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. TitsMcgee

    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.”

    I think the kid has potential I really do but the way some speak is that Wenger knew what he had in Coq all along and that our DM problems are solved.

    i.e You guys wanted Wenger to spend money on a DM but he knew what he was doing all along.

    As Gambon said, bollocks!!

  2. Carts

    Danny Ings to Sociedad? Teh actual fuck tho?!

    You know what, when you take a step back and re-analyse this decision it is sensical as it is bizarre.

    He will, withoiut doubt, do a Vietto in La Liga. The interesting thing about La Liga, is that a non-entity teams have forwards that score bag loads, outside of Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar, Benzema, Alcacer.

    I’m not sure what tipped it for him though. Working woth David Moyes? playing alongside Vela? The weather? Not sure how I feel about that one.

  3. TOLI83

    TitsMcgeeFebruary 2, 2015 13:07:46
    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.

    ———————————————————-

    Nothing we don’t already know about Chelsea & City. I really wanted Salah at Arsenal, he could be such a talent.

    Also Jovetic and City, barely used yet in a different team/squad – he could have made a big impact in the team.

    Hard to feel sorry for the players in question, when they sign for these Oil money clubs – they know what they are getting themselves into.

  4. GunnerShabz

    chelsea “rejects”

    kevin de bryne £16m sold to wolfsburg
    mohammed salah now will be loaned
    andre schrule be sold to wolfsburg for around £25m
    david luiz sold to psg for £50m
    lukuku sold to everton for £28m
    Juan Mata sold to Man U for £37m
    Fernando Torres to Milan Free

    they actually selling players on profit as well

    buying players and selling them on quickly and buy another batch

  5. Cesc Appeal

    Still need a CDM, I can’t believe that’s really up for debate. Schniederlin is the perfect fit for us I think, good pass success, puts himself about and good in the tackle…would probably arrive with a real sense that he has a point to prove as well at a big club.

    Coquelin is decent enough as back up, would rather him than Arteta or Flamini but is he the answer going forward? Don’t think so.

    I want to point out as well after Leicester (I think…sometime around our ineffectual malaise of early season 4-1-4-1 Wilshereness) I called for Coquelin to be put into the line up…Hayden as well but gloss over that point.

    I specifically remember because Romford Pele said grow up, stop dreaming, you will never amount to anything, move out of your parents basement…you are not an astronaut! Though you have more chance of that than Coquelin EVER being good.

    Who’s laughing now Romford? Coquelin in the starting 11 and I have an interview with NASA on Thursday…its a janitor position but, through association, astronaut.

  6. tunnygriffboy

    I’m pretty confident that our marquee signing will be a combative, ball playing DM. Would also like to see another quality b2b midfielder to share the workload with Ramsey. Dare I say it but IF, I say IF, we could keep injuries to a minimum then with these two signings we’d be a handful particularly if we play counterattack vs the big teams. You could even play the new DM and Coq together in some games if you’re playing Sant, Mesut, Alexis and one other

    Anyone think Shad starting to have an effect. Ozil looks stronger as does Theo, playrrs coming back from injury early, god forbid and Santi’s played non stop and is looking as fresh as a daisy ! ! ! !

  7. TitsMcgee

    they actually selling players on profit as well”

    Yea they do an exceptional job at selling their dead weight for massive amounts.

  8. tunnygriffboy

    Touche Cesc

    After some abject performances I admit to saying I’d rather he played because atleast he can run and make tackles. I am ssurprised at how good he’s looked though

  9. Carts

    “the only rumours are today is
    moussa sissokho for £20m
    juis luis gaya for £13.5m a full back”

    Sissokho rumours are strange. His athleticism would be very much welcomed, but were inundated with MF at present.

    Gaya would surely be a replacement for Gibbs or Monreal.

  10. Romford Ozil Pele

    Lol CA, I probably did say that, or words to that effect 😉

    Fair play to Coquelin though. It’s all opinions and i’m more than happy to be proven wrong if it’s too the club’s benefit in the long-term. Well done the Coq for going in hard and making sure the defence is erect. Keep it up 😀

    But yeah, please sign a DM in the summer!

  11. Leedsgunner

    If Ings does well he’ll attract Barça and Real attention — because of that, he’s transfer value will increase 10x and some will call him to be signed for Arsenal for an inflated price. If it was up to me it was an no-brainer, young 22 English (therefore fulling the homegrown requirement), capable of scoring in the EPL and affordable (not over inflated as English players often are.)

    … an obvious “gem” missed. If a player is good enough, he is enough. Goodness knows we’ve signed enough duffers from the likes of Bastia and Auxurre who are really no bigger in terms of prestige than Burnley but only French.

    Snobbery may have stopped us signing him.

  12. Dark Hei

    I like this Arsenal. We had not a 5-0 victory for a long time. But what’s eye catching is the slickness of our passing. We were never this slick post-Cesc; but since the Stoke win, we have exhibited the Arsenal of old.

    Also did anyone notice how comfortable Ramsey is in the wide positions?

  13. Carts

    “they actually selling players on profit as well”
    Yea they do an exceptional job at selling their dead weight for massive amounts.””

    People can say what they want about Chelsea, but as stated above, they know when to sell. The different being that we have a penchant to sit on our dead weight players instead of cashing in. Football is about continually evolving your squad and doing the utmost to get the best out of each postion. Waiting for players to blossom is out-dated.

  14. GunnerShabz

    Carte

    i dont mind him buying both players, both players would be welcome stock up midfield and defence

    technically we have 4 right backs in the squad

    bellerin
    debuchy
    chambers
    jenkinson

    buying sissokho he would be a replacement for abou diaby for sure

  15. TitsMcgee

    Anyone think Shad starting to have an effect. ”

    I don’t know if it’s Shad or not because I am not behind the scenes but it was always nonsensical for people to expect him to just show up and un-fork what had been going on here for the last decade or so.

    You don’t just wave a magic wand and fix conditioning problems in 2 weeks. About now( a few months after he joined) is when you would have expected his effect to start to show but all we can do is speculate at this point.

    Going forward if we start to see less and less serious injuries then it would be a safe assumption that his affect is being felt.

  16. Romford Ozil Pele

    Jenkinson’s Arsenal career is done man. If West Ham wanna pay £12m for him, i’d bite their hands off!

  17. Wallace

    carts/Tits

    “Wallace – don’t be a troll. If you genuinely believe all of that then….nvm”

    the Coquelin story? well it was Wenger that signed him at 16. unusual to keep someone around that long. usually he’ll ship them by the time they’re 21 if he doesn’t think they’re up to it.

  18. London gunner

    Gambon/Romford

    Walcott has scored 2 goals in 6 appearances this season

    Ox has scored 2 in 25…

    If your constantly going to berate Walcott at least leave your bias at the back door and think of the other players who aren’t bringing enough.

    Ps the trying to defend ox’s but saying his way more defensive than Walcott is bullshit. He manages 2 defensive errors a game and 2 defensive contributions Walcott manages 1 defensive contribution with no errors.

    Also looking at ox’s heat maps he does as little tracking back as Walcott.

  19. GunnerShabz

    i agree with the shad forsyth comment

    i think he is starting to make an impact on the players now and the players are responding to him

    theo and ozil look in good shape as well and maybe shad worked on le coq he seems to be physically improving too

    cazorla could be another, he seems to be quick and mobile in the last month

    rosicky looks good as well

    this shad is doing his job well

  20. Keyser

    Lol because gambon’s talking sense, at some point we have to take these punts, even if you ignore Wenger and Arsenal, we simply can’t do what other teams do, it’s beyond stupid to ignore this and then look at us subjectively.

    It’s similar to Bamford talking about CDM’s, realising that there’s a need, and then not realising why he keeps writing off the ones we have, and keeps promoting ideals.

    Chelsea had Essien, Remeires, Luis, Mikel, they sold two and bought back the one they’d included in the deal that brought Remieres to the club in the first place.

    This is madness, it’s why football’s fucked, you can sit there and continually debate who’s better out of Ronaldo and Messi, or at some point you think, ‘fuck they’re only two players, and this is pretty tedious’. Wtf happened.

    So not only do you want the perfect player, but your mind and opinion is now soo narrow, anything outside this elite band becomes inexplicable.

    The problem isn’t Coquelin, it’s that because of the way football is, we’re simply being forced to ignore players with any potential at all, the margin for error is soo small, that they simply won’t get a chance.

  21. Carts

    Leeds – I wrote a post a week or so ago about this weird snobbish mentality show to young homegrown player from undesirable teams.

    Now, I don’t know the In(gs) and outs of who made him what kind of offer but what does bother me is out of the EPL’s top, say, 8-10 teams, no-one (as it now transpires) showed enough interest in him to convince him the EPL is best for his career.

    Tottenham, Everton, Soton, Newcastle, Liverpool, West Ham and Swansea sat there and concluded that Ings wouldn’t bring them anything over a 4/5 year contract. OK.

  22. MadeToLoveMagic

    Waiting for players to blossom is out-dated…………….

    What a load of swizzle stick that statement is.

    Maybe ina throw away Maureen style world but in the real world where money is an object u must give players time to develop.

    In your world if a player instantly doesn’t hit former u sack them off. I hope your world stays in your brain!!

  23. Keyser

    Chelsea aren’t selling deadweight, they’re selling valuable players they saw as an investment.

    They’ve simply bypassed FFP, by now using world football as a farm system, they’re just as inefficient as before just in different ways. As a football club they’re morally bankrupt, as a business they’ll thrive, unless FIFA, UEFA now do something about it.

  24. Romford Ozil Pele

    LG, there isn’t bias against Theo man, stop alluding to it. Bringing stats into play as well is not what i’m on about here. Theo has a striker’s instincts so is always likely to score more than Ox.

    Lol defensive contributions… Where did you get this from? Those figures sound dubious.

    And we’re discussing Theo because his contract expires in 2016. A decision has to be made this summer.

  25. Wallace

    “So not only do you want the perfect player, but your mind and opinion is now soo narrow, anything outside this elite band becomes inexplicable.

    The problem isn’t Coquelin, it’s that because of the way football is, we’re simply being forced to ignore players with any potential at all, the margin for error is soo small, that they simply won’t get a chance.”

    nice.

  26. divinesherlock

    Wow the number of hypocrite arsenal fans are too damn high ! Coquelin is a player whos playing well now and knows his role and is just 23. But no people are still clamoring for a DM . Two days ago it was Ozil vs Eriksen. They dont want Arsenal to become training ground , convienently forgeting that Bellerin took his chance that way and also Akpom now. Now they question Walcott, who since hes not Sturridge is not being hyped by the media , scored another goal and assisted in another.

  27. Vintage Gun

    A good summer for me would be Schniderlin £25m and Reus.£20m (if cluase activation is true, and as i think Cazorla heads off to familiar warmer cilmates)

  28. Carts

    Shabz – Lol saying that any potential signing is a replacement for Diaby is actually antagonising. But for arguments sake, let’s say he is. Give him Diaby’s wages plus another £15k – £75k gross.

    That’ll leave us with:

    Wilshere
    Ramsey
    Cazorla
    Ozil
    Coq
    Flamini
    Arteta
    Sissokho
    Diaby
    Rosicky

    There alone we have too many players in MF. Surely it’ll have to spell the end for Rosicky, Flamini, Arteta, Diaby.

  29. TitsMcgee

    Maybe ina throw away Maureen style world but in the real world where money is an object u must give players time to develop.”

    Not cutting their teeth in the first team.

    Not from a man that already has one failed project youth era under his belt.

  30. Keyser

    “Not from a man that already has one failed project youth era under his belt”

    The only reason people think it failed is because we were competing against we were, unless circumstances change our options will always be limited.

    Like this new idea that Chelsea are doing well selling/buying these players, because our supposed ‘Project Youth’ didn’t make mass profits.

  31. London gunner

    Not sure exactly why people are so sure that coq is not the answer.

    Personally I think his been utterly fantastic and the level of his performance so far has been every bit as good as schneiderlin defensively aka tackles, interceptions, positioning and athletiscm. I would also say his better on the ball than Morgan this is apparent in tight spaces that’s a key weakness of Morgan’s. Of course Morgan has the superior distribution, but I have noticed coq’s already decent passing is improving every game and his even hitting a few good long passes.

    I think if coq continues this form and the current rate of improvement his arsenal first team quality.

    That is a big if though l, as he could just be doing a Ramsey and playing in a purple patch.

    Still we shouldnt be ruling him out yet and I don’t think people are truly appreciate just how good his playing on current form his better than everyone, but matic and I think drastically his doing better than matic

  32. Carts

    MTLM – In the context of Arsenal that is.

    I am a proponent of bringing through youth players and giving them a CHANCE in the first team a la Akpom.

    I dont, however, advocate what we’ve done with certain players in the past that we’re clearly not of the standard required to take Arsenal forward.

  33. Cesc Appeal

    RP

    Yeah, can fully respect a player who takes his opportunity when it’s given. Like the energy and tenacity of Coquelin as well.

    But thinking about a title challenge, or dare I say the UCL one day, we need a cut way above that.

    I do think Schniederlin will arrive in the summer though. Incredibly irritating because our defensive shallowness and no CDM (coupled with poor selection choices) threw this season away really. That’s what was annoying, we weren’t ‘unexplainably bad’…we threw it away; whatever chance we might have had.

  34. Leedsgunner

    carts

    I know, I said a while ago that we should look at Ings and most turned their nose up at him. To your credit, you didn’t 😉

    It’s not just about spending money for the sake of it, it’s about spending it smart.

    Grzegorz Krychowiak is a prime example he made a move to Sevilla from Reims for £4m. Now he’s played worth £25m and suddenly he’s “worthy” of Arsenal. Where were our scouts when he was at Reims? We used to spot these gems but definitely our scouting has lost its way.

  35. Carts

    Wallace – Wenger is an intelligent man. However, if he’s about to tell me Coq has always been on the agenda then he’s a liar.

    Coq was not in the plan for Wenger this season. It was thanks to our players falling off the face of the earth that prompted a recall for Coq. Even then, I’m sure it was merely to make up the squad numbers as opposed to thinking he’d finally found the level needed, in 4 games for Charlton, to now command a games at Arsenal.

  36. TitsMcgee

    We should move heaven and earth for Reus at that price if it is true.

    Bayern are rumored to have lost interest in him due to his injuries but he just had two injuries(to the same ankle I think). Add him and we’d really be flying.

  37. London gunner

    Romford

    Squawka. They seem dubious to you because they don’t fit your agenda and thus the false narrative you have formed on a player.

    Fact is ox is still a winger 2 goals in 25 games is seriously poor add to the fact his not getting assists and isn’t involved in the build up of most goals

    Nearly everyday I hear you digging out Walcott. Which is silly when other players like ox and welbeck your constantly make excuses for.

  38. WengerEagle

    ‘What happened to Gnabry is he still injured?’

    Was caught shooting up an 8 ball and sniffing coke off a stripper’s tit in the Emirates’ dressing room showers last I heard.

  39. UKIP

    Why don’t you all get a job instead of commenting on here all day??
    Always the same sad people

    Do you not have lives?

    An by the way I’m a bricklayer at work, on my break before anyone try’s to argue

    Mugs

  40. TitsMcgee

    I see no one questioning Mourinho , who couldnt beat City at home.”

    Is Chelsea in 1st or nah?

    If Wenger drew with City at home you’d be waxing poetic.

    How about City going to the Bridge and not losing, say, 8-0 the last two trips?
    Impressive eh?

  41. Romford Ozil Pele

    CA, Yeah he’s done very well. Tbh I never had anything against him, just didn’t see him making it after the various loans. It’s props to him for his hard work and making sure the manager notices him. Very much ok for him getting a new contract but let him keep this up until the end of the season. Various tests ahead.

    RE Schneiderlin, the links do seem strong. There was a lot of talk about it last summer but I don’t think Saints wanted to let go of their jewel in the crown. I’d go to £30m for him for sure. Think he’d happily come here (Debuchy and L’Oreal are his mates) and he has a close relationship with Wenger already from what i’ve heard.

    On a sidenote, really happy Akpom is getting minutes. Hope he signs. Nice cameo from him yesterday, showed some great movement. Obviously there was no pressure on him as the game was already won by the time he came on, thus he had more space. But you can only do what you can d when afforded the chance. Not too fussed that he fluffed his lines yesterday, probably just nervousness, seemed like the players really wanted him to score though. Have no qualms about him, he’s a goalscorer and he will score goals. Lots of them too. His style reminds me of Anelka a bit.

  42. Carts

    Leeds – absolutely right there. I’m guessing Ings will cost Sociedad a pack of peanuts now. Even if he’s cries homesick in 12 months, they’ll receive at least £5m for their trouble and he’ll be back at someone like Swansea for e.g.

    I, too, agree that the scouting criteria that we’re working to is either out-dated, skewed or damn right unrealistic. The Gregorz lad, like you said, is a prime example. Even Cabaybe who went to Newcastle, from Lille, for £4m then to PSG for £20m after our bid was rejected. Something isn’t quite adding up.

  43. Romford Ozil Pele

    Schneiderlin and Reus in the summer *licks lips*

    I love Ox more than most but if I could see Alexis, Ozil and Reus with Santi and Schneiderlin behind… MATE!!

  44. gambon

    “I see no one questioning Mourinho , who couldnt beat City at home. Seems like hes got just parking the bus tactic when he doesnt have Costa and Cesc.”

    Chelsea are 5 points clear, have the best goal difference, most goals scored, second least conceded, least games lost and most games won.

    Yeah Mourinho deserves to be savaged.

  45. Wallace

    Carts

    for Coquelin to come into the team the way he did and immediately look at home it’s reasonable to think he must have been showing similar form in training. as Keyser says, at the big clubs sometimes a talented younger player just might not get the chance.

  46. Romford Ozil Pele

    Eagle, he was in the training pics on Saturday. Presumably not match fit yet.

    LG – Like I say, I have no agenda against Theo. What I say isn’t just my opinion, it’s held by many. Theo, while a great finisher, is limited in other aspects of his game. His contract is up for renewal, people are debating over whether it should be renewed or not.

    While Ox isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, he’s 21. And he isn’t a winger. I’d like him to play there but he doesn’t really have a defined position. For me, his game is more rounded than Theo’s and with continuous gametime, he’ll show why.

  47. Carts

    “Why don’t you all get a job instead of commenting on here all day??
    Always the same sad people
    Do you not have lives?
    An by the way I’m a bricklayer at work, on my break before anyone try’s to argue
    Mugs”

    All those that work from home, in front of a laptop/PC 8 hours a day, with an additional tab open dedicated to Le-Grove need to get a life. Clealy you have no life, or a job.

  48. Leedsgunner

    Schneiderlin and Reus in the summer *licks lips*I love Ox more than most but if I could see Alexis, Ozil and Reus with Santi and Schneiderlin behind… MATE!!

    Don’t forget Cavani who we were supposed to sign yesterday. 😉

  49. Zementalstrength

    Yo karima, wassup’ bro ??

    A word about the great performance of your team last night against the Toure brothers, Gervi and Co ?? LOLOLOLOL

  50. gambon

    “An by the way I’m a bricklayer at work, on my break before anyone try’s to argue”

    That explains your….erm….lack of intellect.

  51. Vintage Gun

    ‘What happened to Gnabry is he still injured?”

    “Was caught shooting up an 8 ball and sniffing coke off a stripper’s tit in the Emirates’ dressing room showers last I heard.”

    Don’t be silly mate. It was in his house not the dressing room.

  52. Romford Ozil Pele

    Ivory Coast might actually win the ACON… About time tbh. Tad sad that it’d be without Drogba though.

  53. Rhys Jaggar

    Really a bit silly putting Walcott under an electron microscope right now: he’s had two starts since a 14 month lay off. The only question is: is he contributing, is his fitness improving and is his sharpness at the sharp end of the pitch improving game on game??

    I’d answer those with: ‘he’s contributed two goals the past two games, his fitness is improving and so is his sharpness in the final third’. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a long way from where his best was, but he’s on an upward curve and Arsenal are winning games with him in the side, so he’s clearly not a liability.

    As for Ozil, great to see him have a stormer, but it was against lower half opposition who can’t score for love nor money right now. He should aim to do likewise at the Lane at the weekend, since: WHL has a small pitch, which is where those with silky skills add most value. You can’t stretch teams there through width as the pitch is so small, so you have to beat them with intricate passes, killer vision and inspired anticipation. All those skills Ozil has in abundance. Does he also have the ability to shake off markers??

  54. Wallace

    Phil Neville said he was watching Mourinho the whole of the 2nd half against City, and every time Matic or Ramires crossed the halfway line he was up out of his seat screaming at them to get back.

  55. Romford Ozil Pele

    Yeah Wallace but remember City had a week off while Chelsea played the full 120 against Liverpool midweek. It’s no surprise City had the advantage. Chelsea have a streamlined squad but it isn’t big.

  56. Ozy

    ““An by the way I’m a bricklayer at work, on my break before anyone try’s to argue”

    That explains your….erm….lack of intellect.”

    That’s not cool. Don’t ever insult a man’s profession. It is absolutely shameful the disdain this society has for jobs that require you to get your hands dirty.

  57. Carts

    Wallace – this seem to be a double-edge sword predicament that Wenger puts himself in.

    “at the big clubs sometimes a talented younger player just might not get the chance”

    We’re not famed for mass first team player turnover like other team out there. Hell, Chelsea have flogged able bodies in the last 2 season that’ll walk in to many top teams in europe and replaced them with equally good players.

    With Arsenal, we seem to pride ourselves on development of young prospects. Over the last, say, 7 years, we’ve amassed many young player form all over the globe. These players are clearly talented, so much so, that Wenger, like Bielik, has gone all out to buy.

    Now how is it one puts so much effort into acquiring said player, but then they never quite have what’s needed to make the next step up. The success ratio must be somehwere down in the 5% region over the last 7 years. Yet we persist with this approach. Why are we failing so much?

    There

  58. Leedsgunner

    “What happened to Gnabry is he still injured?”“Was caught shooting up an 8 ball and sniffing coke off a stripper’s tit in the Emirates’ dressing room showers last I heard.””

    I said Gnabry not Chesney. 😉 Or did Chamakh forget which club he was playing for and come back?

  59. Vintage Gun

    In terms of Reus i would clear out Pod,Sanogo,Theo and loan out Gnabry to free up space. It would settle the left wing position.

    I see we are being ling with Gaya. Why? Iv’e got not nothing against Gayas but do we really need him behind the Coq?

  60. Romford Ozil Pele

    “It is absolutely shameful the disdain this society has for jobs that require you to get your hands dirty.”

    It’s not really a case of insulting anyone’s profession. In the UK, manufacturing, engineering etc, are very highly valued even if they’re not the most popular occupations. The dude has just openly abused many on LeGrove for no apparent reason.

  61. Romford Ozil Pele

    Sunderland the 10th club today to enquire about Akpom. I know Welbz has just returned but can’t envisage us sanctioning this, especially as we need Chuba to sign a new deal.

  62. Keyser

    Carts – Its probably still a lot higher than other teams.

    “Chelsea have flogged able bodies in the last 2 season that’ll walk in to many top teams in europe and replaced them with equally good players.”

    Yeah because they take the biscuit not because this is an idea other teams should follow.

  63. Ozy

    Romford, so you ignore him or you retort by telling him he’s off base. No need to stoop as low as to insult his profession. That’s shitty. But then again, it’s Gambon so I’m not surprised.

  64. Alfie

    Does anyone else think the standard of the ACON standard of football has been beyond poor? Its like having to watch a women’s Sunday league game. Abysmal.

  65. Carts

    “Chelsea aren’t selling deadweight, they’re selling valuable players they saw as an investment.
    They’ve simply bypassed FFP, by now using world football as a farm system, they’re just as inefficient as before just in different ways.”

    I’d argue that it’s a bit of both. It could well be suggest that when we bought Nasri, RVP, Cesc, Kolo, Ade, Anelka and Overmars we, too, saw them as an investment. After all, when highlighting potential players, every manager/ Director of Football would look at their potential re-sale value and longevity.

    In this case, when they signed De Bruyne and Schurrle those deal were done under Ancelotti, as well as selling Matic. I’m not defending their practice, however, I can’t see how it’s possible to chastise them because they’re selling to buy.

  66. Cesc Appeal

    RP

    Yeah it just makes a lot of sense for him to come here, one of those moves you can see coming off.

    Coquelin has a test this weekend, needs a big game to shut down the Spurs attacking midfield and make sure Kane and Eriksen don’t get any time on the edge of the box.

    Spurs have lived on luck a lot lately, so we need to be alert until the final whistle. I mean even this weekend, they won 3-0, but Rose off the line, crossbar, Lloris wonder saves…they really aren’t great at all and with Cazorla and Sanchez we can ask a lot of questions of that defence.

    Rosicky, Ozil and Walcott to come on as well…I sometimes feel a team just knowing how strong the oppositions bench is dents their confidence a bit.

  67. Carts

    “and every time Matic or Ramires crossed the halfway line he was up out of his seat screaming at them to get back”

    Imagine if Wenger was that persistent toward Song…

  68. TitsMcgee

    On a sidenote, really happy Akpom is getting minutes. Hope he signs.”

    Agreed.

    Hopefully he isn’t too disenchanted with Sanogo being given a run before him when it’s clear he’s the better of the two.

  69. tunnygriffboy

    London

    I’ve got a lot of time for both Theo and the Ox. They are very different players though. Theo’s a wide forward/inside right who loves to run in behind. Ox is a wide midfielder who loves to dribble. Stats don’t always tell the whole picture though. I’d use both players in a horses for courses way. Would probably use Ox in Saturdays game to start and maybe bring Theo on when the game opens up purely because Ox has greater stamina for a derby. Away v Monaco I may well use Walcott. It’s a personal preference though as I do like them both. Theo is also 5 years older than Ox

    Judging by Wenger’s comments yesterday Theo ain’t going anywhere of which I’m glad

  70. Romford Ozil Pele

    CA, admittedly I haven’t watched a lot of Spurs this season but their results have been good recently so we’ll certainly have to be wary of them. Kane and Eriksen in good form and they have a fantastic GK in Lloris. As long as we win, I don’t really care how we do it. We owe them after they stole a point at the Emirates this season. Fancy L’Oreal to net. 7 in 12 so far this season, 2 assists. And he’s scored against Spurs twice before. Still not his biggest fan but he’s been very efficient and has scored in quite a few big games. About time!

  71. karim

    Alfie

    They need to play it every 4 years to start with, and not in January also.

    Players come straight out of their respective leagues, have 2 days to train and people complain about the level…

    Seen some good things yesterday, mostly from Ghana

  72. karim

    Leeds

    25 if not mistaken

    He said himself playing for France is too soon but Deschamps won’t be able to ignore him if he goes on like that

    Almost all his goals are spectacular and that tells you something

  73. Alfie

    KArim –

    Agree about the timing of it.

    Personally, I think it is a waste of time. The calibre of African players in comparison to the teams is awful.

    Yaya said the other day he has to downgrade his game in order to fit in with the other players.

  74. Carts

    Alfie – I saw Whiplash and Kingsman over the weekend.

    Kingsman was actually quite good. Some funny parts too. Had that Kick-Ass vibe about it: blood, language etc.

    Whiplash was very good. Probably my favourite film this year. Not sure whether it received any nominations, but it was better than Birdman and American Sniper.

    Might be The Gambler, A Most Violent Year or Ex-Machina tonight 🙂

  75. MrT

    Nice post. Can’t fault any player at the moment seeing that I might not be able to score with a drunk 80 year old great grand mother between the sticks.
    Very happy with the performance of the team and our progress on the table.
    After roasting Vila looking Foward to roasting a cock next week.
    I think the team is balanced for now until the summer transfer window and addition right now must be top top quality, a great steal or have za mental strenght like we have never seen

  76. Alfie

    Carts –

    I was looking at Whiplash and went straight past it, it just didn’t look like my cup of tea. Ill watch it tonight if you recommend it.

    I saw The Gambler because I think Mark Whalberg is actually very good and I recommend it. I also think John Goodman is such a good, underated actor.

    Exmachina – I don’t know man. It looks………. meh.

  77. GunnerShabz

    ok guys this summer if we sell poldi, joel campbell and carl jenkinson

    how much you think we will fetch???

    maybe around £25m do you think we will see another marquee signing??

  78. Carts

    Keyser – Interesting article. Pretty much echoed what you’ve been so bothered about. I see the slyness behind it, and Chelsea are being very clever. What their doing isn’t ground breaking – they’ve just take it to an extreme.

    But at the same time, there’s no guarantee on what their doing will pay dividends. As much as they can get £5m for Bertrand from Soton, they will lose Kakuta for free. The best way to approach this is to simply limit the amount of players out on loan from a team t any one time. 5, 10, 15 players at a time. There’s already a rule in place that prevents a team from take more than a certain amount of player from the same parent club.

  79. Marko

    If anybody dares question Gaya or his quality they need a slap. Kid along with Kurzawa is the best young left back and promising young defender in Europe. Absolutely incredible pace and quality about him. Can play Left back and the wing

  80. Dream10

    Big fan of Aston Villa’s high line. Sensational stuff really.

    Walcott was abject in the first half yesterday. But he scores in the second half.
    Limited in his ability to contribute to the buildup. However, he scores. The reason why he will receive offers of a 4yr contract in excess of 100k per week. Just not at Arsenal though.

    Some lovely touches from Ozil. Makes the spectacular look normal. Well done to Coquelin and Bellerin as well.

    Monreal deserves to keep his spot at WHL.

    Same lineup this upcoming Saturday, with the only change being Sanchez in for Walcott.

  81. Carts

    Alfie – I don’t mind Wahlberg, but heard The Gambler is shite. I’ll still watch though. Whiplash is decent. J.K Simmons cracks me up. Liked him since OZ, tbh.

  82. Dream10

    Marko

    Gaya getting a lot of praise. On his way to being a superstar, Already linked with Real Madrid, as usual.

    Valencia LBs over the last five years: Alba, Bernat and Gaya. Not bad at all

  83. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Big fan of Aston Villa’s high line. Sensational stuff really.”

    Lol it was mad. If ever there was a reason why teams come and park the bus at the Emirates, yesterday was the perfect example. Playing a high line when the opposition have Walcott in their ranks. Lol it is what it is though, wish more teams would play a high line against Arsenal 😉

  84. Dream10

    Are we at the stage where Messi and Neymar are #1 and #2 in world football?

    If not now, maybe by the end of year perhaps.

  85. Carts

    “Gambler is wank mate. And I love to gamble.”

    Sister and work pal said same thing. Think imma swerve that, tbh. Cheers.

  86. Keyser

    Carts – Football is all about extremes, not to mention the parallels to wider society, and it’s ruining the game, they’ll probably do something about it in the future, but it’s still spoiling it now.

  87. duvee

    If Coq plays for the rest of the season the way he has played over the past 6 weeks, should he be our starting DM going into next season? To be honest I think he has been exceptional and I would have no arguments with him being a starter if that is the case. However he has only played a half dozen games so plenty of time for him to mess up. If I was manager I would get rid of flamini and Arteta and get someone good in to challenge Coq.

  88. Carts

    Ozy – Nightcrawler was very good actually. That’ll be up there as well come to think of it. Gyllenhall was on creepmode throughout that whole flick.

  89. blazon

    James..

    great match report, enjoyed it…do everyone a favor please and put a consortium together to buy the blog from Pedro…other people’s drinking problems in a football blog, particularly when they are boasted about, are first tiresome then excruciatingly boring …most of us are over 20.

  90. london gunner

    Nightcrawler was good, but no taxi driver.

    Jake was great in the film, but the supporting cast were a bit flat and I find it hard to invest in a film where I don’t like/relate to the main character.

    I think the hallmark of a great film(with a bad guy as main character) is making that unlike-able/troubled/unconventional character understandable/relatable and thus your empathetic towards them and wish them to triumph over the central constraint/problem within the context of the film.

    Jake made me believe he was a physco, but I didn’t relate to that, instead I was indifferent as if watching some snuff film with hollowed out characters.

  91. WengerEagle

    I know that we don’t need a RB but can we sign Rod Fanni just for his name?

    A coq and a Fanni in the same side would be great.

    Think of the fun the commentators could have with that.

  92. Alfie

    “Insulting someone’s intellect because he does manual labour actually makes you look like more of a fool than the brick layer.”

    Isnt that in itself an insult to the “bricklayer”???

  93. Dissenter

    Wenger was right, Welbeck was only good enough for an Arsenal loan.

    He wont improve this team significantly because he wont ever score enough goals to replace Giroud as starting striker [though Giroud is unquestionably average]

    We have a dilemma because Welbeck will block Akpom who’s trajectory is far greater than Welbeck’s. We wont be able to compete for the likes of Draxler or Reus so long as Welbeck is getting paid 100k weekly.

    …I’ll take Theo over Welbeck every single day of the week. Welbeck does not score and does not offer defenders that physical presence that Giroud provides.

  94. Foxy

    I am struggling to see how welbeck and wilshere get back into this arsenal side now other than fa cup games.

    The coq has been a revelation in this side. The dissenters on here can say what they want about his suitability long term. He really hasn’t put a foot wrong since coming into the team. Strong in the tackle, excellent awareness of positional sense, good passing and short distance acceleration and superb communication skills between those behind him and in front of him. Would still like us to go in for another DM in the summer and cut loose mikel and flamini. However, should he keep this level of performance up until the end of the season I don’t think too many on here would begrudge him a place in the starting 11 next season.

  95. Alfie

    “Bullet dodged on Zaha, crap player that’s always like Tom Ince been overrated.”

    Agreed.

    Tom Ince was being bandied around for £10m about 6-9 months ago with AC Milan in the running.

    How poor is the Italian league nowadays anyway.

  96. london gunner

    duvee

    I completely agree with that statement as I hold the exact same opinion as that pretty much word for word!

    Coq has been exceptional, but like you say is this his true form or a purple patch? Lets give him to the end of the season and reassess then.

  97. Alfie

    “Welbeck does not score and does not offer defenders”

    I think that’s a bit harsh tbh.

    A) He does score.
    B) His premium right now would be in the 20m range.

    Relax.

  98. Ozy

    Excellent point, LG. You’re kind of right in that the cast outside of JG’s character and his sidekick were not very well fleshed out and very one-dimensionable. But I disagree with the relating aspect. It’s not always necessary. You can be invested in seeing the character’s downfall. For example, Alex DeLarge in Clockwork Orange. The only emotional investment to that character was sympathy towards the end of the film. Patrick Bateman of American Psycho is another example – a complete lack of relativility.

    I think it wasn’t a more popular film was because of what you said and how uncomfortable his character made people. I thought it was excellent. What a performance. Very few actors can pull that off.

    And Foxy… come on, buddy.

  99. WengerEagle

    Welbeck will come in handy in the Champions League knockout stages when better passing teams than us dominate the ball.

    He has the pace to hurt the likes of Bayern and Barca on the counter if he’s given decent service.

    Remains a poor finisher though.

  100. Ozy

    Schurrle to Wolfsburg facing some difficulties but it’s basically done, say Bild.

    The Reus to Arsenal rumors were complete fabrications by Metro and others. Interesting that Pedro mentioned it earlier – going as far as to say “I told you we were in for him in the summer” (paraphrasing)

    There was nothing to it. Just how Pedro said Arsenal were making huge moves for a DM in Europe before the January window. Also complete bullshit.

  101. Dissenter

    Cesc,
    I disagree with you about Spuds living on luck.
    They have found a nice rhythm and have possibly and English lad who just knows how to find the net.
    Harry Kane really reminds me of Alan Shearer and I must admit that I’m approaching the NLD with trepidation because he will find a way to score against us.
    The kid is the real deal, the way he bullied Gary Cahill and John Terry was mystifying. It was so bad that Cahill has been dropped to the bench since that game, Kurt Zouma has been selected ahead of him fore the past two games since.
    He’s young and wont be bothered by all the dominance we’ve had over them. I haven’t been this respectful of spuds in along time.

  102. Dissenter

    Alfie,

    “Welbeck does not score and does not offer defenders”

    I think that’s a bit harsh tbh.
    A) He does score.
    B) His premium right now would be in the 20m range.
    Relax.”

    Welbeck is a very poor finisher. He wont out-score Giroud over a season which says more about him than Giroud.

    Giroud needed to be the sub-striker instead we bought in an expensive English international who’s not even good enough to bench Giroud.

  103. Romford Ozil Pele

    Dissenter always has to pick on someone. Today is Welbz. Lol he can’t finish. He just shanked that hattrick against Gala didn’t he?!

    Think it’s unfair to judge him. Look at the upheaval in the team. He’s been here just over half a season, how can we ascertain what level he’s at when there hasn’t been a consistent team. I get there are doubts over him but he hasn’t been in a settled team. When I saw Ozil behind him in two games earlier this season, he scored 4 goals. He would’ve had a field day yesterday.

  104. Foxy

    WengerEagle,

    You’re are talking as if we are actually going to get far enough to play the likes of Bayern and Barca.

    Sacre bleu!

    Good point re Welbeck. In terms of a starting place in the first 11, this spell out has really hurt him considering the form giroud is in and the speed at which mesut and theo have started contributing to our results.

    But yes I wouldn’t mind him running at pique in the 80th minute at the nou camp to kill the game off and send us to Berlin.

  105. Romford Ozil Pele

    “One of the worst spuds team in a long time.”

    Mate they put 5 past Chelsea, they can’t be that bad. If we did that we’d be eulogising for weeks.

  106. Alfie

    RP –

    C’mon man – I know its subjective but without Kane and Erikson goals they would currently be sitting bottom of the league.

    They have the most points accumulated from 89 minutes.

    They’ve ridden some lucky waves dude and they have nothing really to offer.

    5-3 don’t mean anything to be honest, good on the day, Chelsea awful.

  107. Romford Ozil Pele

    Alfie, for sure they’e ridden their luck, but if you score consistently late in games i’m not necessarily sure that’s luck. Spurs have done that a lot this season. We’re also normally good for scoring late goals, I’d say it’s more down to wearing the opposition down over time.

    It’s a derby mate, anything can happen. They’ve already taken a point off us this season. They’re more than capable of beating us even though we have the better team. Don’t mean to be a pessimist, just like to err on the side of caution. Obviously hoping we smash ’em 😀

  108. Carts

    “How poor is the Italian league nowadays anyway.”

    People see Inter and AC floundering around in bottom half and asume Serie A is done. The problem is that Inter and AC has spent terribly in recent seasons.

    It’s only now with Thor in charge are Inter changing their buying policy.

  109. DUIFG

    OG has played well this year no doubt but I think it’s in all our Interests to hope welbz can just polish himself in front of goal.

    Attributes wise and build up play he is second to none, he could go WC, giroud will not.

  110. Foxy

    Just remembered Im going to the lane on Sat woopy fukin doo. Last time I went (2-1 defeat in 2013) an old spurs fan told me to “speak English properly” when we were all leaving the stadium (I am a British Indian). Strange that. I thought even a senile old spurs twat would be able to understand the words “fuck off you cun*” 🙂

  111. DUIFG

    Who cares about spud names if they are playing well? Take out that palace result which they did not deserve to lose they are on a great run

  112. Dissenter

    Romford,
    “Dissenter always has to pick on someone. Today is Welbz. Lol he can’t finish. He just shanked that hattrick against Gala didn’t he?!”

    I tend to defend Giroud but even I know that he needs to be the striker on the bench because he’s not good enough.
    Is Welbeck the striker to bench Giroud? Me thinks not. At best he’s as good as Giroud but won’t score as much goals.

    I’m not pointing fingers, just frustrated that we still do not have the squad to compete for a league/ CL run. We have too many average players.

    Your boy looks like a giant now. In retrospect, I’m glad that he got injured because he’s had the proper “pre-season now”. He looks like a beast and played like a beast yesterday.
    What do you think of having Ozil and Carzola alternate at number 10 during the games. If they do it right, we’ll be unplayable.

  113. Romford Ozil Pele

    Dissenter, I just think you have to give people time, not everyone adapts straight away overnight. I much prefer Welbz’s game to L’Oreal. That’s not to say L’Oreal hasn’t done well this season though. He’s scoring at a 1 in 2 rate atm which is great. But even then I’m still doubtful. He had a 10 yard headstart for his goal yesterday and nearly got caught lol. Welbz would’ve obliterated that space, and like I say, he can finish. Be interesting to see how things pan out when everyone is fit though.

  114. divinesherlock

    Okay a bit late to reply but Tits and Gambon , we were also top for 128 days, nobody praised us then . Chelsea hasnt won the title yet. For a team that good they had the chance to finish the title , with City beaten . Instead chose to park the bus .