4-1-4-1 with starts for Ospina, Coq & Ozil, and Alexis up top: Line-Up & Preview

Arsenal at City – We haven’t forgotten history so it won’t repeat!

The saying is that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. That’s good news in my view as we head north to play City and their millions of million pound minions.

So, last year was a disaster and other prior years not so much better with a 1-1 draw and a 2-0 loss *at home* the year before. But, we are a much different team now then those years. Some would argue worse because of the players, some would argue worse because of the injuries, some would argue worse based on objective metrics of Doom (that’s you CM), and so on.

Few would argue better… That’s my job today.

History won’t repeat because we are better than last year. We will be tighter in defence, and we have the (deliberately provocative) “Next Henry” (NH from here on) in attack. More specifically, we also have the opportunity, and the need, to make a statement. A draw would be good, a win better.

History won’t repeat for other reasons also. Make no doubt about it, even if we are the same or similar to last year, City are not. Aguero coming back, Yaya disappeared into the AFCON dimension that makes top African players somewhat unattractive in the TW when you consider losing them every few years at a critical point in a season. So, they are missing some, at least, of their strike talisman, and a big chunk of engine room. Plenty left in the tank but opportunity presents to create a new history.

So, in a rare show of agreeing with Steve and disagreeing with TA, I think that, to quote some ancient heavy metal, “If we’re gonna die!” we should “Die with our boots on!” That means we should focus more on attack than normal in the line-up, even if we come out playing a touch more back and on the counter.

For that, the lineup for me is only lightly changed:

Ospina

Bellerin – BFG/Koz – Gibb

Coquelin

Ox/TR – Santi – Ozil – TR/Theo

Alexis

Arse v MC Jan 15

The key is my middle diamond of Coq at the back, driven by Santi and Ozil everywhere, with Ozil a more false 9 and Alexis up front. I am opting for speed and aggression both ways on the wings with Gibbs, if fit, and Bellerin, fronted by Theo, if fit, or TR and the Ox. Both TR and the Ox in particular can drive a game and also come back heavily on defence. I don’t think this is a game for Monreal on the wing with an attack minded person in front, as he doesn’t have the speed to recover like Gibbs.

It’s a 4-1-4-1, but could almost, using Ozil how I want, be a 4-1-3-1-1 where the 4-1-3 looks a lot like last week.

The big question mark is around Coquelin! Here, I disagree with TA. Coq has shown his mettle the last few games in positioning maturity. I think Flamini has the experience but not the speed for this game. However, he’s my very early sub if this looks bad. This is Coquelin’s big day: does he stay, or do we invest in 2 DMs this summer? Today is it, make or break. He’s earned the right to make the decision for Arsene. My call, my opinion, my heresy, call it what you will…

And if he gets that third yellow, the next games he is suspended for we might not need as much DM spirit as the teams we will be playing are not City, and we will be coming off the high of changing history in this one!

Finally, speaking of TWs, there is an alternative line-up based on the ever ongoing discussion on the site around needing lots of new people, and getting rid of those we don’t like. So, the following is based on reading NewsNow and is therefore, based on real journalism and reporting, and thus, obviously true.

Here we go, based on the linkages, we could play this out there, because AW will close all these deals and swoop before all our enemies and rivals. By Sunday… 🙂

It’s a bit more defensively focused than above also, so it is guaranteed to earn us a draw:

Cech

BFG – keeping some continuity

Perrin

Hummels

Carvalho

Gundogan

Schneiderlin

Bielik – young but has earned his start based on all the newsprint hyperbole!

Reus – down the center where he really belongs

Cavani

Yes, I know that is 10 players, not 11, but with this line-up we can’t lose. They all play down the centre, or should, and that is where we are weak. Thus, I didn’t go for Winston Reid as he plays wider and won’t be of any help.

We will destroy City with our highly flexible 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1 formation!!!! Look out, it’s available for a mere 193M pounds if I did my sums off various articles right!!

I am sure there is not so subtle editorial point in there somewhere on my part. 😛

More to the original point, it seems long ago that we were invincible, and TAs recent call for regular bloggers to profile themselves asked your favourite moments, which in turn reminded me of the tension as that year drew to a close. I think many of us have almost forgotten that feeling and year… Good news again then, as we might be doomed to repeat it someday soon!! 🙂

Perhaps starting at City!

Some questions for the game:

  • On a scale of 1-10, where 10 is the most stupid, how stupid am I for either of my line-ups?
  • Can aggressive wings with speed and Ozil’s passing get us through City? Will we need more defence than I have up there?
  • Flamini or Coquelin? Has Le Coq earned his “shot”?
  • I am 6’3” and our team is short, should AW hire me for this game?

By JGC

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120 Responses to 4-1-4-1 with starts for Ospina, Coq & Ozil, and Alexis up top: Line-Up & Preview

  1. Nik says:

    The first is a 3 for me based on realism. Wenger will definitely play a 4-2-3-1
    Szczesny
    Chambers BFG Koz Gibbs
    Coquelin Flamini/Ramey
    Ox Santi Alexis
    Giroud

    This lineup seems most realistic to me. Wenger always played 2 central midfielders away from home over the last one or two moths. I don’t think he considers Walcott and Özil ready to start yet.
    As for height with Chambers, BFG, Koz and Giroud we should be fine.
    I was impressed with City’s intensity and closing down against Everton and honestly I don’t see us winning tomorrow unforunately

    the second line-up is a clear 7 for me, cause BFG is already there, Bielik as well (or very very close) and I really believe Marco Reus is going to join us in the summer

    I really expect Wenger to sign a defender, but nothing more.
    There will be a lot more money in the Champions League next season, at least 30% which would justify spending more money. But I don’t think its going to happen.

    not a good Saturday of football with Liverpool, ManU, Spuds all winning =(

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Great preview Geoffski! 🙂

    The starting line is indeed ‘Die with your boots on’ stuff and I would be so surprised if Wenger would go for it. Very surprised.

    Some big calls by you:

    Ospina to start…. I called it last time but this time round it would be a big statement to both goalkeepers by AW. I think you might be right, but it is just a gut-feeling.

    Coquelin on his own in 4-1-4-1? Big, big call. You know what I expect: 4-2-1-3 with Flam returning. Flam and Coq or Flam and Rosa in the ‘2’ (ideally) would make sense to me. Better protection and not too much weight on le Coq, who has been close to a red a few times and surely the pressure in this game would be too much, especially on his own in 4-1-4-1?

    Alexis up-front and not Giroud…. Fat, fat call that one. I reckon Ollie will start as his physical presence is soo important, as is his link up play.

    I reckon it is also too early for an Ozil start.. but it would be great if he started tomorrow.

    So my predicted and wanted starting eleven:

    Ospinapple
    Chambers – BFG – Koz – Gibbs
    ———–Flam—-Rosa———–
    —————-Cazorla————-
    Theo———————-SexyAlexy
    —————Giroud—————–

    Experience, quality, leadership, power, speed, finishing, hunger….. a result is possible! 😛

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    On a scale of 1-10, where 10 is the most stupid, how stupid am I for either of my line-ups? I am too nice a guy to rate you, Geoff, but a 10 for courage! 🙂
    Can aggressive wings with speed and Ozil’s passing get us through City? Will we need more defence than I have up there? Yes, but possibly too early for Ozil, and yet Santi can do it too. We need more support in front of defence and Rosa can play the double role really well…. Or maybe Rambo is ready.
    Flamini or Coquelin? Has Le Coq earned his “shot”? If it is a choice, it is Flam for me, but why not both?
    I am 6’3” and our team is short, should AW hire me for this game? Absolutely! 🙂

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    Nik, let’s hope you are right re Reus – would hate to see him in a Samsung shirt…. 😦

  5. Funminiyi says:

    For the first line-up, I’ll give You 5, based on the fact that you’ve agreed to go with Le coq(who has been a breath of fresh air for the team in some crucial ways this term), but i cant seem to agree with you anymore on that cuz i can see that over the last couple of games, Koz and Nacho have begun to have that kind of understanding that helps in seeing out games plus Kieran is just coming back from an injury and i wouldnt like to rush him back for a game of this intensity. A double DM will do and i strongly believe Arsene will think the same. Its a game against one of the tallest and meanest defence in the whole league, hence, i’d love to see Olivier spearhead the attack once again. On your 2nd line-up, i can only ask you to switchoff the lights and dream on. Happy New Year ##Bergkampesquers.

  6. Mr Bond says:

    It was terrible game and a miserable day last time at the Etihad. School boy errors and naive defending from our troops. They lost ground early on and couldn’t retake the initiative. We’ve improved since then and added some quality, then there was no Alexis and we shouldn’t forget the little matter of the community shield that flagged off the season. It means that on a good day Arsenal can beat any team if we keep shape and focus and 4141can give us that. Le coq must turn up and ozil must attend to hi defensive duties. I will take TR ahead of Walcott for the simple reason that Walcott is match rusty and had missed three sitters since Arsene started to ease him back into the team. I want Ramsey to partner le coq in the middle, his pressing and energy will be a factor. If ozil and santi can get their acts together we have enough pace and firepower to give man city a good run of their bottomless oil money. I have a good vibe about this one. With Yaya being away,they’ve not perfected a system that works without him, Arsenal basher Nasri is out and their form been patchy of late. Am going for a win for Arsenal with three goals and one for city. Its about time too.

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    Happy New Year, Fun, and nice to see you back. Good call on Monreal and Koz linking up well. Fully agreed on double DM pivot. 🙂

  8. geoffchase says:

    TA and Nik

    Well, in the light of cold day, wherein one throws adventure to the winds and embraces caution (see what I did there? … 😛 ) … Then, yes, two DMs, we sit and wait for them. We counter by getting to Santi et al, to OG to hold up, and then lay off to on running type…

    I think it makes us one dimensional. Very predictable. Sit on OG with two center backs and dare us to win down the wings from sitting back. … What I liked best about last week was our multi-dimensionality (a word I just made up) … We lose that when we go boring. Hence my choices, along with a desire to be different and see the comments… 🙂

    The arguments you both make for this are likely true. But, equally, AW has also always been an attack is the best defense type too. Perhaps if he feels the confidence? But,we need the draw so…. :/

    The call on OG, we find it hard getting through City, I don’t think this is his game. If I was to include him, I would go 4-2-2 or 4-4-1-1

    Ospina
    Back-4 … Where I expect Monreal btw
    Ox-Santi-Flam-Theo?
    Alexis
    OG

    Nik,so you think my 1-1-1-…-1is possible?!? 🙂

    I think we will go for a DM if we can get one … I don’t doubt AW, but the TW “ifs” are always big

    Cheers — jgc

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    Mr Bond 🙂

    Geoff is based in Kiwi land, so will comment later.

    Re Theo…. I reckon he will not miss the next scoring opportunity and this is the sort of game to announce himself again. He will also push the defence back as it is suicide to play a high-line with Alexis and Theo on the wings and Santi and OG linking up with them. Rosa on the wing is not a bad shout either though. 🙂

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Ospina
    Back-4 … Where I expect Monreal btw
    Ox-Santi-Flam-Theo?
    Alexis
    OG

    Now you are talking, Geoff. Sexy!! 🙂

  11. Funminiyi says:

    Bellerin over chambers for me on this one. Yeah, we are gonna need pace, and lots of it considering how good when going forward Gael has become lately. I think we should sign another DM not if one becomes available, we should sign one even it means the fella is gonna be cup-tied and all that load of craps. We should sign one just like the Chavs did with Matic last year and he wont need the bedding-in time come next season.

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    Still a bit soft in the middle though… maybe Rosa next to Flam and Santi behind OG and Alexis instead of OX?

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Fingers crossed, Fun. I doubt it though. 😦

  14. Funminiyi says:

    TA, its add to predict with Theo,if you’ve noticed, Alexis gets worked-up each time “he sets you up and you kinda fluff your lines”. But i think with another week’s training that he’s got under his belt, he should be sharper for this one but i’d like to see him come from the bench once again. Rosa or The Ox over him for now.

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    Fair enough, Fun. 🙂

    I dont know how fit he really is. But if he is super ready, lets unleash the god of speed.

  16. Funminiyi says:

    Yeah, sure if he’s super ready like you’ve said. And scare the helloutta Gael or whoever plays there.

  17. 17highburyterrace says:

    JGC… I give you a 10 for a very fun, very readable and very imaginative preview. Well done. Your presence–and your multi-layered views–really enhances the blog…

    We’ve been talking about the line-up all week long and I’d like us to play an aggressive group of our very best (fit) players. Who (TF) knows which guys that might include. With another week of training, however, I’d be very inclined to try and play Ozil and Theo from the start or at least one of them. Rosicky has been Rambo-esque against easier competition. I’d be loathe then to replace the one very right-footed player with the other. Unfortunately, to most, these sorts of ideas, would make me seem just about as crazy as anybody, even those picking a group of all youth or all transfers or all anything…

    So, instead, I’ll put my faith in the manager to pick the right players and send them out with the appropriate instructions. I think it’s very likely that at least one-but more likely both-of the deep lying French mids (Coquelin, Flamini) gets the call. My thoughts on those guys, and others, as well as ideas about tomorrow’s match and our youth policy are at the bottom of the last post, for those who like a bit (or a lot) of the 17…Sorry TA, no cut and paste for me…

    That would leave us light in attack–and transition, but it’s likely the best way to avoid a real turning over as we took in this fixture last season and in too many other tougher away matches. Playing on the counter, however, requires not just defensive solidity but the ability to really take advantage in those moments when we get the ball back. As such, I say bigger (and slower and fewer forward runs) at the full-back positions, i.e. Nacho on the left, Chambers on the right but then more skill in MF. Santi, Ozil, Sicky, Theo and Alexis with Giroud up top would be my type of suicide…

    The manager will likely opt for some sort of middle ground–and thus take flak from all elements of the support unless we happen to get the result. I don’t see it, so, in truth, I just hope we can keep it interesting, avoid any further injuries and not blow our collective stacks with too much bombast. Losing by only a goal or two would be “improvement,” after all, but surely not what is required.

    Who knows? City may come out as an undermotivated pack of mercenaries and we might get a bit of luck in attack and a pack of saves from one of our (auditioning) keepers… Still, the smart money has to be on City… Hope, however, against any and all logic, is a natural phenomena, so it will likely rear its head–in my head, or something… Sorry, but that’s about the best I’ve got… 😦

    Thanks again for the great preview…

  18. 17highburyterrace says:

    So’ton hold on at Toon (through a pair of Elia goals…) so, if we fail to get a result tomorrow our league position will appear VERY ugly…with only a chance to improve it right at the transfer deadline… Perhaps, however, that would be a win for those who believe that pressure to spend will equal spending (and thus, we think, improvement to the squad)…

    My point, despite a lot of good intentions here at BKesque, is that it’s a good deal tougher actually managing the team in the real world, including the “public relations” element. Again, however, the correct result tomorrow (a win) might make that (particular) nightmare go away…until the next one…

    More frownies, I fear… 😦

  19. steve says:

    JGC, don’t you know by now its never a good thing to find yourself agreeing with me lol
    Even i am going against my normal judgement and calling for the same team as against Stoke, simply because i like to keep a successfully functioning team together as long as possible atm.

    In defense of your article though i too would drop Giroud, lets face it he got absolutely destroyed by the pace and strength of Kompany last time out and what real benefit does he bring off corners as a target man in a team full of tall players like City – that’s if any of our corners ever get put in on target in the first place.

    If i had my usual attacking hat on i would put pace and attacking threats everywhere mate no doubt about it and it would probably look a lot like your line up 🙂

    4-3-3 like you said in the post;
    front three – have a natural left footed winger on the left who can score as well, a natural right footed winger on the right who can score as well, then our top goal scorer in the middle.
    midfield three – Le Coq as the DM, Cazorla and OX providing the forward thrust.
    Defense – the same as Stoke but look to replace Monreal with Gibbs if he is fit as Navas absolutely destroyed him last time.

    Campbell——–Sanchez——–Walcott
    ———–The OX———Cazorla———-
    ——————–Coquelin——————-
    Gibbs——–Kos———-BFG—-Bellerin
    ——————–Szczesny——————

    Pretty much the same as you mate apart from the inclusion of Ozil – no surprises there then 🙂

    Great post mate thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

    Got to go now, busy working out who i want in that 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1 formation you proposed 😆

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    Hear, hear Seventeenho, Geoff adds a lot to the blog. 🙂

  21. geoffchase says:

    Mr Bond

    I think we mostly agree … There is a measure of saying that City are there for the taking, to a verrrry small measure, right now. They are not as indominatable as last year or so. Ie they are showing signs of human weakness…

    I also think we could steal this one, especially if a bit of magic happens early. Football is a game of emotion – look at all we invest here! – and an early dominant bit of magic would be the ticket..

    Thus, I too would rather lose than go in and play safe. Not my normal take mind, but the time has perhaps come to shake off the demons of recent years of being a bit outmanned, and show some oomph!

    Cheers — jgc

  22. geoffchase says:

    Steve

    Doctors apt made! We agree again. Except on Ozil. I set my lineup that way to allow him not to have come back so much, as I want all his magic going forward.

    I. Agree about OG here. I think he gets doubled there and Kompanys wily ability and speed make it too hard. I went here with more like on like as Alexis vs Kompany will, I think, leave the Belgian possibly contemplating retirement, right after the pen he gives away. Again, going a bit on faith and aggression there. It’s a strength we can now play too, so let’s go for it.

    Like others above, including Mr Bond, perhaps AR could come on. I picked my lineup to minimize new possibly rusty players figuring we would get only one of Ozil or Theo.

    Good luck with the 1-1-1-1-…-1 ….:)

    Cheers — jgc

  23. geoffchase says:

    TA and Fun,

    First, the 1-1-1-…-1 was lights fulh switched off and tongue firmly in and through cheek. More on some TW comments in a sec

    I see yours and TAs point here. I don’t necessarily disagree even. BUT, I will quote you about tallest and meanest defenses. I think OG gets swallowed there and overwhelmed. Especially if we are sitting back more. I want to challenge it with speed and mobility. Not neglecting that while he Isn’t tall, Alexis has PLENTY of power. So, that’s my take on OG.

    TA, good point in fitting in of Monreal. My choice was 50% provocative given Gibbs being out recently, and 50% on, if he’s ready, he offers pace Monreal doesn’t. And in particular also more power in the tackle. I could possibly see Monreal out maneuvered by what I want us to do to City with Alexis… Too much speed and some power is perhaps a risk with Nacho?

    Fun, we agree on Coquelin. If I went defensive I’d pair him with the experience of Flam, but AR is a nice B2B alternative…

    Finally regarding Theo and TR. I too was torn. On song, Theo is great, but rusty, TR offers directness and bite that Theo isn’t. Hard call that one. You can see I left my options open there. Like Steve, in the pinch, I’d take TR on keeping sameness from last week and on form.

    Cheers — jgc

  24. geoffchase says:

    17

    Thanks for the kind words, but I think your 10 means you think I’m a drooling idiot! 😀 even Fun, who hated my lineup gave me a lower score! 😀 😀

    As you may have noted, the lineup I put up is more about discussing how I would like to see us play today. And how I think we can play differently that before at City, leaving that past behind, and have success. However, as you note, AW hasn’t called me for my opinions – likely due only to the time differences! 🙂 – and will do what he wants.

    If I had to summarise:

    A. Speed and recoverability will be watchwords today for us, or should be.. My opinion, see also my comments above as to why..

    B. Coquelin deserves his go, or has earned it.

    Cheers — jgc

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    Geoff, agreed that Alexis can cause a lot of trouble centrally. I prefer to present Citeh with a multitude of attacking worries and Alexis, Giroud and Theo do just that. They are so diverse and multi skilled and all have, crucially, a very good goal to game ratio…. And I want us to take our limited chances as much as possible. Key is to give them freedom to move and interchange and to give good service….. Mmmmm mayby one CM is not enough… 4-1-2-3 could be the answer, but it’s bloody risky. Big call for Arsene.

  26. geoffchase says:

    TA, 17, Fun, Steve and all the et als,

    One piece of justification or rationale I alluded to but haven’t noted much is this:

    Think back to Invincible years and such. Did we change or go defensive much? Or did we play that eras Wenger ball. Like it or not. Ie did we play our game or play to the team?

    Then we put our strength out against others and dared them to defy it. You see above my opinion on the strengths we have reasonably fit just now.

    The counter argument with real traction is that the world and game have changed. More money on the line for CL spots, and more better teams with more better scouting mean that one has to always adapt. The era of monolithic dominance ended with the end of Barcas dominance if not earlier … Play for the points and maximize your take home.

    In the end, philosophically, this is a challenge to how we view our team and the sport. As art, as means to success. And, very likely, offers insights into life, careers and a range of other choices we face in a life that is faster and more competitive than ever before it sometimes seems…

    \end{scary philosophical bit}

    Cheers — jgc

  27. geoffchase says:

    TA

    Quick one before a last thought and comment or so

    I want us so versatile that our chances aren’t limited! 😈

    We will see on the day but per above, I expect cAution from AW… We will see, I think he is internally dissonant in some choices from what he wants from the art and what he needs from the business…. Which is perhaps as close as you will find me to saying he mightbe aging a bit…

    Cheers — jgc

  28. geoffchase says:

    Ok

    Some TW comments briefly..

    A. I WANT a DM, but per a long ago post, it is not just our wanting but the player, their team and their agent all agreeing. This makes it hard and limits what is realistically available to us.

    B. I think more are available now and in summer. We NEED at least one, and I would get two if we could and they could double around CB or a B2B role. That said, by money needs or contractually, it seems Schneiderlin and Carvalho and maybe Gundogan are about this summer. So, if so, one would expect one of them with some reasonable hopes(?)

    As always we will see — may JBs sauces be with us — jgc

  29. geoffchase says:

    Finally,

    I will miss the game real time being down and under in Far Far Away just south of Hobbiton…

    So, if I don’t respond for a bit or during the game it’s not a fit of pique…

    Regardless of the side that takes the field, COYG!!!!!

    Cheers — jgc

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    All good points, Geoff. Hobbiton seems far away from Christchurch: how do you get there, by car or plane?

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    And Geoff, I am sure once Wenger has the equivalent in most positions of the Invincibles era, he will play them time and again as well. 😉

  32. St. Henry says:

    Ha – great post and new formation Geoff! 🙂

  33. St. Henry says:

    Reg your questions
    Given the importance of the game, I would be surprised if Wenger makes any changes from the side that started against Stoke since I think that on current form they match up better against City than the other combinations. I am not sure that we have yet discovered how to be really effective up front without Giroud. I promise to try the aggressive wings on my next FIFA game, but I suspect its defensive frailties will be exposed 🙂
    Le Coq it is for me and AW should take you on for infusing the team with the fighting spirit needed for these games! 🙂

  34. AB says:

    Evening TA and co. Great, thought provoking article Geoff, and lots of interesting follow up to boot.

    The cup is firmly half full with me tonight (though I am fully sober as I write, in case what follows makes anyone question) and I am going to call a win for the Arsenal tomorrow. I know this is very much against the run of history and there is every reason for the odds to look the other way, but my thinking is broadly as follows:

    1. I look at their best available 11 and ours and I can’t find a huge amount between us – they have more at the back, a razor sharp striker and a bit more beef in the middle; we have a bit more creativity in the middle and goal potential from more players.

    2. We are up against a team where key players are missing and others just coming back from injury. Will Aguero be match sharp? I can see him scoring against us tomorrow – but he should not be in any state to destroy us. Tempting fate I know, but I’m just calling it as I see it now. Kompany is also just back; and this for me is why Giroud should play – I’d like to see him fully tested by a big fella, as well as run at by our speed midgets.

    3. But what pushes me into my prediction is that all runs come to an end some time. We have been weak minded and timid against the big boys too often in the last 2 years, and one of these days we will get properly angry and show people that we deserve to be up there with them. I think we do have enough people with some steel in them that we could make this break from tradition tomorrow.

    My team for tomorrow therefore, for once, is closer to Steve’s than others.

    Ospina (clean sheets to date and Wenger has courage)
    Bellerin, BFG, Kos, Gibbs
    Coq Ram/Ros
    Ox, Santi, Sanchez
    Giroud

    There are several obvious questions in here. Why the Bell not Chambers at the right? Simply form for me. Bellerin has shown clear progress and must be high on confidence from recent games. Chambers was outstanding early season, but has had more mixed shows of late. Why bring him back in when not on the up? A Chambers selection would feel more cautious to my mind and one that I would feel marginally more nervous about – Debuchy is a huge miss for us either way. Gibbs not Nacho? Of the two Gibbs has performed slightly less well than I would have hoped this season, whilst Nacho has been rather better; both have their merits and could be seen as reasonably safe options, but Gibbs has the pace needed to deal with Navas, hence he gets my nod, but only if he is fully fit. The Coq debate has been well covered above – I think with Coq and Flam together we might never get out of our half; its a set up for a draw and I can’t see it working for us. Coq gets first go for me as a man playing with confidence and belief; but he would benefit from experience around him. I would have no complaints if Rosicky started tomorrow, but I can see the temptation to start with Rambo if Wenger feels he has not developed any rust during his time out. Again, this feels like a risk to me as Ramsey usually takes quite a while to play himself back into form, but then he has not been out for too long. If Wenger is feeling bold, my hunch says Ramsey. Similarly, Theo on form would be there without question, but he looks so far short of match fitness that Ox gets the start for me. I would not start Ozil back here as I think his confidence needs to be carefully handled – I want him to be handed the chance to make a flying comeback when he does return, so bench it is for me this time.

    The above represents a high degree of continuity in our 11 with plenty of strength on the bench – what more could we ask for in general terms? We will need to start at full speed as any hint of timidity will see us a goal down before we know it. An early goal for us though and we have the speed of play to really hurt them on the counter. Tomorrow needs to be one of those days where we take our chances, not spurn countless opportunities – again, it has to happen sometime, so why not now. I don’t see us keeping a clean sheet though, so Gir and Sanchez will need to score for us I feel. Wenger will also need to use the bench creatively, for attack, for defence, and to avoid red cards!

    Back to where I started – our available team and bench is no weaker than theirs; we just need to get over the inferiority complex for a day and we can give ourselves a very pleasant surprise. Players often comment about the belief that Wenger instills in them – now is the time to show it. COYG!!!!

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    Pardew on Sanogo on Palace official site:

    Debutant striker Yaya Sanogo had an opportunity to get on the scoresheet but overall Alan felt he did well for his first appearance in a Palace shirt.

    “He showed some real technical ability out there today, you need those good little touches to set play your way and he did that very well. I thought he should have scored when Wilf Zaha put a cross over late in the first half but other than that he put in a really good first performance for the club.”

    Read more at http://www.cpfc.co.uk/news/article/pardew-an-amazing-game-2210559.aspx#cRxPOGDd6Rry63Lc.99

    Nice. 🙂

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening AB,

    Fine follow up comment and good considerations. Not my line up as you probably know, but you argue for it well. 🙂

  37. AB says:

    Hi TA. And who knows what the man will do! You opted for Chambers instead of Bellerin – what’s your thinking there?

  38. we can wing city by 4141if ozil and thou stat they most be a win in that mach

  39. Twig says:

    Statistics indicate Arsenal perform better when Monreal starts ~ ESPN

  40. allezkev says:

    Interesting post, with some great ideas re: team formation and line-up.

    Gonna be boring here though and suggest an unchanged team.
    Bellerins pace and Monreals superior defending should keep them in the side.

    ManCity are full of top quality players chaps, if we take them on, we’ll get mullered.
    Although we did well against Stoke, these opponents are a couple of levels above the Potteries rugby team…
    I fear that it could be a long long afternoon…

    Hope I’m wrong…

  41. geoffchase says:

    St. Henry

    Thanks for the kind words. If AW calls I’ll let him know you’re my agent! 🙂

    Cheers — jgc

  42. geoffchase says:

    AB

    I think we agree. I’d not be at all surprised to see Monreal. It was the most 50-50 of my calls, so I decided to be provocative… I’d not be unhappy with him, but wonder about pace/physicality

    Cheers — jgc

  43. geoffchase says:

    Abdul Malik and Twig

    I agree Abdul! We will see Tho, and I sorta suspect something more conservative. My normal choice often, but today, time to let the dogs run!

    Twig, as above to AB, I like Monreal but wonder on pace/physicality. That said, his form is good and on the up.

    Cheers — jgc

  44. geoffchase says:

    Kev

    If I recollect, you’re in Aussie.. If not, well that’s ok… This’ll still work…

    So, it’s 35 and sunny here, and been lots like it. Did the weather die in Aussie taking your optimism with, or are you fearing for the future of the upcoming cricket WC! If not an Aussie, insert something appropriately, lightly mocking! 😛

    Anyway, I think we CAN run with them. Not stupidly, as that never works no matter your talent. Depending on choices we match well and can play with me. Is their bench deeper, yes? But, you can only play 11 at a time…

    But until the club, players and fans believe we can, we won’t play to our strengths and the shitter will come looking for us… All my opinion tho, with truth scheduled to reach the table overnight for us!

    Cheers — jgc

  45. geoffchase says:

    TA

    A short 1:10 flight christchurch to Hamilton, which is secret code for Hobbiton….

    Cheers — jgc

  46. geoffchase says:

    Of course one does have to fly over Mordor to get there, where looking ou the window one sees the eye of Blatter glaring balefully with his dark minions mourinho, pellegrini, van gaal, … And so on…

    Cheers — jgc

  47. shrillex says:

    Good preview Geoff. Very detailed and some good facts. Don’t quite like your lineup though, mostly because of Ozil. I’m not saying he’s not a good player, but I’m not sure he’s quite ready for this game. As for Theo, I’m really tempted to say he’ll start although his finishing has been poor.
    Here’s what I think the lineup would be:
    Ospina
    Calum-BFG-Koz-Gibbs
    Coquelin
    Rosicky-Santi
    Ox-Giroud -Alexis

    A realistic lineup with good balance. Giroud would have a big role to play in holding up the ball, we will be heavily reliant on him to bring other players into play. Also, I think he’ll start to help defend set piece situations.

    The only thing that I would change is Ramsey for Rosicky. Rosa hasn’t impressed me and Ramsey would go in the team if he is fit.

  48. Jamie says:

    Ospina
    Bellerin-BFG-Koz-Monrel
    Coquelin
    Rambo-Santi
    Ox-Giroud -Alexis

  49. oz gunner says:

    Brilliant stuff Professor. Very enjoyable read.

    I think AB is on the money formation and personnel wise. Only exception is Szcz in goals. He’s served his suspension and it’s time to get that pole in goals!

    1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1… formation…I like it. We can tunnel ball it into the back of the net. We had better break the structure when they send in crosses otherwise BFG will have a lot of work to do…and he can’t even jump! 🙂

    I’d hate to see us go too attacking (too soon to have another helter skelter smashing like the ones we suffered against pool and chelsea last season). I’d like to see Rosicky and Coq pressure their midfielders (especially Silva. Can’t have him getting any time on the ball). Santi to continue his hot streak (keeps Ozil out until he’s 100% ready). Giroud up top to hold the shape. Ox to cause havoc along with Alexis.

    6’3..you’re definitely in with a shot! you can bamboozle midfielders with you wit and your bound to outsmart them with your intelligence

    thanks again

  50. geoffchase says:

    Shrillex and Oz

    You’re not to far off me, really… A formation is nothing more than a statement of intent as to how you will play. Within that one can be cautious or out and out attack.

    I’d like my look with caution to start, but …

    As for OG, I think with a defensive approach and their defenders its a long, frustrating day for him … And for us… Per my prior comments I want a different approach to crack that issue. That said, I’ve already noted that I suspect AW will go with OG and more caution… Ah well…

    The absolute key for me is transition. We did this so well as a unit vs Stoke and it’s something STs 100% transferable to this City game .. Nothing they will do can make us not so the work in transition. That’s up to our squad to do or to concede. Win THAT game and the rest follows a fair bit. Hence, why so many including AB have the very similar lineup to last week.

    Just just my 2p from here — jgc

  51. TotalArsenal says:

    AB, I like Bellerina and am happy to see him play. Just reckon Chamberpot is Wenger’s choice, as he is just a bit more experienced and solid in the air.

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    Geoff, Allezkev is a London cabby. 😉

  53. TotalArsenal says:

    Geoff, how long would it take by car and ferry?

  54. TotalArsenal says:

    I am surprised to see how many reckon we can beat an experienced champions team with all of the inexperienced Ox, Bellerin/Chambers and Coq in the starting eleven. One is a necessity but we have better options for the other two. Which age is ideal according to Wenger in terms of ability to win things? 27-29.

  55. Gerry says:

    Great post Geoff. I think you may have won me over, in one area, and agree to some extent in the overall thinking.
    As for line up No 2, you could extracted the NewsNow urine even further had you gone 5 across the strikers backed up by 5 across the attacking midfielders linked. Or even a 4th, with a line up across the back 4, which in truth may only be a line of 4, but strengthened by two lines of two wingers, and a spare keeper?
    😀
    I know you said you preferred Gibbs at left back, but indications seem to lie towards Monreal, but I read on one blog that said this might favour the inclusion of Bellerin, reasoning that AW actually prefers a lobsided wing back approach. Meaning that Monreal will get forward less often, while Bellerin will have the freedom to venture forth at at will?
    But if that is the case then it strengthens the case for a double pivot: 1, It covers the space behind HB; 2, When play is down their pacey side with Navas, Monreal will need support on hand, not rushing back from up field.

    I think you have won me over on the Giroud exclusion. Whilst he does occupy the two defenders, he is not going to be effective there. In defence, he has been invaluable, even when Per and Kos are back together. The could be an alternative of course. Put him wide right? Clichy sure as hell won’t win many headers against him, and that would mean somebody from the middle coming out. That would leave, more space for Ox or Rosicky to attack on the inside, and the overlapping Bellerin able to nip down the byline and cut back a cross?

    But as you say, AW will be calling it as he sees it. As such, I think Coquelin’s willingness to play strictly to his orders against Stoke, – ie Not venture forward too often, keep it simple at the back, and no risky passes, just short pass and move – will hold him in good stead for this one. I sincerely hope he does not start with Ramsey. At his best, fine. Back from injury, no thanks. I would love him to prove me wrong on this, Just as Ox to prove TA wrong … but I have more faith in the latter happening … may be today? 😀
    My AW team will be this:
    Ospina – (Ruthlesss AW not forgiving that quickly) Szczesny – (not wholly convinced by Ospina)
    Bellerin- (See reference to Monreal above) Chambers – (Officially still recovering from illness. Also see reference to Monreal above)
    Mertersacker and Koscielny – (Health permitting)
    Monreal – (Gibbs not fit) Gibbs – (Because he is fit)
    Flamini and Coquelin (Because they are both fit and we are away) Coquelin – ( AW wants him to sign a new contract so he cannot walk away on a free. Oh and if he is not up to it, more push in the TW) Ramsey – (Because AW has told him to stick to the basics, not like last time,and the time before that, before that, and has assured him he will … like the time before, and before…) Rosicky and Coquelin (Because it even makes sense to AW)
    Santi – (Because he is on form … and AW will get a better price in the summer TW) Ozil – (Because he might leave if AW does not play him when he says he is ready to play …. in the MIDDLE)
    Ox – (Because he defends better than Walcott and can drive past players with a quick burst of pace)
    Theo – (Because he is looking for a new contract and AW has said, G’o and prove to me you are worth it’)
    Alexis- (Because Alexis told AW he is playing every game, and AW thinks he is very good)
    Giroud – (Good question. Oh, sorry, he is better than …..errr … in defence I mean)

    I hope that line up is quite clear?

    And before you start TA – Geoff did it first. It is called SATIRE. 😀

    p.s. Krystian Bielik is not playing – (Because he spoke to Szczesny)

    Keeping the faith that they play as a team … that played like a team last time!

  56. allezkev says:

    Me, an Aussie Geoff, Gawd Blimey, I come from Newington Green mate, Norf London.
    But you did make me Larf this morning as I enjoyed my tea in chilly London… 😀

    Geoff we have enough attacking talent to take on City, of that I totally agree, it’s our defensive side that worries me, but I guess that’s where your ideas of ‘going for ’em’ comes from.

    Mike Scouser Dean would just love to flash a red card, possibly in Couelins face if he indulges in one to many, of his rash tackles.
    Dean worries me as much as David Silva…

    As for the cricket mate, I have high hopes that our Pommie Irish captain will lead the Old Country to glory, fingers crossed… 😉

  57. James Bond says:

    the return of the Damus – JGC -DAMUS with a bang , welcome back !

    I can’t for the life of me understand why people want Sczny back in goal – erm, didn’t we win our last 2 games with clean sheets due to no Sczny ? ? ?

    Ospina has done well and needs to be given a proper run of games now, which means him being our goalie for the rest of the season minus injury = sorted and us winning a trophy or 2 or 3.

    now then, onto the starting 11 first ?

    The usual suspects -same as JGC – minus Ozil and Theo for Rosicky and Giroud .

    and to your questions :

    1: 11

    3: no, attack is the best form of defence and you must understand that City’s defence is vulnerable as is ours , as long as we have direct runners, way and beyond – we will be fine ( Alexis, Ox, Rosicky).

    5: Le Coq over Flamini, mainly because I don’t rate Flamini has a big match player, like Sczny, has his brain farts . so the notion is the same for me, CONSISTENCY – both Le COQ and Ospina have done well, why fix something when it ain’t broke ?

    7: Yes, but not just for this game, Professor – AW needs to hire you on a 5 year deal, besides, you can’t do much worse than our current school of science, who knows with you being part of the sports science department, we might actually get Diaby back !!!

    thoughts on the game .

    we will win .

    Ox to score , as well as Giroud and Alexis .

  58. James Bond says:

    also, quite like how AW has given Danny W a much deserved and needed rest .

    he should be back for the FA cup game, as me Amigo normally calls it a “Wengjury” .

  59. oz gunner says:

    haha BJ, it definitely is a Wengjury. They seem to pop up every now and then when a player is fit don’t they?! 🙂

    Of course…we won because szcz didn’t play…how silly of us! 🙂

    @ Professor

    I just think with the jinxing runs of sanchez and ox Giroud is the best player to power it home. That set up ox and giroud had against toon was a thing of beauty.

    @ TA

    that’s because bellerin, coq and ox are world class…jesus…get with the arsenal bias already clogenstein

  60. Jesu taggar says:

    Team selection very much depends on our opposition team sheet as well. Im sure in the absence of yaya, lampard will start along side both fernan’s. Regardless of nasri’s inavailabity, lampard would have start this game. Pelegrini will definately look to keep shape in midfield because he obviously knows his football, just like arsene does. Aguero and navas shall complete their attacking trio with lampard very much looking to join in their attack especially in the early stages. Based on this line up, we should start the game with a balance between being cautious going forward, astute tactical approach and the know how to keep a balance between counter attacking football and attacking football but most importantly ball retention abilities which would require players with good technical abilities. Ospina would start IMHO. Back four of Cham-BFG-Kos-Mon would have to be in constant communication with each other. Every game is totally different from another and it would be wrong to judge a player just on form. Chambers is tactically and physically better then bellerin at this moment of time, although still some way to match debuchy (who BTW is a big big loss). Midfield would require a disciplined DM, a box to box and a playmaker to keep balance between defence and attack. Le coq has done a steady job in DM and has tremendously grown his tactical awareness and positioning which is foremost vital in that role. He should retain his place. Playing flamini and le coq in a double pivot would be disastrous as it would distrupt the midfield balance as both has limited technical ability on the ball. Flamini shall join in if we’re preserving a lead in the final minutes. We’re blessed to have a highly capable box to box midfielder in the form of ramsey. His energy alone would be absolutely vital in this game. No brainer no start him, regardless of form. Form is temporary class is permanent! AM role shall be rotated between the front four of ozil, cazorla, sanchez and ollie based on necessity and energy levels. Primarily ozil and cazorla to interchange in that position, with ollie to fall into that role for head downs to team mates from long balls which makes ollie a vital member of this team. Ramsey shall join the the attack depending on positioning of opposing attacking players. Sanchez should do his demolition job primarily from the left. With ozil and cazorla doing their job to suck in defenders and would require clever runs by sanchez and ollie’s head downs or one two’s. If ramsey can time his runs to the box with perfection, we might see fireworks in the offing!! And if we’re to be luckless/loosing, then expect the walcotts and the chamberlains to come into fray and all hell’s breaks loose!! My prediction: 3-2 to the gunners!!

  61. James Bond says:

    as usual , no reasoning provided as to why Sczny should return to the starting 11 after 2 clean sheets with Ospina in goal and with some decent distribution .

    instead I get this ” we won because Sczny didn’t play” – erm, you said it not me and you are right, we actually did win and win in style as well.

    So, I wonder .

    yes, they do but I hope Rosicky isn’t a victim /beneficiary of “Wengjury” anytime soon, the man is on a mission (to sign yet another contract extension )

    😉

  62. oz gunner says:

    “I can’t for the life of me understand why people want Sczny back in goal – erm, didn’t we win our last 2 games with clean sheets due to no Sczny ? ? ?”

    Short term memory loss there BJ?

    He should return because he’s a better keeper. Simple really.

  63. James Bond says:

    he’s a better keeper, based on what ?

    good game that one, (Cricket) – you certainly seem to have that swagger back with plenty of attacking players in this format – quite enjoy the finch and Warner opening combo .

    Pup in for Bailey would be my only change for an ideal top 6 though .

    what do you reckon ?

  64. James Bond says:

    ah, and De villiers has scored a century in just 31 balls – took him 44 balls to nearly score 150*

    that is insane – T-20 cricket has certainly helped making this a batter’s game .

    sorry for the cricket talk folks, apologies if you don’t know what on earth we’re on about but am guessing Neeraj might have a thing or 2 to say !

  65. oz gunner says:

    Based on him having the number 1 and His golden glove award.

    Yeah finch played well. Starc was sublime though. Definitely pup for Bailey. See if he can stay fit this time. He’ll have to hang up the baggy green if he continues breaking down

  66. James Bond says:

    yep, Golden glove – the same one Petr Cech had/won and where is he now – should answer your question in more ways than one .

    just give Ospina a chance, and don’t chalk him off merely because I have been talking him up and Sczny down ; )

    you really have a mad top 6 – all big hitters, players who play the game in the right way, maybe not a M.Hussy or a Beven in there a lefty is missing but I think you are in with a good shout of winning the world cup, provided no injuries to Starc, Johnson or Faulkner .

  67. oz gunner says:

    Haven’t chalked him off.have only done that to diaby.just think Szcz is better. Cech had to be benched otherwise their young one would have left. A younger world class keeper vs world class older…easy decision.

    Game hasn’t been the same for me since bevan left. Gun. I think they can too. Especially with Warner and smith playing the way they are

  68. shrillex says:

    Oz and JB, relax guys. Firstly to Oz, I’m a fan of Szczesny but so far he has been his own downfall. Multiple poor performances and smoking caused him to lose his spot in the starting XI. Ospina hasn’t impressed me so far but that’s mainly because he didn’t have anything to so far. You MUSN’T judge a player based on his past performances/rewards but based on current form.

    JB, Ospina hasn’t shown me enough to show that he deserves to be our no 1, though that’s largely due to the fact that he didn’t really have anything to do. But that’ll change against an opposition like City, so let’s judge them after this match okay?

  69. Mike webber says:

    Best arsenal blog out there.

    Line up too aggressive – hopefully we’ll go in a bit more defensive

    ————-ospina————–
    Bellerin—Kos—-BFg—Gibbs
    ———–coq—–Ramsey——–
    Alexis.——–santi——–ox—–
    —————-Giroud ———-

  70. Gerry says:

    I have just seen the team come up on Sky …. My worst fear!

    If a casual back heel does not give them the first goal, and then followed up by a short pass that Coquelin has to try and rescue with a late tackle in the box .. red card, followed by a penalty …. Then I shall consider us very lucky.

    The attack looks fine.
    Enjoy, but I don’t think even my lucky bobble hat will preserve us this time

    On the other hand Aaron can prove me wrong?

  71. James Bond says:

    Shrill,

    me and Oz are alright – we are good mates, nothing to worry about, it’s good old banter .

    re- what you wrote “though that’s largely due to the fact that he didn’t really have anything to do”

    that for me is already one massive tick, as Sczny had matches with exactly the same scenario and yet ended up giving most of us heart in mouth moments 😀

    Ramsey starts at the expense of Rosicky !

    don’t mind that as Ramsey provides more defensively but would like Rosicky to come on at some point even if we are a goal or 2 up !

  72. James Bond says:

    blimey, Mike Dean – oh nooooooo

    LINE-UPS

    Manchester City v Arsenal (16:00 GMT)
    Posted at
    Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy, Fernandinho, Fernando, Jesus Navas, Silva, Milner, Aguero. Subs: Sagna, Dzeko, Kolarov, Caballero, Lampard, Mangala, Jovetic.
    Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Ramsey, Coquelin, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud, Sanchez. Subs: Szczesny, Gibbs, Rosicky, Ozil, Walcott, Flamini, Chambers.
    Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

  73. James Bond says:

    anyone here for GDC ?

  74. James Bond says:

    is it me or Gerry isn’t a fan of Ramsey ?

  75. James Bond says:

    get in.
    penalty

    1-0

    should have been a yellow card as well

    come on santiagooo

    cOyg

  76. James Bond says:

    OX needs to do more .

    Ramsey and Koc on yellows .

  77. James Bond says:

    Kompany shoves Giroud, and gets a yellow

    that should have been a 2nd yellow and a red for him, he didn’t get one for the penalty

  78. Admir says:

    Kompany got a yellow. It’s a good thing.

    I’d go with Rosicky for Ramsey in the second half. Nacho has been successful in his battle against the ghosts of the last season.

    Chamberlain has the biggest task today as Bellerin on the right side might be our softest spot.

  79. Admir says:

    007, Dean is in charge. It’s been a rather acceptable level of refereeing knowing him.

  80. Admir says:

    Hahahahaha, Coquelin literally took the concept of barking the orders. 😀

  81. James Bond says:

    wow

    first half = STEEL

    1-0

    and you can see young Le COQ furious at the end for that lapse in concentration from his colleagues – QUALITY

    get in there,

    another 45 minutes and we are home with all 3 points .

    OX and Alexis need to do a tad more when in possession, other than that, I think it will be good to bring Rosicky for Ramsey as he is already on a yellow and bring Theo for OX when he tires a bit more .

  82. retsub1 says:

    What a good 1st half and what a breath of fresh air le coq is..

    Two areas needing attention for me

    Dean is looking a little card happy, hate to go down to 10 in a game like this.

    The Ox looks a little off the pace to me, think I would get Rosicky on.

    Substitutions will be key in the 2nd half. Ramsey will no doubt tire. I would be thempted to let theo have a run at them late in the game

  83. Admir says:

    Speaking of cards, the last time Dean was in charge in this clash, we lost 2:0 at home. Koscielny was sent off as well as Kompany (with a difference being Kompany got his red card cancelled).

  84. retsub1 says:

    Why are we swooping punches with city? If we carry on like this we will get hammered.

  85. Admir says:

    Rosicky should provide a better support for Bellerin on the right.

  86. Admir says:

    GIROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!! I would kiss him in his big lovely…nose!

  87. James Bond says:

    Ramsey needs to be subbed – ASAP

  88. James Bond says:

    has anyone spotted Sergio Aguero in Manchester today ?

    I hope KOC doesn’t take him back to london – empty your back pockets, KOC 👿

  89. James Bond says:

    2-0 and a very matured and professional performance .

    Le Coq – you rock .

    a fully fit and oiled Ramsey would have least scored a brace today but he will only get better and better with more game time.

    Chelsea – beware , be scared .

    you have been warned .

    start the engine time .

  90. proudgooner says:

    Get innnnnnnnnnnn!!!!!!!!!!!
    Happy and proud Gooner. 🙂

  91. AB says:

    Top top result for us. It was long overdue, and most welcome. Should be a game changer in terms of our confidence and mindset, as well as shows the progression of some of our young players.

  92. Admir says:

    Congratulations for all of them. It was like that time when we won at Munich – mature, professional, tight at the back, Le Coq in the middle and penetration upfront when needed. We needed this victory for so many reasons, not just because the results yesterday were all shitty.

  93. proudgooner says:

    agreed AB, lets hope so. they did really well

  94. RA says:

    Loved it — fantastic performance.

    Hands up – I am not usually that enthusiastic about Le Coq — but altho’ Santi was the MoTM, the youngsters Belerin and Coq were superb. 🙂

    The team played so well, apart from 15 mins in the second half, and I hope we produce more of the same in the future.

    COYG 😀

  95. RA says:

    Listening to Arsene’s interview just now and it seems that we may not now buy a CDM.

  96. proudgooner says:

    I dont know AB he made it quite clear he wants 1 or 2 defenders this window.
    But he wil want someone better then what he has, lets hope he gets his man (men) he wants.

  97. The Cockie Monster says:

    Actually had a good feeling about todays game !……It still didn`t stop me from Soffaring though !……..Soffaring is a new word I just invented for us Soffarers ( which is another new word I just invented )…..fans who suffer or are suffering from behind the Sofa !. hahahaha

    Hope Le Coq had a good game as I along with Ozzie wanted him to get a run in the team….more so Ozzie, as I wanted him to have a run just to see whether he would be good enough or not as I was not completely sure, but getting a run is the only way to prove it or not !. I still wouldn`t mind another SQ DM, but probably a Central Defender is more needed !.
    Nearly a “must win” game as …The Saints go marching on !…..even without Wanyama and Schneiderlin yesterday !…….just shows what a top coach can do with tactics, discipline and organisation with a group of players which none would probably wouldn`t get in our squad…..sorry Hamez….apart from the Goalie !.

    Top post Prof` !

  98. geoffchase says:

    Hi

    Will watch later when I can get at it. Arsenal TV shows over my night here… Or player if it’s available in 10-12 hours for me..

    Anyway, lineups post mortem

    A. Didn’t get the OG thing right, did I? 😀 … Seems he finally manhandled them or as Oz noted, an on form Santi and swirling Alexis caused them enough grief to let OG exert himself.

    B. Did get the Ospina and Coq things right tho!! And articles have Coq playing considered football with no weak back passes or studs first, second and third challenges

    C. Wasn’t too fussed about Monreal vs Gibbs

    D. TA and a few others, sorry don’t recall, got the AR thing right.

    E. Frankly not too surprised Ozil and Theo weren’t there to go, but we still had a basically same formation … Attacking! Main thing is B2B Ramsey as “second DM” but he got forward from all reports so it could well have been 4-1-4-1 in practice.

    Overall, OG for Ozil with Alexis sliding back and AR for Theo if I read it right. Oh and the 50-50 to Monreal..

    But, MAINLY!!!!!

    2-0 away, strong win, well closed out, …. HISTORY CHANGED!! 🙂

    Cheers — jgc

  99. geoffchase says:

    Gerry

    Well glad I convinded you onOG but … Ah well 🙂

    Regarding second lineup… No 5-5 please!!!! Let me explain with crayons for thou and all others who question the 1-1-1-..-1 of 10 men

    A. Look at the field at each end there is a goal. It is in the CENTER of each end, not the sides. It’s the funny netted thing if you are uncertain..

    B. Thus, there is NO USE to the others bits of the field as the whole point is to score goals in the netted thingy … Which is where?? YES! In the middle!!

    C. Thus, the formation is optimimsed to do what football is all about, WHERE it’s all about..

    Clear now?? 😀

    Cheers — jgc

  100. geoffchase says:

    Kev,

    Hmm, Australia was founded by English criminals, primarily from south England… Are there any criminals near to you? If so, the you too could be in Australia!! 🙂

    And for oz, sorry but a little parochial 😛 since you’ll prbably demolish us in the cricket anyway..

    Cheers — jgc

  101. James Bond says:

    JGC,

    you mean we sent our convicts down under and then the rest is history, ha

  102. James Bond says:

    Glics,

    how looks the chart of doom ? ? ?

    compared to last season, how many points are we behind/ahead

  103. James Bond says:

    from the beeb :

    15:54
    Teams in the tunnel. Vincent Kompany on his toes, bouncing up and down, facing back towards his team-mates, shouting encouragement. Pumped? You bet.
    When you see the size of Kompany and his goalkeeper Joe Hart next to club officials – ‘normal’ people – it really is quite intimidating.
    Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin looks daunted, that’s for sure…

    our bellerin did well for his size , no ? ; )

  104. geoffchase says:

    JB

    a. Yes, history, tho in the cricket, I believe it turns out only criminals can play well? 🙂 😛

    b. I liked Bellerin for combativeness and speed, not size. Size is nice to knock people off the ball and dominate the air, but it doesn’t guarantee you mobility. Balance in all things, as one was suggesting. Up front Silva is taller but Aguero not so much, so a shorter backline with our timber in BFG and Koz was always gonna be ok… Easy to say after I admit! 🙂

    c. We are off the pace but finishing well, where last year it was all sweet at the start. an optimist would think City still out of reach more than not, but they appear a touch fragile. Next week will tell for them perhaps.

    That said, it’s all on for the rest, and Soton will, *I think* come to earth. They’ve not the depth to maintain it, similar to us last year who were in first over Christmas and then..

    cheers – jgc

  105. geoffchase says:

    CM

    So, Soffaring… is that like a sofa safari? Could we adapt the old beach boys surfing or surf safari tune and market it?? 🙂

    cheers – jgc

  106. Gerry says:

    Yes Geoff, I think those of us pushing for minimum changes, and keeping the the core midfield and attack as it was for Stoke got our wish

    JB – It is not that I am not a fan of Ramsey. At his best he is brilliant. But straight back after injury he is not that clever. To be fair to him, he only tried one back heel on the edge of their box, and duly lost possession in a promising position. However, being in their penalty box when Arsene clearly said in the pre-match interview that he would be more defensive, did not quite match up. Quite close to my satire earlier though? If it wasn’t for MOTM Cazorla, it might have been more costly.
    It was a great team performance though. With only 35% possession, and only 3 shots on target it had to be a great team performance? Coquelin certainly earned his stripes. Bellerin too. I am right about him being taller now. He is as tall as Koscielny and Monreal, who was also very good, with excellent assistance from Alexis and Santi. Mertersacker only made one tackle because he did not need to do any more, thanks to the shield in front of him, and Koscielny back to his best sweeping up game so far. Giroud was excellent in defence of their multiple corners, and scored his goal with a great run to the quick free kick from Cazorla.
    Ospina also did well when we decided to go and try for a second and third goal in the early part of the second half, and they looked moe threatening. Ox had some good runs, but not a lot came of them. Something that will not be lost on TA I am sure?
    How Ozil will get into the side after the FA Cup I don’t know, but I fear the balance will be lost if AW tries to lever him in as well as Cazorla? Still, he can mastermind our Cup and Champions League run.
    One thing for certain. We just got a whole lot more attractive team to come to during this TW?

    Geoff – I came across a new word when reading something last night it it rather suits Ramsey?

    INBETWEENER – It was somebody translating a French word into a ‘best fit’ regards the context of what she was writing about, where something is between two other forces that contain its energy, while it has something slightly in common with either, but not necessarily complimentary.
    Aaron Ramsey. Not quite a defensive midfielder, and wants to break away. Not quite a striker.
    He is an INBETWEENER. 😀

  107. TotalArsenal says:

    Well, time for me to eat some big sweet and sour humble pie. I did not think Wenger would start with Coq, Bellerin and Ox and I was convinced that, if he did start them, we would lose today. I was wrong on both accounts and the boys showed they are men. Bellerin was simply superb, Coq did incredibly well and Ox was very good defensively and sometimes offensively.

    That was a very mature performance and Santi was incredible throughout the game. I think I owe him a big apology, as he has proven me double wrong re both his skillset and attitude this season. Really happy for him though and just great to see how much he is loving his football at the moment.

    I will keep it short as I will write something about the match later on, but boy what an important ‘platform result and performance’. 🙂

  108. geoffchase says:

    TA

    History changed… now hopefully thinking and self belief changed with it, as well as others we might visit now thinking they want to respect us more and be more defensive.

    A platform indeed!

    Regarding Le Coq, I think I said that this was his chance to convince AW to buy only 1 top DM this winter/summer. So far, he’s doing that job. Whatever switched on between not making the side at Charlton to being an integral contributor for Arsenal vs Man City… that is an interesting question!!

    cheers — jgc

  109. geoffchase says:

    JB

    more accurately, no one beats Australia’s criminals at cricket, thus criminals are good at cricket.

    cheers — jgc

  110. TotalArsenal says:

    Interesting question indeed, Geoff. When we play compact and sit deeper, all our defensive minded players look a lot better though.

  111. Admir says:

    In my preview for allarsenal.com, I predicted 3:2 victory for us with goals from Alexis, Cazorla and Ramsey with Agüero and Lampard scoring for City. I got the team almost right – I put Rosicky instead of Ramsey in the starting eleven.

    Wonderful, wonderful performance.

    Oh, it seems that Arsene has Pellegrini’s number – three games this season, W2D1L0 for Wenger, goal-difference 7:2. Four matches in a row without defeat against The Northern Oilers.

  112. TotalArsenal says:

    And the oil price keeps falling 😉

  113. geoffchase says:

    Ah

    So it IS all about the economics. Then Chavs should be losing mightily since Russia, gas and all things related are in further free fall than the emirates lands, no? 🙂

    If only it were true!! 🙂

    cheers — jgc

  114. oz gunner says:

    they sure are TA.

    Santi’s penalty set off a chain of events

  115. allezkev says:

    Geoff, there are no English criminals in my family, not that I know of, although I have bunked into the Saturday Morning pictures with my mates as a kid.
    Not sure if that makes me a crim’ or just a toe rag ? 😉

    Wonderful result by the team today.
    They certainly shut me up, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
    Bloody missed MotD, but from from I heard, Bellerin, Monreal and TA’s main man Cazorla were excellent…

    Gotta build on this result, who knows what this team can achieve if they can consistently show the same application for the rest of the season…

    And well done Francis Coquelin…

  116. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post 😛

  117. Funminiyi says:

    Is it only me who’s noticed that The Ox needs some time on the bench?

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