These two midfield stars could be a league winning vision of the future…

by .

Arsenal vs Bayern

Oh good morning you sexy beasts.

ARSENAL STOKE DAY

I love days like this. At home, they’re a lot more bearable. Total scuzz bucket of a team now laden with a few ex La Masia players. Bojan will probably have a good game today. I imagine coming to The Emirates is a bit like heading to The Coliseum back in the day… you’d be showboating your ass off to win your freedom!

I can just imagine him slaying three of our defenders, marching over to the dugout looking at Arsene… ‘ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED’, before taking off his flouro boot off, lobbing it at an old lady in the crowd.

It’ll be tough today, but we’re starting to see some of our boys creep back into contention. Theo might start today, we might see Ozil. I think the back four is fit. We have the cavalry back in town. Which is bloody great news.

Even better news, Marca are reporting that Madrid have dropped out of the running for Lucas Silva. The boys a defensive midfielder. He’s Brazilian. He’s handsome. He’s 5 feet 112132. He has some very fancy videos on Youtube of him breaking up play. What I like about his is he started his career as a striker. So he’s aware of the creative side of the game. His game looks a little Pep-esque. He breaks up play and distributes the ball quickly and sublimely. He sits in front of the back four mopping up but he also has the ability to get forward and expose the defence. Perfect for Arsene right?

He’s 21 years old. He looks the business. He talks the talk. He could be a major coup if we could get him to settle and adapt to the pace of the league. Concerns I have is that it’s relatively easy to look incredible in the Brazilian league. The pace isn’t anywhere near what it is in the Premier league. He’s not a destroyer by any stretch of the imagination. His game looks more based on intelligence. Where I really started firming up was imagining a midfield with him lying deep with a player like Schneiderlin flanking him. It’d be quite Cesc / Matic like. That’d make the team pur. Then you’d have protection for a player like Ozil to roam and do his thing…

Looks like a very good player. Dick Law was a big part of the deal to bring Gilberto over the Arsenal back in the day. Could there be something in this? I hope so. Give me a vision of how you see this side lining up Arsene. Give us a clue where you want to take this side!

Wenger made some interesting comments again about back fours not being what they used to be…

“If you look at the evolution of English football, when I arrived here, the back four was English.

“But they weren’t only English – they communicated because they had the same culture, the same way to see the game and they were educated together.

“Communication is less in the back four than before. It doesn’t mean there aren’t any leaders. But they don’t always speak the same language or have the same way to respond to ­situations.

“We also had another defence, which nobody spoke about: Lauren, Kolo Toure, Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole. Maybe less physically fantastic, but a top back four.

“Is it a regret that I haven’t managed to replicate that? Yes. But we are not that far away. We are getting there.”

Aside from sounding rather Nigel Farage on the language front, it’s an interesting comment to make especially as he’s passed on players like Gary Cahill. Wenger was pretty close to landing John Terry before Abramovich swooped in and took over the club back in the day. So he’s had an interest in him as well.

I think the technical side of defence is a important, but as managers like Pulis have proven. Sometimes you just need good old fashioned defenders who know how to keep things solid. I think Pep changed the game where he wanted 11 players who could all play football. I mean, crazy that became a strategy, it’s so obvious… but I guess it maybe highlight how messed up the coaching in our game is because I remember at school the defenders were always the big kids who didn’t have the skill to play further forward.

I think Neuer throws even more petrol on the fire that you need everyone to be able to player your way. He’s created a role where he is actually a sweeper. A very good one as well. I think the glaring flaw in our defence is that the league is lightning quick these days, but we have a Per sitting in the middle, who is, well, not very quick. I think we need to look into rectifying that right now. The language thing is an issue, but plenty speak English around the globe. If English isn’t being spoken on the pitch, we need to address that…

I think the deeper issue is that we don’t train the defence properly. We don’t address the flaws that we have from a personnel persepective. We don’t seem to rectify mistakes. How often do we expose ourselves early in a game with marauding runs? How do you explain Gibbs not putting a boot in to defend two crosses in one game. How do you explain World Cup winners being turned inside out from throw ins? How do you explain a keeper who is regularly out of position and bad with the ball at his feet?

I think Wenger is still of the mindset that intelligent players will find a way. Well, he’s been trialling that method for years and nothing has changed. We need to focus on defensive basics, but we also need to focus on defending as a team. There needs to be a plan on the ball and off the ball. We kind of do everything in quite a half arsed way. I don’t feel there’s much communication that goes on. I don’t feel that there’s a passion to keep clean sheets in the same way you feel there is at Chelsea.

If you have a problem, you can’t bemoan things like language and a lack of old school defenders. You need to ask the big question… how do I find a solution to this? Pointing at players is weak. What are you doing to make the individuals a cohesive unit?

I don’t feel Wenger is a solutions guy anymore…

We’ll see today!

Enjoy the sunshine!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

713 Responses to “These two midfield stars could be a league winning vision of the future…”

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  1. Romford Pele

    RSPC – Think Wenger said he tried to lure Pogba but by the time he knew he was available, Juve had already won.

    Keyser – sure Jenkinson’s had a harder route to the top, has fantastic physical attributes but you see so much more to Bellerin’s game within minutes of watching him.

  2. Keyser

    Here’s a question, do Real Madrid just provide a far healthier match-up for Atletico than Barcelona, as in where the contrast in styles just favours one over the other ?

  3. Cesc Appeal

    RP

    I thought that as well, looked much bigger than he was before, could see it in his back.

    I hoped that they would work on his arms, chest, shoulders etc in the gym while he was out of commission.

    The reason we work well right now is the tenacity of Cazorla, Sanchez and Rosicky. If there’s a word you certainly would not apply to Ozil, it’s tenacious.

    Baffles me as to why Rosicky didn’t get more of a look in earlier on, love me a bit of Tomas. He always seems to pull us out of a slump, he does what Wilshere does for us as in forward impetus and drive but much, much better. Seems to give everyone a lift.

    Where do you stand on this whole Frenchification thing of the defence? Seeing as we’re one half French there already? Add a Varane? A Kurzawa? Schniederlin in the CDM. That would be a defensive 5 speaking the French tongue, building a rapport.

  4. gambon

    “Pogba kind of messed himself up leaving United, he seems to have walked out on teams regularly moving up the foodchain,”

    I’d say it was completely and utterly the making of him.

  5. gambon

    “Where do you stand on this whole Frenchification thing of the defence? Seeing as we’re one half French there already? Add a Varane? A Kurzawa? Schniederlin in the CDM.”

    No chance, literally no chance on Varane.

    Laporte maybe.

    We still need a leader at the back, we dont have one and none of the above would be.

  6. Keyser

    Kwik fit – It’s his job.

    Romford – That’s what’s interesting, especially in the premiership, I think Bellerin would probably struggle for game-time out at West Ham.

  7. Romford Pele

    Keyser – Last season Atletico generally matched up well against Barca and Real. Barca are more direct than they have been in any season I remember. They’ve had teething problems but it’s worked well this match. Still don’t think they’re at the level they were a few seasons back though.

  8. Nasri's Mouth

    Pogba left Man U because he wasn’t getting games. I’m sure there’s a story that he wasn’t very happy about it, and then someone like Bebe (it wasn’t him, but someone equally poor and out of position) got picked over him and he decided he was offski.

    One one hand it would be easy to blame Fergie, on the other hand, it didn’t really stop Man U winning the league

  9. Cesc Appeal

    gambon

    I agree.

    I think to nullify Wenger’s failings you would need a leader at CB and CDM who don’t need instruction and rather could be on field managers for the defensive side of things.

    Well, CB at the very least. Who would you plug for?

  10. Keyser

    gambon – People were comparing what he was earning, if he was that bothered about money staying in the Premiership would’ve guaranteed him that.

    You still wonder if he’s simply going to be the next big money move, and he moves to a bigger club who are simply able to pay more or whether Serie A and Juventus can grow enough to hold onto him.

    Lol goals going in everywhere.

  11. Romford Pele

    Cesc – yeah it’ll take time for him to get to his best and Rosicky and Santi are more than adequate replacements. Bloody love TR7, but of a wonder as to why Wenger took so long to use him this season, he’s always been one of Wenger’s go-to guys. Hard to believe he’s 34, still such a good squad player to have around.

    I love this new French generation coming through, lots and lots of talent. I’d be surprised if they didn’t compete for the euro 2016 title.

    Kind of agree with Gambon that Varane is impossible to attain. Laporte is definitely a more realistic target and I’d push the boat out for him. Kurzawa is another talent though like Wilshere, I don’t see Wenger benching Gibbs if he’s fit

  12. gunnergetyou

    “I think to nullify Wenger’s failings you would need a leader at CB and CDM who don’t need instruction and rather could be on field managers for the defensive side of things.”

    We basically need a Tony Adams and a Vieira but Wenger will no longer tolerate big personalities in the dressing room, hence the lack of leadership on the pitch.

  13. DUIFG

    Really fluid performance today, wide men and that mid work very well.

    Swap OG for welbeck and I am liking our shape atm.

    Not going to take down Wallace’s pathetic cow comment but coq looks to be an improvement on flam no doubt.

    Wenger needs to take a look at saints, obv more to it then their mid but they have an old school 2 pair of physical accomplished mids, Vieirinha petit esque, it should slap him in the face. If not somebody needs to take control and prioritise this area from the top.

    He has sacrificed this season again to give arteta and fucking made of glass diaby a farewell season.

  14. Cesc Appeal

    RP

    Yeah I think a decision may need to be made on Gibbs, very fragile player, we need to start establishing a defence that plays together as often as possible. Everyone knows about Gibbs and his injuries.

    Have to admit I wasn’t exactly happy to hear Wilshere may be back 4 weeks early. As you say no doubt Wenger will try to jam him back in ASAP regardless of what’s happening at the time.

  15. gambon

    I think when it comes to Pogba, the money is coming, its as simple as that.

    I would like to see him make his big move this summer, as he could stagnate if he doesnt move up a level.

    He has a cunt of an agent though so he will probably do something like PSG, Madrid then City in the next 7 years which would be a shame.

  16. Romford Pele

    Cesc – you know what it’s like when it comes to Wenger and being sentimental. Rosicky at 34 is probably still better than Wilshere but Wilshere will start when he’s back no doubt. Don’t really no what Wenger’s ideal team is but sure it involves 4-1-4-1 and Wilshere and Ramsey

  17. Cesc Appeal

    RSPCA

    I think we’d be incredibly vulnerable with him that deep, loses the ball too much, ill disciplined, no brain for when to release possession…

    Wilshere would be in last chance saloon with me now if I was manger, considering he earns around £90 000 a week, the fact he’s English and still carries hype meaning we could still get a pretty transfer fee for him as well…but I’m not manager.

  18. Keyser

    “you know what it’s like when it comes to Wenger and being sentimental.”

    Yeah, most people were moaning when Wenger gave Rosicky another year.

  19. salparadisenyc

    My 1 year old tanked the remote can’t access the game.
    Wife has a look of satisfaction i’ve not seen in years, bet she did the remote herself.

  20. DUIFG

    The dreaded 4141. Please God no!!!! I actually stopped watching g our games it was that turgid.

    Seeing ozil shunted left and cazorla on to the bench was footballing sacrilege.

  21. Cesc Appeal

    RP

    That’s what scares me. Why I say as well I think Fabregas not being brought back wasn’t an Ozil issue, it was a Wilshere one when you look at our set up this year with a fully (almost) fit team.

    Scares me for the future as well…

  22. DUIFG

    Tr7 is super man, somehow got faster with age, quite remarkable. Gives the team great balance and fludity in the second mid slot

  23. Romford Pele

    Yeah CA. Problem with Wilshere is that even if he shows signs of promise it doesn’t last long as he has glass ankles. And his best performances always seem to be to the detriment of others. You see how easy Santi and Rosicky seem to be able to make it work.

  24. carts

    Utd apparent problems, post-Ferguson, stems deeper than Pogba lol. Everyone can see that.

    Pogba, having seen how he’s developed, would’ve been an important player, but I fail to see how Utd are ‘paying for it’

  25. Cesc Appeal

    RP

    I totally agree.

    When Wilshere plays well (rare), Wilshere plays well, people around him suffer to make room for him to play.

    I think with Wilshere either he plays so well that he’s incredible, as he did against City or you don’t play him, because he harms the side.

    For me, if it’s an issue of numbers and money I’d sell Wilshere for someone like Schniederlin in a heartbeat.

  26. carts

    The frequency that these La Liga player cover their mouths almost tells you its nothing but cursing and ‘puta’ coming out.

  27. Maciek

    Hello,

    Have yoy heard the news?

    There is a rumour that today Man United have submitted a double bid for for Seamus Coleman and Mats Hummels.

    Hummels is very injury prone but still a grat player. The same can be said about Coleman.

    We will see.

    Shame we can find any insider news about Arsenal. But it’s so typical.

  28. Wallace

    i think Wilshere’s become a lightning rod for people unhappy with Wenger’s formation doodling. stick him alongside Arteta or Coq at the base of the midfield and he’d be showing his England form.

  29. Cesc Appeal

    Wallace

    It’s more than that, you just have to watch Wilshere, interesting that you bring England into it because I said similar, I feel it’s a failing of Wenger, he just floats Wilshere in the middle.

    Doesn’t feel like Wilshere has a place in that middle.

    We stuck him beside Arteta quite a few times last year in Ramsey’s absence and really only Munich at home sticks out as a game for me when he was really good.

    The point myself and RP was making is that it’s going to be very unfair if Wilshere returns and Wenger mutates the team to fit him again, as he had done the entire campaign until the aftermath of the United game.

    I’ve said for a while now that Wilshere hurts out flow as a team, there’s those stats that back it up, games where he isn’t playing or games where he’s been taken off and we’ve instantly improved.

    I’ve no doubt if Wilshere went somewhere else he may well turn into a great player. Say somewhere with a fantastic CDM but no one to go next to him, a team with a lack of tiny CAM’s…but right now, I can’t see Wilshere every hitting the kind of heights we thought he might back in 2010/11.

    Not saying he’s garbage, he’s still a decent player, but expendable in my mind. Even when Ramsey plays rubbish he still puts himself about, still has a high number of tackles, pass success etc, still crops up with the goals.

    Wilshere doesn’t seem to actually contribute a lot to Arsenal. What is it, Fabregas has more goals and assists for Chelsea than Wilshere does for Arsenal?

  30. Wallace

    CA

    fair enough. i think in the long run Wilshere will have the bigger career, but i can understand people prefering Ramsey atm in an either/or. although Wenger’s 4-1-4-1 has managed to have both of them looking ropey.

  31. Cesc Appeal

    Wallace

    Well that’s it I think. The general consensus on here was one or the other, not both. Bit of Gerrard, Lampard syndrome with those two.

    The Gerpard complex if you will

  32. Wallace

    “If Wenger calls me, I’ll have a man-to-man talk with him and we’ll see what happens. Arsenal have always been the club of my heart.

    “The transfer window is open, so things can happen. It’s not doing my head in too much. I’m still focused on Newcastle. If something happens or something doesn’t happen, so be it. I hope to sign for a big club one day but I don’t know when. Staying in England is my priority.”

    – Moussa Sissoko keeping his cards close to his chest…

  33. Cesc Appeal

    Sissoko isn’t the one, but I’d certainly take him with the future in mind, need to be getting rid of Arteta, Flamini and Diaby by the summer and starting to take their places with upgrades.

    So starting with Sissoko wouldn’t be the worst. Get a Schniederlin in there, a Wanyama, Bender or Krychowiak as well.

    That’s the kind of squad building we need to be doing that Wenger really just doesn’t.

  34. Leedsgunner

    Credit where credit is due… a very good day at the office for the lads… producing results we should be doing at last!

    Sanchez is making Suarez into a footnote. What a fantastic talent. What is making it more pleasurable for me is that he turned down Liverpool… what aa shambles of a team that team is.

    I have feeling that Wenger will use this result not to buy though.

  35. Cesc Appeal

    I just sincerely hope if Debuchy faces some time out he doesn’t go with Chambers at RB against City…that would be horrendous to watch.

    Nothing against Chambers, but most games at RB against a pacey wide man he gets eaten alive.

    He’s inexperienced, and it really isn’t the best option to have to use, but we have to stick with Bellerin.

  36. Leedsgunner

    Missed the game today… could someone give me a quick rundown? How bad is the injury to Debuchy? How did Ospina due? Who was the MOTM in your opinion?

  37. tunnygriffboy

    Leeds

    Ospina had little to do as did the defence. Coq did ok and looked tidy. Santi, TR7 and the Ox were excellent and Alexis was, well, Alexis.

    Ozil and Walcott got run out for last 20 mins

    Debuchy got pushed into the advertising boards while in the air. Real cheap shot. They don’t allow that in rugby. Not even booked. It’s a bad one. Dislocated shoulder.

  38. Cesc Appeal

    Stan Collymore raising the question in the Mirror as to whether the players respect/fear Wenger enough…I don’t think so

  39. Cesc Appeal

    Giroud

    Welbeck was injured, Ozil got some time at the end off the bench, wasn’t as geed up for it as I hoped but, we will see. Needs to improve that attitude, look at Sanchez, Cazorla, Rosicky and take inspiration.

  40. Emiratesstroller

    I thought that Ozil looked quite fit and certainly more interested than earlier in season. Also he seemed to have bulked up in his upper body. When I commented on this at match quite a few of the others around me were of similar opinion.

    Personally I think that it is highly unlikely that Arsenal will recruit a top quality DM in this transfer window primarily because most of the decent ones are
    either CL Cup tied or with teams aspiring to qualify.

    In the short term my preference would be to retain Coquelin in the position,
    because he is a better option than either Flamini or Arteta, but realistically he
    is no better than a squad player and we need to recruit someone better who is
    also the leader of the pack. Furthermore if Arsenal want the best that money can buy then they need to be prepared to pay the going rate.

    Schneiderlein would be my preferred choice not only because he is an excellent player but because he has the characteristics of an English style player.
    Southampton will not be able to hold onto him indefinitely and I am sure that
    they would accept a realistic offer in summer.

  41. Dark Hei

    CA

    Partially agree with you with regards to Wilshire. He does not seem to work well with Arteta; will probably work better with a big, physical partner rather than a deep lying playmaker. He also does not seem to work all that great further up and given we have Carzola and Ozil, his opportunities are limited. Personally, I think he can work out wide on the right. He seems to do well when allowed to cut in.

  42. Dark Hei

    Can’t believe I am agreeing with Gambon.

    Coquelin is good to have around but he is not yet at Schneiderlin’s level. I doubt the Southampton man is available or ready to move in January though. That being said, I am 100% with keeping Le Coq. He is very useful. This generation’s Grimandi/Nelson Vivas/Flamini but I think with a lot more athleticism.

    With Flamini reaching the end of his contract and Arteta getting older, we could do with the top class deep lying midfielder (I avoid the DM term, the game has evolved from pure DMs).

    My choice will be Gundogan since he is class and available. But he comes with the “Diaby” risk.

  43. peanuts&monkeys

    Giroud: Zero agility, low pace, zero acceleration, and BIG ZERO in dribbling and dodging dept. and a fuckinf big zero with ball control. Cant imagine a EPL striker with such awful deficiencies. Everytime Giroud takes the field ix exposes Wenger’s and Arsenal’s lack of amibition. Worse, the deficiencies he has will not erode with time.

  44. peanuts&monkeys

    Southampton is undoubtedly the best CLUB of EPL. Its simply incredible how a club who was raided almost naked by clubs from across the continent only this summer can be beating Arsenal and ManU two consecutive weeks. I am soooo jealous of the Southampton fans.

  45. GuNZ

    I have finally emerged from a day lying face down in a bath tub full of ice-cream scoops in an attempt to rid myself of my birthday hangover.

    Predicted a completely wrong Arsenal winning scoreline, luckily didn’t bet on it but who gives a damn? We won! I have renamed my house ‘Sanchez’. I have renamed my car ‘Sanchez’, I even called out Sanchez’s name on the vinegar stroke and the missus was not best pleased.

    Thank The Fates next week’s game is at 4.00 pm – that’s 5 am my time – so I might remember some more of it. Really like the way the Ox is coming along lately. He seems to be figuring more and more effectively for longer periods as each game goes on.

  46. tunnygriffboy

    Man u play Qpr, Burnley and Leicester in their next 3 fixtures. We play Man city (a), Leicester (h ) and spurs away. I think these 3 fixturs are pivotal if we are to overtake them. We have to be within a win of them I think.

  47. GuNZ

    Wouldn’t knock Burnley – they are on a roll, and QPR are capable of holding the big boys on a good day. For us, I fancy a draw or sneaky win at Man City, a win against Leicester, and an anihilation of Spurs because we’ll catch them on one of their bad days and our returnees will be back up to speed (if they’re not already injured again that is). A return to the ‘Arsenal get six when Rix plays tricks’ days.

  48. GuNZ

    According to the fixture list we’ve got Brighton (FA Cup) and Aston Villa (h) between Man City and Spurs and Leicester come after. Shouldn’t really make much difference as long as the injuries don’t start recurring.

  49. GuNZ

    Just realised I haven’t slagged off Giroud for at least 24 hours. Can’t be having with that. Giroud is a smug, prodigal, careless, selfish, short-sighted, stub-toed, hook-nosed, tin-tin haired, don’t-give-a-fuck-when-I-miss-yet-another-wide-open-goal-for-the-tenth-time-this-game, tug-at-my-jersey-cos-I-think-it’s-my-cock-when-I-miss-hit-the-ball-into-the-net-for-once, wasteful, profligate-of-chances, penis brained, chewed up toffee face twerp! There! Fuck him is what I say. Fuck him and his Charles De Gaulle look-alike self!

  50. GuNZ

    Might have been just trying to put a good light on it but the reports I read seemed to indicate Debuchy may only be out for one weekend. Can’t see it myself and I suppose it depends on the professional medical diagnosis but we deserve a bit of luck on the injury front, eh?

  51. Dark Hei

    Did not watch the match, but from what was written, Stoke came all elbows, tackles and all. Even perfected the “no-look” foul to get away with it. What a bunch of rotten arses.

  52. Gregg

    Nows the time to say to Southampton, Here’s £25m for Scneiderlein. No pissing about. Whether he’s worth that is immaterial, he’s worth that to us right now, just as Matic was to Chelsea last year.

    Now we’ve got players back, build on it. Start next seasons assault on the title now.

    Bony isn’t anywhere near £28m but is to Citeh. Then again you do need to laugh at their yearly merry-go-round approach to buying forwards and central midfield players

  53. Dark Hei

    Gregg

    First he is not available. This is the winter transfer window and they are currently 3rd.

    2nd Schneiderlin is going United in the summer. They are experts at transfers that feature a lot of $$ and zero imagination. See Mata, Luke Shaw etc.

    I am sure Southampton can squeeze 40M out of Woodward.

  54. Emiratesstroller

    Everyone believes that Man City are one of two teams challenging for League Title. However, when I looked at their recent results which looked impressive on paper they have had a relatively easy ride in last 10 games with just two matches against top 10 teams. This contrasts with Chelsea 6 games and us 5 games .

    My view is that they are beatable, although perhaps a draw would be a good result this weekend. Toure who is a key player will be missing and Aguero will be returning from injury.

    Obviously the loss of Debuchy is disappointing bearing in mind that most of the rest of our squad will be available with Welbeck and Gibbs coming back.
    Only Arteta and Wilshire will be absent and to be perfectly honest I will not
    miss either of them. For me they are lightweights and that is not what is needed in Sunday’s game.

    Debuchy’s injury means that Wenger needs for a change to show some urgency in the transfer window. We are now down to 4 experienced defenders
    once again and that is not enough. There is no question that Wenger’s failure
    to address our problems has been the root cause of our relatively poor season.

    Obviously the defenders who might be available in January are fairly limited
    with Reid the most obvious choice since he has considerable EPL experience
    and is coming to end of contract. The question is whether Arsenal can secure
    a good deal by factoring in Jenkinson .

    Schar is another option since he is also coming to an end of his contract, but
    Basel are still in Champions League and he does not have the same level of
    experience.

    In recent times there has been some discussion that Arsenal are still after Carvalho. He has a background as both a DM and CB. That versatility might
    be the best option in January. However, he looks an expensive buy and there
    is a considerable gulf between league in Portugal and EPL.

    Personally I would like us to go out and by a truly world class DM in Summer
    eg Schneiderlein and focus in January on a specialist CB. Reid may not be a world beater but he is a competent defender.

  55. Dark Hei

    Emirates

    To be fair Wilshire played a blinder in the last outing against City. But that was with a 4-1-4-1

    Good point with regards to Jenks and Reid. Suddenly I think there might be a chance there.

  56. useroz

    Watched the gane on recording and feel that we did play more like a team and WITH PURPOSE, compared to pre/during Xmas. Two players seem to me have made the difference:

    I feel Rosicky was great and made the team pacy’ (and played 90 mins!), and Cazorla was obviously good in pulling strings.

    Coq did his job and helped hold our shape, but it’s Stoke. On current form, should start ahead of Flamini who talks more than doing on the pitch.. Need a better DM type asap though.

    No need to mention Sanchez…the only transfer spark in recent yearssss.

    Really like Bellerin’s performance. The kid reminds a bit of Cesc @16. Needs improvement in defending but he blocked more crosses than Gibbs on average, and has the smart to make himself dangerous when bombing forward…great crosses too.

    In an ideal world (ie non-Wenger one) Schneiderlein and/or (younger) Bender would be immense additions, and some touch up at back and a new striker would make us a genuine competitor in PL and Europe. That assumes some clear out of course eg Arteta, flamini, sanogo, gibbs, and diaby at least.

    Last bit about leader(s). It’s a myth really. Wenger used to say he had many leaders and somehow screwed up our Captaincy. Now, he wants leader(s)? I think Wenger cannot work with leaders. He cannot accept any threats in leadership eg Patrict wanted back and he rejected (per media interview with pv4), did not take Cesc back (notwithstanding the manner he left, a WC talent @30m was a bargain), he does not prefer players to ‘talk/shout” on the pitch so leaders to do what exactly?

  57. Wallace

    If Debuchy’s out for any longer than a month i think Wenger’s going to have to bring in a RB, probably on loan, as well as a CB this window. Bellerin will be fine at home, but would worry about him in the away games, and would prefer Chambers to concentrate on the CB position.

    Also, nice to see Henry & Pires at the game looking all cool as f%*k…Pires > Pirlo?

  58. tunnygriffboy

    Just watched Motd from last night. So Joey Barton’s plan to stop Alexis is to crowd him out, get under his skin and rough him up. They then proceeded to show a number of challenges that were dubious , 3 or 4 disgraceful ones all on him. Alexis just gets up and gets on with things. I know he waves imaginary cards about lately but I’m not surprised after the treatment he gets. Sums up the attitude of certain players and sides. Not good. I hope the refs were watching that or are being sent a copy.

    If Arnautovic did what he did to Debuchy in a rugby matche he would have been sent off

    Gregg

    Unfortunately Schniederlin has said he’s not going anywhere this window. It’ll have to be in the summer, as a result I don’t see a CM coming in. Wenger did say we were going to bring a defender in but the case has become more serious with the Debuchy injury

  59. Gregg

    Debuchy has been very unlucky. Cannot see him being available for at least two months. All depends on the severity of dislocation I guess. If it’s a partial one then we may be lucky. If it’s full then he’s fooked for a while.

  60. Emiratesstroller

    useroz

    Have to disagree with you on point about “leader”. We do need someone on the pitch who leads both vocally and by example.

    In game against Stoke we lost briefly our heads in aftermath of injury to Debuchy and when you look at many of our poor results in recent times it has been the direct consequence of poor discipline on field.

    Bluntly there are a number of players in our team who have a tendency to lose
    their heads from time to time.

  61. tunnygriffboy

    Wallace

    I don’t think he’ll buy a RB. We have Debuchy who is injured. We also have Bellerin and Chambers with Jenkinson on loan. He’s talked about using Debuchy and Monreal at CB but obviously Debuchy is out. Also he said he cant use Monreal if Gibbs is injured. I can see a CB coming in with Bellerin and Chambers sharing the RB slot.

  62. Nasri's Mouth

    I agree with Tunny, no new RB this Jan, unless there’s some really weird loan deal available.

    Wenger will already looking to next season, (possibly the season beyond) and he won’t want us to have 4/5 RBs

  63. Jeff

    It’s all going pear-shaped at Man U.

    “Louis van Gaal’s side, who have now collected the exact same amount of points as David Moyes’ team did in 21 league games last season, failed to register a single shot on target in the 1-0 defeat – the first time that has happened at home since May 2009.”

    They’re still ahead of us though and we still couldn’t beat them.

  64. Emiratesstroller

    The defender whom Arsenal should perhaps pursue whether in January or July is Howedes.

    Howedes was the only German player who played in all games in World Cup.
    He plays for Schalke not exactly the most fashionable club AND he is probably
    one of the most versatile defenders in game able to play in centre or right/left
    back positions.

    Moreover he will cost a lot less [probably less than half] of Hummels the other
    German defender whom Man Utd seem to be pursuing.

  65. Thank you and goodnight

    @ Emiratesroller

    You could go out and buy the best defenders in the world mate. But if they’re not coached properly, organised etc you’ll still end up with the same mess we have now. Southampton ‘ s defence doesn’t have a world class defender amongst them bit they are well drilled and organised and everyone knows their role

  66. Leedsgunner

    “Furthermore if Arsenal want the best that money can buy then they need to be prepared to pay the going rate.”

    This is what puzzles me about Wenger.

    Strangely he has no qualms paying inflated prices for unproven or barely proven young talent but who is ridiculously hard nosed at shelling out for talent which is at the peak of their careers. Examples? Millions shelled out for Walcott, Ox-lade and Chambers but penny pinching over players like Hazard, Mata and Xabi Alonso.

    Then to make matters even more farcical Wenger opens the wallet again for over the hill talent — awarding players clearly on their last legs with, in my opinion, underserved contract extensions.

    Wenger, if nothing else, is a man of contradictions.

  67. Nasri's Mouth

    @Jeff

    I never did buy into the LVG hysteria after he subbed his keeper in the WC, but to fair to him, he’s had a massive change in personnel this season and a load of injuries.

    But he’s made some weird tactical choices, and I’m not convinced that shouting aggressive managers have a long lifespan with their players, if there isn’t already a huge amount of respect there. Sooner or later the players just get pissed off with it

  68. Leedsgunner

    TYAGN

    Well said @0952. I just wonder if Wenger actually doesn’t have have the up to date defensive coaching experience that our defenders now need. Bould should be in there making this lot better but it is clear he has been emasculated, and he’s keeping quiet because he wants the easy life.

    It’s funny how recently, players we considered flops and and failures have gone on to do better at other clubs. Proof? Look at how Jenkinson seems to have come on whilst over at West Ham… even Big Sam is making him into a better player. The same can be said of Song.

    Vela and Gervinho — inconsistent and flaky whilst at Arsenal has just blossomed over at their new clubs. It might be because the respective leagues are slower and more technical indeed, but the difference is performance is startling.

  69. Leedsgunner

    How ironic re our RB situation.

    I’m not going to be a hypocrite and say I believed in Jenkinson all along. Frankly, he wasn’t impressing in an Arsenal and I thought a spell out of the club would do him good. Well done to him for making the most of it. Although, ironically, with Debuchy being so unlucky this season with injuries, Jekinson might have had his breakout season with us…

    How tragic. It would be funny if it wasn’t the Arsenal we were talking about!

  70. tunnygriffboy

    NM

    Re VG and man u. No shots on goal yesterday, 1 against us 2 goals. 2 against Southampton away, 2 goals. That and 200 million spent. Lot man u fans worried about age of front line and lack of pace in the side

    Sunday Supplement reckon they’re a shoe in for 3rd place. Currently they’re 2 points behind Southampton and 1 ahead of us. Hell of a lot of the season to go and a lot of teams chasing. I don’t think it’s a forgone conclusion at all

    Mind you they’ll probably chuck another 50 mill at it this window, like City and Bony. While we have money we can’t afford regular investment like that. We have to be selective when we spend that money, we can’t afford to many mistakes and buy 20 million replacements.

  71. Jeff

    NM,

    Yeah, you might be right about LVG. More hype that substance. Maybe it is as a result of change in personnel but I don’t really buy that excuse. I think he is still feeling his way in just as Moyes was. But overall probably not what he’s hyped up to be given the results and the number of class players he has at his disposal. It’s a funny old game.