Ozil’s Silver Service Goes to Waste: Arsenal – MU Afterthoughts

Happiness and expectations are closely linked. Cockie Monster, BK’s nutcase blogger formerly known as GLIC, desperately sticks to low expectations in order to secure a permanent level of low, stable happiness. At the other end of the scale is the uber-optimist James Bond, who almost continuously adorns the site with his high hopes and expectations. Both approaches to Arsenalโ€™s future performances and achievements have their merit, and we are lucky to have them blogging on BK. Variety is the spice of life after all. ๐Ÿ˜€

With thanks to Voetbal International for picture.

With thanks to Voetbal International for picture.

My expectation for last nightโ€™s match was a draw. It was clear that both teams wanted a win but, above all, were keen to avoid defeat. In my view, a point for us was a far better outcome than a point for the Mancs. They now have an almost impossible climb to make in order to reach the top four, especially with Pool winning three vital points against Fulham – the team who took two points away from the Mancs themselves, just a few days ago.

The general view is that the current Manure team is a weak one and that we should have beaten them yesterday. The (pathetic) booing by the Arsenal fans at the end of the game is evidence of this; itโ€™s an indication of how low our toughest rivals in recent history have fallen under Moyes.

Arsene knows that his team has a lot of resilience and is the best of all the โ€˜big teamsโ€™ in winning points against the โ€˜weakerโ€™ ones. As long as we stay close to both Oiler teams we have a chance to win the league.

It is clear ย that we do not have a team currently with the belief and/or qualities to beat the bigger teams in the league. Five points from eighteen against Pool, Chavs, Mancs, and Mansour City until now is not great. Or maybe, it is not to do with belief or quality but Wenger’s inability to get the best out of his players…?

However, it looks like we could win the league this year IF we keep beating the โ€˜non-bigโ€™ teams, as both Mansour City and Southern Oilers are prone to dropping points regularly in those games.

I will stick to what I said a few games ago, that the Southern Oilers beating the Northern Oilers would probably mean the former will go on and win the PL. However, the not totally unexpected Chavsโ€™ draw against West Brom has given us renewed hope. Wenger is banking on his teamโ€™s consistency (currently his beloved word, it seems); and I also reckon that if we can continue to be consistent during the last third of the season, we could well win the title after all. Two draws – against MC at home and Chavs away – whilst winning almost all of the other games, might be enough to hand us the title come the end of the season.

I was very pleased to see the team play a lot more compact and organised against the Mancs than against Pool. We defended the set-pieces significantly better, despite the strong aerial fire-power of Moyesโ€™ men. Arteta also had a much better game, despite his early give away to Van Judas; and Wilshere stuck a lot better to his defensive duties. Yes, he was โ€˜turned overโ€™ a lot, and he did not add as much to our attack as we would have liked, but he played with positional discipline and passion, and still made a difference on the night.

I have never felt Mikel and Jack get the best out of each other when they play together though, and we should be buoyed by the imminent return of the Flame. The Frenchman allows Wilshere to be more effective in the box to box role, which in turn will mean more support for Ozil. These three midfield roles are intricately linked and getting the balance right is absolutely pivotal to the success of the whole team.

Last night we played with too many CAMs in my opinion: Ozil, Rosicky, Jack, Santi, and later on Ox was added as well. All of these players have a natural tendency to move towards the middle of the pitch, and play the ball through the funnel: the โ€˜D areaโ€™ of the opponentโ€™s box. Manure were expecting this and made themselves hard to penetrate there throughout the game, marshalled by the seemingly rejuvenated, and brilliant on the night, Vidic. We lacked width and speed/penetration, but also support in the box for OG, as the likes of Ozil, Rosicky and Jack, and to some extent even Santi, are more natural creators than โ€˜fox-in-the-boxโ€™ finishers.

It did indeed feel that we were desperately missing Theoโ€™s and/or Aaronโ€™s speed/engine and ability to turn up at the right place and time in the box. they both also have the experience and maturity now to score goals in the big games.

I thought Ozil had a great game. He was constantly ready to dish out the finest delicacies but there are not many in the team/ the current formation who are able to anticipate and appreciate what he has to offer; something Wenger needs to address rather sooner than later. Not seeing this by some of the fans says more about them than Ozil.

I would also like to point out that, despite our current perception of Manure, they are not a weak team, but simply struggling with coming to terms with the new leadership/playing style of Moyes. I thought that the likes of Vidic, Evra, Rooney and VJ had very good games, and if I am fair I believe they had the best chances to win the match. Luckily they did not take them, as Szczesny had a superb game. They were clearly tense themselves and also desperate to avoid defeat.

I thought we got better towards the end of the game as we started to get closer and closer to their box and create some good opportunities. The fact that Manure still had the best chance to win the match during the same period shows us how delicately balanced it all was โ€“ and is; and how much work Arsene and Steve still have to do to get us winning the big games any time soon.

Bring on Pool – CoYG!

TotalArsenal.

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100 Responses to Ozil’s Silver Service Goes to Waste: Arsenal – MU Afterthoughts

  1. alcide says:

    Thumbs up TA, I think you have recapped the game and post match thoughts shared on the blog last night very well. I’m looking forward to see Flamini on the pitch to earn his redemption, and maybe Pod back (or OG to find the target…), as well as Verm. A win against pool after our drubbing would lift spirits up before a massive challenge.

  2. Ed says:

    I thought Ozil had a great game. He was constantly ready to dish out the finest delicacies but there are not many in the team/ the current formation who are able to anticipate and appreciate what he has to offer; something Wenger needs to address rather sooner than later. Not seeing this by some of the fans says more about them than Ozil. – SPOT ON – CONSTANTLY ONE STEP AHEAD OF EVERYONE

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Alcide. Playing TV, Pod and Flam against Pool just gave a warm feeling inside – cheers buddy ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Xavier says:

    Nice one TA. Apt review. Well, everything’s mostly been said from the previous post. I agree with you the poldi needs to start this weekend though. I thought we kinda missed him against manU. He’s not as skillful as cazorla but he brings a little more width than either the spaniard or the rest if the people we had on the pitch last night. (Maybe except oxlade). It’ll be awesome to have poldi and the Ox both start on the wings. Or gnabry in the wings with Ox centre with flam.

  5. Arsenal_VCC says:

    Fair analysis TA ๐Ÿ™‚ Definitely disappointed with the results and missed opportunities. But c’est la vie as they say. Hopefully the draw gets the “belief” flowing again. In these games I wonder if it is Wenger who is nervous and makes tactical errors or if it is the team. It is odd that we seem to almost always offer the opposition a golden chance in the first few minutes of the game. While Arteta had a decent game yesterday, these days my heart is in my mouth each time he receives the ball close to the back four while facing our goal. Would love to know the number of times he has been picked off or made an errant pass in this position. Hope the Arteta from last year makes an appearance quickly!

    Also I am puzzled by the reluctance to bring on Gnabry and/or Pod towards the latter part of the game. Has the Pod disappeared completely from Wenger’s plans? Also was wondering what BKers think about give Ozil a break (say againts L’pool in the FA cup) and move Santi to the middle – the position he played in last year with Pod on the left. I think Theo is underscoring his value to the team as we see the problems in his absence.

  6. au22 says:

    Well said bro…

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    thanks Xavier. It did seem like we had one CAM too many with Santi, Rosicky and Ozil on the pitch.

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    Good comment, Arsenal_VCC.

    Yes, I know what you mean re Arteta, but I thought he played a lot better yesterday compared to Saturday.

    It does not look to me that Ozil needs a rest and I rather see us sorting out the speed/width issue first. I would sacrifice Santi for Pod or Gnabry to add another dimension to our play and get the best out of Ozil and Jack (with Flamini behind them).

  9. Xavier says:

    Oh another thing. Have we scored a direct free kick yet this season??? I can’t remember any. Hell, the last direct free kick I remember us scoring was from podolski. Is it something nobody in our team practices?? Cos I there’s cazorla, รถzil, arteta who used to be great free kick players before coming to arsenal.

    Just something to think about. Cos we waste a lot of free kicks we get in good positions. I don’t even bother hoping anymore.

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes, our free kicks have been rubbish and this has been going for a few years now… ever since Van Judas lost his touch, I reckon.. Maybe somebody has cursed our free-kick taking? ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. Xavier says:

    Hahaha. Henry had it though. And cocky with it. ๐Ÿ˜€ But we need someone we can rely on for the direct free kicks. I think maybe Walcott was practicing. He came pretty close a couple of times.

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes maybe Theo is the man. I would like to stick with Ozil as he has the best technique and focus of them all. It is just not happening for him at the moment. Maybe against Bayern… would be sweet. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Admir says:

    Nice round-up, TA, as usual. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Free-kicks – ah, it’s a topic that I don’t like when it comes to Arsenal. In 2011-12, Van Judas scored a winner against Sunderland. That was his only goal from the free-kick out of 30 he scored. Mikel Arteta’s free-kick against Aston Villa was the last one in that season (I think).

    In 2012-13, Lukas Podolski scored that beauty against the Saints. We had to wait for another introduction of Lukas’ howitzer – he scored a winner against Stoke with a help from Geoff Cameron. We haven’t scored from the direct free-kick ever since – Arteta came close against Liverpool, Walcott came close against City but both of them were denied by the opponents’ goalkeepers.

    Perhaps we have been more oriented on the crosses since Giroud has been around. Walcott, Ozil and Wilshere (against Liverpool last season) have made assists from the free-kicks.

  14. Gerry says:

    TA – a fine mellow post to put the Liverpool aberration behind us. The comments by Per and Woj afterwards were not exuding disappointment at not winning, just the relief that they did not lose, and the clean sheet was a bonus?

    That said, i was with 17HT at the start of the match, as we marauded forwards in the same cavalier fashion as we did at Anfield. Do that again against Pool, even at home, and it will bring a similar result. United may not be a bad side, given the individual players on their books, but they are in a bad state right now. We should not let this result cloud our thinking against ANY good counter attacking side, and that will include Sunderland. Without a solid defensive shield, the idea that the backs can start on the halfway line and go forwards the moment we have possession is suicidal. At least in parts last night there was some sensible back passing which kept possession, instead of all and sundry trying a key pass every time. But there were some very neat passes in among it. it helped when the receiver knew that he had somebody to pass on to. However, a sharper side like Pool might just cut out a few of them?

    Width and pace will certainly help on Sunday, but if they repeat their pressing game, I still do not see that favouring Poldi or Ozil in the early stages?

    I agree with the assessment of Ozil, and said as much earlier. But it might mean a bigger turnover in players this summer if we upgrade to match his needs?

    On the poor free kicks that Xavier raised. The one player who would improve in that department is JD, and I hope we are first in the queue with the ยฃ37m. I don’t think Ozil is the automatic choice though. Not enough up and down spin for me. Cazorla is more of a bender around the wall, so position and distance would be key, as he does not always hit dead balls with pace. Ox will be good one day, but it is in an embryonic stage of development, to put it kindly. Podolski and Arteta seem to go for flat speed, through a hopeful gap in the wall. I just wonder what young Zelalem might be able to do, given he is gifted in the control department?

    VCC – I did say that TV5 has a ‘leg’ injury. Whether that is real or not we will find out at some point.

    OGAAT and away with the behind the sofa talk.

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    thank for the update, Admir. That is what I thought it has been like… Not a pretty story. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry, I think we will play a lot better against Pool at home. But we need to keep the bad mistakes out, especially during set-pieces. I would start with Poldi and Ozil and then bring Cazorla in for Poldi in the second half.

    First eleven against Pool:

    Usual back five (with Gibbser)

    ——–Flam—-Wilshere———–
    —————-Ozil———————
    Gnabry/Ox–Giroud/Bendtner–Pod

    What do you reckon?

  17. Gerry says:

    The problem with cutting out mistakes does away with the idea that Pool don’t have a say in the matter. I think they were very quick to see where passes were going, especially when we were attacking? Which is why we need the back pass option to make them chase a little more. And when the ball goes back, options for the quick lay off too.

    As to the team, I would keep Poldi back for a second half push, when there is space. Switch Ox to the middle, as Wilshere will have to stay deep more this time. Ozil and Gnabry can switch wings as and when. Ox keeps the threat down the middle, assuming Gnabry is okay to start. It may be his wasteful long range shots upset AW? If Wilshere starts to fade, get Rosicky on pronto.

    A little warning on cards: Sagna now on 4 yellows; Wilshere must be approaching double figures?

  18. AB says:

    TA. Yes, a very fair summary. A couple of your implied questions – I think belief and leadership are issues here. Whilst we have new levels of determination in this team, I think the belief/confidence is relatively thin – players like Giroud, and to an extent also Ozil, seem to thrive (need) that regular success. We have missed the drive and vocal challenge of Flam in the last few games as much as his defensive abilities; Mert has been huge all season (sorry, unintended pun) at the back, but we have less of that kind of drive further forward. I am with you that there is no sense, or fairness, in knocking Ozil; but I think he may be due a rest as well as some tactical thought given to playing him in games that help him rebuild the confidence to go with his undoubted touch – there is no one in the PL that has his level of seemingly effortless poise and movement on the ball. As I posted last night, I don’t think a point is a bad result, albeit slightly disappointing given manure seemed there to be had. But I am concerned by the steady progress being made by others beneath us in the table – I would hate us to have another late season battle for 4th place this year….

    Where does this leave us for Sunday? With Bayern coming up we have to rotate, period. But we also have to build the squad confidence if we are to sustain a challenge in the league. Will Wenger prioritise between titles? I doubt it. Looking at your 11, Flam, Ox and Pod have to come in for the start against pool, Verm too if he is fit, but hard to make any assumptions there. Then we are into tougher choices. Sagna could do with a rest, but do we risk it with Jenk against quality attacking opposition? My assumption is Ros is saved for Bayern having started last night, so do we start both Ozil and Santi again? If there was a time to rest Ozil then this might be it. Equally, I feel we must rest Giroud, which in my book means we start with Bendtner as I would rather have Pod on the left. All this though adds up to a lot of change.

    The question then is, would we take a win with our best 11 against pool, if it meant we had to field changes or knackered players for Bayern, with all the inevitable consequences? But 5 changes for pool could mean another bad loss and the February spiral coming back to haunt us?

    Unless Wenger decides that the FA cup is the least of our objectives, I would assume we end up compromising – i.e. 3 changes for Sunday, plus fingers crossed for Bayern. Its going to be a tough week. I’m hoping Flam’s return gives us a lift, and Pod finds his shooting boots early on Sunday. I r remain of the view that it would only take one strong performance and victory for us to regain our mojo and reset our ambitions upwards rather than merely to cling on.

  19. Thanks Totes !. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Over the years I have had a few jobs and one thing is a constant with all my now and former work colleagues in that they have all come to know me as…..fcuking mad or a nutter !……..I`m not sure how you have also come to this conclusion, but spot on !. hahahaha

    Before I forget !………whilst browsing the internet when you cupid stunts were stressing yourselves out last night, I was looking at car registration number plates with any Arsenal connection ( DB10 AFC and TH14 AFC etc`, which came to a blank ) and come across….AR53 NAL….anyone else gobsmacked at the ยฃ88,105.00p asking price !. If it was spare change to me like an accountant !, I would buy it and stick it on a Morgan plus 8…..Red with white hood and white running boards ! Mmmmmm.

    I thought of the most stupid joke today, but it had nearly losing control of my van by cracking up !. Trouble is it wont be as funny by writing it…another I will save for the Tavern…..of course as per usual my side kick straight man VCC is involved !. hahaha

    It will be as no surprise that I have no idea about last nights game as I only watch the one`s we win !………..I must have seen Arsenal lose the least games in the world than anybody !. hahaha
    I can however, give a view which I have long thought and I know you (Totes) will agree on my first one….We need a Beast of a DM !….although as I have said before, a lot easier than it sounds as ones which have been put up before over the years have all been average or let downs, so may be a true specialist position if ever there was one !.
    Two…..a couple of proper skilful fast wingers !. I don’t need to say much more than all the top sides have at least one….Bayern have 3, the greedy bastards !. Sounds like ( from a lot of comments in the blog world ) Ozil was missing such an outlet !.
    Another point is that, although I love Girouds work rate, we seriously need a SQ striker, it`s great having SQ in midfield, but a serious SQ striker is what does the damage to most teams….Suarez, Ronaldo, Aguero etc` etc`. I honestly think Wenger should have offered what ever it took to get Suarez last Summer, that’s where someone like Abramobitch wouldn`t have fcuked about imo !.

    You say draws against Chavski and Mansour City and winning most of the rest may get us the title !, but are we really playing like title pretenders ?, I cant see us getting more than 2 points from the Spuds and Everton games either and if Spuds continue on their form, we will be lucky to get a point !. I think, after looking at the remaining fixtures, that we may get somewhere between 74-77 points, but that may not be enough to get even 4th if Liverscum, Spuds, Mansour City and Chavski don’t have anymore bad spells !.
    I may look like the “doomer”, but imo my feet are always firmly on the ground where Arsenal are concerned and never get carried away as even though I may be a bit wacky elsewhere, I do try and look at things logically from an un-biased position on Arsenal matters !. To have seen us have Liverscum, Manshafter Std, Spuds, Chavski, Mansour City and Everton ( the last 4 are on the trot, 3 away, 1 at home ) in the ten league games finishing with Everton and expecting us to brush them all aside is not logical to me, it is fantasy and anyone being able to distance their self and look at it from a neutral observation would think the same and that’s without the CL and FAC games !. If the was boot on the other foot and the Spuds, Liverscum had the same pile up, we would be rubbing our hands thinking we are going to catch them !…..those two haven`t the CL games ( and potential more games ) and Spuds haven`t any domestic cup football, just Spursday night reserve games !. If we beat the Bin Dippers on Sunday ( hahaha Wenger better have something up his sleaves ! ) they will have an unobstructed clear run at the title, being fresh as daisy’s each game !.
    Now before anyone comments back, take the rose tits off !. hahaha

  20. AB says:

    This won’t happen, but:

    Usual back 5 (take your pick between Gibbs and Nacho, but don’t risk Gibbs through rushed rehab).

    Flam and Ox in the pivot

    Gnabry, Santi and Pod across the forward midfield

    Bendtner up front.

    Our back 5 plus Flam there to keep the threat out, plus a combination of pace and directness ahead.

  21. AB says:

    I was just wondering if you had a spare pair to hand glic ….

  22. AB says:

    I’m with TA on the ‘grind it out against the minor teams’ front. Beating the top opposition is great for bragging rights and analysing the best teams etc. But points are what count and I don’t care where we pick them up. There is something about clubs built by ‘just buying’ the best players that creates a lack of spirit – they are playing for cash and medals. I like to think that teams like ours play for a little more (at least some of them do some of the time). And we can force ourselves against minor opposition in the way that some others simply can’t be bothered with. So the chavs beat Shity and then drop points the next game – sweet, and predictable. And city themselves seem unable to bother much when on the road. If we continue like we played through most of the season – not exceptional, but committed and focused on each game, we will be there or there abouts come the end. My fear is that a run of poor results now could too easily stop us from playing with the determination we showed previously for the final run in of games, which should provide a lot of points for us.

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    Great comments, AG

    I don’t think we will be in a battle for fourth place this year, as Liverpool will slip away once more. I also reckon Arsene will make only minimal changes for the Liverpool game as he wants to win the FA cup again and the negative impact of losing to them would be too big.

    He might play Flam with Ox, Monreal for Gibbser and Bendtner instead of OG, but I reckon Ozil will play and so will Cazorla, and maybe Gnabry on the right/ or Pod on the left.

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    Fine, doomer comment Cocker. I have an image of you standing firmly on a pile of manure with brown tinted glasses and wearing a t-shirt with the text ‘SHIT happens’ hahaha ๐Ÿ˜›

  25. Nice article Totes.

    Width is important in matches at the highest level as you have to stretch the opposition’s defence, but at the same time as mentioned previously for most of the first half of the season we did not have Poldi, Ox, or Theo and were often winning matches with a number of CAM’s, making up for injuries by often putting Jack, Aaron, and Rosicky on the flanks, who would still cut in and interchange with Ozil, but still be successful. Therefore, width is important in terms of variety of attacking options to keep the opposition’s defence unsettled, but that by no means is all of it, as you would agree. Maybe oppositions have figured us out to an extent. I think it is more to do with missing Aaron, Theo, and Flamini, although regarding Flamini that would be the Flamini at the beginning of the season, not the Flamini we’ve had over the last couple of months.

    Personally I’m a bit tired of going over formation and tactics wise what can be tweaked because as much as I or anyone else can talk we do not select the team and we cannot play for the players. I have faith and will see what happens on the weekend, and what, if any, adjustments the boss makes for it.

    There is one thing that does need to be resolved with current personnel though, something that 17highburyterrace mentioned a few times on the previous article, and that is that there has to be confidence in depth, and situations with players such as Podolski need to be resolved either way, i.e. either he is trusted by AW or otherwise it is in all parties’ interests that he is moved on. Limbo helps no one in terms of limiting ability to rotate the squad and having potential options for Plan “B” from the bench. It seems a long time now since all of those assists from Poldi where he would run down the left flank, get close to the byline, and put in quality crosses into Giroud. He arguably has been the best at this in our squad over the last couple of seasons.

  26. VCC says:

    TCM. I agree wholeheartedly with your comments. I was there last night and we looked anything but a championship winning side. Far too many mediocre players IMO. Like you, people may say I’m far too critical of Arsenal/Arsene Wenger (stretch, haha) but I look at it with the same non tinted glasses.
    Our mid field are far too light weight and get knocked off the ball by the top teams who have at least one or even two powerful mid fielders. Wilshere, Cazorla, Ozil, and now even Arteta are over powered and brushed aside easily.
    Top managers see how we play with our tippy tappy build up play, and bide their time until we make one too many passes and hit us on the counter. It’s so noticeable when you are seeing it live head on.
    Many supporters/pundits are saying ManUre are In need of a major overhaul, especially in defence and midfield, but we are not too far away from needing some serious surgery.
    We need a SQ striker, that is for sure, every body and his dog knows this, apart from the rose tinted glasses brigade. Giroud is a trier, but nothing else. If we had a quality striker, even with the limited chances we had last night I feel a Suarez/Aguero would have chalked a goal up for us. This is the difference between beating the top sides.
    We need a beast in midfield, a Vieira type player, strong in physique and athletic. It’s fine having the small midfielders like we have with plenty of skill, but we need an enforcer type to break up opponents play and get a head to the ball in the midfield battles. We don’t have this type of player on our books, Wenger keeps going for the petite tricksters.
    We need to make a decision soonest about our right back situation. Sagna cannot carry the burden for much longer, his legs will not take three games in 7/8 days for much longer.
    We need a pacey, take em on type left winger.
    Finally, we need our Manager to be bolder and more forcefull against the top sides at home. We will never have a better time to beat the scum we played last night, and to me it looked like he was satisfied NOT to lose and take the draw??????
    I am not paying ยฃ64 anymore to watch us fade into also rans, until Wenger puts his hand in his pocket and buys some top quality players. This is so frustrating when you know he has the money sitting there in the bank to use and build a winning side.

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    Good points, iceman10. I thought our CAMs were combining badly at times, and running into each other regularly. It might have worked for a while and it might well work again for us, but I did not like what I saw yesterday.

    Re Poldi, fully agreed. ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    But did you have a nice time with your son and daughter, Vicks? ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. AFC says:

    VCC, I fully agree with you. What is the most painful for me is that we could have and have the power to avoid this pain.

    TA, not much to say what hasn’t been said already. Let’s just move on.

  30. AFC says:

    VCC, we still have the problems we had at the end of past season. Not enough CB cover, no SQ CF/ST, no SQ DM and no decent keeper to push Szez.

  31. VCC says:

    Yes Totes. Apart from the end result, we all had a lovely evening.
    Had a meal in a Greek restaurant before hand with a fine red wine and a some fun banter with several Norwegian Manx.
    I think my Daughter has caught the bug. We were in the clock end lower within an extremely vociferous section of the crowd and she loved joining in with all the songs (except the one about RVP being a NCUT). I loved it of course. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I may have ruffled a few feathers with my above comments, but I’m growing a little tired of the same old same old situation we Arsenal supporters are being dished up with.
    Fair do.s if we still had the Emirates move hanging over our heads, but we are relatively debt free, and even Gazedis has said Wenger has money to spend.
    The guy sitting to my left last night, with a white stick even said we could do with a quality striker. ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. AB says:

    VCC we seem to fall into polarised camps too easily. I recognise what you saw and say about our team. But that does not make us rubbish; we are a work in progress. And a pause and reflection on pretty much any league winning side that I can recall would have players in there who are, on the young side, on the old side, or on the mediocre side. Its the combination and balance that counts. Is Giroud one of the best 10 strikers in Europe? Probably not, but with the right midfield he can be very effective, and enable more goals than he actually scores. And our midfield is light, but quite a number of them are also still young – Rooney is 5’8″, but he can take on the physical side of the game. Our players, like Ramsey, Jack and Ox will fill out and become more physical as they reach their prime. And let’s not forget that we are missing Theo and Ramsey through injury, both top quality players, with pace, legs and goals in them.

    Yes we need to add to the squad, and SQ at DM, LW or Striker would each be fantastic to have. But we will add quality to the squad in the summer I am sure, and our core team will be that bit stronger next year to boot. The outlook for us right now is better than it has been for at least 7 years. We should not lose our nerve simply because all the pieces are not yet in place.

  33. VCC says:

    Total, I did reply but my comments have gone……???????

  34. VCC says:

    R…..there they are. Hahaha

  35. VCC says:

    AFC, you are right. It is so painful and agonising when we all know we have the resources to rid ourselves of this pain.
    And yes we still have the same problems we had last season, and the season before that and the season before that and the season before that, need I go on.
    But, hey onwards and upwards.
    Let’s beat Liverpool on Sunday and hopefully with the thing in May.

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    Sounds like a great night, Vickers, and good to hear your daughter is loving it all now too.

    I understand your frustration and I have plenty as well, but let’s see how the season develops. I would have taken 1 point from the top after two thirds of the season at the start of the season, would you?

  37. AFC says:

    VCC, my patience is wearing thin with Wenger. I’ve grown up admiring the guy and think he is the best manager and if anyone asks me who the best manager is I say Wenger and defend him with people mock him but I just can’t anymore. He seems to bring the criticism on himself a lot of time. Our TWs make me boil with anger and I’m sorry to say that is the summer TW in the summer is as poor as previous ones I’m done with Wenger.

    But onto the matter at hand, I really think we can win tue FA Cup this season. I am feeling very optimistic and always have when it comes to the FA Cup. Let’s hope the players are up for it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. Vickers baby !. Glad you and my kids had a great time !. hahaha
    Me and you do think along the same lines a lot of the time and it`s usually me who does it in the comments, so glad you got to get it off your chest !.
    I don’t normally watch that programme called “Benidorm” !, but I just happened to catch a snippet which had me pissing myself !………it had these four Dutch guys with a bit of a misunderstanding !. The main Dutch guy says…….” I would like to stress that we are not without a sense of humour ! ….but this was a case of mass stereotyping and blatant xenophobia, not all people from Amsterdam are Eden eating sex mad drug dealers ! “. hahahaha

  39. Now if I never had cyber met our Dutch Fuhrer Total, I probably wouldn’t have found it so funny, although one of the Dutch characters had a right high pitched voice which had me in stitches !. hahaha

  40. VCC says:

    AB, yes we are a team in progress, and stable progress it is, until we come up against the big boys.
    Wenger has had enough time now to know the day would come when we have the resources to recruit two or three SQ players. and that time is NOW.
    Waiting for the January window to arrive and wait till the final hour and only purchase an injured 31 year old seems ludicrous in my eyes to say the least.
    With all our scouting networks, surely he can select two or three players of the quality to take us to the next level.
    What do you think it would do for our youngsters to be walking out of the tunnel alongside a Suarez, Yaya Toure, Ozil, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielney, Walcott ? It would lift them and help them perform without fear.
    Our young team play with fear against the top sides. Yes we have performed well up till now and being top or thereabouts all year has been a wonderful effort, but if Wenger would only go that extra mile we could STAY there.
    Together with the above said players you would have fine starlets in the making = szezney, Chamberlain, Zelalem, Ramsey, Bellerin, Wilshere, Akpome, Gibbs.
    That is only acquiring two top quality players and we have a team to compete with the best, let alone the premiership but Europe too.
    Giroud for me is certainly not in the top 10 strikers in Europe. I could elaborate but it would be unfair criticism because he is not the only missing link.
    To your point of not losing our nerve…….I’m afraid that’s exactly what I saw last night, we have lost our nerve, our mojo, our self belief, simply because we have not got the experienced couple of more SQ players to settle our youngsters down and show some cohonas.

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    You are right, Vickers. The average Dutchman is just like you: horny, unfulfilled and small-hamptoned hahahaha ๐Ÿ˜€

  42. VCC says:

    TCM…….Totes voice is far higher than that. And you would be shocked to see his face art and piercing. :-D. My goodness…………I sincerly hope he can’t read this , at this late hour. Hope he’s tucked up nicely in bed with his favourite night caps……..Gouda and Weed. ๐Ÿ™‚

  43. AB says:

    VCC. I don’t recognise this familiar pattern – and I’ve been following for 40 years! Our troubles this year are not the same as the last, and certainly not the year before! 2 years ago, need we remind anyone, we had a SQ striker scoring for fun; our problems were further back and in our ability to implode against virtually any opposition. Villa apart, we are transformed this season, building on the run at the back end of the last. Where last year we looked shaky in practically ever late season game, this year we have looked more solid. We have not replaced VJ, sure; but let’s not jump to blame ourselves too quickly on that front – even Chelski with all the cash in the world have not replaced their striker. And countless blogs over the last 2 years have been spouting how first Theo, then Ramsey were simply not up to it, and Gibbs was just a medical card.

    I get the frustrated impatience of youth, when folk have only been following the Arsenal for 10 years or so. I can also get the despair when we went years selling (often through no choice) our best players each season. But I simply don’t get seasoned Arsenal followers bemoaning a team that is making tangible progress and needs only 1 or 2 further ingredients – the right one’s mind, not just any old player with a decent price tag (Lamela anyone?). Why VCC can’t you see the progress, and be prepared to wait that little bit more, whilst we build the team, the Arsenal way?

  44. AB says:

    VCC. Our mail crossed. We are closer than might appear. I absolutely share your yearning for the additional star dust in the mix, and to have our young players growing up with it around them. But I don’t believe it is simple to just buy the right skills with the right temperament – if it were then any team with cash would just do it overnight. I do believe Wenger will spend to strengthen, and do so this summer. But I doubt we will have a flurry of incoming new players – 2 perhaps. The lack of purchases in January must surely be down to lack of the right people being available. Why else would a man of his age, with limited managerial years ahead of him, waste his time waiting; he has done so because his money will go much further in a few months. I’m content to wait a bit more while we build and develop; its the type of club we are.

  45. I agree that Wenger has had his hands tied since the stadium move and that last summer was really his first to have the funds and also that no quality players left ( although I personally miss Gerv` the Swerve ! ). Also that, this January Window was hard for him as there were not really any SQ options open to him, but I do think this coming Summer he should take full advantage of his new found wealth and I will leave my judgement of him `til then. I do feel though that he takes the money situation too personally in that he is trying to look out for the clubs financial situation and not wanting to do any harm to the club, whereas other managers probably don’t give a shit and will spend without thinking of the consequences !. However, he has been told of new revenue and he better than anyone will know this, so no excuses, if he wants serious SQ, then is going to have to pay top dollar !.
    I also don’t agree fully with the opinions that unless you get CL, you cant get SQ !. Manshafter Std could possibly miss out on CL next season, but that does not stop Nike and Chrysler combined from wanting to give them over ยฃ100M per season !……and it wont stop SQ players moving there either if they are going to be paid ยฃ150k plus per week ! . They are a massive club with history !. We too are a massive club with history !. No excuses !.

  46. Earlier comment should have said ….Edam ! ….not Eden !……….and Totes, I said it, not Vickers !………….This is what happens when you are sticking your knob in the Edam holes !. hahaha

  47. VCC says:

    AB, I love building teams the Arsenal way. In fact I take pleasure in advertising this fact with any Chavs, Manx or Any sugar daddy assisted teams. But the fact is Wenger has diluted our success (trophy cabinet) over the past nine years.
    Yes he has had restraints financially, but now is the time to kick on. I hated Ferguson with a passion, but you have to say he was the most successful manager in the premiership…..he used to tweak his side every year, bringing in fresh faced quality players, and before you answer yes but what about so and so , Dlemba Djemba, Veron etc etc he has won countless trophies.
    RVJ only had one outstanding year, we travelled a long time carrying him and his injuries (that’s just my opinion) just look at him now, history repeating itself.
    But having said that Giroud is hardly an adequate replacement in my eyes.

    I have defended Wenger until the cows came home, and still do to a large extent. We would never be where we are now with any other manager, having had the restraints he has had to suffer during the move. If you have been reading since the start of this site you will have read he has been Dennis in my eyes, but I just feel he is now suffering with fear himself, and this is transmitting into his team.
    Like you I have been following Arsenal for many years, far too may for my liking because as TCM will tell you, I am now on the slippery slope ๐Ÿ™‚
    Wenger has brought so many happy moments for an old fogey like me, just take the Invincibles, simply wonderful, but hey, this guy has only to buy a couple of top quality players and we would be flying again. I just can’t work him out lately, surely he can see this, or am I just an old romantic?

  48. Another thing that I don’t get….this thing that we had the best points record in a “calendar year ! “……..it didn`t win us fcuk all !…..and how many of the big teams did we get points off ?.
    You have to have the best points record in a season to win the title, not ten games from the end of last season and the first twenty of this season !.
    Night girls !.

  49. VCC says:

    AB…..that’s exactly my point. He has limited time left, so why not go for it. I agree we are closer than many outsiders might believe but totally disagree with you about spending in the Summer. He will bottle it once more, history shows this, he has lost his nerve, and as I said earlier this is being transmitted within his team. Many of his old players, and one or two of his current players even say he is stubborn and stays with his philosophy without tweaking.
    The star dust you mention would only be two or maximum three players. This would filter through the Emirates.
    Just like the days when players Highbury would look to their left and go down the line looking at their opponents Arsenal…….Adams..Bergkamp..Pires..Ljundberg…Cole….Keown…Bould….Dixon…Winterburn…Vieira……..most sides would be defeated before they even stepped onto the pitch.
    IMO…..we could get close to that NOW, with two or three SQ signings…….why O why doesn’t he see this????????

  50. AB says:

    VCC. I think the constraints that came with Emirates move shifted Wenger’s outlook; he had always liked pace, technique and foreign players who could be bought for good value, but then he moved into the mode of ‘developing a young core of players together’ mode. I don’t think he will ever shift from this now – and for clubs that are not owned by cash wielding maniacs, this is probably the best model, if you have the talent to pick the right players. But he clearly is prepared to spend for the right addition. People who have said that he bought Ozil to get the fans off his back are deluded about the realities of fan power for a stable club like the Arsenal – Ozil is one of Wenger’s ‘wet dreams’ and he was prepared to pay pretty much anything when he came available. The problem with today’s media is that it creates so much noise it is impossible to know where there is substance before deals are done. There are so many brilliant players that we have been linked with – no doubt some represent real interest. I am sure we have courted the likes of Hazard and Goetze before, but this time we have the cash to compete – where these two always felt like pipe dreams, the possibility of us buying a Draxler or a Reus is now realistic.

    The cash is there now, the gaps are apparent for all to see, and a summer window is approaching. I hope we see Wenger buying players to ensure that his (final?) contract with Arsenal is a success, though it is not in his nature to be wasteful of the club’s cash or to bring in rafts of new players – on both counts, those planning on staying for the long term with the Arsenal should be grateful. The world cup is not helpful however, in terms of buying players and in terms of integrating them properly for a good first season. I hope he gets some business done early, but this may be asking too much of the man!

    Hey ho. Some much for the future. For now, I’d just like us to stuff Liverpool and avoid the smug cliche’s from the cock rodgers after the game!

    night all!

  51. VCC says:

    Past my bed time chaps. Latterz.

  52. Admir says:

    @TCM – I wanted to tell you for a while that I did your favourite “like-for-like”-routine last season before our last 12 matches or as I called it “The Dirty Dozen”. That included Aston Villa, Spuds and our beautiful run-in. Funny, I wrote that one on 18th February 2013 so anniversary of that text for allarsenal.com is approaching. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Anyway, my point is, my pessimism turned out to be so bloody wrong. ๐Ÿ˜€ We won 28 points out of possible 36. Had results from 2011-12 repeated, we would have won just 14 points in the last twelve matches of the last season.

    If we repeat the last season form from the last twelve matches, we will have 84 points – one point more than we won in 2007-08 and enough to secure direct qualification for the Champions’ League.

    If that didn’t bring smile back to your face, perhaps the results of my interrogation will. I did a blitz-interview with a few female Spuds fans before the Valentine’s Day. I asked them if they would like to exchange fluids with The Cookie Monster from the famous Bonercampesque-site for 200 quids and all three of them said: “Of course we would have done it but…where we could possibly find 200 quids? ๐Ÿ˜ฆ We spent all our money on Soldildo and Lameassela!” ๐Ÿ˜€

  53. Gerry says:

    Morning all. Discussions all over the place.

    1, – Few changes for Sunday, and a knackered team for Bayern

    Additional info – Would a similar side do better against ‘Pool? Are we good enough to beat Bayern in our current state of confidence.

    My view: We need our best balanced side to beat Pool. Bayern? Well we can play with a little more freedom, as it is not costing us points, so confidence will be lest restricted by outcome, and a surprise result is on the cards – Rose tits against, TCM?

    2, – TW chatter? Poor results means this comes back on the agenda like a bad penny.

    My view: January has come and gone. Forget it. Have we a better squad this season, and has got us further up the league that few of us thought possible, particularly after the Villa opener? Without doubt.
    Will we enter the TW market in summer and be more successful. Probably, but at a cost. I could rattle off 5 names right now that in total would cost ยฃ135m of anybody’s money, and a wage bill to match. Flipside – No; Podolski, Cazorla, Vermaelin. Benched; Wilshere, Ramsey, Arteta, Walcott.
    Yes, TCM, it would need more than a tint of rose to for that to happen, but to satisfy the ‘Want it now’ brigade, that is what you need to compete with the big boys?

    Back in the real world of OGAAT – Let’s start our recovery with a solid display against Liverpool, and leave the gloom monger to fear the worst.

  54. VCC says:

    Morning Gerry….. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I agree, we need to play our best all fit side against Liverpool on Sunday, and patch up against Bayern.

    The TW will never go away when Arsenal/Wenger is concerned. He is making a large rod for his own back with not strengthening his wounded squad in January. Also what was that debacle with his one and only January buy. I would suggest only Wenger could get away with such a (words fail me) ??%%&*ยฃ$”ยฃ$%^ stupid purchase.

    Yes it will come at a price with players being benched, but isn’t that healthy? and imo we are only talking 2 or maximum 3 players.

    Podolski, Vermaelen are already permanently benched. Walcott long term injury. Ramsey short/medium term injury.

    Arteta beginning to show his age??

    Cazorla will always be there or thereabouts.

    That brings me to Mr. Wilshere….I have my bullet proof vest on here so no worries……I feel the stardom/limelight has gone to his head since the elevation to England status. Managers are beginning to sus him out and play against his weakness. He is targeted, they couple up on him, steal the ball and break away. Granted if he makes it past the last line of defence (more and more seldom) when successfully bringing off a one two he looks pretty, but loses the ball far too often and falls over complaining to the referees. Even they have his cards marked and continue to play on, mostly.

    Whenever I mention 2 SQ players we need to sign, all and sundry immediately assume I am advocating wholesale changes!!!!! ………..I keep saying with only TWO extra SQ (of which we can afford, NOW) signing we would have won this years premiership IMO.

    This years was a huge opportunity for us to achieve. Come next year, the leaders will have reinforced, their managers will have had another year in the Prem, they have bottomless pockets and we will be playing catch up AGAIN…….and fighting for fourth.

    Next year you will have the 2 ~Manx……The Chavs……Bin Dippers…..and dare I say Tottering Hotspuds.

    Thats 6 teams, together with us without any surprise packet.

    I begin to wonder what will become of us if we slip out of the top four next season.

  55. Morning (getting close to bedtime here)

    @VCC, let’s forget the TW, there wasn’t any player that transferred during that window who would have improved our squad, bar perhaps Matic. Even if we did bring in Draxler he wouldn’t have been fit for the last few matches and is more a long term prospect rather than one that would hit the ground running immediately. We will move forwards and be contenders next season by adding, with quality that wasn’t available in the Jan TW. Stay positive, it’s not all bad, we are one point off first place in the PL.

  56. alcide says:

    Matic could have been a short term stop gap, but the combined lack of pace of Matic and Per would be difficult to bear over the longer term.

  57. alcide says:

    Hmm looks like Santi is out for Liverpool, Wenjuryllness.

  58. Gerry says:

    VCC – That was my point. If we only by two SQ players next window, w will still be playing catch up on the other clubs. If the players are available at a price the club can live with, then I say get them.

    I know we are in danger of doing a ‘Spurs’, but the point about having quality on and off the bench is that each player can be introduced gradually. I am not saying the full flush should start from day one. Apart from anything else, quality players will need an extra break after the WC.

    But at least that way we would be on more or less the same footing as the others. Then you can talk of topping up one at a time.

    There is just a chance if we fail in the next few games, AW may not extend his stay?

  59. Admir says:

    VCC, I think that Podolski has been a bit like Arshavin in his last season at Arsenal: rumours about his laziness could have been heard, he has been used sporadically at best even after he has returned from the injury and there is a huge question where to play him – some kind of narrow 4-2-3-1 formation where he would occupy the left side behind the striker or 4-4-2 with Giroud next to him (two left-footed strikers in the starting line-up?). In the former he has to battle with Cazorla for the spot and Cazorla is more Wenger-esque player than Poldi. 4-4-2 is something we can’t play without natural wingers, not to mention that formation usually means you will be over-run in the midfield by your 4-3-3 opponents.

  60. AFC says:

    Admir, do you Podolski will be gone by next season? Wenger might choose to replace him with a youthful more speedy traditional winger like Di Maria.

  61. AFC says:

    Just had another thought about Podolski. He is only really effective as a LW in a 4-3-3 formation or a SS in an attacking 4-4-1-1 formation. He is not really versatile enough to play in our current system where the front four players interchange. He is quite similar to Theo in that they both play the inside forward role but Podolski does not have Theo’s pace and it just seems very hard to find Podolski a place in the team. I might be wrong though. ๐Ÿ˜€

  62. Admir says:

    @AFC – exactly my point. I expect him to leave but I don’t know if he is going to be replaced with a natural winger (Di Maria if Real go for Suarez next summer?), an inside forward (Draxler or Thauvin?) or with a pacey striker than can be used on the flank (Pedro?). Remember, Wenger has already said that he wanted a striker that can play both with and without Giroud. Previously I saw that as a message to Giroud but it might have been a message to Podolski.

  63. RA says:

    That is a super, super Post, by the Master of the Clogs. ๐Ÿ™‚

    That is a very thoughtful and deep analysis of the game against the Mancs and everything surrounding it.
    You are so right – and I hate saying this – Manyoo, the title holders, have not suddenly become a crap team, but the absence of the retired Red Nose has upset their equilibrium and Moist has not really come to grips with his new team.

    In the same way, Liverpool have not suddenly become world beaters because they caned our asses last Saturday – they are still the average team we beat comfortably, at home, not so long ago.

    As is often said — ‘football is a funny old game’. ๐Ÿ™‚

  64. AFC says:

    Admir, I’d love Di Maria. Too long to explain why but you probably know why. ๐Ÿ™‚

  65. AB says:

    Morning all! Yes, I’m with the consensus that we should play our best, fit side on Sunday, and take it from there with Bayern. Santi being out for Sunday limits our options now, so no opportunity to rest Oz. Pod and Flam must return I assume. The remaining questions are around whether Jack needs a rest, or a bench start at least, assuming he will play next week, and whether we give Gnab another start. I’d like to see us try Ox alongside Flam, though this would be a dangerous game to try experiments in. I also think if we start Giroud in both the next games we must be seriously risking injury.

    As I’ve posted before I am far from being in the discard Pod camp – quite the reverse. There may be issues off the field which I am not sighted on, but when we get excited talking about buying in top quality players it is bizarre that we ignore the one currently sat on our bench! Pod has never looked the part as a lone striker, but we did not buy him to be one. He has also struggled to make 90 minutes. But in his time on the pitch (when vaguely fit) he has offered directness and a willingness to shoot that is as ‘different’ for our side as the fore headed one’s dribbling was – but with far more end product. At the start of the season there were high expectations of what a fit Pod might deliver, and it seemed to start that way. Injury has intervened though. But this does not change his quality. His benching is a lesser evil than, perhaps, that of Jack or Ox; both hoped to be stars of the future. I would like to see him given a run though, on the left or behind the striker, to show what he can do and make himself indispensable, if he can. I would hate us to discard him prematurely whilst buying in some untested young talent. We need to try him in games when our formation can be shaped in a way to suit him though. Wenger is not going to drop 4, 2, 3, 1 for string opposition, but he might try 4, 1, 3, 1, 1 against some of our lighter opponents, with Flam in an orthodox DM role. I would predict some immediate product from Pod in such an arrangement, as well as better outlets for Oz to show us his abilities.

  66. Xavier says:

    Y’all know Mourinho is going to regret that his mind game statement right??

  67. 17highburyterrace says:

    Very good post and a good discussion here as well. The back and forth between long-time Arsenal supporters (AB and VCC) was particularly great, but all contributions seemed worthy…Great set of bloggers you’ve cultivated here, Mr. McGoats…

    It was a big day for my family as we said goodbye to a great friend and companion. Super quality that you simply cannot buy (I’m foreshadowing here…)
    http://s1100.photobucket.com/user/clydesdad/media/Lunita2_zps076f4c12.jpg.html

    What happened to Macko and responses? In the evening I went to catch my wife up upon the match from the previous day and the ensuing commentary and it wasn’t all there… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Oh well…

    Looking at parts of the match again, (or trying to find the key moments) what is striking are the the tiny margins. We were VERY fortunate that 65-70 million pound (fee + contract) RvP had trouble with the sodden pitch early and that 20 million pound (contract only) Szczesny was able to push his late header onto the correct centimeter of the crossbar and keep out his late chance…You get what you pay for (so the saying the goes…) and our Giroud (20 mil contract + fee?) looked very, very poor missing those headers and not getting a foot on Sagna’s wonderful cross. Vidic played a wonderful match against him and used the whistle-swallowing, hair-plugged “referee” (I use the term loosely here…) to perfection to just put big Ollie off as the match wore on. The first chance must’ve been those “nerves” AW keeps mentioning as he was completely unmarked…

    That one came from a corner which Wilshere won when his right footed shot was blocked behind. Lee Dixon, doing commentary, was surprised he took the extra touch when he had a chance to swing his “lazy left foot” just before. Interesting, I thought, and maybe more indication of nerves. I agree that we had maybe too many MFs who wanted to come central but what unified them was the lack of quality of their final balls. Whether we’re talking giveaways from Jack (pretty much owned by Carrick in the center of the park) or one after another from Rosicky (high ones after the low ones were too slow–again on the wet pitch). Ozil worked hard but since we didn’t score he must’ve lacked the passion (at least) if not the quality as well… ๐Ÿ™„ He and Santi (and others, including Giroud) had some good combo work, but the tight central spaces combined with the slow pitch and a resolute ManU defense proved too much. De Gea had a good match too, though I must say he’s miles behind our young keeper at set pieces. Luckily for him, Koscielny’s header wasn’t quite as perfect as Skrtl’s and Valencia was able to man his post and clear where the Ox failed in the previous match. Like I say, tight margins…

    With those tight margins a draw probably is the fair result (as they say…) and both teams, psychologically at least, can go forward in better condition having not lost. Dropping the two points (as people have pointed out) is likely worse for the race for 4th–But as other, less optimistic types, say–now we’re being drawn into it ourselves! I prefer to look up in the table and note we’re only a point off the top, even if Man City have their game in hand… Now a similar (psychological) dynamic presents itself for the Liverpool re-match, even if it’s in a different competition…

    So then, more nerves come Sunday and we’ll be sure to be thinking defense first, even if we MUST avoid a replay…But more on that match as it nears and I want to (quickly-hahaha…) focus on the nerves. Wenger is correct we play nervous. It comes from the previous result, but it also comes from the pressure the club is under. High ticket prices AND media induced expectations mean fans (VCC and AFC, above, for example) react to what they see AND what the feel, the latter being (mostly, IMO) result-based. We could’ve bought ourselves a better result, er, team, is 100% hindsight but a natural reaction. We all want the feeling that comes with winning. Wenger is the architect of this phase of the club’s history and he’ll likely be remembered well for it even if we win nothing. As the oldsters know (and suggest) we’re getting to final chapter time, however and we all WISH that he would seem to have the cajones (spanish for bollocks, I believe) to get us over the line. He’s nervous and we’re nervous (except for those who comfort ourselves in prognostications of gloom…) and it’s not a supportive environment. The margins are tight and getting those nerves gone, releasing the handbrake and f**king going out there and playing our game is what’s needed. I believe if the fans could do this too, it would really help, but that’s just my opinion and (like arseholes…) everybody has their own… At least we seem to be doing this–playing with good support and to our potential–against the bottom teams (on the road or in front of the lower priced ticket buyers…) most of the time…

    I’ve got more to say on these (rather complex) issues but people are getting up so coffees must be pulled. Single Origin Central Americans (a Guate and an El Salvador) are the beans of the moment, but it’s also a roasting day, so more variety will be coming… ๐Ÿ˜€

  68. VCC says:

    Hi 17ht…….Wow, what a fantastically beautiful dog. I feel for you and your family at the moment, such a loss of a fine animal.
    I have an eleven year old Boxer..”George” he is my side kick, follows me everywhere, even to the loo ๐Ÿ™‚
    I wish I could download some photo’s on here, I’m sure Totes wouldn’t mind ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I enjoyed the chat last night with AB. You are so right, we are fortunate to have so many fine intelligent bloggers on this site. All with differing views, which is healthy and insightful.
    We never encounter any nastiness, differences yes, but all good fun. Long may it continue.

  69. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey thanks–yes, Victory through Harmony, or something… Not sure if I can totally agree that there’s never any nastiness here on the BK-esque, but at least I tend to feel regretful when there is… ๐Ÿ˜€

    Having said that, and knowing that you’ve got a fine companion (George) to soften any internet “misunderstandings”… I wanted to ask if you thought the pitch had anything to do with our (midget-based) attack being so poor on Weds. night. On the telly I only noticed it after awhile–I think when Sagna had to think twice and then really thump a backpass to Szcz so it wouldn’t get stolen. Watching that first United chance both Arteta’s slow turn and RvPs weak shot might also have been pitch related (I thought)…

    If so, it’s a shame that these big home matches (Chelsea being the other) were marred by the conditions. At least we didn’t lose either one, even if our attack (and our attacking tactics–subs, etc.) were maybe toothless on the night. Of course, the other team plays on the same pitch and it’s no excuse, but maybe something to consider when there is soooo much weight on the result and the supporters have waited soooo long for a dominant result/performance vs the bigger clubs…

    This is a subtlety that many will not want to acknowledge, but could it be, just maybe, that part of the reason that our playing style has shifted towards smaller, more technical types, is that we (usually) play at least half our matches on a fast, pristine pitch. It used to be one of the larger ones as well, but (if AFC and others who still talk about pitch size are reading this…) of course they’ve now been standardized (taking away a very small, extra home-pitch advantage?)…

    That said, I think there’s a lot of merit to the theory of AW’s nerves–match to match and regarding building a squad through transfers which transmit to his players AND to the support… Being conservative with money myself, I understand the reluctance regarding “speculate to accumulate” and appreciate it in the manager. Still, if Stan can’t be arsed to do something better with his “hair” maybe AW could use that money to help the squad…Soldildo and Lameassela are funny (props to Admir, last night…) but even those two would score a few in our squad, I think… (Well, the latter might be in the physio-room) and a well placed gamble might be in order. Personally, if others are missing the Gerv, I’d like to make a shout out for Ade whose hate for us is so strong I think it’s love…

    Thanks again for the nice words, re: our Lu-lu. Hugs, pats and treats for George, eh…

  70. VCC says:

    17ht…….George and I are always cuddling and kissing, we have a fantastic warm relationship. My wife says If I’m not careful I would fall over him as he keeps so close always.

    Conditions were awful on Wednesday night. We have had the worse rainfall for over 100 years in this country. Yes the pitch was slow, and as you say, the conditions were similar to the Chelsea fixture. Both sides were affected and this factor did not enhance the playing skills of either side.

    My main concern is we seemed timid and frightened, especially in the second half. I thought at half time Wenger would have told his troops to go for the jugular, but this was not the case, we seemed happy and content to settle for the draw and play out the final 15-20 minutes frightened not to lose.

    IMO, we will never have a better time to skittle the Manx and we blew it.

    Never mind, we are still in the mix, lets hope, fingers crossed on Sunday we venture into the next round and hopefully lift the FA Cup in May.

  71. 17
    Sorry to hear about your beautiful companion taking the express train to Doggie Heaven !. My puppy is the same as VCC describes his….he sticks to me like glue and gives me the most unconditional love anyone could ever expect !.

  72. No one mentioning Valentines Day ?. Not surprising you UMF`s !. hahaha
    I like it Admir, the Spudettes could have had me on the never never ( Hire Purchase ) !.
    I woke up to my usual Valentines Day card from my mirror with the usual ” Roses are Red ” poem !.

    Roses are red, violets are blue !.
    I`m a handsome bastard and so are you !.

    Not so good for Lover Boy Transplant !. Valentines Day was the death of his first marriage !. After 5 years, his then wife asked him to say one love for each year !. Stretch said….. 1) I would love it if you were as slim as your sister !. 2) I`d love you to see a plastic surgeon !. 3) he didn`t get that far !…the thighs did the rest !.
    She then sent him a Valentines Day card with a poem !.

    Roses are red, violets are blue !.
    I`m blowing the Builder, the Baker and your 3 brothers too !.

    VCC sent his missus a VD ( Valentines Day ) card with poem !.

    Roses are red, Ivy is green !.
    Get the polish out and give my Zimmer a clean !.

    To which Mrs VCC replied !

    Roses are red, Ivy is green !.
    Just like your colostomy bag, you`re hideous and obscene !.

    Totes received a VD card as well !.

    The rose is red, the tulip is black !.
    Pornocchio stop lying, it`s getting to big for my crack !.

    Fozzie card from Mrs P !.

    Roses are red, violets are blue !.
    I love Porknography and a big fat corkscrew !.

    Sasquatch to 17 !

    Roses are red, Ivy is green !.
    I`m behind you naked, it`s time to scream !.

    17`s one to Squatch !

    Roses are red, violets are blue !.
    I`ve a sore rectum, Squatchie, I hope it`s you !.

  73. Gerry says:

    17HT Thanks for showing the photos of Luna. I imagined her a more rough mixture from your earlier descriptions. She is beautiful, as is ‘Gorgeous George’. It is my boy Prince’s birthday today, but he is a big lumpy mut, but he goes all soppy if I call him ‘best puppy’ ๐Ÿ˜€

    Sad time, but keep the memories alive …

  74. VCC says:

    TCM……ghahahhahhahahhhahahhahahahahhahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahhahahahaha

  75. Good stuff there, re: VD, Cockster… Turnabout is fair play and it seems you understand the key to a healthy relationship…

    Thanks also for the nice wishes about our dearest departed…(Gerry too, of course…)

    I guess we’re all done with the footy talk until the next thread?…Or maybe we’re just in a fingers crossed mode about the Liverpool match. Beaten 5-1 at their place but booed off the pitch in our next one AND a super-drubbing vs Bayern awaiting if we don’t broaden the squad…Hmmm… Home field advantage? I wonder… Maybe it’s a fingers in ears and hands over eyes situation (much as the missus makes me prepare, you know, when she’s in the mood… :shock:) Behind the sofa might be the best spot for this one, even for the stronger at heart, I fear…

    No, in truth, I’m optimistic even if there isn’t much to back it up…I guess they call that “stupid.” Ah well…

    Happy VD everyone… (Though I thought VD was a thing of the past, what with the modern antibiotics and all…) Enjoy…

  76. James Bond says:

    am so sorry to hear about the 18 year old Luna …what a beauty, really – am not a dog person but honestly, she was gorgeous….it must be more difficult for your children as well…least she is no longer in pain and is in a far better place where she be able to walk on her own and run @ 17HT

    A fascinating post by our skipper and then what a splendid discussion between the level headed posters – I have always said that VCC is a very under rated blogger , he should be posting more comments as most of the things and points he makes are spot on .

    you see, even water when at a standstill after sometimes starts to stink – there is no Plan B, C, D, E or F at the moment… it’s like our management (coach) is waiting for things to sort themselves out…. I will be very very surprised if we don’t play a 4-3-3 ( Flamini/Ox/JW (in the hole) and then Gnabry – Bendtner – Podolski ) – I am not one for making huge statements without merit but if we play this 4-3-3 then be it Liverpool or any other team in England , we have more than a chance of not only winning the game but doing it fairly comfortably – what I don’t want is to play a draw and then have a replay on our hands.

    I am very glad that Moron made such comments about Arsene – it just goes to show that Arsene is winning the mind games this time around with minimal of fuss or hardly saying anything, he is clearly getting the moron’s skin –

    so thank you, Moron – and now watch Arsene rile you up some more by winning while you draw tomorrow with man city.

  77. James Bond says:

    *under

    ahahahhahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahha @ Admir’s and TCM’s written gems

  78. VCC says:

    HI JB. ….that’s very kind of you to say such nice things about my blogging. My English is not up to the standard of many on here.
    I try and be constructive, and not de-structive, when Arsenal are concerned. They have been the love of my life for approx 59 years. My earliest recollections are from five years old when I first went to infants school, being one of two children supporting the Arsenal and most of the rest supporting West Ham.
    I’m eagerly awaiting our fixture on Sunday against the bin dippers. Wenger has to go for a win. We are pushing on three fronts while Liverpool are only going for two so they will not be sorry to take us back to their place, we cannot afford a replay.

  79. Fournier Michael says:

    To: TotalArsenal Oh course Any it is easy to say we need another Henry but honestly I do not think there is another player like Henry in the EPL or anywhere at the moment. He was simply one of those special players a legend. To replace him would take a special player I have yet to see a player recently like him. We were blessed he was a Gooner.

  80. Fournier Michael says:

    I do not want to bash OG while he is in a slump but honestly I feel Henry even Now had we brought him on another Jan. loan deal would be more effective upfront when it comes to taking chances. we simply do not have a player of that quality that scares defenders that is given any space at all will find the net. the half chances OG gets would be enough for a player of Henry’s quality to put it in the back of the net and instead of looking rushed the replay will just look easy while Gioud takes one more touch and gets closed down Henry would find a bender into the corner. It has been a long time since I have seen such class on the ball in a Arsenal Shirt Theo has scored a few Henry like goals but never from a position where you go OMG how did he just do that. When Arsenal have another player like that again we will again lift the EPL title trophy

  81. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning all ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for fine comments and mini debates.

    17, sorry to hear about Luna having passed away. The house will be a lot emptier without her, but I hope the great memories will fill the void.

    FM, no argument fron me re TH14’s specialness. But you cannot compare them. Henry cannot do what OG does for the team and that’s how Wenger wants it. We just need the attacking midfielders to be more prolific to get the full value out of OG’s hard work.

  82. VCC says:

    Morning Totes…..how do you think we will fare against the bin dippers tomorrow?

  83. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning VCC ๐Ÿ™‚

    Really good to see you making excellent comments that led to some good debates.

    I reckon we’ll beat the Dippers tomorrow, and in style as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

    What do you think?

  84. TotalArsenal says:

    Did anyone see the Balotelli wonder strike yesterday? FM, he could become the next Henry, no?

  85. Xavier says:

    TCM…. You. Are. A. Genius.

    Them poems were super awesomeeee!!!!!

    This blog is the best. We have the smartest funniest and the most constructive arguments on here. I can’t even count how many times I’ve been able to see things from another perspective since I’ve been coming here. Plus, y’all realize we never get first timers who don’t always return. Unless they just plain sick. LOOOLโ„ข.
    But I’m glad I stumbled upon this though.

    We winning the double this season. Just wanna reiterate that incase y’all lost focus. Trust the manager. He knows how to get the best outta the players. Even if he’s annoying sometimes. Most times.

  86. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Xavier ๐Ÿ™‚

    Just one price would be bliss, but the double… Yeah baby! ๐Ÿ™‚

  87. VCC says:

    Totes……after watching the game last Saturday against the bin dippers, I said to my Son “That was a hiding, but we will get our own back next week in the cup”. I was totally confident, every team has a ‘purple patch’ game, and that was Liverpool’s. Everything they tried came off. It’s not sour grapes because they fully deserved their victory, but they had a head start with an offside goal, and our midfield were not at the races.

    Alas, I have reservations now after going to the Manx game this week. We have to somehow dust ourselves down and rid ourselves of the negativity that has emerged within ourt game these past two matches.

    Wenger has to wield his magic wand and instil some confidence back into us, and get us playing with a spring in our step instead of playing with caution and fear.

    I here from certain quarters, Wenger will have one eye on the Bayern match. IMO, this would be a mistake. HE must play his strongest fittest side and try to pull off a win as a replay is not what we want, and certainly a defeat will further compound the agony and angst against Bayern.

    So I say, take the shackles off, play at pace, but compact as well. We must not stretch our formation so as to leave too much gap between the midfield section and the back line.

    As we do not have an athletic enforcer type DM who can get back quickly when things break down, we will expose our back line to the pace of the Liverpool forwards.

    Rogers, and many other managers, have done their home work on Arsenal. As I said in an earlier post, they play in packs against our midfield and hope the tippy tappy football breaks down and attack us at pace. This is more so when Wilshere and Arteta have the ball in forward positions. They immediately break at pace and hope to turn our defenders, this is a situation, if any one has played football, a dangerous ploy.

    Chelsea (Mourinho) particularly play this type of game well, just watch the game they played against ManCity the other day.

    You have been banging the drum about getting a SQ DM for some time now and I agree. This position and a SQ ST is what is needed, and if the reports in todays papers (haha) that we have ยฃ120m to be believed, we should make these two positions a priority in the Summer.

    Wenger, and especially his substantial scouting staff should be scouring the globe NOW for these types of players and not on the last day of the Summer transfer deadline.

    In conclusion…….depending on the team and attitude on Sunday I remain extremely nervous.

  88. Gerry says:

    Totes@8.36 – One off my ยฃ135m list ๐Ÿ˜€

  89. TotalArsenal says:

    All agreed, Vickers. I am hoping that Flam’s return will make a difference, but let’s also hope that we defend the set pieces better than last weekend.

  90. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry, I am not sure. He can singlehandedly make OR break a team.

  91. VCC says:

    UMF entries please guys.

    EIGHT entries still to come =
    HENRY
    OZ
    17HT
    GERRY
    DYLAN
    JB
    ROCKY
    JGC

    Thank you

  92. VCC says:

    HI Gerry…09:49……he would not be on my list. Far too risky.

  93. VCC says:

    what keeps happening to my avatar????????

  94. James Bond says:

    Hello Vcc

    Your English is plenty better than most online…trust me on that one ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for sharing your journey. .. wow what a long and eventful journey you must have had…..and the love affair still continues to be strong and passion running high – great stuff

    Much like you I feel we can win tomorrow but not just that I think we can also surprise and shock everyone on Wednesday.

    TA ,

    In regards to the Glicster…. I reckon he prepares to fail… don’t believe him for a second when he comes out with his usual specials as make no mistake… he does have hopes and expectations of winning… but this is his release and also gives him bragging rights later to say ” told you so bastards :D:

    Me on the other hand… I’m a realist…hence I’m expecting us to knock out both the fools and munich in a matter of 4 days ๐Ÿ™‚

  95. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post ๐Ÿ™‚

    Jozefos2013 stands up for Arsene! Enjoy.

  96. TotalArsenal says:

    That is the spirit, JB, that is the spirit! ๐Ÿ™‚

  97. James Bond says:

    Mario is a super super talent but he is also a very super nut case…

    If he could somehow manage to surpress his wackiness then he could be the greatest Italian striker in my opinion. …he is wasted in the current Milan side but would Aw be willing to work with his huge ego and child like behaviour ? I doubt it… but would personally sign Mario.B in a heart beat… the lads special ( no not only mentally retarded but SQ…. reminds me of a young swede aka ibra )

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