3-4-3 v Brighton: Welbeck/Bellerin Wingbacks, Elneny/Rambo DM-Pivot

PREVIEW: WELBECK IN A NEW ROLE AGAINST BRIGHTON.

The Europa Cup is now our priority. Definitely. With 10 games to go in the EPL we are 10pts behind the 4th place team who have +29 goal difference to our +12. It’s silly to keep dreaming.

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However there is still a lot at stake in every match we play. We are the proud Gooners. We dare not slip below the 6th position. Dare not allow the gaps between us and the top five teams become even more embarrassing. We dare not allow the toxic atmosphere heighten to a level that could do permanent damage to the club. For the ever-increasing number who want Wenger to go, the air is already noxious enough to give them what they want which maybe might be heathy for us going
forward. We must remain mindful of not throwing out the baby with the bath water.

What am trying to say in a nut shell is that we are not sending out a 2nd string against Brighton and Hove Albion so as to rest our first eleven for the Europa match against in-form AC Milan on Thursday.

As a matter of fact I suspect that when we have long gaps between matches the team mentally disengage causing them to sleepwalk through games. Obviously, our team takes time to wake up. That should explain why we are perennial slow starters. We frequently concede early in matches and at resumptions in 2nd half. Even short rests send us to sleep. Maybe the way forward for our regulars is to reduce time spent on the training pitches but increase their real game time. I remember Messi saying that he prefers matches for staying fit over trainings.

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Where is the balance? Let us use Ramsey who is prone to muscular injury as an example. He played on Thursday and if the decision is to rest him against Brighton he would have a week for disorienting himself with Hollywood back heels and samba twists in the guise of training. Come next Thursday he starts the match still in that joga bonito tempo. On the other hand if he is not to be rested and therefore put through only light limbering exercises with emphasis on classroom drills to keep his match psyche revving, he steps into the field on Sunday mentally ready. What do l know anyway …. but then what else is there to talk about.

Brighton is a well-organized team. When they lose the ball they quickly put men behind it. They have conceded least of all teams except for the top 5 and Burnley. As they do retreat quickly we must have to transition even more quickly otherwise we would be stuck.

That should be the theme for of our tactics of the day. We defend diligently but attack with freedom and speed. All the sideways and backwards passing to keep possession have only given us 3 wins away from home this season in the EPL. It’s time for a different approach.

This sterile possession is not the only thing I want us to chunk out of the window. Talks on formations too. If you are not yet fed up with them, I am. Non has bailed us out.. To the last man, friends and foes alike, everybody agrees that we haven’t got any fight in us. Unfortunately it cannot conjured into existence with a sermon. So what do we do?

All the fighters, players with energy that we have must be the first names on the sheet and the rest added to complement them. Wouldn’t that send a clear message to the boys? I have a list. As you’d expect, it is a short list. Elneny, Ramsey, Welbeck, Mustafi, (Nacho is not available). To these four we append seven other names to make up the team and then see what formation jumps out.

—————-Cech————-

—- Mustafi BFG Holding—–

Bellerin Elneny Ramsey Welbeck

——-Mkhi —————-Ozil——-

—————–Auba——————-

SUBS ; Ospina, Chambers, Kolasinac, Niles, Xhaka Iwobi, Nketiah.

Welbeck at left wing back? Against Brighton we will be mostly on the front foot. So the wingbacks would be busier attacking. Furthermore, Welbeck is fast, works hard, closes opponents down quickly and has the latterly unimpressive Kolasinac or the inexperienced Maitland-Nile as his competitors there. He looks the best option to me, but again, what do I know.

Our defence, particularly Mustafi, needs a cool head around and that’s why BFG.

Somebody should go tell the boys that we’ve still got a lot of celebration in us. We’d love to let it out. COYG!!!

By Pony Eye.

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155 Responses to 3-4-3 v Brighton: Welbeck/Bellerin Wingbacks, Elneny/Rambo DM-Pivot

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Thank you PE for another fine preview, and a great job you did there.

    Love the line-up and pretty much what I would pick for tomorrow’s bounce-back game. Elneny is a must right now. Rambo needs to be disciplined. Welbeck can do the wingback stuff I reckon. Mkhi and Ozil need to get onto the same wavelength and Auba needs to be fed and fed and fed proper balls in the box and on the run. I reckon we will come again tomorrow. The canon will roar boom boom boom! COYRRGs.

  2. Goonereris says:

    Good preview, PE and nice thinking outside the box with regards to the picks and formation. I am not sure Danny will be made to play wing back with AM-N and Kolasinac available and seeing that Auba looks like he will always need support.

    I will play 4 at the back (AM-N, Koscielny, Mertesacker -is he in the right frame of mind and form?-and Kola). Elneny, Xhaka, Ozil; then Mhki, Welbeck and Auba. I was tempted to drop Auba for Ramsey or Jack, to allow Welbeck be up top and give our new striker time to adapt slowly, but surely. Let me do the diagramatics, not being sure how it comes out:

    Cech
    AM-N – Kos – Mert – Kola
    Elneny – Xhaka
    Rambo
    Ozil. – Welbz – Mhki.

  3. Goonereris says:

    My thinking is we will need to give Rambo/Jack, Mustafi and Bellerin some rest; Bells has looked under too much stress lately (not to speak of his run-in with the Arsenal fan TV folks). It’s going to be hard to get the smiles back at this club and the terraces but victories will go a long way to doing so, starting from Brighton and on to Milan.

  4. AB says:

    Good stuff PE. I like the line up with the exception of the back 3. I think the priority has to be to get the team back to winning games, stopping the rot as fast as possible. For me that means a full strength side tomorrow whatever the game that follows. Kos may need to be nursed,I don’t know. Chambers seems ahead of Holding. BFG seems to be the last resort at the moment. After last years FA cup I thought we could squeeze a bit more from him. But perhaps not.

    Anyway I’d rather go to Milan with some tired legs but a win under our belts and some relief from the pressure. Just imagine the noise if we lose tomorrow. Fresh legs won’t count for much with that burden. I’d almost take a point now sadly. Which says a lot about how far we have drifted. But we have to stop the run of losses and the beating that the squad is taking. Tough times and some nerve needed tomorrow. Will some leaders emerge? There’s always hope. COYG!!!

  5. Admir says:

    With Milan being so close, we will be in a rather tricky position: we need a victory to gain some confidence but we also need to keep our best players for Thursday night. Fortunately, Milan have a tough game themselves – their city rivals Internazionale.

    I would go with:

    Cech

    Koscielny Per Holding

    Mustafi Mkh Elneny Kolašinac

    Ozil Jack

    Aubameyang

    Mikki can tackle and make forward passes from the deeper positions. Hence a chance for his connection with Ozil.

    Mustafi can play as RWB where his natural instinct to go forward should be an advantage. At least he’d be less dangerous for our goal.

    Brighton are tough team, especially if Groß is about to play. Likely to end 2-1 for them.

  6. allezkev says:

    I know that we have to travel to Milano, but 4 days between the games should be long enough for our guys to recover before our UEFACup tie.
    Maybe give Koscielny a rest as he’s had two really tough games, but it’s needs must I guess.

    Good post PE, but I’m thinking back four against Brighton, we need to attack, to get a win, although a draw would stop the rot.
    Interesting that you should use such terms such as ‘slow starters’ and ‘mentally disengage’, both issues that can be best dealt with, with the correct coaching and preparation.

  7. Pony Eye says:

    Good comments all.

    Tactical discussions and exercises in visualizing their individual and collective roles prior to the match is an excellent way to prime the team mentally for matches. I suspect Wenger de emphasizes this because he prefers his players minds not clogged up with too much details. So they start their games unfocused.

    In virtually all sports, tennis, boxing, athletics etc, great athletes would tell you that they do more of visualization work on things time technique, game strategy etc than actual practice. In the last 24hrs before a contest, mental preparation is more crucial. Our history says that’s what’s lacking the most in our game.

  8. Pony Eye says:

    There are differing opinions on which is more offensive or defensive between the 3-man and the 4-man back line. The answer lies in how the wingbacks are used.

    If the wingbacks are used more offensively then the 3-man becomes the more offensive formation.
    On the other hand, if they are used more defensively it becomes a more defensive formation.

    Practically it is the personnels at the wingback positions that gives the formation it’s color.

  9. Pony Eye says:

    I fear that if we do not transition quickly to beat their deep defensive response, Aubamayang would be out of this game 4th time running.

    For the deep defensive blocks I’d prefer Wilshere if fit to Ozil who finds clogged up spaces difficult to operate in. What Ozil does in such situations is he drops deep where there are spaces and becomes more of a conductor. Fair enough. In which case a Wilshere moves up.

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    The tiredness of the boys is not in the legs but in the heads. What’s the best panacea? Victory. It will give us the wings to fly over the Alps and fashion another fine win.

  11. Pony Eye says:

    You got it TA … it’s in the head not in the legs. Pep talk and a lot more dramatizing from our dugout would help. Am sorry, but I’ve never seen a more uninspiring figure like Steve Bould.

  12. retsub1 says:

    P E would agree with you about Steve Bould, but having seen him play many many times, he is the polar opposite on the pitch. So he has either undergone a personality change or he has been gagged. Either way when Wenger does eventually depart, Steve Bould will struggle to get a job elsewhere based on current performance, given he doesn’t seen to have spoken for the past few years.

  13. njk84sg says:

    Retsub, PE, the lads had a crisis talk a few days ago and today’s performance is the result of that talk.

    Should we see a formation change or a tactical change somewhere? I am eager to see the lineup soon.

  14. AB says:

    I’m wondering if this game might suit Xhaka more than Elneny? We should have more of the ball and some space. Compared with playing against city. It could suit us more if we are in attack. Jack maybe the alternative for quick transition play. We missed Elneny on Thursday I feel. But today may not be the time we need him most.

  15. Goonereris says:

    Confirmed Line UPS:

    Brighton
    Ryan, Bong, Dunk, Duffy, Schelotto, Knockaert, Stephens, Propper, Izquierdo, Gross, Murray.

    Subs: Saltor, Kayal, Ulloa, Goldson, March, Locadia, Krul

    Arsenal
    Cech, Chambers, Koscielny, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Wilshere, Xhaka, Mkhitaryan, Iwobi, Ozil, Aubameyang

    Subs: Ospina, Holding, Welbeck, Bellerin, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Nketiah

  16. allezkev says:

    Chambers at right-back scares me, I can’t help recalling how he was destroyed at Swansea a couple of years ago.

    Has Ramsey suffered a reaction to his recent injury or is he being held back for Milan?

  17. retsub1 says:

    Njk I have no idea what went on at the so called the secret meeting. But my views on this this team are not very positive at the moment so I won’t say to much

    But

    One of Brighton’s best player this season is the little South American winger I I have little faith in Chambers

    I wouldn’t let Xhaka within a million miles of our defence personally, he is far to sloppy

    Is Ramsey injured? I don’t think Iwobi is the answer yet

    kolasinac was awful last week as was Mustafi

    Maybe I am being a little unfair, after all it was Man City.

    First game of the season was Brighton v Man City. Brighton just sat back and let City dominate. I doubt they will show us a similar game.

  18. retsub1 says:

    Just to lighten the mood, if we can’t score against a defence including Bong, Dunk and Duffy, with some of our unpronounceable names we have no hope.

    COYG

  19. jw1 says:

    PE, TA–
    Some athletes (like former hockey great Wayne Gretzky) have the gift of conceptualization; visualizing the game in real-time on a spatial level. Seemingly seeing the next probable event in advance. Mesut Ozil has that gift.

    On an athletic level, repetition in muscle memory, conditioning a reflexive reaction is down to the individual. It can be expressed in a coaching sense. But visualizing successes are the end result of preparation. Meaning, actually practicing something until it becomes reflexive.

    ==========

    Being a fan means always looking forward to match day.
    Go Gunners!

    jw1

  20. Goonereris says:

    Kev, hahaha! That was Jefferson Monterro who made a mug of Chambers for Swansea but I think he’s since got over that, after his loan spell at Middlesbrough. He is a better defender than Bellerin, though not as quick; a quality which can become crucial the way we play.

    The men to watch for Brighton will be Izquierdo, Gross, Knockaert and Murray. If we can keep them quiet, we should be good. First thing is to overcome the early nerves that are bound to come with us. That’s how low it’s become for us, that we have to discuss a game versus Brighton with some trepidation.

  21. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hi fellas… I’m just (this morning) coming out from under being flattened by the flu…so, on a personal level, that’s cause for celebration. I think JW had it back around the holidays… Rough stuff, lemme tellya…

    Being on death’s door (or feeling that way, at least) puts the Arsenal-can’t-keep-on-the-same-pitch with City stuff in perspective. Today, we need to hope that our play is sometimes affected by the competition. I guess the fact that we couldn’t beat the Swedish team (on our home pitch) in our previous non-City game doesn’t bode well…

    I HAVE been trying to keep up with the writing here…And PE deserves credit for continuing to deliver the previews and the interesting ideas. If Welbs is gonna go at LB, how about Cech at CF for the game in Milan. The rugby helmet could be something to aim our crosses towards… 😀 Really, I wanted to give JW a nod for summing up the Arsenal/media situation (bottom of the last thread) better than I ever could–and in several thousand fewer words. Well done… It must be the extra cheese in the Mexican food… And, hey, that basketball team of yours looks the real deal, I must say…

    Today’s line-up is interesting. Ramsey missing is strange. I thought he was our best player on Thursday so I’m hoping he’s only being rested. Jack and Xhaka in MF worries me, but, if they work together and stay disciplined you never know. Bells to Juve earns him a spot of the bench?

    Almost kick-off. Let’s hope the good Arsenal show up…

  22. jw1 says:

    Hoping we see Iwobi and Xhaka in aggressive mode today.

    jw1

  23. Goonereris says:

    Guess Welbeck isn’t starting because he has to start in Milan. Good move. Chambers just has to be decisive and not over elaborate.

    We have kick off.

  24. jw1 says:

    Glad to hear you’re better HT!
    It’s a harsh thing this strain of flu.

    jw1

  25. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ah Geez…

  26. 17highburyterrace says:

    I thought we had started well… Now we must truly knuckle down…

    Bad Xhaka giveaway but Cech is able to turn the shot around for a corner…Gulp…

  27. jw1 says:

    We need a bit of possession to calm the tempo now.

    jw1

  28. 17highburyterrace says:

    Agreed about possession and calm, JW… Gonna need a goal as well… And, of course, we can’t afford any further goofs down our end…

    Mustafi deflects one over for another Brighton corner…

  29. 17highburyterrace says:

    That was the goof I was talking about… Iwobi gives away but Cech pounces and 2 nil is prevented… This is sketchy…

  30. jw1 says:

    Holy crap. What was Iwobi thinking?!
    jw1

  31. jw1 says:

    About to mention that Iwobi had thus far shown all the movement and enthusiasm of waiting for a bus. I’d prefer he do it further up field.

    jw1

  32. 17highburyterrace says:

    Another BHA corner after more and more giveaways… Somehow we need to get back into the game…and the season…and create a future for the club…

    Another header won by Brighton (from the corner) but it’s off target…

    We can’t find anything with our passes in their box after creating promising situations…

  33. AB says:

    This is horrible

  34. 17highburyterrace says:

    That was coming… Wow…

  35. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK then… Who’s gonna get the third?

    Kola in the book after getting his face sat upon…

  36. retsub1 says:

    We could really do with a leader out there today. Oh yes we don’t have one.

  37. Jnyc says:

    If this was Chelsea, I would say they are actively trying to get rid of their manager. I won’t say it about Arsenal, but if I was neutral I’d say that’s how it looks.

  38. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ozil looks (very) upset… Does that count (as leadership)?…

    Seems to me more of a collective belief issue to me… Our players aren’t nearly as bad as they’re currently playing…

  39. Admir says:

    Players obviously want Wenger to leave.

    Ancelotti on the bench at San Siro, I reckon.

  40. retsub1 says:

    17HT

    No

  41. AB says:

    Looks more like naivety to me JNYC. We will be lucky to keep 11 on the field here.

  42. AB says:

    Need to get to half time now and settle. Game not done yet

  43. 17highburyterrace says:

    There’s some leadership?… Jack sees yellow for a very (very) late tackle…

    And, the linesman saves us from the FK… Though Cech did put the shot out…

    Game’s all down at our end, however…

  44. AB says:

    Now we need to show it.

  45. 17highburyterrace says:

    2-1… Auba…

  46. jw1 says:

    Sonuvab*tch.
    Good vibe there AB!

    jw1

  47. retsub1 says:

    17HT. What’s with the Jack vendetta?

  48. AB says:

    Turn around time guys. Win this now and change the whole mood.

  49. jw1 says:

    Kos close off the post!

    jw1

  50. 17highburyterrace says:

    What’s with hating on the whole team, I might retort?… And thinking a dozen clones of Jack is the answer… Which is the vibe I get from just about everybody…

    Post (and the slightest deflection?) keeps Kos from leveling things….

  51. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, half-time… Man o man am I glad that I’m feeling better… (from the flu)… Anybody else?…

  52. Pony Eye says:

    Cech is psychologically no longer equipped for body contact goalkeeping since his head injury

  53. Admir says:

    We have a momentum now. I expect a goal at either net until 55th minute.

  54. Pony Eye says:

    Kola is borderline yellow card player. He should be substituted.

  55. 17highburyterrace says:

    Are we back in the match (with the late goal and header off the post)… Or just a(nother) false dawn?…

    I think the question of players wanting the manager gone is likely in the eye of the beholder. Players need to avoid being sent off, however, or I may start to believe in the conspiracy… Maybe that’s some of my worry about Jack’s (wild) tackle…

  56. retsub1 says:

    17HT. I don’t hate anyone, I just think they shouldn’t be in team. That’s not their fault. You surely can’t fault Jack for trying. At least his sweat is honest

  57. 17highburyterrace says:

    Since his head injury (2006) Cech won the league (how many times?) and the CL… Psychologically unfit?…

  58. AB says:

    Jack looking like a red card here. I’d swap in Elneny at half time. Welbs for Iwobi at some point. And who knows, Eddie for Mkhi late on if we still need a goal.

  59. AB says:

    I’m not anti Jack either Retsub. But I’ve yet to see him as a match changer or match winner for us in recent years. I recognise the talent and love the Arsenal connections he has. But he isn’t winning us games. And I worry he could cost us th chance here with another card. I will be as delighted as anyone if he shows me wrong and wins the game for us from here.

  60. 17highburyterrace says:

    I don’t fault Jack for trying, retsub… I just wish he was better 😀 😦 … Like I say, he needs to try and not get himself sent off… Even on the US commentary (which I usually mute) they’re complaining about Jack “showing he cares” with the wild lunge… Hey, if that’s the wake-up call we needed, then give him the arm-band…

    This is an ongoing question of perspective… passion vs technical quality… We’re not gonna settle it here…

    Hopefully, the manager and his players can get it together here at halftime and come together to be an effective unit–a team–in the 2nd period giving us an adequate boost headed to the San Siro…

  61. Goonereris says:

    Why was Kolasinac not going to meet the man who crossed for their second goal, instead of leaving it for Koscielny who just gave the ball away? Even if he were to say he was going in to cover for Kos, why was he not bursting his lungs to be in the way of the cross?

    Iwobi has been lazy while he and Kola are playing cowardly football; fearing to take on men or put a good foot in the tackle.

    We needed a leader to take charge and grab the team up by the scruff. Our “leader” is the biggest culprit of some of the shaky play we’ve seen on our side. This boys a shorn of all confidence, so they need this game and it is obvious we can win it if we put in an effort and show some guts. The Referee though….

  62. retsub1 says:

    We may well go on and win this, but we are only papering over the cracks imo. In defence of Jack, yes he might get sent off, bumt at least we have a chance when he is on the pitch.

  63. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey AB… Well put about JW… I’d love to see him and/or Mkhi (or anybody else) lead us forward in this 2nd 45…

    Iwobi and Xhaka did good work for our goal, I thought…

    We’re off again…

  64. 17highburyterrace says:

    Agreed about the ref, Eris (I think)… Thus far he let’s em play until he pulls out the card… Seems like he might play a role in deciding things…

    The next goal is everything…

  65. jw1 says:

    I’d be happy if someone would consider shooting the ball when we’re in front of goal.

    jw1

  66. 17highburyterrace says:

    Retsub, we’ll have to take on the “jack question” at another time… If he’s gonna take a spot in the 11, let’s keep him out there, perhaps we can agree?…

  67. 17highburyterrace says:

    Another yellow… Xhaka this time…

  68. AB says:

    Need to make this pressure count. Otherwise we will be waiting to be caught on the break.

  69. Goonereris says:

    Ref is too quick to show the yellow cards to our lads but has ignored a few of the Brighton infractions. Surely, he could have gone back to book the player who pulled back Mhki before he was dispossessed.

    That’s more like it from Ozil. That was a wicked shot to warm Ryan’s hands.

  70. 17highburyterrace says:

    Good movement through the middle but we look like we’re working new combos when we get near the box…

    Ozil tests the keeper… and Xhaka goes down but no call…

    A bit more on the front foot? Perhaps?…

  71. 17highburyterrace says:

    There’s a BHA yellow… “earned” by Jack?

  72. Goonereris says:

    And when he does give them a yellow, it was the wrong call. Obviously been reminded he should have gone back that time to issue the yellow, after giving us the advantage.

  73. 17highburyterrace says:

    JW did well to keep his feet there…and keep the ball moving forward… Ozil and Auba almost hook up but keeper intercedes…

    Retroactive challenge on Xhaka earns the long haired guy a yellow… Game is very heated but (IMO) Arsenal aren’t backing down from it…

  74. jw1 says:

    So I’m not sure I’m watching the same match.
    Looks to me that Wilshere is the only Arsenal player willing to push the ball through midfield with any aggression whatsoever. Pretty sure I’ve counted a dozen times he’s done so today.

    The YK was a poor decision. But he’s made many good ones that haven’t been reciprocated by teammates.

    jw1

  75. 17highburyterrace says:

    Kola’s gonna get sent off for that one, I fear…

  76. 17highburyterrace says:

    JW… I’m not as down on (the other) JW as folks think and it’s probably something to revisit in a calmer moment…

    Then again, I just re-read your comment… A dozen times? Surely you’re mixing a few moves by Xhaka and Ozil in to come up with a count like that… 😉

  77. AB says:

    Massive let off. Get him subbed off now!

  78. Pony Eye says:

    Kola should be subbed now.

  79. 17highburyterrace says:

    Oh my… Kola stays on… That one might’ve been sanctioned in the NFL…

  80. 17highburyterrace says:

    The Colombian had the pass on but (luckily) shot wide instead…

    Ha… They borrowed my NFL line…

  81. Goonereris says:

    Kolasinac has got away with one there and in a game where we’ve had decisions go against us. The crowd bayed for blood there to no end. The Ref saw it as a 50-50, I guess.

  82. 17highburyterrace says:

    No Jack at FB until he works on those throws… 😀

  83. Goonereris says:

    What was Jack doing there making a foul throw? A shambles, this team.

  84. Goonereris says:

    Fingers crossed for Danny not to cop an injury. Or, it will be a a side lacking confidence going to Milan.

  85. 17highburyterrace says:

    No question, Eris… this is a mess…

    Welbz on for Iwobi… Might improve the spacing? Is that the camel grasping at straws?…

  86. retsub1 says:

    Question . when was the last time You were excited by an Arsenal
    substitution?

  87. jw1 says:

    Massive improvement. Iwobi’s performance has been just north of dismal.
    Two giveaways that could have resulted in goals.

    jw1

  88. 17highburyterrace says:

    15 mins to go here… Sorry Eris, IMO, Welbz healthy or not, this is a side that will travel to Italy with very little confidence happening. Even more so if our only goal today is from the cup-tied player…

  89. Pony Eye says:

    Where are the through passes?

  90. 17highburyterrace says:

    Xhaka gives it away then looks beaten for pace… Does enough to win the ball (and the call)…

    Now that little lifted pass by Jack… That one I liked…

  91. jw1 says:

    FA Cup 3rd Round 2012 vs Leeds.
    Thierry Henry is subbed on in the 68th minute. Scores on his fifth touch.

    jw1

  92. allezkev says:

    Eris, how did Chambers do?

  93. retsub1 says:

    I will answer my own question eddie

  94. allezkev says:

    Here comes Eddie…

  95. 17highburyterrace says:

    Bells and Eddy coming on… It’s true, retsub, about subs… even Bells coming on only gives me a small lift… and he immediately gives it away… Saved by the flag as the ball goes in our net.

  96. 17highburyterrace says:

    This doesn’t look good… Eddy as our target guy seems a little…

    Maybe I’ll just leave it at that…

  97. jw1 says:

    7 added minutes.

    jw1

  98. allezkev says:

    JW, that was an awful game, but Henry coming on and scoring was almost like a religious moment, I was almost in tears.
    It reminded me how great we once were and how far we’ve fallen.

    That was then, now it’s even worse.

  99. 17highburyterrace says:

    Auba gets the shot in but easy for the keeper…

    Giroud scored a couple as a sub, didn’t he…

    Unfortunately, we have to accept things as they are, Kev… And they are not good…

    Not much of a FK there, Xhaka…

  100. allezkev says:

    Some of our defending really is quite dumb….

  101. 17highburyterrace says:

    That should do it…

    Who is this Kolasinac guy? He looked pretty good early season, what happened?…

  102. Goonereris says:

    We are setting all manner of negative records these days.

  103. njk84sg says:

    That’s it.. they are supposed to press but they keep passing back.
    FFS wenger please do something

  104. allezkev says:

    17tino, accept it, there’s not a lot we can do about it mate?

    The last time Arsenal lost 4 successive away games was 1925

  105. 17highburyterrace says:

    Wow…

    On the plus side, the team kept at it after dropping the early goals…

    On the negative side?… Where to begin?

  106. allezkev says:

    Boro Primorac apparently sits in the stands and he is the guy who works on the teams tactics in conjunction with Wenger.
    Make of that what you will….

  107. retsub1 says:

    IMHO Chambers tried hard but looks out of his depth,..he is better in the middle but still looks like an accident waiting to happen.

  108. 17highburyterrace says:

    My head feels ready to explode…

    I’m pretty sure it’s due to illness, however… (I see the doctor tomorrow)…

  109. njk84sg says:

    Kev, i am not sure, but i think we should call for Wenger out.

    The way we pressed and kept faith in Iwobi and Xhaka are the 2 worst decisions ever. Why keep playing Iwobi when everyone saw that he does not click with the team.
    Why keep playing Xhaka instead of Elneny when we know that our DM is weak without him.

    And why the passing back and fro between the wingers and defense. This must stop. I have never seen before such a stupid play from even the lower league teams. That is a magnet for high press and I have said for so mamy times if we play back pass more than forward we will keep losing.

  110. allezkev says:

    Mexican flu?

  111. Admir says:

    My pre-match prediction was accurate unlike the ones during the actual game.

    Wenger can’t turn things around. These players need a fresh approach and a new manager capable of scaring the shit out of them on trainings.

  112. allezkev says:

    84, Ken Friar is the only guy at the club whose been in situ when the club has changed managers.

    I’m not sure if the owner and the Board have the courage to do what is necessary mate.

  113. 17highburyterrace says:

    I’ll stay at it as long as I can (and I just popped a couple of pain pills)…

    Retsub, these discussions of individuals, I think, is tough given the difficulty of the collective situation. We’ve got lots of good players who would slot right into clubs/teams who are offering a supportive and/or winning situation. Do we have guys (leaders?) who can turn this whole toxic mess around and make our club a good place (for the players we’ve got)? It doesn’t seem so.

    For my part, I should back away when I think some are being slated while others get a free (or at least hopeful) pass…

  114. njk84sg says:

    after thinking for a while i think i know why we kept passing back. In midfield there are lots of space between the wingers and central midfielders, who are mostly in the forward positoons. We need just one more player to stay back to cover the huge hole, and after so many games we failed to see it.

    What is the team thinking?

  115. jw1 says:

    Find something that makes you smile today.
    You’ll see. It makes a difference.


    Runway. Does it for me.

    jw1

  116. 17highburyterrace says:

    Kev, I had something respiratory before my Mexican trip…and felt pretty excellent down there… less than 48 hours back in the states and I was sick all over again… Hard to say what’s up… Some are suggesting it’s psychosomatic. We’ll see what the doctor says…

  117. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey JW… Your doggie and mine have very similar coloring… Yours looks older (and wiser, but that’s not difficult) by comparison…

  118. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sounds like Wenger Out, JK In = Arsenal back on top… That’s the pill I WISH I was popping…

    How do you get the rolly eye emoji?…

  119. allezkev says:

    17tino, it’s difficult not to bad mouth players when things go wrong, it’s normal and borne out of frustration.

    Personally I think we still have a very good group of players, I just don’t think that the manager and the coaching is up to standard. You have to ask yourself if that situation is going to change/ improve if the manager remains?
    I personally don’t think it will improve, in fact I can only see it getting worse.

    Kroenke is not a man who makes rash decisions, but the fact that his son is in the UK tells me that even Stan has concerns.

    Our players need help, a new approach/ideas, but can a 68 year old man who is wedded to a certain way of doing things change direction. I don’t think he can…

  120. jw1 says:

    Actually a somewhat dated pic (probably 4yrs ago)– but one I like a lot.
    Runway is 9 now– but still thinks he’s a puppy. His effervescence makes me smile.

    jw1

  121. allezkev says:

    Sorry to hear that 17tino.
    It does sound a bit odd, when are you seeing the quack?

  122. jw1 says:

    🙄 ‘roll’ between two colons ::

    jw1

  123. 17highburyterrace says:

    Switched over to Barca-Atletico just in time for a Messi FK goal… Hard to see Arsenal winning a tournament (Ropy League) with either of those two teams playing. Atleti are still in, right?…

    I actually think Arsenal stayed in a very physical match today when they might have bailed early or gone down to 10 (or 9 or 8…) men with some petulant challenges. (Kola, of course, probably should have been sent off…)

    Question: does an “English” match like today’s help ahead of a “Euro” clash?…

  124. 17highburyterrace says:

    🙄

  125. allezkev says:

    Aren’t AC playing Inter today?

  126. 17highburyterrace says:

    Thanks JW… 😀

    I’m currently working on a phone switch and photo back-ups etc., etc… and my tech skills are nowheresville… and being sick hasn’t helped… A big element seems to be in my ears… There could be some kind of ongoing sinus infection happening with maybe changes in humidity and even too much ocean play being a factor. I dunno… At some point doggie pics ARE the answer…

    I see the doctor tomorrow, Kev…

  127. 17highburyterrace says:

    Yes, Kev… Milan Derby tonight… I don’t get it with my television package, however. Both teams are down the table…well below Napoli and Bellerin’s future team (Juve) and the two Roma teams…

  128. njk84sg says:

    17tino, just very frustrated about our mentality. Look at how the team played when we were a goal down.. we were just shaking in our knees facing a team in the bottom half.
    Just simply crap defending and i would have liked a change of defenders to hard headed English defenders from one of the lower teams, or change the team wholesale from Bournemouth or Leicester. A one to one swap will do nicely for me.

    They play much better footy compared to what we were doing.

  129. retsub1 says:

    All serie A games have been cancelled due to the dearth of a player in Italy.

    17 ht the biggest problem with blogging imho a nyway is we all have our favou

  130. 17highburyterrace says:

    Kev… Your earlier comment about players and criticism is spot on… Of course we NEED to criticize players, esp. if ownership seems to have taken managerial change off the table… My (grand) point is that a culture of blame doesn’t really do much to address ANY of our issues.

    As low as we’ve gone, however, things are bound to improve when Wenger gets sacrificed; structures are in place, etc., etc.

    I really had hoped things would end differently for him and, I guess, he might still be allowed his chance in the EL. Big match Turdsday, no?

  131. retsub1 says:

    Apologies sent in error, should read death of a player… very sad.

    What I was going to say to

  132. retsub1 says:

    I give up 2 glasses of red and I am anyone’s Back later

  133. Admir says:

    All games in Italy are postponed following the death of Fiorentina captain Davide Astori (31).

  134. allezkev says:

    Of course Retsub, how stupid of me, quite tragic, the guy was only 31..!

  135. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey retsub… Cheers for that update from Italy… And agreed with that other thing you were trying to say… 😉 My point is that Arsenal are in such dire straits that such distinctions hardly matter. Some players engender hope, esp. when they’ve been out for a long time–like Jack… Wait’ll Santi comes back!!! We’re gonna win the league, if, of course, we get JK in as manager…

    Sorry, that’s a little tough on JK… I guess we all have a right to believe in our own ideas…

    Back to the death in Italy… It’s always very (very) weird when these young and extremely fit athletes die suddenly. Hopefully the purple fans who didn’t fancy him as captain didn’t wish such a fate upon him in the twittersphere…

  136. allezkev says:

    Exactly 17tino, that why I never see any point in booing players during a match, as far as needing to criticise players, it’s usually just an emotional response to disappointment, dare I say passion. 😉
    Because we’ll be cheering the same guy seconds later if he scores a goal, but all that doesn’t solve the coaching question mate. I’ve just seen the first goal and we had three defenders marking space while Brighton players were unmarked. Our defending has been pants all season, the same mistakes replicated and nothing it seems has changed. That can only be rectified on the training ground, so why isn’t it..?
    As I said, we have good players.

    Good luck at the quacks tomorrow.

  137. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey Thanks Kev… I’m already doing much better. Believe it or not, I couldn’t even work a keyboard for the past 3-4 days… 😮

    The question of coaching is interesting… I wonder how much coaching can actually be done in an atmosphere of such incredible pressure. Some observers feel that the players want Wenger out (and maybe are sabotaging matches!?) but I think it’s just an environment that inhibits players from playing at their best. Tight margins mean even small mistakes are magnified. It’s frankly absurd how many matches we’ve started nervously and conceded multiple goals. Improper pre-match talk from the manager doesn’t fly for me. The whole scene is just too much…

    Lop of the head and surely the body will flourish, or something, I guess… 😦

  138. retsub1 says:

    OK brain is back in gear now. What I was going to say is we all have our favourites and anyone who has been on here for a while knows how to get people attention. For instance that Elneny is a knock kneed old nosebag. I’m only kidding, but then you pick on a player I like and so it goes on and on and on. I think most people are guilty to a certain extent.

    As much as it pains me to says so its time to go Arsene. I really would be most unhappy if he were sacked.

  139. allezkev says:

    3/4 days, strewth, that must have been like being on the wagon…. 🙂

    17tino, there seems to be a lot of ‘stories’ emanating from inside the club, briefing if you will.
    From players in tears, asking for help from the coaches, players turning up late for training and having to be collected from their homes, to directors offering to resign.
    I don’t really know how much truth there is in all these ‘exclusives’, but if you’re running a tight ship and everyone is focused and together, then this stuff stays in-house, if it does at all happen.

    I’ve seen this kind of thing before 17tino, in particular the days leading up to the departures of Bertie Mee, Terry Neill and George Graham, the manager seems to lose authority, the players lose belief in the manager, there’s unrest in the fan base, the directors start to panic, it has a momentum of its own and now we have social media with all its wonderful additions to the firestorm.

    To be honest, I think that it will do Wenger a favour to get away, he doesn’t need the dough or the hassle and there must be a myriad of jobs he could both inside football and in the media.

    And then we can all argue about something else…

    The biggest issue I can see is what the hell are Arsenal Fan TV gonna talk about when Arsene eventually goes? 😀

  140. allezkev says:

    Good point Retsub, I try not to pick on any one individual player, I just can’t stand any of them….
    😃😃

  141. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey Retsub… Even the favoritism recently shown towards Elneny (after that Chelsea match maybe…) has surprised me… 😉

    Most certainly, I would be (much) better served if I could just let things go a bit more than I do… On the other hand, there’s an element of “group-think” that gets under my skin. Strong minded folks say something about someone and it gets repeated enough so that it becomes the truth (all caps…) when it’s ALL just opinion. The reverberating power of the echo-web, or something… Anyhow, at times, I’m guilty of going over-board to try and correct what seem (to me) to be less than fully founded truths. Apologies…

    OK, feeling well enough that I should do a few things I’ve been putting off while sick…bathing myself seems top of the list. A decent breakfast might also be good…

    Wish I could figure out these puppy pics… If I do, then maybe I WILL have something I can write a post about… 🙂

  142. Goonereris says:

    Who is this Kolasinac guy? He looked pretty good early season, what happened?… – 17ht

    Frankly, it must be one of the shocking examples of player-drop-in-form ever seen. His form not only dipped, he’s become so afraid of trying or taking initiative of any sort. I saw that man handle both Arjen Robben and Kingsley Conan and made them look very ineffective, which is why he was in the Bundesliga team of the year last season. There’s the joke about Arsène “coaching away” the intensity in some of the players he’s acquired; or some of the qualities which got fans excited about such players, in the first place.

    It’s hard to explain the changes Kolasinac has gone through.

  143. 17highburyterrace says:

    Breakfast, check… The shower still awaits… 😮 I think I’m starting to enjoy the neutral football a bit more or at least the City-Chelsea match still intrigues at 1-nil… Barca held out at a similar scoreline… These matches all feel so…what’s the word?… normal… maybe…

    Yeah, Eris, everything gets twisted through the Wenger prism, I fear, including the Kolasinac thing. Could he face a retroactive ban for that play today?…

    It’s so hard to know given that he might’ve been injured (or only a Weng-jury…) and that his interaction with Alexis seemed fraught from the get go. Then AMN seemed to be favored playing a more fundamental version of the LB role… And now he appears never quite sure about anything… Makes one almost long for Gael Clichy…

  144. Goonereris says:

    The atmosphere at this club is so toxic now, it will be a feat for Wenger to steady the ship, even for a bit. I have also become a fan of the neutral games, myself, and enjoyed all the games I saw. Barcelona had to fight for their win but City have made Chelsea look so ordinary; Chelsea didn’t have a shot on target, in my view and barely had 3 shots to be reckoned with. We are unlikely to hear about how easy the game was for City because it was only 1-0, but Chelsea has just chosen to be negative; maybe, a dress rehearsal for what Barcelona can expect in just over a week.

    Speaking about players longed for, I am starting to miss Alexis Sanchez. Yeah, there it is. I said it!

    At least, he would keep trying to create opportunities for others while looking to take his own chances when they come. Clearly, he made us more dangerous.

  145. Admir says:

    @Eris

    Last year the narrative was Sanchez was the problem. Now that Sanchez, the only true winner in the team is gone, the pro-Wengers will have to spend a lot of time to find a new scape-goat.

  146. TotalArsenal says:

    When did Sanchez win us anything last time? A self-serving individualist. Good bloody riddance.

  147. TotalArsenal says:

    Another disappointing game and it just does not seem to end. Next Thursday’s game will be pivotal, I reckon. What else is there to say other than to keep going and hoping for improvement in form. We have a good squad but lack balance, confidence and togetherness right now. If Wenger overcomes Milan over two games, it will be some achievement given the circumstances. It doesn’t look he will be able to do it, but yet I wouldn’t be surprised if he does.

  148. allezkev says:

    Just watched Wenger’s post match press conference and it seems that he’s accepting that we won’t make the top four and it’s all or nothing in the UEFA Cup.

    Therefore I hope he uses some of the games he has left in the EPL this season to afford more opportunities and experience to our young players, maybe from the start of games rather than 10 minute cameos at the fag end of matches. That’s fag as in cigarette fellas, not the other thing… 😉

  149. TotalArsenal says:

    Good point, Kevski.

  150. Pony Eye says:

    TA/HT,
    A MAIL IN YOUR BOX.

  151. jw1 says:

    “I don’t really know how much truth there is in all these ‘exclusives’, but if you’re running a tight ship and everyone is focused and together, then this stuff stays in-house, if it does at all happen.”

    Kev–
    Lotta’ nuggets in that statement.

    As for the ‘exclusives’? Sun, Mirror, Metro were the first ‘three’ hits. Then the echoers.
    Two things. Over here? Players-only meetings happen even among good teams when something get played out in the press. I’m surprised we’ve not heard of one (or more) previously. Details? Usually do stay in-house. Arsenal runs an incredibly tight-ship internally. The press will magnify anything they do get.

    Honestly? Can you imagine what the young children of a player hear about their father?

    ‘If it does happen at all.’
    I could see Kos welling-up giving an emotional talk to his teammates. When young I emcee’d shows in high school– and later DJ’d in clubs and on radio. I was trained to speak publicly. Had not done so in decades– until about a year ago. I was asked to speak in front of about 50-60 — people I knew — and I was extremely nervous– emotional.

    Lesson: Don’t read more into something that is being blasted in 60pt-type on a cheesy news-site for profit.

    No. All is not well in North London.
    But I’m not going to give credence to the fishwrappers.

    jw1

  152. njk84sg says:

    As much as our defense were having two left feet lately, jw1, it seemed that we did try to play after we conceded the second goal. Why did they take so long to do this is anyone’s guess.

    For the crisis talk that the media mentioned, i only read the headlines and did not read the article proper. The reason why is that i do not care about what they said, just play well on the pitch is the priority.

  153. jw1 says:

    JK–
    There seem psychosomatic aspects at play. A vicious-cycle as it were.
    HearItThinkItDoItHearItThinkItDoItHearItThinkItDoIt.

    For the most part these are young men. Who, like their counterparts on other teams, are asked to perform at the highest mental and athletic levels possible. That’s a high-level of pressure. With the addition of the high-levels of stress– it can come to be too much to compartmentalize.

    I’ve heard from many quarters how Arsene and Arsenal protect– or ‘coddle’ the players. In this sense it’s understandable.Might have been the only way (Wenger, likely decided) to compensate for the weight that the media bring to bear.

    jw1

  154. Goonereris says:

    One doesn’t want to come across as making excuses for mediocrity in any way, but I enjoyed the perspective the article in the link below provides. We lost to the best side in the league by a mile, twice in a row, yet the media will have you believe it was a sign the team is just no good and the manager past it.

    No doubt, we could have done better (we point these occasions out, on here) but it does something to the confidence to lose to the same side 2 times, back to back, when you consider yourself a top side too. Bolton Wanderers could lose three times in a row, to City and as soon as they come up against Wigan next game, they brush them aside. My point is, for those defeats to affect confidence of the boys is, in itself, testament to their desire to win. They are hurting, too and the sooner our fans know and accept that, the better for the atmosphere around the place. We just need the next win and we just might bounce back.

    Back to the article. It just showed how badly (and cowardly) Chelsea played against City.

    http://www.football365.com/news/manchester-city-1-0-chelsea-16-conclusions

  155. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post 🙂

    I received two posts, one by Gino and one by PE. PE is a player ratings one so should come out first. Gino’s to follow tomorrow.

    Chears Chaps!!!

    New Post

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