Theo near perfect, Alexis beats the drum, Ozil goes Bergkampesque on birthday: player ratings/ review

A great win that enabled us to level with MC and surpass the Spuddies in just two games. The Swans gave us a tough second half, much helped by the harsh sending off of Xhaka, but the boys showed great resilience to hold on.

The defence did not look good with both Mustafi and Monreal our weakest points and guilty for many a chance we gave away. The KosMus partnership is not as solid as first thought but of course this can be fixed. Nacho was skinned time and again but was also not much helped by his DM partners. Stevie has some work to do with our back four.

But in attack Arsenal were breathtaking. The Swans defence was taking apart time and again by four dimensional football in which creators and finishers metamorphosed continuously and space to score goals was found with great ease. Three goals to the good guys is what gave us the points yesterday and long may our clockwork red and white scoring machine continue.

Player Ratings:

Cech: 8. Presence in goal. Our President between the sticks turns opponents’ legs to jelly and heads in a spin.

Nacho: 5. A game to forget. Pulled all over the place and left team very vulnerable.

Koz: 9. The King was on fire once again. He spared the blushes of his nearest defensive colleagues time and again.

Mustafi: 6. Needed to defend tighter toΒ Koz especially after Nacho got skinned from our left a few times.

Bellerin: 8. Another solid game and an asset both in defence and attack.

Cazorla: 6. His defensive limitations showed once more but still supports our attack well.

Xhaka: 5. Perhaps tired from the international games but not a good performance. Gave ball away for first goal by Swans and attempt to get a card for the team backfired, however harshly it was. There is so much class in Granit that I can assure you he will bounce back.

Das Ozil, birthday boy: 9. Sublime, Bergkampesque goal. Lovely movement and maximisation of space and time with the ball caressing his feet like a devoted puppy.

Iwobi: 7.5. Team player with bags of class and overview, but Nacho was left a bit too unprotected at times.

Alexis: 9. Team player who beats the drum in attack for us. Lovely assist for Ozil’s sky rocket in the roof of the net. Just for all the dirty work alone you got to love him.

Theo: 9.9. In the right place at the right time time and again. Scored first two, crucial goals and was close to scoring three more. ‘Only’ two went in but to focus on that is not having a clue what attacking football is about. This system suits him so well.

By TotalArsenal.

 

 

This entry was posted in Arsenal Analysis, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

55 Responses to Theo near perfect, Alexis beats the drum, Ozil goes Bergkampesque on birthday: player ratings/ review

  1. shrillex says:

    I would give AW a 5/10 for not sending someone to help Monreal out with barrow. He should have done it after Barrow skinned Monreal 3 times, not after he got subbed off.

  2. njk84sg says:

    Shrillex, I do not think Gibbs will help Nacho much, given that Barrow had a outstanding pace and left foot.

    Iwobi’s unwillingness to track back most of the time has cost us dearly at times, and Wenger should have pulled him over and talked to him about that.

    To PE and Gerry on the striker choice and the subs, it seems that Wenger is used to throwing players on no earlier than 67 mins for the first sub and 70 mins for the second and third subs. At times that is making the players work beyond their level, and that’s when the opponents try to work their way and score.

    On Perez, it seems like a Matt Debuchy saga, as we do not know what is going on. Alexis had only came back on Thursday or Friday, so he had little time to recover. I know that we should field the best team that gel, but in this circumstance is bringing back Alexis too soon?

  3. Pony Eye says:

    I believe Monreal’s apparent poor showing so far is down to poor support from Iwobi. Am suprised that Iwobi is yet to be taught basic defending ie closing down, tackling and patrolling the passing lanes. Of course foremost for an offensive player is the will to track back with purpose.

    If Iwobi can acquire the easier ones ie tracking back with purpose and greater commitment in closing down opponents to cut off their goalward movements and passing angles, he would have become a real defensive asset. The trickier skills of tackling, of identifying and patrolling the passing lanes would come with time. Cant forget he is still young in the trade.

    How did we conceed the 2nd goal. When Barrow broke down our left side Iwobi tracked lazily and stopped before he got to the box. Santi seeing that Nacho alone was in a bit of a trouble, left the passing lane that he was covering to go and help, albeit without sufficient commitment. Before he could quite get there Barrow had gotten the better of Nacho and cut the ball back through that exact corridor that Santi was covering.

    Musti is now being blamed by many, but he was actually covering the 6yds box not knowing what player could in a flash pop up behind him to tap in a goal line cross.

    If on the other hand Iwobi had quickly move to reoccupy the passing lane vacated by Santi, Barrow’s cut back would have been intercepted or the alternative of a goal line cross taken care of by Kos or Musti.

    My ‘complaint’ is both as a defence of Nacho, and as a demand that our defensive coaches work harder to make the brlliance of Iwobi a lot more rounded.

    Its 3pts in the bag so I can’t really be complaining. Just asking that we work on that our left side that has become our weak link.

  4. Gerry says:

    I like the positives TA. I do not necessarily agree with your points awarded, but I appreciate why they are given.

    However, I must just come to this thing that you, Waldo, and now JK have about Debuchy. There is no mystery there as far as I can see. He simply is not part of Arsenal’s future. The player himself made that clear, both on his loan and during the transfer window. Therefore Wenger has no reason to play when he has options within, who may or may not be the ones longer term. Particularly in the case of M-Niles, as he may be another inverted winger in the same mold as Bellerin? How you could support Debuchy (from the previous post comment) playing ahead M-N or Holding on form, given he has not played since pre-season, and that form was patchy at best, and he does not even make the bench these days? Post injury, he may not be the same player he once was?
    To all of you, get over him!

    As to the point on striker choice, JK. all I can say is I agreed with AW. You either play him from the start or not at all. If Perez does not fit that front unit in practice, then again, I agree with AW.

    Back to this post. Although it links with the above slightly. I can understand the 9 points for Alexis on effort, but for the most part his passing play was way off, the ‘dink assist’ excepted πŸ˜€
    I also think you are a little harsh on Iwobi. For much of the first half he was getting back and making an extra body alongside Monreal. However, he is not a tackler. The far more experienced Elneny would have fared in exactly the same way? Again I agree with Shrillex on the sub timing, and at the same time, with JK about what AW is used to doing with his subs and timing. I do think however, Gibbs would have had the pace to match Barrow.
    The criticism is not only is AW being reactive, he is slow at being reactive?

    Walcott, on the other hand, I think you have it exactly right TA. It is our system of play that enables Theo to blossom. Not to deny that his application has been a big factor too. Compared to his two England performances, where he also tried very hard, but he rarely received the ball when the defences were stretched, or have any particular understanding with his right back? Back in our team, where our ability to interchange across the front 4, gets defences pulled this way and that, allows him to use his pace to use the space created. He was also entitled to feel the effects late on, no blame from me on the misses, but he deserved a hat trick?

    I tend to agree with the Xhaka/Cazorla partnership though, and was surprised how often the former was the advanced midfielder. Hindsight is fine in thinking that Coquelin was the better pairing, but we agreed on that beforehand πŸ˜€
    The only other player whose rating you gave was on the low side was Mustafi. I thought he had a great 80 minutes. To criticise him for things on the opposite wing, when surely he is there to back up behind Bellerin’s maraudings? Early on I thought Xhaka was the midfielder designated to cover Monreal’s inside? But when he started going forward it left Cazorla with far too much to do, and took away all the good things he could do nearer their box.

    I keep coming back to how not only how players within a unit play together, and how change can impact elsewhere. This midfield pairing was one where it did not work so well?.

    Finally a little mention for Ox’s 10 minute spell. A double assist would have looked good on his current cv, and shows he can still offer the team something, not least a near perfect back up for a Theo’s rest and recuperation, which he may need very shortly?

    Cheers,
    Gerry

  5. Neeraj says:

    It was a nervous watch for me.
    I was happy to see Theo take us 2-0 up as I sat comfortably texting my Man City and Spurs supporter friends to announce our arrival at the top of the table but just then Xhakaboom, sadly at the wrong end this time. Xhaka should be more responsible with the ball at least around the box. Even before that we were misplacing too many balls in the Swansea half. I find the main culprit to be Alex Iwobi. He attempted too many things that didn’t come off in the first half and always gave an opportunity on the counter to the Swans. Iwobi has to be more careful with the ball, that’s one Ozil trait we don’t want him to inherit.

    For the first Swansea goal, I don’t know if it’s only me but I think Cech could have saved it. He left the ball, he withdrew his hand. Cech was also poor I feel except for the last 20 minutes maybe. He should be more cautious with his clearances (2 of them put our defence in trouble) also for the second goal Mustafi missed but maybe Cech at his best could’ve kept it out. Or at least parried it and the goal wouldn’t have seemed so much like a slap in the face.

    Now for the positives:-
    Both goals from Theo(could’ve easily scored 2 more) .
    That run from Iwobi.
    Two headed clearances from Kos and Mustafi where they just flicked the ball past the man approaching behind them.
    Ozil’s volley.
    Coquelin’s return(specially with Xhaka out).

    We should’ve won the match 5-0 but I’ll take the 3-2 as we still get 3 points.
    The thing is we could’ve been first had we avoided the errors.

  6. 17highburyterrace says:

    Another good one, TA, and also good that you don’t pull your punches about some of the negatives… Easier, most likely, because we got the full points…

    That’s the difference thus far this season… Except in those first couple of matches we’ve been on the more fortunate end of things points-wise… The difference is massive and, IMO, the only thing keeping us from being in full-blown Wenger must go, this is (an unbearable) crisis, etc., etc., etc. If this one (or Burnley or So’ton…) had ended in a draw the spotlight would burn a LOT hotter…

    Fine margins and all that…but those were a LOT of open headers Swansea hit weakly or straight at Petr Cech.

    Is the team “finding a way to win” or just getting fortunate? It’s hard to say and we need more data points. Xhaka out for 3 matches will be good for getting deeper into the MF rotation (Elneny, in particular should benefit and maybe Ramsey gets back to action). Three home matches should help as well as the tightness of the rotation (in all positions) seems a bit much. Will Ox or Perez get an outing vs Ludogorets in midweek? The defenders could also use some rest, but probably not until the league cup match.

    Otherwise, about your individual critiques I haven’t a lot to say, except that I’d give Santi a little extra. People are right to note the good work Alexis and Theo and Ozil did–not just near the net–but I still believe folks take for granted the little things Santi does to help keep possession and move the ball forward or wide very quickly and bridge defending with attacking. Alexis (I thought) had a very good day on the ball but Ozil (and Iwobi) had more giveaways. Just as we won’t miss Xhaka’s defensive contributions because of Le Coq, we also won’t miss his range of passes and “anchor” effect because of Santi.

    In my opinion, of course…and we can (happily) quibble as long as the results keep coming. Go on then… πŸ™‚

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    Come on Shrill, I expect better of you than a throw away comment…

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    PE, I have to disagree. Mustafi’s positioning and lack of interception for the Swans’ second were awful. Watch the highlights, or indeed the whole game again, and just focus on Mustafi’s reading of the game and inability to deal with danger. He had a stinker of a game, especially in the last hour when we needed him most. BFG and Holding still have a future..

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry, Alexis was immense, so my nine will not be altered. πŸ™‚

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Neeraj, sorry but 5-0 would not reflect the good qualities of the opposition. We could have drawn or lost that game… And that is the PL for you: competitive as hell!

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    17HT, maybe Arsenal should lose a game to bring us back to earth and give the moaners, and their enemies, something to chew on. πŸ˜‡

    I was shocked by the poor defending too, and yes we could have given those three points easily away.

    Like your support for Santi but I think I was generous already. 😜

  12. Neeraj says:

    I’m not saying that Swansea didn’t play well, they did but that was only when we let them into the game. So not a 5-0 but to keep it at 2-0 or 3-0 was possible. Cech wasn’t good enough for me. Also I still don’t think Nacho is doing that badly. He is actually getting ahead a little more than he did towards the end of the previous season. Plus there’s a huge difference between Sanchez’s and Iwobi’s tracking back abilities.

    Also Wenger can use some players like Ox, Perez, Gabriel, Gibbs, Elneny, Debuchy(maybe) and Holding(can wait till the Cup game) for the midweek UCL match.

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Cech could not have done more to save us from defeat. The idea that he should have done better for both goals doesn’t wash with me.

  14. Jnyc says:

    A couple points .. if Xhakas trip had happened to one of our players, i would expect yellow 8 or 9 out of 10 times. And i would be laughing and feeling lucky if it got a red.

    It’s really fun to watch with our dm advanced and our cb Mustafi in the opponents box regularly in open play, ……,, so we can’t enjoy that, then complain when these things happen. Coquelin gets even more advanced than Xhaka, but his reaction, quickness, and recovery speed are far better than Granits.
    ….. Xhaka ( I’ve watched him plenty ) is more of a back 4 shield who moves from side to side, and a world class distributor. Because of his lack of speed, he should be more careful about venturing forward, especially keeping in mind that bellerin and mustafi are far forward playing like midfielders.

    I think in big games we may be in for a rude awakening if we are not more careful and mature in our style of play. I have been warning about this, but i admit I do enjoy the show.

    On the point of fatigue, I really expected it to be Lucas starting, with Alexis ready to come on early if we got in trouble. Maybe Arsene is so painfully aware of our failures against Swansea, that fear made him go with all first choices basically.

    I also notice Iwobi looks tired early on, but some of that may be his mannerisms. Though he’s clearly not good for 90 yet, and really must be coached more on his defense. At 3-1 i would have wanted to see gibbs on, and a couple rested earlier, but i guess Arsene playing it safe worked out in the end.

    Gerrys observations about fatigue and its consequences yesterday were excellent. I just wanted to add, that it really does contribute to injuries, not only muscular starins, etc, but in the same way, more serious injuries of ALL types. The reason being that fatigued players can be flat footed more often, or dont pull away as quickly as when they’re fresh.

    So, I’m still in the camp that prefers more rotation than we’re getting for these reasons, and because it makes for a happier, more engaged squad, but i can’t complain too much, because we’re winning and playing well in general.

  15. shrillex says:

    Sorry TA but I had to let out my feelings. Monreal was really struggling and you could see he needed help. AW could at the very least called Iwobi over to track Barrow and provide a 2v1 against Barrow. Or Monreal should told Iwobi himself. No disrespect to Swansea but a better side would have capitalized. It was a chance to top the PL table and as title contenders it is these small details that make a huge difference in the long run. Ox coming on was probably the smartest choice to give the Defence time to breath. Btw, anyone noticed Ozil giving words of encouragement before being subbed off? Finally showing some leadership I want to see from our players

  16. retsub1 says:

    Good positive write up T A. Swansea was always a likely banana skin and it was good to get it behind us. Always difficult to tell listening on the radio and watching 15 minutes of highlights, but in true Arsenal fashion we appeared to do the hard bits and then fail at the easy bits. I guess it wouldn’t be Arsenal if we gave our fans an easy time.

    I have to agree with Shrillex though. In the away game last season Barrow tormented Chambers who was afforded no protection. Up to that point Chambers had looked a decent player, but after that game he became a bag of nerves and in my opinion (for what it’s worth) he was never the same player again.

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Shril. Nacho needed help but I feel this was up to the players more than Wenger, as he is not being paid to keep stating the bloody obvious. You are right to point out that the Ox substitution was positive and with a bit more luck the Ox would have scored the fourth goal.

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Retsub, I guess that is the PL for you. We need to fight for 95 minutes to win a game. In true Arsenal fashion we are doing this now. πŸ˜€βš½οΈ

  19. TotalArsenal says:

    Johnnie, I reckon rotation will come but first Arsene wants to establish the basics which is playing style, formation, strongest eleven and strongest bench. Once the train is rolling we will see more rotation.

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    So what do we want for the Pool v Manure game? Home win, draw or Away win…

  21. retsub1 says:

    Multiple sending offs, multiple injuries (not life threatening ) a Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher punch up. And a draw would be good

  22. retsub1 says:

    Just watching the build up. Mourinho miserable as hell and Klopp looking like he has won the lottery. If they pass their frame of mind to their players it’s Liverpool 6 nil

  23. Ab says:

    Evening TA and fellow BKers. A few thoughts:

    I think the general mood of bloggers is somewhat on the harsh side regarding our performance. It wasn’t our best by any means. But given key players were back from internationals and long journeys, and we were missing a central part of our best set up (Coq) I’m not sure its less than to be expected? Swansea were also predictably up for it – its precisely the sort of game clubs win, when all the team are out to impress the new manager; and they are not a poor team either. Throw in a soft red card and we have every reason to feel proud of a hard fought performance for 3 points.

    Our defence looks a lot shakier without a proper DM than it does with one. Simple and pretty obvious statement really. I would agree that Mustafi didn’t have a great game – but a 24 yr old adapting to the PL is entitled to learn a bit no? And the lack of Coq breaking things up in front made things more nervy. Xhaka’s red card gets most of the attention unsurprisingly, but his shoft give away to let in the first goal was less forgivable in my book. I’m not sure that the Xhaka/Santi combination is really right – but Xhaka/Rambo might prove more effective. We will see, but my hunch is this is the one Wenger is waiting on.

    Who to win tonight? The maths always favours a draw between two sides that we might be in competition with. Heart trumps head for me tonight though and I want a compelling Pool win, with Maureen shown to be his usual graceless sour loser. My assumption is that pace and movement will prevail, and it will be interesting (for us) to see how Maureen sets up and plays to deal with it – as no doubt he will do similar against us.

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    Sounds right Retsub, an eventful draw is what we want, but also agreed with AB that an emphatic Pool win will also be sweet.

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi AB, agreed we are being a bit harsh on our boys.

    Also agreed re Xhaka-Rambo combo being the one to look forward to

  26. retsub1 says:

    That was so exciting I fell asleep.zzzzzzzzzzz

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    We will take a 0-0. MU look like Chelsea under Mourinho and did not get away with their defensive tactics. Pool looked pretty poor when it came to breaking down the bus.

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    The sooner Mourinho goes the better for the premier league.

  29. jw1 says:

    After all is said and done following today’s LIV v MU draw?
    This only analysis that bears meaning?
    Is that Arsenal picked up 2 pts on every other Top 7 team other than Chelsea this week.

    jw1

  30. Gerry says:

    I must admit when I do my analysis of a game it is usually a one take view of a game I have just watched. I do not go back and have a re-run. So I go by my first impressions, which does mean you can get sucked in to how the game is going. For example; in the first half we were attacking well. Therefore the focus would be on who was contributing to that? In the second half our attacks were more sporadic as Swansea came out more determined, and as the game wore on, defending was the prioirity, so the focus switched to those who were defending
    This might explain some differences of opinion?
    I am assuming that most Arsenal supporters do something similar, neutrals will switch between whoever is playing well, and a third category from all three camps, home, away, and neutral, are those that focus on individual players, both positive and negative?

    I only go back to singular moments in a game if people have a divided view. But I do not go back and review whole games, mainly because it changes nothing. In this instance, the sending off was the most contentious moment, but I saw enough not to bother with a re-view, as there was a case for both points of view. Even ex referees differed on the correctness of the decision πŸ˜€
    To be fair to Moss, the game referee, he did take information through his ear piece before making his decision.
    It is only my opinion here, but I am guessing that the question being answered was ‘Did he trip him, or did he kick him?’ … The latter was the case on the replay. Secondly, it was not a straight leg trip movement, but a swinging leg. Hence my opinion, when a swinging leg making contact with an ankle bone, it could be both reckless and likely to cause an injury. Which it did, although that was not apparent at the time and should not affect the judgement. But it would, as I pointed out, if it went to appeal?
    For Arsene to say it was a ‘dark yellow’ says a lot too? He normally says he has not seen the incident if it means he has to criticise one of his players?

    I seem to be alone in the view that Alexis was off his game a little, although I did agree he did put in a sterling effort, and his assist was a redeeming factor. However, in that first half, I thought our attacks broke down a lot from Alexis’s play. This was not meant as a singular criticism, as we can allow a lot for the fatigue factor? It happened a lot elsewhere too, I accept.

    I have also noted the differences on this blog, like AB’s view on Mustafi, reflected elsewhere. He is supported on here by TA and others. I have seen on several sites that their ratings went from 5 ‘poor’, to 7 ‘good’? Anybody who watched the highlights, that no doubt showed Swansea’s near misses by the ‘in form’ Leroy Fer, would get a negative view. Mind, one of those missed headers was a chance created by Kos not knowing he was coming in behind him?
    Yet we all watched the same game …
    All that said, it should be noted that in every case, the players were involved during the Intnl break.

    What differences will we see tomorrow night? Well not much fatigue, as they will have rested well over Sunday? This extra day makes all the difference than playing tonight. Changes? Possibly …

    Over to you TA.

    Cheers,
    Gerry

  31. Gerry says:

    I’ll just throw this in before the preview post.

    No real clues from the training photo’s … errr, except yet another reminder to me in particular, that Jenkinson was around – yet another apology from me from omitting him from my list of contenders for the RB sub role? – He at least has got a game under his belt with the Under 23’s last week. Nil nil too.. All others prominent, including Xhaka? Perez not so much…
    AW is still hinting that both Ramsey and Giroud will not play, as they ‘need to pick up sharpness’ … which suggests to me they will be included in the Under 23’s next time v Man U?

    Other things to watch on the ‘Player: The Iwobi interview … feet on the ground, and all that; Zelalem looking and sounding more mature these days, despite that West Coast, laid back accent?

    Talking of which, Under19’s that is, I do believe BT Sport are covering the under 19’s game against Ludogorets earlier tomorrow. They won first, and then fist team followed suit last time, Same again? I am not sure winning by 3 goals, which is what the fans are voting, is likely, because they are no mugs?

    The Fantasy positions are unchanged, but both Clyde’s and Bod’s lot scored well above average, with the Bod’s picking up a healthy 64 points on a weekend, where the average was a modest 39. Well done that man
    My Underrated team just got the best of the rest. Positions, as I said, remain unchanged.

    Be quick or you will miss this, as it usually heralds the New Post call ..
    Cheers
    Gerry

  32. Gerry says:

    Yes, I have checked it out. BT’s coverage of the Under 19’s starts at 1.0 pm, BST for the Arsenal lads.It runs until 3.0pm when they move on to the Man City kids doing the same in the this Uefa Youth Trophy.
    Cheers

  33. retsub1 says:

    Amazing Manchester United had 35% possession last night. that is their lowest ever possession stat in Premiership history and yet the MooMoo man claims Liverpool were boring. When you think how much that squad cost and they couldn’t get a kick!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning BKers. No time for a preview today. But expect same line up with Ospina for Cech and maybe Gibbs for Nacho.

  35. Gerry says:

    Thanks TA, I was beginning to suspect as much. Personally, I would be happy if they were the only changes. I read a headline that Ludogorets had a plan, and ‘knew our weaknesses’. That to me says they will try to isolate Monreal?

    However, Gibbs may have more pace to get back, but not likely to be any more successful in a 2 on 1 situation?
    Not that I want to see Iwobi dropped, he is too valuable up front, but I could see the case for Coquelin coming in for Santi?
    There have been so many half baked suggestions put out elsewhere, and AW’s comments do not help. However a few recognise that keeping the balance is every bit as important as the need to rotate.
    In my preview of the run to the New Year I thought this month was the time to rotate, starting with the Swansea game. However, that was blown off course with the continued lay off caused by Giroud’s injury. So having got over the Swansea hurdle, we now find that keeping the bulk of that team/squad together is important if we hope to top this group. Therefore, I think the Boro’ game will be sacrificed to take the brunt of rotation. Possibly, those that make an impact from the bench will make the staring line at the weekend?

    I think Ludo’ will try and exploit our ‘high press’ game with clever switches of play on the counter, similar to what Leicester did last season? So that means both wings will be tested if get our wing-backs caught up field, so I would not mind the Grances partnership, but with defence as the priority.

    Regards to subs, I think Ox for Iwobi would be a smart move, and if we have a healthy lead(3 goals) then Jeff R-A for Alexis and Ged Z for Ozil, with the weekend in mind? Otherwise it will be Gibbs/Monrean to shore up a narrow lead, and.even Jenks for Walcott to really put a stop on wide attacks late on, again with the weekend in mind?
    In their current mood I expect the former to happen though. PSG put 6 past them, so we should go close to that as a target … but keep it tight at the back!
    Cheers
    Gerry

  36. retsub1 says:

    Afternoon. Recent history suggests an unchanged sides with the exception of Ospina for Cech. As you say Gibbs deserves a break and Nacho a rest. I know you are not a fan but I would like to see the Ox get a start and I think most people want to get a look at Perez.

    Although neither would be keen, I would rest Theo and Aexis t o give the Ox and Perez a start. I also think that Owobi has looked a little tired of late and this might be a good opportunity to blood Leone of he youngsters.

  37. Pony Eye says:

    Swans, Lodogorets, Middlesbrough. 3 matches in 7 days. Those on the wrong side of 30 and on the ‘right’ side of 21 to be rested for the middle match so all guns blazing again for the epl weekend.

    Coq for Santi, Gibbs for Nacho, Ox for Iwobi.

    Line up:

    ————Ospina————-
    Bel—Musti—Kos——-Gibbs
    —–Xhaka——Coq—————
    Theo———Ozil———-Ox
    —————-Alexis—————-

    Bench: Cech, Gab, Eln, Nacho, Santi, Iwobi, Perez.

  38. Gerry says:

    PE, I would like that line up more if you put Ox in the middle? That way he can do those poser runs from deep. On the left he would take the space that Alexis wants, and vice versa.

    I would rather keep that front four together, at least for an hour. So Iwobi plays, and leave Coquelin to cover the left support.

    I am hoping that AW is thinking the same…..
    Cheers

  39. Pony Eye says:

    Gerry, like you, am a believer in that front four. Just worrying about too much games for tender Iwobi considering the Middlesbrough match is just a little over two and halt days away.

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers guys, it is a must win game as a victory will give us a great basis for qualifying for the next round. So all big guns are required imo and I cannot see Wenger risking upsetting the balance of the team tonight.

    It looks like Coq will play and maybe Xhaka will play next to him, giving Santi a rest. Do my predicted line up is:
    Cech
    Bel Mus Koz Gibbs
    Coq – Xhaka
    Theo – Mesutski – iwobI
    Alexis

  41. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Gibbs; Cazorla, Coquelin; Walcott, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Sanchez. Subs: Cech, Gabriel, Monreal, Xhaka, Elneny, Iwobi, Lucas

  42. Pony Eye says:

    I made 10 correct. Missed Santi for Xhaka. I thought Xhaka would actually be the 2nd name on ten list after Ospina.

    Maybe Wenger wants the red card to sink in deeply.

  43. Gerry says:

    Yep, I have just seen the line up and … I worry.

    My fear is if they try and use Ox as a straight swap for Iwobi. He is different in too many ways.
    Better if he replaced Walcott, but that wouldn’t happen.

    If Ludogorets are drilled like their Youth team, they will be difficult to break down. I cannot see us doing the high pressing thing with them being quick on the counter?
    Score: 2-1
    Cheers

  44. Gerry says:

    I can see the difference Ox is having …it is pushing Alexis into a more central position, rather than his free roaming.
    Gibbs doing very well.
    We will see if they can add another one to make it comfortable?

  45. njk84sg says:

    Um guys, a huge win and nothing here after Gerry’s comments?

  46. njk84sg says:

    Against an easy team like Ludogrets (from the highlights perspective) we have made some really good goals and a double assist will make Perez better in front of Wenger.

    We have done well from all fronts, so it is good that we can score freely, as they gave us all the space in the world to do our thing.

    Cheers,
    JK

  47. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    6-0 my friends.. and no celebration.. hahaha..

    Ozil will remembered this game for his whole life.. Hat trick.. Bravo..
    Had any AM did that..?? hehehehe..

    Perez was fast.. or maybe their defenders lost half their energy already.. hehehe.. He subs Walcott perfectly..

    Keep fighting.. keep winning.. Go Gunners..

  48. njk84sg says:

    Ko Henry,

    Perez is a good replacement for 3 positions based on his performance yesterday.

    One is up top, the other is out wide left, the other is out wide right.

    He looks more like Ollie rather than Alexis to me, as his left foot does wonders.

    Good game, and I suspected that Ludogrets are not able to keep up with our pace.

    Kudos to them in the first half though.

    Shall I talk about how bad Citeh was? Especially their right back.

    Cheers,
    JK

  49. Gerry says:

    I am not sure if TA has time to do a review midweek, but at the same time I do not want to over comment right now.
    I can at least say my fears about the line up and the way that Ludogorets might play we dispelled in the opening few minutes.
    1, They came out attacking, and as I have repeated often enough, open play suits our game.
    2, The Ox inclusion was interesting. The fact that Alexis moved to a more central area did not harm his game any, and Ox used his burst of pace time and again to move us forward at speed. Alas, the end product was not always there. His goal in the second half was a major step forward for him, and he really put a shift in.
    The other three changes however, really made a case for a more permanent inclusion in the not too distant future?
    1, Ospina, he with the ‘reflexes of a chameleon’s tongue’ πŸ˜€ is a first choice ‘keeper in waiting.
    No question. Superb performance. Made contact with the ball at vital moments that certainly kept the clean sheet in tact. Fantastic.
    2, Gibbs? What can I say, it was a performance that I have waited years to see. Fit and strong to the end. He used his pace to close down danger in a way we have not seen this season. Yes, he had help from Ox and others, but the ‘weakness’ that Ludo’ thought they could exploit was no longer there. He not only played for the first choice role, he earned it?
    3, Coquelin? Not quite in the same bracket as the other two, as before his injury he was playing regularly. Did anybody see that stat from the Swansea game? In the twenty minutes he was on the pitch he made 4 tackles which was more than any other Arsenal player did in the whole game!?!
    This performance however was the full 92 minutes, and was simply a 4 times extension of that. If this does not make future Mf choice, ‘Coquelin and any one from 3 others’ from here on I will be surprised? He will be on many a transfer shortlist, so they may as well keep that contract extension pen out, and soon!

    Those are my stand out impressions. I want to see more of Perez, as I do not see him displacing anyone, except from the bench. Alongside Giroud with a slightly different set up, perhaps? A bit more rotation in the ‘Boro game and we will see who else extends this squad, and he may prove to be one of them?
    Chees,
    Gerry

  50. henrychan says:

    Hi JK..
    Yes Perez have a good legs.. both of them.. and speed also.. I hope he get more time to play, so he can blend to the team even more.. I loved his assists.. Ozil can be our top scorer now.. hehehe..

    Pep never win his old club Barca..
    I didn’t watch the game.. even though Live here for free on tv.. hehehe..
    I hate both.. especially Barca.. hahaha..
    Lucky them to have Messi.. 3 goals and 1 assist.. hehehe..
    Pep must be crazy not to give a right instructions for his defenders..
    Or maybe, their defenders just ain’t good enough.. hehehe.. They don’t have Koscielny and Mustafi plus Coquelin..

    I wish Arsenal will face Barca when all our team is fit, especially our defenders.. and hope that will be on FINAL.. hehehehe..

  51. Pony Eye says:

    Le Coq is very important to the team in the sense that he’s got what no one else has in our central midfield. He’s got fire in his belly. Tackles, ball recoveries, interception, intense pressing, energy, commitment….he’s got them all as well as anybody else.

    Gerry, how right you are that it is Le Coq and any other for our double pivot positions.

    We need to stop looking at players through the prism of how much they were signed for. Messi cost nothing. Le Coq cost nothing also.

    Last night was a 6-0 triumph. But Ludogorets were quite impressive going forward achieving 56% possession. Le Coq was magnificent against their dominance of the ball.

    It is high time we all recognise that Le Coq is world class. Wenger already knows that.

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers guys, I may write something tonight, it in the meantime this is a very good match report for you to read

    https://arsenalarsenal.net/2016/10/20/arsenal-6-ludogrets-0-a-few-thoughts-on-the-game/#comment-532242

  53. Gerry says:

    Thanks TA, it is a good read. I’will wait and see if you can manage a report before adding more.

    My limited list was only down to how the changelings fitted in, given they are not regulars to a system working well …
    plus Coquelin of course.
    Fully agreed PE. I thought there was a maturity about his performance last night. A bit like a fine wine that has finally seen the light of day, and now ready for us all to savour what it/he brings to the table.

    WOA! Yes, that trio were pretty good too πŸ˜€

    Cheers,
    Gerry

  54. Pony Eye says:

    TA, check your email for a short post.

    Cheers.

  55. TotalArsenal says:

    New post new post πŸ˜€βš½οΈ

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