CRISIS – but it could be a good thing

by .

le grove, football, FA Cup

So it’s Wenger’s happy 18th year in charge.


Errr… this is a bit like my 14th birthday after I’d just been caught shoplifting Lynx Africa from Boots. Awkward.

I don’t want to be a sycophant because I’m not one, but this doesn’t feel like a celebration. I have all the respect in the world for a man who can last 18 years at a club in this day in age, trouble is, at any other club, he wouldn’t still be in charge. He’s celebrating 18 years because he’s the main man and he decides how many anniversary celebrations he wants to have.

Anyway, I was going to preview the Chelsea tactics I expect to see on show at the weekend, but shoot me down, I totally forgot we have the return of Galatastaray. Could we see the return of Eboue? I hope so. I’d love to play against him and actually enjoy one of his performances for once.

Sadly, I won’t be going. I am ill, which NEVER happens without alcohol playing a key role.

So, I’ll be watching it with all the lesser fans on TV. Right? Just jokes people. The lesser fans are the mexican wavers or the half scarfers… you know who you are.

I’ll be watching it on TV so I can gain a better understanding of the tactical intricacies of our game. You know, so I can give the deep dive tomorrow when Wenger showcases the false 3 this evening.

I don’t think the game will be a cake walk, mainly because we’re in a bit of an injury crisis. We need to bounce back from a very disappointing result against Spurs. At home, in the Champions League, a win is a total essential if you want to ease to qualification. We need to chalk up some points, but more importantly, we need to earn some credit back with the home fans.

Trouble with this game is that there will be an eye on Chelsea at the weekend. Well, there should be. They have an extra days on us, though they did travel away and they all looked totally ruined by the end of their closely fought 0-1 victory. Our issue is squad size. We can’t really rotate any of our backline.

Midfield is totally shot to pieces, Abou Diaby has a hip problem… of course he does, right? Jack is expected to be rested, Arteta and Rambo are out. It’s really not looking too grand. How does our midfield line up? Errr…? Flamini, Ox, Chambo, Cazorla? I mean, however it looks will be not the bestest eh? No balance in there.

Up top, Welbz, Sanchez and… Rosicky?

Man, I don’t know what’s going on tonight… but it doesn’t look too handsome a situation.

Here’s the thing though, the players he’ll have to play have something to prove. So we could see a really impressive reaction. I think our best game last December was Hull (?). We rested 8 players and put on a storming performance.


I guess we’re praying for a few things.

1. 3 points

2. No injuries

3. Injured players recover

Right, that’s me done. Enjoy the game, I’ll catch you in the morning for the match report, sympathies for illness accepted in the comments with gratitude.

790 Responses to “CRISIS – but it could be a good thing”

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  1. Cesc Appeal

    Hugely impressed with Welbeck tonight, not JUST the hat trick but more his effort and speed. Godo combo to have.

    Cazorla as well was very good having to play a B2B role next to Flamini. Did it well and was full of running till the end.

    Lost a lot of shape when Schez got sent off, was always going to happen but I think Ozil should have been the one to be pulled after that, looked shagged and as the commentator said not the bloke you want on when your work rate needs to go up.

    I’d go with the same sort of line up for Chelsea, no Wilshere, maybe add Diaby to the middle in place of Ozil and play a 4-3-3 but asking Sanchez and Oxlade to do a lot of tracking back. Going to a hard game for those two.

    Choke the middle, ask Flamini and Diaby to shield the defence and plug the holes, then Sanchez, Oxlade and Welbeck for pure counter attacking football.

    Please, please no 4-MESS-1 against Chelsea, please. 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 please!

  2. Wengers Plastic Bottle

    Ospina is a decent number two no one is comparing the two

    Schez may have been all that last season but he’s twitching a bit this season and when your keeper is shaky usually the defence are to.

    Cortouis will end up having better stats then Schez this year.

  3. Jeff


    What you say makes sense but there is a side to it you neglected to mention. Ospina is a “steady pair of hands”. Szcz is young (you’re right) but sometimes that gets the better of him and he does the most stupid things. It only needs for the goalie to do that a handful of times and it can cost points and prizes. When he learns to read the game and time his runs a bit better he’ll be a top keeper – but not yet.

    As for height – Casillas ( a great keeper) is not that tall, Bartez wasn’t and he lasted 4 years at Man U. So it’s not just about height. But overall; Szcz has shown himself to be very rash and is prone to stupid mistakes – that’s what sometimes makes him a liability in crucial matches.

  4. NYCgooner

    Santi deserved that last goal. He was good tonight. We might have stumbled unto something playing him from that deep postition.

  5. london gunner


    He made 3 errors last season which was less than many keepers last season and the same as many more

    His decsion making is no worse or no better than the premier league standard

    The difference is his younger than most keepers his less expeirenced yet his not making more mistakes than older veterans

    Shows the boy truly is a massive talent with buckets of potential

    People forget a 23 year old keeper is fucking young in keeper years

    The stats prove his an absoulte beast of a keeper and the data simply doesn’t lie my friend

  6. salparadisenyc

    For all the talk of L’Oreals hold up play, we’ve a much more well rounded CF in Danny boy whom can do that but with the threat of flicking it past the last defender and scoring. Great performance and OG’s Welbeck doll surely took a beating tonight i’d imagine.

    That said, should of been on a quattro!

  7. london gunner

    “Santi deserved that last goal. He was good tonight. We might have stumbled unto something playing him from that deep postition”

    I agree he was good tonight its hard to tell whether he exceled from the position because of how poor gala was but in the second half gala had a lot more possesion and he still seemed very solid playing deeper.

    I hope to see this tried in the premier league at some stage

  8. MidwestGun

    Like always it’s not Schezzers ablity it’s his head. A lot like Balotelli in that regard.

    Welbeck just said it’s first hat trick ever. Very happy for him.

  9. WengerEagle

    London Gunner

    I thought that you meant that Szeszny was better Keeper than Lloris, my bad.

    IMO the top 3 GK’s in the BPL are:

    1) Courtois
    2) Lloris
    3) Hart/Szczesny

  10. Cesc Appeal

    If we had a stronger CDM we could experiment with all this kind of stuff in the middle, Cazorla playing a Kroos like role a deeper lying play maker but who also gets involved on the edge of the box

  11. Cesc Appeal


    I like the looks of Fraser Forster so far at Saints as well.

    Obviously not in a Lloris/Courtois type league but I think he’s solid. Massive as well!! Not just height but thickness! Jeeez!

  12. gazzap

    That lobbed pass at the end from Jack was really poor and gave Santi far too much to do. Santi couldn’t control that ball. But had Jack just slid it along the floor, Santi would have scored. I still have big concerns about Jack at this level.

  13. salparadisenyc

    Sczez may be a talented shot stopper but i’ve never been won over by his play or remotely comfortable with him as our number 1. Love to see Ospina blossom into the player that takes over from him and exudes a calm. Made some great saves tonight for coming off the bench cold.

  14. london gunner

    Wenger Eagle

    No Cech?

    Cech has to be the most undderated keeper in the history of football.

    for me its

    2Courtois (can’t really say his better until I at least give him a season in this league)
    3 Lloris
    4 Szcz
    5 de gea
    6 joe hart

  15. london gunner


    Actually if you look at the stats

    Szcz is one of the best shot stoppers

    Along with one of the best collecters of the ball from crosses/aerial balls(which implies he has very good hands and reading of the game)

    His also got one of the most accurate distrubtions

    Oh and has the most accurate punches of the ball

    A lot of these stats point to have him A great individual tecnhique traits B reading the game well and mastering his box.

    Lads a serious talent and two years younger than an ok but certainly no wow factor Ospina

  16. gazzap

    Ospina oozed calmness, whereas Szcz just looks like a rabbit in headlights half the time. It’s all about whether Wenger has the balls to upset the status quo and make the change to our keeper. Personally I don’t see that happening until Ospina gets a long run in the team if/when Szcz is injured. But for sure, i’d bring Ospina in right now.

  17. london gunner

    Wenger Plastic Bottle

    I think Courtous is on a very similar level to Cech so it makes sense for Mourinho to look to the future

    Courtois is to good to bench (as is Cech) But the difference being Courtois has a higher potential and obviously will have many years of playing (many more than Cech)

    I think its got the point with Courtois where they can’t keep loaning him out they need to bring him in the fold and make him a Chelsea ledgend.

    Whilst Cech for me still has a few years at the top level its just unfortunately bad timing for him

  18. WengerEagle

    London Gunner

    Oh yeah Cech is definitely up there, I was just going by starting GK’s for BPL clubs.

    Cech would be 2nd in that list behind Courtois and then I agree with the rest of your list besides De Gea ahead of Hart who’s the better GK IMO.

    I’ve regularly watched Courtois since he joined Atletico in 2011 on loan and he’s outstanding, just ask Mourinho himself and Ronaldo when he virtually single-handedly kept Atletico in the Copa Del Rey Cup Final in 2013 vs Real Madrid which they went on to win.

    At just 22 he could easily reach Oliver Kahn/Gigi Buffon levels and possibly surpass them both.

  19. salparadisenyc


    No doubt Szez is a serious talent its the split second decision making that does me in. Echoes mad Jens at his worst and the ultimate defeat. Never going to be a Buffon with that constant threat from the cold rush of blood.

  20. northern gooner

    The good thing watching welbz tonight was that giroud would never of scored or got on the end of any of the passes that set the goals up.
    Think giroud could be the ideal 68th min sub.

  21. Cesc Appeal

    So the two games we’ve played 4-2-3-1 we’ve scored SEVEN and conceded ONE – and that was a penalty.

    Granted Gala aren’t the strongest team and their set up was laughable in the first half but we had problems of our own as well tonight.

    It’s there for everyone to see. Stay away from this 4-1-4-1 bollocks. If Wilshere and Ramsey don’t work in a 4-2-3-1 then that’s just too bad for one of them isn’t it? The team comes first.

  22. kwik fit

    The more I see of Chambers the more I think he’d be absolutely awesome as a CM. Reads the game perfectly, has reasonable pace and has a good range of passing. He may just be whats needed in the middle. Perhaps Bellerin could be deployed as our Right back,

  23. Rockypires

    Maybe we should snuff out space at back v Chelski and play 5-3-1-1

    Keep it tight at start the. Spring alexi and santi for belled in and jack.

  24. Jeff

    There is also the matter of the 6:0, 6:3, 5:1 and 3:0 defeats last season. That’s 20 goals in four games. I believe Szczesny presided over all of them. Now I’m not saying all the goals could have been saved, but we also can’t say none of them could.

  25. Baartil

    Özil – Alexis – Welbz – Ox – Santi
    Really good attacking!

    Great team effort, apart from Szczzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……..

    And hey – no injuries!

    Looking forward to Chelsea game!

  26. Jeff


    Yeah – if only Wenger saw it like that. Individual loyalties and being nice to the manager (saying how great and wonderful he is) come first.

  27. london gunner


    Szczney has already made a few match saving saves this season which are ignored of course

    His also had 2 red cards in his entire career Ithing with me is I don’t stereotype players in fact I look at the cold hard data in front of me,

    People create a narrative about a player and refuse/ ignore the facts that counter and prove that narrative false.

    Its like the other day Szczney rushed out twice and cleared the ball people were losing their shit GOING OMG His so wreckless when if hadn’t cleared the ball the striker would have been through on goal as the closest man to him was Mert whose never catching him…

    So he made to clearnces of the most paramount nature… instead of it being a postive its Szczney’s out of control.. Ok what ever fits your narrative mate.

    The fact is Szczney is a young ass keeper he has less expeirence the fact his even playing at the level he is and getting better stats than other veteran keepers shows his got tremendous natural goal keeping ability

    A lot of the keepers people compare Szcz to are older which counts for a lot in the GK world or are Courtois basically the future best keeper in the world its not fair and its incredibley bias.

    He made 3 errors last year people make out he made an error a game or an error every other game in fact he must of made 1 error about ever 18 games

  28. Rockypires

    Ya but for all the slagging of giroud isn’t he a great option as a sub st.
    That’s level he should have being at never his fault he was automatic first choice.

    Likewise ospina. Ball is in his court now gets to play next cl game show what he got. I too worry about him under crosses

  29. Goondawg

    The thing I like about chambers is also hes not shy to ruffle the feathers. Harrying the opponents wingers and giving them little shoves and nudges. Also pleasing when he gets backed into a corner and then boots the ball into their face for a goal kick. Really pleasing performance from the lad 😀

    And ospina made 4 saves out of 4 shots or something like that. People are uncertain about him, but I doubt hes had many games with this defence. And it takes time to build up a rapport and chemistry and enable the back 4 to trust you wholly. He’s a very experienced keeper nonetheless and an able addition. Scez fucks me off with his stupid lunges. Coulda cost us against a team like chelsea for example not a 4-0 beaten down turkish team and their fucking flare throwing fans. They can fuck off and throw shit at each other in middle earth.

  30. Cesc Appeal


    It’s ridiculously obvious we are better in every area in a 4-2-3-1. Villa 0-3 now 4-1 at home to Gala.

    I was going to say MORE structure, fluidity, tempo and a discernible formation…but really just 4-2-3-1 means we HAVE structure, fluidity, tempo and a discernible formation.

    But then on Saturday Wenger reverted to a 4-1-4-1 when it was obvious he shouldn’t, Sanchez proved every single Arsenal fan groaning about his exclusion from the 11 against the Spuds right tonight as well. Just wrong, wrong, wrong, he gets so much wrong! Ahhhh!

  31. Goondawg

    I like how ospina knows how to take the sting out of the game. and slow the tempo down. Too many times scez has distributed the ball just to throw it back in the gutter and have attacks down our throats constantly.

  32. Cesc Appeal

    Maybe Chambers will end up being a CM option, no excuse at all not to buy a CDM though, not in the slightest. His potential development isn’t one either.

  33. Goondawg

    3 errors last year? 2 red cards in his whole career?

    We talking about chezzer. That cant be true. And as mistakes go, Ive lost count of how many times hes kicked the ball out straight to their midfielder or striker and we have gotten away with it due to their inability to finish. He must have done that three times this season already

  34. MidwestGun

    Schezzer’s form has been off… which I pointed out about 5 games ago. It’s not a narrative. He was good last year, no doubt. For whatever reason this year his decision making and positioning have been off. Don’t think that’s age related, more personality maybe. Still think he has the potential based on his talent and physical makeup to be great. But you should always play the in form players in my opinion. The players that give the team best chance to win.
    And that includes not playing JW and Rambo when the team plays better without them.

  35. rustygunner

    Good game Arsenal. Impressed by Ospina after coming on. Good saves without theatrics and petulance. Could this be the beginning of the sunset for Szczeney? He ought to realize he is gonna do it unto himself with his attitude.

  36. gazzap

    While I like Chambers, both he and Flamini pick up too many bookings. But at Chelsea maybe we need two players in front of defence who can really battle for the ball.

  37. Jaroda

    On transfer day the ‘pool fans were giving it large with the £16m for Welbeck or £!6m for Balotelli, Arsenal have been mugged off line. Judging by the comments on the BBC live updates they’re gagging for a bit of Welbz now. Balotelli is what we suspected – a goal shy liabilty.

  38. Jeff


    Most sane managers would play the formation and pick the team that he thinks is the most likely to win. With Wenger, there are other factors (best known to him) that compel him to do things which go against the grain of logic and empirical testament. I have no idea why he does it.

    If it was just us lot on here saying it we could probably dismiss it as a bunch of armchair wannabes judging a professional but it’s not is it. Plenty of other professional pundits, ex-players and commentators are saying the same thing – it’s just that they are a little more polite and PC about it.

    The great quandary for me is this: is he doing it on purpose or is there some underlying explanation? My best guess is that it is just being egotistical and trying to prove everyone wrong. But that in itself is not a valid reason is it?

    So we are left with an infuriating feeling of “what could have been” or “if only”. The funny thing is that nobody seems to pick him up on it. “Arsene, you saw that 4 1 4 1 didn’t work, why did you try it again?” “You can see Arteta is having a hard time in the middle, why didn’t you buy a proper CM?”

    And yet nobody asks the hard questions. It’s all easy peezie lemons squeezie questions.

  39. MidwestGun

    I think its safe to say when Balotelli shows up with the crazy hair…. it’s a subliminal message. I think most people said if he could be controlled mentally he would be a good signing. Unfortunately for Pool he’s #Balosdeep in crazy. Can’t say as It couldn’t happen to a better team.

  40. salparadisenyc

    From my brief search of Szez on the net I find, 11 yellows and 3 red cards in his brief career. One of those for country if memory serves.

    Telling numbers.


    I was all for Ballosdeep and pissed we didn’t sign em, players certainly not off to the start Liverpool would of hoped for. That can easily change. Very pleased in Welbeck we seem to be onto something we’ve lacked in several season may his form continue to rise.

    No need to spell it out in such a cunting manner, very ladylike.

  41. MidwestGun

    I think its safe to say when Balotelli shows up with the crazy hair…. it’s a message. I think most people said if he could be controlled mentally he would be a good signing. Unfortunately for Pool he’s #Balosdeep in crazy. Can’t say as It couldn’t happen to a better team.

  42. MidwestGun

    I think its safe to say when Balotelli shows up with the crazy hair…. it’s a subliminal message. I think most people said if he could be coached mentally he would be a good signing. Unfortunately for Pool he’s #Balosdeep in craziness. Can’t say as It couldn’t happen to a better team.

  43. BacaryisGone

    How ironic that Welbeck would almost certainly have not been an Arsenal player if it weren’t for a late, 4 month injury to Giroud.

    Chambers is still raw and makes plenty of errors but his physicality is impressive.

    Chezzer made an error that would have been a great save with a fraction of a second difference. I’ve seen many more experienced keepers do the same.

    More games like this and fewer injuries and I might have to change my user name to GibbsisGod. He really is a quality left-back.

    Final comment about Warren Barton. He’s becoming a good analyst much to my surprise. Went against the grain in saying Ozil was playing well, and put it down to getting plenty of touches on the ball (60 by half-time). Also commended Welbeck’s finish on the first goal which he said was much harder than it looked. Finally an analyst other than Neville that avoids the obvious cliche.

  44. london gunner


    6:0, Chelsea vs Arsenal

    First 3 lloris.cech wouldn’t of saved maybe MAYBE Cassilias in his prime

    4th goal hard to say as the defence should have been marking that player tbh Szcz was in a hopeless position

    5th he should of saved was really shit by him I agree

    6th would be impossible to save salah had far to much time

    City 6 arsenal 3

    1st impossible to save

    2nd would of taken a cassilias in his prime save

    3rd goal was perfect placement no one saves that unless they are peter schemeicels oliver kahn hybrid

    4th great goal most top keepers can’t save that silva is to close the balls coming into fast

    5th goal defensce was a shambles nothing keeper could or should do the CB let him done

    6th was crap by szcz again


    1st nothing keeper can do awful marking from defence

    2nd same nothing keeper can do there is a man on the post who should head it away and was a perfect header by skertel

    3rd defence ripped to pieces by liverpool on the counter (“commentator nothing szcznery can do”)

    4th absoultely nothing keeper can do against sturridge here perfect ball to him and perfect finish

    5th szcznery makes a great save sterling should finish first time he finishes on a rebound but nothing keeper can do Commetator “szcznery does extremely well nothing more he can do about that”

    So he let in one goal against chelsea he should of saved but by then the game was well and truly done.

    He let in goal against City but the game was well over as well

    SO in those 3 games he was basically not at fault in anyway for us losing… nor could he of been expected to bring the score line of any of those games down considerably

    I get you have a narrative but at least watch the game without bias.

    LEAVE your stereotypes at home!

  45. WengerEagle

    I’ve never understood the Brendan Rodgers love-in.

    His record in the transfer market is pretty appalling barring a couple of bargains (Coutinho and Sturridge), he’s tactically naive with a penchant for making the same mistakes over and over again (much like our lovely leader) and he’s won fuck-all nothing even if he is young(ish).


  46. MidwestGun

    I think its safe to say when Mario shows up with the bizarre hair…. it’s a subliminal message. I think most people said if he could be controlled mentally he would be a good signing. Unfortunately for Pool he’s #Balosdeep in nuttiness. Can’t say as It couldn’t happen to a better team.

  47. Radio Raheem

    Yeah I was also in favour of Welbeck and totally against Balotelli. Even then I don’t see the need for crowing. Like the great Greek philosophers say, “Football has a way of biting you in the arse”.

  48. MidwestGun

    I think its safe to say when Balotelli shows up with the crazy hair…. it’s a subliminal message. I think most people said if he could be controlled mentally he would be a good signing. Unfortunately for Pool he’s #Ballosdeep in crazy. Can’t say as It couldn’t happen to a better team.

  49. MidwestGun

    Most people said if Mario could be handled or coached mentally he would be
    A good transfer. Safe to say the hairdo is an indication. He’s #Balosdeep in crazy.

  50. london gunner

    Wenger Eagle

    I think its because he gets them playing attractive uneffective and badly defensed football

    Hang on…. that sounds like another club…?

    But in all honesty when our strongest back 4 is fit we have a seriously good back 4

    Just need that WC DM and we will be a serious unit at the back

  51. Wallace

    “”They both arrived at 23 and Danny Welbeck has got going a lot quicker than Thierry Henry did. Whether he goes on to emulate what Thierry did is another matter. But Arsenal have embraced him, Wenger loves him in that position. He’s provided what Arsenal haven’t had. This is an arena where he can launch his career.”

    – M. Keown

    also, thought Ozil was excellent tonight. some very sexy passes in the middle third of the game.

  52. kwik fit

    Initially I was totally against us signing Balotelli. As the transfer window progressed however I became more and more desperate, so much so that I was all for signing Balotelli in the last few dys of the window. I never thought once about Danny Welbeck as an option but I am delighted that Ivan Gazidis went that extra mile and signed. Cheers Ivan!

  53. MidwestGun

    Aargh comments in moderation hell. But basically been trying to say most people said IF Mario could be coached on his attitude he would be a good signings. But obviously based on his hairdo he’s
    #Balosdeep in nuttiness.

  54. MidwestGun

    Aargh comments in moderation hell. But basically been trying to say most people said IF Mario could be coached on his attitude he would be a good signings. But obviously based on his hairdo he’s
    #Balosdeep in nuttiness.

  55. Jeff


    I did watch every one of those games when they were played. If by narrative you mean an agenda, I promise you I have nothing of the sort. There are just too many examples of bad keeping that don’t always turn into goals and those do not make it into the statistics – which as you say is your only influence.

    But this whole thing started with the comparison between Szcz and Ospina. The observation on tonight’s performance was that Szcz decided to make a rash challenge (again) and got himself sent off. Ospina came on and made about 4 good saves. Is Ospina a better keeper on those statistics alone – of course not. But purely from an observational point of view, Szcs does make rash challenges. Some of them work and some don’t.

    Take Neuer for example (which nobody seems to have mentioned). He also makes “seemingly” rash run outs and challenges but he gets them right. As a goalie you have to be 100% sure that you’re getting there before the striker otherwise it’s curtains. Szcz will attempt the challenge without being 100% certain of getting there and that’s what I was driving at with the Ospina comparison. If nothing else, he looks to be a steadier (more robust) keeper at this point in time and from what I’ve seen (and it’s not a lot).

    No narrative or agenda; just an observation.

  56. MidwestGun

    Aargh comments in moderation hell. But basically been trying to say most people said IF Mario could be coached on his attitude he would be a good signings. But obviously based on his hairdo he’s
    #Balosdeep in nuttiness.

  57. BacaryisGone

    ‘ Koscielny slides a pass cross-field to Ozil. He cuts it back to Bender. Bender short pass to Fabregas, he looks up and slides it through to Welbeck. Welbeck scores!’

    Oh well, you can’t have everything…

  58. WengerEagle

    Thierry Henry only just turned 22 years old when he joined us in August 1999 (he was born 17th August 1977).

    Welbeck turns 24 years old in a month’s time.

    So there is in fact a 2 year age gap there.

    At Welbeck’s age Henry scored 32 goals in a season.

    Let’s not compare Welbeck to TH14. I really like the lad and think that he’ll be a very good player for us but he’ll never hit Henry’s heights.

    And he doesn’t have to, that’s the important thing.

  59. tunnygriffboy

    Whod’ve thunk it. Serious pace up top and Ozil and Santi supplying it and we look really dangerous. Cesc made a good point earlier put a WC centre mid in there and Santi could be another asset in there for some games

    Gala not great but hey ho you play what’s in front of you. Really encouraging performances from many this eve. 🙂 🙂

  60. WengerEagle

    London Gunner

    Yeah defensively Liverpool under Rodgers are a shambles, cost them the league last season and he’s gone and signed an ordinary CB in Lovren for £20 million and a defensively suspect LB in Moreno for £15 million or thereabouts.

    They are also nowhere near as attractive to watch without Suarez, he made Sturridge and Sterling look world class (don’t get me wrong both are excellent players but Suarez brought the very best out of both).

    I’d be amazed if they finished top 4 this season tbh, we are a better side and so are United (on paper at least).

    Oh and Sturridge is >>> Balotelli.

  61. follow the money

    @Bacaryisgone :”How ironic that Welbeck would almost certainly have not been an Arsenal player if it weren’t for a late, 4 month injury to Giroud. ”

    Sadly for us fans, but this is when Wenger actually excels–when he is forced to do something he ordinarily would not. When he has total control and can pick his pet projects we see crap like the 4-1-4-1. Exhibit A: the defence he inherited from Graham

  62. london gunner

    I hate to put the blade in and turn it but we haven’t actually missed Giroud

    Granted we have been average to poor most of the season but with Giroud I feel we would have been markedly worse

  63. Emiratesstroller

    I thought that our forward line was excellent today. The combination of Sanchez, Welbeck and Oxlade-Chamberlain provided pace as well as clinical finishing. Hopefully both Walcott and Giroud will when fit offer us additional options.

    I do have still some concerns about midfield. Ozil if he returns to form would be an automatic choice but at moment is not playing at his best. The question is what is the correct formation and best options from Cazorla,Ramsey and Wilshire.

    What I do know is that we need to find in January a replacement for Flamini.
    He is without question a weak link when he plays and as usual he got carded.
    For me he is both reckless and lacking quality to play in this team and frankly
    Arteta is not much better.

    The defence apart from the penalty situation played okay. Gibbs had today a
    very good game.

    I agree with Merson that there must be concerns about Szczesny’s decision making and concentration. However, on the whole he is a decent goalkeeper.
    On the whole he has played okay this season and cannot be faulted for most of
    goals conceded.

  64. N5

    Mid, he rang me on the way out to say thank you and said he swore at a Gala fan by sticking up his finger and Grandad didn’t tell him off which made his day! (what happens at Arsenal and all that). He said he loved the noise and Dat Guy was great live.

    I was so happy to hear him falling in love with Arsenal. He always liked them, but now I think we’ve just recruited another frustrated Gooner.

  65. london gunner


    I checked the stats he made 3, Mignolet by comparison made 5 De gea made 0 (exceptional)

    Tim howard made 5 I think

    People overstate things they see Szczney clear the ball in unorthodox measure for instance by heading it out or fly kicking it and people lose their shit and yell reckless! RECKLESS!! but he gets the job done.

    Its like when De Gea arrived on the scene he has an unorthdox save style he uses his legs a lot to save the ball he doesn’t move like a traditional keeper at first people were like WTF is he doing then they were like oh wait it actually works

    People very rarely actually asses the play they asses the agenda they have built up in their heads

    Yes szczney got a red tonight his not the first keeper nor the last some of the best keepers in the world have been carded numerious times it happens its part of football

    That is why looking at the data and the stats is so imporant it keeps you level and grounded in reality as otherwise people take one or a couple of examples of something going wrong or a mistake and they blow them up out of proportion and then create this little story inside their heads where every other keeper is better or more solid/consistent

    but when you look at the cold hard data it shows the opposite

    As arsenal fans as human being we have this way of looking at the world where the grass is greener on the other side so we remeber the mistakes our keepers or players make and generally embelish the good and postive of other opostion players and ignore their weaknesses.

    Its like with Nani people were genuienly calling for us to sell Walcott/swap for Nani because people focus on a narrative a sterotype they see a few instances of nani doing step overs and his a brilliant WC player they see a couple instances of Walcott being wasteful and suddenly a narrative is formed whereby Walcott is always making mistakes and nani is a wonder player

    Its a very human thing and I get it but that’s why I ground myself by looking the cold hard data

  66. MidwestGun

    London –
    Stats are useful sure. But Vito Mannone was statistically the best keeper last year. Have to look at context. And Schezzer is definately having a bad patch right now.

  67. N5

    Yeah Mid, he got very lucky. It might be like it was for my son though where he went to Arsenal Villa for his first game when the BSM marched against Wenger not spending and he joined in with it and then when he went to his next game against Palace and the atmosphere was awful, it was a real come down for him. I hope my nephews next game isn’t a complete mirror to today to keep him hooked.

  68. MidwestGun

    Cold hard data says Vito Mannone was the best Keeper last year. So it has to be looked at in context. And Schezzer is definately having a bad mental patch most of this year. Moments of brilliance followed by huh?

  69. Goondawg

    May sound crazy, but it took Thierry Henry 4 years to score his first Arsenal hat-trick.
    It’s taken Danny Welbeck just 5 games.

  70. Doyindav

    Surely Flamini can’t play at the weekend.

    Rather go with Bellerin at RB , granted Hazard might tear him a new one, rather that than an error from Flamini where he fails to control a pass for the umpteenth time.

    And Bellerin looked decent against BVB. Then play Chambers at DM.

    This wouldn’t be an issue though if somebody didn’t leave us short on defensive players.

  71. Doyindav

    4-2-3-1 with proper wide players gives us more of a goal threat and organization than the dilly-dallying the 4-1-4-1 gives us where you have no idea why 3 players are on the left hand side passing the ball between themselves.

  72. MidwestGun

    Is it any coincidence that our most effective players this year have been Sanchez, Welbeck, Chambers, and Debuchy. All new players. So much for needing to integrate 1 or 2 at a time. Excuse not to buy, imo.

  73. BacaryisGod

    Golden Rule #1:

    Don’t compare our new Centre Forward to Thierry. First, he doesn’t have Bergkamp to play alongside him and second, it’s just creating unrealistic pressure. Compare him to Adebayor so he can exceed expectations. Don’t forget Adebayor knocked in 30 in a single season.

    Golden Rule #2

    Don’t get too bullish about our big wins or too negative about the losses. This is a team that’s still finding its way. Arsene isn’t the greatest but he’s better than most. If you blame him for the bad performances then you have to credit him for the good ones.

  74. BacaryisGod

    A little harsh over Giroud, London Gunner. Considering he turned the Everton game around before his injury and has plenty of qualities in general, I like him and Welbeck as our two CF options.

  75. MidwestGun

    So if people blame bad luck for poor performance can I not give luck credit for good performance?….. just sayin. The injury God’s know how to select a lineup. 😀

  76. qna

    Santi Cazorla was fantastic last night. He was outstanding. He reminded me of Cesc of old (or young if you like). I think we have really been missing that with Ramsey off form so far this season. I am not going to call Ramsey’s injury a blessing in disguise because it aint. But its a small comfort the way Cazorla stepped up.

    He should have got on the score sheet at the end too – poor pass from Wilshere, he should have rolled it rather than chipping it to him. Hope Alexis doesnt have any damage. Melo should have been red carded for that. That type of tackle should be forced out of the game.

  77. Ben

    Chambers is going to play 4 games in 10 days. He is only 19. Wenger is killing him. This is what happened to Wilshere. He crocked him now he is doing the same to Chambers. What a twat Wenger another young player he is going to destroy. No other manager would play a 19 year old in 4 high intensity games in 10 games. How can Bould and his other staff let him get away with this. They are just going to let him play Chambers against Chelsea wankers. Poor poor Chambers.

  78. Emiratesstroller

    Welbeck has now scored 6 goals [including 2 for England] in 6 games since he
    joined Arsenal.

    At £16 million transfer fee that must be the bargain of the season by any calculation.

    If there is any lesson to be learned from last night’s game it is that playing 3 quick players up front who can score goals will win you games.

    Having Walcott and Giroud in squad will offer us different options. Suddenly
    we don’t look short up front as we did last season.

    My view is that Arsenal should now offload Campbell and Podolski in next 2
    transfer windows and reinvest the money in other positions which need strengthening.

  79. Ben


    Actually mate the first most important thing Arsenal have to do more than anything else is sack Wenger and get a competent manager

  80. Sanmi

    I think the bulk of le-grove should admit they were wrong about Balotelli, if y’all can recollect I was against signing him (because I don’t think he’s world class), Cavani ( I think he’s hyped) and Benzema (because you can get a striker that do what he does for a lot less). But I never saw Welbeck coming I was actually thinking Remy

  81. Jeff

    At the risk of being accused of being a doomer I just want to say that Welbeck did well last night but I implore people to temper that with the fact that Galatasaray were woeful in almost every respect. I don’t think we’ve played an easier opponent in the CL (or any other competition) for a long time.

    Of course there were going to be goals and the player to get them has to be Welbeck because he’s the front runner. But the opposition in the PL is a different animal altogether. They deny space, they stifle, they pounce and often we simply can’t cope. It is a combination of team personnel as well as tactical formation that wins you games and trophies – not just individual brilliance.

    I’m certain we could have beaten Galatasaray with a similar score line whatever formation we played last night. However, against other opponents, the 4 1 4 1 has proved to be a complete rotter especially when Wilshere plays in the middle and it is ONLY because of injuries that we played the personnel and formation we did last night.

    I’ve seen it so many times over the years (it’s almost serendipitous) that an injury or two forces Wenger’s hand to change who plays where and it works better than when he chooses from a full complement of fit players. It’s uncanny.

  82. Sanmi

    You are not running any risk to sound like a doomer, rather you have always been a thorough doomer, nothing new there, and we have accepted it. Infact right here on le-grove dooming is the norm. All optimists are the ones running risks of sounding upbeat

  83. Le Prof


    ‘I’ve seen it so many times over the years (it’s almost serendipitous) that an injury or two forces Wenger’s hand to change who plays where’

    Wow… shit? This is really groundbreaking stuff mate, did you think of it all by yourself?

  84. Leedsgunner

    “I’ve seen it so many times over the years (it’s almost serendipitous) that an injury or two forces Wenger’s hand to change who plays where and it works better than when he chooses from a full complement of fit players. It’s uncanny.”

    All true. It’s a great result last night and we can just hope that it will open Wenger’s eyes that his best players should not be played out of position…. and that Arteta and Giroud are not good enough… and should be moved on.

    One result does not a season make but let’s enjoy it while we can.

  85. Thank you and goodnight


    Wenger’s teams have been finding their way the last 6 years. How much longer to actually finding their way? As for giving him credit, sorry but no. Not you in general but a lot of Wenger supporters keep going on about giving wenger credit for every victory, but are quick to absolve him of our mistakes and defeats. Works both ways you see….or should. It was a great team performance, still expect more from Ozil, but very impressed with them all. As for welbeck, as I said wasn’t dancing through streets when we signed him, and whilst he’s no Henry or wrighty, I have a massive soft spot for him and glad he’s at the Emirates.

  86. leprofessorknowsbest

    Hello guys.

    What we had learned last night :

    a) one game we are shit (spuds game), the next we play really well, so if we follow the logic == >> better burn some candles for sunday;
    b) Galatasaray were poor, but I guess they didn’t expect such a fast start from us;
    c) we will finish 2nd of our group, as usual;
    d) van gaal and the yoonited fans have liked what they saw from Welbz.

    e) liverpool and Balo == >> LOL

  87. leprofessorknowsbest

    Wenger about Welbz : “I didn’t know he was so fast.”

    Of course wenger was OK for sign danny…
    This man become more and more pathetic.