Bayern – Arsenal Predicted Line Up: Will Wenger Surprise Us Again?

Tomorrow night, in the futuristic, brand new Allianz Arena, Arsenal will play a ‘nothing to lose’ Champions League game against the reigning European Champions. Anything can happen tomorrow: from a drab goalless draw, to 120 minutes of spectacular football followed by a nail-biting penalty shootout; from a glorious aggregate win over Die Lederhosen to a very heavy defeat. I cannot predict the outcome but have no doubt that Wenger will field his strongest team, with a strategy to win whilst playing football as it should be played.

I predict a big big night for AOC

I predict a big big night for AOC

So, no parking of the London double bus as the London Oilers once did, but also no kamikaze approach. Getting the balance right is key and Bayern might not give us much chance to play our game anyway; as, especially under Guardiola, they like to dominate teams and suck the lifeblood out of them. They will want to do the same to Arsenal but let’s pump some lead into them instead.

So let’s cut to the chase: how should we line up to give ourselves the best possible chance?

Four things are vital:

  1. Solid approach to defending as a team: especially the two players in the DM pivot and our mid-wingers are key and need to be picked with defending duties and qualities in mind;
  2. Possession of the ball will be key and we need players who can pass and hold on to the ball in confined spaces as good as possible;
  3. We need players who are able to add thrust and speed to our attack; especially our midfielders need to possess these skills;
  4. We need leadership and composure and, of course, passion.

Gibbs is not available and neither is Nacho, and realistically, we have two options: Vermaelen or Sagna (Jenkinson to be our left back). I have a feeling Wenger will go for Vermaelen this time as he will need Sagna on the left to keep Ribery quiet. Vermaelen needs support though, and we will play either Cazorla or Rosicky as our mid-left. I have a feeling it will be Rosicky.

FlamTeta in the DM pivot again? Yes, I reckon that would make sense. The area in front of our D will be most important for keeping it tight and both Arteta and Flamini will have to give their all to keep the Bayern midfielders away from our box, and also not allow them to shoot from just outside it as much as possible (often our Achilles’ heel against Bayern)…..they also will have to support the full backs and will simply be tested to the max. We could play Ox or Rosicky next to Flamini (or Arteta) but I reckon we need both of the Frenchman and Spaniard’s experience to fully protect our back-four.

Then the most exciting area: ‘the front four’. What is Wenger going to do? Sanogo is injured, so we should expect Giroud to start, but…… Wenger might go for speed up-front, as BM will play with a high-line and Giroud might not be as effective as he usually is in the centre of attack, as he lacks the speed to really worry them. But, he might be very important for our ability to hold on to the ball and get our midfielders involved in our attacks…

Wenger might suprise us once again with an alternative attacker…maybe Ox, or even Gnabry? I am going to go with Giroud, just marginally. He scored at Bayern last season and looked sharp and refreshed against Everton, but it is his hold-up play and ability to bring the midfielders into play which will add so much value to the team.

If we do not opt for speed and thrust in our CF, we will need to have it in our midfielders; especially as our normal ‘wingers’ – the full backs – will not be able to go forward a lot in this game. Ozil is a given, and, in current form, Ox is as well. It was two years and five days ago when AOC played the best game of his career – against Milan at home – and let’s hope he can produce a similarly dynamic and inspiring performance.

But who to complete the (attacking) midfield: Cazorla, Rosicky, or even Pod? As said earlier, I reckon it might be Rosicky as he adds so much drive and energy as well as good control of the ball in tight spaces. But Cazorla played well on Saturday and starting to hit fine form and also scores a lot more than the Czech….

The slightly conservative predicted Wenger line-up is:

Ars v Bay conservative2

But I reckon he will do something a bit more daring, as to be able to play his very best players and find a good balance between solidity and attacking prowess.

So maybe, he will go for this more adventurous line-up (with one of Flamini and Arteta):

Ars v Bay adventurous2

We will have to wait and see, but I reckon both line-ups have their merits and will provide plenty of leadership, composure and passion to the team.

Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners – Make Us Proud!

TotalArsenal.

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311 Responses to Bayern – Arsenal Predicted Line Up: Will Wenger Surprise Us Again?

  1. TA,
    Don’t forget fabianski is playing,
    well, he kept a clean sheet there last year,
    Jenkinson was also playing that night.

    Not sure about gnabry, up front?
    The Ox, would be a better option.

    We need a miracle & a non biased ref..

    The very best of luck to our boys,
    COYG’s..

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Fatboy Gooney – I was asleep, obviously! 🙂

    Ox would be a good option too, but we need speed on the wing and either of them can provide it.

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Updated now.

    And yes agreed, Jenkinson played and actually had a good game that night.

  4. Twig says:

    Wenger is probably as conservative and cautious as they come as far as tactics are concerned. Some would even say “unimaginative” or “predictable”. Contrast with Mourinho who will often throw up a Schurrle surprise upfront. Giroud is 99% going to start although I don’t think it’s a good idea against a side that will press us high up the pitch for the most part. The OX upfront will really worry Bayern.. Another option is to play a 3-5-2 with Sagna, Mertesacker and Koscielny as centre backs. Vermalaen’s air kick over the weekend shows mistakes are still a regular part of his game.

  5. Milo says:

    I saw from the last post that you lot (hahahaha) were discussing desirable transfer targets…Well if I could choose one player that I would like to have to cover and start in any position on the pitch I know who I would want. Not in a million years do I think we could afford him, but maybe there are other, even younger players out there on the market that someone of my limited knowledge, wouldn’t be remotely aware of. Enough of the suspense, the player who I would love to have is Marco Verratti. He is rather small and hardly a “beast” like Vieira or Tiote whom I had mentioned earlier, but he is VERY mobile, and can tackle very well. He tends to give away a lot of fouls and slides in unnecessarily almost every match, but IF he can tone that down, I actually prefer him to Pogba, who has been referenced many a time on this blog. No, he won’t rack up as many goals as Pogba, but he prevents a tonne with his play under pressure, close to his own 18 yard area. He seems like a more mobile and tenacious Pirlo to me. As I tend to have a very drastic difference to others regarding what I prefer to see from someone in his position, I will qualify this opinion of mine. In my opinion, he can easily become the best central midfielder in major European competition. Even if he didn’t improve his level of play, one iota, I would take him away from PSG (Penis Sucking Gobsmacker) in an instant. I truly have no idea if he, or a player who possesses similar traits and talents, fits in to a midfield selected by Arsene Wenger. Verratti reminds me a lot of Wilshere as well. I’d say he’s a mix of Flamini, Wilshere and Pirlo. I’d be really happy if in the future, we unearthed a talent comparable to him.

    As for the match tomorrow, unlike last season, I am fearful of a drubbing at the hands of the Germans. Last year, I just knew we would perform with little to no expectation placed on us. Now that we have made a bit of a habit of that (see Milan two seasons ago as well) I think people are finally catching on to our unintentional ploy. In fact, one could quite reasonably assume that our players actually EXPECT to play better and maybe even win tomorrow, if not qualify and there lies the danger. We can’t want, or force it to happen. We have to just do it. Bayern aren’t stupid. They don’t have short-term memory loss en mass, as far as I’m aware. They might even be a little peeved and want revenge over us for what happened last year. They were never really questioned about it, but I wonder how they felt about the possibility of some of the media or the supporters of the opposition, if not their own, thinking that they “backed in” to the quarter finals last term. I know that would anger me, especially if my club went on to win the whole damn thing, fairly or unfairly. You cannot argue with results, even though a lot of people do. I think it is Bayern who will be out for blood and not us. Even though he came on to hit two for us against Everton, do you TRULY think a man with the intelligence quotient of Giroud thinks this will be anything but easier than it really is??? Unless he truly wanted all the stories about him to be printed, he didn’t exactly go about hiding his funny business too well which would indicate, at least to me a relatively high level of ignorance if not stupidity. Hahahahaha, even if he IS more intelligent than me, which is entirely possible, I don’t have to go out in front of millions of people and attempt to score a goal or two, against arguably the best football team on planet Earth. It doesn’t even really come down to intelligence in the end. It’s all about the attitude. No we shouldn’t be fearful of Bayern, BUT we cannot go in to this match expecting to pull off what we did last time round at this venue. I just have a bad feeling that most people within and surrounding the club are leaning towards the latter school of thought. 😦

  6. sindy says:

    Got a feeling we gonna qualify. Hav had it for a long tym. Mark my words BM is officially out.

  7. VCC says:

    I love you sindy. XXXXXXXXXXXX

  8. henrychan says:

    Hi all.. How are you guys..??
    Sorry for can’t contributed lately.. had a lot of work to do.. and my smartphone was damaged.. hehehe..

    TA.. I prefered your second team.. But I prefer Ox as DM and Rosicky as RW..
    Rosicky have more speed and space.. We just can’t beat Munchen without speed and space.. their middle squad is too good to breakdown..
    I wish Ozil play well at his homeland.. And give a nice assist to Giroud, Rosicky and Cazorla..

    But after lastnight game that Wigan win over City.. I have a very strong feeling that we will win against Munchen.. And I hope we will win more than one goal.. 3-1 will be a very good result..
    A very sweet revange.. hehehehe..

    And I want to see Kim play.. I have a very good feeling that he will be great.. as great as Flamini..
    Go Gunners.. Make us proud..

  9. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cheers TA

    3-1 Arsenal. See, no 5-0 here, so I can be realistic.

    Muchens are a bit suspect at home, they like to crap themselves, just ask Ribbery.

    I can see us doing them from set pieces. They defend them a bit static, so this will be there undoing.

    We need a strong ref. At this slightest sign of Robben falling over he should be punished. If not a card, then Ribbery should be allowed to put his arse on his face.

    That Toni Cruze bloke? Close him down for gawds sake. The geezer likes a shot so deny him the space.

    As for Muller. Our lads should just scream “The villagers are coming with pitchforks and fire” You wont see him touch the ball after that.

    Guardiola thinks hes special because he looks like that Inglasias bloke, whilst Wenger looks like that creep form the Simpsons. Well, whilst hes preoccupied dreaming of “All the girls ive loved before” Wenger will suss him out.

    Yes, thats right Pep. For “All the girls youve loved before”, Wenger was there watching

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning Fine Fellow Gooners!

    Match Day!!!!

    Water, when is the last time you felt as excited as us today? When did you reach boiling point last time, hey? 😀

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Twig, with all due respect, wasn’t Sanogo against Pool and then Bayern ‘a Schurlle moment’…. And let’s not forget that your Schurlle did come with a hefty price tag….

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    Milo Smilo 🙂

    Thanks for the Veratti description; I will keep an eye out for him.

  13. Alcide says:

    Nice write-up and line-up(s) TA. Sagna on the left could be intersting though – a right footed defender has its advantages to prevent the oh so usual (but oh so effective) cutting inside and shoot from Robben. It will be a tough ask for Jenks to deal with Ribery, but so is asking Verm to take care of Robben on the LW after a long absence.

    And it now appears Yaya “did not travel to Munich”. Hmmm

    I don’t like to be optimistic for this game – we have a chance, but could very well end up hammered, they are no small team. My optimism lies mostly in the fact that we have nothing to lose, the disappointment of the first leg is behind us (well me at least), and as long as we have a good, voluntary display, a defeat would not spoil my week. So no pressure, only the perspecticve of an amazing upset!

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    Henry 🙂

    Good to have you back! How is Yoona da Goona?

    Are you saying Rosicky is faster than Oxie?

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahahaha Terry, let’s hope Arsene has a nice lesson of love for the Catalonian Sex God!

  16. alcide says:

    Veratti is a little gem, great bursts of pace, technically savvy, fighting spirit, and with a great engine; lack of size is the only drawback. He will improve constantly if he channels his aggression a bit more. But to me, there is no way PSG is letting him leave.

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes Alcide, YAya is a nogo tonight. It’s a real shame Gibbser is not fit for this one, but TV5 will be so up for this one.

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    Milo, Alcide, I’d love a really good tackler in the team.

  19. Dylan says:

    I think Gnabry needs to be in the line-up tonight. Ox is also a must. As is Ozil. Those 3 players will cause BM so many problems tonight.

  20. henrychan says:

    TA.. Yoona doing well.. April 18th will be her first birthday..
    I wish by that day.. we will be at a very good position.. Final FA.. and beat all Spurs, Chelsea, City, and Everton.. hahahahaha..

    Yes.. Rosicky is faster than Ox.. and better in attack.. hehehe..
    And you know I don’t like Flam-teta.. Better Ox-teta.. hahahaha..

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    But who would you leave out young Dylanus?

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    No Henry Ox is faster than Rosa, or at least as fast.

    Wow almost one year old, time flies!

  23. Dylan says:

    I leave out Arteta.
    RB: Sagna
    CB:Mert
    CB:Kos
    LB: Verm
    DM: Flamini
    DM:Ox
    RM: Gnabry
    LM: Santi
    CAM: Ozil
    ST: Giroud

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    Probably too attacking imo

  25. Twig says:

    @Dylan
    Arteta will be the first name on the team sheet… considering the penalty “incident” in the first leg.

  26. Fozzie B says:

    Nice work Totes!! Fleeting visit … 😆 Like the attacking lineup 2!!
    Feeling really positive tonight .. Not about rolling the munchers but at least showing some intent like the first leg but without the missed pen and the red card!
    I’m sure the boys will play some good stuff tonight whatever happens!!
    COYRRG’s !!!!! 😀

  27. Dylan says:

    The sun is out on the east coast lads. Lets do this!

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Fozzie, Dylan 🙂

    Wow it has been quiet on here today. Are we playing one of the biggest games of the year or what?

    Where is everyone? 😦

    Hope all is well with 17HT, who has not been round here since the water dialogues… Come back compadre! 🙂

  29. Dylan says:

    I was right! Ox at CM!

  30. Dylan says:

    Javi Martinez at CB for Bayern is weak. Not a great player and out of position.

  31. alcide says:

    I’m here! Probably won’t be very active during the game though (friends and kids around).

    Wow, he played OxTeta, Pod on the left, Santi on the right…

    ARSENAL TEAM
    Fabianski, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski, Ozil, Giroud

    SUBS
    Viviano, Jenkinson, Hayden, Gnabry, Rosicky, Flamini

  32. alcide says:

    Probably a good move… The issue won’t be to run behind the defense as much as it will be about dealing with the midfield battle.

  33. Thanks Totes for your usual astute tactical knowledge and your 4 points make sense…..now if only we could buy in some SQ players to carry it out !. hahaha
    We are going to get hammered, I know this as my Soothsaying Sausage has packed his bags and gone on a pilgrimage to a Budhist Temple in Nepal to find out whether he was a porn star in another life !.
    Actually, this game should carry an adult rating and Arsenal can field our women`s team and the Germans can go ballistic with a pornothon, they have the moustaches and mullets to match !.
    My Grandfather was a prisoner of war under the Nazis and was held in a PoW camp close to a Swiss border in a Stalag !. His one and only escape attempt came to an exhilarating and peculiar climatic end on Christmas day 1943. He had an ingenious escape plan, after weeks of surveying the woods past the commandants house, he dressed himself up as a Snowman and over the course of the night inched his way towards the commandants house and to the woods beyond. As he sneaked past the commandants window, he looked inside and saw the commandant having a foursome with 3 lesbians !. He couldn`t help himself and started to knock one out inside his Snowman outfit !. One of the lesbians caught sight of the smiling squinty eyed Snowman with his head bobbing up and down and screamed !. My Grandfather then panicked and ran towards the 10,000 volt electric fence whilst the camps sirens went off. He started to cut the fence with his insulated cutters with the Germans closing in and as he tried to slide under the fence his Boner caught the fence and he electrocuted his cock !. Although his cock was never the same afterwards, luckily for him, these Germans had a good sense of humour and compassionately sent him home early from the war !. However, he would never go out in the winter there afterwards and had phobia towards Snowmen, but always had a permanent “Joker” style grin to his last days !.

    Hey Fozzer…..what is it you actually do ?……..I see New Zealand are going to hold a referendum on changing the national flag !. I`ve will vote for the tattooed cock haka on a black back ground !. hahaha

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    Not my favourite line up as we seldom play well with Santi and Pod on the ‘wings’, but very interesting to see OxTeta… not sure about that either. Hmmmm, let’s wait and see. 🙂

    Catch you later.

  35. proudgooner says:

    Come on Arsenal !
    Great line up, very positive, lets show them who and what Arsenal can do. I think we can do them with 11 men.
    COYG Give everything, run til you can’t run any more , fight for everything.!

  36. Dear Sasquatches of Tahoe…..please release 17…..we know you have him and he is missed by his human companions…..you cant adopt just because he is hairy !.

  37. James Bond says:

    we will we will Rock you !!!

    surprised to see such an attacking line up, most likely we’ll be playing a 4-3-1-1

    I likes !

    right, gentlemen – time to make and create some serious history

    4-1 to the mighty gunners !!!

  38. proudgooner says:

    Really happy to see Podolski start, massive night for him i hope. He is a Gooner and he needed to shine and will want to do very very well tonight.

  39. proudgooner says:

    JB,
    I love the 4-1 and it sounds great and possible to me, il go for 3-1 but will hope for 4-1 😉

  40. proudgooner says:

    This is it! I can feel the adrenalin and nerves kicking in already. Bayern will not know how to approch this match , it could be an unbelievable night. Fingers crossed.

  41. James Bond says:

    our Germans will rock the Germans in Germany – if that makes any sense, ha

    come on, this is what dreams are made off, this is what the CL is all about – so often we have come so close yet been so far , let tonight be our night – let us score 2 goals from set pieces, 1 from a penalty and one from a deflection or an own goal 😀

    how you doing @ The Punter

    long time no speak ?

    great to see Henry back – but where is me amigo, 17HT 😯

  42. Dylan says:

    1 goal for us makes this a legendary game.

  43. Just had a look at their team and bench…..it`s fcuking scary !…….they are better player for player in almost every position !. I`m fcuking hiding ……laterz bastardildos !.

  44. James Bond says:

    this is it , indeed – now or never – it’s written in the stars, we are either writing history or we are really writing some fine history as Dylan says (why does it make it a legendary game after us scoring @ Dylan

  45. AFC says:

    Hello guys

    Ready for kick off. Attacking team with experience. Ox can give us that drive in midfield. Not quite sure if Rosicky should be staring but I understand Flamini not starting.

    I think we will naturally see Sagna positioned quite high up the pitch to clip their LB and Verm will not go forward as much. Seems we could be playing with 3 defenders for a lot of the game.

  46. Dylan says:

    Because then it will be a tight nervy game that can easily go Arsenal’s way and show we are a big side, JB. 😉

  47. Admir says:

    Hello, people!

    My biggest scare is our left side of the defence and that we might suffer an injury or two ahead of Spuds.

  48. Admir says:

    What a first touch by Chamberlain! 😮 Magnificent!

  49. AFC says:

    Dante on a yellow is good.

  50. Dylan says:

    Was Dante the last defender there? Must’ve been a few yards away from a red card.

  51. proudgooner says:

    JB,
    Hello mate it has been a while, , Chamberlin looks like he has shed some weight and is looking so sharp. lovely take when he just won the free kick

  52. AFC says:

    We seem all over the place. Sloppy in passing, decision making etc.

  53. proudgooner says:

    we could do with a goal soon like next 10 mins so there get nervous an early goal would be great COYG

  54. James Bond says:

    wow – Poldi wins a corner !!!

  55. Admir says:

    @AFC – Bayern had possession and seemed in control of the game last year as well. We used our chances well and Jenko-Walcott link-up on the right side of our attack was excellent.

    Let’s make something out of this corner.

  56. AFC says:

    We need more of that from Podolski. Giroud and co need to get in the box a lot quicker.

  57. James Bond says:

    one thing never changes with Pep’s teams – the theatrical dramas

  58. Admir says:

    Last season, Bayern’s weakest spot was their defending at set-pieces. We scored two out of three our goals against them last season after corners.

  59. Dylan says:

    Dante will get a red this game unless Pep pulls him off which is entirely possible.

  60. AFC says:

    I’m personally worried about Ozil having to provide cover for Sagna. Defending is not his game but he has to protect Sagna and needs to be a more agressive in his defending

  61. Admir says:

    I can see Dante being replaced at the break. Guardiola avoided possible Boateng’s sent off on time in the first leg.

  62. proudgooner says:

    a massive pheeeeeewwwwww

  63. Dylan says:

    Comfortably offside.

  64. Dylan says:

    First foul was on Arteta why on earth is Arteta getting a yellow?

  65. Dylan says:

    Incredible skill by Ox! Same tackle as Arteta, really should be a yellow.

  66. AFC says:

    That’s how you run with ball. Could do with passing it though. 😀

  67. Dylan says:

    Perfect position for Ozil. But looks like it’s Santi. Deflected out for a corner.

  68. Admir says:

    Can we trade our free-kicks for corners?

  69. AFC says:

    The decision to play Arteta seems to be a good one.

  70. James Bond says:

    the ref needs to be booking more BM players, they are fouling a LOT

  71. James Bond says:

    OZil looks mightly INeffective thufar, hmmmmm

  72. James Bond says:

    is Giroud playing ?, if he is then doing the invisible impression rather well

    what a save from Fab, well done my HERO!!!

  73. proudgooner says:

    FAB is so improved, he has just been excellent this season, big up Fab , here here JB

  74. James Bond says:

    0-0 HT

    not bad, we certainly haven’t lost the game in the first half

    well done.

  75. James Bond says:

    absolutely @ PG – on merit he deserves to be Arsenal no.1, actually on Merit he had deserved to be Arsenal number since last January – but let’s leave that for another day 😉

  76. AFC says:

    We are sitting to deep but we have to or Bayern will most likely score. However we have to go for it. I think Rosicky has to come at some but not sure for who? Maybe Rosicky for Giroud and put Podolski up front?OO needs to be playing higher up the pitch as well.

    When it comes to 60 mins let’s put on Rosicky and Gnabry (for pace on the counters) for Vermaelen and Podolski or Giroud.

  77. proudgooner says:

    JB,
    I would be interested to look in to that, because he has not put a foot wrong. Either way its freat that we have 2 great young keepers imo i know you may say 1 lol

  78. alcide says:

    Wow, that is high level football… These guys know how to play football. Great job battling the gegenpress so far, we need to keep at it and catch them on a break or set piece… Early subs? I can’t imagine Ox can keep this pace up…

  79. proudgooner says:

    i would not make any subs til later on, we have a strong team out, just need them to click. Wenger will sort them out at half time.

  80. AFC says:

    Alcide, and that’s why it’s call the CHAMPION’S LEAGUE. 😀

    Really high level of football. Ox needs to stay on but needs to play in a more advanced role.

    Bendtner is not even the bench? Bringing Bendtner on and playing long ball could have been a good idea.

    Rosicky coming on for Ozil.

  81. James Bond says:

    GREAT DECISION ARSENE WENGER – TAKES OFF OZIL FOR ROSICKY

    BLOODY HELL, FINALLY – AW GIVES ME WHAT I WANTED AND IS PROACTIVE

    LOVIN IT

    AND I DON’T CARE ABOUT THE CAPS, AW DESERVES THIS PRAISE FROM ME AFTER WEEKS OF CRITICISM !

  82. alcide says:

    I mean early for Arsene, like 60′ then 70′

  83. proudgooner says:

    time for super Tom, super Tom Rosicky! Ozil injured .?

  84. AFC says:

    At least Wenger is being proactive and trying to change the game. Either that or Ozil is injured.

  85. AFC says:

    Rosicky already on and maybe Gnabry for Vermaelen on the 60 min mark will give us a chance.

  86. proudgooner says:

    AFC,
    We have no Bentdner or Sanogo on the bench mate. :/

  87. alcide says:

    Wow I’m impressed

  88. AFC says:

    I just wanted to make sure PG as I cannot understand why he would not be.

  89. proudgooner says:

    Apart from Gnabry our full strike force is already on the pitch, but i am happy with them.

  90. proudgooner says:

    i am surprised, but that is what BBC site says

  91. proudgooner says:

    Arsenal site too.

  92. proudgooner says:

    This is it,, come on lads good luck. Make us proud either way.
    COYG

  93. AFC says:

    Ryo should have been on the bench but was illegible for the CL. AW shoupd not really be making a mistake like that.

  94. AFC says:

    Hamstring injury to Ozil.

  95. AFC says:

    Robben diving and should have got a yellow. Be a man and stay on your feet Robben.

  96. James Bond says:

    doubt if Ozil is injured @ AFC – he didn’t do anything worth mentioning in the first half – looked well below average

    we need Arteta to be more street smart and change to a 3-4-3 NOW

  97. AFC says:

    Why did Fabianski give the ball away pruor to the goal.

  98. proudgooner says:

    OH NO 😦

  99. Dylan says:

    Robben should’ve had a card for diving. Ref completely one sided towards Bayern.

  100. AFC says:

    JB, this tie is done. Let’s just bring on Gnabry and go to three at the back and see what we can do.

  101. proudgooner says:

    YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

  102. James Bond says:

    get innnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

    pppppppppppppoldiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

  103. Dylan says:

    Go go go!

  104. AFC says:

    Podolski!!!

    He does it again. Two more goals needed.

  105. James Bond says:

    get fucking in this time is not done

    we will win this one, you wait and watch

    you wait and watch

  106. proudgooner says:

    WHAT A GOAL , PODOLSKI

  107. Dylan says:

    2 goals wins it!

  108. AFC says:

    I stand corrected JB. This tie is not done yet. Come on guys. Giroud get on the box quicker.

  109. James Bond says:

    bloody hell, lack of pace giroud, lack of pace costs giroud an absolute gift from Poldi, had there been someone with a little more pace , it was a goal

    a c orner instead

    oxxxxxxxx…………ooh on target, i thought it was going in, dang it

  110. James Bond says:

    ahahhahahahaha the german crowd turn on the german poldi ahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

  111. AFC says:

    Kroos on for Gotze.

  112. proudgooner says:

    Come on give me another 3-1 er,
    Attack ze Germans

  113. AFC says:

    God I wish Bendtner was on the bench.

  114. James Bond says:

    now watch these fcuking cheats dive and twist and turn on the floor,

    pep and his cheats

    bet they teach them all this in spain at school

  115. proudgooner says:

    2 world wars and 1 world cup , do da do da.

  116. Dylan says:

    Their goal wins us this tie, in truth. Now any two goal lead is a win.

  117. AFC says:

    😀

  118. James Bond says:

    we need to score another goal in the next 10 minutes.

  119. AFC says:

    When would you guys bring on Gnabry?

  120. James Bond says:

    WHAT A SAVE BY FAB

    WOW

  121. AFC says:

    Good work from Fabianski.

  122. Dylan says:

    Gnabry on now.

  123. James Bond says:

    bring on Gnabry now but for either Giroud or Santiago

  124. proudgooner says:

    do i sense some nerves and mistakes from munich? il tell you what if we score next there will be

  125. James Bond says:

    fcuking hell, santiago got the ball clean, we should have been through to goal but the ref blows the whistle, dang dang dang

  126. AFC says:

    I’d bring him on for Cazorla. We need pace on the flanks.

  127. Dylan says:

    Divers all over the pitch for Bayern tonight. Not often you see a DM playing CB flopping all over the pitch like an Olympic swimmer. Now Robben. If Bayern win the CL it’s for their diving and not their talent.

  128. proudgooner says:

    i hate robben , his name is about right robbing

  129. AFC says:

    I’m gonna change my mind. Gnabry for Giroud. A fluid front three of Podolski, Gnabry and the Ox would be better.

  130. proudgooner says:

    TV has done very well tonight at LB

  131. James Bond says:

    take giroud off @ AW

    do it already

  132. proudgooner says:

    Its not easy making robbing, perfect sub all out strike force.
    coyg

  133. AFC says:

    Arteta for Gnabry. AW showing his guts.

  134. James Bond says:

    Arteta off for Gnabry – interesting !

    we can take off TV5 next for Flamini 😯

  135. James Bond says:

    we need a goal by the 80th minute mark or else it might be too little too late like last year.

  136. AFC says:

    JM booked! Now let’s run at their CBs.

  137. James Bond says:

    what a throw from fab, poldi was beating martinez easy there, bloody yell

    ref give him a red!!! not yellow, ha

  138. James Bond says:

    I think OX has injured himself or done his hamstring,

  139. AFC says:

    Verm booked.

  140. James Bond says:

    now watch the divers waste 5 minutes, bunch of pansies and divers this lot

    whatever happens in the final 6 minutes, am so proud of the boys – showed metal , steal and character as well as hunger

  141. Dylan says:

    Boys have indeed done well. I’m proud.

  142. AFC says:

    Flam on for Ox.

  143. AFC says:

    Dylan, they have considering injuries to Gibbs, Monreal, Ramsey, Wilshere, Walcott, Diaby and no Bendtner either.

  144. James Bond says:

    i just hope OX isn’t injured as i noticed him pulling up 5 minutes before he got subbed.

  145. AFC says:

    JB, I do not think he is. It seemed like a ‘temporary’ cramp which he can run off.

  146. AFC says:

    Gnabry should have done a lot better.

  147. AFC says:

    Gnabry should have crossed that.

    Robben gets a penalty.

  148. Dylan says:

    Dive and a half!

  149. James Bond says:

    the diver wins a penalty again

    but no worries, Fabianski might actually stop it or guess it right it

  150. James Bond says:

    i told you lot , Fabianski is LOADS BETTER THAN SCZNY

    AND I CALLED THE SAVE BEFORE IT HAPPENED

  151. Dylan says:

    Save of the CL this year!

  152. water says:

    Aww jb times running out. Hmm there’s always next yr thats what losers like keep telling yourselfs.
    But to all other gooners here
    Coyg there’s still plenty of time.

  153. AFC says:

    And Fabianski saves it. We do not deserve to lose tonight.

  154. AFC says:

    Why is Giroud delaying his runs and passes. We need a CF who can take guys on and win.

  155. James Bond says:

    I am honestly going to start a Sczny out movement with him on the bench and Fabianski in movement.

    who’s with me ? who’s on the Fabianski bandwagon with me ?

  156. AFC says:

    As usual our first tie performance ruined it for us but good performance tonight.

  157. James Bond says:

    oh water, my chum – how far did Liverpool go in this years CL , or last years or the year before that and before that ?

    ahahahahahahhaahhahahahahahahhahahahahhahaha – finish above Everton and then come back !

  158. water says:

    Yh play him in the fa cup. So u have someone to scapegoat when he majes a mistake.

  159. AFC says:

    JB, could Fabianski be consistent a number 1 throughout a whole season? I’m not sure he can.

  160. Dylan says:

    Good performance boys. Good to see Poldi get a goal. Full focus on FA cup now. No reason not to win it.

  161. alcide says:

    Well not much time to post now, but I’m quite proud of the guys, great performance against a great team.

  162. Dylan says:

    Water needs to just shut up. Unintelligent remarks are not welcome here.

  163. proudgooner says:

    well il say this JB,
    i think FAB should be starting in goal for us til he stops playing that well. He deserves a chance, he should be rewarded for his performances this season.

  164. proudgooner says:

    water,
    go suck a rotten dead man cock.

  165. James Bond says:

    we don’t look for scapegoats like a mid-table team up north who are forever in the shadow of Man utd and now in the shadow of Everton @ Water.

    AFC,

    how would we know if he hasn’t been given a fair chance to prove it ? he certainly deserved it after saving our sinking ship and sorting out Sczny’s mess only for him to find the bench once more.

    he needs to be persisted with and given games.

  166. proudgooner says:

    here , here JB. not to mention his loyalty at being number 2 for so long, not an easy thing to do.

  167. AFC says:

    Well he certainly should play in the FA Cup Semi-final and final if we get to that stage.

    Now it’s your job JB to persuade AW to play him in the remaining EPL fixtures.

  168. James Bond says:

    so do I have 2 of you on board with me with my Fabianski movement ?:)

  169. proudgooner says:

    i think i am right oin saying his contract is nearly up too, so if we want to keep him then we should do all we can to make him want to stay

  170. water says:

    Hahahaha when was the last time u won though jb. Hahahahaha.

  171. proudgooner says:

    I am in,
    that said i don’t think there is anything between then, but he deserves a chance, so yeah for now

  172. water says:

    Yh yh 5

  173. AFC says:

    For the FA Cup yes JB as it us the least he deserves. For the league I’m not sure.

    I want to start a movement to get Bendtner on the bench and playing more minutes for us. Who is with me?

  174. water says:

    How many English teams can say that again.
    Tge letter 5

  175. proudgooner says:

    whats thats that u aint been in the CL for over 5 years? i know what a disaster

  176. water says:

    You know u are lost when you throw in manure.5 big ears

  177. proudgooner says:

    we can concentrate on the league now, good thing.

  178. water says:

    Yh a disaster is u ain’t won it un a 126 years of trying hahaha
    Joke

  179. proudgooner says:

    anyway laterz Gooners, i dont know you water, you prick go jump in the mersey

  180. James Bond says:

    actually Everton lost to us in the FA cup QF – and their main player is a loan player, yet you lot couldn’t even get past the 5th round after 100 million plus worth of investment – it’s just sad, must hurt being a liverpool fan when Everton are so much better than you.

    I don’t know what I would do, if God forbid, Spuds ever finished above us…I wouldn’t certainly be talking about “history” and how it used to feel like to be in the champions league 6 years ago.

  181. James Bond says:

    yes @ PG he is free to leave in the summer

    and you are on your own with the bendy one @ AFC

    sorry 😀

  182. proudgooner says:

    ha ha ha ha, coming on to slate another club for losing to the champs , when you aint been in it for 6 years . what a loser

  183. water says:

    Oh no don’t worry u still have the fa cup. The cup Wigan athletic won last year. Joke team. The sad thing is u wont win it even if all you gotta beat is wigan. U lot should be just give up fc.

  184. proudgooner says:

    Even more so, with FAB the JB , i would do it on the loyalty thing alone nearly.
    Goodnight lads,
    On to the Spuds now.

  185. water says:

    Yh a loser whose team is on top of u like a dot on an I.

  186. water says:

    Oh goody Super Sunday. I’m excited.

  187. water says:

    Chillout jb we got to the final after that 100 million.
    And won a trophy which is more than u lot ever do hahaha joke team.

  188. alcide says:

    Damn, we lost Özil for a few weeks…

  189. TotalArsenal says:

    water, evening.

    You are getting a bit silly and repetitive now. Make sure your comments are constructive and friendly or I will have to ban you.

    Guys, take it easy. will you? 🙂

  190. TotalArsenal says:

    The boys did us proud tonight. Gave everything and that is all you can ask for. I reckon we would have scored at least one more goal if he had Ozil fit on the pitch after we equalised. We just lacked that bit of composure and quality to get another one in and Ozil would have provided it.

    Unbeaten at the Allianz. Let’s hope next time we’ll start there and then defend a result at the home of football.

    Now let’s mash some spuddies… 😛

  191. James Bond says:

    water – go wash your face with water.

    Arsenal are the only team to have been unbeaten at the Allianz for 1 year, you on the other hand – tell me when was the last time you came to the Emirates and won at the Emirates ?

    like I said – keep competing with the likes of Everton, Spuds and newcastle but continue to compete with us on the play station and xbox.

    what ? he’s really out @ Alcide – that’s bad bad bad news

  192. Admir says:

    This is getting ridiculous. 😦 Özil out ahead of crucial matches of the season. Fock it.

    Speaking of tonight’s match, it’s a great thing that we avoided defeat and kept that momentum we had gained against Everton, I think. Podolski’s finish was like the one Batistuta had scored at Wembley against us in 1999-2000. Too bad for two Gnabry’s chances and the one Neuer gave to us.

  193. TotalArsenal says:

    James Bond 🙂

    Time to stop provoking him or this will go on forever, and it is starting to bore me now..

    If true re Ozil then that is shit! 😦

  194. alcide says:

    Parent,u Arsene said “it looks quite serious…out for a few weeks at least”. Oh to be a gunner 🙂

  195. alcide says:

    *apparently*

  196. James Bond says:

    it got a bit boring a few days ago skipper – and it only got this far because you allowed it , so don’t point the finger at me or anyone else on here.

    if you are going to give trolls come here and have a free run then that’s your decision but you can’t tell me to stop provoking him after he comes on here today and stirs shit up on purpose.

    what are the chances of AW doing his Wenguries ? and Ozil starts against the spuds but with spuds expecting him to be out injured – I wonder @ Alcide

  197. TotalArsenal says:

    James Bond,

    If you treat him with respect he will do the same to you. That is what I am asking from you and I know you are a big boy and will behave like one now. Hope that is clear.

  198. James Bond says:

    that sounds more like an order than you asking – go back and tell me, who started the disrespect

    you know what, sod it @ TotalArsenal.

    I think I can see what is going on here, no worries.

    be well.

  199. Imo we could have done without that game or just played the stiffs. I will be rather pissed off if we get beat at the Spuds on Sunday with a patched up team !. No LB`s, No Ozil, No Jack, No Ramsey, No Theo, No KK ( but who gives a fcuk ! ) Is Ox injured ?.
    Should have prioritised the FAC and 4th with our injury luck and not risked players tonight !. Waste of energy and gambling on players fitness…..fcuking stupid imo !. By the time the semi comes along we will be down to youth players only being fit !. 👿

  200. Fozzie B says:

    Good evening Bulldozing Brokeback Bayern Bollick Benefactors!! 😆
    Very proud of the boys tonight!! Stirling job and just needed a little luck to get another goal in. Is Ozil injured badly someone said? I saw him stretching at half time … Hopefully just a twinge?

  201. TotalArsenal says:

    Cockie, playing these games is what makes our team and individual players grow further over time. They learn more in 90 minutes of this sort of football than in a whole PL season. And we will be ready for the Spuds in five days.

  202. Fozzie B says:

    Cockie … I didn’t see the thing about the flag although I have heard grumblings of it for a long time!! How about a picture of Fozzie like in my avatar … With Markeykaze and a fern in the background?? A clean fern that is.. 😆
    Man that was a hammer blow from Poldi .. Beautifully done!!
    Cockie do you watch draws?? Apart your own crusted specimens that get up and walk to he washing machine by themselves?? Haha !! 😆

  203. Fozzie B says:

    That was classic Wenger’s reaction to Robbens diving!! What a save be Flappy!! He did have a great game and no brain farts as you would say JB!!
    Water, can you speak English please when you post… If you want people to understand what your saying … I thought it was “Scouser” in writing to start with… So I got my Harry Enfield “Scouser writing for dummies” out and turns out it’s not that!! Plus you said you weren’t Scouse … Is it “Weed ghetto” ?? If so MarleyKaze will be visiting soon to exhange some Jamaican Gold!! 😆

  204. allezkev says:

    Evening Total, thought the team gave everything and I just hope it doesn’t cost us this weekend.
    Fortunately the Spuds are playing Benfica on Thursday so that should even things up a bit.

  205. If we lose to the Spuds on Sunday, then the only thing we would have learnt tonight is why the fcuk didn`t we rest players !.
    I don’t think we will ever win anything until we sort out our injury curse !….in the top two of the injury league for the past 5 years !.( source Rocky Lives )
    Spuds have a game on Spursday, so we have 2 extra days to some how fix our walking wounded, we need a miracle !. Dennis is a ledge, maybe some voodoo around his statue or worshipping or something !.
    Cant help it, but the game tonight hardly meant anything to me as it was all over when Szczesny was sent off, but Sunday is war !….and I`d rather have rested all the players tonight for the game which means everything to most Gooners !.

  206. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi allezkev,

    Spuds will have to field a strong team against Benfica and I reckon they will be at least as knackered as we are. Shame about Ozil but we still have Santi and Rosicky to play in his spot and then there is a week’s rest.

  207. water says:

    You c totes. Jb is a class act is he not.
    I respect ARSENAL and everything they stand for.
    A brilliant football club which is run the right way. A shame u have guys like jb with a classy name but not so much an attitude.
    But hey I’ll rise above like my team.

  208. TotalArsenal says:

    Cockie, I can see where you coming from but just do not agree. Also, our players had a week’s rest before the Stoke game…..

  209. Nope Fozzer, I only watch the wins, anything else is too depressing !. hahaha
    You will like my Lesbanian flag….a white background and a black silhouette of 2 Lesbanians in the 69 position and me standing with a boner watching !. hahahaha

  210. allezkev says:

    What’s the situ with Ozil then Total?

  211. water says:

    Now we are at discrimination. Wow, very classy.

  212. It`s not the rest Totes, it`s the injuries !. Probably the most depressing thing about Arsenal for quite a few years !. I bet Wenger could count on one hand the amount of times he has fielded what he classes as his best team in say the last two years !. It`s so much worse than our rivals that something is not right, it cant all be down to bad luck !.

  213. allezkev says:

    Good to see Hayden on the bench, that kid has a lot of talent…

    Kallstrom, Ramsey both back for the weekend then?

  214. TotalArsenal says:

    It looks like he is out for up to four weeks with a hamstring injury, allezkev…. but it is still early days.

  215. allezkev says:

    Oh bugger…

    Cheers Total, goodnight mate.

  216. TotalArsenal says:

    Cockie, it is mainly the young players (below 25) who get injured a lot for us, and I think it is the price to pay for wanting to develop SQ players ourselves. The way we play and the inexperience and physical underdevelopment of the players is THE reason we have so many key injuries, I reckon.

  217. TotalArsenal says:

    good night allezkev 🙂

  218. Fozzie B says:

    Haha!! Nice one Cockie!! No water no discrimination here … Just stop posting like this yh ky UK yh nk etc … Ok??

  219. TotalArsenal says:

    If the Ramser is back we will give the Spuddies a nice, cheesy mashing on Sunday.

  220. water says:

    Yh I’m guilty for going all qwfajbsvsb on u lot sometimes.
    COYG

  221. TotalArsenal says:

    Sorry Fozzer, but that is anything but a fair review. Harsh, disproportionate and cheap come to mind. The attack on Ozil is particularly cheap.

  222. allezkev says:

    Morning Total…

    Gotta say that the Miyaichi situation was quite embarrassing for a club of Arsenal’s stature…
    Who could have been responsible for such a gaff?

  223. Dylan says:

    Robben is foolish. I’m proud of Wenger for coming out and being honest that he is a diver.

  224. TotalArsenal says:

    I don’t know, allezkev, poor indeed. Would he have played, though?

    Robben is a total disgrace, a real prat, Dylan.

  225. allezkev says:

    Total, not sure about him playing or not tbh?!

    Guess we’ll never know, but he is a speedy player and against tiring Bayern defenders, he might have caused them a few worrying moments?

  226. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey Fellas, Sorry I disappeared as I did, I’m fine, just a little burnt out on the ups and downs of trying to support the club. I try to keep an even keel but the loss at Stoke (with calls by prominent posters here for the manager’s head and misinterpretations of my response…) followed by a tight but happy win in the FA Cup and the path (supposedly…) cleared by Schadenfreude, er, Wigan, and now our exit bow in Munich (and more injury troubles)… Funny stuff too that those same posters are talking about starting campaigns (petitions?) about our goalkeeper of choice after a post decrying such tactics in the sphere of the 3 Lions… It’s all a bit much (for me) and now (the club team, at least…) has got a giant NLD and then even tougher matches against the Shiek-o-Garch clubs coming. Get me off the roller coaster! On the plus side, we’ve successfully trolled for a Liverpool supporter, so at least there’s that…

    My disappearance was coincident with Water’s arrival here but there’s no trail of fur to follow on that one… 😉 Sorry… 😀

    A couple of quick comments before I hide away again…

    –I like our chances in the FA Cup and it’s probably a boost for our English players that they get a double showcase (we pray) in front of Roy before Brazil. With Ozil now hurt (more on this below…) Ox-Cham will need to continue his nice step-up and Jack will need that 2nd match at Wembley to show that he can be a happy, leader-ish sort. Our site here has rather morphed into a place for those who support both Arsenal and England, so the more English players we have going to Brazil the better… Maybe?… (On that note, 007, what are the travel plans? And how goes the health of Jane?…) I still maintain that it’s a looong way to go for three matches, but then again, there is the beach life…

    –I’m more concerned about Total and his Dutch contingent. That’s some front line between van Judas and Robben 🙄 Speaking on behalf of those with prominent foreheads: Just because one’s head has gone ” Full Brazilian” doesn’t mean one is a cheat…Despite Brazil being a land of indulgent refereeing AND smooth skin, I fear for such displays… Hopefully a few other Netherlanders can take up the slack. They can’t do worse than those last Euros, can they?…

    –But that’s Int’l footy. What about Arsenal? Last night we had two powerful kicks into the net, but were both by players who are done at the club? Sagna blasted one–in frustration after the Bayern Goal–and Poldolski’s was a thing a beauty a moment later. Otherwise we didn’t generate much, but our defense did well until the ref (making up for not blowing before out goal?…) gave the nod to the bald guy… That was some nice stop from Fabianski–Another player gone in the Summer?…

    –Ozil out (as he was at Stoke…), I fear, is a whole lot worse for our league campaign than Jack going down. Still, we’ve probably got enough to get at least 3 points from the next three matches (and three more from the Swansea match sandwiched in there, too)… 6 from those 12 would seem the bare minimum and how they come matters (a lot). It might also be an awfully tall order given just how badly we are down to bare bones. Of course, Wenger *could* be lying about the injuries and Sanago was really just in the weight room while Bendtner was being punished for a 3 way with Brandy and a Cuban (cigar, that is…) Who (TF) knows?… Ryo, I’m pretty sure, could at least be allowed to suit up for the league matches and must be fit, given that he traveled, I think…

    –Finally, the manager does seem a little stretched…Between the pressers and keeping the vets and the kids enthused you also have to make some subs. If your star man pulls a hamstring, get him off! That one, if real, could bite us in the big muscle just above the hammy… Let’s just hope that Ramsey (the Welsh Ozil?…) doesn’t set himself back another 8 weeks warming up for Spurs… At least Wenger got to see much of the French Nat’l team (Sagna, Kos, Giroud, Ribery) and he’ll see a few more up the road (Lloris, plus wannabees Bentaleb, Capoue, Kaboul–perhaps) ahead of his TV duties in Brazil…

    –OK, one more, speaking of TV and our desperate situation in defense (Jenks was our only defender last night on our short bench.. Again, hopefully it’s only lies re: the injuries)… Vermaelen did well, I thought, and it goes to show that AW has done pretty well with the older guys and the collective leadership business. Armband wearers (this season) Verms, BFG, Arteta and Sagna ALL showed a ton (tonne?) of collective pride last night and I’ll even give a nod to other (older) players like Giroud and Rosicky (and Poldolski and Koscielny and even late sub Flamini) who all might deserve a turn as captain for a night. Many writers here are taken with youth (Gnabry, for example, who, if he learns to pass it could be for real… and even Gerry’s fave, Hayden, who DID make both the roster and the bench…) but we need ALL our players to give their ALL for the shirt. With this season done (we’ve already won the FA cup, and the 4th place trophy, no?…Or even 3rd, the key battle, it seems, given our war of words vs the aquaman…) it now becomes about the Summer. Transfers in will generate the hits but keeping our (aging?) warriors may (again) be the (real) key…

    In truth, I could go on and on (and on…) but I’m even starting to bore myself now… Thanks for reading–or at least giving me this space for writing… Have fun, Cheerio, etc…

  227. 17highburyterrace says:

    Well, it seems nobody was missing me too much–or at least not enough to want to respond…As such, I’ll give it a go on my own… 😆

    Yesterday’s match and others I’ve watched lately make me reflect on where football is headed… Unfortunately, it’s not all good news…Do we, as the headlines would suggest, want “speed and thrust” or is it more about Pep’s game of possession and pressing (and “killing the game” if not winning the calls)?…

    Personally, I really like the “walk-it-in” and defending from the front, team-work to protect munchkins sort of stuff, but I think most observers like the runners-on-the-ball, up-and-down stuff (broken up with spells of Route One and head tennis…) That the end to end play might open the game too much doesn’t seem to matter, as long as results go your way and sufficient passion is displayed?… I guess I’m curious about our definition of “beautiful football,” but maybe it no longer matters now that Dennis sits upon his pole in Bronze… Heroes (players to buy?…) seem important, but it may be easier to tweet about villains than wax lyrical when limited to 140…

    I’m well over that number of characters, but I’ll be watching Barca-Man City today with an eye for these details, and I could probably be lured into a “live-blog.” Will anybody else?… Both teams are coming off embarrassing (and “season defining”) losses (which I also saw…) so it’s likely to be a conservative affair with the pressure transferred to the referee and maybe Barca trying to kill the match with possession. Still, you’d think that if City can get the first goal/call, just as in our match, it could be interesting…

    But, hey, that’s just me. and I guess I shouldn’t worry about the Euro-trash…Talking (trash…) about the Sunday derbies (Greater Manchester, i.e., ManU-Pool, and the NLD) might better generate enough wind to turn the sails… Quite the contrast there, no? Both gaps still require some minding, but who’d’ve thunk (as we say…) that we’d be up 6 (with a game in hand in ours) while Pool would be up 9 in theirs, if we could track back to this time a year ago… 😯

    Total, (or anybody…) please bury these posts (or feel free to delete them)… 😀

  228. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi 17 🙂

    Good to hear from you again!

    Am busy decorating but will respond later.

  229. VCC says:

    17ht….why bury your posts? I enjoy reading them….I’m sorry I don’t get enough time lately to contribute, but I still allow myself the time to read all comments (over breakfast and lunch).

    With me not being around much at least TCM has left me in peace 😉

    I’m anxiously waiting for a headline post from Stretch that he promised to do light years ago…. 🙂

  230. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nice TA, we most definitely don’t call it “decorating” over here…It’s “building” or “construction work,” instead…Even at it’s most dainty we would never go more girly than “finish work.” 😀

    Feel free to take it to e-mail, if you like, as nobody else seems innerested…

    For the rest of you…(Maybe this might get them going…) Off topic, but I could use some investment advice…Anybody got any thoughts on how to park my money? Anybody know any publicly traded companies, say in defense or shipping in Crimea? (Is it “Crimea” or “The Crimea,” and likewise, “Ukraine” or “The Ukraine”? Here in California you can tell the Northern people vs the Southern ones by their fake parts OR by whether or not the motorway is “Highway 5” vs “The 5,” but I digress…) What do the experts think of the bull markets in equities vs the easing of the (quantitative) easing or are there more specific things I should be aware of?…When I was in England (’06) the Pound was flying, 1.5 years ago in Spain, the Euro was tops (just my luck)… Where’s it going next? Or maybe we should play Shark Tank. Does the Cockie need some cash for the pre-fabs or for special behind the sofa spaces, which would seem to be at a premium at this time of year?… Finally, if Gerry comes along for a read, might he have a horse to play?… Maybe I should be thinking about taxes instead. Redman? Unfortunately, we’ve very low income, but still have money to park after our fire/insurance windfall…

    But now I’ve shared too much… 😆

  231. alcide says:

    17ht,

    Nice to see you back… Read you later, I should have time to watch the Barca as well tonight…

  232. Thank you to the Sasquatch family for releasing 17, but after reading the Bracketdildo ….please take him back again !. hahaha
    I may be in the minority here ,17, but I`m just Arsenal !. I`d rather all our players stay away from the World Cup, whatever country the represent !. One thing in life is for certain…..our players get injured for fun !, so no need to increase the chances by playing for their countries !.

    VCC, I was looking back at past posts trying to find something and yes that Broke Back Bald Bubble did promise a post close to when Totes first started up the site !…..and the Traitorous Trannie Turd Tunnel Transgressor has done one for another site since !.

  233. What do these players all have in common ?.
    Diaby
    Wilshere
    Ozil
    Ramsey
    Monreal
    Gibbs
    Walcott
    Kallstrom

    They are all fcuking injured !……………and possibly 5 of them would be first choice starters !. Which other EPL teams have 5 first choice starters missing ?………and with Spuds, Chavski and Mansour City next in line for us !…….. we will be lucky to get 2 points from them games !.
    The Soothsaying Sausage has spoken !.

    And now a word from The Protector of The Chart of Doom !………….we are currently -1 point like for like, but seeing as we lost our games to the above 3 teams last season, we could still be -1 point after these games, yes, I know, it`s funny how The Chart of Doom throws up these weird stats !….but that is the likely outcome when you have fcuking 5 first choice starters missing !. 👿

    Memo to Darth Wenger…………….If you can somehow break into your Fort Knox pockets and buy some SQ in the Summer !………try buying one`s which are not made of glass !.

  234. alcide says:

    Hmmm Barca should have gotten a penalty and one goal was wrongly dismissed for a non existing offside…

  235. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Evening all

    Vics & Cornwall, whats the big deal? Ime working at it. hahaha

    I once had a bet with an Italian geezer that Mussolini was as bent as a nine bob note but had to find evidence, If he won he could start dating my wife, If i won, he could still date my wife.

    However, i dont like losing so two years on am still working at it. ime convinced I will find something. I have a feeling Mussolini bummed of Neville Chamberlin, but need proof.

  236. alcide says:

    TCM,

    Hopefully we will get Rambo, Gibbs, Nacho and KK ready to play soon… As for the CoD, we indeed have the opportunity to get it better looking.

    17ht,

    Speed and thrust, interesting debate. I’ve said a few times how I’d love to have pace one he left wing, similar to what we have on the right (Theo, Ox, Serge). A distant model for me consists in Robben and Ribery, capable of running behind, or at defenders/dribbling, with enough burst to get past, and enough pace to stay ahead when they are. So by pace I don’t necessarily mean Theo/CR/Bale 100m sprinter speed (glad we have Theo though, his does offer a lot!), as I don’t really want to play like Real or ManU (well, old ManU).

    Even beyond LW/RW, our style (and/or what I think we/I’d like it to be) is about movement and positioning off the ball, crisp fast passing; but up front, we need those runs off the ball to create space and boer defenses, bursts to get out of tight space and find pass angles. Ox for instance managed to show that yesterday. Arteta by comparison, had a hard time (defending or attacking) with his lack of pace (or physicality that can compensate to an extent as a DM). So by pace I mean more capacity to be fast over anything from 2 to 5, 10 meters, and maintain decent speed for 10 more. You find that in most BM players.

    Back to Barca-MC for now…

  237. AB says:

    Evening all! I was out last night, so forced to stay in touch with the game by text. Not ideal. I confess my expectations were not high, and I feel pleased from what I have now seen and read with our performance. There is no shame in yesterday’s game at all.

    The questions now are around what it may have cost us. Ozil’s injury for one is tough, given he showed some form last week and we have some of our biggest games coming up. But we do still have plenty in the mid-field, especially if Ramsey can get back to match fitness soonish. I hope the players will not feel discouraged by falling out of the CL, and I hope we a confident show against the spuds – any weariness and we will be punished; lose against us this Sunday and Sherwood is toast (or should I say, carbonised, as I think he is fairly well toasted already), and I think his players will give some effort for him, despite his recent criticism. We will be tired of sure, but hopefully Benfica give the spuds a good workout tomorrow!

    3 comfortable points on Sunday, with 30 min from Ramsey, 15 from KK, and no further injuries – all followed by a good rest before our next game – that would all do me very nicely indeed!

    @17 – lots of thoughts in there from you. I don’t see the choice you present as being as stark as you suggest. For me its more about overall balance. Yes, I love the slick passing and the ‘perfect goals’ that we seem to strive for, and quite often also achieve. But it frustrates the hell out of me when we face a well organised and committed ‘parked bus’ and we are unable to do anything more than pass to each other in front of it. Pace offers us something more, either on the flanks, or in going through the lines. But often what it does also is force the opposition to concede space, which our creative players can then exploit, whether through the speedsters or not. Having the outlets gives us options and forces the opposition to compromise their formation. It doesn’t follow at all that we have to default to simply playing long balls for people to run onto – the threat alone is what matters.

    What we have missed at times this season is the right balance of options, sometimes playing only the passing game without the threat provided by pace. And when we have played like this we have looked slow and without purpose. The lift the Ox has given us of late has been huge. An option down the left flank would likewise hugely improve our potential.

  238. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey Alcide, Cockie, VCC. Yes, Barca should have some goals but woeful finishes from Milner and Nasri have prevented a couple of City scores as well…

    Agreed Alcide that just a bit of pace might’ve helped us last night. We defended well and Ox did some great stuff (there goes your DM buy, people… 😉 ) but we’re really missing Theo. Even Gibbs trying a forward move or two (despite the fact that he has almost zero final ball) might’ve provided just a tiny bit of threat… Even some Rambo running might’ve given us a little more of that thrust thing people seem to favor. Personally I like the (naive dream) of a fluid MF 4 with Theo and a hardworking CF taking turns coming back and participating. Is it a 4-4-1-1 a 4-5-1 or a 4-6-0? I dunno (and couldn’t care less)…It’s certainly not what we saw in Munich (or anytime I can recall, really)…

    Ah well, out of the CL is probably best even if our whole league campaign is built around getting back in. The irony of that notion doesn’t escape me, even if I’m (mostly) alone on that account. I’m probably also alone in thinking that hoisting the FA cup is a whole lot lesser than finishing top 4. It’s a wacky world, that English football stuff and baby steps ARE probably much needed…

    I AM with the Cockster in believing that the Int’l game needs to die away, but that’s just me (or us). Like the domestic cups, it is what it is (or they are what they are), and players make their reputations playing at that (lower) level so we need our guys doing likewise. Seeing as how Ozil might not get much playing time (along with any of the rest of our Germans, Spaniards and French who might make their national teams) we just need to make sure that it’s Per (not Giroud…) keeping things disciplined on the beaches and in the clubs. Recent photos from Dubai at least show that Wilshere is working on his base tan… Who knows, if the CL spot is safe a rash of Weng-juries might hit right at the end there…and we get a “real” pre-season if not the signings we all crave…

    Cockster, the chart of doom suggests that the next 4 will yield zero points. Personally, I expect, no DEMAND, improvement. One would hope the manager would step down if we lost all 4. If not, surely somebody could get close enough with a suicide bomb and take him out. I’m NOT suggesting terrorism (I’m not big on “collateral damage”) but surely we must base our life and death decisions on results. That, sometimes, they hinge upon things like the width of a bar or an insane referee (i.e., luck) or a hot keeper, really mustn’t enter the equation…

    No, what would be the point in our great declarations if they were based on such things? They’d be Stoopid beyond belief, no? Surely we can all see that it’s passion and quality that rule the day and the various way that I (all caps…) would tug on the joystick… hehehehe, as Henry (Chan) would say…

    So, all that being said, why watch? I can just read the result and KNOW what should happen. Sweet game this football. (Of course, I will watch and I will say–NOW– That Wenger and the players we have now, assuming a year further growth and better fitness, plus a couple of tweaks–gotta replace Lu-lu, Poldi, Fabianski, Sagna–not so easy, I fear–is a work in progress but still something worth enjoying…)

    2nd half on and City much where we were yesterday, except actually on the ball a bit…

    Messi, off the post…he’s past it, obviously….Wooo…Valdes, almost Fabianski-esque saving a Kolarov header…And he’s available in the Summer, or so they say…

    😀

  239. AB says:

    Hi again 17 – its rare that I disagree with you, still less twice in one evening! But I can’t say I feel any great sense of achievement by virtue of us being in the top 4 at the end of the season. The truth, and I accept the reality of the situation, is that it is entirely a business issue – next season it will be worth around £50M to clubs, and provides both cash and incentive to attract top players (assuming you are in the market for them that is!). But the fact of being in the top 4 does not raise my pulse one beat, or give me a smile, or cause me to punch the air. Being ahead of the spuds does all these things, in spades, but what our actual positions are matters naught for this – its just the relative bit that counts! But if we win the FA cup, for example, it will be a day I savour, and I will enjoy being able to tell all the “no trophy in 9 years” brigade where they can stuff it – but most of all, I will value the knowledge that our team has shown the mentality to be winners; and once they have realised this ambition they will only get better next year. A trophy, especially on a big occasion like a Wembley final, can do all this – 4th place is there for the accountants….

  240. alcide says:

    Messi finally breaks the score…

  241. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey AB, I guess we were simul-posting… Great points, and I think we’re on the same wavelength re: pace…

    Crossing, I think is a much over-rated element of the English game which is (slowly) going away in favor of raw pace and guys who can really play. Clearly we use our FBs in this manner more than our forward wide players… We (like everybody else) need real players who might start in a “wingers” spot but these guys rarely stay out there. Poldi back to Germany in favor of the young (overpriced?) Draxler? Not in January it appears… 🙄

    We’ve got a real weapon in Santi Cazorla and his crossfield balls, I think, as long as the other forwards keep moving and providing outlets. Awareness, teamwork and work-rate mean we don’t need to break the bank for Suarez, Falcao or whoever else is the star in Brazil. Ox to box is looking like the real deal if he can only last 90 minutes (and a full season) doing so. With a normal range of injuries we would look OK…As it is, gotta creep up that chart of doom, just a hair, and ideally beat those ahead of us–City have 2 games in hand, I think, even if we’re two points up on them…

    They’re also out of all other comps (Messi just scored…) so they should be “fully focused.” 😉

  242. alcide says:

    I’m almost on the same page 17ht, but I’d say I’d be happy to win the FA cup, and relieved to be in the top 4th, but will be more disappointed to miss top 4 (and think of who would finish 4th!) than I would be if we do not win the cup.

  243. alcide says:

    So we all agree on pace, and Ox… Boring 🙂 Plus we could have OxBo’ as our offensive double pivot, cool name 🙂 Ox to Box is nice too!

  244. alcide says:

    Hmm, should/could have been a penalty for MC… Zabaleta says something wrong to ref… Second yellow for him.

  245. alcide says:

    Although Dzeko exaggerated the foul…

  246. alcide says:

    Trying to figure how Barca moves the ball so more easily and effortlessly than us yesterday for instance… Positional awareness, good movement? Slick passing technique? In all honesty, ManC not pressing half as bad as BM did.

  247. alcide says:

    *half as well*

  248. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening fine gents 🙂

    17, what’s wrong with the term decorating? I have just painted our living room jellybean orange and toasted almond brown and the room looks delightful darling hahaha 🙂

    Nice fresh comments, 17, and mostly agreed. I am not spending much time on Holland’s chances in Brazil or who should play. The idea of the duo of dickheads Robbenhood and van Pudsie leading our line does indeed not fill me with much desire….. I’d rather decorate baby 🙂

    I would rate winning the FA cup higher than finishing in the top four, as I reckon it will do everyone really good and will build confidence for the future.

  249. 17highburyterrace says:

    I don’t think we’re (really) arguing here, AB. (I’m just being polemic…) I’m looking forward to the two matches at Wembley, but I’m pretty upset with the lack of focus (or quality in depth) or the results ( 😆 ) in enough of these matches–Stoke away, Napoli away, Dortmund at home. If we do likewise, Wigan or Hull be in with a shout… Like I say, it’s probably good we’re out of the CL but we’re still in the league even if we pretty much must get 12 of the next 12 (and I don’t see THAT happening…) We need to COMPETE in the CL and we really cannot say we did this time around…

    No, the trophy is important, even critical (and hey, it gets you in the final for a 2nd trophy, the Community Shield… 😆 )

    OK guys, thanks for reading (and responding)…Gotta run…

    Kompany ties it (from miles offside) so they can say they”re just as good as we are…Or something…

  250. TotalArsenal says:

    When you say ‘gotta run’ do you really mean I am late for my hair appointment, 17? 😆

  251. VCC says:

    TCM…. 19:00……..I know. He thinks he has got away with it. No chance. I have my eeedy eye on him.

  252. Fozzie B says:

    Evening Bayern Battered Brethren !!
    Had to laugh when I saw this !!

    Picture is meant to be Giroud but with those it must be Ozil!!
    Haha !!

    https://mobile.twitter.com/101greatgoals/status/443514545340817408/photo/1?screen_name=101greatgoals

  253. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha Fozzie, Up the Arse 🙂

    Night Night FFGs 🙂

  254. Fozzie B says:

    Night night Totes Goldmember Van Cloggenstein the Third and Bereaving BK Brethen !! 😀

  255. Milo says:

    I think players can possess both commitment and skill. While not as flashy or easy on the eye, Ramsey does possess a fair amount of skill in comparison to Wilshere, for example. What we lack is balance. Podolski scored, and Cazorla played well for the first time that I can clearly remember, since Anfield away in the first weeks of the 2012-13 season. Look at Bayern, for example. You have Ribery and Robben and Thiago and Goetze (who is rather enigmatic and is more comparable in style to Ozil than almost any other one of their players). What do all these players do or have, that Ozil, Cazorla and Podolski usually can’t or dont??? Stamina. There are many factors and reasons that can be attributed to the difference in endurance between these sets of players. It could be the strength and demands of the respective leagues, it could be their training, it could be their physiology, etc, etc. What I do know is that Wenger bought Arshavin and he was found out to be similarly lacking in the same department. I have no idea if our players train too much, too little, or not in the correct manner. My gut tells me though, that these players NEVER had stamina or strength, and even though they possess boatloads of skill, panache and all-round quality, they should not have been relied upon to produce heavily when they immediately arrived (Ozil) or they shouldn’t have been bought in the first place (Podolski). Cazorla is a valuable commodity and was a great purchase, but since the beginning of this season, he hasn’t really been able to string together a run of outstanding performances, like he did last season. That is most likely down to his absence in pre-season. Just because Chamberlain can run quickly doesn’t mean he doesn’t possess an innate tactical knowledge to combine with his prodigious…Are you ready for this 17??? SKILL. No, he couldn’t connect with another attacker for the final ball, but don’t forget, he is two years Wilshere’s junior, and even he (Wilshere) at the moment fluffs his final ball the majority of the time. Alex had the ability to get himself in to good positions in the first place.

    No more can a footballer get away with playing or committing to only one aspect of the game. Those who play at the highest level and can, are rare. In general most experts think that fitness levels and regimes in ALL sports, have improved and therefore play has become faster and more powerful. I don’t always think this is a good advancement. Most of the time, the clubs that win overpower the opposition, they don’t out-maneuver or out-think them. Barcelona were the exception. Make no mistake, Bayern are coming close, but they do not have nearly the same amount of pure skill incorporated in to their play. That being said, I don’t think the way Barca play(ed) ? is perfect. SOME speed of deed is a good thing to be in possession of and view as a spectator. Also, I don’t mind seeing a player dribble past three of four opponents and deliver an inch-perfect cross in to the box. Crossing accurately IS more difficult than passing the ball multiple times across the floor, over shorter distances, in my opinion. Also, seeing a solid defensive contribution is something I place great value upon. Interceptions of passes are just as important, if not more so than tackling. Vincent Kompany was awesome tonight, at least as far as I could tell, and Jordi Alba was just as good, if not even better. I guess I just have different preferences than other people. There are so many skills on display during a top level football match, that I don’t particularly value one over the other. What I don’t like is other people inferring that having an appreciation for speed or power or even commitment in football equates to a lack of knowledge of the game, or intelligence.

  256. May be this will bring back JB !. 😆

  257. AB says:

    Hi 17. No argument at all – I sent a couple of posts last night, but the system wouldn’t take them for some reason; said I was posting too fast. Just logged on to see if they came through, but it seems not. Hopefully they won’t spring up in 6 months on some random discussion thread!

  258. AB says:

    Nobody around? All enjoying spuds struggling in the uefa!

  259. AB says:

    Sweet! Spuds 2 nil down!

  260. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey AB, 1-3 now… Oops… 😆 I’ve only been watching for several minutes but Spurs don’t look very good… Support seems to have turned a bit too… We need to pile on the misery come Sunday…

    Not quite sure how I’m bothering Milo (this time, at least) but I apologize… (Not looking for a fight, this time, at least, again…)

    As injured as we are I still think there’s enough quality to get get some points between now and the FA cup semi. Spurs away, Chavs away, Swans home, ManCity home and Everton away. Chart of doom shows only 1 point from those fixtures last season 😯 How many do we need and how many can we get?

  261. Dylan says:

    Arsenal-linked Rodrigo scores against Spurs at Whitehart Lane as Benfica stomp Spurs 3-1.

  262. AB says:

    Yes 17, a very enjoyable evening! Spuds do look in a mess, and Sherwood badly rattled. Hopefully this will infect their performance on Sunday. As long as they don’t manage to convert their misery into a huge effort against us, it all looks very helpful. Our injury situation does worry me though, in particular the Ramsey set back; I haven’t heard how long this is expected to be, but the last one was 6 weeks (and no counting) so hard not to fear the worst. And some reports of Ros having an injury now too. That adds up to about half our first team! So we will be tested by spuds, however much they are tired and downhearted from tonight.

  263. AB says:

    How many points from that sequence? I think we need 9 from the 5 games. But I’d like to get something out of the city and chelsk games, especially against maureen – to be the ones that gave him a home loss would be as sweet as anything (even better then beating spuds at the lane!?). But OGAAT – we just need to start well and try and keep/build our confidence. Getting some folk back from injury soon is going to be a necessity however.

  264. With the amount of injuries we have, the Spuds should be rubbing their hands at the thought of facing us, I fear a thrashing !….followed by further thrashings by Chavski and Mansour City….only possible points will be against Swansea and Everton !. Sorry if that is bad news but I owe it to you lot as The Protector of The Chart of Doom to be honest. The tried and trusted test of my Soothsaying Sausage being in DEFCON 1 limp mode at the mere mention of these teams is rarely wrong !. Plenty of time to phone the Samaritans and seek help !.
    I did say I would give up blogging if we failed to win the FAC, but given we have half our first choice starters on life support machines, that was getting a bit carried away !. I think we are probably 4th favourites to win it as with so much quality missing it only makes us an average team !. Maybe we can win the cup and get 4th place as the underdogs !.

  265. AB says:

    Face it Cockie, at this stage of the season you would fear for us playing against an 8 man Fulham B team; we are going to get nothing but doom from you until the games are over. As we showed last year against BM, sometimes when a few players are out it brings the rest of the team together. I don’t think we could sustain it for long mind – we definitely need to get some of the wounded walking again at least. But a good result at spuds with a week off afterwards, could set us up well for the following couple of weeks. I’m not going to get all JB on you, but moderate confidence is due at present, even with the injuries.

  266. alcide says:

    This guy is at it every injury that comes up… had read an article at on time talking about him and his credentials and successes are not spectacular, and he is quite outspoken (not in the good sense). Can’t disagree however with the fact that we are topping the injury list for at least half a dozen year. Style of play? Physical attribute of our technical players? Bad training? Bad medical team? Bad ref protection? Arsenal’s “let’s not make it too easy” way of doing things?

    Anyway, still a good opportunity to bury Spurs home, it’s been a while we haven’t beat them in WHL.

  267. AFC says:

    I just wanted to hear the views of you guys on this.

    J think our injuries can be attributed to our lack of squad depth and quality. Our squad is too thin and as a result we our players are overworked.

    Ozil injury was likely due to fatigue, as was Ramsey’s,. Theo was introduced too early as well.

    When we add SQ in the summer and increase squad depth we will be able to rotate our team adequately and decrease the number of injuries within the team.

  268. alcide says:

    AFC,

    We actually have good depth and decent quality in depth if you compare our full squad to even oilers. SQ can be argued about, and striker, but it’s really the injuries that have made us thin, with the indirect effect of “having” to stretch remaining player’s capacity?

    I can only recommend this http://www.7amkickoff.com/2013/does-arsenal-have-the-thinnest-squad-in-the-top-six/

  269. AB says:

    Hi AFC and Alcide. I think its a mix of factors, and plain bad luck is part of it. We have over-played some players in recent years – and Ramsey has suffered from that this year probably. I’m not sure its true of the Ozil injury – though I do wonder why he didn’t come off sooner, if he pulled the muscle after 2 min. Jack has been over-played in the past, but this season its is more a matter of fragility and tough tackling – as I’ve said before he also looks a bit heavy to me. Theo was brought back really carefully from his injury, and it looked like an awkward fall – yes we could have taken him off minutes before, but then the same could be said for other players. I can’t see how we can blame Wenger or the medical team for his injury. Ros has been remarkably sound this season (touching wood as he has a strain right now I believe), and Gibbs has been stronger too – as well as recovering quicker than usual. But injuries to Pod, Ox and Jack have just been plain bad luck. We are due some luck in the future with injuries, but I suspect we will always have a fair number to deal with due to the nature of our game and choice of players. Thankfully we do have depth and quality in our squad, and with many yet to reach their physical peak there should come a time when we are not always lurching through crises….. Or that’s the hope anyway! Hell, after a good spuds thrashing I’m feeling cup well over half full!

  270. AFC says:

    Sorry Alcide but I cannot agree with you.

    Szez is our only keeper as Viviano and Fabianski will be gone next season so we need another GK (preferably) experienced.

    Our full back area is sorted as is United’s and City’s and Chelsea will likely get another fullback in the summer.

    We definitely need a 4th CB to allow both Kos and Mert to be rotated. United have 4/5 CBs, City have four CBs and so will Chelsea next season.

    We only have one ST in Giroud. Bendtner will be gobe next season and Sanogo is one for the future. At least one ST is needed in the summer.

    We might need another midfielder to replace the ageing Arteta and Rosicky.

    I would say we need 3/4 players in the summer.

  271. AFC says:

    AB, many experts believe Theo was put back into the team too early.

    Regarding our depth just how much good depth do we have. Viviano and Fabianski are deadwood, so is Bendtner, Ryo, Sanogo and Gnabry are not ready, Arteta is in decline, Jenks is not ready yet, Podolski seems average apart from his brilliant finishing, Rosicky is our veteran player. Not to mention Diaby who is always injured.

  272. AB says:

    AFC – I can’t recall the detail of games against who, but I do remember that Wenger held him back at first when he returned, and played him for short spells with gaps. Whether this was ‘enough’ I can’t claim to have any expertise on which to base an opinion. But his return was much more a managed affair than many. Remembering the tackle and fall when he did his knee, it did not look a weary tumble – I remember Pires doing his knee, with a clearly tired jump, landing weakly; the two seem very different to my non-expert eye!

    I am not apologising for Wenger here – I think he does overplay people; but my sense is he does it somewhat less these days than he has previously; in part perhaps because we have more squad depth, in the midfield at least.

  273. AFC says:

    AB, I know.

    We really do have good midfield depth but the quality of some of our midfielders has to be questioned.

    He did try with Theo but I do also not know if this was enough. As soon as he went down I wanted him off and Park on but Wenger decided to keep him on.

    What are your predictions for the Spuds game?

  274. alcide says:

    Well if your argument is that our squad doesn’t have depth, let’s compare what is comparable, and not what will/may be next year’s situation. City has 4 CBs? I would not trade any of them for our 3 save Kompany. United’s CN? *cough* no thanks *cough*. Jenks is a better second RB than what you find in most (all?) top 6 teams.

    The others you mention have to be reviewed in the context of others team second choices, and those teams have their Artetas’. Podolski’s and Gnabry’s. Line up first choices to first choices, and you’ll see we are on par with richer teams apart from ST and a couple of SQ. Problem is, we now have twice as many injured…

  275. AB says:

    AFC – squad strengthening in the summer. I think you may overstate our weakness and the ageing of players. And we rarely factor in a development player contributing to the first team. But I would broadly agree that 3 players in the summer would be my hope. It would surpass my fantasies however for us to buy 3 SQ players, though I would be disappointed if we don’t buy 1. But a stop gap plus a young talent to complete the mix might well be all we see.

    Everyone assumes we will buy a striker, and yet if we bring in Campbell, see Akpom progressing and Wenger sees progress with Sanogo, then I wonder? I can’t see him paying £25M for a young developing player (Morata) when we have our own already. If he could get a Higuain type for a reasonable price, then he might well buy, or if a real SQ really wants to come to us rather than Chelski or whoever. But it would surprise me not if we didn’t buy here.

    CB or DM seems a must to me. RB equally if Sagna goes. And GK too if Fab leaves (an experienced – or plain old – stop gap here would be my bet). And that leaves the big spend (if not gone on SQ striker) for a Wenger type technical, attacking midfielder….. I would be happy with that mix.

  276. AFC says:

    AB, I agree with you about our defence. I think it is vital we get an experienced ST like a Benzema, Balotelli etc. You will not win an EPL title with the likes of Sanogo and Akpom at the moment. They might be ready in 2-3 years but not now

  277. AB says:

    My prediction for the spuds game AFC – grief, I don’t get these right often! I would expect a very tight first half, with spuds having a high level of possession and putting us under quite a lot of pressure. My assumption is a full strength back line, plus Flamteta, so we should back our defence to withstand this; I don’t fancy chasing the game. We need Flam to keep his head and not get carded (or worse) early on, and for the spuds and their fans to get anxious if they do not score. After tonight, they should tire, and their defence looks very thin now. I hope we have some pace and can get in on a counter by the early second half. If we do get in front and they come after us for goals as they tire, then it could get fun – and we would all hope for a big score from us. But I will go 1 nil to the Arsenal, as neither side looks exactly clinical with chances, and there will be a lot of nerves out there. I think we need 4 points from the next 2 games, so lets start with a maximum against the spuds and make it 3 wins out of 3 for the season.

    How about you AFC – how do you see it panning out?

  278. AFC says:

    Alcide, but United’s CBs will be replaced. Remember United have had two world class CBs who have only entered a decline in the past season and three promising CBs.

    Agreed re City although I would be tempted to take their young CB (cannot spell his name).

    Richards is better than Jenks and Flannagan would be chosen ahead of Jenks for England. Jones and Smalling on par if not better than Jenks at RB.

  279. AFC says:

    Alcide, I do agree with you on your last paragraph.

  280. AFC says:

    AB, I thinks Spurs are in crisis Their manager is inexperienced and has no faith in the current team. Meanwhile the Spurs back line looks vulnerable. Soldado not firing means the burden will likely fall to Adebayor to do something special.

    I really do not want Flamini to get booked early on in the match. He’s to wild and needs to calm down a bit in my opinion. Our midfield seems light at the moment and so does our attack but I expect to see Bendtner on the bench.

    Recent form does go out of the window in derby matches but I’m going for 2-1 to us.

  281. AB says:

    AFC – you set a very high expectation of our youth players. They will not all come through like Fab and Jack – sorry to lower the tone a moment, but look at Bale’s development path; he didn’t look a world beater at 20 either!

    I agree with your general assessment of manure players. But you are hard on Jenks for a simple reason – he has not had the playing time to develop, and show his development, by virtue of the fact that we have stable, fit and high quality defenders in our first team; unlike the manure! Jones and Smalling may be ahead in England terms, but Jenks has had precious little opportunity to show what he is, or might yet be, capable of.

    As for Sanogo and Akpom, I think you are probably right; but strikers can switch from gangling youths into goal machines really quite quickly, especially if they have the basic pace. I would not rule it out with one of these two, though it would represent some gamble for sure. Of your options, I know Balotelli has talent to burn, but I would not touch him with a barge pole. He might well bring goals when he chose to turn up, but I don’t believe he would be a sound influence in the squad nor at heart that he is an Arsenal type player. Benzema, yes, but while he is scoring at RM I just can’t see it.

  282. AB says:

    I do like the idea of us continuing to buy German talent. They are strong, work hard, have a good team ethic – and mostly speak better English than our home grown players – OK I am going a bit heavy on the stereotype here! But while there is a desire for German players to come to the PL, why not make Arsenal the place of choice for their young talent, the place where every young German player knows he will be able to fit in? We may not offer the best pay, but we can offer a London base, familiarity with German players, and a proven record of playing and developing youth. Whilst they seem to be developing the best young talent in Europe it seems a pretty good strategy to cash in on.

  283. AFC says:

    AB, trust me when I say I do NOT have high expectations of our youth players. But I did take the view of those who do believe really highly in youth for a moment. 😀

    I may have been too hard on Jenks, so thanks for pointing that out. I should give him more time.

    Balotelli is my favourite ST and I think he can change. He just needs some love and to feel appreciated. He needs someone like AW to turn him into a mature player. Benzema I’d take but word is he is set to put pen to a new deal with Real.

  284. AFC says:

    AB, it is about building little contingents within our squad so you might he onto something. Bit weird we have no Italian talent, or talent from them Middle East but we soon might get some. If you want big, strong, athletic players Africa might be the place to go for that. 😉

  285. AFC says:

    Anyway, I’m a off to bed now. I will certainly be back for the Spuds game. Until then bye guys. 🙂

  286. AB says:

    I hope you are right about Balotelli AFC. He certainly has the talent, and it is always sad to see such talent wasted. Its whether he can become a team player that is the real question for me, or whether he will always be a maverick. I’m sure the right manager could build a strong relationship with him, but he would have to change a lot to turn into a rounded team player as well I suspect. Fascinating to watch!

    That’s all from me tonight. Night all, and catch up soon as we prepare to heap more on the spuds!!

  287. Admir says:

    I’m worried a bit now. I mean, not due to Spuds’ quality (Pile-of-crap Walker might be injured and Adebawhore had a treatment as well) but due to our injuries. Apparently Rosicky picked up a groin injury. That would be a major blow as I see him as our greatest asset for NLD. OK, second greatest, after The Ox.

    Have you read what Neuer said? He said that he had known what kind of shot Podolski has so he didn’t try to save the shot but his face. 😀

  288. Alcide says:

    “Arsene Wenger has revealed Arsenal are conducting an investigation into their medical and training methods after the club’s injury list was exacerbated by setbacks for Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil.”

    Good news – or for the more critical, finally!

  289. AFC says:

    Alcide, that is really good news. Let’s see if Wenger and co can get to the bottom of this problem. 🙂

  290. AFC says:

    Sandro and Walker out for our match against Spurs.

  291. 17highburyterrace says:

    Do we need a new thread? Hopefully Oz is coming out of retirement for a derby preview…

    The injury news is extremely worrying but we still have good depth in MF and my prayers are that the niggly stuff (Rosicky, in particular and continuing to allow Rambo to get fully fit and Sanogo not traveling to Munich) are the usual Wenger lies. Spurs away is too big a match to unveil your joke signing (Kallstrom) but that’s exactly what I think will be happening (as a sub)…If Sicky or Ramsey were fit and KK came on and the result or (his) performance went awry it wouldn’t look too good…

    On that account I have to discuss the AFC links and the various winding-up that seems to be happening in the media. There’s a decent discussion of this topic on today’s Arsecast…Of course, I could just link to it…

    My guess is that AFC only reads when he comes here to post and has missed a bit of my complaints (explaining my week off)… 007, I think, does keep up, so what’s YOUR excuse? Hopefully all goes well with Jane and it’s just taking a break (my own excuse 😆 )…

    Anyhow, the winding up is all explainable, but it’s really, IMO, pretty f**king ugly when we fall for it. I’d like to heap praise upon AB and alcide for talking AFC through it re: the injury hype, and trying to buy like the silly money clubs do, etc. These notions, put out by the (so-called) experts are really just Trojan horses trotted out whenever results go funky. They also go hand in hand. If you’re trying to build a squad with older Ligue Deux sorts (or cheap signings with a history of injury issues…) and young up and coming kids (who naturally will be less durable and lack the experience to keep themselves fit…) injuries will be higher than those that buy the guys who’ve just come off career years and are at the height of their physical powers…

    I believe we will arrive at our FA Cup semi (and thank Dennis that it shines like a beacon on the horizon…) in slightly better shape than our like-for-like (chart of doom…) might predict, but surely it will be a very up and down, trying period for Gooners. I HOPE we take all 15 points on offer, but a logical call might be 5 or 6. Remember, Cockie and his chart are calling for a SINGLE point!! (Everton away was a draw, I think…) 😯

    As we win, lose or draw each match the voices will crow if the results = the proclivities. The “supporters” who blame “everything” on Wenger will be in full voice if (when?) we falter but will lay in wait if, somehow (magically…) we get the points. Meanwhile, people like me, who abhor such narratives, will either fight off the haters or will run and hide, depending on our energy levels and the ability to fool ourselves about the idiocy of wasting our time in this manner…

    Again it’s all pretty sad and my hope when I found this place was that we might actually be able to look past these shouting matches and entrenched views and be open to describing what we actually see. “Feelings” are fine too, and venting seems the birthright of the paying customer. But I would remind everybody that we’re not actually “paying” anybody with anything but our time and our energy (at least here on BK-esque…) and if you’re not helping to build something here, there’s a chance you could be destroying it…

    On that note, probably time to disappear into a cave or get (what’s left of) my hair done) or at least climb a mountain or something…

    Cheers! 😀

  292. alcide says:

    Bloody Chart of Doom… unfortunately its baseline only reflects a 4th place finish in a year where the PL winner finished way above all others. This season. the top 4/5 clubs are much closer together, and we’ll need much more than a point to achieve 4th place. It’s OGAAT and Spurs away is therefore the most important game, but a win would go a long way to secure a CL spot, and I’d really like for us to play the remaining 9 games in the mindset of winning a 1st, second or 3rd place rather than looking behind our shoulder (at those standing in our shadow) to save 4th.

  293. AFC says:

    I think Cockie needs to do the Chart of Doom (COD) every season. 😀

    I do not really like us to look at past seasons either. I prefer us to set a target e.g. 86-90 points every season and try to reach that target. This way we are playing our own season and not relying on other teams’ seasons.

  294. TotalArsenal says:

    Afternoon FFGs

    Loved the dialogue (trialogue) yesterday with good arguments on both sides.

    I am busy and, despite promises by various BK regulars, have not received a single post for quite a while now…. Hence it is quiet on the blog.

    No sign that Oz will be doing a preview either.

    I might write something this evening if I get the time.

    Tip of the day: look at what we got rather than who is not available and then decide whether we will beat the Spuddies

  295. 17highburyterrace says:

    C’mon Totes, you’ve got to make the time… 😀 Good, however, that you’re busy. We’ve got a little sunny weather so this might be it for the “Spring” skiing…Otherwise, I’d volunteer…

    I hope it’s OK to harp on the “How to be a Gooner” stuff. For me, I’m looking for a spot where we can get past the extremes of fretting (Cockie) vs blind optimism (007) ahead of the matches and then the trumpeting of the “I told you so” stuff afterwards. Of course, none of it matters (AT ALL) so if that’s how things are gonna go, who am I to complain? Also, those guys are pretty entertaining, most of the time, at least… Still, it seems like the ups and downs of the results shouldn’t be the ONLY topic along with the meta-narratives that will come out with each of them…There’s actual football being played and sometimes it’s kinda cool to watch and “compare notes”… (Mostly, of course, it’s f**king boring as hell–compared to the hyperbole of the reaction–so there you go…)

    The Spuds have some quality players too but, with the loss of Bale and later the guy who bought all of them (AVB), they seem a bit at sea. Our 1-nil early season win (before the Ozil purchase, but after they had done all their business…) was a real blow. This NLD, in many respects, is a final chance for players to show the fans what they’ve got and you have to know that at least one of them (Adebayor) will be well up for the match… They’d be only 3 pts behind us (though we have a game in hand…) if they win. Agreed with those who think it could be a very tight and cagey match and that the first goal is key. Then again, Sherwood set them out in suicidal fashion against us in the FA Cup, so you never know. They’ve got issues at the back (Walker, Dawson, serial enforcers, Sandro and Dembele, all out?…) but we look a little shaky in attack (front line of Lu-lu, Giroud and Ox leaves not a lot on the bench–only Sanago and Gnabry? Sorry AFC but I think Bendtner’s latest stupidities might not find him there…) It’s probably a very big game for little Santi, who needs better than hospital passes under the pressure of guys like Paulinho and whoever comes in for Sandro. Arteta could also be a key man, as could our full-backs. (I’d love it if we could play Nacho or Gibbs as a winger to close out the points…) I think if we can win the possession stat AND avoid bad turnovers, we can control the match and (hopefully) make some chances and some goals. They, however, will probably have the advantage when it comes to the speed and thrust business (i.e., they could be dangerous on the counter or if we get sloppy)… Prediction? I wouldn’t dare, but I would ask Theo… 😆 😉

    Haha, the “chart of doom” really doesn’t look too promising for us…but Alcide has seen right through it. (Well done, Sir…) If it DOES happen to be your guide, I’d get down to the sofa store and start buying them all and piling them high, high, high… 😆

  296. AFC says:

    TA, I am writing a discussion post on diving right now. I should have it finished before tonight. 🙂

  297. AFC says:

    17, I will get back to you later on the Spuds match and on Bendtner. 🙂

  298. TotalArsenal says:

    17, good comment once more,

    Bloggers are set in their ways and personalities. You are the balancer, who aims to put things in perspective. You have elements of Cockie – when you worry about the thinness of the squad, for example, but you are seldom very critical about the team and manager which I really like.

    I have not thought about the Spuds game a lot but with Flamini, Ox, Arteta, Cazorla, Giroud, Pod and most of the ‘back five’ available….what are we worrying about exactly?

  299. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers AFC – looking forward to it! 🙂

  300. Yes, it is I…….and yes you should all be worried with the likes of Diaby Does Dallas, Jack Wheelchair, Ramesses 1, Theolopodous Walcottbeast, Funky Gibbo, Scratcho my Nacho, The Ozil Layer, Rosickness and The No IDEA from IKEA (KK) ! either on life support machines or doubtful !, The NHS can only take so much !.
    I wonder if VCC wants Manshafter Std to win so that it possibly helps us get above The Bindippers for 3rd spot and have no Squeaky Bum CL qualification game……..that’s if we are lucky enough to get a CL chance !………I mean , you only have to look at my Soothsaying Sausage to know that the next 5 league games are games which should carry a “21” certificate or parental guidance warning to avoid having a Samaritans Season Ticket !.
    I shall not hide behind the Sofa on Sunday as I will be finishing my spring gardening….it took me 6 hours to cut the grass on Wednesday ! and now only have to do in front of…”Le Shaque Damour “, but I also have some planting of shrubs to do…….I bought my most expensive shrub/tree for quite a few years the other day….£16 !, but it is a beauty, a…..” Cornus Controversa ` variegate` ” the wedding cake tree !. I shall try and take some cuttings when it is established as I like to offer guests and friends a plant when they first visit !. Fcuk !…….how did I get onto my fcuking anorak stuff !. Wake up !. hahaha

  301. 17highburyterrace says:

    Back from skiing… Clouds and wind made me grip my little ice-axe pole handle tighter than I like… Still fun and a worthy outing… Hopefully tomorrow the sun does its thing a little better…

    I’m “worried” mostly because our central MF possession game has been such a work in progress for so long. Yes, we can always go route 1 to relieve pressure (Sir Chez is developing far better at this than Fabianski, I think, but I mention that only to try and lure 007 back… 😉 ) but the game to which we aspire is possession and pressure based. With so many players coming in and going out (or moving to or from the wings and into the center of the park…) it all gets a bit confusing. If the passing is off, the tackles will crunch, and the pace and athleticism (which we’re 2nd best at, I fear…) could win the day… I’ve never been a fan of the Ozil and Santi can’t play together narrative, nor the “one of Flam-Teta but not both” school of thought. The CazOrthzil option is out due to injury, but Flam-teta surely will be employed, won’t it?… And then there’s Giroud. You can sing his song all you want but we have to hope we get the good Ollie not the looking-for-love-in-Bounds-Green and inches short with his lunges (heheh)… version. How about punishing (crazy) Hugo Lloris as he did (dribbling) Artur Boruc or (stranded in–No-man’s Sunder–Land) Vito Mannone? That I could enjoy…

    No, it’s the North. London. Derby. So lucky bounces are created through passion and understanding what the game means, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah…If we win we will have “wanted it more” and if not… Well then, this Squatchy will be headed back to the mountains… 😀 and maybe AW should come with me and all the usual rot…

    Anyhow, looking forward (with trepidation) to the match and AFC getting back to me, plus his ideas about diving…

  302. AFC says:

    TA, message for you on ‘AFC posts’ page.

    17, my post on diving is a debate post around punishment for diving, a bit of fun if you will but I’ll be happy to discuss whatever you want to discuss about diving. 🙂

  303. AFC says:

    17, good of you to mention the Flam-Teta combo.

    There have been issues with it in the past but I think those have been rectified. The last time we deployed the Flam-Teta combo (which I think was against Everton in FA Cup?) I noticed Arteta was given more freedom with Flamini covering for him and doing more of the defending.

  304. AFC says:

    Regarding the match on Sunday it will be tight as you say. It seems that a lot of time moments of individual brilliance win derby matches. Our main guy (Walcott) who would often show up in the big games and show individual brilliance is out. Spurs however seem to have their guy in Adebayor. He will definitely be a threat if he can control himself and not get himself booked.

    Regarding Bendtner, you know I think he is good enough to be on the bench but his latest incident (which might have been blown out of proportion by the media?) means he has probably lost his place on the bench and is likely to be fined by AW. It was strange though when Wenger suddenly decided to stop putting Bendtner in the match day squad. Maybe we should have let him go in Januart and kept Park.

  305. AFC says:

    I think we will win the midfield battle and I am confident that we will control the midfield if we can keep the ball and not give away possession, like we did against Bayern due to their high pressing.

    We should not have a problem in defence if we have our usual back four playing together as their record is very good. The front four does worry me. Will Giroud perform? And will the ‘3’ behind him be able to work together and provide Giroud with the service he needs.

    Monreal coming on in front of Gibbs will give us defensive cover on the left flank if we need it, not to mention that Monreal can give us width when we attack down the left. Jenks could do the same on the right flank. We will also have pace coming off the bench in Ryo and Gnabry. Spurs seemed vulnerable to pace and quick counter attacks when they got pulled apart by Benfica on several occasions. Players seemed to be able to get in between their defence and midfield quite easily.

  306. Milo says:

    I hardly ever think we will draw a match, but for some reason I think the derby will be a low scoring draw…Weird. I’m not even that worried about the injuries for our side.

    What Fabianski has done has been sensational. I mean, look how he started and now look at him??? Forget Sagna, if anyone deserves a raise and a new contract, surely it’s him. I haven’t heard him moan or mention loyalty, or the fact he has stuck with us all these years despite not winning anything (counts as loyalty, I suppose). In the past two or three seasons, it was obvious that he had improved enough to warrant a starting position at many a club, if not ours. The only thing I will say is that if he does in fact want to play the majority of league matches, I would allow him to leave. I can’t remember hearing about, or seeing a top tier club that splits the league matches evenly between two keepers. Why can’t we be first??? 😀 I certainly wouldn’t make it an easy decision for him to walk out the door though. Maybe he is being a disruption behind the scenes??? No idea, but as far as I can tell, it will be a real shame when he leaves. He might be the only keeper who tended goal for a trophy winning side at our club.

  307. AB says:

    Evening guys. There’s so much uncertainty around who is injured and who not that its all rather hard to predict. If we have Flamteta, Santi, Ros, Ox, Pod and Gir all fit and available, as well as a back 4 with Verm on the bench, then we should have enough, both in our 1st 11 and on the bench to feel confident in this match. Yes they have more physical presence, but our team will have more technique and talent – I think.

    But the above has quite a few ‘buts’ in it. Will Nacho be back (sounds like Gibbs won’t)? Is Ros fit or carrying an injury? Santi, Arteta and Ox are on a run of games – will they be fresh and fit? And where is Giroud’s head at the moment?

    I hope Wenger is being his usual cautious self. I also hope we get to see KK during the game – but not as some crisis measure! And I would love to see Sanogo get his first goal against the spuds – we could then see how he performs once relaxed; it would tell us a lot about his potential.

    I can’t help but look out for more news on Rambo and Oz, what the prognosis is and when we can hope to see them back. Ramsey’s loss has become more and more apparent as the season has gone on; a couple of months with him back with us would be fantastic – as would seeing him be part of a trophy winning side!

  308. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post! 🙂

    We had to wait for more than six month, but AFC the post writer is back…. with a fine discussion post about how to stop the divers. 🙂

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