Preseason defeats: To worry or not to worry, that is the question

by & filed under News Review.

Sexy bitches

First thing I thought when I started this was…

‘I have nothing to say’

It’s preseason, we’ve lost two games already and what was on show yesterday was very weak. We lost by one to a very poor Monaco side that were grossly off the pace the day before. The goal we conceded was about as pedestrian as the pace we played at.

Koscielny looked very uninterested in being at The Emirates, Giroud looked painfully off the pace and Arteta hopefully flagged to the manager exactly the reason he needs to go hard for a centre midfielder this summer.

It is only preseason, but the lack of sharpness / bite was quite alarming. I couldn’t work out whether it was because we were rusty or was it a hangover of last years stylistic choice of play. Whatever it was, it was painful to watch.

The second half was more bearable. I thought we looked quite exciting when Zelalem and Akpom came onto the pitch. The two combined really well, Akpom running the line smartly before being taken down in the area… the lino disagreed. I really like Akpom, he looks better technically and he has a more mature vibe on the pitch than Sanogo. I wonder if he’ll get a go. It already feels like the chosen one is the Frenchman. The only way to get around that is to go out on loan and smash it. Just like Joel Campbell has

All in all, we lacked sharpness, we played with the handbreak on, we were a little bit not good. Whatever the cliche, we need to pick things up heading into the new season. I still have big concerns that nothing has really changed. Did you hear Shad Forsythe’s job title announced on BT Sport? It was like one of those crazy NHS titles you see given for totally pointless jobs. Why not just call a spade a spade in your brief… he’s the new Head of Fitness. Not a partner of Tony Colbert. Interesting that the club are briefing BT into that story at any level.

Calum Chambers looked pretty good, as I mentioned the other day, he’s being groomed as a centre back. Makes sense with Bellerin showing promise. I also thought Debuchy looked ok, didn’t blow me away and made one horrendous challenge on Falcao… but he’ll do ok for us next season. Cazorla look awful. He’s slowing down and he’s not going to offer what he used to. If we can get a wedge for him and bring in some pace there, it’d be a huge improvement.

Abou Diaby wasn’t at the game along with the other problem kids Miyachi and Gnabry… all three are injury nightmares. Abou Diaby, ‘not injured, but not quite fit enough’ to play a 45 minute slot despite training all last week shows you how little we can rely on him this season. Go out and sign Carvahlo. A beast in midfield who apparently boasts a fantastic range of passing. That’s exactly what we need. The major difference between yesterday and the Saturday was the pace. Throw pace at any line up and it’s more threatening even if it isn’t as tactically sound.

For me, looking at the squad we have right now, we’re not title contenders yet. We need a striker, we need a defensive minded midfielder and we need a centre back. If we have £30m available, we should be moving for Hummels. If Sporting want £24m for Carvahlo and we can get him for that, we should move for him. If we need a striker, I bet we could get Mario for £15m. He’s worth a punt because Giroud isn’t good enough at the highest level. Let’s not mince around with another season for the sake of a few pounds. We need to go big, strike while the momentum is hot and make a go of it THIS year. We can’t keep doing transition.

I’m pensive about the season ahead. Lose to City and you’re on a bad run of games heading into a tricky game against a powerful Palace team who won’t have had anywhere near the international commitments we’ve had.

In the states, The NFL have agreed a deal with Microsoft to supply their tablets to all the teams, 13 a piece, to help them monitor data during games. The tablets will be blocked off from WIFI, so they can’t get video or internet. Quite an interesting move, the first time they’ve been allowed computers by the sidelines. I wonder how long before football starts allowing such tech? I mean, it wouldn’t be of interest to Arsene, he doesn’t use video analysis now and he can. We saw the GPS trackers on the players yesterday, we’ve been doing that for years… as tech gets smaller and smarter, I wonder how long it’ll be before the players are allowed it under their shirts?

Smart use of data is king… I suspect in 3 years time there will be some serious improvements to how the game is run and perceived. The people who are most likely to be able to force a move are the TV companies. If someone pitched the idea that wearable tech will make the viewing experience more immersive… well, I’m sure it’ll get more of an ear.

I’m speaking to some people about doing some more video / podcast stuff this season. I’ve never really dabbled because I don’t have access to equipment that allows me to deliver a high quality offering outside the blog.

The idea I’ve had loosely is that I introduce people, ideas, concepts technologies to fans. Getting under the skin of what football is about now. I think too much of broadcast is lowest common denominator, when in actual fact, most football fans want to be told something they’ve never heard before. I don’t care what X person thinks about Nik Bendtners boots, what I do care about is having the false ten explained to me or hearing about genetics being used to predict long term player performance.

There are so many interesting developments in the game with so few people talking about them. So maybe a play on the intelligent underground element to the game people don’t talk too much about could be a nice compliment to the what we’re doing.

Let me know what you think!

Right, that’s your lot for Monday. Have a grand old day.

438 Responses to “Preseason defeats: To worry or not to worry, that is the question”

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  1. Relieable sauce

    We’re long overdue a solid spine to the team & none of the signings have improved it for me. The evidence seems to be there for all to see, most posters seem to agree we need a CB, a quality CM (or 2) & a quality CF (& have done for years). Not to mention pundits, ex players, the media & even current players feeling the same (OG last season).
    Lets hope Wenger has finally seen it. The time he has already had & the4 weeks left in the TW is plenty of time to sort it & leaves him with no excuses, barring poor judgement that is.

  2. Romford Pele

    Teams we could play in the play-off round:
    Athletic Bilbao (only if Zenit progress)

    Lille

    FC Copenhagen

    Standard Liege

    Besiktas

    Dnipro

    Panathinaikos

    Feyenoord

    Grasshoppers

    AEL Limassol

    Bilbao and Zenit would be tricky. Don’t really fancy going to Turkey either. That said, we beat Fenerbache pretty easily last year. The others we should spin.

  3. Romford Pele

    “I like chambers but I would be massivel reluctant in splitting up the per kos partership. for the first time in 10 yrs I feel relativeky confident that we wont concede. that partnership is more than the sum of its parts.”

    Not expecting Chambers to start immediately. He’s only 19 so there’s no rush (that said, Varane and Zouma prove that age is irrelevant). My main issue is that with Mertesacker we can only play one way and that’s to defend deep. Wouldn’t be much of an issue if we had better than Arteta and the pace options always available. My main point was that the top teams can adapt to a variety of styles. Mertesacker will cost us at the very highest level is my point IMO.

  4. N5

    I’d like to get drawn against either Grasshoppers or Lille, only because I’d like travel to either of these.

    The others I can take or leave.

  5. george gunner

    Arsenal were lauded for their passing game from the 2006 to present. They were said to be the best passing team. Whatever for. The name of the game is winning and I feel Wenger has put passing above winning when he said finishing 4th was good enough.
    The defeat by Monaco is not surprising. They are a much better team than Benfica. In this game as usual the gunners cannot turn possession into penetration.Ut was only when OX started running at defenders than we could see how the gunners could have salvaged something from the game.
    Btw,the defence is,imho,an area for concern. It’s no use loading the players with more creativity. We need destroyers and a rock defender like Hummels.

  6. Cesc Appeal

    Monreal is okay – sort of. Depends a lot on Gibbs, if he can string together any kind of season without great spells out injured. Or constant little knocks here and there. If we have to rely on Monreal to much then he’s a massive problem.

    Arteta is alright to have in the camp and I can’t see us selling him as he walks on a free in June anyway. Just can’t be in the starting 11, not good enough any more, too slow, passing is one paced etc

    Giroud is okay, on a good day, he’s not THAT bad. He was abysmal yesterday granted, but then I thought Cazorla was equally as bad yet Arsenal fans are quicker to excuse him.

    Cazorla cannot be playing wide left this year, he is extremely lazy with defensive duties, worse than last year it seems. Wenger was even quizzed after the game to whether Cazorla had put on weight over the summer. If we can sell and then upgrade on Cazorla I wouldn’t shed too many tears.

    Controlling midfielder, that is the order of the window for Arsenal now. We do not have one, we need one, badly. Hopefully we’re sharper for City and Wenger plays one of Arteta and Flamini with Ramsey in CM, not both and NOT Wilshere.

  7. Romford Pele

    N5 – went to Switzerland for the first time last year. It’s a beautiful country, albeit incredibly expensive (though I hear they’re paid very well to support this). Stayed in Lausanne which is lovely, as was the weather. Never been to Grasshoppers, that’s in Zurich right?

  8. Cesc Appeal

    Reports from El Confidencial saying Madrid have made contact with Gustavo.

    Is THIS the move we’re waiting for to make our move for Khedira?

  9. Romford Pele

    Real Madrid after Gustavo?! Lol they just love stockpiling. I’m interested to see what midfield they play next season. Doubt Modric will be benched, Kroos has to play. Alonso may be dropped but Madrid are so much better with him in the team. They still haven’t sold Di Maria yet. I guess if the Khedira rumours to us are true then this could be the move to trigger it.

  10. Cesc Appeal

    RP

    Agreed.

    If the Gustavo story has legs that will be the move that see’s Khedira move, the Spanish paper said the same thing really.

    Think Kroos and Modric will be the starters, Gustavo to come in when the opposition make it necessary to have a defensive player on the field.

  11. N5

    “Never been to Grasshoppers, that’s in Zurich right?”

    That’s right RP, my dad went to Zurich for a European game, I think it was FC Zurich and he raved about the place for a while, so I’d 100% go if we draw the Grasshoppers.

    And Lille is a great stadium to go too. I’ve always had fun in France for the European matches, Lens being my favourite so far with Paris a close 2nd regardless of Nayim scoring from the half way line.

    Will you go to any of the Euros this year, depending on who we get RP?

  12. Romford Pele

    Jack Rodwell moving to Sunderland apparently. Good move for him, needs to revitalise his career – it’s plateaued so much.

  13. Jacko

    Now how on earth is that a good player, he can do precisely 2 things….hold off CBs and score left foot tap ins at home.

    Spot on!

  14. WengerEagle

    Welcome back Romford mate, sounds like you had a blast from the comments! 😀

    Out of curiosity, how do people rate our chances for this season as of right now? BPL and Champions League.

  15. Romford Pele

    “Will you go to any of the Euros this year, depending on who we get RP?”

    Hoping to mate though funds are a bit tight atm – i’m looking to buy another house too so we’ll see. Was in Dortmund last year and that was cracking. Tbh it’s imperative we finish top of our group this season. Last few seasons we’ve been leading our group and have stupidly lost on the last matchday to end up finishing second.

  16. WengerEagle

    Real Madrid sign Keylor Navas for £8 million.

    I was hugely impressed by him in the World Cup, was the best keeper after Manuel Neuer for me edging out Ochoa.

    He could well start for them as Diego Lopez is no world beater. Would be a fantastic story.

  17. N5

    RP, I’m jealous mate, that Dortmund game looked lively, I bet it was amazing out there.

    If things are tight, it might be a year at home only then, although the Dutch games are always cracking if we get over there, especially Ajax!!

    Agree with winning the group. Fingers crossed we get a nice easy one.

  18. Marko

    WE. In the league top 3 or 4 and maybe quarter final in the CL. But if we still were to add a couple more players of Khedira or Carvalho or Balotelli or Schar’s quality then we could push Chelsea and City close.

  19. Mayank

    After seeing Sanchez play no 9 I was quite excited about the prospect of him leading our line this season. The problem is I read a question on the internet I wasn’t able to answer. How many lone strikers under 5’7″ play for top clubs. Messi is the only answer and he’s not really an answer.

  20. Romford Pele

    Cheers Eagle mate!

    Rating our chances… If we get in a good DM (I’d love two personally), I think we can contend. A lot of it is about keeping our top players fit, hopefully Shad Forsythe can help on that front. Because while we sucked in the big games last season we still only finished 7 points off the top. When you factor in Ozil missed two months, Rambo three and Theo half a season, it will no doubt affect you. This alone won’t help. Our rivals have definitely improved. Chelsea and City are both incredibly strong. City may have lost Negredo, but providing they can keep Jovetic fit, he’ll be a real trump card for them. Not sure how much people have seen of Kelechi Iheanacho either but the dude is a serious baller.

    With us, Wenger relies on the growth of players internally. From his point of view, he’s probably looking for greater consistency and contribution from Wilshere and Ox especially. Hopefully they can step-up like Ramsey did last year. This for me won’t be enough to bridge that gap to those above. Not sure what Alexis’ impact will be but hopefully he can get 20+ in all competitions. Will definitely give us greater potency. As it stands, I still have us for 3rd/4th. It’d take an enormous amount of luck for us to win the league and I don’t see it happening really. We’d have to have some ridiculous consistency.

    Being realistic, if we get third and pick up a trophy it’s been a decent season. CL, no chance IMO. Barca, Madrid and Bayern are all a joke. After that you have Chelsea and City. The stars would really have to align for us.

  21. Romford Pele

    “Is it? Could we? Could we actually be rid of Arteta and bring in Khedira and Carvalho? Please”

    I’d add Diaby and Flamini to that too. Streamline what we have CM.

  22. Romford Pele

    “After seeing Sanchez play no 9 I was quite excited about the prospect of him leading our line this season.”

    Sounds good Mayank.

    Like I say, if we address our deficiencies in the middle, you could get away with Sanchez up top. He isn’t the biggest but the dude battles well, very strong and has a good leap despite his lack of height. Nothing wrong with having a small frontline. Problem is we have a small midfield as well. Lack of balance.

  23. Mayank

    “I’d add Diaby and Flamini to that too. Streamline what we have CM.”

    lol we’ll need Jordan Belfort to sell Diaby to an old couple at this time. Let him finish his contract play a game in the CC and bid him farewell.

  24. gambon

    “Out of curiosity, how do people rate our chances for this season as of right now? BPL and Champions League.”

    Between 3rd and 5th in the PL,

    No chance in the CL.

    Man City and Chelsea to fight for the PL.

  25. Romford Pele

    Crowley signed his first professional contract with the club today. Big boy talent – better than Zelalem, mark my words!

  26. Marko

    I still see some more business for us. At least 2 coming in (DM and a defender) cause there’s too many Carvalho and Khedira rumours knocking about and Vermaelen is likely off. After that my gut still says possibly one of Podolski or Cazorla could leave and after that whether we replace with a Firmino or Douglas Costa (rumours) or go back for Draxler or see what comes of Madrid offloading I still see more surprises happening before the end of the window.

  27. DUIFG

    RP think thats a little harsh on mert, yes we got ripped apart at big away games, this was not specificaly mert’s fault though, people were winning the ball and it was 6 v 4’s ect because there was no shape/pace/bulk/tenacity in front of him, plus he was told to play a high line, he is not comfortable playing there.

    No problem defending deep if it works, it does work, its just in big games we bottled it and decided we had to change the game plan and play insanely high and got routed.

    our probblem was having no pace on both ends of the pitch, not the fact mert in himself is slow.

  28. Mayank

    “He isn’t the biggest but the dude battles well, very strong and has a good leap despite his lack of height. ”

    I met a Chilean fan who said his favourite quality in Sanchez is the pressing he does up top.

    That said there are two types of strikers who do well alone up top. The RvP type, who avoid defenders with their mazy runs and don’t really get into a physical battle. Or the Giroud type who have the stature to win the physical battles. Sanchez loves taking players on but doesn’t have the stature to do so. I feel we’ll see Sanchez play on the flanks this season getting a few games as CF and next season he’ll be more of a CF.

  29. WengerEagle

    Marko

    Yeah tbh at this moment in time I think the same, we’d be doing well to even finish 3rd. A little depressing but Chelsea and City are just insanely strong.

    Our team is a work in progress tbh, the heart and soul of our squad was ripped out in the summer of 2011 and we’ve been rebuilding ever since. The fact that we’re no longer losing our best players is a positive and we’re slowly building a very good team. We still have our obvious deficiencies at CF, CDM and arguably CB (Per’s an excellent defender but his complete lack of pace badly limits him) but there are reasons to be positive.

    I think that’s it’s massively important that we buy an athletic ball-winning CM though. Even just that would make a significant difference.

  30. Romford Pele

    “No problem defending deep if it works, it does work, its just in big games we bottled it and decided we had to change the game plan and play insanely high and got routed.”

    I agree. I don’t blame Mertesacker solely for those big defeats. Wenger went with a high line in those games to try and get the first goal because he wasn’t comfortable sitting deep against the better sides. And for sure pace was definitely missed in those games. A big factor though was the fact we couldn’t get a foothold in those games. It’s very easy to run over people like Arteta. People tend to go on about Flamini’s supposed tenacity but essentially he’s a puppy. The moment he comes up against someone bigger than him it’s curtains really.

    I just at some point you’ll have to consider replacing Mert. Him and Kos both have their hindrances and they cover for each other well, thus hiding each other’s flaws. But if you were to take them in isolation, Kos would fare much better. It’s not our biggest issue now, sure. But we’ll have to look at it at some point.

  31. Emiratesstroller

    BBC have just updated their website. Apparently Evening Standard have published that Arsenal have made offer of asking price for Carvalho and are prepared to pay the fee in one go. Apparently the player’s current wages are a fraction of those being demanded by Khedira.

  32. Romford Pele

    “Sanchez loves taking players on but doesn’t have the stature to do so”

    What does this mean?

    Emirates – good shout.

  33. Joe

    Fitness is not an excuse. All teams are at the same level. And these are professional athletes. They are always fit. You think they spend the off season drinking pints, smoking ciggys and eating hot dogs? Well, other than jack.

    Giroud is not worthy to lead the line for the Arsenal. Neither is Sanago or Campbell. Giroud based on last 2 seasons, Sanago on last season. Campbell could be a good 3rd choice. Sanago can fuck off back to being a posty. Never ever will be good enough for arsenal.

  34. N5

    Stroller, I’m with you mate, apparently there was some trouble at their last game too. I’d like to avoid drawing them.

  35. DUIFG

    Ye i agree in that we have much bigger fish to fry than worry about our cb situation atm.

    Mertasaker gets popped at for being slow but its sometimes people want it all ways, you want somebody who can run with the TH14 /wallys of this world yet you hate conceding at set pieces and getting caught out of position.

    Find me a 6’7 cb who can do all the above and I will snap your hand off, its very rare to get a guy who can do it all (RIO in his prime) thats why you have to trust your partnerships, I think we have it pretty good atm, frightening looking back at some of the combos we have had, gallas verm leaked like hell, dont get me stsarted on sendros JD squilaci!

  36. Bergkamplegend

    “Giroud looked shit.”

    Yes but once again he was so pretty.

    And he has converted Aaron to his kind of haircuts.

  37. N5

    Joe, I’m not sure that’s true. Players that had played more games throughout a longer campaign with more cup matches and ECL travel and then had a WC are going to be more tired than say Diaby who played 2 games of tiddlywinks and had a little nap.

  38. Harry Redknapp

    when i look at centrebacks of today, if sol campbell was in his prime and went onto the market today,how much?

  39. goonerDNA

    Thomas, I think Ozil and our creative players would be alot better off with Sanchez upfront then out wide also really wanna see Sanchez Theo Ox all playing at the same time its a pace wank fest

  40. Romford Pele

    DUIFG – Rio in his prime was a serious defender, mate. Could do all the above. But I think you can strive for defenders who can do it all.

    France have two exceptional young CBs. Varane is now 21 but has been playing in the Madrid first team since 19. Kurt Zouma will retire John Terry soon enough. Really like Benatia at Roma – people will see a lot of him in the CL this season. He’s literally a one-man wrecking ball. Mustacchio at Villarreal another one.

  41. Romford Pele

    “when i look at centrebacks of today, if sol campbell was in his prime and went onto the market today,how much?”

    Sol would be going for stupid money, dude was a rock in his prime. Really liked him and Rio at the back for England. Mad to think that was 10 years ago. Dude literally carried Kolo Toure on his back, made him look a lot better than he was.

  42. Bergkamp63

    It worries me that Arteta & Cazorla are still at the club and I won’t even go down the Diaby route. Wenger must surely know these aren’t good enough even as squad players, it makes you wonder if yet again, they are on too much money and are likely to run down their contracts.

    Being sentimental about players wins you nothing, Giroud is not good enough full stop for a club this size.

    If we are to compete to the end for the title, the minimum will be DM, ST, CB.

    Can’t see it all happening but Carvalho would be a good start.

  43. Harry Redknapp

    i remember when we used to play spurs it was easy apart from figuring out how to get round sol. good old ray parlour took him out in the cup semi

  44. Wallace

    “Dude literally carried Kolo Toure on his back, made him look a lot better than he was.”

    not sure that’s true. Sol was definitely the senior partner, but like Kos & Mert they complemented each other perfectly. and Kolo could actually pass the ball to people wearing the same kit as him.

  45. Cesc Appeal

    Who seems more likely right now, Khedira or Carvalho?

    I can stomach the City game with Flamini in CDM, but we cannot have the opened come around with our awful CM/CDM options.

    As has been said ideally we need two buys, £44 Million for Khedira AND Carvalho? Lose Arteta and Diaby in June.

    Wild one but sell Wilshere if he hasn’t improved? Cash in on him next summer whilst he still could fetch a nice price £25-30 Million?

  46. DUIFG

    RP Ye varane has some serious chat around him, chelsea have couple of beast guys on their books, they have an u18 danish lad who is supposed to beckenbaur reincarnated.

    We have never really produced a hell of a lot of note in that dept through the ranks under wenger. Get a DM and ST in then we can meddle with Cb for me.

    “Sanchez Theo Ox all playing at the same time its a pace wank fest” Me too, would love tpo see it, was actually really suprised at wnegers comment this week that he really loves pace, hard to square that desire when he then goes and buys the slowest ST in league or non league football and does not replace the only pace outlet in the team when he gets cutr down over xmas.

    lets hope we never see the farce of rosicky being our fastest man again.

  47. Harry Redknapp

    nah kolo was a good athlete but he had no brains and was always up for crumbling. i remember his own goal v southampton, just blasted it in the top corner for no reason then went mental blaming everyone else haha

  48. Joe

    N5

    To some degree yes, but they are pro athletes. Their bodies are finely tuned. 3 weeks off as most have had is plenty barring a big injury. Falcao though being sidelined with an ACL injury for 4 months scored with his one chance.

    They may not be able to play 90 high intensity minutes. But 45 in a pre season friendly ? They should be able to show something.

  49. Romford Pele

    “not sure that’s true. Sol was definitely the senior partner, but like Kos & Mert they complemented each other perfectly. and Kolo could actually pass the ball to people wearing the same kit as him.”

    Think you’re overplaying Kolo here. He had his merits in the sense that he was quick and could strike a ball well but without Sol he looked like a fish out of water. Remember his OG on his debut lol – too funny.

  50. Thomas

    goonerDNA August 4, 2014 14:53:41

    Thomas, I think Ozil and our creative players would be alot better off with Sanchez upfront then out wide also really wanna see Sanchez Theo Ox all playing at the same time its a pace wank fest

    ___________

    Fucks up the balance imo. Gonna get killed by physical teams.

  51. Romford Pele

    “Fucks up the balance imo. Gonna get killed by physical teams.”

    Ox and Sanchez can hold their own. Not the biggest but both have it in them to shrug off challenges. Would need to see it to judge first, no harm in experimenting. Main issue is to address the midfield then you could go with a range of combinations up top.

  52. N5

    Joe, it’s hard to argue with really. I look at players like Best, that would be out on the piss to 3am, turn up to training in last night clothes with a fag in his mouth and still would run rings around everyone on the pitch.

    I know things have changed, but Jebus, he and Maradonna etc put today’s players to shame.

  53. Wallace

    anyone know much about this Musacchio that Spurs are signing? wondering if under Pochettino they might prove more of a challenge than Liverpool this season…

  54. Bergkamp63

    Wallace August 4, 2014 15:08:17
    anyone know much about this Musacchio that Spurs are signing? wondering if under Pochettino they might prove more of a challenge than Liverpool this season…

    You would have to think that’s the case, they were utter dog shit last year !

  55. Romford Pele

    Lewandowski has actually been on fire in pre-season. Could this be the first proper striker that Pep actually likes? Should be able to score a shed load in this team. Outrageous striker. Him, Benzema and Ageuro my fav strikers.

  56. Mayank

    “What does this mean?”

    Might be overanalysing this but I feel Sanchez likes to get into physical battles much like Giroud does. Challenging for headers, holding off players, the works. Players of his stature, Messi, Aguero, they avoid these situations and try to shake off their markers instead. I feel if he wants to be a CF for us he’ll have to become more like the latter.

  57. Joe

    Money. Players think they have made it due to the big money deals. Nothing left to strive for. Play for.

    Giroud and his ‘missed chance face’. Starting forward for arsenal so he thinks he should be scoring the chance(that a top striker would) but he is not at that level. The face just make me laugh and I think ‘yes, you really are that shit giroud’.

  58. Romford Pele

    “Players of his stature, Messi, Aguero, they avoid these situations and try to shake off their markers instead. ”

    I think he’d be adept at this though of course it’s too early to judge. He’s very much able to drop off and pick up the ball to run at his marker. Alternatively he can do a Theo and just run in behind.
    Tbh i’m just hoping he and Theo can liberate Ozil/Santi. Their presence will hopefully divert attention away from the playmakers.

  59. Joe

    Bergkamp,

    Giroud, Arteta, Santi, jack should be no where near our starting 11.

    Arteta, an ex Everton AM playing DM for The Arsenal?! Did I miss something.

    Santi is good cover. Giroud is 3rd string at best. Ala dzecko at city.

    Jack I think will be sold next summer unless he lights it up and comes into his hype. Last chance for him I believe.

  60. Wallace

    Mayank

    i think he’s similar to Suarez in that he can handle himself against the bigger defenders. wouldn’t often see Suarez get bundled off the ball(unless there was a penalty in it).

  61. Joe

    I would love to see balo come in. Just the attitude that we need. Especially in the big games. I doubt he plays with the hand brake on.

  62. Goongoonergone

    @ Pedro:”Akpom running the line smartly before being taken down in the area… the lino disagreed. I really like Akpom, he looks better technically and he has a more mature vibe on the pitch than Sanogo. I wonder if he’ll get a go.It already feels like the chosen one is the Frenchman (Giroud). The only way to get around that is to go out on loan and smash it. Just like Joel Campbell has.”
    Hi Pedro
    I hope Wenger is not thinking like this – he needs to get all this bullshit sentimentality out of his head. Already he is making excuses for Giroud’s wastefulness yesterday. Time and again, Giroud simply doesn’t cut it. Wenger has a terrible habit of playing his favourites. Even a half-eyed sea robber can see that Giroud, Wilshere, Carzols, Arteta and Monreal need benching. They need to play in the reserves and work on their flaws. Youngsters like Campbell, Akpom, Sanogo, Chambers are hungry and ready to give their all. Tippy tappy is out – Pace and power are in. What can Wenger’s Famous Five give us? Experience counts for nothing when the youngsters are flying past you.

    Your Comment Here

  63. Bergkamp63

    Joe August 4, 2014 15:19:42
    I would love to see balo come in. Just the attitude that we need. Especially in the big games. I doubt he plays with the hand brake on.

    He is more likely to remove the handbrake and ram it down someone’s throat. Just don’t go there !

  64. Joe

    I just think he we do great in
    an Arsenal jersey! 4th team is a charm. And when he does snap, giroud can come in and mop up.

  65. Mayank

    “Their presence will hopefully divert attention away from the playmakers.”

    For sure. Sanchez and Giroud are foul magnets. Giroud gets fouled 1.7 times in 90 minutes. Sanchez 2.04. That’s a huge number of fouls drawn (for comparison RvP 0.63 and Aguero 1.36). Defenders will have to pick their battles. I really do think Ozil and Cazorla will get a lot more space this time around.

  66. Mayank

    “He is more likely to remove the handbrake and ram it down someone’s throat. Just don’t go there !”

    lol

  67. Romford Pele

    “Tippy tappy is out – Pace and power are in.”

    Here’s a shout, how about combining tippy-tappy with pace and power? That’s pretty much what Barca were doing in their prime. Their really isn’t any specific formula for success. You can win with a range of styles. Tipp-tappy when you have pacy players is incredibly effective. At the end of the day, it’s all about being balanced and Real Madrid had the best balance last season. Arsenal now have pace with Alexis, Ox, Theo, Campbell. Need a bit more power but it’s important not to go too far the other way. I remember in the 2012/13 season, we had like 5 0-0s at home and couldn’t create for toffee.

  68. Emiratesstroller

    The priority this season is to bring in CDM and CB if Vermaelen leaves.

    What is interesting is how many players on our current books have contracts which end in 2015 according to Transfermarkt namely:

    Vermaelen
    Arteta
    Flamini
    Coquelin
    Diaby
    Rosicky
    Sanogo
    Miyaichi

    This leads me to believe that at least 3 of these players will be offloaded this
    Summer if we can get a buyer i.e. Vermaelen,Coquelin and Miyaichi.

    Diaby is unsaleable and somehow I don’t see either Arteta or Rosicky being offloaded this summer. Arteta despite his shortcomings is an intelligent footballer. It would not surprise me that Wenger keeps him on the staff once his playing career is over.

  69. Romford Pele

    Lol Charlie Nicholas is so biased! Not that I care. Great to see how much he cares about AFC and backs the club – not that I think he’s right in this regard mind you!

  70. N'Gambo

    “The idea I’ve had loosely is that I introduce people, ideas, concepts technologies to fans. Getting under the skin of what football is about now. … what I do care about is having the false ten explained to me or hearing about genetics being used to predict long term player performance.

    There are so many interesting developments in the game with so few people talking about them”.

    Right on! Do it.

  71. Mayank

    ” That’s pretty much what Barca were doing in their prime.”

    Yeah people seem to have forgotten what Barca were in their prime. I remember people even accusing them of doping, such was their physical prowess.

    Amazing to think that their playing squad was only 15 strong. Same with Bayern, small squad amazing physicality. Pedro likes to beat the rotation drum and I agree with the sentiment but the kind of football we are trying to play doesn’t do well with rotation. Rotation is best left to the Ferguson/Mourinho style of functional football

  72. Romford Pele

    “Pedro likes to beat the rotation drum and I agree with the sentiment but the kind of football we are trying to play doesn’t do well with rotation.”

    I know what you mean here. Arsenal’s best football has always been based around familiarity. Doing the same things repeatedly. That said, I don’t think we’re purely possession-based like we were in the Cesc-era so there’s more room to rotate. Plus with the game becoming quicker, more demanding in terms of endurance and the sheer squads of our competitors, we really can’t be going in with the same 11 every game.

    One of the big issues is actually to get an established first 11 out for like five games straight just so we can assess the level.

  73. Goongoonergone

    @ Romford Pele:”

    “Tippy tappy is out – Pace and power are in.”

    Here’s a shout, how about combining tippy-tappy with pace and power? That’s pretty much what Barca were doing in their prime. Their really isn’t any specific formula for success. You can win with a range of styles. Tipp-tappy when you have pacy players is incredibly effective. At the end of the day, it’s all about being balanced and Real Madrid had the best balance last season. Arsenal now have pace with Alexis, Ox, Theo, Campbell. Need a bit more power but it’s important not to go too far the other way. I remember in the 2012/13 season, we had like 5 0-0s at home and couldn’t create for toffee.”

    Romford, interesting view and makes sense BUT the tippy tappy is from players who are killing the game. I’ve watched our tippy tappy for nine seasons now and I am utterly bored. Two seasons ago, Bayern under Heyeneke won the CL through pace and power. On Saturday you saw how transformed we were with pace and power while yesterday was yawning my eyes out. Last year, Madrid relied more on pace and power and Liverpool almost got there on pace and power. On Saturday you saw how transformed we were with pace and power while yesterday I was yawning my eyes out. Don’t forget Madrid has spent hundreds of millions to find the balance between pace, power and some tippy tappy. We just don’t have those resources and our manager is obsessed with tippy tappy.
    My choice between these two is pace and power though it would be great if Arsenal could mix both up.
    Alas, I don’t think so.

  74. Romford Pele

    Goongoonergone – Didn’t watch the games at the weekend mate so i’m not in a position to judge. For me, a combination of both is always the best. Did you not see Barca in the Pep years? I wouldn’t exactly call that boring tippy-tappy. You can’t just have one without the other. You don’t want to go to extremes. Chelsea, for example, have bundles of pace and power yet couldn’t open up West Ham at home last season and lost at home to Sunderland. You can go too far the other way too.

    For me, City had the best balance last year. Explosive power and pace with the likes of Navas, Yaya and Aguero, then the intricacy of Nasri and Silva. It’s a combination of both that serves best.

    Arsenal are still a work in progress. Ideally something like this for me is best:
    Szcz
    Debuchy Mert Kos Gibbs
    DM Ramsey
    Walcott Ozil Santi/Ox (depending on opponent)
    Alexis

    There you have a nice mix. I think people underrate Ox’s ability to link up play actually. They see his explosiveness, pace and cannon shot and think he’s one dimensional – but he has a few aspects to his game. City and Chelsea would still be stronger but not by much IMO.

  75. Zoran

    Mr. L’Oreal on Sanchez:
    “He is simple to play with and he can feel the game – I think it will be easy to play with him and it is a great signing for us. He is really quick, he hits the ball really well and he is quite clever so he will be interesting for us I think.
    Just forgot to tell: everything I have not.

  76. SD23

    Fantasy Football says that Jenko has a hamstring injury ALREADY!!

    This is not what I envisaged when he was going out on loan. He’s supposed to do a Joel Campbell at West Ham, not a Miyachi, ffs.

    Thanks big fat sam…

  77. TheBayingMob

    Should we worry about pre-seasons friendly form? Well, no quite frankly, but in saying that I do remember pre-season 88/89 Brian Marwood setting the Makita Tournament alight at Wembley, we shafted Spurs 4-1 and it was to be very indicative of a great season from Marwood. So although the defeats and victories are nothing in themselves, form of the players can be an indication of the things to come. IMO.

  78. follow the money

    Diaby is not injured? Right….. The guy trained his ass off toward the end of the season trying to get into the France team and has been training his ass off all summer trying to get fit so that Wenger The Benevolent will give him another five year contract! Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. If a player can’t get fit enough for a friendly after training for three months that ought to tell you something. That clown had NEVER been fit and will NEVER be fit. Get rid of him! Buy out his contract whatever just get shot of that waste of space

  79. follow the money

    I thought overall yesterday’s game was encouraging. Sanchez anyway, he seemed to know where to be on the pitch, his positioning and runs stretched Monaco. He and Debuchy counter attacked well. And therein might lie the problem. Those two players who haven’t been Wengerized reminded me most of Pires Ljungberg Invincibles football. Whenever the other players who have been with us for years tried to counter attack they broke at pace and then would slow down in the final third for more tippy tappy! That crap drives me up the wall

  80. Relieable sauce

    Arsene still owes us a RVP & Song replacement. Cesc & Nasri have been sorted but we’re still short (literally) in CM & Giroud/Sanogo are not good enough to lead the line of AFC.
    I’d take Carvalho & at a push Balotelli as replacements & add Pogba/Vidal as well to make up for the mistakes of the past, then i’d be happy.
    I think thats a fair enough expectation, players of that ilk is what we need & deserve.

  81. karim

    Do people seriously believe Diaby has been forever injured for fun or to ruin AFC ?
    I sometimes wish those people were reincarnated as sewer rats or maybe that s what they already are…

    Just joking …. or not

  82. London gunner

    Whenever the other players who have been with us for years tried to counter attack they broke at pace and then would slow down in the final third for more tippy tappy! That crap drives me up the wall

    This +1

  83. London gunner

    Karim

    Is he injured again.

    This isn’t a joke when I say this but he may be disabled/becoming disabled

    You don’t spend that many years injured without serious impact

  84. Zoran

    Carvalho?

    give them Coquelin and £24 Million, that lad is a beast, exactly what we need. Nobody else, and AW can close our transfer list.

  85. Nasri's Mouth

    Afobe has gone on loan to MK dons. Bit weird because I think that takes him to the end of his contract. Either way, I doubt he’ll play for us again. Good luck

  86. Thank you and goodnight

    @Karim
    Mo one said it’s for fun mate. But this isn’t a charity. Diaby has had a lot of money off Arsenal with very little to show for it. Time to say ta ta, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  87. Nasri's Mouth

    @marko

    His wages are meant to be pretty low, but I think that’s taking the piss. I earn more than that, and I’m retired

  88. Ryan

    Yes please on the podcast. Spot on, I’m so interested in the side of the game no one talks about. The ex-players never had this kind of technology at their fingertips so they can’t comment on it, they’re old salts anyways.

    Bring on guests of the calibre of Shad, technical directors of these stat companies, etc. Remember that crazy trapping/passing machine they have at Dortmud? Who built that, I wanna hear from them.

  89. Nasri's Mouth

    Stuart Pearce: “first I heard today about things was Jamaal Lascelles came & told me he had a medical at 2pm at Newcastle,it disappointed me greatly”

    Good to see he’s got his finger on the pulse there…

  90. Dissenter

    Carvalho is probably on 5000 GBP weekly.
    Portuguese clubs don’t generate a fifth of what the lowly premier league teams make from just the TV deal alone.

  91. Al

    It looks like we are genuinely in for DM which is very positive, just hope we get them in on time to bed them in.

    Hopefully we don’t mess about with Ramsey in regard to his position and don’t move him to far forward like we did with cesc after he banged in all those goals that season.

  92. Hitman

    We haven’t signed anyone for over a week.

    This isn’t like us. Whats going on? Really disappointed.
    Becoming a joke club.

  93. kwik fit

    He came to us from sunny Spain, Sánchez, Sánchez / He hates the scum from down the Lane, Sánchez, Sánchez / He chose to come to London town and turn the fucking Scousers down! / Alex Sanchez number seventeen”.

  94. Emiratesstroller

    Hitman

    Wenger said last week that there is generally a lull in market whilst teams assess their resources during the period when friendlies are played.

    He went on to say that there is generally a resumption of activity between 15th and 31st August.

    Wenger has made it clear that he plans still to do some business, but not when
    it comes to forwards.

    I am 99% sure that Wenger’s business will be defensive most probably a DM
    and CB assuming that Vermaelen is leaving. The fact that Vermaelen has said
    that he will not sign a new contract means almost certainly we will replace him.

    Personally I am beginning to think that Wenger will buy Carvalho rather than
    Khedira. He is younger, more defensive minded and physically a very strong
    player when you watch film video of him. The transfer fee might be higher
    but the wages are more likely to be less and therefore less likely to unsettle
    wage structure.

    Personally I think that Arsenal have done good business so far despite some
    of the criticisms I have read.

  95. SD23

    Proposed line up for Sunday against Man City:

    Szczesny

    Debuchy Chambers Koscielny Gibbs

    Flamini Ramsey

    Santi

    Ox Sanchez Campbell

    Need to play Santi where Ozil would be so he can do the job he’s made to do.

  96. Leedsgunner

    “Really like Benatia at Roma – people will see a lot of him in the CL this season. He’s literally a one-man wrecking ball. Mustacchio at Villarreal another one.”

    I rate Benatia too, if Mustacchio is that good why is he thinking about moving to Tottenham? Surely he should be aiming higher?

  97. peter

    alexis sanchez song to the tune of ‘ phil collins – easy lover ‘

    (MAIN CHANT)
    ALEXIS SANCHEZ
    he’ll get a goal but you wont see it..
    like no other..
    before you know it you’ll be on your knees

    ALEXIS SANCHEZ
    he’ll break your hearts but you wont feel it..
    he’s like no other..
    and i’m just trying to make you seeee..

    (Extended)
    hes the kind of player you dream of
    dream of getting hold of
    better forget it
    youll never get him
    hell play around and beat you, leave you and deceive you
    better forget it
    oooh hes a gooner.

    What you guys think eh, what a song to get started at away days!

  98. Revving Kevin

    Dear emirates stroller
    Very good comment. I agree we have done very good business so far. With the new additions mixed with players that we unluckily lost to injury last season, like theo and the Ox, we should be positive. I guess while you can’t please all the people all the time, some people won’t be pleased any time. And usually there’s a very good reason for that 😉

    Dear Peter
    Excellent lyrics mate, nice.

    Joking aside, I do wish we had a proper club anthem. It always gives me goose bumps when I hear the pikeys singing ‘you’ll never walk alone’.

  99. Emiratesstroller

    I think that it is now certain that Arsenal will buy a new Centre Back almost certainly by start of new season even if it is not before Charity Shield.

    Last season Wenger operated with 7 defenders with Sagna fulfilling a
    dual role of 1st string RB and 4th string CB.

    If Vermaelen leaves as seems now almost certain if he has refused a new contract we are down to 6 defenders. excluding possibly Bellerin.
    Realistically we have just three players on books who are good enough
    to play CB including one who is relatively inexperienced.

    Mertesacker will not be available for either Charity Shield or first game in EPL against Crystal Palace. Can you see Wenger going into new season with such limited resources?

    Personally I don’t see it.

  100. Dream10

    Just starting to watch Livperpool – Utd. A lot of teams will put pressure on Mamadou Sakho. Will struggle in posssession. Looks like he is more suited to a 3-5-2 as a LCB.

    Hernandez looks sharp. Someone will get themselves a very good finisher. Too good to be an understudy to RVP and Rooney.

  101. Dark Hei

    Just a thought, but Wenger might be toying with the idea of promoting Bellerin and getting Chambers to play more CB.

    He will essentially be our 3rd choice CB and 2nd choice RB. If we buy Carvallo, that will be our 4th choice if Vermaleen goes.

    This is the only way we can ensure that Chambers get to play 20+ games this season. I think this is one of the criteria for him to join us.

    Additionally, I doubt any good quality CB will want to come and play side kick to the Per-Kos show. It will either be an aging CB or a journeyman defender. If that is the case, might as well just throw Carvallo and Chambers into the mix.

  102. Gregg

    Dark Hei

    I don’t want anyone to come and play second fiddle to the Kos / Per partnership. I want them to compete with them for a place. That’s what successful teams depend on and if this club is serious about competing for the title then it has to change it’s mindset away from acquiring players that are prepared to play just a few games a season.

  103. Gregg

    I’ll have a bet with anyone here that even if Vermaelen stays this season and the likelihood of him ever passing a medical for anyone else is extremely remote, Chambers will play more games at CB than TV5 will. Any takers ?

  104. peanuts&monkeys

    Usmanov’s messages are quite strong pointers that Wenger is more than empowered now to buy WC players. I liked reading through the interview report; he sounded very genuine and true. Its perhaps the first time that anyone from the BoD spoke about the health of the club’s finances and possibilities of investment. Best part is that he was not cribbing, nor sulking, no bad-mouthing. Sign of an involved and mature sportslover cum club-owner. He will be a better club owner for us than Silent Stan by miles and miles and miles…

  105. Gregg

    Peanuts

    I’d imagine Bellerin will get cup games, maybe a loan aswell. Reserve and academy football is no good for him now, he needs to be playing games.

  106. Emiratesstroller

    Mertesacker v Koscielny v Vermaelen

    1. Mertesacker plays on right side of CB combination. Solid and dependable.
    Seldom gives away silly free kicks or gets carded. Rarely injured. Lack of
    pace compensated by Koscielny and Right Back.

    2. Koscielny is quickest of three centre backs. Good tackler, but on occasion
    can be reckless. However, he compensates for lack of pace of Mertesacker
    and the defensive limitations of our two left backs.

    3. Vermaelen is a very good centre back although injury prone in recent
    times. Lacks pace of Koscielny and needs to play in left centre back
    position, which means that Koscielny needs to switch position and
    left backs become more exposed. Does not play well with Mertesacker
    because both lack pace.