Santi/Ozil dictate, Cech adds PRESENCE, Ollie and Theo create havoc: Eight positives from a ‘friendly’

Arsenal-v-Everton-Barclays-Asia-Trophy

Arsenal – Everton: 3-1 (Theo, Santi, Ozil – Barkley)

Wow, I did not expect that. I went to the pub to watch the game, and, like in a tacky dream, nobody was there, except the barman, who did not even know the Arse were on. The pub can easily hold 200 guests and especially during rugby matches the place can be heaving. But there I sat with a pint of Kronenbourg 1664, a packet of C&O crisps, and the single best seat in the pub, watching the Arsenal.

What I did expect to see, was a relatively slow, well-polished performance with plenty of possession, and both teams showing lots of mutual respect and having some decent chances, with the game finishing 1-1 or so.

How wrong I was. Arsenal meant business, and just as Villa had been outplayed during our last meaningful game, the Toffees were not given a chance (other than a ‘gift’ by the Ox) during the entire match either. The boys played with hunger and focus, and above all a maturity and togetherness I have never witnessed before during our previous preseasons. It is early days of course, but the first signs are very promising.

Here are my eight positives from the game:

  1. Giroud and Theo were played together and it added another dimension to our play. Together with Wilshere they moved all over the attacking part of the pitch and made it very hard to defend against us. We had a holding pivot in Ollie and a deadly penetrator in Theo; but they were also prepared to switch roles – Giroud even did a bit of impressive wing play, getting past his man and getting the ball into the box on more than one occasion. Our midfielders had options when in possession and initiating attacks, and it must have been a nightmare for the Toffees to defend against a ‘three-dimensional’ Arsenal today.
  2. Santi Cazorla was fantastic. The deeper laying role suits him very well, and with two fine assists – especially the first one was an exquisite, perfectly weighted ball over the top from the centre of midfield for the eagerly anticipating Walcott – and a clever goal, he was without any doubt the man of the match.
  3. Ozil’s face at the end of the match said it all: knackered but very content with his own performance. A fine, coolly taken goal and a dynamic, hungry finish to the game will have done him a world of good. Together with Santi, and Ramsey and Wilshere, he powered the midfield on and dominated the sorry Toffee midfield for ninety minutes. He was inventive with his passing, always looking for the best possible next move; and to me it looked like his fellow players are starting to read his intentions better… even though rusty first touches and finishes kept us from getting more reward from the dominance and creativity in our attacks. It was also good to see our Captain, Arteta, back.
  4. Cech in goal: calmness, character, confidence, and a brilliant reflex-safe from what looked a certain goal (even though it was offside). Bigger test will come, but having Petr in goal is the equivalent to playing with an extra man at the back.
  5. The FBs, Bellerina and Gibbs, provided the team with great width and penetration, allowing the multi-disciplined midfielders to combine with them and get them, or themselves, behind the Everton defenders, as well as stretch and penetrate them with fine, deadly triangles that led to very good opportunities throughout the game. Our FBs will play a great role this season and we are blessed with four very fine players in these positions.
  6. Chambers had a good, calm game next to our first warrior Koscielny. Again, bigger tests will come but it was nice to see him play well again. Ramsey played with discipline and high levels of energy to protect the defence and link up with our attack: a very impressive performance.
  7. Ox, despite a (still characteristic) costly loss of possession that led to the only Toffee goal – a fine, diagonal, long-distance shot by Barkley – added renewed thrust to our team when he came on. He had the guts and confidence to take players on at high speed and create good opportunities inside the opponents’ box. The final ball still needs improving, but the hunger and focus were there for all of us to see: good signs.
  8. The team cohesion, hunger and professionalism were a joy to watch. Even more than the individual performances highlighted above, this is what we should get really excited about. There was a collective ‘presence’ in the team: a strong focus with high levels of concentration and determination. The Gunners played as a team that wants to become champions this year, seemingly realising that every game needs to be treated with that goal in mind. We now also have healthy competition for places in all areas on the pitch, but yet there appears to be ever-so-vital togetherness, perhaps based on the realisation that we need a fit, wide squad in order to compete for the PL, CL, and indeed the FA Cup again, this season.

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Still early days, but this was a very impressive ‘friendly’ performance by the Gunners. Bring on the Chavs in two weeks! 🙂

By TotalArsenal.

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56 Responses to Santi/Ozil dictate, Cech adds PRESENCE, Ollie and Theo create havoc: Eight positives from a ‘friendly’

  1. njstone9 says:

    I was at the game with my 5 year old boy. Arsenal utterly dominated possession and could have scored more easily. The Everton goal was a gift but required a fine finish.

    Ramsey needs to find his shooting boots and Akpom got himself into a few good positions but lacked composure. The reception Cech got was incredible! Not just a roar but one imbued with affection and awe.

    Brought the wife along to the game for her first experience of The Arsenal. She was seated in a different area but regularly kept in touch via text throughout the game to update me on the sizes of the players’ biceps, butts, their overall fitness levels (no, not the endurance type of fitness) and ultimately concluded that she loved football.

    Never let it be said that gender stereotyping is dead!

    There were about 50-100 Everton fans all in one block (unbelievably my wife was initially in there but the stewards moved her out because the Everton fans were too drunk and disorderly). Other than that it was a sea of red and what a wonderful thing to see: so many local Arsenal fans (I’m English myself but have been living here for quite a few years).

    A great evening out. Highlight? Spotting the great man himself, Arsène. Wow. What an honour to be in the same stadium as him.

  2. JK says:

    Hi NjStone9, Good to see your comments here. Exact feel from me.
    Though we are not as much as Man*** fans, we are still a considerable number. Some of the fans wearing red are the Singapore team fans. From what I see on live TV, some man*** fans were in the crowd.

    Hi TA, great review of the game. Pity the bar you are in was only yourself. I was alone watching the match at home too.

    For once, without BFG and Kos pairing, Chambers played well with Kos and Chambers’ confidence was down to one man; Cech.

    Cech really brought the extra spirit to the team, and I think I saw the Gunners play a little differently. I felt like I was watching the invincibles over again.

    Even Wenger started with 2 box-to-box players, meaning they had the confidence that Cech can save everything that came his way. Santi stayed at the back but ventured up front when he had the chance to, constantly switching with Rambo protecting the back four.

    We might see more of this, but I believe this is a little risky, as when Everton had the chance, they went for the central positions more than the wide wings. We should just stick to our favoured DM. But kudos for Cazorla for putting up a solid defensive and attacking display. My man of the match through and through.

    Cheers and have a good night’s dream guys 🙂
    JK

  3. NjkSG says:

    Hi NjStone9, Good to see your comments here. Exact feel from me.
    Though we are not as much as Man*** fans, we are still a considerable number. Some of the fans wearing red are the Singapore team fans. From what I see on live TV, some man*** fans were in the crowd.

    Hi TA, great review of the game. Pity the bar you are in was only yourself. I was alone watching the match at home too.

    For once, without BFG and Kos pairing, Chambers played well with Kos and Chambers’ confidence was down to one man; Cech.

    Cech really brought the extra spirit to the team, and I think I saw the Gunners play a little differently. I felt like I was watching the invincibles over again.

    Even Wenger started with 2 box-to-box players, meaning they had the confidence that Cech can save everything that came his way. Santi stayed at the back but ventured up front when he had the chance to, constantly switching with Rambo protecting the back four.

    We might see more of this, but I believe this is a little risky, as when Everton had the chance, they went for the central positions more than the wide wings. We should just stick to our favoured DM. But kudos for Cazorla for putting up a solid defensive and attacking display. My man of the match through and through.

    Cheers and have a good night’s dream guys 🙂
    JK

  4. NjkSG says:

    Steve, by the way I caught the match on live TV.

    Could not get tickets, but watching it live on TV is just as exciting. Seeing the Singapore night skyline on TV is surreal, its almost unreal.

    And its a nice way for the Gunners to return back to London on a high, and they were the fittest team, having trained in the natural hot conditions in Singapore, and the training sessions were seriously high tempo. And I have a few concerns about the edge of the pitch. As they were drainage covers, its hard and slippery. Thankfully no one suffered injury.

    Bring on OL for the next game.

    JK

  5. retsub1 says:

    Nice write up TA and good to get reports from the Singapore contingent. Other than giving away a sloppy but very well taken goal, that was a top notch performance.

    With the arrival of Cech and Coquelin adding much needed grit to the side, we are well set for the season ahead.

    My only concern (and I believe it to be a positive concern) is last season on occasions we changed our game to suit the oppositions playing style. Man City was a very good example of this. I wonder of this current team is so full of confidence, they will abandon that type of approach and try to outplay everyone (like we have in previous seasons and come unstuck). Much to be said for the horses for courses approach, particularly against the big sides. Hopefully Cech can provide a valuable insight to this concept, which love him or hate him Mourinho is the master at.

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks guys, will get back to you later. Some great insights btw. 🌇

  7. Gerry says:

    Smashing TA, you have saved me from filling in the blanks in an overly long comment.
    You’ve sad it all. Thanks.

    I said in my pre-match comment that I expected it to be a defence dominated game until the first goal went in. Then I expected it to open up.
    The difference from that and the reality is that I expected more from Everton.

    There was only one team with an organised and disciplined defence, particularly in the crucial first half. Indeed, there was only one team who were sharp and inventive in attack.
    I have to admit I was curious to see how that line up would pan out. At least it showed that AW is thinking in the way I have been banging on these past few weeks, and very nice for you to acknowledge it in your report – FAST, FLUID ATTACK WINS GAMES. 😀
    Not only that, but also as I have been saying, that can involve Giroud in open games.

    Of course everything was flattered by Everton looking sluggish and half fit. But we must take the positives, along with a few negatives.
    Ox is never going to get the Alexis role if he cannot give his full attention to his passing. The one gifting them possession which immediately led to their goal was only one of several. Many times it seemed like he had a blind spot to the Everton player who was between him and his target?
    Akpom needs to get a better understanding with the senior players, like the one he has with Iwobi. I think here it was a case where two subs coming on as a pair would have worked better for Akpom? He may not have learned much, but Iwobi might have been an improvement on Ox?
    Of all the players who started, Giroud lacked that sharpness when needed. It was interesting what AW said post-match, in that the players came back better prepared, so they were not starting from zero after their holidays. This is another positive that they are all keen to do well in the coming season. In Giroud case it is probably more difficult as a striker, and the sharpness will come with more games.
    Walcott and the contract is another matter. Ultimatum time I think? If it is about money, then prove you are worth it over an entire season and book a review of your pay cheque then. If it is about position, then either get fully into the fact that you are a part of the team, which, means you will have opportunities to showcase your best assets but, not necessarily ahead of anyone else. So sign up, or move out!
    I am pretty sure I know of one player who would play for your contract offer, so stop dicking around!

    Of the rest, I think Debuchy has, for the moment at least, lost the No1 spot. Chambers looks to have found his new, future home. Although I thought if it was earlier in the game he might have closed down Barkley a bit quicker? I also thought Gabriel might have come on as a reaction to Lukaku arriving. But again, have two left sided players on at the same time might not have worked so well either? Cech looked nervous before the tip on to the bar, thereafter looked solid.
    All in all, a successful pre-season tour negotiated rather well.

    So is it on to Lyon … with or without La Cazette I wonder?

  8. njstone9 says:

    Yeah, I noticed how much fitter the Arsenal players were. Dealing with that humidity is very difficult if you’re not used to it, which they most certainly are not. Everton failed to press and harry at all and Arsenal were free to pass and pass and pass with no pressure. It was like a home game!

    In terms of improving the squad, the only area I really think we need strengthening in is up front. But to do that we would have to sell either Walcott (if he wants to leave) or the forgotten man, Welbeck. Arsenal will not sell Walcott to an English team so if he ends up using up his contract to go to say, Chelsea or City or worse, Liverpool (lack of ambition!), I’d be really disappointed. I think he’ll stay. But if he must leave, go abroad. Does he have the technique to play in Italy or Spain though? No, I don’t think so.

    Welbeck hasn’t scored enough though he has a great attitude. It would be really harsh and ruthless to sell him to purchase a world class striker, but we should do that if it is an option. Walcott, Giroud, Sanchez plus One Other, with Akpom in the learning role. We can’t fit in a world class striker without selling first, as he’ll (rightly) expect to play most games.

  9. NjkSG says:

    Gerry, somehow I have a slightly sifferent view with Giroud. 3 points from the match:

    1. Most of the balls are passed to Theo.
    2. Giroud’s right foot needs work.
    3. His timing when diving in to head the ball from a cross from the right needs more work.

    Apparently Giroud is quite good but he needs more games. And like Santi, traij his right foot better. He might also be tired as what Wenger said the players were tired before the match but was surprised how they played the match.

    Njstone9 and Gerry and maybe TA, the 30 goals a season striker is here with us. His contract expires end of this coming season, and his name is Theo Walcott.

    Wenger, please make Theo sign a new contract please please please.

    JK

  10. NjkSG says:

    Gerry, may we know who is the striker that can match Theo’s contract?

    I do not think Theo likes to go. He feels good with the squad.

  11. AB says:

    Morning TA. A hugely encouraging performance as you say, and the desire of the team as much as the individual performances is what gets anticipation levels rising.

    I will indulge in a transfer speculation moment if I may at this point! I thought about writing a post on this, but in all likelihood the season would have started before I got round to it! Its the first season where I have found myself looking at the team and thinking, you know what, there’s not a lot of room for improvement in here – in other words the Wenger line of, we will only look at it if ‘top top quality’ becomes available, seems pretty credible. The priority really is keeping the current squad together, and trying to keep them healthy over the season.

    I would love to have another option/cover at DM, but not if it meant Coq got dropped or we had an unhappy SQ player on the bench because Coq was playing. A bad injury to Coq leaves us exposed, no question, but for rotation purposes and playing against a range of opposition, I think we are pretty well placed.

    The two areas where I can see some scope for buying, whether that is at the top end or in youth potential are a) at LB and b) a wide attacker/striker. At LB I find myself asking where is the equivalent of Bellerin? We don’t have one. We have a high quality (not SQ) no 1 in Nacho and a player with higher potential (but no longer a youngster, and with a long history of injury) in Gibbs. I could really see us buying top young quality here, with a view to having a new no 1 LB in 2 years time. We’ve been linked with one or two I know in the press, but I have no sense how credible these might be.

    On the attacker front I think the squad now looks a bit thin – we have sold Pod, Sanongo is out on loan and (not sure what the latest is) I can’t see Campbell making a return. In short, there is space for another player in there, even allowing for Walcott and Danny staying fit and our working assumption that Giroud will be the main man up front. Draxler is the name I keep waiting to hear of (I’m with Gerry on this one, more out of hope than expectation mind) as I look at him and think RVP as a young attacker. I do hope we go back and try again for him. The alternative would be a tried and tested PL type who would effectively provide cover for a Giroud injury – Dzeko seems quite plausible to me in this type of role, as he would probably be quite cheap, and could play in the same sort of system as Giroud. I’d take the Draxler option all day if there were the choice. Lots of folk wanting us to go in for Lacazette, but with Akpom coming through I’m not sure I see this – quite apart from our trade history with Lyon.

    Back to my starting proposition, for the first season in years, if we don’t buy anyone from here on in I won’t be hugely disappointed. Czec has been a huge buy for us though I think. If we do buy now, I doubt it will be for a 1st 11 player, but someone to strengthen the squad and prepare for the future. What a great position to be in at mid-July!

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning guys,

    Some further interesting observations and views and good to see a new blogger in NJ9: love the Arsenalisation of your wife story!

    Really good to see AB commenting as well, with a fine balanced comment. Like you, I reckon we are good and if you think we play 4-5-1 than having Ollie, Theo, Alexis, Danny and Akpom as CF options will do for me. I am no longer worried about the DM position and I reckon our options at LB are good too, but can see where you are coming from. Maybe a RM/LM ala Alexis is what we need, and if Nasri was not such a tit, I would say go for him. Plenty of options all over the pitch though so all is good to go.

  13. AB says:

    Another observation from last night is just how much Chambers has filled out. He looks to be heading to be a mountainous CB and groomed to be Merts cover and successor. Lets hope he becomes more of an Adams than a Senderos. He’s slow for a full back, but absolutely fine for a CB. It will be interesting to see him line up alongside Gabriel at some point this season – with Czech behind them I suspect this might be rather less than nerve-wracking. I don’t see us needing a new CB this summer, esp with our current FB situation and the likes of Hayden coming through.

  14. njstone9 says:

    Ha ha, I’ve been reading this blog for ages, years probably. Am subscribed by email so don’t always come on to read the comments.

    Might buy the missus an Arsenal shirt. After coming out of the stadium and seeing so many lovely young ladies wearing one, it definitely makes a woman more attractive, ha ha.

    It’s a really good time to be an Arsenal fan. We don’t have any idiotic players destabilising the club, and we’re capable of buying top notch players. Wenger is back to his best and it’s lovely seeing him smiling looking so relaxed and happy. Have you seen the gif of him interacting with Cazorla yesterday?

  15. NjkSG says:

    Guys, the lads are back in London. After a 14 hour flight.
    So, back to bed and adjust back to BST before more training sessions?

    Gerry and AB, I believe I said that on one of my comments before. If we can add to any position, its a plus. If not, We can live with it.

    And just 1 upfront and 1 DM for depth sake. But that can come from the fantastic youngsters though.

    Cheers,
    JK

  16. Gerry says:

    NJ @ 10:39 – I refer you to answers I gave earlier.
    Alternatively read AB’s comment.

    However, when it comes to a striker I am more inclined towards KB than La C.
    A year ago I probably would not have been that keen, but I now see what AW sees in him. That is, apart from being skilful and clinical in front of goal, he is a team player. He will happily play foil for Giroud as front man for Alexis.
    Another important thing in his favour is his age. His end of even a 4 year contract would dovetail far better with the emerging Akpom, Gnabry, J R-A, etc, than the younger guy.

    But as AB puts it, it is more in hope, backed up by the fact that AW ‘admires’ both players.

    As to selling. Walcott’s position is in his own hands. But I would let him go for a big chunk of Sterling’s sale that Liverpool have, than have him wind down his contract. Don’t get me wrong, I think his best years are ahead of him if our new fitness team can keep him and others out of serious time out I would be happy for him to stay. But as I said above, I am not overly happy that he is trying to squeeze the maximum out of the club prior to him proving he can be consistent with his performances. Injuries can happen to anyone. But last time he got what he wanted, his performance dropped away?

    I think it is going to be very hard to juggle rotation this season without upsetting some. Alexis will quickly get the hump if he is dropped when he feels fully fit. So it may be better to organise a ‘winter break’ for him, rather than missing odd games? This is why I think we do need two additions up top, as both Giroud and Ozil both came back the stronger when the serious part of the season starts, after time out.

    My biggest problem in fitting in players into the squad limit is far less difficult than picking the best 11. I always end up having 12 … which is why they would win all of their games 😀

  17. NjkSG says:

    Gerry, Hm..

    Either Le Prof or the papers is playing with our minds regarding KB. However, if we really get KB, do we start him on the left or upfront? Play him and interchanging Alexis, or OG or Theo? Or even get Higuain and let Wenger build his confidence up?

    I am unsure of what the Prof thinks, but at least we can agree with the fact that Prince Poldi is gone, and on the wide left we are a little short at the start of the new season. Unless we see Alexis back to his full fitness in one week, like what we almost see from the players yesterday, I feel that we need to back him up with not just JW, with a better AM/Winger. And please do not count Welbeck in, but at least he is better than JW, but we need a better one than JW and Welbeck.

    Njstone9, I see that you are as youngster minded as I am, and seeing how much Bellerin and Coq developed after playing regularly for the second half of last season, I am now even more youngster minded.

    Ah.. my brain is getting fried, so enough of thinking comments here.

    Back to you Steve / Gerry / 17ht / TA / whoever is reading this.

    Cheers,
    JK

  18. allezkev says:

    Good positive post Total…

    Didn’t see game, haven’t seen goals.
    But even if we win the Emirates Pot, to me, the real test is Wembley…
    That game will show how far the squad has come since the turn of the year.

    I’m actually quite optimistic about the Charity Shield.

  19. Gerry says:

    Of course AW is playing with his words. Take nothing from comments at face value.

    For every deliberate leak for a player, eg Dzeko, it is there to cloud thoughts. He may be cheap-ish, but his salary isn’t?
    I am not sure how LvG works. He may just think X amount of cash will get him any player he wants? But he too might be looking one way, only to go somewhere else.

    The bigger problem, and why I hope things get sorted soon, is clubs will be more reluctant to part with player once the season starts. Only if they succumb to a big bid will there be much more done in the last two weeks of this window.

    So wait and see ….

  20. Excellent report TA and the lonely pub isn’t that far off from how I watch the matches here…(Kronenbourg replaced by espresso, of course….) Alas, yesterday’s was not on any telly (that I get) so I only read narrative and watched goal clips as they were posted–your description helps fill out the details very nicely…

    From the goal clips I couldn’t help but wish we had to play against this Everton keeper, week in, week out… Slow off his line for the first, rooted to it for the 2nd and already yelling at his defenders on the 3rd… Where was Tim Howard to have a miracle match (like the US vs Belgium round of 16 in the World Cup)?… You can see why Ospina might be tempted to make the move there… Can we do it as a loan?… 😀

    We’ve got an emerging narrative of (our) team dynamic vs the more usual fantasy football or set of stars bought in the window being the way to build a squad. Theo’s contract posturing looks like it’s set to divide opinion but my guess is that’s just something we’ll have to endure as many of the silly money clubs are looking at their options. Real Madrid played a nil-nil friendly with Roma yesterday, so clearly they need something new (and different and shiny)… It’s a loooooonnng 45 days until the window snaps shut, I fear… (Sorry, Gerry, again I must disagree about business done early in the window–these are big commitments and best prices are to be had from positions of strength…Early biz is done, now, so late on seems more likely…)

    What’s good about the team idea is that it’s all being done w/o the guy who carried us for much of the early season a year ago….Alexis (and to a lesser extent Welbeck) will need to watch and figure out how to work in with the current group. When you’ve got guys from back to front all wanting their chances it becomes more about playing to help your mates than hogging the glory for yourself… Santi’s yield should show that it doesn’t matter where you start the match…Anybody can get in on the scoring (and assisting)… Was Ox pressing just a bit too hard (as he’s been known to do) causing that heavy touch which led to the goal the other direction?…

    There’s likely no need to single him out….just a reminder that it can be difficult if a group is humming and you’re on the outside looking in… As such, we need to hang together as a group (fans too…) and remember that it’s a long season and not everybody can do it all in every match…Not bad, however, for the group to be looking sharp from the get-go…

    Finally, always good to get AB’s thoughts and welcome to njstone… The stuff about wives in kits reminds me that I need to lean on Total to get me my UMF prize (sooner than later)… Are we primed for another go-round of that competition? What about the BK FF league? I got a recent e-mail that the main site is “live”…

  21. steve says:

    Indeed no need to single OX out HT, nice to hear your usual level headed judgement on this matter. He was the one who lost the ball no doubt and it was from a heavy touch but they were as you say pressing him well at the time, three players i think were honing in on him a that point.
    The problem i have with that whole situation is at the very moment he lost the ball (74:46 on the clock) the picture behind him looked like this:

    ————————OX————
    —————–Kos————————-
    —-Arteta——–Cazorla——–Bellerin
    —–Gibbs—————-Chambers——
    ——————–Cech———————

    Kos was the one who had the stride out of defense and gave the short pass to OX but still behind him there were two DM’s (Arteta and Cazorla), Arteta was too far away and Cazorla got rolled by Barkley, a RB (Bellerin) who was already in full flight forward and so couldn’t put the breaks on and turn back fast enough (our style of play i suppose), a CB (Chambers)who showed him to much space and angle for a shot and didn’t close down quick enough and then a GK (Cech) who got beaten by a strong shot from just outside the area.
    But no it was OX who gave the goal away from loosing possession, nobody else gets mentioned – as they are all blameless lol (or maybe don’t factor into TA’s “OX hate” campaign lol).

    Its a shame you missed the full game HT, it was the realization of Wenger’s dreamland (and i think i am correct in assuming along the lines of yours also) where it was midfielders everywhere, the full compliment of Cazorla, Ramsey, Wilshere and Ozil all started lol. It will never happen in the real world where you just cannot play Cazorla as a DM or keep playing one of the many failed attempts of trying to get a high level performance from a central mid whilst playing out wide but it was fun viewing in a pre-season setting and you should really give it a watch – can’t you just view it on arsenal player?

    Gerry, you prioritize Iwobi over OX for a stand in role in the Sanchez position – come on man!?
    I big up the youth guys as much as anyone but Iwobi over OX, no mate, just no lol.
    Did you somehow miss all the offensive work he did in that match? in the short time he was on he;
    (53 minute) – beat two guys in the bottom corner and played a great ball right into the middle of the area, no-one was waiting (as usual) but it did manage to find Giroud who messes it up.
    (55 minute) – beat one guy, then the full back on the run with pace and power and put in an almost inch perfect cross for Giroud’s diving header.
    (64 minute) – defense splitting pass almost puts Theo in but the goal keeper just gets there first
    (70 minute) – out to in run beating his man and almost dinked the keeper with his left foot chip.
    (87 minute) – beats two guys again from a standing start and passes excellently to Ozil in space in the box, who shoots and is deflected.

    He beats guys in the final third Gerry, he doesn’t rely on runs without the ball and passes from others like Walcott and even Giroud, he makes chances – Like Sanchez. If he was on the left maybe the poor fucker could finish some off with a shot rather than having to pass it across to someone else. And don’t forget if Sanchez has any weakness at all it is that sometimes his passing has gone a bit astray sometimes as well mate.
    But Iwobi for OX – 😆 you kill me sometimes bud you really do 😆

    Nothing much more to add to the post or indeed any of the comments as they summed everything up very nicely.
    I would just add – njstone9, buy a mens shirt not an arsenal ladies fitted shirt for your misses mate, when they wear them like a short dress so it just covers their arse with nothing on the bottom but a pair of panties – trust me she will somehow look twice as hot as she did the second before she put it on lol, don’t know how or why it works – don’t f*cking care, it just does 🙂 Happy buying mate 🙂

  22. Don’t think I can go *that* deep with you, steve… Sorry… Just a friendly, after all, and Everton are at a different stage of development… As much as Barkley’s screamer was a nice consolation, my bet is that Martinez wishes he was playing more of the “team game” our boys seem to have in their lockers these days…

    That was my only point re: Ox…Out of our half, just work it with your mates rather than charge off on a big (solo) run just because you want a slice of the fun… That’s also the discipline which Ramsey and Wilshere are (slowly) learning. I know you live for those great runs and “guys taking charge” but the percentages for 1 v 11 aren’t so great…In my opinion only, of course… 😀

    Ox for Alexis (in August) seems the obvious call (no such worries further forward)…esp. if Theo seems to be holding out on the contract stuff. Thanks for chipping in with the reality check on Gerry’s, er, youth fantasies… 😀 Maybe if Ox, Akpom, Theo and Ollie all go down to some dodgy lasagne and Welbeck cannot be taped together… Then again, Willock, could get the call…Unless Barca come in for him… 😀 (Don’t they have a transfer ban for at least a little while longer?…)

    TA, working on mail…re: shirts at least… More smileys…

  23. steve says:

    To the slightly rejuvenated transfer interest i will give my 2 cents again (because its Sunday afternoon and i literally have nothing else to do right now) 🙂

    I personally don’t get why we are all after players we already have lol
    Isn’t Benzema just another Giroud? I don’t rate Giroud the highest in all fairness but his goal scoring record is almost identical to Benzema’s over the last couple of seasons, so why pay a load of money for the same thing?
    Isn’t Lacazette just another Walcott? Like i’ve said before if you put this fully fit and on form Theo we are seeing now he’s back from injury as the main man up top in one of the biggest teams in the french league for a whole season wouldn’t he score a bucket load of goals as well? How is Lacazette any better than Theo?
    Isn’t Boomerang just another Welbeck? surely we should give Danny a proper season to get his feet on the ground and get his finishing on target no? other than that the pair look almost identical, pace, power height etc, i just don’t get it.

    The same could be said about nearly every other player we have been linked with, why are you all trying to look for the death of our current players instead of letting them prove themselves now they actually all have the chance, in a well gelled team?

    I personally play top trumps during the TW lol, “oh ive got that, need that, swap you that for that” lol, that type of thing and as far as the squad goes atm there’s only a few areas i would add to and i am pretty sure they are nothing like anyone else’s lol

    Remember this has nothing to do with the eventual starting XI, just how i see the squad in terms of transfer business:
    (I will leave out the three amigos, Rosicky, Flamini and Arteta as their days are pretty much coming to an end at this point in time)

    The seniors:

    —————————Giroud——————————
    Sanchez—————–-Ozil———————-Walcott
    ————–—Cazorla–——–???????——————
    Monreal———-Kos————BFG———-Debuchy
    —————————-Cech——————————-

    The competition:

    ————————–Welbeck—————————-
    The OX—————–Wilshere———————Silva
    —————–Ramsey———Coquelin——————
    Gibbs————GP5————????———–—-Jenko
    ————————–Szczesny—————————-

    The U21’s:

    —————————-Akpom—————————-
    Gnabry—————–Crowley———————Iwobi
    ——————-A-M-N———Hayden——————-
    ????————????————CC21———–Bellerin
    ————————––Macey—————————–

    The youth Academy:
    no set team but players include:

    Huddart
    Moore
    Dobson
    O’Connor
    Dragomir
    Bielik
    Jeff Reine-Adelaide
    Willock
    Hinds

    Now if i was to do what i would prefer and promote internally i would simply say Coquelin fill the ???? space in the DM spot for the seniors thus promoting Hayden into that spot for the competition and therefore Bielik up into the U21’s.
    But lets just say i want a “full set” lol top trumps style lol, my choices are

    The seniors:
    DM – Grzegorz Krychowiak

    The competition:
    RCB – Virgil Van Dijk

    The U21’s:
    LB – Jetro Willems
    LCB – Alessio Romagnoli (we are recently linked to)

    That’s it! lol, all the spaces filled, simple as that – 3 defenders, 1 DM and a GK already signed, lol how boring. But that is all we need to be complete for years to come.

    Swaps:
    The only swap i would do is for Silva (maybe) because i have not seen him play in the premiere league so i do not know his standard but i am more in the mind of letting him get his chance, a good swap here if needed would be for Draxler imo.

    Bonus:
    For the longest time i’ve wanted to see a left footed attacking midfielder/winger balance at Arsenal, someone to give on the right what Sanchez does on the left. Of my four choices, Bale was always a pipe dream, Kennedy has gone to Chelsea, Roberts went to Man City just the other day and Munir El Haddadi is the only one left available.

    There you go, a trip inside the demented ideas of my transfers mind 🙂

  24. steve says:

    HT, i know it would be easy to think that in OX’s case since he looks to do it so often but this time all he did was turn and touch the ball once (a bad touch) and it was taken off of him, he wasn’t on some kind of solo run, he had barely received the ball lol.
    watch the game foolio 🙂

  25. Gerry says:

    Ah I see the good people have woken up.

    It seems I have a bit of explaining to do?

    So let me deal with the negative stuff. Ox was not singled out for gifting the goal. Read again. It was for a series of misplaced passes. One crossfield ball in particular went straight to an Everton player standing in the middle of the park and he hardly had to move to say ‘thank you very much, I’ll take it from here shall I? Another simple pass to Akpom went shooting into touch when he had nearly half the pitch to play it in front of him.
    Which brings me to Iwobi ……
    What I said was, and I am sure it was pretty obvious that I was talking in context of that game, and that game only, because I said if it was a double sub when Akpom came on (with two others admittedly, but I clarified ‘as a pair’), because of the understanding between the two of them, (and the way Ox was playing), that Iwobi might have the better option.
    What you have done is take part of one sentence in my constructive criticism of OX – …if he hopes to play the Alexis role he would have to tighten up on his passing. Then put that with – .. Iwobi ‘being the better option on 75 minutes in that game’, somehow equates to in your world as Iwobi better option to replace Alexis?
    You should have gone to Specsavers ….
    Oh, and I am not in the ‘Ox hate club’, should one exist.

    My other observation of the players who were not on the same high level as the rest went to Akpom, who I am also a big fan of by the way. But at the moment it looks like he cannot connect with the seniors players which means to game does not flow when the ball is played to him. But that is a two way thing, and he needs more game time, which I said in the above.

    I did mention about Chambers not closing down Barkley quicker, but I thought that was probably down to tiredness, having not played at all previously, and it was late in the game. I did think he played well enough to make that his priority position.
    It wasn’t a criticism of Debuchy either, just over the two games I thought Bellerin came out on top.

    Was there anything else troubling you?

  26. Gerry says:

    Steve, the trip into transfer world is interesting on one level. You could actually have you 4 purchases without selling anyone? This is due to the large number of ‘home grown players. However, Silva, even if good enough would not be one of them. Nor will Jenks on completion of his next full season loan. I am not sure how long Coquelin was away to know if he still qualifies?
    But you have already got rid of Ospina, Flamini, Rosicky and Arteta, but the latter will have to be put back as AW wants him.
    It will put Bielik on a tight call, as he is not a ‘B’ list player either.

    So Walcott, (if he qualifies at his age?)leaving would knock someone else out too.
    However, I cannot see why you have gone so defence heavy, so lose V v D, and there is room for a striker, but that is my preference. I would hold off on the DM to see if Hayden is up to it first.

    Just thinking out loud really, as it means we can buy without letting go of anybody, other than the three seniors you mentioned or implied. By that I mean buy first and see who is unhappy about it. For example, Monreal might take up the offer if we bring in a LB? Not Gibbs as you lose a ‘home grown’. player.
    If we did, I still like Ty Mings.

  27. steve says:

    My bad on the Iwobi over OX selection thing Gerry, i misread your comment on that point and missed the link you made to it being connected to his partnership with Akpom – sorry
    However… 😆
    “Ox was not singled out for gifting the goal”
    “The one gifting them possession which immediately led to their goal”
    Really 😆
    Plus, mate if after watching that performance which included that list of great offensive chances he made that i included in my comment all you could come up with was a ball he gave away in his own half and one he gave away up top as a cross field pass then you sir have a foot firmly in the “OX hate” camp lol.
    (i am not counting the Akpom pass, come on man it was right next to him, Akkers could have got that, he was caught slacking on his heels)
    You talk of negative stuff, read the sentence below and point out ONE bit that isn’t negative regarding your analysis of OX’s performance lol.

    “Ox is never going to get the Alexis role if he cannot give his full attention to his passing. The one gifting them possession which immediately led to their goal was only one of several. Many times it seemed like he had a blind spot to the Everton player who was between him and his target?”

    Interesting point about homegrown guys, how many is the requirement now?
    From the over 21’s i think we have:
    Walcott
    Welbeck
    Wilshere
    OX
    Ramsey
    Coquelin
    Gibbs
    Jenko
    Szczesny

    And that is without even counting the U21’s of whom many are homegrown, i think (but i am never sure on this subject) we are good on this count.

    And yes thats my whole plan around those signings, you wouldn’t have to sell anyone – two full teams of over 21’s is 22 plus atm Rosicky, Flamini and Arteta makes it spot on 25 (i am assuming Ospina will be moving on). The rest are all U21’s including the new signings at that level so they do not count towards the squad limit 🙂

    I guess i am just happier than most with what we have, and at the same time i know i won’t get my defensive contingent from the TW so quite content to sit back and see how things develop during this window – makes a happy change from past TW’s 🙂

  28. steve says:

    Gerry, Ty Mings just signed for Bournemouth btw

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    If you read my post, F11ngers, you realise I am not an Ox hater, but I guess that was one of your jokes? 😕

    The opposite is the case actually. I love him to do well and he was great going fwd. He is, however, tactically naive, and prone to making costly mistakes, and the best thing for him and us is a loan spell at a mid table club where he can afford those mistakes, and learn to grow out of them.

  30. steve, Gerry… I just lost a comment to some ‘puter-‘pidity… It wasn’t *that* long, but it was long enough… Argh…

    My overall point is that I appreciate you guys attempting to explain yourselves…Of course, it’s (very) early days and things are awfully upbeat around the club at the moment so stick with it, I say… 😀

    steve: the line-ups and slotting in players of similar styles may work for you but players are actually DIFFERENT, not the same (like playing cards of similar rank or suit) so, for me at least, that’s where the analysis begins (rather than ends)…Otherwise it’s almost like saying: “17HT is a lady-part and Ozil is a lady-part, ergo 17HT can probably play just as well as our #10…” More 😀

    On your specific examples… I don’t see Benzema as a like for like with Giroud…at all… Moreover, I think Ollie has real issues with confidence and playing in front of the home crowd, Hey Jude songs notwithstanding… Benz (el inutil, as I’ve heard him called…) has similar issues so a change of scene would likely do wonders for him. That said, I don’t see RM giving him up for anything less than truly absurd money unless Rafa has a plan to bring Higuain back with him… Overall, I’m just extremely pleased you (now) seem to be in favor (favour) of our “donkey” (your term) up front… 😀

    Likewise, I thought you were pushing (hard) for the guy from Lyon… Theo’s only issue seems his fitness record–and his agent. His whole career, he’s been a 20+ goal guy, except, of course, that he isn’t. (One year 21–in all comps, a couple of others with 13 and 11, all the rest >7…) If we stump up for the big money, it will ripple throughout the squad, which is fine if we’re winning things… My hunch is that management will call Theo’s bluff and send him off to Scouseland (unless City will take him)…There are plenty of young(er) speedsters who can hold up two fingers (and a fist)–from the sidelines or a stretcher vs our arch-rivals… and don’t need 100K+/week to do so… Have a chat with your buddies Wayne (Rooney) or Stevie (G) or ask Cashley instead…

    Just my opinion, of course…

    As much as I think Theo is the more ready for a break-out season, I also think the Ox isn’t *that* far behind him… (No loan for him, TA, not with Welbs, Wilshere and Rambo all too prone to injury and those other fellas too long in the tooth…) Sign da ting or let the latter fill in for the West Ham match (the only one Alexis will miss, according to latest reports…) In other words, I’m not positive either of them is automatic first 11…at the moment, at least…but both have roles to play…

    Anyhow…better late than never…maybe, except for Gerry, who is surely already in nodsville…

  31. jw1 says:

    ‘The boys played with hunger and focus, and above all a maturity and togetherness I have never witnessed before during our previous preseasons…’

    This. Is the value of developed chemistry in a team.
    This group believes in one another; and live and laugh among themselves.
    These guys actually like one another.

    This has been the long-term value that AW has been cultivating with this core group for these past 4-6 years. The additions of #11 and #17 were surgical additions to core group– and this year #33 was the coup-de-gras.

    AFC is deep, talented, and hungry– and primed for great things.
    To promote from within with Theo, Bellerin, and Coquelin will pay dividends on several levels within the club.

    The effort and focus in the FA Cup vs AV has extended to the BAT– and I’m salivating to see AFC do to Chelsea what they did to MC in last year’s Community Shield. It would certainly be a hefty marker to lay down against Mourinho’s minions– to make a statement. Following that statement against MC last preseason– AFC then kept MC in their pockets all year.

    And I don’t think we’ll see any surprises in the TW– though I’ve always liked Benzema.
    Those who liken him to OG? Well– how were last season when we didn’t have OG?
    I don’t want to AFC to have to play OG-less. Another OG would suit me fine as backup.

    This is all you could ask at this point. My expectations are high.

    jw1

  32. steve says:

    haha yes TA just my usual dig at your view of the OX needing to go out on loan that you brought up ages ago, it’s all meant in a jokey way – i know you don’t actually hate the guy lol, but as you have literally just repeated you wouldn’t mind seeing the poor guy go out on loan – really don’t agree foolio 🙂

    HT, i understand the players are different bud lol but that isn’t the be all and end all of where they play. For example Benzema and Giroud are very different players but in our system wouldn’t both be in competition for the main striker up top? would Benzema end up on the wing? i think not, would Giroud? nope (i hope not lol). They would both be in competition for the same spot even though they are different players.
    Same with Ozil, Wilshere and Zelalem or Crowley – all different style players but all vying for the number ten spot.
    Sanchez, OX, Gnabry where are they looking to cement their position? DM? number ten? RB? – no, on the wing, all different players but thats where they are trying to make their progression.
    I could go on for ever but really the point at which you analysis breaks down is when you introduce yourself into the equation, if you could play footy as well as Ozil, Wilshere or Zelalem then yes mate you probably would be a contender to play in that number ten role – see how that works? 🙂
    When they get their chance for whatever reason in the future they will be slot into those types of positions bud i have no doubt.

    I was pushing for no-one bud, just giving my best suggestions for the positions everyone was talking about in TW signings back a while ago. The guys i would like to see are above, but again are very boring acquisitions, mainly in the defensive department 🙂

    but hey what do i know i could be all wrong and we could end up seeing Akpom playing left back and my dog bonnie playing up top as the main striker as she too has hair on her head – following your logic bud 🙂

  33. AB says:

    Evening HT. I hope you are right around our management line, but my hunch is that Walcott will get his pay hike eventually. I’ve been reading his recent interview and finding it pretty irksome – very much a challenge to the club; I’ve never cared much for such public challenge. However, I think pragmatism is likely to prevail; we have shipped out some of our forwards, have a strategy based on a stable and familiar core squad, and a fit Theo does score goals. If our new fitness people think he can be kept moderately fit, then he will prove worth the money to us, however unpleasant the negotiating tactics may be. To be fair, there is a certain honesty to Theo – he doesn’t kiss the badge, plead unending loyalty and then jumpy ship for the first better offer; but it is clear that he has a price in mind, and unless we pay it he will be open to others who will. As I’ve indicated above I think we are looking a bit thin up front at this moment, and selling Walcott now would leave a serious hole in our squad; we will need to buy the proverbial ‘top top quality’ if we need to replace him in the current TW. Walcott, and his agent, will be only too aware of this, and in no hurry to lower the price accordingly; and after the TW closes, the we are over a barrel.

    We’ve had some interesting exchanges above tonight! Anyone would think we were mid-season and mid-table, with half the squad out injured, not pre-season having just won a game very convincingly. We all want this team to succeed, so there’s no need to take chunks out of each other just yet?

  34. steve says:

    jw1, when OG-less don’t we simply play Welbeck? Otherwise whats the point of having him?
    If we signed Benzema that would make Welbeck third choice up top (forth choice if Theo gets his way to play down the middle) and limit him to very few games, not to mention Akpom behind him who probably wouldn’t get any lol
    I am happy either way really but i think Welbeck deserves a chance at least.

  35. steve says:

    no chunks AB, just a bit of fun and trying to entertain ourselves on a Sunday 🙂

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    Well said JW1 🙂

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    Steve and 17, Ox has to go out on loan to break through; I really cannot see him do it at Arsenal in the first instance. He needs to play regularly but to do this at Arsenal it would cost us points, of that I have no doubt. If he can learn to concentrate better and mature quickly, I would love to see him back at Arsenal and become a full, firing on all cylinders, Gunner. We have plenty of midfielders to not to have to worry about having enough cover.

  38. allezkev says:

    Isn’t George Dobson leaving?

  39. steve says:

    actually i did hear something along those lines allezkev, hasn’t left yet though 🙂

  40. allezkev says:

    I heard, Steve, that he was joining Newcastle…

    I then I heard that he wasn’t…

    So pick the bones out of that mate…

    He’s an Essex lad, Romford area, so I would have thought that he’d join West Ham.
    I also heard that Donavon might be leaving as well.

  41. steve says:

    haha yep heard the same back and forth so took the usual approach – ignore everything until it is confirmed lol.
    Didn’t hear about Donavon though mate, i guess with a couple of new additions coming in already that they are having the customary clear out as well.
    We shall see i suppose 🙂

  42. NjkSG says:

    Um JW1, I would very much like to win the community shield (I think Charity Shield again!), but those who won it will not win the EPL. Unless we do enough to break the jinx.

    I would very much like to win both, and consistency is somewhat there in the second half of last season. So keep the momentum going and be the invincibles once again?

    Steve, even LeProf sees that Theo is better out wide and cuts in. He plays much much better that way and against villians Theo did that after a quiet start upfront, changing positions with Alexis and what a wonder it made when he scored.

    I know Theo wants to play a forward role, and somehow he likes it when he plays on the left or the right of a 3 pronged attack. This is clearly a make or break season for him, and it will mean so much for the team to have him around.

    My 2 cents/pence after the rukus here. When everyone is sleeping ☺

    JK

  43. Hey fellas…I was right…Gerry’s already asleep… 😀

    steve, I think fixed positions are one of the last things Wenger worries about…I’ve never played the game but all I’ve been told is that if you’re good you play in the middle–or at keeper–until you get to the level that they make you play out wide–or worse yet, have to take throw ins (i.e., play full-back)… I know you’re more committed to the line-ups and positions but, if a player is good enough the manager will find a spot for him…

    TA, like Wenger said, it’s a big year for a lot of players. The Ox will get his chances, but he has to do well with them. To me, he’s as likely to score a belter (like Barkley’s) and that’s about at the level at which he’s competing (i.e., too good to loan out, not good enough for Man City to offer 50 million…). For me he just needs to improve that little bit in terms of decision making which might come if he can have a good spell of fitness (while others don’t). Mistakes will hurt a lot less if he’s further forward. Alexis makes tons (tonnes?) of mistakes but works hard to make up for them and Ox has that same sort of inspiration…Truth be told, I’m nervous whenever either of them (Ramsey too…) has the ball in our own half…Too much belief in one’s own abilities can be a double edge sword sometimes…

    JW-1, my frisbee playing friend, has it spot on… There’s too much emphasis on individual players and individual moments (and individual positions) and not enough on the team becoming bigger than the sum of its parts. That’s what (in my opinion, of course) is the reason I cannot look away–and why so many Wenger-haters go quiet but also stick around as things look better–If the group could come together in a meaningful way it could be a (very) lovely thing. Yes, we can break it all down, position by position and player by player, and who (in the transfer market or from the youth team) could slot in, but the team’s the thing… And it’s still a good thing to be striving for, even if it doesn’t end in the quadruple… 😀

    Finally, AB–if you have a good link to the Theo playing hardball with his contract stuff, please post it. His end of season hat-trick and his goal vs Villa were nice but probably less important than the deflected shot-cross up at Old Trafford which got us 3rd place… He’s been a lucky fella, I think and a good pay-day is coming even if it’s painful in getting there… The less aired in public, maybe the better, but fans (who can afford an Arsenal ticket–i.e., pay Theo’s wage) are probably cynical enough to not mind so much…

    Double, truly, finally…TA you’ve got mail…

  44. Hey AB…I’m not trying to take chunks out of anybody…And I think, for the most part that steve isn’t either…So far, however, amongst the names I cannot recall, he’s called me a Pleb, a helmet, and now, :”foolio”… Sometimes he puts in the laughy face so I guess it’s all in fun… Do I like it? No I don’t… But it beats the names he gives to our players and the manager…

    Whatchagonna do?… TA seems to have a live and let live attitude… but yeah, if this is the level we’re at over a pre-season team bonding sort of trip to the far east, (where, according to most reports, the team played great…) you can only imagine the fall-out if (dennis forbid) we draw or l*se a game… (That’s right, there’s only one * in lose, not two, but it’s still a swear-word…)
    😀 😦

  45. NjkSG says:

    Hi 17ht, I am laughing when I read your last 2 comments. Seriously..

    Anyway, I do not think Theo’s playing hardball with his contract, I reckon his agent is.
    However, his comments these few days were quite positive, but taking queue from Delph, I am not sure if it means anything. However, knowing Theo, he wants to play for the club, and he TRULY loves the club. Delph seems like a villian in this, but anyway he was a Villian too.

    And yes, we do not like the l*se word, so we must win all our games. I feel that the Invincibles season is repeating itself. Everyone is in good winning mentality so it is hard not to think that way.

    Cheers,
    JK

  46. Gerry says:

    Yep, you were right HT, evenings on the ‘puter are not good for me. I need an hour or so of tele so I can hope to get a decent nights sleep.

    Mornings are different.

    I found it amusing after my comment on Theo’s contract, as it was all over NewsNow as the biggest story. For some reason he found a need to speak out, yet which still left opinion divided. I am with AB on this one. I dislike the tactic. The comment on being prepared to play the waiting game just sums it up. Just saying he is leaving it to his agent does not cut it either.
    I am sort of with you and your hunch HT, that the club will not go beyond the end of this window. He is right at the top of his ‘value’ in the market, far too high to risk him walking away next season … and picking up on a Sterling size bonus in the process. However, I don’t think the pressure will be applied until they secure a signing of some stature?

    I agree with the view on player positions too. I give this link which should be compulsory reading for the Theo’s, Jack’s and Aaron’s in our squad.

    http://the4thofficial.net/2015/07/19/a-look-at-arsenal-target-the-most-versatile-player-in-world-football-right-now/?

    On the Ox point I made. If I could afford to renew my Red Membership I would have watched the highlights again. I am not convinced by your unchallenged statement that it ‘was a heavy touch’ that gave away possession ‘that led to the goal’. I thought he already had the ball under control and was trying to play his way out of trouble, then at the last minute tried to pass it? If I watched the whole game again, I think I could find more examples of his poor passing. The crossfield ball sticks out because it was plain careless! To that extent I agree with TA and HT it is not something he can afford to do if we are chasing the league title. Mistakes are one thing. Lack of concentration is another. But I agree with the point that he was probably trying too hard to impress. In the previous game I praised him for getting his shooting action more under control. Now he needs to do the same with his concentration?
    I think it was Arsene himself that said Ox was a player yet to find a position in the team, but he had a plan for him. Perhaps it was me that thought he was thinking of the Alexis role, short term starting, longer term, super sub? Either way, being careless when the team is moving forward will be very costly. However I would rather he, and Akpom, stayed within the group rather than go out on loan. The loan system means it can be hit or miss, so not always the answer. I hope therefore Gnabry finds a good one. Better still, impresses enough to rattle Theo’s cage a little 😀

    Other news, Flamini looks like he may be on his way for a final big pay packet before heading to the MLS? Rosicky to go to his home club. Szczesney to Ajax on loan? Are they becoming our training club 😀

    Wheels in the TW are slowly turning towards a frantic few days before the new season starts, here and elsewhere in Europe. I await good news on that front.
    Cheers

  47. NjkSG says:

    Gerry, Gnabry, rattle Theo’s cage? hm.. he wouldn’t even touch him. his only good value is his passing. Well then, not as good as Zelalem.

    Rosicky should stay and be the backup to Santi. WS to Ajax? Absurd i feel. Flams? I wouldn’t even comment on it.

    For the Ox part which I see a great deal of comment against and for him. I saw the match and his soft touch, not heavy touch, gave it away. He was trying to clear the ball but it went straight at the person in front of him.
    As much as I want to say some good things about Ox, he made a very good impression in the first game, played well in the second game and even after his howler (there was no one close to him to back him up on his right, hence the goal), his running and passing were quite good. They almost got a fourth goal as a result of his runs.

    Cheers,
    JK

  48. allezkev says:

    Steve, further to George Dobson, I’ve just read on a West Ham site, that he’s been training with them for the past three weeks.

    Apparently he turned down Newcastle as he wanted to stay in the London area.

    Also, as he signed a contract with Arsenal, lady November, we should get a fee – probably with the usual sell-on clauses etc.

  49. allezkev says:

    Lady…. 😐

    Last…. 🙂

  50. Gerry says:

    Mmmmmn, it seems it was not just me that got drawn away to watch the climax of the golf showdown?

    With so little happening I went back 3 pages on NewsNow to see if I missed anything, and I did find one story that Steve might be pleased about? Well by my interpretation of it anyway …

    It is this one. Wellington Silva has just signed a new contract. Why is this so interesting? Well I think the fact that his previous on was due to expire in 2016 was the real reason why he did not travel to Singapore. Not only is it easier to negotiate a new deal while he is just in pre-season training, it also might just mean he may just be seriously good?
    Think about it for a moment. If he played out there, with the coverage Sky Sports gave it, and he looked like a star in the making, how difficult would it have been to stop offers flying in for a player in the final year in the last year of his contract?
    I think we will find out soon if he is a star in the making, as he will get some opportunity to play before the CS in less than two weeks away.
    Put it this way, on the back of his last loan spell he would get offers if he turned down his new deal, and Arsenal would have only lost out on any part of his wages they covered whilst out on these past, what is it …4 or 5 years? But if he is proving just a wee bit interesting, why tell the world about it before they have a deal wrapped up?

    Keep that thought …..

  51. NjkSG says:

    Gerry, I cant think of anything to describe newsnow but some of the rumours is really hilarious.. I do not even know where they got the sources.

    JK

  52. NjkSG says:

    And Gerry, how about we request Wenger to play the players left in england in the coming game? Then we have something to talk. This is too quiet.

    As Wenger tied a guy who had never played a game for us to another deal means he really is something to watch. I would love to see him play.

    By the way, where does he play best?

    Cheers,
    JK

  53. Gerry says:

    JK- The videos show probably on the right, but he has come down the left. Wide!

    The big question mask is, will he be as effective against PL defenders?

    He is Brazilian, so he has the tricks and flicks … if he is allowed to use them.
    He might get a run out against Boreham Wood on Friday. They roughed up our youngsters a couple of seasons back, so it will be a good test for him and Hayden?
    Cheers

  54. NjkSG says:

    Hi Gerry,

    Ah.. interesting. Been somewhat too quiet here for almost the past day. If he plays we will see if he replaces Alexis?

    Cheers,
    JK

  55. NjkSG says:

    And yes. Boreham wood is a good test, I feel that Everton failed to test our youngsters well enough when they came on late.

    Look forward to that game.

  56. TotalArsenal says:

    New post, New Post

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