Anderlecht Preview-Lineup|With Theo, Ramsey & Arteta Available Wenger Should Refocus

Amazing skys 024

I needed some time away from the blog and Arsenal. Just so I can think through what is happening to our beloved team.

A draw against Hull is not a total disaster, but in light of previously dropped points through many draws and a loss, we find ourselves now double figures away from the Chavs, and that after just eight games: played eight, dropped a whopping 13 points.

PL title well outside our reach is one thing but a failing defence and struggling attack is another. On top of that, Arsene gave a snarky, immature interview to a BBC reporter who clearly, yet fairly, touched on an open nerve. Where is the humility, the mea culpa, the war cry?

The thing that worries and irritates me most is the lack of shape and plan to our play, which is Arsene’s responsibility. We look so unorganised, undisciplined, unfocussed all over the pitch. Some refer to our injury woes for the disappointing performances, but I just cannot buy it. At the back we had the eager and talented Bellerin and Nacho played out of position, but the BFG, Szczesny and Gibbs are established players and we are playing at home, against Hull: that should be enough to defend well.

In midfield we played the veteran Flamini, the Spanish sub-international Cazorla and the super-talented Wilshere, and in attack we had the phenomenal Alexis, and Welbeck and Ox. The latter two are not OG and Theo, but they would both be regular starters in the Hull team we played on Saturday, no doubt about that.

It is this lack of shape and plan that I cannot get: the misplaced balls, the unspotted runs, the lack of discipline when defending set-pieces, the cluttering of the centre of midfield, etc, etc.

The players are keen and work hard for each other, but somehow they do not get what Wenger wants them to do; and this has been going on for a long time now. The constantly shifting starting line-up does not help of course, but that should not be a major excuse here. 4-1-4-1 could work brilliantly, but with the likes of Arteta and Flamini to pick for the super important holding midfielder role, we leave ourselves vulnerable.

The four in midfield would have to be an all-concurring force: dominating play, attacking the opponent by feeding (off) the CF at will, and protecting the ‘back six’ if and when required. But, as we saw once again against Hull, everybody wants to move to the middle and is addicted to the area in front of the opponents ‘D’. In the process, the DM is left alone and therefore vulnerable to counter-attacks, the wings are not used systematically – meaning the opponent’s defence does not get stretched, and we clutter our attacks by trying to funnel the ball through the heart of the opponent’s defence constantly.

And even if we manage to use the wings, there are often not enough players inside the box to hurt the opponent.

I reckon we miss OG tremendously in terms of given structure to our play; and unless Arsene decides to change our style of play to suit the sort of players we have, it will continue to be this way until the Alps born Frenchman returns to the team.

With Ramsey, Arteta and Theo returning now, and Jack and Alexis being in super-form, and Welbeck turning out to be a reliable, hard working and athletic central attacker, there is no reason for despair.

But we need a plan, and a system and formation of football which suits these players, which they understand and buy in to, and which the reserve players understand just as much. It is about time Wenger gets this right now.

Tell me, if we start with the following eleven against Anderlecht tomorrow, is there any reason why we should not spank Brussels- based ‘Manneken Pis’’ bottom with four or five goals?

Ars v Anderlecht Oct 14 v2

Ramsey to sit a bit more back and support Arteta as much as possible – Jack to drive the centre of the team, with help from ‘box-to-box’ Ramsey when needed – Theo and Alexis to stick to the wing most of the time, but Alexis to help Jack in front of the D and Theo to aid Welbeck in the centre regularly. Full backs to support attack but one at a time and with discipline. And when we get the ball in the box, let there be enough players to make it count. Defend as a team all over the pitch. Let’s have high and constant pressure and good ball circulation, spreading the opponent’s defence by using the wings and dinked and long balls over the top. Let’s give them no time to think or reshape, and totally bamboozle them in the process.

And with the likes of Ox, Diaby, Cazorla and (hopefully) Pod on the bench we should be able to keep this up for 90+ minutes.

No excuses, self-pity or false sentiments. We have a great team and very good manager: we are The Arsenal – Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners! 

Written by: TotalArsenal.

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139 Responses to Anderlecht Preview-Lineup|With Theo, Ramsey & Arteta Available Wenger Should Refocus

  1. GOONER4EVER says:

    SZCZENY SUSPENDED,YOUNG MARTINEZ TO START

  2. ScottishGooner says:

    Good point TA. I feel our biggest problem is our organisation. On paper we should be competing for top honors. The problem is we have nobody to do the things that dont get recognition. Matic is a perfect example. He sits back and lets the other boys be creative while he puts his stamp on anyone coming into Chelsea’s half. City have Fernandinho and Fernando. we simply need a player who can do it OR play to our strengths and forget about that.

    In which case i would revert back to a 4-2-3-1 with Ramsey and Wilshere holding and taking turns running forward (this requires discipline). We’ve seen in the English team that Wilshere can play from deep- although not his best or 4-1-2-3- with Flamini/Arteta as the holding and Ramsey and Wilshere further forward. We need our forwards to help back and track the flanks. Ox and Sanchez work for me. The team do not seem sold on our tactics- the 4-3-3- against Chelsea looked good but why play ozil on the left? yes he can play there, but not as good as when he plays in the hole.

    TBH after our summer and amazing progress last year, this season has been so disappointing. We’re looking very out of our depth against the top class and unable to convert easy points. I just hope we can get top 4.

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks 4ever, duly adjusted. 🙂

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice to see you back SG. Yes all agreed, but with Theo back, I hope he will start tomorrow, even if it is for 60 minutes. 🙂

  5. Retsub says:

    Great piece TA very thought provoking. I doubt he will start Theo and to be honest when Theo has returned before he takes a few games to get his game back in order.
    There is little doubt that we have the talent in the team and if we all pull together anything could happen. However in my simple mind what is missing is a heartbeat. All the other top sides have at least one or two tough ball winning and inspiring characters who drive the team on.

    Chelsea have Terry, Matic, ivanovic and a few others who out muscle other sides allowing the more creative players, Hazard etc to show their skills.

    City have Toure, Kompany etc

    When Hull equalised on Saturday it was because Diameter decided to bulldoze his way through (yes it was a foul) and simply brushed us aside

    I was watching United v WBA last night and United were looking very Arsenalish, but hold on they have Daley Blind. I haven’t seen a lot of him, but he strikes me as a battling, ball winning inspiring sort of player.

    I may be wrong but we can put our star players all over the pitch, but unless we add some steel, we are always going to get bullied.

  6. steve says:

    R.I.P 4-1-4-1 – ABOUT BLOODY TIME!

    Everyone can see it apart from the manager. The 4-3-3 we played at chelsea or the 4-1-2-3 you have suggested TA or back to the 4-2-3-1, they all suit our team better. Its time we moved away from the cluttered mess the 8 in midfield brings (with full backs along side MF and Danny dropping deep). The formation you suggest is expansive, gives space to play and is most importantly dangerous in the areas you need it to be.
    I said it from the very beginning this condensed, cluttered mess cannot work especially without Giroud to play off of.

    My question to you is:
    Nearly everyone i speak to wants to change the formation and structure and nearly everyone agrees here on the blog BUT do you think that will actually stop Wenger from sticking to the 4-1-4-1 on Wednesday night?

    Great post by the way, and agree with everything tbh. 🙂

  7. Gerry says:

    TA – you are right of course, on paper we should be okay. On paper, we should have been okay against Hull. But matches are not played on paper.

    I guess you saw that heat map of players average time during the 90 minutes. We had 7 players in and around the centre of the box. It was as you say, the most crazy bit of ill-disciplined display, as you also say, just cannot imagine AW sending them out to do that?
    Especially when had the blueprint for success against 3 at the back when we played Gala. Then we used speed down the flanks which opened up the centre for us.

    The other thing questioned by Adrian Clarke in ‘The Breakdown’ was the lack of use of long passes.Only 3.8%, our lowest since the 2012 season. And another thing about crowding the central areas, not only with our 7, but a similar number of Hull players, meant that pot shots from outside of the box had little chance on getting through. Not to mention the lack of team play by the individuals taking the shots. But that is what you get when options are limited?

    It does not matter what the line up is if they are not going to function as a unit. That is what has got to change, and quickly.

    I also think they should not worry unduly about Martinez in goal. He is very instinctive. He can move sharply on and off his line. He will not come charging out through a crowd of players to claim a ball he knows he has little chance of reaching. But he is a great shot stopper. I think too, with the line up you have put up, it has a back four who all know their roles. Gibbs pressing players high is because he has been used to Kos filling in behind. That was possibly Monreal’s one error on Hull’s second goal, but understandable as he is not a regular CB. It should be different this time, although I expect it to be Per on Gibb’s side, with Chambers on the right side?
    For that reason, and the need for long passes, I would go to Coquelin to partner Arteta/Flamini, as he would cover that area behind Gibbs much better.

    I am not sure that Wilshere will be fit to start. That injury he got when he made that tackle was knee to knee, knocking it inwards. The same way that Theo did his from a far less innocuous knock. True, most knee jars like that do amount to just soreness. But in the light of Ozil’s one that got worse, I would hope a scan and plenty of caution is shown here, despite the public statements? For a replacement you have to look at Santi, rather than Ramsey in the hole?

    Almost similar situation regards Walcott. Easing back slowly has been the byword, and I’m not sure 45 minutes is enough to get match sharpness to avoid another injury? I would like to see Campbell get a start, and build on that excellent few minutes he had against Hull. Not as pacey as Theo, but he showed in the WC that he can handle the wide berth okay. Alexis on the other side is a given. Welbeck has got any challengers either, as Gnabry is reckoned to be behind Theo on his readiness for a return, and Akpom will be involved in the Under 19’s version of this CL tie?
    So there you have it, the team picks itself?:
    ______________Martinez____________
    Hector____CC21______BFG____Gibbs
    _______Arteta________Le Coq_______
    _____________Santi________________
    __JC__________Welbz________Alexis_

    Bench: Macey, Ajayi, Flamini, Diaby, Ramsey, Walcott, Gnabry

    On paper, a solid base, pace up front, width assisted by the FB’s.

    Let’s hope it translates to grass 😀

  8. Neeraj says:

    The 4-1-4-1 is actually a deduction of the 4-3-3 atleast the one wenger plays
    It is just named 4-1-4-1 conveniantly by him for 3 reasons
    1) the talk of Ozil as CAM is easily handled by saying he can always come in abd switch with the other 2
    2) Wilshere can fit in thanks to 2 CAM spots
    3)Ramsey given a free license to roam

    So when defending or like against the Chavs our true formation is revealed ie 4-3-3
    The one you used above

    I dont want to rush back Walcott maybe another U21 game before he comes back. We can maybe give Poldi a chance or play Flam and Arteta
    Give Arteta the attacking role which he has not played since he left Merseyside
    Wilshere also might use a break after that knock and maybe Poldi and Arteta both can start
    I just dont want to drop Flamini as he may feel it is a co.sequence of his last game showings which is not true. He has played really well and deserves the start

    I am not underestimating Anderlecht but if you see they are the weakest oponent we have faced in the CL for quite a while now
    Olampiakos were maybe a little better considering their Man U upset

  9. steve says:

    btw TA if you changed Ramsey for OX in your line up (not an unthinkable notion considering he’s just back from injury) that would quite possibly be the paciest team i think i have ever seen Arsenal put out?

    Bellerin, Theo, OX, Sanchez, Gibbs, Welbeck – probably the six fastest players we have all in the same line up, tell me we wouldn’t be dangerous on the counter with that lot 🙂

    ———————Martinez—————————
    Bellerin——BFG———Chambers——-Gibbs
    ————————-Arteta————————–
    ————Wilshere———-The OX—————
    –Walcott———-Welbeck————Sanchez–

    If Hayden was fit and in place of Arteta i would be in F11ngers heaven 😆

    I am personally looking forward to seeing Martinez in goal, the last match he played his fast and accurate distribution after an oppositions attack was excellent and may help build the foundations for an increase in potential counter attacks for us.

  10. Neeraj says:

    Gerry,
    Coquelin is never starting for Arsenal again outside cup competitions in England unless all other mids are injured

    I have always liked him and I just hipe Wenger has not lost faith in him all together.

    He is a year behind his estimated level but that maybe due to the niggle ragged year he had (2011-12 I guess)

    Sigh ! 😦

  11. Neeraj says:

    Was’nt the last match Martinez played the one that ended 7-5 ?

  12. steve says:

    Neeraj, no mate it was against Benfica in the Emirates cup, we won 5-1

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    All agreed Retsub, I would love us to have more of steel in our team. Vermaelen had a bit of this and so did Song, but they are gone.

    I have given up on getting that any time soon, so we need to go with what we have got. A fully fit Ramsey and Arteta can compensate with their hard work and good positioning, and Chambers and Koz can add that bit of steel as well. But for a while, full on attacking might be our best defence.

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Steve, good debates with the running man yesterday. 🙂

    It could and should work but it needs a lot of discipline and training and it is not working with OG to hold it all together. The problem is we play a lot of park the bus teams and it really puts pressure on the wings to be effective. But without OG we have little choice, so we have to go for speed and sitting back to create it (and protect the goal in the process).

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed Gerry (hi) that we need to learn quickly to function as a unit. This is the bit that I am not getting and I expected us to be a lot further at this stage of the season.

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry, good points about Coquelin, Wilshere, Theo and Ramsey. They might well not all start tomorrow, and I am not close enough to know how fit they are. But Wenger will play his strongest team for any CL game, as these are the bread and butter games financially. I hope Jack is fine, and I have not read anything that says he is not.

    I really do not like the line up you produced, but I guess it is a matter of taste. Campbell could be great but could also falter, Le Coq with Arteta, and Santi in front, I see as little penetration and invention in the middle….

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    Neeraj 🙂

    Good point about Flamini. Dropping him could damage his confidence. But then, if he cannot do the purist DM stuff right (at the moment) and he is limited in build up play from the back, I guess he should not play if there are better options. I think it is time to reinstall RamTeta.

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    hahaha Steve, you are always trying to wiggle the ox in. Ramsey is such an important player for us that we need him back asap. He is the engine, who can help Arteta at the back and Jack up-front, and I just don’t see Ox do this consistently at the moment. Great moments in every game, but not yet a 90+ minutes beast imo.

  19. steve says:

    Hi TA, yeah it was a good laugh yesterday.

    Gerry, i’ve got to say i’m not particularity loving that line up either mate sorry. But i do believe Coquelin has his place, and for me he is the perfect candidate to bring on as a sub late in the game to sure things up and see out a win – IF WE EVER GET IN THAT SORT OF A SITUATION 😆

  20. steve says:

    I completely agree with you about Ramsey TA, i just don’t want to rush him back too soon he’s too influential

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    It is tricky agreed Steleven, Ramsey is the sort of player who needs to play himself into form gradually, so if he is recovered, I guess we got to let the Ram out. 🙂

  22. steve says:

    agreed TA but i’m always dubious of letting a player try to get his form back while playing a full 90, i see a substitution with some decent enough game time as a much better option until we can see he is fully back on track 🙂

  23. RA says:

    Well. TA, your little break has obviously worked because that is an excellent Post and apart from the BBC interview part, which I did not see, I think you have caught the mood of the moment of many fans.

    Human life and what makes us humans tick is complex and sometimes frustrating, so I am not sure what is not working with the players in our team, and it is probably a number of things, but I think it has got Arsene rattled too.

    I remember way back when we were both very happy with the team’s style of football and the so called tiki taka – mostly because it was a clever chess like way of opening up other defences allowing us to score – as well as entertaining us.

    Now, I have to say that the same basic style of Tiki Taka is there, but it does not have an end product, and seems to be simply an exercise in ball retention – until we inevitably lose it and find ourselves outpaced and vulnerable when the oppo launches a counter attack.

    Is it an outdated system, is it because the players have lost what they are supposed to do, or do we simply not have the quality of players to achieve success with it?

    Looking at the quality of Iniesta, Messi, Xavi and other Tiki Taki Barca players I think it is …………… and even they seem to have come to the end of the road with that system.

    Summary: Change the Tiki Taki style: Change some of the players: Evolution is what life is about, and I hope Arsene does not see it as a failure – and embraces change.

  24. RA says:

    TA/Steve,

    You are both right. 🙂

    Ramsey is the type of player who needs to feel his straps and gradually come into his game, especially after injury. However, the sort of muscle injury he seems to have had can be difficult and can set him back if he overdoes it too soon.

    So, Ramsey in the team? Yes please, but he should not be expected to play the full 90 straight away.

  25. JM says:

    Anderlecht’s primarily instructions to their players would read:
    Target Martinez by whatever “professional” means necessary; Arsenal has only a teenager as their backup GK.

    Prepare for: (random shoulder charges, sneaky elbows & knees, accidental headbutts when they are attacking from corners; tackles flying in at our GK when pouncing on 50/50 balls; a couple of player bookings or even a calculated dismissal from a seek & destroy operation to take out our GK etc)

    Martinez must be well protected by the defenders (all his 10 other teammates) on the pitch.

  26. RA says:

    JM,

    Sensible words of caution.

    We have a good GK in Macey, at 6′ 7″ (2.01m), available who also plays for the U 21s, and he would not need so much looking after. He looks like a younger Courtois, the Chelsea Keeper.

    (My recommendation probably means he is doomed and will be shipped out of the club by Arsene.) 🙂

  27. JM says:

    Except Matt Macey (not registered for Champions League) will not be traveling with the squad to Anderlecht. Either Ryan Huddart, our 17-year old academy GK, or Josh Vickers (18), is our backup GK.

    The pressure shall be different when playing in both a senior and continental match, especially for a dedicated position in GK.

  28. JM says:

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

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

    Quote:
    {“I loathe all that passing for the sake of it, all that tiki-taka. It’s so much rubbish and has no purpose. You have to pass the ball with a clear intention, with the aim of making it into the opposition’s goal. It’s not about passing for the sake of it.”

    “Be yourselves. You need to dig into your own DNA. I hate tiki-taka. Tiki-taka means passing the ball for the sake of it, with no clear intention. And it’s pointless.

    “Don’t believe what people say. Barça didn’t do tiki-taka! It’s completely made up! Don’t believe a word of it! In all team sports, the secret is to overload one side of the pitch so that the opponent must tilt its own defence to cope. You overload on one side and draw them in so that they leave the other side weak.

    “And when we’ve done all that, we attack and score from the other side. That’s why you have to pass the ball, but only if you’re doing it with a clear intention. It’s only to overload the opponent, to draw them in and then to hit them with the sucker punch. That’s what our game needs to be. Nothing to do with tiki-taka.”}

    Also,
    Barcelona dominates because of the imperiousness of Lionel Messi and Neymar.
    Bayern Munich dominates because of similar qualities from Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry.

    Those 4 players are among the best in the world in player-vs-player take ons: Speed, Dribbling, Penetration towards goal, ability to occupy the attentions of 2 to 3 players to mark them (i.e. making spaces for teammates to attack goal).

    Arsenal needs both Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott in 100% conditioning as our magicians.

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Redders 🙂

    I would be happy with tiki-taki if we did it well, but it has been a while since we were able to pass the ball round comfortably and demandingly around the opposition’s box. Agreed we need a different style: one that the players understand and thrive in. Arsene is experimenting every season but somehow, ever since the great Cesc left, he has been in the dessert in terms of getting it to work. I look at our squad and think, wow it is looking good, give or take a player or two, but you can always say that…. Yet we are just not able to get them to gel together and make a real difference. And with the likes Jack, Ozil and Alexis in the team there is no real excuse.

  30. RA says:

    I agree, TA.

    It is interesting how Guardiola has responded to Tiki Taka, as he was supposed to be the main proponent of it.

    What he says makes a lot of sense to me – overloading one side of the pitch with players to provoke the opposition into moving over to cover – if they don’t there would be trouble for them – if they do, then a swift forward could receive the ball with a long pass and a chance would be created.

    The way we play – it is pass, pass pass first one way and then the other – left, left left, then right right, right – oh dear we have lost the ball.

    If we can see that – why don’t the players, and if they don’t see it – why doesn’t Arsene?

    Odd.

  31. RA says:

    Thanks, JM,

    Perhaps Macey was injured when the CL lists were prepared. In the AFC blog they say this about him;
    — “The confident and athletic goalkeeper, [Matt Macey] [20 y.o.] who began his youth career as a striker, travelled with the first team to their pre-season training camp in Austria and started the 2014/15 season as the second string’s first-choice keeper.”

    Other GKs who I thought ranked higher than Huddart are Josh Vickers and Deyan Iliev, both of them 19 y.o.

    It is strange that Huddart who is the youngest of them [17 y.o.] has been registered for the CL and selected as a backup.

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, agreed.

    If a team parks the bus then we need to probe in order to find the holes, which includes passing and moving a lot. Ozil is very good in spotting the space as well as creating it. But we need to do this a lot better as well as improve our defending..

  33. Neeraj says:

    I too read that tiki taka comment a few days back
    I think it makes Pep a more suited replacement for Arsene
    Klopp too is in the running

  34. It’s rather easier said than done!!! And every one see the game differently. The best formation I have seen wenger use and the positioning of the players plus the players he pick was the best. The biggest problem we currently face is not even injuries it is the attitude of wenger. He is still experimenting our best formation and combination. He keeps changing all the time. He also doesn’t come with a game plan at all same old stories . No tactics ad plann B . Why leave rosciky podosky and Joel cambel rot on the bench and over use and stretch players like ozil , Ramsy and Jack untill they get injured. Why not use this guy’s at times even if it’s half an hour because we know what they can offer . You can come with the best formations in the world but if wenger doesn’t change his attitude then we ain’t going no where. On paper we should at least have 22 points by now. Let’s hope we get all the three points tomorrow whether by hook or crook. Our players work hard and play well it just doesn’t work because we don’t have a game plan and that is wenger’s responsibility. Good luck gooners chin up guys and let’s hope theo wallcote will bring an inspiration to the team. COYG.!!!

  35. Neeraj says:

    Arsene may have to resign if Arsenal finish midtable with 30 draws 6 wins and 2 losses
    (The other coming at etihad)

  36. Neeraj says:

    😛

  37. James Bond says:

    coquelin not in the squad .

    the usual 5 suspects at the back.

    MF – Flamini

    Rosicky —— JW

    OX ——-Welz———-Sanchez

    4-1 Arsenal .

  38. James Bond says:

    sorry, take out Flamini and swap with Arteta – forgot he has traveled .

  39. JM says:

    @RA, October 21, 2014 at 15:35

    For the record, Guardiola’s Bayern just humiliated Roma 7-1 away at the Stadio Olimpico. All that with his brand of football philosophy.

  40. Gerry says:

    And a very good inherited squad, JM How well would he have done at Man Utd?

    It is funny, after M’s wishful thinking about Man Utd, they all seem to be at it?

    I can see I need to revise both team and bench, in light of squad revelations and other things.
    I am surprised at Matt Macey though. I thought he got in as ‘home grown’ because he was developed by the Bristol Academy. However, I can understand why he might have missed out, as I think he has only played one game this season.
    Coquelin, pointedly mentioned, I thought? not in the squad, so bang goes that idea of you and experience. I guess Neeraj could be right … although, it may be a precaution to have him available for the trip to Sunderland, in light of Wilshere’s suspension and possible (recurring) injuries tonight?
    My guess is that Wilshere will be used tonight, despite any risk to log term damage. The way he went down it looked bad. We will see, but I think 10 days rest might be better?
    Talk also of Alexis being benched to avoid over use injuries occurring with him. Not sure of his injury history, but overplaying him seems to be the least of his problems, especially in a CL game. Probably one of the reasons he signed for, so I cannot see him missing the chance, happily at least?
    Podolski is another one I left out, but unless we do revert to a 4-3-3, I cannot see him starting.
    Rosicky another. Is he ever going to get a run of games at his age? Impact player these days I fear. The problem there is, unless he is amongst the ‘old gang’ he does not gel so well with the others, imo. So with Arteta, Ramsey, Wilshere as contenders, he may just get the nod over Ox and Campbell? Still got to marry up with the front two, and no Sagna as his side kick either? Tricky one.
    Especially as it is more about how balanced our team is, rather than worrying too much about the qualities of Anderlecth. Give them respect,by all means, as it is 11 v 11, and they may come with the intention of bagging an away draw. But that is all the more reason to get our wide play in order. Ox and Rosicky both can do a good job if they keep wide and draw defenders away from the middle. Key to how much we can use our speedy wing-backs will be Ramsey limiting his runs from deep, early on in particular, and Ox staying wide.
    So my revised team and bench is:
    …… Back 5…
    Arteta – Ramsey
    Wilshere
    Ox- Welbeck -Alexis
    (popular choice by many, I know)
    Bench: Hoddart(who has been in good form,btw); Monreal; Flamini; Rosicky, Cazorla, Podolski, Campbell
    If that does not get the both sets right I will be intrigued as to why?

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    That could be it, Gerry,and good reasoning in the process. Hope to see a bit of Theo though.

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    JB, Rosicky instead of Rambo would work for me too. 🙂

  43. RA says:

    JM,

    @ 00.26 a.m.

    Your response was In reference to my comment at 15:35 which picked up on your comment at 14:47.

    — “It is interesting how Guardiola has responded to Tiki Taka, (see JM at 14:47) as he was supposed to be the main proponent of it.

    What he says makes a lot of sense to me – overloading one side of the pitch with players to provoke the opposition into moving over to cover – if they don’t there would be trouble for them – if they do, then a swift forward could receive the ball with a long pass and a chance would be created.”

    And, yes, I saw the result last night, as I was watching the game, thank you.

    I do not understand what point you were trying to make.
    You mentioned Guardiola’s brand of football philosophy, because…………??

    Mixed messages? 🙂

  44. Neeraj says:

    I guess we have done pretty well against Bayern in the past 2 meetings
    A shitty away goal loss and another one goal loss over 2 legs all due to a sending off and a missed pen by you know who( 😛 @ steve)

    I think we might be the only team who has remained unbeaten on consecutive visits to the Alianz Arena since they started their own version of the Galacticos

    The games against Bayern also signify a very important and rare aspect of Wenger’s managerial career: Rotation for the sake of tactics instead of injuries

  45. Shrillex says:

    Nice one Total. I’m kinda concerned about Martinez though. I feel that Walcott should start, especially since the LB is an aging, slow old man. But I would leave him on for about 60-70 minutes. Also, I have a feeling AW will rest Alexis for this match. So I would start Ox or Campbell in his place, though I’m leaning towards Campbell to start as we are playing against a weaker opposition, also in the last game he has shown glimpses of his ability and work rate.

  46. Gerry says:

    Neeraj, I am rapidly coming to the the conclusion that you are wise beyond your years 😀

    Sadly, o wise one, it is injuries over tactics tonight.

  47. steve says:

    Neeraj, sorry mate i’m confused? when did i mention Bayern?

  48. TotalArsenal says:

    Steve 🙂

    Neeraj’s reference is to your best freind’s missed pen against Die Lederhosen…. 🙂

    Neeraj, that is true but let’s not forget in both cases we were already well beaten when we went over there. the German foot was off the gas so to speak.

  49. TotalArsenal says:

    You could be right, Shrill, although Alexis will play tonight I reckon.

  50. steve says:

    AHH i see, read through the comment too quick sorry Neeraj.

    I’m in a pretty difficult situation tbh Neeraj, with no Ozil and Monreal hopefully replaced by Chambers today I have nobody left to blame anymore 😆
    OH wait theres always Flamini and Arteta 😆

    Only joking of course, i wish them well – just not my first choice 🙂

    Gerry, that revised line up looks quite realistic mate, you could have nailed it there.

    Does anyone know if Theo is available for tonight?

  51. JM says:

    @RA, October 22, 2014 at 10:31
    Guardiola’s, van Gaal’s, Cruijff’s, Wenger’s:
    Each footballing philosophy, similar principle, different execution.

  52. Good Morning, boys… Thanks for not too many ill wishes for the oldsters, F11ngers…We appreciate it… 🙂

    The CL matches yesterday led to a mid-day nap, but I did a little channel surfing and perked up for the end of Schalke-Sporting game which got fairly wild and finished 4-3 on a very bad penalty call. Carvalho and Draxler would both make our team bigger–in stature and numbers…Otherwise, it’s hard to say if they’d truly give us the big lift. Draxler looks the better player but maybe in a more crowded position?… In truth, I can’t see either coming at the prices we’ve been quoted…

    For our match, just get us the points, please…I’m pretty sure Theo has not traveled. Also, I was unaware that Jack will miss out at Sunderland (due to 5 yellows, I presume) as Gerry suggests. Of course, his comment also suggests Anderlecht is the traveling team tonight, so I’ll go with a grain of salt until I hear confirmation. Hey, we all get confused and it gets no better as we age, at least in my case… Overall, a bit of rotation seems essential–if it’s possible given our injury issues–ahead of Sunderland away. Beware the wounded animal, I say…

    As bad as the refereeing in the PL might be, the CL (in my opinion) can be worse. You just never know if they’ll call everything or try and let ’em play, which almost always goes badly. In general, playing cagey and safe (and putting a bit of pressure on the ref) seems the better approach. Let’s get Martinez his clean sheet to balance that match in Reading mentioned by all the previews… Whatever happens and whoever plays, Arsenal need (what we call) a breather, which only comes by taking the points. If we can find a bit of fluidity at the front and solidity at the back, even better…

    Go on…

  53. JM says:

    The referee for this match is Carlos Velasco Carballo, from Spain and La Liga. (i.e. La Liga officiating rules might apply, sub-consciously)

    He had previously sent off Szczęsny in EURO 2012. He was in charge of the WC 2014 QF match between Brazil & Colombia, where Neymar suffered his back injury (broken bone) when “assaulted” by Zúñiga (no booking/sent off).

  54. Cheers JM…Sounds like a bit of a mixed message—Spanish ref (where they call everything) who allowed everything in Brazil…Or maybe he learned from that one that he should keep things under control with some early whistles?… At least he sounds like he’s got plenty of experience…

  55. TotalArsenal says:

    OGAAT, 17, Super OGAAT! Strongest team possible as a win would be very sweet, so no ‘rotation’ iyam. Sunderland is another country right now.

  56. TotalArsenal says:

    Good afternoon btw 🙂

  57. Hey, I agree, TA…That’s why I’d be sure to start Santi… 😀 However, if Jack is suspended for Sunderland (as Gerry reports, can you–or anybody–confirm?…) I’d say that we should be sure to play him–and keep him at it for the full 90…

    Frankly, I’m (quite) concerned that we cannot field a full 18 right now w/o youth players who, despite what you might hear, are not all truly ready to contribute at the required level. Arteta and Sicky were on the bench on Saturday but, going by how Ramsey looked, must’ve been in even worse condition and likely suited up just to fill out the numbers/seats… This seems a moment when we might not be getting full disclosure from the manager re: who is and who isn’t fit…

    Ox in a central, more rear-ward position works for me, as does Santi for this one. Rambo looks the obvious candidate, however… I’m curious what you’re thinking (these days) about Flamini’s contributions…

    So, agreed, Super Oh-Gaat, as I’d really like to forestall any more doom and gloom to another day. People might not think much of the manager but let’s get him the 3 pts. for his 65th B-day, rather than heaping on (even) more misery…

  58. RA says:

    Hi Fellas, 🙂

    I have a complaint.

    It does not hurt to expect a little light revelry occasionally in the hot bed of football comments especially on a CL night — but where are Terry and The Other One? Off being obnoxious elsewhere and not here entertaining us.

    Disgraceful dereliction of duty!!

  59. TotalArsenal says:

    17ho, I am worried about the Flame. Too many mistakes and battle wariness it seems.

  60. TotalArsenal says:

    The jesters have abandoned us, Reddders. 🙂

  61. James Bond says:

    Anderlecht v Arsenal (1945 BST)
    Posted at
    As expected, third-choice keeper Emiliano Martinez makes his Champions League debut for Arsenal. England midfielder Jack Wilshere is fit, despite limping off against Hull at the weekend.
    Arsenal starting XI: Martinez, Chambers, Mertesacker, Monreal, Gibbs; Flamini; Sanchez, Wilshere, Ramsey, Cazorla; Welbeck.

  62. James Bond says:

    now this is what you call a proper 4-5-1 .

  63. James Bond says:

    0-2 to the mighty Gunners me reckons .

  64. Neeraj says:

    This is 4-5-1, 4-3-3 and 4-1-4-1
    The way u look at it
    It wont make difference against Anderlecht imo
    I got thw whole line up coreect so now im betting on a 3-1 win to Arsenal

  65. steve says:

    Chambers at RB instead of Bellerin – 👿
    Monreal at CB instead of Chambers – 👿
    Cazorla on the wing instead of OX or Campbell – 👿

  66. James Bond says:

    nope, not a 4-3-3 nor a 4-1-4-1 .

    4-5-1 it is , it appears .

    our midfield will win us this game .

  67. James Bond says:

    the entire “5” will defend first and then attack on the counter, meaning this is an away game and we will treat it as such by playing tight and then going for it in the 2nd half, if we are unable to score in the first .

    AW has a plan, ha

  68. Hey, I like the line-up, but I favor the older, more experienced players, you know, to help us get the best result… 😀 But that’s just me and (I realize that_ your mileage may vary…

    With a rookie keeper it seems even more important… Let’s get him a clean sheet, I say, so that, in a single match, he will be “better” than Szcz and then we can have that debate… More smileys…

    Consider me worried about the fitness of our captain if Flamini keeps his place…. Otherwise, very good old man (A-Dub…)

    One last thing to do outside, but back for kick-off…

  69. James Bond says:

    what are you on about @ Me AMIGO

    even my Gran is better than Sczny .

    🙂

  70. James Bond says:

    this has got to be the only team on the planet which most probably has shorter players than Arsenal 😀 for once, our players are taller than the oppositions, ha

    no wonder we have gone with a 4-5-1

    😀

  71. What length studs would your Gran favor today, 007?…It looks a little muddy to my eye…

    Oh dear, Santiago….

    Chambers draws a dive and gets rounded on the continuation..Corner not so tough against more midgets?…

  72. Szcz would’ve called Nacho off that one he chose to head… Overall, however we look solid enough at the back…

    Ref looks like he’s calling it in a continental style. Yellow for Nacho? Where’s he supposed to go from there?….

  73. Dortmund look good to go in Instanbul, meaning we need full points tonight… Not much coming off in attack so far…

    20 mins in and it’s all about getting the whistle…though neither team looks like they could score from a set-piece…

    Nobody else around?…

  74. James Bond says:

    that was rather well controlled ?

    0-3 to real madrid, now that’s a game …

  75. James Bond says:

    0-3 to dortmund as well .

    I would like to see the Ox come on at the 60th minute mark for Santiago – and us reverting to a proper 4-3-3 .

  76. Half-time… Our “focus” at the back looks good… Otherwise…

    Sorry to say this, but beyond Alexis, the quality of the touches I’ve seen are uniformly lacking… As such, I can see why he doesn’t want to pass the ball… Am I the only one, or does Ramsey just not look fit? Of course, he’s playing no worse than anybody else, to be fair…

    Just gotta stay patient (tight at the back) and nick one… It doesn’t seem like it should be so hard to string together more than a couple of passes, but so it goes…

  77. steve says:

    quite impressed with Anderlecht they look very quick, energetic, dangerous and willing to get stuck in, mind you that’s the benefit of pace and youth for you, if only we had the same but with Arsenal schooling 😉

    Our build up play is SO slow but i think we will break through in the second half.

    Wilshere best player on the pitch atm, and the obvious mistake of playing Chambers at RB instead of at CB and no Bellerin is there for all to see.

    More pace and urgency needed in the second half please lads.

    COYG

  78. James Bond says:

    you are right – Ramsey and Santiago don’t look at the races today .

    Rosicky and Ox please for the 2nd half at some point ?

  79. James Bond says:

    not sure what mistake you are on about with the CB @ Steve as Nacho has looked solid so far and with some really nice tackles – perfectly timed .

  80. steve says:

    not for me JB sorry

  81. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks for the comments, guys. Only saw the last ten minutes or so on a shitty stream (just got back from a meal with family). The line up does not look that sexy to me, but I am happy we did not concede in the first half, which means we can go for it in the second half (with care for the defence though).

  82. steve says:

    wasn’t he just easily out-muscled on a long ball, then turned, then got a yellow?
    Could be wrong btw as short term memory is not my strong suit but i’m sure that happened?

  83. steve says:

    Here you go TA, just pick an acestream or sopcast link: (can’t help more than that, i have it on tv so can’t tell you which one is best)

    http://www.wiziwig.tv/broadcast.php?matchid=281393&part=sports

  84. James Bond says:

    more like the other bloke bumped into him and he successfully stopped the player getting away by blocking him and being STRONG ? @ Steve

  85. steve says:

    gonna have to watch that one back again later then JB

  86. James Bond says:

    sanchez should have scored there .

  87. So…

    One thing which is a mystery to me is the slowness we seem to show when it comes to guys getting back into their “initial” positions. Do we really want to see Santi (backed up by Nacho) playing at RB just because 30 or 45 seconds earlier, Gibbs made a forward run?…

    Overall we just seem to lack pace, size and skill in attack and we’re happy to avoid pressing too hard from front when we lose the ball–probably a good idea with a ref so quick to the whistle. We need an injection of something, sooner than later…

    Favorites and prejudices are all fine and good, but I’m happy to admit Santi hasn’t looked good so far, but some of those touches by the likes of JW and DW and Gibbs do not make me think England is gonna do much anytime soon in the International game…

    Ooooh….Santi to Alexis FK should’ve made it 1-nil…

  88. steve says:

    back to watch the match, catch you all later

  89. Admir says:

    Our players don’t like Arsene’s milestone cakes, I guess.

  90. Very nice work keeping his feet and making the play from Chambers…

    Replay shows Alexis tried to score with his back!?…

  91. Ramsey, turns and shoots wide after nice play from Alexis… It looked both slow AND rushed…

    When I first read that, Admir, I thought you were talking about millstones…which wouldn’t make a tasty cake at all… 🙂

  92. James Bond says:

    what a world class stop by young Martinez, give him the no.1 jersey already : )

  93. James Bond says:

    time to take off Welbeck soon I reckon for Podolski .

  94. James Bond says:

    Santiago nearly scores , argh .

  95. Better there from Danny, I thought…but yes, some runs in the box might be in order…

    If stooping to conquer makes for a great keeper, I think this Martinez fellow might be the real deal…

    Oooh…Santi, almost from a tight angle…We need Welbeck on the far post…

    A little Ox (but I’d pull Ramsey…) might be in order… Lulu for Danny? Esp. now that he’s gotten his yellow…

  96. James Bond says:

    and this is what happens when you have a REACTIVE manager in AW – doesn’t bring on the subs and boom , we are down to 1-0 chasing the game as usual .

    is it his inability to learn or is it his inability to evolve ?

  97. Woeful… So much for Chambers as your CB…

  98. James Bond says:

    wow – and now he is going to bring on the double subs

    so bloody typical ehhh .

    I am speechless – am tilting towards the AW no longer knows what he’s doing brigade ?

    nuff said, even if we win this am baffled by his tactics tonight .

  99. Time for your first post, I’d say, 007… (i.e., you need to explain that one, for me at least…) It seems to me, that the team just isn’t that good…

    Also, I think Szcz would’ve snatched the cross right out of the air… 🙂

  100. Admir says:

    You know, in Bosnia, when you are 65 and have worked for 20 years, you go to retirement unless you make a deal with your employer that says otherwise.

    Just sayin’…

  101. James Bond says:

    what’s there to explain ?

    you have subs to use on the bench – use them in good time , no ? when the game is even steven’s ? what’s the point of bringing the subs mostly when we are chasing games ? why be reactive when you could be proactive and home and dry ?

    I have seen plenty of him over the years to see that sadly he has run out of ideas and like most things in life, the shelf life is coming towards an end , regardless of the result .

    this is not good enough from one of the top 6 clubs in the world .

    Shambles , not chambers but his tactics .

  102. This team I see isn’t top 6 in the world…

    AW was supposed to divine that we would concede a goal…We look worse SINCE the subs, don’t we?…

    Somebody has to take the blame so AW is as good as Ozil, I guess…

  103. 1-1 Chambers to Gibbs…. Great technique on the finish…WOW!!

  104. James Bond says:

    chambers and gibbs saving the blushes .

  105. Admir says:

    GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! 🙂

    Marriner is the only one that screamed: “OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX!”

  106. James Bond says:

    what was that with the subs ?

    Arsenal looking worse, ehh ?

    2-1

  107. Admir says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    POLDI!

  108. 2-1 Happy B-day!!!!!!!!!!

  109. We’ve DEFINITELY looked worse… 😀 Or did they work to sucker Anderlecht into thinking they were the better team…

    Talk about your cruel results….

  110. James Bond says:

    me amigo, your utter divine and blind faith in AW – worries me a lot sometimes .
    no matter what reason I give you or present, you will stick to your blind faith and truth in AW, where as I will stick to what I witness on the pitch and say it how it is .

    we have won a game, we had no right to winning, I feel sorry for Anderlecht ? maybe but do I Care, no because that’s 3 valuable points .

    however, we didn’t deserve to win that game.

  111. James Bond says:

    *trust not truth

    argh

    happy birthday Arsene 🙂

    is it the first time we have won during his birthday ? didn’t seem likely but miracles do happen .

    well if Liverpool can win against QPR playing shambles then so can we ahahahahahhahahahaha

  112. Admir says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! 😀

  113. Finishes 2-1… and nobody fooled about just how bad we are…

    Don’t know what you’re on about, 007, AW is fully responsible for the team he’s assembled…Take 5 guys out of the first 11–on the budget handed down by Stingy Stan–and we’d struggle to win the Belgian League. We’re only the 6th club in the world in terms of money…

    Hopefully we can do better at Sunderland…

  114. TotalArsenal says:

    You don’t look a gift horse in the mouth….

    Happy Birthday, Arsene 🙂

  115. James Bond says:

    I’m on about your double edged sword comments with double meanings and sarcasm and I quote

    “Somebody has to take the blame so AW is as good as Ozil, I guess…”

    this is not a blame game or finger pointing – the buck stops at AW and no one else .

    this has got nothing to do with being ON A BUDGET or stingy STAN – this is about using his squad to the fullest, his subs and so on .

    nearly 75 minutes – game is 0-0 you have the likes of OX, Rosicky, Podolski, Joel.C on the bench

    bloody use them no ?

    is it the first time he has done this, erm NO .

    you can slate Chambers all you want, or the young keeper all you want – whose fault is it that he didn’t bring an experienced CB ? whose fault is it that he bought another injured player from another club when he could have got Navas or another keeper ?

    anyhow – like I said, you will say something now and mean something else, so let’s leave it at that and enjoy our victory .

    sunderland next , roll on .

  116. TotalArsenal says:

    Or should that be a Gibbs-horse? 😛

  117. steve says:

    17HT, In case you ever wanted an example of what i mean by i wish we played with youth, pace, aggression, passion, quick build up etc and then don’t mind if we loose – Just look at Anderlecht tonight.
    If Arsenal put in that type of shift at that pace all game with youthful players but we got beat i wouldn’t mind a bit.

  118. Listen, 007, I don’t want to say anything when people are feeling too much emotion… But, we won the match, so hopefully we can breathe easily…for the moment… If anything you were the one throwing the blame around in the heat of the bad result… (Should’ve just shut the ‘puter again, probably…)

    We’re freaking riddled with injuries (and some will blame the physio, of course…) AND we’re working the margins of the market for talent, including buying players WITH injuries (and promising teenagers who can play in multiple positions…) and hoping they recover fully and help us in the longer term. As such, I think we should be chuffed when things go our way (like tonight, at the end)…but take a jaundiced look at the structure of the situation. Like I say, I get hopeful (you gotta have hope, after all…) but things–on balance, do not favor us.

    Here’s the deal… Giroud (not very good, btw) helps the team more than Danny… Ozil (RM reject..) is better than a guy never picked by the Spanish giants (Santi)… Poldolski is a guy who couldn’t keep his hometown team up in the Bundesliga and Theo (fast as he is) is always hurt and ManCity took Sinclair ahead of him (and Pool stuck with 17 year old Sterling) when he tried to test the market 2 years ago… In the end, tonight, the future England FBs stunned a naive Anderlecht team who were over-enjoying their rampancy.. while the other MFs (freebie–Flamini, and Bit-core boys Rambo and Wilshere) were awfully ineffective, before they got their goal… I dunno, caution to the wind for the three points seemed like a better tactic AFTER they scored…

    Hey, I get hopeful too, but to think we’re on a par with teams like the best in England (or the rest of Europe) is laughable… I am however, liking the fight in this Alexis fellow, even if he wasn’t good enough for Barca… 😀

    OK, I gotta run to pick up my boy (and maybe it’s best if I feck off for a longer period) as to let the hope (on the one hand) and the blame (on the other) go HOG-WILD (as we say over here)… Call it blind on my part but I see it differently…

    👿

    Uh oh…Balotelli caught in a Santos-esque shirt-swap up at Anfield….

  119. RA says:

    What an odd feeling of jubilation that we won, but we were so poor – god bless my socks – I felt sorry for the Anderlecht fans. What is wrong with me.

    Truthfully, I do not know how we won that. We had too many very ordinary performances tonight.

    I watched on my own so that might have affected my perception, but it seemed we had little movement, little urgency, too casual …… just – well, poor.

  120. RA says:

    Best to call it as a time out guys. Things can get said that can be difficult to take back -and it sounds like a strange mix of happiness and shock at the performance that can bring them on.

    Where is Terry when we need an upbeat voice? 🙂

  121. James Bond says:

    no, not in the heat or spur of the moment – I said regardless of the result and even if we won, I would stand by what I have said .

    yes, I have taken what you have said on board and it’s nothing new, it’s the same old same old rhetoric .

    I am not talking about injuries and so on and so forth – for the 3rd time, I was on about his tactics and substitutions for the 2nd half yet you keep on going onto different tangents in trying to defend him .

    listen – you had ATL-MADRID on a tight budget , leash or whatever winning LA LIGA against money mad clubs and almost winning the CL last season –

    if you aim for mediocrity and settle for top 4 finish then that is exactly what you get .

    other teams in the past, on a much tighter budget and restrictions have done well in their countries as well as the CL – you would expect something much better than an experienced pro who has a VERY good squad at his disposal in almost every single position and the position we lack the back up is again down to his inability to get the business done .

    I said I was tilting towards it, not entirely there so, I will give him until Xmas and see how we do before getting out the kitchen knives, for now am gonna sharpen them with GLICS 👿

    but on a personal note and level, as amigos – read what I have said and then think with a cool head, don’t you think what I have pointed out has utter merit and not done for the sake of it ? I hear what you are saying in regards to everything but for tonight – it’s irrelevant even if you asked me to look at the broader picture and where we are headed .

    and I can tell you right now where we are headed – we are headed to the knockouts as runners up from our group, playing the likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid or Barca and then Sczny gets sent off or concedes a penalty and we are out of the competition 🙂

  122. James Bond says:

    agreed @ RA .

    nah me and 17HT are fine, we like talking things through and discussing it after the game ; ) to be fair to me amigo, it’s all TMHT’s fault .

    🙂

  123. James Bond says:

    last but not least before I hit the pillow.

    from the beeb :

    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Anderlecht 1-2 Arsenal
    Posted at
    Ieuan Yusuf-George: Sanchez shaking his head at full time while others look delighted. He’s right. Enough of celebrating mediocrity.

  124. proudgooner says:

    Was it just me or did Podolski give us something we needed up front and all over the pitch.
    Not just his goal, it was his bulldog statue , he was big and strong and was not going to get bullied of the ball. Anderlacht were a bit dirty and aggressive as i said he was strong , he learned into there players when there players were tired at the end of the game, he had 1 chance and scored. He still has a place at Arsenal fro me.
    We were lucky, but it is normally a good sign when you win when you play badly.
    Campbell, the Ox and Podolski all did very well for me.

  125. Retsub says:

    Well that was pretty mediocre, I think the exchanges on here were more interesting. Maybe not as bad as tonight, but many times before we have produced sub standard performances in Europe.

    Poldi has many faults but he certainly knows where the goal is.

  126. proudgooner says:

    The 2 full back combining for the 2 perfect kicks was awesome. Chambers first time beautiful cross , for Gibbs perfect volley was a great goal. 🙂

  127. Milo says:

    People already complaining on the youth site that Crowley “holds on to the ball for too long”. It’s not the first time I’ve heard it either. “Scuse me while I sit here and laugh. Kid scores a hat-trick and by all accounts is our most promising attacking talent. Maybe we should develop more kids as good as he is, so he can release the ball earlier. Or maybe we should send him back from whence he came (Villa). We don’t want any Ronaldinho’s or Iniesta’s here, no no we cannot stand for that. Whatever way, just let the kid play. It’s crap like this that drives me nuts.

  128. James Bond says:

    pardon me @ Milo

    but what has Dan got to do with tonight’s performance or results ? ? ?

    am I missing something or your skillful comparison of Dan Crawley with the likes of Jack wilshere ?

    🙂

  129. TotalArsenal says:

    Didn’t see enough of the game to write a review and do it justice. Does anybody want to volunteer? 🙂

  130. Sorry Totes…Not gonna touch that one… 😀 …

    Maybe we could just say that the scoreline flatters and move on to the (difficult) match up in Sunderland?…

  131. Gerry says:

    It will be short, but you will have something, TA About an hour, plus rewrite time OK?

  132. Milo says:

    .You have a brain to make decisions with, as well as two eyes. You don’t like what I post? Cover your eyes.

    You always try to get me going. I despise people such as you, who start arguments for no reason, other than to make yourself seem powerful or manipulative, because you think you can dictate how I feel with the snap of your fingers. You’ve said so on multiple occasions yourself. Came from the horses mouth it did. Guess what??? You can dictate how I feel, along with every other thing on this planet. Do I really, really, really care??? It only takes two words for me to type my opinion of you. Do you really, really, really, really care??? No, but it still feels fine dunnit??? I won’t do it because TA doesn’t like swearing. Well if what I have typed is less offensive to you and a few others, then I might as well, but I won’t as I’ve said what I wanted to say.

  133. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Gerry! 🙂

  134. RA says:

    Hi Milo,

    I think that Dan Crowley is a fantastic player and I hope he goes on to be a top class, first team player for us.

    I have not heard those negative comments about him (I’m mixing in the wrong circles) 🙂 but if ‘hanging onto the ball’ produces great performances — long may he do it.

  135. TotalArsenal says:

    Milo, chill buddy 🙂

    Your comment was just a bit random, given that we played another game entirely just before you posted…

    Agreed on the notion re holding on to the ball.

  136. TotalArsenal says:

    Fights and tear gas after game in Brussels yesterday, according to Welsh Gooner, who was at game.

  137. Gerry says:

    You have mail,TA

  138. Gerry says:

    Milo – It was I who said he tends to hang on to the ball sometimes rather than pass to a better place colleague. If you have read that elsewhere, then good.

    He is a young creative midfielder.His job is to create opportunities, not primarily for himself, but others. That is why I made the comment. I have never denied his talent.

    However, just mull over this. He scored 3 times in a game they lost. That is three successful strikes in one game. if you add up his unsuccessful strikes in other games, which, if had he passed the ball might have resulted in a game changing winner, you get the bigger picture?
    Albeit,stretching it into the ‘What if’ pitfall
    Football is a team game, so your statement of ‘let the lad play’ does nothing for his development, as a player or a person?

    Unless you have some other reason for blowing your top, I will put it down to the possibility of avoiding the problems we have with the first team?

  139. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post 🙂

    Gerry says it as he saw it: A victory that feels like a loss….

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