Ozil & Theo pure class | Rosicky true Gunner | Szczesny is BACK | BFG missed: Eight positives from game

Thanking Voetbal International for picture. Theo is BACK!

Thanking Voetbal International for picture. Theo is BACK!

We are through to the next round after a typical FA Cup battle against a first meek, and then resurgent, Brighton & HA.

Our football during the first half was very, very good. Wenger had opted to play Giroud central, with a beautiful variety of midfielders and the king of speed behind and around him. The Seagulls’ pitch looked very large on TV and we really knew how to use the space. Of course the very early goal helped to settle our nerves, as we could strut our stuff with flair and confidence. Rosicky was rampant and Ozil majestic, Rambo was motoring and Theo looked indeed like a brand new, shiny signing.

We played like the Arsenal we know and love and I guess the only thing missing was the all important third goal. In a cup game there is always a chance that the opponent gets an unexpected goal and then hell breaks lose…. and so it did.

A wild clearance by Rosicky puts Chambers in trouble and the young Englishman’s response is not strong enough; O’Grady smells his opportunity and skins Flamini far too easily; his shot is instinctive, hard and well placed: Koz, on the unfamiliar Right CB side, cannot block it and Szczesny has absolutely no chance. 1-2 with forty minutes to go: not good.

Luckily, we score the all important third goal within 10 minutes of O’Grady’s and all seems under control again. But another piece of bad collective defending leads to a good through ball which Baldock chipped impressively over Szczesny, who once again had no chance. A game like this helps us all to see how important the BFG is for this team: his organisation and leadership skills and reading of the game were badly missed today.

2-3 with 15 minutes to go, and, given this weekend’s freak results, this does not feel good. Luckily, Arsene can bring on fresh blood and both Akpom and Alexis succeed in taking the pressure away from our brittle, makeshift looking defence and midfield. We have a few more good chances for a fourth goal, but the game finishes without any further goals.

Arsenal are through and survive the FACUP-apocalypse. Reason for collective happiness? Ahhh not so in spoilt Goonerland..

Eight Positives:

  1. How good is Rosicky? A fine, measured assist for Ozil and a brilliant goal to take us to the fifth round. It is such a bonus to have him in our side and I hope he will stay a few more years at least. He drove us on and made such good use of the fantastic movement of his fellow attackers. What a player.
  2. Ozil looked very good, especially given his lengthy absence. His goal was very well taken, with a great first touch and using both of his feet very well to get the shot away. Is there a slicker looking, more intelligent midfielder in the country? Pure class.
  3. Theo was hungry and healthily selfish, and his goal was sublime: a superb first touch, followed by a quick turn and razor sharp shot into the corner. WOW! He had great energy and thrust and once fully up to speed, he will be unstoppable, especially if he can find a balance between selfishness and VCC.
  4. All three goals were beauties. We have seen Liverpool, Man City and Man United play 90 minutes against lower league opposition and not score a single goal this weekend. We score three and all of them are very well taken goals; and we could have had more. And today our usual goal scorers, Giroud and Alexis, did not even get on the score sheet. Having our goals spread across the team is just brilliant.
  5. Szczesny had a faultless return to the team and played with great concentration. I was particularly pleased to see he had no rush of blood for Brighton’s second goal: rather than diving desperately in front of Baldock, he just made himself as big as he could to put the striker off. It did not pay off but at least he did not cause a penalty and a red card. I am not the biggest fan of Wojciech but he impressed me today.
  6. Akpom is no Giroud and will never be, as they are two different types of centre forwards. But his cameo impressed me. There was plenty of space for him of course, as Brighton & HA were taking more risks at the latter stage of the game, which suited him well. He ran well at defenders and helped to release the pressure on our defence a lot, and I liked his confidence.
  7. Giroud played really well for the team and gave great shape to our attack, especially in the first half. How important has he become? His goals and assists tally per game is very impressive this season, but he is also happy to play for the team and work hard to create space and opportunities for others. Is there a better holding striker in the PL? Top man and vitally important.
  8. Last but not least, is the strength of our squad right now. When we had to dig deep, we brought on Alexis, Akpom and Coquelin, and there were other options like the BFG and Cazorla on the bench. At the business end of the season, it is great to have such strength in depth and let’s hope that Paulista, if indeed his signing for Arsenal goes ahead, can stand in for BFG, as we are desperate for a proper left sided back-up CB in the short term.

An intriguing game with the desired outcome and plenty of positives to take to our next game: bring on the Villians! 🙂

By TotalArsenal.

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85 Responses to Ozil & Theo pure class | Rosicky true Gunner | Szczesny is BACK | BFG missed: Eight positives from game

  1. Rich says:

    I don’t get this Ozil loving?
    He took his chance well, apart from a few nice touches he wasn’t very good, a lot of nothing passes as usual, I think he’s got 5 months to save his Arsenal career.
    He just doesn’t offer enough in his allround game for me, and I certainly wouldn’t be starting him in any big games away from home.

  2. Baz says:

    “Szczesny had a faultless return to the team” …… HUH????
    I like Szczesny, but he came and missed numerous crosses, dithered in the six-yard box, made it very easy for the scorer of the second goal, could barely kick the ball to the halfway line, and did what he always does when he gets the ball when we’re under pressure and that is release it immediately instead of just holding on to it, calming everyone down, and taking the sting out of the game. Sorry – this was not a good game. 2 shots on target two goals conceded. His shots to goals ratio this season isn’t good!

    The plus was the return of Ozil & Theo. Ozil’s running and space finding was intelligent andhis interchange with the front and midfield was excellent. Theo banged one home in 2 minutes like he used to pre-injury and that set the tone for the game – we weren’t going to lose like all the other premier league chumps did!

  3. CJ says:

    Unfortunately Rich is a sheep who follows the tabloid morons who have attacked Ozil from Day 1 and obviously doesn’t go to games to see the class of the man. Great performance after almost 4 months out with injury and his two footed take and finish was perfection.

  4. jw1 says:

    Filling a tray for a meal– cafeteria-style?
    I’ll take #’s 1, 2, 4, & 7 in complete agreement.

    Many of the FA matches this weekend were hard on the eye. Not this one.
    Today, the ref let play continue through minor contact– and the flow of the game was good for both teams; rather open. A few occasions where I thought there would be a whistle or flag– but until late, and then deservedly, no yellows.
    A credit to the ref. And to both sides for recognizing it and adjusting to that measure and tempo of the game.

    The result pleasing; the Gunners are the favorites to repeat– all’s well tonight.

    jw1

  5. St. Henry says:

    Nice wrap TA 🙂 Good game though they made it look harder than it needed to be. I agree with the positives TA. We did well enough to win. It would have been a really great day if Akpom had managed to score. The two fouls on him were “professional” and I was sure that if they had not been made, he would have been on the score sheet.
    I am a bit concerned about Chambers’ performance as a right back on the occasions when he has come on. Am I being too harsh? Just hope that he and Bellerin can hold the fort against stronger opposition until Debuchy is back.

  6. geoffchase says:

    TA

    Will catch the game my tonite perhaps. Some first thoughts reading here and elsewhere:

    A. The Gabriel signing is good because we will need to groom the next BFG (BFB?) sooner than not.

    B. Flamini may still have the mentality and lots of experience, but perhaps it’s not always enough anymore? Time passes for us all…

    C. Chambers has been a helluva signing this year for a 19 year old (I believe) … We should recall his age also in considering play (similar to B above) as it won’t always be perfect just now..

    Cheers — jgc

  7. Sphinx37 says:

    Rick was smoking something during the game. Ozil game plan had a calming effect on the game . Don’t rush, play the field and look at opportunities to feed balls to your teammates.

  8. D-Money says:

    Good summary TA.
    Ozil was good, people assume Ozil has to produce 50 assists a game to be good, just look carefully and ignore the media driven agenda against him and you will realize we hold onto to the ball in the final 3rd much easier when he plays…his calm and intelligence on and off the ball creates a lot of space for team mates…the space in which Little Mozart flourished.
    Disagree wholly on your assessment of Woj. though…once again, as has been the case in a lot of games we have dominated and he has played, 2 shots on target = 2 goals…we may as well play without a GK…remember one specific occasion towards the end of the game where he gave Gibbs a suicide pass when he could have just held onto the ball for 30 seconds, especially given the context of the game thought it was very immature of him…at this rate, he (thankfully) won’t be displacing Ospina soon. Yes the 2 goals may not have been directly his fault, but you have to wonder, how come each time he concedes it’s almost never directly his fault? Is it his positioning that means he is never in a position to even make a save?
    Great performances from Rosicky and Ramsey especially. But most NB, it was a cup game, result more NB than performance. On to the next. OGAAT.

  9. jnyc says:

    Agree with most TA.
    I thought szez was not at fault for the goals, which were both bad defensive errors. But, though i support him, some good observations above, he did have trouble on a corner when he came for it, which is unusual, but i think he has lost some of his rhythm not playing constantly, and also tried too hard to prove himself, and did rush his distribution. But it was a makeshift back line that caused the errors for goals.
    2 things important, i think you were much too kind to akpom, who is clearly not ready for meaningful games, because he had 2 GOLDEN opportunities to pass to a wide open Alexis.. he either has NO awareness, or VERY bad judgement. I bet Arsene will chat about those missed passes watching film. Rewatch his portion of the match again. We cant afford that .. what if we had been behind, not ahead. For me, he can only get a few minutes if we have a big lead.

    Also, i know chambers is only 19, but i havent liked his defense at rb… great going forward, too slow against pacey opponents defending. So, as a future cb, maybe, but 4th at best for now, with paulista, and would he get the call from Arsene in a big match, or would nacho or debuchy at cb
    theres no doubt in my mind that bellerin is the heir apparent to debuchy at rb.
    I wonder if what we paid was a bit too much, for a long term bet. I hope he turns out to be a future fixture at cb in a few years, otherwise, it was too much.

  10. HEBDO says:

    TA my man good summary post but I don’t think szcenzny inspires confidence in our defense at all…. He isn’t commanding enough and is prone to making one stupid mistake a game like when he came out and completely missed a cross imo he isn’t learning and his attitude stinks he should be on the bench more and finally be sold IF he doesn’t improve…… Love me some ozil great guy with a very good football intelligence……. Rosicky is probably the best 34years old in the world great footballer shame injury robbed us of his brilliance……. Good to have our squad back now for my boy wilshere to get fit….. Ooh to be a gooner

  11. Gerry says:

    Ha Ha Totes, it is a pity my clairvoyancy skills did not get past the first one …
    ‘Walcott scores, nice finish’ 😀
    Thereafter no so good.
    I was a little surprised at the post match comments had our regulars retreating to their own corners, thereby taking less pleasure out of the positives you have rightly highlighted.
    I’ll run through my thoughts:
    1, – Rosicky. I think we should offer him a bumper contract except it will only run from December until June. I said pre-match I thought he and Ozil would work well together because of the way he worked so well with Cazorla. What I did not expect was he would take over the Cazorla role as well. Fantastic. Thoroughly deserves MOTM award, and no sign of him slowing up. AW summed it up ‘ Love football, love Rosicky’. Tee shirt material that is!
    2, – Ozil? Oh yes, definitely getting there. If this was a film, Arsene would be the producer, Rosicky the lead actor, but Ozil the Director. All seeing, but with careful precision he moves the scenes forward until everybody is in the right place for the climax. Today maybe the storyline fell away a little towards the end, but there is another blockbuster in the pipeline that is for sure.
    3, – Theo, darling Theo. In the same production as above, he is the good looking one who needs everyone else to play their part, so he can deliver the punchline that creates the headlines. A lot to like about his game, not least the boost to his confidence. Next time he might just give a little back to those around him?
    4, – The goals. the best of thinking about these is, all were made by perfect teamwork, followed by superb individual skill.
    The first was the work by Chambers on the right, weight perfect pass, touch, turn and shoot with the outside of the foot and ‘Walcott is back in town’ (ref Steve).
    The second, the industrious Rosicky working away across the box, looks to the left of the keeper, but Ozil-esque, slips the ball to same, touch, touch, shoot. Can it get any better?
    The third might. Rosicky again, nicks the ball away from a dithering defender, eyeballs the next one, looks right, plays it blindly to the left .. not that blindly, inch perfect to Giroud. He takes a step back, chips it to Rosicky, now in space, first time volley, the ball arcs its way past the keeper.
    There you have it. Two touches, 3 touches, one touch, all made in Arsenal. Come on! Enjoy.
    5,- Mmmn, tad over the top from TA perhaps, but drawing the short straw behind the changed defence. Had very little to do in the first half. No chance with the first. My immediate reaction to the second was ‘you should have stayed up a tad longer’, but as I have said before, when a keeper is beaten it is easy to say with hindsight. The only one ‘right’ thing is saving it, so the advantage is always with the striker. Truth be told the damage was already done. Monreal was a yard behind the rest of the defence, but chose that moment to step up as Koscielny steps back. That gave the opening.
    My pre-match positives were ‘Mertersacker and Koscielny immaculate as ever’
    Don’t we know it?
    6, Akpom. Okay, I will declare my preferential likes for Akkers. Well I did, as part of my ‘pre match ejaculation’ on how well he would do, had he have started. Like Steve, I wish he had have done. Gone at them without fear while they were all at 6’s and 7’s. A hat trick would have been very much on the cards. Unfortunately, when Alexis came on, I think the Brighton collective decided that they were not going to be humiliated, and went to the dark side. As I predicted, these two drew the obvious, nay blatant fouls. But had that happened in the first half, we would have been playing against a beleaguered nine men. On the other hand, it might have been Theo getting lumps kicked out of him?
    Where does this leave Chuba Akpom? With a hell of a lot of promise, and depending who we’re drawn with next time, well worth a starting berth. And rather than a permanent seat as an unused sub, with the occasional 10 minutes, he could be a positive Plan B. More likely he will go on loan and get regular game time so he can hit the big time next season.
    That is my declaration of a favourite player. I cannot wait for the ‘Lightning Ball’ to strike error 😀
    7, – Giroud, a player who I think is adding a new dimension to his game. Movement? I said in a less than generous comment earlier, that his weakness was being inflexible. Now he is going beyond the occasional step here and there, to being positive with where he puts himself. The pre-assist for Theo’s goal, stepping out on to the wing, letting Theo go inside, passing to Calum to run the line. Bingo! The step back to provide the assist for Rosicky’s goal, whereas in the past he might have tried to get in on his left and had a shot himself?
    Great Stuff.
    8, – Squad depth is improving, without doubt. Still gaps, but let us see what this week brings?
    9, – No recorded injuries …so far?
    10, We are in the 5th round of the FA Cup, one step away from the QUARTER FINALS!

    You see TA, the positives can be fun 😀

  12. Mike Brooks says:

    Great game and lots of positives and bye the way Rich, it doesn`t matter that you don`t get the “Ozil loving ” you need to understand football and the individual skills that make up a team and not base your comments on prejudice.

  13. TH14 says:

    Are you kidding me ozil played well? Just coz he scored doesnt mean he played well he is supposed to be an assist king yet all he does is pass sideways yesterdays performance was exactly like his whole arsenal career sideways passing not passing forward lazy drifting out the game not putting tackles in hes supposed to be a playmaker and dominate games.

    Since hes been at arsenal he hasnt dominated one game Rosicky cazorla silva fabregas even wilshere on form dominate games everything gors through them like rosicky yesterday.

    We dont see that from ozil he dissapears in every game and when he gets pressured hes useless if he doesnt score or assist he contributes nothing.

    And dont tell me he “links the play” like other fools have done theres average players that at best link the play who cant do that when you have a player with ozils reputation you expect him to atleast dominate the game even if he doesnt assist or score.

    He doesnt deserve to be in our first 11. Ramsey cazorla rosicky wilshere even ox can do what ozil does but they have more to their game aswell.

  14. allezkev says:

    Interesting post and some varied comments…

    Only seen the goals and as Total wrote, we defended quite poorly in both the Brighton scores…
    Paulista is a welcome addition, to be sure, but we need Coquelin sitting in front of our back four…
    No BFG and no Coq gave me the jitters tbh. That was until 90 secs had gone and Theo announced his return.
    Now all Walcott needs to do is stay fit for the remainder of this season…

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    Rich, we all know what a unicorn looks like and yet we have never seen one. But with Ozil the world is divided in two: those who see it and those who don’t, and there aint no way to bridge the divide without serious brain surgery. 😉

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Baz, you must realise I am a supporter and those who wear the mighty red and white make my glasses rose-tinted. Anybody who says two shots on goal two goals; the keeper must be sh*t, I will not take serious. The defence did not protect Szczesny and he could not have done more about both shots on goal.

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    geoff, looking fwd to your views after you watched the game. Flamini and Chambers did not impress on the day but they both bounce back again.

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    jw1, very fair comment on the ref.

  19. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice to see you back, DM, and love the praise you are giving to Ramsey and OGAAT indeed. 🙂

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    Johnnie, you might be a bit too harsh on Akpom but it is a good balance against the ‘Akpom should start instead of Giroud’ (silly) rhetoric. There is something about him that tells me he will make it, as if it is written in the stars. I reckon Wenger will give him a few chances now that Pod and SaGoals are on loan.

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    Hebdo, Rosicky the best 34 year old in the world…. love it.

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice additional comments, Gerry. Giroud always had that extra dimension, you only just started to see it! 😛

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    Allezkev, Theo and Alexis fit for the rest of the season could give us a hell of a lot in attack. Fingers and balls crossed. 🙂

  24. allezkev says:

    Don’t cross them there balls in Tesco’s, whatever you do TA… 🙂

    Rosicky is such an intelligent player, and just seems to get better with age, like a fine wine…
    He doesn’t need to charge about and as long as he retains his fitness, I can see him playing at a decent level up till his late 30’s.
    Some have suggested that this could be his final season, but I don’t agree, to me, he has it in him to be an Arsenal player for at least (that’s least) two more seasons.
    Not to be played every game but to give 20/25 quality performances in our crowded campaign….
    Imagine the cost of replacing him, like for like, with a younger version?
    Not much change out of £25/£30m I suspect?!

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes Allezkev, he is our Giggs and can go on for a long time. There is something quite youthful about him despite his age. Compare him to fat fwank and you know what I mean. Wenger knows he can pull out his vintage vino from the cupboard if quality and spirit is needed…. it is getting us through these very short days.

  26. Gidsilva says:

    Arsenal wil retain the fa cup as 4 ozil i prefer cazorla to him,and giroud haters if u say he isnt good go play the no9 role ur self

  27. steve says:

    ‘Akpom should start instead of Giroud’ (silly) rhetoric????

    For THIS game TA, this game! – an FA cup tie against much lesser opposition!
    Yes i feel like a proper run out from the start would have been a much better option, he looked excellent when he came on at the end and imo would have produced a few goals if he had his opportunity when we were in complete dominance at the start.
    Back to the premiership and of course either Giroud or Welbeck starts ahead of him, quoting out of context much TA?

    I am quite happy about the performance last night, it showed the rusty trio aren’t back to their bests just yet but are well on course. It showed just how important it is not to fuck about with that back line and DM now we’ve finally got one that works and hopefully that will be reflected in the next game. OF course the result itself. And the best of the best, the moment Rosicky ignored Giroud then Walcott all so he could make sure he found Ozil to make the statement; here you go son this is what we expect YOU to be doing – what a great defense splitting pass, what vision!

    I have read all the comments of those that actually see what Ozil adds and they say he had a very good game so kudos to the lad.
    I do feel the rest of us are always going to be wondering if we have players like Rosicky and Cazorla who give so much tenacity, attacking drive, find space and then also have the ability to produce world class passes then what the hell is the big fuss about Ozil?
    I am sure we will come to realize one day, so many intelligent people simply cannot be wrong tbh but for now i will tell you i would be mightily pissed off if i see Ozil and Ramsey take the place of Cazorla and Rosicky in the starting XI for the next game – Am i so far off base to think that?

  28. steve says:

    Gerry that article simply uses passing number stats, what the hell does that tell you about his game?
    You could have two CB’s pass it between each other for 90 mins and get great passing stats, it doesn’t mean they had a good game lol.
    And where are these key passes?
    Chambers assisted for the Walcott goal
    Rosicky for Ozil
    Giroud for Rosicky
    What gets deemed a key pass??

    I’m not actually saying he had a bad game at all, like the rest of the rusty guys i thought he did quite well, i’m just not going to sit here and say i think he played exceptionally.

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    Steve, the problem I have with you is that you religiously underestimate the contributions of our established players and overestimate those of the weens. Why you believe that Akpom would have scored a couple is beyond me and is just as valid a statement as me saying without Giroud we would not have scored three yesterday.

    I agree we took a risk with making the changes at the back and luckily we did not pay for it.

  30. steve says:

    I’m not underestimating Giroud TA, i though he had a great game i am saying that in a game where we have a little more freedom to rotate i wish we could have rotated at the front rather than the back and seen Akpom given a proper go at making a mark. Not saying he’s better than Giroud just something different that could have been used in a game where trying something different has become the norm.
    The reason i think he could have scored a few goals was because of all the possession and space we were being given, players who make those quick runs would have done well at that point in the game (Theo was almost through a couple of times). Giroud was too busy making plays for others -which is excellent in its own right, just not as productive on the goals tally.

  31. Xavier says:

    Loool> I knew steve was gonna say something about the akpom comment. Anyways steve, You didnt also miss the Ozil statabout his defensive capabilities did you? ( 1 tackle, a blocked shot and 2 interceptions). I’m just saying. Im czrazy about Ozil and what i’d actually like to see is ozil play for extended minutes with akpom. I think that’d be something.
    Good post TA and Glad The Arsenal are up to the 5th round. Incase anyone is bored at work today and need a good laugh, just youtube chelsea bradford and thank me Later.
    Also did anyone notice how much more better we were defensively when Le Coq came in? He even had a couple tackles and interceptions in those short minutes. Me Likey. 😀

  32. jnyc says:

    Wow, the ozil haters are out already. Btw, i he did go back to help on defense a bit also. What is it about some Arsenal fans. They just love to hate their own players and manager.
    I dont know why that is, but i have a theory.

    Sorry to say this, but many football fans dont appreciate the subtleties of the game because of tv views. I’m being kind here, blaming the tv views.
    You give them really important stats like chances created and key passes and assists. But still they only watch goal highlights, or worse, they only care about goals. Doesn’t matter to them that any manager would kill to have him on the team. I think that even average or poor managers see the details of the game much better than the media or fans .
    I think assists are almost as important as goals as a stat. Goals are just the completion of a good assist. Sometimes a goal is a great individual effort, but many times, a great chance created ends up in a missed shot, or a spectacular save.
    Another example, in brighton match, we had 3 beautiful assists. But little mention in the media.
    U wonder why Ozil did so great at madrid… he was creating chances for a team with incredible finishers.
    We are trying to build the same here with Alexis and theo, but with more midfield involvement. And luckily, our manager knows whats really happening on the pitch.

  33. steve says:

    jnyc its a good job we have strategic masters like yourself willing to teach us and show us the folly of our ways. Indeed there is a large portion of the season left in which i am sure Ozil will excel to huge heights and show us all what you guys are talking about just like he has done in previous seasons

  34. Gerry says:

    Steve, we know Ozil is our dividing line. However, the link I gave was to TH14, who gave a far more damning verdict of Ozil’s game.
    To be honest, when I read the link the first time, and it was blathering on how great it was to have Ozil back, I was waiting for the punchline that said ‘Sorry, these were Rosicky’s stats’ 😀
    I said in my real (not predictive) positives that Ozil was ‘getting there’. The stats thing tended point towards my ‘film set’ analogy, of him not being the main character, that was Rosicky, but him being the see-er of the bigger picture.In the ‘Breakdown’ it surprised me to see Ozil’s hotspot area was where you would expect Alexis’s hotspot to be, left side of goal. Rosicky was the ubiquitious ‘everywhere man’, like Cazorla was in the Man City game. So in this comeback start, it may be he was giving the space to Rosicky, in the same way as Rosicky did for Cazorla?
    Either way, the stats in that hotspot area confirm my point against TH14, and anybody else, that that the success rate from that number of passes, meant he was hardly ‘contributing nothing’?

    You know full well what key passes are, but they rely on other players making full use of them. Rosicky had Ozil to finish off one of his. and it wasn’t a ‘gimme’ either. He had Giroud on the end of another, and it follows that Giroud’s return key pass had the very much in form Rosicky on the end of his. That does not devalue the passes that could not be converted into chances.

    As for the comparing between the players we have ,is not on a level playing field. Leave that until the end of the season. However, I agree with you that the Rosicky Cazorla pairing, at this moment in time, would be the best in the Villa game. I fear some will want AW to go down the route of playing our ‘best players’ together, irrespective as to whether it is a best fit?

    We agree on Akpom too. The amount of space Brighton gave us in that first half an hour would have been great for him. Not taking anything away from Giroud’s effort mind.
    Oh, TA, Steve Clark on the ‘Breakdown’ agreed with me to some extent when commenting of his heat map, saying it was something ‘new’ …(spending a lot of time wide left?).

    Akpom is now getting offers from several clubs due to his contract situation. Similar to Coquelin of course. I don’t think for one minute Coquelin is getting ‘big-headed’ in holding back on his contract talks. He is being very sensible and realistic. He now knows that he has a game that many clubs would have him as first choice DM. He cannot be sure that is the case here. I don’t see the likes of Real Madrid coming calling, but he no more wants to be a bench warming utility player there either.
    Chuba is younger and wants to play for Arsenal, as would Coquelin, but if he goes out on loan, what will be his position be next season? Given my enthusiasm for him, I would have him ahead of Sanogo and Welbeck if the loan goes well. Fortunately for him, the chances of signing Cavani are diminishing, as Juve want him.

    I also think if Villereal play Campbell regularly he will be a big hit over there. That is something we cannot do. I also think the continental game may well suit him better.

    Someone on blogland has pointed out thethe falling value of the Euro (due to the Greek election result) means our wages look even stronger for any would be moves. Not mention any fees paid in Euro’s costing less?
    One more week of the ‘Torture Window’ to go ….. ???

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    Fair enough Steve, I can see where you are coming from now.i reckon Akpoms time will come. Wenger made space for him in the squad and our signings are over now.

  36. Gerry says:

    jnyc – I gave them a mention! 😀

  37. Baz says:

    Well TA – I did make 6 other points about Szez, and you might not take 2 shots 2 goals seriously – but which goalkeeper in the Prem this season has the worst shots to goals ratio? ‘Nuff said. You want to ‘not take that seriously’ makes you look very dim.

  38. D-Money says:

    Not complaining and not that we need it really given our options in midfield and upfront, but we have let 3 “forwards” in Poldi-YaYa-Joel leave this window without replacing any of them (let’s leave to what extent any of them need “replacing” for another day 🙂 ), I can’t be the only one who finds that a bit wierd…one school of thought suggests/hopes we’re making way for a big(ish) striker/forward in the summer (personally hoping Lacazette or Jackson Martinez, but that’s just me and what do I know?)…Wenger I the new unussually forthright manner of this window has stated Gabriel may not be his last signing, so who knows…whatever happens, very happy with our work this window (would have still liked a senior DM of “exceptional quality at the right price” though but very satisfied with Coquelin in the interim).

    SIDENOTE: Wenger is slowly beginning to win me back (fully aware he doesn’t know I exist 😉 ) and he is bringing the joy back into watching Arsenal and being a gooner. Said to someone the other day at HT in the Man City game I didn’t even care if we Spurs-ed it up after HT, I was just so happy it wasn’t the same old drivel, I’d have taken losing “a different way” as pessimistic and negative as that sounds…think I became bored of the same old mistakes and same old failings to address issues in the TW…I honestly see change or at the very least an attempt to chamge and because of that the odd bad result will not irk me as much anymore, simply cause we appear to be (finally) giving ourselves a realistic chance and placing ourselves in a position to do so.

  39. TotalArsenal says:

    Why don’t you provide us with the facts, Baz, or is this shots to goal ratio just an opinion?

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    D-M, love the sidenote 🙂

    We still have Giroud, Welbeck, Akpom and Alexis who can all play central, so I doubt we will sign another one this TW… but yes maybe in summer.

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    Also Baz, as you are the GK expert, tell what Szczesny should have done differently for each of the goals.

  42. steve says:

    Baz, re making (or very much not) TA look dim – try not to be such a f*ckin helmet mate.
    Hypothetically then we take a GK from the Conference division and then we take Courtois, we play them in a game which we repeat over and over again. The strikers facing Courtois hit excellently placed shots low and hard into the corner each time but the strikers facing the Conference keeper repeatedly hit their shots straight at the keeper which any novice could save. The goals per shot ratio is pretty straightforward, Courtois is shit, get rid of him and sign the conference keeper asap!!! lol
    I remember that exact scenario playing out (only over one game’s span though lol) when we played Man U at home. Did De Gea have a good game? apparently he was MOTM, now go back and watch that game over and just see how many shots we hit were straight at the keeper! My view would be that our strikers were off their game, not so when it came to the other end, so is that Szczesny’s fault???
    You are trying to make a rationalization out of a bunch of faceless stats that take no variables whatsoever into consideration.
    Could you imagine if we added in variables like actually having a solid defensive shield in front of him like Ospina has had for the last couple of games versus the nonsense Szczesny has had to deal with in the past.

    I’m not defending Szczesny as being good or not (i care very little tbh) and i actually feel Ospina provides a more calming atmosphere at the back which i see as a huge plus but your argument against Szczesny through using just goals per shots ratios is just fuckin bollox mate sorry, back to the drawing board 🙂

  43. Gerry says:

    I’ll settle for that home draw. But we will have to be up for it?

  44. steve says:

    Yep i’ll take that raw 🙂

  45. steve says:

    draw not raw lol

  46. James Bond says:

    so Baz here is being taken to the cleaners for expressing his opinion and actually, his opinion has a lot of substance .

    we all see the game differently and the way I saw it, it didn’t look as if he had a faultless return or one brimming with confidence – actually, ignoring the 2 goals he let in – it was a very shaky performance from him even on the corners . I note that a few people have already mentioned that so I won’t waste time on Sczny (if you want to read my thoughts on him then go to the last post @ Baz) .

    treat everyone else how you like to be treated is my motto in the blogging world – so play nicely with people who fancy Ozil and don’t rate Sczny as such .

    so, Baz and Stevie Wonders – let’s do without the name calling as dim witted as we generally are, we don’t want to be awakening Glics 👿 (by the way, have we won 4 out of 4 ? ? ?

    so we have Middles borough at home – I will take that, as I have no idea how they managed to win against man city – their first goal was extremely lucky and as a result of some dreadful defending by Kompany (he’s been having a lot of shockers lately and no one seems to be zooming in on him) had it been our BFG, then the media would have had a field WEEK if not month .

  47. James Bond says:

    ahahhaahhahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahha

    so you like it RAW then @ Stevie Wonders .

    Glics take note 😀

  48. steve says:

    😆
    Made the same comment in my head as i read the mistake JB lol

  49. James Bond says:

    Middlesbrough even – dang you predictive text

    Ozil is class, whether you hate him or love him – he scored a goal yesterday and the delivery of our corners was already better, happy to have him back and can’t wait to play him with the likes of Theo and Alexis on the wings with him pulling the strings behind them .

    Giroud also has a good game as skipper has suggested and he is an important player for us .

  50. jnyc says:

    Steve,

    Im sorry, but, you see — thats the problem..
    If Ozil excels, you just won’t be aware of it. So, you can never appreciate his game, as obviously you didnt care about all the chances he created last season, without great finishers, like theo, alexis… or his excellent world cup stats either.

    You also disagree with 2 world class managers who are on complete opposite sides of most things. Wenger and mourihno. And Ronaldo valued him as a teamate as much as anybody. Selfish player, but he knew who helped him produce, and was furious when ozil was sold.

    I don’t mind people disagreeing about our team, what i dont like is constant criticism used to bash our players, like happened to ramsey and many others…

    Its just especially egregious when its done to our guys wrongly by misguided individuals like some really bad pundits and commentators.
    😉

    I prefer some players to others, but i will not put down anybody who plays hard for the club.

  51. steve says:

    I’m agreeing with you jnyc, just don’t forget to let me know when Ozil starts to excel. Its so easy to see when others hit top form (like Santi atm or Sanchez all season) but i can tell i’m going to need your help on this one, indeed i am sure to me it will be like just seeing a guy simply finding space for 90 mins lol and with so many other midfielders beginning to put MOTM performances in atm i am sure my simplistic mind will find a way to overlook Ozil as usual.
    I’m counting on you buddy 🙂

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    Cannot complain about a home draw, but we cannot and will not underestimate them.

    So glad we don’t have to go there in Feb.

  53. TotalArsenal says:

    In the competition for utterly slappable faces, mark Hughes is top of the list. What a dick.

  54. James Bond says:

    ditto .

    perfect timing as well for the likes of Jack Wilshere , Welbeck and Gnabry to be back against Boro . Am hoping they will be involved .

    another game for Sczny, it’s a home game so hopefully he will do better and have the crowd behind him to G him on .

    playing every 2 weeks is better for Sczny than not to be playing at all .

  55. TotalArsenal says:

    I would not be surprised to see Szczesny play against Villa, JB. Wenger is unpredictable in this respect.

  56. James Bond says:

    D-Money

    we let Joel Campbell go because Gnabry is nearly there .

    we let Yaya go because Akpom is the future ?

    we let Poldi go because Danny Welbeck offers us more on the LW and I expect him to be playing at LW a lot . He can do a mighty fine job at LW with all his defensive shifts .

    will fit in like a glove in our 4-1-4-1, Danny will

  57. James Bond says:

    nah – highly unlikely that he would play him against the Villains unless Ospina is injured then that changes everything .

    you can go ahead and put a wager on it, if you want .

  58. jnyc says:

    Omg T, Arsenal twitter would explode if he starts szczez this weekend !

  59. jnyc says:

    Agree with JB, welbeck on wings adds height and strength to the team, with no loss of speed, also hard work all over the pitch.. another dimension in certain situations.. i look forward to seeing it sometimes.

  60. TotalArsenal says:

    We will see, JB. I like Ospina so cannot lose anyway.

  61. James Bond says:

    ahahhahahahahahahahah @ Jnyc

    not sure about Twitter per se you would expect a manager of AW’s stature to make the right decision at the right time .

    the decision you would think has already been made . give it a few more months .

  62. TotalArsenal says:

    YAya is a Wenger player, JB. Remember going on loan is not a punishment, ask Le Coq 🙂

  63. The Cockie Monster says:

    Fine Fellatio Fcuktards………..I think we have a great squad and it`s only a couple of players short and of course our ludicrous bad luck of injuries (over the last 5/6 years) that stop us winning or at least competing for the title !
    To tell the truth it is easier for me to name the players I don’t think are up to standard (or are just getting on a bit ) and even if we lost them and didn`t replace them, I think with luck the fit and healthy ones left are strong enough !.
    Actually !…If I had the choice of a couple of SQ players or a full injury free season for our squad, I`d take the latter !.

    The Players to be scythed by Grim Cockie Reaper !.
    As per usual….just an opinion !.
    Arteta……although great at keeping it ticking over, he is too slow and injury prone !.
    Flamini…..just not good enough !….a freebie who was going no where, we should have paid £30M for him, then he would be a great signing !. hahaha
    Podolski…….back to the future hard shot and great finisher, but a lazy cnut who is probably one second quicker than Mertesacker in a …..0 – 60M time of ten minutes !.
    Sanogo…….shakes heads in how confused I am !……………(Akpom will be the new Henry . I said it before Alexis ……. if Wenger doesn’t lose him whilst his contract is running out !.)
    Diaby………probably the most talented player at the club, but his contract is being negotiated by a psychic on a Ouija board as he is not of this world anymore !.

    A couple of extra points !………..we have what I would call two young potential super stars in the wings waiting !…..one is Akpom ( so sort it out quickly Wenger before he is lost for nought ! ) and the other is Crowley !.

    Szczesny !………….I like him and I could put up a gaff video of any goalkeeper in the world !….they all make mistakes !………………….I`m adamant that my gran would have saved that Clyne shot against Osina in the COC…..fcuk me it went through his arms about the height where his head should have been !…………..To tell the truth, when Wenger names a side, it`s not the goalie I`m looking at !…..it`s the mouth watering prospect of injury free players like…..Santi, Rosicky, Alexis, Ozil, Ox, Theo etc`………….play like we did against Brighton in the first half and we could scrap the goalie and put on another attacker !..

  64. James Bond says:

    I do see where you were coming from though @ Skipper

    those sort of surprises were more or less saved for Man utd (not that it ever worked or we beat them as they mostly backfired with AW trying to outsmart red nose) but yeah , gone are those days and now AW is rather predictable .

    yep @ Jnyc – I am missing Welbeck, I reckon he has been a quality signing and one of the main reasons why we let Poldi go . he can learn a lot from Giroud on his positioning and heading and hone his skills even more .

  65. TotalArsenal says:

    Welbeck is the new Podolski, that is super sub.

  66. The Cockie Monster says:

    PS
    Forgot about Gnasher…..he too will be immense !.
    And an Injury free Wilshere would be OKish !…….hahaha

  67. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha award winning Cocker Spaniel, Sanogo will still be a Gunner when you have joined Vickers in the old people home 🙂

  68. Hey TA and all,

    Long time no talk! Happy to see the positive post-match review and of course the polarizing comments begin on our own players. Would not be fandom without it hahaha!

    I largely find myself in agreement with all of your points. However, I was not entirely convinced by Szczesny’s performance. As you’ve outlined in the past TA, he struggles with his consistency and mental fortitude in games where he does not get a lot of action. The two goals were a result of poor defending, but you could also tell that he was not completely focused when Brighton’s scoring opportunities came. This is why I’m a believer that Ospina will be the #1 going forward, with his superior leadership, mental fortitude, maturity and potential consistency being more valuable to this squad than Szczesny’s raw athletic ability.

    Also, in regards to the Ozil doubters, no one ever claimed he drove attacks forward like Santi, Fabregas, etc. He’s not an engine type player that plays with his heart on his sleeve, like Sanchez either. However, what he does allow is for players around him to perform at optimal levels since he recognizes opportunities to find space for others, instead of selfishly taking those chances for himself.

    Ozil is a very fluid player and our attack is more seamless, fluid and excels in ball retention as a result when he plays. He is far more effective in matches where Arsenal plays on the break, since he can deliver incisive defense splitting passes from using the speed of his teammates around him. In games like Brighton where they “park the bus”, it’s much more difficult to see his true value since he does not attack defenses with aggression when carrying the ball or with low percentage, risky passes.

    All in all, I’m not trying to convince any of you that your opinions on Ozil are incorrect, but rather that there is so much value in having a player like him on the pitch, opposed to an entire starting 11 of players who try to take opportunities themselves or play with an all-out mentality etc. He will only continue to get better as he re-acclimates with the squad and develops an innate understanding of the styles of play of Sanchez, Ox and Theo on the wings.

  69. jnyc says:

    TA,I think he’ll get more playing time than podolski because of hard work, #fergietrained. Kind of like Alexis was used yesterday, he can be a goal threat in general, (especially on corners when we’re hammering away at a parked bus) , AND also a boost to the defense and set pieces with size.

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    Fair point, Johnnie, and he is a great plan B too.

  71. TotalArsenal says:

    HH! Good to hear from you. How is life and marriage treating you?

  72. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, life and marriage are good mate! They say the honeymoon period does not last forever, but it seems like just yesterday that it all happened and everything is still blissful! I’ve been very busy with work and unfortunately only had time to watch games lately, at the expense of being able to enjoy the meaningful discussion and debate.

    How are Henry and your family doing?

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    Sounds good, HH. 🙂

    Yes all is good with the four footer and the family. Thanks.

    You might have a point re anticipating danger and being proactive. Still. feel that Szczesny did nothing for the goals though. And it’s still very early for Ospina. Like you I like him too though.

  74. TotalArsenal says:

    HH. Whaddaya know about Paulista?

  75. James Bond says:

  76. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Excellent stuff TA. Plenty of positives my fine Dutchy.

    I feel things are begining to take shape. The squad looks healthier, players working hard, enjoying there football, and excitement for the future restored.

    Before Arsenes contract is up, he will have the last laugh on his critics by making us Champions once more

    Its been a bad day for me TA. Greece has elected a new government who I suspect is against the rights of hairy chested medalion man. I fear this could start a spiral of events which will ultimately lead to the end of Disco, and the outlawing of men wearing white shoes.

  77. TotalArsenal says:

    hard times for our Greek Travolta. 😦

    Good to see you in good spirits about the mighty Arse, Terry. As a stubborn as hell Wenger loyalist you have every right to be cocky about Arsene.

  78. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post 🙂

    This one will surprise you!

  79. Highbury Harmony says:

    Nice to hear all is well with you and your family TA!

    From the limited games I’ve seen from Paulista, he strikes me as the exact same type of player as Koscielny. I think his “weakness” of not being a ball playing CB out of the backfield is overstated and he’s about average in that respect. The amount that CBs truly “play” the ball from the back is not that significant as it is, even with Arsenal. It’s not as though he can’t string a pass together…

    Very fast, very aggressive in the air and in intercepting plays and likes to push forward like Vermaelen did. Strong defensively and is a big reason as to why the Yellow Submarine has been so effective this season. That said, he’s still a bit of a project and Arsene will have to refine parts of his game (hopefully not at the expense of his aggressive approach though).

  80. TotalArsenal says:

    Sounds good, HH. I was hoping he could be the back up for BFG but it looks indeed like he is the Koz back up. One more to come maybe? Or is Debuchy the real BFG back up (when fit)?

  81. TotalArsenal says:

    New post new post 🙂

  82. Salamie Barrie says:

    Ozil’s vision and technique makes him worth having in any arsenal game even if he does not create chances

  83. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, I have no clue as to whether or not Debuchy could be the answer at RB, as I’ve only ever really seen him play at RB. However, Bellerin looks the real deal right now so it’s hard to keep him out of the starting 11. Compounding that is the issue of what to with Jenkinson since he’s looked good on loan and will definitely be a serviceable EPL starter. IMO, Jenkinson would be best suited for a mid-table side like West Ham and I would wish him all the best if he was sold to them.

    If anything, I think Chambers could be groomed as the next BFG in terms of his composure and presence etc. He needs more work in organizing the back line and game-to-game consistency, but let’s not forget that he’s only 20! Paulista-Chambers could be a deadly combo down the line as both have size, decent mobility, aerial ability, ball skills and two-way potential (scoring and defending).

  84. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed, HH, that he is probably Chamber’s long term position, and yes, he is still very young.

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