The CoCa wall – with Rambo, Ozil, Alexis behind OG: Hull Line-Up | Preview

A Monday Night in May. Where Does Motivation Come From as the Season Winds Down?

A trip to Hull. On a Monday night. The League Title celebrated the day before in South London. Can this Arsenal team find the motivation to play professionally and put the hurt to a team playing for survival? It’s a real question but one which I think we can answer in the affirmative.


Let’s make no bones about it, Hull will test us. Their recent wins at Crystal Palace and, in their own KC Stadium, against Liverpool, have stopped their late season fall towards the relegation zone. The teams looking for a way up and out of that part of the table have targeted Hull and their very difficult final matches, including this one. With those wins, however, Hull have reversed their slide and now look a good bet to stay up. They can afford to drop points to us, but why should they? The easiest time to play well–and spring another upset–is when you’re already doing so. If you can do it in front of your home support, all the better.

Luckily, Arsenal have enough experience playing Steve Bruce’s team to take nothing for granted. Last season, in this same fixture, also played late on, we survived an early (mostly) aerial onslaught and then won 3-nil on a goal from Aaron Ramsey and a brace from Lukas Poldolski. Hull brought a similar style to the FA Cup final at Wembley and their two early goals from set pieces meant Arsenal needed goals from Santi Cazorla and Laurent Kolscielny to level things in regular time. That got us to extra time, where Aaron Ramsey was able to slot home so that Arsenal could lift its first trophy in almost a decade.

While those matches might be a template for Hull’s approach to Monday’s match, they’ve also shown that they can hurt us from open play. In the reverse fixture played back in October, Arsenal were lucky to escape with a single point. It looked like it might be an easy one, but, after an early Alexis goal, Hull were able to equalize quickly through Mohamed Diame and then frustrate us for the remainder of the first half. Taking advantage of slack defending immediately after the half time talk, a quick cross from Ahmed Elmohamady found the head of Abel Hernandez to make it 2-1. From there, Hull proved extremely difficult to break down and only a 91st minute goal, made when Alexis was able to break through their lines to find Danny Welbeck, grabbed us the consolation point.

That match was a real low point for Arsenal this past Autumn, and we were missing several players who have now become fixtures in our first 11. Since the beginning of 2015 things have been much better and we were able to beat Hull in rather routine and convincing fashion (2-nil) when the finalists faced each other in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. Already, at that time, Bruce seemed to be girding his group for the relegation battle they now face. With their two recent wins they sit on 34 points and cannot fall into the bottom 3 no matter the result of this one. For this we should be grateful. Their fine recent play has come through patience and commitment along with the emergence of a new scoring threat in Dame N’Doye. They will not be easy to break down and we must beware their threat on the break.
They are also very good at frustrating through their use of the entire pitch. Former Spurs Michael Dawson, Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore can control the ball from deeper central positions and Elmohamady is always dangerous on the wing. Beware also experienced players like Gaston Ramirez and Sone Aluko. We may catch a break as Diame and Nikita Jelavic are listed as injury doubts and the imposing defender Curtis Davies is definitely out. What Hull might lack in pace they make up for in size and graft; they will look to slow the match through set pieces and take advantage of the lack of height our current #1, David Ospina, presents at these opportunities.

Arsenal, by contrast, and for the first time in several seasons, do not seem in particular danger of relegation from our own minimum standard: qualification for next season’s Champions League tournament via a top-four finish. Currently, we sit six points clear of 5th place Liverpool with this match to play and an additional game in hand. With another FA Cup final on the horizon and in a tight race for 2nd place with the two Manchester teams, Arsenal would be well minded to play with full professionalism to find a way through another team set out to stop us.

It’s tempting to believe that doing so against Hull might prove easier than in our last match vs. Chelsea. We must, however, bring a similar effort and not let our guard down, thinking Hull will be a pushover. Against Chelsea, and in other matches against stout defenders, notably AS Monaco in the Champions League, we’ve had trouble maintaining spacing and remaining patient in attack. I think we’ll go with a largely unchanged line-up but there must be a full commitment to using the entire pitch with players moving smartly to cover for others going central or forward in attack and then taking the chances as they are offered. High balls in to our focal point, CF Olivier Giroud, should be alternated with tighter combinations and balls to his feet. Most of all, our remaining attackers must keep running, chasing the loose balls and filling spaces to pounce on opportunities, while remaining committed to preventing Hull from moving with the ball in the other direction. Using the full backs and deeper lying midfielders with intelligence and an eye for getting back quickly will be key.

As such, my guess is that we’ll go with an unchanged line-up from the one used in our previous three league matches, though we may see early subs if Hull are able to frustrate us or if we fall behind. Ideally a couple of early goals might allow a chance to work in players coming off long-term injuries who might need a chance to prove themselves as the run-in continues.

First 11:

ars v hull May 15

Subs: Szczesny, Gibbs, Gabriel, Flamini, Wilshere, Welbeck, Walcott

As always, that’s just my best guess. Could Arsene Wenger, fearing a let down after the Chelsea match, ring the changes to perhaps suggest that nobody’s place is safe? I believe our ability to play a consistent group has been a key in our improved form this winter and into the spring. Still, given our reasonably secure position in the table, it may be time to start thinking more deeply about the future and give players a chance to contribute ahead of the Cup final, not to mention the summer transfer window. My hunch is that such rotation begins next week, at our home stadium, against a mid-table team with nothing to play for (Swansea).

My opinion, of course, matters exactly the same as other Gooners’, and not at all compared to Wenger’s. Other Gooners may have (very) different ideas: Please share yours. Hull away, I think, is an opportunity to further refine our solid balance between defending and attacking and continue to grow understanding and connection amongst our core group of players. Finishing as high up the table as possible is important, as is preparing in professional fashion for the FA Cup final and showing the best that Arsenal can be.

Go on then…
By: 17highburyterrace

134 thoughts on “The CoCa wall – with Rambo, Ozil, Alexis behind OG: Hull Line-Up | Preview

  • Great preview, 17. The predictable line-up and hard to argue against…. I am so hoping to see Jack start and in the hole and Ozil on the ‘wing’, and Rambo next to Le Coq. It is time to get Jack to playing footie again and this is a good game. But it is indeed unlikely to happen and I am fine with that too. Looking forward to the game v much and lets hope the boys pick up momentum again. UTA! 🙂

  • Great preview as always 17. Line up fairly predictable and cant argue with it. I would however prefer to see us play with two actual wingers and not Ramsey out wide. We already know Hull will park the bus, and as we have seen v Chelsea and Reading when Ramsey plays he is inclined to cut in meaning we not only lack width but also have nobody running in behind, Giroud certainly isnt gonna do it.
    Thus I would prefer to see Ozil flanked by two wingers, meaning Alexis and D-Money/Walcott.
    This would mean Ramsey and Santi then compete for the other spot next to Coquelin, and honestly which of the two plays would not bother me.
    But really if Wenger goes for the expected line-up, I’ll have no complaints, but I will not be surprised to see us struggle to create once again, one can say Chelsea are specialists at parking but Reading employed the same tactic quite effectively for 120 minutes.
    If we know they are going to park, I see no reason to wait until 2nd half before bringing on more pace (and width), and by now it seems Welbeck and/or Theo will be the automatic subs in such a situation. Also hope Jack and/or Rosicky get game time.

  • I always look forward to another arsenal game. The players should still be motivated as they are playing for a spot in the team for the fa cup final. I’d prefer to see a proper winger on the right instead of ramsey as well. Wilshere played well for the U21s last time I watched, hopefully he makes an appearance at some point in this game.

  • Hi all..
    Damn City win.. hope it will be draw.. We must wait another week for our second place..
    But hey.. anyone realize.. that tonight we can celebrate our st. Totteringham’s day.. hahaha..

    I believe in our depth team.. so Wenger can pick anyone.. hehe.. and we still can win.. hahaha..

    FA Cup is our top priority now.. not second place.. So Wenger must rotate more.. cause Sanchez won’t be there for us.. We must find his replacement soon before Villa become stronger and stronger.. hehe..

    Happy St. Totteringham’s day guys..

  • Back to the real world of trying to win a game, and once again HT you have set the scene perfectly … and the difficulty of getting a win.Time well spent. Thank you.

    I am not quite so sure the same team will start this time, but the players who are fit and ready make it hard for AW to change it? Perhaps a tweak to a more 4-3-3 by pulling Ramsey back to defensive duties would help. First and foremost we need to control that midfield area, as that is not only our platform going forward, but also will help in limiting their attacks. I also would rather Alexis spend more time in the front line and less defending, vice versa with Ramsey, and this tweak might help?

    It does mean our width will come from our wingbacks, who will have to be alert for their counter attacking style from stubborn defending. This is not going to be a pretty game to watch, but it is one we could do with winning, just to keep the momentum going … along with the 3 points it will bring. However, a nil nil draw is far better than a loss.

    My big worry is we expend far too much energy trying to win the game in the first 45, which is exactly when their defence is strongest. Controlled possession with quick safe passing, even without scoring, will make the second half a whole lot easier. Of course a bit of clinical finishing would not go amiss. Keeping it at nil nil for as long as possible will still mean they will fancy their chances, and after an hour or so may be the best time to put the game to bed. I am a great believer in player’s losing their concentration and desire if their great effort does not get any reward, This applies to both sides, but we have the advantage of good results coming on the back of great team efforts for most of this year. So my advice to our boys is contain them first, and a single late goal will sap their motivation far more than an early one.

    Of course one change in our defence could nullify their height advantage would be to put Gabriel alongside Coquelin? Debuchy might have been another change, although he is only rated at 50% chance of playing on the FFPL site (although that may have been a wenjury?). Hull seem pretty much full strength too, with even has Jelavic a 75% chance of playing.

    I think AW will only introduce those players coming back from injury with his usual 65 minute model. Probably Wilshere for Ozil, and Gabriel for Ramsey/Coquelin, but if we are still looking for a just a run out in an already won game, then whoever makes the bench out of Gnabry, Walcott, and Welbeck would get the nod.

    Just remember folks, we have two games in hand over a much improve City side, so even a point here and winning our other games gives us second place. A win means we could afford the draw at United. But a loss here means we hand City second place!

    That is why I may seem to have a more negative approach to this game. Welcome to the real world folks, this run in is not as easy as the ‘on paper’ view might have us believe.

    Keep the faith …

  • Hi 17

    Good preview, and hard to argue the lineup. Given AW only likes to give you 10/11 on your lineups, I’m going to plump for Welbeck wide and AR deeper, but for no other reason than that…. 🙂

    Been busy here but you’re right complacency is now the enemy…. And I’ll fortune, but that’s always there! :/

    I am hopeful for a composed 2-0….

    Cheers — jgc

  • Gerry and TA

    All agreed.. If we get our 2 before 65 expect some run-ins for good up to speed time. TA, if we see JW, it’s there I think..

    Cheers — jgc

  • nice one, me Amigo – as usual, you have pretty much covered everything.

    but saying that, I think the proof is in the pudding in this one it’s AW saying that we want to finish strongly, which means win all our remaining games , therefore – he won’t change the winning combo or formula.

    I disagree with keeping the same starting 11, mainly because you need all your squad players to come in and do a job in case there was an injury to the regulars.

    So, for this game, I would actually play Welbeck ahead of Giroud and also, Start Theo ahead of Santiago

    can you imagine the trio of Alexis , Welz and Theo playing as the front 3 ?

    The 3 in the middle be Le-Coq, Ramsey and Ozil

    the back 5 picks up itself.

    so, I would go for a 4-3-3 – which can be played as a 4-5-1 at times with Theo remaining up front as both Alexis Saaaaaaaanchez baaaaabyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy and Dat Guy Welbeck helping out in midfield.

    all 3 press and hurry the Hull defence we start quick and score 2 or 3 in the first 20 or 30 minutes.

    which then allows us to control the game and bring on the likes of Jack Wilshere, Flamini and Gibbs into play later.

    Yes, most of you be saying -why change something when it’s not broke (hence stick with the same starting 11) – my argument to that would be, why wait for something to be broke before changing it ?

    we have a few big weeks coming, and also the FA cup final – the players need to be well ready for that both in terms of match fitness and sharpness and also because due to this rotation, no one takes their place for granted.

    I wouldn’t be against benching Alexis either if that meant starting Theo and accommodating Jack wilshere on the wings or to alternate with Ramsey there.

    if, things don’t go to plan then you’ll have the likes of Giroud, Alexis and Santi to call upon from the bench. that’s plenty of fire power in my opinion.

    Also, missed Nik’s post, it was a good one and I don’t agree with the majority who don’t agree with Henry – even though I don’t think we need as many as 4, but he is right innately, we need 2 maximum signings.

    Kun Aguero needs to be a target, if not him then Martinez – I wouldn’t even be against Benteke, to be honest with you all 3 be an improvement on Giroud.

    Ospina has done well and the stats may flatter but they don’t lie. so am relaxed on that front.

    so who be my 2nd signing ? a Reus, a Draxler or wait for this (glics) , an ISCO 🙂

    but let’s say, if there was one signing we were to get and we were to put all eggs in one basket, the one of the 2 will do for me.

    Kun Aguero or Bale.

    we sell 5 players, to accommodate and create space for 1 of the above. We play Bale as a striker, he can do a job there and deliver the goods even with his back to the goal.

    financing it might be a problem but we have good terms of engagement with both the likes of RM and MC. with Man city struggling with the FFP, Kun Aguero is there for the taking, considering we can offer them a british player in the exchange plus cash deal.

  • Someone mention ISCO !………………….BOING !

    The usual high standards from the Tahoe Sashquatch Slayer !.
    Went in to work today to take monies in and we have a new infill driver and he`s wearing an Arsenal shirt……he was made most welcome in a sort of stalking way !. hahaha…………….not only that, but a delivery driver turned up and he had an Emirates sign in the windscreen of his van !….we spoke for quite a while and I mentioned the site so he may pop on or just browse !.
    Out now to see if I can find some more Gooners !. hahaha

  • BoOing Booing!

    when I say 5 players out, I mean the following

    Flamini = Gone

    Rosicky = Gone

    Poldi = Gone

    Jenks = Gone

    Joel.C = Gone

    That’s approx £300 k in wages per week cleared for the Marquee signing and maybe about 12-25 million gained in surplus cash after the selling in some cases.

    Kun/Bale isn’t as far fetched as you may think.

    even if you wanted a Cavani for 35 to 40 million, then that is do-able. Cavani is similar to Rooney in the sense that he works his socks off for the team and also is an improvement on Giroud. PSG again have the FFP and will be buying Di Maria at the end of the season hence he is up for grabs. He will do well in our system.

    am not really fussed about adding to our backline since we have 2 players in every position now.also, Hayden will play some part next season, he has been unfortunate with the injuries.

    oh and keep Diaby.

    it’s a bank holiday today, so looking forward to some footy chat and banter, whilst Glics goes on finding some more Goooooooooooooners.

    Thanks for the update on TMHT by the way, hope it’s not as as bad and he’s not ended up back in prison!

    there is one Bk’er who am really beginning to worry about and that be the curious case of Fozzie with a B. with the news of Aussies being executed in Indonesia for drug trafficking last week, I wondered, if that’s where our Fozzie might be as well 😯

  • Up early as I’ve got myself a bit of a busy Monday and I will need those couple of hours at noon to watch the match… Cheers for the comments and compliments… I’m not sure about your headline, TA. From my travels the Colombians are fairly desperate to get past their history with the drug trade. As such Ospina likely wants no association with anything regarding Coca… 😀

    I might be going for the unchanged 11 because I’ve been burnt in previous weeks by thinking there would be changes! I think the remaining home matches (Swansea, Sunderland, WBA) are where we’ll see a lot more rotation.

    Looking at the bottom of the table we have to believe that Burnley and QPR (sorry Vics…) are done. Villa is playing (very) well but still looks up the table at the Toonies who are in meltdown mode. The other teams down there are the two who represent our “games in hand” –this one at Hull and vs Sunderland in our 2nd to last match. As such, both teams will be looking for points against us, and will try all methods to get them. My point is that it’s a little early to get cavalier. Likewise, although I didn’t get to TA’s post yesterday, any slip up will get us (very) antsy before the cup final and might work against any big narratives on progress, etc. I like our position at the moment, but, Oh-GAAT, I fear, must remain the mantra…

    That doesn’t mean we couldn’t rotate, just that I don’t think AW will. 007 and D-Money are stumping for more pace up front but I think, against a park-the-bus team, pace is negated by the opponent’s willingness to play a deep back-line. If a pacy player (Theo, DW, Alexis…) only has 16 or 18 yards behind the back line, their pace is (at least somewhat) negated. The trick is to come back off that deep line and work the ball in 1-2s with your mates, including the FBs…Those guys can do that, of course, but I think the current bunch of regular starters (esp. Santi and Rambo) do it better…

    So, overall, I’m with Gerry. We play (at least more or less) an unchanged group and know that this will be a tough, tight match. Anything can happen, of course, and if we can break through early Hull will have to come out and then the faster players could be used to help on the counter and with pressing from the front if Hull dare to try and play it out. (Route 1 is the more usual protocol, isn’t it?…) If we go behind or need a goal, pulling Le Coq for a more attacking option seems AW’s pattern. The one area of disagreement would be in using Gabriel as a DM. The one time we brought him on late (at Crystal Palace) we almost shipped two goals and barely hung on for the full points. Communication may have improved since then, but Flamini still seems the obvious choice if we want to shut things down.

  • Good Morning then @ Me Amigo

    you might be right about the changes from Swansea on wards next week.

    we still need a strong finish in order to secure 2nd, worst comes to worse, we end up third, which won’t be an absolute disaster either as long as we avoid finishing 4th. does it really matter whether we finish 2nd or 3rd ? other than being the first losers or the 2nd, it’s the money element I guess.

    re- park the bus team and pace negating it. Well, I would argue that against such teams, you actually need pace to penetrate their back-line and cause a bit of confusion by making those runs against a team which defends deep into their own half. Our defenders play a high line and then we supplement our midfield and attackers. They can camp in their own half as much as they want but remember, all it takes is one mistake and boom our attackers/runners are in area behind them. plus when I say pace, this pace comes with the Width ?

    not only width from the likes of Alexis, Theo or Welbeck but also allows Bellerin to overlap Theo on the right and for Nacho to Overlap Alexis, opening up the pockets of spaces between the lines for Ramsey, Ozil or Santiago.

    I looked at the training pictures and both Diaby and the OX look lean and mean fighting machines!

  • Hey 007, we may have to do a bit of the agree to disagree thing re: tactics and line-ups and on the crazy transfer talk. Are you getting info from your sauce or just hitting the sauce and all the crazy links to these big money players on New Snow?… 😀

    Regardless (and I’m just joshing with ya…), to make this a good bank holiday we have to win tonight’s match… Oh GAAT, (please give us the points…) as they say in Dutch… More 😀

    I’ll have to scoot here pretty soon (sorry, back at match time…) and we’ll have all summer to argue about these kinds of things but I just don’t see us breaking the wage structure given that we’re already playing at a high level. To be clear, our top earners are Wenger, Alexis and Ozil, who are all on a bit over 150K/week. The Manc clubs have top earners at about twice that amount. City will have plenty of room if they sell Yaya. El Kun is going nowhere unless it’s back to Spain. Yes, that might open the door for a(nother) “reject” from that country (i.e., another Alexis or Ozil. maybe a Pedro or Higuain by way of Napoli…) but I just think those teams giving up on a a younger player who cost a ton, i.e., an Isco or a Bale is about as likely as them shipping out Messi or Ronaldo… Sorry, but people don’t call me (on occasion) the voice of reason for nothing… 😀 If we are gonna try and get a City reject (which, by the way, we’ve never tried and they’ve never allowed…), I kinda like Admir’s idea about Dzeko…

    My real hope is that we add further back and I prefer the “terms agreed” stories about Schneiderlin…

  • I don’t do newsnow, so if any of the names I mentioned get linked to newsnow in the future then you should know how that’s happened. wouldn’t surprise me as it’s happened before and then me and Gerry have had to come up with some secret codes when discussing potential targets, ha

    no, it’s my bankholiday chat and hoping to lure the likes of Stevie wonders and the rest of the lurkers into action. Higuain isn’t all that and is doing well where he is and should stay there.

    but since you are the voice of reason and almost entirely on a budget, let’s keep it within our budget.

    150 k per week is the budget ?

    what are the options.

    we can get Cavani for £130 k per week.

    Jackson Martinez same wages as Poldi

    same for Benteke.

    in my mind, I am certain that we will be signing a top level striker. what other position we strengthen, remains to be seen.

    have a good monday then, I might take the bike out for a spin- did 50 Miles last week!!!

  • Nice 007, re the biking… I need to try and squeeze in a run this morning myself…

    The wages we can offer are pretty good but they will tend to attract up and comers not proven guys who already are on the top top (crazy) wages the very few are already making… Indeed, though, plenty of names will be linked. I like the idea of some of our guys, esp. the English lads, getting up to the required level… If all the Ws (Walcott, Welbeck, Wilshere) hit their marks we’ll be looking good and won’t need to dip (too deeply) into the market…

    Benteke is more of a worry for that FA cup final. At his best, he’s very difficult to stop… Luckily we’ll have our taller keeper in for that one… 😀

    OK, now I really have to run (and hide)… 😀

  • JB, I think you are too hung up on Giroud to be objective? AW wants him as part of our future, supported not supplanted. We need him in this game because Hull tend to score from set pieces, and I don’t want Walcott standing on the near post, thank you very much. Welbeck would be better defensively, but rarely wins a header when leading the line?

    Which when HT gets back, is why I like Gabriel in the side against these type of teams. He is also good in attacking the ball on our corners. A goal is coming. As another option, we could go three at the back if we are chasing the game, and push both Bellerin and Monreal/Gibbs further up the field.
    However, I do believe we need to pace ourselves better. Every now and then, keep the ball moving in our half for a few minutes and give the front runners a break?

    I am not getting into TW mode at the moment. Too many daft rumours flying about to the extent that every inquiry is turned into ‘…about to make a £25m bid’, even though the guy make our 6th player we have been linked with in that position. Not worth the effort discussing it right now.

  • Arsene is saying we have a big squad now and will probably move players on !…..then in another quote he say`s 95% of the squad will be here next season, so seeing as we have a squad of 39 players ( players with allocated shirt numbers taken from BBC ), that in my calculations comes to 1.95 players to be sold……. so that`s Pod and Diaby gone !….we keep 0.05% of Diaby, so that will be the only part of his body that has not suffered an injury !……..his cock !.
    Wenger has also said he has not been looking at any players !….this has to be bollox !… good as we have looked squad wise in this late part of the season, we all know that the grim injury reaper can rear it`s ugly head at any time and also that are we to think that Mansour City, Manshafter Std and The Chavs are going to sit on their wallets through the summer ?……no !, they will want to win the EPL and every trophy available !.
    So Arsene ! …..the game moves forward all the time !, no sitting there admiring our FA Cup and 2/3rd finish, we have to be ahead of the game, constantly trying to improve our squad and performances, you know Cockie speaks sense !. 😀

  • It`s been well documented how much I hate the Spuds !….even to the extent that our leader Totes thought that I hated them more than I loved The Arsenal !……must admit, it was a close run with Arsenal just edging ahead !. hahaha
    I hate every thing about them, apart from the players who left them to join us !…………..with the exception of one player !….Jimmy Greaves !….this bastard had a record of ( including England ) scoring 466 goals in 659 games in his career, not bad !.
    Today I read that he suffered a severe stroke and although I cant wait for the celebrations of St Totteringhams Day……..I hope he recovers well and gets his undeniable charm and wit back !.

    Tottenham are forever in Arsenal’s shadow, that’s the boast we hear most often from the Islington faithful but you don’t need to just believe me: let’s hear what their former favourite and scoring legend Jimmy Greaves has got to say.

    In 1994 when George Graham’s Arsenal clinched the Cup Winners Cup in Copenhagen. Greavsie was complimentary, saying:

    “I’m not going to win many friends at Spurs by saying Arsenal are my idea of a football club. In many ways the perfect club.”

    He went on:

    “Many of the principles that have been the hallmark of successful football through the years were refined at Arsenal. It pains me to say it but Bill Nicholson borrowed freely from his rivals when he was putting together his great Spurs side.”

    If that wasn’t enough, in 1998 after Arsenal won the first of Arsène Wenger’s Doubles, Jimmy had this to say:

    “Arsenal have class. I remember when I was at Spurs, the Arsenal players would arrive for matches in their navy blazers with the gold gun emblem sewn into their pockets and grey slacks. We couldn’t match their ground with that beautiful main entrance, marble halls and spiral staircase. Even in 1961 when we won the Double, we were never as big a club as Arsenal.”

    In 2007 he was again considering Tottenham’s poor form at the time and he said:

    “In the early 1960s, Spurs had a great manager and a great team. But they have never been a great club. Even when we had Bill Nicholson as manager and the likes of Dave Mackay, Cliff Jones, Danny Blanchflower and myself, Spurs still lived in the shadow of Arsenal.”

    So there you have it Tottenham fans. Don’t bother with the shades because whatever happens you’ll be forever in our shadow. Greavsie knew it and, deep down, so do you.

  • Haha, Cockie, a little cut and paste and your posts get to be as long as some of mine… Indeed, (nearly) full moon notwithstanding…let’s make this an even darker night up there in Middlesex… I most definitely want to apologize for omitting the St. Totteringham Day implications in the preview… I guess I must’ve felt that it (they…) just didn’t matter… 😀

    Gerry, Agreed, Gabriel looks a player and (finally) there’s a lot less worry if our stalwart CB pairing were to be missing a member…(haha, Cockie, I just said, member…) I’d still suspect that AW will stick with the two main men, but I’ve been wrong before. As for bringing him in later in the match, it’s mostly got to be a communication thing. Certainly I noticed A LOT of yelling from the BFG last time he got paired with the Brazilian. That’s not a bad thing, of course, but maybe it’s not quite the (far quieter, I think) understanding between the him and Kos… Long term, I like pacier ball playing guys and have to think Per might not play quite so many minutes next season…

    Gotta run…

  • no, am not being subjective when it comes to Giroud. I rate him as the best super-sub in the league. he can do a mighty fine job as a super-sub.

    why do I say that ?

    let’s go back to all the title winning teams of the recent past.

    Chelsea – struggling with Costa, bring on Remy , if not Remy then Drogba

    Man City- Kun, then Dzeko, then Jovetic, go a bit further back then it’s Tevez, Balotelli

    Man utd – Rooney then Hernandez, Berbatov, Tevez

    let’s roll on with Arsenal.

    Giroud and then who and who ? we don’t have an out and out or proven striker like the aforementioned teams.

    we are still weak in this one area. and no, I don’t class Theo as a striker, nor Welbeck – they are make shift at best. Yaya is bambi on ice. Our Young Chuba will be ready in 1.5 years time. until then you know where this is going.

    Sure, by all means, let’s play Giroud for his defensive qualities when he is a striker. Welbeck can do the honours on set pieces for the opposition. however, long gone are the days when we needed such protection as you can see what a difference a decent goalie makes.

    truer words have never been spoken @ Glics – hope he recovers and gets well soon.

    Yes, I was thinking the same @ me Amigo, he has started scoring again for fun has Benteke and seems to have recovered nicely after his injury. saying that, the longer Villa stay in the danger zone the better for us!

  • if we win 5-0 today then we go 2nd in the table with one game in hand.

    when was the last time we won 5-0 or by a 5 goal margin @ Admir 😀

  • Breaking team news
    Hull v Arsenal (20:00 BST)
    Posted at 19:03
    The teams are in and both sides are unchanged from their last Premier League outing.

    Hull XI: Harper; Chester, Dawson, McShane; Elmohamady, Huddlestone, Livermore, Quinn, Brady; Aluko, N’Doye.

    Arsenal XI: Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ramsey, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud.

  • The last time they met
    Hull v Arsenal (20:00 BST)
    Posted at 19:11
    Getty Images
    Arsenal arrive in Hull in stunning form having lost just twice in the Premier League so far in 2015.

    That is in complete contrast to their form when they last played Hull in the league, with Arsene Wenger’s side needing a last-minute Danny Welbeck goal to deny Hull a 2-1 win at the Emirates.

    That prevented them from equalling their worst start to a league season under Wenger, having won just two of their opening eight league games.

    Considering that awful start, it is amazing that Arsenal are as high as they are in the league. How different things might have been if they had even just an ordinary start to the season.

  • no Welbeck on the bench.

    Arsenal XI: Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Cazorla, Coquelin, Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud. Subs: Szczesny, Gibbs, Gabriel, Rosicky, Wilshere, Walcott, Flamini.

    come on Girooooooooooooooooud 😀

  • Hello all! I finally have time to watch a full Arsenal game live! I’m very excited to have a chat with you guys! Glad we kept the same lineup. Need to get ready for next season by finishing strong with our starting 11 securely in place playing together as much as possible.

  • Hi Dylan

    how’s it going ?

    good to have you back!

    you were missed.

  • It’s going well. I’m getting ready for finals now so excited to be done soon. 🙂

  • Hey Dylan, what’s up?

    Subs = Subs: Szczesny, Gibbs, Gabriel, Flamini, Wilshere, Rosicky, Walcott

    Welbs left out in favor (American spelling) of Sicky…

    Dammit…only 17 out of 18… 😦 😀

    Go on…

  • Personally I’m very glad to see Rosicky in the squad…But maybe that’s cause I’m such an oldster myself…

  • Not much 17, excited to have a chat it’s been a while. I love Rosicky but while my mom gets frustrated about him not starting, I’m happy to see him used sparingly but effectively. Much like Lampard at City this season, and how Gerrard should be being used at Liverpool.

  • So, you’ve been watching the matches on tape?…

    Which 8 players must we buy this summer?… 😀

  • Coq tries to force one in… Otherwise we look plenty patient…

    Hull won’t win the possession stat playing like this…

  • American commentators seems to think this game is Arsenal vs Arsenal because he can’t seem to say Hull without flubbing it.

  • 8 players!?! Haha we don’t need 8! We need 2 maybe 3. 4 would be a lot. 😉

  • Nice backpass from Huddlestone!

    Of course, Dylan, just messing with you… Still, I know there must a few you’ve got your eye on…

  • Very nice from Alexis and Ozil…Shot from distance parried away…

    We’re playing very patient and controlled…except for the route 1 from Ospina, that is…

  • I know you joke 17 but others do truly believe we need a full new 11! 😉 I think Schneiderlin is a good shout. Has the potential to play alone, with Coq, or off the bench to seal up a game. I think he’s the most proven option for that position and fits our needs perfectly. Not a replacement, but a compliment to Coq. I’d also like another striker just for depth. Lacazette is my first choice but I doubt he’ll leave. Dybala of Palermo sounds promising but I don’t see that deal coming off. Cavani as always is mentioned but I’d rather not get him nor his Napoli replacement Higuain. I think Casillas or Cech cheap could be promising but for more than £5 million not worth it as I’m satisfied with our keepers. Finally I still think Fabian Schär of Basel is a gem we should snap up and I’m excited to see Jenks, Joel, Wellington, and other various loaners return. Overall, spend as much as it takes to get Schneiderlin and Lacazette with Schär as a bonus and our returning loanees “like a new signing”. 😉

  • BFG writing checks he cannot cash and gives away the set piece…

    Leads to our break, at least…

  • Looked a bit of intent from Huddlestone there. Super Jacky Wilshere warming up.

  • Geez, let off after a nice cross around Rambo at the point…

    Inneresting D… In truth, I don’t like to comment on players I haven’t watched for a full match or 2…so I won’t say anything about any of those younger guys… Of all the veterans 007 is too quick to slag off Higuain who I just saw relentlessly slagging off the guy who went to Napoli from Madrid with him (Callejon). Probably too old…

    Of your loanees, I only see Wellington getting a go…

    Uh oh, Rambo down… Doesn’t look too good… Same spot Shawcross got him?…

  • Rambo trying to run it off…With spots in the first 11 so hard to come by, I can see why he doesn’t want to go off…

    FK given… Hull getting cynical early…

  • Lucky deflection but it looked like it might’ve scored if the defender hadn’t ticked it with his head…

  • I like Campbell a lot. And I think Jenko could play RB/CB/CDM. Could be useful as a utility player. And I think Wellington will see a lot of preseason action. I assume you refer to Lacazette and Schär when you haven’t seen matches. I’ve only seen 1 Basel match this year but I like Schär a lot based on what I read and that game. Lacazette I’ve seen a lot and I love. The true next Henry if there ever was one. I don’t like Higuain for Arsenal because he’s a lone striker though and through. Couldn’t play partner with Giroud, which is what I want from a striker. Lacazette has played with Giroud for France and could play by himself, behind Giroud, alongside Giroud as a strike pair, as a winger, or off the bench in any of those positions.

  • Hull need to come out now… Betcha Rambo (even though he looks OK) comes off relatively early for Theo…

    OK Indeed… 2-nil Rambo!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Alexis saaaaaaaaanchez baaaaaabyyyyyyyyyyy



  • 2nd deflected goal of the night! Nice looking long ball and a bit of luck but we’ll take them! 🙂 Who assisted Santi or Coq?

  • we need 3 more goals to go 2nd in the table with a game in hand.


  • Cheers for the scouting report, Dylan…

    Campbell looked good at the World Cup but that (IMO) is a much lower level… Could be a late bloomer, however…Some guys can’t get any muscle on their bodies into their mid-twenties and he looks the sort…

    Arsenal dancing out there but too many bodies on the left…What kinda corner was that, Santi?…

  • Sorry Dylan, Le Coq doesn’t make that kinda pass…Santi all the way on the assist…

  • Ooohhh sleeping on the FK, but flagged offside after all…Wake up call, maybe…

  • I just want Coq to get a goal or assist so bad I’m projecting it! I just love me a non-Brazilian South American! They work so hard but with so much flair its a pleasure to watch. With tutoring by Alexis I think Campbell could be amazing. Flexible clearance by Kos. We need to settle and keep possession. Hit them on the break.

  • Wow…Kos and Coq went for the same ball…Kos got back to intercept the pull-back, however…

    Focus, boys… Goal difference goes the other way if they score…

  • Non Brazilian South American? Are you talking about Campbell?… He’s from Central America…

    Don’t know if you followed it, but I was just down in Colombia… What about a low-ball offer for Jackson Martinez?

    Arghhh!!! Alexis needs to bury that…Credit to the keeper…Another great ball from Santi…


    ALEXIS!!! Great ball from Rambo, too…


  • Alexis could already have a hattrick! Incredible play again. We could get our 5 goal difference swing tonight! Beautiful stuff boys keep it up! 🙂

  • Alexiiiiiiiiiiiiiis Sanchezzzzzzzzzzzzz Baaaaaaaaaaabyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy


    need 2 more.

  • I am referring to Joel. I guess technically Costa Rica is Centeal not South. The point was gotten across none the less. I like him a lot. Not a big fan of Jackson Martinez. Not a proven talent and when I’ve watched him I’ve never been to impressed. An offer of around £15 mil is all I’d stump up and he won’t go for that.

  • Who wasn’t sure that Alexis would go right in front of the keeper for the third goal?

  • who needs Giroud when we play like this ? Get in.

    Get in

    and then some more


  • Hull 0-3 Arsenal

    Phil Neville
    BBC Radio 5 live
    “That’s the best 45 minutes I’ve seen Arsenal play since the days of Vieira and Petit. It was magnificent… it was ‘wow’ football. It is winning-big-trophies type of football.”

    ahhahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hell yeah ahahahahhahahahahahahahahahaha

    lit’s up his cuban cigar

    Hull 0-3 Arsenal

    Steve Bower
    BBC Match of the Day commentator on 5 live at the KC Stadium
    “If Arsenal do win the league in the next few years, we won’t have a media debate about boring, boring Arsenal.”

    Phil Neville added: “I think Arsenal might actually need to become a little more boring to win the league.”

  • Hey Alcide!! Long time, where you been?…

    007, the American pundits highlighted the “unselfish runs” made by Giroud on goals 2 and 3… Of course, I know that when you decide a player has got to go, he’s got to go… 😀 😦

    In truth he’s not a great header of the ball but at least he’s a target as Ospina works on his kicking… He demands plenty of attention, at least, making opps for others…

    This match, so far, is all about Hull’s 3 at the back failing to mark the other guys… (Plus Ozil toe poke for the opener…)

  • Bad foul on Kos never a goal. Horrible reffing. Come on boys get it back. Shame to wrongly lose the clean sheet and 1 GD.

  • Geez, plenty of simulation, though Le Coq got a nice stomp on the Ginger… Good that Kos got back up…

    BFG needs to make these plays or at least break up the chances Hull are starting to make…

    If you could clone a mix of Alexis and the BFG we might have our 2nd striker…

  • Incredible touch from Ozil. Breathtaking not play deserved a goal.

  • Oh My….THAT was nice (Ozil and Alexis)…No reward though, dammit…

    Rambo and Giroud try to do them one better….Only the finish is lacking…

  • Pass the ball, Jack or Run (Forrest) run?… Continuation should’ve been played, no?…

  • Great intro for Jack. Should’ve planned on it would’ve been an Alexis hat trick. Bad boot to the eye for a Hull player. Meyler I think.

  • Did they stop it for the cut eye? That looks bad…

    Jackie looking bright… Ozil corner = poo

  • Sneaky and cheeky from Alexis… Almost gets in on the keeper

    Oooh…Too many bodies in the box?…Santi hits straight to keeper…

  • Lovely interplay deserved a goal again. One of our best performances of the season. Theo for Giroud, get a 4th then Flam for Santi.

  • Plenty of Coq-fusion there, but the Hull player elects not to shoot…

  • Hull pushing but we look solid defending…It would be nice to get a 4th… And Santi goes close!! Foot save needed…

  • How did that not go in!?! Deserved a goal. Also a handball and red card.

  • WOW…How does that not bulge the net?…Bells started it, handball needed to stop Jack’s shot, Alexis no angle… Damn…

    Giroud out, Theo in…

  • maybe you are right @ me amigo but that was more tongue in cheek, really.

    I know the qualities Giroud brings to the team and I don’t want him out either. he’s a very important player for us.

    how did JW manage not to score there ?

  • Hard to give the handball from that range but that’s what it was…

    007, the “world class striker” argument is a tough one.. In England a big fellow allows the buzzing midfield and entertainment like we’ve seen tonight…Just bring up the game of Welbs and Theo (and maybe another small young forward) and it’s not all bad… Or bring in a Dzeko or other big fellow who can kinda play the same role… Yaya S., if can stay healthy, could be a player, too…

    Not a great finish there, Feo…Might’ve taken a touch?…

  • Pass that for Messy, Senyor Sanchez…and he’ll probably pass it back to you… 😀

  • Full time… Very comfortable…

    Can’t worry about Goal Diff… Win our home matches and get a point at OT and we’re 2nd on points…

  • Been busy at work and home 17 😦 I’ve been reading the blog regularly but not much time to invest :/

    Should have more time now 🙂

    Quite happy of the performance, could/should have scored a couple more but we can’t complain!

  • Yes, I know what you mean but ok, given that I chat nonsense and don’t know what I’m on about then what do you make of Henry’s comments on his fellow french striker ?

    we can win the League with Giroud but only if he is in the Dzeko role and not the Aguero role, do you see where I am coming from now ? Giroud is great against the likes of Hull, sunderland, Stoke, Newcastle e.t.c but is he really world class or top top level like a Monaco 😉

    maybe for some other time, to be continued!

    for now, it’s start the engine time. well earned win where we could have easily scored 7.

    me amigo’s 100% record continue, yet to be beaten on his preview – bring on the swans and then the mancs

  • My fellow Jedi Gooners !……May the 4th be with you on this fine St Totteringham`s Day !.
    A young Spud supporter who had the honour of me listening to him said to me that the Spuds didn`t have a day to brag about it being mathematically impossible for Arsenal to catch them in the league as he had never witnessed it, him being just turned 20 years old !. I comforted him with ……” you do have such an equivalent day as St Totteringham`s Day, Spud bastard !….it`s called, The DAY Hell Freezes Over !”.

  • Ver good game against Hall city today. If I were Arsene Wenger, my plans for next season will be signing 3 players and signing them early. A tall, quick, potent and dynamic striker like cavani or lewandoski. A quick, strong, tall and technically good defender. Personally I would sign Ron Vlaar on a free transfer. Then sign a defensive midfielder. I have 3 options in this position, kondogbia, willian carvalho and morgan sneiderlin are my options, but I will prefer carvalho because he is more intimidating, imposing and more disciplined in that position. But they are all good players. In some tough away games, especially against the top sides, Wenger should play two defensive midfielders with santi in front of them. Its also important to get rid of some players like arteta, flamini, podolski, etc. Wenger should be rootless in selecting players for a match, no player should be guaranteed a place in the team, every player should fight for a place in the team, let the best play. Wenger is too attached to some of his players and puts the players first instead of the club first.

  • Steve,

    I would not advise you to hold your breath waiting for Arsene to go mad and buy 3 players.

    In his pre-match conference he made it clear that the squad is large enough and the quality is good enough, and he does not see the need to go into the transfer market.

    He added the usual rider that ‘if, a world class player became available we would look at it’ – along with all the big spenders who are all talking about strengthening their teams. Same old, same old.

    That said, I enjoyed the game last night, and it was good to see Jack back and having a good cameo performance as substitute.

  • I watched the post match interview where he said that. Remember what I said (if I were arsene wenger). I know wenger very well, He loves to disappoint his fans in the transfer window. So I know he will not do all that.
    Wenger will have a big decision to make on the right back position too, we have belerin, jenkinson and debuch, personally I will prefare to keep jenkinson and bellerin but it doesn’t feel good to let debuchy go. What do you think?

  • Steve,

    And I think he is also looking for a position for Callum, and it does not look like it will be at CB – so right back? I do not think so with Belli-button, De Buchy, and Cpl Jenks already there.
    Decisions- decisions.

    AW is a loyal guy to his players, and that does not mix with business.
    If he was a Grand Prix boss for McLaren and running a car with a Renault engine and not doing anything special – just ‘alright’, and then another manufacturer [Honda] offered him a better engine – he would have to go for it, leave Renault, or get blown away.
    Foot Note: That is what McLaren have done – except the Honda engine is not as good as they thought. 🙂

    But I think you can see what I mean.

  • Our season is not over yet, 5 more league games (esp. vs Man. United away) to confirm 2nd place, an FA Cup final to retain the cup vs a rejuvenated Villa side. That is what I (and our team) am interested in this point.

    Leave the transfer in/out bollocks to the tabloid gossipers and media conspiracy theorists.

    AW has said 95% of our current playing team will remain, and his words (and that of IG’s) is usually final. Our club will not be making wholesale changes.

    There can be tweaks in the roles/position changes etc. that our players shall play in future seasons (already a couple are in placed in this season end), e.g. Cazorla and Koscielny are designated our 3rd and 4th captains respectively after Arteta & Mertesacker, any eventual official transitions in future will come naturally; Cazorla playing in the “original Xavi Hernandez a.k.a. pupper master role” alongside Coquelin in CM etc.

    Having said the above, I would not worry about the roles/positioning that Debuchy, Bellerin & Jenkinson will play next season and beyond. All can be still be around and doing different duties on the pitch even at the same time.

  • *That’s 4 more league games to go after our away win at Hull (above).

  • Good for you, JM,

    You said – “That is what I (and our team) am interested in this point. Leave the transfer in/out bollocks to the tabloid gossipers and media conspiracy theorists.

    Well, just as long as that is all YOU are interested in – and clearly you have a hot line to the TEAM as you seem to be speaking on their behalf as well. As if.

    And presumably as to Steve and myself choosing to discuss what AW said in his post-match interview about possible transfer market moves, we should not have done that without your permission.

    Yeah, about that — I’ll call you when I want your opinion on anything I write – just don’t hold your breath.

  • RA,
    You write what you want in the blog-o-sphere, and keep that shiny Arse burning Red.

    I am just not interested in speculating futures. (even if you’d called).

  • Evening all, I think Arsene wrote the correct script last night … and it is a blueprint as to how to approach 3 out of 4 of our remaining matches. The United game we can put to one side for now.
    It may be heresy, but I think AW has also drawn on the experience with the Chelsea encounter, and how they get teams to play in order to counter more effectively.

    However, the big thing from last night was patience. Not expecting every attack to be successful, and not to just pile bodies forward for long periods. Instead we kept the ball well enough, and had periods where we could regroup. Which made it a far more interesting game that it looked like it could be beforehand.

    However for every player to play at their best I think we need a slight rule change … make it 12 aside, not 11. Ramsey starting wide still doesn’t do it for me, although when Jack replaced him it was a very similar performance, if not an improvement … in so far as he beat his man on the OUTSIDE more than once.
    Another frustrating performance by Bellerin though. I get the feeling that when he is told to get forwards, but keep his defensive shape, his game loses out both ends of the pitch. The big difference I noticed against Chelsea was how tight he played to Mertersacker, almost a wide CB. He left the second overlapping player to someone else, and it was clearly his job that day to stop attackers getting in behind. Now whether it is because he was unsure when Ramsey would be there to support, or even Cazorla, who came over at one point, and he has not got the experience to be successful at getting tighter to the player with ball, partly because he has an eye on the over-lap, I don’t know. But when Jack came on his attacking game came to the fore once more. I think he got into the box 3 times in the last 10 minutes or so, but early on, for whatever reason it did not seem to click with Ozil and Ramsey. AW will have to define his role more clearly, and for me that would be wide in midfield …. errr, the Ramsey/Walcott position?

    Giroud got his critics, but I still think his position is made double hard by being the sole outlet ball from any goal keeper clearance? So a side like Hull, with three big central defenders, it was always pretty safe for them to send one out and nip in front of him. A ploy they used pretty effectively in the first half. Not to mention the odd sly dig at him.

    Overall it was a very satisfying game. Long may it continue … well for another 4 weeks anyway.

  • Well, I thought I’d take a day off to see what others thought about the match… Hmmm… Gerry wrote up some of his, but otherwise we only had some snipping about looking forward vs staying in the moment… Again, Hmmmm… 😦

    The team seems to be doing well staying focused so I get less worried about bloggers and their fantasies for remaking the squad or bringing in (or back from loans) various favorites. Gerry (and others) may disagree with me, but I feel it’s a doggone shame we’re not playing a bit more football. If Juventus are giving Real Madrid a battle in the semi-final why couldn’t we?…

    That match was fun to watch and (for me at least) it gave a little insight into different strategies regarding the rear of the midfields. Juve played Pirlo (Pogba was out injured) while RM played Ramos (Modric out injured)… Some combination of the two types of players is probably the way to go but Madrid looked weak on the day while Juve didn’t seem to miss their bigger, taller, more athletic guy too much. Of course, if the Colombian guy (James) could’ve kept that diving header down and if the defender or Martin Atkinson had not given Tevez his diving opportunity, the scoreline would’ve gone more to the Merengues…Ah well, it’s well poised for them to stifle things and win the tie with a 1-nil in Madrid… Barca-Bayern *should* present the better match tonight… Plus it’s a chance to scout our next “World Class” striker (Messi, Neymar or Toothy…Or do we settle for Lewa or Goetze or Mueller?…) 😀

    I realize it was “only” Hull and that they made a couple of chances and took one of them, but I’m enjoying the CoCa combo mentioned in the headline. Nobody (around here, at least) seems to like Santi very much, but it’s a real pleasure (for me) to watch him play. Beyond the exquisite long passes (with either foot…) I love how the defenders (Kos in particular…) will control their more routine clearances to the little man almost as if they relish watching him play the ball out of tight spaces at the back. It always feels a little dangerous, but then you realize it’s Santi and the worries go away… Another reason I don’t understand all the long kicks from Ospina… I guess he needs the practice…and they do seem to be improving…

    Overall, we’re looking good even if (for me) there’s a feeling like we’re just kind of experimenting and finding our feet. The attacking, in particular, feels more style than substance, but at least it’s not naive, hell for leather stuff, even if we look far from “ruthless.” Against Hull, I thought our pair of Spanish FBs played with real control and that Bellerin looked just fine (Sorry, Gerry)… Getting tight to the BFG seems smart given Per’s lack of pace and not always pressing towards attack seems wise too. To me he looks more and more decisive when he does decide to get forward and the late shot from the tough angle should’ve been an assist but for the hand that stopped Jack’s put-back…

    So, fun match, I thought, but still a work in progress and plenty of regret that it didn’t come together a bit earlier…

    Back to your regularly scheduled program…Whatever that might be… (More transfer stuff or,nothing, probably…)

    😀 😦 :Sleeping Guy:

  • I still wonder why people prioritize peter cech for arsenal. Peter cech will definitely improve arsenal, but signing a new goal keeper should be least of our priorities. Signing a defenfive midfielder to give competion to coquelin, a tall, quick, potent and dynamic striker. And a tall, fast and technically sound defender shoud be our priorities. Now the quality of those players will make the difference.

  • STEVE, you’re not Steve (or F11ngers, from the Isle of Wight) are you?…

    If I’m correct, Welcome… 😀

    If not, why don’t you, Steve, tell us more about these new thoughts on keepers? Also 😀

  • In answer HT – Yes No Yes Probably Ditto Maybe, but? Yes, but my point exactly.

    Yes. I’m staying in the moment.
    No, because playing those extra matches mean we would not be in the comfort zone of just keeping it together and second place is ours. And who is to say we would not have drawn Baca tonight?
    Yes to Santi. I’ll have you know voted him my player of the month. I think he has been doing brilliant in this deeper lying role.
    Probably,(Ospina) although if you are trying to counter while they had men up field, Route 1 can be useful, but it would be nice if he had more than one option?
    Same for the ‘experimenting’. Notice the frequent chips over the top in the final third?
    Perhaps(FB’s) the good bits mad up for some slack passing, and Monreal getting beaten for pace?
    I agree, Ggetting close to BFG was a good ploy. Presumably instructed to do so? But in this game with Ramsey given freedom to do ‘his thing’, it made it harder for Bells to be ‘the everyman’ down on the right?

    Enjoy the game HT, I’m off to watch it myself.

  • Cheers Gerry… The CL is gone for this year, but it’s still a regret, IMO…

    Rather than taking the hyperbolic stances on our various players which feeds into transfer talk (i.e., who replaces whom…) I’d rather talk about the always evolving ways we might use our guys. Just as you keep stumping for Gabriel as a DM, I made mention of using Santi back there (when Arteta first got hurt this season…) and feel gratified to see the idea in action… :Pats-self-on-back:

    Compared to the clubs on display in the final 4 we do lack in personnel, but not by that much… They play with a plan, however, and going scoreless for a half (as both Bayern and Barca did) is not the end of the world or cause for “Super-Fans” to go on a TV (Piers Morgan) or interweb rant… My hunch is that they actually have supporters who enjoy the way they play rather than just the result or a good bar-brawl (as we call them) between amongst themselves if things go funky. Here, we win with comfort and a bit of style and the goonersphere goes dry as California…

    If silence is the price of success I’ll take it, I guess…and you must always evolve and tinker. I do think we’re gonna need more solidity in central defense and the Polish kid is probably not the answer. Another guy who can make some goals (and not the guys who played in England and now look to lack a bit of confidence in Spain–i.e., Suarez or Bale) would be good. (Everybody used to stump for Lewandowski but what a miss that was!!!) I like our buzzing MF around the big man and Giroud is a real presence at set plays (at both ends). Yaya S, if he could stay fit for a year might become a version of the same, I think… I like our keepers, but Sir Chez needs to actually play like Neuer rather than *try to* play like him…

    Anyhow, what’s the point?… Maybe I can get the series of responses next time Gerry logs on… Cheers for that. In the meantime, how about that Messi fellow for Theo or Welbs?… I mean, c’mon what a shite player he is, failing to score and all… 😀

  • You surely should’ve HT. Great game to watch.

    I think we are a tad further away from this pair though. It was played with intensity throughout, and any mistake was picked up on in a flash. A bit like what promoted sides say they face when they get into the Premier division … except this was at a much higher level. And if we are patting ourselves on the back, when I first saw Barca play this season I said they were ‘back to their best’ … and they have improved since!

    That is going to be the big test for them now, as they go through a period of transition. They have a lot of senior citizens playing, and playing well mind, but they are likely to fade around the same time? Of course, we all know that between them and RM they more or less have the pick of the domestic up and comers, and a few others besides – and here is my only nod to the TW,- my support for Dybala wained the instant he said he would ‘swim to Barcelona’ if asked, because if he gets to be very successful away from Palermo he will surely be offered a ‘boat’ to help in on his way? Note the difference with Hector Bellerin when he said he ‘went to Barca to play football, not to play for Barca’ Big difference, so I don’t think we will lose him any time soon. Whereas I think Dybala would go in a flash, even with 4 years left on his contract?

    However, news of the suspension of the Spanish League program will throw their plans into chaos if it carries on too long … something I doubt. But it seems the Government has taken a stance on the unfairness of the Spanish club’s distribution of TV income, and this suspension is just the richer clubs gaining enough support for their action. When the reality sets in and their bluff is called, they will be back round the table before next weekend’s matches are due to play. Any longer and their season will barely finish before the TW opens?

    Back to the match, you have to say Bayern reacted well to the opening onslaught. Pep saw what was needed and tweaked it – AW please note: FROM THE TOUCHLINE!
    Ultimately they were undone by the guy you should have bought at half time … what is his buy out clause £300m or £500m? Take him out of it and it was a pretty even contest, and Bayern were shorn of a couple of game changers themselves. I know I was absorbed because the game went by so fast. In the second half, after what only seemed like a few minutes I was amazed when the commentator said ‘ …. and now, with only 20 minutes to go …’ Boy, did that time fly!

    Great stuff. I cannot wait for JB to come on and say Bayern need a new keeper 😀

  • Hi guys,

    Long time no see… I thoroughly enjoyed both games (us vs. Hull and Barca vs Bayern) but indeed, we are a tad further from the latter two.

    I was impressed by the way BM managed to prevent Barca to build up their play from the back, pressing high up the pitch – few teams have done that more consistently. Yet 3-0 – I feel that in the absence of BM’s R&R wingers, Barca’s individual qualities up front vs. a BM back four that is a relative weakness (Dante, Alaba missing) is what won the game for Barca at a time where BM was suffering a bit physically – lots of challenges lost by them during the last 20 minutes. The intensity throughout the game was at a very high level, and that slight drop proved very costly. It’s a pity as a tightest score would have given us a great return game.

    On Santi, who was it that recently said that they’d like to play with him more often, Xavi, or Iniesta?

  • Read a piece on ESPN – Arsenal’s next Captain
    If we compare ourseleves with Chelsea its the mist important difference between the 2 sides.
    I hate John Terry really but equally respect him for the way he marshals the defence and the entire side.
    We have never had a good captain since Viera to be honest. Henry,van Persie, Fabregas were worthy but didn’thave the same intensity as Tony Adams or Viera.

    The article talks about which players are worthy of the armband and why.
    In the short term I beleive the obvious choices would be Per, Kos, Santi
    But in the long term I think Wilshere, Ramsey and Coquelin all have it in them.

    What do you think guys ?

  • I know some of you fcukers think it`s meaningless to talk about transfer targets whilst the season is not over or even a TW window going on, but someone try and tell Manshafter Std about that !……they have signed Memphis Depay !…….the deal will be completed in June……….seems the TW never really shuts !……..lets hope Wenger is as quick off the mark with some behind the scene dealings going on now !…….is that a pig I see flying past my window ?. 😀

  • The UMF league has been closely fought out on the other page, But HT’s astute use of the Joker last week pushed him clear.
    However it is nothing to the Best Bloggers league on the FFPL. Top two are now tied at the top with only three game weeks to go. Two more are fighting out for third spot, and very closely matched.
    Meanwhile, I am desperately trying to join in with the last pair in the top 6, and get myself into the ’18 Hundred club’.

    Great stuff for all those ticking the boxes week after week.
    Well done.

  • Hi all..
    VCC and Gerry.. I don’t know why.. I just can’t open the UMF site with my smartphone.. hehe.. not quite smart.. haha..

    So I will give my prediction here.. please forgive me.. hehehe..
    Spurs.. Westham.. Soton away win..
    CP-MU and Chelsea-Pool draw..
    And I am using my last Joker.. hehehe..

    Arigato very much..

  • Cockie its funny you mention that, I had a dream that we signed depay a few days ago, his picture and everything was on the website. I also had a dream we signed higuain a couple years ago. It seems my dreams are confirmation of who we will not sign.

  • Cockie, A.N., It could be a question of when the fans need a shot in the arm… ManU with three losses (and no goals) on the trot, might be thinking this is a good time to unveil Memphis… If we go into a similar tailspin (or lose the Cup Final…) maybe we announce something about a contract with somebody who is out of contract (at Southampton, perhaps)…or something… It seems to me that–in recent years at least–we’ve done quite a bit of early business (Poldolski, Giroud, Cazorla in 2012 and Alexis and Chambers in 2014)… We left it a bit later in the Summer of 2013–the “Have Arsenal Spent Any Money Yet” season, but still got Ozil at the end… Ah well, you can’t make everybody happy… Also, winning the transfer games (probably? Maybe?…) isn’t as good as winning trophies or finishing higher up the table…

    Anyhow at least there is still some football this weekend 🙂 except for Arsenal who play on Monday… 😦

    On that note, TA, you’ve got mail…

  • Hello, people! 🙂

    Just one question: was I the first one to point out that St Totteringham’s Day is a bit like Easter as it happens every year but not on the same date? I created that banter just before our match against Newcastle last year and now it seems that it has caught on. 🙂

  • 17, you may be on to something. Despite what goes on in my head at night I’m more focused on how we finish the season and looking forward to the next game.

  • Morning Broke Backers !.

    Just a bit of satire as I`m bored with being stuck wrapped up trying to get rid of my throat and chest infection……nearly 3 weeks now !.

    Am I the only one who has noticed what a great opportunity we now have to resolve some recent holes in our life ?……………Milliband, Clegg, Farage, Clarkson,Hammond and May……all out of jobs !…………………..Clarkson to be UKIP Leader, Hammond Labour Leader and May Lib Dem leader !… 5 years time they can make a coalition government up and go up to Scotland and sort out the massive hole in their economy !….Yes !….Clarkson can park his Chav bus in Sturgeon`s fanny !.
    Then we can have Milliband, Clegg and Farage as Top Gear presenters !…….Milliband could be the new Hammond and do all the dangerous stuff, that would be just desert`s for stabbing his Arsenal supporting brother in the back !…..had David Milliband been the leader they would have gained at least 100 million Nigerian votes !.
    Clegg could be the new May ….although driving with the loss of so many seats could be quite uncomfortable !.
    Farage could be the New Clarkson, he could change …” A celebrity in a reasonable priced car “…to…..”An immigrant in a reasonably priced electric chair !”………they could do the usual car run where they have a race to Poland`s most dense populated area………Boston in Lincolnshire !…………a drive up the motorway with Milliband in the far left lane, Clegg in the center lane and Farage in the far right lane !. hahaha

  • Gods birthday today !…..46 years old !…….how the fcuk did he make the world in 6 days and rest on the 7th day twelve years after I was born ?.

  • Not the diversion I was looking for TCM. Especially now, as the duplicitous lot that have got in will no doubt remove my pension credit to pay for you working b**tards tax cuts!
    👿 👿 👿

    However, talking of reductions … my output on here is going to be equally pithy as I am gradually losing the full use of my right arm, at the end of which is my typing finger. Typing left handed as I am at the moment is decidedly slow, and has even more errors. Not to mention that it aggravates my arthritic knuckles. I am now looking at the very real possibility I will lose my voice when I end up talking to the computer, on my way to total cabbage status in the not to distant future …

    In the meantime, where’s that bloody preview TA! 😀

  • Total Cabbage !!!…….look on the bright side, that at least gives you one of your five per day !. 😀

  • you might well be fcuking nutter but you are a genius @ Glics

    now that was bloody fantastic @ 11:48

    yep, I don’t agree with the pensions cuts, the NHS cuts, us being in the Euro- zone e.t.c e.t.c but it is what it is sadly, with a clear majority, there’s no stopping the Tories — unless we unleash the Glicster upon them 🙂

    by the way – you missed out on Russel Brand @ Glics

    Chelsea 0-0 Liverpool
    Posted at 1 mins

    Chelsea 0-0 Liverpool
    Posted at 1 mins
    Cesc Fabregas is high and late on Raheem Sterling, it’s a nasty challenge and Fabregas is booked. It seems that Jon Mikel Obi was shown a red card by accident in the aftermath though

    What is that all about? After a brief lull in proceedings Mikel has a smile on his face and nobody has been sent off. I’m as confused as you are.

    NOBODY HAS BEEN SENT OFF. Fabregas’s challenge was nasty though.

    ffs, that should have been a red

  • yes, I want Cesc the traitor to be sent off and banned as I don’t want him to break the most assists records in a season 😀

  • Chelsea 0-0 Liverpool

    Former Scotland international Pat Nevin
    BBC Radio 5 live at Stamford Bridge
    “I certainly saw a yellow card shown to Fabregas. I think he’s right to give him a yellow except it could have been and maybe should have been red.”

  • England U17`s Vs Porn&drugland U17`s on 411 Eurosport 2 HD…………………..2 Arsenal players for England with Willock and Mavididi !…….on now !.

    hiya Hamez….did the Chavs park the bus….even though they have won the league ?.

  • Women !!!……….know your place in the pecking order of mans priorities !.

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