How to beat Villa: 3-5-2 with Sanchez and Campbell up-front and Chambers DM


A short term reactive change of tactics instead of long term unwavering stubborn genius – is it too much to ask of Wenger?

My analysis of the match and how we approach it:

How do Villa line-up and how do they play?

Villa line up in a 4-3-3 which morphs back into a 4-5-1 when they don’t have the ball, they are comfortable defending and will rely on this to initiate their greatest strength in the counter attack.

How do I think we should line up and play?

For most people this is a given: the 4-1-4-1 is a formation well documented as having success against the 4-3-3 and it would make sense to turn up ready to play using it, especially since it is what Arsene has been trying to develop recently and that this would be a perfect time to see a much needed good example of the formation performing well.

I am definitely not most people though lol. I would plan to do two things; surprise the opponents with something they wouldn’t have planned for, and secondly (with such an obvious villa counter attacking game plan), play to their weaknesses rather than their strengths.

Instead of playing possession football high in midfield which is what Villa expect and what they will be waiting to break down to create counters from, let us sit deeper as a team and draw them out and onto us, and then attack at pace with our own counter attack.  It is something that is quite the reverse of what we have been trying to do as of late, but with Villa playing at home straight off the back of a win against Liverpool it wouldn’t surprise me if (especially in the first half) they completely obliged us and committed a lot of resources up the field.

So what formation do I suggest to implement this tactical surprise, and do we have the personnel to pull it off?

You are a bunch of lucky buggers as the wonders of google have saved you the torturous endeavour of reading the novel I had planned for you regarding the formation I want to use, and how it can be used to destroy the 4-3-3.  It was on the seventh!! page of google results (yes I like to do my research lol) that a result popped up using the exact example I was using to demonstrate my theory.

It was Italy vs Spain in the confederations cup in 2013 – “Steve you muppet” I hear you say, Spain playing 4-3-3 went on to win that game on penalties.  Yes that’s true but for any of you who watched the game you would have seen a very different picture than the score line suggests.  Spain were obliterating everyone, but against this Italy side they were completely subdued and outplayed through formation and tactical play.  With the higher level of attacking threat Arsenal have over Italy, and when used against a team like Villa, the result could be the high scoring game we really need to kick start our season.

Now instead of reading two pages of writing explaining my reasoning behind this, you can simply watch this video J

Yes it’s a 3-5-2 (Gerry will be pleased lol)

But do we have the personnel to make it work?

Actually due to injuries, drops in form, rotation of players and square pegs in round holes, I really think that now more than ever we do.

Firstly who do we leave out?

Szczesny – I would rest from CL match to give others a chance at starting

Ramsey – dropped in form lately

Ozil – dropped in form lately

Arteta – looks off the pace

Zelalem – still too inexperienced at this point

Diaby – AWOL

Debuchy – Injured

Wilshere – injured

Gnabry – injured

Giroud – Injured

Sanogo – Injured

Walcott – Injured

That’s 12 players out from the squad of 30 (if you include Bellerin and Hayden, which I do).

30 – 12 = 18 players left

18 – 11 (starting XI) = 7 (named subs)

Perfect, at least my maths add up, even if the rest of my plan doesn’t lol.

Who’s left then?

Ospina – I would give first choice

Martinez – I would use as cover

Bellerin – Not really a defensive RB, perfect as a wing back though

Chambers – Great ability and potential looks like he could bring the freshness and composure we need in DM

Monreal – Looking a little off the pace atm but still defensively sound so maybe take the crazy running up and down the pitch out of his game and watch him flourish as left CB

Gibbs – Back from injury and looking fast and sharp as usual, this kid was born to play as a wing back.

BFG – The big guy looks out of place playing off side traps in a stretched team but in any other situation he’s still solid as a rock so a deeper sitting compact defence may help him shine in this instance.

Koscielny – First name on the team sheet

The OX – Looks fit and raring to go, fast and able to battle

Rosicky – Desperate to prove he should be in the team and I feel with good reason

Cazorla – Hasn’t really been given the amount of time that Ozil has to try and prove his worth so this could be his chance

Flamini – Proved he still has it in him to hold the line at the mancs and now fully rested he provides tried and tested experience at DM

Coquelin – Unproven but I want to see what he can do, could also be an excellent choice to shore up midfield if we actually find ourselves with a healthy lead

Hayden – Unproven but bags of potential and provides cover for a number of positions: right wing back, DM, CM or at CB, an excellent option to have on the bench if something goes wrong

Welbeck – Shows good movement if not absolute clinical finishing yet, let’s get him on the score sheet

Campbell – Performed in preseason, unproven since and deserves a chance

Sanchez – Hungry and determined as always

Podolski – World class striker

Put it all together and what does the team look like?

Starting eleven and subs (on the right)

Ars v Ast Villa Steve

Do you think this could work and win without the Ozil, Ramsey, Wilshere trio?  I will leave it up to you to comment, but please mention your preferred line up also.

Btw I rang Arsene to discuss this line up and the response was:

“Take a break Steve ffs, its Villa not Barcelona!  Stop calling me on this number, and stop that Cockie Monster bloke from poohing on my front door step!”

That was the boss’s response, what’s yours? 

Remember this is a formation for a one-off game in which we have a host of injuries at the moment, this is not a long term change.

Written by: Steve

178 thoughts on “How to beat Villa: 3-5-2 with Sanchez and Campbell up-front and Chambers DM

  • Nice piece of work, Steve, and well thought through. 🙂

    I like the line-up but not for the Villa game. It would be a huge adjustment with a big risk of miscommunication, bad passing etc.

    But there is merit in your 3-5-2 for the longer term, if Arsene would be inclined to change things round again, which you know I believe will not happen. 4-1-4-1 is here to stay this season, and I like what this could develop into.

    So my preferred line up for tomorrow’s game is:

    Chambers – BFG – Koz – Gibbs

    Yep Diaby our holding striker. Don’t say I cannot look outside the box! 😉

  • TA, you really have caught the Wenger bug haven’t you lol, your preferred line up is the 4-1-4-1 and you’ve still got Ozil on the wing – I have to give you credit where credit is due on loyalty for the manager and his plan – fair play mate.
    Diaby up front! Excellent lol, i certainly was not expecting that! – but neither would Villa, good thinking Batman!

  • Steve 🙂

    It is just too radical what you are suggesting for the Villa game…. too much change.

    Also, we have taken this road of 4-1-4-1 and I want to give it till at least Christmas. You know that ‘Ozil on the wing’ means noting to me. He is a free man to roam and add value where he can but Jack and Aaron belong in the heart of the ‘4’, as they can both defend and attack and can boss the area.

    The prospect of the wall of JAAM: Jack, Aaron, Alexis and Mesut bossing teams is a very attractive one. Key is to have a holding midfielders…. Flam is still the best we have… and a holding striker…. hence Diaby… he would be brilliant at this. 🙂

  • TA, I just had a bit of a brain fart – If Ozil is as you say free to roam and he obviously favors the number ten position then the 4-1-4-1 actually becomes a 4-1-3-1-1 with Ozil in the number ten position. If this is what we have been playing then Ozil is under-performing even in his preferred position (no need to move him into the middle to sort that argument, he’s already there lol). – Just joking i know there’s more to it than that 🙂

    I will hold my hands up and say of course i know we will be using the 4-1-4-1 again on the weekend but i would be a bit annoyed if i was OX and Rosicky not getting the nod over Ozil and Ramsey to start and prove what they can do after the later have had a drop in form lately.

  • I trust Arsene to pick the best side for what ever formation he wants to play.
    I agree with Totes that he will stick with 4-1-4-1 and i think he should, no big changes for me either.
    I am also not a fan of the 3 at a back, sorry Steve
    As a result i am tempted not to name my choice for starting X1 but i will for fun.

    Chambers BFG Kos Gibbs
    ……………….Dat Guy……..

  • I am happy for Ozil to start, but i feel 1 game o the bench might fire up his hungar. Wenger will start him though which is fine i hope he has a great game, it is due.

  • I dont mind if Podolski does not start and instead Campbell does.
    But i think we need another strong goal threat to back up Danny and take some pressure of him, we must score at least 2 goals tomw 3 would be better.
    I am predicting a 3-1 to us.

  • PG, yeah we all know it will be the 4-1-4-1 lol, i just thought i would try and get some argumentative discussions going on the subject because it all seems too subdued atm lol.
    I went for a quite extreme formation (preferred not predicted btw) and was expecting to get slated, but so far you and TA at least have been very tame lol – what did the mid week game do to us lol.

  • Steve,

    I reckon Ox and Rosicky will get their chance eventually. It is typical Arsene to play the same formation, or there about, as much as possible in order to get the system working well. Once it is clicking, he will introduce other players into it, even if he is not forced to do so.

    The movement of the four midfielders needs further development, and that is the bit where Wenger has work to do. But yes, Ozil has a free role and he has been adding value to the team already… but there is still a lot more to come. I also reckon that the OG injury is a massive blow for Arsene’s 4-1-4-1 approach – which is no disrespect to DW23..

  • Nice post Steve

    Bloody hell mate, thats a lot of changes. Theres as much chance of that line up as there is of my ex wife giving me that £687,583.27 she owes me.

    Now listen here my six fingered friend, its not the players to blame for some sub standard performances. The primary responsibility is Arsenes

    He has developed a style of play that tends to beat the weaker sides but struggles, especialy away, against good sides who employ pressing tactics and ferocious counter attack

    We fall into the trap because we are in essence a one dimensional team in terms of approach. A passaholic attacking side, who once we give the ball away, especialy in our own half or around the half way line, end up running backwards with light weight midfielders, with enough gaps to drive a truck through.

    My view is that we should change our approach against the better sides. Play more direct, more percentage football, play it a bit longer. Its not so bad giing the ball away this way. You still have loads of men behind the ball.

    Have you ever been the victim of a ferocious counter attack Steve? One of my sub busineses was a Letting Company. For three months I never paid the landlords and fell behind on the staff wages

    Not because I wasnt making money, I was, just because i am a greedy bastard and kept all the cash for myself

    One night I was at home counting all the dosh whilst watching a porno at the same time. i like that, when I realised I had stupidly left the back door open

    Within seconds I had about twenty angry landlords and employees in my house ransacking my stuff. In panic I legged it to the staircase to hide the cash under the floorboard, but some hag spotted me shouting “ive found the fuckers floorboard”. One of the landlords “Simple Barry”, the blokes in his forties and still watches Rainbow and the Sooty show, sat on me. He may be thick, but is about six foot five and weighs 20 stone

    Do you know what its like to watch helplessly as all those undeserving bastards take your money. All this whilst Simple Barry is telling you how horrible Zippy is for been cruel to Bungle, and asking wether you think Sooty hurts when Geoff sticks his hand up his arse?

    Lets see if Arsene has a rethink

  • PG, i agree with you on more goal threat needed. That’s why i would like to add OX, with only one up top the threat has got to come from somewhere along that midfield line and i feel OX carries more of a threat to goal then Ozil, Jack or Ramsey(atm).

  • Steve

    What I like about your formation is the combination of a solid defence – 6 in total – and yet there is a lot of thrust and speed, and ability to pass and combine the ball if teams park the bus. I bet Theo would like this formation too.

  • AW should play 4-1-2-1-2


    Rambo Wilshere


    Maybe left rambo and özil rest for a while but midfield diamond would work perfectly for arsenal… What do u think??????

  • TERRY, 😆 😆 😆

    I agree with everything you said mate, i like the idea of actually being reactive in formation and players to suit different opponents – Maybe Simple Barry needs to pay a visit to Complicated Wenger.

    I worried where that was going for a minute when you said you were sat watching porn and you had left your back door open 😆

  • Steve, I reckon Ox is missing the boat at Arsenal. He might need to go out on loan and learn to become a regular assister and goal scorer. He has the potential of being a goal threat but it is just not happening enough for him right now… And with Theo coming back…

  • TA, hahaha how fucking weird is that mate! it was off the back of watching a Theo goal montage on youtube that i decided to write the post! 😆
    Yes mate he would love that formation! Speed and attack!

  • TA, re OX – “it is just not happening enough for him right now”
    Arsene never plays him lol, how can he prove himself if hes never on the pitch lol
    20 mins against Dortmund and thats about it and even then he looked more dangerous and energetic then anyone else on our team lol
    I get what you’re saying but i say give him a chance first and see if he can impress before we push that boat out.

  • How about the midfield diamond? Think about it… Every player in arsenal would benefit from it… The Ox should be played more… i think he has really made a difference in every game when played… Should work on keeping his head up though! How about Rosicky? Both would play tomorrow in my team!



    THE OX…..Cazorla


  • hahaha, never noticed that Steve

    Certainly wouldnt like to leave the back door open when Simple Barry is thinking about Zippy, he gets worringly animated for my liking. hahaha

    To be honest with you Steve, its really unlike me to question Arsenes tactics, but at the moment his approach simply does not work against top sides away, this is proven by results.

    Mybe the more direct approach, more vertical and longer passes as opposed to shorter horizontal ones wont work anyway, we might not create nothing. I really dont know.

    But one thing I will say. If we go the Bridge, Man City, etc, playing the same style, I fear we will be walloped.

  • Thanks Stevie Six Fingers !……………………….but none of it will make any difference as Wenger hasn`t your imagination. He is neither a proactive or reactive manager, just a bank manager !.
    £173M in savings and he cant buy in the positions he needs and the only reactive thing you see him doing is fiddling with his zipper… expert zipper fiddler !.
    Any of us could do his job !………put your hands up if with all the money he has had available……you would have bought a DM Beast !……don’t bother Totes !….I know you wank yourself off to sleep every night thinking about one….or two !. hahaha
    I`m proactive and reactive all the time !………everyone knows I jest about Wenger as it gives me a boner, so what do I do ?……….I think ahead and got my bitch neighbour to have a tattoo of Wengers face on her arse and when he pisses me off I slap his face and stick my knob in his mouth !…….proactive !.
    Don’t you just hate it when people just get in your way whilst you`re trying to watch a match, their heads up and down spoiling your view !……..I just move the TV a few feet to the left or right and let them carry on blowing me whilst I watch the game !…….reactive !.

  • Tuomaster, I made that point a while ago about the diamond but seemed to provoke some strong negative responses lol.
    I think there is a small consensus that sometimes, JUST SOMETIMES, it would be nice to see a plan B involving some long passes and attacking pacey moves, rather than just the, as Terry says, slower build through midfield close grouped “passaholic” approach to the attacking play we use now.

  • Cockie, 😆 😆 😆 “zipper fiddler” TAXED! I’m using that as my new insult at work next week.
    “you what! That’s not my problem you fucking zipper fiddler!” Yes classic!
    Nice one Cockie
    And yes proactive and reactive, it aint never gonna happen so we better hope this 4-1-4-1 starts producing soon.
    Oh and its just six fingers lads you don’t need the stevie 🙂

  • Thank u steve! Negative responses? Why? AW HAS (obsessed?)To play rambo,wilshere and özil in every game and this is the only formation to make it work… welbeck and sanchez would help pressing if played up front… Total midfield domination i would think… Welbeck and sanchez would have to work VERY hard though! If type errors forgive me! I am from Finland

  • Sixteve,

    Ox runs a lot and has the energy of a duracel bunny but it is not very effective. I want him to start in the COC and show us what he is capable of.

  • Six Fingers it is then !………….keep your self handy at a moments call, because Wengers pushing me to my breaking point and Stevie the Six Fingered Fist Fcuker will be more useful when I chloroform the fcuker !.
    Night all……that is an image to get me gently off to sleep !.

  • Welcome TUOMaster 🙂

    Nice to have a Gooner from Finland… where about are you based in Finland and do you have many Finnish Gooner Friends?

    You wrote:

    ‘AW should play 4-1-2-1-2


    Rambo Wilshere


    In effect, we often do this from 4-1-4-1. Ozil moves freely, so also in the middle and Sanchez often supports the ‘lone attacker’… there is a lot of stretch and mobility in 4-1-4-1!

  • TA,
    “grits his teeth” – fair point and good recommendation on the COC 🙂

    Damn you TA i want some heated arguments! lol

    I knew i should have put Bellerin in goal!

  • Six Fingers……6teve……..6ix Fingers…….Sixteve………..5 + 1 Fingers……any more, we need a BK poll on this matter !. 😆

    PS………is it on both hands ?……Twelve Fingers !. 😆

  • TA, re “In effect, we often do this from 4-1-4-1. Ozil moves freely”

    i think what Tuomaster means is with an actual strong second striker rather than Ozil and in a more regimented diamond rather than one that appears only when Ozil wonders into that space.

    I could be wrong though, sorry if i am Tuomaster

  • Cockie, have you ever watched “princess bride” – that was me mate “the six fingered man” lol (only on one hand lol)

  • I`m deeply hurt by our Finnish friend !……..calling me and Transplants comments stupid !…..I can talk for Terry as he has left the building and off on his bike to his personnel surgeon for a finger transplant !. hahaha

  • Tuomaster, I think the comments were fair enough mate and they may well be right, the biggest point is that we will never know unless we try it, and it doesn’t look like that will ever happen now Wenger has his mind set on 4-1-4-1.
    I just saw how Liverpool used it last year to create some great attacking football, in the premier league as well, and thought we have the same and better players than they have – why couldn’t we make it work just as well?
    Sounds like you agree with me mate 🙂

  • u r not wrong mate! özil playing wide might work if he has any defending abilities… but in diamond the strikers would help our full backs… did u see the manchester united last game? van persie and rooney played almost like wingers when defending

  • That’s OK then !……….I was just about to leave for Helsinki with my chloroform !. hahaha

  • Tuomaster,
    Picture that but Walcott and Campbell instead, with Sanchez at the tip of the diamond and Ox as one of the midfielders – That is one hell of a quick team and those two strikers are pretty much wingers anyway – I here what you are saying mate 🙂 But it will never happen unfortunately.

  • MY dream diamond is:


    debuchy-Chambers(sorry BFG)-Kos-Gibbs

    ………………..Arteta ( best of two evils)




  • Tasty line-up TA, liking it (even if it is 4-1-4-1 lol)

    I can only offer up a small tweak

    Coquelin – BFG – Chambers – Monreal
    Bellerin – Ox – Rosicky – Campbell

    if only Gnabry was available – i would have him on the right wing.

  • Tuomaster, very similar to mine but i have lost the faith in Ozil atm.

    HELL SHRINKI – sounds like the time i tried a plunge pool

  • How about Jenkinson? better than bellerin and coquelin???? Carl from FINLAND! Or as we say… KALLE

  • TA, if he lives on a farm in the middle of nowhere as well then you might just be right lol

    Tuomaster, same as TA, whats Helsinki like then mate? I thought it was quite a nice place? never been though

  • Steve

    This is stuff of the past, so you might not be aware. Cockie Monster is endowed with a very small todger. The only reason he wanted us to sign Isco is because the name would just about fit on his reproductive organ…

  • Bellerin is not at right back level just yet but hey he’s got plenty of time and looks promising.
    Kalle must be kicking himself right now! he would have got plenty of first team starts atm
    Coquelin i don’t know much about to be honest – any opinion TA?

    But out of those three its Kalle all the way mate 🙂

  • “if he lives on a farm in the middle of nowhere as well” AS WELL??????? I Live in Tampere! Its the place of music, art and culture! Helsinki is more of an… how should i but it…. Looks good on the outside but empty on the inside!

  • The problem with Kalle – our Finglishman – is he does not relax enough on the pitch. He constantly looks like he forgot to do a pooh before he came onto the pitch, if you know what I mean.. 🙂

  • goquelin is actually palyed very well when on the pitch… maybe more of an dm though… good prospect

  • Tuomaster, hahaha welcome to the ongoing Ozil in the middle not on the wing support group 😆
    and i agree completely – i wouldgive him his chance willingly IN THE MIDDLE but loosing faith with him on the wing (DRIFTING / ROAMING POSITION – before TA says it lol)

  • BABA – but definitely no elephant 😆

    Tampere!!! – i have a new word to describe my girlfriends, thanks Tuomaster

  • Özil is raped in the wing like the greatest player of all time JARI LITMANEN on the Liverpooh

  • Tampere sounds good. Apparently it is sometimes called the Manchester of Finland, for its industrial past.

    Tuo, do you sometimes get sick of all those lakes everywhere? 😛

  • Tuomaster, from what little i have seen of him yes Coquelin does look more of a DM you are right or a more defensive minded CM, to replace Wilshere or Ramsey when we need to hold a lead.
    What was your choice at RB?

    By the way your English is great mate, i would not know where to start if trying to type Finnish lol

  • Great player is Jari – one of my favourite ever non-Arsenal players. Very clever and gifted player in his time, and his Dutch was very impressive too.

    Tuo, your English is impressive.

    Tuo, another question: which Scandinavian country the most beautiful women?

  • Those results were rigged! The Isle of Wight should have come first! 🙂

    Tuomaster, “Tampere rules” – I thought u said you did not like it there? I’m confused 🙂

  • Sweden have the most beatiful woman… It kills me to say that! My rb choice would be ideally Debuchy/ Jenkinson/ Chambers/ Coquelin/ Bellerin! Bellerin is a great prospect but not ready yet and chambers is more cb minded ( AW is right )! When ever i post a comment it feels like u guys have already post the next… and the next and iam still pretty slow of even thinking the words that i want to say

  • Tuomaster. You have done incredibly well mate and kept up with the speed just as good as me!
    Make sure you come back and comment more mate

    kauniita unia!

  • Almost offline, Tuomaster. 🙂

    Make sure you come back to the site as we like international Gooners and we have bloggers here from the US, Australia, many European countries, Asia, you name it.

  • Good morning all, the computer ditched me again last night, so I am bright eyed this morning.
    But first:

    JM – Thanks for all the links yesterday. Very enlightening?

    Second,did anybody else read them?
    I say this, as I come to this post …

    Steve, the main reason the 4-1-4-1 is bound to fail for us at the moment is because we simply do not have the right personnel to fill the key role(s). When I read JM’s Bavarian links, it struck me that the 4-1-4-1 stuff is nearly, I repeat, nearly, a load of bollox.
    Why? Because it, and the above 3-5-2 is just a transitional stages between defence and attack of our previous, and more successful, 4-2-3-1, in the same way, as you put it, that morphs very quickly into a 4-2-1-3, or even a 4-1-2-3 when attacking, It can also morph back to a 4-3-3 very quickly, and 4-5-1 when defending. Because players are moving, positions are fluid.

    That is when the other side of ‘nearly’ kicks in,and the bollox goes out the window, okay?
    It comes down primarily, as I read Bavarian model, to having a mobile but solid reader of the game, who can pass the ball well, in the DM slot. BM use Schwienstieger, and because I can’t spell his name, he will be here after know as the ‘Pig man’, or PM for short- no insult intended, I am just being a lazy commentator.
    Pep uses the ‘PM’ over Martinez because the latter hasn’t got the vision or the playing skills. If they cannot work the system with Martinez, what chance have we got with Arteta?
    I know you have Chambers, an inexperienced 19 year old who may well develop into that role? More on that in a minute …
    Strangely enough, the one guy who is more PM-like than anybody on our books, is the other inexperienced rookie, Isaac Hayden? Give him the time and you could be on to something?
    The second key role is not quite so clear cut, because it relies on movement of the others around him, but basically the B2B man, let’s say Wilshere in the ‘2’ of the 4-2-3-1 model, as he is pushed forwards, and then you get your basic 4-1-4-1. Except it isn’t that flat line 4 at any stage. Depending on your line up, each has an area of play to press opposition players when they have possession, at the same time as retaining triangles of team mates to pass around when the win possession back. That is why the Wilshere role is very important in order to get the transition from defence to attack moving as quickly as possible.
    Where the 3-5-2 pattern comes into place, and why it differs slightly from your set-up, is that there are still only TWO CB’s. Which is lucky, as Monreal is redundant, and out with a back injury, and it would be Chambers who makes the back 3 if defending deep, with the two wing-backs and three mid-fielders making the 5. Again, it depends on the personnel, whether the two who are left up front, are both strikers, mid-fielder and a striker, or in the Bavarian model, two attacking mid-fielders.
    To demonstrate with no names, but the transitions from defence to attack:

    Morphs to;

    Morphs to;

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – halfway line- – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -goal line- – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    And yes, you are right, the last image is more less, how we got suckered for the first goal against Dortmund. A quick ball to Immobile had him one on one with Kos, and he scored.
    However, that was just one of the demo’s from the Bavarian link that JM put up. But it demonstrates the weakness if you have the wrong personnel?
    I will list them:
    1, CB1 cannot be that high up the pitch – we know why?
    2, DM needs to be robust, quick, and a ball player. Experience at CB, DM, and B2B roles.
    3, B2B needs to be able to read play quickly, and cut out passes from opposition when they are switching from defence to attack, and not get suckered into a desperate tackle. Nor hang on to the ball too long.
    4, MF’s must be capable of making tackles, moving into space to be available for a pass, and capable of scoring. They need to be familiar with the likely movements of their team mates and move appropriately. And keep moving!
    Striker, needs to be clinical with finishing. Pass or shoot as appropriate. Always look for the next opportunity.
    5, The whole team must work as a team. Know what and where they should be. Concentrate for 95 minutes … from Gk to striker!

    Without repeating names, the wish list pair I wanted in the TW are exactly the type of players to make this system work effectively. Perhaps TA is right, Arsene will persist with the notion of 4-1-4-1 in order to get the team ready for when the key positions are filled (January?), but we will lose many games if he does not get the balance right with what we have got at the moment?
    Particularly the triangles in midfield? The JW+AR combination does not work, imo. I hope today, that if JW is rested, then AR will find the space for his runs, and he regains his form. If Ozil plays then the others are going to have to move off the ball a damn sight better than they have done lately. If that happens, Ozil’s ‘free role’ will be magically transformed to one of a central conductor, not having to go wide to see what player is moving where? And most important, go for a proper DM set up with two solidly covering the CB’s and supporting the wing-backs who cannot be in two places at once.

    Sorry for the ‘Post’ size response Steve. You are making a good case for the change. I think it exposes the myth that Arsene is not flexible in every instance. What is letting him down is his insistence to play certain players in roles where they cannot perform or combine?

    JM – I hope I did your Bavarian model justice in the above. I found it an excellent read. Cheers

  • Very disappointed by Wenger’s comment regarding playing Mesut Ozil out wide left. He shouldn’t have said anything at all. Him commenting tells me that he is well aware of the issue and is feeling the heat. To me, he is defending himself (for playing Ozil as a LW) more than he is defending Ozil’s performances. He should not be comparing Ozil to Zidane at all. Zidane was a better player all around than Ozil (I believe), he had a much stronger built than Ozil, and he was playing for Real Madrid in freaking La Liga, not the EPL!!! And what was the point bringing up the 1970’s Brazilian WC winning team? This is 2014, not 1970! I wasn’t even born yet!!! Football back then was definitely not the same as football today. Time has passed, players have gotten bigger and stronger, overall team play has changed, tactics have changed, the Vietnam War had ended, the Berlin Wall had fallen since, etc. No need to bring up the past to make an invalid point. Just fix today’s problem, Ozil’s problem, Arsenal’s problem. That’s all. Nobody cares about how many No.10 the 1970 Brazil WC team had. I certainly don’t. Seems to me like our Manager may be very much stuck in the past and is averse to change or something. In any job that a Norma person does, when we see that something is NOT working out over and over again, we don’t persist with it hoping for the best. We try something else to make it work. We make changes and we also adapt to change. Stubbornness can lead to disastrous results and by the time we finally realize what is happening, it may already be too late.

    I hope that Wenger is willing to open up his mind to the idea that his critics might just for once be correct. That maybe playing Ozil at LW might not be such a good idea after all. Ozil deserves better. So does Arsenal Football Club.

    I hope Rosicky gets to play tomorrow. We need someone to inject some “thrust”, some energy, a real purpose to both our attack and our defense from now on. Can you imagine Rosicky, Wellbeck, and Sanchez chasing after every pass, constantly harassing the opposition? I would love to see that!!!

    It has been a long while since we’ve given an opposition a proper “beating”. I see one coming tomorrow. We are going to respond with an awesome performance tomorrow at Villa Park. So my prediction is:
    Aston Villa 1 – Arsenal 4

  • 4-2-3-1
    Chambers, BFG, Kos, Gibbs
    Flamini Ramsey
    Sanchez, Özil, Ox
    Dat guy
    this formation is a proven one which works. we don’t have time to experiment with this 4-1-4-1 till God knows when. how many will we have dropped. I put in Flamini cause Arteta was dreadful against Dortmund and put in Ox so that Jack can rest a little. In future I would love to Ramsey and Wilshere combine in that double pivot share defensive and offensive tasks. Özil is class and really should be played through the middle, check his heat maps from his past games except against Everton and Leicester (in those games he performed well, not spectacular) , he has been out wide, gents we all know Özil firing through the middle we will see Sanchez and Dat guy grabbing goals not to mention the returning Theo.
    I have faith in Dat Guy. he will be our sturridge promise you he will score 18+ goals in the league
    in the future tho my preferred line up when everyone is fit including Abou who I know will be fit this year lol is
    Debuchy, Kos, BFG, Gibbs (Back 5 really a no brainer unless Ospina impresses)
    Diaby/Wilshere, Ramsey
    Sanchez, Özil, Theo
    Welbeck DAT GUY
    many articles I’ve read and agree with raise the point that not only is özil suffering due to the new formation but our best player RAMBO is too, beoow par performances, so for those who support this new formation you are essentially supporting the killing of two of our best players

  • Cheers Gerry, brilliant analytical stuff. Have not got much time to respond and let’s pick up next week, after the real footie. 🙂 rest assured Wenger is not implementing the Bavarian bollox, but is working on the North-London interpretation (with holding striker and who knows in the DM role….).

  • Hahahaha Gino, I love that comment. 🙂

    Do you know Arsene’s favourite shower songs? Non je ne regrette rien and that one by old blue eyes hahaha oh and ‘we are on the road to nowhere’…. You gotta love him. 🙂

    Can you provide us with the link?

  • Welcome takucube 🙂

    Good points and fine formations. But Wenger has a new plan and knows the players he chose and developed a lot better than us…. Let’s sit back and enjoy the ride.

  • I agree with the need for giving other players a chance. Especially since the regulars are suffering from injuries and an overburdening schedule. And your reasoning for fielding each of the starting 11 is sound.
    But I fear that with such drastic changes, the players will not have enough time to adjust to the formations let alone give a standout performance against Villa. on attack, there’s a lot of speed but no real finishing threat. I think it’s better to field Podolski instead of Campbell. On DM position, Chanbers may yet prosper, but fielding 6 defenders risks the chance of getting another one on the injury sidelines, so I prefer using Flamini on that position (Chambers gives the same versatility as Hayden from the bench).
    At last, I’m not surprised Wenger didn’t approve of your revolutionary suggestions. But it’s always great to have someone even suggest it to him.

  • Can’t believe I missed all the fun last night been feeling a bit shit like Cockie got the chloroform out for just long enough not to kill me but fuck me up for long a couple of days.
    Nice post Steve and you must be slowing losing your marbles mate Wenger will never ever ever do that (I know preferred) but I wish he would although I would tinker personell as don’t think with extra centre back you need a DM hence why it’s perfect for us our ‘full backs’ play as wing backs IMO anyway so the extra CB Chambers anyway will plug that gap that Kos and BFG like to leave wide open like Cockies back door when he’s watching pornos.
    Totes I can’t believe on current form you would rather play Ozil than Ox on current form I think the only problem with Ox is he wants to play centrally and comes in field a lot where I feel he is best placed and with Rambo not firing I think he shoul get the nod in there and Campbell for for Arteta moving Ozil in field with the bosses formation
    Tuomaster welcome and solid idea diamond but we have too many central players we would have no width or have more square pegs in round holes it doesn’t suit our squad to get width we would have a DM Flamini or Arteta then CAM would pick from Santi, Ozil, JW, Rambo etc or play them wide and have the Ozil factor week in week out both sides it just doesn’t suit our squad.
    Not predicting today cause I don’t care I just want 3pts from anyone that gets on the field today.

  • H bo, hope you are feeling a bit better now? 🙂

    Nothing wrong with Ozil’s form, just the final ball needs improving. Ox is a prospect waiting to happen, and it ain’t happening yet as far as I can see.

  • great post Steve. Can’t do it justice, and comment too much, as I would get banned from the site if I put in print how I feel towards Mr. Wenger right now.

    There is no way Wenger will deploy your idea. He is a tactical clown, and never learns from his mistakes.

    The most stubbornest of Frenchmen.

  • Gerry, I truly believe it would be a great night sat with you round the poker table with a couple of beers discussing tactics and formations – i bet the hours would fly by mate!
    Excellent read on a saturday morning mate and im still trying to inwardly digest it all with my cuppa tea – btw i did skim those links but cheekily knew you or someone else may give a good summary based on them lol – glad to see it was you mate.
    I see your point but my theory however is that when i change formation i take it for granted that i would be likewise changing the roles of players within that formation and so change the pattern of development up the pitch when the morphing takes place – it does make a lot of difference. I will try and show you what i mean for the example i gave in the post for a defensive counter attacking 3-5-2 against Villa: (btw you start off with 11 players in your formation and end up with 10 – did one get red carded?)

    Yours are on the left, my version on the right:

    ——————————Gk————————— ———————-GK—————————
    —————-CB1———-DM———–CB2——– ———CB1——-CB2———–CB3———
    RWB——–MF————–B2B—–MF——-LWB RWB——B2B——DM—–-B2B——-LWB
    ———————AMF———————————- ———————STR—————————
    —————————————-STR————— ——————————STR——————

    Morphs to; Morphs to;
    ——————————–Gk————————- ———————-GK—————————
    —————-CB1————————-CB2——– ———CB1——-CB2———–CB3———
    ——————————-DM————————- —————–——DM—–———————-
    ————————————B2B—————— ————————–—–-B2B—————–
    RWB———————————————–LWB RWB——B2B———————-——-LWB
    ———————AMF——————–AMF———- ———————————STR—————–
    —————————-STR—————————– —————STR———————————-

    Morphs to;
    ——————————–Gk————————— ——————————–Gk—————————
    —————-CB1————————-CB2———– ——————————-CB2————————–
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – halfway line- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -– – – halfway line- –
    ——————————-DM—————————– ——————————-DM—————————
    ———————AMF————————————– ———RWB————-——B2B—————B2B
    RWB————————–STR————————– ——–———STR—————–STR—————–
    ——————————————————–LWB— ——————————————————–LWB
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -goal line- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -goal line- – – – –

    However it develops i would always force the three CB’s to stay deep and the DM to stay just above the half way line. It then gives the front six the opportunity to score knowing that if they loose possession the other team have nothing to break into apart from three CB’s and a DM hounding them all the while they are breaking. It creates a lot of space for the other team to break into granted but we would have enough cover to keep them more static in that space while our players get back.
    Attacking wise, two out and out strikers and two scoring B2B players with a wing back for support should be more than enough to pose a threat from any balls hit across the goal line from the other wing back (or however the attack develops). 6 in attack and 4 in defense – seems a lot more balanced then the 7 in attack and 3 in defense we use now with one of those 3 being a high positioned weak DM.
    This is how i see the situation when we attack atm (on the left)
    ——————————–Gk————————— ——————————–Gk—————————
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – halfway line- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -– – – halfway line- –
    —————AMF———-B2B——————-——— ———RWB————-——B2B—————B2B
    RWB————B2B————–STR———AMF—— ——–———STR—————–STR—————–
    ——————————————————–LWB— ——————————————————–LWB
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -goal line- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -goal line- – – – –

    At the moment the formation on the left is what we end up with, with Jack and Ozil looking for passes Ramsey as the B2B along side the striker and an AMF in Sanchez looking to make runs.
    It is very attacking but also very congested with a lot of players indecisive on whether to stick or twist as many are performing two roles. If it works then great its very attacking and should net a lot of goals but it comes at the cost of looking insanely weak against counter attacks – At the moment i see only one side of that happening and we are not netting the goals to compensate for the fragility on the counter.
    That is why i decided to post this particular formation against a team who are known for their counter attacking style.
    I hope you can see the difference, for me a players tasked role and place in the formation does make a difference to where and how he operates during any morphing of that formation from defense to attack – As takucube said, just look at Ozil’s heat maps on the left – seems a bit weird from a player who has free license to roam and who prefers a position in the middle, i would think there is a reason for that.

  • Ignore that last post the formations look nothing like when i wrote them out – TA we need a preview comment function on this site lol.
    You won’t be able to make sense of that lot now sorry guys.

  • Minassie Alemayehu, I’ll keep suggesting them mate lol, hopefully this 4-1-4-1 will start working soon and Wenger can tell me he told me so lol

    H Bo, I wondered where you were last night, you’re normally here late when i’m about – hope you are feeling better.

    VCC, I hear you mate, what worries me the most is if we get beaten today i still don’t think he will rethink – keep dropping points untill it works, that will be fun lol

  • TA – I am only following on the ‘Player’ today, so I would not be able to do a match review.
    Just letting you know in advance, okay.
    By all means return to the Bavarian bollox later. It developed into post size as I wrote it 😀

    My line up today (confirmed by the pictures in training):

    Subs: Szcz; Arteta: Santi; Rosicky; Campbell; Welbeck; Ox

    Order of preference if we need to score:
    Rosicky for Rambo, (probably)
    Ox for Alexis,(probably)
    Welbeck/Campbell for Sanogo, (probably)

    Notice CB, Semi Ayigi in the photos, with Jebb’s shirt number(46) on?

  • Was Total, was. I fear he has seen his best days.

    Why can’t he see what the whole world can see?

    Head in the sand springs to mind.

  • Steve. 12:38

    Also, what worries me as well. If we win today, it will only paper over the cracks and Wenger will think it’s all OK. 😦

  • VCC, haha good point mate lol, all will be well again until we get battered against spurs, galatasary and then chelsea lol

  • I am trying me big comment from earlier again re Gerry’s big comment earlier, it doesn’t look as good and is a bit harder to grasp the illustrations but i hope it works this time at least lol

    Gerry, I truly believe it would be a great night sat with you round the poker table with a couple of beers discussing tactics and formations – i bet the hours would fly by mate!
    Excellent read on a saturday morning mate and im still trying to inwardly digest it all with my cuppa tea – btw i did skim those links but cheekily knew you or someone else may give a good summary based on them lol – glad to see it was you mate.
    I see your point but my theory however is that when i change formation i take it for granted that i would be likewise changing the roles of players within that formation and so change the pattern of development up the pitch when the morphing takes place – it does make a lot of difference. I will try and show you what i mean for the example i gave in the post for a defensive counter attacking 3-5-2 against Villa: (btw you start off with 11 players in your formation and end up with 10 – did one get red carded?)

    —————-STR————— IIII–——————————STR—————-

    Morphs to;———————————————–Morphs to;———————
    ———AMF——–AMF———-IIIIII ———————————STR————–

    Morphs to;———————————————-Morphs to;———————–
    – – – – halfway line- – – -IIIIIIIIII– –– – – – -– – – halfway line- – – – – – – – –
    —AMF—————–B2B– IIIIIIIIII——————————————————
    – – – -goal line- – – – – – IIIIIIIIII – – – – – – – – -goal line- – – – – – – – – – –

    However it develops i would always force the three CB’s to stay deep and the DM to stay on the half way line. It then gives the front six the opportunity to score knowing that if they loose possession the other team have nothing to break into apart from three CB’s and a DM hounding them all the while they are breaking. It creates a lot of space for the other team to break into granted but we would have enough cover to keep them more static in that space while our players get back.
    Attacking wise, two out and out strikers and two scoring B2B players with a wing back for support should be more than enough to pose a threat from any balls hit across the goal line from the other wing back (or however the attack develops). 6 in attack and 4 in defense – seems a lot more balanced then the 7 in attack and 3 in defense we use now with one of those 3 being a high positioned weak DM.

    – – – – – – – halfway line- – –III– – – – – – -– – – halfway line- – – – –
    – – – – – – -goal line- – – – – -IIII- – – – – – – – – –goal line- – – – –

    At the moment the formation on the left is what we end up with, with Jack and Ozil looking for passes Ramsey as the B2B along side the striker and an AMF in Sanchez looking to make runs.
    It is very attacking but also very congested with a lot of players indecisive on whether to stick or twist as many are performing two roles. If it works then great its very attacking and should net a lot of goals but it comes at the cost of looking insanely weak against counter attacks – At the moment i see only one side of that happening and we are not netting the goals to compensate for the fragility on the counter.
    That is why i decided to post this particular formation against a team who are known for their counter attacking style.
    I hope you can see the difference, for me a players tasked role and place in the formation does make a difference to where and how he operates during any morphing of that formation from defense to attack – As takucube said, just look at Ozil’s heat maps on the left – seems a bit weird from a player who has free license to roam and who prefers a position in the middle, i would think there is a reason for that.

  • Predicted line up

    chambers BFG Koz Gibbs
    Sanchez Rambo Jack Ozil

    Maybe Flam for Atreta, and Ox for Jack if not fit enough

  • TA, My PREDICTED line up is exactly the same as yours.
    It played mid week and managed to create about 3 half chances in 90 mins and looked under threat of counter attack every second – going up against a team that likes to play fast counter attacking football again today, why would we change a thing! 😆

  • Great team Wenger has picked today, i like it! I like it alot!

    Aston Villa
    01 Guzan
    23 Cissokho
    06 Clark
    21 Hutton
    14 Senderos
    16 Delph
    08 Cleverley
    15 Westwood
    10 Weimann
    18 Richardson
    11 Agbonlahor
    05 Okore
    07 Bacuna
    24 Sánchez
    28 N’Zogbia
    31 Given
    34 Lowton
    40 Grealish
    01 Szczesny
    03 Gibbs
    06 Koscielny
    21 Chambers
    04 Mertesacker
    17 Sánchez
    11 Özil
    16 Ramsey
    08 Arteta
    19 Cazorla
    23 Welbeck
    07 Rosicky
    09 Podolski
    10 Wilshere
    13 Ospina
    15 Oxlade-Chamberlain
    24 Abou Diaby
    34 Coquelin

  • TA,
    How do you know Wenger favorite “shower” songs? Hahaha… 🙂
    But you are correct, he will NEVER any regret about how he deploys his players and sets out the team! This is either a sign of an extremely stubborn and stuck-up man or a sign of a truly great man that deeply believe in something and will never compromise that belief. No matter what…

    I would love to be a fly on the wall and listen to the Great Arsene Wenger singing in the shower. That would be amazing! 🙂

  • @ Gerry, September 20, 2014 at 07:55

    The 4-1-4-1 is explained as you have summarised.

    Briefly, it is to create an overload in our attacking 3rd when our team are either attacking or defending. That ideology is to get quick transition in that area, which would lead to either goal scoring chances or forcing mistakes by the opposition when they are distributing the ball in a dangerous area.
    At the same time, when we have possession from our defensive 3rd, our midfield general (single pivot) will look to distribute passes effectively (short, long, direct) and have a 360 spatial awareness of the movement and position of his other 9 outfield teammates, as well as the spaces left for them to be exploited in opposition territory.
    When we are defending, our midfield general should become somewhat similar to a “liberio”/sweeper: barking out orders, pointing/gesticulating his team-mates (when they lose concentration) to close down opposition’s passing lanes and movement into spaces that will threaten our goal.

    The 2 lead actors are still the two (1)s in the 4-(1)-4-(1), with the rest the supporting cast:
    Our holding midfielder(midfield general/”single pivot”) and our main striker/forward.

    The main striker/forward could be either a link-man or a natural killer-instinct type. (Giroud, Mandzukic, Lewandowski, Messi, Klose, Aguero etc)
    In both cases, their per chance/goal conversion rate has to be of high percentage (20% to 30% or above) and shot accuracy (60% and above). What Giroud/Welback has to improve is, every goal scoring chance that comes his way, he must at least test the GK, get his shots on target. (the supporting cast, i.e. 4 advanced midfielders, should be looking to profit from GK knockouts, rebounds coming their way, deflections etc).
    Giroud/Welback need not be our top scorer at the end of the season but his contribution at main striker/forward with a better chance/goal conversion and shot accuracy in matches can help in our final league placing and runs at cups.

    The current Top 5 (my personal view) who would have the ideal midfield general/holding midfielder in our team, should our manager persevere with his vision of the 4-(1)-4-1 :

    (1) Daniele De Rossi (for AS Roma & Italy). A complete midfielder (in defending & attacking) who can also play sweeper.

    (2) Javier Mascherano (for Barcelona & Argentina). Argentina’s best player in their run to the final in WC2014. {One of the best player in WC, Arjen Robben, will testify that when Mascherano made his goal-saving slide tackle against him in the SF.}

    (3) Bastian Schweinsteiger (for Bayern Munich & Germany). The “midfield mastermind”, a superb reader of the game and the heartbeat in Germany’s WC winning team.

    (4) Xabi Alonso (for Real Madrid/Bayern Munich & Spain). A prime manipulator of play, who dictates the pace with consummate ease. He is the slightly stronger version of our own’s Mikel Arteta, defensively and offensively. (A reason that Pep signed him for Bayern Munich as an option to rotate with Schweinsteiger).

    (5) Nemanja Matic (Chelsea & Serbia). He is (1) of the 2 main men in the Chelsea line-up as is Diego Costa. 4-(1)-4-(1). They will be winning when both are playing in their top form.

    The up and coming players who could prosper as excellent holding midfielders eventually are: Kevin Strootman (AS Roma & Netherlands), Ilkay Gundogan (Dortmund & Germany), Koke (A. Madrid & Spain).

  • right getting close to the start of the game, time to take my moaners hat off and stick my supporters hat on.

  • Well i dont know about you guys. But those 2 goals just felt amazingly great, go Prince Igor!

  • Now thats what i am talking about..
    Ozil on form and up for the fight, good to see the man back to his best.

  • Well that is nice football and how well are Welbeck and Ozil playing! Ramsey was also getting better the longer the game went on, and so close in the end. 🙂

    Now lets build on this and stay calm in 2nd half. Not over yet.

  • I got Arsenal at 19/1 for a 3-1 win, i can cash out now but i want more. I have got my money back for a bet on over 2.5 goals so its looking good.
    opps caps

  • It is great that Dat Guy Danny is on the score sheet. He is up and running, really it is great 2 players that we needed to score and find form have.
    Great stuff Totes

  • Brilliant attacking play today but it was Wojciech Szczesny who made a crucial save at 0:0, he deserves a special credit.

    Welbeck and Özil have ran the show so far, both of them needed their goals.

  • It would wise to get though this match with no injuries and give a few a little rest after a lot of games in a short time.

  • The lads won me a £10 not much, but i am sure you will agree getting paid a £10 to watch that aint bad.

  • Adieu you woeful French manager?… Oops, sorry, wrong match (Toon nil – Hull 2)…

  • Oh, wait… Toon have pulled one back…

    Easy Phillipe… Don’t hurt our guy even if we’d be better off w/o him….

    Smart move PG– Even though we’re doing it with possession, I fancy a clean sheet. Agreed that the Sir Chez save was big…And he did it by staying big…

    Finally, it looks like I have a lot of reading before I can weigh in on the formations/personnel ideas above…

    Rambo, limping when he kicks the ball out for a corner (but fine otherwise…) comes off, Wilshere on, Lulu too…(for DW) and Sicky for Ox-Cham…

  • Clark – should have been sent off, less chances to get he ball on a tackle like this than chances to break the attackers’ ankle or leg.

  • Tu 17,
    I manages win a little more on this game after that, just collecting a little at a time works quite well 😉

  • Agreed, alcide… That yellow should’ve at been an orange… Jack, I think felt the challenge early and maybe put himself in danger going down as it was happening…

    Speaking of yellows…I believe CC-21 got some good experience with his early yellow…

    Toon have leveled it in the Ligue 1 match…

  • Just 3 points behind Chelsea now, if they lose or draw with City we are right back in the mix already 🙂

  • Alcide… Agreed (my attempt at rhyming poetry)… The confidence Rambo has with his first touch–for me–is the reason I like to see him further forward. They are typically adventurous and often heavy. As such they can make for goal scoring chances…for either team. I breathe easier when he senses a bit of space and commits to multiple touches–in the middle of the park, at least. Best chance of this half was maybe the throughball from Ox which AR left behind?… Or maybe this late burst of one-touch footie that dies with the same pass that Gibbs got the OG on earlier…

    Finishes 3-nil…Ah well…

    Lotsa draws today, it appears (for you UMFers…) but Fabianski couldn’t prevent the Bony red from hurting his team… Both early season “surprise” teams losing at home today…

  • What a bunch of geniuses we are!
    We say put Ozil in the middle and bring on OX and look what he did! and what the result has been!
    Finally Arsene is reading bergkampesque, about bloody time.

    Ramsey is still way off form, never seen such shit passing from him and Arteta looked a bit doggy when villa were actually attacking.
    I personally would have made the Rosicky switch for Cazorla not OX as he was fucking brilliant today but hey i’m not complaining i got quite a few of my many changes i called for 🙂

  • Ox did okay, Steve, and was definitely not better than Ramsey today, from what I could see of the match. But yes it was good to see him play and be industrious…

  • TA, What????
    I just watched the whole match, Ramsey had quite an off day mate! OX was great mate, sorry don’t know what match you where watching lol.

    Ozil spent a huge amount of time in that middle area mate (GOAL), but on the assist yes he did move out onto the wing side but he had the FREEDOM to do it because some other poor sod (Cazorla) had the task of being in the wing area and helping the full back.
    I will have to see if i can find a heat map later 🙂

  • It appears (the other…) Steve or Gerry might be up for the Match report, TA–I just cannot write that much (heheheheheh, as Henry might say)… The preview (up currently) was for the CoC?… I remain with (a lot of) reading to do before I can weigh in…

    Looks like it was one of our DM prospects (still on loan at So’ton…) who got the ball past Fabs… VW (which in my day stood for “car of the people”)… Our young guys from the coast (the two Chambos) did well today… Ramsey, on balance did just fine…I just think he needs to simplify rather than always push with such confidence–esp. re his first touches… Imagine what Ozil could do if he only cared…. 😦 😀 😉 Damn, I miss the old smileys…

    So…Good combos today between Danny and Messy and it all happened in a flurry. Ramsey and Santi single touches (and the linesman keeping his flag down) turned Defense into offense on the first goal (started by the BFG…) Rambo was unlucky to have “his” goal (our 3rd) stolen by the defender, but the constant running was at the heart of it…

    Big takeaway from the whole thing? Dortmund > Villa (perhaps?…) Now let’s see if WHU can do what the Villains did a week ago… 😀

  • Ramsey did a lot of good work off the ball, just like Ox. He also had a peach of a pre-assist for the first goal, and a good pre-assist for the second….. But yes he also had some bad balls today. Definitely one of his better performances this season, though… with room for improvement.

    I did not think Ox was great but decent and industrious, and he got better in the second half.

  • I won’t comment TA, you and me obviously watched two completely different games lol
    Off to watch West Ham, toodle roo 🙂

  • WHU 1 – Pool Nil “Liverpool undone once again from a set piece”… Geez, where have I heard that before?…

    Totes… Thanks for the invitation to write something… I worried it might never come… Another series of smileys needed…

    I can’t do justice to the match and I really don’t understand all the formation talk (beyond Gerry noting how they’re all about the same if you play 4 at the back). Also, I wouldn’t want to oversell the contributions of the Spaniards today… More smileys…

    WHU 2-Pool nil… Sakho chipped with a finisher waiting at the far post… Alex Song doing it all in MF?…

  • Balo head to head with WHU Keeper… Yellows given… but then lotsa love…

    The other day I tried to troll y’all about the idea that our troubles stem from Ramsey and Alexis both trying to do too much and thus clogging the spaces which the “observer” types (Mesut Ozil in particular) might try to fill. With Alexis (and Wilshere) rested today (and another wise-watcher, Santi given a run-out) we looked a lot better… I’d like to say the result proves my point, but it all could’ve gone (very) funky if their set piece chance hadn’t been saved by our keeper… (I also mentioned that the first goal would be key, but that’s like saying Alexis has a nice tan and/or an attractive GF…) Over time, I think it’s a good problem to have, but a problem (perhaps) nonetheless…

    And so, I try again… though I fear my time zone doesn’t work with some of the new posters around here…

    Match report, tentative title: Villa nil – Arsenal 3: Wenger (Finally, For Once…) Gets It Right, Cracks Papered Over, Doom More Certain Than Ever (?)…

    Balo (re)bound, Sterling put-back…. WHU 2 – Pool 1

  • Song gets his new team to the 70th minute and gets a nice round of applause as he comes off… Still 2-1…

  • So Spurs have a cvhance to go 1 point above us if they beat west brom tomw, which hopefully they won’t. The we face them next weekend, it will be a good match, we should have to much for them.

  • The Bindippers have lost 3 games this season and we have lost none, yet they are still only 3 points behind us !….this is because of Wenger`s ineptness of not being able to beat Everton, Leicester and Mansour City !…..we have to thank Villa today for somehow contracting a virus this week, which had an effect on them playing at the speed of “The Walking Dead” zombies, which made us look like a pressing team !. hahaha
    Did I mention we…..sorry, Arsene, has £173.3M under his mattress !.
    I`m with my mate VCC and to tell the truth, when he talks dirty about Arsene, I somehow get aroused !. hahaha
    Wenger has been a great bank manager for us and almost single handidly has put us in a great financial position, but it`s time for a proper coach/manager now to take us that step further !.
    I don’t want to have to abuse him, as he is a legend of the past, but it`s like the Fabregas situation, I`m sure we all loved him as an Arsenal player and even wished him well at Barca, but now he`s at the Chavs I want him…..not too die, but to suffer an injury which will end his playing career so that he can just have a comfortable life style while shagging plenty of pussy with his well earned millions !.
    It`s the same with Wenger, he`s got millions in the bank and I don’t want too much harm to him, but just enough to make him take an upstairs appointment of maybe a leisurely legends tour, like Perry. So it`s best I get the chloroform out and drag him up into his loft where I`m squatting and inject nitroglycerin into his bollocks !… more inept Transfer Window and BOOOM !…..Arsene will become Arsellina and probably hang around the Emirates at night as…The Phantom Zipper Fiddler !.
    Don’t worry !….I`m qualified with the Hypodermic Syringe !….remember when VCC had erectile dysfunction problems and visited Dr Glic !……I used my trusted award winning Thermometer Boner Treatment procedure of injecting mercury into his knackers !. The more his missus rubbed his knackers, the harder the boner !…….yes, he did have an all night boner once when his wife forgot to turn the electric blanket off and yes, there was the time he was arrested walking past the school gates on the hottest summers day and yes, he`s not allowed on the beaches in Essex and allowed to be chef at the Womens Institute BBQ`s and ……all right all right, there`s glitch in the procedure, but I`m working on The Anti-Boner Freeze Spray !.

    I bet Total could do with some of my Anti-Boner Freeze Spray or a club hammer, when he sees his dream boat DM Beast……Alex Song playing for the `ammers and on loan as well !…..did Arsene miss a trick there !……here`s some chloroform Totes, you know you want too !. hahaha

  • Only saw MotD, but delighted for Ozil and Welbeck…

    Great to see Mesut playing in his proper position and playing so well.

    Most pleasing for me was the clean sheet.
    Something to build on and for our defence to take confidence from…

    And of course, let’s all laugh at Liverpool… 😆

  • Thanks Steve on the reply to my big post … and spotting my missing player ha ha.
    That’s what you get for trying to be too clever.
    Yes, I saw the point you were making about the 3 CB’s in the post, but with Monreal out with a TV5 injury(i.e. indefinite return date), the system could have fitted the B. Munich model?

    JM thanks for the extra interpretation. I sort of assumed the striker would automatically be an important player at the business end of things, while I was looking at the transitional stages.
    They key point being in that the 4-1-4-1 line, the advanced line of 4 is not a flat line,such as the back 4 would be defending. Within that wavy line, players have a dual, or even triple role to play with regards to, pressing, position, and movement forwards/backwards. That is where the pattern of formation becomes blurred, but the individuals have a specific role to play.

    I am yet to be convinced that the idea of stamping a formation on the team, and getting the players to fill the roles as needed, whether or not they are capable, is the best way forwards?
    I prefer an adaptation where the players who are best suited to the roles play, and you modify the platform to work with those who are not the ideal. Then, if a player comes along that can do the specific task, you move on to complete the progression with every one on board with the way you play. A bit like Dortmund, who have gone for a different approach?

    I will reserve my comments on the game until the review is out.

  • Interesting to note, both the two German victors in the CL failed to collect full points?
    BM had a 0-0 draw, despite chances against Hamburg.
    Dortmund, well the wheels came off completely, despite 64% possession, were beaten 2-0 by Mainz, helped by an OG from Ginter. They had a changed team too?
    It doesn’t auger well for Tottenham then?

    Incidentally, the Opta stats on possession has a little query in it, as revealed by Arseblog, in the ‘By Numbers’ blog this morning. That is that possession is worked out from the number of passes made?

  • Oh,one final thing. TGM keeps banging the anti-Arsene drum by replaying the figures quoted by other anti Arsenal outlets, I thought we need the facts on this site.

    Arsenal have cash reserves of £173.3m as of last APRIL, as that was the year ending figures for the 2013/14 season.
    Since then we have bought 5 new players for a net spend of £60m, plus the first years wages for those players, plus improved contracts to others, plus general wage rises to the broader off-field staff, leaving our cash reserves going into the January window with approximately £50m, plus anything else earned over and above the operating costs from the current year’s income. If we are still in the CL for example, that may add another £30m if we get beyond the Group stage. But as that cannot be guaranteed at the moment, £50m is the ‘mattress’ money. Don’t be misguided by the bitter and twisted, who are everywhere it seems?

  • Anti-Arsene !…….With the Nitroglycerin injected testicles…….it will soon be more like Aunty Arsene !.
    These are the facts, Bypass !……I like a laugh and a wind up, whether other BKers like to do so is up to them, but I`ve a gut feeling 99.9999% do !. You need to be injected with some grinning Emmanuel Eboue DNA, you will then be infected with the ……Eboue Virus !. hahaha

  • Exactly, Bypass !………..”If it looks like they have no sense of humour, talks with no sense of humour, writes with no sense of humour, then it probably is a sad miserable bastard !.” hahaha

  • Cockie 🙂

    Not everyone likes your sense of humour, and if you dish out towards Wenger and Arsenal like you like to do, you should accept to be challenged on it. Let’s be big boys about this.

  • wheres the match report TA?
    Its like you actually have a life and are not the blog making machine i think you are lol 🙂

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