Anderlecht Preview & Predicted Line-Up: Starts for Bellerin & Ramsey?

Three Wins on the Trot and Now Anderlecht at Home–How Should Wenger Rotate the Squad?

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Taking results for what they are, Arsenal are in their best moment of the still young season and ideally placed for a Tuesday evening match against Anderlecht which would secure another trip to the Champions league knock-out stage.  Although we struggled, mightily, against the young Belgian outfit, less than two weeks ago in their stadium, snatching the late victory surely gives us a leg up returning back to our home turf.

Given the uptick in our recent fortunes and the fact that we play an early-season surprise team in the English Premier League next Sunday, Swansea City, this match might represent an opportunity to gain a further rise in individual and collective confidence while resting a player or two who may be headed towards the dreaded “red zone.”  Add in the return of core players like Aaron Ramsey (fighting illness after returning early from a hamstring injury) and Theo Walcott, who finally got a run out with the first team, and others who have looked promising in smaller roles, and it all adds up to a tantalizing sense that we might be able to put the nadir of the season behind us and head on towards our truer place in the sun…

That, of course, might be painting things with too bright a brush, especially as the days are only getting shorter, meaning what little sunlight there is comes from low on the horizon and hardly warms us… Unless you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, of course.  Please, please, Antipodean Gooners (and those from the equatorial areas)–please chime in here at Bergkampesque if you retain any warm feelings for your club.  If not, chime in anyhow to let us know exactly what sort of false dawn we’re imagining and what further darkness lays beyond the immediate horizon…

Personally, I believe it’s far too early to believe that we’ve rounded the corner on the various early season troubles we’ve experienced.  Injuries to key players Ozil, Giroud, Koscielny and Debuchy have been mitigated somewhat by the emergence of a small phalanx of stand-ins.  Alexis Sanchez, who actually was left out of a couple of starting 11s before the previous international break, has proven a true thoroughbred willing to carry the weight of the club–wire to wire and match to match.   Calum Chambers who looked a good buy as a youngster who could fill in at right and center back (and possibly, eventually, as a defensive midfielder) has now begun to contribute with key assists and his first Arsenal goal.  The insanity of playing Nacho Monreal at Center Back (due to inactivity in this area over the Summer) looks less mad with each clean sheet.  Likewise, the dual defensive-mid pairing of Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta, doing the job many hoped a single big money Summer signing might have done, while not exactly inspiring oohs and ahhs, seems also to offer a measure of stability in the center of the park.

The better results, however, don’t mask the fact that several players who are getting protracted runs in the first team are failing to produce.  Santi Cazorla, while continuing to take up amazing attacking positions and fire balls towards the target (or the stands behind them…), has yet to find the back of the net and may have even lost his nearly perpetual smile.  Meanwhile, the guy with perhaps the best first touch amongst all our midfielders, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, has been very slowly working himself back from a fairly disastrous performance in front of the home crowd vs Hull City.  In that one, over-ambition resulted in too many cheap turnovers, enhancing the primary tactic of our opponents–time wasting.  In more recent outings he appears to have simplified his game, committed to working the touchline a bit more and put in many a dangerous ball.  Still no assists (nor goals) have resulted.  Danny Welbeck, a tireless worker and a good foil for the movements of Alexis, has yet to truly find his feet as the man to lead our line, despite being perfectly placed and executing a deft finish to salvage a point in the Hull match.

In that one, it could be argued, the late substitutes, Joel Campbell and Lucas Poldolski were key in improving the result.  They made an even bigger impact helping to overcome a deficit in the Anderlecht away game with Poldolski’s goal being the winner.  Surely, just as we can still feel the rattling of the post struck by Lu-lu late on vs Burnley, these two need continued opportunities.  And then there’s the pace of Theo Walcott which appeared intact in 10 minutes late in that same match and (even faster, if you believe the reports) Hector Bellerin, who’s looked almost as good as the other 19 year old, Chambers, in his couple of starts (both coming in the Champions League group matches).  Tomas Rosicky, the most forgotten man of them all, likely still has something to offer the group.  And that’s without even mentioning Jack Wilshere, whose “very short term” bruised knee has now caught the same virus which relegated Aaron Ramsey to a substitute role in the last two…

How then does Wenger approach this one? 

While many might call for wholesale changes, I believe the confidence of the squad remains very fragile.  Cazorla, Ox and Welbeck, in particular, need another match to continue to try and find their best games.  Ramsey, having watched 70 minutes of Flamini in the box to box, central role, shouting instructions and filling spaces, and then playing the remaining 20 alongside the man himself, might be ready to take that role back.  Mikel Arteta, returning from injury himself, perhaps needs a calm and commanding 90 minutes in the sitting mid-field spot.  At the back, can Wenger rest any from a group which has kept the clean sheets?  Probably not, but Bellerin did start (and played well) in Belgium, while Gibbs had a worrisome hip issue and required a sub in the 2nd to last match up in Sunderland.   Up top, could this match be the spot where the Atlas, er, Alexis, role (“Get on my back and let me carry the weight of the world”) might get spread around a little?  I’m not sure if it’s a good gamble and possibly the team could use more match time to watch the great man himself at full-speed (the only pace he knows…) so as to present better options if he judges the moment right to spread the wealth.  Ideally he might take an earlier sub and allow Walcott a slightly longer 2nd outing after the big ACL injury.

Wenger, with Captain Arteta alongside, has already addressed the press, informing my line-up below.  Of course (WTF) does he (or I) know?… If YOU were the manager who would YOU play and who would pick-up the mysterious (but very short term…) knock or illness and take a match off?  (Or maybe you’d rather assign a longer term knock, you know, if you’re actually dropping someone in the pecking order rather than merely giving them a rest…)  How would you choose to use this match to get the win while building towards Swansea on Sunday and far tougher matches after the next round of internationals?

Here’s my best guess as to what the manager might try…

Arsenal v Anderlecht Nov 14

Subs = Martinez, Gibbs, Flamini, Poldolski, Campbell, Rosicky, Walcott

Written by: 17HighburyTerrace

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97 Responses to Anderlecht Preview & Predicted Line-Up: Starts for Bellerin & Ramsey?

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Very fine preview, Seventeenho, with an excellent ‘bigger picture’ introduction. A joy to read. And I reckon you will be very close with the starting eleven. 🙂

  2. Icecream says:

    Bench chamberlain for Campbell, welbeck for Poldoski that’s they lads will work more harder to prove a point

  3. steve says:

    to be quite honest 17HT like TA’s post before you i think you’ve got it pretty spot on there with the likely line up and theres not much that i could improve on or debate realistically.
    However its a good job i have my opinion and that’s nowhere near realistic lol, so here goes…
    The dominant memory i have from our last encounter was the sheer pace that flowed throughout this Anderlecht team, nearly every commentator i heard reported on the teams unusually high number of youth players maybe being a detriment to their play but it almost proved to be a worthy tactic with the pace it added.
    It was highlighted first amongst Chambers’ many grabs at the left sided attackers in an attempt to regain ground and then later as their midfield streamed past a lone Flamini not blessed with pace and in this instance not sufficiently supported defensively by the pairing of Ramsey and Wilshere ahead of him.
    Taking this into account i think your choice to put Bellerin at RB and Chambers in the CB position is an excellent one 17HT.
    Likewise the 4-2-3-1 formation with a dual defensive midfield pivot is a lot more appropriate than the 4-1-4-1 we used last time.
    That dual pivot is my biggest concern however as there aren’t many options available that would install much faith in me against strong quick counter attacking teams. Flamini or Arteta or indeed both maybe be sufficient against Burnley but Arteta in particular i feel would look pretty leggy pretty quickly against this team especially once Ramsey starts trying to prove hes back to his best and starts making frequent attacking runs.
    But like i said before its alright to criticize but who the hell else is there as options for the pivot?
    none to be honest lol, I would of course play Hayden if he was fit but i have no idea on his situation atm so i have to agree with you there as well 17HT. (maybe change Arteta for Flamini as he looks the most mobile of the pair)
    in attacking midfield i would simply move Sanchez into the middle and replace Cazorla with Campbell. I think OX’s bad performance the other week was more of a blip than a continuing trend whereas Cazorla has been a little off for me since the season began so a change up might yield a better result and Campbell is overdue a start to prove himself.
    Then Welbeck up front of course.

    So in reality your line up is spot on 17HT (maybe Flamini for Arteta) but if i delved into my crazy head to make the call i would go with pace in defensive midfield and all out attack up front 🙂

    ————————Szczesny————————–
    Bellerin——–BFG———–Monreal———Gibbs
    —————Chambers——-Hayden—————–
    —-The OX————Sanchez———-Campbell—
    ————————–Welbeck————————-

    Ramsey a midfield sub sometime in the second half.

    Never going to happen though and well done on an excellent read and a (imo) very accurate line up prediction.

  4. Hey F11ngers…It’s always fun to take a trip around the inside of your mind… if only to hear all the accents of the lads from the far flung parts of England… I only wonder why you didn’t stick with MartinEz in goal… 😀 Sorry, but I don’t think you’re gonna Chambers at DM anytime soon and it might be a little while before Isaac Hayden gets his chance… 😦

    http://news.arseblog.com/2014/11/haydens-first-team-promotion-delayed-by-injury/?utm_source=feedburner.com%2Farseblognews&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+arseblognews+%28Arseblog+News+-+the+Arsenal+news+site%29

    That late winner in Belgium means that we can assure qualification with a win and do further resting and rotating when we travel to Istanbul for the final CL group match in early December. Winning tomorrow then is a big priority but then it will all come down to Dortmund’s visit, even though goal difference could be the deciding factor. Fragile as we are, we must continue taking them one at a time, of course…

    That said, I’m calling for goals from Santi and DW and (at least) an assist from the Ox…

  5. VeePee says:

    Good and nice expose on each player 17HT, and very inventive. Kudos!
    That being said, however, I chose to disagree with your line up; Cazorla needs dropped to the bench for now, he isn’t effective thus far and is missing clear chances. Someone else needs be given a chance, in the spirit of fair play. Me thinks!

    It’s time to tweak the team a little and introduce something new and fresh that would get us going solid, effective, and difficult to beat. I would keep the central defensive pairing of Monreal and Per. Monreal has played himself into reckoning in that position and merits his retention. Gibs continues at left back, while young Bellerin is given another chance to play at left back. He is growing with every game and the team needs his pace to keep those pacey young Belgian attackers at bay.

    Then at DM, it’s time to try a new pairing. Looking critically at how Chambers is playing; hard to push off, pushes forward powerfully to support attack when needed, even got a crucial goal on Saturday, I would pair him and Ramsey as the two DM, also detailing him to keep an eye on Bellerin to nullify and mitigate any treats from the opposition in that right axis. That would be powerful, solid and effective DM Pivot, with pace and ability to turn defense into attack, in turns when needed, yet able to drop back immediately and defend.

    Poldi on the attacking left, he is now playing well with Gigs as left back. More so, I see that holy anger and steel in his eyes now, shows in the way he strikes the ball (oh post why did you stop that shot on Sat…???). Chambo on the right (Theo comes in to replace him at 60th).
    Alexis “The Gladiator” as No.10, then Welbs up top! Then for those who are still trying to make out Welbeck’s role; He is a perfect foil for Alexis to come in from behind and do the damage. As a matter of fact, Alexis is playing very well cos Welbs keeps them defenders very busy in trying to curtail his menacing excesses.
    I would want to see Campbell at some point replace Poldoski, maybe 70th minute. He needs to start playing more and more, which will encourage him to stay as a squad player for now, and not seek a transfer in January.
    That’s it for me!

    ————————Szczesny————————–
    Bellerin——–BFG———–Monreal———Gibbs
    —————Chambers——-Ramsey (Arteta)—————–
    OX (Theo)————Sanchez———-Poldi (Campbell) —
    ————————–Welbeck————————-

  6. jnyc says:

    Good summary of where we are right now 17. Also some good ideas on how we should proceed, and in the comments as well.
    Arsenes hard to predict, but he seems very reluctant to use campbell or hayden( though I hear he’s injured anyway). I would like to see bellerin get another run in the team myself, and some rest for sanchez or welbeck in one of the 2 games this week .. they can be brought in as subs if needed.

  7. Gerry says:

    Excellent in depth preview post, and of course in your own inimitable style. Great stuff.

    I am just hoping that AW is exaggerating the effects of the virus sweeping the home camp at the moment, in order to keep everyone guessing?

    The subtle change you make to the line up, I think presupposes that Gibbs will not play?
    If that is the case then you may have your full eleven all correct. In an ideal world I would hope Gibbs plays, and the back 5 remains the same. However, to correct the problems that Steve has recalled from the last game, I would move Bellerin up to partner Flamini, rather than Ramsey. He could then assist Chambers, who by default need not get that high up the pitch, and also be able to get back quickly to assist in the middle if needed.
    Still in my ideal world, I like yourself, would probably leave the front quartet untouched, and hope AW might try a half time substitution if it looks like it needs it.

    The real Arsenal world tells me something will force a change somewhere, and it may have a domino effect. The only thing likely to be untouched is the ‘on paper’ look of the 4-2-3-1, which with Alexis coming inside to the centre- left zone, and Santi coming in off the left behind him, it has a touch of 1-1 about it? This new look Alexis will worry the young Belgians defending, and I can see them making errors which could lead to handy free kicks or even penalties?

    It should be a good game for us, but I doubt if Anderlecht will attack quite as much as they did at home. Instead, more likely set themselves up for speedy counters. Burnley with youth and vigour? So I think our subs will have a major say before this one is wrapped up. And with Dortmund struggling with their league form, and losing Draxler and Hummels, it is no guarantee they will get a result against Gala, so it is a good one for us to win.

    Keep the faith …

  8. Gerry says:

    For today only I will change my gravatar, in memory of dogs I have lost and loved.
    This is Pippa.
    16 years ago today I relieved of her battle against skin cancer. She is and was, that ‘special’ dog that gets deep into your very soul.
    Like all special dogs, they will never be forgotten.
    Sadly missed, but never ever any regrets for their love and life ….

  9. shrillex says:

    Great post 17! Pretty spot on with your details concerning our players. A very good and realistic lineups too. However, I might prefer to drop Alexis for this match. He has worked hard these past few games and he has earned his well-deserved rest. Hope AW will drop him, it will benefit him in the long run,especially with the Decembers run of fixtures coming up, don’t want him to end up like Ozil.

    Dropping Alexis will open up chances for other players such as Campbell to prove themselves. Also, I agree on giving Bellerin a run. Let him play to gain experience and prove himself, it will give Gibbs a chance to heal his injury. I like the idea of playing Rosicky but it is very unlikely that it will happen. Hope Theo will also get a run in the team again, hopefully about 20-25 mins ( 30max)

  10. shrillex says:

    Gerry, sorry for your loss buddy. I’m sure Pippa was extremely happy and proud to have an owner like you. Rip Pippa.

    And I’m not too sure how Draxler being injured will affect Dortmund as he doesn’t play for them. Just saying.

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning FFGs 🙂

    Let’s remind us this will not be a stroll in the park, unless we score early and then quickly again…..which we don’t do often. Now where are the goals coming from….. Dropping Alexis is not going to happen. Like 17, I am hoping desperately that the likes of Danny, Santi and Ox get on the score sheet. Anderlecht have nothing to lose and yet will be with some confidence from the first game.

    I would start Pod instead of Ox or Santi, just to get that early goal and set the scene.

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    Preferred 11,

    Szczesny
    Chambers – BFG – Nacho – Gibbs
    ——- Art/Flam—–Rambo———-
    Ox——————————–Alexis
    ————The Well——————-
    ————-Das Pod——————-

    Oxie to stick to the wing and Alexis in free role with attention to wing play. Santi to replace
    Pod after 65 minutes.

  13. VCC says:

    Gerry 07:12

    XXX

  14. henrychan says:

    Hi All.. I miss you all.. hehehehe..
    I wish for Wenger to played the fresh players.. like Podolski, Walcott, Rosicky, Sanogo, Campbell or Diaby.. But as I grow with Wenger all this time.. that’s will never happened.. hahahaha..

    Wenger is old fashion guy.. hehehe..
    He only will change 3 players.. and surely not our back four.. hehehe
    Maybe Walcott and Podolski will play.. cause they are did a great job against Burnley..

    But whoever play.. we will win.. hehehehe..
    Go Gunners..

  15. Gerry says:

    Drat it Shrillex, you spotted my deliberate mistake. It was the Shalke game where he pulled ut after 40 seconds. Somewhere along the line of tenuous links, the Man U linked Hummel along with the ‘double swoop’ with Draxler, and it merged into one. But you never know, perhaps Dortmund were after Draxxy … Okay, you win!

  16. Gerry says:

    On second reading HT, that bench is far too attack orientated? Ajayi at the very least would have to be there?

  17. Retsub says:

    The under 19’s are on Arsenal.com at the moment if anyone wants a warm up for tonight

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    BErgkampesque just went over 2 million views in just over two years. Cheers. 🙂

  19. ‘Morning fellas… Cheers on reading and enjoying the preview and for contributing with your thoughts. I gotta get some stuff done around here but I’ll be around for the match. Gerry, I think it’s a very good thing to remember the important personalities in your life, so enjoy the day even if it’s on the melancholy side…

    One small reflection on this Arsenal team…To me, we seem to play without a really strong confidence but also without a hint of quit, knowing that we tend to get stronger as the game goes on. I’d love to see a bit more ruthlessness in the squad. Our ability to score quickly and, at times, in bunches, seems really good and (on reflection) we really made chance after chance after chance there on Saturday vs Burnley, but not taking them wore on the collective confidence. Once the goals came there was such a sense of relief. Somehow we have to turn the corner so that it’s not such a surprise and relief when we start bulging the net. I don’t want to look ahead too much and tonight and Sunday will be true tests, but–for the tougher ones, i.e., ManU and Dortmund, we need a deeper sense that the results can’t help but come our way when we play OUR game–at the front and by defending stoutly at the back. I dunno, it’s not something that can truly be dissected, just a feeling I’m having about the team…

    OK, that’s the morning drivel…gotta run…thanks again…

  20. proudgooner says:

    17,
    Great post and agree with most, not much i can add what has not already been said.
    I have jsut seen the Wenger jacket advert. It is quite funny more so the fact that Wenger sense of humour is coming out more and more over the last few seasons. He really is looking super relaxed and happy .

    I was just thinking, would would you rather have,
    Costa or Sanchez?
    Van Persie or Sanchez?
    Serge Agauro or Sanchez?
    I was comparing Suarez with Sanchez a couple of months ago and the media have not just started really doing it as well. For me they are like for like, only Sanchez is better behaved and more professional.
    I would take Sanchez over all 3 above. What would you prefer?
    Only Serge cam close for me, except Sanchez works harder and adds a lot more assists.

  21. proudgooner says:

    who not would
    now not not lol

  22. Retsub says:

    Congrats TA that’s very impressive.

    I can sense the momentum building and hopefully it will continue tonight. No such thing as an easy game anymore, but if we can start putting a few early goals away, it would be a little more satisfying for the fans.

    Not a big fan of seeing both Arteta and Flamini in the same side but it is working. The side certainly looks better structured when Arteta is around. I know he has his critics and we coul get a younger, fitter, stronger model. Until that happens he would be one of my first names on the team sheet.

    COYG

  23. alcide says:

    Well its RamTeta, as mostly anticipated. Let’s win it early for a change!

  24. Shoot…Only got 10 of 11, but I did suggest that Bellerin was longshot given the consecutive clean sheets with the current back line…

    Ah well…

    Agreed, alcide, getting some early goals would be a very nice change…

  25. Ramsey shot from 7 yds just blocked over. Very nice work from Ox and DW to make the chance. Before that, however, some cheap giveaways with numbers forward led to scary looking Anderlecht breaks. We look like we really want an early goal but maybe we need to be careful in pushing too hard…

  26. alcide says:

    Fast paced, good pressing so far, and 2-3 half chances… let’s keep it up

  27. alcide says:

    Great save Szczesny!

  28. alcide says:

    Playing quite a high line, with Montreal staying back, Per slightly up and on the right… weird. And scary 🙂

  29. alcide says:

    Rambo trying for too much…

  30. Indeed…But we were carved open a bit easily there, I think…

    Santi just about puts Rambo through…

    Replay shows that Gibbs was in the right place and the Anderlecht chance just fell to the attacker. Szcz should get credit for being so alert to it…

    C’mon Ox…no more cheap balls out of play…

  31. alcide says:

    And now a stupid backheel almost cost us…

  32. Wow…lovely move Ox to CC to Alexis who rattles the post…

  33. alcide says:

    Penalty, good counter attacking!

  34. alcide says:

    WElbz played it well…

  35. PEN!! Welbeck bundled over, but what a clever pass from Alexis!

  36. alcide says:

    1-0

  37. 1-nil, chipped into the space after the keeper made his move… Well done, Cap’n…

  38. alcide says:

    Agreed we exposed ourselves a bit too much 17ht, but at least, we’re bossing it and it feels nice 🙂

  39. alcide says:

    Ok so now, no yellows or red, and we’ll be fine

  40. alcide says:

    Geez, Alexis is inhuman… what a run

  41. ALEXIS!!!! from the rebound of his own FK!!!!

  42. alcide says:

    INHUMAN! what a strike! we have another Pod!

  43. alcide says:

    He sure hit that like our favorite left footer!

  44. I was thinking I might suggest the FK wasn’t quite to his standard, but maybe he planned it that way… 😀

  45. Once again we’ve scored goals in very quick succession… I like it…

  46. alcide says:

    Let’s keep a clean sheet, rest Alexis, and see some of Walcott.in the second half

  47. alcide says:

    Hehe Per is not quite the Tiki Taka player

  48. alcide says:

    Exposed again on the counter… I don’t know what Per is doing so high up the pitch….

  49. Chambers is getting a little Fox in the box on corners after Saturday’s goal…

    Ooh, not good the way we let them break on us…If Praet had passed to his left it would’ve been a pretty easy finish…

  50. Arteta is looking lively out there …Picking some good passes too

  51. Wow, whattaball from Alexis to DW…

  52. Rambo looking pretty sore after taking a shot to the small of the back…

    Alexis is just a player in full flow…It doesn’t all come off, but wow…

    HT and the two goal lead is very nice. I guess I prefer them from open play, but I won’t complain…

  53. proudgooner says:

    I have just had a good look at the group table.
    If we want to win the group we need to score at least 3 more i think.
    If not we will come 2nd even if we beat the Germans.

  54. proudgooner says:

    We should bring on Podolski and Walcott for Welbeck and the OX , for no other reason then we need more goals in this game or we finish 2nd if Dortmund win tonight.

  55. alcide says:

    Lots of ifs 🙂

  56. alcide says:

    Rambo’s back for the second half. Good.

  57. alcide says:

    wowo another fantastic thru ball from Alexis…

  58. Whoa, that looked like #3…Ox unlikely to get his shot blocked…

  59. Nice from Ramsey and Ox but Danny can’t get anything on the header…

    Yeah, I’d go for some longer run outs for Theo or Lu-lu…

  60. alcide says:

    OX! Recovers a ball and scores on his own! What speed! Henryesque:)

  61. THE OX…Power all day long!!! 3-nil

  62. alcide says:

    Rambo looks shattered…

  63. alcide says:

    No clean sheet… but big offside

  64. Shit…Clean sheet gone… 3-1 Replay shows the scorer well offside…

    Arteta hurt…Dammit…

  65. alcide says:

    Annoying 😦

    Arteta out, holding the back of his leg.

  66. alcide says:

    GRRRRRRRRRR

  67. alcide says:

    &%@!!!

  68. Continued good energy from Alexis but others are looking a bit leggy…Subs?…

    Ah geez…Nacho called for a pen… 3-2

    Lordy, how we like to make trouble for ourselves…

  69. alcide says:

    Three Nil we should never let them score two, no matter what…

  70. alcide says:

    POd and TR7 on for Ox and Welbz

  71. Ox and DW off for Sicky and Lu-lu… Pretty sorry to find ourselves in this situation…

  72. Wow…Everybody backing off but the wide open shot only nicks the bar…

    A little spell of possession would go down a tonic…

    Geezus, Flamini just whales on an Anderlecht player in a dangerous ares. Luckily not penalized…

    Alexis foul eases a little pressure…

  73. Better from Sicky to win the FK in a good spot for a right footer…

  74. Ramsey takes it and balloons it over…

    The way we’re letting them waltz through the center of the pitch is frightening even if we’re able to defend the box…

  75. alcide says:

    fucking unbelievable… fucking unbelievable.

  76. alcide says:

    I really can’t believe it.

  77. alcide says:

    Way to spoil a perfect start. Soft penalty, Offside goal and bad defending/goalkeeping. Sheesh.

  78. The inability to just settle the match with a bit of possession does not bode well… Their first goal came when Arteta grabbed his hamstring…and the captain leaving seemed to turn the tide…

    After that our CBs lost two match-ups and gave 2 goals… Throughout that period we just couldn’t hold the ball for any length of time, which seem the true trouble to me…

    Woeful…

    This will be a real confidence blow…

  79. alcide says:

    Dunno if you noticed 17ht, but we cuoldn’t keep possession once Arteta got out.

  80. alcide says:

    Ok well you noticed 🙂

  81. On the plus side, you and I had a lot of similar observations, alcide…(So, at least I don’t think I’m going crazy…)

  82. alcide says:

    Aye. But I wish our worries about being exposed didn’t materialize three time… I’m annoyed beyond belief right now 😦

  83. proudgooner says:

    :/
    It matters not, we will finish 2nd as we would have
    Still very bad to throw away a 3-o lead , AT HOME as well :>

  84. Agreed… And I don’t know what to say…Just when we seem to be gathering a little steam (confidence) it deflates sooooo easily… All Anderlecht really did was stay positive even down 3 goals. We can’t seem to do likewise and the (forced) sub and (offside) goal was all it took to pop the bubble…

    At least we’ve got the better part of a week to try and regroup before the trip to Swansea… Hard to see us as favorites there, however, in our current state…

    Gotta take off…Thanks for the company…

    😦

  85. alcide says:

    Agreed PG and 17ht. The annying part is not so much first place, but the confidence blow… being 3 up and not being able to see the game out comfortably, continue our winning streak and build confidence in advance of a tricky fixture this weekend…

  86. macko says:

    hello , dismaying how to let a defense as bad and especially why wait so long to make the change when you see OX who can no longer run while Walcott ran an hour would have given him the key to speed in our game the turn of the match was the injury to Arteta and bad e Arbitration (normal is a french) I am very disappointed and disgusted.
    a bad night perceptive good luck to you, I confirmed this weekend it will be hard for us in Wales

  87. Gino92 says:

    All I can say is that there should be a “Serious Health Hazard” warning associated with being an Arsenal Supporter. I am still in SHOCK about last night’s debacle. How the fuck do we “lose” (because it feels to me like a “loss”) a game being 3-nil up at HOME with only half an hour to go??? We have already defended a one goal lead with 10 only ten players on the pitch this season and we can’t defend a 3-nil lead with 11 players? Come on…! This is ridiculous. We are a professional team, for fuck’s sake! Wenger should really tear into all of them and give them an earful. Arsenal of the past 3 years have made me age considerably. Don’t know how long I can hang in there…

    On the bright side, we are still on track to qualify for the knockout stage in second place, and there is always the next game to focus on. But we seriously need to do something about the DM and CB position this winter. This cannot go on like this, can it?
    What’s the deal with Abou Diaby, is it hurt again or something?

  88. D-Money says:

    Good (or rather bad) Morning all.
    Well that was quite the bottle job wasnt it? Horrifying to watch.
    Is it just me or does every second goal we concede at the moment come from a simple cross from out wide and Per/Flamini/Nacho/other poor CB-DM misjudging the flight of the ball? Per has been awful all season but we cant drop him due to Wenger’s poor transfer and squad planning. Fully expect Wilfried Bony to score from a flighted cross (after Per has misjudged the flight of the ball or is poorly positioned once again) on Saturday. Swansea’s pace (Montero-Dyer-Routledge) and movement should lead to quite the nightmare on Sunday. Hard to see us winning there now quite frankly.
    Arteta was good whilst on the pitch, but he is finished. His body just cant handle it anymore. Plays 2/3 games and is then out for a month…repeat. Why on earth we let Coquelin go on loan is beyond me.
    Nacho has fought valiantly in a position he is completely unsuited for (players an inch above midget should not play CB IMHO) and he has done okay but the simplicity of the goals we’ve been conceding says it all for me (cue the trademark misjudgment of a simple floated/chipped cross), and well the rugby tackle was unforgivable.
    We feel apart once Flamini came on (Arteta went off), doesn’t bode well for us if Arteta is out for any extended period…it’s almost as if we should have signed a DM/HM, but what do I know?
    Wenger’s substitutions were bizarre. Flamini was enforced, but Poldi and Rosicky are not the type of players you bring on to solidify a crumbling team. But his in game management has been average for years (even at the peak of his powers) so I guess it just comes with the territory. *Kanye Shrug*
    Now I’ll just sit back and watch the super/uber fans defend Per-Nacho-Flamini and explain how “brilliant” they were v Burnely and Sunderalnd. (Because Burnley and Sunderland are the standard right? Still maintain Nacho-Per-Flamini-Arteta would not make City or Chelsea’s BENCH and that is how far we have fallen.)

  89. Gerry says:

    Yep, it was a fun hour wasn’t it.? Morning all.

    I can see a lot of anger be laid at the player’s door, but I think Alcide nailed it on the hour ..
    ‘Rambo looks knackered’
    The TV commentators said that Arsenal had eased off …. What is it that AW sees?

    Yes, the Arteta was forced two minutes later, but that was the time to take off Ramsey, rather than the OX. But guess what, my preditiction of the bench being a tad too attack minded, meant Bellerin was the only other defensive sub? It would have bee a good shout though, as they went on to attack at will down our right channel?

    I can understand the need to keep one sub back until later on, in case of injuries. But as Gino has said above, to bring on Pod??? He is not the greatest at tracking back, the rest of the team had put in a great effort for an hour that even Alexis was now getting caught in possession, albeit being fouled. So who might I ask was going to feed Podolski?

    Much as AW might want to deflect the criticism towards the naive defending, I am sorry, but I put this result down to his obstinate use of subs.

    But before I finish, I would just like to say well done to the young Belgians. What goes around comes around? Their heads dropped a little when the 3rd goal went in, and yes, they got a lucky decision on their first goal, but boy did they revive quickly after that.
    I got so annoyed with the constant repeat of how Anderlcht had not won a CL tie, as though this team with this manager was responsible for all that went before them. I said a fortnight ago that THIS team was full of pacey youmgsters who were not that short on skill, only experience. Well they will have gained a lot from last night’s performance?

    Amazingly we have an extra day before our Sunday game. A chance to regroup, and may be look at the positives that came with that first hour?
    Oh, and if we were looking for a holding midfielder with a bit of pace, Tielemans would not be a bad shout?

  90. Gerry says:

    Apologies – It was D-Money that said about the substitutions, not Gino.

  91. D-Money says:

    We all love to hate Mourinho, but whenever Chelsea go up by a goal or even two, Mou brings on Mikel to protect the lead. Its called game management. Wenger is so inept (in that specific aspect) it’s embarrassing. The fact that we had no one on our bench to bring on to fulfill that role hardly qualifies as an excuse as that is down to our own poor planning.

  92. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hi all,

    Nothing to say that has not already been said. We should never lose after going up 3-0 and it speaks volume about the deficiencies we still have defensively, especially when Koscielny is out. If it’s not apparent that we need a DM by now then Wenger will never get it right.

    D-Money @9:02, to be fair the last time Maureen brought on Mikel to protect the lead, they ended up conceding and drawing with Manure. However, yes I agree that Wenger has never quite understood the timing and purpose of substituting players. Another spin on this topic is perhaps that we just do not have enough depth defensively to make the appropriate subs?

  93. alcide says:

    Agreed on Pod’s sub, I didn’t get it at the time and still don’t.

    I must say I am quite disappointed with Rambo – it’s one thing to not being 100%, but then you play simple (and Arsene -has been speaking more than once about Rambo needing to do just that in the past couple of weeks). But our favorite welsh tried the most difficult passes, backheels in dangerous positions, kept bombing forward trying to get into scoring positions (he was TOLD not to try too much for goals). Very early you could tell his legs were not there – he was struggling to stop his runs when at speed, was only slowly jogging back to defend.

    I actually don’t want to single him out, but this is representative of the overall team (bar 2 or 3) – it’s not acceptable at this level to not know and implement basics. The personel on the pitch was more than adequate to defend a 3 goal, 2 goal, or one goal lead against a decent but not top level team.

  94. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice to see you back, alcide and HH. 🙂

    New Post New Post 🙂

    Just a quick one as I could not let this embarrassment go unpublished on the blog. Sigh Sigh! 😦

  95. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    Always sad after a bad result of a must win game..especially after leading 3-0 for 60 minutes..
    But as we maybe learning to understand Wenger.. is is a blessing in disguise.. for Wenger to realise than some more defensive players are a must for this team..
    So we can sure some good stuff will come in January..

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