Where Has All the Excitement Gone?

And what does Arsenal need to do to get it back?

cup (1)

It has all gone quiet on the blog. The double disappointments of our games against Anderlecht and Swansea and the lack of club football for a couple of weeks have silenced almost all of our regular bloggers. Just a few hardened BKers are holding the fort, and I must admit I felt a need for a break away from Arsenal as well.

We know we have been in a similar state of mind before many a time, and we also know that under Wenger we have always come good again at some point. And despite the large number of injuries and the apparent structural issues we have in our defensive abilities, only a fool would write off Arsene’s ability to get us up and going again. He will, but it is likely to be more of the same: a hard fought for top-four finish and maybe another good cup run.

This has become the annual ritual and there are eighteen clubs in the PL who would be very happy with such an outcome this season. Manure because they are in transition, Liverpool and Spuds because they are hopeless in turning themselves into a regular top-four club, and, except for the Southern and Northern Oilers, who are now reaping the benefits of their astronomical cash injections during the last ten years or so, the rest can only dream of claiming a top-four spot, let alone doing so year after year. This will, whether we appreciate it or not, always be one of Arsene’s biggest achievements.

But we are sensing a lack of forward movement and experience annual ‘déjà vus’, and this is making us restless and discontented with the club, and especially the manager. Despite being the envy of many other clubs, BoDs and fans alike, we Gooners are deeply dissatisfied with this lack of progressing to the next level. Patience is thin and supporters are getting tired, and unfortunately in some cases, angry.

There is a list of things that Arsene should have done, and be doing, better; and we all have our own criticism of him. Of course, if things do not go to plan it is easier to highlight those criticisms and feel vindicated. And let us never forget, it is immeasurably easier to manage the club from our armchairs than it is in the real world.

Fact is that the club will not sack Arsene and neither will he just walk away, at least not in the middle of the season. I fully understand those fellow Gooners who have had enough of Arsene and want him gone asap, but it is not going to happen. And unless the club would land a top quality manager straightaway, it really would not be worth the risk. A new manager would of course be very exciting, especially if given good money to strengthen the defence and DM position in midfield. But the BoD have to consider a lot more than pumping back excitement into the club through changing the manager, right now. And if you were in their shoes, I bet you would not get rid of Arsene mid-season either…

However, renewed excitement is required right now. At least till January, the club will not be able to achieve this through diving into the transfer market. Many key games await us before we can replenish, and it all remains to be seen whether the right players can be bought and whether they would have the desired effect on our progress/excitement levels this season.

So, how can the club get excitement of the supporters back short term: which practical steps should Wenger take?

Over to you Fine, Fellow Gooners. 🙂

Written by: TotalArsenal

186 thoughts on “Where Has All the Excitement Gone?

  • our club is dead – its no longer THE Arsenal – its Wenger FC – I pay £1200 for my season ticket and I feel so mugged off again – i wont be renewing next season – and I wont be supporting this team till Wenger is gone.

  • Honestly TotalArsenal I was in a pretty OK mood till i read this article, The reason most arsenal fans are p’d off right now is not because we dropped a 3 goal lead against an average team or the fact we lost to swansea some how, or that Wenger keeps playing key players out of position or not at all! No the reason we are all p’d off is because people like you remind us daily of how stagnant, boring and unapologetic our team is. Every game its the same lately, those players look so freaken unhappy and so helpless like “I dont care if we get hammered 10 – nil, just gonna pick up my pay check at the end of the day”, Tickets at the Emirates are a rip off, especially if you gonna see 10 players standing there while a OK enough team decides to run circles around them. (I say 10 because Sanchez plays with so much passion and drive i feel sorry for him). There is no longer any passion at the club its just SAD!

  • Sadly it is time for him to stand down, he is not very good tactically and seems to want to make do in areas where the whole world knew we needed a DM and probably 2 CB’s. I am sure that there are several managers that would jump at the chance to manage Arsenal and really push us on to where we should be.

  • I think the reason it has gone quiet is because to a large extent, we are in the hands of fate.

    I mean ‘we’ as blog writing fans. Arsene can be doing things. The BoD can be doing things.
    Whereas us, we are stuck with the same players, and the manager, and worse, potentially the same results happening? That is a negative state of mind.

    I have tried to point to the light at the end of the tunnel, with players returning. The manager also cannot just expect players to do ‘the right thing’, he has got to be more explicit in what he wants, and demand that it be done. But while this interlull is happening, we not only have no tangible evidence on the pitch that this is happening. Instead we are getting drip drip of negative stories coming out which makes it even harder to fix on something until we see the next team sheet come out, and possibly see if something has changed?

    I feel sorry for Thomas Rosicky. He was just expressing his view on a couple of things, and it keeps reoccurring ‘chinese whisper’ fashion on various blogs and football media that we are now nearing a meltdown with a mass exodus in January.

    Not conducive to writing something positive? I mean, even Jenks scoring a great goal for the under 21’s is given a negative twist. Ggod help us if Walcott fluffs his lines with England???

    No, we need a diversion. Unfortunately, even the greatest event in space exploration looks to have suffered in the same way that our injuries have. The landing on the small comet was fantastic. The fact that the method of securing it did not work, and the ‘bounce’ into a darker area where it may not get enough light for the solar charging is akin to us losing our newly acquired FB to injury, only to be followed by losing our mainstay in defence for an unspecified period. And like the comet and its passenger, we are just drifting along ….

    Hey ho … It will be fine in the end. if not, we haven’t reached the end …

    I can live with that.

  • OOOH ! You have brought the doom and gloom boys out to play. Did they just hang around waiting for this post I wonder?

  • Hey Gerry, fine analogy there. 🙂

    It is okay to do doom and gloom now and again. It is how many of us feel right now, or maybe more glum than gloom.

  • Fair enough Goonerboy. If you dont feel you are getting value for money, then I cannot blame you. But the season is still long and you might get to change your mind. 😉

  • JayJay welcome 🙂

    Well that is an argument I have heard a few times recently. Do we have pay cheque collectors who don’t care about the club? I don’t think so. Those have gone now. But the players are realising that they are not performing well enough, as a whole, and in some cases, individually. And when things go bad and you are looked at by millions of people, you sometimes want to hide. Success is a great confidence builder, but a lack of the former has detrimental effects on the latter. I am not the biggest fan of Cazorla but I dont believe he is just collecting cheques, for example. BFG, Arteta, Flamini etc etc all care about the club and have personal pride…. It is not their motivation which is the problem, but a lack of quality through the first team at the moment. The main reason for this is that we have too many first teamers out injured and, of course, the lack of defensive discipline and solidity, which is influenced to some extent by the injuries to Debuchy and Koz.

  • Gerry, I think it is the fear that we do not know how to defend any more which is the biggest morale dampener. It feels structural as we have a lack of quality/experienced options in the squad to change things round.

  • JayJay, don’t talk b0ll0cks.

    Personally I’m annoyed that our manager appears strategically clueless, nothing to do with anything TA has said. Plus, as good as this blog is, I doubt it reaches most Arsenal fans.

    Let’s look ahead to happier times, or at least imagine that they are possible and be positive. I don’t have time to do that right now, but I will be back later trying to be chipper.

  • Great post TA it certainly captures the mood. In my opinion money has taken a lot of the fun out of football. Despite teams like West Ham, Swansea, Southampton starting well we all know pretty much the top six or seven, we’re pretty sure of the top two and the relegation candidates are already in place.

    If some rich Arab came along and funded our team, we could go out and buy the best in the world in every position. We could probably buy the title and would I be pleased? A little maybe but it wouldn’t be the pleasure that I have experienced before,

    However that said Wenger more recently has become more of a gambler and it isn’t enhancing his reputation. Let’s be honest we all know

    1. As much as we all want him to succeed Diaby is never going to be a regular and is taking up a valuable squad position
    2. We have been crying out for a specialist DM for years now, yet we persist in trying to fit round pegs in square holes. How many times have I seen calls for Chambers, Vermaelen, etc to convert to DM. Of course it might work, but why don’t we just go out a get a specialist????
    3. We always go into a season light at the back. Good player that Gibbs is, he is always injured, Per is looking jaded, Monreal although he tries hardiest top notch and that’s assuming we don’t get any injuries.
    4. When will we finally get a real captain, someone who inspires and puts his neck on the line ala Vieira, Adams etc. when we capitulate I see players angry, undoubtably Per cares, but he looks like your favourite uncle. Arteta does a fair job, but we need more

    Sorry just letting off steam again. There are lots of positives to look forward to. I am sure we will click into form soon and probably make top four, but until we start to get the basics right we are always going to be a nearly side

  • Fair and balanced comment, Retsub, and all good questions. 🙂

    We cannot change much about our back four, but we can allocate a new captain. Maybe that should be step one. New captain: Jack Wilshere. Play him deep, next to a more natural DM type and let him organise the shape of the team. Alexis to lead the attack and BFG or Koz to lead the defence. What do you think?

  • Not a bad idea TA but I do have some concerns about Jacks temperament. Earlier in the season I was concerned that Jack wasn’t going to get any form back and he has proved me wrong (although he is not there yet). However when things rant going his ways, he does seem to lose it a bit

  • yes Retsub, but that is good. That shows he cares and is willing to put his personality into it. As long as he knows when to stop, which he seems able to do more and more. Adams and Vieira had the same characteristics….

  • Great post as always TA.
    One thing that annoys me is everybody’s insistence on blaming injuries. We have TWO defenders (Kos-Mat) out and we are playing Nacho at CB. That is not bad luck brought on by injuries, it is grossly negligent squad and transfer planning, simple as that for me.
    Normally, during interlull I cant wait for The Arsenal to plan again, quite frankly right now I’m just glad Arsenal wont be ruining another weekend for me with another abject display fool of the same old tactical failings…the fact that our next game is against a team in Man U that can easily replicate our snow stock goal to concede also means the longer the break lasts, the better. Di Maria/Januzaj/Valencia (Montero) chipped/floated cross to Falcao/RvP (Gomis) is not something I am particularly looking forward to seeing. (And I know it will happen as we conceded goals the same way v Hull, Anderlecht in both games and the issue hadn’t been addressed for Swansea and knowing Wenger it wont be now either. And I have absolutely no reason to believe Wenger will address the HM/DM or CB issue in January. (We have lacked a proper DM/HM since Gilberto, so why must I believe it will suddenly be addressed in January?) So pardon me if I’m not feeling very excited right now…sad to say, but I think my (true and full) excitement will only return once Wenger leaves.
    I’d love to be proven wrong…and see Wenger tactically prepare for matches properly (and use his subs tactically rather than out of obligation) and address our deficiencies in the window. Until then,it’s hard to be excited.

  • Fair and honest comment, D-M. 🙂

    Very hard to argue against you at the moment, other than that Arsene is likely to find a way again to make the team believe in itself and start defending better/ winning games again.

    You are spot on re the danger of being breached again with a high cross from the flanks. let’s hope we will not see this happening again for a while. We need more height in defence and more support for Chambers. What about moving Chambers into CB, next to BFG and playing Nacho or Gibbs as RB. Not ideal but still better?

  • Hi TA, you raise valid points and I agree not all the players are just collecting cheques i was probably being too dramatic, its just I remember the good ol days, when we had some cracking the whip on the pitch. I understand the weight of millions of fans on your shoulders can be overbearing when times are tough its just i wanna see more of what Sanchez brings to the team, that energy that drive that will to win not just for themselves but for the badge on the shirt.

    And jozefos2013 sorry mate, dont wanna get everyone down just feels like we going backwards, and we have always suffered with injuries in recent years. Its become the norm.

  • Giroud is back in training, Theo is back back.
    Hopefully after the international break which has come at a good time. Kos and MD should hopefully be back after the break, then we are back in business.
    I cant be all negative, i am going to the united match and hope for a good out come, i have been very lucky to have never seen Arsenal get beat while at a match and i dont want it to start now.

  • TA. Sorry, I don’t agree with playing Nacho RB-if Wenger doesn’t trust Bellerin then he shouldn’t have let Jenkinson leave. Who has been quietely impressive at West Ham btw. Also, this notioon that Bellerin is too young and inexperianced is quite silly when he started away at Dortmund. Bellerin and Chambers are the same age anyways, and if we don’t trust Bellerin to play during a defensive crisis (injury to only two players) then maybe we should release him.

  • PG – I watched it with the sound off. My comment is on the back end of the previous post.

  • taking into account all the injuries atm i say go for the “we’ll score more than you” tactic against man utd and go for broke – scare the shit out of their defense 🙂
    At least it would be a fun match to watch!

    ———-The OX———-Wilshere———-

    just a little optimism for you lot 🙂

  • Retsub,
    That is a great idea , i would gladly except. lol
    I have been very lucky and long may it continue, we have to beat the old toilet boys at home.

  • Gerry,
    I take it someone beat me to it on the previous post. As Totes said i did need a little rest fro Arsenal.
    I am surprised you don’t like Jungle music though

  • Gerry i agree with what you said about him.
    It is also unlikey we will get him in Jan TW as he has just signed for Savilla in the summer, that said he has a 24m release clause so if we meet that and he agrees he could be ours.

    On another positive note Ozil is not to far away from returning either.
    Once we are fully fit we are a real force. TBF Wenger can not predict for injuries sadly.

  • OH lets not forget Gnabry as well, so we have some awesome attackers. Steve may well be right in we should take the we will score more then you.
    I like the team he just put up as well
    I would play Chambers as CB or DM.

  • JayJay 🙂

    Yes Sanchez is exceptional in terms of drive and desire. A true extrovert and a winner. I reckon we have a few players who work very hard for the team but are more introverted than Alexis. I reckon Ox, Jack, Welbeck and Theo, Koz, Gibbs and Debuchy, Flamini and Szczesny have a similar extrovert drive and desire, but Alexis is the master.

  • D-M

    I prefer Monreal or Gibbs to Bellerin because yes he is still learning and the others are more experienced. If you find that a silly argument, then so be it. 🙂

    Bellerin has potential and I like to see more of him, possible RM though.

  • I thought you would like that TA 🙂
    why the hell not i say 🙂
    I would prefer to see that then try and play more defensive and reserved and fail anyway (like at Swansea)
    I think Ox deserves a chance ahead of Cazorla and Ramsey in midfield and with Sanchez, Welbeck and Walcott up front we would destroy the Man U back line – it would be glorious!! 🙂
    I’m sure we’ll end up with Flamini, Arteta, Ramsey and Cazorla in there somehow though – boring and repetitive

  • PG – I can give a part scouting report on K’Koviak. as I just watched Poland play Georgia. The Poles won 0-4. Our man got an assist and a goal, both from set pieces. What is not to like about that?
    Clearly not coming to us though as he did not get injured. On a scale of marks out of 10 for being the player we need, he gets a 9. I only saw the second half, but I would not mind seeing the first half when Georgia were pressing. The only flaw in his game, and it may be a big plus in some instances, is that he appears to have his territory marked out, and he does not bust a gut to help away from that area. In other words, he trusts his fellow defenders to do their job, but if they fail, he is in position to deal with what comes his way.
    He is tough and unflinching, in fact the Polish side are pretty uncompromising, so little gets past him. Great in the air. His assist was a knock back across goal. His goal was similar to one in the vid, where he arrives late to stab it home from a couple of feet out.. He did a few of those long passes, but he always seems to have a pass on if he is about to be challenge. A big plus was his discipline. Rarely got ahead of the ball in attack, and kept a constant view around him to know who was where.
    Verdict – Tomorrow please. Here is your £24m.
    I just hope Szczezzer is tapping him as I write 😀

  • PG, I had no idea what the music was, it is just with me being slightly deaf I have the volume up anyway, and background stuff to videos is always even louder. I play safe and mute it.

    Off now to watch the Under 21’s

  • Gerry, i’m off to watch the under 19’s
    tbh i am only really watching to scout Patrick Roberts who i rate quite highly, but hopefully it will be a good match in general.

  • We would be eaten alive hahaha, as apposed to loosing to teams like Swansea and loosing a three goal lead etc etc 😆 I prefer my way TA 🙂
    Jack and OX or the only two showing anywhere near the type of drive that Sanchez does, put them both in midfield with Chambers covering them behind and that blinding front three ahead and we would eat all other teams alive! 🙂
    I’m bored of the Cazorla, Flamini and out of form Ramsey midfield, it offers very little to me atm

  • completely true TA but well off form!
    So you in fact that it would n’t be unrealistic to put him back in the reserves with the likes of Campbell etc to build back his form and confidence without effecting the first team results, then reintroduce him a bit later.

  • Maybe the reason so many people are clinging solely on to Sanchez, is because he is the only player we have available that RIGHT NOW, is of the level required to win a title. Forget passion and energy, the dude can dribble out of a bloody phone booth. Who else in our squad has the speed of thought and deed, as well as the confidence to be able to do that on a repeated basis??? He’s proven quality in OUR SHIRT, as well as many others, over a period of around 5 years. Who else can claim that distinction??? No one??? Yup…No one 😀

  • All this Alexi Sanchez stuff worries me. When comments go on about him ‘being the only one’, where does that leave the other 10 in a team game?

    Yes, he is a very skilful player and a great acquisition to the club … but it does carry a responsibility on him to work with in the team. To be fair to him, he has largely stopped that rush to confront the last defender or goalkeeper, frantically waving others forward to cover the wider players. Pressing is one thing, but when the opposition are in control of the ball and are in a position to chip the ball over half our defence is not the way to go.
    Another thing he has improved upon is his ball retention. Turnovers from him early on were not uncommon.
    But the final piece of learning is still to come. That is accepting that there is a right and a wrong time to attack, and when not surging forward we need players to work together to keep possession, move the opposition around to find the space for an attack. At times I think he would make a poor chess player with overly keen desire to attack. He can be like Ozil on ‘speed’. And like a confused junkie, he only sees the immediate future ahead of him?

    I am sure this is the critical message AW has been giving him. If he listens, and learns, he will become a far more valuable member to the team than RVP was. I don’t want to restrict his enthusiasm or his energy to the extent that we lose the player he is, but a game is 90 minutes long, not 9 seconds, which is all it takes if he surges forward on a solo run, and loses it.

    Yes Steve, it was the Under 19’s last night, and I proved that two wrongs do not make a right, as two days before I called the Under 21’s the Under 19’s. Brain frazzle I’m afraid 😆
    I will save my report until after a New Post is issued, as my timing has been out the last couple of days.

  • Hahaha Gerry, well done for saying something controversial. Without Alexis we would now be relegation fodder, let their be no doubt about it. He is the best attacker we have had since Henry left, but let’s start picking on him and tell him to hold himself back, be a better team player, become less selfish…. Come off it, buddy. 🙂

  • The through balls he recently produced, especially for Welbeck, have been exquisite, the work rate he puts in and defensive support are unmatched within the team, and so are his drive and taking of responsibility…..and delivery of course….12 goals already. His leadership towards the likes of Ox, Danny and Jack is fantastic too. He only needs to give poor Santi a free kick to take once in a while, show some mercy….. 😀

  • For interest:

    I came across finding Alexis’ playing card (from SEGA Japan) of his last season with Barcelona. His skill, “Cutting Line Breaks”, possibly meaning ability to penetrate defensive line(s) via various means, e.g. passing, take ons, crossing etc.

    (High in offence, technique, speed and stamina)

    I will look for some more for key Arsenal players.

  • Kieran Gibbs’ playing card with the skill, “Grass-cutting Crosses”.

    (High in speed and stamina)

  • Our defensive “boss”, Laurent Koscielny’s playing card with the skill, “Workmanlike Interception”. Pretty accurate.

    (High in defence, power, speed and stamina)

    I would believe the Japanese folks at SEGA (which does the Playstation modules and the games) also do some real-time player analysis, similarly to what EA Sports are doing for their FIFA game series.

  • “BFG”, our gentle giant Per Mertesacker’s playing card with the skill, “Overwhelming Physical Play”. Maybe a little underwhelming at the start this season, due to playing with different partner at CB (Koscielny, Monreal – who is not a natural CB, Chambers).

    (High in defence and power)

    Gibbs and Koscielny are better defenders overall.

    The rest from our defence did not make the grade of being “Key” players.

  • Here is our captain, Senor LegoHair – Mikel Arteta, the better of our available holding midfielders in our engine room. With a skill, “Cyclical Playmaker”, i.e. our metronome.

    (High in technique and stamina)

  • The first of our main “Twins” creators, Santa Claus – Santi Cazorla, with the longish phrased skill, “One of the Improvisational Harmony Creators”.

    (High in offence, technique, speed and stamina)

  • The other of our main “Twins” creators, the subtle “Nemo” – Mesut Özil, with the similar longish skill,”One of the Improvisational Harmony Creators”.

    (High in offence, technique, speed and stamina)

  • Rambo – Aaron Ramsey, who we hope to rediscover his shadow midfielder form as soon as possible, with the skill, “Surprising Shadow Runs”.

    (High in offence, technique and stamina)

  • The HFB – Olivier Giroud, our deep laying forward, returning to action soon with his skill, “The Air Supply”.

    (High in offence and power)

  • Theo Walcott – our fastest speed merchant. It is good to see him back with our 1st team after being out of action for almost a year. We missed his skill, “Surging Penetrating Dribbles”.

    (High in offence and technique; MAXIMUM speed)

  • Hey all,
    Long time since i last typed long time :-p
    And that was when I last commented on BK
    I feel like this post is directed at me 😆
    I have found no time at all to visit the blog nor read anything else on the ‘internet’ is it ?
    Yup I feel so old because of my lifestyle
    I have to sit at home and study my ass off and the only time I am getting out is for my classes or tests and its gonna get worst

    I have been following Arsenal and ISL though
    Pune have a match today which can take them to the top of the table. The form has boomeranged and things here are looking rosier than in North London.

    I remember how excited we were before and a little after the last interlul. The 2 scrappy wins prior to the two scrappy loses had given the Gooners quite a few talking points.
    But now we have nothing to talk about, apart from the fact that a certain handsome guy will return to action soon there is nothing new
    The tactics from Wenger have also been boring and the players apart from a few have failed to impress.

    But 1 thing no one seems to talk about is that we are still in the race for 2nd position.
    Though it wont be wrong to say that this season has been the most disappointing season if you look at the last three.

    We know the winner and we are not even in January
    So heres to 2nd place

  • There was one other missing key player card picture of Jack Wilshere (I could not find it yet).

    He is the hidden emerging gem of our original “TRIO” of main creators (alongside Cazorla and Özil – now falsely seen as a “TWINS” act instead) with similar longish skill of ”One of the Improvisational Harmony Creators”.

    On the data sheet, Wilshere is an overall:89 midfielder, with high offence(15), technique(18), speed(16) and stamina(16).

  • JM
    This seems to be one of the fairest ratings ever bestwed upon Arsenal players by any playing cards manufacturer or game
    Though I still disagree with Per’s rating another 2 points would have been fine

  • @TotalArsenal (November 15, 2014 at 09:37)

    I believe it was described in that Giroud, (1) provided the outlet upfront from our GK and defenders long passes and crosses (2) his “flicks passes” to team-mates are “off-ground level” (3) his knockdowns to team-mates.

    We possibly lacked a bit of aerial strength upfront w/o Giroud.

  • I’ll round out our other players featured:

    TPIG, Szcezesny with skill, “Behind-the-wall Guardian”.

    (High in defence and power)

  • Corporal Jenks, who is on loan at West Ham currently, with the skill, “Running Man-to-man Marking”

    (High in power, speed and stamina)

  • The Flamster, Mathieu Flamini, with the skill, “Hard-man Ball Stealer”.

    (High in speed and stamina)

  • “Little Mozart”, Tomas Rosicky, with the skill, “On-target Attacks”.

    (High in offence, technique and speed)

  • Lu Lu Lu Lukas (Poldi) Podolski, with the skill, “Masterful Attacks from Vital Area”.

    (High offence, technique, power, speed & stamina)

  • Rounding up a brief summary:

    Jenkinson:82 (currently on loan)


    Alexis:90 (at Barca’s stats)

    Could not get Debuchy(previously @Newcastle), Ospina(@Nice), Chambers(@Southampton), Welbeck(@ Man. Utd – not featured on their list that season 13-14.).
    Similarly, The Ox, Monreal, Diaby, Sanogo are not available (at this point of time).

  • Yes indeed JM, a priceless one to round it off. Thanks for your effort n digging those out.
    Great stuff.

    Funnily enough, there was a player in the Under 19’s last night who could wear that label ‘Touch King’. That was Ruben Loftus-Cheek – alas with Chelsea. He took a high ball over his head that came from a pass inside his own half as he ran into the opposition box …
    and killed it stone dead on the end of his big toe! Fantastic!
    Mind three of Chelsea guys were very good. Isaiah Brown who scored two and assisted in the third, and Alex Kiwomya who had pace to burn.
    Patrick Roberts who Steve was keen to see, was very tricky too.

    However, the real star of the show was Brendan Galloway, central defender. Was with MK Dons, now with Everton. Even at 18, I would put him in our side now, but next season he would give Kos a hard time getting his place back … he was THAT good!

    Great match to watch, and if they all get opportunities to play regularly as they develop, they will blow away the recent England squads by the time the next WC comes around.

  • They have Chelsea and Man. City as the other 2 PL clubs (the others are the bigger European clubs):
    (I will post the overpowered beasts with overall total > 90), see what “mountains we have to climb” to beat the best, at least in our league). This should be the standard to aim for Arsene Wenger’s remaining (current) 3 seasons.

    You may comment if you want to regarding our tough opponents.

  • Starting with defenders,

    The uncompromising pillar, Branislav Ivanovic, with skill, “The Great Wall of the Pitch”.

    (High in defence, power, speed and stamina)

  • Vincent Kompany, stalwart of his team, with skill, “Covering Protector”.

    (High in defence, technique, power and stamina)

  • hahaha Gerry my match report for last night’s U19’s can now simply read… “what Gerry said” 🙂
    Completely agree with everything you said.
    What is it with Everton and collecting quality young defenders?
    If we could combine Everton’s defensive scouting ability with Arsenal’s attacking scouting ability that would be a team for the future! 🙂 Mind you i wouldn’t mind hat Barkley nipper in our squad in the attack either tbh.

    Jenkinson looked good in the U21’s also which is a bonus and is gaining more and more experience all the time (that still sounds funny to say when you consider he helped keep Bayern Munich quiet and secured a clean sheet for us over there back in 2013 lol).
    I think if someone asked me if i preferred a tall strong RB who is vulnerable to pace or a short less physically developed but insanely quick RB who is vulnerable to headers i would undoubtedly ask for a bit of both – pity he’s on loan to West Ham lol.

    Come on BKers lets stop playing to our weaknesses and filling the midfield with second rate defensive midfielders that fail every time and play to our strengths and put a more top heavy team on the pitch with attacking drive in midfield – We’ll score more than you!!! Just like the old days!!!

    Come on Man U lets have ya!!

    ———-The OX———-Wilshere———-

    🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Neeraj, trying to find ISL matches online for download (Pune of course!) is proving to be quite a bastard but i will keep trying mate, sounds like they are putting in some great performances!

  • Surprise package, our former player Gael Clichy, with the skill, “Exquisite All-round Positioning”. A puzzling one, in my opinion.

    (High in speed and stamina)

  • JM, NICE! I like it, and thoroughly deserved!
    I bet you can’t find a Hleb card lol, i thought that guy was going to be a legend once upon a time lol

  • Now with their midfielders,

    The energising terrier, Ramires, with the skill, “The Synchro Trigger”.

    (High in offence, technique, speed and stamina)

  • This one is an overall 89 but I have to put him up because …

    … he is “a poison” to opposition’s backline when on fire. Eden Hazard, with the skill “Lively Pitch Wizard”.

    (High in offence, technique, speed and stamina)

  • Another one with overall 89 and I am impressed by this man-mountain. He is the bane for every team he faced …

    Nemanja Matic, with the skill, “Inexhaustible Stamina”.

    (High in power, speed & stamina)

  • Cesc Fabregas (last season in Barca’s colours), now the conductor at the club which is the current flavour of pundits, media, betting companies to win the PL this season.

    (High in offence, technique and stamina)

  • Perhaps his club’s most critical and dependable creative outlet, David Silva, with the skill, “Elegant Through-balls”.

    (High in offence, technique, speed and stamina)

  • Yaya Toure, seemingly fallen short of his usual standards this season (and slightly distracted), when he is on form – the B2B role belongs to him, with the skill, “Ballistic Midfield Shots”.

    (High in offence, technique, power and stamina)

  • finally the attackers,

    His overall is 89 (reflecting his season with Atletico Madrid), he is currently the No.2 scorer in PL and a nasty customer for opposition defences. Diego Costa, with the skill, “Short Counter Flag-Bearer”.

    (High in offence, technique, power, speed & stamina)

  • The current leader of the PL scoring charts, Sergio “Kun” Aguero, with the skill, “The Charging Dribbler”

    (High in offence, technique, power, speed and stamina)

  • @steve (November 15, 2014 at 13:40)
    It is not shown to have a Hleb legend card yet. They do have 5 other Arsenal legends from their earlier series.

    I think I’ll round off for today with those 5 pictures.

  • Hey TA, Another good post…Excitement (like everything else) is in the eye of the beholder, IMO…

    The big problem at Arsenal or, more specifically, in the Goonersphere, is the weight of unrealistic expectations…and the tedium of the club’s approach. Match to match, football always promises excitement but often fails to deliver. Over time, however, the rich win out, which is both sad AND boring. We’re one of the richest–not quite as rich as the clubs with Billionaire Sugar-Daddies willing to sacrifice money for results–but a whole lot richer than most. We’re also one of the most consistent clubs in terms of finishing at our correct level. No big ups, no massive downs… Boring, boring, boring…

    That said, we’re in an awfully low spot at the moment and we need an uptick. Winning against ManU, in my opinion, would be HUGE as it’s been a very long time since we actually did so…(3.5 years to be exact) Do I think we’re gonna win?…No, sadly, I do not… For me, however, it would be massive. If we did win that one, I think the immediate reaction would be a collective “meh, they’re rebuilding, below us in the table, at our place, etc.,” and on to the next potential stumble (the visit of Dortmund)… Of course, I would have been very, very excited had we prevailed up at Swansea, whereas, I believe, the collective idea is that (of course) that was a match we *should* be winning. It’s interesting you’ve put TV5 lifting the FA Cup as the lead photo on this topic–Another one which brought little joy to the wider community of Gooners… In that tournament we got a lucky draw and barely snuck it, needing extra time, in fact at both Wembley matches. At best there was a sense of relief that the “haven’t won a cup in X number of years” narrative was retired…or at least re-set…

    Let’s be real…Football is not what it used to be and most fans have had to put their hometown club onto a rear burner and choose one of the bigger ones. Choosing Arsenal (which many did because of the Invincibles due to Bergkamp or Henry…) now appears a mistake. Abramovich and Mansour have changed the landscape and letting them have their fun while we try to slow win a financial war of attrition with the Liverpools and Tottenhams is no fun at all. At least there used to be the narrative of “we play good football.” Injured as we are, that one’s a stretch, too… For example, right now we’re pinning a bunch of hope that the return of Giroud–not exactly the poster child of attractive football–restores a bit of shape to our play and allows better hold up play (aka pressure relief when we’re under the kosh)… Hardly blood pumping stuff…

    Finally, you’re very right about Wenger. While I (personally) think his narrative is the most fascinating of all, I know that most feel we’ve been married to him for too long and we’re in a rut. A foxy young girl-friend is what we need even if she gets us into big trouble…Alas Moyes is taking over up in the Basque country while AVB is in Russia…Where’s Michael Laudrup?… Opening the (revolving?) door to new managers would be a wild ride… Remember, however, that loyalty cuts both ways. If a young up and comer had success with Arsenal mightn’t he be off quickly to a club with a bigger budget?…

    So, all that said, I try to take it for what it is and I’m still excited…for better or worse… Keep up the good work…


  • A couple of other notes… JM, the cards are fun…Some weird descriptors, for sure…

    TA, I think Gerry makes a pretty solid point about Alexis and teamwork which shouldn’t be dismissed so quickly… When he suggests guys jumping from the U-19s into first team action I’m less convinced… 😀

    You’re right, of course, that Alexis, like Atlas, has been carrying the load and kept us out of the relegation zone, and he can spot and execute a good final ball–shot or pass. Still, there’s been a solid raft of stories about Wenger working hard with him to spread the wealth–and he was even kept out of some first 11s before Ozil went down. It will be interesting to see how he works with Walcott and Giroud if all are available after the break…

    On that note, fingers crossed that the Wembly pitch holds up in tonight’s match as do our players. My thought has always been that our English core would represent a mix of essential players and up and comers, with more of the latter. Given current circumstances we really need ALL these guys to come good at that level and then step up even more when the return to the (much tougher) club game–or at least not get hurt…

  • I’ve been trying to upload this comment quite a few times mate and its just not showing up on the board – any idea why?

    for all those interested in watching the ISL matches (and have either an uploaded.net or rapidgator.net account) here is the site where you can find them for download, this is the most latest game to get you started:


    I knew i would find them eventually, I took my sweet ass time about it though!

    Looks like we’ve got some footy to watch during the interlul 🙂

    Looking forward to it Neeraj 🙂

  • No England match on the US television… 😦

    Regarding Alexis…When you’ve got a horse who can get you to the line you just let him run…and a bad as we’ve been playing he’s been a god-send.. Still, for the level to which we aspire, he may need to be more Ozil-esque…You know, the sort of player who inspires a certain segment of the support to think he’s terrible, while (whilst?) quietly doing things to make the team better. At the moment, we have no Messi, so I don’t think we’re gonna ship Alexis anywhere, anytime soon…

    Still, if you look at what Barca decided…To jettison Alexis in favor of Suarez you can begin to maybe see what’s up. Suarez made Sturridge and Sterling into quality attackers and Pool look woefully static without him. If Alexis can do likewise with Theo and Welbeck (and others) the comparisons will be truly accurate… Just as the bite-boy couldn’t get them over the line, Alexis won’t get us there until we elevate our team play to a far (far, far) higher level…

    The last thing I want to do, however–and to bring the metaphor full circle–is look our gift horse in the mouth… 😀 So, don’t change a thing, just add to it…as the player himself suggests in this one…


  • Sorry for not being back with positivity last night. TA, been working hard (I’m on industrial placement at the moment) and evenings have been used to wind my brain down from all the intellectual stress of the day or occasionally to try to write a mobile app.

    How about this for a bit of positivity:

    Danny Welbeck. I don’t think I necessarily agree with your comments in the post. Look how happy he is when he’s allowed to play up front. Whether it’s Red Nose’s or AW’s influence I don’t really care, he’s razor sharp at times up there and practice will only make that sharpness more consistent. I wonder whether by the time OG is ready to come back, DW will have forced Wenger to revise his formation to a variation of 4-4-2.

    The Arsenal have been frustratingly inconsistent all season, but we haven’t lost as many as our points tally in the PL might suggest, mostly because we’ve been a bit rubbish going forward as on the whole we’ve been *reasonably* solid defensively. Let’s not lose sight of the positives even though the negatives are the obvious focus in view of a bit of a drab campaign so far.

    Last year when we thought we had a chance of winning the title around this time, we were saying OGAAT and we have to look at it that way now – but as TA said, our last two OGAAT’s have been poor and it’s left a negative shadow heading into the interlull.

    Let’s just focus for now on our boys’ good performances for their countries and hope they can bring that back to the Grove next week 🙂

  • from the game tonight:

    Welbeck showed his incredible work rate and scored a brace
    Gibbs puts in another fine solid performance where he hardly puts a foot wrong, and helps to set up the last goal.
    Wilshere gets MOTM – get this boy back in our midfield asap
    OX comes on late and looks dangerous as always and almost nicks a goal at the death.

    Fine effort from all our lads!

  • btw cheers for putting that up TA, i just don’t understand why it wouldn’t upload on the blog?
    Doesn’t matter now though
    Cheers matey

  • Agreed Steve, just want to say I haven’t commented much since you came on board (and I rarely have much to say tactically) but I enjoy your contributions, keep ’em coming!

  • Cheers jozefos I’m very glad to be mate its a fantastic blog and group of guys, you’re in rare company if you find my contributions enjoyable though lol.
    Just wish we could get back to doing what we do best and score for fun, midfield security be damned lol (not that AW best efforts are making any progress in that department anyway atm)

  • And nobody hurt…right?…Was the pitch as bad as they said it was?…

    Finally, how would you rate the competition?… I know Slovenia (pop about 2 million…) beat Russia to make the 2010 WC, but I haven’t heard much about their team lately… Probably tougher than say, Gibralter or the Faroes, but not too tough, I would guess…

  • 17HT, yes mate the pitch was pretty crap but nobody was hurt, i think there’s a lot more of a chance of that happening against Scotland especially if they continue to play Jack at the base of the midfield diamond – i don’t see him making it out of that game without a few bad knocks.
    Slovenia didn’t look amazing mate to say the least lol but they were quite well drilled defensively and well organised throughout the team in general so its not a bad result by any stretch of the imagination.
    I didn’t think much of the Liverpool boys tonight, Henderson couldn’t make a pass to save his life and Sterling was never on form until he was moved out of the no.10 position and back onto the wing where i feel he belongs anyway. Lallana was so so but nothing special.

  • me amigo says and I quote ” The big problem at Arsenal or, more specifically, in the Goonersphere, is the weight of unrealistic expectations…”

    define UNREALISTIC expectations for us , please ?

    before you do that – just go through the below to see if something falls under the bracket of UNREALISTIC expectations

    – Arsenal winning the CL group for once, especially after playing a dortmund team who were struggling and 17th in their own league and without their main players in defence and their main attacker aka Reus ?

    – Arsenal getting off to a reasonable start and least winning the home games, especially after strengthening the attacking side of our game ?

    – Arsenal buying solid defenders , considering we let go DJ, TV5 and always knew we would be losing a 2 in 1 player in Sagna ? so that’s 4 players effectively lost, with the medical department telling AW nice and early about KOC’s injury , so make it 5 players .

    was it unrealistic to expect a solid defender .? a decent DM ?

    I will tell you what was unrealistic though – MONREAL and CHAMBERS having to play at CB .

    while we are at it, was it unrealistic to be expecting to win a cup game at HOME against Southampton ?

    so yes, please do define UNREALISTIC expectations for us 🙂

  • Lallana and Henderson are a waste of space – it should always be OX and Theo , with OX playing in that Stevie G role that AW predicted he can play through the middle alongside JW and Theo should play on the wings ahead of Sterling .

    sorted ?

    @ Steve

    re- Skippers post

    how can he bring swagger and the mojo (mojjo ) back ?

    get Giroud to play in his rightful position, which is either a CB or in goal instead of Sczny .

    I don’t care who else he deploys anywhere else, but that should work like a treat and would see us go the rest of the season undefeated 👿

  • *ahead of Lallana and Sterling should be used on the LW , cutting in and opening the play up as a make shift no.10 sometimes with Rooney dropping back allowing him space .

    sorted @ Steve

  • JB, Giroud at CB at first i had a giggle but then i realized its no more crazy than Monreal playing there lol.

    I like the fact that England has the same problem we do in that they don’t have a DM. atm its Wilshere playing that Pirlo role but apart from that the closest is Milner, that says to me that if Hayden can get a chance to show what he can do then the England first team may one day be just an Arsenal team in a different shirt 🙂

    ———-The OX———-Wilshere———-

    Just Sterling, Jagielka and Heart to replace with Arsenal players and job done 🙂

    Sorted 🙂

  • Steve,

    when did ENGLAND have a DM ? remind me .

    and I was being serious about Giroud playing at CB .


  • 007, Our team is crap… 😀 As such, you expecting (or hoping) we put 7 past Fabianski is too high…


    We have a *certain* strength in depth, but missing 6 or 7 guys out of the main group is too much…

    Yes, the offseason could’ve gone better, but clearly Wenger thought he might get away with it…
    Sagna needed replacing, thus Debuchy and Jenks needed 1st team football. Chambers is a great prospect and had to be seen as a good back-up at multiple positions. Bellerin, if the Dortmund match was an indication, isn’t ready… Indeed a CB (to compete) with Kos and Mert was (and is) needed but I’m not sure the Greek guy was the answer. Guys move for first team football unless (like Chambers) they’re very young. In the same vein, longer term improvement at the rear of MF is needed too…

    The bottom line is that Wenger doesn’t want to overpay and then be stuck with a middling talent so I wouldn’t get too excited about January (see, for example, Nacho Monreal…) Being a bargain hunter myself, I can relate. I can also relate to the sentimental attachment that comes with guys who are (clearly, IMO…) trying very hard but not quite making the grade… Nobody is just cashing a paycheck, I don’t think…

    I think it’s totally fine for people to say they want a change… Lay out your reasons and make that maiden post–and then I’ll write the why I (still) support the manager. I know you hate having a reactive manager (when it comes to subs, at least) so why not be proactive and make the case ahead of the next disappointment… On that note, if you’d give me two draws vs ManU and Dortmund, I’d snatch your hand clean off your arm…

    Do I hope we do better than that…Yes I do… Do I expect us to do so?… Based on what I see, I sure don’t… 😦

  • To FINALLY answer the question posed in the title of this post, I will give the author (TA?) a hint. Do you know what the porcelain throne in the smallish room is called??? You know, the thing that creates a water tornado??? You’re shit outta luck if you use an outhouse (like me) as you forget the names of these new-fangled contraptions 😦

  • good reply @ Me amigo , so I take the conclusion from that thesis was that we don’t really have unrealistic expectations as such ? 🙂

    and we will be winning our next 4 games , not just win win but win in some style as well (if you promise to leave my hand alone, ha

  • thats what i’m saying JB, they’ve tried once or twice with players like Scott Parker or Gareth Barry but none have ever been any good. Up steps Hayden 🙂 Then Jack can play in midfield instead of Lallana and maybe survive a bit longer lol.

    hahaha re Giroud, fair enough, who are you going to play him there with? BFG?

  • mate, if you and Gerry can keep bigging up and keep hyping our 16 to 19 years old to play in the first team, then me playing Giroud with the BFG is a master stroke which will make us world beaters 🙂

    I dare you to find me a better position for Giroud in this squad with the likes of Welbeck scoring goals for fun and creating much more than Giroud has actually done outside of London .

    Welbeck scored another brace tonight, didn’t he ? 👿

  • JB, you know you’re preaching to the converted right?
    I prefer Welbeck over Giroud all day long mate.
    As far as Giroud being BFG’s partner, i would much rather see Chambers actually play there (in the position he is most suited to!)

  • no, I prefer Chambers at right back but he shouldn’t be bombing forward unless and until we are chasing the game – he doesn’t really have to be playing that far up the pitch – this is something that Gibbs has managed to do rather well now, he chooses his moments .

    Chambers should stay at RB , it’s his best position regardless of what happened against Swansea which again wasn’t his fault or down to his short comings , instead that was the manager letting him , the whole team and the fans down . he left him out to dry – hung he was .

    football is a pretty simple game , if you do the basics right.

    defenders defend – attackers attack – you do the basics right then the likes of Flamini won’t shout at the likes of Ozil for not giving him a helping hand and then the likes of Ozil dazzles like no tomorrow (oppps , I forgot that you’re not much of an Ozil fan), ha

    while we are at it – the midfielders are the ones who do the hard yards and help both their defenders and keep the shape, to release the attackers .

    I make it sound very easy, don’t I ? 😯

  • JB, you are talking about changing a stubborn managers tactics – that’s a whole different kettle of fish mate. Arsene plays with full backs that bomb forward he always has, until he leaves then someone like Bellerin should be playing there and Chambers should be playing at CB – he was f*cking solid as a rock there against Man City in that community shield. I wish we still had Jenko in the squad tbh thats the best of both worlds – height and pace.
    Arsene’s never gonna change JB so Chambers at CB for me, all day long bud.

  • Stevie wonder – you nailed it when you said “Arsene’s never gonna change”

    hence expect MONREAL to keep playing at CB 🙂

  • yep you said it, i have no doubt the team we put out against Man U will be almost identical to the one at Swansea (maybe Wilshere for Ramsey) – its a bastard, no dout

  • My Uncle knows some of the basics of plumbing…I can un-clog a restaurant toilet (on multiple occasions, so not a lucky shot).

  • btw we’re talking about potential signings coming in in January but do we think any players will be going in the other direction?
    Campbell, Podolski?
    Sanogo out on loan?

    what do we think?

  • Thanks Milo, that’s crystal clear to me. 🙂

    Who knows, Steve. I guess the Pod will go and maybe Rosicky.

    Good second goal by Danny, but still a winger and not a CF for me – there was 90 minutes of evidence once more today. Jack was VERY professional today, with a mature and quality performance. Gibbs the same.

    Night all. 🙂

  • what evidence was there TA?

    He’s been played all his life on the wing for Man U and England and looked utter shit, then suddenly he gets put as a striker for club and country and keeps scoring and effecting the game, i only see evidence to the contrary TA sorry mate.

  • Wishing we had Isco…Instead of Ozil. There…I said it. Apparently if wouldn’t even matter if Isco wanted to come or not, if he had Mustapha Ozil for a Father 😀 Hahahaha.

  • Old news, but hey, it still caught my fancy…

    Maybe it’s because my Dad used to play the trombone for a living…Most probably it’s because it’s precious Wayney Boy…Only things “Golden” about this generation, is the Golden Shower I’d like to give the lot of them, and the fact they provided us with so many quotes and incidents to make fun of them with. I hope no one has posted this already…

    Anyone know the song being played??? I recognize it, but don’t know the name 😀

  • Good grief, I could make 3 post out of replies. So many so nearly right, and so many not quite in the real world, where real people/players play?
    I don’t know who said it, but it is true in football:

    ‘ For every action, there is a reaction’.

    Sorry TA, I am not writing three posts. I do have a germ of an idea though. Later.

    For now, responses. Thanks HT for picking up on what I said about Alexis. I agree, I think AW is working on him.
    TA – Moi, controversial? Surely not. What I was saying was he needs be more selective with his efforts going forward. I see no point in him going all gung ho, as in the Anderlecht game, for an hour, dragging along three team mates with him, getting a 3 goal lead … only for the four of them to be so knackered that they could not get back to defend, and no longer had the energy to be able to attack effectively? There has to be a better balance. That is all. I did not say cut his balls off and leave him neutured, okay?

    JB – What you say does make the game very simple … on paper. But of course you do like to place your personal views on players ahead of the reality don’t you?

    Why do you need to put Giro in a CB role. He can come back from his striker position and do a defensive role at set pieces. Which is where we have been vulnerable?
    Why would Giro coming back push Danny to the wing, and more than when Alexis plays central? If anything it will push Alexis deeper, which playing off a big striker he can play the Aguero role very well?
    However, you are spot on with your assessment re Chambers.

    Steve – You still do not address the point that if Chambers moves to CB there has to another action at RB. It is no good plugging one gap, only to create another? At the moment, without a re-run of the previous TW arguments, we are limited in choices at RB, as indeed we are at CB. So rather than go down the route of the Irish joke about getting directions to somewhere, where the answer comes back, ‘Well I wouldn’t start from here’ 😀
    In order of my preference RB is: Debuchy(injured); Chambers, Bellerin, absolute desperation time, Ramsey; Flamini; Moore; Monreal. Yes I would put academy player in his correct position over Monreal. Not that the latter would not try and do the best he could, on his wrong foot I feel he would be easy get crosses through evry time?
    The argument I keep making against Bellerin is the effect (the reaction) on Mert. As well as being vulnerable in the heading department.
    Finally, this idea we go all out attack on Man U, I only have one image in my head … 8-2!

    JB – On ‘playing our 16-19 year olds in the first team’? The only player I have been consistently backing is Isaac Hayden. He is not in the Under 19’s, but in the first team squad, and when he is fit he plays it is in the reserves(Under 21’s). There is only a couple of months difference in his age and that of Chambers. He got his experience at Southampton, Hayden will get his chance to shine here, and shine he will, imo.
    With BellerinI, I have been at pains to say he is an attacker who can tackle, not an outright FB. He can play there, and do a grand job. But against teams that will target him I think he would struggle, but not for pace or determination. I would love him to be tried at the right side of midfield, especially when we have Walcott only doing an hour. That would be the time to judge him.
    As for others that we would like to think will make it? Well having seen the England Under 19’s play, I am sad to report that very few will get in that side, even when they progress to Under 21 level. Watching the England first team last night, particularly in the first half, I felt I just couldn’t wait until some of those younger guys step up. If that is the current level of the next generation, we are a long way behind. Crowley and Zelalem are the only two on a skill count that get close, and at a squeeze, Akpom for strikers intelligence, pace and finish, and in the English game, Matt Macey?

    Sad but true ….

  • Gerry, the fact that we gave away a three nil lead to Anderlecht has nothing to do with Alexis. Name me an attacker in the league who works harder to support the defence? As a matter of fact, name me a better all round attacker in the PL this season….

  • Steve, Danny was effective because he played with another CF, allowing him to drift wide at times and taking the pressure away to a large extent (thought Rooney had a good game). For the first goal he should be credited for being in the right place, but the finish was a lucky one. His second goal was great: fine first touch, good overview and it was great to see him keep his effort low this time. A bit of progress… But just because he scored does not make him a good CF….. The points in my previous post explain what I mean with that. 🙂

    What do you make of England’s formation and Jack’s role… How could it work for Arsenal with the current fully fit players? A formation a day keeps the doctor away! 😀

  • Wenger was at pains to point out Jack is not suited to the deeper role and some of his strenghts are lost when he plays there. Well, for England he has put in three MOTM performances in a row in the deeper role, whilst for Arsenal he has been floating between distinctly average and good in what Wenger thinks is his best role/position…that’s all I’ll say on that, as we all know we will play the same team and formation we did v Burnley-Anderlect-Swansea against Man U. (For reference look at our starting IX for those 3 games and you will see only changes were in the DM pivot between Arteta-Flamini-Ramsey.) Arteta is proabaly fit again now, so he’ll start in his customary (false) DM/HM role.Fully expect Flamini to play alongside him as Wenger believes *sigh* that gives us better defensive solidity.

  • No. I’d rather we played Jack and Ramsey as the CM pivot. This “we are being defeinsively solid and don’t want to attack gung-ho but end up conceding goals for fun anway” routine we been doing is exhausting. Agree with those who said our best bet right now is to outscore teams so let’s set-up to do exactly that please. Wenger has put us in a position where we don’t have a proper DM and are playing Nacho at CB, so clearly he doesn’t give much of AF about defensive solidity either, now does he really?
    Also, can we please not elevate Man U to some standard their not at? This is not a top of the table clash, its 5th v 7th, if anything on current form, Swansea was a bigger threat to us than Man U.
    To revert back to the original question: where has all the excitement gone? How many of you here henuinely thought we would beat Swansea? Can’t be too many. How many of you genuinely expect us to beat Man U? …and that is where the excitement has gone, we no longer expect a victory in any game, just a bundle of nerves and the fake defenisive solidity set-up doesn’t help.

  • Jack and Ramsey, rather than FlamTeta would not work for me. A flimsy option. The idea that full on attack is our best defence is ambitious but naive, and so is the view that Swansea are a bigger threat than Manure. How long have you been a Gooner, D-M? Let’s keep our heads and play solid with a good Attack. Best possible line up Imo:

    Monreal – BFG – Koz – Gibbs
    ———– FlamTeta————-
    ————-OG/the Well——-

    Depending on fitness of course….

  • D-Money – A stat I picked up a few days ago from ‘Untold’, showed that we conceded less goals when the Art-~Flam combo was used. More goals conceded when Flam is combined, or more often that not, left on his own, when paired with another, than when Arteta was ditto.
    I note that in all three games you mention we had a winning hand to lose.

    Personally, I would not have Ramsey on the bench if we weren’t desperate at the moment. I will be interested to see whether it is just club form he has lost when he turns out for Wales?
    However, IF both he and Jack stick to their roles; this is AR as a DM first, and AM/striker a big second, and Jack a DM first, but combined with linking up play, rather than play cul-de-sac roulette at every opportunity, then I have no problem with your pairing.
    Do you trust them to do that?

    Yes, as HT said, even a win against Man U will be quickly devalued, in the manner you have described, although to be fair, I think Swansea were in 7th place when we played them?
    That said, they too have a more potent attack, and a weakened defensive line. So rather than it being just a question who scores the most goals, as that will ultimately come down to who defends the better?

    Despite us being at home, I would rather win ugly than lose by a big margin? If we can concede when having a 3 goal cushion, our confidence will not be that great if we go two down?

  • TA. You must have missed the part where I said “on current form”…the fact that I’ve been a gooner over 20 years is neither here nor there. By that logic teams in the Bundesliga should be more fearful of Dortmund in the relegation zone than they should be of Leverkusen-Hoffenheim-Mainz or any of the other 15 teams above Dortmund (expect Bayern) right? We are not playing in the past, as things stand, the match between Man U and Arsenal carries a lot more historical significance than actual significance in terms of deciding title. Which is why I say we shouldn’t elevate Man U to a level they CURRENTLY are not. History is the same reason we continue to persist with Wenger in the face of a lot of evidence to the contrary.
    As for ideal XI: my 1st rule is always play players in their natural positions, thus I could never agree with playing Nacho anywhere but LB. That’s just me.
    The club have given very little info on when Kos will be back so there none of us can be sure, but I can’t wait for him to return.
    I think it was JB and Steve who originally went with the “extreme” attacking philosphy, and whilst there are obvious risks involved, I think partly we are willing to put with those risks because a) we are tired of seeing the same old tired ineffectual formation and heck even “change for the sake of change” looks better than the same old drab nonsense b) we can all agree that the more defensively balanced line-up has hardly proven defensively resolute anyway c) yes results matter, but they havnt been gong our way with current formation anyway d) in the past, even when Arsenal were not winning, we were a joy to watch, right now its painful and laboured. If you can’t get us the results, at least bring back the pure joy of our sexy footy back, if nothing else, give us that.

  • HT. I would not say I “trust” AR and JW as a CM pivot, as I’m aware both are more forward thinking, but I think JW is picking up valuable discipline and positional awareness when playing for England. AR worries me the most of the two on current form, but having already seen what FlamTeta bring to the table and which qute frankly doesn’t leave me feeling like our midfield is more defensively sound, I’m willing to take that risk. And I admit, its a risk. Wenger isn’t one for risks however, at least not of late. Such a shame.

  • Gerry, D-Money, Arron Ramsey, even as he was struggling his most with us, never lost (as much) form for Wales. In his case, the sides play in such a different manner (Arsenal and Wales) that it might be too difficult to compare the experiences of playing for both. It basically is impossible to know for certain how different it is, unless a member, or future member of the blog gets in both the Arsenal and Wales sides, but I’d wager it is markedly different, to be honest.

    I’d either play Arteta and Wilshere in midfield, or Arteta and Ramsey. That’s just going with my gut and my preference for at least a bit more perceived balance in regards to attacking and defending, statistics be damned. Again, I do not know all or even close to all the stats backing up, or shooting down my preference(s). It’s just based on gut and a bit of logic.

    your a,b,c,d reasons above were stated like you had ripped them straight from my brain 🙂

    We are such a bunch of p*ssy’s atm, drastically trying to overcome the imbalance in our team by adding player after player to defensive roles that are quite simply unsuited for the task and not gaining any type of credible results in the process to justify its continuation as an approach to setting up.

    you call yourself an attacking team, you profess to playing beautiful attacking football, you collect attacking players for fun and fill the squad with them, you fail to buy hardly any defensive players at all – then you go out and play in a defensive manner and try and play conservatively and tight, with a double pivot and you wonder why its all going to shit – ITS MADNESS!

    If you think we need a physically strong RB instead of an out and out pacey one against Di Maria then you are insane, Bellerin is the way to go!

    We don’t have a DM and the closest we’ve got is Chambers – stick the lad in there!

    We don’t have two CB’s so stick BFG in there along side Monreal and fucking prey!

    That leaves this lot driving through midfield and attack:

    ———-The OX———-Wilshere———-

    If you think that lot aint going to destroy the Man U defense over 90 mins then you havent been paying close attention to their matches so far this season. 8-2 my arsehole, more like 8-8 at worst but i back our attack to beat theres in a scoring match any day!

    Put the emphasis where the god damn strength is in our squad and play attacking football again instead of this defensive midfield nonsense that consistently fails to produce.


  • arsenal 5 – 2 spurs
    ac milan 0 – 4 arsenal
    arsenal 7 – 1 blackburn
    wigan 0 – 4 arsenal
    chelsea 3 – 5 arsenal

    arsenal 5 – 1 west ham
    arsenal 7 – 3 newcastle
    arsenal 5 – 2 spurs

    we only ever had one DM, first it was Song then it was Arteta but the rest was ATTACK!
    Walcott, van judas, Gervinho attacking up front with driving midfielders like Ramsey and Rosicky and later Cazorla and Wilshere.
    We used to destroy teams!

    We were always a bit shit at defense but lived in hope that would change over the years. What has happened now is that Wenger has managed not to strengthen that defense and compensated for his complete fuck up by loading more defensively minded players in midfield to help out our still shit defense and destroyed our attacking drive.

    The result – we STILL look shit and weak in defense but now we don’t score many either, unless we manage to pull off a tippy tappy wonder goal but they are ten times harder to score than the quick direct breaks and counters we used to score from years ago.


  • maybe in the old days that was true TA but these are two completely unrecognizable teams now (especially Man U)

    Attack, Attack and if we loose at least we go down swinging instead of what we are doing at the moment – basically just waving the white flag!

  • The chicken said to the pig, let’s do something nice for our farmer, he’s been a bit unhappy recently…..

    What do you suggest, chicken, sid the pig

    Let’s make him bacon and eggs, said the chicken

    Ah…. No way said the pig, that would be engagement for you, but involvement for me!

    Your arguments a to d are those of the chicken.

  • TA i am absolutely certain that’s the type of dribble AW repeats to himself whilst loosing at Swansea and wondering why everybody is telling him to play Chambers in the middle and Bellerin at RB.
    And i’m positive its the same type of philosophical nonsense that will see us line up exactly the same against Man U (with the same outcome most likely).

    If a tree falls in a forest, does anyone give a f*ck or do we all continue watching the footy?

  • OH i think its gone well beyond patience now don’t you think TA?

    we give the man sooooo much leeway!

  • It’s for you, Steve. Wenger is getting his key players back and will build on that. He has been here many times before, and I expect him to get us back to winning ways. A gung ho approach is for the chickens, I am afraid. 🙂

  • hahaha this is what it must be like for a fan to talk to Wenger 😆

    Q. why did you not buy any CB’s in the summer?
    A. a forest would not be a Forrest without fallen trees

    😆 😆 😆

    I could actually see it going down like that 😆

    hahaha always puts a smile on my face talking to you TA 🙂

  • Long term I have my doubts, just like you and many others, but for now I trust he will get us going again without berserk formations and philosophies…. 🙂

  • disagreed @ Skippers

    for strikers/ CF’s , it’s all about the numbers game .

    saying he can’t do this or that to be able to fully fit your criteria is saying contrary to what his number suggest .

    the proof is in the pudding and the pudding says , we already have a much better striker and CF than we’ve had ever since the traitor left us .

    you can argue about the shape, and so on all you like – the numbers however, tell a very different story , especially if you compare those numbers to the decent strikers in England, Roony/RVP/FALCAO/Balotelli/Adabawhore/Soldado/ e.t.c e.t.c

    all of them have cost more money and yet, our lad has outscored all of them combined 😀

    not many teams in the world would have Giroud as their no.1 striker, in fact , his own national team doesn’t have him down as 1st choice – that itself tells you a story within a story .

    and this is where the problem lies in my opinion – instead of playing a proper holding midfielder, we are keen on playing a holding CF who holds the entire team back and we miss him more for his defending skills at set pieces than his primary skills (which don’t involve going to the ground and sulking !


  • Don’t get me wrong TA with everybody fir it becomes a different matter to assess but for NOW i couldn’t think of a more gung ho approach than putting Monreal in as CB and Arteta and Flamini in DM! you might as well play with no defense at all!! That is gung ho TA.
    My way is at least trying to save the game by scoring more and not relying on a non existent defense only to hold some sort of conservative performance.

  • Hi Gerry

    how are you doing and how are things with you ? must be missing the races I reckon !

    well, it isn’t as difficult as some people or managers make it out to be – the team who scores more goals than the opposition still goes onto to win it – just look at the liverpool team of last season, their defence was shambles, no ? yet they kept outscoring opponents , Man city will argue the same .

    but yes, what you say has merit and substance .

    and re- the 16- 19 year olds, then I had the Gnabry’s, Zelalem’s in mind and to be fair , you are right, you don’t do it as much as Stevie Wonder here does it, bloody hell – he has 3 formations going on every day ahahahahahahahah am surprised he’s managed to left out Steve bould from one of his desired teams 😀

    Glic – come back mate, with you the likes of TMHT, VCC have also abandoned us, it’s not cool – we need all of you oldies keeping us calm with you doomer predictions 😀 there is way too much positivety on this blog ahahahahahahahhahaa

  • Respect for that Steve. 🙂

    Happy to disagree JB. Numbers have their value but Danny’s PL numbers are pretty shit anyway. But that is not my point anyway.

  • JB, i have to put up different formations and player selections for you lot to contemplate – its not like the manager is ever going to bloody do it for us 🙂

  • to answer your question on the post TA
    Where Has All the Excitement Gone?

    Against Swansea
    ———Back four———–
    —Ramsey——-Flamini— (off form and shite)
    OX—–Sanchez—–Cazorla (excitement, excitement, mediocre)
    ———-Welbeck————– (tried by no cigar)

    you want Excitement:
    ———Back four———–
    ———Chambers———- (couldn’t do any worse)
    —Wilshere—-OX———- (excitement, excitement)
    Walcott–Welbeck–Sanchez (excitement, excitement, excitement)

    Theres a lot more excitement in the later TA – you asked the question 😆

  • indeed @ D-Money

    attack is the best form of defense – we only got done by the linesman and ref’s in the CL game.

    we need to be playing with the handbrake OFF and we will get there , like Skipper says, AW is beginning to get his main players back.

    I like talking in 3’s – so JW, TW and Giroud are his 3 for now

    and in the next lot, we will have KOC, OZIL and DEBUCHY back .

    that will do nicely from now to the new years.

    I am going to predict 5 out of 5 wins in the next 5 domestic games, there is no point in going all out now for the CL games and they are better used giving the likes of Theo, Poldi, Bellerin, Diaby, Joel, Yaya , Gnabry and co more game time and letting them get back to their best .

  • just watched the first half of the Wales game – oh dear oh dear Ramsey, off form just doesn’t do it justice

  • JB, that would require rotation from Wenger, quite frankly that’s a big ask and not likely to happen. As we saw with out line-ups v Burnley-Anderlecht-Swansea, rotation and change are not our manager’s forte.
    Thank you Steve. I can’t think of anything more gung-ho than a flase DM pivot of Arteta-Flamini and Nacho at CB. That diamond is crying for gals to be conceded.
    Anybody who thinks Chambers has a better chance of stoppng Di Maria and Januzaj than Bellerin probably thought Chambers could handle Montero better than Bellerin because he is “older, stronger and more experianced”. Because age and strength are great for dealing with raw speed and skill…
    I’ve been avoiding doing a preferred Xi, primarily because I know Wenger will revert to type and set-up to lose, sorry I meant play the same team and formation that lost to Swansea.
    Ignoring that, I’d like to see:

    I think that team has a better chance of beating Man U than what Wenger is likely to go for:
    Ox-Arteta-Wilshere-Cazorla (Flamini could easily be switched for Wilshere)

  • D-Money, i think Chambers is only a couple months older than Bellerin anyway and experience wise i think Bellerin was playing at the Barca youth set up since he was very young so on both fronts Chambers isn’t any better a choice at RB.
    Like you say its just strength and height but if Wenger thinks thats going to win out against blistering pace then he’s insane – Bellerin all day long at RB for me too mate.

    btw before you add Ramsey to that double pivot you should really look at his from atm, imo its shocking, otherwise looks like you have faith in the same candidates as me – its a shame the boss doesn’t see it that way mate.

  • This is the alternative side I put up a couple of days ago, but amended to keep the idea of a more usual formation.
    ________Bellerin_________Art/Flam__________Jacki ______

    The basic thought was to give Chambers extra support, and not get too far forward. Whereas Gibbs would likely be able to get forward and support a very pacey attack. Ideal for playing counter attacking style?
    The weakness is the creative angle. It would not work against two banks of 4. So it needs quick balls played to the front three, supported by Bellerin or Gibbs.
    At set pieces we are defending, Gibbs moves inside as an extra CB, while Welbeck marks the 3rd ariel threat, and Alexis one of the more mobile threats. Monreal in the wall to block the line of direct threats. Leave Walcott high up so they have to keep two players back, and a quick kick out over the top should make them more nervous?

    Plenty of attacking subs, but the defence might have to go the distance?

  • Gerry, we’ve kind of got the same idea but implemented differently 🙂

    swap the aging, broken, was never a DM in the first place, weak, slow defensive midfield choice of either Arteta or Flamin for Chambers.
    swap Chambers for Bellerin for reasons discussed at length both here and all over the internet.
    Stick OX in where Bellerin is.
    And rearrange Welbeck and Sanchez so Welbeck back is in the middle and Sanchez is on the left wing

    And there you have it, the formation i put up 🙂
    Attacking 4-3-3, yeah baby! 🙂

    ———-The OX———-Wilshere———-

  • Sorry Steve, BFG has got to have Chambers at RB, so he can concentrate on organising Monreal.

    Putting Chambers out in a very exposed position does not fill me with any confidence either.

    Ox I had down as ‘fresh legs’ at some point, And while Jack is enjoying that deeper role at the Inters, let him continue at club level.

    Mind we have still one more game to play before we can count on them all being fit?

    Talking of that, I read Blind went off injured?

  • JB – I watched the racing this afternoon. My biggest problem is whether to be a complete emotional wreck watching ‘Warhorse’ tonight, or just record for another time. 😥

  • Gerry, “And while Jack is enjoying that deeper role at the Inters, let him continue at club level.”
    Please no, not you too. Jack is an attacking midfielder, playing him in a defensive role is ridiculous imo and a complete waste of talent.

  • Wenger killing himself doing commentary.
    1. Says Ozil came with an injury from WC…explains why we played him 90 min week I out then
    2. Says you should never play players out of position because you won’t get best out of them (in reference to Neymar-Suarez-Messi)…explains Ozil on wing, Ramsey at RW and Right Back, Nacho at CB, Arteta at DM…
    3. Says it is very difficult for young CBs as you need experiance there…explains letting Vermaelen go and buying Chambers
    A lot more soundbites and sadly it sounds like he is losing the plot with each one. He should stop doing commentary honestly, contradicting his own tactical set-up and transfer dealings with each word he speaks.

  • D-Money that is hilarious, he’s lost the plot
    “you should never play players out of position” what a joke lol

  • agreed, that’s the joke of the century considering he’s been playing Sczny in goal since the last 5 years , REGULARLY .

  • hahaha JB i just watched Courtois play for Belgium, he released the ball early at every opportunity it was a joy to watch, shame we don’t have that in our locker lol

  • HaHaHa JB that one is unfair, lol I’ll admit I can’t wait to see Ospina play regularly though.
    I was honestly in shock seeing Wenger saying all that, he analyused it properly TBF, even suggested if Barca can’t make it work they should let go of one of them coz their individual talents are wasted when all three are played as two invariably have to play out of position out wide. More surprising was that none of the co-pundits asked: but Ozil? But Nacho? Is the whole world afraid to question the man?

  • btw Rosicky playing some lovely football for the Czech’s atm, nice, silky, clever passes

  • Alvaro Medran. Transfer target for Bundesliga clubs.

    This is youth football shown here, but even when watching other youth matches, you don’t see many passes like this, do you??? Almost Flamini-esque???

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