No Jack, Santi/Nacho/Ramsey to start, Alexis in hole? Swansea Preview & Line-up

Swansea City – Arsenal  Match Preview: Response Required, Right or (w)Rong


Tuesday’s twenty ticks of terrible tame tripe must be eradicated, erased and eased into the rear-view with a resolute, rampant and resounding response Sunday at Swansea City (Sity).  If not, the alliterative alternates for this assemblage of Arsenal acolytes cannot help but turn into a wild wall of wailing wassails against one (won), Arsene Wenger.

As I said, in the comments of the previous thread…Apologies in advance…

At least we have a match to play.  If this one goes wrong it’s a LONG two weeks off until Man United (and then Dortmund) in front of the (most-expensive in all of Europe) ticket-buying crowd.  Where’s that emoticon that can shudder at the thought?…

Let’s get to it then…

Swansea away has actually been a good fixture for us in recent times.  Last season, goals from Serge Gnabry and Aaron Ramsey–well booed for being a Cardiff lad–were enough to secure the full points and make a late goal from Ben Davies a mere consolation.  The previous season we won there (2-nil) at the front end of our Spring run, which saw us make up a 7 point deficit on Tottenham to secure (another season of) Champions League football.

The most interesting element of that match, however, might have been the man between the sticks who kept the clean sheet.  Lukas Fabianski will play again on Sunday, but not for Arsenal.  Instead, it will be the man for whom he stepped in, Wojciech Szczesny, who will have to marshal a makeshift defence against a team who has been one of the surprise packages in the early part of the English season.

Of course, it will be more than a battle of keepers, even if we probably should expect an open match with both of them well tested.  Swansea, under new manager Gary Monk, have been steadily testing the “bigger” English clubs, and even bested Man United at Old Trafford to ruin Louis Van Gaal’s managerial debut.  Given the relative state of the two teams, this will not be an easy match by any stretch of the most optimistic Gooner’s imagination.

Fabianski, solid at the back, has been one reason.  Another has been Wilfried Bony using all his muscle to soften defences while Gylfi Sigurdsson, back after an unhappy season with Spurs, has been the main man in the midfield.   Bafetimbi Gomis, a fine pickup from Lyon, Ki Sung-Yueng, Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge have also contributed to a well-balanced attack.  A consistent back four in front of Fabianski–Angel Rangel, Federico Fernandez, Neil Taylor and Ashley Williams–are distinctly at odds with our ad-hoc group.  Unlike the poor start the Swans had early on a year ago, they currently sit a mere two points behind us.  If they watched us in midweek (while they rested), surely they must be salivating at the chance to play us and jump above us in the table.  We may, however, have caught a break with the sending off of their most physically imposing midfielder.  Jonjo Shelvey will sit this one out having picked up a pair of yellows during their nil-nil draw at Everton.

Unfortunately, in addition to playing a good Swansea side, we must also contend with what happened on Tuesday night…  

As complete as our comprehensive capitulation (might) come to be characterized, we have a chance to clean the charts with a couple of chancers of our choosing.  (OK, I should probably let this go…but…) Chamberlain, Calum Chambers,  could continue to contribute.  Cazorla could (finally) can a chance.   Constant calls for Campbell (might) catch the (curiously) closed columns aimed at Arsene’s aural avenues.  If they aren’t, there’s always Atlas, er, Alexis, who appears able to alleviate an amount of the angst anchoring the average angry (and aching) Arsenalista…

Enough…This is NOT a joke, even if many a Gooner believes what we saw on Tuesday was…

In truth, the collapse was (very) bad and the manager must use this opportunity to right the ship.  With all the injuries–key first teamers Ozil, Giroud, Koscielny and Debuchy are all long term absentees, while Arteta is a recent addition– we still must gather the remaining group and get a result.  Additionally, there seems to be some confusion about how to do so.

Conservative formations have been the way forward in the league but are now (perhaps) unavailable with the latest injuries.  Fortunately Jack Wilshere is back in the squad and (maybe) can fill in for the captain, even if Ramsey appears the man Wenger wants in the role.  Theo Walcott, who looked very sharp late on vs Burnley, must be eager for a longer outing even if Tomas Rosicky and Lucas Poldolski were favoured as subs in the debacle on Tuesday.  Some may call for changes at the back, but surely if Wenger didn’t choose them for that one, I can’t see him making them here.  Most will argue for a bit of a shake-up, but dropping Cazorla or Welbeck when they need confidence is not Wenger’s way.  Oxlade-Chamberlain shouldn’t be the one to make room just because he actually scored.  Here’s my best guess:

Arsenal v Swansea Nov 14

Subs: Martinez, Bellerin, Wilshere, Rosicky, Walcott, Podolski,  Sanogo

Have at it with your own choices, of course, though, in my opinion, it really doesn’t matter who plays.  Football is a team game and we, as a team, need to put our ghosts to bed.  No matter what happens, we must respond.  Referee Phil Dowd brings a measure of experience to the proceedings and generally is unmoved by crowd pressure.  Still, if he blows against us, we must come back.  If he whistles for us (and we’re able to take advantage), we must not become complacent.  If their Pole in goal makes saves, we must continue to test him until he cannot.  If ours makes a pig’s ear of things, the outfielders must pick him up and do what they can.  And on and on… (Isn’t a pig’s ear something an East-ender would cry into?…) That’s what we (as Gooners) really need to avoid… more tears.

Go on then…

Written by: 17HighburyTerrace

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147 Responses to No Jack, Santi/Nacho/Ramsey to start, Alexis in hole? Swansea Preview & Line-up

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Sexy, succinct, surprisingly swishy, seriously sporty and sensationally sleek spreview, Seventeenho. 🙂

    Love it, and very clever with the alliteration theme throughout the post. If Jack is fit, I reckon he will play, which would mean Ox or Santi to warm the bench. Wenger might also rest Ramsey, but only if he is not fully fit. But I reckon your line up will be very close to Wenger’s.

    I go with your predicted back four and DM-pivot, play Jack in the hole and Santi/Ox and Sanchez on the wings with the Well leading the line. More tomorrow. 🙂

  2. KimZ says:

    Jack will 100% start and thinking others is a bit silly. Ramsey could be dropped. Front four remain the same, 30mins for Walcott in the second half and if we’re winning well Wenger may finally give Alexis a 20minute break and let Ramsey play in the whole at the end.

    Ramsey has been our worst midfielder all season. his incessant flicks and back heels are embarrassing and he needs to pull out his finger and stop believing the hype. He’s not Ronaldo, will never be Ronaldo.

  3. steve says:

    Great post 17HT, “won” in brackets made me chuckle 🙂
    That is definitely the line up mate no doubt about it, that was the team that let a 3 nil lead slip at home and knowing Wenger he will see no reason at all for changing it unfortunately.

    Ramsey – because no matter how unfit, undisciplined and off form he looks he plays the 90
    Cazorla – because no matter how ineffective he is he plays the 90
    Chambers not Bellerin at RB – because we have all seen how much he loves quick wingers like Routledge and Montero
    Flamini not Chambers as DM – because why would we need pace, height and stamina in there?
    OX on the right not the left – because if there’s one thing we hate atm its cutting in and scoring

    My preferred line up:


    Subs: Martinez, Flamini, Ramsey, Rosicky, Cazorla, Walcott, Podolski

    My predicted line up:
    17HT’s pictured above (maybe the boss may play Jack instead of Ramsey)

    again great post 17HT i just wish it wasn’t so bloody accurate lol

  4. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    Nice post sweet 17ht.. hehehe..

    Eventhough Ramsey play a bad game against Anderlech.. I don’t think Wenger will warm him on the bench.. Wenger is so forgiveness man.. And he already told Ramsey what should he do.. so he will play him to watch closely what is wrong with his second most realible guy.. (Ozil first.. hehehe..)
    And I hope.. Ramsey find his way back to the top.. Swansea’s games usually mean great for him.. hahaha..

    Playing Sanchez for Ozil’s rule.. quite intetesting.. why not..
    With all we saw in Sanchez.. he surely can do that role..
    But I still saw a little bit lack of passing and crossing..
    Maybe he will be better in second striker position.. so we can play our own victory-formula back again in 4-4-2 formation..

    So the team will remain the same as 17ht team.. but not in 4-2-3-1 formation but 4-4-2.. And we.. maybe I.. hehe.. can believe that we can win again (and again) ..

  5. henrychan says:

    Wait.. I forgot to mention my favourite player.. Walcott.. Bring him back to first team.. after full of rest will mean a lot for us.. maybe Wenger just love him too much to not make a quick comeback after 10 months injured..
    But maybe I think Wenger just don’t want Walcott play for England in International break.. as we all known very well.. what will happened after that.. hahaha..

  6. D-Money says:

    HT, to reference the previous thread, that XI is “doing the exact same thing and expectibg a different result”. Not sure if it’s what you’d prefer or what you think Wenger is more likely to go for. Either way, as long as Per and Santi start despite being shit all season, then I expect a nervy game where we concede our stock goal (chipped/floated cross to Bony who Per-Nacho have left unmarked and has stolen a run j them) from their only noteworthy shot on target and thereafter struggle to break down their defence due to lack of width that could easily be provided by players on the bench like Theo and/or Campbell.
    DM Preferred XI:
    Bellerin-Chambo-Nacho-Gibbs (Per is costing us ATM)
    Ramsey-Jack (Flamini offers nothing anyway)
    Theo – Alexis – Ox (Rosicky or Campbell wouldn’t bother me either)
    D-Money (YaYa/Poldi to get 20 min)

  7. D-Money says:

    Not to be all doomy and gloomy but I honestly will be surprised if we don’t concede a goal via a Routledge/Dyer/Montero cross to Bony. It exposes Chambers’ lack of pace outwide and our lack of hight (Per’s hight is proving useless ATM) and presence at CB. Hull, Anderlecht twice. Swansea next?

  8. Gerry says:

    Great stuff HT – I think your 11 may only be ruined by JW’s state of health?

    JM – I love the ‘Pep’ talk. Obviously not on AW’s reading list though?

    I do fear Bony v Monreal in a heading contest. Steve’s point on Routledge is another. However, following the ‘Pep’ line that the best players are the ones who keep the ball. So if players stick to there roles, we may once again be able to score more than once. Bear with me while I run through that line up.
    Szcz – From ball in hand, rarely gives the ball away. Much criticised for ‘safe’ play
    CC21 – A bit of a risk higher up the pitch, but in the defensive 3rd usually safe enough.
    Mert – Consistently our best defender, despite two recent errors.
    Gibbs – Injury apart, top class going forward and getting back.
    Flamini – When not panicking he usually plays it short and safe. Less certain when alone and needs to make the right decision.
    Ramsey – Not at his best, either physically or mentally last time. Gone back to the worst days after his big injury by being guilty of; trying too hard, being too clever at the wrong time, and not seeing his role in the team as a whole. The good news is, having come through that bad experience once, he will be aware of the need to get back to basics. Secondly, AW will have told him in no uncertain terms of what he and the team expect. If he listens, fine.
    Ox – He needs to pace himself better. When he makes his runs and play moves to the far side, he should take time out occasionally to regroup. I think he got caught up in the whole ‘match Alexis’ thing of run, then run some more. He will likely start on the right as a way of keeping them from doubling up on Calum? Switching wings is fine, if Alexis moves from centre-left to centre-right.. If he loses the ball it will generally be high up, so time to regroup.
    Alexis – Major threat, likely to be a target for serial fouling. Dowd (the ref) likes skillful players, does not like moaners. He will lose the ball a lot because they will identify him as a threat. But if he gets away then they are in trouble. He will drop deep to win the ball back. If lessons have been learnt, and we have got a goal or two in front, either leave him up top for the last twenty minutes, or take him off. He is can get exhausted too, he is human.
    Santi – I am guessing that the line up in the graphic will not be quite the same as in play. I see Santi having the creative ’10’ role behind the front three in attack – 1-3, and he will drift here and there looking for openings. In a game of fewer chances I can see him scoring. He will not remain on the left side, which means movement from Welbeck and Ox will have opportunities to link up on that side.
    Welbeck is another due a goal. I just wish he would move towards a pass more. Often he gets caught out by somebody stepping in front of him? However his work rate is exceptional, and between the front 4, I can see us get at least two goals from their interchange and movement?

    That I would say, if they play their roles correctly, are our best players available. The other contenders are likely to lose the ball more often?

    Steve – Your bench is lighter on defence than it was on Tuesday? If Ajayi is fit, if not O’Connor or some other from the under 19’s has to be in there. Pressure late on will be intense, and an extra body who can defend will be needed, especially as Dowd will issue yellow cards early. Any of our defenders could see a red one, and that is when one of the above will be essential?

    Keep the faith …
    p.s. I now have a ‘lucky’ bobble hat as well as my ‘lucky scarf’. Both will be worn tomorrow.

  9. D-Money says:

    What’s this I hear about Koscielny being out for 4 more weeks with an achilles injury? Its almost like the football Gods are punishing us/AW for not signing a CB.

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    The pieces on a chess board are always the same; it’s what we do with them that makes la difference.

    Have a nice day and come on the Pool! 🙂

  11. Drzj says:

    Rosicky is the player we all are overlooking and what he as done for this club he adds something to this team that is missing this season he keeps the game flowing knows exactly when to slow it down and then pick it up. he needs to be the one playing more. not jack, not ox

  12. Gerry says:

    Prince and Rocky — UMF’s please. And Alex if you are still in the running?

  13. Gerry says:

    D-M – I did see something along the lines that this will not cure without surgery. Dicing with a player’s career here?
    I am guessing they are hoping to squeeze a few games out of him before January, then he will be out for the rest of the season. But hopefully a replacement will be in situ this time???

  14. James Bond says:

    nice one @ Me Amigo, was looking forward to your post and it did not disappoint .

    you have selected the best possible team based on merit and fitness ? however, I don’t think we really need Flamini for this one and can use JW instead , if we play a proper 4-4-2 with the likes of Ramsey and JW in that shield of 2 .

    I don’t know about the majority here, but I do feel that the likes of Rosicky and Joel could be playing more of a role ?

    the chelsea vs liverpool game before was an interesting one to watch . Liverpool need a miracle finishing top 6, let alone have any hopes of a top 4 .

    the saints continue to impress and march forward .

  15. James Bond says:

    Charlie Austin should have had 2 goals but only 1 stands

    QPR winning 1 -0 against city 😯

  16. James Bond says:

    those bloke in goal for man city, Joe Hart isn’t a bad keeper, ehhh ?

    the future of English football is in safe hands with the likes of him in goal .

  17. D-Money says:

    LvG openly admitting Man U’s aim for season is top 4. The Scenes that would ensue if Arsene did the same. Media would slaughter him.
    I personally would find it refreshingly honest.

  18. James Bond says:

    he’s not the only manager stating the obvious @ D

    many before him have said the same but the trouble with that statement is that all them managers before hadn’t spent £150 million : )

    re- Arsene doing the same, well, he’s not spent £150 million in the last 5 years combined, let alone in one transfer window, no ?

  19. D-Money says:

    Demichelis OG. 78min. 2-1 QPR

  20. James Bond says:

    2-2 – Kun Aguero .

  21. D-Money says:

    Can we just give the title to Chelsea already and get it over with?

  22. James Bond says:

    they won’t win it .

    so why should we be giving it to them ?

    27 more games to go , sigh .

  23. AB says:

    Evening BKers. Love the post 17, and all your efforts of late on the site more generally.

    Its been a tough week and, whilst the nerves are jangling for tomorrow, there has been a bit of ‘sport’ to enjoy today. Citeh still can’t perform, with a bunch of mercenaries who can be surprised. Mixed feelings about the pool game – sadly I conclude Chelski will win the season at a canter, so I might as well enjoy pool getting stuffed and the cock Rodgers having some pressure on him. Manure can hardly take great pleasure in scraping through at home against Palace – though we’ve been there too, for our sins. For tomorrow I think TA nailed the team last night – if he’s fit Jack will play, which means (for my money) Ox drops to the bench, with Jack in the hole, Alexis and Santi on the flanks and the rest the same from 17’s original selection. We need a reaction, and a determined and disciplined performance; if we get that we will be OK, if not, anything is possible. As ever, I prefer to hope for and expect the former rather than predict the latter (whilst hoping for a pleasant surprise). We each deal with our hopes and fears differently, lets just hope we come together after a good day.

    The season is still early, our squad is forming and key players coming back from injury. There will be some good periods ahead for us this year for sure; lets hope they start tomorrow. COYG!!!!!

  24. James Bond says:

    I wouldn’t drop OX to the bench, considering he scored a goal and has been getting back to his best .

    we need to keep playing him as he goes away with England and will not get full games as such and with any wingers, they need confidence and minutes

    good to see you @ AB

    other than that all agreed .

    if we must drop someone to accommodate JW then it needs to be Santiago not OX .

  25. AB says:

    Evening JB. Yes I understand the argument, and I’m 50 50 around it as I rate both the Ox and Santi – and the latter has not hit his stride yet. But I reckon Wenger tends to go with a blend of experience and youth, and if you have Jack, Rambo, Alexis and Welbs, then the temptation to play Santi rather than Ox will I suspect prevail. I don’t know what the deal is with Rosicky this season though – I don’t understand why we are not using him more given our misfiring mystros.

  26. James Bond says:

    Good Evening AB,

    your argument has merit and substance , so yes, am swaying towards that notion – however , I won’t be a happy bunny, ha

    am in the same boat as you re- Rosicky .

  27. Hey fellas…Only getting around to this late in the day here…Sorry… I’m glad a few people enjoyed the preview…Always nice to have Henry and AB drop in, amongst others… Hopefully we can get a few more enthused, you know, if the team somehow gets on a bit of a roll…

    The line-up I submitted reflects a feeling that Wenger will want two things: as much solidity at the back as possible–as in the previous two league matches–and a chance to pump up the confidence of those who need it. I also think there’s quite a large chance I’ve got it wrong and we’ll see both Theo and Jack from the opening whistle. Who sits would then be the question…(I’m with AB, that it could easily be the Ox and maybe Flamini…)

    Frankly, I think our best bet, given the players available, is to try and create terror with pace and power from the front. Walcott, Welbeck and Alexis would be the spear-head for this approach but they need interceptions and quick and clever balls from the likes of Santi, Jack, Rambo and/or the Ox. We also need to help protect the defenders and stop any shots and balls in at the point of origin…sort of the exact opposite from the end of the CL match…

    One thing which bothers me are the various ideas that we need to sit our most experienced and technically sound players (see a couple of them up in my avatar picture) in favor of the young and untested… IMO the idea that “it can’t get any worse,” just doesn’t seem right. Of course, it can (get worse)… To each their own, I guess… and there must be a sense of comfort in the more far out and untestable ideas–if they’re never tried, they can’t be wrong, or something. For me, I just don’t get it. But, on the other hand, I’m loathe to say people shouldn’t believe what they believe and say what they want to say…

    Regardless, this one seems a big test and, as others have pointed out, all the other big clubs (except the Chavs, maybe…) have frailties just as we do… Fingers crossed and all that… Back for more tomorrow…

  28. steve says:

    Right lads i better put this in here before the match tomorrow (which would skew the data), it is now completely at the half way point since the premiere league started this season (including cup comps) between matches with Ozil in the team and without him (7 a piece).
    Since his greatest asset (pretty much only asset) is creating goal opportunities i decided to see how we have fared with and without him on the goals scored front and conclude how much we have missed the £40 mil maestro:


    With Ozil
    2 1 1 2 3 1 4
    Total: 14

    Without Ozil
    2 1 2 2 2 3 3
    Total: 15

    Conclusion – Not much, you really don’t want me to adjust for how many of those goals scored with him in the team were actually assisted by him because that’s even worse reading for the poor guy.
    Long live Sanchez in the middle!!
    Give Cazorla a rest and put either Theo or Campbell in his place and watch those scores continue to rise:
    Walcott——Sanchez——-The OX
    He would have a hard time getting back in the team right now if it was me 🙂

    nothing to do with the match so sorry about that but pretty much the only time i had left to do it so just ignore and carry on with the Swansea build up.


  29. steve says:

    sorry its not 7 a piece actually, i left the games with no goals scored out of the count (very late and very drunk here). Tomorrows game will make it half and half (9 a piece not including the community shield) 🙂
    The goals scored is still a correct stat so far though:

    With Ozil (9 games)
    d w d d l w d w l
    3 wins
    4 draws
    2 losses
    Goals: 2 1 1 2 0 3 1 4 0
    Total goals: 14

    Without Ozil (8 games)
    w d l d w w w d
    4 wins
    3 draws
    1 loss
    Goals: 2 0 1 2 2 2 3 3
    Total goals: 15

    Conclusion: still the same now reinforced even more so 🙂

    Right i’m passing out, night all

  30. Gerry says:

    Errr umm …. Can I just point out Stev – hic – eee, that in those early games, Ozil came in with no pre-season stuff to get to know the 5 new signings, the team was struggling to find any sort of platform to build on, and trying to get to grips with the ‘new’ formation idea thrust upon them. Now whilst dropping an injured player after every other game is about the same for both, although clearly the key players like Debuchy and Giro happened early on, you are also ignoring the fact that Alexis was not being played in his most constructive position, which, when he was, as in the last 3 games account for nearly half the goals scored?

    Dangerous can of worms to open? Now let me see, if we look at how well the team has done with Jack on the pitch, and Jack off the pitch this season? ….. Shall I continue?

    These supposedly like for like things are always flawed from the outset, because NOTHING is ever like for like. Anderlecht 2014 are a perfect example. Whatever their club’s previous record in CL matches was, the current team are superior, despite being a work in progress.

    HT – I am with you 100% on your team reasoning. I am all for giving the younger players game time, but you have to pick the games and circumstances for them to do well.
    This is not a game to be messed with!

    The last thing we need is picking up the pieces late on because some naivety has left us on zero points with 20 minutes to go. Mind that naivety can bee seen by senior players too?
    Which is why I chuckle at this JB sentence:
    ‘I don’t think we really need Flamini for this one and can use JW instead , if we play a proper 4-4-2 with the likes of Ramsey and JW in that shield of 2 .’

    In the words of J McEnroe ‘ You cannot be serious!’

    We are away from home, against a side full of confidence, and known to like to get ‘stuck in’ with a ref who will not be impressed by ‘cow-eyed’ looks sitting in the mud expecting a whistle from every ‘robust’ challenge …. and you want us to switch to a full blown attacking formation with a pair of DM’s, neither of whom like to stay in position?
    John M, say it again ‘You cannot be (expletive deleted) serious!’

    Sorry, not a game to be messed with. I want a solid 1-6-4-0 formation, with the 4 to attack with speed, and occasional support from Gibbs or Chambers. No high line pressing with our fleet-footed captain (and CB) getting anywhere near the half way line,let alone over it!
    Keep the back line around the 35-40 yard mark, making a reasonable area for Szcz to ‘sweep’, but don’t give them any space to work in. That way, Alexis and co should be able to create a goal or two, and we can weather any storm they might throw at us.

    I see mixed messages about Walcott starting from AW. On the one hand he is saying it will be a couple of months before he is back to his best, and for England team to be careful, and then saying ‘he is ready for a start’ prior to this game? I would rather he come on the hour mark, or even half-time if necessary, but at least wait until we have worn them down a bit. They may get away with a few cynical tackles early on, but not when the yellows have been flashed?
    Similar thought regarding JW. If his knee is suspect you can guarantee one of their defenders will test it out? Less likely if already on a yellow trying to slow Alexis down.
    That is another point not lost on Gary Monk, is that Alexis will be heavily marked from the off. This should give more freedom for Santi and the Ox when they get central, so I am expecting one or other to have scoring chances. Welbeck too, should get some joy from the ref, providing he does not go looking for the foul.

    I have this theory about Phil Dowd, and it is this: He is a chatty ref, and likes to talk to the players. He wants to be ‘seen’ as popular, and that applies to both sets of fans – although his record with Swansea is not great, so he might struggle with that? – Therefore the last thing he wants to be seen as doing is being conned by diving, pleading, or over-exaggeration of any impact. He will book, and book early any cynical challenge that prevents a side getting an advantage – the ‘professional foul’ – because basically he likes good football, and good goals.
    CC21 please note!
    Same goes for cynical ‘crude’ challenges, okay with hard but fair ones.
    Flamini please note!
    So if we feel we have been harshly treated by decisions today, I suggest we need to look a little less biased, and a little closer at the supposed victim. Not that he is beyond making mistakes.
    Refs are human.

    Keep the faith …

  31. D-Money says:

    A Few Wenger Quotes Causing A Stir On Twitter
    Wenger answers claims from several pundits that Arsenal are tactically clueless: “Honestly, it does not matter to me””
    “These debates that I hear [about lack of tactics] are a joke, a farce. [It’s from] people who have managed zero games” – Wenger”
    Asked about why he was playing attacking football at 3-2 up in last minutes: “Why should you stop playing one of the aspects of the game?”
    The criticism? Honestly, if I ­really cared, do you think I would have survived 18 years?” – Wenger
    “My job is to give a player a job to do and trust them to do it. If you cannot do that, you cannot be a manager” – Wenger”

    A few stand out for me. 1stly, maybe you should buy players who can do the jobs you assign them, because if you think Arteta-Flamini-Per are currenlty doing the jobs you assign them, your trust is misplaced.
    2ndly, the notion that pundits and fans do not know shit is arrogant and insulting and extremely presumptious.
    As for attacking at 3-2, because its one of the aspects of the game, well that’s just naïve and amateur.

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    D-Money, all his answer make total sense. What do you expect him to say when asked stupid questions?

  33. steve says:

    hahaha Gerry thats exactly why i did that stat lol
    “Dangerous can of worms to open? Now let me see, if we look at how well the team has done with Jack on the pitch, and Jack off the pitch this season? ….. Shall I continue?”
    I keep getting stats thrown at me from other people that never take into account real world circumstances and have been manipulated to support an agenda (including the one you pointed out) but still quoted as some kind of definitive proof of some point or another.
    I see most stats as utter bullshit INCLUDING MINE ABOVE i just wanted to make a point at how ridiculous they are by giving one that obviously supports my agenda and will hopefully stop others from using them so frivolously.

    btw no hangover! best result of the day so far! now lets have another – COYG!!!!

  34. JM says:


    The “Pep” article again, since the previous post went MIA.
    (from ‘Pep Confidential: The Inside Story of Pep Guardiola’s First Season at Bayern Munich’)


    {“I can take us so far,” he told them(his players). “I can analyse our opponents and use my tactical know-how to place you in the best positions. So, for example, today David [Alaba], I don’t want you going too far up the pitch because Stuttgart’s right wing [Martin Harnik] could do us some damage. But from here on in lads, it’s down to you. If you choose not to play with intensity, if you decide you’re not going to run your legs off out there, well, we won’t win the match.”}

    {In October 2012 in New York he had chatted with Garry Kasparov about how to attack the adversary in chess and other sports, and Kasparov had told him: “You wouldn’t attack in the same way from a mountain top as you would from wide open countryside.”

    He had also dined in New York at the end of 2012 with Ferran Adrià, the gastronomic genius who was about to close his restaurant El Bulli. The chef told him: “Pep, you’re more than a coach, you’re a great innovator.”

    The coach had responded: “Look Ferran, all I do is look at the footage of our opponents and then try to work out how to demolish them (in actual fact he used a rather more prosaic and somewhat obscene term). All I do is study my arsenal of weapons and pick the ones I need for each occasion.”}

    {Guardiola remembers every move: how it developed, what happened, which players got involved and what the consequences were. On the other hand, he pays no attention to stats.

    “You didn’t have nearly as much possession – only 63%,” I say to him.
    “Yeah, really? Wow.
    “But [Tom] Starke had more touches on the ball than any one of the Hoffenheim players!”
    “Wow. No way. That’s really good.”

    Statistics don’t turn him on. What gets him passionate is the play itself and his post-match analysis of it.

    “Have you seen how smart Philipp [Lahm] is? How the guy turns and protects possession and also splits the opposition?”

    Or: “I’ll have to speak to Kroos because against [Manchester] United he definitely won’t be able to try that move where he controls and turns to the right, because they’ll anticipate, rob him and start a counterattack.”

    He calls Planchart over to the table: “Carles, tomorrow morning get me a video of the 36th minute – the thing you mentioned to me. I want to show the centre-half how better to position himself.”}

    {One night I’m accompanied by Patricia González, the very young coach of the Azerbaijan Under-19 women’s team. During the dinner Pep gazes at her and says: “Patricia, I’ll give you some advice: always pick the good ones. Always!”

    The young coach then asks him a really good question. “Pep, who are the good ones? Is it the most famous players?”

    “No. The really good players are the ones who never lose the ball. Those who know how to pass it and who never lose it. They are the good ones. And that’s who you must always use, even if they are lower profile than the rest.”}


    For myself, I have no preference as to how and who we shall line up. All I am looking for is a good performance from our “good ones” …. to demoralise and demolish all opposition on the pitch, one way or another.

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    I think Pep is a good if not great manager… But he has always worked with an overdoses of ‘good ones’ and with insatiable budgets. I rather listen to Wenger any day. Let Giardiola manage a team like Arsenal or Everton or Sevilla or Gladbach and show us really what he is capable of.

  36. James Bond says:

    that is a nip tuck job by the media re- AW slating the so called pundits ?

    I watched the entire press conference where he was asked that and his reply was this word by word , if memory serves

    ” if we started defending at 3-0 and the score was 3-3″ then everyone says, why you stopped playing ?

    “when we continue playing like we normally do and end up 3-3 then everyone says, why you did not defend ?

    we can improve on the 2nd goal and the 3rd goal, that’s our fault but someone at UEFA explain to me how they can give the first goal which is 1 or 2 yards off side, with the ref stood right behind it is absolutely laughable or words to that effect and then he said that people in GENEVA tell me they are doing a great job and that they should get them a seat and a good book to read .

    I can understand that we sometimes rightfully do criticize or point the finger @ AW but this time, I am not going to do that, he’s right .

  37. James Bond says:

    with skipper on this one – much prefer having Klopp instead of Pep .

    and Gerry, if you notice I did say in my comment to AB that I much prefer dropping Santiago for JW – which means Flamini stays 🙂

  38. Up early this morning and in the equivalent of a “cold sweat” about our match. I just wonder about both the individual quality of the players and the collective fragility. On the plus side, I think playing away from our home stadium may be an advantage. I wish I was a little more optimistic but I’m not. My biggest hope is that somehow Swansea will be a little “too eager,” or even over-confident about playing us… Worst of all, this is a big game from a psychological perspective because United (and Dortmund) will be coming our way (after the next round of internationals) with “nothing to lose” attitudes…

    On the other hand, it’s football, so we could always get lucky and sneak a win away in Wales. If some elements of the performance indicated a bit of promise and then maybe got built upon during the Int’ls (I’m eyeballing you, Theo and Jack),,, all the better… I dunno, that feels a bit like hoping that all the planets line up… 😦

    Not much talk here on the BK. Gerry and I do a lot of similar thinking (except about youth defenders on the bench… 🙂 ) and Steve’s stats (and Pep’s thoughts about the same) are amusing. (What we’re you quaffing last night, F11ngers?…) They are a limited tool, at best, I think, but they tend to keep people occupied so that can’t be all bad. Polemic media criticism (and reactions to it…) serve a similar purpose, so it’s good that D-Money is getting his Wenger Out narrative happening ahead of the match itself. As I’ve said, I don’t mean to censor anybody even if I think the best part of the Goonersphere might be in working to support one another through our addiction. Letting the “hit for pay” (i.e., the ad supported media outlets) rile and divide us seems a whole lot less satisfying. (Arseblog, this morning, wrote a pretty good one which shines a light on this process…) Professionals at this level (including the manager, as his recent statements indicate) are mostly above this stuff, but I believe it would still be a lift for the club if they felt the support was actually “supporting” them. That’s just my opinion, however, and the opposite is fine as well–as long as you’re enjoying yourself, it’s all good (as we might say out here in California)…

    Anyhow, I’m gonna flip through the early matches and maybe I’ll feel better about our N. London team if I watch the other one…

    So, if anyone’s around and looking for some chat…

  39. James Bond says:

    Good Morning me Amigo –

    I’ll be around for the GDC, no worries . see you in a bit .

  40. Hey 007, looks like I just missed you… See you at game time…

  41. Bojan the Barca Boy 1—Spuds nil…. 😀

  42. Spuds getting doubly mashed now… 2 nil Stoke…Kinda fun and you can hear the players shouting at each other…

    Harry Kane’t you do it?

  43. James Bond says:

    newcastle and stoke doing rather well fair play to both the managers for changing their teams style of play

  44. James Bond says:

    so did me amigo get the team selection right 3rd time in a row ?

    we will find out in the next 5 ; )

  45. James Bond says:

    Swansea XI: Fabianski, Rangel, Bartley, Williams, Taylor, Carroll, Ki, Emnes, Sigurdsson, Montero, Bony.
    Arsenal XI: Szczesny, Chambers, Mertesacker, Monreal, Gibbs, Flamini, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Sanchez, Welbeck.

  46. James Bond says:

    and he gets it right 3 times in a row , well done @ Me Amigo

  47. Gerry says:

    Yes JB, even AW has made the right call, rather than your first call? You know, the one I was replying to?
    Nice try to slip out of it it though.. 😀

  48. James Bond says:




  49. D-Money says:

    Spot on again with the XI. I’m happy. (As happy as one can be when Flamini-Per-Nacho are in your teams starting XI)
    Campbell doesn’t make the bench again (our own Pogba story? I hope not). Bench is a bit top heavy, worryingly so in fact.
    UTA! COYG!

  50. Gerry says:

    D-Money – I think AW is just trying to bluster his way out of awkward questions. He knows he blew it with the subs?

  51. Gerry says:

    JM – I guess all have their own approach to games. Pep just seems a little more intense, err, and more successful. But as TA has pointed out, he is yet to do it on a budget?

    Still a good read though, and it looks like AW is sort of half way there with the team selection?

  52. Gerry says:

    Now now JB, this is all Ht’s doing. I only agreed with him 😀

  53. Subs: Martinez, Bellerin, Wilshere, Rosicky, Walcott, Podolski, Sanogo

    So, uh, that would be 18 for 18… 😀

    Doesn’t matter if it doesn’t get us a result…

    Kyle Bartley plays for Swansea for those who like the youth prospects… Personally, this is a move which gives me a bit of hope, but that’s just me…

  54. No Nathan Dyer either, so we don’t have to worry about having our Southampton guys getting outplayed by theirs…

    Hope is creeping in here…Please talk me down, fellas…

  55. Gerry says:

    Hey guys, cheer up. Just think the first hour against Anderlecht, with a bit more defensive cover?
    Plus, I have the hat and scarf on …

    Keep the faith..

  56. Cheers Gerry… Are you able to watch this one as it happens?

    Also, agreed that Wenger got a little teed off with the media…but also, the “logic” of defensive subs and we should’ve bought more at the back is all 20-20 hindsight (as they say)… Like pep says, good players who can hold onto the ball can work…They just didn’t on Tuesday night…

    Anyhow, fingers crossed on this one, which makes it tougher to type in my comments… 😀

  57. TotalArsenal says:

    Off to pub now. Put a fiver on 3-1 to the mighty red and white, and a few quid on Santi scoring first. Bullish moi? 😛

  58. TotalArsenal says:

    Well done 17 – 18/18!!

  59. James Bond says:

    3-1 to the mighty Arsenal


  60. James Bond says:

    let’s just say that Santiago is way too good to not be scoring for this long ?

  61. James Bond says:

    Ashley Williams down and out ?

  62. James Bond says:

    nah, he’s up and running .

  63. Slow start here…Swans content to let us have the ball…as long as we do nothing with it…

    Ox failing with the basics…C’mon boys…

  64. Tiny wall tempts Siggy to take the shot…Chambers clears…Dicey from the corner, too, but offsides…

  65. James Bond says:

    Sczny has decided to give us all a heart attack early on , he normally waits until the 2nd half for these ones .

  66. Sir Chez and CC with a mix up in communication…dealt with by the big kid (Chambers)…

  67. James Bond says:

    that was a penalty for the Swans – chambers gets lucky and so do Arsenal IMO

  68. Yeah, I figured you’d enjoy that one, James…

    Montero giving Chambers fits and our boy might’ve plowed Bony a little there…For such a strong fellow he went down easy… Lucky, lucky there…

  69. James Bond says:

    Swansea are all over ARsenal At the moment, not making for pleasant viewing .

  70. James Bond says:

    indeed @ Me amigo

    we have had to be resolute so far, but it can all change pretty quickly with OX and Sanchez finding the right passes and if we can find Ramsey in Wales somewhere ?

  71. James Bond says:

    not liking Ramsey’s body language ?

  72. We’re luring them into a false sense of something, or something…

    Rambo shot nearly claims Bartley’s(?) head…Chambers aggro from the corner…Have the scouts decided that’s a weakness in their keeper?… 😉

  73. Agreed 007, Ox not picking the right final ball so far tonight…

  74. Strong there, however…Wins a corner…Santi tiene un lesion? (hurt?)

  75. James Bond says:

    is it me or the OX hasn’t developed or improved his crossing ? chambers crosses are better than the OX for me .

  76. I don’t mean to keep getting down on the Ox, but I’m looking forward to Theo taking right footed corners…

    Ramsey with a truly ugly one into touch…

  77. Admir says:

    007, did you enjoy in Szczesny’s response to your comment? 😀

  78. Bony and Siggy look full of confidence (Montero too)…

    Ox can bend a mean ball but maybe gets a little nervy as he hits them…

    Solid save Sir Chez…

    Swansea the better team tonight, I fear…Gonna need (more) luck to get a result… 😦

    First yellow goes to them, however… Dowd might be the key man (for us)… Ramsey prayer unanswered and might be pressing for a goal against his Welsh rivals…

  79. James Bond says:

    are players are being too causal and not doing the basics right .

  80. Whoa Rambo…Telling Chambers to put his head in in order to protect his own hairstyle after a shit header himself?… Everybody OK…

  81. Admir says:

    If we keep 0:0 until the 60th minute, we’ll kill the game off with a goal from Alexis and one from Walcott (yes, Theo).

    Chamberlain has earned two yellow cards from the opponents already. Perhaps we should target Taylor until the end of the game.

  82. James Bond says:

    what a chance missed by welz, arghhhhh

  83. 2nd yellow…good ball protection with the first touch from Ox…

    To me it’s basics…Nobody (except Rambo on the previous comment, maybe…) playing like a kitty cat…

    Also, we cannot keep the ball long enough to bring Alexis into the play…Missing the likes of an Ozil (or a Cesc or a Jacky)…

    That was better but Fabs up to it…

  84. Admir says:

    F..k! That should have been Welbeck’s goal!

    (With all due respect to his hard-work, he has missed a lot of sitters since joining us, hasn’t he?)

  85. Better again…Santi keeps Alexis givaway in…Chambers with a good cross but cleared and a Rambo volley close…

    Careful boys…Ramsey gets yellow but breaks up their move…

  86. Admir says:

    Wilshere and Rosicky for Ramsey and Cazorla? Just an idea.

  87. Wilshere and Theo, I say… Santi doing fine (for me) but I know that’s unpopular… Final sub could be either Lu-lu or Sicky, depending on scoreline…

    All told a very even match to this point. We *should* have the stronger bench… Dowd’s as good a bet (for us) as anybody else, I fear…

  88. James Bond says:

    he’s still scored more goals than Falcao, Van Pu$$Y and Rooney combined @ Admir .

  89. Retsub says:

    Rambo is just fine tuning his sat nav. His shooting is getting better and let’s be honest he’s one of the few who is prepared to shoot.
    At the moment we are very reliant on the Ox and with two booked Swansea need to be careful

    Theo for Santi for the last 39 minutes

  90. D-Money says:

    HT Summary: Chambers getting skinned by Montero (as many of us here predicted and hence the Bellern suggestions). Ox started poor, but is now skinning Taylor who is worried and on a yellow. (Expect Monk to take him off) Santi and Alexis have been on periphery of game. Flamini doing a job on Siggurdsson. Welebeck should be more clinical.

  91. Admir says:

    Damn, Fabianski looks motivated to prevent us from winning this one.

    If we don’t make anything stupid, we should still win this one.

  92. James Bond says:

    wo0000000000000000t wo00000000000000000000000000000000000000000t

  93. On the break, in the rain…Whattaball from Santi, great pull-back from DW…


    But now we have to defend a lead… 😯

  94. A little Bellerin help on Montero is a thought, no?…

    Bony with a poor finish there…

  95. Retsub says:

    Get Chambers some help PDQ

  96. On the goal…Ox should get plenty of credit for his pre-pre-assist… Chambers on a yellow? If so, the quicker kid might be my choice…

    Another awesome ball from Alexis wins a corner…

    Chambers hurt?…

  97. Retsub says:

    Anyone not booked yet?

  98. Are you Stoke City (Rory Delap)?…

  99. James Bond says:


  100. OK now we need subs… Sorry 007, Martinez (Fabianski, or any of your faves…) aren’t getting that one…

  101. James Bond says:

    1-1 THANK YOU AW .

  102. Perfect distance, perfect execution…Wow… 1-1

  103. James Bond says:

    no, now we need a miracle as usual AW being reactive instead of being proactive, how has he managed over 1000 games and being able to get away with it ?

    this is pathetic .

  104. 2-1…So’ton boys cannot stop Montero… Dark days ahead…

  105. James Bond says:

    make that 2-1 to Swansea .

    Sczny, oh I feel sorry for you – maybe he is is the one AW needs to get a good book and seat too, glued to his line, watching it go in without any sense of anticipation

    start the engine time ?

  106. Admir says:

    At least we’ll have Wenger for two and half years more.

  107. Rambo jump could be measured with a very short ruler…

    It was a lovely dream while it lasted…

  108. James Bond says:

    surprise surprise – Ramsey off and Theo on .

    who wants to laugh or cry ? 10 minutes too late , regardless of the result .

  109. Retsub says:

    12 minutes to go and we finally make some changes.

    It’s so bloody obvious that Chambers was getting skinned. What’s going on?

  110. D-Money says:

    My HT observation costs us. Wenger hung Chambers to dry. On a yellow, clearly being skinned all day, should have been taken off. Ofcourse we only make subs after going behind.
    If you scroll up, you will see I predicted Swansea will score from a chipped/floated cross via Montero-Dyer-Routledge exposing Chambers pace. Can’t think Wenger didn’t see it and plan to counter it…

  111. There’s the Theo I remember…

    You guys have fun… I’m just bitter I let the hope creep in… 🙂

    Yaya = final throw of the dice…


  112. Admir says:

    Now when I think about it, I don’t blame Arsene at all. It’s down to the people who don’t ask questions when the manager doesn’t have a plan.

    Unless being 12 points behind Big Mouthinho after just eleven matches and the summer of the biggest spending in Arsenal history wasn’t his plan at the first place.

    I feel sorry for Alexis. His talent is wasted on the worst defensive line-up we have had since I watch Arsenal. Almunia, Eboue, Silvestre, Djourou, Clichy and Denilson wouldn’t have allowed so many goals.

  113. James Bond says:

    I’m sorry my Amigo, but it’s the same old same old, isn’t it ?

    there is only so much so the players can do if the manager fails to give them a helping hand when they most need it ?

    I feel sorry for the players .

    we deserved to win that game , yet we come out as comfortable losers and easily 3 points dropped .

    everyone could see that we needed JW, Bellerin on as well as Theo after going 1-0 up .

    Ramsey and Chambers were running on empty .

    that’s us out of the title race unless we can go on a run of 10 games without losing or drawing, hello finishing top 4 .

  114. Retsub says:

    I have always been a huge fan of Arsene Wenger. The guy has given me a huge amount of pleasure over the years and he has more knowledge in his little finger than I have in total. But lately he is in danger of losing it.

    It was blatantly obvious that Chambers couldn’t cope with Montero. He could have done a number of things to counter it, but I didn’t see anything.

    It was similar in midweek when the Anderlecht sub was throwing his weight around. We did nothing to counter it.

    Finally was that really a 10 yellow card game? I think not

  115. Simba Murerwa says:

    I blame Wenger for our current position. I keep on asking myself:
    1. Why did send Jenkinson on loan who is our second best right back after Debuchy?
    2. Why does he keep playing Chambers at right back when we keep on losing games because the boy is not performing in that position?
    3. Is Coquelin that bad he can’t compete with the faded Arteta and Flamini?
    4. If Flamini failed for five years to play at Milan and no one took him for free are we serious about winning the league by relying on such players?
    5. Is Per good enough to carry us through to the title?

  116. Last word from me, then I will use sunshine therapy… We can question the manager all we want when things go badly, but, to me, we didn’t seem a lot better once the subs were made. The threat of Walcott seems a good thing so giving him more minutes (if he was up for it) would’ve been a shout. I would’ve subbed the Ox for Bellerin once we got the goal but that’s a bit out of left field after he (the Ox) had led the break for the goal… Wilshere seemed a mess out there (does petulance with the ref ever pay off?…) but it was a tough situation with the rain and the scoreline…

    Like others (Man City, Liverpool) we are in a (very) bad moment with injuries and collective confidence. As such, the result doesn’t surprise me and I still think our problems are structural but I can certainly sympathize with those who would like to see another figurehead trying out different ideas… Blaming fellow Gooners seems a misplaced notion, but (in a calmer moment) I might be open to it…

    For now, I think I’ll go chop some firewood…

    All told, maybe the best thing is that we don’t have any matches for a couple of weeks… 😦

  117. macko says:

    hello, the match and Wenger it twice in a week than did the same errors, why wait until the 81st minute to make our change when we see Ramsey there have not Jack and Theo would have given immediately after our goal another boost to our team mercato bad coaching and bad recurring costs a very expensive team must recruit at all costs of defense, even the goalkeeper become increasingly naive lacks the concurrency
    finally matches and are very similar, that disappointment Good game but too Chamberlain lost the first ball control and often bad and choices are not very wise, Mertesacker and Gibbs and crying really bad and it brings nothing offensively with Ramsey exhausted = lost match
    Hopefully the return of the wounded after the truce if MU will eat us ….
    But we believe go gunners !!!

  118. James Bond says:

    you have to be having a laugh by writing such things :

    ” we didn’t seem a lot better once the subs were made”

    I’m speechless, hello ? are you just defending the manager for the sake of it or were we watching a different game to you @ 17HT ?

    let’s keep it simple and let’s keep it real – the subs should have been made to be more incisive and giving the whole team a lift and a fresh pair of runners to protect and extend the lead not to chase the game in the final 7 or 10 .

    waking up and smelling the coffee time for me I reckon !

  119. James Bond says:

    that is correct @ Macko

    now that’s a very fair assessment – well done.

  120. D-Money says:

    Wenger’s response to criticism from Paul Merson and other journos who said he was tactically clueless after Anderlect was that they hadn’t managed a single football match. Well, neither have I, and I said after Anderlecht scored a similar goal (see Hull and 1st Anderlecht game for more references) that Swansea would score one via a Dyer/Montero/Routledge chipped/floated cross to Bony (turns out it was Gomis today) because they would expose Chambers lack of speed, Nacho’s lack of hight and Per’s general shitness this season. During the game t became even more obvious Montero was destroying Chambers and once he had a yellow it became difficult for him to even attempt a tackle. Chambers was offerred no protection or substituted but instead was hung out to dry and many fans will be slating him now. It doesn’t take a chef to know that food is burning…Wenger is making it very hard to defend him right now. If I read another article calling him tactically inept, am I expected to jump to his defence again out of pure loyalty? No, I’m TAYAD. 2 and a half more years, and I’ll be counting each day….

  121. steve says:

    😆 😆 😆 😆
    what a joke!!
    😆 😆 😆 😆

    two 19 yr olds to choose from at RB, one should be a CB and is tall, strong but a little slow against out and out pace down the wing. The other is a low center of gravity speed demon.
    Which one did we all suggest before the game?
    Which one does AW choose?
    What happens all game?
    Wrong choice Wenger!

    two creative, play starting midfielders to choose from, one is completely off form and the other has put in several MOTM performances so far.
    Wilshere showed more drive in midfield in the last 10 minutes than Ramsey did all game!
    Wrong choice Wenger!

    Monreal at CB against Bony or Gomis, not Chambers.
    So what happens when a ball is chipped in, the lad beats all three of our defensive minnows and scores.
    Still quite funny to see one bloke tower over Monreal, Ramsey and Flamini to score but thats not the point, it should have been avoided.
    Wrong choice Wenger!

    Just how the f*ck does this guy keep staying on the pitch all game every time??
    Its not like he had a particularly bad game but just look at the difference in drive and forward force between him and OX. maybe a Campbell, Walcott, Podolski, Rosicky sub at some point would be nice!!!

    If you are just going to wait until the last ten minutes of every game then just don’t bother Wenger you useless prick.

    OX – MOTM!!
    Started off a little off but didn’t let it get to him and went on to carry the team. One two’s in the box, drives from midfield which was the only reason we scored the goal, clever passes from midfield, skinning full backs on the goal line. The lad was immense today and was at times the only one showing some bloody danger in our forward movements.

    well another game we take the lead and then loose it
    doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result
    😆 😆 what a joke 😆 😆

  122. steve says:

    D-Money, i said the same thing as you before the match about Chambers as the RB and that he should be moved centrally.
    Its just common sense is it not????
    I hope you are as pissed off as i am with all this nonsense repeated over and over again.

  123. James Bond says:

    steve there is no need to be calling AW a P$£”k or swear at him, we are better than that .

    you can disagree with his tactics and use of players and so on, but we don’t do name calling or swear at our own .

    that’s something the likes of Chelsea, Spuds, Man utd and liverpool supporters do – leave it to them .

  124. Admir says:

    Keep calm, lads. It’s not like our next league opponents have a world-class striker who is powerful in the air (e.g. Falcao) to exploit our defensive weaknesses.

    Oh, wait…

  125. steve says:

    I would call anyone a prick that takes the piss as much as he does.
    all we want for years and years is extra CB’s and a DM – we never get it!
    all we want is some subs at a stage when there is time left to effect the game – we never get it!
    all we want is some damn common bloody sense but as my last comment shows – we never get it!

    Today JB i will be reserving the right to call the manager a prick, sorry matey you’re just going to have to deal with it 🙂

  126. James Bond says:

    oh yes, we will be losing 8-2 to Man utd @ Admir .

  127. Admir says:

    @JB – no, mate, we won’t. It’s more likely that it will end with a disappointing 4:4 draw with another brace from Alexis, a goal from Santi and one from Ramsey (Manure are shite in the defence too) that will be responded to by goals from Falcao (two headers), Di Maria and Mata.

  128. James Bond says:

    can I have this tueday’s euro million numbers as well please @ Admir

    1 to 49 = 5

    1 to 11 = 2

    thank you very much 😉

  129. Admir says:

    8, 13, 28, 31, 35

    9, 17

    You’re welcome. 🙂

  130. James Bond says:

    gracias and am sure glics the bashtard that he is, will be playing the same numbers ahahahahhahahahahahahahaha

  131. Admir says:

    P.S. I have to inform you that I’m no longer Josif at the site I’ve been a regular writer since 2012. My new nickname is Nigel Summerburn.

  132. Simba Murerwa says:

    Wenger is leeting fans down. He does not own Arsenal so his decision must be for the benefit of the club. He is failing in the transfer market which is paramount to the success of the team. We bought Ozil when we needed a DM, we sold TV5 and never replaced him. Why? Why is ge ignoring Campbell and Rosicky? Only a fool can count on Diaby. Let his coming to fitness be a bonus not a necessity. Wenger is being paid a lot if money he must account for every penny otherwise he is showing poor worksmanship in the workshop he can loose his job.

  133. Gino92 says:

    No need to get pissed off, fellas! Just another day, another opportunity missed. This is what we have become and what we should expect every single match. I have personally stopped caring whether we win, lose, or draw. Don’t get wrong, I am a huge Arsenal fan and I want us to play well and win, but we have all had to re-live the same mistakes and failures over and over for the past few years and I have made a conscientious decision that my health and my family are much more important. It is as if Arsene is doing this just hoping to have a big day so as to annoy the hell out of everyone and “big-up” all the players.

    We see any other Manager making early tactical substitution when things are not going well but what do we get? Nada! We wait until it is WAY TOO LATE to do so. What is the point anyway?
    Last season, we only had 3 CB and even our very esteemed Manager said that we were short a CB because every good team must have 4 CB. And what did we this past summer, we sold one of our only 3 CBs with no replacement. Even though some “Great Manager” said that if Vermaelen leaves, we will need to buy a new CB… I wonder whatever happened to that “Great Manager…”
    For years now, EVERYBODY has been screaming that we need to buy a good, strong, and tough-tackling DM (even if he is only in the pitch to scare the living daylights out of any “would be attacker”. And what do we get EVERY transfer window? You guessed it…
    Why have a bench full of experienced internationals and not use them properly?
    Why persists in playing struggling, out of form players, when we have kids just dying to prove themselves? They certainly can’t do worse than our so-called first-teamers, can they?

    We get annoyed and frustrated as supporters, but can any of us really imagine how FRUSTRATED it must be for a certain Alexis Sanchez? What else can a single player do? Too bad we can’t clone him 17 times and put him in every position and even on the bench. I was a huge Arsene Wenger supporter (I still am to a certain extent) but I seem to be losing faith in him every single game. He seems devoid of fresh ideas nowadays and takes out his frustration on reporters by spilling nonsense.

    So for now, I am just going to take a “chill pill” and enjoy my Arsenal play football every week, no matter the actual result. That’s what I would recommend to anyone in my situation, these days. And I am going to start counting down the days until Arsene calls it quits and moves upstairs in a different role and gives someone else a chance to manage the club. There was Arsenal before Wenger, there will be Arsenal after Wenger. I admit that I was scared shitless of change before, but not anymore because “Change is the only constant thing in life” and if we are always afraid of it, we will never fully experience life (even if it means making a huge mistake and learning from it) and we will never evolve and progress.

    Unless of course, the “stubborn great man” somehow changes my mind and wins me back… 🙂

    Until then, up the Mighty Arsenal!

  134. Admir says:

    @Gino – if you were paid 8 million pounds per year, given a free role when it comes to all decisions regarding players and the team and no pressure regarding results, would you give a rat’s ass to change your approach?

    I’ve said it many times before – Arsene’s contribution to Arsenal history and presence is second to none but his expiration date passed and nobody even bothered to check it at the first place. Now we are stuck with him for two-and-half more years.

  135. JM says:

    “The game was completely in our hands, especially in the second half when we scored,” he said. “Then we have to play serious football and not lose the ball but they got us on the break, and that’s completely unbelievable in our situation.

    “We have to play simple, even if we are 1-0 up – even more then. We played through the middle… but we need to keep possession and keep patient, something that we did all the way through until the 60th minute and we had the game in our hands completely. That’s what I mean by serious football.

    “When you get such a result [like against Anderlecht] normally you come back quickly and after such a setback normally we bounce back immediately. Today that was not the game and we have to take the break now really seriously and work hard on the issues.”

    “We have the potential and we have to extend 60 minutes [of performance] to 90 minutes, that’s not a big issue.

    “We played our game for 60 minutes with patience, seriously and they didn’t have a proper chance. Then we scored and we thought we didn’t need to keep possession or patience, and then we struggled. That was our fault and we did the same on Wednesday. We have to think about it quickly.

    “We have good ideas on how we can extend the good 60 minutes into 90 minutes. It’s absolutely necessary in the next couple of weeks. We struggled a bit but we have great potential and you can see that.

    “Now we have some time to think about the few issues that cause trouble because we made mistakes in areas we have to avoid.”


    The above from our captain of the day, Per Mertesacker.

    after we scored,
    – we eased off and keep losing balls
    – we complicated our football, lost control and went impatient
    – we thought we didn’t need to keep possession or patience

    Honest confession from the BFG, we simply were not professional enough to finish off our opponent.


    {“Pep, who are the good ones? Is it the most famous players?”

    “No. The really good players are the ones who never lose the ball. Those who know how to pass it and who never lose it. They are the good ones. And that’s who you must always use, even if they are lower profile than the rest.”}

    rings a bell? This does not need 11 world class famous players on the pitch to execute it. Controlling and dictating the tempo of the match, imposing our will vs opponents, keep them guessing our play … what our players have been failing to do … (with or without?) AW’s so-called footballing instructions.

  136. JM says:

    Extracts from article.

    on the defeat…
    It was a game where we were in control and at 1-0 up I felt we allowed them back into the game by losing some challenges in the middle of the park that you cannot afford to lose and on that front we were a little bit on the back foot. It’s unfortunate to lose a game like that but we were not rigorous until the end. We produced quite a decent performance for 75 minutes but you have to last 90 minutes.

    on the defending…
    We play a lot, we give a lot. I believe that overall we controlled them quite well defensively but suddenly in the last 15 minutes you could see that we dropped and allowed them to be dangerous.

    on making changes earlier…
    I feel that it’s always difficult at 1-0 because we were quite solid defensively and we didn’t look in the need to change. We were struggling a bit on the right side but I have no experienced players on the bench. It was unfortunate and I didn’t think there was a need to change.

  137. Milo says:

    Turn out the lights, the party’s over (if it ever began)…Most rational statement I’ve made on here in a while.

    Ever since this “modelling” business, I’ve kept my eye on Aaron Ramsey. I miss his innocence, and I MEAN that. Stop all the flash and dash and be a driving force again. Might be too late for that. He didn’t have a HORRIBLE match, but I THINK (genuinely not certain) that he over-elaborated in the attacking third, lost possession, which ultimately lead to the concession of the winning goal. Two touches would have been plenty but he opted for four, five?

    I thought that if Wenger was going to persist and see the match out with Chambers at right back, the least he could have done was take the Ox off and put Bellerin on as a right winger, for extra cover, man of the match be damned. Didn’t happen. He’s played with two defensive minded players on the wings before. On both wings at one time (recently) if I remember correctly…He just didn’t choose that…

    I get the impression he IS looking for defensive re-enforcements, (“he” being Wenger) but I think (like usual) he is looking for the longest-term solution to fill that (those) need(s). As long as he strikes it rich (big time) I ain’t gonna complain. Tough to watch though. Does that count as complaining??? Yeah, but does stating reality constitute complaining??? hahaha.

    At least we signed Brooklyn (Beckham). I heard he’s a handy midfield player…Pant, pant, pant. Maybe a deeper lying midfield player??? Maybe a fookin beast??? Nah, I’m actually excited about that (sarcasm be damned). His Dad had drive, if nothing else. Drive to be successful, not any other drive that anyone else had in mind…

  138. D-Money says:

    The comments after Anderlect were “we were good for 60 min. and struggled for 30 due to lack of concentration and thinking the game was won and fatigue”. So because fatigue was an issue, you start the exact same team bar one injury enforced change v Swansea, real clever…
    The comments after Swansea are “we were we were good for 60 min. and struggled for 30 due to lack of concentration and thinking the game was won and fatigue”.
    I paraphrase of course, but the crux is that AW is saying the exact same stuff post Swansea as he did post Sunderland. Why was this not “rectified” in training? Does he even do any tactical analysis of past games and preparation for future games? Does not look like it, as we conceded our stock goal once again (chipped/floated cross-simple unchallenged header-poor positioning and re-action by Woj.).
    How much longer must we put up with this mediocrity and lack of preparation (ahead of games, in-game tactics and subs, squad planning and transfer window planning)? At which point, will we admit Wenger has been finished for years? Anyone with half an eye could have seen Montero was destroying Chambers. Mourinho-Pep to name just a few would have identified Chambers was struggling and either subbed him for Bellerin who is faster and would be able to deal with Montero’s pace or they would have brought on Bellerin to provide cover and double-up on Montero. This is not even tactical ingenuity I’m asking for as many on here (myself included) pointed this out both pre match and during the game.
    Another day has passed since Swansea, one less day down from the two and a half years we have to wait for change…

  139. JM says:

    {Arsenal had seven players ahead of the ball when Swansea broke in the move that led to their equaliser.}

    Picture above is © BBC webpage.

  140. JM says:
    (Review by one of our “Invincibles”, tough-as-nails defender Martin Keown)
    Arsenal’s defeat by Swansea on Sunday means that, for the second time in six days, the Gunners have failed to see out a game when they were ahead in the closing stages.

    {Just like in their 3-3 draw with Anderlecht on Tuesday, when they had led 3-0, Arsene Wenger’s side only have themselves to blame.

    The Gunners got the balance of their team wrong in the closing stages at the Liberty Stadium. For them to throw it away after what happened in midweek was quite unbelievable.

    At 1-0 up, with 15 minutes to go, when they should have been solid, they committed too many players forward.

    There were seven Arsenal players ahead of the ball in the opposition’s third of the pitch when Swansea broke away to win the free-kick from which Gylfi Sigurdsson scored their equaliser.

    Only Kieran Gibbs was near the ball in the Swansea half, with Per Mertesacker and Nacho Monreal marking Swansea players in their own half.

    It was a great free-kick by Sigurdsson to get the ball up and over the wall and down underneath the bar.

    But Arsenal should not have been in a position where they gave it away in the first place. It was a problem of their own making.}

    What went wrong for Arsenal?

    {That free-kick came about after Modou Barrow ran straight down the middle of the pitch before being brought down when Gibbs had no choice but to foul him on the edge of the Arsenal area.

    But the reason Barrow could do that was because Mathieu Flamini had moved out of central midfield to challenge Sigurdsson and try to win the ball.

    Flamini did not need to do that – he just needs to occupy that central area of the pitch.

    If you do that, then the opposition do not even bother trying to run into that area. But, when they can see holes and gaps, they run into them.

    Flamini should have passed that player on. Instead, he vacated his area and did not have the pace to recover.

    It is not all his fault, though. To an extent, the centre-halves should have communicated that they wanted protection.

    Whoever I played with in the centre of defence for Arsenal, my partner and I would have the adage that, the more players do in front of us, the less we do.

    So our aim was always to get that barricade in position, and keep it there.

    Under Arsene Wenger, in the Arsenal team I played in, the likes of Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit would not have vacated midfield in the manner Flamini did.}

    Swansea’s second – more Arsenal mistakes

    {Swansea deserve credit for their winning goal, which was well-worked and finished but, again, it should have been stopped at source.

    Again, it comes down to a defensive shield, which Arsenal used to have but are missing at the moment.

    I lost count of the number of Arsenal wingers that my old team-mate Lee Dixon saw off because of the amount of work they had to do in front of him to protect him at right-back.

    That is vital, because if you can stop the ball reaching the feet of the opposition winger then they are not going to cause you any problems.

    Calum Chambers was not given much protection down the right by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and, too often on Sunday, Jefferson Montero was able to pick the ball up and do real damage.

    It was almost as if Swansea were targeting Arsenal down that side because they could see that Chambers was struggling to deal with a right-footed left-winger.

    As a player I see as predominantly being a centre-half who is playing right-back rather than a player whose future lies at full-back, Chambers found it very difficult against the Ecuadorian.

    He did not have the pace to deal with such a nippy player over the first five yards and, with Montero being right footed, the Swansea player was knocking it out of his feet and into space that Chambers was not expecting.

    From what I have seen of him this season, Chambers likes to get close to his man and put his hands on him but he tried something different against Montero and did not get the balance right.

    I felt it was a big wake-up call for Chambers. Until now, everything has gone incredibly well for him over the last few months, with him flying from Southampton to Arsenal and into the England team.

    Perhaps now, he realises what it is really all about to be a defender at this level.

    But as well as Chambers allowing Montero to put the cross in for the second goal, Arsenal should have dealt better with the ball when it came into the box.

    With Laurent Koscielny injured, I think Nacho Monreal was picked to play centre-half because Wenger wanted to use his experience and did not want to have Chambers in the centre and Hector Bellerin at right-back because he did not want two 19-year-olds together in his defence.

    Maybe that is something he will have to reconsider when he looks at Bafetimbi Gomis’s goal again.

    Per Mertesacker gets pulled out a long way, perhaps to try to cover Chambers but he does not really need to do that and he is not marking anybody either when Montero’s cross comes in.

    Instead it is Monreal, usually a left-back, who is left to deal with Gomis, and he was never going to be favourite to win that high ball.

    Gomis deserves credit for his finish, but with normal orthodox central defenders, I would like to think that cross is something Arsenal can deal with.}

    How can Arsenal improve at the back?

    {On the back of Arsenal seeing two leads disappear within a week, there needs to be a major inquest into why it happened.

    Of course there will be more cries for Wenger to strengthen his side defensively when the transfer window opens in January.

    But, before then, they need to improve in that area with the personnel they have got, which comes down to individuals as much as tactics.

    The philosophy of the club under Wenger is always going to be to attack and try to create chances but, looking at the way Arsenal did both of those against Swansea, you could argue they did not create enough.

    Per Mertesacker spoke after the game about how Arsenal had not kept possession well enough in the closing stages.

    The reason that was their downfall was that they were not prepared for when they lost it.

    As a centre-half, Mertesacker has to organise the players in front of him. You cannot just switch on the second you lose the ball – instead, you should be in a position to win it back early.

    You have to prepare for the worst, otherwise you are not going to be ready when you lose possession.

    That is something you don’t have to train at, it is a mindset you go on to the pitch with, and you have to have players who take responsibility at key times.

    Even before Swansea’s equaliser, it was already a feature of Sunday’s game that Arsenal were being a little bit sloppy in possession.

    That could have been down to the wet conditions and torrential rain, but they were not keeping the ball like they normally do.

    So, the key was not to run the risk of leaving themselves isolated and exposed at the back.

    Arsenal did that for Swansea’s first goal, when there was a huge gap between their defence and midfield.

    Everyone charging forward meant only Gibbs and the two centre-halves were in contact, which was criminal. They paid the price.}

  141. Gerry says:

    Can I suggest Per Mertersacker for our next manager? – Thanks JM for the PM quotes.

    The worst thing about the quotes. No, not just the quotes, was there was absolutely nothing about the result that changed with hindsight? Nothing.

    The same team played against Anderlecht bar one enforced change. The same pattern of events, but with a little less adventure, kept the score at 0-0 until we broke the deadlock. Then it all went wrong. But the re-occurring theme was the same …
    Arsene thought we were defending well …?

    On Tuesday it was a failure to see the tired bodies of the front runners.

    On Sunday it was the failure to see how badly Calum was suffering.
    BTW – I don’t altogether buy this thing about him lacking in pace. The kid was faced with a speedy winger, but he has been thrust in to action way above his experience years and has coped pretty well. But it does not take away from the fact he still has a lot of developing to do because he is only 19. Why I question his pace not being at fault, I will point you to that one moment when he was lying down face in the mud at the other end of the pitch. Montero got to the the edge of our box faced by …. Flamini. Not the quickest, not even a full back, but certainly one of our most experienced players out there. Now you could be forgiven for thinking ‘Uh oh! We going to be in trouble here’, as I was. Did Montero get past him? No.
    Calum, with his inexperience at this level, tends to lose it slightly when a guy looks like getting past him, hence the yellow cards for grabbing at shirts in previous games. Here, I think he lost it because, in his head he knew he was weaker on his left side, so he tended to just hang back a little and that gave Montero first run on his right side. Re-run the Flamini moment and you’ll see he always kept just about a quarter of body width ahead of Montero. That is experience?

    The big question is ‘Would Bellerin have made a difference’, given he has even less experience (AW excuse)? One of the things that makes Bellerin quick is his few few strides. So in those stop and go moments he would have a chance. But Montero is a clever player, so who knows? However, a little doubling up would have certainly helped?
    To be so dismissive of Bellerin, I am very disappointed with AW’s after match comment.

    I too, hoped for better, and at 1-0, hoped for ‘lessons learnt’. That is what hurts.

    However, my reading of big Phil was pretty near spot on. That was a typical Dowd match.

  142. Gerry says:

    And more good quotes – JM

    Interesting about Montero being right-footed, after pulling back balls into the box with his left on numerous occasions.

    D-Money – I think you are getting too carried away with you own ‘cleverness’.

    Of course they players would have been through the routines of how to protect the back 4 better. That is why the did not get an opening in the first half. The comments of Keown and the video still provided by JM clearly shows the players have to take some responsibility for committing some many forward when the ‘hard part’ had been done in getting a goal. And I don’t mean just Flamini either, but Ramsey too, who was supposed to be the 2nd DM. Ox too should have been deeper, although he was behind Chambers.

    I agree, better use of subs in a proactive way would have helped. But to speculate from a distance as to what they did or did not do on the training ground is not in your gift to know.

  143. D-Money says:

    Gerry, you are right. It is all speculation from my/our side, but when the same old mistakes happen game after game season after season, at some point it is not down to individual errors and players as at some point surely the problem is systemic…the players have changed over the years, the mistakes and frailties have remained the same, there is only one constant…

  144. alcide says:

    “but when the same old mistakes happen game after game season after season”

    Game after game this season, perhaps, season after season, I have to disagree. Last season, our record was outstanding in closing down down the shop once ahead. Which may say something about how much Bac (vs. CC), Kos and OG (defending set pieces) contributed to our defensive record (accidents excluded…).

    “Gerry, you are right” – agreed 😉

  145. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post 🙂

  146. steve says:

    JM @ 06:56, the most worrying thing about that video capture for me is the midfield triangle that the Swansea player danced through to start the break:
    Ramsey, Cazorla, Flamini
    All off form atm, all small, all lacking any real pace, all lacking any real defensive intelligence and all knocked off the ball way to easily.
    Welbeck, Sanchez, OX are the three players who i would want up high in an attack at that point but the rest a too close together, too high, and found far too lacking in any midfield class at the moment.
    Surely our midfield strength is better than two midget fringe players and an out off form Ramsey??? 👿

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