Gabriel & Coq Beastly, Giroud & Ospina Decisive, Ozil Delivers: 8 Positives from Game.

A messy Coq au Vin, yet the sheet remained spotless!

Well that was a hard-fought and very necessary win. Both teams sat deep and played it safe in the first half, and not so much happened in front of goal. The tempo was low and neither team had the ball long in the areas that matter: it was at times more of a chess game than a football game. But Giroud had his shooting shin-pad on when the ball reached him from a Mesut corner; and that was all it took to go in the lead.

To be fair to Everton, they kept going and gave us a hard time to get out of our defence. Le Coq, and to a lesser extent Cazorla, battled like tigers to regain control of the midfield. Sanchez and Ozil helped out were they could but struggled to get their attacking game going. Ox was more active in our attacking play but his final ball was mostly not good enough, with the exception of the late ball into the box for Ozil that could easily have been an assist for him.

Koz had an off day, not looking his usual self. But both Gabriel and Ospina came more than once to the rescue with finely timed and hard-but-fair interceptions and saves. Together they kept the sheet away from any Toffee smudges, amply helped by their direct colleagues and fine team defending.

The 1-0 lead was defended to the end and then came the Toffees hammer blow. A brilliant, archetypal Ozil pullback from the sideline to just in front of the opposition’s ‘D’ was slammed home by super-sub Rosicky. This time it was Arsenal who had the lucky deflection: the once again impressive Jagielka did not deserve to be the involuntary deflector, but it was the goal we had all been hoping for. It sealed the three points for Arsenal and allowed us to nest warmly in the top-four. Northern Oilers look behind you, the Cannon is on fire!

Eight Positives from the game:

  1. Gabriel put a smile on our faces. Yes he had a bit of rough start and had to be helped by Ospina to save his blushes, but once he got in his stride he was eating toffees for fun. Lukaku is advised to drink a strong whiskey before he goes to bed tonight…
  2. Coquelin matched Gabriel in beastliness. Some believe he is not physically strong enough but on today’s performance I reckon we have the new Silva in our midst. If and when we play deep and organised, Le Coq is a joy to watch. I also was very pleased with Santi’s disciplined performance: he sat deeper and put in a great shift from a defensive point of view.
  3. Giroud worked his socks off for the team and was rewarded for his efforts by an important goal. There are still a few Gooners out there who do not rate him, but there is no player out there who more fulfils the entire content of his job description than OG. Ollie drew blood twice and le Coq will be feeling it tonight, but this was just the sort of response we all expected from him.
  4. Bellerin had a strong game, both in defence and attack. He had struggled on Wednesday but to see a nineteen year old lad come back so strongly today, fully committed and yet playing intelligently throughout the game, is very impressive.
  5. Ozil’s added two more assists today and that is what he was bought for. He might not be as physically committed as some other Gunners, but he puts in a shift nevertheless; and then he is also that one player who can produce that little bit of magic such as his fabulous diagonal pull-back into the danger area that found Rosicky for our second goal.
  6. Ospina was in very fine form and showed why he is preferred to the lonesome Pole. His decision making and concentration levels were perfectly balanced towards the games defensive requirements. He read the game so well and his Lukaku safe midway through the second half was fabulous… and probably won us the game.
  7. Wenger’s substitutions were very effective today. He was right to keep Le Coq on as he was the embodiment of our resistance in the team today. Taking him out could have changed the balance in the game dramatically. But in the end he had to go and Chambers was the right choice. I also thought that Rosa for Ox was spot on. The latter had run out of steam a bit and Rosa replenished the blood supply. The Czech helped to release the pressure from the Toffees and his drive gave a new boost to the team.
  8. Alexis did not have a great game from an attacking point of view but boy did he work his socks off for our team! He is so effective in all aspects of the game and his work rate is really rubbing off on his fellow players. What a signing!

A few days rest before we face another London derby, but I reckon the boys want to play that game tomorrow; that’s how good they are feeling after a very professional yet passionate win.

Third now and just four points behind the Northern Oilers: The boys stood tall and made us proud today.

By TotalArsenal.

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

128 Responses to Gabriel & Coq Beastly, Giroud & Ospina Decisive, Ozil Delivers: 8 Positives from Game.

  1. The Cockie Monster says:

    What a great result !……………..The Spuds lose a Final !. Hahahahahaahahahahaahahahahahahaahahahahahaah and they`re out of the EL !, hahahahahaahahhahahahaahaahahahaahahaahah and we won as well !………………………………I feel so aroused at the thought of crying Spuds !. hahahahahaahahahahahaahahaahahahaaha

  2. Retsub says:

    T A. Well written, you have done well to take 8 positives from that game. I would term it bland but efficient.

    Ozil may get an assist for the corner, but I suspect it was a poor corner that Giroud did very well to get his standing leg on.

    Bellerin had a good game, but he got caught upfield too many times for my liking.

    I think Alexis needs a rest. He is running around like crazy, but it just isn’t happening for him at the moment. I suspect it’s mental tiredness as opposed to physical.

    A win is awin, but it certainly wasn’t entertaining. If we are to get anything from Old Trafford next week, it will need a better performance than today.

    After a couple of nightmares Gabriel looked pretty impressive. Let’s hope it continues.

  3. The Cockie Monster says:

    Just finished watching the game and it was not pretty, but we have the points in our march for top 4 !. An Excellent day !……………………still aroused, so who wants roggering ?. hahahaahahahaha

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Retsub 🙂

    I thought it was a really good game tactically and we played both professionally and passionately. I also feel it is exactly the way we should play against Manure in a week. Deep and in control and taking our chances when they come – anything else is likely to lead to disaster. And if Ozil, Santi and Alexis can find the ‘super button’ again, we will get through, I reckon.

    Agreed Paulista did very well once he got through his initial nerves.

  5. The Cockie Monster says:

    Oh and nice post, Totes, agree with the positives !

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    Cockie, seeing the Spuds lose is of course great but it is a shame that Maureen finally got a price again, even though it is the mickey mouse cup.

    But lets just think back: Chelsea – Bradford 2-4 hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha 😛

  7. @sila says:

    The mighty le coq made us proud today

  8. The Cockie Monster says:

    There`s only one team I`d rather see lose The COC than The Chavs and they lost it !. 😀
    Shame that Mansour City today have handed the title to Cesc as there`s only one team I rather not see win the title than The Chavs !……………guess who ?. hahahaha

    My top 5 of teams I hate and number one will never change, the others can change depending on who is challenging us !.

    1st : The Scum
    2nd : The Chavs
    Joint 3rd : Manshafter and Bindippers
    5th : Mansour City

    I just happen to think Mmmmourinho is a brilliant coach !……shame Wenger is not just the Manager with Jose as head coach !…………that way, both me and Transplant could go to a game with a bulge in our trousers !. hahahaha

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahahaha 🙂

    I, on the other hand, would be just a pair of balls. 🙂

  10. steve says:

    I thought Everton handled us comfortably the entire game and without the miss hit from Giroud and a deflection off of Jag i would have been fearing the worst.
    Coquelin and Ospina were my MOTM awards, just shows what kind of game it was.
    OX at least gave us some direct drive down the right along with Bellerin but unfortunately much off our play was down the left where it ended up the usual slow, congested, tippy tappy, going nowhere nonsense in the bottom corner.
    Giroud got his goal but through luck rather than skill and manged to miss the other three or four that were much clearer chances. He along with Ozil and a slightly off form Sanchez capitulated all game down that left hand side, there was such a contrast when a break was on down the right hand side lol.
    Rosicky came on and added that forward passing that i love, direct and early passing, if only he and OX could have started.

    Not going to say much more as i am sure everyone will be trying to find positives to cling on to but after watching games today involving a few teams around us in the table and watching the pace, pressing, forward drive and general intensity of those matches and then watching us, well lets just say i’m not surprised the likes of Pool, Chelsea and Spuds have made us look quite pedestrian this season.

    I thought it was a very similar performance to the one against Monaco except Everton are not as clinical and we got a bit of luck down the other end, i really hope we see a bigger improvement than that before we head off for the return leg.

    Right i will leave you alone now and stop all my dooming, feel free to revel in your positives

    doom, doom, doom!!! 😆

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Lol Steve, you are the salmon alright! 😀

    This was a much, much better performance than against Monaco.

    No surprise you liked what Ox brought, but your boy was once again ineffective, with poor final balls and decision making,but at least he is young! 🙂

  12. steve says:

    Ineffective?
    He put two or three good ones in mate, plus the ones that missed another player were at least tried, better than the “lets have fun in the corner” routine all your boys play before they pass back down the field lol
    Still i had no doubt you would find his performance shit, we both see completely different games tbh, and i will leave you happy in your thoughts of a great day by Ozil, like i said i’m done dooming, just had to vent a little realism before i started reading all the other positive comments 🙂

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Let’s face it, Steve, we see the world in a different light! 🙂

  14. Gerry says:

    Evening all. At least AW went halfway in meeting my requirements. He put Ox on from the start.

    That at least got our forward play moving, and I thought he linked well with Bellerin.

    I must admit I found Gabriel’s positioning quite strange, as he appeared to play on both left and right of goal. Nevertheless, he quickly got up to speed, and put in some very telling passes on top of everything else. He’ll make a good DM if Coquelin needs time for his broken nose to heal?

    I agree TA, the subs were the right ones, but just too late, again!
    Rosicky could have come on 20 minutes earlier, Alexis could have come off 10 minutes earlier as shown by the feeble pass he attempted on the halfway line, when he and Ozil looked like they might be two on two… except Alexis was so knackered he couldn’t keep up with Ozil?? Sooner or later is he is going to get serious pee’d off. Perhaps at QPR he could be the striker with strict instructions to stay forward. Either that, or as Retsub said above, give him a couple of weeks off.
    Not likely, as the commentary team mentioned we have 6 games in the next 21 days???
    That should test the depth of our squad?

    I see what HT is saying about Monreal v Gibbs when supporting the attack. The latter’s err, it is not a tendency so much as an obsession, to move inside, which forces our attackers, Ozil or Alexis to go wide. Monreal does the overlap thing in the correct manner, by staying wide? is he given license to move into those spaces, or is Gibbs just a frustrated striker?

    Still a much needed win, even if the underlying problems have not been solved.

    Thank you TA for getting your 8 positives out so early, it means I can have the morning off.
    😀

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers G 🙂

    Alexis looks tired indeed, but we have to hope he is just a bit under the weather and scores a brace on Wednesday.

  16. lennon484 says:

    I’ll put this in for Steve:
    From Arsenal by Numbers (Arsblog)

    Ox gathered the MOTM gong from WhoScored.com and to be fair to him, he did have a decent all around performance. He had 3 key passes, 2 tackles, 2 interceptions, and he was only dispossessed the 1 time. Meanwhile, Özil didn’t have any defensive stats and was dispossessed 4 times (led both teams).

    Sorry TA 😀

  17. Gerry says:

    He will if he doesn’t do all these 40yd dashes in the first half.

    He is a striker. Let him strike!

  18. steve says:

    Its like i’m always saying Gerry, stats don’t lie

  19. TotalArsenal says:

    Good for him! 🙂

    I thought he was given acres of space on the right with our heavy weights veering to the left, and yet he did very little with it other than run to the byline and put the ball in no mans land. Three key passes? Can only remember one myself.

    But I am happy to be wrong with this.

  20. steve says:

    “Can only remember one myself” lol, that’s because you were too busy watching Ozil tenaciously pressing space 😉

  21. Retsub says:

    I don’t regard myself as a roomer, but having read Steves comments I have to say I agree with most of it. The right side is so much more effective. The term tippy tappy also rings true. I can’t help it despite his talents, Ozil drives me crazy. I know it’s his style but as the commentator said today he doesn’t look like he cares

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    Owen is such a tit, Retsub, who has not got a clue what he is talking about. Ozil is introvert and keeps his emotions in…. it is his personality but what counts is what he does and adds to the team not his ‘body language’. Ox’s body language is good but his end product is still weak. I know what I want. 🙂

  23. Retsub says:

    T A couldnt agree more about Owen, tit is polite. But ozil still drives me crazy. He is obviously very talented and I am sure at the end of the season he will be up there with the most assists. He still drives me crazy though.

  24. Admir says:

    Excellent piece, TA. 🙂 It’s nice to have positives to talk about. However, this is my favourite part:

    “Ozil is introvert and keeps his emotions in…. it is his personality but what counts is what he does and adds to the team not his ‘body language’. Ox’s body language is good but his end product is still weak. I know what I want. 🙂 ”

    It comes down to German, Spanish and French footballers vs English footballers. Gibbs, Wilshere, Chamberlain, even Welbeck…what all of them have in common? Their body language is great, they are full of energy, they have pace…but they are far from being finished article both regarding tactics and technique while their final product is, let’s face it, poor.

    Özil averages involvement in over one goal per game since his return to the starting eleven. A perfect contract killer – invisible yet efficient.

  25. Admir says:

    Regarding Özil… I remember when Lazio won their scudetto in 1999-2000. They played two consecutive derbies against Roma and Juventus respectively. They were the second best in both games, Juan Sebastian Veron didn’t exactly put his stamp on the game – you could see both Totti and Zidane much more with the ball – but it was Veron’s free-kick against Roma and a cross for Simeone against Juventus that gave Lazio six points.

    Özil is a similar type, I guess. If you expect him to dominate like Vieira or Yaya Toure, well…don’t.

  26. Retsub says:

    Admir that’d is an interesting observation. Except the contract killer would be useless without those working around him. An interesting question if you played a match. 11 Ozil’s v 11 Ox who would win? I think the Lionhearted would defeat the tippy tappy everytime

  27. Admir says:

    A contract killer is usually hired by someone to do the job within a system. Özil delivers. Chambo is yet to reach that level. Let’s not forget he is yet to have his 22nd birthday.

    Your question doesn’t have much sense as nobody would deploy neither 11 Özils nor Oxes on the pitch (unless he is a looney). 🙂

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Admir, mostly agreed. The exception is Wilshere for me. He holds a composure and vision that is well above the others. His problem is staying fit…

  29. steve says:

    hahaha what a load of twoddle 😆

    Bellerin, Koscielny, Rosicky, Sanchez, Gnabry etc etc they all have this so called “body launguage” which is just a strange attempt at saying they are energetic and up for it – no Englishmen there people lol.

    Give me Rosicky, Cazorla, Wilshere or an in form Ramsey playing that Ozil role any day of the week, in case you have all forgotten THEY CAN ALL DO GREAT PASSES AND TOUCHES TOO!!!
    We call Rosicky “little Mozart” for god’s sake. The difference is they also bring energy, drive, determination, tenacity, fight and defensive ability if needed – how many of you can say any of those bloody adjectives even begin to describe Ozil pmsl.

    But hey sure blame it on English footballers if you want lol, what next the fact that the wind is coming from a south westerly direction lol

    Just as long as he puts a couple of assists in (that any of those other players could do) you guys will be happy so fair play to you 🙂

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    11 Oxes v 11 Ozils, I love it, Retsub!!! 🙂

    Perfect passing and intelligent running would win every time I reckon…. just keep passing and running into space till the Oxes are all dead by exhaustion. I can just see that little chuckle on 11 Ozils faces………… asta lavista Oxies 🙂

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    You just don’t get it, Steve. I can also do a throughball, so I am also better than Ozil hahahaha 😛

    Two times two words for you: Ozil delivers – Ox motors 🙂

  32. steve says:

    what i saw a lot of today was Sanchez dropping deep and tracking back on the left wing and OX on the right, with Coquelin behind and Giroud up top in the kind of 4-1-4-1 we saw earlier in the season.
    When we play like this Ozil comes into midfield to makes the flimsiest CM pairing i have ever seen at Arsenal:
    ———————Giroud———————
    Sanchez——Ozil——-Cazorla——–OX
    ———————Coquelin——————-

    God help us if we play like that and come up against a team strong in midfield lol

    TA, if you could play the game like Cazorla, Rosicky, Wilshere or Ramsey then yes of course it does becuase you simply bring more to the team than Ozil.
    So when OX delivers like he did today does that make him by far the better player?

  33. Retsub says:

    Ha that’s funny. The Ozil’s would spin around so much they would all get giddy and fall over. When the Ox’s eventually get the ball the Ozils would all look up at the sky put all 22 hands on there hips and wave the Ox.’s sayonara . Withe score 10 nil to the Ox’s in the 85th minute an Ozil would play the ball of the game and score the goal of the game. 10 – 1 to the Ox’s. After the match the Ozils would get all the press for their great goal

    Just me proving I am a loony

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    I reckon there is still time for Ox to come good, even though he has now played a hell of a lot of PL games. I want him to do well as he is a great professional and full of talent. He can learn from Ozil and Alexis and Santi and I for one hope that all these three players get the recognition they deserve. It annoys me when ‘attitude’ gets overrated.

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    What did Ox deliver, Steve? One decent throughball? Why was he substituted?

    Ozil has nobody to fear in the team. His bread and butter stats are better than any of the midfielders you mention.

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahahaha Retsub 😛

    I can see one of the Oxes outrunning the Ozils and ten Oxes waiting in the box, only for the one other Ox to put the cross wide. Potential, Potential, Potential 😛

  37. steve says:

    hahaha Retsub – perfect!!

    btw TA, do you know replaced Ozil at Real Madrid? (i don’t know)

  38. Retsub says:

    Omg the world has gone mad. I was going to complicate matters by giving the Ozils Ospina and the Ox’s Szs but let’s not go there.

    What I think we are coming to is that Ozil talented as he is, is somewhat of a luxury player. As long as he has foot soldiers around him he will work out. Problem is when we play the big games the foot soldiers are deployed elsewhere.

    I appreciate we are talking apples and oranges here, but go back a year when RAMBO was on fire. Here was a player at the very top of his game for everyone to see ( and he is British).

    Is Ozil at the top of his game?

  39. TotalArsenal says:

    The opposite is true, Retsub. Because of Ozil’s delivery the Oxes of our team are allowed to develop. Ox is a luxury, Ozil a necessity. But then some people think ‘the dress’ is coloured white and gold and others swear it is black and blue.. 😉

  40. Retsub says:

    T A that’s what makes the world go around and football such a great game… Different opinions. I guess we will just have to disagree on this one

  41. steve says:

    OX
    Ball into Giroud only just cleared by jaggy as he got in front of our slow moving striker.
    Ball straight into Girouds feet yards away from goal, Giroud pushes over jag but shot is saved by the defenders arm, should have been a pen
    Ball through perfectly to Ozil, clean through on goal but he fucks it up
    General play was energetic, purposeful and pacey and combative

    Ozil
    Corner (which is a lottery anyway), scuffed shot and in
    Cross field ball to Rosicky deflected and in.
    General play was illusive, lackluster and non existent defensively

    Ozil gets two assists and is brilliant, OX gets nothing and has yet to develop his potential -what a crock of shit.

    Ozil is a luxury, Ox is a necessity

  42. steve says:

    God damn it TA i said i was going to give the Ozil bashing a rest but you dragged me back into it by stating OX was once again ineffective, with poor final balls and decision making and i just had to do a realistic comparison with a player i knew you’d be wanking over.
    I don’t see how you can’t except OX had a good game but can then turn around and say Ozil played well, your bias astounds even me and i’m as biased as they come lol

  43. steve says:

    OH he was substituted because this was his first start since he’s been back from injury mate, i know you want him back out again but thankfully AW disagrees and decided not to risk another injury 🙂

  44. TotalArsenal says:

    I am off, Steve. Always good to debate with you even though we seem to live on different planets 🙂

    Cheers Retsub, happy to agree to disagree. 🙂

    Keep rockin’ fellas – night all.

  45. Gerry says:

    My oh my, I should have posted the other stats on Ozil, it might not have sent the arguments so over the top divided.

    First it is a team game game, and you need all sorts to make up a balanced team.

    It has sweet FA to do with nationalities, whoever introduced that line. Individual traits are just that, INDIVIDUAL!

    Retsub, picking up on a M Owen comment deserves a red card. That pillock has a hard job picking out the right player, and only acknowledges his mistakes when it is pointed out to him. At one point he tried to defend an Everton player, and I quote ‘…he didn’t mean to hurt him’, when the replay clearly showed he went straight through the back of his legs. Owen made no further comment.. Agreed, ‘tit’ is too polite.

    I only agree with half each of your respective cases in the Ox v Oz chatter.

    TA and Steve, if you were to swap roles for a moment. you might get a better idea of each’ s value to the team. Steve, if you followed Ozil for 90 minutes you would see he did indeed have a very good game, and added a much more than a couple of ‘lucky’ assists. Luxury he most certainly isn’t.: (from Arsenal by Number, Arsblog)
    Who…
    led Arsenal’s passing with 43/47
    led Arsenal’s final third passing with 29/31
    led Arsenal with 5 key passes
    led Arsenal with 2 assists
    …Özil
    TA , if you stopped just looking for where Ox doesn’t deliver, and saw just how often he pushed the Everton defenders back because of his drive and energy, and general threat to them, thus giving our defenders a break, you would actually see that he does add a great deal to the team.
    This followed the above quote:
    Who…
    led Arsenal with 7/8 dribbles
    …Ox
    And just to complete their round up:
    Also, Özil was 5/6 crossing and Ox was 2/7, Ox was 80% passing, Özil 92%, and all of Özil’s crosses came from corners, though 5/6 is still impressive considering that Arsenal normally complete just 35% of their corners.
    A bit for both of you there I think?

    However. they gave MOTM to this guy:
    All of that is to say, I’m giving Man of the Match to Santi Cazorla.

    1. He was captain.
    2. He was second on the team in passes 39/44.
    3. He was third on the team in final third passes 17/20.
    4. He only created 1 shot for his teammates.
    5. He took 3 shots for himself and forced a great save from Howard on one.
    6. He was only 2/3 on dribbles, though one was a rainbow dribble deep in his own half to break pressure and start the Rosicky counter attack.
    7. He had 6 ball recoveries, just like Coquelin (3rd best on the team)
    8. He led the team with 5/8 tackles, just like Coquelin.
    9. He had 2 interceptions, both in the Arsenal box.

    Basically? He played along side Coquelin in a more conservative role and did a fantastic job! If Arsenal’s game plan was to sit back and counter it was Cazorla who provided a second pivot to Coquelin while also springing the Arsenal attack but staying conservative while doing that. It was the kind of quiet performance that doesn’t gather lots of kudos but was crucial to the final result.

    Perhaps you children arguing over who has the best toy can agree on that one?
    p.s. That is what JW needs to do in that role.
    Interesting for me, as AW went further towards the double defensive pivot than I first thought?

    To be fair to Arsblog, there are other good quotable stuff on there, but there deserve a few hits 😀

    OGAAT, thick and fast. QPR next. Tight ground, I expect Per to be restored, but as Gabriel played on both sides, he could give Kos a rest? Then keep his DM posting as a surprise for the OGA …. One Game Ahead, if you are not keeping up to speed.

    Later….

  46. Gerry says:

    Oh, for UMF-ers. There is a full Premier league fixtures tomorrow and Wednesdays, but the FF site is also including the only Saturday fixture, nothing mor until the following week.. If VCC wants to do the same, there is no rush to get the results out midweek?
    The extra is QPR v Spurs.
    Get ready with your entries … TODAY
    Cheers

  47. ahmed says:

    yah!!!!!! it was a win bt the reality is we did nothing only God assisted us in the Win, it was rilly disgusting and have no interesting game to watch.
    If Gooners didn’t change there game now sincerely we will loose at oltraford being Man united a very good defeaters to ys Gooners will obviously loose against them and that would be a great shame to us quyz!!!!!!! we have in our mind the greatest blow and defeat from Monaco in the champions league. He the manager has to do an impressive decision and must change the way of playing to achieve well
    Good luck All bt rilly have a disgusting session

  48. The Cockie Monster says:

  49. steve says:

    Gerry, hahaha me and TA were just having some late night banter mate, nothing serious bud.
    I continue to state that there must be something i miss about Ozil and will reaffirm my mission to stop bashing him and TA continues to state OX has some amazing talent and is a valued member of the team. It was just me and him were the only ones about last night, plus retsub who made some great comments so we thought we would make an entertaining go of it 🙂
    In fact the only thing i could say i was really at odds with in any serious way was Admir’s comment about the fault stemming from the English players and even then i don’t think he was being serious either – its a much more jovial time late at night lol, the day’s are much more subdued lol
    I was surprised i didn’t see JB pop up as he always enjoys the entertainment of a good old troll, and even HT giving his usual world of wisdom type view on all the subject matter but alas it was just us three having a laugh.
    You need to stay up late mate, your input would be great, you get up WAY too early anyway lol 🙂

    Cockie, Lovin that vid!! 😆

  50. 17highburyterrace says:

    I’ll take you at your word there F11ngers…with my habits I’m definitely at my best in the mornings…
    I would’ve responded last night, but between driving to the (early season) snow and messing about with my (early season, i.e., not properly tuned and waxed) gear and my early season (woeful) fitness, I was pretty tuckered by the time I got back… I enjoyed TA’s piece, but the comments hit me EXACTLY the wrong way… 😦

    My take on it is that we’re trying to win football matches here, not arguments…except, of course, for you, F11ngers, who only wants to win the arguments… 😀 :/ We won the match, so why NOT try and dig deep(er) for the positives, rather than the inverse?…

    Gerry is right, I think, in that there’s something to appreciate in ALL our players (or at least the two in question). This is what I told myself when I start getting down on the Ox, His inclusion as a starter worried me, esp. after his two early drives to the end-line w/ crosses out of play. As such, I tried to remind myself that he was at least attempting to be bright and positive, and trying to kick and look up for somebody to cross to. (A difficult skill, truth be told…) We clearly started the match trying to feel out the opposition rather than going hell for leather for an early goal, so his early pushes forward (which seem to get a real rise out of some, but leave me behind, sorta like his teammates…) were always gonna be difficult… Additionally, played in that more forward position, Ox’s defensive contributions have to be seen as value-added rather than essential. He, like Alexis, works very hard (but cannot pace his efforts for a full 90) but also typically doesn’t get dispossessed when he puts his head down to dribble out of tight spaces in our own half. Santi is (by far) my preferred man in these situations but I’d rate Ox above Alexis (or Ramsey or Rosicky). I’d MUCH rather see guys protecting the ball and finding a pass. Doing so, however, seems to make you nothing more than a lazy Ozil (or Arteta)…

    Speaking of he who seems impossible to appreciate…to answer your question, F11ngers… IMO, Real Madrid allowed Ozil to go because of the emergence of…wait for it…that silky (former) Spud, Luka Modric (and Isco) as (the) player(s) who could maybe do what our Messy does but needed more playing time. This season they also bought Tony Kroos, a German who better looks the part… (You have to remember that RM were the team of Franco, who was the buddy of Hitler, carrying 2 “dark” Germans, the other being Khedira, doesn’t work for much of the support…) They won the CL (if not their own league) so not the worst call, perhaps… I could go on, comparing the games of those players, but my gut asks, why bother?… Surely Ainsley Miles-Naitland (that was on purpose…) or Fanny Mimpong (that too…) or any Koke or Kike (two syllables, please, and a couple of the best MFs in La Liga outside the big two or in the Championship–not a slur for a spur…) are just as good. Keep rooting in the pigpen–with an open mind–and you might find that pearl… 😀

    Unlike the supporters (maybe?…) our guys are (at least) trying to play together and seem to still want to win… Everton look a set of very individualized guys trying to do the right thing (for Martinez, for their next move?…) but hardly working together. Ross Barkley seems one for the blood and thunder boys (appreciators of the English style?…), Mirallas not so much, and at least Lukaku looks like he’s really trying. Of the three, I’d take the latter, in a few years, when his efforts get his finishing to the level of Ollie’s, maybe…

    We got the points so into the rearview it goes, and, like Gerry, I’ll start looking ahead. I thought that PL pitches had been standardized, but research indicates that small grounds still allow for thinner pitches. QPR’s is the thinnest at one yard less than WHL… (What is not allowed, any longer, is bringing the lines in, as they used to do up at Stoke…) Obviously, we struggled at Spurs and gave up a set piece goal. Yesterday we did much better, scoring one ourselves. Ospina seems a safety first kind of guy so lots of corners (for the opponent) are to be expected. I wonder if we might see the BFG and Gabriel (resting Kos) and Nacho back for the midweek match. QPR have some big guys (former Spuds, Dawson and Caulker) and Charlie Austin lives on loose balls. As much as people are arguing about midfielders and guys up front, I’m more concerned that we have NO idea (or very faint ones, beyond Kos) about who should play in our rearguard. From yesterday, at least, the South American combination of Gabi and Davi seemed enough on the same wavelength to get the job done…

    Beyond that one, my (additional) positives would be 1,2,3, points won… (Giroud, 1 for 3 with hiw weaker appendages, the right foot and head, is an improvement too…) I’ve got worries about broken Coq’s (or noses) but Flams and Rambo might be ready. Ox in a deeper role might be an idea to try for an hour alongside one of them or Rosicky? Does Alexis’ forward game needs a rest or a tune-up and what’s the deal with Theo? Every match he doesn’t play seems a step closer to the door. Sign da Ting, is the name of his song, but nobody is singing it…yet…

    Matches (and thus previews…) coming thick and fast. Happy Monday…

  51. Gerry says:

    Steve I know it was only banter, but 11 Ox’s v 11 Oz’s was real playground stuff …ha ha

    Cheers HT. Yep, time to move on.
    One final plus from the game for me is the way Bellerin seems to come back from a bad game, whether him or overall. I like that in him. He may have been on the ‘easy side’ yesterday, but when they switched their players around they still got little joy.

    Your right about Flamini being back in the picture, as Coquelin is almost certain to miss this one unless he plays in a mask? Flams did not do badly on his last start, so we shall see what happens there.

    I doubt if AW is going to give up on Per just yet, so whether Gabriel move to DM as I hope, at least for the United game, will depend on Kos’s fitness.

    I think Alexis is just pushing his desire to be involved too much. If it takes putting him in as our main striker to keep him up the pitch, I think he would soon find his scoring boots again.
    Otherwise I think AW is going to have to lay down the law to him?

    So isthis right? Games from Wednesday go; 4 days rest play Monday; 1 day rest, then travel to sunny Monaco on Wednesday; 3 days rest, with travel back, for a Sunday game away at Newcastle?

    Time for Steve to rewrite his reserve team I think?
    😀
    As for me, I am early to bed, early to rise. So you will not catch me around for midnight chuckles.

  52. Retsub says:

    There is a fashion in English soccer to say when a team is not playing well but picking up results then thing are going well. I myself have said that many times this season and I think the danger is it’s becoming the norm rather than the odd result. Now we all like winning, but I believe the team is regularly delivering sub standard performances ( Stoke away, Southampton, Leicester, Monaco, Everton).

    We are coming up to the meaty part of the season and To win the big games they will need to step up a gear or two. The players we have been praising recently are Ospina, Bellerin, Monreal el, Le Coq whereas in my opinion the big players are not delivering

    Alexis. Works his socks off, but hasn’t looked right for a few weeks now. He has been our star this season though

    stats may say otherwise, but to quote I think the Telegraph on Ozils performance against Everton ” he redefined the term anonymous”

    Per has been off form for most of the season, although to his credit he has worked hard whilst many around him have been injured

    In my opinion when he has been fit, Gibbs has been a big disappointment this season. I was expecting him to kick on, but it hasn’t happened.

    Szs has been somewhat of a train wreck this season

    I find Welbeck a little underwhelming. Sure he works hard, but he is not an out and out goalscorer and seems to be playing as a winger. Isn’t this what happened at United

    Now many of you will shout Doomer, but I don’t believe I am . I just see a collection of players that are not gelling as a team at. The moment. Sure we may stumble into 4th place, but realistically they are not going to run riot against a very well drilled Monaco defence.

    Unless we up our performance, I don’t see a great result at Old Trafford.

    I know this won’t be a popular post, but I am concerned about my beloved team at the moment. In previous seasons they have played great football and not won anything. We are in danger of losing the good football and still not winning anything.

    Back to stats, someone once said there are lies , damn lies and statistics. A wise man

  53. Retsub says:

    Gerry I have to take the blame for the Ozils v the Oxes and yes whilst it was playground stuff I rather enjoyed it

  54. 17highburyterrace says:

    Would I get a better response if I wrote… Here’s the team I would start at QPR AND Man U…

    Szez
    Nacho-BFG-Kos-Flamini
    Diaby-Arteta
    Ozil-Ramsey-Zelalem
    Henry

    I include Zelalem because he can play for any of Germany, Ethiopia or USA, but not England… Striker was the problem position. I thought I could pick up Bendtner, on a free, then I thought about the likes of Jay E. Thomas and Arturo Lupoli, or an emergency recall on Joel Campbell or Sanogo. In the end, Henry may prefer to do his talking on the pitch, as I bet he can still turn quicker than all those other former players…

  55. 17highburyterrace says:

    Haha… There are a couple of posts (below mine), F11ngers maybe needs to have his first ale of the afternoon…

    Retsub, as Gerry suggests, any time you quote a media outlet (or pundit) that is trying to stir up trouble (stoke the home fires, by calling out the non-English players or those whose style of play seems most foreign…) the word “parrot” pops into my head. If that’s your opinion, just say it, at which point parrot gets replaced by “hmmmm.”

    Ozil defenders will point to his “most kilometers run” stat from yesterday and the two assists. We can say, “well they ought to use “miles,” this being England, after all, and assists and goals are just luck (which is kinda true)… IMO, those big eyes see space better than all other players, not just in the team but in the league and he delivers a lot of good balls, over and over and over, to the point that some of them get scuffed in by his mates. He even gets upset with himself when he doesn’t get them right…Of course, what he should do is run at the nearest opponent and deliver a 2 footer, getting him sent off (for his “passion”…) or on a stretcher (you know because the ball didn’t move and he’s broken both tibia and fibula)… That’s what I saw yesterday. It may have looked less than vintage but he also did his part (quietly and without the obvious effort of say, Alexis) to keep the fore-aft balance of the team correct…

    Gerry, I’m pretty sure there’s a week off after the Man U match (approx 10 days for clubs already eliminated…) but I will check….

  56. The Cockie Monster says:

    That is not dooming Retsub, that is being realistic of our performances this season and I have in a previous post put up a lot more matches than the sparse one`s you have !…..lady luck has been on our side in more games than not !. Only eleven EPL games to go and yes we are currently third, but a few of the teams behind us have coaches with a lot less stronger squads doing a lot better per player than Arsene is doing and imo some of them coaches would have our squad higher than Wenger has us and without the luck we have had !.
    Everyone was on about how great we would be when our players came back from injury, well, most are back and I`ve only seen a handful of decent performances !. We have the players but not the tactics, balance, organisation and discipline to reflect what our players are capable of !.
    Our club should be minimum 4th every season, only Manshafter and Liverpool have greater histories and fan bases than us. Fcuk Mansour City and Chavs new history teams !.

  57. Retsub says:

    17ht I certainly am not trying to stir up trouble, I was just quoting someone who put my thoughts more eloquently than I could. Stats make me out to be a liar, but I just don’t see him putting in performances that reflect the most expensive player inArsenals history. Stats will show 2 assists. Would anyone with over two brain cells try to put the ball on Girouds right peg??? No in fact it was a poor corner.

    You may have struck a nerve with me on the passion stakes though

  58. steve says:

    retsub, “realistically they are not going to run riot against a very well drilled Monaco defence”
    i agree mate and not against any of the other top five or six teams in the league either atm.
    I’m not too worried at this stage though because of the fixture schedule we have in which we only have to play two of those top teams (Pool and Chavs), Man U are just as inconsistent and average as we are so those games could go either way tbh.

    Heres how my predictions are leaning – copy and paste, lets have yours 🙂

    Queens Park Rangers (A) – W
    Manchester United (A) – ?
    West Ham United (H) – W
    Monaco (A) – L
    Newcastle United (A) – W
    Liverpool (H) – D
    Burnley (A) – W
    Sunderland (H) -W
    Chelsea (H) – L
    Hull City (A) – W
    Swansea City (H) – W
    Manchester United (A) – ?
    West Bromwich Albion (H) – W

  59. 17highburyterrace says:

    More for retsub…

    The problems are that games won (for many in the “I just want to feel good” brigade) is that they raise expectations. The team is struggling. Fitness issues, though better than in the Autumn are still bad. Like it or not, Ramsey, Arteta and Wilshere are all important players, as is Debuchy. Alexis has run himself into the ground and (despite his best attempts) the Weng-uries (rest periods) he’s been asked to take he will not… This could be used as an argument against his “footballing intelligence” or for his “great work rate,” you will need to pick your poison… The BFG is in a similar spot. Even if he didn’t play a lot of minutes in the World Cup, going all the way (and the parties afterwards) had to leave him jaded for the club season. With Kos out and nothing but FBs (and Chambers) in…It’s no wonder his performance has suffered. Captain duties (w/Arteta hurt) don’t help either. Frankly I’m surprised that Wenger didn’t give him a little knock and instead outright dropped him yesterday…

    Gibbs, I agree, has been disappointing. Every match I look for two things with him: will he take a touch with his right foot and will he rotate back when the ball goes over to the other side. He did (much) better on the second front yesterday; at this stage of his career, he’s probably never going to take more than the most token of swings with his off foot… If Ozil body language frustrates some, Gibbs does the same for me…

    Welbeck is still young and it’s his first season with the club. IMO he’s an upgrade to a lot of players and I can see why he starts the tougher matches over Theo, contract issues or not. His skills and physical attributes (except height, of course) are lesser than Ox’s (IMO) but at least he keeps things simple. He seems a good teammate and, if anything rushes his finishes. I’m sure he’s still kicking himself for kicking into Theo on the rebound and missing the earlier tackle that started the move for the opener vs Monaco.

    Overall, you’re right…The team is not playing particularly well and yesterday’s match was not a pretty one. It got the ship upright, however…for the next fight on Weds. Who do ManU play? They won by a similar scoreline, but looked just as bad and needed a Marriner-esque sending off and pen to break their deadlock. In other words, both teams are limping in to the QF up there…

  60. steve says:

    HT, “so why NOT try and dig deep(er) for the positives”
    Sorry bud i just can’t anymore, its simply getting to me now. We put in average games, escape by the luck of of goal post etc etc, cling on to these positives (clutching at straws) and then we are all somehow surprised when it all comes crashing down around our heads when we play a team with any real quality.
    I just see it as get dumped out of the CL, probably the FA cup too and then concentrate on winning all the rest of the league games apart from the ones which have quality opponents and hope that keeps us in a CL spot for next season – how negative is that!! lol but thats just the way i see it atm mate sorry.

  61. The Cockie Monster says:

    Total is the main tactical man on here and maybe he sees it different, but at the moment all I see is two types of football…..1) all over your face like a rash pressing teams !…..and ……2) park the bus and counter attack teams !.
    What are Arsenal ?….Tippy Tappy ?….a mini Barca in the EPL ?. I know which style I like and is the one which has me diving behind the Sofa when we play these teams like Liverpool, Spuds etc`, the ones which are all over us !. I just wonder why we cant do it…..I say I wonder, but we have a manager who could play that style, but he is stuck in the event horizon of thinking he can just play nice football whilst the opposition just sit back watch and admire our lovely football !…..GIroud !….slap him in the face wit your knob and wake him up, it`s 2015, not 2004 !.
    The joke about 11 Ozils vs 11 Ox would be better if talked about 11 Alexis`s Vs anyone, because I know in my heart and head that 11 Alexis`s would win us the league !.
    In case you take it to literal …..I mean 11 players ( 10 really as we don’t need a Durecell in goal ) with Alex`s pace and stamina to keep it up for 90 mins !.

  62. steve says:

    err just a little defense of Gibbs me thinks… he was probably the most consistent player at the back there for the whole first half of the season lol
    He’s coming back from a spell out of the team so maybe give him a fucking little leeway, its not like the fucking entire season we give Ramsey to come good pmsl.
    I’m not saying he has put in great performances the last couple of games but neither have many in the team but some of you who proclaim to favor backing players when they need our support are sure as shit pretty fucking quick to through Gibbs under the bus lol

  63. Retsub says:

    17ht wow you type fast. If we could inject some of your energy into……. Just kidding. Have to say theo would be on my team sheet every time.

    Agree on United and I think home advantage will be a big factor. Love him or hate him Rooney does show passion which rubs off on others. Will never forgive the little bar steward for diving over Sol Campbell when we lost the unbeaten run..

    As for the top four, if we assume City and Chelsea are given, I think it’s betwen United ,Liverpool and us for 3 and 4 and at the moment Liverpool are the form side

  64. The Cockie Monster says:

    The thing is, we have had performances in the past when we have pressed and guess what ?…..everyone was raving about them !. The last I can think of was when we beat Napoli at home and a few years ago when we were all over the Chavs like a rash in a 3-1 home win !…..there might be some more, but they are the ones which stand out to me…so, why is it a once in a blue moon game plan ?. Over to you Arsene !.

  65. steve says:

    Cockie, 11 Sanchez’s is what managers of these top teams are striving for mate, that’s why they look so dangerous. They all have the technical ability of a top class player but they are demanded to press and close down all over the pitch, with pace, purpose and tenacity.
    Many people here think thats an English thing but trust me all the top teams do it and they are full of foreign players, just look at Sanchez, he’s our best player at doing it.

  66. Highbury Harmony says:

    Reading through a significant portion of the debate of “I would start any other passer on this team over Ozil or Ozil is better than any other at CAM” is hilarious. I’m sure Arsene and the coaching staff have a better idea of who is better suited at each role and there is a reason as to why certain players start where they start. This isn’t to say that all coaching decisions should be unanimously unquestioned either – simply that there’s a reason as to why Ramsey, Ox, Rosicky etc. do not start where Ozil starts, mainly because they are either better suited to different roles or they lack the composure to start in the main offensive decision-making position.

    Rag on Ozil all you want, but he’s incredibly effective in creating goals. He’s not my favourite player to watch in our preferred possession style, but put him on the counter with speed around him and we’ll see his real effectiveness. Compare what we see now to the Real Madrid version and you’ll see what I mean.

    In response to TA, this new playing style is great since it’s effective and helps us grind out wins, but it does beg the question, what is it going to take to bring us back to “Wengerball”? We have loads of talent, but it seems that it just does not work in producing outcomes anymore. Are the days of free flowing football gone in the EPL? Or do we simply not have a high enough class of talent in our squad? I would disagree with both, but it’s certainly an interesting point of discussion.

    Overall, I’m happy with the result and not overly disappointed with any of the performances. Coquelin and Ospina were definitely the standouts, Giroud played well but needs to finish more of these opportunities and Gabriel looked more solid than Kos after the first 20 mins or so. Gibbs was the only real player that I noticed who was not up to par since he offers very little in attack (outside of his speed) and doesn’t strike me as particularly effective defensively either. For all of Alexis’ shortcomings offensively on a particular day, he offers so much elsewhere on the pitch that it’s difficult to ever really discredit his abilities.

  67. Highbury Harmony says:

    Steve, the problem is 11 Sanchez’s do not exist. Also, 11 Sanchez’s would be incredibly frustrating because they would not pass the ball around often enough. Even though Sanchez is far and away my favourite player, he has his shortcomings, just like any other player. However, he puts in a full shift with his defensive responsibilities and work rate, so it’s difficult to be too hard on him.

  68. Highbury Harmony says:

    I should also note that we had some very nice one-twos in around Everton’s box that unfortunately did not lead to goals, but were exquisite in the build up. I would rather us be decisive going forward than to constantly pass the ball around, own possession and achieve nothing.

  69. The Cockie Monster says:

    So why don’t we do it ?, Stev11e !.

  70. The Cockie Monster says:

    It`s not 11 Alexis`s !, Double H…..and nice to see you ….it`s 11 (10) with ability to press like he does !. As Stev11e has said other teams are doing it and with lesser players than we have, which proves something I have always said….” a teams full of players with high tempo stamina will always beat a team full of lazy Arshavin`s !” .

  71. steve says:

    That would be too fucking easy Cockie, come on mate this is Arsenal lol

    did you see the sheer pace and energy of those other games yesterday lol the pressing and closing down was impressive to be fair.

  72. Highbury Harmony says:

    Cockie, the problem with constant pressing is it also leaves you open to counters and long balls against precise and more skilled clubs. It’s great against clubs like Barca since they thrive on creating through possession, but there’s very little structure against teams like Real that are happy to wait and destroy you on the counter.

    It’s about finding the right balance in strategy and players.

  73. steve says:

    lets say our most WC collection up front is Sanchez——Giroud——-Walcott, with Ozil pulling the strings in behind – no wonder Sanchez is knackered by now, who else out of those four is going to close down and press constantly throughout a game lol poor fucker!! lol

  74. Highbury Harmony says:

    Steve, I think it more has to do with our manager than individual players. If we have a manager like Klopp at the helm, you’ll see greater pressing throughout. Wenger lets his players express themselves as they wish (or is reported to) and this is why we see such variance in their approaches to the game. The only time we seem to all be on sync is on games that we are decidedly underdogs or written off due to a prior performance.

  75. steve says:

    HH, that’s true but that type of style has sure made us look bloody average in games this season lol, its almost bettered us every time its been done.
    Interesting you should bring up Barca as they used to close down ALL THE TIME, they were just as good without the ball as they were with it – that’s what made them a great team, Sanchez must wonder what the fuck he’s wondered into over here at Arsenal lol

  76. steve says:

    well that just seems to highlight an obvious deficiency in our manager then no?

  77. steve says:

    i feel sick saying it but there has to be a reason why we can’t beat top teams, if Mourinho saw one of his lot not giving absolutely everything throughout the game they would be yanked off pronto and our record against them says it all. Pressing hard and fast and battling all over the pitch is just the way winning teams keep winning.

  78. The Cockie Monster says:

    Like Stev11e says….Barca…probably the best team ever to watch in their pomp….. were all over you like a rash !.

    Anyway, with a team of lets say 5 Alexis`s in midfield and attack, that would leave our defenders to do what they are called….defenders !…..so we wouldn`t be counter attacked !….5 Alexis`s up front would keep the whole of another team pinned in their half whilst our defenders had lunch and a quick movie !. hahaha

  79. Highbury Harmony says:

    Again though Steve, Barca also loses plenty of matches against lower table sides too though! So again, everything is inconsistent and at the end of the day, this is football. We tend to do well against lower table sides and historically have struggled against top sides, but we did beat City recently so…However, I think it’s a matter of personnel, we need one more CDM/B2B player that can boss the midfield to help us control the match against top sides. More resiliency in mental fortitude would also help, but I reckon we are building this right now.

  80. Highbury Harmony says:

    Also, consistent pressing sides also have their weaknesses, like any other style.

  81. Highbury Harmony says:

    We need to tailor the approach to our opponents. Press teams that rely on possession, counter against teams that push forward more and dominate possession against weaker clubs?

  82. The Cockie Monster says:

    “We need to tailor the approach to our opponents. Press teams that rely on possession, counter against teams that push forward more and dominate possession against weaker clubs?”

    Exactly !………..but Double H……… if you read on last post a link I put up ………Wenger only plays one way and doesn`t do “horses for courses”.

  83. Highbury Harmony says:

    Cockie, I think Wenger is starting to learn he needs to adapt. Even Barca has had this exact issue lately as teams have figured out how to beat them!

  84. The Cockie Monster says:
  85. The Cockie Monster says:

    HH……….Could be that Barca are not as good without the coach who had them buzzing !…..the one that’s got BM going.
    I`d bet all of Totals warehouse stashed of drugs and porn that Guardiola would take us further than Wenger !. 😀

  86. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sorry to step away…

    This idea that we’re gonna win all those matches (already played on paper or at least computer screen by Mr. Fingers above…) with motivation, passion, will-power, etc. is THE most ridiculous bit of them all… We’ll just get Klopp to yell at everybody… In that case, let’s save the money and get Tony Adams to do it… 😀

    Klopp may get his team past Juve into the next round and he will get a new job somewhere… Speaking of jobs, I don’t have one, but I’m too busy this week and, in truth, I should be working on my preview–Gotta check to see how QPR is doing relative to all the other bottom clubs who’ve replaced their managers… BTW, in Germany, Dortmund, next season. will be another bottom club with a new manager (and a bunch of new players)… Or maybe Klopp will get them back in the CL by winning the whole thing… :face turning red, while holding breath:

    (Pep better not lose 7-1 again this year to Ancelotti, but yes, there’s a guy who I wouldn’t mind doing his bit at Arsenal…Mind, he would most certainly be keeping Ozil…)

    On that note, how goes your job and other life parts, HH… I always enjoy your drop ins…

    Steve, I get it, you cannot appreciate the current team/manager (because of lack of success, I suspect, even if you demure…) so ANYTHING would be more fun. In truth, when a club–or any other company makes money–the customer always pays, in one form or another. That’s Capitalism. If you don’t like the product on offer or if the price is too high, your ONLY option is to support a competitor. There’s a reason Sam Walton’s son-in-law is in sports…the customer is captive to their deep allegiance and cannot bring themselves to support other clubs… Credit to Cockie the Chav supporter then…They’re offering a product he likes (Mourinho, Trophies, beating Spurs, sometimes…)…so he enjoys it… The Monster, at least, has a plan…

    For me, I can appreciate what our manager–who serves at the behest of his board, who have sold all their shares to the above mentioned primary shareholder–or a secondary one, who perks up from time to time to twist a knife whenever we’re down–is trying to do. You gotta remember what would REALLY happen if a manager, any manager, would try to play 11 Oxes… (or 10, on a small pitch, Rory Delap brought in on a free, to feed in the long throws…)

    OK, more business to take care of, but hopefully that gives HH (and Steve and anybody else who cares to…) time to rip me a new one… 😀

  87. 17highburyterrace says:

    Before I go… I think “the plan” is for ANYBODY who comes in after Wenger (unless he’s forced out, in which case, I fear for Bould and/or our version of Moyes)… to do better… My sneaking suspicion is that the reason all the angry Gooners stick around (instead of putting their money where their mouth is…) is that they can see we’re winning the war (of attrition) even if the battles aren’t going so well. In the end, they’ll take the credit and all will be right with the world… Or at least in the mirror… 😀

  88. Gerry says:

    Just for the record O Cockermouth, Alexis is struggling to do 90 minutes because of his incessant, and often solo pressing. He is allowed his loss of possession without criticism when he is scoring the goals or assisting. Look a little closer at your golden boy and see that he is is own worst enemy, however good it may look.

    In my first comment After the last game I said the 3 points were very nice, even if we haven’t solved the underlying problem.
    If you look at all the top clubs, Man U excepted as they haven’t really got a defence, but the rest have TWO defensive mids.
    Our solution is simple, except for the missing DM. Coquelin has been doing great stuff, but in order for the guys up front to have confidence that they don’t to dash back every time, he needs help. Cazorla was the help in this game, which, to say the least, is not ideal. Against the stronger sides who will press with one or other of their tackling DM’s, we will get swamped. Everton’s pair were not up to it yesterday, and Barkley is a shadow of the player last season.

    However, the solution may be at hand, if AW cares to try it. The reason I will not play your depressing game of deciding wins and losses based on how we play now and assume we will still be playing in a months is a waste of time. I base my confidence on the line up in each game.

    I grant you the schedule makes the Monaco game a tough one, and I would rather the effort is put into the Man U Cup game, and see what we can salvage after that. A win out there is probably not beyond us. A 2 – nil win, if they get nervous, again possible. If we go in one each after extra time, we go into the next round. Simples!

    But I am only positive until I see the line up 😀

  89. The Cockie Monster says:

    Hahaha 17…….anyone who beats the Spuds is worthy of my support !.
    I think it was Total a while back who for some reason seemed to think I hated The Spuds more than I loved Arsenal !…..probably due to my rants about the bastards in question !…….but, believe me, this is an occasion when the egg comes first before the skinny chicken ( or Cock on a ball ! )…..an embryo born to love Arsenal….the rest came natural !. 😀

    Later my friends ……..fcuking sockcuckers !. hahaha

  90. VCC says:

    Sorry to rain on the parade guys.

    UMF LEAGUE THIS MID WEEK. STILL WAITING FOR ENTRIES FROM =

    HENRY
    17HT
    TOTAL
    DAVYDAVY
    JB
    TMHT.

  91. proudgooner says:

    Hi all,I was at the game it was pretty much as TA described. I think the turning point and the 1 that got the crowds biggest response was Ospina strong tackle that saved Paulista’s blushes. the crowd loved it and in response all the other players got stuck and and made good tackles. Paulista tackle on Lukaku was a great 1 and it set the tone for a very well earnt 3 points.

  92. steve says:

    haha HT i must admit i got a bit lost in that comment – capitalism? lol
    I suppose the best way i can describe it within (what i think) was your train of thought is that the product i want to see is in the R&D department atm, it wont be ready for a year or two but once it is it will remain ARSENAL through and through matey don’t worry about that!
    Gnabbers, OX, Akpom, Wilshere, A-M-N, Hayden, Bielik, Bellerin etc etc when the wrapper is taken off the new concept model for testing (in the capital one cup) these youngsters will provide the pace and tenacity i want to see 🙂
    Hopefully we would have kept the guys who already embody these attributes in the present team like Kos, Coquelin, Sanchez, Gibbs (Rosicky i think will be gone by then unfortunately).

    Oh and btw i’m not sure you really implied it as i said i got a little lost, but where i come from mate there’s no such thing as swapping football teams (support a competitor as you put it), pmsl the very thought is fucking hilarious.
    You bitch and moan but you never give up your support, different ideals i suppose though.

  93. Admir says:

    I think Mertesacker was screwed once he was given an armband. I mean, there must be some stupid curse thrown at our armband since Paddy left as William “Bad-Good-Ugly” Gallas has been the most successful captain in the league since 2005 (83, the same tally like the team from 2004-05 had had). Santi Cazorla should visit some sort of “bruja” this summer to get some protection (not the one manufactured by Durex, mind you!) or the fact his name is Santiago (Saint Jacob) should be enough.

    @17 – when it comes to new managers, Diego Simeone would be a perfect fit for Arsenal now that we have sacked Beckham Junior.

  94. Highbury Harmony says:

    17ht, it isn’t that we NEED Klopp, but that the tactics shift COULD benefit us. But if he plays the same style every single game, it benefits us in no way either (same vein as Wenger using the same tactics all the time). Teams figure your weaknesses out – adaptability and unpredictability can be the rest recipes for success IF your players are on board and can suit/play different systems without over confusion.

    Job and life are going very well my friend, how is everything going for you mate?

  95. James Bond says:

    Diego Simeone is off to Man city @ Stevie wonders .

    and I didn’t indulge mainly because it makes me laugh how you don’t rate what Ozil does and on the other hand how the OX gets the stick – considering he is returning after a 6 week injury lay off.

    we all have our favourites, everyone does , if we didn’t then we wouldn’t be humans but saying that on merit – you would probably get rid of Jack Wilshere from this team, as he offers nothing but consistent injuries nor does he fit into the system AW likes to deploy in the presence of the full squad being fit . if we were unbiased then selling him now would be the way to go, but because he’s a favourite of mine personally, I would hate that to happen .

    you on the other hand, still enjoy the Ozil bashing when he assisted TWICE and could have scored a goal yesterday as well .

    Ox drives the game forward – there is no other player other than Theo who takes defenders on and then drives forward to the byline to deliver a cross like the Ox from the left, right and center – he can easily play anywhere on the pitch (attacking) and needs to improve his scoring and assists ratio – you can argue that both him and DW need to do it .

    it will come. he was immense in a champions league game we needed to win 4-0 a few years ago to stand a chance of progress, we scored 3-0 and he was absolutely 5 star – it was only due to an easy miss from RVP that led to our failure .

    can we score 3 in monte carlo ? yes, and for that we need the OX to run at the defenders and hug his byline and side line as believe you me – against teams who park the bus, OX is the answer , provided he is fit and having a decent game .

  96. James Bond says:

    Simeone one was for Admir and not Steve, the rest was for steve in the above .

  97. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening gents 🙂

    Gerry, are you really pointing out to me thatOx is good at dribbling? Phew, never realised that! 😕

  98. James Bond says:

    so far you have a 100% record @ PG

    you should be going to the games more frequently .

    Yes, Ospina has nailed it for me and deserves to be our no.1 keeper . the stats don’t lie – 4 clean sheets in only 7 games , do tell a story or 2 .

    we have finally managed to find ourselves an upgrade on both Fabianski and Sczny, however, he can easily communicate with Gabriel , so I expect Paulista to be getting a few more starts or a good number of games now – a decent run .

  99. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey guys… HH I cannot complain about my life, but if I did it would be that the best snow of the year came on the final day of February… Personally, I think Wenger IS trying to play different tactics but he needs better results to ease pressure so he go deeper into the squad for different situations. It’s a bit of a catch 22–the more you *need* different tactics (and better results), the less you can actually try them out… Maybe?…

    F11ngers, you must be joking about the youth team… (Or at least purposely setting yourself up for a million ranting posts)… Arsenal will give those boys a chance but I expect our buying power is what will be demanded (by the other 99% of Gooners…) and what will wear down the clubs below us and get us closer to those above. For every great story of Le Coq we will buy a Schneiderlin to replace him. Bellerin has been a nice fill in for Debuchy but will he want to go back to being a sub? Chambers is English but not home grown (kinda like Ox and Theo) so I’m not sure if he fits into your definition of love. A youth program is a nice thing and a decent revenue stream but Chavs and 20 players out on loan (1 or 2 who will get recalled every season) is the model the big clubs will follow unless rules are changed and Abramovich somehow doesn’t want to bribe them back…

    I’m generally not up for a fight and I’d much prefer if our ideas could actually influence one another, but I was thinking that there must be something (very) different about the way you watch the game. I’ve been going with the idea that you don’t care about results so yesterday, if the youth team could’ve played and we’d only lost by a couple it would be the superior experience? Overall there just seems a completely impossible to test ideal of youth, power and pace that floats the boat use to take (fantasy) ventures off your island… It’d be interesting to actually discuss things rather than just shout. For example, do you think we should’ve made a play for different Real Madrid players instead of the one we got. I ask, as I watch Morata playing for Juve (but I’m also thinking of Higuain or the guys who I said “replaced” Ozil, i.e., Modric and Isco)…

    Trying to talk about markets and capitalism is probably too much, but that frames my whole view of what ownership wants. Stan’s vanity (like many of us housewives…) stems from the bottom line. Sure, if we win something big (League or CL) we’ll get a temporary uptick in fan interest, shirt sales and maybe even players who want a year under Wenger (or the next manager, who also doesn’t scream at his players)… but he is definitely playing the long game. If the (other) billionaire owners ever lose interest…Well they could still beat Arsenal (as Monaco did…) but they will lose out in the long run…

    Does that make things any clearer?..

  100. James Bond says:

    For Stevie wonders :

    The 26-year-old has five assists in his last five league games – one against Aston Villa, two against Leicester City and two against Everton.
    Arsenal have also won in every league game the World Cup winner has provided an assist this season.
    The 26-year-old has a total of four goals and seven assists in 18 appearances for Arsenal this season.

  101. TotalArsenal says:

    HH, we might see Wengerball when Arsene has got the midfield sorted. I feel we are missing a b2b player with Rambo and Jack out and Ox not being defensive enough. Santi is okay when we play deep but he has not got the legs to really help with the transition. I feel we also miss Debuchy and we probably need a quality LB to really push on.

    But I seem to be the only one who thinks we played very well tactically yesterday, and at the moment, I take that above Wengerballio. 🙂

  102. James Bond says:

    cheers @ Glics –

    he’s not at the same level as Hazard but it won’t be long before he is 😉

  103. The Cockie Monster says:

    I like Ozil`s heat map in the last link, he runs a lot more than people give him credit for !.

    This is Ozil`s heat map when confronting Stev11e !.

  104. James Bond says:

    ahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahaha

  105. The Cockie Monster says:

    Stoke City heat map !.

  106. TotalArsenal says:

    Looks more like JB’s heat map when rogering Wojchiech! 🙂

  107. The Cockie Monster says:

    Chelsea`s defence wondering who of their wives is the injured John Terry is visiting !.

  108. steve says:

    pmsl, you can pretty much take it for granted your all pissing in the wind when it comes to trying to convince me about Ozil lads, but fear not i am trying not to bash him anymore trust me. The only reason i did last night was to try and highlight how much TA was overlooking what OX brought to that game against the toffees.
    I am done, back to being quiet again now but please don’t feel like you have convinced me of anything.

    HT, i have got to admit i don’t watch Real Madrid as often as i wish but i did catch their CL match against Schalke recently and they played a 4-3-3;

    —————-Back four———–
    Silva———–Kroos———Isco
    Bale———Benzema——-CR7

    Isco is an all action pacey dribbling midfielder in the same fashion as OX but with greater technical ability. Silva was less action going forward put a great passer and battler probably most like Ramsey and Kroos was well Kroos.
    I personally like that set up and its the kind i have been wanting for ages at Arsenal:

    ——————–Back four—————
    Wilshere——–Coquelin————OX
    Walcott———–Giroud———-Sanchez

    You could interchange OX for Rosicky or Cazorla and Wilshere for Ramsey but in any case that is the style i like, pacey attacking football where the attacking midfielders are expected to still be able to make the kind of passes an out and out number 10 would make.

    Like i said though i don’t watch them a lot so they may have changed their style since as you did mention modric, but i have not seen how they really set up or function in this system well enough to judge it in any capacity. how about you?

  109. James Bond says:

    ahahhahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahhahahaha – Quality @ Skipper

    here’s one from me then just for you @ Glics

    Coquelin has made more tackles & interceptions in 2015 than any other Premier League player (54)

    🙂

    why are we this rubbish then ? 😀

  110. TotalArsenal says:

    That’s it, we are doing great in the PL…. Teamconsistent! Bring on the Hoops. 🙂

  111. 17highburyterrace says:

    Just checking in…before I have to get on my horse… Sorry Fingers, I haven’t seen too much RM football this season…Watched quite a bit when I was over there but that was when Ozil was in the squad. Modric was clearly waiting in the wings… Maybe HH can illuminate, if he sticks around a bit… Personally, I always rated Modric, but he’s definitely not a power guy…

    Not all football is the same. When AMN is making his video highlights it’s not against EPL defenses (obviously)… There’s a ton of individual talent and technique in La Liga but the depth of the league is not what it once was, maybe because they don’t do the revenue sharing with the television contract like in England. BTW, whatever happened to the deal Arsenal and Real Betis set up a few years back? Falling into the 2nd league seems a very bad thing…

    Here’s something I read about Ozil that is pretty well written and maybe sums up the situation here… http://northlondonisred.co.uk/flopzil-mesut-flopzil/

    Gotta run…

  112. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, it’s an interesting theory, but I don’t think we played true Wengerball even when Ramsey and Jack were healthy! When I speak of Wengerball, I immediately think of the Invincibles though – it wasn’t always pretty domination of games through possession, but we always managed to create beautiful chances and, more often than not, walked the ball into the back of the net.

    Of course, it’s foolish to think back to the Invincibles, as those were different days and different players. The talent of this team is not the same as that of the Invincibles, but the definite missing pieces are Henry and Vieira. I’m all for OG starting up top as he helps give shape and is a good passer in and around the box, so a Vieira type is the missing ingredient. Not only could he drive us up field, but he could really boss around the midfield defensively too. We lack that size and presence in the middle of the pitch, the type of player that we’ll either have to develop ourselves or overpay for…

    I think to get back to playing that style of “Wengerball” where we can dominate clubs consistently with possession, we need a player who can turn defense to offense on his own, can strike fear into opponents defensively, has size to shield the ball and win aerial battles, speed and skill to run up field with the ball and a serious motor! I’m probably asking for too much at this point…Pogba, how I wish we stole you before you went to Juve (or how I wish Diaby was healthy)!

  113. Admir says:

    Hello, people.

    I watched a bit of Real Madrid-Villarreal game last night. I was very surprised with Villarreal and their solidity. Our man Joel had one counter-attack while I was watching but his attempt to switch the ball to the opposite flank went behind his target.

    I wrote an article as a response to Barney Ronay’s article in The Guardian where he suggests that not talking about the referees would make them do their job better. Click on my name to read it. 🙂

  114. Admir says:

    Sorry, click now.

  115. Highbury Harmony says:

    17ht, I don’t know if we have the players to successfully employ different strategies! Two vital positions to playing in different set-ups in my opinion are the CDM and B2B CM. Past Coquelin, we don’t really have another quality DM and past Ramsey, there are no other CM B2B options. Granted Jack is good at driving us up field, but he’s often injured, lacks size and his defensive contributions leave much to be desired. Santi has done an admirable job as a CM but he too lacks size, endurance and speed to play the B2B role. IMO, the players up front in attacking positions can only successfully change if we have the right personnel at the back.

    The results always matter though, I just think that until recent seasons, we’ve had too much of a focus on being shrewd in the market and this has affected on our field product. The philosophy is even evident in the academy, whereby the young buys and top players seemingly continued to be small, undersized, skilled playmakers. Too often were we simply buying players who were available at under market value prices. Only until recently with purchases like Paulista and Bielik have we really strayed from the typical small, skilled midfielder.

    I believe the financial situation may have played a huge part in this or maybe the quoted valuations for CDM and B2B CM are just extravagant (I don’t have the answer for this). The other factor is of course injuries, but at some point, you need to replace perennially injured players like Diaby or at least buy others to fill the void. But what if Diaby, Jack or Ramsey suddenly have bounce backs and stay healthy? Well, then we have plenty of rotation or we sell certain players and hopefully make a profit!

  116. VCC says:

    HENRY ..TOTAL…..UMF PLEASE

  117. henrychan says:

    Hi VCC.. I already give my prediction..
    TA.. Nice to had Paulista as our CB.. Now we have two strong and quick CB..
    With one DM like Coq.. we can play 4-1-4-1 or 4-1-2-3 formation more confidently..

    TA.. I think maybe Sanchez can be our AM and playing more central.. so we can play Walcott, Giroud and Welbeck together.. hehehe..

  118. FLO8 says:

    Hi all! I’m a bit late to the piece but thought I would throw my 2 cents in.

    TA well done on identifying some positives from the Everton match. You keep remaining positive and I’ll keep reading and commenting!

    Happy to see Giroud get back on the scoresheet. The big Frenchman never hides and I really admire that even if he appears somewhat cumbersome in front of goal at time.

    Also loving what Coquelin is bringing to our midfield from a defensive perspective. Whilst I still think our current central midfield setup is imbalanced with Ozil in there and the triangular structure, I thought both Coquelin and Cazorla worked their socks off defensively.

    Very impressed with Gabriel also. I think giving Per a prolonged rest and giving Gabriel an extended run in the first team is not a bad option at this stage of the season. I think Gabriel is more adaptable than Per and allows the team to play a high defensive line (which I personally hate) or deep (which I prefer provided there is sufficient protection being provided from central midfield).

    I’m not going to say anything about Ozil, his on field positioning and the impact that I believe that is having on Alexis’s game as I’ve already covered that in numerous previous comments and I think I’m starting to sound like a broken record. All I’ll say is that I thought his assist for Rosicky’s was well picked out and executed.

    Very impressed with Ospina’s calmness and handing throughout.

    In terms of Ox’s performance, he did alright as far as I’m concerned. I personally don’t like when he is deployed on the right wing as he quite simply does not provide a goal scoring threat which Arsenal’s wingers need to in the side’s current setup. Would much prefer to see him deployed on the left flank or as one of the three central midfielders. When deployed the right flank he virtually makes it redundant for the team to play an attacking right full back as persistently remains on the flank trying to cross the ball to Giroud who is consequentially being marked by the opposition’s two centre backs. Don’t get me wrong I think Ox is a huge talent, he is just in my view being deployed in the wrong position.

    The matches versus Everton are matches which at the start of the season I predicted we would draw (both home and away). So I’m happy the boys got all three points even though I thought our attacking play was pretty slow, laborious and not direct enough in the main and we rode our luck defensively at times.

    Looking back on the season thus far and what my preseason expectation were, we are currently 7 points less than what I anticipated we would be at at this stage of the season. Hopefully we can have a strong end to the season though and second place is not unrealistic albeit an unlikely outcome given our persistent issues with consistency. Personally hoping we can go unbeaten for the remainder of the season and claw those 7 dropped points back in the league matches versus Liverpool, Man Utd and Chelsea.

  119. FLO8 says:

    Just to clarify, I meant unbeaten in the league. I think we’ll be out of the FA Cup and Champions League in the next couple of weeks and honestly think we can realistically end up with a points total of 75 in the league.

  120. TotalArsenal says:

    Freddie 🙂

    That is a mighty fine comment, even if I don’t agree with everything. Would you like to write a post for the site at all? 🙂

  121. TotalArsenal says:

    HH 🙂

    I have little time today, but just wanted to say I agree with a lot re Wengerball potential of the current squad. I want to see these 11 to 14 players fully fit for a succession of games:

    Sz/Os
    Deb – BFG/Gab – Koz/Gab – Nacho
    ————-Coq——-Rambo———-
    ——————–Jack——————-
    Alexis—————————–Ozil
    —————Giroud/Theo———–

    I reckon our football would look very good. It might not be Wengerbalol though. A fit and in form Rambo could be as effective as Vieira. But he and Coq will have to keep developing further.

  122. FLO8 says:

    Would love to TA! If I can get some time I’ll pen something and send it through. Btw if you switch Ozil and Alexis and drop Jack alongside Rambo and Coquelin, I’m sold on that formation you’ve posted in response to HH!

  123. TotalArsenal says:

    Looking fwd to it, Freddie. 🙂

    I prefer 4-2-1-3 to any other formation. I reckon it suits Arsenal best, but Arsene is missing the players right now to play that way. Jack is just great in linking midfield with attack and holding the area. Rambo is the ideal b2b when in form and Coq is more than decent as our DM, although I would love us to add Schneiderlin in the Summer. But if it makes you come on board, let’s drop Jack lower and switch Ozil and Alexis! 🙂

  124. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post 🙂

    If my eight positives were a bit too sweet for you, here is your opportunity to balance your taste-buts with Marcus’ well written, critical post. 🙂

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