The Gift of Iwobi, Ozil and Alexis Deliver, CB Horror Show Costs Us Again: West Ham v Arsenal Afterthoughts

Stat proves Wenger was undeniably right to bench Walcott for Iwobi

Writing a match report from having listened to the game on the radio and then seen the highlights is not easy, but I am going to try it anyway. It was frustrating to listen to McNamara and Neil Lennon of Radio 5Live as they were clearly much more enthusiastic about WH’s goals than our goals, and also much more disappointed in the referee for decisions that went against the Hammers than against us. The Hammers were brilliant and Arsenal were just ‘ruthless’ according to them… But of course the biggest frustration was to listen to us conceding twice in quick succession just before the end of the first half, which especially ‘Mancunian’ McNamara enjoyed tremendously.

It is great that the team have found their shooting boots again and that Wenger’s plan to get goals from a variety of players is coming to fruition at the moment. Not being dependent on a 30 goal a season CF for our goals is a good thing and over the last three games we had goals from defence, midfield and attack: one from our CF (Welbeck) and eight from other players.

What is really impressive is that Iwobi is contributing both goals and assists like he is a 28 year old seasoned professional, in his first professional games for the club. For such a young lad he has great vision and composure and especially his first assist yesterday was one that Ozil, the beneficiary, would have been proud of. Iwobi , with the club since he was eight, is this season’s gift from our youth development scheme.

I loved the way Ozil took his goal: so composed and deadly, like a proper nr10. The second goal was also well worked with Iwobi having moved into the nr10 positioned once again; he put the ball over the defence and Alexis did well to control the ball and slot it past the goalkeeper with fine composure. Really good to see that our big stars delivered yesterday.

2-0 to the Arsenal and the game under control…but it is never that easy with our boys, is it?! In the space of nine footballing minutes – before and after the break – Carrol was allowed to score a hat-trick and make us fear the worst. He should already have been sent off for a nasty foul on Koscielny earlier in the game, and could have easily had a second yellow for a planned elbow in our French CB’s face in the second half, but he took his goals well and embarrassed our defenders in the process. I guess it was Wenger’s plan not to allow the Hammers too close to our box through the defensive qualities of the wall of ElCoqny and the Midwingers – Iwobi and Alexis – helping out the midfield, but it did not work on the day, as cross after cross was launched into the box to which Koz and Gabriel had no real answer. Should the BFG have played? Absolutely, as he reads these balls much better and organises our defence better as well. We all know that Per is not fast and also was guilty of some bad defending in his last few games, but the Koz-Gabriel partnership only works when we play a high line and have lots of possession in the opposition’s half; dealing with a traditional big fecker of a CF is not something that suits them, as we found out the hard way yesterday.

I am really glad we pulled one back through Koz and fought hard to get the fourth goal, and with that the three points we needed desperately to stay in touch with the Foxes and the dark side. We did not manage to do it but I am happy with many aspects of our game. We played some fine football, scored good goals, and the likes of Iwobi, Welbeck and Elneny are playing themselves into the first team with some impressive performances. The fact that we keep conceding far too many goals in these key encounters – Liverpool away, Spuds away, Manchester United away, and now the Hammers away especially – is something that needs sorting next season. As AB said recently, let’s spend big on a new CB this summer to finally get the balance right.

In the meantime, let’s focus on winning as many of our remaining games as possible and end the season well.

By TotalArsenal.

33 thoughts on “The Gift of Iwobi, Ozil and Alexis Deliver, CB Horror Show Costs Us Again: West Ham v Arsenal Afterthoughts

  • That’s pretty fair T A. Mertesaker and Cech may have made a difference yesterday but it is always easy to say that after the event. In fairness the defence had looked pretty secure against Watford and Everton. Although Danny worked hard and wore their defence downs, I don’t think it was one of his better games.

    Although we obviously threw away 2 points, a draw st West Ham isn’t a bad result these days.

    Still holding a faint hope

  • Good post Total, like you I found the coverage of our game on BBC radio sickeningly slanted, but for me that’s not a surprise…

    Arsenal dropped 2 points while Leicester and Tottenham carried on winning, which to me is the coup de grace to our faint title chances…

    Tbh, I’m more focuses on ManCity who are only 2 points behind us and who we must visit on the last but one weekend.
    Finishing 4th would be a bitter pill to swallow in a season where Arsenal should have won it.,,

  • TA, that’s a brilliant summary and comment. We scored 3 well worked goals at Upton Park. The heartening thing is that most of our goals in our more recent matches bore the same stamp of quality. It tells us that we have found a route to the net that’s already looking like a well beaten track. Has it come too late? No, because we still have our sights on those ahead of us as well as on those right behind us.

    I am a tinker-man. Welbz is a great player, but he is not a goal hunter. Just wondering if he should go WR and Alexis move to the center. Alexis is hungry for goals and his quick reaction asset suits the box environment. Apart from this minor tweak, I ask for the same line up except Cech for Ospina who by the way held fort admirably.

  • Guys,

    After the live game last night, my first thought is that the team that is playing second rate footy can lead the table by 7 points.

    Second week in a row i have seen shoddy refereeing and penalty shouts not given.

    Back to our game. I stand by my view about playing BFG, which Wenger this season is a little unsure about who best to deploy in the game.

    PE, you might be right with us deploying a higher line we need faster defenders. But the way that had cost us far outweighs the stability that a taller and less mobile CB can provide.

    Maybe we get Huth in? Although he has been a prick against us for as long as forever, having a tough defender like him or Morgan would have been great.

    But for now, i would stick to BFG very nicely. Thank you very much 🙂

    No cheers for today,

  • And veering slightly off-topic,
    Monseiur Wenger are you really going to buy Granit Xhaka? Who should he replace in the overflowing Midfield department?
    Or are you trying to play 11 midfielders, with 1 of them as a false 9? With 9 other players on a full-time injury list?

    Please, we need a traditional central defender who asserts authority on the pitch. Maybe we should try out Giroud there?

    Just venting my thoughts after a crazy weekend.


  • Alas TA, from ‘Highlights ‘ you only get ‘twilights’, but the previous post was disintegrating a little… Despite that you have capture the key elements, and why fans have something to be happy about. Well done TA, a good post in the circumstances.

    What I feel was missing, and this time having the advantage of watching the game as a whole, was the reality of our dominant period. You say ‘2-0 up and cruising’. In truth it was an accident waiting to happen ….imo.

    Yes, we were flying forward and overwhelming their three man CB defence time and time again.
    In that respect were well worth a 4 goal advantage. That is how dominant we were …going forward.
    In defence however, there was a different story. It was more a case that West Ham were piss poor with their crosses, right up until that last 5 minutes of the first half. However, at no time did the Arsenal spot their own defensive weakness. Nothing to do with the inability of our FB’s being able to cut out the crosses, as it was taking two of them to restrict Payet to play backwards. But even that was not enough at times. No, the glaring mistake was not having someone to stay in front of Carroll at all times …. particularly at the far post!
    It was obvious that when Carroll stayed deep for set pieces that the far post was where he would end up … and of course, when finally got their act together with their crosses, was where the ball would go, either directly or knocked on.
    Then even when they came out in the second half it was Bellerin and Monreal were the two ‘marking’ Carroll???
    Would BFG gone to the far post? I doubt it. He prefers to be to cut out the near post ball. If anything it was Giroud were missing in defence? He has both the height and the speed to match Carroll, and enough heading ability to at least put him off. That probably would have messed up our mobile attack. But at half time, Welbeck off, Giroud on? Who knows?
    As said above, easy with hindsight.

    I dion’t want to make out that we got what we deserved, because actually, even at 2-2, we had the ‘hammers’ where we wanted them, coming forward and just ripe for any swift counter we could muster. But it was not to be. Given West Ham’s dominance in the early stages of the second half I thought it was suicide to take off Coquelin, and utter madness to take off Elneny … to the point at one stage I thought, ‘Hell I’ll settle for it being 5-2!’
    But to coin a phrase … ‘What the hell do I know?😀


  • njk84sg – If it were Arsenal leading the league by 7 points and played out matches in order to get results, would you say we were a team… ‘that is playing second rate footy can lead the table by 7 points’? I think not.
    You are certainly not in a position to add in the same breath, about referees mistakes if you watched both games?
    Get over your chip on the shoulder that it is Leicester who are most likely to win the league, and not one of the ‘glamour’ clubs. That Vardy first goal may have been ‘route one’, but it is one that any Arsenal fan would have been proud to see Welbeck or Walcott score, yourself included I suspect?

    Good spot on the Giroud in defence, btw, I agree, but not as a full time CB. Set pieces will do for me.

  • Cheers Retsub 🙂

    Agreed about hindsight but not playing BFG and Cech against the Brute seemed a recipe for disaster imo. I do think that the space we gave them on the flanks to put in cross after cross was the main reason we conceded those goals, though. The mid wingers needed to defend more and as a team we needed to play more compact.

  • PE 🙂

    With Welbeck, Iwobi and Alexis it is all about fluidity and movement, movement, movement. I like the thought of Alexis being our CF but in practice it will not make much difference. I prefer a more steady pivot in Giroud but with nine goals in three games who am I to piss against the wind? 😘

  • 84 🙂

    Leicester’s football is hard on the eye as they defend the Italian way to the title, but we should applaud them for their tactical switch and making the unthinkable happen.

  • That’s true Gerry, i would have been proud if Theo got that type of goal, and its something that Theo does often.

    What everyone has been vexed about is the negative way they play, and only lost against us and a couple of teams.

    The match that i saw yesterday has every bit of them conceding, and handballs in between. Its not that they have done well, but its the way they play are like Chelski when they first won the league. Park the bus.

    If we take their central defenders and DM out and replace with someone else from within the team they would have lost points enough to be in mid table positions.

    This is also the season that other teams have played well but lost points due to unforseen circumstances, sometimes referee insipired.

    Ok Gerry, i am not going to start my rant on refs again, but its a topic that might come up in the season review.


  • TA,

    I agree that the italian way is more defensively sound, but it will lead to an issue that teams will be more boring to become defensive minded.

    The reason why EPL is so widely watched is that we play quicker, attacking football that is pleasing on the eye. Counter attacking football that Chelski, Leicester, Manu** and the mid table teams use are quick on the break, but most of the time gets in their half.


  • TA expertly summed up. Nothing more to add for me. I just hope we can correct the errors that repeat particularly on the mid wing and buy a new big fecking CD next year.

    Ah one question comes to mind as I write.. from what I remember we did well cutting out the supply to Lukaku in the recent game against Everton.. so why not this time? Was the intensity West ham played at to much for us? Or just below par tracking back this time? I’ll have to watch both games again but can anyone help here?

  • Nice sum-up, TA.

    Alexis has been doing well recently – he has been involved in six league goals in the last five games. He prefers mobile partners though as Giroud is not his favourite starter.

    Iwobi tends to fade in the second half which is expected given his age.

    Koscielny made a subtle dig at his team-mates who allowed crossers too much space.

    Do you know how many headers Carroll won on Saturday? Three out of 11. All in our box.

    However, I disagree with TA about not needing a top striker to improve. We are behind Spuds and Leicester mostly because of our poor finishing and the refs. We can’t buy a new Riley but we can be more prolific. Both Spuds and Leicester have worse players than Arsenal but they both have a 20-goal-per-season striker in their ranks.

    I would like to see Griezmann at Arsenal as he has been effective in Simeone’s disciplined system at Atletico and he is a mobile forward with a magical left foot.

    When it comes to our central defence:

    Hummels or Chiellini would do the job.

  • Admir,

    Sorry for being frank but we might as well get everyone sacked and build a new club.
    Even the Arsenal facebook page also link us to lots of midfielders, which we already have a surplus. And some defenders and strikers, which I do not see fit to our way of playing footy. But mostly midfielders.

    That irks me to the point that I mentioned in my earlier comment, that we might as well play 10 midfielders with no defenders and strikers.

    If we can do that we will, but it will not solve any underlying issues here.


  • Admir,

    I actually agree with you on the striker. We have mobile forwards, but no Lukaku styled striker who can give the defence a heart attack when he rums at them.

    So, no to Alexis style, no to Theo style.

    For the defence, Hummels or Chellini will fail like the defender with name starting with S or something.. i could not remember his name, but all i remember is that he is a BFG type but he failed in the Arsenal stint.


  • FMJ

    As far as I can tell, we played less compact as a team. Against Everton we did not allow them much time on the ball as the midwingers helped out constantly to close opponents down. I also believe that West Ham were much more up for this than Everton were a few weeks ago.

    What I did not say in the report was how many times Payet was mentioned during the game. It sounded to me that the Elneny and Coquelin were busy to keep him at bay in the centre/infront of the D, possibly leaving space that way on the wings…. which should have been picked up by the mid wingers who were possibly too busy creating stuff for us further up the field…. It looks to me that we lacked balance in the team and then the CBs were unable to deal with the Carol threat..

  • Admir 🙂

    I like Griezman and the finishing has been an issue, but I repeat my stance re this: it was not Giroud’s lack of goals that did us but Theo, Alexis, Ox and the central midfielders not adding anywhere near enough goals this season.

  • Hi TA…Consider me very glad that you put together your report–hopefully you’re feeling refreshed after your travels…My boy has a break from school and we’ll be taking off ourselves towards the end of the week. I was hoping for some serious late season skiing (maybe even an overnight with the puppy out in the snow covered mountains) but it’s both too wet and too warm. More on rain below… I should be able to sneak a match preview in at some point, however, unless you want to take over…We have Sunday matches vs Crystal Palace and at Sunderland with West Brom sandwiched in on a Thursday, I think… Too bad it all looks too late here in early April…

    Saturday’s match had a lot of promise, esp. as we went up the couple of goals with the team in which Wenger had placed his faith. Bilic, in the end, beat him in the chess match as the big man up top approach worked for him. Starting Cech and the BFG would have been the obvious counter, but also would have been extremely harsh on the younger South Americans (Ospina and Gabriel) who represent the up and comers in the squad and were coming off the two clean sheets. We should note that if the refs had done their job properly, Carroll would either have been off for his double scythe on Kos OR his first positive play would have netted the Hammers an early lead through Lanzini who Bellerin had played onside. We probably broke even on those two…

    The called off goal might have changed the scoreline but probably not the nature of the game–both teams were more or less unable to stop the other in attack and whoever scored more would end up the winner. For me, that comes down to the inability to control the middle of the pitch in a meaningful way, a problem I think we’ve had since Santi (despite all his limitations) went out, It could be interesting if he and Jack can make a couple of appearances before the season is out. Sad, too that we never could get some other old heads like Arteta and Rosicky in there either.

    Of course that’s neither here nor there and some new faces (Elneny and Iwobi) look promising. Coquelin is hailed as a revelation but quickly sacrificed if we need goals. It’s called midfield for a reason as it’s not purely defending nor attacking but a combination of the two–and it’s likely the part of the park where a lot of games are won or lost, even if it’s not the part where the goals are located…

    But, if results are all that matter (and highlights are all we get to see), it’s natural that we’re arguing about world-class center backs and world-class center forwards and how we should just pluck them out of the sky with all our money. And, of course, if there’s no such thing as bad luck (re: injuries, not to mention refs, woodwork, etc.) then it’s all about blame…and simple solutions.

    Surgery by credit card, however, cannot happen until we use the guillotine and get a manager who knows how to spend. Actually, it could have something to do with ownership who value a buy-low, sell-high objective above all else, which, over time, is probably not the worst way to assemble a good squad… Unfortunately, a lot of Arsenal spending is in salary and, when it’s on players who do not produce, it’s used as a stick. Spending more blindly (on transfers) seems to inspire the fans who are spending their money (or at least their time) to watch and hate any thought that it might be hoarded for a rainy day–or to reward producing players with higher salaries. Too boring, I guess…

    Spend it and the sun shines just from the spending even if the evidence–this season at least–seems strongly to the contrary with Little Leicester and Spunky Spurs hoovering up the points. Of course, people scoffed when Ranieri was appointed and Spuds fans wanted Poch out after all those early season draws. The recipe for winning, in the end, seems to be…er…winning…

    Anyhow, I enjoyed the match and I thought our fight back was impressive. Just a little more precision, esp. in MF from sub Rambo, I thought, might have made the difference and funny that none of the subs could get in on the equalizer (or a winner)…

    The Post-match reaction, of course, depresses me greatly. I’ve come to expect it and I appreciate Admir answering my small questions (about European football and older Bond girls…) even if he won’t address the bigger ones. (Dealing with in-laws AND a disappointing Arsenal match seems more than I’d wish on anybody…)

    Frankly, I don’t know what the club can do (except ignore them…) when the loudest voices insist upon spotlighting the negatives instead of finding positives upon which to build. If it’s really so awful, I believe people should stand by their convictions and walk away. If they cannot, then I’d encourage them to nurture the positive elements that somehow are keeping them around (much as you’re obviously doing here on the blog, TA). Otherwise, it all seems a pretty awful exercise and I MUST have better things to do with my time and energy than indulge them or try to convince them of the error in their approach.

    At least that’s my guiding thought this (rainy) Monday morning…

  • @TA

    If you take a look at the recent champions, they all had a WC finisher (Aguero, Diego Costa, Vardy, Van Judas). Without a 20-goal-per-season striker you can’t win the league. Goals from the midfield eventually dry up so you need a consistent striker to score goals or to break teams like Southampton and Chelsea that have been killing us this season (0 goals, 1 point).


    Did I say everything is wrong at Arsenal? No? If I say that Tott and Leicester don’t have more than three players (Alderweireld, Kante and Kane) that I’d take for Arsenal, isn’t it a confession that we have most of our team assembled?

    Let’s get a few facts straight.

    1.Arsenal have money. Not 200 million pounds like that Lord Fullofit from our Board stated but a reasonable amount available to sign a big player – a CB OR a CF. Our dilemma could be resolved by Ibrahimovic’s arrival as he would give us a firm focal point in the attack, a Bergkampesque technique and finishing for the final year of Arsene’s contract – and all that for the cost of his wage. Now, I have my doubts regarding Arsene’s desire to sign Ibra as a stop-gap option because he could feel that would be unfair to his successor who would probably take the team without Ibra.

    2.We have players who are 1) overpaid mediocres, 2) past-its and 3) injured. Walcott is one, Mikel and Mathieu are two and Jack and Rosa are three. Mikel’s, Rosa’s and Mathieu’s departure will give us more space regarding wages and if Klopp or someone else would take Theo’s 110 kilos of pure green (a Black Adder reference), it would be just great (Gary Cole meme here). Give a wage-hike to Alexis and Mesut and give them two world-class players (Ibra + CB) to play with.

    3.Arsene had used a financial excuse for a decade. Leicester and Spuds have been smashing it to pieces this season with a sidenote: Spuds had spent big in previous years (overall spending, not net spending) with Lamela paying off this season. Leicester picked Kante and Mahrez from “our” France and Spuds picked Alderweireld and Ali for peanuts.

    4.No, you don’t have to do anything regarding other people feelings. Arsenal is as mine as it is yours (unless you are Stan Kroenke in which case…nah, you can’t make a decent insult that involves a wig, shoving and ass). You are allowed to ignore my post-game rants if you like. Scroll down and enjoy. 🙂

  • Cheers Seventeenho 🙂

    I hope you manage to go out and enjoy some time in the mountains, with or without snow/skiing.

    Like you I am not too unhappy about the match and the outcome as there was plenty to enjoy and admire. I reckon fans are entitled to be disgruntled as we only got Cech in the summer when there was plenty of money to spend, or so I have been made to believe. You should also not underestimate the sensation of a lack of progress which for many is unbearable, even though we do quite well every season (and we just won the FA Cup twice in a row). Let’s just accept that Arsenal supporters deal with disappointment in different ways, which will never change.

  • Admir, we scored two goals less than Leicester and yet are many points behind them. Vardy is a one season wonder and we will see how ‘WC’ he is long term. Costa needed more minutes between goals than Ollie last season…. and it was Hazard who made them champions… they managed to spread the goals rather than rely on a WC CF is all I am saying. Furthermore, Man City still have the WC striker, Aguero, and yet they are looking at our backside this season… it is just not that simple. At the crucial part of the season, we had Alexis and Theo returning/fit and they did not deliver when Ollie was at a low. Our Frenchie scores about one per two games and that is still pretty good; replacing him with a WC attacker might be attractive and seen as ‘the solution’ but it just is not that simple. Still would not mind Griezman though… 🙂

  • Oooh…Just took a call and lost a (longer) post mostly addressed to Admir… Our timing was off this weekend and it continues today. When I was prepared to deal with his rant (fairly predictable stuff and not as bad as at times…) he had in-laws, yesterday I had better things to do as TA counsels me to pursue now…

    There are such things as luck (IMO) and ours was very tough this season–re: injuries… Just a little bit more quality in the center of the pitch, I think, would’ve made a world of difference, We got on top but it caught up to us so we failed to build upon those FA Cups by winning the league. Any momentum that would have built is gone. It could’ve been a positive reinforcement cycle–an upward spiral as it were… As it is, we’re spiraling in a very negative direction and we have to worry about the whole project imploding. Hell, the loudest voices want to do the surgery by way of a guillotine and do the imploding themselves (and they say the Wenger supporters are grasping at straws)… I still can’t get a straight answer about just how low folks are willing to go for the satisfaction of the head in their (bloody) hands…

    Balancing the ebb and flow of generational change is the critical element in building a club for more than just a season or two at a time, a la Pep or Moo… It was always going to be a big task as there are just too many who are too old, too infirm or not justifying their costs. Even buoyed by some success it was gonna be tough… Much (much) harder without it, I fear…

  • TA, Great points about who is world class and who isn’t… It would have a been a laugh to have bought Vardy and attempted to pass him off as the World Class striker everybody wanted… Both he and Costa have some serious moral questions surrounding them, btw…

    You’re also absolutely right about Eden Hazard being the key to Chavs strong season. Get that sort of production out of Alexis or Theo or the Ox and the season Giroud is having (or might have had if he’d started every match) and he’d be Costa w/o the negative elements that frankly make him (and players like him) the last ones I’d want at my club…

    At least Admir is going out on a limb re: Greizmann, currently listed as a 60M (Euro) value on Transfermarkt. If you use RA’s rule of thumb (contract = same amount over 4 years) we’re then talking about putting him on 15 million Euros per season or approx 200,000 pounds week. With upgrades for Ozil and Alexis (and probably Wenger, who I don’t think will ever tolerate being less than the highest paid employee…) we’re talking about quite a haircut for Kroenke or an increase in ticket prices…

    Sounds like we need Usmanov taking over the reins (oil is over $40/barrel today…) but even HE says he would keep AW…

    Otherwise, I think we’re back to Better Manager + Better Players (Paid by a Better Owner) = Better Results… which just doesn’t hold in the real world and translates more to me as…

    You’re right, however, different folks deal with their disappointment in different ways… 😀

  • It is all about the total wage bill versus total income with Kroenke, I reckon, 17HT. £60m is feasible, and so is £200k. Rosicky, Theo, Mikel and Matthieu off the wage bill would free up enough for the Griez Lightning and increases for Mesut and Alexis. But I rather focus on a new Super Sol…

  • Transfer roulette, I think, is not as simple as folks believe, but I’ve said my piece before. Arsenal are in that middle ground where yes, maybe a Griezmann could come our way, but he’d be more likely to choose the teams with the deeper pockets who are going further in the CL–Bayern, Barca, RM (though they tend not to buy directly from Atletico), PSG or Man City OR to a silly money club in a rebuilding mode–including ManU or Chelsea. Who is this new Super Sol of whom you speak? Good CBs seem as rare as those world class strikers… JK, says buy Morgan or Huth, but that’s not what you’re talking about, is it?… Let’s not forget what can happen to wages if a players is lured eastward to China or Russia or one of the former Soviet States…

    Wenger consistently tries for value for money at all levels (my Avatar fellow seems a good one, I think…) so off the radar seems like the place. Are you through with Gabby and Chambers as CBs?… Gazidis has indicated that Arsenal don’t do bidding wars, i.e., those “races to the bottom,” While others might argue that we’ve already engaged in enough of those in just keeping our players…

    If Kroenke is all about wages vs income, then we probably need to gird ourselves to lose some big money guys, although I wonder who would take the older ones. (Giroud, if the home team wins the Euros, I could see going to PSG as somebody’s back-up and Pep has been interested in Kos… but neither might play very much…Ozil, so far seems like he’ll stay, but expect the links away to keep popping up. Lots of money in Istanbul these days too…) My hope is that we blow open the Brit-core experiment and do a bit of selling and lightening of that load. Or maybe Jack, Theo and the Ox (maybe even Gibbsy and Chambo…) will join Rambo and DW here with some end of season form and England (or Wales) will win the Euros and our boys will be the reason why… Who’s sleeping with Monica, now?… If I were gonna fire anybody it would be the guy who came up with that whole idea… 😀 😦

    At some point somebody probably needs to do a squad assessment piece (I volunteer Admir…and please include wages and years remaining on contract as well as your assessment of their play…) or are we just gonna try to keep doing match previews and reports? I like hearing what folks have to say, but participation rates seem highest when we lure in Leicester supporters… My more provocative titles don’t seem to get many biters these days… More smileys, more frownies…

    But maybe you’ve got some other ideas up your sleeve, Gaffer…

  • Lots of thoughts and questions Seventeenho, but you over complicate things. Bar a few we can get anybody. Where there is a will….

  • Let’s go out on a limb re a super CB, somebody who provides the fans with hope again, and the rest of the squad the belief we can win things. Looks like Hummels is a good shout by Admir (and many others). Or is it time to get Gooner at ManU for mega money? Stones could be the gradual choice… learning from Per and Bouldie. Probably more and even better choices out there but I am not really a CB kind of guy if you know what I mean. 🙂

  • Well I have just had 12 hours of my life put on hold while I bit the bullet and switched to Windows 10 …
    12 hours, and still ongoing, I should add, because I have just interrupted it ‘Just adding some new features’ routine .. ha ha.

    Much of the above recent discussion I answered in a lost post on Saturday morning … not entirely lost but a bit pointless now, 3 days later. For some reason, WordPress stopped remembering me and wanted my password. Saturday morning is not a good time to go hunting around for the notepad where that particular pw was kept. Hence the miss.

    Back to the above, and a shortened version of what I had in mind:
    I can agree with all to some extent, because key parts of what they say are true.

    Admir is right when he says there are some highly paid players who have not performed well. Those that think we should not buy another midfield player should look at Admir’s list and then some?

    HT is right about AW being the right man for Kroeke, and buying players cheaply who will have a healthy resale value suits AW too … when he gets it right? If you buy a young player for £3m who, after a couple of good seasons becomes an £80 plus player, then AW needs to reassess what buying ‘low’ really means?

    TA is quite right in defendng Giroud’s role in the side, he is absolutely one of the best. His downfall is that the moment AW bought Ozil, the team was not going to be built around Giroud’s strengths? Ozil needs the pacy fluidity that the team have shown in the last few games. For Giroud to flourish in the current side, I think he has to play in the advanced midfielder role. Almost a deep lying No 10? Keep the Iwobi, Welbeck Alexis interchange up front, with Ozil as the floating schemer, appearing wherever there is space … at the price of a single DM???

    So now were are at the nitty gritty of who to buy, if available and/or AW/BoD/Kroenke are willing to fund.
    The striker? Well before his return I would have added Welbeck to Admir’s list of departures, but I am willing to give him a chance to prove consistency to the promise he has shown recently.
    So until proven wrong, I am willing to go with him into next season … Although a Walcott departure could fund an alternative? Who knows, Gnabry may come good this time?

    A scoring midfielder? Like a consistent Ramsey, an uninjured Wllshere, a fully fledged Ox, and versatile enough to replace any of the front 3 … Ah!, if only? Well I can dream, so I know where I would spend my £35m …. On an unproven, teenage …. yet to be a sensation, and absolutely an Arsenal/AW type … Initials only OD!

    Not unlike Admir, I might skip the DM need … if Hayden comes back from Hull, and AW is happy with his progress? With Santi back we do need a back up for Coquelin, and Isaac Hayden could fit the bill. Plus, we do have two exciting talents in the academy who would not be far off next season; Bielik and Ben Sheaf? Add to that, played and trained for the role, Chambers is not a bad option to bridge the gap?

    Throw in a CB of stature, and HT I would look no further than Lyon, if he were available.

    That is where my transfer budget would go, although a back up for Bells could be another thought.

    TA – Your defence of BFG is not entirely misplaced. However, the zonal marking system does not favour standing defenders against a moving heavyweight like Carroll. Either way, BFG would not step out that far to block the run of Carroll, which is why I doubt the change would have made any difference … Unless he organised Gabby to do it, but that would be at the expense of Kos?


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