Arsenal need a new DM

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Thursday is here.

A German lady asked where I was from yesterday, I said… ‘I’m from Essex’… she replied… ‘I thought Essex people exercised’

Devastation. Germans don’t lie.

Still, I read with great interest that diet is more powerful than exercise.

‘You can’t outrun a bad diet’

Well, that’s good news, because I wasn’t trying to… but, if I was thinking about it, I’d defintley not run.

Right, what’s going on in the news today?

There’s talk that our interest in Schneiderlin has cooled. I wouldn’t know either way, however, I’d be surprised if that were the case.

Back in the day, having one player for each position wasn’t enough, but that’s the way we operated. Nowadays, you need two players at the very least. We have depth all the way around our squad.

Central midfield, we’re struggling. Flamini was past it when we signed him. Arteta is beyond broken. That leaves Coq on his own. We need Morgan to come and join the party. Share the burden. Because depending on Arteta and Flamini all season could prove to be disastrous. Also, let’s be realistic here, if we’d had both those names in our side in the summer, we’d be pushing Chelsea a lot harder right now.

Right, I have to leave because I’m slammed. Apologies for the weak posting of late, my life is dominated.

Alex will be on tomorrow. The day after, James.

Lazy bastards.

280 Responses to “Arsenal need a new DM”

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  1. Leedsgunner

    Various papers reporting that we’ve agreed a £23.1m fee with Sporting for William Carvalho. I know that he’s gone off the boil a little since 2013 but he’s still a decent player… good age too. What’s his injury record like, anyone know?

  2. Marko

    The second leg in the tie is usually key whether it’s home or not so I’m definitely going Real to reach the final but I think Barcelona will overcome Bayern

  3. Marko

    You don’t think much of this team do you Bamford? Even when we’re on a fantastic run. But no Napoli and Sevilla and Dnipro would be better than us

  4. Willow Wilson

    Bamford10
    “Who here thinks we would win the Europa were we in it? I don’t”

    I do. You need things to go your way of course but we are a better team than both those.

  5. Willow Wilson

    To be fair to Bamford he says he has only supported Arsenal since he reached his thirties, around 10 years, so I suspect he hasn’t really caught the bug.

  6. Dream10

    Bamford

    Nope. We would not beat Sevilla or Napoli. In a two legged tie, there will be one match where we’ll allow at least two goals.

  7. Dream10

    We played Sevilla in the 07-08 CL group stage. Each team won at home. They won the group.

    We played Napoli in the 13-14 CL group stage. Each team won at home. One more goal and we would have been eliminated. We were literally shitting ourselves.

  8. Willow Wilson

    Marko
    Shame Real got the easier draw, I was hoping for a Barca v Bayern final. I suppose we now have the possibility of an El Classico final, which would be very entertaining, with lots of play acting and rolling around of course.

  9. Marko

    So let me get this straight you’ve admitted you don’t think much of this team but still pop here blogging about them every day.

    Second in the league and in a FA Cup final but still Napoli and Sevilla are better?

  10. Bamford10

    Willow

    What a moronic comment. How much one loves Arsenal shouldn’t affect one’s assessment of our quality relative to other clubs. One should be capable of objectivity. That’s the problem with AKBs like yourself. You always imagine Arsenal are the best —- or that its players are the best —- simply because you happen to love Arsenal the best.

    As can be seen above, others agree with me that we probably wouldn’t win the Europa, and they think this not because they don’t love Arsenal enough but because they are capable of objectivity. You’re not.

  11. Willow Wilson

    Dream10
    “We played Sevilla in the 07-08 CL group stage. Each team won at home. They won the group.We played Napoli in the 13-14 CL group stage. Each team won at home. One more goal and we would have been eliminated. We were literally shitting ourselves”.

    What on earth has 2007-8 got to do with anything? Totally different teams.

  12. Bankz

    Bamford is 40+?

    I for one think over two legs,we’d shit ourselves over the current Valencia,Sevilla,Wolfsburg & Leverkusen teams

  13. Dream10

    Willow Wilson

    You’re correct about 07-08. However, Napoli have almost the same team as last year and they gave us a torrid time in the last group match. We are not stable enough defensively to succeed in European knockout football

  14. Bamford10

    Marko

    What does the quality of the current team have to do with my devotion to Arsenal? Should I pay less attention until we have a squad and manager that I REALLY rate? Should one’s support fluctuate with the quality of the current team? Of course not. A very stupid comment on your part.

    And I didn’t say that Sevilla or Napoli, per se, are better than us. I said that I don’t think we would win the Europa, which is to say that I could see us being knocked out by any one of the better teams in the Europa, just as we were knocked out of the CL by a fairly ordinary Monaco team.

    And I’m 39, MTML. Given some of the childishness that goes on here— most of which I have nothing to do with — I’ll let your dig pass.

  15. Marko

    Dream there’s a difference to our record the last ten years in the champions league as opposed to teams who don’t sometimes even get there. Granted though I’ve seen Sevilla quite a bit this season and they’re formidable at home but we could knock them out at home for sure.

    I just took what Bamford said and wanted to argue nonsense on that. I mean honestly in a cup final and on a fantastic winning run and he still rates an average Napoli side or pretty decent on their day Sevilla side or Dnipro (?) Or Fiorentina (honestly?) as better equipped to win the europa league

  16. Blsany

    Great season for UEFA.

    The four biggest teams in the world (representing the three best leagues in Europe) as semi-finalists in their flagship tournament.

    What more could they have hoped for?

  17. daz

    Bamford why do you always call out others that agree with you like it proves anything? yes we could win the Europa doesnt mean we would but certainly could, as for Napoli they are 20 points off juve can’t see them finishing higher than 4th so no Cl for them next year and that’s in a piss poor Italian league few of their better player will most likely move on so I wouldn’t be trading places with them anytime soon

  18. Bamford10

    Marko

    Looks like more here at the moment agree with me on this point. And I suspect this would be even more the case were the regulars — ROP, Cesc, WE, gambon, Mid, N5 — to show up.

    Maybe you have the distorted view?

  19. Romford Ozil Pele

    Don’t think any of the aforementioned teams are better than us, however, the point stands. Over a two-legged tie, it’s feasible that we could be beaten by any of the above teams. Quality-wise, we’re better than all of them but anything is possible in knockout football. We’ve shown the propensity to shoot ourselves in the foot more often than not. Even now i’m still wondering how we got knocked out by Monaco. Annoying because I reckon we could’ve taken Juve. I think Real Madrid will trash the, It is what is though. People won’t rate Arsenal until we actually start winning on a regular basis again. That’s where the doubts stem from. We’ve been unsuccessful for the best part of a decade (with reasons of course) so you can see why people doubt our potential. We’ve never really been a team for European pedigree either so hopefully that’s something we can begin to address.

    RE the CL draw – wanted a Bayern-Barca final, would’ve been great for the neutral I felt. Gut instinct says Bayern-Real final. Think Pep might be able to pick holes in his former team.

  20. Blsany

    Bamford is right.This team would have the talent to win but they would fall apart from the pressure.Remember-Wigan,Hull city,Reading,Monaco.When the heat is on they cant deal with it.

  21. Dream10

    Marko

    Just because we are on a fantastic run in the 25-30 matches and have reached a cup Final does not mean we’ll succeed in Europe, We’re still prone to defensive lapses. A poor 15-20 minute away from home in the CL/Europa will get you knocked out (Monaco). Away from home against similar/superior teams to Sevilla & Napoli (Top 7 in PL), Chelsea, Southampton, Liverpool and Spurs dominated us for at least 45 minutes. Granted, Coquelin was not playing in some of those matches. But, we have trouble away from home against similar/superior teams. A successful home leg may not be enough to overturn a deficit

  22. Marko

    Bam devotion aside I just don’t see with the run we’re on how you could think so little of the team. If you can’t see the improvement the last season and a half then fair enough but ridiculous run in2015 and you still think 5th, 6th, 7th placed teams in Italy or Spain are better? As Banks says we’re of a level of Sevilla, Napoli, Leverkusen and Wolfsburg? Don’t tell Sanchez that or he’ll be off

  23. Blsany

    Arsenal unbeaten run
    Everton h W2-0
    04.03.2015 L Queens Park Rangers a W2-1
    14.03.2015 L West Ham United h W3-0
    21.03.2015 L Newcastle United a W2-1
    04.04.2015 L Liverpool h W4-1
    11.04.2015 L Burnley a W1-0
    18.04.2015 C Reading n W2-1

    Hardly something to sing about.

  24. Marko

    Distorted view? Honestly Bamford you’re talking out your hoop. How is seeing we’re on a great winning run and in a FA Cup finq and second and seeing Sevilla down in 5th or 6th in Spain and Napoli down in 6th or 7th in Italy and rating us better distorted? Like how? Honestly? Is common sense and a generally not so grim (at least now) view on the team distorted? Also even if what you said was true and all those fellas agreed with you it still wouldn’t mean you were right

  25. Marko

    Of course there’ll be someone to pick holes in everything even this run we’re on. And pointing out who we’ve beaten is really stupid honestly it’d look better if we beat Chelsea and CIty over those 8 games? Even though we can only play them twice each

  26. Romford Ozil Pele

    I don’t rate any of those teams above us. On a given day, they could beat us of course. That’s the nature of football. In a league season i’d back Arsenal to finish above all of them 10/10 days in a week. More consistent and capable of eeking out results. Knockout football is completely different though and I think that’s what this conversation is about. If Arsenal were in the Europa League, we’d be favourites. Would we be able to handle the pressure that comes with that? That’s another question entirely.

  27. Bamford10

    Marko

    I’ll try to respond more fully later — I have to go to work — but for me it’s quite simple:

    One, I remember us losing 3-1 at home to Monaco just a short time ago. You seem to have forgotten this. That game is a good example of how we play in big European cup matches.

    Two, I am not nearly as impressed as you are by our recent run. Yes we’ve gotten many good results, but these weren’t against top sides, and I still don’t think we’ve ever looked all that great.

  28. Marko

    Bam Romford didn’t necessarily agree with you he gave a much more reasoned explanation and one most would agree with which is to say we’re better than them but they stand a chance at beating us in a European style tie. He didn’t just take a dump on us like you kind of did

  29. Romford Ozil Pele

    Arsenal unbeaten run
    Everton h W2-0
    04.03.2015 L Queens Park Rangers a W2-1
    14.03.2015 L West Ham United h W3-0
    21.03.2015 L Newcastle United a W2-1
    04.04.2015 L Liverpool h W4-1
    11.04.2015 L Burnley a W1-0
    18.04.2015 C Reading n W2-1Hardly something to sing about.

    Yeah but at the same time there’s no point beating Chelsea/City if you then drop points to Burnley/Newcastle. Sometimes I feel like people just want us to beat the big teams and not win any other games to pacify themselves. You play 19 teams twice in a league season. There’s plenty points to be won. I hate when people say that Arsenal only beat cannon fodder teams. So we shouldn’t beat them and we should only pick up points against top sides? Does that even make sense? And as we’ve seen, the appeal of the PL is that anyone can beat anyone meaning no game is easy.

  30. Dream10

    Romford

    Well articulated. Knockout football is about temperament as much as it is about talent. There will be a 15-20 minute spell where a team will be under pressure. It needs to bend and not buckle.

  31. Blsany

    Rop
    I did not say that.I purely just listed the teams we beat on this great ” run “.Al those teams are teams we should be be beating every year.
    If it looked like this Tootenham City,Liverpool,Chelsea followed by Barcelona in CL .I’d be happy with that kinda run.Not beating teams in relegation and midtable.We have to keep some perspective here. This is what we have been doing for the last 10 years.

  32. Marko

    Bam for every Monaco at home there’s a Monaco away. For every Bayern at home there’s a Bayern away. Granted I get your point we do sometimes flatter to deceive and are capable of a horror show (also capable of something special) but you completely disregarded our chances against teams that very few level headed people would rate better than us. I mean honestly Napoli are a pile of shite these days and if it wasn’t for Wolfsburg havingan off day or doing an Arsenal in the first leg they’d of probably walked the europa league imo

  33. Romford Ozil Pele

    Bamford – I’d like to classify it more as big games rather than big teams. As this season has shown, I don’t really think beating big teams is a problem, I think it’s more to do with when the game has massive meaning. The home game against Monaco is the perfect example. We don’t really seem to deal with the favourites tag well. I’m not necessarily sure it’s a complacency issue either. I think when we don’t score early, we tend to get frustrated and start aimlessly attacking, leaving spaces at the back where defensive/counter teams then exploit us. We should be more patient in these kinds of games. But then it’s all fine details too. Say we scored early against Monaco in the home leg, it completely renders their gameplan effective. Fine margins. We need to make them work for us more. As it is, we flopped horrendously and deserved to go out.

  34. Romford Ozil Pele

    Dream – Yeah basically. Knockout football is completely different and you need to be able to hold your a-holes together. Games are decided on very fine margins. As I said in the above post to Bamford, think we tried to go gung-ho too early against Monaco and got our fingers burned for it. It’s that game management that we lack, whereas teams like Chelsea (the PSG horror show aside) have it in abundance. We didn’t need to try and win it that early. The tie was 180 mins long.

  35. Marko

    My question then is who would we have to beat before you’d rate our chances of Europa league success over Sevilla or Napoli? Chelsea? They’re not on par with those two. City away in the league? No? Cause in European football they’re not making any great impressions. United away perhaps? Probably not it was a cup game and they had no European football this season

  36. Kane

    I get that opinions are subject to perspective – but I hate it when people change the facts to suit their argument.

    Since we lost to Monaco – we are undefeated, having played the following (home games in CAPS)

    EVERTON, qpr, man utd (fa cup), WEST HAM, Monaco (ecl), Newcastle, LIVERPOOL, Burnley

    That is 8 games without defeat – across all competitions – including away trips to Monaco and Man Utd as well as home games against Liverpool and Everton.

    If you include the 2 premier league games we won before we lost to Monaco – that is 8 premier league wins in a row – a record equalling the unbeaten season of 2003/04.

    If you honestly do not think any of that is an achievement – so be it… but get your facts right!

  37. Romford Ozil Pele

    Blsany – At the end of the day, 3 points is 3 points. No point beating a Manchester United if you’re just gonna lose against Swansea the next game. The teams who win the PL are the most consistent. Chelsea lost the title last season not because of big games but because they dropped points against the so-called lesser clubs. You can’t under-estimate any team in this league. They all come with different challenges. I do agree that ultimately this run will count for nothing due to our dreadful first half of the season. Just nice to see us in good form.

  38. Willow Wilson

    Bamford
    “What a moronic comment.That’s the problem with AKBs like yourself. You always imagine Arsenal are the best —- or that its players are the best —- simply because you happen to love Arsenal the best.”

    What?

    You are psychotic mate. All you do is come on here, slag off half the players and the club and then when everyone disagrees you call them names. I don’t think Arsenal are the best team, we aren’t. But I do think we have been on a great run that deserves praise and do think we would beat Seville and Napoli. I also think we could win the Europa league but as I said you need things to go your way. Try reading the whole comment. If that makes me an AKB or whatever other name you want to throw out, then to be quite honest ICNGAFF.

    A couple of weeks ago you were laying into some of the decent commentators on here, questioning their football knowledge and making snide remarks about the level you played – which is obviously bollocks. Anyone who dares to disagree with you, is treated with sarcasm and accused of knowing nothing about football.

    Now all of a sudden not only are you slagging off the teams recent run, claiming we haven’t played anyone, you are also going on about how we couldn’t beat Seville and Napoli if we were in the Europa league. Have you EVER said anything positive about Arsenal? Who are you really?

    You are like those trolls RedTruth and Thomas who pop in every now to show everyone what life would be like if you only had three braincells.

  39. Romford Ozil Pele

    He’s gonna end up their anyway but if Pogba has a stormer against Real in the semi final, it’ll only quicken the process.

  40. S Asoa

    Where the fuck is that lazy Alex ?
    Pedro fuck knows what the f…k he is up to.
    Too much tension waiting for the day to start

  41. Willow Wilson

    Kane
    “That is 8 games without defeat – across all competitions – including away trips to Monaco and Man Utd as well as home games against Liverpool and Everton.If you include the 2 premier league games we won before we lost to Monaco – that is 8 premier league wins in a row – a record equalling the unbeaten season of 2003/04.If you honestly do not think any of that is an achievement ”

    This.

    As ROP mentioned, it does not matter who you play the Premier League throws up no gimees.

    Why is it other teams don’t go on 8 win streaks if this is no achievement?

    Perhaps it isn’t as easy as some people think. Consistency is tough in this league.

  42. S Asoa

    Kane
    It is commendable this last run of Wins
    But then

    If we were not a disaster at the start.
    And
    Thank God for Sanchez
    Without his early good run
    We would be toppers of the bottom
    Such a wake up call for consistency

  43. Willow Wilson

    ROP
    “As I said in the above post to Bamford, think we tried to go gung-ho too early against Monaco and got our fingers burned for it”

    It was going gung ho in the last couple of minutes that did us. And the fact that Giroud missed 2 nailed on sitters. That dink over the keeper was about as easy a chance you will see. We murdered them in Monaco, massive gulf in quality.

  44. Willow Wilson

    S asoa
    Good comments. The start of the season could have been a lot worse if Sanchez hadn’t rescued us. Imagine if we had started the season with the team we have now, we would have won the league. I have no doubt.

  45. Bamford10

    Willow

    Talk about psychotic. I neither do, nor have done, any of those things. The only person I have “slagged off” recently is you, and my remark was nothing compared to what gambon said about you the other day.

    And the only time I have ever mentioned my playing experience here is when certain types have suggested that I can’t have an opinion because I’m a Yank. And nothing I have ever said about my playing experience is “bollocks”: I did in fact play both in college and for the US youth national team.

    Not that this gives me any more knowledge than anyone else. I have only said this from time to time in response to those who imagine that every Yank knows only the “gridiron,” an outdated and moronic view.

  46. daz

    The fa cup last year was the first trophy bamford has seen us win I asked him how he felt about it a few weeks ago he said it did nothing for him, for me that says it all about him can’t take anything he says seriously since

  47. daz

    Bamford why do you constantly call for other posters to have your back? If you think something then write it stand up for it yourself

  48. Willow Wilson

    Bamford
    Thanks for your response. I did not know you were across the pond, so your slur is unwarranted. Your Nationality has nothing to do with football knowledge, I agree. Football knowledge is evident by opinion.

    To be honest, I couldnt care less what gambon says but as he can be equally psychotic I am not at all surprised. Not sure why you have mentioned the fact he slags me off, bit childish to be acting like a gang member.

  49. Romford Ozil Pele

    Willow – True, Giroud did miss a few sitters in that first leg. But then the question has to be asked why we were chasing the game to begin with? So much space down either flanks, the warning signs were there. And then Kondogbia had the freedom of Islington to get in a shot unopposed. From then on we were always in trouble as we warned about Monaco’s good defensive record prior. I don’t think we used the wings well enough in the first leg, much too congested. Alexis and Welbz should’ve stayed a bit wider to begin with. They did this much better in Monaco. Ah well, it’s done now. No use crying over spilt milk. We just need to make sure that we’re fully switched on from the get-go in meaningful matches. We spend too much time chasing games, and by then the damage is already done.

  50. Bamford10

    More arguing against straw men. Who said our run of good results wasn’t an “achievement”? No one.

    The question is: what kind of achievement is it? How highly should one rate said achievement? Are we now the best team in England? Are we even better than United or City? Are we now one of the best teams in Europe?

    Regardless of one’s answers to these questions, the point is that some of us rate this achievement differently than others, but no one is denying it is an achievement of some kind.

  51. Willow Wilson

    ROP
    Yes, kind of agree. The problem when you don’t have natural wide players is this tendency to come inside for the ball. This, as you say, leaves space. Makes it easier for the other team to defend to, as they can close the space.

    For me those misses in the home game were crucial. They were sitters, so the game was thrown away. But in the last few minutes, we should have closed the game and kept what we had.

    As you say, spilt milk. The team has preformed well apart from that off day. Lets hope we show how good we are tomorrow.

  52. Blsany

    “The question is: what kind of achievement is it? How highly should one rate said achievement? Are we now the best team in England? Are we even better than United or City? Are we now one of the best teams in Europe?”

    This!

  53. Bankz

    I blame the last ten year trophy drought on Bamford. As soon as he starts supporting us we started to lose

    Haaaaahaaaaaaa!

    Y’all should leave Bamford alone.

  54. Bamford10

    Daz

    I didn’t say it did “nothing” for me. I said it didn’t do all that much for me, and I explained why. That was a depleted Hull side — playing without four of their starters — and we were fortunate to win.

    We never looked all that great and we certainly weren’t playing anything even approaching “champagne” football.

    Different people look for different things in life. You were overjoyed by an ugly win against a very weak Hull City side; I was not. I saw it as a false dawn of sorts, a flattering to deceive.

    To each his own.

    As for why I mention other posters, it is only to counter the claim made by some here that my views are minority ones. They almost never are. That many other posters agree with me obviously does not make my view correct, but it does mean that it is not some unreasonable, aberrant view. That’s the only reason I mention others.

    Willow

    I appreciate your last post, and I wasn’t trying to “gang” up on you. I was only saying that I didn’t think my remark was all that hostile given some of the things that are said on here.

  55. Romford Ozil Pele

    Willow – that’s Wenger’s prerogative though. He’s never really been one for wide-hugging touchline players. I wouldn’t say we have a natural winger in the squad at all. The closest we’ve had under Wenger was probably Overmars. He prefers wideplaymakers who start wide but can then come inside to create an overload/help with ball retention. Nothing wrong with this of course. I just hope this type has pace. You’ve seen with Santi that he’s more comfortable inside, lacks the pace/stamina to get up and down on the wing. Part of me thinks Wenger will buy a wide-playmaker in the summer, the other part thinks he’ll give it to Ox. Ox seems to be able to strike up a nice balance from knowing when to stay wide and when to come in. It’s his end product that needs to be improved. And I think that’ll come.

  56. Dream10

    AW loves narrow football. We have two in central midfield, Ozil drifting inwards and Sanchez hovering near Giroud. We need to find a Pires type. An elite right footed playmaker who starts on the left. Reus and Brahimi are two who I can think of. El Shaarawy is another who is consistently linked to us. Injury prone as well.

  57. Bankz

    Romford

    Give me a Marco Reus & that’s a sweet summer for me.
    I’m still not certain Wenger will hand over a wing to the Ox.
    For some funny reasons, he still thinks the Ox could be a CM.

    A creative winger, another CDM, goalkeeper or left back and I’m calling the summer a successful one.

  58. Romford Ozil Pele

    Pellegrini is of the same ilk. He’s always loved 2 wideplaymakers. Rememeber at Villarreal when he used to have Cani and Pires or Pires and Cazorla. He loves to narrow the pitch and rely on the FBs to provide the width. Same thing he’s doing at City right now tbh.

  59. tunnygriffboy

    Wenger looks for width fro his full backs too. Hence they keep getting caught up field. Monreal is intelligent enough to know when to sit and when to go. WithRamsey playing on the right last week we ddefinitely missed Bellerin over lapping. It work well against lpool

  60. Blsany

    “An elite right footed playmaker who starts on the left”
    I think Isco Alarcon is the man.When Tottenham sell Kane to Madrid he’ll be surplus to requirements.

  61. Romford Ozil Pele

    Bankz – Give me a Marco Reus too. If Klopp was staying, I think he would too but can see him looking for a move now. TR7, use your legendary status to get on the blower!

    RE Ix, versatility is his main problem. I still think he best suits the wing tbh, suits his explosiveness. I prefer my CMs to be more steady, compact.

  62. goonerboy

    Its all opinion but it depends which Arsenal turns up and what tactics we employ – we are capable of beating good sides and losing to average and poor sides. We regularly bottle games we should win easily like last years cup final or the Reading or Monaco games yet United away, Man City away, Liverpool at home for the most part should give us more hope.
    Still can’t see us having the confidence to dominate and beat Chelsea who are a better side than us and could not get past PSG- but I don’t think we’d be worried by facing any of the Europa sides or Juventus.

  63. Romford Ozil Pele

    Generally speaking, we’re always best when one FB pushes on and the other sits. Monreal definitely does have the right knack of knowing when to go forward and when to hold. But Arsenal are an attack-minded team by culture under Wenger so FBs will be required to produce in the offensive stage. Just have to make sure that they don’t get caught out!

  64. daz

    Bamford its not just about who you play in the final or how you beat them, i wasn’t overjoyed because we beat hull I was overjoyed that we won the cup, I was overjoyed that our team were capable of lifting a major trophy, I was overjoyed at what it could mean for the future, were now on course for back to back trophies ( fingers crossed) winning breeds winning when your stuck in a rut of never quite good enough that will linger around the club and effect the teams belief that they can win. Winning the fa cup can only have a positive effect on the team. So that’s why it felt more than just simply beating hull

  65. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Reading”

    How did we bottle it? Ideally we’d play better and win by a more comfortable margin but last time I checked, we’re the ones in the final. I hate when people say stuff like Arsenal will win 4 or 5-0, discounting the opposition. I said it before Monaco and we got our fingers burned. Reading were always gonna come and defend deep and make it difficult for us. Steve Clarke is a Mourinho disciple so we should’ve been expecting that type of game. Granted we should’ve done better when we initially took the lead but it’s a semi-final, and as we always see in the F.A Cup, anything’s feasible!

  66. tunnygriffboy

    Daz

    Yeah, there were loads of people crying after beating Hull. Not because we played averagely but tears of joy. The good it will do for Gibbs, Ramsey, Wilshere is immense. We have a chance of back to back. Villa will attack us and hopefully leave more gaps than Reading did.

  67. tunnygriffboy

    Rop

    Yeah, we’re supposed to turn teams over 4 nil. Same people who say that don’t take into account Bradford beat Chelsea ( last time Mourinho trusted his squad players ) and City got turned over by Wigan and Boro in the last two seasons and lpoo got taken to replays by 2 championship sides this season.

  68. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Villa will attack us and hopefully leave more gaps than Reading did.”

    Well this is the hope, especially with Sherwood as manager, but if they don’t, what’s our answer? We’re gonna be playing teams who park the bus on a regular basis so really need to get to grips with it. That’s why it’s important that our passing patterns/flows of combinations are right. When teams defend deep, it’s gonna require probing and intricacy to open them up. Chelsea will do exactly this on Sunday. And with that in mind, it’s a mystery that Wenger doesn’t wanna use TR7 in big games anymore as he’s exactly perfect for this. I know he wants to give the young players the chance to develop through game time but still.

  69. Romford Ozil Pele

    Blsany – thanks for that. Good read. Unfortunately the regista has long been underappreciated in England. But is it surprising? If it’s not energetic, lung-busting, full of running, it means it’s shit. And that’s dreadful. Carrick, while not on Pirlo/Alonso level, is the main reason behind United’s resurgence under LVG. It’s not a surprise to see more creative players play deeper these days, look at Santi for eample. Even Wenger was saying he’s now at an age where his attributes suit a deeper position, collecting the ball, starting attacks from deep. When we’ve been missing Arteta who’s normally the rotational passer for us, this is even more important. We in England tend to be stuck in our ways, very dinosaur-like. We love players with energy. And while that’s important, means nothing if you don’t have the ability to go with it. A lot of people are up in arms that Santi starts ahead of Ramsey in the deeper role – not really a surprise to me though.

  70. Blsany

    ROp
    Regista’s are the sort of players that improves with age because their game is built on skill and intelligence, not running all over the pitch trying to clatter opponents. They are quite the antithesis to what the English would consider the right skills for a midfielder, yet we love them all the same.As all action players( GerrardBarry,Parker..etc) get older the physical side of their game declines, so players that haven’t based their game around it suffer less.
    Do you think Wilshere could play that role in the future for us and England?

  71. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Regista’s are the sort of players that improves with age because their game is built on skill and intelligence”

    Yeah I agree. Their games have never been based around physicality which is why they tend to have longer careers. And it’s why a Theo Walcott will burn our once his pace goes.

    I happen to think that Jack is a very intelligent player but he tends to play more with his heart than his head. In that sense he just lets his English side take over and then will lose all form of positional sense. Could he play as a regista? I don’t know really. When he does play for England, he shows a greater/wider range of passing than he ever really does for Arsenal. So in that sense he is kind of used as a regista. Wenger prefers to use Wilshere’s dribbling. But Wilshere has started over-dribbling. In his debut season, he had the balance right. Take on one or two players, release the ball. I guess he had quite a niche role – and the team has changed immensely since then, so like others, he’s still trying to work out where he fits in currently though you could argue Wenger should be weighing in with instruction here.

  72. Romford Ozil Pele

    Blsany/Erase – Guti was a top player, and it’s amd to think at his prime he was nothing more than a squad player for Real Madrid. Obviously he had large stretches of games but you know they never held him in as high esteem as he could’ve been. Great talent. That kind of assist is the height of awareness. Lovely, lovely goal. Prefer to see that than a 30-yard volley personally.

  73. Blsany

    Guti was a top player.He was only mareginalised because he wasn’t a Galactigo!

    My favourite assist ever is this

  74. Keyser

    “We in England tend to be stuck in our ways, very dinosaur-like. We love players with energy. And while that’s important, means nothing if you don’t have the ability to go with it. A lot of people are up in arms that Santi starts ahead of Ramsey in the deeper role – not really a surprise to me though”

    This isn’t quite fair. It’s a lot easier to fit Pirlo in when you’ve got Pogba, Marchisio and Vidal pitching in.

    Wenger mentioned something about how the games soo quick, and athleticsm soo valued that players who might be more technically gifted or even more skillful are being overlooked because they’re not quick enough.

    The three examples in Carrick, Pirlo, and Alonso, as good as they might be, they’re surrounded by masses of talent.

  75. Romford Ozil Pele

    Grrr lost my original post.

    “This isn’t quite fair. It’s a lot easier to fit Pirlo in when you’ve got Pogba, Marchisio and Vidal pitching in.”

    True but even for Italy where there’s no Pogba/Vidal, provisions are still made for him. At the end of the day, will you not make room and preferential treatment for quality, especially in such a niche position?

    Wenger himself seems to value technique over power if his recent acquisitions are a barometer. Now I know that’s a bit of a generalisation but Wenger always talks about the Brazil national set up from 197- and how they managed to fit in a plethora of playmakers/no.10s.

    “The three examples in Carrick, Pirlo, and Alonso, as good as they might be, they’re surrounded by masses of talent.”

    Not sure of your point here?

  76. Keyser

    Our run really hasn’t been that good, and we aren’t going to learn much from Sunday’s game other than what our upside possibly could be. The promise comes from the growth of our squad and the options we have.

    The arguments above aren’t objective, we compete in the strongest league in World football, even if it is inefficient, we have to work twice as hard to stay competitive in our league before we even think about competing in Europe.

    If we were playing Napoli sandwiched in between teams like Elche and Rayo Vellacano we’d probably get by with ease. That’s with whatever big game fragilities you think we have, our greatest problem has been the depth of squad needed to remain competitive throughout the season.

    The Champions League highlights this in how predictable Europe and the Champions League is. Real and Barcelona dominate La Liga, despite Atletico’s efforts, Bayern are onto their third consecutive title and Juventus onto their 4th, yet we can’t secure 4th without a battle.

  77. Blsany

    “The three examples in Carrick, Pirlo, and Alonso, as good as they might be, they’re surrounded by masses of talent.”

    No they are surrounded by destoyers and runners while they let their team tick over nicely.

  78. Cesc Appeal

    Should be an interesting game on Sunday, I swear though, if we let Drogba score I will end up sat in a puddle of my own tears and urine. I think both our CB’s have to be well ahead of him physically now.

    Solid centre and pace on the flanks is what will win it for me. Might as well go for it, Chelsea don’t look that great, just efficient, we can certainly ruffle them a bit, we have the personnel to do it anyway.

    Welbeck and Sanchez wide, Coquelin and Ramsey deep and let Ozil direct things with Giroud up top. Need him to be on form in front of goal, he usually hashes at least one clear cut chance when we play Chelsea.

    Coquelin and Ramsey don’t need to do anything spectacular, if they are solid in front of that back line I’d be quietly confident on Sunday.

  79. Blsany

    There will come a point where Andrea Pirlo is no longer a professional footballer and the world will be a significantly poorer place for it.
    Very few current players have such class, grace, poise and vision on (& off) the field.

  80. Keyser

    You’re almost trying to make out we’re some sort of backward land, when it’s more likely the pressures are simply different, and each of those examples don’t really stand out, they’re still playing and the position doesn’t especially matter, because their teams can afford to have them playing their, Cambiasso stood around in Italy around the halfway line, his work at Leicester is probably more impressive, but because Leicester will end up relegated no-one will mention it again.

    Juventus have crushed Serie A, Pirlo is affordable.
    Bayern dominate the Bundesliga, Alonso is a back-up to an injured Martinez.
    Carrick is still playing, but in a team that finished 7th last year and then had 200 million spent on it.

  81. Marko

    You dropping Santi for Ramsey CA? It’d be the other way round for me. I think Santi’s more disciplined of the two

  82. Blsany

    keyser
    Much like ordinary life the game of football evolves according to its needs. Traditional “Number 10″ playmakers became marked men, prior to games even kicking-off, as football has become tighter, more tactical and seen more pressing. Furthermore football formations have evolved and thus we have had the emergence of the regista and the resounding success obtained with them. Nowadays playmakers orchestrate play from deep picking up the ball from the centre backs and initiating play while still involved during all stages of the build-up. Xavi, Pirlo, Gündoğan, Alonso, Ricardo Montolivo, Hernanes and Marco Verratti are some of the modern day registas who have become masters of their trade.

  83. Keyser

    Lol it’s not evolution, football hasn’t been through infinite generations, but it’s seen these formations and players before, what might have changed is how fleeting people’s memories seem to be.

  84. Romford Ozil Pele

    We’re not backward but we could definitely do with some better thinking. We’re just more behind the times. The pressures are different, sure. It’s just interesting to see a lot of teams using the qualities of playmakers in a deeper role. If they think it can enhance/elevate the performance of the team, then why not? I’m not saying every team needs to have it but it’s just interesting that a lot do. Santi has been playing in deeper midfield for quite a while now. I’d definitely say Carrick stands out in this United team though.

  85. Cesc Appeal

    Marko

    Just over the past few weeks I haven’t liked the look of our central midfield. I love Cazorla, but I prefer Ramsey in there, I feel it is a bit more balanced and he adds a bit more solidity and physical presence.

    I do hear what you;re saying, Wenger would need to tell Ramsey your job is to just sit, do the basics and recycle possession, no flicks, no tricks, no bombing forward.

    I just worry that Mourinho is going to crowd the middle, I can see him playing Matic and then Zouma or someone in there with Fabregas slightly forward, I don’t like the idea of Cazorla in amongst that lot.

    If Wenger does play Cazorla, it would necessarily be the best thing for the game in my opinion but I certainly wouldn’t be distraught, but he must not play Ramsey at RM/RW…has to be Welbeck on Sunday because we really can get at Chelsea. Against Reading we looked so one paced, Ramsey slowed us down and wanted to have too many touches.

  86. Keyser

    “We’re not backward but we could definitely do with some better thinking. We’re just more behind the times.”

    Or you could say we’re ahead of the times, our league absolutely annihilates all others.

    Those 3 examples are teams that aren’t under the same pressure as others, when we move Cazorla back, or we had Bergkamp drop deeper it was part in neccessity, we had to make the best of their abilities to get the most out of other players.

    I don’t think that should be confused with what teams like Juventus, Bayern or United do.

    It’s not the same as Udinese still holding onto Di Natale, or Roma onto Totti.

  87. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Or you could say we’re ahead of the times, our league absolutely annihilates all others.”

    Come again?

    “Those 3 examples are teams that aren’t under the same pressure as others”

    Yeah but what does this matter? Your aim is to make your team better/more efficient. Santi played in a pivot at times at Malaga so it’s not like we’d just introduced an alien concept to him. The only real worry about him in this role currently is that he’s only going to decline physically. You’d hope he can impart skills onto Wilshere/Ramsey who are still the long-term holders of this B2B/connector role/whatever you wanna call it.

  88. Blsany

    “Or you could say we’re ahead of the times, our league absolutely annihilates all others.”

    I think Epl flatters to deceive.How else how do you explain no English teams in the latter stages of Europa and CL fo 3 years running then?

  89. Spellbound

    To repeat the what I said yesterday, the chelsea back 4 is there for the taking. I’ve watched them for the past month or so and they seem to be on their last legs. Terry especially seem to lunge into tackles a lot more instead of good tracking and positioning. We need to hit them with pace on the counter and quick incisive passing and movement when we get around the box.

  90. Keyser

    There must be something about the speed and intensity we play at that has everyone tuning into the premiership or willing to pay all that money for tv rights.

    “Yeah but what does this matter? Your aim is to make your team better/more efficient. ”

    I really should just stop posting. It’s almost like spoiling it for the young.

    Bayern bought Alonso pretty much last ditch once Martinez got injured. I really don’t think it was because Guardiola had noticed some small nuance in Alonso and the regista, and how would you tell anyway, Bayern have a ridiculous array of options.

    United used Scholes and Giggs almost into their 40’s, is it really Carrick playing a specific position that has been pivotal, or was it Ferguson trying to hang on to what United had even if it mean’t a poor transition to the future.

    If Guardiola had bothered to take a chance with a youngster, or United had managed a better transition would we really be talking about these players, Pirlo’s different but then Juventus aren’t any team.

    Cazorla’s dropped back because we’ve pretty much needed him to, we don’t have an abundance of talent, we need to adapt at times.

    I think my point is that these teams do it because they simply can and they really shouldn’t get credit for it, likewise the players, yeah they’re excellant players and so on, but I’ll have more respect for someone like Cambiasso or Di Natale, who actually operate outside of a certain comfort zone, a zone they’re unlikely to get as much credit for.

  91. Keyser

    blasny – In terms of money, Chelsea were being compared to the Invincibles earlier in the season, if you swapped them and Juventus who would finish higher ? Even if they made it through a year they’d have players picked off them.

  92. Romford Ozil Pele

    “There must be something about the speed and intensity we play at that has everyone tuning into the premiership or willing to pay all that money for tv rights.”

    So nothing to do with full stadiums/foreign investment? Speed and inensity doesn’t mean it annihilates others. It’s more competitive, more entertaining, not sure how that determines quality.

    “I really should just stop posting. It’s almost like spoiling it for the young.”

    See it’s stuff, patronising stuff like this that always gets you into silly arguments.

    Well Martinez wasn’t always a starter during last season and he doesn’t offer the level of control that Alonso does. I agree that he was bought last minute but it might have also had something to do with the Kroos transfer.

    Carrick has pretty much always been a constant.

    Why should teams be taking a chance on youngsters when these professionals can still produce the required level of performance? You can talk about the future, Bayern and United focus on this to an extent, but they’re under pressure to win so it’s a fine balancing act.

    I still don’t really get where you’re going with this. My main observation was that a few teams are using registas now. That was it. Don’t think the article tried to paint any other point.

  93. Josip Skoblar

    Karim
    The journo who asked this question is quite bright in my opinion… Maureen must have been fuming… 😉

  94. Blsany

    ” In terms of money, Chelsea were being compared to the Invincibles earlier in the season, if you swapped them and Juventus who would finish higher ? Even if they made it through a year they’d have players picked off them.”

    Keyser I dont even understand what that means?! You are being disrespectfull to the Old Lady.
    In a world where playmakers are becoming crowded out by double pivots and defensive midfielders.Tactically astute managers find the place in the midfield for their most creative player.

  95. karim

    Hi Josip !
    It was a tense moment after some stupid asked him if he respected Wenger …
    And then the journo said that very seriously, which baffled Mourinho at first, and then he just laughed. That was cool.

  96. Dissenter

    Wenger will never do enough to truly compete for a chamionship[.
    This season, it was not signing a center back in time.
    Next season, he will resign Arteta and Diaby, both of whom will be out with injury and run down Coquelin.
    That way, there will be mitigating factors for why we cannot win the league. The likes of Willow Wilson will have straws to clutch.

  97. Keyser

    “So nothing to do with full stadiums/foreign investment? Speed and inensity doesn’t mean it annihilates others. It’s more competitive, more entertaining,”

    Yeah, and this isn’t something those leagues could benefit from ? So pretty much the Premiership does annihilate them as an actual ‘League’.

    Dude wasn’t mean’t to be patronising just there’s soo much that leaves a bitter after-taste about football, especially to me, pointing it out just seems a waste of time because it stops others from enjoying what’s left.

    I didn’t like the idea that these leagues have some sort of deeper meaning because they use players in specific positions, especially when the examples used are from teams like Bayern and Juventus, who basically use their own leagues to practice for the Champions League

    I detest the extremes, but when there’s such a gap between certain teams to the chasing pack I also understand you can’t help but comment on their details.

  98. Keyser

    Blasny – Juventus have won the last 4 Serie A titles, as much as I’d like to believe this was because of Pirlo being used as a Regista or the inate tactical variations of their manager, I just don’t think that’s it, I think it’s Serie A’s a pretty weak League and Juventus are better than the rest.

    The Premiership is a lot stronger, hence, it’s a lot harder to remain competitive in it and then compete in Europe aswell.

  99. Cesc Appeal

    What’s this Isco rant stuff? Apparently he’s had a falling out with Ancelotti at Madrid…

    If there’s any sign he’s up for grabs I’d be straight in there, Sanchez, Ozil, Isco seems a very Wenger attacking midfield. Isco taking Nasri’s old role.

  100. karim

    Incredible nightmare scenario for Marseille tonight !

    They badly needed a win to entertain their CL hopes after 3 losses in a row as they hosted Lorient (18th), who had only won 1 in their last 10.

    Jordan Ayew, Andre’s brother, on loan from Marseille, scored a goal and assisted another in the first 15 minutes.

    Things stood still until the 60 th min when A. Ayew scored, followed by another OM goal 7 minutes later.

    Just when you thought OM would win, Lorient scored a 3rd goal after the kick-off.

    Michy equalised 5 minutes later to make it 3/3. This time, everybody thought they wouldn’t screw it again.

    Well, Jordan Ayew took the ball on the left, let 2 OM defenders on their back and scored a brilliant goal.

    Lorient even added another one in the dying minutes. 6 goals in the last 25.
    Game over !

    Marseille 3
    Lorient 5