Welbeck needs Thierry | Bellerin no RB | Arteta Aging: Post-Match Analysis

Dortmund v Arsenal

The Verdict

Arteta, no nicer and more professional guy around, but is it time to bench our captain?
Arteta, no nicer and more professional guy around, but is it time to bench our captain?

Let’s be honest now, I am not sure there is a side in the Premier League that would have withstood the battering we took last night? There are several who would have had more success on the counter attack than we did, including our next opponents Aston Villa. But hats off to Dortmund: Klopp had them up and ready. Every player was on board with what had to be done, and they were fit enough to carry it off.

From an Arsenal perspective, disappointing doesn’t cover it. Part of that problem lies with our high expectation for this season, and some results have given plenty a reason to believe it was in their grasp. The easy win in the Community Shield, taken at face value, it might. The truth was a little different? The resurgence of Wilshere and the 4-1-4-1 formation in the previous game against Man City gave hope of a similar line-up to do the business against a far better opponent.

Again the reality revealed flaws. The few opportunities that people saw of Bellerin pre-season, agreed with Arsene Wenger that he was ready for the step up? This was confirmed on the vote ‘Who will make the most impact this season’ (from the academy), and 62% had made Bellerin the clear winner ahead of Akpom. Regulars of this site will know I have been longing for Bellerin to have some game time, as I am a great fan, but my vote went with the 2% realists who see more coming from Isaac Hayden than young Hector. To me, he is a natural born winger who can tackle. That does not make him a right back, no matter how much Arsene wants it. He will always commit to whatever was asked of him, as he did last night, and if he is asked to go in again, he will not hesitate. But without any premier league minutes under his belt, it was asking a lot … but he will learn from it, not shirk from it.

I am beginning to think that both Per Mertersacker and Ozil are still mentally adjusting to life in the league, and only their experience is getting them through games. Such a contrast to the confident decision making that we saw last season, that is barely recognisable now?

Here again, the expectation level from our new signings, which certainly has had its bright moments; but to gel as a team, the cracks start to appear, and the optimism quickly fades away?

How to take positives out of a game when only one player came out unblemished by error, is difficult. But history tells us that Arsenal do bounce back. The Villa shock result last season is a good example. This was certainly a wake up call in every department. Not an easy fix this time, without assistance from our manager?

Most of our problems stem from poor decision making, under extreme pressure it has to be said, but it is not a good enough excuse. We know who they are, and the stats back this up.

Bellerin we can give some leeway to for the above reasons, and despite being up against it, he made second highest passes behind Wilshere, and 13 of the 19 in the final third.

Szczesny has no such leeway when dillydallying over a clearance that could have cost us another goal, as he is a repeat offender! He did of course pull off some superb stops which saved us from real embarrassment.

Mertersacker, normally the safest of player to play out of defence, but time and again passes were being intercepted. He did make several headed clearances, but also was caught up-field, and no matter how hard he tried, the lack of pace to get back was revealed to all? We were chasing the game in the second half, to be fair, but why were so many bodies committed to attack with seconds to go before half-time? Poor judgement call again, by somebody?

Koscielny really put a defensive shift, and if it wasn’t for the misplaced passes, he could have taken MOTM in a canter. There were just too many of those, but he comes away in credit overall?

Gibbs was probably the pick of players playing to their form. 2 from 2 in tackles, and made a great run into the box to lay on a guilt edge chance for Welbeck, who just hasn’t got that edge of an instinctive striker (at the moment) to take a half yard step back so the ball would fall to his feet. Instead he got tangled up in trying to adjust and missed the opportunity. Gibbs had another opportunity in the box, but that too was not to be. He made 6 interceptions too, so he at least is near the top of his game. However, he was involved in the attack down the left, just before half time that led to the first Dortmund goal. Quick as he is, from that deep he arrived just too late to be in a position to tackle Immobile.

Wilshere was left trailing in that breakaway, and allowed that multi cup winning (NOT! ex manager) Souness in the studio to moan at him for not making the effort. Ignoring the fact that Wilshere is not a Gibbs or a Bellerin, having only a short burst of pace, not a 35 yard lung buster? He did have the highest number of passes, in a game of low figures, at 49, but only 1 successful one in their box? He did win 5 of his 6 tackles which showed his battling qualities against overwhelming odds, but it was a far cry of the promise of the previous game? He started to show his brittle side towards the end, and got a needless yellow card for a stupid foul. On a bad night, he was one among many who failed to live up to expectation.

Arteta? If I am kind, I would say he almost matched expectation, in that he was the wrong choice, (if there was a choice?) in the wrong position, weakly supported by the wrong players .. and that goes partly towards my expectation of him being too slow, and he failed to reach that level. It is almost like he has aged 3 years since the end of last season, and he is now looking like a player well on the way down. But to be fair to him, he should never have been put in the game of high speed tackling? The 20% pass failure rate for that position says it all?

Ramsey, for a player who often hits the 100 mark for pass completion, but a lowly 39 tells you how far below his best he is? Going forward he did set up a chance for Welbeck, but a single positive in a game of this magnitude is what he is struggling with?

Ozil, what can I say? Our main creative midfielder only had 23 passes, and only 3 in the final 3rd???

We are not going to win many games with that kind of service? He tried both wings, ran deep on Bellerin’s side, got booked for a none-tackle, but totally ineffective in anywhere it mattered.

‘Houston, we have a problem’ …

Alexis, industrious? hard working? These are the words we have come accustomed to associate with our super hero. 6 successful dribbles out of 9 sounds great too. Poor first touch does not gel so well? He was dispossessed 5 times, and several passes/touches led to turnovers, and crucially this would be at a time when we were attacking, and thus vulnerable to a counter. Part of this is probably down to the gelling process with team mates, and that has not had time to work through? But maybe there is a little clarity appearing in the rose tint department? He has got to get on the same wavelength or his talents will be wasted too?

Welbeck, sods law he will be second behind Ozil for the biggest criticism, but again, he can be given some leeway. If Arsene had any doubts about signing him, it is probably because he requires a different service to OG, and they may unlearn all they have been doing for the last two seasons? He is not OG, and he probably never will be? However, confidence can do wonders for a striker. He came into the side full of it, but that near miss against Man City probably took the edge off it. Here again, he had a chance to put one in at the far post, but body angle, or not twisting the foot back enough, made this attempt squirm wider than the other. These things will come.

Where is Thierry Henry when you want him, because he is just the player to help him in this department? He will come good, but in games like this, the pressure for every attempt to succeed is immense.


Cazorla, should have made a difference if it was Ozil that was failing? I have to say, he was on 5 or 10 minutes before I remembered he was a sub. He was never going to save the day because the game had gone by then.

Ox looked lively from the off, and forced a corner almost immediately. But like Santi, the good ship Arsenal had already taken on board too much water, and its movement was sluggish.

Podolski came on with only ten minutes left, and got one driving run into the box, but the keeper was out quickly and it spilled out for a goal kick.

So that was my view on individual performances. Now for the collective?

Formation: Was this to blame?

While they notionally lined up in a 4-1-4-1, it never remained that way. For pretty much the first 30 minutes we were compressed into a 4-5-1 defensive position, with only Welbeck high. The flurry of early corners, and hasty clearances that led to yet another loss of possession, it was more all hands to the pump, rather than a clearly thought out plan. So that part cannot be put down to the formation?

Going forwards, when we started to get a foothold in the game, for the most part it broke down as we crossed the halfway line. However, following a very good build up, a missed chance which resulted in a throw in to us in the final third, we had 8 or 9 of our players in their half? Only Koscielny and Szczesny at one point in ours. So when we lost possession, and Immobile set off, Kos was about 5 yards ahead of him, Mertersacker had just crossed the halfway line about the same distance back but nearer our right-hand touchline, and Gibbs, who was guarding our left flank just inside their half. He had a good 10 yards to make up. Wilshere also joined the chase, but barely caught up with Mertersacker. The climax came when Immobile reached the box and it looked like Kos had it covered. Gibbs was right on his heels by now, and if the striker had run to the byline he could have got his tackle in. As luck would have it, a bit of a bobble off Immobile’s knee that took it away from Gibbs position, but the striker used that to get ahead of Kos to score.

A real sickener on the stroke of half time, but you have to wonder at the thinking of so many bodies involved in the attack. If Gibbs, who had been involved in the early part of the attack had dropped back inside our half, Kos might have been that bit deeper? Who knows?

The second half started how the first finished. Immobile chipped a great ball on to Aubamayang, who split the two CBs, and Szczesny came out and slipped at the vital moment. PEA also nearly went down himself, but just kept his feet to slip the ball into the net before Kos had a chance to recover.

From then on we did not look that threatening,… only threatened.

Szczesny came out to make a flying header with the full knowledge the collision with PEA was unlikely that he would be the damaged party, but once he had launched himself into the header, there were no brakes in mid air.

Kos also nearly did himself a mischief, colliding with a goal post in an attempt to avert yet another goal. Only the usual 65 minute subs did lift our attack somewhat, but we continued to look vulnerable. In fact, Mik the prick, having got himself booked in the opening few minutes for a blatant dive, seemed to be so intent scoring, it screwed him up completely. There was one breakaway where they were three on two… our two CB’s … he chose to shoot, high and handsome. Like I said, what a prick!

There are so few positives coming out of the game, except the one from history. Is this the giant kick up the backside that shakes this mental lethargy out of their system?

We have to hope so, but what is baffling is that so many had a poor game?

Perhaps it is simple case of trying too hard. Certainly with Ramsey we have seen it all before. He was even doing those heel flicks again?? Wilshere cannot lift the team on his own. Alexis too needs to settle more. Mert needs to get his calm, dependable head back on. Ozil needs a quiet corner somewhere and completely regroup. Arteta really needs to face up to life on the bench, especially after January? Will Walcott return bring a shape to our attack, when he returns? Will Chambers hold down the RB slot, and not get moved sideways for a crisis CB role? Will somebody give Hayden a run out before he is called into full time action?


The only ones who can prove some of the answers will be out on Saturday against Gabby and his gang of thugs….

The reality of our form looks pretty bleak, but we have a few fresh bodies to throw into the mix, so like last season’s blip, our season starts now.

Keep the faith. 

Written by: Gerry.

108 thoughts on “Welbeck needs Thierry | Bellerin no RB | Arteta Aging: Post-Match Analysis

  • Superb, balanced and fair post match analysis, Gerry. 🙂

    I think, and sincerely hope, this was a bad hair day for the team. Hard to judge individual performances when our formation/system was simply flattened by the Germans. You then look at leadership on the pitch and on the touchline…. and it was lacking disastrously.

    Back for more in a bit.

  • wow massive post, i havent read it yet (just about to) but this was from the last post in response to the comments left:

    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?

    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 🙂

    Right off to read that post Gerry 🙂

  • There should have been no surprises BVB played exactly how you would expect them to play, and we looked shell-shocked like we didn’t expect it! Poor preparation has to fall on the manager’s shoulders. Every year it seems this group of players and their manager need a kick up the backside….surely Wenger could kick them before the game so it doesn’t take losing to do it ( I mean he is earning what 7M per year or something…heck at that salary he could afford to pay Tony Adams to be his Butt-kicker!!) ….or perhaps the club should institute a kick up the backside tax……lets say 1% annual salary!

  • Gerry, Great post mate and a nice long read with a cup of tea – perfect mate 🙂

    For me the very first sentence says it all and echoes chiangmaisteve’s point, Wenger knew what he was in for – playing away in Germany against Dortmund! He must have known it was going to be intense and hard fought.
    And he must have known what he had available;
    the inexperienced – Bellerin
    the tank – BFG
    the retiree – Arteta
    the passenger – Ozil
    the off form hero – Ramsey
    the un-gelled striker – Welbeck

    Add to that Sanchez had an off night (which he could never had planned for) and the game was over before it started, especially trying to play proper football on top of all those deficiencies, away to Dortmund.

    We have discussed it before, i know we have – it was when i first joined here, when playing away to big teams in the champions league lets think rationally and dig in and go for the draw or to nick it on the break – ESPECIALLY WITH ALL THE PROBLEMS WE HAVE WITH THE TEAM ATM.

    If i was Wenger, and i will not use the hindsight of knowing Sanchez would have an off day either, i would have gone to simply not loose and set up with a 4-5-1, with quick, strong, battlers in midfield and left the tippy tappy passing game for another day.


    I would have told Danny to run his bollox off and get stuck in don’t worry about a yellow card because he WILL be coming off at half time for new fresh legs in Akpom so he might as well go all out. Diaby i would have substituted with Wilshere if he began to look knackered, which would have probably suited Jack also. And i would have felt comfortable that Sanchez and Campbell could give protection to the full backs.
    Stay compact, battle and go for the counter – its the same tactic lesser teams use on us when they know they will be out played – You think we could learn something there lol

    Still too late now lol

    I will put my money where my mouth is on the Villa game hopeful line up closer to the time and then see what we actually turn up playing 🙂

    Great read Gerry, thanks mate

  • The one lesson I learnt from the game is Arsenal’s offside trap is shit
    And thats why if it isnt working anyway why are we holding such a high line
    Just drop back anyway we have concede 80% of our goals this season on the counter so I dont think by doing this there would be a massive disaster except letting in lesser goals

  • Tough but balnced and fair assesment indeed Gerry.

    I think you are right about Arteta, since he came back from a minor injury at the end of last season, he seems to have lost the little pace and energy he had, as if he had suddenly aged. I will still doa great job with most PL teams, but won’t be able to pull it off against many, which in this position can take the team rather abruptly from totally in control to completely overwhelmed.

    On Özil, I am again not sure I want to blame him in particular (and agree with TA that it’s misleading to judge individual performances when we’ve been flattened as a team). I watched him really carefully (defensively and offensively even when he didn’t have the ball) and don’t have much to blame him personally for. He was constantly roaming to find space and offer an outlet but Dortmund gave him special consideration to isolate him (in the end he wasn’t served much as we kept getting caught in tight corners and losing the ball instead of being to circulate and recycle), he tracked back when applicable (which was not much considering how often and fast they countered when we were dispossed, but the same goes for all our midfielders). Oh and extrapolating distance covered to full game, he was the second distance runner in the team (ok, imperfect statistics as he was subbed at 62′, but consistent with your average arsenal game, he’s always in the top 3).

    Unfortunately he is not the type of players that will break a team domination by himself, in the same way Sanchez’s few brilliant dribbles were totally ineffective yesterday.

    Your opening statement: “Let’s be honest now, I am not sure there is a side in the Premier League that would have withstood the battering we took last night?”

    That’s really my view of the game. Either Dortmund are clear potential CL winners, or they had a perfect game (Klopp’s comments confirms as much). An interesting stat – they collectively ran 11km (some 7 miles) more than we did – that’s an additional player on the pitch! I don’t have the details but from what I saw it’s not that we ran less than usual. Can they repeat that often enough?

    For that reason, I think our form is bleak at the moment to compete for the very top, but we have new players, are trying to change the way we play, it’s still early to just dismiss ourselves.

  • Gerry, this is an excellent post as was yours, TA, yesterday… Family stuff prevented a response to the latter. Today I’m up early and coffee will be ready soon…

    Having read all the comments it’s easy to dismiss those who know better than Wenger (i.e., great title, Totes…) and shout their answers. Even worse, of course, are the “supporters” hoping for failure because anything will be better. Between the two posts–and the plethora of excellent responses–I think we’ve got the germ of an idea as to the problems. Basically, it boils down to a certain rigidity when it comes to attempting an offense “first-style” of football. Wenger risks “humiliation” in these difficult road matches, but, if we can turn them around and win a couple of them, the upside is huge. That they’re away from the critical crowd (nominally–the internet is everywhere…) may become a good thing; the reverse can also hamper us–at home, even in our big stadium, if we continue to suffer these sorts of defeats. Our crowd is quick to turn against us and we go from the proverbial 12th man, to playing a man down…or something…As PG might say. My point…the pressure Wenger brings upon himself and his players is immense… Last season, the lost points from the big scorelines weren’t truly the killer. It was more that we became so inhibited that draws were all we could eke from the home matches which followed.

    A more pragmatic approach (maybe featuring more rotation of players) would be a boon–if it worked. If it too went limp (think away at Napoli a season ago) fans will not be pleased either. In the end it’s a cruel game and all about results…Moreover, there are a lot of good teams out there and not so many trophies…

    As such, I can see why AW sticks to his ideals. Changing things on the fly is tough but these things should fall to the Captain(s) who need to employ their minds if their bodies are just too slow. Still, after riding our luck and holding the scoreline it seems natural that we were hoping for a killer blow of our own. Committing too many bodies forward just before the half (nicking one at that moment would’ve been exciting–remember RvP doing just that in a similar tie a few years back?…) seems a natural tendency. Unlucky that the not so immobile fellow got the lucky bounce and was able to freeze our keeper…Pushing our luck after half-time (a suggestion of no tactical adjustment) was the real killer…

    After that it’s all about the commentary…

    The Debuchy noise doesn’t sound good and we’ve got a crisis if Chambers tonsils require surgery to match the Taxi Driver’s ankle. I tend to buy the rationale that it’s very hard to find defensive players who are willing to wait for their chance–and then take it when it comes, without making mistakes and costing us precious points. Fingers crossed that we can weather these storms and that the international breaks fall at the right moments…

    Likewise, I’ve got no issue with the formation stuff. Saying that 5 guys have to come and help out with possession seems fine to me and I agree with those who note that the different styles need time to figure themselves out. Like alcide said, we won only about 25% of all the 2nd balls–maybe because nobody saw them coming?… Alexis is a great worker and highly skilled but also unpredictable. Is it head down and dribble out of trouble or a quick one two with a teammate? By comparison Ozil looks like he doesn’t care to some; to me he appears to be watching his teammates (the google eyes, perhaps?…) and trying to figure out what they’re doing and (thus) what they want and what (eventually, if we give him time…) WILL actually function. Tough work when observers eyes are upon you and your price tag–and the numbers on the scoreboard, which you are NOT putting up… (Great comment, btw, Gerry, at the bottom of the last post…) Meanwhile the chosen pair, Rambo and Wilshere, seem constrained in space–not filling the spots out wide–and under pressure to do their work at pace. (If I had a dollar, or better yet,, a pound or Euro, for every parroted comment about Jack releasing the ball more quickly…) They’re young and ball retention rather than flair might be more important, at the moment, though the caviar moments (AR’s ball for Welbeck…) are mouthwatering. Sitting deeper, Arteta, of course, even though he’s been made Captain (i.e., no perma-bench for him– he is better on the ball than Flamini, surely…) needs help. I thought he’d gotten it when the ref gave the early yellow to Mik the Prick (brilliant again, Gerry…) but the blind eye shown for the rest of the match seemed make-up for that one. As I said, more rotation is what I’d prefer but the manager has benched Santi, whose work in putting off this current crisis–as the supersub at Everton–failed in Dortmund. At least everybody seems to like the Ox and Rosicky and Campbell and (even) Diaby and others who are getting a bit less pitch time… It seems strange to call for players, who aren’t even on the bench. Better than suggesting who we should buy, maybe, however… 😉

    Back to the bottom line. It’s early, it was a result which was gonna be tough to get and it’s all about trying to sort things out ASAP. Onto Villa and perhaps we should be glad we get to play them at their place, after they’ve already banked points (and maybe want to add some offense to their pragmatic approach) and after having them take down another CL team last weekend. Will a better result mollify our critics, er, support, er, football watchers? Probably not, but at least it will keep the sky aloft–until the CapOne match… Fingers crossed (knees to the floor, hands together in prayer…) that we get it…

  • Thanks for all the replies so far, but first I must apologise to ‘7.0am KO’ via Arseblog for the stats I used. I kept telling myself to insert the acknowledgement on every read through, but somehow I always forgot.
    The one exception was the Bellerin one from the Arsenal Official site.

    When compiling the individual inputs, I tried very hard not to be too destructive as that serves no purpose what so ever. I think what we all feel it was somewhat predictable, but Dortmund played their game so well, it simply magnified our weaknesses?

    The line I used about Klopp having them up and ready for it really goes back to an interview he gave two season’s ago. He said if teams collectively run 19 or 20km, I want my team to run 23km. That is what I meant by the in the tag line …. ‘and they were fit enough to carry it off’.

    When, or if you can find the stats for those collective distances, my guess will be ours is on the low side. I say this, because according to the BBC stats, we had the most possession, an astonishing 56%? So if they ran 11km more than us from only only 46%, it explains why there not only appeared little movement off the ball, there really wasn’t any, and therefore why Ozil could not contribute in that game. I wasn’t looking to blame him, either, …. just giving the facts( to quote an ancient Police series on TV, lol).

    I’ll be back with individual responses shortly ..

  • Steve lol,
    I knew it was you lol
    It’s Colin from back in the day.
    Yes I do have some detective skills. 🙂
    It’s a small world!

  • TA ,
    I have known him for 20 years
    We used to hang out checking out all the girls when when we were just teenagers.
    He used to live in the same area

  • I would have loved to have seen his face when I asked if he lives where he does.
    That would have freaked me out. Lol

  • See the end if the last post if you are confussed
    I know you get it Totes , but I see what you mean lol

  • I have never been there or I have been there once on hovercraft then turnt back.
    You will have ask Steve mate
    He lived in Bedfordshire where I still am now mate.

  • Steve,

    You wrote: ‘For me the very first sentence says it all and echoes chiangmaisteve’s point, Wenger knew what he was in for – playing away in Germany against Dortmund! He must have known it was going to be intense and hard fought.’

    Yes he did. If we accept that Wenger is a deductive (top-down) rather than inductive (bottom-up) sort of manager, who develops a plan/concept/formula of how he is going to play, rather than try things out and adjust accordingly – the latter being a very English way of solving problems/ starting projects – I think we can understand why he did not make any unforced changes to the team against Die Schwarzgelben.

    We just have to accept that he wants to test and then improve his formation/playing philosophy rather then adjust to the opponent each and every time….. And sometimes that really hurts us and we get, understandably, very frustrated with Wenger.

    But he will not change and overtime he will once again prove he got it right, I hope. Key is then to stick to it and make it stronger and stronger. And that is where he is stubborn, but if you look close at a lot of successful people then they are often stubborn (a key characteristic of a genius). They drive you bonkers but developing, executing AND seeing through a vision is a very rare skill to have.

  • Sorry Gerry i will read though you post now.
    This is an important game and i believe City play Chelsea soon so there will be a chance to gain ground there

  • Fantastic write-up Gerry, spot on?

    Oh Arsenal, Oh Arsenal. You know one thing lads? I think majority of Arsenal fans over the years have transcended from being just ordinary fans, to professional pundits, analyst and first team coaches, due to the array of let-downs, and disappointments experienced over the years. And who do we have to thank for this invaluable experience? Mr. Professor AW. We never would have made it this far without him.

    As for Villa on Saturday, I’ll just say what my Nana used to tell me when I was afraid of the bully at Kindergarten,” Geppy- Kappa, Ma-hi, Ma-ho, Ma-Rappa, Papa, Stoppa-Nickka, Soup, Bang, Nipsack, Poly,Missy-Cameo, Arsenal we Love-YOU.

  • Gerry,
    Good post you pretty much said it all. It was such a bad game that the only way is up from that.
    I am pretty much just looking forward to Vila now, i am wondering if Sanogo or Welbeck will start if Sanogo is fit. I would be happy to sere him start.
    It is a strange 1 though, 2 players very similar and both looking for there first goal. Something has to give, i hope it is the back of the net!

  • Right, I am back.

    Steve, it is always your hyperbole that lets your argument down …

    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?
    When did Stoke bother with a creative mid-fielder?
    Probably long before the days of Cesc Fabregas? Be serious, every team that professes to be any good, has one; Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd. I would include Liverpool, except every time I see Sterling directing traffic it takes me back to the Flowerpot Men(kids TV program for you younger people. The characters were two flowerpot men and a flower. The catch phrase was ..)
    … ‘Weed’ ‘Weed’ … I almost expect Gerrard to pop up besides Stirling and go ‘Flubergubgub Weed’ … You will not be able to shake that image out of your mind next time you see him? 😆
    Sorry, it must have been the ‘muppet’ mention ..
    Well if those ‘muppets’ are strikers,they will be glad to dance around him.
    Yes, of course other players can play the creative stuff, but it has to be a team effort, and it is the Ozil types that drive them forwards so collectively they win matches?

    Flubergubgub, Steve 😀

  • Proudgonner, You’re right you know. We had our best years playing 4-4-2. But for whatever reason Mr. Professor, won’t even consider it, or give it the light of day.

  • Wow, TA, now you’re calling Wenger a genius… 😀 I also noted that you might not quite be convinced by the short term gains that LvG (plus a quarter of a billion pounds…) has made in giving in to the calls for systemic changes up there at OT? Thank Dennis another round in the league happens in such a short time…

    In all seriousness, I like that you’re so observant and see what our guy is attempting to do despite the unreal pressure we (as a collective) are heaping upon him. IF we ever get close to the (IMO absurd…) expectations, you would think the boys may be better prepared to cope with the thin air…

    Yes, that’s a mountain metaphor and I ought to get out and try to breathe a little before the smoke comes in. Unfortunately, we’ve got a(nother) massive fire in our foothills, with the main highway to the west closed for a couple of days now. Thus far the plume has been going North but if the winds shift (or better yet, subside…) the smoke will likely come our way…

    Don’t touch this one til it’s over, but I’m (very) curious about your take on the little vote up there in Scotland…

  • Steve @12:25 Yes, Arsene knew what they were about, but perhaps he was hoping that the occasion would sharpen up our players?
    As for the team selection, he was limited in some areas, and we do not know the full extent of injury or fitness the alternatives were.
    Diaby is, or has been, in France build up his stamina. He say it is going well, and he is back in full training. But from that Under 21’s game he is a little way off playing a starting role. I really thought Campbell was in with a shout, but the way the game unfolded I’m glad AW went with Poldi.

    I think Alcide touched on what Arteta said post match, to the effect that there was a plan as to how to play them, but they never got close to implementing it?

    As for your final point, re Villa. I think there is a glimmer of logic behind us bouncing back well, as after previous hammerings. And it is this, and I’ll use your phraseology ..

    After the first 15 minutes playing Villa, they will look at each other and say …
    ‘F*ck me, these are sh*t compared to Dortmund. Come on lads, let’s piss all over them!’

    Cheers Steve ha ha

  • Hi 17 🙂

    Loser van Gaal is going against his normal style with spending the dosh on SQ players. But it is very early and he will need time for us to judge how he will do at Manure. I hope he won’t as he is now managing the enemy. 😈

  • Neeraj, you may have a point on dropping back a bit. However it is never that simple to have one easy fix.It is how they work collectively, including using the off side trap well that will make us a better side.
    One thing to note, and this is an improvement. Dortmund had 7 corners (to ,err, our 1?) and we did not concede a goal. A little praise there for the practice ground?

  • Grapevineinfoorg,
    Me , you and Wenger all know 4-4-2 is the best formation at covering all areas of the pitch. It is also more offensive then the formation we have been playing. Plus it plays 2 strikers giving us more chance of goals, it is goals we need and I agree that our best days were while playing that way. Hey it worked well in the FA cup final.
    It would also put teams on the back foot while playing us.

  • Alcide – Sorry I have dogs moaning for their tea. So a little briefer ..

    Yes it was a tough ask for Arteta. Not only his role, but with Ramsey alongside not at his best, Wilshere, when he could, driving forwards, Dortmund playing at such a pace, and being strong with it, he was never going to look good in that game. But like you say, he is a good one to have on the bench, coming perhaps when the other side is tiring. Mind, I think the captains armband is saving him a booking or two?

    Ozil- Fully agreed. With some many aspects of our game not functioning well, he was never going to look good, and the stats back that up?
    My reference for him to go away quietly and regroup, was meant for him to take on board that his game can only be as good as those around him, and he is not able to control that when so many are off their game?. When that changes, he will show his true colours.
    Every time I see the comparison with Fabregas, I think we should heed the words of RM’s president, and wait until the end of the season. he said, and had the stats to back it up, that Cesc starts every season well, but the second half his performance drops away.

    My money would be on Ozil to be king of the assists.

    See my previous comment on our ‘bounce backabilty’?

  • 17HT – Just my luck to have your short comment tor reply to, as the dog’s moans are getting nearer the door 😀

    First point – I don’t think the away fans are the ones that turn quickly. They may go quiet, but not nasty. It is the home ones ‘who want it now’ can be a problem.
    Re Arteta – Idid say the bench after January – Note – WC got an assist for SpL last nght?
    Got to go they are getting very restless …

  • Sorry HT, I can manage the odd bark, but when it is continuous I just cannot concentrate.
    Talk of fans turning nasty, they have nothing on my lot when it comes to feeding time 😆

    Your other point on rotation is one where we never know who is truly available. Then you have the thought it could disrupt things. Adding to the fact the the team has barely gelled anyway. One thing is certain, the core of players that usually play will be out again on Saturday, with just a tweaking here and there. When it comes to the COC, I think AW may just think it is a competition that we can swerve if a handful of academy types cannot swing it?

    I agree on the logic of pushing for the goal before half time, I just think it was bound to leave us open, and they were set up for that quick ball to Immobile. But hey, hindsight and all that?

    Reading the in match comments on here after the game, one made me smile …
    Alcide – ‘… I think PEA is a little faster than Per’. The quiet understatement of it 😀

    We will indeed have to wait until they have had time to work things out. In the meantime we have to hope we can keep grinding out points, both in the CL and the EPL.

  • TA – In your reply to Steve you seem to imply that this 4-1-4-1 is here to stay? at the moment at least. If on Saturday, Wishere is out, and Ozil is resting, do you think he will persist with it?

    Here is a hypothetical question, at the moment at least. If on Saturday, Wishere is out, and Ozil is resting, do you think he will persist with it?

  • Yes I think he will. Cazorla, Rosicky, Ox can replace them, maybe even Zelalem…. It would be good test for the 4-1-4-1 philosophy, I agree.what do you think?

  • grapevineinformationorg – I am glad you like the blog. I think if you can lay out the basic facts in any match, without letting too much personal bias creep in, then the stats should confirm what you are saying. The truth will out, and all that.

    Can I just say what a clever lady your Nana was/is. So perceptive to have Arsenal football club to chase away your fears? 😀
    And give you a life passion, to accept that disappointments will happen ..

  • PG – Yes it is all about the bounce back now?

    As for who starts on Saturday, it is difficult to know right now.
    Was Sanogo out with a wenjury,or a real one. I suspect he will keep faith with Danny boy, Changes may come in the COC.


  • TA – I think you can rule Zelalem out. He led the victorious Under 19’s on Wednesday.
    I have not had a chance to read a report on that just yet.

    As for the other trio, yes they may well come in, but I doubt it will be a 4-1-4-1. A lot depends on Chambers, If he is fit for RB, then he may just be tempted to put Bellerin ahead of him – My dream scenario, true, but it may give Hector a boost/
    If that did happen, then I can see Flamini in between Bellerin and Hayden.The latter for his extra height in the defence, as well as his muscle to power forwards.
    That would then be a more practical 4-3-3, with variations?
    Without Bellerin, then it become a 4-2-3-1,with variations.
    I do think Hayden will be in the mix as a starter.

    I mention the absence of of Akpom from their game, but again I have not read anything to suggest it was an injury. So he cold be a contender for the central spot ..or, and it is only a thought, he is being lined up for a loan to Sporting Lizzie? My guess would be a season long loan, free, and we pay his wages, and that becomes our down payment for WC? If they can get their £30m for getting out of their group, they can let the 3rd party have there full £15m share of his release clause, because they will clear £40m , rather that the £13m they might have had i the summer TW. We get Akpom fully tuned up for a stab at the No 9 jersey next season? Pick up WC for £28m?
    Win. Win.

    Of course,if he starts on Saturday, that scotches that one. And we have Sergio looking for a start in the COC, just to make it a contest, providing his ‘thigh strain’ is more ‘wen’ than ‘in’, but thati’s for the jury to decide?

  • I think I have caught up? Thanks everybody for your input.

    Last week I caught the first round of the best Edinburgh Stand Up competition on the radio, and the guy that won that heat was very funny, so I thought I would share this with you.

    He goes under the title of: ‘The Man With No Voice’. If you get a chance I recommend him, as his full routine was very funny, and very unique. He speaks through an electronic voice box, hence his title. This is just a snippet, but you’ll get the idea of his style ..

    I got on the bus the other day. I got someone to move out of the disabled seat.
    They did
    Then a blind and deaf man got on, and asked me to move.
    I didn’t.
    Then it got a little awkward.
    He couldn’t see I hadn’t moved.
    I couldn’t tell him I hadn’t moved.
    . ..and he couldn’t hear me anyway ….

    You just have to let your imagination run with that?

    He finished with this line …

    ‘I am the man with no voice, thank you for laughing at a disabled person’

    That was a killer, aiming satire at people who treat disabled people as not part of normal society …because they cannot possibly be funny?

  • What do you guys make of the we are going to sign Diarra on a free gossip? As a DM
    It is probably BS but i think it would be good to re-sign him

  • Humor (humour) is in the eye of the beholder, unless, of course, you’ve had to stab out your own watching your football team try and play… Or something… :Rolly eyes with cane tapping: (That one seems a long-shot as attempted emoticons go…)

    Sorry fellas but I cannot follow all this talk about how Wenger is gonna rotate. This match at Villa is a must win, no? Single points simply will not suffice any longer. If anything, I expected more rotation in Dortmund with Santi in for Jack even if Ramsey and Ozil are emerging as the new chronic underperformers. Having the one forced change (Bellerin) maybe made the manager even more conservative (deductive?…) than before. But maybe this stuff about Akpom, Hayden and Sergio (Serge-G?) is regarding the COC?… Poldolski, Campbell and Yaya? Agreed that talking about their next clubs (loans or sales…) is as productive as talking about which one (or two at most) make the bench in Birmingham… PG, are you talking about Lass Diarra? I can’t even remember him playing any time (anywhere…) in the past 2+ seasons–and I was living in Spain back in 2012. Sounds like his agent is just trying for a little free media…

    If we make ANY changes, I would say it’s all about Santi in the scenario I suggest. Plenty support the Ox and his best like for like would be Alexis (I think) or maybe Ramsey. Personally, I’d save him and give him a runout in Rambo’s spot (or maybe in place of the capitan) vs his old club. Overall, I believe, Wenger (and the new fitness guy) will be using this period to work on combinations of players who might need to play matches every 3-4 days in the Spring. I’d look for a lot more rotation after the next int’l break given that Spurs and Chavs are tough ones. Even the turkish visitors (Eboue returns!) in between is now one we can where we cannot afford a slip up.

    If we care to give the boys some slack and say the combos have yet to click, the obvious place to look is the new guy. Alexis is a marvel of hard work and skill and he’s all over the pitch. (Is he the anti-Arshavin?…or the Arsh on steroids… or something along those lines? He’s certainly an upgrade and an inspiration. This Sid Lowe article has influence my thinking… http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2014/aug/15/alexis-sanchez-arsenal-barcelona-premier-league-la-liga In matches where congestion and chaos are happening (i.e., at BvB) he doesn’t shrink but it’s all very different. Whose role is he taking and does it hurt anybody in particular? I’d suggest it might be the other guy who wants to run and run and run…Aaron Ramsey. I “like” the idea of getting Rambo farther forward (i.e., this 4141…) where his mistakes and overconfident/loose touches are less likely to hurt us, but he too needs space. Is the super-running of the new guy impeding Jesus de Gales?

    Anyhow, that’s what I’ll be thinking about and watching for… Sorry for the verbiage–harder than just naming names, I guess…

  • So, PG, you rate him and think we should give him a contract?… Does that get filed under “he’s got to be better” than Arteta/Flamini or anybody else (Chambers, Le Coq, Hayden) we might play at the back of MF? Is he fit and ready to play? This would seem to be Diaby’s issue, from what Gerry reports…

    I’m not trying to give you a hard time, just suggesting that it might be a stretch for him to be worthy of another try with the club, esp. in light of Wenger passing on the likes of other former MFs including Song and Cesc…

    It’s tough to speculate when we get such poor information (and you never know, Lass might be the answer)…My guess is that his agent is trying to find him a club and a little research suggests he was close with QPR. Over time, the way things are going, this free agent stuff (like Flamini last Summer) will happen more and more. Sol Campbell, anyone?… (Senderos we face on Saturday at Villa, I’m afraid…)

  • 17,
    Diarra news is all over newsnow, the way i am looking at it is everyone is crying out for a DM and we could sign him now on a free as he is a free agent. I think he is stronger then Flem and Arteta and he is younger at 29. Why not give him a 1 year contract. It probably wont happen.
    But we know Wenger likes him as he has signed him before.

  • As you know he is very expiranced after playing for us , Real and Chelsea, he might be worth a punt.
    But i doubt Wenger will sign him.

  • Hey, you never know… Like I say, I’d rather give the Ox some chances to play as a deep lying mid. He looked pretty good in that spot in one of those cup matches last season (I thought, if I’m remembering correctly)… If Diaby is truly never gonna play again (which would make me sad…) maybe another body is needed…

    Also, isn’t it Spursday?… Napoli is on the telly and, I guess, Spurs got a nil-nil draw (earlier) in Serbia…Good times…

  • The trouble is PG, would you sign him for 3 years? That is what he will be looking for. 12 months down the line he will be less promotable?

  • Gerry,
    I think he is worth a trial, then possibly a 2 year deal, where if he plays well he could even make us some cash if he does well maybe.. ?

  • Oh ok Totes i didn’t hear that when we sold him, that could explain why we let him go.

  • Until we know who is fit, the Saturday line up could be anything?

    Wilshere out, could be one change.
    Chambers fit could be another
    Arteta not playing so soon after a grilling?
    Ozil to rest one?
    Mert coming down with something?
    And that is without tinkering up front?

  • PG, lol My name is Steve and i’m from the Island but im not the guy you are thinking of pmsl 🙂
    You scared me for a minute because i own a campsite and plenty of mates used to come across from the mainland when i was young and we used to go on the hunt for the young chicks but i never lived in Bedfordshire lol.
    Just had this funny image of the island being this small rock about as big as a volvo in the middle of the ocean with five guys sat on it all huddled round one tv trying to watch footy pmsl, two have Arsenal shirts on and are called Steve – you got the wrong one lol
    It is very coincidental though!

  • ha ha hahahahaha that is to funny, sorry bro that must have done your head in.
    What a coincidence oh well the spider senses got the location right ha ha ha

  • Gerry,
    Don’t take the piss lol, you know what i meant lol

    “Be serious, every team that professes to be any good, has one; Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd”

    I meant that are entire team is full of excellent passers of the ball, who can all create chances, why should we be focused around one player that can maybe do it slightly better than the rest (still debatable in Arsenal colors) but at the cost of having to cover the stadium up so any gusts of wind won’t blow him over.

    Floberlobalob Gerry 🙂
    (that’s how i remember hearing it when i was little lol – good times!)

  • PG, I know! when you said is that Steve from the Island i pissed myself lol, I thought shit i really must talk like i write or something and he must have met me before lol.
    F*cking funny day, loving it lol

    The women are pretty much the same down here lads, three holes and some hair. If you go down te faaarrm and get yourself an inbred six fingered one then you can experience the “Island grip” as we like to call it lol

  • PG – I think you are looking down the wrong end of a telescope on some transfers.

    What might be okay for us, a trial and a two year deal? But it is what HE will be after at his age that matters. At 29, yes some club might give a 3 year deal. But the offers will thin out when he is 30 or 31?

    Throw in the point made earlier about having some one our books that will be surplus if we get the right guy in January/.

    No, AW will sit this one out until January. If Hayden comes good, at CB or DM , or both over the next few games, whether that be Saturday or in the COC, he will be proved right.
    Debuchy’ s injury is one factor he would not have wanted, because it will reduce Chambers options. But, then again, Bellerin might find a game where the opposition are weaker of the left, and he can get to shine in the attacking third? But if AW wants to protect the back 4 better, then Flamini + Hayden would be one way to go. The Flamden or Haydini?

  • Gerry, ive always wanted to see how Gibbs would perform as part of a full on defensive DM partnership – Chambers on the right, Gibbs on the left The Chibs effect lol.
    Totally off track but thought i would mention it, both are very good at tackling, quick, with loads of stamina and can pass effectively to others who can do something more productive with it.

    Chibs, Chibs, Chibs!! pmsl

  • Uh oh, Gerry is having his late night tea (or something stronger)…and starting to dream those (impossible) dreams… 😉

    I’m gonna stay with Total and his deductions…

    Here’s how I look at it: Bad result = blame driven media = more pressure on the stalwarts at the club. If we can get a good one in our next outing but we’ve rested said stalwarts it only heaps even more pressure upon them. I know the boys are not supposed to even glance at the back pages but the last thing Ozil’s (big) eyes need to see is “Wenger Drops Messy, Wins Anyway, Pep-pered with Offers (from Bayern)” or more succinctly, “Sell the Flop.”

    Big match then, gotta close the gap (on Villa… and at least one of City/Chavs) and maintain it on United and otherwise get back up on that horse…

    I know many of the would-be managers aren’t interested in such problems, but I tend to buy the idea that confidence is a fickle fellow and part of the job is keeping it at appropriate levels. Yes it would be a good thing for his confidence if, say, GZ (Zelalem) got the call over Ozil in a big league match, but we’ve actually made a big investment in human capital (of the sensitive, bug-eyed variety) and he (desperately?) needs it too. A balancing act, no doubt, and hopefully an assist or three (plus a goal) gets it right back–ahead of (much) tougher matches…

    Speaking of right backs…What’s the latest news from Tonsil-town?…

  • Too late for people to bite on my trolls?: Alexis and Ramsey “can’t play together” would be the specific item… 😉

    In truth, with a rest promised for the mid-week cup match, I’m feeling pretty confident about our trip to B’ham–as long as we keep the first team consistent… First goal (as it was for Pool) will be the key… More winky, eh?…

    That stat about possession vs total distance run is revealing. If our runners (Rambo/Alexis/Danny W, plus the FBs) commit to what they do and the watchers (Jack and Messy) go and fill the spaces they leave, we *should* get the needed effect. Allow a few well sprayed balls from a Spaniard or two and I like our chances. Of course, the defense needs to hold tight and work it wide. Is Vlaar back or will it be the pride of (both sides) of North London (Senderos and Hutton) going for 2 straight clean sheets?…

    Uh oh, I think I might be moving forward too quickly…Steve (of the Island) maybe has more solutions for the troubles (on Tuesday)?…

  • Vlaar is a doubt still, but I reckon he’ll play. We need steel with composure and it would be great if Flamini has a really good game on Saturday. Jack (Ox/Diaby) and Ramsey will have to work hard on both sides of the midfield fence. It will get feisty there.

  • Flams starts over the Captain? Or maybe next to him? 4-1-4-1 all season would suggest the former… I still don’t get how you sense the minimal rotation, but maybe that’s what the match preview is all about. (Looking forward to it–anything to get the last one in the rear-view)… Has Diaby made a first team 18 (bench seat) yet this season? He could be another who gets a runout vs So’ton; Villa seems a stretch…. Ah (Abou) Absence (my favorite of the green drinks)… how it makes the heart grow fonder… Another big question for the Saturday match might be who is the man in the stripes? (i.e., the referee–in American football, at least)…

    Wenger as genius certainly deserves a post–but begs the question of why he picked the world’s slowest head of hair as his Captain–amongst a few others, I’d guess… 😀

    Sleep well…

  • Along with all the tactical changes I think we should also try psychiatrist or something like the Anfield guys had last season
    It might help in our “big game phenomenon”
    Because one of the other problems is that we dont have a real foul mouthed player except Flamini who will verbally just lift up the team.
    It ia the captain’s job but he and our vc are too soft spoken everything we are doing is a little bit too goody goody
    So atleast buy a DM who talks great if not plays great

  • Sorry guys for ducking out early last night. Not entirely planned, but my computer has other ideas. If I don’t touch the keyboard for about 15 minutes, the whole thing cut out. Not power saving shut down. Just a straight power off. Anyway I couldn’t be bothered to go through all the recovery malarkey.

    So Scotland voted No? I can’t help feeling that some votes were ‘bought’ with the late promises, Along with Gordon Brown using the self interest of the Labour Party, who cannot win a General Election without Scottish MP’s to promote the No vote. On top of that, the recurring lies about currency and passports needed to visit Scotland, even my racing buddy bought into that one, I can’t help feeling their will be bitterness ahead if the promises are not kept?

    Away from the domestic news, Arsenal have a football match tomorrow, and as 17HT has pointed out, the media are on a win win with whoever AW decides to play, let alone getting a result?

    Because we are away from home, I cannot see us playing a lone DM. And I don’t mean supplementing him with a B2B buddy who will be way up field when needed.
    AW would be risking the wrath of he media, and fans, if he plays the ‘rookie’ and it all goes wrong. I have every confidence in Isaac Hayden to bring a bit of real solidity to our protection of the back 4. He has been captain for the Under 21’s, which is usually a sign that he is aware of what goes on around him. Like Arteta, he reads the game well. He would also be a great addition in our set piece play, defence and attack.. If you want shots from outside of the box, he ticks that box as well. Partnered with Flamini I think even Benteke might want to take an alternative route to goal?

    However, it will be down the flanks where the danger lies. crosses to Benteke or Gabby need to be cut out at source. I think our backs on the flanks will need to stay back more in the first half, and leave the attacking to the quick moving trio ahead of whoever plays the CAM role.
    Second half, against a tiring defence, pacey subs could swing it big time, providing we haven’t given them the green light to shut up shop by gifting them a goal?

    I’ll await the team/squad news and next post before adding more.

    While I was browsing the FantasyFootie site, when my computer cut out, I saw we have Mike Jones as referee tomorrow. I await Untold for their verdict on him, but memory tells me he is not on our ‘Oh God, No! list.?

    Talking of the FF – BK Best Bloggers league, I amazingly moved up to 6th with and above average score. Helped largely by a sub who scredsomgreat points :
    The top 3 remain unchanged, except the leader scored a whopping 77points!
    Well done, sir.

    Off to do my UMF selections now, Vics will be pleased to know, and for a reminder to the rest that haven’t done them yet?

    Keep the faith …. in Isaac Hayden.

  • Message from VCC:

    VCC 1h

    Still waiting for

    Cheers guys.

  • TA – In answer to your question – It makes more sense to start Hayden, than bring him on as a sub. The reason I say that is two fold.
    1, They need a solid midfield base to work from, and he will provide a large physical presence.
    2, He will grow as the game goes on. As a late sub you might only get that growing period?

    If you remember his debut last season, he made that one bad tackle, and could have been sent off. But he came out in the second half and never put a foot wrong. From what I saw of him during that Under 21 game, yes, against a much lower level opposing side, but he did everything with a calm assurance. If he steps out as a starter tomorrow, and not be that ‘desperate to show I am worth a place’ teenager of last season, but the confident player he looked to be, and I firmly believe he can, he will only get better.

    I also think AW rates him highly, otherwise he may have been part of the big clear out? If he plays alongside Flamini he will be kept alert. Alongside Arteta he will be given quiet reassurance. Ramsey or Wilshere? Then a big NO. They will abandon him at some point, and I don’t think he is quite ready to take on the solo role just yet .. 2 or 3 games after this, who knows?

    At Villa I think we have to snuff out their main attacks that will come down the middle. The second half is when we can be more adventurous, but we must be watertight in defence, and Hayden is an ideal player for the job?

  • Our team has good down in quality compare the two year squads below TOTALARSENAL.

    Senior squad 2010-2011

    Manuel Almunia,

    Bacary Sagna Laurent Koscielny Thomas Vermaelen Gael Clichy

    Cesc Fabregas Alex Song

    Samir Nasri Tomas Rosicky Andrey Arshavin

    Robin van Persie

    Subs: Lukasz Fabianski, Vito Mannone, Johan Djourou, Emmanuel Eboue, Denilson, Abou Diaby, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Wojciech Szczesny, Armand Traore, Carlos Vela, Sanchez Watt, Jack Wilshere, Nicklas Bendtner, Maroune Chamak,

    Compare to 2014-2015

    Wojciech Szczesny,
    Mathieu Debuchy Per Mertesacker Laurent Koscielny Kieran Gibbs
    Mikel Arteta
    Mesut Ozil Aaron Ramsey Jack Wilshere Alexis Sanchez

    Olivier Giroud

    Subs: David Ospina, Emiliano Martinez, Nacho Monreal, Calum Chambers, Tomas Rosicky, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Santi Cazorla, Mathieu Flamini, Abou Diaby, Francis Coquelin, Gedion Zelalem, Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott, Yaya Sanogo, Danny Welbeck, Serge Gnabry
    Joel Campbell

  • Gerry, I don’t see why it would make sense. I much rather play Flam and Ramsey in the double pivot… Experience and quality…. What’s not to like?

    Hayden can play in Coc which is a big opportunity for him.

  • TA, don’t use the what have we won argument lol – we haven’t won much mate lol
    But that’s not the point, I personally couldn’t give a monkeys about what we win, the reason i will be a gooner forever is the football we play and that has, i feel, continued to develop over time.
    Sure i would prefer the pacier wing play and quick counters that we have since swapped for the midfield passing game but maybe one day Wenger will get the balance of both in the team – can’t wait for that day! 🙂

  • I am sorry TA, I thought I was talking about how starting from the off would be better for Hayden.

    The other reason I had for preferring Hayden with Flamini is because I think we need TWO DM’s, particularly in the first half. Apart from Ramsey being right out of form, he will do the B2B thing, leaving Flamini to cover both wings and the middle?

  • Steve, if I am asked to compare squads, which is quite a frivolous thing to do I am sure you’ll agree, I can pick the criteria! 😆

    I could also have used the frequency of players cushioning their arses on the bench nowadays, as one of the criteria! Muhahahaha 😛

  • Gerry, we will have three DMs when it is needed tomorrow: JW,AR,Flam. They just have to learn to play like that occasionally in 4-1-4-1. But I can see your point re Hayden adding extra steel.

  • TA, 😆 Its just the trophy criteria is a touchy subject with me – having to defend the Arsenal down here on that point all the time, sorry mate lol
    Like i said before I definitely agree with your point though, and we have improved – the arses on the bench seats criteria would have been excellent 🙂

  • http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20140919/arsenal-announce-full-year-profits
    “Club announces latest financial results”.

    – cash reserves in excess of £170million. (figure does not include this summer’s transfer activity in which the club spent a net amount of £60m plus wages and additional payments on players including Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy and Danny Welbeck etc.)

    – rise in their wage bill from £154.5m to £166.4m (55.7% of football revenue), offset in part by the beginning of a new five-year kit deal with Puma worth up to £150m which began this season.

  • JM,
    It is good to know we have a stable ship. That we are very comfortable on the cash side and will not end up like Rangers, Portsmouth and Blackburn etc
    I am still amazed and laughing about yesterday. If you come across a guy called Steve, he will be the only guy on the Island with 5 fingers and toes, do let him know lol
    The Man U game is looking very good for me, i will find out for sure on Monday but i am sure i will get tickets. I have found a new way to get them, my uncle and his son are member and the boy is a junior so they can get me tickets and i take the little man to watch the game 🙂

  • Totes,
    So for me its win win, i get to spend time with the family that i had lost contact with and watch the Gunners.
    It is not til Nov 22nd though so a fair way off, but it will be the biggest match i have ever been to live
    The biggest games i have seen before is the CL matches, I would love to watch us beat United at home.

  • JM – When is their financial year. April to April, or June to June?

    The usual media are having fun with the headline figure, as though we have that to spend in January.
    With all our other sponsorship deals we should improve on that £16.4m shortfall on wages?
    So I expect the cash reserve should be similar next ‘year ending’, despite the transfers that have gone through in the summer TW, or any January ones?

  • £173.3M cash reserves !……music to my ears !……..that buys a lot of bullets for tight Arsend Wenger to try and dodge for his shoddy lack of positional transfer dealings !……bang bang bang bang bang bang bang ……….fcuk that !….I`m not typing 173,300,000 bangs !…..by the time I had typed them, the bastard would still be here talking about how his mental strength saved him !……….nothing to do with what a fcuking shit marksman I am !. hahaha

  • Cockie,
    I am looking forward to seeing Theo come back and start firing bullets in the back of the net again!

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