Arsenal- Cologne. Live Blog With Us. Arsenal Line-up Confirmed: Ospina, Holding, Mertesacker, Monreal; Bellerin, Iwobi, Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Walcott, Giroud, Sanchez

Staying balanced, staying focused.  How (& whom) to play ahead of Stamford Bridge on Sunday.


Arsene Wenger’s first try in Europe’s 2nd tier, like everything he does as leader at the club that bears his name–was it really named in his honor?–is fraught with peril.  If he rests too many, the result could be at risk.  If he plays anybody Gooners demand rested, the would-be-Wenger’s will predict doom for Sunday’s match.  I expect big rotation tonight, maybe even a full new first 11, ahead of bigger fish to fry.  Speaking of fish, here’s a guy who probably would have started but will be absent due to his hamstring injury.  Check it out.  Frozen in blurred action, he actually looks like a fish…

All kidding aside, we wish Francis Coquelin a speedy recovery.  He will be missed tonight and needed as the season continues.

Here’s my predicted starting group with some big ol’ question marks.  Please help me fill in the blanks


Holding –Mertesacker–???????



Of course, the actual names I’ve listed could (also) be wrong.  Who should start and why?  Any insider knowledge of Bottom-of-the-Bundesliga Cologne?  Do they put out a strong squad to try and jump-start their season or do they (too) rotate heavily to try rest their biggest names?  And whom might those big names be if Lucas Poldolski has not yet returned for a 3rd stint at the club?  As with the Gunners, Koln’s squad players might see this as a chance to show their stuff and move up into the starting 11 for Bundesliga play.

OK, there you go.

11:10 am, California Time… Join us with your comments as the match is played.  I’ll be back then…

by 17highburyterrace

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117 Responses to Arsenal- Cologne. Live Blog With Us. Arsenal Line-up Confirmed: Ospina, Holding, Mertesacker, Monreal; Bellerin, Iwobi, Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Walcott, Giroud, Sanchez

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Seventeenho, I am on a train from Manchester to Embra with the last light shining right at me. With a bit of luck, I shall arrive just in time for the game. J has promised to cook a meal for me, and the prospect of beer, food and Arsenal at the home of football on TV, is making me feel relaxed for the first time in a week or so (emptied the Moffat house over the weekend).

    Indeed Tony has a brilliant, reassuring name; would even been better if his first name had been Richard aka Dick.

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    That is a pretty much exciting line up, and what a platform for Iwobi to shine. COYRRGs!!!

  3. retsub1 says:

    Kick off delayed 1 hour crowd trouble

  4. 17highburyterrace says:

    Alright, we got Retsub over here… One hour delay due to safety concerns… Not sure if there have been any incidents…

  5. 17highburyterrace says:

    With all the excitement, expect Koln to come out pumped up… Everton had a bit of trouble in their match… Not sure if they played all kids or what…

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Retsubster. Kev is just far too excited with watching the Koln supporters to answer the Woodcock question. 😀

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    The delay works for me as the train I am on is also delayed and I need to get some cash to pay for Kev’s colleagues’ services. Lets hope there is no real Kraut trouble 😉

  8. 17highburyterrace says:

    Doesn’t seem too weak a team for me… Losing 3-nil as the match closes…

    Everton: Stekelenburg, Holgate, Jagielka, Keane, Baines, Besic, Schneiderlin, Rooney, Vlasic, Sigurdsson, Calvert-Lewin.


  9. TotalArsenal says:

    That’s him, what that hair and name, a natural babe magnet 😀

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    A stronger opponent for the Toffees, I reckon, Seventeenho. Plus these games are hard if you do not take them serious in terms of tempo and intensity from the start, which I suspect Everton could be prone to.

  11. 17highburyterrace says:

    Agreed, TA, the Italian teams, esp. AC Milan (spending freely these days)… Could be tough, as, of course, a couple of the teams who finish 3rd in their CL group will be too…

    Frankly, I think we need to look at the current Arsen(e)l “project” as a two-year plan. Get back into the CL by hook or by crook (i.e., possibly NEEDING to win this tournament, like the mighty ManU last season), then go for the bigger prizes. A winning run in the league could change our priorities, of course…

  12. 17highburyterrace says:

    Personally, I would welcome a Euro Super-League, if it came with REAL FFP limits, and the PL (and the new league) allowed bigger rosters (or replacements if players get injured). When was the last time a non top 5 league won the tournament (or even got close)… I hate to say it, but I’m pretty sure it was the special cow…. Moooooo-rinho… (With Porto, no?…)

  13. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, gotta roast some beans, back in a bit…

  14. 17highburyterrace says:

    There is a bit of video showing police (with batons raised…) er, working, with the crowd outside the stadium…

  15. retsub1 says:

    cologne were issued 3000 tickets. They estimate up to 20000 away supporters. Apprantly Cologne supporters buying tickets from the touts and then trying to climb the barriers to join their own supporters. Kick off now 9.05

  16. Goonereris says:

    Everton were well and truly roasted by Atalanta there. No excuses; they had a very good squad out there. Very few will cut Arsene any slack if we got beaten by the same club. Will check to see how well they are doing in the Bundesliga.

    I do hope the German fans are not causing crowd trouble as they were warned they won’t be allowed to pick up seats in the home terraces; in fact, they were told they will be removed if they are found to flout this requirement. Question is have Arsenal fans sold up their allocations to these fans in question?

  17. Goonereris says:

    A postponement will affect our schedule with Chelsea on Sunday as we would have even less rest. It is already bad, as it stands, seeing as they have 2 full days more to rest up…..

  18. retsub1 says:


    I doubt very much that has happened. All the seats barring the away support are held by season ticket holders. You need to present your season ticket to electronically gain access to the ground. Undoubtably there is a secondary market, but the problem will always be you need to get your season ticket back in time for the next match. The only time I ever brought s ticket from a tout, he had his own ticket and accompanied a group of supporters into the ground. As soon as we sat down he came and collected his tickets.

  19. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, back from roasting some beans, a lighter roast on a washed coffee from Panama… Got my afternoon tea (iced, never any milk nor sugar…) by my side… Yes, I have a problem… 😀

    Retsub, I’m ready to have our, “Who would you drop, Xhaka or Ramsey?” debate whenever you like… I’ll start…

    If anything we need ANOTHER Xhaka–a distributor with good positional (deeper) discipline. I prefer Elneny who also moves aggressively towards the ball to give his teammates an “outlet” option over Le Coq, the aggro defender, though maybe if we’re playing for a nil-nil (do we ever do that?…) Coq is the better option. He’s injured now, so not an option…

    Rambo, for me, is a 4th forward except when he comes to receive the ball deep then make his slow (4-6 right-footed touches…) turns before he can move it on. He’s not afraid to get in scoring positions but at whose expense? In other words his aggressive style takes up a lot of space that others (esp. Alexis, another player who likes multiple touches…) need…

    That’s just me, and I tend to look at the game in terms of space rather than individual heroics (or mistakes). For me, Xhaka makes space for his teammates while Rambo constricts it…

    Over to you…

  20. 17highburyterrace says:

    Pretty sure Atalanta are an Italian team, ‘Eris… (Take that–for getting me on the Arsenal never in UEFA cup during AW’s time… 😉 …)

  21. 17highburyterrace says:

    Also, an hour and 20 mins (with only Bells and Alexis likely to start vs Chavs) will truly affect our performance on Sunday… Indeed, we are a bunch of delicate flowers but are we THAT delicate?…

    More smileys, eh…

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha, this is a bonus game and will have no effects on our game on Sunday. Bellerin is the only one who could play twice in three days and suffer a bit. Alexis will love it if he starts both games.

  23. 17highburyterrace says:

    I guess I should include Nacho as another likely to play on Sunday… I fully expect the same 11 who started vs Bournemouth for the Chelsea match, even DW over Alexis… Though the latter would likely come on somewhere between 55 and 75 mins, depending on whether or not we need goals…

  24. 17highburyterrace says:

    Settled in at your new place for the game, TA?…

  25. retsub1 says:

    Ok the wife has turned three T V over because of the delay. It took me a while to like Xhaka despite T A’ s support. Towards the end of last season he started to play well following a difficult settling in period. Then this season came on us and frankly I thought he was awful for the first few games. He cost us a goal in each of the first thee games and that is unacceptable. He is pretty slow with the ball and he doesn’t like it when he gets pressed. That said he can play magical passes. No doubt he will get his game together soon, but he needs to make it happen.

    I have been a Rambo fan from the beginning. Before Shawcross tried to amputate his leg he was really playing well. It took him a long time to recover including some loan spells, but then about 2014 (from memory) he started playing really well scoring lots of goals and looked the real thing. I just love the guy. If he hits form to my mind he is the best player at the club.

    Neither of them to my mind offers much in the way of defence and I think Coquelin ( or a better replacement) should play against better sides, assuming he is fit.

    I like Elneny as well. He is a really hard worker, but I don’t think he is good enough for a top side. Everything he does is good, but not top quality

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    Place is still the same, Seventeenho; we moved in May you may remember. We finally sold our house in M now…

  27. retsub1 says:

    Shame, I would like to see Jack get a start.

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Enjoy the game Chaps

  29. 17highburyterrace says:

    Game on, finally…

  30. 17highburyterrace says:

    Holding…Bad touch, takes the foul… Should get a yellow, but doesn’t… Koln was breaking after Theo lost it…

    Another FK in a more dangerous spot… Holding called again…

  31. 17highburyterrace says:

    Not a good FK at all, Elneny clears…

  32. 17highburyterrace says:

    Holding almost finds Elneny with a long ball…

    Good one touch work along the right but Theo eventually pushed off the ball…Complains to the ref, but nothing doing…

  33. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cheers retsub for your views… Gotta disagree about things just a bit and I really see Elneny as a player who is improving his game every time I watch him…

    Ospina off his line… And PUNISHED… Cleared it right to a Koln player…

    Koln 1-Arsenal Nil

  34. 17highburyterrace says:

    Once again a break down Holding’s side… 99% Ospina’s mistake, however…

  35. 17highburyterrace says:

    Giroud, ruled offside does pretty well to loop a header from a FK… Might have gone under the bar but too central…

    Theo should be awarded a corner and he is… Taken short and Koln break again down our right side… Shot from distance isn’t quite as good as the goal…

  36. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nice dummy by Elneny but AMN’s cross to Giroud isn’t quite up to snuff… From the corner Monreal forces a save with his header… Easy for the keeper, however…

  37. 17highburyterrace says:

    Intricate play out of the back, including a pacy one from Giroud. Mert hoofs out of play. We’re struggling at the back but Ospina pounces on a loose ball…

    Need to settle into our own game. No need to get the goal back instantly…

  38. 17highburyterrace says:

    Anybody out there?… Nobody freaking out after the howler from Ospina?…

    Theo offside after a good ball forward from Holding… Koln playing the high line?…

  39. 17highburyterrace says:

    Koln getting the ball quite a bit in the middle of the pitch… This time their attack is stopped after a dive…

    Theo crosses but Giroud’s has to generate all the power on the header and it’s an easy save…

  40. 17highburyterrace says:

    Alexis giveaway near the center circle but their break fizzles…

    Holding pushes up but Bellerin is back to cover… Still, Koln are able to get it forward. Cordoba, the goal scorer, hits it out for a GK…

    Iwobi, handball, missed by the ref puts Theo in. Under pressure he scuffs it wide across goal…

  41. 17highburyterrace says:

    Alexis just overhits a pass to Theo…Keeper off his line gathers easily…

  42. 17highburyterrace says:

    Arsenal playing very direct, but why not as Koln seem to want a 2nd, pushing plenty into our half when they get the ball…

    Alexis is playing almost like a deep lying mid trying to transition the ball from back to front…

  43. 17highburyterrace says:

    Holding looks very set to get a card–hopefully just a yellow–with a couple of additional fouls…

    Gotta say, it’s end to end and Arsenal aren’t necessarily on the front foot…

  44. 17highburyterrace says:

    Koln, again streaming forward, win a corner off a deflected shot…

    Training ground play leads to Arsenal trying to break, but Holding can’t keep it going…

  45. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ospina, this time ROOTED to his line almost spills the ball and gives up a pen. The Koln player is down hurt but the whole play was offside… This is getting reminiscent of the home loss to Olympiakos a couple of years back…

    Same back 3 as in the FA Cup final but getting torn to bits…

    Elneny, outside of his right boot, is a couple of yards wide of the far corner…

  46. Goonereris says:

    Hahaha! 17ht, I was actually meant to refer to the Italian Serie A, not the Bundesliga. Been focused on the game since and with the start we’ve allowed them, you can understand the tension in me. Koln are not as good as we are letting them look. The fact we started with a changed back line has resulted in the uncoordinated manner we are playing at the moment.

    Sort it out, guys.

  47. 17highburyterrace says:

    Decent possession down the left but Alexis hits a ball to no one… Koln player hurt by Ospina cannot continue…

    10 minutes left in the half…Gotta equalize or we’ll finally be hearing the Arsenal support (over the Koln supporters, raining down boos, I predict)…

  48. 17highburyterrace says:

    Arsenal aren’t very sharp on the ball and Koln are able to restore their defensive shape quickly…

    AMN is playing like a forward constricting space for Alexis and Iwobi… He is on hand, however to break up another Koln break… And also gets the ball in space in the box but his cross can’t find a teammate…

  49. Goonereris says:

    Everyone is trying to find Alexis but he keeps preferring to run across the middle instead of going forward. If we keep going back and allowing them load their defence, we may play right into their hands seeing as we lack real pace with the back 3. Clearly, the Koln fans are louder and are helping their team.

  50. jw1 says:

    I’m sitting in a doctor’s office– 17.

    Without your running commentary I’d be out of the loop!

  51. 17highburyterrace says:

    Better there, Alexis chipping a ball to Giroud’s head but hits it wide. Good penetration from Iwobi to start the play…

    Alexis fouled, very deep again…

  52. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cheers, JW…

    Holding in a #10 position loses it and Koln break again. Elneny eventually blocks it out for a Koln corner…

  53. Goonereris says:

    Alexis is being chased all over the place. I think he should position himself higher up in their territory and give them something to worry about.

    I don’t know about you guys, but we need to take Holding out of his misery before he compounds things for us.

  54. Goonereris says:

    Alexis’ passing is still as wayward as ever.

  55. 17highburyterrace says:

    Corner cleared–very poor delivery–but they look more likely for the 2nd goal of the match by a bit.

    Alexis overhits a pass to Bellerin… Man City guys would keep it in, Alexis could be thinking…

  56. Goonereris says:

    It will be embarrassing if we have to call on the first team to bail us out. Not the plan, by any stretch.

  57. 17highburyterrace says:

    ANOTHER Holding giveaway but not much comes of it this time. Alexis, IMO is choosing not to move w/o the ball…

    Slightly better but Giroud shot is blocked at the point and Bells can’t quite control a wide ball from Alexis after some tricky touches by the Chilean…

    Gonna have to sort it out at half-time, I fear…

  58. Goonereris says:

    Bellerin is playing with the hand brakes on because he’s thinking of Sunday. Another reason to have tried Debuchy or Chambers? Theo is not being allowed to get into the game at all. I can see the headlines now….

  59. 17highburyterrace says:

    More giveaways by Alexis and Holding in this half than our whole team made vs Bournemouth…

    Hear come the boos… Koln crowd already draining another round of lagers?…

  60. 17highburyterrace says:

    I think we can turn things around with a good team talk… Average positioning of Holding is probably further forward than Alexis on the other side and both cannot find a pass. Bellerin, I think, ‘Eris, has lost a bit of pace since his injury last season… Should’ve sold him to Barca when we could’ve?…

  61. Pony Eye says:

    Our right side of Hold, Bel and Walc is poor. I suppose Bel can’t do it all by himself. Holding should be sent on loan. He needs a lot more games time to mature.

  62. 17highburyterrace says:

    AMN average position might be ahead of Alexis too…

    Shift Bells back to the rear (of a 4 man back line, AMN on the right after yanking Holding?…) then put Reiss Nelson on the right?… Not too many first teamers on the bench, ‘Eris…

  63. Pony Eye says:

    Yeah. Take off Hold. Back to 4:2:3:1. Bring in Jack, Iwobi at 10 and Walcott moves wide which is where he is comfortable. Later kola

  64. Jnyc says:

    Holding playing like a reckless fullback, why isnt he told that if he wants to get so far forward, he must complete a safe pass, not a risky one that can be intercepted, and definitely not dribble between defenders around the opponents box. I keep watching him do that. Not only losing the ball but his momentum takes him farther away from getting back as Koln race forward.

    We cant play with a slow Per trying to get back, Holding way out of the play, and nobody shielding the defense anyway.

    In Ospina’s defense, as the play was developing into a another typical screw up, leaving us open again, I was hoping that he would race out to clear the danger, i just wish he had gotten it up higher in the air.

  65. henrychan says:

    Bell lost his speed.. I think it’s time for Nelson..
    Holding playing very dangerously.. must be replace.. oh.. already by Kolasinac.. great..

  66. 17highburyterrace says:

    2nd half on… Kolasinac (there’s a first teamer) in for Holding…

  67. 17highburyterrace says:

    AMN now playing central…

    Theo does well and wins a corner…

    Comes to nothing but Theo is incorrectly flagged off after another wide ball his way from Alexis… If the calls go against us we’ll be in true trouble here….

  68. Goonereris says:


  69. 17highburyterrace says:

    KOLA on the VOLLEY… WOWSA!!!

  70. 17highburyterrace says:

    Great ball over the top from Elneny to Theo whose cross was blocked up…Kolasinac executed perfectly to blast right through the keeper… Good buy, er, free pick-up, IMO…

  71. Goonereris says:

    The assistant ref on Theo’s side has been having a bad day with a few dodgy calls on Theo; both calls wrong as offside. It’s 1-1 now and we’ve gone to 4-2-3-1….anything to give us something new to work with and drive forward with. Bellerin seems to be taking it too be taking it too easy for my liking.

  72. 17highburyterrace says:

    Positioning and spacing looking much better after the formation switch…
    Kola cross almost gets to a teammate, Alexis lifted cross finds Iwobi but his volley is just over…

  73. jw1 says:

    (Still in the Drs office but happier about being here.)


  74. Goonereris says:

    They are roughing up Alexis for sure. The ref has to watch those niggly fouls on our No. 7.

  75. 17highburyterrace says:

    Whoa… Lucky that Cordoba doesn’t see his teammate out on our left as Koln break our way…

  76. 17highburyterrace says:

    Pretty good cross from Bells but Theo can’t quite get on it…

  77. Goonereris says:

    Got to watch now. Can’t do that and type, like 17ht can. 😩

  78. 17highburyterrace says:

    Alexis gets the call this time and we take it quickly… Might want to set it up with Giroud and Mert in the line-up… Not to mention the Bosnian beast, Herzogavinan Hulk…

    Bells OK with some quick defensive work.. Elneny does well after we lose it (again) down the right…

  79. 17highburyterrace says:

    I’m not sure Herzagovinian is a word…though I’m sure I spelled it wrong…

    Ospina, again off his line gets to this one (too) but successfully puts it out of play…

  80. 17highburyterrace says:

    Oooooh, bad giveaway from Bells but Cordoba’s shot it too straight at Ospina… Koln still want to win this one…

  81. 17highburyterrace says:

    Good defending from Nacho as Koln keep coming on the break. Iwobi struggling, gives a couple of consecutive balls away… If we can get some balls through we should get some chances when Koln are stretched…

    Ooooohhh.. AMN almost through but can’t get by the keeper who was quick off his line… Great chance there…

  82. 17highburyterrace says:

    Jack stripping down… Iwobi doesn’t quite look fit, IMO…

  83. Goonereris says:

    Iwobi needs to come off. He’s not pulling his weight here, for sure. He’s done well in patches but needs to be more involved, if you ask me.

  84. Goonereris says:

    Alexis!!! What a strike.

  85. 17highburyterrace says:


  86. Goonereris says:

    That’s a goal and a half. That’s why we condone his wastefulness!! Hahaha!

  87. 17highburyterrace says:

    AMN stepped in at the other end… Iwobi overhit his pass to Alexis taking him out wide but then he got the space with his little burst as he came to the center and placed it with perfection…

    Now, of course, he gives it away in a deep position… Comes to nothing for Koln, however…

  88. jw1 says:



  89. 17highburyterrace says:

    We look a million times better with the back 4… Nobody knew where to go when Alexis wanted to go central in the first period…

    Theo flagged off again, this time perhaps correctly…

  90. 17highburyterrace says:

    Jack, heavy touch, looked headed back to the hospital but just backs off the 50-50… He’s learning perhaps…

    Loses it near the box but Cordoba, in a one man break is blocked by Ospina at the near post. Corner is headed meekly… Our ball again…

  91. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nice move there… Alexis from deep finds Bells who gets it to Giroud who almost one touches it into a good spot for a Theo finish… Just a little high and wide and Theo’s pull back can’t find a teammate.

    Alexis from too far out tries to score from a FK… Good strike but routine for the keeper…

  92. 17highburyterrace says:

    Koln support a bit quieter now… But bringing in subs…

    Alexis, on the (offside) break from Jack, can’t repeat his curler….

  93. 17highburyterrace says:

    Elneny, defending with his body, is knocked to the ground…

    Reiss Nelson getting prepped…

    oooh… sharp shot from 20 yards by Koln but right at Ospina… The shot was taken right off AMN’s boot…

    Other end, Theo’s cross can’t find Giroud… From the corner, Elneny’s volley is blocked and Ospina, again comes a mile out of goal to clear it…

  94. 17highburyterrace says:

    BELLS… 3-1 to the Arsenal

  95. Goonereris says:

    Job done! Bellerin pouncing on a loose ball after Theo forced a save off their keeper (he should be burying that though). Kolasinac is proving to be an absolute steal on a free.

  96. 17highburyterrace says:

    A goal made from persistence… Alexis gets a ball through to the charging beast on the second try… His pull-back is dummied by Jack and Theo, with a lot of time, can’t beat the keeper but the rebound falls to Bellerin who finishes from a wide angle…

  97. 17highburyterrace says:

    Kola’s on a mega-salary, ‘Eris (as is Lacazette)… Not a bad way to spend your pounds, IMO…

  98. jw1 says:

    Been waiting 90 mins for a 5 min appt.

    But I’m still in good spirits thx to you Seventeenho!


  99. 17highburyterrace says:

    Koln still trying, but their race is run, even if Ospina has to put his hands on another ball…

    Jack can’t find Giroud after some nice work by Bells and Elneny…

  100. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cheers again, J-Dub… Makes me wonder if trying to practice two formations is a good use of our training time… It could be argued that Koln spent too much energy in the first period, buoyed as they were by their fans… Still, the Holding-Kolasinac switch, along with the formation change seemed massive…

    Oh my…back heel contagion…And Alexis almost chips a shot cross for a 4th…

    Koln are still answering their supporters and almost put one in at our end…Blocked by the BFG, I think…

  101. 17highburyterrace says:

    Replay shows the Alexis chip was definitely a shot… Too high for Jack’s head, I fear…

  102. 17highburyterrace says:

    This one’s over with a corner earned by an attempted Giroud cross…

    3-1, but heavy work, for sure…

  103. Goonereris says:

    That was an attempt at a shot by Alexis. We’ve won the game; it must be pointed out that it should be more but for some hesitant passing or wrong decision making (Alexis, most of the times) at times.

    The Cologne fans have been a wild bunch but still they brought some noise into the house and did justice to the night as a European night.

  104. Jnyc says:

    A couple moments of Jacks genius in just a few minutes on the pitch. Please Jack, stop running straight at people with the ball, get rid of it, we know you have the vision to find someone. Curb those instincts. Easier said than done, I know.

  105. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, my race is run as well… Talk to you later, cheers for the in-match comments… JW, stay healthy, eh… 😀

    Also, good half-time comment in there from J in NYC… Looking forward to your full-time take on things… Everybody else’s too…

  106. Jnyc says:

    Great commentary 17 !

  107. retsub1 says:

    Well that was good to watch and great to see Jack back and looking a little classy to.

    Elneny was rubbish, don’t know what you see in him 17 ht. just kidding my man of the match

    I thought Maitland Niles had a decent 2nd half.

    Kolasinac a legend in the making

  108. jw1 says:

    You were in your elementy friend!

    Much appreciated.


  109. jw1 says:

    *element my friend!*

  110. Jnyc says:

    Three at the back, personnel, preparation, discipline ? Which is more the issue? I know it makes me nervous.

  111. Goonereris says:

    Lol, you almost had me going there, for a moment, retsub1 (on Elneny). He was outstanding today and great to have such a class player as back-up really. Can’t wait for Jack to return to full fitness so he can pair with Elneny in these cup games.
    Many wanted he and Nelson to start this game but, with hindsight, I do hope they will be willing to hold up their hands and say maybe not, given the intensity, physicality and aggression of the Koln lads.

    That was a hard game and pity Monreal and Bellerin have to play again on Sunday. Good thing they were not really stretched in that sense, so should be okay for the game.

  112. Pony Eye says:

    A few of the touches from Jack tells he is class. So creative.

  113. njk84sg says:

    Good commentary from 17ht. Like Eris, i am unable to type when i am looking at Gunners matches.

    Looks like Kola made all the difference after he came on at half time, and the way he was involved in 2 goals speak volumes about himself.

    A laboured win but it is a win nonetheless.

    Jack looked like he still needs to brush up on his interplay with his teammates. Reverting to a back 4 ensured that the team can venture forward, but if everyone is upfield, we are prone to effective counter attacks against us.

    Cheers on 3 points gained,

  114. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    Glad we win back the game with style.. We could win much more goals.. hehehe..
    Cordoba just lucky.. that’s kind of kick was rare.. but we can’t blame Ospina.. He was forced.. if not the thing might gone worst.. such as a red card.. You know Ospina can do the bad tackle sometime..

    Are we better with 4-2-1-3 than 3-4-3 form..?? Or were some of the guys just can’t fit.. yet.. with this new system..??
    Bellerin seem a bit confusion with his rules.. and so Walcott.. They use to play wide..
    Sanchez also a bit lost before Kolasinac came in.. We are so lucky to have him for free..
    He really is a beast.. and he can fit with Sanchez as good as he did with Lacazette and Welbeck..

    So.. Now I’m the one who confused.. should we play 4-2-1-3 again?

  115. njk84sg says:

    Ko Henry,

    It is not the lineup that was at fault. AMN and Iwobi on the left does not work well with Alexis.

    We should not see the positioning as a weakness. It is how the players click with one another. Iwobi is a player that does not defend. Alexis is another, but he tracks back to help the team. Iwobi does not track back most of the time.

    Putting Alexis and Iwobi on the left does not make sense to me.

    For Holding, for me it is just a tactical substitution, and he had done well in that position for a few games last year. So, i do not think it is about him.

    Rather, i agree with you that Theo likes wide areas, but the problem is that he runs infield too. So, why is he not able to play well in a 3-4-3 formation?

    Kolasinac is a good team player. Iwobi is not. That is the difference.


  116. Pony Eye says:


  117. TotalArsenal says:

    Ah thanks PE. I just published a post but will look at yours later.

    New Post 🙂

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