Wenger, Per and Sagna sign da ting: Reaction | Arsenal hold on to take important 3 points

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What to say about the Villa game eh? You know when your team has turned into a winning machine when you don’t have anything to complain about. I mean, jeez, I’m really struggling to have a bitch today…

Wenger rotated in our star men, he kept some of the fringe on and we played out a; in the main, comfortable game.

Olivier Giroud missed himself two relatively easy chances in the opening 7 minutes. He glanced a free header wide on 4 minutes, and then he failed to connect with a low cross on 7 minutes.

Arsenal controlled possession against a timid Villa side clearly very nervous about taking a hammering. Our opener came after a Monreal give and go, the Spaniard cut Jack in on the edge of the area, he shifted his weight and poked an inch perfect cross goal shot into the back of the net. As he peeled off the celebrate, he made an ‘A’ with his fingers…

… Jack, mate, Adebayor left ages ago. Really didn’t get that?

Before I’d even had time to note down the goal, Wilshere found Giroud with a floated pass after winning it off Delph, the Frenchman brought it down majestically, kneed it clumsily for his second touch, and then buried home like a boss with his third. A great goal that really sums Olivier up.

The rest of the half was Arsenal in rest mode. It was like watching a really boring warm down. I had the feeling we were a little too casual. That fear was realised in the second half when Santi lost the ball out wide, a cross was nipped in to the back post where Benteke, a player suffering some severe second-season-itis, was on hand to score a diving header.

My flat mate and I agreed at this point that not enough diving headers were scored these days. A classic goal. Though not as rare as the scissor kick.

That goal put the frighteners on the team. All of a sudden, our slick passing disappeared. Villa grew with confidence and Villa Park started to heat up with some real noise. You sensed we could concede a goal. I wasn’t sure whether old fears died hard, or we really were losing control. Rosicky slowed down the game when he took a forearm to the face and broke his nose (well, it looked like he had). The ref didn’t stop play despite seeing the player was gushing blood. In fairness to Villa, we didn’t stop play when we had the advantage.

Anyway, when play did resume, Benteke missed an absolute sitter from 6 yards. Heading into the keepers arms. Really poor play, you have to say.

6 minutes of injury time played out, we took the three points, Wenger called Lambert a ‘vieux chatte’ for maximum fulltime LOLz… we all went home happy. Well, maybe not Monreal because there were rumours of a broken metatarsal.

Concluding Points

Rotation has paid dividends…

Arsene has loosened up on the fear factor. The team we put out was pretty well rested and our bench looked as strong as it has all season. He’s now far more comfortable rotating than he was. It’s not perfect. He’ll need to sharpen it up if he really wants the league, but it’s getting better.

For me, this is where trophies are won and lost… if he gets it right, I think we’ll win the Premiership.

Podolski is not favoured…

This shouldn’t come as news to people. Even when he was flavour of the month, he was pulled off every game (substituted you foul people). Wenger doesn’t seem to hold him in that high esteem. I noted in the summer that the feeling at the club was that he’d be off if there was a decent offer. Yesterday, he wasn’t given a run out again. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him leave this summer.

Monreal…

He doesn’t look particularly graceful going forward, but he ain’t half effective and he’s very measured in his approach to bombing on. He had a lovely assist for the first goal, he defended well and his quality has allowed us to give Kieran Gibbs some breathing space.

Giroud…

He is what he is I’m afraid. He’s a hard working English centre forward who makes the most of his ability. He’s capable of moments of magic, but he’s also capable of moments of ‘what the f*ck did you do there’… that’s fine. He came up with a decent goal yesterday. He’s not super elite, but hey, nor was Alan Smith and we all loved him, right? It’d be great to get some striker support for him regardless.

The big news…

The manager is rumoured to have signed a new deal along with Sagna and Mertesacker. That’s banging news as far as I’m concerned. Firstly, Per and Sagna have been essential to the team this year. Both are capable of being the captain of our great club. They’re ambassadors on and off the pitch. They embody everything you’d want in a foreign player. Totally bought into the heritage and the culture of the club.

On Arsene Wenger, I said in September when this deal was first mooted that I didn’t agree with handing out £7.5m a year for someone who hadn’t proved anything. Well, we’re in mid-January, we’re in the FA Cup, the Champions’ League group stages after navigating the group of death and we’re topping the league. That’s off the back of some transformative changes to his management game and his approach to player values. Not to mention the fact that we cleared £500k worth of dead wood and we topped the calendar league table. So this isn’t a fluke… it’s where we are as a club.

So basically, despite still having reservations about him in certain areas, I can’t complain. As far as I’m concerned, 75% of the issues Le Grove has campaigned against for years have been addressed over the past two years.

Also, I think we’re in a fantastic position stability wise. I think big players will look at the Alex Ferguson departure at United and worry. We’re an even more attractive proposition this season because of the saga in Salford. Now we’re talking about signing superstar talent like Draxler and Diego Costa. That’s where we need to be as a club. We’re at the top table and Wenger has been integral in making that happen.

At the start of last summer I said it was the perfect storm for big changes as so it has proved. Arsene wanted a new deal and he pulled out all the stops to get one. I’m glad he didn’t get a rise as well… apparently he’s performance bonused quite heavily. Another masterstroke from Ivan… target him on winning, not breaking even.

So bravo. If a manager can change his approach, I can change my opinion of the situation.

Onwards and upwards…

 

 

705 Responses to “Wenger, Per and Sagna sign da ting: Reaction | Arsenal hold on to take important 3 points”

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  1. samsensible

    Good stuff Pedro. I have a feeling some folks’ heads might pop when they see your last bit about Wenger.

    Gnabry looked comfortable yesterday. Nothing spectacular but unlike many young players we’ve seen, he does the simple stuff well (like not being the one to mess up a passing move with a sloppy pass).

    I think Giroud deserved more praise for his his goal. He was 68.4% in control of his 2nd touch so it was a very good goal.

  2. Bero

    Ooo… 2nd. Not bad.

    Happy with those new deals if true. Mertesacker has the potential to be a legend captain for me. Sagna good for few more years. Love him or hate him, players do want to work with Wenger. So if your prem bound your choices are the money of city, moureen at chavs, or classy option with most experienced manager at arsenal. We are genuinely a very attractive proposition and if our money is on the table more too we’re talking major players.

    Draxler for poldi and a top striker in the summer like a Costa and we’re in a strong position. Maybe a diaby replacement too, a powerful box to box midfielder.

  3. samsensible

    PS all the match build up was about Villa not scoring and BEnteke in particular. Him scoring was as inevitable as Adebayor asking for more…

  4. LANCE PETERS

    Giroud has got to be one of the most frustrating players to watch. If we had a decent striker we wud be bannging in the goals. although we on top our goal average is the worst in the top 4. We not goin to win the league with Giroud as our main striker. Thats a fact

  5. ikon

    ” apparently he’s performance bonused quite heavily”

    I had at least commented 10 times last year on structuring of management contracts at Arsenal. Ivan comes from a market where anything other than winning as per general mass is not winning.

    Glad to see people working in the right direction. Sagna contract is a big big gain. The solidity he gives to the defense is unbelievable.

    I can assure you his high ball winning percentage will be within the top 1 in Europe. Jenkinson has big big boots to fill.

  6. Rich

    Pedro you should take some acid or DMT and hope for an ego death.
    And Geoff should go and jump off the nearest cliff.
    Le grove have done nothing but try to pass fabricated propaganda off as factual information, whilst preaching nothing but hate and lies to help support the nonsense that you spit out to stroke your own ego’s.
    One Arsene Wenger

  7. ughelligunner

    Good call pedro. Just saying, if true wenger has finally signed, whats the odd he was waiting to make sure his players are given the right contract before putting pen to paper? Anythoughts?

  8. Leedsgunner

    “Olivier Giroud missed himself two relatively easy chances in the opening 7 minutes. He glanced a free header wide on 4 minutes, and then he failed to connect with a low cross on 7 minutes.”

    Alright to miss chances like that against poor sides like Villa but if you do that against the top sides like Man City and Bayern Munich you’ll leave the game rueing your chances. Giroud has good qualities and works hard against the weaker sides but he tends to disappear against the Manchester clubs for some reason.

    Lest people think I’m complaining about him, I hope he is back on a scoring streak 2 goals in 2 games is a good start and I’m pleased for him. He’s a decent Plan B, but he really needs to work on his finishing. Get yourselves another goal against Fulham, Crystal Palace and Southampton…

    Did anybody else see Podolski shake his head in disbelief when he was overlooked by Wenger for the Ox? I hope Podolski gets some game time because I really like him. After Theo he probably is the next best sprinter, direct player that we have.

  9. tunnygriffboy

    Last night highlighted a few problems which may result in us missing out on the title. Against a physical midfield we lack strength and dynamism. Also we needcover for Giroud. The last is Walcotts injury.

    Walcott is a different player to Gnabry and Ox. He is very effective at playing one two’s on the edge of the box getting behind the defence. He is also a great outlet when we’re under the pump and a great option on the counter attack. He likes to get into the inside right channel on the shoulder of the last defender. This gives defenders the problem of dealing with both Giroud and Theo’s pace behind. From what I’ve seen of Gnabry he tends to play deeper and dribble with the ball. Ox is similar.

    Also Walcott has 6 years experience on Gnabry. If Theo blasts the ball 10 metresover the bar or shanks a shot to the corner he won’t be phased by it and will continue to go for goal. He is confident in his ability and has the confidence of his team mates and manager. It is much more difficult for a youngster like Gnabry to have this level of confidence when just starting out. As much as I like Gnabry it is a huge ask of him to replace Walcotts goals.

    Despite being frustrating Theo will be a massive loss in the run in of the season

  10. Rocky D

    I can’t believe we didn’t finish the game off when we had the chance and had such a nervy end. If we were half as ruthless as one of the title rivals we would have got 4 or 5 in the first half. We need to be at lest 3 to the good before we become so casual.

    Mind you, we’re top again, so who gives a damn.

  11. samsensible

    tunny – good point about Theo not being phased by missing. Some youngsters (Cesc, Rooney, Messi) were supremely confident and able to carry on playing their game if they made a mistake but many aren’t as mentally strong.

    Gnrabry seems to have big balls though…

  12. Ryan

    Nice to see giroud back and grab a goal. Gnabry looks a good player. Arsenal we’re hanging on a bit for the last 10 though but showed they can defended better now then they did three or four years ago.

  13. shad

    I had a dreary feeling once we took our foot off the gas.

    Positives: The back 4, Gnabry and ultimately the 3 points. Wilshere was pretty good too.

    Negatives: Injuries (hoping Mozart can play with a mask on, and Monreal isn’t out for too long), 2 goal advantage complacency, Ozil and Cazorla are 2 peas in a pod and with both lackadaisical, our ball retention and defensive potency is halved.

    Conclusion:

    3 wins away from home is nothing to scoff at. Top of the league but we really need to be burying such games nice and early. Yesterday was a good opportunity to chomp at the City goal difference but as usual we lost the plot and made things really hard in the 2nd half.

    As for Per and Sagna signing, that is excellent news. I’m not exactly having a boner with Wenger signing a new contract because things can get sideways very fast and we’ll all be screaming blue murder. Would rather he weighed what we achieve at the season’s end before offering him an extension.

    Lastly, need Rosicky to sign an extension. Love the little guy. he is just a bundle of positive energy. Poldi is off and I don’t think we’ll miss him. There are many younger, more energetic, faster and clinical players who can do what he does. To me he is like Berba. He needs a small team to shine.

  14. shad

    And I was one of the less enthusiastic when Poldi signed. there’s a reason he couldn’t hack it in Bayern. He needs a team built around him but disappears around better rounded players.

    And AW needs to decide who to play between Cazorla and Ozil. We can’t have 2 roaming midfielders against teams set up to play on the counter with pace to burn. Need more balance.

  15. Nasri's Mouth

    I’m happy to see Podolski pissed off about not playing. Much better than if he was laughing and joking about it.

  16. Al

    I really don’t see why everyone is getting worked up by the podolski reaction…..

    Do you prefer players wanting to play and getting frustrated when they don’t or do you just want to have deadwood like we have had previously who didn’t give a monkey about playing for the club?

  17. tunnygriffboy

    Pedro

    Giroud should have buried the header but forgive me if I’m wrong but wasn’t Vlar all over him on the 2nd chance and we could have had a penalty

    Agree on his goal, 1st touch sublime, 2nd touch awful, finish excellent. In defence of him, winner against spuds, geordies and villa.

    Samsensible

    Agree on size Gnabry’s nads , but still a big ask for him to get Theo’s goals as much as I like him

    2 pacy forward players ( Poldi to leave, hopefully Draxler one of them ), a CDM who is strong , covers ground well and is good on the ball, a good young CB and an understudy to Schezzer and we’re set for the future. Also we forget how young Wilshere, Rambo et al are. They will be a year older.

  18. andy1886

    Jesus Rich, you need some serious deprogramming. The cult of Arsene has been disbanded, haven’t you heard? If free speech isn’t for you I suggest you try for a job at the Kremlin, maybe wrestle a few bears with Putin.

  19. gambon

    “Ivan comes from a market where anything other than winning as per general mass is not winning.”

    Are you kidding me?

    American sports is about anything other than winning.

  20. DUIFG

    Bang on the money re giroud. Good honest pro who won’t let you down effort wise and you can plan with him. He needs support though.

    Cazorla was pretty poor yesterday, he is probably most at risk for a seat on the bench next week.

    Back 5=rocks, lovely stuff. Jw10 did a nice shift in the middle 2, dribbling with purpose good to see.

  21. tunnygriffboy

    Rosicky must stay even if he only starts certain games and is used mainly off the bench. His legs are certainly not going. His experience, professionalism and understanding of what it means to play for Arsenal are vital

  22. gambon

    “I would really want us to sign Draxler. We could switch to the false 9 played by Barca.”

    What Draxler who has never played as a CF ever?

    Lets also sign a RB and put him in goal.

  23. Simon

    Rich

    I do deprogramming. My methods are a little unusual: so-called ‘experts’ and ‘scientists’ mock me. I say mock-me, I mean report me. Sure, it is a risky procedure but when you think about the possibilities it is worth it. If I cure one man, just one, then the other hundred will not have died in vain.

    Interested?

  24. andy1886

    A bit harsh on Alan Smith Pedro, maybe you weren’t old enough to appreciate him (or even remember him playing?) but he was our top scorer for 4 seasons and was top scorer in the league in 88-89. If OG achieves as much (remember the first goal at Anfield in 89? or the winner against Parma in Copenhagen?) then he’ll have done well.

    Footballers were pretty damn good in the old days too y’know.

  25. Rich

    I’m the stupid one??”
    You’re an advocate for free speech, however I’m not entitled to my opinion?
    I have no problem with opinions that differ from my own, I have a problem however with fabrecated nonsense that is attempted at being passed on as factual to harm the club that I love.

  26. Savage

    I like Giroud – the one thing that does bug me though is his glancing header attempts. I would prefer him to do what NB does and hit it straight at the goal or backwards into the near corner.

    Was pleased that Wenger gave Gnabry another start. I was relieved actually – we have so many experienced players now that it’s nice to see some youth coming through again.

  27. Savage

    @gambon: “What Draxler who has never played as a CF ever?”

    Sorry mate, history is against you on this one. Thierry Henry. I’ll take a repeat dose of that drug, and so will you.

    It’s all conjecture right now anyway. I’d prefer to keep Giroud central and have Draxler out wide. His main attribute is dribbling and that’s far better served on the flanks.

  28. andy1886

    Odd that Podolski gets all the negative comments having hardly any game time this season, yet Cazorla gets away quite lightly after a pretty poor season by anyone’s standards. Compare the time the two have spent on the pitch and Pod has been far more effective. Give me ugly but effective over pretty but ineffective every time (although it seems the manager disagrees).

    As for Arsene’s alleged new contract it seems a bit premature if it’s true. If it’s justified why the delay in the announcement (or do AFC just enjoyed playing stupid games with us)?

  29. andy1886

    Rich, feel free to speak your mind. Wishing death on Pedro and Geoff for having a different opinion however isn’t okay and you deserve to be called out for that. If you don’t like the blog you don’t have to read it. Fanatics on either side of the debate won’t win any friends here.

  30. DUIFG

    Pod is a decent option squad wise as his game is a little differnt to most of our other guys. If he wasn’t on an absoulte packet I would be perfectly happy to have him in a squad role.

  31. Mo

    Really pleased if Per and Bac have signed up. Less pleased about Wenger to be honest, as I’m still not sure he’s the guy to take us to the next level, which is winning and defending the PL and winning/appearing in CL semi finals/finals regularly. Still, I guess the stability will help as Pedro says.

  32. N5

    Rich your idea of free speech was hoping for Geoff’s death.

    You sir, to quote the pope in his conversation with the queen are a massive cunt!

  33. Nasri's Mouth

    N5: Rich your idea of free speech was hoping for Geoff’s death.

    Nah, I think he was just suggesting Geoff should get out more, and try a new hobby like base jumping

    Rich: And Geoff should go and jump off the nearest cliff

  34. N5

    Joey Barton and his ‘I’m going to piss the Balloon d’Or or as he called it the Balloon Door. Even when he’s having a joke I still hate him!

  35. N5

    “Nah, I think he was just suggesting Geoff should get out more, and try a new hobby like base jumping”

    That’s a very good point Nasri, he didn’t want harm to happen to Geoff he was concerned that Geoff wasn’t getting out and exercising enough so in fact the opposite is the case, he wants Geoff to continue writing forever. Rich hates Arsene.

  36. andy1886

    And to be fair NM (as we don’t really know Rich’s gender) N5 may have been merely making an accurate anatomical observation…..

  37. N5

    “And to be fair NM (as we don’t really know Rich’s gender) N5 may have been merely making an accurate anatomical observation…..”

    Lol, I was indeed.

  38. Ash79

    Rich, I hear you….sometimes you get that propoganda vibe from this blog BUT making statements like you did only serve to earn you the Cunt d’Or award for biggest cunt of the day. It’s a daily award, come back tomorrow.

    Anyways…Wenger new deal should be end of season. Not now, dont buy into Pedro’s comments. We all said end of season, nothing’s changed. We are top and in most competitions, great, lets go to the end of season and see.

    Dont want to talk about last night, irritating we still fuck about when its easier to kill a game off.

  39. @snoekrats

    Andy1886

    Totally agree with your comment. It is sometimes as if Arsenal fans are to scared to criticise certain players.

    I love Santi but he has not been on top of his game for a long time.

    Except for the Spurs game I have found that the last month or so we have been really sloppy. Our passing has been off. Its small things like passing the ball behind a guy sprinting forward.

    However that said we are still top and I believe that going forward this will improve.

    Ramsey is also almost back.

    Ozil need to lift his game.Also way to many stray passes.

    Per mertesacker you are a god amongst men.

  40. andy1886

    @snoekrats – great summary, couldn’t agree more. Let’s hope that a fit and rested Ramsey comes back in the same style as he started the season (it’ll probably take him a few games to get back into the swing of things though).

  41. Barton

    My thoughts on last night,

    Ozil’s not up to speed but his movement and play (at times) shows he’s capable of being a huge influence, I must say I don’t ever expect much hollywood stuff from him, step overs, flicks etc, he’s a much more subtle and efficient player.

    We were only under pressure once the lobs from midfield started, our backline struggled with the aerial prowess of Villa, we needed to stop the delivery, not the receivers.

    As much a fan of Giroud I have been in the past due to his work rate, I’ve given him the time now, I’m now 100% convinced he will never be the striker we need, for all this famed link up play and holding of the ball I’m really not seeing it.

    Playing OG in this team is like wrapping your wife’s xmas jewellery in old chip shop paper, its a total let down.

  42. Nasri's Mouth

    Some good stats (yeah yeah I know) from 7amkickoff from last night

    Ozil had 1 misplaced pass in the 2nd half. 28/29

    Koscielny had 42/43 (11/12 were long balls)

    Giroud passrate 32/44 73%
    Benteke passrate 18/33 55%

  43. Barton

    NM,

    What was the conversion rate of Giroud v Benteke?

    On last night’s performance, I was envious of Benkeke, he’s a blunt instrument but more effective then Giroud in my opinion.

  44. Nasri's Mouth

    @Barton

    I’m tempted to watch the game again to get a more open minded view of it, but for me Benteke came up 2nd best to Agbonlahor.

  45. Barton

    @NM,

    On for yes but OG’s at about his limit, Benteke is capable of much more.

    I don’t want him at Arsenal but I think he’s better than he’s show this season, as are AV as a team.

  46. the_real_andy

    is being top of the league something bad? it looks like sometimes reading le groves comment section …

    I for one believe for the first time in 10+ years our main strength is our defense. maybe not as entertaining to watch as recent seasons but more efficient and successful at the end. do we need another striker? yes. do we need a better one than giroud? I´m not that sure really. we need a guy providing us with the same strengths he has but less weaknesses which is pretty hard to find especially in january. nevertheless I hope we´ll get someone like him, preferable better but that´s not the point I think

  47. gambon

    “Sorry mate, history is against you on this one. Thierry Henry. I’ll take a repeat dose of that drug, and so will you.”

    Lol, you are incredibly dumb.

    Henry was a striker as a kid who was moved onto the wing as he broke through, particularly at Juve.

    So how many of these are ex Wingers?-

    Giroud
    Chamakh
    Park
    RVP
    Adebayor
    Eduardo
    Bendtner
    Wiltord
    Kanu
    Wreh
    Anelka
    jeffers

    I would say history is most definitely against you.

    “It’s all conjecture right now anyway. I’d prefer to keep Giroud central and have Draxler out wide. His main attribute is dribbling and that’s far better served on the flanks.”

    Id rather have a striker that doesnt miss most of his chances.

  48. gambon

    NM

    Define at the moment?

    In the last 30 minutes of football Benteke is infinitely better.

    In the last 18 months hes better.

    Giroud is only better in the last 16 games.

    Playing for Villa this season Giroud would have c 2 or 3 goals.

  49. Norfolk

    Nasri’s Mouth

    “Some good stats (yeah yeah I know) from 7amkickoff from last nightOzil had 1 misplaced pass in the 2nd half. 28/29”

    Sorry but I don’t believe he only had 1 misplaced pass in the second half unless he had 4 in the first half. I know my memory is failing but what I took from the game was that he was much sloppier than normal.

  50. Barton

    @NM,

    I’m tempted to agree with you on that, Gabby’s one of those players that when its going well he’s fantastic, shame for him he struggles to maintain that level for long periods.

  51. gambon

    “do we need a better one than giroud? I´m not that sure really”

    When our rivals have players of the calibre of Suarez, RVP, Rooney, Aguero then I would say we most definitely do need better.

    No doubt at all that without a world class forward we cant expect to compete long term.

  52. Nasri's Mouth

    @Barton

    Yeah, I’d agree that Benteke is a better player than he has showed this season, but I also think he over-performed last season. The reality will be somewhere in the middle.

  53. Alexander

    A = Amuray Bischoff.

    Santi has been distinctly average this season. He’s never really done too well on the flank and has been usurped by Ozil in the middle.

    Great that we have per and bac tied down! With Rosicky, didn’t wenger say last week that he’ll be staying? Hopefully itl get sorted soon.
    I want those 3 to finish their careers with us. Last time we had real experience and quality in the squad we mugged them all off and the kids had no one to lookup to.

  54. Bade

    Benteke showed his worth yesterday

    Which is not much as you all witnessed

    He might turn good next season, but as for now he looks like a one year wonder

    Or is he only having a 2nd year syndrome

    Time will tell

    But I have to say I wasn’t impressed with him.

    As for Podolski, there’s something strange with him

    I hope Arsene doesn’t go with him in the Arshavin route, meaning playing him rarely & out of position mainly

    Yesterday I thought he should have been introduced at some point in the 2nd half at least, if not start at the left

    Santi was having a shocker (honestly, too many below par performances from him this season) & he wasn’t offering a better defensive cover than Poldi would have

    Anyway this worth monitoring

    But judging by Poldi’s tweets, his moral still high

    Poldi isn’t quick, can’t play the lone striker role, but he’s still one of our best finishers & we can’t let him get into the frustration mode, especially as he’s being a very important figure in our team spirit & in the dressing room positive notion

  55. gambon

    “Not many of those about.”

    Id rather have a striker that doesnt miss chances like against Everton, Newcastle, Chelsea, West Ham.

    Id rather a striker that doesnt miss 7 of 8 chances

    Id rather a striker that can score in more than 1 in every 6 games against top 7 teams

    Id rather a striker that doesnt get out run by a tortoise with down syndrome.

  56. Nasri's Mouth

    @Norfolk

    Well it surprised me too. 7am is a stat’o’holic so he’s probably right. I might watch it again to check

  57. andy1886

    If Draxler does come in it wouldn’t surprise me to see both Poldi and Santi leave in the summer. Perhaps AW thinks Draxler has the qualities of both and will be both a great team player and a potent goal threat. Back to Santi, I heard there was a rumour that his familly wasn’t happy over here and he wants to go back to Spain. Perhaps that might explain his performances this season.

  58. Barton

    Bade,

    Benteke even terrorised Per yesterday, he’s a beast.

    The raw ingredients are most certainly there. perhaps he needs a combination of form/confidence and the right service, not an arsenal player IMO but he’s certainly very capable and better that OG

  59. Nasri's Mouth

    @gambon:

    Benteke “INFINITELY BETTER” when he put that header right into the arms of Szczesny ? More bollocks right there

    Time you gave up the Benteke love, he’s been poor this season. Giroud isn’t brilliant, but he’s the better of the 2 this season.

  60. Keyser

    Benteke’s a non-entity he’s scoring for a team that will probably fight relegation again, it’s like saying look how well Giroud did for Montepellier.

    Or like watching yesterday’s game, you temper how poor Villa are as a team, against Benteke getting to attack on the counter without half as conservative a defensive set-up as Giroud was up against.

    The rest is typical, yesterday was Benteke’s first goal for about 4 months, but you’ll get people making excuses for him, while not considering any defence for Giroud.

    Giroud’s fine, Benteke’s not better, we need variation and another go-to player, which is why Suarez or Aguero would be ideal.

  61. Keyser

    Lol Benteke terrorised Mertesacker ? No, he didn’t, and also pace usually terrifies him, Grant Holt’s pace terrifies him.

  62. Barton

    @Simon,

    Not really, last night was the most nervous I’ve seen our back line, at the end it was getting a bit desperate, trying to win the second ball rather than the first.

    I’m not putting Benteke on a pedestal, I just think him and OG play similar games, put Benteke in our team and he would outshine OG IMO.

    Having said that, I’d sooner he stayed at Villa, I think we need to be aiming at a much better calibre of striker

  63. Keyser

    So not ‘most’ then ? You plum, non-statistical, non-factual, what’s odd is how much of hard-on you have for Benteke considering your controversial views on race.

  64. Simon

    Alexander

    Except he’s likely to start on the left. Ozil in the middle. Then there’s ox, Wilshire and poldi who can also play there. I hear Gnabry is better on left too. When Walcott returns he is on right, of ox or Gnabry, or Wilshire or Rosicky etcetera. Where does he pkwy and ahead of who?

  65. Ash79

    gambon – Id rather a striker that doesnt get out run by a tortoise with down syndrome.
    ——————–

    is it wrong to find this funny as fuck?

  66. ThomasAbbott

    Benteke has scored 5 goals this season, Sidwell has scored the same amount. To suggest he is better than OG is slightly unfair.

    Also, correct me if I am wrong, but Podolski’s last two prem outings were the West Ham (goal and an assist) and Fulham (2 goals). Why does he get such stick? I would have started him over Santi yesterday.

  67. Keyser

    Barton seriously mate watch the game back, what were you impressed by ? Why weren’t you more impressed by Agbonlahor ?

  68. andy1886

    Rich, didn’t you notice that Pedro supported AW getting a new contract? And fyi Geoff almost never posts anymore (I think he stopped in the summer and has stood in for Pedro for about two days since then). In fact Pedro is usually quite pro-Wenger in general.

    Just because someone may not support Arsene 100% of the time (or even at all in some cases) it doesn’t mean that they want to harm the club. In fact surely they believe that a new manager would be a positive thing. It’s all about opinions, you may not agree but then across such a wide cross section of people there’s always going to be a wide range of views.

    Oh, and I’m pretty sure that Pedro has already tried base jumping, it’s the sort of thing that these City types do at their regular team building sessions.

  69. Simon

    Thomas

    Something’s going on between poldi and Wenger. No idea what though. Odd remarks by Wenger lately. Maybe he’s off…. And (trumpets) Draxlers coming the other way. Or not.

  70. timao

    i’m infuriated by the number of unpunished fouls committed against our players and last night. Santi, Jack, Sagna, were subjected to a compendium cynical and dangerous kicks, mostly from behind, with nothing given – yet Monreal makes one clumsy tackle and he’s in the book. Rosicky’s broken nose was something else again, how is that not a yellow card at the very least?

    Yes our players did not stop play but it’s not their job, it is the referee’s job. Head injury = stop play and bring on the medics.

    I can’t believe nothing has been said about the ref’s performance last night – it was utterly abysmal. Yet the ref who disallowed Newcastle’s goal on Saturday, arguably with good reason, is pilloried and dropped from the roster. The refereeing in the premiership is a total joke. The one offficial who I respect is the female assistant Sian Massey – I’ve never seen her get it wrong. She should be fast tracked to top of her profession.

  71. gambon

    “It wouldn’t make any sense for Santi to leave if we bought Draxler!”

    It really would.

    Draxler is either going to play #10 or left wing.

    Hes not playing #10 cos we have one of the best in the world. (Although Draxler could be an ultra long term replacement plan)

    He will play left mainly, sometimes right, sometimes central.

    Theo, Ox are going nowhere, Wenger wants to give Gnabry games.

    So Podolski, Cazorla, or both are expendable.

    We dont need a ridiculously huge squad (again). We need quality players.

  72. N5

    “So not ‘most’ then ? You plum, non-statistical, non-factual, what’s odd is how much of hard-on you have for Benteke considering your controversial views on race.”

    I want to do that thing you see in American Street Dance movies (my kid watches honest) ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh dammmmmmmn, It’s on now!!!

  73. Simon

    Andy

    Yep. Pedro us a wengerite. Even if he’s had to make it sound like he was right first and Wenger just listened to him! But, when you are in a hole it really is best to stop digging!

    Rich
    You are a funny old sausage.

  74. N5

    “Has ant team bought anyone yet?”

    I’m not sure we’d notice Simon, they are so small, how does anyone fit in their stadium?

  75. Paulinho

    Flamini is slowly declining into an immobile tub of lard in that central midfield as the season wears on. All the early bluster is gone, and we’re left with a bit of an average player.

    Arteta to me looks in a totally different class, and the disparity between the two is becoming increasingly pronounced when one replaces the other.

  76. gambon

    “what’s odd is how much of hard-on you have for Benteke considering your controversial views on race.”

    Firstly you make yourself look like a right cunt by trying to imply im racist.

    Secondly ive never said Benteke was the answer. Ive said I wanted him instead of Giroud if anything, not infront of him.

    As a plan B hes much better cos he isnt a physical reta.rd like the frenchman is, and when on song doesnt miss as much as our embarrassing lump.

  77. Alexander

    Simon

    Where does Santi play? He should be primarily a central mid. He should be used as a back up to Ozil in the creative role and occasionally on the left if we need more creativity there, rather than an out and out winger (like we do at the moment) as a change of tactic.
    We need a deep squad!

    Also OG is a better team player than benteke. His hold up play is vital to the team and the way we play at the moment.

    But we do need a WORLD CLASS striker to switch it up a bit and to finish those chances that the HFB just can’t

  78. Barton

    KeyserJanuary 14, 2014 11:09:32
    Barton seriously mate watch the game back, what were you impressed by ? Why weren’t you more impressed by Agbonlahor ?

    Check my comments @ 10.53

  79. DUIFG

    Getting rid of cazorla would be pretty disgraceful, guy is one of the most gifted players on the league let alone our squad. He is having up and down form, he will come back. He has too much quality not to.

  80. Wallace

    “Most people on here agree that we need an upgrade on Giroud. Do we have to have this debate all the time ?”

    If only!

    if Monreal has broken his metatarsal that’s a big blow.

  81. DUIFG

    I’m pretty confident benteke would easily ouscore giroud in our system. OG was decent yest, again missed a sitter though. Really kills us in big games.

  82. Simon

    Alex

    Agree that’s where and how he should play. Love to keep him. But guessing the lack of game time if we bring in Draxler would not be attractive to the man. Also Wenger us a bastard for milking resale value.

  83. N5

    DUIFG I agree.

    I read somewhere that his wife is in his ear about him heading back to Spain so he ask for a transfer at some point anyway so I’m not sure if that could play a part in his departure (if obviously it happens).

  84. Keyser

    gambon – I’ve been here long enough to know that you’ll drag it down to your shitty level regardless of what you really feel about race or any other matter, don’t be a pussy about it now.

    You went on about stats when Benteke was actually scoring, and now they don’t matter.

    You don’t like him fine, you didn’t like Koscielny, I bet if I pused you you’d revert to type on that to.

    We need another option to Giroud, especially since he’s been our lone striker with both Podolski and Theo missing soo many games, Benteke’s done fuckall to show he’d make it at a top club, actually playing under any sort of pressure with any sort of real nous.

  85. Barton

    BadeJanuary 14, 2014 11:20:24
    BartonBenteke is closer to Carroll now than to a decent strikerHe’s a big lump, nothing much more

    So what does that make Giroud?

    Giroud is playing in front of one of the most gifted midfield’s in the prem, has the ‘assist king’ supplying him and with that in mind he still can’t contribute a decent goal tally.

    Is Benteke the answer for Arsenal? No but neither is OG

  86. timao

    yes I heard that comment – i was dying to say to the twat something like; yes it is old fashioned refereeing, but the match is occurring in the present – i.e. modern times.

    if i drink half a bottle of scotch before i jump in the car tonight, can I get away by saying i’m doing old fashioned driving? can I fuck, because times have changed, laws have changed and the application of the rules of football has changed as well.

    wait till jack is ruled out of the world cup finals and then watch the media orgasm with delight over another national disaster.

  87. Paulinho

    If Monreal is injured, then I would really start to think we’re a bit jinxed.

    Whenever a players seems to be coming to the boil they get injured.

    Nice to Wilshere improving in the middle. The key now is for him to get stuck into three or more heavy challenges in quick succession and not be holding his ankle.

  88. Leedsgunner

    I think, Giroud for what he is, is a decent player. A battering ram of a centre forward who has the stats of a hardworking attacking midfielder really. I do hope he gets goals against the weaker teams like Fulham and Crystal Palace because he tends to disappear when the big boys roll into town.

    I have a question if EVERTON under Moyes was looking at Negredo, were we looking at him too? Or were we too busy pfaffing over players in Ligue 2? What a player! What an opportunity missed!

    Has Wenger come out and said he tried to sign him yet? You know that a player has really arrived when Wenger says he “tried to sign him”…

  89. Keyser

    DUIFG – Based on what ? Giroud had basically two chances all game, the half-chance header, and the goal he actually scored.

    It’s mental how people form their opinions on here.

  90. Dissenter

    @Rich
    For a while dude, I thought your initial post was a parody. Do you really mean all that hateful,blather?
    If you disagree so much with Pedro and Geoff, why not start your own blog to correct this “propaganda”