Confirmed Arsenal Line-up: Koz-Holding, Xhaka-Coq, Alexis CF, Theo-Ox on Wings

Well here we go. The line ups have been announced and Koz, Holding and Xhaka start. Up front we have speed to rival the American relay team with Ox, Theo and Sanchez, supported by Nacho and Bellerin on the wings, to make the runs that will get us behind the Foxes’ defence.

Confirmed Line-Up:

submit football lineup

The bench is looking very strong too, except for defence of course…:

Subs: Ospina, Gibbs, Wilshere, Giroud, Ozil, Chambers, Elneny.

The Leicester City first 11 and subsย are:

Schmeichel, Simpson, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs, Mahrez, Drinkwater, Mendy, Albrighton, Okazaki, Vardy

Subs: Hernandez, Musa, King, Amartey, Zieler, Gray, Ulloa

Join us on our Live Blog!

Let’s play with passion and focus. COYGs!

By TA

 

 

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

146 Responses to Confirmed Arsenal Line-up: Koz-Holding, Xhaka-Coq, Alexis CF, Theo-Ox on Wings

  1. Gerry says:

    Okay line up, as long as AW remembers that 65 minute is not the only time you can make substitutions!
    Patience will be the key.
    Cheers
    G

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    A very good line up, with plenty on the bench to mix things up. Let’s see who will replace Koz later in the game.

  3. retsub1 says:

    Hope they are careful with Vardey in an around the box he is a cheating bar steward

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    Let’s keep him well away from our box. Out-box the fox! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. 17highburyterrace says:

    This should be interesting…With Xhaka and Santi’s range of passing we *should* be able to keep our shape better than usual…but we might need moments of brilliance and good finishing from the front three to edge things. Also, I think we need to expect some real enthusiasm and an early burst from LC as their fans greet the league champions… On the other hand, WTF do I know?…

    ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. allezkev says:

    A confirmed line-up, what a relief…. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Kozzer will bring a wise head to compliment the promise of Holding.

  7. 17highburyterrace says:

    OMG I’m very ready for this one…Too many stupid ads on the money channel (moved to CNBC due to the Olympic coverage)… Got my Koscielny 6 shirt on for this one…

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    AM wearing the Santi shirt ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. 17highburyterrace says:

    Game opens with LC getting a corner but we defend the short routine…It looked to me like it should have been a goal kick…

    Indeed LC look very up for it early but now we’ve earned a corner from a deflection…

  10. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nice, TA…

    Ox overhits a cross to Alexis…

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Let them be up for it – that will give us space, and space is what we want ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    Crazy speed. Let’s calm down soon and control the play..

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    hahaha Kev, yeah confirmed it is… finally ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. 17highburyterrace says:

    Argh…Call from family…Don’t they know the match is on?… Looks to me like things are settling a bit…Xhaka overhits a FK…

  15. allezkev says:

    I’ve got my Cliff Bastin shirt on… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  16. 17highburyterrace says:

    He’s got the moves like Xhaka, pronounced Jagga by Jon Champion on my feed…

    Lee Dixon complaining about our short passing and no Giroud to play it towards….

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    Big ears you have, Kev! ๐Ÿ˜›

  18. 17highburyterrace says:

    12th min: Fuchs long throw is hardly Rory Delapesque and then Mahrez shows very poor control with a right footed cross…

  19. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, now I can finally picture A-Kev… Cheers TA…

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    Bellerin sharp, just that last ball… it will come.

  21. 17highburyterrace says:

    Game’s gone a bit flat now but Arsenal break and Bellerin almost gets it in to Theo after Huth fell down….

  22. allezkev says:

    All the better for hearing you Total… ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. 17highburyterrace says:

    Vardy kicks Nacho in the face, no call. Clattenburg looks keen to always keep play going…Something we should take advantage of…

    Alexis playing deep keeps the ball in their half…

    Good attack but Nacho’s potshot is blocked…

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    Yeah and the ladies like men with big ears too! ๐Ÿ˜€

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    We need a moment of total composure in the box or around the box..

  26. 17highburyterrace says:

    My wife, was supposed to be back from the dog walking to take the kid to tennis practice. Alas, it looks like it will fall to me. Hopefully I can catch back up for the 2nd half…

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    Just give him the car keys, 17.. ๐Ÿ˜€

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Xhaka quiet until now. Coq on a yellow…. got to be careful now..

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    dangerous time now. We need to stay focussed and take the next change. Vardy is just such a cheat… Happy we did not get him.

  30. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, I’m back…and caught up…found wife crossing the road as we were leaving…

    Looked like the set piece was as close as we’ve come…

    Santi from distance but right to Schmeichel (sp?)…

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    That is the thing with Santi, just does not score enough..

  32. 17highburyterrace says:

    We appear a bit bereft of ideas what with these curlers from the left, Alexis’ being the most recent…

    Ditto on Vardy…Mahrez, however…

  33. 17highburyterrace says:

    Santi doesn’t score at all…Or at least it’s been more than a full season since his last goal…

    Kos and Ox do well to get the ball cleared…

  34. 17highburyterrace says:

    Xhaka from 40? Bring on Ozil…

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    Luckily we have a strong bench to inject some new ideas and weapons if necessary. Just lacking that bit extra at the moment.

  36. 17highburyterrace says:

    End to end and full on madness… Will have to wait for the replay but it looked a pen with Mahrez and Vardy quicker than our defenders…

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    Oh dear, that was close. COYGs

  38. 17highburyterrace says:

    They’re all divers…Drinkwater dove but Kos got the touch on the ball, I think…

  39. TotalArsenal says:

    Hard to decide whether that was a foul… well done Clatty ๐Ÿ™‚

  40. 17highburyterrace says:

    Mendy gets yellow for throwing Alexis down to the ground. We’ll need to revamp at HT…

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    Time for Arsene to earn his weekly wages with some tactical changes. He wont bring on anybody straightaway, but we could do with OG coming on and I reckon we will have more balance and control if we bring on Elneny for Coq or Xhakakhan.

    Good defending though which goes a long way

  42. retsub1 says:

    Not sure if that was a pen or not, so it has to be a good decision by the ref. I think we need to be very careful now because if they get another marginal decision, he may give it. I think Le Coq is walking the tightrope as well. I would put Elneny on right away. A good effort by our boys but we do look a little light up front. Theo needs to get more involved.

  43. allezkev says:

    Sounds like we’ve gotta focus on a clean sheet for now and then bring on the cavalry with 25 left as Leicester start to run out of gas…

  44. TotalArsenal says:

    Playing The Ox and Theo together sounds good on paper but they both often struggle to find the x-factor. I guess Arsene will give it another 20 minutes and then bring on Ollie with Sanchez moving wide. And as I said before, bring on Elneny for balance and control. Le Coq is indeed on a tightrope now and it is the sort of game where sooner or later somebody will get send off.

  45. TotalArsenal says:

    Yeah Kev, but we also have to be careful not to run out of gas…

  46. 17highburyterrace says:

    The pen situation occurred because Vardy pace to get to the ball surprised Cech…It looked awfully stonewall when it happened and I think retsub is right that another close on will go their way. The game, however, should be played for goals not pens, I think… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    I also agree about getting my avatar guy on for Coquelin as the spacing in MF will suit him to a T. Ozil and/or Giroud on would also give LC some troubles the current group doesn’t seem able to generate…

  47. retsub1 says:

    Pretty much agree T A. In my opinion the Ox is having decent game. Not sure if Wenger is bluffing when he talks about Ollies fitness, but it’s a shame Akpom isn’t on the bench.

  48. allezkev says:

    Retsub, agree re: Akpom, maybe instead of Jack…

  49. 17highburyterrace says:

    2nd half on…

    No changes…

  50. 17highburyterrace says:

    Geezus…giveaways by Alexis first then Le Coq… Our boys look a bit heavy footed coming back out…

    Cech has to dance under the press…

  51. 17highburyterrace says:

    Santi does his stuff in a deep spot and we break but Bells to Theo is short…Mendy down hurt…

  52. 17highburyterrace says:

    More Mendy drama…On or off, but why all this?…

    In the meantime, nothing to mention except a(nother) Alexis giveaway…

    King in…

  53. 17highburyterrace says:

    Le Coq gives a foul on Mahrez but only the shaving cream comes out…

  54. retsub1 says:

    Get le Coq off now

  55. TotalArsenal says:

    Good time to bring on Elneny now and Giroud… we need new momentum..

  56. 17highburyterrace says:

    Mahrez FK just over…

    Cech pressed again kicks into touch… LC definitely on top this half, even with the injury/sub…

  57. 17highburyterrace says:

    Arsenal can’t get anything going, Ox with the latest gaffe…

    Bells gets a half volley on target but easy for Schmeichel…Then Theo offside…At least it’s some action at their end…

  58. 17highburyterrace says:

    60th minute: Nacho floats a cross, no targets and easy for the keeper…

    LC down our end require a Kos butt-block to stop their move…

  59. 17highburyterrace says:

    End to end but only LC look at all dangerous… Santi, what was that?…

  60. 17highburyterrace says:

    Wow…I think we need some changes… Seems like there are no ideas and bad execution on top of that…

  61. 17highburyterrace says:

    Theo steals another one…Our best player out there currently?…

  62. TotalArsenal says:

    yeah we do not have enough clinical finishing in the team right now.

  63. 17highburyterrace says:

    TA, the movement of the ball is ponderous…You can tell the pitch is perfect but the ball is rolling as if it’s 3″ long..

    Corner won…

  64. 17highburyterrace says:

    Woeful corner from Xhaka and LC break from it…

    Their end, Schmeichel has to do a diving header to stop Alexis chasing a long one…

    Both teams just punting and praying…

    Vardy almost gets in after Albrighton steals from Xhaka….

    Subs please…

  65. TotalArsenal says:

    It will take time to get Xhaka worked into this team, I reckon. But we are playing a difficult away fixture and hanging in there. Just now need to bring extra fire power. Ollie the obvious choice. Pffff that was close by dirty Vardy…… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  66. TotalArsenal says:

    Jack or Mesut or both… ๐Ÿ˜•

  67. 17highburyterrace says:

    Both…

    Xhaka and Santi off…

  68. TotalArsenal says:

    He keeps Coquelin on… pffff. Fingers and the rest crossed.

  69. 17highburyterrace says:

    Better play with Ozil working the touchline but Theo’s left footer is tame…

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    the machine is looking better Oziled already..

  71. 17highburyterrace says:

    Yeah, Coq with a giveaway begs forgiveness… I’d beg to try Ollie and get him off….

  72. retsub1 says:

    Arsenal are throwing everything at them. This is just getting set up for a Leicester breakaway and a Le Coq last ditch tackle. Ouch

  73. 17highburyterrace says:

    An attempt at the Giroud tune is made…Coq stays on, Ox off…

  74. TotalArsenal says:

    It is dangerous Retsubster, but if we want to be champions we need to show ambition..

  75. allezkev says:

    We need a bit of luck

  76. 17highburyterrace says:

    80th minute: Nice right footed cross by Jack but nobody…LC break but Holding stops it. Ooh Theo,blocked by Wes Morgan

  77. TotalArsenal says:

    getting very close now. All big guns on now. COYBG

  78. 17highburyterrace says:

    Oooh Holding well turned by Vardy on the break….

  79. TotalArsenal says:

    Good interception by Coq pfff

  80. 17highburyterrace says:

    Better there but Schmeichel smothers Ozil from a tough angle…Corner kept in and another earned… C’mon now…

  81. 17highburyterrace says:

    We’re trying but the close control isn’t coming off… First Ozil with Alexis in the box then Theo on the wing. The game is stretched and it’s hard to tell if our more patient build-up or their break is the better tactic. Both might take the draw soon enough…

  82. TotalArsenal says:

    We like scoring late against the Foxes.. bring on Danny ๐Ÿ˜›

  83. 17highburyterrace says:

    Musa dive not bought, but boy oh boy did he burn Bellerin…

    Other end, Theo’s chip was the right play but well underhit.

    LC counter requires Nacho heading out for a corner. Musa’s fall looked a pen on replay…

  84. 17highburyterrace says:

    Wow…Le Coq did well there…

    Ozil so smooth but Alexis can’t take in his pass…

    Only 3 mins extra time?…

  85. TotalArsenal says:

    3 minutes extra time. COYG

  86. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cech makes a game saving block and Musa doesn’t take the open shot….but Holding gets called for a foul just outside of the box…

  87. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hits the wall then players offside…

    Finishes nil-nil…

  88. TotalArsenal says:

    0-0

    I’ll take that. Of course would have liked the three points but this is a difficult away fixture for all teams.

  89. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers 17, Retsub and Kev. Catch you later. ๐Ÿ™‚

  90. 17highburyterrace says:

    I guess there’s some promise with the returning players but we looked out of sorts and not very threatening. Wenger out signs and “spend some money” shouts.

    We were lucky on the pen shouts…Both times they were playing for the pen but our players obliged them. Very fortunate that Clattenburg chose not to indulge…

    In attack our pace of play needs to be about 50% quicker, IMO, but then you’d have to expect 50% more poor touches… Given the space that LC allow in the center of the pitch both quicker and cleaner wouldn’t seem so difficult. They’re very good, however, at tightening up nearer to goal and,of course, going quickly on the take-aways…

    Just my thoughts and I’m curious what others will say.. All told we need some lift with signing(s) and a win at Watford.

  91. retsub1 says:

    Great effort by the boys paritivularly Koz who must be particularly knackered. I think I have turned from a. Half glass full prerson to a glass half empty. Towards the end some of the players were dead on their feet. I found myself getting really annoyed. I would like answers to the following though.

    Why was Coquelin left on the pitch, when he was walking the line in getting sent off. He should have been sent off and we all know it.

    Theo and the Ox were giving very little in the second half. Why do we always have to wait until the 65th minute? What a difference Ozil made when he came on.

    When Leicester bought the winger on, it became obvious that a knackered Bellerin couldn’t keep up with him. Why wasn’t someone backing him up? He should have had a penalty

    I know they were tired but surely that was tactically naive?..

    A draw at Leicester isn’t bad, but are they really that good?

  92. TotalArsenal says:

    I know it is not what we want but let’s see where we are after 10 games played. Pool at home and Foxes away are hard games any time and you would hope for 4-6 points. But two draws can also be expected. A win next week would be very welcome.

  93. allezkev says:

    Some heartfelt questions there Retsub and it’s not unreasonable to ask them…

    Watford is becoming quite a must win game because I’d hate to think what the atmosphere at the Emirates will be like when we entertain Southampton, if points have been dropped at Vicarage Road…

    Great work by Total and 17tino today, you boys kept me going whilst I was working and wiggling my ears at the ladies… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Night All

  94. Waldo says:

    Dominant defensive display from Coquelin with 6 tackles and 4 interceptions.

    Xhaka’s central midfield performance was more Coquelin than Cazorla with 2 tackles and 2 interceptions but only one key pass. I thought his lack of creativity from deep impeded us in attacking transition but his defensive contribution was a marked improvement on Elneny’s performance versus Liverpool.

    Holding and Koscielny were both impressive at the back with 7 and 9 clearances respectively.

    Ox was impressive with 6 dribbles on the left flank.

    Overall I though Arsenal were solid in defence but like much of last season appeared to lack a discernible attacking strategy and were too slow in their transition from defence to attack. Having a dribbling inverted winger in Ox on one flank who is limited in their off the ball movement and Theo who is virtually the opposite to the Ox on the other flank nicely summed up Arsenal’s confusing attacking strategy.

    That said, I donโ€™t think itโ€™s all doom and gloom for Arsenal this season. Arsenal have a pretty decent squad in terms of quality and quantity. Central defence is probably Arsenalโ€™s biggest weakness (particular Per and Gabriel). But even then Chambers and Holding have both shown heaps of potential and Koscielny is one of the best central defenders in the Premier League. For me Arsene just needs to figure out what tactics he wants to use this season and deploy the players who best suit that tactical approach. The lack of definition over Arsenalโ€™s tactics and style of play is for me what is impeding Arsenal the most.

  95. Jnyc says:

    Why the negativity on twitter and blogs? No need to buy a cb or a striker. Let’s keep experimenting with Alexis at cf. It’s not like these games count or anything like that.
    Maybe Gnabry and Reine Adelaide will be the saviours. Those teams at top with 6 points now will feel foolish having spent all that money. Arsene knows there is no player available in the world who is better than what we have.
    We’re on pace for 19 points this season.

  96. njk84sg says:

    Forget about getting a new CB. Holding is taking that position his. Good calm and composed game, against the counter attacking team.

    Maybe Giroud came on the the dirty work. He was all over the pitch yesterday, and Theo’s shot in the end should have been better.

    Pity we came away with a point, but it’s one point gained rather than 2 points lost.

    Good game, and we hope to see one striker before the next game.

    JK

  97. njk84sg says:

    My bad guys. In the second paragraph, it should be Maybe Giroud came on for the dirty work.

    Sure he added pace, but he wasn’t where we wanted him to be, which was up front, and we lacked the killer touch due to his positioning.

    Yesterday showed the reality of our threats in the final third, and the fact that we simply could not finish speaks volumes.

    Their defense were tight, but still enough for us to have some decent chances which we could not convert.

    JK

  98. Gerry says:

    Yes folks, it was a draw. However, I thought it was a good game, and a potential difficult hurdle got over. I do worry over Kos though. Twice he landed hard on his backside and got up feeling it. I am not sure if one point will be worth it if he has done any long term damage. I for one, would not have kept him on for the full 90 minutes whatever the cost.

    Other than that, I thought AW corrected most of the issues I saw in our opener. Namely keeping the DM’s closer to the CB’s, and allowing the fullbacks to go forward. The side had a much better balanced look about it. Unfortunately the lack of movement in the box when we had numerous opportunities to play balls in from wide was the main reason why we failed to score.

    The other, is yes, we DO NEED a striker.

    Hopefully, the return of Gnabry will bring a fresh possibility after the Interlull, if nothing happens in the TW. Before then, get Ackers in to see if he can make a difference, because I don’t see the current idea of using Alexis in the middle ever working out. Otherwise means we are down to Giroud as the only viable option? This can be great in some games, but totally predictable in others.

    I look forward to TA’s match report, as the ‘8 Positives’ are easy to pick, and should be very pleasant reading …

    Over to you TA ๐Ÿ˜€

    Cheers,
    Gerry

    p.s. Guy’s, don’t go all AW on me over transfers. We know it is difficult, but I am not asking for a Messi or Ronaldo who would not cost (?)300m, or any other perfection bullsh*t that has been the latest response … but we ought to be able to compete with Chelsea for James Rodriguez? After all, we have his brother-in-law here, and we are in the CL? I recall a certain ‘glick’ was having orgasms over this player before his move to Real … not that that should be taken as a reliable guide for selecting players, way too weird – He was however, looking like one of the best young forward talents playing in Europe at the time. Maybe not being treated like one at Real has brought the worst out of him character-wise, but he should be more open to getting better now?
    Just a thought?

  99. njk84sg says:

    Gerry,

    I see that we can both agree on the striker need.

    I do not think that AW has misunderstood us, with his latest big money comment. I think he is just playing with us using his words. He is very aware of the fact that we are not asking for a big money striker. We are asking for just a striker that can score.

    If he has the wish to throw our young strikers to the deep end of the sea (pitch/field), he needs to do it quick. Or else his words are nothing more than just empty words.

    JK

  100. TotalArsenal says:

    Superb comment Waldo and the last paragraph sums it up very well. ๐Ÿ˜€โšฝ๏ธ

  101. TotalArsenal says:

    I bet you pulled with those magnificent ears, Kevski ๐Ÿ˜

  102. TotalArsenal says:

    We will not get a new striker but possibly a goal scoring winger so Alexis can succeed in the middle, at least as a good plan B.

  103. TotalArsenal says:

    Johnnie ๐Ÿ˜€

    Tell your friends on Twits to judge the team after ten games or so and remind them we won the FA cup twice in the last three years and finished second last year. Perspective baby.

  104. 17highburyterrace says:

    Up early with a bit of trouble sleeping–not Arsenal induced…but maybe I shouldn’t have had that last espresso there at half-time yesterday… ๐Ÿ˜€

    Frankly, I think we were quite fortunate to escape that one with a point. Clattenburg did well to not indulge the cynical play but Bellerin will want to let people go when they’ve got round him. (Musa had nowhere to go, so he did well to play for the contact, I guess…)

    TA might be working on 8 positives but I’d rather see player ratings or maybe I’d like to see player ratings in addition to the positives. Also, where does the number 8 come from?…It seems like it might be most appropriate for draws, you know one positive for the point earned, whereas if we’d have three points earned, those would get us to (a total of) 10 positives…

    The way I look at the match is that we never really got going and that Leicester are a pretty decent opponent who will not lose many at home, esp. to the top teams who come hoping to get the full points. Along with Athletico Madrid they’ve got about the most potent/scary counterattack in Euro football and I can see why AW went for Vardy, age, warts and all. (I actually still hold out hope for Mahrez at the deadline, new contract and all…) That said, we looked infinitely better when the two left footed MFs (Jack and Mesut) came on even if our general pace was still too slow. Unfortunately, by that time, the supporting cast looked tired and the one really good chance (Theo’s) wasn’t well executed. Some are suggesting he should have passed to Giroud but I don’t know. Near post, I think, but power was probably needed no matter what… Overall, I thought Theo had as good a match as anybody which is hardly ever the case if he doesn’t score or assist.

    He should be playing up top, I think, with Alexis (who didn’t have a good game, IMO…) playing on the left and Ox on the right or visa versa. As always, that’s just my thinking, and I’d be curious if others agree/disagree. Santi trying to get forward (esp. with Alexis coming back so much) looked awkward and his best moments were deeper. As such, I thought we really missed Elneny and Xhaka, keen to play within himself (not get carded), looked committed to his positioning but unsure about where to move the ball or from where the Leicester press was coming. Le Coq’s defending seemed important and he (and the ref, again) did well to avoid a 2nd yellow. All told, we seemed to have real trouble moving through the gears in the center of the pitch and never caused LC much trouble close to their box, except maybe with a tiny bit of wide play but then the lack of a real CF target was telling…

    We now face a very pressure filled end of the month with signing(s) and full points at Watford needed to keep the sky aloft. I guess the 2nd part comes first and I wouldn’t be surprised if things get very active at the close of the window, including transfers out, esp. if we cannot do that 2nd part.

    To quote Gerry, we probably need to “keep the faith,” unless, of course, yours is already long gone… In which case I say pick a silly money club (one of the ones happily on 6 points already) and just make Arsenal your (“sentimental” or “small” or) “used to be” club… After all, we’re not gonna be top of the table (or biggest spenders) come the close of the window… Remember, however, that it’s just a game so no need for a blood-letting just yet… Maybe?…

  105. retsub1 says:

    17HT just reading your last post and am in agreement with a lot of what you say until your final paragraph. That’s when you use your favourite line about supporting another team. I am sure this must be because of the way American football is run in the States whereby a team can just uproot and move to a new ciry. True Arsenal supporters(myself included) would rather chew their arm off and beat themselves to death with the soggy end than support another team. To quote the late great Bill Shankley (something along these words)
    “Some people think football is a matter of life and death, in fact it’s far more important than that”

    I love Arsenal football club, always have, always will but reserve the right to complain, critisise where I feel it is justified. Supporting another team is inconceivable . A good friend of mine is a Wimbledon supporter. When greedy people sold his team off to become the M K Dons (Milton Keynes) he and many other of similar ilk created a new Wimbledon from the ashes. They have gone from nothing to a football league side of similar statue to the MK Dons. As far as I know this is the only time has uprooted in the UK

    Not a criticism of you, just want to clarify what true supporters are

  106. 17highburyterrace says:

    Retsub, I will try to refrain…and I knew I might be stepping in it when I went into that bit. Also, I think I understand about “true” supporters, having spent those few months a decade ago at my screen-name. IMO it’s always OK to criticize and if you pay your money (and it’s big money for many…) I can understand wanting to see it being spent to improve the team.

    That said, I think it’s fair to say that many Gooners only came to the club during the success of the early Wenger years. This site, in fact, is named after a player who brought a lot of supporters our way…

    I often wonder just how deep the support goes. If Arsenal were to finish mid-table for a couple of seasons would some supporters stop watching? What about relegation?…

    The fact of the matter is that I feel my own “support” starting to wane. I’m desperate to see Wenger go out on a high note and I tend to love the players he brings in. If the Wenger out folks get their way, however, I bet I’ll keep watching but may start missing a game here and there. EVEN IF Wenger has success at this late stage I bet my interest will wane once he’s gone, mostly because that success would bring in a lot of “plastics,” i.e., even more people who just want to support a winner.

    To me football is not life or death but it is suffering and much more about the process of TRYING (at whatever level you can) than about the (rare moments of) glory or the (much more common moments of) failure. I want to blog or otherwise share my support with people who appreciate it. When it becomes…”Me no like result, Buy me a different one,” I cannot relate. The spending of those three teams (Chelsea and the Mancs) is eye-watering and I have total sympathy that Wenger didn’t want to put the extra pressure on Mustafi by wasting an extra 15-20 million pounds on him just to get him in for the Liverpool match. (Defending, in the end, yesterday wasn’t actually the problem.) If that’s sort of thing inspires hate for the man (who represents the club) then why not become a Mourinho or Guardiola or Conte supporter. Here’s a piece I wrote last Summer about my own sports watching background that includes how I fell out with my local basketball team over a manager (coach) I could no longer support: https://bergkampesque.com/2015/07/11/wenger-worm-woods-and-warriors-rewriting-the-rules-for-success/

    So, to conclude, I will attempt to refrain, but, for the modern (global) audience I don’t think my suggestion is too far off. If you were born Arsenal or bleed red (with white sleeves) I apologize.

  107. 17highburyterrace says:

    Speaking of trying…Joel Campbell,a real try-er, has gone on loan to Sporting Lisboa.

    To me this means Theo and Ox will stay AND somebody will be coming…As always… (WTF do I know)…

    Also, it appears the former ManU manager turned on the hairdryer at halftime in the NE derby match. Sunderland, however, still need another goal to rescue something from Boro…

  108. 17highburyterrace says:

    I know I’m not supposed to talk about politics (either)… but, Retsub,if Wimbledon can move to MK why couldn’t Kroenke take Arsenal somewhere else before the Brexit takes effect? Surely there are some big cities along the German/French border that could use a big team (and, soon enough, a new stadium…) and would welcome Arsene-L with open arms much as Los Angeles is welcoming Kroenke’s Rams back from St. Louis…

    Boro hold on… OK Gotta run…

  109. Shard says:

    The armband looks good on Koscielny.

    On another day, Coquelin could have been sent off (there is no SHOULD have been sent off for me), and we could have conceded two penalties. The first might have been a Kos tackle. The linesman seemed to think so anyway. The second one is usually given. I’d be happy if they weren’t. It’s lazy attacking play to get in front but then slow down and stick your legs back to get them entangled and as such I’d like them to not be rewarded. Two games in, the referees not taking every chance to screw us over is about the biggest positive so far.

    Also, on another day, Theo could have had 3 or 4 goals. But this is how it goes with him. He’s a bit erratic. He can play terribly and get you a goal or two, or he can play decently and just not be able to make the most of his chances. He’s never going to be the most involved player but I thought he was better yesterday. At least he could hold up the ball at times when required. Sanchez was more the turnover machine. It does emphasise that we need to add ‘something’ to our attack though. It seems like it’ll be Gnabry and hopefully a striker. I also expect Chuba to get a go in the League Cup.

    Apart from Koscielny, I thought Holding, Xhaka and Ox deserve some credit. Wilshere and Ozil looked sharp too when they came on.

    A list of players who look ‘undercooked’ for the start of the season to me. Koscielny, Xhaka, Ox, Cazorla, Alexis, Ozil, Giroud. Maybe there’s more.

    I expect criticism should follow that, but I suspect it was a decision made to favour better health over the season than in the short term. Just like with the transfer window. See, I don’t have to agree with the decisions made, I just have to know that they make sense, and I’m fine with them being different to my ideal scenario.

    I said last week that I expect us to be better this time around, but really come close to our true level by Watford.

    1 point in two games is hardly ideal, but those were two tough games. A point at Leicester is ok, and we really blew it in 20 mins vs Liverpool, rather than being a terrible all round show. Just as long as we beat them in the return fixture, we’d have a point more against them than last season. Still all to play for.

    PS. Gerry’s point about how the fullbacks were playing higher up in this game made me think. Could it be that our home games are actually being approached like away games now? I know, I know, it’s probably just that it was early in the season, we were cautious with Holding and Chambers at CB. But still, it was a thought that popped up into my head. With the crowd hardly making it a home game, and it becoming more a result oriented rather than entertainment issue, it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s how the players and manager viewed it.

  110. retsub1 says:

    17ht

    Firstly absolutely no need to apologise, we all have different views and that’s what makes the world go around. When I wrote my response, I sorta knew two things would occur
    1. And I am not being carcastic here. You would bury me with your wordsmith skills. That said I fully understand what you are saying and there certainly are a lot of plastics/glory hunters out there. My initial reaction was my interest will never wane and I think I can say without much doubt I have tried to follow every match via being their , radio, tv, text. But if I am honest I am probably not as passionate as I was a few years back. Nothing to do with the team, just me getting older and more stubborn.

    2. I just knew you would suggest the moving question. In reality I can’t ever see it making economic sense to move elsewhere, but I guess anything is possible. If it did occur I can imagine huge protests, violence etc I just can’t see it happening. What has happened in the US when this occurred in the past ?

  111. retsub1 says:

    Just a point on the penalties, watching on T V my initial reaction was they were both penalties. Having had the benefit of 46 camera angles slow motion etc, I think the first decision was correct.

    It’s the 2nd one which annoys me. At the Emirates last season, Vardey won a penalty by putting his leg across the defender in such a way that it’s almost impossible not to trip him. Looking at the 2nd penalty, once again with the benefit of 46 camera angles, I think this may have been a little similar. I think Musa put his right leg across Bellerin and the inevitable happened.

    My question is, is this a skill, or is it just plain cheating?

    Speaking of cheating, Did anyone see Costa’s dive yesterday? He should have been on the 10 metre board at the olympics.

  112. 17highburyterrace says:

    Q: What has happened in the US when this occurred in the past ?

    A: huge protests, violence etc… Except no violence, I don’t think… What *actually* happened when the Wimbledon club was moved, i.e. was there any violence?…

    It’s a very bad thing but you should never underestimate the cynicism (and greed) of the owners. Kroenke has well paid employees (Wenger, Gazidis, etc.) who have worked hard enough to get Arsenal where he’s got it and this Rams move will take some hair off his head if not years off his life…(Except that they won’t, as he sits on his billion dollar cattle ranch…) Still, nothing is impossible, as they say… I think I mentioned in the earlier piece about the Raiders moving from Oakland to LA and then back again…Ridonkulous, IMHO… Even just moving across the Bay as the Warriors are set to do will probably lessen my enthusiasm as I’m very much an East Bay guy… I dunno, if the Brexit actually affects the PL teams, you doubly never know…

    Another Gooner/blogger I met up with lives near you (very near the Charlton Park fields). He grew up near Finsbury Park and, of course, his neighborhood (and yours…) isn’t too far from the Woolwich Arsenal… What made you begin your Arsenal support… Staying a neutral (oftentimes) seems like it would prevent a lifetime of pain…

    Shard, excellent comment/match analysis…Where in India do you reside?

  113. retsub1 says:

    Wimbledon was a strange one, they went from being a non league side to winning the F A cup in a very short period of time. They were nicknamed the crazy gang and were probably the most violent team ever to hit the prem. They had very small ground Plough Lane and as such spent many years playing home games at other grounds. Because they were a new team they had limited support, which supposedly was the financial benefit of moving to Milton Keynes. They were nicknamed the Dons, Hence M k Dons. You probably know this anyway, but Milton Keynes is a new town north of London famous, boring new housing , multiple roundabouts and most famously statues of Cows! I think they sudsidised travel for supporters, which had waned when Wimbledon had been relegated from the prem

    The reason I support Arsenal, was my Dad was an avid fan, he was around when Herbert Chapman built the first successful Arsenal dynasty (hence Allezkev in his Cliff Bastin Shirt)

  114. retsub1 says:

    17Ht

    With regard to staying neutral, I have to say I find games that don’t effect Arsenal as Boring. I watch Chelsea, United, Spurs, Liverpool etc always hoping they will lose (including Euroean games). I wouldn’t normally bother with a game like Sunderland v Middlesbrough as I don’t really care who wins
    i guess that’s the drawback of being a fan. A good friend of mine who doesn’t support anyone, other than W B A a little bit will enjoy any game.

  115. 17highburyterrace says:

    retsub, my boy has a friend named Alex James whose father actually grew up in Barnet but was not an Arsenal supporter (the matches were too violent for him, in that era…) I give young Alex grief whenever his shorts are above the knee. “Why aren’t you wearing your Alex James shorts?…”

    Yeah, A-Kev and his ears pulling in the birds… He should come out this way, rent a car and drive for Uber or Lyft and use those ears on the California girls. More Beach Boys music…and a working vacation to boot…

    ๐Ÿ™‚

  116. retsub1 says:

    I started actively supporting Arsenal in the mid sixties and frankly they weren’t very good. I lived on stories of Eddie Hapgood, Cliff Bastin, Alex James, Jack Kelsey etc. It was tough being a school surrounded by Man Utd glory hunters.

  117. retsub1 says:

    Just to off topic a little. My Cabby friend sold his cab to a Norwegian who he picked up in London. As part of the deal he had to deliver the cab to Oslo . They remain friends to this day (this was over 20 years ago)

    Many years later my friend picked up an American in London (pretty sure he was from California). The guy wanted to know where he could buy spare parts for a cab he has back in the US. When my friend questioned where he got it from, he told him he bought it from a guy in Oslo!

    Small world huh

  118. Shard says:

    17ht
    I’m in Delhi.

    On the moving the club thing. Not going to happen. American sports follow a different model and have a different history. They’ve had a long history of clubs moving, including the SF Giants of baseball who used to be the NY Giants (like the current ‘Football’ team), moving all the way from the East to the West coast. See, their country hadn’t even been fully become accessible and united when these clubs came up, and as leagues were formed, they kept changing locations as it suited them.

    As it is, these days one of the biggest arguments for a move is that another city offers them a better stadium/infrastructure in the hope of earning more revenue from tourism and taxation etc. Even if it were possible in football, Arsenal are not going to move from their state of the art football stadium that they own and brings them revenues, and forms a large part of their brand valuation.

    What is more likely is that there will be a no-relegation ‘Super league’ of clubs across Europe. All these pre season games of the International Champions Cup or whatever it’s called are probably arranged with a view to eventually forming said super league, probably with matches held in stages around the world rather than a simple home and away formula. What this will mean for the domestic leagues will be an issue to be resolved, but Arsenal will physically remain in London, Brexit or no. (They may register their company elsewhere if a Superleague ever happens and Brexit rules prove a problem to signing players etc) That’s my prediction anyway.

  119. Jnyc says:

    Here is my perspective, T, .. we have 1 point. And we start every season at a disadvantage. We are experimenting with our star attacker instead of letting him be great in his normal position. I wonder if Alexis is happy. It is worrisome that he and Ozil haven’t extended, though the club has tried.
    I have no idea about possible transfers, but we have needed an alternative to Giroud for years.

  120. TotalArsenal says:

    Preparing for an interview for a big project, so no time to do ‘positives’. Maybe some of the regulars can comment with some positives to cheer us all up. Or 17ht can do his first blog of the season with player ratings? ๐Ÿ˜€โšฝ๏ธ

    Johnnie that is no perspective but just complaining about the here and now my friend. Give it ten games and see where we are. Or were you expecting us to collect six points from Pool and Foxes and score ten goals. Keep the faith buddy.

    Love the banter between Retsubster and Seventeenho, and always good to read Shard’s insights. ๐Ÿ‘

  121. Jnyc says:

    ” everything we hear is an opinion, not fact, everything we see is perspective, not the truth” – Marcus Aurelius

    T, We’re allowed to be dissatisfied with crappy season starts, just as you can choose the ten game benchmark. Last season many people said lets see how we get through the holiday fixture congestion, then through January…
    If i remember correctly, we came through in a good position, then proceeded to collapse in february and march, to end up 10 points behind leicester at the end. That was not an exciting 2nd place finish. Let’s not dress it up.
    Usually I’m an optimistic sort, and a Wenger lover…. but Arsene is beating some of us down.
    Do you like experimenting with Alexis as we drop 5 of the first 6 points of the year? As Liverpool came out in the 2nd half fired up and ran circles around our team.. it looked as though we were out coached in that instance.
    As Ibra is bedded in, and miktarian still to come, do you like seeing the translator 5 points ahead already, though i think and hope Pogba is less imoptant than people expect. We still don’tknow if we will add anyone to help Ozil.
    It’s a blog and I always come for your optimism, sometimes it could be tempered. We’re allowed.

    Having said all that, I’d love to see a great run that puts us in striking distance or champions by week 38.
    I like that as a goal.

  122. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice quote, J. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Two FA cups in the last three years and finishing second last year are facts. And a good basis to build on further. Losing a crazy opening game to Pool is not going to turn me into a doomer, and luckily neither is it going to impact you too much. ๐Ÿ˜œ

    It is not the start we hoped for but we will come good.

  123. Gerry says:

    It is one thing to be optimistic TA, but if that gets close to unrealistic … well you decide?

    I am very close to J’s thinking, but I am still hopeful that there will be a glimmer of light very shortly.

    I for one, will not criticise AW for the Mustafi situation. I think he was correctly identified as a suitable replacement for Per, long and short term. I looked at the ‘Who Scored’ ratings gave him last week, and in the three key areas that you want to see in a CD: Heading; Interceptions; Tackling all came out as Very Good. His weakness was, bizarrely, ‘Crossing’? No doubt from his ability to play at RB, but not that good going forward? The other criticism mentioned was that he fouls a lot.
    But that said, the problem was twofold. I say ‘was’ because it is a fluid situation. Namely, they needed to balance their books, but also need to fund a replacement. If they sold another player then that would take away both reasons to sell? That I believe is the situation now. Hence the 50m being quoted? No way for a defender who is not absolutely top class.
    It is possible a higher early bid might have done the trick, but how much ‘over the odds’ with Chelsea hovering is anybody’s guess?
    A Man City cast off might be our only late option. Wait and see?

    There are two key areas where even the most optimistic supporters agree, the one above, and to a lesser extent, the striker situation. This is a slightly muddied water because some think a goal scoring winger/wide player will solve the problem. Welcome as one(or two, ha ha) would be, I think those who agree with Jnyc above, as I do, think this misses the point of having a viable option to Giroud. Good as he can be, Giroud is very one dimensional. By that I mean he is not a tricky fleet-footed player who can twist and turn, and can shoot with either foot. It does not stop him from being very good with the abilities he has got. Okay?
    Now unless Akpom or Gnabry are given a real chance in the middle, then we are looking for someone to come in. The indications are that AW does think that neither are ready for a full season, and talks of loans for both are already underway?
    Crisis? What Crisis? (That for those with a long political memory? …’google’ it if interested).

    For me, I think AW knows who he wants, but is waiting for other teams to commit themselves to other players, and then he will pounce … I am ‘keeping the faith’ AW! Don’t disappoint me.

    Anything else will be a bonus.
    Cheers,
    Gerry.
    p.s. If Kos gets anything less than a 9.5 I’ll be disappointed, and a 10 if he is not injured ๐Ÿ˜€

  124. TotalArsenal says:

    Where have I been unrealistic, Gerry? We played two games and you are all coming with your favourite little theories about what is wrong and needs to change right now. It is very realistic to think that Wenger will get it right once more. Keep the faith and all that. ๐Ÿ˜€โšฝ๏ธ

  125. Gerry says:

    Shard, I think you read far too much into our opening game, regards a home tactical change?

    Whilst I accept it was a tactical change for that game, an unusual plus for AW ๐Ÿ˜€
    However, I think it was a one off, and aimed purely at an attempt to stop crosses coming to our ‘B-team” CB’s?

    I shall slightly correct my overview of that game by saying this. Liverpool attack in the first half was in the main centrered around Courtihno on their left side of midfield, and Firmini in the middle. It was then when our players were drawn to the right side. That is normal. But was wrong there were too many to the right of the centre of our goal. This left Monreal as the only player covering the far post, with anything up to 3 ‘pool players who could attack that side.
    What Klopp did in the second half was simply shift Firmini to the right so the switch of play opened up that side of play. Especially when Mane and the fullback provided the extra men.
    Hindsight might say we should have brought on Gibbs to support Monreal, but at the very least a DM should have filled some of that space? But that game is now history.

    With the stronger back line, the change for the Leicester game was an easier decision, and played to our strengths.
    When you play wide players who like to come inside, you need the overlapping backs to make a bit of space for them. If the defence does not cover their runs then they are a good option to play the ball to. The one big criticism I had about Joel Campbell down the right was that he rarely used Bellerin. Instead he would continue his run towards the crowded middle. I repeat, I think he will be a big hit in Portugal, and will achieve far more than he ever could in the Premier League.

    On to the next game for a few more tactical changes? Akpom and Alexis in a 4-4-2 perhaps?
    Yeah, okay. Back to the dream…
    Cheers,
    Gerry

  126. Gerry says:

    TA, I could mention the little matter of Alexis as our ‘B’ option as CF … tried before without great success …. But hey, you have decided that is not unrealistic Fine ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€
    G

  127. TotalArsenal says:

    Two games Gerry, two bloody games and you think you know?! We scored three against pool with Alexis in the middle and created many chances against the Foxes. Why would Wenger, or indeed the fans who know their football, not be encouraged by this? The real problem is Rambo’s injury who fits the position behind Alexis best. But Wenger will fix this too. Stop thinking you know more about football than Wenger.

  128. njk84sg says:

    With some analysis, I would have to say that we are not better off playing Alexis in the forward role.

    In his first game for us starting as the front guy, who is even shorter than Theo, he gets cut off from high balls against way taller defenders.

    His last game was a little better, as he got more mobile and swapped positions with Theo and Ox. At times, we see 2 players in the same position.

    However, without the usual tall guy in the box, we are unable to deploy crosses to a target man against teams with tight defences, meaning that we have to make more passes, until Ozil came on and we got much better passes.

    We cannot compare our goals against Liv, as we should have made more direct shots at a defense that have shipped 5 goals in 2 games.

    But one thing is certain: our positional play in the box is atrocious, and even Ollie, our only striker, make this mistake. If Wenger can fix this internally, TA, we will already have scored more than we did at the end of last season.

    So, when Wenger mentioned that we were poor in the opponent final third, I wanted to question: what is your solution? Obviously he asks the question but is unable to solve it.

    Either we promote Chuba, or we buy. We risk getting the same scenario week in and week out.

    JK

  129. TotalArsenal says:

    Two bloody games and you think you know. Of course Wenger will persevere with Alexis as CF; he did not become the guy he is today by throwing in the towel after two games. Rather than buy or swap, he will train and coach… as it should be done.

  130. Gerry says:

    Mmnnn. There was a long discussion on a previous post that virtually relegated Ramsey to the bench … based largely on his suitability in that No10 position? Not a word from you?
    Yet, when I make the comment on your ‘favourite little theory’ with Alexis, you go apoplectic?

    Can I just say it has little to do with those two games that shape my opinion, and that is all it is, an opinion. Instead it has much more to do with his physical style and stature which J has pointed out above. As the central pivot he will always be up against 6ft plus guys who will stifle him in the air? That means precise passing to feet. But as is stands at the moment, he is seen as chief danger by all defences, and as such he gets heavily marked. The latest two games have simply highlighted that problem, imo.

    But if you want to shift the goal posts slightly, and have a fluid front three, that requires movement. That is what was missing in the last game, at least from what I saw, and presumably AW, given J’s quote above? But as well as fluidity, a bit of height does not go amiss?

    It is not rocket science, just the application of common sense. AW is indeed in a better position to sort out Arsenal’s problems than my scribblings. It does not mean that an intelligent and objective look from the sidelines are automatically invalid?
    I don’t think AW would be teasing us with talks about signing a striker if he did not see the same as what I, and others have said? But in these early games he is having to work with what he has got. My only criticism there is, if Plan B is to replace Giroud with one of the smallest attackers, and still only have one up front, then is always going to struggle. Change the formation with two up front, possibly a different story? But that is just my opinion …
    Perhaps I should just add the ‘BWTFDIK’, and be excused for expressing my thoughts?

    On another topic, it appears Koscielny did carry his back problem into Saturday’s game. Fingers crossed let’s hope he hasn’t made it worse, or that International break won’t come soon enough?

    Keeping the faith
    Gerry

  131. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry, read again the first line of your first comment of the day and you know why you got the response you got. The word unrealistic is one I associate with your ‘scribblings’ constantly yet I seldom or never utter them to you. Let’s just leave if at that as I am getting bored out of my skull and I have enough on my mind. Feel free to scribble on, it should become an Olympic sport! ๐Ÿ˜€

  132. Gerry says:

    Changing the subject, this post deserves a mention:
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/racist-abuse-inaki-williams-brings-shame-la-liga-1577379

    Who knows, a fresh start at the Arsenal may be all he needs?
    Cheers,
    Gerry

  133. njk84sg says:

    TA, Gerry,

    We need to change our formation to 4-4-2 with a flat 2 strikers and put Alexis, Theo and Ollie on the pitch and tell them to run all over the front positions for Wenger to work his plan to perfection.

    Against Watford we need that and replace Le Coq with Wilshere and Santi with Ozil and we are going to see fireworks.

    Job done.

  134. Gerry says:

    I do think having Giroud deep lying, behind an Alexis or a Theo might work …. but it doesn’t half limit the choices in midfield? Especially if Kos is a doubt?
    Nice try though, JK.
    Cheers,
    Gerry

  135. St. Henry says:

    TA – reg your post @12:29, Klopp would agree with your views it would seem.:-) Especially the comment “You donโ€™t believe for a second in improvement on the training pitch.” (Y) I scared my co-workers laughing out aloud when I read his response to a question as to when he would play Danny Ings. Very Wengeresque response ๐Ÿ™‚

    Check this link http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/liverpool-boss-jurgen-klopp-cant-8683508.

  136. davydavy says:

    Hi all, very interesting discussion on Alexis as centre-forward. I’m very much in the it-might-work camp, and the reason is that Alexis as well-balanced, fast-moving striker with a decent finish. He could be our Aguero or Suarez, relying on movement and awareness more than size or speed.

    I see where you’re coming from Gerry about him playing as a lone striker, and these types of forwards indeed seem to do their best work when nearby attackers are creating spaces and distracting defenders. Suarez at Liverpool always had Sterling and Sturridge running alongside him, and since defenders can only be in one place at a time, he could always spot a space opening up for the few seconds he needed.

    We might not need a change in formation to make this work for Alexis, but our other attackers will have to get used to making more runs into the box carrying a genuine goal-scoring intent. We have the players to do that in the Ox, Iwobi, Theo, Mesut, Aaron, Jeff and now Gnabry so it’s really just a matter of practice to make all of this work. I think Arsene’s on the right track with this, and as a way of breaking down eight-man defences I think it’s quite a bit better than playing high balls to Giroud looking for knock-downs and flick-ons. It’s so good to see us developing an alternative way of attacking this year, because I thought at times we became somewhat predictable in our approach play in recent years.

    Despite one point in six, I’m encouraged by our start. We were unlucky against Liverpool who won though two worldies (Coutinho free kick and Mane wonder-goal) and Coutinho’s shinned volley from Clyne’s cross, but the truth is that we dominated most of that game, and with ten more minutes would have taken it. In our second game we were solid against Leicester and got a decent away point. Rob Holding looks really good at centre-back, so good in fact that I won’t be too bothered if we can’t bring in someone new. Goalkeeper, fullbacks, DMs, attacking mids, we look strong across the board. Up front at CF we might be a little light, but one or two additions could easily fix that. Julian Draxler maybe, and Inaki Williams is certainly an interesting shout if available. Honestly though, I see new players coming in as having to be world-class to be worth it, and would be a nice bonus, but otherwise I’m more than happy with the squad we have.

  137. Gerry says:

    I very much agree with much of what you have said DavyDavy, in that Alexis, and others of his stature are best working up front with others. And yes, we do have players that can pair with him.
    However, apart from Giroud, and Akpom, we do not have anybody with any height to have an alternative to squeezing balls along the ground?
    Giroud has one big call over the other contenders in so far as defenders know he carries a threat. Akpom will have to develop that ‘aura’, and I hope he does. As TA has pointed out, we do not know at this stage how the form of Gnabry equates to the PL level. International form and day to day league form don’t sit easily as equals, as Ramsey’s could be seen as an example? However, Gnabry was a worker in that German team, and he does have talent.
    Funnily enough, I think the lad Inaki is a much more Wenger type signing than say Reus, because that will be the biggest part of AW’s legacy, the squad he leaves behind, not what is in the trophy cabinet. ‘Draxxy baby’ would also a legacy choice … if, like so many of ours, he can stay fit. But these are wide players. What I think we need, and from ‘inquiries’ made, albeit those that have been followed up with bids well short of what others are willing to pay, is what AW thinks we need, and that is someone who can put away opportunities consistently. However, I am 100% convinced that AW will not buy just any striker to fill that gap. It has to be the ‘right’ type of player. The Lukaku’s and Bony’s of this world are not what he is looking for. Yes they score goals, but so does Giroud. So the search goes on.
    But I repeat what I said earlier. I think he is waiting for others to commit, and hope they don’t select his preference. Chelsea are our biggest threat in that regard, as they seem to be after a defender and a striker. The latter perhaps, is increasing with Costa not pleasing his manager? We all know Moo will do anything to stop AW getting an easy ride in the market, even if United don’t want the same player, he might just put an ‘inquiry’ in just to hike the price?
    The risk is we miss out altogether?
    In the event of that happening, are we set on a course for mid table obscurity?

    I doubt it. But it will be much harder. I am less worried about the defence, even if Kos has to ease off. I think Chambers will make a decent CB, but there will be bumps along the way. I also think Bielik could ease Kos’s burden by gaining experience playing the last 20 minutes for him. Much more ‘like for like’, imo. But up front it may take a while for players to properly gel, and the reason for that is, if you change from a Giroud led front line, you are changing strategy, and it is that Plan B that will not get many opportunities to gel as long as Giroud is first choice. On field at least.

    One area I do disagree with you DD, is the list of players that can play that front line role. I only see two who could play central up front, complimenting Alexis. That is Walcott, pace and space. Gnabry, (if he can prove it at PL level), with instant cute passes, and strong physique.
    Of the others; Ozil is a better creator. Ramsey from deeper. Iwobi in time, but better behind the strike force. Ox likewise, or playing from wide, but he has the body strength and that quick burst of acceleration. Jeff R-A not to sure he is suited by the more central position, especially on the left as that is where Alexis should/would be? very skilfull without doubt. Wilshere is yet another who could play that ‘just behind the striker’ role … spoilt for choice in that position?
    Conclusion, Akpom, if AW thinks he is up to it, gets my vote as CF/Twin striker. Theo on the counter. Gnabry against PTB teams.
    So plan B would be a 4-1-2-1-2 formation. Width supplied by the FB’s. The ‘1’ behind the striker the best attacking creative midfielder available. The ‘1’ behind the central mids, a DM. The CM’s play on ‘best fit’ for the situation.
    This is the bit where I add ….BWTFDIK?
    Cheers,
    Gerry

  138. njk84sg says:

    I am suspecting Wenger is up to something with the Campbell loaned out.

    Either he wants to promote the Jeff, which I doubt, or he wants to get something done.

    The fans are all getting fed up at him, and more anger than good comments are aimed at every fb posts the official club fb makes.

    Can’t say more.

  139. Just catching up TA and I’m on the move this week so no posts from me. Sorryโ€ฆ Good luck prepping for and doing that interview. At some point I’ll write you an e-mail to try and catch up with you.

    Also, I’m sorry that some? meaning one? have gone all combative on your inherent? positivity. The fact that they? or he? is borrowing my own version of the question mark? (WTKDIK? — in very sarcastic fashion…) puts him?/her?/them? on my shite list too, although it did make it so that I actually tried to read the long (long, long) comments. What did I learn? Absolutely nothing, say it againโ€ฆhuh…

    That’s a reference to the song, War (What is it Good For?), so hopefully we can all get along here, just a bit better, maybe? IMO there’s already enough anger and misery in the Goonersphereโ€ฆ

    Cheers,

    17highburyterrace

  140. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sorry, I find myself with a little extra time, so, hoping for some back and forth, but, reading what I wrote, it’s awfully sarcastic (and maybe a little mean-spirited) and who needs that?โ€ฆ

    So, apologiesโ€ฆ

    Back to your regularly scheduled broadcastโ€ฆ Alexis needs to do better but, I (for one) thinks that he can and, esp., if Theo (or Ollie or Chuba or Ox or Ozil) nudges in a little closer, I bet it will happen…

  141. Gerry says:

    I have just been to the Fantasy Premier league site to check who was on top, and it seems, when it was showing me the label ‘Scoring starts from Gameweek 2’ …err I thought that was it.
    Instead, it was asking the question, because it is now showing ‘Scoring starts from Gameweek 3?’

    Hey ho …. just when I had one of my best week for scoring … Yes! Yes, it was lower than last week.
    Okay!, Okay! I only scored 26 points. Satisfied?
    But that means we are all on zero if we begin on Friday 26th, Gameweek 3.
    At the moment there are only 6 members in the BK Best Bloggers league, so here is the code again.
    2419065-566647.
    Pick your squad, and when they ask ‘Do you want to join an existing League?’
    Confirm you do, and enter the above code.

    But I am sure most of you knew that ….?

    I’ll confirm the start date on Thursday when I do my transfer activity.

    Cheers,
    Gerry

  142. njk84sg says:

    I am not going to try to be combative here, as everything is pointing at Wenger to make it right for the club.

    As passionate fans, we all need to stay true that Wenger knows best, but somehow these 2 seasons we have seen something massively wrong, which is that there is a lack of leader on some positions.

    Watford lost to lower league opposition in the league cup, and although we need to be aware that we cannot underestimate our opponents, we can at least make sure of 3 points if we are more direct in the final third.

    JK

  143. Gerry says:

    On that point I’ll be brief JK,
    I did not think anybody who suggests that we need a striker was being ‘combative’.

    And I agree, AW is trying to do what is right for Arsenal, buy trying to get, not just any striker, but one that will suit the players we have? That includes Giroud.
    When I have said ‘as an alternative to Giroud’, I was not suggesting he be sold or anything, just that when it is not working for him, we need something different.
    The biggest problem I see for AW is getting the best balance out of the players we have, and who and where they play. Lest anyone forgets, in my first comment on our last game was just that … ‘we looked better balanced’. This gets overshadowed by the fact that we did not score, but elsewhere, particularly defensively, and the fullbacks getting forward, we looked more solid.

    The only difference between me saying Alexis is not a No9, and others saying we need to get bodies closer to him are pure semantics. Yes you can have him in the ‘nominal’ No9, in front of a 5 man midfield. But if that 5 man midfield includes a Giroud or a Akpom, then Alexis is going to find his space wider. Which I believe is what I said in comments relating to our first game was his best position?

    What we can all agree up, I think, is if Alexis is on his own in a central position he will find it very difficult to hold up play? He is not Giroud. Even with support, it still requires movement in and around the box… and that was lacking in a lot of our promising attacking positions in the last game. So yes, the players we have could most definitely improve on that, and should nothing come out of this TW, they will have to!
    The other point I made was that Giroud is the only player at the moment that will draw at least two players to him, apart from Alexis, in and around the box? Ozil is a slightly different character in so far as he is dangerous when he sees a space first. With PTB teams that area is very congested, so Ozil tends to keep moving elsewhere. Strikers, by their very nature, have to be in and around the box, and they have very few chances if they are isolated. So whoever else is operating close to Alexis, either they, or he has to create the space for the other … as well as movement from the other players, naturally.
    Hand on heart, have we got in our squad a player who commands the respect of defenders to what a Lacazette, Mahrez, ‘Hamez’, or JD might be able to do?(insert ‘have been’ were appropriate).

    Of course the club will survive in one shape or form without outside support. And who knows, might be stronger for it next season as the youngsters get fully in this season. But none of that is a given. What is more likely is we will struggle to get a settled side while our main rivals pick up points. I wanted Arsene to go out in a blaze of glory this season, and he still can if the pieces fall right for him. This is not negativity, this is a hope and belief that he will get the breaks he deserves.

    I am keeping the faith in BOTH Arsenal and Arsene Wenger, as I believe most on this site would like to happen.

    End of …. ( fill in your own choice of word),
    Cheers,
    Gerry

  144. njk84sg says:

    I feel that in the last game we make less mistakes, hence the tighter defense and midfield.

    Alexis can do it as number 9, if we put Ozil and Jacko in the same starting lineup, instead of putting then as subs. We need quick thinking players that puts balls into the box, where both Theo and Alexis can exploit the space between defenders.

    What Alexis is doing the last 2 games was that there is no one to give him good balls. Xhaka is getting there in terms of ball passing, where he was atrocious in the first game, and better composed in the last game.

    With Jacko alongside him we can have him play more deeper, while Jacko play the b2b role.

    The thing about this is that we cannot play the same team over 38 league games, and over the champions league. We are short in depth, and that is what makes us shout for one more attacker.

    I understand that Alexis is trying very hard to make the striker role his, but his lack of height mean that we struggle against teams playing a game with players who just walked out of a rugby match.

    I am eager to see who starts up front against Watford. That way we have a better idea of what Wenger is thinking.

    We are almost there.

    JK

  145. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post ๐Ÿ™‚

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s