December blip, or the start of annual Arsenal decline?

by & filed under News Review.

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Hard to know where to take this post and I’ve polled opinion of friends to make sure I don’t go overboard. I think Arsenal fans are in the brace position, you’re in the car with granddad post Christmas, he’s been drinking and he’s just asked you to hold his beer as he attempts to drive in the ice. You kind of know where this is going, but you can’t be sure…

Will the weekend be the thud into the neighbours wall? Or will it be the tonic to a 2 game spree of which 3 points would be a pretty healthy return?

Who knows.

I don’t have time for a full-blown dissection, but some points that are worth bringing up here.

Top Teams Away

That was our second game away from home against a top half of the table team. The first we went to a dejected United and made them look like a cohesive modern team that could win things. Yesterday, we went to an Everton side that were; if not for the opening part of the season, been classified as ‘IN CRISIS’, we went there in incredible form and managed to lose to a team that had recorded 1 win in 10. That’s not good news. Once again, we’re the season page turner for a team playing badly.

Is our early season form a lie? Or more to the point, par the course because we were playing poor teams? Big question that’ll be answered this weekend when we’ll either wither and die at City, or we’ll blossom and everyone will be waving ‘SIGN DA TING’ Wenger flag.

Fatigue

Ok, ok, you knew I couldn’t resist mentioning this, but Arsene Wenger is not the master of keeping his players fresh for the vital games. He blew a huge opportunity to leave his star names at home last week for Basel. Instead he sent them to tank a shite team to go for an overly vicious win. Sure, we topped the group, but it wasn’t worth it in the end because we drew Bayern. More to the point here, we should have been able to win that game with a second string side. Or at least a hybrid that switched out key names that have played a lot of minutes.

Ramifications are you have two plane journeys, you have your players getting home at 3am, getting a poor nights sleep and an interrupted recovery… then we played Stoke on Saturday, again, the standard first team with no rested players. Then we play an Everton side, with a backline that’s been in pieces this season, ripe for a beasting with a high energy powerful attacking display and we don’t have the energy.

Same issue will likely be present for Sunday. Players sat on a coach for 4 hours last night, get home late, go to training today and tomorrow, probably get slammed, then they have to head up on a coach again (maybe it’s a plane), and Wenger will play exactly the same side again and we’ll likely be flat.

Ozil

I’ve been on Ozil’s back a little bit this season. As I pointed out, there’s been a sacrifice of his productivity this season. He’s taking more shots and creating 2.5 less chances per game. We’ve lost his main benefit for a slight increase in shots. Outside the loss of his assist game, he dropped another tepid performance in a big game. He missed some absolute sitters and watching him literally walk away from the ball for the Ashley Williams winner was unbelievable. He didn’t fancy it. Not the first time we’ve seen that.

Sure, there are arguments here that he shouldn’t be defending a corner, but look, this is a team game and you have to put a shift in at all times, regardless of how silly it is that you’re marking a beast of a centre back. This goes back to my point earlier in the week, he is a sublime talent, but that edge you need to be a dominant superstar just doesn’t seem to be there. He doesn’t have that nasty bite Bergkamp did, who is the most comparable as a ‘quiet’ player. You can say I don’t get it because I’m not enlightened by the Church of Oziltology, but look, once again, when we needed our superstar to show up, he slinked into a shallow puddle.

The difference between £180k a week £300k a week.

Defence

As I said in yesterday’s post, you can pretend things aren’t real when you’re winning. We kind of ignored the defensive fragility that’s crept into our game this season. We’ve conceded a lot of chances against some pretty average teams. Stoke and Ludogorets did well against us, factor in that we’ve not kept a clean sheet in 11 games, and well, the writing was on the wall that we’d be punished at some point. That happened yesterday when we were caught napping twice. We need to shape up for City, we don’t have the advantage of a fresh team, so battering them back with an agressive press is out of the question, so we’re going to have to hope we’re solid in the middle of the park and at the back. A tough ask when the gormless Gabriel is paired in there.

Progress

… but look, we’ve scored more goals by this point of the season, we were celebrating a deep squad just last week and there are certainly improvements to stay excited about. Let’s not throw the towel in a few days after Leicester spanked City 4-2. The league is hard, all the clubs have very good players nowadays and there are no easy games. We can still have a good season, we can still challenge, we just have to deal with this setback like adults and win back the points at the weekend.

My only worry is this is a familiar pattern and a predictable one. Running out of juice in December, not have that extra spark and not having enough tactically at the very highest level when you need it.

Let’s hope this was a blip, not a confirmation that Wenger isn’t cut out to win big trophies in a more sophisticated footballing world.

P.S. The Rams fired their coach because performance didn’t match expectations. I mean, he’s a terrible coach, but is this Stan delivering on his, ‘you know what, winning things is fun’, comment? Would be nice to know that if Wenger doesn’t perform this year, there will be a consequence of sorts. One can hope.

212 Responses to “December blip, or the start of annual Arsenal decline?”

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  1. Ozy

    “Why did we go and spend £42m on such an average player, when we couldve just picked up Eriksen, DeBruyne or Payet for £10-15m.

    Eriksen s just as good, and the other 2 are better, but were much cheaper.”

    DeBruyne is fantastic, no doubt about that. The other two? Their respective teams would bite our hand off if we attempted a swap. Nobody, other than Arsenal supporters, in world football rates Eriksen over Ozil…

  2. reality check

    So many ref decisions have gone our way this season hence the “we’ve been lucky” comments by many fans.

    One game we don’t get what we want and its, ‘the refs have it in for us’

    Amazing.

  3. Danny

    34 points from 16 games
    For Wenger to reach his top 4 target we’ll need probably 80 points which means out of the remaining 22 games we need to win 15, don’t worry, Wenger has it all worked out lads.
    WENGER OUT NOW

  4. Logie Bear

    One of the most disappointing things about our display last night was the air of complacency that seemed to set in after the first 20 minutes or so.

    Sure we had created a few chances by then, but Ozil in particular looked like he couldn’t care less, and the same expression was evident when he missed a great chance early in the second half (at least get the shot on target FFS)

    Have to say the crowd support seemed good overall, not sure we’d be as supportive after going a goal down (although I loved the chant of “Is this the Emirates?” that one of the papers picked up this morning from our fans when Everton went quiet after we scored)

    Anyone else think Sanchez deliberately aimed at Williams (?) with his free kick, playing for the deflection on purpose ?!

  5. Red&White4ever

    Ozil better than Erickson for me, but wenger must stop his ridiculous comparison with Bergkamp… (lol)
    Let’s see if mesut is on the rampage this sunday.

  6. Kelvin

    I would love to watch Ozil play for any other big club, and thats because i like the bloke. But am tired of watching him play for us, sometimes he wows us but must times i just wishes he fucks off.

    But lets be honest on nights like yesterday when Ozil had an offnight like he mostly has and we have Theo and Ox starting, you would need a miracle to get a result.

  7. naijagunner

    @ gambon

    Thought the last scam i ran on you had crippled you enough financially not to be able to afford internet services

    Apparently not cos you are here spouting B.S as usual or are you illegally tapping someones WIFI?

    It only takes a loss or a slight dip in performance for you to show up here doesn’t it

  8. Kelvin

    Eriksen my not be as creative as Ozil but he would offer more in terms of energy, free kicks and even goals to any team and am very sure West ham would never swap Payet for Ozil for footballing reason only besides the Fans would protest on the streets if they did.

  9. Vince

    Let’s tell ourselves the truth – Ozil is too big to be benched and too lackadaisical to be made the focal point of our team. What do you do to such player? sell him. If you get upward of 30 million then you’re in business. If you get an offer from China to recoup his transfer fee then we’re cooking on gas.
    If I were the coach I’ll just tweak the team a little. We have Perez, Giroud and possibly Welbeck as strikers. Make Alexis the playmaker/support striker (number 10/8). Buy a Draxler and put him on the right. Let Iwobi and Ox fight it out for the left wing.
    Cech
    Bellerin Kos Mustafi Montreal
    Coquelin/Kondogbia Xhaka/Cazorla
    Draxler Alexis Ox/Iwobi
    Perez/Welbeck.

    This team is possible in January as both Draxler and Kondogbia are having it rough at their clubs. And our team actually has nobody that can do Coquelin’s work and no winger with a little bit of magic. I know it’s all hypothetical buy I think this is a lot better than what we have now.

    And btw, start grooming Adelaide for that playmakers role. Every time I’ve watched him he looked like a number 10 not a winger.

  10. naijagunner

    @ Kevin

    The same Payet I have been watching this season or another ??

    I bet you if Ozil played for any other team in the world you would be rimming him nicely on this blog everyday but he already plays for Arsenal so now you are talking swaps

    Just like the undying love for Draxler on here, a player who can easily win the most inconsistent player in the world award, but most of you want him bought so you can have someone to bash in future as an overpriced failure then probably compare him to Kevin nkodou

  11. Troy McClure

    I agree about the team looking spent last night. There was no extra gear for when the game got intense in the 2nd half. No idea why Lucas and Iwobi didn’t play one of the matches last week vs. Stoke or Basel to give Alexis and Ozil a break. If you don’t trust them to beat 2nd tier teams, why sign them at all? Especially Alexis, he was on the verge of breaking down a few short weeks ago for Chile. Waiting for the hamstrings to go pop.

  12. naijagunner

    “This team is possible in January as both Draxler and Kondogbia are having it rough at their clubs”

    Yep they are both struggling at their clubs so lets have some of that

  13. Ankit_gooner

    “Would be nice to know that if Wenger doesn’t perform this year, there will be a consequence of sorts. One can hope.”
    What is the objective given to wenger at the start of the season?To win the league?I doubt it.If so,wenger would have been sacked after last season.If the objective is to finish top 4 and get profits,wenger has delivered.

    “I’ve been on Ozil’s back a little bit this season. As I pointed out, there’s been a sacrifice of his productivity this season. He’s taking more shots and creating 2.5 less chances per game. We’ve lost his main benefit for a slight increase in shots. Outside the loss of his assist game, he dropped another tepid performance in a big game. ”

    Compare last season ozil’s stats with any of the best no 10s in history.They don’t come close,Last season was far beyond world class from ozil.He may have missed henry’s assist record last year but he created far more chances last season than thierry did that season.Ozil’s performance was unsustainable.Is he playing bad now?No,but he has changed style.Wenger is trying to evolve him into more of a goalscorer.I am sure if we had beaten everton,no one would have called this a “big game”.Since we lost,of course its a big game.Both everton and arsenal had 2 big chances and we missed ours while they scored both of theirs.Small margins.Both teams were equally shit.Anyway,I agree that ozil was shit against everton.Now,that stats you mentioned measures his impact on the ball.What about the impact he has when he doesn’t have the ball?This article captures it nicely.
    http://www.thehardtackle.com/2013/arsenal-fc-ozil-off-the-ball-runs/

    Agree about fatigue but even if we played second string against basel,playing so quickly after the stoke game would have definitely lead to a drop off in performance after 60 mins anyway.We needed to play 2nd string this game,tried to make the last 30 mins of this game count and try to make the extra rest day against man city count.

  14. Ozy

    Let’s start the “convert Draxler to striker” talk. Everybody’s a world beater to Arsenal supporters until they put on the Arsenal shirt.

    “No-one, apart from a few deluded Arsenal fans, actually rate Ozil”

    Sure thing, Gambon. Sure thing.

  15. Kelvin

    Calm down naija, we all want whats best for Arsenal Ok, you would agree with West ham are been poor so far this season and Payet has still been one of their better players. If you really watch him play as you say then you would see he would fit in with us. If you watch him play for France you would see he exumes class, dare i say his short span in England has been more spectacular than Ozils…

    That aside how you dey, we be brothers. Ok.

  16. Vince

    “This team is possible in January as both Draxler and Kondogbia are having it rough at their clubs”Yep they are both struggling at their clubs so lets have some of that.

    Just like Hazard struggled all season yet remained an amazing player? Like Yaya Toure can barely have a sniff of first team so he has to be shit? Mkitarian wasn’t getting a look in at Man U till off late so he turned shit overnight too? Payet before West Ham? Should I continue?

  17. naijagunner

    @ Vince

    draxler and Kongdogbia are only amazing players on Le Grove so quit whining

    @ Kevin

    O boy i dey ooo…yes i watch Payet and besides the fancy stuff I have never understood what the fuss was about. If you want to replace Ozil talk Coutinho or James Rodriguez and i might be interested

    Don’t tell me about Eriksen or Payet …they only wow you folks because they aren’t yet in the Arsenal jersey

  18. Do one gambon

    What I want to know is why ozil was marking ashley Williams in the first place. Crazy.

    I actually thought we did OK. Very erratic at times but it was that kind if game. Everton pressed and harried very well. I also thought we gave as good as we got which was nice to see.

    In the end we were undone by not picking up runners to give them free headers twice. Not good, back to the training ground.

  19. gambon

    Does Draxler really improve us? Not so sure.

    Loved him a few years back, but he has stalled massively.

    It could be a stroke of genius and he becomes the next Bale, but I think he will be an Arnautovic type of player, good player, great in flashes but wont improve us.

    We already have 3 substandard wide players…..we need a top top player to fill the gap Alexis left.

  20. JJ

    Ozil must be dropped for what his attitude on their second header. No one had a right to walk into the team. Send him a message and rest him at the same time.

    Also rest Sanchez and give Giroud and Perez a run. Walcott being benched for his stupidity on the first goal… or bench Ox for his general garbageness/wastefulness. Either way, freshen up the team and send a message.

  21. JJ

    Agree that Draxler seems to have stalled but at least he can dribble and pass. Ox dribbles the ball over the byline 7/10 times and has the same stats passing to people in the crowd.

  22. Kelvin

    Naija fair enough those names are quality replacements but i still feel Payet won`t be any worse. Besides Ozils performances these days brings the Eriksen`s comparison, he brought that on himself.

    But what i don`t want to see or hear are Ozils stats off the ball, it pisses me off and like a poster wrote sometime ago, if those stats are accurate then Ozil is definitely not doing it rightly cos i watch him most times and he does fuck all bar the occassional goal and assists.

  23. naijagunner

    @ Kevin

    If you can watch Ozil in a 90 minute football game and say he does nothing besides a few assists I honestly can;t continue this discussion with you

    Yes Eriksen is a good player, nice movement, more energy and a good shot on him, i get the admiration but Oxil will always be Ozil, he was not called the best number 10 in the world by the most defensive minded manager in the world for nothing.

    Payet…meh….west ham is about his level

  24. Kelvin

    Naija, lets no kid ourselves Ozil excelled in Real because of their setup. He was surrounded by worldies all around, and his flaws would always be hidden or at best minimal because most of his team mates rarely have an offday. Thats a luxury a team like Real Madrid can afford to have but at Arsenal its quite the opposite Ozil is one of the players that needs to carry the Walcolts, Ox, Iwobis, Coq etc and not them dragging him along….Now thats a luxury Arsenal cant afford at the moment.

    Believe it or not i luv Ozil, he is class but he is just not right for us, we would be alot better without him.

    Also, lets put Ozil in this West Ham team and see if they would be better, you may not like to hear it, but i think they would be worse.

  25. Thorough

    Naija.
    Yes, that Draxler, proper piece of shite. A world cup winner at 21, already amassed 27 caps at the tender age of 23 despite his attitude problems.
    Kondogbia? Shite too. Only ran Arsenal ragged and scored a scorcher as Monaco sent almighty Arsenal of UCL. Proper legrove darlings with no football sense.
    Are you ok or I should whine a little more?

  26. Spanishdave

    We are one point different than this time last year, so no change there.
    Wilshire has played more games at Bournemouth this year than he did in two years for us.
    Wenger is finished he just repeats the same mistakes year in year out.
    He has been clueless for ten years and now he’s done

  27. Samesong

    “No-one, apart from a few deluded Arsenal fans, actually rate Ozil”Sure thing, Gambon. Sure thing.

    Typical arse licker comment.

  28. Joe bloggs

    Small margins is what we’re talking about. Apart from the 2 Everton goals there was only one decent save Cech was forced into. We had the 2 ozil chances, 2 cleared off the line and a potential penalty claim.
    Small margins, the corner that led to their goal was not a corner, Walcott should have done much better to close down baines cross for the first. If you believe everything you read and hadn’t watched that game you’d think we were absolutely bullied by the opposition. Not the case. Everton by no means deserved a victory a draw would have been a fair result. It is what it is. There were a couple of poor performances particularly offensively with Walcott and the Ox. It’s a long season. Time to move into the next game and get behind the team COYG

  29. Wallace

    “Those that doubt him, suck cock by choice.”

    – Wenger (on recent criticism of Ozil)

    personally I’d give a lifetime ban to any f%*ker who starts up with that Eriksen bullshit on an Arsenal blog.

  30. karim

    Draxler is already rather injury prone, not sure we’re the best choice for him.

    That being said, I like him and he has a high ceiling and he fits our style.
    Another gamble ?
    It’s not like he cost an arm nowadays.

  31. Rhys Jaggar

    Flights and coach journeys: I really don’t get the refusal to stay overnight in Europe and fly home next day: you have an afternoon training session on Wednesday/Thursday and sleep is not interrupted. Even if it cost £1m a season, one place higher in the league and you have a positive ROI, as prize money goes up by that much and more per place.

    As for coach journeys/train journeys in U.K., well, you could suggest staying in the NW, paying Preston or somebody to use their training pitches and having a bonding session playing golf at Birkdale, Lytham or Hoylake. Again some costs, but reciprocal arrangements with Northern clubs at Colney could recoup some of it. You probably only have one or two occasions a season where this makes sense…..

    All depends whether end product would improve. If it does, you are a genius, if not, a spendthrift. Worth trying out I would have thought…..

  32. Frost

    “I think Arsenal fans are in the brace position, you’re in the car with granddad post Christmas, he’s been drinking and he’s just asked you to hold his beer as he attempts to drive in the ice. You kind of know where this is going, but you can’t be sure…”

    This cracked me up Pedro. Funniest thing I’ve read this week.

  33. 30

    Crazy that neither Ozil or Sanchez have been rested these last few weeks. Fergie rotated players every friggin’ week. Difference was Fergie rotated one maybe two players per game.

  34. Marc

    Rhys

    Train or coach travel from the NW? Hire a fucking private jet it’ll have you back at Luton airport in an hour. Players would be home in bed by just after midnight without the coped up agro.

  35. Frost

    Maybe I’m just traditional. But Why any arsenal fan would come on an arsenal blog to compare & sing praises of an average spurs player is beyond me.

    Even more ridiculous when you realize it’s a stupid comparison.

    I mean bring up De Bruyne & then I’d understand, but fucking Eriksen?

  36. The backpass

    how to defend Ozil

    1. bring up some useless stat. if that doesn’t work then,

    2. tell us he is opening space for his teammate. If that doesn’t work

    3. we need to watch football well to truly see what Ozil is doing.

    Ozil is a good player but he is not a great player.

  37. Sukky

    Once again, wenger shows how stupid he is tactically. When you bring Giroud on searching for a winner and you sub off the best crosser of the ball in your team. That’s stupid. Did he even give instructions to the team about how they play? Only one cross was made after Giroud came in and it give everton defense a problem. Ox on the right, Alexis on the left with instruction to cross the ball at any opportunity they got. That may have won us the game. Wenger can’t win a league, he might win a cup with luck with Draws.

  38. Pedro

    Deep London… I don’t think he’s a major problem. But to win titles, you need players who can step up when you’re in need.

    Fine margins at the top, but you’d put your house on Bale nailing both those chances yesterday.

  39. Sukky

    There’s no way without a huge luck he can score that first but he should have bury the second. He did placed it well but a bit to high. it could have been a spectacular goal on another day.

  40. Christian

    the backpass
    nobody said ozil is a great player..that is relative since I know many people who don’t consider bale,neymar as greats.but no way is eriksen better than ozil

  41. Thanos

    Everyone above an below us in title contention is wining yesterdays result was a disaster. Anyone who thinks erikson is better than oil is an absolute joke an should stop watching football. Ozildoes go missing in some big games and if it was a straight choice between keeping him or alexis I would sell him in a heartbeat

  42. The backpass

    well Ozil is better than Erikson no doubt but the gap isn’t £30.3 million difference.

    That said I’d rather have Ozil to Erikson any time and any where but his disappearing act is getting too much

  43. vicky

    Referring standards have reached a new low this season, Ibra handballs down in the box only for an offside Pogba to score off it while Rojo escapes a red card once again despite making a two footed lunge.

  44. izzo

    Ozil doesnt have the shooting technique of a striker and how Wenger wants him to score more goals is why we’ll lose games like yesterday. He is an assister why try to change that? Great it mostly worked with Sanchez so why try to experiment with another player? Stupid! I cant wait till he’s gone! We lose games because of the manager who is a muppet. Stubborn old shitbag won’t change a damn thing. Expect the same team to play City and West Brom and watch them lose both games while he sits there doing fuck all. You can bet your life Wenger won’t make subs before 60 mins. You can bet when a few players are fucking up the teams rhythm he wont change tactics or sub them off. We can argue all day but this cancer is still there.

  45. Pedro

    Think bitching about price tag is a bit pointless. Ozil is a better player by quite a bit, doubt many would argue otherwise.

  46. izzo

    Its already looking like by the end of year we’ll be 10 points behind Chelsea. A few have said that would happen and were laughed at. Shame on you!!! LOL…

  47. HillWood

    If I was paying the highest ticket prices in the world and the manager is pocketing £ 8.5 mill each season I’d like to see a bit of an effort to win something every now and then.

  48. The backpass

    Pedro, its not about yesterday’s game alone, he has been doing this shit since, we just don’t get punished consistently.

    Liverpool 5-1 springs to mind, arsenal vs Leicester Last season and this season arsenal vs Sunderland.
    He is what he is, a weak player . if he isn’t our most expensive player , lots of people would turn a blind eye every now and then

  49. The backpass

    Pedro, its not about yesterday’s game alone, he has been doing this shit since, we just don’t get punished consistently.

    Liverpool 5-1 springs to mind, arsenal vs Leicester Last season and this season arsenal vs Sunderland.
    He is what he is, a weak player . if he isn’t our most expensive player , lots of people would turn a blind eye every now and then.

  50. Leedsgunner

    To let in 1 soft goal is bad enough but 2 in the same game?

    Please.

    We’re not learning from our mistakes… we rolled into Everton yesterday thinking thre game already won and we got punished. Period.

  51. Jamal

    Chelsea are keeping cleansheets with ease and are grinding out results. They aren’t known for being bottlers like us either so it’s looking bleak for everyone else at the moment

  52. Pedro

    9 goals and 5 assists isn’t luxury by December isn’t luxury guys. Erikson has 5 goals and 4 assists in CL / PL in comparison.

    Ozil landed 19 assists without a striker last year… Erikson 13 with one of the best in Europe.

    Perspective.

  53. Leedsgunner

    Boring — this constant scapegoating of Özil is pointless.

    Have a look at Ramsey and Walcott before we talk about how “useless” Mesut is.

  54. Cesc Appeal

    But Ozil is a problem, not of his doing, of Wenger’s.

    We have CM pairings that don’t fit quite right, Xhaka, Coq, Xhaka, Elneny, Caz, Coq whatever, they never look and feel right.

    You then Ozil at CAM in a 4-2-3-1, which essentially means in terms of control of a game, in terms of central midfield dominance, in terms of presence the team reads like this:

    Unbalanced Centre
    Enormous Hole
    Sanchez

    That is the problem that Wenger needs to address. Either we enter the market, or he adds another man to the middle and plays a three man centre with Ozil going LM/RM.

  55. steve

    Ozil is a massively overrated player. £42.5m? Give me a break. Eriksen for £10m and a £35m striker would have been better business.

  56. gambon

    Pedro

    Michail Antonio has similar stats this year.

    Ozil, apart from the first 18 games of last season, has been incredibly underwhelming.

    He is no better than Eriksen.

    However comparing him to Eriksen is a bit pointless….cos Eriksen is not and never has been a “world class player”…..Spurs have never been & are not trying to be an elite club. Eriksen will not be asking for £300k pw…..Ozil will.

    Ozil is mutton dressed as lamb….or more specifically mutton described by AKBs on twitter as lamb.

  57. Danny

    So out of the top 6 only one team lost.
    Yes, yesterdays result was a disaster.
    Wenger please and I mean please on bended fuckin’ knees, don’t renew your contract.

  58. gambon

    Pedro

    Eriksen has scored or assisted 55 goals since he came to England in 2013.

    Ozil…..55 goals.

    Not to mention Ozil plays for a team that has been consistently better with a much more expensive team around him.

  59. WengerEagle

    They have been for a while now, gambon.

    And ashamedly, they’ve won the UCL while we of course haven’t.

    You cannot call yourself an elite European club without ever winning the UCL.

  60. Ishola70

    Danny:
    “Wenger please and I mean please on bended fuckin’ knees, don’t renew your contract.”

    Problem is there are still more than enough that will continue to back him if he wants to stay on. They see that he is doing a pretty decent job even though this will never materialise into a major trophy winning season. Writing is on the wall again for Wenger this season. He is going to be one of the bridesmaids again this season looking at most probably a manager in his first season in English football beat him to the title yet again.

    Fans still buy into Wenger’s philosophy. Read a post on here earlier today basically crowing that the team is more dangerous attacking wise this season. The amount of goals conceded though in the last couple of months by Arsenal is overlooked with goals flying into the opposition’s net. Inferior opponents. This is not conducive to winning an EPL title.

    All Arsenal have to do is find an Italian manager who is grounded with good tactical knowledge based primarily on sound defence who wants to come into the club and readdress the Wenger philosophy. Keep the good ingredients but tighten the team up defensively. Overnight Arsenal have a better chance of winning a major trophy than they do now with Wenger. Doesn’t even have to be a big fancy name manager. The readdressing needed would not really require that.

  61. Spanishdave

    Wenger cannot motivate,
    He cannot put subs on when it’s needed,
    He picks his fav players over others,
    He cannot rotivate players.
    He bottles it and the players know it.
    He will now over pay players to keep them including Chamberlin

  62. Aa23

    100% of the fixtures went against us tonight
    Interesting to see if we really have some fight in us
    Im still holding out some hope based on the worst refereeing I’ve seen since that 4-4 against Newcastle

  63. Jeff

    When you think about it, it’s quite extraordinary that we haven’t won the league in 13 years. Given the level of wages we are prepared to spend, the star players we’ve had and the amount of money at our disposal, it’s actually more strange that we haven’t won it than the idea that we should have won it.

    Even stranger, in my view, is that we have only won it 3 times in 21 years given that we were deemed to be one of the “big four” in all that time. What does that tell you?

  64. LegendMax

    Pedro
    “Ozil landed 19 assists without a striker last year… Erikson 13 with one of the best in Europe.”

    Not true. I wonder where you pull statements like this from. Giroux wasn’t a striker??
    ozil actually got more assists playing with Giroud as striker than he has with sanchez

    Cesc appeal
    Don’t see a problem with our central midfield pairing. Our main problem is with the three attackers playing ahead of them. Put Xhaka n coquelin behind an attacking midfield trio of debruyne, Silva and sterling and you’ll see the difference

  65. Danish Gooner

    Can i please revert peoples attention to the 17 year old sensation playing for Monaco Kylian Lottin,he plays like Henry and he loks like Him too.He scored a sensational hattrick against Rennes at the tender age of 17.Wenger make sure you dont miss this oneYour Comment Here

  66. Cesc Appeal

    ‘Put Xhaka n coquelin behind an attacking midfield trio of debruyne, Silva and sterling and you’ll see the difference’

    I really do not think you would.

    I’ve longed championed buying a wide playmaker, but we need another CM, badly, nothing this season is convincing me otherwise on that.

    Not wholly convinced by Xhaka, but, I have seen promising signs from him and obviously no way anyone can make any definitive statement on him yet. Fingers crossed he turns into the player we have all seen and all think he can be.

  67. gambon

    Jeff

    Absolutely agree.

    We should have accidentally stumbled onto the PL at least once in 12 seasons.

    Even fucking Leicester won one.

    Man Utd (5), Chelsea (4), City (2) and Leicester all won it.

    Wenger with 20 attempts also cant win the CL – UTD, Liverpool and Chelsea have all managed it during Wengers reign of terror.

    Lets be honest….Wenger has turned us into Spurs.

  68. Elmo

    Re Kroenke and the Rams, there is revenue sharing in the NFL, with the owners acting as a cartel.

    He is under pressure for the Rams to become an attractive product because it’s unacceptable to waste a media market like LA, having been given that chance by his fellow owners. Overnight on winning the owners’ vote on relocation, the projected value of the Rams jumped from $0.9bn to $2.9bn.

    There is no similar pressure with his control of Arsenal. He’s not accountable to anyone and has no partners he needs to placate. The status quo is fine.

  69. Thank you and goodnight

    @gambon

    Totally agree as I’ve said same thing for years….He’s turned us into spurs. Celebrating a rare win against a top side as though we’ve won the league. Cheering top 4 as though it’s an amazing achievement, every now and then a half decent run in the cups, crowing about past glories.

  70. ofebs

    There is nothing wrong with our players having off days. The trouble is having a manager WHO NEVER EVER LEARNS FROM MISTAKES FROM SEASONS PAST.

    This is what drives me nuts about Arsenal – the manager who never never never learns. Losing to shysters like the bloke who manages Everton over and over and over… I would hate working under a manager in bondage to his foibles like our man at Arsenal.

    The man seems to have no pride, no backbone, no steel, too wimpish and other managers know it…

    Ferguson knew it and reveled at driving in the dagger, now its Koeman reveling at punching our man in the face over and over and over, with no reaction other than a whimper of ‘this is not fair’…’is anyone out there’…’come save me please’…

    Pathetic!!!

  71. rollen

    gambon
    December 14, 2016 16:31:13

    Ozy

    I think what you meant to say is:

    “No-one, apart from a few deluded Arsenal fans, actually rate Ozil”

    lol 3 times best German player

    Surely Ozil is problem in this team/club

  72. Confidentgoner

    After we scored the deflected goal, our lads seemed to showboat and take their foot off the pedal. A serious team should have taken down Everton, but not us. We seemed grateful for the goal, meanwhile Everton kept working hard, working the wings, playing long balls and kept trying to cross, whilst keeping their shape when we had the ball.

    It was clear to me that they would score. Am not paid 8m quid and I could see that with every minute, these guys could score. No reaction from our manager, even calling out players, giving them instructions…nothing, Nada. This is what grates me about Aresene’s management skills. He is totally impervious to what goes on in the field if play.

    A better manager would gave given Theo instructions on tracking back and working with Bellerin to stop crosses. So, we conceded. At his usual 70 mins , he brought on Iwobi and Giroud. Iwobi does not play well from the right, never. At ManU last season he had no impact. You play a player to his strengths, if you want results.

    Our zonal marking failed us for the second goal and I think the best defense these days is a one on one marking, with extra on the post.

    Lastly, Clattenburg should gave given a penalty on the dead,a clear take down inside the 18yard box.

    Moving on.

    This team needs at least a winger and two midfielder. One a thiroghbreed DM with pace, and another a CM who is tenacious. As it is, we cannot bench Ozil when he has off days. We need someone with different qualities. We also need a proper DM, Coq fails us when he is harried like Everton did against us. Kante like DM.

    On the Manager

    This should be his last season managing us. He cannot motivate or correct his players. His in game management is off, his sub philosophy is so off. I have watched Arsenal play and even Thierry and company could have lost the game with Wenger. Managers understand how to play him:

    Stuff the midfield
    Keep your defensive shape
    Roughen up Arsenal players
    Send crosses and long balls in.

    Wenger typically dies not do well to teams that do the above. It’s mainly on the manager folks. On the manager.

  73. Confidentgoner

    After we scored the deflected goal, our lads seemed to showboat and take their foot off the pedal. A serious team should have taken down Everton, but not us. We seemed grateful for the goal, meanwhile Everton kept working hard, working the wings, playing long balls and kept trying to cross, whilst keeping their shape when we had the ball.

    It was clear to me that they would score. Am not paid 8m quid and I could see that with every minute, these guys could score. No reaction from our manager, even calling out players, giving them instructions…nothing, Nada. This is what grates me about Aresene’s management skills. He is totally impervious to what goes on in the field if play.

    A better manager would gave given Theo instructions on tracking back and working with Bellerin to stop crosses. So, we conceded. At his usual 70 mins , he brought on Iwobi and Giroud. Iwobi does not play well from the right, never. At ManU last season he had no impact. You play a player to his strengths, if you want results.

    Our zonal marking failed us for the second goal and I think the best defense these days is a one on one marking, with extra on the post.

    Lastly, Clattenburg should gave given a penalty on the dead,a clear take down inside the 18yard box.

    Moving on.

    This team needs at least a winger and two midfielder. One a thiroghbreed DM with pace, and another a CM who is tenacious. As it is, we cannot bench Ozil when he has off days. We need someone with different qualities. We also need a proper DM, Coq fails us when he is harried like Everton did against us. Kante like DM.

    On the Manager

    This should be his last season managing us. He cannot motivate or correct his players. His in game management is off, his sub philosophy is so off. I have watched Arsenal play and even Thierry and company could have lost the game with Wenger. Managers understand how to play him:

    Stuff the midfield
    Keep your defensive shape
    Roughen up Arsenal players
    Send crosses and long balls in.

    Wenger typically does not do well to teams that carry out the above. It’s mainly on the manager folks. On the manager.

  74. Frank Mc

    “A better manager would gave given Theo instructions on tracking back and working with Bellerin to stop crosses.”

    Confident, I’m not defending Wenger (I want him gone asap) BUT if Walcott can’t work this out for himself after 10yrs at the club he shouldn’t be playing for us, let alone be put on a bumper deal.

    This is 100% Wenger’s fault!!

    We’ve added £90m worth of players, we are 1 point better off than last season and we are still serial bottlers. Same shit different season.

  75. Emiratesstroller

    I agree with Pedro that playing 3 games in 8 days with more or less the same
    team proved a bridge too far. Clearly there was not enough petrol in the tank.

    Second we there are a growing number of managers in EPL who know how
    to destabilise Wenger’s teams.Koeman like Mourinho and Pochettino seemed to have developed a successful formula.

    We should not be to harsh about the performance, because despite poor
    form in recent games Everton are unbeaten at home.

    Nevertheless I do have some concerns about game. First as Pedro highlights our defence included Gabriel as replacement for Mustafi in CB.
    There were too many occasions on Tuesday that he was out of position when it mattered. Also I have my doubts about Monreal this season. He
    did not have a great game and perhaps he is also struggling when has to
    play two matches in three days.

    I thought that both Walcott and Ozil had poor games and that of course
    impacts on Sanchez. This was a game where a smart manager should have
    played Giroud, because he has an excellent goalscoring record against Everton.

    Let us hope that the players will be properly rested when they play Man
    City this weekend and can get back to winning ways.

  76. Wallace

    first defeat in ages and le grove is alive!

    bit sad that so many on here seem to relish the defeats. speaking of which, where the hell’s Joe?

  77. Wallace

    ES

    I’d agree Koeman usually has Wenger’s number, but not the other night. all they achieved the other night was through hard work and a fired up crowd. better performances from our attacking midfielders and we’d have won the game.

    also, a few people saying we were bullied. we weren’t bullied.

  78. Dream10

    Wallace

    We looked leggy and made mistakes defending set pieces. The most disappointing part of the match was that we were not able to create multiple chances. Our passing into the final third was below par and players were not in between the lines.

  79. peanuts&monkeys

    Dross items like OxladeC, Arsene Wenger, Welbeck, Ramsey and Walcott should be got rid of in January.

    It will be really tough to sell Chamberlain, Welbeck. Wenger is 10 years beyond sell date; just dump him. Ramsey and Walcott can surely be sold off to Ligue 1 or Serie A. Club should not waste even a minute with the agenda, as above.

  80. peanuts&monkeys

    If midfield is so less creative, Ozil should be brought to the midfield and asked to play Cazorla’s role. Cant make out whats so difficult in that? He should be put on teh Cazorla duty. He has done that with German National team before. he will do good at that.

  81. peanuts&monkeys

    Arsenal could gradually slip to 6th in the league by mid-Jan. Its a great opportunity for Arsenal to settle down with a new manager before the new season begins. The Leipzig fellow (Hassen…?)should be brought in place of Wenger before january. Is the club listening?

    I believe the AKBs too will be less unhappy at this kinda exit of their Jesus Christ. They need to accept this, the only other kinda exit of their Jesus could be behind a string of disappointing losses or even failing their prized 4th position.

  82. Dream10

    Wallace

    I think we will see a couple of changes. Expecting Iwobi to start on the left. I think AW will opt for Gibbs over Monreal as City will look to exploit our left hand side with De Bruyne, Sterling, Silva and Zabaleta all drifting to that side. Also think Chamberlain will start on right ahead of Walcott and Perez. Have the feeling that Guardiola will opt for the experience of Nolito over Ihenacho. In that case, I would prefer Holding over Gabriel. Having Gabriel and Coquelin in the XI means only Koscielny and Xhaka are capable of building from the back.

    Cech
    Bellerin Holding Koscielny Gibbs
    Coquelin Xhaka
    Ox Ozil Iwobi
    Sanchez

  83. Wallace

    Dream10

    yeah, I’d be tempted to play Holding, although I think maybe the other night might have been the better time to introduce him. probably also a good game to pair Xhaka with Elneny, but it’s just so hard to overlook Coquelin’s combative spikiness, especially in a big away game.

    not sure who I’d start wide, Lucas deserves his chance at some point, but I’d be loath to drop Walcott for this one, and while early season Iwobi would have been a definite starter I think I’d persist with the Ox this weekend.

    expecting a great game.

  84. Batistuta

    Eriksen and Ozil

    I swear some of you get a huge turn on when Arsenal lose its not even funny.

    De bruyne yea but Eriksen, have any of you actually watched him at all this season or most of last.

  85. karim

    Gundogan’s injury looks serious, very bad news for his career…

    Danish

    Agree about your scouting, but the name is Killian M’Bappe, and he does look more and more like TH14.
    Sign him up Arsene !

  86. Jeff

    Peanuts,

    You’re having a laugh aren’t you. Someone else brought in before January??? They are following him around like love-sick puppy dogs trying to get him to sign a new 3 year deal.

  87. Cesc Appeal

    What are City going to play in the middle then, Fernando and who?

    Could not ask for a better time to play City than this weekend, chance to respond to a dismal performance at Everton, City are out of form and severely weakened.

    If you cannot turn up at the Etihad raring to go with all that said, then you are a lost cause.

  88. Ashley

    We lost our first away game in months to a fired up Everton ,you think the rest of the league are gonna go there and batter them ? One of the toughest places to in the prem end of , like I said before , Arsenal of old would have been losing 3/4-0 , if you seriously watched that match and thought we didn’t fight to the very end then you are mad , ok we lost and made some silly mistakes , But that iwobi chance goes in and it changes the view on here completely , and yes we were all saying including me , when a team needs a win and they play us blah blah blah , but now the dust has settled let’s get it into perspective , we are still contenders , we beat city on sat and we are 100% contenders , even if we don’t , there’s a long way to go so much can change , this won’t be a straight March for Chelsea , they just managed 1-0 wins if that was us people would be saying ‘ we scrapped it , it was a lucky win , we need to be smashing teams like west brom and Sunderland , when we play a bigger team we won’t be so lucky ‘ everyone will drop points , Chelsea will draw a few and we will win when they draw … It’s not over

  89. Dream10

    Cesc Appeal

    I am expecting an attacking XI from them.
    Bravo
    Zabaleta Otamendi Stones Clichy
    Fernando
    Sane De Bruyne Silva Sterling
    Nolito

    They will look to create as many chances as possible. Safe bet would be on a draw with City as slight favourites. High scoring game. Takes us a while to get going after an average game.

  90. gambon

    As Cesc Appeal said, this is the perfect time to play Man City. It really is,

    However, its pretty clear we will shit ourselves, struggle to string 2 passes together, make a couple of ridiculous mistakes and lose the game.

    Wenger will then pull out his massive excuse book, rather than just accept he is a fraud.

    League titles are won on fine margins, we will have completely blown the league in a 5 day period.

    This team has absolutely no chance of coming back from 9 points behind. Especially when we have to go to Chelsea, Liverpool, Spurs, Southampton

  91. Ashley

    On a separate note , imagine the Emirates sounded like goodison the other night , something needs to be done about our dead atmosphere

  92. Red&White4ever

    “something needs to be done about our dead atmosphere”

    Back to Highbury ??
    Oops sorry, it was destroyed to make some beautiful apartments (ask Robby Pirès about it)…

  93. Emiratesstroller

    Wallace

    What we have learned about most of the teams who have been successful against us is that they take our team out of their comfort zone and don’t allow us to dictate with our passing game.

    The defeat against Everton was a combination of our underperformance and how they played against us.

    It was a game where Giroud should have started because of his goalscoring record against Everton.

    Also I think that Arsenal need to bring in a top quality Left Back like Alaba
    and also look at replacing Gabriel at CB, because we need someone who can
    come into defence without weakening team. Gabriel showed too many faults when he played both in positioning and decision making.

  94. Red&White4ever

    “I’m sorry but we should be beating that city team … Not getting a draw”

    I’m sorry but we should have beaten that manure team!! (lol)