Should Arsenal shoot more from outside the box? Debate.

Two Arsenal players with great shooting ability
Two Arsenal players with great shooting ability

Only 11% of all Arsenal Premier League goals are scored from outside the box. Of our direct title competitors, Everton score 30% of all PL goals from outside the box, Chavs 29%, Liverpool 22% and MansourCity 17%. A number of Gooners on Bergkampesque want our players to take more shots at goals from outside the box.

The question to debate today is: is this a good idea?

A few years ago, I read somewhere that Arsene discourages his players to take shots from outside the box and he will confront his players during post-match analysis if they took a shot from outside the box, when, in his opinion, a better option had been available. I am not sure whether this is true, but it does seem that our players have become reluctant to take a shot from outside the box in recent seasons.

Most of us love long distance goals; and the further away from goal the better!

Goals scored from well outside the box often become unforgettable ones. As a teenager, I watched Dutchman Arie Haan score an impossible long distance goal against Italy’s Dino Zoff, during the 1978 World Cup. For me, this goal epitomises the long-distance shot, as, at the time, I just could not believe a goal could be scored from so far out. I will never forget this goal:

Bergkamp and Henry scored regularly from outside the box for us. And of course there was Paul Merson who had a great long distance shot too – see from about third minute onwards for some examples:

I don’t know about you, but it always annoys me when I hear a match reporter say: ‘The problem with Arsenal is they want to walk the ball into the net’. Arsenal want to create the best scoring opportunities and the manager appears to believe that just taking a shot now and again is a waste of possession and inefficient.

Having said that, with players like Arteta, Podolski, Ox, Vermaelen and Cazorla in the team, Arsenal could turn shooting from outside the box into another weapon of attack, if Wenger would let them.

So what do you think fine fellow Gooners? Let’s have a heated debate! 😛

Mrs Merton knew how to hold a 'heated debate'
Mrs Merton knew how to hold a ‘heated debate’

Written by: TotalArsenal.

56 thoughts on “Should Arsenal shoot more from outside the box? Debate.

  • Statistically shots from over 20m result in a goal, a massive 2% of the time,hence long range shots result in turning the ball over to the opposition on a regular basis,The old adage of they cant score if you have the ball would seem to rule out a team taking more long range shots in favour of crafting a better opportunity from closer to the goal,Also a huge part of our improvement has been to restrict our opponents to these long range efforts this season, clearly our ‘glory hunting’ opponents do not know the stats…..
    Our opponents will score a sensational long range effort from time to time ( eg.Rose & Tiote) but in the vast majority of cases all they do is hand us back the ball from row Z.

  • Yes we ought to shoot more often from outside. Did you see the goals Real Madrid got yesterday. By shooting they got two reflected goals. May be not the most beautiful but good goals never the less. And more so when we have as good shooters of the ball as we have in our team. Some times they seem to be banned from shooting !!!!!

  • TA,

    Thanks for the link to Arie Haan’s goal… I was 9 for that game and it is the earliest football game I remember, and of course that goal stayed with me until now – I keep mentioning it whenever a long distance goal is scored… and what a team, the Van de Kerkhoff brothers (like having 2 Viera’s in the team – talk about a steel double pivot), Neeskens and Johnny Rep… what a team that was.

    Anyway, I am not sure we actually have that many players that capable of shooting effectively at 30m – or maybe I have this doubt because we so rarely attempt it? Pod and Verm, perhaps, but does Santi for instance have enough power to threaten from long range?

    I do recognize though that there is reluctance at times even though there are small opportunities to attempt a shot. Not so much in terms of scoring – as the cahnce to score may be low – but that it may cause defenders to expose themselves a bit more afterwards – as they know that the intent is there – which may help open up the defense a bit more. I do worry however that we are sometimes reluctant to shoot when in the box, and instead look for that perfect pass…

    It would be intersting to see stats on shots scored/attempted ratios for different teams, or even globally (will check 7amkickoff’s blog to see if he ever covered that). 2% sounds really low…

  • And I even forgot Rensenbrink and Ruudie Krol from the Netherlands team… shame on me.

  • Arsenal should shoot 4rm outsyd cos, superior teams lyk barcelona are nau surffering 4rm dsame disease…..players lyk arteta,carzola,podolski,oxlade are found of playing shot….but they couldnt any more because of what they are been instructed to play

  • Wenger’s style is predictable. It’s pass after pass and all over the pitch.’
    I believe this is due to his overemphasis on ball retention.His record against MU and Chelsea is poor.When rf was around he would let the gunners have possession and hit on the break.Likewise Chelsea played and Drobgba scored many goals against the gunners.No team or player is unplayable.
    With the title almost within touching distance, I dare to say if Wenger plays with all day passing,Arsenal will lose against Pool. I watched Adam score against MU. If it were Arsenal it will be another pass too many. You can forget about the killer passes.
    Teams have wised up and know how to stop the gunners. The question is whether Arsene is able to produce something special. Liverpool with their more direct passing will be athreat.
    If the gunners insist on threading a pass through the massed Pool defence and the ball breaks loose or is intercepted,I expect Pool to break away and score.
    I might be wrong.

  • Philbet – where did you get that stat from? Good points.

    Hjorvar – you have a point as well.

    Yes, Alcide that was a great team with a fantastic mix of power and style. Nice to hear you also remember that goal by Haan really well. 🙂

  • Arsenal don’t shoot from long range because Arsene doesn’t like to win ugly. He wants to win
    playing beautiful soccer ie pass after pass and if possible walk the ball into the net.
    The problem is teams aint going to give him the freedom of this choice.
    That is why the gunners don’t shoot from long range though I have seen Poldoski scoring a few long screamers.
    Mark my words. Pool are going to flood the md and hit on the break. Fortunately the gunners defence and gkare much better than previous seasons.
    Anyway don’t be surprised if Pool win if Arsenal play like in the Palace game.

  • I love those two opening responses as they couldn’t be more different, but I can’t wait to hear what the regulars (esp. our superspy…) have to say. (Alcide’s response, in addition to being more subtle than my own, makes me think it could be time to start drinking sooner than later even though it’s barely tea time here… 😀 )

    I don’t like the long shots and our best long shooter (who actually plays regularly), Santi, has trouble getting clear and not blocked at the point. Our game is based on pushing up and pinning our opponents in their own half and creating enough pressure for chances to happen. A wildly rebounding shot can more likely find us out of position than ready for a put-back. Everybody loves the glory of a great individual effort, but (for me, at least) the team goals are even better. Maybe it would be different if Verm was playing CB… Walk ’em in I say…

    Of course, frustration sets in when we’re not making chances and supporters yelling “shoot,” can lead to players doing likewise. To that I say, stop yelling, “shoot” and start yelling “score.” After all we want a “score” not a shot…In the end there’s only one stat that matters… (Goals for vs goals against…)

    As the quality of the English game increases individual skills *should* take a backseat to team play. If Arsenal are attempting to surpass the bought teams (ManCity, Chelsea) we need to do this even more. Walk it in, I say, or better yet, make chances while controlling the ball and the shape of the the team. If we’re playing a 4-5-1 (which we do, except when we play a 4-6-0 😯 ) we are not particularly well positioned for put-backs. Sure, take an occasional shot from 20 but don’t let it get blocked by anybody but the keeper…

    It’s different with Real Madrid who hardly push up their back-line at all and keep 2 midfielders and a fullback at midfield throughout the match but allow the remaining guys to make runs into the 6 yard box at will…Good on them… the gulf between the top two (this year, three…) and all the rest is quite a bit different than in England…Finally, you’ll likely see less in the way of long attempts when they play Barca (and Atletico) given the need to avoid getting caught on the break. We should be equally careful now that Mourinho is baiting top teams in just this manner back at Chelsea…

    OK, ‘nuf said. What exactly ARE you drinking, Alcide..

  • Philbet has it right, not only do a meager 2-3% of long range shots score but 90% miss the net entirely, the other 7-8% are easily taken by the keeper. The question isn’t whether a player should shoot from outside the area but if he does, will he hit the net? The issue is not shooting but shooting accuracy. the further you are from the net the less likely you will place the ball where you can score. It is a question of angles. the angle between the keeper, the open space in the goal and the shooter gets smaller, the further away a shooter is. That is why Henry scored so many goals on the ground and into the corners of the net from inside the area. the further away you shoot from, the greater the strength needed to get the ball at high speed, into a zone where it can score. Most players don’t have ther accuracy or force to hit a precise shot that will give the keeper an impossible task, when they shoot outside the area. Wenger knows this and encourages close-in play where the elements of force and speed are less important but accuracy still provides better results.

  • It’s simple if you can shoot from outside the box and SCORE no manager not even Arsene Wenger is going to tell you, “you had a better option” as what is better then a ball in the net? But if you blaze shots 30 yards wide or they end up in the upper level or a comfortable save. well Maybe you might not want to be thinking about having a crack too often. It is not should Arsenal’s current players shoot more from outside the box but DOES arsenal have a Player that has that shot in his bag. Podolski I feel does Carzola on his better days yes. Would be nice is Wilshere had that in his bag (if he is going to take the Lampard role for England everyone in England should hopes so too.That is one aspect of Wilshere’s game that is lacking compared to Gerrard and Lampard. Ox I feel could as well. Maybe the system we play and work at on the training ground that these players are not developing that aspect of their game I do not know. But tree is something to be said when Yaya Toure has 12 goals this year in 22 app and he is a Defensive mid? and that is more goals then our striker.

  • I don’t know bout y’all…. I like goals scored from outside the box. Especially when playing on my playstation. But i’d rather have wilshere’s goal against Norwich (I think) any day. Flicks, awesome movements, mesmerizing everyone even the keeper.

    @malaysian gunner. I kinda disagree about teams knowing how to stop arsenal/wenger this season. I mean..we’ve been winning ain’t we? 😉

    Good morning y’all. The weekend is here!!!!!

  • Good Morning all, After 10 hours sleep(helped by good news at the vets, no doubt?) I am quite refreshed. So to the question .. or questions? I think it has shown from the opening comments that there are a few sub questions in there as as well.

    The main question has a problem, as all our perception is based on hindsight. The ones that go in are remembered, as are some of the extreme wild ones – see the Gerv debate yesterday for examples. So that leads us to the first sub division: a, How far out?; b, Type of shot?

    a, – Would suggest the further away the ratio of scoring shots would likely diminish below 1%, as greater power needed, ergo more skill required, and the keeper has more time to readjust?

    b, This probably applies to the shots taken say less than 35yds/mtrs out. Henry would curl shots in from an angle, Cazorla from more central, and Walcott from closer. What then of the free kick shots? They too, are generally bent around or over the wall – one reason why JD will be worth the summer investment are his dead ball skills – and they can also present better opportunities because the defence is static. It does not make it easy, and we have all groaned at the ones that hit the wall, or fail to bend?
    So what of the straight power shots that become so memorable? Very few players have the skill to repeat their finest hours, so in that sense balls attempted do tend to be glory shots, either from youthful inexactitude (Gnabry – who did have AW off the bench throwing his arms about, or Ox in a similar position), defenders ‘trying their luck’, or even forwards of great reputations wanting to remind fans what they are capable of?

    This leads to another sub question; Do we have the players capable of accurate shooting?

    Of course we do, but … and here is the ‘hindsight’ problem. Take the Gnabry shot from a couple of starts ago. He had a go because the space opened up for him. He probably hit it with more power than needed, hence the inaccuracy. But, would I want him to try it again in a similar position, probably Yes. For one thing he is capable. He, like Ox, can learn from his mistakes. Would I worry if that was someone else? Probably. But that then opens up the options question. There are always other balls that could be played, but only afterwards can we make a decision as to which was the better one, and that based on the result, the player’s capability, and the follow up result?

    The final sub question is, should players be instructed – if indeed they are, as that implies knowledge from within the dressing room? – not to shoot. Or are the told to look at other options, which would limit their attempts. AW likes ‘efficiency’ above all else. If we win 1.0 from one shot on target, and 3 overall, he would be a happy man. I suspect fans watching a game with only 3 shots taken might have a different view, however welcome the 3 points were? But that again is perception and hindsight. A couple of wild shot giving away possession lead to two goals against, is the alternative unknown, as much as 5-0 might be?

    So TA, I think you have a fine post for a not so heated debate, but diverse opinions all predicated on outcome?

    For me, I would say if the opportunity arises to score for the player with the skill set to repeat it more often than not, then he should take it. But that is not the same as blasting at every ball, or indeed, shy away from a shot – Ozil? – when it should be within their capability.
    On the fence until hindsight proves me wrong 😀

  • I have to say i think Wenger has got his tactics right especially when you think of the players we have to set up better chances in the box, Ozil of course is the main 1. Then you have the Wilshere goal this season of quick 1 2’s to just cut though defences like butter. It is the Arsene Wenger Arsenal way , it is good that the players all know it , there for expecting the extra couple of passes and scoring goals..
    Haan’s goal is awesome , i had never seen it before, so thanks for that TA
    Although i agree with our current style , i think they needs to be a balance and players take a few shots a match, i agree TA the likes of Podolski , OX ,Cazorla from around 20 yards and i think Giroud is very good from distance not that we have seen much of this yet. It is up to the players to just take a shot at the right time, when then is not a better option.
    But on the whole i think we have it about right, our league position would suggest so.
    I just can’t disagree with Wenger’s tactics.

  • Oh i forgot Arteta and you guys know i am a big fan of his. The reason i had to mention him is he is very good at longer shots ad it seems that he has been told not to do this . Of course he plays alot deeper for us, but i think i am right in saying all his goals this season are from the spot.
    Perhaps that conpensates for him.
    The fact that he is the penalty taker shows how good he is at scoring, also just how much he has altered his game for us. He really is a credit the club and himself.
    He is clearly 1 of our 3 natural leader TV5 , Arteta and BFG. . i would not say that has to be the order but Wenger choose this order and i am happy for anyone of them to wear the band and even happier when they all act like skipper regardless of who wears it.
    Arteta is vital v Liverpool, Wenger has already said he wants to stop Suarez supply.

  • I think jack ramsey santi, pod, ox have shown good long shots in their careers. I think shots, not even goals from about 20 yards , might cause the box to be a little less congested by defence, and therefore more open to the killer passes in future. Just give them a reason to come out just a bit.

  • Hi guys 🙂

    TA, thanks for starting a really good debate. 🙂

    Gerry’s comment added a lot as usual but let’s see if I can add more. Firstly I think any player with the ball at their feet, at the edge of the box should take a shot. Now I think this is what frustrates JB. Any player (defenders, midfielders and strikers and I’ll even throw in GKs) should be able to hit the target, place it to one corner and challenge the keeper. So our players should be looking to shoot from 25 yards and under.

    But now onto the long shots from over 25 yards. Now it gets much harder and depends on a lot of different factors some of which are environmental, psychological and physical. 

    I’ll start on the environmental factors first.The size of the pitch?

    I do not really need to explain this one. The smaller the pitch the smaller distance between the player and the goal. Less power would be required which would result in a higher level of accuracy from the shot, increasing the probability of the shot being on target and beating the GK.

    The length of the grass on the pitch?

    The higher the length of the grass the higher the level of persistence the ball will have in relation to the surface. More power will be needed to hit the ball to get it to travel at the speed and distance needed to beat the GK, decreasing the accuracy of the shot. If the pitch has really a really short grass level less power will be needed for the long shot but the player could over judge the amount of power needed and sky the shot.

    Condition of the pitch? 

    For instance, the quality of the pitchs are much better in European countries than South American countries. The poorer the quality of the pitch the harder it will be for the player to score from distance because of the quality of the surface.

    Is the pitch natural (grass) or artificial (i.e. AstroTurf)? 

    There will be different levels of power required to make the ball go to a certain distance depending on the surface of the pitch. If players are not familiar/do not play regularly on a certain pitch surface it may be harder for them to judge the amount of power need for a specific shot. Unfamiliarity of the surface of the pitch could lead to a player over hitting or under hitting the ball when attempting a long shot. 

    What was the weather like prior to the game and during the game?

    If it was raining prior to the game and/or is raining during the game the pitch will be affected. The surface of the pitch will either be slippery if it has just started to rain or has not be raining that long, meaning that the ball will have a lower persistence in relation to the surface which would likely decrease the probability of the shot resulting in a goal as the accuracy of the shot will be seriously compromised and the more power the player puts in the shot (which increases with distance) the more likely the ball is to slide of the surface and be off target.

    If it has been raining for a long time before the match has started and/or while the match is taking place or it is snowing the ball will have a higher persistence in relation to the ground meaning the player will need to put more power into his shot decreasing the level of accuracy or might get under the ball too much and sky the shot.

    Now onto the psychological factors.

    Does the player have a high or low level of confidence?

    Does the player actually believe he can score? The power of the mind is so strong that IF you believe you can do something that is near physically impossible you can do it. Anyone remember Roberto Carlos’ free kick which was supposed to be scientifically impossible. Or numerous stories of humans who have lifted cars to save their loved ones who have been trapped underneath these cars.

    Does the GK have a high or low level of confidence? 

    Is the GK in poor form, nervous and worried about making a mistake, poor form can lower the confidence of the GK, lowering the performance of a GK making it easier for the player to score from distance as the GK could make a blunder. If the GK is in good form and his confidence is high the player will find it harder to score from distance. 

    Is the player at home or away?

     I do not really need to go into this one. This is linked to the home advantage theory which is that players’ performances are enhanced while playing at home and are better than performances when players are playing away due to environmental and psychological factors.

    What is the score of the match before the player attempts a long shot?

    Is the player tense because his team are only leading by a goal or both teams are currently drawing, the player (mentally) will find it harder to hit the long shot with the power and accuracy needed to beat the GK. Likewise with the GK, he will be ‘on his toes’ if his team are only one goal ahead of the other team or both teams are drawing making it harder for the player to beat him with the shot from distance. If the player is relaxed because his team are in front and/or winning comfortably, the player has a higher chance of hitting the ‘perfect’ shot as he isn’t under a lot of pressure or stress or if the GK complacent because his team are in front and winning comfortably his level of awareness and performance might drop slightly which could make it easier for the player to score from his long shot.

    The importance of the match and how good the opposition are will also affect how relaxed or tense the player is and how complacent or relaxed the GK is.Now onto the physical factors.

    Is the player using his preferred for or his weaker foot?

    It will be much harder for the player to build up the required power and get enough accuracy to hit the target and then beat the GK if he is using his weaker foot as opposed to his stronger/preferred foot.

    How much power can the player generate and how accurate the player’s strike can be?

    Power is needed to beat the GK and the less power the player can generate the harder it will be for him to score from distance. Can the player consistently hit the target from far distances in a number of areas on the pitch. The more consistent the player is at hitting the target from a number of different areas of the pitch at a far distance, the better his accuracy and the more likely he is to score from his shot.

    What technique is the player using?

    Is he looking to hit the ball with no spin and a lot of power or is the player looking to add some sort of spin or curl. It is a lot harder to score from distance using backspin like Neymar did in the Confederations Cup as opposed to hitting the ball hard with no spin like Bale often did. Is the ball on the ground when the player hits it or is he hitting it on the volley or half-volley.

    Now we can look at it from the keeper’s angle. 

    Firstly you have to question how good the GK is. Is he young and inexperienced, a GK from a lower league or generally poor? 

    All of these factors could increase the chance of a player scoring from distance. If a GK was experienced and playing for a top team in Europe it would likely be much harder for him to be beaten with a long shot.

    Is the player known to take long shots frequently and is the GK aware of this?

    Keepers will be ready for long shots from a player who frequently chances his luck from distance meaning that the GK will be ready for such efforts leading to an increased reaction time for the GK and a decreased chance of such a player scoring from distance.

    Note that knowing a player will shoot from distance and having a increased reaction time does not necessarily mean the GK will be able to save the shot.

    There are also a number of other factors.What ball is being used in the match? 

    The ball used in a World Cup will be different from the ball used in the EPL, the balls will have different weights, sizes, shapes etc. How familiar a player is with a specific ball or if a ball suits the technique used by the player when taking long shots as opposed to another ball can affect the accuracy and power of the shot needed to beat the GK and the power and accuracy of the shot produced by the player.

    Thanks for reading. 😀

    TA, do you remember seeing Van Bronckhorst score that cracker for Holland in the 2010 WC?

  • ARGGHHHH, TA, what are you doing to me man? That 78 World Cup, what memories.

    Sod the shooting, I want to talk about 78.

    I was twelve and it was the first World Cup I could appreciate. Arie Haans goal was incredible. The Dutch were a great side. From what I recall they had a couple of twins playing and it wernt just Haan who could hit a ball

    So many games stick in the mind. One first was Scotland – Holland. The Scots were massive underdogs and had to beat the Dutch by three clear goals. Archie Gemmil scored a brilliant goal to make it 3-1, but the Dutch scored another to alleviate the pressure. Fantastic drama

    The Argies beating Peru 6-0 (fix?) Scotland losing to Peru 3-1 (so funny)

    Sorry TA. The final was my favourite. Not for the score but for the occasion.

    My mum had flown me and my three brothers over to Crete The night we got there we had to stay in a bed and breakfast and wait for the donkey in the morning to take us to my Grans village.

    It was the night of the final and we watched it on an old black and white TV. Our only company was this old boy who had obviously suffered a stroke. He couldnt talk properly and one side of his body was limp and lifeless.

    The final was magnificent, but what gets to me even to this day was the old boys reaction. Smiling and waving an arm at every good piece of play, and gaining pleasure from seeing four kids engrossed in it to.

    My brothers all recall this with fondness to, and looking back I think it cemented my love affair with football.

  • Philbet has crushed it all with his stats !. However, football in an instinctive game, some shoot at any opportunity, but it`s the instinctive ones which are usually effective, no measuring up, looking at the conditions, what type of grass or getting out the wind meter etc` !. If you were to ask me to get a ball and shoot from the half way line and score, I`d be lucky to do it once in a hundred !. Yet I have twice scored goals from well inside my own half, one ala Beckham and one like this one from Ronnie Boyce on the volley !.

    However the best goal I ever scored was a “Scorpion Kick” ( remember Rene Higuito, the Colombian goalkeeper`s save against England ! ) Goal !. All these goals were instinctive and wouldn`t have happened if I would have had time to think about it !.

    Stretch, great story, but instinctively as above, I have an instinctive alarm bell in my head which tells me….” 4 boys half naked in a hot Crete room with a dodgy old man smiling and……..waving his arm ! “…… instinct tells me he was having a “Savilesque” Sausage Session !. hahaha

  • I love it that Joe Corrigan is just running back to his goal and not even looking up field to see what`s happening !. Look at the state of the pitch !. Football has moved on a million miles since the early 70`s !.

  • Hahaha Franck Ribery is to undergo Bum surgery !. To repair a burst blood vessel in his buttock !.

    There is a Dennis !………..” They will perform some skin grafting from his face to repair the said buttock so it`s not noticeable ! “.

  • hahaha Cornwall, whilst I was writing that I thought what a waste of comic material. Was finding it really difficult to keep it serious. hahaha

    Your right. There was probably nothing wrong with him. I should have know better when he waved me over to sit on his lap and then felt a protrusion on my arse. I thought, it cant be him, I can see his good hand. The dirty bastard. hahahaha

  • Hahaha Stretch
    Oh well, I was going to keep it as a surprise for you at the Tavern, but Stretch……you haven`t seen him since you were twelve, he`s come all the way from Crete in a coffin……Jimvos Savilelopodolous !. hahaha

    I see on newsnow, that earliest evidence of human foot prints outside of Africa have been discovered in Norfolk !…………..Now tell me Totes…..when was it VCC visited you ?. hahaha

  • nice one @ Skipper

    not sure where Philbet got those stats from but can he tell us where the rest of the 98% of the goals come from ? is he suggesting that they come from passing it into the net ? there are times when a team has about 10 attempts at goal and only scores once and then there are times when the opposing team has only 1 shot at goal and they score 1 from 1 – then there are times when you take 2 long shots 2 on target and 2 goals – stats can be misleading and I have never been to keen on stats, even though playing with numbers is my things, albeit made a lot more easier by the use of sage, vt, iris and spreadsheets (winks at TMHT) .

    anyhow my take on the subject ?

    am always shouting at my tele or on BK for players to pull the trigger when they are in a decent position (surprise surprise ) …why ?

    1 : Element of surprise – most teams set themselves up in such a way that they know around their D, our players will try to pass their way in ..hence they can park the bus better or position themselves in such a way that they are in a better position to do so…. – we shoot from outside the box and it encourages them to come at you hence leaving a gap behind, which can be exploited the next time as the defender will be in 2 minds, whether to close the player down or keep waiting until their’s a pass in no man’s land.

    3: I am not asking you to do a roberto carlos and shoot from the half way line, just outside the box…in a decent position like these chaps here…

    and another one (how timely, it was against Liverpool earlier in the season 😉

    5: sure, we may lose possession and chances are that we fail to hit the target or test the keeper, however, we can also hit a defender, get a deflected goal or win a corner (very likely, if someone decent takes the shot and not Giroud 🙄 )

    7: TA, might be right about AW instructing his players not to take this option or avoiding it, if necessary however, Giroud surely must not listen to it or else he would stop hitting it into the crowd…out of all the strikers or players I have watched shoot – his shooting leaves a lot to be desired…luckily for both him and us, we have a lot of players who can set it up nicely for him or he can hold it nicely for the rest of the goal scorers from midfield – but it kinda makes me chuckle, every time he has a go at goal from distance hits it into the crowd and then starts sulking …. there was once a moment that I remember …we were winning 1-0 away and were down to 10 men I think….last 2 minutes of the game and Giroud was clear on goal along with someone in the middle , maybe ramsey or someone else against 1 defender 2 vs 1….instead of passing it sideways to Ramsey for a clear goal – he chooses to blast to the crowd – the camera goes back to AW – and AW with his hands up in the air moving ferociously goes ” Wa da Fcuk was that ”

    anyone else remember this gem or is it just me being a hater 🙂

    9: even teams who play the ARsenal way encourage their players to shoot , for example look at Bayern Munich, the reason they won 3-1 against man city in the champions league was because 2 of their goals came from shots from outside the box, which were very savable but due to the goal keeping error – they were let in , that’s 2 big goals as well in Europe for Pep’s team.

    I can give you a million other reasons and rebuttals, however, we all know that players will do what AW instructs them to do …would love the Rosicky’s, the Poldi’s, The Santi’s and even Ozil’s to have a go…and even the Wilshere’s – because they are to be reasonable with their shot selection from outside the box and 7 times out of 10, they will try to test somebody on the field .

    great comment @ AFC

    glad to hear the good news from the vets @ Gerry – hope you are still making hay while the sun shines (plenty of horse racing going on 😉

    wow, treasurable memories @ TMHT – you have a really fantastic memory for someone who’s been hooked to frequent visits to Mr. Shah for the magic stuff 😉

    ahhahahahahahahahhahahahahah @ TCM – now let’s hope the other R (Robben) goes down next, I think he already was struggling with a few niggles anyway ? either way, if Ribbery doesn’t recover in time, then that’s a massive boost for us.

  • Thanks JB – I am only researching racing at the moment. My season does not start until the end of March, and betting does not get serious until May.
    Dog news was, in brief. It looked like she could have had a dislocated lens in her right eye, which is often caused by a tumour behind the eye. Luckily, if the vet has it right, she has Horner’s Syndrome – no smuttiness from you CM! – and this is a condition to do with the sympathetic nerves. Somewhere along that system something has gone awol, and has meant the eye has been pulled inwards. It could/should right itself in a couple of months … hence my relief. Just trying to find out if it was an operable tumour would have been expensive, not to mention eye surgery were it possible. So we are okay on that front, thanks.

    I have to say I am more with TCM than you JB. Confidence goes with them able to reproduce such shots under all conditions, but random shooting by all and sundry does strike as desperation measures, not the Arsenal way? With relation to our players, and again it varies with the type of shot they are best equipped at using. TV5 has a good low to the ground straight shot, whereas Cazorla would instinctively put spin on his? Poldi and Giro are great with their left peg, and so on.

    AFC – would I be right in thinking you had that written up before? With the more general problems facing any player, rather than Arsenal specific. I should rewrite the smaller pitch thingy though. The box is the same size whatever the dimensions of the pitch, so if a player is outside of the box, he will not be nearer on a smaller pitch? But apart from that you make some very good points about the difficulties face by players … but only when they are doing the calculations, which is why I like TCM’s point on instinct. Ramsey is a case in point. The only Roberto Carlos goal that made my draw drop was the corner that was heading for the far post, but the spin only took effect in the last 15-20 yards, and it did a 90deg turn into the near top corner, with the GK left stranded. Magic!

  • Gerry, I wrote the post when I read TA’s post this morning but just chose to write it from a general perspective rather than an Arsenal one as there are a number of teams quite similar to us. My points are more theory based but I thought I would mention points which no one else has mentioned. The post was written quite quickly which is why you managed to pick up on the pitch size mistake. 😀

    Good to hear the good news. 🙂

  • that is fantastic news, hopefully it clears up in a month or 2 – fingers crossed @ Gerry.

    right then, I don’t know how to tell you all of this but a couple of hours ago, we all received a major shock…no, actually something unbelievable and beyond explanation…. I didn’t believe it myself until I saw it for myself…so let me share it with my bk family…

    you can’t make this up even in hollywood, that’s the twins – a boy and a girl.

    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Who starts v Liverpool in midfield we have options, it will be interesting who starts . Jack or Ox Rosicy? Where does Cazorla play? I would go for this.
    —————–the best defence in the league———————

    We then have a strong bench of Rosicky, Jack, Gnabry, Zalelem, NB, Ryo TV5, Jenks and FAB.
    I see plenty of depth there personally, i think we have a lot of quality.

  • all of you must be asking the same thing i asked…how is it even possible after we were told it was a miscarriage , that led to sepsis, which led to all those nasty things including both kidney failures and a kidney transplant ?

    the explanation given to us by the doctors and the hospital is that, when we came to them, the bleeding and blood clots, they said it’s a miscarriage but before they could complete all their investigations, she picked up an infection in the hospital which led to sepsis and all that followed – their priority was then to save her life …every thing happened so quickly that no one bothered with the ultrasound ….they were even amazed as to how the twins manage to survive all this when she nearly died and was in such a condition…

    it’s only today that we got this very pleasant surprise…they will do further tests later on to check if the babies are ok, some tests they can do to find out the babies condition apparently, like downs syndrome e.t.c e.t.c blimey, i need to get educated on all of this pronto – happening way too quick

    again, I would like to thank all of you for your support and prayers, during our time of need, a miracle if there ever was one is in front of us.

    no worries though, I told her today on our way back –


    you and the kids

    the dog

    in that order, ha


  • nice line up @ PG

    but i’ll go for something like this

    ……………………the usual culprits of 5….Gibbs and not Nacho.




    Subs : Rosicky, Poldi, Gnabry, e.t.c e.t.c e.t.c

    3-1 = sorted.

    be back later, if I can.

  • Thanks to all for the fine contributions to the post. Will read in more depth again in a few days. Not sure whether we’ll have a preview.might write something in the morning.

  • Good evening Long Shot Scrotum Shufflers and Shirtlifters!! 😆
    First of all… Amazing news JB!!! Really hope the twins have positive results to the tests .. Such trauma they have been through!
    You could write a movie and what you’ve been through!!
    Well done for your comment too JB and to Totes for thi post.
    As you know I feel very strongly like JB about the need to pull the trigger.
    We have been starting so poorly of late and I think their had to be a change of strategy in the first half.
    There needs to be “shots on target” target.
    None of this 1 or 2 shots in the first half.
    If your just outside the box and it’s inside the first 20 minutes then the most clinical finishers should be allowed to shoot at will.
    Poldi, Rambo, Carzola especially.
    There has to be more intent. The enemy has got to be taken off guard.
    As has been mentioned … Anything can happen from a deflection to a rebound and
    Ollie is excellent at picking up the scraps of a rebound.
    We must try and grab a goal as early as possible in a game

    Gezza … Good news on the dog situation as well … And yes Cockie has also the Horny Syndrome … His nerve endings are so sympathetic he often rubs his Hampton Genie in public to grant wishes to all… Such a thoughtful bastardo!! 😆

  • Good news all round for BJ and Gerry. Good stuff gents i am thrilled for you both.

    Good debate starter TA. I agree with jnyc. Mix it up and keep the defenders guessing. If you’ve got a bit of time and space why not go for it?! If you have a cannon like podolski’s with great accuracy he should be shooting every chance he gets centrally. Ox and santi can let rip also.

    One of my favourites is this ripper:

  • JB THATS AWWWWEEEESSSOOOOMMMEEEEE!!!! God. I’m literally dancing and crying and laughing at the same damn time. Prayers do work. It’s unbelieveable. LOOOL™. I’m tearing up again. Brb. 😃😃😀😀😀

  • @jb I hope it does go well with the scans and all. That’ll be one hell of a miracle story.
    It’s really good news. 🙂

  • JB, that’s amazing. Such good news for you and your wife. let’s hope all goes well from now on in, you both deserve it for what you’vegone through.

    Gerry, pleased to hear the good news on the dog front. Fingers crossed for a speedy recovery.

    Nice post Total, great topic.

  • sent. if there is no response i’ll just post it in the comments section. Sorry guys had a spare 30mins so it’s very rough

  • Arsenal vs Liverpool Pre-Match:

    Big big test this one. Really need to pull out a win to stop the moneybag clubs from overtaking us. Liverpool have some key players out but so do we so no excuses, we must be on top of our game.

    Our last 12 meetings have seen Liverpool win just one solitary game. Arsenal has won the last two at Anfield.

    Predicted line-up:

    I don’t think Jack will be risked so he’ll start on the bench.
    —–The Pole in goal——-
    Handsome French B*stard

  • Sick Bay:

    Arsenal: Theo, Verm and Diaby (knee), Ramsey (thigh), Kim (back…missing and presumed dead due to TW supporter rage), Flamini (suspended). Jack the lad and Arterta face fitness tests and should be in the squad.

    Pool: Agger (calf), Lucus and Enrique (knee), Johnson (ankle/groin), and Sakho (hamstring)

    Previous Encounters:

    – Arsenal vs Pool 2-0

    – Arsenal vs Pool 2-2

    Form Guide:
    Arsenal: WDWWW
    Pool: DWWDW

  • One to watch:

    Definitely has to be Suarez! If you strip away all the ridiculousness you have a top top quality footballer. On his day he is one of the best strikers on the planet. What makes him even more troubling is his PhD in diving (graduated from the same school as Bale and Ronaldo so we know he is first-rate). Kozzer has beaten him before but Suarez is having the best season of his career so far (23 goals in 19 appearances) so he’ll need to be switched on for the entire game.

    Who are we going to play in central midfield??? Shit shit shit what do we do??? ALEX OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN!!! He was called upon and boy did he deliver. Injury has impacted his season and robbed us of his services but against Palace he came back with a bang. Arsene says it’s where he’s destined to play, I agree, but I also think he can play anywhere he wants. If he’s deployed there again he may not have the same freedom but with what he can deliver it may be worth the roll of the dice.

    Pre-Match finger:

    The winter transfer window. What a bloody fiasco. It really is the blue balls of football. We fawned all window over Draxler, he was dangled in front of us…but to no avail. Anyway enough has been said on this so lets push on.

    Pre-match pat on the back:

    This week it goes to Gerv. Glad he’s settled in Italy and has found some form again. All the best for the remainder of his career. Also a pat on the back to our very own BJ, glad everything is coming good for you mate, you’re brave face through it has been an inspiration to us all.

  • Arsenal Archive

    This week I’ve dipped into the Arsenal Archive and pulled out this video clip. It’s Szczesny’s brilliant double save for our 2012 encounter. Jesus did I jump out of my chair after that one.


    I’m going with a tough 0-1 victory to the good guys. They are dangerous offensively but we have been a tough defensive unit all season and I don’t see it changing at Anfield. Liverpool will be too weak at the back to stop us (plus Kolo likes to give goals away to the opposition, why wouldn’t he do it for us?!). Our run spanning back to 2007 at their home ground will continue.

    What team would you go with?

    Score line prediction?

    Suarez or Drax + Reus – Which would you prefer?

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