A Minute Applause for Barcodes: Preview & Line-up Arsenal v Newcastle

Gibbs and Pod to rediscover their previous excellent partnership?

Gibbs and Pod to rediscover their previous excellent partnership?

….Well that is what they deserve if you ask me!

For many of us the loss to Stoke deeply overshadowed the far more joyous occurrence of the Barcodes smashing the Chavs in a well-deserved victory. In normal circumstances, our team losing is far more painful than one of our main competitors losing, but, at least for me, the reverse is the case this time round.

Papiss-Ciss--after-scorin-012

The Chavs losing to Newcastle was good in many ways:

  1. Of course, it ended any possibility they would go unbeaten a whole season. Only special teams achieve something colossal like thisโ€ฆ ๐Ÿ˜‰
  2. It proved once again that if you play Maureen at his own game, his team will struggle. Newcastle sat back and were tightly organised, and the Chavs did not take their half-decent chances. The Barcodes did play them on the counter and they did take their chances, albeit with a bit of fortune, at least on the first one. Except for the last ten minutes, Pardewโ€™s men were in control of the game and a lot of praise should go to their man at the helm.
  3. Even though we failed to close the gap, there remains hope that we can make up ground over the next few months. It is unlikely we will catch them but they have shown they are vulnerable and can be beaten as long as you play them at their own game. Other teams will have taken note of how Newcastle beat the Chavs and I expect the fear factor to have diminished now.
  4. The PL competition is a competition again. The Chavs dropped five points in three games and the rest is catching up. The smirk on Maureenโ€™s face is quickly turning into that typical grumpy contortion of his. Happy Days! ๐Ÿ˜›

So I reckon we should give the Barcodes a minute applause for their clever and well-deserved win last Saturday. They have done us a massive favour!

Predicted Team v Newcastle United.ย 

Hayden to step up and Pod to get a start. Welbeck could start instead of Giroud or even Alexis... Ox to replace Rambo.

Hayden to step up and Pod to get a start. Welbeck could start instead of Giroud or even Alexis… Ox to replace Rambo.

For tomorrowโ€™s game, early team news is not good. Three CB covers are out: Koz, Nacho, Chambers. Ramsey is out as well. However, the Pod will get a chance against Newcastle as the boss just confirmed.

We should expect the Barcodes to play similar to the way they beat the Chavs and be aware of their counterattacks. For me, this means Flamini as DM and the defence not sitting too high up the pitch. We also need our FBs to be disciplined: only one at a time going forward and good communication with the midfielders and CBs at all times. We also need Giroud back to ram the CBs and create space by occupying them. Ollie was rested and so were Cazorla, Welbeck and Sexy-Alexis. So we should have fresh, eager fire-power up-front. With Ramsey out, it should be Ox or (ideally) Rosicky as the b2b, and the team picks itself to a large extent. A big role for the Ox tomorrow, I reckon: he might hold the key in midfield…

Key question is who will partner the BFG at the back, and it looks like Gerry will get his wish with Hayden stepping up.

I am looking forward to this one, but then I always do. OGAAT โ€“ TIANG-YANG โ€“ UTA โ€“ COYRRG and all that!

Written by: TotalArsenal.

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147 Responses to A Minute Applause for Barcodes: Preview & Line-up Arsenal v Newcastle

  1. Jimbothemag says:

    You could have a minutes standing ovation in the 17th minute for John Alder and Liam Sweeney who died in MH17. That would be a sign of respect.

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Excellent suggestion, Jimbothemag

  3. bb says:

    no applause necessary for beating Chavsea however joining in with us on the 17th minute for the two lads who lost their lives in the plane crash would be appreciated, some fans around the country have joined in, lots however haven’t, so please show your class arsenal fans we always have a good laugh when we play each other and everyone’s always good in the pubs before hand so follow it on in the 17th minute and show the rest of the country up on live tv

  4. Gerry says:

    Yes Totes, will he or won’t he that is the question?

    Hayden that is.

    I will go and check the pictures in training and see who is where. But whilst it is not ideal, Hayden with less than two weeks training behind him, he does look better than some other alternatives? Although, that being the case, O’Connor could be on the bench as late cover? It should be less physically demanding than dropping in at DM, but still a big ask?

    If it was Per dropping out, and Kos in, then a case for Ajayi would be stronger. As it is, that would present a middle pair with little pace from either. The option of putting Debuchy in as RCB opens up the same fears that Monreal did on the other side? However, by keeping our right flank covered by Debuchy, should Hayden not pass fit, then I would still go with the young but classy O’Connor.

    We shall see. Regards the rest of the line up, in the surprise absence of Ramsey, I think you have it spot on. That is unless Arteta is available. Could make the ‘go-to’ man be ready for when Ox fades. If it continues with trend, I only need Akpom for Poldi and my Christmas will have come early … Oh,and the three points that will inevitably follow, of course ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Gerry ๐Ÿ™‚

    At the press conference Wenger has stated that Koz is out. BFG is good to play. Let’s give Poldi another start and use his hammer to crack the Barcodes. Apbom…. always nice to see him play.

  6. JM says:

    Arsenal squad who could feature (11 starting, 7 bench & 3 emergency backups):

    GKs: Szczesny, Martinez

    DFs: Gibbs, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Bellerin, Coquelin(recalled), Hayden, (Ajayi), (O’Connor)

    MFs: Flamini, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Maitland-Niles, (Zelalem)

    FWs: Alexis, Welbeck, Giroud, Podolski, Campbell, Sanogo

    * Injured and/or recovering:
    Ramsey (hamstring) – (earliest return, 01 Jan 15)
    Arteta (calf) – (earliest return, b/w 18 to 26 Dec 14)
    Walcott (groin) – (earliest return, 26 Dec 14)
    Ozil (LCL knee) – (earliest return, b/w 01 to 29 Jan 15)
    Ospina (thigh) – (earliest return, 01 Jan 15)
    Diaby (calf) – (earliest return, 02 Feb 15)
    Wilshere (ankle) – (earliest return, Feb 15)
    Koscielny (calf) – (earliest return, 21 Dec 14)
    Monreal (ankle) – (earliest return, 21 Dec 14)
    Gnabry (knee) – light training, doubtful
    Rosicky (thigh) – light training, doubtful

    Suspended:
    Chambers

  7. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Nice one Frank.

    Love the Christmas decorations TA baby. Reminds me of the old wallpaper when we used to live in Stepney. Every day was like Christmas in those days. My old man with a red nose like Santa, expect his was from alcoholism, and my mum with the scissors used for cutting Christmas wrapping paper, except they were used for stabbing the old man.

    Great win for the Barcodes. Did you see Moronios face at the final whistle TA? The sarcastic smirk of a man who knows his penis is not fully operational.

    It will be tough tomorrow, but the Geordie s don’t like it at the Grove. they always seem to play like individuals when they come here, as though there auditioning to catch Wenger’s eye.

    The concern is at the back. Are we at last going to see Gerry’s fabled Hayden get his chance?

    If we do, I hope the boy takes it. Nothing better than finding solutions from the ranks.

  8. Nik says:

    First of all I’m kind of happy that I didn’t see us play against Stoke ๐Ÿ˜€
    Second I find it very hard to decide who I want to see playing against ‘the barcodes’ (never heard that one before :D)
    I can see Flamini start at CB, but then we wouldn’t have a real DM
    I can see Debuchy start at CB and Bellerin at RB
    I can see Hayden or Ajayi or O’Connor start at CB
    I certainly want to see Podolski on the bench with Ox, Cazorla, Alexis, Giroud and Welbeck starting

    I think the crowd will be very important in this one because at home the fans are always very demanding and not too patient. There haven’t been a lot of goals in Newcastles games lately (10 in the last 6 games) which is why the crowd needs to be patient and support the team (even in the unlikely case of going a goal down)

    Overall I have a feeling its gonna be scrappy and we’re going to win 1-0

  9. Gerry says:

    JM – You were pretty much on the ball last time, but I sincerely hope the way you have them lined up it is not AW’s first thought?

    Gibbs at RB, and Coquelin at LB? Surely not?

    Looking at the training photos, and Arsene saying he has 24 hours to come up with a solution (to our CB shortage), I would say Ajayi looks the more likely than Hayden? I would guess it hinges on how sharp he thinks Hayden is?

    Same applies to Coquelin in midfield, a shoe-in on fitness grounds, and that would be his best position by far. It would seem churlish to recall him and then not play him?
    It follows, that if Hayden makes the bench, he covers two positions, CB & DM.

    Moving forward, if we play a 4-3-3, I guess the middle of the midfield trio would fall to Cazorla or Ox?
    The front trio of Alexis, Welbeck, and Podolski are the most likely. Disappointed no sign of Chuba Akpom. The Pod wasn’t over happy with Campbell’s passing last time, so I think his only chance of them sharing the pitch at the same time will be as they pass the subs board?

    On the basis of that, I would say the line up will be:
    _____________Szczesny______________
    Deb ____Mert___________Ajayi_____Gibbs
    _____Le Flam_________Le Coq________
    _____________Santi__________________
    _____Alexis_____Danny______Poldi______

    Bench: Martinez, Hayden(O’Connor), Ox, M-N, Giroud, Sanogo, Campbell
    Likely use; Hayden for Flamini; Ox for Santi; Campbell for Podolski.

    So Terry, it looks like you may have to wait until the 68th minute, barring disasters … or him starting?

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey Terry,

    Yes his face was brilliant – and then he blames the ball boys… classless twit! ๐Ÿ˜›

    Sounds like scary Christmases you had to endure, Terry.

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Super Nik ๐Ÿ™‚

    Good thought processes there… No Pod for you, why?

    All agreed re crowd and patience!

  12. Nik says:

    personal preference I guess ๐Ÿ˜€ I also have to admit that I didn’t see the Gala game on Tuesday, so I cannot judge his performance
    Generelly I think Pod is a great alternative when we have like 65 or more percent of possession and keep our opponents at their own box throughout the game. Pace is not really needed because there is nowhere to go and Pod is perfect to play inside the box.
    I think Newcastle will get their fair share of possession which means we could create some chances on the counter ourselves. I think on the break we are more effective with Welbeck and Alexis than Pod.
    Another reason is that Pod drifts inside a lot and Gibbs provides the wing play. That would leave us a little more exposed at the back than having Welbeck or Alexis who show some genuine wing play.
    I’ll be of course very happy for Lukas to prove me wrong and score a hattrick ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. steve says:

    Pace, Power and attacking drive (4-3-3)

    Sanchez——-Welbeck——–Akpom
    ———-The OX———Cazorla——–
    ——————-Flamini——————-
    Gibbs—–Ajayi———BFG——Debuchy
    —————–Szczesny——————

    Changed to; (to protect a lead or kill the game in the later stages)

    ——————-Giroud——————-
    Podolski——-The OX——-Sanchez
    ———–Flamini——Coquelin———
    Gibbs—–Ajayi———BFG——Debuchy
    —————–Szczesny—————–

    Podolski for Akpom
    Giroud for Welbeck
    Coquelin for Cazorla

    Hayden on hand to cover for either CB or DM position as imo he is not match fit yet, i hope if he does need to be used it will also be at DM which is his proper position.

    So the subs in their entirety:
    Podolski, Giroud, A-M-N, Coquelin, Hayden, Bellerin, Martinez

    Sanogo and Campbell don’t even make my bench and no real LB cover in sight lol happy days ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    Good reasoning Nik. I tend to agree but a fit and focussed Pod is worth something… Especially in more of a 4-4-2 formation.

  15. Gerry says:

    Steve, that is Coquelin last played for us?

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice one Steve ๐Ÿ™‚

    Cannot see us leave ourselves so open with Ox playing so high, but it sure is aggressive! ๐Ÿ˜€

  17. steve says:

    Gerry, he’s been out on loan hasn’t he? so probably quite a while ago i would think

  18. steve says:

    Yes TA i’m done pussy footing about now, its time to get back to what we do best and be aggressive in attack! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. James Bond says:

    gutted that Ramsey is injured – he always does well when there is no Jack Wilshere taking up his places on the pitch .

    so apparently, in France we are known as the beautiful losers ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    that’s a great starting 11 @ Skipper – I wish AW starts with that one !!!

  20. James Bond says:

    I would play Welbeck on the LW – Alexis as the no.10 behind Giroud and OX on the Right Wing .

    Santiago to interchange with the Ox .

    use Poldi as a super- sub .

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey JB, what is the reference to ‘beautiful losers’. Wel-Giroud-Ox with Alexis behind them is stuff of dreams. I like it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. James Bond says:

    Le Coq has been recalled back to the team ? has a chance for tomorrow ? ? ?

    should have got that right back who plays for the Hammers now, the lad can whip in a cross or 2 !

  23. James Bond says:

    apparently, in France – they all call us ” Beautiful losers” – as in we play beautiful football but always come short when it matters the most .

    I was at first very angry when I heard about it and as you would expect, had a real go but then when the bloke started explaining – it did make sense, we play sexy football and sometimes anti-football wins, oh well !

    of course, he was a chelsea supporter and from France, so as you can imagine, I did have a right go at him, ha

    but come to think of it – if we are going to lose, we much rather lose the way we do as opposed to them dull boring affairs, ehhhh

  24. James Bond says:

    stuff of dreams you say ?

    really ?

    how about this for dreaming .

    ———–Theo——————-Ozil——————-Alexis

    —————————-Giroud/Welz

    ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Gerry says:

    Just the usual UMF reminder, as half a dozen or so are missing so far.

    Prince, Total, Davydavy, 17HT, Alex, TMHT, and Henry.

    Bonus points on offer for those who get it right?

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    Damn right, JB. If we cannot win, let’s lose beautifully. At least we have won beautifully many a time in the past. I have yet to see a beautiful game played by the Chavs under the self-adoring one. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    Even dreamier! ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    I did mine yesterday, Gerry. Just look back. ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Arsenal_VCC says:

    Quite a game for t’morrow all! Certainly relieved that the invincible record won’t be broken this year ๐Ÿ™‚ I suspect that Debuchy will start at CB with Bellerin as RB. And for a game where we are so thin at the back I would be very surprised if the Pod started. He does appear to be tracking back more but Welbz may be a more reliable option and is rested. Would love to see the Ox impose himself. He was untouchable against gala…but then it was against Gala!

  30. JM says:

    Arsenalโ€™s growing injury list forces Mathieu Debuchy into central role.
    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/dec/12/mathieu-debuchy-arsenal-injury-list

    AW on Debuchy’s prospective move from RB to CB for match:

    โ€œDebuchy has never played there, I asked him already,โ€ Wenger said. โ€œThe solution I have to decide will not be ideal. It will be a gamble. But there is not a massive difference between right-back and centre-back.โ€โ€œDebuchy has never played there, I asked him already,โ€ Wenger said. โ€œThe solution I have to decide will not be ideal. It will be a gamble. But there is not a massive difference between right-back and centre-back.โ€

    AW on Koscielny’s injuries:
    โ€œI have to consider the fact he has an inflamed achilles and nobody can guarantee that will not come back,โ€ Wenger said. โ€œNo doctor says to me: โ€˜Itโ€™s over.โ€™ It can come back. Even with complete rest, you need to rest him for two or three months.โ€

    Wenger did rest Koscielny for eight weeks from early October. โ€œBut he didnโ€™t rest completely,โ€ Wenger said. โ€œBecause you have to load your achilles and strengthen, it is not a complete rest. To find back the strength in the achilles, you have to load it and work on it.โ€

  31. JM says:

    Mesut Ozil sighted at training ground (light training and recuperation sessions).

  32. Gerry says:

    JM – The only crumb of comfort I can take from that Gruniad quote is, at no point does he say his ‘not ideal solution’ is that Debuchy plays at centreback … only that he asked him if he ever had?
    Not ideal would being playing Hayden,short of match fitness?
    Not ideal would being playing Ajayi, short of experience
    Not ideal would being playing Giroud … but it is a thought,in the air at least.

    Another picture from training yesterday was Debuchy walking out with Mertersacker!!!!

    And to make it worse, Bellerin on the flank ..aaargh! That will be Per’s reaction as he goes into meltdown at every corner?

    Pardew is not daft either, he will get them to play for as many as he can get?

    As for there being not much difference between LB and CB? Really? In the words of John McEnroe – You can NOT be serious!
    It must be an AW wind up. He knows that our much missed Bacary Sagna not only had a solid core strength, like Alex Song, but he could also head a high ball. CB’s are developed from an early age, usually because of size and height, but the good ones also read the game well, another BS strong point, because at full back the game is mostly ahead of them, at CB it is all round them.

    Give me the rookie in his right position, and keep our best RB in his right position every time.

  33. Gerry says:

    Sorry Totes, Davydavy, and Terry – all in.

    Henry you had better be quick because when I am gone I am gone .. in the next 10 minutes
    Prince and Alex could surprise me, but I doubt it?

  34. Gerry says:

    New, one day only, gravatar – My lovely Lily, who left this world peacefully on (Friday) the 13th last year. She was as soft and gentle as she looks.
    Not forgotten …

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice one, Gerry. Has it been a year already?

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    Debuchy should do fine but Bellerin might struggle. I know you young at hearts don’t wanna hear it but Wenger prefers experience in the centre of his defence

  37. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey TA… I’ve been agreeing with a lot of your writing lately but this time I will have to (respectfully) disagree…On a couple of counts…

    I wasn’t overly concerned with Chelsea’s attempt at going undefeated in the league. They are very strong but a lot has changed in the 10 years since Arsenal did the deed. There’s just too much parity at the top AND throughout the league. (TV money is the big reason, but that’s a story for another day…) Given that the Moo-man needs to compete on multiple fronts, the schedule just gets too congested at too many times during the season. I didn’t expect them to lose up there last weekend, but I wasn’t counting on the ball-boys being so strong… ๐Ÿ˜€

    For me, the small pleasure of their loss was well over-shadowed by the woes I witnessed in our match. Blame it on the High Def and the (moderately) big screen… Like I said post-match…very reminiscent of ManU 8 – Arsenal 2, I thought… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    And then there’s this one tonight…

    Given the injuries, waiting until the pre-match presser probably would’ve given you 11 for 11. 18 for 18 (getting the bench exactly right) is maybe where the experts on the young guns could offer insight. Isaac Hayden may be a solution–at some point this season and in the future–but not when he’s just back from (or still carrying) a long term injury. Instead, Mathieu Debuchy (a couple of weeks ahead but basically in the same situation) goes at CB on 3 days rest… My guess would be the O’Conner kid getting the bench seat just in case…

    Indeed, Arsenal at the rear is a mad, mad world… (Is Gibbs truly fit? He didn’t look it a week ago…) I’ve figured it out, however… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    The shorthand is this… For AW, Back-up defenders have to be just like the one he lost–Bacary Sagna–and able to cover two positions. Chambers was bought for his versatility, and Nacho was learning LCB in pre-season matches. Variations on the theme will be seen today as Debuchy (first choice RB) goes to CB. As such, the “logic” would go, 6 “Senior” defenders “works.” (And, like Gerry and others feel, there may have been big hopes on this possibly being a spot for a younger guy–Hayden–if needed…) Today, however, with Nacho, Kos and Chambers (Hardly a “senior in anything but transfer price…) out, it’s more than a bit of a scramble… The concept was tested (and failed) a week ago. I might be helped with Szczesny back in goal, but another massive test awaits…

    Moreover, it’s a big ask for Bellerin (3rd choice RB) and (further forward) the Ox to both go 90+ in Instanbul and again today. But maybe I’ve got the line-up wrong…

    Szcz
    Bellerin-Debuchy-Mertesacker-Gibbs
    Flamini
    Ox-Alexis-Santi-Wellbeck
    Giroud

    It’s far from what some would favor but it seems just about the only combination I can imagine given the extreme pressure for taking all 3 ponts. Poldolski might “deserve” his start but I think Welbeck gets it. Many think Santi is useless, but, in my eyes–and more importantly the manager’s–he’s our #10 these days. Like I say, I could be wrong…

    While the manager may have been plum crazy on the 6 defender plan, I think he’s less off base on another account. The team needs the home support. If this one is nil-nil for too long, or Dennis forbid, the first goal goes to the wrong team, the hatred for the manager will translate to his players. It’s all on a hair-trigger, I fear. The players still believe in the man and, I think, actually want to win for him TOO much. Add in the pressure of (extremely) angry fans and things can go from bad to stupid as they did vs ManU… Missing the running of Ramsey and with only cannons (not runners) on the bench (unless AW does use Lulu from the start…) we’ve got troubles.

    As such, we simply MUST get the first goal (or three) even if that means we MUST also sit deeper and help out the back line. Toonies may be believing the hype and it’s possible we can lure them forward (i.e., play for the counter-attack)… All told it’s a recipe for disaster and our biggest hope is probably that, if we can get the first goal, the Toonies might be under-motivated in the fight back, having taken the surprise points a week ago. Not much to count on, I fear, but needs (and hopes) must… The alternative–If you don’t like ugly scenes like the one from the train platform up in Stoke–can hardly be considered…

  38. steve says:

    Gerry @ 07:29, Completely agree matey

    “there is not a massive difference between right-back and centre-back”

    Wenger’s whole problem in a nutshell!!

    That there is the whole reason we are always fighting an uphill battle at Arsenal, he is completely comfortable playing anyone anywhere and expecting a successful outcome.
    Cazorla in goal next week!!!! Wenger says he should be fine ๐Ÿ™‚

    God help us in the TW if he is thinking like that ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

  39. TotalArsenal says:

    A full back should be able to play centre back, but not necessarily the other way round. I reckon we will be fine with BFG-taxi driver as CBs.

  40. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    First I want to give my prediction.. sorry for that.. I tried to open the UMF but failed..
    City.. Soton.. Villa away win.. sunderland and stoke draw..

    For tonight game.. I think we need more speed.. cause Toon aren’t Stoke..
    So Welbeck or Ox and Giroud must play..

    I never saw Hayden or Ajayi.. so no comment about them.. but I think it better than put Debuchi as CB..

    Pardew somehow often play a more soft game against us.. and as a big fans of Wenger.. he won’t do no harm.. hahaha..

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    Fair enough Seventeenho ๐Ÿ™‚

    Against Stoke we had to field our inexperienced, and all third choices, goal keeper, right back and one centre back – and the other FB was not fully fit. We then concede an early goal after an unlucky bounce and we are in trouble. That is very different from the Manure debacle Imo. Had Alexis scored instead of hitting the post we would have had more time for our fight back and could have turned it round. The first half was a nightmare but it was to be expected…. We just have to move on and smash the barcodes. ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. steve says:

    TA? A 5ft 9″ player with 24 hours to learn the CB role should be fine? Christ you’ve caught the Wenger bug!

    That would probably be me worst fear tbh as a descent performance would suddenly solidify Wenger’s thinking and all of a sudden our second choice CB’s would be Monreal and Debuchy so no need for TW activities.

    Van Dijk and Winston Reid for example, both 6ft 3″ built like brick shit houses, fast and commanding and have developed and played in that position all their career – Thats a bloody set of CB’s, not a pair of attacking full backs!

    I hope Debuchy does well today but for god sake Wenger please learn this is not a solution!!

  43. steve says:

    haha henrychan, that is the first time i have seen the words Giroud and speed in the same sentence ๐Ÿ˜†

  44. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey Hehehehenry, yes speed is very much needed. If we play 4-4-2 Ox and Alexis can provide width and strength, Giroud can do the running in the middle and the Pod can use his hammer at free will. ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. TotalArsenal says:

    Steve, it is just a temporary solution. Next game Chambers is back. But I reckon Debuchy is clever and adapts quickly. I want a third CB this January and a qual DM as well.

  46. Gerry says:

    Steve, all is not lost, because I think I see AW cunning plan …

    Just look on the teamsheet and see if Ajayi or Hayden are selected at midfield?

    If I am wrong, I shall be watching Strictly live! as I fear TCM could get his 0-5 wish.

    Got to switch to racing … on the hour plus thanks to UMF stuff.

    Sorry Henry, you have been Gernied.

  47. henrychan says:

    Hi Steve..
    So you think Giroud isn’t a fast striker ?? Hehehe..
    I think he is.. hahaha..
    Ofcourse not as fast as Welbeck.. Walcott.. Sanogo.. or Akpom.. hehehe.. but at least more than Podolski..

  48. henrychan says:

    @ Gerry.. hiks.. hiks.. hiks.. but its okay.. no big deal..

  49. 17highburyterrace says:

    Indeed, temporary solution… The manager was pretty clear about going into the market because of Koscielny’s fitness issues, F11ngers…

    Speaking of your digits, I’d say keep them crossed that things go well for us this evening, though sharpening that middle finger (or the two that represent the bow-string pulling bit?…) is, of course, another approach… ๐Ÿ˜€

    I was A LOT more optimistic on Tuesday afternoon (my afternoon) with Rambo giving his post-match interview…not even hinting that he might really be hurt. (I was also assuming Kos would be available for today’s match…) There seems to be a disconnect between the athletes’ self-assessments and the scans and prognoses for time out. We have to hope we can get through today’s match and that we take on no new injuries AND that others beat their recovery prognoses as Giroud and Debuchy have done… Speaking of… Whassup with Feo? Groin troubles can be tough (i.e., longer term)…

    As a group we are in the fabled red zone…Get this result today and the week off becomes quiet and enjoyable… Otherwise… Well, I’m not gonna go there… I just wish I had an extra finger or two myself…

  50. James Bond says:

    Good Afternoon and Good Morning to some ; )

    right then – fat franks keeps banging them in ? what a quality player he has been , ehhh

    signing of the season ? quite possibly .

  51. 17highburyterrace says:

    TA… Just to be clear (maybe you missed–or skipped–my post Stoke thoughts)… ManU away in 2011 was just before a transfer window… Stoke Away last week wasn’t that far before a window… Wenger, I think, as a message to his board (or principal shareholder–or to himself!) seems willing to try more radical “solutions” to see if they can cope in tougher situations. Teams with resources (money) “should” be able to plug holes in the TW. We did so in 2011 and we must again in January…

    F11ngers…I’m not trying to start anything…esp. not ahead of a match where I think we should all stand behind the club… but it’s not clear what you’re after. Do you want our U-21s to get their chances or do you want the club to buy experienced players to fill gaps? The one idea would seem at odds with the other…

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed 34:2! I am convinced we are a CB and DM away from years of quality squad cover. Let’s get at least one of these this Jan.

  53. James Bond says:

    CB = Nastasic

    DM = Alex Song .

    ยฃ20 million budget – well spent and used, not only covering the sale price but also the first year og wages .

    sorted .

  54. TotalArsenal says:

    The fwat fwank situation is very funny, JB.maureen thought it was all about him…. ๐Ÿ™‚

  55. James Bond says:

    he who laughs last laughs the loudest – agreed @ skipper !

    :Evil:

  56. James Bond says:

    Chelsea 1-0 Hull City
    Posted at 16:11
    Controversy! Willian was booked for diving in the first half, and Gary Cahill has just done the same thing inside the penalty area. He’s already on a booking, could be looking at a red card, but gets away with it this time.
    Inconsistency which drives the Hull team crazy. Understandable too.

  57. James Bond says:

    Garth Crooks
    on Final Score
    The diving debate

    Chelsea 1-0 Hull City
    Posted at
    “Twice Chelsea players have dived in the first 60 minutes – first Willian and now Gary Cahill. It’s disgraceful. Managers can’t say what I’m about to say – it questions the integrity of the refereeing. Is he intimidated by Stramford Bridge? The ref is not being fair.
    “Cahill is on a yellow card and dived – he should have got another booking for that. It’s not fair. The only conclusion you can come to is because it’s Chelsea.
    “And it’s Chris Foy, an experienced referee! And now the injustice has got the Leicester players’ blood boiling. They’re thinking they might as well take the law into their own hands.”

    Former Welsh International John Hartson
    Final Score
    Chelsea 1-0 Hull City
    Posted at
    “I have to chose my words carefully but Gary Cahill is a big, tough, centre-half and has just dived. Sometimes those are decisions (16:11) that go against you when you are down there.
    “It is not acceptable in the game but sometimes if you have a midfielder who has tricky feet and goes over a little easily you can understand it but from a 6ft 4 centre-half, it is not on.”

    howcome we never get them decisions go our way at Arsenal ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I wonder .

  58. James Bond says:

    YELLOW CARD

    Chelsea 1-0 Hull City
    Posted at 16:15
    Another booking for diving! Diego Costa this time. Again – why didn’t Gary Cahill get one?

  59. James Bond says:

    FFS

    RED CARD

    Chelsea 1-0 Hull City – Tom Huddlestone

  60. James Bond says:

    not sure what the Moron does to influence the ref’s but always works, no ?

  61. TotalArsenal says:

    Bad refereeing, JB. A disgrace. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

  62. TotalArsenal says:

    Well a lot of controversy will help us in future Chvs games, and there is always the balancing act of Karma… ๐Ÿ™‚

  63. JM says:

    Arsenal starting team:
    Szczesny, Bellerin, Debuchy, Mertesacker (c), Gibbs, Flamini, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexis, Welbeck, Giroud

    Bench:
    Martinez, Ajayi, Coquelin, Maitland-Niles, Campbell, Podolski, Sanogo

    Newcastle starting team:
    Alnwick; Janmaat, Williamson, Coloccini (c), Dummett; Tiote, Colback; Gouffran, Perez, Ameobi; Cisse

    Bench:
    Woodman, Haidara, Anita, Vuckic, Cabella, Armstrong, Riviere

  64. TotalArsenal says:

    Great line up, especially in Attack. Let the Canon roar!

  65. James Bond says:

    so I got the team spot on then, did I ๐Ÿ˜€

  66. TotalArsenal says:

    Well done JB, I got tricked by le Prof

  67. James Bond says:

    newcastle have opted for a really defensive looking team – no doubt, wanting to frustrate us

    let’s get a goal or 2 in the first half and make things a tad easier boys !!!

    3-0 to the mighty Arsenal, make it 3-1 since Sczny is playing .

  68. steve says:

    HT, sorry mate i was walking the dogs.
    I want quality experienced CB’s bought in the TW first and foremost, when it comes to a game like this where we have no other options other than looking to youth or playing players out of position then i would prefer the youth be played in their natural position (especially when considering we have the class of Hayden and Chambers available)
    In this rarest of cases however when even Hayden is unavailable through injury then Debuchy does seem the next logical choice BUT i worry as i see it as a complete FUBAR situation and in contrast Wenger seems to think;
    “there is not a massive difference between right-back and centre-back”
    I think he really believes his own shit sometimes and that worries me.

    The only contrasting view i do have atm is wanting the team to win and Debuchy to have a good game in the CB position as the top priority but then worrying that if this happens Wenger will think his philosophy validated, which would be a terrible thing in the long run.
    As i said before i don’t look forward to our second choice CB’s being Monreal and Debuchy lol.

    I hope that clears things up for you mate.

    The win and a good performance is the main thing first and foremost, everything else is a matter for conversation on the blog later on.

    COYG!!!

  69. steve says:

    Sanogo and Campbell on the bench but no Akpom, fuck me i give up! ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

  70. Admir says:

    Hello, people! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I got the team right too – in my match preview for the site I write at as Nigel Summerburn. I predicted 5:3 victory as well – Giroud to score twice (he has scored four goals in four games against The Magpies).

    They have defensive issues of their own. I just hope we’ll keep Janmaat out of the game – our left side of the defence is weaker when Mertesacker has to play there, especially if Gibbs is not fully fit.

    It’s gonna be a great game, I suppose.

  71. James Bond says:

    Chuba’s time will come but in terms of being ready – Sanogo is more ready than chuba but if you ask my humble opinion then Benik Afobe is more ready than both Sanogo and Chuba combined .

    the lad is exactly what we have been missing as our 3rd choice striker .

    Sanogo and Chuba still need a lot more to learn and time perhaps, Chuba more so than Yaya .

    @ Steve

  72. steve says:

    JB, sorry bud i completely disagree with you mate. Akpom over Bambi all day long.

    I have to admit i haven’t been able to catch much MK dons game play this season so i don’t know what standard Afobe’s general play is at but his goal scoring record at that level is certainly amazing.

  73. 17highburyterrace says:

    11 for 11, for me, but, as I said, pretty easy to predict from the presser…

    Ajayi on the bench but not O’Connor, so I am not (yet) master of the reserves/youth team(s)… Isaac Hayden must still be hurting.

    I gotta agree with 007 about the bench options in the forward positions, including his take on the guy tearing it up at MK Dons… In general, I think, guys who go out on loan are further ahead (or at least older and closer to their full potential) compared to the guys in the U-21s/U-19s, BUT, I stand to be corrected by the guys who watch these things more closely… In general, the kids who are good enough (and can master the fitness element of the game) will get their chance… As we become a “bigger” club the question, of course, becomes whether or not it’s with Arsenal… (For example, if WHU keep it going with Song and Jenks having big roles, don’t be surprised if those boys get chances back with their parent clubs… Re the two with the confusing names…I’ve actually seen more Aneke than Afobe, having watched ManU go out of the CoC, earlier this season…)

    Let’s get the points today and then debate these things in the week to come… ๐Ÿ˜€

    In other words…

    Go on you (Farking…) Gunners!!!…

  74. 17highburyterrace says:

    Na-Na-Na nananana Nah….

  75. Admir says:

    Welbeck’s goal was chalked off…for what exactly? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Great finish by Danny.

    Giroud likes Newcastle, that’s for sure. ๐Ÿ™‚

  76. 17highburyterrace says:

    Indeed…Very sly from Janmaat…If anybody was fouling anybody it was him…

    Giroud wants one there, too…

    Bellerina looks bright…Ox having a bit of struggle getting his touches right, but plenty of power in the Arteta/Ramsey role…

    Gotta punish this keeper so clearly out of his depth… While prioritizing the clean sheet of course…

  77. 17highburyterrace says:

    I’m loathe to criticize a deity…but Alexis might let Santi kick some of those corners… Maybe?…

  78. Admir says:

    I agree. Then again, it’s not like we’ve been dangerous at set-pieces ever since we’ve decided Hobbits are strong enough to defeat Sauron.

  79. 17highburyterrace says:

    Giroud, BFG aren’t so small…and Kos can get up… If you can’t get it past the first man it doesn’t matter…

    Geezus…Got lucky on their FK… Szcz with the double save….Gibbs doesn’t need to foul there to give it…

  80. 17highburyterrace says:

    Lee Mason is calling everything Toonie’s way…Yellow on Bellerin… Needs to look at the Welbeck play at HT…

    Linesman makes a good one…after slide rule 50 yarder from Ox…

  81. Admir says:

    Great double save for Szczesny! It’s like he was saying: “A double save for my mate The Double-0-seven!” ๐Ÿ˜€

  82. Admir says:

    So far so good. I’d like us to score another one to kill off the game though.

  83. steve says:

    Lets not beat around the bush here, the refs a f*cking c*nt!! Best Newcastle player on the pitch by far!

    Welbeck should have had his goal
    That so called push by Gibbs that almost lead to a goal was never a foul.
    The Tiote / Cazorla tussle was ours all the way, the little man battled like a warrior
    Bellerin’s yellow card wtf?

    The ref is doing his best to put us off our game and break up some excellent moves, even disallowing a goal – the mans a c*nt, no two ways about it!!

  84. 17highburyterrace says:

    This one, 007, I must give you… ๐Ÿ˜€

    My wife, looking over my shoulder, however, wonders at the association with ugly Lee Mason and lovely lady parts… ๐Ÿ˜€

  85. 17highburyterrace says:

    Replay on Tiote kicking Alexis shows a nasty second stab…

  86. steve says:

    haha i think you mean me HT, apologize to the wife for me ๐Ÿ™‚

  87. steve says:

    the closest association is probably that they are both bald these days ๐Ÿ™‚

  88. 17highburyterrace says:

    You’re right, Mr. Fingers…She can take it, so no worries… On that same account, I liked Welbs keeping his feet and not risking injury on a couple of 50-50s, the big kitty kat… ๐Ÿ˜€

    Agreed, that a 2nd goal puts this one to bed as Toonies look like they’re happy enough having beaten the other London club… They’ll push harder after the break, however…

    Ox and Flam did well enough protecting the rear-guard but looked to be tiring just a bit and getting loose on their passes. Might have to get pragmatic with clearances if the scoreline cannot be improved… Ox had a beauty into touch after the double save…just about as high up as his shot landed…

  89. Admir says:

    Lee Dixon said that Colback deserved a yellow card. He might be a bit biased but it’s true – Colback was obstructing Alexis. Mason is a c…

  90. 17highburyterrace says:

    Santi Claws is Coming!!!!

  91. 17highburyterrace says:

    To town… I meant.. 2-0 ….

  92. Admir says:

    What a goal from Santi! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  93. Admir says:

    @17 – hahahahahahahahahahaha!

  94. 17highburyterrace says:

    Might’ve gone to ground back in Espan(y)a?…

  95. 17highburyterrace says:

    Na Na…Well you know the song…From Bells…

    3-nil…

    More please ๐Ÿ™‚

  96. 17highburyterrace says:

    Tiote is advertizing his cynicism for a January move our way?

  97. 17highburyterrace says:

    Lee Dixon on my commentary goes a little far trying to appear unbiased… The serial fouling is bad tonight…

  98. 17highburyterrace says:

    Finally a match over at the hour mark…:D

    Said I during the Anderlecht match… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  99. 17highburyterrace says:

    Bellerin beaten at the FK…

    Martinez of course would’ve stopped it… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Game back on, I fear…

  100. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ox almost gets the ugliest assist ever… Gibbs just wide…Great from Welbs, Alexis and Santi to keep it in…

    Bells offense is awfully spectacular…and he’s done well on the 1 v 1s out wide…Just needed a little extra at the set-piece… A real player there, I think…

  101. 17highburyterrace says:

    Lulu on…Ollie off… Shades of Anderlecht?…

    Bells on a yellow needs to be careful…

    Next 5 mins seems important…

  102. James Bond says:

    where are the subs @ AW ?

  103. James Bond says:

    defensive ones ? bring on le coq

  104. James Bond says:

    ox looks spent, bring on LE COQ!!!

  105. 17highburyterrace says:

    What about Le Coq for (on a) Yellerin?… I guess Ox is too…

    Tiote volley is just as good as our deep lying mids…

    In for Alexis… Hair grew a bit in Charlton…

  106. 17highburyterrace says:

    Welbs gets the call and that should do it…

    Santi to take it?…

  107. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cheeky Cazorla… 4-1

  108. Admir says:

    The birthday boy nailed it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  109. 17highburyterrace says:

    AMN on for AOC… Wife thinks he’s cute enough to lose the moustache…. ๐Ÿ˜€

  110. James Bond says:

    you can disagree with me all you like @ Steve

    Yaya is at a more advanced stage at his development and gives us that plan B which Chuba is unable to give us – Plan B is playing the holding striker role and not be the last man on the shoulder of the defenders all the time – hence Giroud and then Yaya .

    however, if you speak of Plan A then Welbeck/Benik and then Akpom – in that order – more fluid attackers with pace and a bit of everything .

    Akpom’s time will come, his contract runs out in the summer, we will get him extended and then let him have a go in the FA cup .

    Agreed with me Amigo – but what are you giving me ๐Ÿ˜€

    4-1

    now let’s beat Liverpool 2-0 next season and that be our season officially kick starting and our title race , pretty much on for the first time this season ๐Ÿ™‚

  111. 17highburyterrace says:

    FT, good job boys…Shame about the clean sheet… Should be enough to mute the Saturday night protests?…

    Debuchy swaps shirts with a former teammate…Is that an eyebrow tattooed over his nipple?

    ๐Ÿ˜€

  112. James Bond says:

    young Bellerin had a good game , however, we need KOC back and then this be our strongest starting 11 with the players being available .

    Ramsey out for 5 weeks .

    JW for another 6 weeks .

    Ozil returns for the boxing day match .

    Arteta returns boxing day .

    Monreal Boxing day

    Theo boxing day

    Ospina box day

    looking promising – by the time we have our FA cup game, we should have most of our players back .

  113. James Bond says:

    why shame about the clean sheet @ ME Amigo ?

    if Sczny in goal, then we are effectively starting a game at 0-1 – already ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

    don’t mind a 4-1 though ๐Ÿ˜‰

    we need to have the perfect game against liverpool, like we did 2 seasons ago, when Giroud, Santi and Poldi went there the first time – with it being the perfect 2-0 and Diaby was the man of the match, if memory serves ? absolutely bossed it !!!

  114. 17highburyterrace says:

    Could the AMN moustache be one which has never been shaved?… Gerry?… F11ngers?… Maybe I need to ask Jorge Bird…

    Overall, I think we should relish (just a bit) before the arguments start…But hey, that’s just me…

    Hey, 007, is that info from your sauce or are you just being optimistic?… ๐Ÿ˜€

    Definitely gonna need to rotate in that period and (besides the trip to Anfield) the games at WHU and So’ton seem the toughest… OGAAT, obviously…

    4-1s (these last two…) aren’t the worst scorelines, however…

  115. James Bond says:

    agreed !

    after a very very long time, our lads have a week to prepare for a game !!!

    fantastic !

  116. 17highburyterrace says:

    Giroud, working on his English, talks about the “keep the face (faith), keep working hard” and, “There is no think about change the boss because he’s still the man of the situation, I think…”

    As predicted, not a lot of fightback from the Toon, even with the ref trying to keep them going…

  117. 17highburyterrace says:

    Not a good handball from Winston Reid in the Sunderland-WHU match…Not called by Fat Phil (Dowd)…Who gave a dive (Adam Johnson) earlier…

    Refs might need to lay off the Christmas cheer as the festive period wears on…

  118. 17highburyterrace says:

    Internet down for us a few minutes, but nobody’s commenting…Hmmm…

    I guess we got our money’s worth tonight, so nothing to be said?… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Noontime here and the sun’s out… Enjoy your weekend/holiday/Saturday night… ๐Ÿ˜€

  119. James Bond says:

    sorry me amigo, am also having some serious down time with the internet this whole week (might have something to do with the weather bomb ) .

    but yeah, would love to have a ref that Chelsea seem to get week in week out , for a change !

  120. AB says:

    Afternoon chaps – a fair-weather gooner here! I’m listening to TalkSport, sadly, but amazed by how much of the evening has featured so called Arsenal fans coming on moaning about Wenger! If that’s all you can do after your club has won convincingly – and entertainingly – you have to wonder about folk. Where I end up, regarding people who actually want us to lose matches or end the season in a lower position, is that they are actually no longer supporters. Love or loathe the manager, you cannot call yourself a supporter and at the same time wish your team to lose – if you do, then your personal prejudices matter more to you than the club you pretend to support; forget calling yourself a fan in that case. Crazy stuff – does this happen with any other club? I’ve never bothered to read another club’s blogs, so it feels like this is a largely Arsenal condition.

    A great week for us. Players coming back from injury as well as some links building between key players on the pitch. Fingers crossed for the Christmas games and then the January TW. We can worry about the future of the club come the end of the season. For today I can only be a happy fan.

  121. steve says:

    very busy here atm but i see i’m not missing much on the comments ๐Ÿ™‚

    I thought it was a very good game!

    I hear many of the guys on the blogs and social media giving MOTM to the OX or Sanchez and of course Giroud was the one who actually walked away with it but for my money Cazorla was hands down MOTM today.
    I don’t rate the guy normally and i think he has lost a lot of the magic that he had when he first joined but today he showed its still there and reminds me that i am right to keep rating him poorly because that is the kind of performance i remember from the little man and thats what i want to see on a more consistent basis.

    I think to a man everyone in the offensive part of the team played either hot or cold today, there were some absolutely woeful passes from the likes of OX, Sanchez, Giroud, Welbeck, Cazorla etc but then on the other hand there were sublime ones also – very strange occurrence tbh, normally your game is off or its on not both throughout the match lol.

    It was really interesting to see how much more drive forwards we had during breaks and counter attacks with OX in midfield, much more expansive and pacey – me likey.

    Bellerin showed why we all rate him so highly and why none of us could work out why the only game he’s been played in so far was against Stoke where his pace was nullified and his physical attributes (where he is lacking) was tested to the extreme.

    Gibbs was back to his best after getting over his injury, Mr consistent – love it.

    BFG had an alright game, nothing too bad but nothing great either.

    Debuchy imo actually had the better game in the CB pairing and i thought he did excellently. However when i heard the commentator say “Wenger must be pleased to know he has back up in that area now” my head dropped lol. As i said before that is my worst fear, that Monreal and Debuchy back up system is really not what i want Wenger to be thinking about come January – two new CB’s please boss, forget the short players out of position option please.

    Sanchez had a good game without actually scoring, kind of like Welbeck has been doing for a while now, and like Welbeck it was a hard working performance and the sheer class of the man must be appreciated by the others.

    Giroud gave 2 out of 3, passing and flick throughs were good, scoring was good but hold up play was definitely not good enough. he still gets the ball nicked off him way to easily but he’s just back from injury so im not too critical.

    Welbeck actually held the ball up better than Giroud and kept winning the ball in the high position when he moved in the middle when Giroud went off. Very unlucky not to get his goal and put in another great shift, still chasing the goal keeper down on the 88th minute – nice

    So all in all a very good match, nothing really to complain about tbh.

    Oh apart from the ref who was a complete an utter fuck nut!

    what did everyone else think? seems a bit quite on here atm

  122. AB says:

    Steve, on the Debuchy experiment – would you rather we bought a quality CB or a quality DM (who could cover CB) in January? I know this is all pretend stuff, but lets just pretend. If having some degree of CB cover from the FBs means the top priority is a quality DM, then frankly I’m all for it. Now I hear you when you say we need both, and we need 2 CBs etc – but neither of us believe that this is actually going to happen….. Frankly I doubt we will buy SQ in the January window in any position, but there’s just a sniff of a possibility we might for the right DM I feel. If Wenger is in doubt however, the past has shown us that he is most likely to opt for either a) nothing, b) utility player, or c) youth potential, and save the serious cash for the summer. I’m still hoping (not expecting mind) that we might buy DM quality in January.

  123. steve says:

    there lies the problem AB, we all know we need a DM and two CB’s in the TW but we are all prepared to ask the question “which would you prefer?” because we know we never get exactly what we need to complete the team.
    Problem area are obvious
    We have the money
    There are players available
    Whats the problem?
    Why does it have to be either or?

    My choices would be Van Dijk, Reid and Krychowiak how much would that be in total? (i have no idea) but definately doable its not like asking for Hummels (who i would prefer over Reid but would be insane money i expect)

    That’s my view mate but since i skipped round your actual question i will say a CB who can play as a DM – Van Dijk

    But after watching Krychowiak keep pace with Ronaldo the other day and make a beautiful tackle i would be pissed off if we didn’t get him also.

  124. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening guys and ladies ๐Ÿ™‚

    Watched game in pub and was very pleased with display. I often like to take a bit of time after a game, win or lose. There is lot to analyse but the one thing that stands out is how our attacking play is finally showing what Wenger has been trying to build. We are now unpredictable and can score all sorts of goals, from all areas on the pitch and through a variety of players. Two games, four braces, four different players and our top goal scorer has not scored one of them (yet he produced two sublime assists today).

    The defence did well and Debuchy was excellent. But the unsung hero was the Flam who had a quietly very effective game. All players deserve praise, they were all good to very good. Brilliant preparation for the Pool game. ๐Ÿ™‚

  125. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice to see Murphy highlighting Bellerin’s fine performance on MOTD. Will do the lad a lot of good.

  126. AB says:

    Steve. I don’t see us getting 2 CBs, not with Chambers showing so far. I’d be interested to know what the real outlook is for Kos – achillies troubles don’t just go, so I suspect he is going to be weak in this area from here on. Does that mean we need to buy strongly in this area specifically? It will be interesting to see. A class DM for me though is what I want to see; every time.

    On to TA’s comment, and linked to the above. We played a more attacking formation, which was reliant on Flam doing his job in front of the back 4. This plays to our team (and squad) strengths. All credit to Flam, but just imagine what we would be like with a SQ in his place? The test, as ever, would be against the big boys; we could play this formation against the toons, but we would be over-run in the midfield against the chavs without more beef. As you say though TA, today gives a sense of what Wenger is building towards – and this without Ozil, Walcott and Jack/Ramsey; pace and movement everywhere.

    What I loved to see was us being more direct and pressing today; I hope we can find this right balance next week against the pool – pressing from the front, without becoming suicidal at the back.

  127. TotalArsenal says:

    All agree AB. Flamini can and should be approved upon.

    Newcastle are strong in midfield but they could not deal with our energy, pressing and creativity up front. And yes with Theo, Mesut, Jack and Rambo we have even stronger options going forward.

    How are you anyway? ๐Ÿ™‚

  128. AB says:

    Hi TA. I’m good, but hellish busy at work. Constant reorganisations, new CEO and now all kinds of budget games in the run-in to the election. I’m looking forward to a beak over Christmas. I read this site daily, but often behind the times so don’t get the chance to make ‘current’ comment as often as I’d like. Good to have a positive result(s) this week and keep the gloom at bay. We have a squad we should take delight in – if only they could stay fit long enough!

    And you? How are the plans for the move north coming on?

  129. TotalArsenal says:

    Too busy to blog is not a good thing, AB! But hard to find the balance, I guess. Hope the break will do you good. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Yes we have found a house in South of Scotland, just waiting for it all to go through. We will be moving in the summer – cannot wait! ๐Ÿ™‚

  130. Gerry says:

    Good morning all. Yes, I am with Steve on our CB situation. To me, this game was similar to the Man Utd game, in that we attacked, and did not have much to defend. Crucial difference, we scored the first goal in the first half, and made it a more comfortable 3-0. Then you have to look at Newcastle’s attack? Either their win over Chelsea took too much out of them, or their injuries left them without a secure base? Whatever, they never looked convincing even after they scored. I feel a team with a bit more quality and ‘nous’ would have worked out how to beat our makeshift back 4?

    But that might take too much away from how well we coped. It was not the cunning plan that I thought might happen, but it worked in a similar way. In part, giving Bellerin licence to run the line as and when he could. Mind, he took box to box running to the extreme at times ๐Ÿ˜€
    Debuchy, I think played his RB role very well at CB, by just positioning himself further to his left. In that sense, AW was right, there was not a lot of difference between the two positions? It also did not complicate Debuchy’s actions, other than curbing his desire to get forward, and he passed the test well. Not one I want to see repeated mind.

    Ox played a bit like he left his ‘A’ game in Turkey. He barely can keep his all out action going for an hour, so this came a bit quick I think. However, he still had some bright moments to suggest that more central position could be his, especially when Theo is back.? A younger Rosicky no less?
    Alexis is slowly coming to terms with the pace of this league now, and played a much more controlled game, rather than calling for team mates to press up at every opportunity. That, even before the fouling started?
    Which brings me to the referee. I said it a couple of times recently, that there does seem to be a shift towards allowing games ‘to flow’ and therefore legal and illegal physicality are just treated the same. However, that Tiote foul on Alexis is a case of leniency gone mad. Not only was the high foot challenge, chest high, a yellow card offence, the follow up kick in the belly, way after the ball had gone, was a straight red? Yet I don’t believe the ref was even going to blow for a foul if it was wasn’t for the Arsenal players who had stopped playing, arms aloft? Now I am guessing the the line official on that side was far away looking at any potential offside, so he might have had an excuse? The other one on the far side of the pitch more than likely had his view blocked, but the referee cannot have turned away that quickly that he did not see it? But now any retrospective action is killed off because he eventually gave the foul. This is why replay evidence is vital to get justice done?
    The comparison between Bellerin and Ox’s yellow cards for ‘professional fouls’ and the above, make the interpretation of the laws seem laughable. One day, may be offside will be given by GPS positioning, leaving assistants to be in line with play, and proper application of the laws on violent play may get the punishment they deserve, and disruptive fouls given a 10 minute sin bin as a more appropriate punishment, rather than missing a whole match some time down the line?

    We overcame all that with some great goals, and this week off will do no harm at all. We have shown that our quality in attack is capable of making us get a winning habit … but not, JB, at the expense of having a weak defence. Yesterday was a real team effort. All we need now is sensible rotation, and cute use of our subs. At 3-0 we could have shut up shop, and save a few tired bodies fro red-zoning?

    OGAAT. Liverpool will be hurt or buoyed by today’s result, so take nothing for granted?

  131. TotalArsenal says:

    Just admit it Gerry…. You were wrong about Debuchy’s ability to play at CB. ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

  132. James Bond says:

    were we first on MOTD last night ?

  133. Gerry says:

    TA – It is a bit like the Martinez situation playing when the whole team were defending well, and people were quick to over-praised him?

    I agree, he had a good game … but, against a team that offered very little threat? Do you really think it will be that simple against Liverpool? Or QPR, West Ham, and Southampton, for that matter?
    No, stick to your line before the game, ‘it is a temporary solution’. ๐Ÿ˜€

    However, if ever we play with 3 CB’s he could be the right side choice, for reasons I gave above?

  134. TotalArsenal says:

    We’ll see Gerry. Would not be surprised to see Debuchy play there again v Liverpool, with Chambers replacing The Bell… Then we can judge it properly. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Arsenal were second, JB, straight after Swan Lake. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  135. James Bond says:

    if you have a decent goal keeper and a rubbish defence , you can still win 6 games in a row .

    if you don’t believe me then just look at what’s happening at man utd .

    most of us here are missing the fundamental point with Sczny and our goal keeping position at Arsenal .

    regardless of who plays in defence, there is no excuse for conceding as many matches, points and goals as we do with our oppositions first attempt at goal .

    we really need Ospina or someone of that ilk in goal – Sczny is not a top level goalie, he has potential and the excuses are running out thick and fast .

    my grievances with AW isn’t about his lack of signings at DM or CB – it’s more to do with having an average goalie play for one of the biggest clubs in the world since the last 5 years .

    let’s win at Anfield next week and get Rodgers a P45 .

  136. James Bond says:

    Big prediction time .

    SUN 21 DEC 2014 – PREMIER LEAGUE
    LiverpoolvArsenal
    16:00
    FRI 26 DEC 2014 – PREMIER LEAGUE
    ArsenalvQPR
    17:30
    SUN 28 DEC 2014 – PREMIER LEAGUE
    West HamvArsenal
    15:00
    THU 1 JAN 2015 – PREMIER LEAGUE
    SouthamptonvArsenal

    we win our next 4 games, we will win the PL in may .

  137. James Bond says:

    by the way – we are going to end up with Barca in the CL – you heard it here first !

  138. Admir says:

    @007 – no, mate, it’s not going to happen and there are two reasons why not.

    1) Barcelona are far from being the unstoppable team like they were in the previous two occasions we played them. If they play us, they’ll lose as our pacey attackers would make their slow defence suffer. Barcelona friends from UEFA wouldn’t be happy with that so they’ll hand them Basel, Schalke or Bayer so they can go into the quarterfinals.

    2) Due to The Contract signed between Arsene and Satan himself in the eve of our game against Porto in 2010, we are obliged to play the most difficult opponents in The First Knockout Stage for seven consecutive years (it’s no wonder Arsene signed a three-year-extension – this is going to be Year Five of The Contract!). In exchange for that, Satan allowed us to overcome the deficit from Porto (1:2) and Nicklas Bendtner to out-score Radamel Falcao with a hat-trick. Also, we have been obliged to sell our captains when Satan orders Wenger to do so – hence the sales of Gallas (2010), Fabregas (2011), Van Judas (2012) and Vermaelen (2014). Wenger pulled a trick in the summer 2013 by selling Gervinho to Roma and telling Satan – who went through a strong hangover from the goodbye party of his huge friend Alex Ferguson – that he just sold Arteta but we were immediately punished once Satan realized that both Arteta and Vermaelen had been Arsenal players after summer 2013 so he sent all our speedy players to the treatment room.

  139. Admir says:

    I forgot to say: due to the aforementioned contract, we will play Real Madrid.

  140. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha Admir, very funny! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  141. Neeraj says:

    Hi all !!
    TA, liked the Christmas wallpaper ,
    I see that there is some talk on the winter transfer window going on
    I think Wenger wont buy anyone in January
    Atmost we might buy some young player from some academy in Spain, France or Germany
    But sadly that might be all the business we do in the new year.
    But if at all wenger changes his mind
    There are a few excellent choices in the market available for meagerly prices ; Winston Reid, Adrien Rabot, the barcelona right backs (dani and batra), Khedira, Glen Johnon (i dont know why but i like his style of play), Milner, Huntelaar, Gignac, Giovinco, Nigel de Jong, Fabian Schรคr, Jon Flanagan and a few impossible to get veterans too like Carrick, Terry, Gerard

    Some of the above listed are top prospects and if Wenger can get a hold of a couple of them it could prove to be a steal
    Specially Schรคr, Flanagan, Rabiot, Reid can be good deals

    We also have to take care of our own contract renewals for Arteta, Flamini n Diaby
    I dont know if either of them deserve a new contract but we have never lost 2 captains in 2 seasons before so lets see of the Satan has got anything in store for us ๐Ÿ˜‰

  142. Gerry says:

    A few little reply comments from me ..

    TA – I think you may well be right with your/AW choice of back 4 v ‘Pool. It may have one positive, push up Bellerin to right midfield?
    However, I would rather try Chambers on Mert’s left side, with Debuchy at RB … still have Bellerin at RDM/RAM. If Ox is fully charged up, keep him as CMF, with Flamini on the left.
    That does make it tight up front, but start Santi on the right because he does have to stay there with HB behind him? Start with Welbeck in the middle, and Alexis on the left.

    Keep that basic side for WHA a week later, but a few returnees hopefully for the QPR two days earlier, can bring a fuller rotation about for at least an hour? The best of the fittest (by then?), become the squad to face Southampton. We have an extra day off before the FA Cup game being moved to Sunday, so hopefully, again, we have a large pool of players for that?

    Attacking enough JB? Note, both the team I have named are for the away games.
    I hate to go back over this thing you have with Woijech, because we are both capable of seeing what we want to see. But, you have to admit, GK’s form goes hand in hand with confidence, and they all have purple patches. Both MU and CFC have keepers who are in great form. No question. But the guy who had the best figures I quoted for the 2013/14 season a while back is currently Swansea’s Number 2. He was on 83 points, with every other top keeper in the EPL all grouped on 79, including the above DG of Man U, and PC of Chelsea, AND our WS. If he is ‘average’, then he is in very good company?

    ADMIR – I can still chuckle at your ‘Hobbit’ joke earlier. This one paints a darker picture ๐Ÿ˜€
    I would go along with Totes Karma view, and that goes back to the price you pay for the Invincible’s? Funnily enough, ‘Untold put up a ‘Happy Birthday, Arsenal’ blog last Wednesday, all 128 of them. So I ran it through my astrological program, and believe it or not, we are in for a good season.
    Hence, I think we get Basel in the next CL round?

    Hi Neeraj, nice to hear from you. I should not believe all you read on the TW. Bloggers and agents are hyping it up as though it is going to be a bonanza winter sale. Meanwhile, AW is lowering expectations partly because the players he really wants may not be available until summer. But also, he does not want to appear that keen, and so inflate the price.

    However, relatively expensive youngsters are far more likely to be available.
    Your shortlist though is a tad unrealistic if you think they may come cheap? Schar, in the CL, therefore not leaving. They will get the same ยฃ25-30m for beating us in the next round. Why sell? Flanagan, a possible, but is he that good? A lot depends on the Rodger’s situation, because if he is not sacked, he will be backed in the market? But if he goes, the new guy may want to look at the squad first. But is he that good? Rabiot, we missed that boat, he is off to Spain. Reid looks like getting a new deal which he may be happy with? But would not come cheap as they will want to keep their strong run going?

    I did my own bit of scouting yesterday. The Bayer’ v Gladdies was average game, but confirmed my view on that Bender (L). Not good enough. The guy on loan from the ‘B’s, but playing for the Munchies could be interesting however?
    I also watched the Nice v St E, and both teams playing a familiar 4-4-1 (One for you Admir :D),
    as the derby match got niggly early on, and a resulting red card each. Loathed as I would be to see any ‘Ettienne players leave (Mini-me would be exciting in an Arsenal shirt though), but if we were looking for a young LB, then the ‘nice’ guy could be v.interesting. He had a ‘blinder’.

    But as far as AW goes, I think if a player on his list becomes available in January, i.e super quality, at a good price, then he will buy. But buying short term, quality players with no resale value at a hefty price? That is a complete no go area.

    Conclusion? You could well be correct that a couple of promising youngsters may be all we see … but be prepared for a shock or two?

    That is me done … Laters

  143. TotalArsenal says:

    Same line up for me, bar Chambers coming back, Gerry.

    Hi Neeraj ๐Ÿ™‚

    How are your studies going?

  144. TotalArsenal says:

    And it is Monaco….. I am writing a post and I had predicted Monaco in it but now it is too late to claim it…. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Very happy with that draw as Wenger will know a lot about them…. COYG!!!!

  145. TotalArsenal says:

    Great comment, though, Gerry. Please copy past into new post. :0

  146. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post ๐Ÿ™‚

    Better late than never.

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