Le Coq & BFG Solid, Nacho Fearless, Ozil Scores Again: 8 Positives from Game

Well that was a disappointing game and outcome. We sat deep and invited pressure, with the aim to beat the Spuds on the counter. Prior to the game I was very much for us sitting deep and playing compact, and I praise Wenger for doing so. And initially it paid off handsomely, as we scored a goal from a sharp and incisive counter – with a lucky deflection off Giroud’s leg, mind you – early on in the game.

Thanking The Guardian for picture.

Thanking The Guardian for picture.

Playing so deep and compact and with such little possession of the ball, is still quite alien to us. It is not the Arsenal way and we should not expect us to be brilliant at it straightaway. Yes it worked against the Northern Oilers last month, but it did not work against the Southern Oilers earlier in the season. I am pleased that we are playing deeper in these sorts of games, though. Many of us have wanted this for a long time, and although we lost against the Spuds, and overall deservedly so, it was still the best tactics against them. We will learn our lessons from these encounters and get better at playing deep and compact in order to win games on the counter.

And the one thing we need to analyse is how the team was unable to release the pressure they were under and did not counter more effectively. The easiest thing to do is to say that such and such were not good enough or had a bad day, and that we missed such and such, etc.

There is merit in some of the criticism some of our players got after the game, and yes we missed the likes of Theo, Alexis, Wilshere, Ox, Rosicky and Debuchy yesterday (all not in the starting eleven). But the players on the pitch were all very good and many of them were key in getting three points in Manchester recently.

Our prolonged inability to break through the pressure line of the Spuds needs analysing and then we need to get better at this through hard work in training. We just cannot expect Arsenal to be brilliant straightaway at what is an unnatural way of playing the game for us. The Spuds’ manager outsmarted us in midfield and Wenger was unable to break it in the second half. This can of course happen, and let’s not forget the referee had an absolute shocker, allowing them to foul us without consequences and handing out yellow cards to our players willy-nilly.

Yet we had chances to take the lead again after they had equalised, and football is, whether we like it or not, still a game of chance and luck to some extent. And for the same money the BFG would have earned us a penalty for what was a very silly foul on him. Wenger is also right in stating that both goals against us were bad defensive mistakes.

But the best team won and we have another game in two days; and except for the title, there is everything to play for, with the Northern Oilers just seven points away from us in second place. The boys will learn from this encounter and the next time we apply similar tactics against a strong opponent away, or even at home, we will be better at it.

Eight positives from the game:

  1. Mertesacker lead his defence very well and he read the game perfectly. Sitting deep and playing compact really suits Per and he handled the pressure very well. The Spuds had chances but many were shots from outside the box as the defence was able to keep the Spuds away from getting inside our box. He was not helped by a lack of discipline and protection from our right-sided players – Bellerin and Welbeck – and yet he made a number of vital interceptions and clearances stemming from danger from the Spuds’ left wing.
  2. Coquelin was solid and tenacious, and most importantly in such a heated derby, disciplined and composed. He protected the back-four very well and was able to match the Spuds’ energy levels during most of the game.
  3. Ozil scored another fine goal: three in three now, and that is just the part he needed to add to his game at Arsenal, as he scored just five goals in 26 PL encounters last season. He got outmuscled a few times, but more than once through a foul on him. Mesut suffered a lot from our inability to play the ball out of our defence and therefore was not always very effective on the day.
  4. Monreal was up for this and there was no way through our left back. He was tenacious and aggressive and played a very professional game for 90 minutes.
  5. Our starting tactics for the game were spot on, and for me this is a big positive this season. We showed them too much respect and were unable to release the pressure enough in the second half, so, as per the above, we need to improve further. But our compact and deep sitting approach to these sort of games is a welcome, necessary change.
  6. Ospina handled the pressure well and his focus was strong throughout the game. His early Kane safe was crucial and he was never intimidated during the game. But he is also quite small, and I wonder whether this was the main cause for him parrying the ball back into the danger zone on a number of occasions when dealing with shots from outside the box. He was lucky to get away with this on more than one occasion and I reckon a taller keeper would have been able to tip the ball that led the Spuds’ equaliser over the crossbar. But his composure and energy were brilliant and as such he kept us in the game for a long time (but not without a healthy dollop of luck).
  7. We have only one more hard away game to go this season, as we played at Pool, Everton, Chavs, Northern Oilers, Saints, and now Spuds already. We are in strong position to push on towards the second spot but key is to keep momentum going.
  8. Alexis will be back soon. 😉

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So let’s not despair but see it as a big learning opportunity for the boys and Wenger. The biggest enemy of momentum is lack of self belief, and the best way to strengthen our belief is by winning the next game. OGAAT! 🙂

 Bring on the Foxes on Tuesday.

COYG!

By TotalArsenal.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

98 Responses to Le Coq & BFG Solid, Nacho Fearless, Ozil Scores Again: 8 Positives from Game

  1. Mark says:

    Don’t agree abt Monreal. He provided nothing going forward causing the balance problems in midfield and he was responsible for NOT clearing the ball for the first goal. Gibbs should be back as quickly as possible.

  2. The Cockie Monster says:

    I`ll take your word for it Totes as I didn`t see ( and never will ) the game, but I bet a list of negatives would be longer !. 🙂
    On a positive, I see our ( mine and Ozzies )….Le Coq Bloque ….had a Premiership season high for one game of 9 interceptions !……and this stat as well…………………………………….http://sabotagetimes.com/reportage/stat-proves-arsenals-coquelin-best-defensive-midfielder-league/

  3. Mark says:

    Agree 100% it’s going to take some time to adjust to this system especiall for the midfielders as they are used to bombing on Ramsey in particular seems to be struggling, but I’m assuming this is to get us ready fora proper title challenge next season and it gives us a great chance in the champions league this season!

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    Exactly Mark. This needs mastering which takes time.

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Cockie, you are the expert on doom and gloom after all 😉

    Nice stats about Le Coq.

  6. St. Henry says:

    Good positives TA. 🙂 Agreed with most of them and you pulled up a few more. yes there is life beyond yesterday 🙂 The part that I wonder is whether fast-paced-high-pressing teams will always overrun us. L’pool did that quite successfully as did the spurs yesterday. Not a large enough dataset to generalize but… or maybe fast pace and 12:45 start don’t mix? 🙂

  7. retsub1 says:

    Nice positive write up T A . Good point about the fixtures and as long as the confidence comes back we should be in good shape.

    It was also a reality check. The tactics we used at City were very effective. It’s easy to question the tactics after the event and other than starting Welbeck, it was pretty much the players and tactics I would have employed.

    One question though. Even though we have struggled against the big sides recently because of our attacking tactics. They fairly regularly work against Spurs. Ouch

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    St H 🙂

    We need to get better in the transition and counter-attacking, and that takes time I reckon. We are getting there though.

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    Yeah Retsub, we might have shown them too much respect. On the other hand, practising and improving this ‘Plan B’ is also very important for the future, as we need it, like Mark says above, to win the CL and PL next season.

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    If I am critical of Wenger then it has to be about playing Welbeck instead of Rosicky. Danny lost so many balls for us, especially in the first half, when it was key to keep hold of it and relieve the pressure. Without Alexis and Ox, Rosa is THE player to do this and I don’t understand why Arsene left him out.

  11. 17highburyterrace says:

    Great job, Total… If ever I was gonna copy and paste my comments onto a new post this one would be it… If anybody gives a poo, they are there at the bottom of the last thread…

    Taking positives and moving forward is exactly what a (good) manager does. Fans tend to take up the flavors (flavours?) of their drinks…If they favor (same spelling issue) the bitters it might be to place blame on the ref or on their own players or the manager who picks them. The choice to go for the negativity comes with the high prices paid for tickets of telly subscriptions, maybe…Perhaps it comes from the discrepancy in pay between the real-world manager and what we get for watching–approximately 150,000 pounds per week. Still, if we aspire to comment on the manager’s ideas it seems only appropriate to look with a clearer eye at his (actual) job. So, well done, my friend, in finding the positives…

    That said, we have to give props to Spurs and their supporters for creating a very difficult environment in which to play. With their two big derby wins (us and Chavs) the idea that home pitch advantage isn’t what it used to be comes in for scrutiny. The atmosphere seemed to cow Atkinson who seemed determined to give all benefit of any doubt to the home team. Like you said, Le Coq did really well to play his game with technique rather than (too much) bluster. I think Ramsey is actually about ready to break out and have some big matches (goals and assists) and his first touches and decision making (for me) seem much improved. Final balls to his teammates, however, just weren’t happening and seemed just early or late. If he and Ozil start to get on the same wavelength good things will happen. The guy who might lose out (on playing time…), Cazorla, seemed overpowered or simply squeezed out by the big players in Spurs MF and unable to get his dance on (as we might say)… Rosicky, his sub, did better, but not enough. Based on his run out as a sub, not starting Theo didn’t seem such a bad call from the manager, either. Welbeck may not have been at his fittest but he did at least try and call out Spurs most cynical player on the day (Danny Rose) after toasting him to set up our goal.

    So there you go…painful (very painful…) to lose out on a great opportunity and to our bitterest rival. At least we have games coming quickly to try and get back on track and dull the misery…

    West Ham just fail to hold on and ManU get their late draw… 3rd (draw) of the day, 5th of the weekend… Points are maybe a bit tighter and tougher to come by in the league this year?…

  12. craszy gunner says:

    my disappointment yesterday was Bellerin did was not confident enough to run at that fat cheating wanker rose when he had so a few opportunities to do with his pace…he chose to pass backwards all the time!..

    The wanker on the other hand had a go at Bellerin when ever he could..

  13. retsub1 says:

    Just had a quick look at the fixtures. Haven’t double checked but it looks like we have 8 at home 6 away
    Spurs on the other had have 6 at home 8 away. If you look at them in terms of difficulty, the ball should be in our court. I know others will be in the chase for 3rd and /4th but against the Spuds we are in pretty good shape.

    Away games only

    Arsenal
    QPR
    Burnley
    hull
    palace
    Newcastle
    Man Utd

    Spurs
    QPR
    Liverpool
    Chelsea
    United
    Southampton
    everton
    Newcastle
    Stoke
    Burnley

  14. retsub1 says:

    Lose QPR off the Spurs fixtures

  15. craszy gunner says:

    I won’t play Ozil and Cazorla in difficult away games or where we need to graft a result….it will be one or the other based on form ..start with cazorla and bring ozil on for guile when the opposition have tired minds and bodies.

    Am I the only one who expects ozil to concede possession easily all the time…I love the guy but I do find it terribly frustrating!..

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice one seventeenho 🙂

    I fully understand the disappointment as nobody likes losing to the horrible Spuds and we are all prone to finding fault somewhere.

    Playing the ball out of defence when being pressed and sitting back on purpose is quite an art. it suits quick thinkers and specialist in close ball control and dribbling, with also good body strength. Maybe more Jack than Aaron and definitely more Alexis than Danny, and maybe more Rosicky than Santi. But I also think it is about finding each other quickly and almost blindly and that comes with a lot of practice. Yesterday we failed in that department and without a good functioning midfield it is going to be hard to take the pressure away from defence or feed the attackers. I reckon Wenger and the team will learn from this and we can try it again when we play the Mancs away, and possibly against Monaco away… 🙂

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes Retsub our away fixtures look a lot better. Good thing as well is that the real threats for a top four place have all dropped two points this weekend: Manure, Pool and Citeh, which means we get away with this weekend’s loss to a large extent.

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    Never think you are the only one, Craszy 😛

  19. James Bond says:

    nice one @ Skipper

    the problem we are having here is with the team selection .

    ok, Santiago was the star performer and did well but how much space was he afforded in all them games ?

    we always struggle, when teams press is relentlessly – have had similar performances against the current spuds manager when he was at saints and also against the swansea team .

    for such teams and tactics, we need a ball carrier and a mover with pace – that one player we have is called Thomas Rosicky – why on earth would you not play him ahead of Santiago or even Welbeck yesterday ? ok, Santi you couldn’t drop from the starting 11 but no one was stopping you from hooking him off at half time for Rosicky ?

    playing Welbeck was a good move, however, again, he should have been subbed at the 60th minute mark .

    it’s the little things that count and fine margins – we could have won that game yesterday, especially being 0-1 at half time – it was only a matter of time for them to score and we had been given plenty of amber’s and red’s but it goes onto prove one thing and one thing only – AW refuses to be a proactive manager and will always be a reactive one .

    Wenger out ? Yes – only, if we can get Pep .

    why I say that ? well, all these years, we have always blamed injuries preventing AW getting us over the line or near the silverware – well, you give him a full squad to choose from and he gets it wrong or has his tactics wrong – no, am not a qualified coach and far from it but do I really have to be if it’s the same old same old ? I’m sure most of you like me were watching the game yesterday and must have been screaming for a couple of substitutions because it wasn’t working or the players weren’t quite up to the Arsenal Standard .

    when was the last time, he hooked a player or subbed him in the first half or early 2nd half to send a message across – there lies your answer .

    you have a squad and a bench, bloody use it , no ? instead of helping your team , you let them commit hari kari .

    0-1 , away game – players are struggling in the midfield – bring on Flamini, bring on Rosicky, bring on anyone to add more steal or tackles in your midfield but no, let’s wait before they score 2 goals and then chuck in young Chuba or bring on Theo 🙂

    saying that, now he will go on and win the CL ahahahhahahahahahahahahahahaha

  20. 17highburyterrace says:

    Those are very good points regarding the necessities of MF play and regarding the loss of points.

    I think you and I are on the same wavelength re: midfielders. Starting Rosicky might’ve been a better plan, but also that having more pressing from the front (Welbeck) was not a bad idea. (After yesterday, esp. if Alexis can start, I fear my Santi may become more of a bench regular/super-sub…) I have vague memories of Theo doing that sort of pressing (forcing a turnover vs Chavs with Cesc, years ago…) but he certainly wasn’t in that mode when he came on yesterday…

    The home matches are tough too, retsub. Can WHL become a real fortress or only on derby days when the supporters up there park their brains and come with only the hatred?… Hard to say, but, looking at the away schedules, it will likely have to be for Spurs to stay up there… Indeed, it is very good that City, United and Pool all dropped points as well this weekend…

  21. James Bond says:

    *us relentless

    “Tomas Rosicky

  22. James Bond says:

    am not fussed about the spuds overtaking us – it’s not how one’s starts but how one finishes that counts .

    they play liverFOOL away next and I reckon that be a draw, so we will be leap frogging again .

  23. steve says:

    good effort boss man, the last two positives have nothing to do with the match itself though. Coq, Monreal and Ospina definitely agree as i stated earlier but not sure i’m quite with you on BFG and Ozil, both were pretty average if you ask me.

    On the getting the tactics spot on, well that just got me thinking and i’m going to pose a question to you;
    is this the master plan that could fully realize the potential and utilization of our depth in squad do you think?

    For the beautiful game:

    ——————–Giroud——————-
    —Sanchez——-Ozil——–Walcott—
    ————Cazorla——-Arteta———–

    A team which many have as their best starting XI most probably because the beautiful game is what they have in mind when they think of Arsenal playing well. But as is quite evident now Arsenal playing well is most definitely not what happens at tough, physical, pressing away games. For most other games however where time and space is afforded to us this front line would be able to paint the master pieces we all dream about.

    For winning ugly:

    ———————Welbeck———————
    —Sanchez——-Rosicky——–The OX—
    ————Wilshere——-Coquelin———–

    Apart from Sanchez (who would feature in both set-ups) there is quite a (perceived) step down in class and quality but there is an undeniable step up in hard graft, tenacity and physical prowess. This is the Arsenal version of the Chelsea concept where battling and closing down all over the pitch whilst defending well wins out in the end or at least does not loose. A luxury to have in the squad whilst the “best XI” strut their stuff in most games but essential for those difficult away games.

    Is this the end game TA???
    Or is Wenger going to simply try and coach the ugly play into the beautiful game players? In which case there may be a long way to go judging by some of the performances.

    Only two of those “winning ugly” players made the starting XI yesterday (one if you take into consideration Welbeck is not match fit). Could these injuries/absences have cost us the result yesterday?

    What do you think TA, and everyone?

  24. 17highburyterrace says:

    Simulposting with the superspy… “You and I” above, obviously, refers to Total… 😉

    No chest beating here, 007, you want Wenger out (sometimes, at least) and “messages sent” but I see the wisdom in trying to protect the confidence of players who you’ve put on big money and long term contracts. Dif’rent strokes, as they say… Overall, it’s our right–as fans–to live and die with each moment, management has to take a longer view. Worst of all, only his ideas are actually testable…A super bold (or Bould…) move would’ve been to have subbed in (or started…) Gabriel at RB… but now I’m just talking out of my own hole…

  25. James Bond says:

    the biggest positive from yesterday ?

    no more injuries to our players and Welbeck is looking gold on the wings, can’t wait for Alexis, Theo and Welbeck to play up front in the 3 (yes, no Giroud as the striker ) as I be tempted to play Theo as the striker .

    there were hardly any crosses yesterday anyway . I would surely play a 4-3-3 at some point just to see what all these 3 can do with Ozil behind them (Alexis-Theo-Welbeck)

    what do you reckon @ Steve

  26. steve says:

    JB, “it’s not how one’s starts but how one finishes that counts”

    My miss’s would disagree with you mate! I normally start by going down on her and usually finish on her face – she’s much more impressed with the start mate 😆 😆 😆

  27. James Bond says:

    that one was just to get you out and play @ Me Amigo – I was missing you yesterday 😉

    note – how I said, only if PEP is available and I have never actually said Wenger Out before and technically this isn’t that either as we both know that Pep .G won’t be available anytime soon .

    football isn’t a game of wisdom, it’s a game of decisions, results and points , hence you have younger coaches and managers with more trophies than AW and a better win ratio for bigger games .

    Wisdom is best left for those who can best use it and utilize it to help win battles not let your troops look out of their depth and shove them in the firing line and keep them there without giving them necessary re-reinforcements .

  28. steve says:

    Definitely agree @ JB 🙂

    Sanchez——Welbeck——–Walcott
    ——————–Ozil———————-

    I suppose as long as he was afforded the space and was fed the ball effectively there would be countless options for Ozil, if he couldn’t make something out of that then even you lot would start doubting him lol.
    btw Akpom could sub anywhere across that line in the later stages of the game pace for more pace – thats what we like 🙂

  29. James Bond says:

    that’s giving way too much information there @ Stevie wonders (19:40) .

    😉

    ————Ozil———————

    Welz——–Theo——Alexis

    would work a treat, only if Ozil had Le Coq and JACK WILSHERE playing behind him . JW would cover the Left side with Alexis and be the link from Midfield to Ozil or attack and Le Coq be the protector .

    Ramsey out in this one .

  30. steve says:

    yeah Ramsey’s a f*cking nightmare, on form he’s probably our best midfielder but when he’s trying to find it he’s a liability. Yesterday he was running around like a headless chicken, constantly second to the ball and second best in the challenges and his passing was simple atrocious.
    He’s an odd one that boy, at least you know what you’re going to get with Jack even if its not up to some peoples standards.

  31. steve says:

    Hi HT btw 🙂
    sorry to hear about the flooding problems mate.

  32. 17highburyterrace says:

    F11ngers, winning pretty is the whole thing, for me at least… Sorry… 😀 And if man-managing a squad of players while economically not killing your club is wrong, then AW will never be right, 007…Pep’s not (currently) available but ‘Arry is…He could be our man, now that we missed out on Pardieu…

    Watching the three matches this morning (as I wrote my stuff bottom of the last post) and took care of some other business, each was a step up in quality from the one before. Burnley-WBA was nice and scrappy, a hard fought battle of committed English footballers (and their mates, from foreign lands, who get the idea)… Toon-Stoke was better football but a lot of technical break down (esp. in the final third) with goals coming from hardworking gingers and stilt-men. WHU-ManU was, by far, the paciest, most technical, and best to watch. W/O Andy Carroll WHU played a lot more along the ground… Both keepers did very well to have it end 1-1 in that one so plenty of chances and excitement. As such, maybe Fat Sam should be our next manager… :/ And maybe we should get one of those Spanish keepers…

    Uh Oh, I mentioned keepers… Gotta run…

    I truly am out, so no (excessive) picking on me, please… Instead, dig deep and take a page from the gaffer (Total) and look for those positives… Or not…

  33. 17highburyterrace says:

    No flooding probs, Steve, just a bit of extra work getting my pumping system going… In the Summer it’s free water for us, so overall not a problem…

    As I wrote above, I think Rambo is soon to go off (in a good way) and I’ve like his game…Needs to coordinate with the others just a bit better, I think… Just my view, of course…

    OK, truly must run…

  34. steve says:

    HT the beautiful game is great i would be the first to agree with you there but you have to realize that it just doesn’t work all the time. I just don’t see Wenger being able to retrain our flare players to be able to mix it in these games when they come around (especially on yesterday’s evidence), surely thats what the squad is for (when its fully available) 🙂

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers JB 🙂

    Everybody has different views on team selection and when we lose it is open mike for everyone. The team Arsene put out was a strong one, but we disagree on Welbeck, which, of course, is fine. It did not go to plan and we will learn from it.

  36. AB says:

    Evening folks. I largely agree with the premise at the top, but not entirely. I’m not sure that there is a simple switch from plan a to b, more a gradation. So, whilst I think we need to be willing, and able, to apply a ‘sit tight and hit fast on the counter’ approach for top teams – oilers, Bayern etc, it pains me to be outfought by a team where the running was made by Ryan Mason and Nail Bentaleb. Now surely, we can’t need to retreat into full hold the line mould – as if we were facing Real Madrid? Yes we need to practise a more counter-attacking formation to get it right, but, what was still a very high calibre Arsenal midfield should not have been so run ragged by a bunch of kids fresh out of the academy.

    I’m still in the positives mode however, so I’d like to add a couple to your list TA.

    1. We cannot look at a single game in isolation. Therefore, we need to recognise the superb form that Santi has been in of late (yesterday was an off day, not his standard performance), and also the progress that young Bellerin has made (we can forgive a 19 year old a few mistakes surely).

    2. Our squad is generally getting healthier (touch wood) and we look like having a strong team and bench for the run in to the season. As we have shown before, we can put a real run together at this time of year. We should have had more than enough for the spuds yesterday, but even so, its clear that Sanchez and Ox would have been strong additions for this game.

    3. Please lets not forget what a player Ramsey is once settled. I’m right with 17 that he is about to come good. Yes its a pain waiting for the form to return but, as he showed last year, it is well worth it. He would have been a real challenge to Suarez last year had he stayed fit – as the best midfielder in the league.

    But we have to turn positives into points. I expect us to do nothing less than really go at Leicester tomorrow with a committed performance that makes the spud game a blip of history.

  37. James Bond says:

    well, given that the team selection was a bit here and there – sure but there was nothing stopping the manager from changing it, no ? @ skipper

    and that’s what i am arguing here .

    I argue this even when we win – he’s a reactive manager when he could easily be proactive and avoid the adverse results ?

    I like you and many didn’t expect Welbeck to be in the starting 11 but he had clearly served his purpose by the end of the first half and things needed to be changed is all am saying .

  38. AB says:

    JB. I’m not with you on the wish for Pep. Yes he plays with flair and attacking intent. And I like his principles. But do I see him operating within a budget? Not so sure. It will be fascinating to see whether we go for the big name or try to find the ‘next big name’ as we did with Wenger. Either way, I’m in no hurry for find a successor as I feel we are building very nicely at present.

  39. steve says:

    AB, “a very high calibre Arsenal midfield should not have been so run ragged by a bunch of kids fresh out of the academy”

    Don’t underestimate the youth 🙂
    That’s why i am always banging on about our own 🙂
    OX, Gnabry, Akpom, Chambers, Jenko, Hayden, (if he was alive), even Wilshere who i still class as youth just about.
    The youth are coming for you superstars, watch out lol 🙂

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    Steve, Ozil scored a very good goal and is running 1:1 at the moment…. A positive! 😀

    Watch the game again and see how many times the BFG reads the game perfectly.. 🙂

    Not sure I agree on your ugly and sexy sixes.

    I reckon Arsene would ideally just tweak from game to the next with guaranteed starters: Alexis, Ozil, Giroud, Coquelin/Schneiderlin, and rotating Ramsey, Jack, Ox, Santi, Rosa, Flam, Arteta, Theo, Welbeck. He has so/too much choice really.

  41. James Bond says:

    concurred @ AB

    hence I said that the man city blueprint should not be repeated again and again .

    madness is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting the same results ; ) or different , per se .

    be bold, be brave against the lesser teams when you have the players to do it .

    keep the man city or bayern munich blueprint for the bigger teams as a surprise .

    we have used the plan b against bayern munich = won

    Dortmund = won

    Liverpool = drawn earlier this season

    no point using the same against spuds, west ham or lesser teams when we can beat them playing our A game .

    add a bit of steel by all means, be a bit more tight but yesterday we were more exposed than ever, even after sitting this deep and trying to absorb it as opposed to us being on the attack .

    was our goalie the busiest he had ever been in the last 18 months ? I would say so , certainly .

    attack is the best form of defense , mostly .

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice one AB, and all agreed. 🙂

  43. steve says:

    I’m not really in any rush to see a new manager but if i had to choose i would pick simeone from athletico madrid – someone said this yesterday i can’t remember who but i fully agree.

  44. TotalArsenal says:

    Maybe Wenger should have subbed earlier, JB. He tends to speak to players at half time and improve them, and it more often works than not is all I am saying…

  45. AB says:

    Steve. Youth in the mix for sure; I’m right with you on that. But where was the hard edged experience driving the spud youth yesterday? We should have been smart enough to deal with that. Wenger was right after the game, we lost the ball too easily, we didn’t move it forward fast enough, and we weren’t sharp enough in front of goal. We should have been able to put them out of their stride and challenge them more where they were vulnerable – their lack of experience and guile

  46. James Bond says:

    AB,

    it’s not his fault that he has been managing big clubs who have had no issues in getting him the players he wanted ?

    saying that, he’s not spent that much money at Bayern Munich maybe because he inherited a world class squad anyway ?

    but yes, if he comes to Arsenal then I can again him having no problems spending the monies as the legend AW would have left Arsenal in a very good place .

    also, he does have substance to add to his style as well . He doesn’t hesitate playing the youngsters and dropping the seasoned pro’s or superstars , either .

    we need someone like that to take the team forward and build on AW’s wonderful work (on the balance sheet ) . someone will reap the rewards of AW’s labour, if he doesn’t this season or the next – am pretty sure of that !

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    Ramsey and Coquelin were our youths in midfield yesterday….

  48. steve says:

    Ozil, Giroud, Ramsey, Santi, Flam, Arteta, Theo

    All those players remind me of a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow which it is most notably remembered for the line;
    “When she was good,
    She was very, very good,
    And when she was bad she was horrid.”

    I have just twigged why we are so inconsistent lol

  49. AB says:

    TA – agreed also on the subbing policy. Its not that he can’t see the issues. But Wenger tries to build players, and work with intelligent players. As such he invests in their confidence and tries to ensure stability. Chopping and changing is anathema. He will do it, but only in extremis. Whereas maureen will do it as part of his vanity – to remind everyone who is the real star of whatever team he is working with. There are times I’d like to see a bit more flex, but overall I can only admire the principles.

  50. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed AB, and let’s face it: a loss combined with hindsight and free speech will never bode well for the manager in charge hahaha 🙂

  51. AB says:

    Steve – where does that poem leave us at the end of the season then? Its the aggregate that matters, not how bad we are on our worst day. Would you have Mason and Bentaleb in our first 11? I don’t see them as an improvement on what we have, or even near as good – but they were better than our players on the field yesterday.

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    Steve, that goes for almost everyone and I am not surprised you excluded certain players from your ‘she list’… 😉

  53. steve says:

    That’s exactly what i was saying AB re inconsistency 🙂
    It leaves us in forth mate, you should know that by now 🙂

  54. steve says:

    Jack, Ox, Welbeck and Coquelin have all been consistent this season (good but not amazing) for the time games they have played (i think OX had one game when he was well of the pace but thats it), Sanchez has simply been consistently excellent.
    The others can always be either hot or cold imo.

  55. AB says:

    Ha!!! Good answer Steve! And probably not wrong this season. But Ozil and Sanchez are not players who usually end the season in 4th. And Ox, Kos, Jack and others have the drive that you love to play around them. A bit of luck on the injury front and we have a team that is near to challenging. Or are you with Glic on this?

  56. TotalArsenal says:

    And that’s why you are not a stats man, Steve 😉

  57. The Cockie Monster says:

    Still feel sick about the result, but I`ve been downgraded from suicide watch to miserable bastard watch and the wife has given me back my belt and shoe laces, give it another half an hour and I may get the trousers and shoes back and then I can get up and pay the restaurant bill !.
    To tell the truth, I`d rather be at home and wank myself into a self induced coma !….( the correct medical term for this is …… Wankoma !. ) and only be awakened when and if we are above the Spud Khuntz at the end of the season !. 😦

  58. steve says:

    hahaha damn right TA 🙂

    AB, I think next season with a full injury free squad to start and maybe one or two additions in the summer and i genuinely think we are definite challengers mate yes. This season i think third would be a great result.

    I tell you what though (and i really don’t want to jinx it) i think we could have a strong run in the CL 🙂

  59. steve says:

    Wankoma??
    doesn’t he play as a DM at Southampton?

  60. TotalArsenal says:

    Has Arsene ever let you down in this respect, Cockie. Safe your juices buddy. 😛

  61. The Cockie Monster says:

    Yes !……that`s the one Totes has been wanking over for quite a while now !. hahaha

  62. The Cockie Monster says:

    No Totes !…………….4th is like a magnet !……even when we were 1st ( this time last year !) we were drawn back to it !. 4th has a greater gravitational pull than Gervinho`s head !.

  63. steve says:

    hahaha 😆

  64. steve says:

    call me crazy but i honestly think we are better than both the Manchester clubs, i know we are better than Southampton, Pool and the spuds. so next season i really don’t see why it shouldn’t be a fight between us and Chelsea for the title 🙂
    We will get out of that forth spot soon Cockie 🙂

  65. The Cockie Monster says:

    ##BREAKING NEWS##
    Hostage situation on the Isle of White !.
    Calm down, Stev11e and don’t do anything silly…….. BKers will chip in and pay the ransom !.

  66. The Cockie Monster says:

    Night all !. 😀

  67. steve says:

    PMSL!!! 😆 😆
    CLASSIC!!

    Apparently the abductors are Chinese, they caught the hostage in some kind of Chinese finger trap 🙂

  68. steve says:

    Night Cocker!!

  69. TotalArsenal says:

    May the fourth be with you! 😛

  70. Emilio Zorlakki says:

    Spot on analysis. Don’t agree with the away games scenario though.

  71. jnyc says:

    I say let’s put it in perspective. We were coming in with great form. So were the spuds. No denying that. . They were at home, and they played their asses off .. harry kane is hot. Who scored their 2 goals. ? The hot player.
    Who is our most influential player this season. ? Alexis couldnt play.

    Sometimes it’s just not our day.

    I liked that arsene surprised everyone by going with welbeck…alot of us thought theo would be a better choice to come on as a sub anyway, and welbz probably couldnt do 90 yet, so it made a lot of sense to me. —– and to those criticising the move, if we hadnt given up 2 goals. , You’d all be saying what a genius move it was, because he was largely responsible for the goal we had. — you can’t have it both ways.
    I like that Arsene is never afraid to deal with the media and everyone else who know better than him, post match…., all geniuses we are, with the benefit of knowing the results already.

    I think we are the team i would bet on to get at least third place right now, maybe even second, as i am sensing a possible collapse from man city. Our fixtures remaining are more favorable than the others, and we are a better team as we are becoming healthier.
    But we do have to finally dispatch United to move ahead of them. That is a monkey we need to get off our backs if we want to move up higher. No more choking.
    We also have a very exciting champions league to come, and I’m on record as saying we will shock a big team, and that ain’t monaco….
    I have no problem accepting the result… not happy, but accept it.
    so lets just go do our job on tuesday.

  72. TotalArsenal says:

    Well Johnnie, I reckon even Wenger would disagree with you in hindsight! 🙂

    Welbeck’s bust through and preassist were good but after that his inability to keep hold of the ball, read the game and protect his full back was there for all to see. Should have been Rosa or Theo all day long.

  73. Gerry says:

    Just caught up with all he comments, both on the match, and your well dug out positives in the post TA. Well done.
    I can’t say I disagree with any of them. But unlike yourself, I am guessing, I have only seen the match once. Liked most, I am not analysing any particular player, just living and breathing the moments of the game. I too, suffered with the early kick off, and I only just got settled before they kicked off. I fed the dogs at half time and missed 4 minutes of that. Hence I missed out on who was on the bench, apart from those sat behind AW. Sorry HT, that is why I was unaware of the absent Chambers. However, I did manage a wry smile in your direction when I saw Chuba warm up with about 10 minutes to go 😀
    So my reflection on the match are drawn from memory of any overall impression I got. So I have to say the comment I agree with most is JB’s, minus the Wenger out bit. I want him to end his contract on a high just as TH14 and the man you call God are ready to take over.

    Speaking purely on observations, there was a simple solution to change the pattern of the second half, before taking on board HT points of man management. This counter-attacking plan is great if you can get the transition to run at speed. Spurs management team did their homework and realised Cazorla was our creative hub, and if they could shut him down deep by flooding our half with players ie high pressing, then much of our game was taken out.
    That is my observation.
    The change that could have been made early in the second half would have been to restore our No 9, and have a Number 10, because we had neither for much of the game. Ozil, when not playing wide left, needed players to be attacking their box, which only happened on the few occasions that we did break out. So push Giroud high up the pitch, or switch with Akpom if his knocks were giving him a problem. or for a little while, as his time was nearly up, move Welbeck to centre. Take Ozil off – Shock! Horror! – and put Cazorla in the Number 10 position higher up, but in a more threatening position where he might find space to move around. Then put Rosicky on to drive the transition quicker. Further change, to sort out the right flank problem, Gabriel on for Welbeck and push up Bellerin more into attack, but tracking back when they doubled up on that side.
    So on 55-60 minutes we would look like this:
    Ospina
    Gabriel, Mert, Kos, Monreal
    Bellerin, Ramsey, Coquelin
    Rosicky , Cazorla
    Giroud

    Would it have made a difference? It does not matter now. But when Mertersacker says ‘we’ did not react quickly enough, the above gives a clue as to how they could, by practising these variations? Another time it might be Monreal who has the problem. Work on it!

    The big thing was there was no outlet ball for much of that game. Most of that was down to the way Spurs were set up. But our tactic of pulling EVERYONE back misfired badly. But even in tight spaces the way to defeat being outnumbered is to pass and move quickly, and to do that players needed to make themselves available to take the ball and move it on to the next guy to do the same until the spaces open up.
    That was the lesson that has to be learnt. The Man City and Villa blueprint were fine, because in those games they did pass and move. Just being having players around should not be the reason why you hold on to the ball until you are closed down. BUT, not having the option to play it simple and quickly, is. Sorted it out chaps. You are supposed to be players of great quality? Help you team mates out!

    Luckily it will all be sorted tomorrow night, guaranteed! 😀

  74. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice comment, Gerry, and mostly agreed. In your line up above I see no reason to take Ozil off and move CAzorla higher. Moving Bellerin up and adding Rosicky and Gabriel could indeed have worked…. Could. 🙂

  75. RA says:

    Steve @ 21:26,

    So you are saying all our players are little girls? 🙂

    There was a little girl who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead.
    When she was good she was very, very good, and when she was bad she was Arsenal.

    You are horrid. 🙂

  76. RA says:

    I guess the time for post-mortems is over, and we should start to look forward.

    Experience tells us that the further on from the game we are the more memory gets distorted, and the result of dodgy hindsight is usually rubbish.

    In his interview this morning Arsene made that clear to a journalist harking back to the Spuds game, and he curtly dismissed the question and said his focus was on the Leicester game.

    That’s good enough for me. 🙂

  77. TotalArsenal says:

    Tiang yang, Redders, there is always next game, yes always next game! 🙂

    Where are you based currently?

  78. steve says:

    RA, hahaha Nice 😆

    unintentional this time but i have been known to call them “girl parts” in the past, so just “girls” is a step up in etiquette for me lol

  79. steve says:

    Nice thought Gerry but when was the last time AW made wholesale changes early in the second half to change a game?
    I’m not saying i don’t agree with the approach just that AW will never employ it, he sticks to what he has on the pitch until any change comes to late to effect anything in a real way other than to offer a hail mary right at the death.
    The creative and attacking drive in midfield from Cazorla, Ramsey and Ozil just did not have enough to transition from defense to attack with any kind of purpose or success.
    If the whole heart of your team is having an off day then you know you are in for a shit time and the spuds took full advantage of it.
    Don’t worry they will all be back in the team for Tuesday against Leicester where Ramsey’s crap form will look acceptable again, Ozil will be given time and space and fingers crossed Cazorla will have one of his good days again with little high intense pressing on him – all will be well again lol

  80. Gerry says:

    TA – I had two players coming on, with Welbeck and Ozil coming off. Defending a 1-0 lead, but still carrying an attacking threat was part of it. The main part was to get space for better balls in transition and relieving pressure.
    If you kept Ozil on, and lost Ramsey I assume? Then you are still going to be outnumbered in midfield?
    In choosing Ozil rather than Cazorla for better work near defence, but yes, you could have played Ozil close to Giroud and left it to Rosicky to get the ball to them.
    With one sub left it would be a choice of Akpom up front giving more pace, or Flamini at the back to have those ‘options’ I spoke of.

    What will be interesting is how AW juggles the pack tomorrow?
    Personally I would go for tweaks in each area. If Alexis is a risk I would put him on the bench and hope he is not needed. OGA-ing again, Have in fighting fit for the Boro’ so we make no mistake there. I do think Santi will be ‘rested’ for this one, mainly for the number of hard games he has had, rather than this latest performance – Another one fresh for the Boro’?
    That means Ozil can slot in the Number 10 spot, and either Welbeck or Akpom on the left, or both if Giroud nurses his bruises, and Alexis is restrained for one more game. The only other change I see is may be resting Koscielny, either here or against Boro’. I would rather only one change in the back 4, so if Szczesny plays, stick with Kos
    If Akpom is going to start in the Cup game I want him to get at least 30 minutes in this one.

    So if Giroud is okay my changes would be:
    Welbeck(subbed by Akkers on the hour)
    Rosicky for Santi
    Gabriel for Kos if Ospina is in goal.

    For Boro – in OGA mode:
    Alexis, Akpom, and Theo for Giroud , Welbeck, Ramsey.
    Santi for Ozil,
    Kos for Gabriel

    And in ether game, may be Chambers for Bellerin, and Flamini relieving Rosicky at some point?

    Food for the preview thinking perhaps?

  81. Gerry says:

    I know what you are saying Steve, but even the pushing up Giroud for an outlet ball would have been a change. I don’t buy this stuff about having an off day. The old saying of you can only play as well as your opponent lets you’ comes to mind? Spurs, as I said before the Villa game would represent a far bigger test.

    Leicester will be a different kind of test, and from what I have just read, Alexis will play.

    I also read some bad news Debuchy and Arteta may not play again this season. Ox is also out for anther two weeks.

    I forgot about Gibbs returning too. One or the other game I would have thought?

    Finally, the Under 21’s game is live on the ‘Player, 7.0pm GMT tonight. Bielik and Gnabbers in action should make it worth a view?

  82. steve says:

    ok Gerry i’ll play, theres not too much else going on and i suppose its only one day away from the match tbh so line up time 🙂

    Leicester, My dream line up;

    Akpom———–Welbeck———Walcott
    ——————–Sanchez——————-
    ———–Coquelin——Rosicky———–
    Monreal——Kos——BFG——Bellerin
    ———————Ospina——————–

    Sanchez as the linchpin;
    He battles like Coquelin
    He has the speed of OX
    He dances like Santi
    He scores like Ramsey (on form)
    He passes like Ozil?? not too sure but he does have the highest assists
    The complete midfielder!! 🙂

    Predicted line up – the same as Saturday, Wenger will want to keep faith in the players and let them bounce back from that result and reaffirm their confidence and self belief.

  83. steve says:

    count me in Gerry, i’ll be watching 🙂
    footy on a monday and tuesday – nice!!

  84. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry, more or less.

    After 65 minutes I would have put in Theo for Danny, Rosa for Santi, with a strong focus on pressing back and breaking the press, and Theo and Ozil to become the outlets in the space available, with OG battling deep for the ball as well. We needed the renewed energy of Rosa to FIGHT back in the middle and this would have reenergised Rambo as well.

  85. TotalArsenal says:

    Does anybody fancy writing the preview? 🙂

  86. The Cockie Monster says:

    Preview
    We should wipe the floor with this lot………….then again we should have wiped the floor with….Hull….Spuds….Swansea….Southampton……etc` etc`………………so realistically, we will have 90% possession……… 100 shots on target…….150 corners……..but lose a tight game 5-0 !.
    If it was on the TV, I would rip up my Sofas and watch it as it`s going to be easy !………but if we get none or only one point, expect for Wenger to be assassinated……………… by me !………….Cryogenitalman !……..I was outside making some yellow snow when an out of the blue lightning bolt struck my red member !…..since then every time I feel the urge to have a piss, I shoot golden ice bolts from my piss weapon with deadly effect !. So behave BKers….these yellow icicles will kill you ! 😀

  87. The Cockie Monster says:

    I cant see anywhere on Arsenal.com or Arsenalplayer that tonights U21 game is on live to watch !……….it will on Arsenal Twitter !.

    Urine Trouble !

  88. jnyc says:

    Yeah T, it’s true. I couldnt believe how bellerin was holding the whole right side down all by himself in the first half… im not sure how that can even occur. No merts, coq, or welbz until the very last moment., strange… one slip up by hector and the Right atta ker would have been one on one with ospina. Also funny that if it was sczez who parried the ball into danger so many times, and came for a ball as bad as one by ospina, we’d be hearing alot more outrage, and im not talking about jb… i think people just dont like something about chezzers attitude and expression.

  89. steve says:

    yep U21 match is on Twitter, damn you Gerry you got my hopes up lol

  90. Gerry says:

    Sorry about that Steve. That is what you get whenrepeating other blogs info …without checking. BT are covering the Man U v Chelsea reserves, so they may give an up date?

    However, if you want kill an hour, last Friday’s Arsecast was very good.

  91. James Bond says:

    JNYC,

    Sczny has played close to 200 times at the top level or for Arsenal , has been with Arsenal more than 5 years and has been the undisputed number 1 during that time .

    maybe people just ran out of patience with all the potential talk as he refused to learn or still refuses to learn ?

    of course, his attitude doesn’t help either nor does he father do him any favours when he comes out to attack Arsenal or it’s players in trying to protect his lad .

    none of Ospina’s mistakes led to any goal, in fact, he did well to get a hand or 2 on some of them to begin with . he had no chance to stop any of the goals, even though he tried to keep it real .

    worth remembering that he’s conceded only 2 goals after 5 games and it was only 2 goals which could have easily been 5 as some of his saves were top draw even when he was posing a bit !

    having said that, I don’t think he was fit after his first save and may have tweaked something – he didn’t want to leave the field as the last time that happened, Sczny got his opportunity to be in goal again , therefore, he carried on ? (that’s just my observation ).

    it’s competition for places and let’s hope, if and when Sczny is called upon – he is raring to go !

  92. James Bond says:

    2-1 to our young guns, joint first or 2nd on goal difference .

    Gnabry got a good run out today , Lipman saved the day by scoring in extra time .

    Dan Crowley has all the ingredients to be a top notch footballer – if we Sell JW down the line then it will mainly be down to this lad. watch this space .

  93. steve says:

    I would love to see Jack and Dan play together in midfield one day JB

  94. allezkev says:

    Apparently George Dobson had a good game tonight…

  95. jnyc says:

    Hey jb. You note that i said i wasnt talkin about you, lol.., thats respect to the sczez out brigade leader. 😉 .. btw, I’d still continue with ospina, unless there was some small injury he picked up saturday. I was worried when med team worked on him..

  96. steve says:

    allezkev, he’s looked solid all season, maybe with him Chambers and Hayden our defensive future looks a lot brighter than it has done in recent seasons, not to mention Gabriel who is also relatively young defender wise.

    jnyc, stop provoking JB lol 😆

    Ospina looked like he was playing for the other team he parried it to their strikers so often, Ospina out, Szczesny rules!!!
    😆 😆

  97. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post new Post.

    Short and sweet. 🙂

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