Fine Fellow Gooners: Let’s Be Having Your Predictions!


I just watched the short BBC Stiliyan Petrov video and it was a humbling experience:

Petrov has been through so much, and yet, his passion for football is a big part of what drives him on. He clearly has a great joie de vivre and sense of humour, and he should inspire us all to accept and appreciate what we have – to be gracious about it.

Reading comments by a number of fine, and not so fine, fellow Gooners on BK and other blogs, I reckon they should take a leaf out of Petrov’s book. Yes our team has been disappointing and Wenger can be criticised for a number of his decisions, but it really is not a big deal. The season is long and there will be many twists and turns, and good football to watch in the process. Yet, it sometimes feels that some believe the world is about to end…

For real football lovers, the calender year can be divided into three sections:

  1. Start of the season till end of last international break period: typified by ‘stop and start’ of the club football season;
  2. Mid November till March: Full on club football without any interruptions, with the conclusion of the CL group stages and a large number of PL games (and start of the FA cup rounds as well);
  3. The remainder of the club football season, once again interrupted by international football, and possibly followed by the Euros or WC for nations.

Finally, the last international break is over and we can now enter the best period of football for us club-football junkies.

I asked in the last post how we can get some excitement back at Arsenal and the responses, although not bad, have not inspired many of us. For some, it is all about going full out on attack and not worrying about our defending any more. They want Flamteta replaced by either the untested and exhausted Chambers (on his little ownie) or the defensively soft and partly out of form duo of RamShere. It could of course work a treat, but I don’t see these as the answers to making us stronger right now.

For me, there is always just the next game to get excited about. Formation and available players play a big part, and so are the instructions and decisions of the manager. But the beauty of the beautiful game is that there are always elements of luck, bad luck and unpredictability that will determine the outcome of the game: the ball is round as the Dutch like to call it. The past is a fact, but the future is uncertain and therefore (yet) exciting.

I reckon this is a good moment to do some predictions. For most of us the glass is currently half-empty rather than full, which should lead to more realistic/balanced predictions.

So hear are my questions:

  1. How many points will we get from all our PL games between now and 2 January 2015 (games to play are: MU (H), West Brom (A), Southampton (H), Stoke (A), Newcastle (H), Liverpool (A), QPR (H), West Ham (A), Southampton (A))?
  2. What will be our position in the PL come the second of January?
  3. What will be Arsenal’s top-three of goal scorers by the second of January (all PL games of this season)?
  4. What will be Arsenal’s top-three of assist producers by the second of January (all PL games of this season)?
  5. We have conceded 13 PL goals (only three teams conceded less this season): How many goals will we have conceded by the second of January (all PL games)?
  6. Who will be in Arsenal’s top-three of official PL Man of the Match awards by second of January (all PL games of the season)?
  7. Just for fun – everybody! is fit: what is your favourite eleven?

Written by: TotalArsenal.

151 thoughts on “Fine Fellow Gooners: Let’s Be Having Your Predictions!

  • 1) 19 points for me
    2) 3rd behind Chelsea and Manchester City
    3) Alexis, Welbeck, Ramsey
    4) Alexis, Ramsey, Cazorla
    5) 21
    6) Alexis, Welbeck, Ramsey
    Debuchy, Chambers, Koscielny, Gibbs
    Ramsey, Diaby
    Theo, Özil, Alexis

  • always depends on the opposition of course 😉
    I’d always prefer Giroud against weak sides, but Wilshere (even though I love him as a player) and BFG don’t fit the style I want to see us playing….and I really dislike Per 😀

  • 1. 18 Points (out of 27 +_____+, hope its more)
    2. 4th behind the petrodollar millionaires and Man Utd
    3. Alexis, Welbeck , Ox
    4. Alexis, Jack, Santi
    5. 13+7 in the next 9 games = 20 games
    6. Alexis, Jack, Ramsey
    7. Favourite XI? Everybody is fit and available? I can dream right? LOL
    (similar to Nik’s, only difference is Ospina)

  • I must admit, I love Giroud, Jack and Santi. But if everybody is fit, I cant see any of them starting regularly, but against park the bus teams, especially at home, I’d consider starting both Welbeck and Giroud. Santi and Jack’s guile may also prove more effective than the speedsters in such games, but i would retain at least one of the speedsters, probably Theo.

  • D-M, I guess to become nr.2 in questions four and six, you must have some trust in young Jack?! 🙂

    Good to see you stick to Ramsey in your best eleven.

  • This is strange TA – I did not see the Petrov piece, but I did know of his recovery. But putting things into perspective, football blogging versus real world concerns(and my input into them) comes from my waking time. Invariably around 5.0am.
    I usually have my breakfast while ‘Hardtalk’ is on, where difficult questions are asked of those who dare.
    However, this last weekend, I caught the late evening thing on Poets of the Somme, English, Welsh, and German… with the person doing the narration standing in the present day spots where these poets saw sights that came out in graphic poetry …
    The trees are still there, the ridges and valleys,and now the lines of gravestones …
    Which is why Warhorse was not what I wanted on Sunday night.

    Sunday morning, early, there was a program on the Samuel Pepys Literature Prize short list for best biography. The winner was an autobigraphy of a woman descending into depression, but the process was captured by her superb writing as she trained a Goshawk.

    Another was a story of a slave rebellion on board a ship, at a time when the rest of the world was beginning to change. However, when the ship arrived at Buenos Aires, the slaves not sure of the reception, decided to act out as though they were still in captivity. So well did the pass off this slave/master relationship, they were warmly welcomed. But when the Governor of Buenos Aires found out he had been duped, he dealt with them in a most brutal manner imaginable.

    Another, was a simpler story about ancestry, entitled ‘Common People’, and in the process of research going back 5 generations the author encapsulated the casualties of the industrial revolution, and the few that survived. An historical masterpiece is how the panel described it.

    What do I do? I join in debates on who is a better or worse player to go into a football side, and has no bearing or affect on the real decisions …

    Back later with answers to the trivia, such is my nondescript world I live in.

  • wow u lot don’t half get philosophical in your spare time!
    last night i watched the latest episode of newsroom, had a cheeky tug in the shower and crashed out lol

    These questions are pretty difficult TA as they are very dependent on how quickly players come back to the team but i will give em a go in a minute mate.

  • Okay,this is a glimpse into the near future:

    1, 17 points
    2, 4th Southampton still there.
    3, Alexis, Welbeck, Giroud
    4, Alexis, Ox, Giroud
    5, 8
    6, Alexis, Ox, Hayden
    Debuchy, Mert Kos, Gibbs
    Hayden, Diaby( fit and at his best)
    Ox, Giroud, Alexis

  • 1. 17 Points
    2. 4th
    3. Alexis, Welbeck , OX
    4. Alexis, Jack, OX
    5. 😆 could be anything 😆 on average so far we let in just over one goal a game so make it 10, plus a couple extra because we face a couple of top teams so 14.
    6. Alexis, Jack, OX
    7. I’m leaving Diaby out of the equation because I’m not even totally convinced he’s still alive tbh.

    Fingers XI of course! 

    Difficult away games:
    –Walcott——Wilshere——-The OX—

    Home games:
    ——-Wilshere—–Hayden——-The OX——

  • This is a very taxing question, Oh Mighty, Total. 🙂

    1. 27 Points – All will crumble before us.
    2. 3rd — [Chavs 1st – Shitteh 2nd]
    3. Sanchez, Welly and Rambo.
    4. Sanchez, Ox, and Santi.
    5. 20 goals against.
    6. Sanchez, Theo, Santi.
    7. Favourite XI? Chez, Belli, Per, Chambers, Gibbs — Rambo, Arteta, Ox — Sanchez, Welly, Theo

    How d’ya like them apples? 🙂

  • Steve,

    Macey? I happen to like him and think he is one for the future but………

    Do you really see him leapfrogging Iliev, Vickers, Martinez, Ospina and Chezzer – or was that a wild fancy? 🙂

  • RA, i guess you didn’t spot Bould in defense then?
    Or maybe you did and just thought he’s probably better than BFG atm lol

  • No, Steve, I just thought that if you had Macey in the team why the hell not have Bouldie too? 🙂

  • Gerry,

    That comment – “I think you will find he is just behind Martinez at the moment” sounds a lot like a Cockie Doodle Doo one. 🙂

    Thing is – Total said “Everyone is FIT ” – but I don’t believe him, either, so Macey in your view has ‘only’ jumped Martinez, Ospina and Chezzer? 🙂

  • Steve,

    I am trying not to join the ranks of the whingers, but if you promise not to tell anyone, I will admit that Per looks like he is heading towards early retirement with his increasing lack of pace and energy.

    Remember now — sssh. 🙂

  • Well, that’s nice, I pop in to say hello and most of the regulars have buggered off. 😉
    Whatever Total has been saying about me —- is true, evidently.

  • RA, i don’t think you’re alone in having that thought mate (i include myself in that) but for now my lips are sealed bud 🙂

  • A cup of coffee calls, and hopefully TA and the rest of the crowd will shake a leg, get out of bed, and be back by the time I return. 🙂

  • Steve,

    I will never reveal your secret – that’s just between the two of us.
    In exchange and I have to whisper this if I ruled the world, or, OK I will settle for ruling Arsenal, there would be quite a number of our players who would be looking elsewhere for honest employment.
    Is anyone looking? -OK, then – Flamster, Arteta, Monreal, Santi would be among the first for the karate chop —– no, no, I must stop —– with the proviso that I would ensure there were suitable young, classy replacements already in the pipeline to replace them. Now – not a word – TA will want to kick my ass, if he could reach that high!! 🙂

  • Naughty naughty boys!

    Don’t forget the Under 21’s tonight – 8.0pm away to France, should be good.

  • Gerry you f*cking legend! I almost missed that, got some footy to watch tonight now – sorted! 🙂

  • 1. 21 Points including smashing Man U and Pool
    2. 2nd behind Chelsea (Southampton 3rd)
    3. Sanchez, Welbeck , Ramsey
    4. Sanchez, Welbeck, Theo
    5. Probably about 24 goals in total
    6. Sanchez, Wilshere, Ramsey
    7. Favourite XI?

  • TA…Interesting questions and a good overview of the previous post and comments…Naturally, I would like to see your answers… It’s all rather the opposite of OGAAT, which (in my very humble opinion) is the essence of the problem. When we look beyond the moment at hand it all becomes pretty boring…and we’ll likely be right in there with the other American owned clubs (ManU and Pool–fighting for 3rd through 5th) while the surprise teams (So’ton mostly, but also Swansea and West Ham and look out for those newly revived Toonies…) will probably drop back… But maybe that’s the point of the post…to give the every-bad-result=crisis folks and hard-core Wenger bashers a bit of perspective… 😀 Of course, if we threw out the baby with each batch of dirty bathwater, there’d be a whole lot fewer mouths to feed, so maybe they’re onto something… 😀

    That’s assuming we DON’T go that route but (instead) hold it together as a collective, i.e., the manager and the core group of players–and most of the support– and keep moving forward. The (would-be) joy (and agony) is in the play itself, of course… On that note, and despite how some maintain it *should* be an easy one, we have a very (very, very…) big one coming up in 5 days time…

    So, sorry, no predictions from me…Nor a best fit 11 as there’s no such thing… I will say this…Some people who are getting a chance due to all the injuries need to do enough so that we’re not so concerned about who’s out…I’m pointing fingers at you Flams, Santi, Ox, DW, Chambers, BFG, Ramsey, Wilshere and Nacho, not even mentioning guys like Yaya and Lulu. (Which, I guess, might suggest that I think NONE of them,on current form, at least, would make a first 11 on a team that hopes to truly compete at the very highest levels…)

    Please, however, don’t mind me…and carry on with the everybody fit 11 or youth 11s or the “Super Quality” transfer 11s or other combinations and dream scenarios… Who knows, soon enough, like Merle Haggard once sang, “We’ll all be drinking that free bubble up and eating that rainbow stew…”


  • Trust me, TA, my original comment was quite a bit harsher (not on you, but on the Goonersphere generally and certain elements here)… I liked Gerry’s 15:38 as well, but Steve’s 15:49 seemed a good one too…Made me wonder what an extra finger or three might do for my own love-life…

    OK, here it comes…An all fit, first 11…

    Sir Chez
    Capitan Mike

    Can’t do the points/goals/assist stuff, goals against, etc…as it’s All OGAAT, all the time for me… Also, I should probably go into hiding (before I get a hiding…) and because I’m already starting to soil myself thinking of the 1 million pound (per week!) attack coming to the grove on Saturday… I think that’s about the wage bill United spends on RvJ, Rad-a-Mal, Captain Wayne, John the Killer and the Angel of Maria…

    Next video…

  • How many points will we get from all our PL games between now and 2 January 2015 (games to play are: MU (H), West Brom (A), Southampton (H), Stoke (A), Newcastle (H), Liverpool (A), QPR (H), West Ham (A), Southampton (A))?

    1.One against United, three against West Brom, three against Southampton, one against Stoke, three against Newcastle, three against Liverpool, three against QPR, three against West Ham and one against Southampton – 21 points to add to our poor tally so it means 38.

    What will be our position in the PL come the second of January?

    Third, behind Chavs and City.

    What will be Arsenal’s top-three of goal scorers by the second of January (all PL games of this season)?

    Alexis, Welbeck, Chamberlain.

    What will be Arsenal’s top-three of assist producers by the second of January (all PL games of this season)?

    Alexis, Welbeck, Chamberlain.

    We have conceded 13 PL goals (only three teams conceded less this season): How many goals will we have conceded by the second of January (all PL games)?

    Four against United, one against West Brom, none against The Saints, one against Stoke, one against Newcastle, none against Liverpool, none against QPR, one against West Ham, two against The Saints – ten more goals so it means 23.

    Who will be in Arsenal’s top-three of official PL Man of the Match awards by second of January (all PL games of the season)?

    Alexis, Welbeck and Chamberlain.

    Just for fun – everybody! is fit: what is your favourite eleven?


    Just kiddin’.

    Szczesny – Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs – Rosicky, Ramsey – Walcott, Özil, Alexis-Welbeck.

    Or: Szczesny – Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs – Chambers, Ramsey – Walcott, Chamberlain, Alexis-Welbeck. An attacking quartet that doesn’t have a classical No.10 but offers so much pace that they can travel through time to get to the end of their own crosses and head them home.

  • hahaha 17HT, the midfield triangle of
    Its like you’re the anti me lol 🙂

  • F11ngers… Let the ball do the work, I say…and maybe the ref, when we play the rugby teams… 😀 In truth, I realized I’d forgotten Diaby, who could easily spell one of the Spaniards… more winkies, you know, if they had lingering form issues…

    Admir, I will have to refer to that post as the matches come… Already I’m lacking the stomach for our 4-4 draw on Saturday vs United… 😯

  • I just read that De Gea has dislocated a finger while training with Spain.
    TA As we all know Blind got injured with Holland, will he be a big miss for United?

  • Love amount of points, Admir. You have a lot of trust in Ox and Welbeck for goals, assists and MotM awards. The English aint that bad after all! 😉

  • TA,
    Good post i will give you my predictions once i can get my typing and prediction head on

  • TA,
    Ohh shame lol . De Gea on the other hand would be a massive miss for them , he was voted there player of the month and our lads would give him a servere test his replacement if so will get tested even harder hopefully. 🙂

  • @TA – there are enough English defenders in the league for Welbz and The Ox to shine. 😛 😉

    Just kiddin’, of course. It’s actually a logical choice – Welbz will play a lot this term due to Giroud’s injury and it will take some time before Giroud returns. Therefore, Welbz will have a lot of chances and time to score and to create goals. 😉 The Ox will use Theo’s lack of match fitness, Özil’s absence, Wenger’s reluctance to use Campbell and Cazorla’s lack of final product that has hit us this term.

  • 1. 20 points
    2. Second
    3. Alexis, Giroud, Theo
    4. Theo, Giroud, Jack
    5. 21 total
    6. Alexis, Theo, Szczesny


    Debutcher – Brainy Fabulous German – Le Pitbull – Gibbser

    ———— Diabolical———————-Just Jack—————–

    Feo——————————————————–The Ozicle

    ————————-The Mini Hulk———————————
    ————————-Girouf’s on Fire—————————-

    Super subs: Chambers, Arteta, Ramsey, Welbeck, Ox, Ospina, Pod

    The sort of team that will beat the Chavs, Die Lederhosen etc. 🙂

  • Good reasoning, Admir. I am counting on Giroud being available pretty soon. The man is made of special Alps muscles and bones… they heel quicker.. 🙂

  • TA
    Good point and a scary 1, i say wrap our boys up in bubble wrap for that 1.
    Fingers crossed all goes well, we are so due an injury free long period, i hope you footballing gods are listening!!!!!

  • TA – Thanks for the ‘reality check’ support. I admit I was vaigly aware of your liking of biographies, but more aware that I should read more!

    That was only half the short list. The other three were equally good and diverse. I recommend them, second hand, as it were. One of the panel said she reads very quickly, but got so involved by the writing she had to stop and go back and read again. A powerful admission?

    I have an emotional weakness that overflows easily. I even swallow hard every time at the John Lewis ad starring Monty the penguin … that is my admission 😀

  • I liked the footy last night, against ‘national interest’ seeing Ya Ya do his stuff.

    He is like watching a fragile autistic child so close to achieving against the odds, that you feel with just a little help, a little luck, and little improvement by the right coaching, he could achieve it all?
    An emotional hope that has me pulling for him all the way … go go Ya Ya!
    At the same time, you wonder if the hard, ‘real’ world will close the door … ?

    The game itself was hard to judge, with conditions making even simple play very difficult. Just flashes of brilliance interspersed with slip-sliding, error laden mistakes, that it is almost surprising that the game only had 5 goals as a final result?

    France probably deserving the win that ended England’s unbeaten run. But non-contact injuries due to the conditions were of a greater concern? Even the ‘Corporal’ was brought into action again, and survived I should add, when he should have been resting. Not the game to compare with fairly, but the overall skill level of the Under 19’s looks way ahead of this group?

  • Scanning through the gossip pages, I note we are now linked with yet another DM. And at £5m, much more in AW’s price range?

    Poland play again tonight, but overshadowed by the ‘local’ derby, so unlikely to get any air time. Shame really, as it would be another opportunity to see ‘Wojjer’ setting up quick counter attacks in a team that is set up for early releases?
    Although my main interest would have been in their DM, who unfortunately has other suitors now. At a similar price, I would have him ahead of either of the ‘Benders’.

    For those looking for the graphic details of exactly what Diaby has been through, scrolling through the comments made, a guy at the bottom lists all his injuries and setbacks since 2006, May 1st to be exact. You seriously have to wonder how he can keep coming back?

  • I know what you mean Gerry. YAYA can look awkward. Yet, he made the difference, both in terms of given shape, with good hold up play, and being in the right place at the right time to put the easy chances away. France played like Arsenal, England like ……. spuds.

  • i watched the match last night and it was just like you guys have described, a bit of a wash out tbh.
    luckily i only watched to see a couple of players, Sanogo obviously and jenko, but also Jamaal Lascelles who i wanted us to sign back in the summer for only a couple of mill (but Newcastle ended up with that one). I thought he performed quite well.

    personally i wouldn’t mind seeing a full strength U21 team take on the tournament proper but that would undermine the team that southgate has put together during the quals.
    I just think this kind of team would give us all something exciting to watch:

    ——-The OX——-Barkley——–Sterling——
    ——–Ward-Prowse——Will Huges————

    even Ravel Morrison in there somewhere if he gets his head on straight.

    Now that would be a tournament worth watching 🙂

    Sadly last night was not up to par.

  • Hi Steve, you do like a pair of attacking mid-fielder’s don’t you?

    The blond shocker and the devilishly cunning, feeding the power house, the fleet of foot, and the deft of touch …. Berahino would be having wet dreams with that lot behind him 😆

    But a bit like Arsenal, the defence might get a tad exposed with both Shaw and Jenks joining in up front?

    You just don’t care do you?

  • haha Gerry tbh i just couldn’t think of a DM form the U21 group (can’t even think of one from the overs lol) – Maybe that would be home sweet home for Hayden! 🙂

  • 1.17
    2. Third
    3.Alexis, Welbz, Theo
    5. 8 goals…hopefully
    6.Alexis, Jack, Theo
    7. Szczesny
    Debuchy-Calum- Koz- Gibbs
    Theo- Alexis- Ox

    Jus hoping we will get more than 17 points and not drop points when we have 3 goal leads. And Jack for player of the season haha.

  • And we have a more injured team (a bloody miracle) in Manure in the PL. if we lose against them… I’ll be so pissed. Probably won’t be back on this site for a while TA. Gotta study and train for marathons 🙂 Adios

  • Steve – First get IH fit. Then get him in our team … the rest will follow automatically 😀

    That Lascelles is a big fella isn’t he? Mind, that is the reason I like K’Koviak from my early post.
    (I am using the ‘K’ as a phonetic, it is really ch, which appears to sound like a ‘hard’ c from listening to the commentary). Mind, so much misinformation going on, until anybody signs the dotted, it is just wishful thinking. The other guy looks very similar, good, but without the height or the Presence! More a Ramsey type – so he had better step up soon or he will be a bench warmer?

  • Gerry,
    yep Lascelles is just a little shorter than BFG but with bags more pace and agility, i thought he put in quite a good CB performance in an otherwise quite lackluster team.
    Who’s the other guy you were referring to?

    I would like to do a bit of scouting on K’Koviak but i will be glued to us fighting the old enemy tonight.

  • So, just the Arsenal trio starting: Ox, Welbeck, and Wilshere?

    Gibbs rested, which is good. Ox in for Sterling. England look quite strong?

    Scotland only made one change, so they may get a bit tired towards the end?

    Prediction? England 1-3

    Off to enjoy the build up….

  • hahaha Downing and Milner in midfield – thats a long way from strong i think Gerry 🙂

  • 1. Pirlo and Xavi have agreed to host a round table meeting to discuss THAT Jack pass. You’re all invited.
    2. Anyone else noticed England are not playing with a traditional DM? They’re just using Jack in the HM/deeper/Pirlo role and Milner and Downing are free to roam almost. Arsenal certainly has ther personnel to do that. And England don’t look any less defensively sound for it. (Before u shoot me, I know Scotland is no Germany or Argentina, but they are a solid well-drilled team)

  • Did you put a bet on 3-1 Gerry i did i got it at 20/1 3-1 that is 🙂
    I also did the 4-1 .won a few quid 🙂

  • Don’t be silly PG – Odds like that only look good when you win. And when you are betting on odds that big, the chances of getting a long losing run are far greater. Be warned.

    You were quick to jump upon who Man U ‘say’ they will not be playing, but I do not think we are completely in the clear?

    Admittedly it was not the bloodbath some commentators were building it up to be, and we seem to be okay at first glance:
    Gibbs only had a little exercise run out. Should be fine.
    Ox played the bulk of the game at his usual full on pace. Look a little tired when he came off, luckily before anything serious. He is young, so should be refreshed by Saturday. Whether he starts is another matter. Walcott did not get on, so there must be a bit of a doubt about him starting?
    Wilshere had another good game in that deeper role. He did start to creep forward and get in on the act towards the end. What he needs to realise, for England and Arsenal, if he continues to make those wonderful passes over the top, he has absolutely no need to get ahead of the ball?
    On the point about him being not being a DM? I think partly because Scotland were jaded, that is up for it physically, but mentally not as sharp as they have been, and England with the trio of Wilshere, Milner and Ox, were able to harry Scotland in the middle of the park. Which either forced mistakes, or they won the ball and were in attack mode high up the pitch. But for the first 60 odd minutes JW was always behind the ball? It also has to be said, had it not been for the brilliance of Nathaniel Clyne, who manage to do everything that Chambers couldn’t do in his last game, and that was keeping that wing quiet while Ox and Milner, and Clyne too were involved in the attacks. In a match were the team effort won out overall, he would be my MOTM.
    Getting back to Jack. No he wasn’t the beast in the tackle, but he was part of the defensive shield.
    He also took a kick from behind shortly before coming off. Hopefully not serious, but he is in the same position as Ox, should be okay but may not start?

    Finally Welbeck, who probably did as much kicking as he was kicked. He did pull himself up when stretching for a ball near the touchline. It looked like a hamstring, but after a few minutes of avoiding being involved with the play,he appeared to run it off. Subbed shortly afterwards, but he has to be the biggest doubt for Saturday … no matter how badly he will want to play?

    All in all, we got off quite lightly? It will not be long before we know the squad, so that should say whether any of the above can sit it out?

  • HI all..
    TA.. you have a lot of idea to make more fun in this site..
    But why 9 games.. not 8..?? hehehe..

    1) 9 games.. not so easy to predict.. but I hope we will never lost.. only draw..
    With all our best players back from injure.. I think only two games will make us lost points..
    Stoke and Hammer are that two.. Cause they play a very defensive ways..
    Liverpool and Soton away.. I still believe we will handle that.. cause they will play an open-game.. so with our best players.. we will win..
    so 23 points for me

    2) 3rd behind Chelsea and Soton..
    With their points now.. they will still lead.. but we will narrow the gaps..
    City will play a hard games in this 3 months.. So they will left behind..

    3) No doubt.. Alexis, Welbeck, and I hope Walcott..

    4) Ramsey, Cazorla and Ox..

    5) No more than 6 goals.. I hope it mean left than 19

    6) Alexis, Wilshere and Walcott

    7) My first team..
    Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs
    Ramsey, Diaby
    Theo, Özil, Alexis

  • “Balance & Control” team if everyone is fit:

    (GK)Szczęsny, (RB)Debuchy, (RCB)Mertesacker(c), (LCB)Koscielny, (LB)Gibbs, (RCM)Diaby, (LCM)Wilshere, (RIF)Welbeck, (CAM)Özil, (LIF)Alexis, (CF)Giroud

    (GK)Ospina, (RB)Jenkinson, (CB/DM)Chambers, (LB)Monreal, (CM)Ramsey, (AM/IF)Oxlade-Chamberlain, (IF)Walcott

  • Nice idea Total 🙂

    However I just can’t make those kind of predictions especially if one can assume everyone remains fit.

    We have to concede less and score most,that is the priority. Sanchez can’t keep carrying the team with his goals.
    We need to have a run of wins, not just one or two and as long as Kos is out our defence remains very shaky.
    If we are in the top 6 by due date and within a few points of third, that would be satisfactory.

  • from last night; (not as thorough as Gerry but highlights what we all want to hear)
    Welbeck holds up the play, passes back to Wilshere who then delivers a peach of a ball to OX who scores.
    Arsenal 1 – 0 Scotland
    Beautiful 🙂

  • Hey boys…Internationals all done but for the triage…ManU on Saturday… Already I’m wearing the protective undergarments…

    I was just wondering…as the voices around here have dropped off quite a bit…and some of the most prominent ones (who remain) seem to have a very large interest in the English national team(s)…if there’s a connection? I’ve been figuring that we’re all Arsenal fans, first and foremost, but perhaps I’m mistaken… If I am, what did you guys do back when it was the (heavily French and Francophone…) foreign legion? I think that reached an apex right around the time of the Stadium move (2006)… (Cashley Cole out, 17 yr old Theo in, but I can’t recall any other English boys from that era…Campbell was gone too by that time, I’m pretty sure…)

    As I’ve said before, while I can see the logic of prioritizing signing young English (or British) players because of the loyalty factor–including in reverse from the support who might tend to have a bit more patience with their development–it’s all a bit at odds with the mantra of attempting to save every last quid as English lads are (clearly, IMO) overpriced. But maybe that’s because I’m a foreigner myself–and the exchange rate can be cruel… 😀 One advantage: less travel for internationals and (at times, maybe) a nat’l team manager who can be convinced to play or not play (rest) our guys with our needs (perhaps) in mind…

    I dunno? I’m just curious, really…

  • 1: MU (H) 3 Points , West Brom (A) 3 Points, Southampton (H) 3 Points, Stoke (A) 3 Points, Newcastle (H) 3 Points, Liverpool (A) 3 Points, QPR (H) 3 Points, West Ham (A)3 Points, Southampton (A)) 1 Point?

    = 25 points from the next 9 games .

    3: 2nd Position .

    5: Sanchez / Welbeck and the Ox

    7: Sanchez / Ramsey / Theo

    9: depends on who plays, If Sczny plays then we are already starting a match by being 0-1 down 🙂

    11: Ramsey, Ozil, Theo

    13 : Ospina

    Debuchy —- Per—Koc——-Gibbs



    Theo ——– Welbeck————Sanchez

    bench : Giroud (super sub, like we used him against newcastle, he came on and scored a brace and nearly a hattrick in 10 minute, and he also came to our rescue in the 7-5 vs reading , he at best is a super sub as Welbeck is head and shoulders above him as a proper STRIKER) .

    Ramsey bench , Ox Bench, Poldi Bench, Arteta Bench, Flamini Bench, Chambers Bench, Monreal Bench

    = sorted ? (yeah, Sczny doesn’t even make my bench .

    don’t blame me, you said it yourself skipper – it’s all for a bit of fun ; )

  • British first – if i wasn’t british, I wouldn’t be supporting Arsenal , in fact, if I wasn’t living down the road with them and grew up in a house full of gooners then I wouldn’t be a gooner .

    however, being British and Arsenal go hand in hand – how can we not be biased towards our local players over the french revolution of Arsene Wenger ? you know, we have had to endure years and years of taunts from other club supporters about our lack of “English players” and so on – hence now is the time to goad and gloat and show off when we have 6 British players representing England ?

    we feel great pride and passion when we produce England’s finest and our players can help England win 6 consecutive games and winning 6 of the last 7, with the 7th one being a draw .

    @ 17HT

  • @ 17HT

    Well personally 17HT I simply just used to watch as many international matches as I could back in those days to see the widest spectrum of our talent compete.

    What I think you have to consider (at least regarding myself) is that back in those days it was like chalk and cheese watching your domestic team (Arsenal) and then your national team. The level of football being produced on a consistent basis from the internationals that made up the vast majority of our team was out of this f*cking world compared to the English national team. I remember back then thinking how amazing it would be if one day Arsenal could be filled with English players, not because of blind national pride but because it was a benchmark. If English players filled the ranks of Arsenal it would have to mean that they were deemed worthy of joining the team and playing the way Wenger was expecting – unheard of back in the day!
    Now however that pipe dream has turned into a reality and players who hold the skill level necessary to play for Arsenal are from England and are being taught to play (with excellent results) the Arsenal way.

    When I see the culmination of such a dream being played out in front of me on the big screen with the passage of play I described above it is truly unbelievable mate, that’s probably why I keep harping on about it.

    As for signing English players price wise (in the current first squad);
    Gibbs – free
    Wilshere – free
    Hayden – free
    Akpom – free
    Jenkinson – almost free
    Walcott – 9 mill
    Chamberlain – 12 mill
    Welbeck – 16 mill
    Chambers – 16 mill

    Only 9 mill of one Ozil – that’s pretty good value for money wouldn’t you say mate?

  • btw just thought i would add whilst watching that game the other night how much Clyne reminded me of a young Sagna – wouldn’t mind that lad in our squad!

  • Thanks fellas…Who else will chime in?…

    F11ngers, I live in the mountains of Northern California… The national team I support most would be Mexico as almost all the people with whom I talk football (face to face, at least…) are Mexicanos… As such, the tragedy of Carlos Vela was the biggest story for me over this Int’l break… There was a ton of talk about him (and his absence from the seleccion) as well as the Robben pen from the WC quarters on the Univision (Mexican telly)…

    I’m also of German and Polish descent…As such, Ozil, BFG, Lu-Lu (Gnabry too, and Zelalem who could declare for the US, Germany or Ethiopia)…and Szczesny, all day long. I spent some quality time in Spain not too long ago…even going so far as to visit the town in the link… Santi, Arteta and Nacho are all from the North, however…

    The latest from Ozil suggests he wants to keep working with AW to win the Ballon d’Or… Good news to my ears, but it must sound like the worst of ALL worlds for you, mate… 😀

  • goodness gracias me Amigo –

    it was a simple question by Stevie Wonders – what nationality are you

    saying American, would have sufficed, me thinks, no ? or was that your way of saying that you are not American 😯

  • Sorry, 007, I guess I write too much sometimes… 😳 Indeed, however, I’m not overly keen on my country these days… Sorry…

    Steve…When you measure the “cost” of players there could also be a metric for how many points they’ve cost us… 😉

    It’s all relative, of course, and AW (for the most part, over the years…) has allowed youth players more chances than other “big” club managers. I guess it just seems (to me) that the supporters are willing to allow more in the way of poor results to let English/British boys play. Or maybe I should only say, “English,” given how quickly people seem to turn on Ramsey… Still, people seem more indulgent of the current Brit-core than say the midfield doctors of dental science (DDS = Denilson, Diaby, Song…) who made life pretty tough on a lot of Gooners during their developmental years…half a decade ago…

    I think it’s all good strategy given our spot in the marketplace, but with so many other internationals out, including the 3 French fellas and the future world player of the year (and even our Capitan…who left us nursing a 3 goals to nil lead a couple of matches back)… I think it’s a heavy burden on our Home country boys. After all, ManU and Dortmund (and plenty of these other teams we have to play between now and the new year) might be of higher quality than say the Costa Ricans (who won that little ol’ group of death…)

    To each their own, of course, but expecting 25 out of the next 27 points, for example, might be like hoping a spy who prefers his (vodka) martinis shaken (not stirred) is the best bet for world peace…


  • The national team I support most???
    hahaha i don’t think we are on the same page here 17HT lol, there’s no “most” for the majority of people, I take it you have a wide variety of national heritage but for most this is not the case.
    I was born in England, my folks are English, I support England, that’s it.

    Our home country boys can do it bud don’t worry about that, we just need to start playing everyone in the right position and admit that Arteta and Flamini are past it as DM choices and move on.

    I take it form JB’s comment you are American?
    wouldn’t you love it if some of your lads were wearing the Arsenal shirt???
    come on man, of course you would!!

  • hopefully between us wanting simple answers and you guys etching out half a book of poetry before we unravel even the jist of the answer we collectively find a happy medium for the blog 🙂

  • Not particularly, Steve…I don’t think, but maybe I can cross that bridge if Zelalem makes it with the first team (and declares for team USA)… I was pretty pumped up when Vela was with the Club as I had to endure a whole lot of Mexican guys getting behind ManU because of Chicharito… Vela, IMO, is clearly the superior player…

    By the way, many in the Western Hemisphere don’t like people from the USA calling themselves “American” given that all people in this half of the world–North, South and Central America–are all (by definition) American…

    Yeah, maybe it’s different here in the States, or just for me and my own views… Sorry…

  • Thanks Total…I’ll try to remember that… 😀

    Sorry (then, would have to be the word)…

  • What are you guys talking about?… Steve writes so many (imaginary) line-up scenarios, it’s like getting shrunken down and taking a Fantastic Voyage (w/o Raquel Welch…) through his brain…

    And then there’s 007 who can link a hundred forms of cancer (and climate change) to Szczesny…

    I may not be the briefest, but I’m just trying to fight for what (I believe) is right… 😀

  • ouch my head hurts, i thought USA was american? now im confused.

    I thought north would be Canadian
    then below it you have the likes of Mexican, Cuban, Costa Rican etc etc
    then south you have the likes of Brazilian, Chilean, Bolivian etc etc

    What are people form the USA suppose to call themselves then if not American?

  • hahaha 17HT Wenger will use one of the 16000 formations i have uploaded one day its just a matter of probability – then i shall take full credit 😆 😆

  • Evening Steve. I’m interested by your take on the obvious simplicity of national team support. As one born in Scotland, lived part of my childhood abroad, and now lives in England, I fully understand 17’s view of support for national teams being something of a hierarchy. I’m interested in how you view the people who play for a national team and what effect this has on your understanding of national – in short, a glance at the English national team shows quickly that there is a huge mix of heritage evident in the team?

    And what about the English players playing for Scotland – are they to be supported more or less for their birthplace?

    In case of any misunderstanding here, I’m not trying to corner you or suggest there is anything inappropriate in your view; its just I don’t think life is as simple as that for many people these days.

  • By the way, TA. My preferred 11 as follows:

    Deb, Per, Kos, Gibbs
    Theo, Jack, Ozil, Sanchez

    I’m mighty torn around some of these choices. I don’t think Art is ideal by any means, but I don’t see anyone better in the squad; Diaby has the stature but doesn’t really play in this space – perhaps could be converted if fit? Also Ramsey is out based on form, but this time last year would have to have taken the spot I’ve put Jack in here. Its a very close call between Giroud and Welbs up front as well, with very different styles – but either option could be very exciting with real pace down both flanks and Ozil/Jack creating in between.

    Heres hoping we get the chance to see some of these combinations played out with a fit squad some time later in the season!

  • well i suppose there are three factors that influence national team support:
    1. Where you where born = nationality
    2. but if say you were born in France but both your parents were Italian then you have Italian heritage
    3. Your own allegiances that have formed if you have grown up in a certain country.

    My point was not to over simplify national identity but rather simply ask which national team 17HT supports and i don’t think that is often a case of “mostly this one, some of that one etc”. Normally whatever route you took to get there once you’ve identified a team that you support then that’s “your team”.

    Players are a little easier i suppose – what does it say on your passport 🙂

    What team do you support? Scotland?

  • Well I’m in the ‘mostly’ camp here, as its mostly Scotland for me. But, unlike many born in Scotland, I can often support England against other national teams – the more so when full of Arsenal players!

  • I think its a much greyer area than club teams. I support Arsenal, period when it comes to club football. And pretty much every other game is viewed through the lens of what will be best outcome for the Arse and minimal bother about whether I prefer team x over team y. Obviously, Manure, Chelski and Spuds are at the bottom of the pile – along with Ipswich, as a result of a sad period in my upbringing!

  • That’s actually pretty funny, F11ngers… The joke about what you call people from the USA… Sometimes, I fear, it’s a little too true, however…

    TA, I got your e-mail…Cheers…Sorry to leave you hanging…Now you’ve got more crap in your in-box… 😀

  • i can support other teams (as i did with Chile in the WC) against other national teams but if it came to an England vs Chile match then its England all the way.
    I am sure you were supporting Scotland the other night against England but like me you enjoy watching other teams when it doesn’t involve your national side.

    I’ve met many a Scot on my travels who wouldn’t think twice about trying to knock you out for saying you can often support England lol, you sir are a rarity when its comes to Scots 🙂

  • 17HT ignore the stupid joke, what was the actual answer?? i really want to know.
    I’m bloody confused i though Americans (from the USA) made a big deal about being American?
    Have i got this wrong? what are they called?

  • US Citizens do make a big deal about calling themselves Americans but where I’ve traveled in Mexico and Central America the locals don’t like it…as such, I usually call myself a gringo (which is a mild derogative)… The stereotype of Americans being loud, knowing no foreign languages (and not even trying simple words, but rather expecting English to be understood…) and having little respect for native customs is all too often accurate… In my opinion, of course… Many would argue it’s the birthright for being born in the greatest country that ever has (and ever will) grace the planet… :rolly eyes: In other words, I liked the joke…

    Around here, during the World Cup, the interest in US soccer I found (personally) annoying, with many casual fans who couldn’t be arsed to watch a match once the national team was out… But maybe that’s at least somewhat true in all countries during the tournaments. I didn’t find a lot of subtlety to the way most people were watching the tournament and the difficulty in figuring out how the group stage worked (the late draw from Portugal made it tougher…) was relatively pathetic…

    We’ve actually got some English football happening this weekend at my wife’s college (the team is heavily represented by English boys, but also several Mexicanos…) and they’re trying to recruit people to come with shovels to clear the (plastic) pitch if the snow or rain in the forecast turns out to be the former…It’s the league championship match, so, if I’m not too crushed from watching us play United, I may try and get out there…

  • Hi all..
    Interesting dissucion over national team.. hehe..
    For me.. Indonesian (chinese).. I am TA big famuly.. haha.. for Holland is my favourite nation team.. hehe..
    I don’t know why either.. maybe because Indonesia related to Holland for so many years.. not in a good way.. hehe.. but still related..

    But I also support Japan or Korea whenever they play.. if not agaist Holland off course..
    For I am also an Asian.. hehehe..
    I don’t rate China or Indonesia as my team..
    cause they never win something.. hahaha..
    But if I have to choose between both.. I choose Indonesia.. as I always did for badminton games.. hehehe..
    Yes I had a chinese blood.. but still I am Indonesian.. I love my country more than my blood race..
    And btw.. do blood had a nation.. hahaha..

  • Nice to know that out of that list of English players in the first team, only Wilshere came all the way up from the Academy, eh??? Our own supporters have this notion that we are basically developing half the England first team, by ourselves. Wrong. It should be wrong too, as there are a whole bunch of rules that prevent us from truly developing English players, as well as some mistakes on Arsenal’s part. Some of our lack of achievement, is down to us, but a lot if it isn’t.

    There are restrictions put in place upon the London based clubs, as to how far removed from their region they can sign youngsters to the academy. Football is business. It’s cutthroat. You drag a 14 year old kid away from Newcastle, or wherever, he comes to Arsenal and doesn’t earn a living here, or anywhere else within the top two divisions, he’ll most likely struggle to carve out a meaningful career as a player. That usually means financial troubles, etc, etc. Things change a lot between the ages of 14-18 or 19. You might be the best player on your block, and Arsenal or whoever might come calling, but the chances of actually making it full-time anywhere are so slim. Football is probably one of the most competitive careers you can decide to embark upon, especially if you live in the hot zones (Europe, parts of South America, Asia). The more work you put in to be at the top level of any profession, the chances are greater that you will be a less well rounded citizen. That’s only logical. If some kid has spent the first 20-22 years of his life trying to become a footballer and suddenly it’s gone, or gone for the most part, that is hard. There are many arguments for or against, but I tend to think, if you are good enough, the “big” clubs will realize your quality eventually. I do not have a problem with the catchment area rules in place, but they do hinder us. Clubs such as Newcastle, Southampton, the two Manchester clubs as well as the ones on Merseyside, have fewer restrictions placed upon them, in so far as recruitment of youth is concerned.

  • Bond.. I like your way about Szczesney.. hahaha..
    I don’t rate him also.. I prefer Martinez if needed.. hehe..
    And I never sing a song in his name.. hihihi..
    You know a song.. number 1 is Szczesney.. oh Szczesney 2x..
    number two is Debuchy.. exct.. and I dont like that song.. cause it end in Czesney name all along the song.. so if they sing I only start with number two.. hahaha..

  • Mmmmmn. Am I glad I did not answer you straight away HT. I have got used to having the evenings as ‘Me time’, so I don’t come back to the computer. But if I had, I would have missed out had I replied then … Probably tearing into henry for the blindsight of Vojjer well after midnight! 👿
    I am far more influenced by ‘cultural’ heritage, and my views on it.
    Born in Coventry, with rural English heritage, that had a Welsh link, and the other half anglo-Irish. Unlike many, I cannot dismiss our colonial history, and worse, the pride’ that we ‘ruled’ countries around the world. But that goes for American view of ‘God’s own country’, which the native Americans enjoyed for a while … Or the Spanish, the Dutch, the Germans, the French, etc.
    So I am with HT, AB, and henrychan on the ‘mostly’ point.

    To answer Steve’s points,1, 2, and 3:
    Place of birth – It depends on your view. Your parents decide the place, freely or not, as the case may be. So as we develop, it becomes more a case of how that society treats you or those around you as to how much respect you have for that culture, and whether you want to share it?
    Heritage? – Again, this comes down to how much connection you feel to this, if it is different from your birth country?
    Allegiance? – This is also dependant on many things. Following the parental view. Peer pressure, to fit, be a part of something or group. Personal attachment that may or may not exclude all others.

    Me? I had none influences that should have affected my views on English nationality. I am an underdog supporter more than a nationalistic one. So I can take or leave an England loss or win with relative ease. However, individual players I like are more persuasive.. The current squad with so many Arsenal players in it, mean I am more keen for them to do well. But in the Under 21’s I was with Ya YA Sanogo all the way. The Under 19’s I am excited by their skill level.

    This last point touches on Milo’s point in a way, as probably 3 of the best 6 players on display were Chelsea academy graduates, under the same scouting restrictions? Obviously money still plays a part, as Man City provided 3 players in the team? But MK Dons had an input too.

    Make of that what you will. One thing for certain, Arsenal will benefit from their National selections. Jack Wilshere in particular. Remember, referees are English, by and large, so MOTM performances will get him a bit of leeway occasionally. But that is probably just me remembering how the 1966 squad could walk on water after their WC success. Blatant fouls were just waved away … and by today’s standards, I mean red card offences!
    I don’t think JW should try his luck too far though

  • What an interesting if slightly atypical football related issue.

    I do not have any answers really and there are so many contradictions as regards ‘nationality’.

    A Welsh or a Scottish guy might well be happy (?) to be referred to as British, but would hate to be called English.

    Many fans of the Indian, West Indies or Pakistani cricket teams, for example, might be born in England, and would be right to call themselves English, still prefer to support the sports teams of their cultural/heritage origins. Ditto English born people whose ancestors were of Irish, Welsh and Scottish heritage.

    All too tricky for me – because for all the examples mentioned above – there are others who, no doubt, would have different opinions.

    Every country, especially the UK and the US, perhaps, are multi-ethnic/multi-cultural and are all the better for that. 🙂

    The Interdull is coming to an end thankfully – but that is a really interesting but complex subject!

  • Just a quick question, lets say you……

    Pick your front man;
    Giroud only very recently announced available and probably not anywhere near match fit yet, Podolski retaining his super sub title probably and Sanogo, well being Sanogo I would have to go with Welbeck

    Pick your supporting cast in attack (3) – This is where the most debate lies
    I will go for OX, Sanchez and Theo

    Pick your creative, forward thinking sitting midfield player:
    with Diaby still injured, Ramsey well off form, Rosicky lacking match sharpness and Cazorla more often than not employed further up the pitch i will go for Wilshere especially after recent performances.

    Pick your back four:
    in any variation the names most likely to feature are Gibbs, BFG and Chambers. Whether Bellerin is added to the list and Chambers plays as CB, or whether its Monreal’s name added and Chambers resumes his torture at RB the back four is pretty much set.

    My question then is who plays the holding midfield role??
    Arteta – Only just available again
    Flamini – Shite
    Hayden – Untested and injured anyway
    Ramsey – Off form and would not be a natural role for him anyway
    Coquelin – Loaned out

    who fills the spot in your opinion i’m interested to hear what you guys think

    —–The OX———Sanchez———Walcott—–

    Fill in the blank 🙂

    I personally see the only two uninjured or match fit choices as Flamini or Ramsey and defensively i would have to pick Flamini.
    I would however like to mix things up a bit and question whether Chambers could sit there next to Jack, Monreal stay at CB with Bellerin at RB – way too extreme for a Wenger consideration though tbh.

    Choices please……

  • Great to hear Giroud is fit for the weekend. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him make a late substitute appearance. For the all the grief we give him (maybe just me), he offers us some great qualities. Looking forward to Welbeck and Giroud’s fight for the CF spot as i’m not so sure they could fit into the same XI without pushing someone to an unfavorable position.

    Now for my preferred eleven.. Also kind of sad to think that a fully fit Arsenal is something of a dream scenario these days!


    **very tempted to place Welbeck here but with Theo/Debuchy and Sanchez/Gibbs on the wings I think Ollie would give us a bit more balance

  • I’m also really hoping to get a look at Chambers in that DM spot. Could be a revelation me thinks. Unfortunately he’s already been given so much responsibility in covering for our fragile backline, chances are that I won’t get my wish for a little while at least. Debuchy is supposed to be back in December but i fear Koz’ achilles might be a bit more serious. Here’s to hoping for the best.

  • Frozen, that looks more like a dream team for the future (with Koz and Debuchy featuring) than a realistic one for the weekend which leads me to think your Ramsey choice would be based on form he has yet to hit.

    Would Ramsey still be your choice back their partnering Jack at the weekend? (taking into account his form lately)

  • Yep, I was responding to TA’s question 11: “What is your favorite eleven”

    For the weekend I sense something along the lines of…..


    For the ManU game I would particularly prefer a front line consisting of…


    …. which is pretty unlikely considering theo’s fitness and rosicky being completely overlooked.

  • Maybe, just maybe, the one thing Wenger has done, in regards to team selection, that has pissed me off the most is the Rosicky situation. He IS match fit. He played well during the international break and I believe him when he says he is more than sharp and ready. Forget Podolski, it’s Tomas who should feel most hard done by. If he were 10 years younger, he would have had 5-10 matches to build up sharpness and fitness (if he even needs to). Fuck by Wenger’s logic, he should fire himself, based on age. His work isn’t quite as physically demanding as Tomas’, but he certainly holds more responsibility and feels more pressure

    Tomas could have taken the gravy train back to Germany or the Czech Republic years ago. Maybe he should now, just to piss off Wenger, as well as everyone else who has short changed him (fans, media). He hasn’t been seriously injured in a while (finally) and he can’t get a sniff.


  • I agree milo – AW doesn’t seem to have much of an appetite for squad rotation, which is a shame because Tomas Rosicky is such an excellent player to use. He’s versatile enough to give players like Ozil, Ramsey and Cazorla a break, and is a proven goal-scoring threat. With his experience, I’d be tempted to start him against the Mancs this weekend.

  • As a point of departure, I know you can twist stats anyway to prove your point.
    JB (and others, myself included) has been banging on about this for a while and I agreed because you just think: how come we dominate games and have 60% ball posession and 10 shots on target but only score 1 goal and our opposition seems to score with only or both shots or target?
    Well, according to Opta Stats: Arsenal have conceded the hisghest perecentage of goals from shots on target in the division. 44.7%. Basically, Woj. Is letting in every 2nd shot on target. A club like Arsenal should have a far better keeper than that I’m sorry. Simply not good enough. Its okay to expect and demand better.

  • I hate to rain on your anti-WS parade, but if you think Cech is heading our way I am not sure you are on the same wavelength as AW?

    Have you considered what ‘Agreed in principle’ actually means?
    Have you considered that his current wage of £120,000pw would make him the 3rd highest paid player?
    Have you considered that Chelsea, in particular, M, likes to disrupt other clubs by declaring an interest in their targets, and that this £7m fee might just be another ‘mind game’?
    Have you considered the impact of the fee and wage demand would have on our limited transfer budget for other much more needed players?

    Well allow me to explain:
    1, – Yes, somebody would pay that fee. No pre-agreed sale. Just that at that price we could afford. If anything, it sounds like an answer to a question, ‘Is £7m a fair price for Petr Cech?’, followed by, ‘Would you be interested?’ A.- ‘I am always interested in quality players’
    But hey. Who released this information? It only serves Chelsea’s interest to have it known?
    2, AW baulked at paying the ex-QPR keeper £100,000. Not to mention AW’s faith in WS?
    3, I refer to answer 1. All this press release stuff about ‘We could sell to Arsenal, because they are not a threat’ is classic M. Dangle the carrot and watch them dance!
    4, We have an International reserve keeper who will be fit by January. We may also have a settled back 4 in front of our No1 ‘keeper, unlike the musical chairs that has disrupted our defence for that last couple of months. Of course the stats are worse that last season with the same no1 ‘keeper when we had the second best defensive record in the league.
    put that against our need for a CB and DM, both will take a chunk out of the budget, and if other ‘quality players’ get offered in this January window, they may have to dip into the summer budget, but not for an expensive ‘keeper.

    I know some of you are so caught up in this ‘the ‘keeper is to blame’, that failure to save a penalty is a major crime. But how many have OBJECTIVELY looked at the shots on target and say WS should have definitely saved? All keepers make errors. Good grief, Hugo Loris who some thought would have been a good alternative, but he has only saved two penalties in 23 in his time in the EPL.
    Confidence is one thing that affects all players. AW will not do anything that would undermine WS, particularly at this time. M, on the other hand, would revel in the opportunity.

    It wasn’t wasn’t wasted was it? …. Keep dancing …

  • Whether Cech or someone else comes in is quite irrelevant. I do not think AW would buy Cech at that age and wages anyway. Personally, I’d be happy with Ospina in staring XI in any case. Also, there have been quite a few goals directly attributable to Woj.this season (Dortmund and City games come to mind first, consistently poor positioning for crosses in numerous games also), this does not mean you ignore he had a good season last season. The urgency with which we defend players who we all know are consistently under performing surprises me sometimes. Criticizing a player doesn’t mean you think he is shit or you are scapegoating him. I do not think nor have I said Woj. is solely nor mainly to blame for our defensive deficiencies, but he is very much part of the problem right now, let’s not ignore that. How long did Sunderland try and ignore Don Vitto’s blunders cause it would dent his confidence? (I know Scz. hasnt made such high profile blunders)

  • D-Money – I don’t think the Cech is irrelevant, because it has had many people following the JB line. Some of which we know is tongue in cheek, and too OTT to be taken seriously.

    However, on that point of 60% possession, 10 shots, etc., a lot of that is down to teams surrendering possession high up and defending in numbers. Something we failed to do against Anderlecht, defend collectively. You could also argue that our attack is pretty weak when they only manage on shot on target?

    I am not against criticism per se, but unfair criticism of the sort that gets banded about so freely just need to be addressed.

    Take your point on positioning. Keepers will always be criticised when things go wrong. But this is not helped when he has to calculate whether the defender has the opportunity to clear or not. With the revolving doors we have had in the back 4 lately, not even that, the back 6 too, it is probably more surprising we have done as well as we have? True the rather benign, on paper, fixture list has helped. But the ‘paper version’ doesn’t allow for otherwise normal mid-table sides being bang in form. And that includes normal CL fodder out-doing every side that had gone before them?

    The moment you go down the road of ‘a team like Arsenal deserve better’; you can pick off players one by one, until the team you say you support, is just a fantasy side that you would rather have.

    For the next two league games, plus the CL one, we have the players we have, for better or worse. It is THE Arsenal team we have now. Sniping now, when there is little alternative serves no purpose, other than you can say at the end of the season, ‘I told you so’.

    After these games are done, we may have a couple more players back, and be fully fit for the Christmas period? Then, with a reasonable Cup draw, we can relax, and the TW will bring what it will bring.

    If it makes you feel better, lower your expectation. We have a keeper who ‘lets in’ 4 shots in every 10, so we are 4 nil down to United before we start – Your view you understand? – so we lose that one. Away at W,Brom, mmm, probably only two down, but as we have a crap DM who might give away a penalty, make that 3 down because the keeper cannot save them. We might score a couple against them, but they defend quite well, so we will just win the possession prize, but we lose 3-2.
    Now if that makes you happy going into these games, you will be delirious if get 6 points?

    On the other hand …. You work it out?

  • Fair enough. LOL. When games start I forget about all our deficiencies and have blind faith. After the game and in between games my thinking hat is back on.

    Quick question: who here genuinely believes we will beat Man U tomorrow? If not, why not? They are hardly world beaters right now.
    (My heart says Arsenal will win, but my head says to expect a high-scoring draw or worst case scenario: dominate the game and lose the game to a soft avoidable goal via a cross to a poorly/unmarked marked player with Woj. left flat-footed)

  • Well D-Money, I would like to see the team sheet before committing an answer.

    I’ve just listened to the press conference and it sounds like Welbeck might miss out, Walcott has had a setback and will not play. But that might also be the same double speak that LVG is employing. First 12 players missing, now only 8?

    The high score draw scenario does not work for me, especially if we go one or two behind.

    So the question really is which attack works best, and then who can hold on to the lead.
    We clearly need to defend more as a unit, and with our pace up front I think we are capable of scoring first. Two problems with that scenario. We do not have many defensive options from the bench. Nor does Wenger like to change a team if he does not have two.

    An alternative scenario is we go down a goal, and then switch to a more direct mode of attacking with 20 minutes to go. We do have better attacking options.

    Of course it could be stalemate until the last 5 minutes, and as you say, a mistake could lead
    to the only goal. That could go either way

    All three possible starts could end up with only one goal?

    I would be more confident about us winning if there a few changes to the side. So Rosicky in for Welbeck, and Arteta for Flamini. Any messing about with the back 4, and I fear the worst.

    But we will see what the preview has to offer?

  • i remember when i was at school we were studying the effects of different enzymes on something or other (i can’t remember clearly that far back lol), it was the rate that some other thing broke down or something. But i definitely remember the variables of the environment in which we were testing had to be exactly the same (PH, temperature, volume, density etc) for each new enzyme tested otherwise any statistics collected for analysis later on would be irrelevant in highlighting solely that enzymes impact on rates of action.
    We only had to a few variables to reproduce identically and in an easily controlled laboratory environment. To gain any credible judgement on how one particular player effects the team detrimentally or otherwise, based on statistics alone, well the only way you could set those variables up identically and play multiple identical games using different players is by going back in time and swapping around the players.
    Unless you’ve got a f*cking time machine please stop using blank statistics to evaluate a players ability and contribution to the team.

    The shots on target nonsense you were all just discussing for example, i think i am right in assuming a shot on target is counted as such whether it was created from a last ditch attempt, through a crowd of players after say one of our crazy, every player in the box, try and walk it through the crowd type attempts or whether it was from a break from the opposition in which the attacking player only has to beat a slowly retreating, lumbering BFG and has the whole penalty area to ready his shot. The shots themselves are counted the same as long as they are on target however one is probably a slow roll across the ground as the move breaks down in a condensed environment (as has happened many times to us), the other is a very clear shot on goal with a high potential (for any striker) to convert that shot to a goal. – you can see how Szczesny’s ratio would look bad when you factor in just this ONE variable let alone the f*cking BILLIONS that make up a football match.

    Statistics are bullshit when applied to these circumstances, please stop using them as some sort of guide.

    Whenever i watch Wilshere play for example he always plays well, drives forward, gets the team going, shows his skill and adds tenacity in everything he does – i value that performance but as a few of you have already pointed out our ratio of wins with Wilshere in the team is lower than without i think. – it means nothing!

    Equally i don’t need statistics to tell me Chambers doesn’t have the pace to play a high attacking RB, either order him not to go forward very often or get him in the bloody CB position and stick Bellerin in there – common sense all the way! 🙂

    Common sense and using your eyes > statistics every time 🙂

    just my two cents 🙂

  • Gerry, Welbeck and Walcott out?? jesus f*cking christ! what bloody next! That is bad news, who have we got left in the striker department???
    We are going to have to go with something like this aren’t we;


  • Steve – Not certain on Welbz – Late fitness test or AW moonshine?

    Of your little diamond. I would have Rosicky on the right.?

    Although I am ever hopeful of a 4-3-3, which would rule out Pod?

    Your question mark is most likely to be Arty, leaving Flam for the other spot in my selection, if Welbeck does not make it?

    But I would leave the back 4 as was. Chambers just stays behind the ball.

  • Looking forward to a match preview…Is one on the way?…TA (like me) took the day off yesterday but hopefully he’s back at it today… IMO, This is a moment for Gooners to stand together. These next couple of matches will either point the way upwards to better things or be a fresh reminder that Hell has many circles…

    But let’s finish off this thread first… Thanks for all the answers about National teams…That topic has petered out but some transfer news has seeped in… Sorry D-Money, I gotta agree with Gerry, above… That whole Cech business seems just about the ultimate in media driven stuff… with a little twist from Maureen and the (growing?) contingent of Gooners who seem to want to make Szczesny our major scapegoat. The numbers just don’t add up and even if Ospina is to keepers what Kim Kallstrom was to defensive mids, we did actually buy him and (if fit) he might be that young and promising goalie we need to push the PIG and maybe supplant him…Keep the Chezzer hate going and little David (the Goliath slayer?…) may become our man once he’s fit again…

    F11ngers, I dunno where you get that little front five above, but everything I see and hear would lead to Giroud up front, with Alexis, Santi and Ox in the next line. Then you would pick 2 of Wilshere, Ramsey, Arteta and Flamini as some sort of midfield protection for the wonky back 5 (Gibbs, Nacho, Per, Chambers + the PIG)….

    In other words, the freezing out of Poldolski and Rosicky continues…If they haven’t gotten any starts (beyond their poor outings in the CoC match…), why would they start in such a big match? They make decent enough subs…unless (of course) you harken back to that home match vs Anderlecht…

    And let’s make no mistake, this is a big one. Both teams are in woeful form and really shaky at the rear. If there’s a winner it will be a much needed uptick–for either team. As such, a draw is probably a very good result (for both teams) and I expect a very cagey match. If a goal gets scored, however, it might turn into end to end silliness…

    ManU has gone big money and finally gave into the idea that a big name, International manager, (LvG) was needed after the smaller ideas of the chosen Scotsman (Moyes) failed. Of course, Van Gaal has had to abandon his tactical ideas (3 or 5 at the back, depending on how you read it…) due to poor early season results. The big purchases–RvP, Falcao, Di Maria, Mata, Fellaini, even Luke Shaw–plus the absurd money paid to Wayne Rooney–should add up to a steam-roller. That it’s gone so poorly up there (and across town with their rivals who wear the light blue…) suggests that even money cannot buy you love–as that ancient Scouse band might have said…

    I dunno, we only have one guy (currently fit) in that price category (Alexis) and all the rest come from different parts of the marketplace–the up and coming Brits and then some older fellows who never made it at the highest level. On paper, it’s United all the way and it would be a real jump-start for their season. In my heart I hope for something different and if we could sneak that first goal…Well, maybe not, given our inability to defend leads in recent matches. Perhaps it’s better to try and play as we did in this fixture a year ago…

    That one ended nil-nil… I’d take that scoreline (right now) if it were on offer…

    Sorry to be so glum, but there you go… 😦

  • Yes, that is how I see HT. The only worry is, Rooney might have his mojo back if he is played in the middle?

    I see our Under 18s just suffered a 3-0 defeat away to the Chelsea Youth. No surprise given the talent they have at their disposal.

    However I watched the Victory Shield earlier – It is the 4 nation(sort of) tournament for the Under 16’s.
    Wales won the Shield by winning all three. Finishing off with a 2-1 win against N.Ireland.
    England played Scotland, with the latter, trying to avoid the ‘wooden spoon’, and England playing for second spot.
    Surprisingly, as we hear very little about this level, Arsenal supplied 4 starters. All did very well too.
    The pick of our quartet was the ‘junior’ Willock, Joe, only 14 but scored the opener. A touch and move, twist back, touch and move … all along the edge of their box … then, with a yard of space, arrowed the ball back into the corner of the net.
    He was closely followed by Reiss Nelson, also 14, left winger, two footed and pace to boot. A very exciting prospect.
    Tolaji Bola who was a defender had a sound game, and hardly put a foot wrong
    Charlie Gilmour defensive midfielder who did a lot of the early graft very well.

    The score remained 1-0 until half time, but the Scots came back with another cracking goal. Two players standing over a free kick, about 25 yards out. One darts away to the right to get behind the 4 man wall. The other strikes the ball perfectly, but it hits the bar right in the top right hand corner. but who was there to knock it in? The guy that ran around the wall. Even if the keeper saved it, he would have had to parry it that way. Clever goal.

    They did not keep their lead for long though, as a Chelsea kid comes on. Youngest in the squad apparently, but but he was already a well built lad. Anyway a ball played up to him, he took it wide, but then part bullied his way back in front of goal to put a cracking shot across
    the keeper into the net. His name, yet another to watch out for – Martell Taylor-Crossdale

    The score stayed at 2-1 in a very open and entertaining game.

  • Well Gerry, I’m glad you’ve got some youth footy to enjoy… A long time ago I played a lot of basketball and there was a guy I played with who got pretty into writing a proto-blog–a newsletter but one he also posted on early versions of the internet, talking about the game at all levels, with a special emphasis on youth prospects… Like I said, it was a long time ago…and the best of his high school players had full NBA careers and have now retired!

    That game is so different, mostly in that there is a lot of scoring so the mental demands are very different. Also, it’s not so tough on the body so long careers w/o so many injuries are also possible. Size matters a whole lot more (with the basket up there in the air) and lack of it can limit even very, very skilled or athletic players… Finally, despite growth in Europe and South America, it’s not nearly so international in it’s scope…Anyhow, if you can identify those one or two kids who might really make it, early on…it must be exciting…

    Yeah, I’m really hoping that Total gives us the low-down on this match tomorrow given that he knows the opposing manager better than all of us… In the meantime, I might try and muster up the energy to try and decipher the injury lists, though it looks like the truths hidden there might fall victim to the pre-match mind games… In the end, it’s a real opportunity for both clubs to draw lines under very poor starts to their campaigns, so the stakes are massive…Still, checking the NewNow I see plenty of headlines suggesting anything less than a convincing win over such a weak opponent will be hugely disappointing…The funny bit is that if you check the ManU Newsnow feed, you get the exact same sorts of headlines–in reverse, of course…

    Anticipation, expectations, hopes = the achilles heel of the optimist = the reason people pay 50 or 100 (or more) pounds to get a seat in the stadium = the only thing to keep oneself going, so why not? = the true province of the fool…

    Or something…

    At the moment, I’m trying to keep the foolish parts of myself in check, but I’m sure to fail and (thus) will leave myself open (once again) to that sinking horrible feeling…And if we were to (somehow) come up on top?… On to the next one…

    Maybe I’ll feel better trying to construct my FF and UMF picks…

  • I think this just about says it all,until the injury mind games have finished and we actually know who’s really available to play nearer the kick off;

  • The Championship game on Sky Sport 1 could be worth a view tonight, as Jon Toral has been holding down a starting spot recently. And there is always a chance Nico Yennaris might get a run from the bench.

    I’ll give it a whirl and see how it shapes up.

    Thanks HT for your UMF – quite a few still missing. So do it while you remember, eh.

  • Well Steve… I make it a point to be SURE that all videos I watch on the internet feature people over the age of 18–esp. ones which are filmed in bedrooms… But hey, to each their own… 😀

    Still, it gives a glimpse into the mind of an articulate young Gooner so why worry?… Too bad he hadn’t gotten the “injury” news on Walcott and Welbeck before he brought himself around to his (admittedly wishful) 2-1 scoreline…

    With those two out, I’m still gonna stump for nil-nil…but that feels hopeful too… 😦

    Trying to get to the FF and UMF stuff, Gerry, but the ‘puter is running slow today…

  • 17HT,

    “I make it a point to be SURE that all videos I watch on the internet feature people over the age of 18–esp. ones which are filmed in bedrooms”

    i can understand why in your instance this may be essential but most of us are not on government lists and therefore don’t face the same restrictions, worries or indeed illnesses.

    delete your browser history and then ignore that video 17HT.

    sorry about that mate, didn’t mean to get you into trouble 🙂

  • hahaha i thought u would like that one 17HT 😆

    You got any insight into when a new post is on the horizon?

  • Nope, Sorry…

    I’m actually just a hair worried about Mr. Total… Please give us a thumbs up, eh, Gaffer…

  • I am ok 17, thanks for enquiring. 🙂

    Just very busy with no time to blog or write a post.

    Might do a quick preview tomorrow.

    Night all. 🙂

  • MESSAGE ON THE UMF! — Please read carefully …

    The adjudication on the use of the Joker was resolved by VCC, and repeated in this message last night:
    ‘You can use a Joker any time during the season. Every player is entitled to use 2 Jokers during the year.’

    Sorry if you missed it the first time around.
    So HT if you want to use yours in Week 12, let me know before 12 noon GMT. Thanks ….
    and that goes for anybody else that might have thought they couldn’t, but would like to.
    But you only have two all season, note.

    Now , late entries
    When you can please …

  • hahaha everyone too busy hiding behind their sofa to comment this morning i see 😆

    Well if its the same team as the one which faced Swansea i predict a 3-2 win to Man U – come on thats got to get at least one of you talking 🙂

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