Giroud the ‘Holding Striker’ was, is and will be ‘Plan A’.


Everton – Arsenal Afterthoughts

Never was the cliché of ‘a game of two halves’ more appropriate: 45 minutes with Alexis up top and 45 minutes with Ollie up top made a world of difference. In principle, we all like the idea of three ‘free to move’ attackers up top, who terrorize the opponent and bang in goals for fun. But this is not something we just do by lining up very good players: and Mesut, Alexis and Alex are three very fine attackers indeed. It takes time and practice: players have to get used to each other, understand each other weaknesses and strengths and develop an automatic, telepathic understanding with each other.

The first half was very hard on the eye. Our midfield worked well and we had a lot of the attacking play, but as soon as we got near the box it was total mayhem. There was plenty of movement and energy levels were high, but many passes went astray – especially in front and behind the opponent’s ‘D’. We looked clueless and, most importantly, shapeless and like our attackers were put together up-front for the first time.

Of course, it did not help that we conceded a poor goal from a set-piece and that bad refereeing allowed the second one to stand. Just as against CP, when we also did not score in the first part of the first half after a dominant phase of the game, we conceded unnecessary as a result of bad defending of a set piece. There is work to be done there, but as the BFG is back now I am sure we will get on top this gradually.

I was actually quite shocked to see Wenger starting without OG up-top. I reckon he did this to save him for the most important game of the season so far – our second CL game on Wednesday (and not to ‘punish’ him for a bad performance in Istanbul).

I have tried to explain to fellow bloggers on BK why Giroud is so important to Wenger’s Arsenal on a number of occasions over the last few years. Ever since Chamakh was bought, Arsene has been meaning to have a ‘holding striker’, for lack of a better word, who enables midfielders and ‘wing players’ to get involved in our attacking efforts: this is vital to his next ‘Wengerball’ team. OG’s three top performance objectives are: level of effectiveness in holding on to the ball and cooperating with fellow midfielders and attackers, setting up attacks and assists, AND score goals – and in that order of importance. Most fellow Gooners judge OG’s performances in the reverse order… and that is where you are getting it wrong in my humble opinion, and why I understand, to some extent, your frustrations.

When Van Judas was injured for the first half of the season a few seasons ago, Chamakh played the holding striker role and we banged in 2.3 goals per game. In the second part of that season, and the subsequent season too, we managed about 1.9 goals per game, even though the traitorous ‘I will Always Be a Gunner’ grey-haired one was in the form of his life. We became dependent on him and all our attacking play was aimed at him: he delivered but as a team we were not scoring enough. Yet, under Chamakh’s attacking guidance, the team did very well, albeit with super midfielders in the team, like Cesc and Nasri, who knew how to put them away all right. And there is a hint for you all. 😉

Chamakh did not score enough himself and he could not deal with the criticism very well, so on comes Giroud from Montpellier. Giroud was an improvement of Chamakh, as he could play the holding attacker role really well, whilst also scoring more goals in the process.

It was amazing to see how much criticism was labelled at OG, and how little was aimed at the underperforming midfielders yesterday. Ox lacked composure and missed an easier chance than OG, Ozil was rustier than the Titanic, Ramsey’s boat was not floating and Jack is still missing the final sharpness. Yet, very few, to my despair, picked up how much OG changed the game for us once he came on. We had shape and focus again, there was directness to our play and OG was in the middle of much of it. Yes he missed a decent chance after being thirty seconds on the pitch…. unforgiveable! 🙂

Everton were very well set up though, and their double DM pivot made it really hard for us. But it was The Gunners and not the Toffees who travelled and played in Istanbul just four days ago, and who still had the endurance and energy to push on for the full 90+ minutes, and somehow overcome a 2-0 deficit – for the first time in three seasons apparently – and win not just an important point, but a lot of team spirit and belief in the process too. The latter is absolutely vital for a side with trophy winning amibitions!

I am convinced that if we had started with OG, and Alexis and Mesut (or Alex instead of Mesut) ‘on the wings’, we would have beaten the Toffees yesterday. With Sanogo still injured though, and OG in need of resting for the Besiktas cruncher, Wenger had not much choice but to try Alexis up-front. It did not work out, and he was right, however unusual, to revert back to plan A straight from the start of the second half.

OG’s reintroduction made all the difference: not because he is the prolific striker so many are longing for – far from it; it is because he gives shape to this team’s attack more than anybody else and he is vital in Wenger’s plans – for 2014-2015 at least.

Wenger knows he has a lot of work to do to get the other four attack minded positions effectively populated and to get the best use of a plethora of high quality midfielders and attackers. We still have two important games to come: Besitkas at home and Leicester away. It will take time to find our form again, but with the team spirit on display in recent games, I am positive we can get the needed results. And if we do beat both, we can look back at a very successful mini-start to the season, however unattractive and messy our football has looked at times.

Bread and butter first, the bacon and marmalade will follow soon. 🙂

Written by: TotalArsenal.

447 thoughts on “Giroud the ‘Holding Striker’ was, is and will be ‘Plan A’.

  • Hi TA. I for one DID notice how poorly our midfield played yesterday though I couldn’t really complain since Wenger just about used my suggested formation 😦 (minus Campbell and Rosicky). Ramsey has been brilliant for us for a long time but yesterday I got really frustrated by some of his passes. It was like he wasn’t sure who to aim for. I think he might be a bit tired having played so much so early in the season. If I had been the coach (and thankfully I’m not!) I probably would’ve subbed him and Wilshere early in the seco d half. Credit to him, he’s now that player who can pull something out of nowhere n even when his form slips we’re almkst certainly better off with him on the pitch than off it.
    I think anyone who doesn’t have a personal vendetta against Giroud will acknowledge the difference he made yesterday. He certainly does give the team focus and if this is how they play with him I say start him every week! 🙂 You commented on my formationtbat you didn’t want Alexis up top. I can only say you were proven right!
    Still would’ve liked to see Rosicky yesterday but all’s wel that ends well 😉


  • Giroud did very well but just through the very nature of his play which you describe brilliantly TA i cannot see why we couldn’t have another striker up with him, i think that would give his “holding” “link up” striker play a much more dangerous dimension.
    Maybe we could swap one of the thousands of midfielders we play with for an extra striker?
    Mind you for that to happen we would need an out and out defensive midfielder which will probably never materialise at Arsenal.
    Good write up though TA, you actually made quite a depressing game sound uplifting – nicely done 🙂

  • Gh Gunner 🙂

    I am a super fan of Alexis and see in him a bit of Bergkamp back. I would love to see him in the hole but also on left wing, but as a CF in our current system, I reckon he will struggle quite a bit. Agreed re Rosicky. Simply fantastic player and he would have done a better job than Mesut yesterday. But the German needs match practice, so I understand Wenger’s thinking.

  • Steve 🙂

    Good points. I reckon once Theo and Sanchez play next to OG on the wings we will have superb fire power. And Pod and Campbell, Ox and Santi can add to that. I really do not see our attack as a problem, but agree with that we need to strengthen our defensive midfield….. Maybe Callum is that player….but we need back up in defence then, or just get a SQ DM…. A few days to go. 🙂

  • Thought of the Day !.
    Why are the bunch of cunts from N17 not sponsored by Tampax ?. The Tampax Stadium…`s full of cunts !.

    Thanks Totes. I have never to my unsafe mind slated Giroud !. I still think he is a worthy super-sub, but is also an effective weapon for starting games against certain teams and this is where Wenger either has it or not ( not imo ) !…….different teams and tactics depending who the opposition are !. So lets look at our last couple of years results against Manshafter Std, Mansour City and Chavs…..not a sausage !, you cant play the same team and tactics every time, different horses for different courses !…..completely Wengers fault for no sausages !.
    You are also right, that you cant thrust in a load of SQ players into a game without practice and getting to know each other and expect them to hit it off straight away, it`s like me and my Lesbanian harem, when I get a few ( 5 or 6 ) new SQ bitches in, we have to practice for hours until I go blind, it`s all about hard work hours day after day !. With so many skilful players, if we ever want to play a “false 9 “, then it`s going to need hours of practice , same as my girls, when I`m not about they have practice for hours with a false 9 inches !. You can see the similarities between my management thinking style with my Lesbanians and football management, this is why I should be Arsenals next manager !. hahaha
    As I said before, I only see ten minutes of highlights, but from that I thought Giroud was the difference and got my ten minute MotM award and down here in Cornwall we don’t give awards away to easily, hahaha so well done Olly and I thought his first volley was decent, at least he tried with attempts at goal !.

    Van Gaal In !.

  • Top quality TA, I only wish it was compulsory reading for ALL Gooners the world over. The OTT criticism Big Ollie gets (almost non stop?) is just ridiculous

  • Oh a big hello to you TA. Frankly (!) I’ve been real shit at even pooping in occasionally, but it’s good to see your blog is now very well established and in good health.

    I remember when you drifted off to start it….seems ages ago now

  • howdy TTL….for once yesterday when giroud touched the ball the irascibility in me never materialised.he had that hunger in him,u could see he came on with one purpose and that is to score and prove he was the focal point of our attacks.distin and jagielka suddenly got a problem in their hands.
    They couldn’t handle rambo and giroud at the same time.
    The wilshere rambo patnership is still in an early stage,manifested in the 1st minutes where we were overan in midfield.we couldn’t string two passes or I don’t is it because we weren’t settled.
    We really need a napoliesque performance on wednesday to disparch the turks.

  • TA.. I agree with you about Giroud.. He is good specially when he came on secondhalf.. hehehe..

    Yesterday Wenger play un-wenger style..
    His experiment with Sanchez was fail..but maybe its because not enough support from winger and midfielder.. I think Sanchez did an okay job lastnight..
    Maybe next game.. Wenger must try him ad a LW..I think it will work great.. hahaha..

    I never rate Wilshere.. If I have to choose between Ox.. Rosicky.. Ramsey.. Cazorla.. Ozil or even Arteta.. I will choose the other guys but Wilshere.. hehehe..

    Some players are born to be supersubs.. and Ox is one of them.. I never see him played a good game as starter.. and maybe Giroud also.. hehehe..
    Everytime I see Ox as a starter.. he tend tobe more selfish..
    and try to be Ramsey.. hehehe.. but not if he play as a subs.. I just don’t know why.. hahaha..

    And hey.. Spurs lead the PL.. they seem much stronger with new manager.. I wish Spurs be on top three.. because if they do so.. that’s mean we are on top twoo.. cause we always one step ahead.. hehehe..

  • Nice post Totes. I admire your loyalty and enthusiasm towards Giroud. It’s commendable.

    I have been one of Giroud’s biggest critics, not having faith in his abilities as a SQ ST. I stand by my opinion that he will never reach the heady heights of a SQ ST, and will not win you a premiership if he is our main striker.

    But, I have to admit, I got it wrong yesterday,he made the difference after coming on.

    Yesterday’s performance was very disjointed, especially in the first half, and was not helped by a false call on the second goal by the linesman not raising his flag. He was directly in line, so how could he get that wrong??? Also, imo, Per was impeded by Lukaku in the build up. All in All we were unfortunate not to come away with all three points at the final whistle.

    I suppose I need to calm down and not expect the very best, I have never wanted second best for my beloved Arsenal.

    Here’s looking forward to a fine display on Wednesday an entering the next round.

  • Vic`s baby !…..Giroud doesn`t have to be SQ as long as he fits the system of play !.

    I don’t like these rumours of Podolski being loaned out to Juventus !………I want to sell him for £14M, so I can Doom some more !…..that would take out net spending to……..£0M !. Make it so Arsene !. hahaha

  • Cockie…but I’m greedy, I want a SQ ST 🙂

    Seriously though, until we get a proven goalscorer in we will always be the bridesmaid.

    Just imagine a SQ ST together with our mid fielders chipping in. Never mind, one can always dream.

  • By not appealing (on the Naismith goal) we made it very easy for the linesman to NOT raise his flag. Some defenders put their arms up for every single goal conceded, even 30yd wonder strikes.

  • Cant argue with that, Vics !.

    Doom of the Day !.

    Just got my reply about Arsenal TW dealings from the man with the million dollar hair……Kelsey !….so have copied it from the horses mouth !…….and he said it didn`t include Djourou`s money !….so it`s more like our net spending is…..£11M !…….what do you think of that Vic`s baby ?……disgusting or what ?. Only about a week to go in the TW and our net spend instead of going up, is going down !. It`s hardly surprising that Stretch sits and reads this info` with a massive boner as it`s an accountants perfect storm !. hahaha

    The expenditure


    Chambers £12.00 million will possibly rise to 16 million depending on appearances
    Debuchy £12.00 million
    Ospina £3 million
    Sanchez 30 million not 35 as quoted.

    Vermaelen £15 million
    Vela £12 million as Real Socidad bought his buy out clause
    Money still owing by Barca for Cesc and Song + add ons for sale to Chelsea £16.5 million

    Net spend £13.5 but Sanchez could rise by 5 million ,and all signed include first years wages.

  • Don’t forget bastards, it was Kelsey who gave me the bullets !…..and you aint going argue with him as he is like Blogging Royalty !… will be hung for fcuking treason if you mess with him, so you might as well just accept that Wenger`s a tight bastard !. hahaha
    Kelsey for King !.

  • Yes TA – I thought Giroud got a lot of stick considering the improvement to his game from Tuesday, compared to others in the same game?

    Now I know we differ on the reason why Giro didn’t start. You used the word ‘punish’ for my reasoning that he was dropped. Whereas I would have said he was told at the next training session that he would not be playing if he couldn’t do better than that? That is telling him to buckle down. Not go and sit in the corner?
    But I also think he wanted to try a Plan B, before the TW shuts.

    I cannot disagree with you on Plan A being the one that AW sees as bringing out the best in the players we have, and will be used as long as Giro stay fit, which may not be the case on Wednesday night? – It was his ‘standing leg’ that got caught, btw – So a decent Plan B ought to be available. For several reasons, yesterdays line up was not it.

    It could be close when they are all on their A-game, but too many were not. The subbing of Alexis at half time has little to do with the public statement, imo. But that will unravel in due course I dare say? I am still waiting for the Gibbs injury to turn out not t0 be a hamstring, rather than everyone repeating the ‘assumption’ that is was the case. I am getting very cynical these days 😆

    I am not sure what people were expecting from Ozil. He has had a minimum of time to get to know the new signings, as they flew out to Turkey on Sunday, unlikely to have done much training on the Wednesday, so a couple of days at best? With so little coming from them after the first 20 minutes, he had very little to work with. His ‘languid’ style tends to attract more criticism, but he still worked hard during the latter stages, particularly after Santi came on.
    Santi was probably in the same notepad as Giro after Tuesday night, and he sharpened his game up, with a slightly more central role to help. That said, it was his assist from the edge of the box that Ramsey scored from I think. One might guess Jack is next for the high jump?
    Personally I thought he did pretty good in the opening burst, helping Alexis close down high up the pitch, but it did not last. Either he is terribly unfit, or he loses interest in doing the chasing down. He ought to get his lungs checked out?

    Both Monreal and Debuchy were the opposite. Once Lukaku started to feel his toe injury, and eventually went off, Nacho came into his own. On the other side Debuchy was still full of running in injury time. Mind he could have got sent off for his kick at Naismith while on the deck, but for the ref looking the other way .. literally. Jack too with that lunge on Barry?

    I hope Kos is fit for Wednesday, as it may be one game too far for Chambers. One of his mistakes will get punished, and it would be a shame for him if it cost us the CL place, and all that goes with it? Campbell might actually get a start though?

  • Cockie, those sums don’t make sense to me. But I am happy with what we got and am hoping for a DM and CB to follow. We need to balance new players with bottom up development, so buying more players is not the only thing that matters.

  • Hey, Sharkey, king of one liners! Good to hear from you, buddy and thanks for the big compliment. 🙂

    How’s life? You still going to the game now and again?

  • Henry, you know your football so I listen when you say you don’t rate super Jack. He is trying very hard which I appreciate, but it is not coming off yet. But as the whole team is struggling for form I suggest we give him time.

  • I don’t know who this Kelsey guy is but I would have him doing my tax returns, even though I do not earn enough to pay tax!

    If a total contract is £16m, but we are only putting £12m down, with an IOU at a later date, it is still a £16m contract.
    Ditto Sanchez – £35m
    Plus the other £15m
    Total = £66m

    Oh yes, and all include 1 year wages? So we got Sanchez for less than £28m. Really? Cor! that Arsene and Ivan do some great deals don’t they. I mean, Ospina is on £60k, so they must have paid us £120,000 to take him away!

  • Vickers, great comment and thanks for the UMF update on the other page. You are right in thinking OG will never be a SQ CF, but just think that is not what Wenger wants anymore. He knows his strikers so it must be his choice to play Giroud as a different type of attacker.

  • Great comment, Gerry. I liked our FBs a lot yesterday, even Nacho. Just as I was thinking he was our weakest attacking link, he produced that cross!

    Agreed re Ozil. He will need time to get back into it, and he will be important on Wednesday. Hope either OG or Sanogo is fit then… Or maybe Campbell gets the nod.

  • Hi Guys,
    I hope Wenger brings in a holding midfielder who can hold on to the ball and dictate the speed of play(playmaker/ball winner) plus a Holding center forward with a good conversion rate.
    Khedira and Ibrahimovic type players?

  • Very good match report, TA. As I mentioned yesterday, you were right about Giroud being the difference maker once he came on. I was one of those criticizing (and praising!!!) him for his performance yesterday. He did very well and was too much of a pain for Everton defense to handle. He does deserve praise and respect for being a game-changer and my MOTM yesterday. I also get your point about him being used as a “holding striker” so as to bring others (midfielders and wingers) into the attack, and in my humble opinion, there currently isn’t anyone (in the PL) better at doing this than Giroud. That is a testament to the unique qualities that he brings to Arsenal FC. So, kudos to him for that.
    However, he simply cannot escape criticism just because he had a good game. We should hold all of our players to higher standards if we are to be taken seriously as title contenders. Yes, the whole team sucks in general yesterday bar Chambers and Debuchy. They should all be criticized for such a lackluster performance. I only picked on Giroud (even though he was my MOTM), because of the many EASY chances he has been presented with so far this season but which he somehow managed to fuck up. In games that we are winning comfortably, that would not be so glaring. But in very tight games, games we are losing, or games against the other title contenders for instance, those misses are extremely difficult to ignore. If Giroud were 22 years old and in his first or second season with Arsenal, yes, I would give him a pass and make all sorts of excuses for him. We all saw the unbelievable chances that he missed his first year, then again his second year, and the same thing seems to be repeating in his third year. Whether we like it or not, he is and will remain our number one Striker and therefore we should support and encourage him to do better, not stagnate. Both praising him for his efforts and qualities AND criticizing him for his shortcomings (composure in front of goal and finishing) will only make him a better player, in my opinion. Missing difficult or half chances is one thing. Missing golden, unbelievable, hard-to-miss chances is another thing altogether.
    I don’t want Giroud gone. Far from it. I like him a lot. I simply want him to capitalize on the amazing services he is being provided almost every game by our quality midfielders even when they are clearly not playing to the best of their abilities. Giroud can play like crap for the majority of the game but when he gets that one easy chance to score one on one with the keeper, he should score, or at least hit the target. Anything less should be unacceptable. AFC deserves that much, as a minimum. Let’s not praise mediocrity based on false sense of security. Let us push all our players for Excellence. That is what Arsene Wenger should be demanding.

    A quick little story about my University days. For four years, I played as the main Striker, up top all by myself. I remember in my sophomore years, we were losing a game 3-nil and were terrible in the first half. In the second half, our midfielders worked so hard to get the ball back and fed me a glorious chance to get us back in the game. Somehow, I totally fucked it up, not even hitting the target. Our coach, a hard-ass 60-year old Englishman, took me off and I never played again the next five games. He made me work on that chance that I spurned so many times in training, and on my composure and finishing over and over and over, I was even able to score in my dreams. When I returned to the first eleven, I was amazed at how much better I became when presented with those rare golden opportunities (still sucked with half chances though, haha…). Anyway, this is just to illustrate how being criticized for missing that one easy chance helped me tremendously for the rest of my playing career at the University. It works for some people and maybe doesn’t do much for others. I hope Giroud is one of those that accepts criticism and use it as motivation to improve in whatever department.

    Bring on the Turks!!!

  • Listen Totes, I don’t give a fcuk whether the sums don’t make any sense !…………as long as they back up my Doom of the Day !. hahaha

  • Does Giroud deserve to be in the squad? Yes. Do Arsenal fans deserve a better striker? One million percent.

    Giroud makes a great sub. Matter of fact, Giroud is what we need against teams who sit back and defend like Crystal Palace and the last 15 minutes of Everton last night because he provides us with the height and focal point in the penalty box. Having said that, what he would never fare well in is the first half of that Everton game. Look at all the thrashings we got last season and most recently his performance against Besiktas. He doesn’t have quick feet or pace and can’t get himself out of sticky situations. Simply put, he’s static and cumbersome. I think for the key games against the quicker, more powerful teams we need a world class striker who is extremely clinical and suited to the fast paced nature of the game. I think we’ll all admit that although Alexis didn’t provide us with a focal point, he did press, dribble and do the ‘tricky’ side of things well.

    All in all, I think it boils down to tactics – how will Wenger set up against the different types of opposition? Do we need pace and power for the Invincibles style of play (the Arsenal I loved to see play) or do we need height for more centralised play where we just pile pressure within the penalty box with numerous crosses? Well, that’s Arsene’s decision to make because frankly whatever will win us games, I’m happy with.

    I’d just like to point out that it seems Arsenal simply can’t cope with being pressed, we saw it yesterday and numerous times last season, we lose our shape and organisation. Those last 15 to 20 minutes, we were quite lucky Everton sat back a little and allowed us to get back in the game. Really lucky, to be honest.

  • Hi TotalArsenal,
    Do you think we could have won the game against Everton if we had a better Goal Keeper.
    One of the goals was when the ball went through his legs and the other was when he didn’t command the space in front of him by moving more forward. Instead he left a 12ft plus gap in front of his static goalline position to allow the opposition to take anvantage.
    Is that not his space and responsibility to cover when the defence is holding a higher line?
    After all he has the height and an unobstructive view/run at the ball plus the advantage of using his hands!
    The weak link at defending crosses.

  • Great comment, Gino, and I can see where you are coming from. I firmly believe that Giroud has a strong intrinsic desire to do well and gives his all for the team. He has limitations which would not allow him to be a super CF at a top club, however hard he would train. And every top striker misses easy chances regularly anyway. Rather than an expert bricklayer or carpenter, Giroud is a generalist with a strong physique, yet too many people judge him on his expert bricklaying skills if you know what I mean.

    Good personal story and nice to know that you have played at a decent level. 🙂

  • Thanks for the comment Genovese 🙂

    There is nothing in it I agree with though, but I respect it is the way you see things, so fair enough.

  • Dave, you might have a point. The header was hard to keep out I reckon and the second one was not easy either… But you have liked him to save one of the two somehow. But maybe we expect too much at this stage of the season. No?

    Would you start Ospina ahead of Wojciech?

  • Message to my fine fellow Gooners 🙂

    I will be in Scotland for a week with very little wifi. If and when possible I will issue a short blog but I might not be able to do so.

    Here is for a win on Wednesday and a quality signing in defence or midfield… 🙂

    Be kind to yourself!


  • Yes TA.. We did had the same though about some players.. like Diaby.. Gervinho.. Fabregas and so on..
    But we also did it in other way.. like Vermaelen.. Sagna and Wilshere.. and you know that one by one my unwanted players were gone.. I think Wilshere will also.. In next twoo season.. hehehe..
    Sorry to say that.. but with our youngsters will becoming better and better.. I don’t see any place for Wilshere there..

  • TA, I do agree with you that given what we have, I believe OG should start since he gives us the best shape and presence at ST. However, a striker will always be measured on his ability to produce goals. A striker is meant to score goals first and foremost. If he can contribute to a team in other areas, then that is a bonus. OG’s finishing is fairly below average and his limited ability in that aspect is what lets me down. When you are missing so many clear cut opportunities, there is just no excuse and it will be a main reason as to why we continue to struggle to win the league title. And there is no need to bring in the typical “Van Judas” argument as there are about 30-40 other strikers that are better finishers than Giroud and are not “Van Judas”. Whether they give us the same shape is a different story, and something that would need to be assessed further.

    Ozil should start centrally and Jack should be relegated to the bench for a while, as he has been largely useless and needs time to rediscover his game (injuries and too many position switches over the years).

    Let’s hope the Gustavo rumours are true. He is exactly the type of player Arsenal needs as he is not only strong and efficient in his tackling, but he also has the skill and ability to move forwards. More importantly, he plays with a burst of aggression that makes it appear as if he will run through you, which often makes other players tentative around him and fear him, while allowing him to win a higher percentage of tackles and 50/50 balls.

  • It just seems to me like all of the other top 6 teams have a better ST/CF than us. Rooney, RVP, Augero, Negrado, Dzeko, Balotelli and Soldado (although Spurs have done something to him), Costa are all better than Giroud. Lukaku and Sturridge will be better than Giroud in a few years when they reach his age or there about. I wouldn’t swap Giroud for Hernandez, Welbeck, Lambert, Torres or Drogba but those players are not first choice STs for their clubs.

    The list of STs are all better finishers than Giroud and as HH says the main job of a ST/CF no matter his type is to score goals. Heskey is an exception but remember he often played in a ‘2’ up front and was exceptional at holding the ball up and never relied on to win a team a league title for a team?

    Now let’s compare our strikeforce with some of the top teams.

    Arsenal: Giroud, Campbell and Sanogo (no point including Walcott, Podolski or Sanchez as they are wingers who predominantly play out wide and will be needed to play put wide for the majority of minutes they play).

    Manchester United: Van Persie, Rooney, Welbeck and Hernandez

    Chelsea: Costa, Torres and Drogba

    Liverpool: Balotelli, Sturridge, Lambert

    Manchester City: Augero, Negrado, Dzeko and Jovetic

    Spurs: Soldado, Adebayor and Kane

    Now you can see that all five of the teams have a better collective strikeforce than us even Spurs do although they can’t get the best of them. Campbell is an unknown quantity and Sanogo just needs to go on loan, he ain’t ready to play in the BPL yet.

    Excuses can’t be made for Giroud’s poor finishing. That’s like having a CB who can’t defend (Luiz springs to mind) but can attack, score free kicks etc, but is given a pass even though his primary role is to score goals. Remember when people used to slaughter Theo for missing chances like that when he was very young. He was much younger than Giroud, was a winger not even a ST but no one gave him a pass. No one was making excuses for him. People weren’t saying things like: ‘but he is a ST played out of position’, ‘he is a winger so his role isn’t to be the primary goal scorer so how many goals do you want him to score’, ‘his primary role is to get in behind with his pace and assist when possible’.

    I think we can do better than Giroud and should have better than Giroud. All his hold up play and being a focal point means very little if he can’t put away clear opportunities. If he primary role isn’t to score goals we might as well buy Fellaini and play him up top as his hold up play is even better than Girouds.

    Goals win you titles and I don’t think we have enough goals in our team at the moment. I would rather have a ST who walked around on the pitch and got 25-30 league goals than a ST like Giroud who works hard and only gets 15 league goals.

  • That’s like having a CB who can’t defend (Luiz springs to mind) but can attack, score free kicks etc, but is given a pass even though his primary role is to defend. *

  • I would also add if we had a collective strikeforce consisting of other STs around the same level as Giroud we would be okay but we don’t. Our only experienced out and out ST is Giroud. Now if your going to try and win the league with only one experienced out and out ST he better be world class and have very few weaknesses or you can forget about winning the title.

  • AFC, I’d imagine that TA will largely disagree with our views. But what I would like to highlight is your comment at 04:18. That is EXACTLY how I feel. If we are to have one striker to rely on, then he must be world class, but if not, we should at least pick up more strikers for depth. Even Liverpool now have Sturridge, Eto’o and Balotelli. It’s not so much a matter of OG not being good, but the fact that we need more strikers for competition and players hit form at different times. With the amount of competitions we hope to compete in, we cannot afford to have just one striker up top (injuries etc. too).

    Given our current players, I do think we will suffer without OG because he is our only true ST. Sanogo is not quite ready for that role yet, though I admire Arsene’s will to give young players a chance. I would try Campbell there, but he’s not a true ST either and is also unproven. Eto’o would have been a nice depth signing imo if we were going in the direction of keeping OG.

  • AFC – I do find your list of other strikers slightly at odds with what you say about ours?

    You confidently state that Alexis is not a striker? I thought that is exactly why he was bought? Qoute – ‘A player that can play anywhere across the front line’
    You dismiss Walcott, yet include Jovetic?
    Dismiss Sanogo who will likely play at Leicester, but puts 100% effort in, and although is still ‘a work in progress’ is still a handfull? And Campbell, unknown quantity … except in the WC and CL?
    You include the pensioner Drogba who got injured in his very first game. Reputation of past glories I think? Torres there for the £8.5m, and a game is a bonus?
    We have Giroud who played 36 of the 38 league games last season, mostly on his own up front.
    You put up Balotelli, but let us wait and what his total of games played matches up at the end of the season, and how will Sturridge manages without the constant menace as his sidekick, given the other two are not the same type of player?
    Soldado may well improve under new management at Spurs, but is there any hope that Barndoor will?

    Fair shout on Man City. But they may lose one in this TW, and we might gain one?

    So sad to see you go over to the dark side so quickly 😥

  • Shrillex – from previous post.

    Your friend is quite right in saying that Mert was high up the pitch in the last 10 minutes.

    However, were we on more or less permanent attacking corner duty at the time, and as such, Per goes up there. In these circumstances we usually have our quickest defender on the halfway line, Gibbs, but in his absence, Chambers, and Szcz to cover the long balls over the top. On the occasions that they tried to play out of defence, the BFG retreated to his CB duties, not Flamini.

    I think your friend got a bit carried away with the excitement of the finish?

  • Gino92…….21:33………well put, spot on.

    Genovese…..22:10……Also spot on.

  • Morning Arse Anal Addicts !. 😀

    Just put up a mirror in front of my running machine and caught a glimpse of myself and cried with joy at how lucky I am to be blessed with such gorgeousness, I`m so hot I should be made illegal !……anyway enough about your hero !. hahaha
    I like Totes McBastard talking about Girouds brick laying skills !………..does it mean Giroud has played to a decent spirit level ?……..hahaha….I can hear the groans for that one !.
    I like and agree with Genovese as well !. Imo he hits it on the head where the teams we cant beat press us so hard !…….we get pressed so much by them that we have the smartest looking shirts in the league !…….more groans if you like !. hahaha
    Have a great time in Sweatysockland, McBastard and hope you take care of your little German friend…Helmut Schmacker !.

  • I wonder how jack can play ahead of Carzola and Rosicky. Chambo always performs better when played in central midfield so Wenger should have played him and Ramsey as a double DM. On the left wing Carzola, right wing Ozil and then Sancez behind Giroud or Campbell.

  • Just for VCC !……..he needs help !. 😀


  • Gerry, Jovetic has played up front for City in a ‘2’ and can play up front if needs be. You are right Sanchez can play up front but with Santi not being the best option at the LW, it not being Ozil’s best position etc, we will surely need the pace and workrate of Alexis down the left? Adebayor, Drogba and Torres are all better players than Sanogo and Campbell. It doesn’t really matter if Drogba is a pensioner, he can still pull something out of the bag, would you rather bring Sanogo or Drogba in a CL knockout match where we need a goal? It’s Drogba for me every time. Experience, strength etc.

  • Hi Total and others.

    The figures are correct and do include the first year’s salary.

    I stated Chambers cost 12 million rising to 16 million based on appearances therefore at this moment of time the outlay is 12 million.

  • Gerry, I haven’t gone over to the dark side. I am just trying to look at things ‘neutrally’ and more ‘harshly’. When we have been lenient while discussing our squad depth or players.

    What I said above is what a lot supporters of what other clubs would say. I just feel sometimes we are looking at things with our Arsenal tinted specs on. Last season we were saying Chelsea’s strikeforce was crap yet collectively is was better than ours. The same goes for Spurs as well who even had Defoe at that point.

    Wenger has just come out and said that Giroud can score 25 goals next season in the league (so he sees his role as also being a goalscorer) which I don’t see. The jump from 16 to 25 is huge and only world class STs will get anywhere near 25 goals.

  • Gerry, I don’t won’t to pick on Sanogo so please don’t get offended at what I say.

    Sanogo is really just an injury prone, 22 year old ST from Ligue 2. So yes his physical attributes give teams something to worry about but that’s about it. His technical abilities are lacking (at the moment) and even a ST from League 1 in England could cause headaches for defenders in the Prem because of his workrate and physicality? Is Sanogo even better than a striker around the age of 22, who plays a similar way to he does, in the Championship? I doubt it?

  • When we have been lenient while discussing our squad depth or players it hasn’t done them any good. We are always left with egg on our faces at the end of the season. *

  • @cockie your my hero @AFC good points however @Gerry is right Sanchez is a striker pushed wide but could only play in a 4-4-2 up front in the prem against most teams, also with the Giro lovers although not SQ he fits our game.
    As for the match everybody moans we only play one way and although it never worked it was refreshing to see him try a plan B, Ozil poor bastard deployed on the wing for the WC and he’s home doing the same no No10’s playing wide Santi has an amazing first season he puts him wide for a mediocre season and now Ozil, I mean it’s good to support players but not at the expense of your club JW is not cutting it, Diaby May as we’ll be a nurse he’s in the hospital so much I know RVP came good but he was never that bad and buy a DM I heard Gustavo is in the pipeline sounds amazing do it now.
    As for a striker not gonna happen should of got Mandzukic similar to Giro proven and wouldn’t of hampered San-no-no too much

  • H Bo, when will we ever start a match playing 4-4-2? How will Arsene fit in the likes of Ramsey, Ozil, Wilshere, Santi etc, which he likes to do? Suppose Sanchez does play up front with Giroud and Walcott comes back and plays on the right then that means Ozil is stuck out on the left and Ramsey has to partner one of Arteta, Flamini, Ox or Wilshere on the middle? That leaves the potential for our midfield to get outnumbered and overrun quite easily. The midfield could also become unbalanced?

  • As you say Mandzukic would have been perfect. He could have rotated with Giroud throughout the season with Sanogo coming in when AW decides. Plenty of STs who would have improved us (either being a squad player or a first choice ST) have moved in the TW.

  • Kelsey – I know Arsenal always ‘budget’ for the first year wages, but that comes out of the overall pot. Transfer fees are a separate thing altogether.
    You cannot think for one minute we can negotiate with another club who want £Xm for their player, and we say ‘Wait a minute. We must deduct what we intend to pay him this season’

    They are not responsible for our wage scale .We are.

    You have obviously spent too long in Cornwall if you think otherwise!

    JM – Please support me on this point.

  • TA – I know you said you don’t agree with any bit of it but I’d just like to see your thoughts on why exactly. Thanks. Looking forward to seeing your views.

    I think when Walcott returns, Sanchez will be made to occupy the LW. I think he’ll do pretty well on the LW because he’s got the pace and skill to beat a man and exploit gaps. Kind of like what Pires used to do and what Hazard is doing now for Chelsea (bleurgh). They bolt down the LW, beat a defender, shrug their shoulder to the left, turn right and smash the ball into the bottom right corner. But other than the goalscoring side of things, Alexis has the work rate to track back and defend, which he’s pretty good at. I know a lot of Gunners are unhappy with the LW position because Cazorla and Ozil just don’t perform well there. Either they get sucked in attack and leave us weak on the counter or their general attacking play isn’t fully utilised. Some have looked to Marco Reus for that answer and as much I’d love the guy it’d be hard to keep him without upsetting the likes of Podolski, Cazorla, Wilshere, etcetera who’re all trying to get a look in for the starting XI, respectively. Unless we decided to play Reus as a striker, which for the record, I don’t hold doubts over his abilities, he’s absolutely blinding but would he fit our striker’s mould?

    Walcott on the RW speaks for itself.

    Touching on the striking dilemma – I’d love to have a confident striker who oozes arrogance and class at the same time. Hint: Chelsea have it in Costa who doesn’t seem to be doing all that bad, to be honest. Anyway, Henry used to be our man. Current times? I wouldn’t mind taking Balotelli if it came to that. Why not? He’s got the PL experience and with our service from the two wingmen and CAM I think he’ll thrive. That aside, I have a strong feeling Wenger isn’t keen on improving our striking department whether it’s because of his obsession with playing a mediocre striker in Giroud or because there’s ‘no’ strikers available. Arsenal deserve a world class striker. Period. Any Arsenal fan would be crazy to reject a WC striker just so you can stick with Giroud upfront. I hope this isn’t the case.

  • Hi Kelsey. Nice to see you over on the dark side 🙂

    Thanks for your input. Just shows how tight Wenger really is. 😦

  • @Gerry, August 25, 2014 at 13:54

    (A) Arsenal’s players (current 1st team) and manager’s wage bill (w/o incentives & bonuses) this season (2014-2015) is thereabouts: £90Million

    (B) Transfers fees received in from VS paid out to other clubs (less agent/agency fees & other misc. not reported): £56Million paid out

    (C) Increased wages to coaching staff, reserve & academy teams, other backroom, admin. and operations staff employed by Arsenal FC: £79Million

    (A) + (C), i.e. wages alone = £169Million (incremental every new season).

    Taking away the above from the turnover from last season’s (gate & matchday income) plus this season’s (TV rights money, commercial income) of around £300Million*.

    *I am being generous and optimistic here round off with a higher total (from the would-be new commercial incomes and TV/Broadcast rights money from the CL, if we reach latter stages). The turnover could be somewhere between £280Million to £300Million.

    There is around £75Million or less remaining (furthermore, excluding ground and stadium maintenance and other misc fees.)

    Our CL monies is not guaranteed yet (until we thrash Besiktas and go into the Group stage proper), likewise the new commercial deals from PUMA and Fly Emirates have clauses which are tied with our club playing in the actual CL stages (not just by playing the qualifying stages) every season under our contract agreements. We will not get the full sums otherwise.

    That’s my personal take. Cheers.

  • First day of school so the house is mine but too early to go for my run…so, despite lacking the football knowledge, I would like to chime in…

    This debate about spending money is idiotic. Transfer spending does two things. It shows “ambition” and it strengthens the selling team. Ideally it brings in quality players who can slot into the team in a positive fashion and bring out the best in the players already in the squad. If your team is full of players who are past their best, transfers can nudge them towards the door. Luckily (with an exception or two) this is not our situation… A corollary is the madness of assuming the value of players based on their transfer fee. In ALL other sports salary = value and trades are made with hardly a nod to fees, football (in these “wild west” years…) is in catch-up mode in this regard. Note what the champions, ManCity, are doing, strengthening through contract extensions. Chelsea are also doing interesting things, getting huge (possibly false or underwritten…) prices for players like David Luis and Juan Mata and using the funds well… Their biggest wisdom might be in their youth program and loans. Extorting big funds for some (Lukaku) while recalling others (Cortois) who will win them points. FFP is kicking in, but these Sheik-O-Garch teams are finding ways around it. Arsenal, refusing both debt and losses under Kroenke, look a solid third in England by buying value and retaining players with regular salary rises. Our biggest problems arise through panic purchases who are then put on contracts bigger than their play deserves. This is why AW is desperate to offload our 4th highest salaried player who is nowhere near the first 11. Hint: his name rhymes with the product I hope to invent for improptu backcountry adventures in my local mountains…The Fold-o-Ski… Finally, lets wait until the end of the window to see the final make-up of the squad. Two tough matches (both are must-wins, I fear…) come first…

    On Giroud. My gut feeling is that he divides opinion because he is such a preening, narcissistic goof-ball. Many see a “striker’s mentality” beyond his actual skills as a striker. (IMO one of the ugliest things at Arsenal is the site of big Ollie on the floor faking injury with the flicking fingers…) TA (and others) are right, however, that he’s a focal point and a handful for CBs. In England this is more important than elsewhere given the abusive fouling which is allowed in the box. With true speed on the flanks (Theo/Alexis/Campbell and in the hole (Ozil) plus a few guys with an eye for getting into the box (Ox and Rambo) he is ideal for our set-up. Though I rarely dare to disagree with Mr. Harmony, I actually think it’s OK that we don’t have a single WC striker given that an injury to such a player would be too devastating. (And then he would get lured elsewhere..the RvP example, I fear, has resonance…) Yes, Sanogo is nothing but a work in progress but he brings similar qualities as OG without the preening. The fact that he was able to add bulk in his first semester at the club (last Autumn while out “injured”) seems promising. The big thing that people are missing is that using a big (traditional English?) CF has the effect of wearing down defenses. There’s a reason (beyond just our collective mental strengff) that we get so many results late on. Currently we’re living on this element but it will actually improve as this season wears on. Play Giroud (or Yaya) for 65 mins then bring on the other guy and/or the speedsters or supersubs (including Poldolski or whoever replaces him) and the scorelines start getting comfy. I know that supporters want the game won before it kicks off, but that’s not reality…

    It’s a marathon not a sprint. If bloggers are gonna pretend to be managers (not just have a rant and live moment by moment…) then an eye toward the diverse challenges of managing a club for the long haul would seem in order. Just my opinion, of course, and, as always (WTF) do I know?…

    Happy Monday…

  • 17ht, all good points. However, if you do take a careful look at the comments, I (like AFC) have stated that if we’re only going to really play with one striker (in this case OG), he needs to be world class. If we’re going to stay the course with OG, then we need more depth at the position. I don’t mind Sanogo as a 3rd choice striker, but he’s far too inconsistent and unproven at this point to be 2nd choice. If we can find a reasonable deal for a striker that adds depth in the event of injuries and poor form, then we will have done very well, especially if he can give us the same shape and presence up front that OG does. This striker does not have to be a world-class finisher by any means, but imagine another striker up top that can also provide 10-15 goals a season, in addition to the return that OG would bring us.

    The lack of depth up front is what concerns me most. While I absolutely love Alexis, I do not believe he can play as a lone ST in our system and the same goes for Poldi and Theo.

  • Cheers JM – I knew your were the right person to get to the facts, allowing for a plus or minus here and there.

    Much more comprehensive than I was expecting, so thanks again for you time.

    So if I understand it correctly, the £75m is including the basic level of the CL after Wednesday, providing we do not cock it up?

    So the £51m Cavani is a pipedream if we want a decent DM? Even allowing for any further exits.

    The cut price deal for Carvalho, maybe Diaby/Coquelin and Sanogo/Gnabry going on a season long loan, the very bottom price for Rabiot, plus Reus at the bargain price, Manolas the CB (possibly Toby Jug?) or A.N.other at an equally low fee or wage, would be doable, but dipping into the reserve fund to catch the increase on wage bill?

    By January, if we are still in the CL, we would have restored the reserve fund?

    It is a gamble, but will they go for it … ????

    That would put the doomers out to grass, and for that I would be eternally grateful 😀

  • Thanks H Bo !. You will probably receive a life size inflatable Cockie doll from my fan club and with my sense of humour you will probably be able to guess what you have to blow into to inflate !. hahaha
    Listen !, In Arsene We Thrust boys, after not spending all the money Gazidis promised last season and so far this season as well, it`s unquestionable that we have a minimum of £80M left !.
    I think it`s safe to say that with ties ins for being in the CL to get the maximum out of the sponsors, Wenger will not spend any more than half of that £80M until we qualify for the CL……I doubt he will spend a penny of it even if we do !…..the man is stuck in a Ground Hog Tight Cunt Day !.
    He has lost his goal of trying to make Arsenal being a competing club for trophies to one of making Arsenal being a success on the financial front !.
    We top the league for self sustainability , we top the fcuking injury league, lets try and top the EPL !. Speculate to accumulate !.

  • Ahh !….7eventeen is back……I missed the brackets !.
    I think we too have been tying down our young British core, so no different than Mansour City there !…….what`s wrong with buying SQ and tying them down as well ?.
    In an ideal world we would promote within our youth ranks, but that is only going to be successful if they are talented enough !.
    As for FFP working, yes it seems the Chavs have taken note, but Mansour City are a different kettle of fish. They have at least two loop holes of beating FFP !.
    1) To have the greatest academy and facilities in the world so that one day they maybe able to produce the worlds best !.
    2) They buy clubs all around the world, buy players for those clubs and then loan them back to Mansour City….example Fat Lamplard !. As far as I know FFP is a UEFA thing and doesn`t have any jurisdiction over America, Australia, China and Timbucktoo footballing associations !.
    Just an opinion !…..but a right one ! . hahaha

  • Arsenal do not publish players wages (some clubs do).You are right about the caveats with Puma and TV revenue is up for all clubs but CL football proper is worth 20 million +.
    No one knows exactly what is in the so called war chest but regardless of players first year wages not being included,I stand by my figures and one could well argue that AW is being very careful as to what he spends when we definitely have more money available than in the last few years.Sanchez was definitely a statement that we can spend.Chambers was bought for the future though most can already see he is a fine purchase.
    I have only commented on here as GLIC mentioned me by name, and I don’t live in Cornwall 🙂
    Actually JM hasn’t answered your question Gerry. It was all about net spend.

  • So there !………………Kelsey doesn`t live in Cornwall, but he could probably buy it !. hahaha

  • HH, I try to read all the comments but sometimes cannot do it when some are so wild and crazy. Yours however, I always look at closely…

    Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, said Muhammad Ali and I think that’s the plan here. Sa-No-Goals (in regular season at least), like Giroud, floats more like an aircraft carrier and both don’t have stingers in proportion to their size, so more stingers will be needed. (That’s one for Cockie and his fixations…) It’s about spreading the risk and we will need more than a normal share of players scoring in double figures if we hope to compete. Alexi (the s is silent in Chile, I’m pretty sure) needs his first Arsenal goal (including pre-season, I think, putting him a step behind Yaya…) in a bad way but is most certainly not a traditional CF. To appear effective, IMO, he needs another quick player up there (Theo, Campbell, even Rosicky) and the first goal is key so that we can play on the counter and use his (their) speed). I think AW went this direction at Everton to get Giroud a bit of rest ahead of the more critical matches…

    As AFC points out, 100 league goals seems the new standard. AW says Giroud could do 25 but that’s in all comps. If he and Yaya can do 20 (in the league) I’d be chuffed. This means an average of 10 also from Alexis, Theo, Ramsey, Poldolski (or his replacement), Santi AND Ozil PLUS 5 each from Campbell, Jack and Ox, and the defenders @ set-pieces… Such a spread seems a lot to ask but also shows a certain element of depth in the squad. Overall, tightening up at the back also seems very important.

    Away from the numbers, and with commentators suggesting we’re too small, I’m impressed that we have a pair of bulls up front (In the China shop–Oliie/Yaya), some real pace in the team (Theo/Alexis and Campbell/Ox/Sicky/Ozil over short distances along with FBs, Gibbs and Bellerin–Debouchy is alright in this regard too). Also. in the case of Ramsey and Alexis you have two of the most impressive work-rates in English football. These elements on three (multi-player) fronts give me a measure of hope for the season. At no point do I think we’ll play champagne and caviar football against the better teams but there’s something good being built, IMO. Already we’ve turned a point into three (vs CP) and zero into one (Saturday). (What would LvG have given for such turnarounds with his Chevy boys?…) If the doomers are content to see this as “sky is falling” stuff, the more positive types (i.e., me) should be allowed to see it in a happier light…

    Finally, regarding the money. With no taste for debt and being behind ManU in revenues there IS a problem in trying to tie down players AND spending silly on new ones. My Fold-o-ski example still stands. (When I google a player’s name his current salary comes up in a wiki-box and I tend to believe those #s…Lu-lu pops up at 7 million pounds/year…) If Ozil or Alexis (or Theo or Rambo or Giroud) has a 25 (goals + assist) season you better believe they will need an upping of their salaries into that top, top realm (250+) or we stand to lose them or have them “go on strike” for their next move. Maybe Puma will help out, I guess, but that’s the scenario we want to avoid. We don’t want to have just one big season (Atletico Madrid or Liverpool) then go into full rebuild mode… Or do we?…

    OK, warm enough to run now and maybe that’ll give the S&P a chance to get back over 2,000…

  • Yes Kelsey, I can understand you putting a big smiley after the sentence ‘.. I don’t live in Cornwall …. Ha Ha

    Look the I only reason I responded is because resident of the County next to mine said he copied your words.

    It is true the wages bill is only discovered via the annual report., but educated guesses are not a million miles away are they. I guessed that Ospina was on £60k, which is our basic level for non academy 1st team players. It could be more?
    60000 x 52 = 3020000. That is £3,.020,000 for one years salary. You state, via the aforementioned transcript, that his transfer fee was £3m, and included his ist yearly salary?

    That is why TA said the figures do not make sense to him, or me.

    The guy came from Monaco, and would not have been on a pittance there would he?

    As for JM referring to net spend.? Isn’t that what TCM did on the final line @19.24, and I quote:

    ‘Net spend £13.5 but Sanchez could rise by 5 million ,and all signed include first years wages’

    I don’t want to fall out with you as I don’t know, but you can surely see why I challenged the basis on which these figures are arrived at?

    I personally think JM’s figure of the net difference to be nearer the mark on £56 +/-. than those given above.

  • Oi 17 !…….if you never read the wild and crazy comments, then it`s no wonder Fozzie has disappeared for not reading his comments….shame on you !. hahaha

  • 17, all good points and good to see you back.

    Wenger said:

    “He scored 16 [in the Premier League last year] and he’s very convincing,” Wenger told reporters.”You never have to set any limitations for any player. For me, he’s improving every year and don’t rule it out that he scores 25.”

    Now that is wishful thinking by AW if he thinks Giroud can score 25 league goals. It seemed to me like he was talking about the league? Giroud scored 22 goals in all competitions last season so I can’t see referring to him scoring 25 goals in competitions? That would be a meagre improvement of 3 goals.

  • 17HT – You have been kept busy during the school holidays then?

    I trust you have no San Andreas tremors at your end?

    I am with you on the ‘blue sky’ thinking. More so if we sign that little quartet I mentioned?

    Yes, there is a lot riding on this midweek game. It is the first Arsenal game I will see on Sky 5., and if I remember rightly, NBC take up their matches, so you should be okay too?,
    Talk of Giro not just missing more that just this match if he has done ligament damage? JC might get a run of games?
    No doubt Besiktas will try and frustrate in the first half, and grab anything from set pieces? So it is up to us to defend well, and score first, second, and third, and we should be okay?

  • @ Gerry, August 25, 2014 at 16:22
    Read up on (not the latest, though at least this was for previous season, where we did sign a single SQ player in Ozil for £40M+):

    Click to access 1999107_DOWNLOAD.pdf

    Esp. refer to pages 39 (club revenue. Real Madrid is tops with €500M+, Arsenal in the 2nd group with 7 other clubs, €200M+.) and 45-47 (club operating cost, inc wages. Arsenal’s is at 50%+ of total revenue).

    No player(s) wages were published.

    Give and take, my conclusions @ August 25, 2014 at 15:42, would be in the similar trend for Arsenal FC’s methods in operation this season.

    I wouldn’t say signing “most” new SQ player(s) are “pipedreams”, just that they might eat into a part of our club’s turnover for next season. A balancing act is required when the club do not want to be seen as overindulging on transfers and mismanaging the salary scale beyond their current means.

  • 17ht, it’s always good to spread out the goals since it makes us less predictable and less susceptible to a dip in form when that one player gets injured. However, I don’t see a scenario where Sanogo ever scores 20 goals this season, nor Giroud. I’m expecting around 10-15 from OG and if we’re lucky, we’ll get 5 from Sanogo. I’m assuming a healthy Theo and Ramsey will provide 10-15 each and once Alexis bags his first, he’ll be good for another 10-15 too. That’s a decent amount of goals already, though the scoring looks pretty sparse beyond that, since playing time will be too stretched out to give the amount of goals that Ox, Campbell, Santi etc. could actually produce.

    This is why I call for an additional striker. Adding an additional 10-15 goals to that tally would help round out our attack, while also keeping OG fresh. We don’t need to spend an exorbitant amount on a striker either and there are plenty of options around the 10-20 million range that could produce for us. Off the top of my head, Bony, Drmic, Aduriz, Llorente and even Finnbogason (before he moved to Real Sociedad), Ba (before he moved to Besiktas) and Mandzukic (before he moved to Athletico) are the types of candidates I’m referring to. Each one of these players offer the size and strength to compete against the physical EPL defenders and would provide that shape we lack when OG is not starting.

  • No no HH… 15-20 league goals for Oliie and Yaya TOTAL (i.e., together… or from the #9 position which they will share)… I think the 25 AW mentioned would be in all comps. If Yaya can get a few to get the shared total up to that number I’d be pleased. Of course, our CL campaign could be over in 50 hours… Clearly the plan is to get guys like Alexis and Theo into the 15+ range while keeping them both fit and hungry…

    Gerry, We were down in the Bay Area over the weekend and were woken up by the quake. The damage seems almost totally in the Napa Valley (pop 100,000 or so)… Relative to the 1989 quake, this was nothing… Also, big props for getting AW’s 4-6-0 formation (more or less) spot on with part A of your match preview. Alas, a work in progress it seems to be…

    AFC, the only headlines I’m seeing about the late injury to Giroud are extrapolations of Wenger’s “it looks bad” comment immediately post-match. I guess I should be a bit worried as he didn’t do the finger flicking thing which invariably means he’s faking…On the other hand, a true injury might spur a panic buy which is what Cockie and the “AW is skint” folks seems to desire… For panic buys see LvG and AdM at ManU…With the fee to set the English record by some distance…Luckily, ManU seem to be able to afford all these things, including Di Maria’s salary, which will have to land somewhere between Rooney’s and RvPs, Those three plus Juan Mata’s (approx the same as our highest paid duo, Ozil and Sanchez) will add up to around 40 Million pounds/year, the same figure United pay to a guy named “Debt.” Luckily LvG is “only” on 7 million per year and Moyes (on far less, of course) only has 5 years remaining on his contract… Like Cockie says, not bad for a team not even playing in Europe… (And, already, solidly above the relagation candidates… Glory, glory and all that…

    Cockie, don’t worry, I read your comments for the entertainment value (though I skim the doomer maths just a bit, as I expect you to do above with my more hopeful ones)… I hope all is well with your wife and (again) I’m very, very sorry about your brother. Perhaps Fozzie and MarleyKaze are waiting for the other boot to drop if things go as we hope with the close of the window…

    Anybody else watching City-Pool?…Is there a chance we could get that old chancer (007) to give us the transfer news before it happens? While the cat’s away the mice should play, no?…

  • Balotelli signs for Liverpool. Why do I have a bad feeling he’s going to do really well in the PL?

  • Liverpool = Balotelli + Sturridge
    Man City = Aguero + Negredo
    Man Utd = RVP + Rooney
    Chelsea = Costa

    Arsenal are lumped with a no pace, no flair donkey in Giroud. I’d really take Edinson Cavani right about now. Please, Arsene. Spend that bank on some quality and class so we don’t get embarrassed time and time again. Very least the fans deserve!

  • Aguero and Negredo not even playing but Jovetic gets the goal… Perhaps there are multiple ways to skin the goat…

    In the other match, Benzema’s goal looks like it will be enough to win round 1 vs a promoted Andalucian club…

  • Oops, spoke too soon. C-Ron gets one from distance… We should buy him, perhaps?…

  • Evening guys 🙂

    Great to read the comments, even though there is a lot I don’t agree with. But that’s blogging!

    Many still want a super salesman when Wenger wants his account managers to share the sales responsibility between them, and his number one sales man to support them in doing so. Those who want a super salesman might have to wait a long time. 😕

  • What`s all this fcuking salesman crap ?…….is Wenger leaving us to go and work for DFS !. hahaha

  • I`ll tell you what !…..previous to our 0-0 in Besiktas, we had won all our previous CL qualifying games !….so this is new territory for us, so expect a Wilting Wimp Willy Wednesday !, not for the faint hearted as we have to score to win !. Luckily, Totes has given me inside information that Wenger is leaving for a post at DFS and I shall go there and get the best deal for a behind the Sofa extravaganza !. I`m probably going to need drugs for Wednesday, so what stuff are you selling up in Scotland, McBastard ?.

  • hahaha How long have we been blogging buddies, Totes and you`ve just found that out !.
    If anything, I`m Mr Consistency in churning out this crap !. hahaha

  • So you`ve found a connection up in the Islands and Highlands of Scotland !……he must be a very friendly Scotsman to let you tap into his sporran whilst warming your hands up his kilt !. 😆

  • 3-0 Mansour City !……..leapfrogging the Spuds at the top at the mo` !.

  • Evening fellow BKers. Great to see 17 back here – the voice of balance and reason. Its been a funny few weeks for the Arse. Great purchases, great hopes but the same tensions millimetres below the surface for us followers. And we seem to be at each other, and the players, before its barely started and before even its all (per usual) gone horribly wrong! What’s up with us all?!

    Even with 4 good purchases, and pretty clear steers from Wenger that we will be in for more shortly, the buy buy brigade are acting as though we have done nothing all season – though its already the best TW we have had in many years. Gerry has summed it up very soundly – we have a target list, and if we get through Wednesday OK we will no doubt act on it; whether it meets with everyone’s hopes and ambitions is another matter of course but, calamity on Wednesday apart, I do still expect further arrivals in the current TW. But look at how hard manure have had to work to land their targets, and look also at the questionable quality that the pool have brought in. Our business has been very sound this far.

    Then the knives are out for Giroud. 17 has it spot on – its hard to warm to Giroud when he flounces around and postures rather than just get on with it; but we should not overlook what he does bring just because of it. All these ‘gilt-edged’ chances he misses remind me of games I’ve seen with Benzema and Cavami….; of the names routinely trotted out for us to buy, very few are better (many are less good imo) than Giroud. Would I like us to have another Henry available? Yes of course, but I can’t spot one like him who is asking to come to us at the moment, so I have to hope that Wenger has a better sense of the potential out there than me – seems a safe bet, no, if one requiring some patience on my part?

    So, am I gripe free and happy clappy? No, like everyone else its been hard watching us labour against CP and Besiktas and Everton; and I suspect we will be pushed hard by LC this Sunday whatever happens in the CL return leg. But I do put much of this down to a combination of limited pre-season and new players getting used to the team – I think we will only get better as fitness and familiarity grow. I do want us to fill the DM gap that has been apparent for some years, and I will be properly hacked off if we don’t do it – even though I strongly suspect we are trying our damnedest. I think we need another CB, but need not be too experienced. And, like everyone, I would be delighted with a quality striker (or one we can convert – Reus) to strengthen our options – but I really don’t expect this, nor do I think this is a top priority. What I do feel saddened by is the apparent exit of Pod, who I think has not had the chances his record and shooting ability warrant. Granted he is not a starter on present form, but when we need a goal, he is the one I am shouting for to be brought on. The Ox may develop into a similar direct goal threat, but he (and the rest) is well short of Pod’s level at present.

    What I want to see is progress, with our squad, with our performances and with the steel we show against the best opponents. Nothing so far suggests to me that we can’t still hope for this over the coming season. Its just beginning gooners – as Gerry say, keep the faith!

  • Telegraph is reporting that Giroud may have broken his ankle and could be out for 3 months. Awaiting 2nd scan… Oh boy

  • Retsub, three month. Blimey! I really can’t see Sanogo doing the business meanwhile Giroud is out. Sanchez will be needed to play out wide, Podolski will be gone (?), no Walcott either and we don’t even know of Campbell can play up front and do the hold role. Time for a fluid three up front? Sanchez, Campbell and Ox might be the answer. If Giroud is out for that long then we must try and win matches and hang on until Walcott returns. He will provide us with goals and assists and is arguably our most important/best attacker with Sanchez still finding his feet in the league.

  • That could mean Giroud could be out for at least 4 months. Giroud could suffer a set back or a number of set backs like a lot of our players often do, he would have to be slowly eased back in etc. So that’s already 10-15 of Girouds goals gone?

  • Hi all..
    AFC..Retsub.. If Giroud out for three month or more.. then it means Podolski will stay.. period.
    And the best thing is we will get Carvalho.. as we know that Wenger had some options to bring a solid DM.. Carvalho or Paulinho.. after Khedira seem will stay at Madrid..
    And both of them will be barter with player plus cash.. Paulinho for Podolski + cash.. Carvalho with either Sanogo.. Miyaichi.. Gnabry.. or Coquelin.. and it look like tobe Coquelin is same position..
    So if Podolski stay.. that’s mean Carvalho will be more chance to come.. Will that be great..??

    For tomorrow night against Besiktas.. I wish Wenger play 4-4-2 formation.. with Sanchez and Podolski up front.. and with Cazorla.. Ozil.. Flamini and Rosicky as our midfielders.. than we will be great..

    And Retsub.. congrat for leading the UMF this week..

  • It would be interesting to see if we could get Welbeck from Utd. He could basically be another Sturridge in that he never got consistent opportunities to play at ST and was forced wide just to get onto the pitch. He’s a very skilled player, that is fast and has enough strength to give us shape up top, but is also not a selfish player that will always look to get others involved. Of course, what he lacks is composure in the final third, but that’s not an issue if he’ll be splitting time with OG up top.

    Best case scenario is we buy Welbeck and a DM that can also cover at CB. I know CB is a priority too, but I can’t see us signing three new players. I’ll take Gustavo or Carvalho for that DM!

  • Thanks Henry, but I put countered it by being bottom of the BK Bloggers league. Seems I can spot a teams form, but can’t select the players to achieve it hmmmmm

    Should be an interesting few days with the window closing. Wouldn’t be my choice but I can see him going for Eto or Remy. Whoever he decides upon (assuming Poldi is a goner not a gooner) will be affected by the Besitkas result, a big name wouldn’t come if we blow it . Also with the window closing other teams will be holding out for top dollar because they know we have little time

    In my experience, Arsene is more likely to try to plug the gap than bring in a big name buy. Once again wouldn’t be my solution, but I bet Ricky Lambert is feeling a little left out at the moment

  • For Wednesday night UCL 2nd leg match again Besiktas, Wenger should start Rosicky instead of Wilshere. This is a-must-win and in games like this, he is my go-to guy. He never stops running and harassing the opponents and he gives plenty of purpose to our attack by always moving the ball forward (instead of backward or sideways). I just have a feeling that Rosicky would do fantastic if Wenger has the good sense to play him.
    Not good news regarding Giroud. What are we to do now with less than a week to go in the TW? I still believe we need a solid, fast ball-playing DM and a young CB above anything else. Professor Wenger will probably surprise us all in the days ahead after we qualify for the CL.
    Let’s hope it is a very pleasant surprise and not a Mikel Silvestre/C.Y. Park type surprise…

  • JM@18.47– Eee! That was a big read.

    Great stuff though. I have bookmarked it for future viewings.
    One startling fact that sticks in my mind was this:
    Clubs involved in UEFA competitions had a total of £8.1bn in revenues, and a £7.9bn on wages/expenditure? Artificially made high by some clubs being over the 100% mark.

    Prudent Arsenal had only 48% of revenue going on wages.

    Europa and CL average attendance levels made me chuckle. Whilst we were only in the second tier, Man City were below us in a group that included Celtic, and Feyenoord. They are going to be popular with S. Blatter?

    I take your point on SQ signings, although AW does like a bit of value?
    In my previous, I do think the DM’s(as a pair, note) represent that – Wednesday permitting. And the CB, if we can guarantee him playing time, because Kos too, might just be out for a while?
    But if Klopp is right, then next season’s budget should have that earmarked right now?

    So, Giroud likely to be out long term? I would suggest that Douglas would offer something different, but at £40m offers no value. If IG can knock 25% off that, and get a reasonable wage deal it might just happen?
    £25m for Bony anyone – No Henry, you are automatically included 😀

    HH – I am not sure that Welbeck fits the bill either. I do like him as a player, and in the England set up, him and the Ox seemed to work well together.

    Nobody quite like Giro though,unless Sano-go-go-goals(remember that?) comes good?

    All eyes on Wednesday night …

    Meanwhile, HT, AB, and ME keep the faith ..

  • Gino 92……….. 06:10………How about Kim Kalstrom (?) that was a fine purchase, we might as well get him back too.

  • Wellbeck- Bambi on ice…..gervinho on roids
    Gustavo- primma donna….has to prove himself again…both at club and country…NOT in Dungas’ plans.

    IMO….of course 😉

    ………carry on….

    Totes, have a tip top trip!….no not that kind 😉

  • REUS REUS REUS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    IF Poldi leaves, its HIM on the same wages as Poldi…
    Make him our “Marquee” of all marquee signings.

    17, how is you, bud? 🙂

  • Kelsey 🙂

    Good to see the ‘locks’ flowing in this neck of the woods 🙂 Hope your well.

  • HH, I completely agree with you buddy! He would come pretty cheaply and he is young, though he needs to work on his decision making in the final third. But he would add a lot to our attacks, though I question getting a striker with similar attributes to Alexis/Joel. I wouldnt mind Jackson Martinez or Cavani, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up. The only one that is truly like for like with ollie would be Bony, but i doubt we’ll get him.Shame that Ollie had to injure himself, still wondering how he managed to break his leg.

    I wouldn’t mind swapping Poldi if we can get L.Gustavo. It would be one of the best deals we will get this summer IMO. Another CB that can play as left back would also be on top of my wishlist, maybe we’ll land Howedes? Or maybe we could steal Vertonghen from Spuds… 🙂

  • Well it looks like all the Giroud doubters, and in some sad cases haters, will get their wish now. We will struggle to replace him so late into the TW window, but it will be interesting to see what happens next. Maybe the BFG will be our new holding striker! 😉

    Have a nice day FFGs 🙂

  • Does anyone know the whereabouts of Abou Vassiriki Diaby??? Has he been training with the first team or by himself? Haven’t seen a shot of him or heard anything about him in a while. He isn’t back in the treatment room, is he? Poor fella, just can’t get a break… I feel so sorry for him. I just want to see him play a run of 10-15 consecutive games to see if he still got the magic in him! On second thought, maybe that’s too much to ask for. I hope he comes back soon enough. If we end up not signing a DM beast, we will definitely need a fit and ready to go Diaby.
    Like Wenger always says every season, “Diaby is like a new signing…” 🙂

  • @Gerry.. hehehe.. Agree.. Bony-man.. and Swansea still had Gomis and Montero..
    But will we still need a CF if we go after Reus and loaned Bernard..??
    And don’t forget.. Theo will be back soon.. and we had Sanchez and Campbell who can play as a CF also..
    @Prince.. Reus will be Gunner soon.. So stupid for Dortmund to let him for free next season like they did with Lewandoski.. And Who do you like most.. Paulinho or Carvalho..??

  • I thought you would like that Henry 😀

    The news buzzing around, agent talk that is, that Poldi to Juve move is not a goer?

    I don’t see him wanting to go to Germany to play for any other club than Cologne?
    Which leads me to the thought that in a 4-4-2 line up, with him and Alexis in the ‘two’, is Interesting as both would play on their favoured sides? A Plan B, at no extra expense?
    Perhaps the line could be more a 3-5-2, or with a 4-1-3-2, and the ‘three’ being Walcott, Ozil, Ramsey, with back ups from Ox, Rosicky, Santi, and Wilshere? Up front , Campbell and Sanogo?

    Cavani would be the kiss of death to all other signings, except a cheap CB?

    For the DM spot I still favour my earlier combo(deadly in that 4-4-2 above?), and whist it hurts to say it, even if it means taking Remy. I draw the line at Kalou though!
    Sp Lisbon would be a nice option for Diaby to go on loan? Basically, it ought to be someone who we would need to register among the 17 places?
    I still think the situation in Ukraine probably makes the Shaktar option a possible negotiating point, even on a loan?

    But with Swansea having bought in players, as Henry says, they might just be a club to do a late deal?

    That is really the biggest problem, finding clubs who are willing to sell. I do not see PSG as one of them?

    Any signing would presumably take Giro’s slot, so he will be out of the CL, Wednesday permitting, along with every other round this side of Christmas, until the January 2015?

  • Hi He-he-Henry 🙂

    If Arsenal sign Marco “Rolls Reus” , it will forever make me forget about Cesc Fabregas. Such a clever, intelligent player, that can play the shadow striker role and link up midfield with whoever played as our striker. He links play in the ‘D’, the same way Ramsey links up defence to midfield. He plays effortlessly, and is my favourite player in the world, currently playing.

    If i had to describe him as a player, i would use the same description that Bilic (Besiktas coach) used to describe Ramsey- “Ramsey is not great at any particular thing. He is so skillful, and hungry that he is a 9 out of 10 in everything. ”
    I say the same for Reus, but i give him 9.5 out of 10 in everything and 20 out of 10 in investment. I have seen him play in every position (back at Monchengladbach) from the deep lying playmaker to the number 9.
    For me he is a hybrid of Cesc Fabregas (passing), Freddie Ljungberg (intelligent running), Bobby Pires (calm finishing).

    I would love him at Arsenal. Even more than buying a defensive midfielder 😯

    I dont like Paulinho, and havn’t seen too much of Carvalho.
    I wouldnt mind having a sneaky bid to Barcelona for Javier Mascherano. We need a “naasty dog” in midfield

  • Gerry,

    Love the 4-4-2 with Poldi. Each would recieve perfect service from each other, with the other dangers of long through balls from Ozil, add Ramsey with his tank and you have “precise mayhem” 😀

  • Thanks Prince but do I actually know you 🙂

    Don’t fret lads.We slipped down the table but now we are back on top of The Injury League.

    Would you risk Campbell at CF in a 20 million + game. We need two goals minimum as TPIG looks a little shaky and understandably with practically a new back 4 in front of him.

    Kos isn’t 100% fit either.Will be interesting to see who actually lines up. I thought Sanogo was injuredbut apparently he and Podolski were training today.
    Yesteday it was a good bet Podolski was off now things have made a complete turn around.

    Man for man we are no stronger than last season as a unit and hardly any fluidity in our opening 3 games and why does AW persist with Ozil on the wing.

  • Not worried too much about tomorrow I think it will turn out to be a cracking game.

    My team for tomorrow (4-4-2 diamond):

    —Wilshere——————–The OX—-

    Subs for midfield:

    Btw Akpom – a 6ft 1” tall pacey, tricky striker with an excellent scoring record – got to be worth a go up front along side Campbell??

  • Thank the Lord for that! I seriously thought I was the only person on the planet that fully appreciated what OG gives us! Time and time and time again, we play without him and look ragged and disorganised. OG comes on as a sub and suddenly we look SO much better. You have to realise that with OG in the side, ALL OF THE REST OF OUR PLAYERS ARE 10% BETTER. I solemnly believe that there is not another centre forward in the world who would do this for us.

  • @Prince I’m with you on Rolls Reus as you so elegantly named him but can’t see him playing the Wenger No9 aka Giro role, as much as I hate to admit it he suits our style of play and can’t think of many available and will pay an extra 15% minimum as we are desperate Bony might work as suggested, Remy won’t work Martinez would be a good signing but too expensive but to be honest I don’t care as we basically don’t have decent striker for the group stages if sorry when we reach them.

  • Strikers who have played for the first team:

    Giroud – injured
    Walcott – injured
    Sanogo – injured
    Gnabry – injured
    Podolski – ??
    Campbell – WC performer and raring to go
    Akpom – Excellent 18 yr old waiting for his turn a la Stirling for Liverpool

    How many more strikers do you guys want?? when they all get back from injury we will be swamped with strikers lol
    The problem is we don’t have a striker that brings what Giroud brings to the table – the one man up front quality, but if this is the case then change the formation to accommodate what you do have at the moment – its not rocket science. A lot less wasteful than dropping 30, 40, 50 etc million on a replacement striker that may not even turn out to be as good as Giroud playing that role.

  • Steve, how many of those strikers have actually scored a PL goal? How many of those are actually lone ST? Clearly your analysis is very shortsighted and flawed.

    I’ll give you the answers: 1) Only two of those are real ST and 2) Only one of those has scored a PL goal.

  • PPP, Welbeck actually has more strength and skill than people give him credit for. There are a large contingent of Manure fans that claim Welbeck should have been given a chance before RVP because of how selfish the latter is and doesn’t really pass to Rooney (last season anyway). I think Welbeck has a lot more positional awareness at ST than Theo and is not a simple one trick pony there.

    Reus would be perfect but there’s not a chance he comes in at Poldi’s wages. He’ll be expecting 120-130k/week. He can play as a lone ST too, but still does not have the strength OG does but has better positional awareness than say Poldi, Theo, Alexis, Campbell etc. at that position and can link up very well with his teammates.


    And that is why we didn’t sign Balotelli. We don’t need a cancer and constant distraction like that in our squad. Causing problems before he even plays a game, guarantee you that it will be retweeted when Arsenal finish above Liverpool at the end of the year.

  • I couldn’t give a pigs arse…… I WANT REUS!! Giroooo would play so much better… defending teams, having to defend the long balls, deep to Giroo, plus a poacher and playmaker, deep in their own halves…pffft Ramsey would double his tally on last season, Ozil would have more space and more pockets to pick… and Alexxxi and Feo when fit would be our dual piston, scream machine.
    Rolls Reus offers so many different dimensions and possibilities to our play. Knows the German pack, his idol plays here, Puma personally sponsor him, his on his last year of contract, use Poldi as trade bait. Wages are easily matched to that of Dortmund, FFP might fend off some of the competitoion (but not all), He has resale value (actually i expect his price to sky rocket in a season and a half, same as Suarez’ value), hes a poster boy for football in General, Strike while the iron is hot and other teams are somewhat pidgeon-holed, Why cant Arsene upgrade like he friggin use to eg. get rid of Lauren (invincible) for Mr reliable “La Sanga”. = Poldi for RReus.
    We have $$$$$$$$, Cockey says so, and cos i already tattooed his name on my shaftdownunder


  • HH,
    ooh shit, my last post was a rant in general. Didnt realise you posted in between, and now it looks like im dissing ya. NOT TRUE. Sorry champ. Anyway, i hear ya on Wellbeck but not my cup of tea, and my younger brother would laugh like he did when we signed Silvestre.
    Frankly, i dont want anything to do with that shit plastic manure club…..EVER. But thats me.
    How you been anyway, not playing UMF? All of a sudden your good looking? 🙂

  • Highbury Harmony, pmsl
    They don’t score because they never play lol, Giroud is always up front.
    I think the last time Giroud got injured we played Theo up top on his own and he scored a few in that short time before he got injured also.
    To answer your question with what i had already written down in the comment:
    “How many of those are actually lone ST?”
    “The problem is we don’t have a striker that brings what Giroud brings to the table – the one man up front quality, but if this is the case then change the formation to accommodate what you do have at the moment – its not rocket science.”

    ie change to two up top mate so you don’t have to have a Giroud type player.

    “Clearly your analysis is very shortsighted and flawed.”
    – Shortsighted, yes mate definitely that’s what a change of formation to accommodate the injury to key player is, its a short fix while he recovers – hell it might even suit us better to play two up top. but that’s not the point, shortsighted is correct mate as needs must at the moment.

    Flawed? maybe, i’m not a football genius by any stretch of the imagination, i just call things as i see them but it would be nice to see us try to change it up a bit.

    Might help us avoid sticking players like Sanchez up front on his own and wondering why he can’t perform as well as a massive guy like Giroud – why we have to be so one dimensional with formation i will never know.

    But hey that’s me.

  • There was Dennis….then Cesc….please let it be Reus.

    Vickers, he has Arsenal written all over him…Purrfect fit 🙂 ………. imo, of course

  • Princey, things are good mate! How are you doing? I’ve always been good looking mate, just this year someone finally told me and I’ve started to believe it 😉

    In all seriousness, I’m disappointed to not have the chance to repeat but things are picking up soon again as I take on the responsibility of a junior partner at my firm. I try to come and blog with you all beauties when I can though!

    Fair enough on Welbeck, but I just wanted to point out the similarities to the Sturridge situation and both flash similar skill sets and talent. I didn’t take your Reus rant as an insult so don’t worry hahaha. I absolutely love Reus (in my top 3 favourite players) and when I told my friends that my top 3 favourite footballers were Alexis, Ozil and Reus and that they would all be at Arsenal one day, they laughed at me. Now look at what is happening…

  • Steve, I have just checked my emails, but I shall have to dig around to open your attachment.
    Windows says it cannot.
    I’ll let you know if successful

  • Im still hoping and believing the stars will align. The year of the Puma…The year of the cannon.
    Anything is still possible.

  • Steve, when was the last time Arsene played with 2 strikers up top for more than one game? The point is that the man is a stubborn sod and only knows how to play one way. You are pointing to a larger issue, which is that the system is flawed and that is a completely fair assessment. None of those that you listed are true strikers in his preferred set-up and I don’t see us moving to a 4-4-2 anytime soon. With OG out, there is no one to come in to give us what he brings, so moving to a 4-4-2 in the meantime would be fairly pointless, unless we are going to rely on an unproven and goalless Sanogo to pull us through an important stretch.

    They never get opportunities to play or score because they’re not good enough yet, it’s as simple as that. If they were. they would be starting up top without question. Arsene loves his midfielders and will try to get them into the starting line-up in any way he can. He will likely always play a 4-1-4-1 or a 4-2-3-1.

  • I should add that if we had a proper DM, capable of playing a B2B role as well, we would be more efficient at a 4-4-2. However, a 4-4-2 requires our CM to work a hell of a lot more than they currently do, while pushing Ozil out wide is yet again a waste of his talents.

  • Off to put some shrimps on the “barbie”………….actually, its pissing down ‘ere.
    Out for dinner…… LaterZ

  • Highbury Harmony,

    Bang on the money with your comments mate

    “None of those that you listed are true strikers in his preferred set-up and I don’t see us moving to a 4-4-2 anytime soon.”

    “I should add that if we had a proper DM, capable of playing a B2B role as well, we would be more efficient at a 4-4-2.”

    That’s my big gripe mate he is so one dimensional in his formations, often (as i see it) detrimentally so. But like you said its maybe a larger issue and also hence why i’m constantly harping on about getting a proper DM.

    However do you really think?:
    “They never get opportunities to play or score because they’re not good enough yet, it’s as simple as that.”

    I look at players like Stirling and Sturridge who score for fun in a 4-3-3 type system and when i compare them individually to players like Walcott, Gnabry, Campbell, Akpom they’re not any better mate. Sturridge up front on his own which we saw at the world cup was rubbish but change the formation to Liverpool’s and suddenly he’s a goal machine last season. Same with Stirling, that little fella could never lead the line on his own but as part of a strike force in an accommodating formation and he always looks dangerous.

    Now if Wenger wants to keep going for the one up front with a sea of midfielders then fine when you have someone to be that one up front. But now he’s lost that option with both Giroud and Sanogo being injured don’t you think giving those guys a go up top as a strike partnership may turn out to be quite effective?

  • Steve,

    I think as a club, Arsene is at odds with unwavering faith in the players he’s had and developed, with the new talent that is coming through. However, that said, there are very few cases of young players leaving our club and finding success elsewhere (so perhaps he does know best). The closest example I can think of is Vela and that is only overseas (Gervinho was older than him when we bought him). Those types of players have not found the same type of PL success, mainly because of either opportunity or strength/adaptability to the English game.

    That in itself is now a larger problem too. Were we buying the wrong types of players or was it a result of limitations due to our precarious financial situation? It’s an interesting thought experiment, but one that none of us will ever have the answers to. Still, I think tactically, Arsene has always weak and he has always been about winning in the only way he knows how, which is in letting the players express themselves.

    Liverpool actually played a combination of a 4-1-2-1-2 (diamond mid) and a 4-3-3 last season and will likely do the same once Balotelli is fully integrated. The difference between Sterling/Sturridge and our players is the versatility in tactics that Rodgers employs, in addition to those two players playing with full force and the will to run through players when they play. If you look at our squad, too often we look to pass the ball back simply to retain possession or instead of blowing past a defender, we’ll stop and look to play a different ball. Ox and Gnabry definitely have the talent, pace and strength to do what Sterling has, so perhaps that comes down to confidence and playing time. As for Sturridge, I think he has more positional awareness than any of the Arsenal players you mentioned, which allows him to continue to have success playing as a lone ST.

    I don’t think a 4-4-2 will be effective if both OG and Sanogo are out. My reasoning is that a 4-4-2 requires one of the ST to be adept at holding up the ball and allowing others to join up in the attack. Having two strikers up top that are both looking to play off the shoulders of the last defender will leave us very weak in midfield, where we already lack a true DM to help boss the center of the pitch. If we had a DM like Carvalho or Gustavo, we would be fine to play say Campbell and Alexis up top, but until then, we’ll likely stick with a 4-1-4-1 or 4-2-3-1, with Sanogo up front (he appears to now be healthy again).

  • Highbury Harmony,

    yep i think your right, if we don’t sign an out an out DM (Carvalho being my choice) then my dream of a 4-4-2 diamond will never come true. But i do think you could play with two wide playing, pacey strikers up top but i would love to be proved wrong – as it would mean that Wenger must have actually tried it lol.

    Maybe in the league cup with the youngsters

    —–Wilshere——————-The OX—-

    Can’t quite believe how young that team would be lol

    Akpom – 18
    Bellerin – 19
    Chambers – 19
    Gnabry – 19
    OX – 20
    Wilshere – 22
    Carvalho – 22
    Campbell – 22

  • For myself, I blame Total Arsenal for putting the hex on poor old Giro, by writing a Post in the form of a eulogy. Boo, Boo!

    I love you really, TA — not sure of the Syrup Man or the Glic known as Cockie Dockie Doodle All the Day! 🙂

  • HH,

    Let me say from the start – a tactical man I am not – but it seemed to me that we mainly played 4-1- -1 or 4-4-1 last season.

    Or perhaps it might have been 69-69-69 in tribute to Cockie, Terry and Fonzie. 🙂

  • By the way, HH, @ 13:54 — I asked you to keep that to yourself!!

    — “i’ve always been good looking mate, just this year someone finally told me and I’ve started to believe it!”

    I don’t know — you say something in confidence, and ……. 🙂

  • RA, you’re pretty much right but in the 4-1-4-1 situation the DM was normally Arteta who is not a DM, and i can’t remember the instance of 4-4-1-1 but if that was the case then only one of those up top was a striker and the other was probably yep you guessed it a midfielder who wondered forward lol.
    Most of the time with whoever is partenering Arteta wondering forward and Giroud dropping deep i frequently find myself seeing a 4-1-5 developing on the pitch – probably why its so easy to break on the counter against us.

  • You have made a good point, Steve.

    Actually, even this season, a similar thing happened on Saturday.

    Mert and Chambers were castigated for either being shrugged off the ball by Lukaku in the Everton half, or Chambers missing his back up tackle, but it was overlooked as to why they were so far upfield in the first place.

    Basically, all our diddy midfield went up and buzzed around the Everton penalty area, and because we do not have a designated holding midfielder to act as the first line of defense against breakaways like Lukaku’s Mert and Chambers felt the need to desert their posts and go and fill in.

    Probably bollix – but….. 🙂

  • Steve,

    With regards to my perceived 4 : 4 : 1 : 1, it was when Giro and Rambo went to point one behind the other and it was pretty effective until Rambo got injured.

    It may not have been formal either, but sometimes with his cutting in from the wing, Theo became one of the front 1 : 1 with Giro again pretty good until Theo got injured.

    Wait a minute …. Rambo got injured, then Theo got injured …. bollix to that 4:4:1:1 🙂

  • Decent CB + Carvalho + Reus or Cavani and I’d be over the moon. That’d complete our team. I know we’d be packed in midfield with numbers but a little rotation would do us the world of good. Lowers the chances of players getting injured. But even on a tactical front, players don’t lose fitness/form, certain players are suited to certain games, i.e. against the lower league teams you can pair up Arteta or Flamini but for the bigger games we could play a monster like Carvalho. And so on.

    Let’s hope we do well tomorrow so Wenger can get busy in the TW.

  • RA, Exactly mate!
    It makes our CB’s look shit but they have no real regimented protection in front of them like other teams do, add the fact that our full backs are half way up the pitch and what else were they supposed to do.
    we’ve got to get that quality DM position sorted at arsenal.

  • RA, you never told me not to tell anyone! Plus I didn’t reveal your secret identity, I kept that private just in case mate 😉 . I trust that the other thing you told me about Cockie was in confidence though…

    In regards to formation, Arsene actually went with a 4-2-3-1 last year, despite how it may have been displayed on the broadcasts (the visual line-up). The subtle difference between a 4-4-1-1 and a 4-2-3-1 is that the wide players play further up the pitch, making them wingers, opposed to right/left mids. This gives the fullbacks more freedom to bomb up and down the pitch. Two more subtle differences are: 1) we also saw that Giroud was often isolated up top and that is a result of playing a 4-2-3-1, or else Ozil would have been playing closer to him and 2) 4-2-3-1 is a less flat structure where both DMs/CMs sit further back, or at least one does (Arteta), where the other one is free to join the attack and has the responsibility to defend (Ramsey).

    Finally, a 4-4-1-1 was used more during the Invincibles times. Bergkamp played higher up the pitch than Ozil and was in fact a support striker, where as Ozil is more of a CAM. Pires and Ljungberg could have been considered wingers though.

  • The 4-1-4-1 creates far too much confusion among our players because there are too many midfielders on the pitch that want to play centrally, without defined positions. When there is too much freedom to do as you wish, it leads to disaster. As TA has consistently pointed out, structure is important and OG provides that as a ST up top. However, what is just as important is having the right formation for the players at disposal and in my armchair manager role, I believe Arsene fails mightily at.

    Sometimes his unwavering faith pays off and proves us all wrong (i.e. RVJ and Ramsey), other times it is frustrating as hell (not buying a back-up ST, depending on Diaby and not buying a DM, Gervinho, playing CMs wide, playing OG up top when he’s getting no support etc). He shows far too much favouritism towards certain players and play them too soon when they return from injury. For example, Jack should not be receiving as much playing time as he currently is (when he hits form in cup games and higher confidence then he should be played more). If Ox is playing well on the wing, there is no reason for Theo to immediately take his spot either when he returns, and should instead wait his turn. The exception to this rule would be a player like Sanchez or Ozil or Ramsey or Koscielny, who are world-class talents and the stars of this team (unless they are not fit or in a serious dip in form).

  • HH, for me Theo should come straight back into the team when he is ready. He is simply to important to our team to make him fight for his place. In his breakthrough season before his injury season he was our best attacker. Scored the most goals and got the most assists for a winger in the Prem? He may be a bit one dimensional but is just as important as Ramsey, Sanchez, Kos and Ozil? He is good enough to be a starter for every team in the world apart from Bayern, Real and Barca? Even at those clubs he would be a valuable squad player. The winger/supporting hybrids like Walcott and Ronaldo are rare and there are very few of them around.

    Last season we played a 4-2-3-1 formation. When we attacked we made a transition to a 4-1-4-1 formation with Arteta staying back and Ramsey joining the ‘3’? When we defended we used a 4-4-1-1 line-up with the wide players dropping back?

  • AFC, do you know why our players are back on the injury list so soon after returning? It’s because of a combination of lack of rotation and being played too much, too soon (or could be a fault with the staff but we won’t go there). If a player like Ox is playing exceptionally well in Theo’s absence (he hasn’t yet), then he should remain in the starting line-up. It helps with his development and confidence and it could eventually make Theo expendable (unlikely). This is how we start to see young players move through the club and not become extraneous pieces that find success elsewhere.

    He is not as important as Ramsey, Sanchez, Koz and Ozil. He is a good scorer and has an abundance of pace, but without proper service, he would not produce nearly as much as he does. That isn’t to say Theo is not important at all though, since he is a great piece to take advantage of Ozil’s through balls and Giroud’s link-up play.

  • There’s also no transitions in formation when you attack and defend in a game, UNLESS you have moved directly to an attack or all-out defend strategy. In a 4-2-3-1, the players in the two have the license to move forward, just as the players in the 3 or 1 are expected to defend.

  • Do I need to feel honoured or worried that Princie babies 13:40 sounds like he`s had my name tattooed on his Downunder Didgeridoo !. hahaha

    Listen bastards, all this talk of Reus, Carvalho, Cavani etc` is making you all sound like the sockcucker fuvver muckers that you are !……get real !…….cupid stunt Wenger will get someone like the 47 year old Eto on loan or even bring back the 67 year old Kanu !……I wish I could get one of these African birth certificates !…..I could then go back to school and start an epidemic of 16 year old teenage pregnancies !……it would save me all the money I buy on sweets in doing it now !. hahaha
    It was all said by The Protector of The Chart of Doom weeks ago and is now coming to pass !………….Darth Wenger should have been looking to the past of our injury history, our topping of the Injury League 5 out of the last 6 seasons, not only should he have been buying the SQ striker we need, but buying because of our perennial injury problems !… for Diaby, he`s fcuking dead, he died 5 or 6 years ago and has been replaced by a hologram, forget about him !.

    I see MK Dons are doing something we cant fcuking do……fcuking thrash Manshafter Std !.

  • So they are not in the CL…..not in the Europa League……not in the COC and yet they have still managed so far to spend £124M net !…….and we`ve spent …what is it Kelsey ?…..£11.5M net….lets call it a round figure of £20M just to stop the AKB`s !. Mark my words, if we don’t beat Besiktas tomorrow, Alexis will be on his way back to Barca because Wengers needs to have a shiny bank balance !. hahaha
    No doubt Wenger sits In front of his Arsenal`s bank statements wanking himself silly !.

  • Has anyone else noticed Van Gaal has a very squashed face?

    Was the poor Bastard born like this? Or did he have a fight with my ex wife?

    Its hard to believe, but there is something flater than his face, its his teams performances. The geezer turned up thinking he was Al Capone and now he looks like one of Capones victims

    All hail Pancake Face

  • Some of the head line rumours on Arsenal Newsnow make me laugh !………”Arsenal Ponder Jaw-Dropping Triple Swoop For Deadly Strikers – Reports ! “……the only jaw-dropping stuff is the amount of cock in the cock suckers mouth who wrote this shit !.
    Right !, own up, which one of you muvver fuckers wrote it !. hahaha

  • Leave it out Cornwall, ive had plenty of wanks over Arsenals balance sheet.

    All i need is a photo of Kronkes arse, Arsenals latest bank statement and the neighbours hae to call the police. hahaha

  • Van Gaal is from Holland…`s flat !, all Dutch men have flat faces !, that’s why Totes McBastard has gone to the island of mull……. to have his face pumped up by some Scottish semen face fuckers !.

  • That was me Cornwall, just to wind you up.

    In fact, ime responsible for most of those bull shit newsnow rumours.

    Tommorow you will see a story about Gazidis flying out to Spain to secure a £200 million deal for Messi, when really Ivan is at some strip joint having an argument with the Stripper about the price of a lap dance. hahaha

  • It must be the accountant in Arsene then, you are all Barclays Bankers !. hahaha

  • I was thinking about you yesterday, Stretch !,………watching the Mike Strutter video about his Microslave !. hahaha

  • hahahaha, thats definately me Cornwall.

    Ime having a really shit time at the moment mate. My old man is terminaly ill, was given 4 months to live. Six months later and the fucker is still alive. hahaha. Besides, whos going to give me pocket money now? hahaha

    But in all seriousness mate, its fucking dreadful. My head and heart are all over the shop.

  • I bet it is, Stretch !. If you`re like me, you can take any physical pain and don’t cry over it, but it`s the emotional pain that hurts the most, it fcuks with your mind !. It`s easier said than done, but try and stay strong and get to talk to friends and family. We are so alike in that we try and hide behind the humour, it only works for so long !. All your mates on BK will be here for you and I`m only a call away if you need me . Please God all the best to you and your Dad !.

  • Cheers Cornwall, I really apreciate it

    The worst thing is watching a loved one suffer. Hes an old boy now but when its your dad you dont see it that way. Ive seen it before when my mum went a few years back

    Your right, telling jokes is the only way i can deal with these things.

    All the best to you and your good wife.

  • Terry, I know what you are going through. My mother was just weeks short of her 102nd birthday when she finally passed away. But if she had her way, she would happily gone two years earlier, rather than face the slow decline of her mind, where became little more than a passenger in a life carried on her around. For one who had been so strong, it is not easy to watch in the final stages. I have no guilt (now, at least, different at the time) when I say I longed for the final day to happen, not so much for my sake, but for hers.

    I have a different situation with my 15 year old dog, as I am in a position to save her from just existing. But she, like my mother, has been a strong in no matter what is thrown at her physically, she keeps going. She has been diagnosed by the vet as having neural damage, probably from a ‘stroke’, and has not got complete control of her front and rear left legs. Consequently she can wobble until she gets in proper forward motion. She fell down the stairs last week. Yet after a couple of minutes of getting over the shock, she showed no after effects.
    We persevere. Alas, you have to sit it out …
    Best wishes

  • My diversion therapy, is not through jokes or alcohol, but getting my mind focussed on other things. And with today being very much a date with destiny, I shall await to see who will be available before making too many comments.

    On the formations front, I am with HH on this. You have to have the right players to tick the right boxes, and be confident in what the manager asks them to do. Without Giroud, AW is going to have to come up with a better Plan B than the one that started the Everton game.

    I have just watch the French Ligue1 review, and it is very informative. A lot of sides play with a variation of 4-3-3. But what you quickly see from the sides that are playing well, is not the structure of their play, although clearly that is what they practice, but their willingness to move off the ball, and at PACE! Time and again you saw at least two players running into the box with a guy on the far post. It is not rocket science, just basic willingness to get an opportunity.

    This has been Arsenal’s problem in these early games. I look back on that first half where Alexis was doing all the harrying and chasing, but apart from the opening few minutes, the rest had stopped.

    Going back to the French teams. Not all play with a big guy up front. Not all play it wide down the channels. But what the teams that have started well, and are full of confidence did, without exception, was to have several players running into spaces in and around the box. Same on the counter attacks. When play was moved out of defence it quickly went forwards and at least two players went in support. They were not all successful. Monaco had two shots on target and won 0-1 courtesy of a smash and grab run, finished off with a Falcao header. But the team that played best were the losers, Nante. They had the willing runners, the movement, the shots … but no luck.

    If Arsenal are going to get back on track, even with the 1-4-6 formation, it has got to get players moving off the ball. We know there are some enforced changes coming, but there ought to players brought in who are willing to have a go. It is not about blindly running forwards, which is what Alexis was slightly guilty of, but getting a collective effort, so when they have control of the ball, pick the right time to get players pulling defenders out of position so others have space. More importantly, do it at PACE!
    There, I have said it again. We get predictable at slow speed, and it is easier to defend against us. Behind that there is that structure that HH talks of. It is pointless if we have Ox down the right wing, and Santi on the left wing, if both constantly turn inside, and just run across a line of defenders, and rarely do they play it behind them, where somebody should be filling the space.
    Frustrating to watch and rarely gets a result.

    So over to AW to pick a team that, first will play in positions that suits their abilities, and that links with others around them. Impress on them what they have to do, both in attack and defence, and we might just have a chance. Otherwise it will be Thursday nights for us?

  • Hi all..
    Van Gaal seem to follow Rodger’s way.. Only focusing in EPL.. hahaha.. Who knows they will be like Liverpool last season..
    I think Afobe will be very glad to score twice against MU.. What a day.. hehehehe..

    So Manolas goes to Roma..?? Who will we sign for our CB backup.. can we rely on Miquel..??
    6 days before closing market.. And of course we are not hoping something bad happen tonight for Wenger to bring 2 or 3 solid players..
    No.. We must win against Besiktas.. We are own the Champions League.. hehehe..

  • I love hearing Arsene say he doesn`t panic buy !…, he just gets panic loans !.

    In all honesty we should take this lot to the cleaners tonight !… we will probably lose 5-0 on penalties and they will have nice sparkling clean kits !.

  • Yeah !, officially the transfer market closes in 6 days, however, ours closed when we bought our last player !.

  • Doom of the Day !.

    I know 7eventeenho has a gripe about bloggers who moan and say we should have done this and that after the result instead of talking tactics and stuff before the game, well I`m putting it in there now !…yes !….I want us to win as much as the next Gooner, but !, if they get knocked out tonight, I wont be crying, I will be laughing my fcuking head off at Wenger`s inept TW so far, which will be a large portion of the blame for failing to qualify !.
    Every ex-player, a large proportion of the fans, media and every man and his dog ( just realised why Stretch doesn’t have a dog !…..he cant be included in every man and his dog knowing Wenger is rubbish at TW`s ! hahaha ) have said he needs to buy more SQ to challenge for the title !. Now as much as I hate all you guys the same !.hahaha……..can we really say we know better and have more knowledge than most ex-players ?, no !. Wenger is making a shit sandwich out of a caviar one in this window, so there you have it 7eventeenho, I moaned before the horse bolted !. hahaha

  • Cockie….I can’t see how some supporters can say “It’s all well and good saying things after events” ?? as you say, most supporters and 99.9% of media/ex layers have said the same thing these past few years.

    Wenger has been making the same mistakes one after the other.

    Now I hear the AKB’s brigade will replay with “We have been in the top 4 and champions league for X amount of years” .

    Yes, he has done well, but after all these past 9 odd years shouldn’t we have won them once or twice??

    HE has now got himself/the club in a hole

    How will he get out of this one?

  • Sorry to hear your news Terry. I lost both mine in 38 months, a hard pill to swallow and I was an only child in my twenties.
    We also have several dogs and our female Boxer who is 13 is on her last legs,but they are all rescue dogs and have been given a good life.

  • Condolences @Terry hope last nights result helped and tonight’s will more so although will only make it better not fix it.
    Result last night excellent I wasn’t gonna watch it but saw 1-0 down at half time thought I would give the 2nd half a go to what turned out to be very pleasurable viewing.
    In regard to Giro I’m devastated but most of us have said it get someone in so from what looked as though it could be a promising season has now become a possible chase for 4th place so in the words of @prince get rolls Reus he is probably other than Welbeck the only decent available option but slightly more versatile although there may be a transition period which we don’t have time for Martinez is euro cup tied, Remy ain’t right for us and Bony probably won’t be allowed to leave although benteke is injured enough to be a gooner.
    Reus for Poldi I love Poldi to bits but it’s an upgrade and the squad is massive although we have injuries galore all the time.

  • First off, before I respond to Mr. Cockster, I want to give best wishes to TMTH and his father. Likewise Gerry and Kelsey… Dig my switched avatar… We’re still missing our old girl and my folks are reaching that age (early 80s) too. I’ve been doing a lot of dealing with my dad around his work/business/financial issues, which are a mess. My mum’s trip to the doctor yesterday led to tests which led to the emergency room. They sent her home (with inconclusive results) but I haven’t heard the details… (Indeed, it is early here and I should know more when we talk later this morning…) What more can we do but try to give love and comfort, stay strong and attempt to appreciate that we’ve had them as long as we already have?…

    Uh, oh…I feel a long post coming on… 🙂

    The same goes for my approach to Arsene and Arsenal and the transfer window. I know you feel differently Cockie and that’s fine. VCC (and many, many others) seem to live from story to story and moment to moment and the ups and downs, if you go this route, are tough to take… What I see (and I’m repeating myself, as always…) is that we’re winning the war of attrition, playing the interesting bit of market between the money-down-a-hole clubs and the selling clubs and struggling (this window) with our luck. IMO (and it’s just my opinion…) we did good business to bring in Alexis (an upgrade/stand in for injury prone Theo) as well as get quality replacements in for Sagna and Fabianski. Chambers (who?) was so pleasantly under-the-radar and looks the part for one so young. It might not be the “statement” signing his teammate Shaw to United appeared to be, but it also has yielded (already) fruit on the pitch. Not bad.

    Now it’s time for the end game and the deals where other clubs are holding out for top prices or worried about their own replacements. Speaking of which, it looks like Lu-Lu Poldolski, the double Bendtner (in salary…) might have to stick around because of the injury to Giroud (as Bendy did last Summer). There could be something in the works but we’ll only know (for sure) if it happens. Likewise, Arteta being named captain likely indicates that we were holding out for better deals on any young, deep lying mid we might be courting (Rabiot from PSG, perhaps?)… Getting a back-up in at CB also seems to be proving quite difficult. Players move in order to play, after all and, with Chambers looking the part, others might worry…

    Add on the bad luck with the injuries and the iffy results and (worse) performances thus far and this nail-biter tonight and the pre-match rant seems well placed. Of course, it’s not over until it’s over AND it’s only the transfer window, something which only a certain sort of “supporter” views as the be all and end all of football. Man United ARE going crazy in the window (breaking the record with Di Maria yesterday) but they’re doing so because their team is in such dire straits. (Only the league/FA Cup double left for them, and good odds could well be had…) Maybe all the money they’re spending will be worthwhile; to me it reeks of desperation. Would it truly be so satisfying to have a misery season, watch a new manager (and his overpriced transfers) fall on his face, only to get a new one and go that much deeper into the coffers? I think if you cannot stand the football, this is (maybe?) something to want.. Arsenal haven’t played much in the way of really good football (for a long time, IMO…) but there are kernels which suggest they might. Overall it seems more about tweaking (and adding) rather than a complete re-do. Of course, I actually watch the games (not just the results…) and I’m prepared to take a very long view… Maybe out from behind the sofa is the true answer…

    Just joshing with you Cockie and I think you and I agree that it’s a bit hard to stomach Stan’s penny over penny approach to enriching his bottom line. Maybe I respect it (a little) because
    it’s more or less the way I run my own finances. Compared to my (equally cheap but very) hardworking dad and his inability to take retirement at 82 (while fighting cancer…) I think there’s a bit of wisdom in the whole penny saved vs earned (vs spent/borrowed…) approach… For Arsenal, my take is that we’re closer to competing with the silly money clubs, while the other American owned clubs are playing with high levels of debt or still have to sell their best (and bitiest…) players. Better things are happening up the road (they have a real manager this season, it appears, and that Bale money looks better spent a year on) but we’re more than the 4 miles (as the crow flies which lay between us…) ahead of them. Ozil and Alexis are additions at a superior level even if my wife has her eyes on Chadli…

    But enough of this stuff. Rant on my friend(s). Let’s beat the Turks (and then the Championship champs on the weekend) get a good draw in the CL and buy some freaking players as the window closes…

  • Here are the players dates of birth looking at the all round picture until the end of the season,and the dreaded over 30 rule which quite honestly is not consistant with AW.

    After nearly 60 years of watching Arsenal I have sat in the West Stand in the mid sixties when 4000 attended as well as the many highs though it was 17 years until we won the Fairs Cup and as a kid Spurs were the dominant force in North London.

    I have always been a realist not a doomer and I and 90% of others can see where we need strengthening but AW as I have said many times falls under the category”does a leopard change his spots”

    I think for all the achievement we had with AW in the first part of his tenure the game has passed him by and in a way he is a control freak and gets no pressure from Gazids or Kroenke.Finishing forth is viable for the club and financially rewarding.
    We are steeped in history, and as a gunner I am proud of that but, surely though I wouldn’t want a Chelsea or City situation, there should be a balance, and more importantly a long term objective to buy players and not dither and invariably lose out We have become a predictable side to play against,yet a few tweaks perhaps done a little earlier would save all this angst I now feel.
    Is our scouting system what is was and though marmite to many the departure of David Dein has had a huge impact as he did so much in initially bringing AW to the club and the negotiations…

    Rosicky – Oct 4th 1980 = 33
    Arteta – Mar 26th 1982 = 32
    Flamini – Mar 7th 1984 = 30
    Mertesacker – Sep 29th 1984 = 29
    Diaby – May 11th 1986 = 28

    We also have
    Podolski – Jun 4th 1985 = 29
    Debuchy – Jul 28th 1985 = 29
    Cazorla – Dec 13th 1984 = 29
    Koscielny – Sep 10th 1985 = 28
    Monreal – Feb 26th 1986 = 28
    Giroud – Sep 3rd 1986 = 27

    So as you can see by the end of the season regardless where we finish there will have to be quite a number of changes, and off we go again 🙂

  • Right !, through all them brackets I think I may have decrypted 7eventeenho`s comment !. 😆
    It goes without saying my friend that I`m praying for the best for both your parents… they put up with your fcuking brackets I`ll never know !. hahaha
    And the best goes out to all the BKers who are suffering from non Arsenal pain ( self induced masochistic bastards are we ! ) and depression !. As juvenile delinquents, none of us probably had a care in the world, but then you reach the 40/50+ years and all you hear about is the suffering of friends, family and loved ones and there`s no escape from it……they seem to drop like fcuking flies !. I may come across as not caring, but I can tell you my friends, that I was crying so much in hospital with my lovely wife looking like she was on deaths door step, that I had to be on a intravenous drip of H20 in both eyes to stop me dehydrating !. I had one eye crying on the wife and one eye on sky sports crying at Wenger`s lack of activity in the positions know should be buying !.
    As for the Arsenal, 17 !. I think both me and VCC have said many occasion that we are not for drastic changes, just ala you tweaking and I think most of us are on the same page in that we all think we are just a couple of SQ signings short of really competing, but that means to us ( me and Vic`s ) that if we don’t get a couple of SQ in, then we are way too far short and what gets us is that we are in such a great position to remedy these short comings where a couple of years ago we were not !. We are looking a gift horse in the mouth !.
    Vic`s baby !. not sure whether we should have won “them” once or a couple of times over the last 9 years, as punching above our weight under financial constraints probably meant we did quite well, but it is now that we have no constraints and in the words of Gazidis can compete with the top teams that we should be competing and now is not the time to be penny pinching when we have the funds to buy almost anyone apart from Ronaldo and Messi and lets face it, we are not some fcuking average club, we are The Arsenal, lets act like it !.

  • I`ve always thought Kelsey was the most level headed realist in the Arsenal blogging world, so may I say I`m not a Doomer as well as I think along the lines of Kelsey, but just for effect I will still call my realistic comment of the day….”Doom of the Day”… sounds so much better than ….Realist of the Day !… I know that Stretch takes a steak tenderising mallet to his cock every time he reads a Wenger gripe !…….so whenever your invited around to Stretches loft for a BBQ, opt out of the rare to medium rare steak on offer and say you`re a vegetarian !. hahaha

  • Gerry, excellent analysis on formations mate and much appreciated on the comparisons with the French league. We have all the right pieces to play a 4-3-3 or some version of it, yet Arsene continues to force square pegs into round holes. Our pace is something we should take advantage of right now, and playing Ozil centrally with Campbell, Ox and Sanchez as the front three should allow us to better break down the opposition and not leave a lone ST on his own trying to play off the shoulder of the last defender (unless OG is playing, then the strategy of a 4-2-3-1 works much better).

    Don’t even get me started on how frustrated I get with most of this team’s work rate. How difficult is it to make a run to the back post? It’s as if we’re scared to go in for headers or only know how to score one way. It’s even more frustrating because I get the sense that it’s a squad mentality and am worried it becomes contagious. Ramsey, Giroud and Koscielny (Ox too but he hasn’t played enough yet) seem to be exceptions to this rule, so hopefully Alexis continues to work as hard as he has and does not become complacent and more stationary like many others in our squad.

  • 17ht, I hear you buddy, getting lost in the transfer mania can be quite depressing and bi-polar. News of OG’s injury is not even confirmed yet, but that doesn’t stop media outlets from “confirming” it themselves and speculating on new players we’re bringing in…the day Arsene pays 20 million to loan a player, is the day I will officially admit that I do not understand anything about the club’s transfer policies.

  • Look Kelsey !…..if you`re going to put your handsome bastard avatar up for all the Arsenal world to see, then you have to accept the proposals !. Your avatar is like the “Page 3” of the Arsenal blogging world, there are grown men sitting in there toilets knocking one out to your avatar !. hahahaha

  • Right on Cockie…about getting older and losing the ones you love, etc., etc…

    My point about the market–and I’ll attempt to be briefer this time–is that management must work the seams between being the vast majority (the selling clubs, which we were just a few years ago…) and the money down the drain clubs who are skewing the system. FFP seems to be curbing transfers but the big story is salaries. Unlike clubs whose owners don’t mind taking losses, Stan is all about the bottom line. As such, before we award lottery-prize salaries on punts (and each player’s future contributions, no matter how awesome his past or his potential might appear–are ALL still punts…) we must clear our deadwood. OK, Bendtner is gone, but we still have Poldolski on the books. Who will the be the next guy on SQ money and will he contribute at the level we actually need?…

    It’s not the worst game if you can embrace it. On the other hand, if you insist on saying “Buy, buy, buy,” without a thought that each buy is a commitment which may bite you in the ass, you are really saying “Stan out, get me a Sheik.” If you ask me (and nobody is, so I’ll fuck off in a bit…) Stan is unlikely to change his syrup let alone his spots. His management team, however, seems somewhat more malleable. Ozil and Alexis seem good buys to me and an interesting part of the market to be playing (rejects from the Spanish giants). Would we be equally happy if we had splashed (even more) on Draxler last January? How far do we go to play in these waters? Is DiMaria really twice as good as Alexis? Is Juan Mata 3 times our own Santi Cazorla or half an Ander Herrera or Shinji Kagawa?

    I hope AW knows best but I’m never sure and I would sure love to see the responsibility spread around and get the feeling that we were more on top of our scouting. Still, when bloggers purport to know more than the current manager and just say “buy him, no, buy him, no, buy him” (with little or no sensitivity to the consequences if we actually DO buy these players)… well, it’s really rather laughable. Maybe if you’re the sort who watches a ton of football instead of just getting worked up by a ton of headlines…

    On that note, there’s a match today, no? I sure hope we can win it…Or is it better that we should lose it–less football to watch and maybe a step towards the big goal–AW out?…

  • Right on Cockie…about getting older and losing the ones you love, etc., etc…

    My point about the market–and I’ll attempt to be briefer this time–is that management must work the seams between being the vast majority (the selling clubs, which we were just a few years ago…) and the money down the drain clubs who are skewing the system. FFP seems to be curbing transfers but the big story is salaries. Unlike clubs whose owners don’t mind taking losses, Stan is all about the bottom line. As such, before we award lottery-prize salaries on punts (and each player’s future contributions, no matter how awesome his past or his potential might appear–are ALL still punts…) we must clear our deadwood. OK, Bendtner is gone, but we still have Poldolski on the books. Who will the be the next guy on SQ money and will he contribute at the level we actually need?…

    It’s not the worst game if you can embrace it. On the other hand, if you insist on saying “Buy, buy, buy,” without a thought that each buy is a commitment which may bite you in the ass, you are really saying “Stan out, get me a Sheik.” If you ask me (and nobody is, so I’ll fuck off in a bit…) Stan is unlikely to change his syrup let alone his spots. His management team, however, seems somewhat more malleable. Ozil and Alexis seem good buys to me and an interesting part of the market to be playing (rejects from the Spanish giants). Would we be equally happy if we had splashed (even more) on Draxler last January? How far do we go to play in these waters? Is DiMaria really twice as good as Alexis? Is Juan Mata 3 times our own Santi Cazorla or half an Ander Herrera or Shinji Kagawa?

    I hope AW knows best but I’m never sure and I would sure love to see the responsibility spread around and get the feeling that we were more on top of our scouting. Still, when bloggers purport to know more than the current manager and just say “buy him, no, buy him, no, buy him” (with little or no sensitivity to the consequences if we actually DO buy these players)… well, it’s really rather laughable. Maybe if you’re the sort who watches a ton of football instead of just getting worked up by a ton of headlines…

    On that note, there’s a match today, no? I sure hope we can win it…Or is it better that we should lose it–less football to watch and maybe a step towards the big goal–AW out?…

  • Right on Cockie…about getting older and losing the ones you love, etc., etc…

    My point about the market–and I’ll attempt to be briefer this time–is that management must work the seams between being the vast majority (the selling clubs, which we were just a few years ago…) and the money down the drain clubs who are skewing the system. FFP seems to be curbing transfers but the big story is salaries. Unlike clubs whose owners don’t mind taking losses, Stan is all about the bottom line. As such, before we award lottery-prize salaries on punts (and each player’s future contributions, no matter how awesome his past or his potential might appear–are ALL still punts…) we must clear our deadwood. OK, Bendtner is gone, but we still have Poldolski on the books. Who will the be the next guy on SQ money and will he contribute at the level we actually need?…

    It’s not the worst game if you can embrace it. On the other hand, if you insist on saying “Buy, buy, buy,” without a thought that each buy is a commitment which may bite you in the ass, you are really saying “Stan out, get me a Sheik.” If you ask me (and nobody is, so I’ll fuck off in a bit…) Stan is unlikely to change his syrup let alone his spots. His management team, however, seems somewhat more malleable. Ozil and Alexis seem good buys to me and an interesting part of the market to be playing (rejects from the Spanish giants). Would we be equally happy if we had splashed (even more) on Draxler last January? How deep must we go to swim with the sharks? Is DiMaria really twice as good as Alexis? Is Juan Mata 3 times our own Santi Cazorla or half an Ander Herrera or Shinji Kagawa?

    I hope AW knows best but I’m never sure and I would sure love to see the responsibility spread around and get the feeling that we were more on top of our scouting. Still, when bloggers purport to know more than the current manager and just say “buy him, no, buy him, no, buy him” (with little or no sensitivity to the consequences if we actually DO buy these players)… well, it’s really rather laughable. Maybe if you’re the sort who watches a ton of football instead of just getting worked up by a ton of headlines…

    On that note, there’s a match today, no? I sure hope we can win it…Or is it better that we should lose it–less football to watch and maybe a step towards the big goal–AW out?…

  • HH, Cheers… And agreed about the Falcao loan rumors…

    A final thought about this transfer business… Does anybody else think there could be collusion between the big money owners to get around FFP. The prices–esp. the ones Chelsea are getting–seem SOOOO ridiculous to me. Is it possible that Abramovic gives kickbacks to the likes of the Glazers (Juan Mata, 37 million) and the Qatari Royals (David Luis, 50 million) just so he can stay in the game and have the funds to poach the likes of Cesc?… Regardless, this is clearly NOT something our Stan would even consider…

  • Oh, also, agreed about work-rate but you have to see extreme promise in a guy like Alexis on that front…

    Speaking of this quality…Yaya looks the part while I have real doubts about Joel Campbell. When he decides to run it looks very promising but, if you watch the replay carefully, that Ramsey goal should have been his. They were level at the top of the box but only Rambo decided to make the run for Santi’s cross…and JC is the one who is supposed to be the striker… Hopefully he learns and learns quickly if we buy nobody else up top…

  • To touch on all this striker talk, what do you guys think of Benik Afobe last night? My God, did he embarrass the Man Utd defence. Really cool when finishing and he just bulldozes past the tackles. What a monster! Can’t wait to see him return to Arsenal. 🙂

  • A collusion between the oilygarchs !……… about my theory ( posted a while back, but you may have died from boredom of reading it ! ) of Mansour City`s owners buying up clubs all over the world, then buying top players for these clubs who do not come under UEFA`s umbrella and then loaning these players to Mansour City !. Lumplard is probably a guinea pig as to test the H20 of FFP`s strength !…..this year Lumpard, the following years could see Ronaldo, Messi, Bale etc` being loaned to Mansour City under the FFP radar !…..far fetched ?…..not as far fetched as any City supporter thinking that they would be in their current position in 1998 when being in the 3rd Division !.

  • 17ht, I’m quite concerned about today’s game. I thjnk Ozil and Alexis will need to play above themselves to get us through. The work rate has not been there and the emphasis on passing means that we do not press enough to get the ball back when we lose it. Obviously Santi has his merits, but I would not play him this game if it means we can afford to have more pace/work rate on the wings.

    I believe Jack will be moved into the B2B role in place of the suspended Ramsey OR…is it time to unleash the DIABY?

    Predicted and hopeful starting line-up (4-2-3-1):

    GK: Szczesny
    LB: Monreal
    CB: Koscielny and Mertesacker
    RB: Debuchy
    CM: Wilshere and Flamini (Diaby if fit)
    LW: Alexis
    CAM: Ozil
    RW: Ox
    ST: Sanogo

    Bench: Martiniez, Chambers, Bellerin, Coquelin/Diaby, Cazorla, Rosicky/Campbell, Podolski

  • Thanks for the kind words guys

    So the general message is, were all going to snuff it, so dont worry about it. hahaha, sounds about right.

    I dont get all this doom and gloom. We are in a very strong position and will probably end up winning the league.

    I love Arsene. He is different to all the other managers out there. Whilst you and I preoccupy ourselves with conventional football wisdom i.e. the need of another striker, a defensive midfielder, change of tactics to counter the opposition etc, Arsene dont give two f*ucks.

    He is trying to win the league by tearing up the rule book and changing the way football is played.

    The idea is to overload the side with “Number 10’s”, all guys who if playing for weaker sides would be the play maker or playing just behind the striker.

    The idea is revolutionary and though it has its weaknesses, especially when we have not got the ball, I can see it working sufficiently to become Champions

  • Obviously I’m with Terry here…but he is by far the more interesting character…

    On today’s match, Santi must play, IMO. Nobody’s mentioned it, but he was the catalyst in the Everton turnaround–first doing the vastly underappreciated work (ball retention) we are missing from the other, much maligned, Spaniard, Arteta, and then getting into position and making the assist which put the opponent on their heels…Santi may not hold his original position, he may not have the size and acceleration to get his shot away as much as he’d like, but he is one of our most creative players, THE most technically adept with the ball and the best long passer we’ve got. Our game is with the ball and we look a whole lot worse when our guys who can actually use it are out. People seem to love the bad-ass, enforcer types and those who can thunder up and down the pitch, but there’s a lot more to the game than just that. Today’s match, if it has the more sensitive, continental reffing style, should be a good demo for Santi (and Jack Wilshere) Of course, if we lose (or draw) today it will down to our lack of desire, blah, blah, blah or maybe lack of size at a set piece or whatever and too much going to ground and whining and otherwise being weak. If we win, my bet is that it will be because we have the better players, with better abilities off AND on the ball…

    As such…

    Taxi Driver/BFG/Kos/Nacho

  • OK, 17highburyjihadist !… much ransom do you want for releasing Terry ?.

    On paper…..have they got even one player that would get in to the Arsenal team ?……so really no need for the diapers behind the Sofa !, a semi relaxing evening behind the Sofa, watch a film or two and look through my fingers at the score around 21:40 !.
    No win situation for Arsene, win and it`s what is expected !…….Thursday night`s and the gloves are off and Wenger is going to wish he had the most cavernous well greased rectum since Jim fixed it for VCC to have 9th birthday party at the Vatican, as I`m going to exert fist fcuking XXXL supreme to another level !. hahaha.

  • kelsey @13:24, Interesting point mate with all those players coming near to what Wenger considers the end of their playing age.
    I decided to see how the first team conveyor belt is looking, not bad but it echoes what we all know to be true and constantly repeat on this site – very light in DM and CB options (now and in the future development of the team)
    anyway for anyone who’s interested: (used a 4-3-3 because it was easier like that, don’t ask me why lol)

    28 and over:
    —–Diaby ——Flamini—— Arteta—–
    —-Cazorla —-Podolski —-Rosicky—-

    23 – 27:

    19 – 22:
    —–Wilshere——Hayden——The OX——

    The only guys i left out were Zelalem, Miyaichi, Akpom

    I will leave it up to you to decide how the futures looking and if they are ready to replace the old guard 🙂

  • Ah! I see the football manager season is open 😀

    Love the return of Luna, HT – I hope you remember the good times more?

    Now if I were to go out on a limb here, my 11 would be the warm up guys for the second half.
    You mention Santi, but there is often mistake made in horse racing over fast finishing horses, and people think they are world beaters. Alas, most of the time it is the those who have been doing the early battle, simply slow at the end. That is the parallel with Everton?

    Hence my option is based on that, where I think Besiktas will try and grab an early goal and then PTB. So:
    __________________FIRST HALF


    Bellerin______Flamini _________Ox_____Monreal



    _______________SECOND HALF





    Subs: (used) Rosicky for Miquel, Ozil for Santi, Campbell for Ox – Alexis for Bellerin
    If Alexis Is ‘fit’, then drop Debuchy back.
    Mind, Rosicky could play the whole game, and Ox saved for Saturday, then you could have Sanogo and Campbell upfront, if he came on for Miquel.?

    The whole emphasis here is to defend well for an hour, then really push hard with fresh legs up front and in midfield. It would still be a threat with the advanced position of Bellerin and Monreal, and Santi and Sanogo, and Ramsey-esque runs from Ox or Rosicky. Also a strong arial threat at set pieces with Miquel, the CB’s and Sanogo?
    The first choice CB’s I would expect to go the whole game.

    It won’t happen of course …


  • Steve – I think your missing guys would likely be:
    Hayden CB & B54 LB

    Midfield Olsson DM?

    But that is stretching it?

  • Gerry, Hayden is in there mate but at DM and looking at Miquel and B54 i really didn’t see them as anywhere near the level that Bellerin and Chambers are at so left those positions as “need to fill” places.
    Btw lovin the first half team you selected, i think that would be a perfect position for Bellerin – Still hating the Wilshere i see lol, you know i would have him in there somewhere lol.

  • Hey Gerry… Yes, lots of love remains for our missing girl…

    It’s funny when you mix up the guys who like the kids and believe they can slot right in and those who want a new manager who will just buy a whole new team of “proven” talent regardless of how old and when the proving got done (and never asking the question, “Why are they selling?”…) Some supporters live on Venus, others on Mars… Back here on earth, Kelsey is right and, back when I used to write posts here, my very first one was about the generational divide within the squad. As such a couple of 23-25 year-olds right here at the deadline might work a treat…

    Cockie is also correct about AW being damned all sorts of ways with many a “supporter” ready for the rougher forms of love-play. Indeed, tonight’s match lies in serious no-win territory. As for any Besiktas players who would make our team… I’d say Demba Ba is a certain version of Yaya Sanogo… Has size, works hard and actually has experienced a ball going into the net in top level competition… There were reports that we had some interest in him this time last Summer, I think…

    I read an article about Besiktas several years back and an interview with the author is on youtube… Might be interesting for somebody…

  • Gerry, my line up for tonight btw

    (If a 4-2-3-1)
    —Sanchez—-Wilshere—-The OX—

    (If he plays the 4-1-4-1)
    Bellerin—Rosicky—The OX—Campbell

    Pick the bones out of that lol

  • Poor old Totes will be on Mull of Kintyre, where technology is a daffodil bulb instead of a light bulb !. The result will be brought by a Wood Pecker tapping morse code on Totals cock !.

    . . – . . . . . – . / – . . . . – . . / – – – – / – . . . . . . . . . – . – – . – . . . /
    – . – – – – – . . – / – . . . . – . . . – . – . – . – . .

    First BKer to work out the morse code gets . . – . . . . . . – / . . – . . . – – . – . – . – . – . .

  • This is the most difficult team selection for Wenger for many a game.Plenty of options but the balance has to be right from the off.

    I wouldn’t hazard a guess as to who lines up.My main fear is that Kos isn’t 100% fit but for various reasons is a must, IMO

  • Steve – On this occasion my view on Wilshere does not come into it. Is this his 4th start in 12days? My idea was to keep it fresh, and he faded badly at Everton. Finally, whether it is Ozil or Santi on the middle, wherever JW is positioned, he will crowd the middle?

    I want the energy of OX and Rosicky to drive it forwards in transition.

    I do like your 4-1-4-1 line up though, but a tad risky at the start – Flam on Ba?

    I thought they wilted last time, and with us have another week’s build up, we should wear them down. In the 2nd half I can see Campbell coming good, but I doubt he would last the whole match at this moment in time? In another hour we will all know/

  • Steve – On the players age thing, I thought the third row was for two years time?

    B54 would not be 3rd choice this season, but may break through next, and then when Monreal’s contract winds down he is on hand behind Gibbs. Progress considered, natch.

    Same with Olsson, but more of the B2B type. Hayden might be the Sagna type choice? ‘When required’ for CB, but DM as his day job?

    There is an Italian sounded youth who might also progress in the next couple of years?

    So it was more of a misinterpretation of the schema.

  • Confirmed line-up.


    Debuchy Mertesacker Koscielny Monreal
    Flamini Wilshere

    Ox Ozil Cazorla


  • HT – A some point you have to try out the more promising types. What they are not likely to be is a week in week out player. This is an important game, but I don’t think Campbell or Bellerin will be overawed by it. Pass this test and they will be more confident when they come off the bench.

    i don’t think Bellerin will get past the better defenders with his tricks, but give him space to run into, different matter? And Ozil like a player willing to run to where the ball will be?
    His defensive capabilities will be a bonus too.

  • Gerry, yep you’re right mate the third row was for a couple of years time but i was using the first team squad only otherwise i would have got lost in all the options available in the academy squad. but you’re right there will a lot more options by the time those few years roll round 🙂

    The Flamini on Ba thing you mentioned just highlights the problem there, i don’t think we have anyone who could handle him effectively, maybe Chambers would have been a better choice but just shows how much we really need a player like Carvalho.
    I’m really hoping Campbell gets a chance at some point tonight and agree with you that he could make a significant difference against a tiring second half Besiktas.

    One hour left, time to get the beers in COYG!

  • Genovese – Not much. Get half a S,anti best. Ox on the wrong side. Rosicky for Wilshere,because this will be like Piccadilly Circus at rush hour on their ‘D’

  • I agree with Steve. Campbell deserves a chance to shine and I’d love to see Chambers perform in a DM role.

    Gerry – Yeah, Rosicky would’ve been a better pick. More experienced. I just hope Wilshere is more sensible in his role, in the fact, he always ends up losing the ball in attack and never tracks back to defend when the opposition counter. COYG!!

  • sorry to hear about that @ Terry

    he’s your old man, so no wonder he’s still digging deep and fighting on defying all the odds – he’s probably got hold of that good stuff from Mr.Shah down bounds green .

    a very thin line when it comes to agony and relief in this one .

    best wishes.

  • Genovese, if thats the confirmed line up its the same as against Everton in the first half apart from swapping Ramsey for Cazorla, which isn’t any kind of improvement imo.
    Well we all know how bad we were in the first half against Everton so this should be interesting lol.

  • Cheers Bondy

    Hope everything is good for you and Jane?

    Do me a favour son, get yourself back on here. Your positive and sometimes crazy controversial views are missed.

    Lets face it Bondy, how many people would spend the whole of last season ranting and raving that Szcezney is a wrong un? hahaha

  • Thats the team I predicted. Bit of a no brainer really, we need experience.

    On paper its a game we should win comfortably, but the pressures on.

  • Theres five players in that team that if they were playing for a shit midtable team, like Southtampon or Tottenham, would all play just behind the striker.

  • 007, Sooo good to see you here…I hope all is well in your world…

    Geno, Well, I missed one name and the whole idea behind the line-up but I’m glad to see that 45 mins vs Everton isn’t enough to throw out the baby. Ox, I thought, was quite ineffective in that one, but this is a good spot for him. The refs in the CL are more prone to reward the player who plays for the penalty and Ox is just that sort of guy (a diver). Consider me very pleased, as this is a must win…

    Sure, let’s get up a few goals and then have some fun experimenting with young kids in new positions–or better yet, get an easier ride in the group stage and use some of those matches for the likes of Bellerin, Campbell, Nacho Mike (Ignasi Miquel) and others who are working their way into fitness or haven’t played a competitive match in a very long time (Diaby, Poldolski). Yes, Gerry, it’s true that young guys need experience in important matches. As such, very well done last night for Benik Afobe…This one, however, might be too important…

    Apologies all around if I get tired of the two extremes (Buy, Buy, Buy vs All Kids and send the old Spanish guys to the glue factory). The truth is that a few kids will come through the system and make it towards the required level–one every two years would seem a VERY good return–and we will buy 3 or 4 players each season and hopefully they equal good value. The idea that unproven youth can suddenly be world class (or that players rejected from their current squad will suddenly blossom in ours once we give them a 4 year contract…) is a symptom of a perpetual dissatisfaction with what’s in front of our eyes. They call football the beautiful game, but I see so little appreciation–so much dissatisfaction–here on the internet that you would think watching the game is a form of penance…

    Like I said, I apologize for my bad attitude and I will Feck off (again) soon enough…Wenger out if we aren’t up 2 goals in the first 15 mins?

    In the meantime, if others are watching maybe us wee little mouses (Superspy, I’m talking to you…and your saucy sauces…) should have some fun…

  • Off on my line-up by 1 player! Sanogo in and Cazorla out with Alexis shifting to ST. Good choices, should be an entertaining game. Hopefully Ozil can work his magic at CAM.

  • Blimey is it me or does Debuchy (and his haircut) remind you of Freddie Ljungberg?

    Anyway, the right flank is looking pretty lively.

  • Hi all..
    Wenger play Ozil in LW and Cazorla Wilshere as double AM..
    With Sanchez as our target man..

  • 17ht, you can’t complain about Ox being a diver (of which he doesn’t do that often) and then talk about appreciating the beauty of the game you hack. Go take your obnoxious, arrogant attitude comments elsewhere if you’re going to be that way.

    On an unrelated note, we look fresh and lively out there. Everyone playing very well, Ox and Jack look like they have an abundance of energy. Flamini being smart in the tackle and Alexis making better runs and Ozil is linking up better. Let’s go Gunners!

  • Hey Alcide, Henry…

    Alcide, you failed to stop by on your tour of the Americas… Henry, how’s Yoona the Goona?..

    We need that first goal and the magic 15 mins has passed… ;(

    Ref letting them play…

    HH, Sorry if I touched a nerve…going to ground is part of the game, IMO, and an element Arsenal are too naive about, I think… (I thought we were friends, but if you say we aren’t I guess I’ll have to absorb it…)

    Whooo…Sir Chez using hands right on the edge of the box.

  • I meant the hack comment lightheartedly, but the arrogant part is true. This is a blog where people are free to discuss as they wish and as you can see from the comments, there are plenty surrounding the actual game. People value different things about football and have different philosophies about what to discuss and appreciate. It’s as senseless to force discussion into only talking about the game as it would be for me to force people to purely discuss transfer rumours.

  • You’re right, HH, In all seriousness, I do not mean to be a cyber-bully of any sort 😉 and people (of course) can comment as they like… Sometimes the obligation to read all comments (which I do if I’m writing) feels a little weighty when so much seems like complaint… I’ll attempt to self-moderate

    Crash between Taxi Driver and flying Turk seems like not real damage done. Ozil and Sanchez well off the same wavelength…

  • Key intervention by the Taxi Driver after Ba climbs the BFG ladder…

    Foul given on Alexis there? Seems like nobody is quite sure what to do w/o the big fella up there… We’re working hard but nothing coming off…

    Besiktas getting a bit more of the ball, as well…

  • Hmm that’s two penalties we could have had against us, we need to be careful…

    Hi 17, I was in a business trip in central and South America, I would have stopped by otherwise!

  • Defense not holding the offside trap but Jack pulls out of the challenge and the ref gets it right. We are not looking very good at the moment… This scoreline means 120 mins…

    Alexis touch just a tad heavy…

  • Hi 17h.. nice to see you back..
    My Yoona is great.. can walk already and talk a little bit.. hehe..

    Sanchez.. finally.. great assist from Ozil..

    I think Cazorla must replace by Rosicky.. so we can attack more..
    Chambers for Debuchy..

  • 17ht, always better to just ignore the comments if you already see they’re discussing transfers then. In the same way people drive themselves nutty following all the media spun rumours out there, you’re doing the same to yourself by reading transfer blog comments mate 😉

    Great goal by Alexis, very timely and much needed! Here’s to hoping for many more and a brilliant start to his Arsenal career!

  • Perfect, first time OT goal will hurt them. I thought we played well with decent movement, and some fluidity despite a few misplaced passes (which seemed to largely involve our new players Alexis and Mathieu so I’ll blame it on their not being integrated yet). In the context of a deep seating Besiktas, a good first half overall. Their turn to press, our turn to counter! Is that the first time we are leading the score this season?

  • Hehe HH, I am one of those crazy people that read about transfer rumors, knowing that 95% is imaginary! and the remaining 5% has some grounds by sheer coincidence and luck.

  • some of the diving by Bsk in this game is shocking.

    Did Jack even touch that bloke when he went down in the box? Start fining these wankers for christ sake. A player shouldn’t be able to get away with it when the consequences are so great (let alone a match with humongous ramifications)

  • HH, don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine… 🙂 The transfers don’t bother me just the expectations which cannot possibly be fulfilled. Low expectations = key to happiness. With my football team, reasonable expectations give a chance to maybe (enjoy) the matches as well as the greater narratives…

    Nice first attack of the 2nd period…45 mins to hold this lead, or better yet, add to it…

    Very good pressing from Santi and Jack to win possession and a corner but then a miscommunication between them to lose it…

    Whoa…Ox pulls the keeper out and almost makes something of it…Not the best corner I’ve ever seen, however….

  • Alexis could’ve easily bagged his 2nd there. Well played lads. I’m enjoying it.

  • Hey Ozzie… The whole gang is (almost) here…Where PPP? Wee hours down there, eh?…

    Alexis almost bundles in another and the glory of his work rate might be starting to wear on the men in black…2nd goal would seal it…As it is, a little edgy for my taste…

    FK given (more diving rewarded) but too far out and too central…

  • The Arsenal trained player (Ozy) looks very good. His FK wasn’t that far off… Ozil impeded at the other end…

    Damn, it’d be nice to get the breather goal…

    Kos almost, Taxi Driver only side netting…

  • evening 17 (yeah game started at 2.30 down here). PPP is probably smart and sleeping.

    @ alcide

    Jack definitely shouldn’t have gone for it but he didn’t follow through = no harm done. Instead it’s “arsenal lucky to escape a penalty blah blah blah”

  • Substitute time nearing? Campbell would bring some nice energy in attack right about now.

  • Blocked Flamini clearance draws side netting (and nerves from the crowd–awhile ago)… We just can’t quite get our passes right so individual effort seems the way forward. Indeed, Alexis just goes and goes–and finally gets the whistle but the FK comes to nothing…

    Kos and Demba Ba are having quite the battle…

    We need that 2nd goal in order to breathe freely… Ugh…cannot convert the 3 on 2…

    Oh shit, Taxi Driver off…

  • shit!!!!!!! how did we not score there.

    Fuck 10 men. God those missed opportunities could kill us!!! too fucking blaise’

  • Ozil sacrificed, Chambers attempting to come on, but failing…Ref maybe knows he went too far and trying to settle things down?…

    Nothing easy for this Arsenal team…

  • It’s a thing of beauty to see those slide tackles from Chambers & Ox! ARSENAL FIGHTING. Lovin’ it..

  • Very nice defending but Mert caught immobile. Luckily Ba not a match with height of his own…

    Ref has let this get too far onto the wild side…Injury time = 4 mins…

    I need air…

  • Just managed to get a good internet connection at my friends house where we were watching the game. WE’RE THROUGH! Seems like Wenger went with experience only and it worked. No Chambers, Sanogo or Campbell. But what the hell was the whole Chambers getting a yellow about?

  • He didn’t wait for the ref to signal him in… Seriously, you don’t give yellows for that

  • Well that was no pushover. Good effort by the boys they worked really hard for that. They all did well but I thought Jack, Santi and Alexis all put their heart and soul into that. Not there yet but it’s starting to look like a team

  • Alcide, that’s still ridiculous. I’ve seen other players do that and not get a yellow. Anyway at least we’re through. Arsene is right when he talks about our consistency in the league throughout the years and getting into the CL spots year on year. Now we need to take the next step forward by winning the league and/or at least getting into the quarter finals/semi finals of the CL.

  • Yes.. we win.. We really own the CL.. hehe..
    What a damn stupid referee..

    Hi Oz.. Carvalho is coming.. tomorrow we shall know about that..
    And Walcott is also comingback.. hahaha..

  • @ HH

    a tea bag stays in the cup longer. haha mate said it yesterday…love it

  • @ AFC

    yep. same as the van judas yellow for “time wasting”. Happens all the time yet you have idiots on power trips wanting to be heard. he was a muppet all game

  • AFC, totally ridiculous indeed. Anyway, we’re through, and maybe we will finally have the couple of signings we’re hoping for.

    Otherwise, i thought Jack had a great game, despite a couple errors in the beginning. Worked well and with discipline defensively, was sharp in attack and didn’t overplay. Promising. Alexis’ work rate was simply phenomenal, it’s exceptional having someone with that much pace capable of such a volume of play. Love it.

  • hahaha this is a good one. Nice attempt by his agent

    “Zigic’s representative, Milan Calasan, has now claimed that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger wants his client as a replacement – but added that Zigic could yet shun Arsenal and move to Turkey or Switzerland instead.”

  • No Napoli and Celtic this time.. maybe Steau Bucharest also out..
    Very happy we make it again 17 years in row..
    Bye all

  • Well said Alcide about Alexis “volume of play.” He got the goal and showed a spirit which goes beyond his price-tag… Taxi Driver got sent off, but I’m warming up to him. In retrospect the good organization and the fact they really couldn’t break us down even with the extra man is very satisfying. Ugly, of course, but sometimes it’s the result which matters…and this result is a big one. Spend some money? Regroup? Beat the Champions of the Championship on Sunday?… At least we can breathe again and keep moving forward…

    The ref had a bit of a shocker and let it get away late, but at least he got the dive in our box correct. (No contact from Jack, who should’ve pulled out even more.) People may slag off Ozil for his less-than-Alexis spirit, but that was his assist for the goal… Obviously we miss Ramsey and his tireless running but Smoker Jack and Wee Santi did their utmost and never ran (or fell…) from the tight spaces and the challenges they present… I got a little worried about Ox getting tired as the match wore on, but he threw his big body around effectively even at the end…

    The draw is tomorrow, not Friday, I guess, and avoiding another group of death seems needed as we’re clearly gonna take some time before we really start clicking… Additionally the news on Giroud makes our position in the marketplace quite a bit weaker…Monday (bank holiday here…) could be fun (or terrifying/miserable) depending on your POV…

    Anyhow, sorry if I’m too arrogant or a hack (don’t know my football…) or not critical enough of management and all that… And sorry for writing so much. It felt like an important match and a big challenge for the squad, etc., etc., etc. so I’m pretty relieved we got past it…

    I hadn’t heard the tea bag joke so cheers there, HH… ManUnited envy *should* be at a low spot, but that’s Cockie’s territory and he’s probably still behind the sofa… Night all (mid-afternoon actually)…

  • F*uck that was close

    17, If they had equalised I think we would all have become Travis Bickle. I could take the wife on a lovely date to watch a porn movie. We would sit in the back row, very quiet there. Apart from some bloke in a rain coat with a suspiciosly moving arm

    Does any one know a young prostitute that needs to be saved from a high heel wearing Pimp? I will kill the bastard and then give the Prostitute some money to go home to her family. Obviously refusing her invitation to suck me off, you cant save society behaving like that.

    After that, if some one can identify a greasy politician with a perfect hairline and bleached teeth, that would be nice

  • By the way, Wilshere was outstanding tonight.

    The aim is to have a midfield that is one of the best in Europe, with Aaron and Jack at its core, and it will happen.

  • With this squad, we had a lot more opportunities for counter-attacks which is always a plus. I love this style of football.

    My ratings on key players:
    Alexis Sanchez – Does this guy ever stop working? He was amazing for us. Made the right type of runs, just needed the final ball from the players. But when he got it? My God, he took his chance. Clinical. Great direct dribbles and shown some fighting spirit which Arsenal have lacked at times. I think the only thing he really needs to improve on is his decision-making. He made a risky pass to Flamini and Besiktas were in on us. Another one was where we were on the counter and Alexis had the opportunity to shoot but played it to Cazorla (I think). Forget about it. I think he just needs a little time to find his element and get used to his role in the squad. Same goes for those around him, all the players will improve their chemistry and it’ll work out for the best.

    Ozil – I find that he’s the guy who keeps us ticking in attack. He has great ball retention, decisive link-up play and he’s the perfect guy to rely on in a counter-attacking situation. I think we all saw at one point Alexis was right in on goal and all Ozil had to do was find him with the key pass but you know it’s something which relates back to the players finding their element and chemistry. It will click sooner or later.

    Cazorla – Top game. Brilliant in attack and even in defence. Solid player. Not more needs to be said really.

    Ox – Ferocious fella. He’s scary when he whizzes past players and leaves them for dust. Played in some dangerous ball from the flanks, just needed the right man to get on the end of them. Even had his own opportunity but it was close range and straight at the goalie. Atleast you can commend him for making the right run to the near post. Always improving, this lad. Future legend? Most likely.

    Wilshere – I wasn’t keen on Wilshere starting but he really atoned for his previous performances. He came out with a spark. Made some direct runs, not leading himself down blind-alleys like more often than not. But you know why he had an outstanding game? He worked his socks off to track back and get stuck in with the tackles. He won us the ball on many occasions and helped orchestrate the attacks. I was really pleased and felt happy seeing him flourish in tonight’s game. Let’s promise he keeps it up.

    Flamini – What can I say? Pulled off some belting tackles. Did his bit to protect the back four. Couldn’t ask for more really. Did good not to get booked. How did that not happen? Anyway, I’d just like to talk on this role in particular. Now, I think whether we get a new DM or not, we could really do with a player who can play accurate long balls for the attackers to latch onto. Maybe a Gerrard/Scholes esque player. I know everyone rabbits on about the strength and size needed but it’d help if we had some extra extra from this role for attacks.

    I’ll stop here and just say that the back four were top draw. Yes, Debuchy got a red but it was a poor call from the ref. Same goes for Chambers’ yellow. Complete bullshit.

    A lot to take away from this game, mainly positives. COYG!

  • Well that is more like what we wanted from our players. It was interesting the video interview with Ox that they showed pre match, he said almost everything I posted earlier, re moving and playing the ball quicker, and the players knew this and were working to get better.
    …. and it showed in this performance?

    My first observation was that when Jack slipped the three guys and moved off smartly, I thought, I see they are going to target Jack at every opportunity as an easy guy to dispossess. On recent evidence, the Bilic plan would have worked well. So fortunately for us, Jack turns in the best performance for a very long time, and unfortunately for them, Bilic was in the stands and couldn’t change things.

    However, to do the match justice I need to watch it again, s there was too much tension to give an in depth reply. But a quick summary:
    Debuchy does a hell of lot of things right, but he does have the tendency too ‘dive in’, as I warned a few posts ago. Maybe he is more on the edge than our ex, and therefore to be expected if you are going to ‘front up’ to the opposition. 5 games in and his first red card, which won’t be his last, and now missing from our first round in the Group stage! Shame, because it blotted an otherwise outstanding performance?
    The mass of yellows that we have accrued will also be a major problem in the next few games, as they are not wiped??
    Staying down the right side, I thought Ox was close to MOTM with his running, discipline, and all round play. He was playing for a starting role in every game, and it showed.
    Same could be said of Santi, back to a more central role. Worked really hard and deserves a lot of credit.
    Flamini may have been lucky to avoid a card, as he still dives in with the two footed tackles, but another who had to put a good shift in working solo to protect the back 4.
    Ozil drew the short straw out wide, but he has the class to carry it off. Unfair criticism last time, given the short time back in training. This time, that lack of full fitness showed in the later stages, after he had done an awful lot of running to keep moves alive. Kept the ball remarkably well down the line. Top effort that will only improve as he gets to know the new players better?
    Wilshere? What can I say? He showed in a full game the glimses of what a player he can be when he works at it. Fully deserves the MOTM award.. Quick feet and quick passing meant the ‘cul-de-sac’ never came to him, and ability to play the right ball most of the time is what his critics, myself included, wanted to see. He was a tad lucky in the one-two that led up to the goal, which he clearly was setting himself up for a shot, but he mis-controlled the return and Alexis got there first. Boy would he have been in trouble if the two collided and ruined the chance? Late on in injury time, when keeping possession was a priority, he kept trying to do too much, but that was down to tiredness of the brain, I guess? He supported Nacho on the left really well, and it is a good sign for the future ..we hope? Apart from the near penalty, he, like Flamini, did have that occasional lapse with the tackling from behind. In the previous game I thought he could have had got a red card? This time, one tackle looked a yellow, but not given. he is going to to work on that in future, and in CL games in particular!
    Monreal looks to have found a second wind after a spell on the bench. Had good support so our left flank was rarely exposed. Solid game.
    Per and Kos are what they are – Simply the best!
    Chambers when he came on showed his naivety, and why it was a good time to rest him?
    Szcz did not have too much to do, and dealt with every thing well. Time wasting apart, sound game.
    Alexis? I think his ‘time out’ in the second half at Everton has brought him back to the rest of the team. He did not try too much on his own up front like last time, and apart from the odd bad decisions late on, when we should have wrapped up the game, his second attempt at No9 was much better. I still fell he would be better with a partner up front, but I see him more as an Aguera type, than a Messi type?

    Great team effort. Glad they have got the extra day rest, they’ll need it! But that fighting spirit is reaping its rewards. Interesting comment on JW by the Sky panel. Ramsey’s absence makes JW a better player? Ooh er, solve that one AW!
    HT – Glad you have not been frightened off by HH is comment : D
    I agree, I read all the comments, and at times it makes you wonder if you are in an Arsenal supporting blog? Over the top negativity and ‘sweet shop’mentality towards the transfers market, which it hard for a lone voice of reason to get the message across. I become the ‘schoolmaster’ and you the ‘cyber bully’ 😀

  • Phew at least we escaped the curse of the Thursday night games. Shame Debuchy misses the next game, he is starting to look like a good buy and I can see him becoming a cult figure for the fans.

    Let’s hope we can win the group for a change and avoid one of the big boys in the next round. I am not an expert but outside of group 1 and 2 the dangerous teams look like
    Leverkusen in group 3 and Roma in group 4. Here is hoping for a good draw


  • Why are we the only top 4 side with a all prem draw in the league cup it’s not right too much pressure early on although if we go out at least it’s not humiliating.
    As for last night what a result a lot of people except Cockie and myself tbh have said what a squad and it may not be the most talented but it is certainly a squad with a hell of a lot of fight and passion which can also get points last 2 games are an example of that although a striker loan is needed for sure even if he says he don’t wanna buy a loan till January could help however I think he’s saying that to try to deter teams driving prices up which with 5 days to go they will do anyway.
    Well we are in the champions league again 17 straight and it’s gonna be interesting less just hope the draw is kind to our output quality strikerless squad.
    4:30pm can’t come quick enough.

  • just a quick summary by me because i’m hanging this morning, got well and truly hammered last-night before, during and after the match which by the way will account for a probably very beer tinted view of the match and i hope will explain why i totally disagree with Gerry today who i normally completely agree with most of the time – i think i must have been watching a different match lol.

    well if there was ever a match to get the lads round for and get the beers in it was last night, what a match it was amazing! The dog actually started jumping in and barking to break us up because she must have thought we were having a scrap when that goal went in, it was sheer pandemonium.

    In attack Sanchez, Jack and OX were incredible, the three of them never stopped going and showed the tenacity and skill that the badge demands. Cazorla tried his best and i can’t fault him for that but still looked off the pace compared to the other three but hey it was about getting stuck in last night and he certainly did that so not a bad word from me. Ozil did his usual thing (i call it doing an adebayor) looked like a passenger for most of the night, lacking any of the tenacity the others showed but will get saved because he helped with the one – two that got the goal. As i was watching i really did see four fighters and then Ozil, sorry Gerry just don’t get how you thought he had a good night.

    In defense Flamini did what Flamini does but didn’t get booked which was incredible lol and the back four were immense. yep all of them stepped up and fought till the end great stuff!
    Chambers came on and i swear you could put that kid in any position on the pitch and he would look good, can’t wait to see more from him.

    The ref, probably the worst ref ive seen for a long time! giving free kicks to Besiktas players that were blatantly dives all over the pitch. Missed two penalties which helped us but were definitely the wrong decisions and then sent off Debuchy for a decent tackle and gave Chambers a yellow for no other reason i could see last night other than he just felt like being a fuckin helmet.

    The only real analytical comment i could draw from last night is forget Ozil and Cazorla on the wing, put Sanchez there and then stick Sanogo or Campbell up front. That would give a three in attacking midfield of three hard working, tenacious, hugely skifull players:


    When Sanchez took on four players on the right wing and won if that doesn’t scream winger to you i don’t know what does, it would be a massive improvement over playing players there that are obviously out of their comfort zone.

    Shit, not quite such a quick summary pmsl – maybe i’m still slightly pissed tbh

  • Looks like we’re getting closer to shoring up our DM with Rabiot from P$G! Great young talent, can spray the ball all over the field, is fairly physical/strong in the tackle, can read the play very well and can gallop forward a la Diaby/Toure/Vieira. I’m excited to see Arsene mold him into one of the world’s bests if we get him.

  • Did anyone else think that Wilshere is a more natural B2B midfielder opposed to a CAM? He needs to run at defenders and gather pace, opposed to receiving the ball further up the pitch. However, as we all know, Ramsey typically plays there, which makes getting him into the first team difficult…

  • It is a complicated one HH. Personally I want to see Wilshere repeat last night’s performance,before rushing to conclusions? Last night he was good in both areas. quick to get away out of defence, and clever in and around the box.
    However, in the EPL he finds it difficult to find the space for those runs, so that is what we find out in the coming games?

  • Re Rabiot – If anybody is going to sweet talk his mother, apparently on his way as I write, then it will be AW?
    I don’t see him being our answer to the DM conundrum. He is more in the Ramsey mold, an AM who can tackle?
    Combine him with WC, and then you are talking a potentially seriously good double pivot!

    The stuff about Man U and Vidal is strange, one minute it is all agreed. Then the next minute they are going to outbid us in Portugal. You don’t think they are trying to mess with us do you?

    If the Lisbon club want a loan deal, I would offer Diaby on a free loan until January, if Diaby is up for it, and an option to extend it. Let him get a number of games behind to build up his fitness under no pressure from them, before think of putting him back into our league games. We could even throw in Coquelin and Gnabry to sweeten the deal further?

  • I agree Gerry. I think Internationally and in the CL, he can be more effective as a CAM because defenses aren’t as physical and do not play you as tightly. On the other hand, in the EPL, he has better vision from the back, driving our attacks from deeper and needs time to gather momentum. When the ball is at his feet at full stride, he’s an incredibly tough player to stop and we need to take advantage of this. As I highlighted earlier though, tough to displace Ramsey out of the starting 11, but they bring totally different things to the CM role. Ramsey is a Cesc clone, with less technical ability and vision, but greater goal scoring instincts and more pace and stamina.

  • When Schober Ssshteve is back with his hangover, I’ll just remind him I did say Ozil drew the short straw. So what he did was a 7/10?
    Alexis would do more damage beating 4 players in the box and be on the end product, rather than passing for somebody else to miss?
    😀 😀

  • Gerry, from what I’ve seen from Rabiot, he’s a more defensive and stronger Wilshere (less vision and ball carrying ability obviously). He likes to carry the ball, opposed to link up and join the attack like Ramsey does. I think he can be groomed to be a Vieira type player and certainly has the size to play that position. I’m still not sure if we need a B2B DM, a dedicated DM or just more “presence” in the center of the pitch. If you watch City, with Yaya, they are able to dominate games. Of course, now he has Fernando alongside him, which gives him the license to move forward more. Still, Yaya has amazing vision and is very efficient defensively too.

    My #1 pick of our “reported” targets is definitely Carvalho. HOWEVER, given our need for a striker, I would not complain if we divided the funds we would have to spend on Carvalho between buying Rabiot and a ST (if you catch my drift).

  • I catch your drift HH. But if Cerci was ‘the’ ST- that would be good bye to Reus signing, which may not be a bad thing if he is going for ‘free’ to RM next season? – then possibly squeeze in the pair, and Toby Jug, with the extra 20m in the kitty, and none being on max wages?

    Cavani and Reus would both be top earners, and would likely screw up the WC and T(J)W deals? So as I want this double pivot badly, I would go for the above, and we have Alexis, Campbell and Sanaogo to make the best of the service they receive, and when Giro comes back, even better!

  • I’m largely in agreement Gerry. While I would absolutely LOVE Reus on Arsenal, he’s a luxury at this point, mainly because he hasn’t play at ST consistently. We already have a similar player to him in Alexis and I would rather be happy with what we have. Having a Giroud-like ST to give us depth and spread out the scoring more would be ideal (like Cerci).

    Alderweireld would be a nice purchase, however I think Arsene is going for a CDM that can also fill in at CB, so as to not completely inflate our squad with too many players. Just a hunch though, as I think he will be bringing in more signings this summer than he would ideally like to have done.

  • I see I was right in my thought on Giro’s injury. It was his tibia! Shin bone to you and me.

    The wild swing at the clearance, that the follow through just nick his standing leg, was the culprit.

    When Gibbs returns perhaps I might get confirmation that it wasn’t a hamstring either?

  • I’m back, had the hangover now just trying to eat everything in sight – same as usual lol
    My view is simple guys, Wilshere is a number 10, his close intricate passing and touches are perfect for inside and just around the box. He is definitely not a defensive midfielder or a b2b midfielder which is why in Wenger’s set up he would always be CAM in my mind.
    Rabiot is supposed to be an attacking b2b midfielder, with Diaby in hiding and with no-one else really offering what Ramsey does then it could well be a clever buy – but in my mind definitely not the most important priority! Carvalho has to be first on that list of players in, followed quickly buy one or two new CB’s then start to think about adding to our already insanely populated attacking midfield collection.

    Gerry as far as Ozil is concerned I remember his laziness and lackadaisical approach to the game against Bayern Munich when nearly every player with true passion ripped into him for being a lazy twat – and he hasn’t shown me anything much since then to bring me round (still hoping and waiting though!). He reminds me of a Berbatov type of player.
    I’m sure i will get slated for that opinion but hey i’m one of those that highly rates Wilshere so i’m used to being called a moron.

    Oh and Sanchez on the wing all day long for me mate, when you look at players like Walcott who’s version of taking people on is passing back then running forward and hoping he gets the return and then you look at players like OX and Sanchez who take players on themselves its a no brainer for me. If you’ve got Sanchez doing it one side and OX on the other with Walcott and Campbell in the middle – there’s my dream right there mate. Don’t worry it will never happen, you can look forward to seeing Ozil or Cazorla back on the wing soon and Sanchez up front with Campbell on the bench and me back to my crazy mutterings lol.

  • steve, I disagree with you on Wilshere. If you watch any of his best performances over the years, it has been as an attacking B2B player. As a CAM, especially in the EPL, he lacks the time and momentum to make an impact. Players like Santi and Ozil don’t need to gather momentum or pace as they seem to have eyes on the back of their heads. However, I would like to see Jack play as a CAM at some point in a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1 opposed to a 4-1-4-1 where there is just too much confusion in midfield.

  • Too right Steve – 4-2-4? It will never happen! 😀

    So we have 3 player in the No 10 spot?

    I did give JW my MOTM, but I’d like to sure he will be up for that award in every game? He has a nasty habit of ‘lapsing’ ?

    Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, he will be a better read in the middle?

    Agreed on the signing.

    Cheers … dog feeding time!

  • Gerry 4-2-4??
    No mate i meant the 4-4-2 diamond or 4-1-3-2, however you want to see it – should look like this:

    back four

    Still it will never happen lol

    Back to crazy corner lol

  • We drew Group D in the CL draw, let’s see who we draw as other clubs though.

  • Let’s just avoid. Roma, and perhaps Monaco (although I don’t rate them that much).

  • Group D: Arsenal, Dortmund, Galatasaray and Anderlecht. What do you all think?

  • I was hoping we’d get a break on 3rd or 4th group, we didn’t get the “easy” draws but avoided the worst, kind of a balanced draw leaning towards the tough side though.

  • CL Groups:

    A: Atlético Madrid, Juventus, Olympiacos, Malmö
    B: Real Madrid, Basel, Liverpool, Ludogorets
    C: Benfica, Zenit, Leverkusen, Monaco
    D: Arsenal, Dortmund, Galatasaray, Anderlecht
    E: Bayern Munich, Man. City, CSKA Moscow, Roma
    F: Barcelona, PSG, Ajax, APOEL
    G: Chelsea, Schalke, Sporting CP, Maribor
    H: Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Athletic Bilbao, BATE

    Fairly even for almost all groups, with the exception of Group E. No teams shall fancy playing in the snow at Moscow (& St. Petersburg) during winter.

  • We’ll looking at all the groups, we actually have a relatively tough group, with two decent outsiders. Only Group E is tougher (City Roma Bayern Moscow)?

  • Death Groups:
    Groups C (all teams: Benfica, Zenit, Leverkusen, Monaco, have equal chances of advancing) & E (3 contenders and 1 with an outside chance) plus playing in St. Petersburg & Moscow during winter.

  • I see what you’re saying with group C, but teams in our group are of similar or better caliber?

  • Dortmund & us are a tier or 2 better than Galatasaray & Anderlecht, when all playing at their best.

  • Evening Gullible Gonad Gulpers !. 😆

    So Wenger lives to fight another day !. I was ready to pounce in an aggressive take over by fist fcuking his rectum !. I hear there were 2 cast iron penalties not given to the Turks !. I shall watch the highlights in a mo` to judge for myself . Still no SQ signings ?.
    Lots of other news about our CL opponents and it`s like our COC opponents have slid under the radar !…..with no internet, TV or Radio since 10pm last night, I only found out our CL opponents about 2 hours ago from a VCC text and found out about Soton minutes ago !…..I felt like Totes, but at least he has befriended a local Woodpecker who pecks morse code on Total`s chopper !.
    VCC has been concerned about the whereabouts of bloggers such as Fozzie and Richie !.
    Well, Fozzie is just about the most insane BKer ever !, so fcuking mad that he has defied the laws of nature and probably been sucked up into his own Arse !.
    Then again, he like Richie, seemed to like trotting all over the planet , Richie was/is our BK yachtsman and VCC thinks he may have been kidnapped by Somali Pirates, whereas I have a different theory which could explain a lot strange things happening !. I think they have both been lost in….. The Wenger Triangle !…..they are lost up Arsene`s rectum along with the disappearance of somewhere between £80-200M in transfer kitty, our ability to beat …Mansour City, Manshafter Std and Chavs, David Dein, Transplants 1st wife, VCC`s memory and Diaby !.

    Strong line – up for the stiffs !…..Diaby`s hologram is playing !.
    Arsenal U-21s team to play West Brom: Iliev, Bellerin, O’Connor, Ajayi, Ormonde-Ottewill, Coquelin, Diaby, Hayden, Crowley, Akpom, Campbell

    3-0 currently…Zelalem has replaced Diaby`s hologram on 46 mins !.

  • Gerry 😉

    never doubt this IS an Arsenal side. But some are more critical than others and as long as it is constructive they have a home here too. Personally, i dislike the very negative as much as the unreservedly positive. We are blessed with intelligent and knowledgeable bloggers on this side who ALL support the Arsenal. 🙂

  • Please please, Totes enough praise of me, there are some others who also have some brain cells !. hahaha

  • Terry, sorry to hear about your dad’s health. Make sure you take some time off work and women and focus on spending time with your old man. Nothing else matters now. And he needs your love and humour. 😊

  • Gerry 13:47……….good spot about Wilshere thrusting forward out of defence. I noticed that too. If he can bring that sort of display to the EPL then he will be an automatic choice on the team sheet along with Ozil/Sanchez/Ramsey/Kos.

    Debouchy got his Arsenal wings on Wednesday too. 🙂

  • Thanks TA, your a delightful fellow

    Luckily I have three brothers so the support network is very good

    Been self employed I cant really take time off so juggling family commitments concerning my dad and work is really exhausting but unfortunately to some extent or another its something most of us have to go through.

    I bet you enjoyed Wilsheres performance midweek hey TA. The boy is going to become a super player.

  • Anyone agree with me that the group stages should be dropped and that though it is now called The Champions League, that it should be a straight knockout competiton based on two legged fixtures and the loser does not go into the Europa Cup.

    I feel we play far too much football and that also not having a winter break doesn’t help.

    I appreciate it’s all about money these days so I guess I am in the minority.

  • Good idea Kelsey they could just rename it again but as you say more fixtures more money the other thing is we could have a winter break like every other major league in Europe although I do enjoy tKing the offspring to the festive season games only time other than Emirates cup I’m in a good enough mood to deal with the distraction of the brats

  • Kelsey, not sure I agree with that. I would just rather they lessen the amount of teams in the tournament. For example how about the top 2 (winner and runner up of the league) go through automatically to the CL and then there is a play-off match between the teams that come 3rd and 4th in the league for the final spot. So if we use last years BPL City and Liverpool would have automatically gone through and we would have had to have had a play-off match with Chelsea.

  • Kelsey, it’s wouldn’t be ideal for us if we keep finishing 3rd and 4th but I was looking at it from the viewpoint of UEFA rather than an Arsenal supporter.

  • AFC

    I don’t go to games anymore but I hear from those who do,that nothing beats the atmosphere of those games.

    I think it was Liverpool but not sure,who finished over 20+ points behind the League winners, in forth and the went on to win the CL having been 3-0 down at half time, though I maybe wrong but in principle why do we get four teams whilst other countries only get two.
    I know the PL is meant to be the strongest league in Europe and invariably in many countries it is nearly always the same top two,but if money continues to spiral out of control we could finish up with City and most probably Chelsea filling the top two places for the unseeable future,or in the worst case scenario,at least one of them.

    I am old school when Champions were the only representative in the CL so when the statiticans come out with how many times a club has won the CL the figures are distoted.

    The advent of Sky, the PL and the billionaire owners has changed the face of football. We are all now customers not fans,in their eyes.

  • Hey AFC, Kelsey (and any others)… I actually find this stuff pretty interesting but come at it from a different, perhaps, “outsider” POV… Feel free to ignore or tell me how schtoopid I am or whatever…After all, I’ve only been seriously watching club football for 8 years (when we got plopped down at my screen-name back in the Fall of ’06)… Still, I cannot resist a plug for the (breakaway) European Super League… Isn’t that what everybody’s fave Dave (Dein) was working towards back in that era, you know, before the Great Recession where Arsenal misplaced a couple of hundred million in the real estate market and had to bring in Stingy Stan to save the day?… Remember the G-14 or whatever it was?…

    Since that time, of course, the banks (financing the great clubs of Spain and Italy) have taken such a hit that it seems easier to stick with the old-school way of doing things (modest corruption with the constant threat of default…) rather than try and organize with the Sheiks and the Garchs. It’s interesting (for me, at least…) that it’s since the big collapse in real estate that the Sheiks seem so interested in football teams. If one well dries up, try another, I think is the idea when it comes to parking money and enhancing reputations…

    Here in the States our leagues are in the business of making money (for owners and players at both the top and the bottom). The big money pouring in European club football, however, has put off the day of reckoning for many clubs, I believe. Underpaying players and then selling them up the ladder continues to allow the survival of (well-managed) clubs even at the lower levels…esp. if your club has a bit of history and can still be seen as a good stepping stone…

    Of course, it’s a big bummer if you choose to only support your local club and most fans have had to divide their loyalty and choose one of the brand names. Arsenal are one of the favorites, with our status as lovable loser, our reputation for “good, attacking” football and (for some) our clever, smirking figurehead (with all the hair and the name which matches the club–easy to remember)…Some even tout our “values” and that we haven’t “sold out” to a Billionaire (well, actually we have…) who’s willing to put his money into the club. (Ahh, there’s the rub with our guy…) For the lower tier clubs you’re lucky if maybe your team becomes a loaner or feeder club for the big guys. Plus there’s always the “big day out” in the cups and the chance of an upset… Even at our level we’re hedging our bets, with many (respected) bloggers (here and elsewhere) suggesting that the CL isn’t so important given that we can’t “really” compete with the likes of Barca/RM/Bayern…and the emerging powers (PSG/City/Chavs)…

    Long term, this lezzie-faire (that’s for Cockie, who I know is only waiting for the window to slam closed in some 80 hours… 🙂 ) way of doing things cannot persist, I think. Even Sheiks get tired of losing money. Also, players have to organize. Spain had the troubles a few years ago (players not being paid) and my guess is that it will only get worse. It’s a team game and for every superstar kid working their way towards a huge payday at City/Chelsea or (the teams mentioned above or ManU–haha) there are dozens of water-carriers who want a slice of the action and might refuse to pass him the ball…

    Also, here in the States (and the rest of the world) it’s a different business. Sports = entertainment and not everybody wants it quite as subtle as the current footie appears. The World Cup was all about the USA, rah-rah-rah thing followed by the much more boring elimination rounds. Germany-Brazil at least had goals but how many others finished 1-nil or lacked goals altogether? A lot of watchers dropped out as the tournament went on or panned what they saw. What the game needs is regular competition between the very best clubs in situations which matter and with rules changes that make for more scoring and less screw-ups from the refs. It would put a lot of bloggers out of business (who cares about our speculations about what a bad performance by a team of bench warmers against the lower clubs even when we win actually means, for example…) but neutrals would watch and they wouldn’t stay neutrals for long. If every Saturday was akin to the round of 16 in the CL (minus the lucky minnows who got an easy group draw and plus the big teams who stumbled out early…) In the States people pay big money for the “Sunday Big Ticket” (on their satellite or cable TV) for their NFL. Similar money is out there for the Breakaway European Super League (BESL?…) match days… Even us less than brilliant ‘mericans can figure out that the Champion’s League is a tournament, not a league…. (3 points for a win is THE best rule change the game has ever made, but it goes out the window during elim rounds…)

    Of course there are problems in getting there. How much money do Platini (and Blatter) need before they feck off? What about relegation and promotion–which are fun concepts. That’s where a Europa League (modern football’s 7th circle of Hell…) could come in–a tournament the big clubs are forced to play in and where the larger minnows (Everton, Totts, or United if they drop out like they did last season…) could mount a challenge to try and join the big league for a season or two or get back to their big money ways… Meanwhile the domestic leagues and cups could still have a role (pies and pints might have to drop in price, however…) even if the bigger teams might put out their 2nd 11 for many of the matches…

    Anyhow, I could go on and on, but like I say, usually people ignore me (if they don’t insult me)… Feel free to do either…The skin is getting pretty tough these days…

    Happy Friday… In other news… Have we spent any money? Is there a match this weekend? How’s everybody doing?, family, dogs, etc., etc. etc. 🙂

  • Total, Sorry for using the banned word… Here is a re-write, let me know if my post-length submissions should be stopped or if they’re better actually being sent your way. Hopefully you’re having a good holiday…BTW, I continue to find a sad but exquisite irony in the current post-title…

    Hey AFC, Kelsey (and any others)… I find this “how to re-do the CL” stuff pretty interesting but come at it from a different, perhaps, “outsider” POV… Feel free to ignore or tell me how schtoopid I am or whatever…After all, I’ve only been seriously watching club football for 8 years (when we got plopped down at my screen-name back in the Fall of ’06)… Still, I cannot resist a plug for the (breakaway) European Super League… Isn’t that what everybody’s fave Dave (Dein) was working towards back in that era, you know, before the Great Recession where Arsenal misplaced a couple of hundred million in the real estate market and had to bring in Stingy Stan to save the day?… Remember the G-14 or whatever it was?…

    Since that time, of course, the banks (financing the great clubs of Spain and Italy) have taken such a hit that it seems easier to stick with the old-school way of doing things (modest corruption with the constant threat of default…) rather than try and organize with the Sheiks and the Garchs. It’s interesting (for me, at least…) that it’s since the big collapse in real estate that the Sheiks seem so interested in football teams. If one well dries up, try another, I think, is the idea when it comes to parking money and enhancing one’s rep…

    Here in the States our leagues are in the business of making money (for owners and players at both the top and the bottom). The big money pouring in European club football, however, has put off the day of reckoning for many clubs, I believe. Underpaying players and then selling them up the ladder continues to allow the survival of (well-managed) clubs even at the lower levels…esp. if your club has a bit of history and can still be seen as a good stepping stone…

    Of course, it’s a big bummer if you choose to only support your local club and most fans have had to divide their loyalty and choose one of the brand names. Arsenal are one of the favorites, with our status as lovable loser, our reputation for “good, attacking” football and (for some) our clever, smirking figurehead (with all the hair and the name which matches the club–easy to remember)…Some even tout our “values” and that we haven’t “sold out” to a Billionaire (well, actually we have…) who’s willing to put his money into the club. (Ahh, there’s the rub with our guy…) For the lower tier clubs you’re lucky if maybe your team becomes a loaner or feeder club for the big guys. Plus there’s always the “big day out” in the cups and the chance of an upset… Even at our level we’re hedging our bets, with many (respected) bloggers (here and elsewhere) suggesting that the CL isn’t so important given that we can’t “really” compete with the likes of Barca/RM/Bayern…and the emerging powers (PSG/City/Chavs)…

    Long term, this lezzie-faire (that’s for Cockie, who I know is only waiting for the window to slam closed in some 80 hours… 🙂 ) way of doing things cannot persist, I think. Even Sheiks get tired of losing money. Also, players have to organize. Spain had the troubles a few years ago (players not being paid) and my guess is that it will only get worse. It’s a team game, and for every superstar kid (and his hair-style…) working his way towards a huge payday at one of the teams mentioned above or ManU–haha…) there are dozens of journeymen who (no matter how humble their roots) might want a bigger slice of the action and might refuse to pass the ball to future star-boy…

    Also, here in the States (and the rest of the world) it’s a different business. Sports = entertainment and not everybody wants it quite as subtle as the current footie appears. The World Cup was all about the USA, rah-rah-rah thing followed by the much more boring elimination rounds. Germany-Brazil at least had goals but how many others finished 1-nil or lacked goals altogether? A lot of watchers dropped out as the tournament went on or panned what they saw. What the game needs is regular competition between the very best clubs in situations which matter and with rules changes that make for more scoring and less screw-ups from the refs. It would put a lot of bloggers out of business (who cares about our speculations about what a bad performance by a team of bench warmers against the lower clubs even when we win actually means? for example…) but neutrals would watch and they wouldn’t stay neutrals for long. If every Saturday was akin to the round of 16 in the CL (minus the lucky minnows who got an easy group draw and plus the big teams who stumbled out early…) In the States people pay big money for the “Sunday Big Ticket” (on their satellite or cable TV) for their NFL. Similar money is out there for the Breakaway European Super League (BESL?…) match days… Even us less than brilliant ‘mericans can figure out that the Champion’s League is a tournament, not a league…. (3 points for a win is THE best rule change the game has ever made, but it goes out the window during elim rounds…)

    Of course there are problems in getting there. How much money do Platini (and Blatter) need before they feck off? What about relegation and promotion–which are fun concepts. That’s where a Europa League (modern football’s 7th circle of Hell…) could come in–a tournament the big clubs are forced to play in and where the larger minnows (Everton, Totts, or United if they drop out like they did last season…) could mount a challenge to try and join the big league for a season or two or get back to their big money ways… Meanwhile the domestic leagues and cups could still have a role (pies and pints might have to drop in price, however…) even if the bigger teams might put out their 2nd 11 for many of the matches…

    Anyhow, I could go on and on, but like I say, usually people ignore me (if they don’t insult me)… Feel free to do either…The skin is getting pretty tough these days…

    Happy Friday… In other news… Have we spent any money? Is there a match this weekend? How’s everybody doing?, family, dogs, etc., etc. etc. 🙂

  • Low and behold now this:

    UEFA is close to changing the seeding system for the group stages of the Champions League, Sky Sports News’ Chief News Reporter Bryan Swanson can reveal.

    UEFA has confirmed that, under new proposals, the top eight seeds would comprise of the defending Champions League winners, along with the seven domestic league winners of the top-ranked UEFA nations.

  • 17,

    You raise so many points but at the end of the day as I said earlier we the fans are now customers.

    A European Super League was suggested as you say, but only or at least partly, because of the corrupt institution going by the name of FIFA.
    Football then becomes elitest going away from it’s original roots.

  • 17hh
    Really interesting perspective from across the pond. I like Kelsey am old school, I really don’t want a super League. I only attend a handful of home games these days, but you can’t beat an FA cup third round away trip to some obscure non league side. Away games in a super league would put football even further away from the man in the street. It’s pretty expensive for some people as it is.

    The one thing I could never understand about US sport is how a team can just up and change Cities and name. Ok Wimbledon MK Dons did it here but it still leaves a nasty taste. I just can’t see it happening here.

  • Kelsey, I enjoy that sort of rambling stuff, so pardon or take it as you like… You’re dead right about fans = customers these days, nowhere more than at our club, I fear… On the other hand, we’re at least somewhat in the mix, more or less, while (for now at least) not incurring huge debts nor being completely at the whim of an owner’s largesse… I think the manager is owed a bit of credit, but I realize that’s not a very popular view…

    People seem to be holding their comments or rants until after the deadline passes or whatever disappointments (or pleasures) the next match brings… I’m hosting folks over the weekend so (while I procrastinate in my housecleaning duties…) I have my chance…

    What about this Falcao stuff? We have our own guy coming back from and ACL (Theo) so I wonder if we need two. Still, at his age (28, I think…) a loan could surely turn into a longer deal as I doubt we’d actually use him as much as people think. Having watched him in person I was most impressed by the warm-up moves of El Tigre. He (and Diego Costa) played true stinker(s) that night, but Arda Turan (from JuanFran) got them the goal they needed. At the other end, Cortois and Miranda really impressed… My opinion only, but I think Real Madrid would be better served hanging onto Benzema up top, if that’s the move for which he’s angling. WTF, do I know, as always, of course…

    Anyhow, enjoy the weekend…

  • Hi HT – I have been holding back expecting the N.P to come up.

    It is funny that the title of this long running theme is so wrong in one sense, as Giro’s injury occurred in between …. And yet! If you just remove the two letter word ‘is’, it is probably spot on?
    Especially the way the TW is heading?

    I have now got 16 sites on my ‘Hide’ list on NewsNow. I started by just getting rid of those I never read for content reasons. I then move on to those that annoy with their false headlines, that mean the opposite once you give them a hit. However, the last lot, and growing, are ones once open, you get an uninvited (and with usually malicious adware hidden), ‘update now’ pop ups. To which I have thrown in those that put up an advert that is hard to close down.
    Given it is mostly transfer tosh, I find it a much quicker way of scanning the news, and without the annoyance.

    So were are gradually creeping towards TW final day, and we will find out if AW & IG have been successful in their poker game? I would like one name to be added before tomorrow’s game to give the lads a lift, although somebody may just get moved out of their complacency of a guaranteed start …

    Which brings me to Jack Wilshere 😀

    Desi Gunner did an excellent critique of JW, and addressing the 4 areas as to where he must improve. Some of which, are not overnight fixes. If he puts up his preview analysis, it is worth checking out his previous post if you missed it?

    HT – Yes the Falcao story was too far fetched. I mean, who would pay £20m for a loan?? ..least of all Arsene. And as I have been reporting, Monaco are not exactly hitting the high spots, and to lose their second main striker would be madness. Not to mention his injury/recovery?

    I think it is wise we hold our collective breath until Monday night, when joy or disappointment, or both, can be fully vented?

    Early start with the dogs ,,,,

  • Quick suggestion on changing the CL:

    Make it a 3 month competition – September – November inlc.

    Competing clubs take no part their domestic league.

    Early casualties can rejoin their leagues mid-October.

    The remainder restart after the winter break in January. Although they could play their fellow returnees in December.

    The season ends in June.

    Imagine the excitement of the League leaders being 35 point ahead of the likes of Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal, and watch them crawl the way up the table? Every game, every point, and every loss would be important?

    That is a revolution I would like to see 😀

  • Sorry Gerry that would never work as many of the clubs in different countries have varying starting and ending dates to their domestic season.

  • Kelsey – Are you saying that they are beyond changing? It is a European competition after all.

    Yes there are different time zones, and a big variation in the climate north to south, but we all have summer and winter at the same time, give or take. The fact that the suggestion that ALL leagues start in September, when I would guess there is the least difference? Perhaps by December it may well be colder for some. But currently these CL matches are still being played in November are they not? That is the month I proposed for the Final, and that would only involve two teams.

    Another thing, not all countries play as many matches as us, so they can catch up in the Spring fairly easily?

    I thought the biggest problem would be fitting in the domestic trophies, FA Cup and League Cup. My answer would be, either allow clubs to choose whether they take up their CL spots, beyond the league champions and runners up as they would miss that competition. The FA Cup would be the first matches to be played after a winter break. Much as is, but perhaps play the 3rd, 4th, and 5th rounds consecutively, with a result on the day, and the rest get spread over the rest of the program, which again would only involve the last 16.

    When I made the suggestion, it was about changing the CL. And it would, as not all the previous year’s top teams could handle getting back on terms. In the EPL there would only be 24 league games plus the FA Cup ones, over the 4 month period. It would be up to the individual associations to plan their work load, but keeping to the principle dates for starting and finishing. These dates accommodate the WC probably better than the current arrangement? Although I did have the thought if the mid-June finish encroaches, then the Countries involved could have say an extra 5 subs to exchange if their key players are with clubs who are in a challenging position in their league games?

    The biggest obstacle may be the fact that it may not favour the bigger clubs?

  • Terry, good to hear your brothers are there to support too. You are a caring kind of guy – for example giving your love to so many needy women – and I am sure you will do everything to make this as easy as possible for your dad. Seize the day, buddy. 🙂

  • Terry sorry to hear about your dad, sending my sympathy mate.
    Very sad, lets hope he enjoyed the R’s win today 😉

    Evening BK muff divers,
    So just like early days in last season we have had a weekend where so far all the results have gone our way except Chelsea, We must win tomorrow and we will hopefully. 3 points is a must to get right up the top of the table and to keep up with Chelsea, who if i am honest are looking awesome going forward last couple of weeks.
    I am excited to see who Lord Wenger buys the next couple of days, i am a little annoyed that Chelsea are set to buy Remy when they already have an awesome attack and we could of had him ages ago. Now Giroud is out more so. I feel like the Lord that we do have enough and very good strikers , but even if we brought him so Chelsea could not and he would have raised his price tag of a meer 8m we could not have lost on him. That said i want Campbell and Sanogo to get a fair chance this season and to get scoring lots of goals.
    I won 5 out of 6 bets on the football today making a nice few nicker.
    My prediction for tomorrow is 4-0 to us of course.


  • Hi PG..glad you had a result with the bookies today 🙂

    QPR had a great display getting three points. Fingers crossed they can start climbing up the table.

  • VCC,
    I hope so mate, i think they can i liked the team Harry put out today, i think that is his best team.
    Good luck to the R’s.

  • To the tightarse sheiks,

    Van Gaal in, in, IN !!!!

    Now, Arsenal need to make this break of serve count……lets go earn our 3 points and then focus on strengthening our soft spots in the market.


  • Morning all on BK

    Whilst waiting for Totes to write his MReview, I have posted my Suday supplement on GunnersoreArse if you want a quick read before he finds his Wi Fi. A Sunday recipe and some erotic art on the Arts supplement as well…… right up Cockies and Transplants street 🙂

    Have a good ferry crossing Totes 🙂

  • Mertesacker’s lack of pace did us in there! He didn’t even bother to try, just casually jogging back allowing Schlupp to zoom right past him. And Koscielny is not alright. Something is wrong…!

  • The team REALLY need to step up their game… We can’t stay like this anymore..

  • Sanogo is working really hard but unfortunately he is not the finished product. I think Jamie Redknapp summed it up when they asked him how Arsenal would do with their current attack.. “Top four, absolutely” but not good enough to win the league.

    I am surprised Jack was rested, on the back of his midweek display. Yes he may tire, but I think he would have benefitted from another game with his confidence high.

    Remy will just be another Ba, unless Chelsea get injuries he will be warming the bench. It does however highlight the depth of squad that Chelsea have

    Hopefully we will see Jack and the Ox in the 2nd half. I do miss the old days when we used to win easy!

  • Chambers should’ve been brought on quicker. Can’t really blame Koscielny for that defending, it’s clear that clash of heads affected his focus. Can someone tell me what’s going on with our passing?

    And to top it off, Chelsea have now got Costa, Drogba AND Remy. C’mon, Arsene, we need at least a world class striker.

  • Wenger cannot be serious about relying on Sanogo to fill in for Giroud!!! I am not even sure what he is doing. He looks so lost out there. Yes, he got the assist but I think he had no clue what to do and actually missed his opportunity to score. So he took the only option left. I think he badly needs a loan move to improve his game. I am sorry, but Sanogo CANNOT be Arsenal’s main Striker. For fuck’s sake, this is Arsenal, one of the biggest Clubs in the PL!

    By the way, we need a new CB, fast! And what was that from Per? Just casually jogging back uninterested. What kind of defending was that? Is this what we need to look forward to this season? Wenger better sort all of this out quickly and get some extra players (SQ) in before tomorrow’s deadline.

    We must show up in the second half!

  • Gino, it looked like that to me. I don’t think Sanogo’s assist was intentional.

  • Well that’s screwed the weekend. Is it just me, or do other people find Ozil annoying at times. Sure he is a great talent, but he seems to have no sense of urgency about him.

    If I could improve the team in two areas I think the solutions are fairly obvious.

    Defensive midfield. I like Flamini a lot, he’s a heart and soul guy, but to be honest he’s not by any stretch of the imagination a quality footballer. When you think what a player like Vieira added to the team.

    Striker. I don’t think I even need to comment on this.

    Not long left get spending

  • Retsub 18:10…..reference Ozil. If you’ve ever played at a decent level of football, how would you feel playing with a CF like Sanogo? . It’s almost laughable.

    I want the PRO Wenger’s to come on here and explain.!!!!!

  • No Vickers Giroud wouldn’t have made a difference. I am with you on Sanogo. We need a DM, ST and a CB if we really want to compete.

  • VCC
    No I played at a very average level. I think Sanogo did Ok holding the ball up, but I take your point he isn’t what is required at the moment. 17 games without a goal is laughable.

    But back to Ozil. I get the impression he will be really good at the Emirates, but I wonder if he will work on a frozen Stoke pitch in December. Just my opinion

  • Doom of the Day !.

    The last two seasons we got maximum points from all the promoted teams and the eventual relegated ones, they have been our bread and butter wins, without them we wouldn`t have got CL with our inability to beat any of Manshafter Std, Mansour City and Chavs !. Now we have drop[ped 2 points against Leicester !.
    To tell the truth I wanted a fcuking lucky win today so that Wenger might take his blinkers off and see we are average up front and go and buy some SQ, even a loss would have been better than us thumping Leicester, but a piss poor draw will do and may be Wenger will do what 99.9999999999999 % of people who live beyond his home know and spend the vast riches he has stored underneath his mattress !.
    To think we gave up the first refusal on the EPL`s best ever assister !. Word is, William Hill is paying out on Chavs winning the league already just because they( chavs) bought our third party ownership of Cesc ! ). There`s only one chance to cheer up and please the fans ( a guesstimate that is 99.99999999% of worldwide Gooners…excluding Stretch and 17 ! ) in the next 16 hours before we all die of boredom and depression for not having another game until two weeks time when we entertain one of the aforementioned unbeatable teams !.
    Wenger has said he will be busy right up to the last minute of the transfer window !…………yeah, counting all the money he has saved !.

    If any of you bastardildos have an anti-doom of the day, be my guest as I don’t see anything good to be a gooner on the horizon !.

    Doom of the Day is brought to you by Terms and conditions apply, always read the small print as it probably says I will wreck your rectum you bastard !. hahaha

  • Hi guys…I’ve simply had enough……I’ve watched Mr.Wenger’s sides during his tenure and imo he has lost his mojo.

    OK, yes, we will finish (fingers crossed) in the top four, so this is what I’m going to try and get used to from now on Don’t get excited and think we can win the EPL. It might be better for my heart.

    Oh, I could ramble on, but what’s the point. We will still get the Pro Wengerites being brainwashed into thinking we might win the EPL.

  • VCC, I feel you. We could have also had got Song back on loan? So unless Wenger signs a midfielder better than Song or younger than Song who has potential we will have nissed out once again.

  • hahaha, nice armeggedon Cornwall.

    I dont think the transfer market is nessecarly the answer. It depends on whos doing the buying?

    The bigger question is the managers philosophy. A team that has been designed to move the ball has now become “passaholics” with a midfiled packed out and overloaded with number 10 lighweights. We cot roughed up a bit today and consequently our lighweight passaholics failed to get the three points

    Can this philosphy finnish above the more balanced and multi dimensional playing squads of the likes of City and Chelsea?

  • Good comment Terry and spot on. The problem is if Wenger does want to change his philosophy and become more multi dimensional he wouldn’t have the players to do allow him to change. You can only get those players e.g. a tough tackling midfielder on the market?

  • Sorry bastards !. I`m getting like Wenger in that I`m saying we have 16 hours left when it is more like 28 hours left !. He says we have couple of million to spend when its more like £80+M !.
    Hey Vic`s baby !…….come on !……was there really anyone who thought we were going to win the EPL with Wengers inept transfer policy ?……… I`m afraid it`s always going to be a 4th place scramble whilst he is still in charge of the purse strings !.
    We are gluttons for punishment and will always be disappointed whilst we don’t push the boat out like the big clubs !……non CL playing and current mid-table team Manshafter Std have spent £146M !…….and don’t anyone tell me that it hasn`t worked for them yet as you only have to look at their history ( and Chavs and Mansour City ) to know that buying big wins trophies !. They are in transition …..we are always in transition !.

  • Stretch 18:56

    Where have I heard this before?…….may I enlighten you? …for the past several years. Your saviour has lost his mojo Mi Amigo.

    When will the AKB brigade wake up and see the light? Get your heads out of the sands and smell the roses guys.

    Sanogo as Centre forward for the MightyArsenal…….don’t make me laugh.

  • Short answer Stretch….NO !…………Chavs have gone back and taken a leaf out of Arsene`s big, powerful and pace team of 2004 !.
    Wenger has gone for tikka takka when it has been found out !….. Barca are better at it than us and they are on the downward spiral compared to 5 years ago !.
    Arsene`s invincible`s were a blue print team for being competitive and had we kept the same sort of quality players and style, we would be challenging harder !.

  • Yes AFC, but Arsene dosnt believe in a holding midfielder the way you and I see it.

    If he were to buy before deadline day would he go for a powerful midfield player? I doubt it.

    The guys a one off alright. The only top flight manager in the premier league that does not see size and strength as an important component, does not bother with setting his team out to cater for the opposition, and believes a title winning side can be moulded through a five a side philosophy

    I havent given up hope yet, far from it. Wenger has surprised in the past and could well do again, but the disapointment for me is that so far i have not seen any evidence of an improvement from last season.

  • I am not a happy bunny.

    If we are serious about a title challenge this performance was awful
    Leicester deserved at least a draw.

    I honestly can’t pick a player who stood out for us.
    Now it looks like we have three more potential injuries to Kos,Ozil and The Ox

    If we continue to play Ozil on the wing, we might as well cash in on him.

    Why did AW wait so long to make subs.

    As for Podolski,he might as well have not been on the pitch.

    None of the midfield played well though we had a few good counter attacks which as usual amounted to nothing.

    Never mind that Everton only drew with Leicester we should put promoted teams away.

    3 games in and we really haven’t played anything like our potential.

    How Wenger can say he has so many options as strikers,is incredible.

    Santi didn’t play any worse than the other midfielders yet raised his eyebrows when subbed.

    Ozil and Sanchez just walked off the pitch with heads hung low.

    IMO it’s not the players but the system.

    AW will never change.

    Our midfield has been more or less stiffled in every game this season, we don’t have width nor a real poacher in front of goal, but AW says we are spoilt for choice.

    On the bright side we have a day to get it right and hopefully pull out anyone even if it’s a cut finger,from the internationals.

    kelsey the realist 🙂

  • Worst thing to happen was Sanogo scoring 4 against Benfica !…..lets face it, it was hardly of the quality of Bergkamp`s 3 against Leicester all them years ago when he had positions 1,2 and 3 in goal of the month !….yet Wenger thought he discovered the new Henry !.

  • Not damning enough Kels !. 😀

    Any team is going to make it hard for us if they play 2 quick wingers as we don’t have them ourselves !…..bring back Alan Skirton !.

  • Stretch you truly need to wake up and smell the roses. Do you really think we can win the EPL this season with Wenger’s current line up?

  • Vics and Cornwall, I think you guys are been to harsh on Wenger

    Up to this point the guys done a great job, winning trophies when the times were good, and stabalizing the club when financial times were not so good

    We have however entered a new era, and Cornwall is spot on about that. We can now compete on a much greater level than before so Arsene should now be judged on wether he can take the Club forward.

    I have a horrible feeling that maybe Arsenes new contract was one step to far. The guy is getting older and the game is changing, but a part of me still believes he can prove us all wrong

    You guys cant be certain that he wont

  • Mr. Monster’s right. The transition from the Invincible team to a Barcelona’s small tiki-taka team was our downfall. The cracks are showing now more than ever – no Vieira/Gilberto Silva in midfield and no Henry/Bergkamp in attack. I know we had financial restrictions to replace such talent in that time-frame but there’s no excuses for this TW. He should’ve got someone of ilk like Mourinho has this summer.

  • Cockie…..that brings back fond memories watching Alan Skirton marauding down the wing….happy dayz.

  • Terry, that’s my worry. For instance Flamini and Arteta are a year older so the level of their performances will drop. Wenger is right when he says you don’t necessarily need an enforcer but in most cases you do unless your DM goes by the name of Pirlo or is in the same class as him. That’s why I would have taken Song back. He is not just an enforcer but a midfielder who can attack, join in the attack and get assists which is what Arsene wants?

  • It will be nice, very nice to get Theo back in 2 weeks he could well be a missing link. The guy is now a 20 + a season striker and we have missed him.

  • Anyway now my friend Kelsey has joined in to, I will leave you all to your dooming and pop off to the pub, ime pissed off as it is

    Hopefully on the way some f*ucker wil comment on my hair giving me an excuse to give them a good beating before pissing on them. hahaha

  • Or are you being too soft on him, Stretch ?……..and I`m not talking about when follow him on to a packed tube train and rub your cock against his puffa jacket !……..that’s when you`re being hard on him !. hahaha

  • Terrt

    It’s a ell known secret that if we had lost the Cup Final Wenger would have resigned.

    We can’t keep harping back to the past, circumstances were different.

    This year we have more money than ever but you don’y by a keeper and play him at centre forward and load your squad with players who are maybees,who might turn out to be exceptional in a few years when you are meant to be challenging for the title.

  • Also the big problem that everyone is over looking is we have a full squad numbers wise, we need to sell to make spaces to buy new players. it is a problem .

  • Transplants going down the pub !.

  • TMHT 19:21… patience has/is wearing out with the inept decisions Mr. Wenger continues to make in the transfer window AND his selection policy.

    It goes without saying, I hope I eat my gigantic sombrero, but recent history tells/shows me we will continue to be the bridesmaid.

    It amazes me you still see the positives within our squad when every other bugger other than you and Mr. Wenger see’s it totally different. ???????????????

  • VCC
    Happy days indeed but give me Wee Geordie any day. When I was a kid I used to stand at pitch level on one side of the pitch. Because of the slopes down either sides at that level you couldn’t always see the ball on the other side of the pitch and only three quarters of wee Geordie

  • Kelsey 19:27…whey, you have to get out there and bang those drums LOUDLY, I’ve tried for the past few years, with no avail.

  • Retsub !……Geordie`s emergence was the reason Alan Skirton left !. Skirton had a decent scoring record for a winger….53 goals in 145 games !. I just remember him being fcuking fast !.

  • hahaha PG……that’s a classic clip !….we could do a lot worse than having Mike Strutter as manager !.

  • HH………..I hope it`s something juicy and damning !….don’t hold back and can we have it in 3D….Doom Doom and Doom !. hahaha

  • I am disappointed with the result, but the Foxes played very well, they are a lot better a team then i thought.
    Also we have had to play 2 very tough CL games in a very short time space 5 games.
    Wenger will get some players. keep the faith.
    From what i can tell from the media and newsnow, is that no 1 has really got a clue who Wengers targets are. For me it has not got to be a massive fee, if he can find some gems of Chambers Q for 16m i would be happy , Chambers will be a DM at some stage this season.
    Maybe Falcao on a loan til December would be good to cover Giroud.
    I dont think there is to much wrong with our options going forward the problem today was that the Foxes played very well.
    I want us to buy Williams from Swansea for a CB

  • Armstrong and Simpson !….. (I`d like to think that is some kind of comedy act, but no !…that’s Wenger and Gazidis ! )…….. the best 2 players anywhere never to play for England !….name me 2 better !.

  • Cockie and VCC would you agree that the successful teams of the past 40 years or so possessed a fast goal scoring winger, Armstrong, Limpar, Marwood, Pires etc

  • Where`s 7eventeenho ?……come on out you fcuker and try to defend the un-defendable !……fcuk, may be I shouldn`t have said that, the bastard can render you unconscious with a barrage of (brackets) !. hahaha

  • rETSUB,
    Podolski should have started today for me. imo

  • Podolski should have started on the left, if you look at his final ball and assist record it is very good and he can score 20 goals a season

  • imo we should have started just 1 of Santi or Ozil and it should have been Ozil in the middle Santi coming on after 60 mins

  • I`m greedy, Retsub….I want 2 fast goal scoring wingers, ala, Ronaldo and Bale !…..Robben and Ribery !.
    I am the inventor of the 3 P`s…..Pace, Pace and Pace !…….I`d experiment with Walcott and Ox on the wings until we get some other winger ( Shaqiri, I like ) as Ox is destined for Attacking Midfielder !. Pace on the wings keeps opposition FB`s or wing backs busy with their hands full !…..for example, we should be attacking the likes of Coleman and Baines, not the other way around !.

  • I`m off as there are only 27 hours left in the TW and I`m getting a boner at the thought of slagging Wenger off when he doesn`t buy any SQ players by 11pm tomorrow and need to meditate about peace and tranquillity before the storm !. Ommmmm Ommmmm Ommmmm………………………………..

  • Hahaha PG……that explains everything why Transplant is madly in love with Wenger……he`s in the Tranny zone !.

  • retsub 19:51.. you certainly need 1/2 players hugging the touch line. Certainly at home with a large pitch like the Emirates.

  • Kelsey,
    You are correct. Nobody really stood out for me either (except maybe Chambers when he came on). Wenger really needs to stop playing players out of position. Ozil is better through the middle, not on the wing. Yes, our players interchange throughout the game but there were a few times today when Ramsey, Cazorla, and Ozil got in each other’s way in the middle around Leceister’s penalty box area. Hopefully, we will get a good Striker by tomorrow, and Cazorla can be relegated to the bench with Ozil moving back to the middle. With Walcott returning after the interlull, he and Sanchez can occupy the wings with the Ox as a backup. If Wenger doesn’t buy us a SQ or Q Striker, he might as well play Joel Campbell in that position instead of Sanogo. It must be hard for Campbell right now. To go from being a star for your Country in the World Cup to being a perennial benchwarmer at Arsenal behind someone like Sa-No-Goal must be super frustrating. I actually believe Campbell will make our attack much more potent and dangerous than Sanogo.

    Why is it that we have all been saying for years now that we need a robust SQ DM to stifle and intimidate the opposition, yet, Wenger has not addressed this glaring issue. Can anyone tell me why our manager doesn’t like out and out Defensive Midfielders? We are very lightweight in the middle and need a real bully in there who can also play the passing game. His main mantra should be: “Thou Shall Not Pass”.

    Overall as a team, we are not clicking just yet. Too many misplaced passes, players out of form (Cazorla, Mertesacker, and Ozil), not enough behind-the-defense runs off the ball, and Wenger persisting with playing either Cazorla or Ozil on the LW. With the injury gods once again piling misery on us, it would be wise for us to beat these lesser teams to total submission from the first whistle and accumulate points now. My fear is that these dropped two points might come back to haunt us in the end. I sure hope not…

  • True that TA. But I am sure even you can’t be happy with our overall performance so far… What say you, skipper? 🙂

  • It was not a good game and we dropped two points unnecessarily. I watched it stoned from driving after a long drive from Southern Scotalnd, on a bad screen in a pub, so I am not the best person to pass judgement on the game. The system is not working as yet, and we missed Giroud enormously again. We can analyse it to death but I knew it would be hard today as the CL qualification games have taken a lot out of the team. But we will bounce back again now this mini, very stressful, period is over.

    Am I happy with all that Arsene does? NO, but we have just started a new campaign and we had to get the hurdle of CL qualification out of the way. This has lost us 2-4 points. It is disappointing but let’s not get too hung about it now. Dont get yourself under the spell of the Cornwallower! ::)

  • TA 20:34…by the skin of our teeth. Wait till the big boys arrive. Let’s see how many Gooners are smiling then.

  • Vickers, you might be right. You know how I feel about not getting a DM yet again, and letting Cesc go to the oil pit. But Arsene should be given a chance to implement what he has in mind with the team imo.

  • Gino, I have not been happy with our overall performance for quite a while, but it is early season and Manure, Spuds, Pool, Citeh and Everton have already lost a game. It is going to be a tough season but surely we have enough quality in this team to have a go. And lets see what’ll happen tomorrow.

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