Alexis, Chambers and Pod Show Wenger How Hard They Are.

Arsenal v Burnley: review and analysis.

The Artist and Street Fighter Alexis - It was a honour to witness him play on Saturday!

The Artist and Street Fighter Alexis – It was a honour to witness him play on Saturday!

Before I went to the game this morning, I read Arsene’s views re the quality of European strikers versus South-American ones; the former being a lot softer than the streetwise and street-trained latter, apparently. It is fair to say that this is a left-field, refreshingly new viewpoint by Arsene and I wonder who it was actually aimed at. Was it meant to be a compliment for Alexis and/or a kick up the arse for the likes of Welbeck, Podolski, Sanogo, Ox and Santi? As this game proved to us once again, the ‘softness’ of some of our attackers is a good reason for concern, as is the continued lack of cohesion between the front players.

I don’t like it when a player is over-praised in the media and by the manager, simply for the risk of jinxing it. However, in case of Alexis it only seems to spur him on further; and however much opponent defenders try to stop him, they just cannot do it. He is that good. The problem is, though, that nobody else is very close to Alexis’ level at the moment. And this is proving to be a big issue for which we have been relatively unpunished, until now.

Wenger has gone back to the Bould-Wenger ‘compromise formation’ of 7-4, it seems: seven mainly defensive minded players and four attackers, with the sole aim of keeping a clean sheet and nicking one or two goals per game. It was a bit of a shock to me (but not 17HT, who predicted the right starting eleven) to see us play the weathered veterans of Flamini and Arteta in the double DM pivot…. against the number last of the league table, Burnley, at home…

The first half reminded me a lot of the last home game I watched, the season’s opener against Crystal Palace. We started relatively brightly, creating a number of decent to very good chances in the first half hour. But we did not convert them through a combination of bad luck and lack of killer instinct by our forwards; or should that now be ‘hardness’?

After thirty minutes or so, Burnley started to build up some confidence and we did not look like going to create chances any time soon anymore. This is a common theme at Arsenal this season, as I have mentioned before. During the whole first half the crowd sensed that we were not going to score somehow: it is difficult to explain why this is other than a (collectively?) perceived lack of thrust and effectiveness within the team.

The chances we had were too far away for me to analyse in detail (I was in the upper tier of the North Bank, far away from the goal-mouth action). I was convinced Danny had scored when he went on his impressive run through the box, and thought that Cazorla simply had to take his chance. But it was not to be. Alexis’ shots from inside and outside the box also looked promising, and I guess on a better, more ruthless day, we would have been easily two up after a third of the match.

On the plus side, I thought we played with more discipline and structure in the formation: we used the wings better and did not overpopulate the area of the opponent’s ‘D’ too much. A refreshing change, although we lacked a natural, and above all fast, connector between midfield and attack (especially during the first 70 minutes).

The general issues we have in attack are:

  1. Welbeck is very eager but quite ineffective, struggling to understand/execute his role in Wenger’s team plan at the moment, and also failing with his positioning in the box;
  2. Ox adds thrust and zip to our attack which is a big plus, and his execution of the final ball is starting to improve, and so is his decision making. Still a long way to go to become a first team regular imo. He is also eager to proof himself; and, further on the plus side, he stuck to his role of wing player well.
  3. Cazorla is struggling for form and confidence, but at least he is popping up in the right places to have the chances to score… His biggest problem is he is limited in his ability to attack the opponent: when he receives the ball, he wants to pass it on straightaway, unless he is in or around the box and he will try a shot. There is little ability to take on opponents or penetrate space with close ball control and speed. And his confidence seems low at the moment as well.
  4. Alexis has the drive… he is our engine, our fulcrum, and there is more to it than just ‘hardness’.

Yesterday’s game made me realise why the likes of Chambers and Alexis are doing so well right now and Welbeck, Santi, and to some extent Ox, continue to struggle. Alexis took his chances whereas Santi did not; Chambers delivered the sharper cross and was at the right place at the right time, whereas Ox did not (enough); Podolski positioned himself perfectly and was ferocious – but unlucky – in his finishing, whereas Welbeck looked often lost in the box and unfocussed in his positioning and finishing.

We should analyse this in more depth and the table below should help to focus our discussions.

A number of Arsenal players compared against each other using key attributes of a top footballer:

Player Energy/Attitude levels Ability to focus and concentrate their efforts Technical Ability Confidence Hardness
Cazorla Medium to High Medium Medium to high Medium Medium to high
Ox Medium to High, with a few bursts per game Medium Medium to high Medium Medium
Welbeck Very high Medium to low Medium to high Medium Medium
Chambers High High Medium to high Medium to high High
Podolski Medium Very high Very high High Medium to high
Alexis Very High High to very high Very high Very high Very high

Taking the above comparisons into account, it should not come as a surprise that it was Alexis who finally broke down the Burnley’s stout defence with a surreally high leap and focussed header, in between two giants of defenders. It also does not surprise me that the assist came from Chambers: he had been fighting consistently to get to the by-line and put in crosses, and his ability to focus led to the accurate and calm cross into the box. And the same goes for his finish for the second one. For once Welbeck was at the right place but his effort, although ferocious, missed accuracy. As the goal-mouth was crowded, we should not be too hard on him on this occasion though. However, Chambers was at the right place to pick up the rebound and he MADE sure it would go in: a sign of ‘hardness’?

The third goal was another example of all of Alexis’ attributes coming together: he works so hard and positions himself so well, his focus and technical ability enable him to score a difficult but perfectly executed goal, supported by high levels of confidence and a sheer will to score. How many times have we seen Cazorla in a similar position but just not delivering?

And Podolski showed us all that, although born and bred in Europe, he has the hardness of a South-American striker all the way. We all know he lacks the stamina (energy) to play a full role in a Wenger Arsenal team, but boy does he know how to be at the right place and at the right time, time and again – even though he was unlucky not to score. It was a ten minute master class for Welbeck and co of how it is done inside the box, and I am glad I was there to witness it in full glory (there might not be many more opportunities to witness this beast in action).

Finally, but most importantly, I should point out that bringing in a more attack minded midfielder by Aaron Ramsey made all the difference. At once, we had more zip and purpose and the tempo went up considerably; something that had been missing during most of the game. 

The return of Theo, after being out for so so long and welcomed by the crowd by a fantastic roar, was, of course, the icing on the cake. Let’s hope he will add the much needed directness, fighting spirit and finishing from the right hand side during the remainder of the season.

3-0 to the good guys and joint third. Onwards and upwards per the principle of OGAAT.

COYG! 🙂

Written by: TotalArsenal.

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47 Responses to Alexis, Chambers and Pod Show Wenger How Hard They Are.

  1. James Bond says:

    nice one @ Skipper

    something different, something direct and of course, you watched the whole thing live – it’s a different yet very gripping viewpoint.

    not much to disagree about really, however, I think that Welbeck worked his socks off and is an upgrade on Giroud for sure – it was a very stubborn Burnley defence as they were willing to put their bodies on the lines, however , I think what AW really wants is to have the same starting 11 for at least 3/4 games hence you see the likes of Santiago played week in week out, given a proper chance to show his class in the absence of Ozil ?

    the way things are going and with our injuries clearing up, it won’t be long before Santi finds himself on the bench with the likes of Ramsey, JW ahead of him – I would personally play Podolski in the 4-4-2 as he can do a fine job on the Left wing and has a better understanding with Gibbs .

    Also, I Thought that Nacho has been an unsung hero lately – he has gone a bit under the radar but he deserves a lot of credit for playing CB, LB over the last few weeks – he has shown good energy levels .

    The international break is coming at a good time for us, only if we manage to win our next 2 games and then we can look forward to getting our players back match fit –

    I’m hearing good things about our new doctor/medical team – so usually if AW would say a player is out for 12 weeks , and would only return after 16 weeks before – now due to the new American Doctor – our players are ahead on their recovery period schedule, with Debuchy/Giroud and even Ozil likely to return before the busy Xmas period (touch wood ).

  2. James Bond says:

    as you can see, my only disagreement about your article is that you reckon Welz has been quite ineffective to understand and execute his role at Arsenal – where as , I reckon he has been mighty effective and has been able to get the other players involved more so than Giroud .

    besides , how many strikers in England would be able to do what Welz has managed to do yesterday ? he was fouled, fell to the ground in his own half – was strong, kept hold of the ball and then regained his balance to dribble and sprint past 2/3 players, ran towards the goal with 2/3 around him to create space for other players and then passed it to his team mate – I struggle to get that kind of movement, pace and dribbling from Giroud on the PS4 , ha

    the lad is still bedding in and still isn’t quite there, however, won’t be long before he can do even better .

    one thing he can still improve a lot on is his heading and presence during the corners – this is something he can learn from Sanchez’s goal yesterday and by looking at Giroud’s older videos and by training with him – it will come with time .

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers JB, I will respond later (busy at moment). 🙂

  4. Neeraj says:

    Hey all,
    Just a quickie
    Finally Wenger is starting to use tge 4-4-2
    Giroud ahead of schedule
    Walcott on track to return to starting line up in another 2-3 weeks
    Ramsey and Wilsh both returning to fitness
    Nacho playing well as makeshift CB
    Chambers giving his all in every game
    Gibbo not getting injured
    Sanchez might have an outside chance for the golden boot
    Szczesny getting some clean sheets
    Opponents dropping points (except Chelsea and Soton 😛 )
    Most Important: good luck which is a rarity at Arsenal is back
    Things looking better

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    How is your post getting on, Neeraj? 😉

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    JB, agreed re Nacho. He had a decent game, albeit not under much pressure.

    Welbeck is no upgrade, far from it. But he works hard and Wenger can mould him into something good over time. As per post, working hard is not enough though, and he needs to become a lot more effective.

  7. James Bond says:

    he is already a lot more effective than Giroud and can and will only get better .

    you don’t think of him as an upgrade on Giroud, which is fair enough but I certainly do – he is a better oiled striker , however, he needs to do this against the bigger teams as well .

    Giroud was and is a flat track bully , no disrespect or slating there it’s how I always viewed him – saying that, it might not be long that we get to see Alexis leading the line with Welbeck on the wings, ha

  8. James Bond says:

    where is Glic’s when you need him .

    where are we in the chart of doom @ Glics aka TCM

    we miss you, come out come out where ever you are or else we are gonna send TMHT to lesbania 🙂

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    There is no doubt in my mind that Welbeck will be useful in our team, but OG is first choice once fully fit.

  10. James Bond says:

    be that as it may – it’s good to see some proper competition for places in the team now minus the goalie one due to Ospina’s injury or other injuries but I can’t remember the last time where we had such a strong squad and bunch of players to choose from .

    we are a bit light at the back but that’s down to 2 of our first starters down injured as well .

    AW will have a tough task in trying to fit and keep everyone happy by giving them game time (a lovely headache to have ).

    having said that – 10 games = 17 points isn’t good enough – we are around 5 off the pace but we can make it all up by winning against Swansea .

  11. steve says:

    hahaha you are such an enigma TA, on games where we perform rubbish you always manage to brighten my spirits by highlighting the positives and leave me in high hopes. Then on reviewing this game you come away with quite a negative outlook lol.

    I see it very differently (having just managed to watch the full game in HD at bloody last) I though we actually gelled quite well and a structure is beginning to emerge. I am in JB’s camp here and thought Danny played a good game with some excellent runs, almost scored but for an almighty block and dropped deep to then move the ball forward well – what more do you want? OX was putting great crosses in all game, two of which landed pinpoint on Santi’s foot and should have been assists to goals and kept up his stamina and passing composure all game – much improved. Sanchez continued to prove to me that he is the perfect candidate for the Ozil role and scored some great goals – perfect performance. Even Cazorla who i am having a little difficulty with backing atm almost scored two or three times and put Sanchez through on goal beautifully. Chambers and Gibbs were excellent, really impressed with those two atm and Monreal covered CB well also.
    I can’t really see the point in having both Arteta and Flamini back there, quite a justified thought when you saw the difference Ramsey made when he came on. Flamini made some excellent deep challenges to help out the (imo) the out of form BFG atm and Monreal who was doing his best to be fair.
    Pretty positive from me matey sorry you saw it so differently, i am very much looking forward to Anderlecht now 🙂
    And although the boss seems to think its a 4-4-2 i still see it playing as a 4-2-3-1 on the actual pitch which is not necessarily a bad thing.
    Put either Jack or Ramsey in the midfield role to get forward past the DM and slot into the CAM position as it is vacated by Sanchez for a more free role in attack and you’ve got yourself a team baby! 🙂
    (Campbell for Cazorla cause that’s just me and tell him to be prepared to make way for Theo soon)
    (Podolski super sub tactic remains)
    Job done 🙂
    COYG!!

    4-2-3-1
    Chambers——BFG———Kos————Gibbs
    —————–Hayden——Wilshere—————
    —–Campbell——-Sanchez——-The OX——-
    ————————Welbeck————————

    into a 4-1-3-2 in attack

    Chambers——BFG———Kos————Gibbs
    ————————-Hayden————————-
    ——Campbell——Wilshere——-The OX——-
    —————Sanchez———Welbeck————-

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Steve 🙂

    I don’t think I was being negative. I just picked up on the theme of soft attackers and made some observations.

    Welbeck is struggling to be effective IMO, but if you thought he had a good game then who am I to disagree?! 😛

  13. James Bond says:

    I don’t mind Ollie @ Steve

    but let’s be honest, if that was Ollie yesterday, he be on the floor sulking or shoot in the crowd probably aiming for TA as opposed to Welbeck who least manages to hit the target and it was due to his rebound that Chambers got the opportunity to score and put it away .

    we were a bit short in the MF yesterday, that’s why I think you got the likes of Flamini and Arteta playing again as Ramsey was being nursed back and eased for the CL game on tuesday – had that not been the case, then we could have easily scored a couple of goals in the first half as well.

    I quite like this Flamini and Arteta partnership for away games though – I would stick with it for the Swansea game and play Ramsey instead of Santiago = sorted ?

  14. James Bond says:

    by the way, is it just me or has Flamini played the last 3 games and did not get a yellow card or am is my imagination running wild ?:)

    by now he usually has more than 5 yellows for the season, ha

  15. James Bond says:

    I love this para on Poldi @
    And Podolski showed us all that, although born and bred in Europe, he has the hardness of a South-American striker all the way. We all know he lacks the stamina (energy) to play a full role in a Wenger Arsenal team, but boy does he know how to be at the right place and at the right time, time and again – even though he was unlucky not to score. It was a ten minute master class for Welbeck and co of how it is done inside the box, and I am glad I was there to witness it in full glory (there might not be many more opportunities to witness this beast in action).

    I personally feel that he should be getting more game time, he certainly deserves it .

    I was looking at stats the other day and I think he has scored 7 in the last 8 or 9 Champions league games for Arsenal ? quite remarkable that .

  16. Total, thanks for the match report…Personally, I’d love to hear more about your full day in Islington, but (maybe?) that’s just me…

    Overall, I think you’re pretty spot on with your analysis but I’d just add that a little bit of fortune might go a long way towards enhancing the contributions of the various players. Early and late Welbeck had very good strikes stopped by well-placed defenders (the latter resulted in an assist for Chambers however…) but I get your point about his lack of decisive movement in the box to help shape the attack. Santi, I thought, continued throughout the match to put himself in spots from which he should have scored. That he didn’t will cast his performance in shadow, but maybe we should salute the fact that he never shrank from getting to those places. The same can be said of the Ox (as an assist-maker) who provided the width and the danger over the entire match but never got his just rewards. Alexis IS lifting the squad with his work-rate and quality as will Ramsey when fully fit. All that technique from Theo and Lu-lu at the end was jaw-dropping if also unrewarded. (At a couple goals to the good we see those great shots in a positive light while they might’ve been tougher to stomach if it was still nil-nil…) The ratings in your matrix aren’t too far off but it’s really about the players lifting one another no matter who gets on the end of what and I think that’s the big lesson on the day, at the attacking end at least. Keep knocking at the door, boys, and it MUST open…

    At the back, Steve had a pretty valid point about the Benny Hill music. It held together (and we will probably be facing more impotent attacks very rarely…) but just. The communication back there seems questionable (and I’m curious if you, TA, actually could hear any of it, as you sometimes can in the stadium). AW seems to want to stick with Flamini who put in a lot of running. (Oh, and that’s the 1 guy I missed from the starting 11, thinking Rambo would go from the beginning…) To me, his inclusion gives us a somewhat ragged and desperate look, but the clean sheets maybe show it to be worthwhile. I dunno, some changes in midweek, and getting Wilshere back into the fold (to help us move more brightly through the middle of the pitch, which you suggest was a missing element) seem necessary as we head towards tougher matches.

    At the moment, the collective confidence has to be rebuilt step by step and the ability to stay positive was (finally) rewarded showing the value of all the hard work. We’re incredibly lucky that this rebuilding (from injury and low confidence) coincides with an easier match schedule. (We’re also fortunate that Summer acquisitions, Alexis and Chambers, are playing so well.) I’m looking forward to a couple more baby steps on Tuesday creating a platform from which we might feel OK on the tougher trip to Wales in a week.

    Finally, Gerry, re: the match preview (previous thread)…Apologies, I shouldn’t have said word one. Different approaches are just fine and I wouldn’t want to inhibit your contributions here. Sorry…

  17. James Bond says:

    Santiago is a curious case @ 17HT

    he was at the right place at the right time, making them runs that Ramsey would normally make or one you would expect from a no.10 ? it’s just his shooting that is letting him down at the moment and I guess it’s to do with confidence .

    he is yet to score this season , so it will be nice if he can score one to get the monkey off the back ?

    like you – I like Santiago, a team man but even his set pieces aren’t as good as they used to be once upon a time – there is something not right there ,and this is where maybe he needs to do a bit more on the training ground or simply let someone else do the honours .

    every team has least 2/3 quality set piece takers – I just don’t get how quality set piece takers like Arteta for example has regressed or no longer the ones taking set pieces ?

    we had what near 20 corners yesterday or was it 2 million ?:)

    agreed – re confidence building, hence am happy we got a clean sheet even if Sczny again tried hard to give one away by rushing out and being in no man’s land, how fortunate for the player to slip ehhh ; )

  18. RA says:

    Total,

    What a truly superb Post. I have to say, that is the best article I have read in a very long time.

    When you have the talent you cannot keep it hidden. 🙂

  19. Watching Villa-Spuds right now and talk about a forward low on confidence…Manu Adebayor…
    Eye gouging stuff from that guy so far, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts living off-sides to avoid more blown chances…

    To me, this 442 (Wenger says) we’re playing just doesn’t look very potent and the wide stuff just doesn’t fit the (very small) players we’ve got. We can’t argue, however, with the two clean sheets, esp. given the makeshift personnel we’re using at the rear. The by-line runs and crosses might serve to open up the middle but they seem sooooo unlikely to result in goals, even if the breakthrough in Belgium and yesterday came from this route. But maybe those are my own prejudices at work given that I prefer the tight triangles and little, skilled players (like Santi…) doing their thing rather than the more traditional power and speed of the English game. Yesterday was definitely an uptick for us, but I still (secretly, way down deep) hope to see a fully confident squad take the pitch and just OWN it, scoring a boatload of goals with indomitable technique against these lesser opponents… Even the cautious guy, preaching the low expectations mantra, can still dream… Maybe Tuesday…

    I’ll weigh-in on the Giroud vs Wellbeck question. I prefer Danny’s get-on-with-the-game attitude but I definitely think we’re missing Ollie’s size at set-pieces (both ends) and just his presence as a hold up guy and to give Sir Chez (and others…) an outlet with the long ball. He may be a (so-called) flat track bully when it comes to his goals, but his contribution in other areas is most glaring against the stronger opponents, I think. We really need both players to contribute in the 2nd half of the season… The same argument, replacing size with speed, can be made about Theo Walcott. His mere presence (i.e. the threat his pace presents) can only serve to open the rest of the pitch for the other attackers… Indeed, when all are available it’s a lot to sort out, but that’s a day which never (in truth) arrives…

  20. steve says:

    sorry TA i must have mistaken a more critique based review for one that seemed to emanate a negative vibe, my mistake. And as always an excellently written match review in any case, if i hadn’t mentioned that before?
    more in a bit, back to watch the rest of the spurs game – they are one nil down atm 😆

  21. Gerry says:

    I have to say TA, I am a little with Steve’s view, but HT’s reasoning.

    For me, if we met this Burnley team on the same sort of run as last season, but with this group of players, then the picture would be a whole lot different? The reason we are playing that defensive twin pivot is because of our run up to now.

    Not only that, the reason we can play Chambers and Gibbs in those advanced roles is because of the extra security that pair gives. I also think that was the best game I have seen Flamini play for a while. Indeed, I am coming around to the view that Monreal is making a better CB, with the play in front of him, than he does at RB?

    It may also true that the way to beat any PTB team is to keep at it? The only difference top sides have is they can counter better? Overall I thought the balance was better, with Ox and Gibbs keeping the width early, and Chambers late on. A good team effort. Yes Alexis is the driving force at the moment, but he still needs the team around him.

    I watched two of my favourite European teams over the weekend; Augsburg, who went a goal down after half an hour, but they never stopped pressing for the whole 90 odd minutes, and were desperately unlucky to lose it by the single goal that came from the spin of a deflected shot.
    The other team was St Ettienne, who also battled back from a goal down, got it back to 1-1 and had a penalty saved in the 90th minute. I don’t buy this nonsense about South Americans having the ‘hardness’ factor. Both the above had players putting their bodies on the line for their team, against some rugged defending. I can think of several players from that continent that are the first to go down with at least a fractured cheekbone from the merest flick of a little finger touching their facial skin. Stick to individuals AW, even if OG does give some support to your argument?

    On the previous post HT, I just explained why things were the way they were. No problem.

  22. steve says:

    JB, if we were to keep the Flamini and Arteta partnership for away games then yes mate Ramsey in the Cazorla role aint a bad shout tbh, Rosicky being the more experienced option and Campbell the lesser.
    re Flamini’s yellows – ssshhhhh! don’t jinx it foolio 🙂

    17HT re the Benny Hill music lol, a bit harsh maybe lol, it was just as Arteta was dealing with a dropping ball that he had all the chance in the world of getting to and controlling before the opponent, lost sight of it, got turned round, still managed to be in the better position to control it though, then lost it again very cheaply, then Flamini joined in, then they both lost it and because they were both part of this debacle they had left space for the opponent to attack into – couldn’t help but put the background music on lol. Glad you approve bud 🙂

  23. Retsub says:

    Great post T A enjoyed reading it. Probably because Burnley were knackered, but for the last half hour I saw the Arsenal I know and love. Sanchez was brilliant but also great credit to the Ox. He was a catalyst at the star of the second half and one of only a few who looked like doing anything. Once the goal went in, the confidence came back and others began to believe in themselves.

    Great to have Theo Rambo and Poldi all looking goal hungry. The Arteta , Flamini axis has got us through a difficult period, but if we are going to do well against the big boys we will need to reinforce…. Just my view

  24. proudgooner says:

    Total Arsenal ,
    lol 🙂 PG Wetting his eyebrows smiling.
    So you have finally learnt to and have seen in the flesh the art of deadly strikes that is Lulu Podolski.
    When he is in that kind of mood and he is given the correct service he is indeed awesome.
    I am a little bit gutted he did not hit the net but he did not do himself any harm yesterday i am with 007 that he should be getting more game time.
    It is not only his strikes but his physical presence and strength imo , he will not be bullied of the ball and he has that chav and city player core strength factor that we lack a little.
    Great post i like it, glad you had a great day and got to see the beast strutting.

  25. proudgooner says:

    Also i like that formation and think that should be the blue print for the rest of the season.
    It was a great performance it is just a shame it was a 6-0 thrashing, but these will come trust me.
    Even more so now we have Theo back and if i was Ozil i would now be really looking forward to getting back in the side with his new team and tools he will have at his disposal.

  26. proudgooner says:

    ………………………………..Alexis……………………
    Podolski…………………….Cazorla……………………..Theo
    ………………………Flemini……OX-Chamberlin…………………
    Gibbs………………Monreal………..BFG…………………Chambers
    …………………………………Szcz………………………………….

    By the way i think Monreal did well yesterday and is starting to become very good at CB. Agree?
    He has a fine couple of teachers in Bold and Wenger though, he will only get better and it is good that he is getting a long run of games though it is a shame about Kosh of course. Still it will be good to get a well rested and fit KOS when he returns.

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers 17, I thought the atmosphere was subdued and more so than normally. I guess having watched so many home draws has had an impact on the home crowd…. I did not fancy writing about it.. That’s all.

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Redders 😮

  29. James Bond says:

    not bad – you train with world class players and you become one – that’s what happened with JW as well I reckon when he had the likes of Cesc in training every day…

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2817314/Alex-Oxlade-Chamberlain-wants-like-Arsenal-team-mate-Alexis-Sanchez.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

    it will help develop a lot of our younger players if they had the same attitude as The Ox – Players like Gnabry, Welbeck, Akpom will only benefit with him being around them as well as Joel Campbell .

    fantastic influence both on and off the pitch by our new superstar ? players already looking up to him and I read somewhere that Theo has been wanting him to slow down in training as he never gives up .

    we Wanted Suarez last year and couldn’t get him – we were all gutted but in Alexis, we have an even better player than Suarez (potentially) , if you compare Suarez’s first season in England with Alexis so far , then I am confident that our guy comes out on top ?

    all that for £30 million plus £1 👿

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    17, agreed Santi was in the right places and I said so in the post. His inability to finish big chances, in his position, cannot be ignored though. Hopefully his luck will change soon….. And he needs to look at how Alexis does it.

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    JB and PG, the Pod was a joy to watch, and yes, when we play two DMs we should see more of him.

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    Steve, no problem. It’s an analytical and constructive post, and I am not afraid to put the finger on the sore spot. But of course it is just my view. 🙂

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Retsub 🙂

    Yes Ox did okay.

  34. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Brilliant post TA

    I was also at the game and echo your views. Its funny how when you go to a game your mind has no choice but to analyse the detail after.

    I am the same. This is why i am slightly insane.

    The thing that stuck out for me was a more expansive formation. Dare I say 442.

    Not only did this allow Sanchez to flourish but it was also the perfect game for the full backs to provide width and attacking support.

    A bit more tactical variabilty is what we have all be asking for isnt it?

    Bondy, I accept your invitation to invade Lesbina. Not been a cruel person, I have been known to stroke furry animals, so I will allow Cornwall to watch whilst I Terry-zize his harem. hahaha

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Terry 🙂

    Watching Arsenal live is indeed a different experience than on TV, let alone a dodgy stream. Did you feel we would have scored yesterday if Alexis had not played?

  36. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Probably not TA hahaha

    I would like to think we would have had a different approach if he was unavailable. Played Santi behind Welbeck, and started with Ramsey and Pod.

    I understand what your alluding to. The emergence of Sanchez, a great player, asks many questions. Mainly how we get the best out of all our other players and were do they now all fit in?

    To be fair TA, its a nice problem to have. Sanchez is absolutly fantastic.

    Lets just enjoy it.

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes he is a joy to watch, Terry, the mini hulk – pure chilli con carne! 🙂

  38. jnyc says:

    TA,
    Must disagree. I think if giroud and welbeck both fit, danny should get majority of starts.

    But most importantly, when ozil is fit and playing, I really envision us muuuch better off with welbeck. I think we’ve seen enough, and sat through enough examples of ozil with giroud as lone striker. Frustrating, and doesnt take advantage of Ozil nearly enough. I know we will have added speed in Alexis, theo, but danny is big enough to add size and speed to get more from mesut.

  39. TotalArsenal says:

    Happy to disagree with you, Johnnie. OG is the lighthouse, the hub around whom Wenger builds his attacking force. Welbeck still has a lot to learn, especially against the PTB teams.

  40. Gerry says:

    Good morning all. It is good to see the discussion moving on to the positive impacts that our returnee’s might have, rather than bemoaning our luck at their absence. 😀

    However, I am guessing that most of you will have not given this site a second glance on NewsNow, as I nearly bypassed it. However, despite the title, the writer analyses the various games in real terms excellently. All with a view to the fantasy pluses and losses, true, but I recommend to not only read his view on our game to gauge his accuracy, but also go onto the Everton v Swansea, as they are our next league opponents. Interesting?

    Here is the link:
    http://fantasyfootballfirst.co.uk/swansea/fantasy-premier-league-201415-gameweek-10-review-part-1/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=fantasy-premier-league-201415-gameweek-10-review-part-1

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi FFGs 🙂

    Due to personal circumstances – luckily nothing serious – I will not be able to write posts for a week or so. Given the lacklustre response to this one this might actually be a good thing! 🙂

    Happy to publish posts written by others but please spell check before you send something.

    Be kind to yourself,

    TA.

  42. TA, I can do a quick and dirty pre-Anderlecht if you like…

  43. TotalArsenal says:

    That would be great, Seventeenho! Cheers. 🙂

  44. On it’s way, TA…

    Don’t take the lack of activity after your (excellent) match review as a repudiation… My take on things is that winning against bottom of the table teams in nervy but (eventually…) fun style doesn’t stir the hearts (“serve the needs…”) of the average on-line gooner… It’s a bit of sad state of affairs, IMO, but so it goes… At least a few of us had some enjoyable back and forth… Cheers…

  45. jnyc says:

    Btw, it really was a well written post T. A pleasure to read.

  46. steve says:

    hahaha stop whinging TA its your own fault for providing such a thorough and accurate match report.
    most people probably thought what i did; “yep agree with that and not much to add”
    I even tried to highlight an angle for debate that it turns out i misread and wasn’t even there in the first place lol. So i think its more a compliment than anything else you lucky bastard, try writing that you want a team full of U21’s or Englishmen or playing some crazy formation and then see how many replies you get simply just to call you a moron and explain where you are so totally wrong lol.
    It was a very good read mate and much appreciated.
    i hope whatever’s going on in your personal life all turns out well and i look forward to another post in a week’s time.

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers guys 🙂

    New Post New Post 🙂

    Seventeenho has written a very good preview. Enjoy.

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