Rosicky Start, Santi feeding the WAGs, Same Back-Five? Arsenal v QPR Preview & Line-Up

Quality Performance Required!

Time for Rosa and his smile to return to first team?
Time for Rosa and his smile to return to first team?

The so called easy games always make me a bit nervous. QPR at home might be regarded as an easy one, especially with tough ‘top-four away games’ coming up, but only if we put in a quality, committed performance today will we be able to bag all three points.

Losing two points late on against Pool will have helped the team to remain focussed for this one during the week. Defenders will want to make amends for the badly defended late, late corner. Our midfielders will want to re-establish balance on the pitch, and our attackers will simply want to keep up the good form (scoring 10 goals in three games is pretty impressive by anyone’s standards, although they were helped by a defender or two as well).

I want to see more leadership on the pitch: calm, organisation, structure, focus. Arteta and BFG offer this to some extent, but the former is injured and the latter is looking a bit lost at times (Koz’s imminent return will do him a world of good). As the defence picks itself more or less, it is important to strike the right balance both in midfield and attack, and leadership is a key component in this.

In midfield, I would introduce the now fit again Rosicky. Everybody loves Rosa and he can play a key role as our B2B midfielder today. Tomas can defend (with a fine tackle), can take the ball forward and take on a player if required, AND he has a good eye for the throughball. On top of that, and most importantly, he has experience… and knows how to lead the team; and in a period of four games in just ten days, he is exactly what we need right now. I would play Flamini as our deepest midfielder and Santi or Ox in the hole.

Up-front we have plenty of options, now that Sanogo is also back again. Key is here whether Wenger will want to give one or two players a rest. I have a feeling he will want to play his best team to secure the three points as quickly as possible. If we find ourselves three up after 65 minutes, we might see a few changes, but that is a big IF. So, for me it is WAG up top: Welbeck, Alexis, Giroud, with the aim to take Alexis and Giroud off as soon as possible. I have a feeling Ox, although apparently still fit to play, will get a rest today, but it could also be Santi who gets a well earned rest. We could also see Wenger continuing with Flam as our sole DM and play Rosicky with either Ox or Santi ahead of him.

It is hard to predict what Wenger will do, but here is my predicted line-up:

Ars v QPR Dec 14

I cannot wait to see the boys play again and let’s hope for a good win and brilliant atmosphere at the home of football.


Merry Christmas everyone! 🙂

 images (2)

Written by: TotalArsenal.

25 thoughts on “Rosicky Start, Santi feeding the WAGs, Same Back-Five? Arsenal v QPR Preview & Line-Up

  • Hi TA – Yes a potential banana skin, but they are a bit coy about scoring, so that should even out our weakness?
    I think you lean to experience, as will AW, so the line up could be right.
    Nice crisp post, unlike the weather that is about to hit the Emirates before kick off 😀

    I am not bothering with my preferences, as it is the team out there that does the playing.
    I am a bit disappointed at the players returning were not the ones on my shortlist, but may be on the bench?

    I think it is good that Chelsea are ‘softening up’ our next two opponents. every little helps.

    If we play like we did in our previous two games, and have a better balance on the bench, we should be okay today.
    Very short away trips with the next two, is another plus.

    Keep the faith …

  • Cheers Gerry 🙂

    As long as it is players returning, I am happy. But yes let’s hope we will see a glimpse of Theo and Ozil soon… And Ramsey of course

  • Still watching the other results perhaps? I am going to fick to the Arsenal site for tea mnews then settle down to watch the match … COYG!!!

  • Hi TA and everyone! Good one to get everyone warmed up for the game TA 🙂 Given Wenger’s comments about Chambers, perhaps this game might be a good one to give Chambers a rest with Bellerin to start in his stead? Really hope that TR7 starts today. His absence has been a bit puzzling and I have to think that it is because Wenger sees him being vital for the second half of the season. Here’s hoping for a good game…and naturally an Arsenal win! 🙂

  • Arsenal: Szczesny, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Monreal, Gibbs, Flamini, Cazorla, Rosicky, Alexis, Giroud, Welbeck

    Subs: Ospina, Chambers, Bellerin, Coquelin, Walcott, Podolski, Campbell

    QPR: Green; Isla, Onuoha, Ferdinand, Caulker, Traore; Mutch, Henry, Kranjcar; Austin, Vargas

  • Ahhhhhh 10/11! I thought I had a 11/11 until I saw Monreal instead of Chambers (Debuchy moving back to RB again, I suppose).. Bench does not look too bad, but no Ox.

  • One way traffic until now, but lacking a bit of structure and focus in our attacks. Bad pen by Alexis but luckily he was able to make amends. Lovely to see Rosa play again: what a silky smooth operator he is. Bring on Das Pod for you know who and let’s get a few more. COYG!

  • Great first half for Rosicky. Such a wonderful first touch, pass and move player to watch! Such a shame he doesn’t get to play as often as he rightly deserves. Good for Alexis to keep his head up after the penalty miss.
    More of the same please!

  • Yes Gino, and followed by a fine goal in the second half, and how important that one turned out to be. A game best to forget quickly other than the fine goal by Rosa. Giroud….. You fool! 😦

  • Completely selfish by Giroud. Could have really cost us. Thankfully Traore had a stinker and helped out his ex-teammates. Good to see Rosicky back in the thick of it. 2 years ago he was monumental in reviving our season and helping us finish strong…here’s hoping he can help again. Shame no other results went in our favour (can’t believe a defence-less Man Utd are doing so well).

    @ TA

    Sorry to hear about your brother in law. That would have been tough for your mrs. glad she had you and your family to support her through it. All the best

    Dogs are both Cavaliers. Found a really nice old pair that breeds them properly. Had to fill out an extensive form and sit an interview so they do it thoroughly and well. First little fella is ‘Thor’

  • Yes Oz, Traore had Camembert of a stinker. It was a bizarre game that could have finished in the region of 6-0 had we played with the right focus and correct shooting boots.

    Looking fwd to seeing a picture of Thor – great name by the way. 🙂

  • I had a good feeling about the game when I saw Debuchy back at RB. I also this Per is happier on the right side too.

    I missed a chunk of the first half that to my broadband hitting a low point coming up to 6.0pm. I was pleased to see we were 1-0 after the penalty miss. I hope AW has a word in Alexis’s ear for the waving away of Cazorla who was ready to take it. Perhaps it is something that is not quite set in stone as to who takes them? Very undiplomatic to do it in the manner he did though?
    I would love to see another camera angle to show whether Giroud made contact, but it was a bit stupid. Then again, so was the shove that rolled him into the path of a charging keeper, which is what I think got him riled up.

    At least the late subs were the correct ones, although I though the idea would be to stop Hoillet a bit further out, rather than Debuchy move across to crowd the centre.

    My MOTM was Rosicky, rather than Alexis, but you cannot deny the latter brings a great desire, and energy. I hope they both get their batteries recharged for Sunday.
    Fingers crossed we get to see Koscielny back too, for Sunday?

    The new Table is up on the UMF site btw

  • @ Gerry

    I always thought Giroud was first choice for penalties followed by Arteta and Santi. Could be mistaken though. Should be a set order. Santi would be my first choice due to his high level of technique.

    Another camera angle would be good. I can’t believe the theatrics of the QPR player…going down after a feather touch. Bloody hell I thought Giroud had shot him in the head

  • OZ,
    Arteta is our No. 1 penalty taker, followed by Cazorla at No.2.

    This is what Arsene Wenger said after the game:

    on Alexis’ penalty…
    How do you know he shouldn’t take it? I think Santi is a nice guy and let him take it. Honestly, he is not No 1 on the penalty list, that’s true.

    on Cazorla being the penalty taker…
    Arteta is our No 1 taker and at the moment Cazorla is No 1.

  • About penalties – it has been known for at least a year and half that Arteta is our No. 1 taker, Cazorla No. 2 and Giroud No. 3. Alexis missed a penalty at WC as well (in the shoot-out against Brazil) and that’s why I didn’t want him to take it. Cazorla has scored two in a row in the last few weeks and three in a row in total if we count the shoot-out against Wigan (he missed the one against Bradford though).

    MoTM – Alexis. I think he had grass between his teeth at the end of the game as he literally fought with teeth and nails to win the game.

  • Happy C hristmas TA and all. Debuchy, rosicky and Alexis my top performers, gibbs great assist also. But we did overall outclass them.
    United spuds draw and 3 more points as my gift. Maybe even theo kos returning would be great bonus!

  • Busy around here with houseguests…so not much from the long-winded one… I truly don’t have much I can add to the major talking points. Thank Dennis we got the points and can move on without the (regular) inquest. Of course, being a Zamora penalty or a Charlie Austin or a Niko K set piece away is no way to live… Did we do better with the zonal marking at set pieces or are QPR just that little bit worse than LIverpool?…

    Move on we can, and move on we must…It sounds like Kos has been rested so that he can play at WHU. Being a “big club,” you know, with tons of experience in playing games on short rest, we *should* have an advantage, but foolish Ollie makes things much tougher. More running from Welbeck, Alexis and Sicky and Santi pulling the strings will have to continue. More goals please. Even with Kos restored, that guy with the pony tail is a handful and Giroud will be missed at the set-pieces as much as anywhere else… Sent off seems almost as bad as photographed in your undies by somebody who’s not your wife… Nobody (else) seemed to limp off, so that’s a plus…The only one, perhaps?…

    But, if we’re doing the OGAAT thing we can take the points and put this one in the rear-view and cross all the digits for tomorrow. Pace of Theo might help across the front and Kos at the back (probably for Nacho, who did better…) Otherwise, the same group goes? Not exactly what we were hoping for as a “big” club, but,so it goes… Rotation is the normal thing we should be doing at this time of year, but maybe cohesion and a tight group will be the better option, esp. given that it’s pretty much the only choice. Luck is a many splendored thing (or something) so maybe we’re due for some… Get the points, keep everybody fit and work in whatever new bodies might contribute… Sometimes the best plans are the simplest…and no plan at all, even simpler… :/

  • Merry C to you, Johnnie. All agreed and good block by Flamini late on as well. No Giroud for next three games could be very costly, especially now that DAnny is out of form.

  • Danny boy might be in better form if he slots back in the middle TA?

    While we are in praising the odd one’s out, I thought Monreal did well too?

    Big question is, will Rosicky be able to turn out again after a lay off? Gibbs too?
    Still no sign of Hayden in the provisional squad I saw, but O’Connor and M-N both were.The former might suggest a big doubt over Kos … or somebody, as Ajayi was missing too.

    The good news is, Bellerin is very fresh, should they want a right midfielder with plenty of pace? I guess Sanogo and Poldolski will also be available, Ox on the other hand, may be given a little longer?
    We shall have to wait and see …

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