Arsenal’s 4-1-4-1 is wasting our talents

Time to change system and formation?

There have been calls by Gooners around the world for Arsene to splash the cash to add some defensive steel and world-class finishing to our squad, but this article will address an issue that goes beyond the addition of any new pieces that we could find in the transfer market. Sure, the addition of a proper DM would give our back four necessary protection and allow our creative players more license to attack, and an additional striker could either add depth during our injury crisis or provide us with a world-class finisher to match the likes of Chelsea, United and City.

WengerWincing (3)

However, one look at our first-team squad and no one could claim that we are short on quality. With the amount of creative talent between Ozil, Cazorla, Ramsey, Wilshere and Sanchez alone, there should be no problem creating scoring opportunities. Yet, in most matches this season, we have lacked tooth in attack, remained slow in our decision making, creating very few clear cut scoring opportunities as a result.

You can criticize Giroud all you want, but every time he has stepped onto the pitch, we have been given a focus in attack to play off of up top, and he has created opportunities for others and himself to bring us back into games. He’s clearly not a world-class finisher, but without him, the attack seems rather deflated. So, is this a call for another replacement striker while he is out for four months? Or, is there an inherent problem with the system/formation?

My belief is that it does not matter who we purchase, because both the system and formation need to be addressed first (or simultaneously). If you have taken the time to watch both Swansea and Liverpool in the past two seasons, you will see constant free flowing football with attacking intent. Despite also having a focus on possession and slick passing, both of the aforementioned clubs are always moving forward and direct in their approach. The players are very active in finding open spaces to open up passing lanes for their teammates and will make quick decisions to play them early. On the other hand, I have always felt that Arsenal are too static in their build-up play, waiting to see if passing lanes will open up, instead of proactively going in search of them. Changing this mentality does not require a complete overhaul of the squad, but adding some urgency in our play to move the ball forward (opposed to sideways and backwards) and requiring our current players to work harder for a full 90 minutes.

Of course, playing in this ridiculous 4-1-4-1 has not benefitted the squad: as roles are fairly undefined in midfield, the center of the park becomes congested and we are largely wasting the creative talents of Ozil, who has been pushed wide. In addition, playing so many central midfielders, means that players are not making incisive runs into the scoring lanes. I’m fairly certain that, even if we buy a new striker without addressing the system and formation first, we will still be left disappointed with the end product. We simply do not create enough chances to score and win games, and we cannot become reliant on certain players to “save us”.

Buying is not always the answer and we have the talent here to at least create more scoring opportunities against mid and lower table clubs. Would new purchases help us though? They certainly would as greater talent and depth at each position can create better competition for places, pushing players to perform better as a result. Still, with the eventual return of Theo, we will add an essential versatility to our attack that is currently missing, which could benefit us in a big way. Until then, the coaching staff should really re-evaluate their approach to the game and try to better involve the pieces already within the squad. Of course, it’s still early on in the season, but the sub-standard performances to date are not promising for the season that lies ahead.

Written By: Highbury Harmony

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274 Responses to Arsenal’s 4-1-4-1 is wasting our talents

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Excellent discussion starter, HH, and you have a very good point. System and formation are as important as the quality of the players we have; and of course, the quality of the manager to get the best out of all three is also very important. I have not given up on 4-5-1 or the current 4-1-4-1 and I reckon Wenger will not abandon it any time soon, as this is his signature system for Arsenal. He will make it work somehow, but what if he makes a real coup and signs Falcao? Will he play him in the current system or go to a fluid-three up-front with Theo, Sanchez and Falcao….

    I reckon the biggest problem is we are not using the wings enough currently. We should stretch the defences of the park the bussers with more incisive wing play. We just seem to not want to do it and if we do get to the by-line, there are often not enough bodies in the box to hurt the opposition..

  2. Mike says:

    So what would you go with? I’ve tried to think it over and it’s tough to distribute our best players in their best positions. I think we have a squad that could play a 5-3-2/3-5-2, which is a thing of beauty when it works (Mexico, Holland, anything Roberto Martinez touches), but it scares the crap out of me in this league. I feel like the 4-4-2 diamond isolates at least one good central player out wide. The 4-2-3-1 sucked last year, the 4-3-3 forces good players wide….it’s just a tough problem to solve. I have heard the idea of 4 back, a tight 3-mid triangle, and a wide front three with sanchez as a false nine, and that seems like something that could be plausible.

    I like that ramsey scores a lot, but I think one thing we are severely lacking is a player or two taking cracks at goal from distance. I am so sick of watching us attempt to pass through a wad of defenders in the box and wish we had a credible threat that could lash a wicked curler into the upper 90 off a short clearance or back-pass.

  3. Arsenal passion12 says:

    Has Campbell proven himself in Greece, WC, and CL? Has Sanogo played in the a top league? Sanago can barely walk and chew gum. Have other teams inquired about Sanogo? If he is such and exceptional talent, loan him out and he will prove himself. We do not have the luxury to wait for him to improve.

  4. Arsenal passion12 says:

    We need to play Campbell and give him a chance. He is a proven commodity in Greece, CL, and WC. He is fast, can finish, good passer, hard worker, strong and can take players on. Loan Sanago to another team and if he excels we can bring him back..

  5. proudgooner says:

    HH, TA,
    You defo have a point, i was thinking earlier that i want us to play a 4-4-2.
    I don’t think to much about formations and as a result i am not best placed to comment on it.
    But i think you are right HH when you comment on the to many CM in our squad situation. Because the way i see it you want your best players on the pitch and not the bench so you try and fit them all in and the formation forms it self as a result while still trying to make sure you are strong all over the field and not leaving yourself exposed..
    But i agree with TA that we are not using the wings enough or we are but with the full backs and while they can cross, finish they can not, since we sold Gervinho the wings are not as strong even more so with Theo down. Theo return is key
    If we are playing 1 up top i say we maybe want to play just Ozil or Santi
    In the FA CUP FINAL 4-4-2 worked nicely.

    4-4-2 of

    MB——-BFG—–KOS——–MONREAL
    RAMBO—FLEMINI
    —————-OZIL—————PODOLSKI
    ————-THEO—–CAMPBELL

    Theo would have to work very hard and work the wing and up front, luckerly MD is very good going forward, Ozil 2 could work both the right wing and the number 10

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    Good comment, Mike, and welcome. 🙂

    Each formation has its draw backs and plus points. It looks like Wenger wants his midfielders and attackers to play the integrate football when we play the park the bus teams and for this the 4-1-4-1 should work well, or maybe it should be 4-1-2-3. I dont think he is finished yet with tweaking his formation, especially now that Giroud is out for so long. Watch this space.

  7. proudgooner says:

    Swap Sanchez for Campbell lol
    I forgot him. This is the problem its fitting everyone in.

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    AP12, I like to see more of Campbell as well and am a bit disappointed he has not been used more until now.

  9. proudgooner says:

    Arsenal passion, good point on Sanogo, i to want and think Campbell should play

  10. RockyLives says:

    Good piece TA

    In fact, I find myself in full agreement 🙂

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey PG, good points. You keep having faith in Podolski…. no surprise there! 🙂

  12. proudgooner says:

    Things will improve with Theo back
    It is s tough job Wenger has. I trust him to get it right
    Sanchez too seems to have settled down and found his bearings in the league, that is the positives.
    I am not going to be to hard on them for today.

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Rocky, It is not my post but your fellow country of residence Gooner, HH! 🙂

  14. proudgooner says:

    TA,
    Hello and thank you. The thing is with Podolski is he knows where to cross the ball too, his assist record is strong because of that. He score a lot of goals he is by far our best finisher at present and he is big and strong something we need in our team

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    He is all that, PG, and yet when he starts a game he is so often disappointing. In a 4-4-2, I could see it work, but that system is seldom played any more.

  16. proudgooner says:

    If you watch Podolski closely if he can he will always cross the ball to feet and right on the 6 yard line, if he is on the receiving end and the ball is not played there is goes nuts.
    He has a lethal left foot.
    Wenger needs to get the max out of him, it also frees up Ozil to go in the middle and if we are playing as 1 central striker then we have a goal machine on the left to chip in.

  17. proudgooner says:

    It is hardly ever played TA, i cant understand why, as a kid that is the formation we always played, it was the only 1 i ever played.
    I think teams maybe tampering with it to much. Look at Van Gaal at the moment and it tells us everything that a big change like that can destroy a team.

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    Van Gaal has no choice but to make big changes now. Short term pain long term gain, I reckon, but the longer their troubles continue the better for us of course.

  19. alcide says:

    Good starter discussion indeed, HH. Like TA, I haven’t given up with the current formation, but I currently see two issues that have something to do with our current squad.

    The left wing is one of course. Santi or even Özil are wasted there, and cannot provide much threat – it’s exceedingly rare that we see them overtake the full back to either cross comfortably, or close in on goal, even with our fullback overlapping. Their lack of “winger threat” makes it easy to defend against their almost systematic cutting inside. I hoped for Draxler, Reus, Cerci, or anybody that could truly stretch our left wing play. Maybe Alexis can make it there ‘à la Ribery’ but I doubt that’s the plan. I have feeling Arsene is still toying with options in order to fit as many of Ö, Santi, Jack and Rambo as possible in the team, but I don’t recall even one game where our left side delivered a reference performance. Pushing one of our AM there just doesn’t seem to work.

    The second area is, also of course, the DM, and I will add, the DM in combination with our beloved BFG. The combined lack of pace of Mikel or Flam (a bit faster but half as good at distributing play) and Per makes us obviously very vulnerable to counters, and also prevents us from playing a,higher line and pressing teams.

    I think our ‘set play’ tiki taka is fine, and thats how we should play when the circumstance dictates, but if we are never able to recover the ball aggressively, up the pitch, our slow build up game becomes all we do and it becomes too predictable. So we need a new DM, I don’t even care if he’s a regista, a volante, a destroyer (whatever that means)… I want a younger/faster pair of legs. A Vieira type, great, but if you get me a faster version of Mikel, I’ll take it in a heartbeat. As for Per, I don’t know… I love him, but every time i see him running back towards goal, or covering for Debuchy towards the center line… Well the other team usually are about to have a clear cut chance. I guess I hope our new DM will offer some pace to alleviate that weakness. By the way, Chambers did ok once more, but he hasn’t been punished for the mistakes he made so far. CB is a demanding job… If you do well 90% of games, and your team loses because of a mistake you make in 10% of them you’ll become unpopular very quickly… So let’s take it easy with him, he’s very promising but has a lot to learn. In the same spirit, I will never say Arteta will be easily replaced – bad decisions in his role can be very costly.

    I am also convinced that with a better, faster DM, we will be able to commit players forward, including fullbacks, more than we do now (it’s sometimes obvious how we resist free-flowing forward like city or pool on some of our opportunities).

    To me, these are the priorities, before a new striker.

    Going to be a long 24hours! Laters.

  20. Sean Williams says:

    Wenger is the best coach in the country for Plan A. He is also the worst coach in the country for Plan B. With the “invincibles” he did not need a plan B, but now he has not an earthly on how to change a game. Maybe he will have a sudden enlightened realisation and buy three class players and change all including tactics. But I have a sad feeling he will tell us how difficult it is to sign the right players (he signed Mikael Silvestre, Park Chu Young, Sebastian Squillaci etc ) and that he tried his hardest but was unlucky because it is like poker for deadline last minute signings. And the last month Arsene?????

  21. omgarsenal says:

    HH……..your ¨solution¨ sounds simple and incisive at first read BUT in actual fact, Wenger’s first few games this season have been somewhat of an experiment….trying to find the right formation and fit for both the new players and trying to adjust for injuries. Arsenal’s play has been disjointed and laborious at times, like a kid learning to ride a bike for the first time BUT we are lacking two things that will likely improve our performances. Walcott, once he returns after the break, will add that speed and incisiveness we seem to be lacking so far. Once Wenger decides to give Campbell the opportunity to have a go on a more consistent basis, we will see an upgrade in our finishing I feel. Sanchez is starting to get the feel for how AFC plays and each game he puts in quite a shift. Ozil is never ¨wasted¨ on the right or left but I do agree with you in that he usually works better in the centre, he always drifts there anyways. We are like a Maseratti firing on only 4 cylinders but, regardless of which formation Wenger uses, we will certainly gel better and better as our team plays together more often.

  22. alcide says:

    On Podolski… When we have trouble creating clear chances, he doesn’t help that much in my opinion. No real pace, not a dribbler, no special creative vision. Lethal left foot, yes, but not a creator, so you also lose something, including compared to Santi on the left. And (sorry in advance), I just don’t appreciate his attitude – not the permanent smile, that’s great – but as he showed again today, not a hard worker: he loses the ball, and just stands there, no effort whatsoever to track back even though he just came on the pitch. Compare that to the fight that Alexis shows every time he loses the ball, for 90 minutes… Rant off. Anyway, I think he’s a great sub for the last 20 minutes, not a first team player.

    On Campbell, I also want to see him play, but as TA said, he has not proven much yet, and I trust Arsene sees more of him in training than we do, and will play him when the time is right and in the right circumstances? He wants him to stay (unless he keeps him as a wildcard for the transfer window) so must value him.

  23. Gino92 says:

    Wenger needs to stop experimenting right now. We don’t want to wait for Sanogo to become great while learning on the job with Arsenal. Let’s loan him out to a mud-table or bottom team to hone his craft without the extra added pressure of being the main Arsenal Striker. Get a world class Striker in or play Campbell. Wenger keeps saying he has too many strikers at his disposal but he conveniently always fails to admit that they are not all that great, to be honest. He persisted with Bendtner and that got us nowhere. He persisted with CY Park in the squad but he never even played him. He is trying hard to shove Sanogo down our throat instead of bringing him in slowly. He’s left it so late now that I am not even sure who we can get this transfer window for striker. And we still require a strong and fast DM, as well as a good CB.

    It is certainly going to be a crazy all action day tomorrow. Can’t wait…!!!

    By the way, great post HH. Wenger will never change his formation. The man is too set in his own ways and too stubborn to change things especially once the season got underway. He probably doesn’t even notice that there is anything wrong with his team and his tactics. Let’s see what tomorrow brings though. He might surprise us all with shock Falcao or Cavani move, although I highly doubt it…

  24. Highbury Harmony says:

    Ta, cheers for the kind words mate! I thought it would be a nice change of pace discussion from the “let’s buy him” or “we need this”. Given the amount of talent and depth we already have in the squad, it’s unreasonable that we don’t create more scoring chances!

    I largely agree with you that we don’t utilize our wings enough. However, is that coaching, players not making the runs, players being played out of position or not having the right pieces? I think it’s a combination of the former three, as we aren’t built to utilize our wing play unless it’s Sanchez or Theo. We aren’t making those runs behind the defense and are relying too heavily on hoping that space will magically open up for us.

    I have no problem playing a 4-1-4-1 if we have a proper striker, like Falcao, up top, but we do not have the pieces currently to play in such a formation. We are far too flat in attack and lack the creativity and directness needed to thrive in a possession system (unlike Barca, Swansea and Liverpool who are firing on all cylinders).

    Not having enough bodies in the box is a result of a lack of presence at ST and players not making the runs there. We look lazy out there and complacent, which is why I call for Rosicky to come on and give us purpose.

  25. alcide says:

    Mostly agreed omg. Still experimenting, while players aren’t 100% there playing together. So many misplaced passes today, lots of bad choices and technical mistakes, including Rambo, Flam, Santi. Debuchy is not integrated yet, he ‘moves’ differently to Bac defensively or offensively, Alexis moves a lot, perhaps too much, and is not found easily yet. Need to find our formation (and our new signings!) soon though.

  26. proudgooner says:

    On Sanogo he played well today except he did not score.
    He got himself plenty of chances found the space and got an assist. Nearly every shot hit the target and was saved by a decent keeper.
    Today was just not his day, once he starts to score in the EPL he won’t be able to stop he is justfeeling the pressure a little and imo trying a bit to hard, once fully confident and calm he will start flying i am sure
    Just like Ramsey before he found his shooting boots.
    Also i would like to see Campbell and Sanogo up front like the shield final they did well

  27. Highbury Harmony says:

    Mike, my suggestion would be to play a 4-1-2-3 a la Barca. In the 1, it’s obviously important to have a pivotal DM that can spray the ball all over the field, has the pace to recover and can efficiently close down opposing players. The 2 would then be filled by Ramsey and one of Wilshere or Ozil, with the rest fighting for wing and ST starting berths.

    Opposed to having 4 flat in attack, the 2 in transition and the 3 up top will help define roles better and hopefully get us playing with better wing play on the flanks. The problem is our fullbacks do not cross the ball well enough at this point, but that could also be a result of not making runs and having the necessary bodies in the box.

  28. The Cockie Monster says:

    What a let down, HH !……..I was expecting 3D…..Doom Doom and Doom !. 😆

    Basically, we need me or Mike Strutter as manager as neither of us wont take any shit !.
    Wenger Out !
    Strutter In !.

    I have a system which is loosely based around my revolutionary 3P system ( Pace, Pace and Pace ). It`s so simple it`s genius, the last time someone had a stroke of genius like this is when VCC wanked off Einstein !.
    No FB`s…4 wing wing backs !. Fit fast skilful WB`s plus fit fast skilful wingers who interchange !. Think along the lines of having Ribery, Robben, Bale and Ronaldo as your 4 wing wing backs !. Along with a powerful fit fast and skilful DM beast who drops into a CB position when our normal CB`s ( who also happen to be fit fast and skilful, like Koz and Chambers, no room for Mertsnailer in this system ! ) spread wide to cover our 4 wing wing backs !. The problem with my revolutionary system ?…….simple, we currently only have Theo !, so this is where Wenger lets us down, by not using his vast resources to buy 3 more wing wing backs !. If he were a brave man , then he would play Theo , Ox, Bellerin and Ryo……now that is some serious pace !.
    Yes, I know !….you`re all shocked !…..it`s so simple, it`s brilliant and you`re all thinking…..” this crazy bastard could be on to something ! “. hahaha

  29. Highbury Harmony says:

    PG, the old adage is true, “you can fill the squad with as many talented footballers as you’d like, but if they all play the same position, even talent, chemistry and playing proper football will not prevail in the end.”

    I sympathize with Arsene, because his strength is in CMs, yet the issue is he can’t play them all at once. However, you are wasting the natural talents of Ozil and Santi when played out wide. You might as well sell one to provide yourself with the funds to upgrade elsewhere (aka DM or ST). Still, the issue is once again forcing square pegs into round holes. No matter how talented some players are, it’s impossible to have the same effect in a different position (re: Ozil).

    Hopefully Arsene will see this soon, but I fear that he’ll continue as is until Theo comes back…

  30. The Cockie Monster says:

    Before I retire to the comfort of my mirrored ceiling bedroom let me say…….” PG you crazy fcuker !…..hahaha. You really have to give up on two things……..Sanogo and Podolski !….Pod is not a winger. cant dribble, cant run, has a decent shot and that’s it…waste of money from the beginning !. Sanogo should be taken to a swiss clinic and put down, fcuk knows how Wenger is considered a great manager with these two playing. So I go back to what we should really be talking about…….spend some fcuking money !. Less than 24 hours before I put a fist fcuking contract out on Wenger !……………..and PG, if he keeps bigging up Sanogo and Pod !. hahaha

    Night bastards !. 😀

  31. alcide says:

    Sorry to have answered with a bit of a “we need this” perspective HH, that was actually not my intent.

    Your 4-1-2-3 is actually what I am looking forward to – as you said, a fast Covering DM in front of Rambo/Özil (or Jack, or Santi as backup), front three to fight it out including Santi (no natural left wing available though).

  32. Highbury Harmony says:

    Sean Williams, I absolutely agree mate! Arsene expects natural talent and proper football to always prevail, but lacks the diversity in tactics to adapt to different situations. This sometimes causes headaches and late wins or even draws (re: CP and Leicester), but also leaves us wanting more (re: Stoke last year etc) or produces big wins.

  33. alcide says:

    I like your assessment of Sanogo PG. I like the ‘volume’ of his performance, he gets in good position, creates space for himself and others. If he could find the net quickly (and if we had the depth to use him in cup games and as a late game sub)…

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    Great comments, Alcide, and all agreed. Good to see you back, buddy 🙂

    I reckon we should not underestimate how much qualifying for the CL has played on Arsene’s mind. This is big business for the club and was our big priority. Job done, mini-period over. TW negotiations next and then we will see Wenger putting his first players were they belong. I just dont think we can pull conclusions yet.

  35. Mike says:

    HH- exactly the formation i was mentioning, with the middle of the attacking 3 (campbell or sanchez) lying a little deeper or playing a false nine. Basically I think we both agree that Arsene needs to throw in FIFA 13, check out arsenal’s stock formation, and play that- it’s exactly what you just described.

  36. proudgooner says:

    ha ha ha ha ha Cockie.
    The thing is though Sanogo has never scored in the EPL or Campbell, though i expect both to score soon.
    Podolski has the best stats out of our forwards and is good at assists
    He is our best finisher with a hammer of a lefty
    He is not a dance down the wing fairy type he is striker that plays down the left
    Good night

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    Fine follow up comment, HH, and all agreed. I still believe Ozil is best positioned on the left in the free role BUT we need a proper winger on the other wing, as we currently squeeze towards the middle too much from both sides. Sanogo is a work in progress and is no Giroud…. And I reckon Wenger realises he needs to do something to get the best out of his squad…. So lets see what happens in the next few weeks.

  38. Mike says:

    that said, I still want a player with a piledriver for a leg regardless of position

  39. Highbury Harmony says:

    omgarsenal, I would say the solution is rather simple and incisive. When you have other teams with less talent producing better football and more scoring opportunities, then it really is that simple. In terms of talent, we are definitely on an equal playing level, if not better than those that play similarly. If you watch those squads play, they thrive on “movement”, where as we are far too complacent and static in our build-up play. Any “expert” will also frequently comment on how Arsenal play for possession for the sake of it, opposed to actually doing what they should do, which is move forwards and only sideways or backwards in a jam. Instead, we run out of ideas and instantly start back tracking.

    Again, we cannot simply rely on Theo coming back and hope that everything falls in place. Injuries are unpredictable and over reliance on an individual player will make us far too predictable. Experimentation is not the “only” reason we are currently struggling. We’ve been using the 4-1-4-1 constantly, so I wouldn’t say that’s “experimenting” with the formation. The pieces have been moving in and out throughout matches, but that is because rotation is necessary and because of suspension/injury. Whether Ozil drifts out wide is irrelevant because the fact is that when he starts on the wing, he’s required to track back more and make more runs that are not second nature to him.

  40. Highbury Harmony says:

    Mike, I think Arsene needs to re-evaluate the pieces he has and realize that some players will have to make way for others that fit his preferred formation better. I would prefer if we started with Sanchez and one of Ox or Campbell on the wings (until Theo is healthy). Then if we are to persist in a 4-1-4-1 we would be able to capitalize on the talents in the centre better. All our attacks were down whatever side Sanchez played on today and you could see 2-3 Leicester defenders running over to slow us down. If you can spread out to the right more, you become more unpredictable, while also opening up space in the middle to make those incisive runs into the opposition’s box, prime for through balls/over-the-top passes/crosses that result in scoring opportunities.

  41. alcide says:

    Hehe, TA wants Jack in the hole 🙂 I must say Özil free on the left is the best option at the moment, in the same way Germany put him there to accommodate Kroos who would not have performed as well on the left.

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    I think Wenger will be gradually moving towards the following first-eleven formation after the interlul:

    Keeper (not sure who)
    Debuchy – BFG – Koz – Gibbs/Monre
    Jack(Chambers——Rambo(Chambers)
    ——————-Ozil/Jack——————
    Theo———————————–Alexis
    ——-New ST/OG(after injury)———–

    Chambers at DM for tough games

    Night all. 🙂

  43. TotalArsenal says:

    Alcide, I would love Ozil to be a success in the hole, but I reckon we need a player in our formation who carries the ball forward and bosses the area as much as possible, and Jack just is that man for me (although he is still not there yet as his final ball is still not sharp enough for some reason). Ozil likes to wander and add value in all sort of areas but by doing so he leaves the two deeper laying midfielders often isolated, or in need to commit forwards too much, too quickly. When you see us play live, you can see how disconnected the lower part of the midfield often is with our attack and Jack is the man to connect these (with the help of Ozil from the wing….). Well, I think this is what Wenger is trying to establish but it is proving to be hard to get there, and OG’s injury is a big blow to him imo.

  44. Highbury Harmony says:

    Alcide, cheers for the kind words and thanks for sharing your insight mate!

    Something has to give, whether it be formation change, playing mentality, playing with two actual wingers etc. Buying more pieces to fit into this system is problematic when we already have too many talented players on the bench, was the real purpose of this article.

    I agree that a faster, proper DM would really open things up for us, but much like the return of Theo really helping us to break down defences, we cannot become reliant on one player. It’d be fair to say that we need a new striker, IF creativity was coming from all players, but we were lacking in the end product. The fact is, that in most of our matches this season, we have failed to even adequately create enough chances to make such a judgement.

    Modern fullbacks are very fast and play aggressively, which means we are at a natural handicap when Santi and Ozil start out there. Bench one and start one of Campbell, Podolski or Ox on the wing opposite of Sanchez until Theo is healthy. This will provide us with a player who will make better runs in the final third and add a goal scoring threat at the same time.

  45. alcide says:

    TA, I sure miss having the live overview of the whole field, I know how much easier it becomes to identify strategic and tactical setups. Hope to come visit The Emirates sometime…

  46. proudgooner says:

    HH,
    I found myself agreeing with a lot of what you said.
    I would like to see us set up like the FA cup final with the 4-4-2 but the new boys slotted in there places.
    Lets not forget Diaby, Rosicky , Le Coq and Zalalem.
    I would sell Ryo and Le Coq so we can get some defenders which we badly need , we are 2 injuries away from a nightmare.

  47. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, the way I see it is this: Ozil has too much responsibility (defensive and making runs) on the wing and is better when he can let the game come to him and others make runs to open up the passing lanes. Without Theo, this has proved difficult, even more so that he’s playing on the LW, where he cannot cut in and provide service for others (he played a bit on the RW at Real).

    When Theo is back healthy, you HAVE to play Ozil centrally. He will frequently spot Theo making those runs in the final third and in effect, this will open up space on the left for Sanchez, which is where I would like to see him play. Having that sort of pace and offensive awareness is what we are currently lacking. But even with those two playing together with Ozil in the hole, we need to be more decisive and more focused on being direct. Scoring opportunities will not just come to you if you are patient – the longer we pass backwards and sideways, the more time the opposition fills the centre of the pitch with 10 players, rendering our attack useless.

  48. Highbury Harmony says:

    Cheers Gino92, I think there is room for adaptability in Arsene, but he just loves the talent he has with his CM far too much. The formation COULD be met with success if we had two actual wingers and we were more direct and fluid in attack. However, this will not come if he continues to persist by playing CMs out wide. This just slows down the game and makes us one dimensional. Buying a world-class striker will not make us any better if we continue to fail to create clear cut scoring opportunities.

    We have the talent here, so it is a matter of altering either the formation, playing mentality or strategy.

  49. alcide says:

    I can’t disagree HH, especially your comment on creativity and chances so far. As I said earlier, your 4-1-2-3 works for me, and I am hoping someone (not Pod – Joel, Alex or Alexis when Theo is back) will blossom on the left.

    Because I’m stubborn though – to me an additional DM is needed in any case, I don’t think Arteta and Flam can cover all the games we will play this season, especially against top teams, and would alleviate the issues noted by TA in his last post.

    Night!

  50. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Excellent post Harmonius, long time no speak

    Fully agree with your assesment, but will Arsene alter it? i dont think so.

    WhIch other top premeir league manager would start with Ozil and Sanchez wide? We simply play to many passes and by the time we get up to the last third are met with a brick wall, and to compound the nonsense are then vulnerable to opposition counter attacks

    My understanding of Wenger is that as well as been a football coach he is also a mathamatican. Some may laugh at this notion but I believe it to correct.

    The man seeks a statstical variation on last seasons results by beating the big teams at home. In my opinion he believes by overloading the midfield 5 with ball and playmakers it will be enough to beat City/Utd/Chelsea at the Grove, thus edging us to the title

    However much his lopsided strategy is beggining to iritate me, I still believe the mad genius may be right and we end up winning the league with just the odd customary tactical tweak.

    We shall see.

  51. Highbury Harmony says:

    Cheers Terry, I really appreciate the complimentary feedback! It’s been a while my friend 🙂

    At the end of the day, these are simply my thoughts that have likely been borne out of frustration with the nail biting games we have had to endure lately. I feel as though with the talent we have, we should be creating more chances, however, that has not been the case and we have struggled to even get to the point of breaking down the opposition’s defense.

    As you correctly point out, there is a reason why I am a fan and not a manager. Perhaps Arsene’s madness/stubbornness/experimentation etc. will prevail in the end, but currently it just looks flat, uncreative and dysfunctional. TA has highlighted this before, but there is a delicate balance between letting players express themselves and having some structure/purpose. I believe we lack the latter, but only time will tell to see if his tactic will help provides the desired results against the top clubs.

  52. Milo says:

    What we need in midfield is a rock (new signing to play the deepest role) , Ramsey to play next to him and then Ozil at the number 10. If Raheem Stirling can play through the middle and do it well, then so can Ozil. They are both not known for their physical play, and yes Stirling is quicker, but I wouldn’t be concerned over a possible lack of protection for the base of midfield and the back four. Ramsey has loads of stamina and is pretty quick, so he can be a much more highly skilled version of Jordan Henderson (also at Liverpool). Notice how well Swansea are playing??? I wonder if Brendan Rogers ever managed in that part of Wales??? Hate the man, but respect his managerial acumen.

    Also, if I had Monreal stationed at left back behind me, I would think twice before scampering up the left wing, as Ozil has done, when played on the left side. People forget that Robert Pires also wasn’t a true WINGER, but look who played behind him??? The fullbacks are just as crucial to efficient wing play, as the wingers and attacking midfielders. Basically every position in modern football has a relative or relationship to another one. That’s how I see it anyways.

  53. Highbury Harmony says:

    Interesting views Milo, I do agree that a formation shift would better suit the players at our disposal and no matter what formation we use, a proper DM is necessary.

    On the Ozil vs. Sterling front, Sterling is definitely faster and more capable of beating an opponent 1v1, but Ozil’s vision and passing is much more exceptional. They are both very different types of players, but Liverpool are also more direct in attack and players work harder to find open space for their line-up play. The other main difference between strategy/formation would be Gerrard, who acts as a sort of regista for the Reds that is adept defensively and can spray the ball all over the pitch from a deep position.

    Great point on Ozil being more cautious with Monreal behind him (Gibbs is certainly better when healthy). Still, I don’t think Ozil has ever truly looked comfortable at LW. You basically take away his left foot since he cannot cut inside for shots or passes and he’s not fast enough to take on the modern day fullback 1v1.

  54. Prince says:

    Wakey wakey bitches!!

    Its transfer DEADLINE DAY! ……….Any signings yet?……….NO………Fcuk me, this poker game bullshit is boring……Cockney monster, its time to put on those surgical gloves!
    Cough Arsene, cough. (love the ol’ man, but he’s doing my head in! )

    HH, hey mate. Good to read that your back blogging regularly…or at least more so. I like reading your views and you always make a good point, whether or not i agree.
    On the subject at hand, your right…….But, i believe we are a few quality players short, and for me they would have to be more specialists in their position rather than utilities, unless its a super hybrid in Rolls Reus (we have a bunch of them already). Currently we have no spine and its a miracle our skeleton held on for a draw. We NEED a CB cover, a DM or holding midfielder that can spray passes to a tee and switch our play and an established striker with a decent return. To compete with the big boys, my preference would be that all three positions hold power, pace, precision and more pace.

    A DISASTER window for me (considering the circumstances we NOW find ourselves in) would be one or no transfers, or any transfers involving a manUre player ESPECIALLY Wellbeck, Luis Gustavo (or any other Brasilian has-been) or a striker not deemed good enough for a top 4 bench.

    Its true we got money, Cockney monster says so, and so did Hill-wood and the other dwarves. They said it was being saved for a rainy day….hmmmm
    WELL, when Giroud snap, crackle and popped his ‘tibi-woteva’ like a rice-bubble– i felt thunder, saw lightning and now its hailing down.

    Few hours to go, if Reus cant happen, everyone knows my second choice….Kevin Doyle! haha

    Ps, Shit, i can see my comments are being more heavily influenced by other bloggers on BK. The brackets are thanks to me mate (17HT) and the peppering of filthy vocabulary and doom….well……….

  55. Shrillex says:

    Nice article HH! I really miss our 4231 system, it gives us more options to pass to and makes us more fluid. I feel this 4141 system is both wasting our talents and confusing our players. In a 4141, the 1 in midfield needs to spread passes across the field and act as a conductor for the defense and the five in front of him, but in this case, flamini cannot do that. He is not a passer and cannot fill that role unlike Arteta. Also, during yesterday’s game, he acted as almost a third CB. He plays too deep and leaves the defense completely isolated from the five attacking players. This system might work if it was Arteta, but with Flamini, he needs a player beside him to collect the ball from him and help spread the play.

    Also, Ramsey and Ozil looked completely lost in midfield. Ramsey is at his best when he runs with the ball from deep, but with this formation, he collects the ball and finds that Ozil is too far away from him and hesitates on what he’s supposed to do with the ball, giving his markers the opportunity to dispossess him. And this is not helped by the fact that the whole freakin team forgot how to pass yesterday. Ozil on the other hand looked lethargic and absolutely exhausted and lacking match sharpness. To be honest, I’m suprised Santi came off instead of him, because Ozil looked dead on his feet.

    From this game, I also found that Alexis isn’t the player we thought he was. When we first bought him, I thought he would complement Ozil’s playing style by running in behind defenders. In all the matches so far, I haven’t really seen him do that often. In a way, he is somewhat like Poldi. He comes toward the ball instead of making runs in behind like what Theo and the Ox does.

    And for this game, I thought the subs didn’t come early enough. For example, Calum should have come on for Koz immediately, if he did, I doubt we would have conceded that goal. As for Ox and Poldi, they should have come on at the 60 min mark or even earlier. To be honest, I don’t see how Ox isn’t even in the first team. He is one of our better players so far this season. Same goes for Campbell, they should be starting these games. And I would drop Szczesny based on how shit he is performing now.

    Well, I just hope we really kick start our season after the international break, and who better to do it against than City.

  56. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    HH.. Nice write.. And agree with you about our new formation 4-1-4-1..
    I don’t like our new formation.. 4-2-1-3 is our best formation.. two DM and two winger..

    Why Wenger tried this new form.. I think because we don’t have a great winger after Walcott injured and Gervinho left.. And that’s why I said it again and again we need to buy a LW.. Reus or Bernand will be more than great. Wenger force Ozil to play as a winger.. LW.. (Cazorla before).. which is not their favourite position.
    Playing Ozil than Cazorla as a LW is even worst.. totally not working.. Ozil find himself in a hard position.. and we all knew what happened.. He didn’t had lucky enough like his last game against Besiktas, which he still can give an excellent assist.

    Our hero-Rambo was also play a bad game.. I don’t know why.. Cazorla out and both Ozil and Ramsey stay?? I don’t think it’s fair enough for Cazorla.. He was great.. And I raised my eyes when he was replaced by Ox.. why Ox and not Rosicky.. And Podolski also.. why not Campbell..??

    The good news is.. we can count on Sanchez for winger.. Last night although Sanchez play as a RW.. he sometime play the LW role.. and he look very good in both wing..
    Flamini play very awfull.. And I always think Arteta is much better than him..
    But the rumours about Carvalho and Paulinho give me a big hope.. and I choose Carvalho..

    As wise man said.. there’s always a blessing in disguese in every situation.. hehehe..
    Hope last night game will mean two great players coming tomorrow.. hehehehe..

  57. Gerry says:

    Nice one HH – Alcide has said much of what I would have ramble over, so this at least, will be shorter.
    The sentence that caught my eye was the one that included in brackets this word:
    ( simultaneously)
    That is key to this discussion if we get some new signings, as many people have said, but with varying opinions.
    With the current available staff, and a certain amount of AW’s predictability to play as many of his key players as possible, we do fall into the ‘square peg’ problem.
    If AW and IG have a good run with their ‘poker’ cards, this will look a whole lot different tomorrow. How much he is relying on players will to hold out against pressure from their agents to take the deal that is on the table, and not risk an AW backing out at the last minute, is anyone’s guess. But if those players come through, they are the players we want because they want to be here. Important that!
    CB – I saw the greek guy play the other night and he looked okay. More Per than Kos, but sound option .. at a price.
    Unfortunately for myself and Steve, the Umtiti option from Lyon I had on my ‘wish list’, I believe is currently injured? He would have been TV’s replacement in that he could play left back.
    Not to be, try again January?
    DM – Are we going to be pipped to this one or that one, or both?
    I do see it as duo waiting to happen. The muscular but skilful WC, who I saw playing last night, but I think he did not get ‘Player of the Season’ playing that averagely? Commentators wondered where the £30m+ value came from. Still No1 choice for me, but paired with young AR. The athletic, strong tackling, B2B type, that can pass and score goals.
    Those two would change the dynamics of the team in a big way. No more playing Ramsey or Wilshere deep. They alternate as AMs. No more Santi or Ozil playing wide. They alternate as the CAM. Width can be provide by wing-backs, and suddenly we match other sides with a sound defensive double pivot.? Which could be a solo role, allowing a pacy winger to step up, like Bellerin 😀

    Up front, it remains to be seen if this Columbian guy was going to be AW’s best kept secret? Certainly will please Alexis, so fingers crossed?
    Cambell’s agent has been working on deals because he is obviously getting frustrated without regular 1st team action. I fear another loan/sale after he missed a start yesterday?

    I have said many times Sanogo is a work in progress, and he is progressing. But to expect him to be the finished article this early was unrealistic, and only the injury to Giro has thrust him in at the deep end right now. Without that injury he would be building up his experience with the odd 20 minutes at the end of games, and have a greater chance of scoring against tired defenders?
    That does not help the team, which is why the above might just be the answer, if the leak has not ruined our chance?

    In the words of the song ‘Tonight’s the night’ ….
    Keep the faith, and shame the rest of you ..

  58. henrychan says:

    Here what Wenger said on the fans asking for a striker :
    “The solution every time you don’t win a game is to buy somebody. We are out there and we try our best, you have to trust us to buy the best possible solution but as well everytime you don’t win a game think there’s a miracle man. Why did Man City not win the game against Stoke? They have plenty of strikers, football is a team sport and we have not got to sell it as an individual sport.”
    read full transcrip : http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20140831/wenger-on-draw-transfers-and-sanogo

    “Why did Man City not win the game against Stoke? They have plenty of strikers, football is a team sport and we have not got to sell it as an individual sport.”
    I love Wenger.. hehehehe.. but still hope for Reus and Carvalho.. hahahaha..

  59. An emotional plea for sanity and positivity now up on GunnersoreArse:

    http://wp.me/p4FeF9-hf Pop on over for a read whilst TA is having his scots porridge oats! 🙂

  60. H Bo says:

    I’m well late on this great post HH, I was still emotional from the result last night and after a few brandys I had yesterday would of sounded like Cockie although I’m up for this pace idea and although he only had a cameo Campbell worked up and down the right wing and for now him Ox either wing Sanchez down the middle we would be firing on all cylinders, a striker with pace to keep up with play on the counter winger that can press high up with Sanchez and still get back.
    Question is anyone thinking franny Jeffers when they see Sanogo cause I am another useless acquisition, I’m thinking too young and inexperienced at this level to be Arsenals No1 striker he doesn’t have the confidence and we could be waiting months they say most new players take a year to settle with his injury he’s only done 5 months competetively which gives him 7 left and having only played lower leagues and being so young might take longer as striker, we won’t get falcao who appears to be going Man Poo so don’t know who’s available sorry Henry heard that Reus is going Real Mad next season.
    So the boss says we need nobody we will survive but as we as Arsenal supporters know nearly every time we get given a return date for pivotal players there’s a set back say this is the case with Giro and he’s out for 16 weeks or even 14 we would have played around 19 league, 6 champions league (could be out) all league cup (if we reach semi) and 1st round fa cup matches without our or a main striker why are we not buying falcao why do we insist on square pegs in round holes THEY DONT FCUKING FIT ARSENE!!!

  61. H Bo says:

    Oh meant to say I don’t think it’s the formation but the selection that killing us 4-4-1-1 is not too dissimilar and gives more width

  62. kelsey says:

    This was my take on the game.

    Every man and his dog can see the deficiencies in our squad and it wasn’t pleasant viewing yesterday as it was obvious that the whole balance of the side was wrong and I feel that Wenger is still experimenting with his best formation.

    Let’s be absolutely honest Leicester deserved to win the game and bar a couple of fine saves by Szczesny we would have lost.

    We only know one way of playing and that is Wengerball and it just doesn’t work anymore.

    For all the flack Giroud gets he does a good job against the majority of teams, but when you look at how close we came last season, the opening games are showing me that we have regressed.

    We have more money than for many a season and the buying of Sanchez showed that we can buy quality players but one can’t honestly say that Sanogo or Campbell are at this moment of time the type of player to fill the void and score vital goals when we are playing against a resolute defence.

    People talk how much we miss the speed of Walcott especially down the flanks but at this moment of time no one knows for sure when he will be ready and fully fit to play and at a guess that could be several weeks or months judging by our track record.

    We have had all Summer to address the problem and Debuchy is a more than adequate replacement for Sagna and Chambers impresses a lot but was he meant to be playing so regularly at this early stage of the season.

    Just look at all our games so far, have we been convincing ?

    Winning ugly doesn’t apply as for all our possession, in the majority of games, we have failed to take our chances time and time again. But more alarmingly, every single team has sliced through our defence on the counter attack and IMO we have been fortunate not to concede more.

    When I hear our manager speak it’s all double dutch to me or the same old excuses like fatigue from the World Cup or a player needs time as he is still recovering from an injury, or negotiations are extremely difficult when trying to secure a player, but the latter applies to all clubs.

    We were predictable to an extent last season but there were times when there was far more fluency to the team.

    Why does Wenger keep playing players like Ozil out of position? He adds absolutely nothing out on the wing.

    Podolski, regardless of what we think of him has been out of favour and invariably has been a sub, but now our manager states he is an option at Centre Forward. A week ago it looked likely that he was being sold or at least offered in part exchange.

    Many of you will say that we are only three games in but just look at our forthcoming fixtures which on paper will provide a much bigger test.

    We are into the last day of the transfer window so let’s see what happens, if anything at all, and even if we buy,we will get “the player needs a bedding in period”.

    I really think whoever we play in midfield the balance is wrong and there isn’t enough physical presence and again the system we play leads us to be alarmingly cut open by every team we have played so far this season.

    Dreaded injuries reared their ugly head yet again and at this moment of time it is not clear how serious they are to Kos, Ozil and Oxlade- Chamberlain.

    Silent Stan was in attendance yesterday though I don’t suddenly see him changing his track and even expressing an opinion.

    I have to say after careful consideration and allowing for the fact that one accepts that Wenger has total control on absolutely everything, there are too many issues on the field that he should have addressed earlier.

    I would like to be proved wrong but my gut instinct tells me we are in for a a very difficult season.

  63. The Cockie Monster says:

    Wenger is a very intelligent man and any intelligent person would see the glaring inadequacies in our squad and any intelligent person with funds to do so would buy players in a transfer window !. So I expect by 11pm tonight that Mr Wenger would have bought at least one SQ player. If he however doesn`t buy any SQ players by 11pm tonight, then he would have gone from what I thought was a smart intelligent person to a……………………………………http://origin-www.chelseafc.com/javaImages/34/e4/0,,10268~12182580,00.jpg

  64. The Cockie Monster says:

    Sorry, the C word didn`t come out !…..try again !.

    Wenger will become a …………………http://img.uefa.com/imgml/TP/players/9/2012/324×324/45902.jpg

  65. VCC says:

    Manchester United have replaced Van Persie before Arsenal have……..sums it up really.

  66. VCC says:

    Kelsey 11:01……with posts like that you should stand for the Prime Minister’s position. Especially your tenth paragraph.

    Wenger out

    Kelsey In.

  67. kelsey says:

    VCC
    My thoughts are not that different to many and I would add

    If he doesn’t start playing Ozil in the number 10 slot we could possibly lose him by the end of the year at a loss !!!!

  68. VCC says:

    Kelsey……you could well be right. Wenger’s persistence in putting round pegs in square holes and constantly trying to convert players to new positions. ???

  69. AFC says:

    How the hell have United signed Falcao!

  70. steve says:

    Amazing post HH! Trust me mate its like your reached inside my head and pulled the thoughts out. Its very similar to a post I was going to do and that I sent TA to look at, it arrives at exactly the same conclusions – over saturated midfield, full of creative players with a total lack of anyone to be creative for lol.

    THIS 4-1-4-1 FORMATION IS BULLSHIT!

    It is all about formation, if you change the formation then the team picks itself.
    There is a team playing at the moment who exhibits all the qualities we want to see from an Arsenal side including ripping spurs to pieces and the most incredibly annoying thing is we have better players suited for exactly the same formation and tactics that they are employing.
    I am of course talking about Liverpool, playing their 4-4-2 diamond – depicted here: (click the liverpool tab)
    http://www1.skysports.com/football/live/match/313415/teams

    Manquillo – Debuchy
    Lovren – BFG
    Sakho – Koscielny
    Moreno – Gibbs
    Gerrard – Chambers
    Henderson – Wilshere
    Allen – Ramsey
    Sterling – OX / Sanchez
    Sturridge – Campbell
    Balotelli – Walcott

    Leaving the back four out and leaving the DM till last lets take a look at the creativity and firepower that is fueling this fast attacking and EXPANSIVE NOT CONGESTED team;

    I am sorry but you cannot tell me that Henderson is any better at going past people and making a clever pass than Wilshere! Same of course when you compare Allen and Ramsey, also both battle in midfield just as adeptly.

    As the tip of the attacking diamond you need someone who’s very quick, strong, can pick a pass but also has goals in him himself, Liverpool have Stirling but I can’t think of a better player to put there than OX, well maybe Sanchez – who we also F*CKING HAVE! Lol, we also have another candidate waiting in the wings for this position in Gnabry – How many excellent players for this position do you need!

    In Sturridge Liverpool have a left footed, cutting in, quick tricky striker who is also very comfortable floating out wide on the wings – IS THIS NOT THE VERY DEFINITION OF CAMPBELL!!!

    Balotelli is always an unknown quantity but I see no reason why Theo can’t get his chance to play this role as an actual striker – he’s been waiting long enough! And if you are looking for another option here, oh I don’t know a quick, 6ft, tricky, PROLIFIC young striker called Akpom????!!!!!!!

    Now to find someone who can be a single defensive pivot is the hard part, this is where we obviously need to splash the cash in the TW but even so I feel Chambers could fill that role at present but Carvalho would be the wish.

    Listen this formation solves a big problem at Arsenal namely the striker dilemma, having two up top with almost a third playing as an attacking pivot negates the fact we don’t have a world class do-it-all striker by simply adding more options – its so simple. Also if you can find a striker that by the time a five man tippy tappy creative midfield has finished doing little spin arounds and clever little tight space passes and has finally sauntered its way to the penalty area can then go on to beat the now fully assembled eight man wall of defense and go on to score, CONSITENLTY in the same fashion then by all means f*cking sign him up! However it is my theory that no matter who you put up there if we keep playing this style of football dictated to the team by this useless formation then we will never be the prolific scorers we want to be and you will keep on seeing these hard faught 1-0 wins or draws in the case of yesterday.

    FORMATION HAS TO CHANGE!

    Taking into account all the injuries we had when fielding the starting line up yesterday I guarantee you that with what Wenger diceded to leave on the bench (not counting defense) and not play we could have won comfortably playing with the 4-4-2 diamond:

    ——————-Szczesny——————
    Debuchy—BFG—Koscielny—Monreal
    ——————Chambers—————–
    —Wilshere——————–Rosicky—-
    ———————–OX—-——————
    –Campbell———————-Akpom—

    Team A
    VS
    Team B

    ——————–Sanogo——————
    Ozil——-Cazorla—-Ramsey–Sanchez
    –——————Flamini—————-—
    Monreal—Koscielny— BFG—Debuchy
    ——————-Szczesny——————

    RESULT:
    Team A gets its big Arsenal cannon shaped cock out and pisses all over Team B.

    Let’s stop playing midfielder top trumps and play some f*cking football please Arsene!

    Btw I won’t bother giving my verdict on Ozil I think you all know it by now but glad to see he didn’t let me down again yesterday.

    Sorry for the long post its been a while since i have written anything and this topic just strikes a chord with me at the moment.

  71. Gerry says:

    Sorry Steve, but I think teamA would get pissed on by a dozen EPL clubs.

    Two big weakness’s:
    1, Wilshere the only creative passer?
    2, Chambers, who certainly looks a great prospect, but still inexperienced enough to make errors. Flying solo in that most crucial of positions, at this early stage in his career is simply a disaster waiting to happen .. imo, of course.
    It is one of the reasons I want Bellerin to play in front of a right back, and not be thrust into a match where he takes over that position. He is not ready for that. Chambers can do far better learning from Per, while he builds up his EPL experience.

    I also disagree with the premise that the team picks itself when the formation is set. This more or less fall into AW’s remit of playing 4-5-1, it does not necessarily bring the right balance and cohesion?

    Your Team B is an excellent reason why players make formations work, not formations making player perform better, as the actuality proved. If for example, Ox or Rosicky had started instead Cazorla or Ozil, and the winner of that latter pair played the No10 role, in a more familiar 4 – 2 – 1 – 3/ 3 -1, we may well have had a different result?
    What we don’t know is just how well Ox recovered from a very hard working game, or as to the full health of Rosicky who has yet to start this season? Another point on Campbell not playing was that he, along with Akpon, Hayden, and Bellerin had all played in the Under 21’s the previous Thursday night.

  72. AFC says:

    HH, the way I see it is that we need to change or system, formation and approach to games as well as buy players. Both issues need to be fixed together. The problem is do you see Wenger changing his approach to games, system and formation anytime soon? I don’t. So I guess the best we can hope for is that Wenger gets some SQ players on which cab at least improve our current system, formation and approach to games?

  73. AFC says:

    Our system*
    In which can*

  74. steve says:

    Gerry,
    I honestly have no doubts that the players you mentioned would have all been fit enough to play but if we do analyse it a little then we can say that;
    Both Akpom and Campbell played on Thursday but i bet niether one of them knackered their body out as much as Sanchez must have done only the day before and he started, and by the looks of Ozil he must have played a full match only minutes before coming on and he got a start.

    Talking about that Team A i put up – obviously i had to swap Ramsey for Rosicky as i was trying to make the point that the bench could have beaten the starting XI but if we swap it back then you think an attacking midfield made up of Wilshere, OX and Ramsey with Campbell and Akpom as strikers would get pissed on by dozens of EPL clubs?? really??
    i have to disagree there mate, even defensively when the full backs go forward and leave just the two CB’s and the DM all i have changed was Chmabers for Flamini – an upgrade imo but as i stated not the wish (which is Carvalho).
    But attacking wise i think Wilshere, Ramsey, OX or Sanchez in attacking pivot, and Campbell and Akpom up front (until Theo is back) would piss all over a lot of EPL teams.

  75. Alcide says:

    There is a reason why Akpom and Campbel played one half with the under 21s – and that is because they are not found to be ready for first team action yet? As for Chambers, how many times has he played DM in the past couple of years, or over his career, and in that perspective how do you determine him being an upgrade over Flamini?

  76. Genovese says:

    United get Falcao and Di Maria with Rooney and RVP up top and to make matters even more absurd, Utd have NO Champion’s League football. Something is seriously wrong. Does Wenger realise how important Falcao could’ve been? He’s possibly the most clinical striker in the world. We have two key positions that need urgently filling: ST and DM and Wenger has left it until deadline day but to be honest the fans don’t even know what he’s up to today. Are we gonna be extremely lightweight upfront for key parts of the season? Is he gonna get us some steel in midfield? Nobody knows. Wenger needs to stop treating the money as his own and learn to see the ambition of the fans.

  77. kelsey says:

    Apologies, I didn’t acknowledge the author’s post.
    Have any of you thought that top players don’t actually want to play for Wenger or his one dimensional system.

  78. Gerry says:

    Genovese – It could be that them paying Rooney £300000k, £250000k to RVP, Di Maria £180000k and now Falcao £175000k might just have something to do with it?
    Rooney will not move for less, nor RVP, so they are stuck with then until their contract winds down, whether or not they play well or are injured? For that matter, Falcao has yet to pass a medical?

  79. Gerry says:

    Another post from Cornwall that will amuse Spurs fans … well the ‘sick’ ones anyway?

  80. Gerry says:

    Perhaps I should add,it shows the honour of the man to go and referee a game in a worthy charity on such an important day.

  81. Alcide says:

    Genovese,

    Not mentioning transfer fees:
    Di Maria: gross wages reported at £230,000 a week
    Falcao: wages reported at £8m a year net (that makes it well over $200’000 a week)

    More than we’d ever pay or afford.

  82. The Cockie Monster says:

    Pay me £8M per year and you can abuse me all you like !.

    3 interesting facts about Cornwall !.
    1) 630 miles of coastline….the longest of any county in Britain !. ( as surveyed recently by GPS )
    2) 300 beaches !
    3) The largest collection of plants in the British Isles !.

    And !………. as soon as you cross over the border from Devon, you gain a sense of humour, which is usually award winning !. hahaha

  83. Gerry says:

    Alcide, I know you were away, but I don’t know if you can confirm Umtiti’s injury?

    In their second league game, he had a ‘mix up’ with the other CB and was subbed shortly after.
    Not in the squad in the next game, I haven’t checked the latest, as I was juggling the Moto GP around the football yesterday.

    Today I am switching between herre and Sky Sports 5 – the all day deadline program. Fun eh?

  84. The Cockie Monster says:

    Charity begins at the home of football !.
    I personally think that him reffing a charity game in Rome when he should be spending some fcuking money on Transfer Deadline Day makes him a ………………………http://img.uefa.com/imgml/TP/players/9/2012/324×324/45902.jpg

    PS……just in case you don’t get the link above and have had a humour bypass operation…..JT is a cnut !.

  85. Gerry says:

    Thanks for giving me the option CGM – the G is for ‘Gullible’ – Perhaps you should do the same for OUR manager, instead of tweaking the same sick humour buds in opposition fans as you have embedded in your perverse world?

  86. Gerry says:

    From previous experience, I never open your links. I cannot think why you would think I would start now?

  87. Alcide says:

    Gerry,

    Umtiti’s out for a couple more weeks minimum (hamstring tear), and the OL president confirmed he’s not going anywhere.

  88. The Cockie Monster says:

    Obviously some bloke who is so wrapped up in tea bagging his dogs is unaware of the bollox that is coming out of his mouth !. I blame it on the sense of humour bypass operation !.
    Go wank yourself silly at the thought of honourable Lord Wenger reffing a charity game !.

  89. Gerry says:

    Thanks Alcide – I thought he was. I also thought he may have been available, given he was not a regular starter, and they need money while they are rebuilding at their ground?

    St Etienne had a bit of a collapse didn’t they?

  90. TotalArsenal says:

    Cockie, please refrain from making pedophile jokes. They are both tasteless and inappropriate. I have removed your comment and I hope you will respect the ethos of my site going forward.

  91. JM says:

    £175,000 to £300,000/wk contract for a 4 year deal (£36.4M to £62.4M). Excluding bonuses and the ability for the “big named SQ player(s)” agent/agency to help negotiate improved contractual terms (addition of £25,000 to £75,000/wk) every other year.

    That’s what most of the “big named SQ player(s)” are being tied down in their lucrative contract until they retire.

    Real Madrid, Barcelona, Man. United, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Man. City, PSG could afford the above compensation package(s) for half a dozen of their 1st team squad. Not us.

    Gestifute/ “super” player agent Jorge Mendes have likely racked in £50M alone this transfer window, helping to negotiate the transfers of their clients (e.g. James Rodriguez, Falcao, Angel di Maria, Diego Costa, Eliaquim Mangala, Carlos Vela, Ezequiel Garay, Nani, Giovani dos Santos, Andre Gomes, Bruno Alves, Rafael Marquez, Bebe etc)

    =================

    Olympique Lyonnais will never ever sell any of their players to Arsenal FC. To be precise, Lyonnais’s president, Jean-Michel Aulas, will never deal with Arsenal’s manager, Arsene Wenger. It’s personal.
    Arsenal FC (under AW) has never been able to successfully buy any players from Olympique Lyonnais, even when they have been buying players from other French clubs.

    We shall not be seeing Grenier, Lacazette, Gourcuff, Bedimo, Fofana, Biševac, Gonalons, Umtiti etc in our colours any time soon. (until either AW or JM-A leaves their respective clubs).

  92. Highbury Harmony says:

    PPP cheers for the kind words and always happy to be blogging with you when I can!

    As far as the main bulk of your comment goes, I am largely in agreement with you that we could use more quality, physicality and depth at certain positions, but only IF we continue to persist with the current formation. I do not believe we have the right pieces for it, which is why it is sort of failing us right now – however, what do we do with what we have then?

    There are plenty of clubs that play with unorthodox wingers on the wing and are converted forwards or CMs playing there. Athletico with Koke, Liverpool with Coutinho and Henderson etc. all have successfully converted them there/set-up a system for them to thrive, yet we continue to struggle in that regard (re: Ozil and Santi out wide).

    No worries on Welbeck ever coming here as he’s on his way to the Spuds and you know how I feel about Reus! One of my top three favourite current players and probably would be my favourite if he played on Arsenal hahaha! It would be a dream come true if we got him and it would complete my absolutely insane prediction from a couple years ago that all my favourite players would be here one day.

  93. Highbury Harmony says:

    Cheers Henry! Really appreciate the compliments and the additional insight.

    I agree with you on the formation not being right for the pieces we currently have, since the flat four requires our non-wingers to track back more than they are used to, while the “1” also leaves us exposed defensively, especially when it’s the slow Arteta or slightly faster but less pass ability Flamini. There are many times on the counter when the gap between our defense and their offense is much too large. The subs also came on far too late and Poldi constantly playing with his head down was a disaster waiting to happen – he could have spotted Sanchez making the run ahead of him when he got the ball at the top of the 18 but instead tried to dribble around the defender and shoot himself, but lost the ball instead.

    Sanchez was incredible yesterday and not only do we know we can depend on him to try and make things happen offensively, he will also work diligently and track back defensively too!

  94. Highbury Harmony says:

    Shrillex, thank you for the glowing review! Your review of yesterday’s match is spot-on – subs came on far too late and perhaps for the wrong individuals. The formation is not quite right with me, especially with Ozil on the left. I prefer Ramsey to play more up and down the pitch, as I think he’s an underrated tackler/intercepter of the ball too.

    I think with Sanchez, he will make those runs past the defenders, but with how flat and stagnant our offense is right now, he wants to get the ball earlier to try and make things happen. He is the only one out there yesterday with any real attacking intent or directness to his game (sadly Ramsey chose the worst time to have his worst game).

    Finally, to your DM/regista point. Yes, Arteta is better suited than Flamini for the “1” in our new formation, but he is also still not the answer. His lack of pace leaves us far too exposed defensively (together with Per) and we lack the ability to really press the opposition when we lose possession. However, he is much better than Flamini at distribution and that will always be more worthwhile in our system than what Flamini brings. That is why I have always called for either a regista, a B2B DM or a DM with a wide range of passing opposed to a destroyer type. If the emphasis is on possession, it all starts from the back out.

  95. Gerry says:

    JM – Thanks for the bad news 🙄

  96. Retsub says:

    I appreciate all the noise is about a striker and rightly so. That said the team has a pretty decent attacking midfield. They all seem to be treading on each other’s foot at the moment and Rambo is having his worst run of form for a long time. I really think buying a tough tackling DM who can spray the ball around would have a big effect on this team. I like Flamini a lot for this strength and courage, but I think we could do a lot better

  97. Highbury Harmony says:

    Bacca would be a quality addition and exactly the type of striker we have been calling for, in terms of not replacing Giroud or being over reliant on him. Good link-up play with team mates, fast enough to create separation from defenders, good movement and strong centre of gravity. Good scoring record the last couple seasons too.

  98. Genovese says:

    Prices and financial malarkey aside, because correct me if I’m wrong, aren’t Arsenal financially stable to fund world class players like Falcao, Cavani, Reus anyway? I don’t get what’s the big fuss! We are a top club!

    I just think on a whole Wenger needs to show some ambition. Yes, I get it he trusts his younger players and he wants to develop them. But truthfully, they need the time to work a lot harder and develop themselves before he can begin utilising them to help us win anything.

  99. The Cockie Monster says:

    Thanks Totes !……why not remove all my humour because that is all it is !. Yet again you side with Mr Humour Bypass !.
    It was great whilst it lasted on here and will take my leave now as you either get me warts and all or nothing at all . Thanks to everyone for their support on my wife`s health issues and I hope to maybe one day see you at an Arsenal game in the future.
    Keep up the great work for a great site !.
    UTA

    PS
    I will definitely win the UMFL wooden spoon now !. hahaha

    PPS

    Wenger out !
    Strutter in !.

  100. Alcide says:

    Genovese, in short no, we are not “rich” enough to sustain offering wages at that level.

  101. Genovese says:

    Well, that’s a bummer.

  102. TotalArsenal says:

    Cockie, you know very well I have been accomodating towards your sense of humour and seldom or never delete something you produce. But this time it was inappropriate and I had to act. I hope you take a bit of time and think things through before you go for good. All the best to you and your wife in the meantime. We will miss you whilst you are gone.

  103. TotalArsenal says:

    We are rich enough to buy anybody and pay his wages. But for the club it is a matter of risk balancing as we can get it badly wrong and a flop could cost us deerly. Furthermore, fitting in a player’s wages into the existing pay structure fairly is the hardest thing of all, as others will not accept a huge disparity between their and the new player’s salary. It is a team sport afterall…

  104. proudgooner says:

    Well today is turning out to be a really fun day isn’t it..?
    Wenger quite rightly kept his ref job very secret from the fans today.
    I think he must not have realised that is was on deadline day . Or did he either way he should have realised that them even offering the ref job was a piss take.I hope Ivan G is still very much working hard on getting the targets signed today i am sure he is.
    The positives.
    At least we are keeping our best players and not selling them.
    I think we are still very close to a title winning side.
    I to have faith in our young players, Sanogo very much included.

    All that said it will leave a very bad taste in some fans mouths regarding Wengers trip to Rome and i fully understand. Lets hopew we get some players signed 6 and a half more hours and its over.
    I would like usd to sign Spurs Sandro if he is after a move and Spurs are willing to sell to us.

  105. proudgooner says:

    I think Falcao is not the same player after his injury, like Edurdo.
    Why else would Monacco want to be rid of him and his wages so badly else.???

  106. proudgooner says:

    Cockie no need to leave after TA removed 1 bad comment.
    I to hope your wife gets better soon
    I think i am going to watch Wenger being a ref in this match tonight if it is on telly somewhere lol

  107. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahahaha, watch Wenger reffing PG? Great stuff.

    Tbe honest PG, it shows what an honourable and brave man Arsene is. I salute him.

    However, the closest Wenger will get to a signing tonight is booking some player for a laugh. hahaha

    Come on Cornwall. Weve been through this before. TA has an impossible job having to balance peoples sensibilities, I certainly couldn’t do it. Sometimes comedy can offend and we have to take it on the chin. Besides, this place needs you yer mad bastard. hahaha

  108. proudgooner says:

    TMHT,
    Yeah i bet Wenger will do something silly for a laugh tonight, he is always cracking jokes these days lol.
    I just read NB69 positive post, i wonder if it changed after he found out Wenger was a ref ha ha ha aha
    There is no way he would not have realised it was on deadline day Sep 1st
    He will still get a player or 2 in i bet.

  109. proudgooner says:

    Talking of jokes , i went to a family do at the weekend and 1 of my uncles who was never interested in football has suddenly become a Arsenal fan.
    First he said it was George Graham that put the invinceables together, then he sais Wenger should be sacked and that we should get Tony Pullis for the manager. ha ha ha hs

  110. Gino92 says:

    Breaking News: Arsenal lands Two Players on Transfer Deadline Day!

    At an impromptu Press Conference this afternoon, Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger broke the news that the Club has agreed a double deal (with its own Infirmary) to bring 25-year old Theo Walcott and 28-year old Abou Diaby to the first team squad. Wenger confirmed the news, saying: “We are absolutely delighted to have reached an agreement to sign both Walcott and Diaby out of the Infirmary (hopefully for good, at least this season…). They are fantastic players who will strengthen us and add a bit of quality to our squad (while fit) as well. As you all know, both Walcott and Diaby are like NEW SIGNINGS, who will join us after the International Break. So we now have a full squad, as far as I am concerned, this concludes our business for this Transfer Window. And before you start asking me questions, let me just say that I am really not available at the moment to answer any of them, as I am really late flying to Italy to referee a Charity Match more important than Transfer Deadline Shenanigans. Thank you all for coming”.

  111. proudgooner says:

    Next game after the iternationals is
    Mn City at home :/
    This is a massive game so hopefully and it will be the case that the Germans will be fully up to speed and it wouldf be great to get 3 points.

  112. Admir says:

    Hello, people.

    I don’t know why people expected Arsenal to sign anyone else after Chambers was signed up. I knew our squad was completed and that we have a squad of players that should meet expectations.

    Wenger likes to do his transfers during certain, very short period of time. He did what he had to do after World Cup and that was it. Same thing happened back then when he signed Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud. We expected a DM or a striker on the last day and got nothing. We got Özil and Viviano last summer but no striker (there was an attempt to sign Ba), Flamini re-joined us a little bit earlier but not before the league had started.

    He doesn’t give a damn about changed circumstances. Walcott has been out since January – we hadn’t signed anyone for attack before Alexis joined. Ramsey had been out between The Boxing Day and that match against Everton – he signed Kim “Everyone-Forgot-He-Is-Still-Alive” Kallstrom. Who was injured.

    I’m actually surprised Wenger didn’t fly back to Brazil to visit that lady from the beach for a quality discussion about why the fcuk Joel Campbell and Tomas Rosicky don’t get more playing time even if our performances are flat and unconvincing.

  113. AB says:

    Afternoon chaps. I have a sense that the tension around the late (lack) of signings is starting to tell on peoples’ nerves and tempers. No point anyone burning bridges, bras or anything else tonight – though a stiff drink might well be in order later on. I have the sad sense of us drifting now into an evening of hopelessly speculative rumours, with nothing emerging at the end of it all. If we were close (close-ish even) to anyone, I can’t help feeling there would be stronger rumours running. It all feels a little too late now. Being a half full cup type of guy I’m still hoping to be pleasantly surprised; but reality is dawning fast. I did think we would buy a DM – I felt sure of it in fact – and I will feel pretty let down if we don’t. But views on the TW as a whole and the condition of our squad will follow once we have clear space. For the moment, keep up the humour – there little else to keep us entertained….

  114. proudgooner says:

    On sky sports over to the Emirates after the break with Charlie Nicolas

  115. Alcide says:

    You are tight TA in your more elaborate answer to Genovese, I took a lazy shortcut and just used the word “sustain” to cover the caveats 🙂

    PG, well noted about his coming back from a big injury (he was also rushed to attempt participation in the the WC, according to some). I believe the Monaco owner is having cash problems due to a divorce (she’s only asking for 3b!), and his master plan for Monaco is now fading away rapidly – they sold Rodriguez and now Falcao gone, with no significant players coming in.

  116. proudgooner says:

    Alcide ,
    He is still filthy rich mate and the Rodriguez transfer makes the Falcoa transfer even more strange. He scored against us with his head, i think his leg is still not right, he will pass a medical on fitness but kicking a ball is totally different, i think his not the same player mate.

  117. proudgooner says:

    Danny Welbeck is said to be having a medical at arsenal :/

  118. proudgooner says:

    It would be good for our home grown players numbers and Wenger could get the best out of him

  119. proudgooner says:

    Ryo is said to be going out on loan

  120. proudgooner says:

    I would rather have Welbeck over Ryo, it could work out . He is suppose to be having a medical right now

  121. Highbury Harmony says:

    Spoke to soon PPP, Welbeck is ours!! Honestly, he’s better than nothing but at an apparent loan price of 6 million, why not shell out the extra 14 million for Falcao?

  122. TotalArsenal says:

    Wellbeck would make sense as he can play in the OG role. A work in progress no doubt but better than nothing.

  123. Highbury Harmony says:

    Agreed TA, I think Welbeck has a lot of potential and is a perfect fill in for the time being. He’s quite underrated and Utd fans claim he should have been given more opportunity at ST last season. Great 2nd ST once OG is healthy again too!

  124. proudgooner says:

    He know the league as well, he is EPL proven which will really help

  125. proudgooner says:

    if he was good enough for fergie then he must have it 🙂

  126. Highbury Harmony says:

    Dat young English core tho!!!

  127. proudgooner says:

    gibbs
    Whilshere
    Ox
    Chambers
    Welbeck
    Theo.
    Not bad at all.

  128. Gerry says:

    Yes to Welbeck. No to is it happening now?
    Falcao has only just arrived at ManU, so the medical may take a while. They will not release Welbeck if Falcao fails the medical. And I agree with PG, I don’t think he is anything like the player of his former years. They could get another RVP on their hands, even playing Leicester? Pace of the EPL is not very forgiving on dogdy limbs … just ask Theo?

  129. steve says:

    proudgooner,

    With everyone back from loans and injury:

    ————————Szczesny—————–
    Jenkinson–Chambers–Koscielny–Gibbs
    ——–Wilshere—–Flamini——OX——–
    -Akpom———–Welbeck———Walcott-

    Nice little 4-3-3 with 8 English players in it – not bad at all matey 🙂

  130. Gerry says:

    NewsNow has broken down under the strain ha ha

  131. proudgooner says:

    Steve,
    I never thought about the other guys when you put it like that it is very impressive. 🙂

  132. Highbury Harmony says:

    Arsenal have activated Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s £12.75m release clause at Schalke.

    – Junge Welt

  133. proudgooner says:

    hh,
    i WOULD LOVE TO GET HIM, HE IS AS GOOD AS vAN jUDAS.

  134. Highbury Harmony says:

    PG, better than RVJ for our squad too. He is a perfect Giroud replacement while he’s out. More deadly as a finisher but not as adept at linking up – just as strong and good in the air though.

  135. proudgooner says:

    HH,
    I have want Klas for years he is SQ and then some.

  136. proudgooner says:

    Miguel and Ryo have been loaned out.
    I think this what Wenger was waiting for, he needs players to move on so he had squad places.

  137. Highbury Harmony says:

    Is Ryo off to FC Twente?

  138. proudgooner says:

    The only thing that makes me doubt the Hunterlaar deal is the realise cluase sounds to low.

  139. proudgooner says:

    Ryo to Twente and Miquel to Norwich

  140. Gerry says:

    And it being reported by the Daily Star

  141. Gerry says:

    Suddenly it gets exciting?? A higher bid for William C been rejected could bid again?

  142. TotalArsenal says:

    The Hunter at Arsenal would be fun. He has his limitations compared to Giroud but he is a deadly finisher all right!

  143. proudgooner says:

    Im getting all my info of sky sports news England

  144. Gerry says:

    We have not heard Douglas’s name being mentioned since the £40m quote. Perhaps another in the pipeline of alternatives … at a lot less, natch

  145. Retsub says:

    PG Huntelaar is no spring chicken that probably reflects in the price.

    Not too sure about Welbeck, but it says something about English football when your team buys an England centre forward and nobody gets excited about it

  146. Retsub says:

    TA don’t Huntelaar and Van Purse Strings hate each other? Let me guess Huntelaar is pronounced sounding like a scouser eating a match day pie?

  147. Highbury Harmony says:

    PG, the low release clause could either be a result of his age (31) or perhaps he has a Remy-like CL release clause? Either way, I would prefer Huntelaar over Welbeck.

  148. AB says:

    I would love Welbeck – can play up front, fast and big. Can play all across the front line, and works hard. Not a clinical finisher, but not bad by any means. He would be a strong squad player for quite a few years. Cant believe manure would sell him to us though – and all kinds of mixed reports coming in make it sound very questionable yet. Go back for Carvalho please Wenger! WC alone would do it for me.

  149. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha Retsub, you have to pronounce Huntelaar with a Brummy accent. 🙂

    Yes he has an apparent dislike of the Judas and would love to outdo him in the PL, no doubt!

  150. Retsub says:

    AB I agree Carvalho would be a top buy for me

  151. AFC says:

    Why the hell would we want Huntelaar or Welbeck. Huntelaar is past it and Welbeck, well he is just not good enough for United so why would he be good enough for us.

  152. Highbury Harmony says:

    Vlaar for 8 million would be good business and add necessary CB depth

  153. TotalArsenal says:

    AFC, come on buddy. Huntelaar is two years of quality striker at least, and Wellbeck will fit our system well.

  154. AFC says:

    HH, Vlaar only had a good WC. In the league he has been bang average and shouldn’t be playing for a top club. A downgrade on Vermaelen. Look at us, we are now just trying to sign any Tom, Dick or Harry and us fans are content with such dealings because we have become desperate. So sad.

  155. kelsey says:

    Wenger wanted a loan deal on Welbeck. Cost was 3 million so he said no so another one bites a dust.He is valued at 18 million.

    Interesting Leicester are closing in on Defoe. He would be worth a punt for a year,regardless of his pedigree.

    Is Kallstrom free again. He was a super loan 🙂

  156. TotalArsenal says:

    Can’t see Villa letting Vlaar go myself, but yes would be solid back up.

  157. AFC says:

    Nah TA. Huntelaar has no PL experience at all. Why didn’t we just get Eto’o, at least he has a bit of PL experience. As for Welbeck. He is a workhorse but not good enough to play up front for United which is why he is being let go. Is United’s 4th choice ST good enough for us. Not in my opinion. WHY THE HELL DIDN’T WE GET SONG BACK. NOW THAT’S A QUALITY PLAYER WHO KNOWS HOW TO PLAY WENGERBALL.

  158. Highbury Harmony says:

    “Vlaar only had a good WC. In the league he has been bang average and shouldn’t be playing for a top club. A downgrade on Vermaelen. Look at us, we are now just trying to sign any Tom, Dick or Harry and us fans are content with such dealings because we have become desperate. So sad.”

    Clearly AFC, you have not been watching Villa this season, Vlaar has been great and has continued to be good since the WC. We are buying Vlaar as a 3rd CB, a role Vermaelen was clearly not happy with, so I don’t see the problem. In regards to your inaccurate assessment of Huntelaar, grow up and stop sulking over not getting Falcao. He’s just returning from injury and is a big risk we didn’t need to take considering we have Theo coming back from the same thing. Also, what “top” strikers are really available right now? Pretty much none.

  159. Highbury Harmony says:

    Yes let’s get Song, the guy who didn’t know how to play defense and made a few good over the top and long passes to RVP so suddenly he is perfect for us again. There was a reason Arsene sold him before and likely didn’t want him back on loan. Get over it.

  160. AFC says:

    So Vlaar being good for a few games this season makes him a good addition. Who is sulking over Falcao??? We should have got a ST earlier. It is pretty simple. Wenger jad his chances to get a ST but didn’t.

  161. Genovese says:

    Carvalho/Kondogbia for DM and Cavani’s way off the radar now, so I’d be happy with Huntelaar more so than Welbeck.

  162. AFC says:

    No HH. Song is better than what we have at the moment. He would be an upgrade on Flamini and Arteta.

  163. Highbury Harmony says:

    Did I not say Vlaar has continued his good form from the WC? Is that a few games this season? He was also Villa’s best defender last season, despite the turmoil in management they were experiencing. “We should have got a ST earlier”…who? Which top strikers have moved this off-season that would be worth getting? Costa always had his heart set on Chelsea, Suarez always wanted to go to Spain and Falcao was just loaned to United.

  164. Highbury Harmony says:

    Considering he went to West Ham and no other top club wanted him, I’d say that’s saying a lot.

  165. TotalArsenal says:

    The Hunter played in four top leagues and would score here for fun.

  166. Highbury Harmony says:

    Stop throwing the toys out of the pram and grow up. You complain, complain and complain yet offer no real solutions. There were no top ST we could have bought this off-season, Huntelaar is quality and has a track record of scoring goals. You say Song is the answer to our DM woes, yet he can’t even get a look in at Barca, was sold by Arsenal without thinking twice and only a mid-table club like West Ham was interested in taking him on a loan.

  167. Highbury Harmony says:

    The only other strikers I can think of were Mandzukic and Lewandowski. Lewandowski agreed a pre-transfer to Bayern in January and Mandzukic was guaranteed first-team football at Athletico, which we could not offer. He’s not that much better than OG either.

  168. steve says:

    I can’t comment on Huntelaar as i have never seen him play outside WC tournament games but i would be disappointed if we got Song instead of Carvalho lol.

  169. TotalArsenal says:

    Let’s stay friends guys…. Just different outlooks which is fine, hey? 🙂

  170. AFC says:

    No HH there were STs out there. Remy was available before Chelsea signed him. Eto’o was available, Balotelli, Mandzukic etc. We could have got a decent ST much earlier. I am not throwing my tows out of the pram. Yes I do complain because Wenger never learns. You keep going on about solutions all the time. My solution is by a proper ST, a proper DM and a CB.

    I didn’t say Song was the answer to our DM woes but he is better than nothing. He was one of the best option out there in my opinion.

  171. Gerry says:

    Genovese, I think Kondogbia has 3rd party issues, so it is WC, Possibly AR, or Coquelin until January.

  172. steve says:

    how about Crouch up front, excellent international record?
    pmsl – just had to add a little relaxed humor to these crazy intense transfer comments 🙂

  173. Highbury Harmony says:

    No AFC, did you not see Balotelli’s tweet? He chose Liverpool over us and said we weren’t a big club because we don’t have a CL trophy. Exactly the type of cancer we didn’t need here. He is an absolute problem for any manager and his true colours will show at Liverpool again.

    You would take Eto’o or Remy over Huntelaar? That is the best joke I’ve heard all day! Eto’o is 33 and Remy is 3rd choice at Chelsea. He failed a medical at Liverpool and did not score for QPR yet. He’ll rot on the bench there and is by no means better than Huntelaar either. You clearly do not watch enough football mate.

  174. Highbury Harmony says:

    Huntelaar is a proper striker…

  175. AFC says:

    Oh and by the way HH I have offered many solutions since blogging on BK. I have recommended formation changes, trying different players in different positions etc, but I stopped doing that because the chances of Wenger carrying out such changes are minimal. Wenger rarely does any of the solutions you,me or anyone else talk about.

  176. Highbury Harmony says:

    But why are you complaining when we are interested in buying a proper ST then? It’s like you’re saying we should do nothing because we didn’t buy inferior strikers in Eto’o and Remy or a cancer in Balotelli. So it’s not about quality for you, but about who YOU want.

  177. AFC says:

    I watch plenty of football mate! Huntelaar over Remy LOL. Remy is clearly the better ST. Eto’o has shown he can score goals in the Prem.

    Balotelli probably said that out of bitterness.

  178. steve says:

    AFC & HH,

    “Wenger rarely does any of the solutions you,me or anyone else talk about”

    Exactly, that includes transfer targets – so why get wound up defending suggestions that will most likely never happen lol

    Direct that beautiful frustration where it should be – Wenger 🙂

  179. AFC says:

    No HH is not about why I want. I just don’t think Huntelaar is what we need. I am entitled to an opinion you know.

  180. TotalArsenal says:

    Cockie and Gerry, I have removed both your comments that were aimed at each other. Let’s move on now, please?!

  181. Highbury Harmony says:

    Balotelli “probably” said that out of bitterness, yeah that’s a good reason to prove that he didn’t choose Liverpool over us!

    When has Remy ever scored over 20 goals in a single season at the top flight? Oh right, never! Being experienced in the EPL is overrated, by that logic, so has Welbeck, so what are complaining about? So has Crouch, let’s buy him too!!!

  182. AFC says:

    HH, why do you need to make sly digs at me for. I have said nothing disrespectful about you. It seems like you are throwing your toys out of the pram. I advise you to grow up and learn how to speak to people without being rude.

  183. AFC says:

    Oh yeah because Remy played for a top team like United for a number of seasons. Welbeck has been playing at a top team for years and hasn’t done much. Remy is far more clinical than Welbeck and you know it.

  184. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, almost every comment you have made here is a complaint. When Arsenal is rumoured to be interested in players, it is not good enough, yet players we did not get, who by the way are not better, are somehow better for us in your view. It’s fine to have your own opinion, but it’s another to complain that we are some sad sack club taking sloppy seconds. Vlaar is a quality depth option and would be good business, and Huntelaar is better than everything we currently have, would give us the shape that OG offers and is a deadly finisher. He is experienced in the CL, internationally and has scored over 25 goals in a single season in the top flight.

  185. Highbury Harmony says:

    Remy has started consistently at ST in his short time in the PL, where as Welbeck has not. So no, I do not know that. For all we know, Welbeck could be the next Sturridge. You jump to conclusions far too quickly.

  186. proudgooner says:

    Arsenal say Danny Welbeck has not had a medical and no deal;has been agreed.

  187. Retsub says:

    From what I have seen of Huntelaar he is a goalscorer. He might not be the prettiest player on the pitch, but he knows where the goal is. In my opinion he is the type of player who would be excel at Leicester away.

    Steve, not sure Crouchy is our man , now Emile Heskey? That’s a possibility. Last time I saw him at the Emirates the fans were singing “Emile Heskey he scores every year”

  188. AFC says:

    Are any of the other top clubs interested in Welbeck and Vlaar. I thought not. The fact that we are targeting such players says a lot about our ambition and transfer window.

    I have said I would be happy to have a number of players linked with Arsenal. I have been a pessimistic a lot recently but how is that different from being optimistic. It is just a matter of perspective.

  189. The Cockie Monster says:

    Sorry Total, you are right, you have been good to me on your site and I apologise for the unreasonable dig at you !.
    However, I will take a break from blogging as I have been at it consistently for 3 years now and have probably made upto 10,000 comments on here, AA and some lesser sites and at a guess 95% have included what I class as humour and 99% of that has been original from my own inventive mind and that is as much if not more intelligence based that just talking about football, so although I might come over as a clown, it couldn`t be further from the truth !. Imo only me, Stretch, Fozzie and (sometimes when he can be bothered ) PPP add and bring something more different to the constant football chat which can numb the senses !.
    For reasons of family, being pissed off with Wenger and the case of just boring myself, I need a break !.
    Keep up the good work !. 😀
    I accept you removing my previous comment and I`m glad you removed the other chaps comment aswell, as I hope you will understand that it was a red flag to a bull and to put it mildly, he is very lucky to be provoking me from a safe distance !.

    UTA

  190. proudgooner says:

    Sky sports just announced that, it was them that broke it and me that told you guys . So sorry for that guys.

  191. AFC says:

    I don’t jump to conclusions quickly. On everything I have an opinion that is open to being changed. Nothing is ever conclusive with me.

  192. Highbury Harmony says:

    Tottenham is interested in Welbeck. What other clubs need a ST in the EPL? That doesn’t mean he isn’t full of potential and can’t still be good, in the same vein that only Liverpool (a 7th place club) wanted Sturridge at the time. You can’t judge a player’s worth on what other top clubs want him.

    How much earlier would you have wanted us to sign Remy? We JUST qualified for the CL on Wednesday night and that would have been the earliest we could have activated the release clause. He was already in discussions with Chelsea over a move at that point and he had chosen money over everything in the past, and I would not be surprised if he did again if it came to it.

  193. Highbury Harmony says:

    We also don’t know what other top clubs are or are not interested in Vlaar. That is besides the point.

  194. steve says:

    Retsub,
    why one or the other? we have a striker crisis don’t forget! lets get them both!
    Crouch and Heskey up front – there’s the F*cking dream team right there! pmsl 🙂

  195. proudgooner says:

    On a lighter note i think i have found the match were Wenger is reffing, it does not look like him but here is the link.

    http://neolive.net/275239/1/Watch-Interreligious-Match-for-Peace/

  196. Highbury Harmony says:

    Retsub, I still remember the damage he did on us in the CL from two years ago. Great, physical striker who knows how to score and would do well against the physicality in the EPL.

  197. proudgooner says:

    I don’t think we are in a striker crisis.
    I have just seen Wenger he is on the bench in a suit.

  198. proudgooner says:

    He must be doing the 2nd half he he he he

  199. proudgooner says:

    Check out some of the fat boys on the pitch !

  200. AFC says:

    HH, Spurs aren’t a top club. Arsenal, United, City, Liverpool and Chelsea are in my opinion. Why weren’t Liverpool interested in Welbeck? Or Chelsea? They needed STs. United decided to sign Falcao, why didn’t Van Gaal give Welbeck a chance? Van Gaal is willing to give anyone a chance if they are good enough or if he sees potential. I am not judging a players worth on whether other top clubs want him. I am using this to support my viewpoint just like you used the whole West Ham only wanting Song thing to support your view on Song.

    Could we not have had a deal lined up for Remy. Personal terms, agreement with QPR so when we qualified for the CL the deal could have gone straight through.

  201. proudgooner says:

    ha ha ha ha ha i didnt realise but its maradonna lol

  202. Retsub says:

    Steve…. The dream team, but only if we add Luther Blissett as back up

  203. proudgooner says:

    the fat turd can hardly jog, he is going to have a heart attack out there if he aint careful.

  204. Highbury Harmony says:

    When did rumours of Welbeck’s availability start? Pretty recently I’d say. Considering Spurs finished above United last year, I wouldn’t consider them any lower than them either.

    United didn’t need to buy Falcao. See your counter argument is flawed, because we already know Song went to West Ham, yet we still don’t know where Welbeck is going. For all we know, Man City could be going for Welbeck to replace Negredo. Again, I bring up Sturridge as an example of a situation that mirrors Welbeck. Why wasn’t he given a chance at Chelsea? Why was he forced out wide? Why didn’t other top clubs go for him? Does that mean he is still not a quality striker now?

    We could not have lined up a deal for Remy, because we could not activate the clause without CL qualification, nor could we discuss personal terms with them until a fee has been agree.

  205. proudgooner says:

    He just just a sweet assist the hand of budda did. 2-0
    It looks like Wenger is managing to me not being a ref.

  206. steve says:

    Retsub,
    Crouch, Heskey and Blissett front three – how to score = win a corner, job done lol
    I’m loving this new look arsenal lmao 🙂

  207. proudgooner says:

    Alan Smith just said on Sky sports that the Danny Welbeck is done!!
    WELBECK HAS BEEN SIGNED

  208. Highbury Harmony says:

    PG permanent deal or loan?

  209. proudgooner says:

    Alan Smith an Arsenal #9 legend called the club up after sky said the deal was not true and the club told Alan the deal is done . THE DEAL IS DONE!!

  210. proudgooner says:

    He does not know if its a perm or temp HH

  211. proudgooner says:

  212. Highbury Harmony says:

    Cheers PG, let’s hope it’s “officially” officially confirmed soon 😉

  213. AFC says:

    It doesn’t matter if a player isn’t openly available. Clubs can still enquire about a player. The probability of City going for Welbeck is slim. I can see Welbeck either staying at United and not getting much game time or joining Spurs or ourselves. Van Gaal and co seemed to think they needed Falcao.

    Sturridge was in a different situation to Welbeck. SAF gave Welbeck chances and Van Gaal is prepared to do the same with young players of he thinks they are good enough and have potential. Mourinho on the other hand usually only wants proven talent rather than players with potential. Mourinho wouldn’t even give Lukaku a chance.

    So we couldn’t do a back-handed verbal agreement with Remy and his agent on the condition that we qualify for the CL?

    Spurs finishing above United last season was an anomaly. United have finished ahead of Spurs for God knows how long with the exception of last season.

  214. proudgooner says:

    HH,
    Yep its a good deal loan out Ryo and get Welbeck.
    What we need now is a defender or a great DM

  215. proudgooner says:

    HH,
    I just heard it will be a perm deal.

  216. Highbury Harmony says:

    Where are United right now? They have as many points as a toothpick. Spurs are a top club, whether you’d like to admit it or not.

    They can inquire all they want, for all we know Arsenal inquired and Remy preferred Chelsea. So this is a pointless discussion, because you are crying over spilt milk. The reality is that we qualified for the CL Wednesday and could only begin serious discussion after that – FACT. Everything else is speculation.

    How is Sturridge any different than Welbeck? Welbeck was frequently played wide to get playing time under Moyes and SAF. He was never going to take a starting role from Rooney or RVP and only had opportunities when those two were injured, and yet STILL had to compete with Chicharito. 9 goals in 15 starts and 10 sub appearances last season for United is not a bad return at all.

  217. Highbury Harmony says:

    Cheers PG! Great that we did something and everyone was clamouring for a striker so I’m excited to see what Arsene can do with Welbeck. All my United friends are telling me that Welbeck is primed for a breakout and is entering the right situation at Arsenal 🙂

  218. proudgooner says:

    But i would wait for the club to announce it mate, with all the its on its off.
    I think its done but not 100%

  219. Highbury Harmony says:

    Fingers crossed. I would like to see us sign a DM too, but I think that’s out of reach barring any last minute miracles. I’m assuming a CB depth signing is still a possibility though.

  220. proudgooner says:

    The deal was being held because Welbeck said if i am going i want to go to Arsenal.
    The club did not want to sell to us, but Welbeck would not change his mind. Th united faans are said to be pissed of that we are getting him, Fergie really rated him and they feel he has now nearly let all of Fergies players go.

  221. AFC says:

    It doesn’t matter where United are now. You can’t just disregard and ignore all of their history and the fact that they have consistently been the best team in England for years. Spurs are a pretty big club but they are not a top club.

    Spur’s honours

    Domestic

    LeagueFootball League First Division:Winners (2): 1950–51, 1960–61Runners-up (4): 1921–22, 1951–52,1956–57, 1962–63Football League Second Division:Winners (2): 1919–20, 1949–50Runners-up (2): 1908–09, 1932–33Southern League:Winners (1): 1899–1900Western League:Winners (1): 1903–04CupFA Cup:Winners (8): 1900-01, 1920-21, 1960-61,1961-62, 1966-67, 1980-81, 1981-82,1990-91Runners-up (1): 1986-87League Cup:Winners (4): 1970-71, 1972-73, 1998-99,2007-08Runners-up (3): 1982, 2002, 2009FA Charity Shield:Winners (7): 1921, 1951, 1961, 1962,1967*, 1981*, 1991* (* shared)Runners-up (2): 1920, 1982

    European

    UEFA Cup:Winners (2): 1971-72 (inaugural winners), 1983-84Runners-up (1): 1973-74UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup:Winners (1): 1962-63Anglo
    -Italian League Cup:Winners (1): 1971

    LOOOOL sure Spurs are a top club. 😀

    Welbeck and Sturridge are very different STs. As I explained earlier the likes of Moyes, Van Gaal and SAF are much more likely go give young players game time as opposed to Mourinho.

  222. Highbury Harmony says:

    Amazing PG, that is always what you want to hear. A player that genuinely wants to come here, is young and full of potential that was good enough for SAF.

  223. proudgooner says:

    Wenger is not a ref tonight he is on the bench managing wre he can answer his phone.
    I would not be surprised if we get 1 more, no 1 saw this Welbeck deal coming at all.

  224. proudgooner says:

    True HH, it is good to hear and he has got a point to prove.
    Back in half an hour.

  225. TotalArsenal says:

    Pg, you are fecking funny! 🙂

  226. AFC says:

    Welbeck will be a decent ST for us. Do I think we could have done better. Hell yeah! But what’s done is done. Still need a DM and a CB.

  227. Highbury Harmony says:

    You can point out all the accolades in the past that United has won, but it means nothing for the present. A team good on paper means nothing if there is no chemistry, poor coaching, players with poor attitudes plaguing the squad etc. The fact is that Spurs are ahead of them in the table currently and were ahead of them last season. If you’re going to call United a top club, then Spurs still deserve consideration.

    Welbeck and Sturridge are not that different though. Like EVERY united fan has told me and all the other posters here, Welbeck was rated highly by SAF. He never got the consistent playing time at ST to prove himself and his goal return from last season when RVJ and Rooney were out proves he has potential. Thus, your theory of Welbeck being garbage and leftovers is also misguided – ask the majority of United fans and they’ll tell you that you’re incorrect. If PG is correct above, Welbeck only wants to come to Arsenal if he is to leave United, so I guess there’s another one of your potential theories going to the gutter about no top clubs being interested.

  228. Gerry says:

    Unfortunately, it does not sound like Sporting Lizzie are staying up late to do any deal?

  229. AFC says:

    Wait so you are calling Spurs a big club because they finished above United last season. That was a one off. Look at who finishes above who the majority of the time. You can’t call Spurs a top club based on an anomaly where they happened to finish above United one seasln because SAF left, United appointed the wrong replacement in Moyes and were a club in transition.

    Sturridge is a poacher and Welbeck is more of a holding ST like Giroud. They are different types of STs. United fans were screaming for Welbeck and Cleverly to be aold last season. I didn’t say Welbeck is garbage. I just said if he isn’t good enough for us why should he be good enough for us.

    No other top clubs apart from ourselves were interested on Welbeck. City, Chelsea, Liverpool etc, weren’t interested in him.

  230. Highbury Harmony says:

    Unfortunately not Gerry. I am hopeful of a DM, but very happy we at least did something today. I think we’re very strong up front and have the depth to compete now. I’m more comfortable with having Sanogo as a 3rd choice ST once OG is healthy. Let’s see what Welbeck can do as the lone ST until then though!!

  231. AB says:

    Same thought Gerry. That’s the one I’m still hanging on in hope for. Cant believe we won’t have some CB cover if we can’t get a combination of DM/CB though – we look very thin at CB even with Chambers performing so strongly. Can we really start the season with 2 CBs and a 19 year old? We’ve even sold Miguel now, so its bare bones. We must be in for someone?

  232. AFC says:

    Spurs a top club*

  233. AFC says:

    The thing is Welbeck won’t win us the title. He will secure 4th place for us but we need more players (DM and CB) if we want to win the league in my opinion.

  234. Highbury Harmony says:

    Again, you are purely speculating. Just because Tottenham and us were the most heavily linked by the media DOES NOT mean we were the only clubs interested. You buy in way too much into what the media outlets tell you and I really don’t remember United fans claiming to sell Welbeck, Cleverley yes, but Welbeck no.

    How many other ST in the world would be able to out compete RVJ and Rooney? Not many, so I don’t see what your point is about him not being good enough for United. Welbeck is pretty god damn fast, so I’m not sure where the assessment that he’s only a holding ST comes from. He’s stronger and taller than Sturridge for sure, and not quite as fast, but he’s pretty well rounded overall.

    I’m not calling Spurs a top club because they finished above United. I was simply showing you an example of how your own straw man arguments appear like when others read them. Spurs are still a top club in my mind, they attract some pretty good players still and if you believe the media stories, they even out do us for some players’ signatures.

  235. AFC says:

    AB, we only have 6 senior defenders at the moment. A CB must be signed tonight in my opinion.

  236. Highbury Harmony says:

    3 games into the season, a new striker bought who hasn’t even played a game yet, with an hour and a half left in the window and apparently we won’t finish higher than 4th!

  237. AFC says:

    Plenty of United fans were saying Welbeck needed to go last season. The majority of United fans will not be disappointed in the slightest that he has left.

    Going by the logic of the media and Welbeck how do you know some top clubs weren’t interested in Song?

    I didn’t say Welbeck is just a holding ST but that is the sort of ST he seems like to me. A bit like how Sanogo is. He is fast pike Welbeck but can do the Giroud role.

    We’ll to agree to disagree about Spurs being a top club like ourselves.

  238. TotalArsenal says:

    Guys time to shake hands and compliment each other on a fine and heated debate.

  239. AFC says:

    HH, I didn’t say we won’t finish higher than 4th this season. All I said was he will secure us 4th place but I can’t see us signing Welbeck alone winning us the league.

  240. Highbury Harmony says:

    I don’t need to use the logic of the media and Welbeck to know top clubs weren’t interested in Song, the fact is he went to West Ham, when Welbeck went to us (a big club).

    On the Spurs note, I’m not saying they’re a club as big as us. Again, it was a straw man argument to show you how your points about us missing out on Remy, Eto’o and Balotelli sounded. However, that said, I still think they’re a fairly big club and have the power to challenge to become a bigger one soon.

  241. alcide says:

    Well I think he’s a good signing – a holding ST who works well defensively so perfect OG backup, but adds some pace and dynamism. He should fit well with our team as he’s a decent ball passer too, even in small quarters unless I’m mistaken. And at his age the potential to outgrow Ollie is very much there?

    But what I really want to see is a CB + DM… clock ticking.

  242. AFC says:

    TA, I’m more than happy to move on but what I don’t like and won’t have is people being rude to me for no reason, falsely accusing me of things and making up assumptions about me which are way off mark. I didn’t make personal comments about HH so I don’t see why he made it personal. I always treat people (on this blog and in life) with respect and I expect people to have some respect for myself and other people (on this blog and on life) as well. Can we not keep things civil?

  243. Highbury Harmony says:

    Welcome to Arsenal, Danny 🙂 ! After years of selling to United, Chelsea and City, we have finally stolen one back!

  244. TotalArsenal says:

    It says it on the shirt ‘AON’…. Arsenal Or Nothing! 🙂

  245. Highbury Harmony says:

    You cannot complain about me making digs at you, when you do the exact same back. There is nothing worse than someone who acts all mighty and thinks they are above others, while giving out a backhanded comment at the same time.

    I just got fed up with your comments about Arsenal being a club that takes on sloppy seconds. Really, it’s just pent up frustration I have with the gloom and doom fans where we can’t do anything right unless we buy Ronaldo, Messi and any other 50 million plus player.

  246. steve says:

    Its like christmas! I’ve always wanted a entirely English Arsenal XI to play as the FA cup team for the season (English club, English tournament, English team) – only 2 CB’s and a GK away, who’d ave thunk it!

    ———————-Szczesny—————–-
    Jenkinson––BFG–——Koscielny–Gibbs
    ——Wilshere—–Chambers——OX——––
    -Akpom———–Welbeck———Walcott-

    pity i’ll never get the last three lol

  247. Highbury Harmony says:

    Haha steve, it’s Arsene, the saviour of English football!

  248. AFC says:

    I treat someone with respect of they treat me with respect. If someone doesn’t treat me with respect like you did then I won’t treat them with respext as they don’t deserve it. When have I acted like I was ‘all high and mighty’? I just think we should have a mutual respect for each other at all times when we blog and if and when we don’t we should put our hands up as I have dome before.

    You’ve got me all wrong HH. All I want is AW to sign good players in the areas we need. I’ve accepted Welbeck even though I have my reservations about him. I don’t care if a player cost 1p or £100m as long as he is quality. Wenger still hasn’t addressed the CB and DM issues which I hope he does.

  249. steve says:

    HH, 😀 ha ha its awesome

    Wenger the next England manager lol

  250. Highbury Harmony says:

    Steve it’s funny because when Wenger first broke into the league, and even later on, no one would have ever imagined Wenger would be that saviour!

  251. steve says:

    Wheres proudgooner! i want my deadline day updates! lol, its so more entertaining getting them here than watching sky! 🙂

  252. Highbury Harmony says:

    You are entitled to be reserved about Welbeck, but I think it’s shortsighted to believe we stood idly when other STs were being signed. Just because Arsene says he doesn’t need to buy another ST, does NOT mean he isn’t looking. He’s just trying to temper with expectations and bring us back down to earth. I’m at fault of criticizing our lack of transfer activity in past years, but I’ve seen a real turn around in the past three transfer windows and I wouldn’t question any of our signings since then.

    Give Welbeck the benefit of doubt, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

  253. AFC says:

    Fair enough HH. 🙂 As I said earlier my mind is very open to being changed.

  254. steve says:

    HH, could you think of a better way of sticking two fingers up to all the press who have slated Wenger over the years for playing a hugely international team then to produce not only an almost fully English team but one that can actually play football the right way for once – I think its incredible to be honest.

  255. AFC says:

    Question for you guys: Does the Welheck signing mean Sanchez will play the majority of his minutes out wide?

  256. AFC says:

    Are Sanchez and Giroud ahead of Welbeck? Or is Welbeck ahead of Sanchez now?

  257. AB says:

    Welbeck – a signing for the head if not the heart. I take some pleasure after numerous manure fans who have talked really fondly of him. Pace, strength and work rate all will fit into our form – I can see him fitting very well with Sanchez. Lets hope he can hit the net early and play with confidence.

    And here’s a thought – will he give us more goals in his time at the home of football than judas does in his time for the scum?

    Come on Arsenal, give us a DM to make the evening……

  258. Highbury Harmony says:

    100% agreed Steve, it’s absolutely hilarious and I bet you the critics will now say that Arsene does not give them enough playing time or that it’s no longer a British league and you need foreign players lol. I think it’ll be nice to see this squad develop and play together over the years and to see if they can manage success at club and international level.

  259. alcide says:

    AFC, it does help with our ability to play with a proven holding striker in OG’s absence, so the option of playing Sanchez wide becomes more potent – but not sure what plan A will be…

  260. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, my assumption is Wenger will work Welbeck into the squad. He may get a sub appearance against City, but likely won’t start. Once he is properly bedded into the squad, I believe he’ll start at ST with Sanchez out wide, with Sanchez also getting some games up top depending on rotation and the opposition. We still need to find a way to get all of Ozil, Cazorla and Wilshere into the line-up, which leads me to believe this.

    Ideally, I’d like to see:
    ———————-Szczesny—————–—–
    Debuchy––Mertesacker—Koscielny–Gibbs
    ————Arteta————Ramsey————–
    Walcott—————Ozil—————-Sanchez
    ———————-Welbeck————————

  261. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post 🙂

  262. Gino92 says:

    TCM,

    I want to thank you for your immense contribution to this blog. I have always looked forward to reading whatever craziness The Cockie Monster had to say, and I am usually not disappointed. However, I also understand and appreciate that TA has a really tough job to do policing his site, and he is doing a fantastic job. Don’t take anything too personally buddy. Take all the necessary time you need away from the blogosphere, and come back recharged and ready to go full throttle. I personally think that Dr. GLIC, the President of Lesbania, has been unfairly “emprisoned” for far too long and must be liberated soon. So, I am herewith starting a movement to free Dr. GLIC, and I am eagerly awaiting his return to power… 😉

  263. proudgooner says:

    Not heard so much as a whisper about any other signings coming Arsenal’s way, but then we did not hear anything about our Danny boy til a couple of hours ago, fingers crossed but its not looking good.

  264. alcide says:

    I think Sanchez and Welbeck/OG are different animals so can’t really talk about being “ahead” unless you specify the criteria, but Alexis overall is definitely the better player. OG vs. Welbeck, to be honest, there is no reason Danny (I’ll retract the Danny if he stays in ManU) can’t gel quickly and be better than OG; what little he loses to OG in body mass/strength he largely gains on speed and vivacity.

  265. alcide says:

    Well I’m not holding my breath for a CB or DM… I hope I’ll jinx myself.

  266. Prince says:

    i just finished throwing up!……………….wait………….oh no………….theres more…….

    We signed Bambi.

    Question:- Is Nottingham Forrest a bigger club than Arsenal? They have won the Champions league yet play in the ‘pit’ division…… 🙄

    ……….back to puking my manUre hating guts out………

  267. Prince says:

    95% of what the ‘Cockney’ monster writes makes me laugh…..the other 5% makes me cry!…………..from laughter…..

    The funniest geezer on the blogosphere, by far……
    So raise your glasses (ching ching) to ‘my bruvver from anuvver muvver’…….

  268. Prince says:

    you gotta love him the way he loves his talkshite, otherwise he will get into your head…..and thats no good…..look what happened to fozzie…..

    Bambi…….seriously………dont know whether to laugh or cry

  269. TotalArsenal says:

    Prince, we are on a new post! 🙂

  270. Prince says:

    I know Totes, i just needed to vent a little as i know my views on our new signing are in the minority and based on personal opinion. Also realised, maybe you would prefer that the chapter involving TCM does not drag into another post. He knows he is always loved and welcome here….

    Catch ya on the next page, gays 🙂

  271. TotalArsenal says:

    No worries, Princey. 🙂

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