Walking in an Alexis Sunderland


Alexis shows once more that quality and effort combined are the only way to success

Today’s game against Sunderland did not promise to be an advert for the beautiful game. Our hosts had been beaten savagely by the Saints only a week ago and were never going to play free-flowing attacking football in front of their own crowd. And we also had to find some belief again that we can defend our goal in order to try and win only our third game in this PL campaign. The inclusion of both Arteta and Flamini in the starting line-up surprised many of us, me included. But, in hindsight, it made some sense as Wenger just did not want to give the home team any encouragement that goals could be scored against Arsenal today: a clean sheet was the first priority.

So, with Sunderland eager to avoid another trashing and preferring to play us on the counter, and we playing the veterans of Flamini and Arteta, and almost veteran, Santi in midfield, the football on display was anything but sumptuous. As far as I could tell from a limited but luckily constant stream, we were once again struggling with attacking our opponent effectively. There is a Babel-esque nature to our attacking play at the moment; such is the lack of communication and understanding between the likes of Alexis, Sanchez, Ox and Santi.

Santi is no Ozil or Wilshere, and anybody still wanting to play him in his supposedly ‘natural/best position (nr.10)’, should re-watch this game if still in doubt. With Flamini and Arteta holding themselves back to a large extent, as per their remit and skill set, the onus was on Santi to link midfield with the three attackers. He struggled in composing our game and for large periods we did not attack effectively at all; which, in my view, is worse than the number of decent chances he missed during the latter part of the game.

To be totally fair, he was not helped much by the somewhat forlorn and ineffective looking Welbeck and by an overeager, but out of form, Ox. In fact, Sunderland were starting to get some confidence and were putting us under a bit of pressure after the first twenty minutes or so (a regular occurrence in Arsenal games this season). And had it not been for Wes Brown’s generous and belated birthday present for Arsene, I am not sure whether we would have scored at all in the first half and large parts of the second half, such was our bluntness and attacking mayhem upfront.

Luckily, we have a player of the highest quality and intrinsic motivation in our midst: the mini-Hulk from Chile, Alexis Sanchez. He is so effective at hunting down players and chasing the ball, and just never gives up. And for this he was handsomely rewarded with two priceless PL goals and three points for his club. Of course, Brown and our until recently very own Mannone made big mistakes themselves, rather than Alexis totally forcing them, but his chasing is so effective that sooner or later a player is going to make one. And let’s hope the likes of Ox, Jack, Welbeck are taking note of how it should be done from the master.

So three factors decided the game today: Sanchez successfully chasing of his opponents into mistakes (although the other players helped with this as well of course), his deadly finishing (most crucially for the first goal), AND the collective team effort to play for, and fight for, the clean sheet.

It was not pretty but this was a very, very necessary win. And now, with a week’s rest till the next game, the team can regroup and hopefully a few more players will become match fit to take on Burnley on Saturday.

Well done boys!

Written by: TotalArsenal.

94 thoughts on “Walking in an Alexis Sunderland

  • bogus performance but the 3points are welcome.santi was awful,welbeck just couldnt get going..was it a european hangover just like city?
    By the time we visit van j and van boy we should bè firing on all cylinders i hope.nxt up is burnley,come on alexis more of that nxt weekend please.

  • Alexis is the best thing to happen to us thus far; the guy is a real footballer, a warrior, a Gladiator…. He’s a joy to watch! How I wish we have two other players like him with bags of skills and “Never say Die!” attitude.

  • On another note (not directly Arsenal related unless & until the later stages of the CL), I watched the El-Clacico, I’m not a fan of R.Madrid, but they impressed me playing deft counter attacking football today. They look well drilled and efficient. Reminded me of our invincibles era… I hope we don’t play them till CL finals (Smiles)!

  • Total, I thought Poldolski would be on the pitch yesterday, at least as a substitute, especially after Wednesday night cameo. I was expecting him to replace Welbs. Any chance he will stay beyond January? He’s really a good squad player if Wenger knew how to deploy him, doesn’t happy nor concerned anymore.

  • Like everyone else, Wenger included I have been trying to put my finger on what is wrong with the team compared to last season. The obvious answer is we had four players fit and in form (Ozil, Ramsey, Walcott and Giroud) offering different attacking options. In particular Rambo with his late runs into the box and Giroud with his hold up player and heading ability.

    Without these outlets the side looks very one dimensional. It’s a little pointless winning corners if we have no one to mount a serious arial challenge. Sanchez was great yesterday and he is such a hard worker, but both of the goals were absolute gifts. That doesn’t happen too often in the prem.

    Don’t want to be a doomed, but until we get some fit and in form talent back, every week is going to be a struggle. It’s certainly not a pleasure to watch at the moment

  • Veepee 🙂

    Yes surprised about the Pod no show as well. Glad you enjoyed the Spanish game. I find it unacceptable to see the summit of world class talent, bar a few, being collected by just two clubs. Thank god Athletico beat them both somehow to the title last season. Football ain’t dead yet.

  • Cheers Retsub 🙂

    Agreed re us missing those players and we will be stronger if and when they are back. But their replacements are not bad either and it’s the lack of shape and purpose that’s the worrying thing.

  • The post – excellent as usual
    The title – pure genius
    The result – just what we needed
    The game – sub standard
    The performance – woeful
    The players – still off form and uncohesive
    The verdict – lukewarm rather than boiling, time for a change or stick to what we’re doing?

  • Cheers Steve 🙂

    I am sure we will discuss your question over the next few days.

    Two great posts in store, one by F11 and one le Professeur. Come on Manure? 😛

  • TA

    I think Sanchez is already becoming pissed off that he feels that he is carrying the team. You can see it in his body language. Is he starting to think: “What the fuck have I let myself in for?”

    If not for him yesterday it would have been a 0-0. But we got the 3 points, thanks to a couple of gifts and the pressing and quick think of Sanchez. AW needs to sort out the tactics soon, because we are not firing on four cylinders.

  • Don’t want Manure to win today, but then I don’t want Chavs to win… so a draw will be the best result all round me thinks. Chavs won’t get a season unbeaten, they’ll flop at some stage.

  • 69er & TA,
    I want a draw or old toilet win, I would prefer a draw . I don’t want the old toilet pose getting all confident. No sir keep the old toilet pose low down in the gutter were they belong. Dirty Manc rats.
    Great title Totes 🙂

  • Cheers guys 🙂

    I know it would boost the Manure confidence, but I want the Chavs to lose badly for league and a certain record reasons….

  • As much as it pains me to pull for Chelsea/Mourinho?
    Those 3 points awarded to MC may prove strategic later this season in claiming a top 4 spot.
    If Chelsea is to be beaten– this is not the tie for it to happen.
    At some point they’ll lose.
    But keeping MC off-kilter is more important IMHO.


  • TA am in agreement with you to a certain extent. I don’t want them to lose badly I want them to get absolutely mullered. Chelsea may not be good to watch, but they are very well drilled and could well go the season unbeaten.

    You can almost write the script for today’s game. United will attack with flair for the first half an hour, then Chelsea will break away and score. United will pour forward and with about 20 to go Chelsea will get another. Then on come the game killers and game over.

    This won’t be populat but somebody commented on pound for pound the best buy this season I have a horrible feeling Chelsea have him and I am not talking Costa

  • Jw1, I don’t care too much right now about top four to be honest. I just don’t want to give up on the title after less than a quarter of the games. Goes against my instinct, but you have a point.

  • you have mail TA 🙂

    Where’s my Coffee Caffeinated Compadre from California? he’s been very quite this weekend.

  • TA–
    If AFC is to catch and overtake Chelsea this season– it will take so many factors to align just right. In similar fashion as it did in overtaking Everton last year for top 4. Then, both teams fortunes turned a concurrent 180°– which– is what would need to occur again.
    I’m not sure we’re at that point on the timeline yet.

    IMO, aside from AFC being required to play at a much higher level; catching the Chavs is likely to take injuries to Chelsea mainstays and some sheer luck.

    There’s reason to aspire to both goals (PL title; CL berth)– but the financial aspect of CL$$ and NOT playing on Thursday nights looms large over next season.

    Then there are overarching, but lesser questions, such as:
    Can we draw a Reus or a Pedro or a Draxler without a CL spot?
    Will the $$ be available without it?
    Will Wenger stay on without CL?

    Yesterday’s was an ‘ugly win’. But a win.
    The type a team must have to claw their way back.

    (Purely from an historical fan’s perspective– while I was not “on-board” yet during the ’03-’04 season– I have a similar sentimental pull– in that I was a youngster growing up in Miami FL USA in the early-70s when the NFL Miami Dolphins went unbeaten/untied over the course of the 1972 season. A record which has stood for 42 years. Every year I celebrate a little when the last unbeaten NFL teams loses their first game.
    So yes, I certainly understand the import of ‘the record’.)


  • All agreed jw1….. From the brain. The gut and heart say the Chavs could lose six points in the next three games….. manure, QPR and Pool… We have got to fight for the right to party… 🙂

  • I’m here, Mr. F11ngers, as I was yesterday…I would’ve gone in for some in-match-chat but I was very put off by the glee of a comment-writer about the absence of a certain English midfielder. As such, silence from me… Why we feel the need to take hyperbolic (extreme) stances against certain players I’ll just never understand. Critique is fine, but if they wear the shirt, we can also try and see the positives…

    I’m traveling at the moment and I’m thus challenged with my technology…so not as much writing as usual. Still, that is a very good match review, Total, and an excellent title. Steve, your analysis of one-liners was spot on, as well. Also, it’s very nice to have the professor (JGC, Geoff Chase) in Europe…Positivity and analytics as always AND you must’ve found somewhere in Belgium which showed our match…very nice…

    The result and Alexis as a shining example of tenacity might be all we can point towards, however. (A less positive title might have been “Fingers 2 – Eyeballs nil…” 🙂 ) I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a more flattering scoreline nor a result-producing performance that was so poor. Santi Cazorla, looks almost Oxlade-Chamberlain-esque in his determination to throw away the opportunities coming his way due to injury (and suspension) amongst other squad members. We’ve got real issues (touched upon delicately. but accurately, in the post…) up and down the squad. The form AND the inherent quality just is not there… Additional injuries to the more veteran members of the back-line also do not bode well…

    Searching for positives… Arteta played to his (limited) capacity and was likely the 2nd best player in the squad. The ability to find good positions and make critical touches trumps physicality, IMO. Also, our young defenders look promising even if I respect the manager’s decision to not try too many at any one time given our frail confidence. Like Total suggests, the clean sheet was the priority. Nacho, however, looked a lot happier running the touchline once he was moved out that way after Gibbs was taken off.

    Sorry, but that’s about all I can muster. Unless we can play teams coming off huge, confidence sapping defeats, we’re going to struggle. At least we have a week to try and regroup and get an uptick in team cohesion and fitness. Burnley at home (then Anderlecht in midweek…) *should* be an automatic 3 points but I’d predict another struggle. Just gotta keep getting the results but maybe find a little more in terms of performance. Baby steps are required–but so too is cleaning up our act–so that we don’t have to throw the kid out with the bath-water…

    Anyhow, sorry for the negativity (and I’ve got my fingers crossed about more upbeat stuff in the posts which are coming here)… IMO, we shouldn’t lose sight of the good things we have when the results go against us, but we also shouldn’t let a decent looking scoreline take away from the (uglier) truths we’re witnessing… 😦

  • TA, Lemme know (by e-mail) if you need something in the way of a post, though as you can see, it might have to be something which works to limit our expectations… I’m back in the mountains on Monday night…

    jw1 (my frisbee flinging friend…), I wouldn’t worry too much about getting up for 4th–at least not yet…As bad as we’re playing the schedule is really working in our favor. (Thank Dennis we hit Sunderland and not West Ham yesterday…) Single points are NOT good for winning the title, but they play better in the relegation fights… (Also, getting that (late, undeserved) 3 pts at Anderlecht was huge for CL qualifying, which means we can focus a bit more on PL matches following the remaining CL group games…) You’re right, however, about the Chelsea juggernaut but I’m pretty confident their focus will waver. In general, there’s just enough quality and unpredictability up and down the first division these days to make invincibility an awfully tough task…

  • give JW Flamini and Arteta behind him – and he could do plenty more than Santiago did yesterday.

    Santiago needs an extended rest beginning from this saturday – I did want to see how Santi does in the absence of JW yesterday but sadly, he let most of us down, I was expecting better and whether you hate him or love him – This Arsenal and England team needs JW for more reasons than one – his link up play with both Welz and Ox is always improving and he does give our team structure .

    the only issue that I see is the Ramsey / JW paradox, if we can make that work then boy , will we have a mighty fine team or will we have a might fine team .

    we won yesterday, GOOD – however, we could have easily been 1-1 – what was Sczny thinking ? I bet every one is happy now but that was another heart in mouth moment .

    who was the writer of such a comment that had put you off @ 17HT ?

    also, a few days ago , I saw MILO explode/implode – am assuming that was meant for Gerry your comment MILO considering he replied and knew what you were on about ? if not, then it’s worth addressing the person you are supposedly having a go at .

    yes, extremely necessary win @ Skipper – we win our next 3 games and we will be right back up there .

    man utd vs Chelsea will be a draw , I reckon .

  • blimey, whose the home team in this one ? both teams looking to play on the counter attack .

    negative + negative = LVG + JM = set piece winner .

  • oh dear – Van persie one on one with the keeper and should have scored there .

    This chelsea’s GK is good, very very good .

  • Di Maria is a proper diver, no ? coming from Spain – that’s the least one would expect, ha

  • 0-0 Man utd lucky not to be down by 1 goal or concede a penalty .

    a draw suits Arsenal just fine as I expect QPR to do Chelsea good and proper next week :evi:

  • 3 minutes to go

    Chelsea leading 1-0 thanks to a set piece 🙂 🙂 🙂

    drogba it was

  • not just that @ skipper

    it was 3 one on one’s with Van Pu$$y

    oh and he socres


    after ivanvic is sent off


  • van pu$$y is celebrating as if he has won them the game ala Aguero’sque ahahahhahahaahha

    to be fair, Fellaini did well there and then it was an easy re-bound /2nd crack at it which fell to RVP

    either way, am not complaining as this result suits us just fine .

  • ahahahahahahahhaa yeah @ retsub

    truth be told, I think RVP is past it now .

    we sort of cashed in at the right time .

    Cesc on the other hand, got another bloody assist today, is it 8 or 9 now ? ? ?

    saying that, we signed Alexis who has scored 8 goals and must have assisted more than 5 comfortably, no ?

    so it was good business by AW if you are going to compare both the signings ? I don’t know, the jury is still going to be out on that one but I reckon we did well with Sanchez .

  • last but not least – how good is this chap with his predictions and game reading ehhh @

    James Bond says:
    October 26, 2014 at 16:18
    blimey, whose the home team in this one ? both teams looking to play on the counter attack .

    negative + negative = LVG + JM = set piece winner .

    both goals from set pieces 🙄

    I look forward to the day when we actually start banging them in from set pieces, oh Theo I miss you .

  • Retsub,

    if we are going to be imagining then I do warn you – I have a very rich imagination

    why Imagine just them 2 ?

    why not imagine the likes of Nasri / Cesc/ RVP / Adebawhore (2nd striker on the bench) /

    yes, I can imagine it all right but sadly, the ship has sailed and the traitors jumped ship a long time ago .

  • Down in Berzerkely visiting with my parents, TA… Meeting with lawyers (barristers?) tomorrow to try and get some estate and financial matters settled, so not a holiday by any stretch… Indeed, later in the week might work…

    RvJ (letting his Arsenal grey show) scores at both ends and there’s your draw, 007… Both keepers had good matches (even De Gea is starting to look a net-positive, pun intended, for United these days…) and the level seemed quite a bit better than the earlier Spuds-Toon match… Overall, good results all the way around for the Arsenal this weekend… We’ll need to buck up our ideas (and our players’ form and confidence…) before ManU travel our way, I fear… Oh-Gaat, Oh–staat (one step at a time), Burnley then Ander-Laacht, (but then Swansea in Wales…) might rhyme and might be a chance to get our feet under us…

    At least we’re agreed that Jack back should help?…

  • return of JW, Theo, Ramsey, and possibly Podolski will help massive @ me Amigo .

    we need to start resting Welbeck now, for more reason than one – he could do with a breather as could Santiago .

  • Yes, loyalty is a precious commodity these days… And our manager seems rather unforgiving of the prodigal sons…Unless they come back for free… (In recent times that would mean Flamini, Sol Campbell and Henry on loan…)

    Does anybody fit the bill these days? Senderos is at Villa, Djourou is in Germany, Is Squillaci playing anywhere?…

    I’ve only seen him in pre-season, but I think I might be ready to get on the Isaac Hayden bandwagon… 🙂 😦 🙂

  • JB, “the only issue that I see is the Ramsey / JW paradox, if we can make that work then boy , will we have a mighty fine team or will we have a might fine team”

    That’s pretty much the pivotal idea behind a post i have just done for TA, those two clicking in midfield could allow us so many more options for going forward. You’ll just have to wait and see how my crazy brain has interpreted that into a post though 🙂

  • Santi needs a goal, Ox an assist and DW, I think, just needs our midfield to do their job so he can do his (work off the shoulder of the last defender)… Otherwise, agreed, 007, Theo and Rambo need full form/fitness by the United game…Jack W, as well… The problems in defense seem tougher to solve, worse if you have no faith in our only fit keeper…

    TA, the drive across the state is a little over 3 hours…Nothing for most Americans but still plenty, IMO… Gotta avoid the traffic patterns, of course, or it’s a mind-wrecker too…

  • 17HT, i saw song have a good game yesterday but still wouldn’t really want him back, Schneidelin is my top pick for that position or a step into the first XI by Hayden (testicles and all) 🙂

  • 17HT, “DW, I think, just needs our midfield to do their job so he can do his”
    Hear hear mate!
    How can he score if he isn’t getting any decent balls through
    If it wasn’t for to cock ups by the defenders not even Sanchez would have scored yesterday and he is a cut above the rest atm

  • Yep i think i have enjoyed the results more than the football this weekend – how depressing (especially for me)

  • Flamini left on a free – he has done that many times, but he has fulfilled his contractual obligations, he is a trained lawyer/accountant by now who knows how to get the best possible contract and a few extra bob by playing his cards right – interestingly, we can terminate his contract at the end of the season /he can again go off as a free agent if we choose not to extend his contract for another year . so, if we say no, he is again off as a free transfer else where .

    Sol Campbell and Henry = we needed them off our books at the time as they were on high wages, Henry was getting in excess of £200 k PER WEEK, yes, you read that one right, ARSENAL were paying £200 k plus to Henry, if memory serves .

    in order to build the emirates, we had to do a conservatory govt policy which was to cut cut cut our spending .

    by the way, whilst we were imagining earlier on @ Retsub – it should have been something like this

    Song / Nasri/ Cesc/ RVP and Adebawhore .

    I believe, if AW wanted, he could have had Song back – he certainly was my man of the match for yesterday’s win against man city .

    looking forward to it @ Steve

  • disagreed @ Steve re- DW

    he could still score from a set piece, no ? that’s the thing about great strikers or good ones .

    even if they are not fed through by their MF – they can create something out of nothing for themselves and the team .

    DW is lacking that at the moment , he works hard and does all the right things but a breather will do him good – considering he has been involved in the internationals as well .

  • *Conservative Govt Policy .

    agreed with me amigo – setting them a return date and a near full fitness by the Man utd game is a very good target .

    we play them after or before the international break ?

  • JB, have you seen the quality of our set pieces and corners this season lol, give the guy a little leeway 🙂

  • mate, if a pensioner can score a goal against man utd from that far out then I reckon Welz should be scoring for fun ahahahahahahahahahaha

    nah but seriously, this is why we are missing Theo even more – he never really got the credit for his set pieces as he deserved .

    also, while we are at it, his movement in both boxes on set pieces can be better – he will get there in the end but this is something he needs to work on a bit more .

  • worse if you have no faith in our only fit keeper… @ Me Amigo – it’s not about the faith I have in our only fit keeper, it’s about how he performs for the club .

    looks like am not the only one having little faith in him as AW seems to be losing it with him as well ? he has come out yesterday or friday and publicly sort of criticized Sczny but kept it sweet ?

    AW almost never does that in public, so he if he came out on friday and did that, and for Sczny to still do the same brain fart when it was unnecessary to do so, does make one wonder, no ?

    I don’t know about you but it would be nice for a change to have someone solid at the back in goal, who can give you the confidence that other top teams in Europe enjoy or the luxury perhaps ?

    I don’t know but hey , clean sheets always helps, so another one against Burnley next saturday will do his confidence (over confidence) a lot of good ?

  • which pensioner are you talking about? Drogba or RVP? 🙂
    agreed on Theo’s set pieces although OX was putting in some nice balls before he got pulled of corner duty.
    If the delivery was a bit better you would have seen a few more chances at least, from the likes of BFG and Kos and Welbeck.

  • Giroud at set pieces, while not a great header himself, makes everybody better just because opponents have to respect his size and bother to “put him off” making the play himself… Koscielny is the better jumper and he reacts better to the loose balls in the box, as well…What do they both have in common? Out injured (and late-bloomers from the lower French leagues, i.e., not the worst place from which AW and his scouts have found players)…

    We are suffering for that combination of size and mobility at set pieces. Yesterday, minus Santi trying one with his left foot and the one that Ox took, our deliveries were better. Theo delivers good (right footed) ones too… Still, if we can score from a corner before we get the two French guys back, I’d be surprised (and chuffed)… Expecting things–when the facts don’t warrant them–is called “hope,” and hope is NOT a plan… Like with my business tomorrow, I “hope” my parents don’t die or decline, but we’re trying to deal with more realistic expectations… 😦

    007, I wish you were around here to help with some of these accountancy matters…Luckily I do a little drug dealing, er, coffee roasting, for an accountant, so I’ve gotten a (tiny) bit of advice pointing us in the right direction…

  • Funny stuff there and all back to the various favorites (American spelling)…

    Steve and I see differences in corner deliveries depending on who makes them…007 loses it over Szcz and his sweeper keeper tendencies even when they don’t cost us. There’s also agreement in there amongst the three of us, but, like 2-nil victories, how boring is that… 🙂

    Can we agree, at least, that Ospina out until the new year (at the earliest) is a bad one?… New keeper in January if it looks worse than that might be a necessity. Martinez did what was asked in Belgium but I also noticed that the (makeshift) central pairing had some moments when a stronger voice would’ve helped…

  • that’s a great comment @ me amigo, very well put and yeah, they must have learned all that by playing and fighting in the lower divisions .

    I hope it’s not all that bad with your parents and these legal matters or nothing more than mere formalities for the ease of mind of your folks .

    my best wishes to you and your family as I don’t know any more than what you have shared but it’s good that all this is being done as they are alive and doing it according to their own wishes .

    you’re good with the computer and navigating your way round things, so why not google such matters so that no accountant or lawyer can con you and such likes – always helps doing a bit of research before going to such meetings/consultations .

  • 007, to answer your question…We play United after the Int’l break, Dortmund too, and luckily they’re both at home…

    Burnley away, Anderlect home (mid-week) and then the tough one, Swansea away before the break… The way we’re playing and given the frailty of confidence (and support…) no match is an easy one. On paper, at least, the sequence favors us…

    Gotta run…

  • agreed @ Steve

    by the way, I was watching the West ham game live, and erm, our own Jenks had the chance to score the 3rd one – he ran all the way from the half way line, was quite the sprint and ran clear and broke away at a rate of naughts, his touch let him down or else it could have been a Bale/Ronaldo’sque goal that .

    I hope he gets picked for the friendly internationals by Roy .

  • Alexis is the best Arsenal player since Mr Thierry Henry. How many times have you seen Henry doing exactly the same thing like Sanchez has been doing lately – carrying our team on his back even when his team-mates can’t hit the ocean from the beach.

    Anyway, I’d like to point out how friendly Sunderland have been to us this year, especially this lad Vergini. If you remember, Giroud scored one of his two goals at Emirates in February after Vergini’s back-pass. Perhaps we should send him an Arsenal shirt? 🙂

  • that’s a big statement there @ Admir

    personally, the best player since Henry is Theo Walcott for me .

    a big match player, the only one we have I reckon – never goes hiding in big games, scores against the likes of Man City, Chelsea e.t.c

    Sanchez needs to be passing/releasing the ball more quickly – if he can sort out his passing then he can reach that caliber of Henry e.t.c e.t.c but for now, I would like him to do it against the bigger teams as well .

  • Theo? I like him and I’ve missed him a lot but he has yet to reach Alexis’ level. The Chilean has already shown against Manchester City what he is made of and if Martin Atkinson had been anything else than a typical Mike Riley’s bell-boy, Alexis would have earned Gary Cahill’s red card as well. He was also the guy that sent the ball into the box before The Ox equalized against Spuds.

    The thing is, what Alexis did against Hull, Anderlecht and Sunderland was Henry-sque. He has already reached eight goals in all competitions and it won’t take too much before he becomes the quickest Wenger’s signing to reach ten goals in all competitions (sorry, Marouane Chamakh!).

  • fingers crossed @ Admir

    let’s hope he can keep going like no tomorrow and is our Suarez/Aguero .

    but like I say, he can still improve more and boy, the prospect of a fit Theo playing alongside Sanchez, Welbeck is a mouth watering prospect for every football fan not just Arsenal .

    do you know how many assists he has provided ? I guessed 5 plus .

  • Arsenal player of the month, October: Alexis Sánchez
    8 goals & 4 assists currently.

    in PL
    – playing primarily RW (freekick for Koscielny’s equaliser vs Crystal Palace)
    – playing primarily LW (for Welbeck’s extra time equaliser vs Hull City)

    in CL
    – playing primarily LW (for Welbeck’s opener vs Galatasary)
    – playing primarily RW (for Podolski’s extra time winner vs Anderlecht)

    As above, Alexis’s assists are decisive, as were some of his goals, in our matches.

  • Too late to this discussion but I’ve got a minute here before the baseball starts, which is of interest mostly to my family….

    I agree with both of you…kind of…I’ll post this link one final time… as it describes some of the troubles he had at Barca and the two sides of always being (or trying to be) da Man at all levels. http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2014/aug/15/alexis-sanchez-arsenal-barcelona-premier-league-la-liga Of course, given the level of football we’re currently playing we ABSOLUTELY need Alexis doing exactly what he does…

    We *can* be a scary club if we start pressing the ball from the front and a line of Theo, DW and Alexis will be very strong IF we have a 2nd line of 3 who can also close down w/o getting turned and beaten. Frankly, I don’t see a lot of that coming from the likes of Ramsey, Jack, Santi, Flamini or Arteta. Rosicky, the Ox and Ozil maybe can do it but it’s been so long on the former, the Ox needs to improve his decision making and Ozil will be off to ManCity or Bayern by the time he’s fit again. That leaves the guys who never play but are mooted…Coquelin, Diaby, Chambers, Hayden and guys we can buy… I gotta see those sorts in action before I can judge… My point: I don’t see us getting more than the occasional mistake (like Vergini’s pair, and Brown’s…) on any sort of regular basis or against the better clubs…

    But, hey, don’t let me dash any hopes…Just don’t be (so) surprised when they are dashed…i.e., now would be the time to call for the head of the manager rather than during the Burnley (or any other) match…


  • Great post TA.

    Thrilled about the result Saturday but discouraged about the performance. We just can’t seem to get out of first gear with our possession offence. It’s all too predictable time and again – Continually trying to ram short one-two’s through the middle of a well parked bus. Here’s hoping it’s the injuries more than anything thing else that is affecting our fluidity.

    One thing I don’t understand is that we have absolute world class speed across the front 3 (even without Theo) and yet seem unwilling to release it. Our midfielders hold the ball far too long when we first win possession, and apparently don’t feel inclined to attempt low percentage killer passes which would potentially make use of all that pace. Sometimes I wonder if AW prioritizes ball retention so much that our midfield is a bit hesitant to take chances. For me, Ozil and Rocky are the only two willing to expedite. Not sure why that is..

    I love possession football and “the Arsenal way” but I see no harm in taking the risks to put our thoroughbreds in behind.

    Right, I’m off to Mexico now, cheers.


  • Oh, and kudos to the performance of our back 4 orchestra. 1st string, 2nd string, 3rd string… 🙄

  • Two questions: geography…Or an answer and a question…TA, Reno is 1.25 hours from where we live, but the closest airport… AG, where in Mexico and from where are you traveling?…

    AG, good one on the back orchestra… Killer passes? Not w/o the likes of Ozil or Jack… or Cesc 😦 Rambo or maybe the Ox might be your next best bet…Or Zelalem?…

  • TA, great summary…. also liked the beastie boys reference.
    Im still confident we will pull it together. Most of the talent 90% is already here and adjusting now. A little defensive addition later, some returns from injury, a top. 3 finish this season … and next season I like us for the title …

    I know its looking far ahead, but I see us building a squad with young, super talent like ozil alexis, welbs jack, rambo and more. 1 or 2 strategic additions further back, and we’re there. I have been saying, alexis is our suarez.. terrorizes defenders, completely unpredictable, amazing work rate, showing dead ball ability too.

    Alexis was a bit held back playing with messi, so now he is free to shine. and his start in England better than suarez, and I expect it to continue, because his style is relentless, and will pay off many times .

    I have not been happy with our start, and I cant believe these unlucky injuries! Yes, i say unlucky, debuchy, ozil, theo all unlucky i believe. Ramsey, gibbs, im not sure, and Arteta age related. But we are within striking distance of 2nd and 3rd, unfortunately our bad start paired with chelsea excellent beginning makes the title a long shot this season.

  • I’d say it’s more down to our inablity to hold onto a lead than to Maureen’s team quality that we have only a remote chance to win the league after nine games. Had we beaten Lecester, City, Spuds and Hull like we should have done, we would have breathed down their neck.

  • 17 – Traveling from Toronto to Cozumel for a week of scuba diving. Currently on lay over in Montreal..

    Maybe “killer passes” isn’t the best word choice.. I just want the likes of Santi and Arteta et al to move the ball to our runners early and often – in our own half even.. At times it seems as though we just creep up the pitch somewhat reluctant to release, and it usually results in our attackers dropping down for service. Forward thrust disappears, and recycling begins. These boys are capable of sooo much more.

    Are you traveling this week as well?


  • Where would be without Alexis Sanchez so far this season? What the f#%k happened to the rest of our players? I keep reading comments from our players talking about what a player Sanchez is and just how hard he works and never ever gives up and I am left wondering just why the hell they themselves couldn’t do the same thing? Just imagine how great we would look and fare if every single one of these lazy arse prima-donnas actually bothered to work as hard as Sanchez (not more, not less, just the same output)!!! Exactly what is preventing our players from working as hard (never give up and go try to get the ball back after a bad pass) on the pitch. Sanchez is simply amazing. He is carrying the whole team right now all by himself with his “never say die” attitude. He scored 2 goals this past weekend with ZERO assist!!! He is showing everyone of these lazy bums that hard work and perseverance do pay off in the end. What a player we have on our hand!
    I am thinking Wenger should give him a much-deserved rest before he gets totally burned out (or worst, injured long term), but somehow, I am not so sure if Arsene can afford to sit him out even one match the way we have been playing. I just hope Wenger is able to sort out our continuous below par performances real soon.
    I would really love to have a starting eleven with 6 or 7 Alexis Sanchez(es) in it! That would be quite a treat, defensively and offensively…😃

  • AwayGunner @ 08.33, get out of my head mate 🙂 My thoughts exactly! slow counters and breaks every time in a team that is bursting with pace, it drives me mad. It even starts at the very back with Szczesny, he always takes in the ball from an opposition attack and then waits till we get set to release, problem is the entire opposition gets back and set also in that time. I think some of our midfielders have forgotten that a good ball through can actually be into space forward for attackers to run on to and doesn’t have to be to feet all the time.

    Gino92, your point is exactly what me and 17HT used to argue about, Sanchez hurries and presses people much more effectively, i think when i suggested we do that more it always ended up sounding like me wanting our players to foul all over the pitch but it was more about learning to effectively close down. If you watch the rest of the team we tend to go close and “shepherd” the opposition but this doesn’t stop them from passing or force them into errors, it is so consistent within the team i am wondering whether it is some some of directive from the boss and the only one who isn’t following it is Sanchez. Danny and OX try but it seems a little unrefined and Chambers does this too well and ends up actually fouling.
    If we can get OX, Danny and Walcott on the same wavelength as Sanchez with all the pace those four bring then defending and turning over possession from the front may actually become a real thing at Arsenal – lets hope! 🙂

  • Evening all, I thought I might just slip this in before a New Post is called.

    I am late coming to the table, where sacrificial lambs are normally slaughtered, as I only saw the match in two parts this morning. I have to say I was very disappointed with the quality on the ‘Player this time. It was like they were covering an Under 19’s game. One high camera on the half way line, mostly with half pitch view. One lower level camera for close up facial shots, of which there were numerous ones, even while play was going on. One opposite view camera for shots of managers, obligatory. Final, one camera behind the goal for second angle replays. Commentators not a patch on the audio guys I heard live either!.
    That is the first observation.

    Second obs – Very few comments during the game on here, which made a nice change, imo, as less negativity to wade through. 😀

    TA – Your post summed up much of how the game was, but like Tony in the very first comment, I don’t think enough allowance was made for the midweek game?
    When you consider we had a Saturday game that went down to the wire, followed by a Wednesday game that took all of 90+ minutes to get a result, Is it any wonder that the attacking players that played part in both were a little under par? More in the head, than physically.

    Alexis is a case apart, as he stepped of a plane in the early hours of the previous Thursday, after a long haul flight, and still put a shift in. The likes of Danny and Santi though, clearly struggled with the mental effort.

    I think AW was carrying out what I said prior to the game, get two back in DM positions to allow the full backs more freedom to get forwards. Bit baffled as to why Bellerin was not the object of speed down the line, and not Chambers taking the Monreal spot. But in the event, both did pretty good in defence.

    It also appeared to me that AW did another Ozil with Gibbs over half time. The audio guys picked up Gibbs was struggling early in the second half, and it took an age before the change was made. However, he pulled up short about 5 minutes before half time holding his right hip, just on a goal line. He comes out for the second half hardly getting beyond the half way line. That was either by instruction, because the possible injury was discussed? Or the players took it upon themselves not to expect him to make too many runs forwards? The final piece of this farce was when Flamini was about to take a throw in, he kept drawing the ref’s attention to the sub being readied, or not, as the case was. No comment from the guys on the mike, nor any visuals from the camera. In the end Flamini threw the ball hard into the ground it was amazing we kept possession. A few minutes later, following a bout of continuous play, it looked like Szczezzer was going to kick the ball into touch, but was overruled, and play continued. Eventually Bellerin did come on.
    I am only drawing attention to the lack of preparation because of the likely longer time out Gibbs might have because of it. It is not the first time Gibbs has pulled up with a non contact injury. In fact I believe his last one, which they said was a hamstring injury, was on the same leg? Whereas I keep coming back to the possibility of him having a ‘shallow bowl’ where the leg slots into the hip, and this can put extra strain on the tendons around it.. No doubt having tough games on top of each other could be another factor. Either way, sloppy!

    It was noticeable how much more central Alexis was in this game, and looked the better for it?
    I think a 4-4-1-1 is beckoning very shortly, and Gnabry could be an Ideal foil ahead of him while Danny has a well earned rest? He pooped up well in the reserve game, but Maitland-Niles scored a peach from about 30 odd yards. Nice way to celebrate his new contract. Kaylen Hines scored the first from a tight angle, as the Under 21’s ran out 3-0 winners. The absence of Hayden is a worry. Training ground injuries are not to be encouraged as we get enough in almost every game.

    Overall, I was more than happy with the game, when you consider only Everton managed to get a result they should have, of all those who played in midweek, apart from ourselves. We will find out on Saturday if we had the stronger opponents?

    Yes, it will be nice to have Walcott back for that one, but it is not like he is walking back into the same team 9 months ago. So I expect it will take a few games for him to get used to a new right back, a new striker, and a new attacking midfielder. None of whom are like their predecessors? So down the expectations on that one a level or two? But at least if we can get somebody to stay wide on the other wing we may at last get some natural width?
    Just my thoughts …

  • Cheers Gerry, agreed on the fatigue factor. Although, my critical comments regarded the lack of shape and organisation of out attacking efforts and not so much the sharpness and general effort side of things

    Thanks to others for fine follow up comments. 🙂

  • New Post New Post 🙂

    Steve has surpassed himself with a bumper post for the mid-week. I am off to Scotland tomorrow and not back till late on Thursday. So it is unlikely there will be a new post till then. Enjoy.

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