Giroud rested & Alexis to lead the line | Ozil & BFG to return? Preview and Predicted Line-Up


Let’s not beat around the bush with our best ‘elevensies’. Arsene picks the team. All we can do is hope he picks the right one, and they do their bit for 90 odd minutes.

We also know enough about Everton that they will not gift us one point, let alone all three. We will have to be better than our last couple of games, and that means that the best ‘fit’ available eleven should play, and above that, play well together. Anything less and you can write off this season as being an ‘invincible’ repeat.

What we know about Arsene Wenger, he does not like to make too many changes …

So I will start with what we know … the players available for selection: 

Goalkeepers: Szczesney(play); Martinez(bench).

Centrebacks: Chambers; Koscielny; Monreal; Mertersacker(possible); Miquel or (Hayden), (bench).

Fullbacks: Debuchy; Monreal; Bellerin(bench); Flamini(emergency);Miguel(emergency).

Midfield: Ramsey; Wilshere; Alexis; Ox; Rosicky; Flamini; Ozil(possible); Chambers(possible); Cazorla(possible/bench); Hayden(emergency); Bellerin(outside chance).

Attackers: Sanchez; Campbell; Giroud; Sanogo(if fit); Akpom(unlikely).

The Under 21’s play Friday night, so Akpom and Hayden are very unlikely to do both. That also applies to Zelalem for those looking for a midfield miracle?

I have two thoughts about Mertersacker playing.

1, He was quickly dispatched to the training ground on Monday, and not on the plane to Turkey. Which may mean in order to be right for this game?

2, Given the others are working their way into top gear, it is a bit much to think he will be the ‘rock’ of last season, at such short notice? It may be a choice out of desparation, but if he plays, he starts. It is not a position where you can come on late and change the game? Unless that pushes Chambers into the DM slot. Not likely in a high profile game like this?

So I can well imagine the same pairing of Chambers and Koscielny continuing.

Just one little thought, although unlikely, it could be that Per drops in the middle of a back three, where he will not have to do much of the physical stuff, other than mark Lukaku at set pieces, but would be there to organise the back line, and allow Kos to do his own thing. This would mean having two quick CB able to push out and cover the gaps left by high line FB’s?

That is the back possibilities. Now for the defensive midfield.

This depends on the make up of the back 2 or 3. With two CB’s, as part of a back 4, then the ‘double pivot’ will be the order of the day. Most likely JW10 and AR16. If he goes for the back 5, then it might just fall to Flamini or Ramsey.

Ozil has similar doubts to Mertersacker, and if he starts, I doubt he will last the whole game. Less risk here, so I expect him to be the CAM. We need that creativity he brings, and hopefully the frontline will benefit if they are on the same wavelength this early in the season.

The final three positions from the squad will be either alongside Ozil, or just ahead of, in the central striking role.

It is not hard to think Giroud will be on the bench for this. His lack of sharpness on Tuesday night was notable, and a third game in 7 days is not going to help, imo. Sometimes Arsene has a different view? I think at the back of his mind that comment about him not being ruthless enough to be a top manager that is circulating will be something he wishes to disprove? Not that he will admit as much, but that is the nature of the beast.

A front 3 of; Ox, Alexis, and Campbell is very much on the cards, especially if Mertersacker plays to give that height in defence?

So, option 1, and the most likely?:

Eve v Arsenal Option 1

Attack minded with pace?

Option 2, If Arsene wishes to try it?:

 Eve v Arsenal Option 2

On the bench for both options is much the same: Martinez; Bellerin;(Chambers); (Wilshere); Rosicky: (Cazorla); Giroud(Campbell).

Option 2 possibly offers better defensive cover, but if the sharp attack of Option 1 brings early dividends, the sub of Bellerin for Ozil late on, moving Ox into the middle would shore things up?

Arsene tends not to pay too much attention to the opposition, or so it is alleged, so I will not either.

Just to say, Everton are also ‘bedding in’ new players, and will be without the dangerous Ross Barclay. They will have Lukaku as the central battering ram, and McGready and Naismith to do the ‘inside the box’ support late. Both were on the scoresheet last weekend. Pienaar and /or Mirallis pulling the strings, with Barry and McCarthy doing the defensive work in front of the back four.

They too have a solid bench to call upon.

So don’t kid ourrselves it will be easy. This team must work together in attack and defence. But with the pace on show, we could counter attack very well and put it to bed early on. But to do that, we need to be cutting out the sloppy passes and missed chances of the last two games.

Feel free to make your starting 11, but do not expect any signings from the TW to give any more options from the squad I gave above.

Keep the faith. It is a long season, and we have only just started!

Written by: Gerry

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193 Responses to Giroud rested & Alexis to lead the line | Ozil & BFG to return? Preview and Predicted Line-Up

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Brilliant, adventurous match preview, Gerry. Some very fresh thoughts and I am sure you will get many to agree with you. 🙂

    I reckon I am one of the few who would not play Sanchez as our central attacker and I am convinced Giroud will start (and will have a good game with goals/assists to show for, not that this is the only thing that matters in his role). Really hope the BFG and Ozil will start too. My Dream team for tomorrow is: Sz, Debuchy, BFG, Koz, Nacho, Chambers, Ramsey, Jack, Alexis, Ozil, Giroud. Chambers to show us all again what it means to defend in front of the back four, Rambo and Jack to rule the midfield, Ozil to produce his magic, Alexis to dance around the Toffees and Giroud to hold it all together. 1-6 to the mightly Arse – COYRRG! 🙂

    Back later or tomorrow.

  2. Gerry says:

    Sorry Totes, this will not get you many hits. But I tried to exercise just how difficult it is when making calls on half-fit players
    Note 1: The Under 21’s played Thursday night.
    Note 2: I did not forget Podolkski. I just don’t think he will be risked while his agent is talking up a move.
    Note 3: I cannot see AW playing Cazorla out wide, but he would be one option if Ozil is not risked.
    Note 4: Option 2 is not how I had imagined the attack to line up due to the limitations of the graph … Oxil CM; Wilshere or Ramsey Left AM; Alexisst(false 9); Ox Right AM.
    Fluid, pacey, interchangeable.

    Anything else I missed out I will come back in the morning.
    Cheers ….

  3. Jay says:

    Really good and well thought out post.

    I really do believe Ozil should be given a start along with BFG, mainly because we could make use with their expertise. I’m wary they’ve just gotten off a fanatic WC win and haven’t taken part in any of the pre-season or beginning games but they have the class to gel in and play their role professionally which frankly in a big game like this means all systems go.

    I think Chambers should be played in the DM all Gooners worldwide have been crying for just to see how well he performs. If you ask me? I think he’ll do brilliantly. We’ve seen him filling in BFG’s boots (and what big boots they are) and he’s blown us all apart. Way beyond expectation. Personally speaking, I have a feeling he’s better to suited to that DM role due to his power and size. He’s rough and has a intimidating presence, even though he’s 19 he can bully opposition off the ball. But aside from all that, it gives Wenger the opportunity to assess how well Chambers does and whether we therefore must buy a world class DM. If you want my opinion on the situation, I think we should buy a world class DM and a capable CB. Chambers should be playing the role Ox is playing at the moment which is number 2. Guys with bags of potential but they need that time to develop and learn from the role models but inevitably their time will come and they will become Arsenal legends. The potential is there!

    As for my starting XI it’d have to be:

    Debuchy BFG Kos Monreal

    Ramsey Chambers

    Ox Ozil Campbell


    Reason why I put Campbell there is because I genuinely believe this guy can make a difference when he plays. I’ve seen him play in Greece and most recently in the WC and he was outstanding. He can shoot from outside the box, he can dribble, pass. The guy can do it all. Wenger needs to give him a start and let the man show what he can do. I’m sure he’ll deliver.

  4. Dedie says:

    Perfect lineup TA!! Just what I’d love to see Arsene selecting.. Or play Santi11, Alexis9 and Ox7 in attack with Mesut10 just behind Alexis. Aaron and Jack or Calum backing Mesut in DM.. Debuchy, Per, Kos and Nacho at the back… Campbell should be Alexis’ backup as a 2nd choice striker.. Olie should warm the bench this round getting the 3rd option.. Honestly, I’d rather go for Podi than Olie if any should start or come on in any other game.. Thomas and Flamini should make the bench.. We must win this game!

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Hits are not important at all, Gerry. I dont allow advertising on the blog (although I get approached by agencies every week), so it does not matter. However, it will do really well, no doubt about it. 🙂

    Yeah sorry Option two does not come out as you wish it to be and is indeed due to the limitation of the graph used…. still looks good though.

    Apologies for late issuing of post but I have been flat out with work over the last few days. 😦

  6. Gerry says:

    I know what you are saying about Giroud, and I am a big fan. But knowing this will be an open game, both sides playing football, I think he will have Giro to come from the bench when their defence will be tiring?

    For the same reason I think Campbell will start.

    I cannot see him playing BFG and Chambers from the off, because we have no CB cover on the bench? Unlikely Hayden will be used, unless they really are worried about Per. But should Per have to come off, then either Monreal or Chambers would have to change mid game. Not a good plan?

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    Great comment Jay. 🙂

    Would love to see Campbell as well, but I reckon it will be as a sub. Agreed on DM and CB purchases….and I am sure at least one will be signed before end of TW.

  8. Dedie says:

    With Santi, Alexis and Ox up there, they can twist and turn any defence with their speed, trickery and eye for goal and also by switching positions.. And with Mesut’s mix of spice of vision and killer passes, you can imagine the brilliance football has ever displayed

  9. Gerry says:

    Jay – Same reason I have said in my reply to TA. But I agree, I think his reading of the game is what will make him a very good DM … but just not in this game.

    Agreed on Campbell. It will be a good game to test him against proper EPL defenders.


    Excellent stuff Gerry

    You have a very pragmatic and realsist approach that I find very refreshing. Especialy after enduring a night in with the wife

    I like TA’s dream team, and in the future can envisage such a side. If that line is allowed to mature we could have something very special on our hands

    As for tommorow, its quite hard to predict becuse of the uncertainty of our Germans. if I had to take a punt I would go for:

    Chambers (Kos rested, not dropped)
    Chamberlin (Santi rested to retake Constantinople)

    I have I nice feeling for tommorow, though fully expect a very tough game. Thats why i will have to plump for a close, but hard faught 5-0 victory

  11. Gerry says:

    Dedie – I will agree if Santi plays central. The problem being we have a few who want that role, so given the choice I think AW will give Ozil the ‘free role’, as long as Campbell and OX are making runs wide, thus working the ball to Alexis in space in the middle. I can see him getting his first goal tomorrow if Ozil is anywhere near his best. Ozil strikes me as a player who does not get himself ‘unfit’ during breaks, and he keeps himself mentally alert.

    I still have my doubts about BFG playing, as he has a bigger body and needs his muscles to be in trim lest he does damage with a quick twist or turn?

  12. Jay says:

    TA’s bang on the money.

    Terry Mancini – I really don’t see why Giroud should start after his shocking, lethargic performances recently. Although I wouldn’t be all that surprised if Wenger did start him upfront. As much as I love the guy sometimes you never know with Wenger. In a game like Everton, it’s going to be a hard fought game. You have to remember this isn’t the Everton of yonder where Henry and Bergkamp would go on a rampant 7-0 raping session. Roberto Martinez have got these kids playing like grown men who press you high up the pitch, try to win every ball with aggression and won’t give you a minute’s peace on the ball. It’s going to be end to end stuff, quick paced, aggressive, counter-attacking football. Giroud wouldn’t really suit this type of game. Arsenal would be best off making use of Ox’s and Alexis’ pace with Ozil, Cazorla and Ramsey providing the balls for them to latch onto and score. As you can probably tell I’m not the biggest fan of Giroud as it is but he definitely isn’t what we need in a game like Everton at Goodison Park. Just a realistic perspective.

  13. Jay says:

    Gerry dropping the knowledge and I agree 100%. Ozil will be prioritised when it comes to the CAM role. Good shout.

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    Good point about the CBs, Gerry… I am pretty sure WILL start Giroud as to bring him back to form…maybe only for 70 minutes when the job is done?

  15. Gerry says:

    Thanks Terry – I agree about the game, it will be a good one to win. But as I said, they are also ‘bedding in’ players, and Lukaku hasn’t hit the ground running. Although he played for them last season, he was in limbo land for a while, until they signed him.

    I think Arsene will go for pace though, and why I think Jack, Santi and Giro will be on the bench.
    He is going to be ruthless! 😀


    hahaha, ive seen a lot worse forwards at the club than Giroud Jay

    In the seventies we had a spell with John Hawley up front. Now, this geezer worked very hard, but his problem was, how can I put this, he was shit.

    What he was famous for was handballs. Forget todays rules were you would get booked. You had to go on to the pitch with a knife and wearing a mask to get carded in those days. Hawleys control was so poor that he used to have to use his hands 15 times per match.

    I can understand what your saying about Giroud, but once youve witnessed Hawley, Girouds like Pele. hahaha


    Definately agree about Everton Gerry. We could catch them cold.

    If history is anything to by, then Everton are in trouble. Since the advent of the premeiship, when they have a good season the next one they flatter to deceive and tend to slump

    You could also be right about the pace. Lets see what wenger does

  18. Dedie says:

    Giroud not the striker we need!!! We don’t have time for inconsistency! Arsene should add a goal machine in his transfer list before it closes.. If Balotelli rumours to Anfield are to be true, I’d really blame Le Professor for missing on that.. Epl experienced, lethal, tough and damn cheap.. On behavioural matters, non better than Arsene for the job.

  19. Jay says:

    Hahahaha! Hilarious post. Fair enough, I get your point, TM. I wasn’t even around for Hawley’s era but from growing up watching Henry I guess Giroud has to be my generation’s Hawley, (is that a little too harsh? I don’t know). To be honest, I’d love to see a world class striker at Arsenal once again. Our midfield is fantastic but we need to see the end result more often which is more damn goals!

  20. Gerry says:

    Thanks Jay – I agree on your analysis of how the game will go. For once we might be lucky with the referee Kevin Friend – according to ‘Untold, he is unbiased.

    There are so many things that could go wrong in this game, but crisp accurate passing, and players with quick feet,and blinding pace … and then I immediately think of Bellerin 😀
    One day he will get his opportunity on the right wing.
    But yes, I can see us getting quite a few free kicks for late tackles?

  21. TotalArsenal says:


    Think of Giroud not as a great one night stand but as the great multi-skilled wife you have been craving for. First name on the teamsheet in attack for Wenger… he holds it all together and our midfielders and fellow attackers will feed from him…. it will be toffee galore tomorrow! 🙂

    But he is not your classical, top-draw CF.. far from it.


    hahaha, maybe a bit harsh Jay, but you still make a good point.

    Giroud divides opinion, so something cant be right. You didnt see people moaning about Henry or Begkamp. Well, my cousin Fat Pete used to, but he spends half the year in a mental institution.

    Thing is, it seems that Arsene wants a big man up front and five mobile midfielders behind. After all, isnt Giroud just a replacement for Chamack?

  23. Jay says:

    Gerry – Exciting times. I love it when Arsenal play quick, fluid passing football. Brings a smile to every Gooner’s face. Rest assured, the lads will find that magic tomorrow. As for Bellerin, just wow. What a great prospect he’s turning out to be. I’d never heard of the guy until I saw him play against Benfica. He was up and down them wings like a ballerina, picking out some pearly passes. Stellar performer.

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    Exactly Terrenzo the Gorgeousi 🙂

    Giroud is an improvement of Chamakh, and when Giroud is injured we shall play the BFG in his place… sorted! 😛

  25. GhGunner says:

    Great post and I’d really like to see option 2 tried though I doubt it’ll happen :S . We seem to be forgetting that Koz was a serious injury doubt for the Besiktas game but managed to pull through. I’m worried about us overplaying him and losing him early in the season. For that reason I’d give BFG and Chambers a start. Also, Ramsey is out for the return leg of the qualifier so I’d play Ram and Flam in the middle and give Wilshere a rest for Wednesday. I’d like to see Rosicky get a run out as well. He really steps up in the big games and judging from our past couple of games we could use a little Mozart right now 😉 . My starting 11 would be:


    Debuchy – BFG – Chambers – Monreal

    Ramsey – Flamini

    Ox – Rosicky – Campbell


    With Ozil coming on for Rosicky/Ox and Giroud coming on for Campbell (with Alexis moving wide) in the second half. I leave the third sub to Wenger ;). Would’ve been a nice time to have Gnabry fit. I’d’ve played him in place of Campbell.

  26. Gerry says:

    Dedie – I think you are quick to forget that Giroud was very consistent while Walcott was playing.

    He is not sharp at the moment, that is for sure. But his time will come around again. Unless his wife gets her way and they do return to France. If any team over there that is in need of a striker, it is Monaco.

    The point is, the team I am suggesting AW will go for is for this game. Not every game. He, like Alexis, Campbell, Sanogo, are options. And with better players around him, he will be more than capable of getting 25+ goals this season.

  27. steve says:

    Gerry! I swear you put that 3 at the back formation in just to piss me off! Lol. You know I really want to see us try that one of these days but you also know how damn unlikely it will be – especially against a side like Everton, Arghh! he should have tried it preseason damn it!
    Anyway excellent post Gerry that comment about Giroud was spot on, a third game in 7 days for a player that looked off the pace on day 1 is a bit too much to ask even when considering Arsene’s stubbornness to change players. So Giroud far from his best and Cazorla looking off the pace again (but not his position really) what are we to do? if only we had two in form replacements for those positions….
    Oh wait we do, Campbell ready and raring to go and The Ox who in the limited time he got given the other night got closer than anyone to scoring!
    I think AW may risk BFG but I am not sure about Ozil, his fitness was a little off last season and I think he will want to make sure it is spot on this time around, and with BFG in CB then its screaming out for Chambers in DM position.
    So my team for tomorrow: (won’t look anything like this in reality!)
    —-Sanchez—–Wilshere—-The OX—-
    Yep OX, Sanchez and Campbell – same as you Gerry, but it just aint gonna happen mate trust me.

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Gh Gunner, very good and sensible line up (although I dont want Alexis up-front). Good point about Koz as well. Rosicky in the hole could work well but I reckon Ozil might start.


    hahaha BFG up front TA.

    I can recall George Graham pulling some crazy stunts like that. In a couple of games he played David Oleary up front, nial Quinn at the back, and for a good six months, Martin Keown in midfield.

    Keowns passing was delicious. Total Football. hahaha

  30. Jay says:

    Lool Terry Mancini, what a guy. Yeah, guess you’re right. I can deal with Giroud when he’s up for it but when he’s not? He’s just unbearable to watch. Sometimes it feels like he lacks the fight or the winning attitude and it shows in his sloppy play or his eagerness to fall down when a defender nibbles away with a tackle. I can appreciate certain aspects of his play – winning headers, hold-up play and his Klose type goals which are those penalty box tap-ins but he needs to bring a bit more ammunition if he wants to be a complete Arsenal striker.

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    steve, nice line up buddy. Giroud will start imo but I would not mind the Campbellisimo to start up top at all. 🙂

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    It would be really fun Terry to go the Bridge and put Mertesacker up front and Giroud next to Koz. Just to wind the self-adoring one up. I would fecking love it! 😛

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    Jay, can I suggest you watch the first half against Napoli again, and especially the two goals, and you might appreciate more what Ollie has to offer. Nanananananana nanananana Giiiiiiiiiiiiirou NaNaNaNaNaNa 😉

  34. steve says:

    +1 for BFG up front!

  35. Jay says:

    I like both GH and Steve’s line-up. I love seeing Rosicky come on, he brings urgency and fluidity in our passing. Great player at a time like this.

  36. Jay says:

    Alright TA! Here’s to hoping you change my mind! 🙂

  37. steve says:

    TA, you know it and i know it of course Giroud will start but if there has ever been a time when Arsene could say (with all justification) we will rest Giroud and play Campbell for the first half and then swap in the second half its this weekend – 3 games in 7 days its a perfect excuse to try the nipper out without pissing off Giroud.

  38. Gerry says:

    GhGunner – The problem I see with your starting 11 is up front, not at the back, imo.

    You make a good case for resting Kos, so that switch could well be on the cards if BFG is fit enough?
    No the problem is the lack of creativity up front. Ox and Rosicky are very similar type of players. They are quick to run with the ball in space, and can play a decent pass at the end of a run. What they don’t do is look at the whole area of the pitch and play the ball into the space for them to run on to. At least not to the level that Ozil or Cazorla can?
    It will be those defence splitting passes that will win us the game, and right now Ramsey is not completely on his A-game, no Jack in that line up, and Alexis is the one that needs to be on the final ball?
    So for me, it is either Ox or Rosicky, and Ox is looking the sharpest?


    hahaha, know what you mean Jay, for a big guy he does seem to go down a bit easy

    His days might be numbered anyway. I dont think wenger has forgiven him for sneaking in that Tart into the hotel before a big away game. Even then he F*ucked it up. The photo of him giving himself a wedgie was ridiculous. Thats the sort of thing bigger kids do to you at school, why the hell would you do that to yourself?

    hahaha, yes TA, anything to wind up the self annointed one. What a fool that man is. I dont go into my local newsagent and proclaim “I am now the special fag smoker and from this day forward you will adore me and give me 20 Marlboro free” hahaha

    Night all

  40. moses says:

    giroud the best 40 goals 2 seasons

  41. steve says:

    Everyone seen the Gibbs and OX ice bucket challenge with Andre Marriner nomination?
    pmsl classic!

  42. GhGunner says:

    I wouldn’t mind going Steve’s way and playing Campbell up front with Alexis on the wing. If wishes were horses Total. But you’re right, Wenger has his way and the only way Ozil doesn’t start is if Wenger doesn’t think he’s fit enough. I honestly wouldn’t mind him playing if he’s fit. Rosicky could come on in the second half.

  43. Gerry says:

    Stevie – Of course I did it just for you 😀

    It has merit for the reason I gave re Per’s fitness, but also very unlikely.

    As for Giro, perverse as AW is, I think he was quietly peed off with him in the last game? So I think it is a no brainer that Campbell will start. And look what Giro did with almost his first touch against Palace? He does do well when he come on in the second half.

    There is also the transfer window … AW is not beyond throwing in a youthful team to show up urgent needs?

    Where or whether those needs might appear is another matter.

    If anybody else has written in while I writing this they will have to wait until morning.
    Sorry, but I am a 5am riser, and not out of choice ..

  44. Gerry says:

    Good.Night all from me too!

  45. TotalArsenal says:

    YOU have done very well staying up this late, Gerry. Great post. Night Night.

  46. Ra says:

    I noticed Diaby is absen from all your “options” or bench as it were. From my understanding he has been back training for over a week now. Still not in contention? Also, I think Rosicky would perform the “Arteta role” at a higher level than Arteta does and its something Arsene should consider. He has the same tackling abilities, reads game well and has far more recovery speed than Arteta. Ox could also be an option there.

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    Giroud’s role working at its best

    night all 🙂

  48. Ra says:

    As for the options, I like A a lot. Pace amd power. Been dreaming of a Campbell-Alexis-Ox front line for a while now. The notion (being spouted by some gooners online) that we have to wait for Theo to return before Alexis can play up top doesn’t hold water for me.

  49. kay shafic says:

    i think Giroud shuldnt be rested bt dropped to reserve team coz i think he was supposed to be a defender,so i wuld lyk campbell 2 b given a chance coz he can convert chances more than Giroud.i wuld lyk to c podoloski playing left wing and ozil central attacker and sanchez

  50. tony says:

    morning BKBS..concerning today game I think arsene can afford to loose todays game than the midweek qualify.the germans need some minutes under their belts so I see both ozil and BFG playing.
    For me I would bench that twart giroud and carzola then bring ing in campbell and the ideal lineup could be;
    Debuchy BFG kozza monreal
    Chambers rambo
    Ox ozil campbell
    it could rain goals inside goodison park.COYG!!!

  51. kay shafic says:

    thats ryt tony coz u cant say ure resting girou for scoring 1 goal in 3 matches evn cant b compared to koscielny

  52. Frozen says:

    As much as I love the front 3 of Ox, Campbell, and Sanchez in front of Ozil– it’s probably not going to happen. At this point in the season, it is hopeful to say the least. Simply based on the selections from the first few games, these dream line ups (which i very much agree with) are much too drastic for Wenger’s taste. I can see one or two alterations to the previous line ups but… to push 19 year old Chambers in the holding midfield role (again, which i dream of), Alexis in his first appearance as the center forward, Campbell with his first start against top class opposition, and to rush the Germans back so early.. may be too unbalanced in Wenger’s mind.
    I could see one of santi or giroud being dropped with mertesacker stepping in at CB and ozil to make a late substitution. But, like i said, I would love to see a fresh and exciting starting line up including our speedsters Campbell and the Ox.

    Huge game tomorrow. Couldn’t be more excited.

  53. Gerry says:

    Ra – you are quite right, I did leave Diaby out of the selection squad available, deliberately.
    He could however make the bench if he is anywhere near selection. But given his first outing, in a friendly resulted in another set-back tells me that they are going to be very careful with him from here on in. I just don’t see this as being an ideal game to start a comeback. Only my view of course, as is a half season loan back in France Lique 1 would give him a better platform.

    Rosicky in the Arteta role would be a compromise like Santi out wide left. It would take too much away from his game, and his game would leave the team vulnerable in the middle. By that I mean Rosi is better doing a quick turn and running at pace with the ball. Staying deep would deny him that. But if one other stayed back it might work?

  54. Gerry says:

    Tony I agree with your line up except for Chambers at DM, in this game at least. For the main reason I gave above, we would have no CB cover on the bench, and it might be too much disruption switching Monreal or Chambers back to CB if BFG does not do the whole 90, and I doubt he will?

    I will settle for an Alexis first, and 0-1

  55. tony says:

    center back cover is available gerry.we have miguel and maybe hayden.that’s where arsene is taking us because the manolas talk ain’t coming to fruition.
    This is a massive game for us,we make a statement today and besiktas will come to the grove with wobbly knees.

  56. Gerry says:

    Frozen@06.58 – I can see that argument standing up later in the season, but just think back to that thrashing we had in the 8-2 against Man U for a moment? How many changes were there then when AW wanted to make a point?

    Not for one minute am I suggestion another kamikaze exercise here, so just let me run through the changes.
    1, Restoring Mertersacker (if fit enough) does not count as a change, it would be our best pairing.
    2, Bringing in Ozil, ditto ditto really, and that takes care of the Santi switch.
    3, Ox has been warming up nicely for a start, so the first real change, but a minor one?
    4, Campbell in for Giroud is the big one. But I think AW is a little frustrated with Giro for being so far off his game, so I can see this happening in a game where pace will be deadly?
    5, Alexis in the middle … some of the time. I do not see him doing the Giro role. He is needed in that area the width of their box, twisting, turning, making darting runs and shooting with any sight of goal. Leave the ‘through the eye of a needle’ passing to Ozil. Occasionally he will move out to the wings, switching with whoever, and opening up space for Ramsey, who I think will get the nod over Wilshere, with him ‘resting’ for the CL return.

    I could of course get it totally wrong and AW plays it safe? The unpredictable just might work better?

  57. Gerry says:

    Tony, Hayden only played a full Under 21 game on Thursday,and then as a DM, so I do not see him on the bench.
    Miquel, even for the last 20 minutes would leave us with a weakness where Lukaku is strong, and having the untested Chambers at DM in front of them would put him under tremendous pressure. Both are is still capable of making errors, and Everton are just the sort of team that would pounce on them. Martinez is a smart manager, and he would quickly get his side to target them.

    Sorry, if BFG plays, then Chambers would be on the bench, or just possibly, alongside. In either scenario, unless Kos is ruled out completely, I would rather have Chambers do the job he has been doing, and would take him over Miquel for the bench. I think you will find that will be AW’s thinking too?

    Hey, let the CL game be what it is. They know they only have to score an away goal to put us on the back foot. No wobbly knees with their manager in charge?

  58. Gerry says:

    Right no more early birds, so I am off with the dogs. Not before I have one more squint at the rumour mill – apparently Manolas is angling for the move by dropping himself out of their friendly ….’ Apparently’???

    Thanks for all the replies, cheers

  59. Gerry says:

    I’ve just been reminded that the third ”real’ change is(likely to be) Flamini for Arteta,with Wishere being save for the CL. 3 games in a week is too much for someone who has a bullseye painted on both ankles!

  60. TotalArsenal says:

    Alex, DavyDavy, Prince, Dylan don’t forget the UMF

  61. Prince says:

    Well done, Gerry.

    ‘allo Allo BKrs 🙂

    Me thinks, its fair to say, that we will be in for a solid battle tonight (no shit, Sherlock 😉 ), when we take to the paddock, in a quest to brush aside the ‘toffee blue’ of MerseysLide…

    Whenever i think of Everton, i think- ugly blue jerseys with asian sponsors, fighters, tight defence, low scores, time wasting,
    two hundred unbelievably flukey- once in a season -saves from their keeper, and in recent years ill add- INconsistently skillful.
    Yup, on their day or night, they can def.’ cause damage, especially if your not up for the fight or switched on for 90min (+ every second of extra time).

    Am i worried? ….
    Well, yay and nay.
    Yay, because we have been burnt before and i also sense that we are still a few weeks away from ‘top gear’ (which is a shame EVERY pre-season) and Nay, because Everton DON’T beat the Arsenal with better quality all round football, or better players (mind, you can debate a few) or even better tactics.
    NO, there is nothing better about Everton compared to the Arse. NOTHING.
    They just DONT beat us…. On those off days, when toffee sticks to us like shit and we lose or draw, Its because we end up beating ourselves. Sometimes (too often in my book), by taking these tricky games for granted, or judging the squads ‘on paper’ with an ignorant approach and then turning up on the day with NO Balls, NO fight, NO Answers…

    I hope and believe this will not be the case, and we all have our heads screwed on properly (and not screwed into some fancy schmancy french orgython only hours before kick-off. *cough Giroud cough* ), with a positive approach, a solid game plan, a trust in each other on and more so, off the pitch and our philosophy.

    In a way, i am glad, that this toffee test came when it did/does. Obviously i wish that our squad was complete (including De Jong, Marco ‘Rolls’ Reus, and any decent defender) but that will have to continue, at least until we have finished counting our remaining pennies in our warchest and there’s fcuk all time, left in the torture window.
    Its the sort of game that, i believe, we can and should, pull out a positive result (barring of course, any major interference from that ‘chikee babe’ named Lady Luck- which usually entails us swallowing most of the ‘bad’ – when any luck is dished out.
    I believe that having a solid test, just a few weeks into the season, in what is a winnable game with only half as much pressure, than that of the potential nerves that we reserve for home games @ the Em’s.

    Six points after tonight, could in-turn change our/ or mentally ‘stwengthen’ our mind-sets for the rest of the season, in that, we kill off any doubts that may linger within our camp, and turn that doubt into belief, and an un-conditional trust in our approach, our potential and our ‘plan of attack’ for the seasons remaining fixture-list.
    I hope so, anyway!!
    Six points in two games and a solid run-out (against decent opposition) in preparation for our return Home leg CL tie, well that would just be bliss.
    Getting a draw, wouldn’t be the end of the world, but it would give a few gooners, a few annoying headaches, and a reminder of “What if?” at seasons end, where it could only be a few points and even goal difference, in it.

    I cannot and will not register the words ‘DEFEAT’ or ‘LOSS’ in association to Arsenal and this game. My gooner brain will not comprehend.


    If we want to seriously challenge and have a decent shout on the last day, than we must bring our A-game and pocket the 3 points….

    Time and again, we have seen how these ‘hiccup games’, really do hurt us when we hit the last straight in March/ April.
    The miserable draws and ‘choking’ losses that, every year still, seem to suprise us.
    The “would have, could have, and should have” games when we just didnt show up……..those are the games that turn out to be our kryptonite. The games that we drop points, and then have absolutely NO GENUINE excuse after the game.
    Lets FOCUS to avoid those banana peels.
    Lets turn our empty draws, into hard fought (scrappy and UGLEE if need be!) wins and results that bank every important point towards our title push.

    Lets start with that focus, and belief, and fight, and mental ‘stwength’ with our potential banana peel at Everton and prove that we have the qualiteeeee to win and deserve 3points, not just away at Everton, but in everyones backyard.
    Confidence for our boys/squad ( hopefully, getting on a roll of great results) with consistency in performances being key, is more important than producing some sort of fear factor by winning the odd away game at a title-rival/pretender. I believe our squad is more dangerous by having a ‘good vibes’ atmosphere in camp, rather than these shadows of negativity that creep in and suffocate our desires and belief in being the best and striving for titles. This ‘backs to the wall’ stuff (works in that final push for 4th place and CL almost every recent season) but not for the opening months.
    I want our boys,feeling happy, secure and confident enough, that no amount of doubt or second guessing in their own games or media driven will hamper focus on the bigger Arsenal picture.

    Having supporters/fans on players backs, not to mention the media circus, will not push us to greater heights. Our squad has basically grown with a huge amount of doubt and ‘no chance’ tags on our backs, and the only way i could see our team blossom was from within. Finding an inner strength, that in turn will allow, and HAS allowed us to grow second skins.
    We already did that, when against all odds (more so, at the start of last season before we showed what’s under the bonnet) we went on to win silverware.

    Anyway, enough ranting/waffle from Princey baby, as his quota for the year is borderline, and those six heinekens that keep staring at me, WONT drink themselves!!

    3 points, no injuries, and a decent 30 min under Diabys’ belt with health in tact and who knows?……..maybe a few of the doomers out there can switcheroo a frown to a smile.

    rant over…….for now 😆


    ps. off to UMF nowski

  62. TotalArsenal says:

    Fine, passionate comment El Princey Baby 🙂

    The team will be up for this and the canon will roar throughout Merseyside. What’s that coming over the hill? 🙂

  63. Jay says:

    I feel like Arsenal need to approach games like this with more composure on the ball and if, as expected, the opposition are rearing to go and pressing us high up the pitch then our lads need to dish out the same amount of aggression/work-rate to win the ball back. At times I feel like Arsenal rush their attacks, get caught out in the midfield and next thing you know is the opposition are whipping us on the counter. I think Arsenal need to play a possession game. Make themselves available for the pass, sort out their positioning so there’s always an avenue to pass down. The passing also needs to be quicker so we don’t get caught doddling on the ball and giving the ball away time and time again. If AW can get them all drilled in that manner I’m sure we’ll be up for taking the 3 points. Just needs to make sure to defend, sit back when needed and build-up play/passing needs to be decisive!

  64. Jay says:

    Well said Prince. 🙂

  65. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    Who will be drop and who will play.. Wilshere or Ozil.. Cazorla or Ox..???
    I think Wilshere will rest for next game against Besiktas.. cause Ramsey got the red card.. Ozil will play.. and so do Cazorla..
    We will play Flamini and Ramsey as our double pivot.. and Giroud will be our target man..

    Wenger had a bad habbit that he won’t automaticly change his unperformance players after a game and will gave another chance for them.. hehehe..
    And I think Chambers will also play instead of Mertesacker.. Wenger need his ability to see the game and cut Lukaku’s ball.. and we know he can..
    So we will see :
    Debuchy – Chambers – Koscielny – Monreal
    Ramsey – Flamini
    Sanchez – Ozil – Cazorla

    Will we win this game.. Yes we will.. cause..
    We Are The Champion.. my friends.. haha..

  66. henrychan says:

    And it is a revange game.. All the team will get motivate more than the last game.. And Sanchez will score his first goal.. hehehe..

  67. henrychan says:

    Or maybe Chambers will play as a DM.. to test his ability there.. so Wenger will choose whom to bring to Emirates.. will it be another DM or another CB..??

  68. Gerry says:

    I’d love to take credit for inspiring that outpouring Prince, but I suspect it was in your locker waiting to burst forth?
    Pity it would have made a better post than mine!

    I agree with the sentiments you express though. The main thing is getting as many players on the same level of sharpness as we can. At this stage of the season that is easier said than done? The core element of Alexis, Chambers, Debuchy, Koscielny, Monreal Ox, and may be Campbell if he plays, with Szczezzer and Ramsey not far behind, is something for Ozil to work with?

    That, and Jay’s point about not rushing attacks without cover is another, and one that Debuchy is little prone to do. One reason I would want Ox to stay wide when he is that side, to keep Debuchy from leaving that flank exposed? And why, at subs time Bellerin should be the first if Ox moves to the middle.

    If the team is the one I think it should be, and it is the Plan B that everybody has been calling for, then in defence I want to see Ozil doing the Giroud bit of blocking pass lines high up the pitch, with Campbell, Alexis and Ox helping out deeper. But those three are the key to quick counter attacks, and possibly only Ramsey joining with his trademark late runs.

    In order words, a solid platform, but potential at the other end?

  69. H Bo says:

    Love the post@Gerry these nice debates where we can moan about players effectiveness and the bosses lack of rotation great stuff, I think option 1 is more to the point we won’t change formation that’s for sure Giro will start (love that Giro one Gerry) for sure, don’t think he will start Campbell in such a big game IMO Ozil will start mainly because we missed that cutting edge in the last two games, however don’t think BFG will start I think he will go with the pace and fitness of Chambers in a game that will have such a high tempo also he has to start the Ox we need the speed and aggression on both flanks although Coleman is injured I’m sure their full backs will be pushing on regardless so we need to push them back or make them think twice about our pacey wingers getting in behind, lastly I think Flamini will start instead of Jack, with Jack and Rambo there’s no discipline to hold.
    So after my blah blah blah here it is my likely 11 not my favourite 11.

    Debuchy Chambers Kos Monreal
    Flamini Ramsey
    Sanchez Giro. Chamberlin

    Would rather Diaby for Flamini who was training this week or even Jack but think we might get caught and althought on paper Campbell sounds good against jagielka and distin don’t think Sanchez or Campbell would mange so early in premiership life

  70. Gerry says:

    Henry, you could be right about Giroud. I am only reading between the lines that he is not flavour of the month, and as Prince has pointed out, this fixture we lost last time was another black mark in AW’s memory bank?

    I also think Cazorla will be rested for the CL match, as Ox is primed for the wide role. And he better at helping the defence, and I do not see Monreal getting forward too much in this game either, and we need proper width, not pretend width.

    As to you supplementaries. Yes Alexis for his first league goal. No to Chambers at DM ….
    unless he comes off the bench because they are confident Mert and Kos are good for the whole game? And of course, Flamini in danger of getting a second yellow 😳

  71. Gerry says:

    H Bo – Thanks. It is true the Giro v Campbell is a split decision. But you know where I am on it.

    It is not because I am anti Giroud. Far from it. I am with TA on his value to the side. Is just that if he is under-peforming, then our attack potential goes with it. I think Campbell on his WC and pre-season efforts, has the potential to offer much more … at THIS moment in time.

    We shall see. If you are right about BFG not playing, the it would make sense to have Giroud for his defensive duties alone. it is a twofold decision, and I have come down to thinking that 60 minutes for Per here will set him up for the CL game, and give Chambers a break.

    And a repeat scenario with Cazorla and Ox, and I favour the latter for pace and width

    Not long now before we find out what the reality is …

    Keep the faith …

  72. Ra says:

    To my mind we are over-thinking this. (Hope Wenger is putting as much thought into it as we are, but I doubt it, don’t rate Wenger’s game-to-game tactical preperation and I doubt I need to explain why TBG). To me its as simple as this: YaYa got a chance v Palace and he was okay without being particularly good/bad either. Giroud got his chance v Besiktas and he was embarassingly bad to the point where I’m now uncertain whether we need a C(D)M or striker more. That leaves Campbell, he deserves his chance, he can hardly be worse. Or alternatively play Alexis up top, even with adjusting to be done no way in hell he’ll be worse than Giroud v Besiktas.
    Also think, Cazorla needs to be dropped. Players need to be held accountable for their performances and I don’t feel like Arsene does that enough.

  73. Gerry says:

    Ra some good points there. I am assuming that Sanogo is still injured, but I have not seen AW’s short list yet.

    I don’t think Arsene follows your rules about performance and being dropped though 😀

  74. VCC says:

    Great post Gerry. I must apologise for not being able to give it the time and comments it so thoroughly deserves.

    You have provoked some fine responses, thats why it ranks up with the best. Hats off to you Sir.

    You know my position on Wenger, but the one player I wish he would try out today (and give him a run) is Campbell.

    Your No.1 line is the best of your two.

    Again, apologies for lack of depth in reply, but I have had a busy day trying to get every thing done so I can settle down with a few cans and watch the game live @ 17:30.

  75. henrychan says:

    Hi Gerry.. We soon will know who are playing.. but my team is more reasonable ones.. hehe..
    If Diaby is fit.. I like to see him play.. Diaby Ramsey will be great double pivot.. hehehe..

  76. H Bo says:

    I think you might have a point @Gerry he may give Per a run out, and I’m with you on Campbell last 2 games I have sat there saying bring him on but still waiting same with Santi and Ox I am not for this unnatural wide player like Santi I think he is one of our best players but he must play centrally I think he even has tenacity and energy to play the less disciplined deeper role he has the vision and distribution for the role might be food for thought for the boss but don’t see the point in Campbell and Ox bench warming with a unnatural wide player on the pitch.

  77. The Cockie Monster says:

    I expect a one sided Arsenal all possession game but sucker punched on the break in a close 5-0 to Everton !.
    I think the real reason Vic`s has been too busy is because he was unluckily detained in his local Tesco`s where he was walking down the aisle for bleach, detergents etc` and the shelves fell down and Vic`s was buried under all the products…..basically he was Cillet Bang Ganged !.

    Doom of the Day !
    This is a re-going over Arsene`s lack of spending !…..I said it was a conservative £30M he had spent net !……..but a well respected blogger who sometimes comes on here, a guy who has hair Stretch would kill him for and teeth that are the most expensive Juan can buy !, you all know him as, kelsey , has said on another site that the net figure is more like £14M !. I have pleaded with him to show a figured break down of this amount and I will show it when available, but who do I believe ?….a dodgy accountant who has just opened up a money service shop where he takes sticky porno mags and sex videos in exchange for cash at his aptly named Bounds Green Pornbrokers !……I know, I don’t even have to mention his name as you know who I am talking about, but for any new bastards on site, it`s …TMHT !…….or the wise and incorruptible…Kelsey ! . You decide !.
    Sad really, but Stretch used to be such a nice pleasant lad….then he met the first wife and as he himself has previously said ( I think ! ) a niece of Mick McManus the wrestler !, basically it went wrong when from coming home one day from a hard days fiddling and cooking of the books that he was upset to find Mrs Mancini had not done the house cleaning and stupidly said….” isn’t it time you got the dusters out , Darling ? “…….well it wasn`t long before the dusters come out….the fcuking knuckle dusters !.
    Stretcholopodous, pleaded with friends like me to try and toughen him up, but to tell the truth I had enough of a dodgy life of crime and was looking for some safe work away from the “safe” work I did in the past, being a safe cracker was in reality an oxymoron job… wasn`t exactly safe !….problem is dynamite has an edgy tendency to go ….BOOM! !. Plus it was all changing going too health and safety !… there was risk assessments before a job and all the cameras et`c made it for a gorgeous conceited bastard like my self too easy to get caught by doing “selfies” in the CCTV lenses !.
    Anyway, I`ve gone off track and don’t know wtf I`m on about !. hahaha

    Just had a look on Arsenal newsnow and in the general news section there`s a story ( and you cant make this up !…well, I probably could ! hahaha ) about someone in South Africa being pelted to death with Oranges !. That is one extreme overdose of vitamin C !…… he got Tango`d !. Police have said that it is the first ever Orange related death !………obviously they did not see Holland in the World Cup !. hahaha

  78. JM says:

    Team announced:
    Szczesny, Debuchy, Mertesacker(Capt.), Chambers, Monreal, Flamini, Ox, Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil, Alexis

    Martinez, Bellerin, Koscielny, Rosicky, Giroud, Cazorla, Campbell

  79. Retsub says:

    Aghhhh why no Kos?

  80. JM says:

    It looks 4-1-4-1 to me:
    (GK)Szczesny, (RB)Debuchy, (CB-R)Mertesacker, (CB-L)Chambers, (LB)Monreal, (DM)Flamini, (RM/RW)Ox, (CM-R/AM-R)Wilshere, (CM-L/AM-L)Ramsey, (LM/LW)Ozil, (HS/CF)Alexis

  81. Retsub says:

    Gerry have to congratulate you on the title of your post. Can you predict the score?

  82. Gerry says:

    Thank you all for a good debate ….

    Now enjoy …

  83. H Bo says:

    Ozil or Wilshere wide WTF

  84. Jay says:

    Not really feeling Ozil or Wilshere wide either. But if things don’t work out, I’d like to see Campbell come on for Wilshere.


  85. henrychan says:

    Wow.. Gerry you win..
    Sanchez for CF.. Ozil as LW.. and Ramsey as our AM.. wow..
    Let’s see what will happened..

  86. Shrillex says:

    Nah…I think oil is CAM and Jack is on the left

  87. Jay says:

    So far, so good.. A decent first 20 minutes. More importantly, my blood pressure’s not through the roof yet.

    Just want to touch on Chambers.. How bloody good has he been deterring away any threats! Top defender!

    The boys are alert, efficient and composed. Let’s keep it up. We can get the sticky Toffees unstuck.

  88. Jay says:

    For God’s sake, spoke to soon..

  89. AFC says:

    Everton score!

    So Lukaku on the RW hurts us again.

  90. AFC says:

    Everton nearly scored again. What a let off.

  91. henrychan says:

    I think we must replace Wilshere for Rosicky or Cazorla.. and get Ozil back to his position at middle

  92. Jay says:

    C’mon wake up Arsenal!!

  93. AFC says:

    How can we be losing in the same way again. Two nil Everton. All they need to do now is score a 3rd goal now.

  94. Jay says:

    Ozil looks absolutely pissed..

  95. Ra says:

    Great to see Wenger the tactical genius learning from Lukaku exposing Monreal last season. How far we’ve come.

  96. Retsub says:

    If ever we need a change of tactics it’s now. Far too many short passes around the edge of their box. We have nothing to lose now, let’s give Campbell a try.

  97. Ra says:

    Not to be negative but this is Wenger, he’ll only make a change after 70 minutes when its too late and only Giroud for Alexis. Tactically Wenge is always lost v better teams. Sad but true.

  98. Shrillex says:

    Second goal was bullshit. Offside and should have been a foul for Per.

    AW needs to take Jack off for tactical reasons. Bring Koz on and play him in midfield alongside Rambo and Flamini in a 433, playing as a DM cum CB. Play Sanchez/Ox on the left wing for f*ck sake. Monreal needs more support and he is definitely not going to get it from Ozil. Per looks rusty and needs support from Koz. And bring Campbell on for god sake. We need someone to hold up the ball and balance our game. At least Campbell can do that. Please AW, no more bullshit please.

  99. Gino92 says:

    Getting bullied once again! Why do we always seem not strong enough? Time to remove Wilshere for Campbell and move Ozil to the middle. Btw, the second goal was offside. If we lose this match, I fear we may have some panic buys again…
    Come on, we can still win this match!

  100. Shrillex says:

    As Retsub said, if there is a time to change our tactics, it is now.

  101. Jay says:

    What the hell, man. Alexis taken off for Giroud? I dunno..

    Campbell should’ve come on for Wilshere and Ozil moved to the middle like Shrillex said.

  102. Gino92 says:

    Is Sanchez injured??? If not, then why the fuck did Wenger take him off? Oh, for fuck sake Giroud, for once just put the ball in the back of the net!!! How many chance does this fucker need to get before he can score one goal???

  103. AFC says:

    Giroud on for Sanchez which I don’t get. Why has Alexis been subbed if he isn’t injured? Giroud misses a good chance

  104. AFC says:

    As far as I know Alexis isn’t injured.

  105. Jay says:

    Would’ve had my bottom dollar on Podolski bagging that chance.

  106. Admir says:

    Instead of whining about how season starts too early after big competitions Arsene Wenger should consider quitting all other jobs during international tournaments in order to be prepared for his real job.

    I can see us getting a red card – either Per or Chambers.

  107. Jay says:

    So either side of the goal to shoot at, Giroud decides to shoot straight at Howard.

  108. Admir says:

    I honestly wish people who compare Giroud with Henry and keep straight faces while doing so to get a romantic trip to Maldivian Islands with Giroud.

    Campbell is on, perhaps we’ll see something different until the end.

  109. AFC says:

    So it seems like Everton has to now be added to the list of top the we can’t beat.

  110. Admir says:

    AFC, Everton are on that list because Roberto Martinez is a great manager while Arsene Wenger used to be one. That’s the main difference.

  111. AFC says:

    Ozil hasn’t played well today? Something seems to be wrong. Is it just that Ozil needs a mobile ST who can score the chances he creates and can compliment his style which could mean we are still a ST short despite Walcott coming back or is it something more?

  112. Gino92 says:

    We are just getting harassed and way overworked in the midfield. We need more heart, more passion, and more determination.

  113. AFC says:

    Well Admir if you say Wenger isn’t a tactical manager who doesn’t do tactics fans get pissed even though he clearly isn’t. Wenger is a technical manager who plays one way, the Arsenal way, which makes it very easy for tacticians like Martinez and Mourinho to plan for their matches against us and often execute their plan.

  114. Admir says:


  115. AFC says:

    Rambo! How many more times does this guy have to score goals to win us or get us back into matches.

  116. AFC says:

    Giroud could have done better with that chance.

  117. Admir says:


  118. Prince says:

    I’ll pay a dollar to anyone who can tell me why Poldi (proven premier league player/level) a world cup winner, a heavy weight strong enough to chest it with Everton, and a missile launcher in his left peg locker and he is in Germany on holidays??

    There is a reason why he holds his place in the Germany squad, ahead of your Draxlers and Marko Marins etc quite simply, he offers a ‘get out of jail card’.

  119. AFC says:

    LOL finally Giroud scores. Might be time to win this match.

  120. AFC says:

    Why is Ozil still on. He hasn’t been at his best and I think he would be better off playing 70 mins every match. That way he can stay fresh as his stamina levels aren’t the best.

  121. AFC says:

    Oh an another thing. Sanchez was pressing (Barca style) in the first halve but no one was following him. If your front man presses the midfielders also have to press.

  122. Shrillex says:

    Turning point of this match is Giroud’s introduction and the fact that Mertersacker’s move to midfield. Mertersacker’s presence allowed Arsenal to control midfield. Giroud looked like a man on a mission. 2-2 is a wonderful result considering we were 2-0 down. If only Giroud put away the chance on the 46 minute. And damn the bullshit offside goal. anyways,Proud of the boys though we must still improve.

  123. Admir says:

    Brilliant come-back, I wrote before the game that I’d settle with a draw here. In order to nominate me for Shit Bucket Challenge, Martinez lost two points to Wenger with substitutions by pulling Lukaku off.

    Four points in two matches, three of them clinched in the last minute of the game. Ramsey looked much more comfortable on the pitch once Wilshere was withdrawn. Giroud actually brought life to our attack.

  124. AFC says:

    Giroud did bring life to our attack but could have done better with some of chances as always. A draw is a ok result but we should really be beating Everton especially after our humiliation last season. We should have learnt our lesson in my opinion.

  125. AFC says:

    Some of his chances*
    An ok*

  126. AFC says:

    Some of his chances*
    An ok*

    I’m off. Enjoy the rest of your day or night. 🙂

  127. alcide says:

    I wasn’t able to see the game, and followed it on the blog, so I’m still oblivious to how it went apart from the score and timeline. Seems like all comments were very negative towards us and Arsene – it is funny to see how he’s blamed both for making an early change (OG for AS at halftime), and never making one before 70′ 😉

    Well ‘watching’ from BK’s blog on my iPhone, that was quite a thrilling draw! Can’t wait to read on post match summaries and comments, but a 2-2 draw looks likes a good result to me, especially coming from 2 down and the perspective of another 3-0 drubbing… I also wonder what Arsene will say about taking off AS at halftime. Hopefully not injury related.

  128. Jay says:

    Initial thoughts: Giroud in the right place at the right time. Glad none of our players ended up getting sent off. Happy we didn’t lose the game. We need to play more as a team rather than a bunch of individuals dawdling on the ball and losing possession. Final ten minutes did themselves a bit of justice but we need to have that urgency/desire to win from the off not when we’re 2-0 down. Too much complacency with the passing, crossing, not tracking back or pushing up as a team.

    Difference between Wilshere and Campbell? Campbell is a lot more involved in the team play. He passes with purpose. He doesn’t end up running down blind alleys like Wilshere tends to do. But even defensively, for those last 20 minutes, he was constantly trying to win the ball and tracking back which shows he’s up for the fight. He’s a true team player.

    AFC – You’re 100% right on Sanchez. Relating back to what I just wrote above, our team needs to play as an organised unit. Every other team is able to press us and make us look foolish under pressure with poor passing, et cetera but it seems our boys don’t seem to have it in them. Let’s hope they take this result and work hard to replicate the Arsenal way.

  129. Retsub says:

    That was an interesting match. If I had written a match report after 80 minutes it would have been pretty damming, probably something along these lines. Left back is clearly a problem. Gibbs is injured so often, he cannot be relied on. As much as I like Nacho, he is clearly not good enough against strong fast attackers. He was constantly exposed and in fairness didn’t get a great deal of support. Jack tried very hard but just ran down too many blind alleys. Per is clearly unfit and a better team than Everton would have torn us apart in the second half. Ozil looked disinterested and was a passenger for most of the game. Even Rambo was poor by his standards

    Whilst Everton have excellent full backs their centre backs are somewhat elderly and Giroud may not be the classiest striker in the world, but he does work the centre backs. Love him or hate him Giroud does make a difference, he does hold the ball up and allow the midfield to join the attack. He made a huge difference today and hats off to him. Ozil looked a far better player towards the end with a target in the box to hit

    I am no master tactic ion but it strikes me that too many players are played out of position to accommodate others. Ozil is clearly not a winger and we undoubtably need a strong defensive midfielder. Gareth Barry looked very assured for Everton and does a really good job for them. He may be getting on a bit but he is clearly a specialist in that position. Go buy one Mr Wenger.

    Oh and the ref/ Lino had stinkers

    Still 2 games in and unbeaten. Things could be a lot worse

  130. Frozen says:

    Wow. I think the commentary said it best: “hypnotizing” play. Slow, predictable, uninventive, and then BAM. Hope this new “style” isn’t a sign of things to come because there is no way in hell we will get that lucky again this season. Yeah their second goal was offside, the referee killed any momentum we tried building, but just WOW.

    Given our overall play and baffling tactics (really arsene? Alexis off at half?) that comeback was nothing short of a miracle. I feared for the potential impacts in our midweek CL qualifier had it gotten completely away from us.

    But we got a result. How exactly I’m not quite sure. There were some positives: possibly the worst 90 mins I’ve seen from our savior, yet he still comes up with a goal and bails us out. Leadership. What a player. I also very much liked what I saw from Alexis in the first half. Tirelessly worked for his team and conceded far fewer turnovers than in his previous. Which just further begs the question as to why he was substituted? Was hoping to see more combination with him and ozil but that is to be expected and will certainly come in time. Ah well.. Onto the next I suppose. Anybody else nervous for Wednesday..?

  131. henrychan says:

    Good jobs guys.. all fight with great spirit.. At least we got a point..
    I hope Wenger learned that he can’t count on Wilshere.. Wilshere is almost unseen and lost most of the ball.. better Rosicky in all aspect.. And we also can’t count our DM to Flamini.. So buy a new DM.. or play Diaby..

  132. Gerry says:

    Hey doom mongers, that was a point better than the like for like .. We HAVE progressed 😀

    I do so like reading the in play comments. The moods swings. First 20 minutes we were good. First goal down, and its ‘same old, same old’. Giroud comes on, misses, he’s crap – Who has ever compared him to Henry??- Then Ramsey the hero. Finally, Giroud reborn.
    Great stuff.

    I think AW got his message across? Win through on Wednesday, new signings by Friday, and just may be a bonus one on Sunday?

    I was disappointed with the OX. He seems to have got the Gnabry habit of not only snatching at shots, but also not being selective to know when he should or shouldn’t?
    But I’ll happily take the point. It gives us more time to get the sharpness back, and the understanding?

    Btw Retsub – it is TA who does the titles, and no I don’t predict scores.

  133. Prince says:

    I’ll take the draw, seeing as we were buried in it, knee deep.
    Leaves me with a headache…..just as i thought it would if we leave with half the job done. No effort, no full days pay, no reward.

    Naismith was found in a bargain bucket, and we have two-three players combined, worth more than Evertons line-up.

    Money can no longer be ‘the’ sole excuse for losing to the oil brand teams.

    Two weeks in and already playing catch up.

    disclaimer:- This is NOT Princey baby.
    This is the Cockney monster, dooming away, undercover.

    Night all, from the land down under.. maybe i will develop some sort of emotion to the game after some kip. Right now, the result is neither here nor there.

    ps. i so badly wanted to flick Giroos’ ears after he equalised. Actually i wanted to bitch slap him.
    We had four minutes to play including the add on for the goal, and our number one French show pony is busy looking for cameras’.
    Somebody please tell that bloke who keeps pointing to his head, that four minutes is all it took to overturn a Champions League final against Bayern Munich. Yet we seemed content and in Giroos’ case, quite proud (like we had achieved something great). That, to me anyway, showed a lack of focus, and is akin to a novices’ mind-set.
    Ask manUre if they were content with just the equaliser in that final. It all starts with ‘attitude’ and i feel we have a way to go, yet.

    Offski, to eat a snickers bar….before i turn into a full grumpy bum.


  134. Retsub says:

    Gerry. In that case I take my hat off to both TA and you. The title was a pretty accurate summary of the team Wenger selected. I agree with you on the Ox, but he did at least try to shoot. It will come

  135. The Cockie Monster says:

    OK bastards ! ( and new bastards ! ) , no Dooming on The Chart of Doom front as we are now one point ahead in like for like terms compared to last seasons games !. We are also one point ahead from Match 2 compared to last season, although I should imagine we there will be a lot of Dooming in the coming weeks as last season we won 10 of the next 12 games !. I look forward to being able to Doom with ease !. hahaha
    I don’t normally watch draws, but I will make an exception tonight on MOTD as coming from a 2 goal deficit and in no hope land, it will feel like a victory and to tell the truth I thought we were going to get thumped 5-0 and it seems at one stage there was more chance of my prediction coming off !

    So sorry for no dooming as I know you all look forward to it, but maybe on Wednesday when we get knocked out of the CL qualifier 5-0……it will either be 5-0 in 90 mins or we will lose 5-0 on penalties after a goal less 90 mins and extra-time !. hahaha
    Now this could all change if Chancellor Wenger would autumn budget forward and spend some of the now revised minimum of £96M he has under the mattress !. Don’t blame me !….kelsey said we have spent only £14M !.
    A serious SQ goal scorer is still needed before we can be considered contenders and probably Totals DM beast, after 2 lack lustre performances we are anything but contenders and it`s all down to Wengers stubbornness with his wallet and we are so close as well, but it will take someone else to take us the leap forward !.
    Enough Dooming as it`s giving me a boner !. hahaha

  136. alcide says:

    Hehe completely on the same page as you Gerry (great post by the way). Thank god my business trip to the Americas is reaching its end – flying back from Buenos Aires to Geneva this pm – will have more time for contributing (and watching he games).

    So how was Özil, rusty? And Alexis in first half?


  137. steve says:

    Pmsl!!! Ha ha ha ha that was hilarious!

    So that’s why he’s been buying up so many attacking midfielders Arsene has given up on tactics of any kind and just gone fuck it – six midfielders and a back four lmao!!

    Campbell and Giroud left on the bench??? Against that Everton defense wtf???

    I’m not going to bother having a go at any player because hell they did their best with such a ridiculous tactical nightmare.

    Ozil, Jack, Ramsey, OX, Sanchez, Flamini

    Don’t you think lining up with all those ball playing midfielders may leave you just playing passy passy around the penalty area just asking for a counter attacking break the entire 90 minutes Arsene??
    No no no it will be fine. pmsl!! – God it’s tough being an Arsenal supporter sometimes lol

    Everton tactics; everyone back behind the ball leaving two up top and play for the break – job done!
    It shouldn’t be that easy to tactically overcome us Arsene!! For fuck sake!

    Anyway even with all the odds stacked against us (thanks Arsene) the lads did us proud and we came away with a better result than last year so COYG!

    Ozil on the wing pmsl – sorry but what a tactical brain fart is that!

  138. TotalArsenal says:

    Have aSafe flight, Alcide and looking fwd to you blogging more with us.

  139. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Cocker 🙂

    You watch that game and do us a match report. 🙂

  140. AFC says:


    Arsene probably thinks you can never have enough AMs. He even plays them at DM, on the wings and even up front sometimes yet. That’s like a manager playing DMs as AMs and wingers lol. I thought Campbell was perfect for that game up front but Wenger didn’t go for it. I really don’t get why Campbell must come off the bench but Sanogo starts. Campbell has shown that he can play at a high level, hold the ball up, run the channels and score goals.

  141. Gino92 says:

    What a lucky escape this was! Although Giroud’s introduction changed the game in our favor, he still missed a few great chances to score before finally getting one in. Kudos to him for not giving up but he badly needs to improve his finishing otherwise it will be a very long and stressful season for all of us. Still don’t understand why Wenger withdrew Sanchez at halftime. It’s got to be for some sort of injury. There is no way Wenger will make a substitution at halftime even if we were down 10-nil. I just hope it is nothing too serious with Alexis. Two weeks into the season and we are dropping like flies. We need better luck with injuries this season. Sanchez worked so hard both offensively and defensively in the first half. There were a few instance when he was pressing Everton’s defense (Barca style) all by himself and the rest of his fucking teammates just stood by so far behind and watched!!! At one point he was waving at the midfielders to come and join him but they barely moved. I am sure he got frustrated and stopped pressing hard. Arsene Wenger must change this mentality that our players have. We can’t just let only only player doing the pressing up front. Our midfielders have to close the gap a little bit and do a better job cutting off passing lanes, or the pressing by the striker will be nothing but wasted energy.
    All in all, great fight back. Flamini got his usual yellow card, Rambo got his goal, Ozil and Mertesacker got some time, the Ref was shite as usual but we got a fair result. A lot of improvement still to come.
    Please Arsene, sign a CB, a SQ or Q DM, and Marco Reus this week. Reus would dramatically improve our attack with his pace, technique, vision, and most of all intelligence.

  142. Gerry says:

    Yes, pity about the way they lined up though? Mind I wanted Campbell and not JW.

    That should have given us width. Ozil will only be as good as the players moving around him, and get on the same wavelength. That will come, I hope.

  143. Gerry says:

    I thought I would add to the hits by saying we managed 6th in the top ten ‘most read’ sites on NewsNow today.
    It was the title that did it!

  144. TotalArsenal says:

    Gino, you just don’t get Giroud. He had a great 2nd half and was the main reason we won the half two nil. I’d say a bit of respect is in place, matey.

  145. AFC says:

    Gino, I said exactly the same thing about Sanchez and the pressing thing in one of my earlier comments.

    Cesc did say:

    “I’ve learned a lot tactically, personally,”

    “I know my position on the pitch a lot more. Before I was free to do whatever on the pitch at Arsenal, and I wasn’t tactically good.”

    “I was playing wherever I wanted, up and down. Here I have to work much more for the team, individually, and think about the team tactically.”

    Perhaps something for Arsene to work on?

  146. The Cockie Monster says:

    Come off it Totes !…..I already did a pre-match with my first sentence in my comment at 16:36 !. …..and the rest of the comment sounded more entertaining than the first half !. hahaha

  147. Highbury Harmony says:

    Great write-up Gerry and outstanding call for the line-up – almost all correct!

    I think Campbell should have been subbed in a bit earlier, as Ox really started to fade in the 2nd half. Why Wilshere wasn’t subbed out sooner is beyond me and he has looked rubbish in all three games so far. Play Ozil centrally and let Ox and Sanchez run down the wings so he can feed the ball to them. Ozil looked awful out wide and he probably wasn’t match fit yet either (same with Per).

    Giroud scored today, but 1 in 5, where 3 were pretty quality opportunities is not good enough. We could have won that game had he scored either the volley or the 1 on 1 with Howard. Still happy he scored but we need much better from him if we’re to have a chance.

    Glaring weakness is still our defensive coverage. We can’t afford to have Koscielny out and Monreal lacks the pace and awareness right now, but unfortunately we have no other options. Everything looks a mess right now, including Szczesny, but it’s nice to pull out the draw under those circumstances.

  148. Highbury Harmony says:

    How have we not figured how to defend set pieces by now?

  149. AFC says:

    That was Cesc (someone who played for us and took part in our training sessions) talking about the difference between Arsenal and Barca.

  150. AFC says:

    Gerry, I forgot to thank you for you pre-match. I didn’t have time to comment earlier but I did read it. A very well thought out post. 🙂

  151. TotalArsenal says:

    The title was easy after such a fine write up, Gerry. 🙂

  152. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, OG gives us better shape and provides us with a target, but he is still far too wasteful. If he could improve his finishing, we’d be fine but we’ll still need another striker. I like Alexis on the wing more so he can have more control of the ball and be more sneaky in his movements. Whatever it may be, i.e. a direct replacement or another striker for depth, something has to give. I think there’s also something broken with our system, because with the players we have, we shouldn’t struggle so much to create chances or defend set pieces by now.

    Granted Everton is a physical, steady side, but with Ozil, Ramsey, Wilshere, Ox and Sanchez, you expect more to happen. I get that it’ll take time for them to all get match fit and gel together, but we constantly ran out of ideas today and tried to force goals in one way.

  153. The Cockie Monster says:

    You probably haven`t noticed, but I do jest a lot in my comments, but this one is very serious indeed !………you seem a level headed person Totes and not someone to be affected by rose tintitis !……we will win fcuk all if Wenger doesn`t add some serious SQ additions and I`m sure you and everyone else on here knows that deep down ……….well apart from the deluded Stretch !. hahaha

  154. AFC says:

    HH, your first sentence sums up Giroud in a nutshell in my pinion. When Walcott comes back Sanchez will most likely switch to the LW? The problem is up front. Sanogo needs to go on loan, he is so far behind other (top young) STs his age in my opinion and Campbell doesn’t even seem to get a look in.

  155. AFC says:

    The worrying thing is Flamini seems to think we have learnt from last year where we really didn’t.

  156. Gerry says:

    Alcide – The French league is looking interesting when you get back.
    Monaco are looking woeful without ‘Hamez’. Falcao does not look like he was pre-injury.
    PSG have Ibra out injured, and it might mean they will not sell Cavani?
    St.Ettienne have had a great start, and Bordeaux were devastating against Monaco and TOTT!
    Fun stuff.

    Oh! You asked about our players? Ozil was okay, but it was not until late did space open up for his slick passing. Did the full game though. Per was struggling towards the end. Alexis was trying hard, but had little impact up front, other than putting in a lot of effort. Chambers had another good game overall, but is still capable of making mistakes in dangerous areas. Got booked. Flamini too, but until late on. Debuchy has got great energy the whole 90. Monreal looked vulnerable when Everton were fresh, but came good at the end.
    Basically, we need to make 5 substitutions per game and we would be fine 😀

    I can understand the selections, but AW seemed to want the players to find a way to make it work, rather than a tactical strategy? It was a hard earned draw in a game where we could have lost, but for them not being fully up to speed either.

    Enjoy your homeward journey …

  157. AFC says:

    I think Wenger has said Giroud has stretched his ankle and could be injured. 😦

  158. Gerry says:

    Thanks AFC – I am a thinking person 😀

    TA – You are too kind. It is the title that draws people in …

  159. Gerry says:

    HH – Welbeck?

    It’s funny, many moons ago I said Welbeck was the only Man U player I would have taken. I am not sure where he would fit in now though?

  160. TotalArsenal says:

    HH, in our system OG is essential. Try and play Pod in his position, who takes a lot more chances, but we would not have had them in the first place.

    It frustrates me how very few get this. This was the perfect game for illustrating how important OG is in the current system.

  161. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, I’m not saying a striker like OG isn’t essential, you’ve got it all wrong. I’m saying his finishing needs to be better and 1 in 5 is simply not good enough if we’re to mount a title challenge.

    The top clubs have top strikers that convert chances with few opportunities. We need to keep OG AND add another striker. If we can find one better than him that still gives us shape then that’s ideal. If not, we still need reinforcements there.

  162. TotalArsenal says:

    Cockie a good DM and back up CB is all we need. We are bursting with quality but just need to get the balance right.

  163. Highbury Harmony says:

    He wasted far too many clear cut chances today, but that is a microcosm of his game in general.

  164. Highbury Harmony says:

    His finishing in general*

  165. alcide says:

    Thanks TA! Yes it looks like there’s a lot to happen on he French league. No chance that Cavani will be let go in my opinion, Ibra injured or not, unless replaced by another top read expensive) quality player.

  166. AFC says:

    Alcide, especially now PSG are no longer in for Di Maria because of FFP and the fact that he is too expensive.

  167. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC are you certain on OG stretching his ankle? Was it on that last play when he blocked the shot?

  168. TotalArsenal says:

    HH, yes if we can find a striker who can do all the stuff OG does but also has a better conversion rate, I would love it. But there are very few who are like that, and none available. Cavani, for example, is too light at holding up, and Falcao would not put the work rate in and his body on the line like OG does. Let’s stay calm and work with OG as holding striker and Theo and Alexis on the wings, with Ozil, Jack, Ramsey, Ox, Campbell and many others to feed all three. Let’s beat the Turks on Wednesday and then Leicester next weekend… Step by step. 🙂

  169. AFC says:

    HH, I think it was after the challenge on Distin where he was limping afterwards.

    Wenger said Giroud may have damaged his ankle.“It’s a stretched ankle,” he said on Sky Sports. “At the moment it doesn’t look too good.”

  170. Gino92 says:

    I did say that Giroud’s introduction changed the game in our favor and I did praise him for not giving up, mate 🙂 Yes, he did much better today than in our previous games, but he still missed a few great chances that a great striker would have converted. That’s what annoys me about Giroud. He seems to require a plethora of GREAT chances (not HALF chances) before finally putting one away. Again better teams, if we are losing and not playing well, we simply CAN’T afford those missed chances. If I were to honestly analyze the 3 games (2 PL and 1 UCL) that we have played so far this season, I would say that as a Striker entering his prime, Giroud should have had a least 5 goals and counting. All I am saying is, if Wenger wants to rely on Giroud this season and not buy an SQ Striker (which I doubt he will), then our handsome Frenchman must improve his finishing given the amount of chances he is given. That oh-so-glorious over the top flick from Ramsey the other day against Besiktas to put Giroud through one on one against the keeper which he screwed up still pisses me off when I think about it.
    But yes TA, he did better today when he came on and he deserved a bit of respect. However, let’s not put him on a pedestal just yet even if he rescued us a point at Everton. I want him to prove me and a lot others wrong by putting away the easily convertible chances that he gets. The rest will take care of itself.

  171. TotalArsenal says:

    He won’t do that Gino, and that is not what Wenger is expecting of him. We don’t want another van judas who scores more but makes us one dimensional. Goals will come from OG, theo, pod, Alexis, Santi, Rambo and OG and Sanogo will play a very important role in accomodating this. That’s the essence.

  172. TotalArsenal says:

    I agree that OG had a poor game in Istanbul and he frustrates me as well at times. But he will get better the more he plays, and he is vital for us this season.

  173. The Cockie Monster says:

    I should use this as tomorrows….Doom of the Day, but I cant I cant wait to doom as you all know !. hahaha
    On Sky Sports that Di Maria is in advanced talks to go to Manshafter Std for £56M !, that will take the team who are not in the CL net spending so far to £120M !…..a club with ambition and balls and weak Arsene is as smug as ever in spending a net £14M ( courtesy of Kelsey ) waiting to see how many more injuries we can pick up and whether we can qualify for the CL before he gets a boner in probably acquiring a 30+ injured player in on loan !.
    Look at the sums boys, that’s £106M more than us and Gazidis looked so smug when addressing the fans saying we can compete with anyone with our new wealth !.
    Self sustainability and managing your weekly bills with the wolf at the door is for normal working class to poor people on the breadline !. A club worth around a billion pounds should be speculating to accumulating trophies not stashing it under a mattress !. Just over a week to confirm our legendry joke status amongst the club bigger than us !.
    Right off to think of some more Dooming !………shouldn`t be hard as Wenger does hand it on a plate !. hahaha

  174. Gino92 says:


    I think I understand most of what you are trying to say but I don’t understand what you mean by “he won’t do that”. Why can’t Giroud tuck away those easy chances that he gets on the silver platter almost every game??? What is preventing him from doing so? Isn’t the whole point of the game to outscore your opponent and take all 3 points? I am sure Wenger is not telling him to miscue those precious opportunities…! Half the battle is recognizing that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. The other half is doing something about. Wenger cannot teach Giroud how to run properly or make him pacier. But he can coach him on his finishing, then it is up to Giroud to be willing to put in the work to improve and score more goals. As the main Arsenal Striker, I am sure Giroud would be more than thrilled to score 20-30 goals this season in the PL. Yes, he already does so much for our attack and that is fantastic. Just imagine how we would fare if he can slightly (if not drastically) improve his chances conversion rate. I completely agreed that it is too early in the season and hopefully, he will get better as he plays more and more. It is just that we have all seen this “episode” far too many times in the past two seasons. That is my chief concern, that he is not working on improving his finishing which is something every good or decent enough Striker should aspire to. Let’s hope for the best though…

    Good nite TA!

  175. Jay says:

    Fair point TCM. Personally, I think the boys need to strengthen their team spirit because it sure isn’t showing on the pitch. However, more to the point Wenger should pull his pockets out and get us a world class DM and striker. That should be a huge consideration. A decent backup CB is also needed. Only then can we really contend on all cylinders for titles. Otherwise we’re gonna have to put up with not grabbing the game by the scruff due to lack of power and size in midfield and the striker situation speaks for itself – a lot less clinical infront of goal. Honestly, I think Balotelli would have made a great target man for games like these. But obviously his reputation has a lot to answer for.

  176. TotalArsenal says:

    Gino, you argue your case well. 🙂

    Do you really believe Giroud is not constantly practicing to improve further? I reckon he will reach about 22 PL goals this season, but his total value will be judged on a lot more than that. However, he is not playing with the luxury of being solely there to focus on finishing off chances, and I agree with many there are better classic CFs out there than Giroud, if that is what we want.

    But the current Wengerball is based around a holding striker and five attacking midfielders,and as today’s first half showed, without OG/Sanogo we look aimless and ineffective.

  177. TotalArsenal says:

    Cockie, your sums do not add up. We spend £65m and got back £15….

  178. Shrillex says:

    Well TA, I think Ollie proved all of us wrong today. He gives us stability and a platform to build our attacks on. His introduction gave us an attacking shape an a target to hit. Alexis, as I said before, should not play as a striker.

    Anyways, last night was a terrifying match to watch. For me, the turning point in the match came around the 78th minute mark, when Per was moved into midfield as a DM while Flamini dropped to CB. It was a tactical masterstroke from AW. I was saying at half time that we needed a change of tactics and, credit to AW, it came and worked to perfection. Per’s presence gave us the physical presence that I’ve been longing for in midfield. Per cleared up anything before it reached Flamini and Flamini just cleaned up the rest.

    Ozil and Jack were disappointing though. Ozil looked uninterested and looked rusty as expected. He was not threatening on the left and I’m pretty surprised he played the whole match. Even before Ramsey scored, look at how he just gives the ball to Santi looking uninterested and lethargic. Then Santi worked his magic and we went from there. If this is how he is planning to repay AW’s faith towards him, I’m disappointed

    Jack was overrun in midfield and should look up to Gareth Barry for guidance. Joel Campbell came on and he at least looked interested and motivated and he passed the ball with real intention.

    For the defence, I was really impressed with Debuchy. He was the most consistent performer for the full 90 min. Calum looked shaky but was really solid, we can certainly expect more from the 19 year old. Nacho was outmuscled and not helped by Ozil. Per looked like he was doing too much by covering for Calum and Nacho.

    Looking back on this game, Ox should start ahead of Jack in midfield and Campbell should be given a chance to shine. Ozil should be started as a no.10 or not playing at all. Santi shone when he came on and played as our no.10, and IMO, should play there more often, same goes for Ozil.

  179. Gerry says:

    Morning all. I am going add my two penn’orth before the match report comes out.

    Gino – TA is quite right to point out that Giroud spends time working on things.
    You have to remember he is not your typical footballer coming through the ranks learning from players since the age of 10. He was 22 before he gained a first team place in Lique 1, as he stayed on at Uni to get his degree. In his only his second season(?) he scored 29 goals, and only one with his head. He also had a second striker in that season. Loic Remy I think? He moves to the Arsenal, and again had an okay first season, 12 or 15 goals ( I am doing this off the top of my head, so allow for errors), but came good with his numbers in the 20’s, mostly while Walcott and Ramsey were fit last season
    This season he said ‘I know my weaknesses, I need to headed more goals’
    Voila! His first goal of this campaign was not just a header, but a really great one. This on the back of a truly dreadful game in the CL. He is an intelligent guy and will be working on his technique. But for strikers, confidence is a major factor. Last Tuesday was hardly a boost for him? We are in early season, 2nd game in and you want him to hit the form he had when everyone was on fire last season. I will be amazed if he is not our top scorer once more, if for no other factor than the number of games he will play? But mostly for the better support around him?

    The injury he got at the end yesterday looked to me like he got caught with the follow through boot, when the guy had taken a big swing at the ball. It just nicked his shin, which is what he was holding, not around the ankle, although that could have got jarred?

    I should also explain that bit about ‘Wienger getting his message across’ in my earlier comment.
    That was not directed at the players, but at the board. He tried a team, which we will call ‘Plan B’. One without Giro. It did not work because he did not employ Campbell, well partly at least?
    I think he is trying to say,
    ‘Not only do I need X player who will cost a bit, and this X player who is expensive. But to really compete, I can also get this X player, but he will cost a lot too. I don’t want to lose Campbell until he has had a chance to prove himself. If we are to lose a player, then Podolski would be one, despite the fact he could be useful in some games. I do not want to lose these players, but, if we are to challenge on all fronts the three players I put before you are essential!, If you ask me to look for cheaper alternatives, we may still struggle?’

    That is the funding battle going on behind the scenes. If they miss out, it will be because IG left it too late in trying to squeeze out the best deal, or that the pair of them could not put enough pressure on the those who release funds, and this probably means dipping into the ‘special reserve fund’ that covers early exit from all competitions?

    I do not believe for one minute that AW does not know where the team are in need of improvement, or the players he would like to bring in. But in a well run club, a balance has to be struck, and a lot of it is about timing and good value.
    Balotelli is a good example, if we were ever really after him? Available for a ‘rumoured’ fee of £20m, which jumped to a greedy £34m, and people were still urging us to buy him. By waiting, his price collapsed to the reported £16m, could have still be available even now whilst he haggles over the ‘good behaviour’ clause? Sammy K is another. Have we really signed him on a half price deal? Or will someone else nip in? Is he the real target? Rabiot might be a cheaper alternative? Who knows what the outcome will be?
    Bigger question, are those the players that Arsene thinks we need???

  180. The Cockie Monster says:

    It`s not my sums Totes McBastard, if you took the time to read my comments, it`s master Obi Wan Kelsey`s sums !.
    £15M for Verm
    £2.5M for Djourou
    ?M Eisfeld
    and an extreme amount for not exercising our buy back rights for Cesc and Vela !.
    The Dutch Elm disease must be extremely painful, but please try and concentrate !. hahaha
    Anyway, my last Doom was really about how it doesn`t effect a club as big as Manshafter Std buying players when they are not even in the Europa League let alone the CL.
    A big club with big thinking Vs a big club with small thinking !. I`m afraid that will always be the case with our current manager and board, he has just over a week to prove us/me wrong !.
    Mean while…shock horror, the injuries are starting to increase….Giroud has a dodgy ankle !.

  181. Ra says:

    Giroud is getting too much adoration I think. He ia CF who misssed 3/4 good chances and scored the 4th/5th and people are acting like that’s good enough. Yes he gives us structure but he also is very capable of collapsing all our moves ala Besiktas. And I do not blame/hate Giroud for this, he is not a WC striker and he is liable for the odd shocking game more often than for example Suarez is and other genuinely WC striker.
    Someone said online yesterday that we should not blame Giroud for Wenger’s incompetence to replace RvP after 7 windows. Wenger is where the buck stops. Giroud works hard and tirelessly for the team but Arsenal Football Club deserve (and need) a better, if not WC, striker.

    It needs to stop. This changing our system and leaving out better players to accomodate Jack nonsense needs to stop immediately. He is not good enough to start (YET) and Wenger should stop forcing him into starting XI.

    In the few minutes he was on and v Benfica he has to my mind offered more than Jack who has played a lot. His passing has a purpose and he tracks back and given the chance he will add that extra dimension to our wing play, which is poor due to Arsene’s insistence on play AMs out wide.

    Wenger having to play Per in midfield, though it worked a charm yesterday and it was quite astute of him to do it, is absolute nonsene! We clearly need a CDM, its so glaringly obvious and quite frankly its shocking that we have reached the last week of the window without adressing our two glaring weaknesses from last season: DM and CF. (Injuries to Arteta and possibly Giroud should not be what it takes for us to address an issuue that’s a problem even when they are fully fit)
    That said, I for some reason have faith it will be fixed this week. Here’s hoping we trounce Besiktas.

  182. The Cockie Monster says:

    Ra…the God of sun and radiance !…..make Wenger see the light !. hahaha
    Just watched MOTD and although a bare pork scratching`s of the whole game, it was like watching the key stone cops for the first goal, it doesn`t matter that it was offside, it stood, I wonder whether Koz would have made such farcical errors as Per Bambi on ice did in that game !.
    Although I get depressed at any result other than a win, realistically, that I would have settled for a point before it started, plenty of the big boys could come unstuck there them ( Everton ) having a manager who knows how treat every team differently tactically, unlike Arsene who is limited in this capacity !. A good result non the less !.

  183. H Bo says:

    Well said Ra 9:25 agree totally Jack & Giro as for about 12 comments from various we do need a SQ striker no doubt about it I get Wenger wants a striker to bring his adbundance of midfield talent into the game but Mandzukic went to Athletico he would of be a reasonably price SQ buy and due to age would not stifle Sanogo too much.
    The boss always says 20 big clubs world wide buying players only so much SQ but everyone else seems to get them what about El sharaway he’s young frustrated at Milan can play wide or up top, I love arsenal FC and support all our players but have tbh about their quality and I’m just sick off excuses and him expecting to always find the diamond in the rough.

  184. Gerry says:

    I see the debate is continuing? For those that read the link I put up on the previous post, on ‘Easier to defend than attack’, you will know that the average conversion rate for shots on target is around 15%. Therefore Giroud’s conversion rate of 20% is sound? Yes, Messi gets an unbelievable 34%, but he is the exception. Now before you on about these being guilt edged chances, you have to balance that against ones he gets that he has less than a 50% chance of getting it on target?
    By all means get frustrated at misses. I bet Besiktas’s fans are well sick at Ba’s miss on Tuesday? But don’t go overboard on his whole game input. TA is right , the clear cut chances he might get, might not arise with some else there?
    I repeat, it is only 3 games into this season, and already you are piling into players. He came back from the WC without out the pleasant feeling that the winner’s got. That might take more getting over, who knows? If his second half display was not an improvement on his previous game, which we know and he knows was crap, I could understand this anger. He, like Ozil and Mert, are still feeling their way back to their best form. Give them some credit?

  185. AFC says:

    Gerry, but shots to conversion rate can be misleading. Remember when I found out Suarez’s shot to conversion rate was around 7.5-12%. That was because he was shooting from unlikely angles and positions a lot of the time whilst scoring the easier chancers and had around 130 something shots at goal. Doesn’t Giroud miss a lot of the easier chances which STs should actually score and take a lot less shots than someone like Suarez?

  186. Gerry says:

    AFC – Yes, it is true that stats can be misleading. But at the same time, someone is like Saurez is/was going to be fed half chances in every game? Giroud, as TA keeps pointing out, is out there doing the holding role, and we, as a team spread our goals across a range of players because of that. Compare like with like would make for a more accurate assessment? Giroud’s 16 league goal from 36 games sounds okay, but if you think back, the latter part of the season he was pretty shot from the physical effort that took?

    Anyway, I have another question. When was this tactical masterstroke of of putting BFG as our DM supposed to have occurred? I have just watched the 2nd half again, and to my eyes he was always a CB? When they brought on the Chelsea loanee, I think Flamini was needed to keep an eye on him, in case he got past Mert. On one occasion, Flamini did appear in the back line. But the rest is fancilful nonsense. Per often brings the ball out of defence, and I saw no difference there. When we were pressing, he did take a high position inside the Everton half. This was partly because he could do his solid forward passes from there, in the knowledge that Chambers had both the pace and awareness to cut out any breakout that they may have got from their ‘fresh legs’ subs? But to be honest, they looked pretty shot by that time, and were more keen to hang on to the 2-1 lead than go for a 3rd goal?

    Anybody else see something I missed on second viewing?

  187. AFC says:


    yes it isn’t fair to compare Giroud to Saurez for a number of reasons but this was just to show you that such a stat can be misleading.

    Now I know that you was looking at the shots on target to goal ratio but that is even more misleading (?) as it doesn’t take into account the shots that aren’t on target. Saurez played in a different system to Giroud (Suarez often played on a ‘2’ up front with Sturridge), we can’t distinguish the difference between how good the service Suarez received was and how good the service Giroud recieved (although you would assume that the service Giroud received was better as we had the better playmakers and assisters in our team ?), chances created for each player and how many of those chances were clear cut, the positions and angles from where the shots were taken from, how difficult they were etc, I could go on but won’t. 

    So it is better and much easier to just look at goals scored in relation to minutes (obviously the two players would have to have started around a similar amount of matches and had a similar amount of sub appearances, played in a similar formation or system and be a similar type of player)?

    I would be happy to compare Girouds stats to another ST similar to Giroud in the ways mentioned above (even though they will only give us a very vague idea of which ST exceeds the other). Ba would have been a good ST to compare Giroud with but he didn’t start no where enough games for Chelsea and hasn’t played enough minutes to even be compared to Giroud?

    You probably knew everything I just explained so I am not sure why I just wasted my time explaining it all. 😀

    I also didn’t see Mertesacker move to the DM position either. Maybe I also missed it?

  188. AFC says:

    Gerry, also I know the goals are spread out across the team but that doesn’t excuse him missing chances which you would expect any decent ST to score? He is improving as you say but has he already hit his peak? He is of that age so I can’t see Giroud improving massively especially when you take into account that opposition players will know Giroud a lot better now when they play against him having played against him before.

  189. Genovese says:

    I’m 50/50 with Giroud. I’ll say he’s good at link-up play, getting on the end of crosses and tap-ins within the penalty box. But other than that? He really needs to work on his composure infront of goal, his placement, power and his overall technique because he just isn’t clinical enough. Especially in 1v1 and counter-attacking situations, that’s when he fluffs his chances. Players like Ozil, Walcott, Sanchez and Ramsey thrive in those situations so Giroud needs to up his game if he wants to benefit the entire team. Honestly, I’m sick of seeing Giroud’s reactions after he flops an absolute golden chance. The head tilting, the facepalming, the flabbergasted expressions. Just stop, please. Statistics and comparisons aside, Giroud just needs to put his head down and adapt quickly because I’d much rather see us have a striker who can find the back of the net.

    If you don’t believe me? Watch Giroud against Newcastle last season. Two shots at goal with only the goalie to beat and he lazily hits it straight at the goalie. God give me strength.

  190. Retsub says:

    Giroud was a bit of a hero yesterday, but it seems tp be bash Giroud day. A little unfair I think , he does exactly what it says on his box and normally does it pretty well. Ok he misses some chances, but he is normally in the right place. Without his presence Rambo wouldn’t have scored against Palace and we wouldn’t have picked up a point yesterday. Yes he was rusty in Istanbul, but so were so many others. Let’s give him some support for a job well done before getting on his back

  191. Shrillex says:

    Gerry, Per DID move to DM. My friend who was there took a video and it showed that Per stayed in midfield for longer periods of time than Flamini during the last 10 minutes.

    Well said Retsub!

  192. TotalArsenal says:

    Spot on Retsub, thanks for that….

    New Post New Post 🙂

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