Wenger fitness roulette admission | Aston Villa preview | Giroud: Total geezer!

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Welcome to Monday. How was your weekend? Did you do anything disgraceful? You know, like, something you shouldn’t have done in a neighbours plant pot?

I didn’t.

Just wondered about you.

What did I do? Well, I bought a laptop, so I can now respond to e-mails (so sorry if you’ve e-mailed lately and I haven’t responded) and write blogs that aren’t on typed out on a phone. It’s liberating, like defacating in a noisy neighbours plant pot.

So what’s new today? Well, we have a Monday night game. Feels like the first of the season? It’s away at Villa. We’ve had a nice few days worth of rest, which should make for solid performance lacking in jaded legs. I’d take today to hand out further respite. I think Monreal has been excellent of late, he should continue ahead of Gibbs (if he’s fit). I’d like to see Gnabry given a game… he could cause havoc against Villa and their quite dodgy backline. It’d be good to see Ozil back in the side and it’d be nice to see Per get a rest if TV is available.

Speaking of rest,Wenger gave some insight (Guardian) into the way he thinks about the hot topic, which accurately follows the narrative I’ve explained to you for years (and heavily in the last 6 months). Firstly, he let us know what a total double hard geezer Giroud is…

‘He played the whole game at Newcastle with an open ankle and without complaining. And when I took him off, he didn’t want to come off. He needed five stitches.’

Now, whilst we might all coo at the courageousness of such behaviour, because it totally flies in the face of ‘foreign players don’t like it up em’… we have to remember, attitudes like the above need to be managed sternly. Giroud wants to play every game, and he’ll say he’s fine because of that, but the simple facts are that he can’t. You don’t want to demotivate the hunger, you just need to make sure it’s charged sufficiently…

This is why the next sentence, which shouldn’t be surprising to regular readers, is a massive worry….

‘I was always there thinking: ‘I have to rest him.’ Then on Friday night, I always changed my mind. He’s a tough boy. Even when the medical people say he should rest, he says: ‘I’m all right’. He’s always ready for a fight even when he’s tired.’

Wenger said a similar thing in the aftermath of the Pires injury and said not resting him was one of his biggest regrets. The above issue is the whole reason we pay for GPS kit. A player can’t lie about his physical state, because you can map performance against their usual baseline. You can make an educated, data backed decision. Simply playing him reeks of amateur fitness management. Wenger giving himself a round of applause because Giroud had an enforced rest doesn’t sit well with me… because he’s not been the only player in need of such a break. Wenger has a history of running players into the ground which directly impacts our ability to compete.

Anyway, Wenger hit Giroud up with more praise…

“He has qualities that the rest of the squad has not got. He always gives us that strength. We have small players who combine quickly, so to find someone who can hold it, keep the ball, make some room for other players, he does that very well. He gives us a very good balance.”

Is the above an indication of what he’s looking for in a striker? Will he go for a better version of Giroud, or opt for something different? Costa is cut from the same workrate cloth as Olivier, but he has incredible finishing. Martinez is very similar in style, but he is loaded with more pace because he’s far lighter on his feet weighing 18kg less than the Frenchman.

One league I’m surprised we rarely look to is the Italian one. I watched Milan vs Sassulo last night. Fascinating because Milan are terrible at the moment. Allegri, the Milan coach handed his notice in… fatal mistake. The players don’t look interested at all. A few things I liked. Firstly, Milan, sitting in 11th are in a United situation.

Their star man is the 18 year old Christante and lunatic Mario. The striker looks good in parts, he also scored… my god what I’d do for a sane Mario. Big, technically outrageous, fast and explosive. On the other side, it was the Berardi show. 19 years old, scoring 4 against Milan for a weak side. What a talent! Such a shame Juve co own him. He didn’t start playing organised football until he was 16!

Anyway, the Italian market feels untapped to me…

Back to Arsenal…

Tonight is a game I personally think we have won before we kick off. Villa won’t be expecting to tank us, they’ve been awful. That doesn’t mean we should be complacent, it just means Wenger can afford to rotate strongly.

The three points are imperative. Everyone picked up maximum points this weekend, so we have to keep up the momentum. I have no doubt the boys, whomever they are, will be totally focused. It’d be nice to get through a game without an injury disaster. It feels like the bad news hasn’t stopped over the past month.

The next 5 games are hugely important to our season. Why? Because we’re playing ‘3 point musts’. We’ve been excellent at winning the games we’re expected to win this season. Really, we need to take 12 points from 12. We have Villa, Fulham, Southampton then Palace. Wedged in there is an easy game against Coventry in the FA Cup. If we max out in these games, we’ll head into the nightmare run full of beans and hopefully loaded with points… possibly even a little gap at the top. Hopefully the top three will have pulled away. We really don’t want to be stuck in a top 4 battle this year.

First we take on Liverpool (6 pointer), United (hopefully a sh*te United), Bayern, Sunderland then Stoke. There might also be further FA Cup games. My big worry is Liverpool. If they’re still around the top of the league around that time, they’ll have that extra rest the main challengers don’t have. Say it quietly, but they could be genuine contenders as well.

It’s such an exciting season…

Now, my good friend Tom @DownInAutumn (music here) has penned a piece for you about Villa. Enjoy. Always a great read.

I wonder are there any Gooners out there who are worried about not winning this game? Those fans that are thinking back to Aston Villa’s glorious triumph at the Emirates on Opening Day and worrying that this Villa side pose an actual threat to their title-gunning squad? Well let me just reassure those fans, that they need not worry. This Villa team are currently 100% relegation fodder, and what’s worse, they don’t even have the decency to realise it yet and actually start fighting to win games.

Our absolutely scandalous home form (11 wins out of 48 home games since 2011) has been regularly documented and lambasted, almost as often as visiting teams swan into Villa Park expecting a game, only to comfortably trot about for a bit, marvelling at our basic ineptitude, before bagging a couple of goals in front of an exasperated Holte End, collecting 3 points and being on their merry way.

At home games, when Villa would be expected to take some possession and dictate the play, they look completely lost. Shorn of the opportunity to counter attack, the team look as bereft of ideas as a dog sitting at a slot machine. There’s more creativity in a rolled ball of snot than there is in our midfield, our defence has become completely reliant on Ron Vlaar for even a semblance of competence (what does that tell you?), and our attack, last year so formidable with the free-scoring Benteke, finds itself severely stunted due to his regression into a mixture of Emile Heskey and a terrified rabbit.

Oh but there is Brad Guzan though, he’s pretty good.

Villa need to bring some proven winning experience into the team, but Lambert is more likely to trawl the French 2nd division for a gangly teenager with more more experience of beating acne than opposition football teams. Unless Wenger gets there first of course…

This time last year, Villa took an absolute drubbing throughout the Christmas period, (15-0 over 3 games), before following that up with a League Cup defeat to Bradford (how shit do you have to be??). The team did eventually show some grit and ended the season displaying evidence of the free-scoring exciting potential that this team is capable of, so as a fan, I’m clinging to a faint hope that this could possibly happen again. Soon.

However without any January reinforcements to date, and with genuine Top 6 contenders coming to town, I can’t see that revival beginning just yet.

But then, I thought we’d get spaffed on opening day at the Emirates, so what do I know?

868 Responses to “Wenger fitness roulette admission | Aston Villa preview | Giroud: Total geezer!”

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  1. andy1886

    Nabby, no, not the way you describe it, but I have heard Wenger state on numerous occasions that we have conserved energy after geting into a good position, so what I do believe is that AW doesn’t believe in doing any more than he believes is absolutely necessary to win a game. Other teams keep up the pace and smash teams in similar circumstances. So I believe that it may not be a conscious game plan but sometimes the lack of killer instinct (which starts at the top) can cause us a problem.

    If you haven’t seen us often sit back after taking a supposedly comfortable lead I would suggest that you haven’t seen very many games.

  2. Colonel Mustard

    say what you want abut Giroud, a lone fuckin furrow our french drama queen is left to plough. Carzola and Ozil fuck sake that was awful. zero effort… poor shoddy and as bad as each other.

  3. Al

    Also thought Wilshere and Flamini were excellent. …really got stuck in and left the boot in to show that we would not be bullied in the middle of the park. The really flew into some 50/50s to win the ball.

    The back 4….Marvollous once again. I think we have got a real captain in BFG for the first time since PV4 and Big Sol.

  4. Carts

    Fuck me you lot are a moany bunch.

    If I never watched or knew the score, I’d bet my house we were beaten.

    We werent as fluid and as most of us would’ve like; I was convinced we’d score 4 after going 2 up.

    I agree with what someone said regarding Ozil and Cazorla: worryingly they don’t seem to click. On paper, it should transpire into football porn. Far from it, lately.

    We need a forward.

  5. Revving Kevin

    Dear Rollen
    You are a funny guy. You think it’s not embarrassing moaning when the team wins and we go top of the league?

    That’s like pulling a pig ugly bird and taking her home to meet your mates. It doesn’t get much worse my friend.

    We are top of the league. Be proud.

  6. Arsene's Nurse

    Savage January 13, 2014 22:38:26

    @AN: “We go two up, but instead of capitalising and killing the game by either controlling it or scoring a third, we switch off instead.”

    We didn’t switch off. We won the game. Go and check the score again, it was 2-1 to us.
    Yes, we did switch off. Compare the performances in the first and second half.

    The second half was very scrappy, there wasn’t a lot of decent play from either team. When a game goes like that then there is always going to be an odd goal. That goal came from a simple lack of judgement from Cazorla; instead of playing a simple back pass under a bit of pressure he turned and got dispossessed which meant that the back four were caught out.

    Our whole play in the 2nd half was nowhere near as crisp and incisive as the first. We thought we’d done enough and didn’t expect Villa to get one.

    Just because we won 1-2 doesn’t mean that our performance can’t be criticised. If we want to win the league then we have to understand that a similar 2nd half performance against other teams will see us drawing or losing even if 2-0 up.

    I’m glad we won, we wouldn’t have won a game like that last year, we’re back on top, but that shouldn’t detract from firm analysis.

  7. Al

    Nasri Mouth,

    Ozil seems to rise to the occasion and step up when the chips are down and it seems like things are turning against us.

    The guy is class personified

  8. marcus


    The new banners on iPad is a BIG no no!

    Extremely intrusive as they are placed right were you are supposed to scroll.

    Plz remove dat thing!

  9. Ines

    I have just heard unbelievable story that we are the team that outplays Chelsea for Matic’s signature.
    I don’t believe it myself but it is supposed to be in papers tomorrow.
    Sorry, couldn’t resist to share.

  10. Revving Kevin

    See the FIFA world XI:
    Dani alves
    Thiago Silva

    Bit predictable, despite Bayern and Doetmund teaching CL Final, only Ribery, Lahm and Neuer get a place.

  11. Nasri's Mouth


    I have to say this again,

    Grant Holt signing for Villa ?

    What the fuck?

    Does that mean Benteke is off?

  12. El Tel

    Ozil was quality. Jack running into players and giving the ball away too often. He played well in an English football sense but He also putmus on the back foot a lot.

    Anyone saying Santi doesn’t try must have watched something different to me. He is a little terrier. Flamini was great in the Makalele postion and he drove the team on.

    BfG and Kosser are the real deal. Giroud needs a winger to make him more efficient instead of full backs who cant cross very well.

  13. Carts

    I’m almost certain that Podolski will be included in any deal that materialises for Draxler.

    It more than evident that Wenger isn’t feeling him anymore. I’m convinced Podolski’s best position is directly behind the front man. Playing wide left doesn’t do anything for him.

    Draxler is his replacement.

  14. marcus


    Yes they suck.

    IMO, Set up some sort of donation scheme instead and I’ll happily hand over a few of my hard earned pounds.

  15. Thank you and goodnight

    @El Tel

    If running around and having no real end product at the end of it, then yes, Cazorla’s a terrier. Yes jack wasn’t exactly messi tonight, but he did have one of his better games.
    As for Giroud, a couple of decent early crosses from Sagna and the guy fluffed his lines. He really isn’t the answer I’m sorry, he’s just not prolific enough. Good squad player but that’s it. Agree with you about Mert and Kos though, they are brilliant together.

  16. Radio Raheem

    Two things

    1. I blame ‘athleticism’ or lack of for our poor displays and for making us league leaders.

    2. Not sure if the long breaks help our sharpness, we didn’t look that sharp against the chavs as well.

  17. El Tel


    I fancy Podolski might have got ten minutes if TR7 had not got that forearm smash from that shit cunt the whore.

    You are right that he doesnt give him a start though Mate.

    To be fair Poldi has not been the big player many of us expected.

    Like Arshavin before he is still one of my favourites. Him and Eduardo the best finishers we have had in recent years

  18. Revving Kevin

    El tel
    Talk is about Draxler signing this January. Seems odd tat Pids not been getting g a look in, some suggest he is part if the deal. Don’t know if true but plenty if rumours (or press guessing).

  19. Leedsgunner

    If Grant Holt is being brought as a replacement for Benteke I wonder where he’s going… he’s nowhere his best but there were glimpses of a good player there. Took his cance well for the goal at the end… bearing in mind he is eligible for Champions’ League – a case of a TLC — would you take him?

  20. El Tel


    See yor comment about Giroud being not good enough asnthe reason why Cazorla and Ozil are not assisiting enough.

    Ozil keeps the ball brilliantly and he does more running than his languid style suggests.

    Are you saying you would not have Ozil in the team because he cant create magic every game?

    Agree about the headed miss from Giroud from Sagna’s one decent cross. Apart from this the service was poor.

    Monreal was cutting back too and not really puttin crosses in.

    If Giroud played for Villa tonight He would have been on the end of some of those crosses the over rated Benteke couldnt be arsed to get on.

    Benteke came alive for about 15 minutes of the match and that free header he had in the middle of our six yard area was piss poor.

    Giroud would have been slaughtered if he had missed a chance like that yet many want Benteke at the Arsenal.

  21. Revving Kevin

    Dear TYAG
    Oh dear, now it’s Izils turn. Look Ozils pass to Monreal created the first goal. I think his languid style confuses people who don’t understand the game and they think he’s lazy. He takes up clever positions and always gives his team mates options. He is a clever player and top quality. If you get to go to a game, you can appreciate this more than on TV, just saying.

  22. BacaryisGod

    Banana skin avoided. Having said that, those experienced Internationals like Cazorla and Ozil can be so frustrating….

  23. Sam

    Why can’t park chu young starts against fulham
    If he’s so shit like wenger made us believe we sub him in the second half

    Unlike giroud he can use both feet

  24. Nasri's Mouth


    I actually don’t think Benteke is off, but signing Grant Holt is just stupid.

    He’s got 2 goals this season in the championship. He’s 32. He was never exactly fit when he was yonger. Yesterday someone said we should have signed Defoe, and I called it stupid. This is worse. I just don’t get it.

  25. El Tel

    Rev Kev

    Ozil appears all over the pitch left to right. He works hard but he doesnt look frantic like Jack and Flamini.

    As you said a clever player who rarely gives the ball away.

    What I also like about him is how good he is when the pace is picked up. Some of those one two’s were super to watch.

    I think we need to build the team around this fella like Wenger did with Dennis all those years ago.

  26. Nabby

    Nabby, no, not the way you describe it, but I have heard Wenger state on numerous occasions that we have conserved energy after geting into a good position, so what I do believe is that AW doesn’t believe in doing any more than he believes is absolutely necessary to win a game. Other teams keep up the pace and smash teams in similar circumstances. So I believe that it may not be a conscious game plan but sometimes the lack of killer instinct (which starts at the top) can cause us a problem.

    If you haven’t seen us often sit back after taking a supposedly comfortable lead I would suggest that you haven’t seen very many games.

    But I’ve also seen us close out games enough times to see that we do usually have a plan.
    Having a plan, however, doesn’t necessarily mean the opposition allow you to implement it.
    As for us sitting back after taking a comfortable lead, I’m sure that pretty much most teams in the league do this in their games. Maybe not all of their games but they still do it.
    Either way, we won, we’re top, I’m chuffed.

  27. El Tel

    Would you rather Santi and Ozil try running through 3-4 players only to fall over after losing possession and be on the floor when the opposition break away?

    I love Jack Willshere and it is hard to pick on him tonight but watch it back and see how often he does this.

    In the Song and Dennilson days we would have got punished but Arteta and Flamini watch his back.

    Santi is tiny yet mixes it with all the giants. He has a great first touch and beats people with skill. He also passes and shoots well too. Unfortunately he is not as sharp as he played last season. Still a great little player.

  28. Revving Kevin

    El tel
    The weight of pass from Ozil is always on the money and that’s class. That was a great ball to Monreal, he didn’t have to check his stride before passing it to Wilshire.

    We have 8 away wins already in PL this season, managed 10 whole of last season. When we won league in 2004 managed 11. Git Ramsey to come back and talk if Draxler too. We are in this.

  29. Cesc Appeal

    Maybe then them getting Holtby, and Podolski plus £25 Million for Draxler.

    Two players and £25 Million…possibly.

    Thought Wenger would use Podolski over Oxlade tonight. Tentative 2-1, throw on a guy who’s been out for 5 months?

    Something’s going on.

  30. Bero

    Draxler for poldi plus cash is doable maybe as poldi has a much bigger name for himself in Germany than in England.

    Would be a good deal for arsenal too. Might be something in it! That plus le boss, bfg and Sagna deals would maybe kick start a new run of decent for like at the start of the season post Ozil signing.

    Still want to see a CF come in but the options are pretty limited this month aswe all know.

  31. El Tel

    My last comment.

    Some people still dooming even when we win.

    If the Mancscum had played like us tonight, the whole world would be calling it a title winning performance.

    The Arsenal just can’t win in some peoples minds.

    I am so happy we are still top of a League which is very hard due to the fact the Mancscum are not getting the leg up the FA have been giving to them for 20 years.

  32. Leedsgunner

    I know Giroud scored tonight and fair dues – but I don’t think he won anymore fans tonight. Sagna was giving him good service firing them into box – he should have converted one of those chances in my opinion.

  33. El Tel

    Rev Kev

    Spot on Mate re Ozil and our performances away from home.

    There must be a decent forward we could snatch from someone. Anyone think Berbatov could do a job short term?

    I would rather him than the limited Benteke any day. Brute strength should never be better than pure skill.

  34. BacaryisGod


    Cazorla: Concedes possession too frequently. On occasion defensively suspect.
    Ozil: Seems reluctant to take players on and drive into the box. Doesn’t like too shoot. Very Hlebish in that regard, although I love Ozil just like Hleb as an overall asset to the team. Doesn’t mean he isn’t frustrating though.

  35. Leedsgunner

    I like Podolski but if he had to go bring in a WC player fair enough. What about £18m plus Podolski for Reus? I would love to see him here.

  36. El Tel


    I only remember the early glancing header which Giroud should have buried. Can’t remember Sagna putting any other chances on the money.

    Either over hit or hitting the front defender is the norm for Sagna. There was an opportunity where Giroud was pulled down and could have easily be a penalty.

  37. Nasri's Mouth


    Giroud was only the target for 2 or 3 though. I thought he did better than Benteke to be honest.

  38. Cesc Appeal


    There were two early on int he first half he should have done better with…first one he headed wide he should’ve done a lot better.

    But, he did take his goal nicely…he’s lack of pace still seriously hurts us.

    Gnabry did what I was worried he’d do, he did an Oxlade 2012/13 season, left his aggression and mercurial streak at home…didn’t take people on.

    There was a point at the start of the second half where he did two Villa players in one run after receiving a bad pass…thought that might kick start him, but no.

    Still, Fulham at home, he should get another run out from the start. Him and Oxlade on either side of Ozil.

    If Ramsey was touch and go to include tonight but fit for Saturday I’d start him as well with Flamini. Wilshere for me just makes me nervous, feel as if the side doesn’t keep the ball as well…gets shrugged off the ball and always, always, always falls over. Needs to sort that.

    Giroud has a good chance to get some goals this weekend, if he can’t score at home against Fulham who conceded 4 against Sunderland at home, then he needs to look at himself.

  39. salparadisenyc

    Something’s certianly not right with Wenger and Poldi, SS post quite telling.
    Poldi wants in, personally i’d like to see more of him he’s one of the few finishers we have.

  40. El Tel


    Cazorla is played out of his favoured position and covers the full back, something Arshavin didn’t manage well.

    Ozil probably would shoot more often if there was not at least five players in front of him. Hleb was a great player for us too.

    I saw Ozil making a decent run a couple of times tonight with the pass heading the opposite way. He will start to score soon enough.

    Be honest. Do you see ten man defences against Shitty the Chavs or Pool?

    I don’t, even the Chavs shut up shop at our place. Thats frustrating.

    Why do almost every team we play pack their defence and just wait for the counter.

    I know it was a weakness of ours a coup,e of years back but this has been sorted out now.

    Smithy said this in his commentary. We are not so gung ho anymore. Even at 0-2 Villa kept it tight.

    It was only us switching off and not having a counter attack option that helped them. If Theo was fit we would have had the pace to counter their more open approach to the second half

  41. Owen

    The guy who said the first goal was as a result of Giroud’s ‘great feint’ just gave me a really good laugh. I think I woke the neighbours. Giroud clearly mistimed his run and lost the pass, it was not a feint.

    I mean I get the whole deal about hyping our players but do we have to be delusional too?

  42. El Tel

    Nasri, Cesc and Sal.

    Well said.

    Giroud played against three CB’s Benteke had that tosspot the whore runnign off him and all he really did was knock the ball on. Henhad two chances. The free header which Sagna didn’t pick up on the back post and BFG let Him go and the easy header which went straight into Chessers arms mid goal.

    He is a lump. Giroud puts in far more effort and it makes up for his weaknesses.

  43. Revving Kevin

    Dear Bermy Noy
    “Far be it for me to care what commentators say,but how can we lead the league for a bit this season and still aren’t even 2nd choice favorites to win?”

    Because Man City and Chelsea have built huge squads courtesy of an oil man. It’s common sense. The fact we are where we are is very impressive as most people said we had no chance if finishing even 4th. Proof fans and media know fuck all and don’t know best 😉

  44. Nasri's Mouth

    Bit early to say what’s up with Podolski and Wenger.

    Rosicky was definitely the right sub, and to be honest, Podolski is there to get you goals, AOC gives you more energy, but we had the lead so I can understand why Wenger put him on.

    Having said that if he doesn’t get on the pitch on saturday then something is probably up

  45. Emiratesstroller

    The left side of our midfield is at moment rather weak. I think that Cazorla has not had a great season and Podolski is not a 90 minute player.

    My other concern is the defensive qualities of Cazorla,Ozil and Wilshire when they play together. When Aston Villa raised tempo ins second half as incidentally they did also in first game of season we struggled in midfield

  46. WengerEagle

    Fantastic result, performance was mediocre but we showed composure in those last 15 minutes after we conceded and ground out the win. I am over the moon we are top of the league and our next 3 BPL matches are very winnable

  47. Dale Rios

    Though Gnabry played within himself, tried to not make a mistake rather than impacting the game.

    One thing that really frustrates though but i also kind of like it is that he feels the need to drop back into Sagna’s RB position whenever he crosses the half line, I’m all for covering your full back but he overdoes it imo.

    Still he’s young maybe when his position in the team is more secure he’ll be braver.

  48. Dream10

    El Tel

    Smithy is correct. We are not gung ho. We are more of a unit and that is why we are top.

    – We have limitations and AW has noticed this
    – We don’t have the players to dominate offensively and keep clean sheets at the same time

    This Arsenal team almost always needs to score first. We don’t have the firepower of years past to chase a game. But we are much more of a unit. Our work ethic is probably our best quality.

  49. Cesc Appeal


    Rosicky was the right sub, we weren’t keeping the ball well enough and he was exactly what we needed.

    But the fact that Wenger chose a guy who’d been out for 5 months instead of Podolski is weird. I hear what you’re saying about Oxlade’s traits, but it was a risky one to throw him on for just coming back from a serious injury. Villa were gunning for us.

    I think he should take Cazorla’s place this weekend. And either Gnabry or Podolski the other side. Cazorla has been woeful lately for me on the whole, gives the ball away far too much.

  50. Revving Kevin

    Dear Leedsgunner
    Problem is that some of you have made Giroud a hate figure. This results in you only looking at negatives and using every opportunity to slag him off. He isn’t the worlds greatest finisher but he plays an important role in the team at he moment. He is no poser, doesn’t cry off with a bruise like RVP, fights for the team playing a tough lone role and he deserves to be treated better. The childish bullying is unfair but I guess that’s modern times.I support all my players even when they disappoint me.

  51. Carts

    Ozil and his Hleb-like-style. Well said.

    I’m certain that left peg of his can do more than assist people.

    He has a galloping style of run, with insane close control. I wonder if Wenger/ Bould actually ever encourage Ozil to put the burners on , drive forwars and fucking shoot!

    Cazorla is getting way to much stick. Not his greatest performance; but, IMHO, the most gifted in our squad.

  52. El Tel


    I wouldnt say we struggled. I reckon we just switched off.

    We started to get morenon the ball again near the end.

    I do agree with your comment about the midfield.

    Santi has been below his best for a long spell ( still a good player) and Jack needs to stop the falling over and trying to run through too many players.

    Ozil needs to get better support up top.

    It will only get better though and we will become the team they talk about again very soon.

    Lets see Citeh play against a real physical team with ten sitting back.

    I am not doing Citeh down but they are getting everything going there way and teams are not kicking them about like they do us.

    There was two elbows to the head against us tonight. Both were unpunished.

  53. El Tel

    Great comments.

    Cesc. Wenger had to put The Ox on as TR 7 was smashed on the nose by that shit cunt the whore.

    We were under pressure and the Ox is more a midfielder like for like replacement.

    Poldi coming on could have cost us the game.

    If Tommo had stayed on then maybe Poldi for Cazorla or Giroud might have happened.

  54. Dream10

    Cesc Appeal

    I think Cazorla has too much defense responsibility. He had to help Jack. Despite Wilshere being involved in two goals, I feel we sacrifice a lot when he starts. For me, he is a not a top class CM and he is not a playmaker. I too don’t feel assured when he plays. The inferior opposition made him look better.

    Longterm, I am not convinced. I think he will get chances because of who he is rather than what he does on a consistent basis

  55. WengerEagle

    ‘This Arsenal team almost always needs to score first’

    You’re dead right, we’ve scored the first goal in 16 of our 21 BPL matches so far and in 4 of the 5 matches we haven’t scored first we have dropped points (Man U, Man City, Chelsea, West Brom). West Ham are the only team we have beaten this season when we have gone a goal behind. In the UCL as well in the two matches we didn’t score first we lost(Dortmund at home, Napoli away).

  56. Revving Kevin

    El Tel
    Martin Tyler’s always been the same, we were laughing at him in the boozer tonight. I remember when Andy Townsend shouted ‘get in’ when we conceded during a game last season. Always been the same mate. Problem nowadays is we get our own fans doing it too, so we get it from everywhere.

    Good night.

  57. Sam

    Played shit, avoided banana skin n got 3 points
    And still top of the table

    Btw, you are being ridiculous assuming podolski is benched on purpose. He’s just back from 5 months hamstring injury,all our January games are winnable there is no need to risk him.

  58. WengerEagle

    ‘ I remember when Andy Townsend shouted ‘get in’ when we conceded during a game last season.’

    Haha I remember this it wasn’t when we conceded mate, it was Marseille at home in the UCL when we won 2-0. Thauvin was lining up a shot and it looked to be going in when the cunt screamed ‘get in’ only for Szeszny to pull off a top drawer save making Townsend look the cunt he truly is. Did I mention he’s a cunt?

  59. Sam

    Podolski + 25M for draxler sounds really stupid
    Draxler has poor goal ratio compared to podolski
    We just lost Theo n will sacrifice another scorer for someone with no experience outside Germany
    This is the premiership n hotby is going back

  60. Arsene's Nurse

    Ozil will do as much for the team on the training field and around the camp as he does on the pitch by simply being there.

    This guy is world class, he cost 40m plus and he’s ours.

    The way he plays (at the moment) is very ‘low key’. If you have complaint, then watch him each match. Focus on him and see what he does on and off the ball.

    As he gets to grip with the team, the PL and any forward additions then I’m sure we’ll see him produce those exceptional performances.

  61. Cesc Appeal


    But that’s not the issue. Oxlade’s performance isn’t the issue, it was why Podolski seems to be getting the elbow, Wenger has given him the cold shoulder for quite a while now. Even going back to last season.

    If that’s the case then perhaps he should be used in a deal for Draxler – or someone else as a makeweight. Clear Wenger likes Draxler, and the player has made noises about coming here.

    He’s got a buy out of close to £40 Million, so Podolski and £25 Million might be enough to make them think, or thereabouts. If Podolski isn’t going to be used, we might as well upgrade.

    Draxler is more accustomed to that LM position that Cazorla is really struggling with. Has more physically about him as well, over six foot, strong, quick, good on the ball, and he’s just as good with both feet as Cazorla.

    Really disappointed in Cazorla this season. The idea of him and Ozil was mouth watering, but it seems Ozil has come in at the expense of Cazorla now. Cazorla’s level right now, he’s a bench player. Causes us so many problems by losing the ball.

    Goes for Wilshere as well though his overall game has been better. We don’t look nearly as solid with him at CM.

  62. jasongms

    “I’m almost certain that Podolski will be included in any deal that materialises for Draxler.It more than evident that Wenger isn’t feeling him anymore. I’m convinced Podolski’s best position is directly behind the front man. Playing wide left doesn’t do anything for him.Draxler is his replacement.”

    I’ve been saying this for a while now ( not that that makes a difference) :/

  63. Dark Hei

    Ozil – I like Ozil, Even though he isn’t a dynamo of movement like Rosicky or Carzola, he is very measured in everything he does. In every win, he usually has a key pass that leads to a goal.

    Carzola – I think he thrives on responsibility as the play making centre. Prefers to have runners ahead of him rather than applying himself in a more direct fashion which is why he is suffering.

    Wilshire – Many have commented that he isn’t so solid defensively in the middle, and I agree too. I think eventually his best starting position is up top but his defensive positioning needs to improve (see Rosicky’s pressing). And yeah he needs to stop dribbling through a mass of bodies.

    Podolski – He is best applied when paired with another striker in a 4-4-1-1 or 4-4-2. In our formation he is best on the left as an inside forward. He does has a terrific shot, a cool finish and a wonderful cross. But that enormous turning radius, limited ability with the ball at his feet, relative lack of pace and relative lack of body size means that his only source for finding chances to apply himself is by passing and moving.

  64. Emiratesstroller

    My major concern with Arsenal remains the same as expressed previously. We continue to struggle in midfield with physical teams who play high tempo football.

    It is no coincidence that our three defeats in EPL were against teams who played in this way and if you watched Lambert who was instructing his players throughout second half to do just that.

    I am surprised also about comments about playing Podolski in this game. Frankly that would have been a mistake, because rather like Cazorla he is rather weak in the defensive aspects of his game.

    If Monreal has sustained a foot fracture then Wenger will need urgently to prioritise acquisition of another defender. You cannot play
    for rest of this season with just six on your books.

  65. tunnygriffboy


    Agree. We need more dynamism and pace in our midfield. I 4hink Wenger knows this as well hence the links with CDM, though they need to be footballers as well.

    Also last night Villa could press and play a high line as we had no pace for an outlet. Walcott is such a miss, Gnabry plays differentl to Walcott, plays deeper and likes to run with the ball. Also Walcott 6 more years experience and it too much to expect an eighteen year old to take responsibility for Theo’s goals

  66. tunnygriffboy

    For next season. Two forwards with pace ( Podolski to leave ). A top CDM with power, ability to cover ground quickly and a footballing brain. Finally a CB and a good No2 to Schezzer. It looks like Per and Sagna extending their deals.

    We have a base for a really exciting team, not forgetting that Gibbs, Jenks, Rambo, Wilshere et al will be a year older

    Anxious wait for news Monreal injury.

  67. Savage

    Too early to make a call on Podolski. He’s just back from injury and Wenger doesn’t want to mess with the balance just yet.

    In contrast, what’s impressive about Gnabry is the amount of defensive work he does. I’m really looking forward to his goals – I reckon if he has a good career with Arsenal, he’ll build a fine YouTube collection for us.

  68. gonsterous

    Im moaning because this is not a one off.. we have been making life hard for ourselves in a lot of games…don’t know if this is the tactic but enjoy being top of the league coz if we continue this way we might just not be top of the league soon..

  69. Charlie Boy

    Did anyone see Ozil arguing with Giroud at the end of the game?

    I think Giroud had bollocked him earlier for his poor attempt at a cross which could have helped Giroud kill the game.

  70. tunnygriffboy

    Yeah, that game should have been killed off. We gave ball away too much in 2nd half. Villa pressed high ( no pace as outlet) and went long ball. No way can we continue to soak up pressure for last 15mins of game without losing a goal.

  71. Charlie Boy


    You’re not wrong!

    Too often we’re struggling against teams we should be destroying.

    Yes, a lot of teams tend to park the bus and try and hit us on the counter, but we have the players and the skills to get behind them. Just look at the times we’ve done this, only to cock up the final shot or header.

    I’m a big fan of Giroud and his work ethic, but he has to bear a lot of responsibility for some glaring misses. There is an argument that a good striker would have put away at least 50% of those chances missed.

    It’s also glaringly obvious how much we’re going to miss Theo!

  72. gonsterous

    Great read on the Robbie savage story…. Pulled out some fantastic points like Wenger does rotate but only in midfield !!!

  73. Carts

    Charlie Boy

    I don’t blame Ozil, to be fair. Granted, late in the game, one would be tired, but the pass was so fucking lame and half hearted.

  74. Revving Kevin

    You don’t usually rotate in defence mate! That unit you ideally need to keep together as the stats about Kos and per prove.the high energy midfield seas are being rotated which is correct.it proves how much tosh and half truths are circulated. At the end of the day whatever Wenger is doing has got us top of the league above Man City.