Race is on for 2nd | Arsenal problems brew in Everton game

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I think the chatter pregame mostly centred around the concern that the starting 11 meritocracy wasn’t exactly fair nor was there much use of the squad. This is one of those ‘can’t believe you’re moaning’ posts but if you don’t highlight the problems when you’re winning you have no right to complain when you lose.

Per Mertesacker was rightly pulled from the starting line up, Wenger said it was due to the amount of games he’s played which has to be true. It’s also down to a severe lack of form that most likely correlates with the latter point. The manager also pulled #WELBZ and put Chambo in his place (who was pretty poor to be fair).

For me, that left a team pretty bereft of energy. You have a fit and on form Rosicky sitting on the bench probably wondering what he has to do to play. Then you have a £100k a week Theo who has worked incredibly hard to make it back only to ostracised from the starting line up. Those two in the side would have brought a different level of spice. Coquelin holding flanked by Rosicky and Chambo. Up top, Sanchez, Giroud and Theo. That’s pace that could have killed off a drab everton early.

Instead we opted for Santi, who looked like he was running in wallpaper paste for large parts… Ozil who is so uninterested in the team it’s frightening. People complain that’s just how he looks… for me, it’s how he plays. Use your eyes, not your hipster night vision goggles that convince you you’re one of the elite who can see the defensive shift he puts in my moving into spaces where the ball is.

He’s the worlds most productive passenger. Imagine that? Complaining all Ozil does is assist and score goals. What a brat I am. Well, there’s more to football than those items… and look, when Arshavin was doing the same everyone hated him. Against teams like Everton, you can afford those types. Against big names, you can’t, he’s so lazy. Watch how slowly he potters about to bring his distance stats up. The only energy he expends is when he attacks… which results in some incredible moments only he is capable of. But the rest? Real questionable.

The first half was a very uninspiring affair. Arsenal sat deep because they didn’t have the legs to press and Everton there for the taking. Our passing was very off key and we looked clumsy in the final third. Everton were equally poor but gave us a run for our money in the first twenty. We again suffered the same problems we had against Monaco. The ball is flown into Sanchez almost at any cost, he tries to take on the world like a Sunday league player… loses it and we’re on the back foot.

Giroud had a shocker of an opening attempt, firing a 6 yard diving header 6 yards wide. He made up for it with a shinned effort across goal from a corner. Take em’ where you can get them I say! Great to see him on the score sheet. You can knock him for many things, not being a fighter ain’t one of them.

Gabriel introduced himself to The Emirates crowd with a couple of beastly tackles. He stayed on his feet, shepherded Lukaku and made a perfect interception. After an early error, he really did ease into the game. He has all the ingredients Kos has and sadly, many Per no longer possesses. A brilliant Premier League debut. Also worth noting Ospina made a very brave double save in Neuer-esque fashion to deny Lukaku early on.

Arsenal didn’t have enough in the tank to bury Everton which was a shame.

The second half saw Coquelin take a whole Giroud in the face… busting his nose to pieces. Things got worse later on when he took a ball to the face, finishing him off.

Giroud had time to make another hash of a free header. Again, another demonstration as to why he just doesn’t cut it. You need your main man to bury chances that easy. Arsene eventually started making subs on 81minutes, absolutely crazy when you consider how dead some of our players were. He introduced his first sub on 82minutes, bringing on Rosicky. I mean, words. I have no words for firstly always taking off Chambo and secondly always making subs so late adding to the fatigue issue.

Anyway, Rosicky took a superb pass from Ozil and buried a deflected Frank Lampard in the 89th. Game over. The remaining 7minutes were fine because we battered an Everton that seem to have lost every last drop of fight they learned from Moyes. Martinez, finally getting found out. 17 odd points worse off than last season.


A win is a win. You can’t knock that. It’s just not great. I love the points, I love the fact that somehow we’re now competing for second place. I just think we do things badly. Wenger doesn’t trust his squad, he doesn’t seem to learn from his mistakes of overplaying and he doesn’t know how to kill a game off early when it’s there for the taking. It’s no surprise that it’s been so easy for Chelsea this season. Mourninho has a plan, every time. He kills games, not players. He’s winning it at a canter. Literally no challenger. Meanwhile, we’re in for second, but taking a tanking from a Monaco side so boring I actually dozed off in their PSG game last night.


Wenger has to move his players around for this Wednesday’s game. He needs to bring Tomas into the fold, he needs give Theo some game time and he probably needs to leave Mertesacker on the bench. We need to bring some fresh legs into the equation. Mostly because QPR have had some down time, so they’ll be able to run us all over the park if they fancy it. We, on the other hand, have buried a lot of players. My bigger concern is that some will just get hacked off and leave. I have no idea what Theo has done to deserve being ignored… same with Tomas. Both very good players who are overlooked.

Irony here is that when we all wanted Wenger to drop Theo back in the day he’d play him over and over and over again. Now he’s a talent, no chance!


He dropped a big can of whoops early on but as the game grew, so did he. He plays with far more composure than I originally thought he would. He’s a smart defender and he gives us competition and cover in an area we’ve been very exposed. I think we’ll grow to love him. He looks like he could be a cult hero for the right reason.

Gibbs & Kos:

I have no idea why Gibbs keeps getting in the side. He continues to play like a winger, continues to doze off and he just strikes the fear of god into me. Is no one coaching him? What happened to Monreal? I thought we were in a good place? As for Laurent, I’ve not been convinced by him this season. He looks like a man who has one eye on the exit door. Shame, his performances aren’t going to capture the attention of too many of the elite clubs… he’s really let himself go since he signed his new deal. Disappointing, he could have been one of the best.


I thought he had a very solid game. He contributed with some very good saves, he came for the right balls and he didn’t scare me once. I still don’t think he’s the right keeper. I think even on a basic level, Lukaku ran into him and nearly gave him whiplash. You need to be big and strong enough to deal with players like that. Does seem like it’s over for Crossbar Challenge Chezzer. His arrogance cost him. I’d recommend following Tony Roberts on Twitter as well. He’s the best keeper coach we have at the club, seems to absolutely love his job as well. Reckon Fabianski might still be here if he was heading up things.


He’s obviously still one of the greatest assets the club has, but someone needs to pull him to one side and have a word about the mazy runs he goes on. Someone made the point on Twitter yesterday that it’s easy to see why a possession based team like Barca would let him go. If he just reined in the OTT lust he has to create someone from nothing every time, he’d be so much more productive. He’s a great talent, just seems a bit out of control on the pitch.


Sorry, really struggling to buy into what he gives the team. This is the Premier League. You need 10 outfield players contributing at all times. Ozil, on the passing front, is sublime. He scores goals as well, which is incredible. However, you need to bring more to the table than that if you want to be part of a side that delivers trophies. Ozil gives next to nothing when we’re defending. He saunters around in half jog mode when we’re not in posession, there’s no real purpose to what he does. Moving forward, he’s great, he opens up space, he doesn’t waste a touch… but we need more. In the small games, he’s fine to do what he likes, but in a high intensity game (even against smaller clubs like Spurs) he just exposes us.


First one in 82minutes. Have a word. Please. Someone have a word. Nothing says stuck in your ways like Wenger’s predictability with subs.

Right… MANY WORDS FOR YOU. Have a great day and just remember, Spurs fans spent 90 minutes walking down a cold, wet and windy Wembley way yesterday. Hilarious. Absolutely hilarious.


P.S. I’m in Sydney from Wednesday. Fear not though, as you wake, I’ll be dropping morning posts at 6 in the evening. Just might be a little out of whack. If there are any Sydney Gooners out there, get in touch so I can come and watch the games with you. I’m in Surry Hills or something like that.


514 Responses to “Race is on for 2nd | Arsenal problems brew in Everton game”

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  1. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Lets dig out sanchez day today!”

    Not really a case of digging him out. He was given a free role earlier in the season and everyone diverted to him but since the return of the other forward players he has struggled to thrive as much. The main complaint is that he doesn’t really do combination play. Nobody is ever on the same wave with Alexis, he tries to do it all alone.

  2. Ozy

    Well, Romford, there are several flaws in our squad but if we maintained a mentality of not addressing individual one’s but rather the squad as a whole, the discussions would be very … simple and boring.

    I don’t talk about Oxlade every day but he started yesterday and added absolutely nothing to the game yet all we talk about is Ozil? Naaaaah. When Oxlade was experiencing a good run of form, I admitted as much. I stopped hating. But that was very short lived. Oxlade’s season sums him up pretty well = absolutely irrelevant.

  3. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Well, Romford, there are several flaws in our squad but if we maintained a mentality of not addressing individual one’s but rather the squad as a whole, the discussions would be very … simple and boring.”

    Ozy don’t get me wrong, there are certain positions within the team that need improving. As Mourinho said the other week, Arsenal have a myriad of options so should be doing better than what they are. Indicates a management flaw to me.

    Think we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. I think Ox is very good and has a great deal of talent. Inconsistent, sure? But then Arsenal aren’t exactly beacons of consistency. There’d be certain positions i’d upgrade on, not his though IMO.

  4. MidwestGun

    I’m still concerned how L’oreal can miss 2 free headers less then 6 yards from goal but manage to nail Le Coq square in the nose with his eyes closed, thereby knocking out our only effective cdm. Wtf?

    Hope Le Coq doesnt need surgery and can carry on with a face mask. Not really crazy about a Flamini/ Santi pivot.

  5. idagooner

    Always look forward to reading your blog and the comments when I wake up here in Idaho and get ready for work and after games especially! Disappointed in your comments about koz though! He’s fighting Achilles problems and its fairly obvious (I’ve fought them also and its not fun to play with) so I think your just abit off the mark on your criticism there mate! As far as why no rozza or Theo well I agree on rozza he should be playing more and rotating with santi or ozil/Sanchez more! Theo I disagree abit cuz he’s a defensive liability and his touch and technical ability is shit right now really but I think it would help ozil more if Theo plays up top more so he can play his great through balls and stretch a backline more. Agree on our Gk problem ( I’m a state and club Gk coach) and we need a new trainer and focus in this dept big time! Ospina is not great and shezzer could be if trained properly! Also agree on why no monreal lately, and if we had true wing players Gibbs wouldn’t constantly act like 1! Have a great week gooners! Cheers

  6. MidwestGun

    Romford –
    Is he? Damn…. well,ok Chambers/Santi…… hmmm. Ya not. Crazy about that either. Lol. Injuries…*smh* starting to believe in some sort of curse. Curse of Kroenke, most likely.

  7. @snoekrats


    I am sure many networks show all the game however they ar referring to this specific week. Or that is the headline on the football page of the website.Believe what you like.

  8. Emiratesstroller

    For all the negativity about our offensive play the team has scored more goals in the EPL since the beginning of December than any other team averaging more than 2 goals a game. Moreover we have score 42 goals in the last 18 games.

    Arsenal’s weakness is not goalscoring or offensive play, but how we defend, because as we have seen too often in past we struggle in those games where we
    are pressed and subjected to contra attack football.

    In last 2 games against Monaco and Everton the impression one got was that
    the team were prepared to sit back and absorb pressure. Yet in both games our
    defence is simply not good enough to play in that way. We give away the ball
    too often or leave our defenders far too exposed.

    What it comes down to is the team needs to be better balanced and bring in better quality at the back.

    Realistically we are no more than three quality players short of a decent side plus of course a more tactically astute manager than we have got at moment.

  9. Romford Ozil Pele

    Mid, Wenger did say that Flamini/Ramsey returns are imminent. This is part of the problem though. Always chopping and changing. Never a consistent team. But yeah, it’s Chambers…. Or Bielik lol

  10. salparadisenyc

    Obvious positions i’d upgrade with immediacy:

    CF, DM, GC .

    Then i’d seriously have a look at left back as Gibbs will never be good enough, Monreal has become quite solid but not the Ashley Cole of 04 we had. I’d make a decision on either Wilshire or Ramsay and sell the other. For me thats Wilshire out the door and go for the upgrade. Then if a player became available like Reus you obviously go all in to land em.

    Hard to say at this juncture but i’m far from convinced well address any of these areas come summer. Likely a holding mid and beyond that its anyone’s guess.

    As stated above, the elephant in the room is Wenger.

  11. MidwestGun

    @Snoekrats –
    Oh so you mean CL and other matches all on one network? Because like I said Direct Tv broadcasts every PL game every week. Nothing special about this week. I believe it because it’s true.

  12. MidwestGun

    Romford –
    Oh ya… Bielik. Heard he played in the youth u18’s. We definitely don’t get that broadcast here. Lol. I know they lost. Return of the FlamRam….. hmmm. Ya….. hopefully Le Coq before FA cup match.

  13. Purple

    Madrid have Ronaldo and Isco, Chelsea have Hazard, Barcelona have Messi (doesn’t work as hard these days) and Neymar, Bayern have Robben and City have Silva.
    Ozil works harder than most (if not all) of the players above, but Arsenal fans are the only ones moaning. At least he closes down opponents, Theo doesn’t even bother.
    Theo is overlooked because he’s basically an athlete. It was the same with Podolski in that he only knows how to finish. Their all round play (offensively) was poor.

  14. vicky

    Wenger has been giving good game time to Rosicky in the second half of a season for the last 3-4 years. Do not understand why is he underplaying him this season. I reckon it has cost us a few points.

  15. MidwestGun


    @snoekrats, sorry maybe it’s semantics. Only network in the world?
    Anyhow, here you can find out in every country. If you click on US You can see Nbc sports broadcasts them all but some are on extra time which is their website. but Direct Tv satellite carries that part live as well.
    Anyhow, bottom line, happy you are getting them all.

    But when I see stuff like this you realize how huge the Premier League is getting globally.

  16. Rrobbins

    Wednesday a perfect test to rest Santi and see if ozil can play middle. If not……….Agree totally on need for rotation. We have now gone nearly four straight games losing in the midfield. Time to experiment Wednesday with a B plan ready to go fast. Yes I know I’m dreaming.

  17. WengerEagle

    Enjoying the comments today, find myself agreeing with pretty much all Paulinho has to say.

    Sanchez has been getting away with murder for a good while now, he hasn’t scored in his last 9 matches and if we’re being honest he’s been playing shite.

    He’s a very talented player and is an excellent weapon to have but he’s not good enough to be our main attacking threat if we want to win things IMO, far too many flaws.

    And the fact that he’s nearly always rubbish away from home SHOULD be cause for concern yet people just seem to ignore it.

    Credit to Paulinho, he pointed all of this out before we signed him.

  18. gambon

    “Ozil works harder than most (if not all) of the players above”


    Apart from Isco, every single player above is VASTLY better than Ozil, i mean different level.

    Messi doesnt work hard?…..he has scored 79 goals in the last 2 seasons.

    Ronaldo doesnt?….he has scored 90 goals

    Ozil……11 goals

    Yes, lets compare them!

  19. Alfie

    “Credit to Paulinho, he pointed all of this out before we signed him.”


    Ok than.

  20. WengerEagle

    It’s not even about goals scored, Messi’s contribution outweighs Ozil in literally every category.

    More goals, more assists, more shots on goal, more key passes, more dribbles per match, more through-balls per match, more accurate long passes per match, etc.

    And it’s much more in nearly every case.

    No comparison whatsoever.

  21. Whyareyoulookingatme?

    “Ozil works harder than most (if not all) of the players above”

    We can’t get enough of this one. (lol ?)

  22. wattsy


    Theo does not get match time cos he’s lost his bottle, he scurries around like a frightened rabbit everytime someone comes near him.

    Feel sorry for the bloke but he either gets over it, or packs it in

  23. MidwestGun

    Purple haze all in my eyes
    Don’t know if it’s day or night
    You got me blowin’, blowin’ my mind
    Is it tomorrow, or just the end of time

    For the record, my hipster Ozil night vision goggles aren’t Purple. 🙁

  24. Dream10

    Wenger Eagle

    Paulinho was spot on about Sanchez even before he made his debut for us.
    He needs the ball at his feet most times. Recently, his energy has been covering up his below average play. Would not start him on Wednesday

  25. Alfie

    “Theo does not get match time cos he’s lost his bottle, he scurries around like a frightened rabbit everytime someone comes near him.”


  26. Vintage Gun

    “For the record, my hipster Ozil night vision goggles aren’t Purple. :sad:”

    Lol neither are mine. I think purple needs to change his lens

  27. Dream10

    I would like to see The Ox play more centrally at times. Play him off Giroud. His dribbling could be of better use in areas he can shoot from.

  28. Ozy

    This guy Purple is not helping …


    “Apart from Isco, every single player above is VASTLY better than Ozil, i mean different level.”

    He never said Ozil was better than any of those. But that’s how people here argue.

  29. Vintage Gun

    @Dream 10

    I was saying the same thing to a mate the other week. I think for now the Ox’s best position is centrally off the CF. The problem is With Ozil AND Santi rightfully ahead of him he aint getting minutes there anytime soon.

    It would be interesting to see though.

  30. Spellbound

    To illustrate how asinine that idea is. Podolski is a great goal scorer. I guess that means he works very hard too.

    Geniuses I tell you.

  31. Ozy

    “I would like to see The Ox play more centrally at times. Play him off Giroud. His dribbling could be of better use in areas he can shoot from.”

    Did he not do this against Chelsea? And when that little experiment fails, where would you like to see him? First as a RM, then a LM.. now a CM… what next? Maybe a RB?

  32. Dream10


    I would like to see Ox play closer to goal. But don’t think we’ll see it as we don’t have midfielders who can do their job on their own. Everything seems to be by committee. We have creative midfielders having to do more dirty work than they are accustomed to.

    It would be nice to have a 4-3-3 with CMs who can control the centre and not force the front three to have to defend more than the attack

  33. underrated Coq


    QUOTE: “Sanchez has been getting away with murder for a good while now”

    So failing to keep up with his insane early season form is equivalent to getting away with murder eh..? Wow. Every player will have their dip in form over a season. Cesc Fabregas has struggled to maintain his early season form too. Perhaps you should try and stop being so reactionary.

    QUOTE: “he hasn’t scored in his last 9 matches and if we’re being honest he’s been playing shite.”

    Lol. So goals are suddenly an important feature for you now? You criticized Walcott yesterday for only scoring goals and not being good enough in his over-all play. Now Alexis is suddenly ”shite” because he is not scoring regularly. Well, he’s still got a great over-all play..or does that logic only apply for criticizing Walcott?

    QUOTE: “he’s not good enough to be our main attacking threat if we want to win things IMO, far too many flaws.”

    If you had noticed, Arsenal don’t play with special emphasis given to one particular player. There is no ‘main man’. Everyone pitches up with goals and scoring hasn’t exactly been a problem for Arsenal, has it..?

    Anyway.. Alexis is not good enough now ? Walcott also isn’t good enough right ? So who would be good enough for you WengerEagle ?

  34. Arseology

    Pedro: you fairly give Ozil shiite for being disinterested and lazy…. but then go advocating for that bastion of team play & work ethic – Theo.
    Thought it would be obvious that it’s tactical harikari to play Theo & Bellerin on the right side – Especially now with Ramsey out leaving only Coq to cover for both our fullbacks when they abandon position.

  35. Cesc Appeal

    I can’t criticise Sanchez at all really, his form has dropped, but jeez, he turned up, first season in the EPL and carried this team for great stretches…our league position without him doesn’t bear thinking about.

    Need to get him out of that mode really, but it isn’t his doing totally. Spent so much of this season with a ‘well…I guess it’s up to me’ mentality.

  36. MidwestGun

    Using the Ozil stick to beat AW with is a mistake, imo. There are plenty of other things you can pick. But you can’t demand AW to spend money then when he does say but it’s not on the right top class player(Ozil recognized by pretty much everyone at the time as top class). . Or he could have bought 3 other guys for the same money who weren’t available or who werent performing at the time when we got Ozil.
    Ozil type talent is exactly what we should be buying, imo.

    If you want to bash : Flamini and Sanogo on a free that transfer window leaving Bendtner and Giroud as our CF options for example.

    We should have bought Ozil and a top CF. Pretty early in Ozil’s career here to write him off without that, imo.

  37. reality check

    Yeah purple er, leave it. Theres enough of us fighting ozils corner, if we need you, we’ll tag you in yeah. Cheers.

    Lets not compare ozil to other teams players. We have our own players. Who else is contributing to the Arsenal. I got Monreal before being dropped. And Sanchez. Other than them im struggling.

    You criticise Ozil but talk about the rest. Especially the players that have been around for ages. What are they doing for the Arsenal?

  38. WengerEagle


    Stick to boring people about your fascinating travel stories and what type of whiskey takes your fancy and leave the footy debate to the big boys, yeah?

    There’s a good lad.

  39. WengerEagle

    ‘Anyway.. Alexis is not good enough now ? ‘

    You have an irritating habit of twisting people’s words don’t you?

    Find me one piece where I have ever said that we need to replace Sanchez, go on.

    Of course I highly rate him, he’s a quality player and is very efficient at home most of the time, I just don’t think that he should be the focal point of our attack.

  40. underrated Coq

    Cesc Appeal

    ” I can’t criticise Sanchez at all really, his form has dropped, but jeez, he turned up, first season in the EPL and carried this team for great stretches…our league position without him doesn’t bear thinking about.”

    Well said. Sanchez has been exceptional and a few average games( after coming back from injury ) shouldn’t take that away. I think he’s struggling because he’s not yet adapted to sharing the burden of the attacking play. I think its fair to say our attacking style has changed since Ozil and Giroud have come back.

    I may be wrong but I think its the same reason for Ramsey’s struggles too. Last season he was the go-to guy, the force behind our attacking play. He seems to not have adjusted to a more restricted role this time around. The persistent injuries don’t help as well.

  41. reality check

    Who was exposing the Ox earlier?

    Was it Ozy? Great keep going mate. It’s true. Isn’t this his break through season. To many players get a pass because they’re likable, nice boys.

    is that why they’re here? To be likeable? To smile and laugh. The ten year ffp plan is a crock. We need serious players to take us to the next level because its going to be twice as hard. Compared to when Henry played. Liverpool, spurs, Chelsea Utd, City. Even S.hampton poking their noses in.

    This is not a time for laughing and joking.
    We serious Men to do a serious job. Its way too comfortable at Arsenal.

  42. WengerEagle

    ‘So failing to keep up with his insane early season form is equivalent to getting away with murder eh..? Wow’

    Insane at the Emirates, he’s been consistently poor away from home throughout his whole time here and even last season at Barca.

    And no I’m not basing this completely on goals or assists (no goals or assists in 9 matches is alarming though), his overall performances since the turn of the year have been poor. He hasn’t performed well for a couple of months now.

    ‘Perhaps you should try and stop being so reactionary.’

    1 or 2 matches would be reactionary but 9?

    Is that not cause for concern?

    ‘Now Alexis is suddenly ”shite” because he is not scoring regularly’

    Again twisting my words, you’re sneaky like that.

    I said that he’s been playing shite, not that he is shite.

    He’s a top quality player.

    ‘If you had noticed, Arsenal don’t play with special emphasis given to one particular player. There is no ‘main man’. ‘

    In the first half of the season when he was playing brilliantly and scoring goals for fun we were incredibly reliant on him, he almost single-handedly kept us in contention for the UCL spots.

    Since the likes of Giroud and Ozil have come back and have been contributing goals/assists his form has noticeably dropped?

    Are you saying that this simply is a coincidence?

    It’s not, it’s because we were pandering to his strengths for the first few months of the season which was good and bad, it allowed him to perform at a ridiculous level but it also took away from the collective IMO.

  43. Cesc Appeal

    Well we’ve got a lot of rebuilding to do this summer, I don’t think anyone can dispute that.

    A lot of players with question marks over their heads, lot of questions to be asked of where we’e heading as a club and what our ambitions are.

    Looking at the team right now, if your ambition is to finish first and you want to be a real UCL challenger, we’d need GK, LB, CB*, CDM, CM and ST.

    I * CB because it depends on how Gabriel does in terms of whether we need a high profile starter, or a great young prospect.

    If you’re ambition is fourth, then a CDM will do it for next year.

  44. Lee


    You talk some cack man really

    Alexis has been getting away with murder?? He’s been the buy of the season.
    It’s his first season In the premier league
    Pires didn’t get close to this in his first season
    Jeeze. Encyclopaedic knowledge???
    You can’t even see how well Sanchez has done in the league this season

    Hazard hasn’t been anywhere near as effective or silva

  45. Leedsgunner


    “What was very important today was that we had a mentally united response and we showed that,” Wenger told Arsenal’s official website.

    “We are proud of the response that we showed today. Our defensive concentration was at a much higher level than on Wednesday night.”

    (That’s good because frankly, they couldn’t have played any LOWER on Wednesday night!)

    “We got it and not everybody can produce that after such a disappointment. It was vital for us, for the rest of the season, to win the game today.”

    (It’s funny isn’t it that since we won, this game and this win has SUDDENLY become VITAL. WHY wasn’t last Wednesday’s game VITAL? Why is it that when we lose, for Wenger, the all important thing is HOW WE RESPOND? Surely using Wenger’s language, what actually is VITAL is to learn from our mistakes so we don’t have to respond from a defeat in the first place?)

    Can you hear the deafening noise — it’s the noise of another embarrassing defeat being brushed under the carpet… hoping that no one notices as they gloss over it with a win.)

    Sure I’m pleased we won.

    What I’m not pleased about is the front the club tries to put out declaring everything is ok when it isn’t. The same mistakes keep happening in crucial matches and no one at the club seems to be doing one jot about it.

  46. JJ

    Happy Giroud finally scored. Just 8 more attempts before we get to see him do it again.

    If he didn’t switch off and “woe is me to the sky” after EVERY effing miss, he might be slightly more bearable. Only slightly though.

  47. Cesc Appeal


    You have that 4-5 times a season, those sorts of comments. Part of the problem. Won’t go away.

  48. underrated Coq


    QUOTE ” You have an irritating habit of twisting people’s words don’t you?”

    I’m sorry but I did not twist anything. I quoted you. You said Sanchez ” has far too many flaws” and that he is ” not good enough to be our main attacking threat if we want to win things “.

  49. Leedsgunner

    Wenger Eagle

    Re Sanchez

    Normally I concur with you on most things but I think in this case I have to agree with Lee… and you are being harsh on Sanchez. Sure he’s hit a dry spell — but I would argue that his goals, pretty much single handedly kept us in the unofficial 4th trophy race when Giroud and Özil were out and Cazorla was playing badly.

    If it wasn’t for Sanchez’s goals we would be well into the mid-table wasteland (or worse).

  50. WengerEagle

    ‘not good enough to be our main attacking threat if we want to win things “.’

    Do you not understand what this means?

    I’m saying that we shouldn’t build our attack around him, not that he isn’t good enough for us.

    In an ideal world he would play in Theo’s position (obviously is a huge upgrade on Theo) and we would buy a top quality playmaker for LW to achieve a healthy balance in our attack.

    If we continue with Sanchez and either Theo or the Ox on the opposite flank against the better teams then we’ll continue to struggle to string 5 passes together in our attacking moves.

  51. WengerEagle


    Mate I agree, I alluded to that in one of my posts to underrated coq.

    But like I said is it a coincidence that since Giroud and Ozil have returned and contributed goals/assists that Sanchez has struggled?

    I think that he thrived because of all of the freedom he was given earlier in the season, he pretty much had a free role to do as he liked.

    He can’t do this with Ozil and Giroud in the same line-up.

  52. Cesc Appeal


    Atletico is the rumour.

    Yeah, I noticed it funnily enough after you were talking about him, Firmino and Dybala in, Walcott and Cazorla out maybe?

    Firmino, Ozil, Sanchez…could be quite tasty. We would need to beef that central midfield though,a proper power pairing in CDM and CM.

  53. Lee


    You dos say snatched has far too many flaws
    You did say he isn’t good enough to be our main attacking threat.
    You did say Walcott only produces goals every Time he plays.
    Cor I’d hate to see you take your boy to little league.

    ” what do ya mean ya only scored four today? You can run home ha useless little gob shite. Bringing shame on your poor mother like that. Four feckin goals”

  54. Lee

    Ba you’ve changed your tune.
    You said he wasn’t good enough. He is…..
    If we ha two more like him we would score a lot more

  55. Cesc Appeal


    They don’t need to be world class…for example you CM pairing, they just need to work. You wouldn’t describe Moutinho and Kondogbia as a WC pairing but they work well, or Schniederlin and Wanyama.

    Same for the LB.

    But as well you have to offset the tactical, defensive weakness of Wenger. So really, we could do with a commanding, leader in CM who can arrange the whole team.

    For me the ST needs to be world class. We really need a world class striker to get to the next level.

  56. Lee

    Maybe the reson alexis has dropped a level with the return of ozl and giroud is because they are too static.
    This causes congestion around the box and reduces his space
    Ox and welbeck opened space for each other and confused defences.

  57. Goondawg

    He’s always looked a bit of a dirty cunt to me. Girls 14-15. They been at it for a long time apparently

    Much worse than the Benzema ribery scandal. At least she was 17 and a prozzie at that

  58. underrated Coq


    You were harsh and unfair to Sanchez. For most part, he’s been instrumental for where Arsenal find themselves in the League( close to 2nd). You completely ignore the fact that players go through dips in form. Arsenal’s attack has changed since he came back from injury and you’re not patient enough to give him games to adjust to this.

    When I try and point this out, you complain that I’m twisting your words and you say “Sanchez is a top quality player”.

    At the same time you also say ” Sanchez gets away with murder “, ” Sanchez has too many flaws”, ” Sanchez not good enough to be our main attacking threat if we want to win things”, ” Sanchez has consistently been poor away from home for th last two seasons ” etc

    Your words are contradictory.

  59. JJ

    Watched the Invincibles last night. My takeaways:

    1. Tight team but not afraid to call each other out if not pulling their weight – Would never happen in any Wenger team since then,

    2. Keown needed to step up in the dressing room at half-time of a poor game because he knew Wenger wouldn’t.

    3. Wenger confirmed that they did not even look at the opposition, they just played their own game – Might be ok with an experienced team like that was but we’ve not had the personnel since then.

    4. They really limped to the finish line. So many close games/draws that could have so easily seen another self-implosion like the prior year (and subsequent years).

    5. Jens really was/is a winner… albeit a crazy winner. When asked about the season’s record he said something like ‘it was ok… 12 draws… should have been 5 or 6 more wins’. Love it!

    6. It was a kind of a “fluke” year that Wenger “managed”. If it was Pep or Maurine, it would have been a golden era with that incredible team. Credit to Wenger for helping to assemble it though.

    Just my opinions!

  60. underrated Coq


    “Maybe the reson alexis has dropped a level with the return of ozl and giroud is because they are too static.”

    Agreed. I think he needs more games to adjust. Like I mentioned earlier, Ramsey also seems to have similar problems. He’s struggling to adapt to the changes from last season. I still believe he can recapture Rambo mode again 🙂

  61. Leedsgunner

    Wenger Eagle

    Oh did you? Sorry didn’t mean to intrude into your convo… apologies. 😉 On another note I wonder how we would do with Sanchez heading up the attack when we return to Monaco. Although Alexis is not a natural CF – he is a better finisher than Giroud… and we’re going to near need someone who will take their chances when the come… and frankly speaking I’ll trust Alexis to get us a couple of quick goals in a must win game than Giroud. If we get two quick goals in Monaco early anything can happen.

    When ever a big game approaches Giroud’s shooting boots shrivel into an unrecognisable stump.

    Hopefully Özil, Cazorla and Alexis all turn up for that game. We need them to for us to have ANY chance.

  62. WengerEagle

    underrated coq

    He was instrumental up until Christmas like I said though at the expense of the collective unit.

    Since Ozil and Giroud have come back our form has picked up drastically, Monaco and Spurs aside.

    Sanchez has struggled in this period. That’s what I was saying when I said that he’s getting away with murder considering Giroud has been better than him for the last 2 months and Giroud gets routinely abused on here. When it’s Sanchez playing poorly not a peep, it’s like he’s immune from any sort of criticism on here.

    ” Sanchez has too many flaws”, ” Sanchez not good enough to be our main attacking threat if we want to win things’

    That was all the one sentence, stop breaking it up to suit your argument.

    And I believe this to be true.

    ‘Sanchez has consistently been poor away from home for th last two seasons ” etc’

    Again this is true, the facts literally back this up.

    It’s a huge concern that all Gooners should share.

    World class players perform away from home, we play half of our matches away from the Emirates so he needs to vastly improve on this.

  63. WengerEagle


    Mate you weren’t intruding, it’s impossible to intrude on a public footy blog geared towards debate.

    Sanchez through the middle would be interesting but not sure how well it would work away at Monaco tbh.

    I would trust Sanchez to stick away half chances though that Giroud isn’t capable of.

    Would love Sanchez to shut me up and stick a hat-rick past Monaco, nothing would make me happier!

  64. Goondawg

    Sanchez is a top quality player

    But we shouldn’t give him a free pass just because he runs aroundlike a headless chicken and we like the fact he tracks back. He has not continued his form since Leicester away where he picked that knock up. This blip in form has led to poor performances from him IMO. He is frequently running into blind alleys and losing the ball when a pass would be a better option. His distribution of the ball is very poor

    It’s worrying because December time Wenger said he was playing through the red zone and I don’t think a weeks rest was sufficient enough for a player that uses up so much energy. I remember when he came on as a sub against Bristol, and he did enough running around to befit a full 90.

  65. Goondawg

    If sanchez placed his passes more efficiently he wouldn’t be doing all this running back working hard and trying to cover the lost ball from his shitty distribution. Something to work on in the training ground

  66. El Tel 1


    Ozil=shit. I really think some Arsenal fans have very short memories. I have seen some real shit playing for this great club and Ozil is not one of them.

    Why can’t we just give Wenger even more stick for fucking up another brilliant talent. If Ozil had a true WC striker to feed He wouldn’t be getting bashed up week after week. The Fella can’t help playing with players who are tactically as bad as the Manager. Look at the blokes movement and touch. There just isn’t anyone to finish off the moves. Our team are like a bunch of kids playing up the park. All chasing the same ball and not having any idea how to move around the pitch.

  67. gonsterous

    All These debates on .. should Wenger stay or go.. which players to buy or sell.. which player to play where.. ths bottom line is no one at Arsenal gives a fock…

  68. Lee


    You’re insinuating that oil and giroud are responsible for our spike in form
    Actually I think they are responsible for stifling our attacking flow.
    Yes their stats are impressive but it is they who offer little else.
    No movement. No thrust. No space with them just standing around the box.
    How you can level similar claims g Walcott and then claim our improvement in form is down to ozl and giroud is astounding.
    Le coq, Los and osoina are far more responsible and nacho being moved to left back.
    This is why our form improved
    Since Christmas we have been far too crowded and static in attack.
    Thanks in no small measure to ozil an giroud

  69. underrated Coq


    QUOTE: “He was instrumental up until Christmas like I said though at the expense of the collective unit.”

    At the expense of the collective unit ? You are doing it again. You make it sound as if Sanchez has not done good for Arsenal and when I point this out you complain that I twist your words !

    See I don’t think Alexis did well for Arsenal at the expense of the collective team. I prefer to think he single handedly kept Arsenal in a respectable position when Giroud, Ozil, Theo were all out.

    QUOTE: “Since Ozil and Giroud have come back our form has picked up drastically, Monaco and Spurs aside.”

    Yeah. Football team improves when its best players are back and firing. What a surprise !

    QUOTE: “Sanchez has struggled in this period.”

    Sanchez hasn’t looked as impressive as early season– Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we are not as reliant on him to win games now..? Maybe its because our better players have returned from injuries and the responsibilities are being shared..? Maybe he simply needs some more games to get used to playing with Ozil and Giroud..?

    QUOTE: “That was all the one sentence, stop breaking it up to suit your argument.”

    Lol sure man, quoting your words in two sentences instead of one makes a huge difference. And writing two sentences instead of one somehow makes the point I was trying to make a stronger one. Lol.

  70. El Tel 1

    All for bashing Wenger but to say Mancini is the bollocks for speaking out about Podolski.

    Wenger dropped Podolski very quickly after finding out what Mancini has only just fathomed. The fact Mancini took Poldi from us does not suggest Mancini is the genius.

    Ok so Mancini likes to tell everyone his player was shit. Bet that shows trust in the dressing room.

  71. underrated Coq


    “It’s worrying because December time Wenger said he was playing through the red zone and I don’t think a weeks rest was sufficient enough for a player that uses up so much energy”

    Agreed man. Its all too similar to what happened with Ramsey last season. Atleast in Ramsey’s case, Wenger did not really have an alternative player to rotate Ramsey with. But overplaying Sanchez and risking a long injury, especially when we have Theo being wasted on the bench epitomises Wenger’s failure in man-management.

  72. WengerEagle

    underrated coq

    I notice that you conveniently skipped over the last bit I wrote about Sanchez’s away form being awful, no retort for this?

    Anyway we’re going around in circles now.

    I’m off, nice debating with you.

  73. Goondawg

    Lee you ain’t got a clue what you on about

    Ozil has no movement? He is static ? Au contraire when we have the ball watch Ozil make space and dart into spaces…

    Even Giroud makes good runs. He hasn’t got pace but he gets into good scoring positions. Whether he puts them away is another thing

    Another thing I’ve noticed, when Sanchez has the ball. Our players await the easy pass from him, it hardly ever comes because he is attempting some elaborate dribble or a blind run into dead end, they remain static only because they are resigned to the fact he will not pass to them but will instead attempt an audacious pass that will end up giving the ball straight back. This happened so many times against Monacco

  74. Ozy

    And as for Adam Johnson – wow. No words. It’s surely over for him?

    You’d think a professional footballer would have no problem getting his dick wet?

  75. underrated Coq


    Hey, you constantly skip over the points I try to make and you choose to instead make a big deal out stuff like how many sentences I use to quote your opinions. Now you’re complaining again that I skipped over something..? 🙂

    Nice debating with you too 😉

  76. WengerEagle

    underrated Coq

    Seriously though I enjoy debating with you, even though we usually disagree you’re coherent and respectful.

    Lee on the other hand is just a bit of a twat.

  77. salparadisenyc

    “Second most assist behind cesc”

    Imagine we could of had em both serving Giroud.
    Bet L’Oreal’s goal tally would be same.

  78. Goondawg

    Tbf I loved fabregas. And at 18 was much more influential than Ozil is for us.

    Still I gotta force myself to love Ozil now *nostalgic tears wells up*

  79. WengerEagle

    Is it not innocent till proven guilty?

    Was Loic Remy not accused of being a part of a gang r*pe last year?

    Doesn’t look good for Johnson though, make no mistake.

  80. SomeRandomGunner

    @Lee Sanchez is one of the worst passer in our team . He has other strengths he should be using them and try to be at the end of the things. But Sanchez ends up with the ball all the time trying to dribble past 4 players.

    Sanchez is no Ozil in passing / creating .

  81. Lee

    Ha ha. Thanks eagle.


    I do know why I’m talking about. I have eyes.
    Yes giroud does get into decent positions but he is too static.
    He doesn’t open spaces with his movemnt and neither does ozil. They don’t pull defenders out of position like ox and wellbeck. This is what created the extra yard for Sanchez.
    Now it’s crowded.
    Look how slow our attack is with ozil and giroud. Add santi and you have the very reason why we were so dull and slow last season.
    They also aren’t forcefull enough. If they don’t offer pace or power then when the oppostiin defence sits deep how do we penetrate them? Ozil and proud also don’t strike the ball very well so first time shots around the box aren’t an option either.
    They are too restrictive

    Sanchez scored all sorts of goals
    Solo runs
    Headers (beats 6 foot plus defenders)
    Long range belters
    First time volleys and drives.
    He opens a variety of possibilties

    Walcott Sanchez ox up front for return leg

    Inject pace movement and lethal finishing capabilities
    Pull the Monaco defence about. Confuse them.

  82. Cesc Appeal


    Thing is we could have had Fabregas as well. It was sold to us we couldn’t buy him because we had Ozil. I don’t buy that, not the position Ozil has been forced to play this year.

    He’s played like Nasri did for us, Ozil, in that 2010-11 side when Fabregas was captain.

    The reason we didn’t buy Fabregas was Wilshere. In my opinion anyway.

  83. Ozy

    When it comes to sexual assault, I take a “guilty until proven innocent” approach.

    Btw – I love that pack mentality when crossing the street. I cross the street any chance I get, signal to go or not, and when I do it – I just love the looks of the confused tourists and onlookers and their internal conflict of whether or not they should follow suit.

    I almost just got a kid run over doing that. It’s not a game. Shit, I wish one of these cars would hit me. I don’t want to pay off my student loans.

  84. underrated Coq

    Cesc Appeal

    “The reason we didn’t buy Fabregas was Wilshere.”

    The reason why we did not buy Fabregas is down to Wenger’s misplaced pride/ego imo.

    Though some would argue Wenger did the right thing in not entertaining the thought of resigning a player who paid to leave the club in the first place.

  85. Cesc Appeal


    Point I was trying to make.

    Despise the laws in this country that allow someone’s name to plastered all over the media.

    Guilty in the media until proven innocent…even then you remain stained with guilt forever.

    If he’s guilty throw the book at him as long as there aren’t any mitigating circumstances, but wait until he’s guilty to shame him.

    That way, if it comes out he’s innocent no one need ever know.

  86. Cesc Appeal

    “When it comes to sexual assault, I take a “guilty until proven innocent” approach.”

    That is ridiculous.

    Absolutely ridiculous.

  87. WengerEagle


    Yeah even if he turns out to be innocent it’s going to affect his career for sure.

    There are two sides to every story and plenty of lives get ruined off the back of false allegations.

    How long would a case like this take to determine the verdict in your knowledge?

  88. Ozy

    Haha, I was not completely serious. I do give the victims a benefit of the doubt, though.

    But if your agressive responses are anything to go by, you two are probably the type to cry out about all the wrongfully accused men out there boo hoo

    @ Lee – it is. Not really enforced, though.

  89. MidwestGun

    guilty until proven innocent” approach.”

    That is ridiculous.

    Absolutely ridiculous.
    Wouldn’t recommend a vacation in Mexico, then.

  90. Cesc Appeal


    Or the type doing a law degree who understands the building blocks of a sexual offence charge?

    Your way of thinking is lovely in a simplistic, oh isn’t it obviously r.ape or sexual assault kind of world…truth is the area of ‘consent’ is a hugely grey area, especially drunken consent, wrongful belief in consent and misinformed consent.

    Cry out for wrongfully accused men? You bet your arse. I cry out for anyone wrongfully accused who is then dragged through the tabloids Ozy. Johnson will now be guilty, no way back for him now even if he’s proved innocent.

  91. WengerEagle


    Of course it affected Ribery and Benzema’s careers, are you joking?

    And is this the same Van Persie who was regularly called Van r*apist and still gets that chanted at him whenever he plays here for United?

  92. Cesc Appeal


    All different.

    But the media don’t help, the jury are suppose to ignore the media around it, but how can you?

    We live in the era of trial by media.

  93. salparadisenyc

    ‘When it comes to sexual assault, I take a “guilty until proven innocent” approach.’

    Harsh… really harsh considering.

    A fine example would be those Lacrosse players from Duke whom got banned from the university, lacrosse team and lived in hell for the year they were wrongfully accused of sexually assaulting a women.

    This women left ruin in here wake, the team being banned from NCAA play with the head coach resigning and world of race tension stirred by a crooked DNA looking to make a name for himself. Massive legal cost and human suffering aside… think you may wanna put yourself on the receiving end before a blanket statement like that.

  94. WengerEagle

    ‘But if your agressive responses are anything to go by, you two are probably the type to cry out about all the wrongfully accused men out there boo hoo’

    They’re victims too you simpleton.

    Footballers are young multi-millionaires, if you don’t think for a minute that there are some women out there who will exploit that then you’re pretty naive.

  95. Ozy

    Hahahaha… one plays for Bayern Munich and was in the shortlist for the Ballon D’Or and the other is Real Madrid’s striker. It’s affected their careers SO severely.

    Oh and Van Persie. Poor guy. The poor millionaire has to endure chants of being a rap*ist. Let’s all pretend that the law is always right and in no way did his status play a role in the sentence … I’m sure he’s not hurting about it.

    So nah, it hasn’t affected their careers.

    And Cesc, as a law student, you should understand how difficult it is to convict somebody over sexual assault charges. It’s easier to convict a white cop. Haha. I’m funny.

    It’s interesting that the first thing you advocate is those falsely accuse, not the victims who will never win in a court of law. But hey, we embody’s moral spectrum is different. Also, I have a friend who is a first year medical student and I sure as hell won’t take medical advice from him. Just saying. ;]