Arsenal produce no surprises

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Morning boys and girls – James here with a match report for your delectation.

Last night provided a game of very few surprises. Beating QPR shouldn’t come as a surprise. Starting slowly wasn’t a surprise. Rob Green making his customary three good saves a season against us was no surprise. Another goal from Giroud should also not have shocked anyone. Karl Henry being a contemptible shit house – you know the drill. The least surprising element though? Conceding a daft goal in the dying embers of a game to ensure some pant soilery for our fans.

When the teams came out I was concerned by the lightweight nature of the side, along with a lack of rotation. Cazorla needs a rest in my view, as does Alexis (who was fantastic in the second half). I was disappointed to see Gibbs keep his place, however Nacho is nursing a slight injury. Theo Walcott must also be wandering what he has to do to get a game – the writing seems to be firmly on the wall regarding his Arsenal future – more on that later.

The game started in familiar fashion, with QPR spoiling play in the middle, particularly through Sandro, whilst playing the long game up to Zamora. Whilst they were getting little joy from this tactic, we struggled to get a foothold in the game. Our passing was poor and we looked nervous, as we often do in the opening stages of away fixtures – Wenger acknowledged as much in his post game interview. Gabriel, who came in for Koscielny alongside Mertesaker, was winning a lot of balls in the air and generally looked composed; however he needs to learn the defending basics 101 rule – don’t let the ball bounce. He did it against Everton and again last night – fortunately neither occasion has cost us. Sadly he tweaked his hamstring, meaning Koscielny was prematurely called in action. This was a blow, as a night off is probably what Kos needs, given he could barely move after the Everton match, walking off the pitch like he has a dick made of glass.

Whilst QPR monopolised territory, they rarely threatened, save for an Austin snapshot which whistled wide of the upright and a Matty Phillips free kick that evaded all and sundry in the box; with Ospina making a decent save to palm it away. As the half drew on we began to create chances, with Bellerin and Gibbs making real inroads. We were denied a clear penalty when Bellerin delivered a cross and Ozil, with the goal at his mercy, was tugged back cynically by Karl Henry. It was a straight red card and a pen, but I doubt many were surprised Jim Friend bottled it.

As an aside, I read a brilliant article by Matthew Syed in the Times yesterday about Type I and Type II errors and how this affects referees decision making. Essentially, referees are terrified of making a Type I error (calling for a foul, penalty, etc.) when there is any doubt; however Syed makes the point that this is just as damning as making a Type II error (not giving it through fear of making a mistake). Failing to give a penalty is just as damaging as awarding a wrongful penalty; but referees are acutely aware that a Type I error will be scrutinized to a much higher degree than a Type II. Interesting stuff and certainly something I think we saw last night.

Half time clearly refocused us and we came out with renewed vigour, posing a clear threat out wide. It was evident Wenger had spotted a weakness at right full back for QPR (he was a teenage debutant, I believe), and instructed Gibbs to press on at will, which he did with relish, with his overlapping runs creating space for Alexis who had the right back on toast.

Our opening goal was started by a precise Ozil pass from inside our half, culminating with Alexis teeing up Gibbs on the edge of the 6 yard box. Whilst the ball fell fortuitously to Giroud off a QPR defender, the beautiful Adonis had to be sharp and alert to prod the ball passed Green – another goal for the Frenchman, who continues his excellent run of form and fortunately appears to have shaken off memories of the Monaco horror show.

Alexis really should have made it 2-0 when an error from Caulker allowed him through one on one. He never looked confident however; as he dawdled to allow Green to make the save – I feared the miss could prove decisive. I needn’t have worried, as the Chile’s Best Abs of 2009 finalist soon made amends. Picking the ball up inside the QPR box, Alexis jinked his way passed a couple of hapless defenders before slotting the ball in at the near post. Not only was it a great goal, but it was hugely welcome for Alexis to rediscover a scoring touch before Monday’s trip to Old Trafford. He was brilliant in the second half yesterday and the goal was just rewards.

We continued to create chances, with Bellerin impressing (again) down the right, making mincemeat of their left side and delivering some telling balls into the box. It’s so refreshing in the post-Sagna era to have a full back who believes he can beat his man and can actually deliver consistently decent crosses.

Ozil hit the post after a stunning piece of skill where he turned on the ball as it bounced – I’m sure you’ve all seen the GIFS – before hitting a shot off his right. Ozil was excellent all night and was so incisive in everything he did. He’s coming into his own of late and long may it continue. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if you don’t understand what Ozil brings to a team you’re either not watching closely enough, or you just don’t understand the game.

As has been our wont in recent weeks however, we conspired to make the final five minutes of the game far nervier than it should have been. I’d been screaming at Wenger to make a change to freshen things up; however the reticence to do so was bizarre. We had a strong bench yet didn’t utilise it until the final 10 minutes or so when Ramsey and WELBZ came on.

QPR’s goal came as a result of dog shit defending from Koscielny and Gibbs who both stood off him, gave him time to turn and then pick his spot – criminal at this level. The greater crime though was by Ospina. He should have saved the shot, given it was on the side of the goal he was covering and the distance from which Austin shot. I’m convinced a bigger and crucially, better, keeper saves that. This bizarre experiment has to end and Szcz should be reinstated. I’m not his biggest fan, but in my view he has been punished for his only two mistakes of the season (vs. Southampton) and having a crafty fag. Ospina in his short spell in the side has made considerably more errors. Clearly the writing is on the wall for the Pole and if he doesn’t regain his place this season, he’s offski. I’m told by those that are far better informed than I am that a world class goalkeeper is top of our list this summer – no complaints from me there.

Fortunately we were able to see out the remaining minutes with relatively few scares, but this really is a habit we need to kick out. For top level professionals to constantly lose concentration and switch off when we think the game is won is poor. For me, this comes from the manager and it needs urgent attention. Whilst we can get away with it against the likes of Palace and QPR, better sides won’t be so forgiving.

Saying that, the game represents a vital three points given pretty much everyone else won last night, including United providing some more shit housery to score in the most hilarious circumstances. Van Gaal may not be a top manager anymore, but he is certainly a lucky one.

Whilst our performances haven’t been top class, we are building consistency at just the right time of the season. My hope is the return of Ramsey will add balance to the midfield and we can really crack on during the business end of the campaign – a win at Old Trafford would certainly accelerate that momentum we’re building.

A word too for Coquelin, who was superb last night. He was constantly putting out fires, winning headers and then using the ball calmly and intelligently. Wenger admitted yesterday that he thought his Arsenal career was going flaccid; making an erect Coq an even more pleasant surprise. Keep it up son.

To end, I’d just like to touch on the Theo-situation. To my mind we will sell him this summer. I like Theo as a player as he provides genuine end product and is capable of scoring in big games, however his stock has fallen off a cliff in the last 12 months. This is in part down to his injury, but more down to the acquisitions of WELBZ and Alexis. They add genuine pace and goal threat, but their contribution to general play and the defensive side of the game puts Theo to shame. The fact he has barely played since he regained fitness is telling and I’d be amazed if we offered him a significant increase on his current deal. If he’s willing to accept a contract extension at the same level, maybe he’ll stay, but given how difficult his people were to deal with 18 months ago, I think that’s unlikely. It would be a shame to see him go, but were we to bring in a replacement of real quality to supplement what we have already (I’m thinking of someone of Alexandre Lacazette’s ilk), then I can see the logic.

Right, that’s your lot for today. Alex will be taking the reins again tomorrow – I’ll see you on Tuesday for a match report after our FA cup tie at Old Trafford.

Until then x

Give me a follow for political ramblings, football insight and general tomfoolery @James_Willson2

412 Responses to “Arsenal produce no surprises”

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  1. Dan Ahern

    I have a hard time getting excited about Aubameyang to be honest. Doesn’t seem like much of an upgrade and he’d surely cost us more than just overpaying Theo again. Think they’re the same age as well.

  2. Cesc Appeal

    DA

    Not sure on his work rate? Is it better than Walcott’s…I mean that’s not really a high bar…when I’ve seen him it’s better certainly.

    I think that might be what Wenger is moving toward now.

    As I say though, I would favour a hard working, wide creator I think to provide a well balanced attacking trio in that midfield.

  3. Dissenter

    16 million for a 4th central defender/slow reserve RB is a tad too expensive.
    We overpaid, no doubt.

    The problem with having a war chest of £180 million is people will always seek to reap you off.
    Its like separating a fool from his gold.

  4. Dissenter

    London gunner has been an effective advocate for Walcott here.
    Its amazing that he’s scored as much as Welbeck and Oxlade.
    He’s all product with little industry, problem is that the modern game requires industry as well as the end product.

  5. Cesc Appeal

    Dissenter

    Yeah that’s the thing with Walcott, he seems the type where if he isn’t affecting the game on the sheet (goals/assists) then he isn’t affecting it.

  6. Wallace

    a lot of Dortmund’s resurgence is down to the Reus/Aubameyang(Batman & Robin) partnership. think he was on the margins at the start of the season but not now.

  7. Cesc Appeal

    Allegedly Firmino has an £18 million buyout!

    If he’s as good as WengerEagle says, then we should be in there. Not short either, 5 11 which is decent for a wider player, industrious.

    Going to have t have a look at this guy when I get a chance. Lot of buzz around him.

  8. Goondawg

    Cesc

    Seems to me the times when we see Walcott come off the bench is when we need a goal not when we are protecting our lead. He’s too passive in defence on the RW, and Wenger has noticed this and squeezes Walcott out. Wenger pre-Everton said: “When you have the ball in the modern game you have to attack, when you don’t have the ball you have to defend. All the players who can’t do that, cannot play.”

    I’ve seen the difference in Giroud and Ozil, they have started pressing albeit not Sanchez’s frenetic levels but still an improvement on before. I like Walcott for getting us goals and assists. He has come back a year out, so maybe it takes time to acclimatise. Ideally he makes the perfect sub to bring on against tired legs, but doubt he will be happy with that

  9. Dan Ahern

    CA — Yeah, he just seems kind of similar to me, although I haven’t seen him much this year. Not that I’m against it. I’m just not getting hard, you know?

  10. Dan Ahern

    Firmino doesn’t get me firm either. I think I have performance anxiety!

    Only seen him on the youtubes but wasn’t much impressed. Who’s got a good video?

  11. Dissenter

    It would be nice to have Firminio and Coquelin on the same starting eleven.
    It woud be a commentator’s nightmare however.

    We will have a very strong core, and forget the British core nonsense.

  12. Cesc Appeal

    Goondawg

    Yeah.

    I actually find myself agreeing with Arsene Wenger there. You have to take as much responsibility off the ball as you do on it.

    DA

    See, it might be because I’m hard 24/7 that I’m not good at picking a player, i get confused. Causes a lot of misunderstandings and Police cautions as well.

  13. Leedsgunner

    Damn Kwik give a bloke more warning alerts! Got the missus next to me! “Why you looking at her” “Why you zooming in”!

    BUSTED.

  14. carts

    “Damn Kwik give a bloke more warning alerts! Got the missus next to me! “Why you looking at her” “Why you zooming in”!”

    LOL

  15. Dan Ahern

    CA — I, for one, am sick of society imposing their prudish standards on us. If you want to walk around rock-hard 24/7, well, I return the salute.

  16. Relieable sauce

    BiG

    I agree (forgot Chambers) we wont be in for another CB, unless in the unlikely event Mert or Kos leave. We need at least one of GP or CC to come good & quickly though for it to be worth the gamble on such an important position. Limiting the risk as much as possible in these key areas would be my approach.

  17. Cesc Appeal

    DA

    Me too.

    And if I want to go out in buttockless leather shorts wearing a collar and lead, who is that 72 year old pensioner on the 8am to Victoria to frown and complain!

  18. kwik fit

    Lacazette: “I cannot say if I am staying or not if a club puts a certain amount on the table, the prez will probably tell me to leave.” Would love this guy. From what I’ve seen he would fit in perfectly and 20m would get him. I feel Dybala is destined for spain.

  19. Goondawg

    Lacazette, Fekir, Schneiderlin, Kondogbia would be decent acquisitions . Fuck it buy Lloris for shits and giggles. Vive la French Revolution. Can’t be worse than Project Britain

  20. Goondawg

    I just feel like in the modern game there can’t be any leeway for passengers.

    Look at what Mourinho did for Hazard. Publicly bollocked him in the press and now he is near to the complete package. He defends and harries with the rest of Chelsea’s unit. Feel like a proper manager would have surely had a word with Walcott by now and said listen your sole role in the team isn’t just to bang them in

  21. Goondawg

    Girouds banging them in for now sure, but soon I’m hoping Welbeck leads the line up front. He would do well, with pacy outlets either side of him, by making runs and creating space for the front three. Plus he can hold the ball fairly decently. Has pace which Ozil will appreciate. Just needs to be consistently clinical. But at least he can help out with the defending if that fails

  22. salparadisenyc

    “Mourinho would have sold Walcott for 30m plus 3 years ago:

    Agree and replaced with better, maybe Sanchez. Would of sold Wilshire this summer and replaced with Fabregas. Still bemused Wenger didn’t, likely would of worked out as a break even deal with the pre-existing buy back on Cesc.

    Put Cesc in the role Caz is playing and were better, no slight to Cazorla whom I fancy. But Fabregas is better.

  23. Jim Lahey

    @Sal – “Put Cesc in the role Caz is playing and were better, no slight to Cazorla whom I fancy. But Fabregas is better.”

    I agree, and I am the biggest Cazorla fan! But I would rather watch Santi play football over Cesc.

  24. kwik fit

    sal/goondawg

    Mourinho, like him or loath him, is not afraid to sell decent players and upgrade them with better. Our incumbent, meanwhile , shows an inexcusable loyalty to players he has bought in the vain hope that they will produce at the level he had dream’t off.

  25. kwik fit

    RVP is a case in point. Wenger should had offloaded him long before he produced his one good wonder season for us. Did he show Wenger the same loyality in return ….off course not he pisses off to the mancs. No player who wenger has been loyal with has shown any in return. You’d think Wenger would learn.

  26. Dan Ahern

    Fabregas didn’t come back for the same reason Wilshere won’t be sold. Loyalty is more important than product on the field to AW. (Which isn’t awful principle, but you have to strike a balance to be competitive. AW lets loyalty dictate everything.)

  27. kwik fit

    Dan

    To the contrary , I think Mourinho is loyal to players who produce for him……..if you don’t ,however, for want ever reason your history.

  28. Leedsgunner

    Talking of GK – isn’t Sergio Romero available on a free this summer?
    Although I agree with others here that GK isn’t a pressing priority as the others if you could get a class performer on a free it should be a no brainer… especially if you could offload Szczesney for £20m plus. I personally think like Wilshere he’s (sadly) reached his limit with us.

    £20m for him and £20m for Wilshere would certainly make even Pogba attainable if we were to reinvest the funds back into the squad. Just a thought.

    Out

    Wellington Silva – £1m
    Hayden – £1m
    Arteta – £1m
    Flamini – £1m
    Sanogo – £1m
    Miyachi -£2m
    Debuchy -£6m (regretfully injury prone and isn’t getting any younger)
    Mertesacker £5m (likeable but too slow for the league, and isn’t getting any younger)
    Wilshere – £20m
    Szcz – £20m
    Gibbs -£17m
    Diaby – free* (although he cost us millions! 🙁 )
    Walcott -£28m (with regret, I like him but I think there are better wingers who are younger and contribute more skill wise, a super sub perhaps?
    Total funds raised – £103m

    In
    Romero – free
    Schrar – free, young with plenty of 1st team and European experience
    Kondogbia -£17m
    Laporte -£30m (can also play LB)
    Fekir – £17m
    Lacazette – £25m
    Depays -£18m

    Total outlay : £107m

    Net spend £4m

    For a younger, faster, more robust team with plenty of experience too.

    Obviously the transfer values are all subjective also I did loosely base them on transfermarkt.com.

    If by per chance Everton were to be relegated I think I might be tempted to bid for James McCarthy and John Stones… good players in a poor team as alternatives for Laporte and Kondogbia if they weren’t available. Schneiderlin, would be perfect but I think we are too late for him… he’ll be off to PSG I reckon.

    Although Everton are no mugs and they always seem to attract good prices.

  29. london gunner

    “Yeah that’s the thing with Walcott, he seems the type where if he isn’t affecting the game on the sheet (goals/assists) then he isn’t affecting it.”

    But if he is scoring and assisting what is the fucking problem? How often does OX effect a game with zero goals and assists most games and hardly ever involved in the build up of goals who pads his dribbling stats with pointless dribbles that lead to no end product aka goals.

    I just don’t get it we have two players with zero end product in Welbeck and OX so the solution is to get rid of Walcott??? Are Arsenal fans from planet zongo?

    If Sanchez is injured or needs resting we immediately lack goals… Walcott is the man. Can you rely on Welbeck or Ox to fill in those numbers?

    Lets be honest we only need one of Welbeck or Ox. I would much prefer Ox as he is more talented imo.

    P.S I am all for shifting Welbeck if we are going for Reus otherwise offload Welbeck.

  30. london gunner

    Leedsgunner

    I can respect and agree with your list because of this

    “Lacazette – £25m”

    Your basically bringing in a pacey prolific goal scorer without the flaws of Walcott so that is fine.

    But I have to say if you bring in Lacazette than Welbeck’s position is very much in jeopardy. What’s the purpose of him? At least Ox plays a different role in the team.

  31. Ozy

    @Leedsgunner

    No offense but that post was a mess. Selling Debuchy? Bellerin is an exciting talent but nowhere near ready to be our first choice RB. Selling Mert and Gibbs and bringing in two CBs? Especially a 30 million one? Eh..

    Romero.. I don’t know much about but he’s never really done much to impress, hence him still plying his trade for Sampdordia.

    Fekir and Lacazette I can get behind – two young, really exciting players who would add a lot to our team. The rest of your list … eh.

  32. Goondawg

    If sanchez needs a rest, we don’t immediately lack goals. We have the most amount of different goal scorers. What we need is people that can attack and defend. Like when we played Spurs and Rose has a throw in, had Walcott ran instead of amiably jogging to Bentaleb and stopping the cross that led to their goal, we could have walked out with 3 points.

    The tracking back and putting in a shift on the defensive side is also why I don’t think Welbeck will be leaving anytime soon. Say what you want about his finishing, but his versatility in being able to play across the wings and up front, paired with his hustle in getting back and helping the team defend is a very valuable thing to have in a squad instead of Walcotts redundant RW role bereft of any defensive contribution. This is a big reason why Giroud is so key to our team as well. He may shank chances (as all strikers do), he may like to fall on the floor like a bitch and complain, but he will keep running and harassing opponent defenders, and he plays a huge part in defending set pieces every match.

  33. Leedsgunner

    London

    I know what you say about Welbeck — I kept him in because I think there has been times when Özil and Danny played well together… and I think that could be a fruitful partnership with a high ceiling.

    One player I did almost include on the out list was Giroud…. I kept him in because his physicality offers something different and he’s rarely injured. Although if push came to shove I would sell him if we got a good price for him.

  34. Leedsgunner

    Ozy

    Oi! To the punch aren’t you? 😉

    Like I said it is all subjective. No offensive taken. Just a bit of fun. 🙂

    I knew Debuchy would be controversial. I like him but I think he’s too injury prone. Ok, ok you could say he’s been very unlucky but he’s not a spring chicken either. Funny enough I’ve been keeping a sly eye on Jenks and he’s done “a Coquelin” over at West Ham. The tackle that he made last night in the Chelsea game for instance was exceptional. He’s deffo Grownin confidence and stature over at West Ham. The loan has done wonders for him. I never thought I would say this 12 months ago but I think

  35. Bamford10

    Alright, Goondawg. Let’s see who is proven correct in time.

    I haven’t the slightest doubt that I am right on this question. Not a doubt.

  36. Cesc Appeal

    If you keep players like Wilshere and Walcott, they’re numbers, they create the illusion of strength in depth. Its an easy out instead of ruthlessly selling and upgrading…but no doubt we will take the easy option.

  37. london gunner

    Goondawg

    “If sanchez needs a rest, we don’t immediately lack goals.”

    YES YES WE DO! That’s precisely what we lack. Sanchez has scored 13 goals in the league. He gets a long term injury Walcott is the guy you bring in to hit those numbers.

    QPR the otherday Sanchez scored if he didn’t game could have finished 1-1

    Strikers are strikers fuck if they defend or not. Give me a WC striker who never defends over Giroud anyday of the week.

    Welbeck is poor offensively what’s the point of having an attacking player who is solid defensively but is very lacking offensively?.He hardly scores and his assists aren’t anything to write home about. So what he puts in a shift so does half the player in the premier league doesn’t mean they are good enough for Arsenal.

    Are standards are so miserable that we are happy for limited players who are work horses.

    Above all we bought Welbeck as a striker if we aren’t going to bother him then why play him there then why bother as a winger as you can find comparable players all over europe and many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many
    better wingers all over europe.

    He is bang average and I will be proven right on this.

    At the end of the day Man United kept Ashley fucking young over Welbeck and on this season standards Ashley is at least as good as Welbeck and also puts in a solid defensive shift.

  38. Cesc Appeal

    Anyone watch a lot of Veratti?

    He was a player who seemed to have a lot of buzz, then went quiet, now there’s a bit of buzz around him again

  39. Bamford10

    By the way, not to irritate you London, but I haven’t heard you say anything about Klopp and Dortmund’s recent fine form. Care to revise your judgment of Klopp?

  40. london gunner

    Welbeck’s “versatility” is to not be able to score as a striker, not to assist or be particularly dangerous as a winger, but its ok the lad tracks back! Is that what counts as an Arsenal standard Winger? Someone whose poor in attack, but solid in defence.

    Hell lets shift Cazorla and bring in mikel, shift ozil and bring in wanyama.

    Actually better yet Welbeck for the new DM spot?

    Look wingers will always be attacking players, defensive aspects are a side objective to them. We should have a good enough back 4 and DM in the first place to allow the wingers to focus on the attacking game.

  41. WengerEagle

    Not a chance you’d fetch £17 million for Gibbs I’m afraid Leeds my friend.

    Also £28 million for Theo would be pretty outrageous.

    Agree with Ozy that selling Debuchy would be a mistake.

    That would be quite the upheaval, don’t think that we need as many as 7 players, 4 absolute max 5 of top notch talent would be enough IMO.

    GK
    CDM
    CM
    LW
    CF

    If we were to only sign 4 then:

    GK
    CM
    LW
    CF

  42. Ozy

    Leedsgunner,

    I know! No harm done. I wouldn’t lose any sleep if we sold any of those players, barring Debuchy, as long as we brought in capable replacements, i.e. Laporte for Mertesacker would be incredible, but I’d rather we get in a Gaya or Kurzawa instead of Schaar if we were to sell Gibbs.

    Selling Wilshere’s tricky because although I grit my teeth every time I see him play, I do think there’s a lot of talent in there somewhere and seeing him realize his potential at … idk, Liverpool, would be very difficult to swallow.

    Jenkinson’s been impressive but part of me believes that that’s probably because he’s found his level. I do remember him stringing together a run of good performance at one point while Sagna was out. I just don’t know if he has it in him to succeed here, what with the intense pressure put on our defenders by how we play.

    LASTLY, like I said, Lacazette would be great. I think a Dybala/Vietto are way out of our reach but we would have a great chance with Lacazette. We just need to see if his goalscoring form is a one-season kind of deal or not.

  43. Cesc Appeal

    “We should have a good enough back 4 and DM in the first place to allow the wingers to focus on the attacking game.”

    But we don’t, so…

  44. Bamford10

    Watching last night’s game in its entirety for the first time now. Ozil looking silky for the first time in a while. Cruyff turn. A couple of sweet little lifts over defenders’ feet. Then a Cruyff turn out the air.

    Pedro picked a bad day to recommend sitting Ozil.

    Still think I’d take Austin over Giroud. Not that Austin is first-rate, but Giroud is just painful. Austin is at least a genuine athlete, a finisher and a decent dribbler.

  45. Cesc Appeal

    WE

    I agree.

    Only need a CDM if the ambition if fourth next year. But, we need a proper rebuild, selling, not just dross but potential ‘big names’ as well and to buy in real quality.

    But I would add to your list a CB as well, Gabriel is untested at this point, Mertesacker needs to be moved on in the summer. Dependant on how Gabriel looks would depend on the level of CB bought.

    But sell Mertesacker and get someone like Howedes? Sokratis?

    Absolutely with you on the CDM and CM issue. We need a totally new midfield platform. Capable of ball winning, retention, distribution and domination.

    That would have the added bonus I think of allowing our attacking players to be even better.

  46. Leedsgunner

    “At the end of the day Man United kept Ashley fucking young over Welbeck and on this season standards Ashley is at least as good as Welbeck and also puts in a solid defensive shift.”

    Maybe — although I see him more on the floor than standing 😉

  47. london gunner

    Cesc

    But we should focus on rectifying that in the summer transfer, no……

    I think its warped logic to focus on having solid defensive wise wingers with less than steller attacking game when we should just upgrade the middle and the back and 4.

    Why don’t we get in specialist for the job that are needed rather than try and hodge podge are rickety back for with DAT GUY WELBZY..

  48. london gunner

    Bamford10

    Also I have to say you’re a bit of hypocrite. You talk about Arsenal not having high enough standards then you want Klopp of all managers? Klopp for christ sakes!

    Should we not be aiming for the Simeone’s of this world? No?

  49. Cesc Appeal

    London

    Well absolutely.

    I’ve been banging that drum for…well I don’t even want to think.

    I’m not necessarily saying sell Walcott, I’m saying if we can upgrade or he tries to barter on his contract get shot of him. He really isn’t that important.

  50. WengerEagle

    Cesc

    Yeah fully with you on that, I’d rather we bought 3 top quality players than 5-6 decent players.

    I dunno about buying another CB, we have Koscielny who’s a rock, Gabriel was outstanding for Villarreal and has started well here and then we can’t forget about Chambers who is a very promising CB IMO, bang average RB though.

    Not sure if I would toss Mert altogether, he may have dropped considerably this season but he’s still a decent CB on his day and is more than worthy of a squad position IMO.

    Those 4 CB’s are good enough IMO just so long as we never have to see a Mert-Chambers partnership!

    Yeah our CM is pretty average whatever way you look at it, I’d love us to buy two midfielders but could live with just one as long as they are good enough.

    Would never happen but for example just Pogba alone would transform us in CM.

  51. Cesc Appeal

    WE

    I just worry that neither Gabriel or Kozz strike me as the ‘leader.’ Well, bit harsh one can’t speak English yet, but still, he doesn’t look like that commanding CB.

    That’s what can be so irritating about Mert, he looks like he would be that player, massive, hugely experienced, but he’s a bit of a wuss really.

    Commanding, leader of a CB, energetic, ball distributor B2B player and a commanding, physical, high energy levels CDM and this side would look utterly different. Title challengers from there before even addressing ST and GK.

  52. Bamford10

    That cut — 37 min into the 1st half — where Austin took the ball out of the air with the outside of his right, completely wrong-footing Coquelin? Then struck a perfect half-volley that buzzed just outside the post?

    Giroud can’t do that.

  53. WengerEagle

    He may not play as attractive football but for results, working efficiently with what he has and for transforming a team Simeone has to be up there as possibly the best coach in the world.

    The likes of Miranda, Godin, Filipe Luis, Diego Costa, Gabi, Raul Garcia, Juanfran, etc were all considered fairly average players when he took over in 2011.

    Amazing job he’s done there.

  54. WengerEagle

    Cesc

    That’s a good point, is Laporte that player though?

    As outstanding as he is he doesn’t strike me as a shouter/motivator. (He is only 20 to be fair).

    If we got a hard-cunt of a CDM who’s a bit of a monster it might not even matter, like a Lorik Cana but talented.

  55. Bamford10

    Klopp is one of the best managers on the planet, London. No question. And his team is now humming, producing performances that all of Europe are marveling at.

    Simeone is fantastic, but so too is Klopp. You were simply wrong — again.

    It’s OK, though, mate. Everyone is wrong from time to time.

  56. Leedsgunner

    “If you keep players like Wilshere and Walcott, they’re numbers, they create the illusion of strength in depth. Its an easy out instead of ruthlessly selling and upgrading…but no doubt we will take the easy option.”

    Mummify Wenger with it and refuse to let him out until he agrees to see sense:)

  57. Bamford10

    Ozy

    No, just proving that he’s a quality squad player who is giving 110% every night. I’ve never denied that.

    I simply deny that he’s a first-rate CDM, that he’ll ever start for the French national team, that he’ll ever fetch a fee of more than £8m.

    And I’m quite confident that I’m right on all of these fronts. If he proves me wrong, though, I’ll admit it. Unlike some people on here. 😉

  58. Cesc Appeal

    WE

    Well I like Sokratis from what I’ve seen of him. I think Hummels is overrated for the price to be honest, £35-40 Million is too much. Howedes?

    Leeds

    We do it every year, and will again, will be full of ‘ifs’ ‘buts’ and ‘maybes’ come August.

    If this player can stay fit, if this player can discover form, if this player cuts out the mistakes blah blah blah

    Football is a sport, nothing is certain, you work on probabilities, but we consistently leave our probability bar on a low setting, instead of getting in the players we need and, of course, there’s always the chance they don’t work out any better etc, but you raise that probability bar.

  59. WengerEagle

    Cesc

    Yeah Hummels has always been overrated IMO, I’ve always preferred Subotic funnily enough, he’s the better CB IMO just a lot less hype around him.

    If I was to pay over £30 million for a CB I’d only go for Varane or Laporte, both world class and have at least 10 years left at the top.

    A realistic option that would be interesting would be someone like Otamendi off of Valencia.

  60. london gunner

    “I simply deny that he’s a first-rate CDM, that he’ll ever start for the French national team, that he’ll ever fetch a fee of more than £8m.”

    But he is only 23… Is already playing at a top 6-7 club standard aka tottenham or liverpool.

    He is better than all the DM’s in Tottenham and Liverpool and Southampton are only the exceptional because they have a worldie playing for them.

    Now its likely that he is still improving so what’s to say he can’t be up there with the best in europe?

  61. WengerEagle

    Mohamed Salah is on fire for Fiorentina atm, scored a brace tonight to beat Juventus 2-1 in Turin! First defeat there in over 2 years for Juve.

    He’s another one that Chelsea will sell off for £20 million+ at the end of the season.

  62. Cesc Appeal

    WE

    How about going back to Wenger’s roots and Frenchifying the side again?

    Lloris
    Debuchy, Varane, Kozz, Kurzawa
    Schniederlin, Pogba

    Not bad really.

    And if the fuckers couldn’t communicate and leave stupid gaps and lay off players when they should be being told to press then I give up!

  63. WengerEagle

    Cesc

    Haha that would be nice but the day that Wenger goes out and buys 5 new players for our back 7 positions is the day that Gary Lineker fails to come up with a shit-pun before the closing MOTD credits.

    Never going to happen I’m afraid.

  64. Relieable sauce

    De Bruynes figures this season look very impressive. Cant say I know much about his game but if he comes back to the prem to haunt mo, i’d like some of that action.

    CM does need a serious revamp but I cant see JW or Ramsey being sold or bumped down to 2nd string personally.

    Diaby & Flamini look to be goners but there are also question marks over Arteta, Rosicky & Santi. None of them produce over a full season, including JW & AR (shocking really) & could be replaced with 2/3 top signings IMO. I dont see it happening in one window though, if it happens at all.

    AW seems keen on Schneidy so I expect us to go for him, or similar & possibly a CM/CB type. Arsene will buy an attacking player as well, it is Arsene after all.

  65. fabbs

    I have a chant for le coq, tell me your thought guys:

    his name is coquelin coquelin
    we call him le coq le coq
    and he will cock-a-doodle-do the shit out of you
    cos he’s le coq le coq
    repeat

    just need to find the tune to goes with that chant

  66. salparadisenyc

    Cesc

    Kurzawa is one bad lil hombre, i’d love to sell Gibbo to get him in. Digne quite good as well. French have many talents currently.

    I’m pouring a Scotch its still snowing, not to mention an ice storm.

  67. Dark Hei

    “Our incumbent, meanwhile , shows an inexcusable loyalty to players”

    Yeah, which is why Walcott and Chezzar are benched. This is the Wenger that replaced Gervinho with Podolski and Podolski with Sanchez. He even benched Giroud for Sanogo. He is in general a nice guy but still, don’t mess around too much with him.

  68. underrated Coq

    Bamford10

    QUOTE: “I simply deny that he’s a first-rate CDM, that he’ll ever start for the French national team, that he’ll ever fetch a fee of more than £8m.”

    Not this again. Its obvious that you love to wind people up Bamford but do try and say something other than the above. You are starting to sound like a broken tape, repeating the same thing over and over and over again.

    And as far as your “not a first-rate CDM” is concerned, take a good long look at this image below

    http://images.dailystar-uk.co.uk/dynamic/58/photos/799000/204799.jpg

  69. Wallace

    with the two youth products – Mason & Bentalab – doing well in central midfield it’ll be interesting to see if Pochettino tries again for Schneiderlin in the summer. might give a clue as to his real level.

  70. Dark Hei

    N5

    I doubt Simeone will be going to City. A manager at City has 100% liability but never 100% control. That’s the problem. Can’t see him leaving Athletico for such a setup.
    Also I think the midfield will need to be revamped to accommodate Simeone’s style. With FFP, that will be hard to come by.