We ARE The Arsenal And That Was Unacceptable

Soft Underbelly Allows Three Costly Wobbles

We have known and been talking about it forever: Arsenal have a soft underbelly, and it is right in the heart of our defence and midfield. We strapped it over recently with the veterans of Flamini and Arteta playing in front of the vulnerable CB pairing of BFG and Nacho, and it somehow did a job against the lesser teams of Sunderland and Burnley.

But last night our swinging undercarriage was laid bare by a team the equivalent in Europe to the likes of Burnley and Sunderland in the PL. It was embarrassing and painful to watch, and with Arteta possibly injured for a while again and Le Coq on loan (WTF!?), and Koz out till at least after the break, we can only dream of a solid six-pack for quite a while.

The question is will Wenger ever accept this and buy properly, or will we continue with patching over the continuous softness? The answer my friends, is blowing in the window (which will not open till the new year, of course).

It is true that we seemed to fall apart as soon as Arteta left the field, but we should also not forget that we had looked vulnerable at the start of the game, when he was  actually on the pitch; and we could have easily conceded a goal if the Belgians had been a bit more lucky/deadly. I also witnessed defensive weaknesses against Burnley during the first half, for which we were not punished.

The lack of organisational leadership with players like BFG, Flamini and Nacho on the pitch, which resulted in giving away a three nil lead at home, was simply unacceptable. Now I don’t think these players are at all lazy or careless; I am sad to say they probably just lack the qualities (physical and tactical), although I would love to be proven wrong on this. Or maybe, it is just a lack of tactical organisation and preparation, for which training sessions and trainers are to blame… You tell me…

We gave away a three nil lead at home, against CL minnows Anderlecht. We can analyse it to bits, we can find all sorts of excuses, but we still gave away a three nil lead against Anderlecht in twenty minutes of football, at the home of football. How does it make us feel? Like somebody just buried, with full force, their hairy-knuckled fat fist in our underbelly.

What do you do when that happens? You fecking fight back. Swansea should be scared, very scared. Or should they?

The one big positive (other than another master-class by Alexis and good performances by the FBs):

I was delighted to see the Ox score a goal he has been threatening to produce for quite a while. I loved the venom and precision in his bended shot, and it was great to see the master Alexis giving the young Englishman his approval of the finish.

Unfortunately for him, this will not be the one big thing we will remember from this game.

Bring on The Jacks on Sunday and let our players show why they are still worthy of wearing the shirt. We are The Arsenal!

Written by: TotalArsenal.

 

 

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110 Responses to We ARE The Arsenal And That Was Unacceptable

  1. Retsub says:

    Well written TA and congrats again on the 2 million.
    A number of people have noted Ramsey was knackered, why didn’t Wenger?

    I think the turning point was when the Anderlecht sub gave Per a bit of roughing up, it clearly unsettled him and he lost the plot after that.

    If I was the Swansea boss I would be telling my players to try a similar approach on Sunday.

    I think most of us are probably guilty of praising triers like Nacho, but he may be able to perform against Burnley etc but wiil always struggle against a decent centre forward.

    So mr Wenger get us a centre back and a DM in January and make sure they are fed on raw meat.

  2. DoubleDutch says:

    That was an unacceptable collapse. Our so called ‘keeper’ is a park standard joke and apart from Chambers the rest of the defence need to hang their heads in shame. Like we need to give the media more reasons to rip the guts out of our club! Tactically, it was a car crash. Alexis must be wondering what else he has to do – short of putting gloves on! AW has to rip the s**t out of some of the players and kick some out of the first team. Scezny is as poor as a kid in the park, Ramsey needs to get his head out of his arse and BFG just needs to find a place big enough to hide.

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    And foie gras, or should that be froid grass, Retsub! hahaha 😛

    Excellent observation that Per’s roughing up could have had a negative impact on him. I love the guy but expected a lot more control and leadership from him.

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    DD welcome 🙂

    I thought Chambers was second best to his winger in the second half which cost us. But from an attacking sense he did very well. Gibbs was our best defender imo. Your views re Szczesny will go down well with one or two bloggers here… 🙂

  5. Great stuff, TA and all agreed… You’ve hit two nails on the head. The squad as currently configured ain’t good enough (longer term issue) AND we need a response (right now!)…

    (Also, really glad you popped in to do a post given your busy week…Maybe HH could do likewise, as it was very good to see him in the previous thread… I hope all is well, Mr. Harmony…)

    I’m up way too early (with a variety of worries, including my football team)… I was writing this as a comment on the previous thread but will try to cut and paste a bit…It might get lengthy…Apologies in advance…

    Try as I might, I can’t find any real defense or excuse about what I witnessed in that match. Alcide was very observant about the Ramsey fatigue in-match, and the critique of his play as the collapse occurred is spot on. Likewise the observation that he probably shouldn’t be singled out is a good one. The problem is (and the reason AW likely left him on the pitch)… this is a guy we’re building around, a guy who needs to step up and be a leader when the chips are down…From those twenty minutes last night, those Gooners who still give a crap will likely revisit the debate we thought had been put to bed with his good (half) season a year ago…

    Rambo was knackered and the manager stuck with him…Not the end of the world. The other subs weren’t the route I’d have chosen (fight pace with pace, I say, thus Bellerin, maybe from the get-go, and Theo at the end would have been my choices…) but they weren’t the issue either. After all, we A 3 GOAL LEAD!!! Like you say, TA (working plenty of good angles with the belly metaphor…) something in the guts of this team is missing…

    In my opinion, it’s ALL structural and it ALL adds up to trouble. The following are observations, not excuses…

    One thing nobody has noted (yet) is that when Anderlecht refused to give up they became the home team. Their fans drowned out ours–at least until the boos rained down at the final whistle. It makes perfect sense. They’re on a fun trip to London with zero expectations, our people have to trudge to stadium on a work/school night against a lesser team to not waste another 50 pound chunk of their season ticket…

    Additionally, the ref and his crew were poor and subject to this influence. The early pen on Welbeck was probably a good one, but definitely on the softer side. (Easy to give in the home stadium…) That goal and the 2nd one (more individual brilliance from Alexis) gave us a flattering scoreline and the promise of an easy night. The Ox also had a great moment and 3-nil is a mountain…

    As much as we want to vent at our team we must give credit to Anderlecht (and their fans) for attempting to climb it rather than turning around at the trail-head…They did to us EXACTLY what we did to them in their stadium…

    With Cap’n Arteta needing a sub they put one in the net. It should’ve been called back for offside, but in front of the raucous traveling support, maybe the linesman was hesitant to raise his flag…(it was only a consolation goal, after all…) Of course, it was also enough to sow the seeds of doubt in the Arsenal. Our attempts at cynicism–after all, we had our own Obi Mikel, M. Flamini on the pitch and we soon brought on wily vets Rosicky and Poldolski–backfired. Flams unpunished karate kick failed to slow the game as did Sicky’s multiple goings-to-ground. (I think he got only one whistle…) Like I said, I would’ve gone with pace (Theo), but maybe management is already “negotiating” with him over his next contract… Podolski’s goal threat is great; deeper on the pitch it appears his teammates don’t want to give him the ball. Maybe they sense that he just can’t do the job needed to help with keeping possession…

    Looking more deeply… As I said, AW left Ramsey on because he considers him a core player, when (in truth) he’s a work in progress or (at least) only able to deliver on his promise when truly fit. Alexis, bought ready made for 30 million, is our new run-all-day guy and at least he tried to do what he could to save the day. I thought he did well, but he also had some giveaways trying for too much when simpler touches (or maybe a pass…) might’ve sufficed. He shouldn’t have to come so deep and do it all himself…It’s a BIG worry that he thought he had to…

    The real problem is that when stretched deep into our squad many of our guys just aren’t good enough. A month or two back, Total wrote about the problems of having (captain) Arteta and (vice-captain) Mertesacker as automatic first 11 players. These guys were bought at a truly low moment (at the September deadline, 4 seasons ago–and they didn’t even cost very much–16 million total, or thereabouts?)…They’ve been outstanding servants to the club but likely have played their best football and have NEVER looked the sort to elevate us towards the next level. Fantastic for keeping us focused in the matches we should win, but not quite the individuals needed to move us further on. Likewise, look at the guys we bought the summer RvP left…Giroud (hurt, but “never good enough” for most…) Cazorla (so small as to almost appear missing those final 20) and Lu-lu-lu, I can’t pass it to you…

    We can dream about formations and how the right combo of players will work magic but we have to remember that we’re mostly buying cast offs from the biggest clubs or guys that never got there in the first place–to complement our younger, works-in-progress, who we hope might (someday, if they all are able to keep fit and realize their potential…) be the core group which gets England to the knock out stage of an Int’l tournament now and again… We can’t do it mid-season, but we need to add talent and cull those who cannot make the grade…

    Like Retsub says, in the end, the goal which made it 3-3, was a young, tough CF sub beating our guy wearing the armband. Physically, the BFG (even at 6’5″) came up short when it counted…

    These things happen… (Barca lost at home last weekend to Celta Vigo, for example…) and it’s NOT the end of the world as we’ll still finish 2nd in the group and get our annual two legged spanking from a bigger club/better team… Or maybe not. Maybe we’ll get our key players back from injury and/or buy the (mythical, cheap) DM (or CB…) who’s not cup-tied and is a natural leader and a beast of a player who makes us rock solid at the back… If “those twenty minutes” serves as a kick up the arse for the Swansea match (and all the others) then maybe it was worth it. My hunch is that we’ve got deeper problems, but hey, indulging in a bit of hope, doesn’t make me a blind man…

    Or does it?… 😀

  6. Gerry says:

    I am not so sure this can be entirely at the defensive player’s door. Yes we know that it is a bit of a makeshift back 4, and to help them we have played a double defensive pivot to allow our FB’s to go forward. Against Burnley, Gibbs was playing like wide midfielder, with Chambers staying back until the second half. Last night, they were both going forwards from the off. Now this gave us plenty of attacking options up front, the high line behind was always going to be a risk factor should we lose possession?

    However, this time we scored twice in less than a couple of minutes, and well before half time whistle, and again, early in the second half. The other difference was of course, whilst Arteta and Flamini may not be the quickest guys on the planet, they do ‘think’ defensively as soon as we lost possession. Ramsey, whilst trying to recapture his best form, has not stuck to that remit?

    Then you add in the effort put in by the front runners, Santi, Ox, Alexis, and Welbeck, but it was the middle pair wilted towards the end. If we could have, it might have made sense to leave Alexis up front, and brought Welbeck into midfield? That way you would have a player who would still be a threat up front, and a fit guy in midfield. As it was, Alexis dropped deeper and deeper to help out the midfielder, but no longer had the pace to get away and attack from inside his own half.
    Throw in Ox, who has regularly been withdrawn early, he clearly needed to manage his efforts better if he was to stay on? Santi to his credit, ran his socks off. But with the other two not having the same impact as they did earlier, keeping possession was always going to be difficult. Take out Ramsey, who apart from getting the bump on the base of the spine, which seemed to catch him really badly, he may also have been short on energy if he was getting over the virus?

    The net effect of Arteta going off, meant defending as an 11 man unit, was reduced to a back 5, Flamini, and Cazorla?

    This is why it is hard to swallow the substitutes used, and their timing? Not only that, if Ajayi has been on the bench before, how come last night, we had a GK, FB, DM, THEN two AM’s and two ST’s? Madness. Not born out of hindsight because I said as much when HT had a similar bench lined up.

    Yes the individual players who did not keep the game within their grasp should accept some blame, but their task was made much more difficult by decisions made by management?

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    Fantastic, balanced comment, 17, and ALL agreed. Loved the last paragraph too…. a bit of light at the end of the tunnel, or should that be, the start of a bit of six-pack forming on the underbelly? 😛

  8. kalama says:

    We are arsenals, sometimes the game doesn’t go as we would like and that’s why we are in the competetion.
    We are behind the players.

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    Good question at the end, Gerry. If the likes of Flamini, Nacho and BFG cannot organise themselves then I say…. it is the players mainly. The subs did not help but Flamini for Arteta and Ramsey sitting deeper should have done the trick…. Rosicky or the Bellarina could have played this role too… Shocking really.

  10. alcide says:

    I agree on Chambers TA. He does quite well *but* he regularly gets either caught or overtaken (he is slow in the first 1-3 meters) by his winger – that cost us on the (offside) goal.

    I thought Per was quite poor yesterday – it’s never a pretty sight seeing him run back from the other half or trying to catch someone… I can understand the desire for a high line, but seeing him high and right of the field in the first half was scary (and rightfully so in multiple occasions that anderlecht failed to capitalise on). He sat deeper in the second half, but then our midfield stayed up, leaving waaaay too much space in between lines.

  11. Alcide, The German team got tired of seeing Per running back chasing the break and Neuer having to race out and do the sweeper-keeper madness…So they dropped him (for Hummels or Boateng or Howedes, I think)… I believe there are some comment writers on this site who don’t enjoy Szcz trying to mimic his German hero… 😀

    Maybe we’ll buy Hummels in January… For 32 million you can buy A LOT of them…

  12. D-Money says:

    Great observations 17HT. Mostly agreed.
    Still so dissapointed and the worst thing is the psychological knock for me. Hypothetically if we were to lead Swansea 3-0 at the weekend and they scored to make it 3-1, what would happen?

    But more importantly and this is a serious question: what was our aim at the start of the season? When you go in with a squad with 6 1st team senor defenders and without a proper DM/HM knowing the capbilities of City, Chelsea and other (greater?) Teams on the continent, what is your aim? What constitutes as a good season? I for one finf it hard to believe that Wenger thinks a CB pairing of Per-Nacho being shielded by the false HMs we have would be able to withstand Bayern, Madrid etc.
    If so, what was the aim? Are we just making up the numbers and hoping to sneak top 4? Honestly, if your squad is ill equipped to win the league or UCL, then what was your aim to start off with? Or are we to believe Wenger thought we could win the UCL and league with our current squad? 2 injuries to Kos-MD should not leave us down to bare bones. Never should. Does Wenger genuinely believe Arteta-Flamini can hack it at the very top level and be the DM/HM pivot (or lone HM/DM) of a UCL and league winning team? Does he?
    Because if he doesn’t, then what are doing? What was the aim? And if the aim wasn’t to win but just to make top 4 and get knocked by a Bayern-Barca in UCL R16 should the supporters not be PUBLICLY made aware of this so we can (begrudgingly) adjust our expectations accordingly?
    I’m rambling, dissapointment does that, but honestly, it doesn’t feel like the clubs ambitions match those of some players (take RvP, Nasri as (bad) examples) or more importantly, to me anyways, those of the fans.

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Alcide, spot on re BFG. A great player when surrounded with those who compensate for his ‘lesser strengths’ but we just dont have the defensive squad to provide this all the time. Agreed on Chambers too…. work in progress in terms of defending the flanks.

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    D-M

    I never believe this lack of ambition line tbh. Wenger could be waiting for the right players to be available and is happy to do so, believing he cannot force the issue all the time. Look at Manure and you know it is not that easy to find the right reinforcements at the click of a finger. Or he genuinely believed he would be okay with his defenders…. and maybe it will still come good. Or maybe we will see one or two players joining us in January. But lack of ambition it is not, although it does sometimes look like it… 😦

  15. D-Money says:

    TA if we accept the “right players at the right price” were not available, and we also accept we were trying to buy because what we had was inadequate (and I think evidenced by our failed bids for Manolas and Carvalho to mention just two, clearly we were trying), can we then also accept that we (Wenger and the baord internally) then adjusted our targets for the season? Surely if you thought you needed X player to compete and fail to get X you can’t seriously think you will now reach the same targets with the player you wanted to replace/upgrade on cause that’s what you identified was needed to compete at highest level.

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    D-M, you have a very analytical mind and you could well be right. You also have to look at Arsene desire/need to bring through youngsters, and I suspect him to be a ditherer too, and he is fiercely loyal to those who he has chosen… All factors that play a role.

    Would I have loved it if we bought at least a proper DM ala Schneiderlin or Wanyama and a solid CB… of course. Do I understand why we did not at least sign one of them…. no, not really, but there we are. Bring on the Jacks and fight for the shirt – OGAAT and all that. 🙂

  17. Xavier says:

    Truthfully I’m still in shock about how it happened and I’ve somehow blocked most of the memory from my head. But that really is not acceptable. i thought we have matured as a side and were above such slips. Apparently the players…*sigh* You know sometimes wenger should consider giving touchline instructions rather than sit down fold his arms and hope theres enough leadership on the pitch to see us through. The anderlecht manager was up for 90 mins under the rain and i understand that wenger is an older gentleman but at 3-2 shouldnt there be some sort of instruction telling the players to keep it compact and maybe try hitting them on the counter? I dont know yall… I was speechless watching it last night. I’m still mostly speechless now.

    TA thanks for the wonderful post and the platform to be able to rant a bit. Lol.

  18. D-money…Expectations, hopes, ambitions are all in the eye of the beholder. Various narratives push the buttons of Gooners and are exploited by the media (including bloggers who take various stances)…

    If you look at our club with a judicious eye and compare it to those able and willing to pour money down a hole it’s pretty easy, in my view, to see that we have to overachieve AND have fortune on our side to keep pace. I could do the whole player by player thing but we’ve been down that road before… Check the salaries of our guys, look at the injury list, etc., etc. We’re not as good to begin with AND we’re stretched beyond belief…

    A different manager might give different players a chance and, over time, find different solutions in the transfer market. Supposedly we’re preparing a bid of 32 million pounds for Mats Hummels, which would mean he’s gonna go to the very top of our salary list at around 7 or 8 million per season or approx 150K/week. Will Dortmund sell him to us? Maybe. Will United come in with a similar bid and a higher salary? Probably. At that point do we match it? In the end, if he wants the move, his transfer and contract will cost his new team nearly 80 million pounds. Does he have a history of injury problems? Yes he does…How then do we deal with that?… We’ll buy Rafa Varane… Meanwhile, Pogba and Carvalho might be some fun stuff in the deeper MF spots…Schneiderlin was quoted at 25 million but we passed on Cabaye at 18…

    All of those ideas are fine and good EXCEPT that Stan Kroenke will only allow such things if he can fund them with revenues: Ticket sales, TV money, sponsorship… Management is trying to maximize those things, but how much higher can they go? From the sounds of the support last night, further ticket price rises will NOT go down so smoothly…

    As such, the manager has to work the margins of the market. British prospects cost more in transfers but jump at our salary structure and they might not be so eager to uproot when their next contract comes around, Walcott and his negotiation team notwithstanding. A problem is that top British players, no matter how much those who like the national team might hope, might not be “world class”… Players who have failed at the silly money clubs might do better at Arsenal–IF they can withstand the pressure (expectations) of being one of the main guys in the team. So far so good with Alexis, not so much with Ozil… Quality players with fitness issues (Ospina, for example) MAY overcome those things and can usually be found at a discount and fill a slot, as might guys who are either past their best (looking for one last good contract)… Younger foreign born prospects may be exciting (i.e., Joel Campbell) but they also need first team action and might prefer warmer climates and referees who use the whistle before legs are broken… If you look at it this way, BFG at 6 million and Arteta at 10 have been amazing pieces of business…

    The new manager will be under the same constraints. If you’re just plain sick of the current guy a change might be as good as a rest, as they say, so Steve Bould (interim) until we recruit Martinez or Koeman or maybe a fired guy (pity the poor Pep if he takes another beating in the CL elims and David Moyes, is still available, I believe…)…But they might all be just using Arsenal as a stepping stone towards a job under a Sheik or an Oligarch or a junta of Spanish (or German) bankers…

    Anyhow, that’s how I read the situation. Patience is not in the DNA of the football fan and we pay the big money (or at least waste our time and energy) so as to ENJOY watching our team… A permanent state of suffering is NOT what we’re after. Patience and winning a war of attrition (who overseas, for example, would choose to support Spurs…) works for Mr Kroenke because he’s building an entertainment business… Yesterday’s match was certainly that, and if it represents a “new low” maybe we’ll get a spirited response and better entertainment on the weekend. That might be fun…If we take another beating or take a lead and fold again (as if it were laundry day)… Well, that’ll be good for somebody too… Long term, the narrative of lovable losers, who (try to) play the beautiful game and have the manager with the same name as his club (does he actually bleed red with white sleeves?…) makes for a very good brand. Plus, supposedly we have the money to splash come the next window. In other words, the lower we go, the bigger our “upside.” I’d say there are other offerings out there, but that’s not realistic… Plenty of Gooners, slowly but surely (I would guess…) are able to wean themselves and leave their support (addiction?) behind… (Wasn’t that your plan?) So, unless you can quit, it’s an exercise in figuring out how to enjoy the Arsenal as it is…

    Sorry… 😦 And, if anybody has any better ideas, I’m all ears… 😀

  19. TotalArsenal says:

    Always good to hear your comments and thoughts, Xavier. Sigh indeed….

  20. alcide says:

    It’s difficult to agree with your reasoning D-M, it was (at least to me) obvious we also were looking for CB and DM; I also think that you have to look at targets/goals over time – the choices are probably made between types like;

    “get a cheap backup” – the short term view (blah in my opinion, ties you to another non-dominating player, short term gain (perhaps), long term consequences);
    “mid range player” – to get a decent upgrade (someone like Cabaye maybe, who probably came in too expensive for “decent upgrade”) – good improvement vs. Flam or MA;
    “young prospect” – longer term view but with the risks involved;
    “top tier” – the long term strategic view – *if* available and willing to join;
    “top-top tier” – those we probably can’t pay for (e.g. Pogba) 🙂

    i suspect we only want top quality – minor improvements to Arteta/Flamini won’t cut it for Arsene (unless perhaps a Cabaye who is old but not so old to bring more speed, won’t tie us for too long, or prevent us to get our Presence DM when available. Of course if we fail to get a top target, then we would have lost double…

  21. alcide says:

    Aaaargh sorry, I meant it’s difficult to DISAGREE with your reasoning.

  22. alcide says:

    Not sure we actually ave as much to splash this winter 17ht, without compromising the summer window. I hope… Looking over the last decade, we’ve made so much progress on that aspect (from selling our top players every year to buying world class players for the last 2). I’d have loved also getting Pogba or Hummels orVarane, at the same time but let’s be serious… Schneiderlin I’d hae loved (but not available). Carvalho, to me is a “grass is greener on the other side” guy. Every (few) times I saw him play I was not overly impressed – at least not 35m impressed…

    Still hoping for some good stuff to happen in the winter.

  23. D-Money says:

    HT great comment above. True, we need to find a way to enjoy watching Arsenal again. Which is why we all (I feel) need to considerably lower our expectations and whilst those necessarily vary for all of us, that is the greatest problem. We do not have the team or manager to “manage” games so its gonna be this thrill-a-minute stuff all season with as many highs as there are lows, sometimes within the same game. Currently I take pleasure in watching Alexis, Chambers, Gibbs, Jack and Welbeck. (Ox of yesterday would do nicely too) They give me hope in these dark times *cue GOT music*.
    As for stopping to support Arsenal…stopping to breathe would probaly be easier LOL and besides I can’t afford laser tatoo removal 😉

  24. Alcide… (And this will be my final comment before trying to do some “real” work…) The main thing that I believe is truly difficult is to find that guy who is both physically good enough AND a real leader. BFG and Arteta are strong leaders at a certain level. Our aspirations are higher… How do we land ourselves the next PV-4 or a guy like Vidic or even a f*ckface like John Terry? AW is clearly looking for somebody who will embrace the role AND stay at the club…(Cesc, RvP, even chinless Samir, have left him with scars…) He’s out there, somewhere, and might not cost too much. in fact, we’ve already got a guy who *almost* fits the bill, but he’s got two sore achilles tendons…I like this Calum Chambers kid, too…but I gotta agree with Gerry (and AW) that a little more positional discipline would’ve been very nice last night–he’s young and still learning and at 3 nil doesn’t everybody want in on the scoring?…

    I still think it was a terrible cocktail of circumstances that befell us last night. The manager hoping for leadership from a knackered Ramsey (and maybe Flambeau late on) plus the crowd turning sour and a young team plus refs and linesmen doing their thing… The key, as TA suggests, is the immediate response and the pain *could* be transformed into a real “life lesson.” Maybe?…

    Swansea away has been a good one for us, but they’re in good form and we aren’t…Two seasons ago Swansea at home (two late goals from Michu after 90 mins of frustration) was probably an even lower point than last night… This match, like all of them, in truth, suddenly becomes a potential season-saver–or another sack of concrete–and the one which might break the camel’s back… As fragile as our confidence is (including that of the support), a trip to another country might be just what the doctor ordered…

    Ah crap, there goes the hope creeping in…Final point–This could be a big spot for one Jack (the English Jesus?) Wilshere, if he can suddenly recover from his bruised knee virus thing… At least the guy with my favorite hair in English football (Jonjo Shelvy) will be banned for the match, takin away a bit of their physicality in the center of the pitch… And then there’s the battle of the keepers… But now I’m getting ahead of myself… Plenty of time to get worried before Sunday…

  25. D-Money says:

    Alcide. I agree its difficult to find the right player, taking various factors into account. That said, I think Arsene over-complicates and over-thinks it. We’ve all known we needed a striker for ages (and have tried signing Higuain, Suarez so clearly a gap/need was spotted) and yet it took the last hours of the window when Welbeck who wasn’t a target but suddenly became available for us to address this problem. We have basically needed a proper HM/DM since Gilberto, I struggle to “the right player” has not been available since then. Various credible sources claim Vermaelen informed the club in March he would be leaving, why was no plan made to secure someone BEFORE he left? Yes its difficult, but look at for example Saints’ summer recruitment. One player stands out for me and its Toby Alderweireld, a Belgium international who is equally comfortable playing CB and) and Atletico Madrid let it be known was available, either on loan or permanently. Why did we not move for him? Wenger is extremely indecisive and is a renowned ditherer. Hazard-Mata non-signings tell a tale. And there have been others, while Wenger decides whether a player is good enough or decides what his personal valuation of another club’s asset is before re-bidding other clubs sign up “the right player”. I’m a firm believer that we need a DOF (as long as AW remains at AFC) someone with a clear vision who spends all season thinking about the squads needs and actually knows how to efficently and quickly wrap-up a deal and bothers to have back-up and secondary targets.

  26. James Bond says:

    indeed, unacceptable and it’s as usual AW’s Fault .

    why ?

    erm – every tom dick and harry knew that we need a decent Goal keeper from the last 5 years – the only reason we won the FA cup was Fabianski who happens to be doing rather well at Swansea ?

    erm – Substitutions, how on earth could you not use Rosicky much much sooner for an exhausted Ramsey and Flamini for the OX and Poldi for either Welbeck or Sanchez .

    least be more proactive at 3-0 up and give some guys a well earned and deserved rest who look well spent ? it was Ramsey’s first game after a long time, bring in Flamini or Rosicky who won’t stop running

    his poor use of subs and tactics have cost us once more, regardless of the off side goal or what Nacho did –

    some people never learn and it seems that AW is one of them .

    the lesser I speak about Sczny the better, but allow me to say this – we have a million attempts at the opposition’s goal and only end up with 1 or 2 goals (if we are lucky) – where as , the opposition has 1 or 2 shots on target and they end up scoring majority of the time ? coincidence ? bad defending ? I don’t think so – do the math

    the guy can’t even guess the penalty the right way, where as you have other decent goalies, bailing their teams out week in week out – I heard that the Belgium champions had missed their last 4 penalties ? well, they weren’t going to miss that last night with Scnzy in goal .

    we are better off playing the OX in goal, least he can dive the right way .

  27. James Bond says:

    I hope all is well with you and your family @ Skipper – I read that something happened which could have been worse or along them lines .

    love him or hate him – you gotta admire Pier Morgan for trying to lure in Kompany and offering him £60 million of his own money plus 2 ferrari’s and use of his Villa in LA 👿

  28. steve says:

    hello guys, been sick as a dog recently and the latest results haven’t helped much to rejuvenate me lol.
    I tell you when you miss a couple of days on this site you really miss the opportunity to get in with some valid points before all you other knowledgeable bastards highlight them all.
    My quick standpoint:

    Front line:
    Welbeck and OX killed themselves trying to act from the same play book as Sanchez all night, excellent to see and rewarded the team with two goals and closing down from the front all night. OX should play that left wing all the time in my opinion.
    Sanchez does what he does and got another goal.
    Cazorla is just not a threat and i think would be better replaced with Campbell.
    3 goals what more do you want, oh apparently one more lol, we now need four goals or more to secure the win (at home) and compensate for our weakness in defense.

    full backs :
    Gibbs was excellent and made an amazing defensive header to secure the point for us.
    Chambers needs to be given a central role either in defense or in midfield because his pace is a slight issue against pacey wingers. (i didn’t see many goal line crosses coming from the left side past Gibbs but there were quite a few from the right)

    the problem:
    The frailty is there for everyone to see it is the defensive spine of the team
    ————Ramsey———Arteta———–
    ————Monreal———-BFG————
    Its just not good enough to be playing at this level, on the right side you have two aging immobile veterans and on the left you have a short weak LB being played out of position at CB and Ramsey who looked out of place all night and definitely not at full fitness yet.
    WHAT DO YOU EXPECT WITH THAT DEFENSIVE WALL???

    the craziness:
    if you really are going to go for trying to nick another goal when under massive pressure instead of shoring up defensively then when you take of speed and power f*cking well replace it!!!
    If you bring off OX and Welbeck replace them with Campbell and Walcott!
    A high line? really?
    Ramsey and Cazorla played the full 90??
    Coquelin loaned out??
    Bellerin not put on as RB and chambers moved to midfield for protection – why not??

    There are so many insane gambles going on at the moment and last night we simply lost the bet, i hope the boss learns from this.
    Hell i hope if he learnt anything its that quality youngsters can be trusted to produce the goods.
    The quicker we get some pace, stamina, strength and skill in the midfield the better.

    JB,
    “we have a million attempts at the opposition’s goal and only end up with 1 or 2 goals (if we are lucky) – where as , the opposition has 1 or 2 shots on target and they end up scoring majority of the time ? coincidence ? bad defending ? I don’t think so – do the math”

    Its not maths its tactics, those 1 or 2 shots the opponent has and scores with are because they are normally sure things as there is maybe only one defender left to beat after the break on us.
    WE NEVER BREAK AND COUNTER!!!!!
    It kills me every time and especially yesterday, Szczesny was given crosses straight to the glove a hundred times yesterday with time and space for a quick ball out but NOT ONCE did he start a counter attack. He holds it regroups waits until everyone is set again and then starts the slow passing build up – It is such an opportunity lost!
    It seems we are the only team left that hasn’t learnt yet that its easier to score against two or three players in an open field as opposed to eight players in a tight penalty area.
    We can’t even use the excuse that we don’t have the pace to do it anymore – Sanchez, Welbeck and OX! Jesus what more do you need for a counter attack.

  29. James Bond says:

    where is Glic’s when you need him , ehhh @ Steve .

    he’s not a keeper for a top top club across Europe at this present moment of time and after playing more than 100 matches at the top level, it doesn’t seem like he’s made to cut it either .

    he used to have 1 in 7 decent games last season, now it’s more like 1 in 10 – Ospina is the one we are missing the most .

    let’s hope by the time we are playing Bayern Munich or Real Madrid in the knockouts, we have Ospina back !

    hope you are better now though and that surgery thing is going to happen soon .

  30. steve says:

    Cheers JB, hoping to get it sorted before the end of the year but it may be a little later.
    Do you reckon its all down to Szczesny or a directive by the manager to play out slowly in a controlled manner without even looking to counter?
    either way its the same result i suppose

  31. James Bond says:

    he’s not smart or clever enough to release the ball – he tends to take the safer option once everyone has backtracked or settle in their position .

    can’t Imagine AW encouraging him to do that – his movement in the box isn’t good enough as a sweeper keeper nor does he move around rapidly enough after collecting the ball to release it to someone who is available on the side , middle or through the flanks when he has players available – this is what I have noticed when OSpina played a couple of times, he was releasing and distributing it much better .

    might be a confidence thing as I can’t think of any keeper who would intentionally want to slow his team down against the Burnley of Europe or any other side as such .

    I know AW prefers playing from the back but like you say, when the option to drive forward is available with the likes of Sanchez and Welbeck then I really fail to fathom how he makes sure that they are marked before he rolls it out sideways .

    Man city losing 2-1 at home .

  32. steve says:

    haha ive got it on skygo as we speak 🙂

    yep its really beginning to piss me off watching the likes of OX having to skin the full backs when they are actually set rather than having the opportunity to do it with the opposition is still running back and with a whole field in front of him. I’m sure we used to do that week in week out back in the invincibles era.
    That whole defensive spine needs a good sorting out if you ask me. time to start trusting the youngsters like Bellerin on the right and the likes of Chambers and Hayden in midfield and central defense.

  33. James Bond says:

    when you say the whole defensive spine – do you also include the defensive coach ?

    you see, I have an interesting theory in regards to that .

    we are appalling when it comes to both defending and scoring from set pieces – if we were decent at defending set pieces, we would be decent at scoring them as well, if that makes sense ?

    not sure if AW is refusing to give Bould the time to work at this or if Bould isn’t as good, whichever way you look at it – it’s a huge cause of concern and no the absence of Giroud has nothing to do with it .

  34. proudgooner says:

    Wow,
    I just looked at Thomas Vermealen stats at Bercelona.
    He has not kicked a single ball for them, not even 1 app as either a sub or start.
    I assume he must be injured and if so then we have lost nothing in letting him go.

  35. steve says:

    PG, i prefer Chambers there anyway mate if we actually played him at CB that is and not at RB

  36. James Bond says:

    Chelsea losing 1-0 to Maribor 🙂 🙂 🙂

    PG – they are going to let TV5 go on loan in JAnuary – that was a nice piece of business done by the businessman as usual 🙂

  37. James Bond says:

    spoke too soon – 1-1 with MAtic to the rescue, yikes .

  38. James Bond says:

    both Fernandinho and Yaya Toure get red cards for man city , blimey .

  39. steve says:

    hahaha this City match is hilarious 😆

  40. James Bond says:

    that was a proper push and shove by Yaya Toure – nonchalantly shoving the defender out of the way, even though the defender was the one committing the foul, maybe it was more down to frustration but I wouldn’t want to be messing with Yaya.T , ha

  41. James Bond says:

    and Eden Hazard misses a PEnalty for Chelsea aahhahahahahahahahahaha

    what is going on to the English teams today 😀

    the ref in the Man city game, shows the wrong player a yellow card or else that would have been a red card and then boom .

  42. James Bond says:

    from the beeb :

    Best league in the world?

    Posted at 21:28
    A disastrous few days for the Premier League sides. Yaya Toure sent off, Eden Hazard spurning a golden chance to win it for Chelsea. Liverpool played their reserves and Arsenal blew a three-goal lead.

    👿

  43. steve says:

    yep not looking good atm JB, maybe why the league table is all over the place atm?

  44. James Bond says:

    this ref is a bit of a tw@t – that was a penalty for man city and he doesn’t blow his whistle .

    I want man city to stay in the competition so it helps Arsenal .

  45. James Bond says:

    agreed @ DoubleDutch and welcome to BK .

    also, from the last post @ Macko – you’re also right sir – not sure why you stopped posting here but in the absence of Glics, we need a doomer and you will do just fine ; )

  46. City losing 1-2 and now down to 9 men…Toure Yaya isn’t exactly earning his 300K/week…Next year in Paris, as they say, or something 😀 … Even with ridiculous money this game is a tough one… Did the Sheik fail to place the filled envelope in the right spot in the refs dressing room? Aguero booked for diving when the whole stadium thought he’d won himself a pen. Sometimes cynicism is NOT rewarded… 😀 Wow, now Hart shows off his Polish dribbling skills–reminiscent of Artur Boruc last season when we played So’ton… Finishes 1-2 with the final action being another El Kun fall in the box…

    Schadenfreude is a lovely thing, but not as fun as having a good team of one’s own?…Maybe?

    007, So, Wenger out and take Szcz with him? Pellegrini in and (and bring Hart too)? I think Steve makes good points about spreading the blame around but I know that isn’t your bent. F11ngers, just because the guys we’ve seen are bad doesn’t mean the academy kids will (automatically) be better, but I must’ve already mentioned that at one point or the other… Of course, it IS a shame that Ospina is hurt, as he would’ve played in at least one of these Anderlecht matches and put a little fire under our guy… Agreed about distribution issues but at 3-nil it makes a little sense to build the play more slowly, no? As such, I’m willing to add Ospina’s fitness issue to those of Ozil, Koscileny, Giroud and Debuchy’s. Arteta’s (and Ramsey’s–too many pasties?..) deserve mention too. Jack’s are all in Wenger’s head and were an attempt at resting him or making him seem better to the fans through the “absence makes the heart grow fonder” idea?… Theo, Theo, Theo say the people after 10 mins on Saturday, but he’s a contract hold out.. Perhaps? Crazy shite going down in the red part of N. London…

    I dunno, as the day goes on, I’m feeling like the bad result might serve as a(nother) wake up call and the full points might’ve glossed over the (massive) issues we’ve got. Something like this was coming and in the CL maybe it hurts less than if it had come in the league. Also, I think Anderlecht (a team used to winning most of their matches) isn’t quite the Burnley we met on Saturday but maybe might be more like the Leicester City team we hit too early this season, before they’ve been beaten down from too many matches in the tougher division…

    Highlights now… Brahimi (formerly of Granada FC, my “local” Spanish team) doing the job for group leaders Porto! Roma kept the scoreline down at Bayern…and poor Eden Hazard, hitting the pen, counting on the keeper to move, but he didn’t… And the Moo-man won’t talk about the Liverpool match! Fun times!

    Who’s doing the Swansea preview? 007, a keeper comparison is almost BEGGING you to break your maiden… 😀

  47. James Bond says:

    ahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahha

    I love your sarcastic sense of humour sometimes, you use it very well me Amigo – it made me chuckle 🙂

    come on admit it, deep down inside you know what I say has merit – even the bloody Maribor keeper can save a penalty , I bet every penalty taker wishes they had Sczny in front of them 😀

    jokes aside – I hope we put 7 past Fabianski on sunday and no pun intended there !

    not sure about AW going out but if he were to leave at the end of the summer, let’s just say that it may not be the end of the world . Professor Wenger may get his pupil from Dortmund onboard ? I hear he isn’t happy at Dortmund and is trying to maneuver a move to England (Man City) .

  48. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    So Bond.. what really happened to this best league in the world??
    City just don’t belong to champions.. hahaha.. We did..
    And Liverpool have tobe more pasient to get involve.. hehehe..
    Chelsea don’t play their best team because they wanted to be ready for Liverpool clash..

    I still think a positive way about the unpleasant draw.. at least it will push Wenger more to bring some defensive players in January..
    We have three more room for new players..
    and I hope at least twoo will come..

    And about Champions.. we just need another one point only.. so just relax we will as usual be one of the 16 clubs..
    And about the harder drawing by not winning the group.. I don’t really think so..
    This second best in each group will also a hard team to handle..
    And believe me.. the clubs like Barca.. Porto.. Bayern. Madrid and so on.. will hope in their pray to avoid us.. hahaha..
    And if we really strenghten our defence.. than we will face them all with full spirit to win.. hahaha..

  49. James Bond says:

    it’s all the ref’s turning against the English teams @ Henryehehehhehehe

    seriously, if liverpool played their first team, we would have probably thrashed Real madrid 10-1

    all 3 teams, Arsenal, Man city and even Chelsea got done by the ref’s .

    I don’t know what it is but there seems to be an agenda against the English clubs – something is not right, sort it out Uefa or else we are going to send HenryChan to sort you .

    hope you are well and the young yoona the gooner is getting plenty of sweets off you !

  50. henrychan says:

    Thanks bro.. hope you and your family also have a great time..

    Yeah.. that’s football.. I wish for a system that can give the referee time to pause.. and to watch the big screen or even maybe his watch.. so they can made a better decision..
    We have that kind of technology nowaday.. so wht don’t we used it..??

  51. TotalArsenal says:

    So which Man City players fancied a night in front of the TV after the Internationals? Shocking behaviour by the Mercenaries of the North.

    Also loved the Hazard penalty fiasco, the cocky fecker. 😛

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    JB, all is well with me and family, but thanks for the concern. I just have a busy week which is why I needed to announce a little break from writing blogs…. did not stick to it though… 🙂

    How is Mrs Bond doing now?

  53. TotalArsenal says:

    D11gits 🙂

    Sorry to hear you have not been feeling well and hope you are doing a bit better now. Good to see though that your thirst for young Gooner blood remains unquenchable! hahaha 🙂

    If in trouble play the youngsters! hahaha 😛 Love it! 😀

  54. TotalArsenal says:

    HeheheheheHenry 😛

    Good to see you back. You cannot beat the optimism of a vegetarian! 🙂

    Hope your boy, girl and wife are fine and you will be visiting the home of football soon.

  55. henrychan says:

    Thanks TA.. hope the same with you also..
    Visiting Emirates is one of my biggest dream.. still saving for that.. hahaha.. hope it will come true someday.. have to be optimist.. hehehe..

  56. D-Money says:

    Play all the kids!!!! If they fail, then we know for sure we need to recruit from outside, right now only Wenger knows at what level they are and given his lack of faith in Campbell, Bellerin, Hayden and even Akpom one can only assume they are not ready. (Let’s ignore that Wenger explicitly said Bellerin was “ready” ahead of Dortmund, as that was just to cover his behind for not having bought adequate defensive cover.)
    Quite simple really, play the kids or buy on 1 January 2015. (Watch us dither all window and sign some crocked clown on 31 January)
    Yes it isn’t guaranteed the kids will be any better, but how much worse than Per-Nacho-Flamini of yesterday can you get? I doubt there are many (if any) other levels to go to.
    Per has been playing like that all freaking season. It seems that shithousery is his new normal/standard. Nacho_Flamini_Arteta are not good enough for AFC, but have at least they’ve had a few decent games. (Santi and Ramsey are almost in that block, but at least there we know its loss of form and they are capable of better. Arteta-Per-Nacho-Flamini are just not good enough, even at their very best, their still not at the level required for AFC.)
    Especially finding it hard to justify Per’s inclusion to friends right now. (As expected, Wenger failing to buy a CB is not going down well as an excuse as that’s just seen as “your own doing”.)
    Play The Kids. Doubt they can be any worse than the “Horror 4”-as I call them-and even if they are initially, at least they havnt hit the ceiling and they have space to improve.

  57. Gerry says:

    Some mighty fine comments made, and argued over, so I am not going to run my take on each and every one.
    I thought you did a great job with financial aspects HT.

    I do disagree with the thing about Szczezzer, JB and Steve.
    On the early release of the ball? That is born out of a tele viewer I’m afraid. They close in on the ‘keeper, and if he catches it then they follow him around until he releases it. They rarely pull back and show the full pitch view from the opposite end. The clue was in the co-commentator words …. ‘ Arsenal had all 11 players in the box’?
    JB – Giroud does make a difference there. Not only does do a great job of blocking the near post corners, as soon as he sees our keeper with ball in hand, he sprints to the halfway line. Now even allowing for the possibility that it was only one occasion that Welbeck and co were in the box, you must also know that Gibbs takes his position on the goal line. Even close up pictures show that he was still behind the 12 yard line by the time Szcz had an opportunity to release it? On the other side, we haven’t got Mr Reliable any more, and CC21 is still more involved in defending at that point, and is probably not that good at keeping the ball when tracked by a retreating corner taker and midfield support player. Options up the middle? Welbeck against a CB in position? Alexis on a 60 yard run to get it too his feet?
    Add to that, HT’s point at 3-0, it was in our favour to slow things down.

    Penalties? If you are going to hang our keeper for not saving a penalty, then look around. The odds favour the striker every time. A penalty saved is invariably from a poor kick … Or the keeper dives the right way. The only time a keeper can be blamed is if it creeps through his body, or a poor flap at it? Ever since the stuttering run up was ‘allowed’, the keeper has little chance of reaching a ball if he doesn’t move before it is kicked … unless it is straight at him?

    Now, ahead of any preview, I will pose this question. Has our confidence really been damaged?
    If you stop the game on 60 minutes we were doing better than any game this season?
    We created chance after chance, scored two first half goals, and added a third.
    What is not to like?
    I am assuming that the defending issue will have been done to death by now, and all they will be concentrating on is the positive moves.
    Of course, there is the little matter of a team reshuffle. Is there any chance Kos will return?
    If not, it is basically the same squad, possibly plus Ajayi.
    I cannot see Walcott being thrown into a hard tackling side from the off, much as his pace might be desirable? So between now and Sunday it has to looking at being more solid at the back, without losing our bite in attack.

    Keep the faith …

  58. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning guys 🙂

    D-M, youth en masse is not the answer buddy. Let’s not forget, we only lost one PL game all season, and we cannot go into panic mode just yet. The team’s confidence will be badly damaged though, as given away three goals in twenty minutes will have rocked the core of our defenders and rest of the team. It would be silly to poo poo that, and I hope to see a response on Sunday.

  59. Gerry says:

    D-Money – You are not a regular watcher of the Academy players I am guessing?

    Campbell is a full international, but has not played much more that a bit part in the EPL. He did not overly impress me in his first couple of run outs. However, his last but one did show some nice touches. But that is a big step up to starting a game. Especially if playing in front of Monreal on the left side, Ox usually taking the right berth. He is close to a start, but now he has Poldi wanting a start, and may be Walcott pushing Ox the other way too.
    Bellerin had a tough baptism against a rampant Dortmund, but then most RB’s would have had that night? He has done fine since. He is ready, but behind CC21 at RB.
    Hayden was all set to start against Anderlecht in the away leg, imo, but his training injury – a ‘real’ one – means he will not now be considered until late December at the earliest.
    Definite starter when fit and the opportunity arrives.
    Akpom, most certainly being kept for next year, with possibly an FA Cup outing in the New Year.

    Beyond those 4, Ajayi is about the nearest. But, and it is a BIG but, he is still very raw. Defenders take longer time to develop, but he has shown promise.
    B54 – is a player who is Gibbs Mk2, imo. He, like Akpom, could have a chance in a Cup game, but I think it would a toss up between him and Flamini while Le Coq is out on loan, as 3rd choice LB, and in an open game he would get my vote.
    Currently injured I believe.

    Forget the midfield kings until next year for even cameo appearances, and the rest would struggle at this stage.

    Like I said above, it is the squad that played on Tuesday, plus Ajayi perhaps, between now and Christmas, unless Kos returns?

  60. D-Money says:

    I’m not saying the kids must permanently displace the experianced players (they are not playing like it anyway) or they must all start at once, I just feel like players aren’t being held accountable for their poor performances. Shake thinks up a bit, repeating a clearly failing plan and expecting different results is literally insane. Per and Nacho basically know no matter how awful they play, they will still start. Same applies to Sczceza and to a certain degree Arteta and/or Flamini.
    I have caught about half the U21 games this season and Campbell I’ve seen in Spain and Greece previously. At the current level of performance of some of the senior players, I really don’t think the kids mentioned will be a downgrade on any of them right now. Something needs to give, can’t just do more of the same.

    “Arsenal close to sign €10m rated Swiss defender Fabian Schar from FC Basel in January. http://t.co/jC9cRth45E?” – havnt seen him much, has anybody? (Ofcourse it could all be lies but humour me for a bit lol)

  61. JM says:

    Quotes an interview from somewhere …..

    Interviewer (I): How do you overcome defeat?

    Legendary player (PM): Defeat is part of the game, therefore you have to accept it as such. I believe, as a sportsman, defeat is a normal thing. He who has sports spirit, let´s say of a certain level, has to accept defeat. Only from there you can depart to a new victory. You have to try to avoid it, since we professionals play in order to win, but defeat is part of the game. This applies also in life.

    (I) In which regard?

    (PM) It is the same in life. Maybe in different terms, but you can also here talk of a game, even though defeats in life are a lot more painful and they are more difficult to overcome.

    (I) And so how do you overcome them?

    (PM) You try to learn from your mistakes, because behind every defeat is a mistake and then you restart from there… When focusing on the future you can´t concentrate too much on the past, which applies for both good and bad things. Or maybe: Preserve the positive things, even in the most difficult moments.

    (I) What´s more like you: Regrets for having done something or tears for not having done something?

    (PM) Neither. Mistakes belong to what we´re doing, and they are important in order to improve, in order to grow. Apart from this I had such a beautiful life so far, that I cannot speak of regrets or of tears.

    (I) Are you also in life a defender, or a striker?

    (PM) (laughs) In my soccer(football) life I have been born as a striker and therefore maintained some characteristics of a striker. I am not a big defender in life, even though I am a great traditionalist, because I am very fond of my family regarding the values my parents passed on to me and which I want to pass on to my children: The importance of family, for instance, I believe is important in any profession, for any person, especially when having such an intense life as I am living.

    (I) What´s your definition of soccer(football)?

    (PM) Soccer(football) means fun to me, and passion. Soccer(football) is a group´s game and teaches not only to think of oneself but also of the colleagues. You learn a lot of things while you train in soccer(football) compared to individual sports.

    (I) What is more important: Formation or the beautiful game?

    (PM) The technique! And its application.

    ———-

    That Legendary Player is Paolo Maldini, “Il Capitano”, a leader amongst leaders. Ambidextrous, a precise tackler with an imposing defensive presence, renowned as a left-back, excelled as a centre-back and considered one of the greatest and most complete defenders of all time.
    (Paolo Maldini is another of my favourite football players, alongside Dennis Bergkamp. One, a defender; the other, an attacker)

    We shall restart ourselves vs Swansea City (away in Wales), this weekend again, with another 90+ minutes of soccer(football). Fight a battle. Then, recharge and restart again during and after the international break and fight another battle vs Man Utd, repeat vs Dortmund, repeat vs WBA … repeat as long as there is one more battle to fight, till the season completes.

  62. Gerry says:

    Nice one JM. Yes, I am all in favour of not letting the past control our future. It can shape it for the better if we can see the where we fail, and change.

    This I am more optimistic going into the Swansea game, than I would have been if we had been held to a 0-0 draw? Or indeed, a scrappy one goal win where we were second best throughout the game?

    If we recognise that for 60 minutes we played really well, but accept that we do not have the players to keep that up for 90 minutes. Even the mightiest warrior of them all, Alexis Sanchez, was scraping along on his reserves for the last 10 minutes. Then management and players should be able to deal a different game plan to keep the best bits and lose the worst?

    I am glad you too have found a glimmer of sense from PM. Of course other times one can suspect that ‘the sun was well over the yard arm’* at the time of comments were made. 😆

    * a Navy expression as to when the rum got dished out, I think?

  63. JM says:

    @Gerry,

    I quoted PM’s interview, as he has a first hand experience, while captaining his AC Milan side vs Liverpool in the 2005 CL final, when they were 3-0 up, only to have their opponents comeback ( via a 6-min blitz) to 3-3 and lost the cup on penalties in the end.

    2 years later after fighting through many football battles, in the 2007 CL final, PM captained his side to beat the same opponents 2-1.

    That is why he is “a leader amongst leaders”.

  64. steve says:

    D-Money I here you brother! 🙂

    Listen for me after watching our captain go off with yet another fitness / fatigue injury, Monreal being beaten easily for a pen and BFG being beaten to a header for a goal not to mention Ramsey showing some of the worst form ive seen from him in ages i like you am just ready for a bit of a change. I don’t even think you can call it a knee jerk response as this weakness in the defensive spine has been evident for ages now.

    If all the youth was available for the other day i would have much preferred to see;

    ——Wilshere——Coquelin——
    ——Hayden——-Chambers—–

    Than

    ——Ramsey———Arteta——
    ——Monreal———-BFG——-

    Just my opinion, but in the only real world outing these guys had (vs Southampton in the cup) they kept the high flying, high scoring, second in the league team down to a shot outside the box and a penalty given away from Rosicky otherwise they did a great job. Do i think the FUBAR FOUR could have done a better job, probably not at this point and we would have probably seen more goals against us in that game and probably from defensive errors. And any crazy high line that we deemed necessary to play the youngsters could defend on the break a hundred times better vs the slow pensioners 🙂

    Give them i chance a say! 🙂

  65. Gerry says:

    Sorry D-M, I still do not go along with the knee jerk reaction for one or two spots, even though you did say ‘Play all the kids’?

    Defending is a collective thing, and for the most part, one player’s mistake is picked by another. They are not playing in isolation of each other. As I pointed out previously, most of the problems the defenders faced were not helped by at least 4 players who had shot their bolt, and the subs did not correct the problem.
    Yes, you can point to Nacho and the penalty and say that should not have happened. But overall, as in previous games, I thought he was doing okay at CB? No reason to suppose that if he continues to play there he will not do a sound job. I am guessing with Per that he is less sure of his fellow defenders than he is with Koscielny, and it may be distracting him? Or indeed, he may think others need to do more before it arrives in the box? Like I say, the collective thing? Now he may be happier with Chambers alongside him, as he can head a ball better than Monreal … but the price to pay for that is, if Bellerin is at FB somebody has to step in for headers on that side?
    I know JB gets up a steam on Szczesny, but I don’t see he did a lot wrong in that game. Certainly nothing that would warrant Martinez playing anyway?

    With Campbell I am part way with you. If you remember, I would have him in at the start of the Burnley game. but it could have backfired? Against Swansea, mmmn, if Gibbs plays, then may be give Danny a rest? But first we have to get the rear guard sorted. May even switch to a 4-3-3 base and have Poldi up front?

    One thing for certain, Swansea will press our attacking players hard, and not always fairly. Like Anderlecht, they will get forward in numbers when they get possession, so collective defending will need to be spot on? So don’t expect too many changes?

  66. Gerry says:

    Sorry, JM, I got on the wrong PM at the end there. :oops;

    Paolo Maldini I remember him well from the early Sunday offerings on TV of Italian football.
    Indeed, a great player. Up front I was a big fan of Batistuta. Another great?

  67. JM says:

    @Gerry,

    Well, we have Alexis Sánchez who can emulated his compatriots Iván Zamorano & Marcelo Salas to become a legend.

    Time for our own PM to become “a leader amongst leaders”, since MA is out with a hamstring injury (any timeline of a grade one strain ~ 3 weeks, a grade two strain ~ 4 to 6 weeks, to a complete rupture ~ 3 months).

  68. Gerry says:

    JM – Regards Arteta, I would say it is a repeat grade one, so 3-5?
    And talking of Per, it sounds like he is backing my view on lack of assistance from the front guys, without taking into consideration the effort they put in?
    Subs of course are another question ..

  69. James Bond says:

    Hi Gerry 🙂 loving the avatar by the way !

    disagreed entirely , respectfully of course .

    sure, penalty wise, the odds favour the striker , however, any decent keeper would be able to save 1 in 6 or one in 10 at least or go the right way at least – there goes that one am afraid .

    re- releasing the ball and being a tele viewer or a fifa player, well – even when no one is hassling or harassing him near the box , he is crystal clear to set us up on the counter , he chooses the easy way out – also, doesn’t matter if we were 3-0 up as we hadn’t stopped playing, we were still playing football and were wanting to put on a show, had we stopped playing then your point would have more weight to it, for now even that one doesn’t have merit as such and it’s not just that game in particular, me and Steve were talking in general .

    Re- Giroud making the difference – did I just read you saying that he sprints to the half way line ? more like walks compared to Welbeck’s sprints 🙂 either way, having one player at set pieces or not having them shouldn’t make a difference to this team, it’s not Giroud’s job to be a defender although it’s an added plus with his presence however, we have conceded plenty of goals even when he has been playing from set pieces .

    the point being ? zonal marking and the such likes – the system we are implementing at defending corners is not working and everyone minus AW & Bould are unable to see that.

    we can argue all day and night about the absence of the french trio of Giroud, Koc and Sagna not being there which has further contributed to this but at the end of the day, we defend and attack as a team and these players are highly paid and trained professionals who fail to do the basics right sometimes – either due to lapse of concentration levels or other factors .

  70. James Bond says:

    glad you changed your mind @ Skipper and all is well, thanks 🙂

    my day is not complete until I read my amigo’s comments and he seems to be busy in the real world !

    The england squad announced and The return of theo tells you a story .

    yep, a fit Theo would make young Stirling the super sub ? his rightful place, ha

    we have no less than 6 players called up for England ? not sure if I should be happy or concerned.

    actually consider me concerned, ha

  71. Gerry says:

    JB – In the absence of you providing any stats to back up your hypothesis I did a little bit of research myself. Here is some of what I found out:

    With penalties, 85% are successful, backing up your basic 1 in 6 being saved – i.e. unsuccessful shots being scored. However, given that keepers only ‘guess’ right about which way to dive about 40% of the time, which means that nearly two third of penalties they have zero chance of saving?
    This backs up the statistical view that staying in the middle of goal has the greater chance of saving a the penalty, logically because they can cover a greater area of the goal, approx one third of the goal, left, right, up, down, as oppose to a 9th of the extreme corners.
    Where that falls down is if keepers stand still, the shorts to the corners then have a 100% shots being successful. Plus, ‘keeper’s feel worse about doing nothing and a goal is scored.
    Also, a hard hit shot can give them little over a quarter of a second reaction time!

    Szczesny’s record in shot stopping in the 2013 season was up there with the best at 79%, along with several others. With the top one on 81%. However his position slipped to mid table when they ‘adjusted’ for the league average, because he had less to save? – That might require more concentration? – However, the really damning statistic is how poor he appears to be at saving shots from 10-12 yards out in a central zone.

    So you are vindicated – Sccz out – Martinez in!

    Annoyingly you are also right about Ox staying on the left wing? Statistically, a right footed shot from the left side has a 1 in 4 chance of curling in to the far corner, when shot from the final zone of 0-15 yards out …. just like Ox did for the 3rd goal on Tuesday.
    Can somebody tell Santi this?

    All hail JB! All hail JB! All hail JB!

    I need to go and lay down …

  72. macko says:

    hello, it would just be a good time to dip into our livewell and retrieve players like Hayden can do buffer up to winter;) it can not be worse than Nacho and Hayden was doing a good match against Southampton.
    I want to clarify that Nacho does his best but he is not suited to this position the on the left is a very good player !!!

  73. Gerry says:

    Macko – It is good see you blogging more regularly.

    I get what you are saying. The problem is, Hayden is out injured, probably until late December/ early January, and Ajayi was not on the bench and he is the only CB, when you get deeper into the reserve players, who might have been available. As far as I know he was, but not used even on the bench?

    Agreed on Nacho

  74. shrillex says:

    Macko, Gerry,

    Nacho has been doing a pretty decent job so far but LB is definitely his best position. For me, the only reason Nacho is playing at CB ,that I can see anyway, is because of Per. Per lacks the pace and needs someone to cover for him. Chamber cannot provide the pace needed to cover for Per’s deficiencies. And Nacho is the only person who can play at CB who has the necessary pace

  75. shrillex says:

    I think it’s about time to drop Santi, as good as he was, he is getting older and doesnt add anything to the team. He isn’t vital in the buildup and seems to be balloon the chances he gets into row Z. Maybe its time to release Campbell. Anyone agree?

  76. steve says:

    shrillex good luck with that lol, Santi always plays and he always plays the full 90 as well. I have no idea why and i have no idea why Campbell who did so well for Olympiacos then for Costa Rica is now suddenly not good enough for a very mediocre playing Arsenal side.
    Its easy for me, OX cutting in from the left, Sanchez in the middle and Campbell cutting in from the right – simple!
    Welbeck stays up front and any crosses into the box (because there are two inverted wingers) come from the full back on whichever side the attacking play has developed, so either Gibbs or Bellerin.
    The creative and play developing midfielder is an on going battle between Jack and Ramsey with a protector next to him of which the choices are:
    Flamini
    Chambers
    Arteta – injured
    Hayden – injured
    Diaby – injured
    Coquelin – on loan
    The CB pairing and the goal keeper can be chosen on a walk in basis from any Sunday league team in the country, decided on a first come first served basis.
    Job done 🙂

    so right this second the teams for me are:
    (straight from the first team squad sheet and players playing in their actual positions)

    First XI
    ———————Martinez———————-
    Bellerin——-BFG————?———–Gibbs
    ———–Chambers—–Wilshere————-
    —Campbell—–Sanchez——The OX——-
    ——————–Welbeck———————–

    Second XI
    ———————Szczesny———————-
    ?—————-?—————?——–Monreal
    ————–Flamini——-Ramsey————-
    —–Podolski—–Cazorla——Rosicky——
    ———————-Akpom———————–

    returning from injury XI
    ———————-Ospina———————–
    Debuchy——?———–Kos—————–?
    ————-Hayden——Diaby—————–
    —–Walcott——–Ozil———Gnabry——-
    ———————Giroud————————

    Players left over from first team squad:
    Arteta
    Zelalem
    Sanogo

    It seems pretty obvious to me what positions are light lol, but hey i’m just an armchair manager who would have bought cover for the CB and DM positions years ago and not sent Jenko and Coquelin out on loan – but what do i know lol.

    I suppose i like Wenger could move my second choice left back into the left CB position to make up a full first team but i am sure that should be a forced tactical change reminiscent of a championship (or lower) side team not one at the top of the premier league. But hey what do i know, if this was implemented then my first XI would be:

    ———————Martinez———————-
    Bellerin——-BFG——-Monreal——Gibbs
    ———–Chambers—–Wilshere————-
    —Campbell—–Sanchez——The OX——-
    ——————–Welbeck———————–

    Let Campbell get his chance and for god sake if not a DM then please buy some CB cover in the TW would be my suggestion.

    just my two cents 🙂

  77. shrillex says:

    Steve,

    Exactly. Why doesn’t Campbell replace Santi who is playing like utter shite at the moment, I will never understand. Like the idea of Ox and Campbell cutting in from the weeks, could do wonders for us.

    Slightly disagree with your lineup though, Per is in terrible form at the moment and looks absolutely lost without Koz. Here’s my lineup:

    Szczesny
    Bellerin-Calum-Nacho-Gibbs
    Ramsey-Wilshere
    Campbell-Sanchez-Ox
    Welbeck

    I know you’re gonna argue about my selection of Nacho, but he has been good so far and shouldn’t be judged too harshly because he conceded a penalty. And frankly, the way Per has been playing, Nacho is miles better.

    Jack is there instead of Flam because…well..Flam is getting old and has been absolutely poor. Jack isn’t a DM but hey, there isn’t anyone else with the discipline and aggressiveness to play that role.

  78. steve says:

    yep i am afraid i can’t argue with you there shrillex BFG’s form is completely off atm but my problem is Ramsey’s is as well imo. I think Chambers would give that steel and strength we are looking for in midfield and basically act like a younger, fitter, taller, faster, stronger Flamini and with him in midfield i had no choice but to keep BFG in the CB position but i can completely understand your point.
    I think with Jacks improved form he may well be looking to be the man who takes control of developing things forward but when accompanied by Ramsey who is also looking to impress by trying to recreate his trademark runs and attacking moves i think the space left in midfield would be disastrous.
    But yes i am completely in agreement on the two inverted wingers cutting in with the pacey full backs on crossing duty, it would be like have two OX’s on each side as apposed to what Cazorla brings (which is not much atm).
    I hope the boss tries this soon 🙂

  79. I want whatever (tea?) you’re having, Mr. F11ngers… 😀

    Shrill, when you said “release” Campbell, I was thinking, no he’s got a contract, surely he should go somewhere on loan…but I guess, you meant as in “release the beast who is–or at least might be–Campbell… 😀

    Finally, 007, Sorry I didn’t write anything yesterday…even the best of us (and I’m nowhere near the best…) needs a break from trying to support this club of ours…Plus, I thought Gerry did a decent enough job actually attempting to respond to the all Szczesny, all the blame, all the time…Like I said, in my longwinded first post higher up, I think the problems are systemic and keeper isn’t the biggest worry. Nonetheless, I like the optimism match to match and I hope you’re right and we’ll get to see us put 7 past Fabianski… Which, of course, would beg the question about why that idiot Wenger ever thought he might have a chance at Arsenal… 😀

    We’ll cross that bridge when we get there and it’s been a loooonnng time since we scored 7… (And we let in 3 that night, and looked plenty shaky at the back…) Are we ready for a match preview? That night (Toonies in N London on 12/28/12–I have the ticket stub…) our defense was no better than on Tuesday but we had Theo Walcott score a hat trick in the middle of his first contract hold-out. My, my, how time flies. It sounds like he might get a run out on Sunday despite this issue…

    Lack of protection or defending from the front was a bit of the complaint from the Ander-lapse, leaving almost all to wonder WTF the manager was thinking with the Poldolski sub. Bring in Theo or leave Wellbeck in or, even better, move Chambers into a DM (3rd CB) kinda role and bring in Bellerin. Agua abajo el puente (H 2 O under the bridge) as they say and we need to look forward. As such, let’s try and terrorize Fabianski and Ashley Williams (a guy who might’ve done a job for us in the current Nacho spot…) with a front four of Ox-Alexis-Welbeck-Theo. Who sits in behind them to claim the turnovers and shoot from distance? My guess is Ramsey and Wilshere. Is that British enough for you, Steve?… 😀

    Meanwhile, at the back, the BFG, Nacho, Flamini and Arteta have all been humanely euthanized, their hooves–and horns–melted down for glue…In their stead we have Chambers and Hayden (even wearing his protective boot he was able to win a sprint-for-the-spot vs Per…) Gibbs on the left, and by special dispensation from the FA, Jenkinson on the right. Martinez in Goal, obviously, as he knows how to play street-ball vs the wily Franco-African strikers (Bony, Gomis) Swans will use… So 8 English boys, One Welsh fellow (to be booed with every touch…) and two street fighters… Sorted (as you say)… 😀

    The front group might be plausible…The rearguard “can’t be any worse,” as the logic goes… 🙄

    Who’s gonna step up and write the match preview?… (I miss Oz 😦 … amongst others…)

  80. steve says:

    match preview:
    pace on the left: Gibbs and OX
    pace on the right: Bellerin and Campbell
    Strength and skill in the middle (top): Welbeck and Sanchez
    Defense and creativity in the middle: Wilshere and Chambers
    Make do in the middle (back): BFG and Monreal

    ———————Martinez———————-
    Bellerin——-BFG——-Monreal——Gibbs
    ———–Chambers—–Wilshere————-
    —Campbell—–Sanchez——The OX——-
    ——————–Welbeck———————–

    What it will actually be: who knows!? just hope and prey 🙂

    Job done 😆

    Good luck to whoever undertakes the match preview proper, i’ll pass 🙂

  81. TotalArsenal says:

    That is the line up, F11ngers! You only need to change Bellerin for Chambers, Chambers for Flamini, Martinez for Szczesny, Campbell for Santi…and possible Ox for Theo.. So close hahahaha 🙂

  82. So, TA…I *could* do the match preview…but I think that might not be in the best interest of the site… 😀

    The problem with the “couldn’t be much worse,” argument, of course, is that it could. F11ngers says he doesn’t mind results going against us but I suspect this is not a universally held feeling…

    I don’t much go in, either, for the “not good enough,” line… Lower your expectations and soon enough these draws don’t look so bad. The fact of the matter is that thus far (this season) the only team which looks reasonably put together and well-oiled is the one from South London, even if the Kensington Library crowd isn’t much impressed… They’ll likely do better with their more impassioned supporters up there at Anfield tomorrow…

    That one might get me up early, at least for the last 10-15 minutes, just to see if Brendan Rodgers will be walking alone… I need to look up the manager firing odds, but he must be soaring up the table and getting Manny Pellegrini fixed in his sights… Wenger, given the bums in seats, (and names on the waiting list…) will need a couple more abject matches to be drawn into the race…

    Which brings us to Sunday… Playing in front of the traveling Gooners might be the best for us. Lord knows we need something good to happen or it’s gonna be an awfully long couple of weeks… Here’s another for the more statistically minded on that topic… http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/home-field-advantage-english-premier-league/

    Happy Friday!

  83. TotalArsenal says:

    Wenger is a people manager. The last thing he will do is drop his established stars en masse for young, spotty and inexperienced talents. He will sit down with the likes of BFG, Flamini, Nacho and Santi and reinvigorate them, give them back their confidence and show them how they can be more effective We already have to play with too many nr.2s in the first team anyway. So let’s get real and use common sense. The fact that Wenger can get the best out of individuals is the main reason he has been in the job for so long. Bring on the Jacks and fight them till their on their backs. Nuff said. 🙂

  84. TotalArsenal says:

    Seventeenho 🙂

    We have to leave the youth wanting the youth – it is their right to party! 🙂

    A match preview would be great, and you can take the angle that you like. Just imagine we are going to win sweetly…. you wanna make sure the preview saw it all coming… 🙂

  85. steve says:

    TA,
    Bellerin for Chambers – no thanks, Chambers is better off in the middle and he can get caught out against pacey wingers imo.
    Chambers for Flamini – not for me, time to let Flamini 2.0 have a go
    Martinez for Szczesny – I will let JB answer
    Ox for Theo – when fit definitely but not yet (sub though, but maybe for Campbell instead)
    Campbell for Santi – why?

    Not many assists or key passes coming from Cazorla atm so i don’t really see why he is in the team ahead of Campbell, its certainly not for goals lol
    I don’t think the front line are doing too badly, a few goals each game but the defense is just letting us down.
    Can you see Cazorla’s name on this list anywhere?

    Galatasary
    assist by Sanchez scored by Welbeck
    Made and scored by Welbeck
    assist by Ozil scored by Sanchez
    assist by OX scored by Welbeck

    Hull
    made and scored by Sanchez
    assist by Sanchez scored by Welbeck

    Anderlecht
    assist by Chambers scored by Gibbs
    assist by Sanchez scored by Podolski

    Sundeland
    Made and scored by Sanchez
    Made and scored by Sanchez

    Burnley
    assist by Chambers scored by Sanchez
    assist by Welbeck scored by Chambers
    assist by Gibbs scored by Sanchez

    Anderlecht
    assist by Sanchez, penalty won by Welbeck
    assist by Sanchez scored by Sanchez
    Made and scored by OX

  86. Gerry says:

    Shrillex – Whilst looking at various stats this morning, there was one that came up that sort of followed my thought about Mertersacker and his form with and without Kos?

    You may be interested to know that his current form is little different from his form last season with Kos. Not only that, in some ways it is better. I listened to the Arseblog podcast this morning, while waiting for the rain to stop, and they discussed what he had said post match about defending, and Per saying it wasn’t down to 5 or 6 players to defend, or even the back 4.
    All agreed on that point … and on the Poldi subbing.

    Here is the stats link – Dan Coombs one of their better writers, for Arsenal at least?:

    http://hereisthecity.com/en-gb/2014/11/06/arsenal-stats-comparison-mertesacker-with-koscielny-vs-without/?

  87. steve says:

    TA when you say “We already have to play with too many nr.2s in the first team anyway”
    I have to agree, but i see the ones you are sitting down to reinvigorate as those no. 2’s
    (BFG, Flamini, Nacho and Santi)

  88. TotalArsenal says:

    But Steve, that is exactly what I mean. 😀

    Cazorla will score and assist on Sunday…. because Wenger will have worked on him. You look at managing a team too ‘computerised’, too fantasy football like imo. Wenger only makes long term decisions with regards to players, unless they really feck him about (like Arshavin did). It might well be that the likes of Arteta, Flamini, Nacho, BFG are no longer featuring in Wenger’s long term plans, but as long as they cooperate Wenger will stick with them and get the best out of them.

  89. steve says:

    a nice article for all those who keep harping on about how good Giroud is at defending for us and how actually Monreal is not so bad:
    http://hereisthecity.com/en-gb/2014/11/05/arsenals-danny-welbeck-embarrasses-nacho-monreal/

  90. steve says:

    hahaha TA, yep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result 😆
    no wonder i am going crazy supporting Arsenal atm, fine throw the little guy in, it might work on the 300th time 😆
    But for god sake don’t try something new and different 😆

  91. F11ngers…

    I left Santi off my list…But of course, he’s another to be put down (as painlessly as possible)…

    All I can say to that type of analysis is that it’s football, not fantasy football we’re trying to play, with real people (as TA suggests)…So there are things beyond goals and assists (and clean sheets and such-like)… I’m pretty sure keeping Arteta (woeful, shite, ready for the stud pasture if not the glue factory…) on the pitch the other night would’ve had us see out the match. Leadership counts for something, doesn’t it? The biggest conclusion (beyond the Poldi-sub) seems to be that Ramsey needs to do better if he’s gonna be one of the guys allowed to stay on the pitch… Santi (or Alexis or Szcz for that matter…) might’ve done better with that late free-kick. Sometimes the big confidence can cut both ways… Luckily we’ve got the English Arteta (Jack Wilshere) coming back to fill the big (horse) shoes….

    OK, TA, I’ll do it–the preview, that is, right after I pull another coffee… Apologies in advance…

  92. steve says:

    17HT, the Arteta thing really? you to?
    If you couldn’t see those goals coming even when Arteta was on then we were watching a different game mate. The only difference was that when they countered and broke through our midfield the 3, 4, 5 or however many times it was they never had their shooting boots on. In the second half they did, that was the only difference mate, that and fatigue throughout the team as apposed to high stamina and speed of youngsters on the other team.
    But you keep calling it the loss of the great leader and DM Arteta is you like 🙂

  93. Sorry Steve, I gotta write the preview so I’m not gonna take that bait… As I wrote, I think we got screwed by a weak set of refs who gave into the pressure of the home crowd…for the first two goals. After that it was bad subs and lack of leadership in settling the match…something that must be done AS A TEAM (which is the real point you keep missing…) Ramsey trying to out-Alexis the man himself (gotta keep that FK down if you want a second bite at it, for example…) doesn’t help. Somehow, the manager and his players need to turn this into a “learning experience” (maybe like you and the bull–a great story, btw…) so we don’t get gored again…

    😀

  94. steve says:

    haha fair enough 17HT, bait well avoided and i look forward to the upcoming preview mate 🙂

  95. kelsey says:

    Hi guys I am not a Wenger hater in fact the opposite is true but I want him to go at the end of the season regardless where we finish and what we win. He was a great manager and I want to see him go with his head held high, not humiliated

    from the much respected Amy Lawrence’s new book The Invinsibles

    “not much has changed with Arsene. He’s still managing in the same way he was. He’s overly loyal to his players and his staff. He doesn’t believe in defence. He doesn’t really focus too much on the opposition.

    He’s struggled with the progress of the game. Which for me, is why he has to go sooner, rather than later.”

  96. Gerry says:

    Just updated the UMF stuff – A popular week for the Joker. I recommend one or two should think again, and use theirs? Open to all to use them of course.

    Steve, I saw that stuff on Welbeck … another reason why it was strange to take him of ahead of Ramsey?
    Talking of whom. One of the reasons why Arty boy was left holding the baby in the first half was because his Welsh chum was fecking off upfield – which in itself is not a bad thing, but if you don’t get back, or go at the wrong time, it can lead to the counter attack opportunities.

    Now it is being widely reported that AW has had words with him, so I hope he is over his bug properly and plays the defensive role. He’ll need to, as JW might be his partner and there is only one direction he’ll be heading?

  97. TotalArsenal says:

    Steve 🙂

    Playing Nacho as CB and Alexis in the hole is enough recent ‘new’ don’t you think? We want evoyouthion not revoyouthion! 😉

    Re Giroud – I cannot wait to hear the Nanananananana-nananana-GiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirouOU again! His injury has cost us many points already, of that I am convinced.

  98. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Kelsey

    He just signed a three year contract extension, so he is not going anywhere. Whether we would like him to stay or go is therefore pretty irrelevant. The board love him as he delivers value for money every season, and once he decides to leave his successor will possess a squad which will be strong and deep.

  99. TotalArsenal says:

    “not much has changed with Arsene. He’s still managing in the same way he was. He’s overly loyal to his players and his staff. He doesn’t believe in defence. He doesn’t really focus too much on the opposition.

    not much has changed with Arsene: nobody really changes a lot, especially not when they have reached the top.

    He’s still managing in the same way he was: so was Red Nose and so is Maureen, so is Ancelotti etc etc – Successful people are the same as ordinary people – they change very little during their life..

    He’s overly loyal to his players and his staff: what is wrong with that? There is a bonus and a cost to being very loyal to your players; and the same goes for disloyalty. It is neither good or bad – it is Arsene’s style: if you look after people, they will look after you. Works for me too.

    He doesn’t believe in defence: utter shite.

    He doesn’t really focus too much on the opposition: probably true, but he won the league and fa cup many a time with that approach…. It is his style and Cruijff and Michels did the same and were very successful…

    Would I like Wenger to move on next season? To be honest, yes, as I would like to see a change now, even though I realise we could easily become like Spuds or Pool, or worse, and not compete at the top – or there about – at all any more. But he has signed the contract and he really is not going to go anywhere, and I think we just need to have peace with this….. And it could be a lot, lot worse. Bring on the Jacks and get them on their backs! OGAAT and all that.. 🙂

  100. TotalArsenal says:

    Forgot to say, thanks seventeenho – really appreciated! 🙂

  101. TA you’ve got mail… Also, I enjoy the discussion above…Like I always say, the Wenger Out discussions always seem (to me, alone, perhaps…) better before matches than (immediately) after (or worse, during)… 🙂

  102. Gerry says:

    TA – I think you are right about change. The big problem regarding AW ‘retiring’, and IG touched upon it, is finding the next manager.
    I think the modern managers do not see themselves staying at any club for any longer than their contract. The days of the Fergie type ‘overlord’ is not likely to happen at any club now. So having a turnover of managers is highly likely to happen at Arsenal as any other club.
    I think Rodgers may have thought he got a long term deal, but it is very easy to see how tenuous that is with a few below par results?
    The Pep’s, Louis’s, the Carlo’s, they all look to move on, or get moved out. Pardew is the only one with a long contract, and almost for the same reason that AW has remained in situ, is because he keeps the club running, without a huge budget to spend, and have a smiling owner … all the way to the bank.

    No matter who comes in, their purse strings will be just as tight after an initial spend, so their first test will be to do as well, or better than AW. Fail that, and their time here will be short?

    Therefore, I see this blind rush to change, without a clue who might replace is surely just short sighted madness? Of the potential candidates mention, none are likely to be available at the start of the 2015 season. Despite Dortmund’s poor league form, Klopp wants to see his contract out, which I think may be the end of the 2016/17 season – Good timing? Pep is more likely to succeed LVG or the Peregrin – i.e. follow the money. Carlo Anchi will be stuck with RM for a bit longer. However, his assistant was reportedly ‘tapped up’ as a potential successor, and supposedly approved by AW himself, and it does have all the hallmarks of an AW signing? i.e. Young, with potential, but unproven (having not managed a club yet). Seemingly his contract would make him available too.

    So like you, I think AW would have to think he has failed badly to step aside early. so for the next 2 and a bit seasons, we have him, flaws and all.

  103. Gerry says:

    Well thanks to your preview HT, I think I entered the discussion above just as it was being concluded?

    I may not get to see your preview until morning, as I was awake for a lot of last night with ear ache. So I shall need my beauty sleep.

    See my note on Jokers when you do your UMF, I shall do those in the morning too
    Cheers

  104. TotalArsenal says:

    Excellent points, Gerry, and all agreed. 🙂

  105. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Seventeenho. I shall issue your post tonight when I have half an hour.

  106. James Bond says:

    wow Gerry, was that you being sarcastic or have you finally acknowledged my footy knowledge, great inside and the ability to slate someone based on some merit ? ; )

    you must have done a lot of digging and research to get all them stats – well done and yes, you can go back to hailing me now , ha

    agreed with me amigo and skipper – whether we like it or not , I quote AW himself “I ALWAYS HONOUR MY CONTRACTS” .

    fortunately for some and unfortunately for most, ha

  107. James Bond says:

    *insight

    where is JGC-DAMUS

    am looking forward to me amigo’s post , I hope he hasn’t given in to peer pressure and left out Santiago from his starting 11 ? 😛

  108. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post 🙂

    17 has produced another fine football pre-fiew 🙂

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