Will Arsenal have a game plan today?

by .

Instagram Via @mada_lawrence

Instagram Via @mada_lawrence

BIG GAME DAY

All to play for.

Liverpool land in London to play a top four supremacy battle.

It’s going to be exciting. Liverpool have most of their attacking players available. Arsenal have most of their best players available. It’s going to be blood, guts and thunder.

Well, that’s what I hope.

Tactically it’s going to be interesting to see what Arsenal do today. Coquelin has a massive task ahead of him. Liverpool have nimble runners flying in from everywhere. He’s probably going to be the key man for us today. Hopefully he’ll be sitting in front of a centre back pairing of Gabriel and Koscielny. A much more matched partnership for a team that boasts speed.

Up top, we’ll see the return of Ozil after his Berlin exploits. We’ll likely see him reunited with Cazorla, Giroud and Sanchez. A very exciting offering. Good news on the Sanchez front, at least he played his friendly in North London, rather than usual South America trip. He won’t be jet lagged. He’ll have been rested and raring to go. I’m pretty sure he landed man of the match on the losing team?

If we have our front row in silky smooth football mode, a Coquelin prepared to play in the smart disciplined way he has all season, then we have a very good chance of making this a very enjoyable afternoon.

I guess the concern is that Arsene loves to play ball. Liverpool will come to kill us. The game will be probably be open. United strangled Liverpool a few weeks ago. It wasn’t pretty, but it was effective. I can’t imagine we’d play a game like that. When it’s at home, it’s your prerogative to attack. I just hope we don’t leave the back door open to exploitation like we did in the last game we lost at home in the league (United).

I think LIverpool have beaten us once at home in the last 18. We’re on a winning streak of 8 (6 in the league). Confidence is either going to be high, or we’ll start getting to that heady state where we fear losing the streak. All the noise in the camp this week has been positive, Wenger will have them focused on amassing a massive points total and carrying that momentum over the line.

Today is the big one for me when you’re talking about the top four hoodoo. We played Monaco and didn’t go with a game plan and they beat us. Liverpool aren’t on our level, it’d be tempting to think we can play them at home and just beat them. But that’s not the right mentality. Have we learned from Monaco? We’ll we show Liverpool the respect of giving them the same preparation as we did Manchester City? I really hope so. That would show how far our game has evolved. That’d give me confidence we’re not just a calendar year team and that there’s a chance we can progress next season.

Right, I have to shoot early, picking up tickets, finding beer houses, you know the routine.

Have an amazing day… see you on the other side!

741 Responses to “Will Arsenal have a game plan today?”

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  1. MidwestGun

    basically all the good posters never post any more
    _________
    Not true. Just the trolls stand out more. And it’s the weekend. Guess, depends on your definition of good.

  2. N5

    Brianna just because you work in Staines it doesn’t mean you need to adopt Ali G’s style of speaking!

    “You is jumping on the bandwagon”

  3. N5

    “basically all the good posters never post any more”

    I didn’t realise we were being graded, I best up my game.

  4. Lee

    Emirates

    so true. Why so many feel the urge to discredit our players at the beginning of matches, I’ll never understand.
    Not to mention the ayers mentioned all contributed match winning performances.

    Red truth- you must be 11 years old

    Keyser-coq has played an integral role in turning our season around
    Who cares if he doesn’t contribute goals or assists.

    It’s suits our game better the less he contributes going forward.
    I’d rather he sat back and covered for our full backs who are more capable in the final third

  5. John T.

    GREAT match and win. I’ll be singing at my favorite Pub tonight. The owner is a longtime friend, from Liverpool and fan. They will NOT be singing You’ll Never Walk Alone with much gusto tonight. Come on Stoke.

  6. Keyser

    MTLM – Lol a neg out ? It’s like you get brainwashed posting here, you’ve got people saying Coquelin is exactly the player we need, and then others who say he’ll never be good enough, 4 months ago he was on loan at Charlton and most likely on his way out of the club, saying he’s playing well in a reserved role is perfectly fair in my view.

    I find it amazing that you can’t grasp this.

    Wenger supposedly ignoring the position is wrong, and part of wider issues.

    Likewise our defensive stability, we actually have defended quite well at times over the past 3 years, where we fall down is in transition, attack to defence more than the other way around, which Coquelin’s pace helps with, and our efficiency in the final third, this is shown in how consistently we churn our chances, we don’t especially but we obviously have masses of talent because we can score with individual moments of skill, or pretty random intricate team play.

    This is also shown by the clear definition between if we score or concede first. Especially last year.

  7. MidwestGun

    Karim –
    Ya…. maybe. Altho. . I Think he let’s someone else do the recaps now. And he’s on a responsibility free weekend drinking bender. 😀

  8. Keyser

    “It’s suits our game better the less he contributes going forward.”

    This is completely wrong, at our best our transitions are fluid, it’s something he’ll have to learn.

  9. N5

    OK Brianna, you need to get to Staines anyway so it’s probably best that you don’t get into a debate. Hurry up before your boss starts ringing me again.

  10. MadeToLoveMagic

    i can grasp it , you cant grasp the fact that it is a limited role but one that the manager ignores and doesnt see as important so the fact that coq used his initiative to take his chance see what the team really needed and actually implement it deserves more praise than what you are prepared to give him. That was my point but you seem to be arguing another point.

    Think this proves your point about wenger and dms to be wrong http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wenger-there-are-no-defensive-midfielders

    agree though about transition from defense to attack and have been saying that myself for ages too, but you are saying coq has helped on that front so whatever.

    Seriously you dont need to preach to me about the myopia on here i am fully aware of it and dont consider myself part of it, ,,

  11. Goondawg

    Redtruth you dont think Ronaldinho, or the two Ronaldo’s nor messi, are world class. This proves you are indeed a complete fuckwit.

  12. MidwestGun

    That was ridiculous. .. haha love it. Cortois totally stunned. Just for the look on Mourinho’s face alone. They will probably blow it second half but damn that was good.

  13. Redtruth

    A great team and manager would have destroyed Liverpool on the counter attack instead Wenger puts on Flamini when the need should have been to exploit Liverpool at the back when they were chasing the game.

  14. N5

    Random, Marble doesn’t get to anyone anymore, it’s funny watching him start swearing and getting metaphorically red faced when he can’t get his little game going properly.

  15. Wallace

    Lewandowski sheepishly put Bayern ahead 10mins before half time. Dortmund doing okay but this Bayern side just never look out of position.

  16. Keyser

    MTLM – Used his initiative ? Dude ffs, we re-called him, it’s more likely we gave him instructions to do exactly as he is so he doesn’t over-reach, we’re also easing Ramsey back in and Cazorla’s dropped deeper. You’re completely overplaying it, do you honestly think Wengers ignoring it, or is simply Wenger trying to flesh out the team well enough that it becomes a squad that might challenge for the title again.

    Also this isn’t Coquelin’s pinniacle he’s going to actually have to show he can think and work outside of this role. Again why not just let him progress, he’s doing well and if he is actually as smart as you think he is, he’ll know that there are clearly areas he need to improve.

  17. TheBayingMob

    Oh … Who let Keyser back with his “I’m the most intelligent mind in football” pseudo bollocks “you don’t understand my posts because I’m so deep” nonsense? Pedro? Oh well, takes all sorts to make the world spin I suppose …

  18. Wallace

    the Coq/Cazorla combination definitely seems to be Wenger’s preferred central midfield partnership these days.

  19. Keyser

    TBM – Lol, it’s more all that’s left are a bunch of trolling plebs who’d rather make a snide remark then actually advance a conversation.

    It’s not deep, it’s not especially intelligent, it should be fucking obvious.

    Maybe you’re happy with saying constantly repeating Ozil’s shit, or Ozil’s World Class, curiously linked with each moment he does something good or bad, not necessarily in that order either, can you work which one goes with what ? Here’s a clue, even if you manage it, you’re still not especially smart.

  20. Keyser

    I don’t think it’s about the partnership, more that he trusts Cazorla to be able to drop deep and turn with the ball, Ramsey’s erratic form and Cazorla not quite having the legs to play wide right are probably more important, Ozil drops deeper anyway, Giroud and Sanchez always show for it.

  21. london gunner

    Wallace

    I have to say I much prefer Cazorla central then I do on the wing. Whether he is played further forward or deeper as he currently is.

    I also thinks it makes sense to allow Ozil the CAM spot as he is much stronger there and doesn’t need to focus on defensive responsibilities as he would on the wing, you can see that match by match Ozil is gaining confidence as he is increasingly adding silky skills and flair techniques to his game which are a joy to watch. Can’t bench him right now!

    I think Wenger has done really well with the balance, but I don’t think Ramsey should play on the wing as he is a massive weakness for me there. I prefer Welbeck outwide and as soon as he came on we started utilising the wing more making us even more of a danger.

  22. kwik fit

    Charlie Adam always had a sweet left foot and seem to have a thing against spurs players which I’ve always liked

  23. Keyser

    Here’s something football related, that Charlie Adams not only cuts across it but also curls it back towards goal, allows him to put more pace on it without having to increase the trajectory.

    Shit was the word ‘trajectory’ too much ? I mean not having to hit it upwards.

  24. tunnygriffboy

    How long have we been hearing that lpool are on a brilliant run and that they’re the form team in the country. It’s been constant even though we’ve matched them game for game.

    Now on the radio lpool are a poor team. Man u now being rimmed that they can win the title and how well some of their team is playing

    Funny old world.

  25. MidwestGun

    Keyser
    I don’t know if trajectory is the right word but the swerve definately fooled Cortois who couldn’t track it because it wasn’t straight. He had to have practiced that more then a few times, because that was confident and probably muscle memory. Like a golf shot.

  26. MadeToLoveMagic

    Keyser then if thats the case how come nobody in an arsenal shirt has played as disciplined at dm as Coq for god knows how long , probably ten years in my book. You really think wenger said to him to not go past the half way line? Highly doubt it mate, wenger believes players should be fluid and be free to express themselves. Thank god for us that coq likes to express himself in the tackle…

    Im sure he is aware of the places he needs to improve, anyway i wasnt saying that he was the best DM in the planet , just that i think more than any other player this season he has made an impact in the solidity of the team, which has a knock on effect for the attackers therefore on that level you could arguet that since his return he has been the most important player. You seem completely unwilling to give him any credit for it , even though its the first time in years we havent been a total mess at the back, and yes there have been games over the last 3 years where we have defended well, but not consistently. Over the short time he has been here coq seems so far to be giving us that ..

  27. Keyser

    I think the pace was more important, Courtois would probably have made it back easy if he tries to actually lob him, as in chip it, instead he just drives it, the swerve is because to put that sort of pace on it he has to cut across it somewhat, it also means if he starts it slight to the right it curls back towards goal anyway.

  28. MidwestGun

    Keyser –
    Ya… pace was important but from that distance I’d imagine that’s all he’s got. Like i said tho…. has to have practiced that from that range a bunch.
    Crazy good shot. Shot of the year?

  29. Keyser

    MTLM – Wilshere barely moved when he first put him in, and yeah Arteta’s done that before and because we didn’t have the players we have now he actually had to take the ball off the back 4 and turn with it to, but the he’s obviously more experienced. Gilberto, Song, Flamini have all played better in that role over the past 10 years.

    Mate you’re just turning to extremes now, we’ve made significant runs of victories and disciplined defensive performances in each of the last 3 years.

    “You seem completely unwilling to give him any credit for it”

    No I just think he should get the credit he deserves, so we break the bi-polar trend on here.

  30. Keyser

    Midwest – I keep thinking of the golfing drive as opposed to a chip, but how do you factor the keeper in, maybe a strong headwind ?

    Shot of the year, my enthusiasm has dropped completely now Chelsea are back in front.

  31. karim

    Goal of the afternoon ?

    Gotta be Sanchez even though I appreciated Giroud building his own goal and doing his best RVP impression as much as Ozil s free kick.
    Alright then, 4 goals of the day today coz Bellerin s was worth it too, considering the lad’s position.

    Keyser
    Serious question : Do you think Sanchez scored (also) because of the slight rebound just before he hit it ?

  32. MadeToLoveMagic

    Er i dont have bi polar reactions to things mate,

    can you just concede that if continue this form until the end of the season then it would represent something better tha nwhat we have seen in the last three years??

    And Song?? More disciplined than Coq? really?

  33. MidwestGun

    Keyser –
    Not sure. Maybe he just figures if the keeper saves it he saves it. But it’s almost like he knew it would dip at that range. Like you know your driver is good for 280 or whatever, anyhow, ya, agreed in a losing effort maybe not goal of the year.

  34. Keyser

    MTLM – You’re confusing discipline with actual performance, Coquelin shouldn’t be judged by how he handles his comfort zone now but by how he reacts to adversity in the future.

    I think what you’re salivating over right now is marginal, Coquelin is one part of many reasons to be optimistic, he’s also someone with more to prove.

  35. MadeToLoveMagic

    Keyser , yeah maybe you got a point there

    Maybe I am putting to much stock into his discipline rather than his actual performance. If i am though , its because we have been starved of it for so long 🙂

  36. Keyser

    Karim – You mean it bobbles up a bit ? Yeah, that’s always the sweetest to really hit a ball, you don’t have to factor the ground and can get completely behind it, it’s also why it dips soo violently despite the pace.

    I really should’ve asked more questions about football in Physics.

    Midwest – If you drive a golf shot into a headwind, you lose accuracy but you increase the velocity and the distance, I think he knows that if he tries the perfect shot, Courtois gets back, and that’d make it shot of the year, hopefully they ask him about it.

  37. Willow Wilson

    I just watched the game on holiday in the Algarve. Buzzing. The Portugese football fans love arsenal and wenger. The sporting fans are saying they believe William is off to Arsenal.

    This arsenal team is quality. Too many injuries at the start of the season, may cost us the title we deserve.

    Those of you that still persist with slating the players and manager before, during and after today’s game, need to question your footballl knowledge.

    That was a great performance and wenger completely put Rodgers back in the box labelled ‘over hyped’.

    Back to a late swim in 26 degree heat. Obrigado.

  38. Goondawg

    Just wanna thank RSPCArsenal for his betting tip yesterday.

    Glad I put money on United, Arsenal and Chelsea to win, both teams to score in each game. Fucking get in!

  39. Keyser

    MTLM – The last time we beat United, Citeh and Chelsea in the same year it was Song in that role, not to mention Barca at home at least, the year after where Fabregas and Nasri leaving basically ripped the creative heart out of us, Arteta and Song stepped up bigtime.

    Now that we are one the up, in that we shouldn’t really be selling players, Coquelin won’t have to adapt to us losing that much creativity but I’d always prefer that he explored the option, even Gilberto popped up with goals. As did Edu and Petit.

  40. gunnergetyou

    Begovic might well be available this summer. He’s only got a year left on his contract. And says that Stoke needs to match his ambition. Any serious offer from us and his likely to force a move. He’d be foolish not to.

  41. MidwestGun

    Damn… oh well. Lack of sleep and adrenaline wearing off.

    Very happy about win today especially against Pool. Not much change at top but Pool’s chances harpooned, very satisfying. 4 -1.

  42. Bamford10

    gunnergetyou

    After the terrible blunder he just made, I don’t think too many here are going to be calling for him.

  43. london gunner

    Keyser

    He has only played 13 games and is a defensive midfielder, so I am sure he will pop up with a goal eventually.

    You also have to remember when Gilberto and Edu were in the team we were an utterly dominant team utterly dominating the league bar Man United, so those players had more scope to go forward and put the knife in a bit. Whilst today the rest of the table is generally stronger and we have much more rivals at the top end with City, Chelsea and United.

  44. london gunner

    One mistake Begovich is shit.

    The fact that mistake was so utterly out of character shows he is a quality player who just had a bad moment.

    De Gea had a really poor game against Aston Villa and let in a goal he should have saved, does that suddenly make him a poor quality keeper? Nope!

  45. gunnergetyou

    Bamford

    He’s still quality IMO, he’s proved his consistency for Stoke over a number of years. Think we can safely put that mistake down to a one-off.

    He’d definitely be an upgrade for us, but I wouldn’t be complaining if we signed Cech instead.

  46. Bamford10

    gunner

    Yeah, I think he is a good keeper as well. But that was a terrible blunder on his part. Made no sense to be distributing the ball there.

  47. Bamford10

    London

    Relax, mate. No one was calling anyone “shit”. Nor is he one of our players, so I’m not sure why you have your hackles up.

    And by the way, there’s no “h” in his name: Begovic. Like Matic, Modric, and Ibrahimovic.

  48. MadeToLoveMagic

    yeah you are right keyser

    song did step up after that year, its just a shame he wasnt disciplined or clever enough to fulfill the role thew team really needed thereafter. he wandered forward and cost us points to many times. I was sad when he left , a bit like when sagna left, i knew i would miss the player but that it was better for the teams progression to lose them…

  49. tunnygriffboy

    Chelsea still to play us man u and lpool. It’s gutting that our constant injuries knackered us again for big chunk of the season. Sorting that is as important as who we sign next season. We have a lot of players coming into their prime ans a nice sprinkle of experience and young talent coming through. Keep them fit !

  50. Arsene's Nurse

    Keyser – you are talking rubbish regarding Wenger and Coquelin. Wenger himself contradicts your own statements:

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20150303/wenger-coquelin-has-surprised-me

    There it is in black and white and it backs up everything MTLM has been saying.

    Wenger was forced to bring Coquelin back early from Charlton because Arteta, Ramsey and Flamini were injured. Wenger even stated that it was nice to have found an internal solution that wasn’t planned.

  51. Wengaball

    “And by the way, there’s no “h” in his name: Begovic. Like Matic, Modric, and Ibrahimovic.”

    Add Can to the list. Reverse order. Same sound.

  52. Keyser

    AN – What did I say that was different ? Firstly Wenger brings him back, Coquelin doesn’t want to come back, because he thought he’d be cover, secondly, he’s playing an inhibited game, or simply playing to his strengths.

    He’s playing well, but to his strengths and in a reserved role.

  53. luke

    Fair play to Arsene – he has quietly gone about building an excellent squad. I still don’t see him as an elite manager as his tactics are non-existent, but fair play. A few additions and we look like we could be right up there with the best. I still hope Wenger starts transitioning to a roll “upstairs” though. We will def need a top manager to compete at this level consistently. That said, I’d love to be proven wrong. get the feck in you goonahs

  54. tunnygriffboy

    Think Ramsey played today to stack midfield and keep possession. He pressed well as well. No huge fan of him playing on the right but by the time Welbeck came on they were throwing men forward and he had space.

    Welsh jesus two assists though 🙂 🙂

    Mid

    Comment of the day. Coquelin’s ressurection at Easter. 🙂

  55. Chris d

    Out of curiosity if any of you guys seen the game on bt sports who did the Liverpool biased commentators / pundits award man of the match today ?

  56. Wallace

    Chris

    i think they gave it to Sanchez, but only after Owen said nobody had really stood out. listening to him commentate the 2nd half was very enjoyable. such a whiny, little c*nt. at least McManaman’s occasionally funny.

  57. Wallace

    watching Bayern today was hugely impressive. after they took the lead just sat back and absorbed everything Dortmund threw at them. love Dortmund’s relentless energy, but they’ve replaced two top quality talents – Götze & Lewandowski – with four or five decent players. can still overwhelm teams, but really miss Götze’s finesse. although Gündogan for an hour looked very sharp. would love him at Arsenal.

  58. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Anyone watch the voice ?

    Now the sasha bried had a great. No superb voice … Yet the public don’t vote ?

    Emmanuel had a great voice. Ok they had Hopi. Singing rock where soul tunes would have been better for him!

    Opera singer v good… Should get a gig afterwards

    Yet they choose the fella from Scotland ….

    Wrong totally wrong

  59. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    N5

    Shit some of my post recently …. We’ll always are bland

    Only when I’m taking the rise out of boris are they any good, an that is arguable!

    Boris is a good lad …. Prob in a club now chatting some blonde big breasted sort ?

  60. Chris d

    Wallace
    Cheers mate , some of the media gave it to ozil but knew Owen wouldn’t after piers Morgan put him in his place about sterling being better than ozil

  61. bishop

    Why you need a COQ in your life…thats for the guys loving Artetas ball retention.

    COQ and Matic are comparable now for sure

    The Arsenal midfielder has made 35 tackles and 33 interceptions in the Premier League this season. Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini have made 27 tackles and 25 interceptions between them despite playing a combined total of six hours more football.

  62. bishop

    On Saturday, once again, no team-mate made more tackles (four) or interceptions (six). It has helped Arsenal win 11 of the 13 Premier League games that Coquelin has started.

  63. Arsene's Nurse

    Keyser
    April 4, 2015 19:13:16

    …. secondly, he’s playing an inhibited game, or simply playing to his strengths.

    He’s playing well, but to his strengths and in a reserved role.
    ———————————————————————-
    Of course he’s playing to his strengths. Specialisation is all to do with ‘playing to a strength’ no matter what the employment is. I don’t want an aircraft pilot performing surgery on me and I don’t want a surgeon flying me to my holiday destination!

    I also don’t want Santi playing in goal even if he is a bit handy in training, although that would be quite funny. Szczesny would be going through 20 fags in 90 mins if Cazorla was ahead of him!

    People from all walks of life grow into roles. Sometimes this is through luck, sometimes necessity, sometimes through hard-work and dedication or combinations and more.

    The fact is he has found a role that is much needed and cemented his place in the team along with a new 4 year deal. It doesn’t matter if he has restricted his game a bit, what matters is he is performing very well at the level required and seems very happy in the position.

    Playing with an ‘inhibited game’ is neither here nor there because the role is defined: he can either fulfil the role to the required standard or can’t. I think it’s a massive credit to Coquelin to have the process of thought along with the maturity to step into such a role.

    I’m not sure what you mean by a “reserved role”, but if I may, I interpret that to mean a specific role although a DM’s role could also be described as reserved with regard to a conservative, measured or restrained approach. Both are true.

    It is certainly a characteristic that has been sorely missed by Arsenal and I don’t really think there is any problem with a player performing the “DM” whether it’s considered restrictive, reserved or playing to strengths. What matters is the performance.

  64. Arsene's Nurse

    tunnygriffboy
    April 4, 2015 19:31:47

    Think Ramsey played today to stack midfield and keep possession. He pressed well as well. No huge fan of him playing on the right but by the time Welbeck came on they were throwing men forward and he had space.
    —————————————————-
    I think Ramsey was moved right in order to help Bellerin with cover for Courtinho and the fact that Welbeck had a possible issue after international duty.

    Makes sense really.

    Right MotD is on.

  65. Arsene's Nurse

    Magic Mesut’s goal looks like it was worked out on the training ground. MotD starting the game on the 36th minute.

  66. Leedsgunner

    I wonder if highlights from today’s mauling of Liverpool will be used to sell BT Sport for next season. I doubt it somehow. The Liverpool loving media will probably pretend it never happened.

    Just out of interest what did that class knobhead Owen have to say about his beloved Liverpool? 😉

  67. Leedsgunner

    “What he does is always classy and intelligent. The timing of his passes is fantastic. You’d love to play with him.”

    Wenger on Özil, you know, one of Arsenal’s worst signings, according to some… yeah right. He’s absolute rubbish isn’t he? 😉

    #TEAM ÖZIL
    #NEVERINDOUBT

  68. Arsene's Nurse

    Just watched the snippet of the game on MotD and out of the 4 highlights Coquelin is intercepting and tacking in 3 of them and causing huge problems for Liverpool as Arsenal pressed Liverpool high up the pitch.

  69. Wallace

    mainstays – Ospina, Bellerin, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud…and you can probably add the Ox to that list when he regains fitness. amazing what a settled side can do.

  70. Leedsgunner

    Complacency our biggest enemy now as top 4 status seems secure. Burnley has banana skin all over it.

    Ps. Hope you enjoyed it Rocky. The boys played with fight and class just like you 😉

  71. Keyser

    AN – Sorry for the late reply.

    It’s football there’s underlying things each player should be able to do, because they’re a part of a team, and especially because at Arsenal we’re not going to win anything simply by having players perform well in reserved roles, we have to be more efficient and adaptable than the teams above us.

    Hence Monreal at Centre-back, or Cazorla dropping deeper, Welbeck moving clubs to play as striker, but willing to play wide, Ramsey out wide, take Giroud people have similar criticisms about his lack of pace or his inability to dribble past players, yet he’s pushing his mediocre talents further than most people expect.

    I pretty much stated performance despite playing a limited role.

    Take the Liverpool game, when we were pressing Liverpool, Coquelin either won the ball back or was first to the second ball, but as soon as he did no matter where he was on the pitch, he looked for the easiest pass to someone else and dropped, you’ll see this as discipline, when he should have the adaptability to at least look for the pass further forward or push on himself.

    That’s probably unfair but so is this idea that he’s a specialised player, all you’re doing is setting him up for a fall.

    This matters because it leaves greater pressure on others to create and as we saw Coquelin isn’t going to be able to handle the position on his own, as soon as our intensity dropped and Liverpool started passing it about Markovic consistently made runs from midfield exposing our defence. That isn’t the first time Coquelin’s simply been bypassed, and Coquelin’s still got a lot to learn.

    Markovic makes a better pass and all this Coquelin shields the defence, allows us to play rhetoric becomes obsolete and you’ll get the same people wondering why he wasn’t aware of Markovic when our problem is as much about not being efficient enough in attacking transitions, as it is about the team ethic when we’re without the ball.

    Why can’t Coquelin be ‘playing well in a reserved role’ reserved because he’s being eased in, playing well because he’s doing what he’s being asked to.

  72. Keyser

    Anyway all I wanted was for people to at least acknowledge the massive middle-ground between calling a player shit or world class, it seems that people aren’t ready for this.

    Overall it seems pretty obvious to me at least, we’ve got a fair amount of talent, and where we’re struggling really isn’t down to any one player it’s piecing all those various skillsets together.

    We scored 4 goals yesterday, but for me it was more about each individual player doing something extraordinary than it was about the team doing something well. That’s not a bad thing really but it does leave room for a fair bit of improvement.

  73. Emiratesstroller

    Early in season I was hugely critical of Arsenal’s poor performances. This was due mainly to a ‘lack of balance’ in the team/squad and what I perceived was
    Wenger’s stubbornness and failings.

    I attributed this to:
    1. Failure to recruit a Centre Back in summer to replace Vermaelen.
    2.Failure to recruit a Defensive Midfielder in summer to replace Arteta and
    Flamini.
    3.Too many injury prone players on books.

    Whether by accident or design and following a poor performance against Southampton at beginning of January we have managed to rebalance the team
    and squad.

    1. Gabriel was brought in as cover for Mert and Koscielny.
    2.Coquelin was brought back from loan and has proved a revelation.
    3.Ozil and Giroud returned from injury and have been outstanding.
    4.Cazorla has shifted from left wing to a more central role.
    5.Bellerin and Monreal have become our established full-backs
    6.Ospina has replaced Szczesny in goal and proved more reliable.
    7.We have offloaded Podolski,Campbell and Sanogo.
    8.The team now has built a work ethic with midfield and forwards more
    hard working around pitch in cluding defensive duties when required.
    9.We seem to be reducing our injury problems.

    We look like a class team capable of winning titles [albeit probably to late for
    this season] and trophies.

  74. Rosicky@Arsenal

    @ keyser

    Don’t agree it was all in all a team performance.

    Each player played for the team.They defended collectively and won the match.

    cant win if everyone play individualy.

  75. Wallace

    Keyser

    “Take the Liverpool game, when we were pressing Liverpool, Coquelin either won the ball back or was first to the second ball, but as soon as he did no matter where he was on the pitch, he looked for the easiest pass to someone else and dropped, you’ll see this as discipline, when he should have the adaptability to at least look for the pass further forward or push on himself….This matters because it leaves greater pressure on others to create and as we saw Coquelin isn’t going to be able to handle the position on his own,”

    if we played two DMs i’d agree with this, but when Coquelin gets the ball he’s still got Cazorla, Ozil, the Ox, Sanchez and Giroud in fairly close proximity. five players more than capable of creating scoring opportunities between them. i also think he is capable of more in an attacking capacity, but at the moment his more attack-minded colleagues are causing enough trouble for the opposition.

  76. Keyser

    ” but at the moment his more attack-minded colleagues are causing enough trouble for the opposition.”

    We tried to blitz them early, this was a concerted effort, as we saw we simply have to score or find reward as this it takes it out of us, we didn’t and they came back into the game and should’ve taken the lead.

    Bellerin’s goal came from nowhere.

    This isn’t just about Coquelin, people are obssesed by individuals, if Markovic scores or passes to Sterling and they score, are you really going to sit there and tell me people wouldn’t be questioning Coquelins positioning ?

    We can’t have that divide between attack and defence it needs to be fluid.

    When you read what I write what are you actually reading ? Seriously it took about 3 minutes for Bamford to expose his hypocrisy.

  77. Wallace

    “We tried to blitz them early, this was a concerted effort, as we saw we simply have to score or find reward as this it takes it out of us, we didn’t and they came back into the game and should’ve taken the lead.”

    all games ebb and flow. no team dominates the full 90mins anymore. i agree about the importance of the first goal, but we have made a habit in the last two seasons of putting together these 10-15min bursts where we’ll score 2 or 3 goals. and i think we are now looking like a team that can withstand periods of pressure without folding.

  78. Keyser

    Lol if you’re going to say “i think we are now looking like a team that can withstand periods of pressure without folding.” as if this is somehow down to Coquelin you’re as bad as Bamford.

    We’ve seen similar patterns over the past 3 years, this isn’t something new, what’s new is that we’ve got more depth in certain areas and that’s about it.

  79. Wallace

    let’s just say i think this season Wenger’s made a real effort to make us a bit more compact and defensively aware in the big games. Coquelin’s an important part of this, but everyone’s contributed.

  80. gazzap

    Arsenal fans still seem reluctant to praise Ospina. But how many keepers have you seen recently letting easy goals in? Ospina has never done this. He is brilliant at taking the sting out of games.
    Just saw De Gea letting one go straight through him. I think people need to get behind Ospina a bit more. He is streets ahead of Szczesny.

  81. Keyser

    Wallace – Well then as soon as you even begin to compare this year to last you’ll see that it doesn’t really matter, and Coquelin’s role really hasn’t been as significant as you’d think.

    We lead the league the majority of the year and went out to Bayern Munich as opposed to Monaco.

  82. BacaryisGod

    You utter bastards! I’m going to keep re-posting this until I get some godsam recognition!

    BacaryisGodApril 4, 2015 06:00:16

    Taking my son to his first ever Arsenal game today. Should be a good one. At least Skirtl won’t be there to haunt us from corners. Hopefully Sturridge is either out or off fitness against us. Still, he and Sterling without Suarez look far less threatening.

    Prediction of the Day: Emre Can gets sent off.

  83. goona

    Gazzap I agree ospina is the first keeper we’ve had in ages that gives me confidence schezney is crap!

  84. Wallace

    Bacary

    no one likes a smart arse.

    must have been a great game for your son. did you stretch things and tell him it’s always like that?

  85. Keyser

    Wallace – Not even sure what you’re arguing now, Sanchez, Ox, Welbeck was our frontline at the start of the year. that’s a completely new frontline, Last year Giroud started and we basically ran him into the ground. Ramsey’s form was up there with any midfielder in Europe, this year it basically dropped off a cliff.

    How many other differences could I list, Coquelin’s played well in a reserved role, what more do you want exactly ? Has Bamford frazzled your mind ?

  86. Wallace

    Keyser

    apologies for the information dump –

    “I looked at their stats and the only number that really popped out at me was the number of “big chances” that each keeper faced…the telling stat was that Szczesny faced 1.67 big chances per game and Ospina faced a paltry 0.55.

    Just in case you don’t remember, “big chances”² are the Opta stat which counts the number of clear-cut shots that a player has on a defense. These are those one-v-one moments and close range shots where we would normally expect to see the opposition score. Arsenal had 96 of these chances (in both Premier League and Champions League) and scored 45 (47% conversion) and the opposition had 49 and scored 21 (43% conversion).

    In real numbers, Szczesny has played 21 matches in both Leagues and faced 35 big chances. He’s only saved 11, he’s allowed 14, and 10 were off target. That means he has a 44% save rate (shots on target that he saves) against big chances. Ospina has played 11 matches (both Leagues) but critically, he’s only faced 6 big chances, saved 2, and allowed 3 (a 40% save rate on a terribly small sample).

    Just to put that into perspective, Ospina has faced 0.55 big chances per game. Szczesny was looking at 1.67 per game. Over 3 times as many!

    However, if we are interested more in the process than in the outcome³ we have to ask “why did Ospina face so many fewer big chances than Szczesny?” The answer is Coquelin.

    Arsenal have used 4 different defensive midfielders this season: Arteta, Flamini, Chambers, and Coquelin. Coquelin has played 13 games this season and in those 13 games Arsenal have only faced 11 “big chances.” In the other remaining 24 games, Arsenal faced 38 big chances which is an average of 1.58 per game. In other words, just having Coquelin on the field has meant that Arsenal faced almost half the number of big chances than they did without him.”

    – 7amkickoff

  87. BacaryisGod

    Wallace

    We were able to get exorbitant grey market seats on the lower tier of the North Bank and I was pleasantly surprised that everyone stood the entire game. My son stood on his seat and had a good view. The only negative was that the first 4 goals of the game took place at the other end but Giroud took care of that with his beautiful finish.

    My first Arsenal game was also as an eight year old when we beat Man U 3-1 at Highbury. Strangely I only remember Gordon McQueen’s goal for United but that first game locked me in for good just like it will do for him.

  88. nasri's mouth

    Ospina doesn’t have the ability of Szczesny.

    The fact that he keeps getting picked suggests that Szczesny still can’t get his head focused, or Wenger is loyal enough to Ospina to keep him as no.1 till he cocks up, or Wenger is selling Szczesny in the summer because of his attitude.

    If we’re selling him, then we better have a very good keeper lined up, because long term Ospina isn’t good enough at the moment

  89. Wallace

    Bacary

    have you got another 8yr old you can take to the Chelsea game in a few weeks?

    if no, any possibility of you getting your hands on someone else’s?