the right motivation and with Arsenal, they can fire all cylinders ?

  97. Gerry says:

    Evening all, I had an afternoon preparing my racing records … that is catching up when they stopped during the previous TW.

    So AFC – I am not sure if you are saying that there are some position that make the base of a formation? Or that in a fluid team like ours, the players may swap around, but the positions are filled by some body and so maintain the formation?

    The former you have; GK,; CB’s; FB’s; MF’s; ST’s and therefore it is the numbers in the out field that define the formation. eg; 3 CB’s would make a 5-X-X or a 3-X-X; 5 MF’s a 4-5-1 variant?

    The latter you have the formation of, say, 4-2-3-1 and if Flamteta are the ‘2’, and Flam goes forward, then JW10 or AR16 drops back? Fluid, but mindful of an area they need to cover?

    In either case the formation is the skeleton of how the team hang together. Which sounds very good when you put it like that 😀

  98. James Bond says:

    not necessarily Gerry , it just means that I am not going to Challenge you, the way you challenge me on every single point as if it was a court of law 😀

    yes, we should be going to Villa with a point or 2 to prove, we should look to swell our GD column as well.

    looking forward to it already @ JGC – am already expecting a cracker 😉 hence no pressure !

  99. Dylan says:

    JB, I’ve been talking up Salah for months. 😉 Let’s hope he doesn’t go to Liverpool! Looks like the next Pires to me.

  100. Gerry says:

    Hi Dylan, your delayed post is coming out soon, so the polar vortex has timed it well?

    I was watching the weather map over there, when Canada got the big snow fall. You had the warm air over most of the US, and it seemed to be holding the cold stuff back along the 49th parallel, Then suddenly all that orange colour from the mid west seemed to disappear over night, and the blue area swarmed right down the middle. Incredible?

    Stay indoors and follow the slow progress through the TW. That is my advice. Or sign up for the digital membership and trawl through some past matches on the ‘player.

    Take care.eh?

  101. James Bond says:

    ha ha, you’re not the only one whose been talking him up for months Dylan 😉

    but he’s quality alright, he took both Chelsea and Spuds to the cleaners on his own and any player who does that deserves to be taken seriously, he could be our own Robben, bale, Townsend but it would mean bad news for Ox and Gnabry though.

    that’s the only concern but no doubt, he looks to be the real deal week in week out and Basel are willing to sell him as well for the right price ?

    liverpool along with spuds are in for him.

  102. Dylan says:

    My post will indeed come soon. In the time since written I had to edit it (in light of Lewandowski’s move and Theo’s injury) and it’s now up to nearly 2500 words! Far too many! 😉 But you will all see soon.

  103. James Bond says:

    also we have Joel. C who is a similar player to Salah, not as good or dynamic but we still have him on our books , which makes me think that the Salah signing might not happen, it’s an option none the less…and we could always sell him down the line if things don’t work out either.

    from a business point of view,it would make a lot of sense as well, since he could get us that middle eastern/ African fans contingent following as well ?

  104. Dylan says:

    JB, all of that is true except that he would be bad news for Ox and Gnabry. I think if we buy Salah we can loan out Gnabry and then due to Theo’s injury, Ox can get plenty of game time! 🙂

  105. Although I once said he is the oldest looking 20 year I`ve seen since Kanu ( maybe the Egyptian calendar year is 18 months long….I mean….. It`s not like any of us can read Hyroglific`s……well apart from VCC`s Mummy ! ), I like Salah and if he was available for £10m, then it`s not too big a gamble !. Although, as a avid talkSPORT listener, he seems destined for Liverscum !. I liken him a bit to Nasri for some reason !.

  106. Ox and Gnabry are not only the future, but the present imo and Ox is destined for a midfield role, so buying Salah wont put any noses out of joint !.

  107. James Bond says:

    I’m with you @ Dylan 😉 you don’t have to convince me , ha

    yep, I remember when TCM said he was the oldest looking 20/21 year old, ha

  108. And also, if we are to step up to the likes of Chavs, City and Manscum, then we have to have SQ players fighting for places in all positions and to cover for our horrendous injury record !.

  109. James Bond says:

    agreed plus we sold Gervinho.

  110. Gerry says:

    TCM – I took your advice and followed the match on the twiiter feed. I will get around to watching it soon. It is funny Crowley and Akpom have struggled a bit, then it all comes together. Did you notice the said Zelalem, who was also in the line up recently, but never got a mention in any reports I’ve read?

    The Friday night thing with BT is a pretty good watch, as they get up close and personal with the players while they are warming up on the pitch, and in the dressing room for chats with the managers. So it could be a good night. I am on a sort of win win situation, and I am looking forward to see how the City boys come out of it. They really want to get into the play offs as much as we want to win the league, so I don’t think they be too downhearted to go out early, but they will give it a good go, and keep trying for 95 minutes.

    Mind, playing Friday means we only have 3 days in between the Villa game?

  111. Gezzer
    Reading reports, it seems as though Z took a back seat and played deep !. You will enjoy it, shame there`s only about 6 mins of it though !.
    My Boss is a Coventry fan and will be going with about 6 others(family) .

  112. AFC says:

    Gerry you said ‘ in a fluid team like ours, the players may swap around, but the positions are filled by some body and so maintain the formation?’

    That is exactly what I am saying. Sorry if I confused you earlier but I was in a rush when I wrote the comment. 

    A lot of people seem to think that our players have no positions and just roam around the pitch like that of some street football teams when in fact our players rotate between the set positions within our 4-2-3-1 formation, which means we will always have someone in every position within the formation. So as you point out fluid but mindful at the same time. The positions within our formation are rigid but positions the players can take up within the formation are not.

    Of course that then leads onto the debate of whether a team can be too fluid and lack discipline and does rigidity beats fluidity. 😉

  113. Gerry says:

    Admir – I am sorry, but I am not inspired by that list. but I do not mind you posting it. I did not even mention by name, Eduardo last night, and suddenly he is put up as our new saviour?

    There was one blog taking the mick out of it saying it all came from one writer telling his editor that he had this tipoff or something, but it was just the one guy.

    It is almost as bad a the was the keep pushing Kalou in our direction. I watch the Lille game the other week and he still does things that you might see in an Under10’s match , then just occasionally he would be in the right place to score or something.

    But Ill run through your list:

    Kruse; Not likelyto leave with Lewi going?
    Benteke; I would want to see a glimmer of form to be sure that his injury has not done for him?

    Klose; When you say ‘experienced’, isn’t he about 35 now?

    Berby; Been there, nothing to add, and nor would he after the first couple of games?

    Jelavic; Like you say did well for a season, but no improvement on Bendtner skill wise.

    There will be someone who will arrive I am sure, and now were hear the board are giving him a fat wedge to spend … that should put a few mill on any targets?

  114. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Evening Bergkampesqueres

    It has come to my attention that once more your all fantasising about transfers and playing football manager, when you all should be out pulling skirt.

    Well, when I say all, of course I exclude Gerry and Vics from skirt chasing since they are much to mature and dignified to indulge such nonsense. Besides, at there age, they probably think the skirt chase is the 3.30 at Kempton. hahaha

    Now, how is having intricate knowledge of St Etiennes reserve side or Juventus youth team going to help you next time you approach a nice piece

    “Oh baby, you so remind me of Francois Clerc. League 1 experience and all that. I bet you would do well in the premier league sack with me. I could probably have you for you three years suger, at about 2.2 million euros. Oh baby, what a contract”

    And saying you have a wife or girlfriend is no excuse. hahaha

  115. Admir says:

    JB, very fine options. I’ve been fan of Vela and it’s a shame that he hasn’t succeeded in Arsenal (I use Present Perfect because I believe it can be corrected 😉 ). Salah gave an impressive performance against Chelsea this season and I wouldn’t mind if we hijack his deal from Basel. The thing is, I’ve heard that he is a rather inconsistent performer and that he might be a new Adel Taarabt.

    Now when you mentioned Townsend, I’ve read a brilliant tweet regarding him that says Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has had more assists to his name this season despite playing just 29 minutes. 😀 Townsend has been a very poor man’s Robben so far in my book.

    @Glic – perhaps we might get another midfielder in this transfer window. I mean, Wenger has already mentioned Özil among his attacking options so I wouldn’t be surprised if he tries with him as a false nine.

  116. James Bond says:

    at 20 years old, you are bound to be inconsistent , however, he does play the Arsenal way and is a team player unlike Adel .T ….bear in mind that Salah is a big match player as well, which counts in his favour.

  117. One good thing imo is, there`s hardly any rumours about goalies !. So that will keep everyone happy apart from 007 !. Although his sauces have been keeping tabs on a young Iranian goalie who wears all black plus a Hijab, has a bushy beard and hairy hands, apparently she`s the best young goalie around, although I reckon Girouds cock is a bigger and a better around goalie !.
    Only got 1 photo of her after exchanging shirts at half time with Stretch……… before he had her !. I know it`s ridiculous, how the fcuk did they manage to free each other apart, it must have been like human Velcro !.

  118. Gerry says:

    JB@18.01 – Yes, Dylan highlighted Salah last year. And yes, he could be very useful. I think ‘Pool are after him too?

    Vela, following on from last night. Now I will agree with you, that he was doing okay when he was here. But he did not gel with the main player, and like Nicky B, got pushed aside. He was younger then, but I think there were things going on in the big city that did not help? It may have been a chicken and egg situation, where he looked for comforts elsewhere because he wasn’t playing much? Either way, he was happy to go in the end.

    Just so you don’t think I am picking on you – except some times – I ‘wikipedia’d’ Costa today. and you are right, Athletico do hold all his image rights as well as his football contract. His previous club bought the 30% holding in his image rights for £833,000, So I can imagine Athletico paid a whole lot more for them, so they may be indeed a hefty separate item to his contract release fee?

    The only reason I queried your sums was because the leap to £145m from £32m just did not add up. Nor can I see what Wenger was up to with that figure either?

    Whilst on Wiki, I saw he also had a spell out with a ‘serious’ knee injury. He might just be having an RVP season for all we know? It is a worrying thought, especially if it costs £145m 🙄

    I guess we will only know if someone triggers the release and gets permission to talk to him? Wiki says that ‘Pool offered to triple his salary, but stayed where he was and got it doubled. I would imagine he was not on a great wage before though, as he moved around clubs a lot, on loan mainly. It is very like RVP that he had half a good season gone, and now cannot put a foot wrong. But will he follow the pattern and get injured next year?

    The bookies make us favourites to sign him in the summer btw,

  119. Gerry says:

    I did see a mention of bringing forward the ‘D’ bid? He is another reason why Salah may not be the next signing. I think if we just keep poking around at targets, Moysey might empty his war chest in no time? 😀

    Come on AW, I have reduced my wish list down to 3, well may be 4, and as an afterthought 5, but at least you can get the ball rolling?

  120. Gerry says:

    Terry – Thank you for thinking of me. There no chasing from me in the winter, steeple or otherwise.
    😀

  121. James Bond says:

    Gerry, Wenger also Mentioned that Cavani would cost £100 million but that didn’t stop AW from putting in a cheeky bid of £30 million for him last year, no ? that was your hint hence the numbers becoming irrelevant….my sums wouldn’t have added up as it was all done to demonstrate a point and wasn’t to be accurate as such – hope that makes it more clear ?

    also, you said that he would get a 4 year tops at his age, why would he accept a 4 year contract when he had rejected a 5 year deal to come to liverpool at decent wages ? he only turned 25 a few months ago, a minimum of 5 or 6 is what he will be looking at and he should be as well, if he has decent agents.

  122. James Bond says:

    for all those wanting to watch Costa, he be in action against Valencia – shortly.

  123. Gerry says:

    I’m off then. Costa fortune has got to be watched.

    Probably will not be back tonight, so night all?

  124. Still sunny here…Today was *supposed* to be the day the storms started…We still might get a dusting by the weekend then at least another week of sun…It’s all feeling rather desperate…Stay warm, however, if you’re on the other end of the country and you’re getting all our snow… 😀

    Personally, I really rate Carlos Vela AND it’d be great if he came into the club (again) just so I could talk footie with the Mexican kids (and their fathers) with whom my boy goes to school. They all were ManU supporters but now that Chicarito has been frozen out (and United are tanking) things are different. La seleccion (Mexican national team), playoff win over New Zealand notwithstanding, have been woeful and need to find a path forwards to avoid humiliation in Brazil. Vela, of course, got a six month ban for bringing tranny prostitutes to the team party several years back which began his exile from the team. While that might give a special thrill to our furry friends it didn’t enamor the Mexican people to their best player. The Mexican press has waged a campaign against Vela questioning the original incident as well as his “injuries” and other priorities when he’s been invited back into the fold. (He declined to play in the Olympic team that went on to win gold at London 2012, for example.) He seems happy enough in Spain. One amigo even noted that in interviews, it seems he’s picked up the Spanish lisp…

    Still, as comfortable as he is in San Sebastian, I think he needs a move if he wants to realize his true potential. (Top 4 last season for Sociedad was a miracle…) IMO, he’s as good a head’s up player as Fabregas and he’s got the physical power to do a bit of hold-up work in the Giroud style AND create and beat players while facing the goal. All told, a prodigious talent… While he was in England he clearly lacked a good fitness ethic and he went to ground far too easily. He still dives, but that is seen as a wise tactic in Spain. He’s had periods when he appears much fitter than he did in his time with us but he’s certainly no weight room guy. I’ve seen him give good effort (with not the greatest teammates) for full 90+ minute outings. With his experience in Spain, having the three Spanish guys (Santi, Nacho, Mikel) playing key roles in the squad might make him feel comfortable rejoining us…

    So, I would take him back in a heartbeat and I think it could be a great thing for both player and club. Do I think it has a chance (in hell) of happening?… No, no I do not… 😦

  125. 17highburyterrace says:

    Wenger talking total amounts players cost may mean that he’s attempting to alert supporters to the deeper economics of spending money wisely and that maybe we’ll be seeing some important contract extensions. Sagna, Mertesacker and Rosicky all have contracts winding down. If we give them what they deserve it probably represents a total outlay in around 50 million pounds or thereabouts. (In truth, I’m guessing at the amount, just suggesting that it’s not all about the new and shiny…)

    I’m still awfully down about the Walcott injury even if I think his effectiveness in the Spurs match was enhanced by their foolish tactics. My takeaway from this period without Giroud is that Poldolski doesn’t have a ton to contribute if Ollie goes down. Gnabry looked fantastic vs Spurs but maybe because Theo (as well as Santi and Sicky) was terrorizing their backline…

    Maybe I need to check those odds again, but nothing I’m seeing suggests that we will be buying. Seems to me that we’re going to need the Ox or Sanago to pick up a whole lot more slack than anybody might’ve expected. As such, the health of ALL our attackers but esp. Giroud and Ozil will be essential…

  126. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post 🙂

    Dylan and Gerry have a lot in common, despite the rather large age gap. Read the post and you know what I mean. 😉

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