Your United line-up? Emirates atmosphere

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Morning gibbons happy Saturday! Well not for me I have to go into work but at least it’s nearly spring time.

So up next is Manchester United at the Theatre of Dreams, or the Theatre of Remembrance of Things Past as it shall henceforth be known. We all know the score, so I’m not going to go over it again. They are absolute toilet, they’re manager is the biggest fraud in world football since Redknapp has retired and he’s in charge of a loose collection of show-ponies that he doesn’t know what to do with.

Having said all that they STILL have some spell cast over us; so many years of being bullied by them has left deep emotional scars that need healing. An FA cup clash has to be where we finally break that curse. Its not an understatement to say that if we can knock them out of the cup at their place it will be one of the most uplifting results in a looooooooooooong time.

Team news is that Gabriel is out for 3 weeks with a little bit hamstring strain. Welcome home son. Other than that it’s the usual suspects.

As such I would go for a starting line up of:

Szcz
El Bell
Kos
Merts
Nacho
Coq
Santi
Sanchez
Ozil
Walcott
Giroud

No major surprises. Despite some players clearly needing a rest, this game is huge and we want our strongest XI on the pitch. For me Walcott is a better attacking player than Welbeck, I like Danny but he hasn’t been much of a goal threat for a while and I would love to see Theo get a run out again. I’m not really sure what the manager’s beef is with him at the moment, it’s just a shame that we waited so long for him to come back and now we don’t get to see him play as he has so much to bring to the team.

Finally, following my last post I was having a good old debate with some people on the twitter about this Giroud song and the atmosphere at the Ems in general. I suppose I started from the point of view that that “chant experiment” was stupid because:

a) it was the wrong song (people rarely chant songs about specific players early in the game, its usually more general songs)

b) it was too early in the game for Giroud to have done anything to atone for his Monaco display and get the crowd behind him

c) the guy was filming people.

I do accept that supporters have a role to encourage the team and try to motivate players, especially if they have been playing badly. I have taken friends who are fans of other clubs to games at the Ems and they were amazed by the negativity in the stands at times. My view is that if you have paid the money, you can do whatever you like inside the stadium (within the laws of common decency of course) and people who try and tell me how I should or shouldn’t behave irritate the piss out of me.

Having said that, you can’t get away from the fact our home support isn’t what it could be (especially compared to our away support). The question is why. Personally I think it’s because many fans have become bored with the predictability of our football, not our style of football, but our defensive collapses, our dreadful corners, baffling substitutions and the same mistakes repeated again and again and again. Others will say that we were spoiled by glory during the early Wenger years and are too demanding of success. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle of these two points of view.

All I know is, if you want to chant and sing all game then good for you, but trying to force others to is a waste of your time and theirs.

Right that’s me done for today, short and sweet. Laters pataters x

You can follow me on twitter @aldo_doel

294 Responses to “Your United line-up? Emirates atmosphere”

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  1. Bankz

    Romford
    N5
    azed

    Where are you guys at?
    Come & get me…
    Why you look at me?
    I repeat why you look at me???

  2. Marc

    I think everyone misses something when talking about the atmosphere that a friend of mine sums up perfectly. He’s been a season ticket holder for over 20 years and he makes the point that when he first had one he was the average age fan, over 20 years later he’s still the average age fan.

    How you get round this I don’t know, firstly season tickets are bloody expensive secondly you can’t just kick fans who have held season tickets for decades because they’re not as loud as you’d like.

  3. Matt

    I’d like to see Walcott start but I can’t see Wenger doing it. Hopefully he’ll bring him on in the second half, but he’s likely to start with a team most likely to keep the ball, so we’ll probably see:

    Szczseny
    Bellerin
    Mertesacker
    Koscielny
    Monreal
    Coquelin
    Ramsey
    Cazorla
    Alexis
    Ozil
    Giroud

    Subs:
    Ospina
    Chambers
    Gibbs
    Rosicky
    Chamberlain
    Walcott
    Welbeck

    A lot of attacking talent on the bench there. If we can go into the last 20 minutes level (without having done anything really like stupid like, say, gone 3-0 up and been pegged back 3-3) I think we can then unleash on them and win it. They key is not to panic and give away too much before, got to keep it tight for the first 60.

  4. Bankz

    Marc

    You sure know how to spoil a party right? *sigh*
    I was on the verge of breaking Legrove’s record……damn…

  5. Bankz

    Wenger and the boys juts have to dig deep and find ways to beat this United side at old Trafford on Monday.
    I don’t know how he’s going to pick the starting XI & they in turn have to put up a performance.
    I’d personally not start Özil as he’s proven over time not to be a big game player.
    A midfield of Ramsey, CoQ & Cazorla.
    Sanchez & Welbeck on the wings.
    Giroud as striker.
    Bring In Walcott & Ox to run against their back four in the 2nd half.
    My only problem is Mertasacker. If not for Gabriel’s injury, I’d have started him & Kos.

  6. Leedsgunner

    “”I question myself after every game. It was just a shock as we were super favourites. I believe we wanted too much to make the difference in the first game and forgot the basics.
    “We lost vision and panicked a little bit.”

    *facepalm*

    So who bears the accountability at the club? Arsene? The Board? Or so we pretend everything is ok?

    No wonder nothing changes. We’re there to make up the numbers in the Champions’ League — nothing more.

  7. Masterstroke

    The atmosphere has always been like that, even back to the early ’60’s when I started going.
    Where do you think the “Highbury the library” slur came from.
    Strange really, that we’re the quietest supporters in London and only four miles from the loudest.

  8. David Smith

    Have a funny feeling we are going to get a result up there, just a very negative vibe coming out of that team at the moment. Just hope whatever happens, the outcome is sorted by the players and coaches, and not another shit ref thrown our way…..and let’s face it, that ground is the spiritual home of shit refs.

  9. Masterstroke

    Divinesherlock
    You want a post about shit refereeing go to Untold. It’s nothing but shit refereeing on there.

  10. tunnygriffboy

    Is it true that man u fans have put an advert in the Saga magazine asking for 11 volunteers to play against us on monday as they think that would be enough !

    Rooney, Fellaini and Herrara have all side they’re up for it and will turn us over. Last season we were way too tentative up there and at home this season we battered them and created enough good chances to win. We just have to take one or two of them.

  11. Cesc Appeal

    No, got to have Ramsey beside Coquelin and Welbeck instead of Walcott.

    If you’ve got Ozil in the attacking midfield you can’t then have Walcott as well, that leaves 1 out of the 3 who is going to track back and help out when we’re under it.

  12. Cesc Appeal

    It wouldn’t shock me to see him out out a very FA Cup team, Chambers in there, Walcott etc

    When Wenger’s bottle goes he can resort to fielding a bunch of ball players, so equally:

    Coquelin
    Rosicky, Ramsey, Cazorla, Ozil

    Wouldn’t shock me either.

  13. GoonerInNY

    I would sit Ozil, mostly because I feel like he and Cazorla shouldn’t play together. Both only really play well in the same position. To me, it is either or.

    Wenger won’t, but I would go:

    Czez
    Bel
    Mert
    Koz
    Nacho
    Coq
    Rosicky
    Cazorla
    Welbeck
    Sanchez
    Giroud

    As for atmosphere, I am convinced there is nothing you can do to change the nature of the supporters. History, age and money dictate behavior. To fight about it or try and force people to act a certain way is pointless.

  14. useroz

    We need fighters and those know how to fight on the pitch piny the Manure eg Monreal (Gibbs’ gutless); Rosicky.

    While Ox is ok, he is just not smart; makes stupid passes/ decisions still after so many games. A worry.

    Welbeck is just a lump; may be good once a while. Another worry. Giroud and Sanchez will start anyway. So would bet on Walcott tbh. Can’t get worse I suppose.

    The half decent Evans is out for 6 games so good for us, re FA cup and PL

    Wish the players could stop talking BS to the media. Just do it on the pitch.

  15. Cesc Appeal

    Ospina
    Bellerin, Mert, Kozz, Monreal
    Coquelin, Ramsey
    Welbeck, Ozil/Cazorla, Sanchez
    Giroud

    That has a nice balance between defence and attack I think.

    Though as everyone has said, Wenger will probably dish something up either identical to QPR or totally different to what we’re expecting, 4-1-4-1 with Sanchez alone up top maybe and a load of passers in the middle?

  16. useroz

    AFC and the stewards (under management instructions no doubt) kill the atmosphere in the Emirates with stupid Disneyland protocols.

    Should stop blaming it all on fans.

  17. David Smith

    Karim , agree shit refereeing is universal, but it is still more universal for the likes of us than our opponents on Monday.
    Ref or no ref, still think we SHOULD have too much for them dependant on Wengers selection, and erm game plan of course

  18. N5

    Sorry Thomas just seen you reply. Is that right about Maureen and Tito? I thought it was common knowledge back then. Thanks for putting me right.

  19. Bigper

    Definitely wouldn’t start Walcott he is still rusty and offers no protection to bellerin, would leave us weak down the right especially as it’s away from home

    Welbeck should start against his old club and knock those manc cunts out…. Hopefully welbz will be up for it to prove a point to van gaal and the United fans

  20. tunnygriffboy

    Cesc

    My panic is that we’ll end up with Per, Chambers and Walcott on the right hand side. We have to get pace in the side being a big pitch and all that. I’d go Welbeck, more industry than Walnut and a huge point to prove.

    My preference would be to have Schneiderlin alongside Coquelin meaning Walcott could play, Ozil could have freedom and Bellerin could bomb forward. ( that one player has massive effect on how we can approach games )

    You could ask Ramsey to sit alongside Coquelin and tell him not to get ahead of the ball. Specific instruction and can he be disciplined enough to do it ?

    Did I read somewhere Matuidi’s agent say he wanted out of Psg ?

  21. Lee

    Ozil furthest forard defensivley
    Then when we break he drops and allows Sanchez theo and Rambo to run onto his and santi’s passes

  22. El Tel 1

    Someone blaming the stewards for the poor atmosphere. Oh dear.

    I have been a supporter since the late sixties and a steward for 20 years.

    Our Club just don’t have supporters who are loud and thuggish in general. Never have.

    The current problem is nothing to do with stewards or the team. It is the tourist fans the club are preferring these days.

    At the last game I was in the club shop and a Japanese/Chinese fan spent £ 200 on scarfs. With the whole match day experience as it is now called these are the Guys the club encourage.

    The proper old fashioned fan gets pissed outside the ground so spends little on drink. They rarely buy any merchandise as they would either have the shirt,scarf etc and they don’t usually by much food inside the ground.

    I bet if there was a survey carried out the Red Action fans spend less money per match than the toursits in other areas of the ground.

    The tourists will not sing as they wouldn’t know the songs.

    In my opinion this is the problem. The away fans are not tourists so there’s one reason the volume is raised. They probably all drink inside the away grounds too rather than get ambushed by the local thugs.

    Also the League cup matches have seen the proper fans attend the matches and the atmosphere raised all over the ground.

    They are my reasons.

    So the players,the stewards and the caterers at the Arsenal are not to blame. It is the greedy club owners who encourage these one game wonders over the loyal supporter

  23. vicky

    Cheezer

    Ballerin—-Koss—-Mert—-Monreal

    ——-Coq—Ramsey———-

    —Sanchez—–Rosicky—–Santi—–Welback

    ———–Giroud————————

  24. N5

    Useroz out of interest, what Disneyland protocols are you talking of? The stewards enforce the no standing and they ask people to calm down who are overly aggressive, but this is the same at every single ground, so I’m struggling to understand what you mean?

  25. Cesc Appeal

    Tunny

    Schniederlin and Matuidi this summer would cure our central midfield issues for certain.

    I just think with the whole Walcott thing, we need to start looking past him, he is so one dimensional it’s often like playing with 10 men aside from a 5 minute period if he scores…IF he scores. Otherwise, whole lot of nothing.

    Yeah, Chambers, Mert and Walcott on the right side would be a disaster.

  26. El Tel 1

    My team to beat the Mancscum.

    Ospina

    BFG Kosser Nacho (back three)

    Bellerin TR7 Coquelin Santi Gibbs

    Ozil

    Welbeck

    Bench

    Sanchez
    Walcott
    Chambers
    Chamberlain
    Ramsey
    Chesser

  27. LeApple

    I think the issue is not expecting others to sing along but making a specific area in the ground where the fans that want to turn up, sing and create an atmosphere can be together.

    The problem right now is you start chanting and then people around you look at you like your a loony.

    At least with a special stand (preferably behind the goal, opposite to the away end) we can have our own ‘Ultras’ with flags and banners just going crazy.

    We would turn the Emirates into a stadium where teams know they are going to be in a cauldron and the lift it would give the team can’t be underestimated.

  28. Thomas

    vicky March 7, 2015 13:21:54

    Cheezer

    Ballerin—-Koss—-Mert—-Monreal

    ——-Coq—Ramsey———-

    —Sanchez—–Rosicky—–Santi—–Welback

    ———–Giroud————————

    Lol you realize you’re only allowed to have 11 players on the pitch right?

  29. Rhys Jaggar

    ‘Having said that, you can’t get away from the fact our home support isn’t what it could be (especially compared to our away support). The question is why. ‘

    That’s simple to answer: it’s about the level of commitment necessary to be an away supporter vs home supporter. Particularly nowadays with TV shifting games to Monday evenings, Friday Evenings etc etc.

    The vast majority of home fans live within 1hr of Emirates Stadium. It’s a nice day out on the weekend or an alternative to going to the pub with work colleagues mid-week.

    If you live in Arnos Grove and you’re going to any of the following away games, you’re on for a very long day indeed: Newcastle, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Blackburn, Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool, Everton, Swansea.

    You’ll be allowing 3 – 5hrs transportation time plus leeway to get there ontime, ditto coming home. You’ll be taking days off work midweek to go to the games, which means less time for a foreign holiday in the summer. You’l be spending and extra 1000 – 2000 a year from your salary going to the games and you’ll be braving a majority of hostile home fans (some of whom know how to engage with away fans and some of whom don’t).

    Pretty clear that the majority of away fans will be more passionate than the majority of home fans: they’re making a far bigger life commitment so they will far more likely be more into the whole thing of supporting your team like no tomorrow.

    It’s the same at all clubs, mind you…….

  30. Rhys Jaggar

    The ultimate thing to piss you off:

    You have invested your own cash in your own season tickets at whatever club you choose to support.

    You then have power-crazy psychos telling you three things:
    1. You do not support this club but they do (despite never having done so for 40 years).
    2. They start telling you which clubs you CAN support (in my case, I was told that it was acceptable to support Man Utd, Liverpool and, more intriguingly, Borussia Dortmund).
    3. They tell you that you bought a down jacket ‘because Arsene Wenger wore one’, when in fact you bought it from a mountaineering shop in Glasgow in the early 1990s when you went winter mountaineering every weekend in your 20s and were using it at the Emirates on cold mid-week winter evenings because it was designed to work rather well on Mount Everest and therefore was likely to work reasonably well in London N5.

    I’ve yet to have either Ivan Gazidis or Arsene Wenger confirm that you have to work for MI5 or MI6 to be allowed to support Arsenal (both the miscreants targeting me either have done or still do) and it certainly was never a clause in any Club Level contract I signed for 5 years.

    But really, it is about time Arsenal FC stated in black and white: ‘any season ticket contract agreed between Arsenal FC and a season ticket holder is no business of anyone else on this planet’.

    To those miscreant psychos who behaved this way there is a simple answer: ‘if you want to support Arsenal FC, buy your own season tickets or, if there are none available, put yourself on the waiting list. If your burning need in life is destroy someone else’ enjoyment of everything in life because you are a sick fuck, then go and kill yourself to rid the world of your scum. Both of you have been alcoholics as near as dammit, both of you see electronic hacking as part of your pathetic worlds, one of you saw affairs with married women whilst married as part of your moral manifesto to tell other people how to live and both of you are driven not by joy in your own careers, but in kiboshing someone else’s who never did a single thing to stymie yours.’

    Now if that’s the sort of behaviour that represents ‘Arsenal values’, then trumpet it around the world loud and clear. Show the club up to be sick fucks not people who see life as having proper boundaries. Show the club up to be supportive of control freak psychopaths and trashing those who paid their own money to make their own choices.

    After all, if the club didn’t want me to buy two Club Level tickets in 2005 and 2006, and renew them thereafter, they didn’t have to sell them to me, did they?? They could have sold them to someone else.

    I’m sure the club isn’t so evil as to wilfully try to drive someone toward bankruptcy whilst taking all their money off them, would they??

    That’s not the Arsene Wenger we all know and love, is it??

  31. Goondawg

    We wont be able to beat Man United unless we adopt a City approach, where we stay compact, let them have the majority of possession and they are shite so shouldnt be able to trouble us too much.

    Man united know how to beat us, sit deep, soak pressure, put a man on our holding player and exploit our maruading fullbacks. Pretty much all any team has to do to beat us, is follow this simple template

  32. Bamford10

    No way Ozil is left out given his Wed night performance. Cazorla over Ramsey. Welbeck over Theo. No surprises.

    __________Ospina
    Bell___Mert____Kosc___Monr
    _______Cazo_____Coqu
    ____________Ozil
    Welb_____Giroud_____Sanchz

    Not a great side, but that’s where we are today.

  33. Cesc Appeal

    Realistically, if you were to grab a CB this summer who would you take?

    I’m not writing Gabriel off at all, haven’t seen enough of him yet but he looks solid, but he looks a bit of a Kozz, not exactly a leader, not the smartest of defenders, not an organiser.

    For me we need that CB alongside a Kozz or a Gabriel. So who realistically could we take?

  34. underrated Coq

    Cesc Appeal

    It seems most of our players aren’t good enough for you.

    You often say we need to revamp our midfield effectively suggesting that neither Ramsey or Coquelin are good enough to be first choice.
    So who do you suggest Arsenal buy..?

    You also claim ” we have to start looking past Theo” and that he’s not good enough. Again, who do you suggest Arsenal replace him with..?

    And now you are saying Gabriel may not ideal too.

    “he looks a bit of a Kozz, not exactly a leader, not the smartest of defenders, not an organiser.”

    You got all these conclusions based on a massive 180 minutes of football he’s played for Arsenal ?

  35. Goondawg

    Think we should firmly be looking at a Mertesacker replacement, like Cesc suggests. A great defender (dont get 113 caps for Germany being wank), but with our formation and Wenger’s insistence of playing a high line coupled with his lack of pace, it was only a matter of time.

    I liked the look Adennour from Monacco. Looks a proper leader and a hard-battler. We can probably do better, i.e Hummels. Doubt we will get Varane, who would be my first choice

  36. Cesc Appeal

    underrated

    “I’m not writing Gabriel off at all, haven’t seen enough of him yet but he looks solid, but he looks a bit of a Kozz, not exactly a leader, not the smartest of defenders, not an organiser.”

    Yeah, you got to read the whole thing, you can’t cut and paste to suit an agenda.

    Well, I’ve explained numerous times, our central midfield options are pretty terrible. Coquelin, anyone claiming we’ve found the answer if Coquelin is reaching, and I can’t blame them because it’s problem a form of self preservation. Its more likely Wenger will persist with him than buy, so convincing yourself he is the solid CDM we want makes sense.

    Ramsey? Been really, really inconsistent this year, and he just seems injury plagued, though not on the same level as Wilshere on both counts.

    So, as of next year, our midfield options would be Coquelin, Ramsey and Wilshere…if that fills you with confidence, well, don’t know what to say to you really. If you’ve watched games like Monaco, or really pretty much any big game we’ve been in over recent years and don’t think our inability to dominate the central midfield is an issue…again, not really a lot I can say to you.

    If you don’t think we’re lacking leadership at the back, as above, not a lot I can say to you.

    Kozz isn’t a leader, great defender, not a leader. Gabriel, as I said today and before has had a limited amount of football with us, and whilst he looks solid he doesn’t look like the dominative leader of a CB I think a defence needs.

    Walcott has been replaced silly. He’s come back and can’t get into the team, we’ve upgrade a hundred fold in Sanchez on Walcott. He’s too one dimensional for the modern game, for Walcott to play you need a solid RB and central midfield because he will leave the right flank exposed.

    I’m not sure how you could disagree with any of that.

  37. Cesc Appeal

    Goondawg

    He was very. very impressive at the Emirates. Have to ask Karim if he’s seen a lot of him. Not sure he would actually have started if they didn’t have a lot of injuries.

  38. salparadisenyc

    Hannover wall taking the piss there. Nobody jumps and Xavi Alonso pokes it over. Gk pissed.

    Guess if you jump Xavi goes below, dudes still got heaps of game.

  39. Bamford10

    Underrated

    That’s because none of those players are in fact good enough. Not Ramsey, not Coquelin, not Theo.

    Not good enough for a title-winning XI.

    I believe he mentioned Schneiderlin and Matuidi as players who are.
    I think most here would agree with that.

    As for Gabriel, his point is that he isn’t the leader, the voice of a back four, even if he is a solid CB, which I think he is.

    Cesc probably has a point, though perhaps Kosc can fill that role.

    How long have you been on Le Grove, btw? You seem a little unfamiliar with the mood / opinion here.

  40. salparadisenyc

    Peps tuff as nails, just subbed Dante off at 32nd min after major hashing up and and gifting a goal opportunity which was converted. Xavi equalizes a minute later and Dante pulled of for Lewandowski.

    Full tactical switch in the first 45 at 1-1. Going for the win. Would Wenger ever do that?

  41. Goondawg

    Cesc

    All I ever knew about the player prior to the emirates disaster, was that his IF ultimate team card keeps popping up this season.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/31780173

    Looks like he has just signed a contract extension as well. Heard Tottenham were snooping around him as well, would hate for them to stock up with battling CBs, whilst we dither with a pansy like Mertesacker.

    Much as I appreciate, what he is done, I do feel he is one of our biggest liabilities. Germany dropped him in all the important matches in the WC, and out of all the elite teams, he is the weakest defender imo. A likeable guy, but at this moment, I’d take Monreal over him at CB.

  42. Cesc Appeal

    Goondawg

    I said the other day it’s weird a 6ft 6, seasoned German veteran is such a big wuss.

    He can be incredible indecisive and pathetic on occasion before you even get into his severe lack of mobility.

    We need an absolute rock in that CB role, especially given Wenger’s disregard for the defensive side of the game and the way our full backs sometimes play at RW and LW respectively.

  43. Goondawg

    “How long have you been on Le Grove, btw? You seem a little unfamiliar with the mood / opinion here.”

    Not too sure this has any weight whatsoever.. As a blog of different opinions, does it matter to which you adhere to? This just adds more spice to the debates. Rather than one half-witted sheep bleating about how poor Coquelin is, contrary to the beliefs of many pundits/commentators/fans etc

  44. Godfather

    Someone is.advocating three at the back for an.elimination game at Old Trafford.

    There is.more rampant.madness circulating around here than I initially thought …LMAO.

    WHY NOT EXPERIMENT WITH MONREAL AS YOUR FALSE NINE WHILE YOU ARE AT IT

  45. vicky

    I want all the players who work hard on the pitch to play against United. One of the reasons we fail to win against them is lack of application from players. That’s why would like to see Rosicky and Welbz get a start.

  46. Bamford10

    Goondawg

    Calm down, dipshit. My point wasn’t that a new arrival here has any less authority or knowledge, but only that a person who is surprised that someone here would say that many of the players aren’t good enough is clearly new to Le Grove.

    That has been the consensus here for a long time, along with the view that the manager isn’t good enough.

    Yes there are differing views here re this or that player and there are of course dissenting voices, but to come to Le Grove and act surprised that someone finds our midfield lacking is like my going to Arseblog and being surprised to find people who believe in Wenger there.

    And by the way, clown, Cesc, like pretty much every other reasonable poster here, agrees with my assessment of Coquelin: not good enough.

    If you have issues with this assessment, why don’t you take it up with him, rather than pretending I’m the only person who feels this way?

    Thanks.

  47. bishop

    What a bunch of useless players QPR have..cant convert good chances yet Kane goes easily pass the stupid defenders to head in a free kick which was like spuds first real chance

  48. Goondawg

    Mystic Bamford

    I wasn’t under the impression other reasonable posters like Cesc had a magical crystal ball as well that predicts that Coquelin will never improve/ play for the national team / sell for over 8m

    Also Ramsey will never be good enough for a title-winning team? You do realise we were top last year, until Rambo got struck by the injury gods? This year he has been riddled by injuries as well..

  49. underrated Coq

    Cesc Appeal

    QUOTE: ” Yeah, you got to read the whole thing, you can’t cut and paste to suit an agenda.”

    There is no agenda. You prematurely conclude that Gabriel may not be a leader, a smart defender and an organizer. I simply questioned how you could come to such a conclusion after the guy has only played two games for the club.

    QUOTE: “Coquelin, anyone claiming we’ve found the answer if Coquelin is reaching, and I can’t blame them because it’s problem a form of self preservation. Its more likely Wenger will persist with him than buy, so convincing yourself he is the solid CDM we want makes sense.”

    Well, well…the arrogance is quite high here. So anyone suggesting Coquelin may turn out to be the long term solution is only doing so because of “self-preservation” ?! You’re a psychology expert now are you ?

    And just so you know, its not my ”self-preservation” that is convincing me, its Coquelin’s performances on the field that are convincing me that he may well be the solid CDM that Arsenal have desperately needed.

    QUOTE: “Ramsey? Been really, really inconsistent this year, and he just seems injury plagued, though not on the same level as Wilshere on both counts.”

    Maybe the fact that Ramsey has been unlucky with injuries has something to do with his struggle to maintain form..? It wasn’t long ago when he was looking like the best midfielder in the Premier League. Don’t be so hasty in judging him to not be good enough.

    Ofcourse I do agree with your concerns regarding Wilshere and also the fitness issues. Without Ramsey and Wilshere, our options are shocking.

    QUOTE: “If you don’t think we’re lacking leadership at the back, as above, not a lot I can say to you.”

    I may be alone in this, but I just don’t buy this whole ‘importance of having a leader at the back’ idea that the media and pundits love to yap about. I think its good enough if you have a well-drilled squad with players capable of doing their job effectively.

    I just think its a little silly to say ” Both Kos and Gabriel don’t look like leaders, so they won’t be able to form a title-winning partnership “.

    QUOTE: ” Walcott has been replaced silly. He’s come back and can’t get into the team, we’ve upgrade a hundred fold in Sanchez on Walcott. ”

    Isn’t Sanchez predominantly playing on the left side though..? Also, what if Sanchez gets injured ? Theo is the only other wideman in our club that could replace Sanchez’s goals.

    And don’t even get me started on this ‘mutli-dimensional winger’ bs. I still prefer Theo to players like Chamberlain and Welbeck. Atleast Theo’s got a strong dimension to his game, can’t say the same for the other two– Jack of all trades, master of none.

  50. Leedsgunner

    “Dont know about you guys , but I am still pretty pissed off at the Monaco debacle. A fitting response will be to beat those fuckers at Old Toilet.”

    Yes… 1000x and while we are at it let’s beat Monaco 4-0, and tell ’em whose BOSS . Am I feeling, EPIC? Damn yes… must be all the adrenalin pumping in the system after a great gym session…….. 😉

  51. underrated Coq

    Bamford10

    “I believe he mentioned Schneiderlin and Matuidi as players who are.
    I think most here would agree with that.”

    And you confidently claim that this partnership can be a title winning one based on what exactly?

    Schneiderlin is a good player no doubt, but I can’t help but think he gets grossly ovverated on this blog.

    He is a tidy player and I would love for him to join Arsenal. But I can’t see him displacing either Coquelin(provided he keeps up his current form) or Ramsey.
    Schneiderlin is neither a specialist DM and nor is he exceptionally skilled as a B2B IMO. Look up his stats and you can see that.

  52. Bamford10

    Goondawg

    Yes, I have been a bit more outspoken and definitive than others here re Coquelin, but plenty agree: not good enough.

    And it doesn’t take a crystal ball, just an eye for the game, for technique, for athleticism.

    As for Ramsey, he was injury-free and mediocre for months, mate. Months. Nice try at revisionism. He hit a purple patch last year. That is all.

    Was terrible for some time prior to that patch and has been average to poor this year.

    And no one with a brain thought we were actually going to be in contention last season, regardless of where we were in December. Le Grove certainly didn’t.

  53. Goondawg

    Marc

    He also declared Carlos Sanchez is a better DM than Coquelin, before meekly passing it off as a joke as we duly thrashed Aston villa 5-0 this season

    Clueless. I tell ya. Clueless

  54. Cesc Appeal

    Underrated

    Well then it’s a difference of opinion isn’t it.

    But you seem to be happy to build a squad of ifs, buts and maybes.

    As I said the other day, as a sport, we can have no certainty in football. But you can increase your probability of success.

    If Gabriel turns out good, if our approach to fitness improves, if Ramsey discovers consistent form, if Coquelin can do it game in game out, UCL, big occasions the lot…lots of hope in there.

    And ‘unlucky’ with injuries…no, no luck involved. The regularity of the injuries precludes notions of luck being involved.

    And as for your ‘psychology’ thing, I see it all the time on here, Chambers was the hope in August, he was going to provide cover for our shallow defence, or be the answer in CDM…because it’s more likely than Wenger addressing it.

    Before that it was Wilshere, he was going to be the deep laying midfield answer in the summer…because it is more likely than Wenger buying.

    Then in January it was Bielik, who some claimed would ‘have an impact on the first team before the end of the season’…because it is more likely than Wenger buying in the summer and solving it.

    So I don’t blame anyone who comes on here in the summer and says Wilshere, Ramsey, Coquelin and Bielik are good options, or has the potential to be a good set of options because its preservation from the reality that Wenger has failed, and will continue to fail to address the CDM issue in the squad.

    I guess I would ask you, what do you want to be ‘good enough’ for? The EPL title? The UCL? Or fourth place?

  55. Relieable sauce

    Re lack of atmosphere at home.

    In my experience at home games I have found more often than not I am sitting next to a group of tourists or single fans (like myself). I have never been a ST holder but was a member of a membership scheme where I was next in line for ticket/s after the ST holders had taken their allocation. I could get a ticket for most games but could never get 2 so I always ended up sitting alone with no one I knew to bounce off of (difficult to get a chant going sitting with a scandinavian family).

    I think selling the tickets could be done better in conjunction with designated seating areas for regular non ST holding fans & seating tourists in family stands rather than the Clockend & Northbank.
    Singing sections & cheaper tickets for young fans should be something the club should be working on with fans groups as well IMO.

    Last but not least, the songs are frankly pathetic. “Ars-en-al” is not a song & “come on Arsenal” is cringeworthy & utterly uninspiring. For a club well over 100 yrs old youd think there would be a better offering.

  56. Goondawg

    “As for Ramsey, he was injury-free and mediocre for months, mate. ”

    What you mean all that time after when he came back from a career-ending injury that saw him on the sidelines for a good year, possibly stagnating his development?

  57. Marc

    Goondawg

    Two things to bear in mind.

    1) Bamford has a habit of talking down to other posters and coming across as if he is some kind of expert and great sage. Everything he states is fact never opinion.

    2) If you’re going to engage with him you need to buy some eye protection for when those toys fly out of his pram!

  58. Goondawg

    Bam

    I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a joke but whatevs, and if Coquelin was the reincarnation of Makelele, you would still be crying foul about his lack of athleticism or physical ability or technique, demanding he needs to be a 6ft4 specimen in order to win titles

    If Coquelin didn’t have good technical ability then Freiberg and Lorient surely wouldnt have played him on the wings? Watching every game since he has been recalled, he has improved, and the stats dont lie. An eye for the game you say, but he boasts better stats than seasoned world class pros… Anyways bored of having this debate with you

  59. Bamford10

    Marc

    Well, that was part of a larger point — namely that we needed a CDM more than a CAM when we signed Ozil — a point I stand behind.

    My point was that while we had a number of players who could play the CAM role well enough — Cazorla, Ramsey, Rosicky — our CDM options were totally inadequate. I stand by that.

    Ramsey plays CAM for the Welsh national team and is most comfortable in the attacking third, so why people continue to balk at what was a mere suggestion — and a reasonable one — is beyond me.

  60. salparadisenyc

    2-1 Bayern with Muller converting pk, Harsh decisions really.
    Schweinie on.

    3 sub by the 65th min.

    Lewandowski, Ribery and Schweinie.

    Now 3-1, Muller header… thats a brace for him.

    Thats squad is mental.

  61. salparadisenyc

    Is there a better crosser of the ball than Ribery?
    Left foot, right foot like a golfer honing in with a wedge.

  62. Marc

    Bamford

    Agree we need a powerhouse CDM and we have good options for CAM just Ramsey is not one of them (I know he can play there but my Mum could play in goal if you gave her a pair of gloves). Ramsey brings athleticism into a box to box role and was giving an excellent goal return as well. Why he’s gone down the toilet is another conversation although I do have my own thoughts.

    My personal view is for a balanced MF (when playing a 4-2-3-1) is you want a dedicated CDM with a B2B player, this doesn’t mean the CDM can’t attack and the B2B can’t defend but it does give you balance and a late arriving B2B can be very difficult to pick up and mark. Just look at fat Franks career and his goal return.

  63. Marc

    Cesc

    Napoleon is famous (amongst other things) for saying given a choice between a good general and a lucky general he’d take a lucky general every time.

    My personal view is that if someone is that lucky all the time, especially when the shit hits the fan then they’d be seen as a good general and luck would play no part in it. Time will tell.

  64. underrated Coq

    Cesc Appeal

    QUOTE: “Well then it’s a difference of opinion isn’t it.Well then it’s a difference of opinion isn’t it.But you seem to be happy to build a squad of ifs, buts and maybes.”

    As opposed to your sure-fire solution of buying player X and player Y ? Even then there are ifs, buts and maybes.

    QUOTE: “As I said the other day, as a sport, we can have no certainty in football. But you can increase your probability of success.”

    Can’t argue with you here.

    QUOTE: “If Gabriel turns out good, if our approach to fitness improves, if Ramsey discovers consistent form, if Coquelin can do it game in game out, UCL, big occasions the lot…lots of hope in there.”

    You do realize the exact same questions can be asked even in your suggested method of new signings that we make..? There is no guarantee that everything will suddenly click together if we buy player X and player Y. But, as you say, it does more good than harm.

    And are you seriously comparing some posters’ expectations of Chambers,Wilshere,Bielik being the answer to CDM to expectations of Coquelin being the answer ?

  65. WengerEagle

    Relieable sauce

    Great point about the crappy songs that are sung at our matches, no originality or creativity whatsoever, just cringe-worthy chants a 6 year old could better.

    Even the Santi Cazorla and Giroud songs are awful.

  66. WengerEagle

    Well the Bundesliga is over as a contest, Wolfsburg have unfortunately lost and Bayern of course have won and extended their lead to 11 points at the top of the tree.

    Dortmund’s momentum has also been halted, they drew 0-0 at Hamburg.

  67. Cesc Appeal

    Underrated

    Yes of course.

    But if you sign a world class player for example, whilst of course there is still a chance that they won’t be successful, you increase that probability I was talking about.

    If you build a squad of strength, instead of hoping certain players step up or stay fit you increase that probability.

    It is all about giving yourself the best odds possible walking into a season, we fail spectacularly at that every single year.

    Things like leaving a 19 year old Chambers with 21 PL games to cover CB and RB, having no CDM and hoping that Wilshere is going to step up or, laughably that Diaby will have an impact, having only Giroud going into the season as ST.

    Wenger just doesn’t do the basics of squad management or building right.

    “And are you seriously comparing some posters’ expectations of Chambers,Wilshere,Bielik being the answer to CDM to expectations of Coquelin being the answer ”

    No, you can read what I think about Coquelin, had a discussion with MidWest about him and I feel he could be useful to us, not good enough to be a starter in my opinion but the kind of player a squad needs. You can put him in in the away trips where you want to be solid in the middle alongside your world class CDM and B2B player, for example.

    The way our team is, and the way our manager is, I think you need a CB and midfield pair who can run things themselves, who can dominate without instruction because they won’t get it from Wenger.

    You would also have found me in September saying, lets give Coquelin a go in the middle because he can’t be worse than Wilshere and Arteta…I think I said that we are only looking for fourth place and there would still be plenty of time even if giving some fringe players a go blew up on us.

  68. salparadisenyc

    All Peps effort going into Europe… we shall see.
    Between Barca, Bayern and Madrid… the real heavyweights.

  69. Relieable sauce

    vicky 15.40

    I watched the interview earlier with a grimace, nothing we didnt know already but good (very disappointing) to hear him say it. AKB’s are cool with it though…very odd.
    I knew it was going to be tough viewing when it started with Keown saying – Arsene, I know you dont like looking to the past…

    Say what!!!

  70. Marc

    Cesc / Underrated

    Fact is what’s the problem with going out and strengthening the squad, if better players are bought in and the current players raise their games to keep their places it’s win / win. Better performances with a stronger squad.

    I’d like us to buy a CM in the summer and keep Coq as cover / rotation and for certain away games go in with a solid base.

  71. salparadisenyc

    Eagle… pretty ideal. Unless Wenger can get us in there.

    🙂

    That gave me a serious chuckle, i’d hate to see us face Barca if we somehow got passed Monaco. Would set Wenger back to the stone ages and Arse out of the top four with a lack of ze mental strength.

  72. WengerEagle

    Charlie Austin has scored 15 BPL goals for a much inferior QPR side in his very first season in the BPL so I don’t buy into the Kane hype as much as the media do.

    Looks a good poacher but will never be a world class CF IMO.

    Laughable people claiming that Real Madrid will want him.

  73. Bamford10

    WE

    You’re probably right that Bayern have it in hand, but with 11 games left, I think Dortmund will continue to climb (today’s draw notwithstanding). Am hoping they make a Europa spot. 7th place is required, I think.

  74. kwik fit

    Wenger – The next Arsenal boss will be in a strong position

    So true Arsene, because the current squad can still do well even without direction, tactics, leadership and fight.

  75. Bamford10

    WE

    Agreed. Kane is not all that, but he’s a decent goal-scorer. I think I might prefer Austin to him, if I’m looking at who will be better in two years.

  76. David Smith

    Wish the board would,chose,Pep, but cannot see it, Stan hasmneithermthemambition, nor the desire to depart with the money such a manager and the players he would bring would cost.
    Still think they will go for bould, Martinez or garde, perhaps de boer if we are lucky.

  77. WengerEagle

    Bamford

    Dortmund are 9-10 points off the final UCL spot, it’s not beyond their capability to make up that ground so I’d love to see them finish in 4th. Would make quite the story after the first half of their season.

    Schalke are extremely inconsistent and are lacking in the man for man quality Dortmund boast.

    Leverkusen will be the real threat I reckon, they are a better side and have a very good manager.

  78. Dream10

    Bamford

    Yep he’s 25. I think he’s on his way to having a fine career. Worked his way up from the lower leagues. Thing I appreciate most about him is his shooting technique. The ball flies off his boot.

  79. WengerEagle

    Sal

    Yeah any of Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern would humiliate us in the QF if we were to somehow manage to hammer Monaco (not happening).

    A blessing in disguise indeed! Don’t think I could take another 6-0!

  80. Bamford10

    Dream10

    Agreed. Austin crushes the ball. So clean. Neat technique. That cut on Wednesday night, where he took it out of the air on the outside of his right to wrongfoot Coquelin? Then buzzed the post with a sweet half-volley? Really nice.

  81. Dream10

    Wenger Eagle

    Leverkusen were impressive against Atletico. Calhanoglu is an unreal striker of the ball despite not being a big lad. Seems like a well balanced team. I know Handanovic is a favourite of yours. But, if we are to sign a young keeper, Leno is a great top choice. His save from Tiago in the 1st leg were spectacular.

    They have a great chance to eliminate Simeone’s men.

  82. underrated Coq

    Cesc Appeal

    Fair enough. I find myself agreeing with most of what you have written in your previous post.

    Though we have deviated a lot from the original points of the discussion.

    But nonetheless it always seems to come down to, like you say, giving ourselves the best chance of success– Something that rarely happens at Arsenal–A fundamental flaw that epitomizes Wenger’s managerial failings.

  83. Goondawg

    Think Austin is better than Kane

    He’s been banging it in through the divisions, whilst Kane’s only done it this year, need to see him do it regularly. Also Austin plays for a shit poor QPR side, and already has 15 goals, with 10 games to go. Could reach 20+

    Fuck off spurs. Ref robbed the hosts

  84. London gunner

    WE and Bamford

    We are arsenal fans not Dortmund fans…

    You should want them to fail so we can pick off their talent come summer.

    Don’t get it twisted i would rather Bvb be relegated If it meant one of subotic, reus or their keeper

  85. WengerEagle

    Dream10

    Yeah he’s an interesting player, best FK taker in Europe and he’s only turned 21. Needs to tidy up his passing and keep the ball better but he’s a proper talent.

    Leno was amazing against Atletico, haven’t seen him regularly but have heard that he looks a bit special. Only 23 too, is he good enough to take over from Neuer in the NT in the long-term?

    I’ll tell you who has really impressed me off of Leverkusen this season, Heung Min-Son. Only 22 years old, he’s developing into a brilliant wide-forward.