Super Gibbs | Ramsey new Nr10? | FlamTeta the Difference: Eight Positives from match.

Nothing makes a misfiring Gunner happier than the sight of a skinny chicken on a ball. Out of form, a bit under the weather, tired from too many games in a row….or just disgruntled for being moved to the fringes of the squad… All is forgotten when there is a chance to deflate the skimpy cockerel at the Lane. We needed a shot in the arm and last night we got it, courtesy of our archenemy.

Winning a game in the League Cup normally only means one thing to me: another chance for the youngsters and fringe players to show what they have got and to get a bit more experience/fitness. Arsenal are not the only PL team treating this cup competition in this way. Even Bournemouth made eight changes from their last PL game at the weekend (and just about got away with it in Preston). There is of course nothing wrong with this. The PL is the big honey pot so that is where the focus should be, and teams have big squads with impatient players who need to be kept content.

Yet, after two damp squibs in Zagreb and the Bridge – the latter due to some woeful lack of sportsmanship and home-refereeing – we really needed something to bounce back on and last night we got it.

Thanking BBC for picture.
Thanking BBC for picture.

Eight positives from Spuds v Arsenal:

  1. Some players took this chance to shine and some did not, or not enough. Gibbs, Ospina, BFG, Chambers, Flamini and Arteta and Rambo did; Ox and Debuchy tried hard but did not convince fully and Campbell seemed unable to deal with the velocity and lack of space in the game. But what I really liked is that we played as a team, and with passion and focus worthy of a derby, for 90+ minutes. This showed respect for the fans by the players, who needed a passionate performance above anything else. It was this approach which made us win the game;
  2. Flamini, who roared us on like a lion to victory, put a smile on all our faces. Let’s be honest: how many of us had forgotten about him? But there is plenty of Flame in Mathieu left and last night his eagerness to be ‘Present!’ made the difference. His first goal was fine anticipation and a venomous finish; his second, and the decisive one, was great timing and another venomous finish. The thumping of his fist on the batch, with honest sweat dripping of his chin, was a fine moment for all of us.
  3. Gibbs phenomenal header of the line from an impressive diagonal volley by Kane was possibly the other decisive moment of the game. I thought Gibbs had a great game and he is my ‘second MOTM’. He played with great aggression and concentration: the total professional. Only a player who is totally in the game is capable of making such a defensive header. With Nacho and Kieran we have two very fine FBs…. Shame one of them has to warm the bench most of the time.
  4. It was good to see the BFG back. He looked rested and fully capable to deal with the crazy tempo for ninety minutes. Per is Arsenal through and through: just the guy you need in defence in a game like this. You can tell by just looking at him that he loves beating the Spuds! He mentored Chambers and provided the calm and passion in the storm – a rare combination to bring to the table – for the whole team. Good to have him back.
  5. Ramsey got better and better the longer he played. For me he is a box to box player, whether playing centrally or on the ‘wing’. A man with a great engine and real hunger to be in the game, to be ‘Present!’. Once the game opened up towards the end, Rambo finally started to execute the more exquisite passes we associate with a nr.10. Do I think he will knock Ozil, or eventually Jack, of the nr.10 position… No, but he still added a lot to this game, especially from a drive and energy level point of view (which was crucial last night).
  6. The referee, Marriner had a great game. Both team showed Mourinho how a derby should be played: full of passion and drive but no players were in the (pre-instructed?) Costa mind-set for one moment. The referee allowed the game to flow and fully supported the teams desire to have a real go at each other. As a result, we watched a typical derby match: the way these games should be played!
  7. The FlamTeta wall was crucial yesterday. I loved the way we played so compact as a team, finding a very good balance between being defensively sound and attack with numbers. Arteta and Flamini made the difference in giving us that ‘stretch’ yesterday, supported by the Welsh engine and the willing runs and defensive back-up of Ox, Giroud and Campbell. Everybody put in a shift, but the excellent reading of the game and interceptions by FlamTeta was the highlight of the evening for me.
  8. Ospina was great. He also read the game well all day and his interceptions were decisive almost every time. It is not easy to come and defend the goal so well in a derby like this when you have been warming the bench most of the time, so hats off to him!

So fine fellow Gooners, these are my observations… but what are yours? 🙂

By TotalArsenal.

12 thoughts on “Super Gibbs | Ramsey new Nr10? | FlamTeta the Difference: Eight Positives from match.

  • TA, there was a small period of time where Per went on the right hand side, leaving the back open. That was scary for me, as the sh** team were attacking us from all directions.

    The man of the match was Flams.. he was the leader on the pitch, haggling everyone to their positions like a leader would. Mikel was also solid in tackles, and being the DM made the defense solid. But we have to do something on the right side.


  • Jk, agreed on both accounts, I thought Debuchy had a difficult time but recovered quite a bit towards the end. And he avoided getting a second yellow which showed his experience. He needs to become much more match fit though.

  • Have we gone of air? One response???

    I am sorry TA, I was otherwise distracted yesterday, and it or I, had little to do with football matters.
    Perhaps everybody is awaiting a preview, but I still think your post deserves a mention.

    Here is my bit. Very good instant analysis TA. Top of the post you praise the team effort. Spot on.

    Working from bottom to the top of your 8 positives, I can still chuckle at Ospina’s calmness. Throughout the game, Spurs players were rushing in at him when kicking out of his area. Each time they looked like they were getting closer, but each time he picked his spot and kicked it calmly as though nobody was pressing him. Deliberate tactical ploy by Spurs though, as they felt they would be dominant in the air, and to a large extent they were right, but this time we were better at getting the ‘second ball’. Of course the final Ospina moment came towards the end, when it really did look like he left his kick too late. Instead, he just side-footed it to his right and left Kane to run towards our empty net. Calmness personified.

    I am less sure of the Flamteta partnership though. I think they were aided tremendously by the team effort. We know Flamini had one of those nights up front, and Arteta helped keep possession in defence with a very solid performance. But if we were slightly more stretched it might not hold up?

    The Ref? Good call. The media could not resist a reminder of the previous ‘mistaken identity’ incident, with both Gibbs and Ox playing down the same side. But yes, a ref not making monumental errors is extremely welcome. Even our bookings were deserved.

    Ramsey? My big criticism of him in the first half was that his first instinct was to pass the ball back to Arteta time and again, Even though he had time and space to turn and run at the retreating Spurs defenders. If he did not know he had time and space it simply exposes another weakness when play that crucial role. Both Rosicky and Cazorla do a move and turn, then move forwards WITH the ball. Ramsey wants to run without it. The problem was we did not have anybody on who could play the ball to him? But yes, when we got ball players on in the second half he became a threat. Nobody disputes his energy or commitment, but as a creative No 10? Not for me.
    Bit of a funny contradiction in your opening line TA – ‘For me he is a box to box player, whether playing centrally or on the ‘wing’? Not many boxes on the wings … but we know what you meant.

    Having Per back is indeed very welcome. I mentioned yesterday though, with Calum on the right side, it did leave him exposed by the out paced Debuchy. I still think a good option for Debuchy would be to have Bellerin in front of him, then he can be left to defending?

    100% agreed on Gibbs. Lovely to see him back to his very best. He will get his chances no doubt.

    I just don’t know what to say about Flamini. Have we been playing him in the wrong position all this time. I think the reason he got disgruntled in the Cesc era was because he felt he could do more than just be the rear guard? Or was it just one of those nights where he could do little wrong?
    More box to box man that is ‘discovered with hidden talents than any 31 year old should be?
    He’s like a new signing 😀

    Back to my first remark. It was indeed a top team performance. Credit to both managers that played it more in the spirit of football, as opposed to what we had in the previous local derby?

    Well those are my thoughts … I can’t speak for anyone else.

    Sorry TA you deserve better. Indeed the team deserve better????

  • Great post Total…

    Gibbs header off of the line reminded me of a similar occasion when he did likewise, Hull FACup Final, and it had the same result changing effect…

    I thought, given his lack of football in English conditions, that Campbell did ok, well in the 1st 45, he did fade after the break, but I thought he was good…

    It took some of the guys awhile to get up to speed, imo, Arteta for example, but he got better as the game progressed…

    As NLD’s go, it was, I think, less frenetic, but I agree Mr Marriner had another good game and refereed sensibly and is a far better official than Dean…

    Flaminis goals weren’t lucky, he showed great technique, the first he lifted over the keeper like a seasoned striker.
    Maybe we’ve ‘missed a trick’ with MF, and he could have been used in a more attacking role?

    Total you didn’t comment much on Giroud, what do you make of his current form?

  • I know that circumstances didn’t allow it, but I was disappointed that Iwobi didn’t get a run out at WHL. And now I read that he might go on loan to Nottingham Forest…

    Makes sense I suppose, as I doubt he’ll get much, if any 1st team exposure this campaign with so many important games stacking up…

    He needs games, first team games, and Forest are a good club.

  • Identical situation for the two teams, (1) derby (2) opportunity for the fringe players to prove themselves. No wonder it was more of a game of passion than of tactics. Debuchy seems to be trying too hard. Needs to get more cerebral. Gibbs, Ospina excellent marks for rotation role. What I love so much about Flamini is his ability to show up in the box unnoticed, and without you ever feeling that he abandoned his post. This means excellent timing. Ramsey’s engine showed, but he can do with a little less effort and a little more intelligence. I prefer Ox on the left. He cuts in and is forced to interact more with his team mates, meaning he will grow faster. This is in contrast to the solo lung busting run that is his only exposure on the right. Overall a strong performance from the that has launched us back into the right orbit. Leicester next.

  • Last 2 sentences —“Overall a strong performance from the team that has launched us back into the right orbit. Leicester next.”.

  • Guys,

    Le Coq is officially out of the game tomorrow. Keep Mikel and Flams?

    Maybe Alexis in the central, Ozil on the left, Santi on the middle and Theo on the right. The game in mid week shows that our forwards work well when in motion.


  • TA, Sorry not to give you a response when you put this up yesterday… I seem to be doing my best work in the mornings these days and had to get out in the sun. Additionally I don’t want to dominate the rap (too much)… (It could be too late on that account, I fear…)

    My take is this: For the modern (on-line) Gooner, Spurs in the league cup is a(nother) no win situation. These days, for (most of) those who are doing it on their phones, it’s all about tweeting out your hate. Support for our team, I fear, is all about waiting for the other shoe to fall. It didn’t (by the width of Gibbs skull) so what’s the point? Onto Leicester and another chance to lose the title and tweet our blame at the various players and our (tight-wad) manager for not.being.good.enough… 😦 😦 😦

    Or maybe not… Like I said in the preview, the “supporters” who stand behind the team (note what I did with the quotation marks…) even when results go funky, maybe needed a little Thanksgiving holiday. Eat your bird and then sleep in (or go shopping) or otherwise take a couple of days off… So, I’m thankful for Gibb’s head and for Flamini’s feet (both of them)… Awesome! Thanks for doing the post and apologies for my part in the echo-chamber response…

    As for other observations…AKev makes a point…Why no talk about Giroud? He worked hard, got absolutely zero from the ref (complained, but got on with it…) and should have scored the winner but for a very brave and very lucky (and thus very fine) save from Vorm. That Flamini was left open for the goals is heavily down to the big man requiring cover and exhausting their defenders. At the other end, please note that their strong players, Kane, Chadli and Eriksen, did good work too but not enough to allow a bouncy ball to fall to the supporting cast for the winner… Moreover, our defenders don’t have to focus on one guy to the extent that the Spurs defenders did. In other words, yoeman work for Ollie makes him my (#2) MotM…

    Speaking of defenders… Chadli’s cross was put iinto our own net and young CC21 needs to pick up that calmness you note in Ospina and the BFG. Eventually, I hope, and in the meantime you’re spot on regarding those others. Pointing fingers at our slower (and smaller) guys seems lazy in the extreme (see JK’s comments, for example) but there you go… Better than the treatment CC21 would’ve taken if the OG had been the difference… 😦

    Onto the other obs. IMO, JC will not be our savior (saviour?) and looks out of place at this level. He’ll get some chances vs his former team (Olympiakos) and in further rounds of this comp, but should be off (again) in January if Welbeck is available or if AW can find somebody (anybody) who will cost just a hair less than Martial… He left Debuchy wishing he had Bellerin’s recovery burst on way too many occasions… On the plus side, he works hard at it… That said, his counterpart on the left (the Ox) also worked hard but didn’t do much better (IMO). He did get his shot off and on target (Vorm should’ve held it…) to set up Flam’s lefty 1st goal… And (compared to Campbell…) at least he’s got the power and the verve to play us out of trouble now and again or set up some shots, crosses and (even) goals. (One of these days he’ll get another, maybe even in an away stadium…) It’s always heart in mouth (for me), however, when he does his thing too deep (and too central) in our half…

    Ramsey, on that account, is much improved and has that great engine so he might as well play the whole 90. He looked much better when he had a partner in crime (Alexis) and both will look better with Ozil back at the #10, esp. if they all keep moving and changing positions on the fly. FlamTeta took a lot of stick on Twitter (according to the “stories” which aggregate such things…) except for the moments of brilliance, of course. Since Cappy Mike didn’t have any, many are ready to see him dead or never in the shirt again, etc. IMO, they did pretty well, despite the early yellows but just can’t close on opposing mids trailing the plays which they’ve forced out wide. Positioning will be a key for these fellas until Le Coq is back… We were fortunate that Spurs rested some of the guys who might’ve hurt us in these areas (Bentaleb, Mason, Dembele) while we had our guy (Flamini) as Johnny-on-the-spot.

    Bottom line: We did it–We won the derby of the deeper squads and kept the sky aloft in North London… At least until the next one… 😦

    OK, gotta get to work on the match preview for that one… 😦

  • Wow, I guess everybody agrees with everything I’ve written… 😀

    On that note…

    New Post, new post…

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