Rosicky to the Rescue: Preview and Line-Up v Dortmund

Rosa and Ollie to shake us up!
Rosa to shake us up!


Sometimes it is hard to support the team whilst NOT being in isolation, especially if, like me, you run an Arsenal blog. The sort of stuff I read can make me so angry, but I just have to keep telling myself that everybody has a different way of letting out their frustrations. And losing to the horrible Mancs is always a disappointment, even when we played them off the pitch for most of the game, and are still winning the war over them – rather than this particular battle. Myopia is rife.

This is the bit that irritates me most: the inability by many (of wanting) to notice that we played much better than Manure on the day. We lost through a rush of blood by the goalie and unlucky deflection into our own goal by a dazed Gibbs. The defending after that was risky, and yes, also inadequate, and it cost us a second goal and therefore the match. We were not clinical enough up-front, which is something I have been pointing out for a while now. Jack should have done better with his chances, but at least he is getting now into those situations more; and it is just a matter of time before he starts putting them away for fun. And with Ollie and Theo joining the strike-force now, we should be hopeful of a step improvement being imminent.

It should not come as a surprise that the better playing team did not win – that’s football – shit/Manure happens. In two games we will have caught up with the Mancs again, and from there on we will leave them in our trails. Us is winning ze War.

Let’s live by the principle of TIANG – YANG: There is always next game – Yes always next game! 🙂

And I am very, very lucky to attend it at the home of football. Despite all the winching and moaning and one-dimensional dribble I have been reading on the blogs, I am so looking forward to seeing our boys in action against Dortmund; and to do so with fellow bloggers THMT and Nik is even more special. TIANG –YANG! 🙂

So how are we going to line up against Dortmund? Same back five probably as there are very few alternatives right now. Wenger gambled pre-season on Chambers and Monreal being cover for the FBs AND CBs and let’s face it, it is not working. So we are likely to remain vulnerable at the back, which means we need protection in front of them. I reckon we will see Arteta combined with Aaron again, as both had an improved performance on Saturday. Once more, the DM position is where we should have strengthened during the summer, but hey TIANG -YANG!

In the hole it has to be Rosicky for this one. Everybody Loves Rosicky. And against his former team he will be extra motivated to do well. He has the thrust and ball control of Wilshere and his passing and through-balls are also of a high standard. He will also help out defensively, so a must start for me.

Up-front, I was so hoping Ollie would start, with Alexis on the left and one of Ox or Welbeck on the right. We need our structure back and Ollie holds up the roof. BUT he is not eligible as he was not registered for the CL squad this time round… 😦

My predicted Line-Up:


ars v dortm nov 14 improved

My preferred line-up includes Ollie’s best replacement – in terms of structure to the team and best fit:

Ars v dortmund nov 14 preferred


Written by: TotalArsenal.

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141 thoughts on “Rosicky to the Rescue: Preview and Line-Up v Dortmund

  • Giroud cant play as he was not registered once he was injured,Cazorla will play.Ditch Monreal and play Chambers beside BFG and Bellerin right back.

  • Great Post TA time to get positive again. I haven’t commented for a few days but looking back on the United game we played a lot better than we have recently. On the day luck wasn’t on our side. According to the press Giroud is registered to play for the Borussia game. How the hell does that happen?

  • Mate haven’t you read the papers
    Olivier giroud is not in the 25 a provisional squad list for the next CL games home and
    Away, due to administration error by arsenal fc

  • Giroud can’t play. Meh. (We didn’t even regsister a full roster so Giroud could have been added without removing anyone,strange decision)

    TA, I don’t think anyone doubts or refuses to acknowledge we played well, we have been dominating games v for YEARS, and trailing to sloppy goals and eventually succumbing to a counter-attack goal for YEARS. Its all so familiar. At some point, our ability to play well and lose has become more annoying than a source of hope, we’ve seen it all before and its becomming boring.
    We’ll probably play well v Dortmund as well. Unless you have the points to show for’s pointless.

  • What a generalisation, D-money. I cannot do anything with that. We have had many, many games in recent years in which we dominated and won at the end. There you have it.

    On Saturday we played really well and dominated the Mancs as we used to do in the old days. That is a big positive. The rest was bad luck and shortage of quality at the back. TIANG YANG! 🙂

  • In better news, Kos trained with the squad today but not sure if he is already avaialble for Dortmund.
    Welbeck and Scz didn’t train as they are carrying injuries. (Jack also, obviously)
    Ajayi and Akpom also trained with senior squad, whatever that means.
    Not sure when we can afford to do it, but we have a few players who play 90 minutes week in week out in all comps who urgently need a rest: Welbeck-Alexis-Chambers-Per-Gibbs urgently need a break I think.

  • Are you sure you were reading the (other) blogs TA – They were very quick to jump on the ‘error’

    I agree with what you are saying about the match, and the out flow after it. One of the reasons I skipped the comments on here. Too predictable?

    On my last comment on the previous post, I added a name I missed out on my ‘off the top of my head’ list of available players. That of Serge Gnabry. I hope he makes the bench and a bit of time playing against Dortmund, as he offers the option of playing Ox in the deeper ‘Wilshere’ role in some of these action packed days ahead.

    Like yourself, I am a little frustrated at the probable line up – yours to a tee – and the more lively alternatives. Some you can understand. Keeping the back 4 unchanged for example. It helps to have continuity. But unless he shackles Ramsey to a defensive role, I really don’t see he he can justify it, in the wake of comments he made last week ..’You play your best in form players’?

    I don’t see Klopp following the LVG example by putting his best striker to man mark a holding midfielder though? However, I doing see him using the pace of Aubamayang down the middle on the counter. He will also try and expose the gaps left by our advancing full backs?
    I can make a good case for having Flamini alongside Arteta, or possibly either side of Ramsey, but preferably Rosicky, the latter as the sole B2B player. The front 3 do more or less pick themselves.
    At least with Gnabry on the bench, he could relieve Ox before ‘red zone’ burnout kicks in?
    Likewise, the option of using Bellerin for Arteta for a defensive/attacking role in midfield, before he suffers from two quick games?
    Another bench option could be Ajayi at CB to move Monreal out to LB/LMF and give more height in the defence? This would depend on us defending a lead …desperately!
    Sanogo, as you have him, either a starter or a reliever of burnout for Welbeck .. if he has such a cut off point, because it never shows in the game?
    Alexis is the big worry. Would he say he has a problem?

    Good news on Koscielny … but holding back the full relief until he actually takes to the field. His type of injury is always going to be close to a set back or two?

  • D-Money – Akpom is probably in the UEFA Junior League (Under 19’s) also playing Dortmund.
    Kick off 2.0pm Wednesday – Live on the ‘Player.

    So unless Welbeck is a doubt, I cannot see him missing the earlier game with Sanogo available?

  • TA, Good Job under difficult circumstances…

    Gerry, you’re right, the comments here, with one big exception, hahahaha… are mostly worth skipping… As such, I’m sad that you chose not to read mine…I’m trying my best, after all… 007 also did a good job, but that’s maybe because he’s merely over the moon that Sir Chez got hurt… (AB also observed well with a few…) Latest news suggests Jack is down–longer term–but, luckily, (so far), nobody’s coming here and trumpeting the brilliance of that news… I think we’re selling Milo just a bit short as he offered impassioned (but not cruel) critique about that guy…

    Back to the gaffer (Total)… This is a good one to point out that yours is a labor (labour) of love and not a money-for-hits blog… I don’t understand, then, why people come into the comments and parrot those sites, but I think you’ve got it–frustration must be vented. Still, in a venue such as this, people should be held to as high a standard as possible. If commenters come on and write a list of all the talking (hit-getting…) points OR write extreme comments (“Play ALL youth,” “Play ALL experience,” “Buy, buy, buy,” etc., etc.) with no relation to reality…it only destroys the sense of community we might build. Gooners have every right to do whatever they want, but, IN MY OPINION, realizing that we’re ALL in it together and that we’re ALL suffering (and paying a bit of lip-service, i.e., mentioning this idea…) goes a long way towards making things better. Simply shouting, “ooh, ooh, blame him; no, blame HIM; you’re wrong, I’m right, simple solutions are the way forward and here’s my list…” just doesn’t do it for me…

    But, hey, as always, that’s just me… To each their own… Still, if you ask me, it’s f**king pathetic… 😦 😀

    For this match–and I’m jealous that you get to attend…The result is important, even if it isn’t. We’re solidly 2nd in the group. If I’m reading the table correctly, any result (i.e., a single draw) in the final two matches gets us into the elims. Anderlecht, if they beat Galatasaray tonight and win at Dortmund on the final day could pip us (only) if we lose both of our final matches. Also, if we win both of those AND Dortmund lose both it’s still (theoretically) possible that we could win the group. (If they draw their final match and we win both and have superior goal difference I think we can also come first…) We won’t. We’re gonna come 2nd and then we need Stan (and Allie…) to spend some (f**king) money on the ping pong balls so that we might get a winnable draw and have a crack at making it to the final 8 (or even the final four, you know after all our new signings or like-new-signings come back from injury)…

    No, the result tonight is only important for our collective confidence. With Giroud and Wilshere out it’s a great chance for guys like Santi, Sicky and Lulu-oldski (and Welbeck and Ramsey and Flamini) to show that they can contribute in the upcoming fixtures–which, as TA points out are coming thick and fast. Keepaway–holding possession and not making bad giveaways–is the name of the game against a team known for it’s pressing of the ball. We also have to not be so freaking naive on the break and somehow the defense has to protect Martinez (even if he’s surely world class, simply by dint of simply not being Szczesny…) Kos will suit up, which will be nice boost for morale, and, if we must, we can throw out the names of all the kids (wearing their hairstyles–Bellerin–and their protective boots–Hayden…) but this will be an important match for the two English FBs (Gibbs and Chambers) and the ancient and woeful CBs (BFG and Nacho). Arteta–who was my MOTM vs United–will have to do it again. Hopefully the support can help the ref to be on his–and our side. Too much self-hate is inappropriate–no matter what your ticket cost….

    If we only pay with our telly bills and our (wasted) time watching (and writing about it), self-hate is equally repugnant. Keep it together Gooners, and try to remember that we’re all in this together… Or do yourself a favor and find yourself another way to spend your time and energy. In other words…

    Kiss my Arse!!!


    Up the Arse!!!

    Or maybe, kiss me, up the arse…or something…

    Oh, also, first things first…Go Bayern!

  • Good Morning Sir Seventeenho 🙂

    Excellent shout for keeping it together and understanding what supporting Arsenal really means. We all feel down after a defeat but we have different ways of dealing with it: taking into account how others feel is therefore important. I cannot stand the doom scenarios, even though they are not necessarily unrealistic. But we all know what is going wrong and what needs to improve yet some keep trying to teach how to suck eggs, as the British expression goes. But we also love our team to get over this and for that they need support, and TIANG – YANG. Hope springs eternal and all that! 😛

    What coffee are you brewing this morning and what is the weather like. How are you feeling about the Ferguson riots?

  • not just an excellent post TA but a much appreciated one at this moment in time – great job boss man!
    Your predicted line up has to be spot on, i can’t see Wenger ever trying the Chambers and Monreal swap with Bellerin at RB so its going to have to be the same back four and i couldn’t see anything wrong with the front line in the last game other than none of them had there shooting boots on. Lets hope they do this time out and that Rosicky gets picked ahead of Cazorla for the Wilshere spot, he has to be the best replacement at the moment imo.
    So predicted line up is the same as yours but preferred line up (you know its going to be crazy as usual) is as follows:
    I think Sanchez and Welbeck are going to need a rest some time soon before they both get injured.
    I think Ramsey’s form is utterly woeful at the moment and would prefer to see OX in midfield.
    I think BFG is more of a liability than a strength atm
    I think Rosicky deserves his chance ahead of Cazorla
    I think Akpom is far ahead of Sanogo in goal scoring capabilities
    and i would love to see the reintroduction of both Gnabry and Campbell

    So a full on rotation from me to give a few an actual game and others a needed rest:

    ———–Rosicky———-Arteta———The OX———

    Craziness i know but hey things have been a little crazy so far this season 🙂

  • Hahahaha Steve, that is why we love all eleven fingers of you! 🙂

    Great, refreshing line up that we will not see tomorrow, but WTF, Dreaming the Life is just as much fun as Living the Dream (a friend of mine once said that dreaming of sex was better than sex itself…). 😛

    I am a fan of Sanogo, even though he is so raw still. However, I also would love to see more of the Akpom…

    Gnabry yes please! 🙂

  • The Jackie (Wilshere) monster returns!!! Too bad the guy I was so mean to isn’t playing, so he could prove me wrong.

    I’ll eat my digital remote if Rosicky starts. Ain’t happening. It’ll probably be Alexis and the Ox on the wings, with Ramsey in the attacking role and Flamini and Arteta in the holding roles. I am surprised no one has mentioned that they would like Podolski given a try. I guess they figure that’s as likely to happen, as I figure Rosicky starting tomorrow is.

  • Hey Total… I’m on a blend of Brazil-Panama-Ethiopia this morning… Unfortunately, my back troubles (expressed as numbness/pain down my leg) are in effect as well…As such, I’ll be on Percocet (heroin in pill form…) here in a moment…The weather is sunny but maybe snow will come next weekend…The ski resorts lose a bunch of money if there’s no (real) snow for the Thanksgiving holiday…


    Subs: Macey, Koscielny, Bellerin, Flamini, Rosicky, Poldolski, Sanogo

    That’s the team that I believe will play and the team I believe should play. Sure, some will stump for the young (and the injured…) but, we need our core group to do better.

    The injuries have killed us and shorn of Wilshere–again–please recall that he didn’t play much–for us–at all between the last set of Internationals, after hurting himself vs Hull City…we’re really down to bare bones. It’s possible that we’re looking better with the return of Giroud (league matches only) and Kos and Debuchy maybe not that far off… Thank Dennis that our Capitan, Arteta, is back in the fold… Obviously, the back group is very mish-mash, but, additionally, we’re unable to score goals.

    To do so, we need better finishing. Hey D-Dub, time to have a good one, eh… This is not Galatasaray, however, so he’s unlikely to do it himself. What we really need, then, is for a viable playmaker, conductor and leader to emerge just ahead of the dual pivot, in the #10 spot.

    Ramsey is still struggling for fitness and, unfortunately, due to his over-striding and over-confidence, is not the man for the job. When fully fit, he is all added value as he just never (never) stops and pops up in one good place after another. He is not, however, inclined to see his own limitations (for better and worse) and the urgings to “keep it simple” seem to fall upon deaf ears. The other fellow, still pushing but looking absolutely bereft of confidence, is Santi Cazorla. As two footed as Tomas Rosicky is one-footed, he keeps pushing into good spots but his shots looked blocked before he takes them. More physically vigorous but equally unlucky with the final ball, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, also cannot do the little simple things to bring others into play. His goal vs Anderlecht was a great piece of strength and skill (and should have put that match to bed) but a #10 needs to not shine alone, but rather bring his mates into the match. Finally, the great Alexis (maybe due to too much sex with Lala?) only thinks pass when all other options are gone. He’s a finisher not a conductor and if I were his teammate I’d want to think about retreating (in case he turns the ball over) rather than rushing forward hoping he might put me in…

    In other words, just as we have been missing Ozil we will also miss Jack as our creative force–the guy who (potentially) can make everybody better. Lots of people have similar hopes for Rosicky (and the Ox and Rambo) but if we remember his game (in honest fashion) he’s another runner and tackler and better on the end of things… Who does that leave?… Diaby?… Any day now… Please don’t tell me Eisfeld (sold) or Coquelin loaned or Reus or Isco…or Cesc…(Why not Dennis, for that matter?…)

    It’s not a good situation (at all) but we’re also not as far off as the recent results might suggest. Just gotta start turning the ship around… If the supporters could get on board, I don’t believe it would hurt, either…

  • That was a welcome dose of positivity TA! 🙂 Much appreciated. Though I must say that (like many) I wish that there was another power center within Arsenal to provide a balance to Wenger and really work constructively with him instead of gambling on player fitness each time.

    Regarding the line-up, I know that Bellerin is quite raw but he didn’t seem too bad on the couple of times he was tested. I feel like it might be a good chance to give him a shake on the right and move Chambers to replace Arteta in the holding role. Arteta might be better to get the attack started, but Chambers might provide better cover for the much-maligned defense. I very much support the idea of giving TR7 a chance (really a shame that he has played so few minutes thus far) and perhaps more than 5 minutes for Podolski.

  • Let’s talk about Dortmund…Gerry?…Do we have any others who watch them?…

    They were really wasteful in that first match but their pressing D was awesome and they made chances in relentless fashion. We should likely expect the same, no?…

    As such, technical skill and experience–as in being able to play the one-touch triangles (tika taka) and knowing when to take a foul and not always trying risky turn and runs seems a huge thing. Given that, Arteta and Cazorla would be the first names on my team sheet. Should I add Bellerin just because he’s Spanish too?…Well, that makes about as much sense as saying Afobe (alongside, DW), just because he’s English and we know that the English are always under-appreciated for their technique…

    Would I take a nil-nil (65-35% possession–in our favor) result tomorrow night…Indeed I would, and I think it would be a great springboard towards the league matches we’re facing. Would the crowd? I doubt it, that’s not what you pay the big money to see… As such, let’s get lucky and nick one…Santi, I think, needs it more than Danny, but Rambo could use one as well…

    Pep G, who built his brand on Tika-taka, even if his recent book poo poos the notion, has been able to find ascendency over Klopp’s Dortmund by being willing to play this way (and, of course, by stealing their best players…) to beat that pressing tactic. Does Wenger have the players? Will they listen to such instructions?

    No he doesn’t and no they won’t…As such, hopefully we can get lucky…Or maybe Klopp will play a bunch of squad players, prioritizing his woeful league position and knowing a home win vs Anderlecht in the final match still seals first in the group…

  • Hey VCC…and others…

    Maybe I’m driving people away this morning with all my writing…but I’m curious, what exactly did Arteta do wrong the other day? Considering he was getting man-marked by Rooney (which I only saw on occasion, in truth…) I thought he was outstanding in breaking up a ton of their potential counters–and, until the goal at least, he was strong in keeping a good sense of fore-aft balance against a(nother) park the bus team… His positioning and ball work helped keep them under the kosh in the first hour of the match when we should’ve scored 2 or 3 goals (by most accounts)…

    I know people are unimpressed by his athleticism and want a beast/destroyer/monster in that spot. Still, Chambers is only starting to reach his physical best and likely has to be near the red-line due to all these matches he’s played. Giving him this crucial role tomorrow night seems a tough spot… Even F11ngers, loco for the kids like he is, wants Arteta to reprise his role…

    Bellerin is something different and certainly pacy, but his early giveaways at Dortmund helped set the (very negative) tone in the reverse fixture. That they only scored two maybe makes it seem like it was a good run-out?…

    Sorry to disagree and I do concur that a brain-trust larger than one man (AW) at the club, is something that surely would be helpful…

    Hope all is OK in off pitch matters…

  • Evening Steve – I have a little bit of fun for you later on, but on Akpom. He is almost certain to line up for the Under 19 Youth league – 2.0pm tomorrow, live on the ‘Player.
    If he is not there, then part of your dream team may come to fruition?

    HT, Kos on the bench?? Surely not. He has only just returned to training, and that is usually 3 weeks away from having the final 25 minutes?

    Stevo – On my scouting mission I watched a bit of footie last night.
    Well you and I quite like a Lyon player, big, strong, LB or CB .. Just like somebody we could do with, yeah? Well last Sunday he was playing, and Lyon get a free kick about 25/30 yards out, just to the right of centre … a 4 man wall lines up … our man is behind the ball, okay?
    Now the obvious ‘What happened next’ scenario, is which guy got decapitated, or in need of a sex change operation because his manhood has disappeared into row Z …
    You will need to see this to believe it …
    He puts in a fast, dipping ball over the wall … and missed the top right hand corner by less than a foot! Keeper stranded!
    😆 😆 lol:
    I want him here January 2!

    Mind, practically every match there was someone we have been linked with. Even the Southampton had Wany and Shneiderman. Of the two, MS has it. ‘Tother one is a young Flamini, and not that much of a step up, imo.

  • Sorry HT, I haven’t seen much of them myself. JB might. He likes a bit of Bundesliga?

    I look out for Augsburg when I can.

  • Hi HT – Good points. I don’t disagree with them. But given the speed that BVB has I worry if Arteta would be able to do as well as he did against MU. Hence the thought about whether Chambers might do better. Though I admit I overlooked how much running he has done. HB came about more because if CC moved to the DMF (only in my fantasy of course) then someone has to play RB.

  • I would not take much notice of that first game. They were flying then, and their league form has dipped. No matter who they put out though, they will do a it to a high level. I do not think they will come at us all guns blazing this time. Rather just bide their time until there is an opening, because they will be confident of us not scoring … based on very recent evidence??

    Would I take a draw? one point is better than none, but it is only a mild boost to confidence? A lot depends on how much that last game has taken out of the players, mentally as much as anything. To put so much in, do so many things right, and get stuffed at the end of it is not a booster.

    The trouble is, as many of us have commented upon, the team that might play looks pretty set, and with it our style of play.That gives Klopp a head start.

    When you think about it, there are only likely to be 3 changes; Martinez for Szczezzer; X for Wilshere, and X for anybody being rested? One of those X’s could be Podolski, to get a boost on his sale price? Another X could be Rosicky. Not exactly breaking the mold are we?

    But then, we can cling to the hop[e that all those spurned chances will come good in this one game,. and we run out 4-1 winners 😀
    … Not forgetting the Youths clean sweeping with a 3-nil demolition

  • Gerry, I’m taking the cue from Arseblog news, which says…

    “After the earlier report that Laurent Koscielny was back in training with the squad, Arsene Wenger had confirmed that the defender is in the squad for tomorrow night’s game with Borussia Dortmund.

    The centre-half is in line for his first appearance since the 2-0 defeat to Chelsea on October 5th, and the Arsenal manager will be hoping he can bring some defensive solidity to a back four that has been struggling in his absence.”

    Of course, they also have headlines about Ramsey saying “I’m Focused and Sharp Now.”

    The best report, IMO, was about the post-United closed door meeting, reported in this response to comments made by Usmanov…

    This short article is worth a read as the manager accuses Usmanov of plugging a personal agenda. As I keep trying to say, the best thing about supporting a football club is in being part of something bigger than yourself (and your ideas)…I should give people (bloggers) a little more credit, perhaps, that they feel this way too. Still, I wonder when there’s never a preface in this regard before the list of (simple) solutions flow…or worse, that supporting the players or the manager is actually at the root of the problem…

  • Holy Moses, 17. Your coffee has done some airmiles! Hope it is giving you the worldly kick you are after this morning! 🙂

    I don’t like that line up you are presenting and now I am starting to fear it is going to be the one for tomorrow… 😦

    Let’s see what happens. 🙂

  • Poldolski to boost his sale price is an awfully cynical thought…But there’s also talk that Sicky has been getting fewer minutes to save money on his contract… 😦 I dunno, in this regard, I think the manager isn’t quite THAT penny-wise/pound foolish…

    The problem with Lu-lu is that he looks soooo bad when he drops deeper and attempts hold up work. Obviously, he’s a much better finisher than Welbeck, but (at least) Danny is a willing runner and can take a safe touch and get forward quickly. It’s a shame about the Giroud roster issue, but DW to start, Lu-Lu for 20 or 25 works, for me…

    Dropping players (Rambo and BFG seem most popular, but also the Spaniards, Santi, Arteta and Nacho…) with the notion that it cannot be worse, seems arm-chair management at its worst. For us to get back to an acceptable level we will need solid contributions from all of them. Why is nobody wanting to drop Gibbs–the most one-footed of all our players and the one who allowed himself to get man-handled into our keeper and then put the ball into his own net?… I think it’s called, “playing favorites”…

    We’re all free to do just that, of course, and I’ll take Gibbs any day over a player I’ve yet to see kick a ball (some of the youth prospects)… For me, it just stifles debate to say “drop Arteta” and makes me think that people aren’t actually watching the matches… Tell me what you’ve seen to suggest that (amongst current options) his play is so bad, that’s all I’m asking… I understand the positional “logic” and all that, but c’mon, playing an all youth team is a self-defeating stance… If you think the support is angry now…

  • Good Post TA ,
    I agree with what you have said, except your line-up which lucky we have Kos back to help with but then sadly not OG , but Kos more then makes up for this.

    my prefered line-up


    Cazorla is out of form but could replace Podolski, but i would prefer Podolski for this match.
    Or Alexis could on the LW and we put the OX in for Campbell or in the hole.
    Some good options at least.
    Have fun at the match TA and get the crowd going, they were great on Sat til the first goal sadly.

  • You may have caught the other headline on IG having called in AW for ‘a chat’, or the preparation for the sack, as some put it.

    I still think Kos will be a token presence on the bench, or they are taking a mighty gamble on his future?
    I too chuckled at the Ramsey headline… Seeing is believing Aaron?

  • 17, Alexis produces more key passes for others than anybody does for him. Just watch him carefully. 🙂 He would be bliss in the hole, especially with a holding striker in front of him (hence Sanogo in my preferred line up).

    Off to cook some CCC now. 🙂

  • Total…I’m rather sofa-bound at the moment, but hoping to rally soon… Obviously the drug cocktail (coffee + narcotic) is working well this morning… 😀

    My line-up is only one player different from your predicted 11… As always, I think you’re selling Santi a little short (pun intended) and also that Alexis as a #10 (as I tried to explain) is not the answer… Sicky presents a similar issue, I fear, but I’d like to see him get some sort of run out…

    Because you’re attending the match I hope it’s an entertaining affair. Still, like Gerry, I think it could be a whole lot more tactical and all about working to maintain possession and not getting punished on the break. Regardless, I hope the result is good, but showing that we can “control” a match, at least somewhat, seems very important having given up results from winning (and otherwise commanding) positions…esp. with the games coming thick and fast as they are…

  • Oops, missed that one and now you’re gone… 😦

    Of course Alexis makes more key passes–he’s head and shoulders the best player we’ve got at the moment and his final ball (shot OR pass) is miles better than the rest…That stat alone still doesn’t justify trying to change his game into the conductor or playmaker. Play him as a 2nd striker (with DW) in a 4-1-3-2 (midfield of Ox, Santi, Ramsey) if you must…

    I’m not a formation guy after all… 😀

    Again, I hope it’s a fun match and great trip to London!

  • 17,
    I like the thought of us playing 2 strikers as well, they is our strongest dept so think we should be making full use of it. We also kicked back in to gear when Wenger put OG on with Danny.
    So i would like to see us playing 4-4-2, not sure if we are ready to start playing that formation v the Germans tomorrow night though, that is all for Le Boss to decide
    In Arsene i still trust.

  • I would like to add, i like Wenger in his pre-match interview today.
    I like the way he handled it and the fighting talk and confidence he showed in his team in the interview, especially the willing to bet the question asker on the point the Wenger said we wioll have a strong season.

  • Gerry, I think people forget he’s only 20 – now that’s what i call a great potential understudy to Gibbs and an emergency LCB 🙂
    My signing wish list is all about the defense mate and i don’t know what others have been saying about there being no applicants available because mines pretty full and I’ve ignored countless others we have been linked with.
    Enough second string Monreal’s and BFG’s, enough relying on your greatest warrior being available every time especially since he has an ongoing niggling Achilles problem, also either show the faith in Jenko or let him go and get another RB. Admit that Arteta and Flamini are past their sell by date and get replacements – a full defensive refresh button needs to be hit imo.

    I still think we are about six signings away from being defensively sound and a title chasing team:


    Clyne = Debuchy’s understudy
    Umtiti = Gibbs’s understudy
    Dijik = Koscielny’s understudy
    Hayden = Schneiderlin’s understudy
    Chambers = Wanyama’s understudy

    That would make me a very happy man 🙂

    Oh btw only one of those is English 17HT, like i keep saying mate its not the nationality i value its the talent 🙂

    I bet you’ve got a fair old list as well Gerry, have you got it sorted yet or are you still scouting?

  • To add to the above link i posted, i think we should be looking to buy an Italian or German defender.

  • If you watch the Chelsea match tonight Bendikt Howedes Shalke 04 captain is well worth a scouting watch.

  • Fair enough, F11ngers…

    Now tell me why those 3 So’ton players ALL would be willing to drop from a title contending team to a bench spot on a team behind them in the table…

    Unfortunately, money, I believe, speaks louder as one gets older… Bacary Sagna, I fear, is the poster-child on that account…

    Again, what exactly did Arteta do wrong vs United?… No, no, you can be past your sell-by date and still have a good match now and again (and, as such, maybe deserve that last nice contract and a solid role in the squad)…

    Finding the longer term replacements for the BFG and Arteta IS a very important issue (and we may already have one in the guise of Calum Chambers)… My point is that this will come at a premium if we try it in January and hope for somebody who can step right up and into the role…That said, when the window opens I will be right there with you, hanging on each name it gets trotted out…

    So, we agree (sorry) except (possibly) about how easy it might be to get it done… One real quality defender or DM in the 15-25 million pound range and I would be over the moon…

    In the meantime, getting behind the boys already in the shirt can’t hurt, can it?… 😀

  • PG, like i said there are loads of options out there and none of mine are even on that list, i just hope Wenger doesn’t turn around and say there were no options available and actually spends some money in the TW 🙂

  • Steve11,
    You are right, there is. Sadly 17 is also right thatdoing that in Jan will be super expensive.
    That said i would be very happy to get a SQ defender or 2 on a loan ideally with an option to buy but he has to address it i always stick up for Wenger but he has to get defenders in.
    The good news is he has started spending the BIG bucks so there is plenty of hope there, it makes no sense to spend BIG dollar on attackers and leave the back door open for teams to rob us, that said he is only human. as i said.
    In Arsene i still trust.!!

  • 17HT, i’m behind them all the way during the 90 mins bud don’t worry about that, i was just looking to the future a bit 🙂
    Like you said mate i hope the money would attract the southampton boys and apart from maybe Clyne they would all be nailed on starting XI.
    Could you imagine having the Schneiderlin and Wanyama wall behind our attacking players, it would be amazing and in Hayden and Chambers we have the ideal understudies for both players 🙂

  • I am wondering who Wenger will go for tomorrow night?
    Sanogo or Campbell ???
    Who would you guys prefer?

  • PG, You ask Sanogo or Campbell and I say…Poldolski… 😀

    I think Total is suggesting that Yaya replaces Ollie better than anybody else, i.e., they’re the two “hold-up” style CFs, with Danny W being the 3rd best in this area… As such, Yaya surely gets a spot on the bench, at least…

    Campbell did nice work trying to kill some time for Costa Rica as an outlet guy and even got them through their round of 16 match in this fashion. We’re not playing for nil-nil and pens and our MF as bad as it is, still couldn’t find a place for their best player (Ruiz, formerly of Fulham)… Of course, they had a hell of a keeper going as well… (Keylor Navas, now signed for Real Madrid)… To me, the left footed Campbell is best as an inverted winger and (as such) will likely be in line behind the likes of Theo and the Ox (and even Rosicky and Bellerin) over on the right… No bench spot for him then, I fear… What we need tomorrow night is possession football as much as goal threat…

    So then, back to Lulu (who also might know some of the German defenders) as my first call off the bench if we need a goal… After all, he’s not been sold…yet…

  • 17,
    I am a big Podolski fan and would be happy to see him play CF or LW i would play him there myself and Sanogo up front.
    That said i am working on the team i put up around 6pm, with Alexis in the number 10 role, i would be very happy to see him go CF with Podolski on the LW as well, we do have a lot of good options up top.
    It is the defence that worries me, i would defo start Kos.

  • I will be watching City v Munich tonight on the telly rather then Chelsea on the lappy.
    I would have liked to get a look at Howedes though, but the City game is a much bigger match.
    If anyone watches Shalke let me know how the German defender plays please.

  • They should now that they’re up a goal and a man… Last man, red card and pen–against the run of play… and City will likely have a shot at 2nd going to the final match day… 😦

    Chavs up early in the Maureen-Di Matteo battle, so shutting up shop there would seem predictable…

    Carvalho’s team up a goal as well, so maybe his DM work will be on display?…

    All told, not a lot of excitement for the neutral so he midday hot tub might come early…

    Finally, Kos back with the team doesn’t mean he’s ready to play, but maybe is AW’s way of saying we already have some (or at least one) good defender. Save him for the league matches, I say…

  • So, for the last month or so I’ve noticed a strange pattern on a lot of Arsenal blogs, twitter accounts, podcasts etc.: without delving into the WOB and AKB extremes, it really irks me that there is a set of fans who have positioned themselves on some moral high ground and claim to be the real fans as they are “sticking with the club through everything”. The most common and wierd thing I here is “get behind the boys, they need us”- like that’s ever in doubt? Pointing out areas that can be improved on, whether tactically or squad/player-wise does not mean the person does not become blind to all that during the 90 minutes and to suggest otherwise seems unfair.
    Initially I thougt I mis-understood TA where he says something along the lines of “it was difficult to come up with a positive post”- this is not a cite on TA at all as I have seen similar intros on many blogs and arsenal fan sites. But what I don’t understand is, why do u feel there is an obligation to come up with something positive? Football blogs and twitter are by definition partly (if not very) reactionary, and I find it wierd that there is a dtermination to churn out positivity which very few are actually feeling. I think TA and the other regular writers can best answer this. For me, I’d just as much read an honest “emotional tirade” if you will.
    Another common thread all over the internet is that the “moaning/groaning” is preditable and bring and doesn’t help etc. As stated above, football blogging world is very reactionary and if people are coming up with the same comments game after game, maybe the problem is with the way we are repeating the same mistakes during games and hence the predictable comments. Maybe the predicatbality problem lies elsewhere…to illustrate, basically the consensus is we’ll play the same formation and team that’s in a rut v Dortmund (and set up same way as when we got destroyed last time out presumably too?)- now if Dortmund press and over-run us, would the problem be stating this happenned (I.e preditable) or is the problem that the way we play is too predictable and so too they way we concede goals and lose matches we ought to be winning?

    (Just some perspective/my two cents)

    Arteta. Can’t remember who it is whose been asking (too lazy to scroll up lol), but its well documented I have a strong dislike for Arteta (as a footballer at AFC, wouldn’t mind him elsewhere), but I thought he was very very good v Man U (excluding the ghost act fr the Rooney goal and the Di Maria 1v1 miss) and I said so to a friend during the game who responded with: I thought u don’t like Arteta?!? As I said then, don’t like his performances in general, have no problem with him (any player) if he steps up. Having said that, I don’t think he can play two 90min in 3 days and last time he tried to it didn’t end well…look at the way Man U managed Giggs career and Chelsea are manging Drogba (partly due to Costa’s form admittedly), we should tear out a page and use it. Artteta at his age should be an experianced squad hand you can call on for rotation, not a regular starter.

    Rosicky. Until we signed Alexis (and basically stopped playing TR7 this season), Rosicky was my favourite gunner and is now 2nd. My heart does little merry dances and sings Xmas carols when Rosicky plays, I’m not objective in the slightest, but I do think Little Mozart should get a chance and he is a lot better than most gooners appreciate.

    Koscielny. On Friday at Man U pre-match presser Wenger said Kos is 3 weeks away, along with Debuchy, and now on Tuesday he is ready to play on Wednesday? Perhaps this is cynical, but are we(nger) rushing Kos back and risking a set-back to save we(nger) from a desperate situation? It just seems odd.

    Preferred XI v BVB:

  • 17,
    Agreed they shouid now, but i dont think it was against the run of play. Munich had some good possesion stats but it was very early in the game and City were on top when they got the pen.
    It is a good game that City should win now.
    I hope Kos is fit again properly, if so he has to start for me. he will be a little bit rusty so the sooner he plays the better.

  • D-money,
    Wenger was not to blame for the lose to United. He named the best team he could. It was the players fault for leaving us totally exposed for the Rooney goal. Once he names the team what can he do from the side line?
    We were by far the better team.
    We have Ospina , Szcs, Kos and MD all out injured from a light on numbers defence.
    I am yet to hear one blogger point a single finger of blame at a player.??????
    Wenger is an easy target and the media love it. Half the time i think some supporters are just think, simple as.

  • What about blaming Per or Gibbs or Szsc??????
    No lets all follow the crowd like a bunch of sheep bahhh bahhh lol

  • Or the lets sack Wenger and get Klopps.
    Don’t worry that Dortmund are 18th in there league campagne. The league has gone this season.
    Look at United they spent 200m in the summer and we played them of the park bar the 2 cheap goals.

  • PG, I disagree…about the City match until the pen/sending off, but there you go… Mangala stopped a sure goal and Hart did well to get a key touch in a 1 v 1…

    Oops…Xabi Alonso has equalized from a set-piece… Hart’s moustache maybe prevented the wall from being set up correctly… 😀

    That was me asking about Arteta, Mr. Money… So, good job on the long response…

    Playing favorites is fine but suggesting that we should play Hayden, without bothering to know that he’s injured (yesterday) is (frankly, I think) ridiculous. If people cannot be arsed to know who’s even available and make such suggestions (under the guise that anybody could manage better at Arsenal…) we cannot even debate how good a player the lad in question might be. I’ve seen him play in pre-season and in the CoC match where he had a much better match than, say, Rosicky…You undermine your stumping for the one, however, by suggesting the other…

    We’re all in this together, except, of course, that you said you were gonna try and distance yourself (emotionally) from the club until Wenger was gone (after the Hull match, I believe). As such, have some respect for those of us who haven’t arrived at that place yet…

    Still, I think you’re on the right track about the Goonersphere in general. When bloggers (like me and maybe TA, too, but I shouldn’t speak for him) have the energy, we’d like the discussion to be decent–it doesn’t have to be positive (in fact, you might note I predicted a loss or would’ve taken a draw vs Unite…)–not just random expressions of frustration. Respect gets as respect gives, so you have mine after the longer piece…

    Oops… 10 man Bayern now lead 2-1… 😀

  • HT. I’ll freely admit I wrongly thought Hayden was available then as I thought I read somewhere online he was. It happens. Same as TA having OG in his starting XI by accident. My bad, but I’m sure it will happen again, but glad u guys are there to help LOL. Hayden is not available, until I hear otherwise, he isn’t up for consideration in any probable/preferred XI moving forward. TBF as far as Rosicky goes, I’d prolly start him each game if I managed Arsenal, so I’ll frelly admit I can’t be objective there.

    PG. If you go to the previous thread you will note that I blame 1. Jack 2. Sczc 3. Wenger for the Man U loss, and probably in that order. And Wenger merely because ultmately its his players and his tactics, it was his decision to go with that suicidal high offside line and if it wasn’t, then the players aren’t following his instructions and that’s even more worrying. And once he noticed we were adopting it, he did nothing to change it.

    HT. My attemps to emotionally withdraw as my presence here and the passion, frustration and almost annoyance at times my comments are layered with are not going very well…TBF, I wouldn’t know what to do with myslef, it would probaly cause a chemical imbalance lol

  • This is funny stuff, watching City, that is…But they’re pressing well early on here… Does a point do them any good?…

    More on your long post, D-Money… And cheers on taking in what I’m trying to say w/o getting too defensive…

    My take is that a lot of folks don’t read the comments very regularly which means they’re coming on merely to vent–or to pump up their favorites and slate their villains… We can do better here if we don’t get bogged down by those sorts of posters… It seems, even in this time of darkness, that you’re picking up on what I’m suggesting… There are plenty of Arsenal media outlets which trot out all the simple solutions (the simplest being that a change in manager solves everything…) so why just parrot that analysis here, especially if in moments of high emotion?

    That’s all I mean by respect gives as respect gets. You’re a good writer so the more you want to contribute–and be open to counter-arguments–the better… As I suggested in the last thread, you write the “Wenger Out post” (in a cooler moment) and maybe I can write why I think it’s not such a good idea… If I can muster the energy…

    On that note, A good result/performance tomorrow night might go down a real tonic…Even more than watching City continue in their frustrations tonight…

    On the Kos fitness business… I think he will take a spot on the bench to give the fans and the team a spiritual lift, so agreed that Wenger is doing it to (help) quell all the bad PR about his makeshift backline…

  • Dmoney,
    I am sorry if i went to far, but it really does piss me off how Wenger always gets the blame and the players don’t. Wenger has already come out and said he could not believe it when he saw we had no defenders were they should have been.
    He also called them nieve .
    So that should anwser your question, it was the players mistake.

  • If our defenders thought it was ok to go forward and leave only 2 at the back.
    When united have Rooney, van Persie and Di maria up top then they are playing with fire and are being stupid, they were and we got punished.

  • D-M, the essence is that many on this blog, and indeed many other blogs, want to enjoy following our team and therefore look for the positives, rather than wallow in the negatives. I respect your views and often agree with you but you can get a bit repetitive at times. 🙂

  • PG, I think we win as a team and we lose as a team…naming names is just shorthand for trying to figure out why…

    Wenger, certainly has to take some responsibility. IMO, the guys are working so hard for the manager that sometimes they make things more difficult by pushing too hard to get things done (score the equalizer)… This quality, however, means that the team haven’t given up on the manager and his ideas. They are suffering right now…maybe even moreso than the supporters (if it can be imagined). They have the power to try and do the little bits to improve, but they must do so as a collective…

    The tendency to try and play fantasy manager is too strong. We can shift players in and out of our fantasy teams but it’s not so easy in the real world. The players are on long-term contracts which we cannot just “write off.” Instead we need to foster confidence where we can and get players to make those little steps to improving their individual and (far more importantly) their team play. Is Bould the man to get that done? That would be the result if all those shouting for Wenger’s head got their way…

    Anyhow, we’re on the same page in this regard. I’m just saying that assigning blame isn’t quite the same as taking responsibility. When I see that element is lost (amongst players OR management) I’ll believe we’re REALLY in trouble. Dark days as these are, we’re not quite there…yet… I hope…

    City down to 10 mins, and I’m pretty sure they need two goals… 😀

  • Great goal from Aguero (bad mistake from Xabi Alonso) so a big finish is on at the Etihad… (They do need to win…) 😀

  • 17,
    Oh defo Wenger has defo made mistakes.
    I am not saying Wenger should come out and name players and blame them, i am saying some fans and bloggers should, it has just become the norm to blame Wenger all the time.
    He has made quite a lot of mistakes. But he is still our most succesful manager of all time and our longest serving. Both have happened for a reason.
    But 1 thing he cant do anything about of predict is the injuries , or do to much about once the players cross the line.
    His biggest mistakes are not signing 2 more players and some tactics i cant defend him on that.
    But i can still back him.

    Ha ha ha 3-2 great game.
    I hate city and Munich, always nice to see the Germans get a spank lol

  • Ah crap… Another terrible gaffe from Boateng and el Kun will not miss from there…

    Wow… Pellegrini lives another day… 😦

  • It is like Rambo said today, we just have to do a little twicking.
    Sorting out a defence should be quite easy, some tactical disapline is all that is needed.
    We have Ozil out who is almost forgotten, he is a massive player.
    Wenger has started spending big, He just needs to splash on on the defence now and i am sure he will, he always says he will only buy a player who really improves our team.
    We have won a cup after years.
    We have that SQ striker in Alexis, we really are so close and the problem that needs fixing is a simple 1.

  • 17,
    I think you are defo right, the manager and players are hurting a lot more then we are.
    Wenger the most, i am sure of it.

  • It is unbelievable though, we have 2 massive defender’s out.
    Now we have Szsc and Ospina out injured and we are down to our 3rd choice keeper again.
    There is some big problems there, so sadly we could be struggling at the back, the next few games wont be easy, it could be bad results.
    We need them back

  • Monreal also played well and was the only 1 really covering for the Rooney goal, i cant remember him putting a foot wrong.
    He was also committed and put in full effort.
    It was a freak result that we did not deserve.That is football.

  • TA you say its repetitive, but why is that? LOL.
    Aguero is class. Not sure I’d have trusted Danny to score the last two, possibly only the penalty. Maybe I’d expect him to score them but not bet my mortgage on it trust hm to do so.

  • D-M 😆

    Alexis is our Aguero and Giroud is our Dzeko/Jovetic. And Alexis would have put one or two of those away as well… No? Agreed that Danny is not there yet, but he will learn quickly at Arsenal, especially if king Henry would join the coaching staff 🙂

  • Agreed, TA… Alexis is nothing but class and right up there with the other South American stars, like AW says… It’s a tiny point, but way up above, just as you ran out earlier in your afternoon, I was pumping for him as a 2nd striker for your match tomorrow (rather than as a #10)…

    Playing favorites now…I hope you get to see some poo on the end of a Henry (the dog, i.e., Santi) dance… 😀 or maybe an assist for Lala’s fella… I too would love to see Sicky back at it and in the mix…

    Take a selfie of yourself, Terry and Nik for the site, eh… Or maybe one with Lala if she’s sitting nearby (or mysteriously drawn towards TMTH)… i.e., have fun…

  • A no.10 ala DB10 is what I am hoping Alexis will turn out to be… Happy to call him a second striker though, 17. 🙂

    Off to hit the sack… Je suis knackered!

  • TA, and everyone else on here, just for the record, until Dear Jack puts a FULL season together, or at least pumps out a season similar to Ramsey’s last season, I won’t even think about admitting that he has turned a corner, or isn’t the player who I think he is and isn’t. I say think, because he and Aaron need to do so much more than they have done, up to this date. Isn’t that usually how opinions work??? No need to shirk it, or try to overthink it. Until I BELIEVE I have been proven wrong, why should I CHANGE MY thoughts and perceptions??? I thought I had proven virtually everyone else wrong with the season Ramsey had last year. I was presumptuous, but got some of it right. I won’t predict what he might or might not do, from here on out, same with Jack. I think a change of his attitude and level of perceived entitlement regarding his relationships with match officials would go a long way. I say he hasn’t been good enough. I probably did say he never will be, but that was stupid. The heart of the matter to me ISN’T only concerning his level of play. He hasn’t been terrible, but he has disappointed (me). I thought after that Wembley match in late 2012, against Brazil, although only a friendly, was just as good if not better than his match play against Barca. He did what he wanted. The recent England displays are fine and dandy, but aside from Barca 2011, Brazil at Wembley 2012 and maybe, MAYBE 6 other matches, Swansea FA cup home match 2 years back comes to mind as well, dispersed over 4 seasons, he HASN’T made his mark. I still think he can, but he needs to change, in my estimation. Until I see that he is playing better, than I will continue my criticism of him.

  • You forgot the MC game. The only thing he needs is to stay fit for a while to become consistent in the eyes of the fiddler. To me, every game Jack shows how much better a player he is than most if not all around him. But then I appreciate a conductor a lot more than a ‘does nothing wrong’ fiddler, if you know what I mean.

  • The trouble with me winding down early, I miss so much good chat. Not always the case, but tonight was good. The trouble is, my day starts early. 5.0am Breakfast. 11.0am dinner – I need to eat every 5 hours else I get cranky – 4.0pm tea. By 7.0pm, I start getting tired, I fell asleep during the City match because I forgot to drink my coffee ha ha. That also happens at my age 😀

    So, Steve@18.30 – You do a major disservice to our young admired one. Understudy to Gibbs?
    Nah! Straight in …. at CB idiot! (only joking). From recent matches I’ve seen, he seems to holding down the LCB spot right now. One of the reasons I chuckled at him taking the free kick. But he has obviously been practising his ball skills, because Alexis would have been proud of the dip he got on it.
    Having already aired my view on Wanyama, I am hardly going to endorse you fantasising about BOTH Saints guys. Then having Hayden understudy to him … !!! The only thing he might learn is how to be inconsistent?
    I have said it before, his one good game for Celtic, where he got it together for the full 90 was not the player he normally is. The league match on Monday was more typical, giving the ball away with weak passes one minute, then having a good spell with defence-splitting ones?
    KK for me, and at a slightly cheaper price than MS, possibly the better option – his is a fixed priced ‘buy-out’ clause, which at least might get a chance to speak with him? – Saints price may rise in January, given the demand, or more likely ‘Not for sale’ notice slapped on him. The player is less likely to be upset, as HT pointed out, if they are still in contention for a CL spot, sowhy jump ship? Mind, they have got stiffer opposition coming up than they had on Monday? Even though it includes a downtrodden Arsenal in the list, we are a bit of a bogey team for them I seem to recall?

    PG – That top 20 list of defenders? I would only consider at least half of them on a 6 month contract just because we are desperate. Seeing Vertonghen on there made me smile. Turned us down because Spurs was his ‘favourite’ boyhood team … A year on and he wants to leave.

    On the theme of blogging … Difficult one. I dropped out of the negative sites when I realised how, even reasoned arguments just don’t have any effect. Which is probably how D-Money can appear a bit isolated at times? The trouble is, reason argument and ’emotional’ inputs rarely come together. This site at least is open to discussion, but not abuse.
    Funnily enough, I got a bit miffed at the site proclaiming ‘ 87% of Arsenal fans want Wenger Out’. I was the first to answer, so I asked ‘How big was the total vote.’ And ‘ Shouldn’t there have been …. ‘of fans polled’, added?’
    I got a terse reply asking if I used the link about the poll? Followed by the usual thumbs down clicks. I gave a longer reply, a day later, and last time I checked, no reply. They move on to the next headline grabber.
    It was a bit like that with me when I said I skipped the post match responses because they were predictable and boring. I was a day late coming to put in my more positive view, so I jumped to the bottom. As HT rightly said, there were a few that would have held the flag up for positivity on a bad result day, Apologies to all.

    Milo – Whilst I do have some sympathy for your view on JW. Indeed, the cynic in me thinks this talk of a huge contract being offered, may be more with a view to sell, or being bought? Depending on who is pushing for what, as much as it is to keep him here long term. For a player who ‘bleeds Arsenal blood’, I find it strange that this has arisen right now? Somebody has muttered something I feel?
    But as to him playing. I said a little while back that his style of play, running and not passing early, ends in the cul-de-sac coming to meet him, and in doing so risked injury. I am not the only one to make that latter point. Which is why I thought it might be wise to play the deeper role, as has been successful with England. Not a DM, but a deeper position where he provides for others to get on the end of his passes.
    But because, may be too much too soon happened, and expectation levels were raised, and his injuries have not helped his progress, it is where the disappointment comes in. Not to mention a certain immaturity from time to time, but I just have.
    However, players are human, and have their failings. But they are in the spotlight where their profession can impinge on their personal lives too, and vice versa, as with Giroud and Ozil?
    It helps not to be too dogmatic when criticising.

    Will we be positive tonight I wonder? Again, I would like to see the team sheets from both sides before committing my view on the outcome. All I know so far, on the positive front is that Bellerin and Rosicky are in the squad. But defensively were are pretty near the last men standing, and Arteta and Gibbs can both come unstuck playing 4 days later, after a morale sapping game? Not much different up front, although Welbeck and Alexis both seem pretty resilient? To be honest, the middle is not much better, given the injured and out of form ones, but at least there are quality reserves in these latter groups. Only Bellerin holds any experience with the back 4 contingent. That is a worry?

    Back later in the day,
    Another mini post, sorry.

  • When the conductor can’t even beat time consistently, never mind render a meaningful interpretation, we have a problem.

    If I were to allot him a grading for his career thus far, taking age,injuries and potential in to consideration I’d give him MAYBE a 70, where I thought he would be at 80% percent. His progress has been similar to that of a Wagner opera. Good to great overture, nothing of much note afterwards. A few good tunes and moments of inspiration here and there. At least it might mean a long career, if nothing else, as some of that original Nazi’s operas are 4 hours plus, if I remember 😀

    To keep with the music, I’d rather he go all Rage Against the Machine, or Dimitri Shostakovich if that is how he feels and wants to act. If he wants to be a real nutter, then be one (not that the band or composer are nuts, but certainly (were) looked upon by certain masses as such). If not then, stop the charade and play to your strengths. Physical dominance, wildness and violence, as well as intimidation, are not any of his and never will be, no matter how much he scowls for the camera. Stop the machismo, unless it actually gets your desired result. How much of that stuff did he pull in that Barca match, when he first stepped on the scene??? Maybe once??? How many times does he either whine, or “confront” the opposition now??? Much, too much more frequently.

    Ok, ok, I’ll admit it…I just find him annoying 😀 Seriously, I do. Let’s do a “fuck it, cut the cord” now on this one, eh??? 😀

  • Appreciate the honesty, and you are not alone. Many dislike some or all of the persona of Jack. He is developing his natural leadership and some will not like it. But I see a huge talent in all aspects of the game. Happy to fuck it and cut the cordials! 🙂

  • I have just been to check on the team news for the Under 19’s – Reminder 2.0pm KO on the ‘Player – and the talk was of Kaylen Hinds being injured, so Mavivididi(close?) plays.
    Now I have seen both play in the Under 18’s, and Hinds plays across the front line, while Mavi is your more natural No 9. So it strikes me, against my earlier thought, that Akpom is indeed lining up in the first team group? We will know for certain just before 2.0pm?

    However, if as is rumoured, Sanogo is in for Welbeck, I would think Chuba must be cover for him. Anything else would be a huge snub for the likes of Pod and JC?

    Reading the quotes from Klopp, I think he is planning for a high press, quick closing down type of defending, rather than sit back and the counter? Then they will then try and control possession. That puts more pressure on our midfield to not give the ball away to easily.

    I can see us going back to a 4-5-1, with our backs not getting forward quite as much as usual, and the width supplied by Ox and may be Rosicky. I don’t see it as a line up to suit Podolski as a starter? Especially if the middle three contain Alexis, Ramsey, and Flamini/Arteta? Lose the width and go 4-3-3 then perhaps?

    Of course, as we only need a draw from both our final two CL games, or even a loss and a win, AW might just gamble on having a stronger side for the Galatasaray match, and play very defensive here? If we lose, but not by many, and Gala lose to Anderlecht, then a draw would suffice? A win out there will make this match irrelevant. I am guessing that might mean stacking the rearguard with experienced players, but may be Sanogo and Akpom/Campbell to spring any attacks, supported by the direct running of Ox and Rosicky, with the rest on defensive first and foremost.

    Who would be a manager eh? … Oh yes, I forgot. We all would …in our dreams 😀

  • Milo, like i said before welcome to the club matey 🙂
    JB – Szczesny
    Me – Ozil
    You – Wilshere
    Take a seat to your left, help yourself to Hors d’œuvre’s, sit back and enjoy the show 🙂

    One thing i am always perplexed about concerning Jack is that the rules of fouling never really seem to apply to him. When a guy comes sliding in, goes through your ankle to get the ball, even leaving you inured in the process, this is normally a foul. constantly this is not the case for Jack – maybe that’s what winds him up so much, i know it would me 🙂

    Gerry, management is easy lol 🙂

    Klopp’s 4-1-3-2 (in that vid i showed you)
    the 3-2;
    Gnabry——-Sanchez——-The OX
    the 1;
    Wilshere – as the quarter back option
    new DM – as the beast option
    Hayden – as a bit of both
    the back 4;

    Job done, put the trophies over there please 🙂

    problem is all of those “1” options are either injured or not filled yet as are most of the back four, so atm it would end up looking like this;

    Gnabry——-Sanchez——-The OX

    not strong enough defensively but that could change after January 🙂

  • just watching the U19 match, Mbende for Dortmund – how is that f*cker U19 lol
    A nice cocktail of HGH and steroids been used on that fella lol

  • Evening Steve – I forgot to say earlier, according to Website, they are listing Gnabry as not playing/available for ‘lack of match fitness’???
    In other words, if he does not make the bench tonight, he will still lack ‘match fitness’ for the West Brom game.

    Agreed on the big fella. 😆

    Good win for the lads. Poor conditions though, but they should have got more than one. It was noticeable that the younger ones got weary towards the end. Mavididi was out on his feet. Cracking goal though. As I said earlier, proper No 9.

    Hayden came across well I thought? Back for the Christmas rush with a bit of luck. I am glad he said DM is his preferred position. There is a vacancy I believe?

  • hahaha a vacancy 😆
    just a bit mate 🙂

    I agree, solid performance from the lads and should have been a much higher scoreline but like you said conditions were a bit crappy to say the least.
    Lets hope the first team can get a win as well


  • Gerry,
    On Varntigen ex spelling i totally agree. It is a massive shame though he would have been perfect for us. Sadly i do really rate him, it would be nice if we could nick him like Sol Campbell

  • For all the Wenger outs.
    Please tell me why Wenger should go??
    I would bet that all the players are fully behind him and want him to stay. Maybe not Podolski but defo most.
    It has been a hard and disappointing start to the season but there is really not much wrong.
    Plus all the unlucky injuries, probably the biggest factor.
    Bet Total Arsenal enjoyed that 1st half. 🙂

  • Very happy with our performance so far. Shame Arteta had to go off due to injury, but I was thinking should be subbed as he was on a yellow and had already received a “final warning” in the 1st half.
    Ramsey is hinting at his form of last season…Santi majestic on the ball tonight. Arteta-Gibbs-Ox very solid. Alexis wasteful in posession at times but made up for that with THAT goal.
    All in all, good night so far.

  • D-Money,
    It has been a great performance, it should be the blue print for the rest of the season.
    The shape and disappline has been excellent. I think they have started to really learn. Monreal by the way has been great, he has not put a foot wrong.

  • Only blemish is injury to Arteta. Can’t seem to play 2 games in such a short space of time without picking up a knock anymore. Same thing happenned v AnderlectHope he recovers for WBA. Despite all his other flaws, he IS the system. We don’t look the same without him. So really what we need maybe isn’t a “beast” of a DM, but more a Schneiderlin type who can play the Arteta role in terms of controlling the game and setting our tempo, but at a higher intensity and level, and is more athletic and can shield defense better. Not sure a Wanyama or Tiote type could do that.

  • Arsenal into the last 16 for the 15th consecutive season!
    Come on guy’s cut Wenger some slack.

  • Arteta – Calf Muscle Strain (injury)
    Previous history of calf problems and injuries:
    Jan 2012: (16 days)
    Jan 2013: (22 days)
    Sep – Oct 2014: (9 days)

    Sanogo – Hamstring injury
    Previous history of hamstring problems & injuries:
    Jul – Nov 2014: (107 days or 3 months+)


    Grade 1 (damage to a few muscle fibres. Minimum 3 weeks)
    Grade 2 (damage to a more extensive number of muscle fibres. About 4 to 6 weeks.)
    Grade 3 (a complete rupture of the muscle itself. To be repaired surgically and the rehabilitation afterwards will take about 3 months.)

  • A reversal of results from vs Dortmund (away 0-2) with a 2-0 home win this round.

    This was our line-up (somewhat of a hybrid 4-1-3-2 or 4-1-3-1-1):

    Alexis Sánchez played somewhat of a shadow striker(2nd striker) behind Yaya Sanogo.
    Santi Cazorla was our MotM.

  • “One of the Improvisational Harmony Creators”

    Areas of influence:

    (12 in DF; 55 in MF; 33 in FW)
    Best positions (in lighter colours) are at left midfield, left 3/4 attacking pockets.

    The other two “Improvisational Harmony Creators” are Özil & Wilshere. At least one of them will have to start in every match to give us the creativity and winning chance.

  • Great result and display as a whole. More later. I’ve been busy preparing the UMF side for a busy period. I have repeated both the weekend and midweek fixtures
    Remember – Strict deadline 7.0am Saturday morning, 7.0am Tuesday morning.
    Get those entries in early. Thank you.

    The first paragraph on the BBC gossip page put a smile on my face 😀
    Make it happen Ivan!

  • PG,

    It does confirm the thought that people tend to blog more when they feel negative about 🙂

    I have n’t been active at all lately, I hardly had time to read never mind posting. I missed the 2 previous games, and didn’t even see replays – blessing in disguise? And I just half watched yesterday’s on my iPad while working, so not going to comment from the glimpses I had. I’ll just say AS’s strike was superb, and I am sorry Sanogo had to do a hamstring after his first goal. He reminds me (conceptually) of jet planes with inverted wings – they are so unstable that they are always on the verge of flipping in a random direction (think “throwing a paper plane tail first”). He always seems like he’s going to fal or lose the ball but somehow manages to put his telescopic legs on it and do something unexpected. He could turn into an fantastic striker.

    I *will* come back to see Totals’ report 🙂

  • Thoroughly enjoyed that win last night. The whole team played really well, especially defensively. It certainly helped that we got the lead after just 70 seconds into the game. That helped us control the game (defensively) well. The way we defended and counter-attacked as a UNIT should be how we play from now on until at least we get some reinforcement (injured players coming back and/or new quality addition in January). Special mention to Cazorla, Gibbs, Monreal, Arteta, and the Ox. These 5 players were HUGE especially in the first half. Sanogo did reasonably well but he is still a raw talent. He could have bagged himself a nice little brace had he converted his one v. one chance with Dortmund’s keeper, but c’est la vie…
    I thought Sanchez misplaced a few passes but he can never be faulted for his attitude and desire. He just keeps on going, even after losing the ball. That is a sign of a true leader. Wenger should at least consider him for Captaincy or Vice-Captaincy when either position become open in the near future. And what about that “Henry-esque” goal!!!
    More of that in the next few games please, Mr. Sanchez!

    By the way, will Rosicky EVER get a start this season??? 😦 What exactly is going on there Arsene? And is Abou Diaby still alive and collecting a paycheck every week? 🙂

  • Fine comment Gino … ruined by the last sentence.

    Yes, Diaby is alive, and that is a big plus on a day when a young cricketer lost his life playing the sport he loved.
    To my knowledge, Diaby voluntarily took a pay cut, of about 50%, or at least it was offered. I have no way of knowing if it went through. But whatever, the fact remains he got injured doing his job of work in the service of Arsenal FC. It is also a fact that his career hangs in the balance after his latest setback. If your saw the list of injuries and setbacks, going back to May 1st, 2008 that was published recently, you would not be so quick to make so light of it?
    In all likelihood, it is probably the case that the club’s insurers are picking up the bulk of his loss of earnings/service to the club? But we are still talking of a player with huge talent and desperate to play. Many bloggers on here put him in their, ‘If everybody is fit’, best eleven just last week.
    Come on, be a little more charitable, eh?

  • I have nothing but huge respect and sympathy for Diarby i wish him a strong recovery and to get back in our team.
    I am sure Gina did not mean to knock him just wanting to see him play and Gerry is just showing his complete passion and support for our player – players.
    RIP Phillip Hughes sad news indeed.
    Wenger last night in his post match interview really showed the stress of losing 2 more players to injury, he said it was hard to take and his face told the story.
    Back to Diarby, back then it was fasionable to kick Arsenal players. I so hope Diarby career is not cut short, it is a real possiblity hence Gerry’s stance.
    Great result last night, the blue print for the future.
    Now take that form to the league

  • Bear yourselves.
    Breaking News—
    Jack Wilshere will be out for 3 months after under going ankle surgery. 😦

  • Il follow that up with a positive
    Martinez was solid last night and kept a clean sheet, he was a big and important match for the young keeper and i have a feeling he could be a very good 1.

  • well my quick match report is a little more subdued than the rest i think. I felt we played much the same as we have done for a while now;
    Gibbs continues to be consistently good
    Monreal continues to put in a hard fought performance (though he should never be in that position)
    BFG continues to be off his game and looks a little unsteady
    Chambers continues to impress but imo would be much better served at CB or in DM
    Arteta continues to provide structure to the team but with decreasing mobility and his age is allowing for more frequent fitness injuries
    Sanchez remains an incredible player but still shows even he has room for improvement in the passing department
    OX continues to shine and look dangerous, he also put in some lovely long passes yesterday
    Cazorla i’m still not convinced about (even though many are giving him MOTM) and i would have liked to have seen Rosicky get a go.
    Sanogo continues to look very raw
    Martinez – couldn’t have asked for more form the young keeper tbh

    It was the same type of game as the last few, with many attacks breaking down at the final hurdle. lucky for us the linesman didn’t see Sanogo off side and Sanchez had his shooting boots on this time out. Indeed i thought we created more chances against Man utd but this time we got an end result.



    The simple tactic of dropping back and seeing the game out finally trickled down to the team and all over the pitch the collective effort to hold the result was magnificent.
    I think that’s all we have been asking for for quite some time now and the first time the team actually puts it into practice we suffocate the game and end up with the result.
    That was the biggest positive from last night, forget wonder strikes and clever play etc, that one tactical change is what i have been waiting to see from Arsenal for ages.

    Thank you lord!!!

  • Hey guys…Cooking holiday over here so I’ll be busy today… Sorry I wasn’t around for the match yesterday… Looking forward to Total’s Man at the Match report…

    Good result, good performance, (but) more injuries seems the consensus. The Arteta calf thing seems most serious (given the return of Giroud up front) and there was a worrisome moment when Chambers was limping around for a bit. We need to know if these are serious knocks to Welbeck and Walcott as the matches start coming thick and fast. All told, each step forward–in terms of getting players back into the squad–seems matched by a step or two back…At least it’s not accompanied by a(nother) poor result…

    The choice to play Yaya may have been forced, but it appeared a good one. Scoring early (in tandem with much-maligned Santi Cazorla, who did the conductor thing all match long) was good. Even better was Yaya’s presence up front as a target for long balls to help relieve pressure on our 3rd choice keeper, Martinez, who did the basics well enough and made two key saves (both with his legs…) near the close of both halves. It would be nice to think that we could’ve come back had Dortmund scored, but it even nicer that we didn’t have to, and, instead, got to play with a more conservative shape.

    Alexis’ goal was a moment of individual skill and just reward for doing so much of the heavy lifting in recent times. Gibbs, behind him on the left, had a great game and the two of them worked really hard to plug gaps that were being exposed by the Dortmund attack, which took almost all of its joy down their flank. The Germans were far from the confident team we played in the first match of the group but maybe that’s partly because they only scored two that night when they should’ve had 8. They miss Marco Reus, too, maybe?… Arteta, but also Santi and Ramsey and the wingmen (Alexis and Ox) got back quickly all night long and were calm on the ball (despite Dortmund’s best efforts to press it and force mistakes) and we were consistently able to play solid, technical football (keepaway…) to relieve pressure and force the opponents back into defending. Ah, the beauty of an early goal and the belief, tentative though it felt, that one might be enough… The 2nd really felt like it sealed the deal, though I’m sure the support in the stadium might not have been quite so convinced. The Dortmund support was loud, but surely would’ve gotten a LOT louder had they scored. I’m looking forward to Total’s report on these intangible elements as well as the specifics of the performance itself…

    WBA in the early Saturday match now becomes the focus. The team will just about pick itself (given all the injuries) but it sure would be good if we could work a couple of extra attackers back in, maybe from the bench, at least. The same group then (Alexis, Santi, Ox and Rambo with Giroud in for Yaya and Flams for the Capitan) will have to control that one from the front and make them pay with goals. Berahino and Sessegnon can hurt us if we don’t get out on the front foot. It’s a quick turnaround to that match (another worry) and we have to show up without a hangover from the extra match in mid-week. Set pieces have to be a worry and we cannot afford to concede too many at our end.

    Consider me concerned, but also relieved that we got through last night as we did. One at a time must remain the mantra, while a step by step rebuild on the confidence front is surely needed before we take on Southampton (in the following midweek) and then Stoke City before the long trip to Turkey to close out the CL group and then (finally) high-flying Toonies. No more injuries, please… Overall, for me, we’re still on the ropes, but, on last night’s showing, still standing and with a modicum of hope and (perhaps?…) carrying a little less of a glass jaw. The next punch, however, (as always?…) is the only one which matters…

    Happy Thanksgiving…

  • Steve11,
    It is gutting, he was like the OX in the form of his life. Jack also takes a long time to find his form after a long injury, shit news indeed mate 😦

  • I think we need to get a pastor to bless the pitch or something and all prey for no more injuries or something.
    It is just unbelievable, when is this injury jinx going to end?

  • If you watch Aleis play though he is very careful when getting challenged he knows how to ride a tackle and protect his ankles. He also shields the ball very well while doing it.

  • PG its crazy mate just crazy, ive just been watching Jack in the first half of the Man Utd match and the lad was running the show.
    Hopefully Ramsey can get his game back and provide the same level Jack was showing before he got injured, for some reason he always seems to play better without Jack anyway.
    I am desperately holding my breath until we have the likes of OX, Sanchez, Walcott, Ganbry, Welbeck all back in the team and at full match fitness – pace just doesn’t begin to describe that front line 🙂

    Please injury god, be kind 🙂

  • a lot of Jacks injuries have simply been from being fouled late, you can’t really adjust for that.
    a f*cking yellow card once or twice would be nice though!

  • Oops, sorry to post over your quick match report, Steve…

    I realize people are sad that Rosicky isn’t getting his chance… We don’t know if AW sees something about him in training which cuts down his confidence in him, but here’s my take on the situation…

    Nobody seems to like Santi Cazorla (nor Arteta for that matter, but he’s injured now, so there’s something people can be happy about, if they must… 😦 …), but, based on what I can recall of his play… a reason Santi is perhaps preferred to Sicky is that he can do his bit in tighter spaces and is better in bringing others into the play. He still needs a goal, but the two assists last night are very promising that he might be getting back to his best.

    Rosicky is (slightly) bigger and (slightly) faster, but also needs quite a bit more space to do his thing, mostly because he’s very (very) one-footed. There’s nothing wrong with that, per se, but I think he doesn’t get the call because that’s the same way Ramsey plays. The Ox, who is also looking a good deal more confident and decisive, similarly benefits from having some clear pitch ahead of him into which he can carry the ball. He was getting around markers very effectively last night.

    My point is that given the current group of injuries–esp. now that Arteta and Wilshere might both be out for the longer term–a guy with Santi’s attributes, who can make the quick dribbles (and long passes) when the pressure is extreme, must play. We simply can’t afford too many guys taking too many touches (over and over, with their right foot) as our primary means of getting out of trouble and starting attacks. We all love power and thrust, but keeping possession and moving it on to the guys who can do just that is important too…

    Don’t get me wrong. I like Sicky as much as anyone and think we’d do better if he were contributing, but I’d want him in in place of guys like Ramsey and/or Flamini, not Santi… In other words, it’s not about playing favorites (favourites?…) but about trying to think about the (current) needs in the squad and being sure we’ve got adequate balance for the task at hand. I thought we did well on this account last night, so why not continue with an eye towards this element as the matches come every 4 days?…

  • 17HT, how you doing bud?

    yeah i agree somewhat and tbh i really have to watch last nights game again because a lot of my mates are adamant that Cazorla was MOTM but i somehow missed that so i really need to give it a rewatch 🙂
    but if he is to be played every time then he has to take up the CAM role for me, i can’t think of a more perfect place for a two footed, plays in tight spaces type player to be?

    btw i like Arteta but he is simply lacking in the physical department for the role he plays now for Arsenal, i don’t mean strength but rather the stamina to play at the top of his game week in week out.
    Thats not his fault, its just age for christ sake – poor guy lol, here you go mate, have these insanely quick attacking youngsters all round you, plus the same type of full backs and when they’re all up the top of the field and loose it, well its up to you to stop the counter lol
    We need a player at his very peak of performance to play that role considering the way we play all the time.

    Just my two cents 🙂

  • Indeed, the news about Jack (and what I expect we’ll be hearing re: Arteta) is not good… Some may take it the way F11ngers took the news on Ozil, but I think that would be VERY unfortunate…

    I gotta get going on my day here, but the point I’m trying to make is that we need balance in the midfield and attack–guys who can take it on their own shoulders and run with the ball and score and others who can help get us out of tight spots and bring others into the play… In terms of faves, I say don’t sell the Spaniards (Santi, Mikel) short, whereas others move quickly to defend/promote the British guys–Jack, Rosicky, Ox or Rambo. Of course, I’m a huge believer in what I think Ozil can contribute, too… And luckily, we’ve got Alexis, a guy who is so good he can do a job all over the pitch–and, IMO, is clearly looking to make good combos with all the rest as well as put the ball in the net himself…

    The bottom line is that all these (potential) #10s bring subtly different qualities to our MF play (transition and pressure relief…) and attack. That Wenger has gotten so many in the squad (whilst not buying enough defensive minded players…) can be seen as visionary or stupid, depending on your bent. I think there’s a method to the madness, and a lot of it is in trying to be good in the shorter term and REALLY good in the future, all the while creating a brand of football that is always forward thinking and one which prioritizes attack over defense. It’s all extremely makeshift at the moment and (clearly, IMO) we’re very much on the ropes (to revisit my boxing analogy from above)…

    Anyhow, I need to move forward on my working (cooking and cleaning) holiday, so carry on…

  • Hi TA et al

    Long time. Too much work but, hell is freezing over because my current excuse is I am on actual vacation – yes in Belgium. I thus missed the game and had to catch it later as my wife would prefer to do cultural things. I tried explaining that football was a culture, but…

    That segues nicely into the fact that before I was married I dated woman much like the Arsenal. One day they love you, the next … Not so much. Every time you think, yes, I’ve got it sorted and figured.. Blam, back the other way. Some times you think you are stealing home only to find you’re out at first, while others… The only questions I ever had were, why? And how? … I was so confused (and still am!) 🙂

    That is my one paragraph summary of what I’ve missed lately but been quietly following.

    Currently, my hotels Internet is suffering a condition known as “belgian disease” where it wants to be efficiently hardworking like a Dutch person, while also wanting to follow lots of rules of administration like a french person… The end result is chase and mixed working – non-working weirdness… But, I hope to be around more … Here’s looking forward and up for the weekend games…

    Oh, and injuries, we’ll remember they are just gods way of making it fair for the other guys!! 🙂 … Or so goes my best take on it..

    Cheers — jgc

  • 17HT,
    “Some may take it the way F11ngers took the news on Ozil, but I think that would be VERY unfortunate”

    F*ck off you helmet, i made a point of continuously stating the point that Ozil’s injury was a bad thing!!!
    I want him fit and available you moron i just feel that when he is available others are still better choices. That has always been my standpoint, not that i was pleased to see him get injured – AS I REPEATEDLY SAID, OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN!

    Any injury to any of our players is a BAD THING!

    Let me know how many times you want me to write that in my comments before it sinks in mate

  • Quick break here, it’s too freaking cold out to start doing the out of doors elements in my holiday prep… On that note, Happy turkey day to the American in Belgium by way of Christchurch… 😀 Indeed, why can’t our football teams be more like our beautiful (and consistent) wives rather than our freaky (but hot and cold) girlfriends? My wife (the Ph.D. in English) has so much sangfroid these days that they’ve turned her into a dean… 😯

    Sorry if I took your Ozil, uh, distaste, the wrong way, but thanks for inquiring as to my health, F11ngers, if that’s what you were doing up above… (I’m slightly on the mend, I think…) 😀

    Hyperbole gets just as it gives, I guess… No need to call me a helmet, or anything else, I don’t think… And, overall, it’s pretty gratifying to think that we have areas of agreement (i.e., re: Arteta, above)… 😀 I know you love a battle of extreme philosophies, but I find it more fun when we can agree on the basics and then look more closely at specifics… More of these, eh… 😀

    A good example of this would be the Wenger Out (Klopp in?) argument… Our guy gets a reprieve because we won last night (while the other guy looked good as a stoic in the rain, I guess)… I really don’t get the whole thing, beyond the idea that somebody has to be accountable. I think big money football is getting to a point where the easy solutions just don’t work at the very top levels anymore and having a full-fledged plan is the key…executed over several seasons…

    Which is what I believe Wenger brings (see my previous)… In the short term we look pretty bad but, even with all the injuries, we may be OK if Koscielny (and Debuchy) can get back into the team sooner rather than later so as not to leave too much work for would be DMs like Flamini and Ramsey. Certainly there seems to be a decent consensus that Chambers is a real player (who could maybe work himself into that DM spot) and that Nacho isn’t one thousand percent woeful (even if the BFG has experienced a downward tick in support). Also, I’m very pleased that Gibbs had a good match yesterday after his troubles vs United. Fingers crossed that he can play every 4 days w/o getting himself hurt… We now need to hear whether Szcz has a real injury or just a Weng-ury… Sorry, 007 (if you’re reading…) but consider me worried about Berahino sending in corners with guys like Olsson and Dorrans and Mulumbe and Lescott trying to get on the end of things. What do we really know about Martinez as a keeper except that he isn’t the PIG?… (Ooh, inneresting… Cursory research about WBA reveals that Berahino needs to be worried about his drink-driving arrest back in October and that Olsson is out with achilles trouble just as our Kos is coming back from the same…)

    So, there you go… the Sun is peeking out (literally, here in the mountains in California, but maybe for the Arsenal too…) but let’s not get ahead of ourselves…

  • Steve

    Been away, I am going more philosophical as my above note about God keeping it fair… Please accept it in all despairing sarcasm/fatigue that it was posted…

    Yours in concern — jgc

  • All

    I should perhaps follow up my note to say that despite some years without, ahem, “trophies” I did eventually figure out and am on a string of 22+ trophy laden years…

    All for a little humor to break the periodic dismay and make my point.. Or whatever. 🙂

    Written in a crazy student bar in Liege, with said wife, where they have free wifi and massively blaring mix of heavy metal and country (I said weird!), because my hotels wifi has collapsed the last few days … … Shout at the devil, shout, shout…. 😉

    Cheers — jgc

  • Oh and 17

    I was two days in Palo Alto on the way here to get more appropriate university clothing and visit friends… Fart Cal!!!! 🙂 😛

    — jgc

  • No worries, JGC, and the UCB-Stanford rivalry seems more Arsenal-Chavs than Arsenal-Spurs to me… One of my main ski/backpacking partners is a Stanford grad and his wife (far more high-strung than yours or mine, I fear) is now a professor there in molecular biology… They recently bought one of those “on campus” Eichler houses, with prices driven up by the latest tech bubble, so more work, less skiing for him, I would guess… Living up here, and only responsible for getting my wife out the door to her job, I’m pretty much a drop-out… Snow coming, they say, next week…

    Plus, we’ll always have “the play” — Rugby Union at its finest–and the big event my freshman year–so it’s hard to get too worked up about the rivalry, for me, at least…

    Anyhow, You’ve only missed a ton (tonne?) of angst about the Arsenal… Hopefully we’ve hit rock bottom, but you never know… Oh Gaat, as our dutch friend would say…

    OK, off now, (for reals…) but hoping for the match report and to make up with my pal F11ngers when next I check in…

  • 17

    The Drive
    The only rugby union stadium in the USA (and the better team too :P)

    Cheers — jgc 😛 😀

  • Hi guys 🙂

    Nik, Terry and I had a great time yesterday. Hope to write something later. Got back at 1.30am after a challenging drive and have been busy all day. 😦

    Good to see Geoff back. 🙂

  • Martinez was great, Alexis was Alexis-esque and Santi Cazorla is back to life. After all, we all want our Santi Clause to deliver around Chrstmas.

    Ox was great, too bad for his volley not to end in the net. He knows how to bit his man, that’s for sure!

    Arteta….How many times he has been hit since he had joined us? No wonder he gets injured so often.

    Nevertheless, Wenger In. 🙂

  • Apologies from me too, as I never got back to the computer after my last comment.

    Yes PG, it was a bit hard. Just a bit sensitive on things like that. Although the pay check thing was the real trigger, as it makes it sound like it was the victim’s fault for being injured, ergo he shouldn’t be paid? But thanks for being the peacemaker.

    I tried to get back on just before 6.0pm when I saw Sevilla were playing, thus another chance to see KK in action …. not one of his better performances I have to say? … But when I was loading the computer with TV in HD mode, at that time of night with weak signal strength, I think it corrupted something, as it would not let me connect to the internet.

    Okay now, so I will add my thoughts when TA puts out the review/preview combo later. But broadly in line with HT’s line on everything , including the ‘sicky absence. I said it earlier, he is not enough like Santi or Jack to take their roles. He needs Ozil back to create the space for him and others to run into.

    According to the FF site, Welbeck has a 75% chance of playing, which usually means they do, either starting or from the bench. I worry that people are think Kos might start. If it was ‘a bit too soon’ on Tuesday, and did not get even a few minutes. Poldi took that honour, and did more chasing around than he does when he starts? Methinks he is thoroughly pee’d off?

    Today we might get a bit more detail on the injured 10 … That is only ONE player short of a reserve team! I cannot be arsed to worked who needs to get injured to complete the set 👿

    On the positive front, I think Debuchy is the best hope after Kos, for giving us breathing space. Quickly followed by Hayden, mid-December without setbacks? Upfront we can cope. Bit of mix and match with Giro back, and get Gnabbers match fit, and that applies to the attacking midfield too. Creative MF, very thin if Cazorla is the last man standing, and similar for the surviving pair of DM’s, Flamini and Ramsey? At least until the trio above get fed into the chain.
    If either of the first two are okay for the Saints game we should be walking on water thereafter …
    he says, confidently 😀
    Keep the faith …

  • Missed the match because I was out with a mate. Didn’t see the replay later in the evening either. Happy with the win and am debating whether to just follow-up after matches and not view live, or maybe at all, as I missed the Anderlecht away match, which we won as well 😀

    Rosicky seems to have very good ball control to me. Better than Ramsey’s. He isn’t two footed, right on there. Not even close. I actually like him in a deeper position. I seem to remember him being very proficient at sliding tackles, strangle enough. He has a good endurance level on him, as well. He ain’t gonna play though. That is down to one man and I do not think it is Tomas. Still, if we keep building back up, and then maintain, it doesn’t matter. Well, it matters to a loyal servant of the club in Tomas, but he’s one person in the millions of others connected to Arsenal Football Club. If I were him, I’d leave in January.

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