Santi dances, Rambo and le Coq rock, Giroud head-bangs: eight positives from game


It was no Wengerball; it was no total football. But it was just the team performance the red and white footie doctor had ordered: solid, determined, energetic, predatory, and victorious. Many of us have argued that in the big games we should play compact in defence, lay deeper and work our socks off, and then beat our title competitors on the break.

And that is exactly what the Gunners did against Citeh today; and had we been a bit more tuned in and clinical up-front, we could have won with more goals. 

Of course, the best thing in the world is to beat these opponents with free-flowing, attacking footie, but this might have to wait for a while. Every new palace needs a solid foundation first.

Today’s performance shows that we can play a more solid, defensive game if we have to: and we got the full rewards for it. Had we lost today the gap between us and the Northern Oilers would have been unbridgeable; but in a week’s time it could be just six or five points (when the battle of the Oilers takes place and we play home against the Villains). The Chavs are too far ahead of us, but we can still gun Citeh down; and, given the difficult start of the season, that would still be a good finish to the PL season in some respect.

We ‘scalped’ the Northern Oilers twice now this season and fought hard for a draw at home as well.

Significantly, winning today’s away game has the potential to move us onto a higher platform: the win builds confidence and belief, and with a number of stars returned and returning – did you see that sexy bench today? – we should be able to repeat this performance against the Spuds (in three weeks), the Chavs and the Mancs. Other than one or two good cup runs and a high finish in the PL, learning how to beat our closest rivals would be a great, much needed outcome of the 2014-15 season.

Positives from Man City v Arsenal:

  1. Le Coq stood tall. I had doubts whether Francis would survive in this game, but he had a quietly brilliant game: he was solid, kept it simple and played with great discipline. He showed a great nose for advancing danger and positioned himself really well. His interventions were strong and decisive, and he moved play on well. OzG could be right after all, and no additional DM will be bought anytime soon… What a development!
  2. Cazorla was totally in his element. The free role in our 4-2-1-3 formation today suits him so well. Santi was instrumental in releasing the pressure on our defence with his ability to hold onto the ball in very tight spaces and find a way to play it to a fellow attacker. Furthermore, it was a big penalty to take, and he converted it calmly and professionally; and his free-kick provided the assist for Giroud’s all important second goal. He helped out everywhere and was great support for his fellow midfielders. An inspired, passionate performance, and I feel I owe him an apology but that is for another post. Santi Santi ahahaha 🙂
  3. Ramsey offered a lot of support to our defence and attack today. He was clearly rusty as his final ball and attempts on goal showed us, but he linked up midfield and attack well and helped out Coquelin constantly. I would not have opted for him today, as I believed both Flamini and Rosicky were more suited for this match, but Aaron put in a good shift. There is new life in the Welsh engine room…
  4. We defended as a team: all eleven of ‘us’. I thought Alexis had an off day from an attacking point of view (compared to his high standards) but he put in a good defensive shift (although not faultless). To a large extent, the same goes for Ox, although he had a couple of good moments in attack, notably the excellent run and cross into the box to Giroud. But he also put in a disciplined defensive shift (although not faultless either). The Gunners wanted it more today.
  5. The Full Backs were very keen and kept the City flank penetrations to a minimum. This was crucial as they love to get behind defences from the sides in order to crack them open. Bellerin was very impressive with his positioning and interventions; and Monreal showed great, healthy aggression and energy on the left flank. Both also offered great support going forward, and it was Nacho’s involvement up-front that earned him and us the beautiful gift of a penalty (deserved, but I was still amazed the ref gave it to us so early in the game). The FBs were on fire.
  6. Koz was a beast throughout the game. He hovered up so many balls and his presence and raw energy was enormous. Playing compact and deep suits both Koz and (obviously) the BFG, especially if they get very fine support in front of them by the midfielders. Our CBs were a great mixture of calm interventions/positioning and organisation on the one hand (BFG), and power and aggression on the other hand (Koz). Absolute bliss.
  7. Ospina did not have a lot to do, but he was calm and somehow always ‘present’. He also felt no need to get unnecessarily involved and handled the high balls into the box well. I love the way the away fans shouted his name every time he was kicking the ball out. Nice touch.
  8. Giroud worked hard for the team but, crucially, he took one of his few chances to decide the game for us. It just looked that Alexis was not going to score today, so we needed somebody else to step up. Santi did so from the penalty spot and Ollie from a free-kick at a crucial point in the game. City had looked strong at the start of the second half and we were buckling quite a bit under the pressure, so we needed that second goal desperately, and Giroud delivered right on time. Priceless.

A big compliment should also go to Arsene. He opted to include three relatively young/inexperienced players in his team – Bellerin, Le Coq and Ox – and started with the rusty Ramsey, and it all worked out brilliantly. I did not think this could work, but he proved me wrong. 🙂

There is so much to take from this game and to discuss. What are your positives and negatives from the game? Have we turned a corner now?

By TotalArsenal.

74 thoughts on “Santi dances, Rambo and le Coq rock, Giroud head-bangs: eight positives from game

  • Still buzzing after the game TA 🙂 And what a game! Agree with all the points you made. Santi is just in superb form. What a master of tight spaces! 🙂 Unbelievable, some of the stuff he did. I was thinking after the game, how we would have fared if we had not had the massive injury list. LeCoq may not have been rediscovered. Guess there was a silver lining to the injury woes after all. 😉 Here’s to a nice run of games that sees us firmly in the 2nd/3rd spot. As you say first may be just beyond us, but…hope springs eternal (but will be quiet about it for now lest there be be a jinx :-0 )

  • Well,

    Re: Le Coq – it was his day to make his place or break it. Place made, methinks. I think we still need a “better” more dominant DM but he could grow and compete with one easily enough.

    Re: Ospina, I am surprised at the surprise. He took Colombia far, or did his part, in the WC, which for Colombians is high pressure enough. Thus, to me his calm attitude is no surprise. The key statement is “he saw no need to get unnecessarily involved…” something that leads to the occasional Scz brain fart

    — (somewhere JB just rolled over in his sleep, big shit eating smile on his face.. his wife who awoke from the motion, is very curious as to what he is thinking about that makes him so happy!)

    Re: “energetic, predatory, and victorious… ” … Well how soon we forget history. In the invincibles season of 38 games we had 17 that were 2-0 (4), 2-1 (10) or 1-0 (3) … there was plenty of tight football played there. Plenty… So, is this new, or just recently new again??? 🙂

    cheers — jgc

  • Geoff i think if any of the top european dm’s had played the way Coq did today we would all be banging on about how awesome they were and how they were a step up. Coq can do it for sure. He has always had promise. The beauty of being an arsenal fan is having to keep the faith.

  • Awesome.A most wonderful time for all gunners to savour. Saw it coming right from the FA cup against Hull City. We built on it against Stoke and some people who will never give Arsenal credit painted a picture of an inept Stoke. Then the crowning of them all, the annihilation of citeh. Is it a coincidence that the advent of Le Coq these few games have made us more compact. I was spot on about the combination of Ramsey and Le Coq. Coincidentally these victories are against teams with city in their names. I hope we can kick start our season with these positive results although inadvertently we have handed Chelsea a huge advantage, but you cant have it all.Fantastic result, great football, sweet victory, marvellous three points, points proved and a very very proud gunner.

  • What does Coq really have to do to merit credit from some demanding Arsenal fans? Before the match everyone said it was the real test for him, after acquitting himself so profoundly some people are still having doubts and demanding a new DM? Gosh!
    He made it easy for Koz & BFG to show supremacy and dominance.
    Maybe because we didn’t pay £30m for him.
    Can I ask a simple question? “If we were to sell LeCoq in this transfer window, what would be his price (maybe that might give an angle for perspective)?

  • Reading you guys remind me of how to he a Gunner. When you gun down an opponent, ask for more bullets so you are not caught off guard in the next battle. Never be satisfied until the war is won. That is the beauty of being a Gunner. Congratulations guyscon well deserved vengeance, eh victory. Let us keep pushing for the next victory. Who knows? We just might end up in 2nd or 3rd.

  • Quoting your opening paragraph TA:
    ‘It was no Wengerball; it was no total football. But it was just the team performance the red and white footie doctor had ordered: solid, determined, energetic, predatory, and victorious.’

    Quoting from my last last line in my pre-match comment:
    ‘Keeping the faith that they play as a team … that played like a team last time!’

    Does that make me the ‘the red and white footie doctor’? 😀 😀 😀

    Nice list of positives TA, But I think the best one is going to be the hardest to replicate?
    That is, keeping the same ‘balance’ to play as a team?

    When you put just the Stoke game and this one together, we seem to have the answer to both attacking superbly, and defending with discipline. The reason for that is our best players have been to play to the top of their game. Give Alexis great credit, he sacrificed his attacking game to defend. He would not have been willing to do that in the early days. We can now say he is fully integrated into the team, and is a team player.
    Santi Cazorla put in probably his most committed performance, underlying his determination to show that the central position is HIS area. And the stats back him up; Highest number of passes, 101, with 92% passing accuracy.
    …. There hangs our biggest problem?

    Frances Coquelin – Vee Pee@ 4:32, where were you yesterday voicing such strong support for him? I was fully behind Geoff’s earlier comments when he said what Coquelin did well in previous matches, he could do again against better opposition because his reading of the game and pass and movement are integral to that position. Quite a few of us said at the very least, he deserved his shot in the big game. All credit to Arsene for granting that. I think the biggest thing that Arsene could rely upon from him, was he would do the job he was asked to do. In the Stoke game I think AW said to him not to go forward and try and score, but stay back, play short passes and keep it simple. He did that to perfection.
    He also came through his ‘make or break’ game with aplomb. When Thierry Henry was commenting after the game, two players stood out for him. Cazorla and Coquelin.
    Can he carry this forwards and be our future DM? It is a big question, and it largely comes down to whether AW has real faith in him. I would say as long as the team play as a unit, his efforts will be a big part it being successful. My big concern would be if he is the ‘1’ in the back of a 4-1-4-1, and isolated. Does he have the experience and discipline to do that right now? Which is why the search for a DM will go on, but with less pressure to sign now. He should get a new contract though.
    Yesterday, @ jesu tapper wrote it was a ‘no brainer’ to include Ramsey. I took the opposite view that it was a no brainer to exclude him. I am repeatedly told ‘if you don’t read the history, you don’t learn from it’. Well history told me that Ramsey does not come back on form after any break. It is all very well to say ‘form is temporary, class is permanent’, and I don’t deny that Ramsey at his confident best, is top class. The trouble is, in the past, his clinical class plays second best to him trying too hard and failing to do even the basics right. Purely a lack of discipline, which by contrast, seems to be Coquelin’s main asset.
    However, it has to be said, he did not do too bad yesterday. He had Gary Neville in the commentary box quite apoplectic with rage at this point … ‘What is he doing that far up the field, two minutes before half-time and your side is 1 nil up?’ …this after losing possession and allowing them to counter. I can assure you, my language was less muted!
    Now I do not know what Arsene’s exact instructions were, other that the interview where he said ‘more defensive’, which brought about a response from TH14 on his debut SKY duty to say, ‘It is not about what Ramsey wants. It is what the team needs. He has to just do it’.
    In the end, his forays forward did provide the extra man in attack that, on another day(when he is back to his best) might have produced another goal or two. The fact that Cazorla was playing deeper, enabled him to get back and support Coquelin also helped. But as I said, it could have been better if applied the disciplne of defending more often, because when he did he kept it simple. He should have been subbed about 20 minutes earlier, rather than wait for him to keel over with tightening calf muscles though? But what’s new there AW?
    Of the others, who all played their part, I agree with TA’s listing. Bellerin, NOT the midget he once was, was excellent. Koscielny back to his best. So much so Per had little to do but to command. Ospina too, can claim a clean sheet against top opposition. Giroud did some excellent stuff in our defensive set piece tests, and topped with an alert finish for his goal. Monreal had a really solid game, and well assisted by Alexis. Ox is still not relaxed enough at times to do the right thing, but put a good shift in. He may have looked disappointed to be subbed when he was, but that was the right time, before he tired. Why Rosicky went over t the left side I am not sure?

    I would only play Ramsey in the Cup game of this starting 11, given the players we had on the bench, I am sure they can make a half decent team to see off Brighton with some of the academy lads. Not to mention Krystian Bielik’s debut?

    The real decisions come during next month …

  • All

    So, first half won, and before comments, kudos to Gerry for having my back onCoquelin! 🙂

    Now onward: half 1:

    A. Transition, long ago I wrote in this and perhaps it’s worth a replay TA, but, anyway, we did it perfectly vs Stoke and again here. That changes lots.

    B. Pressure, we gave no free space or time. Again, like transition a question of will and effort that the opponent cannot stop any of your efforts in doing it.

    That’s the hard yards,

    C. Possession, well, a jgc-ism is you don’t have to have the ball to be going forward. Really?!?!? Yes!! One can defend and pressure and bully it back regularly. They had possesion but for long periods we had the control anyway.

    D. Unique feature, we were very good on transition and pressure, see A and B, but once they had control we fell back very well. Make no mistake this was no parked bus but discipline and plan. Finally!! Real, pragmatic football. Again, see C, we had control even without the ball often.

    E. Our ventures forward had much more malice in the final third too.

    To quote a pundit. We don’t know who you are, but what have you done with our Arsenal!? 🙂

    Me like, a lot!

    Ps notes:

    – penalty earned and deserved. Good pro foul by Kompany, as Momreal was thru.

    – yes, Coquelin very solid even with Ramsey gallivanting forward on occasion… All right places and efforts…

    – Monreal! Some feistiness there ine doesn’t always ascribe to him

    Cheers off to second half — jgc

  • Hi

    Ok through OG goal. Finally, a dominant set piece, we made them look, well, like us sometimes, fragile at the set piece. Three players thru, almost lost it for who would score it. Alexis, OG, or Koz. Hart looks stunned. Other notes:

    A. Ox was active, especially defensively, but not 100% going forward, he goes off around 63 for TR, who you can count on for directness… Good, early sub. Clearly aliens have replaced the old AW with a hidden clone/robot spy version! 🙂

    B. We look solid going forward, but 2-0 up away, it’s time to sit a bit…

    C. Coq still on form .. Key elements defensively include, for me:

    – Are often forward now and in half 1, we ARE playing 4-1-4-1 more than 4-2-3-1. Just owning transition and pressure, and managing the game even without the ball. That said all four of the 4 are getting stuck in as needed and up to 3 at once, which is how it should be. Good example shown by Alexis?

    – Coq is always back, quick breakouts instead of 2-2 or 2-3 for city, it’s +1 and 2-3 or 2-4 on attack. MUCH less winnable. Making a huge difference for BFG who’s is this a little invisible despite pressure. A good thing as it means we get our defense numbers right.

    – Very impressed with how Bellerin is going. Monreal is exxeeding my expectations but still appearing workmanlike throughout.

    Not sure I’ll have much else to say, but off for the rest now!

    Cheers — jgc

  • The second game i have enjoyed the arsenal so much.special mention for le coq and magical santi,great performance lads.
    We did moanrinho a great favour although he wont admit it.hope alexis and co get a breather this weekend.

  • Very nice Total…And you’ve hit the positives squarely on the head. I’m jazzed enough from yesterday’s match that I couldn’t keep asleep despite the Nat’l holiday… Also, I look forward to your post on Santi. This vid of the NEW Santi dance isn’t of the highest quality. Still, I prefer it to your earlier image (Henry, the dog, working up to his constitutional)… 😀

    I got a LOT of stuff wrong in the buildup to this match. but do I care?… Not a whit… 😀 Of the coming back from injury guys, the last one I would’ve played was Ramsey, esp. given that he didn’t cameo (as did Ozil and Theo) in the previous match. So much for the manager and his clues to the fans… That Ramsey–and Rosicky–the guy he replaced) both contributed very well suggests that (every now and then) he knows better… Keeping the rest of the squad intact from the previous match also seems to have enhanced the collective effort… Finally, as noted by everyone, Le Coq did more than just pass his test; he grabbed his chance by the short hairs and made it his own, or something… as much through his own play as by enhancing (through communication, well heard in my TV coverage…) the play of those around him.

    It was a true team effort, but let’s not kid ourselves, luck is always involved and we made a bunch of it. (Perhaps you’ll notice what I did there… 🙂 …) Mike Dean is a guy who calls incidents as he sees them and our superior effort and commitment won 3 big ones. The first was the pen (obviously), the 2nd was Giroud (diving) to put Kompany on a yellow and the 3rd was the strong ball work out of our box culminating in the Ox (diving) to put Fernandinho on a yellow. With a ref who is not shy about giving 2nd yellows those are all game changers. (Likewise, it was critical that Kos and Ramsey who got early yellows were not forced into tough fouls themselves as the match wore on)… A final bit of luck was the Kos intervention on the cross to El Kun that rode the finest of lines between stopping a sure goal and scoring one in your own net.

    But luck alone does not beat a strong opponent. The team effort and commitment was outstanding and it’s correct to highlight the defensive efforts of all the players. There was so much strong technical work in playing it out of our own half as well as just standing solid to clear all those crosses and corners. Nobody did less than their best and guys who are heavily questioned by Gooners such as BFG and Nacho (and younger guys Bellerin, Ox and Le Coq) stood the test. Santi, the smallest of them all, stood as tall as anybody, and his defensive contribution was as good as his work at the other end.

    I will say that I was surprised by the lack of bite from City as well as some strange choices from their manager. Losing the two Ivorians (Toure and Bony, not to mention Samir Nasri…) makes them weaker but I still thought Jovetic (not Milner) would start. That he didn’t and that he couldn’t change the match entering at half-time (as Dzeko, a later sub, couldn’t either) suggests that City might do well with one of the many fine #10s we’ve got in our ranks, or some of the ones we will overlook in the market, stacked as we are. Also, in truth, Kompany had a shocker and DiMichelis has never truly convinced (the Argentinian BFG?)… Mangala and (bench warmer 😦 …) Sagna could not have done worse. Looking at our 2nd goal…including Hart watching it in…suggests they might think about some changes as they head to Stamford Bridge…

    Indeed, the sum of the parts seemed not quite up to the crazy money the Sheik has spent. That’s they’re problem… By contrast, what lingers most for us has to be the collective effort and fight in OUR team. No matter what happened–i.e., if the luck had gone against us–I believe the group–no matter who might’ve played–would’ve scrapped and fought and stayed with the project. In other words, I think we may be past the idea that we play our game and if it doesn’t work who cares by how many we’ve lost? This may be the manager seeing the (massive) damage those results bring, but it’s also a testament to the fact that the group sees it as well, has a measure of pride and is working to right that wrong–through collective action. I had hoped, no matter what, that we would keep this one close and take something positive from it and into future matches. Obviously we did a whole hell of a lot more. This feels like no fluke and, as such, our next match (working more players into the mix and getting more well deserved results) cannot come soon enough. Arsenal, after yesterday, is finally something that players (and fans, maybe, perhaps…) might truly want to be a part of…

    Argh, gotta wait a week. At least the window is on…Gabriel (Paulista)?… Anyone…

  • Great review TA. No one does a review better.

    First of all I’d like to offer a big apology to Le coq. I was obviously wrong about him..wait…no I wasn’t 🙂

    We finally played the way we should against the big teams. None of this go for broke attack at all costs stuff. It was a well thought out and disciplined approach. Santi, ox and Sanchez all helped out defensively. Giroud was great in defensive set pieces…like he should always be. Ramsey despite being rusty showed how important he is. Our full backs…they were amazing. Bellerin keeps getting better and monreal keeps on surprising me.

    Complete team performance! Even better when you have players like debuchy, ozil and theo not out there.

    I really hope Rosicky signs another one year deal and finishes his career a gunner. He’s such a good squad player. There is no drop off when he plays and complete commitment every time.

    Oh to be aye!!!

  • Shit what am I saying…we clearly won because Ospina was playing. 3 clean sheets in a row…Szcz career at arsenal is over 🙂

    This shot was taken out the front of BJ’s house this morning

  • HT – I have quite a few things I could add about possible transfers, but I’ll let the warm glow of this post to die down a little first.

    I am not so sure if the team of the Stoke game had been broken up with too many changes, the result would have been the same? Continuity was the key. With only one major change, as Bellerin played a good part of that earlier game, Ramsey was the only difference, and he played a similar role to that of Rosicky.

    For me, being able to take this forward into other games with Ozil and Wilshere, and to a much lesser extent Walcott, presents a real challenge?

    But let’s just keep ourselves warm for now … It is not often we can after a big game, so enjoy?

  • Excellent follow up comments, each adding their own typical angle and insights.

    I went to the other recent Citeh away win and it was a brilliant feeling back then. I also remember Fabregas saying that the win did not mean much if we were to lose the next one, which of course goes for this one as well.

    Villa keep their best performances for big teams away it seems, and Lambert prepares tactically well for these, but first is our FA cup away game against Brighton.

  • Gerry…continuity in the team, not enforced by injury or fitness issues, generally seems a good thing and…in this case, it certainly was. If I have to be one of the salmon (swimming against the stream…) to be eaten by the hungry bears, then so be it… 😀 Overall, it’s very difficult for us to know who’s fit, who isn’t and even what combinations of players might be looking good in training. We all doubted including Ramsey yesterday–and TA and I certainly doubted playing the Ox–but all three (I’m including Rosicky, the only one of the 11 who made way from the Stoke starters) played really well. It was a different game, however, due to the (relatively) early goal so tasty dribbles to the center circle (ending in fouls or yellows or just successful passes) were as good as goals or assists. Truth be told, I think I was more surprised by the City line-up (very defensive and Milner over Jovetic) than our own when they were announced…

    All told it just seemed a good day for the team and not a good one for City (their support also seemed very meek)…so I have less worries about working in players who sat out yesterday. Ozil and Theo, I’m sure will make tons of chances and a fair share of goals. Guys who played yesterday will have to make way for them to get on the pitch but it’s still a long season and (nice as it might be to dream the opposite) we’ll surely get further niggles. If confidence is up–throughout the squad–who can complain?…

    It’s true, transfers in seem less important after a nice win but the club must always be looking to upgrade and after this next little stretch the games come more often. The rumors (American spelling) interest me a lot less than business which gets done, but don’t let me stop anybody…


  • TA, I went to a City match once…but it was at Charlton…before the Sheik had arrived. They were poor and lost 1-nil, and, IMO, their best player on the day was Andy Reid 😯 … Money changes everything, but it cannot buy you love… 😀

  • 17, that is a nice little ground there, and with Curbishley they were a very consistent team for a long time. It used to be my nearest ground when I lived in Greenwich.

  • Hey Gino, D-Money, Macko, you don’t need to wait till our next defeat before you can comment again! 😳 😀

    Come out and play, it is fun in the glowing sunshine and sweet smell of victory….

  • Indeed, right now would be a good time to test the “need a new manager” idea… 🙂

    On the other hand, TA you’re correct, that it is only a “corner turned” until the next disappointing result… 😦

    That said, I am wondering what the regulars believe… With guys coming back from injury and no pesky CapOne Cup duties we should have a lot of quality players champing at the bit… My hope is that the various extra matches take a bit out of Roman’s legions and City give the Moo-boys a game there in South London. Am I right that Spurs must play Chavs twice before our derby?

    According to the new snow (news now) Ramsey is the latest (after Ozil) talking up our title hopes… Confidence is good even when it defies logic…maybe?… Still, it feels like a moment (for me, at least) to allow a bit of belief to creep in… The bigger trophies seem a stretch but if we just go one at a time, the picture might look better, match over match…

  • What a result! Long may the streak continue. But what i’ve observed over the last three or 4 matches now is; 1, Alexis is getting more and more selfish, he’s starting to think he’s a superman[well, isnt that what confidence does]. I think he needs to play more with his team mates.
    2. The Ox needs some time off from the starting 11. He over-cooks everything these days.
    3. The re-birth of Santiago is real. The midget from south-coast is now showing his 1st season form over again.
    4. Ospina is the man. The way he commands his area is a big testament to that. Arsene, give him a run.
    5. Who says Le Coq cannot mix it with the big boys? You’d better think again

  • As negative narratives go…another one might be that yesterday’s result means Wenger is a bit less forced into the transfer market… I always believe he doesn’t think this way and that there’s a realization about what a commitment each signing represents. Still, it may take the air (and ale…) out of those who like to gather for the cameras on deadline day…

    We’re not yet in the top 4 so, you never know, another Arshavin might be needed…

    Also, the Villa match (and the Cup match at Brighton) still represent chances for key players to get hurt and force our hand…Nacho (quietly having a pretty good season…) and Kallstrom (not so much…) were our last couple as the window slammed shut… Ironic that this year it does so on Groundhog’s Day…

    Oz, I meant to say, that I enjoyed the cartoon image of 007 up above…I never knew he was a lefty…

    With Ospina two for two in the league (zero goals conceded) does Sir Chez now become the Cup keeper? That was one bad day he had on the South Coast, including being unable to wait for his nicotine fix… Still, shouldn’t some type of redemption be on offer? Maybe if he tries a different haircut…

  • You got up early today, 17! 🙂

    The win was important psychologically, especially for potential big future cup games, and as such it was a platform win. It also means we can still finish second, which even Cockie would agree is progress, or not El Coucho?

  • Fun, interesting points.

    1. Disagreed, Alexis produces the most scoring opportunities for others within the team.
    2. Harsh, but as he played 31 games already, a break would do him good.
    3. Agreed.
    4. Early days, but good start.
    5. Yep he proved me wrong yesterday, I am pleased to say.

  • Yeah, I am up early, TA…gotta catch up on a bunch of ‘puter stuff, but the excitement of the match (for me, at least) feels substantial. I do believe we caught a bit of luck (particularly re: Mike Dean) but we did enough to earn it so that it becomes more than just a nice blip…

    In real-time the match was very odd. The normal imperative to score (then score more because we were bound to concede) gave way to the tactic normally employed against us…Frustration. We succeeded without excessive cynicism (there was some, no doubt…) and there was actually some quality football in there. The way our guys used their technique to keep possession and push out with the ball, combined with some more agricultural efforts now and again, was a real pleasure to watch. They may be box to box types of midfielders (and full-backs) but the work done by Alexis, Santi, Coq, Ramsey, Ox (and the two Spanish FBs) was almost without fault. We seem a LOT better with Kos and BFG as the CBs, but that’s stating the obvious…

    Like Fun, I’ve also criticized Alexis for holding the ball too long but I think (given how freaking good he is…) that he’s not overly selfish and learning quickly (at Arsenal) to think pass with the final ball. Not getting the start vs Spurs (early season) was probably a shock for him but it was also a poor choice from the manager. I cannot wait to see him and Ozil playing together again as I believe Messy has done a lot of watching and thinking about how to best work with him. I definitely believe Alexis can lead the line and rescue (or add to) some results when Giroud proves ineffective around goal. Hopefully Welbeck (and Theo, of course…) can also be a good foil and net our man some assists to go with the goals.

    I’m also starting to think differently about the Ox and that he may be a decent option in matches like yesterday (where, in truth, a draw would’ve been a more than acceptable result). I still think he needs a better combination of decision making and confidence around goal but the power and pace (and ball skills) can work to wear down opponents in the middle of the pitch. If he does that for an hour and then (if we need a goal) we can bring on someone like Theo ,or Ozil (who surely would’ve played had we been trailing…or even DW…) it could work a tonic. Perhaps he’s more of a bench guy in the matches where we expect the points and a late burst of his energy helps if we’re the ones who are being frustrated. The directness of his play seems to buoy the fans, and if it’s late and we’re looking at dropped points, that too can be a key…

    Fun will also get no arguments from me about Santi, but that had to be expected…Again, I ask, if Ospina is the man, does Szcz get the cup start? Le Coq looked good but I thought Flams did well too in his cameo. Overall, the crisis in that part of the pitch feels mitigated but mostly via the result. Chambers too, let’s not forget, has promise as an all-round, ball playing defender. I still wouldn’t mind a big injection of quality and physicality in that spot. Someone who’s name starts with an S (and ends with chneiderlin…) would be nothing to sniff at…

  • I’m not playing HT. I want to see Steve’s reaction, and may be a suggested line up for the Brighton game first 😀

  • Strong post T,
    I have to say, santi, le coq, and monreal, (because of his and girouds smart play causing the penalty) were my top performers. But thanks for reminding me about koscielny.. the boss again. We need to get reinforcements, if only so we can protect his health.. on his day, there is nobody better, i mean nobody.

    Its not our first attempt at this kind of play, except for the 3-6 to city last season, we always play them very tight, often to a draw, or a close match that can fall either way by luck or whatever. But lets not forget, we Played chelsea that way also… last year when a frustrated mourihno called us boring,boring Arsenal, and earlier this season, when Hazard earned a penalty fairly eearly, that ruined that opportunity for us.

    I want us to take back the 3 points from chelsea that we gifted them yesterday. I also want us to outclass united, because we need to pass them in the table, and im annoyed that we let them beat us earlier. For all their so called stars we are a much better team.

    Lastly, I dont care who comes back from injury, or who we sign, Coquelin has been EXACTLY what we have needed. I think he has earned his position, plain and simple., thats something we rarely see.

    A guy gets a career saving opportunity,a last chance with us, and he grabs the bull by the horns. Its also a very astute move, because if he listens to media, or bloggers or twitter, he knows thats the kind of player we have all been crying out for, and he becomes that.
    Good for him.

  • Well said, J…re: le Coq…

    It seems we have several players who are out of contract in the Summer and we can’t give them ALL new contracts (and spots on the roster), or can we? Who of Coquelin, Flamini, Arteta and Rosicky should get one? Note, I didn’t even mention Diaby, which makes me sad… 😦

    You would have to think that giving these guys new contracts means NOT buying (or promoting) a replacement… Inneresting, maybe? Or at least an illustration of the trade-offs/decisions that face (real world) managers

  • I think HT, Coquelin would count as ‘home grown’, if we were short in that department?
    Rosicky at 34 and playing like a 26 year old may want to take the money and run … while he still can. MLS might suit him down to the ground?
    Flamini, is the most vulnerable, imo.

  • I went through a compiled list of 17 ‘linked’ players this morning. Most are multiples of players in a similar position. Presumably we only going to be interested in one? Therefore it is a bit cruel on players who think the may want to come, and then nothing happens?
    The player you mentioned above appears to have a 20m euro release clause, and I don’t see that happening for a CB. It makes the £10m for V v D seem quite reasonable? On the other hand, if there is a last minute bargain, and nobody has nipped in first, the WHA chappie could be it?
    One player I am crossing of my list is Paulo Dyabla, as he looks like going to Roma. Ironically, we could help fund that if we go ahead with the Destro link? I saw them both play in the same game, and both are quite lively. We do have other wide(left) players linked though.

    If Arsenal are serious about Cavani though, they will have to be quick, as swap deals are being mooted elsewhere? That is the trouble with having back ups, it gives AW procrastination time, which is a bit like ‘Fergie time’, only in the TW.

    There is another disappointed youngster on the horizon, as we are linked with two attacking mids. One of those, plus Ty of the Fens,, and the painter up north, would do for me. Talking of Painters, that edited Carravagio would be a bonus.
    Cryptic as ever …

  • Excellent post, with some interesting comments…

    Had a look at our remaining EPL fixtures for the second half of the season, and I gotta say that they look quite encouraging…
    Whilst I don’t wanna get too carried away, you’ve gotta think that if the team can stay fit, healthy, motivated and focused that we could be in for a rip roaring ride up to May.

    Agree with resting most of yesterday’s team, for the trip to Brighton.
    That XI could be an intriguing mixture of Internationals and youngsters.

  • Oz, 17, Gerry and JB et al

    A few quick ones

    A. TR I’d like to keep, same with Arteta. But both, like Flamini who could also have another year, could make big last years dosh in MLS. I see TR and Arteta as possible coaches within Arsenal development if that was their leaning. Someday…

    B. Oz, from above, my take on Ospina being good and JB was: for JB if he’s reading:

    Ospina, I am surprised at the surprise. He took Colombia far, or did his part, in the WC, which for Colombians is high pressure enough. Thus, to me his calm attitude is no surprise. The key statement is “he saw no need to get unnecessarily involved…” something that leads to the occasional Scz brain fart

    — (somewhere JB just rolled over in his sleep, big shit eating smile on his face.. his wife who awoke from the motion, is very curious as to what he is thinking about that makes him so happy!)

    Cheers — jgc

  • Glics,

    how looks the chart of doom ? ? ?

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

    That was the question that Oh Oh 7even posed me yesterday in between sticking an effigy of Szczesny into his waste disposal unit in his loin cloth whilst sniggering….ahahahahahahahahahahaha !.

    Obviously, Hamez Bond has been tortured by so many evil villains that he is deranged and deluded to have put…”ahead” as the last word of his last question !. The only “ahead” in your world Hamez is Szczesny`s effigy head which you keep in your Y-Fronts as a spare testicle !. hahaha
    Being the only one on here to have his feet firmly on the ground with superior logical brain mass ( and nothing to do whatsoever with my foot masseur nailing my feet to the ground after catching me in bed with his wife ! ). I can give you an update on….Chart of Doom……………

    Don’t blame me if any of you have to phone the Samaritans after this update…..blame BOND….or torture him if that`s the sexual animal I know you fcukers to be !.

    After 22 games we are currently -4 points behind on like for like results ( with promoted teams taking the place of relegated ones ! ). That doesn`t sound too bad, but its the next two which are the ones to have you grabbing your Hampton and try to strangle the life out of the bastard !…………………We are are currently 5th after 22 games…..last year we were…..1st !.
    Points wise, we have 39 points after 22 games and last season we had….51 points !.
    Please don’t phone me !…..I only work on a N17 Samaritans phone line, where I subtly openly encourage scum bags to do the right thing……as death is a better option than having a life of misery of being a Spud supporter !.
    Encouragingly !…….last season our next 2 games (league) saw us drop to 2nd, then back to 1st and then free fall ( May I say,,,,as I predicted ! hahaha ) out as title contenders and only winning our last 5 games got us a 4th place trophy !………however, ( this is the encouraging bit in case you wondered what happened to it ! ) I think we have a chance to start catching up and do what we all like to do best……come from behind !……and who knows, might get 3rd !…… Totes !…..2nd gets you into deranged deluded territory !……meet my friend Mr Bond !. 😀

  • now now, behave and play nicely @ Glics

    just because OSPINA has had 3 clean sheets in a row (a fluke), no shots or meaningful saves to make doesn’t necessarily mean that our Sczny is rubbish after having 2 brain farts every single game, he won the golden glove not so long ago which he shared with Petr Cech who played far less minutes than him and so on last season .

    Sczny is our own and we need to stick by him when the times are tough as his father will personally sort all of you out , who don’t – and Aussie, my friend, you shouldn’t be wishing such things as even a joke or tongue in cheek when you mention that Sczny’s Arsenal career might be over ( be careful what you wish for) .

    Sczny is world class and deserves to be the keeper of one of the top 5 clubs in the world, simply because he’s better 🙄 I mean, just look at the trophies he won us and all the big games he’s won us by keeping clean sheets .

    so, please no more of this Sczny bashing and let’s stick by our man while he keeps Ospina honest and on his toes .

    to answer me amigo, unless you don’t want to win another trophy, then sure, let’s use Sczny as our cup keeper 🙄

    onto Glics – so we are only -12 on the chart of doom, which means that when we win our next 2 games, we would have already made up some lost ground ?

    ahahhahahahahahahahhahahahahahahah at that duuuuuuuuuun duuuuuuuuuuuu doooom sound clip 👿

    onto skippers post – very well and fluently written, almost poetic that and rhymes perfecto !

    not much to disagree about but yeah, it would be nice of Koc to empty his back pockets and let Aguero go back to Manchester as well as for LE COQ to do the same and let David Silva out 😀

    Funm – good to see you back and agreed – Ospina is the man, you gotta love a goalie who starts our quick attacks or counter attacks instead of waiting ages and ages before releasing the ball – the lad has personality but it’s still early days and he needs to be judged at the end of season when we have won the PL, FA cup and CL 😀 no , but seriously, he has personality and swagger and I wish him well, he is in the driving seat, so no matter what Sczny does, it’s now Ospina’s place to lose . if he keeps going at this rate then he would have had more clean sheets by the end of the season than Sczny has had in his entire career !


    I be lying if I said then I wasn’t smiling or had a big smirk on my face the whole day today, the place where I work is full of mancs and other supporters, only me being a gooner so today was my day after 😉 agreed re- Ospina but now he must not get complacent and give AW a reason to bring back Sczny . you just wait another week or 2 before his father and few more polish have been’s come out with their daggers and kitchen sink at Arsenal and AW , crying the same old slogan that Sczny’s a$$ is bigger than the clubs and he deserves to play and so on .

    Jeez, the lad is only 23 and 24, let him keep his head down and learn a few valuable lessons, yes, he will learn far more by being on the bench and training ground (no pun intended !

    re- Flamini – his contract ends at the end of this season, we have an option to extend it by another year taking it to the 3rd year, however, we don’t have to do that and he can leave on a free AGAIN .

  • from the previous post re- Ramsey as Gerry explained .

    Yes, I see your point but it just goes to show that how highly AW rates Ramsey, even though he looked well spent by the 60th minute to me and you could see me wanting him subbed, AW kept him on until Ramsey basically hit the floor with his hands up , forcing AW to sub him !

    but during that time, we could all see how efficiently and effectively he was the connector from defence to attack and so on – he was the engine and found himself in some very interesting and promising positions – had he been more fresh and match fit, he would have scored a goal at least.

    in hindsight, it was a master stroke from the manager but I do agree on the fancy bit , he needs to do the basics right and keep it simple . he looks in good shape now, so am guessing both him and JW have done a lot of Gym work, you can see a physical improvement in guys like Messy (ozil) , Monreal – it’s all very visible, so well done to our fitness people for getting them all bulked up a bit.

    the inbetweener nick was a good one, which reminds me of the inbetweeners, it was a hilarious tv show !

    Glics would love it, if he’s not already watched it ?

  • There`s something on Arsenal Player about Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey promoting their new film….Dumb and Dumber to !………this was the only image I could get !.

  • Love the Inbetweeners…Hamez !……..I know you are an odd number accountant , but it`s -4points on the Chart of Doom…not -12 points !…….fcuksake…your clients must be over the moon with your accountancy skills !. hahaha

  • ahahhahahahahhahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahhahahah

    so to keep things simple – if we win against Villa, then that be down to -1 by the time we play the spuds ?

    so there is still hope for us ? 🙂

  • What’s both amazing and distressing about your analysis, 007, is that when Ospina does let a goal in it will still be Szcz’s fault… :/

    As long as we have healthy bodies who need game time I see no reason why we shouldn’t try our best in the FA cup, while still giving a wider group some pitch-time… Hell, if Sir Chez gifts them a goal or two maybe we’ll get a tasty replay and even more game-time for the lads. Those extra matches in midweek didn’t seem to hurt Totts, WHU and So’ton…Burnley, however, gave up a 2 goal lead to lose to Sanogo Palace… Give the PIG enough hours to smoke himself and he becomes a lovely rasher of streaky bacon, or something. Playing him, I think, might, you know, serve your purposes…

    Seemed to me that just about all our guys did well as in-betweeners yesterday…The benefit of having a scoreline to defend (balls to play out from our half) rather than chase… Are we (perhaps, touch wood and every other part of our bodies) looking better fitness-wise this time of year than we did last time?…

    Finally, what says the sauce about who will next wear the (tight) shirt and get to show off their work in the gym?

    Cockie and his parts and charts :shakes head: Gotta beat Villa (who haven’t scored a goal in their last FIVE matches…) and we’re looking OK, I think…

  • Correct !. 😀
    Just watched the Mansour City Tunnel Cam ( you have to click on it ! )……it`s fcuking boring and will put you to sleep………..a chance whilst I slip in and out of the BK wags bedrooms ……2 mins is all I need !. hahaha

    Noticed that Santi and Alexis were nearly not let on the pitch as the officials thought they were illegal mascots !……..also….. that Nasri was wearing a protective boot on his foot to hide pies from Greggs the Bakers !

  • think rationally here @ Me Amigo .

    Sczny get’s dropped for only 2 games am not going to count the cup one as he was always going to be “rested ” for that one and there are already people wanting him to leave Arsenal to go out on loans and so on – ridiculous, no ? he’s only 23/24 – take a chill pill and let him serve his time out as he gets his head sorted is all am saying .

    you best start warming up to Ospina me amigo like the rest of us have or you’ll be in the minority like Aussie admiring my left handed cartoons ; )

    1:40 onwards

    re- signings – well, a day before yaya (loaned) and the polish midfielder was signed, I did come on here to break it , if you may – not had anything after that .

    the word is that AW is as usual not decided and keeps changing his mind (Targets) . He is convinced that JW can do a job at LB though 😀

    I think it’s good of Skipper to come out and take this one on the chin re- Santiago as his dog like dancing and moves was like the 2nd coming of Diego Maradonna yesterday and also, I kept saying it and you kept believing it me Amigo that Santiago is a big match player – he proves us right every time, si ?

  • Stevie Wonder, Mate come out and play, it’s ok, Ozil was on the bench yesterday and didn’t come on 😀

    give Gerry the line up he so craves !

  • also, I think another reason why Santiago did so well was because he was more motivated and wanted to show his Ex boss that he still had it all !

  • Trust me, 007, I’ve got nothing against Ospina…Seems quality to me…And (duh…) he did just fine yesterday. I loved that wide one (near post) he caught and kept in play… The real reason for the clean sheets (as of late) seems in the spots in front of the keeper these days… Nonetheless he seems a good one. There’s family talk about some travel to a(nother) Spanish speaking country and I’m pushing hard for Colombia… (less drug trade murders these days then in Mexico…) If we go, I’d be on the lookout for a kit, fo’ sho’… (Or maybe you could buy me his Arsenal kit in advance… 😉 …)

    We were pretty makeshift vs Soton but the goals were true howlers…Smoking in the boys room seems a sizable brain-fart as well…A little bit of sit seems about right…

    The only problem comes when it gets absurdly irrational…All bad for Sir Chez, all good for DO…But you seem to be having some moments when you try to “give the kid a break.” Surely the lack of snow here in my mountains isn’t due to Szcz and his smoking (you know, the global warming)…or maybe it is?…

    Oh my, Tony Pubis has taken some of the fun out of our guy Berahino… Mirallas to Spurs? If he promises to miss all their pens, why not?… 15 more mins to see out the nil-nil…

  • I don’t really want to fire up the Szs / Ospina debate, but it does seem to me that nearly every game that Szs misses the other team don’t bother to turn up. It was the same when Martinez played (excluding Stoke away I think). Ospina did well yesterday, but once again it was pretty quiet, although City did have multiple corners, maybe Szs commits himself more (don’t know just thinking aloud)

    The other thing I found interesting was the fact that everyone raved about what a great performance (and it was) they only had 35 per cent of the ball. The lowest Ársenal possession figure since they started collecting stats 11 years ago.. Go figure? I guess it’s a case of quality not quantity.

    The only thing I didn’t understand was why we changed tactics for the first 10 minutes of the 2nd half, where it was we attack then you attack. That’s what we did last year and got hit for 6 although we had far more possession. Was that a conscious decision from Wenger? Or did the likes of Ramsey and Bellerin just get carried away?

    As many others have said Santi was great, but I think le coq was the reason we won. It was his discipline that held the side together. I am going to switch camps and say let’s leave the DM Position and spend our kitty on a cb

  • am also watching the WBA game and Everton should have scored that penalty had Mirallas not done an Alexis on Baines .

    he just needs to be kept out of the firing line and lime light, and that saints performance was coming you know it was only a matter of time,I was screaming and screaming for it – the signs were there . This in my opinion is where AW needs to be more on the money . He’s a reactive manager and he could do with being more proactive – taking him out of the firing line and letting him get on with it in training and slowly getting back the confidence he lost be a good thing . whether he plays again this season, we don’t know but he needs to be a TRUE professional now, just like Fabianski was . true test of character awaits and I hope he proves me wrong by keeping his head down .

    yeah, that wide one he saved and kept inside was good as was the one he saved early on from Kun as well as that lovely brisk and swift rolling out of the ball to alexis that sent us away on our quick counter in the 2nd half ?

    his distribution is very good sometimes, like in the game before last I think – he took his time, and his long kick dropped like a magnet at Theo’s feet where he was unmarked .

  • yes, interesting stuff that Rets

    but hey, Martinez played 3 games and conceded what 1 goal ? with the same defence more or less

    and then Ospina played 3 games and has conceded no goals – so it’s all down to the lack of quality shown by the opposing team as they all stock it up for Sczny or maybe Sczny enjoys the same but is a magnet for wanting to be in the spot light hence forcing himself into errors ?

    you must know that there were games when we had attacked on the oppositions goal no less than 10 times and 0 goals, and boom the first attack or shot on goal from the opposition resulted in a goal for them and a win .

    maybe it’s his bad luck , who knows ? but that’s 6 games without him and only 1 or 2 goals conceded .

    tells a story, no ?

    re – changing it in the 2nd half – it’s not in our DNA to play like that at all, even our goalie wants to be in the action mostly, so big respect to the players for trying to curb it down and keeping it real .

    we nearly did Liverpool as well earlier, only if we had Ospina back then ehhh 😀

  • in the absence of Steve and Gerry being naughty .

    I present my starting 11 for Brighton .


    Bells————————The 2 best CB’s in England as a partnership——————Gibbs

    ————————–Le Coq———————Ramsey



    Subs : Jack Wilshere, Rosicky, Giroud, OX, Flamini, Monreal and Chambers

    oh and Sczny 😀

    5-0 = sorted !

  • Mr Bond. Thanks for the swift reply. With regard to Szs you may be right and there can be little doubt that his form has dipped recently. I would however quite like to see some stats on the shot to save ratio over the past dozen games or so.

  • am not one for stats but am sure that Aussie will be coming here shortly with some stats or something of a substance to back Sczny up with .

    the only stat that interests me at this present moment of time is that we have won 3 games in a row first time this season .

    putting any prejudice aside – doesn’t matter who plays, as long as we keep winning, I couldn’t care less if it was Sczny in goal, Ospina or Martinez .

    Sczny has been unlucky in the sense that sure he’s given us all – heart in mouth moments almost every game this season but then again, our attackers haven’t bailed him out by outscoring the opponent when most needed to save him or take the spot light away from him .

    depending on how he behaves and reacts now will be the key as to what AW decides to do from now onto the summer . impossible is nothing . Ospina could well get injured or suspended or have a really poor game which allows Sczny back in – the key is for him to be ready to take his “chance” again , if and when the opportunity presents itself .

    for now our midget of a goalie is doing just fine 🙂

  • from memory I can share the below with you however, in the absence of stats

    against Gala, we were winning 4-0 ? and then he goes onto to concede a penalty and gets red carded which then let’s Ospina play the remaining 27 minutes or so – it was totally uncalled for .

    he does this a lot actually – even against Man city when we lost 6-3, we were already losing 5-3 and he conceded an unnecessary penalty .

    there are such moments of immaturity that overshadow some of his good work . he has loads of potential but so did many many other plays – look at Balotelli for instance, AFC couldn’t stop banging the drum about him not so long ago and wanted him at Arsenal (boy, was that a bullet dodged or was that really a bullet dodged)

    and AFC, where art thou 😯

  • Totally agree other than one dodgy (effective though) looking punch, Ospina did just fine. I am in no way prejudiced towards either. I did think Martinez who also did well seemed to be getting rave reviews, when he was actually do very little. Hopefully Ospina will turn out to be great, but as yet he really has had little to do

  • I think I’d give chambers the start vs Brighton. But it may need to be at cb, the way koz seemed in pain yesterday. I’d like to rest monreal if possible, because he’s extra important as our backup cb…
    And on 17 ht question. I’d prefer to hold onto coquelin, rosicky. I’d be willing to part with mikel and flamini if necessary. .

    I do appreciate artetas smart play and anticipation, it is subtle, but i am enjoying finally seeing us with an ATHLETIC dm , and the arteta injuries may be more and more frequent.. would love to keep him somewhere in the organization as someone said, but even in that, i prefer rosicky. I can’t tell u how much i appreciate tomas. Epitome of Arsenal.

  • you are right but you see , Martinez’s distribution wasn’t quite up to it – even if the keepers don’t really have many shots to block or save, the distribution for me would be a telling factor.

    and that dodgy punch was actually not bad, considering the ball was swinging and swirling, I know the commentators went hmmmmmmmmmmm

    I much rather have a decisive goalie, as opposed to one who is in no man’s land from crosses and set pieces .

  • good shout that @ Jnyc

    I suspect that Koc will play as we have a whole week to prepare for our next game and then the game after that – AW wouldn’t want to change that much at the back and will want to keep the same spine ? Gibbs for Nacho be my only change at the back as well !

  • And jb, you were right about arsene taking a longer look at ospina beyond the fa cup., so far so good. I’m happy as long as we’re winning. You think he might reverse roles and use chesney this weekend.?

  • no @ Jnyc – why change something when it’s not broke ?

    the reasoning is the same – we have 7 days rest before our next game, he’s the goalie and our new no.1 it seems for now anyway – he needs more game time and needs to bed in more, the only way he can do this is by playing more and more – going away to places light Brighton would be an experience and priceless learning curve .

    Sczny’s time will come, even if it’s in the CL, it will come but for now Ospina needs to keep going and needs to be given this run, even if it extends to the next 5 games in a row . he is fresh, both mentally and physically so why the hell not ?

    I understand that he needs to keep Scnzy happy and maybe he can use him for the CL games . I wouldn’t mind that actually . keeps everyone happy and will be a good solution as he will be extra motivated to do well in Europe !

  • According to some Press reports, Francis Coquelin has been, or is about to be, offered a new 3 year contract…

    Always risky to believe too much of what the Press report, but let’s hope they’re correct, for a change…

  • I have the evening time as ‘ME’ time, unless I am doing a bit of scouting on behalf of AW.

    So ignoring the two thirds of the comments on your predictable take on Ospina v Szczesny, I will move on to that ridiculous team you put out for Brighton.
    From back to front:
    Ospina will not play. Reason, if however temporary, he is our No1 keeper. We play our reserve keeper in the Cup. Now that may be Martinez, given he has not been in action recently, or it might be WS1. Either way, we need our second keeper to be sharp in case they get called upon.
    CB’s – Mertersacker has been crying out for a break, give him one here. Kozzer put in a big shift in on Sunday, and the last thing we want is him out for another month. I am guessing that Ajayi was told something when he turned down his international friendlies, but that may be because the reserves are stretched too. O’Connor has been with the first team training, but those two will have played together, as the Under 21’s game last night. It is probably ‘devaluing’ the Cup if both play, so I’ll take O’Connor for Kos as a minimum.
    Chambers right back, Gibbs left back
    Midfield – Why would you risk Coquelin in this? He gets a card and misses the Villa game? He gets injured and misses even more. Fresh from a long rest, Flamini, partnered with (some of the time?) Ramsey, who does need to build up his stamina.
    No place for the unlucky Hayden as he is now out for the season after an operation on his damaged ankle.

    Up front, almost right. Walcott, Ozil, Campbell (unless a loan/sale move is imminent?)
    I think Akpom up front, and see if Welbeck is fit for the bench.

    The remainder of the bench: GK; Bellerin; Koscielny; M-Niles; Rosicky; Alexis; Welbeck/Gnabry.
    At least one will be needed for Theo, and may be Campbell, which would be Rosicky and Alexis. Hopefully none of the back 4 will be need to be subbed, which would leave M-Niles for the midfield.
    That may be echoed by Steve, if he sobers up today?

  • It is going to be a difficult decision for Coquelin. Well that is my morning heresy.

    On the one hand, he will never play for Arsenal after this season if he doesn’t sign.
    The other side is, he will get plenty of offers if he waits until the end of the season, even if he is relegated to the reserves. He will then get a sign on bonus in lieu of a transfer fee, and a good contract.
    The loyalty comes into it as pressure to sign, against a backdrop of a new signing coming in the summer (if not the next week or so?). Will he be happy to being a bit part ‘utility player’ when his form was nothing like as good as it is now. The future looks bleak without assurances, backed up by a low release clause?

  • @ retsub

    Don’t bother. BJ doesn’t deal with stats when it doesn’t suit his narrative. His only stat is the gala penalty and the often used “he only plays 1 good game in 7” (:roll:)

    Better believe if he had some stats (other than the ospina and martinez clean sheets (trumped by szcz’s save ratio) despite the quality of opposition in front of him and injuries to defenders)) he’ll be throwing them out willy nilly. Or how can I forget…the golden glove award means nothing (:roll:) because Cech doesn’t play (no mention of chelsea having courtois…one of the best keepers in the world which is ridiculous given his age).

    So yeah that pretty much sums up BJ.

    As 17 said…if Ospina let in a goal it’s szcz’s fault 🙂

  • @ Gerry

    That’s a concern I share too. Is it the shopping window motivation for him at the moment or does he genuinely want to succeed at Arsenal. It’s hard to say. He may never play at a big club like Arsenal again and as a young french man probably grew up idolising Viera. But was he fed up of not being given an opportunity and does he think he’ll be given the same chance if Arteta returns. He’s been at the club for a very long time so hopefully he gets on well with his teammates and puts pen to paper if the club offers him a new contract (they are stupid if they don’t).

    I’d give Arteta and Rosicky a year each, Coquelin three, Flamini a coaching/mentor role and Diaby the flick.

    Sad news in regards to Hayden. Not having good luck at the moment. Always seems our most promising youngsters struggle with injuries and they never end up getting there.

  • OG – I wasn’t thinking that Coquelin was being THAT cynical. I am sure he would love to have a career at Arsenal more than anything. It is whether he can be sure he will get a fair crack at it with all the transfer talk?
    At the moment he is honing his skills to be the one in front of the back 4, the very spot that Schneiderman, et al, would be likely to cover? He is not going to usurp our box to box players, so it is something that he needs to think about?

  • On the others. I think I would rather have Arteta on the player coaching role. If we want to sign any other players beyond CB now, in the summer, then I think two will have to go?
    I would love Rosicky to have a really good swan song with us, but remember, he hardly played in the early half of the season.
    Flamini, has done well since he signed on a free, and I think he can hold his head up high and say ‘Good job done’.
    Both of those will do all right in the MLS if they chose to go that route.

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