No Debuchy, Giroud, or Ozil, 9 Points Behind Chelsea: Season Over?

Bollox! 🙂

cropped-images-3.jpg

The season is underway for two months now and, to use a cliché, it has been a roller-coaster of a ride. It is always hard to predict how a season will go, but it is made even more difficult when the summer preparation period is cut short as a result of our stars’ world cup endeavours and a number of key signings have to be assimilated into the team. We are in October now, and to be fair, I have not got much more of a clue how it all will end for Arsenal come May.

It all started well with beating MC convincingly – and in style – in the Charity Shield and qualifying once again for the CL group stage (by huffing and puffing though). CL qualification proved to be an energy-sapping, nervy exercise for players and manager, which has had an impact on our results in the PL. We did not lose any of our games during that time, but we dropped valuable points in Leicester and Liverpool. Drawing at Goodison Park is of course nothing to be ashamed about, and so is drawing against MC and Spuds at home. However, losing against the Chavs is always painful; but again, in a competition of 38 games, this is not a disaster as yet.

The one thing that will be constant, however, is the high level of expectations across the Gooner-family. Winning the FA-cup and finishing in the top four once again last season,  and not selling our key players (well except Mr Reliable who now heats up the thighs of Les autres former Gunner benchwarmers) and buying a number of good quality players during the summer, have raised our expectations to a very high level.

We all know that having high expectations for almost anything in life is usually a recipe for disappointment, sadness and anger, but most of us just cannot help ourselves. Having high hopes is still very different from high expectations, but so is the impact on our state of happiness during the season.

The problem is of course that Maureen and his expensively assembled troops are flying at the moment, having created a gap of nine points between us and them already. This hurts and makes us feel that we can forget about this year’s PL title after just seven PL games. And yes, if the Chavs keep this up then nobody will catch them, including us. But let’s not give up till the very end: karma might settle the bill sooner or later with the Southern Oilers and their self-adoring manager. We will need a mini-miracle, though.

On top of that, our injury voodoo continues to plague us (what have Arsenal done to deserve this?). The loss of OG was massive. Love him or hate him, he is the first player on the team sheet in attack in Arsene’s current version of Wenger-ball. I reckon we missed him tremendously from a systemic point of view. Welbeck has done a very good job, though. He is a different sort of player than OG; and especially against the top teams we have missed the French Lighthouse and ‘Midfield Enabler’ a lot.

Theo’s seemingly never-ending injury has hurt us a lot as well, and the initially out of form and now injured key midfielders, Ramsey and Arteta, have also left the team weaker. On top of all of that, our experienced signing for RB, Debuchy, is another long-term injured first team player; and Gibbs and Monreal seem to exchange the injury-bug between them constantly…. And now, yes would you fecking believe it, Mesut is also out for up to three months….

So to sum it all up, and I am not doing this to make us feel sorry for ourselves, we will not have available for a few weeks till a few months (and those that will return sooner will still need to settle back in and stay injury free): Ozil, Arteta, Ramsey, Giroud, Debuchy, Theo and a few others like Monreal, Sanogo etc.

Reason to despair or throw in the towel? Of course not!

Let’s look at it like this: those who are left behind will be able to play a lot and nail down a starting position for the time being, maybe even for the rest of the season. The likes of Chambers, Welbeck, Jack, Gibbs and even Santi, will all have a great opportunity to put their stamp on the team (again). Grab it boys, grab it!

On top of that, we can start a new phase all the way into January, with a series of winnable (but never to be underestimated) games in which the team can put their teeth and fight for every three points on the ‘OGAAT’ basis.

And that, my fine fellow Gooners, is what we need: a succession of winnable games, a passionate and highly skilled team with their backs against the wall, and a PL points gap that needs closing. Tick, Tick, Tick.

It was my plan to write a post about how we have to be able to fit in all three of Jack, Ozil and Alexis; but with the latest Ozil news, this has become more or less superfluous. The team almost picks itself now, which I reckon will be a good thing for the next phase of the season.

I am still disappointed that we lost marginally against the Chavs, even though the players and manager did us proud on the day imo. I wish we had drawn fewer games in the PL until now. I am simply flabbergasted at the number and duration of our first team injuries, and I remain disappointed that we did not buy a proper DM once again this summer.

But, no regrets, not false sentiments, no self-pity: instead, forwards and onwards!

I cannot wait till this inter-lull is over and we start anew. Take the bull by the horns and let the likes of Szczesny, BFG, Koz, Gibbs, Flamini, Chambers, Jack, Ox, Welbeck, Alexis, Santi, Rosicky, and whoever joins the core-team from the overpopulated sick-bay and youth ranks, to go on a run and do the shirt proud.

Forget about titles and silverware.

It is time to put our sleeves up: to plough, to sow and to plant – to find the inner-team animal and fight for every point. That is what football, and being a Gooner, is all about: the here, the now: the (bi-)weekly battles, the fight, the passion, the joy, the support, the beauty, the victories, the disappointments, and the hope rather than the expectations of winning something in the end.

‘Men talk about Bible miracles because there is no miracle in their lives. Cease to gnaw that crust. There is ripe fruit over your head.’ Thoreau

Written by: TotalArsenal.

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53 Responses to No Debuchy, Giroud, or Ozil, 9 Points Behind Chelsea: Season Over?

  1. Frozen says:

    Nice pep talk, TA. Difficult to be optimistic in times like these but you are obviously stronger than most 🙂

    copy and pasted from the last post…

    “17-

    as ridiculous and doomy as it sounds… the thought of Mesut leaving us has crossed my mind as well. Whats more worrisome is that this possibility occurred to me sometime ago, in one of his interviews with the German press. The hypochondriac in me thought to myself, “man, what if he picks up a bad injury and becomes disillusioned with life in London.” Well…

    10-12 weeks offers a lot of time for contemplation. Having sustained 2 serious fractures in the span of 12 months (both with 3 month recovery periods ironically), I am quite familiar with the negative thought processes that sitting on your a** can bring about. A 3-month lay off would take him right to January– nice and fresh just in time for potential suitors.

    Mesut is one of the most intelligent and gifted players on the planet. But this current confidence crisis could really complicate things. So I guess what I’m trying to articulate is that the idea of M011 leaving us might not be all that far fetched. However, I still think he’ll come good and the supporters shouldn’t be too worried just yet.”

  2. Gooner says:

    Needed to read something like this will all thats going on. Thanks mate good article.

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Frozen 🙂

    Good comment about Mesut and agreed he will come good. Let the team sort itself out, and Ozil can slip back in to orchestrate it with all the instruments in place.

  4. Gotta run at the moment…I left a comment on the bottom of the last post as well…

    TA, thanks for the upbeat writing. Our schedule favors us but some of those guys will have to really step up. Better to have the injuries now IF we can get all our big guns firing in the Spring. Still, IMO, it’s a suck-fest…

    Totally agree about staying in the moment and let’s hope today represents a real nadir…Onwards and upwards and all that…

    Thanks again…

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    The Spring?

    Hahaha 17, I was more hoping it will be December/January when they will all return! 🙂

  6. steve says:

    TA. I’m still happy mate (nothing to do with medication either) 🙂

    With all those injuries (i include Diaby in that list also)
    Ozil, Arteta, Ramsey, Giroud, Debuchy, Theo, Gnabry, Monreal, Sanogo, Diaby

    My preferred team hasn’t changed much tbh lol

    ————————-Martinez—————————
    Bellerin——–Hayden——Koscielny———Gibbs
    ————————Chambers————————–
    Akpom——-Wilshere——-The OX——-Sanchez
    ————————-Welbeck—————————

    Just waiting for Theo to return and battle for a place on the wing and i’m sorted – Happy days buddy 🙂

    I must seem like such an oddity to you lot lol

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    Steve 🙂

    Have you forgotten? We are out of the league cup already. Put some men in that team, ffs! 😛

  8. steve says:

    hahaha

    Same team that faced the Chavs but…

    Martinez for Szczesny (just to mix it up a bit)
    Chambers for Flamini – No loss in strength there me thinks
    OX for Santi – No loss in strength there me thinks
    Akpom for Ozil – No loss in strength there me thinks

    Hayden for BFG – difficult call but want to see a bit of speed added to that position, but that is the closest call and definitely a reduction in strength.

    So they might be boys but they look more like men than the adults do lol, and there’s enough experience to guide the lads in Kos, Jack and Gibbs 🙂

    Bring on the premiership 😛

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    Total Madness, Steve. I replace them all with those on the right of your ‘options’. Experience is key, especially in the PL. 😉

  10. steve says:

    😆
    Chambers and OX have played loads of games for us this season so i think AW may disagree with you on those two re experience.
    As for the rest they are just who i would like to see play 🙂

    Who would be your man to replace Ozil btw then TA?
    That’s a good point, in your post you say “The team almost picks itself now” what is this team you speak of lol, how does it line up matey? 🙂

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha Steve 🙂

    Yeah let’s play ‘line-up’!

  12. steve says:

    why not? 🙂
    I’m bored of crying about injuries so switched back to my familiar indulgence 😆
    and it even seems more relevant than usual lol

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    —————- The PIG——————-
    Chambers—-BFG—-Koz—–Gibbs
    ——————-Flamini——————-
    Ox—-Jack—-Santi/Rosa—-Alexis
    ——————–Welbeck—————

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    More expected than desired, Steve…

    Desired (taking into account current injuries):

    ————-Ospina (if fit?!?!?!)—————-
    Chambers—— BFG——Koz——-Gibbser
    —————-Flamini——-Jack—————
    Ox———————Alexis————Rosicky
    ———————-Welbeck——————–

    Jack with a licence to move forward and Alexis with a licence to play close to Welbeck (in conjunction though). Santi and Pod super-subs.

  15. steve says:

    AHH you’re going for my “team that never was” against the chavs with the Ozil / OX switch – good call TA and very likely, looking forward to seeing something like this steam role the rest of the season 🙂

    See the line up game always brings a smile 😆 you know you love it 😆

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Steve, I bet there is no team that you have not already put together in the past 😛

  17. steve says:

    hey you can’t change formations them’s the rules 😆 (according to Wenger anyway lol)
    Otherwise with Jack moving forward and Sanchez playing close to Welbeck you’ve got a 4-1-3-2, which is my preferred formation but one that i have banned myself from using as it never gets played lol.

    Here’s hoping your right on the formation though TA, and i’m right on the personnel 😆

    Right i’ve got to dash mate

    Night bud

  18. steve says:

    😆 😆 😆
    PROBABLY RIGHT TA!
    😆 😆 😆

  19. TotalArsenal says:

    i expect PG to come on any minute and tell us about the virtues of das Pod 😛

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    night steve 😛

  21. AB says:

    In haste – great article TA, and spot on with both sentiment and substance. If we focus on the team we can put out (not the one we cannot) and the opposition we face, then we have every reason to be positive. I always feel the boys dig in when we are under pressure – from multiple injuries or a bad result, so I’m hoping to see a bounce, and the squad we have that is fit remains more than capable of giving us just that. Fingers crossed the inter lull doesn’t bring any more injuries for us, and that Walcott, Ramsey and Arteta are near ready when its over.

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers AB, and all agreed. 🙂

  23. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    It always sad to lost against Chelsea.. but at least we did better than last season..
    And for sure we will be better and better after Theo and Ramsey back..
    Can wait to see Walcott played.. his partnership with Chambers and Welbeck will make Arsenal and England become a better team.. hehehehe..

    Ozil injured for 2-3 months.. don’t worry me too much.. Cazorla, Ramsey, Wilshere and Rosicky can play his part.. Someone said that it is a blessing in disguise.. maybe they right..
    At least we will not see him (Ozil) playing wide as a LW.. hehehe..
    I hate to watch him as a LW.. Wenger just didn’t had a courage to bench Wilshere or Ozil..or Ramsey also.. They just can’t play a great game altogether..
    But with Walcott back.. I think Wenger will easily put Walcott-Welbeck-Sanchez as his first choice striker.. so there will be no more Ozil or Cazorla at LW.. hehehehe..
    So.. assume that we will always play in 4-1-4-1 formation.. we only need to choose the two CAM..
    either Wilshere, Cazorla, Ozil, Ramsey, Rosicky.. For the one in the DM will be Arteta or Flamini.. I wish for Diaby, but I don’t think my wish will come true.. hahahaha..

    My point is.. don’t worry too much about Ozil or our injured players..
    We almost have this kind of problem every season.. and we all know that we survive..
    So this season will also the same.. We will survive in big four..
    And as I said before that we are better now.. we will only finished in the big three.. hehehehe..

  24. Gerry says:

    Morning all – I’ll leave the ‘good’ part out.

    Missing out on the evening discussion, this is post is a much better area of discussion.
    Thank you TA.

    Personally, I find it too soon to talk of a ‘team that picks itself’, prior to an interlull where we do not have a great record of clean sheets on the injury front?

    You speak of ‘Karma’ coming to our aid, and also ask the question ‘What have Arsenal done to deserve this (run of injuries)?’ Well I can think of one thing, if you believe in karma?
    The ‘Invincibles’
    The only team to go through an entire season unbeaten v The team with the biggest number of games lost through injuries?
    You may laugh at this suggestion, and I do not take a serious view on it my self … except ..
    Yesterday I talked of Coventry’s remarkable unbeaten run that got them promoted to Division 1. What followed was not quite smooth. They lost their manager, the main stand burnt down, George Curtis broke his leg in the second game of the season, and he was the ‘rock’ that kept the team running until they dropped.
    All that in their next two seasons, but amazingly they missed the drop. And they went on to win the FA Cup against all odds, albeit, 20 years later. Their only major trophy win, apart from promotion wins from 4th to 1st, I might add. What followed the next season? The team broke up with players sold and the slow decline set in.
    Karma?
    If that is the case, the only crumb of comfort I can gain from Sunday’s loss, is maybe Chelsea go on to remain unbeaten, and the financial collapse that follows as they repay their debt to the laws of Karma … and just possibly, we get released from ours?

    Serious response later, dog walking …
    Cheers

  25. henrychan says:

    @Steve.. You always put Chambers as our DM.. I like your consistency..
    But I don’t think it will happen.. at least not in this season..

    He will play as CB tonight against San Marino.. He played well in that position and also as RB..
    So let him be there.. don’t push him to take a big responsibility as our DM..
    Maybe he can.. if he play for U-21 teams.. but not for EPL.. hehehehe..

  26. Neeraj says:

    Henry chan, I think you should change your name to hehehenry chan 😛
    because of the amount of “hehehe”s you put in I sometimes feel like in real life you might be a guy similar to Chow from the Hangiver series 😆
    PS : It is only a joke I do not mean to insult you

  27. Gerry says:

    Right, back the question – Season over, or Season starting?

    I would be very surprised if we collapsed in a heap because of this latest injury.
    As JB has pointed out, it is at least in an area where we do have some options. Not as good imo, as I am very much with HT on what we lose, rather than what we might gain from not having to make choices or compromises. There is a flip side to the latter, the idea we have competition for places? I don’t fully go along with the very vocal minority who think Ozil is a waste of space, is actually a true representation of how all Arsenal fans assess him? Much the same with the ‘Arsene out’ brigade? So I do not think negative thoughts will enter his head.

    I can only think of one reason why the Khediera stories seem to get stronger, even allowing for some of the sources, is because he can get the best out of Ozil. A friend off field too. Remember, he was the one who stuck his neck out when offering support to Mesut when he left RM, amid all the negative stuff they were throwing about?
    So I think AW genuinely wants to have Ozil at the heart of this new approach, but he may be had not reckoned with how much Wilshere’s central positioning throws MO11’s game out of kilter?

    I also read the Jorge Bird update on Zelalem, which more or less replicates my input last week. He says he has now starting to impose himself more in games and find a consistency that was lacking. BUT, he is not ready for the first team this season. Instead, he will be left to develop in the Uefa Youth league and Under 21 Reserve league. I suspect the influence of the new Academy coach here?

    I put that in now in case anybody starts thinking we might have an instant replacement. Not going to happen.

    I also agree with ‘Hehe’ above about Steve’s promotion of Chambers to DM. Not only too much too soon, but also his duties will be in the back 4 …except for the Hull game. I cannot say that finding a team to beat Hull, and I mean no disrespect to them, will be that difficult. They are a solid mid-table premiership side. But we have just been battling against the tougher ones, and the way we played against Chelsea, could well be the blueprint for the near future. Keep it tight for an hour, taking whatever we can get, as in the Villa game, but become the masters of the last 30 minutes. Whether that is sealing up an already won game, or simply overrunning a tired defence. Either way, it should amass valuable points to keeps us there or thereabouts should the leaders falter.

    My final input on this is on the supposed ‘set in stone’ 4-1-4-1 formation. The Chelsea game showed a variation that gave us better defensive capability. The Gala game showed us a better attacking capability. The latter playing with 3 at the back, similar to Hull, and we saw how that can be dismantled with pace up front?

    Will we miss Ozil? Too right we will. And the players who will notice it most are JW10 and SC19, because they will find space harder to come by as those cul-des-sac’s close in. Ox will become a very important player over the coming weeks, as he wlll be the one to drive down the wings, rather than the CAM’s trying to bulldoze their way through the middle. It also allows the likes of Rosicky to come in and play a similar role, although I think some of these senior/experienced players have been left out for a reason?

    Don’t underestimate the input the that the academy may provide either. I nailed my support to Hayden very early on, and I think he will have many opportunities between now and the New Year to make a huge impression on the team and AW’s thinking. On his last showing, Coquelin could also save his Arsenal career if he gets a chance in midfield. Indeed, one card away from a Flamini ‘rest’, and the two above could be manning the barricades together if Arteta is not fit?
    Nor will I desert Hector in this period of uncertainty. he will give his all wherever he plays.

    So no panic from my perspective. Nor do I see a blessing. One top quality player down is a minus to the team. They do have the strength and character to overcome this latest setback.

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    That’s the spirit Hehehehenry! 🙂

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed Gerry, we are less without Ozil, and fingers crossed re further injuries… Holland has a fully fit squad…. Yet Arsenal miss half a team…

  30. Xavier says:

    Just reading that Kos is injured too??? How are we supposed to… ahh Nevermind. We always cope.

  31. Gerry says:

    Too late TA – Kos out with achilles problem

  32. Neeraj says:

    TA

    Which Dutch team do you support ?
    Feyenoord’s tie-up with Delhi Dynamos in the ISL might interest you I think

  33. Neeraj says:

    So coquelin/bellerin and hayden are set for their first starts of the season
    Steve, Dream come true ?

  34. steve says:

    Unfortunately not Neeraj, Kos was always the golden oldie constant in my line ups, his is irreplaceable.
    This is very bad news indeed!

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    Neeraj, Roda JC.

  36. jnyc says:

    Excellent post TA,, I like your attitude, just what I needed right now.

    I think we have incredible depth in mf and can make things work against beatable opposition. Our early schedule was a killer, we had no margin for error, and dropped points where we shouldnt have because not only injuries, but a few new players still adjusting. When this team gets going, we will be hard to stop.

  37. Xavier says:

    Mailsport suggesting the injury to kos might not be too bad and arsenal expect him to be ready for the next game.

    On to your post TA… Really you’re probably the most optimistic gooner ever. Even more than me. And my optimism kills my other gooner friends over here. When i first heard about the Ozil injury i was shocked. I’m a big mesut fan and i really think he was coming into the season finally.
    Positive thing about it though is that we have ample cover for his position so maybe not so bad injury eh?

    Good post anyways and I’m sure it would be a beacon of hope to the rest of the already down gooner fam. We just need to keep the faith. We know now that the best is definately yet to come.

    Cheers.

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    That’s it Johnnie 🙂

    There is a lot to do; let’s go for it!

  39. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Xavier 🙂

    I have my desperate periods of support as most of us. Last season 6-0 against the Chavs hit me very hard, like all of us. But the joy is in the travelling and we have only just begun. 🙂

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    Chambers, Gibbs, Jack and Danny all starting. Count me proud yet concerned.

  41. proudgooner says:

    Total Arsenal,
    Good post, it sums up the mood around Arsenal and is realistic.
    The injury curse is shocking, when will it end? Why do we have it indeed.
    On Podolski lol, i think i agree with you know that his ship has sailed. With Ozil now out i see Sanchez making the left wing his own, it is his favoured position and with his energy, skill and goals he chips in with Podolski will bearly get a look in. Also with Theo coming back the right wing will be his.
    I can’t complain at Alexis— Welbeck — Walcott leading our attack, in fact i think it will be excellent.
    It is a shame none the less, Podolski is one of the finest and deadliest finishers in the game, it maybe just his work rate that has let him down.
    Ness we went for Podolski—Welbeck—Walcott with Alexis playing that #10 role, i suppose it is possible now Ozil is out but i doubt it.
    We have a good run of games coming up, we should go on a strong run. We just need the other results to go our way and anything in the EPL is possible.
    Keep the faith, but keep it realistic

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    Pg, I reckon we will see a bit more of the Pod in the next few months, mainly due to injuries.

  43. steve says:

    Chambers, Gibbs, Jack, Danny and OX all played – all survived
    Am i dreaming or something 😕
    Whats going? on 😆

  44. Neeraj says:

    AW: “Spain won WC with 6 Barca players, Germany won it with 6 players from Bayern. I hope next time England win it with 6 from Arsenal.”

    Does that also mean that we will win the premier league the season before the next WC ?

  45. Milo says:



    What are we missing??? This is what we are missing and what we will probably never see or get: these two lads fully fit and kickin’ it old school regarding their physical capabilities. I doubt whether these two are actually physically able to play like they are in these videos. Aaron came close at times last season, but when you see what he was actually doing before that injury, it ain’t even close. As a young buck he was it. They both could have gone on to be two of Arsenal’s best players of the last 30-40 years easily. Eduardo begot a similar fate, although his potential dominance wasn’t on the same plane as these young fellows. Forget Cesc and Nasri, forget Ozil even :O , it’s the repeated injuries that have dampened the true dynamism in these two player’s arsenal, that must really be the blows to the gut for Wenger over these past 10 seasons. I know it is for me 😦 Both humble characters who deserve all the future success they might attain, yet you/we will always wonder how much more there was to see from these boys. Nothing like a good lament/ode to what could have been to close out the day 😦

  46. Neeraj says:

    Milo thanks a lot for the videos
    I have almost forgotten the way Diaby plays
    Sadly the video cant be called the “best of Abou Diaby” because it is actually “all of Abou Diaby”
    Hope he just gets rid of those injuries and unlocks himself like van Persie did

    Note to wenger: better extend his contract if that is going to happen rather than lose him to another team like the “above mentioned player”

  47. proudgooner says:

    Milo,
    Great video of Diarby, to those who think Diarby should play DM it is a good reminder of the player he really is. He could be our Yaya Toure , he should learn how to defend better yes, but i would hate to se us take his great getting forward game and his goals.
    I think he needs to just play now, get his confidence back it will take a little to to get back to full form, but he just has to play wrapping up in cotton wool will be no good. He needs to be strong in challenges and forget about past injuries.
    Great video, really enjoyed it.

  48. Admir says:

    Wonderful article, TA. A lot of positive vibrations is something that we need now that we are decimated with injuries like we haven’t been for years.

    Maybe it’s time for some players to make a final attempt to avoid Arshavin’s destiny – being an expensive but mostly useless item on the bench during their last season at the club. Lukas Podolski, I’m talking to you.

    In one of my articles before the season started I mentioned how important the period between 16th August and 5th October would be. Seven matches in the league including four against Everton, City, Spuds and Chavs are behind us. We won’t have back-to-back league games against Top 7 clubs until the end of the season unlike the last term.

    When it comes to defensive midfielders, this is what we missed with Bešić this summer. The guy he was chasing? Just some guy named Gareth Bale:

  49. TotalArsenal says:

    Wow Admir, that was impressive indeed… 🙂

    And thanks for the feedback.

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