Giroud MOTM, Xhaka shows Ox How it’s Done: Arsenal Player Ratings

What a come back after a defensive horror show. Hopefully, the latter will be sorted by the return of our key central defenders and telling the wing backs that when teams apply a high press they need to help out their buddies. Holding and Kola also struggled to give Nacho the defensive discipline required to be a solid unit. Having said that, the Foxes played a very well and were very sharp from the start. Their game plan was impressive too. Luckily, Arsenal have superb fire power and Xhaka and Ozil were selfless and focussed enough to provide the quality service that gave us the three points.

Player Ratings:

Cech: 7: misjudged the situation for first goal but kept his calm

Kola: 7 phenomenal presence and super strong till the end, especially when played more central. Cool assist that made all the difference. Still work to do on defensive positioning

Nacho: 7.5 worked hard to organise defence and keep it tight, real leader. Just lacks the height to be solid CB

Holding: 6 worked hard but struggled to defend his flank, especially when under pressure. Should have had more help from team mates, especially Bels

Ox: 6.5 worked hard in second half but waisted many opportunities when we had three CFs up front screaming for service. No goals, no assists due final pass not being good enough. Better support for CBs in second half and good energy throughout game.

Bellerin: 6 worked hard but struggled to add to the attacking side of things despite committing himself forward constantly. Not enough support for poor Holding.

Elneny: 6.5 struggled to play the ball out of the Leicester press but the team positioning and running did not help. Good assist for first goal. Needs to apply more physicality as not many one to ones were won.

Xhaka: 7.5 also struggled to play the ball out of the press, but fabulous switch overs when with ball in a bit of space, making use of the space left behind by the Foxes as a result of high pressing. Great, cool assist for the all important third goal (Ox take note)

Welbeck: 6.5 worked hard but just like Ox lacks the quality/ decision making skills to produce a good final ball. Fluffed his opportunities but did score a vital equaliser just before the break

Lacazette: 7.5 worked well for the team and scored with a very good header. May need to play with Giroud against defensive, counter attacking teams. Created space for himself and others where there did not appear any.

Ozil: 7 worked hard and lost a lot of rust in one game. Never stopped looking for opportunities to find gaps and make himself available.

Giroud: 8 superb cameo, scored the winner and secured our defence during set pieces

Rambo: 7 superb goal and helped to hem in the Foxes

Theo: not enough time on the pitch

By TotalArsenal

67 thoughts on “Giroud MOTM, Xhaka shows Ox How it’s Done: Arsenal Player Ratings

  • My thoughts on yesterday’s exciting win.
    There were certainly some defensive issues yesterday, Holding was targeted, but he’ll learn from the experience and come back stronger, we’re going to need his physicality at Stoke next week.
    BFG was a huge miss, from not only an organisational perspective but in the air, he’ll be back for Stoke. I like Monreal a lot but he’s not a centre-half, he’s more a sweeper, I still like him in a three but he needs a big guy next to him to deal with the aerial bombardment you get in the EPL.
    I’d go with Holding, BFG, Monreal in the Potteries next weekend although Mustafi might come back into the mix. Not sure that he’s as good in the air as Holding but c’est la vie…

    Delighted to see Danny score, I thought he was very quick to adjust his feet and slide it home.
    For strikers see goals, see confidence, see a better player, he’s off and running now after a long drought. He’s fit, in the team and with the prospect of a very productive season ahead.

    I see that Matthieu Debuchy is under contract at Arsenal until 2019, I wonder if he’ll still be with us on September 1st, if so I’d make him captain of the League Cup/UEFA Cup squad and let him look after that. It wouldn’t make sense not to utilise a good player whose had quite an unfortunate time at Arsenal.

  • I may be in a minority of one, but if Debuchy gets back to full match fitness, then I think he is a better defender than Bellerin. Certainly he would have been more solid yesterday when Leicester just walked through all our defence. I consider Bellerin more of a winger, but he will have to improve his standard of crossing to fulfill that role.
    Lets hope that when we have height back in the centre with Koscielny & Mustafi, that we will not be so vulnerable to every high cross that come in like last night.

  • Hi all..
    TA.. Giroud is the Hero for last night.. for his last winning goal but not our Motm.. Xhaka, Lacazette or Kolasinac give more effort to the team..
    Xhaka give two great assists but also contributed with a bad pass for the fox second goal..
    Laca did great for CF and LW position.. He unluckily only score one.. hehehe..
    Kola with his unselfish attitude give a great assist to Welbeck.. and also very solid in his potision.. we conceded two goals from the left side.. or our right side..
    And From three of them I choose Kola for the motm..

  • A few random thoughts. Chronologically this one… WHY does Wenger do things like the following: He’s known koscielny can’t play the first 2 matches for how long, months?
    Then why persist with a mandatory amount of time off for Mustafi. He could have eased him in a tiny bit early, his work for Germany ended with plenty of time for him to be ready for this weekend.
    Listen, i didn’t know Holding would mess the bed like we’ve never seen before from him…. I can’t remember a cb having a worse game for Arsenal in years. But i would’ve had one of our 2 star cbs ready to start if healthy. Just stubborn from Arsene. For the record, I’m not giving up on Holding, he has been solid since he arrived at such a young age.

    I was thinking Xhaka as man of the match for 2 assists, and some great work, but realized watching post game highlights that he gave away one of the goals basically with an uncharacteristically lazy pass, and did a terrible job defending the corner that went in. That needs to be worked on with him, if he is going to play deep mf, he has to defend better. He is strong enough.

    The rest of the team needs to be drilled on high balls into the box, crosses, corners. We ended on a great high, but they need to be yelled at for that performance. Not so much our starting defenders, kos, mustafi, Per all know the drill. But everyone else need to get a loud wake up call.

    Ox was excellent for me, and I have been railing against him. He was strong into the 95th minute, defended like a pro, and was always a threat.

    Lacazette, I think I will revise my expectations WAY up. If we can have him with Ozil, Alexis, and a relatively healthy Ramsey, we can take the league by storm.

    But we still need to add, purchase — you know what I’m gonna say — a Santi replacement. And God forbid Alexis leaves, he must be replaced with quality in THIS window. I don’t know what Wenger is up to, but i hope he doesn’t plan on starting El Neny in league matches.
    Yes, i know he had an assist. But he is not good enough.

    If Arsene plans on getting by with the bare minimum, to compete with the big money clubs and top managers, and newly hungry, confident spurs, liverpool…. then we will see the same old results.

    Overall, much more positive than negative, because we will fix the defense.

  • Kev, good mention of Debuchy, but that ship has sailed, i hate to say… terrible luck for him at Arsenal. But omg he would’ve been an amazing wingback !

  • Jnyc, I agree with you on Debuchy, it’s just if he’s still with us on Sept 1st and unless AW loans him out again, but yeah, it’s been unfortunate for all concerned, except for Hector I guess.

    I’d be tempted to make Xhaka captain, the responsibility would focus his mind and I think he would thrive on that role.

  • Also want to mention that I’m a big fan of Welbeck when he’s not playing striker. He does so much for the team.

    Arsene made news after the match in live on field interview. He was going to allow Giroud to leave if he wanted to not be 2nd choice striker.. He chose to stay and thats settled. It did seem like that was what was playing out for a while. It seemed up in the air from Girouds summer comments.

    Him staying makes us nuch stronger.Not because of yesterday, he has excelled in this role for a while. Arsene is too nice, really. Should not have opened the door for him to leave.

  • 3 Watford – 3 Liverpool..
    13 goals from 2 match..
    What a very interesting season..

  • Liverpool, Mane look very quick. Salah looks pretty
    Same horrible defense. They should’ve paid up early for Van Dijk.

    2 good results, now hope chelsea can keep it going.

  • Man of the match has got to be Granit Xhaka even if Giroud gets the sentimental vote for winning it for us. However, with both our last 2 goals provided by Xhaka, he should get it, for me (he did misplace a pass for their 2nd goal but only because Bellerin had inexplicably bombed forward too early).

    Watford v Liverpool is a sign of things to come as the EPL remains unpredictable. But, Salah and Mane present a very fleet footed forward line, with Firminho himself not a slouch. So, how much is Virgil vandijk worth now to Liverpool?

  • Jnyc.. Burnley play 4-5-1 formation.. very unusual form.. but may good enough to keep up Chelsea..

  • Jnyc, “Arsene is too nice, really. Should not have opened the door for him to leave”.

    Lol. Don’t forget he is French and in the end, wants the best for his national team. πŸ˜‰

  • Btw.. Willian start for Chelsea.. Didn’t he get 2 time punishment for diving against us..??

  • Henry, Giroud had a perfect game when on the pitch and delivered without sulking. The others made mistakes that cost us, but Lacazette was a close second.

  • TA.. Thats because he only play for 25 minutes.. Hehehe..
    So better to give him a limited time each week.. Hahaha..
    What I saw was Lacazette is also a great LW.. Hehehe.. Just like Sanchez did..

  • That’s why I like coming on here Total, everyone loves a good old laugh. πŸ˜€

  • Kev, good point about Welbeck. We need him to regain his scoring form and with that his confidence. I was so impressed with our attacking power yesterday… and the red hot Chilian was not even on the pitch.

  • Johnnie, Arsene’s plan was to have the BFG lead the defence initially…but he got elbowed. Holding plays a lot better when Per is guiding him. It is a long season, so resting Mustafi was a reasonably thing to do.

  • Clockend Jim, I reckon we have to stick with Hector for a while. He is only young and is bound to have a few setbacks at this stage of his career.

  • Eris, you know I am a big Xhaka fan, but he was at fault for one of the goals and could have done better for the first one too. His performance was still good and he suffered from lack of support from the wingbacks, but I cannot give him MOTM.

  • Im liking the idea of Welbeck being Wingbeck, I really appreciate his work.

    Lacazette fits so perfectly into our team, it’s a beautiful thing to watch. Not a one game phenomenon.. this is the real deal, …probably should have bought him sooner. Hindsight.

  • Jnyc: “2 good results, now hope chelsea can keep it going.”.

    I hope you will jinx it for United tomorrow, as you did for Chelsea. Like to see what the pundits and media will have to say after prematurely singing Wenger’s nunc dimitis when Leicester was ahead 2-3.

  • Eris, man city had the easiest matchup on paper and was not simple for them. West ham and newcastle fan for a day right now. I really enjoy cheering against rivals.

    Did you notice how many times analysts and pundits kept showing the video of ball touching Ozils arm? It was like the kennedy assasination film study. All networks harped on it over and over.

    But not ONE word about leicester clear handball in the area. Also plenty of focus on Alexis face at negative moments, but not one shot of him smiling when we came back and overtook them. Fake news. #fakenews

  • I saw the Ozil analysis incident on the official EPL studio no less, and it can be both judged as shoulder as it touched his upper arm more. But the ref was there and he did not gave anything against us, so we were lucky.

    Laca looked like he can repay the big fees paid for him very soon, as he does not need time to get used to the high tempo games of EPL, and his workrate is quite high too.

    Kola looked at times quite unsure of where to position himself on the pitch, but he did well overall.

  • Saw brief highlights of Man City on MotD and they looked really efficient against a Brighton team who looked out of their depth. I’d still like to see how they cope defensively against teams who aren’t going to be quite in awe of them and will actually attack them.
    Liverpool defensively looked like a car crash, an interesting season in store for them.
    Chelsea started poorly last season and only sorted themselves out after we beat them, but they do look defensively fragile.

    I can’t see any English team doing anything in the CL again this season, our teams are too wide open at the back, which makes for an attractive football theatre, but in Europe it won’t work.

  • OK, finally recovered from outside adventures AND catching up with Arsenal and our first match… (Catching up on the posts and comments here took some time/effort too…) I successfully kept a “media blackout,” so, when I settled in to watch the recording of the match, I was excited for a good performance and result and (finally) a solid home opener. After two minutes it was all to plan.
    Then the roller coaster started and almost gave me an infarction…

    Thank geezus that we’re debating MOTM and player ratings… Let’s not kid ourselves… We were *this* close to being right back at square one, i.e., our existential Arsenal misery, Luckily, our depth (the subs) came through. Because they were able to do so, it was just the spirit building exercise we (desperately, IMO…) needed. Speaking of the subs, I’d give a shout out to Theo for leaving that Xhaka pass for Rambo. That’s team play at its very best. Additionally, it was extremely brave of Wenger to move Bellerin left and Ox to the right. Both players are lacking good final touches (in my mind, whenever Ox has it, I think, “And this is where it–our possession–goes to die…”) but both, in those strange positions, were able to bring the ball forward decisively and put Leicester on the back foot. Kolasinac did likewise for much of the game and even (the much hated) Ozil did good work coming deep and turning forward with the ball. Xhaka’s long and wide distribution was also good (but for the one egregious mistake) and the wingbacks provided good targets. Frankly, I prefer passing it quickly to break through the lines (and using the wingbacks to help in this regard), but Leicester are nothing if not a well organized defensive team, esp. when they have a lead.

    In fact, we played from behind for something like 40 minutes (and about 85 mins with the score level) so it was exactly as the best of the English CL teams (from last season–great point, directly above, A-Kev…) would want it. Pushing so hard to play out of the back with an extremely makeshift back line probably wasn’t the wisest strategy but what are you gonna do when your big target for longer kicks is on the bench? That’s the beauty of Giroud. With him in there, you can bypass MF–at least on occasion. Obviously, he also helps at set pieces, as much at their end as ours. If he’s at the front post and you have another big guy (the BFG) or good jumpers (Kos and Mustafi) we can much better afford to give up corners (and those long throws from deep in our half) without soiling ourselves. As such, if we must choose a MOTM, Giroud seems as good as any. For me, it was a team effort, so I’d go with Wenger, the home crowd (who mostly stayed behind the team–at least from the sights and sounds on my TV feed) and all 15 guys who played… (Or maybe 14–Holding had a rough outing…)

    So, now, onto the two away trips (Stoke and ‘Pool–where we traditionally struggle) and the closing of the TW. Getting the squad set–along with more controlled performances and good results–no losses–seems essential if we want to take the good spirit forward. One contract signed (Ozil, please…) might start a bit of pressure for a domino effect. A final incoming player and several outgoing (I’d include Alexis, but I know I’m in the extreme minority…) and we might just make it over the hump and get to start our season with sufficient good will and confidence to carry forward as the days get shorter…

  • Ah crap… Spurs look onto a winner after Jonjo Shelvey’s cheeky (but not very bad, IMO) step on Dele’s foot earned him a red card and then Eriksen found him (Dele) for a nice goal. In truth, to me, it looked like they would probably break down the Toonies eventually even with both teams at full strength. At least Chavs and Pool dropped points with the refs (correct at Stamford Bridge, wrong at Watford…) playing their parts… Like Kev suggests, ALL the top teams look unsettled at the back thus far. Whichever team finds their defensive feet first might have the advantage…

    Totts score a 2nd… OK, breakfast (and another coffee) and then as much Moo-ball as I can take…

  • 17HT with incredible attention to detail. Nice observation of Theo’s unselfish play that led to Ramseys goal, and also, i wasnt sure about Wenger calling for Hector and chamberlain to switch sides. Great call by the boss to increase shooting ability by both. And yes, the media make me angry. They love to stir up controversey for Arsenal, focus on the negative. But when they ignore a clear penalty, and try to spin up a nothing story like ozils arm, it’s clear we won’t get fair coverage.

  • Ugh… ManU score on the counter… Great run by Rashford and Lukaku finds the correct side of the post by about a millimeter…

    Cheers, J… And cheers also for being a steady presence here on the blog over the summer. This is the first summer in a while where I’ve been too depressed by the atmosphere surrounding the club to want to write. My (big picture) thoughts would only bring folks (with more positive outlooks…) down, I fear…

    At heart, however, I’m quite positive about our squad and the leadership at the club… I just believe that until you get the customers, er, fans, on board, it’s (far) too difficult for the players to perform at their best. That said, I’m encouraged by the effort the home support put into bringing the team back on Friday night. On the other hand, if we hadn’t completed the comeback, the negativity would probably have made me sit out until (at least) the close of the TW.

    You’re right about Arsenal not getting a fair shake from the media. The trouble is that far too many Gooners fall for it… hook, line and sinker, as they (or just we?…) say…

    On that note, I cannot believe how so many Gooners are so quick to criticize the management at the club. We’re clearly (to me at least) building a very progressive model of paying the best salaries (we can) to create a very deep squad with good competition at every position. Stability–and less money in transfer fees (to our rivals, let’s not forget…) seem like good things… Not as exciting as all the crazy money transfers, but the couple we’ve made (Laca, Kola) look to have improved our team. For me, the players who believe (or are being made to believe by their agents and entourage) that they can make more money elsewhere can feck off, esp. if their game is also on the selfish side. For me, that means Alexis and the Ox. My favorite (of the holdouts), Ozil, would be the biggest loss (IMO, because his game makes everybody better…) but he could probably make equal money elsewhere AND be appreciated by (more) intelligent fans. Overall, the plan seems good to me, the toxicity in the fan base seems very (very) bad and I can’t blame the players for exploring their options… Thank goodness players like Giroud (and Ramsey…and Theo, who played a part in the third goal…and Elneny, who did likewise on the first and seems like the ultimate team player) are able to fight through the hate they receive from their own (so called) supporters and have chosen to stay…

    Like I say, I have a bad attitude…

    Though, like I also say, I’m actually quite positive about the team and its management–and very pleased that Wenger and the lads were able to squeak out the opener without our top FOUR CBs (Kos, Mustafi, the BFG and Gabriel)… (Talk about your unreported story…there it is…) Hopefully we get a couple back (we’ll need them, I fear…) and start keeping our opponents out of our net. If we can manage that, I like our chances even more…

    2nd half of the ManU game on and hopefully the Hammers can get back level. A lead, however, always helps a conservative (Moo led…) team…

  • Lukaku, from a set piece, scores a 2nd… This one’s over, I fear…

  • Well said 17, i know the feeling. Though i had some of my own issues, last season was the most disheartening in many years for me from Arsenal. I really felt like, for the first time, these players stopped playing for Arsene, and really let him down. I was open to him passing the baton if he decided to.

    I’m hoping that a fresh start, with a small clearout of hangers on, with one more nice acquisition, can make all the difference.

    Watching United dominate at the moment. Mourinhos second season with a team…, you know.. every time. Worrisome.

  • Mourinho was smart to go for EPL-savvy players when the Morata deal was not forthcoming. That’s what the key was for them, today. Matic was immense and Lukaku (who always scores against West Ham, it seems) were on their game and turned a typical Draw result from last season into a 4-0 rout in the 2017/18 season. Cue, all the pundits and post-game shows are waxing lyrical about how much United have put down the marker for a title winning season, being Jose’s second season and all that myth.

    Spurs played today yet not much being done to review that game. Clearly, there’s a United bias in the English league and media. My observation is that while United were the better side today, they have met a depleted West Ham squad, shorn of Lanzini, Andy Carrol, Kouyate, Antonio and a few others, who may have given United a bit more to worry about. It’s a long season and this is only Day 1.

  • good to have back Seventeenho, and good comments too. The media would love if we let Alexis go, and for that reason alone we should not sell him. I don’t like him too much either, but we need him for another year to get back in top four and the prospect of him, Mesut and Lacazette playing together is v attractive.

    Manure winning is fine with me. The season is long and WH can be a bit of hit and miss opponent. We really must not focus on them and start believing the silly hype. Next up is Stoke and let’s fight for all three points. ObloodyGAAT. Come on you rip roaring Arsenal!!!!!!!!⚽️⚽️⚽️

  • TA, re Alexis. I don’t feel too confident anymore about him staying unless he is dressed for the Stoke game. It’s not too unlike Wenger to make theses bold statements only to sell at the best possible fee for the player. If we win at Stoke and he doesn’t play, a fee of Β£50+m begins to look attractive. One of the main trio will be sold, in my view, unless they sign the dotted line.

    No business would wish to lose all of a whopping Β£135m, potentially, going by the fees we hear are being quoted for the 3 players. I won’t blame us for making that call as we cannot underestimate the impact of the disruption having so many of such player hanging about for the season.

  • If it is really true that Sanchez is determined to leave my club, then I have lost interest in him. He should go. No player is indispensable. Chelsea did not miss Sanchez when they stormed to victory last seasΓ²n. Tot, ManC, Liv all finished above his team without him. Again if all the noise about him wanting to leave is true, then it is time for Sanchez closure. A big no to blackmail is where I stand.

    If he is to go, let him be gone so we can plan accordingly. An unhappy Sanchez would have the kind of ego that would cause problems in the dressing room. He’d never accept “defeat”.

  • Guys,
    Come on. I will easily swap Alexis for Ox or any of the less hardworking attacking midfielders anytime.
    We need to keep him and that’s it. Pay him what he wants and keep him happy.

  • Hi all..
    From our first game.. Lacazette can play Sanchez role perfectly.. and his understanding with Giroud was better than Sanchez..
    But maybe I need to see the game against Stoke to comfirm this..

    And if it’s so, then we already find Sanchez replacement.. He can fly to France again and we get the 80M.. to add our cash to bring some other great players who want to be Gunners..

  • As much as possible I believe we should gtry to keep Sanchez, not forgetting that we are under pressure to step up our chase of silverware. Being busy in Europa and in all competitions on the home front makes it imperative to keep such players. we should also not forget our injury jinx that can keep many key players out of action. We cannot afford to lift our foot off the throttle any moment this season. The stakes are high (to get back properly into Europe and to win the league) and the expectations higher. You dont keep such players as Lacazette, Sanchez, Ozil, Giroud for pittances!

  • PSG is buying to the point I don’t know how they are able to balance their books.. it is too tilted to one side to the point that even after selling players they will still not meet the 30m loss in 3 years.

  • It is logical that Alexis, who is almost 29, wants to get the best deal possible. This is his one chance, I am sure you all agree. He is a wanted player right now and this may well be different in 12 months time. I have not seen a quote of him saying I want to leave Arsenal desperately btw.

    Wenger has said there is no point in selling him as the risk of not qualifying for CL has to be taken into account, which is of a similar monetary value as Sanchez’s transfer value right now. So time is on the club’s side and Wenger will only change his mind IF he can find a like for like replacement, which was made all the harder with the rediculous sale price of Neymar.

    My view is that Alexis may well sign a new deal once the TW will be shut. Time is on the club’s side.

  • I also reckon that Alexis is a naturally committed player and it will be very important for him to perform well this season in order to get a great deal at the end of it. Wenger is aware of these psychological factors, no doubt.

  • Hi Alekoko.. welcome home..

    Almost of us here wanted Sanchez to stay.. but we also believed that No one is bigger than the Club itself.. not even Wenger.. hehehehe..

    We’re not Barca wih their Messi or Madrid with Ronaldo.. No Superstar in our Club.. No one is irreplaceable.. Our philosophy is Victoria Concordia Cresit.. Victory come from harmony.. So if he wish to go then let it go.. find others.. It will keep the harmony continue.. And it’s more important also than to bring another superstar like maybe Mbappe or Messi.. hehehe..

  • We should not sell Sanchez for under 50 mil, and of course, not unless a good player is lined up, but we can’t rely on handshake agreements with all the oil money floating around, and beneficiaries will be looking to pick off some our targets. No team will honor a verbal agreement when someone adds15-20 mil to an offer.

    I was hoping we could get near 80 mil of the oil money from them, but i can’t imagine that happening if psg get Mbappe. Its a bad sign for football if real madrid and barcelona can’t compete for a player like Mbappe. So i hope we are really ready to take the loss and make Sanchez stay.

    Arsenal and other sensible clubs were able to compete on transfers and strengthen reasonably before, but now it will be very difficult. Financial fair play was enforceable in concept, but now mega corps just sponsor heir own clubs and move money around, so if you can play with your income numbers, there is no way to stop them. Man City had done it for years now too. With oil nations making up garbage like Neymar being paid 300 mil as an ambassador for a world cup… its even worse. A complete farce. Nobody mentions that airlines like etihad, emirates are basically state supported, so they can spend billions on sponsorships. That’s why emirates events are everywhere, no limit for what they can spend.

    Airlines are extremely tricky businesses and investments, and only a little profitable even in good times. It’s not even fair to western airlines to compete.

    I think that reasonable owners should band together against PSG and maybe man city etihad. and try to do something maybe in national or international courts.. Barca and Madrid might even be able to lead as hypocrites of sort. Anything to normalise prices to where an Arsenal or Liverpool can compete to a small degree.

    I say owners, because they are businessmen, who are trying to compete with oil nations, and they know that it’s really unfair business competition. A wise man named Arsene also stated this.

    UK couldn’t get a world cup, but Qatar did.

    Uefa and fifa will never give up the money that they get from sleazy business deals AND bribes that they receive from those countries, who also, happen to sponsor and breed jihadists. Allegedly.

  • Njk,

    I’d love to have Usmanov. Not to be like psg, but maybe closer to Chelsea business model as it is now. They dont throw money around like in the past. They fight for better prices, they lost lukaku because they tried to negotiate. They sold Matic to a rival… big mistake, but they are being a bit more prudent lately. But they do compete financially. That’s all i want, or ask for. I think Usmanov would be more like that. Plus, he cares about the team. Kroenke doesn’t know a thing about us.

  • Hi all.. Hi Jnyc.. nice comment..
    You can’t blame PSG for doing that.. Barca, Madrid, Munchen and also City did that also..
    Moreover France want their league to be more Superior..

    No league are better than PL.. I salute the FA for that.. the equanimity between all team is forced by FA.. So the small Club can compete.. You will never see that happened in other big leagues.. not in Italy, Germany and Spain..

    But, the sad thing is, a great league doesn’t always mean a great national team.. something not going right for England.. and FA must think harder for that..

    And for me better to let PSG get Sanchez for 80M than City for 40M.. What a bargain.. hehehe..

    I wonder why PSG is sponsor by Emirates.. the same as Arsenal.. Why not Qatar Airlines..??

  • Total, agree with your 11.12 & 11.15, and don’t forget it’s a World Cup year in 2018 so these guys aren’t going to go on strike.

    I want us to keep Alexis and Ozil for this season and worry about 2018/19 next summer, let’s deal with the here and now, but I’m not as concerned over AOC, he can leave if the price is right imo.

  • Ko Henry, they can be sponsored by Qatar government and nobody will say anything.

    Jnyc, please let’s do not talk politics here. Situation in the middle east is quite rough and the last thing we want to do is make it sound even worse.

    Lately we are quite silent on the comments for the team. All waiting patiently for the next game against Stoke?
    For me, I am quite worried on the defensive front as Stoke looked sharp on their first game. They just could not score against Everton’s keeper.
    I hope that Mustafi and BFG can start to give the team a defensive boost, and moving Kola to the right wing, replacing Ox.
    If Mustafi is fit and BFG not yet, we will put Mustafi in the centre with Nacho on the left and Holding on the right. He worked well with Mustafi and it is only fitting that we play them together on the pitch.

  • Hi all..
    JK, not only are waiting for stoke’s game but also waiting for newcomers.. and newgoners.. hehehe..

    Don’t worry about Mertesacker.. he will be fit for Saturday night.. and so Mustafi..
    I like to see Giroud start.. because he had a great records against Stoke.. And also to confirm my view about Lacazette.. Can he be Sanchez succesor..??

    But moving Kola to the right, as Bell to the left is weird.. hehehe..

  • Ah, my bad Ko Henry. πŸ˜€
    Kola should be moved out to the left wing, replacing Ox. Bell should keep his place, or should we move Holding out wide?

  • JK.. talking about Ox.. It’s his 24th birthday..
    Let’s hope all the best for him..
    I wish he stay.. Chelsea won’t be a suitable place for him..
    He can be our RWB / LWB and also CM.. as long as he don’t push for starting eleven all the time, he will have a lot time playing.. hehehehe..

  • Hi guys… I agree with JK that we should try and avoid politics…esp., as we might then have to discuss not only foreign but also domestic terrorism… People are doing bad sh*t to one another based on racial/religious/political differences and seem happy to lose themselves (or give up their own lives) in order to do so… To me, it feels like the “end of times,” as they say… 😦 Maybe we should start by trying to come together around our football club–no matter what color our skin, how we choose to worship (or not) and our vision for the world based on our political beliefs… πŸ™‚

    Yeah, right… Gooner on Gooner violence (around the Wenger question), I fear, is not over yet…Unless we have an(other) invincible season… And win all our cup competitions… More 😦

    That said, I also agree with jnyc that, when it comes to the highest “levels” of football, it seems patently obvious that it’s corrupt and that–as a (spectacular) form of global capitalism–there is basically zero meaningful regulation–at least on the financial side of things. As fans of the sport, we suspend our disbelief and hope that, once the players step onto the pitch, anything can happen, i.e., that the refs and the players have not been “bought” in order to influence results. Of course, if we’re urging Usmanov to get more involved, that’s probably where we could best use his rubles… If Kroenke (and/or his management team) isn’t making payments to the refs (and opposing players…) it’s pretty amazing Arsenal does as well as we have. Maybe finishing out of the top 4 suggests we need further “donations” to the FA or PGMOL or whatever organizations (plus individual refs and opponents–I’d target the goalkeepers…) who might help our cause… If corruption happens at that level (and, sadly, it surely must, I think) then there really isn’t much point in watching…

    In my opinion…

    Also, in my opinion, however, I’m very proud of our management’s (Wenger’s) steady voice in protest of the direction the game is headed. They (he) have (has) also created a fine model of how the (finances of the) game should evolve…

    That model (IMO, again) is far less about transfers (and fees) and far more about trying to identify talent and then reward it with good contracts–our famous “wage structure.” Of course, some supporters use this as a stick with which to beat management just as they use transfer fees (or our unwillingness to pay them). Because we (as fans) never get perfect information about these things we create our own narratives. Overall, I choose to “believe” (in?) Wenger and the club, but others clearly do not. “Wenger Out” suggests that ANYONE can and will do a better job–including, by definition, each member of that brigade… That, to me at least, seems ludicrous, but such is the power of our egoism at this point in time. We’ll see what happens when he finally retires or is fired (or dies, most likely by assassination…) I guess. I’m just kidding here–about that last part at least, I hope…

    In the meantime, I have to say that I’m heartened by what I hear. That Wenger might allow player salaries to finally eclipse his own is step one. (Maybe. If Laca is really on 200K per week that would beat AW on 175… and offers to guys like Alexis and Ozil are mooted to be quite a bit higher…) There is a notion that fees (of outgoing players) are as important as those paid for incoming ones but (IMO, once again) it’s really just as much about the salaries we are getting off the books. It all depends upon how we (management and those of us fans who are playing at management…) rate the players. If Alexis isn’t worth 400K per week AND another team is willing to pay that much, what would you do? Same as the Ox at 125-150K per week, etc., etc. It seems–again, to me–that we’re making some good choices (Kolasinac on that amount around what Ox wants; Santi on a retaining fee of 90K per week and my avatar guy–Elneny–working hard for the team on 40K) while I have to agree that guys like Jenkinson (45K) Gibbs (60K) and Debuchy (70K) probably aren’t worth those amounts. Your mileage may (and probably does) vary…In the end it’s all a bit like picking lottery numbers… and all we can do is play our own versions of fantasy football. Like I say, overall, I’m OK with how our management team is doing their work, but that’s just me…

    There’s a match coming up this weekend, I think… I hope we win it… And god (allah/krishna/buddha/yahweh/etc., etc…) forbid if we don’t…

    😦 πŸ˜€

  • Great discussion as usual,
    What has caused me to be cynical about the state of the game as an Arsenal fan, is really how we all waited years, patiently, for Arsenes project to come to fruition. That was, to pay for the stadium, bring through young players, buying some young bargains and developing them. Then renewing the overly long commercial sponsorship deals, to put us in a position to compete for top talents like Ozil, Alexis. Not necessarily Neymar (who Wenger Loved years ago) or Messi, Ronaldo. That was stated by Gazidis. We could compete for any players except for a couple in the world. Much of our plan was based on some Financial Fair Play.

    Everything was going according to plan (though we’ve underperformed in the league the past 2 years). But this abusive use of money by Man city and PSG is really ruining well-run teams chances to compete.
    I don’t mention Man United, because they have legitimate sources of income because of a giant history and reputation throughout the world. I count that as clean money. Barcelona and Madrid are giants too, but they have had Spanish banking support, i hear. But if they are being overwhelmed by these prices. What hope do we have? All prices have been driven up to a point where Coutinho could cost 90 million. Imagine what a good player will cost !
    And seriously, I would not even start Coutinho if you gave him to Arsenal for free. He would be behind Santi, Ramsey, Alexis,, and Ozil.

  • Hey J, you brought it back to football, or at least a player (Coutinho), so credit where credit is due… πŸ™‚ What about Walker to ManCity for 50M? I guess he fills a need but that’s really absurd. Come Bac(ary) to Arsenal (on a free). Sagna is a player who would love playing in a back 3, I think…

    I more than agree with your cynicism about the game (see my 3rd paragraph, above…) but I believe the club has done their best under the circumstances. One can always quibble with individual decisions but the plan seemed decent enough and I’m very moved that Wenger has married his fortune to that of the club’s. Let’s be clear: most managers do not and managers (like politicians) are megalomaniacs. Wenger likes his big contract but (I believe) also cares deeply about the long term future of the club. Most others are happy to spend far above what a club brings in. You cite ManU as a positive example, but (to me) it is loco what the Moo-man is doing up there. Of course, if you win the league or CL you’re gonna sell a lot of shirts… Last bit re politics… (And TA, erase it if you think it’s too much…) If one’s first move on Inauguration day is to register for the next election (and lie about the attendance at the event…), I have to wonder how much you care about the country you’re trying to make great again… (Sorry, I couldn’t resist…)

    Back to the subject at hand… These could be exciting times at Arsenal given Wenger’s (stated) short-termism, but (in spending, at least) our natural level is 4th (in the league)… Will that be enough for the supporters? I doubt it, but with less worry about Europe, maybe we can overachieve…

    Here’s a longer piece I wrote (from when you–jnyc–might have been away) if you’re interested…

  • Hi all..
    Wow.. 17ht.. what a great post you did..
    Bring back the memories of all black and white.. Good and bad.. up and down.. We’ve been through all this year’s supporting our lovely.. one and only Arsenal.. It’s make me wanna cry.. hahahaha..

    Where am I in March when you wrote that post..?? Forgot already.. Hehehe..
    What a great memories you have.. And thanks for re-posting it again.. so I can read it and have a “nostal-gila” (Indonesian idiom), means a crazy nostalgic.. hehehehe..

    Agree with TA, you can make a book of Arsene Wenger.. Can’t wait to read it..
    Admir also added some great comment to the post.. Where is my admiral now..?? I miss some of you guys.. hehehe..

  • 17, that was a post that could have been a magazine or newspaper article. I defend Wenger most of the time, personally, I love the man. But I don’t hide from some of his failures, 2 years ago, we had a great opportunity to win the league. Last season, I feel like the players let him down, which is also partly his fault at least. Those were good opportunities to compete for the title, but we really didn’t. It wasn’t that close.

    Back to money, i love the big signings of Ozil, Alexis, Xhaka especially. Lacazette and Kolasinac also great. But if we don’t strengthen cm (I know Total, you think we’re ok there) or, if Alexis goes without replacement, I will blame him mostly, and the organization, or disorganization. Ox can be replaced, maybe from youth within.

    By the way, rumored price of Β£ 35 mil for Chamberlain to Chelsea seems fair if true. Taking the following into account:
    Walker, who I don’t rate, went for 50, English international, so gets English premium, but is also brought as a definite starter.

    Oxlade, who I rate as a talent, is playing better, but doesn’t produce enough goals or assists yet,
    So… English premium yes, international yes. But .. only one year left on contract (someones fault) aaaand, I don’t think he would start for Chelsea. Even if I’m wrong, substantial add ons for appearances could be in the deal. They have Moses and Alonso, Pedro and Hazard, kante, Bakayoko too.

    As many have said here about Ox, sign, or get moving. Decide now.

  • Ko Henry, nostal ada (Nostalgia, yes), gila ngak ada (Crazy, no) ;D

    17ht and TA, both of you can write a series (not just one book) about Le Prof and it will sell.

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