Arsenal 2-2 Man City. Hasa Diga Eebowai

by .

Well well good morning. Alex here, taking over from Pedro, to report to you following yesterday’s excitefest against champions Manchester City. I don’t have highlights available to me so apols for the startling lack of detail.

Let me start with a confession, and this may surprise those of you who are regular readers of Le Grove, but I was absolutely despairing at full time.

Maybe it was the contrast to the elation I felt after we came back from 1-0 down with two outstanding goals. Seeing that amazing comeback squandered with some shitshow defending on a corner really hurt.

Maybe it’s the sense that we seem to play for a draw against the big teams when at home. And look there’s no shame in playing for a draw. In fact I’d love to see us play for a draw in a lot of big away games, but if we have serious aspirations about winning the title we have to start beating our rivals at home; bringing on Arteta in the 90th minute is not an indication you are ‘throwing the kitchen sink’ at the game in order to get a result. We drew against City, Chelsea and United at home last season too. Thehow y know to come to the Emirates and frustrate us which is… frustrating.

However, more likely my despair stemmed from the fact that, just for once, I’d love us to grind out a completely undeserved victory against a rival in the way that City, United and Chelsea ALWAYS do against us. After we went ahead we rode our luck so much we looked like Dot Cotton on a bucking bronco. However, we are totally due some kind of bastardry like that – some completely unjust, unfair result that leaves Man City fans crying into their cornflakes.

In the cold light of day, however, I can see that 2-2 is a good result (no I’m not going to say I would have taken that result at the start of the game because people who say that are pricks) and a reflection that we still probably aren’t serious title contenders.

We were very impressive in the first 30 minutes and really pinned City back, while always looking vulnerable to a quick counteract. Newest signing Danny Welbz looked very good, combining the hold up play and touch of Giroud with the pace and mobility of Sanogo, without the ‘shank the ball into row z’ finishing of Giroud and Sanogo. I have to admit I was pretty underwhelmed when we signed him, especially when names like Falcao and Cavani were being bandied around on the absolute farce that is Sky Sports’ Transfer Deadline Day. However I’m growing to like the man from the north. His transfer annoyed United fans which is always welcome and he does look like he’s going to improve our play as a team. He was so unlucky not to open his account with an absolute gem of a goal, a dinked chip over the king of bad marketing choices, Joe Hart.

Unfortunately our other new signing, the young, pacey Defensive Midfielder had a bit of a mare. Oh no wait that was Flamini who lost Aguero at the near post for City’s opener. Twitter seemed to be going mad on Mathieu yesterday. Other than his horrible tracking for their first I didn’t notice that he was that bad. Nonetheless, I don’t know if it was down to his lack of mobility or awareness but that mistake was bloody awful.

For me it was Ozil who really stunk the place out yesterday, again. I hate to say it but I’m falling out of love with him. He avoids tackles and headers, he doesn’t track, most of our counterattacks broke down because of him and he had one pass so wayward yesterday that it killed a passing kestrel. Many more performances like this and he’ll become the new boo boy. I don’t know whether it is because he is being played out of position or he just can’t be arsed, but he improved markedly in the last 15 minutes when he moved inside. I really don’t think he should be left to find his form out on the left, just play him where his £42million arse can do something effective.

Contrast Mesut’s performance with Alexis, Wilshere and Koscielny. They dominated the game in their respective positions, working their proverbial bollocks off and the former two produced absolutely world class goals. That drag and dink from Jack. That volley from Alexis. Woof woof.

One final point from me – because I’m much too hungover to write anymore – Arsenal and Delaware have finally heeded my advice and binned off the atrocious ‘Gunners hot dog’ (it didn’t comply with FFP and is wanted for war crimes). They’ve replaced it with a Jerk Dog which, thank Christ, doesn’t have coleslaw on it. I didn’t get one yesterday but rest assured I will look to and report back to you because here at Le Grove we talk to you about THE THINGS THAT MATTER.

Have a lovely Sunday and follow me on twitter @aldo_doel I need to up my follower count x

349 Responses to “Arsenal 2-2 Man City. Hasa Diga Eebowai”

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  1. Jeff

    The faithful have already convinced themselves that we had no chance of getting Costa so they’re happy with that. They are also happy that Wenger managed to sign Wellbeck knowing full well that it was yet another reactionary deadline-day purchase seeing as our other non-world class forward managed to get himself injured and will be out till January – thus freeing him to shag as many prostitutes as he likes and flaunt his boyish looks at anyone who’s interested.

    They are also very philosophic about drawing with City yesterday – preferring to see it as some sort of consolation because we didn’t lose – forgetting that we have only one victory this season and that was against Palace at the death and by the skin of our teeth.

    They are happy that we bought Sanchez (and so am I), but they seem to suggest Arsene needs more time (“more time”) to build his winning team without realising that he’s not interested in building anything of the sort but just a side that can secure CL money – nothing more – and that his true goal is to ensure it happens for the next 20 years.

    They expound with expediency and efficiency every excuse in the book to defend him and dispel doubt because they are blinded and confused about the role of the manager. We are no longer a club that impassions its supporters but a club that swims on the fringes hiding behind poverty, forever talking finances, when the real reason is just sheer football incompetence and hierarchical indifference. We are now the perfect personification of a bunch of grey old men in their expensive suits pretending to steer the club in the right direction when in reality we are lost at sea, unsure of the future, and terrified it might all go wrong any season.

    Arsenal is a business being kept ticking over – a corner shop with no particular ambition to win anything but to stay forever close enough to the riches only to look and say “we tried”.

  2. giroo

    Wenger is just ‘educating’ Ozil like he did Ramsey. Watch him work his genius by playing him in his natural position in a few months.

    If his confidence isn’t totally shattered by then, that is.

  3. Charlie Boy

    We were lucky and Shitty have every right to feel aggrieved. That said – it makes a change for us to be in the receiving end of some decisions.

    Wilshere – awesome + what a goal
    Alexis – what a goal
    Welbz – what a ‘nearly’ goal
    Rambo – what a miss
    Ozil – wtf!

    Set piece defending – omg!!!

  4. Charlie Boy

    Well put Jeff.

    For me, we’re fucked without a WC:

    LB (replacement for Monreal / Gibbs)
    CB (replacement for BFG)

    Which we need now, not January or next summer!

    An regarding top four – we’re going to struggle with top 10 this season as the top teams will tear us a new one and the middle teams will stifle us in midfield and hit on the break – as they can all read Wenger’s tactics like a book.

  5. Home for burned out pensioners

    Instead of you people getting on Ozil’s back, think for a moment, Arshavin, signed by Gazidis, shunted to wide positions by Wenger because he was not his signing, this is the mirror image of that, Ozil shunted wide right or left by Wenger, because he was someone else’s signing, if he is splayed in the middle he can feed the right or left sides of the pitch, shunt him to one side of the pitch and it cuts half of his effectiveness

    If you want to ball someone out, aim your arrows at Wenger, if I was the best number 10 in the world, and my manager shoved me out wide and asked me to track back, I would tell him to fuck himself and ask for a transfer

    I am a 42.5 million pound number 10, PLAY ME THERE, YOU IMBECILE

  6. Uwot?

    We were lucky?hmmm,?a better ref might have done something about there systematic fouling,we played them off the park for periods of the match.maybe they were lucky not down to 10 men?however that said a draw was a fair result & not the end of the world.on a side note wot about a swap ?ozil for reus in jan-the epl is clearly not for oz whether he plays left or centre.time to cut our losses me thinks……

  7. Rich

    I like this 4-1-4-1 system
    Ramsey hasn’t got to grips with it yet, but I’m confident he will, we really have players who can press from the front now, but I think it involves dropping Ozil, unfortunately Arsene will persists because that’s what he does.

  8. Bee

    We have a coach that does not want to win the league. He builds a team that’ll just make the top 4. (In life you don’t work harder than your ambition ). Chelsea needed a defensive midfielder ,the got matic , they needed an attacker the got costa and then Remy.
    At arsenal, for close to 5 seasons we are still struggling to get a solid defensive midfielder ,why ? Becos wenger doesn’t feel its all about winning.
    The likes of athletico madrid and Dortmund have shown us that its not all about getting players you don’t need for £42 million , but getting what you need for less.

  9. Wallace


    “The faithful have already convinced themselves that we had no chance of getting Costa so they’re happy with that.”

    christ, once more for the kids at the back….even at the start of the summer, before Utd embarked on their ‘just tell us what you want us to pay’ spree, Costa at 32m was an absolute bargain. so why no bidding war? why did it just seem like everyone let Chelsea have a free run at him? why didn’t Mourinho buy a striker last Jan when chances were it might have won them the title? hmm…

  10. gonsterous

    I love Sanchez… I wasnt sure about him when we bought him,… but im loving him more and more…he seems so positive and wants to make things happen… other than that,,i got my own league game this afternoon so wish me luck…and ill catch up with le grovers later !!!

  11. Radio Raheem

    We were never going to challenge for the title this season. Lol this shouldn’t come as a surprise. The earlier you accept this the less frustrating the results and performance will be. For me avoiding the tonkings of last season and actually playing well will be an improvement. Going beyond the round of 16 in the CL will be another improvement.

    After accomplishing the above, if the question was then asked, finish 2nd trophyless or 4th with a Cup? 4th with a Cup every time.

  12. Wallace


    re the 4-1-4-1 – i agree. for the first time yesterday i saw why he’s persisting with it. my issue was Ozil stuck on the left, but yesterday he and Sanchez frequently switched positions. it gives us a solid base with the three in midfield, and allows our two big talents – Ozil & Sanchez – the freedom to roam.

  13. Radio Raheem

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that our two German starters look out of form – they started preseason late. As long as Ramsey keeps trying he’ll find that form. I didn’t think he was that bad yesterday anyway. We used his energy to dominate the midfield.

  14. dino

    Positional talk player forme and formation system . Why he doest play him there why he is in his wrong position . The reason is we are spoiled for choices so is Wenger. Not long ago everyone was saying banch wilShere but Wenger stuck with him to get his forme back and he is close . Ozil problem, ramzy , ox, cazorla, roza,podolski, cambell and you say why we didn’t by cesk shit talk what happens when Walcott comes back and Dyabe , now all you tactical genius try to fit those players in one team and see how you get on .

  15. Keyser

    RR – I don’t think people are surprised, they’re either unwilling to understand why we don’t have a chance or simply want to throw a hissy fit because they’re upset about the situation we’re in.

    Why do you think we were never going to challenge, for me we were always going to be relying on elements of luck or a very small margin for error.

  16. Jeff


    If you convince yourself of something, your next port of call is almost certainly to convince others as well. That’s how indoctrination works.

  17. Rich

    Alexis Ramsey Wilshere Ox
    With this we could press from the front and would cause any team problems.
    You could add Rosicky or Cazorla in any of the 4 positions in front of Schniderlin without too much disruption

  18. andy1886

    “why didn’t Mourinho buy a striker last Jan when chances were it might have won them the title? hmm…”

    If they wanted Costa (and you can see why) then they had to wait, Atletico were never going to sell while challenging for their title.

    Also Chelsea are now looking to adhere to FFP – you’ll notice that they made a profit in the January window which helped them comply, and they didn’t spend much (net) this summer either.

  19. SpanishDave

    7 mins to go any sane manager would get players behind the ball and defend the score. All the lower clubs come to us and seem to be able to do this for long periods of the game. We cant do it for 7 mins.
    Wenger hasnt got a clue.

  20. Keyser

    andy1886 – You do see what you’re doing there though right ? I’m sure if we switched the clubs names around, Jeff would instantly tell you to.

  21. Rosicky@Arsenal

    If Ozil is not going to improve his game for what he is paid for v will not finish in top4.

    wenger must use Cazorla and Rosicky untill ozil does not improves.

  22. Radio Raheem


    I didn’t see us challenging for the title this season because there are two other squads I see clearly stronger than ours.

    In terms of signing top players we seem to have taken the path of incremental improvement.

    I’ll expect us to challenge when we get to the top or close to the top of that tragectory. Our squad may still be poorer than one or two others at that time but the difference wouldn’t be obvious as it is now. In addition, our younger players, injuries permitting, should be more consistent with their performances.

    Next season is when I expect us to challenge for the title. Though I think we’ll trouble the top two this season.

  23. Keyser

    TYAG – Yeah, start off maybe getting your coaching badges, coach/manage your local kids team, or at least get a part-time job, then slowly work your way up, see you at he top mate, Good Luck.

  24. Paulinho

    Tad disappointed in Welbeck after giving him the big build up.

    He – like Ramsey – doesn’t suit the kit. They need to pull their shorts down a bit or let their shirt hang out like Ozil. They look like a schoolboys playing in the 1940’s. Ramsey looks like he’s struggling to breathe in it.

  25. Keyser

    andy1886 – You’re willing to rationalise for them, to make excuses, because you couldn’t care less about them, but Mourinho basically sacrificed a year or Chelsea did to do what they have done.

    RR – I think if you look at the squads around us or how they’ve built them, we had little choice but to make it incremental, it leaves enough in reserve to deal with players who might not quite work out while trying to fit in the ones we did buy.

    Yesterday’s game might be a one-off, in that Sanchez’s work-rate is almost miraculous, but there did seem to be an obvious difference.

  26. kc

    Flamini is a bum. Has no business being anywhere close to our starting eleven. A proper DM gives us three points yesterday. Wenger always leaves us short every year. He’s too scared of failure to contend for the title. Another 3 years of this shit show is hard to stomach.

  27. Keyser

    TYAG – To be honest, I wouldn’t wear the speedo’s, you’re dealing with training kids, you’ll get your photo in the Daily Mail though.

  28. Radio Raheem

    He – like Ramsey – doesn’t suit the kit. They need to pull their shorts down a bit or let their shirt hang out like Ozil. They look like a schoolboys playing in the 1940′s. Ramsey looks like he’s struggling to breathe in it.


    I thought Welbeck did quite well yesterday. He fought well and looked more assured on the ball than the other chaps who’ve occupied that position this season.

  29. Rosicky@Arsenal

    I think considering v were playing against city a draw is not a poor result for us.

    But v need improved performance at the back surely . conceeding the 2nd goal was unacceptable and could have been avoided . Debucy injury may have played a part in citys 2nd goal.

    boh teams were unlucky to hit the post.
    It cud have gone either way.

    Our attack played well bar ozil IMO.

  30. Paulinho

    The central midfield situation is just ridiculous. In the first half you had Koscielny playing as a centre back AND an auxilliary to cover for lard arse in front of him, and you had Sanchez running back to bail him out all game.

    At what point does it register in head of that loon in the dugout that we probably the poorest team in the league in that position? West Brom probably had better players in that position, like Yacob.

  31. kc

    Ozil played out of position until the fans turn on him. Sound familiar? It’s Arshavin all over again. He’s officially been Wengerized.

  32. bob

    if only Alexis was english he would off got MOTH yestoday but he wont so the over hype jack wilshere got it. when was the last time jack got MOTH or even scored a goal? anyone?

  33. Keyser

    Paulinho – Lol I thought you were taking the biscuit with all the Welbeck love, like some sort of observation on manipulation for your college psychology coursework.

    Also interested in your views on Sanchez, especially his dribbling, I think in comparison to Hleb, Hleb at 6ft 1 mean’t he was simply more accustomed to covering distance at speed, Sanchez, sort of head down, is actually a decent dribbler, just because of his size he can be crowded out.

  34. Wallace


    ““why didn’t Mourinho buy a striker last Jan when chances were it might have won them the title? hmm…”

    If they wanted Costa (and you can see why) then they had to wait, Atletico were never going to sell while challenging for their title”

    sorry, that was my point, Chelsea didn’t buy anyone in Jan because they already had Costa in the bag.

  35. Keyser

    *covering distance, while dribbling.

    He still turned back on himself to maintain posession because he didn’t want to risk the last player dispossession him.

    Which is what lead to us conceding.

  36. Radio Raheem

    With the formation we play Ozil can only play wide. He’ll drift in centrally from time to time as he did yesterday. He has played there for Germany, Real and Bremen. So it’s nothing new. Although, I think he is better right than left.

    At the moment I think he needs to play himself into form, that applies whether he plays centrally or not.

  37. bob

    i bet you guys would love to have wilshere in your local pub and just watch him drink might be a good trun on for u english men

  38. shad

    Positives: We didn’t get spanked out of the park, Sanchez looks the business, Wilshere is coming into his own, Monreal looked decent and we haven’t lost a game…yet.

    Negatives: Wenger’s late subs (lack of tactical nous), Ramsey is a bit off it, Welbz isn’t the clinical finisher we wanted, Flamini is past it, Arteta justified why he’s should be retired in 30 secs, Özil’s face is still on the back of milk carton since last summer. And worse of is Debuchy looks set to be out for a spell so we’ll be short for pace on the right flank.

    Conclusion: Tastes more like 2 points dropped really. We couldn’t hold a lead for 7 freaking minutes. Wenger bottled it again, making subs that were too little, too late. On current form, Özil shouldn’t be even on the becnh. Would rather have Chuba Akpom and Campbell on the left with Santi and Rosicky rotate the no. 10 spot. But the senile fuck wants to show everyone that £42.5m wasn’t flashed down the toilet.

    We lost the league the minute he let his misplaced arrogance refuse to buy a CDM and CB. Fabregas on board would have been a welcome bonus. But I guess he cares more for Kroenke’s money than appeasing the fans, as usual. 2 more years, 8 months..counting down.

  39. karim

    Dortmund is a turning point as far as our season start is concerned
    win this and we will have done ok
    nobody would be moaning after drawing City if we had beaten Leicester 2 weeks ago
    that s where we lost unnecessary points not yesterday

  40. andy1886

    Fair enough Wallace, the FFP point also applies.

    “make excuses” Keyser? Only if actual facts can be reclassified as ‘excuses’. Let me know if my points were in fact inaccurate including the one about us being untroubled by FFP unlike Chelsea.

  41. karim

    or maybe we were unlucky as Flamini’s tackle could easily have been a throw in for city
    Howver, he shouldn t have fallen asleep while tracking Aguero

  42. Arsene's Nurse

    Arsenal will always fail when playing Wenger’s experimental 2-1-6-1 formation. It doesn’t have enough defenders in the formation to stop a counter attack and is essentially a suicidal formation:


    No other club uses the 2-1-6-1 formation and for good reasons. Enormous space is left either side of the centre backs for the opposition to exploit.

    You’ll notice that it’s most detrimental down Arsenal’s left hand side where the extra winger called Monreal is never encouraged to defend. Wenger will never be on the touchline urging his wingers to perhaps sit deeper and help the two defenders.

    In this formation the wingers are expected to spend as much time as possible ahead of the ball and preferably around the oppositions penalty area. That way they don’t have to do any defending as it’s too late to get back if the opposition win the ball and counter-attack..

    The formation is also good for inviting pressure on any central midfield player because when a midfield player picks the ball up in his own half the wingers Debuchy and Monreal are driving hard for the oppositions corner flags. This reduces the number of players available for a pass and allows the opposition almost a free goal if the midfielder is caught in possession.

    Proper managers would change the formation and use 4 defenders and coach the two wingers, err I mean, full backs to play in a less advanced position especially when the ball is in dangerous central areas.

    It’s obvious that Wenger has no idea and cannot see that Arsenal will continue to concede lots of goals due to this lack of coaching and instruction especially down the LHS.

    I think we’ll concede at least 15 goals this year due to counter-attack down the LHS. Must be 3 already.

  43. Paulinho

    Keyser – Yeah his dribbling was good but I would need to him do it again in different scenarios before I get too carried away. Sanchez more than anyone seemed to thrive off the cup type atmosphere, and he seemed inspired to keep trying to drive through their defences. At Old Trafford or Anfield, will he have the same free-wheeling approach or will he play it simple instead of turning and engaging like yesterday?

    Hleb used to strutt his stuff at places like Anfield and Old Trafford; that’s what was so great about him. He wasn’t as aggressive or ballsy in the final third as Sanchez of course in terms of shooting or trying to drive through the congestion.

  44. Keyser

    andy1886 – Excuses in terms of Chelsea, the fact is, to say Chelsea are having to comply with FFP now, you’d have to ask yourself why ? Because for the last 10 years they’ve been relying on their owners benevolence.

    If that was Arsenal, you’d be wondering why Courtois was on loan to the team who knocked them out of the Champions League, why they sold Mata when they couldn’t break teams like Crystal Palace down, why they didn’t buy Costa in January and if they couldn’t why didn’t they at least give Lukaku a chance, and in the end why they won fuckall last season.

    But because it’s Chelsea and not us, you’re willing to rationalise and excuse them.

  45. Biggus

    Interesting game yesterday. Still felt better tactics would have won the game for us. Some positives like Sanchez , Wilshere and to some extent Welbeck.

    A few points I feel
    1. Adjust our attacking play when we play Danny upfront. He’s not going to knock down high balls so maybe get a more gradual build up play
    2. Ozil is not doing too well on the wings due to lack of pace and tracking back. Let’s give him the best chance to play well by making him play that number 10 role. I expect him to make a similar impact like Silva does for citeh though they are different players
    3. Wilshere should be nurtured as an amf and nothing more. He needs a defensive minded player behind and alongside him for when he loses the ball. He should also try to make one time passes when he’s nearer our half
    4. Bring back the pressing game. A lot of times yesterday some of our players were isolated; like jack. We need to have players closer to each other. This might expose some gaps but if executed right, it pressures the opposition to lose possession. Our first goal was testament of this.
    5. Lastly, never ever ever play monreal and ozil on the same wing ever again! Good thing Sanchez swapped but we got countered cos Sanchez was involved with attack and monreal was nowhere to be found

  46. Bankz

    Radio Raheem

    We will NEVER challenge for the title under Wenger and if you haven’t figured it out by now, then you must a superhero.

    Trouble the top this season?
    Unless through a divine intervention, I don’t see this unbalanced squad of ours troubling Chelsea or City.

  47. Arsene's Nurse

    If we had Chelsea’s squad, we would not challenge for the title.

    If we had Man City’s squad, we would not challenge for the title.

  48. Radio Raheem


    I have been called many tbir but not a superhero. Cheers. Others take note.

    You can substitute ‘troubling City and Chelsea’ with being ‘nuisance value to Chelsea and City’. Better?

  49. Keyser

    Karim – Yeah, I knew we were in trouble but I thought he’d done enough to to see it out for the throw, I was willing it over the line, then it curled back in and Navas eats up ground like Clichy used to for us, we’d overhit balls all the time, but everytime Clichy would just make it.

    That’s what we’re working towards though, Navas knew where to go and he knew where Aguero wanted it.

  50. WrightIsGod

    Yesterday’s game was a lesson in realism.

    Our defensive set up is cack and that is the case no matter who plays in it. Now Mr Wenger has neglected defence (again) and now Debuchey is out. Serious trouble ahead.

    I felt that we should have been looking for a CB to replace Mertesacker rather than a player to back him up. His legs are almost completely gone. Still he isn’t the worst decision.

    Not buying a CDM is criminal. Schneiderlain is the best out there in the Premiership. Carvalho is a proper CDM. Identify what you need and bring it in.

    Then there’s Wenger. Tactically inept. How Ozil stayed on the field I do not know.

    Saying that, we played well (I attribute that to the work rate of Sanchez who set an example) and I’d take a draw over a defeat,

    Remy scores on his debut, coming on as a sub. Go figure. Fabregas looking WC for Chelsea. Go figure. £30million for Costa. Go figure.

    We need to get rid of Wenger for us to ever progress passed the 4th place trophy.

  51. leon

    Wright I agree it was very poor tactics in this game why wenger didn’t start with chaimberlain is a loss to me. Only 6 players defence and no dm very strange

  52. Keyser

    Paulinho – Hleb in that one season was allowed to continously recycle the ball as others were willing runners or able to do what he either wasn’t confident enough or able to do himself him.

    I think that’s where Sanchez differs, he’s being asked to continually produce in the final third now, if not in terms of goals but invention through sheer tenacity.

    We conceded through Sanchez trying to take the last man on and the ball being cleared upfield, I don’t think Hleb would’ve attempted to do that, or even allowed himself to be put in the situation.

    In terms of dribbling I think Hleb’s height allowed him to have the presence to keep his head up and look for the out, against Besiktas Sanchez did something that kind of sums it up, he had 3 players around him, but rolls his foot over the ball to nutmeg the last defender and escape the pressure, that’s every bit as inventive as anything Hleb ever did, but it’s the sort of 5-a-side move that Sanchez had to use to play against bigger stronger players.

  53. Rosicky@Arsenal

    @ leon

    Rosicky played full 90 min in Euro 2016 qualifier agnst Dutch.
    Maybe this was the reason he was not on the bench yesterday.

  54. Kurt F

    Feels like Cesc is the elephant in the room here – the worse Ozil plays the more it looks like Wenger has made another in a long line of atrocious judgement calls.

    Fair enough not signing him because we have a world class number 10, but if you don’t plan to play that world class number 10 as a number 10 then why not sign Cesc.

    Sorry, old ground I know but incredibly frustrating nonetheless.

  55. Keyser

    *probably had to use.

    It’s also why you see Cazorla second guess himself, Sanchez does that to, but both continually get away with it.

  56. SpanishDave

    Wengers finished he will never win the league, he is somfar away from todays thinking in football. Plus Stan and Wenger together are not going to develop a squad that is capable of wining because they will not spend the cash.
    Both of them will not face up to the real world that we are in.

  57. Keyser

    Honestly eiher his little legs make it look like he’s working harder than he is, but it looked like he was almost making himself sick, the way he pushed himself.

  58. Craigy

    Nice post man….. Haaa wenger brought dog shite arteta on to hold on to the game, and in 30 fucking seconds he nearly cost us it! I mean how long will we have to put up with this guy in our team? He was literally on for 90 seconds and the first 30 he ran after a city player trying to catch a tired pair of legs up pulling him back and eventually or more predictably gave away his usual dangerous foul nicely outside our box! So he proved in 30 seconds just how far he should be away from this club! He is a danger to it 🙂

  59. Paulinho

    Keyser – Hleb was taller and just built differently, which allowed to move both ways more comfortably. Also he two-footed and expressed that with his dribbling, whereas Sanchez will always use his right.

    Hleb was just a better pure all round footballer, which would make sense with him being a midfielder and Sanchez being a forward. Sanchez like Arshavin is not comfortable being surrounded by players in deeper positions. He doesn’t mind them in front of him though.

  60. shad

    @Kurt F,

    True. The more you watch the team, the more you realize that the invincibles became so inspite of Wenger and not because of him. The squad is so unbalanced it’s not een funny. Wenger plays both Özil and Santi, our best no. 10s on the flank to accommodate a misfiring Ramsey.
    Same man who didn’t want Welbeck runs him to the ground on his 1st game.

    Most importantly we needed a CDM and CB badly to strengthen the middle and he bottled it over pocket change. 4th place will be a battle.

  61. Craigy

    Bankz…. He said on a Facebook message that it was that serious and that he’ll be back ASAP, who knows tho! A badly sprained ankle as wenger put it! It’s a shame regardless as he played really well yesterday

  62. Steveyj

    Jeff 100% agrree the guttless parasites that run this wonderful club only care about money and for that they have the perfect manager. Its all so fustrating.

  63. kher

    I’ll start by showing my appreciation for Pedro, Alex and all bloggers of Arsenal – You make each day a little less unforgiving so thank you for that.


    Lately, reading Le Grove has become somewhat sterile. Maybe it will pick up as real football intensifies, yet I am perplexed as to how every match, even more so how every little mistake in a match is turned into a sub-plot for the club’s (read Wenger’s) inability to buy a Def mid or CB.. as if these little mistakes would never happen if we had the physical presence of Billy Carvalho or a third/fourth CB on the bench. I agree that going into the season with 3 center halves can be a bit risky but we had the same numbers last year and the 4th center back really pretty much never gets games so would be a liability in any case.

    Our defensive lapses this season are borne out of fitness and and a new set-up to address the obvious flaws of our forward play last season, which the same people now lamenting our current predicament criticised relentlessly then, here and all over the Arsenal blogosphere. Arsenal will never be the club to have a 50mil youth CB warming the bench and that is how it should be. IF we fall into the annual injury shithole, we have Bellerin and Hayden, both the right age to make their baby steps towards the first team. We have sufficient cover in midfield and attack while it is clear that our formation is moving towards having 2 equally efficient box2box players at the base of midfield.

    It is hard to think that after 4 games, fans that seemingly have intelligence and wit (at least you could say that based on their ability to write a meaningful comment) are turning into moaners worse than that hot girl you banged, had 2 kids with and who then turns into the demon of valhalla that seemingly was set in this world to make your life as miserable as possible.

    So in the end, I think we should appreciate the fact that we now have a forward line capable of scoring, interchanging and even enduring a period of injuries. We have a midfield the envy of clubs all over Europe and we have a solid defensive base which will click once the team has acclimatised to the formation changes. And don’t forget, solid but unspectacular starts often turn into real title challenges. coyg!

  64. Sam2

    Wenger prefers Jack over Özil in the no 10 position. Jack had 50% more of the ball than anyone else yesterday. OK he played well but I still can’t understand it, unless he doesn’t want to drop Jack and Jack can’t play anywhere else. I also think Jack’s play is messing with Ramsey’s too. I have never seen Özil play really well wide.
    We are also going to miss Debuchy massively. It looked serious. And Flamini is not the answer, unless the question is which DM isn’t good enough for us.

  65. Radio Raheem

    Lol I love how we romanticise the past.

    Firstly, Sanchez and Hleb are completely different types of players detailed to do different things in our team so I wouldn’t bother comparing. But if I had to choose one it’ll be Sanchez everytime. I remember Hleb being quite inconsistent his first couple of seasons (or first season and a half).

    Is it 3 in 3 consecutive matches for Sanchez now? The guy’s work rate is nuts. He leads from the front.

  66. omar

    Why are people angry/disappointed/frustrated at Ozil’s lacklustre performances. Its not like he was bought to light up the field. He was a panic buy to calm the masses after Wenger sat on his hands for the entire summer transfer window in 2013 only to get demolished by Aston Villa at home in the season opener. Don’t you think he knows that?

  67. andy1886

    Keyser, you’re an angry man. Simply explaining why Chelsea didn’t sign Costa in January isn’t ‘making excuses’, it’s explaining their actions whilst making no judgement about the wider issues. Why you have to go off on one only you know. I’d put money on you starting an argument as they lower you in your coffin.

  68. Jake

    Just watched the highlights on the Arsenal Player. Ozil involved in a lot of our good stuff going forward. People need to get off the bandwagon a bit. He wasn’t great but he certainly wasn’t as bad as some of you are saying.

  69. Paulinho

    Radio – He was pretty much great all the time IMO, despite the general narrative of him only having one good season. Champions League in 05/06 he was immense. I agree though, almost completely different players.

  70. Paulinho

    Love the way Ozil casually chests the ball down and surges forward with the ball. Those little moments that almost make you excuse him for all his ills.

  71. Keyser

    andy1886 – No, I’m pretty calm and rational, your reply was to Wallace, Wallace’s reply was to Jeff, who keeps wondering why Costa ended up at Chelsea with no-one else bidding.

    I could apologise and give you the benefit of the doubt, but I get this nagging feeling at some point you’d just end up making a similar point to Jeff.

    Who cares what the reasons are for Chelsea, how many people are going to say ‘Well Chelsea had to comply with FFP, so you can understand..’ and then make the same rational argument when it comes to us ? That’s what annoys me, I’m sorry, but are you willing to give us the same benefit of the doubt or will you at some point use Chelsea as a measure to criticise Arsenal ?!

    Chelsea had Lukaku, Mourinho had no intention of playing him, why not sell him and solve your striker shortage a year earlier. Rodgers was looking at Costa last year and he refused to move, back then his buyout clause was 20 million.

    Isn’t the above the sort of thing people would end up saying if that was us ? Honestly nothing against you really.

  72. Bankz


    I saw the Facebook post yesterday but fresh reports out of France suggests he is out for at least 2months.

    Remember Giroud was supposed to be a matter of weeks before it was found out, he would be out till January.

  73. Goondawg

    I’m really liking Alex’s posts! Always a couple punchlines that make me lols. Keep it up bro!

    Debuchy wrote on his fb page there’s no fracture. Awaiting medical test on monday. That’s positive.

  74. Keyser

    Paulinho – Lol that’s what I tried to point out, he was better balanced because of his size, but he wasn’t half as decisive in the attacking third or as incisive in his overall talent.

    Like Sanchez’s goal yesterday, Sanchez is more likely to hit it aswell as he did with his right, I don’t think A. Hleb would’ve attempted the first time shot, B. would’ve connected aswell as Sanchez did with either foot.

    Sanchez looks like Arshavin on steroids, I’d need to see how he plays more in the deeper areas though, because he seems to have decent speed of thought and did pretty well.

    In terms of dribbling I think moving in very tight areas in and around the box Sanchez might show us more then Hleb was ever willing to try, there’s flashes at the moment, but I think there’s hope.

    I disagree about form to, I think overall it’ll be about consistentcy, Hleb developed it by adapting to the strengths of those around him and it significantly cut down his variation, but lead to probably his best ever season, hopefully Sanchez achieves something similar.

    Radio Raheem – At the moment his work-rate is soo nuts, or does it just seem like that ? I dunno there must be a downside somewhere.

  75. Bade

    So Ozil is the new Scape Goat eh?


    There’s a reason why Arshavin started well & faded

    There’s a reason why Rambo on the flanks didn’t work & now he’s one of our most important players

    & There’s a reason why Ozil isn’t a winger

    Cry all you want about collective defensive responsibility & tracking back, but honestly Cesc was never that guy back then, nor will be Ozil.

    Ozil is here to play centrally, with larger share of our attacking mission & smaller of our defensive duties, not rocket science eh?

  76. salparadisenyc

    6 points from 4 matches.

    Ozil on the left leaving Navas free to run riot exposing Monreal with Mesut’s lack of tracking back tactically cost us the 3 points. We can blame Flamini all we like as he’s not up to the quality necessary but yesterday’s achilles was that formation with Ozil on the left. Really do believe had we started with the 4-2-3-1 with either Rosicky whom did not make bench perhaps a fitness worry or Ox on the left we’d of won that game.

    Think 99% of us posted that our defensively thin squad of 6 defender to cover the back four would obviously hurt us at some stage this fall. And Jan. 1 we’d be in the market and like clockwork Debuchy is out for what looks to be December and the possibility of Bellerin seeing major action is looking quite possible.

  77. Alex James

    Omar. Quite right. To Wenger, he is a luxury player, who needs to be accommodated somewhere in the team. To me, managers who play players out of position are mad in the head. This is what Wenger does all the time. Apart from TH, it has never worked. I just wish he would go.

  78. Tippitappi

    When I left the ground I was thinking we should have won but could have lost on closer inspection we were well short at the end we were hanging on like the away side , we’re light years from giving the chavs north & south the kind of thrashings they gave us at their places. We’re ok at the moment at the back and should get a result at Villa next week but I cannot see our tiny defensive unit lasting out till January on top of which their still struggling at set pieces and long looping balls into the area , another example of poor management this summer of the defence not just by the awful wenger but that bunch of a yes men mascarading as a board. Our challenge will end earlier this year than last, shame it doesn’t have to be.

  79. Keyser

    “There’s a reason why Arshavin started well & faded”

    Yeah because he came at 27/28 and as his legs went he couldn’t cope.

    Ozil is different.

    Before the game yesterday, people went on abou tactics, formation and the inclusion of Wilshere, after the game they switched to Ozil.

  80. VP

    Great post.

    Great comment Jeff.

    Now where are those people who said that winning the FA Cup would be the making of this club.

    If anything its been detrimental. All pressure has been taken of the manager and board resulting in the pathetic TW and what you see before you this season with underpinning weakness being overlooked once again.

    We will need things to get worse before they can get better. But this is something that certain fans will never get.

  81. Bade

    Keyser the relentless

    I don’t have fingers to go on a long one with you mate, but Arshavin got here at 27 & those should have been his best years (until 30) ….

    Nothing to do with legs mate

  82. andy1886

    Nope Keyser, I wasn’t even hinting at a Jeff type rant, as I said I was simply offering an explanation as to why Chelsea didn’t buy Costa in January, nothing more. As it happens I didn’t expect us to buy Costa either then or during this summer. Nothing to do with money, more to do with the types of player that Maureen and Wenger both like. Costa is a Maureen style striker, power and aggression, Wenger is more interested in technical ability and team work.

  83. Jeff

    “Costa is a Maureen style striker, power and aggression, Wenger is more interested in technical ability and team work.”

    Thank goodness for that because otherwise we may not have won all those league titles in the last decade. Phew – what a relief!

    Jokes aside though, Wenger’s first consideration is always how cheap the player is and making up the numbers – not technical ability. If you want to hold that view you’ll have to explain the large number of duds he bought such as Park, Djourou, Miyaichi, Sanogo, Gervinho, Sylvestre – etc. etc. etc. as well you know; the list is pretty big.

  84. Keyser

    Bade – Different physically, in style and players as a whole, Arshavin played in the Russian League for the entirety, he returned there to, Ozil, the Bundesliga and then La Liga, until the age of 25.

    andy1886 – You were replying to Wallace, who in turn.. actually already said this. Also it’s not much of an explanation is it considering what they sold Lukaku for.

    I think Wenger would’ve liked Costa, you’re under-rating his technical ability, though I do think there’s other reasons.

  85. TitsMcgee

    “They are also very philosophic about drawing with City yesterday – preferring to see it as some sort of consolation because we didn’t lose”

    This is the part that gets me. Standards have dropped so far that a draw is considered progress. It’s almost like there is a relief we didn’t get thrashed (again).

    Making the same mistakes over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of being mad.

  86. Bamford13

    Good post.

    Arsenal drew yesterday for two reasons — both down to the incompetent manager.

    First, where City had the dominant Fernandinho, Arsenal had the utterly useless Flamini. Arsenal have needed a quality CDM for two years now, but the manager’s stinginess have kept them fom signing one.

    Second, despite obvious fatigue throughout the side, and despite our having another important match Wednesday, Wenger did not bring on fresh legs and minds when he should have. Instead, he waited until the 85th minute, when it no longer mattered.

    Arsenal will not be a top team again until Wenger is gone.

    Wenger out.

  87. Hitman

    Less said about Ozil the better. Flop. And its his own fault. A cowardly player.
    If your world class – it doesn’t matter where you play.

    Only thing to look forward to is this line up:
    Sanchex, Jack, Rambo, Theo

    Shame it will be propped up by Flamini or Arteta.
    I’d give Coq a go. Couldn’t be any worse.

  88. Bamford13

    As for the rationalizations re Costa, I already pointed out yesterday that we’ve needed a class striker for two fucking years. Costa was not the only one out there. He’s just one example of the kind of striker we should long ago have signed.

    Instead Wenger has stuck with the thoroughly mediocre Giroud and his French youth experiment, Sanogo.

    End of.

    Wenger out.

  89. Jeff


    I think I can explain the Champions League angle. Wenger knows he’s got an easy group and thinks Galatasaray and Anderlech will not pose much of a threat so going to the next round in second place and getting the money for doing so (for him) is a foregone conclusion. No need to do any special planning. We can lose to Dortmund and he wouldn’t bat an eyelid knowing second place and exit in the next round is probably all we’re worth anyway.

  90. andy1886

    Keyser, no idea why they decided to hang on to Lukaku, same as I have no idea why Wenger did some of the things he has done (Bendtner went from the answer to our problems to an outcast in about five minutes, Park? you tell me). Any way you cut it Chelsea’s recent transfer activity has produced a very coherent side that’s got a great shot at the title, and most of their business since Maureen returned has been conducted with a relatively modest outlay.

  91. Bamford13

    As for Ozil, he might as well not have been on the pitch yesterday. The boy is a ghost of his former self — this has been true for months now — and it isn’t simply a matter of his being played wide. He was a shadow of his former self in the final months last season, and he was being played centrally.

    Something is wrong with the boy.

    Cazorla would give us far more, both centrally and wide. Ozil should be brought in centrally in the 70th until he finds himself again.

  92. Hitman

    Ha ha.

    Coq is the only real alternative I can see in our squad until January window opens.
    Arteta is too slow. Flamini is woeful. A world class DM would probably have got us the title last year. But he resigns Flam instead. Why? An example of corruption in football or just sheer lunacy.

  93. andy1886

    Just to back up my last post Maureen since his return in June 2013 has spent £65.4m net, and Wenger has spent £86.3m net. I think that regardless of the starting point anyone would find it difficult to argue that Maureen has improved Chelsea more on a lower transfer fee spend than Wenger has improved Arsenal. Figures from

  94. Jeff


    “An example of corruption in football or just sheer lunacy.” I think it’s just ineptitude from all quarters. Wenger likes to gamble – if it works he’s a genius, if it doesn’t it’s bad luck or some such mitigatory occurrence.

    While I do not think gambling is a wise thing to do for anyone, in Wenger’s case there is no problem because he never has to stake his own money or job. That’s the punch line to the joke which his followers never quite manage to get.

  95. bergkamplegend

    Very good performance specially in the 1st half.

    A point against them is good to take, don’t forget we are targeting the 4th spot…
    For change…

  96. bergkamplegend

    It’s so easy to sack Ozil.

    All I know is that Le senile one put him in a postition which Mesut don’t like at all….

  97. Keyser

    andy1886 – Not really, you’re either on a wind-up now, or you had it mind from the beginning.

    Your argument now is like saying ‘Forget the starting point, Roberton di Matteo took Chelsea where Mourinho couldn’t.

  98. bergkamplegend

    So the question remains, in a unbearable suspens : will we succeed to reach the 4th spot this season again ??
    Will Le mighty professor will succeed to beat a new record of successive qualifications for the CL ??

    And talking about other teams : will yoonited will succeed to stop Cesc and his new friends to be crowned in May ?? Ok not funny, sorry…

  99. Arsene's Nurse

    Relieable sauce September 14, 2014 12:14:39


    So we’ll be after CR7 next summer then??? : /
    I expect so. Wenger sees him as the solution to our left back problem.

  100. Johnty79

    Ozil isn’t good enough…I’ve been proved right.

    Ox wellbeck sancez
    Ramsay wilshere
    Artete( best of a bad bunch)
    Gibbs mert koz chambers
    Schezny(should of bought begovic told u so)

    That team would have too much energy for any team to contend with. Bring on Ozil and cazorla in the last 15mins when teams are tired.

  101. Bamford13

    Aside from finding his inspiration again, the only way I see Ozil reviving his game is by going through a conditioning/speed regimen that would give him his explosiveness back.

    Those who have watched Ozil for a long time know that he was once one of the most fluent dribblers in Europe, that he could run at and beat multiple defenders, that he often looked the liveliest player in the pitch.

    Today he plays at walking pace and looks like a man asleep on his feet, drained if energy.

    Perhaps Forsythe will be able to help with this. Until Oz is physically tip top again, however, he shouldn’t start.

    He looks like a dead man out there.