Back in your box Spurs | Gnabry emerges as superstar | Rosicky, the golden oldie!

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There’s nothing more exciting than writing a match report so packed with smugness you can almost taste the stuff (like cinnamon). I probably won’t go into too much granular detail about the game as most of you saw it, I’ll just pick on key points in what was a very special afternoon.

The Line Up

Initial thoughts were that the line up wasn’t particularly balanced. That wasn’t a negative comment, because I was actually pleased that Arsene had clearly taken a lot of trust from the rotation at the Cardiff game… and not only that he’d taken key learnings. What I’m enjoying about this seasons Arsene is he’s taking intelligent real time decisions, rather than learned ones.

First major play was moving Theo into the middle. He saw that Podolski, a player who easily falls out of favour under Arsene, was hopeless through the middle in the last game, so rather than give him 7 cracks at the whip, he slipped Theo in who made a far bigger impact through the middle in the Cardiff match.

At the back, he played Sagna over Jenkinson because he recognised the wide threat of Spurs was too much for a player prone to switching off. He stuck with the impressive Monreal at left back. Through the middle, he made the big shout of Kos and Vermaelen. Two players who don’t quite fit together as a pairing.

The final positions were occupied by Cazorla, and Gnabry, What could the young German do in a massive game?

Midfield was Jack, Arteta and Rosicky.

I think Spurs made one change from their game at United. Bentalob? Anyway, that immediately got me excited because although we had a weaker side (compared to our strongest side, not Spurs) we’d have the fresher legs. Which as you’ll know, is usually the defining factor in game of two teams with similar quality.

The Game

I haven’t had the chance to see it back really, but my thoughts were that we pretty much controlled proceedings the whole way through the first half. I had a feeling it was going to a be a good day for us when Ade went through on goal early on. Koscielny followed him and nicked the ball away when he felt like it.

Theo actually worked really well in the central position. Now, I couldn’t work out whether we’d done some tactical work, or Theo is actually a far more intelligent footballer than we give him credit for, but he seemed to throw the Spurs back line
off key by playing quite deep. Instead of Arsenal going over the top looking for him, Theo would pick the ball up in-between the midfield and defence and run at them… looking for the long shot.

Was he trying to counter the ‘quick off the line’ Lloris?

Who knows, but he’d had a fair few shots by the time the first half had finished.

Gnabry was the star of the first half for me. I can’t remember the last time we had two pace demons in the team. But having both he and Theo in the front line made for a tough night for the Spurs backline. Gnabry is comfortable with the ball at his feet, he has excellent vision for the pass, he’s bold with his shooting and his touch is magical at times. He was at the heart of all our good play. He was running the show from wherever he picked the ball up. His link up play with Theo was superb.

… and he’s only 18.

Another man turning the wheels of business on the pitch was Thomas Rosicky. For the last three seasons he’s been one of our most important players. He’s our assister of the assist man. He drives the team forward and keeps the pace ticking over in the same way Flamini does. He seems to be really enjoying his game at the moment.

Thomas Vermaelen made a really terrible challenge on Dembele, his fellow countryman, that he didn’t apologise for… and he took a yellow. Immediately we could see Mertesacker warming up on the sidelines. We weren’t sure whether it was a tactical sub or he’d strained something… but the fear for us was he’d be targeted in the second half.

We went into half time a goal up courtesy of a great move from Gnabry who slipped Cazorla into space… the Spaniard kept his shot under the bar as he smashed across Lloris to put us one up. A tremendous goal. What a superstar Gnabry was looking!

The second half started with a change, Vermaelen went off for Mertesacker. The last thing the Spurs attack wanted to see.

Gnabry continued to impress, he dropped his shoulder, cut inside his man and threaded Theo in who could only shoot into the side netting.

Our next goal came unexpectedly. Thomas Rosicky chased down a lost cause, Danny Rose (the muppet who scored from about 30 yards against us a few seasons ago), he won it, found himself 30 yards ahead of the pack… he ran, Spurs players closing in on him, before deftly chipping Lloris.

We all lost our minds in the crowd, I nearly went over the row in front. The poor lady next to me was hugged into the melee… total carnage in the stands! If ever a man deserved a goal like that, it was Super Tom Rosicky!

Iconic Gesture

Iconic Gesture

Arsenal made some changes, we brought on Flamini (for Jack?) and Ozil entered for an injured The (he didn’t, I missed that he went off and we had ten men). As Theo went off, the Spurs fans threw coins at him (whilst on a stretcher), the England wideman gestured 2-0 at them… which incited hooligan type launches for pitch. Totally embarrassing. What’s even more pathetic is the press reaction. I think the Daily Mail ran with ‘Theo gesture sours result’… no it didn’t. If fans can collectively sing about a players mum being a slag, then they can man up and deal with friendly banter back (both ways). That goes for all fans. We piss and moan about the sterile atmosphere in grounds these days… ban players for making it lively, we might as well all go home.

Anyway, the second half was more about holding onto the result. Have you ever seen an Arsene team comfortable sitting back an absorbing pressure? The fans were comfortable too…

‘Sherwood is a Gooner’
‘He left cause you’re shiiiiittttttt’
‘We won the league, at White Hart Lane

The game played out, we took the win, and a level of reality has been restored to White Hart Lane. The emergence of a new star, the iconic gesture of Theo Walcott, an easy win and another hat tip to well thought out rotation.

Concluding Points

We’ll be seeing more of Gnabry in the second half of the season for sure. He hasn’t let us down since his first game against Schalke. He fits our style, he gives us additional pace. He’s already weighing in with decisive contributions and he’s fresh as a daisy.

Theo Through The Middle

He was brilliant yesterday, but I think we have to look at who we were playing. They allowed Theo to be that good. I don’t think many teams would give him that space normally. However, he showed great intelligence and proved he can play other styles bar hanging off the last man. I just think against Chelsea, if he was playing deep, he’d have a Ramires on him all game. If he was playing off the last man, he’d get bullied and he wouldn’t have the tools to bring other players into the game.

… but for certain games, he’s a very good option.

Rosicky

I pushed the case hard in the summer for him to have a new deal, and he’s delivering again. He’s not going to be able to play three games a week, but what he can do is pull in a performance when asked. Mourninho loves older players because they know their time is limited, so you get the most out of their work rate and the most out of their experience. We can’t keep binning experienced players. He’s been brilliant for the past three seasons. Again, yesterday, he was top notch.

Defensive Accountability

Something I’ve complained about for years is accountability as a team for defending. Though it isn’t always comfortable viewing, we’ve had plenty of games this year where we’ve been able to conserve energy by simply soaking up possession. That’s a massive step change in Arsene Wenger thinking. His approach to defence pre-Steve Bould was that the opposition can’t score without possession. That’s slowly changed to… the opposition can’t score if you’re a well oiled defensive unit as a team.

Rotation

A lot of people slammed the idea of rotation yesterday based on the 9 day break we now have coming up. This premise is caveman like in it’s logic. Spurs didn’t rest players yesterday, and you could see it. To most, it looked like they couldn’t be bothered, but if you think about their schedule, it was about being ruined. Adebayor was so far off the pace I barely recognised him. Arsenal on the other hand had players like Theo, Rosicky, Gnabry and Monreal who were all chomping at the bit.

Risking long term injury for one game because there’s a break is a stupid premise, especially if the last 3 games have seen the loss of Ramsey, Giroud and Gibbs as well as dips in form for Ozil (and injury, which I think was impact related), along with the dangerous fitness situations of key men like Per Mertesacker and Sagna.

If we’re going to win the league, or a cup, we’re going to have to do it with the full squad. Yesterday was a perfect example of fringe players coming in and slamming their stake in the ground for more playing time. In seasons past, the fringe didn’t have the attitude to beat a strong Spurs side.

Now we’re over the hurdle of Spurs. We have 9 days break. We’re then playing a woeful Villa side. A team you could argue we have beaten before we start.

For me, I’d be resting Per Mertesacker again. I’d be setting loose Gnabry and I’d probably look to rest Sagna. You don’t need your best side for every game as proven by yesterday.

Transfer Window

We need to fill some positions over the next month. I’m not sure how it’s going to pan out. People in the game think we have Morata on loan. Berbatov wasn’t in the Fulham side yesterday. There’s talk of taking Manzukic on loan. To be honest, I think this January is a pick and mix month. I’m unsure whether there’s a plan.

I think we need a centre midfielder and a striker. Ideally a right back if we know Sagna is going in the summer. We’ll see though. Wenger is always reluctant to take the leap of faith you often need to when it comes to winning trophies. The money is there, the players will be there… it’s up to us to make it happen.

Wenger’s Contract

I read somewhere he wouldn’t be getting a payrise and that his new deal would be heavily incentivised. If this is true, it’s a masterstroke from Ivan Gazidis. It’s a gentle way of reaffirming the roles of each person. Ivan takes care of the business, Arsene takes care of the trophies. Money has consistently been proven as weak motivator for success… but I think in Arsene’s case, it’s a great way of repositioning his role.

The Fans

Hopefully the Arsenal crowd are shifting opinion when it comes to the ‘library’ comment that follows us around. The Spurs fans were so quiet yesterday. Quite amazing considering there were 5k of them!

I’ve got to know the guys and girls around me this season and it feels like far more of a community than it has done in seasons past.

We sang all game, when the ball was out of play we sang at each other. Red Action had their banners our pregame. The place was buzzing compared to any ground. Fans react to what they see. What we’re seeing is the club match our ambition, we’re seeing a manager shift slowly out of his stubborn ways and we’re seeing players step up and say ‘I want my own song’… this season has been a pleasure.

Long may it continue!

See you in the comments!

375 Responses to “Back in your box Spurs | Gnabry emerges as superstar | Rosicky, the golden oldie!”

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  1. Northbanker

    Pedro keeps banging on about buying a CM. Why? We have the strongest midfield squad for a long time – even in DM roles we have Arteta and Flam so at this stage we don’t need another until 2015

    Our budget priorities are a w/c CF (impressed with Theo but he is not the answer – nor is Giroud) and cover CB. I thought we needed cover GK but Fabianski is showing signs of being more secure as a No 2

    So just 2 players – one at 30 – 40m and the other at 8 – 12m

    From then on it is replacement for anyone leaving (but at a proper established level – gambles should be additional and not replacements)

    And we’re then sorted

  2. Dissenter

    ChrismWaddle must be the biggest wanker of all the so called pundits.
    The way he slandered Walcott with the “no football brain” slur is pathetic.

    I can’t think of any England player who has matured more than Walcott. His finishing is significantly better. He’s also defending better. To think that people actually considered Townsend in the same category is reflective of how underrated Walcott is.

  3. Dissenter

    @Bade,
    “The FA makes a mockery out of their job”

    Wait until they charge Walcott before you make that assertion.
    I believe that charge will be the sunshine that disinfects their stupidity.

  4. VP

    Good post Pedro … Gnabry could turn out to be one of the few youngsters that could actually live up to the hype. For me, the OX and Wilshere as things stand have not. However they’re still young and have plenty of time to prove me wrong and I genuinely hope they do. I’m willing to put my neck on the line with Gnabry, something I’ve never done with any of our youngsters apart from Cesc and Viera.

    ‘’I read somewhere he wouldn’t be getting a payrise and that his new deal would be heavily incentivized. If this is true, it’s a masterstroke from Ivan Glazidis. It’s a gentle way of reaffirming the roles of each person’’

    You seem like a smart man Pedro. Do you honestly think that Wenger won’t be stipulating his own terms -to the sentence? As I’m sure you know, a performance related contract is nothing new-every organization that aspires to be successful implements them.A mastertsroke it certainly isn’t. Just another political maneuver from the people up top to derive a perception that the company complies with codes of best practice. We all know who really calls the shots.

    It’s too late in the day to start reaffirming roles. We will always be an insider- dominated -organization which does its up most to limit transparency and accountability at strategic level. The recent appointment of our new Non-exec (Kroenke’s son) just confirms this. The club will always be run first and foremost for the benefit of its owners and the roles within our club will continue to remain unorthidox to prevent this from becoming apparent.

  5. bhenChode

    Chris Waddle was the first left footed player to play on the right wing he changed the way formations were set up… Robben, Di Marie etc should thank him.

  6. N5

    “Rosicky needs a new contract. His been playing very well since the last part of last season”

    Jesus gats, I thought everything about our club sucked cock?

    Afternoon all.

  7. gats

    I have remained consistent in saying Rosicky has been playing well. Funny thing is everyone on this site has been saying everything about this club SUCKED COCK for 8 years. Yet now you try to hide it because we are top ofthe league you plonker. It wasnt just me your prat. I guess though if we dont win anything you will conveniently forget that everyone on this site was slating wenger, and the players etc. I guess everything is rosy for now. I dont select when to wear rose titnted glasslike some on this site.

  8. gonsterous

    I do feel bad for the spuds…I think they r psychologically always beaten before the game starts…. A bit like us against man utd !!!

  9. Cesc Appeal

    Great game, great post Pedro.

    Agree with the feel around the club, that’s what winning does! That’s what buying a guy like Ozil does! Just makes everyone feel as if we’re all pulling together!

    Gnabry was sensational last night…if only that left foot pile driver had smashed into the roof of the net in the first half, his evening would be complete…not that it was bad without that.

    Always worry about bigging up young talent, look at the hype Miyachi got without doing anything (and you know he’ll slowly be pushed out the exit); but this kid looks something else…use him sparingly…use him wisely and we could have a superstar on our hands here.

    Sagna and Rosicky both need to be given contracts…this is the mistake Wenger made before, letting his veterans go. Rosicky appears to have as much energy as Ramsey and is still one of the best driving forces of the team.

    Sagna is solid, dependable and his legs don’t seem to be deserting him as they are Arteta.

    Contracts for both. A striker (most likely on loan e.g Morata) in January and I think Matuidi – last 6 months of his contract, nip in and grab him for a discount.

    Then in the summer go and get your big time striker and Draxler.

    You’ll be talking an incredible squad then.

  10. Rrobbins

    Seems to me much revisionist history going on at the site; the improvement, changes to the defense, the purchase of ozil, depth, though more needed, came from some miserable past decisions and flawed strategies on the pitch. Whether availability of funds, serious reality checks, even the loss of Cesc and rvp, which still hurts; the pressure brought by the fans, the trust, and this blog played a significant role to bringing change. Credit to arsene and yes the board to see change was a must. Hopefully that will and the pressure from the base will continue to push the team and the leadership to achieve. Well done Pedro.

  11. T

    rosicky should absolute get a new deal of 1 or 2 more years! Even if he doesnt play so much any more or be the main man as ozil has stepped in but I really do hope that he would finish his career at arsenal and become a legend!

    btw. about the transfers.. do we really need that many players? at the summer I said that we either need a wideman or a playmaker and ozil arrived. since then we looked good even with multiple injuries up front.

    personally I believe that pedro might be right about the right back thing. I will be a bit sad if sagna leaves in the summer but if wenger thinks he doesnt cut it at centre back then it will be the right choise. To be a fullback you absolutely must have some pace and good strength in 1on1. Being the wrong side of 30 (as I am) I know as a sportsman that ones body doesnt work like it used to be. that is why people who used to play in wide positions either move to center (if they have the brains for it) or retire.

    Either way wenger has to buy. People may not see it yet but if you compare sagna from 5 years ago and now you can allready see from vids how he is getting a bit slower, less agile and losing stamina.

    Jenks is a good second man as he is but who should be brought in?? I havent got a clue. do you?

  12. Cesc Appeal

    T

    Of course he is, he’s getting older.

    But we saw what ripping the veterans out of the squad did before.

    You need heads like Sagna, Rosicky, Arteta, Flamini and Mertesacker.

    Guys who are a bit older but carry a lot of football experience and leadership.

    Whenever you see interviews people always say guys like Arteta and Rosicky are the hardest trainers…first to arrive, last to leave. Young precocious talent needs to grow up in that environment.

    Look at Flamini, as soon as that Bentalib twat stamped he was right over in his ear.

    We’ve got the balance nice now…but we need to add a bit more superstar quality, two players I’d say, one as a striker and one as a powerful wide player.

    The 4 over the next two windows I’d bring in: Schar, Matuidi, Draxler and Costa.

  13. Sam

    Yesterday proved that we’ll do better without giroud n bendtner
    If these 2 donkeys didn’t get injured we weren’t going to struggle against spurs.

  14. Sam

    I meant we weren’t going to beat spurs.
    They were not shit, they just couldn’t handle Gnabry, Walcott n cazorla we were too hot for them.

  15. Dissenter

    @Sam,
    “Yesterday proved that we’ll do better without giroud n bendtner
    If these 2 donkeys didn’t get injured we weren’t going to struggle against spurs.”

    You’re asking for trouble.
    Hope you have your flak jacket ready for the onslaught that will follow your remarks.

  16. Northbanker

    I have argued on many sites like this one for years that Walcott could play lead striker. More importantly those that worked with him in past notably Redknapp, thought the same

    Biggest concern still remains fact that he goes into hiding quite often. Agree with Pedro that he won’t always have it that easy if playing against a top DM as well as more mobile CBs.

    That said, he remains a useful option to Giroud and enables us to alter the play as well as it seems using him in the Giroud role.

    None of this alters the fact that to kick on further we need a world class player as No 1 striker.

  17. samsensible

    Nothing was “proved” yesterday because it was just one game. We don’t know of how we would have done with that side against a stifling Chelsea (for example).

  18. karaul

    If we have Schar, Matuidi and Costa in our team then we will have one of the best squads in the world. It´s not that much missing.

    Now – Good Striker.

    Summer – World class striker. Young defensive midfielder. 4th DM.

    If Sagna goes we need RB naturally

  19. Sam

    Dissenter,

    Yesterday we played like arsenal
    Our front 3 running at opposition defense n finding shots on target.
    Especially bendtner injury was good blessing

  20. karaul

    in that case walcott injury is good too – if that means we buy proper striker. otherwise no injury is good, sorry. in ideal world bendter would not be playing for arsenal anymore. in real world we need him as a cover

  21. Bamford13

    Sam

    “Yesterday proved that we’ll do better without giroud n bendtner
    If these 2 donkeys didn’t get injured we weren’t going to struggle against spurs.”

    As usual, you’re a little off. One, as good as Gnabry was, the primary reason we won yesterday was that our central three dominated their central two. We did whatever we wanted with the ball, and they could do very little. Their 4-4-2 was a tactical failure against our 4-3-3.

    Two, Theo was fairly effective and his pace made him a constant threat, but I didn’t see him do anything to convince me that he’s a genuine CF. A decent fill-in, perhaps, but not yet a real CF. Against a better defense, Theo’s limitations would become more obvious, I think.

    Three, Giroud may be a “donkey,” but Bendtner is not. Bendtner doesn’t fall over when he runs or dribbles, nor does he miss the ball when he swings at a volley. He finishes his volleys — or have you already forgotten the favor he did us against Cardiff? Say what you will about Bendtner, he’s at least coordinated.

  22. hackneylad

    anyone else much preferred the football we played with walcott up front and Gnarby as his right hand man?

    I loved the tempo we played, we were more predatory, Giroud for me may have hold up skills but they often slow down the attack and let the opposition defense get back to park bus.

    I am not saying wally is the answer but we do need a striker with pace to bring our attacking game to the next level.

    I also feel that cazorla lack of pace and athleticism does not matter when we have 2 other speed demons in the team it allowed Cazorla to do what Cazorla does best,

    when we have our slower team fielded e.g giroud cazorla’s lack of pace is highlighted because there is no one stretching defenses.

    I do feel that the final pass to walcott was way off though by both rosiscky and cazorla they both had opportunities to slip him through with a simplish through ball but they bollocksed it up both times.

  23. Cesc Appeal

    You would have to be very selective about who you played Walcott up top against.

    A good CB pairing and Walcott wouldn’t do much.

    Dawson has been one of the worst players in the league this year, Walcott exploited him and disappointing he couldn’t get a goal.

    I just think Arsenal fans are far too reactionary sometimes, one good game and suddenly for a lot of people Walcott has proved he can be our ST? Not at all in my book.

    Good performance, with no strikers we needed him to show up – and he did. Good on him.

    Let’s sort out or striker now, either the big time Costa buy, or a stop gap loan or cheaper buy. Then look to the summer.

  24. hackneylad

    bamford

    fair point on theo.

    I think we can understand his not a permanent cf and against certain sides he will struggle but It is very promising that he can play there when needed.

    1 Because rotation is vital and against certain teams Walcott really could do a decent job there.

    2 He would a great option in a match if we are struggling to score with giroud upfront, sub giroud off and move theo from wing to CF when the opposition players are ropey and tired. I think he would be effective there.

    3 It just gives us more versatility, bendtner is like for like replacement for Giroud (though I do also think bendtner is more gifted) But walcott offers us something else.

    His not a permanent answer fix or solution but his a small part of it which is good.

  25. Rohan

    Reckon Moyes played better football with Everton. All this United side do is get it to the byline cross the ball and hope.

    Pathetic. It’s getting to the point where I’m hoping Moyes picks up a few wins so he doesn’t get the sack this season and stays on.

  26. Leedsgunner

    Allardyce sacked yet? Shifting 5 against a Championship squad — that has to hurt… ouch! To be fair they did play three youth products… but still. For our sakes I hope Man United and Chelsea stay in the competition as long as we do. We wouldn’t want them to have a fresher squad in the title race run up… would we?

    Do we play some of our youth and fringe players against Coventry…? They should be good enough right? If the Ox is fit, I reckon it should be a game he should play at to help him get some match fitness…

  27. hackneylad

    cesc appeal

    No one is jumping to conclusions about theo. They are just reasonably saying that against certain sides he can do a job there, no one is hailing him as the next thierry messi ect or a permanat answer to are striker problem.

    People are Just simply stating that yesterday even though his finishing was not up to his usual standards he showed a side of his game that we are not accustomed to, his movement was actually fantastic and believe me I will take Roy Keane’s words over anyone else on this blog.

    He was intelligent and his interchanges with Gnarby that whole partnership just simply worked. You can pin it all on dawson but there defender chiriches is a very good player.

    Try and not be so reactionary yourself and seek to hit back at any praise for walcott. His obviously keeps on improving and his adding new aspects to his game.

    I imagine you understand the need for rotation so perhaps Theo can help out in that sense.

  28. hackneylad

    If theo is injured I hope Gnarby is played in his stead.

    I think the worse thing for Gnarby’s career would be to be benched whilst in hot form. Nothing like demotivating a player whose playing well by assigning them bench time.

  29. Leon

    I just think against Chelsea, if he was playing deep, he’d have a Ramires on him all game.

    …therefore Özil and Ramsey would have a field day!!

    We don’t need much – just some luck on the injury front. A striker would be nice but nobody springs to mind for the Jan window.

    Things are good. The obvious restrictions places upon the boss have been lifted and he has a spring in his step again. Loving this season!!

  30. WengerEagle

    Walcott’s movement yesterday was very good, him and Gnabry gave Chiriches and Dawson a battering all match. His movement for Cazorla’s goal in particular where he dragged Chiriches away from Gnabry to open up space for Gnabry to pass to Santi was wonderful to watch

  31. rusty dutch

    “Adebayor was unrecognizable…”

    Have you seen him play much before? Looked pretty standard to me. In any case, can’t blame that shower of shite on tired legs; the wanker has only played three games all season.

  32. WengerEagle

    If Theo is out for a few weeks I would play Gnabry through the middle personally. He is in red-hot form and his confidence will be through the roof after yesterday. Our next BPL 4 matches are against Villa, Fulham, Southampton and Palace so what better time all season will there be to play him? Then for the run-in in February/March Theo, Bendtner and Giroud will all be back and fresh hopefully with another new striker.

    Gnabry’s finishing is an unknown quantity at this level but he’s already shown us he has all the physical attributes needed and the technique and intelligence to suggest he’d be a real handful in CF for the coming weeks

  33. tunnygriffboy

    Necessities: Striker and big, strong, athletic FOOTBALLING defensive midfielder and a CB.

    Luxury: Draxler / Reus

    Have to be World class and will prob have to wwait until summer. However if the right player comes up then they should be bought in the window.

    Rosicky and Sagna to get new deals. If not they will need replacing as well which would be a huge outlay in the summer.

    I’ve got a feeling we’ll end up with Benzema in the summer though I’d still like a stop gap now even though Theo impressed me yesterday.

  34. Wengerites be damned!

    Indeed! Gnabry was very good. Exciting young player Arsenal has.
    I hope Bellerin gains some chances. He also seems a good prospect for the future. And if he make it to the top level ,my concern is the disgusting Barça DNA.

  35. Aissa

    I was the lady pulled in to the hug and I have to say it was the highlight of my day! Never felt so welcome. It’s hard coming to matches alone as a girl but this was my first derby at the emirates and my best match there so far so thank you! Been a gooner fan all my life, just reaffirmed we have the best team and fans! COYG

  36. Cesc Appeal

    hackneylad

    Far from reactionary, I’m basing what I’m saying on what Walcott has done since he was 16.

    He deserves praise for last night…as i said…he stepped up to the mark when we needed someone, I always, always give someone top marks for that.

    But I don’t want to see him touted as a striker…because he isn’t.

    Played well last night. Though the outstanding player for me was Gnabry and of course, Rosicky.

  37. Stuart

    Yesterday confirmed our squad from last season to be pretty good if you consider none of our new signings this year started the game. Not bad for our ‘worst team in Arsenals history’ is it?

  38. Charlie Boy

    There are no divers at Chelsea!

    Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho on Ramires’ yellow card for diving: “I maintain (there are no divers at Chelsea). Isolated episodes. The referees’ attacking it. The manager supporting the referees. I think we are doing well. Let’s see if the others do the same as us.

    Jose said it – it must be true!

  39. Musketeer

    Gambon

    Why do Arsenal need a CM again? We need a DM. Wilshere, Ramsey and Rosicky are all CM
    —————————————

    POGBA

  40. Arsene's Nurse

    Michael Owen has got to be one of the biggest fucking morons on the planet. He says that you have to be careful when making challenges like that – namely the high one that was late by Fabio which he got sent off for.

    Yeah, folks, when you make a tackle that will be red carded just be careful OK.

    I really hope he gets hit by a bus.

  41. Keyser

    He also said ‘I’m not buying Canas is hurt at all’, ‘It was a glancing blow’.

    Yeah a glancing blow studs first, straight leg into his shin.

    – Cut to the shin of Canas, two stud punctures, and a bruise across his shin.

    Owen would’ve been still rolling around.

  42. Romford Pele

    Quality yesterday though we had a lot of space to exploit which the pacy players did well. I told people for a while that Wenger wouldn’t look for a wide player because of Gnabry.

    Theo long term can’t play the lone role but for specialist games it will work. A team like Chelsea yesterday would have shut him down and locked him off. Still he played with a lot of aggression which isn’t something you normally associate with him.

    Atmosphere was quality yesterday, thought we were better performance wise in the first half against napoli but yesterday but there were some big plus’ yesterday too, namely Sagna and Rosicky who both deserve new contracts. Even if we don’t win anything this season, I’ve seen progress, and that’s all I asked for initially. I don’t demand we win, I demand we’re competitive and we’re doing that so onwards and upwards hopefully.

  43. tunnygriffboy

    Cesc Appeal

    Agree totally with your 4 and the point of keeping the older heads. You can’t buy experience and the youngsters (and sometimes we forget how young some of our boys are) will see the respect these older pros have for the game and the importance of training.

    Cesc, could you put your thoughts on paper and send them to Mr Wenger.

  44. Thank you and goodnight

    Ha ha ha. Rooney will be aavailable in this window without a shadow of doubt. Plus the grannies down south are far more attractive:) Moyes forever.

  45. Keyser

    salparadisenyc – Fuck that I’m not wasting positive vibes on them.

    We’re going to need all of us Uri Geller types later on in the season.

  46. salparadisenyc

    Keyser

    You may be right but indulgence usually gets the better of me, i’m smiling at the thought of RVP’s horizon, Rooney on the move and the good red ship up North in tatters.

  47. tunnygriffboy

    Michael Owen is a cock. Man Utd just outplayed by Swansea he rolls out Moyes a great managers and he’s crippled by injuries. He’s an apologist for Liverpool and Manure. Prick !

  48. Keyser

    People overrated Kagawa, and underestimated the make-up and efficiency of the Bayern team.

    Fergie’s just been collecting players, young and talented for years, he hasn’t really had to get them playing together seemlessly because the continuity has kept it all going.

    Now there’s no Giggs, Scholes, Ferdinand looks like his legs are going, Rooney and Van Persie aren’t really on form or are injured, there just aren’t many players left to keep it all together.

  49. tunnygriffboy

    All the pundits love Moyes. It’s a love fest. Will have to look at Republik of Mancunia later. Comedy Gold. Phone ins have fans calling for his head. Excellent. 6yrs and he could ruin that club !

  50. rollen

    hackneylad January 5, 2014 17:09:45

    anyone else much preferred the football we played with walcott up front and Gnarby as his right hand man?

    here here

    lol at MU out at home

  51. Keyser

    salparadisenyc – Heh, you could be right live for the now, I still get the feeling they’ll come back into it, and even then we need the blue half of Manchester and the blue bit of London to fall apart, plus a meteriorite to hit Liverpool.

  52. Marc

    One extra game for ManU would not make much of a difference to their season other than they might have won a replay.

    Moyes is trying to be a big manager, rotate players whilst not affecting performances or results. I watched the ManU / Spud’s game in the Tollington on Wednesday and as Moyes left the tunnel a friend turned to me and commented that he looks like a lost little boy. ManU are being linked with big money buys but I’m not sure Moyes is a manager who can attract big names. They have bigger problems trying to keep Rooney and RVP both of whom I believe will be gone in the next year or so.

  53. Thomas

    WBA goes to Old Trafford and wins

    Everton goes to Old Trafford and wins

    Newcastle goes to Old Trafford and wins

    Tottenham goes to Old Trafford and wins

    Swansea goes to Old Trafford and wins

    Arsenal goes to Old Trafford and look like a bunch of scared mice

    Hmmmm

    #wengerout

  54. Bacaryisgod

    Just looking at our first goal again and it really was a thing of beauty. Vermaelen makes an excellent challenge to get possession (and picks up his leg injury in the process). From there the other members of the back 4 combine with Rosicky (Monreal to Rosicky to Kozzer to Rosicky to Sagna) before Bacary finds a smart pass inside for Gnabry to do his magic.

    R.I.P Eusebio. If he had been on the great Brazilian teams , he would probably be seen as the greatest of all-time ahead of Pele. Unstoppable player.

  55. hackneylad

    I was on a spurs forum the other day those guys really live in cloud cukoo land.

    They spun the defeat to us as a positive saying it will inspire them to humiliate us at whl.

    They then made jokes about throwing coins at walcott.

    They always say onwards and upwards after every defeat.

    And they kept mentioning how we wont win anything for 9 years when they last won the premier league in black and white, irony is completely lost on them.

    Most deluded most chavy fans there are.

    I dont even get how they say we are shit and that north london is lilywhite, when we always finish above them and we have more fans in london let alone north. If we are shit what does that make them then.

    Its like they live in alternative dimension where they routinely beat us and come ahead of us in the league.

    I am truly baffled by there fan base. Just bizare.

    I get why Chelsea / man u fans are cunts I don’t like them but at least they have a reason.

  56. salparadisenyc

    Moyes certainly looks out of his depth at this point, do think they will stick with him until seasons end.. unless it really goes pear shaped. Interesting article on Ole Gunnar timing with the taking of the Cardiff job and not wanting to be the next to manage United post Fergie. The choice appointment would be taking over from his replacement i.e. Moyes.

    Never can write them off but their form is pretty shocking. Zero presence in midfield, hopeful balls into the box.

  57. Romford Pele

    Lol this United stuff isn’t even funny anymore, I kind of feel sorry for Moyes.

    That said, the way people have laughed at us over the last 8 years, it’s nice that it’s moved onto someone else.

  58. rollen

    R.I.P Eusebio. If he had been on the great Brazilian teams , he would probably be seen as the greatest of all-time ahead of Pele. Unstoppable player.

    he was from Portugal

  59. samsensible

    Can’t believe we lost at Old Trafford.

    So so humiliating. I hate it when the Minnows play out of their skins.

  60. samsensible

    RP if you don’t get involved early you miss out on all the fun when you join the party later; all the booze will have been drunk.

    Let’s all laugh at RvP’s “little boy inside!”

  61. zeus

    samsensible

    So true. Thats 3 points dropped. We should be 4 ahead of City now. But I guess every team could point to a game and say the same.

    The beauty about the upcoming run of big fixtures (assuming we don’t muck up the tough ‘little’ ones) is we go to Anfield, then 4 days break before United at Emirates BEFORE we get Bayern.

    They were lucky to get us at the end of a tough stretch last time. (Not sure what that means for the Bayern game though.

    United meanwhile will only have 3 days rest after Fulham.

  62. Marc

    hackneylad – In about 30 – 40 years the Spud’s will erect a statue commemorating the death of the last fan to have seen them win the league and yes it will be outside shite hart lane.

    Governments build projects quicker than they do!

  63. zeus

    rollenJanuary 5, 2014 19:00:44

    R.I.P Eusebio. If he had been on the great Brazilian teams , he would probably be seen as the greatest of all-time ahead of Pele. Unstoppable player.he was from Portugal

    ******

    HOW VERY DARE YOU????
    We know where he is from. hehe

  64. KJAFC

    Evening all.

    It was my birthday yesterday! What a present that was.

    I Thought the tactics were spot on and great to see Santi back to the standard we expect. Thomas was my MOTM, whatever that bloke is taking is certainly working, immense energy and always on the front foot. What a quality goal that was too, if Rooney had scored it you would not hear the last of it. Pure class the way he looked after Gnabry too and what a great performance from the youngster. Jack was targeted but again thought he stuck with it well. Not sure what opposition players have to do to get bookings for fouls, a definite pattern.

    It doesn’t get much of a mention but the team spirit within the club is impressive, that was shown by Thomas’s gesture to Gnabry. It counts for a lot, the last thing you need is an ego to land and cause friction. I think this is a big reason for our consistency and ability to respond after a loss.

    And Theo topped it off at the end when he mugged off the Spuds with his smile and mobile scoreboard. Brilliant.

  65. Charlie Boy

    @Thomas

    Arsenal are top of the league!

    What a pathetic point to make about the manager, when it was the players caught in the old trafford headlights, not the manager.

    As I recall, we had key individuals suffering from the flu too, which can’t have helped!

    Maybe you’re super human, but when I have the flu, I usually end up in bed with me missus supplying copious amounts of Lemsip.

  66. Bacaryisgod

    Rollen

    I know he was from Portugal. I was saying IF he had been on the great Brazil teams he would be seen as probably the greatest of all time. He was that good. Unfortunately, he played with a fairly weak Portugal side and still nearly took them to the final.

  67. Rich

    Pedro we’re doing well not because Arsene is taking your Le grove tips, but because we’ve had continuity, a mature settled back line, experience in the team, and some of the youngsters who were deemed shit by the twats on le grove website are maturing into top class players

  68. Nasri's Mouth

    RP: Lol this United stuff isn’t even funny anymore, I kind of feel sorry for Moyes.

    The chance to manage arguably the worlds biggest team and get paid millions for it?

    No sorrow here.

  69. Gunnershabz

    I was having a typical Man U banter oh it’s brilliant with these Man U fans, one of them said arsenal not a threat to the title

    I just said we top it’s ours to lose if we win all our games we won the title, but these lot still think they rival us for top 4

  70. Bacaryisgod

    Zeus

    Fair point. If there was a Mount Rushmore for Football, I would have Maradona, Eusebio, Pele and Beckenbauer on it. I would probably cheat and sneak Cruyff on there too and leave a little room for Messi. There’s plenty who would argue for Di Stefano, Puskas, Best etc.

  71. Nasri's Mouth

    I never understand why people get pissed off with Michael Owen on TV.

    …I’ve yet to find a TV without a mute button

  72. Romford Pele

    NM: True but I kind of feel like he was dealt a bad hand by Fergie. The problems they’re facing now have been building for years. Be interesting to see what will happen it they don’t get top 4.

  73. TT

    rollenJanuary 5, 2014 19:00:44

    R.I.P Eusebio. If he had been on the great Brazilian teams , he would probably be seen as the greatest of all-time ahead of Pele. Unstoppable player.he was from Portugal

    He was not from Portugal. He was from Mozamique….

  74. Gunnershabz

    Jackson Martinez has basically said to arsenal come and get me I want to join the arsenal

    Wenger make if happen

  75. Nasri's Mouth

    @RP

    Fergie was definitely playing for the short term in the last couple of years, (not sure you can blame him that much though) but Moyes went in with his eyes open, he knew what players he was getting. Moyes let his contract run down, so he must have had a clue what was going to happen, should have planned more for the summer

  76. Gunnershabz

    Rvp sold his soul to the Red Devils just for one title and now he must be watching arsenal and regretting it

  77. KJAFC

    RP
    I think it is about time Man Utd copped some stick. Jesus, we have been getting it since as long as I can remember, everyone piles into us.

    I always got slated on here for my views on their ‘advantage’ but I believe I have been proved right. Under Fergie they seemed to get every 50/50 decision going. Now they don’t even seem to be getting the 60/40 ones, look at their Spurs game. That Lloris tackle on Young was terrible and there were a couple of others too. Now they are even having players booked and sent off at OT, that rarely happened under Fergie. Things are definitely changing in that respect, no doubt about it in my mind. Is it really a coincidence?

  78. Gunnershabz

    Man U deserve all the bullshit I am enjoying especially all these glory fans supporting them because they were winning

  79. MarbleHall

    Last seasons corresponding fixtures Arsenal picked up 2 points from a possible 12 against Everton, Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea.
    This season Arsenal have picked up 2 points from a possible 12.

  80. sam

    MarbleHall aka Dialdick with his stupid statistics.

    We don’t have to beat everyone to win the league
    We only have to pick up more points than other teams.
    Not beating everton, man utd or all other twats will mean nothing

  81. WengerEagle

    Marble Hall

    You have selected literally 4 of the only 5 matches in the BPL we have dropped points in since Villa you cabbage. What about the other 14 BPL matches? How do they ‘correspond’ with last season?

  82. Sirchips

    Just reading that Wenger has signed a new 2 year deal and after that he will move up to the David Dein Role at the club.
    This will leave a certain Jurgen Klopp free to step in after his Dortmund days are up. At the last home game with Dortmund, Klopp was watching seen with Arsene after the game enjoying the clubs hospitality.

    Imagine that in 2 years, salivating already.

  83. WengerEagle

    If we win our next 4 BPL matches (Villa, Fulham, Southampton, Palace) which are all very winnable, our F.A Cup 4th round tie vs Coventry which is home and buy a new striker we will be very well set up for the Feb/March run in which will make or break our season. We’d be top of the league after 24 BPL matches and in the 5th round of the F.A Cup not to mention the UCL last 16

  84. Marko

    Is Jackson Martinez worth 30million? I dunno about most of the prices these days but he is a top tier striker for sure. His record since stepping up to european football is great.

  85. WengerEagle

    Marble Hall

    Fair enough you’re right with those stats but you have to remember 7 of those 10 wins from last season came from 2013 onwards where we matched United’s points output of 40 until the end of the season. We were already long out of any title race by then and simply had nothing to play for. This season we have had to win matches under pressure as we’ve been top most of the time

  86. TELARSE

    Gunnershabz January 5, 2014 19:31:22

    Rvp sold his soul to the Red Devils just for one title and now he must be watching arsenal and regretting it

    —————————————————————————————————–

    RVP experienced a few false dawns at Arsenal,
    He left to win – he won.
    He has no reason to regret leaving just yet.

  87. WengerEagle

    Here’s a more important stat: By 31st December 2012 we were 16 points off United with 33 points and this year on 31st December we were on top of the BPL with 42 points