Jack stubbing out his future | Was Wenger right?

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Ahhh, hi there. How’s it going? I hope it’s going well, so well, you rocked up to work in a low slung vest, a borat leotard complemented by some super fly Birkenstocks fresh out of Essex. It’s Thursday, why not?

So, what have we? Jack Wilshere’s been caught smoking a damn shisha pipe! What a muppet. When I was at university, my friend told me they were 90% cleaner than smoking cigarettes. I think he was lying so I’d have a go on the delicious fruit based tobacco. Regardless of the health implications, it certainly didn’t help my flourishing football career. So Jack, I’d recommend one of two things here….

1. Stop smoking

2. Stop letting people take pictures of you smoking

It’s pretty simple. I find it amazing he’s still getting into trouble like this, especially as he’s a bit of an irrelevance in the squad at the moment. I don’t think I’ve heard a single Arsenal fan complain about not having Jack in the side at the moment. There are more dedicated players who are delivering at a higher level (on lower wages).

He’s going to have to watch it. A big offer comes in for him in the summer, you’d be hard pushed to say no based on what he’s giving the club from a discipline and performance perspective. I’m sure you could spend £20m and £100k a week on someone who’d give you more.

Just reference yesterdays post, I wasn’t saying I didn’t rate Ospina, I really like him, he has it all to prove, but so far so good. All I was saying is it doesn’t feel like the manager likes him that much. I have no inside track on that. Just an ospinion (see what I did there?).

Would Arsenal fans stop fretting over having top players in the squad that don’t land games. That doesn’t mean we have have to sell. It means those top players on the bench have to work harder to put themselves in contention. I know Arsenal fans aren’t used to seeing competition in the squad, but I can assure you, it’s what great teams are all about.

Finally, from me anyway, I watched a Terry Neil rerun on BT last night. Brian Kidd was smashing up Spurs with his pace. What was interesting, is you had terracing, a North London Derby we’d just gone up in and the noise was tepid at best. I mean, really unimpressive. Especially when you consider how many working class, salt of the earth, ‘it was better in the eighties’ total geezers there.

The revisionism on the atmosphere is amazing. I was at Highbury most of the nineties with my dad, and look, my pals used to rip me about the library. That nickname wasn’t ironic. It was based on a truth. So when you see people bagging on the current fanbase and their lack of voice, remind them that it wasn’t that much better when tickets cost a loaf of bread and a cheeky victorian chimney cleaner wink.

While we’re on it. It’s amazing how slow the game was back then. I mean, no wonder players could hit 65 games as season. The pace was a fraction of what it is now. The players are so much bigger than they were. The pitch was a total disgrace. The game really has moved on. I think I prefer it these days.

Anyway, remember Geoff? The original Le Grove Geoff? He’s sent in a a mini rant for you to enjoy with your morning shisha pipe.

A Blackburn supporter said to me this week, so was Wenger right all along?


All through the summer supporters, football pundits and ex Arsenal players were telling Wenger that if he signed a monster DM, a keeper and a decent centre back we would win everything, but he didn’t, as always, he knew best.

Then against Man City, he played a good goalkeeper, deployed a half decent DM and won the game against all the odds 2 nil.

After the game when he was interviewed he looked like a rabbit that got caught in the headlights. Confused, shocked and not aware of what was going on.

Reporters were asking him about his plan B, he didn’t know what they were talking about, why? Because as it later transpired, he didn’t know what had just happened, a player revolt decided by themselves.

He was caught between owning up or taking the credit, fortunately he couldn’t get his act together quick enough, so we all found out the truth.

Shortly after we signed a centre back. So now we have what we all wanted in the summer.

I answered my friend from Blackburn by saying had Wenger signed what we needed in July, we may be 10 points clear by now and not 11 points behind.

I still don’t think Coquelin is the answer, but he’s better than Flamini and Arteta in that role, Ospina is way better that the hapless Chezzer and Paulista will bring better performances from the centre back pair by virtue of just being there.

And he’s a far better option than a converted full back. I agree that Bellerin is a decent young player, and Coquelin is doing well, but

Coquelin was playing for the first team years ago when he was nowhere near good enough. Same with Theo, Ramsey, Jack and Gibbs.

The following is a team of young players that Wenger persevered with to Arsenal’s detriment, Almunia by the way was at 28 considered young for a keeper. I could say Alex Manninger.


Eboue Senderos Djourou Traore

Merida Denilson Quincy

Boa-Morte Wreh Bendtner

These weren’t obscure one offs, these were first teamers. And they played a shed load of games.

Denilson for instance played 153! Traore only played 13, but that was more than Joel Campbell and Yaya Sanogo had combined!

The point I’m making is the likes of Chelsea, Man City and Real Madrid only play these young kids when they can make a difference, not because of some weird obsession, that’s as daft as only making substitutions between 67 and 74 minutes, rather than when they are actually needed.

That’s what people with OCD do.

429 Responses to “Jack stubbing out his future | Was Wenger right?”

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  1. Micheal

    If Sanchez is missing on Saturday, how about playing Rosicky on the right. A better all-round footballer than Theo and he finds it easier to swap positions with Ozil. A very mobile threesome of Rosicky-Santi-Ozil (backed up Co and Ramsey) is a lot better than anything the spuds can field.

  2. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Won’t be surprised if Ryan Mason or Bentaleb scores a 64 yard bicycle kick into the top corner.”

    Really wouldn’t. It’s like these people garner some kind of super power from Zeus when it comes to playing Arsenal. Still can’t believe that goal Rose scored against us. All these pointless players and their one-hit wonders. *angry face*

  3. Nasri's Mouth

    Leedsgunner: Wenger’s created a Wilshere shaped hole this year by changing formation

    I don’t think the 4141 was designed with Wilshere in mind, it was to limit the way we tended to expose ourselves when we lost the ball further up the pitch.

    I’m not defending his actions by the way, Being caught 3 times in public is just stupid.

  4. WengerEagle


    Haha yeah was the most ridiculous match in my memory along with the UCL Semi-Final 2012 at Stamford Bridge that Barca somehow managed to lose despite creating a boatful of great chances with Chelsea nicking a goal on one of their very few breaks.

    Oh yeah that was the year that Tevez’s body was inhabited by Jesus for the last 10 matches of the season.

    I still can’t believe that Tevez and Mascherano played for West Ham! At the time they were already very well known in South America, Tevez had already won SAPOTY 3 times!

  5. Dream10


    Your countryman chipped Almunia and celebrated like he was a top class striker! smh. Still baffled to this day

  6. WengerEagle

    ‘Are they just a one man team ??’

    No, Eriksen and Lloris are also excellent players with the latter being world class.

    Besides that they are pretty bang average though. We should definitely beat them if we play to our maximum.

  7. Nasri's Mouth


    Kane is banging them away. I’d say he’s ‘effective’ rather than skilled

    Eriksen is playing very well. Some say he’s better than Ozil 😉

    Lllllloris is playing very well too.

    Other than that, they’re middling

  8. Leedsgunner

    “His biggest problem is getting fit sufficient to stand up to the physical intensity of the EPL…”

    If if this was true, and that is indeed the case, why should we carry him then?

    If he’s not suited for the league sell him to a team in Spain or Italy which less physical and bring in a player who is physically fit to play. He is injury prone, marginally better than Diaby with ten times the ego. We are not a charity, if they are not robust enough they need to be moved out.

    Physical stature has nothing to do with it. Santi, Alexis, and Tomas are all small men but they use their lower centre of gravity to play circles around people. Jack’s biggest problem is his attitude and the effort he wants to bring to the game. By effort I mean the practice he puts in rather than just talking about it.

    He could be such a great player if his industry matched his ego. At the moment it’s going in the bin and he appears not to even care.

  9. Romford Ozil Pele

    Kane will be a massive handful. Dude has two lungs and runs all day. Exposed Chelsea’s backline to all kinds of pain. Has a rasping shot. Hoping Kos deals with him. I feel if we match Spurs’ intensity, we’ll win. I’m anticipating there’ll be space to counter so Theo needs to be sharp.

  10. Cesc Appeal

    Not sure what I’d go with now for Saturday, maybe

    Bellerin, Mert, Kozz, Monreal
    Coquelin, Ramsey
    Welbeck, Cazorla, Ozil

    Really infuriating having suffered with such a lack of wide options last year, and having cured that we go to Spurs and that problem rears its head.

    I really don’t trust Walcott there after his Villa display, not away to Spurs, he just seemed like he didn’t want to get involved or stuck in in any way and we can’t have that, not Saturday.

    Welbeck offers more industry and willing, he will track back and contributes more to the team but with little end product, which is Walcott’s area of strength, having been anonymous an entire game he can nip up and bang one in or provide an assist.

    Ozil…still not sure about him in a game like this operating wide, or quasi-wide whatever you want to call it. Might be a game for Rosicky to start instead?

    Really annoyed, no Sanchez or Oxlade and those two were my choices to play wide for a few weeks now for this game. Cannot remember the last time we went to Spurs and had a full compliment to choose from, Old Trafford as well.

  11. Dream10

    Cssc Appeal

    Same XI from last wknd mate. Not worried about Sanchez missing as he has performed poorly on our travels. Will take a 3-1 victory

  12. Leedsgunner

    Did Kane ever say why he was let go at Arsenal? Was he too small?

    I just wonder if he will be a 1 season wonder and the expectations will get to him (similar Andros Townsend). If our strongest back 4 is fit, I’m confident we’ll control Kane.

  13. Cesc Appeal


    Admire your confidence, I’m not so sure though.

    Spurs are going to play a high intensity game I think, which is what worries me about having Ozil and Walcott wide for this, Sanchez and Oxlade would just give it right back. Ozil won’t and if Walcott puts in a Villa display we’ve got an empty right flank basically all bar 15-20 minutes collectively over the game.

    If Walcott gets the start we need a lot more running and effort than he gave last weekend

  14. salparadisenyc


    That likely our best lineup, except I go with Walcott on the right.
    Perfect game to expose them on the counter with his pace. Was excited to see the Sanchez and Ozil duet 🙁 UGGG.

  15. Cesc Appeal


    Just not sure about Walcott at the moment, was bitterly disappointed with him again Villa, didn’t want to get stuck in, there were a few moments where he just watched the ball bobble around in space and didn’t make an effort to go in against a Villa player for it

  16. Romford Ozil Pele

    Dream – not sure what happened with Capoue. Thought he was fantastic prior to joining Spurs, hasn’t worked out for him. All the players/managers I like always end up at that cretin club! We’ll go with the same line-up as last weekend, Santi dropping deep with Ramsey and Theo breaking to support L’Oreal. Here’s hoping.

  17. Willow Wilson

    Wenger Eagle
    I agree, that article from Colin Trainor from statsbomb was pathetic. I don’t care whether or not Dortmund have been unlucky, they are rooted at the bottom not 1 point behind third.

    This is the same authors attempt to explain “Goal Expectation & Efficiency” (ExpG), which is basically why he thinks Dortmund have been unlucky.

    Quote: “Some shots have a higher probability of being converted into goals whereas others a much lower one. As a result, we came up with a metric which considers a number of important factors affecting the chance of a particular shot being scored and assigns a figure for the probability of a goal (or the shot’s goal expectation) and named it ExpG. The exact calculations of ExpG will remain private as a lot of work between us has been dedicated to its creation”.

    I don’t know about Jack but it looks like this blokes been smoking something……..!

    http://statsbomb.com/2013/08/goal-expectation-and efficiency/#sthash.4XqnjtP1.dpuf

  18. SpanishDave

    Walcott us a one trick pony always has been. Last weekend I watched him off the ball he just wandered over into the centre, never tracked back, stood off from anybody with the ball and for over 25 mins he never touched the ball he just watched the game. In the second half he stayed on the right to start with then wandered into the middle again, he scored but that was his sole contribution until he went off.
    Its not being rusty just plain laziness on his part.

  19. Nasri's Mouth

    Cesc Appeal: just not sure about Walcott at the moment, was bitterly disappointed with him again Villa,

    How can you be ‘bitterly disappointed’ with him ? He tracked back, scored a goal.

    He wasn’t massively sharp, but he’s coming back from a massive lay off

  20. Romford Ozil Pele

    Not really sure what else people are expecting from Theo. He’s never been one to get involved with combination football, he’s just not good enough. Put him in behind and he’ll likely slot. It’s a Derby though so he won’t need reminding how important Saturday is.

  21. Dream10

    Forgot Rosicky is available.

    Bellerin Mertesacker Koscielny Monreal
    Rosicky Ramsey Cazorla Ozil

  22. Cesc Appeal


    What game did you watch?

    He scored a goal yes, and if it’s a 1-0 or 2-1 game then you can argue the validity of his inclusion, but he wondered around aimlessly for great swathes of that game, looked like he didn’t want to stick his foot into anything, lots of jogging about not really doing a lot.

    Villa at home fine, away to Spurs, not so much.

  23. Nasri's Mouth

    SpanishDave: never tracked back

    Walcott’s not that great defensively But he’s 50% striker, so that’s to be expected.

    But then what happens, is that people exaggerate how bad he is, and how little he does.

    So when you say he never tracked back, that’s actually BS.

    Go back and watch the 2nd goal. It starts when Walcott nicks the ball off a pass from Richardson (after tracking back to cover Villa’s wide player) when he’s a couple of yards ahead of our penalty area, and possibly our deepest player. It’s him that carries the ball forward, slides a pass through a couple of Villa players to Giroud who passes it to Ozil

  24. Cesc Appeal


    The way Rosicky has been playing there is a strong case for his inclusion this weekend, type of player in terms of his style who will suit this game as well.

    So annoyed about Sanchez, was looking forward to this game and his being out has taken a massive shit on that. Him and Oxlade.

  25. Nasri's Mouth

    @Cesc Appeal

    What do you expect from him? He’s never been a tough tackling midfielder, he’s an attacker who thrives on passes. He made some good runs, some a little rusty, but that’s no surprise. he’s been out for so long, so if you were bitterly disappointed by his performance, then clearly your memory of him isn’t the same as reality.

  26. vicky

    yeah, Rosicky should get a game against Spurs. He is in fine form and plays with great intensity which will be handy against Spurs.

    Ospina, Ballerin,Mertesacker,Koscileney, Monreal,Coquelin, Ramsey, Rosicky,Cazorla,Ozil,Giroud.

  27. Romford Ozil Pele

    Yeah i’m actually also veering towards Rosicky’s inclusion. Ramsey will love that as he’ll have great licence to break forward. Theo and Welbz against tired legs.

  28. Dream10


    Rosicky is usually good for a goal in this fixture.
    The Ox needs a break. Gutted he’s injured.

    Would have preferred Sanchez to be fit. But he has struggled away from.
    His performances away from the Emirates hopefully will improve w/ Ozil back.
    Can’t have Sanchez and The Ox starting away from home w/ at least one of Cazorla or Mesut in the XI.

  29. Wallace

    got to play one or both of Walcott & Welbeck for the speed in behind. Ozil, Cazorla, Rosicky & Giroud as a top 4 is just the worst of last season revisited. nice play, no edge.

  30. Cesc Appeal


    That is a pretty lame excuse for “you crack on Theo, no worries mate.” Before his injury he actually started to display a better completeness to his game, better dribbling ability, more tenacity than I’d seen in him before.

    Walcott is what he is, isn’t an argument.

    I know full well what Walcott is, and that’s why I’m saying I don’t know if we should start him on Saturday. If Sanchez is fit he definitely doesn’t start, and for me it’s the loss of all that running, and energy and tenacity that is the biggest hit…something Walcott won’t compensate in the slightest.

    Walcott did bitterly disappoint me, because he looked like Ozil at his worst last season, “I don’t do the physical side…I’m not sticking my foot in…no 50/50’s…I will just watch this Villa bloke take this ball bouncing in space.”

    He had a spell in the second half that was much more like it, but too often with Walcott you can summarise his season in a game, 80% of it nothing to right home about, 20% when he turns it on he looks superb.

    Before his injury he started to change that, I guess I hoped he would come back with real levels of fight and energy, eager to make up for lost time. Certainly doesn’t look that way right now.

  31. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Ozil, Cazorla, Rosicky & Giroud as a top 4 is just the worst of last season revisited. nice play, no edge”

    Took Liverpool to the cleaners at home #justsaying

    Theo is likely to start anyway. But agree with CA, that of Alexis/Ox were fit, Theo would likely be on the bench.

  32. Byo

    I cannot wait to read the obligatory Wenger book on retirement.
    It seems there must be a reason he persevered with so much dross for so long(Senderos, Djourou, Traore, etc). The truth will be revealed in due time.

    That Arsenal never fell to the bottom after the stadium construction, I believe is a credit to Wenger. We will never know how much financial constraint he operated under. You only need to take a look at the past three transfer windows to appreciate the stark difference in the way transfers are being approached now.

    It seems a prevailing sentiment here that Bellerin will be in Barca in a few years. I believe the era of our players leaving because the club needed the money are over.

  33. Cesc Appeal



    I’m really leaning more toward a Welbeck, Cazorla, Rosicky attacking midfield behind Giroud with Coquelin and Ramsey behind them.

    Coquelin, Ramsey
    Welbeck, Cazorla, Rosicky

    Every single one of them is a worker, Cazorla and Rosicky provide forward thrust as well and Welbeck means we retain some pace even if it means losing some clinical edge.

  34. Romford Ozil Pele


    “Sanchez should of been rested at Brighton.”

    He only played 20 mins. And to be honest we’ve been playing one game a week since the beginning of the year so you’d envisage 7 days in between games is enough to recuperate.

  35. Wallace


    “Took Liverpool to the cleaners at home #justsaying”

    😉 and maybe the Napoli game too? i just think everyone has to be flying and on the same wavelength for that to come off. love watching this season’s side when we break quickly and have so many speedsters flying up the pitch.

  36. Romford Ozil Pele

    L’Oreal is another one with a decent derby record and he’s been good in the big games this season so hope he bangs.

  37. salparadisenyc

    Thinking back to Rosicky’s deadly strike a little less than a year ago… hard not to want him in the side. Not to mention he’s ON form.


  38. Romford Ozil Pele

    Wallace, agreed tbh. We seem to be ok with not dominating possession away from home and that means there always needs to be an outlet. So yeah Theo starts. It most probably will be the same line-up as the Villa game. Counterattacking job.

  39. Cesc Appeal

    Wenger chose not to play Sanchez for the home game against Spurs, now we lose him for the away trip…really, really annoying.

  40. Romford Ozil Pele


    Rasper! Also remember that dink against Lloris in the F.A Cup game. Do love me some TR7. Barely scores but when he does, it’s always one to remember. The ball flies when he catches it.

  41. NYCgooner

    As long as Rosicky is in the first X1 I’ll be happy. He’s in great form right now and just in time for his usual bitch slapping of the spurs. Read some of their forums and they already expect him to score.

  42. tunnygriffboy


    Personally I would have gone with Sanchez and Ozil wide on weekend purely because I knew Ox was missing. Ozil 42million. He has to start delivering in these big games. He’s been hot to trot last 2 weeks but I may have gone with Ox and Sanchez tomorrow. Welbecks been out since Christmas so bench for him. Walcott starts but he has to give Bellerin cover. He did rip them a new one last season before he got injured.

    Massive game. Win and we go 5 points clear of them. They have to go to Anfield midweek, we play Leicester.

  43. Cesc Appeal


    I can actually see Wenger going for Cazorla, Ozil and Rosicky all in the same line up, it’s cautious, it screams ball retention and bodies.

    If it was me, I’d probably make the call and say Rosicky over Ozil in a game like this, on current form as well. I think a midfield with Cazorla and Rosicky would be extremely dangerous right now, and afford Ramsey and Coquelin some additionally help.

    Big call for me is who goes over on that other side (in case I haven’t mentioned it, gutted Oxlade and Sanchez are out)…for me I’d go with Welbeck. Though it’s a risk, you’re offsetting Welbeck having just returned and his less than inspiring stats with Walcott’s lack of effect on a game in the round.

  44. Willow Wilson

    “It seems a prevailing sentiment here that Bellerin will be in Barca in a few years. I believe the era of our players leaving because the club needed the money are over”.


    “Wenger’s a great coach. All he needed was some cash to spend and for the club to keep its best players”.

    This is it really.

    You either believe the stadium move and the old sponsorship deals restricted our ability to spend and hold onto our best players (and Man City & Chelsea’s billion quid spending spree was relevant) or that this was all a figment of the imagination. The timing of the arrival of Ozil & Sanchez was either a coincidence or not.

  45. Rocky Pires

    Welbeck or Theo? , hard call but probably start Theo .
    I think Spurs will stand off us and look to get physical .
    Theo will pin back Rose and there is always a wreckless challenge in Verthogen and Rose so early penalty is a possibility.
    Theo is looking sharper but as RP said he isnt Neymar in terms of link up play so an early knock down or one two with Giroud and he should be in on goal.

    Spuds will probably line up with

    If Giroud can pull the CB’s out wide Theo should have a field day coming in from the right.
    Lloris is a top class keeper just hope he hasn’t a worldie performance, most likely he will especially now we are linked to him.

    We should dominate midfield and I dont think Pocketionho will go out with the intention of taking out Santi .
    A dumb ass like Dembele or Chadli might take it upon themselves to injure him but wouldn’t think it would be a game plan.

    There should be plenty space between the games lines and if we keep disciplined and Coq stops Eriksson drifting in from the right I can see us winning .

  46. Romford Ozil Pele

    CA, it’ll be interesting. Rosicky you know what he’ll give you and he’s a fantastic player. Him, Ozil and Santi in the same line-up will indicate that we’re trying to dominate possession. If he goes with Theo he probably wants to cede possession a bit more and go for the counter. Not Theo’s biggest fan but the latter is a safer option for me.

    Depends how fit Welbz is I guess. He hasn’t played since the 28th December so may be a risk to thrust him straight in. he does run a lot more than Theo though. Like i say, depends on the approach Wenger decides to take. I’m all for whichever one gets the win.

    Ozil will play though because at the end of the day you want someone who’ll give the perfect ball in the final third and that’s what he brings.

  47. DUIFG

    Zalalem need to be played in the deep play maker role. Seems to have a hell of a lot of time on the ball, I like that.

    Crowley looks the diamond though, can beat a man as well as feed others. Naughty strike on him as well. Santi replacement in 2 years.

  48. Rocky Pires

    I love Rosa (as per the name) but I think Rosa/Ozil/Giroud is easier to shut out as there is no ball in behind and Spuds wont be afraid to push up the pitch thus stopping our counterattacking game.

    You need some pace in front three and for that reason it would be Ozil/Rosa with Giroud and one of Theo/Welbeck .

  49. Cesc Appeal


    Yeah, I meant that weeks ago I was saying Sanchez and Oxlade for this when it seemed Oxlade would be back.

    Well that’s what I was saying, at the time of his ACL he looked a different player, he didn’t score in that game or anything yet he was the stand out player, usually with Walcott the only reason he stands out is because if he scores.

    He was asking for the ST role and was trying to prove he should get it. That’s where he has to get back to, and it will take more endeavour than he showed last week.

    I just feel this game suits Rosicky, in my mind it has to be choice, him or Ozil and Rosicky gets the nod for me for his style when you consider the game itself.

    Might just be me though.

  50. Romford Ozil Pele

    “I believe the era of our players leaving because the club needed the money are over”

    Yeah this is true but Bellerin will still go back to Barca. At the end of the day, it’s his club. Alves’ career is drawing to a close. And who doesn’t wanna play with Messi and Neymar. Naturally i’d love to keep Bellerin here for the next 15 years but i’m realistic enough to know it ain’t gonna happen.

  51. Leedsgunner

    “That Sanogo song is awful…”

    Just like the player himself… 😉 I’ll be very pleased if Palace take him off our hands though…

  52. DUIFG

    Why is shooting such a difficult skill at this level?

    It’s weird in our entire squad we have about 3 guys with a decent strike, og, caz, sanchez.

    You can go a hell of a long way just having a cannon of a shot, podolski, weird that many top guys can barely punt the ball at goal from more than 18 yards

  53. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Why is shooting such a difficult skill at this level?”

    People don’t practice enough. Gibbs said the other day that Ox has the hardest shot in the Arsenal squad now Poldi has gone. Should put that to the test a bit more.

  54. Leedsgunner

    I would love TR7 as our Germany/East European scout when he comes to hang up his boots. I reckon he would make a great coach too.

  55. Dream10


    That’s my biggest complaint of this squad. You look at Welbeck as a prime example. He hardly put his foot thru the ball. Almost all of his goals in career have been on the move or a scuffed chip.

    Some players try to be too cute. The Ox has a rasping shot off both feet. One of the primary reason why I would like him to play as a forward rather than a winger. Change of formation needed though

  56. Nasri's Mouth

    @Cesc Appeal

    It’s no lame excuse. It’s just you exaggerating.

    ‘Bitterly disappointed’ is OTT.

    Walcott has had a year out injured, he’s not going to have become a different player to the one before. He’s rusty. Like many players who’ve been out for a while, he’s probably nervous about getting hit on his injury.

    He’s scored 2 in 2, he’s tracking back, I think that’s about as good as we can expect at the moment.

  57. Nasri's Mouth

    Willow Wilson: You either believe the stadium move and the old sponsorship deals restricted our ability to spend and hold onto our best players (and Man City & Chelsea’s billion quid spending spree was relevant) or that this was all a figment of the imagination.

    Like pretty much everything it’s not as straightforward as that.

    No doubt the sponsorship deals we tied ourselves into were harmful in the long term, and the collapse of the housing market didn’t help us either

    But the amount we’ve spent in the last 2 windows, shows that actually we could (and should) have gone bigger into the transfer market earlier than we did.

  58. Leedsgunner

    “Why is shooting such a difficult skill at this level?”

    Like Romford said it’s a combination of lack of practice and because Wenger wants to play tiki taki football — shooting from distances is probably discouraged.

    I’m still pleased that players like Rambo give it a go though… against Gala for instance — didn’t he score a belter?

  59. Cesc Appeal


    Not really because it’s subjective, if you think its an exaggeration terrific, I was bitterly disappointed in a player who ‘had been out for a year’ and then wandered around the pitch as if lost in thought and trying to avoid any of the physical stuff.

    When Ozil has a much more physical game than you, might want to start asking questions of your commitment and effort.

  60. Nasri's Mouth


    If I could invent a re-youth-ing machine, I’d be sticking Rosicky into it before a lot of other people, and cranking the years removal dial to ’10’

    Then I’d just have to invent a cure-all-injuries machine for him

  61. Willow Wilson

    Rosicky just oozes class. Shame about the injuries he has suffered throughout his career.

    That goal at WHL last season demonstrated his class:


    Tomas should definitely start to give us that drive on the front foot. I would also like to see the power of the OX too. As much as I rate Theo, he may be more dangerous coming on later with his pace.

    I cant see Spurs living with us.

  62. Romford Ozil Pele

    “If I could invent a re-youth-ing machine, I’d be sticking Rosicky into it before a lot of other people, and cranking the years removal dial to ’10′”


  63. vicky

    “Like Romford said it’s a combination of lack of practice and because Wenger wants to play tiki taki football — shooting from distances is probably discouraged.”

    Not very sure whether it is an Arsenal thing. I think it has more to do with individual players’ skill than a club trait. Can’t think of any club whose players are generally very good at shooting. All we recall is individual players like Messi,Ronaldo,Di Maria, Rooney, Eriksen who are very good at it and it is down to their own skill level.

  64. DUIFG

    That possession team for nld can only be played of you have welbz as the pace option. I’m not going back to that placeless hell of last year.

    Does wenger have some grand plan around tr7, seems to always release him around nld February time and he smashes it.

    Remember well his rebirth as an arsenal player, was dogshit for about 2 years prior then wenger restored him into the Middle Against Spurs, we go 2 nil down with the worst team in living memory, tr7 turns it on for a 5 2 romp, rosiky has been a boss since.

  65. Nasri's Mouth

    Cesc Appeal: and then wandered around the pitch as if lost in thought and trying to avoid any of the physical stuff.

    You’re doing it again! Probably in an attempt to defend your last exaggeration.

    He didn’t ‘wander around the pitch as if lost in thought’. This is clearly BS.

    Might be an idea to watch it again, and watch him
    Again, you seem to have assumed he’s going to come back a completely different player. I’ve yet to see anyone be out of the game and come back immediately 100% let alone a better and more rounded player than they were beforehand.

    It never happens

  66. Romford Ozil Pele

    It’s practice man. I never thought Lamps was the most gifted midfielder but if he got within 25 yards of goal you were bricking it. It’s easily something that can be developed providing you already have the technique. In general though footballers do seem to avoid putting their foot through it today (ala Poldi), most want to go for a curler/bit of finesse. Lol watching too much Messi.

  67. DUIFG

    A midfield 3 of fab, tr7 and arteta would have improved us immeasurably more than the dog turd lined up behind fab before he left.

  68. vicky

    If I could invent a re-youth-ing machine, I’d be sticking Rosicky into it before a lot of other people, and cranking the years removal dial to ’10′Then I’d just have to invent a cure-all-injuries machine for him

    So true. Nobody deserves it more than the little Mozart.

  69. Romford Ozil Pele

    Rosicky can never play 2/3 games per week because of his age but you can always rely on him to do a job. And that’s why it was perplexing around October/November time when he was consistently an unused sub.

  70. DUIFG

    Agree, what made lamps great as that invariably he would be hitting the target, expecting to score or create a rebound opportunity. Our boys it’s blast and hope a lot of the time

  71. Rocky Pires

    I think there is an exaggeration about Theo and his skills but it works in our favour so long may it live .
    Yes he isnt the best all round footballer but he has attributes that other don’t and he plays on those attributes to his and indeed Arsenals benefits.

    Is there a game plan to mark Theo, no most teams will ask there CDM/LQW to double up on him and what happens then, Giroud or Ramsey/Santi are afford more space.
    Team dont want to play a high line against him yet don’t want to sit too deep as he is a decent dribbler and is likely to win a penalty.

    As I say he isn’t Messi or Neyame but he is a massive asset to us and should be kept .
    For years we have said Arsenal need a plan B, well Theo can be another feather in our cap and we should rejoice in having such options at the club .

    He has the perfect platform to utilize his skill-set what with Santi and Ozil able to thread balls through eye of a needle, Giroud as his primary ball winner and physical battering ram and Alexi as his similar foil who also keeps team on their toes.
    Let him get match sharp and he will do the business. He is a level headed and very professional lad.

  72. Nasri's Mouth

    Leedsgunner: shooting from distances is probably discouraged.

    To an extent it probably is. It’s not the best way to score goals.

    Having said that, sometimes it makes sense to vary things, if you’re up against a deep lying well set up bunch of defenders.

  73. Rosicky@Arsenal

    It seems you are finished with Wenger.
    Expressing your hate towards Wenger is on the rise.I am amazed how you paint a picture that Wenger knows nothing with all the years of experience in management and players along with Bould were the architecture of win at Etihad.
    Do you have any ample proof of this?

    Wonder if Wenger is so incapable how he has been surviving all those years keeping the club in Europes Elite for 2 decades.

    Its no fluke.

    BTW you are of the view that Arsenal is run by wenger single handedly if that is the case we must be thankful to wenger for all the good things he have done for the club rather criticise him day in day out by painting some imaginary Boulds conspiracy against him.

  74. Nasri's Mouth

    Jovetic left out of ManC’s CL squad.

    Suggestions he’s off in the summer.

    Hope they sell him and replace him with Jackson Martinez

  75. Willow Wilson

    “No doubt the sponsorship deals we tied ourselves into were harmful in the long term, and the collapse of the housing market didn’t help us either. But the amount we’ve spent in the last 2 windows, shows that actually we could (and should) have gone bigger into the transfer market earlier than we did”.

    The sponsorship renewals were all part of the plan. The initial deals were not great but we were beggars at the time and they were the best we could negotiate. As you quite rightly say, the stadium got knocked back due to problems with the economy and the housing market. There were also the issues with Granada and the Country’s economic downturn. People forget that the we were not just building and moving to a stadium. The financial planning was all based on the redevelopment of Highbury and the income that would generate, so the sooner we could build and flog the flats, the sooner we could get into a position to spend. Thats why CL football was so important. So many things went against us, including the arrival of two wealthy oilers, that with CL football we would have had a problem.

    Nonetheless, what the club has achieved is huge and the ramifications of our austerity and planning will be seen in the next few years. Whether or not big money could have been spent a season sooner is up for debate, I have heard arguments from both sides.

    However, we are where we are now and we should all not only be proud but looking forward to the future. Its going to be a great time to be a fan.

    A good win against our friends up the road and we have a great looking run in.

  76. Cesc Appeal


    You think it’s an exaggeration, that’s fine.

    I don’t need to go and watch the game again, as you suggest I could watch the 10 seconds were he wins a win ball back before the goal…then switch off.

    You’re doing that thing again, 4-1-4-1 works…because of one game…Walcott wasn’t lazy that’s BS…because of 10 seconds.

  77. Leedsgunner

    Theo isn’t perfect but I’m glad he seems to be building up strength and in these early days his pace doesn’t seem affected. Like Nasri said — the lad has been out for 12 months but he’s still contributing to the scoreline… you really can’t ask more than that. Plus, I suspect Walcott will be fired up for the derby — he seems to up his level whenever Spurs come to town

    Although I suspect he’ll get a fair amount of abuse from the Spuds for his parting gift to them last year as he was stretchered off. Remember Theo the best way to shut up the crowd is to score in their net.

    Very much looking forward to seeing Özil come to the party again with Theo’s pace for him to aim at.

  78. Romford Ozil Pele

    Jovetic got chopped?! Surprising. Thought the fact he’s versatile and more mobile than Bony/Dzeko would’ve stood him in good stead. He is made of glass though.

  79. Rocky Pires

    I think Sagna’s form saved his ass from being thrown out of the squad .
    Zabeleta was nailed on in that position but Sagna done well last game so just crept in but surprised Jovetic gone.

    He could also play LW/CAM so strange one that .

  80. DUIFG

    Jobetic is a pleasing player on the eye but his actual return has been quite meagre, bony would surely have more impact if you needed to shake a system up

  81. Rocky Pires

    Poor old Ramsey had to delete the Twitter post of happy birthday to his mom , as some many people were saying she was a MILF …

  82. Romford Ozil Pele

    Part of the problem is that City can only name 21 players because of their FFP breach. Obviously think Bony is likely to make a bigger impact.

  83. Nasri's Mouth

    Cesc Appeal: You’re doing that thing again, 4-1-4-1 works…because of one game…Walcott wasn’t lazy that’s BS…because of 10 seconds.

    But as I (and someone else too) said before it wasn’t just one game, so I’m not doing ‘the same thing’ am I ?

    As for 10 seconds ? Because of his goal? If you can’t be bothered to watch the game and follow how he played, then you wont see what else he did.

  84. tunnygriffboy

    One of Walcott or Welbeck has to play purely for their pace. If they are going to press us we have to the ability to worry them by going in behind. Sanchez would have been ideal but heyho. Anyone know how long him and Ox out ? Leicester Tuesday, Boro next Sunday, Palace away then Monaco.

  85. Nasri's Mouth

    If Ivory coast win the ACN Bony will probably not come back until the middle of Feb, and be suffering from post cup stress until after Barca knock ManC out.

  86. Rocky Pires

    If we get over this hurdle in Spuds away , then we could look at giving others some game time at Lecister and Boro .
    Like of Chambers, Gabriel even Gibbs etc but lets concentrate on this one . this is a big big game this weekend , a victory will show just how determined we are to move up the table.

    In the Fourth place Cup you could afford to loose/draw this match but by winning you put intense pressure on Utd for 3rd and even drag in Citeh into a battle.
    With Citeh and Utd to play each other there will be points lost ahead of us so hopefully we can put down a marker with a win this weekend.

  87. Cesc Appeal


    Okay, well we will agree to disagree here. I know full well what Walcott is and my expectations weren’t high, you can go back over seasons and see exactly what I think of Walcott.

    I was bitterly disappointed with his attitude and willing…if you think he was okay on that count, or okay in terms of being Theo Walcott, then happy days. I wasn’t impressed. His first 45 in particular was horrendous.

    But anyways. If he is picked I just hope it being the NLD puts a rocket up his arse.

  88. Rrobbins

    Great to hear geoff’s rant. Totally spot on. Gave up trying to figure what’s going on in arsene’s head strategically. Seems to be about the money.

  89. Romford Ozil Pele

    All Spurs fans I know are an incredibly and cocky bunch. Really is mad but makes it more fun to gloat if we win.

  90. Marko

    Disappointing not having Alexis and Chamberlain available Saturday but we’ve still got Cazorla and a few others in top form so no excuse for me. Might see Walcott start again or possibly try Rosicky in there instead.

  91. PK

    For years I have been hoping that we will use Walcott on his best position and finally we have the resources to make that happen in Sanches, OX, Özil. In my opinion Walcott is the perfect supersub from the bench. Let him do his thing when there’s 25 min left of the game and the oppositions fullbacks are tired both mentally and psychically.

  92. Nasri's Mouth

    @Cesc Appeal

    Skysports rating 7.4 / 8 out of 10
    Arseblog rating 7 out of 10
    Independent rating 7 out of 10
    Daily Mail rating 7 out of 10
    Mirror rating 7 out of 10
    Goal.com rating 3 out of 5

    Cesc Appeal rating Bitterly disappointing, horrendous in the 1st half

    Ok then

  93. Nasri's Mouth

    In the time of Geoff, Le Grove would be full of people calling Wenger names for overplaying Sanchez and causing him his injury

  94. tunnygriffboy

    Spurs official twitter feed

    “Is everyone looking forward to our cup final on Saturday”

    They had to remove it looooooool

    Didn’t west Brom cause them a few problems last week even though they won 3 nil ?

  95. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Didn’t west Brom cause them a few problems last week even though they won 3 nil ?”

    Yeah but WBA aren’t duds. Any side managed by Pulis cam cause you problems. Lest we forget we only just won there.

  96. Cesc Appeal


    He was dreadful in the first half.

    He scored a goal, he’s back from a year out, he’s English…and the papers gave him an inflated rating???!!!! Get out of here!!!

    First half…well he was anonymous, hard to say he was dreadful because he just wasn’t there. Pretty common view on her at half time last weekend. I think I myself used the phrase “Walcott better pull his finger out in the second half.”

    Your one of these you will use papers and websites when it suits, but then dismiss them as full of it when it backs an argument you don’t like.

    I know what I saw, some of those are the same papers that gave Cazorla 7/10 against City so forgive me if I don’t use them as the yard stick for measuring a player in a game.

    Again, they are subjective. It is my opinion that Walcott played dreadfully overall, don’t understand why you can’t just disagree and walk away, have to go on a mini-crusade

  97. Wallace


    but Walcott’s always been 95% is he playing?/5% game-changing brilliance. very, very occasionally he also looks a little bit like he’s up for the battle, but it’s literally 2/3 games in his whole Arsenal career. like Ozil, he’s never going t relish the physical stuff.

  98. Rocky Pires

    Win this weekend and I predict we will be one points off Man City in second on 54 points come the first of March .

  99. Cesc Appeal


    Your just being pathetic now, and you’re better than that.

    So leave it. Pointless debate, my opinion vs yours…so what really is the point.

    Except that you have to make a thing out of it, and now you have made a thing out of it.

    I will await the next time someone posts some journalistic opinion that goes against your agenda and you come up with all the excuses under the sun as to why we shouldn’t listen to this guy, or that guy, or this paper, or that site, shall I?

    Shows the way you think “you’re right, everyone else is wrong”…wasn’t I the one that just said its my opinion, you have yours, leave it? You’re the one forcing a ‘right or wrong’ issue here on subjective opinion! Take a minute, and think again.

  100. Cesc Appeal


    Yes I am fully aware of that. I have held that against Walcott for a while.

    But I’ve never seen him quite that lethargic and shy of confrontation, perhaps that is to do with fear of injury? I don’t care about the why, I just care about the how, as in HOW is that going to impact us on Saturday?

    It really isn’t a big deal, I was disappointed with his attitude, endeavour and effort…but apparently you can’t have that opinion because in this instance, the journalists are to be listened to…next week they will all be agenda fuelled or lacking insight, or something else that makes their opinion invalid.

    As I say, that 7/10 Cazorla from a few papers for the City game was laughable. Solid 9/10 I would see even a perfect 10/10 game for me! All subjective. All points of view, all based on what we like in players.

    The fact as well now you have to take account of the environment Walcott is on now with the arrival of Sanchez and the emergence of Oxlade. Our side is now a high energy side…sort of means, I think anyway, that Walcott’s lack of workrate and combativeness are brought ore to the fore.

  101. Cesc Appeal

    Does Daniel Craig take his shirt off in every single film going? I like to have something I can pay little attention to on when I study, so I’m watching this Cowboys and Aliens thing…pretty dreadful to be honest

  102. Nasri's Mouth

    Cesc Appeal: Your just being pathetic now

    No, I’m just pointing out that the evidence is against you, and you’re acting like you’re wearing massive blinkers.

    And no doubt there’ll be a piece in the media where I disagree with the author, but you know what, that’s me disagreeing with ONE person.

    Whereas you’ve just disagreed with all the people who vote on SKYSPORTS,(and the guy at SKY who does the ratings) all the people who vote on ARSEBLOG,(and the guy at Arseblog who does the ratings) 3 mainstream papers, and a large football website.

    I’m sure I could find more if you like, these were just the first ones on google.

    If you honestly don’t think that maybe, just maybe you got it a little wrong, then maybe it’s you being pathetic.

    I’ll leave it to you to think about it.

  103. Dan Ahern

    Agree on Wilshere, at least the part about nobody missing him. Been saying this for a while, but our team is demonstrably worse when he’s wedged into the starting XI.

    However, I kind of disagree on the smoking. Of course it’s stupid for a pro athlete to smoke. But the guy clearly likes to, so I kind of feel like we should just accept it at this point. Even last time I failed to get outraged.

    The upside is, if Szcz can get pulled for rolling a fag in the shower (wow that sounds amazing in American English), maybe Jack will finally lose his divine right to start.

  104. Dan Ahern

    Not sure what you two are arguing about, but just because most people say something doesn’t make it true. Remember how half the fan base insisted we were always flat broke despite every Swiss Ramble column?

  105. Cesc Appeal


    No, it’s my opinion, I thought he was awful, its not for you or anyone else to say I’m wrong…it’s an opinion.

    I think you are being pedantic and pathetic, I’ve seen you try to pick holes in a tide of media opinion when it was against Arsene Wenger, or our formation, or transfer business. So.

    Mirror, Walcott 7 Bellerin 7 Monreal 6

    I disagree utterly with Bellerin having a parity game with Walcott and Monreal a worse one, but it’s all opinion. The majority of the team got 7’s or seemed to because Arsenal played fantastically well, mainly in the second half in terms of real brilliance.

    You’ve made such a thing out of this, and it is incredibly pathetic.

  106. Cesc Appeal


    Thank you!

    It’s an opinion, disagree and walk away, an opinion can’t be an issue of right of wrong, you can argue merits of, but it’s not yours (not you using you in the ‘you’ sense) to assess the validity of an opinion.

    Agree to disagree, move on.

  107. Nasri's Mouth

    Cesc Appeal: You’ve made such a thing out of this, and it is incredibly pathetic.

    Yes, I wished I hadn’t bothered to be honest. Just a shame you’re being so intransigent and don’t want to try to see other possibilities than your own.

  108. salparadisenyc

    Chiming in.

    I’d agree Walcott got an inflated rating if you’re honest. To say his overall performance was on the level of Bellerin, well not for me. On that scale he gets a 6.

    On the plus looks like he shed some rust and is on the up.

  109. Nasri's Mouth


    Yeah, I wasn’t as clear as I could have been. My fault.

    The actual scores they give Walcott and how he compares to others aren’t important. It’s that they’re so far removed from what they would have given him had he been ‘horrendous’ or ‘bitterly disappointing’ as Cesc opines.

  110. Cesc Appeal


    Oh my days, I’ve said about a hundred times now you and anyone else are fully entitled to their opinion, I’ve said I know what Walcott is, I’ve said I know he’s come back from a year out…I just didn’t like the way he went about the game. End of, that it is, no big deal, just an opinion.

    I really didn’t care that much, the criticism was made in light of the upcoming game and Sanchez’s absence; but you made a massive deal out of it. And the critique you lay at me, perhaps think about it yourself maybe?

  111. Willow Wilson

    Debate is fine. Seems a shame there is a tendency to regularly criticise our players but that’s football fans I suppose.

    As for ‘ratings’ these are subjective and most times hardly ever represent the game I watched. What most of the journos know about football you could write on the back of a postage stamp. They are not a barometer for proving a point.

    My opinion on Theo is that it is unfair to judge him too harshly based on very limited time on the pitch. Do not forget that he has just come back from a serious injury and as Wenger has said, he has to overcome a natural fear of contact. That is a psychological thing and only games will eliminate that problem.

    Okay, he was pretty anonymous against Villa but that goal he scored was an excellent run and finish, that few other players would have been capable of. That was a quality goal from a player lacking games.

    Theo deserves a break. Once he’s had a good run of games and you want to criticise, then if that floats your boat, fine.

    Ramsey & Giroud got a pretty rough ride and some fairly abusive things were directed at them but they have both answered much of the criticism.

    Sometimes I wonder if we wish our players to fail.

  112. Cesc Appeal


    I agree, for me he gets a 6…because of his goal. Without it, he’s a 5 or something. In my opinion anyway.

  113. Frankie T

    Denilson played 153 games?!!!!

    That is a disgrace I used to get shivers down my spine whenever his name was on the teamsheet. And I finally list patience when we were playing Everton on a snowy pitch and in the last minute he just decided to fall over and lay on the floor when no one was even near him and he nearly gave away a goal. He then got up and was fine.

  114. Willow Wilson

    I am going for 3-1 to Arsenal at WHL in their Cup Final.

    They really are an obnoxious bunch of fans.

    When you consider they last finished top of the league 54 years ago, you do have to wonder why they are so arrogant.

    We are only rivals because we had the good grace to move to North London and inject a bit of class. Without us, it would be a football backwater as well as a total dump.

  115. Dan Ahern

    I thought Walcott started mostly poorly, but he did come through as the game went on. I think he kicked the rust off his game and should be good to go for the derby.

    He looks like a player who thrives on confidence. Otherwise he gets too far inside his own head. Now that he’s got that goal he should be more fluid.