Paulista HERO! | Move Ozil to left, Sanchez to right | Ramsey new # 10!

ugly football Chavs valuesPost game musings whilst my anger fades away….

I am an angry man. I am angry at Ref Mike Dean for allowing himself to be completely intimidated by the bully Diego Costa. And I am angry at Gabriel for being such a fall guy. Our team, absolutely lacking in street wisdom, make me angry. However, I can’t get myself to be angry with Diego Costa, I only despise him. In fairness to Gabriel, he stepped into the fray to separate Costa and Koscielny, but tipped over under that vicious scratch on his neck by Costa. Terribly handicapped in language, Gabriel couldn’t make his case. Shockingly, no Arsenal player rushed in to help him out. Not even Koscielny who should have tried to redirect Mike Dean’s attention to his own impeccable case. Neither did Santi, who was too busy being the nice guy next door. It irritates watching him in the tunnel before a match smiling and reacting obligingly to the opposing players. No, this should never be seen from the captain when hostility is about to begin. Two successive defeats, from two successive silly red cards, have left us reeling in confidence with precious grounds to make up. Our players must man up correctly, and think business and think smartly. I feel so much better after this little rant. So, back to football. With only 10 men, away to Chelsea, and at 0-0 I would have thought defence first. Chambers for injured Coquelin together with Debuchy in and Ozil out. Debuchy goes to right full back, with Bellerin playing in front of him. With our team forced to play deep, the pace of Bellerin is a much more valuable asset in any counter attack (or foot race) than Giroud’s, and maybe even Oxlade’s. Added to that is Bellerin’s greater defensive ability over both players. Ozil is sacrificed, not only because of his weak defensive output, but also because creative opportunities are minimal, playing deep and a man down. Our definite game plan should have been to try and keep the score at 0-0, and gamble on winning a foot race; courtesy of Walcott/Bellerin that might earn us a spectacular victory.

The infallibility of hindsight. From history to current affairs.

As I see it, what should be our biggest concern is Sanchez’s current form. I am afraid Premier League might have found him out, maybe not quite. Sanchez has such an impressive array of skills that it is difficult to accept that he is already pigeonholed. When Sanchez gets the ball wide left, everybody knows exactly what he is going to do. I mean everybody: friends, foes, neutrals, all alike. He will cut inside successfully. He will push the ball 5/6 meters and from outside the box usually, he takes his pot-shots. 8 chances out of 10 the shot is blocked. If the shot misses the bodies, then chances are it will go wide. It beats me why such a talented player does not put a variation to that pattern. Back-heel or turn and put the ball back into the space he vacated as he pulled men along with him, so his full-back can latch onto the ball in space. Or pass the ball to the right side of the field, which is usually vacated, his moves having drawn opposing players centrally. Or twist and twist and turn, to create openings for his mates to run in for a pass, or, at worst, pass the ball backwards for a fresh move to start. In this way he keeps everybody guessing, and keeps his move unpredictable, which his repertoire of skills can easily accommodate. Sanchez is naturally too demanding of himself, and this current drop in form would only heighten his determination to succeed trapped into doing the same thing. I feel the best way to rehabilitate him is by switching him to the wide- right position. This position will entice a different playing pattern from him, which he is also very equipped for (played in that position for Barcelona ahead of Pedro). Another area which I feel should be given some thought, is the #10 position. Everybody has accepted that it is a given that Ozil is our #10. This is because we can’t think beyond the link between #10 and creativity. But there is definitely more to #10 than only creativity. I was quite impressed with our ability to win the ball high up the field in our match against Newcastle. I believe it had a lot to do with Ramsey’s work rate at #10. That is an important factor which, when added to the fact that Ramsey is better able to make his crucial late runs into the box from the centre, should get us thinking. On top of this is the fact that our most creative player Ozil, is able to create from anywhere, not the least from the left-wide position. These tweaks are without prejudice to the habit of the players at interchanging positions. Who of Carzola and Ramsey should partner Coquelin in the double pivot position? This is coming back to the great debate. All I can say is that Ramsey lacks awareness to properly manage defensive space. He wants to be where the ball is: Songesque, and that creates gaps that can hurt us, which even his huge engine cannot nullify. Carzola is second only to Arteta in reading the game, both offensively and defensively. He is “ambidextrous ” in reading the field situation. His size notwithstanding, the argument is settled for me. To put it graphically, assuming all is well, I am saying the line-up against Leicester should be:


—–Bel——-Per——–Kos—–Mon ———


——-Alexis——–Ramsey——–Ozil —————


Before Leicester, we have a the Capital One Cup tie against Spurs, where we should expect extensive changes. However, with our injuries, options are getting limited.



Camp——–Ramsey ———Oxlade


I am not yet sure who should play in the double-DM pivot…

This is spectacular! Between this short time of starting to write this piece and now, I have made a 180 degrees turn. Gabriel Paulista is my new hero. Somebody needed to stand up to that brute called Diego Costa, and our man did it. It was the referee that goofed. Stories emanating from Brazil say that G. Paulista is the new national hero, because as you all know, Diego Costa is the most hated man in that country! By the way don’t begin to draw similarities between Costa and Suarez. Suarez remains a likable chap, loved by all his team mates. Diego Costa is loved by only one man, his manager. Come on You Gunners!!!

By Pony Eye

49 thoughts on “Paulista HERO! | Move Ozil to left, Sanchez to right | Ramsey new # 10!

  • Super stuff, PE, and thanks for stepping in spontaneously. 🙂

    This is thought provoking stuff.

    I am just angry with Dean and I reckon Paulista did not do much wrong at all. The way the UMF Costa was allowed to treat Koz was unbelievable. What sort of football image do the FA want to go round the world?

    Got to go now, but more later. 🙂

  • PE

    Ramsey in the hole is very left field imo. For me, Ozil holds it together, he adds the extra dimension and I felt we missed him a lot against the Barcodes. But yes he can play left and does not have to play central, as long as he is free to roam. I have no doubt that Alexis cannot be found out, he is just too good. But he is not at his sharpest yet and I understand your worries. I would love to see Alexis play as our nr.10, as I reckon we need goals from that position and he will score from there. I also believe that we play better with Giroud up-front, but we need a really good player on the right. For now Ramsey can play there and Ox adds something different too, but we still have not got this right.

    In a nutshell, we have plenty of options but we are missing form. I have no doubt that this will come and with Citeh losing at home to the Hammers, there is hope we can make up the gap soon. 🙂

  • The changes you suggest Wenger should of made would neverhhappen. Wenger has no in game management, everything seams to be rigid and uncompromising.

  • So, let us force the FA to launch an inquiry into Mike Dean’s behaviour towards Arsenal. Maybe, just maybe, we will get justice. It is not fair, not fair at all. After this, opposing players will like to rile Gabriel up. And if we cannot get protection from a referee, then we are in trouble. A Referee who celebrates when an opposing team, especially our arch enemy Spurs scores, need to be investigated now!

  • Drogba bullied our defenders and he dived like a penguin, but he did not scratch, aggressively push defender in the face and show them total disrespect. Costa is a disgrace of a football player and he needs sorting out. You is not welcome here..

  • Pony Eye,
    Great piece, as TA said thought provoking your ideas on when we were down to 10 men sound very good, which is what we probably should have done, of course if they scored as they did then we would have to of had a go a bit more.
    Good to hear that the people from Brazil have got behind Paulista.
    The way Costa has shunned his own great football country, followed by his recent dives for Spain and all his other things have really made me dispise him.His ugly inside and out.
    John Abraham
    Which ref are we talking about cheering on Spurs?

  • TA,
    That is right about Drogba, i can take the way he did it, even respect it , Costa is a s***. The stuff with Kosh was not to whind people up as you said and others how he got away with that is unbelievable
    2 slaps round the face then chest him then scratch Gabbi
    Where were the ref (refs) looking?

  • Costa gets sent off just before half time and we should win the game.
    Instead he treated our players like that then basically won the game for them in doing so.

  • Your way off mark if you think only Jose loves him…the fans idolize him as he puts in grunt work every game, scores assists and generally gets in opponents heads. I can understand at this moment you may not like him but if last game of the season you need us to beat a team for you to win the premier league , then youll be praying he´s on his game that day.

  • PE,

    Le Coq is an injury doubt.. and we lost Santi and Gabby to red cards the previous game, so should be ruled out of the hots*** match.

    Is it a one match ban for both? If yes i feel that the dm pivot should be El Capitan and Rambo.. since we have Jeff RA still with us in the reserves team we should play him out wide, with Alexis getting the man behind the striker position.

    No comments about Campbell playing on the right, switching flanks with Jeff.


  • Thanks TA, PG, all,
    I felt we needed this kind of post to ventilate our disappointments. The change in position for our MF 3 Is considered as needful for the rehabilitation of Sanchez’s form. This is crucial to our season. It need not be permanent. Anyway the MF 3 interchange during play, so it is no big deal interchanging the 3 formation wise. In fact this is a big luxury we can always afford to enjoy. It gives more headache to our opponents in trying to anticipate our line up which is additionally defined by the arrangement of the players.

    JK, Santi is one match ban, so he is available for the Leic match. Looks like 3 match ban for Gab, so omitted in both line ups. If Coq’s injury keeps him out of Leic match, Art steps in.

  • Interesting … My take

    a. Midfield 3 are interchangeable, so I would leave as is, but try to get more interchange. I often see Ozil out wide but the wide player still there too. Sometimes that is ok but often that means someone might not be filling space in the middle that he left (unless it’s Santi or AR coming forward?)

    b. Sad to see that so much shown on TV is not being look after by the FA. Shouldn’t stop retrospective action. Happens in every other sport. Rugby league here does this best. Even if partially caught if the ref is unsure and think they may have missed something, they simply hold up crossed arms indicating a player on report and it’s investigated that week by a league wide panel. Easy..

    sigh, one step forward… — jgc

  • I will bypass your rant, PE, as you obviously needed it. 😀
    The second part is a much better way with relevance to how we move forwards. And you do make some very interesting points.
    Good stuff, I like it.

    Starting with the Alexis ‘problem’. Remembering how long it took our German players to come back down to earth after the World Cup, I tend to agree with TA, it is more about sharpness, and I am not sure a change in any ‘nominal’ position or formation will help. As we know, players tend to end up where they want to be?

    Personally, I would be more radical and put him in the next Under 21 game. If he fails at that level, then he is in a deeper mental abyss than we first thought? Unfortunately, the next Under 21 game is on Friday, the day before the Leicester game. So perhaps just resting him for the Spurs game might be the only other option. Apart from yours, that is, and hope a change of position does the trick?

    Elsewhere, there will be changes. With the possibility of no BFG, the probability of no Coquelin, not being risked even if fifty-fifty? and the certainty of no Gabriel and Cazorla, we are going to dig into our deeper squad.

    I have to admit I have no real desire to second guess AW without knowing what the 18 man squad looks like. I don’t mind having a go at seeing how his choices might work in formation. Otherwise it only results in further disappointment when players don’t even make the squad. Sadly, with the Jeff injured, only two players come to mind from the youth ranks, and they are Glen Kamara, and Alex Iwobi. The former on the bench, and hopefully some game time. The latter in the team if Alexis is rested, if not, on the bench with first sub option guaranteed. Will it happen under AW? Probably not. Not because he is stubborn, but because he knows far better than me who is ready or not. Hence I will leave the selection to him, no grief.

    Your Leicester team does contain some of those doubtful players, but like yourself I like the idea of Bells in the RMF spot, but to get something out of this very dangerous Leicester side, do the same on the other side and have Gibbs double with Monreal. We will need somebody quicker than Monreal to deal with the Mahrez threat? Not ideal to put Arteta as the ‘holding’ DM with Vardy around, but he may be able to slow him up with his positioning? That would leave just 3 spots for the attacking midfield and strikers. No major change in formation, a straight 4-3-3. with Ozil, Giroud, Alexis making the trio up front? There are other options of course, With Ramsey, Walcott and Ox all wanting to be there? We would have good counter attacking speed out wide remember, both capable to put good crosses in?

    As for Wednesday, I’ll wait for the squad. I’ll be disappointed if Iwobi is not included, because he is one player you can guarantee you will get movement from. Kamara needs to be involved if we are going beyond Arteta and Flamini for cover for Coquelin, depending how long he is likely to be out for?

    Geoff, the FA are waiting on Deans report, which should be a good work of fiction? How is he to explain that he saw what Costa did to Chamberlain, which was a second yellow offence, or is being told he is about to be substituted a reason for not sending him off? And how come, if his assistants told him of the Kos ‘gouge and slap’, a minimum of a yellow, if not a straight red? That was one offence, the scratching of Gabriels neck another separate one? and the provocative slaps on his chest while Dean is talking to both of them, a third offence? Not to mention the waving of an imaginary card earlier on, which is sometimes a bookable offence. The report will be very interesting?

    Those are my thought for the day.

  • Great post! I think a 4-3-3 ramsey cazorla coq, sanchez theo ozil, play ramsey as a box to box mid not CAM though to give the team more solidity, with the full back providing the width.

  • Very thought provoking post PE!

    For me Ozil needs off the ball runners and the team to play a more counter attacking style of play to be truly effective. Baring Walcott, Arsenal don’t have those sort of players and don’t play that system of play. So I think his effectiveness for Arsenal is limited by those factors.

    In the patient passing system Arsenal play, Ozil’s ball retention skills and vision are useful but the fact that he doesn’t offer a long range goal scoring threat or the desire to go behind the opposition’s defensive line either by making an off the ball attacking run or by playing 1-2s with Giroud when he occupies the centre forward role, limits his effectiveness in my opinion.

    Ozil’s lack of a goal scoring threat and the lack off the ball runners in Arsenal’s squad is the reason I would actually prefer to see the likes of Alexis, Ramsey or even Ox deployed in the No. 10 role. Players who are willing to shoot from long range where and when the opportunity presents itself (e.g. versus Newcastle).

    I think Ozil like has a role to play but for me, that role is in the deep lying player maker role alongside a Coquelin style player.

    I actually think which trio should play in the wing and No 10 roles for Arsenal should be very much dependent on what attacking system Arsenal are trying to play.

    If Arsenal are trying to use the centre forward as a pivot/player to bounce the ball off I think the likes of Wilshere, Rosicky and Santi are best suited to those roles.

    Alternatively if Arsenal are trying to create shooting opportunities from distance, I think the likes of Alexis, Ramsey and Ox are best suited with Walcott feeding off the scraps.

    I’m honestly struggling to understand Arsenal’s attacking strategy thus far this season but with a lack of off the ball runners and a refusal to play counter attacking football Ozil in the No. 10 spot doesn’t seem to be the answer.

  • Gerry,

    Yes the camera footages speak volumes for itself. Every one in the soccer world mentioned it.

    If the EPL officials have been blind the ref match report would be deemed as nicely done. But i say please see for yourself PL officials.

    Flo8, shooting is one thing. Scoring is another. We need to ensure that we have the right mentality and plans for the next games to come. We cannot be doing the same thing week in week out.

    I have said 4 posts previously so its time for my own silence time. Back to you guys.


  • Hey JK!

    “shooting is one thing. Scoring is another” – Very true but at least we would see a discernible attacking strategy and I believe Ox, Ramsey and Alexis all have the capabilities to regularly score from long range efforts.

    I agree whole heartedly with your comment that we need to ensure that we have a plan for the next games to come. At the moment we genuinely look as though we don’t have an attacking strategy, aside from trying to retain possession on the edge of the opposition’s 18 box before ceding possession and relying on Kos and Coquelin to break up the opposition’s counter attack. Then it’s a case of repeating that approach. It’s not working but we keep doing the same thing week in week out. I have no doubt Arsene has a strategy, I just for the life of me figure out what it is?


  • Ok. Let me mention what i had in mind.

    Still retain the possession play, but shoot on sight. Do not be sorry not to pass to your teammates. Just shoot when the opportunity comes.

    We have been putting too much passes in the box, and that is the exact reason why we cant score. Opponents have been waiting for the wayward pass and off they counter.


  • Nice to finally see a bit of passion back in the team from Paulista, although more than little daft with the petulant backheel to Costa. We could do with that sought of passion and commitment from certain other members of the team.

    Why oh why did Kos just stand there ? , very commendable, but that doesn’t win games, either give him a slap back or hit the deck, but for f**k sake but don’t stand there like a chastised infant who’s just received a slap from his mum.

    One has to ask also where on earth was the back up from the rest of the team. If it had been the other way round the whole Chelsea team would have mobbed the ref and the player involved….. WHERE IS THE PASSION. THE BITE, THE COMMITMENT.

    Paulista reminds me of Keown, my God how we could do with his ethic now.

    As for the above mentioned shift around up front, I’d prefer to see Walcott out wide right with Giroud in the centre and Sanchez wide left, backed up with Ramsey at number ten, I’m sorry but Ozil wouldn’t even make my bench. We need workers and grafters not so called superstars who think two decent passes a game constitutes a fair shift.

  • Thanks Gerry for overlooking my rant. You possibly felt it better than me smashing windows.

    I doubt very much if Sanchez’s problem is still that of sharpness. His done 6 games already and his graph, by his standard, is still flat. From the left he has become very predictable. His markers actually allow him to cut in and they then close in on him. 2 options are available. Either he varies his pattern, or he changes position. To change a pattern is easier in a new environment, a new position. He can play left, right, or centre, so why don’t we give it a try.

    FLO8, you hit the nail on the head about our MF3. We see Ozil as the talismam and yet we have not been able to create the environment that would bring his best out. If we cannot create this environment, then we have shackled our thinking by continuing to take Ozil as the soul of the team. Please, don’t get me wrong. Ozil is a very special player, but if we cannot give him what he needs, i.e runners, then he becomes, at best, just another player. At Real he had Ronaldo, Benzema, Di Maria. The great Javi Hernandez of Barca, wrote that anytime he looked up he saw at least 3 runners, and he them makes his choice. It was the runners that brought out his greatness. One runner (Theo), can easily be caged by a defense. 3 runners, is a nightmare to any defense. Simply put, if we do not have enough runners, Ozil should be seen virtually the same way our other midfielders are seen. That means left, right, centre, are all up for grabs.

  • 100% agree JK and PE! Very well articulated! 😊 It’s also nice to know I’m not the only person with those thoughts. I’m just not understanding Wenger’s strategy atm.

  • Hey PE (& others, FLO8 mostly, I think)… I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with much of the sentiment that is emerging… I’ll try and explain…

    First off, frustration is fine–and I expressed plenty of it on Saturday during our match and in the hours immediately afterwards while watching some of the other football. IMO, however, we should remember what’s what. We were playing a very even and controlled match vs Chelsea until the sending off. That incident was 90% due to a terrible, ego-maniac of a referee taking the bait of a real expert of gamesmanship (who, I bet, is on the down side of any real footballing skill)…a certain Spanish-Brazilian named Costa. The rest of the blame has to go to Gabriel Paulista, who, unlike Koscielny whose behavior he should model, just couldn’t let Costa get the last push/shove/kick in the shin… Stupid, not heroic…In my opinion, of course. 🙂 (If you’re gonna get the red card, break the f**kers nose…)

    I also wouldn’t blame Santi for having fun in the tunnel. This is a guy who is 5’4″ and has probably joked his way out of plenty of scraps over his lifetime. Why can’t (even) a (big) football match be fun? Arsenal are trying to win with technique and superior football, not by being ‘arder than everybody. Again, Koscielny’s model is the one to aspire towards. Take the hits, don’t respond but maybe try to get the referees to note what is going on (falling down on the chest bump is what actually started the whole thing)… Look, it all went terribly wrong, but it’s mostly Mike Dean being too easily goaded into making himself the center of attention.

    But that’s the rant… In terms of our play, Alexis does need to get better–and quick. I’m with more switching during play and less worry about starting positions (as I thought PE was too, in earlier threads at least). Alexis on the right, I don’t think, is the way forward. He’s a head down player looking to play selfishly (not a bad thing) and–at times–he can get his own shot off. Putting him on the right only makes the angle (for shooting) worse. Will he also be looking for crosses? Maybe, maybe not. Watching him, he does have a pretty good eye for spotting a teammate but it is almost always as a last resort when his personal options are gone. Filling in on the right (when that space is open) and moving, moving, moving is what I’d put in his ear… He did look frustrated in the Chelsea match, but (also) I’m not sure long shots are the answer. Our very good start to the match ended in the 12th minute when Alexis took a very weak one from 30 yds… It made us appear “out of ideas,” IMO…

    We also seem back into the Ozil out mindset. To my eye he was moving better than anybody in the first half of the match (which I watched again yesterday). I understand that people want goals from our #10, but this fixation that such players must either shoot (and, ideally score) or make the killer through-ball pass to runners can lead to plenty of frustration, esp. when teams set a deep line. Theo was offsides twice in the first half and otherwise his touch let him down on a couple of occasions. Ozil was at the heart of most of those attempts, just as he was for the nice Theo goal vs Stoke. He’s the opposite of Alexis and thrives on precision. Selling him short (or thinking he belongs on the bench) is not at all my conclusion…

    We’ll see plenty of changes for Totts tomorrow night (I might wait to hear AW’s presser before releasing a match preview) but I’d expect very few changes from the core group for the Leicester match. Personally, I think we need Giroud back as our focal point and the guy who can use his body to play 1-2s with other attackers buzzing around and off of him. That’s our attacking strategy, FLO8, esp. against teams who park the bus. You can’t play on the counter when teams (including the defending champions, in their home stadium no less…) are playing defense (American spelling…) first. We’ll need to get that first goal up in Leicester to open them up, too, I fear…

    Have you heard enough?… Sorry there’s more. We need work on set pieces. Maybe we can’t defend them because, in training–as in matches–we can’t seem to deliver them with any consistency. It’s just a thought. Again, if Giroud is fit, for me, he plays…Same as the BFG… Same as Santi (who delivered the set piece to Giroud for the late goal vs Stoke)…

    OK, that’s all for now… and, as always, just my opinion… Thanks for reading…

  • 17ht,

    Spot on. Though not totally in line with what i had in mind, but still a good read.

    And yes, sticking to Ollie in front of Ozil makes the whole team tick. I do not care who we put on the right and left, but putting Ollie up front and Ozil behind him makes everything work. He is the target man who is good at keeping the ball and heading.

    I hereby apologise to you on the outburst the day before.


  • JK, Yes, any idea is good…If we win…If not, we’ve lost it, or at least the manager (who actually gets a couple of his ideas into action) has lost it… 😀 In other words, all our ideas–unless they are actually seen in action–are untestable, so always (pretty much) better than what we see…

    Here’s what I think… The manager wants to get his best players onto the pitch and, Ideally get them playing their individual and collective best. Those players include Ozil, Alexis, Ramsey, Santi, Theo and Giroud (Jack Wilshere would be another, if fit). Putting ALL of them on the pitch at once demands that a couple of them take on a little positional restraint (Ramsey on the right, Santi in a deeper role) but that’s the plan. Personally, unless we know a team is going to push up and play the high line, I think Giroud should play and Theo comes on later if we need goals. Ramsey (who also bungled a great chance in that first half by not hitting it first time) needs a goal as badly as Alexis and the rest of them do… We’re having a rough time at it, at the moment…

    So, it really sucks that we’ve lost two matches in a row and that (maybe even worse) our attack has looked poor. Sometimes the ball just doesn’t bounce your way and the guy with the whistle helps (really helps…) the other team. Our attack has looked especially bad given that we’ve played these last 180 minutes with an average of less than 10.5 players on the pitch (95 mins down at least a man…) and trying to chase a result. Instead of believing we need to reinvent the wheel, I think we just need to play BETTER. Let’s avoid the frustration that leads to moments of indiscipline (or stupidity) in the face of all the craziness refs (and opposing players) may present and a run of bad luck might cause. I would say that to both our players AND our supporters…though I fear I don’t really have their ear… 🙂

    I think it can turn around but this early season is creating some scar tissue that won’t disappear overnight… ;(

    Additionally, we’ve got a tough, emotion-laden match in mid-week against another opponent who will REALLY be wanting to beat us… More on that later…

    Also, I wanted to say…that I couldn’t agree less with new poster, Bring back tony, any less, but that’s just me. If we want to blame any of players for losing to Chavs it has to be the guy who got himself sent off… Sorry… Welcome to the site, however…

  • 17ht, please skip my opening salvo. My apologies to the nicest man in the epl, Santi.

    They say that even when Guadiola’s team is all conquering, he still pushes for greater height. Maybe, he is too much of a perfectionist, or too passionate an individual. Maybe, also, there is something of such people in me and I suspect in FLO8. and of course many others. The effort of such people should never be looked at as always too critical, but rather as a desire for even greater heights. We have to keep striving for a pattern or system that would make Ozil flourish more fully. Having good off the ball runners is a perfect option. Greater verticality in our play that opens up the game is another option, even though it has its special demands. In a nutshell one has recognized that Ozil is an important key for our hitting the next level. However if these ingredients cannot be provided, then the special tag on Ozil goes, and we have to then plan accordingly.

  • Hey PE…No worries and like I said everyone’s entitled to blow off some steam… 🙂

    I know what you’re talking about re:verticality of our play… Ozil (IMO) is a master of turning build up play into goal scoring chances by way of running and passing. He’s currently labeled as a #10 but he does his best work in the channels between the center of the pitch and the touch lines, leaving those areas for others who can become his passing targets… As such, he definitely needs players who are aware of what he’s attempting to craft and willing to run (even when they’re not near the ball) to help make it happen. I actually believe Wilshere (also being a left footed player and good runner, perhaps…) was maybe the best at interacting with him. Too many injuries for (not so) young (anymore) Jack, of course…

    The big issue for our team is getting Ozil working well with Alexis, and, to a lesser extent, Ramsey and the CFs, Giroud and/or Theo. To me, he and Alexis are just such different types of players that there is a bit of a stumbling block. Alexis can tend to stand and watch with a “give me the ball and let me do my thing” kind of body language. When he’s on top of his game it can work a charm, but at the higher levels–where it’s teams of stars, and 1 v 11 just won’t cut it, it’s a recipe for ugly (or at least very frustrating) stagnation in our play.

    Chelsea controlled him through fouling (of course) but also through team defense of a sort from which we might learn. I was impressed how guys like Oscar, Pedro and Cesc (not exactly the most imposing athletes) tracked back and broke up a lot of our play most notably Alexis’ predictable pushing back towards the center of the pitch.

    I’m not trying to say Alexis is the problem, just that he needs to adjust his game oh so slightly. Let’s be clear: beating Argentina with his Chilean team in the Copa was a great accomplishment. The top teams in Club football (even including struggling English teams like Arsenal and Chelsea) are a step up. He’s going to need to rise to this challenge and do so by finding ways to work with our most talented players. Top of the list (for me) is Ozil but all those other fellows aren’t far behind…If (or, hopefully, when) those two get it going, it should be fun (very fun) to watch.

    In my opinion, of course… 😀

    All that being said, I hope both of them (Ozil and Alexis) are rested for the CoC match… (and somehow some others rise up and get the job done up there)…

  • Hi

    Few more thoughts:

    a. FA: Good to see they are on it, will be interesting the ban lengths. I suspect they know that all things are appealed (or many) so they get some time to “get it right” or try to anyway. Good use of technology and time to cool off, IMO.

    b. Ozil: Movement also good. I wonder if his “issues” right now aren’t the sum of:

    — We are not finishing well. He leads EPL in chances created but we are low in scoring, hmm
    — I think more EPL teams fear him than in La Liga. They all drop more and are more consistent on defense. Thus, they only offer us the harder ways through more often than not. That is good strategy but can limit him, or anyone for that matter, in terms of the beauty of it all. Or, perhaps, in La Liga they simply play more and damn the 4-1 score line, which you rarely see in the EPL. A matter of calibration perhaps.
    — Coquelin going well ties in too. When he does well the ball doesn’t often go as far up pitch with opposition players. His disruption and interceptions help us keep teams penned up, which we like, but it also limits our fuller field counterattacks.

    Overall, stick with him, I think it is mostly the first, some of the second and third.

    c. Sanchez: A drought, like a batting slump in baseball, or like Kane at Spurs. They pass. During them the player tries even harder to overcome it all, usually with counterproductive mistakes. What he needs, the same, is a good game. I’d bench him for Spurs and bring him on for the weekend.

    d. Gabriel: I see some criticism. I recall a young Arsenal center back, often carded, sometimes overcome with “enthusiasm” and we wondered if he would ever grow up and become great. Some hard to pronounce, not too French name. We call him Koz, I believe???? 🙂

    cheers — jgc

  • Hey Professor…Where you at these days?… Always nice to have you pop round…

    Agreed with all your points…except maybe the last one… Gabby was getting a lot of chat about keeping his place regardless of the BFG’s fitness and now this (?!)…The shove on Hazard was borderline early in the half but this stuff with Costa is straight from the sandbox… Sure, he looks like one you wouldn’t want to run into in a tight spot in the favela which some say the team “needs,” but that’s different than Kos going for a tackle past the touchline (in his first match at Liverpool, I think)… Nothing so admirable in being unable to walk away from the bully… for me, at least…

    Any thoughts on a line-up for Spurs?… One of the Arsecast boys made a good point that the League Cup is probably Spurs best chance for silverware. They could always get a (very) lucky draw in the Europa League, I guess, which is surely their best way back to the CL… I fear we’re gonna have to play some first teamers if we want a chance at beating them… Losing up there is never good, but 3 in a row would make it all the worse, I think…

  • Hey all,

    Interesting comments 17.

    Based on the last couple of seasons, I still think Ozil’s effectiveness as the No 10 for Arsenal is limited by:
    – a lack of off the ball runners;
    – Arsenal not playing a more counter attacking style of play; and
    – Ozil not offering a long range goal scoring threat or the desire to go behind the opposition’s defensive line.

    Don’t get me wrong I think he is a bloody good passer of the ball and his vision is excellent but he has his weaknesses and I don’t think Arsenal’s system of play enables him to accentuates his best footballing qualities.

    In terms of Arsenal’s attacking approach, if Arsenal are trying to use the centre forward as a pivot to play 1-2s with in order to get behind the opposition’s defensive line (which is a perfectly legitimate attacking approach and one which we have the players to execute), I don’t know why that pivot (i.e. Giroud) is on the bench and Arsenal’s wingers and No 10 are not trying to play 1-2s with Walcott instead (e.g. Wilshere versus Norwich)?

    Maybe I am a little frustrated but I really think Arsenal have the squad (and in particular the defensive stability) to be able to truly challenge for the Premier League title this season. I feel as though the opportunity will pass us by though as we are playing without a discernible attacking system.

  • Evening all. An excellent prompt for a wide debate PE. Only a few refections to add.

    I’m squarely in the Gabby was bloody silly camp, but not to the extent of holding anything against him – he is young and will learn from this. If he does the same thing again this season I might be harder on him. Personally, I still have Mert as our clear no1 CB, with Koz, for his calmness and positioning. But Gabby is a great first reserve and we should be happy to see him get plenty of play time this season – as part of planned rotation hopefully.

    I think the combination of suspensions and injuries throws us into a real quandary for the coming spuds game. Players who I felt sure to be starters (Campbell) will now either be benched, or will form part of a very unfamiliar first 11. The 11 you have suggested PE look fine on paper, but the level of change involved in this team would leave me expecting a painful evening at the Lane. We must start with something like defensive solidity, which means a core that are used to playing together. But, even though its the spuds, I would take no chances with the Coq for a CoC game. All that means I would want a near full strength back line to start for us with a creative, but less than resilient, Ramteta in front of them. The heart would like to see Campbell and Ox given the flanks, with Ozil in the no 10, but I’m not sure I can see us taking such a punt on youth; more likely we continue to try and play Alexis into some sort of form. I would go with Theo again against the spuds defence, and use Giroud at the weekend.

    As ever, lets not forget how it all looked a few short weeks ago – we have a highly talented and mobile squad, with goals in them across all the attacking positions. One day soon we will find our form and the opposition will take a real hammering; lets hope it comes on Weds!

  • 17ht, your comments posted yesterday at 19:08pm is brilliant, courageous and thought provoking. “……..he(Ozil) and Alexis are just such different types of players that there is a bit of stumbling block. ….”. That is like saying the king is naked and I dare to agree with you. Alexis style is high risk high dividend all of the time, irrespective of the area of the pitch. Ozil plays safe and patiently waits for prime moments to risk. Ozil’s is obviously more in harmony with Wengers philososophy. Yet Alexis brings plenty to the table, that even when the brilliant Wilshire and others are back from injuries, he remains in my view undroppable. Still a way has to be found to improve the mix. What readily comes to my mind is again Alexis moving wide right. That position is tailor made for his soloist style. Alexis is irrepressible, so don’t begin to see a foot race ending in .a cross into the box only. From Alexis, a lot more than that will happen. It is important to recognize that it is possible to give a player a role that “reduces”” his input, but which at the same time enhances the output of the team.

    I just feel like a word on Wilshire. If these injuries had not been, Wilshire would have by now matured into a rare top of the range player, that would have taken Arsenal to the next level. He knows it better than anybody, and that puts a lot of pressure on him to make up for lost time, when he finds himself back on the field. Our job as fans is to support him by being very patient with him. He will get there. Wilshire and Ozil, two incredibly intelligent and talented individuals on the field together? I dare to dream……..

  • I think a little caution is needed before celebrating the FA’s final outcome.

    For one thing, Gabriel has also been charged with ‘improper conduct’, which not only may impact on any appeal, but also add another day of suspension? I presume it is for getting involved in the Kos incident?

    bring back tony – you may have benefited from listening to the Arseblog ‘Arsecast’ before lambasting Koscielny. The reason why he turned away from Costa was because the ball was STILL IN PLAY!
    It is offers a reasonable explanation as to why none of the officials saw the incident. Kos, while being manhandled, wasn’t the player who cleared the ball up field. The ref would need to be heading to where the ball was going, as would the assistant who needs to catch up with play. It does not quite excuse Dean for not spotting the manhandling though, as that is part of their job, looking for fouls when the ball comes into the box? The follow up he may have missed.

    Another point on the Arsecast was, given that play had not restarted while Dean was taking names, and Costa was still doing the chest slapping and muttering into Gab’s ear, and finally the kick out, which in my view it looked like the far side assistant told Sean what happened as he was to close and with many players milling around ….. but, in all that time, with Cech waiting to take the eventual goal kick, the 4th official had time to see the replays or at least relayed that to Dean before play restarted? Could he have given Costa a second yellow for the earlier incident?
    Well clearly not, if neither official saw the incident. Which is why Costa can now be charged with violent conduct, and that should result him getting a 3 game ban. But knowing how the FA like to support their referees, it will not surprise me if Gabriel ends up with the longer ban?
    I rather hoped, when I heard the words ‘failure to control the players’, it was going to be directed at Dean, who completely ignored the chest slapping, when in theory he could have given both a second yellow card and that might have been the end of it? Although, Gabriels scratched neck, Zouma’s grabbing Gabby by the throat, and the whole Kos thing could still have followed?

    Moving on to the game tomorrow, I was somewhat surprise the read ‘Reine-Adelaide brought in for Spurs game’? Egg on the face for that writer, because as the respected Jorge Bird had already announced that the lad is out for two months with an injury. It does open up the possibility that Iwobi might be included. As I said yesterday, I would go further, start him in place of Alexis. I am glad that ‘The Prof’ holds a similar view about resting Alexis here.
    What I said yesterday about him lacking sharpness, I wasn’t talking about building up ‘match sharpness’, but rather the mental sharpness. The TV guys mentioned that the one clear cut chance he had towards the end of the game, and would have brought us level, he would have buried 12 months ago? This time it looked like a desperate lunge just to get a touch on the ball, whereas when he was scoring from all angles last season, he looked unplayable? This opportunity had nothing to do with being ‘found out’, or defenders set for him when he turns inside. This was about that millisecond of difference of anticipating where the ball will be, getting there and getting a proper foot through it. That is what I am talking about.
    When you consider snooker players can have bad runs when they have complete control of how they play the ball, with no interference from an opposition player, it simply goes to show just how much of it is in their head, not the physical control?
    I strongly disagree with you HT when you suggest that the Copa America is a step down from EPL club football. The pressure of a Nation’s hopes and dreams, with all the build up leading to the final, compared to fickle fans who blow hot and cold does not bear comparison. Therefore the effort of those minutes, playing against the best ‘techically gifted’ of each opponent can offer, and to come out on top, surely rates higher than a wet night in Stoke?
    I would agree if you said the EPL demands are different. But Alexis already proved he is more than capable at this level.
    What it does to the psyche to achieve something that tells you it will never get better than this, only a few will experience that, and even less will be able to explain it.
    If I were to try and put my finger on it, I would say it puts a cloud around that area of the brain that takes confidence and peripheral vision, that then creates intuition, and with that, it produces anticipation?
    Here is an example from my long driving experience:
    During the day time my peripheral vision excelled. At night time, robbed of these cues, I would drive more deliberately, more consciously careful. However one night around 3.0am, while I was a taxi driver, I went to pick up a fare from one side of town to the other, extreme edges amounting to about 12 miles. All in built up areas, multiple traffic lights, and other hazards that made it difficult even light night time traffic. I was inspired by the need for speed when the lady told me her husband was dying in hospital, and had just had the phone call to get there quickly …
    We did not speak for the rest of the journey. I was driven by a combination of compassion for her situation, and the knowledge I was a very good driver.
    That journey would take 15 minutes if you could average 60mph. I did it in 17.5 minutes.

    But the real connection to the above is that I knew I would never be able to repeat it. I had no inclination to attempt it, I just kept my driving to safe and careful …. even in daylight!

    Understand that, and you get close to Alexis’s problem. His is not in a matter of life and death situation, and at some point, some spark that relights that inner belief, and he will get all his old swagger back. Now whether ‘resting’ him flicks the switch that makes him aware that playing football well is what he wants to do, and the thought of being deprived of it? … Well, there is only one way to find out?

  • Ooops a typo slipped through … Sean? Sean Dean? Let’s settle for Dean, eh. 😀

    Oh, and for the really picky ‘even *with* light night time traffic …

  • Gerry,

    Whatever is the outcome, the fact that Costa has been pulled to the FA officials means that we have a closure here.

    Regarding failure to control the players, which player is miscontrolled other than Costa and Gabby? Didnt they see that the rest were pulling them apart? Not to mention asking who started it. Yes. Kos was trying to get attention from the ref and his cool head is what i respect.

    Whoever is playing on the left or right mid gets my vote. Be it iwobi or any remaining youngsters in the team.


  • As I temporarily broke my ban on second comments, I’ll do another one JK.

    ‘Closure’ is psychobabble for ‘victims receiving justice’ so they can repair their lives and move on.

    We got our ‘closure’ after 90 minutes. We don’t get our points back. 3 other teams might benefit from any possible ban Costa may receive. Where is the justice in that?
    I moved on to tomorrow’s game pretty much straightaway. But that proves pretty difficult when there is a narrative going on anyway. So whatever way the FA rules, I still still see us as victims.

    I must also add that my support for Iwobi starting is based on Alexis being out. Or on the bench to replace him, when sub time comes around. I am not saying this is a ‘like for like’ swap by any means. But Iwobi does offer proper wide/winger play. So with Giroud up front, and may be Ox or Walcott on the right, we could have genuine width without compromising the defence, by using the FB’s providing the crosses, but a for midfield runners to come from deep.

    Which brings me to another point made earlier about shortage of ball runners?

    I think, much as HT and Prof are saying, that the confusion between players who run into the box, and general movement up front and in midfield. Getting proper link up player to whoever has moved into space, will offer goal scoring opportunities, whether inside or outside the box. Percentage wise, the odds favour those nearer the target.

    Finally, as an alternative to the Giroud Walcott option, I would see another alternative in a 3-1-1 formation, but with Alexis ahead of a deeper lying Giroud, with the wide players either side, but interchanging with the free roaming Ozil. But that only works with Coquelin as the sole DM. In his expected absence, the Ramteta duo, minus one wide player?
    The thinking behind this, in fantasy mode, is that it keeps defenders away from Giroud (in numbers at least), so Giroud can then link with runners from midfield or forward to Alexis? How well this would work in practice, as it concentrates even more bodies in the middle, is guesswork. But a thought if we are chasing the game?

    I am not convinced that AW will select ‘his strongest eleven’,whatever that may be, or that he will restore Giroud after his sending off. Mind, the alternatives are thin on the ground, which is why I think he may opt for Alexis, and may be support him with Ox in the No10 (second striker) role?
    Ozil could play the deeper Cazorla role in front of Ramteta, and have Iwobi as the wide left player. Giroud and Walcott as the ‘game changer’ subs, if needed? Campbell I think could benefit from a start, as coming on as a sub does not give him a lot of time to get in to the game. But again, big shock if started as CF?

    I am just floating these ideas. My real first choice if he makes the squad, is Iwobi in for Alexis (and I would not put the latter on the bench), and go with width on the other side with Walcott or Campbell, with Giro in the middle. I am guessing that Gibbs will be LB, and Iwobi will supply better support than Walcott on that side? That only leaves the option of Debuchy at RB, or CB if Per does not make it? The latter should allow Bellerin a bit more license to go forward?
    It should also be remembered, the survivors of the Chelsea game had a pretty hard game, and I am thinking in particular of Koscielny? It would be very risky having Ospina behind Chambers and Debuchy or Monreal?

    Rambling thoughts ahead of the provisional squad being announced …

  • Gerry,

    For me the end of the match and justice is served for the culprit is closure. I do not think gabby will be charged further.

    My idea for the squad is the same as yours. Not much to choose from though


  • TA,
    Hello i am feeling fine in my self thanks, but the knee is a worry its not really feeling any better.
    The Le Coq awkward landing looked very simalar to what i did but worse a lot worse and from a much bigger height. It needs an x-ray or MRI scan which i will get sorted.After having a very light and short jog on it, the next day was terrible.
    It is not the end of the world, but it makes me worry for Le Coq, expect him out for a few weeks at least i am sorry to say.
    Pony eye,
    I do think Costa is the new Suarez and will continue to get worse, as he does not have the skill of Suarez and after seeing him pose for pictures after the game it’s clear he is happy to be the nasty turd in the EPL.
    I don’t like Suarez either by the way but that’s just me. I never liked him since the handball in the world cup which robbed Ghana a place in the semi’s. A great player yes, i would have liked him at Arsenal for that reason alone but i still would have disliked his caracter. Costa though i do agree is even more unlikeable .
    It seems Gerry is right about his Iwobl call as Wenger has revealed he is in the squad at least for tomorrow night. I rate Iwobl highly too, he scores also and really deserves a chance to play.
    This Ozil thing is a tricky one and always seems to come back. He can and does play some long balls , the flick for Giroud v Everton i was there for but i agree he needs runners. On leaving him out altogether i would say no normally, and still do but i think against big strong physical sides its fair to say he does not do well there and is not his strong point. So maybe for them side a place on the bench would be ok and play the OX or Jack or even Rosicky there, why not?

  • Thanks for that PG – I also see Kamara has trained with the squad. If Coquelin is not fit for the bench then he too could be in line for a late run out? And with Matt Macey as reserve keeper? It is more like the CoC of old. I think starting spots will come down to whether they have a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ that Spurs will do similar?

    It is not a game we want to lose, both for future opportunities for the youngsters, and it will be 3 away defeats on the bounce. But long term I think AW knows that they do need to gain experience in case they get called upon in times of need. If Flamini is in the doghouse for not leaving in the summer, then Arteta and Kamara may be our only options if PG is right on knee problems?

    Not that I think you are doing your knee any favours PG. Jogging, light or otherwise, is not the exercise a stretched knee wants. Go swimming? No weight. Plenty of muscle build up?

    Fingers crossed Iwobi gets his opportunity early. I suppose Campbell on the right, Iwobi on the left might be the two youngsters AW has in mind? The rest will be changes from the experience squad players who are available. With it likely to be an open game, then I think Ozil will have two willing runners ahead of him. He could sit out the Leicester game with Santi back?

    See what the ‘mprrow brings?

  • Good news! Gabriel’s red card rescinded. Free to play against Spurs tomorrow. Mike Dean cost us points for nothing. 2nd half should have been; Chl 10 men : Ars 11 men.

  • Good news ! Gabriel’s red card rescinded. Free to play against Spurs tomorrow. Mike Dean cost us points for nothing. 2nd half should have been Chl 10 men: Ars 11 men.

  • But he still has to answer to the improper conduct charge , but hopefully they take it all in to account abd he is given just warning ay

  • Hi All

    17: I am in NZ just now, hence, not commenting with the Euro types. Will be in America with kids and family October 1-12ish. We’ll be real-time then perhaps (if I have time, it’s … it’s .. Disney Land!!!!) 🙂

    Gabriel: saw article this a.m. Improper conduct wont outweigh violent conduct and the video is a harsh mistress in showing everything. I suspect that since Costa got 3 last year, he may well get more this time. It was clearly unnecessary. I think Mourinho is silent because he knows he lost the fight before it started, really. I.e. he’s not stupid and likely knows on his own looking at the video what will happen. Good news for Gabriel, who I think will be heavily warned and basically given a “suspended sentence”, as in “one more time and here comes the book” but we will see

    Sanchez: IMO, give him time. He’s working hard, it will come. He had a similar drought 3rd quarter or so of last year as OG came on going well etc. These things come and go.

    Finishing: I am more concerned here. We are generating a many or more chances than almost anyone. Regardless of how much you like/dislike the stat, it’s at least a broad indicator, yet, we have the least goals for it, especially subtracting 2 own goals, that to me were more deflections but hey…

    So, if finishing comes up, I think we are good to go, so patience, not over tinkering, is the call here from my thinking

    cheers — jgc

  • jgc,
    We are defo there or there abouts the goals will come.
    Be good to see just Ozil on and see how that pans out without Cazorla, i lpve em both but i have a feeling your get the best out of him then.
    Big game tomorrow COYG

  • Alexis has more tricks up his sleeve, but even if he didnt they have still got to stop him and he does it so well, lol
    He has to play tomorrow

  • Thanks for the update, Professor… If you come up to Mountains (when in CA), lemme know…


    New Post!

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