Cech behind Gabriel and Koz | Le Coq behind Jack, Mesut and Santi: Lyon Preview – Line-up

Arsenal’s home cup friendly against Lyon promises to be another fine test. I will be checking on the team’s ability to dominate the game around the Southern France’s team ‘D-area’, as we have been so impressive in doing this in the cup final, and recently, against Everton.  The Toffees were simply played off the pitch, but maybe this was down to fitness issues or a lack of hunger. The Gunners were hungry all right, which, as described in the match review, was a very nice surprise for me.


Against Lyon, managed by former Gunner Garde, we are likely to be tested a bit more. I have not seen Lyon play a lot recently so cannot give you much insight on our opponent.  I expect us to play another 4-5-1 or 4-1-4-1 formation, with the aim to play our attack minded midfielders as near to the Lyon box as possible and with high levels of possession of the ball.

We will want to dominate and try out our intricate passes to penetrate the Les Gones’ defence with real menace. The FBs, take your pick from Gibbs, Nacho, Bellerina and Debuchy, will provide the width, and therefore threat, to go behind the defence and add that much needed dimension to our attacking play. It is this interplay between the four central midfielders, the CF and the FBs that will be the basis of our attacking success against those teams that want to sit back, or indeed, are forced to do so. And Wenger is right to want to see more goals from the rest of the team and believe that we are capable of scoring ten more goals in the PL – from 71 to 81 – in the coming season (see Arsenal.com). This is a point I have been making for quite a long time now: forget about Wenger wanting to buy a super striker and replace Giroud; our goals need to come from all over the team, which makes us unpredictable/hard to plan against.

Furthermore, I am interested in how we will line up at the back and in central midfield. It would be good to see a bit more of Gabriel, either with Koz or the BFG. I guess Wenger will play a near full strength team tomorrow, so Cech is a near given and Coquelin will be our holding DM; unless of course, Wenger wants to experiment with two all-round midfielders, who are not as good defensively as Francis but add more from an attacking point of view (see also 17ht fine post on this topic). I need my DM fix and would always play with one in front of the defence, but Jack-Rambo combo would also be nice.

Alas, we can over analyse this; it is just a friendly and Wenger will use it as a way for players to get match fitness, with maybe one or two youngsters being thrown into the mix, either at the start or later on. So here is my predicted starting eleven:  Cech, Debuchy, Gabriel, Koz, Nacho, Le Coq, Santi, Ozil, Jack, Rambo, Giroud.

arsenal v lyon

We could see Theo instead of Le Coq, with Ramsey moving into the deeper midfield role.

Enjoy the game fine fellow Gooners.

By TotalArsenal.

87 thoughts on “Cech behind Gabriel and Koz | Le Coq behind Jack, Mesut and Santi: Lyon Preview – Line-up

  • My favorite site with great opinions… i chatted u guys once… The guy from Finland

  • Yes it was. Thanks! Always big fan and reading everything u post… work and childrens keeping me busy but always time for bergkampsque… But really? We dont need a striker? Really? My Favorite choice is Lewandowksi! Giroud Is good but melts in big games everytime..

  • good night guys… i have to go sleep now… about hours left and then my children start shouting and waking me up… Hoping to see ramsey jack partnering in our midfield… RESPECT

  • Ah yes, you, Steve and me had some good conversations. And thanks for compliment.

    Giroud scored against Pool and City this season, if I remember rightly. The aim is to spread the goals and Giroud is ideal for this imo. 🙂

  • Hi all..
    Nice post TA.. And agree with almost all the squad but strikers..
    You see the 4-1-4-1 so you put Ramsey and Wilshere altogether with Cazorla and Ozil..
    But I see it as 4-1-2-3.. So Walcott is a must plus another winger.. Could be Ramsey.. Wilshere.. Ox.. Or maybe Akpom or Iwobi.. Hehehe..

    Great to see the CF from 3 clubs.. Who will shine at Emirates.. Giroud.. Bas Dost or Lacazete.. And will Wenger bring some players from this two team..?? Hahaha..

    2013 we bought Ozil from Madrid
    2014 we bought Sanchez from Barca
    2015 we buy….from….???
    Is it Muenchen..?? Who..?? Lewandoski or Goetze..??
    Bas Dost or Lacazete will be ok for me.. Hahaha..

  • Every gunner fan is thinking with Cech we will win the epl if not everything.
    The thing is sometimes it may not go according to the script.We have to be realistic with our expectations.With all the top as well as other teams buying,it will be tough to win the epl.
    However I do think with Cech, our defence will finally have the custodian to safeguard the goal.
    You don’t often see top notch gks not being consistent.I expect him to get the gunners ten points or more to clinch the title.
    He is arare diamond. I am hoping to be proved wrong.

  • Great article/post. Just nice to have football back. I am not sure Garde is still the manager at Lyon though. I recall he left them about a season ago.

  • Its weird that Le Prof confirmed the impending departure of WS1.. he has never done that before.
    So until Ospina comes back we only have martinez to deputise for Cech.

    TA, I agree with your lineup, and it has a continuity from the game last weekend. But somehow both teams we are facing later today and tomorrow are quite strong. So play with a mix of youngsters?


  • I suppose it was to be expected that this preview would be full of your particular views on how the team are going to line up, and play …. and you may be right.
    However, a little more objectivity might have been better. AW I think was quoted as saying he will give every player in the squad a run out? It is a pre-season ‘friendly’, so why on earth would he start with a line up that only contains one experiment, GP5 in for Per?

    Yes, on the one hand it tries to continue the continuity factor, but that opens up the possibility of damaging confidence if it goes wrong?
    Apart from the manner of the win over Everton, the only other real positive you can take from that game was our fitness levels. Without doubt, the new guys in the backroom staff seem to be on to something. Wilshere for example, played two long stints in the heat and humidity. Not unreasonable for Per, but in midfield?

    So that is a big thing in our favour. But this time we will face an equally fit opposition? And as JK has pointed out, we have another similar game tomorrow. Wolfsburg arguably could be an even stronger test, as the Bundeliga probably plays similar to our league, with a strong, disciplined defence and fast and fit players going forwards? To that end, I think the core squad will be more evenly split between the two games, and few playing the full 90 in this, and starting tomorrow? After all, AW is trying to assess just how strong our depth is, rather than give a strong team here a workout in this game, and then see the reserves get hammered tomorrow? The last time that happened AW was attempting to show that we must spend money on new recruits, and the lambs were sent to the slaughter in that 8-2 massacre in Manchester. Thanks to Lord H, we know he is not going for a repeat show here.

    Therefore, I think the line up will be a cross-over in every area where he wants to test out players, and if I can get a range of possibilities set out in this format, it will be something like this: Team A is my thought for today’s game based on more open play, but equally it could be reversed and Team B plays today.
    Note; Not THE A team and B the reserves!

    __________Team A__________________ _____________Team B______________

    Iwobi ———Akpom———–Walcott———– ———————-Giroud—————————
    —————–Zelalem—————————– —–Wilshere ———-Ozil—————–Ox—–

    ———Coquelin——–Cazorla—————– ————Gabriel————Ramsey ————–

    Monreal—-Kos——Mert——Debuchy—— –Gibbs——Chambers—–Mert———Bellerin

    ——————Cech——————————- ———————-Martinez—————————–

    Subs from tea B___________________ Subs from team A_____________________
    Martinez, Wilshere, Ozil, Chambers——- Cech, Coquelin, Walcott, Monreal, Kos, plus–
    Bellerin, Ramsey——————————- Crowley————————————————–

    Strong defence and experimental counter-attacking forward line in Team A. More possession based in the Team B line up, with backs providing width. Possibly Gabriel may switch with Chambers, but as it stands, this would be the DM experiment? I fully expect the subs in the first game to start in the second. Per Mertersacker is the exception, but I don’t think he will finish in either game. Coquelin too, could start in both, but I think the experiment is worth a try in team B.

    The best combinations are likely to be the team that lines up in the Community Shield. That is where the core will be tested, not here.

    I will enjoy TA, have no fear.
    For those who have access to BT Sports, they are covering the Wolfsburg game before ours.
    2.0pm and 4.0pm BST respectively.

  • I missed J R-A as a possibility as a sub for Walcott in Team A … Now that would be exciting?
    Likewise Wellington, if his fitness levels are close? But I’d rather not see him do a Joel Cambell and look sluggish down the right?

  • Gerry,

    If we play the core against Lyon or wolfsburg we will be tested strongly. Unless they field teams that are second string.

    We need to test the core before the community shield. If not we will be whacked left right and centre if we do not give the main team a chance to get the crosses right.


  • Well Gerry, JK’s last comment inadvertently answered your first paragraph to me… 🙂

    Nobody is objective but it made me laugh out loud when you said I should show more objectivity. You are having a fecking laugh, right?! 😀

  • JK 🙂

    Yes weird re Szczesny indeed. I think he is making a mistake anyway as Roma are a big club and he is likely not to be the number one there once again. A mid-table PL club with real ambition and a guaranteed nr1 position would have been the right thing to go for imo.

  • Morning Total, nice post…

    The great thing about our present squad is its strength in depth and quality.
    Everybody has a personal view, and the line-ups for any given game are a testament to the choice Arsene now has…

    Today and tomorrow are going to be the tomato soup, the prawn cocktail, before next weekends steak and chips main course…

  • steak and chavs, followed by knickerbocker-glory! 🙂

    To be honest, Allezkev, I don’t care much about the line-up but a preview is not complete without one. We know Arsene has choice and yes that is great, but we can also see the lines of his thinking for the winning formation and philosophy for this season, which I tried to reflect in this post. 🙂

    Will you be watching today or are the streets of London beckoning once more for you?

  • Arsene Wenger, No.11 of Top 50 Managers (2015), from the FourFourTwo website.


    I’d believe Arteta & Mertesacker will each captain for one team vs Lyon & Wolfsburg. Defence and Midfield (volante, regista, trequrista, wide midfielder) shall see equal chances from our 1st team players, while Giroud, Walcott & Akpom will see starting action as part of our 2-forward combination in both matches.


    Szczesny should see starting opportunities at Roma ( De Sanctis is 38 & performance has dipped; Lobont is 37 & do not play much; and Svedkauskas at 21 is still raw ). The Roma team is currently touring in Indonesia.

  • Well i’m putting my cards on the table and simply saying i have no fecking idea how we will line up for these two matches, that JK got so close to getting a correct prediction on his last preview was bloody astounding tbh, this is preseason so for me its more hoping to see what i want rather than trying to predict whats actually in that crazy old mans head lol.

    —–Silva——————Walcott—————The OX—

    I want to see if Cazorla and Wilshere could strike up the same kind of chemistry as Cazorla and Ozil should there be a point in the season where Ozil becomes unavailable or needs rotation. Likewise this would allow for a similar assessment of an Ozil / Ramsey partnership in the second game.
    I want Ox to finally be given a shot at that Sanchez role on the left obviously.
    Down the right side i would like to see one of the youngsters given a shot either in the OX vein of tricks and dribbles using either Iwobi or Silva or in the Walcott style of mainly inward striker runs via Akpom’s inclusion there (as i am pretty sure that is how he would act out wide).
    Defense i am not too bothered with but any line up that helps alleviate the need to keep relying on the slow giant is a bonus for me so Gabriel would be a much welcomed addition.
    And if at some point we are comfortable enough to try out a new DM option then i would love to see one of our wildcard options introduced there late on: Hayden, Chambers, Bielik, or even Debuchy etc.

    But to be honest how cares, theres some actual footy to watch!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Steve, its the queue from what Wenger mentions from his team news.

    Playing youngsters seems to be what Gerry and I mentioned earlier on, but your lineup somehow fits Silva in. Anyway it would not deviate much from the 4-5-1 that we are so used to see.

    Sit back and relax and wait for the match to start 😁

  • Hi JK.. What time will the game play?? Is there any live by bein sport..??

  • Nice one TA…A preview where I wasn’t expecting one… The early match is on but the stream I’ve got is dodgy enough to not be keeping my interest… A couple of Chav rejects in Schurrle and DeBruyne with our own Nicky B on the bench for the team in Green… Jo-el Campbell not back from the Gold Cup for the Yellow Submarines?…

    Objectively… 😀 …With the two matches to be played it’s impossible to say who will get the outings and when… Also, objectively, I cannot make heads nor tails of all those lines in your post there, Gerry…

    Let’s remember that these are pre-season matches and results shouldn’t matter nor should we take too much from who gets longer outings or goals/assists/etc or makes a mistake (i,e, no Ox-hate left over from Singapore…) Next week at Wembley we’ve got a similar situation or am I wrong?… Is the Comm-Shield a “real” match with only the three subs and a half hour of extra time before pens or is it played with “friendly” rules? Sorry, but right now I cannot be arsed to do the research… Help me out here, folks…

    Likewise, I’m trying to dial in my own “fitness” or at least my ability to watch the matches for the upcoming season. We’ve got faster internet but my main ‘puter (which required a plug in connection for the web) was dropped by the cable guy (funny story, kind of…) and now is going through a claims process… I’m leaning towards going back to the satellite telly despite the price… Good thing my wife got that promotion… 😀

    So, I will be trying to run the HDMI cable to the big screen for our match and hoping it’s not so start-stop so that I can get a gander at some of the individuals who get so much press around here–to see for myself if any of them might be making a first team contribution sooner or later. Wasn’t it at this tournament that Jack W. got his first real run-out and impressed with his movement and ball control? That was half a decade ago, at least, I fear…

    Good weather, nobody hurt and a fun couple of days out…

    Whoa…Just checked in on the early game and it already has 3 goals in it… Stream is lower quality but continuous at least… Anybody else watching?…

  • yep, i have it on the TV on BT sports HT, haha the tables have turned lol, enjoy the world of the shit stream lol
    Not a bad game tbh, a pretty good un-friendly friendly with both teams up for the fight 🙂 3 or 4 yellow cards already, some good goals and a fairly decent pace to the game even though CV are still a month away from the start of their season – good effort 🙂

  • On the streets Total, sadly…

    Yeah, Arsene will have his preferred 1st choice XI no doubt, but as in the Cup Final when he picked Walcott to lead the attack, he has to ponder his selection these days, rather than it pick itself, which is a healthy position to be in…

    I always like to read other bloggers ideas on any starting XI, it’s quite revealing how different we all think on these matters…

    Knickerbocker Glory, now your talking… 🙂

  • My stream got better so maybe it will be good for our match… Here are the line-ups…Make of them what you will…

    Otherwise, re: Community Shield ruies, you guys are worthless… 😀 Bench of 7, 6 subs allowed, straight to pens… (I’m pretty sure…)

    Arsenal: Martinez, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Coquelin, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Iwobi, Giroud
    Subs: Cech, Gabriel, Monreal, Chambers, Bellerin, Hayden, Arteta, Cazorla, Reine-Adelaide, Walcott, Akpom

    Lyon: Lopes, Zeffane, Rose, Umtiti, Jenssen, Gonalons, Ferri, Tolisso, Grenier, Njie, Lacazette
    Subs: Mocio, Beauvue, Mvuemba, Labidi, Fekir, Mboubouni, D’Arpino.

  • My stream seems pretty good–if I watch with Spanish Commentary…Otherwise only available on replay… (?!?)…

    Time to check out this Lacazette fella and our own Iwobi (shopping the latter out for a loan?…)

    Coq and Rambo backing up Ozil in MF?… Or is the Ox supposed to take up the more central role?… No worries, I won’t let the listing made by telly folks fool me…


  • Ko Henry, I am not sure if it is showing on Indonesia. I believe they show. Its on Singapore TV channel 109 on miotv.

    Shocking to see how they play against Lyon. Real shocking.

    I am not going to spoil the fun until after the game.


  • Hello, people!

    Nobody is watching this? 😮

    Great second half of the first half. 🙂 Superb stuff and counter-attacks. No Cazorla, eh. 🙂 😛

  • Wow…Nobody watching or 4 nil just.not.good.enough… 😀

    Sleepy match until the Giroud shoulder goal but then wowsa…

    Rambo looking good in the middle of the action…outside of the right foot to spring the break and a very composed finish from the Ox… Scorer then steals the ball, Giroud links up (again) and Ramsey (left foot this time) passes on the slide rule for the Iwobi golaso (Spanish commentary for me…) Kid should’ve had a brace but for Giroud’s hair being offside… The final goal was also very nice. Ozil to Ramsey (outside right again) and maybe that guy is finding some real acceleration…hard to tell on the stream but the running-in-quicksand look (which makes him instantly identifiable) is getting the job done…today at least…

    Martinez (except for the kicking) has done well at the back to spare BFG slow turn blushes… Lyon, maybe took the Grenier injury a little hard (is that when all the goals came?…) but Fekir looks a real player…

    Plenty of changes in the 2nd period, maybe…

  • Hey Admir…

    So the takeaway is Santi out… Awesome…. 😦

  • The joy of six. 🙂

    Ramsey-Ox-Mesut trident looked as sharp as I would expect.

    Martinez made a crucial save at 0:0. I really like this lad, he has impressive frame.

    Iwobi looked better than Akpom. Akpom looked like Sturridge from his early days.

  • Our boys ripped them to pieces.
    Great performance from everyone, some clinical finishing.
    Just what we need. Still with no Alexis and Theo did not play and as i have said i think Welbeck will become a world class striker with us.
    The future is bright!
    The future is Red &White !!!

  • Looking strong on goal difference for another “cup.”

    Sorry Admir, I don’t mean to squelch discussion or not give you a proper greeting (where ya’ been?…Didja see my post about my sports heroes, including D. Rodman, a few weeks back?…)

    If Santi out is now the answer (much like Wenger Out in April ’13…) then so be it… Likewise I’m sure there will be some who will be unimpressed with Ozil’s technique on the 5th goal… Cameos by the youngsters need full dissection, I’m sure…

    As it is, I’m off, so let the party begin…

  • Admir,
    Akpom and Iwobi look ready for the first team and starts to me, very good stuff and view mate.
    I also like Martinez, he has the stature i agree, i think he is calmer then WS1 and Wenger may well see it the same.
    Great stuff today.
    Only Wenger could pruduce such talent from the youth system and make the EPL ready, we should not abandon this, i think our team is ready as it is. No more players needed.

  • See you later 17, thank you and catch up soon .
    Il have to read though your old posts also

  • 1 More game tomw.
    Then the community Shield v Chelsea.
    Then the EPL starts.
    I think we may well see some players leaving soon, on loan or sold.
    This has been a great way to promote there talents. Then Wenger may buy 1 or 2 World class players, Or 1 and an unknown World class star of the future.
    Good to see the OX score and looking very very sharp.

  • The Cockie Monster,
    I wonder how and if your dooming is still active?

    If any of you are wanting to watch more football Dortmund v Juventus is about to start. May well be worth a watch..?
    I got Arsenal to win the league at 5.6/1, the same odds also apply to us retaining the FA cup for the 3rd time in a row.
    I would have to say retaining the FA cup AGAIN is more likely, so that is my PG tip.

  • Lets not get carried away fellas. Pre-season means little (even the Chavs game) and the French opposition is not in the sam league, literally. But the way the lads are fired up, fit and eager, is a great sight to see. If we buy no one from here, I think we still have a team and squad that is right up there – injury willing. If we buy one more, who can really add to our front line edge, then fantastic – but it will need to be some player if we do. But right now, the benefit of the Wenger philosophy – building a team, from youth, with players familiar with each other, is showing its worth. It will be interesting to see how manure and pool fare, having each bought half a new squad in the TW…. I’d rather be in our shoes right now for sure.

  • Hmm. 3 preseason games, 13 goals, no Alexis and/or Welbeck…

    Can any Gooner really complain?

    Good to see some of the youngsters getting game time…

    Thought that Oxlade-Chamberlain, socks like TH14, scored like Th14…
    Very encouraging…

    Good to see the players all looking to score…

  • My take on the game last night.

    We were more willing to score this season, and with respect to Lyon, they were attacking us for most of the game, but were overpowered on the last third by our man of the match Kos.

    We played the counter attacking game, and with Hayden playing in the last moments, it was really nice to see another Le Coq on the field. This meant that we have a solid attack and defense and something in between depth wise.

    However our midfielders did not need to do much this game, as Lyon had pace and only pace. They are lacking the passes and the final touch, and our keeper had nothing much to do than stopping shots from Clinton. Their player that we are supposedly looking at is not at his best, so we have pretty much the whole game to ourselves.

    So, continue this form for tonight and against the chavs?


  • JK.. I missed the show.. I stuck on my way back from Bandung to Jakarta.. Hehehe.. If you ever come to Jakarta you knew already what happened..

    Great to watch (@youtube) how our team especially our youngsters played with such a beautiful way..
    Is it Arsenal too good.. Or Lyon is too bad..??

    I wonder if someday Emirates Cup.. Will filled with all Emirates sponsored club such as Madrid.. PSV.. Milan and Arsenal.. Will be a great show to watch.. Hahaha..

    Btw.. Our game tonight.. Will it held exactly the same time..??

  • Ko Henry, if you are on registered on arsenal player you can watch the highlights. My summary pretty much summed up the whole game.

    Yes. 12.20am Monday morning GMT+9. Us vs wolfsburg.

    I realised that we are playing a little different these few weeks. Maybe Cech brought the swagger from the chavs?

  • JK – Your summary did not do the game justice.

    Unfortunately I cannot write reviews in the evening, as the brain goes off, along with the rest of me. So these next 3 hours are as much as I can muster …. and I still wouldn’t have enough time to run through the 20 odd positives to take from this game.

    Even taking on board AB’s cautionary note about ‘friendlies’ and strength of opposition.

    The question is, do I start writing or wait for the official review?

  • Gerry, I know Lyon were better than my summary, but I just could not find the words.

    But the defense simply let them down. Let’s just say I felt like watching the fa cup final over again.

    So… Wait for TA and 17ht?

  • Okay, I’ll do bitesize chunks: Setting the scene.

    We set our stall out with a solid defence, with only Martinez in goal and Gibbs as probably our 2nd choice (of those available) defenders. This was backed up by Coquelin, and supported by Ramsey.
    In attack, Giroud led the line, but the key difference in the tactics employed was the trio behind. Ozil as the creator, Iwobi and Ox on the left and right flanks respectively. These were not your expected ‘out of position’ central midfielders who would turn inside at the drop of a hat. They both have pace and power to sustain long runs wide.

    Anyone who has the slightest knowledge of the Arsenal way of playing could not fail to see that by having these two quick players ahead of the full backs, that the latter need not over commit going forwards.


  • But Gerry, did you see the difference they were playing for the past 2 weeks?

  • JK.. Thanks for your information.. Tonight I must watch the game.. Cause I want to see my favourites players.. Walcott and Bas Dost.. Hehehe.. TA knew the reason.. Hehehe..

    Gerry.. Sorry for not replying you the other day.. I loved to way Wenger play our games lately.. We are back to attacks.. with two fast Winger.. And we have more gun to play that way because Iwobi and Ox just so close as good as Walcott.. Hahaha..

  • From a Lyon perspective, they too set up with a strong attack, with the experienced Gonalons as the defensive midfielder, and Grenier as the creative spark up front. They had a sprinkling of young players, but their young keeper who came out of their academy was the same player that helped them run PSG close. In fact 6 of the 11 players who started came from their academy. That was largely credited to their former manager and former Arsenal player, Reme Garde.

    So Arsene Wenger is not the ONLY manager who could build a team from within, whilst the Club’s money went on building a new stadium. Respect to Lyon.

    For the first half an hour the teams were pretty evenly matched. Possession swapped regularly, attacks were blocked, saved, or wasted equally.

    Then tragedy struck … and I mean a Diaby-esque tragedy that shook the Lyon side in such a way that they never recovered. Clement Grenier is a player I desperately wanted Arsenal to sign two or three seasons ago. He has been held as one of the most talented midfielders in French football, and he chose to stay at Lyon to be a part of that rebuilding process. So we never saw him in red and white. Last season he suffered a bad injury that kept him out for the entirety. He game back, injuries all cleared up, and on the threshold of a new and exciting season as Lyon hoped to keep their best player and really have go at toppling PSG …… then … with no player near him, he struck a ball awkwardly and crumpled in a heap an instant later.

    He left the field in tears as many of his fellow academy players came across to wish him well. To put it in perspective, if Jack Wilshere had suffered a career threatening blow last week, with all our young players on the pitch, knowing what he had gone through to get back to what was looking like his best, you can perhaps forgive the Lyon players for not simply dismissing it and getting on with the game? Least ways I hope you can?

    CG7 I wish you a speedy and complete recovery …

  • Before I continue JK, I think if HT was doing a review he would have said late last night.
    If TA is doing his ‘8 positives’ then that will be later to day. So rather than make a comment, that might seem like another criticism, as I will come back tired and grumpy from a very wet dog walk, I’ll continue with these bitesize pieces while I am in the flow.

    Henry no problem. But don’t just watch the highlights of this game on the ‘player, enjoy the full game when it is available. You’ll love it.

  • Part 3: The five minutes that changed the game.

    Lyon brought on Fekir for Grenier. Not exactly like for like, but with La Cazette and the lively N’Jie, he complimented their front line.

    But then an Ozil free kick about 35 yards/meters out, on the right hand touch line found Giroud. His timing was not perfect as it hit shoulder, but I believe it bounced up to his head which was in the process of whipping it goal wards. The result was a looping header that beat the outstretch hand of the ‘keeper into the far corner of the net.
    The deadlock was broken.
    And from one nil it went to four nil in as many minutes. It was like somebody flicked a switch.

    For the first half hour, both Ozil and Ramsey were guilty of several difficult passes that were not coming off. It is partly why possession swapped so frequently in the early part of the game.
    But what followed was what I have been saying about having pace for counter-attacker in my preview comment, albeit I had suggested Akpom up front. AW went with Giroud, and he did what he does best 1 minute and 14 seconds after his own goal … he held up play and fed a perfect ball for a midfielder … but I am getting ahead of things. Although, for the record, I have also been saying that wanting the right type of striker does not mean I want Giroud replaced. In open play games he is a great alternative to have, as he proved here.

    Back to the game. Lyon kick off. Attack. It breaks down. Ball falls for Ramsey. First time pass up to Giroud. He teases the defender (Umtiti no less) into thinking he is going to go around him, but with Ox steaming up on his right and Iwobi on the left, the pause was long enough for Ox to run on to a sweet pass. Facing the keeper at an angle, and with possible passes on, Ox struck it early, low and hard into the far corner.

    Next up, again almost straight after Lyon kicked off, Ox brings the ball out, knock it inside to Ramsey, Ozil dummies to the right, ball perfectly played to line up with Iwobi’s run into the box on the left. He meets the ball just right and it hits the roof of the net seconds later.

    Slightly longer delay before the next, partly because it had a few more moves in it. Finally Ozil has the ball just inside the left hand edge of the box. He spots the run that Ramsey is about to make, feeds the pass that Ramsey just latched on to before the defender got to it and squeezes the ball past the shellshock ‘keeper in off the near post.

    in 4.5 minutes 4 goals from 4 shots on target. How sweet is that?

    What was particularly pleasing for me was that it was all down to pace and movement. None of these goals involved and overlapping full back. Nor did the other two in the second half. The beauty of that is we were never exposed if any of these moves broke down.
    It is true both backs did get involved, but only after the play had slowed up because Lyon got players back. Then it became more about possession and trying to prise an opening.

    I may not have got the players right, two youngsters short of what I picked, but they played the game I expected them to, and boy was it spectacular.

    For those that missed the bit about last weeks game, I said apart from the win, our back room staff working on fitness have certainly come up with something. You can only do this type of counter attacking when you are fit and sharp. The above describes just how effective that can be.

    By all means take into account of the opposition at this stage of the match, but do not dismiss the quality we showed, baby and bathwater style. There is a real substance here.

  • Part 4: The second half … more of the same? Not quite.

    Surprisingly there were no changes by either side. More so from Lyon’s point of view, as they had a couple of players hobbling in the first half, and Gonalons suffered a nasty twist but was able to carry on.
    For this recovery mission Lyon held on to the ball much better. Sprayed it out wide, brought it back, and tried again. We might not have been quite as quick to nick the ball from them now, but when we did it was just as effective. Another fine move involving Ramsey and Ozil, but this time Ozil was the receiver in the box, and scored the 5th.
    That was his last action, as a trio of subs came on, Akpom Santi and Arteta. So Ramsey and Iwobi joining Ozil on the bench, much of the speed and flair went with them. Ox, although still running hard, he gave way to our first glimpse of Renne-Adelaide on the right. Sadly it was not a proper way to judge any of these players. Partly because Lyon were playing more as a unit in this half, and Santi took a while to warm to the task of being the front attacking mid.

    Mind you his goal the sixth had an amusing moment. Akpom working way across the box, won a foul and subsequent free kick. Santi in charge, wall lined up with Akpom on the inside edge. There was a bit of a delay before the kick was taken, and Santi looking everywhere bar the odd glance at the top right hand corner, which was nearest to him.
    Whistle blew, Akpom ducked ..and looked to his left as the ball was struck firmly …
    along the ground and under the two players in the wall that jumped. I am still not sure if Akpom was expecting that trick, but he was certainly looking like he was in on it?

    The final substitution brought as much pleasure to me as any, as I dare not even think he had made the squad for this game, but there he was … Isaac Hayden. He never got a mention from the commentators because I don’t think they could place when he did get involved. But just to be on the field is a joy as I have high hopes for him succeeding at Arsenal. Given it was Coquelin he replaced, and he played a full 80 minutes, it just might his big chance to really shine against Wolfsburg?

    Overall there is not a player who did not play well, and those that came on late will have more opportunities. It was a team effort from back to front, and some really excelled, but that is for a later analysis, my 3 hours are spent.

  • Nice match comments JK and Gerry. 🙂

    Watched the game with a friend with one eye on game, so no deep analysis from me. Lyon did not match our intensity in midfield and played with very little discipline after they got behind. So hard to tell how good we are, as any team that does these things against us will get whacked senseless. We took our chances well though and Iwobi especially will benefit from his well taken goal, also really pleased how Ox scored his opportunity: with focus and control when the game still meant something.

    Bring on the Germans. 🙂

  • I watched the Wolfsburg game before ours, and they have got a real problem because they played a very strong attack, so I cannot imagine they will all turn out today?

    If you want to put my bits together and make a post feel free. I doubt HT will be able to make much as he said his stream was pretty bad in the first half.

    Up to you, natch. I am just waiting for a break in the weather to get the dogs out. It will be wet and windy for the two games today, because what we are getting here London gets a lighter version later.

  • morning guys, bit worse for wear this morning after making quite a day of it yesterday after such an entertaining performance and result, so sore head time right about now.

    probably one of the best pre-season matches i have watched tbh. I said i wanted to split up the Cazorla / Ozil partnership and rearrange it to see how it would work with other personnel should the situation arise during the season and i got my wish. I originally wanted Cazorla and Wilshere for this game and Ramsey and Ozil for today but hey i was fine with that order being rearranged and they looked great as a pair in midfield 🙂

    OX never fails to impress (me at least) with his wing play, although i wanted to see him on the left cutting in and scoring but after seeing how he has been repeatedly positioned in the same spot by Wenger in pre-season i am now of the mind that he is destined to take over the right wing play from Theo this season with Theo becoming a striker option up top now so at least he is getting much needed practice in this role 🙂

    Iwobi looked good down the left, far better than Akpom when he came on but then Akkers really isn’t a winger, in the same way Theo never really was – both are strikers imo and play like that during wing play.

    And….. f*cking Hayden got his chance!!!! in the DM position!!!!! Hallelujah!!!
    Could this be the reason we have had no DM movement in the TW, i hope so – cover for Coq anyone?? 🙂

    I couldn’t have asked for anymore out of that game if i tried, maybe a Silva sighting but it looks like he’s probably due for a loan this season especially if we don’t see any involvement later today.

    I think i heard Wenger say he’s going to change things up defensively for this game today so:


    That would be great to see and a real show of strength in squad depth in an area in which we have been weak for so long 🙂

    Happy days and bring on the Germans – can’t wait 🙂

  • Really enjoy reading your comments Gerry, hope the rain has eased up for you.

    Yes, I’m also delighted for Hayden and as commented on by others, it was notable that he replaced Coquelin, like for like…
    I heard that Toral might get a start today ( don’t shoot the messenger) but that could be an interesting development if true…

    How good is it to see so many young players emerging from within the club.
    Of course, we’ll get no credit for this from those in the media, but then no surprise there…

  • Steve, I think Le prof heard us. Hayden looks solid in the DM position.

    So we looks like we have closed up show this transfer window. And you might be right if we start Hayden.

    So, now for some rest before the game starts.


  • Well not as exciting as yesterday, but a win is a win. So many positives and we must now have about 10 players competing for the midfield positions. Just a couple of thoughts

    He still doesn’t look right in an Arsenal shirt, but didn’t Cech bring a new level of confidence. To the side… What a great buy.

    All the young lads looked good.

    Looks to me like we have a really good team spirit this season

  • yep not so thrilling but interesting nevertheless. the Ozil, Cazorla, Arteta midfield cohesion wasn’t as good as the one we had yesterday with Coquelin behind them and Ramsey alongside Ozil but to be fair this team were far more disciplined in midfield. Wilshere on the wing is a waste of time but it seems this right of passage has to be undertaken by nearly all who covert a central position in Wengers team, we’ve seen Ozil and Ramsey underachieve out there i guess its jacks turn now lol – he looked much better when he was brought centrally after the subs though which was expected and good to see.
    I thought all the kids looked good today especially our new french acquisition, plus i lost count of how many corners and crosses Chambers and Gabriel successfully defended so that was a bonus.
    btw i am sure I’ve mentioned it before but if i’m remembering wrong then i know Gerry definitely has, Akpom is very selfish and single minded up there and as we saw today what can most usually be a great asset for a striker i thought let him down today when there we some much better passing options available at crucial moments in the final third.
    I also think we have finally glimpsed the DM plan for the season over the course of this tournament – Coq / Arteta / Hayden i’m happy with that how about you guys?
    Oh and don’t get me started on OX, he looked unplayable at times, loved it 🙂
    At one point we had Walcott——-Akpom——–The OX pushing forward as a front three unit, now that is some scary pace right there lol.

    I have obviously missed loads of stuff out but i am not going to even bother going deeper into more detail with what i expect is another in depth analysis coming from Gerry right around the corner – looking forward to that bud.

  • Not tonight you won’t. I was up at 3.30am.

    It wasn’t just the cohesion Steve, we lacked the balance. But they just brought down to earth for when we play a ‘pressing’ side.
    Unless I see a new post come up I will no doubt scribe something in the morning.

    Thanks Allezkev, and yes I missed the rain this morning. I had google earth running for an hour so I could judge it right.

    Hayden is back yeah!
    Rennadel first start, first assist. Nice one.

    night all…zzzzzz

  • Just post it like a comment, Gerry, as I am moving house tomorrow and I am not sure whether Seventeenho has any time to edit right now.

  • Only saw the first half and I am happy that the defenders and Cech’s A Gunner got properly tested. We kept a clean sheet, with a bit of luck it must be said, so all good. Good to hear Adelaide had a good second half.

  • Guys, the day before yesterday Iwobi played and grew into the game. Yesterday Jeff R-A played and started not so well, but grew into the game as well.

    Hayden looked creaky the day before but yesterday he had more game time and looked more solid in tackles.

    Gerry and Steve, now I know why you mentioned him as a DM. As a youngster, he had a rampaging run upfront and got himself a good shot on target, and for a while I thought he is a box to box player, but as the game wore on he looked more and more composed in the hard tackling DM position.

    Overall the youngsters played very well yesterday to help us keep the clean sheet and wow.. 13 goals scored and 1 conceded in 4 games. Youngsters scored 4 if I got it right. So, as the season gets into top gear the lads are every bit ready.

    Wolfsburg gave us a bit of a scare, and that is what I call good opposition, and we weren’t as confident until we scored the first goal.

    And Le Prof, please please please do not play Theo up front. His best position is on the wing, cutting inside.


  • JK, yep these youngsters could make for a very entertaining capital one cup run and even FA cup shouts as well.
    Who would you rather have on the wing then JK, OX for his ability to beat people and his strength and tenacity in the tackle, closing down and tracking back or Theo pretty much simply for his better scoring record out there?
    Its a tough one but i’m for OX on the wing and Theo in the middle.
    Don’t answer with rotate between the two either lol, who gets the starting position, RW who’s it going to be for you?

  • Ah yes. I forgot about touching on our defense.

    We had our backs to the wall for most of the first half and if we played BFG we might have lost. But Chambers hasn’t really progressed much compared to last season, and his creaky form is evident as we were outpaced. He had good performances mostly, but were outpaced by faster and more dynamic wolfsburg players, including ex chavs’ Schurrle. Bellerin was also outpaced by De Bruyne, but he made sure any mistakes from Chambers did not amount to a goal.

    Gabby was better, but he also had off moments. So was the performance of Nacho.

    My defensive lineup vs chavs next week:

    GK: Cech
    Def: Bellerin, Per, Kos, Gibbs
    DM: Le Coq with Santi as b2b player

    Why I chose this lineup? Bellerin can offset Per on his lack of pace, and Kos has the ability to snuff out dangers. Santi and Le Coq can defend well against attacks, and yesterday wolfsburg was channeling the chavs with their power play.

    Great to see both teams play such an entertaining game and Cech record his first clean sheet at the Emirates. More to come from the keeper.

    That’s all folks,

  • Steve, Theo at the right wing for me ahead of Ox. When Alexis is not there, Ox on the right and Theo on the left, alternating during the game.

    Up front is always Giroud.

  • fair enough JK, i still believe its time for OX to shine and Theo to finally get his chance as the main man up top alternating with Giroud 🙂

    btw i thought our defenders looked pretty good especially considering they were pretty much under constant threat in the first half. Monreal had a few questionable moments but that may be more down to not receiving much help form the french youngster in much of the first half.

  • Steve, that’s right on the spot. Jeff weren’t covering for Nacho in the first half. Replays show that Nacho was shaking his head.

    In the second half he was better. His tall frame is good for taking long strides and defending the loose ball. The assist to Theo is evident in this case.

    Maybe one more season for Ox before first team opportunities come knocking for him?

  • Ah yes, I almost forgot to note that Cech has played 2 preseason games and held the trophy twice in 2 weeks. Make it 3 in a row?

    Although this is still preseason but it is starting to get interesting.

    Bring on Eden Hazard.. he was hazardous against us last season, well, almost.


  • Okay folks, let’s treat this last game as a friendly. It was not so much a team who started, more a collection of players who were filling in spots because they did not play in the game before. Fine. That is what you can do with friendlies. So let us not take the performances of individuals too literally.
    The GK and back 4, looked okay on paper, but further up the field it was a mess. But there was something strange going on in the first half that I just could not believe within that back 4.
    Gabriel, what is he 25? An experienced CB, yet he deferred the responsibility to pass the ball out from defence to 21 rookie CB Calum Chambers? He did not do it in the second half, after I can only assume was a right rollicking from AW. May be it was a confidence thing as he has been used to playing with Per Mertersacker, but it certainly improved things in the second half.

    No point in blaming Nacho for the freedom that the Wolfsburg players enjoyed down our left, the set up in front of our back 4 was so out of balance that it was a wonder we survived that first half. One player would have made a huge difference, but he played the day before? Coquelin.
    I thought he was evolving into the perfect DM as he brought his passing game to the table once more against Lyon. Certainly his best game in that department since his return. If he had played in this and not the other, much of the midfield covering would have been in place. Mind I doubt we would have scored 6 in the first game without him?
    That was not the only issue of course. It looked at first that Wilshere was going to support Arteta, but that did not last. Cazorla’s role he has with FC was subtly changed with Arteta when he dropped deeper. No longer the outlet ball for the dependable Coquelin, he was now expected to be a DM, to which he tried manfully to do, I have to say. Nor am I saying that Arteta did not work hard for the team … but he is not Coquelin. He no longer has the pace to be left on his own while the attack goes off taking shooting practice. But when he goes forward …. wtf is Santi expected to do?
    The real problem was Ozil. Absolutely nothing was achieved by including him in this team. Other than proving my oft repeated point that certain combinations do not work.
    It certainly did not enhance Wilshere’s chances of getting ahead of Ramsey in the selection process. Mind the Wolfsburg defenders saw to it that he was not gong to have the freedom that he might have enjoyed in the other game, clattered as he was whenever he looked like he could open up their back line with his quick burst of pace. Sadly, that may be a sign of things to come in the league as well. On the few occasions he did venture out to the wide right, he seemed to have more joy?
    It probably rubs further salt in his wounds that the best moment in the game for Arsenal came in the second half ….. This was when Jack was nursing yet another knock to his ankle, after bringing the ball out of defence. This left a huge area of space for the 17 year old, Reine-Adelaide to come in from the left wing, Ozil-esque, drag defenders with him, who by now were a bit wary of tackling him, having already made De Bruyne look naive, so without a second glance slips a reverse pass to Walcott to score. Not just any pass, an inch perfect pass to his feet in the gap the kid had just created. Perfection!

    At half time, many issues were resolved. Gabriel responsible for the clearing the ball. Riene’y boy to do what he could to help at the back. The removal of Ozil for Akpom, thus adding an attacker with pace …. not that that solved the problem of the first half where all were trying to congregate in the middle, as Akpom is desperate first his first goal at in a truly competitive game, tried everything. Alas, it affected his judgement in one counter-attack when we were 4 on 1 defender, yet he failed to release the ball early to his right where the other 3 were in the clear. Only when his chance was gone did he slip the ball .. behind Giroud, who would have been clear with only goalkeeper to beat a moment earlier. When he gets his first goal he will be so much the better for it. He was as chuffed as any when Iwobi scored his goal, so he is not mean spirited in that way. He will get other chances for sure.

    Not all our problems were resolved in the second, although the game did open up more as Wolfsburg did not press us so much, but they were still dangerous when they had possession. It was our usual 65 minute subs that made the biggest impact. None more so that the Ox. Within seconds of being on he tore down the right wing from well inside our half, beat off a top class defender and still had enough left to round the centre back who came out to cut him down, and put a perfect pass inside, which had it resulted in a goal would have been truly sensational. Since my criticism of him about his passing the week before, which cause a minor stir among us on BK, he has been supreme in that department. I am sure management had a word about it, but if you read it here Oxy, good for you! Even the commentary team remarked on the game against Lyon that our decision making at speed was invariably correct, and was key to our success.
    I will pay yet another compliment to our fitness team, as I am not sure Ox would have done that at any stage last season injury free? The fact that they are so sharp at this early stage is a fantastic achievement.

    Ox replaced the impressive Jeff Reine-Adelaide, who I think has killed of my Draxxy dream signing? Ramsey replaced Arteta, who also injected some more drive in midfield, although this was modified somewhat by us no longer having a recognised DM now. That was to change later 😀 The third sub at this time was a strange one, I thought. Walcott off, when we had just introduced pace for a counter-attacking style, for Giroud? Yes, he might have scored with a better pass from Akpom. But then again, Walcott down the left side of Akpom, and matching him for pace early might have opened it up for either of them to score? But that is, as someone else might say, just me.

    The final sub was Hayden. If he was fully fit I would have had him on at half time, in place of Ozil, just to settle things down. As it was, he had 15 minutes to show was he is about.
    He did all of that, briefly. A trip down the wing. Why? Because he was available and he can. do that. A shot on goal that was turned around for a corner .. because he can do that too. A perfectly timed sliding tackle that stopped a Wolfsburg breakout. Yeah, he can do that. He did not take up a third CB option, but he could do that too. Pity we did not see him do more of the DM, with a the capital ‘D’ very much emphasized, because that is what he is really good at. :LOL:

    Seriously, ‘the boy done good’ (@ ‘arry Rednapp).

    So that is my take on this game. It was not set up to suit many players. Cech benefited by having saves to make. The aforementioned teenager had a showcase second half of where his talents might take him. Ox has a position which is his to keep.
    In his absence it is clear there is only one Coquelin.
    Nacho was left out to dry, but is hardly the debut boy’s fault. Chambers is still on learning curve. Gabriel and Kos might still be a problem, if neither are natural commanders? Arteta will surely be only back up/closing out time, unless we double pivot. Santi is not a DM, but has a serious rival in the B2B role with Ramsey. Wilshere did not look happy with his game, but hopefully some of that was down to recovering from illness. He will also be better in the N010 role … when the ‘other guy’ is not playing. Walcott needed pace around him for his centre role, but may grab a second option on the left while Alexis is missing. Giroud will be hard pressed to be a certain name on the team sheet, but will have some better games than these to showcase his skill.
    Finally, the need for a full game from Hayden to confirm this promising comeback.

    I would just like to add that it was great that the ‘Legend’ returned to such a great reception from the fans and players alike. Nickly B has often sent himself up with his over the top remarks, and would not have taken offence at the Ox’s jest … which sort of came to fruition. I hope he can have a good season, and I am sure he will have been touched by his reception.

    Good luck to WS1 with Roma too. I for one will look forward to seeing you back next season.

  • Gerry, good detailed review of the match. Good to see you waking up early just to file in the report.

    Hayden looks good, and he is both a DM and a b2b.. wow.. this is mind blowing to see someone with good attacking and defensive capabilities. FA Cup and Capital One Cup (was going to write Carling Cup before I stopped) will be a good stage for the youngsters to build their game on.

    As for Lord Bendtner, the fans still have the affection for him. Look at the applause when he came off. Its a pity to see him go, and if he stays he might be a good backup for Giroud.


  • Thanks Gerry
    A very detailed write up, I think you covered just about everything. Not a detail person myself, but I did notice a couple of things worthy of note.
    More so recently, Ársenal at kick off have been passing the ball around the back four at kick off. Against Wolfsburg it was nearly a minute and a half before we crossed the half way line. I am guessing this is some form of deliberate ploy, but what do I know.

    Secondly as has been pointed out, Nacho was left very exposed for the first period. Not sure what the record is for one player conceding corners is, but he must have given away 4 or 5 in the first 20 minutes. Not a critiscm of him at all, just an observation.

    Great to see the young lads coming through, but it is going to be very difficult for any of them to get game time.

  • Nice one Gerry a good read as usual, your “So let us not take the performances of individuals too literally” statement was rather contradicted a little when it came to Jacks dire review even entertaining repercussions for his place in the team for the season as apposed to Ramsey but then i have come to expect that type of response from you when it comes to Jack 🙂
    Jacks analysis for me was simple, shite on the wing because….. he’s not a winger.
    Very good when moved into midfield because…… he’s a midifielder
    lol its that simple
    people can sit there and try and tell me that Wenger can play CM’s out wide because if your a good enough player you can play anywhere and they add this and that to the attack etc etc but its all bullshit really that pretty much comes down to defense of the managers tactics.
    I know for sure i would rather see Sanchez and OX on the wings to Ramsey on Jack lol, no tactical knowledge needed for that lol. Did you see that full back when we brought OX on down the wing haha he shit himself lol, oh crap they do have wingers, i’m going to have to do some running here lol classic.
    But yes your obvious prejudice aside i agreed with a lot of how your saw the game bud and like you i really hope Hayden gets some more game time (probably in the cups) to show he can be solid backup to Coq.

  • Steve, CMs lack pace. Our midfielders might lack a wee bit of pace, and regarding Jack yes he lacks the pace but he makes up for it by being at the right place at the right time.

    However I would not start him at left wing. Never. Reason? Because his best position is box to box. He can either be a backup to ozil or Santi, as Rambo would be.

    Somehow Steve, I feel that when Wenger mentioned playing him on the wings, I felt that we have done another Theo. Theo is good on the wing, runs in to through passes and bam he scores.

    Maybe we have too many b2b players, thus Wenger needs to think of a way to suit them and make sure that they do not get frustrated about little game time.

  • Ah, I didn’t finish the Theo part.

    That is why when Theo mentioned that he wants the CS role, I was thinking about his lack of height. Yes you can be a CS if you play in Barca, but not here. Too any passes in the EPL and the tough tackling teams will catch you. Our strength is the passing game but too much passing kills.


  • Thanks JK. You are wrong on two counts. I don’t wake up to file these reports. I wake up when I wake up. I then fill in the time between taking the dogs out by eating, scanning the news, rumours, etc. Then writing up my thoughts in whatever is left. I must have thought about this one a bit before hand, as I had less time, and it is longer than I realised. 😆

    Let us be clear on Hayden, for the other misconception. He is not a box to box defender. Yes he can go forward much the same way as Coquelin does, behind the lines. I think I am right in remembering him scoring a 40 yarder, or at least one from well outside the box in that region in the earlier days. As you saw, his right foot can deliver? He has also had a spell on the right wing, in the Under 21’s, but more out of necessity than being an outstanding success. But nevertheless he is bothered about being out of his comfort zone. That being DM.
    In the short term, I would say he would be better than CC21 in the CB role at this moment in time. The reason I say that is because is very accomplished there from his younger days, and he is a leader. I would not want him to deprive Calum of his time developing that role though.

    But as I say, the best way to judge him will be after a full 90 minute workout. Ask him to be the DM and he will do it. The way I see him getting more game time will be when Coquelin tires, or is walking a tightrope of a second yellow. The two are slightly different, but both read the game well. We shall see, I hope.
    As for Nicky B, I think he is less popular with AW for some of the many, and there have been many, off -field incidents that he had to go. But he is what they say, ‘a character’.

    Retsub – Thanks also for your kind words. I like to try and make sense of a collection of observations. Your one, on the way they knock it about when they kick off is probably to assess how adventurous the opposition will be?
    Yes, Monreal does not deserve to lose his spot based on this game, and I doubt if he will.
    You could hardly blame him for not wanting to even pass the ball to the youngster in the first half, as he was getting picked off a few times, between those twinkle toed bits which brought a smile to our faces. Nacho wasn’t alone in adding to that corner count either, I think there were about 8 in the first few minutes alone, one after another.

    You say that they may be short of playing time, and I might agree based on last season. I mean, in the CS against Chelsea AW will be back to just three subs, and he has been known to be frugal with those, especially before the 65th minute. However, in other games, when Alexis joins the goal-fest, I can see us regularly getting a 3 goal lead, so players like Iwobi may get extended time, without any pressure, or indeed, detriment to the side. He will be more selective with Reine-Adelaide and Bielik because they will have to occupy a squad position in our domestic league, and that is by no means guaranteed? I would imagine he has already factored in any possible other signings by the departures, and with Rosicky being another?
    Wellington Silva is another who may require a squad number, of the 18 currently allowed. All the others that do not go on loan, Hayden, Akpom, Iwobi, etc, get in on ‘home grown’ status, so the COC and FA Cup will offer other opportunities, without draining the energies of our key players?
    So a lot to look forward to …

  • JK – On your Theo point, think back to the games where we have score with FEW passes. That is when Thoe does not have to worry about height. Only pace and movement which can result in less defenders. It is Plan A or Plan B, depending on the opposition, or your preference?

  • Good post and interesting comments. The team has a very good and balanced future but does Wilshere got any future in the team?

  • Hey boys…Busy week for me but I might try and get something out in a bit if the computer cooperates…

    Gerry, cheers for the in-depth commentary about the matches… Watching on a stream (both matches) is very different and leads to a greater “ball focus” with all the predictable difficulties of even being able to identify the various characters on display… Anything I might write will surely be influenced by your comments…

    JK, I’m definitely of the mind that a team can rarely overpass the ball (even if such an approach is harder to see with the ball-focus of the cameras, etc.)… You know, the old adage that, “You’re fast… but the ball is faster…” When there’s as much technical skill in the squad as we possess, I think people need to be extra careful about holding the ball too long. As impressive as J-R-A’s highlight vid or Ox’s big runs down the right might be, they will not stick in the (manager’s) mind like Akpom’s failure leading the 4 v 1 break… I don’t mean to single him out, just that a quick pass there = goal whereas all that other stuff only = oohs and aahs… As such, Gerry is right that it was the far more basic play of J-R-A cutting through the middle and pulling back the well weighted pass that got us the goal yesterday. To be fair, Akpom gets an assist (for Santi’s FK) from the Saturday match for his run and foul taken (in a great spot)… The part I really don’t get is the idea that tackling in the English league is what demands more runs and less passing…This seems exactly the opposite to me…Unless you want guys repeatedly stuck in the physio-room…

    OK…Gonna give it a go and try to get something up…We’ll see…

  • Gerry, sometimes I see your posts at 5am GMT, that’s why I mentioned that you are early. That’s why I didn’t see the time before I commented. Apologies.

    Re Hayden and Theo, yes Hayden is a DM through and through, but he surprised me when he started making runs upfield. That’s why I mentioned he has qualities on attack and defense.

    Maybe better than Le Coq, but you are right he needs 90 minutes to see if he stands to the vicious EPL.

    For Theo, it depends on the team we play against. Against the P**s we might win that way. But I do not see many teams with that trait.

  • Hey JK, my perceptual corrections don’t register a need for an apology.
    I was just pointing out that my early rising is not a slavish duty towards the blog. Try as I might to get adjusted to a later rising, thus a later breakfast, dinner and, currently, late afternoon meal, and therefore stay awake longer in the evening, just isn’t happening.
    The other one was me trying to correct any impression you have got about Hayden from my talking him up.
    I have just listened to the Arseblog Arsecast, and they were discussing the merits of Walcott up front, as well as the DM pairings, and they could’t decide who might start against Chelsea, and thus follow on into the league campaign. So what chance have we got of getting it right?

    I am taking the view that there will not be a preferred ‘starting eleven’, in the singular, but rather parallel options, which will depend on the choice of striker, paired with the choice of midfield that goes best with that striker, and backed up by options between Coquelin solo, or Coquelin in a double pivot. The rarity will be the option, if it is not enforced, of a Coquelin free defensive shield.
    Full back pairings will also be matched, but with an eye to strength of the opposition in these areas.
    Now if I were to guess at this stage, based on the pre-season games the line up will be:
    Debuchy—Mert—-Kos—- Monreal
    ———Ramsey——– Coquelin—-
    Ox —————-Ozil————-Iwobi

    Mind, if Walcott has signed his new contract, he may replace Iwobi. Otherwise he will be the early sub for Giroud. This is a counter-attack with safety, as it need not draw the FB’s too far forward. AW may want to keep the Gibbs Bellerin FB’s apart as he did over the weekend, in which case Gibbs on the left.
    Of course, if there is a shiny new striker signed by then, he too might come on from the bench.

    It might also be the last chance we might have before January of seeing ‘The Jeff’, if he does not get a squad number, so I expect him to have a place on the bench, along with Cazorla, Arteta, Martinez, and Wilshere.

    But I stress, that does not mean that it will be repeated against West Ham. Cech, the CB’s and Coquelin apart, it could be all change elsewhere. The players may need to get used to it?

  • Maybe I should’ve identified myself there ^ 😀

    Gerry, I’m following your thinking better today than I sometimes do… but if Iwobi starts vs Chavs I will cut off my dick (famous line about Ozil scoring vs Scouse last season…) More smileys…

    Anyhow, my thoughts on the squad and preseason and that sort of stuff is in the new post…It sounds like TA is busy and so am I (early week at least) so have at it…

    Theo signing seems a whole lot more likely than us signing somebody new (this week at least)…

    Finally, my quick research suggests a bench of 7 but then 6 subs allowed in the Comm Shield…Straight to pens at the end of 90 if necessary… Making the bench then is the big hurdle…and I can’t see any of the guys who weren’t first team players at the end of the season doing so… Sorry… 😦

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