Another Brace for Giroud at Newcastle? Arsenal Seek an August End to the Month

Let the lion hearted (and lion haired) big man eat.  Feed him the ball and he will put it past the Bar Codes!!  Lunchtime kickoff in Newcastle…Nom, nom, nom…

You’ve scored 7 goals against the Toonies, so why not?  Or is time to change things up?  Hmmmm… Get us some goals, leader of the line–if only to mute the deadline day talk about how we’ll never win the league with you up there.  Don’t leave the manager wondering…

Regardless of approach, Arsenal need to see out the first month of the new campaign in better fashion than they began it.  August looked a promising month–no pesky two-legged Champions League Qualifier and a manageable schedule following a very promising pre-season, where our main task was to bed in our new World-Class goalkeeper, Petr Cech, while the rest of the group merely had to keep-on-keeping-on.  We knew our rivals would be pursing every last goofball idea in the transfer market, but, if we could get off to a good start, our cohesion (a word many have since grown to loathe) might be such that we wouldn’t.

Alas, August has, thus far at least, not lived up to its name.  Let’s take a closer look:

Luckily, we’ve got one last chance to make it right.  (Unless, of course, you count the transfer deadline, which would make it two, although, technically, that’s in September…)

The Opponent

Newcastle are a proud club, but one which seems caught in a very difficult cycle.  As much as Arsenal fans sometimes lament our frugality, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has taken his club down a path of austerity which would (almost) qualify him to run the next Greek government.  Things were so bad last season that Alan Pardew, a man who made his mark by bringing in undervalued French and Francophone players–perhaps in homage to our own manager–left a reasonably successful situation in the Northeast to take over Crystal Palace.  Instead of replacing with a recognized manager, Ashley elected to use an assistant, John Carver and ride him to the bitter end.  Indeed it was bitter but could have been worse.  Despite losing his dressing room–and match after match after match–Carver did enough to avoid relegation.

Which should makes life a little easier for the man who followed, former England manager, Steve McClaren.  His August hasn’t been so august either, but then again, anything would be better than the Newcastle spring and, at least, it does seem to be ending on an uptick.  He has been able to eke out a couple of draws in the league and got his first win in midweek vs Northampton in the Capital One Cup.  In that one, Florian Thauvin, McClaren’s first exciting French transfer, was at the heart of almost all the offense.  Given that the win came off a nil-nil at Old Trafford (with a couple of decent chances to win it on the counter) McClaren has to feel his group is in with a shout against an Arsenal squad which has yet to realize all the promise we felt heading into the new season.  We should beware Thauvin (who might get his first league start of the season) as well as others McClaren has brought in including Aleksander Mitrovic and Georginio Wijnaldum.  Additional threat is presented from holdovers like Demba Pappis Cisse, Ayoze Perez and Gabriel Obertan. Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor and midfielders like Cheik Tiote, Jack Colback and Vernon Anita may lack flair but tend to maintain strong organization ahead of the big Dutch goalkeeper, Tim Krul, a guy who, on his day, can both command his box and pull off the outstanding save.

As such, this feels like a(nother) big one and a(nother) one not to take as a given.  Seven points from twelve wouldn’t be the best return from our first four matches but it would be a manageable total, especially if, as Arsene Wenger says, we are “looking for solutions” but not close to signing anybody as the transfer window closes.  Four (or five) points from twelve would be a good deal less acceptable to most Gooners, especially if league leaders, Manchester City, take care of business on their home pitch against newly promoted Watford.  Woe be unto the Gooner-nation IF we fail to win at Newcastle AND are inactive at the deadline–even if (most probably) the manager doesn’t see the two events connected in any way, shape or form.

How then should Wenger set out the team against Newcastle?  Stay the course or mix things up?  Fitness news suggests our central defensive pairing which missed the Liverpool match might–or might not–be ready for this one.  Should other changes be considered?  A popular narrative is that Ramsey is wasted on the right (even if he seems to be playing in a very free role, almost as a 3rd deeper lying central midfielder).  Others were unimpressed by the usual characters (Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Giroud).  Yet others noted that Alexis Sanchez doesn’t quite seem at full fitness and Wenger could mix things up in a big way if he were to be used as an option from the bench.  Still others suggest that, if Arsenal need full points, playing Francis Coquelin as a dedicated defensively-minded midfielder compromises our attack.

Given the uncertainties in central defense I think it’s premature to drop Coquelin.  I also think Wenger would prefer to continue with as few changes as possible.  Alexis surely wants–and likely needs–game time.  He’s been a bit more, er, watchful, i.e., less of an all action type, but maybe a word in his ear to interchange and fill spaces with the other attackers is all that is necessary.  Whereas we found Giroud (and later Walcott) forced out wide due to too many bodies central in the opener vs West Ham, I believe we’ve found a better balance through Ramsey’s movement from the nominal wide-right starting position.  It hasn’t yielded goals (in droves) as of yet, but that doesn’t mean it can’t.  Here’s my prediction for the first 11, miracle recoveries at CB included.

Bench: Ospina, Gabriel, Gibbs, Debuchy, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott

Obviously, I’m just guessing at this.  What do you guys say?  Predictions for this match?  For the close of the window?  For all things Arsenal?

I like playing our match early (even if we’ve had a bit of a struggle in this time-slot in recent seasons).  Any worries on that front?  Why worry at all?  Enjoy the football and may it all be, well,… August!


by 17highburyterrace

65 thoughts on “Another Brace for Giroud at Newcastle? Arsenal Seek an August End to the Month

  • At the time of starting this reply, I could be first. But I’ll take my time, and be 3rd, or 4th. 😀

    I do think Newcastle have done well with their signings, and they will eager to impress. Thauvin is talented, but I don’t think AW should lose too much sleep over reports suggesting we ‘missed out’. I always had the impression he was a short fuse away from being a disturbing influence in the dressing room? He still needs to be suppressed on the pitch though.
    Your line up is interesting if you look at it as a 4-3-3. It cold work well if Ramsey could be disciplined enough to be more defensively minded, and leaves the clever stuff going forwards to Santi. The trouble with him out wide is, when he does move inside he opens up our right if we lose possession. That then allows attacks down our weakest side, assuming CC21 plays? Without doubt his best position is making his box to box runs from a more central position, but for me that requires other personnel changes to make it work for the unit as a whole.
    Coquelin and Cazorla as DM and sidekick works well. Even AW acknowledge that when declaring his winger days were over. My only point on that, and I cannot speak for others, is that it takes the pair of them to make it work well. Or at least it would take a brave decision to fly him solo in a 4-1-4-1 sortie?
    One problem we do have is Alexis. not a major one if it is just a fitness issue. To me he looks to be playing in a very similar way to how Per was after the World Cup? The focus does not look as sharp as it was at the start of last season? I wonder whether putting him alongside Giroud might sharpen him up, being that bit nearer to the goal?
    This is where a winger might be good to have … but not in time for this game. But the Ox out left, Giroud more centre left, and Alexis centre right, throw in Bells and you could have a 4-4-2 set up.
    Again just an option for a little variety in our play.

    However, AW might just revert, using the same bodies in a 4-5-1 plan, and try and smother them in midfield. I would like us to try with Ox on the right, and the work Ramsey back in when Jack and Welbeck are back in contention. But to coin a phrase, that’s just me 😀

    Let’s see what other say eh?

  • Whatever time of the year, 17HT, your posts are always August! 💥

    Love the line up and nice analysis of NUs strengths. We have our work cut out but this is the right game for Aesenal to bounce back. Cannot wait to see our boys against the Barcodes. The away fans sit very high in the clouds and I hope to stay there after the game. Ninety minutes of fine live footie to look fwd to. Ayay man ⚽️

  • Evening HT; an excellent post as ever. I think you are spot on that this is the preferred 11 that Wenger would choose to pick if all are tolerably fit. Like Gerry I’m nervous about risking Kos if he has any back injury remaining – and Gabby looks a very competent deputy. I’m hoping that Per will be well enough to manage a lumber out tomorrow and keep things calm at the back. If we do have to field the same 2 CBs as on Monday, then I would probably side with those calling for Debuchy to provide a bit more cover at the back.

    Further up, I cannot conceive of any reason why we would not start with Coq, especially given the public defence he has made this week of his record. The other mid-fielders (as you have picked) all look to me undroppable at present – and I rather like Rambo out on the notional right (I know this seems an unpopular view, but there we are). His grumbles about preferring the centre will not persist once he starts scoring a few from out there…

    On another day there might be plenty of reason to debate whether Giroud or Walcott should start up front. I expect the toons to come froward a fair amount, given their team strengths and the fact that they are playing at home. That could favour a Walcott start. However, confidence and the showing of faith are fundamentals for Wenger and, given the gripes, the negative press and all the transfer speculation, I am sure Wenger will ask Giroud to lead off, in a game where he has plenty of happy memories, and show all the critics up for what they are.

    I’m also quite comfortable that we don’t mess about with too much rotation – hell we are still in August, so I hope nobody is feeling ‘tired’ yet! What I would like to see is some earlier use of the subs bench where things are not quite clicking. The Ox has been an impact sub, and would benefit from having a bit more time on the pitch – not least so he doesn’t feel he needs to do everything the very first time he gets on the ball. Given Jack and TR7 are both injured I would not object to seeing Campbell on the bench as well, as someone who could offer something a bit different in attack; I doubt very much that we will see this mind.

    Finally, and irrationally, I don’t like the early starts. We seemed to suffer from these last season in particular. I would love us to put any thoughts of a repeat this season to bed, with a comfortable win tomorrow. Here’s hoping we have enough to cheer yourself hoarse tomorrow TA!

  • Not much interest in the preview but maybe that’s because it’s Friday night… Also, maybe because we haven’t dropped the points…yet… Unfortunately, until we play the league at 114 points, I doubt we can keep ever Gooner happy… 😀

    TA, have a great time at the match…AB, Cheers for the compliments. Much agreement all around, it appears. I dunno, I could see a little Theo up top but I also think McClaren will want to keep the match nil-nil as and not get too crazy going forward. Thauvin is quick and I rate Ayoze highly, both are the sort of players who can pounce on lazy passes. But I also believe whoever plays at CB will be well schooled after the Pool match. As such, i think we might see Gabby and Kos, which might be the pairing of the future many would like in central defense (sorry, American spelling)… Chambers will do fine if he has to play, much as he did in the 2nd half… Truth be told, I hadn’t considered Campbell, but why not? It could help him gain a roster spot or secure a better loan move…

    Of all our options on the right, Gerry, I think Ramsey with the work-rate and communication (for me) trumps Theo and Ox no matter where he might be on the pitch. Ox can do a job but seems to switch off at times and still doesn’t appreciate the consequences turnovers have depending on what part of the pitch they are made. Overall just too much risk-taking on his touches for my taste, though he never fails to excite. Boring boring, I know, and I have nothing against players attacking and making attacking runs–others just have to cover for them and rotate into spaces left vacant by those runs. Keep moving, even w/o the ball and good things will happen–even if nobody notices… 😦

    A lot of that sort of dominance is down to winning the MF battles and successfully playing it out of our half with guys like Santi Coq Ozil and Ramsey (the 4 central MFs if you will)…We’re more or less a 4-4-1-1, IMO, but with the FBs providing almost all the width. If Alexis pops up right, left and central (Giroud, too) chances will be made. Thinking of the positions in this manner he is also freer to only play D after his turnovers…

    We need to take the chances, of course, limit (and stop) theirs and walk away winners. It would be nice to avoid the “panic buy” narratives. (As I write I watch Draxler’s last mins with Schalke–losing 3-nil to Wolfsburg) and keep waiting to see him do something that would make him seem like an addition… He’s tall, I’ll give him that…

    Early wake up, AB? Hopefully the espresso hits me riight for the 4:45 am kickoff. If it does, I’ll be looking for some chat. As bad as some of those early starts have been (Pool away 2 seasons ago…) the one I will NEVER forget was Birmingham City when Eduardo had his leg snapped…

    OK, nuf said. Happy Friday…

  • It is quiet on here. I too watched the Shalke match. That is until I fell asleep. Not that the match was boring, just a very long and busy day.

    Shalke weathered the early storm of Wolfsburg after a very early goal. Then they got into it and looked dangerous on the counter. I was expecting anything brilliant from JD. Talk in the transfer window has that effect. But he played. De Bruyne was only in the stands, and not on a plane to Manchester.

    I am not reading anything into current rumours, as they are a repeat from previous interest. In fact as signings go, I get the feeling AW does not go back to people who, in his eyes, rejected him. Whether that includes players that stay with their clubs, like JD and Benzema, rather than Cavani who moved, we shall see. It does make the Russian striker more likely, but possibly with a back up ‘star’ buy elsewhere?

    I am not going to add to my earlier thoughts tonight, other than to say I agree about Ramsey’s strengths. His energy levels serve him particularly well in the later stages of game. But much as you keep reminding everyone about Ox’s lapses, I can assure you it is nothing to the irritation Ramsey’s misplaced fancy flicks do for me!

    The one thing we could agree on is Cech. If JB was still around he will probably faint at what I am about to say 😀
    I think the big difference that Cech showed in the ‘pool game was, if the team are out of sorts, it did not affect him. WS1 seemed to have the same contagion, and the nerves would get to him. That said, he is getting good reviews at Roma, so presumably they have a settled defence?

    Oh,btw, it is not only a Friday night, it is the one preceding the last Bank holiday before Christmas, so perhaps it takes away from the local chatter.
    I am off now to continue my much needed sleep. The team news will not be much different first thing. The latest on NN indicates that Calum starts. Also the Under 21’s have beaten Fulham 5-0.
    That suggests no surprises on the bench?

  • 17ht, I think you have missed out that per might not feature and kos faces a late fitness test on his back.

    Gerry, I would say start the youngsters.
    And yes Roma defenders are solid.
    And seriously Chambers will get slaughtered by NewU if he starts. We cannot afford to play him. If Wenger is here looking at this please start Debuchy instead.

    If everyone remembers Debuchy playing CB position a while ago, he is solid and calm.


  • Starting (Diamond 442/ 41212): Cech; Bellerin, Chambers, Gabriel, Monreal; Arteta(Cpt); Ramsey, Coquelin; Ozil; Giroud, Alexis.

    Bench: Ospina, Debuchy, Gibbs, Flamini, Cazorla, The Ox, Walcott


    Match referee: Andre Marriner (who previously, mistakenly sent off Gibbs instead of The Ox for a goal mouth hand-ball incident)
    PL matches in 2014/2015 involving Arsenal: Arsenal(home) 1-0 Southampton(away), Arsenal(home) 2-0 Everton(away)

    4th official: Anthony Taylor

  • Gerry, are you getting to watch our matches live these days, at least the ones which don’t kick off Saturday at 3? I haven’t seen too many bad Ramsey flicks, but the season is young. Dood would have been the game winner but for the linesman and seems a strong presence season upon season. (He did rather bungle by looking off Debuchy in space vs West Ham and shooting instead,,) Also, there shouldn’t be any narrative of “confilct” about playing on the right, given that he hardly is doing so… 😀 No matter who starts over there, I’m looking forward to the Ox (and Theo) giving some strong and consistent performances too as the season wears on. All three need fingers crossed re: fitness, of course, which makes it a good thing we’ve got the various options

    JK, this is what I said about the CBs, “Fitness news suggests our central defensive pairing which missed the Liverpool match might–or might not–be ready for this one.” Wenger is famous for not always giving ALL the proper fitness info and (perhaps) even misleading journalists and the public…In my opinion, of course… Sorry if that didn’t convey. Cheers for keepng me on my toes…

    I have to say that I’m sad so many seem so keen to give up so quickly on Chambers on the back of a poor 45 mins. (The stat will say, one appearance, 90 mins, goals conceded = 0…) My overall impression is that he’s a pretty strong and versatile player and very likely to grow into a solid contributor. CB seems to me to be his best spot of the three roles I’ve seen him in. Debuchy is good as well, however. Again just my take on things but too early, IMO to toss him to the wolves.

    JM: Always good to know about that 4th official… 😀 (Seriously, I should keep an eye out and mention the ref. Marriner, I believe has been fine for us since that match at Stamford Bridge…)

    Anyhow, that’s it for me. See y’all at kickoff…

  • Balance, balance, balance, that is the key. If Mert and Kosh will not be fit, Gabriel and Chambers not exceptional in the air, means Deb for Bel, and Giroud a must. Dead ball situations can be critical.

  • Oh HT, there you go again. Quote taken from the above:
    ‘Also, there shouldn’t be any narrative of “confilct” about playing on the right, given that he hardly is doing so… ‘
    That should have read ‘direct quote’ as it still contains the slip of the typing finger.

    You keep missing the point I make about ‘Ramsey on the right’. You may may not have followed up the link I put up on the previous post? Anyway that showed the heat map(in the Liverpool game) of not only Ramsey’s individual one, but also one of the team averages put together to show how our formation looks for the majority of the time, based on where each player spent most of their time. Not a definite way because there is no time line, so players might make their ‘hot spot’ when others are not there. Anyway …
    The Ramsey one showed he spent most of his time in the attacking quarter where you might expect Alexis to be. It is precisely that makes his position ‘on the right’ such a joke, and why Bellerin’s strong spot is just over the halfway line on the right. Put that together with the team collective, and you have this picture of the majority of our attacking players either centre, or centre-left, and Bellerin isolated past the half way line. Absolutely nobody behind him all the way to our back line. That may explain why Calum was exposed so much in the first half?
    Actually that is not right. What it showed was why ‘Pool would attack down that wing. Clearly players would come across when the ball was in that area but not when it wasn’t. Meaning that any cute crossfield ball could have a player run into it with acres of space?
    That is why I agree with the two previous comments concerning Debuchy. However, Debuchy with a more conservative remit.

    The other thing about the disallowed goal. Since when does a 15 minute goal become an automatic winner? I think it might have stung them into a more concerted action. True, that might have played into our counter attacking ploy, but given the only one that was ‘successful’ was the Ramsey attempt, the rest, especially in the second half, was moving the ball around their box.
    Wasn’t it you that said you cannot prove what is not testable, and should not be a basis for argument?
    Anyway, you get the point about Ramsey, and his free role on the right does unbalance the team because of it. Nothing to do with his playing strengths and work ethic, or any other addition he can add to the team as a whole. He is just better when he starts his forays into attack from the centre. There at least there is a more natural cover.

  • As for seeing the matches live(on TV). Yes, either Sky or BT have covered them all so far.
    Why do you ask?

  • Hi 17ht,

    Not sure whether Chambers did better in the second half than the first half but in the second half he needed bellerin and Gabby to mop up his mess. The one who worked better in the second half is Gabby, who remained solid against the Liv attacks.

    Gerry, i am with you on Rambo.. how many games we won with and without him in the squad? That was why i screamed for wenger to start theo. At least we agree on that one.

    Hope that the whole team works better as a unit and no more misplaced passes please please please.


  • JM – I worry that your strong argument for including Arteta as a starter may have some merit with AW. Looking for leaders on the pitch and all that?
    It would, on paper at least, give us a more defensive shape. Mind it goes against AW’s line on Cazorla? It also has a slightly more static feel about it, so it will be a game played on a possession basis?I am not sure how that will play out with the travelling fans though. But we really don’t want another defeat, so understandable, albeit not a title winning mentality?

    If I were playing it safe, and this is not me pretending to be AW, I would drop Ramsey, and play Bellerin ahead of Debuchy. That would give us an attacking threat down the right, as well as more defensive cover if Chambers plays. If Kos is fit (enough) then go with Bells and Ox up front, running the line. Personally, I would favour Walcott from the start, but it is not much of a problem starting with Giroud, except that Walcott would need to go wide from the bench?

  • Ooops. I have just spotted a late night error.
    I said the kids beat Fulham 5-0. It was West Ham.

    So perhaps you are right JK, play the kids 😀
    But let’s give them a couple of years, maybe some even less? The Jeff will keep getting better, and Bielik as CB is a work in progress. The biggest plus was Matt Macey for me. He has all the attributes to be a great keeper, but last night was the first time in a while that he has played with real confidence … all according to Jorge Bird’s reading of the game. I keep hoping that one time we will be a featured match on TV, but unlikely being in the lower division?

    I think we can agree on more than Ramsey and Theo JK?

    Like I have said above, I think JM might be on to something with Captain Arteta, so i am not holding my breath for a pacey, counter attacking line up.
    Oh, just to be clear, I am not doubting Arteta skillset, HT, just I prefer him as super defensive sub.

  • Good preview 17! Expecting a difficult match versus Newcastle.

    In terms of the line up for Arsenal, I agree with your thinking though would prefer to see Walcott start in place of Sanchez who looks not quite up to speed yet. Personally I’m not a big fan of Theo being deployed in the wing positions as his ball control and passing skills appear rather limited. That said, Theo’s off the ball attacking movement into the opposition’s box and his predatory finishing skills appear second to none at the club. So provided he keeps his involvement simple in Arsenal’s attacking build up I think he can do a job for us on the wing versus Newcastle.

    I have to admit that prior to the Pool match, I advocated for Theo to be picked in place of Giroud because Theo’s attacking movement and finishing skills are excellent and his inability to hold up the ball makes Arsenal’s attacking play more urgent in order to exploit Theo’s strengths. Whilst I still hold that view, the main thing for me is that at least two of Arsenal’s front three is comprised of players with the natural inclination to make dynamic off the ball attacking movement into and within the opposition’s penalty box. The problem with the current squad is that only Ramsey and Theo appear to be naturally inclined to make such runs. Our other attacking options like Giroud, Sanchez, Ox appear to prefer coming to the ball which negates the effectiveness of that attacking strategy.

    Whilst diversity in attack can be good and Ox and Sanchez’s direct dribbling ability brings its own threat, like Giroud’s lay off ability, I don’t think a front three without the likes of Walcott and Ramsey provides enough attacking off the ball and penetrative movement into and within the opposition’s box to pose packed opposition defences problems.

    On another note, and I try really hard to adopt a balanced view when talking all things Arsenal, what a load of shit coming out of Gary Neville’s mouth after the Pool match. Coquelin is one of the statistically best defensive midfielders in Europe at the moment. To say he is not demonstrates Neville’s ignorance. It’s the same ignorant crap people espouse when they say Benzema is brilliant and Giroud is useless. Statistically they’re on par and Giroud plays in a much tougher league. Personally I think Arsenal’s squad is pretty complete, it’s just a matter of the finding the right mix of players to produce more balanced on field performances.

  • One final thing before I go and sort out my Fantasy team. Well two actually.

    Another option has been mentioned on NN(Ever Arsenal), and that is Monreal sparing CC21 another tough game? With the idea of bringing in Gibbs at RB?
    I think this less likely than Debuchy going to CB myself. If only for the fact that Gabs has only played at left CB, and so has Monreal, and neither has the pair played together.

    The other bit is on the TW front, that might just get the merry-go-round moving?
    Bayern have agreed to buy Kingsley Coman. He is a very exciting young striker, the sort AW would have liked to have bought on the cheap. I saw his last game with Juve and he is still very raw, but ready to play in a well stocked team like Bayern. That might just mean that a £45+ offer for Lewan****** will do the trick? Suit us? Yes. RM? Possibly, if they get similar for KB .. so you can see where I’m heading?
    However, it will be a one or other AW. So no dithering!

    By for now …

  • Talking Fantasy football – I did keep the previous league open -code 4849714043
    If you have a team stick it in it.( otherwise I’ll be 2 weeks ahead-with less than 100 points though)
    And I have just opened a Telegraph league – code 8106475(dazzlingditherers).
    Only for fun, free to join.

  • Great post 17…

    BFG & Koz to start at St James’…?
    I hope you are right compadre…

    If not then Chambers and Gab will have to take up the challenge.

    I actually think that they’ll do ok if that is the case.

    It’s certainly gonna be an interesting game, but I have no idea how it’ll pan out.
    Not a scooby…
    Arsenal are eventually going to click into gear and give someone an almighty thrashing.
    Let’s hope they click today?

  • Well the LES are reporting on NN that they are to play MY choices … Oh Happy Days

    Well if is not 1-4 to the Gunners I’ll be disappointed, but the nil would be a bonus!

    Go Gunners, Go!

  • Tasty line up! No Ozil? In that case I’d love to see Ox in the No. 10, Ramsey on the left, Walcott on the right and Sanchez front and centre! That said, it will probably be Santi in the No. 10, Sanchez on the left, Ox on the right and Walcott down the centre. Still impressive and I hoping that with Giroud it will force Ox to be more direct instead of always going to the byline for an aerial cross. COYG!

  • Ox left, Theo right, Ramsey 10, Alexis top, Santi/Coq pivot, and there will be plenty goals ……….. in the game!

  • ‘Morning fellas… Sorry I got everything so desperately wrong in the preview…Didn’t see any Ozil injury coming, that’s for sure…

    Anyhow, the match is already off kilter w/Toon down to ten… Score still nil-nil however…

  • Ox!!!! Finally some shooting to support our possession play! Good strikes from Walcott and Ramsey in the buildup.

  • Hey FLO8… Very glad we got the goal (deflected onto target, I think)…and that was a good bit between Ramsey and Alexis to force the good save… Overall, however, we’re having quite the struggle… No reason we shouldn’t score some more to seal this…

  • Giroud for Theo… The less said the better?…

    On the plus side, that was some nice work by Ox, Ramsey and Santi but hit straight to Krul a bit earlier…

    Need to get a 2nd or be quite careful here, Perez is a strong technical player…

    Giroud offsides with his first chance, Row Z with the 2nd…

    Focus, lads, please…

  • Nice summary 17. We really don’t look fluid in attack. That said, Koscielny and Gabriel with Coquelin in front of them and Cech behind them look very solid.

  • Cheers, FLO8… Giroud on target there, but straight to Krul…Good movement to make the chance…

    Agreed about the deffence…Quite the tackle by Gabriel that one time Thauvin looked to get through…

    I’d still like to see a 2nd today… and maybe a 2nd of the season credited to an Arsenal player…

    Arteta for Ox…

  • Don’t ask me that one FLO8…I don’t want to be called an Ox-hater… 😀 His strike got the goal, after all. Too many giveaways in the first half… The missed bicycle kick didn’t look good, either… Inneresting that he seemed just as free to move central as Ramsey in previous matches…

    If we can escape with the points here it’ll all be fine, but this is not one to inspire confidence going forward…

    Just my take, however, of course…

    Your impressions?…

  • Couldn’t agree more. Ox seems to have so much talent but I don’t know what position would enable him to fully express that talent. Would have preferred to see Ox make way for Giroud, Walcott moved to the right, Ramsey to the left and Alexis to the No 10.

  • Full time…

    Giroud chance saved when it looked easier to score…

    I’ll look forward to TA’s man at the match report, but my guess is that this one was a bad as the Pool match was good. Maybe we just didn’t have the best personnel on the pitch for an opponent down to 10 men…

    Probably best to just move on, but that’s not in our DNA esp. with the window closing and 2 weeks off…

    Ozil injury to keep him from joining the German squad, perhaps?…

  • Hmmm…’puter troubles…

    Well, we got to full time and take home the points, Giroud ending it with a chance saved when it looked easier to score…

    I’ll look forward to TA’s man at the match report but my guess is that this one was as bad as the ‘Pool match was good. Maybe we just didn’t have the best personnel on the pitch for an opponent reduced to 10 men…

    It’s probably best to just move on, but that’s not in the Gooner DNA esp. with the window closing and 2 weeks off to think about things…

    Ozil injury to keep him from joining the German squad, perhaps?… More work on the training ground for as many as possible seems only a good thing…

  • A labourious win, courtesy of an own goal by Coloccini.
    Walcott missed a sitter; Giroud shot straight at Krul when through on goal in extra time; Alexis huffed & puffed, could not find a breakthrough.
    Where is the player No.9?

  • Guys, i didnt watch the match, but seeing those comments here i have an idea how the match played out. My tv station here has full match on demand which i can see the match again.

    Will catch it tomorrow.


  • JM, our No.9 is Own Goal. It seems that brilliant striker who has already scored two goals this season is the only outfield Wenger’s signing.

    I’m happy with the result, it was a deserved victory.

  • It is funny when a sending off doesn’t help. To that extent, I agree that with them parking the bus we didn’t exploit the extra man well enough. But I thought it looked good for the first 15.
    A few positives – Alexis looked a lot sharper, without being quite there yet. Let’s hope the break does mess that up.
    The Gabriel Kos partnership looked good.
    Ramsey showing that he is indeed better in the middle.
    Mind, I knew it was a bit of bad timing to send Zelalem on loan, there was a vacancy today 😀
    The speed of passing was much better, some of which led to cards?
    However, it did have the look that Maclaren had told his players that ‘they don’t like it up them’?

    I hope this is going to be an ongoing referee platform. Book all cynical fouls, red card dangerous ones? In that is the case JW might get through a whole month without being injured?

    Oh, and if Man U lose we will be on course … in 4th place.

    You will enjoy the game though JK, just a little frustrating we did not get Bells penalty.

  • Hi FFGs 🙂

    Had a great day even though the game was a bit disappointing. Was too far away from the pitch to recognise the players to do a full review but hopefully MOTD will help later on. Three big points and fifth in the league, seven points out of nine since the the WH disappointment, just a shame we are going in to a break now.. 🙂

  • Gerry, i saw the highlights on footytube yesterday.

    Although we had lots of chances Krul is really good with his positioning. But the highlights were all showing arsenal attacks. None showing how the opponents played.

    And the red card looks like a normal foul to me, which some refs do not give even a free kick to us. I am not sure but replays do not tell you everything. So will try to catch the full game later on.


  • JK – You will not see a great deal of Newcastle attacks in the full game. A couple of crosses, and only one shot on target about sums it up. As for the cards being normal fouls, you may change your mind on the replays.
    But you are right, in the past some might not have been called a foul. The Mitrovic one was a leg breaker with very little extra force. Late, studs up, full rake down Coquelin’s shin on his STANDING LEG!
    The yellow cards were fully deserved too, and were going on all over the pitch.
    In fact the only bit of ‘sportsmanship’ I saw from a Newcastle player was when Sissoko had a run from the halfway line towards our goal. There was only Koscielny, a way to his left, that could prevent it being a one-on-one with Cech. Yet somehow Kos got across to save the day. Sissoko tapped on the shoulder in appreciation, as they both were heading up field.

    I think it was Anthony Taylor as the 4th official, and he, if you go back to our ‘Villa defeat two season’s ago, was quite willing to let the early fouls go, no matter how bad or crude, and let the game ‘settle down’ naturally. Given the cards elsewhere it seems to me there has been a change of directive, possibly as a reaction to the criticism concerning the Coquelin incident?

    I think also it was good, from a football perspective, that we did not try and dish out our own punishment. In fact it was laughable that late on, Alexis pulled out of a tackle, and got a card. It was a foul because he brought the guy down, but he pulled his boots behind his knees as he slid in. Needless to say, the Newcastle fans were in a bit of a frenzy at this stage, and were probably baying for a red card.

    The two disappointments for me were: a, the bench once again was defence heavy. Only Giroud and Campbell as attacking options; b, that the latter was given no game time at all.

    If that is all our attacking options on display, then we have definitely got room for at least one more. The fact that it was 67 minutes before Walcott came off, when most could see he was wasted once they parked the bus, may be as early as the 20th minute? Perhaps the straight swap for Campbell in that first half, thus pushing Alexis towards the middle could have been a gamble worth taking? At least when Giroud would come on we would have proper width, unless Ox went off. To me, the change should have been considered soon after the sending off … but then we may not have held our one goal lead? Who knows.

  • Gerry,

    Wow. That is a really good summary of what went on. Yes we were wasteful in attack and we might have easily got 3 or 4 goals up. The way they parked the bus was not as tight as they did against manu** or even the team we lost to in the opening day. Sorry for bringing the pain up but what i wanted to say is that we have better chances in scoring then the previous games.


  • I have just caught the repeat of the game. Thauvin should get a red card from the challenge on Le Coq. That looks more like a red card then the sending off, which you will not know it is a red until you see it from an angle.

    And Rambo man of the match? He had a wasteful game.

    Just my 2 cents.


  • Hey there, just catching up and up early to watch a little neutral football. Very little commentary here… 😦 TA, will there be match report? I enjoyed the man at the match stuff (re: your day out for the Liverpool match) and this might be one where missing the footy isn’t the end of the world, so, if you feel like sharing… 😀 The result, which was tougher to acheive (than expected) given 70 mins with a man advantage, in the end, is probably the most important thing and might be just what was needed ahead of the TW closing. There were chances for players to step up and help us show our strength in depth, but they really didn’t take them, which at least let a few critics get in a few digs ahead of Tuesday… I enjoyed the work Piers Morgan did a couple of years ago with an outspoken freak from our (US) world of gun-toters (Alex Jones) but he seems just as bad when it comes to Arsenal polemics…

    But we can get back into that Tomorrow or Tuesday. In the meantime, it’s good to know others are having trouble with home form (see South London Derby and up at Liverpool…Spurs have yet to score a win, too…)

    At the end the crowd were blaming the ref, but he did his job, as (I agree) the current directive suggests. You have to protect the players and the cards are the only tools…Coquelin has every right to jump out of the way at the first touch and Gerry is right that that standing leg of his was going nowhere (but into pieces) the way the big guy from Anderlecht raked it. McClaren can use these old fashioned tactics and move Newcastle up the table to avoid relegation issues, you’d just like to think the pride of the NE would aim a little higher…

    So, TA, lemme know your (posting) plans…I might try and put something in the hopper for the end of days, er, deadline day fun…

  • JK, I started watching the match (on replay) yesterday evening but only got through the first 30… but funny that you echo Mr. Morgan about Ramsey’s MotM award… 😦 😀

    I think he’s as deserving as anybody. There was a lot of wastefulness from all our attackers but he provided the work-rate and just kept going and going (and going), which is a nice arrow to have in your quiver. As this first segment of the young season comes to an end, however, I’m finding myself appreciating all that movement and the field sense to try to work with others to maintain our balance. To the very end of the game, he kept moving and trying to make chances for himself and others. Not so bad, IMO…

    By comparison, while I know many get very excited by the power and direct play of Oxlade-Chamberlain, when he drifts central (as it seems our wide attackers are given freedom to do) I just don’t get that same sense that he takes a Captain-ish responsibility to point others back towards the spaces he’s vacated. (Same with Alexis on the left…) Maybe Bellerin should get MotM as his early stonewall pen (the big missed call of the match) set a real tone for our threat. That guy covers a LOT of territory and I like how he and Gabriel were unafraid to put balls out of play and keep the defending very basic. As expected with 10 there was little threat down either flank, so well done to (both) FBs and Le Coq and the other MFs all match long…

    Everybody has their favorites, of course, and I had many of the same troubles with Ramsey as many did several years ago. My take is that it’s good to look for positives in those who fall in for criticism while maybe being tougher on those who are flying high… Not too many from yesterday and maybe by getting MotM, Rambo “needs” to be taken down as Celebrity Fan Morgan seems to feel…

  • Should have put “Celebrity Fan” in quotes as Piers Morgan’s love for the club, I don’t think, could exist without a camera…or at least a mirror… Of course, we shouldn’t throw stones living our own houses…Mine esp., what with so many windows… 😀

    If anything yesterday’s match might put the lie to the idea that pace and power are how you break down the parked bus. (Though I’m not sure what exactly Campbell would have brought if he’d been subbed in for Theo after the sending off…Of course, I didn’t see much of his play during his loan spells…) For me, it was clear that Newcastle–after the sending off at least–had zero intent to play our attackers offsides. As such, 1 v 1 and quick 1-2s are the only way past defenders. Otherwise, sending in crosses is another way to cause chaos but can lead to breaks the other way. Or shooting from distance or high angles can cause rebounds. Theo missed the easy put-back but Ox snuck his (wide) shot into the net after shots by Santi and Ramsey were rejected by defenders… (He also had Theo at the far post if he had seen him for the cross…) Working those tighter spaces isn’t the best us of Walcott and the Ox (and even Ramsey and Alexis like a bit more room) but they did enough. My hope is that Ozil’s “injury” was just a means of keeping him home from the Int’l break so he can focus on his club duties… Given all the fouling it was maybe good that he was held back…

    Anyhow, just my thoughts…and maybe I’ve run off all others (as I watch the neutral footy)… 😦

    What did yesterday’s match tell us about our “needs,” which we might address (with all that money) over the next couple of days?…

  • Despite the narrow win versus Newcastle, I remain confident Giroud and Walcott will get us goals this season from that central striking position. In my view, Walcott and Giroud could have both scored braces versus Newcastle. So provided they continue to get themselves in good goal scoring positions, I’m confident the goals will follow. My main desire from Arsenal’s attack this season is that the likes of Ozil, Ramsey and Ox regularly contribute to the side’s goal scoring exploits. The way Arsenal play, they need multiple regular goal scorers if they are to be a genuine title threat. I think that’s Arsenal’s one missing ingredient. Defensively I think Arsenal are looking great at the moment with two excellent goalkeeper, three top centre backs and another with fantastic promise, four excellent wingbacks and one of the best defensive midfielders in Europe with a super experienced and professional back up.

  • Hey FLO8… Cheers for the bit of in-match chat yesterday… Where are you based?…

    So, no buying over the next 50 hours?… 😀

    Once the goals start coming I (too) think they’re gonna come from all over the pitch… I guess one silver lining of these last couple of matches is that we’ve had to go a bit deeper into our “squad depth.” I’m not always sure about these “injuries and illnesses” and often think Wenger creates them for just such purposes… I picture the manager watching at training and then leaning over to whisper, “Mesut, I’m sorry, but you have a minor knee,” or “Laurent, you have a back issue.” OK, he wouldn’t have to lean over to tell the BFG that he had fallen ill… 😀

    Shame yesterday that Ox didn’t get credit for the goal as the commentators went to pains to point out that it would have been his first away from home…

  • 17ht, just catching the match again on repeat makes me feel that way. About the motm. I am sure the if we put Ollie up front we would have scored more instead of playing Rambo. I know that i may be anti rambo but yes if we play without him we might have seen something different.

    I’m seeing the game live now in Soton vs Canaries match. Soton just scored having seen the Canaries down to 10 man. Look that at least soton huffed and puffed and scored against a team that literally parked their bus.

    We should learn from them.


  • So, JK… Goals scored equates to effort?… So’ton now have three…They must really “want it” today…Too bad they (obviously) didn’t want it enough when they lost nil-3 (at home) to Everton their last time out… You know, it’s never too late to support whichever team you’re enjoying on the day…

    No, no, everybody should support the club, in whatever way they wish… That said, you might be just the sort who would enjoy the P. Morgan Twitter feed…

    Ollie in for Ramsey?… I didn’t realize they both played striker…

    I watched (the 2 minute US version of) Match of the Day and basically ALL the good chances they chose to show were created by Ramsey, including the rebound Ox put back for the deflected goal. Not.Good.Enough for Man of the Match? OK, you choose… Why not give it to Krul (as the studio people here did) given that he kept his team in the match?…Or the ref, of course, who–literally–handed us the match.

    No he didn’t and just as I actually don’t see a bus on the pitch, I think the word you’re looking for is “figuratively…”

    Sorry, (and despite the “Cheers” at the bottom of each post…) I guess you’ve got me huffing and puffing… 😀 😦


  • Well, I guess I’ve put folks off… Ah well…

    Cracking nil-nil in Wales… United started on the front foot but Swansea have come closest and now Schneiderlin goes in the book attempting to be Coquelinesque. (Frankly I like it that the refs are cracking down on teams and players showing all that passion–and stupidity–in the tackle…Much as Toonies, wanted it yesterday, forces, the ref, possibly the Arsenal, put them off…)

    Looks like the Jacks (kinda like Palace, yesterday) will be a team to give the top ones a bit of bother…

  • I think you have to look at the way teams defend with a little wider lens, HT.
    Let’s face it, nearly all teams will try to pull back 10 players behind the ball when they are not in possession. We do for a start. The big differences I think, come in several categories. Namely the better teams will do it quickly and for 90 minutes. Some teams will not be able to keep it up all game. Some teams will have a plan of attack, or a reason to attack, some others will come for a draw, or even play for a home draw? And then, like Newcastle, if it was only one down they will leave as late as possible before they try and salvage something.

    My reading of the above types is that only the ‘draw hopefuls’ are the ones you can say categorically that pace would not work against them. So don’t go all pompous and say the way this game turned out puts and end to the ‘pace v pass’ argument.
    It most certainly was the right team selection, given those available, to beat a team who were most likely to attack. We had a good counter-attacking plan, but it is still being handicapped by our star player not being 100% yet, and our pacey striker not being sharp enough, I read the numbers earlier today, and we have had more shots than any in the EPL so far, and created the most chances. It is our conversion rate that is the problem. Last season our average was 33%, at the moment it is 5%.
    I think that says it all?
    AW is quite right, in that sometimes it goes in cycles, and we might score 16 goals in three games at some point. But that will give us 9 points. In the 5 games so far we have 7 points with two own goals, and a solitary one from our boots. It is being more consistent throughout is what is needed.

    I watched the Rangers game earlier. Zelalem played the full 90. They were 1-0 up at half time, also away from home. Early in the second half Queen of the South had a man sent off, letter of the law red card, for a weak head butt. That is the set up, because Rangers play a pass and move game that is similar to ours.
    in their game, they got a penalty a couple of minutes after the red card. 2-up. They got a 3rd with slick passing, pulling players out of position in the way you have supported above. Their 4th came after a long period of possession, and ended with an in form striker lashing it into the roof of net. Their 5th was another penalty. Free kick 25yds out, and a guy in the wall does a defensive ‘hand of God’. QoS got a consolation breakaway a few minutes later, final score 1-5.
    Why am I giving this much detail? Well goals one, three, and four were all as a direct result of quick wide play. Even the two pens had their origins from switching play from wing to wing. And I mention all this is because Campbell can play out wide – ref above in your earlier comment. If Theo doesn’t want to (although I would have been happier if AW got off the bench and got a message out to Theo that he was coming off if he did not push Alexis inside). That is what might have given the central guys a little more space. Likewise, as was said in commentary, why were they throwing corners in high, when if they play short ones it would have drawn another defender out of the middle? Regards to replacing Ramsey, as JK suggested, it does not take a genius to see what he meant. He wants to see Walcott and Giroud as a front pair, and for that to happen somebody had to go?
    Indeed, if Giroud was coming on after Campbell, the same choice would have to be made? Most likely Alex, Santi, or Ramsey. Not Ox, as he would be provide the width on the other wing, and at half time it would have been risky taking Coquelin off.
    No smileys, just a grrrr! for your sideways comments.

    That aside, I am sure you want to know how GD got on?

    Well it was a slow start, and they seemed reluctant to play the ball to him. However, once the goal went in they came alive, and with it GD got involved. Second half particularly so. He was very busy in the middle, but not all his passes came off. If anything, he played it a bit too safe, but that might have been under orders. QoS got a bit petty at 3-nil down, and GD suffered a at 4 late tackles. But it did not stop him. So all in all, he will do well playing regularly. Mind, he has taken the place of their previous No 1 in that position, so will have to play at his best to keep a starting spot?

  • Gerry, If we’re in with the personal attacks (“pompous,” “sideways”)…I think you might want to try and shorten your contributions so as not be seen as a doddering windbag… Grrr… (and with a weird predilection for young boys… That one comes with a wink and a smile, but my guess is that you’re through with those…)

    Proofreading might be nice too so we don’t have to fix your typos in our own heads in that epic journey from (your) mind to keyboard… There I go again, I know, I know…

    How did GD (sic) do in his match in the the Scottish Championship? Pretty good it seems… Are you coming around to believing it was OK to send him up there, or still bad timing?

    I realize you have great faith in the youngsters to come in and play a role. (Including GZ spelling Ozil this season…) My take is different. Most supporters will NOT accept sacrificing results to blood players. As such, only from the mind of a maverick (or wack-o…) would come the idea that Campbell in for Theo after the sending off would be acceptable. See for example, JK and others’ reaction to Wenger “resting” (or “injuring”) Kos for Chambers. (Ramsey in for Ozil–if it means he doesn’t have to play meaningless qualifiers w/Germany seemed a decent one yesterday even if we only got the one goal…plus it got Ox into the line-up…) I’m sorry, I also don’t think my notion that pace is a lesser tactic against a retreating back-line is so radical. I didn’t mean it as the end-all in terms of pomposity, so apologies that you took it that way, i.e., there you went again…

    So, if we must, let’s Get the Grrs going… I’d prefer a less zero-sum game and maybe finding some agreement (Smileys, that’s just me, etc., etc.) but so it goes…

    In news related to the first team… It appears Arsenal will go into the break on level points with ManU… Like us a year ago, they went a goal up in Swansea but came away losers…

  • I realise I was being a little more direct than your sideways comments HT. I was trying to highlight that sometimes, and you may not notice this, but they come across like a sneer.
    You do not add to the debate(in the example above) as to why taking off Ramsey to bring on Giroud might be a bad idea. Simply saying that you did not realise they were both strikers is a little condescending, I think?
    I am sorry but it really irritates me, as clearly my typos irritate you. We both should try harder, eh?

    I am not sure basing your other argument regarding, Chambers being selected in the previous game, on the idea that all of our missing players are down to ‘wenjuries’. It is not one you can prove is it? He was supposed to be our 4th choice CB after all? Fans bemoan a lot with hindsight?
    Regarding Joel Campbell. We only had two attacking options on the bench. We used one late on.
    Again, it was only a thought, given what we had available.

    Yes, I admit the post was long one, partly because of the Rangers bit was linked to our game, and how we played, and the differences in the result. QoS were unbeaten coming into that game, so it was expected to be a close affair. As I missed the start of the second half, I hadn’t realised that GD got an assist. Nice one too.
    However, it is a bit early to say he will be a better player after his stint there. If he keeps playing then, yes, it will have been a good loan for him.

    By all means lets keep the smileys. But let us use them with sincerity, rather than to hide a backhanded compliment.
    Oh, something I think we both find irritating. The spellchecker?
    I have an OS bought in the States, and even though I have upgraded to Windows 10 (temporarily) it still picks up on every English spelling that is different in America. Despite having the UK English installed as the language of choice.
    I am guessing, but each time you write the English spelling on here, it pops up and does the same?

  • Man City have now spent £162 million…

    Just as well that we have FFP… 😦

  • Nice one Gerry and I’m very pleased we’ve opted for peace rather than war… If I had the correct emoji, I’d use it here…(You know, the peace sign…Maybe what set me off was yesterday’s use of the Ronald Reagan quote… 😀 …)

    No spell-check issues for me but they do tend to be as much trouble as they’re worth, assuming you know what you’re trying to say (or what language or usage you’re after), glad to be off the Apple on that account…

    Here’s the deal (for me at least)… Like I think you’ve said, anytime anybody writes anything–obviously–it’s their opinion. As such (as I’ve said before…) hyperbole is the essence of communication. You make a statement and see how people react. Taking pains to be as clear (and accurate) as possible is the writer’s duty–that is, unless it’s purely for your own fun and you don’t give a poo what anybody else thinks. Using every tool possible: courtesy, sarcasm, wit, smileys, etc. is a good thing, IMO, 😀

    Unfortunately, modern communication is just that–tweet, tweet, look at me, etc. and shorthand is where it’s at. Or longhand for those of us who write more for our own pleasure or to suss out what we’re really thinking or feeling.

    As for my reaction to JK above… is there anything more obvious than saying Ollie for Ramsey would be different? We got the three points with a plenty of solidity at the back. More comfort, in the form of goals would be nice but not truly needed. More strikers, less all round attackers at nil-nil I don’t think would’ve been a good idea. Also, if Ramsey doesn’t deserve MotM, who does? Positive phrasing, at times, for our friend from Singapore, might be a thought…

    Likewise, you’re right, I don’t have a ton of patience with people willing to relegate Chambers to the slag heap based on a turnover or two, just as I’m not ready to promote Wellington, GZ, Hayden, etc. to be the Schneiderlin solution (back up/improvement to Le Coq) or back-up for Ozil or whatever based on a couple of pre-season or U-21 appearances (or vid clips from loan spells). Joel Campbell looks forlorn enough as Costa Rica’s hold up guy at that level (CONCACAF or Scottish 2nd division, which is stronger?…) so dropping our 3rd highest earner for tactical reasons (after 20 mins) seems off the wall (to me). I realize these are just your thoughts but when they’re so far outside the norm they probably (often) need even more explanation. Such creativity shouldn’t be discouraged but maybe picking your spots might help us (more conventional sorts) follow along more happily. I’d rather talk about what we’re all seeing (i.e., the Ox vs Ramsey in the free-right role–and the wonder of Bellerin covering for both of them match upon match while still getting into the box decisively, for example…WOW…) than about thoughts from way out in left field. That’s just me (serious, not sarcastic…) but I think it could be others too…

    A spot where you might make a contribution is following all the youth players and their progress with periodic reports (posts). It’s yoeman’s work but if you have the time (and access) it helps complete the picture. It seemed (for a minute) that youth academy investment might be on the rise as a way to hide losses (add to costs) for FFP calculations. Now it sounds like City and Chavs aren’t even bothering and we’re moving that way too. This year the team we’ll play in the CoC will be full of veterans. (Rosicky and Diaby featured last year, for example, and we’re far deeper this season. Buy ’em and loan ’em seems the MO of the top teams and we’re moving that direction too (even if we give them 100 games before doing so, as in the case of Szczesny)…

    Anyhow, that’s about all I’ve got today, except that I’m getting more determined than ever to make it to Swansea for that (tough) away match on Halloween (All Hallow’s Eve, Fancy Dress–Trick or Treat Night, Guy Fawkes Day)…

    Cheers (not sarcastic…this time), 17ht

  • Yeah, what’s up with that, A-kev?

    Maybe we can get Nasri for a Song (or a Clichy…) or something… 2nd 11 at City strong enough to make (or win) the Europa league?…

  • 17, it’s another world, that those petro dollar clubs inhabit.

    De Bruyne for what, £58m…

    Is he really that good..?

    I had a chat with a mate about John Stones yesterday, he said we should go for him…
    I said that he really isn’t worth £30m, £20m even, let alone £40m.
    Then my buddy reminded me that Rio Ferdinand cost £30m all those years ago.
    That was an inflated fee at the time, but that ManUtd got value for money as he was a great player for them for around 10 years, I guess.

    Fair point, I thought, not that I think that Stones is in the Ferdinand class, well not yet, but I suppose he could be…

    Even so, I’d rather Arsene signs a Gabriel Paulista for a third of that fee.
    Work with him and turn him into a £40m player.
    As he has done with Koscielny…

    Same with Coquelin, that’s what rocks my boat compadre…

  • Interesting to see that only the mighty Sunderland (10 gls) have conceded more goals than Champions Chelsea (9 gls)…

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