Brilliant 3 points, but a worrying performance from Arsenal

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A great start to the weekend. Manchester City ripped apart by Arnautovic and Shaqiri. United lucky to get a point against a very good West Ham. PLUS, three points to the good guys.

Key take-aways

Sunderland are not a good side

They’re one of the worst teams in the league and we made them look very good today. If they had good players, they’d have put 3 past us. We were open in midfield, we were sloppy at the back and we really didn’t gel. I’m down with the three points, but that was a very unfair result when you weigh up the chances. We have one more game to gel before City. We need to play like we’re in with a shout of the league.

Second Tier Attitude

I just don’t see much fight from our second stringers. We looked flat and beaten for large parts of the game. The players you’d expect to be pulling up trees to impress just didn’t click. Another pretty average game for Chambo out on the left, a bland game from Flamini and a productive one from JC… but again, he just looks lost in our side.

Mesut is a god

He was fantastic again today. Opening up Sunderland with ease again. His vision kept us dangerous. It’s amazing that he’s landed 12 assists already (Cesc in his prime for us only managed 13)… with a real lack of class ahead of him. We need to treat him with kid gloves, because without him today, we’d have been in trouble.


When he drops to the bench, he’ll deserve it. He scored an own goal, then he nodded in nicely for our second. Outside that, it was a lot of bluster. Running around knocking into opposition isn’t productive. It’s been the story of his season though. Another who made a positive contribution without really making much of an impact outside of the goal.

Theo is back

Can’t help but be really excited that we have some pace back in that front line. We’ll be needing him fresh for the Villa game and I’d imagine he’ll be integral if we’re to beat City in a few weeks time.


A lot of man love for the full back. His passion and hunger shines through. He loves going to battle and he loves to win. A really important performance again. A man who offers leadership when others shy away.


Some brilliant saves and a dominant performance again. He makes the stops you know our other two wouldn’t. Today’s game is a exactly the sort of tie we’d draw or lose because of an average keeper not making his cash.


Again, not a great game from the Frenchman, but he can’t help being average. Chambers dropping on was interesting. Is Wenger going to be tempted to play him in centre mid in the CL? I’d love to see how he did! I mean, I know that’s a flip flop statement… but Flamini really is going to land us in trouble against better sides.

The Table

We’re back up to 2nd. Behind a Leicester who just can’t stop winning. Incredible scenes over there!

So, time for us to kick on. Let’s make sure away from home in Greece this week. We need to get the victory, we need to find some style to our game and we need to settle on a team that’ll play against City in a few weeks.

December is a big month, what a great way to kick it off, even if the performance was a bit grubby.

428 Responses to “Brilliant 3 points, but a worrying performance from Arsenal”

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  1. GuNZ

    Just finished watching the game on a one hour delay broadcast. Flattering scoreline. Long live Cech, long live Özil. Giroud went from being an über-cunt to just his regular cuntness. I lost count of the times we passed the ball away (especially Ramsey). Good spell around the second goal and that was it. Got to be positive though. If we can hold it together and get away with results like that until the heavy artillery’s back or scrooge Wenger buys us Tiny Tim supporters a late Chrissie pressie or two or three in January, we’re in with a chance – provided none of our major opposition comes really good that is.

  2. GoonerEris

    Our performance showed we had minds on avoiding more injuries and Olympiacos in view in midweek. That is an important game and difficult not to have it playing on the lads’ minds. I thought we acquitted ourselves well in the circumstances (3 players only back from injury; trying to gel, after loss of 3 key midfield players, etc.).

  3. BacaryisGod

    Nice rapid post Pedro.

    Something off-field is up with the Ox. You can tell in his body language. Maybe the injuries have knocked his confidence but it seems deeper than that.

    There’s no joy in his game right now and the exuberance we all loved is in short supply. Let’s hope that whatever is troubling him is solved soon because it’s a little sad watching him at the moment.

  4. Danny

    Yes Pedro Monreal was great today, one of his best performances.
    Amazing that Leicester haven’t yet lost away and their one lose at home was to us or rather to Alexis.

  5. BacaryisGod

    As for the overall game, Sunderland are definitely improved under Allardyce but still should have been an easier win.

    M’Vila actually showed his pedigree but he would need a Road to Damascus moment for Arsene to sign him.

    I’m not as depressed with the performance as many are. There’s not much wrong with are Back 5 short of Bellerin getting his groove back and Meet learning to run at speed.

    Upfront with Theo back we have plenty of options to feed off the constantly brilliant Ozil ( bar the first 20 of this half)

  6. BacaryisGod

    Last thing-I still check Chelsea’s games closely for fear they’ll make a run up the table. If they don’t get 3 points vs. Bournemouth I think I can safely stop checking for the rest of the season.

  7. Jeff

    Bloody hell. Chelsea lose again. What on earth is going on? I’m half expecting myself to wake up and check the real table.

  8. Jeff

    By the way Pedro. I’m liking very much these posts just after a game. It makes the talking points all the more interesting. Keep it up please whenever possible.

  9. Jeff

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. He should never have sacked Eva. That was a bad move by Mourinho. I’d be very surprised if there isn’t an effigy of him somewhere in Eva’s bedroom with a many needles piercing through every part.

  10. MidwestGun

    I just can’t stop laughing at Chelsea…. too funny, Karma is a bitch.

    Texted my brother the Chelscum fan a text that said. … 3 points above the drop, you worried?.

    And he told me to Fuck Off! Only it wasn’t that nicely worded. Hahaha

  11. vicky


    Yes, signing a DM is almost certain. But I think we need 2 new players. I like Jack but it will be naive to rely on him at this stage. Ramsey is the only CM option we have at the moment and even he is injury prone.

  12. MidwestGun

    Player ratings.
    Ozil -8.5
    Cech – 7.8
    Kos – 7.8
    Monreal – 7.6
    Campbell -7.4
    Flamini -7.3
    Giroud – 6.9
    Mert – 6.8
    Ox – 6.8
    Bell – 6.7

    Sounds about right. Thought Bellerin was all over the place and Mert was a step slow but made a few last ditch tackles.
    Ox was poor and Flamini was Flamini.

    Motm was definitely Ozil for me… linked play all over the place. Don’t know if he can keep that up every match. And we looked 200% more threatening when Theo came on, imo. Olympiakos will park a huge double decker bus, tho. They have no reason to play open. So we will see.

  13. Sam

    F@ck Chelsea

    Poccetino should place a cheeky bid for Cesc
    That’s where the Lil backstabbing twat belong
    We should buy hazard n Ranirez

  14. GuNZ

    Frank Mc

    Yep, they broadcast the Eden Park memorial live here. Rushie’s always been a bloody good public speaker, I got to hear him quite often years ago when I got very drunk at a North Harbour fund raiser and somehow managed to ‘win’ the auction to sponsor the reserves bench for a season.

  15. MidwestGun

    Damn… you could certainly say if Wenger had taken the last transfer window even halfway seriously where we could have afforded to rest Sanchez and Coquelin, Santi and Ozil or added some goal scoring so we weren’t so dependant on Giroud we would have a firm grasp on the League and looking good.
    As it is with injuries …. who freakin knows.

    But if we can’t do it this year with teams crumbling around us, don’t know when we will ever have this chance again under AW.

  16. vicky

    Slaven Bilic is beginning to grow on me. The guy is very confident of his own abilities and has a charismatic personality and is producing great results this season.

  17. Marko

    Ozil gave a number of sloppy passes in the first-half.I didn’t watch second-half so i can’t comment

    Sounds like something Donald Trump would say. He’s a cunt too

  18. Leedsgunner

    Good win — albeit against Sunderland. Shame we didn’t get our finger out against Norwich and WBA because their would be blue water between us… never mind Chelsea…

  19. London gunner

    People might be impressed with bojan

    I was super impressed with shaqiri.

    Little power house with pace, dribbling skills and eye for a pass.

    Only cost Stoke 12 million.. We bought welbeck for what 16?

    Should have gone for shaqiri instead.

  20. MidwestGun

    I don’t know London. .. Shaqiri was impressive today, but if you look at his numbers, he has only played 90 minutes twice this season out of 11 appearances. Only has 3 assists and no goals and 2 of those assists were today.
    Doesn’t seem like a Stoke type player tho.

  21. Mr B


    I was wondering if getting Shaqiri to replace Santi would be a good idea, after seeing how strong, skillful, strong, pacey he is. He has great vision and passing range and is a bigger goal threat from deep central midfield with his burst of pace and shoots from distance.

  22. Sam

    Mourinho the fraud is exposed
    Arsenal never been this sh!t
    Some twats believe this chequebook mercenary is better than Wenger Lol!!!

    he’s only better at spending for sure

  23. London gunner

    Mr B

    What I like about shaqiri is the fact he is little yet incredibly well built , pacy and strong.

    For instance he is so good at beating his man it’s because he can run past his man with his explosiveness and has the agility little players with low centres of gravity have without the weakness and ease of getting barged off the ball like most shorter plays. Abit like tevez.

    Also He isn’t the most fluid with the ball but he does have functional skill really effective with the skills he does use and like you said is a pretty good through ball passer. Remember seeing him picking out passes with Bayern.

    Fact is for 12 million he was an absolute steal. Could he play the Cazorla I don’t know, but him and Sanchez in either wing is a hard working partnership.

    I also think he would combine well with Ozil as he understands complicated combination plays from his days at Bayern

  24. Highbury4ever

    @Sam : please don’t use maureen’s struggle for make us believe that Le Tightwad One is a god, many thanks.

  25. MidwestGun

    Shaqiri reminds me of that Konoplyanka dude. Everytime I see either of them play they look dangerous but when you look at their numbers not all that impressive and I keep expecting one or the other to “make it” at a better team. Anyhow, definitely thought it was weird when Shaqiri went to Stoke.

  26. El Tel 1

    Here we go again.

    A player from another team has a good game and we have to buy him.

    How can Shakira be compared to Wellbeck ffs.

    If we had Wellbeck fit right now we would be top of the League. He is a nuisance player and fights for the ball up top.

    Fuck Shakira and Mahrez. I want A Gotze level player.

  27. El Tel 1

    Bellerin is white I believe. He will beat Vardy. He is fast though. What being white had to do with it I don’t know

  28. Sam

    Chelsea are Sh!t
    Mourinho is Sh!t
    Costa is Sh!t, give me Giroud any day
    John Terry is always Sh!t
    Overrated Matic is clueless…….. and sh!t

  29. London gunner

    El tel

    “Fuck Shakira and Mahrez. I want A Gotze level player.”

    Fair play with this statement I agree completely tbh.

    “If we had Wellbeck fit right now we would be top of the League. He is a nuisance player and fights for the ball up tOp”

    This is ridiculous though welbeck lacks serious quality player some of our worse football with him up top both giroud and Walcott with their limitations have been superior.

    As for bellerin good shout he is faster. Reason I mentioned race is because the fastest people in the world are black. Hence why hardly any white guy’s have beaten the 10 second barrier in 100 meters

  30. London gunner

    “A player from another team has a good game and we have to buy him.”

    True there is a bit of that but tbh I have liked shaqiri for years as Midwest says he hasn’t fully reached his potential but o feel a large part of that was down to being a bit part player at Bayern. Give him regular football and his stats will improve and in theory his pacy powerful game looks ideal for this league.

  31. naijagunner

    @El Tel
    You took the words right outta my. Mouth….excuses are even being made for his fitness..these is a very good reason why Shaqiri is at Stoke….and a very good reason why Sir Alex rated Welbeck ….the hate for Danny on here at times is ridiculous

  32. steve

    “Only cost Stoke 12 million.. We bought welbeck for what 16?”

    Terrible piece of business by the specialist in failure along with Chambers and Debuchy.

    ” We could be 7 points head of man city if we had beaten Norwich and brom.”

    6 points ahead.

    “Some twats believe this chequebook mercenary is better than Wenger Lol!!!”

    That’s because he is better, dumbo.

    “If we had Wellbeck fit right now we would be top of the League. He is a nuisance player and fights for the ball up top.”

    Lol Welbeck is fucking terrible. Championship level player.

  33. Sam

    Wrighty looks like praying mantis in those glasses.

    Mourinho won’t quit, Lol!’
    He’ll miss out on payday, just waiting to be sacked
    Ironically Ranieri’s leicester is top of the league

  34. Sam

    What’s more dumber than making passing blind judgements based on hatred.
    How’s Mourinho better than Wenger?
    Well you’ll mention his whoring with sugardaddies to buy trophies, that to me it’s irrelevant

    I wouldn’t want him anywhere near arsenal fc

  35. Emiratesstroller

    I agree more or less with what Pedro wrote. We were very average.

    However, in mitigation the weather was fairly awful and the wind was blowing
    hard as I experienced outside stadium at end of game. You could see the ball
    doing strange things at start of second half.

    Nevertheless Flamini and Ramsey combination is not going to be solution. Flamini is not remotely on same level as Coquelin and I am sorry to say that Ramsey despite his goal is just not good or disciplined enough to play a deep
    midfield position.

    One of the worst features of games since injury to Coquelin is the ease that we
    give ball away to opposition. You saw it once again when we conceded free kick just before half time. It was exactly same scenario as against Norwich. You would have thought that Arsenal would learn lesson, but no when we
    were winning game 2-1 towards end of game the team was managing to give
    away the ball to opposition rather than hold onto it .

    Fortunately we scored third goal, but this game was one which result flattered

    Despite goal Campbell is not good enough for a top team in EPL and I am afraid that Ox-Chamberlain on evidence of his performances this season and
    in particular yesterday has regressed to such a level that I would drop him to
    play in U21s. He is bluntly a ‘headless chicken’. Chambers brief cameo revealed once again that he is no better in midfield than in right back or centre
    back positions.

    In conclusion the only saving grace at moment is that general level of EPL is
    currently very poor with Man City and Chelsea losing and both Man Utd and Spurs drawing.

    One of the concerns has to be that Wenger will provide some fatuous excuse
    in January not to buy anyone. What I can say is that if that proves the case it
    is precisely why Wenger needs to leave, because the loss of Coquelin, Cazorla
    and Sanchez is down to poor ‘husbanding of resources’ and lack of ‘recruitment in summer’ to replace some of the other players in squad who are not fit for purpose.

  36. Adam

    8 goals and 3 assists from his last 12 games…

    He played loan striker against 3 centre backs and aside from the goal was also pivotal in the build up to the first goal.

    Hard audience this one.

  37. underrated Coq

    I’m loving this PL season. All preconceived notions being thrown out the window.

    Chelsea, who were probably favorites to reclaim the title, have been toilet. City ‘the class of the League’ are anything but. Ranieri, the manager who was being made fun of by everyone, has his side at the Top of the table.

    The football-hipsters’ favorite boy Hazard has been absolutely average. ‘Best DM in the League’ Matic has been pants and ‘masterstroke signings’ Fabregas and Costa have failed to turn up at all this season. Anthony ‘overhyped’ Martial- Can’t remember the last time he scored a goal. Memphis ‘better than Sanchez’ Depay? Lol.

    And all the while ‘Lazy and mentally weak’ Ozil is arguably the best player in the League.

  38. Zimbabwean Gunner

    The league is pants at the minute.

    I had Man City as title favorites at the beginning of the season. They are anything but.

    I stopped worrying about Man Utd when Fergie retired. And I am still not worried about them.

    Chelsea are utterly useless this season. Its quite unbelievable how a club goes from being champions to being so poor that Bournemouth win away at Chelsea. Eden Hazard is really average.

    Spurs. Well they are Spurs. They flatter to deceive.

    Leicester. I really don’t know if they can sustain this till the end of the season. But let them enjoy this fairy tale.

    This leaves me wondering why Wenger cannot see that the league is there for the taking. I guess when other fans write about us on their blogs they just say ‘Arsenal. Well they are just Arsenal. They continue to shoot themselves in the foot!’

  39. GuNZ

    I have just been informed, through the medium of loads and loads of vino which the Sunday roast singularly failed to soak up, that Leicester’s good run is directly related to the entombment of Richard III at the city’s cathedral in March this year. That’s what the wine tannin fairies who live at the bottom of the bottle told me anyway.

  40. GuNZ

    My eldest step-daughter did her masters at Leicester. That’s her degree, not the blokes she worked for. At least I hope that’s what she meant. She said it was full of chavs. I don’t know what chavs are so I assume it means half decent football players who don’t get injured every other fucking week or keep falling over even though they’re six foot four and the bloke whose pony tail or scent of cologne caught them is a fucking dwarf.

  41. GuNZ

    Giroud made the NZ Sunday evening 6 p.m. news. They took the piss, saying he managed to beat both goal keepers in the one game. Oh, how I fucking laughed! I know Giroud’s a cunt. But he’s my cunt. Yes, he may be a nougat-brained, frog leg snorting donut incapable of hitting a barn door at six paces nine times out of ten but I can’t be having with some fat git on NZ TV1 taking the Michael out of the French twat. Fucking racist bastard so he was. I may write in and complain.

  42. Wallace

    that was a banging set of results. all we need now is for Steve McLaren to out-charasmatize Klopp and it’ll have been perfect. Ramsey very prominent in the highlights, although I saw there wasn’t much love for him on here for most of the game.

  43. Rhys Jaggar

    I think you’re wrong to say ‘Sunderland are one of the worst teams in the division’. They certainly were before Allardyce arrived, but he’s been working them hard on the training ground, drilling them in ‘the basics’. You know, how to defend. How to win the ball back. How to play on the break. Simple things you do away from home against top sides. If they keep playing like they did yesterday, they will pull well clear of the relegation zone. Of course they won’t challenge for Europe this season, but like almost all sides in the division this season, they are no mugs.

    Look at Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge – bottom three side, small budget, major injuries right at the start of the season. They go and play them in a football game and come away with 3 points. West Brom beat Arsenal and gave Spurs a really tough game yesterday. Even Aston Villa, tailed off at the bottom, weren’t that far away from an away win at Southampton.

    This season there really aren’t going to be any easy games and any thoughts that you can just ‘turn up and roll them over’ is fantasy land unless brown envelopes have been passing hands. Stoke could have beaten City 5-0 or 6-0 yesterday. They are mid table. Along with Watford. Crooks and Keown were saying during the games that ‘West Ham could and perhaps should be 3- 0 up’ at Old Trafford. There’s simply no place to coast any more…..

    Yes, if Arsenal want to win the title this year they have to go to Villa next week and win. But anyone who thinks it will be a walk in the park is living in cloud cuckoo land. Garde is doing the first thing any sane manager does to a bottom of the table side: he starts to try and shut up the defence and make them hard to beat. So if Arsenal want a 4-0 or the like, they’d better score in the first 15 minutes and then pulverise them as they have to chase the game.

    I view the game yesterday in a more sanguine light. Arsenal won playing not very well. It happens during every season: you have off days. If you want to win titles, on those off days you have to win. Arsenal did so. And almost all their title rivals, Leicester excluded, did not. So Arsenal gained a total of 8 pts on City, Utd, Spurs and Chelsea (who are now chasing a Europa League spot and might even throw this week’s UCL game to get into the Europa league knock out phase to try and get back into the Champions League that way).

    Liverpool must be thinking that Christmas has come early for them…..all their rivals cowering in fear at watching them win 6-1 at St Mary’s this week.

    I”m sure Claudio Ranieri is far too professional to ever say: ‘and how are you enjoying this season, Mr Abramovitch?’

    But you’d have to be a saint not to be thinking: ‘Claudio Ranieri – first managerial sacking of the Abramovitch era, top of the league with Leicester City. The World’s Special One, Jose Mourinho, the apple of Mr Abramovitch’ eye: in a relegation scrap and losing at home to Bournemouth.’

    There must be a God looking down somewhere up there………

  44. WengerEagle

    Shaqiri was rubbish at Inter Milan, really he was dreadful there. Wasn’t much better at Bayern hence there willingness to let him go for relatively cheap.

    He had a great game yesterday but besides that he hasn’t looked that good for even Stoke.

    People getting carried away with yesterday’s performance.

  45. WengerEagle

    I tell you what, it has gone under the radar but since Borussia Monchengladbach have got a new manager in, they have gone from the bottom of the Bundesliga table without a point on the board to winning 26 points from a possible 30, better than Bayern Munich’s haul of 25 points in 30 in the same time period.

    They smashed Bayern 3-1 yesterday.

    Not just Xhaka interests me, love the look of Lars Stindl, versatile attacking midfielder/SS, Raffael who can play anywhere along the front 4 and Fabian Johnson the US fullback.

  46. Cesc Appeal


    I was very surprised that Wrighty on MOTD said he was great, he really wasn’t, still struggles to weight a pass and holds onto possession too long, you know where he does that cut back, cut back, cut back thing he does before then releasing to either Kozz or Mert.

    John Cross gave him a 5, but that was very, very harsh, he gave Giroud a 6 and Ramsey was easily, easily much better than Giroud, sort of a 6.5 game I would say.

    Got an assist and a goal, hopefully he gets his eye in a bit, this is his chance to claim that CM slot.

    Big worries from yesterday were Oxlade, no idea what is going on with that boy. Looks for all the world like he’s ready to explode, just never does.

    Giroud, utter crap again, it’s been 4-5 weeks now of that sort of display, yes he did score, but that doesn’t highlight what a negative effect he has on our game, not just talking about the own goal, though that was dim. But you know, Norwich, West Brom, Spurs…crap, crap, crap, even Zagreb, crap.

    Scoreline flattered us yesterday, what was worrying was our defensive shape and the ease with which our middle was overrun by Sunderland…Sunderland.

    Not sure what sort of line up we use from here, Giroud deserves the bench big time, but then who do you play in the wide slots? That’s the problem, we literally have no room for manoeuvre, unless we go 4-1-2-1-2 or something and chuck Bielik in or something?

  47. WengerEagle


    Not sure, think you’re talking about Jermaine Jones the CM who was also mstard at the World Cup.

    Johnson was impressive too. He’s scoring regularly since he’s been moved up into the midfield at club level, 6 goals already in all comps.

  48. WengerEagle

    Napoli demonstrating why once again, they’ll bottle the Scudetto.

    On their day they are the most explosive and dangerous side in Serie A but they have too many off days like today to win the title.

    Dogged by inconsistency.

  49. Roy Keane's Beard

    Why the fuck didn’t we buy Shaqiri?! Remember a lot of speculation then nothing… as per.

    The Leicester player I’d take is Kante – boy looks mustard!!

  50. Sam

    Leicester can nick it

    They have experienced manager
    Can buy in January
    Have no European cup in midweek to worry about
    Wenger should take notes

  51. Roy Keane's Beard

    Why, when we have Bielek – a specialist DM – is wenger not blooding him in games like yesterday’s?

  52. Sam

    Their star player not even Mahrez n Vardy

    It’s that French cunt Ngolo Kante
    He runs everything in the middle of the park
    Break his leg n they are foked

  53. WengerEagle

    Leicester City’s next four matches:

    Chelsea- H
    Everton- A
    Liverpool- A
    Man City- H

    If they are still in and around top spot after that you’d have to consider them a serious threat for the UCL spots at the very least and outsiders for the title.

    Will be interesting to see if Vardy and Mahrez can keep up their form. If not, Leicester will struggle after Christmas.

  54. Dream10

    Wenger Eagle

    Napoli are currently two goals behind at Bologna. They given up two very soft goals. One from a long ball and another from a corner. Shocking stuff.
    Jorginho has received a lot of hype. But he has looked below average in midfield.

  55. mimi


    you are so agenda driven re Ramsey’s performances. For someone who’s usually spot regarding most things arsenal am a bit surprised you always seem to have a hard on when it comes to Ramsey.
    The boy like ox has regressed over the years, doesn’t seem to kick on, misplaces his passes, lingers on the ball too long, lacks positional discipline and doesn’t seem to be on the wavelength with ozil like cazorla does.

    There was a reason he was shunted to the wing and cazorla played in his ‘preferred’ position .To his credit though he’s always running arraand’ a bit. Wenger seems to give him every chance to prove himself yet IMO rosicky when fit usually has a more productive game than him at his age.

    To each his own I suppose.

  56. Cesc Appeal


    Maybe yeah, guy with dreads in the US team was great at the WC anyway, so good on you dreads man.

    Oxlade was utter crap yesterday, but if we put Walcott back at ST, obviously Campbell plays out wide as our only other wide option, who would you play on the other flank?

    Oxlade and Walcott worries me a bit, because neither is a particular ‘smart’ player in possession, but then Walcott can be very effective whereas Oxlade just isn’t.

    Don’t know what I’d do there, look to Adelaide, freshen us up with youth?

    Really don’t know.

    Or, would you persist with Giroud and play Walcott and Campbell either side of him…

  57. mimi


    you are so agenda driven re Ramsey’s performances. For someone who’s usually spot regarding most things arsenal am a bit surprised you always seem to have a hard on when it comes to Ramsey.
    The boy like ox has regressed over the years, doesn’t seem to kick on, misplaces his passes, lingers on the ball too long, lacks positional discipline and doesn’t seem to be on the wavelength with ozil like cazorla does.

    There was a reason he was shunted to the wing and cazorla played in his ‘preferred’ position .To his credit though he’s always running arraand’ a bit. Wenger seems to give him every chance to prove himself yet IMO rosicky when fit usually has a more productive game than him at his age.

    To each his own I suppose…

  58. Cesc Appeal


    Did you read what I put to Wallace?

    ‘misplaces his passes, lingers on the ball too long, lacks positional discipline and doesn’t seem to be on the wavelength with ozil like cazorla does.’

    I essentially said all of that, though I totally disagree with you on his relationship with Ozil, very clear those two have a great relationship. Better than Cazorla, much better because his athleticism allows him to play cute little one twos with him and move the space around.

    Caz likes to just sort of skirt around the edge of the box and then it’s up to Ozil to pick the lock, not at all helped by the fact Caz has now packed the defence in.

    He hasn’t regressed. That’s harsh, Oxlade has regressed, Wilshere has regressed. Ramsey had that purple patch, not he’s playing like he was before that, steady, but nothing to write home about in the slightest.

    The reason he was shunted out wide was what we all went through during the summer, Coq, whilst great defensively isn’t that great on the ball (though he’s got better), so he need Caz to hold his hand, he’s a much better tempo setter and user of the ball.

    Ramsey’s ability in possession is so sporadic if he’s paired with Coq our centre concedes possession too much.

    That’s why we needed to buy in the summer. WE has highlighted a guy like Xhaka, still very good defensively, but a deep playmaker as well.

  59. WengerEagle


    Didn’t see the goals mate, sounds terrible which is typical Napoli at the back unfortunately, Koulibaly aside.

    Watched the 20 mins just before HT, Napoli are on top but they haven’t really looked over-threatening that Insigne chance aside.

    For every stormer of a performance Napoli have in them, turning over the likes of Juventus, Inter Milan, Fiorentina and AC Milan, they have a horrible display in their locker, usually against a struggling side like Bologna or an Empoli/Palermo, etc.

    They are by far the strangest side to watch in Serie A.

  60. WengerEagle


    We’re down to bare bones and because of that, as shocking as he’s been, we don’t really have an alternative to Oxlade out wide unless we opt for Gibbs or a youngster.

    Giroud up front with Walcott and Campbell wide I suppose could work. Giroud really constricts our ability on the counter attack though so I’d rather play with Walcott up front. At least with Walcott-Campbell-Ox you have 3 runners, two of which can actually finish and with Ozil’s creativity that will equate to more goals you’d hope.

    Funnily enough I hope that we opt for Giroud up front vs Olympiacos though, they will be camped inside their final third which will render Walcott ineffective as the CF, for all his sins Giroud is very good aerially which could prove vital with Ozil’s set piece deliveries.

  61. Dream10


    spot on mate. They can’t maintain intensity. Defensively, they are at sixes and sevens. Allan has started off well in the 2nd half. He has Vidal’s drive.
    A three man CM of Coquelin, Allan and Ramsey would be dynamic. No passengers

  62. underrated Coq

    ” you are so agenda driven re Ramsey’s performances. ”

    Think its you who are agenda-driven. The criticism you write about Ramsey, I read the same from quite a few people but don’t see evidence of it from actually watching him play.

    For instance, yesterday he had a 92% pass completion, created 4 chances, dribbled twice, assisted one goal and scored another. But judging at some of the comments, you’d be forgiven for thinking he had a very bad game.

    Taking a shot at Ramsey by comparing him to Cazorla is a bit strange as they are different kind of players. Cazorla is a genius on the ball with a deft touch and control, great in games where we dominate possession. Ramsey’s a B2B, offers energy and movement and most importantly, offers a goal threat. When was the last time Cazorla genuinely threatened the opposition goalkeeper?

    Also, Cazorla is getting on now and for all his flair is a passenger in games where we are up against physical midfield opposition, ala Spurs recently. Ramsey is a better choice in such games.

  63. GoonerEris

    You think Olympiacos will defend at home, you have another think coming. Maybe, you have not seen them play on their. Perch. That game would be a very difficult one and we would be needing a great deal of determination by the lads, to get the result we seek. Of course, I expect us to qualify, but dominant? Not likely.

  64. WengerEagle


    We need to win by 2 goals, why would Olympiacos look to come out and attack us?

    By doing that they would leave themselves vulnerable on the counter and with the likes of Walcott, Ox and their old boy Campbell who they know all about, they aren’t likely to do that IMO.

    It will be down to whether we can create enough chances and take two of them. Highly unlikely unfortunately with our away performances in Europe.

  65. GoonerEris


    I get your point and hope it pans out that way. It’s just that they are such a proud club and would look to rub it in, when we come to them. Still, we have to win by 2, somehow…

  66. Cesc Appeal


    What do you think, Flamini, Ramsey, Ozil then Campbell, Walcott and Oxlade.

    I mean, that is frightening pace up top, who knows, maybe having someone who can keep pace with him in Walcott will bring more out of Oxlade, but his end product wasn’t even kind of close yesterday.

  67. Bamford10

    Ramsey had a mixed to poor first half and lost the ball in possession a number of times. This isn’t reflected in the stats cited above. Everyone who was actually watching at the time, including Cesc Appeal, acknowledged that Ramsey’s performance was a mixed one: somewhat poor in the the first, good in the second.

    In the second, after his brilliant move in the corner where he beat two defenders, someone here said, ‘that’s the real Ramsey’. This is incorrect. The “real Ramsey” is the WHOLE RAMSEY, and the whole Ramsey is composed of bad decisions and errors along with flashes of brilliance.

    If he were to become more consistent and lose the silly errors and decisions, I’d gladly praise him. But as long as he makes the kind of mistakes he does, he deserves criticism. Even Cesc Appeal would agree with this. Yet I also understand why CA prefers Ramsey to Cazorla: his athleticism, the amount of ground he can cover, his dynamism, etc.

    I get that. He remains a highly flawed player, however, and those of us who watch the games know this.

    Perhaps it is you who needs to watch the games ra. All of the comments re r

  68. Bamford10


    I’m curious: what do you mean when you say that Eden Hazard was the football “hipster’s” favorite player?

    Please explain.

    Hazard was the EPL Player of the Year, and he has earned universal high praise from pretty much everyone in the football world — i.e., top players and managers — for years now, so your remark strikes me as a little odd.

    Please explain what you meant by his being a “hipster” favorite (as opposed to being a player whom the entire football world highly rates).

  69. MidwestGun

    Underrated –
    Ramsey didn’t have a bad game. However, he did waste 3 or 4 golden opportunities in front of goal, hence why it seemed people were critical during the game. Had he been clinical he probably would have had a hat trick. He got his goal finally on a pinball tap in. 7 shots only 3 on target, 2 of them were straight at keeper also he had the most unsuccessful touches of anyone and he was the most dispossessed tied with Ozil. Probably because he had the most touches by far so had more opportunities to screw up. But thats what people were talking about when they said inconsistent. And actually he is near the top of league in dispossessed stats, if he cleans that up, he will be fine. His energy is usually at its best from the 75th to 90th minute when everyone elses is waning, he’s still running.

    So basically, I guess I’m echoing Bamford, it was a mixed bag with moments of really really good.

  70. Cesc Appeal


    I think since his purple patch Ramsey has forgotten what he is, I call it the I Am Legend mode, he wants to do it all, instead, he just remember what he’s suppose to be is a solid, athletic B2B type who occasionally makes a well timed overlapping run but also makes sure the centre of the park is solid.

    Now more than ever we need him to remember that, because Flamini as well, forgotten what he’s suppose to be, he’s a CDM that plays like a B2B player, so we have a B2B/CAM wannabe in Ramsey, and a CDM playing like a B2B…back to having no CDM again.

  71. Bamford10

    “Alexis, Wilshere and Arteta are all expected to make their first team returns by Boxing Day.”

    As if the third name in the list matters at all. Arteta is a complete nonentity.

  72. Bamford10

    Ozil saying this is the best season of his career. Guess he too sees the improvement from last and the previous. I still don’t think he is the Ozil of 2010-11, but he is playing quite well. I will always wish he were a more powerful player and that he could crush the ball from 20-25 yards out, but I don’t think he’ll ever have that. All the same, he was pure class yesterday.

  73. MidwestGun

    Cesc –
    Jermaine Jones is the dread head, by the way. Still a pretty damn good player. Helped get Schalketo the CL a few years back as a Dm. Problem is he us 34 years old, hence why he’s in the MLS now, where players go to die. Lol

    Fabien Johnson whom Eagle was referring to is also a very good player with a brilliant distance shot, excellent free kick taker and can play midfield as well as FB. However, he is peaking in his career , think he’s 28. So doubt he will get a big money move to another club. And that’s the problem with the US national team in general, all their best players will be pretty old at next WC.

  74. MidwestGun

    Bam –
    I’d start Theo over Ox….. we need goals. Thought we looked much more dangerous when he came on. Let him roam. If we can create an open end to end match that would favor us also.

  75. Bamford10

    Someone on Twitter — Jan Hagen (@PortuBall) — saying Wenger is looking at Neves for the January window.

    “ABola says Neves is a priority to Wenger, but a transfer in January will only happen if Arsenal trigger the youngster’s €40m release clause. ” – @PortuBall

    I don’t know who “ABola” is, but hopefully the above is something.

  76. Bamford10


    Agreed. Theo looked quite good, and Ox looked dismal. But I wonder if Theo is fit enough to go 90 minutes. I guess you start him and see how it goes.

  77. MidwestGun

    Bam –
    Ya.. fitness who knows? Saw somewhere an article that basically said Wenger not interested in attacking players in January because he has Theo back and Welbeck maybe in Jan. Was thinking that’s a pretty big gamble considering Theo’s history and Welbeck hasn’t played in a year and some disagreement of he will even be fit until March. Anyhow, ya I’d start him and see if we can get early goal put pressure on Olympiakos.

  78. Cesc Appeal


    I knew it was someone with dreads who was impressive in the WC!

    Such a British thing to say, just point at him ‘you there, with the dreads, good show old boy.’

  79. underrated Coq

    We all know how brilliant Ramsey was when he got that sustained run of games at CM. Thing is, he’s not gotten that ever since what people are now calling his ‘purple-patch’. Cazorla being unable to play on the wings coupled with Coquelin’s brilliant partnership with him has pushed Ramsey out wide.

    It is only now that he looks to be presented with a chance to play CM again and I honestly believe he’s gonna do well there again ( provided he doesn’t break down again ). I think he’s more than capable of getting back to that 2013 form. And we need that. If Ramsey gets back anywhere near that level again, add to that Ozil’s class and the stuttering nature of our closest competitors, we could laugh our way to the title. Or at the very least, could keep pace with the competition until the likes of Coq,Sanchez and Santi get back.

  80. Highbury4ever

    Wenger at his post game press conference yesterday, answering to the question “is there any new injury ?”

    ==>> “NO”. ==>> MARK IT, DUDE!! lol

  81. Highbury4ever

    “…if Arsenal trigger the youngster’s €40m release clause. ”

    For the last time: I WILL NOT PAY!! And please stop looking at me like if I was a tightwad!!

  82. Bamford10


    You see us “laughing our way” to the title? With this hypothetical consistent and in-form Ramsey?

    I don’t see it. City are still far better than we are; their loss away to a brilliant Stoke — yes, Stoke were brilliant — and our win over a struggling Sunderland do not change this. Not for me.

  83. underrated Coq

    Bamford10, Hazard is a great player but his qualities do get overstated and as a player, he gets overrated. People talk him up as a potential Ballon d’Or but he’s not, is he? Nowhere near. He has limitations, end product being one.

    Football fan hipster-ism has led to him being rated more than he deserves to be, IMO. Think the same helped him win the POTY, if we are being honest. Mourinho kept bringing up Hazard’s name as a contender from the start of last season and the media sheep just followed through. Mind you, I’m not saying he didn’t deserve to win it but all the coo-ing and ooh-ing over Hazard is kinda lame. Luis Suarez? Now he’s a special player and deserved all the praise for his final season at Liverpool. Hazard? Nah

    I see them all the time, the Hazard fan boys, taking offense whenever anyone dares say someone other than Hazard is the best in the PL.

  84. Wallace

    Louis really rates Neves but thinks there’s fuck all chance of Porto selling him, especially in January.

    I’d play it safe with Theo and leave him on the bench for Wednesday. priority has to be the league, I think.

  85. Highbury4ever

    Louis van Gaal says Manchester United are not good enough to win the Champions League.
    Thank you Captain Evidence lol

  86. Bamford10


    Actually, anyone who actually watched the game knows that Stoke were brilliant, esp. Shaqiri, Affelay, Arnautovic and Bojan.

    City were poor, no doubt, but Stoke were fantastic.

  87. underrated Coq

    ” You see us “laughing our way” to the title? With this hypothetical consistent and in-form Ramsey? ”

    Hardly hypothetical to the degree your remarks suggest. Ramsey has already shown the level he’s capable of. He was excellent for most of his playing time at CM.

    Perhaps I over exaggerated my wording. But having a fit and firing Ramsey would help our PL title bid massively.

    ” City are still far better than we are ”

    And yet, we have more points than them after 15 games. Figure that.

  88. Bamford10


    But what is it that distinguishes this “hipster” from the genuine football fan? Do these types only watch one game a week? Only support the top clubs? Are bandwagon supporters? Have only been watching the game a few years? Prefer style over substance?

    What makes someone a “hipster” fan? Genuinely curious.

    (Note all, btw, that some have used this term to describe those fans who continued to praise Ozil when he was putting in less than desirable performances.)

  89. Bamford10

    “[Ramsey] was excellent for most of his playing time at CM.”

    No he wasn’t. He was “excellent” for about eight weeks and has been mixed ever since. Mixed before that as well. On balance I’d say mixed is his standard. “Excellent” was a happy aberration. I’d love him to make “excellent” his norm, but he is not there. Sorry.

    As for us versus City, football is a funny game. They are clearly a better and deeper squad, but yes at moment we have more points than them. There are reasons for this, though, and the table in April will tell us more.

    Are you of the opinion, however, that our squad is equal to City’s in quality and depth? If so, please say so. I think you’ll find you’re in the minority here. Then again, I could be wrong.

  90. Paddywhack

    Wenger the tightwad. What happened to Jeff. All this crap about too young. If he is good enough age doesn’t matter

  91. steve

    “And yet, we have more points than them after 15 games. Figure that.”

    Every team haven’t even played each other yet.

  92. underrated Coq

    Bamford10, I think adhering to a pre-concieved / popular notion and then refusing to budge from that train of thought despite evidence stating otherwise is strange. I most experienced it when suggesting Sanchez had as good a season as Hazard. Never mind the fact that it was Sanchez’s first year in this League. You have these hipster types who just laugh at the suggestion and pretend that Hazard was clearly superior to Sanchez. Wasn’t really the case though, was it?

  93. WengerEagle

    ‘They are clearly a better and deeper squad’

    Their first XI is better than ours, not many will dispute this but they aren’t that strong outside of it.

    You see how much they miss Aguero when he’s not there, Bony is turd.

    Navas is pretty poor, neither of their back up CB’s are anything to write home about despite them spunking over 40 million on Mangala.

    Sagna now can be easily got at and is woeful going forward, same goes for Clichy when fit.

    Fernando is bang average in CM, Fernandinho isn’t much better.

    Had literally forgotten that Nasri even exists.

    Where is all this depth then?

  94. underrated Coq

    Bamford10, It has less to do with the number of weeks and more to do with his position on the pitch.

    He looked a better prospect than Jack at CM before Shawcross broke his leg in two. He was played on the wings after his rehabilitation and he struggled a lot. He was moved back to a central position for the second part of the 12-13 season where he looked good bordering on excellent.

    He exploded in the 13-14 season and was excellent whenever he played CM, which was most of that season. He suffered a hammy in the early part of 14-15 season, Santi-Coq struck a partnership and hence he’s not been able to play CM since.