Chelsea v Arsenal: Match Review & Player Summaries

Chelsea v Arsenal

the

Verdict

Le shove

Le shove

 

Well let us get the nasty bit out of the way first. We lost.

Why did we lose?

The simple answer to that is, because Chelsea did the necessary things better than us.

They defended better.

They scored when the opportunity came their way.

We defended well.

We had some chances, but not clear cut, or with accurate shots.

They had 11 players. So did we.

Were their players better than ours …. Best not go there?

But let me give an overview of how things went, and come back to individuals.

The kick off was delayed by 15 minutes as Arsenal fans coming into the ground were either discovered to have flares with them (presumably from departing Galatasaray fans?), or one or more were let off before they got in. Either way, it meant that the players had some minutes to kill, having done all the warm-ups. However, AW asked the ref if they could go out on the pitch again. This granted, we had the bizarre situation of the Chelsea team lining up from the dressing room side meeting our lot coming the other way off the pitch.

AW did have another surprise in store .. he changed our line up for this game!

Out went the 4-1-4-1, in came the 4-3-3. Team was this:

Szcz, CC21, Mert, Gibbs – Santi, Le Flam, JW10 – Mesut, Welbz, Alexis

With the front three helping out in defence, it was something for Chelsea to think about. No doubt about it, for nearly half an hour we gave as good as we got.

Alexis got a shot away from distance, which went wide. Around the 10 minute mark, Wilshere played a delightful ball for Alexis to run on to, but his first touch was a tad heavy, and Courtois came out to gather it near the edge of the box. Alexis tried to jump over him when he realised he couln’t stop, at the same time as the ‘keeper tried to carry the ball clear, rugby style, ball in chest head down. His momentum forwards took the side of his head into direct contact with Alexis’s oncoming hip bone. Whilst he looked uncomfortable, he did not seem to be knocked unconscious. The club doctor duly allowed him to continue.

When play got underway again, Chelsea were probing our defence mostly through Hazard down the left. Remarkably, Costa hardly had a touch during the first half, and Fabregas was not receiving the ball very often either. So apart from the usual type of niggly fouls, it was pretty even-Steven. But then Cahill came on to Alexis late and dangerous, possibly as a result of the Courtois clash, which was very accidental. This was not! Not only a clash right knee to left knee, he followed through, studs up on Alexis’s standing leg. Very lucky to get just a yellow?

That sparked the off-field clash between AW and Moo. In order to get to the injured Alexis, AW had to walk in front of the Chelsea dugout. Moo tried to push him back, and things became heated when AW returned the push with interest. Both were warned by the ref that next time it would be the naughty chair in the stands.

Relations did not improve, and the 4th referee was well occupied in keeping them apart.

Things on the pitch carried on much the same, with Calum preventing Hazard from breaking away in the clear, and he took his 5th card ‘for the team’, and is now banned from the Hull game after the interlul.

Then Moo was having a charades moment when Szcz was about to take a GK to alert the ref that Courtois was in need of help. With apparently blood coming out of his ear, possibly suggesting a fractured skull, he left in an ambulance for a precautionary scan. The meant Cech came on wearing his head protector. Perhaps they should all wear one?

Chelsea seemed to step up the pace a little then, and although Fabregas will be credited with the assist for the goal that followed, he actually did little more than pass the ball to Hazard. The rest was all Hazard. A quick start got him past Santi on the edge of box, change of direction took him away from a reluctant challenge of Chambers. This left Kos to stick out the obligatory leg to give away the penalty, which he dispatched with ease. Kos was a tad lucky to only see yellow, but it was the presence of Gibbs in the box that probably saved him.

This time we did not go ‘mad for it’ trying to level the score, amid the multiple fouls from both sides, including a head clash between Kos and Hazard. Luckily Kos’s cheekbone is made of sterner stuff and he was able to continue. Towards the end of the half you got the sense that Chelsea were the happier to get in and regroup as we pressed more and more.

The second half carried on where the first left off, with fouls and cards following each other. Chances were fewer and farther between. Santi sent a shot wide after nice build up play. At the other end, Szczesny made a super reflex save at his near post when Hazard(again) beat Chambers to the byline, got the cross in at pace, which hit Santi on the knee: it was going to be a fluky own goal but for the gloved hand snapping out to turn it around for a corner.

Surprising substitution was made when Ox came on for Santi, who was not a happy bunny: understandably, as he was having a very effective game. The logical choice would have been Ozil, but it was not him; or Jack, who was having a good game, but opened up the argument of when he plays, he plays down the middle, and either takes space away from Ozil to run into, or forces him to operate wide. However, with Ox on in the middle, and Jack out to the wing, it seemed, at the time, to be the worst way of trying to reconstruct all the good things that came out of the Galatasaray Game?

They responded with Mikel for Schurrle, and were prepared to shut up shop.

However we were keeping steady pressure on them until Fabregas did his second thing of note. From the middle of his own half, Cesc flicks the ball over to the middle of our half, where Costa lurked between Kos and Per, and beat them both for pace. He finished it off with a nice touch that drew Szcz out into no man’s land, and lobbed the ball over him.

Having kept him quiet for an hour, this was the kiss of death. Alexis was subbed almost immediately, who was equally miffed at coming off, given it was Poloski who replaced him. Not quite replacing like with like regards work rate? And a few minutes later, Jack was replaced with Rosicky.

Chelsea replaced Oscar with Willan, who had just been booked.

It ended 2-0.

The stats tell much of the story: 60% possession, twice as many shots – 10 to their 5 – but crucially 3 of their 5 were on target, and we had none.

Sorry, I write that again: 94 minutes and not one shot on target?

They edged us with the most fouls – 14 to our 10, and cards to a similar ratio – 4 to our 3.

The last one to get a yellow was Welbeck on Fabregas. A two footed, studs up lunge at that. The Cahill yellow earlier may have saved ref Atkinson some ‘Untold grief would it have been a red, which to be frank, they both deserved?

That was the story of the game. Players all came away with some credit, although Ozil had a bit of a ‘mare, mostly losing possession. He had two things different today from his previous good games. A, The players moved off the ball quite well, but were also marked a lot better by the Chelsea defenders. B, Jack Wilshere.

Szczesny – had his reflex save, two shots straight at him, and the goal. Whatever he did, he probably would not have saved from the ‘Killer’.

Gibbs – Usual good stuff in defence, and got more use made of him in the second half.

Chambers – after his booking followed Hazard like a shadow. Given the difference in their experience, it was a great shift he put in.

Mertersacker – Masterclass of controlling our back line.

Kos – unlucky with the pen, but never gave an inch in defence, but Costa just had too much pace.

Flamini – amazingly missed a booking. More by luck, but still a solid game.

Wilshere – was behind much of Arsenal’s best approach work, and tried his best to change the script. One more game showing an all round improvement.

Cazorla – far from being ‘found out’, he worked his socks off. He was always quick to get away from defenders, and with quick passes he had one of his best games for so little reward.

Ozil – it seemed he could barely do the simple things right, and with the German team manager there to watch? Definitely a game to forget … and that is being kind?

Welbeck – found this much tougher but it did not stop him trying

Alexis – he was here, there, and everywhere. Not quite as effective going forward, but at least he made the defenders work hard.

Ox – strangely went into the middle when he came on, but did join up with Calum down the right some of the time. Not a lot happened for him though.

Rosicky – was also only fleetingly looking like the player of last year.

Podolski – would have had more openings early on, but they were closing the shop when he came on and he never really got his foot in the door.

Strange unused sub was Martinez? Presumably Ospina has travelled early for international duty?

Overall, we were beaten by a team who have all the players in the right boxes. We are still a couple away from that, but this was no 6-nil thrashing. The team worked hard and are much closer to them this time. Just two pieces of brilliance, the solo effort of Hazard, and the Cesc pass and Costa finish, was what separated the sides today. If anything, AW can look forward to the return fixture and a full strength squad as we progress some more.

Shame about the result, but full marks for effort.

Written by: Gerry.

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95 Responses to Chelsea v Arsenal: Match Review & Player Summaries

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Super stuff, Gerry, and many thanks for spending the time and effort to write it (never easy when we lose a game) 🙂

    I will sleep a night over it before I comment in more detail to your very fine and fair match review, but in general I agree with your summary of the game and assessments of the players. And I love your summary at the end. Cheers buddy.

  2. AB says:

    Great summary Gerry. A quick paste from the last entry, and I will come back on your post shortly.

    Evening chaps! Memories of discussing whisky and Edinburgh seem to have passed. I will book that drink with you TA, though not sure when at present – but I will be up next year some time for sure. Where are you planning on settling in southern Scotland? VCC, glad you are fond of Edinburgh, a truly beautiful place, but can be grim when the weather’s foul; best to forget such days, bit like today.

    I didn’t get to watch the game sadly, but listened on the radio as the kids messed about and argued over toys etc, and I’ve gone through the BBC record and stats since too – and I’ve passed now to watch MoTD. For those who say its just the same old, I think that’s an over-simplification, borne of immediate disappointment. We didn’t threaten much, but we competed – the highlights seem to have missed some of our better moments. But we have not given up or rolled over. Kos not at his best over either goal sadly.

    The simple fact is their team was better than ours. We had 5 first team players missing, but even so Chelski have been building with limitless funds for many years, and we have not. Being not as good as them doesn’t mean we are not progressing ourselves. We know the failings in our squad – they are no different after today. But we have played with more drive and purpose, and with some defensive (yes, tactical) discipline. Criticise the manager and players for being less than they are, but not when they have done what they can. Not how I wanted the weekend to end, but I can’t point the finger in all conscience at our side who tried all they might.

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    AB, not sure yet where exactly but will be looking for houses by the end of the month 😉

  4. AB says:

    Gerry, two further reflections. Firstly, from what I heard and have now seen, I think we played with a fair degree confidence – not an apologetic performance from a side who felt like they were playing against their ‘betters’; this is progress, we have looked beaten before the start in years gone by. Its also quite important in terms of the mindset of the squad – its not like we have come from a run of brilliant performances; but the team seem to me to believe in our ability in a way that they have not previously (i.e. of late), and we played our own game.

    Secondly, this systematic fouling that is coming our way needs to be addressed somehow. Of course if we had more bruisers in there it would be less of an issue. But we don’t, so we need a strategy to handle it. I’m not sure what this should be, but we need to be able to protect Jack et al, or else draw more cards for the fouls. It leaves me feeling we need to fight fire with fire in a more studied way against one or two of the opponents, or else we need a stronger policy of ref ‘influencing’ – I hate this personally, but we have to do something. I’d be interested in the views of others here.

  5. Retsub says:

    Nice write up and a pretty accurate summary of the game. Agreed both teams could have seen red and I would have given Terry one just for being Terry.

    Wasn’t overly impressed by Cesc’s performance. Ok he made the second, but we were pretty stretched by then.

    I did think however that the Cesc handball was definitely a penalty. The shot was either on target or pretty close to being on target and his hands were away from his body.. I seem to recall a similar incident in a European game (I think) at the Emirates where Cesc did similar as an Arsenal player and a pen was given.

  6. eddoe says:

    I m not happy if wilshere on the pitch despite he play well. He always mute the others like ozil, carzola even welbeck. He is not food for team. He always play as central role and single route. Please…. Even he is english, better he as sub.

  7. steve says:

    Excellent write up Gerry, leaving me with very little to add tbh.

    It was always going to be difficult with 10 men against 11 (maybe you could count Ozil as half but thats being generous).
    I beg you all to watch MOTD and ignore most of it but study their analysis of Oscar, a player in the same middle AM role as Ozil and look at the insane difference in work rate, closing down and tenacity (and thats from a player of the same slim type build). If we ignore all these deficiencies Ozil has and simply say we need him there because of his genius, touch and passing well what happens when all those qualities elude him completely like today?
    Should he be subbed early? half time? late on? No we’ll keep him on to the end and take off the exceptional battlers in midfield – no wonder they all looked so pissed off to be replaced, That was a travesty!
    Oh how different that game could have been if we had kept the 4-3-3 that was working very well actually but had OX instead of Ozil.

    Anyway i sound like a bloody record but to be fair he keeps playing the lazy arsehole so at least it always gives me something to moan about lol.

    Hard fought game today which i really enjoyed watching and i think we have improved considerably since our last meeting, just get rid of bug eyes please AW!

    OH and if 17HT is reading this, that’s what i mean by getting stuck in mate – all those niggly little fouls that chelsea kept doing, breaking our play up, stopping breaks and making it hard for us to play fluent football (and almost without any punishment the entire game). Thats what can make the difference, as it showed today, most of our team gave as good as they got but Ozil just refuses to put the effort in mate and thats why i don’t rate him – its not about stomping its about closing down and putting pressure on the opposition.

  8. steve says:

    eddoe, “He always mute the others like ozil, carzola”
    really? i thought Cazorla had an excellent game, one that i wasn’t really expecting if im truthful and they played off each other very well, but Ozil doesn’t need help being mute mate he’s got that covered all on his own 🙂

  9. Milo says:

    I think part of our problem is that we try to influence, or HAVE tried to influence officials too much in the past (Cesc included). I am NOT referring to Wenger shoving Mourinho, as I would have done much worse. We put our arms out and complain after almost every tackle in midfield. We do openly question the officials. Not every contact made on our players is a foul. We either have to suck it up, or our smaller players do have to start acting like bigger players and restrain, impede etc, the opposition in times of danger, or initiate SOMETHING. As far as I am aware, our players are equipped with studs…It might be time we started using them (more often when the match is in the balance). That will probably never happen (again) with Wenger in charge and however admirable that is, if winning is what you want without having to resort to such dubious tactics, I do not see that happening. That leaves us to rely on the officiating and where has that gotten Arsenal??? Not very far. As long as we can pull off the odd big result that fills us with pride, without having to initiate such violence and atrocities, I will be content. Cahill had no business finishing that match, and having seen Eduardo’s injury live, I can say for certain that I would never want any of our players to commit such a heinous act…Unless it’s on Terry, in all seriousness and honesty. What I would like to see is us waltzing away from such attempted, harmful tackles, with our heads held high and our mouths firmly sealed, unless Mourinho or Terry get in the way….Then we should go psycho.

  10. jnyc says:

    I thought Atkinson was fair, if not perfect… we couldn’t afford a double yellow on Chambers, or especially not a straight red on Danny.. but cescs was a hand ball… ive seen many just like that given… almost always, in the air, arms flailing unnaturally.

    I thought Koscielny was amazing all around, everywhere… such a warrior! my motm regardless of penalty.

    I like Ozil, I think he gets too much unfair criticism… but I think he cant hack it against Chelsea.. only Chelsea… I would find an excuse to rest him when we play them in future. I thought he should have been the first subbed off…with ox coming on…Santi should have taken his role.

    I like our team, I think we are building a great squad… to be complete by next season… we can still challenge this year…there will be so many teams taking points, manu, tottenham, everton, and even pool taking a few, not to mention all the other tough competition in this league every week. I expect low points totals for all top teams, maybe even Chelsea, but that’s less likely after their great start…

    Btw, NBCsports commentators did a good job too… LaSeaux very impartial, and not unkind to the Gunners… I guess they know there are a lot of both Arsenal and Chelsea supporters in the U.S.

    we need to go on a strong run, which I fully expect, starting now.. we had a hard schedule to start the season, and dropped too many points in draws we should have won.. we are still coming together with new players like danny and alexis… and the usual injury issues of course..
    but there is a shedload of champions league money at stake next year…more than ever– but personally I expect us to be right up there. The best is yet to come.

  11. Frozen says:

    Have to disagree with you re Jack. He had a few good turns and a couple decent plays but he would’ve been the first man off for me. A real waste considering it pushed Ozil to the wing (who I am not defending by any means– terrible game). Loved the fight of Santi however. Shame he was the first to go.

    Great write up otherwise. Not a bad game either. Like you said, we fought hard and could’ve created some real chances had one or two things gone our way. This chelsea team is a quality side. It’s going to take some real courage from the boys next time around if they want a result.

    On a different note, I think we’re really going to miss Debuchy. Not that Chambers isn’t adequate cover, just that Debuchy was starting to look a really exciting addition. But more so in the sense that it limits (if not entirely eliminates) one of Chambers most promising qualities: positional versatility. Hopefully his suspension will give Hector a chance to find his feet and–temporarily– lock down that RB so that Wenger can experiment with Chambers as DM… Which i personally think could absolutely reinvent the look of our midfield.

  12. Gerry says:

    Good morning all. First some apologies.
    Totes – thanks for the fine piece of editing. Sorry for the one very repetitious spelling mistake, I even change the ‘correct’ ones, without checking. Grrrr
    The stats I used was from the BBC report, and I assume their reference to ‘shots on target’ means one the keeper had to save? We did have several blocked around the edge of the box, including one inside the box by Cesc’s forearm.
    As TA says, it is difficult to be positive after a defeat, and I wanted to avoid report that sounded like we should be happy with a 2-0 defeat. So I stuck to the basic details. Unfortunately, most people had already posted comments to that effect by the time I finished.
    I had a ‘Santi’ moment when I read them 😀
    Also, I don’t do damning players on their performance if I can avoid it.

    Right on to the replies …

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning Gerry 🙂

    It is one thing to spout a post match comment, but writing a comprehensive and balanced MR is a totally different matter. You also managed to put your own angle on it, so well done Sir! 🙂

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    What does not surprise is the ind player bashing. The black hobby horses are out again. Our entire attack failed systematically but of course it is far easier to focus on Jack, or Ozil. And Santi played a good game apparently. It wasn’t him who let the Belgian walk past him when defending our D, was it? You win as a team and you lose as one.

  15. Gerry says:

    Thanks AB for both comments. I agree with your sentiment that it was not an apologetic performance, far from it.

    They seemed to have a great idea of how they were going to play, and executed with confidence. In the first half both backs kept to their defensive duties as the attacks were confined to the ‘front 3’ with Jack and Santi in support. And if the backs got involved, one tended to stay deeper … as was suggested in preview comments on here.

    The rotational fouling point you make, along with others, slightly gets it wrong if you are blaming one side. Yes Chelsea did commit more fouls, but that tends to go with the side that has less possession? We did our share of ‘niggly’ tackles, which on another day, another ref, would have seen more yellows. Gibbs did at least three, which if not individually were bookable offences, the collection would have earned a yellow? Flamini too, had a similar game. Jack was not without his collection either.
    This is what I meant by ‘giving as good as we got’.
    The Cahill tackle was something different. That should have been a straight read, and it might have changed the whole complexion of the game? It was only because it was early on that Atkinson took a lenient view, imo.
    That said, I don’t want the Welbeck challenge on Fabregas from our players either. Needless and stupid.
    I cannot agree with you on Kos on the goals conceded. On the first, Hazard’s touch was so good he would have reached the ball, and would have got a shot away before Gibbs got across. He still would have to beat the ‘keeper … But that is where we go into the realms of what might have been, as with the sending off above. Kos did what defenders do, make a decision.
    On the second goal both he and Chambers were our players kept back, and crucially, both on yellow cards? That is if you are thinking they should have fouled Costa straight away? Both had put in a real shift, but I doubt even when fresh they would have caught Costa. It is what he is good at, that quick burst of pace. Only Gibbs would have had a chance, but he was involved in our attack that broke down. It sucks because up to that point a draw looked within our grasp?

    I agree fully on the progress point, even if it gets submerged by the result.
    Cheers

  16. Gerry says:

    TA, I read your ‘defensive’ comments yesterday, and I think we are pretty much in agreement on most things here.
    Cheers

  17. Gerry says:

    eddoe – I know where you are coming from, and apologies if Steve took your ‘English’ at face value. Always difficult writing in a second language. I appreciate you trying.

    I tend to agree with you that Jack tends to choke other’s game by commanding the central ground. The trouble is Jack has many more supporters than Mesut does. So you don’t win friends from making the observation.
    That said, I think it is something AW is going to have to work on if he is to get the best out of both players? They do not sit as well together as say, Cazorla and Ozil, with Ozil having the primary central role? That is because Santi can accommodate him better by working around wherever Ozil moves to or from. Wilshere is much more ingrained in doing the vertical line.
    This why I say Wilshere had a good game being involved in what Arsenal did best at going forwards. He was there in the middle to pass and receive like a proper No10. Ozil is more subtle than that, which is why I think is the better player, less predictable, and quicker vision of where to play the ball from that ‘free role’ No 10.
    edde, you probably agree with me on that? Unfortunately we are in the minority.
    Thanks again for the comment, please be a regular, HT and I need your support 😀

  18. Gerry says:

    Milo – I know what you are saying, but I think it is more a thing of the past. Jack being one of those serial pleaders has got beyond that now, and is much more likely to get on with it.

    You almost seem to argue against yourself regards to us using studs. As such I dislike the comments regarding it, and you give a perfect example as to why it should not happen ..
    Even to John Terry, however much we might dislike him.

  19. Gerry says:

    jnyc – I think you have some interesting points there.

    From memory, I think ‘Untold had Atkinson as the least biased referee on their studies.
    Either that, or he just hates both sides equally 😆
    But I think he was pretty even handed, if not always correct. That said, there does seem a general pull back from the very strict view that refs had last season on dangerous tackles? Could this be club influenced because of the amount of suspensions?

    I did not mention the penalty claim in the report because it goes down the ‘what might have been’ route. I wanted to keep it strictly to how things happened. That said, it does very much come under the heading of ‘ ..seen them given’.
    However, Cesc’s arms were not ‘flailing’, but they were up and away from his body. Now whether he moved his arm towards the ball, or had his arms up in the defensive position, is the moot point. I would go for the latter, and ‘ball to hand’ is what the ref would say?

    I agree on Kos, but up there with the team for ‘Men of the Match’.

    Yes, Ozil does get unfair criticism, and even in this game he did have the odd good thing go for him. What I found infuriating was him continually losing possession, which is normally one of his strengths? Other parts of his game there my be reasons why he hasn’t performed? I said in the report he was the obvious one to come off first. I do think AW was trying to recreate the magic from him, and keep Wilshere on … and why it backfired. Easy with hindsight to say Ox should have started, and left Ozil on the bench, but remember Ox has had a couple of really tough games in a short space of time, and may be AW thought he and Rosicky would make good impact subs if we were still 0-0?
    The dreaded ‘what might have been’s’ again

    Agreed on ‘building a great squad’, and even Souness gave us credit for getting ‘stuck in’.
    Cheers

  20. Gerry says:

    Frozen Thanks for the comments. I am a bit yes and no regards Jack.

    If it were me, probably go the route you suggest, but not because he had a bad game, but for the reasons I gave eddoe above. Jack, being in that central role, clearly he was going to be involved in most of our attacking, switching play from one side then the other. But yes, Santi was the guy doing the running about, and very, very unlikely to be the first sub.

    As for Chambers at DM? That may well be AW’s aim. I think he may need the occasional trial from the bench before we commit him to that role. He does have that Flamini-esque talent for getting cards? As for RB, I think Coquelin is a strong contender for it, but with Walcott back, Bellerin may be the better marriage of skills?
    Cheers

  21. Gerry says:

    TA – Good morning. Yes I know what you mean about the post, but it might have been a different one had I written it this morning.

    That said, and catching your follow up comment on Santi. I think you do him a disservice on the goal. Hazard is a tricky player, and he got away quickly. Santi did put a foot out but he has not got the long legs of Kos or Chambers to the professional foul thing? I take the view that it was Hazrd’s quick thinking that got him through … little guy on the left, Chambers on a booking, Kos to beat in the area … all done in a flash.

    As for for the player comments, as seen above, everybody has their own opinion. I kept them limited, and extended my views in replies. My view on Ozil was he was poor with his possession keeping.

    I go back to my starting point. Chelsea did the necessary things better. We played well as a team, which fell short, due to the fact were are still a work in progress.
    I’ll leave further replies until after dog walking.
    Cheers

  22. shrillex says:

    Nice report Gerry. Summed the match up perfectly. Still bummed that we lost though.

    For me, we should have dropped Ozil for this match. Not because he is a bad player or anything, but because this was never going to be a game where he was going to get a lot of space to thread those trademark through passes. Especially when Chelsea was leading 1-0.

    For me, AW did the wrong thing. Sure, he changed into a 433 which did help us out. But the impact subs were completely wrong. A game against Chelsea was always going to be a game where you would find close to zero space, therefore Ozil couldn’t be used to his full potential. If only AW had used Mozart or Ox instead of Ozil at the beginning, keep the scores level or even going one up at half time, Ozil would have been a beastly impact sub. He would be in a situation where Chelsea were tiring or chasing a goal, therefore leaving more space for him to exploit.

    Other than that, I have no complaints. We were cut open by a piece of magic by hazard, though I think Szcz may have had a good chance of saving that with him coming out to narrow the angle and Gibbs getting close, and another magical moment from Cesc.

    I was slightly disappointed with Szcz’s decision making at times. He put teammates under pressure with some shit kicking, when he could have just picked the ball up and build up momentum slowly from there. He was also undecisive when Costa scored. If he had been more alert, he probably could have gotten there before Costa. But even after that, he came out half way when he probably should’ve closed down the space and narrow the angle or just stay on his line.

  23. idris says:

    It’s a tragedy of unimaginable proportion that our beloved team under the custodian of Wenger has so uncompetitive yet nobody including the so called majority share holder is asking question. One of the reasons fabregas adduced to for joining the merchant of oil theft was that mourinho teams are always difficult to beat.
    The problems with arsenal are known to all including the manager. Yet for many years nothing is done about it. Wenger continues to reward mediocrity
    Yes the boys gave all. But we all know the theory of elastic. It goes no where again when it reaches its limit. Every time the team needs arsena for inspiration and guidance he lets them down.
    Tactically it was obvious that Eden hazard was on clear instructions to exploit the lack of experience of chambers. To get him booked and the rest will be easy. It worked. Because of that he gave him the freedom to exhibit his creativity to the maximum. But when cahill and In avoid were on yellow cards sanchez was not asked to do similar thing. When mourinho needed to make changes it was spot on but can we say the same with arsenal? We are not talking the quality of personnel here. We know we are not a match for their limitless purse
    The truth is for as long as Wenger in control without checks for so long will things go wrong. Hoping the damage won’t be too gravious before we realise our follies.

  24. Neeraj says:

    I agree with the comment that our attack failed. But their’s did too.
    One run from hazard got them their first well we had a couple from Wilshere too
    And the ball from Cesc, Jack delivered one of those that Sanchez failed to control and we had another which Wilsh could not control.
    So basically imo inspite of having no goal to show for it we were more dangerous on the attack
    Our defence was ok too
    I really think we did not desrve to lose.
    Santi and alexis impressed in the first half for me but they were also the culprits for the 2 goals
    Maybe Kos n BFG should have done better on the 2nd one but alexis should not have lost it in the first place
    The ref too was a bit inconsistent he did not give Ivanovic and Oscar the cards till the 2nd half
    Though he was I guess a bit linient with our players too for not sending ‘them’ off

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    Fair points, Gerry. I believe Santi should have done better in that position, but yes he is not a DM in the end. Koz’s job is to get the block right or pull out at the last moment, but he mistimed. It was a moment of sheer skill by the Belgian and I guess we have to applaud it.

    Ozil was often isolated and left a frustrated man. I dont buy any of this work rate stuff, but he did have an unfortunate game yesterday. But so did Alexis, and Welbeck who just was not able to get involved in the game directly. Up until the goal our strategy was working okay and we could have got something out of this game. But after that it was always going to be difficult, and yes the Chavs did the necessary things a bit better. Small margins though, and with OG, Theo, Debuchy and a fit Diaby/new DM signing in the team, it could have been different. Work of progress indeed, but progress we have made. And it that makes me sound like a lemming, then so be it. 😉

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    Very good comment, Neeraj. Nailed it! The yellow for Chambers for a little push was unfair, especially after Cahill got only the same for a potential career breaker.

  27. steve says:

    sorry TA i call bullshit.
    If there is an essential cog in the machine that is not producing then the whole team suffers. For me Ozil is the Arsenal Torres, a big name player bought to build the team around that has turned out to be a massive failure. The manager will keep trying just as chelsea did with Torres until the penny drops and he is replaced (look at the difference the Costa / Torres switch has made). What makes it more annoying for me as an Arsenal supporter is that we have plenty of Ozil replacements waiting and ready to take that spot.
    Please don’t forget either that all my Ozil dooming was done PRE-MATCH also, it was obvious he was going to have a bad game for the very reasons he had a good game against Gala – time, space and an easy ride. He will get none of these in big games and always under perform but hey lets continue to build our team around him as our avenue to attack – great idea.
    It pisses me off because as a team (10 players) we performed excellently and it was one of the rare times i could hold my head up high and say we gave as good as we got and all that won them the game was a piece of individual brilliance and a nicked goal as we were pressing. Those things can happen in a game when playing a strong team the problem i have is to let it go unanswered the other end with such a lack of creativity (where that one player is VERY important). I think the only time i remember him doing anything productive was when he started the move that saw Jack go through on goal with an excellent pass forward but that was it! all his nothingness for one pass that i am still not really sure any number of our MF players could have made – no not for me thanks. I said it before the game and i will say it again now, OX should have played instead of Ozil, it was bloody obvious and i’m not the one that spends everyday with the player – AW should have known better. It was interesting to see as soon as he was brought on moo chucked Mickel straight on.

    Still what do i know i thought Alexander Hleb was going to be a world class player lol.

    Just seems that (in my head at least) i am being proven right more often than not and will continue to doom (on the player, not the team) until he proves me wrong (which i don’t see happening).

    JB has Szczesny
    F11ngers has Ozil

    Just the way it is 🙂

  28. steve says:

    btw from a defensive point of view i thought we did very well, this is a high scoring chelsea team atm and hazard was having the game of his life. I thought Chambers did excellently to handle hazard all game on a yellow card – surely this kid has to be moved into DM!!!
    We battled and that’s what i was most proud off and what kept their score line down but it was the other end i was disappointed about with a certain culprit in particular.

  29. Neeraj says:

    007 has our no. 1 &
    11 has our no. 11
    No logic in that i know 😛
    But still seems related to the 1s
    Btw JB u failed in your assigned mission their phisio was on the pitch so many times you should have made quick work of it private 😆
    Told you you r no good on matchdays 😛

  30. Neeraj says:

    Though i did think for a second that it was u pulling her strand of hair back while she attended Courtois

  31. steve says:

    Neeraj, 😆 😆 😆 Nice!!
    He definitely failed 😆

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes Steve that is the way it is. I used to have eyes like Ozil when I was a teenager. They called me frog and hash-frog, bedroom eyes, and all sorts. So maybe I am a bit defensive of him hahaha 🙂

    It is too one-dimensional to pick on players like you do, but I can understand your frustration. Not for me though. 🙂

  33. steve says:

    Maybe he got her mistaken with Ozil, they both prance around like weak girls and come to think of it Ozil did go missing in that game

  34. steve says:

    you “used” to have eyes like Ozil? what happened did they sink back in as you got older?
    I don’t see it as a bad think really – better peripheral vision, its just probably the politest thing i could think of calling him at that point lol

  35. Neeraj says:

    Assuming Diaby is not gay
    If Eva Carnero (chelsea physio) was our physio Diaby would have not been fit even what little time he usually is

  36. steve says:

    I admit it is a very one-dimensional way to look at the situation TA fair enough.
    But can you tell me that when the subs were being readied that you would have taken off Santi, Jack and Sanchez and left him on?????
    Thats the problem i have, AW places to much onus on a player that is average imo.
    And by saying Ozil is good enough to player there, constantly, all the time, for the full 90 every time, you are saying that the likes of Wilshere, Santi, Rosicky, Ramsey and even OX are not good enough to have a go in that spot ever – just not how i see it mate sorry.

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes Steve, it was just something for a few years somehow. 🙂

    I like it that Wenger protects the feeling of Ozil at such a moment, Steve. I thought he could have subbed all the attackers so was not too unhappy to see Ozil stay on. The whole attack failed and Ozil has some responsibility for this, and he did not have a great game, but you are far too negative on him imho..

  38. steve says:

    protecting feelings, Christ what are we a nursery for frightened children. If he’s playing crap get him off and rebuild his fragile nature in easier games then.
    I thought the rest had a good game mate and so have to disagree with you opinion on the option of subbing any of the attackers and it was obvious who the worst of the bunch was and he stayed the whole 90!
    Crazy imo but looks like we will have to just agree to disagree on this one boss man 🙂

  39. steve says:

    Neeraj, thats the reason Costa needs constant check ups on his fitness – you don’t think he does that by accident do you lol. I don’t blame him 🙂

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    Defo agree to disagree, Steve. Welbeck had no impact and OG was missed; Alexis started strong but became less effective later on and Ozil did not have the impact almost all of us know he can have. The attackers struggled to find each other and on the important moments their first touch or pass let them down…. Whereas the Chavs, playing at home and with confidence and that bit of luck to get the first goal from their first attack, got it right. Small margins imo.

  41. Neeraj says:

    Daily star and metro really want khedira at Arsenal and maybe AS too
    And looks like we have a contract accepted for the 23rd time too 😆

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha Neeraj 🙂

    Yes ignore those sources of ‘information’ as best you can!

  43. Admir says:

    Twenty hours after this defeat I still hate Atkinson, Abramovich, Mourinho, Chelsea, Fabregas and football. Atkinson denied us a clear penalty when Darth Vader handled the ball in the box and should have sent off Cahill at 0:0. Then Vader sliced Obi-Wenger Kenobi with a light-saber-splitting pass, it was all over.

    Speaking of this match only, we did a good job for the biggest part of the match but two moments of class decided the game.

    And there comes a sad conclusion – Arsene Wenger will never beat that scoundrel.

    Simply, Arsene is an artist who wants to create the perfect painting that looks like a master-piece in his head. Maureen is a cold-blooded assassin of football beauty who is as pragmatic as one can be. And, even if somehow Arsene finishes his painting to blow Maureen off the pitch, there will be Mike Dean or Martin Atkinson to save the Portuguese’s ass.

    One of the reasons why Wenger will never beat Maureen lies in their character. Take a look at their transfer policy this summer.

    Arsene knew that he needed five defensive reinforcements to the squad – two players to replace Sagna, one to replace Vermaelen, one to replace Fabianski and a defensive midfielder. Plus, he knew we need at least one striker and a winger. So, we got Ospina (GK), Debuchy (RB), Chambers (RB, CB, DM), Alexis (L/RW, AM, CF) and Welbeck (LW, CF). Five excellent additions, three of them versatile, but two gaps left in the squad because he still believes Diaby can be like a new signing to us and that youngsters like Bellerin and Hayden can step up immediately. (On the other hand he doesn’t believe Joel Campbell and Tomas Rosicky are worth of more playing time but that’s part of poor team management Wenger has done this season.)

    Maureen knew he had better goalkeeper on a loan than the one he had last term. He recalled him. He knew he needed better strikers to replace Eto’o, Ba and Torres. He bought Diego Costa, Drogba and Remy. He needed a replacement for 87-year-old Cole. He signed Luis from Atletico. He needed to replace 98-year-old Frank Lampard with someone younger. He signed Fabregas. He didn’t give a rat’s ass about that El Clasico that ended with Maureen poking late Tito in the eye.

    If you lose once to someone, you can blame your bad luck, a referee or injuries. If you lose twice to someone, it can be a coincidence. But when you can’t beat someone in twelve occasions, it’s no coincidence.

    Oh, just to clear things up about Wilshere’s first touch when he should’ve make it 1:1 – English players have a lot of problems with their basic tactical and technical skills when it matters. That’s why Stevie G. slipped in the most important moment of his career and that’s why English players take poor penalties. The main reason lies in the poor ratio of football coaches per players in England. That’s why English players don’t win Premiership titles for their respective clubs.

    That said, Jack was our best player on the pitch. The absence of the final product was the only big flaw on his performance.

    What Wenger does with Özil is ridiculous. When the German plays down the middle, he is a real class, worth of every penny paid for him. When he plays down the flank, he can’t perform well. Everyone sees it apart from Wenger and let’s hope he will see that as soon as possible, unlike the part of physical presence that we lack in the midfield came to Wenger’s mind six years after we lost Gilberto and Flamini.

    @Steve, before you give someone a F/O, make a decent question first.

  44. steve says:

    sorry Admir, that F/O came from a comment you made right in the heat of the game that basically slagged off English players completely and in particular Wilshere who had been giving it his all throughout the game.
    My bad and i apologize, it came from a very heated emotional point in the game and just hit a nerve with me but i shouldn’t have responded in that way to fair.

    “English players have a lot of problems with their basic tactical and technical skills when it matters”

    Lets hope you’re wrong about that mate considering Arsenal (one of the best technically gifted teams around) is continuously adding more and more English players all the time.

    Gibbs, Chambers, Wilshere, Ox, Welbeck, Walcott – definitely rubbish on the ball, lets drop the lot 😆 😆 😆

  45. Admir says:

    Apology accepted. Heat of the moment is the key word, after all. 🙂

    Speaking of aforementioned players (I’d add Jenko to that list as well) – Walcott had had his moments of frustration before becoming an irreplaceable asset to us. Ox still learns his trade and actually has bigger lack of the final product than Jack, Welbeck still needs to work on his shooting technique and ball control inside the box, etc, etc. I understand Wenger’s statement that he is going to make a good national team for England as a serious one – all aforementioned players have been learning under his guidance things that they wouldn’t have learned elsewhere.

  46. Gerry says:

    Mmmnnn .. I see I have a lot of catching up to do. Silly me for trying to squeeze in the world’s richest horse race before coming back to the business in hand. Great ‘arc story though.

    Shrillex, I fear when you get drawn into the world of ‘what might have been’ it becomes more hope than reality? Nothing can be so sure things would turn out different if they followed your set up, my set up, or Steve’s set. It could just have easily gone pear shaped?

    It is partly why I put in my comment on your post that only a point or better would satisfy our fantasy manager fetish, and accept that AW got it more right than we did.

    An example. I put Ospina in goal for the simple reason he would not have any hang ups on coming out and diving at the feet of an onrushing Costa? Szcezzy, I am pretty certain, had that red card in there, and it put a doubt in his mind. However, I give the credit to Costa, who had the perfect touch inside the box, that if Szcz came rushing out he could have got his shot away earlier, and if he stayed on the line … even easier? Would Ospina have made a difference? Who Knows.

    Your other comment about picking the ball up, I am not sure I follow, as I cannot remember an occasion when it was not a back pass?

    Agreed on the result though. I think we were still in with a shout until that second goal went in.
    Bummer nevertheless.
    Cheers.

  47. Neeraj says:

    Guys if Ospinia is injured the is Emi Martinez our keeper for Matchday 3 ?
    Looks like we let go of a Fabianski and bought another one 😛
    But with a different nationality to Szcz atleast 😆

  48. Gerry says:

    idris – No relation to Cader Idris, which is a Welsh mountain known in English as ‘The Chair’?

    You seem to have that high viewpoint where you can judge everything perfectly? Until you give an example that is.

    Chambers yellow card did not stop him from restricting Hazard for the rest of the game. Admittedly with the help of the referee who clearly had a rule of 4 ordinary fouls and you get a card. A point he made to Hazard when pointing to two other places and the current one, and thus only giving him a warning. Probably why Gibbs and Flamini got away with theirs, or indeed, why Chambers could continue to harry Hazard,and get away with the odd foul? It may or may not have made a difference on the first goal, but without seeing a replay, I think Calum was inside the box anyway, so a penalty would have resulted. Yet despite his inexperience, he did move Hazard off his patch as the game wore on, so not a total success that you have given Moo was it? I mean, for all his creativity, apart from winning, and scoring that penalty, they did not go on to win by six? Nor did he have a hand in the second goal.

    It is all very well you coming and making a pre-formed opinion on AW’s management, but Moo has hardly had his financial restrictions wherever he has been has. Nor does he keep up his brilliant management skills for more than a couple of seasons before the cracks appear? Presumably when he has to rebuild a team without the ‘new’ managers budget. He is already talking of managing Arsenal (in his dreams) or Liverpool one day. Arsene Wenger has been able to get this club, certainly in the recent years, to play well above its capability to remain the CL all that time.
    I think the reason why we all feel gutted this time about the result, is because it was so tantalisingly close to being different. But do you think AW would have made those same subs if we were 0-1 up? I think not.

    Thanks for sharing you viewpoint.

  49. Gerry says:

    Neeraj, Ii can see a post in you one day 😀

    Yes you have more or less got the same view I have come to, and that is the frustrating thing.
    So near yet so far?

    But as a team and a tactic, it came incredibly close to pulling it off. Clearly the players bought into as well, judging by the effort they put in?

    It all looks good for when we get a full strength side to put out, although we may have to be careful not to expect too much from Walcott straight away?
    Cheers

  50. This is good stuff (from most of the BKers…) and I (too) want to apologize for my heat of the moment anger and disappointment. At this point I’d probably be better off just chomping on some pop-corn and watching people go toe to toe-or maybe shaking hands–I guess we’re in the lull before the interlull or something. Anyhow, I’m happier (much happier) when we don’t get too bogged down in polemics and what ifs and Anybody Buts… I’m still pretty down about the match but at least the bitter taste isn’t from my coffee this morning, a smooth Colombian (and the timer on the machine did its bit as well…)

    Gerry (with TA doing some good editing, I presume…) that is a great match report with very fine descriptions of the key moments in the match. As such, it leaves people with not a whole lot more to do than to pick their favorite narratives (i.e., villains) and (continue to) go to town. For some that means the manager and those who give him the blank check (us lemmings…) for others it’s individual players. At least not too many are going in with the whole, “we’re a pack of pink canoes,” which seems typical after these sorts of results. Hell, even Milo doesn’t believe we should be breaking EVERYBODY’S leg… 😉

    The bottom line seems to be that we’re lacking something at the core even if most would say there’s a general improvement. Are we too English? Not English enough? There’s a feeling that Chelsea have more money AND more ruthlessness. Somehow, the Moo-man gets his skill players to take their chances AND play with the cynicism required. Oscar is suddenly Ramires and (even more delicate) Hazard takes a good squashing and earns a yellow from our kid (Chambers) and (not long after) a foul–in the box–when his tendency a year ago might’ve been go down outside of it (and avoid the earlier rough play, too)…Even Cesc, whose creative passing into defenders’ hands (and winning pens by doing so…as he did a couple of times in our shirt…) can do the opposite and throw his body (arms akimbo…) and stop them. Impressive. No team has truly dominated in England for several years now but Chavs are having the most impressive early season I can remember… (Only a late lucky goal–by a guy they allowed to leave–keeps their record from being all wins…) If they can keep it up all season it’s a bit of a juggernaut, I fear…

    Call me an apologist (or lemming or AKB…or just plain idiot…), but in a game which was allowed to get very physical, very early AND where Chavs were very efficient in front of goal we are in trouble. Add in that we’re missing 4 first teamers (even if some don’t think they should be) in Giroud, Debuchy, Ramsey and Arteta and there’s real trouble. We’ve hardly mentioned those guys (as solutions…) which suggests we’re plenty deep, but also that there’s nobody who can truly put the team upon his back and carry us. (In other words, there’s quality in depth, but how much TRUE quality?…) With his high price tag, people think Ozil should be Da Man and when Cesc (who actually carries a higher price tag…) gets his MOTD moments, it looks bad…That we can knock out their fine young keeper (thankfully, the only injury of the day…) and they can bring in a guy who would start at ANY other club in the world (except maybe Bayern?)…Well, that tells a story, too… Still, like a few have noted, the margins in the game were pretty fine… Were we three times better at 2-nil than last season’s 6-nil or is three points, three points?…Eye of the lemming, er, doomer, er, beholder, I guess…

    International break now means stewing about this result but also a chance for re-grouping. I think it’s handy that (vice Captain) Per has retired and that (Captain) Mikel never was. They can stick around and drill the wider squad so maybe we can get that rotation so many have craved. My hunch, however, is that the young guns are just that: good up and coming players who can do a job in the right spot, but also not quite the answer if we want (all) babies in, bathwater (and scapegoats) out. We may have overpaid (and be over-paying…), but there’s a reason Ozil and Alexis are “worth” their 150K/week and why most of the guys who make up the core group are worth their 80-100K/week. We need to get it together–as a complete team. If the supporters could join in, I don’t believe it would hurt, either…

    After these two bad results in the derbies we’re now looking up the table at Spurs and ManU. It’s time to re-group and try and get 3 points at a time and build the relationships–on the pitch and off–and maybe even on the internet!…lol, as if… :rolls: It will “only” be Hull–then Anderlecht, then Sunderland, then Burnley, then Anderlecht (again), then Swansea–and each match represents a potential trip-up. After that we have another team we can’t beat (ManU) and then a team who blew us off the pitch (Dortmund). IMO it’s time to pull together rather than blow ourselves up… Win those winnable matches and take a stab at the tougher ones. It’s probably not the instant gratification that we all crave, but whatchagunner do?… (I know, I know, Wenger Out and take your Ozil with you…)

    Akin (maybe…) to it’s Monday morning and Friday seems a long, long way off, but surely it will come… Or something?…

  51. Gerry says:

    Hi TA – Yes, I am in the lemming club too.

    I think the tactic of containment was fine, but it meant we missed that width the full backs gives us, and that meant the guys up front were easier to mark?

    I think Calum’s card is what most refs seem to dislike and give cards for? Hazard would have had a clear run down the line, and as such it was a professional foul. CL refs are also keen to card those.

    Agreed on the Cahill one. That was an unprofessional foul. Even Wenger said ‘FFS!’, if my lip reading skills are anything to go by 😀

    Dog feeding time, back later to deal with Steve and others.

  52. Neeraj says:

    Gerry,
    I see a post in me everyday but laziness geta the better of me
    And I generally like to write in the morning but I have to use that time for studying.
    I will be completely free April onwatds which is quite some time to go
    So I guess I will not be writing anything but comments on BK for aleast 5 months
    But I will try to squeeze in a maiden post or two in the upcoming hols

  53. proudgooner says:

    The match stats for yesterday are all pretty good.
    Except 1 in perticular that is the no shots on target. I think we are still lacking a few goals.
    Theo will help this improve a lot. Sanogo was not on the bench yesterday, so he maybe more injured then at first thought.?? I think Podolski has some goals in him and should be used, if not we are paying him top money for nohing. I think Wenger will use him in future though and i hope he does. All we could of hoped for with the no shots on target was a draw.
    You haft to give Chelsea credit for there defending yesterday, they were very good.
    There is some pluses from yesterday, but none of them make it feel any better.
    It is going to be a long wait to the Hull game on this note.
    We just haft to get back to winning ways after the break and go on a winning streak again.

  54. TotalArsenal says:

    Good to see you back zeventien and fine comment. That coffee sounds great – I think I can even smell it – a key characteristic of a lemming? 😛

  55. TotalArsenal says:

    That is it in a nutshell, PG 🙂

    A long wait indeed. 😦

  56. TotalArsenal says:

    Steve 😆

    I bet that made your eleventh finger tinkle… 😉

  57. TotalArsenal says:

    Come on Neeraj, are you a man or a mouse? At least five months.. my Arsenal. Get writing!! 😛

  58. Neeraj says:

    Yes boss

  59. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice comment, Admir. It will not be long before Arsene will have Maureen’s scalp all soaked in White Port. You watch it. It was unfortunate/careless of you to link Jack’s disappointing first touch with the hole of English football. But good of you to make amends. 🙂

  60. TotalArsenal says:

    Neeraj 🙄

    Just imagine you will be the first ever Indian to write for the site…. We already have a Pakistani writer…. 😉

  61. Shrillex says:

    Gerry

    Guess it’s true 🙂 I am thinking about what might have been. Anyways, we may lost this battle but we haven’t lost this war yet. Hopefully Walcott’s return may fire us past the opposition and hope Chelsea and the others drop points

  62. Gerry says:

    Steve – I love your opening paragraph. Especially the bit where you say we bought Ozil to build the team around?

    Well you could have fooled me from the positions he has been asked to play in?

    I am sure that is what AW promised him, while JW was still running around with suspect ankles, and the time spent recovering. Now of course he has a fit JW and his most expensive signing, seemingly vying for the same position? A dilemma for sure.

    I think there is a different approach from each of them: I think Ozil is keen to play the key passes, and leave others to finish them off; Jack likes to make the pass, but follow the action through.
    I am not saying one is a better approach than the other, and in theory they should be able to work together, with one going forward, the other staying deep? However, I think Jack is probably happier working as a pair, whereas Ozil will get more from a triangle of players. Very simplistic I know. But if Ozil passes as part of a trio, and leaves them to take it on, the pair have opportunities to create an independent triangle. If Jack is playing one-twos, the recipient is obliged to return it, which can get predictable?

    Neither player is like that through the whole game, but at key moments I can see it breaking down.

    Anyway, the game is now done and dusted. I don’t think there is much point in going over ground we have differed on before. Nor do I think anything is OBVIOUS until you are looking at with hindsight. If we started with Ox do you think Moo would have reached for Mikel in the first 10 minutes?

    At least I agree with you on the defensive angle. But as I have said above, that had an impact on our attack, without width from our full backs. Now I know you would immediately say, ‘That’s why Ox should have started’, but that is not thinking it through. It would have left Jack and Santi much easier to mark. As I say,it strays into the ‘what might have been’s’. The reality was that for all their effort, Alexis and Welbeck need players to draw defenders away from them. I think that was the plan to keep it at 0-0, then bring on Ox and start countering them as they pressed for a winner?

    At least we have a nice break now, providing nobody gets injured on inter duty, to see how well the team will play at a comparative lower level?

  63. F11ngers (others)… Blaming Ozil, IMO, is the easy way out… I understand that you value blood and thunder and aggressive running, not to mention positive body language. That’s fine, to each his own and, to your credit, you give the wimpier (smaller, less obviously in the weight room, taking their ‘roids, etc.) their due–when you see it. I prefer these sorts of more technical guys as, when I played my team sports, I was on the smaller side and had to rely a little more on my wiles and my understanding of the game.

    Obviously, with the bulk of the crowd wearing blue (and the ref allowing a rougher match) aggressive communication (mostly through body language) is the way forward. When the match began, Alexis made a good central run but then shoots a forty yarder. That’s positive, but he also had runners wide on both sides and a better chance might have been created. We’ll never know, but the odds he was gonna score were just about nil. It was “positive” however and it likely improves the look of his heat-map… (Do I really need to put in the rolly eyes?)

    A few moments later, trying to play the ball out of our half, Welbeck loses it into touch. Ah well, the camera isn’t on him so we don’t see his frustration or whether he just moves on and gets onto marking somebody for the throw. Late in the match, down 2-nil, a very similar play is remembered for the close up on (very poorly shaven…) Messy and his shoulders slumping.

    My point is that the game is made of a million of these moments and choosing to read them one way or the other seems wrong. Welbeck and Alexis are “positive” players, but Ozil is negative AND he’s not racing his own mates to claim the vacant spaces so he’s lazy too… Cahill (and Shawcross…) are dirty leg-breakers, but Danny was just giving as good as he gets and to a fookin’ money-grabbing traitor, no less–Blowin’ off a bit of steam in frustration to mirror that of the supporters… We can take ANY single play and read what we like into it AND we can take our own attitudes and morph them onto any player in a search for “solutions”…

    On the plus side, you are actually watching the little moments, not just looking at the final score and trotting out the far MORE tired narratives… I actually found myself doing a similar bit, once the match was out of reach, in watching the Ox, who, for all his powerful running with the ball couldn’t really find a teammate except for young Chambers as an outlet when the cul-du-sacs all closed down…

    I think Gerry hits the nail on the head with this line: “Were their players better than ours ….Best not go there?” The question mark might be misplaced but there’s too much truth in this simple line…

    To be frank, Welbeck < Costa, Alexis < Hazard, Jack < Cesc, Flams < Matic, Chambers/Gibbs < Azpil/Ivanovic AND they have subs they can use to replace hurt guys (Szcz/MartiNEZ < Cotois/Cech) or tactically (Mikel = not much of player but Moo's favorite enforcer of the barn and a little more size and experience than Le Coq…) Willian (30 million fee) and Remy (10 million) and Salah (11 million) are all likely to contribute more in a match of this sort than your Campbells, Akpoms, etc. no matter how much promise they might suggest… Do I need to compare the injured players (Walcott, we must sadly remember, we couldn't off-load for decent money when he was holding out for his bigger contract…) or go down the list of (all 26…) players Chelsea have out on loan relative to the ones we are hoping might come good and bring their games to this (much) higher level… If we're able to get Cologne to pay a portion of Poldolski's contract in January (i.e., take him on loan) management will be jumping at the chance…

    We CAN compete, in any given match, and Wenger MUST drive Moo down the tunnel in anger (w/o offering his hand…) but we need a few planets to line-up. Good tactics, good performances, a bit of luck (a ref cowed by a little raucous home support…) and it might happen. Did it happen yesterday? No, no it did not. Are these excuses? Yes, yes they are. Is my hunger for our club's success gonna turn me blue or have me turn on the manager or the players?. F**K that…

    😀

  64. Milo says:

    Whatever points I may or may not have contradicted, my belief and opinion is this: I do not believe in win at all costs, but I do subscribe to an eye for an eye, when it comes to certain scenarios. You hurt me first, I will hurt you, etc, etc. Wenger doesn’t follow that, not quite, but I will be more than happy if we garner the odd big or “surprise” result. Do I expect us to win?? No.

  65. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cheers Gerry, top stuff.

    The way I see it, we lost becuase of really fine margins. I was generaly pleased with how we played. We didnt leave gaps thus making us more secure, and with a bit more finese, might have scored that all important first goal

    The gap has really narrowed. To the point really that Chelseas only advantages are a touch more experince and cynical professionlism

    Its no good blaming individuals. Wengers tactics were sound, and though Ozil played like a man who had just had a narrow escape after been trapped in a lift with Julian Clarey, thats just his style. Frustrating? yes. But the guy has moments of top class, bringing someting special to the team.

    I wish Arsene didnt have a pop at Morinio. Dont misunderstand, if Arsene had laid a right hook on the Portugeezer, I would have found the whole thing thoroughly refreshing.

    Its only that Arsenes so unlucky concerning Morinio, that for a terrible second I thought Arsene was going to chin him, but fall akwardly thus strangling himself with his own tie.

  66. steve says:

    17HT, you are missing the point. I condemn what Welbeck did as much as i do Cahill, it was stupid and reckless that is not what i am trying to put across, i think you actually said it best when you said “I had to rely a little more on my wiles” that is what Chelsea did for the most part. Their fouling and over the top pressing was clever! not stupid, cynical definitely but very clever and its something i would like to see us do more. I remember the great Barcelona of a few years back, they were just as imposing without the ball as they were with it. Not because they were 6ft thugs but because they pressed hard and worked and put effort in to stifle the other teams play, you can see that is what Sanchez still has left over from Barca and probably can’t believe his eyes looking at the effort put in from some of the others around him now. That is why i was so pleased to see the Gibbs / Sanchez and Chambers / OX combo’s recently, both full backs know the players ahead of them will work to close down, break up play and track back – it worked brilliantly but was neglected for the chelsea game.

    Trust me mate I’ve watched the game three times now and for all the bad touches and lame efforts the others put in Ozil put in a great deal more – I don’t know what cameras you were watching lol

    And as for is our group of players better than chelsea’s i am in total disagreement with you mate, I feel we have the better players in EVERY area which is why it pisses me off so much that the one player that is obviously a passenger is allowed to play along side them – completely overrated.

    I bet every chelsea supporter was hoping for Ozil to play, no lie, I bet most of them actually had that thought and were relieved when they saw his name instead of OX’s or Rosicky’s on the team sheet.

  67. James Bond says:

    ooh la la – quite the post this @ Gerry – absolutely first class and thanks for putting in the time and effort for writing such a masterpiece and with some splendid replies and comments in here as well .

    everything seems to be covered (including the sczny bashing when Steve displays both mine and his love for our favourite players, ha

    oh the mission was a bloody success @ Neeraj – why do you think I had to go right after the match had ended ? 😉 I had a jolly good time as well, thank you and am sure she did as well, ha

    my own thoughts on the game are that we competed but truth be told, our strongest 11 needs to come back and needs to play 3 games together – we win the next 3 games then I can promise you all that we will be fine and flying somewhere at the top of the table, pushing on .

    the 3 key players be, TW – Ramsey and Diaby in my opinion they will be massive for us and will give our squad a huge lift .

    this result still means nothing , as long as we can win our home games against Chelsea, Everton, Man utd both home and away as well as Liverpool then we can still win this – I expect this Chelsea team to start dropping points and losing against the lower teams or lower mid table ones – especially the ones who like to PTB (West ham e.t.c e.t.c ).

    having said that, it’s not Ozil’s fault that he has 2 number 10’s in his positions – I always like talking about trio’s and sadly the 3 of Santiago, JW and Ozil just don’t work – the balance of our team is not right if we play all 3 of them together – if you noticed yesterday’s game then there was no width at all, most of the things were going right through the center and when you have a PTB team to play against, you need someone to stretch or run the other defence from the wings – this is something that OX and Alex do rather well when they both play together and easily interchange as well . In hindsight, not playing OX was a mistake as the lad had just scored in his last PL match .

    am with all of you though who reckon that the Santiago subbing was harsh and instead it should have been Ozil .

    why Ozil was not as effective ? well a number of reasons and excuses could be found for this but let’s not forget that Welbeck didn’t have a good game either .

    the only one to have a good match yesterday was probably me and that was after the game had ended 👿

  68. Funny stuff there, Terry… TA, Yes today is a coffee day…Roasting for some of my “clients,” in fact…

    Hey Milo… I wasn’t trying to single you out, even if I most definitely do not subscribe to an eye for an eye… I don’t like John Terry or the Moo-man, amongst many, but I really cannot wish bodily harm upon them. Do we really teach people that killing is wrong by putting killers (sometimes wrongly convicted ones–i.e., scapegoats…) to death?… For example..

    If we NEED a person to blame (with words only…man what a rainbow lace boy I am…) here’s the spot for Steve’s extra finger (a middle one, I presume)…Silent and Stingy Stan Kroenke. He takes the ill gotten goods of his wife’s fortune and helps underwrite our Club and it’s stadium move. Why? Because he wants more, more, more… If not already, he will be the most successful (in dollar terms) sports owner ever…Those f**kin’ greedy Americans… (Can I say that being one myself?)…

    Here’s the deal. In his shoes, Abramovich would’ve paid WHATEVER IT TOOK to have Cesc and Ozil in his team. (the Moo man doesn’t speak a bad word about our Messy, people might note and made him the main mid at RM…) Alexis to light a fire under Hazard? Giroud and Drogba and Diego Costa up front? (Sorry Victor Moses and Danny Sturridge, you can go on loan)… 20 million to leave Cortois at Atletico? What’s 20 million to a guy who watches his fortune fluctuate in the Billions? Well, to Stan that’s 20 million more in his portfolio… Wenger is writing from a different check (cheque?) book…

    Could another manager do better? Maybe, hard to say. Management serves at the pleasure of ownership and guys like Ancelloti and Villas-Boas and Moyes and Mancini have floundered with FAR more resources. A better question might be…. Would supporters give the new guy a chance? Maybe we would get instantly results and maybe Abramovich will stick with Mourinho even after the tactics (and endless self promotion) get tiresome… Imagine if your manager were dropping hints about other clubs he’d like to “help.”

    VCC is voting with his feet while lemmings still make the trot to the stadium or waste their time and energy hoping for the best…

  69. OK, I give up, Steve… You’re right, our players are better (except for one, no wait, two, maybe?…) and we should’ve played (somebody, anybody…I’ll go with Zelalem…) instead of Ozil yesterday…

    MartiNEZ at keeper and at least we would’ve kept it to a nil-nil…

    Sorry, too much to do before the snow flies…

    Enjoy….

  70. Gerry says:

    Admir – That is a lot of generalisation so long after the match?

    I would have thought you would have cooled down a bit before barnstorming the English national pedigree?

    AW will never beat Moo? It is a possibility if Moo gets the sack before Christmas?
    Like us,and every ‘top side’ thinks they should win their home games. Come the return leg we may be more than a match for them?
    Don’t go down the transfer window argument, you know damn well CF did not go to the Chavs because ‘they are hard to beat’. He wanted to play in London. We did not have a spot for him. Chavs offered big money to overcome his reluctance. End of.
    As for the defensive recruits. They did try, but in poker, you don’t win every hand?
    Diaby will be a bonus, nothing more. Hayden possibly, but that did not stop the last minute attempts to get Rabiot and WC. He has to play it shrewd, because any wealthy club can come along and offer big money. Costa a case in point?
    Still flowing on with the likes of Bellerin and Hayden. I thought they stepped up very well. However, what have you seen in Campbell’s play thus far, that makes him a better starter, than say Akpom? eave that one to AW I think?
    Rosicky was 34 at the weekend, and for all his all action style, I cannot say he has added much to the team so far either? Time yet though.
    As for Moo being able to recall a better goalkeeper from his loan, not technically correct. His loan had finished and his demand was ‘make me first choice, or I’ll sign for Athleti’. But talk about missing the point about what a difference wealth makes … Moo could recall a whole new squad off loans, as they have 26 players spread across the globe. When you have access to those resources it not surprising they can click their fingers and replacements appear?
    Arsenal don’t live in that world.

    I am not going to argue the point about the coaching side of things, as there is a 10 year plan to try and correct the years of decline, mostly due to the lack of funding, along with cuts made in education. Not to mention the fact that junior soccer has been largely based around winning, over and above proper grounding in football skills. This was allowed to drift, and consequently the Continental influx has highlighted much of what you have said. If all the points are taken up by the committee, things should start to show improvement in about 5 years time.

    That is the organisational side. Different matter when you label the individuals as lacking skills as part of a national whole. Dangerous road to tread? Even worse when you hang the nation on one player’s final touch in a tightly fought game. Nah, I’m jesting. we both know Wilshere is rubbish 😀 😀 (One each for TA and Steve).

    I’ve been over the Ozil thing, but basically agree.

    Cheers, now take something to help you sleep better … 😆

  71. James Bond says:

    it was nice to see MACKO back, I hope you can keep posting as your views are rather extreme and rather refreshing sometimes 🙂

  72. Gerry says:

    Sorry HT – By the time I worked my way down that list you appear to be leaving?

    I hope you are in a fit state to hit the snow, you seemed to have had more than just Columbian in that last cup 😀

    Mind I enjoyed your later post’
    Cheers

  73. Gerry says:

    Thanks JB – I did not think the post was that inspiring.

    However, answering comments does allow me to expand on thoughts.

    Cheers

  74. Gerry says:

    PG – I am getting a bit weary at this time of day. Like Neeraj. I do my better stuff in the mornings.
    It is the Chinese Rooster influence ha ha.

    The way I seethe Hull game, is the same way I see racing. We have just come close to winning a Gold Cup, but after a refreshing break we are back in a handicap, and it is sooooo much easier. If we just carry this form with us.

    The result, as JB has said, can be reversed if we win our home matches?

    Don’t despair. The good times are just around the corner.
    Cheers

  75. Hey Gerry, I’m checking in while doing my chores…Brilliant sunshine today and I have better things to do than argue with Steve… Just coffee here, all the smoking (my guess) is on the Islands, mon…

    You and I agree about many things and I trust your enthusiasm about the younger guys because you watch ’em and I don’t. It should be clear that top level footy is a narrowing pyramid and guys who end up making a good career out of it (5+ million pounds per year for 5-10 years) are more often bought than made… Our youth system may turn out a steady stream of millionaires and Championship/PL players but the ones who truly make a mark and help us beat the likes of Chelsea are needle in the haystack variety–IF they don’t end up there themselves (lol to keep from crying, thinking bout Cesc…Or before him, our boy Cashley…) The notion that an observant, non-glory hogging, widely acknowledged world class talent (with perfectionistic rather than self glorifying tendencies…) is THE problem is the very worst of the internet and he who types loudest must be right… Mr F!!ngers seems a good guy, but alas, too much for me on a sunny day…

    Always curious about your thoughts, however… And truly, no ill will meant to ANYBODY… Whatever floats whatever vessel and all that…

    Seriously… 😀

  76. Gerry says:

    See TA, I just keep reeling them in for you? They obviously see if this idiot can put together a post, it must be a doddle. 😀

    Got to it Neeraj.Think of something you feel strongly about, and just jot down a few paragraphs each morning. Then spend one evening putting it together. The interlull is a great time because you can pick you own subject matter?

    Think about it, eh?

  77. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry, you are our top recruiter! 🙂

  78. Gerry says:

    Agreed HT on most things. Truth be told you have far more knowledge and experience than I have in the real world of playing the game, and I reciprocate with your writings. I just used a lot of educated guesswork in my thinking, and some times I can be right.

    On the youth front, I do try and catch most games that are available. But I also trust writers like Jorge Bird’s for his input in various stuff he puts out.
    Although a lot of players that showed early promise have gone by the wayside, I am still hopeful that Toral will come back off his loan spell. Some, like Eisfeld, you could detect not so much a decline, but a lack of progress. It goes with the territory of youths growing up, and how much they want to dedicate themselves to their chosen sport? I feared for Zelalem for a while there, but he seems to have picked up the bit again(racing terminology) in the Uefa Youth tournament, so he may well come good if the openings come right.
    The likes of Akpom, Bellerin and Hayden have really kept at it, and I honestly believe Hayden will do a fine job if he gets a breakthrough game. Akpom’s time will come next season, and he fits the mold of athletic, pacey striker that AW wants to develop. Bellerin I would just love to see him get a chance in midfield, otherwise I worry for him. Not on skill or effort, just the openings.
    Beyond those, only time will tell. Whilst there are plenty are good at the level they are at now, they may get to showcase their stuff in the early rounds of the FA Cup, from the bench probably.
    It will be a case of natural selection when they sort out who are just the playground bullies, in the sense of early development, and those that can maintain their improvement through to the top level.
    btw, the Anderletch game that we play in the CL, the Under 19’s will play their match which may be live on the ‘Player earlier in the day. Seeing a full game always give you a better insight into how well they do. Apart from the obvious candidates like Crowley and Zelalem, I am hoping to see more of B54, because his time line to replace Monreal, and be Gibbs sub could be just spot on. One to watch out for two or three years down the line, all being well?

  79. Gerry says:

    Okay then, I think that looks like it for now. Thank you all for your comments. If I have missed anybody I’ll catch up in the morning … including replies to replies.

    Night all ..

  80. Lunchtime here so a quick one…Speaking of young (and mostly) English players, my wife’s college has somehow become a hotbed for such players and watching their match (last Friday) was the reason I missed AB’s musings on whisky, beer and Arsenal. It’s a very weird dynamic but there’s a famous “coach” who got a job at another 2 year school in a much less nice area and did a bunch of recruiting. Now, he’s moved our way and gotten a new batch of players. It’s all word of mouth and a chance for these guys to get their “residency” and catch the eye of recruiters from the 4 year colleges. Friday’s match was on our pitch (plastic, I fear; snow is coming…) but the quality was decent(!) It featured the coach’s old school and there were lots of different English accents featured (plus plenty of Spanish). Anyhow, I can link some photos, if there’s any interest. “Coach” is this guy, who maybe people have seen on the telly… http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120617045445/survivor/images/2/26/S23_Coach_Wade.jpg

    Anyhow, just a side note…back at it… (At my end the sun is still shining…) Don’t mind me and please do carry on pointing fingers and/or finding solutions to All Our-senal Ills…etc., etc.

  81. Milo says:

    So if someone punched you in the face 17, you wouldn’t punch them back even if they were not in disproportionate size to you??? I despise initiating conflict. So much so that I avoid all people who do. I only fight when I feel the cause is worthy. Retaliation ISN’T equal to initiation. The first act is worse. Two wrongs don’t make a right??? Pffffffffffffft. You start, I’ll finish, or at least try to, for me, thank you very much.

  82. steve says:

    Milo, where i’m from retaliation and initiation are very much blurred mate tbh. Many a time i have judged a situation to be going south pretty quickly (especially if its easy to tell the guys looking to start something) and banged the c*nt out first – feel guilty and cry into your morning coffee later but always make sure you give yourself the upper hand.
    So would that be initiation or retaliation?

  83. On the internet or in real life, Milo?… 😀

    Sorry, my friend, gotta side with Hay-Zeus on this one… Turn the other cheek, I say, and hopefully the ref or karma can sort it out… It’s only a game, after all… Sorry, but I’d rather see us get relegated than go down that road… If we had a manager or players actually advocating violence–even in retaliation, I’d have to take some time away from supporting my club–At the very least…

    In all seriousness, it’s good that you’re avoiding those situations in your life and sometimes force is the only way (vs. maniacs and sociopaths, on an historical scale, perhaps…) but there are other ways forward… Vigilante justice (which I think you’re calling for…) has no place.

    Sorry…

  84. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Milo, hahaha

    Just do what I do and you will avoid all cofrontation.

    When your sneakily trying yo chat up another geezers bird and get confronted by the boyfriend, say its not you, and then blame your mate. When hes getting a kicking, slip off home. No point you hanging about to watch. He would feel really bad putting you through that experience.

    If your assilant dosent believe you and still intends having a go, then feign an epileptic fit. Practice your fit routine at home. I find watching opera or totnumb games a good way to warm up.

    You will find that your meat head assilant will get confused, and through the crowd you will hear, “I never tocuhed him, i never touched him” as the bouncers proceed to drag him out and give him a right kicking. You will probably hear his groans and crys for help as hes getting it, which is an added bonus.

    Now when the ambulance takes you to the hospital, plan you escape with precision. Some of these hospital porters are really fast runners, so make sure you leg it when they are eying up a nurse, or are scratching there balls. Dont worry if it takes a bit of time, be paitent, hospital porters hands are inevetibly drawn to there scrotum

    Good Luck

  85. Milo says:

    Sorry 17, not into the religious… I go by mine and my Mother’s code and no one else’s, particularly if I do not know who comprised said code in the first place.

  86. Milo says:

    Sorry guys and 17…I’m having grave family issues due to “my lack of faith and belief”/ “waywardness”, but I shouldn’t have written what I wrote…Still, it’s the truth.

  87. Just getting back to this…Terry, as always, funny stuff…

    Steve/Milo/Everybody… Please don’t kick my ass… 😀

    Milo, I am the least religious person around, so I’m not preaching from that perspective at all… Of course, if pressed I would attempt to defend myself…But first I would try to run away… More Smileys. I gotta go with F11ngers on this one–initiating/defending is a very fine line. I’d prefer less violence–in sports and in society… but that’s just me. (As I type, there’s a story on the news about 3 deaths in a week in High School American Football…)

    All our perspectives and life-experiences are very different and I know some come from backgrounds where violence is ever-present and presenting oneself as a character of toughness is important. It doesn’t seem a good thing, IMO, and most certainly not a good path going forward in life. Likewise, I’d prefer my football team to dodge and feint (win with skill and technique). Call me what you will, but I’d rather fight fire with water rather than more fire (or an axe)…

    Best of luck with your family issues…

  88. Gerry says:

    It seems I ducked out at a timely moment … Good morning all.

    I did not recognise the picture link HT – Was this some telly thing?

    Like I said, there are proposals in the pipeline to change the early coaching here. But it comes down to the question of how it is funded?

    I think I read in Spain they only teach ball skills to the 7-9 year olds? The problem here is kids in general have ‘I want it now’ attitude, mirroring the adult line of club support.? There are exceptions of course, and they are the ones likely to make at one level or another.

    I remember when I was in Hungary, the family I stayed with, the father was an Hungarian international footballer and desperately wanted his eldest son, who was quite talented, to follow in his footsteps. However, the modern youth culture was more into basketball than football. This I suspect was due to the influence of American TV for the previous 10-20 years? I left before the decisions were made, and then the lad did his 2 years National Service, and I do not know how it went after that.

    Where do I stand on retaliation. In football, definitely a no,no. That is what the referee is there for, and if he followed the letter of the law on Sunday, we would have had a numerical advantage. Retaliation would have just evened it up?
    Personally, and in normal life, not everybody is out to get you, and over here it is mostly fuelled by alcohol, so in 50 years of adult life it has not been a problem … if you read the situation beforehand. If a guy is heading towards swinging his shoulders John Wayne style, the last thing you should do is copy it.
    I follow my dog’s attitude. If the waggy tail fails, pull back and make sure that if a conversation that follows goes pear shaped you have an exit strategy …. This is where it depends on the dog, as some would prefer to go eyeball to eyeball and have a heated discussion. The others, who I admire equally, and are more to my way of thinking, keep the tail wagging while backing away, saying (the dog version of) ‘Sorry mate, I’ve got to go’.
    I have said this before, from my taxi driving experience, drug takers are far more difficult to handle than drunks. If you live in a neighbourhood where this is rife, you do well by avoiding contact as much as possible.
    On the religion question … I am with HT on that. I am more spiritual than pro organised religion. Too much man-influence went into the structure and culture to the extent they lose the base from which they are formed. And given that most wars are created by politicians and religion, by intolerance of people of a different view, I think we would be better off without both … Just a personal view, before war breaks out on site. 😀
    There was a very funny parody written, which looked at the basics of creating a new, modern religion. I think it was entitled ‘The Making of Moo’. Only funny if you are of an open mind?
    No connection to the Chelsea manager, even though he was the ‘Special One’.

    Here endeth ‘Thought for the Day’.

  89. Frozen says:

    “What does not surprise is the ind player bashing. The black hobby horses are out again. Our entire attack failed systematically but of course it is far easier to focus on Jack, or Ozil. And Santi played a good game apparently. It wasn’t him who let the Belgian walk past him when defending our D, was it? You win as a team and you lose as one.”

    Not sure about that. I would highly recommend re-watching the match. I’m afraid the unwavering support of Jacky Wilshere has skewed your vision somewhat. It’s easy to label our (the hobby horses) complaints and criticisms of Wilshere as “player bashing” but surely you can see there is much more to it than that. Jack is 1 of 3 midfielders who start for a top 7 club in Europe. Everybody recognizes Jack as having immense potential, but when you don’t turn up on the day then you should be held accountable. As should Ozil and the rest of our creative and attacking force. Nobody had an amazing game but Jack Wilshere was particularly off. And as of now that potential is not yet being realized. Trying to deflect the criticism onto Santi (and further blame him for the first goal), who showed up with a gutsy and skillful performance, is harsh at best.

    PS did anybody catch Alexis’ swing on Ivanovic?? Lucky to escape further action i reckon.

  90. TotalArsenal says:

    Come on Frozen, if you did not see that Jack Wilshere was our best player on the pitch then I reckon you watch the game again. He made the difference when we attacked and gave structure to our attack. When he moved forward with the ball, things started to happen, despite the solid defending of the Chavs. This was crucial and had the other three attackers had better games, we could have knicked a goal and got something out of it. I would follow your own advice to me. 🙂

  91. TotalArsenal says:

    I dont believe in eye for eye etc, but in football – especially in the PL – you have to respect, and be able to respond to, the black arts of defending and influencing the flow of the game. Cahill’s tackle was meant to put fear into us: I am sure it was pre-planned and it achieved it’s goal. Should we have retaliated? Maybe not like for like, as there is a danger Atkinson is a home whistlers, but if we had a clever Vieira type of player we would somehow have evened the score – or even have been pro-active. Would I like us to play this sort of tactics? You betcha! 🙂

  92. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post 🙂

    Give it up for Retsub and his maiden post – A confession covering half a century of support for the mighty red and white!

  93. J.H. Watson says:

    TA, I agree with your post about intelligent retaliation to unsporting conduct. It is necessary for Arsenal to enjoy the freedom needed to play their football. It seems like Wenger prefers French players to fulfill this role. Perhaps this is because Wenger’s enforcers share a French sense of proportionality and justice which is absent from normal hacks (e.g., Sergio Ramos, Dante, Fernandino, and any defender on the Italian national team ;).

    Flamini enforces fair play with blind-side challenges in the midfield. With reflexes and body-control honed by martial arts training, Flamini’s almost always gets the ball. But he also takes a piece of the player. These challenges seem to come from the blue and make opposing players tread lightly with their backs to goal. I recall a great Flamini challenge on Callejon last year. Callejon made a cynical challenge on Ramsey (or Santi). Flamini bid his time. About 15 minutes later, Flamini slid in from nowhere to dispossess (and clatter) Callejon as the Napoli player trapped a throw in. A proportionate statement that did not put the Callejon at any risk of serious injury.

    Unfortunately, Premier League refereeing has robbed Flamini of his element of this game. (The one element of his game that is elite.) It seems like all blind-side sliding challenges receive a yellow card, fair or not. I think game is too fast for referees to determine whether such challeneges are fair so they err on the side of giving a card. This is why Flamini got carded for his challenge on Andros Townsend about one minute after he came on against Spuds last year.

    I think Debuchy may be our new fair play ambassador. Unlike Flamini, he has the stature to keep things in-line with challenges that don’t generate reflexive yellow cards. Take a look at his courage in the Besiktas home leg. He punched a Besiktas player in the privates in retaliation for the same foul on Ramsey. Five minutes later the Besiktas right back almost killed Debuchy on a 50/50 header in front of the Besiktas penalty area. After figuring out where he was, Debuchy got up and kept ticking. Chambers is a great talent, but I can’t wait for Debuchy to return. He would have given Hazard something to think about.

  94. TotalArsenal says:

    JHW, great comment and fine observations. The PL might have become a bit too fast for MF too. But yes he understands the dark arts very well.

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