Time to play Jack in the hole, Ozil and Pod on wings, Rosa and TV as DMs?

Thanks to our midweek friend Anichebe, Arsenal can take a breath again, and approach tonight’s game with a bit more calm. Even if we lose tonight, the gap with the Chavs and Mansour City will/can only be two points, which can still be overcome during the remainder of the season. 

But that is just the mathematician in me. We all know that we need a convincing win tonight to fully revive our believe and hope in our team, and wash away for good that horrible taste of the embarrassing loss on Saturday.

I do not have much time, so I will leave the pre-match tactics to the BK regulars and catch up with you later. 😀

However, I will give you my predicted and my desired line-ups for tonight, as it will be interesting to see whether Wenger will change anything. I am pretty convinced he will not play Arteta and Jack in the DM pivot again, but other than that I reckon he will not change too much.

Predicted Line-Up v Mancs:

Ars v Mancs Predicted

Desired Line-Up v Mancs:

ars v Mancs Desired

Hope our team wins! UTA.


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186 Responses to Time to play Jack in the hole, Ozil and Pod on wings, Rosa and TV as DMs?

  1. Gerry says:

    TA – According to a (Arsenal?) website TV5 is out with a leg injury so dream on with that wishful thinking. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

    I still cannot see the Pod starting either, so with your AW hat on, I guess if JW is fit, he will again be alongside Arteta, and Rosi out to the left. I like Santi on the left as I think he thinks right footed, even if he can use his left. This means when he is on the right he has the whole field of options to pass to with his preferred boot?

    I not sure both OX and Gnabs will be left out though, but for who remains to be seen. Either Santi or Ozil, as both do a similar job, but we need players to match Rosicky when he brings it forwards? So Gnabry in for Santi, and he will sub with Ox for that pair? That would be my AW pick.

  2. Gerry says:

    17 – I am sorry to hear that about Luna. Having her so long she will leave a big hole in your life.

    I may yet have to face that bridge with Em yet. I am in a Twilight zone as to whether she recovers naturally, or it is a tumour that will be fatal … either will show up over the next 6 weeks or so.

    Best wishes for a peaceful end for Luna ..

  3. 17highburyterrace says:

    IMO, TA, that was a perfect preview. This match needs no hype. It’s right up there with the biggest of the big ones (see my link, bottom of the last thread)…Of course, I think you’ve got the line-up just a hair wrong. (JW will play at the expense of Lu-Lu, starting positions hardly matter…) Besides that tiny detail, perfect… 😉

    It’s a must win to validate all the improvement we’ve seen this season. We may not be able to beat the silly money teams in the 3 competitions where Arsenal, Man City and Chelsea remain but we must put the sword to our biggest *traditional* rival. If we can manage to win, we go top of the table and keep them at least the same 9 points out of the Champions League places. It would be 12 if Liverpool (who seemed pretty strong the other day…) beat Fulham…

    Football, however, IS a funny game and there ARE psychological hurdles to leap. We haven’t beaten United for a while now. In fact I had to use “internet research” to augment my ever weakening memory to recall that it was 33 months ago when last we did so, Ramsey scoring the only goal in that one. That was a Cesc/Nasri and RvP/Song ago… We need this victory to show them the new, correct order of things. Things HAVE changed. We no longer sell our best players, in fact, we buy them (Ozil) or grow them ourselves. Amongst the non-steroidal teams in England, Arsenal must use this match to show that we are now the dominant club (and to put Saturday’s drubbing in the rear view)… Interesting, but in doing so, we would actually pop above the Sheik-o-Garchs too, if only for a moment…

    United is a wounded animal and their top players (who maybe cannot carry the rest of the squad in the more hum-drum games) will be up for this one and using it to show they’ve still got it. Robin van Judas has scored against us in each match since his move. Wayne Rooney ended the invincible run and, though of course the English never dive, he has used his barrel chest as a sliding tool many times against us. With fellow hair-transplant wearer, Clattenburg at the whistle, he’s sure to try such “tactics” tonight… (And look for Ashley Young, another “clever” Englishman, to get a start tonight, for similar reasons… Or will Moyes go with the Belgian-or is he English-youth sensation Januzaj?…)

    As such, we need to play with passion but also with wisdom. This Arsenal squad is not built to blow out other teams but rather to control matches with or without the ball. We might crave “a response” akin to what ‘Pool did to us, but I wouldn’t expect it. Instead it’s all about controlling the pitch with possession and shape. We must keep the lines tight and defend at our individual and collective best, while making and taking our chances at the other end… There must be a few other cliches I could trot out here…maybe if I pull another espresso…

    Yeah, no Verm and J-Dub as part of a buzzing MF. Unfortunately our best 11 (when it comes to playing a full 90 or at least a strong 65 mins) more or less picks itself today. Arteta will mostly stay back but the other 4 in MF will move freely so no need to worry about left or right or center starting positions. Poldolski, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gnabry will be the bench options if we’re chasing a result. I agree about Gibbs getting the start ahead of Nacho, but I’d love to see the latter in as a sub to help us see out the victory. Contract talk in the papers worries me, but I expect a huge contribution from Sagna today. In fact I may even have to wear his shirt for this one…

    I don’t see this as a goal-fest, either direction, but, as always, WTF do I know. If it’s tight, embrace the twitchy elements, I say. That’s how football is, a tough game not for the faint of heart. It may be “sold” as entertainment, but for the true supporter it’s something much worse… 😀

    Heads and hands up, tonight, fellow Gooners… We’ve simply GOT to keep the sky from falling… At least until the next one… 😯 🙄 😉 😆

    Hey thanks Gerry and Cockie (from the last one…) re: Luna… Like an old footballer (Arshavin perhaps?) even blind and deaf but full of spirit and love, her legs just won’t carry her any longer… More on that at some point, maybe, you know, if the sky doesn’t fall upon us tonight…

  4. jnyc says:

    TA, even a short post is a good one. My overall feeling is that if we don’t take 3 points, it will be a very bad omen for the rest of the season. Not just mathematically.
    Our team has overachieved so far, and we deserve to be near the top as much as city and Chelsea, but, if we don’t beat an inferior, poor form United, after embarrassing losses to both city and pool, we won’t have much to say to the skeptics. And our schedule only gets more difficult.
    My nightmare is fighting for fourth again. But I truly believe we are much better than that. I want us to go into our big games against city and Chelsea and even bayerne feeling less pressure as the underdogs, but knowing we can beat any team on any given day. Before that, today is business that we need to take care of first. I know that United can still be dangerous, but we should have the confidence to put them away at home.

  5. 17highburyterrace says:

    Oh, a final note. Winning tonight would be a nice up-yours (1 or 2 fingered salute?…) for one Jose Mourinho. We know that he doesn’t care about the title this season, 🙄 but in selling his excess-to-needs Mata (and buying Matic and Salah) to already-played ManU, a calculation was perhaps made that it might help his next club (United) push up and maybe take a couple of points from ManCity and us along the way… Another reason to dig deep, pull out all the stops, etc., etc., etc., tonight and beat these f****rs…

  6. Very nice touch showing what you think will be played and what you would love to play yourself. I still see Jack and Ox playing this one with Rosicky and Poldi coming in for the FA Cup tie on the weekend, but no point dwelling on details as we are so close to the teamsheets being released.

  7. Thanks Totes and I`m on the case for this …”who done it ?”……I`ve narrowed it down to 3 suspects !….1) jgc…..just because he`s a Professor !…….2 & 3…..Stretch and Bond….that sounds like a new repair product for Dominatrix Rubber gear !……because they are accountants ( are there any more on BK ? ). With the help of my fellow BK agents, we will find out who the “mathematician inside you” is !. The bastard wants his Pi and he wants to eat it as well !.

  8. Ahh…Iceman10…..let me also welcome you !. As you can tell, I am the brains and eye candy behind this outfit !.
    You`re not a mathematician by any chance are you ?. hahaha

  9. I don’t want a bunch of these showing up tonight like on Saturday !

  10. This is what I want from our team tonight !. Stretchienidas and his Bounds Green Bubbles !. Awooowa !

  11. Seems like you bastards want to hide behind my Sofa !…….well you can all fcuk off and buy your own Sofa……cheeky bastards !…….. I had to wait ages for a DFS sale to get my one !.

  12. Hey Cockie Monster, nice to meet you sir. We’ll have to keep you a secret here before Ollie nervously starts tinkering with his quiff in an attempt to regain his Mr. Handsome status. Hahaha.

  13. He`s a good looking boy is that Giroud, iceman, but in my company the girls know him as ” Ugly Bastard ! “. hahaha

    I fancy unveiling my new revolutionary formation tonight !……1-9-1……Ugly….I mean Giroud up front, which will mean their goalie and at least 2 defenders in their half, leaving us with 10 players to overrun their 8 players in our half !. Genius !.

  14. Off to prep my Sofa, take the morphine boys !.

  15. Dylan says:

    Arsene whyyyyy? Stop forcing Rosicky out to the wing he never gets to the line.

  16. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ice, ice baby, are you sticking around for some MDC (match day chat)? Cockie’s off to stroke his little bits and hope for the best, but I’m here…Hopefully a few others…

    This is what I’m making for the whole family on this special day…2 whole butts, smoking since before sunrise…



  17. 17highburyterrace says:

    Dylan, Easy with the ageism, son…Dontchaknow that starting positions mean absolutely nothing…

    Chin up, lad… We’re still in this one…

  18. alcide says:

    Hi guys, great comments… All I can say at this stage is that I hope the lads are not as tense as I am! COYG!

  19. Mmmmm 17, that looks a tasty roll ( that’s not a sandwich in this part of the world….philistine ! ).
    I can see now, why Fozzie is into his Porknography !.

  20. Where is the furry Kiwi fruit ?.

  21. Prince says:

    Total, always a champion, and gent….

    Ox is the ace up our sleeve once the starters for manure cop their yellows, injuries, tired legs….etc

    Up in arms to defend our backyard and to show the world, that this Arsenal is a different animal, and we are here to stay ToTL, lets all rise as one and stand by our brothers who fight on the front lines… Lets sing with all our hearts..


    Half the battle is believing…


  22. Dylan says:

    Anyone have a quality stream? Game is nearly unwatchable on tv here!

  23. Let the TCM house and media lock-down begin !.

  24. Prince says:

    Gday cockmuncher, how is you mate? 🙂

  25. Prince says:

    Fc*K OFF Manurefc

  26. alcide says:

    Wow our season flashed in front of me…

  27. Dylan says:

    Haha 17 I’m not ageist! 😉 I just like wingers who can get to the end line on a dribble. I prefer Rosicky in the middle. Game basically unwatchable now.

  28. 17highburyterrace says:

    Oh, Dylan, I’ve got beautiful HD here…Lee Dixon doing commentary too…

    Sicky playing central (of course…)

    Arteta giveaway…WTF!! should’ve been one nil but RvP chokes it straight to Chez…OMG!!! Huge let off… Sir Chez is gonna kick em for a while…

  29. alcide says:

    Almost a repeat of Ö falling on his butt, and bad bad move from Arteta, saved by a poor finish!

  30. Prince says:

    17, Alcide, Dylan…hope your well… im friggin pumped!!

    This is what its all about! ….and almost Jack

  31. 17highburyterrace says:

    Wilshere chance but Smalling blocks it… Giroud open header wide from the corner… Early (gilt-edged) chances at both ends!

  32. alcide says:

    Dammit OG should have scored!

  33. Hey 17, very tasty. Nom nom nom.

    Let off with van Judas missing that chance. Whew.

  34. alcide says:

    Still wondering how RvC missed his chance 🙂

  35. Prince says:

    back to choco legs

  36. 17highburyterrace says:

    Thanks ice, ice…

    Now Kos gives it away! Corner United…and booted into touch…

    Plugs (Clattenburg) will not call much tonight, boys… Settle it down and play, eh?…

  37. 17highburyterrace says:

    Giroud chance from the corner was just as easy… C’mon boys…

    Whoa…BFG playing waaaay up high…Arteta getting towards the box too…Risky business…

  38. alcide says:

    Playing ok so far, good pressing, patient but driving forward when we can.

  39. 17highburyterrace says:

    C’mon boys, settle down…both teams mis-kicking quite a few beyond just the chances…

    RvP whiffs again, trying to flick on Rafael cross…Clearance took some effort too. Nerves all over the pitch, it seems…

  40. Prince says:

    Starting to settle now. Manure happy to park the bus. They cant press like ‘pool for 90min

  41. alcide says:

    Is this the kind of ref that won’t whistle anything until he starts giving out yellows against us?

  42. 17highburyterrace says:

    Clattenburg won’t whistle until he does…and then it could be yellows or reds or pens…He likes to talk to the players…

    RVP goes cross instead of shot…inneresting…sure looked offside to me…

  43. Pretty open game, a type in which we can do well, just need to be careful about balls over the top to their front two.

  44. alcide says:

    Good intentions… But let’s be wary of counter-attacks…

  45. alcide says:

    Agreed iceman

  46. 17highburyterrace says:

    Pitch looks slow (wet, maybe)…

    Sicky tons of touches but no final ball…And again, overhit to Giroud after a big overload on the right…

    United corner well defended…

  47. 17highburyterrace says:

    Vidic gets a whistle climbing Ollie like a ladder… Seems like the pitch is forcing chips, etc. ‘Pool a goal down through….(poor) Kolo Toure…

    Our corner headed wide (again) by the BigFrenchGiroud…Ade puts Totts up on Toon…

  48. Prince says:

    Two headers, neither on target….Girooo, C’mon man

  49. 17highburyterrace says:

    BFG and Sagna letting balls bounce and now United get another corner…taken short, defended again, JW fouled as we try to break…

    The iceman knows his football. Where are you located, Mr. Man?

  50. 17highburyterrace says:

    Oooh, Giroud…Finishing not quite SQ, so far…

    City Sunderland postponed? Will pitch improvements count for or against them in the FFP?…

    Decent break led by Ozil, never saw Giroud. trying to get open…

    FK given after advantage played…

  51. alcide says:

    Time for a header!

  52. Prince says:

    Wilshere has got to be getting more protection from refs in his country, in a world cup year… the tackles on him are getting ludicrous

  53. 17highburyterrace says:

    My hunch, for some reason, is that the ice-fellow is located in SE England…Tweeting is the way forward? I dunno, the short format makes me feel, er… too constrained… 😆

    Corner our way now…Hmmm…

  54. 17highburyterrace says:

    Gibbs head injury…That’s brave, but I would think Santi to Gibbs header will not net often…

  55. AB says:

    Why are we unable to hit the target at least?! Better on the puff, but not much conviction about our quality. At least manure are looking poor, so far. I can’t see them not scoring at some point however given their quality up front. We need to convert some of our opportunities. Statement of the frustrated obvious……

  56. Prince says:

    This looks real bad….

  57. 17highburyterrace says:

    C’mon Jack, gotta stop the giveaways… Nicely pinched by Santi before one of them… More head injuries…Actually Giroud just faking and likely Rafael too after his big fall…

  58. alcide says:

    Bad fall for Rafael…

  59. @17, on the U.S. west coast, trying to see as much as possible while stretching my lunch break. lol. Dunno much about twitter, was a dormant account I had mainly to log into Squawka, but felt convenient for commenting here as opposed to creating a wordpress account.

    Tight game so far. Do wish in these big games we would look to use more width as opposed to allowing stalemates in the centre.

  60. alcide says:

    Good counter… Told you Ö had pace…

  61. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey AB…

    Everybody’s fine…Both team’s need the points so timewasting doesn’t seem good tactics for either…

    Pitch is sooo slow, backpasses to goal are dangerous…Sir Chez might think he could do better, however…Rafael taking stick from Lee Dixon for the cross…

    Decent break there but Santi blocked…

    United doing better, get another corner…

  62. alcide says:

    A few inches missing here and there, but I think we can beat them in the second half.

  63. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ice, where on the West Coast?….I live in the mountains of CA…

    Halftime, Conditions seem too slow for playing on the ground which would seem to favor…United maybe? We’ve got some big guys too, I guess..

  64. alcide says:

    They’ll be dangerous with their counters and ball over the top until the end though

  65. James Bond says:

    3 clear headers on goal – hits the target NADA

    has a decent shot just from outside the box – hits row ZzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZzzz

    the lad is not Arsenal Quality – NB couldn’t do any worse than that, actually he may even hit the target

    step it up lads, and JW and Arteta wake up – positioning against has been questioning

    get the ball quicker to Rosicky and Ozil – Ozil looks like a decent player tonight, one you would pay £42 million to have in your team 🙂

    we are going to win 2-0.

  66. Oh, wow 17, am in SoCal. Must be beautiful where you are this time of year.

  67. TotalArsenal says:

    Welcome Iceman and what a fine name! 🙂

    Nervy, disjointed 45 minutes. Second should be ours. COYG!

  68. AB says:

    Nervy indeed. And no pace from us in attack. Frustrating. We need to convert.

  69. alcide says:

    Fulham leading vs. pool…

  70. alcide says:

    Own goal from Touré :rolleyes

  71. TotalArsenal says:

    Too many centrally gravitating midfielders?

  72. 17highburyterrace says:

    Giroud is poor but van Judas missed the best chance of the half…Slow pitch, nerves…Ozil busting a gut but Jack making turnovers all over the place and not getting plugs (Hair-Hattenberg) on his side…Sicky final balls very poor too…

    Just tough conditions for final balls but also for playing breakaways…

    Pool have leveled through Sturridge…

    Ice, it’s been a very disappointing winter here in Tahoe…Finally got a bunch of rain to make a base up higher… just in time to thwart the golfers and mountain bikers… Warm weather today in the OC (or SD or LA or SB)? Just curious…I grew up in Berkeley 😯 …

  73. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey total…Yeah, maybe…what we really need are balls in the air or maybe somebody for Ollie to knock it towards (Theo, Rambo, Draxler, etc.)…

    Game on, Mata FK should’ve been a goal with Giroud slipping…

    All trains and roads back to Manchester closed according to the announcer…

  74. alcide says:

    Come on get in the box,

  75. 17highburyterrace says:

    C’mon Jack…no more giveaways…

    MFs being given lots of space but we seem to have few ideas…Gibbs loses it on the touchline…C’mon boys…

    Jack still trying to argue with Plugs…to no avail…Ox might have to do it…

  76. Totes, thanks for the welcome sir.

    @17, San Diego County, 10 miles north of the city, not far from Torrey Pines. Pretty much the norm, getting the ocean breeze more than any Santa Ana today I think. Tahoe – lucky devil, what a great place, reminds me of things such as the tranquility of Emerald Bay.

  77. 17highburyterrace says:

    Evra and Sagna have a quiet then heated conversation in a French cafe…Corner conceded and miscommunication between keeper and Giroud…Eventually we get it…Match is moving slowly. Conditions similar to the Chelsea match but more water less wind?…

    That’s several times Arteta has opted to play backwards when it might’ve been easier to keep pressure on…

  78. James Bond says:

    take off jack for OX

    take off santi for Poldi


  79. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sicky trying to run the break but then gives it back with a balloon ball…

    La Jolla isn’t too shabby either, ice(plant)… How about a house-swap? Real estate might be pricier down your way…

    Getting towards the hour mark and people are yawning…

    Even Santi can’t get a call!…

  80. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sicky driving but 1-2 with Ollie is a no go…

    Ozil languid gets a corner…Kos header cleared on the line!

  81. alcide says:

    Kos shows OG how to head a ball… Saved on the line…

  82. 17highburyterrace says:

    Vidic shoves down Ollie! No call, of course…

    Gibbs and Sicky final balls lacking, but at least we’re on the front foot…

    United parking the bus..Better from Gibbs there…

  83. alcide says:

    Ok let’s keep at it…mew will score

  84. Looks like a push may be in the offing, the usual 10-15 minute burst in the second half at the Emirates. Don’t know what was going on earlier after the break, it was like two sides scared of losing.

    17, prolly a trade off with square footage that would make you think twice. lol.

  85. alcide says:

    What do you think, Ox to come in? For Jack?

  86. 17highburyterrace says:

    More Jack giveaways…I wouldn’t harp on them, but they keep happening…Mata from 25 not too dangerous…

    Giroud climbed again by Vidic…Handball by Mata…Taking advantage of the ref who gives nothing? FK wasted…

    Subs, maybe?

  87. James Bond says:

    bitch twitchy timing, nearing

  88. Talking about subs, even I can feel the second guessing AW would be torn with, as in the game at the Emirates against Chelsea. I feel we have the players, just not the execution so far.

  89. 17highburyterrace says:

    Dorms at UCSD, Ice? Yeah, I might be a little old for that…That Cockie fellow might take you up on it, enjoying the SoCal girls in their beachwear, as I’m sure would…

    Total, is this gonna be another no sub situation to claim the point?

    Bit of pressure but crosses not coming off…Geez, no whistles at all, not even for England’s #10, center of a scrum…

  90. AB says:

    Oz off and Pod on? Not sure Ox is the one. We shall see

  91. 17highburyterrace says:

    Jack gets a call and draws a yellow…

    FK again comes to nothing… Young kids to come on? Sicky shot silly as Mata’s and both get yanked for the kids…

  92. alcide says:

    Ox for TR it is!

  93. Ox! Makes sense, their full backs aren’t that great.

    Not far off 17, LJ village

  94. AB says:

    Don’t really get Ros coming off – he had offered plenty of drive. Conserving him for next week perhaps? Come on Ox – pace at least…. Don’t like them bringing Januz on – more threat than Mata I think

  95. 17highburyterrace says:

    I dunno, AB, Ozil seems our best player by a ways…Seems like you would take off Santi if you want Lu-lu…

    Ox gets past JJ but not Evra…

  96. alcide says:

    Dammit…cross goes untouched, a few inches short from OG

  97. AB says:


  98. 17highburyterrace says:

    Giroud misses a sitter from Sagna…Just like in the match in Manchester…

  99. That was the match. At least I didn’t have to see the trademark look of hands in face. Better movement though.

  100. alcide says:

    Ö brings a lot of pace, but it feels like others are trailing a bit behind

  101. Prince says:

    earnt your cheQue WS

  102. 17highburyterrace says:

    Pure quality from RvP and Rooney and SZCZESNY!!!!

  103. alcide says:

    Superb, and I mean superb save from Szescny!

  104. AB says:

    Oz getting lots of touches; but threat? Not so sure. Time for a shot from the edge of the box – Caz or Pod. At least pool down again. Christ – RVJ won’t give us many more let offs!

  105. Prince says:

    World class SQ save

  106. alcide says:

    Jacke needs to come off… No juice left!

  107. 17highburyterrace says:

    Diving Ashley to come in…Ooh Fulham get a 2nd across town…

  108. davydavy says:

    Agree – Jack to come off and Sanogo to make a spectacular home debut!

  109. James Bond says:

    bitch twitchy time.

  110. 17highburyterrace says:

    Gotta move Ox or Santi central and bring in Poldi and go for the win OR take Santi off and bring in Nacho for the draw. One sub translates to no faith in our depth…

    De Gea saves from Santi!…

  111. alcide says:

    Great play, so close…

  112. davydavy says:

    Nacho for Jack, Sanogo for OG – that’ll do it!

  113. Prince says:

    bring on POLDI

  114. 17highburyterrace says:

    Big spot for Yaya S…would surely mean the end for Poldolski, no?

    Looks like were gonna finish with this group…12 men played…:shakes head:

    Santi fouled… FK given…Ozil to take

  115. 17highburyterrace says:

    Walled… 😦

    Yep, Lu-lu might’ve done better…DeGea saves from Santi again…

  116. Good point about faith in depth, the limbo with Poldi must be resolved one way or the other by the end of this season.

  117. 17highburyterrace says:

    Looks like we’re gonna take our point here…I hope…

    Nil-nil, indeed…And the boos rain down…Sky is falling, sky is falling…Ugh…TV coverage goes straight to Fulham (now 2-2)…

  118. alcide says:


  119. James Bond says:

    Wenger OUT ? 👿

  120. macko says:

    your JW is a big shit with giroud !!!!!!!!!!!! is the shame

  121. Prince says:

    The ballet would have been a better option for entertainment….. Still, we were dull, and lacked creativity…no player on that pitch looked hungry, although de Gea could do with a couple of steaks…. Balls out of our court, but the season is still in marathon mode….We need to start a ‘winning’ run soon….. Catch ya all laterZ

  122. TotalArsenal says:

    Macko, what is twat in French?!

  123. macko says:

    where is Gnarby , i want see Sanogo et podolski on the left

  124. 17highburyterrace says:

    Lulu prolly starts on Sunday but his Arsenal (and Germany) career is over unless he does something special in the Bayern matches…

    The fans will hate this one, but we survive to fight another day. Two RvP strikes saved by SirChez was all they could muster. 2 saves from one Spaniard to the other plus a header off the line was it for us…Both teams are poor, in truth, but conditions maybe stopped a(nother) decent match…

    OK, let the frustrations fly…Gotta go pet on my love, er, strike that, reverse it… 😀

  125. alcide says:

    I thought we had a good performance, ManU not taking any chances and just playing to hit us on the counter, but there was room in the second half. The diagnosis is the same though, we are thoroughly lacking pace and width, Rambo and Theo are really missing, it’s quite apparent whenever Özil runs forward, head up, looking for opportunities, but there’s only Slow OG surrounded by CBs, and the rest of the team running behind, losing ground.

    Pool still tied 2-2?

  126. alcide says:

    Difficult one to translate TA, and I can only think of harsh words 😉

  127. AB says:

    Frustrating. Feels like it was there for us, but we played within ourselves, and could not make our chances count. Will feel better on 48 hours. Yesterday I said I would take a point tonight and a win over pool at the weekend. But manure offered nothing tonight and we still couldn’t take advantage. We look tired, which is worrying given all the games to come. We are missing Ramsey and Walcott big time. I don’t understand why we are not making use of Pod – not as an alternative to Gir, but behind or on the left. Too many of our touch players are either not yet fit from injury or looking exhausted.

  128. alcide says:

    I must say (re: OG) that NB would have nailed one or two headers 🙂

  129. AB says:

    And now bloody penalty to Liverpool!

  130. James Bond says:

    we lost to pool 5-1 and drew with man utd 0-0 at home

    we lost to man city 6-3, then drew with chelsea 0-0 at home – and then how many games did we end up winning and going on an unbeaten run ? I feel sorry for liverpool and Bayern Munich already.

    Macko, It’s AW’s decisions , nothing to do with the players – if they are under performing,he can use the power bestowed and at his mercy.

  131. 17highburyterrace says:

    et Hayden en MF, non? Quelle Frooscracion, Merde! et Duble Merde

    Pardon my French. Dejala, Dejala todas in Spanish, tal vez…

    Pool given a pen! Well won by diving Sturridge…

  132. @alcide, it was the performance of a team that will end up top 3, but not that of a team seizing on opportunity. I’m ok with that for this season, but we really need to work on the rut we get into in games such as this in which the opposition can shepherd us into the middle where things get clogged up because we lack a bit out wide.

  133. proudgooner says:

    I don’t understand the boo’s at all, fustraighting not to win. I was nervous in the last 10 mins because with rvp and rooney 1 good chance and we could easy lose.
    Who is saying Wenger out JB?
    1 point of the totl.

  134. James Bond says:

    3-2 to liverpool

    only 3 points behind Arsenal.

    and Glic’s said it all along, Liverpool were genuine title contenders according to him – all hail the cockie monster !

  135. 17highburyterrace says:

    Well done 007, Gotta keep perspective… and with Spurs winning big and Pool winning late, the point is worse for United… Let’s remember that rampant ManCity got 1 out of 6 points vs Chelsea and at Norwich 😯

    Conditions hopefully better for our upcoming matches…

    Giroud (same as Bendtner, but nobody remembers…) is big but not much really in the air…

    Should’ve bought Berbs or Benteke… Bent not bad here in injury time, either!

  136. AB says:

    Iceman. Agreed, we look top 3 – disciplined but not showing real flair or risk-taking ambition. We can’t complain too much – this is real progress when we look at the season. But it feels so close to something that much more special, but a fraction out of reach it seems….

  137. TotalArsenal says:

    Both teams looked nervous and draw is fair result. I am happy with the point.

    Our team clearly still had the big loss against Pool in their heads….

  138. alcide says:

    Agreed AB, and also puzzled we didn’t make another sub or 2, if only for fresh legs. Jack did misplace a few too many passes, but worked hard, I think was disciplined, and was knackered towards the end, as was OG. Bayern is going to be TOUGH.

    The next person however that says Özil is lazy earns my disrespect.

  139. James Bond says:

    was being sarcastic @ PG – hence the evil smiley.

    we should have won that game , giroud lost us 3 points and Sczny won us 3 points – big up to Sczny, he is starting to prove me wrong and if he doesn’t gift 3 goals against BM next wednesday then I will consider reversing my stance on him.

    that is it @ 17HT – it’s a marathon and not a sprint

  140. Xavier says:

    I didn’t think we did badly. I’m putting the blame for this one on wenger though. However much I hate to admit it (I’m a big wenger fan) he’s the cause of our problems right here.

    How??? Well… Transfer window.

    What we really lacked today was someone who runs behind the full backs and centre backs. Giroud is not that guy. I’da actually preferred a gnabry sub because he’s the closest we have to that. Once we lost Walcott, a Walcott replacement should have been a priority. Even if on loan. Hell, especially on loan.

    I don’t know how I feel right now about this game. Trying to be objective but ….. *sigh*

    Goodnight y’all. I think I’ll just sleep this one off.

  141. proudgooner says:

    lol JB, dont lol
    We deserved to win that game for sure. Liverpool at hame in the fa cup on Sunday now.
    We are right there in the mix, what a tight title race this season

  142. James Bond says:

    actually, we have a brainless player aka Flamini who has cost us much much more than just missing 3 games.

    even though I’m harsh but I feel that you will see how much of a difference he makes to our team when we play on sunday and wednesday.

    come on Flam’s, be a bit more street wise and no more needless bookings please.

    am out now, laters everyone.

  143. alcide says:

    I agree iceman, my “good performance” was no more than 3rd or 4th place-worth, but was made in opposition to the boos heard (I’m more of a ‘you’ll never walk alone’ type of fan). Agreed with TA too, I will go even further that we were right not to push too much and risk a loss (did you see Jack stopping Kos from pushing forward?).

  144. @Alcide, yes, booing by fans is not on. I know when confronting some of them on this they talk about ticket prices, but they have to realise the potential closed loop of iffy performance —> boos / fans getting on the team and manager’s back —-> worse performance —> —–>

  145. proudgooner says:

    Postives, i thought Ozil was good tonight, he is looking like his is back on best form. Even more pleasing though was that way him and Cazorla linked up tonight for me.

  146. alcide says:

    JB, I love how you’re harsh with the team before games, and full of optimism after sub par results. Glad too that Szczesny is good enough to make you change your mind (perhaps). Yep, Flamini will free us up a bit! And he better, because I’m holding a big grudge right now!

    We’re gonna have to go on a damn good run at some point though… We’re fighting for 3rd, or even fourth otherwise. I hope Rambo will hit the ground running when back…

  147. proudgooner says:

    I think Wenger should play Podolski though the middle more again, 1 bad game there does not mean give up on it. He can do a good job there i am sure. Giroud with a couple of games on the bench wont hurt. I am not saying for the next couple of games , but maybe and after them defo.

  148. James Bond says:

    I’m not harsh on the team, I just have high expectations because I know what they are capable off , if they play with the “hand brake off ” – but look, if we don’t get the desired results, then that doesn’t mean we line them up and hurl abuse at them or shoot them – I have learned to mellow down – it’s a game of football at the end of the day and after sub par results, we have to accept them the way they are.

    I have given up on AW ever being a proactive or creative manager – it’s just not in his nature to A – go for the kill and B- take it upon himself to make decisions that 9 out of 10 managers , normally would in such situations.

    so why waste energy on the impossible ? we got ourselves a point – we forget about the PL and concentrate on the cup competitions now and if he doesn’t play Poldi vs Liverpool then he has created another Arshavin.

  149. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hahaha…Computer died there and had to reboot…Just enough time to pull off a little BBQ for me and my girl…

    Wenger lack of subs suggests zero confidence in Poldolski and not wanting to anger the crowd by bringing in Nacho to seal the deal. Wilshere was well bossed in MF, mostly by Carrick but will improve if he can stay fit. Cleverly, on the other hand doesn’t seem “ManU quality.”

    None of the top teams are true quality–Personnel plus a good spirit/system. Chelsea still favorites to with the league by strangling it. We’ll be in if we can draw with them and beat City. Ice, ice baby where have you been all my life?…The closed loop stuff is good stuff re: the home fans. Now I’m convinced you work at Scripps…. 😀 Entertainment = feeling good = winning (and winning big), that’s what the big money is supposed to buy. We’ll get better support for the cheaper (B grade) match on Sunday… (That’s my equation, but math wasn’t my strong point…)

    We’re done playing United, done playing So’ton, done playing ‘Pool…Still have to go to Totts and Everton, however…

    Also, I was only goofing about buying those guys whose names start with a B… That guy Salah looks a player, even if he was on when Chavs got leveled yesterday…

    One thing to note…RvP had his chances saved but better attackers are making trouble for the likes of Arteta and Mert. Agreed with 007–on the bigger sense of perspective–and that we’ll do better with Flamini back in the fold…Still, squad is very thin and it would be nice if some players (beyond the 12 who played tonight) step up in the Sunday match…Are Ramsey and Vermaelen done for the year…Sort of seems like it, eh…

  150. proudgooner says:

    I am starting to fear the worst for Podolski, , We have a German international Leftwinger just sitting there doing nothing, when him and Gnabry would have been great today, i fear losing Pod now

  151. proudgooner says:

    Cheer up lads its not all doom and gloom.
    I know i feel like shit about tonight’s result too, but you just knew that if united were going to have a half decent game lately then it would be against us. They are our bogey team.
    I would love to see us win the FA cup, so beating LFC on Sunday would be a very good result and needed.
    COYG ogaat

  152. alcide says:

    Bendtner has a minutes played to goal ratio second to none this year, why not give him his 10 minutes, with fresh legs, when OG is so tired he wouldn’t outrun Per? As for Pod, I really don’t know what’s going on…

  153. Terrible result, my predicted ten game(EPL) torture streak(ending with Everton away) is all correct so far !. Palace 3 points…Liverscum 0 points and Manshafter Std 1 point !. Next up Sunderland (H, EPL ) 3 points !, but with Spuds, Chavs and Everton away and Mansour City home amongst the next seven….I predict max` 3 points from those particular games !. The way Spuds and `pool are playing, it looks like my 5th or 6th place is a possibility !.
    To take the burden of depression off my BK Bastardildos, you can blame my like for like Chart of Doom or my jinxy recording`s on BT Sport which we never win and I`ve got the Liverscum FAC game on record @ Sunday !. hahaha

    PS…….still minus 2 points ! CoD ( Chart of Doom ) hahaha

    PPS………if I didn`t laugh (hahaha), I`d fcuking cry !.

  154. AB says:

    A curious set of emotions and thoughts. Yes, we have missed Flam recently – his card has probably cost us points. But would he have added much tonight? I’m not sure – our problem was lack of edge. Giroud looks like his confidence has dropped again. We lack pace, with Walcott in particular missed. But we also don’t seem to have confidence in the alternatives – youth, Gnab or experience, Pod. I confess I don’t understand how we have ended up playing out a nil nil home draw, using only 1 sub, and dominating possession, with a fit top international striker sat on the bench??? (I wasn’t referring to Bendtner by the way!).

    I don’t share the views that the TW was the problem – buying talent from overseas is a lottery in-season. But we have not backed/used the talent that we already have available. I wish we had a better sight into what goes on behind the scenes and the politics between players and the manager.

    If other results had turned out different I think we would be more sanguine about this evening, but with pool picking up the points late, and spuds continuing to turn over flaky opposition, it does feel like we are slipping back into a larger pool rather than keeping within a front 3. All the top 5 have realistic CL expectations at this point.

  155. Admir says:

    So, it will be a last-minute-fight for the fourth-place-trophy again. Last time we had a world-class striker we won the third-place-trophy.

    The worst Manure in 20 years managed to take 4 points and keep two clean sheets against us. I wrote once that Giroud reminds me of Kanu – he is a likeable striker but not the one that wins you trophies. I have written on football related topics for twelve years and I’ve never written more words in the defence of any player than I have for Giroud. Unfortunately, the only remaining defence is to not write about him at all. If he is going to be our main striker next year, we can buy a time-machine and sign Zidane from 1998 but we won’t win anything.

    I mean, nobody can persuade me to believe that Liverpool are better than us but unlike us, they have a world-class striker and a manager that played a hard-ball when their rivals came after him.

    Oh, I forgot that we have a finisher on the bench, the one that our stubborn manager kept on the bench tonight, but he wasn’t brought in.

    There is a ray of light though. In 2005-06 we lost to Manure away 1:0 and drew at home 0:0. But, we had managed to beat Real Madrid, Juventus and Villarreal respectively to reach the Champions’ League Final before we lost to Barcelona.

  156. proudgooner says:

    Thanks Cockie i needed cheering up. 🙂

  157. alcide says:

    Nicely put Admir. I will try to defend him a bit (not for missing free headers though). He is being asked to play back to the goal, to put back the ball to running attackers, do little flicks etc, he’s systematically carrying a CB on his back/shoulders, and surrounded by 2 other defenders. I’m saying he is asked, because that is Not how he played before – in his top scorer French season, he scored (with his feet, only one header if I remember well) rushing in for crosses, or making runs towards goal and shooting from through balls or forward going passes, using his strength rather than pace (obviously). I’m almost saying he is asked to play for the team, not so much to score, perhaps expecting the goal scoring to be shared across the team. He also certainly didn’t work as much as he does now, including to be on the receiving end of throw-ins even when in our side.

  158. Sorry PG !.
    On the predictable good side, our last 5 games are relatively easy !. On the predictable bad side…..it will be all over by then !. Then we will have a Summer of World Cup football more worried about our players getting injured than who wins the WC and 1000`s of Transfer rumours, only to be disappointed yet again with some more bollox coming out of Wenger`s mouth possibly about ” we already have quality”, “I believe in this group of players “and “mental strength ! “.

  159. alcide says:

    I noticed quite a few times today when he was given the ball in the back to gaol, surrounded situation, but no more than one obvious runner, the flick on becoming a dead obvious giveaway. We’re missing movement and pace compared to the beginning of the season.

  160. TotalArsenal says:

    Spot on Alcide. Giroud could have done better, but it’s our midfielders who have not been dangerous enough, especially Cazorla, Rosicky and Ozil. Cazorla’s shots are predictable and on the second one (saved by he wolf) he should have passed Ox in.

    I am desperate to play Jack in the hole, give Ozil the free role on the wing and play a proper winger on the other side (Gnabry will do for now). There were too many CAMs in this team tonight.

    I thought our FBs were very good today though, especially Gibser.

  161. alcide says:

    TCM (my friend :p) you should make us a CoD for the other teams too! Liverpool also have a tough fixture list ahead of them – although mostly receiving, staggered in time, and no CL, and only one cup game left 🙂 points will be lost by them or Chelsea, City, Spurs in those games, and they also have ManU away, Southampton Away… It’s far from over. Spurs have a tough march (Chelsea away, us and So’ton home, Pool away). Chelsea have the easiest run… Well have to beat them on their turf.

  162. This point about movement and pace is a little confusing as for most of the first half of the season we had Theo/Ox/Poldi out (as well as Cazorla for a while) and ended up playing Jack, Aaron, and Rosicky quite often on the flanks. During that time though we had Ramsey, Flamini, and Gibbs all playing at or near the top of their game. No one was complaining much about Giroud either while he managed to add a few goals and assists.

    It’s slightly baffling to be honest. Jadedness may play a role, which circles back to squad depth and rotation; and maybe jadedness does affect movement as a whole. We are not quite unlocking the potential foreseen in the Ozil-Cazorla combo either. Am positive moving forwards though, we need a top striker to spearhead this team.

  163. TotalArsenal says:

    Also thought that Arteta had a far better game, despite his early horror moment. Jack had a mixed game, but that is mainly because he’s played too deep IMO.

  164. TotalArsenal says:

    Too deep with Arteta as partner…. With Flamini he plays a lot better in thr B2B role.

  165. TotalArsenal says:

    Good points Iceman. James was right earlier: the return of Flamini should make a big difference.

  166. alcide says:

    Iceman, maybe pace is too restrictive a word. I think Rambo makes a huge difference with his constant running. His engine allows for a high volume of play, constant movement that creates space and opportunities for himself or others. On turnovers, you will always find him bombing forward *in line with or ahead* of the trailing line of defenders. Every single time we start a counter these days, someone ends up having to stop the ball, wait, and pass the ball backwards…

    I also think Flamini frees our AMs a bit more, I totally agree with TA. Even Arteta is better with Flam.

    TA, Jack strikes me as a “sprinter” type, short anaerobic bursts, and I assume the deep defending role, requiring constant running, high mileage is not perfectly suited to his muscle capacity, and negatively impact his best physical ability – getting ahead/past players in a tight spot. You could see how he couldn’t accelerate in the last 20 minutes, he tried but couldn’t. Flamini does allow him to keep within aerobic parameters.

    Allright, off to bed (a bit disappointed by the result dammit).

  167. alcide says:

    Iceman, indeed it’s hard not to think a top, mobile striker and/or Theo would be lethal with the AMs we have at our disposal.

  168. @alcide, totally agree. Night.

  169. TotalArsenal says:

    Am off to bed as well. Night all.

  170. 17highburyterrace says:

    Oh man, missed everybody (maybe) picking up the kid and doing a couple of errands… With the exception of ever-glum and always excitable Cockie, the gloom and doom are within reasonable bounds.

    Giroud is working hard for the team but if he could just make the plays that little touch better what a player he could be. IMO it’s all about getting his feet right and getting where he needs to be more quickly–cutting down his stride and getting TO the ball…Very frustrating to watch but I’m sure it’s tougher than it seems… If only Bendtner (and maybe Poldolski) worked as hard…They might get some minutes. My hunch is Giroud gets completely rested for Sunday and those two, plus Sanogo all play. Thin as we are, Ollie probably has to suit up…

    You can blame the manager all you like but if you lose your two out of three of your best threats on goal it’s gonna be trouble. Early season Rambo covered for Theo and then Theo was covering for the early part of Ramsey’s injury. Neither will play in Brazil so maybe they can be good and ready come August… Who looks that far ahead? (Well, Admir did…) and the tough matches are coming thick and fast and if you cannot score the best you can do is draw…The very last thing we need btw in the next match is a draw and a replay at Anfield… It does beg the question about not buying in January. If you don’t get value for money however and get stuck with a player it only slows the long-term progress down. Does Arsenal want to be the next team loaning out a Victor Moses or Scott Sinclair? No, probably not, but at the same time is painful to feel the present has (once again) been sacrificed for the future. Maybe that tanking (but probably safe…) Newcastle team had some talent (beyond Cabaye) we should’ve picked over last month…

    Agreed that Arteta made fewer turnovers and generally played better than JW but he was extremely lucky that RvP didn’t put us in the hole early. Gibbs and Sagna looked good because crosses were likely the only way to score on the wet pitch and they threw some decent ones in. By comparison, lofted balls from Rosicky at the end of many a decent dribble or drive, were really poor. Credit to United’s defense for doing enough and blocking a lot of stuff at the point (or De Gea when they got through). How Vidic didn’t get a yellow is somewhat mystifying. We seemed to have them well handled at corners and set-pieces but either headed wide (Ollie) or got unlucky with a guy on the post (Kos).

    The result is disappointing and with the lack of subs, the changes must be coming for Sunday. I can picture 8–Fabianski, Jenks, Nacho, Flamini, Ox, Poldi, Bendtner and Gnabry. Somebody has to stay in (besides the two CBs) and I think it could be Messy or (maybe) Arteta. Is this (even remotely) realistic? Probably not, meaning that some others (Jack, Santi?) have to go another hour+ (and avoid getting hurt…) again before taking on Bayern in midweek. Does the German team play another easy league match on a Friday night? Are their 2nd 11 the 2nd best in Germany? It doesn’t quite seem fair, does it?…

    But that’s next week. For me the sky is still up there, even if others feel compelled to announce it’s collapse tonight… Night, night…

  171. macko says:

    How can you say that Giroud much work for the team??? To Jack Wilshere made ​​a good match???
    Little question you already play football in your life??
    AND I said özil is not at all a happily pretending it is!! In his first season he debrouille even very well ……..
    Be objective we lack precision in our passes and especially before! Giroud we could play without it would be the same result ……

  172. macko says:

    sorry this is my last post I’m tired of not making myself understood normally……
    I will continue to read, BYE

  173. Admir says:

    Very, very nice comment, 17.

    When you mentioned Gnabry… Let’s see a few things:

    -we need pace and width;
    -we have one of the biggest talents in Europe on that position;
    -Liverpool have used their teenager Sterling very successfully;
    -Manure’s best player this term is a teenager – Adnan Januzaj;
    -Southampton’s Luke Shaw has been excellent for a while…

    Why we haven’t used Gnabry more? He would give more options to Özil, open more space required for Giroud’s heavy touch in the box and possibly send a few crosses into the box for The BFF.

  174. 17highburyterrace says:

    Admir, I’m not one to get too down on the manager but if he doesn’t trust guys like Gnabry or Poldolski in tight spots it does a bit of a disservice to the notion of squad depth. I guess some could argue that you risk wrecking continuity but guys looked awfully tired out there, notably Jack and Giroud. If the goal is to hold down the nil-nil result, why not bring in Nacho to play ahead of Gibbs or (if he was available, and I think he was for the Chelsea match, bring in a 3rd CB in Vermaelen)… There’s a nervousness there almost to the point of clouded thinking and an effort to not upset both the game and the crowd. Using 14 guys over the course of the match has to be easier in terms of total effort than using 11 or 12 even if Total argued (strongly) that doing so in that Chelsea match was critical. Very curious what our fearless leader thought about the single sub tonight…

    That being said, a point at home in both matches (both marred by poor playing conditions) doesn’t kill us, even if the paying crowd leaves with spirits somewhat dented. Losing would have been really bad and we’re still just a point off the top, even if it’s likely to knock us to 3rd. United are now 11 pts off 4th. They get a rest in the FA cup but have to play CL midweek matches… Seems a big ask…

    Our effort in MF was heavily thwarted by the conditions so I’ll say we missed Theo more than Ramsey, in a competition that I fear will go back and forth for the rest of the season. (I wish we were getting more actual info from the physio room staff…) People have a lot of optimism about the guys who don’t get played but we lack information on that front too. Is Poldi fully fit? If so, even worse (for him)…IMO, it gets a little silly when people start talking about going from the reserves or U18s (or whatever) straight into the team. Gnabry has been successful in first team play, however, and that left side of United’s (Smalling, Evra, Cleverly) looked pretty weak so maybe Dylan (and others) had a point about not using somebody out there who wants to roam freely (Rosicky). Bad as Giroud might be, Serge won’t get as many knock downs (or otherwise held up balls) from the likes of Poldolski or Bendtner so maybe that was a missed trick not putting him in the (somewhat unique) “Theo role” on the right, at least as a sub. Ox had one nice move getting past Januzaj but then getting stopped by Evra. Ox on for Jack I thought would be the move…(and Jack should thank Szcz for saving his bacon on his final egregious turnover…) Somehow we need a bit more threat on the break beyond (lumbering) Ollie… Surely Sanogo will only come on as a sub, if at all, on Sunday and, in the tiny bit I’ve seen of him, running doesn’t appear his main strength…He and Bendy (and 4 others) only made up numbers tonight… 🙄

    Nonetheless, I still think it’s premature to throw the towel in on the team, the club, the season, the manager or the 5 man buzzing (interchanging?) MF. It was probably not the right approach for the conditions but it was the only way to get a reasonably mature group out there from the start. With Flams, other options might be available, and it might have a chance vs Bayern, where a nil-nil would be a great result. First things first and the tricky rotation against ‘Pool, another match I think we need to win more for psychological than practical reasons. Losing it would avoid a replay (at Anfield) but would also embolden Pool waaaay too much at our expense. I thought tonight’s was the “must-win” and “most critical” but, like they say, the next one is ALWAYS the most important… 😀

  175. Xavier says:

    As much as everyone complains about girouds lack of goals and some laud his work rate, in the current system we play, I don’t think Giroud is to blame for anything. It’s frustrating to watch sometimes, but it’s what we have to live with.
    Gerry understands my position on this. As long as what we have on the pitch are midfielders, you can’t really expect too many goal threats from giro. I believe Giroud plays better off wingers than midfielders.

    Anyways, I’ll also like to see Sanogo play. While he may not be the fastest, I don’t think he has issues when the ball is played into his feet. Girouds feet seem confused at times. Bendtner will start this weekend. And poldi. Arsenal will win. Although none if them will start on Tuesday.

    I woulda brought in the Ox for jack (who I thought gave the ball away too much) and gnabry for Mozart. Wenger needs to learn to stop playing it safe sometimes and just take a gamble. These kids may not be experienced but they are unpredictable. And where do you want then to gain that experience anyways?? Playing u-21’s and training with the senior team??

    Well.. OGAAT and now Liverpool comes to the home of football. We can do this. COYG!!!

  176. Gerry says:

    Yes, HT, a slightly more tempered responses this time around. Disappointing result, nevertheless.

    I can understand the lack of subs being used, IF, it is with a thought as to the Sunday game? But by running JW into the ground only says one thing, he will be kept back for Bayern – who were having there own little 5-0 rampage, just to show their well being? I cannot see that bit of history being repeated somehow?

    AB has pointed out that we do not know the true picture regarding who is carrying an injury. We had a hint from AW that Vermaelin was not fit, which later was given as a vague ‘leg’ injury. I’m not sure about Podolski, but in a game where you are trying to stop them countering, he is not pacy enough for that. He will get his turn when we can play him higher up the pitch.

    I thought the last twenty minutes Ozil showed exactly what his problem is, and it is not him being frail, a mirage, lazy, or whatever the media want to label him with. It isn’t even the pace of the EPL that is different to his RM days, although that is a factor. He needs space, but more importantly, his team mates need space. Once the game opens up, as long as the rest aren’t knackered, he comes into his own. Last night, Ox for JW was a good call, but on the hour mark. Alcide has probably got it spot on with his short run style, which also fit in with TA’s view of having him higher up the pitch? The trouble is, take him out of the B2B role, we look vulnerable at the back. Mind, his concentration had gone by this point last night, but looking along the bench, the best option might have been Jenks or Monreal, and pushed Ox forwards in place of Cazorla or TR7? At least then there would have been somebody apart from Gibbs who was capable of going forwards with Ozil, and Ox does have goals in him?

    TA is right, there were too many trying to batter their way through the middle. I did offer the though beforehand that Ozil and Santi both do similar jobs, so one could go when we added Rosicky? Two other things that Ox is is good at, crisply hit corners, and nicely placed crossfield balls to switch play. He came on too late to be effective down that wing, but is another candidate to play ahead of Flamini in the pivot role?

    I have seen next to nothing of Sanogo in play, but I am pretty sure he was only window dressing on the bench last night. I keep saying, he is for next season. He has just got back from a long lay off. played in the Under 21’s, and probably needs a few more outings at that level, and score a couple of goals before he sets foot in the first team equation? He looks a strong individual, but he hast to have more time to develop that core strength that will see him finally show what he is capable of? So a bit like Zelalem, he is being given encouragement to keep him to push himself along, although the latter looks to be closer?

    The big question now is how do we face a very confident Liverpool with virtually the same set of players that got thrashed last time? Hopefully, not with the same tactics as last night? It was only because Man U sat so deep early on, meant we pressed them in their half, but that was with everybody except Per and Kos … and that was our undoing at Anfield? Flamini will make a difference, but we simply cannot let our backs run so far up the pitch with their pace. So, I am hoping Gnabry is fit and has been just kept back for this game. I hope Rosicky is up for doing it all over again. I hope AW can choose between Ozil and Cazorla in the starting line up. And I hope he can also see when somebody has lost it, get them off early.

    So, no more naval gazing. Move on. Getting to be amongst the last eight of the FA Cup might just define our season?

  177. TotalArsenal says:

    Macko, you always say the same and usually you come on after we dropped points. You are very well understood but I am getting tired with your snide, negative comments towards the same players time and again. Try to understand that football is a team sport and individual performances are influenced heavily by positions players are in and how the team as a whole performs.

  178. AFC says:

    Hi guys 🙂

    Disappointing match and disappointing result. I am wondering how many more points we can afford to drop before we fall out of the title race. It is getting kind of ridiculous that we cannot beat City, Chelsea or a very poor United team. It’s pointless trying to put it down to injuries as all of the teams in the Prem have/had injuries to key players. I have my view on certain players in the team which I will not go into for obvious reasons. Bendtner could have made a difference in my opinion and we need to get him playing more minutes. Youth players could offer us the element of surprise in the league and could be useful but I do not see Wenger going for it. Fans have the right to boo their club in my opinion but that is a debate for another day.

    Let’s just hope we can start winning matches again very soon and hopefully win a trophy this year. 🙂

  179. macko says:

    TotalArsenal must warn people if you want them to write what you want I thought this was a open website this is my opinion if you do not like it much the worse for you, For the story a team is a mechanical Any time a piece is broken or deform the machine is broken 😉
    good continuation up to you.

  180. Alcide says:


    All TA is saying, is that you come on every time we have a bad performance, and repeat the same negative, snide comments with hardly any further arguments. or recognition for other’s arguments, so that is tiring – people used to respond to you, but they are not going to if you keep to the same one-liners. You say we haven’t played football (in a rather condescending manner), your last remark would make one wonder if you played any team sport to any half decent level.

  181. alcide says:

    AFC, I don’t think we can drop many more points against the top teams (or lower ones for that matter).

    I still think however that we have been worse off than any team with injuries (we’ve topped the #s since the beginning of the season), and it’s key players that have been out (Theo, Rambo, Santi, Jack), with our 2 best attacking threats (save OG) currently out at the worse moment fixture wise. Whether that is bad luck (certainly from a timing perspective) or due to bad medical team/bad rotation is another story though.

    I fully agree on Bendtner, goal-wise, he’s been effective, and efficient the few minutes he was subbed-on, and I don’t think he was a major step down from OG in those occasions. If anything, OG would surely benefit from playing a few minutes left every game.

    Serge has been great, and can offer width, pace and directness, but he also has shown limitations (can’t remember which game that was) – I think it’s not as easy for a youngster to blend instantly into our team and to be consistent, Pool’s style I think makes it easier for the Sterlings of the world. I’m sure Serge will be used again though.

  182. Admir says:

    How about Oxlade-Chamberlain as a false nine? Giroud looks like Chamakh did in the second half of 2010-11 – the best word to describe would be “spent”.

    I agree that Serge has been poor sometimes (e.g. vs Stoke) but he would have offered us width last night.

  183. alcide says:

    Yep, I was surprised that he wasn’t on the bench, and both Yaya and NB were. Injury?

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