Cazorla takes the Papiss, Girouffe Aerial King of the Savannah: Match Afterthoughts.

Arsenal 4 – 1 Newcastle United: The dawn of a new era?

Is Arsene changing our system and style of play?
Is Arsene changing our system and style of play?

I don’t always watch an Arsenal game twice, but this time it was worth it. During the first round I was influenced by alcohol intake, but the second watching was entirely sober. After the first watching I wondered how we had shaped ourselves, especially from an attacking point of view. I also wanted to know whether we are playing more of a 4-1-2-3, or indeed a 4-1-5 at the moment.

I always feel we need to play with one holding DM, who sits back and protects the back-four. The BFG is a great defender but we need to play to his strengths, which is organisation and controlling the defence. For that he needs fast players around him, and a strong, classic DM in front of him, and not to have to push up too much. I thought Flamini did quietly a great job in protecting the back four on Saturday. He stayed back and allowed both Ox and Santi to attack; yet, the more attack minded central midfielders were also disciplined in helping Flam out if and when the Magpies ventured forward.

So, it looked like we played 4-1-2-3 with the ‘2’ being asked to help out in defence and keep their discipline as much as was deemed necessary: and Ox and Santi handled this very well throughout the game. It is too early to say whether this is a shift in formation and style of play, but from what we saw on yesterday it offers at least an interesting alternative. 

There was a very good balance to our team and tactically it worked a treat. The Chav-Slayers were set up to sit back and absorb pressure, but with five pressing and continuously moving players up-front – Giroud, Alexis, Ox, Welbeck, Santi – and two eager and dynamic FBs, the Barcodes were never able to settle – a big difference from their previous game where they took control after some initial pressure by the Southern Oilers. Our attacks in the first half often lacked cohesion and focus and as a result we were only one up at half time, but they also had thoroughly knackered out the Newcastle team with their sheer unpredictability and continuous pressure.

In the second half, we used Giroud much more as our attacking pivot, which gave us a bit more shape and structure. In the first half, after a great interception by Hector-Vector, Giroud had received the ball in the prototypical way: with his back towards goal in the middle of the opponent’s half. He found Sanchez with a quick, sharp pass and was back in a flash to tower home like a giraffe the Chilean’s superbly placed cross: a very good, classical goal.

But, we did not use him as our pivot often enough during the first 45 minutes imo.

On the other hand, Welbeck and Alexis were a constant menace and Ox and Santi provided both thrust and ingenuity. There were a few dimensions to our attack and Danny was very unfortunate not to be given his goal, after the slightest of touches had brought Janmaat tumbling down like a crashing aeroplane, and the weakest of referees, Lee Mason, had ruled it, pathetically, a foul. I could say so much about Mason, but it is best to concentrate on the game…

2-0 at half time would have been a fair reflexion of our dominance, although we have to thank Szczesny wholeheartedly for a superb double safe of Williamson and Papiss Cisse’s efforts, from Colback’s fine free-kick (who really impressed me throughout the entire game: possible the best all-round midfielder on the pitch).

However, I feel we attacked better in the second half: there was more focus and directness, and using Giroud as our pivot, as well as the initially impressive Coloccini starting to wane, played a key role. The second goal saw Alexis produce unselfishly his second assist of the game; but most of the credit should go to Santi, who took the ball well past a defender, managed to stay on his feet and then tricked the goalie with a sublime piece of skill of Bergkampesque quality. To score a goal like that on your 30th birthday is of course bliss, and it set the scene for more cheekiness.

It was soon 3-0: Bellerin had made a great run to the by-line and delivered a cool and measured low cross to the well-positioned (Danny take note) Giroud. The towering Girouffe had to work his feet for this one, and as he is left footed and the angle was very tight, he decided to use his left foot to redirect – pinball – the ball towards goal, leaving Alnwick utterly bamboozled and no time to respond. Cheeky – Cheeky 🙂

The Magpies got one back from a clever free kick by their MOTM and a well placed header by (also impressive) Perez, but of course, we should have defended that one much, much better. However, credit goes to the team for not changing their shape and keep believing in their (at least on the night) superior qualities. At this stage, the trio of BFG-Debuchy-Flamini stood strong with fine blogs and interceptions, and above all, keeping it tight (with help of others of course). We gave away too many free-kicks though – the only way they were ever going to score against us was from set-pieces, so should have known better – as the likes of Bellerin, and especially the experienced Giroud, should have spotted that Mason was apparently desperate to give the Barcodes preferential treatment at every occasion.

However, it took another 25 minutes to fully settle the match once and forever. I reckon Danny is a work in progress and there are a few areas he will have to improve in, if he is to make it at Arsenal long term as a first-eleven player, but two of his unquestionable strengths are his athleticism and stamina. Dummett had had a decent game until the 88th minute, but sheer fatigue by him let to his foul of Duracell-Danny, and up steps birthday-boy Santi to take the pen.

We all know how he took it: cheeky – cheeky – cheeky: totally taking the Papiss 😀 I am not a big fan of the ‘dinked penalty’, but given the score and the special occasion for Santi, and of course the fact that he got away with it, I forgive him. 4-1 to the good guys, some very good football, three points in the bag and the perfect preparation for a tough test against the Dippers next weekend: Bring it on!

So it is Monaco in the CL. For once the draw is a happy one not just for the favourites (just look at Munich and Real draws….) but also for the Gunners. Wenger will know a lot about this club and we should have a good chance to go through as long as we don’t underestimate them.

Written by: TotalArsenal.

80 thoughts on “Cazorla takes the Papiss, Girouffe Aerial King of the Savannah: Match Afterthoughts.

  • Full CL draw:

    Paris St-Germain v Chelsea
    Manchester City v Barcelona
    Bayer Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid
    Juventus v Borussia Dortmund
    Schalke v Real Madrid
    Shakhtar Donetsk v Bayern Munich
    Arsenal v Monaco
    Basel v Porto

  • Methinks that our next important defensive signing would be:
    – wearing the No.5 jersey
    – in his mid-twenties, between 24 to 26 years old (similarly to both Mesut & Alexis when they joined us), at the right age and quality to become our mainstay after our senior players scale down on their workload, while our prospective youngsters have time to hone their skills and gain experience in various defensive positions before cementing their best positions). The best players at this age range are usually the most expensive and difficult to sign.

    Average run-of-mill players need not apply.

    For GKs, (TC) Thibaut Courtois is the top standard bearer for consistency (makes little to zero mistakes in goal for goals conceded) in the PL, in La Liga for the last 2 to 3 seasons, in European competitions (Champions League and Europa League); and well possibly ranked 2nd in Europe after Ballon d’Or nominee Manuel Neuer.

    Observations on both GKs characteristics reported:

  • Previously shown from the SEGA playing card:

    HFB Olivier Giroud’s undisputed special ability: “The Air Supply”.

  • Hi TA..
    Yes we are happy with CL drawing..
    Wenger really have a good felling about the draw.. Monaco we are coming.. hehehe..
    And also did Mourinho.. he wish for PSG.. and it really happened.. City also afraid of Barcelona and they really must faced them..

    For the game against Toon..
    I always said that Newc isn’t our real problem.. our problem is Stoke city.. hehehe..
    We can beat all that big clubs.. incluced Chelsea and City in next games.. but not for Stoke.. hehehe..
    Yes Santi and Giroud did their job well.. but I think Sanchez also did a great game yesterday.. without him we maybe only had a draw.. hahahaha

  • absolutely agreed, Hehehenry. Alexis was superb, but he always is. He worked for the team but was always a threat himself and Wenger openly praised him for it.

  • Juicy ties in the CL draw @ PSG vs Chelsea; Man City vs Barcelona; Juventus vs Dortmund.

    I much preferred our lower profile fixture vs Monaco, less spotlight from the media and pundits while our team could go about playing (and winning) in their football. (The accommodation and logistics for our away supporters at Monaco is expensive though?)

  • TA.. I really love the CL draw..
    I just wonder if we win the group than maybe we already face Juventus.. hahaha..
    Somehow Juventus is stronger than Monaco.. hehehe

  • Great CL draw this season. I was praying to not get a big name team and my wish came true. However, we shouldn’t take Monaco for granted and hopefully we can (finally) get into the quarterfinals.

    Also a great result against the (as you called it) barcodes. Love how Flamini just sat back and did his job with minimal fuss. However, still hope we can get Wanyama who I think can be our Matic.

  • Hey Shrill, good to hear from you. How is life treating you – still fecking busy? 🙂

    Wanyama would be great, but I would like Schneiderlin even more. I guess Wanyama – the beast – could play as a CB as well, which might be tempting for Arsene.

  • @TA (December 15, 2014 at 12:07) & (December 15, 2014 at 12:20)

    Air Supply (our go-to deep laying forward – primarily role) & Chase King (Does his fair share in closing down GKs and defences – leading to turnovers & goals).

    He needs consistency on his finishing to become more prolific at the business end.
    He can do better to improve and maybe earn himself a more suitable finisher nickname like “The Black Panther/ Pantera Negra”.

  • Nah, JM, Giroud will never be like one of those strikers. Being prolific and cool are not his strengths. I reckon in twenty years time we will look back and say that Giroud (by Wenger’s philosophy) became one of the first – if not the first – of a new breed of strikers. The holding striker who can hold up play, produce assists and pre-assists, create space for others, defend all over the pitch, and score as well. The only one better than Giroud I can think of is Lewandowski.

  • Total, it’s good to be back. Still kinda busy with life, but hey, what’s life without lots of shit to do? Getting ready for a marathon that’ll be held next week.

    Morgan would be a good addition if you want a box2box DM but if you want a DM that’ll be disciplined and sit back in front of the back 4 then Wanyama is your man 🙂

  • A marathon hey.. what time are you aiming for and where is it?

    Schneiderlin is perhaps more versatile, which only helps, but I reckon he would make an excellent holding DM if he was asked to be one for us. Very happy to get Wanyama instead though.

  • Carried over from previous post ..
    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 😀
    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 £25-30m 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 😀 ),
    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?

  • Well, OG needs to uphold his “cool” HFB moniker.

    Bottom line, we need him foremost, to be one of our prolific and consistent supplier and finisher of goals, which will help improve our win %. A “frontman” of the team.

    Anything else are welcomed bonuses to our team’s benefit.

  • Southampton lost 4 straight PL matches.

    Coincidentally, Morgan Schneiderlin is injured during the Man City match (0-0 at half time; 0-3 full time after he was subbed off at half time) and missed the Saints losses vs Arsenal, Man Utd & Burnley.

  • Hey TA, More excellent stuff and (for a change) we can focus on the footy, given the good news there and away from the pitch…Drawing Monaco in the CL…

    With the later start–and with the kid off on an overnight–I got to watch the match with my wife who actually has a pretty keen eye for subtleties in the game, when she’s not looking down at her facebook page. Our take on the match was that Newcastle we’re awfully poor and that their 3rd choice keeper was no Damien Martinez…

    As such, the only thing which kept them in it was the ref and the cynicism of Mr. Tiote and some iffy final balls from our B2B man, Oxlade-Chamberlain. Mason will believe he was “fair and balanced” due to the late pen given but it was an absurd performance in taking away the Welbeck goal and the distribution of yellows. Tiote’s work as “enforcer” would have been much muted had he gotten a yellow for his high boot on Alexis. In truth it was more of an orange (could’ve been yellow or red…) and if he’d seen the latter, well, the match would truly have been done. As it was and with memories of Anderlecht, we probably got closer to our money’s worth…Best league in the world, and all that…

    Puter’s running funky…Gonna post and restart and try again…

  • OK, much better…

    Giroud IS a key for the team, but he must have fitness, not only so he can demo his own skills as he did on Saturday, but also so he’s happy trotting out wide, now and again, so as to allow centrally minded players like…well everybody in the team (originally I was gonna say Welbeck and Alexis…) to take up their preferred spots… Once we’re switching positions in this manner, it becomes very tough for defenders…Who must ask, do I hold my position or do I track the player? Gaps open up, passes slide in (or over) and chances are made. If goals are taken (as they were early in the 2nd period) fun times ensue… In a couple of seasons we’ll forget all about Anderlecht… 😀

  • As for this one Totes, I too, would love to watch the match again, but too many other things to do?
    I sincerely hope Ox is the price we pay for not rotating though? Or even my post match comment of, ‘at 3-0, a chance to shut up shop’. Em-and-En was perfect to slot in for him?

    It is difficult to find fault with any of the players, and it certainly helps the defence if you can get 7 bodies back when possession is lost. I think I’ll have to see the highlights again, just to check on that 60 yard run Bellerin did, at speed. I feel he could be very effective the higher up the pitch he plays, as well as his ability to track back and tackle? He is getter better with each outing, I hope he does not get excluded when others return.

    It is good for the players to have this week recovering, on the back of two handsome wins.

    Liverpool seem to be in a strange place at the moment, where nothing is going right for them. I hope that does’t change until after our visit?

  • Sorry about the delay on that last post, it should have followed the carry over.

    In between I’ve just listened to the Arsecast, and they agree with me – Debuchy back at RB against ‘Pool.

    It may be HT, it will be seen as the start of a rising of a new powerhouse in international football? Therefore history will show that we may have been lucky to escape with a draw? The did finished unbeaten thereafter in the CL, and were cruelly undone in the other one with us?
    They had a lot of history to live down, and their Youth team did okay too. Next season’s dark horses, having won the Europa this time round?
    Next match is at home to Dinamo Moskow …

  • Yes JM, we need him for that AND to provide us with a central point for the midfielders to play towards and the two winger/strikers to play off. Giroud is probably king of the pre-assist, for example.

  • Hey 17ho, 🙂

    Nice to hear female 17ho likes to watch a game now and again too. And good observations. 🙂

    Goalkeeper was not great, agreed. I reckon we overpowered them and, as per review, played really well on the night. Colback and Tiote fought like lions to keep us at bay and the defence was pretty good too, but in the end fatigue sat in and the goals came easily. Agreed on Tiote having been very, very lucky to play without a card for so long. Mason was so lenient and obnoxiously blind throughout the match. He had a very poor game. I bet he and Foy were on a bet who could be the worst referee in a match…. shocking! 😦

    I thought Giroud spread himself well and allowed Welbeck to be centrally positioned a lot. His fitness can improve further, but he is making such a difference since he has come back. Shame he missed the big chance against Stoke, it could have made all the difference.

  • Gerry… Give a little context to your comments, if you can…I had to read them a few times to figure out what you’re saying… The regular (money for hits…) media gives out enough mis-information or confusing “facts” as it is…

    As such, the news about Ox having groin issues is not good, given that he seemed to refocus well at half-time and simplify his game, including drawing an extremely soft yellow for just a bit of cynicism. He’s an unbelievable talent and the lack of AW buying at DM could be “his fault,” (along with Ramsey’s and Wilshere’s). My gut feeling is that the manager would prefer players filling spaces for one another–wide and central (as per my comment re: Giroud above) and fore and aft. If guys have weaker engines or less pace then you get less of this and the more traditional “sitting” or “holding” mid. My hunch is that A-Dub prefers these sorts of players to the sort of “versatile defenders” (Gilberto, Alex Song, Chambers–“DM beasts”…?) who might also be used at CB. Personal experience tells me that groin problems can be very long term, as the muscle is a very fibrous one. 😦 There’s some talk that Arteta might be back for ‘Pool and that Ozil might be another ready ahead of schedule… Like I say, I’d expect plenty of mis-information in the week ahead. At least it’s not combined with anything miserable from either the previous match or from the CL draw… 😀

    Liverpool were well beaten in their scoreline but actually can take some positives from their performance at United. Rodger’s is under Wengerian levels of pressure so I’d expect his backers at Anfield to do their best and for them to come out with a great effort. The first goal will be massive up there, and if we get it, those who’d like to play the blame game with their manager will be quick to tell him to go on and (fooking) walk alone… If they get it, however, it will be a very tough match to save…

    Fun times, and we’re nowhere near the corner we need to turn… As such, we’ll probably need to spend some time getting upset with our own guy for playing the wrong kids or something… Personally, I think, a little pat on the back might be in order for using Debuchy well and creating a first half of the season which has led to the display we saw from Bellerin. We now have a VERY exciting guy who put in two 90 minute shifts (in 4 days and in different positions, no less). There’s plenty to be learned still, (he was outpositioned or outmuscled for the set piece by another Spanish youngster, and well-punished by the skill of Perez on the awesome diving header…) but he had the younger Ameobi in his pocket all night. Keeping your man out of the box is what you want to see from any young FB in England, esp. on a night when the bald c*nt of a ref, is looking to blow (and point)… Agreed, Gerry, that Bellerin as a sub for a right-winger to help hold a result (much like Nacho in, pushing Gibbs forward on the other wing) could be a very nice plan…

    So, I say, let’s celebrate the successful integration of a(nother–Chambers would be the first…) young gun into the first team, rather than slate the manager for not bringing in more of them… Or abusing him for not buying properly in the last (or the next…) window… Or both, out of the two sides of the same mouth… Like AB said in the previous post, it’s a sorry situation when (so called) supporters cannot enjoy a complete victory (like the one we saw) because it does not serve their (larger) purposes or (personal) agendas, no matter how mixed up they might be…

    How’s that for baiting the hook and tossing out some line behind my dinghy?… 😀

  • He is an interesting prospect, Gerry. Hector-Vector can play on the wing, no doubt about it. During the busy period, he should play at least a few minutes now and again.

    Anderlecht are not in a position to be a powerhouse. European football for the smaller countries is as good as dead. You only have to look at Ajax. Kaput. As soon as the team accumulates talents they will be gone at the end of the season. Money rules everything in that respect.

  • Gerry, what is the thing with putting a question mark after every other sentence you write? What do you mean with them: are they questions, statements you are not sure about,….?

  • I actually need to get some stuff done today, so I might not have sufficient time, even if my trolling is successful… 😀

    I watch the ref situation closely and try and look at the good work they do over at Untold with the reviews… For some reason the bald fellows don’t seem to like Arsenal. Could it be Arsene’s (incredible) head of hair? Interesting, I think, that Mason didn’t card the guy who usually gets one (Flamini), but, of course, his ‘do is a ticking time-bomb, the poor fellow… 😀 Flams played a very conservative and very clean match knowing that he might have to do extensive filling in for the CBs or been a 2nd line of defense for the FBs–another element you must’ve noticed in your two viewings of the match…

    Agreed TA, about money in football… Speaking of, however, Gerry, who watches a bit of the French Footy, I think, might be a candidate for an early preview of Monaco… For a club which sold their two marquee names (Ha-Mes and Falcao) they did very well to win their group. Different tax structure in the Pricipality means plenty of very experienced players (R. Carvalho, Moutinho, Berbatov, Toulalan and even that Dutch keeper who played at Fulham…) and well as a good bunch of quality kids (Kongdogbia, Ocampos, who else Gerry?)… On the other hand we should be able to pack their small stadium with Gooners who won’t mind a trip to the Riviera…

  • Flamini was a strong candidate for MOTM. But in the end they all played well and so the whole team should get it.

    If we can play Flam and Arteta in the double DM pivot, it would not be too bad imo. Ramsey back would be ideal but only if fit. Maybe Bellerina next to Flamini would do the trick…. Think outside the box and all that.. 🙂

  • great post TA, the most important part which you highlighted was the 4-1-2-3 we are now playing with, excellent when played for the first half at Gala and excellent when played for the full 90 against the bar codes.

    Maybe AW will finally see that instead of having five or six players to fill the one CAM spot in a 4-2-3-1 what he actually has is three pairs of excellent attacking midfielders.
    The OX——-Wilshere

    This is why its more important than ever to get DM cover in the TW, so that we can keep this formation going – enough double pivot bullshit! 🙂
    It was so nice to see some proper drive and pace in the midfield with OX on Saturday, when he won the ball and burst up the field with the only player able to out pace him (Bellerin) up along side him then gave him a beautiful pass and then Bellerin put it in to Giroud who scored – it brought a tear to my eye mate. Football of old with pace and forward drive, that’s how easy it always used to be to score a goal – long may it continue, enough slow, passy passy up field bollox, 4-1-2-3 for as long as possible!!

    It would make Ozil kind of surplus to requirements but no real problem for me though 😆

  • Good on ya, F11ngers for not taking my earlier bait… Allow me to try again… 😀

    I’m not understanding your analysis here. Why do we need a DM (in the window) if we’re going to play a “2” of attacking mids ahead of the back 4?…

    Replace your 3rd duo of Rosicky and Diaby (too old and/or perma-crocked…) replace with Ozil and Arteta and then move them to the top of your list (seeing as AW–and some of us–believe they’re both first 11 when fit…) and NOW you’re talking… (And, in truth, if we could find a super quality long term replacement for Arteta in the window–The next Schweine or Pirlo or Xabi–I’d say buy ‘im up. Of course, that might make things tougher, long term on guys like Jack, AR and Ox…)

    But maybe you’re talking about a “2nd Chambers” a man of size who can fill in at CB or DM when needed…

    How’s that?… 😉


  • Sorry for the wait HT i had a shepherds pie in between 🙂

    I read all the comments and i think you meant this lot of bait;

    “a little pat on the back might be in order for using Debuchy well”

    I think the pat on the back should go to Debuchy himself for playing so well in that position. I think being completely unprepared defensively and naive enough to think that just one CB plus another who has an ongoing injury would hold strong consistently throughout the season and then having to use a RB just back from injury out of position with 24 hours training in that position should definitely not warrant a fucking pat on the back.
    Like i said before i really hope he doesn’t see this as any kind of choice for cover in the CB position, Monreal and Debuchy are FULL BACKS!!!! not fucking CB’s!!!!!! no matter how well they fucking play there for the odd one or two games.
    Which is why nearly everyone (including yourself i should think) is desperate for cover there in the TW.
    lol, a pat on the back for using the ONLY option he had left due to inept buying in the summer – not for me mate.

    “and creating a first half of the season which has led to the display we saw from Bellerin”

    😆 you’re avin a fuckin bubble aint ya?
    Some of us have seen these displays from Bellerin for a full season plus already mate.
    The fact that Wenger thought that a good introduction for his style of play would be Dortmund away FFS, then fucking Stoke and then Gala played out of position rather than all the other games he could have featured in this season is to me just fucking insane. He finally got a chance against an opposition that suits him on Saturday and got played in his correct position and all of a sudden its look at how good Bellerin is from you lot and how great Arsene is for playing him 😆
    Bellerin gave that display on Saturday despite the first half season AW created for him mate.

    “So, I say, let’s celebrate the successful integration of a(nother–Chambers would be the first…) young gun into the first team, rather than slate the manager for not bringing in more of them…”

    I don’t really know what you are saying here HT, as i said repeatedly the amount of youngsters he’s brought through is great. If you are referring to the Gala match then my problem was not with amount (which was perfect) but with choice and the position they played when they were brought on.
    Go back a few posts to read that in more detail cause i cannot be fucked to repeat it for a fucking third time.

    “Or abusing him for not buying properly in the last (or the next…) window”

    I didn’t abuse him but i sure as shit questioned his fucking logic, and seeing how the season has gone so far, with good reason.

    “it’s a sorry situation when (so called) supporters cannot enjoy a complete victory (like the one we saw) because it does not serve their (larger) purposes or (personal) agendas, no matter how mixed up they might be…”

    I’m not sure this applies to me mate, loved the victory and didn’t have an agenda so this might be aimed at someone else me thinks.

    “I’m not understanding your analysis here. Why do we need a DM (in the window) if we’re going to play a “2” of attacking mids ahead of the back 4?…”

    to actually let them play mate!!
    Did you not see how free Cazorla and OX were at getting forward when Flamini was having a good solid game staying deep against Newcastle??
    You must be misunderstanding the 4-1-2-3 we were playing with me thinks
    -Back four-
    –MF MF–
    -ST ST ST-

    Because to think that Ozil and Arteta are ready to fill the two fast, attacking, hard grafting midfield roles is just ridiculous – i think there has been a miss-communication there somewhere 🙂

    There you go matey, lots of swearing and hyperbole to get your teeth into and to keep the blog amused with for a while 🙂

    We make a good pair you and me 🙂

  • Had to make it look good Gerry 🙂

    I’m in a great mood atm but with a whole week before the next match and nothing to complain about with the CL draw i thought i had better make the effort for HT, it sounded like he was slightly offended i hadn’t even noticed the bait to begin with lol

    He’s knows there’s no malice in it but maybe others will jump on the bandwagon and we can make the bait cast a larger net lol

  • Haha Good job F11ngers… You wrote 4-2-3-1 but I guess you meant 4-1-3-2 up above, so there you go… Please re-list your preferred DM targets, but maybe with only initials so that Chavs don’t buy them ALL up (as Gerry suggests our mentions here cause…) 😀

    I’m more than happy to agree with you about just about everything…and I realize (realise?) what you were talking about in the Galatasaray 2nd half… Personally, I think AW did well there, hoping Anderlecht might win seemed better than going for the equivalent of a dinked pen and trying to run up the goals… Decent experience for AMN and GZ, I thought… And it appears the subbing of Ramsey was more than just cautionary. Unfortunately, it was probably smart also to give Deb and Flams some rest too…They might have to play a ton (tonne?) of minutes over the holidays…

    Clearly, AW believes in the idea of the “versatile defender.” 16 million for an unknown (Chambers) is proof of that, as were the pre-season trials of Nacho at CB–and (maybe?) the (mis?)use of O’connor in Istanbul. He maybe stretched it a bit too far in a post WC year, of course, but must’ve assumed Kos and BFG doing mostly bench time in the tournament meant they were ready for our season. Still, he doesn’t deserve to “be shot” no matter who he buys or doesn’t buy in the upcoming window… Keep posting that sort of stuff and I won’t keep reading… 😦

    In fact, when you’re on your better behavior (American spelling), I love your contributions here, even if the all kid (all England) teams make my head spin… 😀

    I think I might try and work up a post about Arsenal youth policy because it’s a big issue (in my opinion) and (far) more complicated than the polemics allow. Clearly (my opinion again) you can’t just say play da kids (or play the ancients…) or “it couldn’t be worse” than (insert name of old slow German or Spaniard of your choice)… Even getting into the whole bit about loan vs reserves is a quagmire… Subtlety, among (amongst) friends (mates) makes for better conversation and (the older) guys buying (the younger ones) another round at the bar (pub)… As a preview, just let me say this: I think AW in charge of Arsenal scouting and youth policy (and allowed to travel and do commentary…) is where the man should be allowed to finish his career… if he can keep the angry hordes at bay with adequate results over this next bit and maybe do a bit of planning for his succession…

    Good enough? I hope so…

    :Hugs: :Kisses: :Handshakes:

  • HT – I am not sure which comment you misunderstood. TW stuff was a reply to Neeraj on the last post. TA ask me to copy and transfer.

    As for Monaco, I only see them if they play St E or Lyon(ASSE & OL) really. But what I have seen, they are a shadow of their former selves. Given the players, by reputations, they ought to be better than they currently play. I think it was on the Arsecast that they named nearly an entire team of players we were allegedly linked with at one time or another. Kondogbia always looks the type of player we might be interested, but as far as I know he has a 3rd party interest, yet he still gets linked despite that.
    The Berbs can score some great goals, but goes for long periods without any service. In a one-off game they could be dangerous, whereas league-wise they are very much mid-table. Their new manager picked up a poisoned chalice taking that job, as his key players were taken away from him the moment he signed.
    Funnily enough it was Moutinho I had in mind when buying mid priced players with no resale value, he is 28. Kurzawa, a young left back, may have been the real target our scout was watching, as his name has been floated in the last few days. Their big problem is their very small attendance, 16,000 on a good day, and their high wages they were paying out, did not balance with the FFP, So they are in a slow decline as they find their true level. Unless of course someone buy the naming rights to the stadium for £300m?

    Alcide may be able to add more ..

  • haha HT i actually wrote instead of having etc etc in a 4-2-3-1 he could have etc etc and then forgot to add at the end “in a 4-1-2-3” but i had already introduced the narrative that a 4-1-2-3 was what i was supporting and then supported it again by mentioning it again before ending the comment.
    Bad writing by me tbh and should have supported the comparison i made by highlighting clearly the two things i was bloody comparing (lol dumb mistake) but i write directly from brain to comment with no re-read afterwards so i was already in the 4-1-2-3 frame of mind and as i introduced it as such made the stupid assumption that everyone else would follow that frame of mind also – my bad mate.

    AW definitely did the right thing against Gala now i see the draw we’ve got lol, but not sure i would have played it the same as him on the night. However saying that it was very interesting to see the team style of play change so much when the formation was altered and indeed how it has responded lately having been returned to the 4-1-2-3 of the Gala 1st half. I might have a post coming on this later but in very early development so far lol.

    I’m not one for versatility in the back four, its great if it can work in an emergency like we are in atm but if you think of the great defenders atm Kompany and his elk etc not many would be what you call comfortable on the flanks – horses for courses i say lol.

    Looking forward to the youth post my man, a topic i love reading about as you well know 🙂

    Hand shakes all round bud, although i was expecting to see a little more commenting from the other bloggers considering the effort we just put in lol

    Gerry chimed in but only to remind me you hooked me completely lol

  • Gerry while you’re here and following on from HT’s request – who is your top DM choice atm if you could have anyone?

    My choice is between Schneiderlin and krychowiak

  • I see from the Under 21 line up that O’Connor, Ajayi, HAYDEN, and Akpom are all in there.

    Maitland -Niles may be on the bench, but it may be good news is at hand?

  • Steve, I’ll go along with that. But I don’t think we will get MS in this TW. KK has a release clause.

    It is a hefty one mind.

  • That’s all good news on the U21 game and definitely going to be one i’m going to watch 🙂
    I think you are right about MS Gerry unfortunately, which is why GK is my pick for the TW atm.

    A quick snapshot of my TW brain atm:

    Van Dijk
    Winston Reid
    Fabian Schar

    Morgan Schneiderlin
    Grzegorz Krychowiak

    Crazy attacking signings we don’t really need but may be prudent if Podolski and Campbell look to leave:
    Paulo Dybala
    El Munir Haddadi

    Bargain one off deals:
    Ravel Morrison is probably going to have his contract cancelled by West Ham, i wouldn’t mind getting him on a free and then paying him on a game by game basis to see if he could save his once very promising career and whether we could unearth another diamond in the rough. Sounds insane but the kind of bargain Wenger loves.

  • I am flagging now, so I’ll have a quick look at footie, but an early night is beckoning …

    Fingers crossed for Hayden and co

  • Great performance by the boys a deserved win with a shred of doubt.

    I agree that Lee Mason is a poor ref but tends to not make big decisions for anyone, so a cowardly ref. I would like it if you came out and smashed two refs in the EPL who outright cheat whenever the do Arsenal games. Mike Dean and Anthoy Taylor.

    I believe a public campaign to highlight their disgraceful cheating and obvious use of different rules for Arsenal when they ref Arsenal games is required.

    Let’s call them out the next time we have them appointed to one of our games. Prior to the game as many Gooners should call into whatever sports stations are available to be called and state the facts that they are cheats. Banners at the stadium saying that we know that they cheat and finally a social media campaign whenever they are placed by the refs association to do our games.

    Once this is brought out into the open the better chance our players have of not being injured due to malicious fouls being overlooked and hopefully we will get the results we deserve against teams that benefit from their cheating.

  • Astute observations TA.
    I think if we’re serious we take down Monaco, then one big team in the round after them. That will be the surprise. Not sure after that. But ogaat, as you say. If we are as good as we think, Liverpool should be a good game to prove it.

  • Brendan, I should warn you that libel laws do apply to internet media publications.

    In games where referees are allowed some latitude in their application of the rules, I think you would find it very hard to PROVE the act of cheating. Incompetence may be.

    Frustrating as that may be, until the whole POGMOL thing is cleaned up, and made more open to scrutiny, the I would tread very carefully in urging others to follow your path on other media. At the moment more and more clubs are getting frustrated at the ‘poor’ standard of refereeing, and that is more likely to bring about change. Your approach is more likely to deter young referees from following through with their careers if every disgruntled fan takes to the media and besmirches their reputation?

  • Good news and bad news on the Under 21 game last night. They lost 1-3 …. but,
    Hayden lasted 72 minutes on his comeback, and their winning goals came very late on.

    Interesting line up though, as it looks like O’Connor is being given more’training’ at right back. He scored our goal too. Chuba was looking lively, according to the reports, but only ‘scored’ an off side goal. Tyrell Robinson, just in from the Under 18’s in place of B54, also narrowly missed out on scoring, and has been impressive since his promotion. Very much a Gibbs type player too, with pace and energy down the line.

    Reading between the lines, Hayden coming in for A M-N, and Kamara pushing forward, then I can see M-N being readied to step up to take Ox’s place, should that prove to be a longer time out? Probably, only from the bench on Sunday though. Meanwhile, Hayden in his DM role, rather than at CB last night, where he could have played with O’Connor taken out of the middle, is most definitely going to be a sub for Flamini this time, but a partner with Arteta against QPR? All subject to no reaction to the injury of course.

    All that leaves is somebody to give Mertersacker a time out over the busy period? If not Ajayi, then a gamble on Kos in the QPR game, rather than WHA against a reinvigorated Andy Carroll? Whatever, rotation is the key to success longer term.

    TA – My use of question marks (?) is indeed a combination of questions asked, or statements that can have an alternative view. Sometimes I make a lot of the latter 😀

  • Cheers Gerry. If it is te latter, you might want to leave the question marks out, as it looks you are not sure about your point of view or are positioning yourself on the fence.. 🙂

  • TA

    Good post… My take and thoughts based on comments to here:

    A. Newcastle weren’t bad, we were very good and outplayed them. My watching showed continual pressure and minimal real opps for the barcodes. Good pressure and effort throughout. Should have been 2 at half but … Simple case of we made them lookd poorer rather than they were poor and made us look good. My opinion/take anyway.

    B. We need the DM. Flamini looked well there in that game. The best DMs are rarely seen or heard, using good positioning and patience to dominate as much as beastliness. Flam had this that night, and was in MOTM calls given it was well above his more emotive usual.

    C. Welbeck-Giroud-Sanchez up front three were interchanging and dangerous all night. Very. Ice to see Sanchez contributing in the assist side.

    D. Was very impressed with Bellerin this outing. With less defensive pressure on him he added serious headaches for Newcastle..

    E. DeBuchy, another MotM performance given the pressure he was put under in that position. A cool, collected performance helped across the park. Perhaps Merts just needs a french speaker in front to go well? 🙂 …

    F. Our passing and control was good. We were incisive in short to medium balls going forward. We still lack the midfield medium to ,inter balls in the ground and thru. And red flag to Steves bull, his is where Ozil will out do Santi…

    Just some first bits from down under.

    We finally got a “not a Galactico team” draw in the CL, so here’s hoping we can make the most of it. However Monaco didn’t get there by accident, so…

    Equally, we catch Liverpool struggling, and need to beat them and WHU, very badly now, as in reeeeeally need to win these to get into top 4 and crest space below… But, the wounded animal is the most dangerous. That said, they seem to miss ol’ Bitey quite a bit..

    Cheers — jgc

  • Good to hear you are back home and safe.

    All agreed. Santi and Ox played well but I easily replace them with the even better Ozil and Jack in the ‘2’.

  • I am worried about the wounded animal too. We might go soft on them and let them refind form and believe at our expense. Wenger must show them last season’s humiliation video to get the players focussed.

  • lol TA if you want to see how an Ozil type player would fair in the hustle and bustle of midfield then look no further than Coutinho in the Liverpool v Man U match or just watch Carragher’s attack on him for being too weak for that area and not tracking back etc.
    We need aggression, tenacity and drive in that area not a dainty maestro lol
    Jack and OX would make a great pairing followed closely by Ramsey and Cazorla (on form though).
    Leave Ozil for the ONLY role he can play (CAM) when the team switches form the high intensity 4-1-2-3 to a 4-2-3-1 to see out a game.
    Just my opinion 🙂

  • Fair enough St11ve 🙂

    Ox can only clean Ozil’s boots when it comes to making the right runs and passing the ball with precision.. Ox plays with his gut mainly and Mesut with his brain. Ox has potential and let’s see whether he can get anywhere near Ozil’s assists ratio. Let me say it like this: with the sort of talent upfront, had we playe master passers like Mesut and Jackster, we would have scored aeven more against the barcodes … 🙂

  • maybe TA thats if he wouldn’t have been knocked off the ball before he could make all these imaginary passes lol.
    One thing is for sure; they would have scored more against us as they ran straight through our midfield with little resistance. Jack puts up a fight as does OX always and it was nice to see Cazorla battling again, what a difference that made to the game. Those two didn’t just do the pretty shit well the other day, they both put in one hell of a hard graft in there as well, something i just cannot see Ozil ever doing mate.
    Like i said CAM only for me and let the others do the hard work while he concentrates on finding space and putting assists in but if you think he could do well in the midfield, in the EPL well i guess we are just going to have to agree to disagree boss man 🙂

  • But Steve, we were playing with two CAMs with a remit to help defending when required. This sits well with Mesut and Jack. Happy TATD though :Ox:

  • It was a good game TA and your analysis as usual is top notch. I watched the game mostly tipsy (maybe drunk. It was a wedding *Shrugs*) but i saw the first three goals and Dat Guys goal that was chalked off. Its easy to see how giroud fits into the team and there really seems to be something special about his patnership with Alexis and Wellbz eh?;) The OX was also hella good. I always thought he was better as a winger cos of his dribbling and speed but i can also see why wenger sees him more in the middle. His directness helps at the center i think. Anyways we on a high now and I’m looking forward to the liverpool game. I hope we blow them out the anfield.

    King titi retires today from intl football. His stats are something else. Off to youtube now to revisit the legend that he is/was.

    Cheers. 😀

  • Steve, we do part company on this topic, as you well know.

    I am not sure how you square your thoughts on Zelalem as a rising prospect either?

    But I think you have a far too narrow a vision as to what Mesut brings to the team. One thing, he opens up space by drawing defenders to him, and usually releases the ball before they get too close. He may not win the ball back with lunging tackles,but he will pick up a fair share of intercepts, and when he finally gets a chance to click with our current team, his assist rate will outstrip all the other mids,and probably Giro, Alexis and Welbeck for good measure.
    Lucky us to have him for the second half of the season, all nice and fresh?

    Which reminds me, according to Barca boss, it is now when Cesc F goes off the boil?
    It will be fun watching them struggle without him 😀

  • T A

    In response to your note on the UMF page. If I am honest I am feeling a little pessimistic, so was holding back. Galatasary and Newcastle were good results, but I am sensing a false dawn. Not sure if you saw the United v Liverpool game, but even though it was 3 -0. Dea Gea was man of the match. We have struggled along for a while now playing players out of position. Nacho was a good example he did pretty well at centre back until he came across better forwards and then got found out. I fear Debuchy or Chambers will suffer a similar fate at Angield. As I say don’t want tp appear negative when we are doing well, but we hAve seen so many false dawns.

    Why I am here just a question to see if I am in the minority. Did anyone else think the Santi penalty although very clever was a little unkind on the keeper? A 21 year old making his full debut must have been very nervous and to be honest saved very little. I just thought he could have buried the pen in the corner rather than make the kid look a little foolish. I know you have to be ruthless to win things. But……….

  • Cheers Retsubster 🙂

    Agreed that the defence remains an area of concern and we should not underestimate Pool. Agreed on Santi, good observation.

  • Total, I’m doing a 10km run and I’m hoping to go under 35 mins, so far my personal best in a marathon is 37min 43secs, still have a lot to improve.

    Re Wanyama/Schneiderlin , personally I’m leaning towards Wanyama but I would be fine with either. If AW is planning to let Arteta and Flamini go by the end of the year, why not get both? 🙂

    Also, sad sad day for Gooners and the footballing world that TH14 has retired… May he enjoy his life and hopefully return to us as a coach 🙂

  • No Retsub. I don’t think it was a little harsh. I understand the sentiment definitely and his nervousness but if it was the other way around I don’t think they’d have done scz and favours. I don’t think they press would be so negative about it either. Anyways, he’s 21 and if he can’t come back from this little setback he can always enroll in the wenger school of mental fortitude eh? 😉 it was cheeky but you have to understand that cazorla himself may have been nervous too. Remember his last penalty almost got saved by the keeper if not for the shot power that came with it.

  • Hey Gerry…Thanks for posting that… I always thought the narrative was that we never should’ve needed Henry to get us past Leeds (at home) if we’d spent properly in the transfer windows… 😦 Still, it was a fine, fine moment… 😀

    As many will know, I became a Gooner when I lived at my screen-name during the Autumn (Fall) of 2006… As such, it was not the best time to enjoy the glo-ree of Thierry… He was hurt at the time (maybe with a bit of the same malaise I’m fighting right now…back/nerve troubles) and he was dealing with the protracted tapping up from Barca, not to mention his failures in the end of season match with that same club the previous Spring… Nonetheless, it seems a very good thing that he had the chance to come back on that loan spell and move us forward in that FA cup match… It WAS a great moment and it would be great if he could do a bit of coaching with this good group of forwards (including some very young ones…) we’ve currently got…

    In other news, Ox injury seems not so bad AND he’s looking forward to playing with guys coming back from injury…If Ozil could join the two French fellows (Ollie and Deb) in returning a bit early…Well, only F11ngers will not be pleased… 😀 Hopefully, Theo is close as well…

    ‘Pool play Bournemouth here in a couple of hours in the CoC…Will it be a showcase for their youth players or must they go with a big chunk of the first team given the pressure Rodgers is under? Overall, it cannot be a bad thing (for us, resting as we are…) ahead of the big match with the implications for (next year’s) CL spots… We might also want to beat them to help attract would-be defenders in the January window… I’m a little wary about buying another defender from Sevilla (Toto Squillaci was the last one…and isn’t Real Betis our club down there?…) but at least having a Polish CB would allow a certain comment writer here to give him all the credit if our PIG ever kept a clean sheet for his country… 😉

  • Gerry thanks for sharing that. A friend of mine has two club level tickets for the Emirates and when he went on holiday I took 4 games off him. Three of them were so diabolical I can’t even remember who they played, but it was something along the lines of Fulham, QPR and Villa. The last ticket was the Leeds game and I took my daughter along. What a great night that was. I paid a lot of money for those tickets and it was worth it just for that moment. The Emirates was electric after he scored

  • TA, you’ve got mail…

    Retsub, Agreed with TA that it’s good to see you around these parts…disagree with you, however, about Santi’s pen… It beats (by a long way…) all the diving down in South London and, if that kid wants to be a keeper in the big leagues he needs to be exposed to pens of all types…Perhaps Santi did him a favor (favour?)… learning to hold the center spot stops (or causes takers to miss) as many as trying to time a strong dive… (I think…)

    Glad you got to see King Henry score the crowning goal… 🙂

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