Ozil AND Santi, Gabriel debut, Coq sole DM? Preview | Line-up

Arsenal-Aston Villa Match Preview

Paulista could make a surprise start against Villa
Paulista could make a surprise start against Villa

Aston Villa at home.  Gooners would like to think that this is a guaranteed win, a fine way to spend a Sunday afternoon and a good chance to start the post January, business end of the season after some good work (a defender, finally…) in the transfer window.  If the win is in sufficient style and by substantial margin it might be enough–even if the big money player (but still a bargain, of course…this is Arsenal, after all…) doesn’t come in at the deadline.

Gooners, however, might also remember that it’s not always so simple.  No matter how much ale has been consumed in the intervening year and a half, August 17, 2013 will always be a day that lives in infamy.  Opening day: an early goal from Olivier Giroud, and all looked fun and games.  But then collapse and a match that finished 1-3.  The margins were tighter than that, of course, and much of the blame might be placed on the (very) bald head of referee Anthony Taylor.  Taylor allowed a very rough match (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain suffered ligament damage on a play that was deemed completely fair) but still called questionable penalties on Wojciech Szczesny and Laurent Koscielny, the 2nd coming with a yellow card for our defender.  Moments later Taylor gave Kos a 2nd yellow, reducing Arsenal to 10 men.  The team fought hard despite the disadvantage, but, finally, to dash all hopes, a goal on the counter by Antonio Luna sealed our fate.

The parallels are striking.  Somehow Taylor has been assigned the fixture again.  The transfer window is still open.  We are, however, a season and a half on.  Have things changed or will history repeat itself?

I don’t believe it will, but who am I?  This is a new match and Arsenal and Aston Villa come into it very differently than they did in that one.


Arsenal.  This match feels very different.  Instead of only pre-season matches, Arsenal come into this one on a run of four victories in all competitions.   Additionally, important players are coming back from long term injuries and significant transfer business, in the purchase of Brazilian defender Gabriel Paulista, has been completed.  There is talk that Alexis Sanchez, by far our most important player this season, is suffering from a tight hamstring and will not be risked.  My guess is that this is Arsene Wenger talk for “Winter Break.”  My other guess is that (irrepressible) Alexis will still get a spot on the bench and a run out if a late goal is needed.  More on the starting team below.

Aston Villa.  Aston Villa are a proud club, by far the biggest of the Birmingham based outfits.  They have suffered from lack of investment from their American owner (does this sound familiar?…) but they are a well run organisation, and their manager Paul Lambert knows how to play the opponent at hand.  Their home form in recent seasons has suffered, perhaps because supporters cannot get truly excited by the fact that Villa are (at best) a solid mid-table club and their best players are constantly linked with moves away from the club.  They can, however, be a very dangerous group in front of their more hard core, traveling fans.  They will play with nothing to lose and will be emboldened by their positive result last time they came to play Arsenal.

Villa have players who can hurt and frustrate.  Up front, Christian Benteke has surmounted injury problems and always represents a threat with his size and power.  Buzzing around him are Andreas Weimann and Fabian Delph.  Charles N’Zogbia is a very talented player and Leandro Bacuna  can curl in as mean a free kick as anybody in the league.   Scott Sinclair, a former Arsenal trainee, has joined Villa on loan from Manchester City; the extra motivation of finally getting a match (and playing against the club which let him go) might be something Lambert chooses to try.

At the back, diminutive American keeper Brad Guzan plays much bigger than his stature.  Former Arsenal defender Phillipe Senderos and Dutchman Ron Vlaar both are injury doubts, but ill-tempered former Spur Alan Hutton and Keiran Clark are big guys who can also help protect the small keeper.  Their size plus good organisation in front of the backline–in the form of  Colombian Carlos Sanchez and Man United loanee, Tom Cleverly–means they can be dangerous in transition and can frustrate through possession.  As we saw last time out, with their final goal, (actually with all of them–the two pens were on Villa breaks) they can punish teams playing on the counter.  We cannot give them an easy early goal and we must be extra vigilant to try and avoid corners and set-pieces where strong delivery and (even stronger) Benteke represent their biggest threat.

Still, Villa are not as full of confidence as they could be.   They will take heart, at least in terms of their relegation battle (they sit just 2 points above the bottom 3 with 15 matches to play), that they beat Championship leaders Bournemouth in the FA Cup last weekend.  Still, it’s been over a month since they’ve won in their own league and they are coming off a stretch of 5 league matches without a goal.  Arsenal-away, given the success they’ve had at our stadium and the fact that our defence is far from settled, could be a place where that streak ends, especially if they can lure us forward and spring on the counterattack.  Nonetheless, it’s also a match where Lambert may be satisfied with a good performance and a tight result.

Game Plan

By contrast, Arsenal want both result and performance.  It’s time to build on the win at Manchester City (which will mean little if full points are not taken here) and work in back-from-injury stalwarts Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott, who both scored in the FA cup win at Brighton.  Aaron Ramsey, it should be noted, is also just two weeks back from a lengthy period out.  With Alexis injured or at least, “not risked,” and Oxlade-Chamberlain nursing a groin problem, room opens up for all three.  Additionally, with Koscielny unable to play a full schedule due to sore Achilles tendons (and Mertesacker rested in our FA Cup victory at Brighton), new signing Gabriel may be handed a debut start.  Nacho Monreal, having played very well at Man City, including winning the penalty for the decisive goal, I think, gets his spot back at LB from Kieran Gibbs.  Likewise on the right, fellow Spaniard, Hector Bellerin, comes back in at the expense of Calum Chambers.  David Ospina, I think, retains his spot in goal on the strength of three consecutive clean sheets.

arsenal v villa Jan 15

So, there’s your line-up and there’s your preview.  Stepping stone or stumbling block?

We know Villa will see only opportunity on their visit and must be taken seriously.  We also know that things feel better for Arsenal.  Still, the game must be played and feelings–as we saw the last time we hosted this team–can change quickly.  Let’s do it.

By 17highburyterrace

134 thoughts on “Ozil AND Santi, Gabriel debut, Coq sole DM? Preview | Line-up

  • Great match preview, Seventeenho. Love the insights on the opponent and you position the importance of this match really well. The predicted line-up is a fresh and exciting one and I think you are right to include Coq, Ozil AND Santi. Ospina instead of Szczesny is less certain and even less certain is the inclusion of Paulista. I reckon Koz can play a game a week, so expect him to be there again.

    You correctly point out the danger of Villa counters and especially Ramsey needs to play a disciplined game and not leave Le Coq too much unsupported tomorrow. Lambert is canny fox and has some big scalps to his name already. He prepares well tactically for these sort of games and will approach them with a nothing to lose attitude. So we need to be disciplined throughout the game.

    My predicted line-up:

    —Bel – BFG – Koz – Gibbs—-
    ————Le Coq—————
    Theo – Santi – Ramsey – Ozil
    ——-Girouffe on fire———-

  • @ 17

    great post. Thanks for making me relive the horror of that game 🙂

    Villa appear to be the merry band of misfits…cast offs that nobody wanted. Benteke is definitely a dangerous one. Reminds me of Carlton Cole…when he’s not injured and he’s motivated he can monster and defender in the league. Lets hope today he doesn’t feel up to it.

    I’d go with TA’s lineup. Ramsey to support Le Coq. Szcz back in (nice sarcasm in the last post BJ)
    I’m starting to think you’ve become a crazed loon with your obvious szczesny obsession.

  • Excellent preview HT as we’ve come to expect. I can definitely see Wenger going for the trio of returnees in midfield but would stop short of agreeing with the debut for Gabriel (at least from the start) and think Koz will be rested enough to play.
    So it looks like i am another agreeing with TA’s line up (very boring from me this week) but i would like to add that deserved second half subs in Rosicky and Akpom would be great to see. Plus a debut from the bench for Gabriel (if the game is going well), i could not think of a better introduction to the premiere league style than to start by facing up to Benteke lol
    With all the results going against us today the win is very important but i hope there’s room in there for some of that beautiful Arsenal footy.

  • Unless I am missing something I can think of no reason why Szs would start ahead of Ospina. Nice write up 17ht I like your team a lot

  • Shit i missed that, yep i agree with retsub and amend my support of TA’s line up with the change of Szs with Ospina 🙂

  • Mainly agree with your lineup, but I think rosicky has to be included, possibly ahead of ozil? Walcott is needed for his pace, Ramsey and coq for stability, and santi is a certainty. Still, can’t see wenger dropping his 42mil man. Great to have a selection dilemma though, especially with welbeck, ox and Sanchez returning next week and wilshere soon after that.
    P.s flamini still exists
    P.s paulista should start today and not in NLD too early to throw him in the deep end, although villa are sneaky
    P.s chuba Akpom looks promising, should give him more minutes in the coming weeks

  • hahahahahaha 😆 😆 😆

    I just spent the last couple of minutes trying to wipe off the shitty mark on the bottom of my screen, until i realized it was a smiley face TA has for some reason put at the bottom of the yellow banner on this webpage pmsl!! what a twat 😆
    Curse you TA!
    Well played sir!

  • Happy for Ospina to start, but Wenger does not give up easily on his first team players and I reckon the Pole in goal will get a thumbs up from Arsene….. He is a Y-manager and not a X-manger after all.

  • why is there a smiley face on the bottom of the page TA?
    was that just to catch me out lol

  • Santi and Ozil both want to play through the middle. But with Santi’s recent form, I think he gets the spot. To round back into form, however, Ozil probably needs to play centrally. One of Wenger’s biggest challenges is getting the most out of our wing play.

  • Good preview 17

    From last post – JB and TA, it’s about the perception not the reality… I am at least tied for the biggest Ozil supporter. He does defend, just in the transition and contain, and that is all that is needed if we do it all right. It’s also what we did most right vs City, btw, IMO…

    For this post — Ospina over Scz and I bet Ozil is more central in a 4-1-3-1-1 type of play…

    Cheers — jgc

  • Excellent post @17 and awesome website TA! Personally I think with Alexis and Ox apparently out, I hope we’ll line up in a similar structure to what saw vs Brighton but with a couple of personnel changes:

    Bellerin Mertesaker Koscielny Gibbs
    Ramsey Cazorla
    Walcott Giroud

    When everyone is fit I think that setup accommodates the vast majority of our players without trying to force any square pegs into round holes. Alternate line up:

    Szczesny or Martinez
    Debuchy or Jenkinson; Chambers; Gabriel; Monreal
    Flamini or Arteta or Diaby
    Wilshere; Ox;
    Rosicky or Zelalem
    Any combination of Alexis, Welbeck, Sanogo, Podolski, Campbell, Gnabry

  • Nice one HT, and amazingly I would go for 10 of your 11 starters 😀

    But I’ll comment on comments as for my reasoning.

    TA – Whilst you may think Szczesny has a chance of a recall, I think AW’s recent ‘praise’ for his attitude is there to soften the blow that he will be on the bench.
    Ospina, I am guessing, has sufficient Spanish to be able to direct Gabriel(even if it is a repeat of what Per says a second or two earlier). Gabriel to start because of his aggressive style of play. Koscielny no doubt could play if pushed, but he had a hard game in the week, and he will be kept for the NLD.
    Retsub1 – (your alternative alias?) – Agreed on Ospina.
    OG – Sorry, but no. And no I haven’t gone over to the ‘dark side’, just purely practical.
    Soheillesque – All good points, and AW will decide.
    Steve – Exactly, re Gabriel. Quick and aggressive, by all accounts. Just the very person you want alongside Per, and he is fit.
    TA – Your X Y thoughts miss out the big thing in Arsene’s make up. He has a very ‘Scorpionic’ personality trait of giving trust, and utter distest at what he sees as betrayal. If you think we did not re-sign Fabregas because ‘we did not need him’ shows how much you are missing. To turn down the chance of making a few millions, by selling someone on this summer, AND keeping Cesc from the clutches of a rival .. Really? He may have given that response to the Board, but deep down he was very hurt that Cesc would not stay the extra year. Not forgiven.
    Woijech will have to be the ‘model’ player if he is not to receive a similar fate.
    Lloris has clearly been sounded out?
    Jonathan Nelson – Your are correct of course. In order for one not to play below their best a solution has to be found. Coming right up, and solving point 2 at the same time.
    Geoff – The sensible guy, and clever with it. I agree with you on both counts. Play Ozil whenever possible. Keep Santi going while in the form of his life. Just a little tweak to your ‘in action’ formation though.
    Back to HT and my one change.
    Giroud to the bench. Start with Akpom down the leftt. Formation in attack: 4-1-2-1-2
    With Monreal staying deeper in defence, Akpom provides the ‘balance’ of pace that Gibbs would provide. By allowing Bellerin to advance down our right, thus pushing Theo forward, you then have your front ‘pair’, both with space to move inside. Ozil in the Brighton role, which I think was the trial run, able to pull defenders away with his movement, and play key incisive passes where they can really hurt.
    Behind him, Santi has the full width of the pitch to deliver those quick transition balls out of defence. He moves into space that Ozil leaves for him, which is according to where Villa will be at their weakest.
    Behind them Coquelin has the principle role of DM, but Ramsey has the role of filling the gap behind Bellerin, and still provide support in attack. Clearly if he has any fitness issues, Rosicky is the guy to slot in.
    The back 4 I would expect, despite Gabriel’s reported ability to play across the line, I think he will line up on Per’s right to add further cover to Bellerin advance runs. It will be Coquelin and Monreal ‘s job to stop Abonny on our left flank – Good match up; Le Coq v Le Dick(head) 😀

    This is not a solution in every game, but it is the best that AW can come up with?
    As Geoff said earlier, it is about personalities working together. Balance. It is all in the Balance!

    AW – See to it!

    p.s. In the Cup we had a round of great results. This week not so good. Let’s not allow our result give the others joy. Keep the faith….

  • Welcome FL08, named after one of our greats?! 🙂

    I think you, and also Geoff, are right it’s assuming Ozil will play more centrally, with the width coming from the full back as well as the mids. Ozil and Santi to weave their magic together.

  • haha Gerry that’s just a slight reinterpretation of the 4-1-3-1-1 that you and me really want to see played but you know by now we never get to see it lol, and Akpom to start over Giroud will never happen – no matter how much we keep pushing for it lol.
    Could you imagine the runs a pairing like Theo and Akpom would make for Ozil, its just to much awesomeness for AW to actually allow it to happen 🙂

  • I see you had another Akpom dream hahahaha 🙂

    Maybe you are the Scorpio after all. Giroud is the first on the team sheet: the hub, the base, the pivot! 😉

  • haha TA we are English, there are only two languages that actually exist for us – English and Other 😆

  • The British went the other route, if you conquer and enslave enough other nations and force them to speak English you don’t have to learn other languages. A pretty shitty move on our part and thankfully completely abandoned now, although the Americans are trying to bring it back in fashion now 🙂

  • all part of their plan to make the initial invasion as smooth as possible, then the push for complete American take over will begin and the English language becomes the one solely used lol

  • Gerry, I think you are bang on the money about the real reason Arsene didn’t resign Fabregas. And I think it’s the same reason he won’t resign Song when he is invariably discarded by Barcelona. Flamini signing for a second time was the exception and I think the reason why Arsene was comfortable to do that was because Flamini saw out his first contract with Arsenal before moving to Milan. Fulfilling your contractual commitment to a club seems to be a big thing for Arsene.

  • Starting team:
    Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker(c), Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Ramsey, Walcott, Cazorla, Ozil, Giroud

    Szczesny, Gibbs, Gabriel, Chambers, Flamini, Rosicky, Akpom

  • We really don’t know what Wenger thinks of Fabregas and why he did not take him back. It is just speculation and Gerry loves to have his theories. He had Ozil, Rambo and Jack so it makes sense to believe his reason for not resigning one of the best mids in the world, even though I don’t agree with that stance.

  • great bench because barring any injuries the most likely subs in the second half will be Rosicky, Akpom and Gabriel, should be an interesting match today.

  • keep a close eye on the battle in midfield for the more central position between Ozil and Cazorla lol

  • I’m here…Early kick off (5:30) and the espresso machine wasn’t properly warmed up… I’m OK now with the first one in my belly…

    It looks cold and grey in London and AW has gone to the long coat…

    The early pressing game looks good…

    Rambo shoots wide but the move was made with nice early work from Santi AND Ozil…

  • Not such a bad flick on from Ozil… A bit of trouble getting it into a shooting position but then perfectly placed by the big fella…

  • Ramsey forces a save…Might’ve shot first time?… Santi is looking extremely sharp and Le Coq’s having a stormer… A 2nd would be very nice…

  • End to end and we’ve had a bit of a let off with Weimann not quite connecting on a header…Our final balls aren’t quite coming off…Too many intricate passes, trying to walk it in and all those other stereotypes?…

  • Le Coq…maybe needs to avoid fouling and accept it when he’s called for one… FK and a corner well defended as we head to the break…

  • Coquelin exactly what we’ve all been wishing for, but yeah 17, he needs to accept when he commits a foul occasionally. 1st half the standout player. Ozil is a genius. He’s on another level..

  • why interesting about WS being benched @ Skipper ? the writing had been on the wall from such a long time .

    that was a world class save from Ospina to keep us 1-0 up .

    Hello me Amigo 🙂

    Hello Steve, that was a flukey pass from Ozil to Giroud , no ? 😉

  • Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooospina



    that goal was mainly down to Ospina’s quick distribution –

    god, how I have missed a decent keeper at arsenal (Thank you god 😀

  • Great to see Mesut and Theo being able to pick up the slack when Alexis is out…

    One Man Team!

    Really? 🙂

  • Allezkev = we are a one man team and the name of that man is Ospina, ha

    Santiagooooooooooooooooooooooooo penalty after some good work from young Chuba !


    start the engine time ?

  • Nice one James 🙂

    The defence just seems more calm with Ospina in goal…

    Anthony Taylor giving Arsenal a penalty!!!
    Blimey, it must be our year… 😀

  • must be indeed, Allezkev 🙂

    Man of the match = OZIL

    ahahahahahahahahhahaahahhahahhahaha @ Steve

  • oh chupa that was your moment, so so close… dang it, should have scored there

    but the kid has swagger with serious pace = me likey likey

  • Bellerinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn


  • woooooooooooooooooo000000000000000000000000000t wooooooooooooo0000000000000000t

    start the engine time

    5-0 Terry !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the Ghosts are at full throttle

  • Ooooooooooooooooooooospinaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    another world class save

    wooooooooo000000000000000000000000000t wo00000000000000000000000000000t

  • Well how much did I enjoy that?. Everyone played really well and I am sure the likes of Cazorla, Ozil , Theo etc will get lots of praise. But three of the more unsung heroes Bellerin, Monreal and Coquelin. Well done lads

  • How good has bellerin been? i dont feel like im watching a kid, except for the bundles of speed and energy. Great foot work. i feel like he’s future star at his position, incedible tools to work with, thanks la masia yesssssssssssa goal hector

  • just read the comments back and found the gem from Aussie 🙂

    that’s the problem with most of us, we settle for mediocrity and then hope that mediocrity somehow turns into world class .

    OSpina 4 games = 4 clean sheets

    forget the shots on target, look at the corners, crosses he’s handled as well as the distributions which have been 5 star – he set a quick counter attack up which Theo ended up scoring from .

    ok, I might be “obsessed” because we shouldn’t be settling at being the 2nd best, we should be thriving for perfection and the best players need to be playing in their rightful position . but if you are not so one sided and blinded, then you would come forward and today admit that Ospina’s performance was 10 out of 10 .

    let’s see if you can do that .

    Also, Steve let’s see if you can come out and give the credit where it’s due .

  • 007…Creating these (false) battles between our players OR between different bloggers is not at all what interests me… In truth it mars, for me at least, what was a completely positive experience…

    Ospina had a fine match, except for giving the one corner unnecessarily on the ball which was going wide…

    Time for me to take a break…

  • Out from behind the Sofa with a bulge in my trousers !……probably be there until MotD has finished tonight…..unless one of you fcukers know where I can watch a re run now ?. hahaha
    Hey, but I`m not the only one !…..Hamez will have one until Ospina lets one in !.
    I should also say that I`m an Akpommer as well !…….remember !….I said he was the new Henry, before Alexis said it !……just sort his contract out Arsene !….( I call him Arsene when he`s in my good books ! hahaha )

  • I’m here, just before i watch the Saints match.
    No doubt Ozil had a great game today, one of the first i have seen in a long time so definitely credit where credit is due.
    tbh i couldn’t pick a MOTM from that team performance if i tried but wouldn’t argue with the award going to Ozil.
    This was a truly amazing game, still buzzing tbh even Akpom at the end looked in dangerous form – what a squad!!
    Looks like my man Jack is going to have to fight hard to knock Ozil off his perch when he is playing like that but i’m not completely reversing my verdict on him after one match and i just hope he continues this form into the NLD and continues to make me eat humble pie.
    Right short and sweet but i have to get ready for the second match.
    what a result!! COYG!!!!!

  • Yeah jb, keeper is the least of the story today, villains haven’t scored in 10 hours, but i did notice the very good distribution. No question, it all helps. Ozil deserved motm for genius assist that got us going, and a perfectly placed goal, actually had 2 goals, wasnt offsides to me.

    But i still think the most important player over the last 5 matches is coquelin, then santi.. coquelin showing Arsene what we’ve all been begging for.. this is no fluke, it’s not like a goal scoring streak, where people get some luck..,……. this is hard work, athleticism, and almost flawless play, almost always in the right position, disrupting opponents attacks, many times early, and getting the ball moving in the counter attack. I’d love to see a stat on how many he has begun.

  • 17HT, I have been noticing from quite sometime how you say something and then run off on the fence mainly after mentioning something which is neither here nor there .

    so, if someone comes out and says something when the times are hard or when we lose – it’s a no no from you and you are quick to point that out before disappearing .

    and then when we have won and something is pointed out, you are again on the same boat .

    Aussie posted that above comment before I had even begun commenting – his comment warranted a rebuttal .

    if it doesn’t interest you, then don’t interfere nor point it out – just because you have commented on the subject makes me believe that you are more than interested and then you go on indicating that one of Ospina’s error led to a corner (how petty is that ), if it was a goal then fair enough but really read what you write and mean it instead of being neither here nor there .

    don’t really like it when people are keen on being politically correct and end up as above .

    you are more than welcome to get yourself involve in my and Aussie’s banter but please don’t pretend that you are not interested is the gist of it . I can tell that all 3 of you ( Aussie, you and Sczny are very sensitive beings), we need more people to be like stevie wonders (insert a smiley of your own choice).

    by the way, a great write up and post – It was only after I had read your preview that I realized it’s the ghosts of Anthony Taylor returning !

    Cheers and enjoy the sunshine if you are out and about (am sure you are reading this comment right now!

  • Btw i though i would just second jnyc, Cazorla and Coquelin were running the show from midfield today (as they have for the last couple of games). Great to see the team clicking!!!

  • you are correct @ JNYC (but you know am still not gonna stop until Ospina concedes a goal, right ?:D ahahahahahahahahahahahhaha

    no but seriously, he did well, that stat about Villains not scoring means very little to me as they had a couple of decent attempts and he did have to keep the ball out .

    but you are right, Le Coq is the way to go – he has given this team some solid steal and our man Ozil has given this team some serious Wings and creativity .

    it was a great team effort today .

    Glics, it’s time that you get rid of the Sofa from your home for good, me thinks 😀 this is the only way you be enjoying such moments of highs 😀 5-0 today and 7-0 against the spuds next saturday 👿

  • hahaha JB, i’m here for a little longer if you want some banter
    I still think Ozil is shit! 😉 😆

  • *steel even

    now we need Swansea to win by a 2 or 3 goal margin, they did beat us earlier, so now it’s time they settle the Saints and win !!!

  • No way Hamez !……the Sofa stays !……put it this way, what would you use to hide your boner when you have guests around and Ospina is keeping clean sheets or when Szczesny has a brain fart in a cup game ?. hahaha

  • ahaahhahahahahahahahahahaha

    don’t mind Ozil being s&hit as long as he keeps delivering them performances week in week out 😀

    2 games back after injury = 2 goals, 1 assist

    Cesc = WHO ? ? ?

    I don’t count the period before that as he had come jaded from the world cup and didn’t have Theo nor Alexis fully bedded in .

    allow it @ Steve

  • Glics 😀

    considering we are only playing the mighty Boro in the FA cup, am guessing our attackers will bail Sczny out and we will outscore them at home 😉 so the sofa can definitely stay out of this one

    re- Ospina clean sheets, as Jnyc pointed out that the Villains hadn’t scored from so long, so it’s not on the same level, am guessing Man city, Stoke and who was the one before didn’t score that many goals either, so it takes a bit of gloss out of the clean sheets 😦

  • I like this rumour that Reus wants to play and work under Arsene instead of going to Manshafter /Chavs etc` !…………he would make our bench even stronger !.

    Shame it wasn`t 6-0 Stev11e !……a high six would have been the order of the day !. 😀

  • ahahahaha I think if Akpom tucked that one away i would have had a celebratory six finger wank and then again watching back on MOTD 😆
    A fucking great match
    Now lets hope the swans can do us a favor 🙂

  • Just seen the first four goals, gotta say that Ozil’s flick to Giroud was simply sublime.

    Nice the way that OG then lifted his shot over the keeper…

    Ozil n Walcott’s finishes were top top quality…

    Agree on Le Coq and Santi…

    But another clean sheet is a very welcome and encouraging development.
    Long may it continue…

    And a good post btw…

  • Arsene does really have some selection luxuries.. who for spuds? Alexis onky if completely healthy, ox, the same, ozil, santi.. theo may be odd man out, workrate should give ox the edge over him, he has worked almost like alexis all over the pitch. But theos a dangerous late sub against tiring legs. Aside from the goal, he didn’t help out too much.
    The scum are playing very well, and will be tough,motuvated , they are focusing everything on top 4. We shouldn’t be over confident after today, go in the way we did at man city.
    First name on the team sheet, Coquelin. Get him signed Arsene, Ivan. He can save you alot of money replacing Aeteta, flamini. … and doing the job as well as anybody.

  • just to share something completely random with all of you –

    we often blame injuries but I think due to injuries, we may have found our future superstars in Le Coq and Bellerin ?

    would they have gotten a chance if Arteta and Debuchy been fit ? I doubt it .

    it was only after the injury to Arteta that we recalled Le Coq back .

  • he’s already signed a 4/5 year contract extension @ JNYC

    £60,000 per week @ Le Coq

    it’s done .

  • Superb second half and not just for the stats 😉

    Early goal did it for Villas game plan but we needed Ospina to keep us in control. All agreed re praise for players, and how good was BFG today? More tonight if I find time to write a review. 🙂

  • haha we can pick up the fun and games again in the week (when we’re bored again) JB 🙂

  • I call them as i see them TA (that probably goes to the heart of me thinking Ozil isn’t that good versus the not seeing what he actually does debate) and today he played a blinder so full credit to the man and long may it continue (after all i don’t hate the guy personally, just question his worth – not today though!!)

  • What a performance! 🙂

    That third goal gave me a bit of a boner, I must say. Özil’s pass for Giroud’s goal was Bergkampesque.

    Wonderful afternoon.

    Oh, and there are rumours that Schneiderlin is a done deal for the summer. The Reus deal is also on the cards. Borussia Dortmund have already applied for the licence for 2.Bundesliga and I’m not so sure that Reus sees a light in their tunnel.

  • well, in our fun and games, me Amigo got upset and I am sorry for spoiling his victory parade, that’s my only regret but to be fair, he did bring it on himself , no ?

    I have a lot of respect and love for him, maybe next time we win 5-0, I will stick to doing what the Glicster does 🙂

    apologies me amigo, I just can’t control my fun and joy when the team keeps a clean sheet and we do better on the GD than a team who have spent £150 million in an year and have the likes of Rooney, Van Pu$$y , Falcao and Di Maria up front .

    but you also have to be fair though, I really didn’t want to mention the S player again but the comments in your wonderfully written post , left me with very little choice 😀

    what is it they say in your part of the woods ? make hay while the sun shine or Ospina keeps a clean sheet (something along them lines)


  • You have to give Mmmmmourinho credit for how he gets his teams to all defend as a unit…even at home yesterday !.

  • haha cockie, very apt pic of chelsea.

    What a game. Awesome all over the pitch. Must be a dagger to Jenks’ heart every time Bellerin plays well. Side footing it from that range…amazing. Unlucky Akpom…deserved to score. He definitely looks the goods. Ozil, Cazorla, Le coq…everyone played well.

    @ BJ

    me sensitive? ha. Your inane dribbling on the topic has good comedic value. I call it 1001 ways BJ can twist anything into szcz’s fault. You see I rate Ospina and he played very well. I like him as an Arsenal player…not just in spite of another arsenal player. My comment above was a comment in response to yours on a previous post. I do think it’s time to move on though because it’s clearly derailing threads. I don’t want to turn every post into szcz vs every keeper arsenal have…despite your best effort (including szcz’s name in 99% of your comments).

  • So many positives from today and nods to the author for a great preview. A few thoughts..

    1. I don’t think a single player in our starting XI had anything less than a stellar game. I would probably have to pick out Ramsey’s performance as the most underwhelming– which is really just a testament to our other 10.

    2. Another solid showing for Ospina. Super accurate delivery and kept his composure. Glad to see AW wasn’t tempted to start Szc as this is our new #1’s 4th consecutive clean sheet.

    3. Perhaps our best performance of the 14/15 season and ALEXIS was nowhere to be found.

    4. Ozil starting to find some form and hopefully a little of that Real Madrid confidence. Seems like an unusually sensitive guy who lets sensational journalism negatively effect him more than it should for a professional athlete. You could tell he’s still knocking off some rust and the boss made similar comments in the press conference, but that’s to be expected. But I think he’s on the right path and confidence could be all the difference between a ballon d’or candidate and an another Arsenal “flop.”

    5. Another victory.

    Anyone else hearing these Reus rumours..? Obviously not getting too sucked into it but I suppose i find it interesting they’ve just popped up again in the last couple days. That would be just too much..

  • Rumours ?

    what Rumours .

    Poldi = out .

    another german = in .

    we have the monies, every transfer window, we can afford to buy 1 SQ player AT LEAST @ Frozen

    and AW won’t hesitate in getting him on board .

    however, the more you see such stories, the more you can see that the agents are just shopping for a better deal for their clients .

    that’s the best way to get more monies for their clients, usually .

    Reus = in

    Gnabry = out on loan the other way .

    win win ?

  • Match of the day

    and who did they choose ?

    Ozil, Santi, Theo ? no

    OSPINA – they choose Ospina because he has PRESENCE , apparently 🙂

    I like it !

    but how dare they do that ? and why didn’t they show the bit where he conceded a corner 🙂

  • Hello Gunner’s
    I had a great day today at the home of proper football.
    It felt like i was watching the best of our team from last season, except Le Coq and Hector, who were both awesome by the way.Oh and of course Ospina who i think is a great composed keeper to have in our goal.
    After we scored the 2nd, the fans really found there voice as well. There was nothing but positive thoughts and praise for the team.
    We are really looking a force now, the rest of the season looks very bright.
    Great day great result.
    Theo and Ozil score for 2 games on the trot, Giroud did not fluff his lines to score the first.
    Add Alexis, Welbeck the OX and Wenger said in the match programme that super Jack Wilshere will return in 10 days, if that does not fill you with hope for lets say the Champions league then am not sure what wuill. 🙂
    In Arsene we trust!

  • 007,
    Here here , he was very good and he looked very at home and looked like he was enjoying himself.
    Ospina in goal for the Champoins league games and we have a great chance mate.

  • Le Coq really really looks the part also, he did not put a foot wrong, i put him above Arteta and Flemini now and you know the respect i have for Arteta.

  • glad you had a great time, matey – you should go to the games more often as our lads like putting up a show for you and king henry ; )

    concurred wholly .

  • I am going to Everton next then your love this hopefully v Liverpool after that.
    Cor that would be a great game to watch fingers crossed mate. I know you hate Liverfool with a passion lol 👿

  • As good as Arsenal were today and we were brilliant, i have to say that is the worst Villa side and performance i think i can remember.
    Funny as the Gooner crowd were giving the villian’s fans a proper ribbing mate

  • Ah yes yes , the liverFOOL one is on the easter weekend and I might be going on that as well .

    Will give you a shout once it’s confirmed !

  • I don’t know when was the last time I’ve entered in the last day of the transfer window without any wishes but I think that day has arrived. If we get injury-and-stupid-suspension-free, we can beat everyone.

    I really, really liked our attacking movement and I think it was the first time that we benefited from the presence of both Özil and Cazorla on the pitch.

    People mention Ramsey for performing below the standard but I’d disagree. He puts a shift every time. Yes, he hasn’t scored for a while but it has coincided with Coquelin and Cazorla earning their roles in the starting eleven while Rambo was out.

    Three matches in the league, three victories, goal-difference 10:0, seven different players getting on the score-sheet, leveled with Southampton on the fourth, one point behind Manure on the third spot, six points behind Shitty on the second… Life looks nice again. (Apart from my gout, that is, but it will be settled soon too. 🙂 )

  • Oh, yes: that Ospina’s save of Westwood’s shot was spectacular. Magnificent save. 🙂

  • That would be awesome 007.
    If so it would be nice to meet up for a quick pint or something. It is also near my birthday it 3 days after the Liverfool match, so fingers crossed, good luck i hope you get your tickets, i know how much you would love to go to that one. 😉

  • Admir,
    Yes all very positive mate, i also agree on the trannie window front. In fact i had not veven given it any thought. That is how happy i am with our squad now.
    We have the depth now we have the defensive cover and that was all that was missing.
    The future looks bright.

  • Bring on Tottenham!
    Time to mash the spuds up.
    It is a game we should win , but it is a must not lose or it wil take the gloss of the latest performances and a bad result v the spuds never goes down well.
    But i predict a 3-1 to us , hopefully 3-0

  • JB, TA, 17 et al,

    Will see game later, but some brief points/comments from highlights:

    a. Ozil also did his thing containing the transition

    b. Ospina, which I added to 17s lineup in place of Scz.. that gives én, moi-meme and jeg (that’s Hungarian, French and Danish for you TA and Steve for me, myself and I) 11 of 11…

    The reason, as JB would be happy to repeat ad nauseum (that’s latin for the record), 3 clean sheets earns you the right to see if it can become 4… It’s a game of forms (which if puns were a language, then I’d be up to five, or … öt, cinq, fem, respectively, for those keeping language count)

    c. Ozil really showed his class, or Qualität … cuz we can do some German if you want too

    Leading after all that to…

    d. Steve and TA, we Americans are not here to take over your benighted countries. That is all a smoke screen for the fact that we already have. Watch your great tv, music, movies etc.. All American or culturally so behind the scenes… This is like a boa constrictor.. by the time you feel the wee bit of constricting pressure, it’s already waaaay too late.. 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛

    Jó estét, bon soiree, god aften — jgc

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