Full-Strength Back-4 | Theo-Sanogo-Alexis Up-Front? Hammers v Gunners Preview and Line-Up

Super Alexis (and Rosa) save Giroud's blushes... But will there be more damage down the line?

Super Alexis (and Rosa) saved Giroud’s blushes… But will there be more damage down the line?

After yesterday’s bizarre match against The Hoops, in which we almost spectacularly self-imploded, a (on paper) tougher encounter awaits us at the Boleyn Ground. The Hammers are on-Song (and no doubt with Song tomorrow) under the management of Fat Sam, and they will be looking forward to playing us at their own stomping ground.

We are getting good to very good players back every week now, and things are looking up. Unfortunately, Giroud let himself and the team down with a hot-headed action yesterday, which means he will miss out on the next three games. This could turn out to be a very costly mistake by Ollie, and Wenger will have to make the right choice in how to replace him: Welbeck back to the middle or Sanogo to keep our shape and system going?

The Hoops game had been very one-sided until our French senior CF saw red mist. Giroud’s sending off gave QPR an unexpected lease of life; and if Rosicky had not scored his cool goal (after excellent work by Beast of the Match, Alexis) for the all important 2-0 need, it could have finished differently (and it almost did anyway…. Deep sigh).

Enough said about that match: we got the three points and let’s just move on. A win tomorrow would really put the wind in our red and white sails and I have a good feeling about this one. There are four reasons for it:

  1. The team know that the Hammers are in fine form: I prefer our players to be fully focussed rather than underestimate an opponent;
  2. We have a good track record there recently;
  3. Our defence could be at full strength tomorrow for the first time a long while;
  4. We have Alexis, and Theo could start his first game which would be an enormous boost.

For me it is key to stick to our formation and style of play, and I reckon Wenger will start Sanogo. Welbeck really needs a break to rest, refocus and get his form back, as he has been very ineffective for a few games in a row now. Wenger could decide to play Danny in the middle for this one, but my gut feeling tells me he will play Sanogo. The junior French CF is our best copy of Giroud; and, with Alexis and Theo on the wings, he could play a very important part tomorrow.

I saw Sanogo against Dortmund and especially in the first half he played a very effective game. His finishing needs to improve significantly of course, but his link up play is very good for his age, as he reads the game well and acts very quickly and incisively. This is more important than his ability to clinically put the ball in the net in our system. The goals should come from Alexis, Theo, Santi and Rosa, and Sanogo always carries a goal threat himself.

Back-four is sorted; three up-top is sorted (although Wenger could start Welbeck and/or Pod in this one); and I reckon Arsene will play the same three in midfield: Flam, Rosa and Santi.

I reckon with this team we will Gun the Hammers down tomorrow:

271214162910

Time to start the engine as JB would say. 🙂

Let The Cannon Roar!

COYG!

Written by: TotalArsenal

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167 Responses to Full-Strength Back-4 | Theo-Sanogo-Alexis Up-Front? Hammers v Gunners Preview and Line-Up

  1. Nik says:

    I’d certainly start Welbeck over Sanogo. He is simply better in almost every aspect of football.
    I just watched a 3 minute Wenger press conference from yesterday where he said Koscielny has a chance and The Ox has an even smaller chance. I really hope Koz can play because of West Hams obvious aerial threat and their very direct approach. If he’s not fit to play I guess Chambers will start at the back because of his heading abilities.
    As for West Ham, Alex Song, Diafra Sakho and most likely Guy Demel are coming into the starting line-up. Valencia and Nolan or Noble will be dropped. Jenkinson is not eligible to play against us. Tomkins might also come back in for Collins.

    West Ham will give us a real test. They play a lot like Stoke under Mark Hughes, but even better.
    The easiest way to keep them quiet is to move the ball around and get them to chase us. Chelsea showed a great example of how to play them in the first half yesterday. They will certainly try to be very physical against us and the crowd always pushes them forward. Sakho and Carroll have worked together very well in the little time they have played together which will make Flamini very important tomorrow. He has to stay very close to the centre halves to keep it 3v2 against the two strikers all the time.
    Going forward Alexis and Walcott will cause all sorts of problems and I guess we will again beat the Hammers 3-1!!

    I am a little superstitious when it comes to football which gives me a little scare. The only game I haven’t watched this season was against Stoke and tomorrow I cannot watch the game….so yes you can blame me in case we don’t win 😀

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha Nik, we will do! 🙂

    Lovely West Ham background info, thanks. Re Sanogo v Welbeck, I don’t agree with you to a large extent. The only thing Welbeck is really better at is finishing chances….. and let’s face it, he is not a good finisher either. He started off well but is now struggling for form. Six goals and two assists in 19 Arsenal games is not a bad return, but it has been a while since we saw his name on the score sheet. I love Danny to do well, as he is a nice guy and came to us to play proper football. But at the moment I reckon he needs a rest to refocus his game, and I genuinely believe Sanogo fits better into the team structure and system of football. Welbeck’s hold up play is not good although it is improving slowly…. Let’s see what happens tomorrow. 🙂

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Prince, Alex, Terry…. don’t forget your UMF predictions. 🙂

  4. Gerry says:

    Thanks TA, I was just coming to say that. 😆

    I have my doubts about KOs too, especially as I don’t think Ox has a cat in hell’s chance of playing. So that would put Kos on a 40/60 chance of play/not play?

    I think AW will stick with the same back 4, and Sanogo can do the Giro type defending too.
    However, I cannot see Walcott start with this length of absence either, so the possibility to have Chambers pick up Carroll in midfield might make more sense?

    The other way to nullify the Carroll threat is to cut off his supply? That would mean avoiding any silly free kicks in dangerous areas.

    I think the bench will say a lot how confident AW is, because against Liverpool it was top heavy, 4 to 2 of the outfield benchers, The two being Monreal and Coquelin. Which to me suggested he thought we might have to chase the game late on. Last time it was an even split.
    Tomorrow, it is likely to be top heavy again, with Walcott, Podolski, and Welbeck and throw in the Ox or Matland-Niles, that will leave Kos and Coquelin, to shore up the defence?

    I also think a lot of West Ham players that are not rested will have worked hard in that Chelsea game, as at 1-0 they were in with a chance? Thanks to Giro, were were made to work harder, but, they must be getting used to that?

    My confidence will be boosted when I see both the team and the bench … or not as the case may be?

  5. AB says:

    Evening TA. Some tough choices to be made for tomorrow. Like you, I’m hoping for Kos to return – I don’t like the thought of a small/inexperienced CB facing Carroll. I hope Ros is up for another game after 48 hours, but I wonder whether Flam will be able to play a 3rd game in a week – Coq might be a possible starter with the experience of Ros and Santi around him.

    Up front is the toughest to call. Many of our forwards need a rest now. I would also have thought we would introduce Theo from the bench rather than from the off. Finally, we need some goal threat up front rather than rely solely on a very tired Sanchez. I agree with you around Sanogo as a possible starter, but rather than Theo of Welb starting, my punt would be Pod on the left and Sanchez on the right – with the hope that we could swap Walcott on for Sanchez if we every got a comfortable lead. So my starting formation for tomorrow:

    Schez
    Debuchy, Mert, Kos, Gibbs
    Coq, Ros
    Sanch, Santi, Pod
    Sanogo

    I can’t say I offer this selection with any sense of confidence, but we could do with avoiding injuries tomorrow (i.e. avoidable through not over-playing people). We need our defence to be as solid as we can possibly make it, whilst have people who know how to take a chance when they get it. These are not 3 points that I feel confident over by any means at this moment.

  6. steve says:

    I am in completely two minds as how to approach this game with the options we have left in our squad.
    Use big Sam’s own tactics against him and defend, rely on them over committing due to recent form and being at home and catch them on the break with route one football. In which case i would use the various different candidates who have been put through their paces as makeshift CB’s this season to form a midfield shield of reserve CB’s and just leave magic man and a striker up top.
    Something like this; (with Coquelin cover for any of the midfield positions)

    5-3-2

    Debuchy——Chambers——BFG——-Koscielny——–Gibbs
    ——————-Hayden——-Flamini——Monreal—————–
    ———————————–Sanchez———————————
    ———————————–Welbeck———————————

    OR

    Say fuck it, we’re better than they are lets destroy them with our own style of play.
    In which case i would go for;

    4-1-3-1-1

    Debuchy———BFG——–Kos———-Gibbs
    ————————–Flamini———————-
    ———-Walcott—–Cazorla—–Sanchez——
    ————————-Podolski———————
    ————————-Welbeck———————

    With Podolski playing in that spot just behind the striker and Walcott and Sanchez putting in balls on the wings or scoring themselves from a Cazorla pass – this team would decimate West Ham if it clicked right.

    I’m completely undecided at the moment but i am sure the boss will put out a blend of both and hopefully grab us a result.

    Would be nice to see that attacking team have a go though lol, it looks scary even on paper (or screen).

    Back later when the hangover has subsided 🙂

  7. oz gunner says:

    Great read TA. I think I’ll go with AB’s team and play Podolski in this one. Koscielny must play MUST MUST MUST!!!! Otherwise we will be crucified by Carroll (always seems to be up and about against us). Shame we dont have Giroud because we’ll miss him from a defensive set piece standpoint.

    I see this one ending 1-1. But I’ll happily take a Terry 0-5!!!

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening guys 🙂

    Gerry, you could be right about Koz and Theo. My view is that a) Wenger wants to keep momentum going and b) sees this as a must win as it will pull us up a place. Therefore Theo and Koz will start as to give the team a boost of confidence and freshness.

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    Ab, good call re resting Flam. I think Wenger will not risk leaving him out, maybe against the Saints he will. Would be very happy for Pod to get a start. We could play 442 even, with Sanogo helping out in midfield a lot and interchanging with Pod.

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Steve 🙂

    The first one looks too defensive and the second, although very exciting, too attacking. We need to win the midfield battle first and maybe it will be flam and Coq tomorrow…. With Cazorla, or ideally, rosa in the hole.

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Oz, yes koz back would be big bonus.

  12. jnyc says:

    TA, I worry about a start for theo, I think if we could have a comfortable lead EVER, Arsene would like to give him a good 20 or 30 mins as a sub. But at this rate, we will have to wait until next season to work him in. Hopefully, we won’t need him to chase a game. But I’d love to see him back in general, and Alexis to get ar rest. I wouldn’t mind seeing Sanogo.
    Btw, did anyone notice mertesacker playing CAM on Friday. ? I’ve never seen him so aggressive and high up the pitch. . Maybe they saw something on film that made them think he could so that without worrying?

  13. Gerry says:

    TA, I’ll go halfway with you on Kos. If he has a target more or less sealed in the TW, and therefore knows he can give him a month off in January, with just enough time to get him ready for the CL game(s), then yes, he will risk him.
    Theo he knows he will need him more over the coming games, and will not risk a second setback.
    However, Steve’s first line up would hardly get us out of our half, but if I thought Hayden had a chance of playing, then he would be straight in alongside Mert, with Kos to relieve him on 65 minutes. Job done
    Alas, the ‘provisional’ squad that ITV put out did not include him. I also noticed on recheck, that Martinez is the number 2 ‘keeper, not Ospina? Campbell is again in there as a possible striker option?
    I just hope we don’t get too fixated on the threat of Carroll and lead us wide open in other areas. This would be my AW likely line up:
    4-5-1 Note
    ___________________Szczesny____________________
    Debuchy______Mert____________Kos__________Gibbs
    Campbell___Chambers____Santi___Flamini_____Alexis
    ____________________Sanogo____________________

    Bench: Martinez, Monreal, Coquelin, Maitland-Niles, Walcott, Podolski, Welbeck.
    Walcott and Poldi on together, and possibly Coquelin for Kos, with Chambers,dropping back to CB?
    Bellerin, Rosicky, Ox, Welbeck, and Walcott all being prepared/saved for the Thursday game against Southampton?

  14. Gerry says:

    There is a little distraction therapy being applied to the tranny gossip I think?

    £20m bid for WC? Errr, that was turned down last time. The 3rd party interest means they will not accept less than £28m – Distraction

    £6m for a 29 year old defender? Not the best of ASSE’s line up. No resale value. No chance!

    V.V.D and MS – No sale …. Unless it is for big money? Well there’s a surprise?

    We have made an ‘under’ offer for Diabolique (You know who -v.good), but if it is cash? Mmmn.

    Leaving a 16 year old to think about it? Could work, but could open the door to moneyed clubs?

    Close to ‘massive’ signing? Yeh, like when it is sign and sealed, i’ll still wonder what the get out clause is?

    That is my cynical view of the TW gossip 😀

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    Johnnie, he has to start one day and I feel ARSENE needs him more than ever now. Ox unfit, Alexis last legs surely, no Giroud…. Theo would push WH back and release pressure plus he will give us energy and hope. If fit he will play, I reckon.

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Interesting line up, Gerry. Chambers in the middle, rather than Le Coq, is a bit revolutionary but it would add bite and freshness.

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    Your last comment is gobbledygook to me. 😀

  18. oz gunner says:

    Haha nor could I TA. All I got from that was we’ve signed cavani, wanyama and a CB

  19. Admir says:

    Excellent preview, TA, as usual. Welbeck’s need for a rest and our need for a shape are the key spots of it.

    However, I disagree with your line-up. I’d drop Santi and Alexis from the starting eleven and give Chambo a shot down the middle with Podolski down the left. Jenko won’t play which is a huge blow for the defensive shape of Big Fat Ugly Sam’s team which leaves space for Poldi who has been inspired against The Hammers – in his first match against them, he made a cross for Giroud’s first league goal for us and in the each one of the following three matches Poldi scored himself.

    Then, there is a fact that the illegitimate child of Jabba the Hut and Susan Boyle had given a rest to Alex Song and Diafra Sakho against Chelsea (he did give them a run-out in the second half though) while we had less than 48 hours to recuperate. Both Santi and Alexis have been brilliant lately but they need some rest or at least a chance to face tired legs of the West Ham defenders in the second half.

    I’d go with:

    Szczesny – Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs – Flamini, Rosicky – Walcott/Campbell, Chamberlain, Podolski – Welbeck/Sanogo.

    Chamberlain looks far more comfortable when he plays higher up the pitch and he didn’t play against The Hoops while The Flame and Rosa can respond to the aggression and physical football of the opponents’ midfielders.

    There is a doubt whether to start with Walcott or Campbell down the right. Now, Campbell has failed to give a moment of magic that he is undoubtedly capable of but Theo hasn’t started a game in a year (he got injured on 4th January 2014). On the other hand, Theo has scored in last two victories at Boleyn Ground including a brace at The Boxing Day fixture last term.

  20. James Bond says:

    great post @ skipper

    I would bring in Podolski – he must start against the team he can’t stop scoring and assisting again – it’s a no brainer .

    he must play up top or LW – not fussed if Yaya or Welz make the starting 11, however, AW likes sticking to the same team as much as possible, so Welz may just get the nod ahead of Yaya even though Danny be more effective from the bench ?

    yep – it will be start the engine time, as soon as we have scored the 4th one 😉

  21. James Bond says:

    what was that from Giroud in the last match ? has he lost his head over the grapevine over Cavani headed to the Emirates 😀

    won’t be available today

    won’t be available against the Saints

    won’t be available for HULL ?

    people speaking of Welz getting a rest can forget about it – if anything, now he becomes vital even though I know a lot of Arsenal fans are beginning to lose faith in him and lose patience but the lad will come good – if he plays today, he will score – if he plays against the saints – he will score

    and yes, you can quote me on that later 😀

  22. James Bond says:

    spuds vs mancs = draw

    if we win today by a 3 goal margin, then the time we play southampton and beat them – we might be 3rd potentially !!!

    am available for GDC – who else be in ?

  23. Admir says:

    Speaking of Giroud’s red card… It’s not his first direct red card. He got one away at Fulham when we won 1:0 (Mertesacker) during 2012-13 streak.

  24. James Bond says:

    saint 1 chelsea 0

  25. James Bond says:

    Full team: Szczesny, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Coquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Alexis, Welbeck
    Subs: Ospina, Gibbs, Chambers, Campbell, Walcott, Podolski, Akpom

  26. James Bond says:

    looking at that team – it be a 1-2 to Arsenal .

    Rosicky not even on the bench nor is Yaya .

  27. James Bond says:

    how underrated has Koeman been ? where has he been hiding all this time ?

    certainly loads better than that fella managing Man utd – I have followed man utd closely and you know what ? 80% of their goals have come out of counter attacking play even at HOME .

  28. James Bond says:

    1-1 Hazard !

    seems like no one else is going to be joining me and me amigo is still sleeping with his espresso’s having to wait .

    am going to enjoy the footy as well then – will check in later !

  29. James Bond says:

    2-0 Arsenal

    Welz score – I did say – he will and you could quote me on that, ha

    have been 2nd best and are 2-0 up 😀

    not complaining !

  30. James Bond says:

    ox made that 2nd goal for welz

    and santiago won that penalty,possibly a sending off or a yellow card to go with the penalty ? it’s debatable .

    OX causing the hammers all sorts of problems on the right hand side now !!!

  31. James Bond says:

    now we need to be more astute with our subbings in the 2nd half, and all will be well .

    60th minute + subbings = Gibbs, Theo for the likes of Santiago and OX = sorted ?

  32. retsub says:

    Watching on a very good Dutch stream, so can’t understand a word, but surely Reid must have been close to a red? Glad Danny scored he is looking a little short of confidence

    We certainly haven’t plaued at our best but if we can ride out the inevitable storm it will be 3 good points

    It would help if Carroll loses it and gets a red

    COYG

  33. James Bond says:

    some more great news for us !!!

    RED CARD

    Southampton 1-1 Chelsea – Morgan Schneiderlin
    Posted at 15:50
    Southampton down to 10 men, Morgan Schneiderlin picking up a second yellow card. Not sure what for, but Chelsea have brought on Loic Remy for the final two minutes.

  34. James Bond says:

    1-2

    we need subs !

  35. James Bond says:

    I really don’t know why we keep playing Szny .

    West Ham are unlucky to have a goal chalked off in the first half and in the 2nd half, he’s again being mere spectator, rooted to his ground watching them go in .

  36. James Bond says:

    cazoooooooorla oooooooooooh nearly in

    what a super save by adrian, yikes

  37. James Bond says:

    we need a couple of subbings – NOW

  38. James Bond says:

    we need Gibbs.

  39. James Bond says:

    poor distribution from our no.1 to keep the pressure back on us – am speechless

  40. James Bond says:

    what a run from Welbeck

    omg – that was class

  41. James Bond says:

    unlucky not to score, would have been goal of the season contender that – takes some pressure off .

    COYGGG!!! AW wake up, Nacho needs help –

  42. James Bond says:

    Sczny is doing better now – Come on Scza , we can do this !!!

  43. James Bond says:

    well done Scza, keep going now, final 4 minutes

    we can do this !

  44. James Bond says:

    and a moment of madness from Sczny, god

  45. James Bond says:

    heart in mouth stuff

    oh my days, what a match

    and i think we have just won this ? 2:1

    blow the whistle ref, blow it !!!

  46. James Bond says:

    yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    start the engine time , phew !

  47. James Bond says:

    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    West Ham 1-2 Arsenal
    Posted at
    Scotty: Don’t know where Arsene Wenger got his coaching badges but they obviously forgot to teach him how to make substitutions.

    Andrew Hook: Why does Wenger never make subs with Walcott and Podolski at his disposal?

    Jarvis Whiteley: Adrian is having an absolute belter! As an arsenal fan, it’s bittersweet to see a keeper play so well! COYG!

    I know the feeling, Jarvis – I know the feeling .

    am off now, congrats everyone, we are joint top 4 😀

  48. Admir says:

    We won the game and that’s all that matters right now. We will ask some questions (like: where the hell were Rosicky, Podolski and Walcott?) but we can leave them for later.

    Now, I’ve heard some of my West Ham mates being angry with the referee.

  49. retsub says:

    JB thanks for the stream link.
    Arsenal not a team for anyone with a dodgy heart. Still we dug in and should have scored more. We made up points on just about everyone so can’t complain about that

  50. steve says:

    watched it in almost full HD on a Acestream link from wiziwig – what a fucking match that was!!!!!
    end to end, for 90 minutes, non stop – fucking amazing game!!!
    hahaha did you see OX at the end, he could barely walk lol he worked his bollox off today, what a battle!!! the whole team fought for everything.
    I’m not picking anyone out for individual player reviews on such an amazingly crazy game.
    Definitely not the best football but what a bloody match to watch – and we walked away with the points!!!!!!
    COYG!!!!!!

  51. Gerry says:

    I only heard it on the ‘Player, but it sounded like we won ugly?

  52. steve says:

    definitely Gerry but it was one of those matches where the actual football was shit but the game it produced was edge of your seat excellent fun!

  53. oz gunner says:

    Good stuff BJ…predicted the score and our scorer…whilst we predicted you’d bag out Szcz haha. Bet you’d love it if we pinched Cech from chelsea?!

    Their keeper really kept them in that (helped by some sloppy finishing). Some really good individual performances and based on today’s game I’d start Le coq over flamini.

  54. James Bond says:

    Cheers @ Aussie

    well, I would love it even more if we got Hugo Lloris instead ; ) that be more realistic of a thought than getting someone from that Moron across the bridge , however, that would either mean that we sell Sczny or send him out on a loan since we have Ospina nearing full fitness , who I happen to rate as well and do think is better than Sczny .

    you see, am not one for stats as such but Sczny hasn’t kept a clean sheet whole season – that’s a damning stat, if there ever was one !

    agreed with you on the Coq .

    you must be pretty chuffed at the recent thrashings handed out to the indians ? mind you, I wasn’t expecting them to come out all guns blazing !

  55. oz gunner says:

    Hahah lloris could be nice and I was surprised tots nabbed him when they did (deserves better). I though szcz played well tbh. Can’t blame him for clean sheets considering we are yet to play our starting back four this season. No solidarity and not our best in front of him really does impact a lot of variables. But hey if you want to go with that stat…he was tied with most clean sheets last season haha.

    It has been good. Some good old fashioned come backs in the first two tests. Glad we could do it for Hughes. This one is looking like a draw though. Steve smith = gun!!!

  56. Admir says:

    JB, Chez picked a clean sheet against Villa. Saved a sitter at 0:0.

  57. James Bond says:

    well, don’t give me this solidarity nonsense @ Aussie – how dare you tell me such utter rubbish – tell that to that bloke at man utd, who has been doing a decent job at that without a proper defense or CB’s for most of the season, ha

    yeah, but what was our record against the big teams ? : ) how many did he let in ? ; )

    Yep – SS is quite the little gem, thought he and Warner are quite similar in pulling the trigger not sure if he would fare well against quality spin on spinning pitches though !

    Admir – what year was this then, 2010 ? 🙂

  58. James Bond says:

    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain notched his first assist of the season and his first in his last 24 league appearances 😯

    another damning stat that strengthens the point Skipper was trying to make the other day, with OX not being able to deliver the goods ?

  59. oz gunner says:

    @ BJ

    You like stats so much so explain the clean sheets last season?

    United accommodated their injuries by locking down their defence. Arsene didn’t he just played the same.Using Carrick at CB is like us using Song at CB…it works. They’ve still had experienced CB’s to rotate though…Rojo, smalling, jones, Evans. We’ve had chambers, monreal and debuchy…

    Anyone would think all our goals against are szcz’s fault. In games when we were smashed in we had no defensive cover and our team was all over the place (liverpool and Chelsea last season). You can’t point the blame at him. The media do a good job of calling out arsenal…if sczc was to blame they’d be all over him at the moment…but I just don’t see it because it’s not there.

    I did see it on one blog though:

    http://www.poleingoalstolemylunchmoneyandbulliedmeinschoolsohereiswhyeverykeeperinthepremierleagueisbetter.noaxetogrinditsthetruth.com

    It gets no visits…but that could be because the website is hard to remember

  60. James Bond says:

    no, not all goals against are his fault but most are and no, I am not one for stats, have always said as much .

    you point towards the most clean sheets against the smaller clubs stats and I point towards all the big games, he has been costing us points on .

    you find me 3 games where he has saved us and I will find you 3 games where he has not only cost us the games but potentially knocked us out of the cup games (Champions league) 2 or 3 years in a row .

    and if you want to save all that hassle then we can keep it simple – we won a cup after nearly a decade – why ? because Sczny wasn’t involved .

    Martinez played with the same back 4 and his first 2 were clean sheets – argument won ? I would like to think so .

    Start the engine time – oh hell yesh!!! 🙂

  61. James Bond says:

    Poldi off to Inter .

    that’s 1 of the 2 out .

    would be nice to get 1 of the 2 in at the same time as he leaves 😉

  62. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening guys, just saw the highlights and so pleased with win. More tomorrow. Night all. 🙂

  63. jnyc says:

    TA, now im with you about Theo. He must start the next one, ox looked knocked out towards the end and he’s just back himself.
    Alexis puts out so much I’d like to see him rested also. If Theo can’t finish a start, then we have people to bring on, Poldi, campbell , sanogo if welbz moves outside.

    JB, except for one miscalculation late, I thought Szcz made all the right decisions and used his size and strength extremely well. And thank God for it today, they were raining in crosses like the old Mancs. I don’t know if they always do that, but it was their plan against us obviously. I don’t think we defended that as well as we should have, but Szcez did great. And he was completely impeded on songs goal. Visible on the replay trying to see past carroll..
    Poldi to Inter makes perfect sense, so its a rumour I can believe…
    That’s the way to handle the thousands of rumours we read. Does it make sense knowing Arsene?. so Cavani, no way, never happening, im sorry. I hope I’m wrong, but I won’t be suckered into it.
    I’d like a player who can play football the way Matic does. That’s a need. I see Arteta, Flamini as the only starters with room and need for a clear upgrade.

  64. retsub says:

    Mr Bond re your concerns about Szs. I agree with you to a certain extent. I don’t think he is top drawer like Loris or the Chelsea keeper. I do think he is better than you give him credit for. When Martinez came in he did very well, but in fairness he didn’t have a great deal to do in some of those games.

  65. Gerry says:

    Good morning all, I just watched the full match. Much as I thought from the audio, it was a gutsy, hard fought win.

    I am not sure what big Sam was complaining about regards the Song disallowed ‘goal’?
    Three players clearly off side. Two of them on the side of the goal where the ball was aimed. One player made a movement that meant the ball went into the net.
    It is surely that final point that makes the decision correct? Not whether or not the assistant could see if the third player was blocking Szczesny’s view from his angle. But he could see the player make a movement, whether he intended to kick the ball or jump out of the way is irrelevant, by moving he interfered with play, every bit as much if the ball struck him.

    Overall, from back to front, the whole team can take a great deal of pride in that performance, particularly after another heroic effort only two days before.
    AW and his lack of early(earlier) substitutions are still a worry though, even though the correct ones were made late on. I say this in regards to Walcott starting next game, because I just cannot see him lasting until the 85th minute?
    Mind I also thought Ox wouldn’t play, so I too was fooled by the AW comments of ‘ … a little chance …….even less of a chance’ made pre-match. Let us hope there is no reaction from either player this time around?
    Agreed on Coquelin’s performance. He certainly helped Flamini get through two quick games. I can see him following up in the next one too, but may be with Arteta? I am sure HT will agree, even though he made some disparaging comments about his failed loan spells, suggesting he was not up to it? Another reason not to loan out OX, they are not always a good thing? But if FC does move on in the summer, these sort of games should mean he will get plenty of offers.

    Poldi to AC Milan on loan? With a view to purchase I guess? However, agreed in principle with @jnyc above on transfer rumours. If we believed only one for each position of need, or fancy, then our spend this January would be approaching the £100m mark? With Cavani, like I said yesterday, I’ll believe when his signature hits the paperwork … but, there is a glint of hope, as Cavani tried to encourage AW to bid in 2013 I think, and if a there is a hint of a bargain, AW is not shy to spend. Mind, he would impact heavily on Giroud and Welbeck’s central ambitions?
    Nice problem to have though?

  66. Gino92 says:

    Adrian (the hammers keeper) had himself a fantastic game yesterday. It could have easily been 5 – 1 (or 5-2, if you believe Song’s belter should have stood). It seems to me that pretty much every keeper we have faced so far in the EPL automatically becomes MOTM candidate. Either we are terrible at properly placing our shots on target or all those damned keepers are “united” against the mighty Arsenal, and decide to show up and show off. 😃 Which is it? Maybe a combination of both???

    It would really be nice to see at least half of those shots on target go in, because some our buildup plays or individual efforts (i.e. Cazorla’s left-footed shots, Ox’s diving header, or Welbeck’s solo run from midfield, yesterday) deserve goals, not saves for the opposition keeper! 😁😀

    Has anybody else noticed that?

  67. oz gunner says:

    http://www.espnfc.us/player/158626/emiliano-martinez

    There you go BJ

    Four premier league games…three saves. I guess he was keeping out shots with his mind? Easy keeping clean sheets when you’re twiddling your thumbs all game.

    People forget szcz is only 24. It’s easy to compare him to lloris, Cech and co But they are seasoned professionals. Not long ago people were complaining about lloris when he was having a rough time of it. Plays well against Man U and he’s the best keeper to have ever played the game.

    Szcz is a gem and his golden glove proves it

  68. Gino92 says:

    By the way, too bad we won’t get to witness first hand, our DM target Morgan Schneiderlin (suspended) in action against us on New Year’s Day.
    But I am not complaining though…😀

  69. oz gunner says:

    @ Gino

    Definitely, it’s been happening for years. I’m convinced we made green the England keeper. Foster, young schmiechal (sp?), given (number of times) and many more have had a day out against us. Heck we even made jagielka look good when paddy Jenny was red carded a number of years ago.

    I think it was balanced out by the west brom keeper that had the nightmare against us letting us grab fourth spot

  70. oz gunner says:

    @ Gino

    We can start a conspiracy theory that he did it on purpose so he didn’t upset Arsene haha

  71. TotalArsenal says:

    Johnnie, I got the starting line horribly wrong this time. I really thought Theo would start, but he did not feature at all. I also thought starting Welbeck again would be a big mistake but he got the all important second, so I was wrong. It was great to see him positioning himself right to finish off Ox’s fine run and pass. Will theo start against the Saints… You betcha! 🙂

  72. TotalArsenal says:

    Schneiderlin played very well against the vile, boring, diving Chavs. He got his first yellow at about seventy minutes which was a calculated one. The second was one for the team it seems, as he appears to spot the danger of Cesc releasing the ball to runners further up the pitch. This guy has everything and is a total Wenger player. He would be the big missing link, especially in the double DM pivot. 🙂

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    Gino 🙂

    Tiredness leads to less accuracy and strength when taking chances. CAzorla and Alexis got close but it was late in game. There were very few goals in the PL this round and only NU scored more than two. Adrian did well but let’s not make too much of it.

    On Szczesny, I don’t think he is the right one for us long term, but as he is still young, we have to keep supporting him as long as he has the cannon on the shirt.

  74. TotalArsenal says:

    Look at the Manure strike force against the Spuds for example: Mata, Van J, Shreck, FalloverCao. Plenty of chances, very expensive attacking pedigree, not a single goal…

  75. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry 🙂

    Fair comments.

    In what way was Le Coq’s loan spell at Charlton not a good thing?

    When Ozil, Ramsey, Theo, Jack, Arteta are fully back, Ox might be on bench for most of the remainder of the season. Is that a good thing?

  76. oz gunner says:

    @ TA

    You don’t think szcz is the right one? When did this happen and why did you change your opinion on him?

  77. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Oz 🙂

    What’s the weather like over there?

    Wojciech lacks the ability to focus for 100% for 90+ minutes. Almost every game he has brain fart moments in which he put the team at risk. He is also a bluffer which works sometimes but often not. Just my opinion though.

  78. TotalArsenal says:

    He seems to suffer from attention deficit which is not a good thing when you are the goalie of a usually dominant team.

  79. oz gunner says:

    Weather is strange. I’m used to hot dry temperatures but across country it is humid, wet and hot. Feel like I’m on a tropical island everyday. How is it in the UK? Snow and misery?

    I agree he does make the odd rash decision on occasion but no keeper is without fault. At 24 and with his confidence I definitely think he’ll be world class. He will only get better with experience. The liverpool double save…come on gents

  80. TotalArsenal says:

    Interesting. Do you suffer more from insect hassle etc now, Oz?

    Here it is cold but sunny, so not too bad.

    Szczesny has good moments too, and he could well develop into a very good GK, but I just have more doubts now. Agreed though that Wojchiech must have bullied JB in a former life! 😀

  81. steve says:

    I was in the middle of trying to write a post for the upcoming TW when i suddenly though why am i trying to write objectively about pure speculation – a complete waste of time when all is said and done.
    So instead here’s the list so far; (any updates please say)

    CB’s;
    Mats Hummels
    Virgil Van Dijk
    Fabian Schar
    Benedikt Howedes
    Winston Reid
    Loic Perrin
    Matheus Dória
    Tyrone mings

    Defensive midfielders;
    Morgan Schneiderlin
    Grzegorz Krychowiak
    Lars Bender
    Sami Khedira
    William Carvalho
    Marcelo Brozovic
    Adrien Rabiot

    Attacking;
    Paulo Dybala
    Julian Draxler
    Edinson Cavani
    Munir El Haddadi – on loan

    Youth;
    Martin Ødegaard
    Kristian Bielik

    As usual we are linked with almost everyone, anyone in there you particularly want or don’t want as the case maybe?
    Anyone who should be in there?
    lets get the January transfer speculation list rolling and get some comments from you lot 🙂

  82. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha Steve 🙂

    A quality DM and the rest is a bonus for me. What are your two top picks?

  83. steve says:

    hahaha such low expectations TA, no wonder you’re an Arsenal supporter lol
    My top picks:

    CB’s;
    Mats Hummels – to replace BFG
    Virgil Van Dijk – to replace TV5 (still owed from summer)

    Defensive midfielders;
    Morgan Schneiderlin – Arteta’s replacement
    Grzegorz Krychowiak or Lars Bender – Flamini’s replacement

    Attacking;
    Julian Draxler – this guy is just class!!

    whats your top pick mate?

    btw have you seen that Martin Ødegaard kid? at 15 he’s looks insanely talented, Bergkampesque even 🙂

  84. proudgooner says:

    Steve,
    Victor Wanyama
    Nigel De Yong would work for me mate. I know Nigel is getting old now but he has a couple of seasons left in him and he is a warrior . He would be awesome for us.
    I am quite confident we will finish 3rd this season. Defo if we make a couple of good signs.
    I really hope Podolski stays, but can’t blame him if he does not.

  85. proudgooner says:

    On defenders i still think Ashley Williams is well worth a bid, he can hit the ground running, being a premier league vetren , he is a leader a captain and would fit in nicely i think,

  86. steve says:

    PG, yep mate completely forgot about Wanyama i will add him to the list 🙂
    I know Man U were linked with Nigel De Yong earlier this summer but as far as we’re concerned i haven’t heard anything at all linking him with us yet. A warrior for sure mate but maybe yet another in the twilight of his playing career much like either of the two he would be replacing?

  87. proudgooner says:

    A Koscielny – Williams CB partnership could be a very affective 1.
    Arsenal and United and Liverpool have been searching for CB’s for ages and i think he has been over looked when really he is a fine player. He has been a massive part in the reason Swansea are were they are now. I think he would be a bargin for anything under £10m

  88. TotalArsenal says:

    Jagielka and Schneiderlin is all I want, Steve. More would be too much at this stage of season. Jag for back up CB with experience. Job done.

  89. steve says:

    hahaha PG i like the way your brain thinks, he was my top choice a season or two ago. Still a good choice imo but is he on the move then? i suppose anybody is on the move for the right money tbh

  90. TotalArsenal says:

    Not seen the kid, Steve. Seen too many not making the grade to get excited. I thought Eisfeld was the bees knees….

  91. steve says:

    Jagielka? really TA? now there’s a name i hadn’t even contemplated if i’m being honest, you’re full of surprises mate. I think it would be hard to prize him away from Everton at this stage of the season and at 32 years old i don’t think we would make too much effort to do so either but a very unlikely shout mate – i like it!

  92. steve says:

    TA, add an “h” and give it a watch – quite literally everybody is after him atm
    ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Smi8jvNixL8

  93. proudgooner says:

    Steve,
    I think Ramsey could easy persude his Welesh team mate to sign for us, CL football. He would become a better player under Wenger as well, if i was him i would. lol

  94. TotalArsenal says:

    The point is he can fit in straightaway and he has PL experience, and why would Everton deny him this last opportunity of his career? I want regular swaps with BFG and Koz to keep all fit and focussed.

  95. proudgooner says:

    by the way there is a player we have been missing. Ramsey
    Walcott as well and Ozil. Be great to get all of them back plus 2 great signs.
    Wenger very confident of a great 2nd half ofd the season and i think he is right to be and agree.

  96. proudgooner says:

    TA,
    You have always liked Jag, as do i . I think he is a great player.
    But would have to be cheap at his age now. He would be a great player to have in the squad.
    I also think the Italian that Suarez bit in the world cup maybe worth looking at, Chillini i think it is.

  97. steve says:

    thats where we differ TA i don’t want to play a game of swaps i want to retire BFG and get a replacement.
    When you think (like PG just said) our attack contains the likes of Sanchez, Ozil and Walcott – theres a hundred million pounds worth of world class talent there, supported by a lumbering oaf and the player who is killing himself trying to make up for all his deficiencies.
    If we can have world class talent up front why not at the back also, which is why Hummels would be top of my list with Van Dijk as cover for both spots -now thats a defense 🙂

  98. TotalArsenal says:

    We miss all those players, PG, and don’t forget the super talent JW10! Chelinni (?) could be good too, yes.

  99. proudgooner says:

    TA,
    That makes perfect sense, we all know Per is not the fastest so when speed is needed put a faster CB in . Or if we need height and Per strengths then play him. Koscielny has had his ankle problems so dont play him every game.
    We all know its a CB and DM that Wenger is looking at, it is just who?
    Still iots all good Wenger will only make us stronger in this trannie window. 🙂

  100. proudgooner says:

    TA,
    Oh yes indeed JW10 get well soon , he was on fire , just hitting top form its a real shame.
    I have another name Vlarr

  101. TotalArsenal says:

    That is very negative on a very good player, Steve. The BFG has a lot to offer and Hummels or Van Dijk could easily flop in the PL.

  102. proudgooner says:

    Arsenal under Wenger has always had a Dutchman and i feel 1 at the back could do well.

  103. TotalArsenal says:

    However, I do believe the BFG needs replacing long term though and Chambers should be the man eventually.

  104. TotalArsenal says:

    Vlaar could work, but I like the calm and skills of the Jag.

  105. proudgooner says:

    Per is a super player, but he does need a fast CB by his side. He very rarely makes a mistake. What he lacks in speed he more then makes up with many other great qualities.
    He has not hit top form yet this season but it will come soon. He will always be at his best when partnered by Koscielny at present.

  106. steve says:

    so far…..

    Victor Wanyama
    Nigel De Yong
    Ashley Williams
    Phill Jagielka
    Ron Vlarr

    all added to the original list – i hope Wenger doesn’t turn around and say there we’rent any options lol

  107. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes and Koz plays better with the brains next to him…

  108. proudgooner says:

    The good news is at the moment all of our defenders are fit, that has not happened in months.
    That gives us a real chance to push on and when we face the top 4 clubs we will be able to give them a proper match and take 3 points.

  109. proudgooner says:

    Steve ,
    Chillini too, the man that Suarez bite at the world cup lol

  110. steve says:

    Giorgio Chiellini added PG 🙂
    This will be a very interesting (and long) list to look back on after actual signings have arrived lol

  111. proudgooner says:

  112. proudgooner says:

    this better shows his defending, he is a Vidic style warrior

  113. proudgooner says:

    The problem with him is he is an Italian at Juve so prising him away will be difficult and expensive.
    At 30 he is at the peak and is club captain he is that highly rated , but hey a cheeky bid never hurt, worth a try i say.

  114. James Bond says:

    lovely @ Aussie

    that’s a great reply .

    so Martinez had 3 shots on target and still didn’t concede a goal ? wow – am impressed !

    had that been your mate Scza, it would have been least 2 goals conceded : )

    yep, there have been games where Arsenal have had 10 attempts at goal and then boom, the first attempt at goal by the opposition and our Sczny let’s them in : )

    hang on now – really ? he’s young ? he’s 24 ? but how many matches has he played ? is it 5, 10 , 50, 100 or OVER 150 ? or close to 200 matches at the TOP TOP TOP level ?

    it’s a funny one as you can have a 30 year old with about 100 games and you can call them INEXPERIENCED and YOUNG – and then you can have someone as young as Sczny, who has played more matches than the whole of blackpool team put together ?

    am sorry, but that old age or young age excuse doesn’t wash it for me, am happy that you are still backing him up on that even though he has been our no.1 for more or less 5 years now ? sure, he will come good , one day – someday – that was the narrative I heard 6 years ago and fast forward 6 years, many of us still remain on the same boat .

    a couple of more questions for you as you are really good at finding the answers ; )

    – When was the last time when Sczny was MOTM ?

    – when was the last time he Guessed a penalty the right way ? (let alone save one !

    😀

    TA and me have a lot of difference of opinions when it comes to football but even he has begun seeing things with the specs I have been wearing 👿

    Retsub,

    well, neither did Sczny in most of the game and then you had us being a goal down with the opposition first go at our goal – so really, that’s even more concerning – Ospina played a few games or a few minutes and you could easily see him doing more than Sczny ever did whole season with his movement and anticipation + distribution . If shaking your booty was to be the yardstick for any goalie then he no doubt be a world class booty shaker 😉

    but on a more serious note, he didn’t have an absolute shocker yesterday if you take out his brain fart out but notice how he is more or less glued to his line or the ground and see’s them goals go in when he could least be a bit more proactive in trying to reach it ? make an effort Sczny, make the goals look sexy at least even if you are not able to stop them should be the moto , ha

    back to my matey down under @ Aussie

    people don’t forget he’s 24, people forget that Courtois, De Gea are younger than Sczny and even Llloris (perhaps) has played less games than Sczny at the top level , yet they are top notch and you can see that they are worldies or wordlies in the making .

    Sczny on the other hand, doesn’t give the impression of being the no.1 goalie for one of the biggest clubs in the world .

    how many of you actually feel assured and confident when you see him in goal against any decent team ? can’t imagine there being very many in my opinion .

  115. James Bond says:

    *most of the games this season

  116. Admir says:

    Hello, people!

    Here are the reasons why we won’t sign Chiellini this January:

    -he plays for Juventus, the best Italian club (which is a feat that doesn’t have the same weight like it used to back in 1999s and the beginning of the century), and will probably win the fourth Serie A in a row,

    -just like Arsenal, Juventus are still in the Champions’ League and I can’t remember when was the last time a big profile club from the last 16 in the competition sold their important player to the rivals,

    -his transfer would command a substantial fee that Wenger would never a) pay for a 30-year-old b) defender c) in January d) who wouldn’t be eligible to play in Champions’ League,

    -Arsene is ideologically against the January transfer window – since Arshavin’s big transfer that didn’t pan out well (or maybe we just had expected too much from him) we have signed only players on loan (Henry, Kallstrom), on a free transfer (Campbell) and an emergency signing in order not to play Andre Santos (Nacho Monreal),

    -Arsene is keeping the best part of his transfer funds for the summer,

    -we actually have enough players except most of them are injured – perhaps a recall from loan for Jenkinson (if it is possible) wouldn’t be a bad idea.

    @Skipper – speaking of defensive midfielders, I don’t believe it’s going to happen. Le Coq’s fine performance against West Ham suggests Arsene found a player that qualifies as a LANS* and – just like our run-in 2012-13 proved – Arsene won’t hesitate to play with a double pivot if Champions’ League qualification is jeopardized. Furthermore, there was a sentence from one of the press-conferences last season when Arsene said to the journalists after Flamini’s fine performance: “I’m sorry I didn’t pay 25 million pounds for him.” (Or something like that.) He did show in the last two summer transfer windows he is not afraid to spend really big on the attacking department. True, he has spent 10+ million pounds on defensive players as well (two of them in this transfer window and Vermaelen before that) but I don’t see him spending 20+ million pounds on a defensive midfielder. I can think whatever I want about some of his principles but he sticks to them.

    Or, to put it this way: Coquelin is this season’s Flamini – a bargain in the defensive midfield area – while we are yet to see who is going to be this season’s Kallstrom…provided that we actually get one. 😉

    * LANS = “like a new signing”

  117. TotalArsenal says:

    Admir, I am counting on nothing, and especially not a DM. Like you, I know what Wenger is like. OGAAT for me.

  118. Admir says:

    @TA – I don’t mind that approach. I actually enjoyed in our combative spirit yesterday even if we could have spared some nerves if our counter-attacking was rewarded with one more goal. The thing is, we have to think about more than one game in the festive period due to fatigue. I hope Alexis, Santi and Welbeck will all have a nice rest for our game against Hull in the cup.

    @007 – Szczesny made a huge double save against Newcastle at 1:0 for us, made a huge save against Aston Villa at 0:0, dealt with everything thrown at him yesterday (apart from the goal). He has – just like TA said – brain-farts and his attempts of dribbling would have resulted with a serious physical punishment if I were in charge. There was a moment of his distribution when you crossed my mind – players from both teams were, for some reasons, on the right side (from our perspective) of the pitch. Szczesny took a goal-kick and sent the ball there instead of, perhaps, opting for a kick on the left side where Welbeck could have made one of his runs. Perhaps it was a logical choice from Chez but I had a feeling he should have done it differently.

  119. James Bond says:

    there you go @ Admir

    his moment of glories are so far and few that even you remember it and I’m sure you don’t usually have a photogenic memory 😉

    I could also point you to a few instances where he thought he was the 2nd coming of Ronaldinho and wanted to dribble past a few defenders when the ball was passed back to him and then he takes a shot which fortunately rebounds from the striker out of play – what does Sczny do ? smile and then does a similar thing 3 games later 🙂

    what does that tell you ? am very consistent, ha

    I want Sczny to do well and prove me wrong as him doing well means that Arsenal do well but truth be told, am not counting on it and most certainly not counting against it .

    Re- Dm’s and CB’s

    Schnerderlin be the perfect signing for us.

    Nastastic as a CB from Man city be another lovely one .

    both ready made and wouldn’t need time to bed in as such – shrewd signings that could help us reach the CL semis and after that it’s bit of a lottery .

    believe you me – AW will sign 2 players who can help him compete and win the Champions league .

    for the first time in many many years, the belief is there that we can go all the way in the CL – and why wouldn’t there be when the likes of

    Ozil – Theo – Ramsey be returning fresh, eager and hungry as opposed to being fatigued , injured and exhausted .

    Find me a better group of 4 starters then this (in England or whole of europe) below pack and TA will buy you a drink !

    ——————–Ramsey

    Theo——————-Ozil————-Alexis

  120. Admir says:

    Kroos

    Bale James Ronaldo

    Now, where is that soda for me? 🙂

    To be honest, Champions’ League is a really difficult competition to win. Real Madrid look unstoppable at the moment, Bayern München have knocked us out three times in Wenger-era (plus they ended once ahead of us in the group stage) and look really great and Wenger hasn’t beaten Maureen yet.

    Szczesny had a lot of good moments last season while we were going to the top – his double save against Fulham at 1:0 for us perhaps decided where both teams would go afterwards, that incredible save against Cardiff away at 1:0 for us prevented the equalizer, that perfect save of Van Judas’ header spared us from losing to David Moyes’ United at home by Van Judas’ goal, etc, etc.

    And, yes, I have a great memory. 😉

  121. James Bond says:

    yeah, green tea for me please @ Skipper and a soda for Admir ahhahahahahahahha

    we have beaten Real Madrid before, no reason why we can’t beat Real Madrid again, as long as Ronaldo, Bale, Hamez, Modric all get suspended or injured 😀

    but one game at a time .

    you mean he had a lot of good moments last season when striker were hitting his body with some woeful finishing ? yeah , I hear you loud and clear

    so please do enlighten us all with your great memory and tell us when was the last time he was our MOTM and when was the last time he guessed a penalty the right way or saved one 😯

  122. Admir says:

    He saved the one against Aston Villa (in the follow-up Benteke did score, however).

    Our MOTM? I’d dare to say – against Liverpool eight days ago. 🙂

  123. James Bond says:

    the key there is “that he did score” and my memory isn’t as good as yours but wasn’t that like 18 months ago ? so you are telling me, that he couldn’t even guess the right way in these past 18 months, let alone save a penalty 😯

    no, Admir – that be your MOTM – our man of the match was Gibbs or Santiago, wasn’t it @ Steve ? 😉

    funny you mention the liverpool game as from what I recall from my rusty memory is that he was again a mere spectator for both the goals conceded – glued to the ground, watching em go in – it was like watching it all in extra slow motion – beautiful .

    am glad you managed to find all these examples to strengthen my point even further – all them saves against the mighty Fulham, Cardiff, oh my oh my and Villa last season you mention – really, stop it now – you are killing me – 2 out of 3 in the championship and the 3rd one almost ended up in the championship – what are you trying to tell us all now Admir, say it out loud for crying out loud, just say it… ok, since you are too shy to say it, I will do the honours for you – I hope you didn’t imply that he belongs in the championship ? ? ? that’s even worse than me as I think he deserves to play for a mid-table club .

  124. oz gunner says:

    @ Admir

    I don’t think Arsene would use the arshavin incident as to why he doesn’t spend in January. Arshavin hit the ground running and was a breathe of fresh air to the squad. Without him we would not have finished inside the top 4. His decline did not begin for a while after that. For me it is the perfect example as to why he should buy. I just don’t think the players are made available and if they are it’s for a premium so Arsene will not. Need a CB though…no two ways about it. Jag is a good call from TA, he ticks all the boxes and Everton have Stones coming up ready to take over.

    We definitely wouldn’t grab chielleni. That’s the dirty sod that took out Van Judas when he needed horse semen rubbed on it. Cost us any hope of winning the league that year. He is Italy’s favourite son so we’d probably need 60+ million. No thanks and I think he is overrated.

  125. oz gunner says:

    Good job Steve.

    I’ll take a CB now…I’m not fussy. Reid or Williams will do for me.

    Coquelin to finish of the year (won’t happen, Arsene has stamped his papers so I don’t picture him lasting much longer). Then we grab one of Southampton’s DM’s off of them at the end of the season.

    End of year = jenks back. Bellerin and Sanogo loan

    Diaby, pod out.

    Cavani and Draxler in.

    Make it happen Arsene

  126. AB says:

    I’m interested by this French CB we are being linked with – Perrin? I have no sense as to whether there is any basis to this or whether it is pure fabrication, but it makes a lot of sense to me – if the reports of the player are to be in any way trusted, which I accept is a pretty big ‘if’. For £6m, a utility player who would be comfortable as a 3rd choice CB, is not injury prone, has proven leadership qualities, and offers perhaps 3 – 4 years playing at his prime – what is not to like about that? If anything less than Hummels is to be dismissed then this won’t cut much ice I accept, but for anyone close to reality it has plenty of appeal.

    Like TA I see Chambers as having being bought to develop into our CB (new Tony Adams) for the long term. We don’t want someone getting in his way, but we do need someone to provide cover for our first choice pairing and to give Chambers time to develop rather than be thrust in too early.

    I am baffled by Steve’s view that we should simply ‘retire’ the BFG. A CB at 30, really?? Put a top quality DM in front of BFG and Kos and an equivalent goalie and you would have a defence that would be truly celebrated. Are there better CBs out there – sure – but he is a very long way from being a weak link in our squad; there are others that we would wish to replace long before him.

    Where that leaves me – the point of this comment – is the continued hope that we get a quality DM in January, and a utility or experienced cover CB to fill the squad. I’d love us to bring in a Reus or a Draxler, but they are not the priorities for the squad, even if Pod and Campbell move out on loan.

  127. oz gunner says:

    @ BJ

    I don’t want Szcz to win man of the match. If he did we would have had a shitter and he would have needed to make save after save (e.g the west ham keeper).

    Courtis (sp?) is special, not doubting that. Pisses me off Chelsea have him in goal after Cech was so good for so long.

    Penalty save stats don’t mean much to me. Fabianski and Mannone had decent records in that regard. Ask any person high up and they’ll tell you a keeper doesn’t save a penalty…the attacker misses them. Most of the time it’s pure guess work. Szcz’s penalty save against pool followed up with blocking the rebound is good enough for me in that respect.

    Szcz was superior to de gea in every stat last season except errors (one thing we all agree he needs to cut out of his game.) and that was from his red card last season.

    http://hereisthecity.com/en-gb/2014/02/11/stats-wojciech-szczesny-v-david-de-gea-which-looks-like-the-20m/

    Szcz was also superior to de gea, mignolet and lloris for crosses caught or punched. This is massive for arsenal as we need someone to command the area well. We’ve struggled on set pieces for a long time but he definitely eases the pain. A lot of other keepers struggle to come of their line (something de gea still struggles with on set pieces and was highly discussed when he first came)

    Lloris last season was being compared to gomis…bloody gomis!!!! He made that double howler against Chelsea that led to them conceding 2 goals from his errors. He has a couple of good games this year and everyone has forgotten. Last season the tottenham manager had to come out and defend him on numerous occasions.

    I’m sorry but he gets it done! I know you have a vendetta against him so I’m talking to a brick wall at the moment…but the stats don’t lie. He’s going to come into his own. Remember the game against Germany. He was peppered relentlessly and he was enormous. That’s what he’d be like in a shit team. Instead he is in a team where his focus needs to be maintained because he might not need to make a save for 86mins.

    The argument is done and dusted but I’ll leave it on…2013/14 golden glove winner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Also he has come from our academy and cost us peanuts

    Also Arsenal through and through…

  128. Admir says:

    @007 – Gibbs was more at fault for Škrtel’s goal than Chez and Santi was below par in the first half, to put it mildly. 🙂 I’ve mentioned big saves against United last term and Newcastle this term. He kept a clean sheet 16 times – including Spuds, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United, Napoli and Borussia Dortmund at home.

    But let me rephrase it: which goalkeeper has made a difference in the league since Van der Sar left United?

    Hart? Hardly. City won both titles thanks to the superiority of their attack and some of the best defenders (Zabaleta, Kompany) in the world.

    Čech? Not exactly. He has been in decline ever since he picked that ugly injury. He has his moments of brilliance (he didn’t share The Golden Glove with the mighty Chez for no reason 😛 ) but not like he was healthy. Courtois? Hardly the one that makes difference in today’s Chelsea (even though I see him as one of the best in the world).

    De Gea? Yes, he has won one title with United but it was more in spite of the United defence (conceded over a goal per game, most of their matches ended 3:2) and thanks to Van Judas and Rooney in the attack.

  129. James Bond says:

    Also he has come from our academy and cost us peanuts

    Also Arsenal through and through…

    and that’s game set and match – he is our own, regardless if he is the Santos of goal keepers but he is one of ours, so I will back off until both you and Admir join me and TA on the other side (oh it will happen soon, you just wait and watch 👿

    Admir – all said and done , let’s not kid ourselves – Hart is better than Sczny but only just and he has won a trophy or 2 or 3, unlike Sczny .

    have already accepted that he has a decent game in every 7 – so one in 7 isn’t good enough for me, needs to be more consistent – that Germany game and this West Ham game was probably his 1 in 7th’s 😉

    been a pleasure as always lads but unlike some of you, we have to work and be do jack all at work, so until next time – it’s Hasta La Vista Sczny lovers 🙂

  130. oz gunner says:

    Haha I’m never going to join the dark side…if anything admir and I are hoping to drag TA back over to ours. That way you can sulk in you basement alone again as you write hate mail to Szcz.

    You’re pulling stats out of your back pocket though…one in 7 good games haha. It’s easy to say “I don’t read into stats etc” but with keepers that’s all they have because some have more to deal with than others.

    With you a goal = Szcz fault. In reality = it’s the defence that has made the error. If it goes through his legs, drops it, or escapes his grasp…sure. But Szcz is the least of our problems. If we was an issue the arsenal hating media would be all over him.

  131. Admir says:

    Oz, I just realized – JB is actually Wojciech Szczesny and does this intentionally so we keep singing praises to him. 🙂

    Nice try, 007, or should I call you…Agent Woj? 🙂

  132. I literally ate a bag of popcorn while reading all that stuff…and I think TA is right…007 must’ve been bullied by Sir Chez or someone like him… I have my own Szcz Doppleganger story but it will have to wait… Keep up the good work Oz, AB and Admir…and others living in the real world… 😀

    Anyhow, Mr F11ngers, ever sharpening the tines on his pitchfork, or “list,” reminds us that it’s almost January…

    Happy New Year!

    Oh to be a Gooner… :/

  133. oz gunner says:

    just for BJ (I’m sure you’ll remember just how important save number 3 was. #1 a ripper too. That top 20 list from a 24 yr old keeper is top notch)

    @ 17

    Happy New year to you and your family too mate.

    @ Admir

    haha it wouldn’t surprise me. It’s either that or he’s Fabianski.

  134. Frozen says:

    Just scanning through the comments and i can’t help but giggle at the so called “F11gers” transfer wishlist… In essence, you have listed just about every player that the media has labeled “an Arsenal transfer target” as of late– without missing a beat! Not saying i wouldn’t like to have a Sami Khedira or Morgan Schneiderlin but certainly you can see what I’m getting at? Aside from Alexis, when was the last time the media has accurately predicted a Wenger transfer..

  135. Gerry says:

    Frozen – You stole my line, at least as far as the CB list went.

    Sorry Steve, I don’t think you have our January CB signing on even the amended list.

    PG – You certainly like the dirty, cheating, fouling bastardos don’t you 😀

    AB – Perrin makes no sense whatsoever. To come from Lique Un they have to be special. Perrin isn’t. He is solid. AW will not but if the payer is not better than what we have. Perrin is your French Monreal. If Arsenal scouts have been spotted, I’m guessing they are looking at someone else. Sall would step into Mert’s boots no problem, but I doubt he is leaving StE.

    Great support for Woijech guys, but you had it right early on OZ, .. ‘you’re hitting a brick ball’.

    Cheers, back later.

  136. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey guys, Steve is simply putting a list together of targets. Nothing wrong with that. 🙂

    The arguments pro and against Szczesny are all with value and JB is defending his position well, and so is the Wizzard. 🙂

    This is what blogging is about and if it gets the popcorn out it is proof of a good debate. 🙂

    Gerry has produced a new UMF update on the UMF page.

  137. oz gunner says:

    Nup TA lets lynch BJ haha

    Agreed, appreciate steve’s effort. Nothing wrong with media transfer speculation…some people live off that stuff

  138. steve says:

    Frozen,
    “In essence, you have listed just about every player that the media has labeled “an Arsenal transfer target”

    Yeah that was kind of the fucking point mate lol
    It was a list of exactly that, not a wishlist although TA did ask me who my top picks would be afterwards. It was meant to give the guys a summary overview of all the players we’ve been linked with and get some debate going, also was quite interesting to see who others suggested be added to the list.
    In the end the better entertainment was definitely provided by JB’s attempts to destroy Szczesny once again though 🙂

    I personally think we may only get one signing and i hope that is Van Dijk, can play at left CB, right CB and as DM and is a Kompany type 6ft 4” not a gangly Crouch type or a BFG cumbersome type.

    Early days yet though and i will keep the list ready to be added to and re-posted as the TW madness livens up.

  139. Gerry says:

    No, it’s okay OZ, I’ve got it covered … JB is now playing that popular TV game on the UMF site.
    It’s called Pointless!
    ahhahahhhahahahahhahhahhahahhhahhhahhhhahhahahhahhahhahahahhahhha….

  140. Gerry says:

    AB – An update. It seems we are ‘battling’ with ‘Pool for a 16 year old StE player. Much more Arsene I would have thought?
    Of course their manager is being linked with the Newcastle job, probably because he can talk to most of their players in their native tongue. 😀
    But that would make it more difficult as he would likely get first dibs on any player leaving StE?
    I hope he doesn’t leave because he is doing a great job there.

  141. steve says:

    a question for you guys who live in the states, here in the UK when we sign up to sky or btsport for tv we also get their online service so we can stream any of the footy they are showing using our account live on the pc.
    Do you guys get the same deals over there with Fox or espn or whoever you use?

    I’m just thinking i could hypothetically pay a mate in the US for the privilege of using his online services, use a VPN and make it look like i’m in the US and watch all the footy i want in HD online, no more third party streams that drop out half way through the game 🙂

    I was just about to contact a lad i haven’t spoken to in years who is currently in the US but thought i would ask you knowledgeable folks from across the pond here first, to save me a long ass international call 🙂

  142. proudgooner says:

    Theo is fit and ready to play and Welbeck is a doubt for teh Saints match.
    I would like to see us start with these 3 up top.

    Podolski…………..Alexis…………Walcott
    ………………………Cazorla…………………………
    ……………le Coq……………Flemini………..

    Gerry,
    He is that, but i feel we coud do with 1 or 2 of them, we certainly get kicked by enough dirty bastards ourselves . He would be great. But Williams would suit me just fine or as Totes said mr Jag would be very good for a couple of seasons.

  143. James Bond says:

    ahahahhaahhahahahahhahahahahahahahhahahaahhahahahahaha @ Gerry

    play nicely , Sire 🙂

    ah, matey matey matey @ Aussie

    what a fabulous 5 minute youtube of Sczny – am sure Andre Santos looked like the 2nd coming of Messi at LB on his youtube montage as well !

    but since you are refusing to let this one slide –

    let me Amigo and the rest of the platoon enjoy the show with the popcorn ; )

    yes yes, Sczny this is how you run after Piegons and drop the cup !!!

    and this is how you take a man out as well as Arsenal from the CL : 2 for the price of 1

    more to follow – wait for it .

  144. James Bond says:

    this is again how you take a man out and put your team under immense pressure :

    he is pretty consistent and refuses to learn – 10 out of 10 for being unable to learn, not only for club but also country in one of the biggest tourneys in the country’s history

    😉

  145. James Bond says:

    it’s hard to find a game where he’s not had a brain fart or made a blunder – just because we don’t get punished for his mistakes or blunders, doesn’t mean that we don’t count it as a brain fart or hold it against him .

    he has a decent game in 1 and 7, if you can find me 2 games in a row where he has been absolutely spot on then I will rest my case 😉

    All keepers make mistakes , that’s normal but not as many as he does – oh and he’s been more or less our no.1 since the last 6/7 years now .

  146. proudgooner says:

    The thing with Szsc is i believe he has everything it takes to be a world class keeper, he has all the skills needed.
    But it is true as 007 puts it he does make a lot of brain fart moments, he has to learn to stop these and quick.
    I am not against him. But with Ospina back and fit i think he will take number 1 soon.
    He is a great keeper , great professional. He will put pressure on Szsc now and i think if his form stays the same then he will be number 2. It wioll be interesting to see whp becomes number 1

  147. proudgooner says:

    Here is a look at all our fixtures for 2015.
    Arsenal Fixtures
    January 2015
    Show last 5 matches and coverage Competition Fixture Date Kick-off Status
    Show
    Premier League
    Southampton v Arsenal Thu 1 Jan 15:00
    Show
    FA Cup – Third Round
    Arsenal v Hull Sun 4 Jan 17:30
    Show
    Premier League
    Arsenal v Stoke Sun 11 Jan 13:30
    Show
    Premier League
    Man City v Arsenal Sun 18 Jan 16:00
    February 2015
    Show last 5 matches and coverage Competition Fixture Date Kick-off Status
    Show
    Premier League
    Arsenal v Aston Villa Sun 1 Feb 13:30
    Show
    Premier League
    Tottenham v Arsenal Sat 7 Feb 12:45
    Show
    Premier League
    Arsenal v Leicester Tue 10 Feb 19:45
    Show
    Premier League
    Crystal Palace v Arsenal Sat 21 Feb 15:00
    Show
    Champions League – Round of 16
    Arsenal v Monaco Wed 25 Feb 19:45
    March 2015
    Show last 5 matches and coverage Competition Fixture Date Kick-off Status
    Show
    Premier League
    Arsenal v Everton Sun 1 Mar 14:05
    Show
    Premier League
    QPR v Arsenal Wed 4 Mar 19:45
    Show
    Premier League
    Arsenal v West Ham Sat 14 Mar 15:00
    Show
    Champions League – Round of 16
    Monaco v Arsenal Tue 17 Mar 19:45
    Show
    Premier League
    Newcastle v Arsenal Sat 21 Mar 15:00
    April 2015
    Show last 5 matches and coverage Competition Fixture Date Kick-off Status
    Show
    Premier League
    Arsenal v Liverpool Sat 4 Apr 15:00
    Show
    Premier League
    Burnley v Arsenal Sat 11 Apr 15:00
    Show
    Premier League
    Arsenal v Sunderland Sat 18 Apr 15:00
    Show
    Premier League
    Arsenal v Chelsea Sat 25 Apr 15:00
    May 2015
    Show last 5 matches and coverage Competition Fixture Date Kick-off Status
    Show
    Premier League
    Hull v Arsenal Sat 2 May 15:00
    Show
    Premier League
    Arsenal v Swansea Sat 9 May 15:00
    Show
    Premier League
    Man Utd v Arsenal Sat 16 May 15:00
    Show
    Premier League
    Arsenal v West Brom Sun 24 May 15:00
    Please note: All times UK. Fixtures are subject to change. The BBC is not responsible for any changes that

  148. proudgooner says:

    The fixture list is a very good 1 i think , we really have a chance to be physically ready for all the big clubs and with our injured players returning we really have a chance to climb the table as long as the oilers drop points then we are not out of the title race. 🙂

  149. James Bond says:

    I 2nd that @ PG

    let’s hope Ospina can give us what we’ve not had since the last 10 years at Arsenal – a solid goalie .

    and no, he won’t accept being the no.2 or being made to sit on the bench, or to put it precisely, his father won’t allow it and will come out – bad mouthing Arsenal and AW 🙂

    thanks for the fixture list, so from now until the end of feb – we have a relatively easy fixture list, and we can certainly pick up the pace ?

    I would like to think so, yes .

  150. proudgooner says:

    If we beat Chelsea and City. Then we would be right back in the mix.
    Still OGAAT, it is Southampton first that is a must win.

  151. James Bond says:

    true – Southamption is a massive game and a must win for us !

    we win our first game of the year and it will set the tone for the remainder of the year .

    we won the most games in 2013, didn’t we ? no reason why we can’t repeat that feat

  152. proudgooner says:

    If you compare Szsc to David Seaman. Then it makes 007 point clear, i would love to have a safe pair of hands like Seaman back in our goal.
    As i said i think Szsc has the skills, now does he have the brain to know which skill to use at the right moment..??
    The answer at the moment is No, 007 is right in saying that the young age is not acceptable anymore with the ammount of games he has played. Can he learn to stop the brain fart?? YES and i hope he does then he will be world class imo.
    I think his skills is as good as De Gea in fact i think he has better skills when it comes to kicking. So he has it all, will he learn and stop his brain farts i am not sure.
    I think Ospina will take #1 soon

  153. James Bond says:

    amen to that @ PG

    send a cuban cigar your way – let’s lit it and have it the godfather way ahahahahahhahahahahah

  154. James Bond says:

    *sends

    what’s the team news for thursday ?

  155. proudgooner says:

    Not sure yet mate Wenger said it is much the same as v the hammers, except Welbeck and Giroud is banned , Theo may well get a llok in, i hope he and Podolski get to start.
    If i was Szcs i would stay on his line more, because his shot stopping is not in doubt, most times he need not rush out, except on the corners but even then dont overr do like the west ham game.

  156. James Bond says:

    Welbeck is due a bit of a rest anyway, as he has played a lot recently – that Giroud brain fart didn’t help either as we could have done with his presence up front – wouldn’t mind seeing Poldi get a start though – love him and he’s a true professional and a champ !

    but where to play him though ? LW or as a 2nd striker or up front on his own with a fluid 4-3-3 or a 4-6 with no striker up front ?

    the front 3 of Poldi——— Sanchez——–Ox ?

    Re- Sczny, then he did well against the Hammers and had his best game of the season for me – I will give credit where it’s due, he did very well but he needs to keep up the intensity

    I hear people saying that they much rather that Sczny wasn’t the MOTM, well, you can win the game and also have your keeper as the MOTM as De Gea has proved this season !

    we just need Ospina to have a few games and show everyone how good he really is and what he’s really capable off !

  157. James Bond says:

    this be my 4-6-0

    —————–Sczny————-

    back 4

    ————Flamini———–Le Coq ———Rosicky

    OX——————————Alexis————–Poldi

    thoughts ?

  158. James Bond says:

    the thesis behind not playing a lone striker or a specialized striker be very simple .

    we play football – they play football , they don’t have Schnierderlin and we don’t have any reason to hold back

    so why the hell not – I have intentionally left out Santiago but he can be swapped with Rosicky, as I think that Rosicky will be saved for the Hull game on the weekend and will only be on the bench for this one to come on as a sub ?

  159. steve says:

    Would love to see this type of threat walk out onto the pitch! (never gonna happen though)

    ——–Walcott———Podolski———-
    Sanchez——-Cazorla———-The OX
    ——————Coquelin——————-
    Gibbs——-Kos——–BFG—-Debuchy
    ——————Szczesny——————-

  160. oz gunner says:

    Those videos mean nothing at all. You could do that for any keeper because half the time players dive and the keeper is sent off. When a player is one on one you have to make a decision…sometimes he is a bit hasty but he gets it right. The carling cup loss was a blunder but I think koscielny takes more of the blame for that one. Where are the blooper drops? Failed kicks/throws leading to goals? At the end of the day it’s a sad state of affairs when a supporter is digging up 3 year old videos to undermine an arsenal player…but hey…that’s just me.

    I do find it funny that people mention Ospina as his replacement. One World Cup does not make a player. How many people knew of him in France? Pretty much no one. And I know for a fact you didn’t BJ because you never mentioned his name as a replacement. But hey let’s say that keeper untried in the premier league and in arsenal colours is better than the 2013/14 PREMIER LEAGUE GOLDEN GLOVE WINNER.

  161. James Bond says:

    not happening in an away game @ Stevie wonder

    but wouldn’t mind that one bit !

    it’s mouth watering , indeed , if you swap sczny with someone who can distribute half decently – so will stick Ospina in there just for his distribution to such a pacey starting 11 .

  162. James Bond says:

    correction – not 3 years old but less than 3 months – that red card against GALA is from this YEARS CL

    oh my days, ahahahahahahhahaahahahahahhahahahahahah

    sort of brought that one upon your self there , matey 😀

    just because I didn’t know about a keeper or seen him before the world cup, doesn’t mean that he can’t be capable enough or better than Sczny or deserves to be our no.1 keeper based on his performances for Arsenal ?

    and precisely my point about the videos – any player can look gold on a youtube montage, am glad we both agree on that one !

    start the engine time to move onto the new post .

  163. proudgooner says:

    Yeah i like it 007 i like it alot, the only thing i think i would maybe change is Theo for the OX but the OX is in fine form, but then Theo needes as game

  164. James Bond says:

    I reckon, Theo, Rosicky, Ospina, campbell, and Yaya will start against Hull and are being saved for the FA cup defence @ PG

  165. proudgooner says:

    Campbell, i want to see more of him i had forgotten about him a bit, he could even start up front or Sanogo all are good options.
    Wenger should get a lot of credit for the strikers he has brought in, we are blessed with forwards at the mo.

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