Giroud and Le Coq Pull Arsenal Through: Match Afterthoughts

Well that was another very important win and a fantastic performance, given this was our fourth game in just twelve days.

Best all-round CF in the PL, Giroud bags two more goals! Thanking The Guardian for picture.
Best all-round CF in the PL, Giroud bags two more goals! Thanking The Guardian for picture.

We qualified for the semis of the FA cup against the Mancs, got six points from the Hammers and Magpies, and almost did the impossible against Monaco: four wins, nine goals scored and just two conceded. Arsenal are red hot right now. Are the fans ecstatic, full of pride and proud of the team, though…? We Gunners are a peculiar lot; let’s leave it with that.

The performance against Monaco was one of the most mature I have ever seen of Arsenal. We controlled the game throughout and all Gunners, including the subs, played with a concentration that made me proud. We needed a bit of luck to complete a miraculous turnaround and that was the only thing missing.

Today, against the Barcodes, the team started once again with a mixture of passion and professionalism; and our ability to score again and again has just been amazing over the last few months. I expected the team to tire at some point, so a good start was vital and the team knew that. Giroud was once again pivotal for us, literally and figuratively. His all-round CF game has become so good: he reads the game in a flash and his strength to hold of players, combined with his excellent first touch and passing ability are simply invaluable. People will rate Giroud now for his goals, and nine in nine games is indeed fantastic, but there is so much more to his game that deserves undiluted admiration.

Sanchez and Santi looked knackered; Ramsey was a bit fitter but did not have the best of games; Danny was the fittest of the four but did not impress me in the one to ones, positioning in the box and with his finishing. But they all worked their socks off and stuck to the team plan and that made all the difference. Koz and Gabriel worked well together and you can see that they could become a very strong partnership going forward.

Chambers is clearly still a work in progress but he has added a lot of value to the team given his young age. Monreal was mostly solid, with just one or two wobbles, and really seems to have found his groove at the Grove now. Ospina did not have much to do, but he stayed calm and made the right decisions, and that is all we can ask for.

The man of the match was Le Coq, even though Giroud played very, very good too. Coquelin read the game and positioned himself so well and his interventions were all firm but fair; and his fitness levels never seem to fade either. He made a huge difference today and let’s hope the two weeks of rest will help to heal his well-battered nose again. What a player he has become!

Yes we rode our luck a bit in the second half and had to dig deep to go home with all three points. But let’s not take away anything from the resilience and team spirit our boys possess: absolutely priceless attributes, especially at the business end of the season.

So, count me a very pleased and proud Gooner. To be just four points behind the Chavs, even though they have two games in hand, is just great given where we were a few months ago. Ooh to, Ooh to be…..

By TotalArsenal.

81 thoughts on “Giroud and Le Coq Pull Arsenal Through: Match Afterthoughts

  • Ospina had not much to do ?

    I thought he was immense and kept us in this.

  • Nothing that you would not expect any PL goalkeeper to save, Jibbers. There were a couple of mild deflections and he responded well to them, but sorry, immense is not a word I would use for him today. Just a job well done.

  • The ref did not give a yellow card for robust tackles when the NU players clattered into the gunners.This happened in the first half on at least 4 occasions. This emboldened the magpie who sent Sanchez to the ground a few times.
    That is why I say for the gunners to win aint easy. Some of these guys deliberately ignore such robust tackles believing it’s part and parcel of the epl. If this game was in the cl,you can bet your house the ref would have no hesitation in dishing out the yellow and a red card.
    Btw,i don’t know if its fatigue but the gunners seemed to pass the ball to the magpies on numerous occasions.I shudder to think what could have happened if it were Chelsea/Mu/Pool.

  • Definitely fatigue, JG. What else can you expect after three epic performances?

    Agreed on the refereeing, although I thought Monaco got away with a lot of serial fouling as well.

  • Considering the efforts the team put in, in Monaco and all the travelling to and from the Principality and then the slog up to Newcastle, I thought the 3 points gained at St James’ Park was magnificent…
    Only listened on BBC5Live, and can only go on what I heard, but I expected a bit of a reaction to the last few days so was not surprised at the drop in energy, if not effort and detirmination in the 2nd 45…

    Coquelin must be the ‘find’ of the season.
    First name on the team sheet for me.

    Top top performance by the lads…

    And a good post Total…

  • Great post TA and all mostly agreed. Most of our players looked like they were out of steam in the 2nd half and that is likely due to fatigue from the number of games we have played lately. Coquelin was definitely impressive in the first half, but was careless on the goal and with give aways in the 2nd half, which was common for the majority of our players on the pitch. Santi was rather invisible, Sanchez’s moments of brilliance are dwindling, while Ramsey continues to be inconsistent from outstanding performances to matches where he suffers from numerous careless give aways and a complete inability to finish off plays.

    However, we grinded out the win and that was what was needed. We were fortunate that Giroud finished off his chances very well today and our defensive resilience helped us through. You could tell that we really missed a person who could drive the ball forward (Ox) and the bench is getting rather thin for rotation. We need players to come back healthy soon to see out the rest of the season (I’m pointing at you Wilshere to give Ramsey some rest and Ox to have more presence on the wings)!

  • We should’ve started with Rosicky today instead of Santi who looked totally plastered. The substitutions were late.
    Like the look of Gabriel – combative comes to mind, a rarity for an contemporary Arsenal defender.
    Danny and chambers don’t provide anything better than what we had. For all the optimism, Danny’s finishing is poor. and Chambers has been by far our worst player on the pitch for 2 matches running – abysmal defending, getting caught out of position against hammers and yesterday.

  • Great win, greater three points. At least the chavs are somehow looking at their back. Catching up with them may be a bit too much but then why stop hoping and dreaming. Somehow we’ve really turned the season around. Some season back we would have conceded or even lose the match. Three invaluable points as the Pools are in good form of late. Hope Chamberlain recovers during the international games. O L have improved and really surprised me. I used to be one of his ardent critics that almost got me a good beating in one of our viewing centres in Nigeria. One Arsenal fan took exception to my comments and almost got physical. The influence of Frank le coq cannot be sneered at. Me thinks that our recent results are not divorced from his all round play and influence. Sanchez needs some good rest ans so does Carzola. The only snag being that they are all full and active internationals and may not have decent rest. Here’s hoping that all our players all scale through the friendly games without getting injured. Will be hoping for a good result between the mancs and the pools. Danny Welbeck have plenty work to do. Was not overly impressed with his game yesterday The one thing he has going for him is work rate. Ospina was very alert few times he was called to duty. Ramsey should be careful with his play. Observe closely that anytime Ramsey gets it in his head to go and look for goals by all means he will have a poor game and yesterday was one of those. The international break is coming at the right time. These men all need the break and it gives us time for the injured players to come back. We have improved no doubt about that cause some seasons back by now we will virtually be out of everything. But we are getting good results, we may be within a shouting distance of the league and barring any major disaster we should win the FA cup. The good and exciting times are upon us gunners please feel free to enjoy it and keep the guns blazing.

  • It was a good win. Not such a great performance but that was expected after the trip to Monaco.
    The defence held on to the lead tightly and got we got through eventually.

    I have just 1 big worry now. We look extremely poor at the start of the 2nd half.
    This has been going on for quite a while now. I have been observing this since the start of the season. Last season we used to start the second half very strongly. Most of the times we even came back to win games in the second half. But this season in the first 5-10 minutes of the 2nd half we look incredibly shaky. Its like everyone switches off. This happened against Man City and Utd too but we dint concede then but other occasions such as Monaco, Leicester, Newcastle, and a few more we have conceeded.

    Arsene has to take a look at this or we might pay for it against Chelsea or Liverpool.

  • Having listened on audio, read the comments after the match, watch the FULL match this morning, all I can say is TA – You got it so right.

    It wasn’t just the second half that they tailed off, the back end of the first gave the Newcastle players a boost. Nor was it just physical fatigue. The trouble is, when the mind goes, the concentration goes, and with it control and possession. That compounds the need for greater physical effort, and the cycle repeats time and again.
    If there was a negative, it would be the 70 minute sub rule that AW constantly adheres to. Either Bellerin (in particular) or Gibbs, or both, coming on for Alexis and Welbeck would have given that extra protection out wide, even as early as the 55th minute. Some times, as the betting advert goes, you have to take the money and run. Yes, a bit of that is with hindsight, but when is a good time to take what you have? Too early or Too late?

    That aside, it took a tremendous effort to complete the job. Apart from Coquelin, Gabriel, in only his first full game, was immense. The physical effort all round is worthy of praise alone. I know people will start thinking that Alexis’s bubble has burst, but once we can get him to conserve his energy by staying up front, and not try and do everything, he will be back. Big time. Welbeck doesn’t convince me he has the full package, but he is a player that gives 100% effort every time, and games like this one is where he can be invaluable. He needs a goal or two to steady him up.

    As for Steve’s comment last night ‘….our play is dependent on what the opposition do’ is laughably naive. It is not fecking snooker, where each has a turn. Of course play is about changing according to the situation as it happens. What you said, ‘we played great, then they pressed, and the rest was shite’ was an insult to the players. Although, from what I have just seen, I don’t think we were in total control of the match at any stage. We got our goals and they didn’t. But as far as getting to the final third, that looked pretty even in the first half, and the Newcs probably edged it in the second. This 11 man defending may be effective regards results because we are not conceding as many goals, but it is taking a heavy toll on the players who are expected to be sharp and bright up front. Thank our lucky stars we have Giroud. Also, that same point goes for Cazorla, especially in this game without Ozil. So much easier to block his out when he is the main creator, although to be fair, Coquelin tried to support higher up the pitch in the first half. Most have been involved in these last 4 games which have all taken some winning one way or another, so to judge how the team respond to opposition pressure is very short sighted.

    Wait for when the benefit of only play one game a week starts to kick in. No one player is going to transform things, be it Walcott or Wilshere, but having the players sharp and fit will make a big difference, and perhaps we can indulge a few from the larger squad and gain a little more. I just hope the key balance of the side is kept, rather than the need to thrust players in for the sake of it. We are in a strong position right now, and after the interlull, fresh injuries permitting, we should really complete a strong finish to the season.

  • hahaha when i said our play is dependent on what the opposition do (or words to that effect) i was immediately expecting everyone to say “no shit Sherlock, its a game played by two teams!! lol” it seemed a blindingly obvious statement even as i was writing it but somehow Gerry thinks it is “laughably naive” – CLASSIC!! 😆 😆 😆
    Strong pressing high tempo teams have been our weakness for quite a few seasons now – to me its a blindingly obvious statement, to you its laughably naive – it takes all sorts i suppose

  • Good one TA and a nice antidote to the elements of the Goonersphere where the “agendas” come first. If you were gonna do the 8 positves bit, #s 1,2 and 3 would’ve been the points taken… Well noted (by you and AW…) that we’ve played a lot of matches lately and won them all…

    I think we’ve got (serious) issues with the support, some of which might stem from the whole Brit-core idea. That PR move reinvigorated a certain core group of supporters but those same folks can become awfully blind when their faves don’t quite bring the goods. As such, you’re right about Welbeck and Chambers yesterday, players who look a LOT better when others are at their best and they can play as value-added (“passengers,” is the other way of saying it…) rather than having to carry any sort of load themselves. (Watching Jenks, in the late match, with all the pointless crosses and runs was no better…) IMO we missed Ozil quite a bit yesterday, whose movement is not as obvious but just as important as the shape which Giroud’s presence provides. If Santi and Alexis are playing “tired” and Le Coq is doing well but not quite as adept at the “ticking over” element which Arteta might bring, we can have trouble. It should be noted that we just never had the good give and go stuff we usually see with Giroud and which usually comes from the left side of our attack…Why? I dunno, who was Mesut-ing, er, missing?…

    I realize that idea will NEVER occur to the folks who want all-England U-21s and a rugby match, but that’s how I see it, and the glory of the interweb is that everybody can say their piece… 😀

    A couple of other notes. I’m beginning to appreciated Ospina’s quick reactions. He goes down early which can be (very) good but can also make him look (very) bad–as on the goal when he guessed wrong. The foot save on the deflection and the quick hands to push the header over were great…

    I thought the subs were bold. Without the likes of Arteta, Wilshere and Ozil yesterday we were never going to pass our way out of trouble (our best passers on the day were probably Nacho and Le Coq…) but bringing in guys who need multiple touches like Rosicky and Flamini (while leaving Ramsey rather than Santi in…) really got me nervous. (I would’ve stumped for Feo to try and get a 3rd…) It worked pretty well, in the end. and Bellerin (ahead of Chambers) worked even better. I was sad that he couldn’t get Giroud his hattrick with our best attack of the entire 2nd half which Krul was able to snuff out. The pull back was a better choice than forcing a shot as Welbs had done earlier from a similar angle on the other side. With el Clasico tonight, I wanted to tip my sombrero to the best two young Spanish players in England: Bellerin and Ayoze…

    And while I’m tipping, we have to give credit to the Toonies in general. Ayoze is quality and that 2nd half performance by Cabella was (by far) the best I’ve seen him play (torturing Nacho…) since he moved North. Sissoko, playing deeper than usual, did very well. and even Bambi, er, Sammy Ameobi, had a strong 2nd half. Gouffran should’ve taken 2 points from us, but his toepoke was weak and straight to Ospina…Credit to us, however, esp. Gabby and Kos for limiting their chances and working well together, language barriers and all…

    OK, Sunday (English) football, and three draws would work fine for me…

  • Uh oh… I probably don’t (really…) want a fight with F11ngers… but isn’t the way to beat a team which presses (and a ref who won’t call a foul…) actually…to pass the ball? Or maybe we’re agreeing here, except with the idea that guys like Ozil and Arteta (and Wilshere…)–all of whom are lady parts?– are the answer… If we need English versions, I guess well have to look to the ancients in this match on the telly right now (Carrick and Gerrard, or his younger self, Henderson maybe?)…

    Ooops…Slow old Spanish guy (Mata) scores first, 0-1…

  • yes, Stevie wonders but why is that ?

    I will tell you why – because we are not as good on the counter as some of the other teams.

    if we were better on the counter then teams pressing us high up the pitch be paying the price for it after we manage to wriggle our way out of it or even from their set pieces, we be doing the same.

    why aren’t we better on the counter ? No Theo, No ozil and no Alexis Chemistry as of yet – even Welbeck.

  • Afternoon/Morning me Amigo

    Thought Lallana had a great chance to equalize but missed the target. should have been 1-1 at HT , IMO.

  • of course it is to be expected at the PL level from a decent goalie, hence you have to appreciate it a tad more considering we’ve not had a decent goalie in the last 5 years, consistently performing at the top top level.

    13 wins from the last 15 isn’t entirely down to Le coq and a few others, Ospina has greatly contributed towards our run and long it may continue.

    that save from a close range header wasn’t an easy one and he was a bit blind sighted on the goal we actually did concede, his path was being blocked hence he had to move towards the right a bit @ me amigo

    for me he was immense, it was a very fine line in winning 2-1 and drawing 2-2.

    he has been great so far and I am getting more and more confident with him in goal.

    if he helps in winning or keeps a clean sheet vs liverfool after the break then he be a strong contender for one of the signings of the season at £3 million.

  • 17HT, yes mate i think we are kind of agreeing 🙂 btw i only ever called Ozil a lady part in the past and we already had that discussion where you agreed he is putting in some of his best performances in recent games now he is getting involved more in the game and getting stuck in so it only helps to prove my previous assessment 🙂
    Arteta i just feel has lost the mobility and stamina that his position requires and wilshere’s my lad, don’t think i’ve ever said anything bad about him on here lol.

    JB, yes mate just like HT’s assessment of the passing answer the pinnacle of that type of strategy to combat pressing would be a passing transition movement from defense into a counter attacking break-away goal (Invincibles used to be incredible at that). One of the main reasons i rate OX so highly is because i think he has this in his locker for the future and brings the blistering pace needed to carry the ball up the pitch quickly if the pass is not on yet. But all agreed mate.

    Come on Pool we need a draw in this one!! 🙂

  • I thought the best save he made was a reaction save with his foot from a deflection off of Chambers as he was diving the other way – great save imo JB

  • 007… Even more than arguing with F11ngers about passing or Ozil or anything (in truth…) I am l loathe to argue with you about keepers… 😀

    Nobody took me up on who (else) wants an Ospina kit…As I will be visiting his hometown in a couple of weeks…

    Finally, (and as I may have to miss a preview or two due to my travels…) my previews have nothing to do with our winning…I also wrote one before the Monaco home match (where I even mentioned your name, remember?..) so no magic there…

    Agreed, big passes and that Llalana chance on the break seemed Pool’s best chance…De Gea as sweeper-keeper did well on another Sturridge break… United can now PTB and maybe use DiMaria in a similar manner…

    I dunno, I’m looking forward to a bit better footie in the Spanish match later…

  • Hohoho…I missed the RC…

    Nice goal there…. Wow… John the Killer…

  • Well, now that I’ve seen the incident there’s nothing to laugh about… Skrtl should get a similar ban for the stomp on De Gea at the end… I guess some like that sort of stuff (or would like to see that kind of “passion” at Arsenal…), but to me it’s beyond the pale…

    Sorry… 😦

    That *should* do it for settling the CL places, but United weren’t all that convincing seeing out the match…And, of course, Arsenal (and City) can’t take anything for granted either…

  • that’s not passion HT that’s stupidity, you should know that or are you just being flippant?

  • It’s criminal, if you ask me…

    Still, I thought people wanted more red cards from Arsenal…Or certainly I’ve read such things comparing Arsenal teams from different parts of the Wenger era (i.e., Highbury–Viera, Keown, Adams, etc. vs Emirates, foreign lady-part) era…

    But, yes, that could be considered flippant… 😀

    Chavs up 2-nil early at Hull…QPR down a goal as well vs Everton…

  • Good stuff Totes !…….yeah we were lucky, but who cares at this stage of the season, if it were still the Trannie Window, I`d rather buy up all the lucky heather, rabbits foots and four leaf clovers than a player !.
    The Manshafter/Bindipper game was one of those where any result was good, just means we have a MWG against the Bindippers next time out and that would put us 9 points in front of them and virtually rule them out for 4th !.
    Hard to make out who was our MotM yesterday as after half time only Ospina kept us in it, he dives quicker than my BK WAG`s !. hahaha
    I cant see where Chambers is an upgrade on Jenkinson as a RB, maybe he is a future CB or DM, but he gets beat far too easy by any quick skilful winger for my liking. He is an athlete, but one who has stamina, his speed is OK but it`s not quick over the first few yards, he takes time to get up and start motoring !. He`d probably catch Alexis, but over a long distance not the first 20 yards !.
    As for this pressing stuff to combat, it needs players to be able to have confidence in each other for playing the ball about and not panicking and have the quick players as an outlet for the counter attack !…..this is a department we have plenty of speed in….Bellerin, Akpom, Ox, Alexis and Theo !… wont find a quicker quintuplet outlet !.
    So why do we struggle with such technical players and speedsters ?. That is why the Bindipper game is such an interesting one as we know they will press us until we are squeezed dry !…….I`ll get on to ebay and see how much lucky stuff I can buy, before the game!…..we will need it !.
    It wont be for the faint hearted !…..that will be me !… I`m grateful to you brave bastards for allowing the BK WAG`s to comfort me behind my Sofa of Doom whilst you fcukers have an heart attack from the stress of watching !. 😀

  • F11ngers… I’m glad we *agree* about passing being the way to beat teams which press…

    In truth, I think we’ve struggled (a lot) this season against physical teams who maintain good spacing. IMO, we just have too many players who want to play their way out of trouble with multiple touches (dribbling). When they’re as good as Alexis or Santi (or Ox or Sicky) it’s hard to get too upset.

    The problem is that teammates start to expect the dribbling and stop moving to present the easier, obvious, short-range passing targets, instead hoping that the dribblers will get past a defender or two and make something happen (a goal scoring chance) further upfield. That’s maybe the blood and thunder style you (and many others favor or favour, if we must use the English spelling…) The problem is that if the dribble doesn’t come off it can be a chance the other direction…

    That’s why I value the tippy-tappy style or overloading spaces with 3 v 2s (the “pretty triangles”). I esp. would love to see more of that when we’ve staked ourselves to a lead. It may appear “pointless” but it’s far easier to get the ball back if it’s lost or at least surround the interceptor before he can push the ball forward into dangerous positions. If Ox or Wilshere could stay fit AND improve their decision making they could make guys like Arteta or Santi less critical to our success…

    Anyhow…Just trying to push the discussion forward while we’re “in agreement” (and maybe before you take it the other direction with polemics…)


    Wow…I was watching QPR-Everton but Hull have pulled back to level…Wow…

  • Yep, gotta see the goals at HT, retsub…or maybe our favorite ref, Mike Oliver had a role?… Yellow for Ivanovic just now…Overall, this looks like the kinda match which makes the English game so fun to watch…

    Cockie, has his fingers on…the pulse of the matter…We *should* do better with all the pace in the team AND luck is huge… A bit more and we’d be through in the CL, a bit less and we might’ve dropped some points yesterday…

    Going to HT, they’re pointing the finger at Cortois…

  • Hahaha…….My award winning style of watching Arsenal with no stress ……..( record game and only watch if we win ! )…..had me thinking !…..when was the last time I watched Arsenal lose or even draw a game ?…….well my stressed out rectum receivers !……it was ….25/09/2010….went to see us against West Brom at home and we got beat 3-2 !……I remember it for a few reasons….1) me and my sons 1st and up to date only loss (or draw) at the Ems !…….2) Nasri played a blinder, scored 2 and hit the bar !……..3) Almunia saved a penalty just before half time to keep it 0-0………..4) I say I don’t do tactics !….but, Eboue and Diaby were playing like they were dying !…..( funny !, I`m sure that was when Diaby contacted the Eboue Virus and hasn`t been seen since ! )….I said to my son at half time ….” we (Wenger) need(s) to take them two off and quickly before the post mortem examiner arrives !”, well my technically gifted know all`s, he only went and subbed the pair of them…..wait for it !…..after…..56 mins !……fcuk me !, that`s unheard of !…..2 subbed after only 56 mins and not due to injuries !. So there you have it…….I know when someone is playing shit and should be subbed !. hahaha

  • True 17ho !……..everyone ( the press and pundits ) one has been slagging us off for the CL exit, but, I feel we didn`t get the rub of the green ( and the game stats basically prove that ! ) and on any other occasion we would have gone through !….they were fcuking lucky. but if you can afford to park the yacht, then luck seems to follow you…..just look at Chavs CL win !.

  • Hope Hull can keep it up, they have made Chelsea look very ordinary. Cahill and Luis are looking very dodgy. First half Hull had about 13 attempts. To Chelsea’s 3.

  • Cockie…I remember that game because I watched it in Tacoma, Washington with Timmy the Tooth of 7amkickoff fame… Diaby did look unfit…Eboue just out for his usual stroll… Carlos Vela needed to do more down the stretch… Nasri did all his work right at the end to give us a late chance, didn’t he?…

    Chavs maybe had the bigger let down going out as they did (at home) in the CL and are wobbling just a bit after the So’ton draw…They *need* to get full points today or it’ll be rather “up for grabs.”

    I saw the Cortois dance moves at HT…might take a lesson from Sir Chez, perhaps… 😀

  • Hello, people! 🙂

    I’d just like to say that I totally agree with you, Total Arsenal, about Coquelin. 🙂

    Oh, and Steven Gerrard is the most overestimated captain ever.

  • Loic Remy scores… 😦

    Hey Admir… The only question I have about Le Coq is why he won’t wear the mask…He’s taken a bloody nose almost every match since he broke it!…

    Gerrard, post match, apologized but didn’t want to talk too much about the incident…on the advice of his solicitor, maybe?…

  • My only criticism of Le Cog Bloque, is his distribution !………………just give it to one of the others Le Coqie !……you`re no Ozil !…….just do what you`re good at….protecting our defence and breaking up play !…..think of yourself as the back 4`s condom !…….Le French Letter !.

  • T , i TOTALly agree about le coq being incredible in the match. I was actually surprised how few comments i saw on twitter about his performance.. ., not as though it was subtle, he was everywhere, and i guarantee that our opponents midfidlders and attackers despise him., he harasses and disrupts so much, and gets us the ball going the other way., just what great teams need…

  • I read that one @ Me Amigo

    but I was on about your 100% record in the EPL as well as the FA cup this season – the CL doesn’t count – I do remember that preview and also you mentioning going to the land south of you ; )

    you do like travelling , don’t you ? was it Chile , Peru or Mexico last summer ?

    now now – you can write all the previews you reckon you might be missing before leaving the country 😀 Arsenal needs you more than Colombia for now 👿

    only joking – have a great holiday and do remember that if we fail to win then it’s all your fault.


  • FWIW

    A quick airport comment… Or two

    A. Passing beats pressing if it’s fast. To be fast players have to be moving (off the ball). If you’re knackered, you’re moving less or less spritely = less passing to beat press. Was glad to see some folks rested. We will see over break. Timing is good for us.

    B. 17: remember it will be ALLLLLLL your fault! Good news Tho is that will spare Ozil some blame? 🙂

    Cheers — jgc

  • Hey 007…you watching the Spanish football?…

    El teatro del clasico is a little much…and the ref is earning his keep… Somehow, Barca have recovered from the Neymar miss which should’ve made things 2-ni but led to the goal at the other endl… The Bale goal should’ve stood as well (i.e., 2-2 at this point would be about right)…

    Yeah, gotta travel on wife and kid’s Spring break… Colombia seems a MUCH bigger adventure… but a good one for the coffee hound…

    WIDE OPEN Suarez LOOKED OFF by Neymar who blasts high… He’s young, I guess…

  • Neymar is keeping RM in this match (with all the misses…)

    I *think* I’ll be able to write the Pool preview… Burnley away (not a gimme, just ask ManCity…) might be tougher…

    Good point, professor, about Ozil…If your travels are over (for awhile at least) you could fill in for that one…

  • yes, I am watching it and thought Bale was unlucky to have his legit goal ruled out due to offside

    Neymar really is a very overrated player.

  • 2nd half it’s been Barca all over Real – should have been 4-1 by now but like you said, Neymar keeps Real in this.

    the quality is top notch minus the theatrics and all the rolling and imaginary cards being flashed.

  • another chance goes begging for Barca.

    by the way, TV5 is on the bench for barca 👿

  • haha there were a few snipers in the stands during that game lol
    great amateur dramatics, makes for a very entertaining watch for the neutral 🙂

  • @17 – I don’t think Bale’s goal was good.

    I’d like to see Bale at Arsenal, especially if Arsene decides to sell Walcott.

  • Just a quick reply to Steve @13:26

    I will put you answer down under the category of ‘Selective Deflection’, by only concentrating on the first sentence of that paragraph.
    Where the naivety comes in is where you only seem to see Arsenal having a great game when they control the game by possession and scoring multiple wonderful goals during the entire 95 minutes, and when they lose possession, that equals ‘shite’ … of their play or players, just shite. Great simplistic comment.

    Yes indeed you go on to say that a certain type of play inflicted on us causes us to be shite, but in this case, with no other analysis of circumstances, ie player fatigue, etc. Just shite.
    Great simplistic comment.

    If you want to write like a child who wants trifle for pudding every day of the week, then go ahead.
    If you are going to write serious stuff that you do not fully believe, but just to create a discussion, then I will leave that to other to join in.

    As for your historical list of shiteness, we could agree that the missing piece(s) has been a solid DM, to which Coquelin has highlighted far more than the other makeweights that have played their best when the team was not as strong as it is now. But that is not going to change this season .. unless the tactical suggestion I keep putting forward of have Gabriel there alongside FC34. But you don’t seem to want to offer positive suggestions?

    I shall leave you to your recurring nightmare, because what you wish for is not going to happen.
    Why? Because we are playing a system that is grinding out results. It does not suit every player to bring their talents to the fore. But the players are trying there very best.


  • Why had Martin Skrtel not been pulled up by the FA..?

    His stamp was every bit as malicious as Gerrards, yet nothing from the ‘Powers that Be’…

    Swept under the carpet perhaps?

    FA fudge perhaps?

  • Jesus Christ Gerry, have you met me? lol

    I spend my entire time here biging up OX, Wilshere, Coquelin and the like, passionate players who give their all every game and battle for everything. However what nearly all the players i rate and back constantly have in common is that they don’t score any fucking goals lol, hardly ever lol. I am happy when we put up a fight, put a shift in and play passionately throughout the team – fuck the score mate. Don’t forget i’m always the one shouting for Ozil to get stuck in whilst missing the pretty assists and goals he adds – its my whole ethos towards rating the team. pretty possession and multiple goals is definitely not my main interest, that i always feel will come when we have our tempo and workrate at a maximum throughout the team.
    But i’m fucking bored of repeating this defense now as it must be the third or forth time by now lol.

    I said to TA that i would probably agree with him that the drop in tempo and fight for the ball during the second half of the Newcastle match was as he said likely down to fatigue in this instance. However whatever the cause was, i jumped at the chance to highlight the result – which was the same as it was for the full 90 with no fatigue in other high tempo, strong pressing games this season (Dortmund, Pool, Spuds etc). I think people forget how badly we perform against the pressing strategy as the weeks go by so saw this as a rare opportunity to show the contrast during a single match but definitely added later that fatigue had probably played a part in the cause IN THIS INSTANCE.

    Not too sure what you were talking about when you made the “historical list of shiteness” reference but as far as Coquelin goes he is my shining light in the battle to prove my point, young, technically under developed (compared to Arteta etc), raw but PASSIONATE AND HARDWORKING AND FIT!! He puts a shift in and battles and oh how we have missed that in seasons gone by and its the same thing i call for all over the pitch mate. I want attackers like Sanchez who are skilled but also aggressive in pressing and defending, i want it all over the pitch thats why i say give me OX, Wilshere, Coquelin, Sanchez etc.

    Right i don’t have the effort to type anymore (I’ve got trifle for pudding again tonight lol) so i will leave the ball in your court on this one 🙂

  • Yeah, that’s great news 007…

    Hopefully we can put the Scousers out of their misery this Easter.

    I got a feeling that we can run the Chavs very close this season.

  • Admir,

    getting rid of Theo and Poldi = Reus/Drax – yes but Bale ? now that be a game changer and a champions league winner for sure.

    as much as I rate both Reus and Draxler, none of them come close to Bale.

    but it’s the £100 million question though. We can afford him, yes , will we get him ? no chance.

    should we ? YES.

    both me and Glics are massive Bale fans here but don’t think there be very many of them here though, ha

    if there is one player , I be willing to spend £100 million on then it’s Bale.

    sell both Theo and Jack wilshere = £60 million + £40 million = Bale.

    sorted ?

  • indeed, they already have a few players out due to injury (maybe being rest for the Arsenal game)

    either way, you feel we can run them very close @ Allez and I feel we can win it.

    one blip, 2 losses or 2 draws for the Chavs and we are right back in it to win it – it’s not over until the fat lady sings.

  • @007

    I’m not so sure Real would ask for 100 millions for Bale unless City, United or Chelsea make that sort of offer. They’ll probably try to refresh their team with new toys (Reus, Pogba/Vidal, Kane?) and they’ll get the money by selling either Bale or Benzema.

    The thing is, Greg Dyke apparently wants to increase the home-grown quota from 8 to 12 so selling our English players would require signing new ones. I guess the poor chap means quantity would eventually lead to quality.

  • Bale is a homegrown player though.

    sooner rather than later, you’ll have Gnabry (theo’s replacement) up and running as well and he will also be a homegrown player.

    Dan Crowley is another one waiting in the wings and in 2-3 years time, he will be right up there.

    Both Jack Wilshere and Theo walcott are injury prone. I don’t expect Jack Wilshere to return to his brilliant best, as bad as this may make me look – I will be blunt, once your ankle’s have gone , they have just gone, doesn’t matter how AW tries to protect him with his, pins only coming out, will be a few days to 5 days before it heals – has been more than 5 weeks now. The lad can’t take the rigours of top quality football, not the lad but the lads ankles. His running style and style of play will always invite rough tackles. Time to get maximum value out of him is what one part of me says but then again, he is Arsenal through and through so if we can stick by Diaby, then we stick by JW and we keep him.

    let’s sell Sczny istead and hope someone offers us £20 million for him 😀

    conclusion – we keep both Theo and JW and sell Sczny 👿

    Dyke has no idea what he’s on about. it will make our league a joke. they want all the tv money and what not – they get it because of all the foreign players. Players like Rooney and co are only labelled or seen to be world class because of all the foreign players playing around them and not because they are that good.

    Jack Wilshere was the same, Cesc made him look good.

    then you had the likes of Fat Frank playing with all his amigos at Chel$sea

    Stevie G had his spanish amigos making him look 5 star.

    put all these players together in one team and you come out with an average international team, making up the numbers.

  • Hi

    Was going to note the Skrtel stamp, but will add that he will thus miss (seems open/shut case) Arsenal but also the FA cup replay … For us, he hurt us last time, so that will be nice enough. But, if Pool went out in the FA cup, as well???

    Re Bale, I am a Bale fan in terms of type of play and such. I am intrigued by your mathematics JB of Poldi + Theo + JW + some extra dosh = Bale

    I am sure I can hear TA muttering somewhere!!! 🙂

    Given some of our stronger youth perhaps coming through, like Gnabry and Zelalem, perhaps that is an affordable route?

    I am intrigued at a hypothetical level but not sure it would happen as Arsenal are not that big a deal swinger (we tend to be 1 for 1 types and in separate deals).

    What **might** see it happen is if AW and Co make a decision that this time they aren’t going to let Theo keep them swinging on time and form, and decide to sell and be done, then it gets interesting.

    cheers — jgc

  • Hi all..
    No Bale for me.. and Wenger also.. hahaha..
    Too big waste money to bring Bale to Emiratea.. Walcott..Welbeck.. Ox are avaliable in RW position.. And what about Dybala??

    I love Hakan from leverkusen.. bring him and sold Wilshere and Rosicky
    Somehow Rosicky must leave soon or later..
    With Podolski as a bargain plus some cash.. I think Leverkusen will agree..

    And Kondogbia or Carvalho.. to replace Arteta and Flamini..
    So 2 in and 4 out.. I think it’s a good buy.. hahaha..

  • Wait.. with Podolski and Campbell out it will be 3 in 6 out
    Dybala.. Hakan.. Carvalho/Kondogbia in
    Podolski.. Campbell.. Wilshere.. Rosicky.. Arteta and Flamini out..
    Rosicky and Arteta are great players.. but we can’t keep them forever..
    Others include Wilshere were not my favourite players at all…
    If City want to buy Wilshere.. let them do it..
    Szczesney also is not my man.. hehe.. so if someone want him.. just let him go.. hehehe

  • Sorry guys, but I cannot get into these notions of “franchise players” like G. Bale… if we want to poke a finger in the eyes of our local rivals, gimme little Luka (as a long term fill in for Santi and Arteta)…Regardless, neither will ever happen. 007 (and his sauce?) are on the right track that Bale would be part of the “rebuilding” up at Man City…

    I say, OGAAT, and there’s still plenty to play for this season. Alas, with this (insane) Int’l break we have to talk about something… Between TA getting a “real” job and Arsenal winning all those matches, the blog has almost died–or at least gone into hibernation…

    (Someone will also have to explain the tiff above between the two guys–Steve and Gerry–who normally tend to agree on all the U-21s who are gonna get us over the top on youthful exuberance… Is Chuba Akpom the Center Forward equivalent of Semi Ajayi now that he’s off on loan to TA’s current location?… If I had a pound for every time Akpom–or Joel Campbell or Isaac Hayden, etc., etc, etc–was mooted for a starting 11, I could buy pints for everybody and we all could get along…)

    (Not to say that I don’t love a youth-come-good story, myself….Bellerin and Coquelin, new contracts and all, deserve a drink raised up in their direction… People are being too harsh on Chambers, at the moment, who also contributes very well at times–at least as much as say Luke Shaw up at ManU…)

    There’s still plenty to play for and I think we’re looking pretty good for the run-in. We could deliver a big blow with a solid match vs Pool upon the return. If we can get all the points in that one. it bodes well for a(n easy) CL spot as well as the matches at Wembley. I’m not as optimistic as some and I still believe Chelsea will wobble home with the title but nobody will be happy (anywhere in England) and the failings in the CL will loom large.

    We probably weren’t truly ready to compete in both “leagues,” but we had more than our share of mishaps. Injuries, of course, but also not buying a Gabriel (a mature CB) a window earlier looms large.

    In truth, I think we still have A LOT of unexplored potential. Alexis carried the team in the Autumn but seems a bit at sea as Ozil has come back into the team. For me, this is the big one. If those two can start playing together we’ve got a juggernaut. Since Messy has returned Giroud’s goals have accumulated but Alexis have dried up. Alexis should be 20+ to Ollie’s 15, I think, with guys like Rambo, Santi, Ozil and Theo/Ox/Welbeck all getting towards 10. As such, for me at least, there’s no need to spend stupid (Oiler-garch levels of) money to build around a new franchise player. More possession (i.e., the ability to kill games when we’ve gotten a lead…) and being able to control the middle of the pitch with and w/o the ball, for me, are the real keys. Yes, we may need another player who can spell Giroud when he’s tired (Sanogo’s loan is NOT the reason Palace are doing well, at the moment, I fear…) but it’s more about tweaking than a complete tear-down and rebuild. Schneiderlin is still my call for the big off-season purchase, assuming the Kondogbia (Ozil) shirt swap were just souvenirs…

    Anyhow, enough said (for now) Happy Int’l football for those who enjoy such things… :/

  • @17 – I think that Alexis enjoys when we play a high pressing on our opponents’ defence. The thing is, we’ve been playing more responsible football for a while with a deeper back-line so Alexis can’t get enough chances to release his deadly right-footers. Why he and Özil haven’t clicked yet in a way we have all expected? Well, Alexis prefers to have the ball in his feet and Özil likes to release the player with a perfect pass into the space. I think that’s the main reason why Özil’s passes suit Welbeck and even Theo more than Alexis. I can recall of one perfect chance Özil has created for Alexis – that counter-attack against Crystal Palace when Alexis should have put the game in bed.

    (Speaking of Özil, the whole Berlin thing wasn’t needed as it will be blown out of proportions by the media vultures.)

    I’d disagree on our options for the right wing. Yes, we look very covered on that position but Theo hesitates with a new contract, Chamberlain is seen as a central attacking midfielder by Wenger and Gnabry has had a loooooooooong spell on the sidelines. Bale can operate at all three attacking positions – on the right wing, left wing and as a central attacking midfielder, qualifies as a home-grown player and his capture would be a massive blow for Spuds.

    Luka Modrić? That ship has sailed about seven years ago. He’ll be 30 in September, Real won’t sell him as they had been crap without him and it’s not like we are short of injury-prone central midfielders who lack physical presence.

    @007 – have you read that article on the official page that suggests Szczesny has been better for us this term than Ospina? I like Chez but…

  • Hey Admir… Very fine points about Alexis and balls to feet… Nobody loves the give and go like he does, which is why I think he (Alexis) seems more in sync with Santi and Ollie rather than (always moving…) Messy… That little burst of acceleration which he shares with Jack Wilshere (he of sell-him-now or hold him like Diaby comparisons 😦 …) might work a charm…

    Anyhow, my larger point is that–no matter how many tabloids say we will–we’re not gonna be in the market for any “mega” signings. If Ancelloti were to leave RM and take Bale with him it would be to City as 007 suggests. Arsene-L are clearly (IMO) not working the top end of the market but are looking for value wherever they (he) can find it. As such, Alexis and Ozil were relative bargains (esp. in terms of wages) compared to the likes of DiMaria and Falcao or even Cesc and Diego Costa (who is closer to 36 than the 26 yrs old he’s listed as)… If Bale comes back to England we’re talking record signings and Rooney or Yaya Toure wages (double what our guys make)… I think we’re looking at somebody demanding what Theo seems to be asking. Whether that’s gonna be Theo himself seems unlikely as there are so many others out there who have better health and scoring records (or are younger…) and would jump at the chance to come to Arsenal… If Bale to City (or Chavs) doesn’t happen, I’d expect Theo headed there… more frowny face… All this English talk about more home grown players is exactly NOT what is needed to move the game forward… (IMO, of course)…

    You’re right about Luka Modric as too old–to be a good buy–and RM aren’t gonna let him go. Guys like him can have long careers but (as you mentioned) he’s also had injury troubles. Overall, I just think fans of the English game (constantly) undervalue the technically proficient ball-distributors like him (or a Pirlo) or our own Spaniards (Santi and Arteta). Indeed it is tougher in England w/o the ref protection, but a quick dribble out of trouble and the ability to “switch the pitch” is as important as a powerful charge upfield with the ball… In my opinion, of course… 😀 As much as Le Coq has been a revelation, playing Santi alongside (or nearly so) has quietly been just as important a move from the manager…

    Speaking of… It’s that time of year…So are you also looking for a new manager? (As you were a year ago…)


  • Evening Gooner’s
    With the new possible home grown player increase happening surely keeping Jack and Theo is a must.
    I rate Theo very highly and the man has been out of action for a whole year and it will take a good while to get him up to full speed again. For me there is no way we should be selling him.
    Jack also is a English player with a lot to offer , With Arteta , Rosicky and Flemini aging we should be keeping hold of him. The only problem is there injury record which is worrying but a couple more seasons to see how they get on first for me.
    Plus there is Diarby who sadly will have to be released at the end of the season.
    So we have room for our English lads imo
    Selling them would be a bad move.

  • Our team is very strong now.
    I think Wenger saw this coming as he seems very much in touch with the politics in the football world.
    He has brought a lot of English players and brought very well lately so i thing if it changes then we have nothing to really worry about.
    Chambers, Ox, Welbeck lately.
    I think we are still in touch with Chelsea, just though. Any slip ups and we won’t be.
    We could have done with them winning there CL match really.
    It is a great challenge to set the lads though, chase down Chelsea and win the title 🙂

  • What do you guys make of Ozil being photographed in a nightclub just hours after missing the match with Newcastle, claiming that he was feeling sick.?

  • you mean what do we make of AW resting Ozil and giving him permission to go to Germany before they played 4 days later ? absolutely nothing and perfectly fine @ PG

    he wasn’t sick – it was a Wenjury (rested) as Germany are playing tomorrow hence he was given time to recover.

    also, guys it’s not about the quantity but quality.

    like JGC says, it’s all hypothetical’s and I did the math to get Bale in. IF there is one area where we can afford to lose and strengthen the numbers then that’s midfield(JW) and on the wing(THEO, Poldi).

    I don’t want to lose JW or Theo as I like both but if Theo doesn’t sign da ting and JW doesn’t give us 5 games in a row then there is little point in living a fools dream.

    no, not read that one @ Admir but if that’s what they are implying and if that’s what the thesis is then BLIMEY, what else can I say ? Ospina has been absolutely top notch and 4.5 star if not 5 out of 5 for me, considering it’s his first season and is only returning from a long term injury.

    he has contributed immensely towards the stability and progress of the team.

    if we are doing the numbers game then get rid of Flamini/Poldi/Diaby and then get Schnerdelin – that’s the only realistic one we can fit in and then decide on Joel.Campbell – if we decide he is not good enough then sell him and in turn, get Reus/ Draxler = sorted.

  • not sure how many of you here follow cricket but my word,

    that NZ vs S.Africa semi final was a nail bitter – what a game !

    congratulations to all you kiwis out there (Fozzie B) and the Kiwi resident (JGC).

    Aus vs NZ in the final ? I would say so.

  • Thanks for the Santi film 007.
    He is pure class, Ozil should take note.
    I did think it may have been a Wengjurey and it may well have been let’s hope so if not then its bad. As he was allowed to go to Germany it probably was.

  • PG, not an Ozil fan? You like the other German players (Mertesacker, who, as I recall, you wanted as Captain, and Poldolski…) but not Ozil? As much as I love Santi Cazorla, Ozil, I think, is an additional step up… Of course, others disagree…

    If you’ve got your own reasons for not liking Messy, tell us… Don’t let the haters make up your mind for you… Here’s a pretty good analysis of how the business works…

  • PG, the British Press/Media have never fully gotten over Arsenal signing Mesut Ozil, it flew in the face of all their carefully constructed and crafted anti-Arsenal prejudices.
    And made them look the vacuous fools that we know them to be…

    Therefore they’ve set about rubbishing our German magician at every opportunity…

    Strangely enough, I’ve not heard hardly any proper Arsenal fans doing likewise.
    In fact, quite the opposite…
    Most Arsenal fans I talk to/blog with, think he’s a fabulous player…

  • All

    quick three points for 17, JB, Allez and all others

    1. Good article on Ozil and good point about media hating being wrong and equally driving the narrative or their own profit (not the teams!). I suspect that the players and teams know this so only the weak minded are swayed and others may use it as an excuse but really… they are professionals etc and no doubt around AW know exactly the score.

    2. JB says it all with “.. but if Theo doesn’t sign da ting and JW doesn’t give us 5 games in a row then there is little point in living a fools dream” .. that too, per above, is my concern. Theo playing hardball for whatever reasons. It’s his call but while I like him on the wing and want to keep him, it’s also not valuable to play chicken with the teams wing play if one can plan ahead. Uncertainty is in the air for him with Welbeck and others around, but equally for him coming off injury and trying to drive a bargain that would force AW to play him.

    If there is anything to this, and there may well not be (see thing above about media! 🙂 ), then it might be time to look at things quite strategically and without emotion? Same for JW. Love what he does but will he come right or is he a Diaby in the making with injuries. If that uncertainty doesn’t bother you, no matter how much you rate him (and I rate him highly), then you are not seeing fully straight. And it is a great uncertainty… Sadly for Diaby and those like him who are just injury prone

    3. JB + Cricket… I live here, remember!!!?!?!!! 🙂 …. Freaking awesome!

    cheers — jgc

  • One for all of us to enjoy
    and unstoppable force!!
    Happy interlull everyone

  • most improved player of the season?
    the candidates imo have to be Coquelin, OX and Monreal but any more suggestions are welcome.

    Who takes the honors so far this season then lads??

  • Coquelin by a country mile. In my opinion introducing Le Coq and Ospina to the team has turned the team around. Good call Monreal though

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