Reacting to the Loss at Watford: Is it Time for Four at the Back?

All statistical analyses have shown that the three center back formation has not improved us defensively, but has instead lowered our offensive numbers. That, however, is not the overriding reason why there is a need to consider reverting to the back four.  A back three demands at least six central defenders in the squad, especially as we are saddled with three matches per week for most of the autumn. What do we have there?

1) A 33 yr old Per Mertesacker whose legs are beginning to tire.
2) The marvelous 32 yr old Laurent Koscielny who is dogged by a chronic achilles problem and currently is out injured.
3) Shkodran Mustafi, a German international, out for a period of about 6 weeks with an injury.
4) Nacho Monreal, a 31 yr old converted full back who is also needed as cover for the wingback position.
5) 22 yr old Calum Chambers who has played only 45 minutes so far this season in all competitions.
6). 22 yr old Rob Holding, full of potential but still fragile in confidence.

That looks a bit of a rickety collection which smacks of a lack of ambition for a team that is expected to compete for honors everywhere. The color of the group dramatically improves if we revert to a back four which demands only two central defenders.

Are there other reasons to employ a four-man back line? I should think so. When Chelsea manager Antonio Conte introduced the 3:4:3 formation last season the Premier League was totally unprepared for it.  It took the league by storm and Chelsea swept past everyone. We made the same switch late in the season and went on a similar rampage. The trend this season seems to indicate that premier league teams have acquired an antidote: stop the wingbacks stretching the field and the attack goes limp, starved of numbers. This is particularly so for a team like Arsenal which propels its offense with quick combination passes featuring multiple movements. With two instead of three central defenders, one more body can be released and fully integrated into attacking areas, with their movements more difficult for the opposition to handle. Poor Alexandre Lacazette, our most expensive acquisition, poorly serviced and hardly ever supported by enough bodies.  He cannot be enjoying our 3:4:2:1 system. He–and the team–need a 4:2:3:1 that allows the swagger in our DNA to express itself.  Against Watford we looked… meh.

Our attack was devoid of creativity, which is exactly why we need a player like Mesut Ozil, whose cross of a fragile personality we all must bear.  He can only thrive when he is loved. The Germans know that and get the best out of him. I wish we could accept him for what he is. His performance started sliding when it was demanded he add goals and show more fight in his game. He now looks broken under those pressures.  Ozil cannot be the lead singer. Get the chorus in voice, however, and watch him thrive.  Jack Wilshere’s comeback program now needs to be sped up to help Ozil shine again. Our attack also needs Alexis, the X-factor man. As long as Ozil and Sanchez are still with us we need them. Every match is vital.

When we square up against the top teams, particularly away from home, we should use plenty of hard workers to disrupt the opponents’ game.  Ozil can then be sat on the bench.  That’s pragmatism.  It worked against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.  Against Watford and other lesser teams, we must always don our toga of possession, creativity and style with the likes of Ozil, Sanchez and Wilshere.  It’s nauseating and demoralizing to lose ugly to the smaller teams.

At Watford, I found it curious when we substituted Lacazette for Giroud given that we were already failing to attack with numbers and finding it difficult to penetrate the opponent’s box, the one place Giroud excels. Instead, I thought our transitioning structure was what needed to be rejigged, either with a different substitute or a change of formation.

A final comment. What an exquisite passer Xhaka is, but, as the saying goes, the strength of a chain is that of its weakest link.  Xhaka has an incredibly slow motor response that will keep causing us dearly.  Is it time for us to cut our loss? Big decisions lie ahead.

COYG!!!

By Pony Eye.

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53 Responses to Reacting to the Loss at Watford: Is it Time for Four at the Back?

  1. Nice one, PE… I hope the editing is OK…

    Your views don’t exactly mesh with my own, esp. when it comes to the player assessments, but I don’t have time to get into it now, and, of course, we don’t have to agree about all things Arsenal… That’s what makes the Goonersphere go round, or something…

    Back later with more specifics…

    Cheers for the post!

  2. East Stand Lower says:

    It was a stupid team selection.. take the back 3 out of the equation the other 7 had played a total of 270 games for arsenal.. take welbeck out and that comes down to 220 total goals 17..
    so where was the win going to come from,, absolutely no where.

    we had basically Basle’s central midfield of a year or 2 ago,, that really says it all.

    the squad and team are an absolute joke
    you talk about 4 at the back ,, who do we have as center backs that we can rely on for 40 to 50 games..???
    None

    We have nothing in important positions to come in. remember this was a manager that had Keown/ Edu/ wiltord and Kanu all on our bench in past days.

    Those 4 would walk into this .

    JoelCampbell is better than welbeck walcot and iwobi.. where is he .. oh yes on loan,, why??

    Maitland Niles is a better player than both the Basle gnomes why does he not play?

  3. Pony Eye says:

    HT …. thanks for the edit. I always say to myself ” Aah that’s how I should have phrased it!”.

    It’s baffling but interesting how people see the same thing differently. Am always curious to know what views people hold, and how they tally or differ from mine and whether from them I could glimpse new insights.

  4. ESL (which stands for English as a Second Language where I’m from)…

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks PE, we can change the system or we can focus on better application of the current one. It’s a bad loss and it hurts but Wenger will want to refind momentum against the Toffees. That will not be easy.

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    Just saw the highlights and the only conclusion I can pull is that we were not clinical enough. We needed that second goal and had plenty of chances but were just very wasteful. Oh and never a pen.

  7. Jnyc says:

    I hate when people say : “I told you so” but here is my comment from last week..

    October 14, 2017 at 06:49
    So am I really the only person worried about multiple games and lack of cb’s to start 3.? I would definitely go with the old 2 cb, 2 fb set up. Try to rotate if possible. We can play youngsters in the other competitions, use the best for the premier lge.

    This has nothing to do with the loss. I’m writing it because I’m unhappy that Koscielny was injured.
    I know he was passed fit, but maybe if we weren’t married to 3 cb formation, there might have been less pressure to start him. A small adjustment getting more use out of the fullbacks who weren’t struggling with fitness was common sense..
    I know that injuries can happen at any moment, to the most fit person. But let’s not rationalize. We sold Gabriel, and we had fitness issues with Chambers, Koscielny and lost Mustafi. There is less of a chance of getting another injured cb if you use 2 in games rather than 3.

    Yeah, before you say it, I know injuries can happen in practice too, but players in doubt can train in a different way to help protect them somewhat.
    I would still be annoyed if any of the other center backs were injured. Maybe we could have protected Koscielny for a few games and kept him on the bench.

    Pony, I enjoyed the post. I am concerned that Welbeck seems to be Wengers pet. I get the feeling that he favors him because he knows Alexis is leaving, so he is preparing everyone for the eventuality of Welbeck being the replacement. That’s sad. Also he’s trying to show Sanchez that he doesn’t matter, if we can win without him. Arsene is not above little games like that. He will make sure the player knows who is Le Boss.

  8. jw1 says:

    Befor Kos’ injury changed the substitution of Jack for Iwobi(?)– with Wenger’s in-game view the perspective?

    I felt that even when that occurred he STILL needed to bring on Wilshere.
    Move Nacho to RCB, Sead to LCB and Iwobi to WB.

    This isn’t hindsight– but what I felt should have been the move at the time.

    We still needed a fresh set of legs to control the midfield, to retain possession.
    Holding was like-for-like for Kos– but not what was required in that moment– to hold onto 1pt.

    jw1

  9. St. Henry says:

    Nice post PE! 👍😀. While totally bummed that we lost, I appreciate that you take a different look at the situation instead of the ready “Wenger out” or ” X is useless”. Regardless of one’s views on that subject, this is the team we have until Jan and getting the best out of them rather than forcing them into a shell seems the right way to go. I agree with you and Jnyc about reconsidering the old system. Perhaps it was the right time anyway; or maybe our hand is forced. I must confess that I thought, with four clean sheets, that maybe we found the right balance after all with 3 at the back. Then Mustafi went and got hurt. Seems like someone up there does not want Wenger going out on a high.

    While on the confessional, I feel that this loss is totally on me! Every single team that I follow and played for lost last week! Across multiple sports and countries!😱 So, sorry fellow sufferers. 🙇 Not sure which voodoo doctor I have to see to lift the curse. 🤔 Any suggestions?

  10. 17highburyterrace says:

    Well, I wrote something this morning but lost it and had no time to try and reconstruct… Dammit…

    So, a couple of thoughts… JNYC… I hate I told you sos too. It’s hard to know what’s going on with the fitness assessments. Leaving Alexis and Ramsey out were big calls as was Ozil on the bench (see my title from the live-blog post). Kos out (Holding in?) might have appeared even more of step too far…

    St. Henry… I think PE actually said X(haka) IS useless… (“time to cut our losses…”) 😀

    That’s not the only thing I disagree with in the post. Yes, the injury situation could justify a formation change but where are these stats about the back 3 not improving us defensively? I certainly haven’t seen them (but I don’t go out of my way to look at stats which are often twisted to suit narratives anyway). To my mind we’ve had a ton of clean sheets since the switch and gotten some very nice results, including an FA cup win against top competition. Yes, we’re not scoring goals like we should but I’m OK with thinking defense first.

    I thought the Giroud for Laca sub made (perfect) sense. More size at set pieces and a target man if we wanted to hoof it forward out of the back seemed like a fine idea to me. I agree that a switch of formation and getting Jack on for Kos would have been my preference (as J suggests)…

    I also don’t buy this idea that Ozil should only be played against the lesser teams. Indeed, we should appreciate him, but I’ll never convince those who have already turned on him. (“Supporters,” they call us…sometimes… 😦 ) In my mind Ozil is a space creator (in addition to having a world class eye for the key pass). Our problem (IMO) is that if we have space-hogs Alexis and Ramsey in the line-up at the same time, we (simply put…) need more space. In other words, 3 at the back plus Ozil creates that space and allows those guys (Rambo and Alexis) to have a chance to contribute. If we want to play our best team, those three need to play, I think…

    In my lost post I also had ripostes against more of the new guy’s (ESL’s) idiocies–Joel Campbell as savior, playing for Basle (sic) means you suck, etc., etc., etc, but I’ve lost my motivation there.

  11. Pony Eye says:

    Reasonable views all except maybe ESL whose objectivity obviously is still steeped in the Watford loss. Pain if not properly managed tends to be self destructive.

  12. Pony Eye says:

    Jnyc …. I’d rather not read too much meaning in Alexis absence in the squad. He came back Friday most probably in a poor frame of mind. You can see that am now totally in alliance with your earlier view of our reverting to two central defenders .

  13. Pony Eye says:

    Jw …. I thought that when Kos got injured Wenger should have switched to the back 4 and binging in Wilshere. Watford had the edge at that time and he was probably thinking defense. Attack as a form of defense against Watford might have been better. Maybe hindsight wisdom.

  14. jw1 says:

    PE–

    In all of this? Rolling the defensive formation(s) around in my mind– the one individual who completely disappeared from my thoughts was El Neny. Most times when defending a lead or tied– he’s the motor receiving the ball and initiating movement forward. The conduit.

    I recall Iwobi– was simply out of gas. But now it occurs to me that maybe El Neny was too.
    I’ve got the game DVR’d. And while I’m not one to dwell? I might take another look at the last 10 minutes once more.

    jw1

  15. Pony Eye says:

    jw ….. I too felt that Iwobi was completely out of gas. I consider his closing down of opponents inefficient as he usually runs long distances to do that leading to his early exhaustion. He must learn to position himself more intelligently when the opposition players have the ball. Elneny seems to lack creativity and tackling ability. He is good at ball possession so can be effectively used to run down games. Xhaka, imo, is sufficiently creative as a CM, but he is prone to costly errors.

  16. Pony Eye says:

    St Henry ….. just trust on the fact that lightening does not strike twice. You’re not going to have another week like this. Say Amen.

  17. njk84sg says:

    That shows how light we were at the back, PE. Selling Gabby and keeping Matt is not good in both business and footballing sense but we have to make do with what we have until the next transfer window.

    East Stand Lower’s comments were not totally agreed, but it showed that the whole team is in a mess, and we needed to be more prolific in front of goal.

    Today is a public holiday here in Singapore, so had more time to post a comment here.

    Hope for a better performance by the team on Thursday.

  18. njk84sg says:

    And no action against the dive. FA is clearly against the team. Borrowing a word from Wenger, scandalous.

  19. Pony Eye says:

    HT …. Click below to see one of a number of analysis that shows that the 3:4:3 has not improved our defensive numbers :-
    http://7amkickoff.com/index.php/2017/05/11/cech-saves-arsenal/

    I also refer you to the analysis in my BK post on the Liverpool V Arsenal Match preview in which I went further to show that the 3:4:3 has not performed better than the 4:2:3:1 hereby quoted …. “By the way, let us evaluate our performance in all competitions since we switched to the 3:4:3 formation. Played 12, won 10, lost 2. That is a brilliant record. But there is a catch. Two of the matches in out 10 wins (City FA semi final and Leicester EPL17/18 were matches rescued from loosing positions by the grace of our switch mid-game back to the 4:2:3:1, as well as the Leicester EPL 16/17 home match, where the same switch moved us from a draw position to victory. As far as is available to us, the 3:4:3 was loosing 2 and drawing 1 out of those our 10 wins. If we then go by the state of things before the mid match switches, the 3:4:3 overall performance would have been 7wins, 1 draw, 4 losses which translates to 69 points in a season of 38 games. This stat should bring us back to earth as far as the 3:4:3 formation is concerned, now that it’s assumed robustness has been brought into proper perspective. It has proved not any better than our 4:2:3:1. What this analysis tells us is that allowances should be made for tactical adaptation and against Livepool I believe we need to adapt.”

    With our CD currently under an injury spell, the best option in my opinion is to revert to a back 4.

  20. Pony Eye says:

    njk ….. I felt there would not be a ban. The player had to be given the benefit of doubt as there was a slight contact which though was not anywhere enough to warrant a penalty.

  21. njk84sg says:

    Given the benefit of doubt i agree, but the way he dived meant that it should be a yellow card, which we were robbed of a penalty, and that looked to be as soft as it gets, so definitely not a good decision, and it might cost us in the end.

    So, still not happy at the way the FA does things.

  22. Pony Eye says:

    The referee had given a decision as he “saw” it. Too bad for us and for the game if he “saw” it wrongly. The FA cannot retrospectively reverse a referee’s wrong decision otherwise almost every match would have to be replayed. The compromise would be instant “video evidence”. Am all for it.

  23. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey PE… I was aware of that 7amkickoff stat… Tim is actually a guy I’ve met and one who, I think, tries to keep the conclusions from his statistical work as neutral as possible.

    I’m not sure why you would just copy and paste your earlier win/draw/lost analysis as we’ve now got 8 additional matches in the books since you wrote it. They were 6 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss, none of which (I don’t think) featured a switch to a back four. Of course, that’s in all competitions, but that’s what you chose to look at earlier. So, now we’re up to 13 wins, 2 draws and 5 games that saw us lose (not “loose…”) which happens to be 19 games total (exactly half a PL season). Extrapolate those numbers (as you did above) and we end up with 82 points. That’s still (probably) not enough to win the league but it’s better than 69…

    That’s not to say that we’re not facing injuries now that might justify a switch to a back 4 or that a back 4 might not be the better formation for any number of reasons. All it says is that I’m not buying the justification via the stats… 😀

    I also don’t buy the argument about the league having figured it out. Of course that’s not exactly what you said. Instead it was about the wing-backs stretching the play which our guys, Kolasinac and Bellerin, I think, excel at doing. Pairing them with a not-quite-fit (or just invisible on the day) Welbeck and a young player, Iwobi (who actually had to do most of the heavy lifting in attack at Watford) and it’s very different than having Alexis on one side and Ozil on the other who defenders must track with much more vigor. Indeed, Lacazette was in trouble up top on his own last Saturday, but is that always the case?

    A final argument against switching formations–at least right now–is the very limited practice time we have. The International breaks, three games per week and rejigging the team after the late transfers out are all problematical. Again, the injuries at the back might seem to force the issue, but is it easier to plug new guys into the holes or to ask the entire rear of the team (including 2nd team players) to work themselves into a new set-up?

    In the end, as much as we’d love simple solutions to our problems–i.e., switching formations, our problems run deeper. Lack of quality in many positions, lack of sound bodies AND minds (guys who want to transfer out, failed to qualify for the WC, etc., etc…) and, IMO, an extremely unsupportive environment… Well, it’s just not that easy…

    Sorry… Back on our horse in Belgrade tomorrow night… 😮

  24. Jnyc says:

    Sorry 17, i was writing a long response about 3 cbs in a shortage and lost it, aaaargh!
    Shorter version:
    I disagree and it’s not hindsight, because some of us called it ahead of time. Koscielny, dicey fitness issue, Mustafi out. Chambers, not ready ( new setback today ) .. we have 2 matches per week coming up. Conserve the professional cbs.
    All fbs healthy, including Coquelin closer to fitness than Chambers.

    Theyve all played in a four exclusively until late last season, i dont buy that it’s difficult for a professional footballer to make that switch, even mid-match.
    It was really short sighted of Wenger. Now if we suffer, it will be a new excuse, the shortage of cbs.

    The points analysis you did, im confused, but i hope you’re right. The way you state it sounds not too bad.

    The more I think about, the more annoyed that Jack wasn’t given the start. I would’ve started him with a target of 60 minutes. He was one of our few players that didn’t deal with international travel or games.
    Regardless of the formation, he is about 9 times the quality midfielder that El Neny is, and a dominant quality mid could have made a real difference. We could have used any combination of kids in Serbia on Thursday. On top of that, I know that Jack is hungry for a league game, and his rest last week was a perfect opportunity.

  25. Pony Eye says:

    HT …. good arguements. There are usually many routes to a solution. I copied earlier posts because you asked of where I got them from in your 1st comment. I also used all competitions in that post I quoted because the non EPL matches were with EPL teams (FA matches City and Chelsea) and the stats included the 1st 2 EPL games of this season which affects your numbers.. I appreciate that what I presented is merely a view point which could be valid or miles off the mark. Maybe that’s what helps the world tick. We see things our own ways.

  26. Pony Eye says:

    In terms of the difficulty in switching formation I’ve come across it reported of the squad training with the two formations. Many teams e.g. Spurs routinely change formations. Watford changed to 3:4:3 against us.

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    If a defence holds a home team to just two shots on target, we have to say we had a good defence on Saturday. The problem was, I say it once more, a lack of ability and luck to score the second from our six shots on target. Rather than analyse ourselves to a bunch of underperforming shites, we need to take this on the chin and move on.

  28. Very nice counterarguments, PE & J… And, given the injuries we’ve got, I’m not at all against a formation shift… Mostly I’m saying that I doubt it solves all of our issues.

    I’m not so down on Elneny (who, I think, always looks very fit and willing) but he did look rather lost out there vs Watford. Not quite as bad a Welbeck (my opinion…) but still very unsure if he should be making forward runs (to fill spaces left open mostly by the very active Iwobi, who I agree was spent not long after an hour)… Kolasinac was also a lot less involved in that particular match. So, indeed, a mid-match switch to a back 4, esp. after the (bogus) penalty might have been the way to go…

    …IF–and it’s a big one, which I think nobody will like–Wenger was actually trying to win the match rather than not lose it…

    Here’s my “told you so” 🙂 … I wrote in my first comment at the top of the Live-blog post that the starting line-up looked very defensive oriented. To me, it seemed very likely that Wenger was thinking in that manner, leaving both Alexis and Ramsey out of the 18, not to mention keeping a guy who can’t defend (Ozil, according to some) or shouldn’t be defending (to avoid injury and, perhaps due to lack of fitness–Wilshere).

    Now, whether or not it’s OK to go (across town…) to Watford with such a negative attitude is a whole ‘nother question (as they say)… My gut feeling is that Wenger is aware that the squad is very shaky right now and that we need to work our way into the season as best we can, injury setbacks and all. Unfortunately, despite all the optimism here on BKesque, I have to concur…

    Now, with set-back (at Watford), things are even more delicate, which might make tomorrow’s long trip to Belgrade more important than it might have been. IMO, no matter what happens out there (and I’ll be trying to both live-blog it AND keep my expectations down…) the big one is Everton on Sunday. Our last trip to play a Merseyside team didn’t work out so well so this one NEEDs to be better…

    In my opinion (as always)…

  29. Pony Eye says:

    I can’t believe it. Debuchy to start tomorrow says Wenger!

  30. Jnyc says:

    I’d love to see Debuchy ! He’s our secret weapon.

  31. njk84sg says:

    Looking forward to a favourable score when I wake up on Friday morning. The game starts at 3am here so it is impossible for me to catch it live.

    TA, the preview?

  32. Pony Eye says:

    All quiet on the eastern front (v Red Star Belgrade).

    POSSIBLE LINE UP (4:2:3:1)
    ——— Cech———
    Niles–Deb–Holdn–Dasilva
    —–Coq——-Willock——-
    Theo—-Wilsh—–Nelson
    ———-Giroud—————

    PROBABLE LINE UP (3:4:2:1)
    ———–Cech———–
    –Deb—Elneny—Holdn–
    Niles–Coq–Wilsh—Dasilva
    ——Theo——–Nelson—–
    ————Giroud————–

  33. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    Hi PE.. Wenger won’t under estimate Red Star.. Sanchez, Mertesacker, Monreal and Kolasinac Will play..
    Let’s see soon..

  34. henrychan says:

    Wow.. I must been away too long..
    All Players I mention not even on the bench.. hehehehe..

  35. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hi fellas, Where I’m staying right now they don’t seem to have today’s match on the telly… So, no live blog today. I’ll be trying to find a stream of the match, so, at best, I’ll have a comment or two during the breaks…

    Who’s gonna miss it anyhow… 😀

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    Cech; Debuchy, Holding, Elneny; Nelson, Coquelin, Willock, Maitland-Niles; Walcott, Wilshere; Giroud.

    Subs: Macey, Osei-Tutu, Akpom, Dasilva, McGuane, Nketiah, Sheaf

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    Very young midfield but exciting team. Well done Wenger for leaving the first teasers at home and yet selecting a strong team.

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    Teamers of course.

  39. henrychan says:

    We must attack then from the right side.. where Walcott and Nelson are there.
    We often lost on the left.. when the counter attack come..

  40. 17highburyterrace says:

    Heard the game on Arsenal Player radio…And actually missed the first hour or so, not aware of the earlier starting time… The goal sounded like a very good one and it seems excellent that so many young guys got to play while many of the first teamers rested…

    It WAS a very good goal…

  41. henrychan says:

    Yes indeed 17ht.. a nice goal..
    And at last we score.. Hehehe..
    Sleep well..

  42. Pony Eye says:

    Reiss Nelson my MOTM.

  43. njk84sg says:

    Reiss Nelson is good, but the defense is still a worry. With Cech saving us a couple of times it meant that we were not confident enough at the back.

    Debuchy showed his class and some great positioning by him but not Holding and the kids had more desire to defend than Rob.

    The goal came from a very good piece of skill from Jack, and what a player he is. Lovely flick to Theo and Ollie bicycled it in.

    But the opponents was a man down when it happened, and it seemed that we need to learn to play better without much space.

    Still another win, so kudos to the team.

    JK

  44. Jnyc says:

    17, i havent been able to see the game, but i just wanted to say that I love your live blogs. You do a great job of observing and reporting. It’s obviously hard to do, I have had trouble even dropping in a comment or 2 except for halftime. I feel guilty that you work so hard when you should just be enjoying the matches like the rest of us.

  45. Admir says:

    An away victory without 16 players that would be in the squad or close to it in ideal conditions is always a good thing. Now it’s time for an away victory against a Koeman’s team.

  46. Pony Eye says:

    Cech stood tall.
    Impressive was Debuchy’s commitment.
    Elneny brought the ball our from the rear assuredly.
    Holding was ok.
    Nelson has the skills and the guts of great players. Youngest but bravest.
    Coq was so tentative with his passing.
    Niles got pace but needs a little bit more guts.
    Theo got that his off the shoulder runs. Not much else.
    Jack is a master.
    Giroud is a denizen of the box.

  47. 17highburyterrace says:

    Thanks (very much) J for the kudos re: the live-blogging. What you say about “enjoying” the matches is kinda funny given the (deathly) seriousness of each (and every) Arsenal result… For me, it’s more actually more fun to say my bit during the matches (ideally with a bit of banter from others saying theirs) than it is trying to talk folks off the ledge if Arsenal have a bad result (or keep their excitement down, sometimes, esp. around here, if we have a good one)… The “work” element isn’t too bad either. I’m grateful I took that typing (not keyboarding…) class in 9th grade which made me at least somewhat able to touch the right keys while looking at something else.

    Everton on Sunday will be an early wake-up (5:30) but I’m pretty sure I’ll have the television working…

    Regarding yesterday… It sounds like Jack had a good one and he certainly played a key role in the goal, busting through a pair of defenders before playing the pair of give and go passes with Theo before the Giroud velo golaso–or whatever you might call it if you don’t mind mixing up some continental words… The rest of the match sounded not so much fun to watch, but I can’t say having seen nothing but the video above… Which means I haven’t actually seen Debuchy playing… I’ll have to wait until I do to believe it’s true… 😀

  48. Goonereris says:

    Hey, guys. Nice to have a chance to throw in a very quick comment.

    Nice to win away at a good Red star side; we looked a bit disjointed at times but put it all together for that goal, with some combination passes (Jack always seems to be about when we get to work those sleek passing moves into goals) and another good goal from Giroud’s box of unorthodox goals.

    Lastly, Waldo must be buzzing at seeing Debuchy back in the side, after many team predictions …. 😃😃

  49. Jnyc says:

    Whenever Girouds time at Arsenal is up, there will be a fantastic highlight video of his work. Many spectacular goals, but some really beautiful flicks and passes. Especially for a big man, who started playing at an unusually late age. Its a shame so many people love to diminish his work, contributions for us.

  50. jw1 says:

    And today, Watford played as on a mission versus the Blues– leading 1-0 and 2-1 at one point to the half. But Chelsea, kicked it into gear with Pedro and Willian exploiting the Hornets right flank time and again– and winning going away 4-2

    Alas. Poor Deeney. Displaying his ‘nojones’ today.

    jw1

  51. Goonereris says:

    Chelsea got the win but Watford’s overall play will cause the league to take notice. It could have easily been 1-3 Watford (and who knows what thereafter?), but for some wastefulness on the part of the visitors. They’re playing well, for now and have suffered only their 2nd defeat today.

    As for Deeney, I won’t pay too much attention to his silly goading of fellow professionals, at this level. Maybe, he gets too excited with us so he can go home and rib his Arsenal supporting son.

  52. Pony Eye says:

    TA … looks like no preview.

    Should we play cagey or do we go all out? I’d bet that at Everton the same questions are being asked. A game of nerves. Right tactical decision might win it.

    For me we never know how to do it cagey, so I’d say why not all out which is our DNA. Our inside forwards should tuck in well to allow our wingbacks to stretch the field. To me, that would be the key. If we are able to utilize our wingbacks fully in our offense then we’d need our central mids to be territorially discipline.

    Expected line up:-

    ————Cech————
    —Kos—-Per—-Nacho–
    Bel—Rambo–Xhak–Kola
    ——Ozil——-Alexis——–
    ————Lacz————–

    SUBS:- Macey, Holding, Debuchy, Coq, Jack, Iwobi, Giroud.

  53. TotalArsenal says:

    Well you is wrong, eye of the Ass.

    New Post New Post. 🙂

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