Ramsey and Monreal to start, FlamTeta to add solidity? Southampton preview

st_marys_stadium_panoramic

Tomorrow night sees a return to midweek Premier League fixtures and another test for Arsenal, this time at Southampton.  Our form has been very nice.  In fact, we haven’t dropped a point in our last 5 league matches (7 wins in all comps) and we’ve only conceded 2 goals along the way.  The only caveat would be that these (league) matches have all come against teams in the bottom 11 who are currently separated by a mere 6 points(!) and are ALL candidates for relegation this season.  Southampton are in another bracket, a full 7 points ahead of the relegation battlers, and 13 points above the drop zone itself.   Already this season they’ve taken points off both Manchester teams and won at Liverpool.  They will not be pushovers and to earn full points Arsenal must play at our best.

Starting 11

This period of more winnable league fixtures and FA cup matches has presented an opportunity for the manager to rotate players and allow others to rest, recover from injury and re-integrate into the team.  18 year old Serge Gnabry has performed exceptionally well over this period as has Jack Wilshere.  Both, I believe will be rested tomorrow, the latter having picked up a knock in the FA cup match vs Coventry City on Friday.   At his pre-match press conference Arsene Wenger suggested that Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey and Tomas Vermaelen (left out of the squad vs Coventry) are all back and available.  Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, whose last league start was on opening day vs Aston Villa, is still not 100% fit (according to the manager) and might also only merit a bench spot having played 70+ minutes vs Coventry.  Being a product of the So’ton youth academy, I’d expect him to receive a warm welcome when he (surely) comes on as a sub.  Finally, Kieran Gibbs, who played the entire match on Friday, might also need a breather as it was his first one back from a minor layoff.  As such, my guess for the starting line-up is as follows.

ars v southampton

It’s also possible that Ramsey might start in one of the “doublé-pivot” spots (alongside Arteta or Flamini) allowing Poldolski to reprise his successful (2 goal) outing from Friday.  Given that there seems to be greater acknowledgement that his fitness issues are long term, I suspect, however, that he only gets a bench spot.  Another player unmentioned in the press conference was Tomáš Rosický.  Hopefully he’s just getting used to his new face (after the nose break vs Aston Villa two weeks ago)…If he’s fit, he’s an excellent bench option but it might be nice to allow him further recovery time if it means a protective mask is not needed when he finally does play.

Scouting the Opponent—Biggest Signings Missing

Southampton, much like the current iteration of Arsenal, are a team built on defense but very capable in attack.  As such, I expect a tight match with both teams being cautious about committing too many resources forward.  The Saints will be buoyed by the return of starting goal keeper Artur Boruc even if he was at fault for the goal which turned the reverse fixture.  Unfortunately they will be missing £8.5 million CB Dejan Lovren.   Additionally, £12.5 million DM Victor Wanyama is listed as 50-50 in returning from a long-term leg injury.  Regardless of who starts in the defensive half—I would expect ALL of them to be a bit less cavalier with the ball this time around!

http://www.heavy.com/news/2013/11/olivier-giroud-goal-southampton-arthur-boruc/

In attack Southampton’s offense revolves around one of this season’s most improved players, Adam Llalana.  Capable of driving the team forward quickly, Llalana’s final ball has also made him plenty capable of notching both goals and assists.  He won’t have record signing (£15 million) Danny Osvaldo at his disposal after a practice-pitch fracas has brought his So’ton future into question.  Instead, Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriquez will be Llalana’s most likely partners up front.   Another previous record signing, Gaston Ramirez, is also missing with an ankle problem.  Still, Arsenal will need to be well aware of precocious talents James Ward-Prowse and Luke Shaw who can both move the ball quickly from back to front and wide to central.

As strong and in-form as Arsenal is, this match represents a moment of moderate crisis for Southampton.  In addition to the troubles with Osvaldo and the injuries to their other big money players, Chief Executive Nicola Cortese has left the club and many believe manager Mauricio Pochettino could go next.  Additionally, while still clear of any relegation troubles, So’ton have been struggling with results.  They come into the match with a day less rest than us after beating Yeovil Town (2-nil at home) in the FA Cup but their league form has dropped off.  While they were getting points from teams above them earlier in the season, they themselves have dropped points in their most recent league match (2-2 at Sunderland) and wins over West Brom and Cardiff have been balanced by a home defeat to Spurs and a 3-nil at Chelsea.

Last Match Before the Transfer Window Closes

In his press conference AW played down any transfer talk including speculation about contract extensions.  Bacary Sagna’s contract situation was raised but the manager, while not saying the matter was settled, suggested that the player was fully committed to the cause.   In previous pressers, reports about fees being agreed between FC Schalke 04 and Arsenal for forward/winger Julian Draxler have been met by denials and smiles, which seems more promising than denials and frowns (or tirades).   Southampton have their own issues and it appears they might try and offload Osvaldo to West Ham (on loan) while they’ve had to beat back Chelsea’s attempts at tapping up FB Luke Shaw.  As soon as the final whistle goes, I would expect pointed questions about the transfer window directed at each manager.  This may be a match preview but feel free to discuss all things new and shiny… (As well as parsing each and every word/report/facial expression in regards to transfers and contract extension…)

Predictions?

None for me, but feel free.  This is another (and perhaps the sternest) in a great series of nerve testers before the (very) tough series of Liverpool away,  ManUnited home league matches, followed quickly by home matches vs Liverpool in the FA Cup and Bayern Munich in the Champions League Round of 16.  I’ve pointed out some of the promising features leading into this one, so I’ll predict a full 3 points for the Arsenal.  Anything less would have to be seen as a slip-up, but Southampton, their momentary troubles notwithstanding, should not be underestimated.   Given their comfort as a defense-first team, the first goal will be critical.  Go on you Gunners, Up the Arse, etc., etc., etc….

What do you think?…

 Written by: 17highburyterrace

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176 Responses to Ramsey and Monreal to start, FlamTeta to add solidity? Southampton preview

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Excellent preview with good insights into Southampton, 17. Will comment properly tomorrow. I reckon Ox will start on the right and Ramsey to come on later, but as you like to say WTFDIK! 🙂

    Back in the morning.

  2. AFC says:

    17ht good match review. 🙂

    Your predicted line up is really strong but I would make one change to it. I would switch it to a flat 4-5-1 or a 4-3-3 formation and have Ramsey in the middle alongside Flamini and Arteta with Ozil and Santi in the wider positions. Somehow I do not see Wenger playing both Flamini and Arteta as ome will need to be rested while the other is playing incase of fatigue or injury which could mean Gnabry retains his place or Podolski comes in for a rare start.

    With such a tight schedule some rotation will be needed in the tight run of upcoming fixtures. It is quite easy to rotate the ‘3’ but yo rotate the rest of the team is harder. Surely Bendtner has to come in for one of the EPL matches so Giroud is rested before the CL game. Gibbs and Nacho can be rotated quite easily but it is much harder to rotate in the CB area (I guess Verm could come in for Kos) bit it is harder to rotate Mert. Same goes for Sagna, can Jenks be trusted?

    I don’t do predictions either. 😀

  3. AFC says:

    Forgot about Ox he could also start out wide.

  4. AB says:

    Nice one 17. Lots of uncertainty for tomorrow, given all the injury reports and handling young/returning players. I agree with your back 4 – Gibbs just back, and Nacho has been excellent of late and deserves to be kept fully involved. Flamteta for me is the combination for the toughest challenges – Bayern or City; I’m not sure its right for Southampton, though I fully agree they are not to be underestimated. There are mixed reports around Arteta, so my hunch would be Flam starts, plus perhaps Ramsey, with Arteta on the bench – assuming Wenger won’t want to play Ox twice so soon and that Wilshere is indeed injured/being rested. Again, my hope is that Ramsey has been rested and brought back carefully, so we should not fear him starting even if we don’t expect 90 min from him. I really hope we give Pod an early run out though – either a start or an uncharacteristically early substitution; his confidence will be high, and against a tight defence we need someone who can shoot. I doubt Gnabry will be up to another start, but I can see us playing Ros in a mask – he is rested, and with others returning and Palace next up (i.e. another rest available) I can’t see why we wouldn’t use him. But hey, it all depends on what Wenger has been keeping up his sleeve and the truth around a lll the injury news. Whatever, we need to be at our best, and really at the from the start. A big game for us to create some pressure on other teams and to build the team confidence after a bright display on Friday.

  5. jnyc says:

    17 good preview.
    I also don’t expect or like flamteta together, unless we are facing Chelsea and we want to give them a dose of their own medicine. Or maybe being more conservative against city, , which I wish we had done the first time at their place.
    By the way, just looking at man City upcoming schedule, , looks even tougher than ours. Let’s keep with OGAAT. Every match a new beginning.

  6. henrychan says:

    Hi all.. 17ht great preview..
    We lost Wilshere and maybe also Bendtner.. but Ramsey and Arteta is back..
    Wilshere and Ramsey have a very good time of rest each other.. and comeback on a very right time when other is injure.. hehehe..

    I must disagree a little bit with your starting eleven.. especially your offensive team..
    I think Wenger will not rested Cazorla for no reason.. hehehe..
    And the best reason that I could think about is to put him fresh to take the Ozil place..
    So.. Ozil will have a rest and Cazorla play as our CAM..
    I don’t think Soton will trouble us alot as City did.. So why must we put Flam-teta..??
    I never agree about Flam-teta anyway..?? Flam-sey or Ram-teta is our double Pivot in this game..
    If Ox don’t start then Gnabry should.. but we still have Rosicky..
    Podolski will also play.. Giroud as our CF.. as Bendtner got injured again.. cmiiw..

    About Draxler.. I think Wenger just trying to get him in a cheaper price..
    Yes, he is a great player.. but not great enough.. yet.. to have a similar price as Mata..
    25 millions pounds is a reasonable price.. not 37 millions..
    But I still believe Wenger will buy some players.. two I guess.. After tonight game..
    And we will here the news just before the deadline.. hehehehe..

    We will win.. with two Goal.. I hope Ramsey and Giroud will score..
    Go Gunners..

  7. Gerry says:

    Good morning matchday peoples, God I’m sounding like Fozzie!

    I am partly upset by the emotional hand grenade that JB tossed in at the close of play yesterday, which puts us in limbo land, and JB somewhere worse? Like TA, I hope it is just a hiccup on the road to recovery? Best wishes, Mrs JB.

    Fine pre-match report HT. I did not envy your task at team selection either. I had a look at the training photos to give me a clue, and guess what? Ramsey is not very prominent, so he does look likely to start …. if the theory holds water?

    In amongst the photos there is a delightful one of the 4 German’s sniggering at somebody’s misfortune .. pity they don’t show the out of shot recipient?

    I agree with AFC on the probability of the Flamteta pivot. No point in this game. One needs to be fresh as cover for the other?

    Without JW10 playing, Ramsey would be the logical choice to start with whoever is selected. We will have to see if Coquelin makes the bench as he would be the ideal replacement for Ramsey late on?

    If that is the case with AR16, then the possible mismatch pair are likely to be the creative players. Without JW in the middle it could allow both a bit more room to do what they do best. I am not great on rigid formations, rather like to see the fluidity, but for those that do, Cazorla mostly coming in from the left and patrolling more centrally than his counterpart, Ozil, who will mostly operate on the right, but frequently operate on the left. Clear?

    I can see no reason why Gnabry will not start, and finish with Ox. At the moment I see his (SG) budding relationship with Ozil is a stronger case, but vice versa is the less likely option. Which leaves Giro in the middle.

    So in playing mode:

    ————————– Szcz ————————-
    —–Mert———————————Kos———-
    ———–AR 16 —————- Flam?—————
    Bacs —————————————— Nacho
    —-Ozil————————————— Ozil—–
    ————Santi——Santi——-Santi————-
    ——-Gnabry——————-Gnabry————
    ————— Griroooooooud ——————–

    Purely for illustration only. 😀

    Sorry HT it s your post, I get carried away. 😳

    I think you are spot on with Southampton. The have been less impressive lately, but like us, they have a strong back 5. For all his flaws, Boruc was the player they missed most. Their win record with him in goal is quite impressive. Llalana’s work rate is also top notch. It could be a tentative game, but 0-0 would not suit either team. So beyond that, the first side to score will hold the whip hand?

    My gut feeling is that our confidence may give us the edge, and I have a sneaky feeling that the boy Gnabry to come good with a goal(or two)?

  8. Gerry says:

    AFC – Your late comment last night has not been lost. I’ll get back to you later in a quiet moment.
    Preferably when HT is hitting the trail. I don’t want upset him twice in one day 🙂

    Excellent points btw

  9. VCC says:

    Fine pre-match 17ht.

    I’m still a glass half empty man and not a glass half full.

    Looking at our fit squad I feel we are at least one and maybe two short on cover to sustain a full frontal assault on all fronts.

    Szezney…..Fabianski

    Sagna…..Jenkinson

    Gibbs….Monreal

    Mertesacker…Hayden

    Koscielny…….Vermaelen

    Flamini……Arteta

    Wilshere…….Ramsey

    Gnabry…….Ox

    Cazorla……..Podolski

    Ozil………Zelalem

    Geroud…….Bendtner

    We need a back up Centre Half and cover for Giroud, at least.

    My team for tonight is =

    Szezney

    Sagna……….Mertesacker……..Koscielny……Monreal

    Arteta

    Gnabry……….Ox………..Cazorla……….Podolski

    Giroud

    Southampton are not a PTB type of team so we can afford to play an offensive formation. Get them on the back foot early on and sustain the onslaught until Wenger time (70 mins) and send on replacements = Flamini……..Ozil……..Ramsey.

    This will help keep Flamini and Ozil sharp, and sufficiently rested for the difficult period of games coming up.

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Some interesting line-ups and associated thought-processes in comments above.

    The Saints are strong in the middle and I would not be surprised if Wenger does indeed opt for the FlamTeta wall tonight. A compromise would be to add the rusty but eager Ramsey to Flamini. I reckon Ox will get a chance but it might well be Gnabry who gets the nod again. Ozil will 100% definitely play unless unfit. He is Wenger’s favourite toy and what is the fun of leaving him out? On the left, I reckon it will be Cazorla, especially if either Ox or Gnab start on the right. Finally, I would not be totally surprised if we start with Bendtner tonight with OG on the bench.

    James, hold on buddy. Like Churchill once said: ‘If you are going through hell, keep going’. Your energy levels and ability to keep fighting for your lady must be a bit low now after weeks of being so strong. But we are all behind you here and hoping for an imminent return to the path of recovery by Mrs B, the graceful fighter!! 🙂

  11. Gerry says:

    Mnnn – Interesting transfer stuff brewing. Sagna offered a 3 year deal at £80,000pw, which is very nice, but I think £85k would have sealed it? As it is, it is just hanging out there?

    Nothing on JD except that we can easily afford him in summer. I did a few calculations here. If the have pay the full £35m now we would have the player. If we wait until summer my guess is we would have to trigger the release clause, £37.5m? Apart from the danger of somebody else dangling a carrot, the interest on £35m@5% over 5 months is less than £0.8m. I am not saying they could get cover @5%, but it does show the madness of delaying?

    The only other reason why they may be fudging this, is perhaps some of the players earmarked as ‘alternatives’ to JD, are really being looked at ‘as well as’ buys. Hence the need to keep the borrowing against future income down as much as they can?

    Don’t be surprised therefore that the Ntep deal is revisited … if he lowers his wage demands?

    Mind, Afobe is doing his claims no harm as he keeps banging in the goals? Akpom too, has been given encouragement which I am pleased to here. He should do well if Nico gets in the team at Brentford, as they know each other’s game?

  12. AFC says:

    Gerry, the Sagna deal would be great news as he can still offer so much to the team. I can see him retiring at Arsenal. One more season at RB and then he can make the switch to the market middle. 17ht will be happy as well. 🙂

  13. Gerry says:

    AFC – Yes, good news indeed if it happens. I think it is more about CB cover for the remainder of this season, especially if the go ahead with a RB purchase?

  14. Gerry says:

    On your excellent last post comment. I loved your analysis of Ozil playing at RM.

    I wasn’t being humble when I said others may have a better knowledge of football. 🙂

    Whenever I saw RM play, which was really when they played Barca and I had Sky Sport 1&2, but it was a casual viewing. I had no particular preference for players on either side, consequently I do not hold memories of those games.

    I certainly never paid attention to who was playing, apart from the odd moments. So I accept fully about what you are about him having no competition for space. However, I feel he must have adapted to play a different style in the German National team? So there is hope for it to work out here I guess.

    However, the right signings could definitely help both … but in this window we may have to wait and see?

  15. VCC says:

    Total….when would you rest Ozil? If at all.

  16. AFC says:

    Gerry, if you look at who he plays/played with in the German (when I used to watch them years ago) he would have hadmore finishers like Muller and Podolski around him with more workmen like midfielders like Ramsey. The only constant is the CF/ST he was playing behind but as you point out he is now playing with the likes of Reus, Draxler, Gotze etc, who are more flair players who like to look for little pockets of space.

    I’m just happy Sagna’s staying. I would really like to see Abate signed if we are getting a RB as I think he would be a good fit with his pace.

  17. AFC says:

    VCC, I would look to rest Ozil in any of the upcoming EPL matches where we are not facing a top team. We have the players who can come in for him.

  18. AFC says:

    VCC, looking at your comment about squad depth if Wenger cannot find the top players we need (which is understandable) I will be expecting loan signings. If we really wanted we could pick up Henry until the rest of the season? There are a number of veteran midfielders and defenders who could certainly come in and do a job until the end of the season? We could bring back Johan until the end of the season as cover? There are options.

  19. First of all……keep hanging in there JB buddy, we are all praying for you and the missus !.

    Second and way down the order of importance…….VCC is calling for some predictions for tonight and tomorrows games !. He has asked on the UMFL page, but maybe for future reference ( as not everyone checks the UMFL page ), when there`s a full mid week programme it should be made known on the main post !.
    Now to read Sassy`s PM !.

  20. Outside of OG…..no, not Olivier Giroud or Own Goal, but our Marsupial Mound Muncher …..Oz Gunner !…..that is up there with all our other PM Substitutes !. hahaha
    Once again….Come on Bondies !.
    Again for Arsenal and Mr and Mrs Bond, we need the battle cry, lets make it 8 for 8 since it`s introduction and it is probably the major factor for our 7 match winning streak !.

  21. Mrs VCC had the last say in the design of the new windows…..is she hinting to VCC what she`s really missing !.

  22. Stretches loft extension has come to a halt and the builders have left him a message about non payment of work !

  23. Gerry says:

    TCM – I bet that got an award?

  24. G’morning boys… Thanks for the comments…As they’ve come in I’ve started to doubt the various choices I made for the first 11. Wait and see at this point, I figure…

    One thing I forgot to write about was last season’s very poor 1-1 on New Years Day in this fixture. I was actually in London but downtown and I had a hell of a time finding a pub in which to watch it. Finally I found a very sterile place near the larger West End theatres which had pints for double the normal price. As I recall it was a terrible performance–as if the team was hung over from the 7-3 win over Newcastle 3 nights before. I think we scored on a Walcott set-piece that they let bounce around, the final touch being from a defender…It’s all very hard to remember except that it was really poor. Tonight’s match HAS to be better…

    I’ll be back as match time approaches. Agreed with ToTL, best to the 007s…

  25. Yes Gezzer…if your talking about Stretches place…..it won an award for best Semi-Detached !. hahaha

  26. Gerry says:

    No Cockie, I was referring to those rather nice gothic windows you had in your love shack

  27. Fozzie B says:

    Evening Sardistic Southampton Scrotum Sucking Soldiers!! 😆
    Thanks Sasquatchanova and Gezza for your fine posts and all the comments!! Thinking of you JB and it would be a good time to wear your lucky gold loin cloth for extra support where it counts! All the best to Mrs Bond !! At work now and going for the ever so popular 2-0 to the good guys!!
    COYRRG’s!!! 😆

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    VCC, he had a rest a few weeks ago. He is super fit and wants to play, and OGAAT demands it! 🙂

  29. VCC says:

    TCM, 16:12…..Mrs VCC loves nice big erect windows. And your right these remind her of me hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha 😉

  30. VCC says:

    AFC…..I’m all for strengthening our squad whether it is loans or purchases. Problem with loans is they will not be SQ,

  31. VCC says:

    AFC & Total……Ozil needs resting over these next few weeks, he simply cannot play every game.

  32. VCC says:

    Cheers Cockie,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I need predictions for this weeks UMF L guys. =

    OZ……..ROCKY…….DYLAN

    Hurry up please.

  33. AFC says:

    VCC, they will not be SQ but do not need to be. Remember they are only loan signings, with the sole purpose of adding depth. A decent EPL standard will do.

  34. AFC says:

    For instance it is better to have Johan back no 4th CB. Same goes for Park, shit I know but still more experiened and better than Sanogo.

  35. proudgooner says:

    evening gooners,
    I’m going for Ozil to score first 2-0 to the cannon blasters!
    COYG yeah

  36. Xavier says:

    Flamteta pivot it is then.

    COYG!!!!

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    Full Line Ups:

    Southampton
    Boruc, Chambers, Fonte, Yoshida, Shaw, Cork, Schneiderlin, S. Davis, Lallana, Rodriguez, Gallagher

    Subs: K. Davis, Clyne, Wanyama, Ward-Prowse, Guly, Hooiveld, Isgrove.

    Arsenal
    Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Arteta, Cazorla, Flamini, Gnabry, Ozil, Giroud

    Subs: Fabianski, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Jenkinson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski, Bendtner

  38. Only missed one…Ramsey doesn’t even make the bench(?) and Gnabry retains his spot…Not bad, if I say so myself…

    We have kickoff…

    Announcers say we got stuck in traffic and arrived late… 😯

  39. 17highburyterrace says:

    I guess I didn’t mention this big kid Gallagher…1st corners of the match go to So’ton but we defend them…

    We look slow to get going and Gnabry needs longer studs…

  40. 17highburyterrace says:

    Wow, very sloppy trying to play it out of our own box and SZCZ is forced into a save…

    C’mon fellas!!

  41. 17highburyterrace says:

    Really all So’ton first 20 mins…We’re not pressing the ball and we’re not careful with it when we get it…Still on the bus?

    Early possession stat was 63-37 So’ton, but it must be higher now… Are we planning on actually waking up here?

  42. 17highburyterrace says:

    1 nil Southampton…Fully deserved, I hate to say…

  43. 17highburyterrace says:

    Gnabry beaten easily by Shaw for the cross, Sir Chez caught in two minds and then beaten at his near post while Nacho got climbed by the scorer far too easily…Woeful all around…

  44. proudgooner says:

    Southampton deserved tat goal,, they have played well and we have been shit, the worst i have seen us play all season. No pressing , slow play, no sense of urgency . Wake up lads . Rosicky maybe needed

  45. 17highburyterrace says:

    No Rosicky on the bench PG…

    We’re in big trouble here tonight…We had a little possession there but So’ton can defend it all night–no penetration at all…Somehow we’re going to hafta get lucky and get one against the run of play…

  46. proudgooner says:

    There is no Rosicky on te bench. I think we have gone for a to defensive set-up take of Ateta of Flem and stick the OX on

  47. proudgooner says:

    17,
    It is a worrying start but Wenger will sort them out at half time. Santi has been non existant and

  48. proudgooner says:

    We only have Podolski , Ox or NB that can really change the game from the bench. As crazy as it sounds when they are attacking we need to push up Arteta needs to go on the offensive

  49. proudgooner says:

    17 ,
    omg LOL how lucky were we there .

  50. 17highburyterrace says:

    HUGE LET OFF!! Nacho clearance blocked but Gallagher misses the tap-in…

    Szcz down hurt?

    We’re in big trouble here…

  51. proudgooner says:

    Of his conkers.

  52. Gino92 says:

    No energy at all so far . What’s going on??? We need changes asap. Take Arteta off and bring Cazorla to the middle with Podolski on the left. We definitely need something different because we just cannot get anything going at all. Rosicky would be immense for this game but he is not even on the bench! We need our players to wake up and play instead sleep-walking through this game. Very lethargic!

  53. proudgooner says:

    We haft to take our chances in this match.

  54. proudgooner says:

    That is spot on Gino, just get to half time make em all drick 2 bottles of lucozde to energize them , i still think we will win this match. Wenger will sort them out, i have seen it before.

  55. 17highburyterrace says:

    Kos does good work at both ends and unlucky to not score from the corner…first chance of the match and Ozil looks a bit livelier…Still, we’re 2nd best here tonight and lucky to only be a goal down…

  56. 17highburyterrace says:

    Half time…Hair Dryer needed…

  57. proudgooner says:

    Southampton cant keep this up for 90 mins, or i doubt it at least

  58. TotalArsenal says:

    Bad half, but getting better towards the end. Remember we have played many games with a good and a bad half…. 2nd half better… all to play for. 🙂

  59. jozefos2013 says:

    Yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!

  60. 17highburyterrace says:

    GIROUD–(all Sagna…)

  61. Gino92 says:

    Horrible half. I would imagine that So’ton can’t believe their luck right now. If we played like this in February against Liverpool, Man United, and Bayern Munich, we will get destroyed and embarrassed. We need to get up for the 2nd half and play like the League Leaders that we deservedly are. We need real Urgency here. The whole is playing like shit except for maybe Koscielny. Extremely lucky not to be down 3 goals. Arteta and Flamini combo is not working at all. They are both playing way too close to the CBs and leaving a huge void in the middle. The good news is we usually play a lot better in the second half and we have time and the players to make things happen really fast. The bad news is they are all asleep and can’t be bothered to turn up right now, and we have no creativity on the bench (Rosicky, Wilshere, Ramsey). I am a nervous wreck right now, but still believing…

  62. proudgooner says:

    go on my son ! Lovely touch. We will do em this half.
    COYG

  63. alcide says:

    Damn, missed the first half (blessing in disguise), just arrived in time for OG’s backheel!

  64. 17highburyterrace says:

    SANTI!!!

  65. alcide says:

    Santi ! Beautiful pass from Ö,

  66. proudgooner says:

    yeaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh lol

  67. Gino92 says:

    My previous comment took a while to post! As it is, we are back leveled. I was never worried at all , hahahah… Now that we’ve got them on the ropes, let’s burry them.

  68. alcide says:

    Oh boy I arrived at the right time!

  69. alcide says:

    Dammit! 2-2

  70. 17highburyterrace says:

    Geezus… 2-2

  71. Gino92 says:

    Geeezzz!!! Maybe I should keep posting! The boys are not giving me any time at all to post. 2 for the good guys. Yeah baby!

  72. proudgooner says:

    noooo

  73. Gino92 says:

    Oh no…

  74. alcide says:

    Wow, can’t keep the ball at all…

  75. alcide says:

    Ö almost took the matter in his own hands… Hits the bar after a deflection… Damn

  76. Xavier says:

    If I had to take off anyone I think it’ll be arteta. Too slow for these pacy Southampton boys. Gnabry too. Maybe feeling the fatigue a bit??

  77. 17highburyterrace says:

    Stunning run by Ozil deflected off the bar…Most of the recent pressure is from So’ton in a very wide open game now…

  78. alcide says:

    JW, Tr7, and Rambo all not available is a bitch,MIT looks like

  79. alcide says:

    It looks like

  80. Gino92 says:

    What is the deal with Arsene waiting until after 70 mins to make a substitution? Gnabry and Arteta need to come off now !

  81. alcide says:

    Aaaargh nacho misses a good shot opportunity

  82. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ox on for Gnabry…Let’s go now… The Shaw/Sagna clash of heads has perhaps settled things a bit…

    Poor finish from Nacho there…

  83. alcide says:

    We’re looking a bit better… And less pressure from Saints

  84. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ozil starting to take over now…FK won but probably too far out…

  85. 17highburyterrace says:

    Wow Sir Chez off his line to save a So’ton chance…

  86. alcide says:

    Well saved by Szczesny!

  87. alcide says:

    Come on we can win this!

  88. 17highburyterrace says:

    Straight red for Flams…

  89. alcide says:

    Well hat was a bad, two feet tackle… Not undeserved

  90. 17highburyterrace says:

    Pretty bad there…Big trouble now…

  91. 17highburyterrace says:

    Flams will miss CP, Liverpool and ManU…Not good…

    Now Santi down hurt…

  92. alcide says:

    Yep 17ht, that’s very bad news.

  93. 17highburyterrace says:

    Are we not going to use our last two subs? Nope, there’s one…Gibbs for Santi… Going for the single point now, it seems…

    Deflected cross well saved by Szcz…

  94. 17highburyterrace says:

    Poldolski to get a few minutes, but it’s for Ollie…

    Still hoping for a lucky one to grab all three points…

    Decent work there, but Ox flagged off…

  95. alcide says:

    Whoever complained about Mesut’s workrate…

  96. proudgooner says:

    I would love it if Podolski could nick the winner, with 10 men
    COYG

  97. 17highburyterrace says:

    Full time…Probably a decent point all things considered…

    Next time we should think of arriving before half-time…

  98. alcide says:

    How was Arteta in first half? He looked slower than usual, and let half a second in most his interventions in the second… A bit worrying considering Flam is out for 3 games

  99. proudgooner says:

    I am massively impressed with the Saints, they have become a real force. We have taken 4 points from the 2 games with them, after watching the match tonight we should be happy with it. Disappointing of course to not get 3 points tonight and we may be no longer TOTL tomorrow as a result..
    Bitter – sweet

    Maybe Arsene will step up his efforts in this TW after watching this match and watching other teams strengthen .
    A good point other top teams will drop points to the Saints.

  100. 17highburyterrace says:

    Tough match for Arteta but also (I thought) Giroud, Nacho and Ozil were sleepwalking in the first half. Some would probably add in Santi and Flams…It rather appeared we thought just showing up would win us full points…Pretty lucky, really, to get a single…

    Very disappointing…

  101. Xavier says:

    Well… That definitely wasn’t our fluid midfield. A point is probably what we deserved, but the team should have come out better In the first half.

  102. 17highburyterrace says:

    Surprised there was no Ramsey nor Rosicky on the bench. As such there wasn’t too much we could do to take control in the middle of the pitch. Good individual work from Sagna and Ozil/Santi got us the goals. How many other chances did we actually create? Not many… Szcz probably made 8 or 10 saves to Boruc’s 2 or 3…

    Looks like Pool dominated the derby up there…Hull keeper sent off, Tom Huddlestone puts on his kit and gloves…

  103. Gino92 says:

    Forget a Striker. What we badly NEED before this transfer windows closes is a technical DM. Arteta is slower than a one-legged turtle! My goodness! With crazy Flamini out, there is no way we can go into February games against Liverpool and Man U with Arteta as our DM. He is the same player he was last year and he isn’t getting any younger. Come on Arsene, spend the necessary amount of money and sign us that quality DM we’ve been craving for. We can sign a Striker and Draxler in the Summer.
    I don’t believe City and Chelsea will lose tomorrow, so I guess we will have a new leader to start February. And if we are not careful we could drop out of the top four after the Man U game.
    Spend the money Arsene, the transfer window is still open for just that one quality DM signing!

  104. alcide says:

    Having not seen the first half, I’m disappointed we conceded the second goal, we got caught a bit easily on that one, I guess not used to having Bac’ overtaken that easily.

    Saints looked good, and have lots of pace in the midfield, we were really struggling keeping up with them in transition from offense to defense, Mikel, Santi, Flam, even Serge (probably tired in second half) always a meter behind. Any reason Rambo was not on the bench? He needs to get match fit soon!

  105. Gino92 says:

    ***He isn’t the same player…

  106. alcide says:

    Agreed with Arteta, he looked slower than usual, even in his reactions, maybe he needed to get back into it, and will be back to a better level next game. I would love a tall and pacy DM, but there’s not many on the market… Rambo gives us a bit more speed, a fantastic engine and technical ability, Jack is coming back to excellent form, that may do (or have to do). And TR can give us the forward momentum we lacked a bit.

    I really liked Özil’s efforts to make a difference. And he actually is one of the players who runs the most distance in a game, contrarily to popular belief.

  107. Fozzie B says:

    Haven’t seen the game lad but that first half sounds diabolical? Daft Wenger never used his light sabre before the game to “up the arse” and that 45 minute blip will mean third place this time tomorrow … Very sad indeed.
    Fair play to Southhampton ….

  108. Fozzie B says:

    Ramsey out and Flame out … Wenger says he will strengthen Gino … Looks like you will get your wish!! 😀

  109. macko says:

    hello my friends, we have seen a great match Giroud showing us all these technical shortcomings Is there a more terrible for the team the lack of conservation of the ball ….
    that say about Arteta not already been said about this site it is bad we’re better off without him on top of that Flamini is left with a red card because Arteta serves us nothing !!!!
    with two circles defensive midfielder does not have enough attack we are too slow to ….
    even Arsene coaching was not good we pay a high price, we still have a chance to catch up with our first match next week against Chelsea City otherwise we are dead….
    I am very disappointed when I saw our team play and I did not think we were able to play so badly to such a level
    Go Gunners

  110. oz gunner says:

    Yep ramsey out for 6 weeks. Damn you injury gods, is there no let up!!!! Hope santi is okay otherwise we are dropping like flies

  111. alcide says:

    Geez, that is really, really bad news… Hope Arsene will find us a good DM in the next 3 days…

  112. macko says:

    Ramsey 6 week ??? why ???

  113. AFC says:

    There are non available apart from De Jong. Song? He’s more box to box but would certainly help and would be a great long term option, Barca are also looking to get rid.

  114. macko says:

    Song and RVP why not 🙂

  115. AFC says:

    Not the result we wanted but we could have lost. So that’s no Ramsey or Flamini for the next few games at least. Can Arteta play every game in this tight schedule? I don’t think he can. Our midfield is seriously unbalanced.

    Surely Vermaelen will have to come into midfield at one point?

  116. AFC says:

    Macko, I certainly cannot understand why we have not resigned Song. There are a handful of players who are better and actually attainable.

  117. AFC says:

    Macko, I would not want RVP back. Too old, injury prone and United are unlikely to sign.

  118. Milo says:

    OK, I am through with this shit. Maybe it’s because there is a lot going on right now in my life, but this is how I feel. Our boys should be ashamed of themselves. We DIDN’T turn up in the first half and I don’t care if we had to come from Mars to get to the fucking match. That is no excuse, but you can bet your bottom dollar you’ll hear it played out as one by Wenger in the post match press conference. We were pansies. Plain and simple. No heart, or, drive, or passion displayed for a whole entire fucking half!!! A whole half!!! We are NOT a top club. We will not be until we rid ourselves of this weak attitude. I’m tired of this horse shit. That is what it is, HORSE SHIT!!! I would rather we be an honest hard-working mid-table club than a club with ENOUGH TALENT TO WIN THE TITLE, yet no idea of how to apply it practically. I mean someone has to finish third or fourth each and every year, but this year could and SHOULD have been ours. WE HAVE THE TALENT, but we don’t have the heart. What top club in their right mind would come out as a whole unit and play like that??? I want to know which one. I am tired of watching the same old thing for the past 9 years. It’s the same old story of “oh if this would have gone right, or if that would have gone our way, we would have won the title or been in with a shout”. It DIDN’T go the way we wanted because you didn’t want it to go your way enough!!! That is the type of shit that happens each and every season besides 07-08. That was the year Eduardo got injured, and after seeing and living that moment, I can see why we lost our way. This though??? This was a complete and utter waste of my time and energy. This whole facade of us being a top club is really getting on my nerves. I mean I am literally pounding on the keyboard right now. Wenger has lost it, if he ever had a never say die attitude. I think some of the players he had masked his faults. I mean how many times do we have to hear the same excuses??? It’s the same shit all the time, and I”m tired of it. Even in the years we won, he moaned about one thing or another. Put your head down and do your job. That is what we want to see….at least that is what I want to see. It shouldn’t take a half-time rollicking to get up for a bloody match. I mean Ozil was on fire in the second half??? Why not the first??? It’s easy to play when you are behind. You have less to lose. The real pressure to succeed comes when it is tied, and YOU have to take the initiative and create chances. We were too scared to do it. We were weak. I am not a strong person mentally, but millions of people aren’t relying on me to display that characteristic. The Flamini Arteta combination wasn’t working after the first 10 minutes…I don’t care if it embarrasses someone, make a bloody substitution!!! I’m tired of worrying how these player might react in a time of REAL adversity. Either you quit, or you play better OR you don’t get another opportunity to play in the match you are participating in. Fuck…I don’t know what else to say…I’m royally pissed off with my whole club.

  119. AFC says:

    Milo, calm down mate. 🙂

    I see what you are saying. I do not want to see us finish 3rd or 4th every season with the excuse that we cannot compete financially against United, City and Chelsea. We do need to win something as it is becoming ridiculous but all is not lost. Let’s see how Febuary/March plays out.

  120. AFC says:

    United unlikely to RVP go.*

  121. Milo says:

    Hey, there are more important things in life than football, but when you rely on football to take your mind off these things, the least you can hope for is a solid effort from your club to win a bloody football match!!!

  122. TotalArsenal says:

    OOH dear, there is a lot of doom and gloom out there. First half performance had NOTHING to do with lack of attitude. We were simply outplayed. We are not used to that but it happens to almost every team now and again. Second half was much better and the only things I regret was conceding the second so amateurishly and Flamini’s red mist tackle.

    We got a point out of a difficult night and now we have to OGAAT on and not start despairing because of an away draw and a couple of injuries. WE ARE THE ARSENAL and as always, BOUNCE BACK AGAIN.

    Stop winching and start supporting ffs.

  123. Milo says:

    Completely disagree, Total. Accepting a first-half performance lie that will get us nowhere. I certainly hope the players don’t think the way you do. They SHOULD be ashamed and embarrassed. You know me, I back them all the time, but they let us down today…Big time.

  124. AB says:

    Milo. I understand and share the sense of frustration. Just remember, we are top of the league, and have drawn an away game against strong opposition, playing the last 20 min with 10 men……. You don’t need to shoot anyone.

  125. TotalArsenal says:

    Rubbish Milo. It might have looked like that, but you are wrong. We had no answer to their high up pressure and our central midfielders could not cope with it. There was not a single player on the pitch who let us down from an attitude point of view. I know my players and wont have you talk shit about them.

  126. Milo says:

    Also, there comes a point in time where being positive is useless. I mean WE HAVE THE TALENT TO WIN THE LEAGUE, yet we turn out a first half like that??? Do me a favour…I’m not buying any of this one game at a time stuff. Don’t tell me the players don’t know what just happened…Man United WON, Liverpool WON, City will most likely win, and I will personally apologize to you if Chelsea don’t win. Don’t tell me they don’t look ahead to the next few matches nervously now. It’s human nature. It didn’t have to be this way, if they at least could look themselves in the mirror and say that they tried their absolute best. I don’t think many of those players can do that right now. I really don’t.

  127. Milo says:

    Hey, if there is pressure high up the pitch, no one is demanding that you play the ball out from the back…How many times have I seen Arteta job back??? Even Sagna now??? Arteta didn’t put a tackle in all game, not even a fucking foul. I have more respect for what Flamini did than what Arteta did. Do something, hurt someone, make them pay the price, ANYTHING…He just stood there and let it happen…It shouldn’t take until half-time to figure out tactics. I could see in the first ten minutes we were in trouble. What happened??? We waited until HALF TIME to do something…Isn’t that a bit strange to you???

  128. TotalArsenal says:

    Go on Milo, let it all out. It is one of the functions of football in society: an anger releaser. And you are one angry man tonight. 😕

  129. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Milo, dont worry about it, we all have our moments. Even though i think your talking bolloxs. hahaha

    For me, every thing is great. We have only just turned the corner financialy and are already exceeding expectations. We will buy again and with more knowledge gained by our younger players will soon be the team to beat.

    One thing i have noticed about posting is that a lot of our younger contributors have very little paitence and lack the experience to see how a team must be nurtured. As i said, one year of new sponsership money and the ability to hold on to our players is nothing. This is just the start, and we will get stronger, much stronger

  130. alcide says:

    Well I just zapped through most parts of the first half, and I thought Saints played really well. With 8 changes, and a double pivot just coming back clearly rusty, we just got outplayed, by what I felt was a good team, playing solid football with pace. Sure we were not at out best, but looking at the comments it looked worse. Not sure you could do much without Jack, TR, Or Rambo available… With both Mikel and Flam struggling, it would be a gamble to replace either by an AM, and Gibbs would have been risky as well. We were starting to look better as well, except for Shaw who had an outstanding game and made it hard for us. Pity Bac’ completely got outplayed on their second goal. The real bad news for me, is Flam and Rambo out, this leaves us exposed in the defensive midfield department, with few rotations possible… Arteta better shape up, but I really felt it was some running pace we lacked in MF tonight.

  131. TotalArsenal says:

    Now that is a balanced comment – thanks Alcide. 🙂

  132. AFC says:

    Guys? I think its getting slightly heated between us. I think we just need to take a step back and calm down. Remember we all want Arsenal to succeed and do well. 🙂

  133. AFC says:

    Alcide, do you not think Wenger could have put Vermaelen in the DM role and then played Ox in front alongside with Santi/Ozil and then had Podolski out wide?

  134. AFC says:

    That is the sort of thing I want to try, go for things more?

  135. alcide says:

    Milo, it’s been a poor half against a good team, and it’s been a while we were outplayed like that. And even then – and here I am a bit angry for the second goal lapse, and Flam’s amazingly awful tackle – we could have gone away with the three points, we even had a couple chances when down to 10 men. What will make us contenders, is get back on track this weekend, and then on to the next game.

  136. Milo says:

    Nope I’m at the end of my rope with this…I appreciate that we have new sponsors, I do, but who is Wenger going to buy??? Another player like Ozil who can’t be arsed to really make a difference until we are down??? Another player who left a bigger club due to competition for places??? Anther player who hasn’t won something??? (not talking about Ozil here) We are lacking winning experience and no real leader in that team has won ANYTHING. Mertesacker??? Nope, Koscielny??? Nope, Ramsey??? Nope, Giroud??? The French League. That is it. I’m tired of seeing players flit in and out of matches. Players who are supposed to lead us, if not through character, at least by example. How long has Ozil been fucking about??? How long??? He finally decides to run at defenders with the ball, and look what happens??? He plays the best football he has played with us??? Why did it take him sooooooooo long to figure that out??? And who knows if he’ll do it in the next match. I’m seeing the same shit I have seen for the past 9 years. The same thing. I don’t know how you can see it differently. We will finish third, but the way we finish will be the most frustrating part about placing there. We had it in our sites, yet we bottled it, just like we have bottled it before. We have never been this competitive since 07-08, I will grant you that, but there have been times before like in 10-11 where we choked and in 09-10 when we should have placed higher up in the table, if memory serves me correctly. We lack the nerve. I’m sorry we do.

  137. TotalArsenal says:

    What you appear to have failed to notice, Milo, is that the team sorted itself out gradually in the first half. Wenger should expect this of his team with many experienced players in it, and not need to make kamikaze adjustments during the first half. Your hero Flamini – normally mine as well – made a bad mistake with that tackle and he and Arteta should also have been organising the midfield after we got two up, as everybody knows you are at your weakest straight after taking the lead. But I don’t doubt Flams or Arteta’s attitude at all in all of this, just bad decision making and lack of form.
    .

  138. Not surprised about the result, only expected a draw !.
    There will be new leaders from tomorrow !.
    Injuries will creep up again, which is amazing as we are already way out in front, top of the injury table already !. Ramsey at least another 6 weeks and then will need time to get 100% match fit. Jacks still got a dodgy ankle !. Flamini 3 games suspension ! and that’s not counting others potentially picking up stuff !.
    Here`s Madam Monsters peek into the next ten league game future. Just let me polish my crystal balls !.
    Palace (H) 3 points
    `Pool (A) 0 points
    Man U (H) 1 point
    Sund` (H) 3 points
    Stoke (A) 1 point
    Swans (H) 3 points
    Spuds (A) 1 point
    Chavs (A) 0 points
    City (H) 1 point
    Everton (A) 1 point
    That’s if we`re lucky !. hahaha
    That’s not even taking into account our cup games which will be a minimum of 3 and a possible 7 with possible replays before we play Everton !. Plus the “Fatigue” factor !.
    We will be back to 3rd or 4th and scraping with ManU and Spuds for them positions after the Everton game !.
    No arguments….Madam Monsters Crystal Balls have spoken !. I will however take it OGAAT, as my Jacobs have been playing up recently, due to the constant polishing !. hahaha

  139. alcide says:

    Aye AFC, Verm was a possibility too, perhaps a bit adventurous for Arsene in terms of playing him there without much experience, or risking his only CB backup (considering our luck with injuries, I wouldn’t blame him)? To be honest, I thought we were looking better mid half, and had Flam stayed on, I think we would have threatened more, ie retrospectively I would have tried Verm, but it never occurred to me at the time (although I would have taken Mikel out for Jack, Rambo or even Tomas in a pinch). Maybe I’m conservative too hehe.

  140. Milo says:

    What Wenger should expect is for his team to be up for the match from the off. Not to wait until we are a goal down or in the shit. It happens way too often to be a coincidence. Maybe I should take my medication now and I’ll feel better, but I doubt it. I’m tired of the same old shit from this club.

  141. TotalArsenal says:

    Okay Milo I am done with this. Let’s agree to disagree. 🙂

  142. Notice how I slipped my one in !…..it seems mild compared to Milo`s rant !. hahaha
    Soon as I saw Flamteta, I knew we were not going to win !. Going to miss Ramsey and Jack in the Ten Week Torture period !. Oh well, I did not expect more than 5th this season , so we are doing quite well !. hahaha
    Still cant cope with City and Chavs spending and wages though, as I said a while back, our one big signing is a big deal for us, but a drop in the Ocean to them !.

  143. Milo says:

    Total, if you want us to win the title than surely you cannot accept a performance as half-assed as that??? I mean how many times have we dropped points already when we shouldn’t have??? It aint happening this year folks…Not even close. Sorry.

  144. TotalArsenal says:

    No stamina, Cocker.

  145. alcide says:

    Thanks Totes. I agree fully with you, lack of form/rustiness from our double pivot hurt us badly. And Bac’s mistake (he never lets his opponent inside on high balls usually). The only “global” concerns I have over this performance, and a few other games, is our exposure in transition to defense against pacy opponents, due to lack of running speed of most our midfielders, and to a lesser extent lack of aerial superiority player – or just someone with a normal size 🙂 – in MF. We lack that additional outlet and it puts a big burden on Bac and OG, even positionally/tactically, on goal kicks and throw-ins.

  146. alcide says:

    Milo, you do have a point with the way we start games, there have been a few too many instances the expression “play with the handbrake” was used this season, but it’s not been many were it really cost us. Anyway, night all…

  147. AFC says:

    Alcide, Wenger did have both his DMs on and Verm would have only been playing slightly infront of Mert and Kos. Drastic measures called for it. One defensive sub to enable to more attackers. Perhaps I’m too reckless? 😀

  148. James Bond says:

    and I thought things were pretty dang bad at my end 🙂

    I am with Milo – he is spot on with his anger venting here, it was like playing in Naples all over again – the Flamini and Arteta combo does not work when both haven’t trained together or played a few games together, at least – Arteta came back from Injury yesterday and was slotted right in – when he could have used Santiago or Ox through the middle and started with Podolski

    that was one of the worst first half performances Arsenal have put in – make no mistake about that, we were not outplayed we just didn’t turn up – plain and simple

    as much as I agree with Milo and understand where he is coming from ( I had that moment when we drew against WBA both 17HT and Gerry will vouch for it) @ Milo – you know Man City also went to Saints and guess how many points they came back with (0).

    yes, it’s the same old excuses from AW and lack of subs and so on but to the players credit, they did try to do all the right things in the 2nd half, all said and done I think this 1 point may come out to be more valuable than most of us think it might be (try to cool down and think with a level head) – you will see what I mean when both chelsea and man city drop points

    keep the faith and wait until friday…

    if I haven’t made it clear already, I’m with you a 100% Milo but do take this not consideration that in our invincible season we were 53 or 54 from 23 games and this year we are 52 from 53.

    all will be forgiven when we go on to win our next 3 wins, in a way this gives us more motivation now to go out with more hunger, desire, grit, determination and with the champions mentality…I liked our response today in the 2nd half but like you said there are somethings you just can’t change and which happen to be beyond our control.

  149. Milo says:

    Yeah, I guess I should calm down now….I’m still shocked and mystified that we thought we could start like that…I guess we’ll see what happens next match, but please…No more starts like that…That was terrible. I think we will sign someone…Who, I’m not sure, but with the injuries and now a suspension, I don’t see how we can’t not sing someone. It doesn’t have to be anyone fancy, just a body to fill in until everyone is fit and eligible to play.

  150. James Bond says:

    maybe this will help distract most of you,

    sorry about the hand grenade @ Gerry – ..her wound isn’t healing as well as the docs initially thought and yesterday early hours, she got an infection on her wound…so she broke down completely once more and the sepsis was back again, had a pretty intense 24 hours but she managed to pull through once more, the doctors acted swiftly and used the right drugs straight away instead of going through 4-5 like last time, which resulted in her organ failures and so on…. in short, she is recovering again and is out of danger once more – fingers crossed and long it may continue now as I am mentally drained and exhausted as TA points out and I can’t even imagine how she is managing to hang in there after going through all this – she doesn’t even moan about any of her pain and so on, even though she needs regular doses of morphine to keep her pain free – bless her 🙂

    right, back to football then 🙂

  151. Milo says:

    Yeah,I was wondering about your Mrs!!! 😀 I mean, believe it or not I tempered my comments a bit as I know there are more important things in life than drawing or losing a bloody football match…Like I said though, when it’s football that takes your mind off those tough things in life, the least you could ask for is a whole-hearted effort. Didn’t feel like the boys gave that today.

  152. AFC says:

    That’s good news JB, the end part of course. 🙂

  153. James Bond says:

    you were justified in your venting @ Milo

    it can happen to anyone really and rightfully so – we started on the back foot and looked clueless out there sometimes in the first half, not just that but our shoulders and heads dropped as well.

    I was hoping AW would stand up and let everyone know that he’s not happy but I for once didn’t see AW stand up and try to sort it out from the touch lines.

    anyway, I was more pissed off at the commentators and the ref’s – how biased were they ? biased Mfcukers @ the commentators.

    on the signings front, we need someone with pace, we are missing Theo walcott much much more than we thought we may – Tello / Pedro / Draxler / anyone who has the ability to run behind the back line including AOX , get in there.

  154. alcide says:

    AFC, actually for being adventurous, I have to say JB’s thought on our out of practice double pivot makes sense with the lack of other options (single DM, Poldi)… Having both on playing poorly killed us.

  155. James Bond says:

    yes, that is it @ Milo – spot on

    cheers @ AFC – all is well when it ends well they say… it was all going smoothly a bit fairy tale like before the hitch yesterday but after a hectic 24 hours or so, we are back to the road to recovery and out of harm’s way for good, hopefully …and our miracle is still on which is the most important thing here.

    we also figured out today what Glics does all this time hiding behind the sofa and not watching the match live – he works on his comments and tries to do all the calculations in case we don’t win, so he can come on here and then have the pleasure of saying ” I TOLD YOU SO ” – you may need a new crystal ball after the Man utd game though, as we are winning our next 4 games in a row.

  156. alcide says:

    JB now that is good news 🙂

    And I agree with pace up front as well (Draxler and Theo with Ö behind… Makes me think of BM’s Robben and Ribery (have you noticed the two footedness of JD?)). Maybe they can learn to play as inverted wingmen, too 🙂

  157. AFC says:

    Alcide, the question is does the Flamini and Arteta combo work when both are fully fit and have played a number of games together. Space between the DM line and the front 3 midfielders exposed tonight as a result of the Flamini and Arteta combo?

  158. James Bond says:

    yep @ Alcide – but look, we don’t have Theo no more for the rest of the season and we need options and solutions and for now the solution is ROSICKY / DRAXLER / OX – it’s not all doom and gloom for me because I know that Rosicky is a big match player and he will deliver the goods –

    maybe Flamini and Arteta were more enforced changes @ AFC – due to the absence of JW/Ramsey/ Rosicky ? I would be pissed off had we played the flamteta combo at the expense of any of those 3 players on the bench but today was one of those days when we didn’t have enough options.

    to your question posed to Alcide, look – it could work when they have practiced and played together a couple of games to develop the chemistry and understanding as Flamini is good at protecting the FB’s and Arteta protects the CB’s – today they were both all over the place and no chemistry in the first half at least.

    who is to say that they can’t deliver the goods against Bayern Munich ? all will be forgiven then and we will all be on the AW bandwagon once more – football is a strange game and every day is a new day, we just had a bad day but we still came out with a point with 10 men – any other year or day, we may have lost 4-2 instead of holding out 2-2 .

  159. alcide says:

    I don’t know AFC. It worked in some instances – in “positional games” as far as I recall – but didn’t in a few occasions (faster paced games/opponents?). I’m inclined to prefer associations where Rambo or Jack can bring more attacking possibilities (and quicker fallback). When both (FlamTeta) are fit and into it, and we are happy to defend low they do provide excellent balance defensively… but in this situation we do miss Theo/pace for counterattacks. Ok off to bed now…

  160. alcide says:

    Fully agreed JB!

  161. Xavier says:

    @ milo we are all angry and I’m not going to tell you to calm down but try and view it all in perspective. This was a team with 7 changes from the last game and even though it’s not much of an excuse the introduction of arteta coupled with the changes may have affected them. Also I don’t think gnabry should have started. That was asking too much of him in my opinion. You say özil was awesome in the second half, taking the game by its neck and shii, and that his run that nearly led to a goal was awesome but did you see how much else he was able to do after that?? He couldn’t even pick pace again. Killed a couple counters. Maybe that’s why he conserves his energy as he plays and not try to pull a Henry. As wenger said, it’s a disappointing but fair 1 point and it’s past now. The best thing to do is look forward to the next game and still take it all OGAAT. Consider this hiccup a reality check to the players and hopefully they’ll come out of it all blazing.

    In the end, we all want what’s best for arsenal and as someone put it ‘when we win I rejoice with the team and when we draw or lose I show my loyalty’. That’s what makes us fans and supporters of this great club. Our time is coming. Just a lil more patience. And faith.

    COYG!! 🙂

  162. davydavy says:

    Hi Xavier, I quite agree. I wonder though at the causes behind our first-half showing. I can’t help but think that turning up to play straight after a delayed bus trip is not great preparation. Surely we should have arrived many hours before the game and been warming up and preparing mentally for a tough game.

    To me, our poor preparation was down to poor planning and this made it hard for the players to perform at anywhere like their peak capabilities. We were also unlucky in that we had to play Arteta who is not yet match fit and as a result our whole midfield looked a bit under-powered. Aston Villa, Coventry and now Southampton have all been able to run too easily at our back four.

    In the end it’s probably as good a point gained as much as two points lost, but we do need to add some dynamism around the defensive end of the midfield as well as adding pace and dribbling ability up front.

    JB – good luck to the missus!

  163. I was gonna wait until tomorrow but, whoa, those are some wild post-match comments…

    First off, Bond, great news! Sorry that you had to go through another round of BS. Fingers crossed everything is on the up from here…

    2nd…Of all the stuff Milo wrote here is the bit I agree with… “Maybe I should take my medication now.”

    That’s where the agreement ends… Here’s one that truly disgusts me, “Arteta didn’t put a tackle in all game, not even a fucking foul. I have more respect for what Flamini did than what Arteta did. Do something, hurt someone, make them pay the price, ANYTHING”…

    Sorry, but that is some serious crap. Hurt people? I take back what I said about you posting here. If that’s what you’re gonna write, please don’t. You say you’re looking for a break from the real world? Go see a movie or read a book where you know there will be a happy ending. There is no guarantee that your football team is going to give you the result (or the performance or level of violence) you seem to need…

    In my opinion we did not start the match well and I think we never actually turned it around to play to our strengths and that we were probably quite fortunate to take a point. We were maybe (finally) getting on top as the match wore on, but the Flamini red card put an end to that. I also feel that not having Ramsey, Wilshere or Rosicky available made things really tough and meant we couldn’t sub our way out of trouble. Still, watching the first half again (which I just did) I think it’s very wrong to impugn the entire effort of the players.or worse to suggest that we have a manager and set of players who make excuses or are not “winners.” I’m very pleased that we just extended Wenger’s contract and I hope we extend the contracts of the various veterans who’ve been huge contributors in recent times (Sagna, Mertesacker, Rosicky) even if they didn’t have their best matches tonight. I’m also hopeful we strengthen the squad before the deadline on Friday. It won’t be easy to bring this extremely promising season to fruition but I think we have a shot. Throw in the towel on your (so-called) support if you choose, but keep the ridiculous, over the top ranting to yourself…

    Actual football talk tomorrow, I hope…

  164. James Bond says:

    Ah , Milo was blowing off some steam… he was frustrated and I’m guessing he meant that arteta didn’t break up play as you would normally expect…and not hurt hurt – Milo wears his heart on his sleeve and is very passionate and emotional as are many others but we have different ways to express ourselves. … I’m not defending Milo here as he is more than able to speak up for himself ..However , its a tad harsh me amigo…. tempers are running high things are said in the heat of the moment but let us all take a step back here and look forward to friday.

    When the dust settles down and both Chelsea and man city drop points tomorrow- all will be well once more

    We have A LOT of home games coming up minus Anfield – keep that in mind and be more optimistic .

    Ps : sorry for butting in but I felt it was a little harsh on young Milo…and thanks DD and the voice of reason aka 17HT.

  165. James Bond says:

    Ramsey might only miss crystal palace and be back for liverpool… don’t believe what you are reading re 6-8 weeks.

    He has a scan tomorrow and we will know more later in the week…. also Jack wilshere was rested as a precaution. ..so not all bad but Flamini misses 4 games and not 3.

    Yikes.

  166. Xavier says:

    Hahaha JB I agree with you. I think Milo was just putting in the comments what we prolly all screamed at the tv during the game. He’ll be good. It’s just a lil passion. Good news bout the mrs. She is one heck of a fighter.
    I did say durig the game that arteta was too slow for the quick soton midfield and it may have been better to start with the Ox. Thing bout football is, if we had held on to the 2-1 lead till the end, it woulda been ‘a tactical masterclass by wenger at halftime’ or something similar. The fact that they came back to equalize draws the attention back to the seemingly lackluster first half.
    My real question is, how did our defense, the best in the league, get 2 goals scored against them?! That surprised the hell outta me but maybe I’m already becoming too spoilt. 😀

    Have a good day everyone. Stay gunning!

  167. Macko says:

    we need to do entered in the Hayden team, our young people are hungry and I think our concerns for effective it would be wise to call some of our young talent.
    Gnarby is living proof he has a lot of good team despite its small experience of PL;)

  168. TotalArsenal says:

    JB and Mrs JB 🙂

    So happy to hear mrs JB, The Graceful Fighter, is back on track. 🙂

  169. Morning Ludicrous Limp Lance Layabouts !. 😆

    Crystal Palace…..otherwise known as my Bubblewrap Y- Fronts !…..is where I keep my Crystal Balls….so the points are in the bag for that one !.

    So pleased you have some better news, JB, you are so brave to be able to still carry on commenting , but if like me, it is much needed escapism !….. I`ve got everything crossed here for you both !.

  170. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Nice one JB. I have been through something similar with one of my brothers. He was only eighteen at the time. Hang on in there mate. She will pull through and you will both have a long and wonderful life together.

    To be fair, last night was just one of those things. We should have won really. Ok, we didnt play well, especially first half, but the two things that cost us was letting Saints equalize straight away and then having Flamini sent off. If these things did not happen we would have nicked it

    I hope I dont sound like a biased bastard, but we let them of the hook

  171. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Also, there first goal was a foul on Monreal. So really, if we hadnt let them get on top of us in the first half, had a decent ref, equalise when they didnt deserve it, and Flamini had not got sent of, we would have won that 5-0

  172. Admir says:

    @JB – I’m glad that your significant other is better now and that both of you show how people who love each other can fight against any sort of nemesis. My mother and my uncle currently goes to through a nasty battle with my grandmother’s disease. My grandmother has had a life full of misery, pain and hard-work – she was raised by her aunt after her parents and siblings died in World War Two; she got married to my grandfather when she was 20; she gave a birth to five children (in conditions that are hard to describe in just a few sentences) and mostly had to raise them by herself because grandfather traveled a lot selling fruits and vegetables). He died when he was 41, without a single grey hair so she had to take care of her four kids and grandfather’s parents who weren’t easy to handle (to put it mildly). During the war in Bosnia, she lost her son and had to take care for his two-month-old son. Still, she is one of rare old women (she is 71) in my town that knows to read and write and possess an incredible fighting spirit. When mother took her to the doctor a few months ago, grandmother realized that doctor was searching her records in order to find anything from her history. “You waste your time searching, doctor”, she said with determined voice, “you won’t find anything there. I’ve never been in the hospital to do a blood analysis in my life.”

    What am I trying to say is, life sends us a lot of challenges. It’s like our fixture list in February and March, only even tighter. Good luck, Mr and Mrs Bond.

    When it comes to last night game, I would like to point out at three positive things. 1) Giroud scored a goal in an away match again, 2) Cazorla keeps scoring goals in 2014 and 3) Özil went through a poor first half but raised his game in the second half and almost got us all three points single-handily.

  173. TotalArsenal says:

    Superb, inspiring comment, Admir. 🙂

  174. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post 🙂

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