We all know better than Wenger

Wenger

Last night’s defeat against Dortmund was a painful one: we were ‘out-systemed’ by Klopp and throughout the ninety minutes we had no answer to it. The Germans played with a great tempo and gang-pressed our players continuously: outnumbering them around the ball almost constantly. We were unable to build our attacks from the back and pass the ball round in midfield, and we also could not thump it forwards towards a holding striker. They played in concentrated units of three/four/five players around the ball, whereas we stuck to our positions and spaces a lot more. The crowd whipped the home players up and we looked stunned and apathetic from the start.

I really think our players were up for this though, but we just could not handle Dortmund’s system of football, the high tempo and pressing football. It was embarrassing but it might provide the team with some valuable lessons: ‘Oh the sweet uses of adversity’ as Shakespeare once said.

The responses by fellow Gooners have been varied, yet predictable: some want to change the formation and some the players, and there is merit in all of it. We all have our hobby horses, and especially when we lose we like to get them out of the stable. My head buzzes with thoughts like:

  • For 4-1-4-1 we do not have the right DM: so why play this formation?
  • Why did we not buy a proper, footballing DM this summer?
  • What has happened to BFG and Koz’s fine partnership?
  • Should we adjust our system to get the best out of Welbeck?
  • Am I mad and almost everybody sane by disagreeing about Ozil’s ‘best position’?
  • Why has Wenger changed from 4-2-1-3 to 4-1-4-1, and why did it work okay against the Nothern Oilers and not against Dortmund?
  • Etc, Etc.

Like many others, I have some reservations about Wenger’s approach to our football at the moment – formations, style of play, player purchases, etc – but we should be careful with jumping to conclusions. It is early season and the preparations for the new season were short, due to many international players returning late and CL qualification needing to be secured against a tough opponent. We did qualify but drew one or two games too many, and now we have been outplayed/out-thought by a rampant German team.

Dortmund are capable of this, as the money-no-object team in Madrid will testify. Many regard the self-adoring one as a great manager, but also he had no answer to the Deutsche Welle two seasons ago. Sometimes you just have to hold your hand up and say: we were second best and well done to the opponent. Key is to not make too much of it and move on, especially so early on in the season. It is a defeat we can afford after all.

In football, and life in general, you can always respond to a disappointment or set-back in three ways: do nothing, make changes, reinforce your belief in the road you have chosen. We are all fantasy football managers who can instantly suggest what Wenger needs to change in order for Arsenal to become a trophy-winning side. We can have these opinions and utter them without a care in the world.

But Arsene is the manager and he has an entirely different weight on his shoulders than us arm-chair managers. When he lay there on the beach in Brazil a few months ago, he day-dreamed of winning silverware with 4-1-4-1 and he got Sanchez and Welbeck, Debuchy and Chambers to make it happen. Let’s give him a chance to see this new formation and style of football through, and not jump to conclusions yet.

Keep the faith.

Written by: TotalArsenal.

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95 Responses to We all know better than Wenger

  1. Scottishgooner says:

    In the not too distant future when abou diaby is named pfa player of the season after single handedly dragging us to the top of the premier league, we’ll laugh for ever doubting arsene Wenger.

    Great article – you’re right it’s far too early with a team that had little present season, injuries and a lack of consistent form. Give the boys a chance.

  2. I am always full of admiration for your style and line of thinking on any issue arsenal particularly during a cross road like this. The point is this embarrassment is too recurring.8-2 against united, 4-0 against millan, 3-1 against Bayern, 6-3 against City. 5-1 against Liverpool, 6-0 against Chelsea all in similar version in a period of three years and our manager has no answer. arsenal have become a laughing stock in local and continental football. As you said earlier there is no shame if the manager admits he has reached the limit of his football knowledge.
    Worst off the man appears bigger than his employers. He does not read games, teaches no tactics, selection and deployment constantly wrong. Do we wait until arsenal drop out of top four?

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    hahahaha SG Diaby-Day-Dreaming again! 😛

    It would be brilliant of course!

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    thanks Idris 🙂

    Yes those embarrassing losses hurt and we have become a bit prone to them. However, we are not a laughing stock – I dont know where you got that from. Your assessment of Arsene is harsh and incorrect. He has a plan for this season and it is taking time to come to fruition. Let’s see how he will make it work, and let’s face it, he will have plenty of tough tests ahead in the next few months.

  5. Scottishgooner says:

    @idris to a degree you’re right. But don’t forget how we played Dortmund last year. Stifle them, defend as a team and hit on the counter. It worked. And then bayern. Play them hard and fast, don’t give them a minute to set the pace-had Nemo buried the penalty and had chezzers not got sent off, who knows.

    Point is he can be tactically astute but he prefers to play the ‘arsenal’ way. I remember the pride of beating Barcelona the arsenal way.

    I think he gets too much stick. I’m sure he got strange looks replacing anelka with some french winger. Or what about GG buying some failed Dutch star from inter who was the often publicised donkey of the week, who AW transformed into the greatest no10 the premiership has ever seen.

    Give the team some time.

  6. Uzor says:

    Idris is 100%!!!!!

    My sincere prayer is for Wenger to drop out of top 4. Enough of this top 4 bullshit!!!! Afterall, Man United finished 7th. Today they are looking very very solid

  7. allezkev says:

    Well balanced post Total…

    If Arsene has a plan, and is working on it, he better get his skates on mate.
    There was enough space in front of our back four, to drive a panzer through the middle of it…

    Feeling flat after a defeat is normal, but the manner of yesterday evenings defeat was more than a tad worrying…

  8. grapevineinformationorg says:

    This is really disheartening to put it mildly. Plus we play Villa away in a couple of nights, and they look in fine firm after coming away with a win at Liverpool over the weekend.
    Even Milo & Stitch over the last two seasons have been crying out for a decent “Defensive Midfielder” to be brought into the Emirates to sure up things at the back.

    Arsenals most remarkable years in the EPL was when we had “The Gibraltar Gilberto” in that position, and the “Great Wall of Vieira” manning the DM position. For some reason unknown to us, Mr Professor sees a brighter life without a formidable DM at the Emirates. I’m just to tired to be bothered anymore. I’ve been a season ticket holder for close to 20 years now, and believe me this “who-ba-la-who-ba-lu”, has got me very tired. My question to you is, if you could go back and change things, Would you still want to be a Gunner?

  9. goonermartin says:

    How long a time exactly do you want us to give the manager? This is a honest question.
    If we swap the managers of both team yesterday, Jurgen Klopp’s team would still come out tops in the match.

    The truth is one of the coaches had a tactic, a game plan for his opponent while the other simply set out his team the way he’d set them put at Villa park on Saturday?

    Does Arsene truly believe in Joel Campbell? Why has he continued to play his No 10s out of position? Why does he think all wingers are strikers and that all No 10s are potential wingers? Ozil was never a footballer with the engine of a Ramsey/Wilshere, why waste his talents on the flank? Why punish the full backs by playing wingers (Cazorla, Ozil etc) who cannot mark in front of them?

    What exactly is wrong in rotating the team? Bar Arteta, who was always going to be a toast for fast paced attacking teams, Arsene fielded the same team that worked their socks off vs Man City last weekend when he had more than capable replacement on the bench. Except any of them got injured yesterday, the same 11 will start at Villa park on Saturday?

    SAF regularly starts J.S Park against the top teams in the league and in Europe to great effect. The self acclaimed special one now deploys Willian in his starting 11 against the top teams. These are not coincidence, both players start these games largely because of their workrate. We have similar players in OX and Rosicky but the manager will rather play his love children Ozil and Arteta at the detriment of the team.

    Yes, we have new players. Yes, we want to win the league. I am NOT convinced we can win the league with a manager who fails to rotate until he runs his players to the ground or play them out of positions just to feel good. Yes, you cannot win all the time, but if the team were set up to truly challenge the opposition, some of us are ready to give the team the required support.

    The same reason we lost last night was why we lost 6-3 at City, 6-0 at Chelsea and 5-1 at Anfield. You think Le Prof really learnt anything from those defeat?

    We needed specialist in certain areas but the manager prefers jack of all trade and masters of none players. It’s okay. I’m cool with it. I have come to understand that the major problem this team has is the man leading them. But he can continue to live on his past achievement. I’m also cool with that.

    For me, I’m willing to endure his long torturous reign for the next 3 years by supporting the team as much as possible.

    Hopefully, it won’t be more than that.

    And back to your plea of “more time”, will the next 3 season be enough?

  10. goonermartin says:

    Top post by the way. I don’t have to agree with every sentence in there but i see the picture you are painting. Cheers

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Uzor, you should know by now that Arsenal always finish in the top four… it is written in the stars. 🙂

    Re your Manure comment…. really? Because they beat QPR at home… 😕

  12. steve says:

    allezkev,

    something like this type of set up 🙂

    —–REST OF THE TEAM——

    —–BFG WALKING BACK—–

    ░░░░███████ ]▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄
    ▂▄▅█████████▅▄▃▂
    Il███████████████████]
    ◥⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙◤..

    ———–KOSCIELNY————–

    ———–SZCZESNY—————

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Grape, what a question buddy?! I love to be a Gooner. Once you become one there is no way back. And I am a picky kind of guy! 😛

    Agreed re Gilberto and Vieira – fine, fine players and we need at least one of them back (as a type of player).

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    Steve, how the f*ck did you do that? Brilliant. 🙂

  15. Scottishgooner says:

    @GVIFO I think people romantise Vieira and his role in the team. He was never the defensive member. He was more box to box a la Ramsey. The defensive partnership responsibilities usually fell to petite or gilberto. Why do we need another box to box? I think a purely defensive minded player is needed, someone like Fernando who never ventures forward. Our team changed when we stopped getting that Makalele type of player

  16. steve says:

    procrastinating TA, trying to stop myself from writing a heat of the moment, very damning and dooming match comment about last night lol – I thought it better to build a tank lol
    Great post though mate its helping a little to cheer me up 🙂

  17. ian stratton says:

    the mistakes have arisen from not bringing in the right players. i have been banging on about a world class dm for about five years. we havent had one since gilberto left. i was convinced that wenger would put that right this summer and he still hasnt done it, thats why the spine of our side looks so weak. a top dm would also be useful defending set pieces as we dont have enough six footers in the box doing this which is why we lose so many goals in this area. the issue of per mertesecker has to be adressed as well . i love him but having him in the side means we have to sit deeper to account for his lack of pace, which means we cant compress the space at the other end and press teams as well in their half of the pitch. he also gets caught far too often when players run at him, so a top center half should have been a priority also. chambers may become one in the future but he still needs looking after and we need one now. at least three of the players we bought in were essentials because we allowed players contracts to run down ,so we actually only added sanchez and chambers to the squad which has looked paper thin at times in terms of quality in depth. this was bad planning in my view. our club is awash with money at this time and yes we spent a lot , but we also brought in a fair bit as well. i said at the opening of the transfer window that we cannot win the league or champions league wihout the addition of a world class dm and center half . we got neither. i stand by my assessment

  18. ian stratton says:

    as a post note to the above. please leave ozil alone …. we will not see the best of him until he is played as a no10 and not as a winger. you cannot play him and wilshere in the same team , they need to be rotated and played in their best positions. surely we didnt pay 40 mill plus to play the worlds best no10 as a bloody winger.the criticism he is getting is outrageous. if its allowed to continue we will drive him out of our club and that would be a tragedy.

  19. Geoff Alvis says:

    Re Scottish Gooner – Did you ever watch Vieira regularly? He was like YaYa Toure only better in the tackle. Vieira would be the one to bring the ball out from defensive midfield positions & turn it straight into an attack, and when we were under pressure he would be breaking things up, defending was a key part of his game which is why he received more yellow & red cards than any other player, he was a warrior! The other thing was we had Sol Campbell, Kolo Toure & Martin Keown all very quick & strong centre backs, as much as I like Per he is much too slow, as is Arteta. If he was fit I’d actually try Diaby in the box to box role like Vieira, but sadly that’s never gonna happen as he’s more injury prone than Sick note Darren Anderton. Ozil in the Bergkamp No.10 supporting striker position please, at least give it a f@*king try Wenger!

  20. Scottishgooner says:

    @Geoff I’m sorry but I don’t agree. If you not only watch where he plays but see how the team shape is with him both with and without the ball you can’t call him a defensive player. Yes very similar to Yaya who also is not a defensive player. If you compare him and gilberto who hardly ever got carded but played a true defensive position, it’s clear what their roles in the team were.
    Yes Vieira could tackle but look at his stats. His tackles, scores goals and passes the ball both short and long. He’s box to box.

    Compare him to gilberto who hardly scored, hardly got carded but never let anything past him. Yes Vieira could defend, but that’s what a true box to box player does

  21. JM says:

    My personal views:

    (1) For 4-1-4-1 we do not have the right DM: so why play this formation?
    The answer is multifaceted.
    (a)The manager tries and fails to accommodate Wilshere, Ramsey and Ozil in the same starting line-up & playing team. He wants to use Wilshere and Ramsey together in CM, 4-(2)-3-1, but the double pivot partnership is not working. We can say they are the manager’s favourites in that when both of them are healthy and available, he will always start them together 100% – he wants to build up and make the partnership work. With Ozil coming into the equation (as our supposed primarily playmaker and being the most expensive signing), the manager wants him available as frequently as possible as well. The 4-2-3-1 or 4-2-1-3 variants could have the 3 of them (Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil) in our midfield (CM & AM), which equates light weight and unsustainable because there is no holding midfielder and both Wilshere and Ramsey do not work well in double pivot.
    (b) The manager uses 4-(1)-4-1 to get all 3 (Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil) to start and play at same time, without much emphasis on the (1) holding midfielder. The ideal was for the 4 advance/attacking midfielders to either hold ball possession or win back lost possession at opposition defensive 3rd and attack from there on; in practice, the players find it difficult to maintain the high concentration levels to retain ball and penetrate deep defences (esp. well organised top quality teams and BtB teams). Which means the (1) holding midfielder shall have to deal with opposition countering after the 4 advance/attacking midfielders are bypassed. He is not helped by our marauding fullbacks on both sides who are playing as wingbacks. The poor guy is caught between having to protect our line in front of both CBs (against oppositions AMs/shadow strikers) and the space vacated on either sides (against oppositions wingers).
    (c) In other words, the manager tries a more attacking approach in theory to “overwhelm” the opposition with the 4 attacking midfielders and overload the space in attacking 3rd; the reality falls flat as team is either pressing awkwardly or doing a deep line defence to cover the inadequacy of pace for our (1) holding midfielder (Arteta/ Flamini) and (1) CB (Mertesacker).

    (2) Why did we not buy a proper, footballing DM this summer?
    3rd party issues as well as dealing with Gestifute (with WCal); other club not willing to release players (SvenB/LarsB/Khedira/Vidal/Pogba/Gonalons); our club not wishing to adjust wage structure for the 2nd year running (after Ozil’s last year); ideal candidates injured long term(Strootman/J.Martinez); top players will not come (Schweinsteiger/Mascherano/Busquets); certain players blacklisted because of past dubious disciplinary issues (on and off the pitch) by the manager.

    (3) What has happened to BFG and Koz’s fine partnership?
    This goes back to the lack of protection in front of them. 4-(2)-1-3 / 4-(2)-3-1 works; 4-(1)-4-1 fails. Mertesacker & Arteta are slow paced; Flamini does not enough ability to distribute the ball to the attackers efficiently.
    Arteta and Flamini cannot solo the holding midfielder job in the 4-(1)-4-1 but on the other hand, the manager’s favourable CM double-pivot partnership (Wilshere & Ramsey) is a work in progress in the 4-(2)-1-3 / 4-(2)-3-1.

    (4) Should we adjust our system to get the best out of Welbeck?
    There always needs to be a second forward/shadow striker (Alexis/Walcott) to help our main striker (Welback/Giroud) out. The mentality and poaching/killer instincts between a striker/forward and an attacking midfielder/winger is different. Strikers/forwards looks to score first; AMs/wingers looks to assist first.

    (5) Am I mad and almost everybody sane by disagreeing about Ozil’s ‘best position’?
    “Mesut was unbelievable at a young age, a real No 10. But now I don’t think he is the right player for the Premier League (with Arsenal). He is not a fighter. If you need to fight in a match then that’s not him.” – Oliver Ruhnert, academy director, Schalke 04 (where Ozil played 39 times with)

    (6) Why has Wenger changed from 4-2-1-3 to 4-1-4-1, and why did it work okay against the Nothern Oilers and not against Dortmund?

    (i) We played Man City at home; We played Dortmund away.
    (ii) In the (1) holding midfielder role, Flamini played vs City; Arteta played vs Dortmund. (Arteta + Mertesacker = very very slow recovery vs counter)
    (iii) Newbie Bellerin at RB has to protect both Ozil (don’t defend well) in front and Mertesacker (lack pace, usually plays deep) beside. He is not Debuchy.

    4-1-4-1 may work if the whole team do compact high pressing to make good use of our numerical advantage for having 4 advance/attacking midfielders in transition and to counter any lost possession quickly. Though Mertesacker and Arteta have to be dropped for Chambers (quicker) and another accomplished and quicker holding midfielder, who can defend spaces and distribute the ball well in every situation.
    In the 4-(1)-4-(1), the 2 main leads/roles are the holding midfielder and the main forward. The rest are the supporting cast.

  22. Scottishgooner says:

    Excellent work JM

    Although I’d disagree with out pulling power. I think we now have the finances to match our stature. I think the only players out of our reach are Ronaldo and Messi. I think financially and in terms of attractiveness on playing style and brand, we can attract them.

    The problem is Wenger needs to understand that he can’t be the highest paid person at the club anymore. Unless he plans on coming on to boss the midfield at half time.

  23. allezkev says:

    Steve, that was quality mate 😀

  24. abegg1 says:

    I really think our players were up for this though, but we just could not handle Dortmund’s system of football, the high tempo and pressing football.
    —————————————–
    Problem is every time we face a team with tempo Arsenal get battered – poor tactics from a manager who can’t figure out a plan to counteract a reoccurring issue.

  25. The Cockie Monster says:

    We all know better than Wenger ?.
    I don`t agree with the headline entirely ………..more like most intelligent people who have played football and followed it for X amount of years do, as they probably watch other teams tactics etc`, which Wenger does not !.
    It`s easy to see where he goes wrong here in the newly acquired independent Cornwall !. After yesterdays referendum where I blackmailed all the local inbreds with photographic evidence of their relative relativeness of all being related to each other and our Yes vote has brought in the new country of …….Federal Union Cornwall Kernow…..or FUCK for short !.
    Wenger is an economist and has done a fantastic job in getting us where we are now, but it now needs someone who not only can take us further with tactics and formations etc`, but also someone who is not scared to spend the money on the right players, the heavy weight you ( Total ) say is on Wenger, is not on his shoulders but in his wallet !.
    Lets look at the players Klopp had unavailable……Reus, Sahin, Gundogan, Piszscek, Blaszczykowski, Hummels, Kagawa and 2 players he has lost in the last year….Lewandowski and Goetze !. Klopp is a manager who knows how to get the best out of his players by use of them in tactical and playing them in their strongest positions. Had Klopp been our manager, I`m sure we would have put up a fight !.
    Our season started 16th August and it looks like most agree that other than a spell against Mansour City….. we have been pants !….lucky for a late Ramsey winner on the 16th or we would be the score draw specialists !.
    I don’t take any of the bollox about fatigue/mental strength/spirit, as Wenger has to say something in the interviews and it`s either that or him talking about the economy in which he is better qualified in than as a coach of football !.
    It`s all about balance !…..I know you would all like to see Rosicky, Santi, Ozil, Alexis, Ox, Wilshere, Theo, Welbeck, Ramsey, Gnabry and Igor Stepanovs in the same team, but it`s not like when we were all youngsters and all having the best players in one team !. This is something I learnt in my primary school. I was the best player and me and the second best player, Geoff, used to pick the teams, I would let Geoff pick the rest of the best players and I would pick the school bullies…….who were fcuking built like Richard Kiel ( Jaws in the Bond movies ) even as 8 year olds !……we always won because I was the best player with 9 defensive midfield beasts and a goalie whose presence would make Geoff, his team and their parents wet their selves and hand over their sweets and car keys, so I could drive around to a dark alley and have sex with their mums…….yes, I was an advanced 8 year old !.
    I`m not calling for a team of the like of Alexis up front with Adams, Keown, Storey, Roy Keane, Viera. Styles, Hunter, Chopper Harris, Bin Laden and Gaddafi behind, but one of balance, we need…….and Wenger himself has recently said we need a “PV4″ type player !……….a DM beast who will strike fear into our opponents and our own players !, not Arteta, who likes to caress and tickle our diminutive midfielders testicles in his team talks, but one who will grab them by the bollox and demand their pocket money….oops,…I thought I was still in the school playground !….demand they put a shift in and fight for The Arsenal !.
    I`ve always said and it will take a lot to change my mind……a team of Alexis`s or for you older bastards…Geordie Armstrong`s, who have stamina and run in your face all day long added with skill, will always beat a team of Ozils or Arshavins etc` who have not got that dynamism !. That’s why teams like your Leicester`s and Stoke`s will always make it hard for us !.
    Then there is the square pegs in round holes !…..it makes me think that Wenger has a strange rectangular four sided cock !………. which would be OK if woman had square holes, but I`ve surveyed many and vertical bacon sandwiches they may be, but not square !.
    The game has moved on since Wenger last won the league, but Wenger is still stuck in 2004 . He needs to listen to advise or move on, but being on £8M per year, he doesn`t give a Gareth Bale !.

  26. grapevineinformationorg says:

    JM, Sport on. Ozil doesn’t deserve this because the lad has got bags of quality and some.
    + He’s got a WORLD CUP medal for gezz sake.
    + Arsene is playing a very dangerous game here with this world class No 10.
    + If we had a decent holding midfielder e.g. Gaston Ramirez or Lucas Romero who were available a ridiculously cheap prices, why would a prized gem (Ozil) be told to track back?
    + Klopp has Mr Professors number, his keys, his house, and Gus Audi.
    + Best of luck Ozil, We seen in you what others fail to see.

  27. grapevineinformationorg says:

    Mr Monster…really good post. What is Steve Boulds job again anybody?

  28. GoonerB says:

    Nice upbeat post TA and some excellent comments. It lifted me slightly but I still harbour reservations. It seems that when things go badly wrong for us in a game it is always due to the same failings. When it becomes this repetitive it becomes hard to have faith that Arsene is working on implementing something new that will solve our problems.

    Also I feel Ospina, Debuchy and Chambers were brought in to just replace outgoing players so are not part of some new stratedgy implementation, but have only allowed us to stand still. I still only consider the Welbeck and Sanchez signings as being an upgrade or addition to last seasons squad. That is in the forwards department so should help but is it enough?

    Further If you also directly compare having Sagna and Vermaelen with their versatility in other defensive positions to Chambers and Debuchy then we are lighter defensively than last season to the tune of 1 CD option.

    I liked GoonerMartins 16.19 and found it hard to disagree with most of it. I found myself agreeing with Scottish that Vieira was more a box to box player but I still classify those box to box players as DM’s. Where I make a distinguishment is with a DM who is a holding midfielder which is what I feel we lack. That immediate protection and screen to the back 4.

    I think that Vieira and Gilberto were both DM’s but Vieira was the box to box one while Gilberto was the holding one. I think the box to box player becomes more effective if he has a top class powerful and quick holding midfielder alongside him. Yaya and Vieira have similarities but are still different to me. Both were big and quick and could drive through the midfield, but Vieira would make a midfield more defensively powerful while Yaya provides a greater goal threat.

    I see both Wilshere and Diaby as box to box DM’s. I am not so certain about Ramsey though who I think is more goal-scoring ACM than box to box, and is in competition with Ozil and Cazorla (not Jack as many think) for a spot. We have too many options in this role which is why I think we see Ozil playing out of position to try and get them all on the pitch. For me something has to give and I don’t think we need all 3 in the squad.

  29. steve says:

    allezkev, haha i thought it summed it up nicely mate 🙂

    JM, fucking great comment mate! Answered everything to a T, nice one, very good read and nothing to add.

    TCM, I haven’t been on this site long but even i knew you couldn’t resist posting today lol, nice one bud very entertaining.

  30. Gerry says:

    I see the Under 19’s beat Dortmund earlier, 0-2. Noticeable absentee … Akpom???

    TA – You have mail.

  31. AB says:

    Evening TA. You have summed up the questions we all feel and set out a balanced rationale for how we should respond extremely well. Losing like we did last night is infuriating, and demands all kinds of ‘why’s. Some of these have inadequate answers – in short our selected team played badly, which is a product of failures of individual performance, tactical arrangement/selection, and finally squad development through recent TWs. Wenger is hardly excused from all blame in this context.

    But, like you, I don’t believe we have gone into this season without a plan, and I don’t think we have had time yet to see how this plan plays out through a settled team who have got to grips with their individual roles and are familiar with playing with each other.

    On balance, I think we had a very strong TW, and have a squad that is a real improvement on last season’s. We should have more pace, direct attacking movement and goals in our team. But we look just as vulnerable to strong opponents at the back, and the defensive unit is thinner, if slightly younger. I simply can’t understand the DM situation and continue to live in hope!

    But I do expect us to click at some point this season, and produce much more convincing wins than we managed during the last. We need to avoid too many score draws though – last year we really managed to win ugly many times, and we seem to have lost this knack at the moment; we now draw ugly instead! It needs to happen soon though, so fingers crossed for the Villa game. Welbeck needs to open his account, Mert needs to be back to his formidable best, and Ramsey needs to be back in the form of last season; when it comes together we will enjoy it I feel sure.

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    Ian, we all want a DM and I wrote so many words and blogs about it, you don’t want to know. I am still for BFG as our defence organiser, though.

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    goonermartin, fine, heartfelt comment and good to hear you still support the team passionately, even though you don’t believe Wenger will get us to more silverware. You might well be right. We are where we are and a new season has started. I rather give the team and Arsene time before passing judgement, but I respect your point of view. 🙂

  34. alcide says:

    TA, splendid post, and great title too!

    I just lost a half hour post by clicking on the back button (BLOODY TYPE YOUR POST IN NOTEPAD YOU IDIOT). Not sure I have the courage to redo it… I’ll try.

    * For 4-1-4-1 we do not have the right DM: so why play this formation?

    I have to copy paste the last paragraph from JM – just spot on:

    “(c) In other words, the manager tries a more attacking approach in theory to “overwhelm” the opposition with the 4 attacking midfielders and overload the space in attacking 3rd; the reality falls flat as team is either pressing awkwardly or doing a deep line defence to cover the inadequacy of pace for our (1) holding midfielder (Arteta/ Flamini) and (1) CB (Mertesacker).”

    Awkward pressing – thoughout most of the game you could see the contrast in how the two teams pressed:

    Two, three, sometimes four Dortmund players closing in on the ball bearer, and other players working hard to track Arsenal players trying to make themselves available – closing potential passing lanes and marking those players. No one overcommits – i.e. they are not trying to win the ball back as much as they are trying to force a mistake or bad pass. With the concentration of players in the zone, deflections, bad passes had a formidable tendency of landing in their feet. They must have won at least 75% of second balls.

    We, and I recall Jack’s recent words of Arsenal “now trying to win the ball back in the first five seconds”, put in similar energy but often overcommitted – trying to win the ball in their feet, closing on backwards passing lanes before closing the front, going for interceptions or tackles instead of blocking ball bearer movement and passing lanes. In many instances, a miss resulted in a player left behind and midfielder running into space (in 2 instances I remember THREE players left behind as the Dortmund player could turn and run into 10m of free space!). And the concentration of BVB players all around the ball meant that deflections, bad passes, would mostly end up in their feet – they must have won more than 75% of second balls – and like in Rugby, recycled balls are the best opportunities.

    I believe that this is something we need to be doing more – but we need to get better at it. I see our flaws much different to last year’s drubbing – I thought we were caught in our over offensive eagerness rather than just positionally.

    And of course that brings the DM/Per pairing. Now to Per’s defense, I remember him twice in unusual positioning (for him), but both times I think he was covering for Bellering bas positioning or mistakes (such as when he went for a tackle upfield on a player although the fullback had already overlapped and was 10m ahead of him). But there is no question that Per’s slowness (in addition to Mikel’s or Flam’s) is an impediment for us playing a different type of football, with more attacking intent, higher defensive lines to catalyze pressing, etc.

    * Why did we not buy a proper, footballing DM this summer?

    Answer is Well covered by JM’s examples. I’ll add that I believe that we ARE looking for one, but I have a feeling (backed by recent and past comments) that Arsene may want the real deal and not short/medium term placeholder – i.e. that Mikel/Flam are good enough, Diaby has a 20% chance of making it, Chambers might become a DM in the long term, et.c but basically that a minor upgrade would become an impediment to hiring the DM he wants, one that has both Mikel’s abilities AND physical Presence (note the capital P). If he really pushes for 4-1-4-1 – that may mean DM is the next SQ signing?

    * What has happened to BFG and Koz’s fine partnership?

    Well covered again by JM. Exposed by our DM attributes. Some Bellering approximations in positioning (to be expected) maybe contributed. On a side note, Kos was otherwise great; just caught out by Immobile’s accidental knee dribble in the first goal.

    * Should we adjust our system to get the best out of Welbeck?

    Hmmmm I don’t think that was our problem yesterday so I’ll say no – got enought players we have to adjust our system to 🙂

    * Am I mad and almost everybody sane by disagreeing about Ozil’s ‘best position’?

    Let’s not blame Özil. Our team failed – not him. Because Arsene mentioned that “you need to see the game a second time to see how good he is”, I actually spent most of the time looking at him instead of the ball bearer. He didn’t have a bad game at all, made excellent runs but wasn’t served, when he had the ball, the whole team was caught in the press. When there were outlets, evenb remote ones he mostly found them, I didn’t see obvious things he should/could have done that could hav turned the game around. You expect him to dribble through 3 players, defend in our third, shove players on aerial challenges? He’s not this type of player that will prevent a team from being dominated when it is, he is one to unlock games you are actually having a say in – and we didn’t yesterday.

    On his best position – Arsene’s comments suggest he is free to roam, and his heat maps show that he spends as much time as each wing and in the centre. It’s still early days with new players and systems to dismiss his current role. Let’s recall his positioning with Germany (and he played all games if I’m not mistaken), in my opinion he made a lot of things tick in the team, even though he didn’t have the conductor role. And Loew said many times how important he was even though he was not decisive with goals or assists. And I don’t see why he was quite succesfull with us in the first months, up until his missed penalty…

    * Why has Wenger changed from 4-2-1-3 to 4-1-4-1, and why did it work okay against the Nothern Oilers and not against Dortmund?

    JM has the main points covered (damn him). I think Dortmund played to near perfection yesterday – if they can keep that level and energy (and I am not sure they will avoid some accidents), they will be very strong CL contenders.

    * It is early season and the preparations for the new season were short, due to many international players returning late and CL qualification needing to be secured against a tough opponent. We did qualify but drew one or two games too many, and now we have been outplayed/out-thought by a rampant German team. […] Let’s give him a chance to see this new formation and style of football through, and not jump to conclusions yet.

    Yes, that. I’d feel more comfortable with our traditional 4-2-1-3, with Özil behind Alexis, Danny and Theo/Ox, even with RamShere behind them, with lots of offensive potential but a bit more speed behind, and feel we are going a bit fast with 4-1-4-1, but let’s see if we can adjust and make it work.

    Cheers,
    Nick

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    Great comment and responses, JM, and almost all agreed. 🙂

    I reckon Arsene is not trying desperately to fit all of Jack, Aaron and Mesut into a team. It is the other way around: he is building the team around those three AND Alexis by choice and vision. Agreed we need a better DM for the 4-1-4-1 formation, and we also need a holding CF imo. OG’s injury could cost us dearly.

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    Good to see you back, Cockie, and no surprise you are not leaving yourself open for a new season. Talkshite is in your brains and in your heart. 🙂

    ‘The game has moved on since Wenger last won the league, but Wenger is still stuck in 2004 . He needs to listen to advise or move on, but being on £8M per year, he doesn`t give a Gareth Bale !.’

    The reverse is true. He moves on all the time, always evolving our football and team – sometimes I wish he would just refer back to 2004, and I am sure not to be the only one. The idea that he does it for the money is also a typical projective thought. I am sure that money does not motivate him at all… there is an award winning thought for you. 🙂

  37. alcide says:

    Diaby interview on Arsenal’s site:

    What have you been up to since that Norwich game? How has pre-season gone?

    The plan was to work over the whole summer. I had a three-week break after the Norwich game and then started to work again, back in France. I focused on building my strength and endurance and it’s gone well so far, I’m feeling good and now training as normal with the rest of the squad.
    […]
    When you miss pre-season, things become difficult after that, so my main focus is on completing my preparations and then I can see the level that I’m at and hope to play again.

    So I’m not writing him off just yet. Maybe he’ll give us the couple injury-free seasons RVP managed. One of his last games, against ManC he was brilliant – MotM from memory? He still has the skills, and by now most of his ligaments and body parts must be fillled with carbon mesh!

  38. Gerry says:

    I am with Alcide on this, see JM’s responses.

    Sporting Lizzie are still 0-0 in their CL match, their progress in the CL could have a bearing on our getting WC in Jan?

  39. alcide says:

    Shrill, thanks for the link – excellent analysis I think.

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    Great comment and mostly agreed. I saw merit in the 4-1-4-1 for the fist time against MC. I thought they played really well against us, and yes, we could have lost that game in the end. But I am very excited of a mid-four of Wilshere, Ozils, Ramsey and Sanchez. Put a good DM behind them and a good holding CF in front of them and it could all become very exciting…. and if Wenger can get this to work, we could win things….. but we need a good DM and a good holding striker….both are missing right now..

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    And Gervinho…. banged in two tonight.

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry, nice observation re Akpom…. Will he get a chance on Saturday? Will check mail.

  43. TotalArsenal says:

    AB, Always Balanced 🙂

    All agreed and nice to see you back here. Are you having a fine whiskey tonight? 🙂

  44. TotalArsenal says:

    75% of second balls….. so true Alcide.

  45. jnyc says:

    TA, you are the man for a day like this. I needed that wisdom considering my mood. Also always love a Shakespeare quote.

    On to specifics, im really getting tired of disappointing or mediocre results.. we havent had a nice win in too long, no matter what the excuses.

    Maybe im too simplistic, but i would like ozil to play where HE feels he can be most effective…. also i would have had the guts to rotate to fresh, experienced players like ox, rosicky and santi, knowing that the replaced guys would be on the bench if needed.

    My way probably couldnt have gone much worse. I still believe jack should not play two times in any week if possible .

    Having said all that, i will reiterate what i said after saturdays disappointment….. i think this team can go on a run, a great one, if we can tighten the defense.
    Thats easier said than done, but we ARE working with mostly the same players as last years squad that was very good defensively minus a couple blowouts… the missing parts are sagna and giroud, but the added parts are the excellent workrate of alexis and welbeck.
    …….. we should be almost as good defensively or the.manager should answer why not.

    We need an emphatic, clear win in the league this weekend for confidence, and we must dominate the rest of our group matches in champs league.

    Thats what this squad should be aiming for.

  46. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Alcide, I think we all feel more comfortable with 4-2-1-3, although I would still have Ozil on the left or right in the free role with Jack in the hole (as per many posts and comments I wrote). 🙂

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    One more, the Hunter! 🙂

  48. TotalArsenal says:

    Fair and balanced comment, johnnie. I agree to some extent re Jack playing twice a week. I reckon Arsene is keen to get the fab-four to work together a lot and become the fulcrum of the team and therefore there were minimum changes for the Dortmund game. Agreed re the Sat game. It wont be easy though as the Villians smell blood and they are a nasty bunch…. expect it to get dirty and cards to fly. I am holding my breath….

  49. TotalArsenal says:

    Of the sixteen away playing teams, only two are winning over the two days of CL games. I wish we had played home first.

  50. TotalArsenal says:

    So City lose to a late goal and the Chavs draw at home…. Feeling a bit better now. 🙂

  51. TotalArsenal says:

    Shrill, that is an excellent article, thanks. 🙂

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    One out of 16 won away in the end…..

  53. GoonerB says:

    Here is a post for you T.A. What is a holding CF?

    I see 2 types. Firstly the one that stands centrally, back to goal bringing the ball under control while holding off the CD’s and holding up play before laying it off to support runners. Secondly the CF that has more pace who spins off the CD’s into vacated wide channels allowing the out-ball to be played into those channels. They can then get to the ball first and hold possession (hold up play) until support runners arrive.

    Ollie I see in theformer more traditional English version of a CF who can hold up play centrally with the 2 CD’s in close attendance. The jewel in the crown is of course the player who can do both. That player needs to not only have a physical presence and good ball control to carry out the traditional version but needs to have the pace to carry out the hold up play working into the wider channels.

    IMO a description of Welbeck is of a big and pacy forward with good ball control. The fact that he has been coached to be comfortable in wide positions could be a real bonus. He has only just arrived having had bit part playing time with Utd, often being shunted around into different positions. Are we sure he will not develop into that CF that we want that can literally play any system including the role of holding CF?

  54. proudgooner says:

    Some fans just sound like spoilt little bastards. Why?
    Arsenal are a big club, but we can’t always win or go without getting beat. Even more so in the CL.
    Wenger is 1 of the best managers in the world.
    Where is the blame for the players? Why always Wenger.
    We have just won the FA cup and CS.
    We have just brought some world class players, rather then selling all our best players like over the last 8 years except the last few windows.

    Dortmund were amazing last night, probably the best i have ever seen them play, regardless of what players they had out injured last night.
    Dortmund had that extra man last night with there crowd, in fact there crowd was worth 2 players. Unlike our fans slating and moaning all the time lol

    As TA said give Wenger time to gel his new side and blame the players a little maybe?
    It will serve as a good lesson last night, after all no 1 was saying Wenger out just after the City match.
    Ozil was shit last night and Welbeck should have scored.There is no shame in losing 2 nil away to the CL finalist 2 seasons ago

  55. proudgooner says:

    In fact Ozil needs to man up and starting playing football for us, time to produce or fuck off
    Because for me it just looks like his hearts not in it1

  56. proudgooner says:

    I agree about Kos and Per i was thinking the same thing last night. But it was only 1 game and we know they are solid, i think the pace took them by surprise.

  57. proudgooner says:

    I say that about Ozil because Wenger put his faith in him and pasted on Fabregas and at the moment Fab is playing awesome like a world beater and Ozil just does not even turn up.
    Hence the players need to take some blame and give Wenger and us fans some performances

  58. proudgooner says:

    Drop Ozil for a few games and bring Cazorla back in, at least Cazorlas heart is in it!

  59. TotalArsenal says:

    GoonerB,

    Good stuff. I reckon OG is one and a half for us. He is not fast but he likes to move into different areas where he can be very effective… think back about the Napoli home game last season.

    I think Danny will come good but am not sure whether he can do hold up play well.

  60. TotalArsenal says:

    PG 😛

    You are just annoyed Poldi did not get a start! 😛

    I think you are wrong about Mesut. He just does not do enthusiasm on the outside very well! 😉

  61. GoonerB says:

    Proudgooner, you are right of course that some fans do throw their toys out of the pram at the drop of a hat or slightest set-back. I think that can be different to a fan who feels that they can see an obvious problem that they have highlighted for maybe 2-3 years or more, and that keeps getting repeated, i.e not learning from previous mistakes. Do you feel that there was any evidence of failings last night that were of the same nature that we have seen many times?

    Dortmund were of course excellent and have been for a few years. Dortmund were without some key players and I for one felt that on paper we had the better team man for man. As I watched the game I just felt that they had been coached to a higher level than our players.

    I have a huge admiration for Klopp and the great job he has done and is still doing there. I don’t think I am alone in feeling that when AW does eventually step down that he steps in.

  62. proudgooner says:

    No I know he is not the kind that shows his effort outwardly but he is not producing , no assists, no goals and not much else.
    Lol oh Podolski lol don’t even go there.
    Look atAlexis, that is what I want the effort, if things don’t go right then so be it, because he tried.
    We need goals TA badly

  63. proudgooner says:

    GoonerB,
    There was mistakes last night, but I think the lads did not manage todo what Wenger wanted.
    Wenger looked really annoyed and I don’t think anyone is more disappointed then Wenger.
    He has his own way of playing and when he has the right players and on form then it is one of the best brands of football to watch in the world.
    The team is still lacking that 1 or 2 players to really make us awesome and that does fall on him.
    That said I still think we can win the league, though we will need luck to beat Chelsea.
    I will still get behind my team and Wenger mate

  64. TotalArsenal says:

    It will come, PG: early days yet.

  65. proudgooner says:

    We need goals badly we are not scoring enough.
    We are not being clinical enough.
    Last night was tika-taka v high pressure and high pressure won, if we were clinical we could have came away with something .

  66. proudgooner says:

    I know it will TA, lol tell it to the brat that said they want us to finish outside the top 4 so Wenger gets sacked lol. 👿

  67. TotalArsenal says:

    PG, when are you going to see the boys again?

  68. proudgooner says:

    1 way to look at it is this, Wenger always says we are an offensive team. Now if we are not scoring goals or our players are not performing then we are going to have problems.
    The players must perform 🙂

  69. proudgooner says:

    Hopefully the Man United game TA. :). 🙂 fingers crossed

  70. proudgooner says:

    What about yourself?

  71. Gino92 says:

    TA,

    Very good post. I do agree with some of your assessments but seriously, how long will it take to get the balance of the team right? I am a very positive person and I have high expectations for Arsenal this season. I also know that it is too early in the season to criticize the manager but come on! I don’t know about most of you but it just seems to me like we all cry about the same thing every freaking season, i.e. buy a proper top DM, play the right players for specific matches, have a plan B or even a plan C when things are not working out, make early substitutions when necessary (don’t wait until after f*&king 70+ minutes), stop playing players out of position, rotate players more often (to running the same players to the ground, to avoid inevitable injuries, to get the benchwarmers some minutes under their belt, to freshen the team up a bit), blah, blah, blah, blah, blah….

    I love Wenger, I am a huge fan of his, and I believe he can still do the job at Arsenal. However, my two main issues with him right now are:
    1. Using the same players all the time, regardless of whether they are tired, out of form, or plain simple undeserving of a starting spot. Why have a bench full of experienced international players if you don’t plan on (almost) ever using them???
    2. Playing players out of position and hoping for the best. Why the f*%k did we spend 42 mil pounds on Mesut Ozil, the best N.10 in World Football? I am sure it wasn’t so that we can convert him into a Winger, is it? We have the likes of Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joel Campbell, Serge Gnabry, Lukas Podolski, and even Tomas Rosicky who can all play LW. Yet, poor Ozil always find himself stuck on the LW. Much as he tries to interchange and come to the middle, he is failing miserably at it and I think this is really messing him up in the head. He seems unsure what to do at times and the quality of his passes are being affected. He becomes totally anonymous and can’t really influence the game, even though he is quietly trying hard in my view. It is pissing me off that he is getting so much “beating” from the media, the critics, and even fans alike. I have always wanted Mesut Ozil at Arsenal before and after Fabregas left us and I was more than delighted when he joined us last season. Little did I know at the time that the best No.10 player in the World would be deployed as a LW, with no end in sight. WTF…!!! I wonder what is going through his mind right now. He is an expert at what he does, and he is being played out of position (probably to accommodate Jack Wilshere) and his game has gone down the toilet. I seriously can see him engineering a move away next year if the situation continues as is. I just can’t see him being happy with his performances, and all the criticism he has been constantly getting since last season. I don’t blame him at all. I blame Arsene Wenger for this.

    Time for Wenger to wake up and realize that certain things aren’t working out and changes are needed. The sooner the better, I think…

    Just my opinion, of course.

  72. proudgooner says:

    The Theo update is very good news.
    We have missed him so badly down the wing and his goals

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    Good game, PG. I might get a ticket for the Spuds mashing! 🙂

  74. steve says:

    proudgooner, tried to give my side of your points 🙂

    Arsenal are a big club, but we can’t always win or go without getting beat. Even more so in the CL.
    – It wasn’t the loosing it was the manner in which we lost. We didn’t just loose they took the piss out of us, it could have been an absolute drumming tbh

    Wenger is 1 of the best managers in the world.
    – True but does that give him the license to make obvious errors in judgement, so ineffective was his Ozil on the wing bollox that he actually had to break his stubbornness and take him off. And lets not even start about the 4-1-4-1 with Arteta as the DM, come on i know they say geniuses often lack common sense but that was ridiculous. He maybe a top manager but he is certainly not infallible.

    Where is the blame for the players? Why always Wenger.
    – Because he picks the players lol. Surely its not Ozil’s fault for not mutating into some kind of excellent winger over night. Surely its not Arteta’s fault for getting a bit old an leggy. Surely its not Per’s fault for not being blessed with pace etc etc etc etc. The players can only do what is within their ability to do it is the managers job to assess this and play them accordingly and in a system which compliments that ability – which he is failing to do.

    We have just won the FA cup and CS.
    – CS is a nothing trophy
    – FA cup was last year – old news, football moves fast and we are at risk of being overtaken by quite a few teams atm. Personally for me its not silverware but performances that interest me. If i could get the invincibles style of play back but win no silverware i would be happy as a pig in shit.

    We have just brought some world class players, rather then selling all our best players like over the last 8 years except the last few windows.
    – Agreed but out of the two CB’s and DM we all said we needed at the start of the summer we got one 19 yr old. If you took your car to me to have its engine fixed and i did nothing to it but fitted some spanking new tyres and rims instead would you be happy? you wouldn’t complain about the rims but be wondering when the fuck i was gonna fix the engine lol

    Dortmund were amazing last night, probably the best i have ever seen them play, regardless of what players they had out injured last night.
    – That’s because of the manger and tactics and player choice. We could play like that as well, just ask OX when he fucking finally got a chance to come on, he looked like he could have been wearing black and yellow with all the chasing about he did, so much more energetic than Ozil.
    we have the players like that Rosicky for example but they won’t get used and won’t get the most out of their ability when they do come on because of the 4-1-4-1.

    Dortmund had that extra man last night with there crowd, in fact there crowd was worth 2 players. Unlike our fans slating and moaning all the time lol
    – I for one slate and moan only before and after the match, when its on i’m supporting everyone on the pitch, once they are picked and playing its not like they are trying to play shit so there’s no point in not supporting them. I bitch and moan about the process that puts them on the pitch and i think you’ll find we’re not the only supporters that do that.

    As TA said give Wenger time to gel his new side and blame the players a little maybe?
    – Time is running out!

    It will serve as a good lesson last night, after all no 1 was saying Wenger out just after the City match.
    – No not “wenger out” but i was certainly shouting “please Wenger change things up” and was shouting it again last night, hopefully the lesson has been learnt.

    Ozil was shit last night and Welbeck should have scored.
    – Ozil’s been shit for ages its the managers fault for continuing to play him. Its like the Torres situation, i used to love to see his name on the sheet cause i knew he was never gonna score but was so thankful they kept playing him. opponents must love to see Ozil’s name on the sheet cause they know we will basically be playing with ten men.

    There is no shame in losing 2 nil away to the CL finalist 2 seasons ago
    – Again its not the score it was the fact that we looked like a sunday league team compared to them

  75. TotalArsenal says:

    Gino….the road is long and Wenger is taking us for a ride again. 🙂

    Your points have merit and many here will agree. But for now, I say take a back seat and enjoy the scenery.

  76. proudgooner says:

    Gino, fair point on Ozil playing out wide.
    But it is no excuses he should still be doing more like he does for Germany.
    I like him but he has to perform simple as mate.
    Wenger will get it right, I will always back Wenger.
    OG is better the Welbeck at the moment IMO
    We are missing Theo.
    He should play the players you mentioned, why he is not only he knows , we will see them soon and when we do we can judge better , they have to perform when there chances come
    We have a great squad so I think we can have a great season.

  77. TotalArsenal says:

    Steve – lol you held back but finally it came out! 🙂 Per Mertesacker Should Lead 😉

    Patience might be running out, but time…. Nah, Wenger controls time! 😉

  78. TotalArsenal says:

    Let me whisper this once more….. Ozil is ‘positioned’ out wide but allowed to roam freely for most of the time.

    Good night FFGs – it has been a pleasure reading your comments 🙂

  79. steve says:

    TA, you and this bastard site – i just couldn’t do it lol I had to write something lol
    To my credit i was very reserved and tried to answer the decent points PG made instead of going off on a tirade of my own lol

    btw i already used that LOL in a text the other day, it went down a treat! love it! 🙂

  80. TotalArsenal says:

    Steve 🙂

    You are a great new ‘signing’ for Bergkampesque and I love your analytical and passionate comments and posts. Looking fwd to the maestro one: how is it progressing?

  81. steve says:

    I got side tracked, ive got a new post coming up but its going to be a bastard to format ready for the blog site.
    The maestro piece will continue but i’m a bloke so definitely can’t handle two things at once lol

  82. steve says:

    btw in my opinion Jack battled his bollox off last night and did the team proud, just in case anyone has said otherwise lol. All the Wilshere haters have gone a bit quiet as of late lol

  83. proudgooner says:

    Steve,
    It is just an opion .
    It is like the title of the post says. I for 1 don’t think for 1 minute that I know more the Wenger.
    Arteta has revealed what went wrong in Germany. It does seem that Wenger tactics were to blame. They were trying to get them to play tika taka and it failed massively.
    It was a bad game Real got spanked there 4-0 it’s a tough place to go.
    I am past this game now on wards to Villa
    Steve I have a feeling I know you. Do you live on the Isle of Wright?

  84. proudgooner says:

    Steve,
    I know there is millions of Steve’s in England but I have thought it for a while and after said about fixing engines I had to ask. Lol

  85. Gerry says:

    Steve, I am going to put this little bit in here in case a new post comes out later.
    From all the comments above, you and I agree on most things … except Jack Wilshere and Mesut Ozil.
    The trouble with your passionate response to PG, who went further than you on Ozil, your lose the basic point of what makes Ozil ‘the best number 10 in the world’, and it is not so much the position he is allocated, because, as TA has pointed out, he does not stay on the left wing, nor does he play like a left winger. Some of the time when he gets central there is a gathering of our players, and yes, when Cazorla is playing as well it gets more complicated …. BUT, this has little or nothing to do with how well he performs … SHOCK! HORROR!

    What makes Ozil the great player he is, and UNDOUBTEDLY he is a great player, imo, is having other good players moving around creating spaces, moving in to spaces, and generally pulling defences out of position. He can then slot balls to where they are, where they will be, and switch it around in a twinkling of an eye?

    Under extreme pressure of a well drilled side, even a casual observer could see what was the missing in Dortmund? You likened it to an engine misfiring? Well I will liken him to a master chef, who finds that although all the ingredients are in the kitchen, they are not where they should be, and he physically cannot move them?

    As TA keeps saying, it is a long season. and it may take a little time for it to gel. If Arsene is guilty of anything, it might be not getting the best out of those in front of Ozil, rather than tweaking those in behind?
    Go on Steve, smile through gritted teeth 😀

  86. macko says:

    solution : return of Walcott = özil returned to her cubicle in the axis , remove Arteta and put Hayden or Flamini in its place.
    Arsenal shall redo confidence in his youth, or it will very hard !!!
    in Arsenal we must trust for better or for worse, lose is a good thing for the future this allows us to challenge ourselves.

  87. Alcide says:

    Debuchy:
    “No fracture but one broken ligament … I have to wait until Friday in order to know if I must have surgery.”

  88. steve says:

    proudgooner,
    I do live on the Isle of Wight!!! lol What the hell?!!!
    Are you some kind of awesome detective? That’s Batman level right there!! I am looking round my room for cameras as i type lol.

  89. Alcide says:

    PG – I’m not reading Arteta’s comments as you do. In particular he said:

    “I am very disappointed because we knew their strengths, what we had to avoid and what we did was encourage them to play their game.”

    Which to me means unsucesfull implementation rather than having the wrong tactics.

  90. allezkev says:

    Isn’t the Isle of Wight full of Man Utd fans?

    Been to Shanklin a few times, very nice!

  91. steve says:

    Gerry,
    What i don’t get about this free roaming role Ozil has is the pressure it puts on the left full back to be both winger and defender when Ozil comes inside. With the amount of time the full back stays forward you might as well be playing a 3-1-4-1-1, and have Ozil’s role defined as that number 10 position – but people would call me crazy if i suggested that formation lol.

    The way i see this whole mess atm is as an experiment in tinkering. Arsene couldn’t do it in preseason due to the world cup so his attempts are simply on the stage for everyone to see. What he needs to do is balance the time it takes to give it a fair go at working with the time it takes to see it obviously isn’t working.

    To be honest i really shouldn’t complain, i am the first one to shout out try new formations but then when the boss actually does for the first time in ages i slate him for it being shit lol. My biggest gripe is that i wouldn’t have chosen that formation to try out, especially with no beast of a DM and Giroud out for a long time. I’m still happy AW is open to trying new things, i just wish he could see that this particular tweak is not working.

    I really appreciate our polar opposite view on Jack and Ozil because for two like minded guys to disagree so vehemently about one particular aspect then there must be something each of us isn’t seeing. If that is the case and both our positive opinions are realized than both Jack and Ozil in the same team should be unstoppable.

    I will just say one thing on the subject of Ozil;
    When did we become stoke??
    When did our players become so inept at passing and creating through balls that we need this hero of a player to solve all our creative problems and just have the rest of the muppets play around him?
    I am sure we always used to be heralded as a passing team long before Ozil turned up on the scene?

  92. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post 🙂

  93. TotalArsenal says:

    Steve, you might want to paste your last comment into the next post, so it does not get lost. 🙂

  94. steve says:

    allezkev,
    More like inbred Pompey fans lol
    I shouldn’t really take the piss, i’m Island born and bred got the tractor and six toes to prove it! 🙂

    We Arsenal lads do are best down here buddy don’t worry about that 🙂

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