Arsenal-City Review: Is this the (latest) season changer?

The Flame

The Flame

First up, read nothing but this! Not only am I a great writer but all the others are misleading. This feeling of course is true of any match report and news. Read enough and you can find any interpretation you want. I read many, all of which said that in the first half City owned Arsenal. Oh, and we were lucky.

Second, for those who wondered, no, I never expected my 4-2-4-0, but a man can dream a little, no? πŸ™‚

Hmm, so I got to watch on Arsenal TV, courtesy of Sky Sport who likely scheduled it to show a blood bath, mostly for those who also watch NASCAR for the crashes.

Half 1: I saw City get the one and it was deserved. Good break, good shot and good rebound finish. Equally, well defended over a turnover, forced the worst available shot, which was unfortunately excellent and off the post or Scz and the post. And once you’ve the rebound like that, well it’s anyone’s story.

Each side had moments forward and some pressure. City had more shots, but few of any threat or intent. Arsenal had less BUT they were probing a lot more. Just missing going forward in the last effort. Equally several opportunities to get something in the box. For motion with intent we had less ball but, really it was a game of midfield back and forth. City, more ball and shots, Arsenal more threat/probing.

The common factor, both sides defended really well as a team and both did so relatively deep. Key point CM noted. City and DeMechelis were slightly the better. Arsenal were also the less lucky, the rebound (admittedly after pressure) and a realistic contact and penalty not called early on.

Players of the half? OG was very good but a bit lonely. Team defense and Gibbs especially, also. Pod going forward, not so much going back (thank you Gibbs), and TR was always present, almost opposite of Yaya interestingly.

Who won the half? On points, clearly City, on pressure, perhaps Arsenal. How can I say that with less possession and less shots? Well 3 yellows to City to 1 to Arsenal, and invisible Yaya (Toure), and a large number of corners to Arsenal for a team with lesser possession, shows that we were winning, if only just a very very little, most places BUT the all important scoreboard. Still we were forward enough and with some threat just not quite coming off. As we now know the second half would bear a bit of all that out..

Half 2: I won’t reiterate in detail, really. Very much like the first half but we had more possession so the game ended almost equal. Again, with few exceptions Yaya was invisible. The one time,Β  early in the half at 50mins saw them with a great chance well covered by Scz whose luck turned on rebounds from the first half.

One minute later, it’s all open, and first TR and then Santi are at goal with venom. And then in this open phase, at 52:44, FLAMINIIIIIII!

All that probing that the pundits were calling useless or signs of failure .. Well, one probes not to always score, but to eventually score. The eventually came despite still very good team defending by City.

This usheredΒ  in some Arsenal dominance and almost immediately Sagna offers an almost second goal cross. We were definitely on top in ways the pundits said City were in the first half. But, for real.

This ushers in my thoughts on pundits and The Jordan Effect. If Michael Jordan did something ridiculous, it was amazing and he got the foul! Anyone else was an idiot. Seems that way with Arsenal, so read nothing but your unbiased correspondent here! πŸ™‚

Then the Pod almost got it for us… Then and then and … We were definitely playing with them.

The rest played out as we know. We won half two decisively but not dominantly, and they did get some opportunities as befits a top team in any game, and thus we were not dominant or lucky enough to pull it out. A “fair” draw in my final thoughts on it.

Overall: lots of good probing, lots of good team defense, and what looked like two top teams having an even or near even go at it. City don’t leave thinking we aren’t top tier and neither should we in my opinion despite our penchant for a wee touch of gloom.

Player of the game: Demichelis, his defense was the extra thing that kept it for City. My opinion but he was disruptive everywhere.

Luckiest keeper: Draw. Both were lucky once.

Impact player: Draw Flamini and Rosicky, with honorable mention to Sagna who very quietly had about 8m crosses in.

Invisible players: TV, Yaya, Nasri. Not bad but not there really. Not OG who was part of the goal with good hold up, but also somewhat lonelier as we sat back a touch. Something we must solve if we play more this way, although the injured would help there with more B2B types off field just now.

Now my thoughts on signs and portents: No, Prince, I am not a believer but for lightening pre-match it was fun. However, I will point out I got the deeper defense, lineup, and half the final score right. Don’t knock the burnt offerings! πŸ™‚

So, will this be the end of season changer?

I have to believe that our confidence will be lifted. We played well and evenly for the mostΒ  part with what is likely the top team in the league. My thoughts:

A. Confidence should be high just when we need it to get through the injuries and the season well. We may not win the rest of our games but we could. The same for all our competitors so…

B. We can play well with a very depleted team, which again has to help going forward and next year.

C. Our need for steal down the middle is clear, though we did well today. TV to DM might be a better deal than trying to find the perfect beast DM for many Β£.

But, will it change the season?? Well, like the burnt offerings, it’s hard to tell. But, back to my portents.

I was at church with family having seen the scoreline. Sat there contemplating as one does and of course “football is life” when suddenly the ground is shaking. Yet another bloody earthquake here in Christchurch, though a mere 4.0 it was shallow and thus relatively intense in shaking.

So, I was contemplating life and Arsenal and many things. At church… and the earth moved !!

Read into it what you will!! πŸ™‚

Cheers — jgc

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76 Responses to Arsenal-City Review: Is this the (latest) season changer?

  1. Fozzie B says:

    Fiiirrrrrsttt Brethreeeeen !!! Hows that for timing!! Massive work load and just coming up for air!! Well done JGC falcon !!! Clean and crisp like stein lager pure ! ! Very proud of the boyz!! Speak soon and sorry for the lack of banter!! πŸ˜€

  2. Fozzie B says:

    I have to add that chav Kermit did a number on me last week with his frog legs! ! I hope h20 ‘s team can now deliver the killer punch!! πŸ˜€

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Great Match Review, jgc πŸ™‚

    Of course we wanted the three points yesterday and what a difference that would have made, but this well fought for and deserved draw was sooo needed to steady the ship and rebuild confidence. So it could well be a season changer. The title is gone of course, but we can still finish the season on a high if we can get a result at Goodison Park, which is traditionally good hunting ground for us.

    I fully agree with you for picking Rosicky and Flamini is our main men yesterday. They fought like lions and protected the spirit of the team. I would also like to say how Pod has collected a goal and two assists in the two last games and I also felt he put his heart and soul into the game.

    I thought Santi and Arteta were slightly below par and believe that with Ozil and Ramsey/Wilshere in the team we would have beaten them. But as a team we performed really well and they did us proud.

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    Good to hear from you Fozzie. Don’t leave the ladies unattended for too long! πŸ˜›

  5. geoffchase says:

    FROM LAST POST

    CM and VCC

    that is the crux of the problem! Do you buy the β€œknown” quantity in hopes that it translates well to your league and that no one β€œwises up to their approach”

    Orrr

    do you buy the lesser known, but potentially quite dominant type?

    Examples of the first that worked: CR7, Lewandowski (likely tho in same league so easier), RvP (tho back to training table), and I am sure there are others but…

    Examples of the second from just the glorious Arsenal: Bergkamp, Henry, Pires … and on..

    IMO, this is Arsenes forte. That said, with this interconnected world, everyone is a super start earlier than ever .. As a result, IMO in part, of AWs success in the past. No one overlooks those players or even their far lessers any more .. And it is easier to not overlook them!!

    IMO, it’s a tougher and tougher nut to crack consistently and well. Unless you are BM, RM or Barca with enough dosh to always overpower your league!

    Interestingly, one outcome then is that the Oilers et al with their dosh have, in part, kept the EPL more competitive and less dominated by MU (and Arsenal). With no one dominating though it is harder than ever to find the best fits etc..

    Just my 2p β€” jgc

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice of you to highlight Gibbs contribution as well. He is developing into a fine player and still sooo young.

  7. Twig says:

    You’re not all that a great writer. You spelled “steel” as “steal”. That’s an unforgivable offence πŸ˜‰

  8. geoffchase says:

    TA

    I thought Pod was excellent going forward but not always there going back. Gibbs takes stick for what was mostly being left a bit short on the counter a few times and thus having to play off for too long until help came.

    cheers == jgc

  9. geoffchase says:

    Twig

    Wasnt me. I tapped it out on a crummy MS Word compatible app on my ipad and was “let down” .. πŸ™‚

    There are a few other gems in there as well if you look… !

    sigh — jgc

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Jgc, that is true. Pod comes with limitations. With two DMs we are able to cover for this, though.

    How’s the finger?

  11. VCC says:

    Great match report jgc. Loved the earth moving moment πŸ™‚

    Our confidence should have taken a boost after that performance Saturday, especially the second half.

    Some players should be back from injury for the upcoming games, which is well needed.

    jgc 23:54. I would certainly buy the finished article when it comes to a ST.

    If we haven’t got sufficient pennies, then try Vermaelen at DM.

  12. geoffchase says:

    TA

    Finger is fine, going from purple to reddish brown. Give it a few days more and most will be right. Bonus, my youngest thinks it’s really gross!! πŸ™‚

    Pod is a conundrum. The goal is to find a way for him to fit the system and thus maximizing his best qualities, which ain’t as a holdup striker and is more as a Henry striker perhaps, while minimising his downsides. I read a suggestion that arsenal go 4-4-2 just to make that happen, but for that we need the singular beast DM which we ain’t got.

    He’s currently, I suspect, the perfect piece for another puzzle, and an almost perfect piece for us… Likely to change over summer methinks.. City have perhaps the strongest and most powerful midfielders and we did ok, which is good, we were tough enuff, but a touch more beast ther

    Leading to my thoughts for VCC next!

    Cheers — jgc

    Cheers — jgc

  13. geoffchase says:

    VCC

    I agree about finished article. Of course the busts are bigger, eg Fellaini (tho not a striker) or Silva up until now perhaps… The rewards are also good…

    Regarding DM. I’d like a true beast more now after this season. And some pace wider or up front. BUT, beasts wih some ball skills (eg Vieira or Yay) are really hard to find. I don’t think Song was it which is why he was let go AND why he doesn’t see much time at Barca (IMO). Thus, Tv has all the properties and mentality I suspect to be BETTER there. We don’t HAVE to sell and just maybe? Less risk than buying someone who may not go as well..

    Suffice to say, I remain intrigued!

    Just some thoughts!

    Cheers — jgc

  14. geoffchase says:

    With many apologies for my hurried typing and errors. Consider it a fun word game?

    Cheerios — jgc

  15. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cheers Prof

    I was very impressed with our performance. I have to admit, with our depleted line up, lack of pace, and damaged confidence I did fear the worst. So thought we would win, but not by the expected 5-0.

    Everton are the team to beat now. Go there next week, turn them over, and then concentrate on winning the Cup

    Wasnt that impressed with City. Theres something missing, a ruthlessness perhaps? On paper they are the best side, but from what ive seen they might just get edged. I really hope Liverpool do it. A top class “traditional” club without a sugar daddy.

    I to have experienced the delights of an earthquake Prof. When I was a kid I back in Crete, I could hear the chickens and goats making strange noises so went out to the back yard to investigate.

    The Goats were gnawing at there ropes and the chickens were jumping on each other. It was then that the ground shook and I lost my balance and ended up with the chickens. They had obviously sensed something was coming.

    What happened next was bizarre. The Chickens, led by a rather mad hen with a white neck, proceeded to attack. It wasnt long before I had a dozen or so pecking away. Chickens are not be estimated, they are quite hard.

    Thats why to this day, I am very suspicious in the vicinity of poultry

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    And yet you are a chick magnet, Terry. Does that make a sado-M? πŸ™‚

  17. geoffchase says:

    Damn

    TA beat me to it.

    Terry, IMO, City are the best. Equally, we are far from as bad as the occasional capitulation. I don’t like such, but losing 3-1 or 6-0 is still the same thing really…IF you bounce back!

    We need consistency. City need a touch more je ne sais quoi, AW flair?, and Liverpool need a brain! Hmm, like the wizard of Oz?

    Cheers — jgc

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes Geoff, 4-4-2 would suit Pod very much. It could work in our formation if we had a proper winger on the right who sticks to his role and position on the pitch, and Ozil and Pod interchange a lot, AND Ramsey motors on behind them.

  19. geoffchase says:

    TA

    Ozils Bergkamp to Pods Henry? πŸ™‚

    Lots of ifs there tho… IMO, we’d need a Vieira to go with that and shore up in behind. AR has the potential as does JW. Thoughts?

    Cheers — jgc

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    Geoff, agreed! Ramsey can be our Yaya, he was as good as him at start of the season. JW is future nr.10 for me, just hope he’ll get fitter/stronger. I would like a solid DM behind Ramsey/Ozil/Jack. A 24/25 year old Flamini +, if we can find one. Flamini to be back up next season, and same for Arteta.

  21. Alcide says:

    Very enjoyable read jgc! I thought Flamini’s second half was really interseting in that he basically had (or took?) the box to box role, and did so with more success than Arteta experienced lately. That tells you how much Rambo is missed…

    TA, 24/25 Flamini+ is indeed exactly what we need. But I’m sure we’ll have plenty of debate on whether we want him biaised towards physical attributes and steel vs. technical abilities and speed… As long as he’s quality, I don’t mind. By the way, don’t you think that Vieira in his best years would actually rule the DM world these days?

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed Alcide, Vieira would be king. I just want a DM who can do midfield defending – both one to one and positionally/game reading – AND is a decent to good passer of the ball, with a great engine and passion. For me that guy is Wanyama, but Bender will do too hahaha πŸ™‚

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    Edgar Davids’ nickname was ‘de stofzuiger’ – the Hoover – and that is what we are missing – even with Flamini who is closest to my ideal DM fit. I will write a post about it soon. πŸ™‚

  24. Highbury Harmony says:

    Cheers for the review JGC!

    I largely agree with everything you’ve written, especially the praise to Rosicky and Flamini! I would have likely given a fairly harsh review on Podolski, as it was his careless play with the ball that led to the turnover that have City the 1-0 lead. The combination/chemistry between him and Gibbs from last season appears to be all but gone and both players misplayed a ton of balls in the first half.

    We were fortunate that Yaya had an off day because we generally struggle against two types of players: big strong strikers and skilled box to box midfielders. Our passing, slow possession style often leaves us exposed in those situations when teams take us on the counter or through the air. Flamini has certainly helped, but we badly need Ramsey back to help us transition from defense into attack and vice versa more quickly.

    IMO, we are also just missing something up front and I’m hopeful for Ozil to return for our semi-final match against Wigan – to provide us with that extra bit of quality and team boost that we desperately need. Having Jack back will also be massive.

  25. Highbury Harmony says:

    Gave City the 1-0 lead*

  26. Admir says:

    Nice review, jgc. I’d like to take a minute about one issue that you touched a bit.

    And it’s Szczesny. I’m sure all Brokeback Bergkampesquers know how much I rate our cheeky Pole but he has been in a bit of abyss lately. Ever since match against Southampton Szczesny has been in a bad shape. Since our victory against Palace (2:0), he has been between the sticks eleven times. He has kept only two clean sheets (with a marvelous save against Vomit’s Prodigy to be the highest point) and hasn’t offered too much reliability to our defence since that blunder against Sunderland. Even against Spuds where he didn’t concede, he nearly gave away a goal to Chadli. Against City he had a few fine saves (that Fernandinho’s strike was really dangerous) but nearly gave City’s second goal of the game just before Flamini’s wonderful strike.

    I don’t know about you, guys, but I’d be more safe to see Fabianski against Everton.

    @TA – wouldn’t it be funny if Bender’s nickname was Hoover too? πŸ˜€

  27. proudgooner says:

    First before i read the post id like to say.
    R.I.P David Rocastle Rocky. Arsenal and England great true legend!

  28. proudgooner says:

    13 years to the day , very sad.

  29. Thanks Professor !. πŸ˜€

    I too was in Church when the Vicars wife, Carmen, felt the earth move…….which was around about when I kneeled on the hassock and said to her…” for what you are about to receive, may the lord make you truly thankful…Carmen ! “.

  30. proudgooner says:

    I have to say i thought Podolski was very good at the weekend, going forward with he assist of course but i thought defending he did well.??
    Don’t get me wrong he was not great defending , but his tracking back was as good as he has been for us i thought, he is not here for his defending but just getting back and tracking players is good as it cuts down the passing options. It is of course taxing on your energy getting up and down the wing but he did it and gave his all for me which is really all you can ask of him.
    But it seems quite a few still questioned his defending on Saturday, so may be i am wrong. It would defo seem so.
    I am a big Podolski fan though, i think we still have no where near seen the best of him yet. It still has so much more to show.
    I think i worry a bit that if he does not get enough playing time then he may look to move, but he seems very happy here and i really hope and want him to become a great player for us. Wenger has already said he is 1 of the deadliest finishers he has ever seen.
    I think he will be important to us in the last games of the season and FA CUP. I would like to see his first hat-trick in the FA cup final.
    Then you have Sanogo who has to get his first goal soon, he is also a real goal scorer, but yet to shine, but he will.

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    That would indeed be funny, Admir. Agreed on Szczesny’s lack of security and impact.

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    David Rocastle RIP indeed. Thanks PG.

  33. proudgooner says:

    I just won the north London derby Arsenal 11 – Spurs 0 lol πŸ™‚ on FIFA 12 it was 7-0 at half time.
    Even beating the on the computer always feels good. Imagine being a Spurs fan this season, they are very quiet lately, them and United. It must be worse being a united fan, spurs are used to it united the oppersite .

  34. proudgooner says:

    sorry it was 12-0 i lost count i would love for us to smash a team 12-0, we have not given a team a good thrashing for a while.

  35. Admir says:

    PG, thanks for the reminder. I read about Rocky today again. R.I.P.

    Speaking of Spuds and Manure fans, I don’t know which one are more pathetic. Spuds spent 110.000.000 pounds only to lose 11:1 on aggregate to City, 9:0 to Liverpool, 5:1 to Chavs and 4:0 to us (if we count all three matches).

    And yet Manure couldn’t snatch more than a single point against Spuds and lost at home to them.

  36. geoffchase says:

    TA and Alcide

    All agreed and perhaps we can lure the actual Vieira back to coach that next DM?? πŸ™‚

    cheers — jgc

  37. geoffchase says:

    HH

    I think what we miss now is what you note, but mostly we are missing change of pace. Lack of pace lets teams come a little tighter and without some magic.. To me Gibbs offers it down teh flank some and TR is very alacrative at bursts, but at 31 it cant last forever..

    Anytime you have Ozil, Theo, AR on the bench you’ve lost insight, pace and hustle… Not many EPL teams have three midfielders that good, let alone out injured.. Prepare for some ugly down the rest of the season. That we can replace them with Santi, TR and Pod (going forward), or even include Gnabry is a bonus to us… one we are reaping now even if we dont like the look of it.

    cheers — jgc

  38. geoffchase says:

    PG

    Id differ on Pod. No lack of effort but the turnover for goal 1 started with him. When he couldnt get back quick enough Gibbs had to play off 1 v 2. That allowed teh easy crossfield thru pass to Dzeko deep. Off Scz and the bar, at which point in front of goal it’s anyones ball and Silva happened to be in the right place.

    He does track back and is good defensively but can be slow on it. The slow is what hurts as every step downfield Gibbs has to give ground means the deeper they are for free before someone, doesnt have to be Pod, gets in front of the ball or another player

    Credit also to City, their midfielders are awesome and took full advantage of numbers on that occasion and earned their reward for the effort!

    But, too often Gibbs was left at the mercy of Navas and Zabaleta and that’s a recipe for difficulty.

    cheers — jgc

  39. geoffchase says:

    Admir

    Not sure I agree. The first goal was not Scz to save given the situation we found ourselves. Like our goal the team defense slipped just slightly and City took full advantage, as did we on the strike from Flamini.

    The one jsut before our goal was Yaya’s one real appearance, and again great work from City and Yaya to make some magic and very good defending from us. Coulda gone either way but that’s not Scz that gives up the shot and City made the most of their second of only perhaps 3 real opportunities.

    In comparison in teh last game they put 6 past us which is at minimum 6 opportunities and likely lots more.. A great team will always get 1-3 opportunities just through very good football, we kept that to a minimum and thus did ok. They did the same to us too! πŸ™‚

    Clean sheets are not just the keeper really.. A reflection, in part, but only in part..

    cheers – jgc

  40. geoffchase says:

    Admir

    Re spuds vs top 4 so thats 29-2 aggregate over 8 games… ouch..

    cheers — jgc

  41. geoffchase says:

    All

    Back to work now, hope I didnt miss anyone! Remember these are just my opinions and anything free comes with no guarantee! πŸ™‚

    cheers — jgc

  42. geoffchase says:

    Oh and PG

    Re Podolski. Great finisher needs to be in a different role for us, which would require either rethinking formation or rethinking how we play striker. The first requires, IMO a true Viera-esque DM or B2B, and the second requires some change from AW, tho I think it would benefit Ozil the most!

    cheers — jgc

  43. Gerry says:

    Good morning all – Fine review, Prof (and preview, come to that), and I can make but a small comment, as I only heard the match on the ‘Player.

    I have finally finished my racing catch up, not entirely by the opening day of the Turf season which clashed with any comment I might have made prior to the game.

    That said, the commentary team suggested in the first half that it seemed like a City tactic to get 3 players around Gibbs? That would point to them acknowledging the lack of pace of Pod perhaps? So it is to Gibb’s credit that they did not make more from the tactic, given the players he was opposing?

    I cannot add a lot more, other than the fact that City went defensive with their subs, settling for a point in the final 10 minutes, so we must have been doing something right?

    I am also guessing from the fact nobody has mentioned the absent Koscielny, that TV5 did okay too?

    So OGAAT it is Everton the week before the FA Cup game? It would be nice to think the players will not be getting ahead of this one? It would also be nice if the injury jinx took a day off too, as none of the players will want to miss out that next game?

    Talking of which, did I see a mention of players returning before this last game? I am so out of touch that NewsNow Arsenal, which used to be my number one ‘most read’ item, as my lead into this site, has completely dropped off the radar. Ramsey on the bench against Everton would be nice? Ozil back from his winter break/stroke injury – caused by over use through lack of the former, would be another? No Lazarus act from Theo, but judicious use of Bellerin with Sagna could solve the pace/crossing/defensive cover on the right? I just hope he is showing enough in training to have earned his place on the bench, else he might be one of a number of big names we lose from the youth ranks in annual clear out? I have faith in the lad though, so I hope he gets to shine before the end of the season.

    Well that is my lot for this week, except to mull over tonight’s CL clash. Now let me see if I have this right. BM have won the Bundesliga title. Last season at this stage they thrashed their opponents by 11-1 on aggregate, and Man Man U are without RVP πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    Shall I go for 0-4 or 0-5 at half time? Mmmmn ….

    Enjoy!

  44. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning guys. πŸ™‚

  45. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry πŸ™‚

    Good to see you back.

    Our left is targeted a lot over the last few months, not only by Mansour Citeh. It is deemed as our weakest spot, I reckon (Sagna and BFG are solid defensively when all are back). Except for opening phase, Gibbs and TV did really well, with good support from DMs as well.

    TV did well IMO, but the show belonged to Flamini and Rosicky and both full backs.

  46. alcide says:

    Hi Gerry,

    It was clearly a tactic from City to attack Gibb’s area, and they did create 2-3 chances early on which could have succeeded, but indeed he and the team managed to stabilize the wing somewhat. Verm I thought did ok, made good clearances and was more present in aerial challenges than in his first game back… Finally, it was clearly to our credit that Pellegrini chose to settle for the draw…

    jgc,

    I’m all for the second option (but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get a Viera-esque DM!). Your first requires a DM to ‘cover’ for the Pod – as much as I like him, I’d rather we build a team around Mesut than him, and that probably entails (especially in any form of 4-2-3-1 if we keep that setup) a LAM that can track back with some efficiency.

    Morning TA!

  47. VCC says:

    Hi Gerry….good to see you back in the land of the ARSENAL.

    I’ve missed your daily take on things. Always an enjoyable read when you post. πŸ™‚

    I’m also glad you have picked up on the game against ManCity commentary regarding our left defensive flank.

    It is not only City that attack our left sided flank, it is almost every top team. These top teams having studious managers, have spotted a weakness in Gibbs defending, which I have mentioned on numerous occasions, only to be out numbered by 1000-1 (at least) πŸ˜‰

    I know I get shot down on here, and elsewhere about Gibbs, who is a converted winger (by Wenger) who also cannot cross a ball. Although Gibbs is athletic and reasonably quick, his defensive attributes leave a lot to be desired (imo). Many goals/chances come from this area.

  48. jgc says:

    Gerry and VCC

    IMO, it isn’t Gibbs weakness, it’s two or more of:

    A. Sagnas strength. Waste of time going there, and down the middle with Per and Koz healthy especially, is hard going… Thus, … We tend to do both because Sagna is talented crossing and …

    B. Gibbs has a more aggressive overlap and youth. Greater potential to take advantage! given A above.

    C. Right footers are easier to find and play to Gibbs side on attack, whereas left footers are rarer… Thus, he may see a touch more talent per se..

    Less a weakness IMO than a credit to others…

    Just my 37p — jgc

  49. geoffchase says:

    Alcide

    I’d never say no to Vieira-esque. However, like willing supermodels. Very few and far between with many pretenders! πŸ™‚

    Cheers — jgc

  50. alcide says:

    jgc,

    Yes, and in general there are typically not many decent ones on the market – i think teams tend to do as much as they can to hold on to good DMs when they have one.

  51. alcide says:

    And in another news, Diaby is supposed to be training this morning… and it’s not an April’s fool!

  52. Dylan says:

    Great post jgc! Will comment later but I’m off to school for now. Will leave you with this. Wenger headed off to Basel this morning. Could we be seeing Fabian SchΓ€r headed to Arsenal this summer?
    http://www.ashburtongrove.co.uk/2014/03/wenger-spotted-leaving-london-heathrow.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+AshburtonGrove+(AshburtonGrove.co.uk)&m=1

  53. Admir says:

    Hi, people! πŸ™‚

    jgc, I think that Szczesny hasn’t been Safehandszny like he had been prior to that Sunderland blunder. Whilst I agree Szczesny has been betrayed a lot of times since than, I also think that he should have done better (e.g. Chelsea).

    Speaking of tonight’s game, I don’t know why but United might make some problems to Bayern (Rooney and Kagawa might do that). They should be battered on their left flank though – Robben will make BΓΌttner’s BΓΌtt nervy all night long.

  54. Gerry says:

    jgc- I am with you as far as Gibbs goes. No matter how athletic he is, he cannot be in two places at once, and we do need him in attack too.
    VCC – I don’t see how you can put all the blame on him when he is expected to be the overlap guy on the left. Now I grant that his high crosses in the box are not on the Sagna level, but his cut backs from the goal line are far more productive?

    Dylan – I think you may find that AW is off to see the family of the striker who plays in Germany, as the Merseyside clubs are sniffing around?

    This is a fleeting visit with the Grand National looming, but I may squeeze in the odd comment now the pressure is off.

  55. Evening Arsewipeesquers !. πŸ˜†

    I have some rather concerning news !. I have found out that a close relative of mine has started employment at Arsenal HQ !. He/She ( as I cant divulge ) has been in contact with me today after finding some top office paperwork which indicates that our club is in negotiations with our dreaded enemy from N17….The Spuds….in a ground share scheme !. The Spuds will pay Arsenal a Β£250M one off payment and Β£10m pound per year in rent !. The good news, if you can call it good, is that Wenger has demanded that the one off payment of Β£250M is too be used on Transfers…to start in the 2015/16 season !……….have to go, the phone is ringing from my source !.

  56. VCC says:

    You fool, April Cockie. πŸ˜‰

  57. It`s true Vickers !.
    The bastards will get one half of the stadium to have navy blue and white seats….out side, every other mural will be of their double winning team in black and white !. There will be statues of Ralph Coates, Steve Archibald, Hoddle and Nayim and Arsenal Station will be changed to Spurs Station when they are at home !. WHL will become Europe`s biggest car boot sale venue !.

  58. VCC says:

    Will Nayim’s statue be on the half way line? πŸ˜‰

  59. Vicks πŸ˜€

    How much money do you think is in the suitcases ?…….I mean, we had Β£70M to spend in last summers TW, after buying Ozil and selling Gerv`….there`s Β£40M floating about somewhere !.

    http://www.ashburtongrove.co.uk/2014/03/wenger-spotted-leaving-london-heathrow.html

  60. Dylan says:

    Gerry that thought was also in my head. But he is headed specifically to Basel. They play on April 3rd (A home match vs Valencia in the Europa League). Meeting with Basel/SchΓ€r/representatives on the 2nd, watch the game on the 3rd, jet back to London for our game in the 6th? Seems possible to me. I personally like what I’ve seen of SchΓ€r. A perfect Verm replacement should he go in the summer. Young, strong, quick, and can take a penalty! πŸ˜‰ That being said, it’s also entirely possible it’s to visit Drmic’s family.

  61. proudgooner says:

    TCM,
    Nayim, there is a player that i had forgotten about and good job, that bastierdo done Seamen from the half way line.
    I be perfoming a dirty protest on his statue if and when erected. , every week.
    Them knuck;e draggers sitting in our seats and sqartting in our stadium tut tut tut!
    Charge them double

  62. VCC says:

    TCM 20:10. Good question Cockie. I don’t want to get every body excited but I think there will be a substantial amount of pennies for Wenger to spend this summer. As much as Β£100mil I think.

    There have been whisperings from Arsenal that they need to buy, and buy big this year to sustain equality with the top four clubs. I truly believe this next transfer window Mr. Wenger will push the boat out and empty the vaults of the Emirates.

    I still maintain my stance that we are not too far away, but our youngsters need to have some big characters to come into the team and show leadership. I want us to acquire 3 TQ players, no more.

    Spend big on individuals and not big on several players ala spurs last year. A major cull will not work.

    We have the basis already, and with a couple more youth players breaking through, our aim should be to get players of stature, players who have something about them, a little attitude goes along way when you aspire to be the best.

    If we spend well, I think Mr. Mancini might just be right……The ghosts of the thirties are stirring. πŸ™‚

  63. proudgooner says:

    jgc,
    Back on the Podolski thing, glad your added the 2nd bit about his attacking because that is what he is really here for. Him and Ozil have had nearly no playing time together, either 1 or the other has been injured each time. I think them 2 when they start really linking up together and are both fot and training ogether could be a real force, its something that they will be very keen to be as efficient as possible for us and of course Germany. I think they will be deadly in fact, then plus with Theo Walcott as Ozil’s other option on the other side with his pace and we will start smashing in lots of goals. I hope Wenger was looking at Costa tonight add him to pour attack and bang. Team would really fear us.
    Damn i wish our whoie team was fit . How different would the results been in the last month if we has Walcott, Ramsey and Ozil fit???? We will never know, but it would not of hurt us.

  64. proudgooner says:

    ex-spelling mistakes above ha ha ha ha shocking. its the keys.!
    I let the Cockie monster use the lappy and he was eating cockie after cockie crumbs everywhere all in between the keys tut tut, there not pressing proper now.

  65. proudgooner says:

    VCC,
    I think 3 would do it.
    I also think Arsene is ready to splash out, he has always said he would spend big if they money was earn’t and there. It would seem he goes in to hot sweat and a twitchy ring piece when he thinks about there wages though.
    But the cash is there and he deserves to treat us fans and himself the club to some SQ. πŸ™‚

  66. proudgooner says:

    i CAN’T REMEMBER THE NAME OF THAT fRENCH dmb WE WERE INTERESTED In,a couple of seasons ago it seemed after he had a couple of attitudes interest was stopped just wondered how he was doing.
    ex-caps lock, can’t be bothered to re-write.
    That is is M’villa was it.?/ Anyone know how he is playing?

  67. proudgooner says:

  68. proudgooner says:

    He looks like just the kind of player we need to me in that video, like Vickers i don’t mind if his got an attitude in fact i welcome a bit of it, a lot of great players are bod boys. .
    I can’t work out why Giroud has gone of the boil a bit a thought a huge tit bit of skirt would have improved him, sod the wife . He would be better of single the amount of skirt he could get the handsome bastard he could have 1 every other day, why have 1 moody wife, just a thought.

  69. Alcide says:

    He was very promising, but took the money instead of choosing to develop properly (not a feat sign for me), and is now completely off radar in France (not even remotely mentioned for the World Cup). Could turn great, but high risk?

  70. Dylan says:

    Fabian:

  71. proudgooner says:

    Thanks Alcide, i was interested in what you had to say on him, Rubin Kazan are normally a CL team, though they league can’t be great and i have never seen any of it. He defo fits the spot though big and strong and skillful.

  72. geoffchase says:

    PG and VCC and Dylan and Alcide and CM:

    Well, Vieira-esque is even harder than an SQ Striker I suspect. Still we need some Presence! there and perhaps a conversion would be better than a high risk many zillion Euro player? That to me is the debate, but TA says he has a post baking on that so.. until then

    Pod is a great striker but we dont play that type of striker game just now. A 4-4-2 would do or 4-4-1-1 with him and Ozil might well be fantastic. But, we need the midfield types for it, and I suspect a dominant DM with Presence! Vieira-esque is the need, and, again, hard to come by.

    So, I would agree with VCC we are 2-3 players away, 2 x SQ (striker and DM?) and perhaps 1 for depth in the backs??

    CM: per your April Fools post, I saw a good one about Spurs and Arsenal sharing an all white away kit so that when they went places they got blasted they could wear them in solidarity and anonymity. They would come without sponsors and instead list excuses…

    cheers — jgc

  73. Gerry says:

    VCC – You are probably right with your numbers, but only adding to what we have.

    If they do not do Sagna justice with a proper contract, If Giro follows his wife’s instructions, If Pod cannot fit in, If ….

    You get the picture?

    M’vila is up for sale btw. Or rather he has been told he can leave.

  74. VCC says:

    Gerry, the question is, can Wenger tame M’Vila?…..how about a punt on Winyamma? He would be cheaper. IMO well worth a try.

  75. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post, nr. 488 πŸ™‚

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