Sensational mental strength from Arsenal

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Not going to lie hear ladies and Gents, I had my doubts about yesterday’s result. We don’t do things the easy way. Arsenal this year, so far has been all about ease and simplicity. Could we really maintain our focus?

Hull were and are firmly in the mix of a relegation battle. Arsenal are all but secured for top four with only the FA Cup to fight for. It could have been messy.

Thankfully we bossed the game pretty much from start to finish. The starting 11 had very few surprises, our best back four was set up, in midfield Santi and Coq pinned, Ozil through the middle with a front three of Sanchez, Rambo and Giroud.

We controlled the tempo and played with all the swagger of a team that finally found its balance. Our first two goals came with a dollop of Frank Lampard like fortune. Alexis Sanchez whipped a freekick in off Michael Dawsons head for our first. The second came when Santi picked out a blistering Aaron Ramsey run, the Welshman stunned the ball, turned inside his man and rifled off a shot that pinged in off Brady into the top corner. Exquisite regardless of the balls final journey.

We capped off the half with Sanchez rounding the keeper with a clean / zero deflections kind of goal.

Hull had the chance to make us worry, Santi lost the ball through the middle, Koscielny was crunched in what looked like a brutal crunch tackle, the ball was whipped into the box and they headed home for the consolation.

So, 1-3 up North. A touch closer to Chelsea in the finished title race. Well and truly in the mix for second.

Thoughts…

Mesut:

Absolutely breathtaking at times. He blends in and out like a clockwork ghost. His touches were nothing short of mesmerising at times. He’s adapted to the pace of the league fully and he’s toying with it every week. If we bring him back after summer in this form, we’ll be in for a treat next season.

Santi:

Strong performance in that deeper role. It’ll be interesting to see what the manager does with one of the seasons unsung heroes. Can he pin a midfield at 31? Does he have a strong future in our starting 11? A superb talent, I just wonder how influential he can continue to be. Have we reached peak Santi? A big question this summer, especially as contract negotiations have apparently stuttered.

Ramsey:

A much stronger showing over the last month. I still wonder though. He’s kind of the opposite of problem to Ozil. He’s all action, spectacular but quite wasteful. He wants life through the middle, he wants to score all the goals but often at the expense of the team. He’s great to watch, I think he could do with a bit of mentor time with Ozil. He’s going to have to craft his talent over the next year to grow his importance in the starting 11.

Next up:

We have a lovely few days off to prepare for Swansea at home. The return of Fabianski. I hope we all boo him mercilessly for his betrayal. Gary Monk is doing a sterling job over there. A very likeable character. Then it’s United the weekend after. They play Palace before us and have an extra day of rest over us (CONSPIRACY). That should be a fun game. A real tough match against a team who I have no doubt we’ll be tussling with next season after they blow another £150m on players.

Ratings:

Here they are >>> Arsenal player ratings

Geordie Fans:

Enjoyed this read about Geordie fans not being the most destructive entitled fans in the UK. Kind of reminded me of the feeling I used to get when journalists who dip in and out of Arsenal would tell us how grateful we should be of a manager who injured all our players and didn’t engage in tactics. Not sure if I’d agree with the article though, little bit too much innocence in there. I’m reminded of them bringing in Alan Shearer, with zero experience to oversee a relegation… pushing Pardew out and replacing him with a man who can’t stop telling the world he’s ‘one of them’… fans singing about the fat Cockney in charge relentlessly. It’s all a bit, well, Newcastle…

Appeal:

Finally, so sorry I forgot to mention this earlier, but if you could spare a few moments to make a donation to help the disaster effort in Nepal. (DONATE HERE). A lot of good people in a lot of trouble, your generosity will be greatly appreciated.

538 Responses to “Sensational mental strength from Arsenal”

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  1. Dissenter

    Pedro,
    You forgot to add that local boy, Jack came back last night on St Totty day.
    The score line should have been 7-1 because of Jack’s influence, but for pathetic refereeing.

    Jack looked lively, he also seems to be angrily trying to make a point.
    We need that depth, that’s what Wenger should do; play either of them not both of them. Let one push the other.

    If he stays healthy, he gets us closer to winning the league next year.

  2. Romford Ozil Pele

    We’ve scored 100 goals in all comps this season so goalscoring is definitely not an issue. We still need to be more efficient in the final third so you can see that number has the potential to grow. Hoping for more from Ox and Dat guy specifically.

  3. Highbury4ever

    “I would say we are the clear favourites to compete with Chelsea in the next few years if we get things right.”

    LOL that’s a fucking bif IF.

  4. Romford Ozil Pele

    “I think we’ll keep Theo but he’ll run his contract down and leave for free.”

    Doubtful. If the inclination is that Theo won’t re-sign, he’ll be sold this summer.

  5. Dissenter

    The biggest laugh for the tabloids yesterday was from the Daily Mail’s match report.
    They scored Ozil 6/10 for the game, even my Chelsea supporting English colleugue laughed at this and yelled; “That’s why England won’t win a pin in my lifetime.

    Really, they scored Ozil the same grade as Quinn. That was pathetic.

  6. Keyser

    Romford – Last year Liverpool and Citeh hit 100 in the Premiership alone, we were 3-0 up at half-time and while you could say we were professional in seeing the game out, we really should’ve added to the scoreline.

    We’re unlikely to make massive advances on the defensive side, maybe a versatile midfielder, but offensively you can see there’s still a fair amount of room.

  7. Dissenter

    I don’t think Theo got worse.
    It’s just that he’s stagnated while we bought in better players that’s highlight his deficiencies.
    He’s a one trick pony unfortunately, I’m not sure he can even start for teams in the 5th to 8th bracket.
    His role in a big team is as impact sub when the team is ahead and tying to exploit risk taking opposition with counter attacks.

  8. Highbury4ever

    “I think we’ll keep Theo but he’ll run his contract down and leave for free.”

    Chavs or ‘Pool… what a suspense!! lol

  9. Dream10

    Romford

    Not convinced that Welbeck will score at a higher rate. If you look through his goals for Man Utd previously and for us now, he often does not strike the ball cleanly. You see scooped shots and scuffed finishes, i would prefer The Ox getting more shooting opportunities.

  10. Bankz

    Well. it is a different kind of fun.. something bloggers here look forward to.. Dont believe me.. Ask N5 and Bankz. they would kill to do this…..

    LOL!
    I’d kill to knock N5 off his Lrgrove record, the same way Wenger would kill to knock Mourinho off his unbeaten streak vs Arsenal.
    N5 are you listening?
    I’m coming for your Legrove record trophy the same way Wenger is aiming for the ” I finally get to beat Mourinho” trophy.

    Vicky- It’s a different kind of fun given birth to & inspire by Wenger’s Top 4 trophy. It takes nothing away from making this a football blog.
    Just jokes and bants.
    Can’t start each day’s comments with doom,gloom or glory. It could even be worse when you see a series of Redtruth’s rants in the first 10 comment boxes.

  11. Dissenter

    Red truth,
    If you cannot see does on the field then you must be wearing bits of textile not stitched together
    Ozil is the thread that stitches all the expensive textile we have available to make that apparel worthy of the fashion show.

    You want another riddle?

  12. Romford Ozil Pele

    Keyser – agreed. Would’ve like to have seen us hammer home our advantage. As players continue to acclimatise to each other and build partnerships, you’d hope this number grows. Fitness permitting, hoping Alexis tops 30 next term. Expecting bigger contributions from Ox and Welbz too. And it’s needed if we’re gonna progress. Combinations still aren’t where they should be.

  13. Northbanker

    So is Redtruth some sort of code for anything in red but Arsenal? Seriously – you really have got some issues if you are still that negative despite the recent run of results. No doubt you hold on to the thought that only beating Reading by one goal in the semi final was a disaster

    Ozil was magnificent – not in the English way that you must be seen running round the pitch like a Ramsey butting in everywhere (although loved Ramsey’s commitment yesterday – it all adds to the blend) but in a much more emphatic way in making passes when they needed to be made – all understated but enough to control events, allow the fast runners around him to do what they do best and making it impossible at times to defend.

  14. Romford Ozil Pele

    Dream, agreed that his shooting technique isn’t the greatest. Other facets of his game are good though so you’d hope with a summer off he starts working on his weaknesses. If he’s looking to be at Arsenal long-term, he’ll need to improve like many others.

  15. Keyser

    I think Welbeck’s put on too much muscle, it’s a bit like Wilshere’s thighs, they seem to have hindered his natural agility.

    It may help both, but it’s made them a bit more mechanical.

  16. Bamford10

    Romford

    I take it, then, that you think it more important to improve upon Caz/Ram/Wilshere at CM or upon Coquelin at CDM than it is to improve upon Giroud.

    I think these things are of equal importance, personally, and I think it is wrong to look at goal tallies to judge whether Giroud is good enough. Is he good enough against the best teams? Is he good enough to start for any top team? Do his limitations limit what we do offensively? Could we be even more dynamic with a more mobile CF? For me he’s a good number two, but not good enough to win us the big things.

    Maybe you could provide a list of our needs prioritized?

  17. vicky

    Sanchez is not a striker and yet has scored 22 goals so far. So, If Wenger can’t find a top quality striker. he must get a winger who can score a lot of goals. I can see Chelsea adding a bit of firepower to their attack. They will replace Drogba with a decent striker. Will probably replace Oscar with another player who can do more damage to the opposition in the attacking third. So makes all the sense to add more firepower. Can’t over rely on Sanchez to score goals. We have had plenty of goal scorers but nobody prolific except Sanchez.

  18. Mo

    Redtruth will complain that we only won “the greatest team that ever was” trophy because the other teams were so shit.

    In other news, I really enjoyed how we played last night. Ozil actually made me laugh with some of the things he did. Also might have jizzed a little when he did that flick thing 😀

  19. Willow Wilson

    Highbury4ever
    “For winning at Hull… With 2 lucky goals”.

    Bamford10
    “Wilshere has only been back a short time after a long absence and yet Wenger finds more time for him than Walcott.”

    WTF?

    Some fans will never be happy.

    It’s such a shame you two are in that group of fans who seem unable to take any enjoyment from a win and our recent run of form.

    The first 12 games of the season we only took 17 points from 36. That is 19 dropped points. We lost Debuchy and Giroud to freak injuries, Ozil wasn’t fit, Chambers and Monreal were playing at CB and RB etc. Suddenly we get our players back and Le Coq comes in and we go on an amazing run.

    The last 12 games with all our players available and consistent team selection, we take 31 points from 36 games.

    The fact Theo cannot get in the team and Jack has had to wait, is because we have players fit and we are on a great run of form. We finally have competition. We don’t have to force Theo back into the team. Wenger said recently that contract negotiations with Theo ‘are never easy’, so Wenger can afford to play hard ball with him. Good. No player is bigger than the club. He messed us around last time, if he doesn’t want to sign, then he can b++ger off.

    Jack looked as fit as a fiddle to me, whoever has been working with him after that bad tackle when he damaged his ligaments, has done a great job. He has great talent, keep him fit and he is a big player for us.

    To summarise: We are winning games. We have a fit squad. We have players who would normally walk into the team sitting on the bench, as we keep consistent team selection. That’s all good to me. For years we wanted competition for players and we have that. So no idea why a minority are moaning, no idea at all.

  20. Romford Ozil Pele

    Bamford – it’s just important to improve generally, whether that’s internally or externally, the team needs to continue to improve. Wenger has Ramsey and Wilshere on long-term contracts so that’s where his faith lies. The two of them need to be more consistent and remain fit, all whole gaining in knowledge tactically. This only happens through game time. I get the frustration, some don’t think they’re good enough and want change. But then we forget that they’re still relatively young. The top clubs don’t actually have that high turnover of players. This will be the third summer where we won’t lose anyone important so that stability should stand us in good stead. The players we have need to show that continual improvement while Wenger will strengthen externally. Ideally I’d upgrade on Giroud but he isn’t the biggest of our problems. We still score goals with him present. His hindrances are apparent but then he’s also a foil to play from in a very small team. We need that because we can’t play a smaller forward with all the tiny players we already have.

  21. Romford Ozil Pele

    Bamford – in terms of our priorities, I have my list but who knows if it’s in line with what Wenger wants. I’m not even sure he’s looking at a GK. We won’t be in the market for a defender either… DM? I’d hope so and I think we may be going for a forward of some sort but it’s guess work really. Wenger obviously trusts what he has at his disposal. And we’ve shown we can be consistent. It’s about our best players remaining fit over the course of the season. Look how many games Terry, Matic and Hazard played. Then remember all the games that Kos, Ozil missed.

  22. shad

    Agree with you @ROP,

    There’ll be more outs than ins. I hope the ins will be the quality we expect, not some weird Sanogo-esque project.

  23. shad

    @gambon,

    You’ve sounded more upbeat than ever (probably it’s the first time you have since the doc smacked your bum) so what’s making you so optimistic about next season IF we finish 2nd / FA Cup?

  24. OnlyCameToSeeEboue

    Gambon, did your source reveal what the fitness improvements are down to if nothing has changed from previous years?

  25. Romford Ozil Pele

    Keyser – sounds like utter tripe tbh. Don’t know Welbz personally of course but from what Wenger and Fergie have said about him, that would be so far out of character.

  26. Romford Ozil Pele

    Wenger’s rarely played with two wingers. As long as the goals are coming from somewhere. Alexis and L’Oreal are what Wenger expects to be the main goalscorers. Ramsey is now into double figures again despite being so far down on last season. So we have people who can score. Obviously there’s always room for improvement

  27. gambon

    Shad

    For years people have been saying “if we sign 3 players we can win the PL” and ive said over and over thats bollocks, we’ve been miles off.

    Not the case now.

    We need 3-4 players at Alexis’ level, and we can win the PL, certainly.

    You can see from this season that Alexis is just a different level to the rest of the team. And he will only get better.

    However we do need more players at this level. Players that can win us big games, players that can find the goal in tight games, or hold onto a 1-0 lead with superb defending.

    Finishing 2nd as opposed to the usual 4th is massively important. It will create sponsorship opportunities, it will be huge from a mental point of view.

    Winning a trophy again will also be huge, winning becomes a habit, failing to get over the line also becomes a habit.

    Having gone from 4th to 2nd, and winning the FA Cup twice in a row, really only leaves us one direction to go, and thats the league.

    The club will just need to invest heavily to back that idea, as you can be sure our rivals will all be improving this summer.

  28. gambon

    “Gambon, did your source reveal what the fitness improvements are down to if nothing has changed from previous years?”

    I wasnt aware there have been any improvements?

    As far as i remember weve had a pretty dodgy year for injuries. Giroud, Walcott, Chamberlain, Ozil, Ramsey, Wilshere, Arteta, Debuchy, Koscielny, Gibbs is a massive percentage of the team.

    Apparently Shad has had little noticable effect.

    There is a slightly more individualised approach to players conditioning, and more low intensity days in the run up to games, but very little difference. Apparently the change was the managers decision with a lot of players asking for change.

  29. Wee Geordie Armstrong

    1. Ospina has been really good keep him as 2nd to Czech ( excuse spelling have had a couple)
    2. Bellerin is a star
    3. Per reads game well keep him a bit slow but we can manage that
    4. Kos is a star
    5. Santi is so skilled a star
    6. Coq brilliant and signs that he will improve but we need quality in same spot
    7. Ramsay will get better and will mature
    8. Walcott bye bye
    9. Rosicky bye bye and thank you for the years
    10. Giroud he scores goals and is under valued
    11. Ozil class but needs to perform against big teams little flicks mean shit
    12, Sanchez world class
    13.Wellbexk ? who really knows
    14 Wiltshire still owes us he has been average
    15. Woz bye bye
    16 Gibbs overrated
    17. debuchy ? back up only
    18, Paulino I like what ive seen

    we need another keeper hopefuuly cech we need a back up for coq and a replacement for RVP who can score 25 plus

    COYG

  30. OnlyCameToSeeEboue

    Gambon, meant the question in realtion to the last few months as opposed to over the course of the entire season. At least theres some progress.

  31. Redtruth

    gambon

    Your ‘insider’ hasn’t got a clue y, you’d be better off ringing me if you want the full SP in the goings on at Arsenal

  32. Keyser

    The simplest explanation to any change in our fitness or ability to cope with injuries, is how deep the squad is.

    Wilshere, Ox, Walcott, Debuchy, Welbeck. Arteta, Flamini, are injured, or have simply not been needed.

  33. gambon

    OnlyCame

    Like I say they are having more “down days” but the view is still that the club are way behind with conditioning.

    They work the players too hard most of the year which has caused a lot of issues, but that hasnt really changed.

  34. Highbury4ever

    Carragher about wenger : “Maybe at other clubs managers feel that pressure a bit more, but Wenger has been at the club for that long he knows he’s safe in the job.”

    LOL so true Jamie!!

  35. shad

    LOL @Keyser,

    The twitter streets are full of idiots. Anyone can claim to have insider knowledge thanks to info from a certain player’s agent’s cousin’s brother-in-law’s neigbour’s step child’s son..

    But on the real, doesn’t sound like Welbz would throw a hissy fit. Yet. Walcott maybe.

  36. Arsene's Nurse

    gambon
    May 5, 2015 11:59:31

    There is a slightly more individualised approach to players conditioning, and more low intensity days in the run up to games, but very little difference. Apparently the change was the managers decision with a lot of players asking for change.
    ——————————————————————
    That’s the major change right there.

    I think clubs are beginning to catch up with other sports in realising that fatigue builds up due to the lack of recovery time as the season progresses as well as understanding that players are individuals with different bodies and therefore needs.

    I had a look at the injury data a few weeks ago and there has been a marked difference this year compared with the last two.

    Man Utd, Man City, Arsenal, Spurs and Southampton have all had significantly lower number of injuries whilst Chelsea and Liverpool continue with the a generally lower number of injuries.

    The actual interesting bit is the fact that the players were asking for change and the manager actually listened. Does that ring any bells?

    Remember the away game to City when we won 2-0 and the entire system of play was changed by the players. It’s looking like a good bit of player power is changing things for the better, which will be one of the reasons why we have seen an improvement.

  37. Marko

    Certainly agree with Keyser we could do with another offensive player either a Sanchez level attacker or an upgrade on the striker position someone different to Giroud. Otherwise it’s that and a DM with presence as bare minimum this summer. Otherwise bar if a keeper leaves or if a left back or Walcott leaves who else are we needing? Maybe an upgrade on Per? Bare minimum we should be targeting one of Carvalho/Lars Bender/Kondogbia/Kramer/Schneiderlin/Krychowiak and one of Reus/Dybala/Lacazette

  38. shad

    @gambon,

    So, in a nutshell, are you saying that the club will invest necessarily as they should especially if we win the FA and secure 2nd or..?

  39. Blsany

    Sanchez Sanchez
    Full of turns and tricks
    doesn’t do Hatricks
    doesn’t do hatricks
    he comes on your girl tits
    😀

  40. Le Prof

    Bamford

    ‘did Giroud do much? If not, does that tell you something? In a game as open as that, when Ozil, Sanchez and Ramsey are charging about, a somewhat invisible CF’

    If being invisible you mean occupying 3 CBs all game and making the 2 runs for the 2nd and 3rd goals, which opened the space for Ramsey and Alexis to run through the massive gap it created then yes.

  41. Keyser

    shad – It’s a joke account, after the Welbeck tweet, his next one is.

    “After team news was known, Welbeck stormed out of the changing room shouting, and I quote: “This is AIDS!”. Mertesacker intervened.”

  42. Le Prof

    Bamford

    And for a better view and impression of the game itself, it’s advisable to actually watch it rather than rely on ‘highlights’.

  43. Keyser

    “Remember the away game to City when we won 2-0 and the entire system of play was changed by the players. It’s looking like a good bit of player power is changing things for the better, which will be one of the reasons why we have seen an improvement.”

    People are soo desperate to push certain ideas, we’ve played numerous variations over the past few years, because of various players and combinations.

    All you have to do is watch without bias.

  44. gambon

    shad

    Im not saying they will or wont invest.

    Im saying the club have a huge opportunity.

    Unlike a lot of our rivals we are stable, we (should) be a trophy winning team, we have a lot of money and are very sellable due to history, location etc.

    I have no idea what the club will do, but I would think it would be a lot easier to spend £100m on the back of a second place & FA Cup winning season that a 4th place with no trophy season.

    Like I say, look what Sanchez has done for the team. Not only on the pitch but the way the whole club has lifted its expectations.

    Imagine signing 3-4 more players at that level. Im guessing we would again improve to a new level.

  45. MidwestGun

    Giroud wasn’t useless, you could tell early on that with Hull playing 3cb’s he knew he wasn’t gonna get much space so he was coming deeper to get the ball and moving towards the corner flag which was pulling 2 Hull defenders with him leaving big gaps in the defense. This resulted in thru ball after thru ball to Sanchez and even Ramsey at times. So even tho he was quiet on the ball, I wasn’t that upset about it.
    We could use an upgrade over Welbeck, imo especially if he is gonna start doing the injury thing. But I’d prefer a big spend on an attacking winger/midfield player opposite Sanchez. Unfortunately it looks like Rosicky might
    Be going, Theo, who knows? , and Ox has a worrying injury thing. We could use reliable goal scoring from that wing, regardless and Ramsey is more a stopgap option. More of a 4-3-2-1 when he plays there, which is ok but narrow.

  46. Pedro

    … and to A&Ns point. Personalisation and lower intensity is a massive change because it goes against Wenger’s whole philosophy of training hard = more fitness in players.

  47. Keyser

    “Personalisation and lower intensity is a massive change because it goes against Wenger’s whole philosophy of training hard = more fitness in players.”

    Lol no it doesn’t, it actually costs more money, you have to employ more people, spend more time on each individual player.

    You’d love Hyperbaric chambers for everyone, but it’s just not feasible.

  48. Marko

    Pedro but gambon said it so it must be true. Honestly whether or not you believe Shad is making a difference is subjective cause as most of us have no inside knowledge we can only speculate. I personally feel you can’t blame the early season injuries on him cause he only just got the job and in terms of what the world cup and lack of a proper pre-season did for some players was a big factor too. And then with someone like Wilshere and Arteta and Diaby you have to say he’s not a miracle worker those guys are generally just broken. But maybe the second half of the season you could see his impact. Maybe I dunno

  49. Pedro

    Marko, I have leads into the club. So I know that he’s making an impact.

    … I mean, if you couldn’t already see that by the reduction in injuries and intensity of a play at this stage of the season.

  50. Redtruth

    I give you info, Wenger never does defensive drills in training as is evident on match day. He sets his teams up the same way regardless of the opposition.
    Relies on his players to perform rather than setting up a team ro perform.
    Subs players on 70 minutes like clockwork.
    Has no time or acumen to develop players.
    Has never watched an opponent live prior to playing them.
    He is a total control freak.

  51. Blsany

    Pirlo will hopefully make us proud tonight.Fuck Real Madrid especially Cristina the goal hanger.
    Forza Juve!

  52. Willow Wilson

    Le Prof
    “If being invisible you mean occupying 3 CBs all game and making the 2 runs for the 2nd and 3rd goals, which opened the space for Ramsey and Alexis to run through the massive gap it created then yes.”

    Great comment.

    Giroud affects other players and at times it is a selfless role. No coincidence that our other players find themselves running onto through balls in space vacated by the big man.

    Running off the ball and dragging players out of position is an important part of the game but a lot of fans don’t see it, as they get attracted to the ball. To be fair, TV doesn’t always help but when you sit in the stands you see off the ball movement more clearly.

    For some fans, Giroud has become a hate figure and it does not matter what he does they will be caning him.

  53. karim

    Not mentioning Giroud got 3 knocks in the starting minutes, which, if you ever played football, might have influenced his production.
    Wasn’t properly served all game either.

  54. Danish Gooner

    Last night was exactly the mirror image of the game we will have to play next season to become champions.So many times Chavski have finished of their opponents before halftime ,we knew we could afford a mistake or 2 and still seal the deal.

  55. karim

    Middy
    Watched the game this morning, then proceeded to read last night’s comments.
    Have to say I was impressed by your predictions.

    Did the Bulls win ?

  56. TitsMcGee

    “I would say we are the clear favourites to compete with Chelsea in the next few years if we get things right.”

    LOL

  57. vicky

    Keyser

    I have no idea as to what Shad has done. No outsider would. But how are you so certain that he has not done anything of note. May be he has not but you seem surprisingly very sure about it.

  58. Pedro

    Vicky, he’s not actually sure about it, but he’s contributing to the debate by taking an opposing view with no base.

    He’s comment section gold for me.

  59. mysticleaves

    Le prof as moderated as ever today. This is indeed the season of change. Also wrote “Bamford” for the first time as far as I can remember. Maybe your “u” key is faulty mate?

  60. Keyser

    Pedro – Lol, yeah deeper squads to match what other teams have.

    Or it was all a Wenger Conspiracy totalitarian regime.

    We lost Giroud for 3 months, we have Welbeck instead of Sanogo.

    Chambers and Bellerin to replace Debuchy who we lost for pretty much the season.

    Cazorla/Ramsey for Ozil/Wilshere.

    Ox for Walcott, Sanchez for Podolski.

    Coquelin instead of Arteta/ Flamini.

  61. Ashwin Gunner

    Shad has done a good job.. Atleast on Ozil. a guy who could not complete 70 proper mins in his entire career is able to play brilliantly for 120 mins.
    A guy who never back tracks or who used to get tackled easily, is holding up defenders and hanging onto the ball. he has bulked up. and in the right manner.

    Same goes for others who have come back from treatment table. Diaby is the only one who Shad couldnt work on. but its not Shad’s fault.

  62. gambon

    “Shad has done a good job.. Atleast on Ozil. a guy who could not complete 70 proper mins in his entire career is able to play brilliantly for 120 mins.”

    Erm, Shad has been working with Ozil for over 5 years.

    So would common sense not determine that Shad has had nothing to do with his bulking up/fitness?

  63. Keyser

    vicky – It’s staring you in the face, this has been the most money we’ve spent net for probably, actually it might be the most money NET we’ve ever spent as a club.

    Look at the difference Sanchez makes to the team on his own, instead of Arshavin/Podolski, Sanchez tracks back and exceeds their production, that’s less pressure/ weight on numerous players shoulders.

    That’s not to say Sanchez won’t get injured, he’s shown signs of fatigue, didn’t have last summer off, won’t have this summer off.

    It’s not the opposing view, it’s the most blatant explanation.

  64. Drey

    gambon – Lol you flop, that would’ve been worth at
    least a guest post and a £50K cheque from Pedro.
    Maybe future Royalties.

    ———-
    LOLOLOLOL

  65. Keyser

    Look at Ozil, has there been revolutionary fitness progress or has he simply put on muscle as he aclimatises to his second season in the Premiership.

  66. mysticleaves

    “Look at the difference Sanchez makes to the team on his own”

    Says the “its all about the team” and “individuals don’t make a difference” man

  67. Emiratesstroller

    I wish some people would stop being so negative about Giroud. He was out through injury for several months yet he has impressive stats this season with
    14 goals in 20 EPL games and 18 goals in 27 games in all competitions that he played.

    Yet whenever a player has a quiet or average game he becomes suddenly a liability. That is plain ridiculous.

    At the moment we have got two regular goalscorers in our team and that is more than most other clubs have got at moment and it is also an improvement on recent seasons when we have been totally dependent on one striker.

    I think that Arsenal will have a transfer budget of £50 million plus whatever may be realised in sales of fringe players who are surplus to requirements.

    Whether they spend this summer their entire budget on players is debatable,
    but I will put money that Arsenal will buy at least one QUALITY player if only
    to satisfy the sponsors who will expect it.

    My gut feeling is that if we are spending £25 million+ on a player it will be either on midfielder or forward. The midfield is the most likely scenario unless
    Walcott leaves.

  68. Keyser

    “Says the “its all about the team” and “individuals don’t make a difference” man”

    I did compare him to two specific players ? How do you not notice this ? You did’t understand the point last time, and now you’re carrying it on.

  69. mysticleaves

    Some people won’t get tired of taking the “scatter gun” approach

    Should we throw a search party for N5 and Jimmy? Miss them

    Been a long time ROP…

  70. Keyser

    vicky – What you see with the squad, is staring you in the face, you can’t question it, what Pedro tells you relies on trust.

    You never know, some muppet may break another players leg and then when the squad struggles to cope you can go back to trusting Pedro’s deepthroat connection.

  71. MidwestGun

    Look at the difference Sanchez makes to the team on his own, instead of Arshavin/Podolski, Sanchez tracks back and exceeds their production, that’s less pressure/ weight on numerous players shoulders.
    ______
    Exactly Keyser… sometimes an individual talent is the difference, no?

  72. Willow Wilson

    “It’s looking like a good bit of player power is changing things for the better, which will be one of the reasons why we have seen an improvement.”

    Yep, lets not give Wenger any credit for anything.

    Our form has everything to do with the fact that we now have our best players fit and they have been able to train and play together consistently. Wenger can practice team play and combinations with his best players and field a consistent team, week in week out.

    With a fit squad, he now has options and competition. This not only helps with consistent team selection and game plan but the competition for places improves player performance.

    We have a steady CB partnership; Monreal is no longer covering for Kos and Chambers is no longer at RB covering for the unfortunate Debuchy. Giroud is back after he broke his foot in the 2nd game at Everton. Ozil is back after struggling post world cup and getting injured. When Arteta was injured, Wenger called Le Coq back from loan and played him at DM.

    17 points from the first 36 on offer was due to injuries and disruption to the team. The 31 from 36 we now have is not because of the players changing things, it is because our best players are fit and playing every week and we can work on team play with a consistent 11.

  73. Dissenter

    Midwest,
    Your analysis of Giroud’s contribution at Hull was spot on. The only way he was going to change the game was to drag defenders away to create space which he did. Ramsey’s goal was preceded by one of such runs.

    Kindly send Bamford the memo. All we hear is Giroud will never be good enough.

  74. Keyser

    Midwest – It’s his first season, he didn’t have last summer off, he won’t have next summer off, and he’s already shown signs of fatigue and areas of his game that he needs to improve on.

    That’s a pretty fair assessment, it also saves you the energy of having to explain why he’s injured next year or if his form drops off.

  75. Dissenter

    Wenger needs to make pressing an issue in the preseason. I’ve lost track of how many times the one-man army Sanchez press has dislodged a ball or come close to nickng the ball off the goal keeper.
    Infect everybody with the Alexis press bug.

  76. mysticleaves

    Bamford
    All what you say about Giroud is true. But you forget that there isn’t only one type of striker. And also that you prefer one type over the other type doesn’t make them any worse.

    Also Wenger is a lover of Giroud and what he brings to the team, which is glaring. He even shut up his favorite son (TH14) cos of Giroud.

    Atleast for the next season and maybe next, we are stuck with Giroud. Try getting used to that. And we can win important things with him. We already won the FA Cup…

  77. mysticleaves

    Wilson Wilson
    But Wenger himself, after the Man City game, said the players led the tactics in that particular game. Wenger said it himself.

    Of course, all credit/slur goes to Wenger for the season we have had but let’s not be blind to the fact that a lot has changed/is changing in AFC.

    He’s willing to listen to players, he’s ceding power to others, he’s taking sports science and data more seriously, he’s actually doing tactics and checking out opposition teams (in the past he said what’s important is believeing that our own style can beat anybody) etc..

  78. MidwestGun

    Diss-
    Haha Bamford is stubborn but he’s a smart guy, he will figure things out. He is correct, Giroud on his own probably isn’t good enough but with Sanchez, Ozil and Co. , imo he wouldn’t keep us from winning a title as he is a smart player.

    Keyser –
    Hmm I did forget about Copa America.(Chile is hosting right?) .. another reason to strengthen in the attacking midfield winger dept this summer tw, Imo. As Sanchez will need time off.

  79. Keyser

    Wengers pretty much always listened to players, he now has more options because we have more money, he can cede power because there’s actually people he can look to trust instead of hollow trophy positions, people like Gazidis can actually do something with the new resources we have.

    Lastly if people think we haven’t used different tactics in the past they really don’t have a clue.

    Even the Citeh game, go back through our last 5 games at the Etihad and compare our approach to each.

  80. Le Prof

    Mystic

    Didn’t need the ‘u’, he normally makes himself look foolish without my help anyway..

  81. Redtruth

    I know Wenger doesn’t do tactics because it is alien to him.
    What tactics did he deploy against Chelsea besides trying to walk the ball in the net.

  82. Charliefarlie

    To the tune of she’s electric oasis..

    He comes from Chile
    He’s a gooner he wears no17
    He scores goals he tears up the premier league
    And we know he loves Arsenal!

  83. karim

    Marko
    Don’t know about Gambon but I am finally happy with Ozil.
    Said last season I would give him another year, wasn’t very impressed at the start of the season either but he’s adapted to the league now.
    Good times.

    Mid
    good news

  84. Keyser

    There seems to be a lot of hair related questions regarding Arsenal these days, probably because of Giroud, one of the key questions has been :

    Can Wenger grow facial hair ?

  85. Dissenter

    Regarding Giroud;
    How many physical strikers that can play alone in the front are available at the moment.
    How many of them are better than Giroud.
    I ask because i cannot think of that many who are’nt already on mega contracts. Maybe Jackson Martinez?

    The other strikers that can better us aren’t the physical type that can hold the ball.

    Frankly, I hope that rumor is true that Welbeck went on strike because he’s not getting games. [ it’s unlikely]
    The Welbeck transfer is where we missed our way, he’s everything but a goal scorer.

  86. mysticleaves

    Going back the last 5 city games shows we played attacking, same-style football with them. We won some and lost some..

    This season at etihad was a different thing to what we have been doing against City in the last 5 games

  87. Redtruth

    What hapoens if Arsenal win their remaining games and Chelsea lose 2 of their remaining 3 games because they’ve decided to take it easy and give some of their fringe players a run out.
    Stats would distort the facts and make it appear the title race was closer than it was thus giving more fuel to those who believe we are entering in to a new dawn.

  88. Mo

    “RedtruthMay 5, 2015 13:49:00
    i’ll give it a rest when Arsenal actually achieve something like winning the title and going all the way in the Champions league”

    😆

    How about if they win the title but lose the final of the CL? That would be evidence of a shit team, right?

  89. Leedsgunner

    “Wenger obviously trusts what he has at his disposal. And we’ve shown we can be consistent…” when the PRESSURE IS OFF. When the pressure is on, we have a habit of falling to pieces….

    Losing to Monaco 3-1 at home is this season’s lowlight for me definitely followed closely by losing to Tottenham…

    Makes you weep how close we could have been if we had not lost to the Spuds, drawn to Leicester, and lost to Southampton, Stoke and Swansea… etc.

    HOWEVER, we also won at Man City, won big at Liverpool, knocked Man United out of the FA Cup so the season had high and low points…

    Sounds unpromising when you hear Wenger talking about not strengthening in the summer though, the same mistakes being all over again.

  90. Nasri's Mouth

    Dissenter: Frankly, I hope that rumor is true that Welbeck went on strike because he’s not getting games. [ it’s unlikely]

    It’s not, it’s BS. Made up acc. with a picture nicked off the internet.

  91. Willow Wilson

    Keyser
    “Wengers pretty much always listened to players, he now has more options because we have more money, he can cede power because there’s actually people he can look to trust instead of hollow trophy positions. Lastly if people think we haven’t used different tactics in the past they really don’t have a clue”.

    This.

    Players are always involved but they don’t make the decisions. They will make their ideas known. I have sat in many team meetings and this is what happens. The players are always encouraged to voice opinions. This is nothing new. I find it bizarre that some fans think it is and want to claim the only reason we beat teams is because of the players ideas.

    The players aren’t always right.How many top ex players go on to be successful managers? It is easy for ex players Carragher and Neville to sit their speculating, they are in the same position as fans. They can say what they like as they cannot be proved wrong.

    This whole idea that we have to try to minimise any credit Wenger is given is pretty mind boggling. Why? If he takes the blame for every defeat, as he does from some quarters, then surely he should get the credit for this amazing run and the way the team is playing now.

  92. Nasri's Mouth

    Leedsgunner: Sounds unpromising when you hear Wenger talking about not strengthening in the summer though, the same mistakes being all over again.

    He’s basically said the squad doesn’t need too much, (which is true) but he’ll buy if he can find top quality players, which is what he says every season, whether he buys or not, so it’s impossible to read anything into it either way.

    There was a question about keepers though which his response suggested he’s definitely not 100% sure about Ospina/Szczesny next season.

    Still, pre-guessing Wenger at this stage is utterly impossible, so it’s pointless anyone losing their rag over it

  93. Romford Ozil Pele

    Yeah I’m not sure why people get their knickers in a twist over what Wenger says. It’s pretty much the same comments every summer. He’s not exactly gonna come out and pour all his leads, is he? He’s always been one to play his cards close to his chest, very hard to second guess him. Nobody knows what truly is gonna happen but you’d hope he has his fingers on the pulse. Another Ozil/Alexis will leave most very happy.

  94. Redtruth

    Most ex Arsenal players say the same thing about Wenger that he doesn’do tactics and says very little during games trusting in the players that they can do s job.

    Dixon was quoted as saying Wenger just sends out his players to play.

  95. Nasri's Mouth

    Wenger tends to buy at least 1 player for the first 11, normally 2, occasionally 3 each season. Other than that, who knows

  96. Willow Wilson

    Dissenter:
    “Frankly, I hope that rumor is true that Welbeck went on strike because he’s not getting games. [ it’s unlikely]”

    Did you know the Earth is flat, I read it on Twitter? That’s why I refuse to go on a cruise.

    PS: If you remove the last three letters from the word twitter, you should be able to identify yourself and any other person that takes anything on there seriously.