Arsenal 2 – Hull City 2: A(nother) Draw That will Satisfy No One

 

Welbecks late equaliser (with thanks to The Guardian for picture)

Welbecks late equaliser (with thanks to The Guardian for picture)

(Or… Ozil Invisible Again!!)

As Gooners face difficult results we search for coping mechanisms.  In descending order of how I rate them…

1) Wenger Out.  Spend some damn money!

2) Wenger Out.   He doesn’t know tactics AND he doesn’t play my favourite players and he sticks with HIS favourites, the f**king git!

3) Wenger Out.  The team has no heart and plays like lady-parts!  It’s his team so it’s his fault!

4-6) The exact same, but we blame the owner (4), the injuries (or maybe the physio) (5) or maybe it’s the players themselves who lack heart or are Cs or Ps (6)..

7) The ref cost us the points…

8) The result is bad (very bad) but I see some bright spots…

With a late draw and (very late chances for a win) AND with an injury riddled squad AND a ref who decided to leave his whistle at home, we are left without any REAL satisfaction.  Those who would prefer to blame the manager will still find a way, but the obvious narratives (we should’ve bought another CB…or we ought to trust our young players…or the manager should be able to motivate his team…) don’t quite work given the way the opponent’s goals came and the ways our did and didn’t.  (We can’t even blame this one on Mesut Ozil–Argh!!!)

As such, in light of lacking total satisfaction–in both the result AND the narratives–we’re left to actually discuss the events.  Here’s my take.

We started brightly with aggressive first touches from those we’d expect to make them:  Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexis, Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere.  Hector Bellerin looked assured and very pacy at Right Back and Nacho Monreal OK at CB.  Early on we were able to keep Hull pinned in their own half even if shots were getting blocked at the point of attack or mishit.

In the 13th minute the reward came through Alexis.  Our Captain on the day, Per Mertesacker, did well to keep the ball in their half, played it to the Chilean out on the wide right who carried it forward, danced around a defender, and took the shot on himself from a difficult angle.  Harper covered his near post like a blanket but was exposed at the far corner and the shot was well-measured.  A very assured goal on a great individual effort but it had been coming.  It augured well for more.

More goals did arrive but from the wrong team.  In a solo effort Mohammed Diame (linked with Arsenal a couple of January’s ago) got on the end of an average pass, jumped easily around stranded Monreal but still had lots to do and only one way to do it–by clearing a path to goal by hauling down Flamini.  Szczesny charged out of goal to cut the angle but (maybe) went to ground a little early allowing for a deft chipped finish.  1-1.

It WAS a ridiculous no-call but one which suggested physicality would be permitted.  Unfortunately, with such a small Arsenal team out there, it was a refereeing stance which most certainly favoured the visitors.  Nonetheless the game was young and the Hull goal was completely against the run of play.

Unfortunately, our early goal may have seen us lose our initiative, perhaps in the hope that (for once) we might seal the (much needed) 3 points before squeaky-bum time.   After their equalizer we continued to push forward, especially with aggressive first touches and solid running.  The ability to press Hull into their own territory, however, waned, as their time wasting, having restored a perfectly satisfactory score-line for them, increased.  Despite 3 minutes of injury time, we headed to the dressing room even.

The team talk must’ve focused on our offensive game because, almost directly from the kickoff, our lack of defensive focus was punished.    Without an Arsenal touch (but plenty of very slow chasing of shadows) a wide ball to Huddlestone was lazily closed down by Wilshere.  Mertesacker extended his head towards the cross but was easily beaten to it by Abel Hernandez who buried it from 7 yards out.  Szczesny almost got a hand to it, but by such margins goals are scored.

Now down a goal, the patterns of the match deepened.  Arsenal, huffing and puffing, but with an eye for not getting beaten on the break, kept pushing.  Combinations continued to be off, especially amongst some of the English guys who’d played together during the international break, but Arsenal were still the better club.  Needing a focus in the middle of the pitch, Wilshere seemed as likely as Cazorla to be the spark.  Oxlade-Chamberlain, whose abilities in receiving the ball are as good as anybody at the club, also seemed bothered by basics.  Although the initiative seemed strong, passes were either too hard to feet or poorly weighted into space.  With Hull working minute by minute (time wasting) to hold the result, frustration and referee appeals came more steadily.  Scoring chances did not.

Urgency was required, and Wenger went to his (threadbare) bench at just past the hour mark, pulling Flamini for Aaron Ramsey.   Of course Ramsey was coming off another pulled hamstring and didn’t appear his fittest.  Was it too many Cornish pies or merely the black boots?  Were we risking another long spell out or was 3 weeks (instead of the originally diagnosed 6) enough to resurrect the Welsh Jesus?  Either way, even if he brought a more offensive element, he looked unlikely to pop up in the box or belt one from distance.

Our offensive players, perhaps with the exception of Alexis and Welbeck, continued to cut forlorn figures.  Oxlade-Chamberlain, in particular, though bright with initial touches was poor with ideas for finishing his moves although one nice run and pull back, even if slightly behind Cazorla, might’ve been better controlled or shot first time.

Wilshere, who took a knee to the back earlier on top of many unrewarded falls to the pitch, seemed increasing petulant as the referee continued to allow contact after contact.  On 67 minutes another unwhistled foul was followed by a touch of red mist and an unwise attempt to regain the ball.  A clash of knees and a Giroud-esque shaking of the fingers (the universal gesture of “I’m really gonna fake injury on this one or I might be seriously hurt…) seemed worrisome indeed.  He took a yellow for his trouble but seemed to leave the pitch walking well.  Joel Campbell was up quickly (woken from his nap?) and placed in a wide right position.

Now Oxlade-Chamberlain moved central and though time was still available, nervousness in the stadium seemed the tone.  Online, where all is easier, doom and personal agendas, if not outright hate, seemed the order of the moment.  Knives sharpened, narratives prepared, everybody was hoping for a win…for one team or the other…

Alas, ’twas not to be.  Finally, with the same pressure at which we began the match and throwing caution to the wind by leaving Mertesacker (and Monreal) forward for long periods after set pieces, we forced our way back.  At times it was desperate defending to avoid a 3rd Hull goal, but good pitch running from everybody showed belief in the project.  Welbeck and Campbell made especially key interventions hustling back from their forward spots.  Beyond those very occasional breaks, time wasting, led by former Tottenham Captain Michael Dawson, was Hull’s only tactic.  Just as the 4th official lifted the number 6 (signaling extra time) the equalizer went in.  Again, individual effort from Alexis and a well weighted close range pass to a very cool left-footed finish by Welbeck and one of the three points was regained.

There was still time for a winner, but a worthy team effort resulted in good pressure but no genuine clear-cut chances.  With the final kick of the match, Nacho Monreal had a chance at a close range volley.  The finish was that of a true center-back–nothing but air…

And that’s what we’ve got as well–Nothing but air left to fill now that another draw is in the books.  8 league matches, 2 wins, the loss at Stamford bridge and, now, 5 draws.  We sit firmly mid-table on the same 11 points by which we trail the league leaders.  It’s a long season, and only getting longer… The result is bad indeed, though getting the three points might’ve only papered over the extremely threadbare nature of the squad and the difficulties of the matches (coming thick and fast now) which lie ahead.

For whatever reason, this match seems a good one for player ratings.  Of the original narratives on offer up above, the “Wenger Outs”  and “Whenever we fail we must be lady-parts” don’t carry a ton of weight.  (Ozil WAS invisible in this one, again, but, perhaps, has an excuse…)   In my opinion, they would only apply to today’s match if you didn’t actually see it and only read the scoreline.  My hunch, however, is that player evaluations will spark PLENTY of debate amongst actual observers…  Here goes.

Szczesny: 6  Made no saves and hard to fault for either goal.  May have stayed larger on the first, but only the most jaundiced observer would believe he should have come for the cross on the 2nd, which he also nearly saved.

Mertesacker: 6  Beaten far too easily for the 2nd goal but a real leader in pushing forward and continuing the fight.  Somehow he intercepts a lot of balls from those positions high up the pitch.  I believe he’d be more effective at set pieces if he wasn’t the only red shirted player taller than 6 feet…

Monreal: 6  Caught in no man’s land for the first goal but other defenders (or the ref) were well positioned behind him.  Otherwise untroubled as a CB.  His air kick at the end will overshadow an audacious cross to Alexis which was just tipped over by the keeper.

Bellerin: 6  Pacy and full of skills and got a mix of both dangerous and very poor crosses in towards goal.  Diagonal runs at goal might be a real threat as well.  Moving him forward (and Flamini out to RB) when Ramsey came on, might’ve been a thought.

Flamini: 6  People may fault him for not being beast enough to avoid Diame’s pull down but that seems a very harsh judgment.  Otherwise kept play ticking over at DM.  Ramsey’s introduction, even coming back early from injury, was not a backward move in terms of physical presence.

Wilshere: 5.5 Played with his usual verve but allowed frustration to the get the better of him.  He looked as if he wanted to put the team on his back but just couldn’t find the touches nor get the whistles needed.  I believe our chances to pull back the two goals would’ve been served better had he stayed on.  Instead, he risked an unnecessary challenge and was taken off injured, which, if serious, could be a real blow to his and the club’s chances this season.

Cazorla: 6.5  Played with more aggression than usual (maybe trying to fill the shoes of Ozil) and showed good fitness to stay at it for the full ninety minutes plus injury time.  Blocked a few times at the point of his shot but forcing the issue.  I believe he needs to use Gibbs out wide for one-twos at times rather than forcing the play central.  Blew the one decent final ball the Ox produced, but was regularly in very promising positions.

Oxlade-Chamberlain: 5 With so much imagination, power and skill on the first touch it is a real shame that those qualities seem so lacking if he takes more than one.  As the match wore on the pressure to do even more with initial touches seemed to make them even worse.  Additionally, at this stage in his career (and packing that huge chest of his) I’m beginning to worry that he seems unable to muster a composed physical and mental performance over the full duration of a match.

Alexis: 8.5 Responsible for both goals and clearly the class player on the pitch, both in skill and attitude.  Still some giveaways but the relentless, never-say-die attitude, including keeping his head down in dealing with a ref who would not blow, probably saved us the point.

Welbeck: 7.0  After watching a composed, world-class finisher in the early match (Kun Aguero) it’s hard not to believe we are a step light in this area.  The effort cannot be faulted and he ran several pitch-lengths to help keep the match at 1-2.  The hold up play is good, but not at the level Giroud brings, nor is the sheer size and bother the bigger Frenchman presents at set-pieces.

Subs:  Ramsey 6.5 Not looking fit but a definite lift in class and determination once on the pitch.   Hopefully he can play a bigger role in upcoming matches.

Campbell: 6 Also not looking fit but a player with good ball skills who can maybe be a solid hold-up forward at a lower level or in future seasons.  In English football, with a ref who won’t call fouls, even attempting to use him in this capacity seems foolish.  (Where’s Yaya these days?  And Poldolski was held out due to illness?…)  As such, it’s all about the final ball but he was unable to create any chances–for himself at any rate.  He did well on the one ball over the top in laying it off to Cazorla and should be credited for avoiding an offside call on that one.

So there you go.  Those are just my opinions and ratings.  (What do they say, Opinions are like Arseholes, everybody has one…)  Pick your favorite poison, i.e., narrative or player(s) and scream it to the skies.  Or contribute here, perhaps in calmer tones, if possible…

A trip to see the Trappists (Anderlecht) on Wednesday…

Written by: 17HighburyTerrace

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152 Responses to Arsenal 2 – Hull City 2: A(nother) Draw That will Satisfy No One

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Seventeenho. A very enjoyable read and a fair reflection of the game. Your command of English is second to none of the regular writers. Top stuff. 🙂

    Although I also feel we need to support our team through thick and thin, I do not subscribe to your criticism of those who put a portion of blame, or even all of it, to Wenger. We have made a very poor PL start and the players are fighting for every point…. Criticism of Wenger is therefore justified in my opinion. But the one thing you might have to accept is that criticism of Wenger by some fellow Gooners does not always mean they want him out. It is also appears that you have an agenda, which is that Arsene is beyond criticism as in your post there is not a single criticism of him with regards to our performance today. How is it possible that our attackers still do not find each other and produce such bad passes to each other? The players are all highly capable and were giving their all. How is it possible that we led in so many goals in each and every game: the players work their socks off but yet as a team our defending continues to be poor. Why do we have such a bad structure to our play during large parts of the game, and why do we struggle so much with cracking open the parked buses?

    The result is disappointing and so is the fact that with still 30 games to go we are already out of the title race. For a club like Arsenal that is tough to accept. But we must continue to fight and use this period to become stronger as a team. Until the equaliser we were all over them and Jack and Alexis ran the show. There was good running and we had real penetration, whilst owning the area in front of their D. Great. The equaliser should never have stood and I cannot believe the referee and linesman did not see that…

    But our response after that was not good enough. We did not get our structure and dominance back, despite Jack, Alexis and Flamini trying really hard. Of course the second Hull goal was a real set back and the BFG got simply, classically, outdone by the forward. A first division goal conceded at the Emirates….

    However, what was very worrying is that we did not create much after that for a long time. Welbeck and Ox were ineffective, Cazorla did his predictable shooting from outside the box but at least he got close once or twice. The subs added impetus but no structure, and without Jack ( I cannot agree with your score, but then I dont do player ratings if I can help it) we looked all-over the place. And you know what, it really is Wenger who is responsible for this. Should he go? No, that is not the answer right now. But he has a lot of work to do, just when we thought we were ready to move forward this season. It is what it is and we can fight ourselves out of this, but Arsene Wenger needs to make his preferred system of football work now, get the players to understand it and get the best out of themselves. That is his job.

    Fully agreed on your appreciation of Alexis’ contributions today. What a player! 😛

  2. proudgooner says:

    By my calculations we need to win 25 of our remaining 30 fixtures .
    Probably drawing 2 lets say 3 and no more then 2 loses.
    I also think we would have to beat Chelsea , City and United and have Chelsea get beat about 4-5 times and pick up a good few draws. 🙂
    Thing is I believe we can win 25 games out of 30 but we must beat our rivals

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha PG, you are the ultimate optimist. Let’s just try and win next game and take it from there. 🙂

  4. proudgooner says:

    17,
    I have only read a little bit if your post, I don’t hold any blame at all for the result on Wenger he has done nothing wrong today, he put out a good team with great subs going on . It was a shame today but a good point against a tough team to break down , it’s so had to get though against a park a double decker side

  5. proudgooner says:

    Total,
    Our Arsenal are to good a side to not have a go at winning the title all ready.
    They need to set themselves a challenge and to me that is what it should be now, win 25 EPL games at least . A tough ask but 1 I want to see them try.

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    Maybe you are right, PG, but for me it is all about the next game, and then the one after that. Getting back in contention for the title is now far off.

  7. Ra says:

    In an attempt to avoid “narratives”, I’ll focus on the players.
    Sceza: not to blame for either goal, but when a GK gets such a strong hand to a ball…also, it’s a bit worryng that each shot on target seems to be bypassing him
    Bellerin: should start more, offers more offensively than Chambers and his recovery pace means he will rarely be exposed for being too high-up
    Gibbs: becommng consistently solid, me likey
    Monreal: he is a tryer but just not good enough, whether at CB or LB, this is more a generic view than this game specifically
    Per: almost completely at fault for Hernandez goal. When you are slow AF and your strenghts are your hight and anticipation, failure to show those strenghts renders yiu useless. IMHO we need to buy TWO quality CBs ASAP. The one needs to walk into starting XI next to Kos and the other should join Per on bench as back-up. Per has been woeful all season if we are completely honest.
    Flamini: he played well for Flamini by Flamini standards, whlst the Diame incident was a foul he DID go down easily for a DM/HM.
    Ox: somewhere between average and wasteful. Ozil being out is a good chance for a player I like very much but if he plays like that, it will be such a wasted opportunity.
    Jack: I have always hated Jack’s tendency fr running straight into players and expecting free-kicks…yes, the ref was pants but watch him in other games, needlessly turns posession like that a lot.
    Santi: same as Ox. Wasted opportunity, despite some bright momnets, especially in 1st half.
    Welbeck: ineffective and anonomous for most part but clinical finish for his goal, mark of a striker
    Alexis: He deserves I better. I feel sorry for him.
    Campbell: shuld get more game time, I’ve liked him each time I’ve seen him. Bright and compused in posession and always forward-thinking and also has that Alexis-style work rate.
    Ramsey: Meh. Either he tries too hard and belives his own hype or his good form was just that-form and not his actual level.

    Wenger: Its his starting XI, his (lack of) tactics/system, his (lack of) transfer and squad planning. Same old mistakes. Same old Arsene. He has stagnated and is not improving/driving AFC forward. I have absolutely no faith (justifiably so I might add) he will go out and find us the quality DM and two CBs we need. I.Am.Tired. You.Are.Tired.We.Need.To.Do.Better. #WengerOut

    I have now officially emotionally withdrawn for the season and will only watch further games out of habit and to pass the time. It’s gonna be a long three years…counting the days till we Do Better.

    S/N: Some DMs/HMs who moved this summer and would have markedly improved Arsenal, simply because they are all better than Arteta and Flamini.
    Diame, Kouyate, Stambouli etc. So “we tried no one was available” is nonsense
    ,
    Same applies to CBs: Benatia, Lovren, Manolas, Fazio, Alderweireld etcm (Remember before you dismiss anyone that we played Vermaelen and Per today)

    Not to be all doom and gloom but honest question: which of Flamini-Arteta-Nacho-Per would make City or Chelsea’s bench? (Not even starting eleven…squad and transfer planning…)

  8. Hey TA, thanks for your response…Looking forward to others, as well…Gotta get out of here soon enough, but back later…

    I have criticisms of Wenger myself, but I think (or believe or, maybe, would like to believe) that he’s limited by some bigger, more structural issues. Results could be better (and they will improve, I’m pretty sure), but they could also be worse…

    The biggest problem that I would lay at his feet is the pursuit of the English or British core or, more generally, picking the wrong players. The British idea is understandable as he’s been burned by disloyal foreign players. It’s all well and good to believe that making English (British) lads the heart of the squad is a way to create a good group which will stay together, but commitment runs both ways. Rewarding players based on their potential (with new contracts) IS the only way to keep them from being plucked away, but how many can we afford? If they are simply not good enough (right now, when we actually need them…) or are too frail and injury prone, what have we got? As quickly as people are keen to dismiss an overpriced transfer (i.e., Ozil) we need to look at the decisions when it comes to extending contracts. It’s probably good business to give Giroud and Arteta extensions, and the late acquisition of Welbeck likely helped today in salvaging a point, but I felt that the group today played (more or less) to the maximum of their potential. If we take the “injuries and illnesses” at face value what other moves should the manager have made? The way the goals came was unfortunate in the extreme, but this group, like the one who played last season in March and April, and the one that also barely drew with Hull City in regular time in May–with far fewer injuries–is (maybe) just not good enough. I like the idea of Arsenal as a group which sticks together (time for another contract for Diaby, I say…) and that element cannot be faulted–on the day… If we blame the manager in a meaningful way (by sacking him) (but fail to alter other fundamental structures…) we are in for a period of rebuilding and (likely) a different approach to personnel . The bathwater (at the moment) stinks but A-Dub still (to me, and to you, I think…) seems the best way forward.

    So then we can look to tactical changes or other things the manager might do? That’s not my specialty having never played the game myself. I’d suggest that at the highest level it’s not particularly relevant, but others, I’m sure, will strongly disagree. What I saw was dominance and heart from one team, time wasting and stout defense (defence?) from the other, plus a lenient ref who plainly missed the call for their first goal. Lack of focus, perhaps, played a part in the 2nd. If the manager had said, “OK, boys, remember the attacking ideas but don’t switch off at the other end,” would that have made the difference? Maybe he said just that? We’ll never know. It’s possible that another manager with a more rigid set of structures which could be switched according to need (scoreline) is the way to go. Again, not a particularly testable idea and I am quite drawn to the idea that players be given room to express themselves.

    Bottom line, results in football can be cruel. The team showed strong heart to claw back and take a point, when it might’ve been far easier to accept none. We are the Arsenal and we want more than what’s on display. It’s like the bleeding guy who needs a transfusion but finds himself surrounded only by stones… Flying in a new doctor probably won’t save him, w/o a whole mess of new blood…

    OGAAT, Keep the faith, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah…Gotta run…

  9. steve says:

    Wilshere: 5.5 😆 😆 OH thank you 17HT i needed a good laugh today, you did not disappoint.
    All these agendas you believe are going on here lol loving it 😆 Great, entertaining post thank you 17HT

    I will do my best to tick off which agenda’s i subscribe to:

    1) Wenger Out. Spend some damn money!
    – No! use the youth! 🙂 Hayden at CB instead of Monreal would have been nice to see

    2) Wenger Out. He doesn’t know tactics AND he doesn’t play my favourite players and he sticks with HIS favourites, the f**king git!
    – Bellerin in, Campbell got game time and Cazorla (a favorite to many) all got rotated into the squad, no complaints from me on player favoritism (the only time i do that is when Ozil is fit lol). What is it with this “Wenger out” conclusion to every scenario lol

    3) Wenger Out. The team has no heart and plays like lady-parts! It’s his team so it’s his fault!
    – The only p*ssy we have is injured atm, that’s why every break against us was closed down so effectively and tenaciously today, it was good to see. Cazorla gets knocked off the ball very easily but that’s more to do with physical deficiencies rather than his tenacious attitude and work ethic. I can’t quite see how this would be Wengers fault btw?

    4-6) The exact same, but we blame the owner (4), the injuries (or maybe the physio) (5) or maybe it’s the players themselves who lack heart or are Cs or Ps (6)..
    No lack of heart from anyone today that i could see?

    7) The ref cost us the points…
    The combination of Cazorla, Monreal and Flamini must have seemed a very attractive proposition for Diame as he decided to make his run through, all lack a physical presence but at the end of the day it just about worked and indeed it did come down to a bad ref decision costing us that goal and the points. So i guess that’s an agenda that rings true?

    8) The result is bad (very bad) but I see some bright spots…
    – When we last played a team that defended like this (Leicester) we scored one goal from 24 shots, this time around we scored two from 25 shots and held 70% possession (nearly all in their half). We lost the points through one piece of bad defending and a bad call from the ref – its not all bloody bad lol. But its not gelled just yet though. I wouldn’t say a very bad result but definitely a bad day at the office for nearly everyone (loads of uncharacteristic passes from the whole team throughout the game). Move on to the next game 🙂

    Where do i come on the 17HT scale of hate and agenda then?

  10. Ra says:

    17 HT. Assuming, but not conceding, the players played to their maximum potential, whose fault is it that Arsenal have a squad/staring XI of players only good enough to draw v Hull at home and have 2 wins in 8 games? 11 points from 24 and 11 behind Chelsea and out of the title race in October?
    To add to TAs point: the idea that the players are underperforming and/r are at fault and blame lies at their feet only works-
    A) if Wenger has the balls to identify and drop those underperforming, which we know is not the case as Arteta and Per despite being consistently poor in various stretches are undroppable in his mind
    B) if we actually have the depth of squad to replace underperforming players e.g Per can’t be replaced/benched for foreseaable fututre due to the after-effects of poor squad planning and transfer policy
    As a consequence we would then be stuck with average and/or underperforming players. If they are average and that’s their standard, who is to blame for signing them and as we heard this week only one man has all the power.
    If the players are consistently underperforming is it becuase they are under-motivated or tired of playing in experimental systems that don’t wrk? U think Nacho is happy being played at CB and exposed? Or Ozil was on wing?
    AFC have been underperforming for 10 years and the FA Cup peppered over the cracks. In that time there has only been one constant: Wenger.
    Ox was woeful today but will Campbell start ahead of him in midweek? Highly doubt it and therein lies the problem. No use scapegoating players if manager will anyways not hold them accoiuntable. I do believe he has favourites he picks by default and they are also why he inexplicably refused to buy a DM and CB.

  11. steve says:

    “The biggest problem that I would lay at his feet is the pursuit of the English core”

    The English core of Arsenal was four players today, 4 out of 11??

    I will rate them (including Gibbs who you seemed to have forgotten)
    Gibbs – 7 Can’t remember him putting a foot wrong really
    Welbeck – 7 Closed down and ran his heart out and stuck it in the net when most needed
    Wilshere – 7 The heart of the team today (whilst he was on)
    The OX – 5 Showed the same enthusiasm as usual but nothing worked for him today

    So one of the guys has a bad day and suddenly its the whole English core’s fault 😆

    You do understand that if we take it as the first goal was not a foul (like the ref did) then Diame beat a Spaniard, an Italian and another Spaniard then as a big German waved his arms he beat the Polish keeper 😆
    Then on the second goal the giant German lost the ability to jump.

    God damn English core, its all their fault 😆 😆 😆

    I call agenda!!!

    English hating agenda by 17HT, hahahaha

  12. Neeraj says:

    No use cryibg over this now
    Its clear we are out of the title race unless PGs predictions come true
    But I think we can still manage a top 4 finish
    Instead we can maybe concentrate on the other competitions like Dortmund did last year when they were facing a similar injury crisis
    Crazy things tend to happen in UCL like Chelsea winning it a couple years back
    And anyway with the change in seeding ofthe CL doesnt matter whether we finish 3 rd or 4th
    We are used to playing qualifiers

  13. Good one Steve… I think if you read the whole sentence it says “…English (British) core, or more generally, picking players…” and then talks about the general problems in picking them. So no (anti) nationalism here. I know people disagree, but I really think there are structural problems which make the picking of players (for the club, and to a lesser extent on the day, but not today as we couldn’t even field ANY truly fit bench players…) quite difficult. Management serves at the pleasure of ownership so anybody new will have the same constraints…

    Which leads me to Ra (which I assume = RA = Red Arse…) After sending off the match report I realized I had blown it. #1 in my list should’ve been “not good enough” which translates to, “my expectations are too high”… There’s absolutely nothing wrong with high expectations of course, and many argue that without lofty goals we limit ourselves, BUT (obviously…) they’re more difficult to fulfill. When you ask, “how many could make the bench at City or Chelsea?” I’d refer you back to the financial constraints under which Wenger works. Sure, a different manager might’ve chosen to pay Sagna whatever he demanded and matched (several rounds of) City’s offer(s), but Sagna IS a bench player at City, rather than both a Starter AND a bench player for us. Another manager could’ve matched Chelsea’s offer for Cesc (and several rounds of improved offers…) but there would be trade-offs elsewhere, along, most likely with a push for additional ticket price hikes. Silent Stan is in it for his bottom line, which, if you look at his other sports franchises, seems very divorced from winning on the pitch, court or rink… Wenger has been a common thread during ALL of this (and before Sheik Mansour-o-Vich came on the scene, when, we did notably better…) AND he more or less got the board to bring Kroenke in. Blame him for that, and for attaching his legacy more to the financial success of the club (at the expense of short term competitive success), but expecting things to change (more than superficially) seems a recipe for further disappointment. Wenger out is nothing…Usmanov in seems the more realistic path, in my opinion… Still, no disrespect here, just a different approach. If the “entertainment product” (which I’m pretty sure is the business Stan believes he’s in…) is not to your liking, other channels may offer better…

    Our spot in the table is very bad and our injury situation even worse… We just gotta go one at a time and keep faith, including in the players who may have had rough outings. We may disagree on those (hence the ratings…) but, judging on a single performance also seems a little harsh. Options appear very, very limited, at the moment…

    I dunno what to say about radically different views on player performances. Jack getting himself hurt in a fit of pique seemed a bad move–for him and the team and thus a downgrade in mine. How can you help us get the win if you’re off the pitch? If it plays as a show of real passion for some, I (respectfully) disagree. Likewise, if people believe we were a more cohesive unit without Ozil… Well, that’s a different set of spectacles, too… But hey, dif’rent strokes and all that…

    More (comments) tomorrow, maybe?… And at least we get another go round in midweek…

  14. shrillex says:

    Dunno bout you guys, but I feel it’s about time we drop Per.
    Last season he was a beast alongside Koz, but this season, with or without Koz he seems to be out of his league. He has been caught ball watching far too many times.

    Anyways 17,

    You gave a 5.5 to Jack? Just what game have you been watching? Or were you drunk? He was the best player alongside Sanchez against Hull. You complain that he expects too much free kicks from his runs. True, sometimes he falls to the ground too early, but some are just plain unlucky to not be given as one. Also, he has shown (especially in this match) that he can mix his game around and spread longer, more penetrative passes.

    And you cant really blame Szcz for either goal. He wouldn’t have gotten to the cross. He was largely untested and was let down by some poor defending. As for Flamini, to be fair, it was a foul on him. But as I have said many times, I never get why players move away from the ball when they are fouled/offside. The contact wasn’t heavy enough for him to fly out of the way, he was still in between Diame and the ball, just clear the damn ball before complaining.

  15. shrillex says:

    We really need a new defender, a CB to be exact. I would prefer getting 2 but I highly doubt winger would go for two without getting rid of someone. A proven CB who will be played alongside Koz or a new,talented, in form CB who can challenge Calum/partner him in the future would do the trick. For me , I wouldn’t hesitate spending colossal amount of money to buy Hummels. Or getting Varane/Nastasic. If only we got Mangala….

    A new DM would be nice, Khedira, Wanyama or Carvalho. Khedira would be ideal but I would prefer Wanyama. But from yesterday’s match, Per would be a boss in midfield. 🙂

  16. Ra says:

    HT whatever “financial constraints” Wenger is under there are basically sufficiently confirmed and corroborated reports we bid in excess of £20m for William Carvalho (a C(D)M/HM ) and just under £10m for Kostas Manolas (a CB). What does this show you, Wenger is aware of the gaping gaps, but once bids were rejected he chose to proceed with a squad he had identified gaps in. Why didn’t he have 2nd/3rd/4th/etc. Options for those same positions? And if you assume he is working under such harsh financial constraints why isn’t he identifying players within his ball park? Fact remains that money we bid was clearly earmarked for those positions and remains unspent, that’s self-imposed squad constrains. Some may think these players unfashionable but Kouyate was bought by West Ham for leass than £10m and is exactly the type of player we needed, Diame was under £3m. The good/top CBs that have moved and/or were seemingly available this summer were all quite overpriced admittedly but if we work under financial constarains we should a lower set of targets. Or at the very least we should have promoted Ajayi and Hayden to 1st team squad during pre-season if we weren’t planning on finding external solutions.
    Perhaps in January we will go in for Virgil van Dijk (who we allegedly under bid for on TDD anyway) and other players who were available in the summer but incompetence prevented us from trying to sign up e.g Nastasic hasn’t featured for City and is an upgrade on Per who appears to now be playing at the level of someone who is only good enough for bench and occasional rotation
    We have kept one clean sheet so far, simply not good enough. This is both down to inconsistent back four due to injuries and having no defensive shield (Arteta and Flamini don’t count). More so, what this does is the forward players play with worry on their minds and feel the need to drop deep and track back too much to help shaky defence and this then affects our attacking play too.
    Ultimately January (and I do not know why January will be different from other windows Wenger has failed to adress glaring deficiencies, the fact he said he would is meaningless, he also said if TV5 left we would bring in another defender) will be too late, we are realistically already out of title race and can best aim for top 4 now and I Am Tired of that being our goal each season.
    We are 8 games in, and have won twice, have 11/24 points, this is not a knee-jerk reaction to one game, the table doesn’t lie, we have been average all season, take the blinkers off. 3 more years…

  17. JM says:

    AW quotes:-
    “It was a disappointing afternoon because we got a point but we had 80 per cent possession.”
    (i.e. Hull City had only 20% possession and they managed to score 2 out of their 2 shots on target etc. Our team was inefficient with meaningless possession for most part of the match.)

    “We were unlucky with the referee on the first goal but on the second goal we can only blame ourselves.”
    (i.e. The draw was a fair result. Our team was partly unlucky with the referee’s decision for 1 goal and we went to sleep on the 2nd goal. Remember that Hull had only 2 shots on target and both went in.)

    “We came out of the dressing room with a lack of focus and gave them the lead straight away. It was difficult.”
    (i.e. Inexcusable reason for both AW and the team at a professional level.)

    “It’s difficult when we play against teams who are physically stronger and organised.”
    (i.e. Everyone knows this has been our team’s weakness, we will always be underdogs against physical and organised teams. The questions are: How and when is AW going to overcome our team’s disadvantage in this area?)

  18. JM says:

    Off-topic but worth a read:
    Extracts from the book, “Pep Confidential: The Inside Story of Pep Guardiola’s First Season at Bayern Munich”

    Part One: “Pep Guardiola: I hate tiki-taka – it’s rubbish and completely pointless”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/players/lionel-messi/11162958/Pep-Guardiola-I-hate-tiki-taka-its-rubbish-and-completely-pointless.html

  19. JM says:

    Part Two: “Revealed: How Pep Guardiola plotted Arsenal’s Champions League downfall”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/11162163/Revealed-How-Pep-Guardiola-plotted-Arsenals-Champions-League-downfall.html

    {
    He is not sure which is the better strategy: attack or control. At training the day before the match there are no clues as to the starting line-up. Pep still hasn’t decided whether they’re going out to get goals or settling for ball domination. The session doesn’t focus on either. Instead they rehearse how to defend the way that Arsenal begin their attacks from the keeper. They go over the co-ordinated movement the back line must make when the ball is being put long from the Arsenal goalkeeper.

    “We know that [Lukasz] Fabianski almost always sends the ball to his right,” Carles Planchart, one of Guardiola’s scouts and tactical analysts, says. “If it reaches Olivier Giroud it’s so that he can chest it down and hold it up. If he puts it to Bacary Sagna it’s to make our full-back push up towards him and Sagna will try to head the ball onwards and into the space behind our full-back.”

    And on Monday evening they go over and over the way to defend against these Arsenal goal-kicks, with goalkeeper Manuel Neuer in the role of Fabianski. For 20 minutes, Dante and Bastian Schweinsteiger are busy marking Claudio Pizarro, who acts as Giroud, and David Alaba tries to perfect the way to close down Sagna, whose role is taken by Rafinha.

    Next, Pep explains in detail how Mikel Arteta tries to draw in the opposing pivote in order to create a space in the middle of midfield into which Mesut Özil will try to appear. Pep walks through Arteta’s movements whilst emphasising to his players, who are spread out in front of him: “Özil is the dangerous one – he’s the one we really need to keep the closest eye on. Arteta draws you in, Özil pops up in that zone with Santi] Cazorla and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain around him and that’s the way that they achieve superiority in a key area. We can’t afford that to happen.”

    They test out the way to defend against this Arteta-Özil movement. The idea is that Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry squeeze infield and that Javi Martínez, in his central-defensive role, pushes into the empty space which Arteta has created. In turn, Rafinha’s task will be to fill the space which the Spaniard has had to leave open in the middle of the back four.

    They go through a series of different actions, moving constantly. Pep keeps shouting out the names of Arsenal players – Arteta, Özil, Cazorla, Mertesacker – and these echo round Säbener Strasse whilst the Bayern players push themselves to a degree unheard of for a training session the day before a game. In fairness, they don’t go on for long. Just 20 minutes. It’s the rhythm and speed they’re working at that is so unusual.
    }

  20. RA says:

    JM,

    Now that is the way to research the opposition and enables a concise counter plan. 🙂

  21. RA says:

    17,

    Re your 2;24 a.m. (UK) — in response to a comment at 0:59 a.m.

    No – this guy Ra is not to be confused with me.

    He has cropped up before and I wish he would change his avatar name as I do not appreciate being mistaken for him.
    Total Arsenal runs a good blog, and people can express their opinions without a problem, providing they comply with the Blog Guidelines, and I think Ra or ra, does do this, and I do not have a problem with his comments, altho I do not agree with some of them – but it is a nuisance.

  22. Ra says:

    Wh here thinks Wenger researched Hull or researches any other team? Wenger plays a “system”, not even a formation. Playing a system requires great familiarity between players and hence his refusal/reluctance for squad rotation. One of our greatest weaknesses week-to-week is our tactical inflexibility, we are so easy to prepare to play against. I remember one game where Fergie had RvP and Shrek sitting deep on kick-offs marking Arteta so that he couldn’t be our outball. Completely nullified Arteta and we had to resort to long kick-offs. 10/20 years ago Wenger also didn’t change tactics week-to-week but we had significantly better players and other teams were equally tactically in-ept, however in 2014 too many young coaches have novel innovative ideas and are passionate enough to put n the hours to tactically analyse each opposition week-to-week. Wenger is a dinosaur and leopard that won’t change its ways despite clear need to, needs to go and before 3 years have run.

  23. Ra says:

    As stated I have been here before and explained the name as well then, but its cool I’ll change it, just a bit more tricky from phone so if not now can at work tommorrow.

  24. James Bond says:

    nice one @ 17HT .

    but pardon me for cutting through the chase or cheese as they would say it in your part of the woods ; )

    am pretty sure most of you know where this is going .

    SCZNY .

    we had lion share of the possession , shots on targets and almost everything else minus fouls and from memory, Sczny only had what maybe 2 or 3 shots on goal at best ?

    and out of that boom 2 go in ?

    rewind and go back to similar matches where Arsenal have had 3-4 shots on goal, we almost never end up scoring yet whenever another team has only 1,2,3 shots on goal ,we are conceding or chasing the game .

    ok, sure the BFG could have done better on the 2nd but he didn’t – Sczny should have been switched on .

    the first goal also, he got chipped way too easily and made it look ridiculously good and easy, when all these years, I have been told repeatedly by you guys about “his height” where was that yesterday ?

    he was at fault for both of the goals, even though the guys in front should have done better, however, if we are going to get penalized and give away a goal every time our defenders don’t do their job, then we should be playing without a goal keeper cause that’s how it feels like it at the moment . one mistake, goal .

    TA – is spot on that fingers will be pointed and should be pointed at AW , at the end of the day, its his decision to keep persisting and playing players who either are just not good enough for Arsenal at this present moment of time, or simply lack the mental strength .

    I , also understand the point that AW picks the team and then he can’t do much more, as the players need to show their skills and finish the job on the field, AW can’t do everything – however, sometimes you look at the team playing and you for instance see that it’s not happening for some of the players ? e.g the OX , what do you do ? you bring on Joel Campbell much sooner .

    the jury will be still out and about on AW none the less as at the end of the day, it’s his team and his tactics .

    also, wasn’t particularly impressed with JW in the advanced role . this is turning into a war of the managers with JW , as AW plays him in the hole trying to prove a point and Roy plays him at the base of the diamond in the deep playing role .

    the lad needs to be played in one position and given a fair go, be it in that no.10 slot or else where in midfield – he is not going to make the difference in just one game, needs about 3 in the exact same position in my opinion .

  25. James Bond says:

    last but not least,

    we wanted a proper DM this summer, but there was a problem .

    the player wanted to come…Arsenal were willing to pay whatever it took to get the deal done, however , the club didn’t want to sell .

    this player was the missing piece in the jigsaw and all our problems .

    who was this player ? he was a player linked with Spuds whole season, plays at Southampton and goes by the name of erm, Morgan .S .

    will we be able to get him in January ? I bloody hope so but if they keep winning 8-0 then I doubt it ahahhahaahhahahahahahaaha

  26. Admir says:

    I have a feeling that our defensive unit and the attacking one are not fully coordinated yet. The problem is, that’s the same feeling I’ve had since that match against Monaco. Yes, the referee was – as usual – a lady-part (little hint: a vagina) against us. Yes, the result was unfair and all that but there is a lack of solidity and compactness in this team.

    1) We have spilled the lead in four occasions this term – Leicester, City, Hull (EPL), Southampton (COC). It’s something that we didn’t allow to happen in the last two terms (just four points lost in 2012-13 and nine in 2013-14). Why we can’t finish the opponents off and repeat our feats against Galatasaray and Aston Villa?

    2) We have played 13 competitive matches this term and kept just three clean sheets (Bešiktaš x2, Aston Villa).

    3) We have won 25% of our games both at home and away…

    4) …which means we haven’t been able to make Emirates our fortress.

    5) Every single flaw from Arsene’s barren nine-year-spell has been visible this term – one player that keeps our head above the H20 (like Henry in 2005-06 and Van Judas in 2011-12), poor defending at set-pieces (it looked like that problem was solved after Mertesacker had arrived in 2011), poor defending in general (it looked like our defence had been the better part of our team between March 2012 and August 2014 excluding blips at Etihad, Anfield, Stamford Bridge and Goodison Park) and lack of determination in tackling (yes, Diame made a foul on Flamini but he should have been robbed by the tackle before he got to Flamini at the first place).

    6) And all that is happening after Wenger had spent some f…ing money. So, it’s not about his ability to spend money (Alexis and Welbeck have scored eleven goals combined already, Chambers is a real gem, Ospina is an excellent addition and Debuchy would have proven the same thing if he hadn’t been injured) but to make all those players look like a real team.

    I mean, the spirit is there – we have been able to make a come-back from losing positions in five occasions this term (Crystal Palace, Everton, City, Spuds, Hull) with goals scored in the last minute of the game in three occasions and in each match we scored at least once in the last 20 minutes of the game. That says a lot about the attitude that shouldn’t be questioned. Even our manager deserves some credit for that since substitutions made some impact in aforementioned matches.

    Quality is there too – I mean, Alexis is a world-class player, Mertesacker has won FA Cup, World Cup and Community Shield this year, same goes for Özil and Podolski, Ramsey has been the best box-to-box midfielder in the league (screw you, Yaya Toure and Steven Gerrard!) and Welbeck has added a dimension to our attack that we hadn’t had for years.

    So, what the hell is happening? Why the same team that has battling spirit in abundance doesn’t have enough solidity?

    (Oh, I forgot: Wenger out. 😛 )

  27. steve says:

    JB, hahaha love the consistency in the Szczesny hating 🙂

    My only real problem with the guy is on releasing the ball, it always seems stupid to me that in a team that screams counter attack with true pace in attack like OX, Welbeck, Sanchez every time we actually collect the ball from an oppositions corner against us Szczesny is never looking to release the ball quickly to start a break. Instead he waits for ages until we regroup (but so does the opposition) and we start our slow tippy tappy build up into the oppositions half and in doing so almost completely negate the point of having that pace in the team . How much of this is actually his decision and how much of it is dictated to him by Wenger is another matter but its a growing pattern that is beginning to piss me off nevertheless.

    Just thought i would help give you another reason to hate the Szczer 🙂

  28. steve says:

    Alternative back four and DM:
    (two 19 year olds, a loanee, and a walking dead)

    Jenko——-Hayden——-Chambers——–Gibbs
    ————————-Diaby—————————–

    From reading the comments above i’ve got to ask could it do much much worse than this?:

    Bllerin——–BFG———-Monreal———–Gibbs
    ———————-Flamini——————————

  29. D-Money says:

    Name duly changed, not sure if it has retrospective effect though.
    To agree with JB: I did say earlier/last night that I thought it was worrying that each 2nd shot on target against us (as per stats I saw but don’t have at hand ATM) ends up as a goal…interestingly the only time we had a lot of shots on target against us but most of them were saved is that brief 30min spell when Ospina came on for Sczceza in the COC v Saints…I know he has an injury ATM but when fit Ospina should rather play. The Hernandez header was not that hard and he got a good hand to it, should have done better. I also feel Sczceza was responsible for the Dortmund and City 2nd goals in those matches, many others too but those two stood out for me.

  30. RA says:

    James, Jimmy, Bondie,

    Still winding up my friend, 17, I see. 🙂

  31. D-Money says:

    Steve, what has Bellerin done to warrant exclusion?
    Also, have we been informed how long Kos is out for?
    Assuming Kos IS still out this is how I’d line-up on Tuesday:
    Sczceza (only cause Ospina is injured)
    Bellerin-Chambers-Hayden-Gibbs
    Diaby-Ramsey
    Alexis-Jack-Campbell (Campbell offerred more in 20 minutes than Ox and Santi had all game)
    D-Money

  32. RA says:

    Hi Admir,

    An interesting and accurate comment @ 10:38.

    I find myself pretty much in agreement with all that.

    [Oh, and Wenger out, too — Don’t know why, but it must all be his fault – isn’t it?] 🙂

  33. James Bond says:

    ahahahahahaha you don’t have to give me a reason to hate anyone @ Steve .

    this is Arsenal – the players are under the radar and will have critics to bash them on merit – i.e. if JW doesn’t play well, I point it out – if OX doesn’t do it, I point it out – I have no hidden agendas against anyone like you have against OZIL ; ) as you can clearly see, am more than consistent in this and don’t hesitate in zooming in with the bashing on our our own guys (british) as well .

    you see, other clubs are successful now but Arsenal is sorted for the next 10 years with the likes of Chambers, OX, Gibbs, Chuba, JW, Ramsey, Theo, Dan Crawley, HAYDEN e.t.c e.t.c

    AW might be a lot of things but he will leave Arsenal with a Dynasty and continued success, whether he can experience some of this in his remaining time at ARsenal, remains to be seen – let’s hope he can taste the fruits of his own labour .

    but for now, he is not getting it right and I will be blunt with you all – he didn’t help the squad or his own cause when he started the first day of the season or pre-tour by saying ” the players are jaded, not getting enough rest and so on ” .

    I can’t possibly think of another manager who would do that and give their team a reason or excuse to fail without the ball being kicked – he was very persistent with this narrative , if memory serves .

    I didn’t like it back then and I didn’t like it again last week when he said, Ozil came back on this day after the world cup final and blah blah blahdi blahdi blah .

    last but not least, I don’t pick on Sczny – I just look at other keepers and see them coming out with MOTM or putting in decent performances – you tell me, how many games has he played, how many penalties has he saved, how many red cards has he accumulated, how many times has he committed hari kari ?

    there lies your answer .

  34. RA says:

    Thanx, Ra, @ 10:21

    It would save confusion to change, but keep your comments coming – I do not always agree with everything you say, but that’s what blogs are for, and they are valid opinions. 🙂

  35. Morning all

    For my two pennies worth I think Jack had a good game. He at least tried some long passes forward to Sanchez and Welbeck to try to unlock the parked bus. In fact some of his passing was excellent.

  36. RA says:

    JB,

    You will be worried to hear this, but I have to tell you.

    The players have set up their own blog to judge fans and the quality of their blog comments, and as I understand it, it is only because your name scares them, in case you are the ‘real deal’, that is stopping Chezzer from giving you a larruping.

    But don’t worry I am going to tell them! 🙂

  37. James Bond says:

    D-Money – HEAR HEAR , where have you been hiding before, ha

    RA – it’s not a wind up job nor am I that wind up merchant (that be Glics or HH) .

    17HT writes from the heart and gets very passionate as do most of us when it comes to Arsenal, he is just a bit over protective of the Manager as is TMHT – which is fine but then again, no one is immune to criticism that can be classified as constructive by some, ha

  38. RA says:

    Hi Northbank, baby, 🙂

    Haven’t I met you somewhere else today? What happened to ‘first’? 🙂

  39. RA says:

    Ra, are you now in D-Money? 🙂

    Don’t tell, my ‘name is Bond, James Bond, Bondie to my friends! ‘ 🙂

  40. James Bond says:

    as long as they don’t have that laser taster, am cool with it (and no, you are not lending them that laser @ RA

    Good morning @ NB .

  41. RA says:

    D-Money,

    Forgot to say that I like your team at 11:06.

    Didn’t Diary get injured in the mid-week U21 game?

  42. RA says:

    Damn, — ‘Diary’ = Diaby.

  43. D-Money says:

    HaHa I am now indeed Danny “D-Money” Welbeck. 🙂

  44. James Bond says:

    that be 007 for you @ RA

    how are you doing anyway ?

    can’t imagine you being so calm and relaxed about Arsenal as you are coming across right now – come on, let it all out, it may make you feel better, ha

  45. steve says:

    D-Money – HEAR HEAR for that line up, i almost completely agree

    ——————Sczceza—————
    Bellerin-Chambers-Hayden-Gibbs
    ————–Diaby-Ramsey———-
    —Alexis——–Jack——The OX–
    —————-Welbeck—————-

    OX still in (because i fell he just had a completely off day) but if he continues to not impress then an early sub at half time for Campbell would definitely be warranted

  46. Don’t ‘baby’ me RA 🙂

    First last happened in 2003/04

    What’s happened to the serial comedians Cockie and Transplant? Probably on holiday together at a gay nudist beach in the South of France!

  47. James Bond says:

    Diaby played 67 minutes and was the captain for the u21’s – was taken off after playing an hour and was fine – I hope he’s not injured but with him you can never be sure .

  48. James Bond says:

    some of you may like this and others might come after me, so at the expense of starting a riot here it goes

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/row-zed/12-questions-arsenal-fans-never-4463962?

    I can already see the likes of Neeraj ,Admir and Steve having a nice little chuckle .

    D-Money , I hope you don’t become a part time Arsenal fan and are regularly involved with blogging here with us .

    not everyone has to agree with everyone all the time and it’s always good to have a difference of opinion –

  49. RA says:

    I am not too bad at the moment, thank, 007, but health for all of us can be a tricky thing.

    NB,
    If I had known that Cockie and Terry had gone away for a nudey holiday I would have taken Terry’s pigeon down to Glic’s love shack in Cornwall for a nice break away from TMHT. 🙂

  50. James Bond says:

    indeed it can be and on that front, I hope you are doing all the right things and taking the right precautions .

    I hope your health matters return back to normal so you can not only blog more with us but also help in keeping the likes of Glics in line, ha

    I have noticed the absence of Gerry, he normally posts his match afterthought and provides a very thorough analysis – along with him, Alcide also seems to have gone missing .

  51. RA says:

    JB,

    Like everyone I am disappointed at the result, yesterday, but I do not see any point in getting too hysterical about things. (Not that I am suggesting anyone on here does – obviously!) 🙂

    The fact is that I have a lot of respect for AW, and give him a lot of credibility as a manager, and it does not come easily to me to second guess him, anymore that it does to have a moan at a favourite uncle.

    However, that does not mean I suspend my own judgement, and I am often puzzled by some of his and the club’s decisions, and my beef at the moment is that Arsene was well aware that we had a weakness in central defence and in the CBs role.

    From reading that we tried to get the Dutch guy from Celtic and Khedira/Carvalho, along with others it is obvious that Wenger realised that too – but the old problem of not wanting to pay the going market rate for the players concerned seems to have been the reason we did not get one or more of them.

    That may be wrong, but it is the perception that many of us have – but in my case at least, I do not want to hang him out to dry without knowing for sure what went on.
    (Whatever the reason, it is going to cost us I suspect

  52. James Bond says:

    that’s a fair and balanced comment .

  53. D-Money says:

    RA (feels wierd calling u that) I have to agree. As stated earlier, judging bu our attempted signings (Manolas, Virgil van Dijk, Carvalho, Schneiderlin, Khedira etc.) Wenger knows where our squad lacks. Yes we do not know exactly why those deals didn’t go through, but to me that’s irrelevant. If one deal doesn’t go through then you proceed with plan B, C, D etc. You do not settle for the players YOU decided aren’t good enough and that’s why you were trying to sign others in the 1st place. People always retort with “fine, who should we have signed then?”, but honestly judging by the players we bid for and/or have strong links with Wenger already knows “Who?”, the problem as you said (not in so many words) is his penny-pinching and then settling for the mediocre players he was trynna replace.

    JB read the 12 questions article, only question I need resolved is: Is Wenger still the right man for Arsenal?

  54. James Bond says:

    I voted yes, however, 51% on there thought he wasn’t .

    : )

  55. D-Money says:

    I did not vote. Very undecided. Despite being able to make a very good case for why he should leave (particularly at a time like this), Wenger is…well,Wenger and its hard to imagine Arsenal without him. And yes I am THAT young.

  56. RA says:

    The whole deal is difficult because many people want to be loyal, and undoubtedly Wenger has a fine record, and if we had not had to build a new stadium we would perhaps have seen many more trophies, or Arsene would have said ‘enough’ and buggered off. Who knows?

    I would have said AW is the best manager at the moment, but life goes on, and an ‘irreplaceable’ person in all areas of life eventually comes to the end of the road, and that includes Wenger.

    If you were to press me, altho’ I have said this before, I would have preferred Arsene to have gone out in a blaze of glory, because he deserves that – but it has not happened, and I think the blame game and the poison some people love to lavish on him is not fitting for a decent man, and a great manager.

    It just makes me want him to decide enough is enough and go, because unless a miracle happens we will not win the League or the CL for quite a time because wealthy tho’ we are, we are still small fry to Chelsea, Citeh, PSG, Bayern, Real and Barca (far too many) and the vilification of the boss will only get worse.

  57. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi FFGs 🙂

    Great and constructive comments today, and a joy to read. Good to see the RA’s in action.

    Cheers 17,

    Good to hear your view on Arsene’s biggest issue, and I now understand your ratings of the players better. When we have four French players, three Germans, four Spaniards and yes six English players, I cannot agree about Arsene focussing hard on creating an English core in the team. And those who have been playing regularly in Arsene’s first team deserve their place.

    Your point about tactics is very relevant. Managers IMO make out at least 50% of the success levels of a club, and style of play, system of football and tactics are his responsibility, as are getting the right players to make it all work.

    I reckon we have to be patient and see how it works out this season, but there is no doubt in my mind that Arsene has the main responsibility here to turn things round, and except for injuries to some key players he really can have no excuses.

  58. Gerry says:

    Afternoon all – HT, I think you kinda ruined a good post there by exercising your option of choice, to list others conflicting viewpoints. Why make it easy for them? Let them find their own find 😀

    I think you described the way the game went pretty well. I shave spent a couple of hours reading all the comments from the preview post, as well as those above. I find it amusing that so many can think that the line up was pretty good, in light of the injuries, and can now come up with so many damning things to say with hindsight?

    So a few corrections to the many:
    For the record – Hayden was injured in training. Hence Ajayi was on the bench.
    How many would have started him over Monreal? Not many, I would guess. Although he would have added some much needed height in the back line, and possibly cut the cross out for the first goal? It would have helped if Wilshere had put more effort into closing down the source, as HT pointed out? But I forgot, it was all Szczesny’s fault for not making himself ‘big’ in that split second that the non-given foul enabled the shot to be made.
    Note to Flamini – If someone puts their hand on your neck, make sure you do 180′ spin and fall in front of the offender. Don’t just stop, especially when it barely throws you off balance.

    That goal changed both sides. Hull regrouped. We got hurried into our passes.
    Oxlade C was the worst offender at trying too hard. This could be a pattern to come, as more players step up and say ‘Look, I can do Ozil’s job’, only to fall apart on the basics.
    In those first dozen minutes, we passed the ball quickly, and got it forwards in the same manner we did against Galatasaray. After their equaliser we were more hesitant, and this enabled Hull to control their play much better
    For that, the buck stops with the players.

    Whatever the half-time talk was, I am sure gifting them a goal from kick off was not on the agenda?

    However, AW has to be responsible for the substitutions. For the second game in a row, he has not removed the player playing worst at the earliest opportunity,. 65 minutes in his mind.
    There may be a good reason for it. Rosicky not being risked with his recent calf knock because he wants to save him for the CL match? Ramsey was the other option, despite no match practice prior to this, but we assume he has been showing up well in training? Campbell is more of striker/midfielder, but then comes the slightly mystifying bit, take off Flamini, but have Santi Jack, and Ramsey all pushing up, and leaving Ox on?? We were lucky not to go 3 down?
    Avoiding the ‘blessing blah blah blah’ phrase when Jack got his ‘immature’ knock, it gave a space for Campbell do play his best showing in a competitive game since he game back. One of the three big plusses.
    Much as I agree that Jack played some nice stuff, I query what contribution he made in the second half? Another case of trying too hard I think?

    All in all, we should have won, could have won, but lost it through our own inability to keep OUR game going. Alexis takes the honours for having the most positive influence. Hector Bellerin takes a lot of credit for battling away throughout the whole game.Timely tackles in the first half, and good runs forwards in the second. Not all his crosses were sound, but it was a bold show.
    Campbell showed some of his WC touches in tight spaces, and linked some nice passes accurately. Monreal was mostly sound in his defensive work, but against a tall attacker, he did not win many headers.

    So do we move on from this game and be thankful for the point, and do much better over the coming weeks? I hope so.

  59. steve says:

    well just watched Liverpool play like shit but win 3-2, its a cruel game

  60. RA says:

    Well Gerrard and Sterling have admitted that they did not deserve to win.

    Lucky, lucky, lucky. No doubts Rodgers will say ‘Pool had it all in control. Bastard.

  61. D-Money says:

    Saw the Liverpool horror show. It took two very naïve QPR own goals for them to get a win. So annoying.

    If we all agree Chelsea and City are miles ahead of everybody, then everybody else is fighting for 3rd and 4th. And from Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs, Man U, Everton and even Saints all have an equal chance of making 3rd/4th judging by how season has begun. It’s gonna be a long season battling for Wenger’s beloved “4th place trophy” then but I expect us to get it somehow, if nothing else, Wenger is good at that.

  62. Hey guys… Connectivity and ‘puter issues have caused me to lose 2 comments already this morning… Very frustrating… (Nonetheless, I refuse to blame my problems on Szczesny, Ozil or Wenger…or even the petulance of young Jack… 🙂 )

    Anyhow, like Total, I’m very appreciative of the comments during my overnight period. Also, I’m glad we worked it out between the Rs and the As and I likely didn’t phrase my inquiry correctly as I suspected (all along) that they were separate characters. D-Money, (the former Ra…) I hope, despite all the frustrations, that you’re able to stay engaged and behind the club…

    Likewise, I probably over-played the whole narrative bit in the post but I do think it (they?…) tend to obscure the more interesting points–you know, the things we actually observe and can compare notes on… Additionally, and I know this makes me an extreme outlier, I will just never get why people go in for the head-on-a-platter thing on the back of a bad result. If one doesn’t like the assemblage of players, the playing style, the philosophy, etc., etc., it would seem a constant thing, not one which comes up when the result fails to satisfy. But then again, I basically like Wenger and his ideas, so maybe my starting point is different and maybe people stay quiet under “normal” circumstances and only speak up when expectations aren’t met…

    Moving forward…which is just about all we can do… Anderlecht–and badly beaten Sunderland– *should* be easier matches, but I wonder. Our squad is stretched and the injury and suspension situation seems as bad as I’ve ever seen it. Wednesday night we will feel blessed to get teenager Chambers back in central defense ahead of Martinez in goal (Szcz banned, Ospina injured). The very fact that our subs yesterday looked not very fit suggests that other options (Rosicky and Arteta) only dressed for show. In Belgium maybe they get joined by Theo and Diaby and maybe they’re all a few days closer to being truly ready. I can’t find any reports suggesting Jack’s injury was serious so hopefully (minus the forced changes at the back) the same group is ready enough for these next few matches and the (forced) togetherness helps rather than hurts. Hope isn’t much of a plan, but it’s just about all we’ve got…

    That’s about all I can muster on the 3rd try and I need to get out into the sunny Sunday. Cheers…

  63. James Bond says:

    Hola me Amigo,

    so you’ve taken the easy way out – boo

    deep down inside you know what I have said has a lot of merit – 2 shots on target = 2 goals .

    was similar against Chelsea and such likes .

    but I will let you off this time because I do understand that it’s a tough business doing a match report one where the team couldn’t win .

    just imagine had we lost, then can you imagine the reaction and the knives flying your way, I mean AW’s way 😀

    yep, Liverpool – how on earth did they manage to win that and how the hell did we manage not to win yesterday .

    this weekend a lot of teams got penalties but I can’t remember the last time a ref gave us a penalty in the PL even though I can remember quite a few decent shouts for penalties which were denied .

    also, we had a million set pieces again yesterday and as usual – couldn’t even come close to hitting the target , let alone scoring .

    this is another reason why am missing Theo and his return gives us this – the lad can take decent set piece deliveries .

  64. Admir says:

    Speaking of refereeing, I’m pissed off with the way referees in England are doing their job at our games. That phrase “Keep your day-job!” was probably invented because of them. When I saw Cahill’s tackle on Alexis two weeks ago and Diame’s hands on Flamini’s shoulder, I miss Martin Keown’s face in Arsenal shirt. You know, someone who will come to the opponents’ face, yell at him and make him both hypnotized with a bad breath from the mouth and shite his pants. I want another Keown at our central defence – Mertesacker is a tall guy but his picture is in a dictionary next to: “a big friendly giant” (that’s what BFG actually stands for) while Keown’s face is associated with: “an ugly mo-fo who you neither want to piss off nor want to see in the dark alley”.

    @RA – excellent comment at 14.16. I actually think that Arsene should be allowed to leave the place when he wants, he is a non-disputable legend of the club…except I think a bit of a hint wouldn’t be a bad idea. You know, Ivan and Arsene are on the beach next summer and have a heated debate about bottoms Arsene had seen in Brazil during World Cup. After Arsene says: “Ah, Ivan, you know how they say – everybody thinks his wife has the most beautiful bottom”, Ivan would suddenly change a topic and say: “Yes, Arsene, like those people from Nottingham Forest did with Brian Clough’s bottom. They really didn’t know when that bottom should have left the bench, did they?”

  65. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cheers 17

    I was at the game yesterday and in patches we didnt play too bad. Saying that, ive never had a first meeting with an attractive women who turned round to say “Terry, that suspicious looking patch on your trousers? I like it”

    Lack of power throughout the team means big lumps like Diame run through the whole team, 1000 corners and we cant score, over passing the ball, a midfield that seems incapable of finding the correct balance, etc etc etc.

    But apart from all that, were doing alright. hahaha

    If I was Arsene, I would gamble on something a bit different. Play Chambers in the middle, push Sanchez just behind Wellbeck, and obviously hope Theo returns to fitness.

    However 17, to nick one of your phrases “What the f*uck do I know?” In my life as an accountacy manager my staff have attempted poison, tried to beat me to death with a tax manual, and waited oustide my house wearing masks and armed with rope.

    I knew they were Accountants. They arrived exatcly at 7.00 pm, and when I didnt come out left at 7.45 on the dot. But not before leaving a note saying that because I did not turn up for the lynching, they had no choice but to charge me £80 for there time.

    Come on you Rip Roaring Gunners

  66. RA says:

    Terry,

    I find your story about Accountants very suspect because to say they wanted to charge you £80 for 45 minutes is scandalous — it should have been at the very least £250, and the clincher is there were no expenses demanded and they would never let you get away without charging VAT @ 20%.

    Sheesh. I am going to have you charged with dereliction of duty – especially as you are an accountant and giving us a bad name for being generous! 🙂

  67. Gerry says:

    HT – I am having more local difficulties with my computer. BT is not letting me access my emails.
    It seems other results have calmed the rough sea of Saturday. Football is indeed, ‘a strange game’.
    The only compensation I have is I made a few changes to my FF team early Saturday morning, which included switching Mannone in goal 😀 times 8 ha ha.

    I am mostly with HT on the upcoming games. The fit players we have should be good enough to take care of business until the cavalry arrives. But as Terry says, the balance has got to be better.
    To me the first player entering my manager’s office would be the Ox.
    ‘Alex, calm down. The whole team is out there. You do not have to try and carry them. I would like you to stick to the right wing more. We have enough players in the middle. Okay?’
    Next Per.
    ‘Per, you are doing a great job. However, I think we can use you better at set pieces. I want you to go to the far post to knock the long ball back. Don’t move away, other than to stay onside, even if we play it short. Okay? We will have Calum and Alexis to shift the defenders around, so it is up to you to pick who has the best run. It will work, believe me’
    Santi, come in!
    ‘Santi, you worked really hard, but you must use the wide players more … on BOTH wings. Try not to telegraph your passes too, otherwise defenders will work you out. Great stuff, send Jack in’
    ‘Jack, you were sh*t! No, no. Only joking. Michael Owen just crept in there. However, I do think you are still trying to do the jobs of three players. You stayed back and you helped Matty out. You go forwards and take players on. You try to get in the box and get a shot away. This is fine, but you cannot do that for 90 minutes. When you get tired you make silly challenges. In future I want you to pace yourself better. Use the ball better. Don’t just keep going on forward runs, pass it sooner and keep the team shape. If there is an opportunity for a one two, take it, but think ahead. The box is a crowded place at the best of times. Be more selective. Be more Mesut. That’s all, send Hector in …
    Oh, how is the knee by the way? I don’t want you to be that Mesut!’

    ‘Hector, you did great. I want you to keep that up next time too. Adios.’

    Time for coffee ..

  68. TotalArsenal says:

    ‘Arsene, what Is that Smell? Dogshit or Bullshit?’

    ‘Ah Jack en Cornwall uuhhh France we call zis eau sauvage’

    😆 😀

  69. Neeraj says:

    Well I dont know about others but the boss definitely has some talking to do with Emi Martinez, on his CL debut

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes Neeraj and even more so to the BFG, as defence organisation is his top priority right now.

  71. TotalArsenal says:

    Sorry to hear about Pune’s big loss this weekend. A double whammy for you! 😦

  72. Gerry says:

    I’ve just read the Arseblog blog – In 13 games this season we have made 8 changes to our back 4 …. and counting!

    However, compared to our17 clean sheets last season where the back 4 were more or less set in stone, they go on to say that the team as a whole contributed to the defence, and may be this new formation is not helping in that?

    Whilst I was being somewhat humorous in my ‘manager’s role’ above, that was a point I was making regards to JW 10. Prior to Flamini’s departure, too often he was not assisted at all.
    After he went, there appeared to be no body back apart from Monreal. Even Bellerin was his partner at times. Against a more disciplined side who counter well, we would have gone down to a thumping loss.

    If Arteta starts against Anderlecth, he will need constant support, so hopefully we will be a little more conservative and go more 4-2-3-1? Even then, 3 of the front 4 will have to drop back if we are to keep a clean sheet?

    But let’s first wait to see who is fit…

  73. steve says:

    Right time to put my manager hat on, put my money where my mouth is and give my logical opinion on what should be done mid week.

    First off, what’s been our best defensive performance this season?
    In my opinion when we played a full strength Southampton team in the cup we gave away nothing defensively and the only goals they scored were from a penalty conceded stupidly from a senior attacking player and then from a shot well outside the range of any defensive influence.

    Is Southampton a fair test to judge a good defensive performance?
    Just look at their performances, their attack, their goals and indeed their position in the table, only City and the Chavs boast a better starting form atm.

    Who was in defense that day?
    Bellerin—-Chambers——Hayden——Coquelin

    Would I change it at all now?
    I would replace Coquelin with Gibbs as he is a more natural option there.

    Back four sorted:
    Bellerin—-Chambers——Hayden——Gibbs

    In midfield do I think the single DM pivot is working?
    Well considering our biggest complaint this season has been about defensive structure in the team then I would have to say NO.

    Does this justify itself through the improvement in attacking results gained from having an extra man in an attacking midfield position?
    Well by looking at our score lines – NO

    What is the logical course of action?
    Go back to the double midfield pivot that helped to provide so many clean sheets and such a compact defensive structure last season.

    Who starts in the double pivot?
    Arteta and Flamini replaced from last year by younger and quicker versions this year in Coquelin and Diaby.

    Back four and CM sorted:
    Bellerin—-Chambers——Hayden——Gibbs
    ————–Coquelin————Diaby————-

    In attacking midfield who have been our most dangerous players so far this season?
    In my opinion (if I call OX’s performance yesterday a blip rather than a trend) then it has to be Sanchez and OX.

    Who is going to conduct the attack in CAM?
    Take your pick lol, Cazorla, Rosicky, Wilshere etc. In my opinion Jack gets first nod but many others will disagree.

    Back four, CM and AM sorted:
    Bellerin—-Chambers——Hayden——Gibbs
    ————–Coquelin———-Diaby—————
    —The OX————Wilshere———Sanchez—

    The striker options are limited but in my opinion Danny is doing a fine job so that is not a problem area. And it looks like Martinez has his place in goal through default, I wish the lad well.

    Starting XI for mid week:
    ————————Martinez———————
    Bellerin—-Chambers——Hayden——Gibbs
    ————–Coquelin———-Diaby————–
    —The OX————Wilshere———Sanchez-
    ————————-Welbeck———————

    Tactical Subs:
    Ramsey for Diaby if he begins to wane, this also allows us to bring Ramsey back in a more gradual fashion as should be the case.
    Campbell for OX if he continues to put in the kind of uncharacteristically bad performance that he did on Saturday.

    Others on the bench for cover:
    BFG, Monreal, Flamini, Cazorla, Akpom

    Can anyone argue with that logic?
    Please do and give reasons 🙂

  74. Gerry says:

    Steve, excellent, except we do not know how bad Hayden knock in training is?

    For that reason I would keep BFG.

    Diaby did an hour of Friday, but it has been after these games when he can come up short?
    For that reason, keep Arteta warmed up?

    In both these cases, we could have a blend of youth and speed with experience.

    We will find out later if there is any reaction to Wishere’s knock.
    Keep Cazorla on stand by.

    Possibility that JC will get the nod over the Ox. But either way around, they make good subs.

    Otherwise, you have it spot on. 😀

  75. steve says:

    Crap i forgot about Hayden’s knock cheers Gerry
    I don’t think Wilshere’s was that bad by all accounts 🙂
    And i take your point on Diaby and Arteta, but i really think Diaby is up to it – for one half at least 🙂

    But if these three points work out favorably then its good to know my logic was at least sound 🙂

  76. D-Money says:

    Steve. Initially that line-up seemed extreme and like a knee-jerk re-action the the Hull loss (facts aside, it felt like a loss, we all know it), but after thinking about it, it makes sense.
    From Arsenal Twitter (as reliable as that is) it would appear Hayden is at best available for the weekend after picking up a “minor injury”, so we will have to “suffer” through 90min of BFG. LOL
    As for the rest, spot on.
    But we all know Wenger is obsessed with Arteta. I believe Arteta has Wenger’s nudes but that’s a story for another day…
    Also doubt Wenger has the guts to make some of those (big/brave) calls required to play Steve’s XI.

  77. Monday morning here…and I’ve got just a bit of time to do some quaterbacking (as we call it) over here… Boy oh boy does Arsenal need to get back up on that horse and have another go… 50+ hours until we get a new set of lamentations and/or straws to grasp at…

    Gerry, I think you’re correct about other matches, esp. what is being widely seen as an unjust result at Loftus road, helping calm the rabble. Of course, it might just be time… Around here, the warm and sunny Autumn weather is doing the trick. Consensus (of a sort, only, of course) may be congealing around the idea that sometimes things in football (and life…) just aren’t fair. Is it right that Chelsea and Man City have the depth (in mature, experienced, class players) to overcome their (minor) injury issues? Is it OK that Man United go out and buy player after player after player to cover for their failed purchases (and playing ideas) since the end of the Fergie era? We’ll see. I may try and watch the MNF match tonight to see if WBA can resist the Dutch, South American and Spanish attack LvG has put together and stay together at the back. Are they still trying the 3 at the back idea? They are (supposedly) more watchable than they were in August, I hear…

    Nonetheless, even if the result helped, er, focus, criticism of our team/club, the problems are real. Line-up changes are all fine and good, but the current group of 10 healthy (or unsuspended) bodies, plus 5 or so who can probably dress and trot around a bit, will have to try and get the job done. What level does Anderlecht present? Hard to say, but one would hope it’s an easier task than breaking down teams built for survival in the English top division. After that, will a trip to the Northeast to face a very wounded Sunderland group be any easier?… Doubtful…

    Steve, Mr. F11ngers, The Sovereign leader of Gooners from the Isle of Wighteousness… Reading the above was like taking an Amazing Journey inside your brain to see how it works. Cheers for that… Here’s a recording of that song–from the famous music fest on your Island some 45 or so years ago–which might make a nice soundtrack this morning… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyDnYLwat9k )

    To be frank, there is NO logic I can offer against your line-ups…. The only thing is…Most Gooners want to see results, that is wins, and, most unfortunately, the first team plays in a tougher league (or leagues or competitions ) than the one in your mind. It’s a place where experienced players take advantage of younger ones and make the plays (with and without the help of referees…) that stop us from scoring and create goals for themselves. Besides that tiny little issue, however, unless people rate the players differently (and, of course, we do, you know, based, for some of us, on actually seeing them play)…There’s absolutely nothing I can say…

    Unfortunately, I’ve got a feeling that the weather may not be quite as good on the Island AND that dismissal of your ideas in this manner may not go down quite so easily… As such, it may be time to run away into a world I might create in MY own mind…

    So, as fast as a Hector Bellerin (or a pre-knee Theo…) or a GZ (Gideon Zelalem, that is, is he pacy or not? I can’t recall…) I’m out of here.

    Happy Monday….

  78. steve says:

    17HT, “experienced players take advantage of younger ones”
    Flamini has got to be one of the most experienced players we have, certainly experienced enough to know that you either go down in a dramatic fashion when pulled around the neck as to ensure the ref has to make a decision or to hold strong and play to the whistle just in case he doesn’t. He did neither and cost us a goal, not the best example of experience over youth and power to be honest.

    Indeed out of the 5 inexperienced players (Bellerin, Chambers, Hayden, Coquelin and Martinez) I have not seen anything this season that suggests to me that they are lacking when compared to their “first team” equivalents.

    I hope they get the chance to prove themselves to you soon mate 🙂

    D-Money, agreed mate this will never be the team Arsene puts out. Get ready for the pacey triangle of BFG, Flamini and Arteta 😆

  79. Before I go…And seeing that D-Money isn’t quite ready to let go and stop caring about this Arsenal team… I’ll go the other direction and put ALL my hopes on 4 players who are well slated around here…

    Szczesny–This guy can play. Hopefully Martinez gets some protection and stands up to whatever might get through on Wednesday but Sir Chez is the man. Indeed, to become that fellow he needs to make a save or two and command his box and play the sweeper/keeper more like Neuer than Lehmann. I believe he’s got the talent and, with Ospina another injury issue, he must start delivering starting at Sunderland. This is a big limb upon which to climb given the sharp saw of 007 (in these parts) but there I go…

    Mertesacker– How small do people want our team to be and is there truly no appreciation of the leadership and passion he brings? Yes, he looks bad when beaten for pace but let’s not pretend he’s completely worthless. Positioning kept a lot of balls in the Hull half in his (so-called) disaster performance. He got the assist for the early goal and one tackle late on helped keep the others focused enough to pull back the 2nd. You guys are too harsh…Also, he seems to be a good mentor for CC21 so I look forward to that pairing in Belgium.

    Arteta–Does anybody remember back to his first year? What were the stats on the matches we won with and without him? Ball control and setting a tone of technical ability may not be everybody’s cup of tea at the back of MF, but he does it better than Flamini AND Ramsey. Ideas about playing Le Coq, Diaby, Chambers and Hayden (Why not Zelalem) are as fanciful as those about keeping Vermaelen at the club by offering him the role… It’s good to dream so I say, let’s buy a Bender or better yet BOTH Schweinie AND Xabi from Bayern. ROLLY EYES, eh… In the meantime, a fit, fresh and fat-haired MA-8 is our best bet…

    Cazorla–Santi seems like the tiny Arteta in most Gooners eyes, another weak Spaniard whose only attribute is, er, skill with the football. Nope. While I’d like to see him play more one-twos with his mates, I can see why he tries to take it on himself. Why should he give the ball to (one-footed) Gibbs or (Cul-de-Sac searching) Ox or (turn-and-fall) Jack, when they won’t give it back? I jest, of course, but this is a very fine player who just needs a little help from his friends. Our attack is desperate for MORE (not less) team play and Santi (given all the injuries) must be at the hub…

    Just my opinions and I know they’re not popular. Luckily (for me) I think they’re largely shared by the manager so I might ACTUALLY get to see them. As such they will surely disappoint, you know compared to the wild (but untestable) visions in the minds of others…

    OK, market’s about to open in New York… Looks like more troubles for the bulls…

    :Running Away Man: (Damn those Smileys which don’t exist…) 😀

  80. steve says:

    Oh i forgot our other experienced defender getting beaten all ends up by a simple ball into the box lol

    How is it someone like John Stones (20yr) gets the opportunity to excel in defense at Everton or Varane for Madrid for that matter yet Hayden and Chambers are stupid suggestions at Arsenal?

    I don’t get your reasoning, even if you turn out to be right i would have at least welcomed the chance for them to prove themselves, especially in the midst of this injury crisis.

  81. alcide says:

    JB,

    After Latin America, I’m currently in a business trip in Asia – New Dehli, Kathmandu, Dhaka, and now in a lounge on my way to Islamabad… Haven’t had time to post, followed the game on the blog, but some of the comments were spoiling it for me – made me think of those few times at the stadium where one supporter would just keep on bad mouthing players and the team, spoiling the game for the whole section of fans… I don’t mind criticism, but during the game and to enjoy it (as i think that is the point of warching) I expect support, positivity, not Wenger out discussions – these can wait for the pub in front of a pint. You’re one I would gladly attend a game with and have the beer 🙂

    I liked your post 17ht, and good follow up responses and discussions. On my iPhone ATM, tired as hell and have to board soon for a 12 hour journey overnight through Dubai to Pakistan so I won’t contribute 🙂

    Laters and keep the faith!

  82. TotalArsenal says:

    Mostly agreed there with the running man. 🙂

    Steve, I don’t like that line up other than for Emirates Cup, for which we will have to wait a while. We need a mixture of experience and raw power/potential, and we are not too far away with what we have. One of BFG or Arteta should always start, if fit. Experienced players will also make mistakes, but they will prevent a hell of a lot more. Did we defend that well against The Saints? Interesting call but I am not sure there is a base there to go for your preferred line up….

    17, the problem with Cazorla is that he has no penetration and just wants to shoot from outside the box constantly. He has two great feet but each of them is not lethal enough and the opposition knows now what is coming. It is such a shame Podolski does not work hard enough for the team, as he is the one with a truly lethal shot from outside the box.

  83. steve says:

    Arteta – Does anybody remember back to his first year?
    No because that was FOUR BLOODY YEARS AGO, you’re living in the past 17HT football moves on quickly mate.

    Cazorla – is a great player to be added but not at the expense of a quick winger type player so keep him off the wings and yes i agree he’s a valued asset. Do i prefer him over Jack, no because i feel Jack offers more physical strength but provides the same passing skills.

    Mertesacker – If all we do is play teams who sit deep ptb and then try to break surely a defender with an obvious lack of pace is an area that needs to be addressed. I am not questioning the guys leadership or skill i would just like to see other options entertained once in a while.

    Szczesny – don’t have a problem with the guy really, that’s JB’s area of expertise 🙂

  84. Hey Steve… I’ve got a split second here…

    Who ever said Chambers was a bad idea?…The Club pulled a rabbit out of the hat on that one, I think…Buying the back-up to Luke Shaw (I’d certainly never heard of him…) and the kid can PLAY!!

    All older players are not the same, just as all younger players are not all the same. I would LOVE to see Hayden (and all the academy kids, but esp. the Ethiopian/German/American Zelalem…) come good. I need to actually see them, however, before I will believe it’s possible…

    What bothers me, of course, is people simply saying. “X is old and slow, surely Y (as in generic younger player…) can’t be any worse… Sure he can…and next thing you know it’s a relegation battle in the PL, not the CL, that we’re fighting…

    But untestables seem to be more fun… Get some Testi-balls, I say, if you want to be a REAL man…

    😀

  85. TotalArsenal says:

    Good to hear from you Alcide. Look after yourself and join us soon for some decent blogging…. Who is the only one to get your priorities right? 🙂

  86. TotalArsenal says:

    Steve, surely Chambers is our Varane or Stones this season. And how many youngsters are the Oiler clubs trying this season?

  87. steve says:

    TA, kind of making my point aren’t you?
    Chambers – an unknown “untested” 19yr given the oportunity to play, turns out to be one of best performing players.
    Is Hayden on the same level? lets find out! in my opinion yes.
    Bellerin – got nothing but high praise on Saturday when most of the defense was lacking.
    Coquelin – at 23 surely he is not inexperienced anymore and has certainly done nothing to deny himself a place so far.

    That’s it for the youngsters i used in that line up (just 4) and all of a sudden its a team for the Emirates cup – nonsense! 🙂

  88. TotalArsenal says:

    It’s about the mixture and balance, Steve, but then I can only count to ten on the fingers of my hands! 😀

  89. TotalArsenal says:

    It is shame though, you did not write that comment as a post.

  90. OK, got the family off…And things look a little calmer (than last week) in the $$ stuff…

    Indeed, good to hear from Alcide, the world traveler…

    Steve, did you not click my link for the music… “Deaf, dumb and blind boy, he’s in a quiet vibration land…”

    There’s nothing wrong with stumping for the kids, but surely you have to have something to go on more than “they’re different…” Nobody had heard of Chamber–let alone watched him play–except, of course, our scouts, or maybe even AW himself. Now we’ve got our coaches watching all the guys you’re suggesting but they’re wheeling out the likes of Arteta/Flamini/BFG/Nacho for the first team matches. They’re ALL wrong, but you’re right?…

    You hide behind the mantra that results don’t matter, but that’s a REAL outlier… It does however, make your internal logic work, so good on ya…(as they must say, somewhere…) Surely, though, you cannot expect people who do care about results (i.e., everybody else…) to take it as anything but a laugh… In truth, now that I’ve gotten to “know” you, it doesn’t bother me…During matches, like Alcide mentions, however, give us who worry about results (and their ripple effect through the reactionary world of the interweb…) a little love in return…Maybe?…

    Finally, in defense of a couple of my 4 players… TA (and Steve), I agree about Santi and penetration near goal. Further back is where I’d like to see him in more of a Pirlo-esque role, Jack’s superior strength will serve him better as a #10 but he needs to get a call now and again, or, if the ref won’t blow, keep his feet and his calm… I guess a real (press-driven, AW vs Roy…) debate is brewing on this one… Believe me, I see all the potential there, but it needs to be married to maturity, sooner rather than later…

    Indeed, Arteta’s first year was 4 years ago, yes, but he keeps himself fit and is pretty good at protecting the ball and moving it on–i.e., Skills remain, even if physicality wanes. Flamini, on the other hand, just isn’t giving us much of either. I believe it’s very harsh to blame him (and not the idiot ref)…but some will argue that he cost us another 2 points on Saturday, bringing the total to 6 (Man City and Spurs…) My take is that he’s a vocal presence out there and thus helps organize the defense (I just cannot type de-fence…sorry…) but he looks poor in his running and his work on the ball. In general, he knows when to commit the cynical foul, I guess… I would love to see Diaby get a chance, but if Saturday’s subs are any indication, Ramsey seems the next in line…

    How badly do we miss Kos?…A pair of injections, one for each tendon…To keep our horse kicking?… Where’s the sister of the Chelsea physio gal with the drugs (and/or hugs) when we need her?…

  91. steve says:

    haha i try and keep any posts as unbiased as possible TA and this was definitely more of my own opinion expressed much more appropriately in a comment me thinks 🙂

  92. I do need to get going on my day at some point here…Not yet, however… 😀

    What this squad needs at this moment is to bond onto the qualities which Alexis, our big Summer signing is bringing. At the level of these next few matches, it *could* be enough to see us through… He brings a certain relentless determination AND he can get around defenders with the ball. Turnovers happen, but as long as they’re far enough upfield, that can work to our advantage…

    With our back line as iffy as we know it is (no Debuchy, no Koscielny–not to mention keeper problems, real or imagined…) we must play defense from the front… It *could* be lethal and teams might ask WAT hit them if Welbeck, with Alexis and Theo in support, put them to the sword with aggressive pressing of the ball. Santi, Jack and Ox (and Ramsey) are not the biggest nor fastest over longer distances but they all have good “pitch-sense” and know how to step in and steal a pass. If that can be combined with a good heads-up run or a quick 1-2, we might be off to the races. It risks opening things at the back, but speedy FBs (Gibbs and Bellerin, for the moment, at least) can help there. A sweeper-keeper (who knows what sort Martin-EZ might be…) helps make up for the lack of pace BFG and Chambers might bring…

    Sorry. people, but that’s the best I can do and I don’t see much additional in the way of playing ideas until we get the likes of Ozil, Koscielny, Giroud and Debuchy (in descending order of importance…) or go crazy in the Winter transfer market (lol, as if, etc…)

  93. steve says:

    “wheeling out the likes of Arteta/Flamini/BFG/Nacho for the first team matches”
    how many starts have Arteta and Nacho had this season? haha how many would Nacho have had if Gibbs had not been injured during that small period.
    Flamini you seem to have a problem with yourself by the sounds of you last comment.
    And BFG i have no problem with other than his pace which is why i would like to see how Hayden gets on there maybe as a sub in some matches.

    You seem very black and white on your opinions with not much middle ground (grey area) just like the list of agendas you put forth on us. Some of us do have the ability to hold two conflicting views and i try to put my point across fairly and show this. With you it seems either its a good day or its Wenger out?

    hahaha!!
    “give us who worry about results some love” 😆

    Well for those that worry about results and winning, we’ve only won two league games so far so maybe we need to do something different?
    Oh wait we can’t do that can we:
    “but surely you have to have have something to go on more than “they’re different…”

    😆 😆 😆

  94. TotalArsenal says:

    17, I think we missed Arteta quite a bit on Saturday in terms of building up from the back and keeping things tidy.

  95. D-Money says:

    As always many interesting and different (which is good, we are not sheep lol) views. Not to sound gloomy but change is needed, we have 11/24 points. We will probaly all agree Man U and Liverpool have been shit but by the end of this GW both could be above us, that is how shit we’ve been. Change is needed, maybe not as “drastic” as Steve suggests but by defintion insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different RESULT (and they do matter LOL).
    Ultimately we need to somehow get to 1 January within reach of the top 4 (and somehow Chelsea), by hook or crook, and then finally buy a proper DM/HM and (2) CB(s). And yes it s key that we identify our targets NOW and wrap up deals ASAP so that the players can join our squad on 1 January, I fear 30 January will just be too late. (In fairness, it probaly already is for our title challenge)

  96. Steve, Listen, I’m willing to engage with you–i.e., look for the subtlety in all you write, but you need to do the same with me… Otherwise, it’s nothing but a shouting contest…

    Of course, I “contradict” myself–i.e., favor some of the older, more experienced players and some of the youth… But that’s because I am using my EYES to see who’s playing well and who isn’t, or, more importantly, who is helping the team and who is hurting it. As such, I’m eager to see Arteta (or Ramsey) back in Flamini’s place…As well as see how Chambers does next to the BFG. Martinez in goal will also be a first sighting (for me) and I hope he does a job… It’s not a youth vs experience thing with me and I’d caution against such an either/or approach from you as well… Likewise, the “anything/anybody would be better than…” is just a slogan…unless you consider it all entertainment and change for change sake to be the answer.

    Again, however, I’m listening to the music about the deaf (dumb and blind) kid, so consider me worried that you simply won’t get what I’m saying here…

    Indeed, we have to lower our expectations re: results… Given the financial limitations at the club (ownership driven, IMO) and the injury situation we are in a very tough spot. Given that we barely drew with Hull over 90 minutes in May AND that our team is actually weaker due to at least 5 key players out of the starting 11…a draw shouldn’t be such a surprise. We’re the Arsenal, of course, and it’s (on average, maybe?) 50 quid to get in the stadium so, naturally the expectations escalate, but, here it comes…I AGREE… times are tough…

    So, come on, F11ngers, engage with me before just lol-ing in my direction… (Or at least do like Gerry and actually check if the kids are hurt before insisting they’d be better options…)

    Thanks…

    D-Money (the former Ra)…I appreciate the back and forth on this thread (we need a new one, and hopefully Total is on it…) but I’d argue about change for change sake with you too… Look at ManU… SAF-Moyes-LvG…That’s a lot of entertainment, but also plenty of pain–for them (which, as a Gooner, suits me fine)… On the other hand, we’re looking up at those F**kers in the table…They’ve also got an American owner with the deep (and debt-lined pockets) to fund the Fellanis and the Kagawas and all the other “failures,” on top of the Di Marias and Falcaos… My hope is that we can strengthen (and win) match to match from this low point so we’re in a position to compete well (and, finally, beat them) on 22 Nov. when they come to our place… And, if not, spend like crazy come January… 😀

  97. Neeraj says:

    Steve,
    Varane excels because he has been playing for 2 and half seasons now
    Stones because everton dont really have an option and plus we dont want to compare with a team who are barely avoiding the drop zone

  98. steve says:

    I am of the same mind 17HT, i am willing to engage with you but get lost sometimes in the frequent contradictions of your points, sometimes in the very same sentence:

    “I am using my EYES to see who’s playing well and who isn’t, or, more importantly, who is helping the team and who is hurting it. As such, I’m eager to see Arteta (or Ramsey) back in Flamini’s place”

    Where have you been watching Arteta play? have they moved him to the ISL already? Even when he did play early on his performance was highly questionable by a large majority.

    Where have you been watching Ramsey play? is there some injury league i don’t know about?
    When he did play early on in the season even his performances were well under par for him.

    Isn’t it the case that if you are preferring these guys to play in the team without seeing them play for so long and coming back from injury at that then you are picking them just because they are different? 😆

    “It’s not a youth vs experience thing with me” vs “It’s a place where experienced players take advantage of younger ones”

    The list is endless, and maybe its a difference in style where i like to try and make a point and then give reason against it as well in kind of a debated point of view if you will, whereas you give a quite extreme, no wiggle room, view and then contradict it straight after. Both i feel end up giving the same result but i’m just not used to that style of expressing ones point.

    I will try harder to give more leeway mate, sorry 🙂

  99. Neeraj says:

    I think Emi Martinez wont be so bad
    we have faced worse goalkeeper injury crisis’
    And Szcseny is a product of that actually if it had not been Almunia and Fabianski and Mannone’s injuries we would have never had our most promising keeper after Seaman (Lehman was more a short term solution)

  100. steve says:

    Neeraj, my point exactly mate 🙂
    If Varane has been playing for 2 and half seasons then he was being played at the age of 19 for one of the biggest clubs in the world – exactly what i am asking us to try (not replace BFG completely and all that rubbish, just try, experiment once or twice)
    Stones – you telling me you wouldn’t want to see him at Arsenal?

  101. Neeraj says:

    Yes I would like to see him at Arsenal but after this season at Everton
    Varane plays against all the Velas and the Ruben Castros who either are really poor themselves or never have any support
    Why do you think Pique never started at Man U and then became an instant star at Barca or even Pogba for that matter(not saying he isnt good but there is a level of experience also needed to play in the PL)

    The reason Arsene and Arsenal never won anything during our Renaisance a few years back with Nasri, Adebayor, vPersie, Fabregas, and numerous french players is that they did not have the cutting edge.
    Back then all of them were raw talents(or atleast a little on the rarer side :-P)
    Now these players can win matches on their own .

  102. F11ngers, I don’t quite understand your final paragraph on “style” so maybe you can explain in better…but I appreciate the sentiment…

    The interweb is a new thing (relative to my age…) so it’s tough…Maybe sometimes I try to quiet some of the (press-driven and reactive, IMO) narratives that get trotted out for better (observational, IMO) ones that get drowned… Overall, I think I’m pretty consistent in my bigger picture views…

    You’re correct, of course, that my evaluation of players like Arteta and Ramsey come from (literally) years of watching them and then projecting those qualities into the future. Football (my opinion, again…) is a tough game to actually watch because so little “happens” so a lot of people extrapolate from highlight reels or “lowlight” moments–i.e., mistakes that cost us and hurt us viscerally, you know, if you care about results. As such, in looking at players on the weekend, for example, I’m keen to point out some of the contributions the BFG made, rather than just the fact that Abel H. danced around him so easily for an open, point-blank header… I have nothing to go on regarding Hayden (except for pre-season and one CoC match) and even less on many of the other youth prospects or transfer targets. I still stand by my evaluation of Wilshere’s performance, that getting himself a yellow (and possibly hurt) on a foolish tackle near the center circle was a turning point…and not a good one–for the team. If he’d stayed on I think our chances of pulling back multiple goals would’ve been much higher…As such, a lower mark on the day. Still a fine, fine player who (right now, for sure) makes my first 11, if fit…(my ten fingers desperately crossed on that one, but no news is good news, I’m guessing…)

    Anyhow, 2 matches running, I’ve felt the need to shut the computer–mid-match– because of things you’re posting… (And, I think I’ve gotten some support from others who really tend to enjoy the in-match chat…) If that’s your goal then no change in attitude is needed, if not, altering your approach could be considered… On the other hand, I’ve taken criticism here before so maybe it’s all me… IMO, watching and saying what you think is ALL good, even if it contradicts observations from the last match or the last season or 5 minutes before. If, however, you’re basing it on something else (you’ve seen, read or heard, which maybe I can get on NewsNow)… I’m not so sure…

    Does that help?…

  103. steve says:

    Neeraj, sorry mate i’m not touching that one with a ten foot pole lol. I’m not going to start comparing leagues especially since the PL teams have really been found wanting on the international stage in the CL as of late. I’m sitting that argument out 🙂

    “Now these players can win matches on their own”
    Debatable mate especially were Nasri, Adebayor, and vPersie are concerned but Fabregas is certainly doing the business – but he was always that good when he was at Arsenal surely?

  104. steve says:

    Its all good 17HT 🙂

    btw i must apologize for making you want to turn the pc off mid match, was DEFINITELY not my intention mate sorry.
    What did i say on Saturday? I’m going to have to look now – sorry again mate

  105. Agreed, Neeraj about defenders in the Spanish league. If Verms ever gets fit and back to the level he had early on with us, he should do well… Let’s not forget the sobering experience that was Squillaci…

    The guy I like (who I’ve actually watched…) is Miranda (Atletico) and he’s the Spanish defender I would try and prise from Madrid. There’s a reason, however, that they’re holding onto him, (as well as other underrated guys like JuanFran and Turan) I think… Frankly there’s not a chance in hell that Stan would plunk down the money on a guy like Varane unless he (Varane) took a life-threatening injury… Most likely Miranda is also out of our price range, too… My fear is that Hayden IS not the English Varane…but, I haven’t really seen him play, so if he is, consider me excited at the prospect… Chambers looks pretty darn good thus far and may get a few matches here in the Kos spot… Equally exciting…

    I kinda gotta side with Steve on the attackers… On better teams those guys do well, not sure if they could be the spark we need…I much prefer Alexis and (drumroll or scary-movie music…) Ozil to the names you name…

    Overall, given the way Arsenal play things financially, we need our player purchases to pay dividends otherwise you have the dreaded “deadwood” (dreadwood?) guys on high salaries who we cannot move. We play them in the hope they produce–for us in matches and for the shop window–as we look to upgrade with younger guys, from the academy or (far more likely) in the niches we plow in the market… Always tougher, however, if it’s the ticket buyers who under-write the fees (and those pesky salaries) in lieu of a Sugar-Daddy…

  106. Steve, I truly need to run… but it’s been a pleasure trying to work it out… All that’s needed is just a little sensitivity towards those of us with a more hopeful attitude (re: results) about the matches themselves… Internet “purposes,” i.e., narratives are all fine and good but tougher to handle in the heat of the moment…

    Check the chat during both matches, even the one where that P***Y (a bad word in my house and in my view…) played on despite his injury…

    L8RZ…

  107. steve says:

    I think (and i’m not sure to be fair lol) it was this bit of back and forth that got you annoyed?

    JB: do you see my point about the OX ? another wasteful ball – he’s rushing it .
    – my interpretation mid match – OX is having a crap game
    17HT: I definitely see your point about the Ox, 007, but why is that different than normal?…
    – my interpretation mid match – OX always has a crap game
    Me: 😆 have you watched any Arsenal games this season yet 17HT 😆
    – my interpretation mid match – Not the case, OX has played well this season
    JB: steve behave yourself 👿

    If that was it then i apologize, to me that is very light banter just trying to stick up for a player i like, no swearing and with lightheartedness (the smiley faces). I grew up with friends and brothers who took the piss out of each other constantly and always had banter back and forth, i should learn that others are not the same. I don’t think i will comment mid match anymore lol, its not a big deal for me don’t worry i am normally in the lounge anyway, its just that i honestly don’t think i can get any lighter in my comments than that lol – better i leave it till after the match me thinks 🙂

  108. James Bond says:

    Steve,

    behave yourself.

  109. James Bond says:

    wow @ Alcide

    that’s a lot of travelling and air miles !

    how are things in Islamabad or is it Dubai now ?:)

    I hope you’re not in the same business as Fozzie with a B , ha

    if you manage to bump into him then do say our hello’s to him .

    agreed with what you have said, it’s only a game – chill out people , for once we can actually and genuinely look forward to Arsenal keeping a clean sheet tomorrow or was it wednesday 😀

  110. steve says:

    JB, now i don’t know if you’re being serious or not lol

  111. James Bond says:

    am never serious – but you did give my amigo a hard time there 🙂

    so behave yourself, ha

    where’s the team news for wednesday ? thought it be out by now, no @ Steve

    it would be nice to see Ramsey, Arteta, Rosicky and Theo involved on wednesday .

  112. steve says:

    Really? bugger, sorry 17HT – it wouldn’t even register as banter from where i’m from let alone be offensive (i hope you can take that as some consolation that i wasn’t trying to be rude at all mate)

    JB, team news – everybody is injured and we’re playing the U21’s instead, haven’t you heard?

  113. James Bond says:

    as long as Diaby gets to captain the U21’s and is the focal point on wednesday, am not going to complain, ha

    by the way, Diaby looked good last week and was feeding Theo rather well, Theo looked very sharp as well – seems like he’s been playing and getting sharp being the scenes from a long time .

    with Theo back, I reckon we will win our next 3 games and build some sort of momentum for now it’s one game at a time or (OGAAT as both skipper and me amigo say )

    and you need to stop apologizing to 17HT – he’s a big boy, he can take all the banter and stand up for himself and hold his ground – but you really need to behave yourself ahahahhaahahhahhaha

    🙂

  114. Hey boys..both of you…Be–have…I’m gonna have to start calling 007 his more modern alter-ego…Austin Powers…

    I am an old, if not so big boy…In my world calling someone a lady part would lead to a lot of aggro…so I don’t like to hear my warriors (euro-trash though they might be) called the same… I do realize we’re all from different backgrounds, of course…

    Watching ManU…And it’s Sessegnon putting the home team on the scoreboard… 😀 and not against the run of play at all…

  115. James Bond says:

    yep, quite enjoyed that – come on you Baggies !!!

    by the way, I quite rate this Barehino fella – he’s the 1 in 3 striker .

  116. James Bond says:

    almost another one .

    how the mighty have fallen ehhh ? would LVH be sacked by xmas time ? you never know :d

  117. Hey 007…Agreed re: Berahino… I have money to spend in the FF but I cannot drop him, even against the *mighty* ManU…

    Here’s what I see about the Ox…the subject of my last mid-match ‘puter shutting scene… and where we maybe disagree… (Which of his performances this season have impressed?…)

    Playing him forward is putting too much pressure on his game (much the same as it does w/Santi)… He’s a strong lad (and still so young…) with a good eye for how to use the pitch. As part of a double pivot or in a Box to Box role he could do a job… though I wonder about his stamina over a full 90. Like Ramsey before him, I think he could use a spell just focusing on the basics. Still, amongst the British boys, he’s got as good a first touch as any of them and plenty of power to protect the ball and he’s a bit more two-footed as well.. If he could have a match or two where he could just get a few less pressured touches, runs and final balls, and I think he could really blossom. If he does play out on a wing having a more experienced FB (I miss Bac…) could also help him.

    It’s all related, of course, another reason I’m against throwing in 3 or 4 youth players at one time. Arteta delivers the basic pass better than Flamini and Ramsey (in my opinion) which benefits guys like the Ox…

    Speaking of deliveries, that fellow Blind has been the bright spot so far…Not quite sure if he’s the beastly sort, however, in front of the D… C’mon you Baggies, let’s get a 2nd…

  118. They’re above us in the table…And they stuck with Moyes for a looong time… I think LvG will be just fine. Aren’t you the guy who puts them (easily) back in the top 4 (at ‘Pool’s expense)?…

    Wow, DiMaria almost beats the keeper on pure power and swerve…

  119. James Bond says:

    not sure I did that ? or can’t remember doing that ?

    I much rather Everton / Saints finish top 4 than man utd .

    agreed with your 20:28

  120. James Bond says:

    oh lescott, you have to do better there, should have least hit the target

  121. James Bond says:

    no yellow for Blind ? hmmmmmm

    had that been an ARsenal player, the ref would have showed him a red,ha

  122. D-Money says:

    Honestly this is not a dig at anyone who (has the privilege), whether regulalry or occasionally, attends Arsenal games, but I can’t help but notice you can HEAR! The West Brom fans through the TV! I almost never hear Arsenal fans in such voice. There is a very negative “let’s wait for them to toss it up so we can blame Wenger and return to all our narratives”. Very poisonous environment, a part of me feels bad (for the players who deserve better and I assume all try their best) but another can’t help but feel Wenger has brought this on the team/himself.

  123. James Bond says:

    D- Money

    they call us the LIBRARY for a reason .

  124. That’s what tickets priced 50 pounds (and up, way up…) buys you… ) Plus an Ozil or Alexis in the Summers…) Hard to cheer too loudly munching on the prawn sandwiches…

    I hate to say it (and call me a cynic if you must…) but I fear it’s all about d money… (Sorry…)

    If we’re gonna plunder clubs for younger English talent, this WBA side looks a good one. Their pitch certainly looks closer to ours than some…Berahino, IMO looks just as quick as Sterling, plus better hair…

    Speaking of hair, here comes the ‘Fro… And he scores… 1-1 at the near post past Myhill… ;(

  125. Nobody else here?…

    The Emirates can generate some noise and our traveling support can often be heard above home crowds… Still, at the level of the teams we’re beating these days (Crystal Palace, two Istanbul teams, so far this season) in the home stadium we can’t expect the paying support to get too excited…

    BEAR OHHHH HINO!!!! 2-1

  126. James Bond says:

    this lad is class

    2-1

  127. steve says:

    hahaha you guys continue to entertain 🙂
    England U21 20 yr old forward scoring for fun
    Berahino – class
    Akpom – too young, not ready yet steve

    😆 😆 😆

  128. steve says:

    from the look of all these ref decisions this weekend did we forget to pay our weekly bribe or something?? because it seems like others definitely didn’t 🙂

  129. El Tigre Falcao…The Colombian Soldado(?) to make an appearance shortly… RvP the man to give way? Does he need to freshen his hair color?… No, it’s Killer John (Juan Mata) instead…

  130. Akpom = Berahino, just as Hayden = Varane, :mouth agape at the flawed logic: 😆

    By the way, where’s the elder Wilshere (Wayne Rooney) tonight?…

  131. If you follow the money (not D-Money…) could we maybe think that we’ve got Berahino on loan at WBA and all we have to do is buy him?… Or would that “kill” Joel Campbell?…

  132. James Bond says:

    would kill welbeck .

  133. F11ngers…Just taking the piss, eh…

    I think you could be correct about the weekly payment…But that suits my narrative about Stingy Stan… That 3 million for “services rendered” could have been better spent, IMO… Bought that ref some Clattenburg (Rooney) hair plugs… 🙂

  134. I dunno, I rate Wellbeck and I’ve got fingers (10 only) crossed that Theo comes back w/o too much trouble… Bigger worries about Campbell and the Ox but they are (both) younger. How much of this Akpom character have you guys watched. Should I believe the hype?…

    United leaving it late to get up for my UMF result…

  135. steve says:

    i bet that’s not the first time that mouth has been gaped by another bloke 😉 😆

  136. James Bond says:

    Akpom is the real deal – and in the AdebaWHORE mould/mold .

    but only better once he’s the finished article .

  137. Ooh, spoke too soon…

    Good one, F11ngers…Gonna have to watch my holes around you… 😆

    Blind… Nice strike… 1 point recouped… C’mon WBA… Please hang on here… Almost Louis time?…

  138. Wow, Young Ash, er, Ash Young, keeps his feet in the box…Wins a corner, comes to nothing… Pressure applied but the baggies do not pop… Fantastic hold-up stuff from the Birmingham by way of Burundi Berahino… Say a few times if you want to exercise your tongue… 🙂

    FT…Tough times when watching United is more fun than watching Arsenal 😦

  139. steve says:

    hahaha good one 17HT, i think there’s probably already enough lads watching your holes for you 😆

    Good job WBA!

  140. steve says:

    NO 17HT really? Come on man we were just as exciting as that trying to get the final goal in the last couple of minutes as Man U were just then – looked almost identical

  141. Say “that,” a few times fast… I meant… Happy dreams and if yours are about young boys (over 18, of course…) there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that… 😀

    Who’s around for ‘Pool-RM tomorrow?

    Sorry, F11ngers…I aspire to your Buddha-esque detachment from results, but I’m not there yet… Soon enough if they don’t start getting a bit better…maybe…

  142. steve says:

    hahaha i will welcome you with open arms mate 🙂
    I’m sure i’ve been chatting away with you on and off pretty much all day lol – good times!
    been a pleasure matey 🙂

  143. Gerry says:

    Interesting back and forth, I though for a minute it was going to get nasty 😀

    What I find amusing is, I mostly agree with HT on the bigger picture, and the Arsenal thing in general. But I also agree with Steve about most players .. err, except one or two.

    How can I do this? Well Take the last game. I agree that Ox was having a bad game because he was trying too hard. His best game this season was when he played down the right wing, and kept to that … mostly. On Saturday he got everywhere, made passes he should not have tried, or poorly executed the ones he could have made easily.. On the other hand, I thought Jack had a good first half, indeed he was excellent during that first 15-20 minutes, but their equaliser seemed to knock the confidence. The second half started badly for him for not chasing after one of the slowest guys on the pitch, and allowed him to cross for their second goal. For all the huff and puff that followed, I cannot remember a telling contribution in the second half? So I disagree with HT on him staying that he would have made a difference, but agree on the stupidity of the tackle. However, the earlier subbing of Flamini for Ramsey, instead of Ox, made no sense to me. Hence my manager’s note to Wilshere about trying to do to much, and to Santi, to use both wings, and to Ox to keep it simple, on the right wing.

    But if you think I have got that wrong, then I suggest you go to the Arsenal Player, hook it up to ‘The Breakdown’, and wait for Clarke to show you the heat map?
    That is where the real stupidity lies?

    JB – A warning, never take a 10 minute snippet of the Under 21 game as showing you how good a player is. Walcott danced around a couple of Blackburn’s kids in the opening minutes. Diaby was seen playing the ball out to Walcott, and feeding a nice ball to Maitland-Niles. How did they do the rest of the time? Editing can do wonderful things, a bit like YouTube consolidating 10 games of best bits, repeated from many angles, and you have just seen an amazing player? It isn’t the whole truth.
    In saying that, ‘The Breakdown’ highlighted Bellerin’s best bits, which is well worth a watch.
    One up for youth HT? It is a pity about Hayden not being fit for this up and coming game, as I am confident in him making far fewer mistakes than Chambers, but that is just my opinion, untested for the moment. I also think Coquelin will not let the team down should he get a shout in the next few games. On a good day, his long range passing is second to none in our current side, and it appeared to be close to it at LB last time..

    As Alcide says,
    Keep the faith

  144. Indeed, off to the lumberyard (which is not the name of a bar… 😉 …) C you for the CL man(y)ana, perhaps?… You too, 007, if the “work” isn’t too pressing…Others?…

  145. steve says:

    Gerry, i don’t think its actually possible for me to get nasty on this medication 😆
    Where have all the full U21 matches gone?? they used to have the first and second halfs just like the first team vids on player, now just the highlights which as you say shows you nothing but what they are manipulated to be.
    So you’re a combination of both me and 17HT – now that’s a scary monster right there! 😆

  146. Really gotta run, but thanks for the insight there… I thought Jack looked less tired than Ox (the obvious sub for Campbell) and he was due, overdue to get a call…retaliation, however, is just not a smart move, even worse with a crap ref (determined to show his mettle against the home team)…

    Indeed, full notes on the youth players are always appreciated, so cheers there as well… Also, I’m trying my damndest to keep F11ngers from being overly offensive to us more tender types… but it might be a job for more than one man…Hard to tie those (rainbow) laces with the extra digit, I fear…

    That’s a joke, by the way… And I did fail to mention (in the match report) that last Saturday was Diversity Day at the Emirates…. 😀

  147. RA says:

    Loved the chat between Steve and 17HT, yesterday. Just saying. 🙂

  148. Gerry says:

    UMF League is updated.

  149. TotalArsenal says:

    A big thank you, Gerry. Great stuff. 🙂

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