West Brom v Arsenal: Preview and Line-Up

Mini – Preview
West Bromwich v Arsenal

Yes, just one of my converted posts I’m afraid.

So I will be concentrating on our potential on the back of an excellent win in mid week. Confidence and stability is the name of the game. We got some of that back against Dortmund, but now we must repeat it against sterner (?) opposition. The Baggies are at home and they will be all out to get a win. But they too are hampered by injuries, so let me crack on with the preview.

TA put a very probable line up last night I see no reason to disagree:

arse v WB Nov 14
There are a few areas of concern though:
1. Santi took some heavy knocks on Tuesday?
2. Ox has been great these last few games, but do we want burn out before a game against his old club?
3. Giro only played a few minutes but looked sharp. He may not last there a whole game?

So, starting with Cazorla, with a dearth of creative mid-fielders, he looks likely to start, but it is a risk? My guess is, if he doesn’t start, then Ramsey might move forwards, and Rosicky in the deeper B2B role.

Ox, again, more likely to start with Rosicky as cover?

Giroud should start, no question. Welbeck and YaYa both carrying knocks, it makes sense?

The Bench is probably occupied by those that were around on Tuesday, and not playing today will fill the spots here. However, a couple of changes is in order, I think:
1. Matt Macey – Very capable. No Problem.
2. Hector Bellerin – A natural for the RB spot if any of the back 4 causes a reshuffle. However, also useful to stick on the right side of midfield as a DM/AM, depending on the state of play?
3. Semi Ajayi – Rather than have a reshuffle, which could result in a Calum and Nacho pairing at CB in front of Martinez with a final 10 minute onslaught that would follow? Much better to have a proper CB who adds height and muscle, I think.

OfKos we have Koscielny, but let us not push him into a desperate situation on his first return.

Rosicky is the likely loser of those who don’t play from the start. That said, the situation could change with an eye to another two games by the end of next week?

Podolski is likely to be here even if AW is getting resigned to him leaving in January? A formation-change for him to be a starter, but maybe part of a double change if we are chasing the game?

Campbell could be the other half of that double change, but only if both Danny and Ya Ya are both rested until Wednesday. If only a single change, who will miss out?

Let’s not kid ourselves, unless we play every bit as well as we did on Tuesday, with positive attacking and defending as a unit, then it will be a very shot lived revival.

Keep the faith

Written by: Gerry

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97 Responses to West Brom v Arsenal: Preview and Line-Up

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Excellent stuff, Gerry, and good arguments for bench players and first eleven considerations. Looking forward to this one. COYG.

    Catch you after walking the four-footer 🙂

  2. Gerry says:

    No time for further comment alas. I have just posted the update on the UMF site.
    Two GERNI’s in operation, for JB and Alex. Both sets of selections are there to view.

    As for me, I have now got to do my usual hour long weekly chat on line, on the horsey front, cut down by half to be ready for kick off.

    Sorry, chat among yourselves. Be back later …

  3. 17highburyterrace says:

    Arsenal: Martinez, Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Ramsey, Welbeck, Alexis, Cazorla, Giroud

    Subs: Macey, Gibbs, Bellerin, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Campbell, Podolski

    Kos in, Nacho switches out to LB. Gibbs to the bench with Ox as well. Wellbeck starts out wide with Giroud up top. Both more in attack AND at the back?…

  4. Admir says:

    Let’s win the game. I kind a like this formation – Welbeck’s pace and work-rate should help Chambers.

  5. Admir says:

    Promising start, Cazorla made a strong statement.

  6. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey Admir…

    Looks like Welbeck on the left and he and Nacho may have to figure things out a bit…There seemed some holes on that side in midweek with Alexis and Gibbs working that flank. Soooo good to have Kos back …

    Cagey so far with Alexis and Santi having shot straight at Foster… Seems like we’re pretty happy trying to play on the break…

    First corner goes to WBA and we sort of get it defended…

  7. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nacho hurt? Geezus…

  8. Admir says:

    Yes, I see Welbeck is on the left. We’ll see will that work out.

    It’s good to have Kos back and I’m pretty sure Mertesacker is the happiest man out there to see Kos back.

  9. Admir says:

    Welbeck should have done better after that Alexis’ pass.

    17, I don’t know about the counter-attacks with Giroud in the team though.

  10. Admir says:

    Woohoo, Ramsey did a Zidane-sque pirouette again! 🙂 I’ve seen him doing that before (in 2012-13) but back then the game was stopped due to offside.

  11. 17highburyterrace says:

    Great long diagonal from Alexis to DW but the defender just grabs enough of the player to put him off?

    FBs hanging back early in this one and our attack is narrow the couple of times we’ve kept the ball. Gotta be a little more clinical if we’re gonna play mostly on the break…

    I think the counter works better with Giroud up there as he can head or protect and pass into space… Wins a FK in dramatic fashion near the top of the box…

  12. 17highburyterrace says:

    Let Santi take the FKs, maybe?… Nice ball from Rambo but DW shot is well blocked by Foster…

  13. Admir says:

    Who is this cretin who said that he wouldn’t give anything to Giroud for this foul?

    Welbeck had a chance to score.

    Monreal off already. 😦

  14. 17highburyterrace says:

    Giroud pressing the keeper gets the ball but he can’t spin it home…

  15. Admir says:

    Giroud tried from a tight angle. Let’s score something before the break, please.

  16. Dylan says:

    Ah! I’ve only just woken up. Nacho hurt already is no good, 3 players that can play out and out striker up front in interesting. Lovely play but not the right bend on the shot from Santi.

  17. Admir says:

    He should have made one more step forward before shooting, I think.

    Santi made three attempts so far, if I counted right. All three of them with his left foot.

  18. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nacho did OK after a clash of knees?… Hey Dylan! Long time… Where are you heading for college?…

    Indeed, a goal before the break would go down a tonic…

    Santi might’ve pushed into the box before the (weak) shot?… We’re playing some good ball here, however…

  19. Admir says:

    Yep, we control the game but we need an ice-breaker just to avoid nail-biting second half.

  20. Dylan says:

    Unlucky from Welbeck on the scoop touch. Santi’s pass into Ramsey just before was lovely. Ben Foster seems to be having a good day.

  21. Dylan says:

    Hi 17! I’ve only just submitted application so I have no acceptances as of yet!

  22. Dylan says:

    Nearly from Ramsey! So unlucky!

  23. Admir says:

    F..k, how that one went wide from Ramsey?!?!?! 😦

  24. Dylan says:

    So close from Ramsey again! Great driving runs from midfield beyond the strikers. Just too much bend on the cross.

  25. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ramsey just wide after a bad Mulumbu turnover…

    Dylan, where are you applying?…

    We are so much pacier at the back with Kos (and now Gibbs)… My point about Nacho is that I think the injury isn’t too bad as he was able to keep going while Gibbs warmed up… Those two might rotate a bit with all the matches…

    WBA are first with a ball into the net…Well after the whistle, however…

  26. 17highburyterrace says:

    Welbs and Giroud switching spots there but the ball doesn’t stick with Danny and the move breaks down… Santi and Rambo are playing well in MF but both could use a goal…

  27. Dylan says:

    17, I’m applying to RIT, Clarkson, RPI, Stony Brook, and University at Buffalo. All New York based technology schools. RIT being my first choice.

  28. Admir says:

    Alexis against Leicester,

    that three-goal-blitz against Villa,

    Alexis against Hull,

    Alexis against Sunderland,

    Koscielny against Palace.

    Our goals in the first half this term in the league, we have scored in five out of thirteen occasions. Reminds me of the first part of 2012-13.

  29. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sounds like you enjoy the snow (or otherwise would like to stay close to home), Dylan… Engineering? Comp Science?…

    HT nil-nil and not a lot of chance to change the approach with subs. Very nice game to watch and played in a good spirit thus far… IMO we lose a little quickness with Flams in for Arteta. Theo’s pace would also be something nice to throw out there… too bad he isn’t available…

  30. Admir says:

    I’d introduce The Ox at some point for Welbeck.

  31. Admir says:

    We should have had a penalty, IMO.

  32. 17highburyterrace says:

    Forgot about the Ox… That is the correct call, Admir…Not sure if Giroud is gonna be ready for a full 90 so maybe he takes the sub?. Lu-lu also might be needed. Ramsey’s done a bit of hobbling around out there, too…

    Where was the pen shout?…

  33. Dylan says:

    Comp Sci, 17! 🙂 And no I hate the snow but my parents want me to stay close and I don’t mind too much because the summers are nice.

  34. Admir says:

    When Giroud was brought down by Gardner. Prats in BT Sport tried to spin that one but it was a clear penalty to me.

  35. 17highburyterrace says:

    Geezus…Playing the high line made me soil myself… WBA seem to think they can get all 3 pts…

    Dylan, we’ve missed you… you gotta write about who we’re gonna buy in January…

  36. Admir says:

    Dylan, mate, I agree about the snow. Snow OUT! 🙂

  37. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ramsey’s self belief is rather stunning…To try a volley from over the shoulder at that angle does a disservice to your teammates, I think…

  38. 17highburyterrace says:

    Santi (and earlier Alexis) are playing some great balls forward… Gotta get these shots past the blockers (and the keeper)…

  39. Dylan says:

    Will do 17! And agreed Admir the snow is an annoyance. Mertesacker has tried a volley from the top of the box, but no luck.

  40. Admir says:

    It looks like another of those games when we can’t find the net. 😦

  41. 17highburyterrace says:

    Great playing but Santi too short for Gibbs cross!

  42. Admir says:


    Santi the architect!

  43. Dylan says:

    Lovely play by Santi and a good header by Welbeck! Goooooalll.

  44. 17highburyterrace says:


    Santi…awesome…finds DW and the header is too much for Foster…

  45. 17highburyterrace says:

    Giroud has hurt his hair?…

    WBA will push here so we need to push back and add some gloss to the scoreline…

  46. JM says:

    Santi “Claus” Cazorla, one of our “Improvisational Harmony Creators” delivered and Danny Welbeck (our own version of Thomas Müller) accepted his gift to put us 1-0 up vs WBA.

  47. 17highburyterrace says:

    On the goal…you don’t see Santi get around people too often but the pass (to himself) was perfectly weighted…

    Nice long one there from Santi to Alexis…but nothing comes from it… Rambo from 35 but barely can trickle it over the goal line… When he’s bad, he’s bad…

  48. Admir says:

    @17 – speaking of Ramsey, I think he is trying too hard to score. His form last season was propelled by goals and he started this season in the same fashion before that stupid injury against Andorra.

  49. Dylan says:

    Growing into this game. The crosses have been dangerous. Maybe take Alexis off for Campbell. Gives him a rest and he’s not been the most effective because of our crossing game today. Gibbs hurt, Bellerin?

  50. 17highburyterrace says:

    Now Gibbs down… Not good…

    Admir, completely agreed on Ramsey… Just keep running and the chances will come…No need to try the 1 in 100 chances, when you’ve got so many good players on your team… An assist might be as good as a goal, no?…

    Anybody warming up?…

  51. 17highburyterrace says:

    Time to score from a corner…We should be more effective with Giroud and Kos back…

  52. Dylan says:

    Ox was warming up earlier.

  53. 17highburyterrace says:

    Not such good deliveries from Alexis, however…

  54. Admir says:

    @17 – totally agree. A goal would do wonders for Ramsey, I think.

    I’m glad that Santi is back to his old himself. He has looked lively this week.

  55. Admir says:

    Ox for Giroud.

    Let’s make a good counter-attack to finish them off and avoid set-pieces at all costs.

  56. Admir says:


  57. Dylan says:

    Alexis off for Campbell. We need pace and to rest Alexis.

  58. 17highburyterrace says:

    Indeed… Berahino seems as good as any of the English forwards (including ours…) for one so young…

  59. Admir says:

    I’d like to see Campbell taking on his country-mate who just tried to get into Welbeck’s panties. Literally.

  60. Dylan says:

    He’s only just come on! Alright then get Campbell on.

  61. Admir says:

    F..k. Now Ox.

  62. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cheeky cheeky…I see the cheek of Danny Welbeck…

    I dunno, Dylan… but then again, I want the fantasy league points from an Alexis goal…

    Oh boy…that looks bad for the Ox… Knee…

  63. Dylan says:

    Haha I have Alexis too but I’d rather rest him for midweek than pick up another few points, I already have quite the lead in my friends league. 😉

  64. 17highburyterrace says:

    Just deflected wide by Ramsey… Squeeky bum for sure… Corner headed harmlessly out….

    4 mins ET…

  65. 17highburyterrace says:


  66. Dylan says:

    A win and confidence for Danny if nothing else. I’ll take it.

  67. 17highburyterrace says:

    Clean sheet was the key there… Kos back and Giroud throwing his weight around are important. Santi is sharp when looking pass at least… Need Ramsey to keep improving his fitness. Ox looked like he survived his knock, but worries in the LB position. Now we recover and watch So’ton ahead of playing them on Wednesday…

    Thanks for the chat Dylan & Admir… And how lovely that we didn’t have to discuss the (lucky, lucky…) manager….

  68. RA says:

    Apart from a very nervous last 10 minutes, well it was for me, the defence played very well, and as a matter of fact the whole team defended well.

    It is indeed a worry in the left back position with Monreal going off, and I thought Gibbsy looked a bit sore. But we will find a way around it, if necessary.

  69. JM says:


    1-0 win (Welbeck)

    MotM: Santi “Claus” Cazorla.

  70. RA says:

    I agree, JM.

  71. James Bond says:

    oh hello @ Dylan !!!

    so were we really slating and ripping into Santiago a few weeks ago or were we really digging into Santiago @ Steve

    not watched the game, so am going to have to read all the comments here and then try to watch both the Dortmund game and this one .

    that Santiago comment wasn’t because I had watched it but simply how both my good friends RA and JM decided to give him the man of the match !

    me amigo 17HT will be very happy with the little Spaniard as well, me thinks !

    Wenger out ? 😀

  72. RA says:


    Santi was far and away the best player on the pitch, and the assist that he made for Welly was superb.

    He seemed to be in Arteta’s position as well as moving forward to help with the attack – and made the goal as stated.

    Well deserved MOTM. 🙂

  73. RA says:

    Oh – and Wenger OUT — it was his fault that we WON. 🙂

  74. James Bond says:

    is it a safe assumption then that he played in the hole and his favoured no.10 position then ? @RA – how have you been ? hope all is well with you !

    just finished reading all the comments, so it would appear that Ramsey is returning back to his best , slowly yet surely and a few more injury concerns re- Nacho and the OX ?

    if it makes you feel any better than Theo might be available for the next game and Debuchy joins the group next monday ?

  75. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey 007, Isn’t it all about Martinez between the sticks?… 😀

    Santi has been very good but Rambo needs to just keep running and not try so many absurd and audacious (absurdacious?…) attempts on goal. He’s really pressing to score and he’d probably do better to make an assist (or 3, like Santi has) to get himself going… If he and Alexis are running freely, the spaces have to open for everybody else.

    IMO we’re a little slower, back to front, with Flam in and Arteta out but the need to worry about committing too many resources forward is much eased by having Kos back in the team. Giroud gives us shape up front and the two of them make us infinitely better at set-pieces…at both ends of the pitch.

    The Wenger Out business, I think, has reached a point of absurdity and it’s really sad (IMO) to see the traveling support unfurl the Thank-You, Now-Feck-Off banner. He’s not going anywhere (no matter how desperate folks might be for a change) and it only creates more divide between the customers (us, the supporters) and the paid staff (players and management). I get that some don’t feel they’re getting value for money (or time/energy/emotion) but, until the players give up on the manager, I don’t see why we should. That’s just me, of course, and YMMV, as they say…

    Stretched as thin as we are, they need as much “support” as they can get, I think… Nacho off was precautionary, I hope, but it wasn’t good to see Gibbs down for a bit later in the match. Ox went to the turf looking very hurt but hopefully he’s just been learning about time wasting (from big Ollie?…). Rambo did a little limping, mostly in the first half, as well. That they all finished the match suggests that (maybe) we got through unscathed…

    Fingers crossed on that account, but surely the extra rest day before So’ton cannot hurt, either…

  76. James Bond says:

    oh yes, 2 clean sheets in a row – that surely must mean one thing ? no SCZNY 👿 – good one that !

    you are spot on with your very fine analysis as was Gerry with his superb post !

    yes, the saints game will be a cracker of a game, one that we must win and should win , hopefully .

  77. James Bond says:

    how is Costa still on the field ? should have been a red there for him on that attempted kick .

    ridiculous – ref’s in chelsea’s or Moron’s pockets ? 😀

  78. TotalArsenal says:

    Excellent win today with a strong spine: BFG (best game this season), Flamini, Santi and Giroud. Koz almost cost us with his understandable rustiness. Great assist by Santi and finish by Danny. Now we have Giroud back our Nr. 10s will have a ball. Santi did okay but Ozil or Jack would have had a super ball today, with the fab running of those three upfront and the shooting opportunities Santi enjoyed. But agreed Santi was MotM and let’s hope he can replicate his performance against the best DM couple in the PL on Wednesday.

  79. jnyc says:

    RA ,
    17, absurdacious, i like it.

  80. James Bond says:

    Chelsea draw with Sunderland –

    only 13 points the difference !!!

    can we do the unbelievable and unthinkable ? hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    if, we can get this gap down to 5-7 points by xmas time – then you never know !

    all I know is that I much rather we start slow and peak at the right time as opposed to starting brightly , staying at the top of the table and then fading away .

  81. 17highburyterrace says:

    I dunno, TA… I don’t want to get too excited about Santi’s recent play, but the weight on his touches seems awfully dialed in… Of course, when you’re that little you need to be extra precise… I kinda wish he hadn’t deferred with the corners and other FKs to Alexis who was just that bit off with his deliveries today… We’re due for some goals from corners and they seem a whole lot more likely with Giroud and Kos back in the frame…

    007, likewise should be praised for not gloating on the Szcz-out-solves-all narrative… Sunderland played a near-perfect match today and the Chavs defense looks pretty solid. Overall, if the ref allows the tough stuff it favors the less skilled home squad, I think… I was really hoping they would lose, but Cortois is a good last line of defense and puts extra demands on the would be finishers…

    One at a time is the only way forward…and I just wish Gooners could enjoy the ride–even if they’re tired of the man in the saddle (Wenger)…

    The darkness cannot lift if you don’t want it to… 😦

  82. TotalArsenal says:

    Maybe 17HT it is time to let the Wenger-out rhetoric go a bit. We won twice and we are all pleased with it, even those who would like to see Wenger go now (not me). The fact is we are miles behind the Chavs and are out of the PL title already with only 1/3 games played. For some this is just not acceptable, which I understand.

    Re Santi/Alexis. The latter is a better set-piece taker /converter in my opinion – definitely free-kicks. I know you take a real shine to Cazorla and he has made you proud in recent games. I am pleased with his performances as well, but against Dortmund he was allowed a lot space and time, and against WB he had brilliant options in front of him. He also had Flamini and Ramsey working very hard to keep things tight behind him.

  83. 17highburyterrace says:

    Gotcha, TA… I was actually working on a post-length piece about why the Wenger Out idea might best be put on hold, but I will shelve it… After all, it’s your blog… 😀 On that account, it sounds like Dylan might be induced to write a little now that he’s gotten his college application done…

    The other big positive on the day, perhaps, or at least something I’d like to ask folks about… Welbeck and Giroud seemed like they can play together and fill each others’ spaces… Certainly DW was in the right place at the right time for the goal. Of course, it seemed a bit harsh to drop Ox to the bench after his good outing in midweek. I think we’re going to have to dig deeper into the squad over this next little bit so some change in first 11s seems natural… Overall, WBA had to work really hard to keep their shape due to the threat we presented up front, I thought. At the other end, Martinez wasn’t really tested, though, obviously, we were lucky SB’s free header was those few millimeters high on the crossbar…

    My only disappointment is that so many contributors here have gone away (which seems the crux of the thing surrounding the manager). But maybe people expect home wins (i.e., midweek vs Dortmund) and wins against the lower table teams, so maybe they don’t deserve comment? I think it runs deeper than that, but maybe I’m off base… There’s some good parity in the league (see Chavs today at Sunderland…) and it’s still early enough in the season for the lower teams to scrap hard for points so consider me chuffed. Just gotta keep plugging and trying our best, and like 007 suggests, hope other results help us… 3 in a row (which the match on Wednesday represents) would be the first time this season, I’m pretty sure…

  84. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes agreed, Welbeck and Giroud worked well. Add Alexis, and with the movement of the three and Giroud providing the anchor or lighthouse in the centre, very good things may happen. We basically play with three CFs, two wingers and a CF, and a holding striker and two CFs all in one team. That’s why the nr.10 should have a ball: so much movement and attacking intent in front of him to aim his passes at.

    Bloggers come and go and blogging in general is in a bit of decline it seems. Variety is the spice of life and too few bloggers are writing for the site at the moment. But a good run of results will do the blog good. 🙂

  85. geoffchase says:

    All and Dylan (see bottom),

    Got to watch in Liege… With tolerant spouse on vacation.

    IMO, after first buts we were dominant.. Martinez solid but unchallenged really, so JB shouldn’t be tooooo happy yet.

    Equally, with Jos back everyone in our back four looked better. He must be the magic coverage that makes it all work. Somehow…

    We were unlucky it wasn’t teo so I’m happy over all.

    Dylan, you a Roch-cha-cha boy? And if CS why not Cornell in NY… Just an engineering profs curiosity.

    PS: do a semester in exchange at our CS dept in NZ, it’s good!

    Cheers — jgc

  86. Gerry says:

    Morning all, a Hi to Dylan. I was so rushed yesterday. But hey,. on to the match ..

    I think I will start with my view on the injuries.

    Nacho’s one was difficult to see from the camera angle, presumed a knee to knee knock. Mind I’ve yet to see a commentator pick these up even with a full on front view close up … until somebody whispers in their ear. They always want to look at the feet, and dismiss it if there is no contact. Same with penalties half the time. If it is not an obvious push or trip, it seems like the rest of the body parts don’t exist, like hip nudges, knees leverages, etc..That is my gripe of the day done .. Back to Nacho ..
    He was clearly bothered by it, and with knees they can often be painful but turn out to be nothing, or innocuous like Theo’s and be out for months? Wait and see on that one. But the Saint’s game might come too quick?

    This will be unfortunate because of Gibbs. Like the Ox, both rested, but were needed to come on, and both take a knock. More worrying around Gibbs because of his history? However, two plus points. In that touchline bundle over, if I remember rightly(not guaranteed these days,sadly), but it looked like he got his foot trod on? Very reminiscent of his very first injury about 6 years ago when he did a metatarsal, and all his troubles followed on from that. The good news here is, he did get up straight away and chase after the ball. Then he felt it, and got treatment. Again, the cameras did not spend long on what was treated and how, because the game continued pretty quickly. And when he did come back, he seemed to run pretty freely. So hopefully he too will be okay, even if he also finds the next game coming too quick?
    It is a pity, because when he did come on for Nacho the team shape changed almost instantly. Commentators came to the wrong conclusions, imo, as Welbeck was being used as defensive cover, rather than Alexis, as he tends to lose the ball more often, and thus put pressure on Monreal? It could also mean that Alexis presence out wide-ish on the right opened up space for Chambers. Either way, the net effect was that Alexis came left side, and the front trio had freedom to interchange at will. This is how important Gibbs is to a tactically astute Arsene Wenger 😀

    Finally Ox. Again full on front view camera shot, and the commentators couldn’t see much foot contact. The fact that Ox was face down not touching any part of his body gave them no clue either. Also gave rise to HT’s comment above that he might be learning from Giro?
    Sorry, I think this is the most serious of all. It was a knee to knee knock, slight, but so was Theo’s. The similarity is in the stretch and point of impact. Having done a inside to outside twist on the knee myself, I too only want to lay still on the dog poo I slipped on .. it was the least of my problems! Yes, he got up and hobbled off. I also walked home. But the after effect is the problem. With luck, if I am right, he will be back in 3 weeks. Without luck???
    I hope I am wrong.

    On the game itself I got a good felling about it early on. We did not go all ‘gung ho’ from the start. Instead we got a feel for what they were going to try to do, and stifled it pretty effectively. Of course Koscielny made a huge difference, particularly to Per’s game, and the defence looked really solid for almost the first this season? That is despite having our 3rd choice ‘keeper in there, and he cleanly held everything that came his way. And the much maligned Chambers at right back, who was deemed only to be good somewhere else, other than at right back, after the Swansea game? Perhaps in this game it was more obvious why I was against putting in Bellerin, and shuffling him across to CB. Did you see how many times Chambers out-headed the player on that side. I am a great fan of Bellerin, but heading is not his strength. In any match where the opposition may use their left back or left winger as an outlet ball the way we used Sagna, Bellerin could be the loser? All is not lost for Hector though. Many a good fullback are not that tall, and very few has his pace. However, he does need some game time. Tomorrow there is an Under 21 reserve match on, and it will be interesting to see who plays with an eye to Wednesday game, and the injuries?
    Santi Cazorla gave me a buzz early on, as all three shots were on target, low and well hit. Much different to the previous games where Row Z was a grateful recipient. Avoided any hefty tackles this time, so he should be brimming with confidence. A goal is coming that is for sure. I am not convinced about free kicks and corners .. by any of them ! I Like Ox when he hits his corners hard and not too high. Santi and Alexis can both do the pinpoint stuff ..occasionally. But none of the get it right more than 25% of the time?

    Another bit of tactical nous by AW came to my notice. The moment West Brom brought on the attacking right back, and switched Wisdom to his wrong side …. we put on OX. Brilliant in the idea. Devastating if my fears are realised.

    The only thing I notice from the unified defence, is the effect it appears to be having on Alexis’s game? In both games, not only has his influence up top waned a little, but also his enthusiasm has gone down a notch? He is happier with many bodies around him carrying the fight. In this game it happened sporadically and he seemed strangely quiet in between. Perhaps not a bad thing if it gets him through games until the final whistle, but it may revived when Theo gets back? It might also be the number of games is catching up with him?

    Must stop there, dogs to walk …

  87. TotalArsenal says:

    17 🙂

    Forgot to say I will happily issue your post. We just have to allow for those who are critical of Arsene’s value for the club going forward.

    On that note, looking fwd to D-Money, Steve, Gino’s, Admir and Macko’s points of view.

  88. Gerry says:

    Just a thought on the Banner …
    Here is what I replied when the headline was ‘87% of fans want Wenger out’, and the response to my querying the validity of the poll was ‘Did you follow the link(on the poll’s details’:

    Of course I didn’t. I was responding to your headline that implied you had polled ALL Arsenal fans.
    Naturally people don’t like to see Arsenal not picking up the results some of their play deserves. But lumping recent results to the trophy-less years doesn’t help. The former implies a lack of understanding of the financial restraints, and how Wenger managed to get the team to punch above its weight for that period. The latter implies that people are short-termist’s that just want change, no matter who takes over.
    Having just signed a 3 year deal, and most ‘top’ managers are tied to their current position out of choice, it is unlikely that the board are going to do anything either?
    Despite the number of injuries, and the disappointing results, and lying in 8th spot, we are only 2 points off 4th place??
    We are, for the next 36 hours at least, still in the Champions League, and as the holders of the FA Cup, still in that, and although it will take a miracle to knock Chelsea off the top of the league, we are mathematically still in the race …
    and yet people would happily throw out the manager that delivered the ‘Invincible’ era, for who? Souness? Hoddle? They are both theoretically available?
    Or does it make more sense to support the team, as the players are suffering these results too, and sign up a manager who has integrity, like Klopp, not available until 2016 because he wants to see out his 10 years at Dortmund. Or even an double axis of ex-players Henry and Bergkamp, both steeped in the Arsenal tradition? Or shall we just hire someone this mid-season, sack them in June, hire someone else, and have a revolving door of failed managers?
    Was that part of the poll in question, or was it just a straight ‘In’ or ‘Out’?

    It is very disturbing though, that however small a group of the away support were involved in raising that banner, did so when normally those are the ones that give most support to the team? However, I suspect the banner was probably created either prior to the Dortmund game, or shortly after, in the expectation that we would have a poor game against the Baggies? In the event, they thought why waste it … however misplaced?

  89. steve says:

    morning (afternoon actually) lads, sorry i’m so late to the party i went out on the lash all day yesterday and am suffering today.
    I thought it was a very average performance yesterday with many reoccurring issues popping back up. BFG still looking unsteady, both him and Kos playing an unnecessary high line at times with full backs bombed forward – which would have made us concede a goal if we hadn’t got our bribe in on time for the linesman.
    Everyone continues to aim directly at the goalkeeper when shooting, even Welbeck managed to hit him on his goal.
    Ramsey still looks out of form and continues to try the ridiculous.
    Giroud’s hold up play is still imo no better than Welbecks although it was good to see him back in the side, a much needed extra resource to call on.
    The list goes on really and i’m too hangover to list the lot, Santi showed a slight return to the class form that we remember especially with the assist although i don’t know how many more times we will be seeing him skin a defender down the wings and put a ball in.

    Overall i thought it was a very average performance against a team at the bottom of the table and if not for a bad decision and the bar we could have lost it 2-1.
    I really hope we step up our game for the mid week match or we will loose for sure.

    hahahaha just a nice bit of optimism for you all lol

    It could be that i’m just hangover and miserable as shit but in either case at least it brings some balance to the comments as most of you seem quite impressed with that result.

  90. Dylan says:

    Geoff, I am indeed. The problem with Cornell being money. It’s far too much for me to afford, even RIT is going to be a stretch.

  91. geoffchase says:

    Hi Dylan

    I’m there often, as my wife is from Pittsford! Long ago… I’d suggest then that financial aid might atill be good. Not worth giving it a go? You can always say no. I’d say same of UR from the computation side of CS too. It’s closer to home…

    PS: you should still do a semester here, especially of your into human computer interface/interaction or some other areas of CS


    Cheers — jgc

  92. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry 🙂

    I am okay with the banner. There’s freedom of speech and the wording is polite enough. Key is to not give it too much attention.

  93. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Steve 🙂

    A down to earth review although I cannot help but think you are not objective enough. It was clearly not your favourite line up, which might have had an influence on your judgement?

    We were far better structured and organised and controlled the game for long spells. Yes we had a few lucky escapes but so did they. And luck always plays a role, no? Agreed on the lack of sharp finishing but I thought the BFG was faultless yesterday.

  94. TotalArsenal says:

    Dylan, good to have you back. May your return coincide with a good run by the Arsenal.

  95. James Bond says:

    wow, that was some comment from Gerry, covered almost everything but what he didn’t cover was the fact that we got a tad lucky 😀

    having just watched the game, I feel that we weathered the storm and that Berahino off side call may well have been the turning point – Thank Dennis for that !

    not sure if anyone is interested but our very own Demba ba has scored a hattrick over the weekend – and in doing so, he is on course on breaking and setting new records ? he has currently score 17 goals (Benik Afobe) – if he keeps up his good run, then who knows ? one thing is for sure though, I said this before and will say it again – I prefer Afobe to Yaya .

    however, let Afobe learn all the tricks of the trade, another season on loan to a team like Everton/Swansea may do him good !!!

  96. James Bond says:

    Yes, JGC-Damus (Long time no sea no ocean no river !!!

    how you doing ?

    point well made but here is where your point and argument loses the gloss – if young Martinez didn’t have much to do then interestingly there have been games where Sczny didn’t have much to do either for e.g. Arsenal attempts on opposition’s goal 25 and 0 goals – opposition attempts at Arsenal goal twice and 1-2 goals

    result ?

    you betchya .

    do you see what I just did there ? 🙂

  97. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post 🙂

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