One Hull of an Important Match! Arsenal v Hull Line-Up & Preview

Arsenal's English midfielder Jack Wilshe

Let’s get in to it shall we:

Missing in Action:

Diaby sick bay

Not surprisingly this image still doesn’t need changing.

Arsenal: Jack (ankle), Arteta (calf), Welsh Jesus (hamstring), Flamini (groin – doubt), Ozil (knee – doubt. I think he’ll be on the bench for this one. If things are going well he might get a little run out), Welbeck (thigh – doubt), Giroud (suspended – last match), Sanogo (hamstring/going on loan – doubt), Podolski (groin strain/going to Inter), Diaby (calf strain/figment of our imagination).

Perhaps we can purchase a soft tissue specialist this transfer window.

Hull City: Rosenior (hamstring), Robertson (ankle), Dawson (hamstring), Diame (knee), Snodgrass (knee)

Predicted Line-up:

Football team Hull

Some pretty big question marks over who starts. We know Ospina will start (I can sense BJ doing cartwheels from here. He has it on good authority that Ospina’s feet don’t actually touch the ground and he saves shots with his mind).

Thanks to our rather extensive list of injuries it’s going to be hard to rotate the squad too much. We are down three strikers and Podolski; therefore, Sanchez may have to lead the line again. I wouldn’t mind seeing Akpom given a go. With all the media attention he’s been given this week it wouldn’t surprise me if he was given a run out. Campbell is probably the better option given his stage of development.

In defence Debuchy is likely to be rested. Chambers or Bellerin? Let’s give the Spaniard another go. Then again Chambers may have to start because he’d be in big trouble if we conceded a set piece…land of the midgets. Kozzer or Monreal? I think Kozzer still isn’t 100% and Monreal was doing a good job, so I’d like to see him line-up for this encounter.

In midfield we could go with Chambers and Le Coq again. In my opinion that didn’t work against Southampton. Flamini could come back in but I’d prefer to see Rosicky and Le Coq given the opportunity. The young Frenchman has performed admirably since coming back on loan, so I’d like to see him prove his worth once again. Ozil will make the bench. In a perfect world he could come on at around the 70th minute mark when we have the game in the bag…unfortunately we are Arsenal and that just doesn’t happen.

Walcott is the biggest question mark for me. Does he start? Is he ready? He hasn’t started a match since January 3rd 2014 and he only had 7 touches in 31 minutes against Southampton. I’d prefer a fully fit Campbell to start on the wing so that Walcott can come on for a little run out with Ozil.

Previous Encounters:

Arsenal vs Hull 2-2

After going ahead early thanks to a good finish from Sanchez we left it til late to scrape through with a point.

One of the worst pull backs I’ve ever seen lead to their first goal…shocking non-call. Mertesacker should have showed more intent for their second. A great run from Sanchez setup Welbeck to grab the equaliser.

You can see the highlights below:

Form Guide:               Arsenal:  : WDWWL            Hull: LLWLW

What form? We haven’t won three in a row all season and I honestly don’t know what Arsenal team is going to show up. In the league we are 13 points off top spot. 33 points from 20 games and 12 points behind where we were this time last season. Thankfully, this isn’t the league and we are currently the cup holders!

Hull haven’t had a good time of it this season. They’ve snapped a 10-game winless run by winning 2 of their last 3 games. They are safe from relegation for now.

Arsenal Archive (1)

This week I’ve dipped into the Arsenal Archive and pulled out this video clip. It’s not really an archive…more of a ‘we won a cup so let’s re-live it again’ type of clip (Their first goal was ridiculously lucky). What a goal by Santi!!!! Thank you Welsh Jesus. Enjoy! 🙂

One to watch:

Alexis Sanchez…because he’s a ripper and gets it done. What tough transition? He’s slotted into the premier league and our team seamlessly

Former Everton striker Jelavic. Hull’s leading scorer and can be a handful at times.

Key-Match up:

Arsenal midfield vs Hull City midfield


I have no doubt Bruce will pack the midfield for this encounter. Southampton did it really well against us and without Giroud we tend to lack shape in the oppositions half. We can’t let the ex-spuds Livermore and fat-boy Huddlestone get a stranglehold otherwise we might find the going tough. Flamini and Le Coq need to break up their attacks and the midfielders need to transition the play well from defence to attack. If Alexis is playing up front we can’t afford to have him providing the link-up…he needs to be on the end of it. For this reason I think we need Rosicky to partner Le Coq, just so we have more attacking potency.

Pre-Match Finger:

kid finger

Now I haven’t been around for a while so I’ve got a lot of fingers to hand out. This week’s finger goes to José Mourinho. Jesus Christ he’s a miserable sod. Just because he’s not getting his way at the moment he’s whinging about every little thing, making excuses for everything. His players don’t win penalties apparently…Hazard is being kicked out of the league (he’s diving over a lot of those tackles)…unfair treatment from the refs. Perhaps he’d have better luck if his players didn’t go down with relative ease. Drogba has done it his whole career; Hazard does it on a regular basis; Ivanovic (despite being built like a brick shithouse) flops whenever he gets around the box; even Cahill dives…Tell your players to stay on their feet and the refs might start rewarding you again. It annoys me that he has the wood of Arsene. Nothing would please me more than seeing him whinge and complain about us too.

Frick it, I’m handing out another! My right finger is going to Liverpool manager Rodgers. He accused Alexis of diving when the two teams met recently. First of all I find it very rich that he’s accusing one of our players after he defended Suarez on a regular basis. Secondly, Sanchez doesn’t dive. Thirdly, it was a long way outside the box so it’s not like the free-kick resulted in a penalty. Finally, look what that cheating twerp Sterling did moments later. He handled the ball to get past an on-rushing Szczesny. P*ss off Rodgers…you too Skrtel.

Pre-Match pat on the back:

pat on the back

This week’s pat on back goes to Santi Cazorla.

santi short

He’s really stepped up recently when we’ve needed him too. He’s had midfielders drop off all around him but little Santi has found his first season form. The only thing missing is his shooting foot but that’ll come. Teams have really started to choke us in midfield so players like Santi, Ox, Sanchez and Rosicky are worth their weight in gold. They get the ball and drive forward causing opposition players to gravitate towards them creating space for others. Good job Santi.

Ask the opposition (7)

‘Ask the opposition’ returns again this week. It is designed to get some friendly banter from our opposition fans and get their insight for the match ahead.  This week we’ve got a big group taking part (friendliest bunch I’ve spoken to thus far). The answers were kindly provided by Quill, Brady’s Love Triangle, Mr Hat, John Ex Aberdeen now E.R, Chazz Rheinhold (all from not606) and Ryan from the official Hull supporters club. Let’s see what they’ve written for us this week:

1) How can Hull turn their season around?

Quill: I believe we can, but only if we keep Bruce. Of course, injuries haven’t helped, with Snodgrass being out for the season, and Diame and Dawson also having spells out too. On paper, our team should be comfortable, but paper never won a football match. I think if we get a couple of results go our way, we’ll be fine. We only have to look at Sunderland and Poyet last season for a great example.

brady’s love triangle: Playing forwards when it’s needed, bruce played the perfect game against sunderland but then played the same team at home to leicester.. until the 60th minute when we had all our forwards on we dominated them.. it’s up to bruce really, and if we get diame and dawson back fit and ready, diame has been a huge miss

Mr Hat: Sack Cushionface

John Ex Aberdeen now E.R: We just need to get our bigger players back and a consistent team. With Huddlestone, Dawson, Diame and Snodgrass out, we as a club don’t have the depth of squad to lose these players.

Chazz Rheinhold: Get the players back fit and from suspension. Buy a strong championship centre forward. Deeney would be my choice, if we go down, he’ll be the top scorer next season if we do.

Ryan: As Steve Bruce keeps saying, getting our injured and suspended players back is one big thing but I think he also needs to be a bit more adventurous in attack and make better use of the strikers we have. In our recent home defeat to Leicester we started without a striker and intitially struggled to create chances, but once we brought some strikers on in the second half, we suddenly looked like scoring. That game summed up the rut we’re in really.

2) Which player/s would you like in this transfer window?

Quill: Someone to bridge the gap between midfield and attack. We don’t really have a proper playmaker at the club – Ramirez is alright, but lacks pace, and Ben Arfa was just an idiot. Ironically, we do have that type of player already in Snodgrass, but he is out for the season as mentioned above. 

brady’s love triangle: difficult, we spent a lot in the summer, how much will our owners want to dish out? i’d like cattermole from sunderland and danny ings from burnley, neither are likely to happen though

Mr Hat: Messi, Ronaldo or Bale

John Ex Aberdeen now E.R: I don’t think we need much, maybe Lennon to replay Ben Arfa, and Cattermole to stiffen up the Midfield

Chazz Rheinhold: Troy Deeney. Not sure we need anyone else.

Ryan: We’ve spent a lot of money for a club our size recently and I don’t think we really need to keep splashing the cash. The squad is a lot better than the one that stayed up and got to the cup final last year, so the problem lies elsewhere. That said, the one position I think we lack is a bit of pace up front to get in behind teams. We let Shane Long go for a really good offer, but we didn’t have much time to replace him. We got Abel Hernandez, but he hasn’t been anything like as good as long so far and doesn’t seem to have the pace we need.

3) What player/position is your weakest?

Quill: Quite a similar question to above. I wouldn’t say any player in particular is our weakest, but if I had to pick an area, it would be the attack. Bar Jelavic and Hernandez, we don’t have strikers who look truly threatening. The Leicester game highlighted our need for more attackers or at least a more creative threat.

brady’s love triangle: centre midfield and forwards, hernandez has yet to spark into life despite being our most expensive signing in our history, livermore and huddlestone don’t have that ‘kick’

Mr Hat: Every position as Cushionface pulls names out of a hat.

John Ex Aberdeen now E.R: One in midfield and one up front.

Chazz Rheinhold: Centre midfield. We’ve got ex Spurs in there!! Bit lightweight (no Hudd jokes) and too nice. Shouldnt have bought Livermore, gets through lots of work but not enough bite or drive going forward. Always wants to pass to Hudd.

Ryan: We have reasonably good cover all over. I’d say up front is the weakest. Jelavic is great, but we haven’t got anyone else up to his standard to play alongside him.

4) What tactics are you likely to employ against Arsenal?

Quill: Very likely our 3-5-2 formation. It’s our best formation from a defensive standpoint, and is our best chance of keeping your lot at bay. We’ll likely play very similar to how we did in the 2-2 draw earlier on in the season.

brady’s love triangle: probably a 3-5-2, hoping to dominate arsenal in midfield and get you on the counter.. but bruce who knows?

Mr Hat: Concede at all costs

John Ex Aberdeen now E.R: 352 as we did in the league game solid defence and counter attack.

Chazz Rheinhold: I hope Brucey doesnt sit back. He’ll go 3 at the back i reckon. We’ll be out on our feet by Sunday it could be a drubbing for us, we’re running out of players.

Ryan: It’s impossible to say with us. Being an FA Cup game Bruce will probably mix it up a bit meaning fringe players get a game. We play a few different formations at different times.

5) Which Arsenal player would you like and why?

Quill: 100% Alexis Sanchez. The man is awesome. He has been, for me so far this season, the best player in the Prem. Both his ability to score and create, alongside his pace and trickery is exactly what we need at the moment. 

brady’s love triangle: sanchez, world class, being a huge fan of his for quite a while , he could play at any team in the world, he bossed the world cup and ozil, I’ve followed him from his young days, he has the quality, he doesn’t have the forwards to work with though

Mr Hat: Diaby because Bruce manages to have so many players out injured all the time that Diaby will prove the exception to the rule in a fitting twist of ironic comedy

John Ex Aberdeen now E.R: The Ox, he has pace, skill and power, though a toss-up with Ramsey.

Chazz Rheinhold: Obviously Sanchez but if not Welbeck. 

Ryan: Easy, Danny Welbeck. We were tenuously linked with him in the summer before he signed for you, it seemed very unlikely at the time and so it proved, but I did think he was exactly what we were missing and would have been an ideal foil for Jelavic.

6) Which player/position do you feel is our weakest?

Quill: Defence. I’m including the goalkeeper in that too. Your defence doesn’t look strong enough, both from a physical standpoint and also a mental one. Even Wenger himself admitted that your defence doesn’t talk enough, which is a massive problem.

brady’s love triangle: well, depends on what level, to compete for the premier league/europe, i’d say, a forward and defender

Mr Hat: London, because you pick up a fan base of Piers Morgan’s

John Ex Aberdeen now E.R: Centre back and defensive midfielder.

Chazz Rheinhold: The back four, it seems. Corners free kicks are our best chance of scoring.

Ryan: I don’t know a massive amount about Arsenal but from the outside it always seems like you spend big on attacking players but only get cheap, French youngsters to play in defence. It seems to me that a bit of physicality from teams like Stoke or West Ham is still a weakness for you. I’d say the defence in general is your weakest area.

7) Who should Arsenal sign in the transfer window to improve the squad?

Quill: Again, similar to above, you need a new central defender, someone like Mats Hummels, who has a great technical ability as well as a tactical nous.

brady’s love triangle: martinez of porto

Mr Hat: Messi, Ronaldo or Bale

John Ex Aberdeen now E.R: Not sure which person, but the above 2 positions, then you would be a threat in both League and Europe.

Chazz Rheinhold: Sissoko (sp) from Newcastle. He looked fantastic last time i saw him on TV and was a beast against us last season.

Ryan: Based on my previous answer I’d say a powerful, dominant centre half who already knows the PL. He’d need to play the Arsenal way, so maybe Ashley Williams from Swansea. In fact better yet, our very own James Chester is a very under-rated player in the Rio Ferdinand mould. He’s young, rarely makes a mistake, good on the ball and a brilliant tackler but hardly ever has to slide. I’d hate to see him go, but I reckon he could play for a big club one day.

8) What is your prediction for the match?

Quill: My heart says a 3-2 win after coming from 2-0 down just for revenge, but I’m going to be realistic and say 3-1 Arsenal.

brady’s love triangle: 2-1 to arsenal L

Mr Hat: 9-1 Hull city win.

John Ex Aberdeen now E.R: Depend what team Arsene puts out, if 2nd string we may get a draw, if you put out a first team squad, I fear we will lose 2-0

Chazz Rheinhold: Could be 5-0. It’d be good to fluke a draw and get you back up here for a night match.

Ryan: I can’t see anything other than a City loss. I imagine both sides will play a weakened team, but your reserves will be stronger than ours. If it was a league game I might be hopeful we could knick a result again, but I’m not confident for this one. I was disappointed with the draw really, after last year’s cup run whet the appetite!             


I really don’t know to be honest. With the form we are in and against a team that knows how to expose our weaknesses. I think our saving grace is their small squad. Their players would be tired after the packed fixtures. God I hope we win because we need to go on a winning run and it’d be fantastic if we kept the Cup this year. 2-1 to the good guys.

What is your prediction?

What team line-up would you go with?

Who will be our best player on the day?

Who do we need in the transfer window?

Podolski…a flop or not?

Enjoy the game Arsenal fans.

arsenal vs hull

By Oz Gunner

116 thoughts on “One Hull of an Important Match! Arsenal v Hull Line-Up & Preview

  • Wow OzG, you are back with a BANG! 🙂

    Absolutely brilliant match preview by the master of previews! So right about Santi: he has made me swallow my words recently. Loving the line up as well and, like you, would love Theo to start but don’t expect it.

    Back later for more.

  • fantastic, if our quality debates encourage you to write such lovely previews then let’s have one discussion a week @ Aussie ; )

    some great responses from the lot at HULL – Thank you @ Quill, Brady’s Love Triangle, Mr Hat, John Ex Aberdeen now E.R, Chazz Rheinhold and Ryan – Quality replies lads and I can see you having a lot of respect and love for Arsenal, I always liked you lot as well minus all your spud signings 🙂

    What is your prediction?——————– 3-0 , yes that’s a fcuking clean sheet am predicting – the cartwheel be at the end of my comment 😉

    What team line-up would you go with?——————–



    ————–FLAMINI—————LE COQ



    Who will be our best player on the day?============= Joel Campbell

    Who do we need in the transfer window?================ Schnerdelin, Nastasic

    Podolski…a flop or not?=============== HIT and a fans favourite, scoring 30+ goals in 80 games can never be classed as a flop, especially when some of the goals he scored were really really important goals for us .

    [video src="" /]

  • [video src="" /]

    if it doesn’t show up !

    [video src=""/]

  • epic fail that, please delete the above comment

    and you can check out the cartwheel here

    [video src="" /]

  • it’s a massive bonus to be having the game at home, as we have really been bad away this season due to no stability at the back and our injuries – so a blessing in disguise to be playing 2 home games in the next 2 weeks .


  • 3rd time lucky perhaps ?

    PS: if this doesn’t work then delete please 😀 sorry !

  • Wow OZ that was epic mate, wtf could i add to that lol
    I think i will just enjoy it and read through it again with another cuppa 🙂

    btw this was fucking classic;
    6) Which player/position do you feel is our weakest?
    Mr Hat: London, because you pick up a fan base of Piers Morgan’s
    😆 😆 😆 great answer!!

    thanks again for that OZ!!

  • Bloody brilliant preview! 🙂

    I agree about Santi. He has been immense lately and it’s great to have him back. I have a theory that a player can start a string of excellent performance based on a single move during a single game that he got right. I think his goal against Newcastle – the whole move – gave him an injection of self-confidence that has led him ever since.

    Now, the c&p from the last post:

    I would give a rest to Alexis and Mertesacker tomorrow and go with the following team:

    Ospina-Bellerin, Chambers, Koscielny, Monreal-Coquelin, Rosicky-Walcott, Chamberlain, Campbell-Sanogo.
    Bench: Martinez, Debuchy, Gibbs, Cazorla, Flamini (?), Maitland-Niles, Akpom.

    Right-footed Walcott on the right wing and left-footed Campbell on the left. Sanogo to give our attack a shape that we miss without Giroud. Chamberlain from the higher position and Rosicky from the deep midfield to give us a drive through the middle as well. Bellerin-Walcott axis down the right should have enough pace to burn the grass.

    It’s Hull at home. We should be able to win it without fuss.

  • hahaha i see i am not the only one who simply read through all that nodding at everything, agreeing and finally thinking wtf am i going to add 😆
    Only 11 responses so far, the phrase “victim of your own success” springs to mind OZ, u shouldn’t write such a bloody excellent and complete post, leaves very little to bitch and moan about mate.

    I will give it another crack in a bit 🙂

  • actually not more than 3-4 replies as the rest are mine , duplicated posts and what not .

    Me Amigo , come out and play and I Will tell you the name of our next potential signing .

  • Real cool post Oz! 🙂 Loved the pre-match finger and hull fans comments – especially the one about Piers Morgan 🙂

    I fancy that we will keep a clean sheet because the team will want to prove that they just had a bad day at S’ton and that we will win 2-0.

    On the line-up, I think that it might be an Ox-Coq pairing with Roz, Santi, Theo/Joel in the mid, and Alexis up front with Santi / Roz being our best player. Speaking of which, is there any news about Diaby at all? He seems to be like the guy in the movie Office Space who is let go but does not know this! 🙂 Seriously though, I really wish that 2015 would be the year that he comes back for good.

    I liked Pod and thought that he was a hit especially in his first two seasons. Still not sure what changed this year that he could not come on with 30 mins to go and be a goal-scoring threat. Would love Gundogan to sign but very unlikely (if it happens at all) that this will be in January. I think that we will not sign anyone of note – there may be a signing to provide cover but really will be a 3rd choice CB / Mid. Someone who will not be a threat to the “first teamers” when they return from injury.

  • What have I missed the most on here apart from my drop dead gorgeous looks and sharp wit which causes BK Wags to nearly drown in getting tsunami wetness !………`s the man with the boomerang shaped cock which keeps coming back for more of Skippy`s arse !…….Ozzie baby !………STB…..Simply The Best !.

    I like this guy….Mr Hat !……..knows how to blog differently !.

    My Prediction ?….I predict a riot, if we lose !.

    What team line up would I go with ?…..sadly, my line up consists of players who are injured or not playing for our club due to Wengers ineptness at strategic blatantly obvious transfer purchases !.

    Who will be our best player on the day ?……Mmmmourinho !……oops, was I dreaming out loud ?…….well it wont be Ospina !….might as well put Santi`s little brother in goal….he`s bigger !.

    Who do we need in the Transfer Window ?……..A fcuking locksmith !…..Wenger`s got the window boarded up, parked a Stoke bus behind it and refuses to listen to every ex-player, supporter, man and his dogging session who knows we need a DM Beast !

    Podolski……..a flop or not ?……..better ask Mrs Podolski as I`ve never and don’t really want to see his limp member !…… a footballer, probably the shittest player ever to win a hundred caps and score 50 goals for his country !…..the cazy lunt on the wing probably had Arshavin hiding in his jock-strap !.

    Thanks Oz… forgot to add to the certainties in life…..Death, Taxes and the Ozzies Pre-matches the best anywhere !……too good to ignore !.

    Hope Jane is doing well, Oh Oh Seven !.

  • Evening BKers. Outstanding post Oz, so much to chew on throughout. I like you line up a lot, and can’t offer any sense of a confident prediction of alternatives; so some rather general observations that strike me.

    As people have flagged above, I do think we should think about resting Sanchez and BFG, particularly the former. Given our seeming systemic problem with soft tissue injuries, overplaying Sanchez at this points seems risky in the extreme. Without wishing to tempt fate, BFG should be less prone to these, so perhaps less risk here. Secondly, if the FA cup doesn’t offer Walcott a way back into the team I don’t know what will? Given we have no Giroud, probably no Welbeck, and now no Pod either, if we do decide to rest Sanchez, then we must have one proven goal scorer on the pitch, which means Walcott should start and get 60 min plus under his belt. I totally agree with your call on a Ros-Coq pairing; I’d really like to see this tested soon as I think it might be quite valuable to us – as both Arteta and Rambo have history of protracted rehab. Coq would need to give some real right-sided cover if we had a Theo Bell combination down there – could be fantastic, but will always be vulnerable! Santi and Ox will be key for us, providing creativity and drive.

    Finally, I am really sad to see Pod going – for me he was successful, as far as he could be, but sadly the system was never really adjusted to play to his strengths. I don’t think for a minute that this would some ‘oversight’, it would be a consequence of other combinations taking priority. But it is a shame as he could really finish; he will get a bucket load of goals for the team that supports him properly.

    So my 11 for tomorrow:

    Bell, Chamb, Kos, Monreal
    Coq, Ros
    Walcott, Santi, Ox

    Looks weak down our right in defence, but if Coq stays switched on for the counter might not be too alarming. If Campbell can’t get a game tomorrow then I doubt he has a future with us; I won’t be amazed if Akpom were to start however, esp after he got the sub nod against Southampton.

  • I find it hilarious that Wenger has managed to buy two world class players that are prolific just behind the main striker (Podolski and Ozil) and has somehow come to the conclusion that playing them on the left wing and completely wasting their talents is a better option than reshaping the team.
    It won’t be too many more matches out on the left wing until we say bye bye to Ozil as well.
    If the dumb twat had just bought a real world class DM who could do the job of both Arteta and Flamini then we could have kept the 4-2-3-1 and just made the double pivot a lone DM and added a second striker behind the man up top.
    I hear people saying £60 mil for Cavani would be amazing, fuck that add another £10 mil on that and get Pogba or someone of that elk to be the new DM and free up that extra position behind the striker.
    Wenger 0 – 1 common sense

  • hey hey Cockie’s back!
    welcome back rainbow laces!
    I haven’t called Wenger a dumb twat in quite a while – must be your influence asserting itself already lol

  • Cheers gents, really enjoy doing them. Unfortunately adult life has sucked up my free time and made it hard to come on here until recently.

    I was very impressed with the Hull supporters. I lol’ when I read mr hat’s “sack cushion face”. I thought I’d get a few f-u’s back about beating them in the FA Cup. Amazingly hull and tott supporters have given me the best responses since I started doing it.

    @ BJ

    Haha of course you are predicting a clean sheet. Even if we showed up with 5 on the pitch you’d predict it because of the Colombian in goal.

    I completely agree with your thoughts on Podolski. He wasn’t a flop, just wasn’t built to play there. He has done it well for Germany on the left but there different style of play suited him more

  • Cheers admir. I wish we did have sanogo available so we could keep our shape a bit better.
    I agree with your comment on Santi. Like TA I thought his time was up and he’d be shipped on but injuries have allowed him to play more and he’s lifted. Interestingly the premier league rankings have santi as the 12th best player in the league this season (alexis at 3). I think that’s a fair ranking because without both of them we would be in dire straights.

    I hope you are correct and it is an easy game.

    @ Steve

    Cheers, thanks for taking the time to read it.

    Your comment regarding pogba and cavani definitely has merit. We can’t be too top heavy like United. We need to strike a balance. If we had a killer like him or wanyama we’d have a better stranglehold in midfield, and our players could focus more on attacking. I think having someone like that would really bring the best out of ramsey again too. He floats into the box unmarked often thanks to his high endurance…this season we haven’t seen it because he’s had to defend more.

  • @ AB

    I’d like mertz to rest too but we are so light on down back it’s hard. Out of Kozzer and mertz I’d give Kozzer the rest based on his injured riddled season to date. Mertz is old and knows how to prepare his body right for each game…I have no issue with him playing regularly and I know the medical team wouldn’t either…he’s a proper professional. If he were to be given a rest I’d like debuchy to play next to Kozzer and chambers at RB.

    I like your lineup a lot. I’d be happy with that. If Campbell doesn’t play I agree that his papers with probably be stamped. When he is struck down with a mysterious training injury we will know he’s out the door haha

    @ st. Henry

    Thank you. I think we’ve seen the last of diaby unfortunately. If he wasn’t being paid so handsomely I think he would have retired from injury by now. It’s a shame…all the talent in the world but he was robbed. I feel really sorry for him. Hopefully he can make it as a coach or development officer when his career is over. Then again he’s been out that long that he’s probably completed his medical degree at uni.

  • @ cocker

    Thank you greatly for your comment. Shame you haven’t been on here as often. Who better to shape BK’s impressionable youth? Because of you young Dylan is probably the biggest pimp in school and a real Casanova with the ladies.

    When I read mr hat’s comments I thought it was your hull city doppelgänger. He definitely comes across like he’s fed up…only difference is he came back with a terry-like match prediction. I was half expecting him to write “the ghosts of phil brown are stirring”

    Agree with the locksmith comment. Besides song we’ve needed a DM ever since flamini left for Milan. Reports come out suggesting a 20 million dollar was knocked back for a DM…so what do we do? Wait another year and try again? Surely there are other defensive midfielders available. Sometimes I think he has 2/3 targets. If he doesn’t get them he sulks and doesn’t come back until the very last minute to buy. For years we’ve been short in certain areas and it has cost us a shot at the title. A January transfer could have made a big difference in certain situations but he refused. If we don’t grab another CB in this window we are all being taken on a ride

  • What is your prediction?

    Dont like doing predictions in general and there are too many variables – new GK, insecure defence, injuries in midfield and attack – to do a sensible one. Let’s bless ourselves for playing this one at home is all I say.

    What team line-up would you go with?

    Chambers – Debuchy – Koz – Monreal
    ———–Flam—Le Coq—————–

    (after first half bring on Akpom for BFG if we are 5-0 up)

    Who will be our best player on the day?


    Who do we need in the transfer window?

    Schneiderlin, Jagielka

    Podolski…a flop or not?

    A flop to a large extent. Bought him at the peak of his career but could not be worked into the team, and becoming a super-sub in the process. Waste of talent that way. Key question is: can a top PL team carry a player like Pod in the modern game. Prolific as he is, does he leave too many holes on the pitch?

  • BBC are reporting Theo will start…. so revised preferred starting eleven:

    Chambers – Debuchy – Koz – Monreal
    ———–Flam—Le Coq—————–

  • TA i really don’t understand that Jagielka choice, he’s well past his prime and playing in one of the shakiest defenses in the league this season.
    Oh wait now i get it, yep he would fit straight in here at Arsenal, never mind carry on

  • You just don’t like him because he is a man, Steve 😉

    Listen, Jag is a quality player and would fit in straight away. We get two years out of him and can give BFG or Koz a break regularly. In the meantime your current favourites Chambers and Hayden can slowly grow into the first team. My background is in Human Resources, so you can trust me on ’employee choices’ hahaha 🙂

  • hahaha

    I’ve almost got my whole wishlist team sorted TA, as you probably guessed its youth based but i’m going for height and power (i think we need more of that in our team atm)
    You can trust me my background is in wishful thinking and fantasy football 🙂
    Apart from Van Dijk all are 20 – 21 yrs old (jenko is 22 but we already have him, just need to get his ass back from the loan out)

    ————————————-Selke 6ft 3″————————————–
    ———-Talisca 6ft 2″———Draxler 6ft 2″—————?????————-
    ———————–Pogba 6ft 2″———Van Dijk 6ft 4″————————
    Mings 6ft 3″——–Doria 6ft 3″———–Varane 6ft 3″———Jenko 6ft 1″
    ————————————-Karius 6ft 3″—————————————

  • That`s what I love about the Dutch !………Porn, Drugs and Total Football !… cant multi-task watching porn whilst taking drugs and trying to talk complex football formations…….mix it all up and you get Mertesacker playing up front !….only because Vincent van Gogh is more injured than Diaby…..he`s dead !.
    This is true !…….Jagielka was recently timed as the quickest player in the EPL !……..what they didn`t explain was that the fcuking fat bastard was timed sprinting to his local Gregg the Bakers to renew his season ticket !.

  • haha not tall TA, a fraction under 6ft but that doesn’t mean i don’t recognize we need some height in our team atm. Those players i selected all have the skill we have come to love seeing from smaller more nimble players but they provide the physicality to go along with it – something we have been severely missing as of late imo.

  • Steve, I like some tall, technical feckers in our team too. I love us to be physically strong team again. However, we also need the nimble ones as they offer something different.

  • Agreed TA but that balance is way too one sided at the moment
    Sanchez, Cazorla, Rosicky, OX, Wilshere, Flamini, Arteta, Ramsey, Gnabry etc etc etc, its like the fucking lollipop guild have turned up to play. The only giants we have left over from the type who used to grace the almost everyone 6ft 2″ or taller invincibles are BFG, Diaby and Giroud. Ones dead, one looks like he soon will be and one is banned atm.

  • hahaha nice try TA
    ahhh remember the days;

    Henry 6ft 2″
    Bergkamp 6ft 2″
    Pirez 6ft 2″
    Vieira 6ft 3″
    Silva 6ft 1″
    Campbell 6ft 2″

  • heres a question;
    would it be allowed to hoist a player up (like they do in rugby for a throw in) when there’s a corner?
    Wilshere hoisting Cazorla up and we’ve almost got a fully grown person right there!
    or BFG hoisting Giroud up and boom, win every corner 🙂

  • pmsl Theo and Jag in a race from one end of the pitch to the other, Christ i’d put some bloody money down on that bet! 🙂

  • hahaha
    I really wonder if BFG could make it from the half way line before Theo and Bells got there, i would pay good money to see that TA!

  • ahh the Cazorla Tiger shark defense tactic! i see you’ve been reading my tactics book!
    got to be ok though right?? as long as his hands don’t touch the ball 🙂

  • Hey fellas…Getting silly around here on a Saturday night?… Rugby hoisting will only work if we can get Ox lifting Ospina when we defend opposition corners…

    Sorry for dropping off the planet… I’m fine, just’ve been busy hosting people and then traveling and ringing in the new year and all that…Also, there was only another tiny dusting of new snow so skiing requires significant driving to get to the goods… Mostly, however, I’ve been keeping my own counsel because I’m a bit down about the Arsenal… 😦 Additionally, the Goonersphere is no place to hang out–at least if you’re a supporter looking for sunnier views…

    There are, of course, some good things and this place is hard to beat… It’s very fine to see Oz back at it–the match previews ARE the very best (and probably a better use of time than shouting at the brick wall)… Like others I really love the ask the enemy section and it always makes me feel better about our club. In my absence (and trust me, I was afraid to look…), people didn’t get too crazy over the latest match, but maybe that’s because it served individual agendas… Finally, it’s good to see the Cockster around these parts, where’s TMTH?… Hopefully everybody is (more or less…) in fine fettle as the new year begins…

    007, why don’t you just tell us who we’re getting in January so we don’t have to get our hopes up. Gooners already seemed primed for another round of disappointment, so let’s get to it, I say… My thought is that new signings are great but “like new signings,” seem even more important. Ozil, Ramsey (and silly Ollie) cannot come back soon enough. If we can’t buy a DM, could we at least have our old ones able to play?… On the other hand, watching a little MOTD, not too many of the other teams look very good at the moment, so maybe that will save us…

    Down in the Bay Area, on not very many hours sleep, my wife and I drove across the bridge and saw the So’ton match with the Bay Area Gooners at Maggie McGarrie’s in North Beach. Wow…

    I was very concerned when I saw the line-ups and hoped the senior players could provide the lift we needed. They couldn’t and, overall, our level seemed very low. If Santi could’ve just snuck that early chance in, maybe… Pelle’s even earlier chance was a better one, and a portent of things to come. The frightening bit was that we had our best back line and yet communication and decision making seemed completely missing… In the end, 2 nil rather flattered us, I thought, and it will be tough getting my wife up early for another “date” next time… Now, for the cup match, with the manager saying we only rotate at keeper, I’m again very concerned. Hull have been very poor lately, but maybe buoyed by beating Everton, and, surely. we cannot play as badly as we did. Still, a draw means a replay and that’s the very last thing we need…

    So, just a case of being busy AND not having anything very nice to say… But, as Scarlett said, “tomorrow is another day”…


  • haha that’s a mighty fine team TA. I do enjoy seeing Mertz lumber forward when we need a result. Someone must remind him that he can’t jump…now when that giant man mountain Samba did it defenders would panic.

    @ Steve

    I’m not surprised Jagielka is one of the quickest. Once the taller blokes get to full flight their harder to stop. In a sprint the full length of the pitch I think BFG would be up there. His acceleration off the blocks would be putrid but he’d catch the midgets.

    I think we need more German power. Hummels, Draxler, Bender and Reus. We’d probably go broke but hey we’d win a few trophies before we go down 🙂

    @ TA

    I’m with you with the Jag calls. It’s a smart January purchase, free to play CL and gets premiership ready. Everton have had a rough season but he’s been reliable and a quality defender for a number of years. He’d be top 5 for consistent defenders over the last few years. A very prudent smart purchase. We can dangle the CL carrot in front of him too.

    @ 17

    glad all is well.

    I’m concerned also because although Hull are struggling they will draw confidence from our earlier encounter and the first half in the FA Cup final (not to mention our display against South).

    I was shocked to read the opposition fans call out Welbeck. I’m not sure if it was more of a realist approach…or they just think he’d slot in really well. It’s amazing how the absence of Theo has made everyone drop off of him. Normally all opposition supporters drop Theo in to their wish lists.

  • Speaking of height, I think I’m the shortest one here. I think Cazorla is the only guy in the current Arsenal team that is shorter than me. Arsene would have bought me this summer if he had seen me playing football with my in-laws. (I actually lost the penalty-shootout to my mother-in-law but that’s what you get when you are reluctant to divorce so you use your weaker foot only). 😀

  • Having BFG up front is of course a joke, although I cansee him as our holding striker for this one game. 😛

    Oz, Jag initially played in midfield for Sheffield United, so there is a DM cover role possibility as well…

  • and he was readings backup keeper (they didn’t play with a backup) on their bench. 3-in-1. Arsene does like versatile players 🙂

  • “In a home match against Arsenal on 30 December 2006, due to a thigh injury to starting goalkeeper Paddy Kenny and with his side 1–0 up, Jagielka was forced to play in goal for the remainder of the match. Arsenal were kept at bay for the remaining thirty-four minutes and Jagielka’s late save from Robin van Persie secured the 1–0 victory. His ability to deputise in goal meant that Neil Warnock was able to – and usually did – do without a substitute goalkeeper on the bench in order to give himself more tactical options (League rules then limited the number of substitutes to 5)”

    I remember it distinctly because we weren’t pressuring him at all. I would have thought we would be taking shots pot shots to test him out but.

    BJ is at home now suggesting that he’s a better keeper than szcz.

    BJ: “he’s never let in a goal and he is yet to make an error so he’s better than Szczesny. Told you everyone. I’m always right” 🙂

  • The game is on at dinner time on national TV, so let’s hope the boys do us proud. It sounds more and more that Sanogo will start, with Alexis and Theo on wings?

  • Good morning/evening Oz – Like everyone else says, when it comes to previews …
    ‘Nobody does it better’
    Because I am late reading this I think you have done well with the staring line up, given the news coming out now. How much is it Wenger bluffing we will find out later. Last time a player missed training the day before, he still played (Gibbs). But key players are out, and those that aren’t are pretty frazzled.
    The Gk is a given, but Kos is definitely out. Flamini and Arteta are both out. Up front Sanogo is a big doubt. Now whether AW thinks that replacing injured placers does not count as rotation – because it is a rotation too late? Or he is going to push players on to the pitch in wheelchairs, and the ones that make it to the sidelines the quickest, play? Either way, it is going to be a struggle to have a side play to top form.
    However, I still think we will win. Partly because Hull are in a similar boat regards injuries and many games in a short space of time. Both teams will start strong while they are at their freshest, but after an hour, that is when our better youth players might have the edge?
    Much as the Hull fans said in your post.
    If their idea is to flood the midfield and press in the middle of the park, that is where we have got to pass and move quickly. But that is also where tired minds are vulnerable.
    Coquelin is young and has come into these games fresh, but who partners him will be key. If it is Rosicky the danger is he will be left alone too often. He is already getting a booking a game, and if he gets one here early it spells trouble. Pushing Rosicky in that role after 4 days is another risk, but AW will want someone with experience there. Not many options beyond Chambers, but he may do better at the second attempt.
    The front 4 places are all up for grabs really, with Campbell, Walcott and Akpom pushing for a start, and Cazorla probably edging out Ox in the AM position. The key here will be, does Alexis start?Hope to get a goal or to early, or come on late and run their tired defence ragged late on? The latter makes a lot of sense if they can keep us in the game until that point. The downside is, and what often happens, the fresh man comes on and expects those that have been doing the running about for an hour to still be quick enough to get on to passes they would normally do. They, more often than not, cannot.
    We also know the way to beat three at the back is to attack the spaces wide, which opens up the central defenders for players like Alexis and Cazorla to exploit in the middle. So your line up needs a couple of tweaks. Walcott in for Ox, Campbell switching to the left. Midifield, Coquelin for Flamini, should be about right?
    Gibbs and Bellerin applying the extra width and pace, but the DM pairing will have to plug the holes they leave if we lose possession.
    Subs used: Akpom for Walcott, and Ox for Alexis. Maitland-Niles would be my preference for Rosicky (if needed) rather than the suggestion of the USA junior Zelalem, or Kamara for Coquelin if a red card is looming? Back 5 will have to survive.

    I forget all the questions:
    But, us to win.
    Akpom to score the last goal for us.

    Podolski’s misfortune was the team was never built around him. Therefore he made the most of the bit parts he played, and did so remarkably well in most of those, so he can never, ever be referred to as a flop. But at the same time, never reached the heights he could have done in different circumstances.

    Late taking the dogs, back later.
    Cheers Oz, great post

  • Great summary and reasoning Gerry. When it comes to the youth I value you opinion most.

    Thank you for taking the time to read it and post your response. I must be off too, dinner beckons

  • Is that right, Koscielny is out of today’s game?

    I thought he trained with the rest of the squad yesterday?!

    Sanogo trained as well I believe, I’d be tempted to start him up top if he’s available.
    Sanchez and Walcott either side of him…

    Very good post btw…

  • I forgot to say two things.

    1) I find a bit of ironic that Podolski – who could have written an autobiography called “My powerful left foot” given that his left foot is the main reason why he has participated in the top European football for a decade – scored his probably most important goal for Arsenal with his right foot (the one that doubled our lead against Liverpool in FA Cup in February). We were the second best on that day for the biggest part of the match, we were on decline and Liverpool were in-form team, the memory of 5:1-defeat at Anfield two weeks before that match was very fresh and painful but we managed to win the game and eventually lift the cup.

    2) Welcome back, Glic!

  • ahahahhahahahahahaaahaha @ Aussie

    welcome back Glic and she is fine, how’s Mrs Monster ?

    Am happy that you have returned – it’s not the same without you .

    17HT me Amigo, good to see you back and we might give Diaby a contract extension and he’ll be like a new signing 👿

  • Speaking of figments of imagination, I would swear on my own grave that we used to have a talented German attacking midfielder/winger. What was his name…Nab…Rab… Oh, yes, Serge Gnabry. What the hell is going on with his fitness? Are everyone with last letter “y” in their last name more injury prone than the others (RamseY, RosickY, DiabY, GnabrY, DebuchY, KoscielnY…) because the word “injury” also ends with “y”? Why (or shortly: Y)?

  • @admir

    Never heard much about his knee injury. From memory he injured it just after theo.

    I hope he gets time because I think he’s a german ox. Power and pace to burn!!! Highly rated if low was watching him

  • Allezkev – I have am not sure about the training photos. No sign of Gibbs, which might explain the presence of Monreal for either position.
    Regarding Sanogo, it was funny reading the comments on Pods departure, when it was Sanogo coming on in the final that made the difference? He has a slight ‘hammy’ that makes him a doubt about starting. Too many will need subbing at some point, and one can see AW’s point with having Monreal at CB, asit possibly means he can go strong for an hour up front, and change the lot if need be?
    I guess we will know around 5.0 o’clock?

  • @oz – I recall that Gnabry played in February fixture against Sunderland at home (an easy ride, 4:1 without breaking a sweat). Gnabry had a sitter to score our fifth but missed the opportunity.

    Today is anniversary of Theo’s injury against Spuds. Our league campaign went downhill from that point. Perhaps Theo’s real return is scheduled for today and our league campaign will actually kick on against Stoke.

  • Surely the sanogo injury snippets are fluff. He’s going out of loan so he’s probably being lined up somewhere. Just like podolski was magically injured

  • Strange question but does anybody have any links to streams for the 3 o’clock Southampton vs Ipswich match?
    I’m buggered since wiziwig went down and i’d quite like to see two possible Arsenal targets in action against a strong premiership side (Tyrone Mings and Teddy Bishop)

  • The lineup I would put out there today is as follows:
    GK: Ospina
    RB: Bellerin
    RCB: Debuchy
    LCB: Chambers
    LB: Nacho
    CDM: Coquelin
    RCM: Ox
    LCM: Zelalem
    RW: Walcottj
    ST: Akpom
    LW: Campbell


    I could see that team winnings the game and it gives a few players who need a game some game time.

  • Oz,

    Long time – no see – but you are without a doubt the paramount doyen of pre-match authors.

    Absolutely bloody fantastic, sir!!! 🙂

  • Dylan, lol now thats my kind of team matey! i like it!
    Youth, pace and all out attack – don’t think many here will agree with you though (except for me)
    If i was going to put a 17 yr old in at LCM it would have to be A-M-N though as Zelalem is way too fragile for a Hull match imo
    Cracking looking team though bud

  • Just to add to JB;
    Southampton 0-1 Ipswich – Darren Ambrose
    Assist by Mings – the guy we’re looking at 🙂

  • @steve – that game is not on TV. But the visitors are ahead!

    If we sign Bishop, he might do the exorcism so our players don’t get injured, Wojciech Szczesny to take 007 on a picnic wearing nothing else but a clean sheet and Danny Welbeck to destroy his inner Gervinho and release inner Henry.

    City are one-goal-down at home!

  • Admir, yep cheers mate i couldn’t find it anywhere either so i’ve got it on the radio atm.
    Not sure Bishop is playing atm but Mings is impressing the commentators a lot 🙂

  • Arsenal

    Ospina, Bellerin, Chambers, Mertesacker, Monreal, Coquelin, Rosicky, Cazorla, Walcott, Campbell, Alexis


    Theo Walcott makes his first start for Arsenal since this round last year when he was injured versus Tottenham Hotspur. Joel Campbell makes only his second-ever start for the Gunners.

    Hull City

    Steve Harper; Paul McShane, Harry Maguire, Curtis Davies, Maynor Figueroa; Stephen Quinn, Tom Huddlestone, Tom Ince, Robbie Brady; Sone Aluko; Yannick Sagbo

    Substitutes: Allan McGregor, Alex Bruce, Michael Dawson, Ahmed Elmohamady, Jake Livermore, David Meyler, Abel Hernández

    Steve Bruce has named a weakened side from his usual Premier League lineups.

  • Substitutes: Martinez, Debuchy, Koscielny, Zelalem, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Maitland-Niles, Akpom

  • music to my ears 😀

    Ten changes for Hull from their New Year’s Day win against Everton. Centre-back Curtis Davies is the only player who remains in Steve Bruce’s side.

  • dang, man city score in the last minute to avoid a replay, nooooooooooooooooooooo

  • I almost corrected the line up that Oz gave, I wasn’t expecting Gibbs and Kos to go missing?

    With that line up we could match them with a back 3, by pushing Bells up to a wide 5 in the middle? Plenty of pace up front, and even more when Ox and Akpom come on 😀

    The worry is that Coquelin might get exposed if Rosicky pushes on too much … (now you know why I didn’t abbreviate the French man’s name). And with M-N the only tackling midfielder on the bench, it could get ugly late on?

    Still, Akpom to fulfil my prediction. I just hope it is a winning one …

  • There’s not a lot of height in that starting XI

    Seems a bit lightweight through the middle.
    Hope I’m wrong….

    Cheers for info Gerry, I reckon we could have done with him in that line-up tbh.
    Sanogo, that is…

  • lovely distribution from Ospina, releases it really quick for the counter attack

    and Alexis should be doing better there after all that hardwork…

    we are playing with some real swagger and purpose tonight !

  • Listening to 5Live…

    Was gonna ask how the defence looks…
    Then BFG scores 🙂

  • should have scored 3 in the first half , dang it

    HT – 1-0

    highlight for me ? theo and Ospina – what lovely and ACCURATE distribution from our goalie , certainly looks the part for now .


    why not watch it on the beeb ?available online as well

    Joel has played well and Alexis should have scored 2 goals at least – not bad, liking our fluid play so far .

    Joel seems to be more ready than OX for now .

  • Working JB, but thanks…

    Pleased to hear that Ospina is doing well…
    From what I’ve heard, both Rosicky and Santi are having good games.

    How has Chambers and Bellerin looked JB?

  • It has been good having a cool level headed goal keeper in our goal today.
    It must be nice for the defenders to not have to worry about the keeper having a rush of blood.

  • both looked to have complimented each other well @ Allez

    2-0 to Arsenal

    Theo needs least 5 games before he can get back to somewhere we know he’s capable of reaching .

    start the engine time 1

  • yes @ PG

    am very impressed by Ospina (Was Already) but he looks like he belongs !

    the real test won’t be the next 4-5 games, as I know he is capable of keeping clean sheets but the first real test be when he plays against big teams, until then, I will reserve my judgement but his quick and slick distribution has already impressed me loads and was very impressive when it came to collecting crosses and set pieces .

    a win is a win, and as long as we get another home game in the next roung, we will do well – last season we got lucky with most of our ties being at home .

    also, was impressed by Joel and Roiscky

    what a player our Rosa is ehhhh

  • 007,
    Ohh yes all agreed, also i was impressed by le Coq i think he played very very well and i would like to see him stay there for the forseable future mate

  • Just le Coq and Ospina really could add a hell of a lot to our team defensively.
    I hope Wenger agree’s and is happy to drop Szsc for a while and at least give Ospina a well deserved chance to play.

  • Not a bad showing from the home side. Unlucky not to be 2-3 up from the early stages. Started and finished strong, as we typically do, but the meat of the match is what concerns me. Our inability to kill the game off and put in a consistent 90-minute display have been niggling themes throughout this underwhelming season. Not trying to discredit the boys too much because they certainly deserved the win, but it has to be noted that on another day against a slightly more clinical attack we might not have been so lucky.

    I thought Santi had a particularly good game. It’s been mentioned on here a few times how he has stepped up in the absence of our preferred (which seems to be synonymous with “injured”) CAMs, but the guy is still a classy player. The way he dragged 4 defenders wide and slipped Alexis in on the second goal was a thing of beauty. Shouts to Coquelin as well, who I am starting to warm to. Seems to be enjoying himself in the physical battle and can only improve with increased game time and confidence. Got some poor decisions on a few brilliant tackles that were somewhat balanced out by a non-call on what could have been a straight red…

    Last thing @ JB– surely you’re kidding about Joel being “more ready” than Ox? Yeah Ox has been struggling as of late but he is on a completely different level to JC. Apart from a few good tackles, he looks far too eager to impress which usually results in turnovers. I can understand his frustration with riding the bench and bringing a certain level of desperation to his game but ya gotta get your foundations (i.e the simple stuff) and then build from there. A perfect example of this would be young Hector who also had a solid showing today.

    Ultimately a pleasing win and really looking forward to the return of Ozil and Rambo..

  • Frozen,
    Here here and you took the words right out of my mouth, i was just going to say hopefully Ozil will return maybe for a few mins v Stoke or maybe more wisely v United . Same goes for Rambo.
    Does the FA cup match count towards Girouds 3 match ban? Because it would be nice to haveOG back for Stoke…?

  • I believe it does PG. Would be nice indeed. Not a huge fan of Alexis at CF but i suppose “position” doesn’t really mean much to him as evidenced by his 60 yard recovery runs. Some player 🙂

  • lol he is a machine Frozen, a joy to watch.
    Thanks for the good news.
    Afresh and fit and up for Giroud will be perfect up front v Stoke.

  • for someone playing his 2nd game or starting his 2nd game, didn’t disappoint at all @ Frozen

    you add OX’s numbers and the amount of minutes he has played this season and compare them to Joel’s including tackles won and so on and you may see where I am coming from .

    am a huge OX fan, but Joel has been underplayed or let me put it in a better way – he should have been rotated more with the Ox – Ox looks exhausted and has been overplayed when we had the option to utilize Joel in a more effective way .

    sure, he is eager and hungry to prove himself – do you blame him ? the lad is learning how to play the Arsenal way and by the looks of it , he’s integrating quite well !

  • yep @ PG

    LE Coq is growing and settling in quite well, this was the 3rd straight game on the trott for him ? and he looked full of energy and was even spreading the ball quite nicely – really enjoyed his passing range as well .

    on a different day, with Theo being back to his best – he could have scored a hattrick alone – boy, have we missed those Theo runs or have we really missed those Theo runs

    Ozil must be licking his lips seeing both Theo and Alexis make those runs and must be raring to return . with them 2 in the team, Ozil will get 10+ assists easily !

  • on a slightly different note –

    Real madrid lost after 23 times

    Barca have just lost 1-0 to David Moyes – oh Luis Suarez , not as effective as you were in England ehhh bitey – should have come to Arsenal when you had the chance and could have won a trophy or 2 in the process 👿

  • Domingo to the party a little late here, but thank Oz really good write up and a nice touch to include the Hull supporters, kudos to them as well.

    Adding my congrats to the Coq he put in a really good shift today. His distribution was a little suspect but he put in some great tackles

  • Interesting game with plenty to talk about. A huge thank you to Alexis for saving us from a stressful ending to the game, and of course our second best attacker, the big fecking German! 😉

    Will write something tomorrow about the game.

    Night all. 🙂

  • A few comments on comments, and my thoughts on the game overall.

    Ospina did what he he did very well, but I think Stoke would/will give him a sterner test.

    Our back 4 had little to do in the first half. Ince out wide got round Monreal a couple of times. Bellerin did his best work going forward, but put some timely tackles in, and a couple of outstanding bursts of pace. One in particular, when the ball crossed from the right aimed at a player in the clear on the edge of the box, and every chance for a run for a one-on-one with the ‘keeper, yet somehow Bellerin, who had a good 10 yards to make up, intercept to nick it out for a corner. The key was he saw the danger as soon as the ball waskicked, and was in full flight in an instant. HT will be pleased too, as he passed the ball with his left foot at times 😀
    Chambers looked comfortable back at CB, although I wish he could play on Mert’s left side.

    The DM position was left solely to Coquelin and he did his job very well. But as @Frozen pointed out above, one tackle was a leg breaker on another occasion, studs up below the knee, but luckily not on a standing leg. It could have been a red, should have been a yellow, and would have been off for another silly one late on. That aside, when he gets hiss long range passing game right, it is very good. A couple went astray because Theo is not quite Theo yet, but one was very Song-esque with a dink over the top for Theo to have another one-on-one with their ‘keeper. He is nearly the player many of us thought he might be, and perhaps if he had more time with Arteta early on he might have done so? As it is, he still looks like a youngster developing into that role …. but he is 24?

    Of all the ‘double pivots’ to work out brilliantly, you have to say the Cazorla and Rosicky must be way up there in this game. Virtually every good thing we did in attack stemmed from one or other of this pair. I give an awful lot of credit to the experience of Rosicky to be able to give Santi the freedom to look his best, yet at the same time be in ‘the other space’ to support or initiate play himself. Worked like a dream and should have resulted in more goals.
    Add that pair to the work rate and sheer class of Alexis, between them they made a very stubborn Hull rear guard look slow and awkward time and again.

    Walcott will get better, but 75 minutes is a good return after such a long lay off. Switched playing nicely, both the middle and on the wings promises a lot more to come. Missed a sitter, but, as he said himself, it was good to be in those positions.
    Joel Campbell …. I think I have finally worked out why he looks so brilliant on the international stage, and at times look like a schoolboy out of his depth with Arsenal…..
    He has a split personality. Let me explain. He has a ‘laid back’ side that only looks like he is casually interested. He also has a ‘F*ck me, I’m brilliant! I can do anything’ side. On International duty with Costa Rica he starts every game and has every opportunity to show off the latter to the full. These 10 minute cameos for Arsenal do nothing for him. It exposes the former while he is still trying to work up to phase two. Less time in the EPL doesn’t help either. In this game we had a glimpse of the player he could be. That run off the left wing, a quick one-two with Alexis, and only the ‘keeper to beat, and like Theo’s attempt, where a little dink over the keeper’s leg would have brought about a deserving goal. The more he plays the better he will play, but AW, he needs to start games!

    For once Arsene agreed with my list of subs being used, albeit later than I would have liked, but I know he was waiting for the security of the second goal. Consequently we never saw the best of them. Ox got a kick on the knee and was a passenger thereafter. He should have been de-subbed for Akpom straight away, and M-Niles on for Alexis. The former got no service, the latter got no time. Shame, but see if the draw is kind to us this evening, and we may be able to judge them better?
    I was confident we would win this game, which is something I do not normally comment on. Partly on the basis that the splendid Hull fans who commented on the post knew the true state of their team, but also, for an hour at least, we were going to have an attack that would score against most teams. The big bonus was the Rosicky partnership with Santi working so well. It will be more difficult against a stronger attacking team, but at least it is a Plan B that works.

  • Quick comment here…and I’ll try and write more when TA comes out with his piece…but I just want to give Gerry a pat on the back for a balanced set of fine observations. The hyperbole which has taken over the comments (in my absence, perhaps…) is tough to fight. Well done, sir… (Others have also made some good observations too, but no time to single them out…)

    Our superspy (007, James Bond) has been holding court with a series of ridiculous simplifications, but that’s his style. The keeper issues are just one area but, by far, the most extreme. Ospina looked just fine yesterday against a team clearly gearing itself to find a bit of depth for a (likely unsuccessful) relegation battle. You can say that Szczesny would’ve let in every shot and we would’ve lost the tie, but, alas, Hull produced none and he too would’ve kept a clean sheet… Likewise, absurd bits about Campbell ahead of Ox serve to merely stir the pot. Both players are kids with ample potential but real works-in-progress. On teams truly competing for the bigger trophies, both would be candidates for loan spells. That we’re forced to use them or look at their ability to contribute in a major capacity says more about our injuries and our true level (CL survival)… Yesterday was a GREAT run-out for a bunch of kids (Bellerin, Chambers, Campbell, with shorter stints for Afobe, AMN and Ox) and some older squad players (Nacho, Rosicky) but the fact that we had to rely on older stalwarts–desperately in need of rest (Alexis, Cazorla, BFG)–to run the show and get the goals–says it all. Theo popped up from the shadows and had chances, maybe the most promising bit of all. However, pre match talk about the return of Ozil was just subterfuge, it now appears (unmentioned post match re: potential returnees)…or maybe not. As it is, a week off before a must win (Stoke at home) and then another before a trip north but with only the vaguest of hopes we can shuffle back without another debilitating scoreline. (The return of Giroud may help and, who knows, a “name” in the window might give us that elusive “boost” we all crave.) Overall, we did just fine yesterday, but the same scoreline, in reverse, at Southampton, is probably the more revealing one…

    007, does make a good point (in amongst all the silliness…) that the team does have a chance at clicking–really clicking–if guys like Theo can figure out his runs and guys like Ozil and Santi can find them. The trouble is getting the “all-action” characters, Alexis and Ramsey to likewise keep an eye out for their mates and not only be the guys who try and do it all… It’s a tough job to bring all these talents together (and a reason for the persistent narratives about players not being able to “play together,” most notably, Alexis and Messi at Barca…) but if anybody can find a way, it’s our (current) manager, despite all the ideas that he’s the problem (!?!)… Of course, having everybody fit (or not suspended…) is a looong way off. Yesterday we got the job done, worked some fringe guys (who we might need to help out) into the mix and kept the confidence up of the horses we’re currently flogging.

    All good, but a long way from the ideal and (far) sterner tests await…

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