Arsenal roast Villa

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Good morning, lovely people – James here writing a very tired post. Sunday nights are the pits – that horrible feeling of not being able to get to sleep, whilst knowing you need to get to sleep, which stresses you out more and prevents you sleeping. It’s a vicious cycle. But I’m a trooper and will soldier on.  It’s February at last, bringing an end to for all to dry January, the worst creation since half and half scarves (that were selling like hot cakes yesterday). All that is, aside from Pedro, who has resolutely claimed to be giving up the sauce for February. Fucking hipster.

Anyway, onto the game, which served up a veritable treat and warmed the cockles on what must have been the coldest day since records began. Anywhere. Ever. In the pub pre-game we were expecting a fairly turgid affair, given Villa’s decent defensive record and impotence up top – they truly are the floppiest willy of all attacking line-ups we’ve played this season.

Those fears were quickly allayed however, when in the opening 10 minutes we found the breakthrough, with the goal highlighting the value of a playmaker of Ozil’s quality in the side. One of our defenders (Hector, perhaps) lofted a clearance from the back, which appeared to be floating harmlessly towards the halfway line. However, in a moment of sheer genius, Ozil had the wherewithal to flick the ball on with the outside of his boot to find Giroud bearing down on goal. Admittedly, I had little faith in this resulting in a goal; firstly due to our Adonis’ lack of pace and secondly as a result of his showreel of fluffed one-on-ones. I like Giroud as a player and think he’s been superb this season, but his goals have tended to come from one-touch finishes. If you consider the fluffed chance at Chelsea away last season or Liverpool away the season before that, his Arsenal career has been somewhat littered with fluffed lines in that respect. For a moment it seemed he had wasted the chance with the ball slipping away from him, but he rescued the situation with a delightful dink over the onrushing Guzan. A brilliant goal and the perfect panacea to the frostbite developing on my man-parts.

The second goal saw a role reversal, with Giroud turning provider for Ozil in a really slick move. Theo started the attack breaking from our half and playing it to Giroud who slipped Ozil through one on one with a slide rule pass. Ozil still had plenty to do, but showed poise and composure to slot it into the far corner. It was a superb finish and did a lot to dispel the myth that Ozil is ‘slow’. Clearly he is a player who is selective about when he sprints full pelt, but a burst of pace is something we haven’t seen regularly enough from him. Plenty more of that please.

Our third came shortly after in equally impressive fashion. Theo, with the ball on the left touchline played it inside to Santi and then made an arcing run toward the centre of the 18 yard box, making him nigh on impossible to pick up. Santi fed it into Theo’s feet, with his first touch taking him away from a defender before opening up his body and slotting home a superb finish. I thought Theo was poor yesterday and looked understandably rusty, but that was a brilliant goal and underlined what a useful weapon he can be when utilized properly.

It was good to see Chuba get a decent run out for the last 25 minutes or so. He looked extremely lively when he came on, constantly harrying the Villa defence and causing them problems with his physicality. He did well to win the penalty for our fourth goal, knocking the ball past Guzan who clearly pulled him down. Santi took the proceeding spot kick and it must be one of the worst penalties I’ve seen that resulted in a goal. Nevertheless it’s another goal for our impish magician, which topped another excellent performance. He’s playing so well at the moment; it will almost be a surprise when he eventually doesn’t have a blinder.

We got a fifth goal late on, with Hector opening his Arsenal account with a really assured finish from outside the area. It was the cherry on the icing on the cake for the Catalonian quiff aficionado, who is looking more assured by the game. Bravo.

So three points won in style and the perfect prelude to the North London Derby this Saturday. A win was essential, given it was one of those weekends where everyone else won and the result did our goal difference a world of good. Seeing Southampton get turned over at home by Swansea was a very pleasant surprise, which now puts us level on points with them, save for their superior goal difference (of one goal, I believe).

We are now edging towards a critical point in the season – knockout rounds in the Champions League, the FA Cup is nearing its sharp end and the league positions are beginning to take shape. Fortunately, our team is looking as if it is beginning to peak at just the right time. Clearly a significant reason for this is the return of injured players, but I also get the impression that Wenger is slowly finding the right balance for this side. His change to the 4-1-4-1 formation has had mixed results this season, but a tweak in personnel seems to have catalysed an improvement. Taking out Flamini for Coquelin has had a big impact and I do hope the benefits of having an athletic player in that position have highlighted to Wenger why a signing is essential in that position this summer. Whilst Le Coq has done a brilliant job so far, in my view it highlights what a difference a player of that ilk could make to the squad, but of better quality. Conversely, someone made the point at the pub after the game that if we signed Coquelin for £20 million this January, there’d be spaffed boxers everywhere over his performances.

Bellerin is another player who looks the business. For some time there’s been very positive noises coming from those close to the academy about Hector and it’s great to see him taking his chance with such aplomb. Clearly he’s got blistering pace, but his positioning is very impressive for someone so inexperienced and his delivery is very promising. He also keeps up the #dreamboat movement at the club of beautiful players (Gabriel bringing the mean average down somewhat though).

A word too for Ospina who made a couple of excellent saves yesterday and looked generally assured in all he did. Clearly he hasn’t been hugely tested so far, but the signs are promising and he certainly brings an air of calm to proceedings. Whether he’s the long-term answer I don’t know, but he hasn’t put a foot wrong. I still expect us to sign a new keeper this summer to compete with Ospina as I think Chezzer’s days are numbered at Arsenal. It’s a shame as he obviously has massive talent, but that’s coupled with being an utter bellend. If he gets moved on, he only has himself to blame.

So, my least favourite game of the season coming up this weekend and I am not looking forward to it one iota. Whilst I know we are a superior team to Spurs in every department (except goalkeeper), a trip to White Hart Lane never fails to fill me with trepidation. It’s completely irrational given our record there, but if you offered me a point now, I’d take it and run. In terms of personnel, I’d keep the same team we played yesterday, with the exception of bringing in Ox or Alexis (depending on who is fit) for Theo. In a game like this, especially away from home, we need everyone to contribute and whilst Theo is a cracking player, his best work tends to be done only at the sharp end of the pitch.

Right, that’s your lot.  Enjoy what is going to be the longest week of the year in the build up to the game x

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459 Responses to “Arsenal roast Villa”

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  1. Romford Ozil Pele

    Morning lads. Good post James. The Chesney stuff is interesting. What I did like was how Ospina was very authoritative when coming from crosses. Despite lacking height and Villa having some big players, he claimed every ball effortlessly.

  2. Leedsgunner

    If Newcastle sell Sissoko for £20m, I say we put in a cheeky bid for Cabaye for £15m. I still think he would be a steel at that price. Yes? No?

  3. Romford Ozil Pele

    Leeds, I wouldn’t want to buy Cabaye. Not because he isn’t a good player but because he’s not too dissimilar to what we have. Plus his age is a hindrance too. With Coquelin’s emergence, I want Schneiderlin to be the other DM. Then you have a plethora of CMs.

  4. Romford Ozil Pele

    What is the exact definition of the word “roast” ?? lol
    ——————————————————————————

    In the above context, it means smash/annihilate/dismantle/thrash etc

  5. Leedsgunner

    Romford

    Fair point, although I was thinking he would replace Arteta & Flamini (who I would want out in the summer) and he would be a provide depth if Ramsey gets injured. How old is? 27? I can’t believe he would be happy to be a benchwarmer at PSG after being the main man at Newcastle.

  6. tunnygriffboy

    Leeds

    I like Cabaye as a player but if we’re going big for a DM in the summer I would prefer a Sissoko type, b2b with a great engine. He would provide what Ramsey does, will give Ramsey a rest as his game is so high energy that playing non stop inevitably has led to injury. It would also increase competition for places.

  7. Romford Ozil Pele

    Leeds, he’s 29 mate. Like I say, nothing to do with his ability. He’s a fantastic player as we saw at Newcastle and have seen for France. But if i’m to hazard a guess, we need to be streamlining the squad, rather than just padding it out. Yesterday we could’ve fielded a first choice 11 of players who didn’t start/were injured (see below) so depth isn’t really the issue. It’s quality thing. If we’re gonna be replacing Arteta & Flamini then i’d rather Schneiderlin. From the sounds of things, it looks as if Le Coq in the hole is about to stay and sign a new contract. So you then have him, Schneiderlin and Bielik as DMs, then loads of others who can play CM.

  8. Dat Lad Welbz

    Let me just start with saying that I really enjoyed this post. Perhaps not a shocker given that you’re describing a match we won 5-0, but still credits due where it’s deserved.

    As for the keeper situastion I really want to give the smoking pole another chance, but I’m starting to realize that he just lacks the mental capacity to succeed at the highest level. He’s one funny guy, especially his piano playing after one of the NLDs got me cracking, but after reading reports of lack of discipline and commitment it’s probably time to let him go.

    Bellerin is one classy RB, and the fact that his english is sounding more and more cockney is just good fun. Debuchy might have to fight tooth and nail for his place in the team when he returns from injury. The tattooed frenchmen is probably better defensively, especially in the air, but our pacey spaniard brings a bit more zest to the attack when he comes on his surging runs. His positioning has also improved dramatically since his embarrassing performance against BvB.

    Looking forward to the NLD next weekend, and can’t really see us loosing to the spuds, but it’s probably gonna be a tough one either way.

  9. Zementalstrength

    “Thierry Henry […] admits the reason behind swapping the Emirates Stadium for the Nou Camp was due to the uncertainty over Arsene Wenger’s future.”

    Dear Thierry, please don’t take us for stupid morons, thanks a lot. (lol ?)

  10. MadeToLoveMagic

    Breaking news!! 3 million year old fossil found in catalonian hills shown to have clear genetic link to hector bellerin.

    Head of the spanish archaeological society Juan Moore-Thyme said after the discovery ” there is no clearer evidence than this, young hectors DNA is intrinsically linked with CATALONIA”
    What remains to be seen for gunners fans, is if his heart has still has this same connection, or if unlike others before him he can resist the temptation to return to the place of his own evolution and remain a Spanish king in england

  11. Zementalstrength

    Thanks Romford, I think that “dismantle” is my favorite word…
    And I hope we will be able to “dismantle” yoonited or chelscunt one day lol

  12. Romford Ozil Pele

    “It was a superb finish and did a lot to dispel the myth that Ozil is ‘slow’. ”

    He’s never been slow. Go back to see his first goal vs Norwich last season, did exactly the same thing. He rarely bursts into full sprint because there’s rarely that space in behind. Arsenal primarily aren’t a counterattacking team, Madrid under Mourinho were, which is why you saw a lot more of Ozil in full sprint mode. Didn’t you hear about that thing at Arsenal where he beat Gnabry in a race? Like you say, he’s just selective about going into full sprint mode. He’s being asked to function completely different to how he did at Madrid.

  13. Ashwin Gunner

    Nice post..

    Good to have some one other than Pedro giving their views 😛

    Quick question..

    With the emergence of Coq, do you think Wenger will still go in for Schnederlin in the summer. I mean, he is not one of those managers who will likes to rotate.. so if he buys in summer does that mean the end of Coq

  14. Wallace

    nice post. also –

    “Conversely, someone made the point at the pub after the game that if we signed Coquelin for £20 million this January, there’d be spaffed boxers everywhere over his performances.”

    exactly!

  15. Romford Ozil Pele

    Team of players who didn’t start/play yesterday:

    Szcz
    Debuchy Chambers Gabriel Gibbs
    Arteta
    Ox Rosicky Wilshere Alexis
    Welbz

    Spares
    Martinez
    Flamini
    Akpom

    As has been said, depth has never really been the issue, bar defence which we’ve now padded out. It’s just a case of upgrading in certain positions. It’s taking longer than it should, but at least we’re getting there.

  16. Emiratesstroller

    My view about CDM is very clear we need someone who is disciplined and a very good athlete first and not necessarily the world’s greatest footballer. If he has that ingredient as well then wonderful.

    The truth is we have plenty of skilful players in our squad, but not enough players who can put the boot in and have a bit of aggression. Coquelin demonstrated that very adequately in yesterday’s game.

    Personally I cannot see Szczesny remaining at club. He is not the type of player to accept squad status. When he plays our defence is vulnerable as we saw
    against Brighton. Ospina’s positional sense and composure is better than that
    offered by Szczesny and we don’t see him offering erratic and reckless decision making in game.

  17. Dave Highbury

    WOW! `le Grove you’ve appeared after a great victory wiv praise for Arsenal. I take my hat off to you.
    Our squad is taking proper shape now, and the players seem to be feelin the buzz. Recon we can put in a good innings when it comes to the Champions League this season – and wiv Le Grove behind the team, who knows what can happen! Big up the away crowd. Love u man

  18. Carts

    What’s really good? Roll on a new week and all that..anyone got anything they’d like to share with me in secret? you know, like the next big-boy app that’ll be worth tens of billions without actually being profitable; some reality tv concept; anyone? fuck you then.

  19. Romford Ozil Pele

    “I think due to the emergence of coq a dm in the summer is unlikely.”

    That would be a mistake IMO. Le Coq has obviously done well, better than anyone expected but I still feel we should recruit heavily and this would be where the bulk of my money in the summer goes. Drop £30m on Schneiderlin. I would obviously buy another but with Wenger’s announcement that Coq will sign and his inentions with Bielik, that’d be our lot IMO.

    The oracle Ornstein also reiterated that this morning and he’s normally bang on the money. Said that Arsenal are hugely unlikely to do anything today unless something miraculous pops up. Says we’re in the market for top DM but nothing happening there until summer.

  20. Romford Ozil Pele

    ‘Bellerin grows from game to game’

    Arsène Wenger has hailed Hector Bellerin’s development after his “electric” performance against Aston Villa.

    The 19-year-old scored his first Arsenal goal on Sunday, stroking home Santi Cazorla’s pass from the edge of the box to complete a 5-0 win.

    Wenger also praised Bellerin’s defensive work and is impressed by how much he has improved since making his debut against Borussia Dortmund in September.

    “It’s great – I’m pleased for him,” the manager told Arsenal Player. “He grows from game to game, he’s more confident and he has that electric pace even in the last minute, to go past people and to get crosses in. Defensively, he has improved a lot.

    “Considering his first game, at Dortmund, and what I think of him today, that’s credit to him, because he had a bit of a nightmare away from home in Dortmund.

    “When you see what he has produced today, you can only say ‘well done and continue to keep your priorities right – defend well, go forward when you can,’ and he’s doing that well.

    “It was a comprehensive win,” added Wenger. “It was not always as easy as it looks now – we had our weaker moments but overall I’m pleased because we kept our concentration and we respected the collective game we wanted to play until the end. That is very pleasing.“

  21. gunnergetyou

    Good post but surely we should be looking forward to all 3 points at spurs, we couldn’t be going into it in better shape. We’ll have a strong starting line up and a very strong bench if needed. If we can get a result at Man City then spurs shouldn’t be a problem as long as we remain disciplined.

  22. Romford Ozil Pele

    MTLM – Nobody really knows RE Bielik. He may well be a huge talent but it’s just an unnecessary risk to take now with our increased firepower, makes no sense to me. We’ve seen the difference Coq had made (though he has also had good protection) but I feel we need to push the boat out. Bielik has never played PL football before. I know he’s physically capable but you shouldn’t be passing Schneiderlin up if he’s available IMO. Well worth the money and would only aid what’s been happening here in recent weeks.

  23. Carts

    Very polished performance yesterday. When you consider how close we are to a fully fit team, it makes you wonder what we can achieve if we had the level of injury-freeness Chelsea experice.

    When you consider our 16 man squad yesterday, it didn’t include Welbeck, Arteta or Wilshere, and it’s fair to say Akpom, Chamber and Flamini wouldn’t have been in the squad. We have depth; and all we need now is to incorporated another DM and a FW.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/31079429

    Above article I think is a bit knee jerky. There’s no dount Coq’ is doing a more accomplished job that Flamini…but as far back as the summer a lot of us highlighted Flamini’s lack of quality. It’s easy to write issue this article on the back of roasting Villa for 5. But a season is 9 months long. 5 game winning streak that includes a good win against City has given us confidence going forward. However there are still areas to be addressed.

  24. Romford Ozil Pele

    Wow, news emerging that Koke rejected Barca in the summer. I know Xavi said he saw Koke as his replacement.

    Koke (Atletico Madrid): “It was difficult to say no to Barcelona, but this is my home.

    “I have a contract and I want to stay. Transfer talk is flattering, but it’s unlikely I’ll be convinced to leave.”

  25. Gilo

    Given that there are so many ‘defensive’ midfielders who couple extreme positional discipline with technical ability, there’s no excuse to have a clogger in there – Matic is the best defensive midfielder in the league and he’s a fantastic passer, but rarely ventures out of position. Flamini is possibly the worst example, neither disciplined nor technically proficient.

    Villa are so feeble that it impossible to judge Coquelin on that display, although he was clearly good against City and particularly West HAm

  26. Romford Ozil Pele

    Yeah amid all the good stuff, it’s important to remember that we are still 5th in the table, messed up a lot this season. But like Carts said, would’ve been interesting, even with our inherent weaknesses, to see where we would’ve been had we not succumbed to injuries as per usual. Anyway, that’s 12 wins in 15, 5 on the bounce in all comps, long may it continue. Smash Spurs this weekend please 😀

  27. Leedsgunner

    If Khedira came in a free and Schneiderlin followed in the summer … I would be made up. Although I personally believe that Schneiderlin is a lost cause as everyone will be after him in the summer.

    If there is any chance of Pogba moving we should go for him. I can’t see the player wanting to go back to Man United. I think if we were to offer £30m plus Wilshere — they might bite. Too optimistic? Sadly Wilshere, with his injuries and attitude has become a luxury player. Furthermore, the team just doesn’t play that well with him in it. I would rather you him now to get a WC midfielder who will take our club to the next level.

    If Pogba is not realistic, Koke is another player I would target. I could also see A. Madrid being interested in a player swap.

  28. TitsMcgee

    That would be a mistake IMO. Le Coq has obviously done well, better than anyone expected but I still feel we should recruit heavily and this would be where the bulk of my money in the summer goes.”

    Yep.

    Let’s also not forget that Le Coq doesn’t have a season of sustained performance behind him either.

    He’s also just one guy. So an injury to him and it’s back to Arteta.

    Coq should be cover for Schneids.

  29. gambon

    Good performance yesterday and like i keep saying, we are so much better when we play compact, counter attacking football.

    Mind you beating crap teams like Villa has never been our issue, we have always been better than any other team in the PL at that.

    Bellerin looks good, certainly on a different level of talent to Jenkinson, who it seems got to play for 3 years at Arsenal due to having an Arsenal duvet.

    Akpom looks so, so, so much more dangerous than the clumsy postman. He will have a lot to do to get to the top but at least he looks like he can. He’s rapid and always looking to run in between the central defenders. For a 19 year old he had some real presence.

  30. Wallace

    there’s been talk of Bielik looking the business in training. i think his and Coquelin’s progress over the next 4mths will determine whether or not we spend big on a DM this summer.

  31. Leedsgunner

    Not that Koke and Pogba play DM, you understand — but if Khedira were to come in I could see Coquelin and Bielik really growing under his tutelage. Koke would be replacement for Wilshere and a successor to Cazorla in one player. I would love him for Arsenal.

  32. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Good performance yesterday and like i keep saying, we are so much better when we play compact, counter attacking football.”

    Agreed, though I think we only done that when we quickly realised early on that Villa were playing with a suicidal high line. Stupid on their part.

    “Bellerin looks good, certainly on a different level of talent to Jenkinson, who it seems got to play for 3 years at Arsenal due to having an Arsenal duvet.”

    Agreed but he’ll probs be back at Barca by 2017.

    Props on Akpom.

  33. gambon

    “there’s been talk of Bielik looking the business in training. i think his and Coquelin’s progress over the next 4mths will determine whether or not we spend big on a DM this summer.”

    I would say that any team that goes into the season with these 2 as DM has absolutely no chance of winning the PL.

  34. TitsMcgee

    Mind you beating crap teams like Villa has never been our issue, we have always been better than any other team in the PL at that.”

    Yep.

    We always go on a run at some point. There are about 14 teams that are absolute cannon-fodder year in and year out for us so there will always be a lull in the schedule.

  35. Bigper

    Le coq shows what having a dm with some of the needed attributes can do to help the balance of the team, though I’m not sure he is the long term answer tbh. I think he is just riding on a wave of confidence at the moment. Still I like the way he keeps things simple and let’s the players ahead of him play. He seems to be fairly intelligent too in his positioning. I prefer him to flamini for sure lol and never been an arteta fan

    Still think we should go for a top dm in the summer though

    Bellerin looks good, but also Monreal has also upped his game majorly this season, think he just needed a run in the team. Much better than Gibbs for me.. He’s one of my favourites now lol.

    Giroud also works well in our new system tbf, I think with a top dm this squad can at least compete with the top teams. There is really no world class strikers available and scoring isn’t really a problem for us, just got to get the balance right

    Our main obstacle to compete imo is preparing for games properly and working on tactics for individual games etc, all the fine details that can give us the edge

  36. TitsMcgee

    I would say that any team that goes into the season with these 2 as DM has absolutely no chance of winning the PL.”

    Coq has shown promise and Bielik is 17 so I’d say this comment is spot on. Unless Wenger has found a ruthless streak I’d say it’s a high possibility though.

  37. Leedsgunner

    “there’s been talk of Bielik looking the business in training. i think his and Coquelin’s progress over the next 4mths will determine whether or not we spend big on a DM this summer.”

    No matter how good, this would be big big mistake not to get a top DM. I’m tired of AFC first team being used as a training ground for a talented youngster to make his mistakes. Get the top DM, let him teach the youngsters the trade, it’s better for the team and better for them.

    We took this cheapskate approach with ST and we have been suffering for it. If nothing else let’s learn from the Sanchez transfer. When you buy WC it also plays off in the end.

    We have the money, we need to put it where our mouth is and stop trying to be clever.

  38. Romford Ozil Pele

    Main issue for me is having players fit. Nobody really even knows what Wenger’s first 11 is because nobody is ever fit for long enough at the same time. I’d like to see that team play for a stretch before assessing the level. Probably not enough but could certainly hold its own. Preparation is certainly important though but touch wood we’re nearly at full capacity which is good considering we’re about to enter busy schedule again.

  39. TheBlaster

    Bellerin is a future superstar, I think. Works bloody hard and a very dangerous attacker. If for some reason he has a period of extended time out of the first team when Debuchy returns, I would expect the usual shit stirring ‘looking to move to find first team football’ campaigns to unsettle him before a ‘dream’ move to Barca or Real. Luckily Barca have their transfer ban or they’d be doing it now.

  40. Romford Ozil Pele

    “We have the money, we need to put it where our mouth is and stop trying to be clever.”

    Agreed. We have enough young talent/potential-type players. The others need to be ready to come in and do a job from the offset.

  41. Romford Ozil Pele

    Well Bellerin does have Barca DNA so this is likely to happen sooner rather than later. Barca’s transfer ban ends in 2016.

  42. DUIFG

    Cazorla is an animal right now on the ball. love the fact he is a pretty combative boy despite his midget like proportions, imagine getting nasri or arshavim to do a and put their foot in.

  43. gambon

    Im surprised more isnt being made of Walcotts contract situation.

    We basically have to make a sell/offer new contract decision NOW, as he is down to 12 months left this summer.

    He has been very clever with his contracts in recent yearrs, but I definitely wouldnt fancy giving him a payrise again after what hes delivered in the last 18 months.

  44. Romford Ozil Pele

    Santi’s playing a really interesting role now. Almost like a Xavi-type role, dictating from deep. Ramsey is playing much more advanced than he is which probably suits both players tbh. Very comfortable on the ball off either foot, positionally aware. Really in outrageous form atm. Props to him considering many (myself included) wouldn’t have minded if he was sold in the summer.

  45. Wallace

    I love Bellerin’s confidence. looks completely at home in the first team. if Cazorla does maintain his current hot streak i like the idea of Ozil and Bellerin attacking down the right hand side.

  46. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Im surprised more isnt being made of Walcotts contract situation.”

    I think this will dominate most of our summer transfer saga. There’ll be some who want him gone, others who want him to stay. Despite his limitations, he’s a fantastic finisher but you do get the feeling that he’s expendable. He won’t wanna sit on the bench.

  47. Wallace

    “but I definitely wouldnt fancy giving him a payrise again after what hes delivered in the last 18 months.”

    when fit all he’s delivered the last 18mths is goals.

  48. DUIFG

    Santi was never really doubted for on the ball ability, was always our best baller technically in my opinion , why I didn’t want him sold.

    Wenger was asking him to moster ground from the left, his body shape does not allow it, much better brought centraly where he can combine either side of him. First season we forgot about cesc briefly when he was central

  49. Micheal

    Although I would agree it is a bit too early to say for sure, but Ospina already looks a more accomplished keeper than Sczceney. For me, he gives the impression of being more assured, more cool under pressure and less likely to have a rush of blood.

    Wenger should keep him as No 1 for the reaminder of the season and then we will all be better position to judge. We already know Sczceney’s strengths and weaknesses.

  50. gambon

    “when fit all he’s delivered the last 18mths is goals.”

    Really…..8 goals in 25 games since his last contract.

    That is certainly nothing special considering his limitations.

    And it kind of misses the point.

    £312000 per game is not good business for anyone.

  51. MarbleHall

    So on the back of victories against a shabby Man City and a dreadful Villa, suddenly Arsenal have turned the corner.

    Lest we forget Arsenal were battered by Liverpool in there 2-2 draw and couldn’t hold on to the ball against City and yesterday played against a side that has managed to score only ELEVEN goals all season!

  52. ZARGooner

    GAMBON

    ““there’s been talk of Bielik looking the business in training. i think his and Coquelin’s progress over the next 4mths will determine whether or not we spend big on a DM this summer.”

    I would say that any team that goes into the season with these 2 as DM has absolutely no chance of winning the PL.”

    Yes…. BUT you would have also said that bringing back a player on loan from Charlton (who had failed to impress anywhere he had been sent) would not bring any defensive astuteness to the team… lo and behold!

  53. Romford Ozil Pele

    DUIFG, it’s a fair point though Santi has spent most of his career wide. Now he’s getting on, and with the intense nature of the PL, it makes more sense for him to be central. Like I say, the PL isn’t physical, it’s more just fast-paced and end-to-end as we saw yesterday. It’s more about managing space and the transitions from defence to attack.

  54. gambon

    Lol, Wellington Silva, Arsenal saviour and future Ballon D’or, signed for £3.5m has gone 18 games this season in La Liga without a single goal.

    Get rid.

  55. Leedsgunner

    Unless we get a monster sum for Bellerin, and I’m thinking (£50m plus David Luiz type of deal which we must re-invest into the playing squad) I think it would be utter foolishness to sell Bellerin in the medium term future — no matter how loudly Bellerin’s Barça DNA cries out. If we sell him for less, all we become is a glorified finishing school for Barça for those that become good and a no risk destination for their flops. They will continue to treat us with contempt.

    It is not inevitable Bellerin goes back to Barça. How do we ensure that? Build a team that is successful… win cups and titles.

    If we do, the call of the Barça DNA will be drowned out by the crowd cheering champions.

  56. gambon

    ZARGooner

    And I will say it again….

    WE ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO WIN THE LEAGUE….WITH OR WITHOUT COQUELIN.

    I swear to god some /most gooners are imagining a league table where we are 3 points clear.

    Everytime a player has 3 good games they are the answer, especially if they are one of Wengers child projects.

    Moron.

  57. Romford Ozil Pele

    Thought Villarreal were really impressive against Barca last night. You could see why they had gone 17 games unbeaten prior to this defeat. But Messi and Neymar are really something else this season. Neymar has stepped up immensely. His goal output is great, more impressive that he scores against EVERY big team. Messi is just a joke. Ronaldo may post similar stats to him, but watch them in general play and you see the difference between the two. I don’t even think it’s a contest personally. Messi’s on his own level.

  58. ZARGooner

    Gambon I am not disagreeing with you at all… In fact I scoffed at the idea of Coquelin being any form of answer…

    FACT is he is doing a good job… and if we bought in someone like Shneiderlin with the Coq as back up I think that would make us much much more strong in that area of the pitch

  59. Romford Ozil Pele

    Leeds, trophies would definitely help our cause, of course. But more often than not, when Real/Barca want someone, they get them. Liverpool and Man United have both had their best players cherrypicked by them so we have no hope really. It’s more due to the fact that Alves is already old. By the time Barca’s transfer ban is up, and assuming Bellerin continues this rapid pace of development, there’s only one outcome IMO 🙁

  60. TitsMcgee

    Yes…. BUT you would have also said that bringing back a player on loan from Charlton (who had failed to impress anywhere he had been sent) would not bring any defensive astuteness to the team… lo and behold!”

    Slow your roll.

    Wait until there is enough evidence before you anoint players.

    Also if you haven’t noticed.

    5th place.

  61. Marko

    Sticking out an absolute mile one of Schneiderlin (most likely), Lars Bender or Krychowiak will be targeted in the summer. Dead on for me. While I would like another targeted in the mould of Gundogen or Illarramendi it’s likely to be just the one as Coquelin, Bielik, Arteta (boo) and Ramsey will cover those holding roles. Wilshere at best a squad player even though I wouldn’t mind getting a good price for him. Diaby is finished and Flamini recently being frozen out seems to suggest his days are numbered.

    A DM, a goalkeeper and possibly forward/winger (depending on Walcott and Per and Santi’s situations in the summer) will be the order of business in the summer. Per and Santi might move on given their ages

  62. ZARGooner

    If we want to win the league the main area I still believe we need replacing is that of the Manager… I think that is the catalyst for pushing us to titles…

    (and a world class CF)

  63. GunnerShabz

    Romford,

    i do like le Coq and i love under dog players like him that take their chance and boom the results are coming in.

    it just goes to show with a bit of tactical nous and an athletic anchor man we can achieve something but we should of fixed this ages ago.

    it will be interesting to see when arteta comes back because he plays the possession game and works from deep and le coq is different all together more aggressive and along with ramsey who has a good engine to be the box to box it seems to be working.

    but looking at chelsea with cesc and costa out they look like a different team while we had a lot of injuries we can really have a go at getting 3rd place

  64. Romford Ozil Pele

    Marko, yeah I can’t see more than two players arriving in the summer (rightly or wrongly depending on where you stand).

    Personally think it’d be bad to move on Per/Santi in the summer. Nothing wrong with having experienced heads who know their way round. Ideally over time they just migrate into being squad players ala Rosicky. I think that’s Wenger’s thought-process with the British lads taking over. Whether that happens or not is another question entirely.

  65. ZARGooner

    Tits… No one is anointing anyone… I expected Coq to be dog sh!t when he came into the team… All I am doing is recognising is that he has performed really well in all the games he has played…. Or do you disagree?

  66. Wallace

    gambon

    since 2010 Theo’s scored 37 goals in 85 starts(+28 sub) in the PL.

    most teams would kill for a wide player that prolific.

  67. Leedsgunner

    Wellington Silva – I wonder if he’ll become next season’s Joel Campbell since he has his work permit. A player Wenger that insists is in his plans until he realises that he really shouldn’t be.

    This transfer window is the first window I remember the club very sensibly getting rid of dross in a timely manner. I hope Wellington Silva is the next name on this exit list.

  68. gazzap

    I still think with Ozil AND walcott in the same team, we can sometimes be a bit low on workrate/defensive cover. Sure going forward they are dangerous, but I would prefer Alexis to Walcott at the moment (I realise he has a hamstring).

    Looking at this team, it makes you wonder about Wilshere’s role in it. He just isn’t as good as the players in front of him. Does a player like Jack sit on the bench and play a fringe role? Does Arsenal want to lose an English homegrown player?

  69. gambon

    Apologies Zar

    Annoys me when some people say “what were you saying about XYZ” – which is fine if your ambition is to finish 5th, as most people seem to forget we are actually 5th at present, hardly anything to be proud of.

  70. Erase

    Good win yesterday… .. Why are people overlooking monreal? imo he is one of the best defender in the team better than Gibbs for me and is seriously underrated.. .. ….. RP the villareal left winger is a proper baller.. …. . Nuff said about one of the greatest ever for me….. him and Zidane imo

  71. Romford Ozil Pele

    Shabz, it’ll be interesting. Arteta is captain after all and is more secure in possession so it’d be interesting to see if he’s immediately reinstated or whether Wenger goes for more mobility in Le Coq.

    Third/Fourth is where we’ll likely finish though it’ll be interesting to see how we adjust to playing 2/3 games per week again. Hopefully we manage it well with a nearly fit squad. You’ve seen the benefits of playing once a week, our recent performances have been very energetic and 7 days rest means your fully recharged. That’s the benefit United have had all season.

  72. gazzap

    My main point I wanted to make was about people blowing smoke up wengers backside just because he bought Gabriel and stumbled up Coq.

    The actual fact of the matter is that both these problems should have been sorted in the summer. Leaving them until now has cost us yet another PL season. Is wenger ever held accountable for this by the board etc? No.

  73. Romford Ozil Pele

    It’s pretty obvious Wenger has no use for Wellington, he’ll be gone in the summer. Tbh I don’t really mind this policy of buying young players, farming them out and then selling them for a profit. Similar to the Chelsea model. Only difference is Chelsea are ahead of us in having a proper, more settled balanced team and squad.

  74. Marko

    Think hassle wise we’d rather just offer a new deal to Walcott than look to sell and replace him which is something I don’t really care about. If he looked for shocking money maybe get rid considering someone like Memphis Depay offers the same qualities and is slightly more dynamic.

  75. Leedsgunner

    Harrison Reed anyone?

    Not to be a starter of course but he looks like a great player, composed on the ball for someone so young. I wouldn’t mind seeing him, Crowley and Zelalem become the heart of our domestic FA/League Cup squad (like Cesc used to be) and give our established first XI the breathing room to make a charge for the title next year rather than just talking about it.

  76. MadeToLoveMagic

    Gambon if we went into next season with coq flame and bielik would it be that horrendous? If we did buy a sneiderlain then we would have 4 dms plus arteta who’s just signed a one year deal, making it in essence five. a few weeks ago I was firmly in the camp for a new dm but if coq can really stay as good as he has been until the end of the seaso, don’t u think signing a new one.mat unbalance the squad?

    As far as Walcott is concerned we should not offer him a raise, if he doesn’t play ball then tell him we are going after reus. I really rate Walcott but like u said he certainly should not be looking to hold us to ransom.

  77. Leedsgunner

    “The actual fact of the matter is that both these problems should have been sorted in the summer. Leaving them until now has cost us yet another PL season. Is wenger ever held accountable for this by the board etc? No.”

    100% agreed. If we had bough CB like we should have done in the summer we could have spent this January bringing a battle hardened DM. Instead we wasted our time firefighting.

    Plus who is going to explain why we don’t have a youth CB waiting to step up into youth squad? It should have been a golden opportunity for someone do that… poor planning and management.

  78. gambon

    This is the problem with Wenger, everything he does is so reactive, and often accidental.

    Look at Coquelin. Yes hes done very well, has huge defensive numbers, but how much did Wenger really know about this.

    Wenger says he saw a huge change in Coquelin during training and so sent him to Charlton to get games….bollocks!

    The only reason Coquelin is even at Arsenal is because we couldnt sell him due to wages. We put him in the shop window season after season, and Wenger had certainly lost interest.

    Lets not pretend there was a masterplan.

    Its no different to Flamini circa 2007

  79. GunnerShabz

    Romford

    yes with arteta the “big teams” usually press arteta and thats how we lost to man u and chelsea and games from last season. our forward play started with him usually and teams clocked this and wenger not changing his system.

    he is a deep playing playmaker but now we have le coq he is energetic and loves a tackle so teams now have to try something different to over come our midfield 3 now of le coq, ramsey and cazorla

    it goes to show imagine if we fixed this problem last season and early in this season where we could be

    we are prob now one or two short of being a team competing at the highest level in europe and premier league

    i got a feeling with these new tactics and personal we might do well in europe now i would be happy if we get to semi’s

  80. gambon

    “Gambon if we went into next season with coq flame and bielik would it be that horrendous? If we did buy a sneiderlain then we would have 4 dms plus arteta who’s just signed a one year deal, ”

    None of them DMs are good enough to play in a PL winning team, so it wouldnt be great.

    Also Wenger said Arteta has not signed a new deal.

  81. Romford Ozil Pele

    Yeah agreed. Le Coq has been great, but that was definitely no masterplan. He had to do it after Arteta/Flamini went down as there were no more options at DM.

  82. TitsMcgee

    since 2010 Theo’s scored 37 goals in 85 starts(+28 sub) in the PL.”

    EPL:

    2010 – 28 apps 9 goals
    2011- 35 apps 8 goals
    2012 – 32 apps 14 goals
    2013 – 13 apps 5 goals
    2014- 5 apps 1 goal

    Total: 113 apps 37 goals

    (I guess specifying the subs makes it look better)

    All competitions:

    2010 – 38 apps 13 goals
    2011- 46 apps 11 goals
    2012- 43 apps 21 goals
    2013- 18 apps 6 goals
    2014- 7 apps 2 goals

    Total: 152 apps 53 goals

  83. WengerEagle

    ‘Ronaldo may post similar stats to him, but watch them in general play and you see the difference between the two. ‘

    Factor in that Ronaldo has taken 10 penalties this season to Messi’s 3 (2 scored, 1 saved and rebound scored) as well and Messi has more goals and assists than him in addition to spanking him in dribbles completed (4.9 per match to 1.8 per match), key passes completed (2.9 per match to 2 per match), shots per goal (4.7 per match to 6.3 per match), passes completed and accuracy per match (61 passes per match with 84.3% accuracy to 36.7 passes per match with 81.8% accuracy and accuracte through balls per match (0.8 per match to 0.2 per match).

    So in other words he has literally outperformed Ronaldo in every way this season.

  84. Marko

    Santi might want a move in the summer. He’s 30 and was linked to a move to Spain last summer and might feel one last big move and deal is in him. Be sad to see him go but we could get a good price for him. Reinvest in someone like Quintero or Praet and I don’t see us suffering in the long or short term. Imo

  85. MadeToLoveMagic

    Ever get tired of trolling marble?

    I’m honestly surprised they give u as much access to a computer as they do. Usually patients who display your sort of characteristics are limited to a bit of CBeebies on the telly in the afternoon.

    Care for the mentally infirm is clearly not at a high standard where u live. is it Manchester by chance?

  86. TitsMcgee

    I still think with Ozil AND walcott in the same team, we can sometimes be a bit low on workrate/defensive cover. Sure going forward they are dangerous, but I would prefer Alexis to Walcott at the moment (I realise he has a hamstring).”

    In a perfect situation when players understand their best roles Sanchez starts and Walcott provides cover.

  87. Romford Ozil Pele

    Shabz, let’s just get pas Monaco first eh 😉

    Obviously happy that we’re playing well and on a good run of form. But as has been pointed out, we’re fifth in the table, 11 points off the top, nothing is perfect by any stretch. Let’s hope we have struck the right balance though.

  88. Kempster

    anyone see the Wenger interview with smudger on Saturday where he talked about Coq? He said that he bought him for his ball winning and tough tackling, but he had neglected that side of his game and tried to become something else – which wasn’t actually that good hence being bang average on his loan moves. But he has since reverted to what he was bought for.

    Perhaps an example of when being surrounded by cesc-types distracted him from what he should be doing. His range of passing isn’t great, but the role he’s filling is very similar to the original Makalele – protect the back 4, win the ball aggressively, and quickly move it to someone else to do damage. We have enough of the damaging types to just need someone to do this job, and he’s being very disciplined about it. Bravo Coq

  89. Romford Ozil Pele

    Eagle, doesn’t surprise me in the slightest tbh. The only thing that makes Ronaldo comparable to Messi is the stats. It’s one-way traffic otherwise. Messi is a complete forward and a complete midfielder. Really is something else. Ronaldo is a fantastic athlete, but like Bale, when you limit the space they have to play in, they aren’t as good in combination play. It’s the exact reason I rate Neymar above Bale too. Magnificent baller.

  90. Leedsgunner

    “Lets not pretend there was a masterplan.Its no different to Flamini circa 2007”

    Wenger loves congratulating himself when he flukes it… but he never accepts responsibility when a signing bombs. Of course this situation is the same — Wenger doesn’t really have a transfer plan because he reacts all the time to situations rather than directing the situation to his advantage.

    He said as much the other day when he said unless someone exceptional basically lands on his lap, he’s not going to sign anyone. Hello! Has he forgotten a part of his job is to find these exceptional individuals before anyone else does? Can you imagine any other top club saying something so passive?

    Like I said a few nights ago, so much for working night and day to bring signings in.

  91. MadeToLoveMagic

    Oh no deal for arteta, Ok then. I’m not against the signing of a top dm certainly not, I just think if coq and bielik really play well until the end of the season them the decision will be a tough one. Bielik may be years off, but he may not be, we will have to wait and see. Either way we will know by summer.

    What is obvious is that one of flaming and arteta will.be off

  92. TitsMcgee

    This is the problem with Wenger, everything he does is so reactive, and often accidental.Look at Coquelin. Yes hes done very well, has huge defensive numbers, but how much did Wenger really know about this.Wenger says he saw a huge change in Coquelin during training and so sent him to Charlton to get games….bollocks!The only reason Coquelin is even at Arsenal is because we couldnt sell him due to wages. We put him in the shop window season after season, and Wenger had certainly lost interest.Lets not pretend there was a masterplan.Its no different to Flamini circa 2007″

    Gotta agree with this.

    Dig long enough and you will strike gold or at least something that you think looks like gold for the time being.

  93. WengerEagle

    Monaco have kept 7 clean sheets in a row in the French League with 6 of those 7 matches ended in victories.

    We should beat them but they will definitely be a hard nut to crack.

  94. Bamford10

    MTLM

    Yes, that would be a disaster, because none of those CDMs is good enough to win an EPL or CL title. Arteta is past it, Flamini is garbage, Coq is decent but inadequate and Bielik — no matter how talented — is too young.

    Four inadequate CDMs do not equal one class CDM.

    We need a Schneiderlin, Krychowiak, etc. Otherwise it’s another year as an also ran.

  95. Dissenter

    Theodore not have any cards on his table in the coming transfer negotiation. If he stalls, sell him pronto
    We invested too much in him, stuck with him through injury after injury to lose him on a free transfer.
    He extorted the club in his last transfer.

    It seems the going rate for an multi-capped English Striker is about £100k weekly He be lucky to get any raise.

  96. MeGunner

    Re Coquelin: Please calm down people. Most doubted him at first but almost everyone now acknowledges he’s doing a great job. But that simply doesn’t make him our best hope as DM. He can surprise us us with awful performances too! Schneiderlin is a must in the summer imo. If Coquelin is really good enough, Schneiderlin could end up being backup! (lol)

    Walcott doesn’t deserve a pay rise. He should take an extension to his current contract or we should allow him to go to Liverpool. But on his day, he can hurt defenses and is one of our most experienced players.

    @Romford: Please are you on twitter? Would like to follow you. I respect your insight and opinions. Also gambon too but he doesn’t sound like a social media guy. Hope am wrong

  97. Richard

    Well that’s a decent result and another clean sheet claimed. Spuds up next always a hard game but if we play like we did at city I’d expect us to get a result. Ospina has had 4 clean sheets 3 in league now though he hasn’t had much to do he has done what he has needed to and on one to ones he fills me with more confidence than wojech does. Now it’s just getting the team balance right . For me Sanchez in and probably ox for Ozil and Walcott

  98. WengerEagle

    Forgot to say that they’ve also kept 3 clean sheets out of 4 cup matches in that time winning all 4 matches.

    Lacazette is the only player to have scored against them in their last 11 matches.

    Not bad.

  99. WengerEagle

    Bamford

    Meant to ask you, why do you pick on Coquelin all the time?

    In matches you literally cherrypick any mistake that the lad makes ignoring other players.

    It’s just a little weird.

  100. Wallace

    Tits

    “(I guess specifying the subs makes it look better)”

    i just thought scoring goals is a lot harder when you’re not actually on the pitch.

  101. Bamford10

    WE

    Only because some on here imagine he’s good enough to be our number one. I am happy he is playing well and admire his fire, but he isn’t even close to good enough. We must have higher standards.

  102. TitsMcgee

    i just thought scoring goals is a lot harder when you’re not actually on the pitch.”

    He was on the pitch. 113 times.

    You count the goals he scores when he scores them as a sub though right?

  103. Wallace

    gambon – “Wenger says he saw a huge change in Coquelin during training and so sent him to Charlton to get games….bollocks!”

    Martin Keown – ” His recent progress shows you why some players are worth waiting for, because I think by the age of 23, a lot of managers would probably have given up on him before now. Wenger, however, kept seeing something there. When I spoke to him recently, Wenger explained to me that, earlier in the season, every time he saw Coquelin train he told him that he should be in the first team but felt he had to go out on loan first because he needed the experience.”

    hmm…who to pay more attention to?

  104. Erase

    WE I’m a big Messi fan but I think your probably harse on ronaldo(not that I care but…. ) if his stats are comparable to messis he must be brilliant cause nobody can do that atm

  105. WengerEagle

    Romford

    Agree as harsh as it is on Ronaldo who is a stunning footballer, Messi is just better than him in every way outside of penalties and headers IMO. He’s a better dribbler, finisher, free-kick taker contrary to popular belief, playmaker, better in one-touch combination play and has far greater vision, his first touch over the top reverse scoop pass to Neymar is becoming their trademark combination.

    He’s also much better with his right foot than people give him credit for, heard that he’s scored nearly as many with his right foot as his left this season which is a pretty stunning stat. His finessed right foot finish last night was something else.

    Worryingly for Ronaldo fans as well he turns 30 in midweek so it’s only a mtter of time before his deteriorates physically. Messi is still unbelievably only 27 and has it in his locker to convert to a CAM when his pace eventually decreases unlike Ronaldo.

  106. WengerEagle

    Erase

    Wasn’t trying to be mate Ronaldo is a phenomenon in his own right, the greatest physical specimen to ever play the sport IMO. Messi is just more gifted as a footballer IMO.

    Ronaldo definitely deserves to be in the conversation with the greats though, always baffled me as to why he wasn’t.

  107. WengerEagle

    Bamford

    I agree while the lad is doing well we certainly need better if we want to be up there with the top teams around Europe but I just don’t get why you have to bully the lad every time he misplaces a pass, there’s no need.

    As a squad player he’s a great option to have unlike the cretin Flamini and he’s better IMO than no-legs Arteta.

  108. Wallace

    Tits

    “You count the goals he scores when he scores them as a sub though right?”

    as a sub he gets 15mins. as a starter he gets 90mins. you don’t think that’s worth highlighting?

  109. Erase

    I think ronaldo is a good playmaker(not on Messi level obviously) but like his dribbling he really doesn’t use it as he’s so fiscated in scoring goals… . It’s all about the glory for him

  110. WengerEagle

    Cuadrado is an interesting one, wonder what the thinking behind that transfer is?

    Could be just that he’s more versatile than Schurrle, he can play anywhere along the right or the left as opposed to Schurrle who’s strictly a forward.

    He’s a beast of a player, ridiculously fast and very unpredictable.

    Willian will probably be the one to suffer though as Hazard is irreplaceable in the attack and Cesc and Oscar are Mournho favourites.

  111. Romford Ozil Pele

    It really is Messi’s dribbles per game that gets me. People are like “kick him”! It’s easier said than done!

  112. TitsMcgee

    as a sub he gets 15mins. as a starter he gets 90mins. you don’t think that’s worth highlighting?”

    lol

    Yea if you are trying to skew the narrative in your direction.

    37 in 85 does sounds better than 37 in 113 though so I see why you did it.

    Pretty slick.

  113. Romford Ozil Pele

    Eagle, was also really impressed with Rafinha last night. La Masia just keeps on churning out these insane talents. Didn’t even mention Sandro, Sergi Roberto, Sergi Sampa and Munir.

  114. GunnerShabz

    i hate the way chelsea operate in the transfer market.

    mohamed salah is a good player should of went to liverpool but chelsea just come in and now he been fizzled out

    andre schurle is a good player and now he is being kicked out so they can get juan cuardardo who is a good player

    the turnover is very bad over at chelsea

    am sure willian was suppose to be going to spurs but end up at chelsea

  115. TitsMcgee

    Wenger, however, kept seeing something there.”

    Just like Diaby?

    Wenger fell ass backwards into Coq.

    He sees “something there” in every teenager in Europe.

  116. Romford Ozil Pele

    Wenger didn’t see anything there RE Coq. Had Arteta/Flamini not got injured, he’d still be at Charlton. Happy for the lads naturally, seems like a good kid, but this was never planned.

  117. TitsMcgee

    mohamed salah is a good player should of went to liverpool but chelsea just come in and now he been fizzled out”

    Chelsea is the Madrid of England. Everyone wants to play for them or put them on their CV even though it is so nonsensical for some of them to do so.

    See Illaramendi at Madrid, the aforementioned Salah at Chelsea, Victor Moses etc.

  118. WengerEagle

    Romford

    I was too, never really watched much of Rafinha before but he looked very good last night, very clever in his positioning with super-sharp reactions to breaks and loose passes, his first touch is also outstanding like you’d expect with any Barca product.

    You have to be a baller to keep an in his prime Rakitic out of the side at 21.

  119. GunnerShabz

    tmcgeee

    yes its like they got 30 players out on loan thats massive amount of players out on loan

    if they buy cuardrado will they go for reus in the summer they fully stocked up

  120. TitsMcgee

    Did he even play in the BPL for Chelsea?”

    De Bruyne etc. The list is endless. It’s like once a player hears Chelsea is interested there is not other option.

  121. Leedsgunner

    Le Coq is a get out of jail card for Wenger. I wonder if he signs a new contract, his signing bonus will include a massive thank you bonus from Wenger for saving him from dipping into the vagaries of the transfer market in January.