The Arsenal team for United is very strong | Theo Walcott – do you change your formation for him?

by & filed under News Review.

So what did I learn last night? Trick or treating in a kebab house when you have no trick is basically a demand for free food. It doesn’t go down well. You still have to pay your £4 like the rest of the rabble.

Someone who certainly wasn’t paying for their own kebab last night was Theo Walcott. Fresh off the back of a kebabtrick two nights ago, all the talk is around his unsigned deal and whether or not he deserves the right to a more central position.

I’m not a massive fan of Theo in general, I don’t think he shows enough consistency and I think he really lacks technically against teams that have a bit of tactical nous. However, you can’t argue against the goals he’s scoring at the moment. You can’t argue against the impact he’s making every time he’s coming onto the pitch. You also can’t play Gervinho when he’s injured, even though I’m sure Wenger will try.

I’m still not sure how Wenger is going to play Theo through the middle. He doesn’t have the physical presence to play as a loan striker. It almost feels like there needs to be a change of formation to accommodate him. Perhaps he could play off the Giroud? That would require going back to a more traditional set up which might leave us exposed by not having an extra midfielder. Whatever happens, it seems we’ll need to do something to accommodate his ambitions of becoming a striker soon otherwise he’ll leave and likely go to a rival.

Isn’t it amazing how well people play when a contract is on the line?

I’m interested to see what the manager has in store for the United game at the weekend. They played out a long winded high scoring game at Stamford Bridge last night which included a number of players that could be considered for the first team. Hopefully a bit of mental and physical fatigue will have set in. Amazing how serious both of those teams took the competition. They knew full well that giving a rival team any hint of an advantage could have negative ramifications for their team. We need to take that approach with cup matches. I know we beat Reading,  but we nearly embarrassed ourselves (we certainly did in defence) because we put out a weak side. Wenger needs to take all competitions seriously because we’re not in a position to be snobby.

A win at Old Trafford puts us within touching distance of United, and really, they’re the club you need to stay in touch with across a season. A loss, well, that pretty much kills off any hope we may have had of competing for anything other than fourth. Arsenal need to progress this season, I think a win away would be signal that we’re improving.

We’ll have a pretty strong side on show for the game. Our defence, for all the criticism it has face, is still the best in the Premiership (unless I’m going blind, we’ve conceded 6). We’ll have a had a week to work on tactics and we’ll have Sagna back in for his second game. Our midfield should be running the socks off United. Wilshere, Arteta and Cazorla are a match for anyone. A front 3 of Giroud, Theo and Chamberlain is a pretty scary prospect. On the face of it, there’s no reason we can’t take three points.

What do you think?

Anyway, there’s not much else going on, so I’ll leave it at that!

Have a great day!

200 Responses to “The Arsenal team for United is very strong | Theo Walcott – do you change your formation for him?”

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  1. Worried Gooner

    We’ll be lucky to be within 2 goals of them with Mannone in goal.. Santos plays left back then we’re done for..

  2. Iceman

    Well, we need to keep Rooney, VP and Valencia quiet…..and seeing that our left back is weak…..Valencia mite just run riot then it will be up to Verm and Mert to deal with crosses…….if im Wenger, i’ll play Sagna and Jenko….we need to be good defensively……….Line up would be….


  3. Albo

    The silly thing about all this is how well Theo is playing FROM THE WING. As you say, in the current system he’s really not got the attributes to play the RvP/Giroud role, and he’s not good enough to change the whole system around (especially when it would mean shifting around the midfield where all our class lies).

    At the same time I rate him and think he’s a genuine goal threat – something we don’t have huge numbers of!

    (ps lone, not loan!)

  4. Usedbustickets

    Did Arshavin do enough on Tuesday evening to justify a start, well certainly he does if Wenger is even thinking about putting in again out wide!! Yes Iknow people are going to say but the Ox comes first, and your probably right, the selection order should be OX, Arshavin and Ramsey (possibly) but I struggle to understand let alone explain Wenger’s team selection!

  5. Gooner4lyf

    Defending set-pieces still our archilles heel. Valencia will give Santos a torrid time. KOS already played himself out of the game but will Per be able to cope with the pace of Shrek and Pursestrings? Young is also back and ready to dive at any breath. I will take a draw but problem is we are not winning the supposedly easy games.

  6. opsy

    formation I go for

    jenks per verm sagna
    wilsher arteta carzola
    chamberlain giroud arshavin

    theo should come off bench cos he neva does well against evra.
    Arshavin should start, he scored a fantastic goal at OT a couple yrs ago.

  7. kapslock

    Why do our injuries which are supposed to last 3 weeks actually last 3 months?? What’s happened to Rosicky? Why bother asking I guess. I’d be inclined to put Sagna at LB and Jenk at right. Wouldn’t fuck around with CB pairing as I don’t think this is the right game to put Koz in, he’s been awful recently. Out wide I’d have Theo and Podolski, though I’m guessing he’ll go with Ramsey since Theo played 120 minutes on Tuesday. Still don’t see what Ramsey offers us but Wenger’s never been great with tactics.

    Honest prediction? We’ll lose. It’d be nice to go there and get something, would be happy with a point even.

  8. Iceman

    I think Arsh could cum on in the 2nd, more effective……rafael should be tired by then………my worst fear is that we’ll see Ramsey on the right…..Wenger will be a cunt if he doesn’t start Walcott…..Evra has been suspect lately and Buttner still has lots to learn…..

  9. Marek Damsyik

    for me, in old trafford….


    le sagna——-massacre————verma———coqueilin

    ———————–le (handsome?) girroud——————

    sub: arshavin, koncielny, eisfield, jenkinson, santos, chamberlain…

  10. Thomas


    What has that got do with Man U conceding 5 goals? So Cech is the goalscorer in Chelsea? Wow you really are an idiot.

    We played a shit Reading side

    Man Utd played Chelsea who has better offense than Reading making it more justified to concede 5 goals.

    What I’m getting at is that you’re a complete idiot.


  11. Bracknell Gooner

    Team selection ahead of Moan Utd will be hard, I am betting that he will again give Ramsey a start, Me I’d go with Sagna and Jenks on the Right. Left back is just a nightmere, Not sure what would be worse, Santos or Play TV and put Kos in the middle with Per? Don’t know if OX is fully fit but can see Pod starting leaving Arty and Coz and one from Jack or Theo with Giroud up front. I’d like to see No striker and start Kack and Theo with Giroud, AA and Ramsey on the bench.
    Big battles will be TV vs. RVP, Shrek vs Arty, Valencia vs empty space!

  12. Phil

    Whilst Theo has his faults(don’t we all), right now I think the pros outweigh the cons.
    hard to not like pace on the counter, and his finishing has improved.
    As I have stated previously, given when you sell in January , you do so at a discount, the club is financially better off paying him more to keep him.
    We would get at least 5-7m less because his contract is expiring. Paying him the extra 20k per week makes economic sense to me.
    But maybe the club has already earmarked him and Sagna as our sales for next years profit , and will use the line that he wouldn’t sign as justification

  13. Big Johan

    Looking at my classic Marmites t-shirt (Diaby, Eboue, Bendtner, Song for those with short memories) it occurs to me it must be time for a reprint…

    Diaby again plus Gervinho, Santos and Theo?

    I am prepared to pre-order one

  14. Iceman

    I hope Wenger can see that Cazorla doesn’t perform with Ramsey on the wing cos Ramsey drifts in and he inturn drifts wide……..Theo should definately start.

  15. gazzap

    there’s no indication Ox is fit. Sagna at LB for me – Jenks at RB – wont happen as Santos will play. And Theo on the right, not Ramsey, please Wenger. This might be a tad left field, but what about young Gnabry on the right if Theo is ‘tired’? he’d be my joker.

  16. Bracknell Gooner

    Your Comment Here@gazzap,
    Gnabry did not have a good game at Reading, not point making the same mistakes with young players aka last year at OT.

    The Ramsey Question is key to our midfield, can’t play with Arty, or Carz, won’t pass to Walcott or out to the wing in general.

  17. Paulinho

    “but will Per be able to cope with the pace of Shrek and Pursestrings?”


    RVP and Rooney are hardly going to scare you pace. At United you need to be calm and have good positioning. They try and scare you into making basic mistakes and thinking there attack is more varied and intricate than it really is. All you need to do is the basics and they can be easily contained. Most average european sides go there and do it to a large extent.

  18. Mach III

    Poldi vs Rafael = Poldi
    Giroud vs Ferdinand /Vidic = Giroud
    Walcott vs Evra = Walcott
    Cazorla vs Scholes = Give me a break.
    Wilshere vs Rooney = Wilshies
    Arteta vs Kagawa = Arteta
    Vermaelen vs Rotten gone cunt = Tie
    Mertesacker vs Rotten gone cunt = Pair
    Sagna vs UTD = Sagna
    Santos vs Valencia = Valencia

    That’s the individual battles.
    This is a weak UTD team that has been dominated by Chelsea (apart from the ref), Swansea, Southampton.

    We will run through them like a battering ram!

  19. Bracknell Gooner

    @ paulinho
    I agree, but they do have movement something we have lacked in the last few Games.

    Another factor maybe down to RvP’s mental state. if he tunrs up ready to prove a point and gets shedloads from the travelling support. He will cause all sorts of problems., or get too wound up and start lashing out.

    If he is not really up for it then best left well alone,

  20. Iceman

    I think UTD will go with

    ————————-De Gea——————-

  21. AJ

    If we can have Arshavin to start we can have:
    Caz-Arteta-Wilshere(if considered fit)-Poldi

    Dosen’t look too bad. Ox might not make it. Walcott could come on as a sub and have a go. Caz out wide will ensure some service for Giroud and is better than Ramsey any day.

  22. Bracknell Gooner

    Your Comment Here@mach III
    Don’t use words like give me a break when talking about Scholes tackling Caz!! 🙂

  23. Deanodoes

    Santos, Mannone are the problem. Not good enough. What is the deal with Diaby, Gibbs, Rosicky, Szchz? These mythical two or three week injuries that last most of the season. It’s a disgrace that we sold Song to accommodate Diaby. I’m not as hopeful as your good self, I see an easy united victory with Valencia destroying Santos.

  24. kapslock

    To be fair if those cunts down the road can go and win there we should be able to do something. Just please don’t start Ramsey!

  25. dennisdamenace

    Here’s an idea then.

    If this is truly is all about TW14’s place in the team, give him his central berth, but on the same money, offering those terms for a new contract, get him to sign it, play him there for a year, and when he fails, flog the prick on……..simples.

  26. BacaryisGod


    Nice post, but I really don’t see where Arsenal took the Carling Cup a great deal less seriously than Man U, athough Chelsea is more clear-cut.

    Man U rested Van Persie, Rooney, Scholes, Valencia, Evra, Ferdinand, Evans, Carrick, Cleverly, De Gea and Young (10 starters). They just looked stronger because they have greater depth upfront with Welbeck and Hernandez. However, the back 4 (Rafael, Buttner, Wooton and Keane) was very week and helps explain the 5 goals conceded (although at half-time and 2-1 up, Buttner was pulled for Powell which further weakened their defensive unit).

    Chelsea kept their central pairing in place, but without John Terry and Ivanovic they had fewer options available to them. Typically, Terry would have played on the weekend and been rested yesterday. Otherwise, they rested Cole, Hazard, Torres, Oscar and Ramires (or a total of 6 players who played over the weekend who didn’t play yesterday). Still, Chelsea did bring on three regular starters relatively early on for what turned out to be a 120 minute match.

    Either way, with United resting 10 starters and Arsenal resting 11, both teams showed their focus was on the Premier League.

  27. bankz

    You are a big FOOL & that’s it.
    Trading words with you is pointless….Only a fool will come to a conclusion that Cech could score 5 goals..FFS he is a f*#king goalkeeper not a striker fool.
    As for the team against United,its clear Walcot won’t be starting as he played 120mins mid-week so I guess wenger would still stick with Ramsey & we can only hope he brings on Theo earlier than his customary 70/75mins.
    Podi in the left wing & Giroud centrally.
    Midfield remains same from our last EPL game.that leaves the defence which is a problem with Santos but I see him starting with Santos.if he is having a good game then he stays but if not,only then will wenger try bringing Jenks in or Kos on as CB while pushing TV5 to the fullback position.
    One more thing,I hope we don’t get a redcard in this game as that will be one easy way for the refs to kill us off even before we make a stand(that’s if the players are up for a stand come saturday)

  28. George

    in general id say a change of or in formation is required for arsenal. this 4-3-3 isnt working. the third midfielder isnt doing anything of great note/ they arent scoring and they arent defending. yes. look at the goal against norwich, if our midfield of 3 was fully functional that shot on goal wouldn’t have come off…the goals havent been coming as well from our 3rd midfielder.. its time to move to 442 with wilsher and arteta in the middle santi wide and 2 strikers.. we havent enjoyed podolski’s left foot because of him coming from the wing..

  29. GEE-ROO

    Wengers latest pre match presser; NO GIBBS, NO CHESNEY. Santos and Mannone at Old Trafford, this will not end well.

  30. BacaryisGod


    The United defence is weak partly because they are playing essentially playing with two wingers and are taking the approach that they can score one more than the opposition. They’ve won 3 of the first nine games 3-2 and another one 4-2. They’ve scored 24 goals and conceded 15 versus Arsenal’s 14 goals scored and 6 conceded.

    Arsene will try to keep the game tight by playing Ramsey on the right and holding back Ox and Theo on the bench but because we will have no pace upfront, Man United will probably win 2-0 from set-pieces (Rooney free-kick, Evans from a corner).

    Funnily enough, the game Man United lost 3-2 was against Spurs where they played more defensively (Giggs, Scholes, Carrick and Kagawa in midfield with RVP and Nani further up). Spurs had an attacking team (Lennon, Bale, Dembele, Dempsey, Defoe all started).

    For Arsenal to turn over United at OT we need to be bold. Unfortunately, it’s not looking like this is going to happen, and Giroud will be left isolated as Arsenal try to hold back the United wave.

  31. Bracknell Gooner

    What game did you watch last night?
    Ramires on at Half time, Hazard on at 54, Oscar on at 70, I wouldn’t call that rested? The only thing it did show was that the Chef Chav knows when it’s not working and will make changes something AW won’t do as statistically 70 min is the perfect time to bring on a player (yeah right that worked against Norwich and the Chavs)

  32. kay

    CC cup was not our priority…!! thats why we had a torrid first half.. then wanker sent giroo to save his ass and he did!!!

    we aint winning a ‘genuine’ cup… we are winning the imaginary 4th place trophy..

  33. opsy

    for me arshavin giroud have to start. Uniteds defence is suspect and they have been conceeding as well from set pieces. FFS even Ramires got a header against them. opportunity for arshavin to put in the cross and giroud to head

  34. BacaryisGod

    Bracknell Gooner,

    What post were you reading? Obviously not mine, as I pointed out that all three played a large number of minutes. They were rested from starting, but yes they all came on and ended up playing a lot of minutes.

    Of the 3 teams, Chelsea took the Cup more seriously than Man U and Arsenal. There’s no doubt about that, and I said that in my post.

  35. lamia

    Is Wenger capable of putting out at team at OT with a clear game plan in mind. Is he capable of drilling in his players minds what they need to do when we have the ball and more importantly, when we don’t. Would he consider man marking Rooney,who in his more withdrawn role is even more influential. Does he stress the needs of the front men to close the defenders down, to cover for the full backs. Will he drill into them that we must not concede an early goal, get to half time at least level. Perhaps we should be more solid at the start, maybe pack midfield, a little bit more conservative. Do we study the opposition, watch videos , discuss tactics. From past experience and from statements from ex players, this is not OGLs strengths and he simply tells them to go out and play. I do fear the worse on saturday. It would be great to be proven wrong.

  36. BacaryisGod

    As for the critics piling on Arsene for his comments, of course he’s 100% percent when talking about priorities. It should be Premier League, Champions League, CL Qualification, F.A Cup, League Cup in that order. Guess what? All the top teams show their priorities in the same way by resting their key players in the F.A Cup and League Cup.

    Still, I suspect that if we get through Bradford with a similar combination of players that played on Tuesday, a semi-final contest would show a far different team with a lot more starters playing.

  37. Bracknell Gooner

    I want my Le-grove back!
    What is with all this positive stuff on Le-Grove? we are taking about the same team that got ploughed under at Norwich, Outplayed in the CL and apart from so woeful strikers on their part scraped past QPR!

    We will have Ramsey making us all want Denilson back,, Santos Making Eboue look Brazilian, Caz running in circles looking for someone to pass to then trying a 25 yard screamer that will be closer to the upper tier than the goal, and in between we will have most of the ball paly it backwards and forwards acroos the half way line before moving up to play it sideways about 25 yards out. Someone will get bored and try and “quick” one two on teh 18yard box, which MU will mop up, play it wide to Valencia who will charge down the wing and cross for one of several MU players to have a crack at goal. Arsene will complain that MU haven’t passed it enough times, the players will be standing still in shock that you are allowed to run with the ball and take players on yourself . This will be repeated several times until Utd score. At which point we will hoof the ball to Giroud, who will be played off every high ball, look around confused when he does not get the foul and the play goes on.

  38. esel

    Bracknell you sound like a partime fan. Even the best teams in the world lose matches and for your own info that’s wot makes footy interesting the fact that it’s not always obvious. If u got nothin to say just shut the eff up n support the team or take yahoo negativity to spuds or summat kmt Matter of fact stop sucking uniteds ass through a ribena straw and get ur straw out of valencias Ass

  39. bazza

    Agree with Pedro completely. Theo isn’t my favourite player for all the reasons we know about, but he can score goals and make runs. At the moment he has a point to prove as well. Playing him down the middle as a lone striker just isn’t going to work, I don’t think Wenger has any choice but to play Theo as centre forward (as we used to say) and Giroud playing off him causing havoc (assuming that Wenger has the technical nous to give give Giroud clear instructions to mess the United defence up – in case Wenger hasn’t got the words it’s “VAS LES NIQUER” which means go fuck them). Theo and Giroud together might be powerful.
    I’m worried that it’s a bit early for Wilshere, so I would start with the Ox and sub him with Jack when he tires. So mid-field of Ox, Arteta and Corzola.
    I would play Jenkinson in this game as he is the best crosser at the club and Giroud will need some service. Final place probably has to go to Podolski. So my team is:

    Sagna (Surely he can’t risk Santos)

    The obvious weakness is down the left and whatever permutation we use (e.g. Vermaelen LB and Kos in the middle etc.) this is a real problem area which SAF will definitely try to exploit.

    I think the Utd game will be a blood and guts game and players like Podolski , Giroud and Ox will need to man up and fight. Arsenal can definitely nick this, but I suspect we will need to score 3 goals to win. Prediction 2 – 3.

  40. CH30

    I think it’s time to try a new formation as the team do not perform so well with 4-2-3-1, (with the injury’s we currently have) Giroud which i like, could need an other Forward upfront. I would opt for a 4-4-1-1 formation. It showed to be working for Everton vs United.



    Jenkinson Mertesacker Vermaelen Sagna

    Cazorla Wilshere Arteta Podolski



    Use Jenkinson, and Sagna instead of Santos. Cazorla on the wing could do nearly as much damage on the wing as a playmaker, and having Wilshere making strides forward will take care of the playmaker role.
    Giroud is key. I think he could do a job much like Fellaini. He can track back when needed, so we wouldn’t really lose a midfielder, but going forward he would be the able to hold the ball high up the field, and be able to send Walcott on runs forward.
    If a goal or two down, give Arshavin a chance instead of Podolski.

    With Walcott’s form, I see this as our biggest chance of taking 3 points. But I doubt Wenger would have the balls for such a change.

    Anyways, should be a good game! COYG!!

  41. Bush Gooner

    For us to have a good rock solid team to beat the Mancs Wenger had better tell Ramsey he will not be starting.


  42. Johnny5

    Lets face it united away will be a pretty big ask of this team I hope they smash them to bits otherwise we’ve all got to put up with gambon spouting about how is beloved are run better than us and have better players blah blah blah.. Lol. Not sure I could take listening to that…….again.

  43. Thomas

    bankz @

    You were the won saying Man Utd faced a top keeper like that had something to do with conceding 5 goals.

    It’s worse coneding 5 goals against Reading than Chelsea.

  44. Angry Water Bottle

    Pedro you say we shouldnt be snobby about cups but arsene dosnt give a fuck about it.. main focus //4th spot or above for CL because that’s where the money is.

  45. timmyhayes

    Wenger has persisted with Ramsey all season (and last), what makes you all think he’s going to have a sudden revelation now?

    Guarantee he will start “all-action” Ramsey the superstar out on the right which will —as we’ve seen since the second Diaby got injured—render us completely toothless in attack. Also, I agree with the playing Sagna at LB instead of Santos, but Jenko played midweek so there’s no chance of that happening!

    I’m hoping we can get the job done, but I’m pretty concerned that our left side will kill us defensively, and our right offensively! Fingers crossed though!!!

    Ideal line-up:

    Mannone (Szczes if fit)
    Sagna—Per—TV5—A pot plant
    Ox/Theo—Giroud— Poldi

    Wenger’s line-up (99% certain):


    Also, just a quick question for anyone who actually thinks Ramsey is good enough for our first team.

    What are his actual qualities/traits as a footballer?

    Because from what I’ve seen he can’t pass, shoot, tackle, cross, or beat a player, has no pace, and is constantly out of position and just plain getting in the way. He is fit I will give him that. But seriously our team looks so disjointed with him playing, especially when he’s out wide, and when he starts in midfield we get overrun because he gets out of position!

    Anyway, I don’t like to be overly negative towards out players (or just in life in general) and I’m sure he’s a decent enough bloke, but enough is enough!

  46. Ojaimo

    I will rather play Kozzer at left back than switching Sagna to the left. At least Kozzer will stay back to contend with Valencia’s counter attacks.

  47. van

    @ Pedro
    Arsenal didn’t Put out a strong team????
    Have you been sick????? Arsenal had a whole lot of internationals and people with Prem experience.
    If Arsenal and this so called Famed Academy is sooooo good then they should have put them to play reading a team that has been PISS poor this season.
    What you should say is that MOST of the players at Arsenal are average INCLUDING walcott and the only reason i would have a problem if he left is because wenger would replace him with trash and that will make situations worst…

  48. Maciek

    Le Clown will put Ramsey and Santos on the field so we will be hammered. We just can’t perform at OT under Wenger. Last time we won Ade scored the winner, but we had Fabregas in our team and a proper GK.

    This United side isn’t great, but even though we have conceded only 6 goals, we are poor defensively and playing Ramsey, Mannone and Santos won’t help.

    So, my prediction: 4:0 to United, with Rooney and RVP scoring 2 goals.

  49. Maciek

    I would go for:


    Sagna—– Koscielny—–Merte——Vermy




  50. Viveora

    what weve got to remember was that valencia absolutely tored vermaelen last time at the grove when verm was playing LB

    We just have to defend much better and narrow thei chances, we look like we can only score on the counter this season

    Jenkinson (played 120) Mert Verm Sagna
    Wilshere arteta cazorla
    Walcott (played 120) Giroud Podolski

    The played 120 are reference to the fact those players played the whole game on tuesday, and may be dropped to the bench for being fatigued.

    The league cupcan be ours if wenger decides to abolsih the ‘ least importantant’ tag. Why decide between 4th or a cup if we can go for both?

    If we had not have that amazing comeback, we woul;d have kicked ourselves for not being iin with such a great chance of winning something, lets not fuck it up
    Chelsea will focus their energy on the club world cup all the way in asia(?) and leed will put out their top team, so chelsea will definately not have an easy game that we should.

  51. Bade

    We will get a result against the Mans

    Not sure it’s going to be a glorious win, but a draw at least

    It’s written

    And it will come back to haunt us, as this will persuade our deluded manager that we have enough ammo for the remainder of the season, which is a self-lie

  52. Maciek


    We won’t win the League Cup, because we won’t beat chelsea. They will trash us in the final or in the semi-final.

    We just can’t play and don’t know how to play against them.

  53. Bade

    I can see a tough fought 1-1 or 2-2


    Probably this is our strongest line up

    I’d give AA23 & the OX a run in the 2nd half

  54. Nasri's Mouth

    I’d risk Santos at LB over Vermaelen or Kos in that position.

    Lets keep Vermaelen and Mertesacker together in the middle, they’ve worked well together and they should be building up a good relationship, and we’re going to need our full backs to push ManU back up the pitch. Santos is at least offensive.

    But what we need to do a few things, make sure that Santos is 100% aware of what his role is, that the 2 more defensive midfielders, Arteta and Wilshere make sure they cover when needed, that Podolski tracks back, and that the forward players make sure they don’t allow the ManU midfielders to get their heads up and ping balls out to that corner of the pitch.

  55. Biggles

    I’ve been saying for a long time that Walcott should be turned into a striker. His performance the other night showed that he can score. Is he playing for a contract? Maybe. But if he can do that more regularly, then play him up front.

    I like the idea of playing a 4-3-1-2 or 4-3-2-1. Giroud up front – he’s big a big target man striker. Podolski either up with him, or just behind him. He’s more of a striker than a Pires style winger. Walcott playing behind Giroud, but not out wide. Walcott always plays better and is more likely to score when he doesn’t need to run to the byline and fail at crossing because he’s just not a very good winger.

    Across the middle I’d play Cazorla, Arteta and Wilshere.

    At the back, I think I would be tempted to play Sagna at left back to stifle Valencia who could run riot. I think Sagna would do a better job there than Jenkinson, although that said, Jenks is pretty fast. I’d still have Jenks at right back though. Got to be Per and TV in the middle, Koscielny has gone to pieces again. He’s scoring WAY WAY too many own goals.

    As for in goals, no idea. They are all gash.

  56. bankz

    Just shut up already and support your team for once.
    I’m a positive-minded fella & even when the odds are firmly stacked against me,I still hope,believe & trust to the end.
    When we were 4-0 down at Reading,I still had this “stupid” belief that anything can happen & guess what,it happened.
    So till we get hammered/torn a new one at OT,I will keep believing that this “weak” Arsenal side can come up with something if they go in with the right attitude.
    And enough of this bickering already…let’s just pretend as if we are a peace-loving duo who support Arsenal with totally different perspective.

  57. Arsenal1886-2006

    I don’t really look at the Mancs and chavs as must win games anymore, they are so far ahead of us that they are no longer our main rivals. Now it is games against Everton, Spurs, Liverpool, Newcastle and so on as must win games, we are a club that fights for the crumbs that fall from the big table.
    And I am not alone, I know other Arsenal fans are thinking the same.

    The board and Wenger have lowered our expectations while raising prices and revenue. The only real hope of silverware is the League or FA cup, the other two are out of our reach, I do not count fourth place as a trophy, it is a cash bonus for the board.

  58. Shoreditch gooner

    Arsene trying to take the focus off Steve Bould stating that the team has always been working on the defence(even before this season).

  59. Bade


    I agree we won’t win the title, because we have a manager that isn’t interested to do so, as simple as that

    Words & statement can’t mask the meaning of his true actions

    I think in 1998 we were 14 point behind the Mancs somewhere in January, before we pipped them to the title

    I think also in 2002 we were trailing behind with a margin before winning the league

    It’s doable even this season. But you need to splash. Bring top striker, top winger to replace Theo, another CM & utility defender (in the mould of Adriano) & a good experienced keeper, and the league could be ours

    But this won’t happen. Because Arsene will be banking the season on Diaby, Djourou, Gnabry & the OX

  60. Inter YourGran

    Afternoon Grovers,

    Momentum will be important for us coming into black November. There’s no point in going with the same 11 we played against Rangers as it was devoid of ideas and lacked genuine threat when we go forward.

    In my opinion Theo has to start if he recovers, and the minutes he’s played should suggest he’d be raring to go and fired up. Giroud, Arshavin, Coquelin & Eisfled also did enough to warrant selection in some capacity.

    Wenger cannot continue to be a stubborn goat in regards to Theo. For all his flaws and detractors who are annoyed he hasn’t developed as quickly into a world class player as they’d have liked, should also cut him a bit of slack. He’s got his head down and played vital parts when he’s come in and most of the time made the difference in the final 3rd. His return last season was also very good, he’s a full international so, is he really not worth 100k a week when other top players now are taking home 160-250k!?

    Some of you love to give Arsene shit for not buying (insert foreign name here) and not paying (150k +) wages, then mouth off one of our ENGLISH lads, whose contribution last and this season has been top drawer, is wank and can fuck off!? Who are we gonna buy in January, for under 20m /-100k p/w, that offers 12-15 goals/10 assists a season+? At least keep the trolling consistent 🙄

    Szczesny is a loss, but it’s quite obvious Gibbs absence has been catastrophic both going forward and defensively on the left hand side. If Ramsey & Santos continue to be included, we will continue to get nowhere. There is no ruthlessness to Arsene’s management and they, for me, have played themselves out of the team and onto the bench.

    Why he’s (Arsene) playing Ramsey on the right (using some bollocks about interchanging & shape) I do not know and it’s such a typical Arsene farce. Same with Bendtner, same with Eboue, now with Ramsey. Just the play the best players we have, in their best positions based on form. Not Rocket science is it!?. Is Ramsey good enough to start in central midfield for us at the moment, based on our options and their numbers? No, so he shouldn’t be playing. You’ve got to go with the right players, not try and prove an imaginary point no one gives a monkeys about.

    Make no mistake, we can win up there and banish the ghosts of that annihilation from last season. But, not if we go up there with the ‘trying to get lose’ mentality, feeling sorry for ourselves and playing players who don’t warrant a place in the starting 11.

    Id have to go with;






    Bench from; Shea, Santos/Djourou, Koscielny, Coquelin, Eisfeld/Ramsey, Arshavin, Chamakh

    Baring injuries, there’s plenty of options whether we bring on fresh legs or are making changes regarding to seeing the game out out and chasing it.

    Play that, we win… Have a tip-top Day Grovers 🙂

  61. Rhys Jaggar

    I think Arsenal need to forget rigid formations and just say: ‘we have 6 midfielders and attackers, we let them swarm like bees as they will, but their overall shapes must remain sensible, even when we have the ball.’

    If you look at how Ozil has played for Germany, sort of moving all over the place, you get the picture a bit. Podolski will be happy doing that, so will Theo, so will Wilshere, so will Cazorla, so will Arteta, so will Oxlade Chamberlain. Maybe Giroud would be a point man, Podolski can do that too if required.

    Theo can come in off both flanks and score. He can be put through the middle and score. He can be picking up rebounds and score. He can cross OK from the right and his new skill drills this season should be practicing doing that from the left also. With his left foot.

    Me, I’d start Podolski as traditional Number Nine, with Walcott nominally out right and Oxlade Chamberlain nominally out left. I’d like them to swap a bit though as Theo can take Rafael apart if he’s up for it and the Ox should test himself against Evra. Arshavin and Giroud can be on the bench. Both should have oodles of confidence from Tuesday night. Both the wing men can expect to make runs at pace to receive the precise threads of Wilshere or Cazorla maybe getting their pass from Podolski backing into a Man Utd defender. Don’t try any diving, let the defenders trip you good and proper. The only penalties you get at OT are blatant ones……

    Crosses can target Podolski with two others appearing at other places to keep the defence on their toes.

    Critical for Arsenal is proper defending on their left. Valencia or Nani will be rampaging there. All their attackers know how to score and all have impressive movement in the box. The Central Pair will know they have been in a game come full time……

    OT is less of a fortress these days. Arsenal should go there to win.

    Their defence must perform, Mannone or whoever must perform and chances must be taken at the other end.

    If you can’t get yourselves up to beat Man Utd & RVP at OT, when can you??

    Spurs managed it.

    And they’re just a Cup team who lost in the Cup to Norwich, aren’t they?!

  62. dennisdamenace

    ThomasNovember 1, 2012 13:36:47
    Hmm if we were to get hammered again by Man Utd would that finish the cunt off?

    Don’t be daft, the cunt would just sell LJW in the summer, and they all congratulate each other on what a great year they’ve had, and Gazidis would get another £600,000 bonus.

  63. AC Gooner

    People on here hoping Theo starts on Saturday instead of Ramsey?

    Sorry, aint gonna happen.

    Theo played 120 mins on Tuesday. Ramsey 0. Wenger loves Ramsey, Theo is a contract rebel.

    All we can do is hope Ramsey has a good game on Saturday and gives the ball back to Cazorla as soon as possible and gets into good positions.

    Arteta, Cazorla, Jack
    Ramsey, Giroud, Poldi

    That will be our starting front six. Theo and AA coming on for Ramsey and Poldi at 64′ and 67′. Unless the ox is fixed.

    If we are chasing the game, expect Santos on for Jack in the 70s (hopefully he doesnt start, not in form).

  64. Bracknell Gooner

    Hadly an update, just Jan doing a cut and paste and then adding L’pool will have him but not at that price.
    I think the reason TW is still at Arsenal is that no one would pay his transfer and even less teams ould pay his wage demands. the positional piece is up for debate and with Pod and Giroud it’s possible to play 2 up front and with Jack and Caz quick thru balls maybe on the cards.

  65. dboy

    Good line up However i would prefer Djourou over KOS in defence cause he is not showing great form this season and Djourou looked more stable in tuesday nights game. MY line up
    sagna Mertersacker Djourou Verm (to stabelise our first half)

    The OX Arteta Podolski


    Walcott Giroud

    Subs: Scez; Arshavin; Coquilin; Jenks; Kos; Wilshere(secret weapond);Chamack; Eisfeld

  66. Franchise

    Im a bit confident about saturday. united have a crazy home record on the other hand, i think we have one of the best away records since 2011

    definitely wont be a repeat of last season (8-2)

    i just hope for the best. i really dont know what to expect

  67. marcus

    on Gervinho…
    Gervinho is out for three weeks, we think.

    on other team news…
    We have no comebacks, no Wojciech, no Gibbs, no Diaby of course as well. Basically the squad should be approximately the squad we had last week. We have no injuries as well from Tuesday night.

    So Santos on LB??? that will be a nightmare..!

  68. Nasri's Mouth

    The Wenger comments about Walcott look a bit like an olive branch to me, seems Wenger is offering him his favoured position, now lets see if Theo grabs it, or whether it’s actually all about the money…

  69. Franchise

    ————no one ————-






  70. JJ

    Time to move the Titanic and have Plan B – 442!

    Theo and Giroud up top together. They would be a handful for most defences.

    It also allows us to play a midfield like:
    Pod Wilshere Arteta Carzorla

  71. Franchise

    we should try and sit back, soak up pressure and hit united on the break.

    a lot of our losses vs united the roles have been reversed

  72. Bade


    The comments problem isn’t related to logging in via Twitter or FB.

    I log on directly, nevertheless I face the same problem

    If you posted a comment succesfully, then you need to refresh the page in order to be able to post another comment

  73. Dan Ahern

    Sigh… Walcott doesn’t realise how much he is accommodated by the team. He’s played exactly to his strengths: on the wing, standing very high up the pitch. He’s inconsistent, but when he’s on, this setup works for him. And now he’s whining for a new contract and playing time in center. He would do well to go back and analyse his performances. He might learn something.

  74. JJ

    “On the face of it, there’s no reason we can’t take three points.”

    Here are few reasons we wont take 3 points:
    1. Ramsey
    2. Santos
    3. Mannone
    AND unfortunately
    4. RvP

  75. Bade

    I think all Grovers should tell there twitter, so we can make the same debates there as on here. But is instalments of 140 characters …..

  76. wenker-wanger

    i see no chance for walcott in the starting line up unless wenger plays him at right wing. the only hope for this current arsenal team cobbled together without any clear thinking is that wenger stumbles on a formation that will include walcott upfront in a 4-4-2 formation. Wenger has committed his strategy to a lone striker and flooding the midfield. The problem against good teams is that our lone striker isnt good enough like van persie was for us.
    Its a shambles and expect utd to comfortably beat us. 7 goals against a poor reading defense is no reason to be optimistic. But utd arent that good either and are beatable, however not by us. 4-1 utd….and fans should lay off van persie…he wasnt going to waste any more of his precious career winning F ck ALL with wenger;s french duds.

  77. JJ

    Franchise – Against Utd we could play 442 without the full backs bombing forward. They would need to be more disciplined and let the forwards/midfield work the offense… and hit on the counter, like you say.

    If Santos plays, he will certainly get raped one way or another.

  78. Bade

    I think people overrating the Mancs

    Now seriously, they might have a better attack. Ok. BUT

    Arteta, Jack, Cazorla > Carrick, Cleverly, Nani/Young/Valencia

    They also struggle with their defence much more than us

    They really aren’t that tidy in defence.

  79. Bade


    We’re too!

    It’s also a problem with no pattern. I mean sometimes you can post twice or more with no problem, then again you need t refresh before posting

    No wonder so little comments in the past few weeks

  80. Bade

    If anyone is brave enough, then I’ll be more than happy to bet we won’t lose this one

    We’re doing much when we’re with our back to the wall, as the attitude matter is sorted

    We tend to ease too much after a streak of good results. Then we usually become complacent

  81. azed

    I was so sure we would not lose against the chavs but Wenger and the team found a way to lose.
    My advice to you is never ever bet on Arsenal.

  82. Viveora

    hey on the plus we may have a chance to hold our own in midfield. cazorla wilshere and arteta should do decent against what i think would be rooney cleverly and carrick, and uniteds defence is not as perfect as we think it is. We will score , i mean we managed to score 2 last year and our team was shit.

    it wont be close in terms of chances but i think we will do extremely well to draw

    at best it will be 2-2 and i will be satisfied,

  83. Leedsgunner

    “I think a win away would be signal that we’re improving.”

    A win against United would be fabulous… but it is still only three points. Real progress and improvement is when you can beat your rivals like United and mercilessly pound teams like Norwich… it’s no good winning against teams like United if you needlessly throw away three points against the bottom feeders.

  84. Viveora

    what would have been better from wenger to say is:
    ‘i dont care about him, i do not talk about anyone elses players, our fans have their own opinons and can voice whatever they want at him, it not arsenals problem,’

  85. Dan Ahern

    Bade, I can see us pulling it off. If anything, we seem to play to our opponent’s level, for better or worse.
    Can’t say I’m more confident than nervous though. I didn’t see the Reading game but apparently Koz is shit again. If that wasn’t the case I’d play him and Per and put Verm at LB. As it is we’re stuck with Santos. And they’ve got two offensive players who can individually make a huge difference. We’re good when we click, but who can carry us? We don’t have that front line alpha anymore. I sense lots of weight on the shoulders of JW. Okay I’m rambling now.

  86. Bade


    It’s more of a feeling, but I think facts back it up

    Excellent description about following the opposition’s level. We do seem to do so!

    Kozzer had his worst game at Arsenal I think. He was absolutely shocking, even regardless of that miserable own goal. He could have been sent off easily too. He was easily passed by there forwards, too often caught on the wrong side of the attacker, ill positioned …. & I can go on even!

    As for Santos, he’s not a great defender, but people forgot he had no help or cover in the last couple of games he played, and his fitness wasn’t that high due to lack of competitive games. With a little help from Jack & Podolski, I think he’ll do just OK. He will be our weakest link, but he will be enough to stop them. But again, only with help.

    By the way I wouldn’t play Tommy as LB. He hates it, he just plays badly there. Maybe Sagna there. But surely not Tommy

    I agree with you a lot will be decided by the way our midfield display. Jack mainly, but not solely. This is why I’m having a good feeling. With those 3 in midfield we’re at least a match to anyone in the EPL

  87. JJ

    Bade – ManU has had average squads for a few seasons now. Fergie is the difference. He makes them play above the sum of their parts. Man for man (bar Rooney and RvP) we match up well but collectively they have been stronger for years now.

    My prediction is that we will have a decent game and then someone (like Vermy or Santos) will have a blunder at the back that will end up costing us de ja vu-style.

  88. Nasri's Mouth

    Bade: He could have been sent off easily too.

    If you’re talking about the time when he gave away a free kick against Roberts near our goal line, the foul should have gone the other way, Roberts dragged him down by his shirt. Ref and linesman both missed it, and had he been sent off, it would not have been his fault.

  89. kwik fit

    I think Wenger should play le Coq at left back. He has played there in the past and to a high standard. Under no circumstances should Wenger consider Santos . He’s too fat and slow and Fergie would set his team up to exploit our left side.
    We also need someone in the middle to nullify Dean.

  90. zeus

    on other team news…
    We have no comebacks, no Wojciech, no Gibbs, no Diaby of course as well. Basically the squad should be approximately the squad we had last week. We have no injuries as well from Tuesday night.


    Oh dear. Santos in the back line is a disaster waiting to happen.