Five star Arsenal finally turn on the style

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Morning. James here, with a long overdue match report. We haven’t spoken in some time – partly due to work commitments, predominantly due to the savaging I received over my Coq-bashing. I’ll behave better from now on, I promise.

Leicester is one of my preferred away days, mainly due to the short travel time. Unfortunately I paid the thick of end of £100 to get there and back, due to various cockups, so that aligned with a stinking cold and chest infection had me questioning whether it would be worth it. Serendipitously, it was, as the Gunners produced their most scintillating attacking display of the season.

In terms of the line-up, Cech, Bellerin, Monreal et al came back in, whilst Flamini’s banterific performance at the Lane earned him his first league start since 1992. Once again I was disappointed to see Ramsey start from the right as, without wanting to sound like a broken record, he is Arsenal’s best central midfielder and as such, he should play there.

Nonetheless, we started the game with a decent rhythm, but defensively we looked shaky. There were early warning signs as Cech made a decent save from Vardy, before the same player’s shot was deflected onto the post. Their goal when it came was a bad one to concede. A long ball was played from deep to Vardy who accelerated into the space vacated by Bellerin. From the stands it was pain inducing seeing him run into our box, unabated, and given time to bend a shot into the far corner. Per was the nearest defender and the only explanation I can put forward for not engaging Vardy sooner was a fear of being beaten for pace. In Per’s defence it was only his second game back since a five week layoff with a cold.

Things nearly went from bad to worse, as Vardy was able to loop a header onto our crossbar. However, such is football’s wont, we immediately countered and scored down the other end without 40 seconds and it was a magnificent move. The ball fell to Ozil midway inside our half. Under pressure he had the strength to hold off an opposing player and the vision to sweep the ball wide to Alexis, who played an incisive ball between the lines to Cazorla. Santi took a touch before slipping a slide rule pass between Leicester’s centre-halves for Theo to sprint in on goal. His side footed finish was perfection. Game on.

Shortly after the goal, Flamini hobbled off to be replaced by Arteta, which catalysed our on-going improvement, particularly in terms of our efficiency when we had the ball.

Mesut Ozil was pivotal to the second goal too, as his divine back heel found Bellerin, whose cross ricocheted to Alexis for a simple finish at the back post. It was a huge relief to see the Chilean break his duck for the season. It may purely be perceptual, but it felt as if he immediately simplified his game after the goal. In the preceding games he has veered on selfish in his desire to get off the mark – which is totally understandable – but the goal seemed to free up his game. From thereon in, he stole the show.

Going in at the break 2-1 up, I felt relatively content, but the feeling loomed that we would need another goal to seal it. We didn’t need to wait too long and the goal was a thing of real beauty and highlighted the genius of Ozil – he sees things that other players simply don’t – it must be the eyes. Alexis played the ball out to the corner of the 18-yard box, continued his run, and Ozil with barely a glance chipped the most subtle of crosses for Alexis to leap ahead of Schmeichel to give us the two goal cushion. What added extra delight to the goal was the utter Neanderthals sat next to me and my friends who had been coating off Ozil (and pretty much all of our players) for the whole match, who prior to the goal screamed words to the effect of “useless c***” for not shooting in that position. I gave them a wry smile.

Alexis sealed his hat-trick in real style, with a flick past a hapless Leicester defender before twatting an absolute belter into the bottom corner. It bodes well for the proceeding months to see him get his mojo back. He was magnificent yesterday, combining his effervescence and work rate with incisive passing and clinical finishing. Long may it continue. He also became the first player in history to score top flight hat-tricks in England, Spain and Italy. Well done to him – his dogs will have had a nice time last night, I’m sure.

Leicester were able to steal a second goal near to the death, as a deep cross drew the best from Petr Cech. The rebound came to Vardy who was given far too much time to pick his spot, bending the ball into the far corner. What was noticeable from where I was sat was Oxlade-Chamberlain standing and watching events unfold a good 20 yards from the action. Having only just entered the field of play he couldn’t blame his inaction on fatigue – it’s a mental block in his game, which needs to be remedied before he is considered as a starter against the best opponents.

We were able to add further gloss to the score line, as Ozil released the excellent Monreal down the left whose first time cross was swept home by Giroud, who had missed his customary sitter moments before. All in all, a deeply satisfying win against a team who hadn’t lost until yesterday and a relief to see us finally release the attacking shackles.

Alexis will, deservedly, take many of the plaudits but there were other outstanding performances worthy of mention. Mesut Ozil had a hand in all five goals and he is in my view, our best player. He sets our attacking tempo and is unerringly reliable with the ball. He isn’t bombastic in the mould of Alexis, but it doesn’t make him any less brilliant. He’s been in super form this season – lets hope the upward trajectory continues.

Theo also deserves credit for his performance at centre forward yesterday. Against two super-sized centre backs he held his own and he seems to be growing into the position. He came for the ball at the right times and his hold up was much improved, whilst his movement was very intelligent indeed. As he has shown consistently, he is also an excellent finisher when he’s had a run of games. Theo has waited for the best part of nine years to play consistently as a striker – he deserves time to grow into the role and at the moment he looks a better option than Giroud.

A word too for Monreal who shut out one of the league’s form players – Mahrez – and was generally perfect in all he did. From a player many had doubts about in his early months at the club, he is now arguably the league’s best left-back.

Our next game is at home to Manchester Utd and it’s a big one (with Olympiakos sandwiched in between). In my view, it’s a game we have the quality to win and should we do the business, it could be the catalyst our season needs. I’ll leave the build-up to Pedro so he has something to talk about in the week. I’ll be back with a match report after our mid-weeker.

Until next time x

Give me a follow on Twitter @BeardofPires

300 Responses to “Five star Arsenal finally turn on the style”

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  1. tunnygriffboy

    Bamf

    Depends if Coquelin is fit. Man u will sit back and counter. Selection choices. Walcott’s pace will worry Blind. Similarly Giroud should be pulling onto Blind bullying him though either Giroud is really short of confidence or he’s in a sulk because he’s not automatically starting. Whatever it is he needs to pull his finger out, get nasty and physical and fight for his place. ( I don’t mean silly little kick outs or abusing the ref but attacking the ball aggressively and using his strength to hold the ball up and make defenders uneasy ). He is better and has played better than he is showing at the moment

    A win on Tuesday and then on Sunday and it sets us up well for a good run of fixtures after another bloody international break.

  2. Nasri's Mouth

    In the last 3 seasons and the start of this one Walcott has scored at a rate of a goal every 151 mins.

    Given that he’s been playing on the wing, and been coming back from injuries during that time, it’s not unreasonable to think he’ll do at least as well for the rest of the season, which would equate to another 18 or 19 goals in the league or 25 in all competitions if he plays all the time.

    Of course with Giroud around, I doubt he’ll get the chance to get to that amount.

    But individual totals don’t really matter. If both are scoring at that rate, we shouldn’t be short of goals, especially when we tie on that we an equally effective goal machine in Alexis.

  3. I am arsene

    You wouldn’t expect an arsenal win tough would you bamford? In fact one would expect You to be secretly routing for the opposite

  4. I am arsene

    Nasri.

    If Walcott can get 21 from the wing he can easily beat that up front
    I always said that if Walcott played upfront he would prove his doubters wrong
    Now he is
    Don’t forget we are creating over 20 chances every game (apart from chavs) so there is every reason to expect goals from our forwards

  5. Relieable sauce

    Any decent, well drilled team has a reasonable chance of beating us & we’re rarely efficient enough to beat the big teams.

  6. Nasri's Mouth

    @I am arsene

    I’m not sure he can ‘easily’ beat it. It’s a learning curve for him, and he might not get the space he got before, which is why I’d expect something similar.

    I never thought that Walcott would be first choice CF material. When he was negotiating over the previous contract I made the assumption that Wenger was letting him play upfront to persuade him to put pen to paper, but it seems as though Wenger was being serious / honest all along.

    Had Benzema been available it might have been different of course, but in the meantime, Walcott’s improving his movement nicely, and playing some nice hold-up play

  7. Jeff

    Over the course of the season we will come up against good teams and harder tests than Leicester. If we can win hard games, we might put up a challenge for the title and we might even go top. However, all these things that we have seen so far are nothing new. The second half of the season when fatigue and injuries begin to plague us, we usually collapse in a heap. The only way we are going to win the league is if we pass all those tests during the entire course of the season.

    Will we do it? Can’t see it with this squad and although games like Leicester and Spurs give us hope – in the end that is all that they do give us . We have been repeating history for 10 years now – all we can do is pray that this season is going to be different.

  8. I am arsene

    Meantime?? Benzema inst leaving and there are no strikers out there available/of sufficient quality to play for us.
    Walcott is the answer
    The internal solution we get puts so much faith in has presented itself again.
    After coq and hector now theo

  9. tunnygriffboy

    Is it me or has Wenger actually rotated more this season ? The main men are likely to have a heavy workload as they do in all clubs but has he done a bit more than in the past at this stage of the season

    Don’t forget we also have 3 new signings coming in January 🙂 :). Seriously they will bring more options post Christmas slog.

  10. Nasri's Mouth

    R.S.P.C.Arsenal: We should have kept akpom

    Never been convinced by him, and he’s hardly setting the world alight at Hull. He might still come good but I’d much rather have either of Walcott or Giroud this season.
    Walcott’s big issues as a CF is his inability to play with his back to goal, because he’s too lightweight and isn’t clever enough to know when to lay the ball off.

    Against Leicester he was up against Huth, a typical ‘big unit’ defender and Walcott was both strong enough and clever enough. Obviously it’s very early days, but if he can do it against Huth he’s got a chance against a lot of PL defenders

  11. Nasri's Mouth

    Jeff: The second half of the season when fatigue and injuries begin to plague us, we usually collapse in a heap

    The second half collapse thing is a bit of a fallacy. Over the last 5 seasons, on average we’ve actually scored more points in the 2nd halves than in the 1st.

    Our issue is that we when we don’t have a 2nd half collapse, we have a rubbish start.

  12. Jeff

    NM,

    Well, if the end result is the same (i.e. we finish third or fourth) regardless of the exact statistics of each season, was it really a comment worth making?

  13. Follow the money

    Well said Jeff. I’ve seen too many Feb/March collapses. I’ll believe it when I see it when it comes to a title challenge and big games. Beating Utd would be a start. We have a disgusting record against them and other top teams, we couldn’t even beat them during the Moyes debacle

  14. nasri's mouth

    @Jeff

    It’s just one of those stories that gets repeated until it gets treated as truth.

    The reality is that fatigue and injuries don’t have any more of a detrimental effect on us than anyone else.

  15. vicky

    Ox and Ozil will have to add goals to their game. There is so much potential in these two players. They get in to good positions to score but somehow fluff their chances.

    Sanchez – 20

    Theo- 20

    Giroud -15

    Ozil and Ox – 10 each

    If these guys score these no of goals, we will be challenging for the league provided Coq stays fit throughout the season. Too many things will have to fall in to place for us to have a go at the title. Very unlikely.

  16. Dave

    My perception is that we generally collapse Jan to Feb when we’re still in CL. Once we’re out of CL, our results pick up on the charge for 4th place. Depends on opposition of course.

  17. Jeff

    NM,

    You cannot look at the table numbers alone and correlate that with just injuries and fatigue. Another factor is the distribution of hard games and easier ones across the season. If the density of easier games is greater in the second half, the effect of injuries and fatigue can be masked. There are other factors as well – such as injuries and fatigue on other teams that we play in both first and second half.

    To pick out just injuries and say the points distribution show that injuries and fatigue affect us equally in both halves of the season is not a very accurate way of looking at the statistics. Logically speaking, all teams will suffer more from fatigue and injuries in the second half of the season because playing over 50 games in all competitions take their toll.

    The underlying reason for my original comment was to highlight that we don’t have adequate depth to cover the injuries and fatigue that are bound to come as the season goes on. We have always suffered from this. If it’s not the defence it’s the attack, if it’s not the attack it’s the midfield. Since we have been woefully short in one or two departments in every season of the last decade, we come unstuck at some point.

  18. Nasri's Mouth

    R.S.P.C. When he had previous chances he was too eager to impress …

    Agreed, but the concern with that is it becomes a weight round his neck, and it becomes too much of a burden.

    IMO the best thing would be to let him have a full season at Hull and see where he’s at then.

    If I was betting on it though, I think he’ll end up on loan again next season before being sold in summer 2017

  19. warchester

    We don’t have any one reason for why we can only perform for half a season. Injuries, selling of key players, refusal to bolster the squad, tactics, player selection, misuse of players in wrong positions. All these add up and that’s why you see the calamities occurring out of the blue. And most of those is down to the manager.

  20. Relieable sauce

    Wengers Martial comments may come back to bite him next week.
    Its the tough run we have coming up should define the 1st half of our season.

    I’d possibly go something along these lines.

    vs Olympiacos

    —-OG–JC
    ——-Ox
    –Santi–Ram
    —–Fartini
    KG-CC-PM-MD
    ——Cech

    vs MU

    ——-TW
    Alexis—-Ozil
    –Santi–Ram
    ——-Coq
    NM-LK-GP-HB
    ——Cech

  21. tom

    I thought the defense played very well yesterday.
    It’s customary for Arsenal to start with a blitz, trying to catch the opposition cold.
    It’s a reasonable tactic,that frequently gets results.
    One feature is the defensive vulnerability it creates, if you are pressing high.
    If your opponents aren’t cold, and have a the same plan, you get an opening phase like we saw yesterday.
    Leicester are no mugs and busting with confidence, they decided to go for it and put us under plenty of pressure.
    There was a period of relative raggedness while AFC adapted, compounded by an injury to Famini. Leicester had chances but most were repelled effectively and AFC resisted the onslaught, till Vardy’s cool finish. He already hit woodwark and was dangerous throughout.
    Arteta arriving did help steady things and Leicester’s eagerness to capitalize on their advantage left them open to classic counter.
    Arsenal switched on, shifted gear and took the game from there.
    After Theo equalized and Sanchez put Arsenal ahead, Leicester had no choice but to continue to be positive, but got taken to the cleaners for it.
    Defense was superb throughout. Both full backs found great balance between positive forays upfield and their responsibilities at the back.
    Center backs were solid and cool. Arteta mopped up and recycled nicely, and helped Monreal with Mahrez.
    He also won 3 out of 4 aerial duals, surprisingly.
    After Sanchez last goal the whole team momentarily switched off. Leicester took advantage and committed to attack, having been on the back foot for an hour.
    Arsenals defense buckled, then broke.
    Which is a worry only mitigated by the score. They simply lost concentration and were duely punished.
    Happily, Arsenal woke up immediately and scored a fifth.
    Nice strike from Giroud, BTW.

    Anyway, well played Per, Kos , Nacho, Hector and Mikel.

  22. Nasri's Mouth

    @Jeff

    I’d agree with that, which is why I did it over 5 seasons to iron out most of the spikes. I can do it for the last 10 seasons too to give us an even bigger sample size and I suspect what we’ll find is that it’ll settle to show that Arsenal’s 1st half points total as a percentage of it’s season total matches other teams.

    But we do tend to have poor periods where we drop too many points. It might be that other sides do exactly the same, and it’s simply because I don’t focus on them to the same degree that I don’t see it with them, but it seems we suffer from confidence / overconfidence / motivation issues that makes consistency harder. Maybe it’s a consequence of the style of football we play, everything has to be just right, or we’re a misfiring pile of shite, maybe it’s just my incorrect anecdotal view.

  23. tom

    The second half slump is a fallacy, certainly in recent seasons.
    What happens is we get to the sharp end of the other competitions and get eliminated.
    This puts everyone on a downer. Still, more often than not , Arsenal grind out results in the league.
    Recent seasons have seen them put good runs together to make CL.
    Really its always been November and December, when the schedule gets full with cup games, that AFC have often slipped. Injuries galore etc.

  24. steve

    “Ozil and Ox – 10 each”‘

    Ozil who is too pussy to shot and Ox who has n end product are going to score 10 each? lol yeah that’s not going to happen.

  25. vicky

    NM

    Tough games against top 4 teams in the league and a CL game sandwiched in between constitute most of the “poor periods” that you are talking about which has to do as much with our squad strength,fitness level and overall quality as it has to do with mindset,motivation factor etc.

  26. Nasri's Mouth

    @R.S.P.C.

    Afobe, Aneke and Akpom all looked possibles for success.

    But none of them really continued their early rate of development. That happens with kids, especially if they develop physically early on. Gives them an early edge, but then they got caught up later on by the chasing pack.

    Someone like Dan Crowley who is not using size, power and pace to succeed but rather talent, might have a better chance to reach the top than they did / have

    Aneke is in Belgium now I think. No idea how he’s doing

  27. Nasri's Mouth

    @vicky

    Maybe, but I haven’t seen the actual evidence to back that up. Our well known failings against the top 4 teams are documented, but as a percentage of our total points scored, do we do any worse than the other CL teams in those congested Sat-Weds-Sat game periods ? Dunno.

    It’s an easy but time consuming thing to check, and I can’t be arsed

  28. I am arsene

    Steve
    Ozick too pussy to shoot???
    Maybe he doesn’t score enough goals but have you seen him play this season?
    Silly, lazy remark from another negative, ill informed poster

  29. steve

    I am arsene
    September 27, 2015 18:56:24

    Steve
    Ozick too pussy to shoot???
    Maybe he doesn’t score enough goals but have you seen him play this season?
    Silly, lazy remark from another negative, ill informed poster

    _______

    Yes he’s too pussy to shot as in when he gets the chance he’d rather pass it to another player who’s in a worse position.

  30. sam

    Excuse of playing Ramsey on the wing bcoz Ox cannot defend is so lame.
    First, Bellerin is fast enough to cover if they are both well instructed to work together.
    Second, Cazorla can play there if you don’t trust Chamberlain
    then both Chamberlain n Ramsey can share that position in the middle or pivot next to Coquelin
    Wenger makes football so complicated n believes he can turn people to what they are not, Ramsey on the wing is just plain stupid n its costing the team dear, We got away against leceister n might get punished against Man utd.

  31. daz

    Ejaculations
    And celebrations
    When I tell everyone that you’re in love
    With me

    Ejaculations
    And jubilations
    I want the world to know I’m happy as can be.

    Who could believe that I could be happy and contented
    I used to think that happiness hadn’t been invented
    But that was in the bad old days before I met you
    When I let you walk into my heart

    Ejaculations
    And celebrations
    When I tell everyone that you’re in love
    With me

    Ejaculations
    And jubilations
    I want the world to know I’m happy as can be.

  32. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Red your entitled to your view on Ozil …..
    But many would say your wrong….
    Going back as far as you want what would you say I’d arsenals best ever team then….

    Just to gauge things of your views ???

  33. tom

    Every game has it’s own unique dynamic.
    It shifts and transmutes as the match progresses. The ebb and flow .
    Wenger wants a team that can read the game and adjust to the dynamic at any given point.
    He prefers mobile, technical players that are intelligent enough to see and understand what’s happening.
    When the right set of players, with complimentary qualities, play together for an extended period, they can fuse into a team.
    It is cohesion that elevates the parts above the sum.
    Wenger values it above a bad deal and yesterday we saw why.

  34. STV

    Mertesacker’s time is up sadly. He has done a good job for Arsenal and its time to relieve his duties little bit. He is older and slower and it is totally expected.

  35. STV

    tom as much passionate your opinion is, Wenger is not above a bad deal.. and its the mobile miniature and technical players that started our down fall. we were nearly unbeatable with strong physical players but still with technical ability.

  36. STV

    Yeah but too often against better sides we are punished with that propensity to get swiched off especially on counter. Thats a problem. Still I am happy we got our aggression back. Need to be consistent.

  37. tom

    RSPC
    I saw openning Leicester onslaught as top class attack and thought defense did well to limit damage. It never looks pretty but kept all but one strike out.
    Let’s see how other defenses stand up to them before we get too critical.

  38. tom

    Redruth,
    Once the ref blows his whistle the game starts. After that, a coach can’t do much but trust his players and preparation.

  39. Nasri's Mouth

    R.S.P.C. We could have been two done in first ten….
    Poor defending Wenger hadn’t learned …

    There’s some truth in this. Both sides were far too open in the first 20 mins. I suppose given our better level of skill, compared to Leicester, we should have come out on top over the 90, but given our misfiring in front of goal it’s a risky strategy.

    I’m assuming that Arteta coming on in place of Flamini was directly responsible for tightening things up, but I need to watch it again to see if we tweaked anything else.

    The way Leicester played though, with that level of energy, the home fans, the pace of their counter and two up front, I suspect they’d have caused a lot of sides some nervy moments

  40. STV

    “Let’s see how other defenses stand up to them before we get too critical.”

    please this has to stop.. the fact that only us beat them so far doesn’t entitle us to believe other team cannot !! If they are so good they must be finishing better in pl and wouldn’t have been playing championship before last season.

    Like wise West ham beat us in home. That doesn’t mean They will do that to Utd or Chelsea. its a very competitive league and any body can beat anybody on a given day.

  41. Relieable sauce

    RSPCA

    No O’Leary? I never saw him or Brady when they were playing unfortunately.

    Seabo
    Lauren Adams Campbell Silvinho
    Viera Fabregas Petit
    Overmars Henry Pires

    or as a alternative-

    Lehman
    Campbell Adams Keown
    Sanchez Viera Petit Arshavin
    Bergkamp
    Wright Suker

  42. Relieable sauce

    Szczesney
    Eboue Senderos Stepanov Santos
    Diaby Denilson Arteta Wilshire
    Sanogo Gervinho

    Guaranteed drama & entertainment.

  43. Demon

    There’s a formation which could help us kill Manchester United:

    Lw ox. Cf Sanchez Rw Theo

    Am ozil
    Cm santi. Cm Ramsey(defensive minded

    Monreal. Kozz chambers bellerin
    Cech

    This team would absolutely hammer united but I don’t think we her would have the balls to do this….Sanchez ripped it apart for chile at ST in the copa America….he also has a great leap as he out jumped schmeichal!!!

  44. sam

    STV,

    why get rid of 30years old Mertesacker when we still have 34yrs old Rosicky who does f*k all for the club n Arteta who’s flipping Liability.
    Mert could make a great third CB for few more season, even if he loses his place to Gabriel.

  45. sam

    Wenger is really deluded thinking Arteta is a Defensive midfielder.
    Leceister could drive a bus through our defense yesterday, only Cech saved our backside. Our defense was not protected at all

    How are we gonna survive against Martial, Rooney n Mata with that?

  46. Mick Kartun

    If only Wenger would not reluctant to add this 3 quality players in next January window, definetely would add depth and strength to be a completed squad.

    1. Lewandowski for ST,

    2. Krychowiak for DM, and

    3. John Stones for CB.

    I would forgive him and march to be his AKBs idol.

    But we all know that wouldn’t happened huh. What a pity.

  47. tom

    From Untold Arsenal.
    Spot on.

    You have to go to away matches to know just how incredible and positive the fans are. Worries about Giroud? Not at all – he’s treated by away support as an absolute hero – just like every player is.

    No whining, no moaning, no nothing – you can see why in this world created by the blogettas and the media of whinging and complaining, clubs are freed up to play free flowing football. Because they know their supporters are on their side.

    But that sort of whinging has an effect on players. They start to get nervous at home. If you want your team to perform well at home, you have to set up an atmosphere like you get with Arsenal away.

  48. TheBayingMob

    “If you want your team to perform well at home, you have to set up an atmosphere like you get with Arsenal away.”

    Lower the prices and get the younger crowd in then … Our stadium full of tired old men have no appetite for anything, only risk adverse safe business strategies. Bin them off, all these old men and old women with their knitting, kick them out, get the young lads in, that’s where your atmosphere is.

    Lower ticket prices though? Of course not, you have the Arsenal you deserve; The Untold Arsenal. Boring. Safe. Stale. An old man Mercedes that’s never driven about 56mph

  49. tom

    When I was a travelling youngster it was the same.
    If you wore the shirt you got support regardless.
    In fact weaker players got extra love.
    Gus Ceaser had his chant and we sung it loud as we could. He was crap but played his heart out.
    Nial Quinn was a limited player who excelled but took time finding his feet.
    Awkward as can be, still we lived him.
    Even Tony Adams was an ugly duckling at first.
    Remember ‘Donkey wins the Derby’?
    Arsenal fans were patiant then.

    Our ground could be a fortress. Worth points per season. The supporters need to play their part.
    As it happens, it makes the whole experience far more enjoyable too.
    Win/win.

    Of course in the olden days you had 3 pint buckets and sheeplike behaviour came easy, but even so…..

  50. TheBayingMob

    Like a lot of old men you have a golden melancholic version of the past which is far rosier than it really was.

    I was in the north bank in the late 80s and early 90s and some of the treatment of players was vicious. Eddie McGoldrick got a drubbing, Perry Groves used to get a lot too, only in recent years did he become a poster boy for some cult movement which was based more in a sarcastic tone as he was never considered to be any good. I remember the North Bank chanting ‘Fairy Groves’ in a high pitched tone …

    Like all the others at Untold you are just at the other end extreme of the ‘WOBs’, you paint a version of events that doesn’t realty exist just to make a point, just as Bamford et al screw down hard into finite statistics to try and prove we’re shit when really, we’re not shit, but then neither are we Barca; neither extreme have a real voice in the stadium. The atmosphere generally isn’t as toxic as you make it out to be. Neither is the away support as vociferous in it’s total support as you make out.

    The first time I heard Wenger Out being openly banded about was away to Swansea. The first time I saw an anti-Wenger banner actively unveiled was away to Brighton (FA Cup). The first time I heard ‘Spend Some Fucking Money’ chanted was away at Fulham.

    Fans have never been patient and I openly question your away credentials. I doubt you’ve ever been to an away game in your life, or, at least on any consistent basis. I think you’re just a bit of a troll and a fraud, but that’s just a personal opinion.

    All of mine above is true and based on real away experiences within the last few seasons.

    Arsenal are middle of the road. We’ll win a few and it’ll be all about Wenger the genius; we’ll lose a few in our normal way making the same mistakes over and over and it’ll be all about Wenger out. It’s just boring. 18 years of Wenger has got stale and boring. Some people like stale and boring. Some people still have shadow pile carpets from the 80s in their houses. Some people are massive gamblers and want to risk it all. Some people, like you, want to keep all the money in the bank for a rainy day that never comes. That’s life. That’s Arsenal, and right now Arsenal are just quite boring

  51. Mick Kartun

    Catalonia voted for freedom.

    Well Messi would be available then?

    Will le fraud spend 200m in the bank for him?

    Wenger said: f@ck off, it’s the money I scratched for 10 years of agony, hell no I would just piss it off for him. I will create my own ‘Messi’ in our youth team, it will give us 200m in return. Just wait and see……

  52. Dark Hei

    I will have to disagree about Ramsey being unsuited on the right. I think there is this idea that being out wide means the player needs to have pace and have good dribbling ability.

    To the point where even Ramsey himself thinks so.

    But he is never given instructions to play as a traditional winger; hug the lines and provide width and all that. Now that his footballing intelligence has grown, he understands that this is not true. The right hand side is his defensive responsibility and also a starting reference. His real responsibility is to play narrow and act as an additional passing outlet by drifting in-between lines.

    He is equally adept in receiving the ball from both right or left and from various angles, thus making him very suitable for the role. Plus he has great stamina and desire to create things.

  53. Mick Kartun

    Well, this good news will get wenger a BONER.

    A number of massive European stars will be available to sign pre-contracts in January and Premier League sides are already poised to snap them up.

    We’ve compiled a best XI of the players available for free and their projected value according to Transfermarkt – read on to find out who is in the line-up.

    Goalkeeper: Samir Handanovic (Inter Milan)
    Right-back: Gregory van der Wiel (Paris Saint-Germain)
    Centre-back: Nicolas N’Koulou (Marseille)
    Centre-back: Joel Matip (Schalke)
    Left-back: Caner Erkin (Fenerbahce)
    Right wing: Andriy Yarmolenko (Dynamo Kiev)
    Midfield: Wesley Sneijder (Galatasaray)
    Midfield: Rafinha (Barcelona)
    Left wing: Ezequiel Lavezzi (Paris Saint-Germain)
    Striker: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain)
    Striker: Charlie Austin (QPR)

    This will suit his TIKItaka…..oh…sorry…PENNY PINCHING STYLE.

  54. qna

    Ramsey is not very good. Wenger’s current favorite formation only works on flat tracks and falls down against a good opposition.

    Ramsey plays more like a box to box midfielder that only is interested in one box. The duties of our right winger are almost exclusively provided by Bellerin. This of course pulls our whole team out of formation. This works perfectly well against teams that sit back because the hole is not exploited. Bellerin is also quick enough to get back into position.

    We rely very much on the DM to play as our 3rd central defender (even if it is higher up the pitch) and this works as Coquelin has been in good form since the beginning of 2015. But when Arteta or Flamini was called upon, we again looked very easy to open up and the formation’s flaws can be easily exploited.

  55. tom

    The Baying Mob.

    No mate, crowd was more forgiving and supportive in the past.
    Maybe the expectations were lower, maybe it was a different crowd with different values, who knows?

    You might have heard a groan or two when a shit player made a shit play, but for the most part Arsenal fans backed their players . We might grumble in the pub , but once the team ran out we were behind them.

    Graham’s later seasons tested our patience, and you are right that McGoldrick and Helder were aweful, but they didn’t get booed by the North Bank.
    Only time I remember boos were after embarrassing cup losses to lower league opposition, and even then there wasn’t much. That’s how I remember it.

    Anyhow, the point of my post was not to slag modern fans but to encourage positive support.

    Good home support can help you win games. Twelfth man and all that.

    Lastly, on a personal note, who the fuck are you to question my credentials?

  56. Wallace

    Dark Hei

    “The right hand side is his defensive responsibility and also a starting reference. His real responsibility is to play narrow and act as an additional passing outlet by drifting in-between lines. ”

    i agree. it’s the Ray Parlour role. and until we sign an Arteta upgrade it’s the role Ramsey’s going to have to play if he wants a game.

  57. Wallace

    “The return to his considerable best of Sánchez aside, what must surely give Wenger genuine pleasure is the growing indication that Theo Walcott’s future really does lie in the centre rather than on the wing.

    The 26-year-old will never be able to do anything about his lack of height, but not unlike Sánchez, he has acquired the strength to ensure the toughest of defenders cannot bully him. The Leicester centre-halves Robert Huth and Wes Morgan are solidly muscular citizens, but both bounced off Walcott at least once, while his pace remains deadly. “He gave them plenty of problems, I think he is improving game by game,” said Wenger.”

    – Guardian

  58. SomeRandomGunner

    Rewatched the match Walcott’s performance was actually better than I initially thought.

    Contrary to the popular belief I think Walcott is going to be useful against packed defenses too.

    Against Leicester he made an awesome diagonal run which was picked up by Sanchez.

    He took a long ball held the CB mugged another and had a tame shot at keeper.
    For Leicester’s first goal his layoff to Ramsey was pretty good too.

    Other than this he was constantly moving away from CBs behind the FBs causing big problems for Leicester .

    But he could have done better for our second goal . He needs to take lessons from Olivier for those tap ins. He is not too aware of tap in possibilities also his technique inside the 6 yard box is not too good.

    Also Theo should have tried to attack the cross-shot by Cazorla.

    Lets hope he maintains consistency and remains injury free.

  59. SomeRandomGunner

    Also Ozil was very very good. He also played a crucial role in the first goal. He held off 2 players pressing and passed to Sanchez.

    We have a pretty good first team but because of the composition of players and their limitations , when one player is not available it creates a cascading effect and causes huge disruption.

    With Coq and Gabriel in place of Arteta and Mert we would have had a very balanced side in both attack and defence .

  60. Mick Kartun

    I f wenger only got BONER for cheap price and free in January,

    I wouldn’t mind him to get IBRACADABRA for free, his lethal finishing still the best for 1 or 2 years, and my formation would be 4-3-3:

    _______________________Cech__________________________

    Bellerrin______Gabriel_______Koscielny_______Monreal

    _________Ramsey________Coq________Cazorla__________

    Walcott____________Ibrahimovic________________Alexis

  61. Dark Hei

    qna

    I will have to agree on your point about the DM being a 3rd defender as well as Arteta’s limitations in that role. I would go as far as to say that if Coq is out, Arteta should play Carzola’s role instead. But I would have to watch yesterday’s match to see how an Arteta/Carzola partnership worked (many commentators seem to suggest that Arteta helped turned the game)

    But will disagree on your point with regards to Ramsey. He is great. You guys are just lacking in imagination “)

  62. Dark Hei

    Wallace

    I would also like to triumphantly put forth that I was right about Walcott all along. He is exactly what this current Arsenal side need. Arseblog used to post all those stats about Walcott lack of touches as lack of involvement.

    I would turn things around and say that this is exactly what is required. The striker to be constantly moving around trying to position himself for a run and occupy the defenders instead of coming short to receive the ball.

  63. Mick Kartun

    @somerandomgooner

    What do you expect from tight purse wenger, mate?

    We all know that.

    my hope would be Lewandowski, krychowiak, and john stones,

    but that can only happened when you ejaculate to porn star he, right?

    you know wenger.

    Just keep on dreaming.

  64. afcmacca

    How about this
    instead of the same old misery
    we need this we need that

    why dont we say ‘dya what this is the year we win the title’

    Chelsea are a mess
    United are still just above average
    City are crumbling

    COYG

  65. Mick Kartun

    @random

    true mate, we at least need ST and DM,

    but the classic question is,

    WILL WENGER BUY IN JANUARY?

    Hey, why don’t we spice things up,

    It would be an interesting BET on if Wenger to buy to strengthen in January or not?

    The odd is BUY World Class Player : 50 : 1

    the odd not to buy World Class Player : 1,5 : 1

  66. Highbury4ever

    “WILL WENGER BUY IN JANUARY?” ==>> Kim Kallstrom injured ???

    In other news, manure back as title contenders N° 1.
    THE GOOD OLD DAYS ARE BACK!! lol

  67. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal produced last weekend an expansive performance scoring 5 goals against a team who were previously undefeated.

    What it told us was that our team can outperform any club in an ‘open expansive’ game. Basically Leicester allowed us to play.

    The trouble is that most teams in CL or Champions League don’t allow us to play in this way. They have learned to play against us with tight defence and
    on counter attack.

    Sadly we are not very successful in such games particularly when Coquelin is
    not in the side.

    What we have seen this season is three games lost where we have made silly
    defensive mistakes.

    The real test of how we are performing will come next weekend, because Man
    Utd rather like Chelsea seem to get always results against us. Basically we need to start winning such games if we are to be judged title contenders.

    Reastically Man Utd may be top of the league, but they are not a great side. There should be no reason why we cannot beat them at home, but Arsenal need to start changing their tactics and make teams “think” how to play against us.

    Far too often we are too predictable in our game plan. That was more or less
    what the managers of both West Ham and Dinamo Zagreb suggested following their victories against us.

    In 2015 we started to produce results once Coquelin came into the team primarily because he is a “no frills” disciplined and defensively effective player.
    It is exactly what Arsenal need in major games. In his absence we are going
    to struggle because neither Arteta nor Flamini are good enough to replace
    him and fulfil the same role and players like Ramsey, Wilshire and Cazorla
    lack the basic defensive discipline.

    Arsenal may not be able to buy a ” world class” striker in the January transfer
    window, but they should be able to afford a midfielder who can rotate or
    replace Coquelin when he gets injured or needs a rest.

    It is the one position in the squad where there is no ‘ready made’ replacement
    and it becomes essential that the Manager recognises this when the January
    window opens.

    Let us hope that the combination of Sanchez and Walcott start producing consistently goals, because apart from them and Giroud we are struggling to find
    goalscorers in rest of squad.

  68. Rocky Pires

    I would think there will be/should be a few subtle changes for the Olpi game.
    I would put Gab in and rest Kos, give Per another game to freshen up.
    Maybe Gibbs for Monreal but something tells me , Wenger is gone all Barca on us and will play Ospina in Champions League .

    Other than that CDM is the position where we are short but in this particular game surely Ramsey and Santi CM is a good enough combo to beat Olpi,
    Ox on right, Ozil and Alexi with Theo uptop looks a very mobile team and should attack them from the get go .

  69. Rocky Pires

    Good post ET, one thing I was particularly impressed with was Santi and his desire, he hadnt his best performance but his desire to sprint as hard as he could from our box to theirs on the Theo goal was particularly interesting from my point of view .
    It was easy say oh 1-0 down and its another one of those days but all credit to him he worked hard .

  70. Emiratesstroller

    Rocky Pires

    Cazorla is probably the most “honest” player in hour squad. He gives always
    100% albeit that he does not play well in every game.

    Also the pass of Ozil from which Sanchez scored was spectacular. If only he madesuch passes on a more frequent basis we might have scored more goals this season.

    Ozil is an extremely talented player, but he does need to be more “influential”
    in games. Sometimes he goes missing and of course I would like to see him
    take more responsibility and shoot in front of goal. Our achilles heel is that
    we are overdependent at moment on Sanchez, Walcott and Giroud to score
    goals.

  71. Rocky Pires

    yeah RSPA, its first time in long time have confidence in all CB options but Per looked a little rusty and slow in closing down shots so either rest him for the weekend or play him tomorrow night, personally I would like to see Gab and Kos v Martial and Rooney .

  72. daz

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  73. ADKB

    @RSPC: Bizarre decision not to make an attempt at a penalty kick instead of the lineout in the dying minutes of that game.

    Not a rugby expert by any chance, but the Welsh were more passionate and wanted to win 🙂

  74. Rocky Pires

    I think Ozil’s goals will come and when better to start than against Utd.
    Against Utd we will be invited to shoot from edge of the box, they wont afford us any space behind the backline and in Schneidi and Carrrick/Sweini they will look to close us down quickly .
    Ozil may be seen as the one to allow a little extra space at the edge of the box to, as they most definitely will be concentrating on closing down on Alexi .
    Nice half volley into top corner like the Napoli goal be nice .

    Be intersting to see Joel get a run v Olpi aswell, if that lad finds his rhythm he could be an asset in the goals scoring spread as can Ox

  75. Dissenter

    Theo will easily get his 20-25 goals in ALL competitions, provided he stays fit.
    Problem is he’ll demand for 250k weekly, if that were to happen.

  76. Gunner2301

    Dissenter

    He’ll be 29ish when his renewal comes up so one last move if he were to leave. He’d have to be putting in seriously consistent performances I believe for us to go even near 200. I can’t see it. He’ll have some good run of form with injuries to break that up. Maybe by then we’ll have a manager that might say NO for once.

  77. Mick Kartun

    This is why I am a true WOB.

    If me not mistaken, payroll for our both striker in total would be 270k, almost 300k as rooney’s paycheck.

    Walcott : 140 k

    Girude : 130 k

    Total Both: 270 k

    What the economist my a$$ is that?

    I would rather pay that ridiculous both paycheck to ONE PROVEN GOALSCORER in LEWANDOWSKI for 250 k, and he deserves it.

    For f@ck sake, that’s what annoying me about HOW GENIUS WENGER ECONOMICS.

    Is it smart business, or just CHEAP OLD NAGGING prick?

    WTF.

  78. DaleDaGooner

    “It’s time to cum together
    It’s up to you, what’s your pleasure?
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  79. Bermy boy

    I do not expect anything from Arsenal in CL it’s for money alone nothing to do with winning games.Arsenals expectations are met when we qualify that’s where our campaign begins and ends.