Pay Theo whatever he wants | Arsenal spank Spurs out of sight… again! | Match review + video + pics

by & filed under Match report.

2012 season for the record

Ingrained in Arsenal fandom is the love of the North London derbies. If Arsene Wenger has brought anything to the table it’s the consistency in which we dominate them. Today was no different. We lined up exactly the way most expected and we delivered. Was that helped by a pathetically self serving idiot of an ex-striker of ours? Undoubtedly. Was it all good news? Absolutely not. Perspective and rational thought need to be laced around the result today. Obviously though, there will be over the top moments of gushing sentiment.

The Arsenal online community often slate the contribution of the fans. Today, I challenge anyone to disregard the input of the home support. Exceptional. A joy to be a part of. Serious credit needs to be apportioned to the club for the clear relaxation of standing rules. I didn’t sit all game. Multiply that by 50,000 and you have yourself a united vocal set of fans.

It proves a point, it’s not the stadium that’s soulless. Energy is a people thing and you can create that in a cardboard box if the collective desire is there.

It was certainly there today.

After controlling possession for most of the opening portion of the game, Defoe and one other managed to breach our defence down the right after Koscielny played them onside, the Englishman fired a shot at the back post, Chesney saved but pushed it into the path of Adebayor who side footed home. I’d say it was bad keeping, but the shot was very accurate and he did well to get down to it. it was a big ask for him to push it wide.

Ade didn’t need an invitation to celebrate in front of the home fans, no yellow card, which was upsetting.

Spurs went frighteningly close moments later after Sagna let Lennon in with some sloppy play, he dragged his shot nail bitingly wide.

Arsenal didn’t cave. Nor did the fans. Jack pulled off a masterful turn in the middle of the park, powered forward slipping ball into Theo, his cut back was unfortunately met by no one in a red shirt.

It didn’t take long for Ade to lose his hero status. A loose ball bounced on the half way line, Cazorla made it there first, Adebayor wasn’t having it, he flew in with a wild studs up tackle and took out the Spaniard. He was shown the straight red card. That’ll learn him. Learn him good I tell you.

That gave us a massive boost. It wasn’t long before we were level pegging. Theo Walcott did superbly outwide with some neat footwork, he chipped a delightful cross into Mertesacker who took a step back then powered a header into the top corner. An outstaning piece of technique from our ‘Big F*cking German’!

Arsenal nearly took the lead in exactly the same circumstances a few minutes later but this time it was Giroud doing the heading. Lloris was equal to this one, performing a supremely acrobatic one handed save to deny his national team mate. Our centre forward had another chance to put us ahead with his… errr… head… this time he placed it low and too close to Lloris who made an easy save. I know he misses a lot of headers at the moment, but after consulting my Opta stat pack, I can confirm he’s had more headers in the opening few months of the season that we’ve had in the previous 5. Once they start dropping in, we’ll be a serious aerial threat, something we’ve never been under Arsene.

The next name on the scoresheet was Lukas Podolski. The move was half beautiful… like a pint of Peroni in a Sports Direct pint glass… Arteta one two’d with Jack, there was a bit of confusion with the ball falling into the path of Podolski, he duffed his shot and it slipped into the bottom corner. Who cares what they look like as long as you score eh (Lad banter Kavos 2007)?

The crowd erupted into ‘We’ve got two f*cking Germans’! Indeed we did have. The energy really started to buzz around the ground. We were a way into the game and the stewards had backed off in a big way. The team were playing with a bit of swagger. The ball was zipping around the park, confidence was seeping back into our system, confidence began to brim.

The third came when Cazorla picked up the ball on the from a freekick, went on a mazy run, powered into the box and cut back for Giroud for the poachers finish. A chorus of ‘La La la la lalala Girooooooud!‘ reverberated around the Emirates noise bowl!

At half time the camera cut to Thierry Henry and Sol Campbell hanging out in the corporate box. Those guys didn’t taste defeat at the lane back in the day, perhaps some of their magic was rubbing off on the team?

The second half started under a bit of pressure, which was worrying. Spurs had a play around with their formation and and pushed their full backs further up the pitch. They controlled the tempo of the game and carved out a few half decent chances.

We picked up the fourth goal, which came from a very busy Giroud. It started from a goal kick, Giroud won the header, as he seems to do with impressive regularity, Theo picked up the second ball, played it to Podolski who headed for the byline, crossed into the box where Cazorla was present at the back post to slot home!

Bale actually pulled one back after he was given the freedom of Islington just in front of our back four which gave him the impetus to fire a low shot past the keeper from about 20 yards out. Again, questions have to be raised over the keeping. How does he consistently get beaten from distance?

The fear settled in after they pulled a second back. It’s moments like this that make you realise we’re a long way off challenging for major honours. The whole ground was unconvinced we could hold onto a 2 goal second half lead against 10 men, including the players. We started hoofing the ball long, Arteta started giving the ball away, then, to shore up the set up, Wenger brought on Ramsey and Santos. Not the two I’d send on, but with a squad as light as ours, there weren’t really too many options.

Spurs best chance to make something happen happened before 80 minutes. Bale looped a corner over the 6 yard box, Chezzer came for it, then retreated, the rest of the defence missed it, lucky for us, Defoe ballsed up his back post volley.

Chamberlain entered the field of play as our final substitute. Arsenal started to wrestle back control, we started to keep possession which should be our bread and butter. Spurs started to fade through fatigue.

To top off a fantastic afternoon, Chamberlain did well out wide, he cut a ball into the Theo who buried a simple chance to cap off another wonderful performance. Spurs fans were no where to be seen, they’d slinked off early to the sound of ‘You’re fu*king useless, the same as last year!’… how humiliating. 5-2 twice in a row. Absolutely marvelous. Wenger gives himself some breathing space. The fans get their bragging rights.

For now, pride has been restored to north London…

Conclusions

It’s difficult to draw any defining points from the game. Adebayor kind of ruined things for the Spurs set up. A prime example of why he’ll never be an elite striker. He has no brain. That challenge was selfish, pointless and cost his team the chance of a victory. The on cost of that might be a terrible run in the league.

Wouldn’t that be a shame?

From our perspective, you can only beat what’s put in front of you. Not only did we beat them, we humiliated them. We scored a diverse range of goals from wide variety of players. Of key importance for me were the goals notched by the front three. Giroud is starting to look like a seriously dangerous Premiership striker. He’s finding the target more often than not, but most importantly he’s finding his positioning and his movement has moved up a level. We haven’t had a player who can dominate the area like him since Adebayor. Even then, he didn’t dominate aerially like Giroud. I’m excited about what he can bring to our side, especially if we snap up a more traditional Arsenal striker in Janaury.

A massive amount of credit has to go the way of Theo Walcott again. His control was sublime at times. His only mistake was the heavy touch when played through in the second half. Overall though, he was brilliant outwide. His crossing has stepped up a level as has his ability to beat at man and make a decsision. He also showed his prowess through the middle. Under no circumstances can we let him slip off out of the club. It’ll happen though, which is a real shame because he’s clearly loving his football at the moment and I think he’s at the best place to develop. The point is, though I don’t rate him as world class, where are we going to pick up someone as good as him in January?

The midfield still didn’t quite have me purring. Mostly because they left the back four exposed a few times. Santi Cazorla came to life because he was given more space than he has done of late. His brilliance came in pockets, but he’s still not quite at the levels he was early on in the season. Arteta seems to have developed a habit of giving the ball away when we’re under pressure, it’s almost Ramsey-esque. I’m not sure whether that’s form or tiredness, but he’s going to have to improve. For the time Jack was on the pitch, he really did look the business. He was fighting for the fans out on the pitch. He clattered a Spurs player early on and had the fans on their feet. He protected his team mates, he played some great football and he mucked in at the back. A real fiery game we all love to see. I’m just waiting to see a game where the midfield really click, I don’t think it’s far away.

The back four still have problems. The offside trap is still causing problems and our zonal marking is still causing confusion. I’m not a master tactician, but isn’t it just easier to attack the ball and mark players? An old fashioned view, but sometimes simple is better. In fact, when dealing with footballers, surely simple is always better?

Overall, the whole day was fantastic. I loved standing up and singing all game. I loved that the crowd stayed positive even when we went a goal down. I loved watching all the Spurs fans leave well before 70 minutes! Pride has been restored to North London, Wenger has placated the fans, but he must know, the only way to keep that going is to motivate the boys to play like every game is a derby. Those guys need to know they’re playing for the win regardless of who they’re up against. It’s not acceptable to turn it on when it’s a big occasion. Hopefully, this will be a springboard through December.


260 Responses to “Pay Theo whatever he wants | Arsenal spank Spurs out of sight… again! | Match review + video + pics”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. andy

    pedro I´ve been to NYC two years ago. heavy heavy prices. subway helped 😛 of course it depends where you live. I was at water street in manhatten, 5 mins away from the wall street. may well be cheaper in other regions though

  2. mike

    great result. ive always thought theo as a great in the making rather than an early impression( Michael owen ) and in the coming years i belive he will be the next th14. Wenger said he prefered gervinio , he also prefers ramsey, enough said.

  3. sam

    bade,
    we sold van persie for 24 millions because we are greedy n Ferguson was desperate. it could have gone for the same fee as giroud and podolski.
    i don’t care about world class status, if van persie is world class so is podolski but according to grovers. podolski is not world class only because he plays for arsene wenger. if he scores 20 plus n we sell him for big fee in the summer he gains world class status.

  4. sam

    Giroud was asked if he’s van juda’s replacement he simply answered:

    i wouldn’t wait 7 years to become arsenal top scorer

    CLASS!!!

  5. andy

    sam you´re right there. it´s so funny how a guy like podolski having more than 100 caps for germany which is arguably one of the best international teams in the world is not called “world class”. I am not a fan of him, never was but I´ve never doubt his ability and the fact he is world class.

  6. Dan Ahern

    Adebayor, MOTM by a long shot!

    We looked pretty awesome with all the space we had. Hopefully we draw on that in the next match and remember how dangerous we can be if continuously look for space and don’t stand on the ball.

    Speaking of which, why on earth did Ramsey and Santos come on? I know the game was basically in hand, but Wenger found the only possible way to make everybody feel very insecure all of a sudden. This squad is abjectly thin.

    My January priorities are DM and LB. Diaby is dead. Gibbs is dead. Accept it.

  7. Keyser

    Bade – Diaby got injured against Chelsea, you saw the disconnect in midfield after he went, when we attacked we left acres of space between midfield and defence.

    We won the next two games against Olympiacos and West Ham, both where we gave up a fair few chances, Gibbs was injured in the West Ham game.

    The next two games were Norwich and Schalke04, it wasn’t that we conceded in them, it was that we created almost nothing, we waited until injury time of the second half for Gnabry to get a decent shot off.

    There was a massive notceiable difference.

    The squad isn’t good enough to make up for key absences, not because those players are particularly good, but because of what they offer.

    The Arteta examples are just 3 I could think of off the top of my head, it’s not simplistic, it’s just how it is, Arteta hasn’t been superb, we’ve just managed to balance or organise the team well enough to compensate.

    We started off organised and disciplined, more than likely because we’d spent pre-season preparing for the players we started for, we’re almost starting again now, Veramelen isn’t ideal but he’s decent, and now Wilshere, Cazorla and Arteta are learing to play together.

    We’re creating, but we’re also still vulnerable because it isn’t pre-season any more and our mistakes will be punished.

  8. Keyser

    Nasri’s Mouth – It wasn’t that Rooney chased him down or the work he put in, he works hard though he did turn up over-weight in pre-season, it’s that Arteta’s experience and his ability on the ball are supposed to be why he’s a good option to have in midfield, he works hard and can tackle, but he isn’t exceptional because of that.

  9. Keyser

    Santos actually helped when he came on, the crowd were edgy but he just played in and around Vermaelen and kept us in possesion of the ball, even fed in Vermaelen, Lennon got back with an excellant touch to put him off or maybe Vermaelen would’ve scored.

  10. Pedro

    Cheers for the reccs guys… I booked Buddakan in the end… I couldn’t get Per Se. Will check out Balthazar as well!

  11. Radio Raheem

    Keyser,

    That’s true. You could see Santos gesticulating to everyone else to calm down. He brought some composure to our play in 10 to 15mins after he came on. Before that the players were fretting like menstrual teenage whores…

    That got me thinking that it wouldn’t hurt to play Santos as a left mid on occasions he is probably better able to beat a man than Podolski.

  12. sam

    I just wish we start fighting for the tittle, its not all lost
    how can you aim for only 4th place in november? thats why players are not that motivated. they think they can relax now coz the manager only wants 4th place.

  13. Meditation

    its not new the arteta problem.It will not change unless arsenal get a real defensive mid. Artetas problem is awareness. He is good at dealing with what he see’s but the best can deal with the unexpected. The term he must have eyes in the back of his head means something. he has high passing stats but most passes are safe. There are times when someone will pass it to him and he will pass it back either through fear or lack of awareness or both. Strength is missing also. He pass instead of holding people off or rolling of somebody.Its limiting his choices. Personally im thinking he is starting to question being deployed in this position.

  14. Radio Raheem

    Someone posted a video earlier of Arsenal players giving Ade the cold shoulder in the tunnel….err so what’s this on Arseplayer?
    I’m watching the match on Arseplayer and it’s kinda different. Ade’s gives Sagna a special ‘two-touch’ handshake, Theo gets his too…even Szczesny gets in on the act

    It’s all too friendly, too much man love…if it weren’t for the cameras there might have been an orgy in the tunnel

  15. Radio Raheem

    Lennon, Defoe, Bale…everyone’s rubbing cocks with the other…blimey where’s Lurch and his football is a battle trope?

  16. SDE

    Blah,blah,blah….

    You can dissect the team to your hearts content..

    You can talk about Arteta not being the best,but good enough with his experience,blah,blah,blah…

    The fact remains the defense is shite..Pure & simple..

    Does not take a rocket scientist to work that one out..

    OGL’s tactics for a top,top manager are past his sell-by-date..

    He struggles to keep pace with modern day changes..

    Fergie is older than him(I’m guessing) & he has no problems adapting to the rigours of the modern day game..

    The BoD are a bunch of parsimonious geriatrics,out of touch with the fans & the game..& need lining up against the emirates wall..You know the rest..

    The squad is filled with utter crap..

    & when we have a contract stand-off with one of our so-called best players,whose reading of the game,along with his first touch is somewhat questionable..

    Then you know we have serious problems from a footballing perspective..

    Two months into the season & the same problems persist..

    14 goals conceded in the last 5 games..

    I despair..I really do…

    Back to the Kylie Minogue track..”I’m Spinning Around”..

    PS
    It’s on loop by the way..Just like our performances over the last 7 barren trophy years..

  17. Pedro

    SDE, I don’t know how many times I have to tell you this… the board don’t make any decisions.

    The only three people who do are…

    1) Stan
    2) Wenger
    3) Ivan

  18. Radio Raheem

    kwik

    haha…can’t tell the difference between Hatton and Freddy Krueger…he better off obese and cocked out of his head

  19. Keyser

    Blah, blah, baaa, baaa, ba, Fergie, tactics, BoD, WMD, WKD, ADD, mathematics, 5-2 win over Spurs- get in.

    Kwikfit is the dude from the Southern Comfort ads, real life Celebrooty.

  20. Keyser

    Radio Raheem – Santos did well, not sure about starting games, he hasn’t looked too good going forward this year, we haven’t had too many situations where he can really let loose and try to get some form back, maybe some Cup games.

    Also wondered about the Adebayor thing to, doubt players share similar feelings to fans.

  21. Radio Raheem

    Also wondered about the Adebayor thing to, doubt players share similar feelings to fans.
    ———–

    yup, that would explain the edited clip that was posted on youtube

    I think I had this ‘debate’ with Lurch. I think players are cool with each other irrespective of the team they play for. On the pitch they entertain or perform that can include mindless tackles, mindful tackles and so on…the rest is for the fans.

    On an episode of ‘Cribs’ with Djibril Cisse guess who he was chilling with? Yup you guessed right Samir Nasri…some of the stuff on Guardian’s Secret Footballer entries are quite revealing too

  22. Ché C Cheriton

    Let me talk to you about managerial ability.

    At U11s it’s 9 aside. This morning two defenders called in sick meaning we had no subs. The team we were playing had quite a few ex academy players and had played 6 W6 D0 L0 GD +40 and were top winning every game by almost seven goals.

    I will also point out we were down to eight players for the last fifteen minutes. Tactics and organisation meant we were able to win the game 1-0.

    Tactics are a huge part of the game. Defending is a huge part of the game. Long term Arsenal / Wenger don’t seem to do either. Look at recent history, listen to the likes of myself and Gambon, as we know what we are talking about.

  23. kwik fit

    You’ve got to hand it to Jack. What a little fighter he really is . Getting stuck in to Bale almost a foot higher . Jack is the type of character we’ve been crying out for . Sometimes I pinch myself when I think about us having little Jack back doing what he does best.

  24. Arsene's Nurse

    Repeat after me:

    Arteta doesn’t play as a defensive midfielder. Arsene Wenger does not play with a defensive midfielder. Arsenal haven’t played with a defensive midfielder for years.

    People who say that Song or Diaby or Arteta are/were played as defensive midfielders don’t have a clue.

  25. Keyser

    Joppa – You know what makes me wonder, is that people constantly mention ‘tactics’ yet they never give any real insight they say shit like you do, ‘Ooh tactics play a big part’.

  26. Keyser

    “People who say that Song or Diaby or Arteta are/were played as defensive midfielders don’t have a clue.”

    Think you need to be a bit clearer there, does he play in midfield ? with defensive duties ? Hmm.

  27. Keyser

    Radio Raheem – Yeah reading from the Secret footballer, it was almost like a detached world, like a very public sect. Think it’s changed towards that in recent years, you make too much money to waste time with petty rivalries and the way the games going you’re unlikely to find a club for life so probably have to be careful not to make too many enemies.

    Sagna does seem like a righteous person though.

  28. Radio Raheem

    Yeah Sagna does come across as a teacher’s pet (even if he doesn’t look it)…yeah reading the Secret Footballer is almost as riveting as reading Dosteyevsky (I jest!).

  29. Arsene's Nurse

    Keyser November 18, 2012 18:28:33

    Nasri’s Mouth – It wasn’t that Rooney chased him down or the work he put in, he works hard though he did turn up over-weight in pre-season, it’s that Arteta’s experience and his ability on the ball are supposed to be why he’s a good option to have in midfield, he works hard and can tackle, but he isn’t exceptional because of that.
    ————————————————————————————-
    Balls. You as usual have no idea. Fergie instructed Rooney to close Arteta down at every opportunity because Fergie understands Arteta’s role in the Arsenal side.

    Arteta has been instructed to play in a certain position in a certain way in the Arsenal system. Fergie understands this and realises that disrupting Arteta causes Arsenal problems in terms of maintaining fluidity and ball retention.

  30. Keyser

    Not teachers pet, just a sound guy, I think if you really pushed him he’d flip, there was one article of the Secret footballer that stood out, might have been about the media in general, can’t remember.

    Gives you something to read on the tube eh.

  31. Keyser

    Joppa – You nutter, why not just tell people where we’re going wrong, like what you’ve noticed instead of just saying ‘tactics play a big part’.

    In the last two games for instance, since we’re playing zone, Berbatov has moved off the goalie to make the header, I saw Defoe do that yesterday aswell, not much but it’s something players will have to keep an eye on because you’re usually more worried about players in front of you rather than the blind side.

  32. Radio Raheem

    Keyser

    I’d rather see Santos start at left mid than at fullback. With Podolski hardly completing matches there is a suggestion that he’ll need a rest from time to time. I think Santos has not looked that good going forward because he hasn’t been able to put a run of games together. When Podolski gets a breather I wouldn’t mind playing him there on occasions.

  33. Keyser

    “Balls. You as usual have no idea. Fergie instructed Rooney to close Arteta down at every opportunity because Fergie understands Arteta’s role in the Arsenal side.”

    Mate do you even understand the point I was making.

    “Meditation November 18, 2012 20:04:23
    its not new the arteta problem.It will not change unless arsenal get a real defensive mid. Artetas problem is awareness. He is good at dealing with what he see’s but the best can deal with the unexpected. The term he must have eyes in the back of his head means something. he has high passing stats but most passes are safe. There are times when someone will pass it to him and he will pass it back either through fear or lack of awareness or both. Strength is missing also. He pass instead of holding people off or rolling of somebody.Its limiting his choices. Personally im thinking he is starting to question being deployed in this position.”

    This is what Meditation wrote, I don’t agree with everything he says, but he’s put it far better than I have.

  34. Gunner2301

    Kwik

    The better Jack gets the more he becomes a sellable asset in Wengers eyes. You can’t cherish good players developing anymore because you know where it will end up.

  35. Ché C Cheriton

    I think there is a lot to be said for being vocal and organising/picking up as the match plays out. Are Arsenal particularly vocal? Fine if your team is full of gifted world class players but if your not (like Arsenal isn’t) then who leads them? Or are they all supposed leaders? Adams certainly was a leader. I’m not sure I see many in the Arsenal team.

    JW is the only real leader I see out there. The boy should be captain now.

  36. Arsene's Nurse

    Keyser November 18, 2012 21:14:35

    “People who say that Song or Diaby or Arteta are/were played as defensive midfielders don’t have a clue.”

    Think you need to be a bit clearer there, does he play in midfield ? with defensive duties ? Hmm.
    —————————————————————————————————–
    I’m not going to be one of your victims for a long drawn out night of bullshit, however, all midfielders have defensive responsibilities, even a player played in an advanced midfield position such as Cazorla.

    People completely misunderstand Arteta’s role in the set up.

    Arteta is played as a deeper lying midfielder whose role is primarily as a pivot. He’s a steadier, an instigator, a dictator, a player in his current role as someone who links defence with attack. He’s there to move the ball intelligently.

    A purely defensive midfielder such as Makele in the old Chelsea system is someone who is designated to shield the back 4, spot danger, intercept and play the simple pass to those who can then attack. He’s always sat in midfield slightly ahead of the two centre backs in the centre of the field. A spoiler. Someone who reads the game to perfection with one aim.

    A defensive midfielder does not do what Arteta does. This is the problem with pigeon-holing players and football manager/FIFA.

  37. Keyser

    “He’s there to move the ball intelligently.”

    Which is why I used the Rooney example, he panics, rushes, when with his experience and ball playing ability should be able to see him through.

    Even if he’s not there to hold off Rooney with his strength or he’s not quick enough to outrun him, he needs to be more aware. That was one examples I’ve seen him do it a fair bit, and since that’s supposed to be his forte it’s worrying.

    We don’t really have a balanced midfield, we don’t have strength or physicality, but we do have intelligent, skillful ball players, and the point was we’re going to struggle until either we give the midfield more balance, or they learn to play with each other far better.

  38. Radio Raheem

    I’d like Arteta to watch videos of Scholes and model his game along those lines. He could add a lot more to our attacks with searching balls from deep. Arteta is a good player but far too safe with his possession. But fair play to opposition teams that have identified him has a strength/weakness in our side.

    Now I wonder if Wenger will be able to ameliorate this situation. Will this be under adjusting tactics or…?

  39. Dan Ahern

    Arsene’s Nurse – Good points. But, you lament pigeonholing only just after describing a ‘purely’ defensive midfielder and making it out to be akin to a sweeper.

  40. Radio Raheem

    As an armchair tactician my solution would be use Koscielny more as a ball playing CB, employ Coquelin and Arteta as a double pivot with Carzola moved to the right/left. Our attacks will bypass Arteta when he is marked and instead will be coordinated from the position Cazorla is playing and from our CB, Koscielny.

  41. Keyser

    The thing is no-ones pigeonholing him.

    It’s not Arteta’s fault solely, it’s just the players we have available, Wilshere’s just come back and Cazorla has enough responsibility pushing us forward and creating, Giroud, Podoslki and Walcott all have to be able to add more than just being there on the end of thinking players passes.

    The Cazorla goal was good because of that, but Tottenham were already down to 10.

  42. Arsene's Nurse

    Keyser November 18, 2012 21:51:36

    We don’t really have a balanced midfield, we don’t have strength or physicality, but we do have intelligent, skillful ball players, and the point was we’re going to struggle until either we give the midfield more balance, or they learn to play with each other far better.
    ——————————————————————————————–
    I agree. The midfield is unbalanced from a player point of view and not a system one . (Which is why the system needs tweaking) When Arsenal play 4-5-1 (4-2-3-1) or 4-3-3 then in effect we play with 3 central midfielders. Those are; a pivot, a roamer and a creator.

    Those are my names for those 3.

    The pivot is Arteta. He plays slightly deeper than the Roamer (box to box midfielder) and he plays primarily on the right side of the pitch. His role is to move the ball intelligently, ensure possession is retained. He’s a safe pair of hands. This is why Arteta plays short passes with a high completion rate. He’s there to shape the game.

    The roamer is kind of key to the way we play because he links with the Pivot and the Creator. He tends to play on the left side. The best player to play here is someone with long legs. They need to be able to cover lots and lots of ground in both attack and defence.

    The roamer is the player able to be involved everywhere; he can mix it up and put himself about a bit; stifle play and win the ball, he can track back fast a tackle, he can gallop ahead with the ball and beat an opposing midfielder with pace opening up a side for counter attack, he can turn and play the ball beating a man, he can move into space and then receive the ball from the pivot. The roamer makes the system work. He plays a bit ahead of the Pivot and slightly left of him in our system.

    This is why we miss Diaby when he’s on form. He’s able to do this.

    The Creator is obviously Cazorla. They play much higher up the pitch and they are there to speed and move the attack. An all rounder with quick feet, intelligence, the ability to find space, exploit space, beat a man, retain the ball, keep the opposition pinned back which stops opposition centre backs from coming forward and a central midfielder tied up.

    Carzorla tends to play directly in front of Arteta.

    If you look at this formation then it’s evident that the natural weakness is our left hand side. It requires a strong and hard working left back and left forward.

  43. SDE

    Off topic,could the TSF,be Danny Murphy..

    With past references to an encounter with an academy player on Crewe ‘s books in a nightclub in his article..Plus the fact he played for them..

    London Nightclubs..Former clubs he’s played for Charlton,Spurs & Fulham..

    Leaving Liverpool for money,rather than staying & winning trophies..
    Missing out on CL &FAC..
    His one regret maybe..?

    Talk of England Internationals..Trevor Sinclair,etc..D.Murphy had 9 caps for England during Sven’s tenure..

  44. Arsene's Nurse

    Radio Raheem November 18, 2012 21:56:30

    I’d like Arteta to watch videos of Scholes and model his game along those lines. He could add a lot more to our attacks with searching balls from deep. Arteta is a good player but far too safe with his possession. But fair play to opposition teams that have identified him has a strength/weakness in our side.

    Now I wonder if Wenger will be able to ameliorate this situation. Will this be under adjusting tactics or…?
    ————————————————————————————————–
    Playing more searching balls from Arteta’s position is great, it’s what I’d look to do, however, the likelihood is he is under instruction to play a certain way. That is to retain possession as a priority. Incidentally we have actually scored some goals from route one football. Kick out from the keeper, control and pass from Walcott, run from (I think) Podolski and a cross for Cazorla to score our 4th.

    Longer passes do require a bit more time and vision. I’ve no doubt Arteta has this but it depends on how he’s been instructed.

    Wenger looks pained sometimes when the goalie kicks it long (see Reading Carling Cup) yet we have scored by doing so. A forward able to head the ball/flick on and a quick player on the end is a threat.

  45. Radio Raheem

    Arsene’s Nurse

    You are suggesting Wenger does tactics hmmnnn that’s heresy in some quarters or that that tactics matters, even more heresy

    Arsene’s Nurse you’re a heretic you’ll burn for that

  46. Arsene's Nurse

    Dan Ahern November 18, 2012 22:01:16

    Arsene’s Nurse – Good points. But, you lament pigeonholing only just after describing a ‘purely’ defensive midfielder and making it out to be akin to a sweeper.
    ————————————————————————————————-
    Nope – sweeper is a completely different kettle of fish. The “Libero” plays behind the defence, traditionally in the Catenaccio system which employs 3 main defenders with the sweeper in behind the centre most one and sometimes in behind 2 central defenders.

    A defensive midfielder plays solely in front of the main defence. The characteristics and skills of a defensive midfielder and a sweeper are very different.

    In fact if you look at the Catenaccio formation (and not just system which isn’t played any more) you’ll see some similarities with the current Arsenal set up.

    Actually we do play with a chain from Arteta (Pivot) to Diaby/Jack (Roamer) to Cazorla (Creator).

  47. Keyser

    “Wenger looks pained sometimes when the goalie kicks it long (see Reading Carling Cup) yet we have scored by doing so.”

    Ric said that a while back, he was pained because we’d just gone up 6-5 in the 131st minute of the game, were in injury time and Reading were just lobbing balls back into the box, Martinez kicked it out the first time and it came straight back, he should’ve held on to it, let everyone push up and then kicked. He got lucky.

  48. Arsene's Nurse

    Keyser November 18, 2012 22:06:49

    The thing is no-ones pigeonholing him.

    It’s not Arteta’s fault solely, it’s just the players we have available, Wilshere’s just come back and Cazorla has enough responsibility pushing us forward and creating, Giroud, Podoslki and Walcott all have to be able to add more than just being there on the end of thinking players passes.

    The Cazorla goal was good because of that, but Tottenham were already down to 10.
    ————————————————————————————————–
    Well unfortunately there are many people who still think that any midfielder who plays in a deeper position is a “defensive midfielder” – that for some applies to Arteta.

    I’ll repeat what you’ve said because it’s important. You do have a clue. 😉 I apologise for the slur earlier, it’s just I feel that before you’ve gone round and round in semantic circles without putting across a succinct point which you have shown you can do. I’ll look at you with fresh eyes from now on.

    “Giroud, Podoslki and Walcott all have to be able to add more than just being there on the end of thinking players passes.”

    If you look at the Catenaccio formation (not necessarily the system) you can see similarities to our current set up. Many people fall into the trap that formations are symmetrical. It’s easy to see that a 4-3-3 can be played with the front three as two out and out forwards; one central, one wide and another wide player who is not an inside forward, not a winger, not a wide midfielder in the traditional 4-4-2 but a sort of a “botherer”. Sorry that’s another made up name. He plays as a forward in wider areas threatening the fullback and the space inside and behind him, but also must contribute to the defence by dropping deeper and nullifying the oppositions fullback and generally blocking his side of the field whilst linking with his own fullback.

    Podolski was doing this until Gibbs got injured.

    Our system does rely on our forwards doing more than just be “there on the end of thinking players passes”. In fact nearly all modern forwards are expected to contribute. A case in point is Rooney closing down Arteta.

    It always used to bug the shit out of me when I was playing that forwards thought the sun shone out their arses and it was everyone else’s problem when they lost the ball. This is where the false No 9 comes from. A forward central player who is involved in build up play and defence.

  49. Arsene's Nurse

    Radio Raheem November 18, 2012 22:45:10

    Arsene’s Nurse

    You are suggesting Wenger does tactics hmmnnn that’s heresy in some quarters or that that tactics matters, even more heresy

    Arsene’s Nurse you’re a heretic you’ll burn for that
    ——————————————————————————————————-
    He he, Burn baby burn. Yep Arsene does tactics, but it’s not tactics that take into account his opposition! It’s purely how he wants to play and how he sees the game should be played.

    Imho and from what I can gather from watching us play; Arsene sets out his team in a formation with the players he has in a certain way believing that this is good enough to beat the opposition. There appears to be little thought of what the opposition would do. Arsene would be shit at chess.

    He seems to have ultimate faith in whatever he puts out on the pitch regardless of what happens 10, 20 or 60 minutes thereafter. You can understand someone waiting and assessing; observing where the strengths and weaknesses are, looking to see how the team and individuals cope, building a strategy on how to nullify a thread or exploit a weakness, but our Arsene looks lost for initiative most of the time. To me he seems to expect all to capitulate before him and he gets annoyed when they don’t.

  50. Keyser

    “it’s just I feel that before you’ve gone round and round in semantic circles without putting across a succinct point which you have shown you can do.”

    Have you tried to converse with people on here, there used to be loads of people that’d accept criticism and construct arguments with logic and understanding, mixed with the usual insults of course, even gambon, I could sit here and express my opinion continously until you either accept or deny it.

    What’s the point in that ? It’s supposed to be about conversing to a point of mutual understanding, so I try and get people to see where they’re going wrong in my eyes at least, I’m not especially smart, but if you point out where I’ll accept I’m wrong aswell.

  51. SDE

    AN

    A case in point is Rooney closing down Arteta.

    Reply

    Still don’t understand why Rooney failed to close down Pirlo,when England played Italy in the Euro’s..

    Pirlo,was the conduit,through which everything went through him..
    The orchestrator..

    Why was Rooney ball watching him,standing off him..?

    Is it that Rooney respects Fergie’s instructions more than Woy’s?

    Or he know’s if he doesn’t do as he’s told,Fergie will bench him,whereas Woy won’t..As he’s the first name on the England teamsheet..

    I know slightly off topic,just thought I’d highlight that..

  52. Keyser

    ” There appears to be little thought of what the opposition would do. Arsene would be shit at chess. ”

    I disagree here, the best preparation is before you face your opponent, then how you react to them on the day, Chess is finite if you prepare yourself well enough to a variety of permutations you should win more often then not.

    There’s certain things you can do to enhance progression, but at some point you have to not only acknowledge and work around your weaknesses or strengths, for example as a a defender you can jockey a player left or right, rather than dive in, you give them a yard or two if you’re faced with someone quick.

    You’re not going to tell Wilshere to mark Crouch when you play Stoke, unless you’re really desperate, but you can play to his strengths and limit the oppurtunities the opposition has by getting him and the team to keep the ball.

  53. Arsene's Nurse

    Dan Ahern November 18, 2012 23:17:59

    Arsene’s Nurse – Not strictly true. For instance, we saw Italy play in these past Euros with de Rossi at sweeper, playing in front of a back three.
    —————————————————————————————————-
    I knew some smart arse would bring this up! 😀 I’m going to be facetious and strict just for the sake of it, :p

    By definition a sweeper must play behind a centre back and therefore anyone playing in front of a back (three) must therefore not be a sweeper!

    So you have posted an oxymoron….nah nah na nah naaah….

    …. although I know exactly what you mean and you are correct. It’s an interesting one.

    The Libero means free and as such is not constrained. In the modern game, whereby the old off-side rule is no longer used, then the Libero has to, from a practical point of view and position, be alongside of, or in front of the defence, otherwise he plays everyone onside!

    So yes De Rossi played as a modern “Libero” say “Neo Libero” in front of the defence. What’s also interesting is how a system has to integrate such a player and the type of all round player that is required for such a position. These are two great articles worth a read

    http://forzaitalianfootball.com/2012/06/daniele-de-rossi-and-the-strange-story-of-the-libero/

    http://www.sabotagetimes.com/football-sport/pirlo-busquets-and-the-rise-of-the-modern-libero/

  54. Arsene's Nurse

    Dan Ahern November 18, 2012 23:27:38

    AN – Catenaccio does not look like us. What are you talking about?
    ————————————————————————————————
    No it doesn’t – I said there are similarities. They are mainly in the way the midfield is set.

  55. Arsene's Nurse

    SDE November 18, 2012 23:45:23

    AN

    A case in point is Rooney closing down Arteta.

    Reply

    Still don’t understand why Rooney failed to close down Pirlo,when England played Italy in the Euro’s..

    Pirlo,was the conduit,through which everything went through him..
    The orchestrator..

    Why was Rooney ball watching him,standing off him..?

    Is it that Rooney respects Fergie’s instructions more than Woy’s?

    Or he know’s if he doesn’t do as he’s told,Fergie will bench him,whereas Woy won’t..As he’s the first name on the England teamsheet..

    I know slightly off topic,just thought I’d highlight that..
    ——————————————————————————————————
    Dunno mate. Everyone could see how Pirlo was dictating the game. If Wazza was standing off first half then I’d expect Hodgson to instruct shrek to close him down. If he didn’t then I’d expect him to be subbed soon as. Who knows what goes through players and managers’ minds.

    It’s a good point though. When you watch teams play you can nearly always see what tactic the manager has sent out regarding certain players.

    I bet you 10 to the dozen that AVB had told everyone to get stuck into Cazorla, restrict him as much as possible, hence Adabaywhatsisname being silly.

  56. SDE

    Keyser
    I disagree here, the best preparation is before you face your opponent, then how you react to them on the day, Chess is finite if you prepare yourself well enough to a variety of permutations you should win more often then not.

    Reply
    Absolute bollocks..

    What you go into war,unprepared do you..!!
    React on the day, to how your opposition decides to annihilate your ass..??!!!

    By it’s very nature ,elite sport is a war,a battle..

    Ever heard the ‘ole addage,”Fail to Prepare,Prepare to Fail”..

    Why do you think Video Analysis exists?
    For home entertainment purposes..eh?

    Why does Mourinho,build dossiers on opposition teams..?

    Cos’ he’s bored & wants to wile away the time..

    I’ve heard it all today…

  57. Keyser

    the best preparation is before you face your opponent, then how you react to them on the day,”

    Was I not succinct enough ? There seems to be some confusion here.

  58. SDE

    AN
    Dunno mate. Everyone could see how Pirlo was dictating the game. If Wazza was standing off first half then I’d expect Hodgson to instruct shrek to close him down. If he didn’t then I’d expect him to be subbed soon as. Who knows what goes through players and managers’ minds.It’s a good point though. When you watch teams play you can nearly always see what tactic the manager has sent out regarding certain players.I bet you 10 to the dozen that AVB had told everyone to get stuck into Cazorla, restrict him as much as possible, hence Adabaywhatsisname being silly.

    Reply

    Good points made by yourself earlier on..Keep up the good work..

    Yeah with regards to Adebayor’s kamikaze moment,yep you’re right there..
    Was sent out to stop Carzola,along with his other teammates..

    I would have predicted,that AVB’s instructions would have been to mark Arteta & Carzola out of the game..

    But hey,what do I know..

    Neil Warnock,is notorious for sending players out to get physical on the opposition.Especially of teams,or manager’s he’s not very fond off..

    What a sophisticated manager ‘ole Warnock is..

    I wish OGL would do the basics at the very least..

    If the best, top managers pay attention to every detail,including the tactics of the opposition..What makes OGL so special,or different?

  59. Dan T

    @Arsene’s NurseNovember 19, 2012 00:23:43

    That may be why AVB almost seemed to take the blame for Ades sending off. He certainly didn’t seem pissed at him – I guess if he had told them to hack at Cazorla then he can’t have any complaints.

  60. sam

    I also think it was the fact that he got snubbed by arsenal players in the dressing room. sagna really embarrassed him. so he came out with a point to prove.
    he teased the fans after he scored and went on to hack a spaniard what an idiot.
    santi took his foot off long before adebanjo touched him to lessen the impact, just made a meal of it.

  61. Dan Ahern

    AN – Ah, okay, I see your point–in the clustered midfield? I suppose so, yes, but it depends. Herera’s catenaccio used 4 defenders plus the libero, so in that case really just a midfield two!

  62. Meditation

    great comments lads . What im seeing though is most suggestions do not acknowledge the opponents. Whats mainly covered is how to stop the opposition whilst controlling the ball. But you can control the game without having the ball. I just think the value of defending has gone. Disrespected by barcelona and arsenal is certain fundamentals that cant be ignored. There is a difference between playing to your strength and needing certain strengths. Mixing up styles and choices brings different strengths. The more you try and be closer to perfection is the bigger the weakness will be, hence why arsenal and barca have conceded stupid goals. Balance and respect needs to get back in arsenals game. Get real defensive minded playerS. Who grew up only knowing and being just that.

  63. Meditation

    The best defences win titles. Even though they may have had the best attack. The reason being there will always be a sprinkle of games where its tight and there maybe only one goal in a game. If the team isnt cohesive and depends on the attack but they have an off day and your defence has a weakness. You will be punished. Hence man u losing 1-0. Ferguson even said if you keep a clean sheet you always have a chance to score. That just means winning. Arsenal are inconsistent because they are unbalanced. A win is a win ,but each type of win is achieved differently. A 1-0 is different to a 3-2. Your defensive mentality can win you the game, or your offensive mentality. Its football. both mentalities will be called upon . through choice or not. Through choice the unbeaten season. Not through choice the champions league run to the final. Wenger must know that the balance has brought him success

  64. Meditation

    people think wenger is old fashioned and his ideas are dated. I dont . I just think he tried to think to far into the future. He just needs to get back the fundamentals and basics and dont disrespect the game.

  65. Meditation

    Awareness can be broken down into many sections. sixth sense,anticipation, vision and more. you can enhance your vision simply by looking. great video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbGeZ2nSrRk its a specialised position and you need the vision of 360 degrees to be the centre of your surroundings. Fabregas was a master of this and many other players. Capoue would be a great signing. push arteta further up the pitch and let him have fun again. We can talk about positions all day but are the players in the positions the best at it. Its not five a side with waist height rules can you win the first ball from heading? second ball. Interceptions are great but a slide tackle can change the atmosphere in a stadium. Sometimes you can defeat your opponent by letting him know you will. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfnfyLIopcQ&feature=fvwrel ha ha. go to 26 seconds.

  66. rizal

    Pedro you live in La LA Land,

    1) you want Arsenal to sign up Theo a now contract and yet you want Arsenal to sign up a new proven striker = I want a new striker too but you have to live in reality do you want to please Theo or f*ck because he is in the position of power at this moment.
    2) the 1st goal conceded goal – you said it is a tough task for the keeper to push taht ball away and yet you say it is a bad keeping = NO it is not a bad keeping

  67. kay

    so looks like theo is leaving then…
    wanker says no sale in january but will be sold for “footbaling f**king reasons”

    i hate that guy…