THE WINNERS AND THE LOSERS IN THE NEW 3:4:3 FORMATION

Since the introduction of the 3:4:3 formation, Arsenal have played six matches, winning five and losing one.  The only loss was away to in-form Tottenham, playing on their small pitch which suits their high intensity style. We will wait to see how they fare on the big Wembley pitch next season,.  Meh I guess.  Arsenal’s last two performances have been their best so far in this formation, indicating that they are growing into it.  I lament that it has come rather late in the season, but still, it is a source of cheer, and–you can bet–a source of hope also as the FA Cup final approaches.  The 4th place trophy is now tantalizingly close.  The formation clearly has enhanced the performance of some players while diminishing the importance of a few.  For the team as a whole, it has been a resurrection; the team has come back from the dead.

THE WINNERS.

AARON RAMSEY: Top of the list of those the formation has benefited is Ramsey.  Ramsey has always been a versatile and hard working player.  As a member of the double pivot in the 4:2:3:1 formation, however, he exasperated no end with his seemingly total disregard for the defensive shape of the team as he foraged upfield with every attacking move, invariably leaving the team exposed defensively.  A 3-man defense guarantees greater security thereby affording Ramsey a lot more latitude to join the attack.  This freedom maximizes his peculiar gift of a monstrous engine which permits him to operate in one breath as a central midfielder and an auxiliary attacker without undermining the overall shape of the team.  Thanks to the 3:4:3, the talents and tendencies that made him a liability now make him an asset.  A Frank Lampard, one of the loveliest ever, has come into our midst.

GRANIT XHAKA:  Maybe because of his square and powerful looking jaw lines, many can’t get it out of their head that Xhaka is not a beast of a defensive midfielder, crunching tackles and all.  Xhaka is a deep lying playmaker with good spatial defensive awareness–full stop!  If we envision a 3-man defense as a 2-man defense in which a defensive midfielder has dropped deeper to fall in line with the back line we immediately recognize that the need for a classical defensive midfielder is diminished. This takes some load off Xhaka’s shoulders so he can concentrate more on what he does best.  The Xhaka for whom Wenger paid so much money emerges in the 3:4:3 and, partnered with Ramsey, the central midfield crises that had vexed us since Santi’s injury are resolved.

OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN:  He seems to have shaded Bellerin and moved inward from the periphery of the team.  Ball on his feet, he is threatening to be world class or is he already?  He needs to include runs without the ball in his game.  Also, with a 3-man defense, it’s easy to imagine him playing in the central midfield with Xhaka or Ramsey and holding his own.

NACHO MONREAL: Possibly the most experienced player in our squad, it is this quality that allows him to fit smugly into different positions: full back, wingback, central defense and–you bet me–central midfielder as well.  At left back in the 4:2:3:1 one thing worried, his pace against speedsters like Adama Traore and Antonio Valencia.  With a 3-man defense there is better security for a trailing Nacho in the wing back position. As insurance for him, now that he is on the wrong side of thirty and being a such a versatile player, the 3:4:3 has flung wide open another space as a central defender.  We wish him many more years in the Arsenal fold.

PETER CECH. The back 3 gives Cech better protection but not only because it allows fewer attempts at goal. The presence of an extra central defender has mathematically reduced the time the opponents have to steady themselve to shoot at goal by an average of about 17%. In other words, shots at goal on average are more hurried, bettering the chances of the keeper saving those that are on target. Also, the extra man has afforded Cech an additional option for playing the ball out from the back and his pass success rate has gone up dramatically.  We have a new Cech since the 3:4:3 came to town.

KIERAN GIBBS:- The 3:4:3 has favored him in the sense that with Nacho deployed as a central defender, the left wingback is automatically his.  (Aould that continue when all our central defenders are fit?)  I love his runs without the ball but he has to improve his game in the final 3rd of the field.  On the other hand, Wenger might persist with Nacho in central defense because he is the only left footed defender in the squad.  So, hurrah Kieran!  Just don’t cut in, cross the ball; you hobble on one leg, you must always remember.

ROB HOLDING:- The demand for an extra man in the central defense has opened the door for Holding to showcase his talent. And has he taken it.   After his back pass error in the United match, he remained composed, corrected himself, and, without any sign of panic, has continued ever since to deliver solid back passes to the keeper.  With ice cold nerves, he appears a boy who learns fast.  Compared to Gabriel, who, after giving away the penalty against Spurs, looked too scared to make even the simplest tackles, Holding is loaded with well sourced confidence.

THE LOSERS

THEO WALCOTT:  Walcott’s main strength is staying wide and running off the shoulders of the defenders.  In the 3:4:3 the wide areas are for the wingbacks.  That robs Walcott of about the only strength in his game.  I Am convinced Wenger keeps him on the bench in case a need for the 4:2:3:1 arises if we must chase the game.

OLIVER GIROUD.:  The 3:4:3 is tilted towards a counter attacking style.  Conte’s Chelsea have perfected it, using the pacy trio of Hazard, Pedro and Costa.  Even though Wenger has experimented with Giroud leading the line in four of the six games, everything points to the fact that he is not a good fit for the formation.  He is too slow and prefers to play with his back to the goal. However against teams that sit back, encouraging a high defensive line from us, Giroud might have a role in the crowded opposition defensive area.  Bang! A goal by Olivier against So’ton.  See what I mean?

BELLERIN:  He is only affected because the Ox just about shades him in the right wingback role.  But, for what is left of the season, fate seems to have smiled at him.  I’ve got no doubt he would keep the smiles Ox has given us on our faces.

FRANCIS COQUELIN:   A 3-man defense diminishes the need for a defensive midfielder whose passing skills are limited.  Count on the flying block, however, whenever we want to kill a game.

ALEXIS SANCHEZ:- In the 3:4:3 Alexis remains an important member of our starting eleven.  The question was whether he would remain our most influential player in the new formation.  In the 4:2:3:1 he stays out wide, cuts in and still has that left corridor to operate in. In the new formation he is tucked in at the inside left forward position, and, when he cuts in from there to put his marker off the goal side, it takes him away from that left corridor. He quickly runs into the crowded central areas, far away from the left wingback who has made a run.  Alexis has first to extricate himself and quite often loses possession.  Since we went to the 3:4:3 his performance seems to have gone one notch down.  I am of the school of thought that wants Ozil and him to interchange their lateral positions.  An inside right forward position might give Sanchez more directness to goal and create a better connection with the right wingback.  On the other hand, it could be argued that the deeper lying Ozil operates better from our right side of the field. As a compromise, on-field interchanging of the lateral positions between Ozil and Sanchez should be encouraged.  I know I must be sounding like a perfectionist indulging his art. The pragmatist would say “Why fix it if it ain’t broken”. Meanwhile, let time itself halt so we can celebrate Sanchez’s curtain raiser against So’ton.  It was luscious.

A new system must come with its faults.  The Important thing is that the team has started to rediscover itself in a new shell; may we have peaked by the time the FA Cup final arrives.  And may our new found proclivity for mathematics hit fever pitch as this weekends results cascade in.  Who says there is no 4th place truphy!

by Pony Eye

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34 Responses to THE WINNERS AND THE LOSERS IN THE NEW 3:4:3 FORMATION

  1. Shard says:

    Haven’t read the article yet TA. Just wanted to say hi! Will be back to read, tonight or tomorrow. Cheers.

  2. jw1 says:

    Felt this post was well thought out PE.
    I’ve been reading opinions much of the day at other sites I visit regularly. And with just a few exceptions have gotten the feel– as if the the ArsenalWorld is coming to an end.

    It isn’t.

    It hasn’t been as pleasant as it should/could be– until the recent 5-of-6 skein (and even then at times only the result). I’ve seen the word ‘disastrous’ employed regarding this PL campaign–at another site who is normally even-keeled till of-late.

    It isn’t.

    At this juncture with just 2-of-3 wins more?
    Arsenal is set to surpass their point total of a year ago’s 2nd place finish.
    Of the sports teams I’ve followed (since the late-60s; AFC since 2005)– only 3 have ever been more ‘thick’ than ‘thin’ over the long-term. And AFC has been the ‘thickest’ of them all.

    As for the naysaying AFC fans whose vocal calls have resounded fully through the British-press-megaphone– loudly enough to be heard here in the Colonies? One writer I’ve read recently had said it best– when he expressed that those who are not satisfied with AFC– should go find a league-winning club to cheer for– and leave the work of being a true fan– to those who truly care about the club.

    jw1

  3. njk84sg says:

    Maybe we should deploy a 3-4-1-2 attack that suits both Ozil and Ollie better.

    Ozil is best deployed in the central area, and the past few games have not brought out the best of him.

    He can play better for longer periods if he is behind the striker.

    Ollie plays best if he has someone to run off him, as he does not run fast enough. And the space that we were afforded before the build up to Ollie’s goal is not something that you see week in and week out.

  4. 17highburyterrace says:

    I couldn’t agree more, JW, but that’s “just” another view from over here in the States. To many who’ve decided to commit to the money and/or the trudge to the stadia it’s different. Does it help the team when signs are out calling for the manager to be sacked or when the atmosphere is–at best– “Here we are, now entertain us?” I doubt it… The Wenger Out folks believe that people looking at it the way you’re describing are sheep…I see it exactly in reverse…

    On the post itself… I agree with much that PE has written… Arseblog today made the point that the CFs–whether it’s Giroud or Welbeck–often look stranded or isolated up front in the new formation. DW surely should also be considered a winner now that he’s gotten the last couple of starts. Of the others, Xhaka, I think, looks the most renewed of all the players and just needs to keep fit for these last four matches. Cech is playing by far his best football in Arsenal colors and Ozil–despite the criticism that is relentlessly heaped upon him–is floating with enhanced style and effectiveness through the matches, doing what he can to orchestrate things with Xhaka and Rambo (as well as Alexis and the CF). It helps him that the wing-backs stay glued to their respective touch-lines. Finally, the space-maker is being given a little of his own by his mates… Now, if Alexis became that sort of team player (and his pre-assist to Rambo’s head was a good sign)… we might really be onto something. If he can do it, I say sign ’em all (Wenger, Ozil and Alexis) this summer. If he can’t–outstanding individual moments notwithstanding–sign at least the first two…

  5. Pony Eye says:

    jw,
    Your tempo is so agreeable. It’s clear to see. Fans can be such a tough customers. There are so many who can’t leave with mere hiccups along the way. The Arsenal world seems to be the worst example of such.

    Wenger finished ahead of Moyes’s Manu 2013/14.
    Wenger finishe ahead of Van Gal’s Manu 2014/15.
    Wenger finishe ahead of Van Gal’s Manu 2015/16.
    Wenger, with 3 games to go, is ahead of Mourinho’s Manu 2016/17.

    All these in spite of Manu expectedly much huger investment over the period. Shocking that we express our disgruntlement so much more aggressively. I welcome well thought out criticism, that is pushing for greater heights but in negative effusions one is only espousing one’s inability to manage one’s disappointments.

  6. Pony Eye says:

    njk,
    Different lines of thaught have their respective merits, no doubt. I see Ozil best as a ‘supplier’ and therefore, to me, the more men he has ahead of him the better. In this respect the 4:2:3:1 with 3 attackers ahead of him should suit him better than the 3:4:3 with only 2, worse still if one of the two is not mobile. And here comes the importance of Ramsey in the 3:4:3 because he makes up the attacking numbers at critical moments.

  7. Pony Eye says:

    HT, thanks for ‘urging’ for greater clarity through your edits.

    I have not declared Welbeck a winner because, to me, his performance has yet to convince that he has made the position his. Perez is back from injury and he appears more focused at getting the ball into the net. He could be the candidate. Welbeck seems to lack that striker’s killer instinct.

    Again there is always that option of Alexis as a striker, with Iwobi who looks tailor made for the inside left position taking his place there. I take it that the jury is still out for the striker position but possibly Wenger, atm, wouldn’t have the stomach for further experimentations. The crowded schedule might force his hands, though.

  8. retsub1 says:

    Well written PE you have obviously put a great deal of thought into your piece and in the main I am in agreement. Not comvinced about Gibbs and I think Sanchez is just a brilliant player who has had a little bit of a ‘moody’ lately.

    Everyone who posts on here and other bloggs has their opinions on who the great players are
    And of course we all have our favourites. I have openly not been over impressed by Xhaka, until the past three or four games. Maybe T A you saw something I didn’t, but the past few games Xhaka and the Ox in my opinion have been the players who have lifted the squad. That’s not to say others haven’t played a part, Cech, Holding, Gabriel (well just at Wembley)

    We are all quick to praise our favourites. Once again by my own admissision I think Ozil ( who on his day is brilliant) just goes missing in games. Spurs was a good example, where he just appeared uninterested. Now Ozil fans will state that he was busy creating space running off the ball. I just don’t see it that way. Another example was the Alexis goal the other night. I watched it 3 or four times and just came away totally impressed by Alexis. Then I do a bit of blog searching and I see people writing” a great goal by Alexis only surpassed by the beauty of Ozils’ pass” . So I looked again and yes it was a good pass (I stress good). But to compare that to what Alexis did is pure bunkum ( to quote 17ht’s favourite word). In my opinion anyway.

    Another example is the type of players we like. Many like nothing better than watching players like Ozil spraying defence cutting passes. That’s fine I have no problem with that. For me there is no finer site (well other than Thierry Henry in full flight). Than a Patrick Vieirra smashing 3 or 4 players aside then breaking the net with a shot.

    So what I am getting at is we all have different opinions , likes. , dislikes etc and some of these are based on geographical upbringing for want of a better word. But…….

    Many times I have heard suggestion from supporters, mainly based on the Western side of the pond, stating things like if you don’t like the way the club is being run support someone else, as suggested in JWL’s note above and even going as far a suggesting leaving the club to be supported by the true fans.

    I will let my blood boil for a few moments and then state that I have supported Arsenal man and boy for over 50 years. I have supported the club both home and away, laughed, cried, cheered, groaned even bled once etc etc and will remain loyal to my team til I am pushing. up the daisies.. I think therefore I can classify myself as a supporter. I think I can safely state that the vast majority of U K based football fans would consider ritual suicide before supporting another team. So whatever wise guy suggested that supporters who aren’t satisfied should support somebody else and leave Arsenal to the true supporters. Who care (grrrrrr) With the greatest respect is talking garbage. To quote a terrace song “I’m Arsenal til I die

    Many supporters myself included would be far happier, if our so called Board gave us a clue what is going on? Every question is fielded by Wenger from the strength of the dressing room tea, to Hectors Hairdresser There is obviously a board room struggle going on in the background, involving a number of parties with zip to limited knowledge of our national sport. Any updates Agent Kev? The only promise I can ever remember the board making is we are going to compete with Bayern Munich 10. – 2 hmmm. In summary true supporters deserve better treatment than they are receiving. I disagree with protests, banners, light aircraft etc, but I do understand why supporters who spend hard earned cash on this team week in week out are ignored by the ‘Club’ get frustrated.

    As for finishing in 4th place, some people will be satisfied whilst others may not be. That’s fine as I stated before we all have different expectations.. I did hear an American commentator saying that Arsenal were competing for the 4th place trophy though????

    Sorry T A ranting again.

    On a final note I saw a really interesting discussion on Arsenalls finances on UTube yesterday, presented by the Arsenal supporters trust. Got to take a mad hound for a walk now, will see if I can find the link later

    .

  9. retsub1 says:

  10. allezkev says:

    Retsub, there definitely seems to be friction between Wenger and Gazides, the fact that Ivan is silent and Arsene dismissive of change suggests that everything is not harmonious at Board level.

    When fans are on the plane home from Munich, after watching their team get humiliated 5-1 and after having time off of work and spending many hundreds of pounds, that is the time to tell somebody if they’re not happy with the club that they should find another team to support…

  11. Pony Eye says:

    retsub,
    In my humble opinion there is absolutely no trace of rant in your pìece. The words are well considered and well weigted. To me that’s constructive or at the worst one’s view of the matter from one’s unique angle. What you conveyed to me is your deep passion for the club.

    When there are no clearly objective evidences for judgement I prefer to give the benefit of doubt to the ones on trial. I reason that the BoD which includes persons with big money at stake in the club can’t possibly keep acting irresponsibly. Of course they could act better or worse.

    I reason that even if their investments are the critical thing to them, they are smart enough to know that field success has a direct bearing to financial success. Global fan growth is almost exclusively a response to field success. Global fan base is the reason why Manu is ever so mighty and why Swansea relatively speaking must always operate with a shoe lace budget and ever swimming in relegation waters.

    It is this type of thinking that tempers my disappointments and gets me to take deeper look that invariably tells me that things aren’t as bad as I feel. The BoD cant be their own enemies is a good starting point for any enquiry. Of course they can always be better.

    The clubs and fans relationship, particularly for the more globalised clubs, have moved on with time. Things can no longer be what they used to be. A huge chunk of our Club’s growth since the inception of the PL is that they allied quickly with the changing times. Spurs is a very well run club, but they didn’t adapt quickly enough and they have found themselves about 14 years behind us. Let’s not be deceived by the fact that they are currently ahead of Manu or Arsenal on the table. That has a very short shelf life.

  12. Pony Eye says:

    allezkev,
    That’s one valid way of seeing Wenger’s rejection of the DoF. But would Wenger be so blunt in public if Gazides is on the other side? The plot thickens.

  13. retsub1 says:

    Kev…… yes and then run very fast. Ps like your Ramsey bit.

    P E. thanks. I agree that the BoD must be a smart bunch. They just don’t appear to be alll that interested? I think I am correct in saying that Lord Harris of Peckham is on the board (I thought that was Delboys role?. I think he is better known as the founder of Harris carpets. I met him once, he knew a lot about carpets.

    If anyone has listened to the financial report, it seems to suggest Usmanov is paying for Everton’s new training ground. Has he got bored with waiting?

  14. allezkev says:

    PE I believe that Arsene’s recent comments were aimed at both Gazides and possibly Keswick. That is why he looked so irritated, it’s his way or the highway.

    I also believe that he signed his contract awhile ago.

    The question I have is, if that is the case, why the reluctance to go public?

  15. jw1 says:

    First, I’m pleased to the extent my post brought discussion of issues surrounding the operations of the club. It’s healthy in this (the Bergkampesque) environ. This is the one AFC-related site I visit where I would take the time to make a post of the variety above.

    Second. My intent was not to lay claim or disabuse others– as to loyalty or perspective. But to point to the creeping, outsized, and permeating effect that digital media echoes negativity. Incessantly.That from my vantage ‘outside the bubble’ and stateside– everything written about the club is portrayed as corrosive, poisonous, disastrous. That until this recent run of results– that tenor– online– has remained constant since January. I choose my AFC online content from the NewsNow/Aresnal media aggregator. NewsNow offers an option to ‘Hide Publication’ from the list of articles. And– since January, I’ve begun doing so with channels that up-till-recently had not succumbed to echoing negativity– for the seeming sake of mimicking for advert clicks.

    The point? Is that while ‘change is coming’ to the club? There is not some glorious finality that will accompany that change. (And here is where I wasn’t perhaps clear enough in my initial post above (No boiling blood intended retsub1!).) For ‘those fans’ who are so fervent in their negativity– as to see change as an end? Those are the fans who will still not be satisfied with whatever comes next– short of multiple titles, cups, honors. Those are the fans who might be better off sating their thirst by ‘bandwagoning’ a perennial winner like Bayern or Barca instead.

    I’ve come to be a fan of AFC just at the time when the glory of the late-90s/early-00s had ended. But I understood almost immediately what was occurring in 2005– and since.

    My parallel comes from an eerily similar historical context. I grew up in Miami, Florida, USA as boy in the 60s and 70s. I saw Don Shula become the Head Coach of the NFL Miami Dolphins there in 1970. With complete control of operations– in just his second season– he took a poor 5-year-old (new/expansion) NFL team to the Super Bowl– for 3 straight years (1971-73), winning two. In 1972, the Dolphins were, and are still, the only team in NFL history to go unbeaten and untied (17-0-0) for entire NFL season. (How’s that for eerie?)

    For the next 10 years or so? Shula’s Dolphin teams were good, but not great. In 1982 and 1984 they reached the Super Bowl again; losing both times. For the next ten years his team were again good, but not ever reaching the heights again. In 1995– after 26 years (where his teams only lost more games than they won just once– in a season)– he was fired– after the press and some fans convinced themselves and ownership– that the game had ‘passed him by’. I cried. Don Shula was– still is– to me, a great man. Like a father- or grandfather-figure.

    To be brief– the coach who came next was pedigreed. Jimmy Johnson. Who had returned the Dallas Cowboys to greatness in the early-90s. He accomplished little. Mediocrity followed. Now going on 20 years.

    And lastly. So– it is with THAT knowledge and set of experiences– I will castigate the WengerOut-ers– and the ‘British-press-bubble’– for a viciousness that is uncalled for. While the press might know full-well what they are sowing? Those fans know not what they will reap.

    jw1

  16. Pony Eye says:

    allezkev,
    That’s the riddle. On the other hand its possible that if Wenger finishes on the high (FA and 4th place) he might walk. That might jolly well be his hidden agenda and wish. The last big drama. Again, the plot thickens.

  17. allezkev says:

    Cheers Retsub, not been in the mood to write much this season, feels as if I’m going over old ground again and again.

    My son and his friends (3 of them) all got cup final tickets.
    They usually get 2 out of 3 applications then somehow source a ticket elsewhere.
    To get all 3 is a surprise, they were either lucky or the demand has dropped off?

  18. allezkev says:

    Could be PE, but I think he’s already signed, just a hunch.

    I did hear, a couple of months ago, that Ivan offered to resign, but that the Board turned his request down.
    As you say, that damned thickening plot eh?
    Could be an interesting summer though…

  19. retsub1 says:

    JW1 thanks for your response. My message probably lost some of its direction. I think we need to make a clear distinction between fans and the press. When I say fans I am talking about worldwide fans, many of whom will probably never get to see the team in person. I should also stress that I spent the vast majority of my working career working for American Banks, so I am aware that occasionally things get lost in translation. I once told some colleagues in New York that my secretary was up the the duff. In the U.K. That means pregnant, but apparently has a whole different meaning in the US. Having many friends in New York I often get into banter and get told to go support another team. This just seems to be an American thing, maybe because the way US teams, move to other cities, St Louis Rams.

    It’s that statement that gets me going. The vast majority of U K fans are incredibly loyal to their team. They would rather cut their arm off and beat themselves to death with the soggy end than change allegiance.. they may be Wenger in or Wenger out, but the reality but they are Arsenal not Arsene. Outside of the Uk it may be different, but not here.

    A good example of this is a nice little East London club called Leyton Orient. For over 100 years the ‘O’ s have languished in the lower divisions. I don’t think they have ever won anything of significance, but survived under the shadows of West Ham United. Then a couple of years back a European businessman purchased the club for £4 million. He appointed and sacked around 8 managers and dropped most of the senior players and replaced them wiith youths. He also bought in some high salaried foreign players none of which worked. Within 2 years he took a club who narrowly missed promotion to division one and in the past few weeks they have been relegated to non league football. Players haven’t been paid for months. Sure the fans protested, they nearly managed to get a game abandoned by having a sit in on the pitch. Crucially though they stuck by the team. Probably because they had the til I die UK supporter mentality..

    So back to my original rant when some press related keyboard warrior makes a statement like these fans should go support another team and leave the supporting to the real fans.it does get my juices flowing. Make no mistake these guys on the terraces (ok in the seats) are the ones who are giving all their time and hard earned cash to support the team.

    I have said it before but just to clarify my own thoughts Arsene Wenger is an absolute hero of mine. As you say you just started supporting at the end of a fantastic period. Watching Vieira, Henry, Pires, Ljunberg and that Dutch guy whose name escapes me in full flow was an incredible and probably unrepeatable experience. However Arsene is in his late sixties and speaking as someone who recently entered my sixties I can say with all honesty am I as sharp as I used to be? No. Am I willing to accept change like I used to? No. Am I a stubborn old git, probably. I think PE was politely telling me the other day I need to get out of the 18th century. So should Wenger at 67 be running Arsenal from every aspect? Should he be deciding if he is awarded a new contract seemingly regardless of performance? Is it time for him to gracefully step down, probably and I would like to see him go gracefully without tarnishing a fantastic career. Would I ever boo him, not in a million years. Buts that’s just me.

  20. retsub1 says:

    Kev interesting about the cup final tickets. If results don’t go our way over the weekend it will be interesting to count the empty seats at the Sunderland game. No doubt the club will state attendance 60,450 or whatever it is these days and of course all the tickets have been sold.

    PE your written accent fascinates me. The term Jolly well is pure upper crust British and is very seldom heard these days.

  21. jw1 says:

    Thanks for your reply retsub1.

    Just as a matter of sourcing– if you are interested– here is the article of the former MU-turned-AFC fan that made the ‘find another team’ statement:
    https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/05/arsenal-fans-need-to-put-up-or-shut-up-about-arsene-wenger/#

    Then– some grist-for-the-mill:
    http://www.espnfc.us/arsenal/story/3123125/arsenals-management-model-most-successful-in-football-dick-law
    Wondering what on Earth– are Dick Law and David Dein (of ALL combinations)– doing presenting together at a symposium in Brasil– on the topic of FC management?!?

    jw1

  22. retsub1 says:

    Thanks Jw1
    I think the first article sums it up for me. The guy says people who say things about Wenger should go support another team and leave it to the true supporters. Sorry don’t mean to be flippant, but I wonder if he ever considered himself a true fan of Manchester United? Interesting the articles makes mention of a phone in and a call from Debbie from Bromley. That’s about 2 miles from where I am!!!!

    As for the 2nd article I don’t know very much about Dick Law, but I can honestly say I have never heard anyone say a good word about him. A lot of people believe that when David Devin left, it left a big hole at Arsenal, one which has never been filled.

  23. allezkev says:

    Retsub, to be fair to your buddies in New York, we shouldn’t forget that Woolwich Arsenal moved from Kent in 1913 to North London, so I guess having an American owner who moved his franchise from St Louis to Los Angeles makes sense, at some level.. Great points btw…

  24. retsub1 says:

    aaaghhh Kev that hurt, shot in the back by my gooner buddy. but as usual you are of course correct. my only defence was i wasn’t around in 1913. No doubt Goonereris would have spotted my deliberate mistake anyway.

  25. allezkev says:

    Sorry Retsub, I’ve usually got your back… 😊

  26. retsub1 says:

    no problem Kev just kidding. out of interest who is the worst Arsenal player you ever saw? I think Gus Caesar took some beating

  27. jw1 says:

    retsub1– you made me Google Gus.
    http://daswunderkind.net/sometimes-wonderkid-ability-not-enough-50515/
    I wanted something unvarnished. And found it. 😉

    jw1

  28. allezkev says:

    Blimey Retsub, ha ha ha, how long have you got?

    Yep Gus was unforgettable, I used to see him in the Stiffs and Youths and he was an interesting player then…

    Ok John Hawley, Ray Hankin, Silvestre, John Kosmina, Pal Lydersen, Igor Stepanovs.

  29. retsub1 says:

    yep gus was quality. in a league cup final against Luton he trod on the ball and fell over, i think they equalised from it.

    Kev you have some beauties there. I don’t remember Ray Hankin, gonna have to research that one. Glenn Helder was another

  30. retsub1 says:

    Well done Kev, Hankin is a true contender

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    Excellent post, PE, your very best one until now.

    I agree with a lot and especially your take on Alexis. His limitations show up a lot but he is also the player who will offer that little bit of extra regardless of his general play. Gibbs is the one player I reckon who does not deliver enough going forward, and that makes it two on the left hand side. Maybe Iwobi would fair better as left wing back.

    All in all, plenty of good in your post and in our team, even though we need to see more of the new formation to be more sure.

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    Good to see jw1 commenting here again and even Shard popped his head around the corner! ⚽⚽

  33. retsub1 says:

    17ht. No. Doubt you are beavering away at your match preview. It’s been a tough old season, but some things never change.

    We virtually never beat Chelsea

    Wenger never beats Mourinho

    We never win at Southampton

    We never win at Stoke

    Well we did the first three!!!!!!!

  34. 17highburyterrace says:

    I like your attitude, Retsub, and indeed I’ve been beavering… As such…

    New Post…

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