Can Wenger manage Spursday night football?

by & filed under News Review.

hectooooor

Come on, be positive. How positive? Hector levels my friend.

How positive? Hector levels my friend.

Hector levels my friend.

‘Look at how Chelsea began last season and how they ended up winning the title,’

‘It doesn’t only matter how you start but to be consistent. Check the Chelsea results at the beginning of last season. They had a difficult time too, they lost two games and won several games in the last minutes.

Yeeeeeeeaaaaaaahhhhhhhh… hit that Chinawhite and duck the Monday morning test. This is SPARTA!

Who are we playing next in the league Hector?

Oh shit. Chelsea? Damn.

It’s an interesting week for Arsenal. We’re basically the best team in the Europa League at this moment in time, which is great for Wenger because it’s a chance for him to add some Euro silverware to his resume after failing in two finals with Arsenal. However, Spursday night football and a backdoor entrance to the CL does come at a price…

Rest.

We head into this weekend’s game against the blue side of London with two days less prep time. Chelsea play a team that sound like a special type of cement mix used in funeral parlor footings on Tuesday night. We have to play a German team that sound like a descriptor for male perfume on Thursday.

Those days mean something people, even this early on in the season.

The German side have lost 3 on the bounce conceding 7 goals in the process. Wenger reckons he’s going to rest 3 players but play a Premier League style team. That could mean bringing in players from the cold, like Theo and Wilshere, or it could mean resting 3 players from the weekend.

He does have a 400 man squad to choose from. I’d probably be resting Aaron Ramsey and Danny Welbeck, just because they’re in good form and super injury prone. I’d also be thinking about bringing Reiss Nelson along for a massive HECTOR STYLE PARTY out wide. This European tour is a more elite way of blooding young players, and if Wenger were smart, he’d be using it to keep the fringe first teamers motivated so their legs are fresh and their minds sharp when called upon.

WHAT ARE THE CHANCES?

FAN PERSPECTIVE ON WHY EUROPA IS BETTER: Thursday nights are more fun for drinking beer.

Right, we recorded a podcast that covered the above topic and we also had the chance to chat with Tim Payton about the inner working of Arsenal and some of the impending challenges the club is facing. We spoke on ownership, fan voice, the CEO, and obviously the manager.

Excuse my sound, I can’t tell you how hard it is to record a telephone call, major props to those News of the World chaps back in the day.

iTunes | Download | Pocket Casts

142 Responses to “Can Wenger manage Spursday night football?”

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  1. Pierre

    If you want to know if Arsenal have won or lost just come on Le Grove..
    If we have lost there will be 5/600 comments.
    If we have won, very quiet, lucky to see 100 comments.
    This weekend, the prophets of doom will be out in force prior to the game. Most will predict a hammering for Arsenal despite the fact that we have turned around our inferiority complex against Chelsea with some good results though we do still have a trouble getting a result at the bridge.
    Whatever happens v cologne we will not receive any credit, so expect the usual boring clichés if/when we win comfortably.

  2. Leftsidesanch

    lool @Highbury he’s fighting a losing battle but won’t quit. Legrove’s very own version of Ty from Arsenal Fan TV.

  3. Pierre

    Highbury leg… End
    The “moron” was Pedro..
    And he is probably right.. We are basically the best team in the Europa league atm.

  4. Pierre

    I see the KNOBS (sorry I mean WOBS) are slowly coming out of the woodwork..
    Make a comment and put lol on the end..
    Then call Pedro a moron.. Very intelligent

  5. Pierre

    Leftsidesanch
    “lool @Highbury he’s fighting a losing battle but won’t quit.”

    Definitely not a battle, there is nothing easier than winding up an anti Wenger obsessive… It’s simple. Say something positive about arsenal and wait for them to bite..

  6. HighburyLegend

    So I guess that we’ll win the ELC easily, without a doubt…
    Pathetic or hilarious ?? Both ??
    Like pierre the akb ??

  7. Ishola70

    Estimated 10,000 Cologne fans in London but they have only official allocation of 2,900 tickets.

    They are super excited for their first match back in european competition for 25 years.

    Tickets being sold on by Arsenal members to Cologne fans.

    Stewards have threatened to kick out any Cologne fans found in home allocation areas. They leave them alone and let them enjoy themselves.

  8. TitsMcGee

    Whatever happens v cologne we will not receive any credit, ”

    Is it really that hard to understand? We’ve had 12 years of beating Bournemouth and the like and 12 years of getting donkey-punched by the big clubs. We’ve seen this movie before.

    Your ilk are always looking to give credit to Arsene for something eh?

    It’s funny because you want to give him credit for beating Cologne but you and your lot will be the ones that deflect if we lose to Chelsea.

  9. Pierre

    Titsmagoo
    “It’s funny because you want to give him credit for beating Cologne but you and your lot will be the ones that deflect if we lose to Chelsea.”

    Wrong.. My comments after Liverpool game were basically shit team selections, shit tactics, shit effort = shit performance. we deserved the criticism we received after the game.
    The Bournemouth game, complete opposite (and yes I know it was only Bournemouth blah blah blah).. As I pointed out yesterday Bournemouth have picked up results against spurs, man u, Liverpool, Everton and us in the last 12 months so maybe it’s not that simple.

  10. matt foley

    Who cares. Play the kids and get out of this car crash of a tournament as soon as we can. We’re never going to win it so let’s just try to sneak into fourth again, which is looking rather unlikely at the moment. I mean we have to be better than 2 of Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs, assuming the Manchesters are 1 and 2. Very unlikely.

  11. Guns of Hackney

    Arsenal are the Amir Khan of football. Pinging out the Mexican Road Sweepers for fun, until they actually get someone half good who leaves them cold.

    Arsenal beat Cologne but lose a few players to season ending injury. Lose 6-0 to Chelsea.

  12. Micheal

    I suspect there are members of the squad itching to get on the pitch and I would use Thursday as means of getting them involved. Quite a few have the World Cup in mind.

    Depending on fitness, I would go for something like:

    Ospina
    Holding Mertesacker Kos
    Nelson Elneny Jack Monreal
    Walcot Giroud Iwobi

  13. Elmo

    CL group likely 3rd place finishers dropping to EL R32:
    CSKA / Basel
    Celtic
    Roma
    Sporting
    Spartak
    Shakhtar / Feyenoord
    RB Leipzig
    Spuds

    EL competitive teams:
    Villareal
    Milan
    Lyon
    Everton
    Marseille
    Bilbao
    Lazio
    Nice

    From that list I’d be worried that we would struggle in a knock-out tie against the Spanish teams (Villareal / Bilbao), Sporting, and Roma and Lyon would be around our level (but arguably are bottlers on a similar scale to us, so wouldn’t be the type of opposition to completely shut us down). Milan could be relevant if they get it together this season, though they looked hopeless versus Lazio this weekend, with Kalinic and Borini up front! If Spurs were to finish 3rd, below Real and Dortmund in their CL group, it’s probably fair to say they would be the best team in the EL.

    We won’t have won a European trophy in almost a quarter of a century by the time of the final, so we are certainly not above the Europa League. I think it’s also fair to say that our chances of winning it are probably not far off our likelihood of making the top 4. Absolutely rotate players where possible through the group stages, but I think we should take an honest crack at trying to win it from the knock-out rounds.

    We’re going to need to totally rebuild the squad over the next 1-3 years. It will look a whole lot better to prospective young stars if we’ve just won the EL, are in next year’s CL, and have an exciting new manager at the helm after Big Weng retires after finally winning a European trophy, and in his home country (wishful thinking).

  14. Pierre

    GOH
    “Arsenal beat Cologne but lose a few players to season ending injury. Lose 6-0 to Chelsea.”

    Ain’t It good to see true arsenal supporters get behind their team…

  15. Guns of Hackney

    Pierre

    I’m not sure what the definition of proper support is but…I support the club, not the current manager, players or board. I haven’t done since c. 2008/9. I will not stumble blindly into an abyss just to show ‘support’ to my club…not if I believe we can and should be doing better.

  16. Wallace

    Michael

    “Depending on fitness, I would go for something like:

    Ospina
    Holding Mertesacker Kos
    Nelson Elneny Jack Monreal
    Walcot Giroud Iwobi”

    yeah, interesting side. although would probably give Alexis a start with Chelsea coming up.

  17. Jamie

    AKBs telling the rest of us how to be ‘true Arsenal supporters’.

    Are there any AKBs who aren’t entitled millennials? Zero experience of Arsenal pre-Wenger, yet they have the audacity to question our support of the club.

    “Judge Wenger in May”

    “Support the lads”

    Do me a favour.

  18. Pierre

    Goh
    I may be wrong but I’m not sure that hoping “a couple of players receive season long injuries” is actually showing support for the club.

  19. Leftsidesanch

    The whole judging of Wenger in may concept really is just a soundbite to deflect from the current failure at the time Wenger and his fans say it.

    He’s not accountable, if he was judged in May ironically it would also prob be followed by a goodbye. Having blind optimism in support of Wenger doesn’t make you a true supporter.

  20. Guns of Hackney

    Pierre

    I didn’t say I had hoped anyone got a season ending injury…I said that will ‘probably’ happen. I’m no psychic but…we do have a history of terrible injuries.

    Anyway, the latest news is this…and yes, it’s meant to be true. Ramsay injured himself doing a selfie. That’s Arsenal under Wenger.

  21. Leftsidesanch

    Everything to do with Arsenal is so boring. We win our fixture on Thursday, all the talk comes about how we are finally ready to compete with Chelsea at the bridge. Game time on sunday – we keep position first 5 minutes and miss a glorious chance to at least make the game interesting. Chelsea then score with their first chance and it becomes a rout.

    It’s so boring.

  22. Wallace

    “Anyway, the latest news is this…and yes, it’s meant to be true. Ramsay injured himself doing a selfie.”

    sounds legit.

  23. Jasongms

    “We’re going to need to totally rebuild the squad over the next 1-3 years. It will look a whole lot better to prospective young stars if we’ve just won the EL, are in next year’s CL, and have an exciting new manager at the helm after Big Weng retires after finally winning a European trophy, and in his home country (wishful thinking).”

    Would be fitting to send Arsene off with a win in France, though he’d probably use it as a means to further strengthen his hold over the club. Nightmarish scenario!

  24. HighburyLegend

    “Anyway, the latest news is this…and yes, it’s meant to be true. Ramsay injured himself doing a selfie.”

    sounds logic.

  25. Dissenter

    Pedro
    You still have Champion’s league hangover.
    Your Europa league report should be on Thursday.
    You still think you’re supporting an elite club?

  26. Dissenter

    The Europa league doesn’t start until the eight third place finishers from the CL group stages come in. That’s when he tough games start.
    Wenger is probably too scared to start a different 11 players. He doesn’t know how to keep his squad ready to go. He will over-play certain players until they break down they he will go to the next and repeat the same process.

  27. WrightIsGod

    I would welcome winning the Europa League. With it being a cup competition, and given our record in cup competitions as opposed to the league, it’s our best chance to get in next years Champions League.

    However, saying we are the best team in it, or that we are favourites…… So far off the mark.

    We may have an accumulation of best players but the important word here is TEAM. We haven’t had a well organised or functioning TEAM for 8years.

  28. Dissenter

    I don’t think Spuds will qualify out of a group with Madrid and Dortmund. They will be relegated to Europa league come December and they will be the biggest opposition for us.
    They too might desperately need to win it to qualify for the CL. They will be too happy to knock us out just for the sake of it because they look better placed to get 10-15 points ahead of us in the league. They have been in excellent mode for away games.

  29. Leedsgunner

    “We’re basically the best team in the Europa League at this moment in time”

    Says who?

    Arsene?

    Arsenal.com?

    With Arsene in charge I wouldn’t be too sure making a statement like that.

    We couldn’t even beat Stoke — and suddenly we’re going to win a trophy competition in Europe?

    Please.

  30. TheBayingMob

    “Thursday nights are more fun for drinking beer”

    Probably different in Laaaandan, but in other (industrial) cities I worked in, Thursday nights were known ‘contractor’ nights. These were nights when the blokes working away from their families during the week would all hit the town hoping to f**k some dubious woman; mostly in meant that the nightlife was c*ck heavy and the female cream of the crop were staying home saving their pennies for the weekend. Cardiff was particularly bad; Wednesdays were a great night out (student nights in several places meant young women everywhere), but Thursday’s were as dead as dodo!

  31. Redtruth

    Wright
    “I would welcome winning the Europa League. With it being a cup competition, and given our record in cup competitions as opposed to the league, it’s our best chance to get in next years Champions League.”

    Teams like Sutton and Lincoln City do not participate in the Europa league so Arsenal’s recent Cup successess are irrelevant.
    Europa league has the same format as the Champions league.

  32. Marko

    I absolutely don’t see us winning the 2nd best of 2 European cup competitions. Something about competitive European football just doesn’t come natural to this club. When the going gets tough we generally speaking get shite. Kind of like playing Bournemouth at home then playing a decent team away we just fold

  33. grooveydaddy

    It’s hard to have any faith in Wenger in a 2-leg knock-out tie at this point.

    I actually think top 4 is more attainable than winning the Europa League. Wouldn’t bet on either though…

  34. TheBayingMob

    “Fucking MIRRAR MAYN and no volume controls, thanks Pedro, thanks”

    PMSL!! Ye I’m with you on that, I mean music choice is really personal but to me it’s a fucking dreadful sounding song and tune. I understand some people might love that jangly trying to be new punk thing going on.

    Personally I would go for some recorded chanting from the North Bank (ala AFTV), you can’t go wrong with that and it’s a common experience to everyone who goes to the Arsenal without stepping into personal music taste.

    That was the first podcast I really listened to start to finish, and only really because of the guest speaker. More of that please (and I’m not personally really interested in ex-players if they are just going to talk propaganda, I’d want some meat and goss)

    I’m certainly less interested in the chat between the three home counties sounding posh lads … unless you start to be a bit funnier! 😉

  35. WrightIsGod

    Red

    “Europa league has the same format as the Champions league.”

    But it doesn’t have the same quality. Convenient to to quote the likes of Sutton and Lincoln.

    Conveniently neglected to mention Man City, Chelse, Liverpool, Man Utd, teams why have beaten on the road to lifting the FA Cup.

    Red, your agenda at times can be draining.

  36. WrightIsGod

    Red

    The point of the top four other than income for a better infrastructure (whether or not it has been used properly) is that it attracts better players and keeps us amongst the elite in the minimalist terms even if it may just be about perception.

    A top 4 Arsenal looks a better prospect than a mid table Arsenal.

  37. Redtruth

    Wright
    “Conveniently neglected to mention Man City, Chelse, Liverpool, Man Utd, teams why have beaten on the road to lifting the FA Cup.”

    So Arsenal are capable of Cup upsets…big f****** deal

  38. Uwot?

    Leftsidesanch.nailed it.thats exactly what will happen Sunday.seen the movie before.wait & see.the opening chance prob falls to welbz or bellerin and either scuffs it,falls over or skies it.ball goes down other end straight away & chaos score.1-0 to the rent boys.we end up chasing game & get tanked.wait & see.happy to be proved wrong. But ze master tactician I’m sure won’t let me down there.

  39. Boomslang

    Hard to see Arsenal going beyond EL quarter finals, given our woeful European record.

    Naturally, Pierre and his acolytes will jump on that “progress”, and use it as reasoning to extend Wenger’s contract till 2045.

  40. HighburyLegend

    “…actually it should read “Koscielny is always suspended”
    Just like Ozil ??

    “We’re basically the best team in the Europa League at this moment in time”
    Says who?”
    @Leeds : ask pierre, he knows best.

  41. Redtruth

    “The point of the top four other than income for a better infrastructure (whether or not it has been used properly) is that it attracts better players and keeps us amongst the elite in the minimalist terms even if it may just be about perception.”

    Like Cech, Elneny, Xhaka, Mustafi and Perez…lol lol lol

    Also funny how we attracted Lacazette without finishing in the top 4…lol

  42. Dissenter

    Marko
    You left out clubs that will drop down to Europa league for placing third in the CL group stages

    Celtic
    Sporting Lisbon
    Roma
    RB Leipzig/Porto/Monaco
    Dortmund/Spuds

  43. Redtruth

    Eight years ago i was advocating for a Sugar Daddy as the combination of a self sustaining model and Wenger were sullying Arsenal and leaving us well short of football success.

  44. Chris

    I would love to win the Europa League. We have no right to feel we are above it. A success in it would bolster the European pedigree of the club which is still lacking somewhat in terms of trophies collected.

    Give me another 93/94 rather than another monotonous chase for 4th. Not contending for the league but some memorable nights in Europe and a trophy.

  45. Pierre

    Leedsgunner
    “We couldn’t even beat Stoke — and suddenly we’re going to win a trophy competition in Europe ”

    I don’t mean to make your comment seem ridiculous /stupid/pointless but Manchester United failed to beat Stoke last week and unless I’m mistaken , they won 2 trophies ,one of them in Europe .

  46. WestLondonGoon

    For those wh can’t be bothered to click the links, Beck – Loser; Cypress Hill – Insane in the Brain; PIL – Public Image and Johnny Cash – Ring of Fire.

    Any of them I could actually listen to for more than a second. Only you have the power Pedro, or do we have to protest?

    #MirrorManOut

  47. Marko

    DonSeptember 12, 2017    17:39:13
    Who wants some????

    Just don’t be stupid enough to call the guy who runs the blog a faggot again ok dummy. Play nice

  48. graham62

    FC Cologne(Koln) were, in their heyday, a top notch outfit.

    The same can also be said of Arsenal FC.

    As for Arsenal being one of the best ‘teams’ in the Europa League, I don’t think so!

  49. Don

    Marko
    Been gagging to respond to your misinformed bull shit.
    So let’s set the record straight
    I never called Pedro a cunt, I called Bamford a cunt.
    I said Bamford is a cunt, if Pedro really is Bamford then….
    Also, don’t call someone who is clearly intellectually superior to you a dummy then ask him to play nice.
    You’ve had it too easy for too long but now I’m back. So time to get back in your jam car and shut the lid

  50. graham62

    Pierre

    There you go again, comparing ManUtd’s present day exploits, to those of Arsenal’s.

    UN…BLOODY….BELIEVABLE!!

    Now let’s mull over this for a few seconds. A manager who wants to win trophies, versus a manager who wants to just participate.

  51. Elmo

    The point is also that we SHOULD be winning the EL based on resources available. I don’t recall seeing any other teams in the group stages, or likely to drop from the CL groups, who are anywhere close to Arsenal in terms of wage spend and revenue.

    Obviously football is not as simple as that, otherwise PSG and City would win everything, but in relative terms we are the equivalent of Real or Bayern in the CL. If we fail in a similar way to the last 8 years in the CL, then you really have to question even more deeply how the club is being run.

  52. Pierre

    Graham62
    “There you go again, comparing ManUtd’s present day exploits, to those of Arsenal’s”

    Don’t be a dick.. I was just pointing out to another poster when they made the comment
    “We couldn’t even beat Stoke — and suddenly we’re going to win a trophy competition in Europe ”

    That man u failed to beat stoke but still won the Europa league.

  53. PV4

    Can I come to the Wenger party?

    Is this the right place?

    Heard this blog is all about love for the club, players and manager…am I right?

  54. TheBayingMob

    “Heard this blog is all about love for the club, players and manager…am I right?”

    Yes you are. Come and play with our big Dong …

  55. ArseneisaFraud

    WLG

    I really like your choice of music!!!

    We could add to the list: The Rolling Stones “Start me Up” or maybe Queen “We will rock you”.

    But definitively agree: #MirrorManOut!

  56. WestLondonGoon

    Thank you Arseneisafraud

    Music is my other love.

    I hear that Kroenke does a pretty good Freddie Mercury impression, although ‘I want to break free’ is more his style.

    #MirrorManOut

  57. ArseneisaFraud

    WLG

    Same here! Can’t live without music.

    Wiggy would have definitively fitted in nicely in the video clip thanks to his love for hoovering up anything to make money.

    And to be honest, most of us want to ‘break free’ from his and AW stranglehold of the club as well.

    “We want to break free … from Kroenke and Wenger” could make for a nice banner.

  58. ArseneisaFraud

    Pedders

    Right this is getting serious now. If you don’t change the opening tune, we’re all funding to fly a banner over your flat and workplace with “#MirrorManOut”!

    You hear?!

  59. Danish Gooner

    More or less rest is just a Wenger excuse for winning or losing,we shouldnt need to hit second gear to defeat Cologne so it should actually be like some sort of practice session,some of our heaviest defeats have come when resting 10 days or more so bullocks to that.

  60. Dissenter

    WTF is wrong with people like Roy Hodgson?
    Isn’t 70 year old enough for retirement?

    Wenger is just going to draw encouragement from Woy.
    If Woy can do it why can’t Wenger?

  61. ArseneisaFraud

    Dissenter

    Haven’t you heard? There is somthing called money out there, where when you have lots, you still want more.

    It’s one more last paycheck, as usual, I fear.

    As for AW, we could have his coffin still managing us with Bouldy at his sides still trying to get some in game instructions from him.

  62. WestLondonGoon

    How long ’til Wenger makes some quip about no longer being the oldest swinger in town so all the media can have a little chuckle with him?

  63. ArseneisaFraud

    Pedro

    We just want something a bit more catchier at the beginning that’s all. Nothing against your tastes in music.

  64. Bamford10

    Sneer all you want at Europa League, but if we’re in the competition, we should be aiming to win it. It may not be the biggest European trophy, but it is not nothing and it should serve as a proving ground. We should make a sincere go at winning the thing.

  65. Ces1ne

    Look at some of those Champions League groups……I REALLY think a lot of people forget that the best 3rd placed teams drop,down to Europa nights with us (assuming we advance to the knockouts, as we should……).
    Go ahead, look at those UCL groups, think about who could possibly finish 3rd in the group, then act like we could actually beat a few of those clubs in 2-legs/knockouts plus do it MULTIPLE time to win the Europa……….oh man that’s rough, must be another conspiracy against the mighty Arsenal.
    (Should we make it outta the group stages & draw a tough CL dropout when they enter, I will GUARANTEE we hear from wenger that “it should be banned for UCL clubs to get dropped onto Europa….”. Right or wrong on the theory, it WILL be said…….

  66. Ces1ne

    Respect to ELMO for pointing out earlier those UCL teams most likely dropping down to 3rd just to bend us over in the knockouts, missed your post.

  67. Ces1ne

    Can’t disagree with the others above…….that “Mirror Man” opening is cringeworthy. That’s honestly 1 of those songs that there’s nothing wrong with liking yourself, but the complete opposite of something you’d want as an “intro”, no matter the audience/subject/platform.
    FFS Pete, you’re one of the only podcasts I listen to start to finish, but I have edited my apps settings to start it 15 seconds late just so it auto skips that whiny sh!t. PocketCasts FTW!!!

  68. Ces1ne

    Mirrrrrrraaaaaarrrrrr maaaaaannn mirrrrrrrrraaaaaaarrrrr maaaaaaannnnnn………it won’t leave my brain. Thanks a lot, fck off Pedders lol

  69. Ces1ne

    Give us a classic for the intro Pete, know you’ve got it in you…….or maybe a poll on here with 3 of your choices (you can even include “Mirror Man” for sh!ts & giggles if u want….).
    Jokes aside, this site has needed a pod for a while & you’re doing us a great service by recording as often as u do, thanks again.

  70. OleGunner

    Thought this was interesting about the AST meeting with Gazidis on Sunday. Gazidis is still up his own arse.

    This summary is from the onlinegooner.com (great blog!):

    “The Fans Forum meeting with Ivan Gazidis and the representatives of the various and supporters demographic and approved fan groups took place at 10.45 am yesterday and was far more combative than the 90 minutes served up at 3 o’clock. This was mainly due to the refusal of Arsenal Supporters Trust board member Simon Hill to accept the CEO’s spin about the club going forward.

    Gazidis, with Mark Gonnella (the man who likes to cut difficult press conferences and post-match interview short when the questions start getting awkard) chairing the meeting, attempted to keep things in the ‘Aren’t you enjoying the chance to sit in the boardroom, a free programme, tea and biscuits’ territory, but fortunately, Simon wasn’t having any of it.

    The publicising of the Trust’s pre-submitted questions was compared by Gazidis as like sitting opposite ‘The Sun’, which is an interesting interpretation of a meeting that is supposed to respond to the answers of the Arsenal fanbase (the club is in the name – fan’s forum) and the contents of which are subsequently posted on the Arsenal website. So it’s hardly behind closed doors off the record stuff, and when he expressed that he could not be as candid in these meetings as people were tweeting his comments such as “catalyst for change” within half an hour of the meeting, doesn’t he realize the representatives are supposed to report back to the members (that’s Arsenal supporters) that they are actually representing?

    Mind you, the version of the meeting that will appear on the website, put together by Gonnella, probably won’t mention any of Simon Hill’s contribution, such as comments of Liverpool and Spurs over-taking Arsenal in the last two years despite financially dominating them, the club being a laughing stock amongst other clubs in Europe with their negotiating style (I have this on good authority to be true from other sources) and two of last year’s three transformational signings being made available for sale.

    Gazidis stuck to three of this mantras –
    1 – Arsenal outperform relative to their spend
    2 – There is a lot of misinformation (the term ‘fake news’ was not used) about Arsenal’s transfer targets and players for sale in the media – but the club have a policy of not denying anything
    3 – Three FA Cups in four seasons is evidence of success

    Oh, and this gem – “Transfer windows success can only be judged after the end of the season that follows”. Judge me in May anyone?

    “On every objective metric we’re not going backwards,” claimed the CEO. Finishing league position? Net transfer spend? Failing to secure your star players and letting them leave the club for nothing? Go figure.

    Gonnella tried desperately to move the meeting on (only one non pre-submitted question was allowed) and wrapped it up double quick at 11.45 stating that they did have any time for more. Strange then, that Gazidis and he then spent at least half an hour chatting with the less challenging forum representatives over a cup of tea.”

  71. Emiratesstroller

    The priority this season must be to qualify for Champions League. The best chance to do so at this stage of the season is to perform well in the EPL.

    The Europa Cup offers just one chance to qualify for CL and that is to the winner. It is frankly a lottery and English Clubs have not been particularly successful in achieving that apart from Man Utd last season.

    Our priority over the next two games is to put out our strongest team AGAINST Chelsea and they need to be properly rested and prepared for that
    game.

    FC Koln are a team similar in quality to Bournemouth. They are at the foot of
    the Bundesliga having lost all their games this season and scored just one goal.

    We are playing them at home and frankly I would select for this game a team
    similar in quality to one in League Cup. We have enough players in our squad
    of the quality to beat them.

    For a start we should be starting with Giroud and Walcott up front. Both need
    game time if they are going to be of any value to us this season. Also I would
    play Iwobi who was performing well in pre season games.

    Arsenal’s midfield is our achilles heel, because Cazorla is out until January at earliest, Coquelin is now also injured and Wilshire has not played a competitive game for a long time.

    Nevertheless I would gamble on playing Wilshire alongside Elneny in our
    starting eleven. You can always put either Ramsey or Xhaka on bench in case
    the combination is disastrous.

    I would also play in this starting eleven Mertesacker, Holding and Chambers.
    All three need game time if they are going to have any value to our squad this
    season.

    Ospina will also play in this game. I doubt that Wenger will not select him.

    So nine out of eleven selections should be sorted if common sense prevails.

    The remaining two positions would be the full/wing backs. Would you gamble
    on Debuchy? Or would you select Maitland-Niles or Nelson?

    As I have suggested already I would select some of our first team regulars to
    sit on the bench for this game in case our starting eleven needs beefing up.

  72. Pierre

    Emirates
    Sanchez needs game time so should start up front with giroud and Walcott.
    Would be great to see players like Nelson, iwobi, wilshire and maitland niles and maybe one or two more get game time.. All homegrown players that could be the future of the club(OK, wilshire’s not so young) .
    Europa league and league cup should be the perfect vehicle to give them first team experience.
    To be honest, we may need them the next few years due to the mismanagement of players contracts so we need to see if they have what it takes.