Chambers, Sanchez, Debuchy Impress | Preferred Line-Up for Man City game

Well that was a bit of a damp squib today. Benfica could not be bothered much yesterday, but Monaco played with zest and organisation. They looked like a team rather than a collection of individuals; something that cannot be said about our team today. We should always look at friendly games as an opportunity for Arsene to try things out and give players much needed playing time. Yesterday, everything was very straightforward and then it is easy to see the positives. Today, things did not work out and we could be critical about our style of play or certain players.

I am tempted to be critical of some players today, but an individual performance has to be looked at in relation to the other players in the team. For example, I did not think Jack imposed himself enough in the team, but then I could also see that he was up against formidable midfielders and there was not enough movement and sharpness by the likes of Cazorla and Giroud. There was also a lot of miscommunication between our players and missed passes, but again, you would expect that at this stage.

One of the positives was Chambers in defence, despite being a bit guilty for the goal for not being in line for the offsite trap. He plays with great balance, energy and composure and his positioning and decision making are very good for such a young player. When he is on the ball he stays calm and his passing is sharp and simple. The same cannot be said about Miquel. He also plays will lots of vigour and drive, but is not as able to stay cool and pass the ball out calmly and effectively, once he has won it of the opponent.

Another positive was Debuchy’s debut. He offered drive and constant support for Sanchez and others. I loved his confidence and determination and we can see that he will soon strike a fine partnership with Sanchez, Ox or Theo on the right wing. He was also defensively sound, as the opposition targeted our left side for the best way of getting behind our defence. I feel sorry for Monreal: he tries so hard but he just is not quick enough, both in his decision making and running.

Sanchez was the big positive of the day, of course. He had drive and hunger and was everywhere in the attacking half: desperately trying to get the team going and create something. His performance was not matched by his fellow attackers and that’s mainly why he was not able to create much for the team. Giroud looked laboured and out of form and Cazorla did not look much better either. We lacked the ‘positive naivety’, drive and thrust of Sanogo and Campbell; as a result our tempo was too low, our play to predictable and our efforts too laboured and ineffectual.

Ramsey played another good game but was up against strong opponents and looked a bit tired towards the end. Ox brought something different from the wing which was a welcome sight, but he just lacked a bit of composure with his final ball. Arteta tried hard to make an impact but he did not impress much imo; and what Monaco showed is that having a few strong, solid midfielders in the heart of the team can make a real difference.

Wenger will have to think hard what he will want to do for our encounter with the Northern Oilers in a week’s time. Will he go with his best team ‘on paper’, his team ‘on form’, or a mixture of both?

On the basis of the performances of the last two games, I would play the following starting eleven on Sunday:

Szczesny, Gibbs, Koscielny, Chambers, Debuchy, Flamini (Diaby IF fit), Ramsey, Sanchez, Campbell, Sanogo, Wilshere.

What did you make of the match today and how would you line up against Man City?

Written by: TotalArsenal.

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71 Responses to Chambers, Sanchez, Debuchy Impress | Preferred Line-Up for Man City game

  1. jozefos2013 says:

    Sorry this may not be relevant TA but I just posted this on yesterday’s post at the same time as you publishing this one…

    Alternative match report from yesterday with three year-old in tow (is three too young to take a child to a football match? My wife thought it was…)

    Arrived 20 minutes late. Upon reaching our seats three year-old asked if we could stay there. Three year-old joined in an Ooh to be a Gooner chant. Sanogo scored. Three year-old got a bit freaked out. Five minutes later crowd cheered. Three year-old thought another goal had gone in. Had to suggest he watch the ball. Repeat three times in the next ten minutes. Three year-old starts clapping along as everyone else applauds good play. Got it by the time Campbell scored, applauded spontaneously before getting freaked out by the noise again. Repeat twice in the next five minutes. Half time sweets, drinks, including excellent lad serving us allowing son to keep the lid on his water bottle (but he definitely didn’t serve us). Most of a packet of Minstrels later, three year-old is settled and ready for the second half. Fifth goal goes in, boy starts asking to leave. Use his uncle and (older) cousin next to us as an excuse to stay (bad dad?). Three year-old loves the five-lap Mexican wave, decides to stay for a bit longer. Sanchez comes on, boy scared by noise level. Manage to keep him in his seat for five more minutes (during which I loved what I saw of Alexis). Boy has mixed feelings about the experience. Get home about two hours ago, boy sees a picture of Calum Chambers as I browse Arsenal website and immediately gets excited, demanding to watch the match we saw. Watches it three times. Predicts that Sanogo will score 17 goals this season, asks to go to Arsenal again even though the noise scares him. I think we have another little Gooner in our ranks 🙂

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    hahaha Jozef, fine summary of your joint experience of your son’s very first live game. Three is a bit too young, I reckon, but you got through it somehow and he wants more…. Well done! 🙂

  3. jozefos2013 says:

    Yes in hindsight I agree on the age thing, but don’t tell the missus…

    I was at my sister’s so missed the game today but on the whole I like the look of your line-up for Sunday. I’m not sure it will matter too much if we lose on Sunday as long as it isn’t embarrassing but it could set the tone for the season if we win. Due to the trickle of players back from the WC it’s good that the younger ones, esp Campbell and Sanogo, will have a chance to stake their claim. I’d like to see AOC given a chance on Sunday though, in for Sanogo probably…the 25 minutes I saw of him (minus whatever I missed dealing with the boy) did nothing to dampen my enthusiasm for him 🙂

  4. jozefos2013 says:

    …and Ospina instead of Szszszszszsceney…

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes agreed. Ox for Jack on form. 🙂

  6. steve says:

    Great post TA, echoed my thoughts exactly but I feel Chamberlain made quite a difference when he came on.

    My team for Sunday:
    Pace and skill on the ball throughout the team


    Debuchy Chambers Koscielny Gibbs


    Wilshere Chambo

    Campbell Sanchez Akpom

    I didn’t have much to choose from in the way of DM they have all looked a bit ragged there so far. I would have put chambers in that position but since BFG’s not back yet that would leave Miquel at the back and against City I fear that would be suicide. I gave Hayden the nod as he is normally positioned in defence but can also play the ball out well, maybe he will stay nicely positioned at the DM position and let the others play with security.

  7. geoffchase says:


    Well, one day let down a bit. I’d say that freshness will come. For the City game, I would suggest buying the Seattle Sounders and taking the entire team on loan. Oh wait, that’s the City plan..

    hmm, well, your lineup sounds fine to me. Ox perhaps over JW? Rest looks fine, I might, just to be different, go 4-1-3-2, like (mostly on form and to try some things):

    Scz or Ospina (doesn’t matter?)

    Gibbs – Koz / Chambers – Debuchy


    Sanchez – JW – Ox

    Sanogo- Campbell

    I think that Chambers showing some calm on ball and AR roving might work just fine and is worth a try here rather than in season or games that count more. Equally, AR and JW can switch forward and back. One could also put Campbell wide and bring up Sanchez (6 of one, …)

    I think I picked mostly on form but also to see more of Campbell and Sanchez, as well as to let JW run himself into some fitness…

    cheers — jgc

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    Good selection, Steve. Hayden is original, but that would be a lot of pressure on him. Why not Flamini, or a fit Diaby?

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    That looks damn sexy and attacking, jgc. Would love to see that formation, but maybe TV5 for Ramsey? And Ramsey for Ox or Jack?

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Jozefos, it is just that fear of noise which seems so big at this age. It seems to scare the little ones no end when all start shouting or screaming at the same time. I guess it is primeval?! 🙂

  11. says:

    I always have my doubts about Wilshere, and he’s not disappointed me yet. I dare say, he’s over-hyped and might need some time on the bench.
    Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

  12. steve says:

    TA, all the players i’ve seen so far who are supposed to have the most pressure on them have stepped up and performed the best – chambers, bellerin, campbell even akpom has put in fine performances when given the chance. I just thought i would keep that trend going with what could be a potential option for DM from actually inside our own squad and see how he did.
    Otherwise yes you are correct flamini or diaby would be there, probably diaby because i just want to see a bit more of him before the season starts.
    You gotta love the options sanchez brings, in my formation he could easily drop deep to make up an attacking three in midfield and therefore create the exact formation jgc has gone for, very dynamic player.

  13. alcide says:

    What I take rom the two games – I am impressed by Chambers, he just arrived but managed well a difficult CB replacement assignment, and was calm and composed. The left flank, when left to Nacho and Santi, was weak today (and their lack of pace is a real problem on this side), Ox on the left immediately gave us more, width and percussion there, and Gibbs would have helped more. Mikel looked even slower than last season (I remember seeing him completely overtaken a couple of times, not even close enough to foul, looking almost as bad as Per running)… I hope he is just unfit, but I still think his or Flamini’s lack of pace is perhaps our main weakness, especially against good teams with good, athletic midfielders (like Monaco’s).

  14. Malaysian gunner says:

    Sanchez was easily outmuscled and brushed aside in a 50/50 challenge.Imho,physically he is out of his depth.There are many thugs in the epl and he could be easily bullied.I know the season hasn’t started but this could be a trend .
    I remember years ago MU used to have a dimunitive striker with Sanchez physique. I believe he was off loaded after a season or two.These guys maybe able to swivel faster but the thugs aint going to take it lying down. They will just lash out.

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    A great player, Steve: potentially the new Bergkamp. 🙂

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    All good points, Alcide. Flamini can mostly hold his own but he should be back up this season, not main DM choice.

  17. geoffchase says:

    TA, MG et al,

    Good point on TV5, worth a shot. Admittedly, one could rest AR and allow JW time to get fit, but if we “want” this game badly then the other way around. Like Alcide and many others, I am wildly keen to see Diaby, but in a way that ensures we get to see more of him through the season!

    As for attack minded. This is a game to try it. It would be good to win but not at all urgent. Time to see what it might look like in a formation that isn’t a derivative of what we have been doing the last two years and would give us a very different look.

    MG, I see your point, but I think Sanchez has the strength for it. However, coming from La-Two-Team-Recently-Three Liga he may well have to adjust to the week in, week out intensity. No “off” games here

    Just IMO of course .. cheers — jgc

  18. Funminiyi says:

    who knows, the boy may have Arsenal’s DNA afterall ;-).
    Fine match report matey, with what i’ve seen & read of Hector, i’d give him the nod over Debuchy( they call him Dorobucci here in Nigeria) but what do i know, as its only pre-season, and everyone is afraid of getting injured. I’ll like Wenger to try the forward line of Campbell, Alexis and Ox at some point or Campbell, Akpom/Sanogoal, and Ox/Alexis.

  19. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    We are so close to win the emirates cup.. so close.. So so close.. hehehehe..
    If only the referee did the right decision and give us a penalty.. hahahaha..
    I wondered why Diaby not playing in all two games..??
    Will it be a big surprise for Sunday game..?? hehehehe..
    I loved to watch Zelalem.. Yes he is small and tiny.. hehehe.. but he had a great move and pass..
    He can be the new Ramsey or Ozil in the next 3 years.. hahahaha..

    TA.. I will drop Flamini and Wilshere from my list for Sunday..
    My team will be :
    Debuchy – Calum – Koscielny – Gibbs
    Arteta – Ramsey
    Sanchez – Sanogo- Campbell
    Subs : Martinez, Bellerin, Ox, Diaby, Rosicky, Akpom, Zelalem

    I think this 18 players played the best in the two emirates cup’s games.. except Diaby..
    And I still believe that Diaby will be our key success against City..
    And this team apply if Ozil and Mertesacker are still out for the game.. hehehehe..

  20. shrillex says:

    Disappointing game…Should have at least been a draw if not for a poor linesman decision.

    Overall, the team did good. Szczesny commanded his box well and didn’t have much to do except for the goal. Debuchy,as you said, was really impressive and provided drive and stability on the right. Not to mention that he covered for Calum superbly on a couple of occasions. Koz was impressive throughout but really, should have stuck with his man all the way, even if he thought Falcao was offside. Calum was impressive and cannot be blamed for the goal ,potentially a replacement for Per in the near future. Monreal looked frail and was easily beaten on numerous occasions, not helped by the fact Santi didn’t help him out.

    Arteta…what should I say? He was sluggish on the ball and his positioning was poor though I hope this is because of the lack of match fitness. As a DM, he MUST cover Monreal. He mustn’t allowed him to be outnumbered, especially if Santi decides he don’t want to help out. If we plan to play in a 4-1-4-1 formation this season, we must replace him.

    Ramsey and Alexis were outstanding. Rambo control the midfield impressively well, covering for the hapless Arteta. Alexis took to his role effectively , opening up space for teammates and terrorizing the defenders , working hard for the cause of the team. If not for a certain bald CB in the Monaco team he might well had his first goal. Cheers Alexis!

    Jack and Santi… They are too much of playmaking-dribblers, sometimes I feel that because of that the pace of an attack/ counter-attack is drastically reduced due to the fact that they like to hold on to the ball for too long.

    Ollie…oh Ollie… Poor game by our towering man. He looked completely out of match fitness. He looked dull and didn’t offer up much movement up front. He looked easily outmuscled and didn’t offer much of a target for teammates to find. I hope he gets to play a full 90 minutes against City as he desperately needs the game time.

    My starting team would be
    Debuchy-Calum- Koz- Gibbs
    Rambo- TV5/Diaby- Wilshere
    Alexis- Ollie- Ox

  21. shrillex says:

    Alternative starting XI
    Hector-Calum/TV5- Koz-Gibbs
    Diaby- Rambo
    Campbell/Alexis- Jack- Akpom/Ox

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    Great observations, Shrill, and all agreed. Safe journey back. 🙂

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Henry, I don’t like that midfield you’ve got there. But let’s hope you are right on Diaby! 🙂

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes fun, Hector looked great in first match, but it’s Debuchy for me.

    Jgc! all agreed.

  25. Gerry says:

    Good morning all, I thought I would make a maiden contribution for this new season whilst there is a break in the top class racing.

    Fine post TA, although I think you will be disappointed with your team selections.

    For me, the weekend it is has been games of two halves. Easy to get overwhelmed with the positives against no opposition, and too easy to get underwhelmed by the performance of our ‘stronger’ line up against a well organised team who were ahead on fitness and sharpness.

    The balance of the two comes down to this: We will need all of this week to not only put that right. but also to get the tactical balance right too.

    As to the possible starting line up, and also who has not lined up over the weekend, I think you can put a line through both Ospina(injury, or wenjury, but did not make the bench). and Diaby( being ‘careful’ with him – one up for the new fitness coach I guess?).
    So that is Szcezzer, and Martinez on the bench – No Matt Macey thus far??
    Whilst with Szchezzer, he will not be a choice for Captain if he is not certain to be Number 1, and thus not playing. Repeat of the soon to be departed Vermaelin situation?
    Debuchy – I was not overly impressed, but at least he can improve. Upgrade on Sagna? Neh!
    Chambers and Koscielny – However, the lack of Per’s organisation was obvious on the goals conceded (both games). Too much to expect Chambers to take on, and it takes too much away from Kos’s game. Debuchy and Chambers both broke ranks and played Falcao onside whilst Kos was raising his arm, unaware of what was going on behind him. Szchezzer ought to do more?
    Gibbs naturally. The sooner they sign my ‘wish list’ CB the better, as he can play LB too. Tough on Nacho yesterday, with little support from a jaded(unsettled?) Cazorla.
    Flamini – It has to be Flamini because he is the only one at the moment with both the verbal and awareness skill to get the defenders in the right places. Let’s hope yesterday’s showing means the new DM comes in with both, and technical disipline to be first choice.
    Ramsey will know doubt do the box to box running.
    Wilshere – If this is his ‘make or break’ season, he is heading for the latter. I don’t think the ‘new’ ruthless Arsene Wenger will tolerate too much more. In the mean time he will have to prove himself from the bench.
    For the creative position, over the pre-season, Ox has shown the most, although he may be needed elsewhere. This would be an opportunity for the more experienced Rosicky to step in.

    I am thinking it will be a 4-3-3 starting line-up, and Giro has more or less ruled himself out, which is worrying regarding other post WC returnees? However, Podolski might make the bench? Otherwise, it will be:
    Ox on the right; Alexis in the middle; and Campbell on the left.
    Once Campbell’s fitness improves he will be very much a strong contender for a first team slot.
    Remember, Sanogo pulled of with an injury(slight hamstring?) and new fitness coach may have the call on this too?

    Of those who have played and should make the bench:
    Bellerin – Nothing yet has swayed me that he is not a better winger that he will be a RB.
    Hayden did nothing wrong in his earlier outings, but Miquel was preferred over the weekend. He could be interesting alongside Flamini as a unit, but both need to be more measured in their tackles. Again, hopefully the new DM can show them how it should be done?
    Akpom – Should have come earlier yesterday, but he is developing fast.
    Zelalem – Has shown some nice touches, still needs a bit more ‘filling out’ to do. he will never be solid lump(no disrespect) like the Ox, but he needs nursing into the type of player Diaby will be this season. So extra care will be taken to avoid that path?
    Diaby – could make the bench, but no more, unless he gets the all clear. Looking good though.

    Over the weekend both my ‘wish list’ second strikers were in action, before being superceded by Alexis. For those interested, they were Nico Gaitan and Rodrigo(played for Valencia), and would have done the job. But we have a better one in Alexis for sure.
    My goalkeeper came through too. Any GK who would sign for £60.000k ha ha.

  26. Tester says:

    Starting XI

    Sanogo (if fit? :S )

    It’s just a pre season friendly so the results don’t really matter. BUT, did you see yesterday how Monreal was getting ripped ‘coz Santi couldn’t be arsed tracking back? Did you also see how once Ox was there on that wing, their right side (Dirar?) was completely blocked? These things stand out even in pre season. After this, I’m convinced that it’s either Santi central or bench.

    Good run out in both games though, but team clearly still gaining cohesion. It’s also obvious some players like Joel, are playing with a big point to prove & were up for it. Wilshere was decent but up against two big CDM type players & lacking movement up front from Santi or OG it was tough. But good to see him play as #10.

    Hopefully a week of training with the team will get everyone upto speed. We need these players to be fully ready for the opening weekend especially since it’ll take time for Per & Ozil to get back to a good level to start games.

  27. henrychan says:

    TA.. Diaby will be our “new” great player this season.. hehehe..
    We excactly had buy 6 players not 4.. Sanchez, Debuchy, Ospina, Calum, Champbell and Diaby.. hahahaha.. As you now Arsenal have a lot of surprises.. hahaha.. And hope Diaby is one of them..

    VCC.. When will you give us a brand new UMF season..??
    Will it be some new rules to follow..?? Can wait to compete again will all of you guys.. hehehe..

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Good to have you back, Gerriander, and a fine comment. Have no time to respond but will try and do it later. Wojciech as captain…. innuresting! 🙂

    Hope some more regulars will return to the scene – especially 17HT is well missed!

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    Tester, well done for putting Jack in the hole…. Nice! 🙂

    Agreed with all your observations. It looks to me that Santi is trying hard not to get injured…

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    Henry, six new players already… I like your way of thinking. But banking on Diaby is a very dangerous thing to do…

  31. steve says:

    Reading through all these comments it becomes apparent that there are mixed opinions for whatever reasons on many players yet there seems to be a near unanimous judgement on Santi and Monreal. This not only makes TA’s “Has Cazorla been found out?” post all the more poignant but also begs the question if the rumors are true of Athletico’s interest in the pair how many of you would take that deal right now?

    In my opinion it’s obvious Santi doesn’t belong on the wing but centrally is he the preferred choice over Jack, Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez, even Diaby when fit – not really, so would I rather have a sixth choice central attacking midfielder or the money he would bring in – hmmm

    You know my opinion – Santi and Monreal out, Carvalho in along with Umtiti for cover at left back or left CB if needed. Add Doria and that’s pretty much my wish list right there lol.

    It was a difficult, opinion splitting question you posed in that post TA but it seems more and more people are ready to answer it, good stuff mate!

  32. JM says:

    Against Man City in the SHIELD, (5-2-1-2 3-4-1(2)-2(1) 4-1-2-3):

    Start: (GK) Szczęsny, (SW/Liberio/Volante) Arteta, (CB-R) Chambers, (CB-L) Koscielny, (RB/RWB) Debuchy, (LB/LWB) Gibbs, (CM/AM/B2B) Ramsey, (AM/CM/B2B) Rosický, (Playmaker/2nd FW/Inside FW) Alexis, (2nd FW/Inside FW) Campbell, (Main FW/Inside FW) Sanogo

    Bench: Martínez, Monreal, Flamini, Wilshere, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud

    – Arteta shall start as captain for match. (Vermaelen’s status is unclear; Mertesacker is short of match fitness)
    – Podolski & Özil shall be short of team training & match fitness; they will not be involved.
    – Diaby will not be risked to play even for a one-off final (before the actual PL season starts).
    – Ospina is lacking training & match fitness, recovering from hip/thigh strain, so he is off this weekend too.
    – Our starting forward five (5) shall comprise of runners and players who are willing to close down, press and improve our transitional play from our attacking half.

    On Man City’s personnel:
    Negredo is injured, Zabaleta, Demichelis & Agüero shall be short of match fitness; Kompany, Sagna & Fernandinho are not involved in any of their pre-season friendlies; they will not be involved.

    Their defence should be currently at their weakest, (GKs: Hart, Caballero, DFs: Richards, Kolarov, Clichy, Nastasić, Boyata, Rekik); their midfield is at almost full strength (Fernando, García, Rodwell, Y.Toure, Navas, Nasri, Milner, Lampard, D.Silva); their attack options (Jovetić & Džeko)

  33. H Bo says:

    Wow some great formations and selections I’m a bit surprised nobody gave Couqelin a mention I thought he was the best DM at the weekend, seems to of lost his ability to make stupid mistakes his tackles were good he broke up their play he seems a lot more mobile than the leggy Arteta and a lot less rash than Flamini.
    I’m also surprised that Diaby is being used as a DM as he is clearly not more of a Rambo type box to box he has the physique but is not disciplined enough for that role, although I think he is probably injured as did not feature although boss said he is not injured on Saturday anyway here’s my starting 11
    Debuchy Chambers Koscielney Gibbs
    Couqelin Rambo
    Campbell Sanchez/Sanogo Chamberlin/Sanchez

    Although I think Giroud will start as needs games as looked as fit as me to be honest and I got MS and although he scored 4 not convinced about yaya, he is very clumsy and not very clinical most of his goals he couldn’t miss although you gotta be there to get them in so well done but still very rough around the edges I think a season on loan week in week out in a top leagues would be ideal for him but he will stay says the boss.
    The main thing is the squad stronger and with Campbell and Alexis we have 2 extra players along with Couqelin making it 3 although the latter may go on loan and if he stays fit pugs will fly no seriously Diaby will make 4 and with 2 great players and 2 great up and coming players wow nearly forgot Chambers the futures bright the futures OURS.
    I did not forget other signings but they were replacements.

  34. proudgooner says:

    I would like to see a front 3 of Joel Campbell, Sanogo and Alexei .
    I agree with your team except i would pick Ox instead of Jack and Arteta intead of Diarby if Diarby is not fit if he is then i agree.
    V City we will defo need 2 holding midfielder’s , we need that fine balance of attack and defending.

    We have had Kevin Campbell, Sol Campbell, now it’s Joel Campbell’s turn to add something to Arsenals play, i like the way he plays, we have made some great signings so far and i include him in that.
    I am looking forward to the community shield, i wish i had of got tickets for it now. I hope we beat them oilers, that would set our season of nicely. 🙂

  35. proudgooner says:

    H Bo,
    I think you are right about Diarby, he is more of a creative midfielder and is at his best going forward. But he does have that presence we want in midfield. I would still go for Ram-Teta because of there expiriance but you maybe on to something with le Coq

  36. Frozen says:

    Something just occurred to me..

    Does anyone know where the fantastic serge gnabry has been hiding??

  37. VCC says:

    Hi Henry…..Nice to see you commenting again on BK..

    I’m anticipating another year with the UMF. That’s if we get at least 10 players. I have not introduced any new rules so far, but working on it. I think the Joker will be dropped as it caused one or two murmerings.

    Nice to see you are number one on the list.

    Hope the family are all well. Love to Yoona.the Goona

  38. proudgooner says:

    VCC ,
    How many players are we allowed in our squad for the EPL season? I know the young guns are not included in the limit .

  39. proudgooner says:

    I wondered about Serge as well, he could also have a big impact this season and he deserves a chance . I have not heard that he is injured I just think Arsene wanted to take a look at all the other players and see we’re they are fitness wise , but I am not sure that he is not out injured I hope not

  40. proudgooner says:

    Alexi————————-Ox-Chamberlin—————–Joel Campbell

  41. proudgooner says:

    This is how city oilers last lied up in the USA tour on Saturday.

    Manchester City: Hart, Clichy (Richards 46), Kolarov, Boyata, Rekik, Fernando (Garcia 46), Yaya Toure (Zuculini 46), Navas (Silva 46), Nasri (Guidetti 46), Dzeko (Milner 46), Jovetic (Sinclair 75).
    Unused subs: Caballero, Rodwell, Wright, Huws, Leigh, Denayer, Iheanacho, Lawlor.

  42. VCC says:

    I’m finding myself agreeing with Gerry on quite a few counts. That’s worrying 🙂

    Far too early to be fair, but Debuchy did not impress me too much, and agree!! an upgrade on Sagna? NAH. not for me.

    Chambers, although looking assured above his years, it’s too early to expect him to perform at the top level at CB in the EPL.

    Flamini will have to play DM, the only sensible option we have, unfortunately.

    Arteta’s legs have gone, surely Wenger can see that. He doesn’t offer too much to the team anymore. If we are to go with him for the season it will be a mistake.

    Wilshere is way off the pace (too many cigarettes, lol). If he doesn’t pull his socks up “toot sweet” he will be left behind.

    My team for Sunday =






  43. Frozen says:

    Loving that line up PG.. Loaded with pace and power, but with the technique to make it all click. Not sure I’d change a thing. If it isn’t working at half time, maybe throw alexis or chuba up top (perhaps bellerin on the empty wing?)

    Really wanting to see chambers get a run out in midfield. Sure it’s early, but that kid is class and could be the holding midfielder we’ve all been desperate for.

  44. VCC says:

    Proudgooner……I’m sorry, I’m not sure how many.

  45. proudgooner says:

    Thank you, yeah i really like that line up, the only position that i really had to think about was in the hole, we could go for Rosicky or Cazorla. But Cazorla looked short of fitness at the weekend and Rosicky though he is very good would be my second choose as i feel the Ox would be good defensively too, he has the pace to get back and is good all round in midfield and did well at the weekend.
    I really want us to win the cup at the weekend and as you said we would have a great bench to change things at half time if need be.

  46. proudgooner says:

    Ok VCC thanks, i am sure Wenger will sort that out anyway.
    I just had a look at the fixture list and we need a really good start, because in Sep we face City,Villa,then Spurs the next match in Oct we play Chelsea. That is our hardest run of games this season so far bar the CL and cup games throwing in some tough matches.
    But compared to last season we have an even better chance of winning the league going on the fixture list.
    City have a couple of tough fixture list months
    United have a very easy to start to the season, they may get of to a very good start, but they March and April are very hard like ours last season. We also play them second from last game of the season, i expect that to be a big one. Its at United, Though i think we will finish above them they will be going for CL football.

  47. Gerry says:

    Yep, it must be hard to agree with me, VCC. I argue the point with myself all the time 😀

    I took Flossie to the vets today, and got the thumbs up for the way I am managing her ageing.
    It seems she has some neural damage down the left side, causing her left front to splay out, and left rear to collapse if left standing still too long. She is still able to get out with the big group if I am up for towing her back in the trolley … which is not every day, I can tell you!

    Those asking about Gnabry? I think it is down to the fact that they don’t want him injured if he is going out on loan. How keen he is on a loan is another matter?

  48. TotalArsenal says:

    Great comments tonight and lots of nice fantasy football formations! 🙂

    Gerry, VCC, how can you guys make a judgement about Debuchy after just one game…. I thought he had a fine game in a disorganised team, and at least going forwards he offers more than BS, no? Of course Sagna is hard to replace in many other ways, but I thought Debuchy never hit or slowed down… A fine player IMO.

    Steve, I still hope Santi comes good but I also reckon we have better players for the hole. If we were playing 4-4-1-1 I could see us play Santi in the hole, behind Giroud, although I would still prefer Sanchez in that case.

    H Bo,

    A fit Diaby is the most all round midfielder you can have. He is indeed not a pure DM ala De Jong, but his positioning is good and he tackles okay too. A combo of Diambo is worth a go and I would love those two to take on Yaya and co on Sunday. Alternatively, Diamini would also be great! 🙂

  49. TotalArsenal says:

    JM interesting observations and I hope you are right re MC defence. I am not sure why it would be a case of risking Diaby on Sunday, unless he is indeed injured at the moment. I have a feeling he will play but it is just the gut talking. 🙂

  50. proudgooner says:

    You don’t fancy rosicky or the OX in the hole?
    Santi on form is great of course but the OX was far sharper at the weekend for me.

  51. henrychan says:

    VCC.. Don’t be so pesimistic.. 10 is quiet a small number.. hehehe..
    I think ‘Joker’ still a great tool and very fun.. hahahaha.. but maybe only once in a whole season..

    Yoona (the goona) is very cute princess.. hehehe.. hope to send you her pictures.. but I don’t know how to do that.. hahahaha..

    Your team for Sunday are quiet strange for me..
    1. you play a 4-1-4-1 formation.. I think Wenger will still the 4-2-1-3 formula..
    2. Campbell as a CF..?? I prefer Sanogo or Akpom..
    3. You took Cazorla on the bench..?? I don’t think Rosicky or Ramsey can play Ozil’s rule.. but Cazorla can.. (if we play the 4-2-1-3)..
    And if we play 4-1-2-3 (look more possible) so better Cazorla – Ramsey/Rosicky as double AM than Rosicky – Ramsey.. hehehehe..

    What do you think about Diaby my dear brother..??
    I hope Wenger give us a big surprise with this guy.. hehehehehe..

  52. Gerry says:

    TA@22.55 – I only said Debuchy did not overly impress me, unlike yourself?

    I did add he can still improve. My main concern is that he seems to be the type that will give away a lot of (unnecessary) fouls away, in the way he tackles. That is a loss of possession.
    My other point about being an upgrade on Sagna was aimed mostly at those that said he was before he even played for us. Can he head the ball as well as Sagna? No. Can he be Szchezzer’s goal kick outlet? Not from what I saw.
    I read the comments on Sagna’s crosses. Do they forget that a lot of the time we only had a heavily marked Giroud in the box last season? We had not the pace to get forward quickly, particularly when Walcott and Ramsey were out injured?
    Don’t get me wrong. I am not going to go all nostalgic as per you and Cesc. I do think Debuchy will be a solid defender. He has very good control on the ball and can move it quickly, especially with the current players around him. But in my book he does have to improve to fill the boots of BS2.
    I never mentioned Sanogo in my comment yesterday, but I remember commenting after the Boreham Wood game, when people were suggesting he go out on loan, that his first goal would do him far more good. I really hope he gets to have some time on his return to Wembley. But at the same time, I really want the new fitness coach to have the final say with all the players this season. I am sure he does not want to be a permanent rehabilitation expert because his warnings get ignored?
    Finally, Bellerin. I see him much more as a defensive winger, in a similar way as Ox and Walcott can play. They can defend, but Bellerin can do it better … BUT that does not make him an RB for the future, imo. Between now and Walcott’s return he has an opportunity to grab that wide role, as a starter, or as a straight swap for Walcott as the season progresses. Where he will be most valuable is against the PTB sides. He has already shown he intelligence both in movement and in passing/crosses. This is the player, who, when I first saw him, I said he was to skilful to be wasted as an RB. He has that neat, instant turn of foot that gives him an instant yard of space. And as you pointed out, he is not a Barca love child, he became a Gunner on the night of Arsene Wenger’s favourite Henry goal. What more do you want???

  53. VCC says:

    Totes… I said, it’s impossible to judge a player on one outing, I’m fully aware of that fact. All I was saying, is that Debuchy did not show anything to me in the way that Campbell,Sanchez,Bellerin,Sanogo Chambers and even Akpom to some extent. They all had touches, runs etc that showed they had some thing about them. As for replacing Sagna? OK, that’s a hard act to follow, but imo he seems some what short of our ex LB.

    Henry……I still maintain, with having pacey wide players (Walcott when fit and Ox) we should play 4-1-4-1. IF Wenger acquired Kadhira can you imagine a line up…………






    A side full of pace up front….steady,quality back five…….World cup winning CDM……Play maker that will be the top assist in the premier league…….and a Striker who can hold up play, take defenders on and a shot equal to many in the EPL.

    Cazorla, if he plays on Sunday, will be steamrollered by the physicality of the City players. This is why we need Kadhira and Ramsey dropping back when needed, as he has the engine, to add some steel to our side. Just look at Monaco at the week end, it was a part of their play to power forward and brush off our midfield. The use of Ramsey playing two days on the trot did not help our muscle either.

    I cannot understand Wenger not taking the opportunity to play Diaby in stead of Ramsey in one of the games???? If he is fit then give him a run out in a friendly match and see how he goes.

    Gerry……..Pleased to hear Flossie is coping well with her problems. Sounds like you need to get in the gym 😉

    My George is doing fine. I have scaled down his walking regime a tad. He is still on the Vitamin and bone tablets, but I only give him one of each, instead of the prescribed two, every day. As always, remains my best companion.

  54. VCC says:



    Morning Bergkampesqueres

    Very busy these days having a successful period making money and scoring with plenty of women so not much time to post.

    No one likes a bragger hey? To right. Thats why I wont crack on about it, but I am making loads of money and pulling loads of birds.

    Weres my mate Cockie? Have those Cornish Bastards finally sectioned him or what? Whos up for a bit of search and rescue?

    Fine post TA, you are restored as my spokesman.

    The highlights were Debuchy, very nice début and looks a class act, and Chambers, what a prospect. He has the look of a guy on a mission, someone that wont be stopped, I like that, unless its my wife holding a frying pan.

    The only negative was the size differential against Monaco. They were a bit to big and pacy for us in the middle areas. I have come round to accept that a midfielder of pace, aggression, and intelligence is needed.

    I always knew this time of been able to compete was coming. We are a very close to becoming a top side.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring

  56. VCC says:

    Morning Stretch…… should have gone to specsavers. 😉

    You may be spot on Terry……The Ghosts of the thirties may well be stirring. How right you’ve been these past nine year. 🙂

    Hope to meet up on Boxing day if you’re going, and I can get two seats.

    One more from Wenger (DM) and we are good to go.


    Morning Vics

    Is that the QPR game? I will try and help if you cant get seats.

    Have you been in touch with Cornwall? He seems to have vanished, or is he just having his annual Butlins holiday? hahaha

  58. VCC says:

    Stretch…yes that’s the first game we look for, it’s 15:00 KO 26th December 2014, and my Son and I are going to see if we can get a ticket each.

    If you know of any one who has a box at the Emirates….I’m offering my body for a season’s seat in it. 😉

  59. Alcide says:

    Gerry, you seem to think (as I did) that Debuchy is not as good with headers as Bac’ – actually stats show that he is actually better than Bac’ – more headed duels won with higher volume (4 per game @ 70% vs. 3.5 per game @ 68%).

    I would tend to agree however that if Debuchy is a bit better going forward, he is slightly behind Sagna defensively – but that might just reflect his style (or the style of his team). He does commit twice as many fouls as Bac’, but also succesfully tackles twice as much, with a same success rate. This is where I perceive that Bac’ is a bit superior defensively, he doesn’t need to tackle that much. (I don’t see how tackling can be a loss of possession though?).

    Overall, I think he’ll be an upgrade for the next three years considering their respective ages.

  60. Alcide says:

    with *the* same success rate

  61. VCC says:

    Alcide, lets hope Debuchy settles in well and performs admirably for Arsenal in the next few years.

    No one was singing from the roof tops last year when he was with Newcastle, in fact none of my Arsenal pals knew who he played for when the news first came out, that’s how much he flattered every one last season.

    I know he got the nod over Sagna at the world cup, but that’s only one manager.

    Fingers crossed you are right, and he will be an upgrade.

  62. Alcide says:

    It has been a debate between the 2 the last few years in France, Mr. Reliable’s more conservative approach vs. Debuchy’s more attacking style, but as time goes by, I’m quite confident Debuchy is the right choice.

  63. VCC says:

    Alcide, as I’ve stated, after just one performance we cannot judge. All I said was, he did not impress me as much as the other new players that performed over the week end.

    Hey, I bet he gets MOTM on Sunday, I hope so, then I will put him in my dream team. 🙂

  64. shrillex says:

    @VCC you right. We cannot judge a player after only a performance but I must disagree. He perform impressively and did well considering it’s his first full game with the club. He even covered for Calum when he was beaten in the air by Falcao.

    @Alcide All agreed with you there! Let’s hope he does us wonders this season 🙂

  65. jnyc says:

    Im glad this sagna debuchy debate has come up here.
    I like bac, he was loyal, good guy, hot wife, excellent solid defender to the end.

    Lets be honest, watching him go halfway, turn round and pass back was getting very monotonous. He had a few better crosses last season, but still among the worst crossers.

    Debuchy stats show he was superior defender, and you know he is more than a BIT better helping in attack. He had a couple very nice crosses sunday, which is nice to see… I watched him for newcastle and wished we had him.

    we have suffered against better teams because we were impotent coming down the right, which allowed teams to focus elsewhere against us. This is a problem nobody liked to mention.

    We are suspicious, and very slow to appreciate new players, i understand that, but debuchy is an UPGRADE. Bellerin will get his time, and he will watch a solid defender in debuchy to learn from him. I hope we will stop calling debuchy average, or like for like replacement—– because he is one of the best in his position, and its great that he really wanted to come to us. Support the guy. Our new guy.

  66. proudgooner says:

  67. proudgooner says:

    Well said i agree.
    Though we have only seen 1 performance for us, as you say all the stats show him to be a better player then Sagna. Some will fairly say just because the France manager played him over Sagna the whole world cup does not make it a definate that he is and in principle that is right but he had a really good look at them both for months and gave him the nod over Sagna, Sagna did not even get a look in. ha ha ha ha ha
    I love it. It will be a nice little sub-plot for Sunday no? ha ha ha
    Also he has never had Arsene Wenger managing him before were Sanga did, so we can expect MB2 to get even better and he has age on his side in a very demanding position on the pitch, i feel we won on this deal. We have improved and Hector is just awesome.

  68. proudgooner says:

    Barcelona are said to have offered £10,000,000 for TV5, that would be a very good move for him and for us, with just 1 year left on his contract £10,000,000 is good and Wenger can hopefully find another CB hopefully as good if not stronger then the BFG so we have another striong option when facing a fast team.
    Then hopefully Per will be captain, he might give it to Arteta but for me Per is the man for the job as he will be with us for a good few years and is perfect for the role.

  69. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening guys 🙂

    Nice discussion about Debuchy and Sagna, and some other fine comments as well. 🙂

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post 🙂

    Nanananananana nanananaaaa Geeeeeeeeeeeeerou 🙂

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