Smart planning. Smart execution. A silenced Manchester City

by .

via Instagram @Arsenal

via Instagram @Arsenal

What a difference that made. Finally, after what seems like an eternity, Arsenal headed up to a beastly away ground of a top team and showed who they could be. Who they should be. What could be the makings of something special.

Yesterday was everything Arsenal fans have called for for years. We pitched up to fight Goliath and we fought the battle on our terms. The players came armed with a plan, they executed it with discipline and focus, and they left with the three points in one of the most comfortable Man City beatings you’ll have seen in the last 3 years.

The shock of this fancy new approach caught everyone by surprise. That’s a point we’ve raised many times on here. We’re predictable, we don’t come with a plan and we go toe-to-toe with teams we really shouldn’t. That threw City straight away. We packed out the midfield with the aim of stifling David Silva and cutting off the flow to Aguerro. This tactic was so effective. Every time the ball went anywhere near the Spaniard he was crowded out and dispossessed. I can’t even remember Aguerro being in the game. Can you remember watching a game with Aguerro so silenced?

Every single player was doing their bit. Santi Cazorla was sublime on the ball, warrior off of it. He was playing like his life depended on it and he looked like he was loving every single moment.

Our breakthrough came when a one-two exchange on the edge of City’s box saw Kompany knock Monreal (who is proving a real point) to the floor in a cynical challenge. It was the most sure-thing penalty I’ve seen in a while. I don’t understand where the debate has come, in the world of soft Premier League penalties, it didn’t even register. Kompany lost his man, wiped him out hard and the ref landed the decision absolutely bang on.

Santi stepped up and smashed his penalty at a ferocious pace past Joe Hart and we were one up.

The second half was the worry, we’d done a superb job up until that point with our discipline, the second half started in quite an open fashion. Old habits die hard and Arsenal reverted to panic style attacking when all they needed to do was stay true to the plan they had in the first half.

Players like Coquelin took the lead and marshalled the midfield. We regained our shape and we were rewarded with a second goal. A looped ball into the box was so badly defended by City, Giroud didn’t even need to jump to nod it in!

As a fan, I was in dream world, but it didn’t feel over because of our history of flunking leads. We did though. We remained composed, everyone was accountable for their role and we ground out the best win we’ve had in years!

Conclusions

Having a plan: It’s amazing that pundits and fans alike were applauding ‘tactics’ post game. It was amazing, because really, that’s the first time in years you’ve witnessed a very unArseanl approach to a game (first time since we adopted 4-5-1 in our run to the Champions League final?). It was pragmatic. City have a better squad than ours, they have a very good home record and we’re not always the best in big games. We defended deep, we protected Mertesacker and Koscielny, we weren’t kamikaze and we showed the patience needed and took our chances. It was the perfect game. We repitched the battle on our terms. We nullified their strengths rather than ignore them. We did what we needed to do to win at all costs.

We don’t need to play like that in every game. We just need to have the intelligence to play like that when we need to. We might not always win that way, but we’ll have a far better chance. If we’re constantly mixing it up, we make it twice as hard to plan against. That fact it’s taken us 10 years to get this point was a problem, the fact we won doing things differently now is a god send. There’s no excuse not to adapt our game to challenge laid out in front of you.

This could be a turning point in the season… the old dog learned some new tricks. Will he continue to use them, that’s the question.

Ospina: Can’t really judge his keeping ability because he had almost nothing to do yesterday. But he’s 3 games in and he has three clean sheets. Who cares that we haven’t seen him tested, he’s working well with the defence and his distribution has been solid. I say keep him in. Keep the continuity. Keep the progress going.

Coquelin: Well, there was his acid test. He’s come into the side and he’s taken his chance. He looks composed, he cares, he’s solid technically and he’s a hard worker. He’s putting Flamini in the shade and he looks very much the defensive midfielder we’ve been lacking. He might not be a Matic, but he’ll certainly plug a gap while we wait for Schneiderlin. I still think we need to bring in a holding midfielder, because we’re seriously short in that position.

Team protection: When the whole team mucks in and contributes to defending the goal, how much more impressive is the result? They looked like a team yesterday. They looked like they all cared for one another. They fought for that result and they looked like they enjoyed it. I think Tony Adams once said the team don’t look like they enjoy keeping clean sheets. Hopefully, a game like that will show that there’s glory in defending as a team. There’s a camaraderie to be had in winning ugly but in a smart way. Hopefully, whatever Wenger did before the game has set the ball rolling for more of the same.

I was also impressed with Bellerin. He looks a very, very good young player. No fear. He’s very good going forward, but he didn’t yesterday. I like that. Smart dresser, smart player.

Moving forward: The floodgates have opened. I know Arsene went to great lengths post game to make out he always plans like that, but we see with our eyes that he doesn’t. Whatever  he did yesterday, however he landed on that conclusion… well, it has to be a main ingredient moving forward. Smarter analysis, smarter planning with a smarter delivery on the pitch.

Today, I’m truly proud to be a Gunner. More proud than after beating a good team playing our way, because we tried something new, we showed respect for City and a respect for the game I’ve not seen before. We’re not above planning. If we do plan, we’re capable of anything.

Being a great manager is about doing the best with what you have. There’s no glory in fighting the good battle and losing. Arsene has a very good bunch of players, he showed that they can be a match for anyone if we dictate the terms of play. That’s great management. That’s exciting. That should be the benchmark for future planning and execution.

Now show us some more of that Arsene. What a brilliant day!

572 Responses to “Smart planning. Smart execution. A silenced Manchester City”

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  1. hunter13

    because we the fans pay the wages, fuck off to sleep hunter you are starting to bore me you cunt

    lol whats that supposed to mean you stupid cunt ?

    its a free world remember? paying a ticket …. is your choice

    if youre thick and couldnt see that arsenal was going to struggle for a while what with having to repay their ground and having to face abramovic and the arabs then that is only your fault…..not arsenal’s.

  2. Highbury Daze

    see marble, it’s easy to be negative it’s easy to pick on people is it not, it’s easy to not offer anything but vitriol against every poster, you need a good head kicking marble

  3. hunter13

    how about the option of …not paying their wages? you cant can you? you are addicted , obsessed and have no priorities in life other than moaning 24/7 about arsenal ….. because they wont win trophies for you to brag about at your chav and united mates….

    🙂

    loser….

  4. Romford Pele

    Marko, Benteke plays in a turgid side. Lukaku has no excuse though. Mourinho has got all his sales right though. Haven’t seen anything from Lukaku to warrant vein worth £28m. He talks the talk a lot but isn’t really backing it up. Worth remembering that he’s still really young though

  5. hunter13

    hey N5, at least i can talk with you without swearing..

    whats your opinion on mourinho bottling it last year against relegation candidates?

  6. Highbury Daze

    judging by your comments I would say you copped a few bashings my life’s priority would be to give you an uppercut right on your stupid melon

  7. hunter13

    only asking these questions to show the hypocicy of the criticism levelled at one manager versus the other.

    i know mourinho botttled it last season and this time he has tried every trick in the book and will bottle it again.

    ballboys, fat referees, city in breacj of fpp,, conspiracies..etc etc….. ” cesc always wanted to come to chelsea” …LMAO…..

  8. hunter13

    highbury daze go learn some football and find out how companies operate and the hierarchy in organisations and then come talk to me ….. 😉 you thick weak traitor cunt who turned against your club and manager just cause media and trolls were pulling your leg…….

  9. Highbury Daze

    trouble is one manager has won a multitude of trophies, the other is a serial loser with 1 in 10 years, do I have to explain everything to you hunter, try and keep up

  10. hunter13

    how would you all react if wenger had two games to clinch the title and lost it …..to gus poyet ?

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    come on cowards …….

  11. NYCgooner

    This could be good guys. Get your popcorn ready……….Daze and marble going at it.

    An epic grudge match from the night shift regulars.

  12. northern gooner

    I loved the city fans singing “hes just a shit david silva” to santi.
    I fucking love it when things like that come back and bite people on the arse.

  13. Highbury Daze

    you want to compare Wenger and Mourinho, what a moron you are hunter, but you are not a complete moron nobody’s perfect

  14. hunter13

    trouble is one worked for owners who wanted to win everything ( abramovic, moratti, perez) while the other works for owners who are happy to make top4 till they repay their ground

    must sound like microbiology to you huh …..

  15. hunter13

    im comparing the criticism …not the managers

    shall i ask again you thick highbury cunt ?

    how would you react had wenger lost the epl title two games before the end to gus fucking poyet ?

    🙂

  16. hunter13

    didnt mou run hazzard to the ground last season ? talk about depth of squad ….talk about man-management …

    🙂

    hehe …i can do this all night to you thick cunts…

  17. MidwestGun

    Wow…. can’t understand how you keep getting binned Hunter13? I just said we love 4th. Hallelujah. Praise AW for doing nothing special. Just punching the clock collecting his pay packet.

  18. Highbury Daze

    tell me, name me one company that has a middle manager running the company, you go on about hierarchy in corporations, what manager has the power to run the whole company bypassing board and owner, well hunter, I’m waiting name me one other than AFC, you really are a nitwit

  19. hunter13

    oh so you didnt see mourinho bottling it last year ? against sunderland? at home?

    what was his excuse?

    money ?

    🙂

  20. hunter13

    maybe he didnt get his tactics right? or his players were fatigued from overplaying them ?

    hahaaaaaaaaa…..

    all the things you have used to attack wenger here in front of you but in another example of a manager , one you hold highly and dearly…the translator who blames ballboys…..

    😉

  21. Highbury Daze

    No, I didn’t think you would find a company run by middle management hunter, but keep trying, give my regards to your sis

  22. hunter13

    what ten? he only started spending a bit just last summer. how long have chelsea been spending millions per position?

    youre wrong again fella

  23. hunter13

    can you please show me when did wenger lose the title two games before the end, to a relegation candidate, within the last ten years? please …the stage is yours…

  24. Highbury Daze

    It’s not about money nitwit, this guy is a hopeless manager now, past it, living on memories, just like you using the stadium as an excuse not to spend, this manager never spent big never even when at Highbury, it is not his style, fuck you are a dummy, Wenger has always dome this, you are just to dumb to understand

  25. Highbury Daze

    wenger never spent last 2 summers, it was chips keswick who spent, wenger never spent any more than 16 million on any one player, check your facts pre Ozil who chips bought, wenger is a 8-15 million quid spender, go right back to 1996 until 2012

  26. Highbury Daze

    AFC always had money, it’s just the manager is a scrooge and hates spending big on any one player, because he is afraid of failure, and this suited a man like Kroenke, make plenty spend little what’s not too like I would love a business like that, match made in heaven, WENGER LOVES KROENKE, AND VICE VERSA

  27. Highbury Daze

    Wenger would rather spend 500k on Cesc and sell him back to the mugs for 35 million quid, that’s the business model, enough for one night hunter go piss the bed

  28. Highbury Daze

    hunter will be up all night looking for a company that lets middle management run the whole shebang, good luck with that nitwit

  29. Highbury Daze

    come on marble no quips, no smart comebacks, if your gonna start something sonny, have the balls to finish it, next time you see me, pass me by, or keep your fucking comment to yourself

  30. carts

    RP – think you raised a good point just then…Mourinho does in fact have his sale all right.

    Lukaku – £28m: Below average
    Mata – £37m: Average
    Luiz – £LolOfPounds: Averge
    De Bruyne – £16m: Average
    Cole – free: Hasn’t played
    Lampard – free: Above average
    Torres & Eto’o – free: Poor/ Below average

    So yeah, he hasn’t missed anyone whatsoever. FFP compliant after long last and top of the league.

  31. Leedsgunner

    “This could be good guys. Get your popcorn ready……….Daze and marble going at it.An epic grudge match from the night shift regulars.”

    So true. Highbury and Marble tryng to “outdo” each other in their anti-Wengerness.

    Hey Middy can you set up a “book” for this and give us some odds? 😉

    ARE YOU REEEEEAAAADDDDY TO RUUUUUUMBLE!!!

    Ding! Ding!

  32. MidwestGun

    Rspc –
    If your still around. Don’t know what the younger generation rulez of selfies are. They seem to want to document everything. But my gut feeling is ya selfies should be for winning something. Might be a generational thing tho.

    Also, check it out. 2-0, 2-1 came in for me Pool, Spuds, Man. U. Not exactly sure how much because I just have an account on line and I don’t know what my starting point was but I think around $900 US.

  33. Leedsgunner

    “Says should only be done with silverware ?”

    Carragher obviously isn’t aware of our record against the EPL top sides… 😉

  34. Cesc Appeal

    Not sure how I stumbled onto this, but thoroughly recommend a watch of this. A neutral Newcastle fan, their version of Arsenal Fan TV a bit it seems doing a breakdown of City v Arsenal.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdfsLI4LAFg

    “This was a tale of two stubborn c**t manager’s…finally, fucking finally, Arsenal go away from home and they don’t take the blue pill, the easy option, pass it around see what happens, they take the red pill, they defend well and go hard on the counter.”

    Nice to hear that neutral fans see the club the way we do, really interesting because he’s pretty nailed on with his critique and praise…the accent and emphasis are also highly amusing.

  35. Thomas

    Get Wengers dick out of your mouth hunter13. You probably have cardboard copies and posters of The specialist in failure in your room.

    Weirdo.

  36. london gunner

    Carts

    I agree with you on every player, but De Bruyne as he is tearing up the Bundlisga right now.

    Think his top of assists by some margin and I have seen him play a few games where his been so lethal with his passing and vision.

  37. MidwestGun

    Cesc –
    No… I might need a translator tho. But then everyone sounds like they have an accent to me. Closest I can describe my accent is probably Ashton Kutcher. We are from similar area. Midwest clipped vowels with California
    attitude. Only, I have more southern Texas influence.

  38. MidwestGun

    Keyser –
    My answer to the question at the bottom would be yes, if we have an athletic cdm and enough speed to counter. It should be match specific tho based on opponent quality, away or home. Don’t fancy a Flamteta situation. Or Ramshire midfield combo.

  39. Keyser

    We have switched it up before, it’s like the Geordie nutter there, he obviously doesn’t watch us much, if you took Sunday’s game against last year when we lost 6-3, we’d played Napoli with 10 men for the last 20-30 minutes in a crucial Champions League game 3 days prior, I think that had a pretty big impact on our ability to show the sort of cohesion we did on Sunday, the there’s Sanchez and numerous other factors.

  40. carts

    London Gunner – tbf, i haven’t seen an awful lot of De Bruyne barring a few live games here and there. He’s definitely Wolfsburg’s go-to-guy although I spend more time looking out for Gustavo

    However they’re what second by 6 points so they’re looking good. Not to mention King Bendtner lol

  41. Bamford10

    Yet another divide emerges among Arsenal fans: those who think Coquelin is good enough to be our starting CDM going forward and those who have a f***ing clue.

  42. tunnygriffboy

    Keyser

    I saw the possession stats on MNF. Was interesting to see the games we’ve won over the last season and a half with low % age possession. This year we have even more more options to play counter attack

    Giroud : 7 starts, 4 sub appearances in PL. 6 goals.

  43. Le Phil

    How come that no one realised how the entire team didn’t trust Giroud yesterday? In 99% of counter attacks Giroud has been ignored and pushed out wide….

    Example: Late in the game, Santi breaks through, goes towards city’s central defence, Giroud to his left, Santi opts to engage into a 1-1 with the defender instead of passing the ball to Giroud…Plenty of those during the game. If you watched the game again, you’d see how frustrated Giroud looks at times – however his runs are so shit, I wouldn’t pass to him either.

  44. Keyser

    Geordie nutters a bit unfair, we obviously can go back seasons to pick on a game, whereas I can’t really remember too many Newcastle games at all.

    There was a stat in-game where Giroud’s scored the most headers of any premiership player in the last year or something, he’s got like 11 or 12.

  45. Bamford10

    Giroud is not optimal for counter-attacking, being oafish and slow. He is a decent passer, though. For example, he hit a great long pass to someone wide on the counter yesterday. Can’t remember whom.

    Welbeck and nearly any other striker on the planet would be better on the counter, though.

  46. MidwestGun

    Keyser –
    Yes, I’m aware we have closed up shop before. But not to the extent where I felt like the entire team worked in concert and we still had some threat going forward. Spuds last year we were basically hemmed in our own half and had no outlet because Giroud was useless in hold up. Anyhow I would like to see it as an option more especially in key matches with Alexis and someone with pace on other wing and if we can get a consistent back 4 based on game.

  47. Keyser

    http://arseblog.com/2015/01/tactics-column-santi-cazorla-the-key-player-with-and-without-the-ball/

    “If Arsenal couldn’t afford to be truly fluent, they relied on getting the ball to the front men quickly, and Oliver Giroud’s ability to take the ball down from the air. Some of his touches were glorious and by the end of the game, he made 45 passes, the 2nd most of Arsenal’s players, while he was found by Ospina and Nacho Monreal 10 times respectively. ”

    We weren’t really playing to anyone’s strengths, we were simply breaking when we could to release pressure.

  48. Bamford10

    First XI when Ozil, Walcott, Jack, Welbeck and Arteta are all back and in form?

    For me, it’s very hard to say.

  49. Bamford10

    Keyser

    Yes, while my distaste for Giroud is well known, I thought he was pretty darn good in the second half yesterday.

  50. Keyser

    We played Tottenham away after we’d gone out mid-week to Bayern at the Allianz, our midfield was Arteta – Rosicky – Cazorla, we had Ox and Podolski out wide.

    I remember Ox having a couple of chances that he really should’ve scored from, but then we just seemed to tire and were happy to absorb pressure and I think we did it pretty well.

  51. Keyser

    We did that a fair amount last year, we weren’t comfortable stretching our midfield out so relied on long balls to Giroud, last year we lacked pace in support, with Ox, Welbeck, Theo coming back we should have variations, I can’t see Wenger making too many changes next week, he’ll want to build momentum, especially as I think we’ve got another week before our next game after, then the games are concertinaed.

  52. MidwestGun

    Keyser –
    Ya I do remember we were exhausted but we had no ability to string a couple passes together once we were pinned back to get out of half. So I can’t say it was our gameplan unless we were trying to suck at relieving pressure.

  53. MidwestGun

    Bamford –
    Ya it’s hard, depends on match I suppose. If Theo is 100% and in form, I’d start him over Ox. Probably I’d start Cazorla over Ozil but would like to work a way to see both. Welbeck for me, sometimes. I don’t know we have to many similar parts where one player isn’t a massive upgrade over another barring Alexis and probably Kos.

  54. Keyser

    It’s not soo much a gameplan as an adjustment to the personnel we have and the team we’re playing, not to mention the result we need. We’ve done that for the past 3 years now, we sit back in shape and in numbers and simply rely on out-playing the team in key moments hoping our talent shines through and it has, there was clear seperation last year, we beat the teams we were supposed to, and lost big to the teams we were supposedly challenging.

    It’s why Wenger wanted us to score more, it’s all good playing a more reserved gameplan, and relying on defensive discipline, but it still doesn’t change the need to progress, we were poor by our own standards in how we created and finished chances.

  55. MidwestGun

    Keyser –
    I know that’s how you see it. And probably the best I’ve seen you articulate that. But some of that is Wenger’s blind spot in the transfer market and over reliance on inadequate players, imo. Also, over reliance on fullbacks to get pressure up the pitch.

  56. Highbury Daze

    Clubs have goal keeper coaches do they not, someone who was a specialist in that position to train the current keepers, we should have attacking coaches to do the same with striker/AM, then a specialist defensive coach to do the defensive stuff, which is why I thought Bould was brought on board for, instead of a prima donna, ie Wenger wanting to do it all, and ballsing it up completely

    after I witnessed Wenger and Bould chatting away like two lovers on a park bench, I am convinced he is the one responsible for the City result

  57. Highbury Daze

    What that result proved beyond any shadow of a doubt, that this club has the players, it just needs a new manager to replace Wenger, leave Bould in place, but ditch this relic and allow players to do the jobs they are paid to, SAF delegated all the time, no man does it all, are you listening Wenger you deluded control freak

  58. useroz

    Like it….. Giroud could make an excellent CB.

    Yeh we don’t need to worry about OGs too.

    Where’s the Polish 17 yu kid? Has he signed?

  59. TheBayingMob

    To be honest I thought we’d win at City … they’ve been a hot and cold this season especially at home, Pelligrini’s last season in charge methinks (unlike the Arsenal board who would probably give him another 500 years), he even looks a bit like Wenger after a night on gak. Two lost it old cunt managers playing at who could be clueless the most. At home, with the most expensive squad assembled, they’ve lost to Stoke, Newcastle (League Cup), CSKA (Chumps League) and us, as well as drawing 2-2 against Burnley. Pony. All the Arsene ring sniffers, give it a rest for a minute. The way they all come out groaning like window lickers after one win is seriously l1mp wr1sted …

  60. GuNZ

    Kept right out of that ding dong between Highbury Daze and Marble whatever his name is – far too entertaining and distracting while I’m trying to work.

    I wouldn’t even want Giroud as a CB because after making one successful tackle in twenty five attempts he’d start running all round the pitch tugging his cock with that how-fucking-great-am-I smarm plastered all over his Gallic mouche. He might come in useful defending corners though. Stand him side on between the posts and not much is going to get past that conk.

  61. Wallace

    Bamford

    “Yet another divide emerges among Arsenal fans: those who think Coquelin is good enough to be our starting CDM going forward and those who have a f***ing clue.”

    😉 whether he is or not, pretty much everyone had him up alongside Cazorla as the best player on the pitch at the Etihad. and yet all i remember from you was a pissy little comment about him running the ball out of play at one point.

    get the impression you made up your mind about Coquelin as soon as you heard he’d been on loan at Charlton.

  62. Dark Hei

    Daze

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but Bould’s influence can be seen ever since he came on board.
    Here are the tactical changes that coincided with Bould’s appointment.
    1. Moving away from the double pivot to a single dedicated deep lying midfielder and a box-to-box.
    2. Not defending so high up the pitch as a default

  63. gambon

    Bamford

    re Coquelin

    The problem is that Arsenal fans have such low standards. I mean really low, mid table standards. Half of the fan base think finishing 4th is the promised land, and like to use phrases like “well there are 92 teams in the football league so 4th is brilliant” and “go support Chelsea if all you want is trophies”

    As a result, they see any old average player come along and they obsess over them.

    There also seems to be an Arsene inspired obsession with young players that makes people think sentimentally rather than rationally.

    Its no different to what parents do.

    How many parents accept their kids are useless at certain things? They frankly dont, they think their kids are a breed apart from all others for no other reason than sentimentality.

    In football this really is very common.

    Every fan thinks their players are the best, their stadium is best, their kids are best, their kit is best etc

    Its only the intelligent people that can reasonably assess players/managers/performances.

    not a lot of smart football fans out there.

    With Coquelin its simple. Hes done pretty well, he actually does a DMs job unlike Arteta for example, but hes not top class, likely never will be.

  64. gonsterous

    Gambon

    I agrar that as Good as Coq has been he isn’t first choice material specially in a big team like arsenal… The only reason I can see him being better than arteta is because he’s younger and has more energy…

  65. ozrus

    ThomasJanuar!y 19, 2015 23:07:29
    Get Wengers dick out of your mouth hunter13. You probably have cardboard copies and posters of The specialist in failure in your room.Weirdo.

    lol Thomas you’ve got Wenger’s portrait as your fucking avatar!

  66. tunnygriffboy

    Gambon

    Coquelin is probably not the long term answer but atm he is a better bet than others we have got. To be fair he has played well since he’s been brought in. We are unlikely to get Schniederlin in this window ( rumours he’s coming in the summer ). Similarly the Bender bros will not be available until the summer also. Until then, because of injury we have found a short term answer. Would keep him as a number two and get rid of Flameta and sick note

  67. Dissenter

    gambon,
    I think you’re missing the point about Coquelin.
    I don’t know many who think he’s world class.
    He’s in good form at the moment so there no need to go buy another stop-gap defensive MF hurriedly this transfer window.

    Our season is dead more or less, if competing for the league was the target.
    Stick with Coquelin till the summer, release Arteta and Flamini, then buy a proper DMF.

    Oh wait, I just heard that Coquelin’s contract expires this summer too. He might not even stay at Arśenal because he was on the way out until th the injury bug hit.

    We will definitely buy at least one DMF in the summer.

  68. Wallace

    gambon

    have you ever liked a player before they were valued at 30m?

    ‘there’s a useful kid at Barcelona…Messy or something…we should go for him.’

    on football you’re as insightful as the inside of Steve Bruce’s ass.

  69. Leedsgunner

    Dissenter

    “We will definitely buy at least one DMF in the summer.”

    I hope you are right… although we’ve been saying that for least three summer transfer windows. Last summer Khedira was a dead on cert to come to Arsenal wasn’t he? (As if there is a dead on cert with Arsene handling transfer matters that is.

    Hopefully we will though — we all know Flamini, Arteta and Diaby *chuckle* isn’t good enough.

    *facepalm*

  70. tunnygriffboy

    Coquelin is being offered a new contract. Schniederlin or one of the Bender broswill come in and Flamini, Arteta and Diaby will be released meaning Coquelin will be a number two

    Paulista our main target as CB. Winston Reid a default option.

  71. vicky

    I guess Diaby and Flamini are coming to an end of their Arsenal career. May be Arteta as well unless he is awarded one year contract extension.

  72. Gregg

    Tunny

    It looks like Paulista as you say, work permit seems to be the issue.

    Diaby will go, not sure Arteta and Flamini may just see out the last year of his deal.

  73. tunnygriffboy

    Gregg

    We will definately bring in a WC midfielder in the summer when they become available. Coquelin will be the number two. Diaby and Flamini will go , perhaps Arteta a one year deal for his experience.

    Do you think that we going for top class CB targets then relying on a Reid/Perrin as fall back options ?

    To be honest the perfo?rmance on Sunday has energised me. Brighton, Villa, spuds, Leicester and Palace our next fixtures with Monaco at some point. Players coming back. What you reckon.

  74. Gregg

    Tunny

    Yep I think Coq done a great job Sunday. What it emphasises is what a different team we are when we have someone, disciplined, in that position. Get a top class player as first option there and you’re good to go. Like you I believe we will get either Schneiderlin or Bedner.

    As for CB. Not sure about fall back options. Personally I don’t agree with that strategy. If you cannot get the ones you want then wait until they’re available, no point settling and giving a 3 year deal to someone you didn’t really want. We’ve done that before and it’s always bitten us on the arse. I’d like to think we’ve moved on from that.

  75. Leedsgunner

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/11356479/Jack-Wilshere-will-struggle-to-get-back-into-the-Arsenal-side-stats-show-theyre-much-better-without-him.html

    Yep, many on here have said the same. Sure he’s nice to have on the bench but due to his work ethic, attitude and numerous injuries there are other CMs who are younger or the same age who are better. For the amount of first team experience he’s had he has not progressed…

    Sure as an English player he will attract a premium — fine, let’s use that to our advantage and get someone who will take over strengthen the team… not just get in the team because he’s the manager’s pet.

  76. Emiratesstroller

    Coquelin will make an excellent squad player, but realistically for the reasons outlined by others we need to recruit a better standard of player for CDM for
    our starting eleven who is technically more gifted.

    However, to be realistic Coquelin is unlikely to earn the £100 k pw which both
    Walcott and Wilshire probably expect. The club should not be paying more than £30-50 k tops for a squad player.

    The club and Wenger need to learn that if you pay egalitarian and inflated wages to your squad players they become difficult to shift if they under perform and want to leave. Moreover it is hard to get a transfer fee as we have discovered in case of Podolski.

  77. MoFaya

    Finally there’s a smart and workable plan B for the Gunners away to difficult opposition , including Stoke City . We now need a Plan C for the teams that will come to the Emirates and play like Arsenal played at Man City!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!That should be easy to achieve for 8 million pounds a year. Money should buy you success, right? Except at Arsenal?