Eight Observations from 45 Minutes of Playing Football the Arsenal Way


Eight observations from 45 minutes of playing football the Arsenal Way:

  1. Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan have given Arsenal a blood transfusion. It is great that we, the fans, are glad that Arsenal have reunited this quality couple, but the response of the remaining players to these two top-talents is most important, of course. On the evidence of yesterday’s game, both players are welcomed with open arms and have given the squad an enormous lift. There was just such an overdoses of red and white testosterone on the pitch; the whole team was buzzing.
  2. Mkhitaryan lightens the load for Mesut. The team will continue to be based around the creative force of Mesut Ozil. But key is of course that we do not become over-dependent on Mesut, as a lack of form or injury would put the team performances in jeopardy. The good news is that with Jack and Henrikh we have players who can also pick assists; and it was of course Mkhitaryan who stole the limelight yesterday with a hat-trick of assists. With two or three on the pitch of Mesut, Jack and Henrikh, opponents will not know how to stop our production of key chances.
  3. Aaron Ramsey makes a statement. We all know that once Ramsey is up and going he can be a real force. The problem is this takes a while and it’s often interrupted by injury. It seems that Rambo and Henrikh already have developed a brotherly connection on the pitch with the latter finding the Welshman with accurate passes with some ease, leading to two very fine goals. For Ramsey to be a regular starter in the team, he will have to keep performing like he did against the Toffees; and I think it showed that he knows this.
  4. PEA14 should be a very, very fine addition to the team. His speed in terms of sprints and quick bursts in the box are a joy to watch. He makes intelligent runs and there is an element of unpredictability – but with real shark-like focus – about him, which must be a nightmare for defenders. I want to watch him for a few more games before making judgement, but first signs are very promising.
  5. The Double DM-pivot remains a work in progress. Ramsey pushed forward a lot and left Xhaka behind for long spells. Because we were so strong in attack and Everton could just not keep up with our attacking ferocity, we did not get punished for our lack of numbers in deeper midfield during the first half. In the second half, when Everton pushed us into our own half for the first twenty-five minutes or so, we looked a lot more vulnerable and disorganised both in midfield and defence. A sterner midfield-battle will await us at Wembley on Saturday; to beat the Spuddies, Arsenal will have to win the midfield battle and to do so the DM-duo will have to play a lot more conservative than they did against the Toffees. I am hoping to see jack and Elneny rather than Xhaka-Rambo again, but Wenger will probably stick with yesterday’s match duo.
  6. Not every one will like this, Iwobi played one of his best games. He played with Mkhitaryan, Ozil and Aubameyang up-front who are all in their prime. At just 21 years of age, Alex Iwobi took fully part in the dance of the attackers. Yes there were a few iffy moments when he was helping out at the back, but there were also a few very strong interceptions and escapes from very tight spaces. He also produced an assist and one or two great long-balls, which showed both his football intelligence and technical ability. The way he holds on to the ball and dares to go past defenders adds also to our attacking play.
  7. Obviously, although Iwobi performed well, it does not mean he will get to start every game. There is now a lot of competition for the ex-$anchez position and it is highly likely that Wenger will want to start both PEA and Laca in games. There is also a need to keep finding a position for both Aaron and Jack, depending on who will be first choice in the double-DM pivot. I have no doubt that Wenger was planning to give Laca some time in the team but the injuries to Cech and Nacho prevented him from doing so. Keeping both Laca and Auba happy will be key for the success of the team.
  8. End of adventurous full-backs? Pushing the FBs forward has been a mayor feature of Arsenal’s tactics.  It leaves us vulnerable to counter-attacks but it gives us extra-width, which is often key against the PTB teams. Key is that the FBs get to the by-line and then put in quality balls. I reckon we did not get enough from our FBs in attack this season. With Alex, Mesut and Henrikh playing behind Mr Mobility, there is less need for the FBs to join our attacks as much as before. Both Xhaka and Rambo give further support to the attackers in terms of making clever triangles to get into the box and to the by-line. Early days, but I would not be too unhappy if our FBs would become a bit more conservative from now on (having said that, judging on their performances in the second half, they have to improve their defensive discipline quite a bit anyway).

A great result and big boost to our PL goals tally; if we can do that again against the Spuddies on Saturday, I think we all will get a bit tipsy! 😀

Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners!

By TotalArsenal.

70 thoughts on “Eight Observations from 45 Minutes of Playing Football the Arsenal Way

  • Pool 2-2 Spurs. Each scoring in extra-time. Perfect.
    Arsenal pick up 2 pts on every top-5 rival except United this weekend.


  • Nice positive way to view things, jw1, but the key thing is we must start to win games and remain consistent or we will remain 6th for a bit longer.

    I wasn’t sure what the best result for us would be but my dislike for Spurs had me hoping for a win for ‘Pool. At least, it means we close in on one top 4 rival, especially since it one we play next…. thinking low morale and all. You got the feeling the assistant referee was trying to help Kane get to 100 goals; he was offside for the first penalty call (and he promptly missed) while the second call was rather soft.

  • Great observations, as always, TA. For No. 6, you appear to be making apologies for pointing out a fact, just because a few fans fail to see beyond what they’ve come to accept in their minds, despite seeing as the Manager must know a thing or two more than any one of us. I can see why Wenger would pick Iwobi as against the popular wish for a 2 man forward (PEA + Laca): BALANCE and then team flow.

    Fact is Iwobi is able to “rock and roll” (read mix it) with the creative players we had on display and can match their speed of thought while also putting in a defensive shift with good ball retention. Playing Iwobi in a game as yesterday’s also retains our more familiar structure where a 2 Up-front will be a new tactical formation. There will be games where Iwobi wouldn’t start and we can try out things, but against Everton wasn’t one of them and with two new boys on board.

  • Indeed, good result at Anfield, JW, though Spurs winning would have been better, points-wise at least…

    Very nice post, TA… And, I agree with most everything, even if I’d shade things a little bit one way or the other, you know, if it was just the two of us over pints…

    The one bit I’d disagree on is the need to mollify the Iwobi haters–including those who wish him ill (literally, let’s poison his food or drink, somebody wrote in the last thread…) Others say he should get no credit for his sideways assist… OK… Then what about the perfectly weighted pre-pre-assist that kept the break moving so that Rambo could shoot unimpeded? Probably not. If you don’t like him, who am I to say you should? Taylor Swift says I just gotta deal with these things… (Haters gonna hate…) You’re right, however, that he might be odd-man out when everybody is fit and firing, but I (at least) can see why Wenger see him in (or very near) our first 11…

    Overall, Everton were a bit of a shambles–esp. in terms of integrating their new defender, Mangala, who might have done better on several of our goals. (Theo did well enough, often isolated on his own but Aubamayang seems a clear upgrade.) That said, I do sense a renewed team-i-ness in the squad, esp. with the ball. Mkhi might not have the individual skill-set of Alexis BUT, he plays with his head up. (2 more assists and he’ll match Alexis’ full season’s worth…) We were more out of sorts when Everton tried to play some O in the 2nd period, but I think that can be improved upon… As it must be for the Spurs game. I hate to say it, but they look good–and fast, much faster than Everton–in their build-up work, so we’ll need to be ready for it at Wembley. A full week to drill and get the defenders doing their best against our (fine) new attackers in training, seems like it could go a long way towards that objective. It’s SO good to have the squad (finally) settled. Business time now…

  • Simulpost… Looks like Eris and I were thinking similar things… Except re: the Pool-Spurs result… On that front, JW, I think we still need Chavs to drop points tomorrow night at Watford…

    I have to say, watching that match (Pool-Spurs), I’m really thinking Mhki can do a job for us in MF and that his game yesterday compares quite favorably to the likes of guys like Dele and Dembele. He’s not the paciest guy out there, but the knack for using space while keeping an eye out for his teammates is strong, and he can shape his body to use that right foot of his in a LOT of good ways. Everything got a bit stretched with Everton down by all those goals so it could look different in a tighter and better played match. Still, my first impressions are good…

  • Eris–
    Both have CL games upcoming. On the chance one might crumble, while we go on a tear? Best we not bet on only one. Chelsea is looking less than solid– and have CL and FA Cup as well. If we take care of our business? We could catch a break– and 2 of the 3 above.


  • All

    FWIW, having caught the game my last night, a few thoughts:

    A. Iwobi was very good, but when more defense is needed you might see AR there and El-Neny or JW back with Xhaka… for one example…

    B. Ozils weighted curling thru ball to PE14 who was well enough saved, was a thing of beauty.

    C. Speaking of which, this being a Bergkamp oriented blog shouldn’t he have gone up and over on that one? 🙂 … like he did when he scored.

    D. Without Sanchez there was much better ball movement over the team.. I think that’s what many are noticing in terms of team cohesion. We also held the ball longer as it no longer goes down a sole alley.

    E. MK (my abbreviation for Henrik) was very mobile and was back defending a lot too. Nice to see. We will see if Souds allow him that manoeuvrability.

    F. The next two Premier games are HUGE, with Spurs and City … All games now are must win, but these two!

    Cheers — jgc

  • T, nice points, number 8 especially interesting.
    Needless to say, I don’t agree with your’s and Pony’s views on Iwobi. A rare occasion when we see the same player so differently. I see him slowing us down, rarely makes incisive passes except for one over the top yesterday. He is hard to disposess, but slower than i thought he was.I expect a lot more spark from a player starting for us, when we have exciting players who can’t get minutes.
    When I see him in midfield or around the box, I wish it was AMN or Nelson with the ball instead.
    Most people I know or read online agree with me, but more important is Arsenes opinion.

    If we were in Man city’s position, I wouldn’t mind giving him a bit more time, but we need every bit of talent we have to try and get top 4 or win Europa.

  • Hey ho, 17, re: the best result for us in that Liv v Spurs game. You’ve made a huge point with regards the defensive side to Mhki’s game. I made the observation he isn’t anything like any of our midfielders in that he is willing to put a foot in, trying to dispossess the opponent. He also looks like he can pester/press a player in possession, which is a quality more of our players need to develop.

    I suggest he is given the task to “sit” on either of Dembele or Eriksen, who are key to the spuds’ forward play. I believe Spurs have an FA cup replay in the week; hope they play a full strength side and get wearied from the exertions.

  • Starting vs Everton– was a first for Iwobi. Four consecutive PL matches for the 1st time in his career. Wenger threaded the needle perfectly with his lineup yesterday. Can’t see a different one for next Saturday’s NLD– providing Monreal and Cech are healthy.


  • I guess I wanted a draw in the spuds- loserpool game, but those decisions were horrendous. 2 amazing goals overshadowed by stupidity. Kane offside, drags his foot over Karius(dive). I hate them… then Lamela inserts himself in front of van dijk moving leg. Seeing Kane celebrate made me sick.

  • A nice summation TA, but I’ll stick my neck out and say that I haven’t seen an Arsenal forward stretch the opposition as well as PEA did yesterday since a certain Henry geezer who I’m sure you’re familiar with. Mkhitaryan was simply superb and yes, I know that Everton were abysmal in the 1st 45 and that the real test will be in Arsenal’s two forthcoming visits to Wembley, but I’m a darn sight more optimistic than I was a week ago.

    No Elneny left me feeling feeling slightly concerned, but if you can’t defend then I guess you attack even more and that seemed to work.

    Like you I can’t see Wenger making any changes before we visit the National Stadium, but at least we’ll go into that game with some options to change things, like Jack, Mo and Danny (if he recovers). Let’s hope that Cech is ok…

    JW, I liked the lyrics by the way, Abbey Road wasn’t it?

  • Hey Jnyc gotta agree about Kane. I am fairly convinced the reason Kane hit the penalty straight at the keeper ( who despite his best effort couldn’t get out of the way) was he was feeling guilty about being offside and diving. Not so sure about the 2nd pen, which is why he hit it so much better.

    Thats my conspiracy theory anyway

  • Would be thrilled if Cech did not dive on PENs (like Karius on Kane’s first take). He’d probably many.

    Was wondering how long before the Cazorla/Mkhitaryan comparisons began.
    No less than Wenger stating it too.
    “Mkhitaryan encapsulated Arsenal’s play and, from Wenger, just about the ultimate compliment. … The 29-year-old’s performance had reminded him of Santi Cazorla. “There are similarities there,” said Wenger.”


  • Retsub, the thought crossed my mind also about Kanes weak pk. But very briefly, because he’s a dirty spud, so that’s allowing far too much credit.

  • I guess we’d be seeing Iwobi starting a lot of games for us simply because the wide role does not suit many of our midfielders like Jack, Rambo, Elneny, Xhaka. His competitors there are more or less limited to Welbeck and one of our two strikers when the two are fielded. It’s Iwobi for me over Welbeck.

    Lacaz has displayed enough midfielder’s quality to be a fairly regular starter in that role. Technically he becomes a Sanchez replacement ; a goal scoring wide man. What makes this likely is that it is always difficult sitting £50M on the bench regularly otherwise not only does that big player begin to angle for a move but his resale value also starts dipping. Balance is sought in all areas and not only on the field.

    It wouldn’t surprise me to see our attacking 3 as “Lacaz–Ozil–Miki” with Auba leading the line.

  • PE–
    I’ve thought same about Laca’s role going forward. There’s also EL– where Laca is the CF1 (Auba being cup-tied to Dortmund dropping down from CL in December). Lacazette’s value will stay high by driving us through to a CL place via Europa League. Laca could do well in that role (Nketiah gets minutes too now.)

    Nothing would be finer than to knock one (or even two!) of the top-5 out of a CL place by going on a 10-week tear. Gotta’ create goals. Gotta’ think big.


  • I like the attitude jw. It’s not impossible, we’ve come back from further before, with less time.

    Pony, interesting choice, Welbeck or Iwobi? Tough call. …. Iwobi, less clumsy, a bit more fluid, Welbeck, more disruptive, likelier to get a shot off in the box, but miss.. Both nice guys. Either way, we need a better option.

    I want to say, one reason that I’ve been pushing even younger talents like Nelson over Iwobi, is that we won’t have enough cash to buy a top wide mf/winger + also a top level defender and goalkeeper. I don’t think we would buy a dm unless Wenger leaves after this season.

  • TA

    I was joking on BK and PEAs shot choice! 🙂 …

    As for the rest, well defensively we don’t seem solid. PE makes good points about wider players, but IMO, *someone* could adapt. JW? Or AR has played wide and done well. Especially in front of Bellerin where if you drift inside, Bellerin still gives you width… something I thin Iwobi did well for us, along with his movements inside to crest space when Henrik drifted wider.

    Cheers — jgc

  • The only position that hasn’t got any competition at all is our RB. Bellerin sits alone there and I don’t consider him anywhere near wonderful. I believe AMN can give him a run for his money there. Am also in total agreement with TA that with the attacking talents we now have our FBs should be more discriminating on when to bump forward.

  • Hi all.. Nice post TA..

    If we want to find a Sanchez replacement.. Maybe we won’t find it.. But Lacazette is the nearest from all our midfielders or wingers..
    So why don’t we give him a chance..

    Yes we will need him as our CF for UEL games for Auba can’t.. But playing him as LW for some games will only upgrading his skill.. And give him more time playing..
    Best player always need time.. Cause warming the bench could ruin their confidence and skill..

    For NLD.. We must win it.. Period.
    Spurs must play twice this week.. FA Cup is important for them.. They won’t dare to lose it now.. So they must play their best player.. And must also playing also their best against us..
    They have the problem.. We don’t.. So we must certainly win it..
    And We will play at Wembley.. It’s like our second home ground.. We love Wembley.. We win a lot there.. And we will do it again and again.. Hehehe..

    For the team..
    I love to see my L’AMOR play..
    Lacazette Aubameyang Mhkitaryan Ozil and Ramsey playing together will be more than just awesome.. Hehehe..

    Despite Iwobi good show yesterday.. Lacazette must given more Chance..
    We certainly don’t like to see him become our next Giroud..
    Xhaka or Elneny to join Ramsey in our DM.. I choose for Elneny.. Cause he is more defensive minder than Xhaka..
    Playing Elneny is like playing with 3 CB.. So we will be more flexible in attacking and defending.. Hehehe..

  • With Welbeck still out, I reckon Lacazette will indeed be saved for the UEFA league games. Would make sense.

    Henry, I like L’AMOR but it may take a while…

  • Yes.. Exactly JW1..
    We have an advantage in this weekend NLD..
    EPL will be for City..
    So Spurs must think it hardly for FA and UCL.. But fans won’t be happy if they skipped the NLD.. Hehehe..
    I loved this situation.. We must take this advantage.. Win is a must..

  • Agreed Henry.
    While we BKers are all a-flutter over the club’s new attacking prowess?
    It’s might be a more-conservative shift by our FBs (mentioned recently) that could make so much difference IMO.


  • They will still dive to win the game, so we should be wary of that.
    Lets just use the extra days of rest to focus on the preparations.

  • Stats on Mkhi vs Everton (WhoScored.com):
    42 passes with 78.6-percent accuracy, made three key passes, won aerial challenges four times, passed his opponent once, made four steals, stopped the opponent’s attack three times, he did not foul, but he was fouled three times.

    Mkhitaryan’s overall rating was 9.91 out of 10, and he was named Whoscored.com Man of the Match.

    9.91/10. Stellar in any universe.


  • Batshuayi at Dortmund, debuted with a brace and an assist in a 3-2 win over Koln.
    Better there than here!


  • JK.. We don’t need to worry about their diving style.. All we need to worry is the referee and the linesman.. Hehehe..

  • Liverpool fans reporting they caught the Linesman on the near side pump his fist in celebration after he convinced the Ref it was a penalty on Kane. Lol.

    Ordinary, Dele Alli should be given a 2 match suspension for simulation when he dived and could have conned the Ref. Now, because the Ref saw it and took action (yellow card), he escapes the panel review. Absurd, when the offense is CHEATING (or trying to…..

    I think Lacazette will get to play in league games, but it is best if he keeps his focus on winning us the UEL, since it may prove to be huge for us. He might have been brought on Saturday but for the raft of injuries we suffered and the fact that Jack’s energy in the middle was the greater need than scoring a goal, for the team.

  • After the games (usually 24 hours or so, after), Adrian Clarke would give his “breakdown” of the high points of games involving the Arsenal and I like to view his take on some issues. His take on the Everton game can be seen in the link from the club’s website:


  • Watford need to get a second or they run that risk of giving the chavs a way back in. Watford were all over them like a rash even while they had 11 men. I thought the 2nd yellow to Bakayoko was a bit harsh from Mike Dean.

  • That was a spanking; something you don’t usually see with Chelsea. Maybe, Conte is offski? A new manager will give them a bounce, which we don’t need now.

  • Eris–
    Roman has closed the checkbook. He’s not looking to payoff another ship-jumping rat mid-season. Probably still owes The Grifting One. 😉


  • Nketiah with a U23 hat-trick vs Everton (Nelson scored too.) in a 4-0 ‘thrashing’.
    But to me? The part of the headline (from the Jorge Bird’s Arsenal report) that is resounding:


    That’s music to my ears. That’s a sign that the analytics are delivering.


  • Chelsea’s man seem do the same way to get rid of Conte.. As they did with Mourinho..

  • Last 15 decisions for the top-2 thru top-5 PL teams?
    Only 5 were wins. CL hasn’t yet kicked in.
    Carpe diem Gunners.


  • JW1.. Relax.. We will narrow the gap by next week.. We will win against Spurs.. Hehehe..
    Hope WBA will fight all out to win the game against Chelsea.. Hehehe..

  • JW1

    Keeping in mind we, the Arsenal, sadly, have been there done that, … so it’s only fair really we profit from the other side of the coin (?) 🙂

    More seriously, Chelsea seem in real difficulty at this moment, and Spurs et al all have their challenges before they meet us. So, yeah, carpe diem, it’s there for us to grab if we can keep improving.

    Cheers — jgc

  • Teams drop points all the time but it is us with the big gap to top four. Away to Spuds is going to be a big test for ‘our balance’ and top-four campaign. I have been beating this to death by now, but the midfield positions are the ones to get right, both in terms of mix of skillset, discipline and tactical instructions.

  • Total, this Arsenal team has a split personality, at home we’re up there with ManC, away from home we’re down with Huddersfield, is the answer a back-four at home and a back-three away?

    How can can we grind out a 0-0 at Stamford Bridge, but collapse at Swansea?

    This team is weird, I wouldn’t put it past them to beat Tottenham and ManC at Wembley but then lose at Brighton and Leicester.

  • Maybe Guardiola has hit on the solution to the abject standard of defending in the EPL.
    Spend copious amounts on defenders yes, but the real answer is the ‘if you score, we’ll score two or three’ etc, so maybe as Arsene can’t do defence, his only remaining route is to go all out attack, just go for it, but with a quality finisher or two and pace up front, with Aubameyang we have that.

  • Hey Kev, it is indeed a schizophrenic situation. Wenger has said the biggest challenge is to get the balance right in the team.

    Guardiola puts so much pressure on the opposition in their own half that defending becomes less of an issue. The whole idea is that the opposition will not have the ball for long. This is the typical total football variant of Guardiola and we seldom have that intensity at our team. We had it in the first half v Everton though.

  • TA–
    Agreed re: MF.
    Watched much of the 1st half of the match at Emirates in November last night.
    With Dembele, Sissoko, and Son/Alli (interchangeable in the ‘Ramsey’ role)? Xhaka and Ramsey, with Bellerin and Kolasinac kept the pressure on. Spurs were without Alderweirerld– meaning Dier at CB.

    We didn’t score until late in the half (Mustafi 36′, Alexis 41′)– but it could have been 3-0 or 4-0 also. Had to chuckle when watching Spurs going nuts at Mike Dean when Sanchez sold the foul on his Spurs namesake for the FK (prior to Mustafi’s ensuing fine header for the opening goal). In light of recent divi-ness? This bit of whining seemed ‘quaint’.

    After Dier’s brainfart ‘through ball’ to Salah on Sunday? Expecting Wanyama (after his screamer vs Pool) paired with Dembele on Saturday.

    I’ve seen Dembele play well recently. But Ramsey owned Dembele in the November match. And though Xhaka got a roughneck YK (32′) for laying into Alli? The pair did the job required– and Cech got the clean sheet.

    Ramsey and Xhaka in MF again then.
    With a 3-back too. Kos/Mustafi/Nacho.
    Bellerin/Kola on the wings.
    Same foursome up front as against Everton.


  • Now that the celebrations following Ozil signing his new mega deal have died down, we have to consider the repercussions of that deal on other player contract negotiations, namely Jack & Aaron. Ramsey couldn’t have scored a hat trick at a more opportune time, with his initial contract offer returned as ‘not quite what I was expecting’ and that was pre the Mesut deal, so what next?

    As for Wilshere, I think as with Walcott a few years ago, that it might go until the summer, therefore Jacks’ advisors will probably consider what is on offer, then see what Arsenal come back with.

    Of course we don’t know if Sven has a few players in mind who we can bring in whilst balancing the wages will also affect plans for the squad.

  • Kev–
    Some see it as again ‘allowing a player’s contract to wind down’. To me? Nothing but future advantage in the handling of both Sanchez’s and Ozil’s situations. Sanchez may have been disruptive on-field (as always)– and in the locker room (questionable)– but never an un-professionable peep from him publicly. Wenger told him to honor his contract– and one way or another he’d end up with a mega-deal. And he did. With Ozil? I think his situation was based on moving Sanchez on TBH. Once done? And we quickly gave him proper creative/scoring assets? Boom. Done deal! No place else could Ozil expect a team be built around him. Finally, it’s possible.

    As for Ramsey? He’s got to do what’s best for him. If he could just stay healthy for an entire season. That’s why I was so pumped about him in a supersub role (to limit his minutes). Well the air went out of that idea once-upon-a-hat-trick. Ramsey will not be pigeonholed now. Whether that’s good or bad? We’ll find out over the next 10 weeks. Without the WC for him this Summer– it shouldn’t take till August to get the situation squared.

    And Jack-who-bleeds-red&white? He went loaned out as asked. He’s come back energized as asked. He’s played when and where as asked. He wants to be at Arsenal. Can’t ask for more. Sure, wind his deal down too. And as you expressed Kev? Let Jack’s agent help determine his value.


  • JW, I think that Ramsey will use Ozil as the benchmark for what he wants, he may fancy trying his luck abroad like his mate Gareth Bale, if Arsenal can’t pin him down this summer, but I think that the club has to make a decision on him this summer as all this contract lark can be debilitating for the club and us the fans.

    Whilst not taking it for granted that Wilshere will stay, I’m more hopeful that he’ll sign on the dotted line.

    I think the links to Max Meyer in the window just gone were interesting and maybe pointed to where the club could looking in the near future, the Bundesliga has some of best young players in the world and with Mislintat leading the scouting, it makes sense to shop in a familiar market.
    The wages would also be a lot more affordable.

  • All true Kev.
    Though I can’t begrudge guys like Sanchez, or Ozil, or Ramsey– a big payday.
    But then they need to leave with eyes wide open. Even Bale, who I consider a great player is less-than-revered at Real by their spoiled fans. If you go to Barca or Real? You have to deplane, hit the tarmac as a star and maintain that level.

    I know Alexander Hleb’s story has traveled far and wide– but it’s the right one for the times at present. There was a revisiting of it at another Arsenal blog that adds some details I’d not heard. But it’s a cautionary tale for Ramsey (less so for Sanchez)–which Ozil in his wisdom seems to have grasped.


    We need to bag around 40+ goals the rest of the PL season. If this team can close out the season with several-to-many of the types of showings as vs Everton? Players will want to come to play in this team.


  • Hey fellas… busy, busy… (The financial markets are super nutty, eh?…) Plus, though we don’t have a match until Saturday, I also must start adjusting my internal clock for the 4:30 am kickoff… 😮 Nap time at lunch tomorrow with maybe a glance to see how deeply Totts rotate…

    Anyhow, I just wanna give props to JW for throwing down a lot of good info and keeping a nice balance between his long-term positive vision and short(er) term hopefulness. (Why not, I guess?…) I still think it’s awfully tough on our boys–even protected as they are by our long suffering manager–when we (practically) need to run the table in the remaining dozen league games. 40 goals?… Wow, that seems optimistic… Gotta keep the balance right, says AW, so I don’t think he’s quite thinking about running up scores in that manner. Even if Ospina looks likely for the NLD, at some point we’ve got to get Cech that clean sheet, i.e., tighten up at the back…

    I wonder how deeply we’ll rotate for the Europa League games…and the extra midweek PL due to the league cup final, whenever it comes around. Watching Swansea romp on Notts County is fun AND it’s sad to be done with our defense of the FA Cup, BUT the games add up, and, though our first team is improved, we’ve definitely lost some depth, which translates to less rest for the main guys. One at time must be the mantra…(plus, nobody hurt…) Big one (always…) in the NLD, but maybe even bigger looking at the table and trying to defend the big pitch we love so much…

    Go on then…

  • Hi all..
    Jw1.. I’m with you for the referee..
    Anthony Taylor seem to be a name that we will really need to consider as another Dean..

    I don’t see it as a coincidence.. But If FA is really playing a hard way to give the Spurs another advantage from the referee.. They will get their ‘karma’..
    Cause people are watching closely to them after the pool game.. The diving and the penalty accident..

  • Henry–
    The Untold Arsenal site is where I’ve been linking through to History of Arsenal– to get an education on the club.


  • Yes Jw1..
    We got a lot knowledge from sites nowadays..
    Make it easier to love the Club.. Hehehe..

  • “Ramsey and Xhaka in MF again then.
    With a 3-back too. Kos/Mustafi/Nacho.
    Bellerin/Kola on the wings.
    Same foursome up front as against Everton.”

    Hard to argue against this, JW1….. except we can only play 11 😀

  • Hahaha, TA. You made that observation too…. If only. It would have been ideal. The thing with the game is about balance and structure, both of which if we can achieve with our team, we would be unbeatable most games. For those clamouring for a Laca + Auba forward line, I feel we can only afford to try that where 1. We have a very reliable DM (or midfield combo that can sit back and cover lapses effectively); 2. Where the opposition will allow us more time on the ball and not trouble our defence much; 3. Where we are chasing the game and make changes to bring on a second striker.

    On Ref Anthony Taylor, let’s just hope he isn’t still sore from the barracking Wenger gave him. It is rather mischievous of the FA to hand such a game to a Ref who has been at the centre of some annoying incidents for the club: it was his feedback as 4th official that got Wenger sent to the stands in (I am guessing) the West Brom game, which we drew owing to some dubious refereeing by Mike Dean (that penalty for handball on Chambers). He was also in charge of our home game VS Chelsea and called a penalty for Bellerin’s light contact with Hazard. Our Refs only need the slightest excuse to give calls, so irrespective of scrutiny, the laws of the game will always back their decisions.

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