Özil purrs as Arsenal bag their first 3 points

by .

Courtesy of @the_cros

Courtesy of @the_cros

Happy Monday boys and girls – James here with a match report and general guff to lighten, or spoil, your morning.

By the grace of God (there isn’t one) I managed to get a ticket for the game. I’m quite fond of Selhurst Park, particularly the outdoor section where you can go for a puff of lovely, tobacco-ey goodness. Whilst the ground is fairly characterful, it is tainted by the appalling views when you’re set further back. This is the case with a lot of ‘older’ grounds, but it felt particularly apparent yesterday. Unfortunately I was all but two rows from the very back of the away section, with play on the far side of the pitch of flurry of feet and not much else.

In terms of team news, the inclusion of Alexis will have certainly provided a fillip to both the travelling supporters and the squad; whilst Bellerin’s return at the expense of Debuchy was also significant, with the Catalan’s far superior technique essential in building momentum down the right – something we struggled with in our previous outing. Hector’s pace against the likes of Bolasie and Zaha would also prove to be an asset. Some were surprised at Oxlade’s exclusion after his sprightly performance last week; however I felt his effervescence would be utilized best when running at tired legs. Perhaps his demotion was a reminder that for all his good offensive work, his performance at West Ham was punctuated by erring too long on the edge of his own box – a trait that he needs to abolish, quickly.

Arsenal appeared determined to set the agenda from the offset, with Cazorla – returned to a central berth – monopolising the ball. There was certainly a degree of control in midfield, which was severely lacking at the Emirates. I wouldn’t place this solely down to Santi’s inclusion in a deeper role, as the whole front six looked significantly more coherent than last week; but undoubtedly he adds a measure of control that we lack without him or Arteta.

Not only was our use of the ball convincing, but we were also creating chances – the best of these falling to Alexis, whose initial shot was saved by McCarthy, before seeing his rebounded effort blocked on the line by McArthur. Aaron Ramsey also came close, nonchalantly flicking a Mesut Özil cross goalwards with his heel. When the goal eventually came, it was a peach. Alexis released Özil down the left flank, who whipped in a cross at pace. The delivery fell behind Giroud – but as a true thespian with a penchant for the dramatic – he executed the perfect scissor kick beyond McCarthy. I thought Giroud was poor on the whole yesterday, making aimless runs, getting caught offside and failing to get the better of Delaney in their aerial duel; however the goal will appease the #haters in the short-term at least.

Unfortunately our lead was short-lived and, like last week, the goal was the result of some utterly pathetic defending. When we failed to deal with a cross from the left flank, the ball was laid back to Joel Ward, who sounds like the 5th member of a 90’s boyband. His sweetly struck first-time strike whistled into the bottom corner from 20 yards. There are, again, question marks over Cech on this one – it was a decent hit that went through a few sets of legs, but he appeared to leave his arm unextended, which would suggest he just got his angles all wrong. He went on to flap at a few crosses as well, which whilst a concern, is not altogether surprising. He will need, and deserves, time to bed into a new system.

Whilst there is debate over Cech’s role in the goal, Koscielny is bang to rights. He had a good second half in particular and he is undoubtedly a superb defender; but the rickets that remain in his game are a concern. His unwillingness to close the ball down was odd; his willingness to turn his back on the ball was pathetic. It’s the second time in as many weeks he’s made a similar error and it’s one that needs to be eradicated. As an aside, I thought Mertesacker was superb next to him – the rumours of his decline early last season were premature in the extreme.

I also sincerely hope there is a vine of Per’s kneeslide towards the referee at the award of a Palace corner – comedy gold.

At half time there was an audible sense of frustration amongst the Arsenal end – it was a half we had dominated and performed well, yet had failed to capitalize – plus ça change. We were also lucky to go in at the break with a full complement of players, with Coquelin walking the proverbial tightrope in most unconvincing fashion. His passing was a marked improvement on his last outing, but I felt his defensive game was poor. Much of his movement off the ball is purely reactive, which whilst looking impressive and winning polite applause, it does reek slightly of the ‘run araaand a bit’ brigade.

People seem to forget that the best holding midfielders of the last few years haven’t had to fly into tackles at breakneck speed – it is their reading of the game that sets the best apart. The likes of Busquets, Xabi Alonso and Javi Martinez arguably lack Coquelin’s physical qualities, which are in abundance, but they do possess the perennial football brain, which I fear he may lack. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I do think Coquelin is a valuable squad member, particularly in the tougher away games; but I can’t help but feel a player who can build from deep could be the most important acquisition we could make this summer. Arteta came on yesterday – if he could regain a semblance of fitness, then he plays. It seems to be forgotten by many that Arsenal’s longest period at the summit of the Premier League in quite some time was with Arteta and Ramsey at the base of midfield. Whilst Coquelin and Cazorla have gained impressive results, it still has the slight feel of a band aid in place until Wenger finds a suitable partner for Aaron Ramsey.

We suffered a scare early on in the second half, as Zaha dug out a cross from the right and Wickham nipped in ahead of Bellerin to see his shot cannon off the post – a warning sign for the Gunners. As an aside, I thought Monreal was superb. He completely nullified Zaha and showed characteristic steel and guile in defence, whilst reacquainting his blossoming relationship with Alexis.

The winner came, unsurprisingly, as a result of Alexis’ unsurpassed physical prowess and sheer desire to score goals. Bellerin was released down the flank, floating in a well-placed cross to the back post. With defenders on the line and a considerably taller full back opposing him, Alexis was unphased, rising highest and heading goal bound. It will go down as a Delaney own-goal, but the Chilean once again proved his immense worth. Despite not being fully ‘match-fit’, he truly is a physical phenomenon.

We suffered a couple of late scares from set-pieces, but were able to ride out a tense finale to get, what could prove to be, a vital three points. Wenger marked after the game that Palace will take points off top sides this year – come the end of the season this could be an important result, particularly if Pardiola’s men are able to take points from our rivals.

It was essential to break our duck, particularly after last week’s debacle, so to come away with the three points is hugely satisfying. The first half performance was very good indeed, whilst the second was less convincing. The greatest encouragement is the return of our attacking threat – we looked impotent last week, but threatened regularly at Selhurst. There remain some defensive kinks to iron out however – Liverpool in a week’s time will be a good test.

I’d like to end with a word for Mesut Özil. Whilst Santi received the man of the match award – he was very good indeed – Brother Mesut was sublime. The statistics speaks for themselves – a 98% pass accuracy, 10 crosses, 5 chances created and an assist – pretty staggering numbers, particularly when 35-40 (I think) of his 55 passes came in the opposition half. He’s a special player and the lack of appreciation from some sections of our fan base is staggering. There was one such cretin sat directly in front of me, letting out rousing screams of “close him down for f*** sake Özil”, whilst a friend gave reports of the marvellously intellectual plea of “run around Özil”. I know it’s each to their own and all that, but idiots like that don’t realise how spoiled they are. The boss has talked up Özil massively in the build-up to this season – let’s hope he rises to the challenge.

A good day was also topped off by a very impressive City spanking Chelsea, culminating in Mourinho going full Gary Busey at full time. Pedro has mentioned this countless times, but it seems that Chelsea’s thin squad has been pushed too far – rotation, rotation, rotation.

I am writing a blog over the next week or so, considering who has been Wenger’s most **important** post-Highbury signing – let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Until next time x

Give me a follow @James_Willson2


401 Responses to “Özil purrs as Arsenal bag their first 3 points”

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  1. London gunner

    Dan Ahern

    Knee jerk much?

    Coq has one bad match and suddenly we need a need a new midfielder?

    Arêta has a good 10-15 minutes of play and now he’s a better DM than Coq.

    Absolutely ludicrous position to hold.

    What’s even worse is this areta revisionism. He was God awful at DM and a liability to boot.

    As for Coq he can read the game, you don’t have the highest interception rate in the league without understanding positioning and where the opponent player will pass.

  2. Wallace

    “Coquelin is blood and guts because he’s not skill and smarts. While having a player of the former is only a benefit to the SQUAD, the Arsenal first XI is ALWAYS more about the latter….and that is the critique. Anyone who argues that is either ignorant or in denial, it’s patently obvious every game we play.”

    as Bamford slips off into the sunset Champagne Charlie takes up the mantle of most condescending poster.

  3. Wallace

    good to see van Gaal feeling the pressure a little as Utd prepare for their CL qualifiers.

    also, what happened to the utterly pointless international friendlies 3 days before the start of the PL?

  4. Champagne Charlie


    dry your eyes mate. If you took your head out your arsenal forum for 2mins to ask neutrals about coquelin that’s exactly what they observe. Good destroyer, poor technician. Just because you refuse to acknowledge it doesn’t make it any less true.

    Hilarious really that any fan can sit and be so defensive of a team that finished more than a dozen points back last year and got embarrassed in the CL. Are we on par with Barca and Bayern? No, ergo we have areas we an upgrade….what do you know, the guy playing for Charlton a year ago is a major candidate for being upgraded. Didn’t see that coming…

    Bayern bought Douglas Costa and Arturo Vidal despite moonwalking to the league. Here we are witnessing some fans argue that Coquelin is golden and there’s no need to spend. “OK MATE” – Jack Wilshere-esque

  5. Wallace

    Champagne Charlie

    there are also lots of good judges who think Coquelin’s an excellent player, and just what we need. i’ve got no problem with you disagreeing with that, but do you have to be so dismissive of those who think differently to you?

    i mean, if you’re an ex premier league manager slumming it for a while on here then fine, but my guess is you’re probably not.

  6. Champagne Charlie


    Why would an ex-manager necessarily have any more knowledge of football than an avid fan? Elitist nonsense. More accustomed to the finer details of running a club/team sure, but how that then means he’s better at judging talent is beyond me. It’s not a secret society, it’s football…..study it in great depth and you become football-wise whatever your day job.

    Call it dismissive if you like, but my perspective is rooted in reason and evidence with no bias. I vehemently believe, based empirically, that Coquelin isn’t good enough. Which is why I say anyone who accepts he is good enough is ignorant or in denial….he statistically isn’t good at what I criticize him for, but more importantly it’s evident each week. Nothing you offer in support of your point says otherwise, your argument is basically “I think he is good enough” . Someone is wrong, and I say it’s you and anyone else with similar thinking.

    Answer me this: Why is Coquelin, a Charlton player a year ago, NOT an obvious player to upgrade?

  7. peanuts&monkeys

    Wenger should either sell Ramsey or drop him from first XI. Its quite obvious Ramsey will not improve beyond what he was 2 seasons back. Neither is he en roite to reach that level anytime soon. Drop him and let some younger and fresh talent take his position. He is the most overrated guy in the team. he is hardly ever subbed. Why ArseMotherF*&%^$&*??

    Replace him with Joel Campbell IMMEDIATELY!

  8. London gunner

    Champagne Charlie

    Coquelin played at charlton and….

    Ian Wright was a Sunday league player till he got his big break

  9. London gunner

    Champagne Charlie

    He had the highest tackling rate and interception rate last season.

    With a pass success rate of 87 percent higher than Ramsey’s and a decent average pass total per game.

    So statistically he is good enough…
    So you are chatting our yiur ass when you say empirically he isn’t good enough as the data suggests the opposite.

  10. GoonerDNA

    Champagne, its all hyperthectical, we didn’t sell enough players to create space for upgrades and that’s what we’re dealing with.

    Squad place,wage place, waste of place……whatever

  11. El Patron

    You guys in here love having someone to pick on.

    In both of our two games… Le Coq has not been the reason for any of the goals scored against us….

    first game against West Ham every single person on Arsenal was playing stray passes all over the park.

    But no one says anything about him improving his passing. he was spraying long balls all over the park…accurate ones I might add… he did one bad thing I didnt like in the palace game…trying to dribble in between 3 players in the middle of the park… you’re not Messi Le Coq.

    People acting like Le Coq is the first player ever to play with such enthusiasm. He will learn when he is on a yellow he has to calm down. but thats just how he is at the moment. Full blown defensive mode and I love it. He isnt the first player who should be sent off that didnt get sent off… let it go people. other than that he had a damn good game breaking up play….. as usual.

    We all love Koscielny but no one talks about his bitchy defending of late… he didnt even throw his body at any of those long range shots…the punk tried to get out the way of them… Cech is used to John Terry and Cahill flinging there bodies at any and everything.

    I think Cech still getting used to our lackadaisical defending. He will realize he has to be much much much more aware with Arsenals back four.

  12. Emiratesstroller

    At the moment Arsenal have only 24 first team squad players listed on Official
    Website. This includes Campbell who is almost certainly going to be offloaded.

    The club has also go two players included in that number who are U21 and therefore do not need to be registered with EPL or UEFA. Therefore we have on our books only 21 players who need to be registered.

    Also Arsenal have Rosicky out injured for 3 months and both Welbeck and
    Wilshire out for indeterminate periods.

    This means that at the moment we are down to just 20 fit players in squad including the two who are U21.

    Those are waifer thin resources if you factor in also that Flamini does not merit a place in our First Team Squad and has yet to sit even on the bench.

    If you discount Rosicky from calculations for first half of this season the club
    are at least 3 players short of a full compliment. That is in contrast of having
    27 players in squad last season.

    With Arsenal’s injury track record that has to be now of major concern and you need to ask why Wenger has been so lethargic in transfer window particularly when you see that we had only one midfield player [Arteta] sitting on
    bench last weekend.

  13. Bamford10


    You make good points and are correct about Coquelin, but with some here you are beating your head against the wall. Trust me: I made the argument you are making for the past nine months or so.

    I’d just accept that while many here see the need for a CDM who is better on the ball and in distribution than Coquelin, a certain contingent here is staunchly committed to him being the #1. They cannot be swayed by argument.

    The only thing that will change their minds are “facts on the ground,” e.g., Coquelin playing poorly — such that all can see — or Wenger signing another CDM whose performances are clearly superior to Coquelin’s.

    Nothing else will change their minds. Rather than banging your head against the wall, you’d be better off just accepting this — or making your arguments for everyone else and not this small contingent who will never be swayed.


  14. Wallace

    Champagne Charlie

    “Answer me this: Why is Coquelin, a Charlton player a year ago, NOT an obvious player to upgrade?”

    because since he came into the side we’ve looked far better balanced, which is reflected in the fact that we’ve picked up more points than any other side in the league in that time…how’s that?

  15. underrated Coq

    This Charlie chap seems to have created an account on here only to bash Coquelin.

    You don’t rate him, we get it. There are some who agree with your view ofcourse. There are also those who have the exact opposite views. Accept that and stop being a condescending, arrogant tosser. Just because people don’t think the way you do does not make them ‘ignorant’ or ‘in denial’.

    ” Why is Coquelin, a Charlton player a year ago, NOT an obvious player to upgrade? ”

    I’ll answer you: What does Coquelin being a Charlton player one year ago have anything to do with his performances NOW ?

    You never know when a player will have his break-out season. Some players come good early, some don’t. You cannot use this stick to beat any player. Matic was shipped out of Chelsea–deemed not good enough–and was playing in the Portuguese league when he was 25. Did Chelsea make a mistake buying him back then ?

  16. Disgruntled Gunner

    Ye talk about needing to upgrade yet only seem to be talking about Coquelin. Fact of the matter is bar Sanchez I don’t think there is any player in the squad who couldn’t be upgraded. Players like Ramsey who are so highly regarded need to be looked at also.
    Coquelin has been one of Arsenal’s better players in the two matches I would argue……….

  17. gregg

    Ok the debate seems to be about Coquelin being good enough. I get both points of view, personally I think the days of a ‘Makalele’ stopper are coming to an end, you need a bit more. Give me a Marco Verrati any day of the week.

    However getting the balance isn’t easy. Van Gaal continues to buy up every DM on the market in the hope of getting a balance. Blind, Carrick, Sweinsteiger and Schneiderlin, as well as deciding that Fellaini can’t do the job. He’s tried/trying the lot. Coquelin is decent enough in the role he performs but it’s a very restricted role

  18. Goondawg

    I love coquelin.

    “because since he came into the side we’ve looked far better balanced, which is reflected in the fact that we’ve picked up more points than any other side in the league in that time…how’s that?”

    But after ten years all this highlights is the need for a DM. Coquelin is a good player, but you are kidding yourself if you think we can’t get better. A player that is adept at holding the ball and dictating play, whilst not neglecting the defensive nature of the game. Coquelin requires a Cazorla to play next to him. We basically have two players doing one role

  19. Emiratesstroller

    Moving on from what I have just posted above I have referred this morning to
    the latest update on Transfer Markt of all transfer movements this Summer,
    which makes interesting reading.

    I list the amounts spent by each club in this transfer window plus new additions in each squad whether a transfer fee paid, bosman or loan.

    You can judge for yourself Arsenal’s performance record this summer and our abject complacency.

    Chelsea £24.85 million spent 5 new players
    Man City £58.94million 4
    Arsenal £9.80million 1
    Man Utd £68.95 million 5
    Spurs £29.40 million 4
    Liverpool £77.57million 8
    Southampton£24.99 million 7
    Swansea £9.07 million 8
    Stoke £20.58 million 10
    C.Palace £20.16 MILLION 5
    Everton £5.38 million 4
    West Ham £23.31 million 5
    WBA £24.22 million 5
    Leicester £21.84 million 5
    Newcastle £35.85 million 4
    Sunderland £24.26 million 7
    Aston Villa £45.43 million 8
    Bournemouth £17.92 million 7
    Watford £21.00 million 10
    Norwich £8.19 million 5

    On the evidence of these statistics you would assume that Arsenal have the
    most complete squad requiring the least amount of investment.

  20. vicky

    It’s Giroud who worries me, not so much Le Coq.

    Apparently Benzema will stay put at Madrid. We must target someone else now. Not much time left in the window,

    The fact that Flamini has not been sold clearly indicates we won’t sign another DMF. Coq will be our first choice DMF this season. Let’s hope he improves his overall game.

    Don’t see Giroud getting better at this age. He will play at his usual standard level. We must target another striker. Welback has fitness and goalscoring concerns. Theo does not look like a proper CF to me. Wenger has got to sign an upgrade.

  21. Goondawg

    It’s Coquelin that worries me the most

    As highlighted by Palace game, when he was walking the tight rope, there was 3 opportunities to send him off. Today I read Lee Mason has been relegated to fourth official duties after that furore. The fact we had to sub him off straight away highlights the need to buy an alternative DM.

    What are we going to do when we face the big teams, and Coq picks up a yellow. We will be even more under the cosh, than against Palace. We can’t afford to lose Coq to a red card or have to substitute him after every yellow.

  22. Goondawg

    Giroud is also a massive headache. It’s criminal to have one of the best #10s wasting his talent on s donkey like Giroud. The guy is so bad he doesn’t even feature on the BBC who will be golden boot winner poll… I had to pick other :@

  23. gregg


    I think we all felt that 3 addition was required. I still think we’ll achieve that though not necessarily will we get our preferred choices.

    Liverpool, Spurs etc are just a joke. Rogers in particular has bought countless players, got it wrong and has looked to bin them off and replace the following season. His judgement on buying players is without doubt the worst. Spurs have bought countless central midfield players and defenders over the last couple of seasons, again they are no nearer finding a settled solution.

    I’d like us to get Lucas Silva from Real Madrid for the DM position. It’s looking increasingly unlikely on Benzema. Question is who is the plan B

  24. Emiratesstroller

    What concerns me more than the continued focus on Coquelin and Giroud
    is Arsenal’s lack of activity in the transfer window.

    We have now got a rather small squad with just 21 fit players on the books including Campbell who is clearly on way out of club.

    You need to ask is that sufficient for 4 competitions including EPL and CL at
    this stage of season?

    Whilst many focus on the striker position where at least there are 3 options
    albeit that they may not be everyone’s preferred choices I think that our real
    limitations at moment are actually in MIDFIELD and not just in holding position.

    Both Wilshire and Walcott are likely to be out months rather than days and
    personally I would not want to rely on Arteta, Rosicky or Flamini in our starting line up. That means we have currently on our books just 5 players who are
    good enough to play there in starting line up including Wilshire who is out
    for at least 2 months.

    That does not suggest to me a great deal of forward planning for this season
    and an awful lot of complacency and lack of urgency on the part of club.

  25. Logie Bear

    The substitution of Le Coq on Sunday was much needed but did anyone else spot that it seemed to be Per signaling to the bench that they should take Coq off…?!

  26. Goondawg

    Wenger will love beasting his players till they drop like flies. Especially Coquelin, his new cheap answer. Last year Sanchez played an exorbitant amount of games, he has made 55 appearances already, more than any one in Europe bar Jose Callejon (source sky sports). Alexis is a brick wall, but even brick walls are prone to wear and tear. Let’s see how long Wenger plays dice with his players fitnesses this year.. No outfield player bought, this time we wil have the 8-2 defeat after the transfer window shuts when it’s too late

  27. Emiratesstroller


    I agree with you that we did not need to make wholesale changes in squad.
    Apart from goalkeeper we needed to add at least 2 outfield players.

    The fact is that there are few if any strikers who were sold or likely to be for
    sale this summer who are an upgrade on what we have got. The only way you
    are going to buy someone half decent is if you pay a grossly inflated price.

    However, there are positions in squad in midfield and on wing where I do think that Arsenal could have upgraded their squad had there been an inclination to do so.

    My personal view is that Wenger resists doing so for all the wrong reasons. Noone will convince me that Arteta, Flamini and Rosicky should not have been replaced this summer.

  28. gambon

    The fact that Wenger felt the need to bring Alexis in when he clearly isnt fit, because 1 week into the season we are already in crisis, shows you just whats going on at the club.

    We bounce from crisis to crisis, with periods inbetween of quality that convinces everyone all is fine.

    Sanchez has been in training for 2 weeks.

    Typically after a full preseason, the players have been training for over 1 months.

    That shows just how little regard Wenger has for his players fitness.

  29. underrated Coq

    ” The fact we had to sub him off straight away highlights the need to buy an alternative DM. ”

    Agreed. And the substitution spoke volumes of how little faith Wenger had in Arteta’s capabilities to do that role. He didn’t seem too keen to throw captain fantastic into the mix at that critical time-when Palace looked threatening.

    Its quite baffling how then he’s convinced himself that he’ll get away with Arteta as his second choice for the entire season.

    Why would any manager–of a team aiming to become champions at the end of the season–take such an insane risk ? Just buy another competent DM ffs !

  30. gambon

    “Why would any manager–of a team aiming to become champions at the end of the season–take such an insane risk ?”

    Lol, what makes you think Wenger is aiming to win the PL.

    As far as hes concerned he wins the 4th place trophy, which is all that matters, every season.

  31. gregg


    Yep the issue is availability. We shop at a different store these days. We buy from Barcelona, Utd, Chelsea, Madrid. In doing so you’re dependent on them doing their business first and so deals are done late. A lot of the big sides are struggling to get their targets in. There hasn’t been much movement from the big sides in Europe so far.

    If we don’t make any addidtions then we will not improve on last season and Wenger clearly knows that. Whats also interesting is that we keep getting linked with CB’s.

  32. Inter YourGran

    Morning everyone,

    Rosicky and wilshere being injured are more of a blessing as they both probably wouldn’t get in a match day 16 at the moment. We cant even get chambers, flamini or welbeck on the bench (i know he’s not fit yet) and 140k a week walcott cant get a game as we persist with giroud at the moment.

    I actually expect to see walcott start ahead of giroud with liverpool at home next. I also expect him to score and have a very good game.

    The win vs palace was a good all round performance in a london derby with a cracking atmosphere in a very tough away ground. A massive turn around from the previous shower at home vs west ham. So let’s give the boys some credit.

    Was coquelin lucky to stay on? not for me. The ref being demoted is ridiculous as i thought he got the decisions and handling of the situation spot on. The home crowd’s baying for blood made it all the more why he should be commended. It was tight yes but how many times have we had lumps kicked out of us and its gone unpunished. Coquelin’s fouls were never malicious, so he got the benefit of the doubt. I don’t know why it’s such a shit storm in the media.

    Signings wise, benzema looks dead. Cavani’s the new story but now focus has shifted towards zlatan a little. His wages we could never afford but having him for two years before he jets off to the states would make perfect sense.

    It gives akpom and welbeck the chance to see close up a supreme finisher in the box and gives giroud enough game time until we can sell him in the summer making a marked profit on our initial outlay.


    sanchez –ozil –walcott/welbeck/ox

  33. Goondawg

    “The fact that Wenger felt the need to bring Alexis in when he clearly isnt fit, because 1 week into the season we are already in a crisis”

    Agreed it highlights our over-reliance on Sanchez when we have players collecting 140k a week

    Wenger doesn’t care about his players fitness, made clear when he overplays them days after saying they are in the red zone. The worst one was against West Ham, when cameras could clearly see Giroud was concussed and had a head injury. A player had to prop him into his side.

    Wenger should have dubbed him off there and then, fuck the result

  34. underrated Coq

    ” As far as hes concerned he wins the 4th place trophy, which is all that matters, every season. ”

    Yeah, if Cech remains Arsenal’s only signing by the end of the transfer window, Wenger pretty much proves this to be a fact.

  35. WengerEagle

    I don’t so much have a problem with playing Sanchez even after little rest, he’s clearly the type of player who detests when he’s not involved which is great. Messi and Mascherano are playing for Barcelona and Aguero is playing for Man City, they all played in the same Copa America Final as Sanchez did.

    What fucks me off is that we’re two weeks away from the transfer window shutting and we look like we’re signing no-one when it’s painfully obvious that we need a minimum of one offensive addition.

    We have 2 CF’s and three widemen in our first team squad, three of whom have suffered fairly serious injuries in the last year or two. (Wally, Welly, Ox)

  36. Cesc Appeal

    ‘We bounce from crisis to crisis, with periods inbetween of quality that convinces everyone all is fine.’

    I think this about right, ‘crisis’ maybe too strong a word, though we do have them occasionally, but ‘failure.’ ‘let down,’ ‘lethargy’ are certainly applicable.

    Wenger’s gambling, or dithering, indecisiveness, agenda, lack of ambition whatever it is is totally out of control because there’s no one at the club to bring it into check.

    As ES sated with his list of club spends this summer, you would think we were the champions last year, or have by far the strongest squad going so that we can recruit one GK and then wash our hands of the window.

    After Campbell is sold it’s likely we will have broken even this summer, perhaps even turned a small profit…it’s absolutely nuts, and surely, surely even the most pro-Wenger fan must agree that we’ve gone about this window all wrong.

    No one in the world better than Giroud, Welbeck and Walcott? No one in the world better than or capable of challenging Coq, no one better than Arteta and Flamini, no superstar players unhappy at their clubs or capable of being dislodged in a position we’re not even thinking of but that would make incredible opportunistic buys, no players of the radar that our scouts pick up.

    It does seem a lot of Arsenal fans have swallowed the near decade of PR peddled by the club that transfers are the most impossibly difficult things to get done, that the market is an unsolvable puzzle and we should just be happy with what Wenger can stoically get done.

  37. gregg


    We’ll see whether we’ve got it wrong mate by the 1st Feb. If we have only added a couple of squad players then I’d agree with you. However if we acquire top players then it’s likely to go to deadline day. The only reason Sanchez came early was down to Liverpool having no option but to sell Suarez after yet another of his melt-down moments. Had he not bit Chielini then they would have held out longer and got more for him.

  38. Inter YourGran

    Are people seriously questioning whether sanchez was fit enough or not to start the game?

    He’s our best player, like aguero is for city. If he’s fit he’ll play, these players demand it. Sanchez had four weeks off, longer than aguero, trained even whilst away, looked after themselves, are highly paid professional sportsmen, some of the best in the business and your questioning the managers decision to start him?

    It’s like anything to have a go at wenger isn’t it… The scenario’s some people dream up in their head do make me chuckle.

  39. Wenger's Plastic Bottle

    No one in the world better than Giroud, Welbeck and Walcott?

    This is it, Wenger is being his stubborn self. He’s not interested in buying anyone.

  40. Cesc Appeal


    1st of February? Did you mean September or are you actually giving him the winter window…

    I agree, I have said numerous times on here that we can’t really fire shots until the window is shut, but once more there was no plan, considering how good our squad is, yet we still finished miles behind 1st and bottled in Arsenal fashion 2nd place we should have hit this window hard.

    We’re heading into our third game of the season having signed one GK…we were the third best side in the league last year (looking at the table) and got dumped out by Monaco in the last 16 of the UCL…are we really saying we were a GK and cohesion away from being the best?

    When you look at it like that, it does sound a bit silly doesn’t it?

  41. Marko

    PSG midfielder Marco Verratti has put Liverpool on red alert by admitting he is open to a move to the Premier League (Star)

    Hilarious. All quiet on the ground with us

  42. Cesc Appeal

    Surely PSG wouldn’t let Veratti go, saw that in the Metro so obviously disregarded it, great little player, really brilliant.

    What I hoped Wilshere could be for us.

  43. Bamford10

    Arsenal will not win the title as is. City are clearly a class above. Improvements needed at CF & CDM, and 15 days remain in the window. Tick-tock, tick-tock.

    Morning, all.

  44. vicky

    We had no CL qualifiers.

    No big summer crisis like departure of a big player

    money in the bank

    backing of the board to spend

    options available — Morgan,Vidal,Kondogbia, Dybala etc

    Closest to challenging for the league in a long long time

    I mean all the reasons in the world to buy the players we need, bed them properly before the start of the season and signal our intent.

    If Wenger does not add any significant player this window, it will be one of the poorest transfer windows ever.

  45. daz

    “PSG midfielder Marco Verratti has put Liverpool on red alert by admitting he is open to a move to the Premier League (Star)”

    If Verratti chose to move to Liverpool I’ll eat my hat

  46. Marko

    I’m telling you if we don’t hear anything this week there’ll be nothing happening or at least no one who’ll be significantly strengthening us coming in. Maybe some desperate buy but we’re beyond desperate thanks to the manager

  47. Leedsgunner

    Decent win against Palace but you just have to read Emiratesstroller’s great post at 0919 to know that we need to add players… but hey Wenger is convinced his squad is strong enough…


  48. Cech's Big Black Helmet

    ‘No one in the world better than Giroud, Welbeck and Walcott?

    This is it, Wenger is being his stubborn self. He’s not interested in buying anyone.’

    No one is saying this though. Elite strikers are at elite clubs. Who is available not who is better cos that list is not exactly short.

  49. Cesc Appeal


    Even if he does it now, short of it being Benzema so you can understand that it might have taken a long time or serious quality additions, it’s still a poor window,

    When you look at the summer, it’s easier to understand West Ham type performances if this is the planning that management put in to the club, total lack of drive and forethought.

  50. Cesc Appeal


    I can actually see a potential Gotze move, would exactly mirror the Ozil summer which everyone has sort of re-remembered a little I feel because of the end result of the summer…was in fact a poor summer until Ozil, very poor topped off with that 3-1 against Villa.

  51. Leedsgunner

    “Still baffles me why we never went in for David Villa after Euro 2008 when he was openly flirting with us.”

    WengerEagle because Wenger doesn’t do common sense… or the obvious. If they work out though, he loves to tell us how he “tried” to sign them…

  52. Marko

    Verratti ain’t going anywhere except Barca or Real. He ain’t going to Liverpool I only mentioned that cause I thought it was hilarious. That sort of stuff that keeps Liverpool and their fans heads in the clouds

  53. Cesc Appeal

    My favourite this summer was ‘Liverpool close to Reus’…yeah sure, if they were on a walking tour of Westfalenstadion.

    Laughing at their delusion distracts me from the frustration of our own transfers.

  54. Highbury4ever

    Pedro apparently on his way to yoonited…

    Every big club continues reinforce their squad, exept us of course.
    Arsène go f*ck yourself asap please.

  55. Marko

    CA love Gotze. Arguably a much bigger one that got away than Mata or even Hazard for me. He was Fab’s replacement for me back in the day.

    Anyway it looks like that Venezuelan presenter with the hot tits will be getti ng “punished” soon. Suppose it’s something

  56. Emiratesstroller

    In previous transfer windows Arsenal have been linked with every average to
    top player that was remotely on the market and buyable.

    For the first time this summer we have been linked actually with very few players. The list is very short even if you look at players listed by newspaper hacks, media pundits and of course bloggers on websites like Le Grove.

    The goalkeeper position was more or less sorted at the beginning of the window. You did not need to be a genius to realise that there was only one option
    there and the only question was whether Chelsea would release him.

    There is absolutely no evidence that Wenger would bring in any new defenders. After all we recruited last season Chambers, Gabriel, Debuchy and promoted Bellerin.

    When you discuss the forward line we recruited last Summer both Sanchez and Welbeck so that again with the formation we play there are very limited
    spaces available in lineup unless you are able to buy a Super Star Striker.

    The surprise for me has been the lack of activity by Wenger in the midfield.
    We had on our books 4 players who looked past their best namely Diaby, Flamini, Arteta and Rosicky. Wenger recruited only Bielek a 17 year old and
    also promoted Zelalem, but neither of these players looked remotely good
    enough for first team squad, which is why they have been demoted to U21s.

    Yet the most interesting statistics are the Bookmaker “Odds” this summer.
    Arsenal have been included in list for very few players, favourites for even
    fewer and ‘odds on’ for NONE.

    The most favoured candidate to come to Arsenal was Schneiderlein, but
    that evaporated almost as soon as the window opened and Manchester Utd
    showed interest. There appeared to be brief rumours about Vidal. Otherwise
    virtually no rumours of any real substance.

    The only persistent rumour this summer was Benzema and frankly that seems to be an absolute non starter.

    So the question you have to ask yourself is are there any other players in the
    market that Wenger shows any real interest in?

    Rather like his ‘tactical game’ there appears to be in transfer market no ‘Plan
    B’, which seems to be with Wenger par for course.

  57. WengerEagle

    Disagree Marko, Gotze is quality and I ‘d still love him but Hazard has overtaken him.

    I actually preferred Gotze back in the day but Hazard is on a different level now.

  58. Marko

    Maybe WE even though I still maintain Italian teams have little money and they spent their Vidal money on Dybala and others already I believe. They’ll try a loan Italian teams love loans.

  59. Cesc Appeal


    I do too.

    Though he is quite lazy and weak, work ethic ‘can’ be coached into a player, look at Hazard under Mourinho now…but Wenger? Not the manager to do it.

    I would like Gotze because I do think he could still be a truly special player, but no doubt if he arrives it’s driven by panic.

  60. London gunner


    You are so knee jerk in your assesment of Coq.

    After a brilliant season where he briught balance finally to the arsenal team.

    He has one bad match at 24 years of age and suddenly he is not good enough. He gets a yellow card and suddenly he is a liability.

    Also asking for a player who can play cazorla’s and coquelins game is asking for one of the best players of a generation.

    Can you honestly name one Dm outside ofalonso who has the passing game of cazorla with his dribbling and then the defensive attributes of Coq. Asking for said player is massively unrealistic.

    Unless you want to poach busquets of Barcelona?

    This hipster wank total football view of arsenal fans had to stop.

    A DM is a DM and if Coq can continue last seasons form he is/will be one of the best in Europe.

  61. Marko

    WE just a personal thing but I meant more so how much closer we were to Gotze who we apparently bid for the summer before he joined Bayern. I’m not sure we ever bid for Eden. Even his record while never being considered a key man at Bayern (30+ goals in 90+ appearances) is good

  62. Cesc Appeal

    ‘Rather like his ‘tactical game’ there appears to be in transfer market no ‘Plan
    B’, which seems to be with Wenger par for course.’

    On fire today ES.

  63. Bankz

    Giroud is also a massive headache. It’s criminal to have one of the best #10s wasting his talent on s donkey like Giroud. The guy is so bad he doesn’t even feature on the BBC who will be golden boot winner poll… I had to pick other

    Goondawg – We had Cesc Fabregas & Nasri feeding Chamakh at one point. What makes you think Wenger is bothered about Özil feeding Giroud? If he was,there’s no way Giroud would be starting a 4th season for us as our lead centre forward

  64. WengerEagle


    This is true, the signing of Dybala for such a substantial fee was significant though, didn’t they also buy Mandzukic?

    They’ll cash in on Pogba within the next couple of years for probably close to or even a new world record fee and with that could sign whoever they wanted.

    With you on Gotze, his goalscoring record for a midfielder that doesn’t always start is exceptional, a goal every 3 matches is what the likes of Ribery, Hazard and James are scoring.

    Our resident goal hanger Theo averages a goal every 3 games and he contributes literally nothing else to our play.

  65. Cesc Appeal

    Oh no, there’s the ammo, ‘Wenger tried, you can’t say he lacks ambition, Lewandowski, Muller and Benzema…not his fault you can’t get the deals done, just back the boys that are here.’

    And he escapes another one.

  66. London gunner

    “Our resident goal hanger Theo averages a goal every 3 games and he contributes literally nothing else to our play.”

    Better than welbeck…

  67. Cesc Appeal



    Adapt and overcome, Plan B, C, D even? No one else in the world who can improve us, nope…those three…that’s it, Wenger’s off the hook. Fair enough. Oh, you had already taken him off the hook…because you didn’t doubt him for a second…of course you didn’t.

  68. VP

    ‘’On the evidence of these statistics you would assume that Arsenal have the
    most complete squad requiring the least amount of investment’’

    I don’t think that its necessarily the club who feel that they’ve got the most complete squad, It’s the fans who believe this, and they’re happy to roll with this.

    Its quite clear from reading the comments on here (pre Westham) and listening to the noises from fans elsewhere , that the faithful genuinely believe that we’re going to challenge this year, and they’re feeding of that. Its as simple as that, it really is.

    It should come as no surprise that the club are doing their usual absolute minimum to keep the fans content. This TW was destined to fail as soon as we lifted that FA Cup in May a few months back.

    I personally believe that there’s more chance of either Liverpool or United finishing above us, than there is of us finishing above either Man City or Chelsea.
    This could have been easily predicted in May even before the TW opened . Think we’ll get top four, but we’ll be more closer points wise to the challenging pack for top four than the challengers for the Prem.

    But in all seriousness, there’s no point in even making forecasts for coming season, this is all too easy for an Arsenal fan. So how about we make things interesting and offer our predictions for 2016/17.

  69. Leedsgunner


    “No one else in the world who can improve us, nope…those three…that’s it, Wenger’s off the hook.”

    Do you know why no one else can improve us — because no one else except Wenger and his followers live in the world they live in.

  70. WengerEagle

    Lol, the Spuddies took a £19 million hit on Soldado after two years of him stinking out the BPL.

    £7 million to Villarreal, could prove a bargain if he rediscovers his shooting boots in Spain.

  71. Marko

    Our resident goal hanger Theo averages a goal every 3 games and he contributes literally nothing else to our play.

    Bingo was his namo

  72. Cesc Appeal


    You do despair.

    But I’m braced for a similar season as last year, I’m predicting third for us and an identical debate next summer.

    If Wilshere can stay fit.

    Walcott has had a year as ST now, he will be better.

    Oxlade is a year older.

    It’s hard to actually improve on Giroud.

    We’re the most cohesive side in the league.

    Blah, blah, blah, blah…

  73. WengerEagle

    Poor old Valencia also pissed a large wad of dough up the wall on Negredo, they agreed a bizarre loan deal last summer that stated that after the season had ended they had to purchase him on a permanent basis for €24 million.

    And he scored 6 goals in 33 apps.

    30 years old too. Whoever was in charge of that deal for Valencia is surely unemployed now.

  74. Marko

    Yep that article is bullshit and the excuses are already being put out. I get that we’d all love a Lewandowski, Muller or Benzema but the idea that if we can’t sign them we’ll sign no one else is absolutely stupid. We won’t bid for Cavani or Higuain cause they’re a level below so am I to assume he sees Giroud as a level below and as good as Cavani or Higuain? To be fair I don’t really want either of them but they’re so obviously better than Giroud. I’m even thinking late moves for I dunno Anderson Talisca, Paco Alcacer, Morata, Son might be worthwhile. Would of suggested Doumbia but he’s back at CSKA. Why not bid big for Icardi?

  75. kingHenry

    “No one in the world better than Giroud, Welbeck and Walcott? No one in the world better than or capable of challenging Coq, no onebetter than Arteta and Flamini, no superstar players unhappy at their clubs or capable of being dislodged in a position we’re not even thinking of but that would make incredible opportunistic buys, no players of the radar that our scouts pick up.”

    Cesc, it’s really impossible to understand Wenger or whoever does our transfer dealings. The world has at least millions of people who play football in some capacity or the other… are we saying we cannot find even one that fulfils our needs… FFS, we’re not looking for a 6headed monster, just a striker that’s better than Giroud. the guy is probably not even top 20 in his position, and we are one of the top ten richest clubs in the world.

  76. Ozrus

    “Why would an ex-manager necessarily have any more knowledge of football than an avid fan? Elitist nonsense.”
    Lol Charlie, you’ve come to the right place. Stick around you’ll learn how to run a small country in no time, let alone a football club

  77. ofebs

    Everyone calls Giroud a donkey, when the real stubborn donkey in Arsenal is the manager – a certain Arse Wanger…who refuses to build a Champ’s league winning team.

  78. Champagne Charlie


    He’s a bone of contention for me, and while there’s only a couple of weeks left in the window I think it’s fair to discuss how Coquelin is sub-par. What would yo like me to talk about? Our early season brilliance? soldity? We’ve been poor in the opening two games and it further highlights the need for us to improve our starting XI……and we come full circle to why I’ve been talking about Coquelin. Giroud is getting talk, Benzema is in the pipeline, but there’s no outstanding DM target and I’m simply saying THAT is cause for concern in my eyes as Coquelin is a weak link.


    As was said to you, our upturn in form highlighted the benefit of having someone in DM who could fisrtly do all the defensive things well. Our fluidity in playing football is my only gripe with Coquelin, he steals a player from up the pitch which makes us less effective…..unless you think 73 or so goals is good enough to win the title. It isn’t. Or perhaps you forget the games we play where we create nada (much like west ham), and coquelins defensive ability isn’t enough. NOT saying it’s his fault entirely, but he inhibits us for reasons I’ve stated and that’s the point.

    Anyyyyyway, moving on. Verratti to Liverpool? LOL Pogba to spurs too soon then.