Are Arsenal preparing like Champions in waiting?

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Happy Saturday my darlings. I went to a fancy Chinese last night and was introduced to a new type of spice that doesn’t agree with my body. So much goodness in the tasting, so many upset people in the Starbucks I just left.


Big game tomorrow. We continue our charge on the Premier League against Aston Villa. A Remi Garde Aston Villa. Things aren’t looking good there. My exflatmate was going to write a preview, but I think he gave up because he was just too damn sad about the plight.

I feel Villa are like the pigeon that’s semi strangled itself on a bit of wire… the end is nigh, but just as you think it’s dead, it flaps its wing in another attempt to avoid the inevitable.

Someone needs to pull out a heavy slipper and put that club out of its misery and let it start up again. The players don’t have the fight, the owner is trying desperately to flog the business to some poor bastard.

It’s not looking good.

However, they are not my concern. Arsenal are. Arsenal and the three points we desperately need before our big matchup against City the week after.

This is a game that we can’t afford to lose. This is the sort of game Champions in waiting brush aside. They are on their arses, we are on the up… what could go wrong?

Hopefully Wenger found the right balance with the team last night. So a front three of Giroud, Theo on the left and J to the C on the right. That gives us blistering pace outwide, with power through the centre.

Midfield will likely be Flamini and Aaron with Ozil pulling the strings like the maestro he absolutely is.

The defence will be what the defence always is. I feel like this is a good game to rotate a Gabriel in. Take some of that strain away from Per Mertesacker who really hasn’t looked at the races this season.

We need to put Villa on the back foot early. One goal and I’d imagine they’ll lose confidence and interest pretty quickly.

Our big watch out is complacency, how motivated are we going to be?

Are we going to be focused. Are we going to prepare like Champions?

I hope so. This isn’t a game I want to be dropping points in.

If we win here, it takes the pressure off at City.

If we win at City, you’d have to say that we’re well on course to do something this season.

Even if we lose, the league is so fucked this year, I’d still fancy us to be in the mix come March.

… but I do think that’s very dependent on Wenger doing something clever in January. Something that makes an impact like Andrey Arshavin. Something that doesn’t need 6 months to bed in.

Right, that’s me done. See you tomorrow!


137 Responses to “Are Arsenal preparing like Champions in waiting?”

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  1. JJ

    JC is better on the left and Theo on the right. Theo doesn’t defend and leaves Bellerin exposed. That draws BDG out wide where he is a disaster waiting to happen.

  2. Bamford10

    Unless we have two signings in mind for January — a CDM and a CF — then no, we are not preparing to be champions.

    But of course, these very same preparations should’ve been made in the summer — or the summer prior to that.

  3. nigel tufnel

    Bamford you are a liar as well as a loser.

    You were creaming yourself over Bony, saying how much better he was than Giroud, went on with details. . Said he had Power, pace, then some made up garbage about incredible 1st touch, and amazing shot. .

    . typical of you to make non-arsenal players perfect, god-like
    Many here remember it.
    You’re a man city fan..,, at least for as long as they are top dogs in the league. In a few years, it will be another.

    Just like gambon who is staying away while chelsea and mourinho suffer.

  4. London gunner


    Bony has been pretty awful at city.

    But whilst at Swansea he scored 33 goals in 70 games and was like top 5 for goals scored in calendar years.

    His mobility, movement, work rate and finishing have taken a nose dive and his first touch looks very clumsy and awkward.

    However I wouldn’t write him of yet. A couple of goals and he could go on a run of great form

  5. Dissenter

    I’ve always wondered why Giroud gets so much abuse when Walcott (to a smaller extent, Welbeck) get the benefit of doubt.Last season when I raised the point, the retort was Giroud is the starting striker so he gets most of the blame.
    Now the table is turned, He’s not first choice. Why is he still getting so much abuse here?When Walcott has a shitty game, the usual posers still say “He helps other play better” . When Wlebeck used to have crappy games, you’ll still read here that he’s full of running.

  6. Bamford10

    Actually, Nigel, you’re the liar and you’re a bit of a loon. Produce the quotes where I “raved” about Bony — as opposed to simply rating him above our two, for reasons I’ve explained — or fuck off with your misrepresentations.

    You’ll find no such quotes, though, as I never did any such thing.

    And while Bony hasn’t set the world afire at City, his numbers this season are not as bad as some here suggest.

  7. Dissenter

    Considering the paucity of elite strikers globally, one can say with certainty that Gitoud is an Arsenal-class striker.
    He’s good enough for our bench for most games and to start a few depending on the tactical approach. That says a lot.The problem is the alternatives for CF aren’t very good (including Walcott, who’s a daisy) so Giroud gets overplayed and gets all the blame.
    Giroud is paying the price for staying too fit. Walcott won’t have come back from twisting his ankle like Giroud did against Olympiakos, we all know this, don’t we?

  8. Bamford10


    While Ki would be an improvement on Flamini and Arteta, would he be an improvement on Coquelin? If those two were competing for the CDM position, whom would you select and why?

  9. MrT

    As an Arsenal fan living in Swansea I can only say this town desperately needs the Swans in the premier league. Don’t know who they are going to bring in to prevent relegation.

  10. Wallace


    Ki’s got the passing, so while not as excellent defensively as Coquelin you could play him alongside Ramsey and they’d get the defensive work done between them.

  11. underrated Coq

    City are so pony defensively, without Kompany. Arsenal are not solid themselves, without Coquelin. You get the feeling next week’s showdown will be less about the offensive firepower and more about the defensive frailties.

    Speaking of which: Its at the Emirates, Pedro, not an away match.

  12. tunnygriffboy

    Lot of talk about resting Ozil. I’m torn. Obviously if he plays we have a better chance of winning. However if his calf is sore then he needs to rest. Thing is we don’t know whether the calf issue is the result of fatigue, the result of a kick or just general tightness. It may have cleared

    The problem we have is once again our crippling injury list and as a result the lack of options to replace him. No Santi, no Rosicky, no Wilshere, No Alexis etc …. . If our injury list was normal we wouldn’t be having this debate. We could comfortably rest him with quality coming in. Same old, same old


    Ozil may not be in the photo’s because :

    * He’s injured
    * Wenger may have given him the session off for a rest
    * The camera man may have just missed him 🙂 🙂

    Wenger did say no injury concerns after Wednesday.

    Ps: I thought Jack was back before New Year ?

  13. Cesc Appeal

    ‘Ps: I thought Jack was back before New Year ?’

    Rookie mistake. The rarely spotted Wilshere surfaces randomly at unpredictable intervals. You cannot schedule him, those who try, tend to end up embarrassed. 😉

  14. tunnygriffboy


    Wallace loves Coquelin. I think he’s saying that key would be an option to play with both Coquelin and Ramsey at certain times. He could be used as a partner to Coquelin in some games as a more defensive option and in other games has good passing skills to play the role of Arteta with Ramsey.

    I may be wrong but that’s the impression I get. I may be wrong though :). I’ve not heard Wallace slate Coquelin before. He rarely slates anyone 🙂

  15. Cesc Appeal

    Cannot believe how poor the EPL is this year, or rather how poor the ‘top teams’ are. So open.

    Fancy Bournemouth today, have to say.

  16. Samesong

    Jamie Vardy Leicester City 14
    2 Romelu Lukaku Everton 12
    3 Odion Ighalo Watford 10
    3 Riyad Mahrez Leicester City 10
    4 Olivier Giroud Arsenal 8
    4 Harry Kane Tottenham Hotspur 8
    5 Sergio Agüero Manchester City 7
    5 Georginio Wijnaldum Newcastle United 7
    6 André Ayew Swansea City 6
    6 Ross Barkley Everton 6
    6 Graziano Pellè Southampton 6
    6 Alexis Sánchez Arsenal 6
    7 Marko Arnautovic Stoke City 5
    7 Philippe Coutinho Liverpool 5
    7 Troy Deeney Watford 5
    7 Arouna Koné Everton 5
    7 Dimitri Payet West Ham United 5
    7 Callum Wilson AFC Bournemouth 5
    8 Christian Benteke Liverpool 4
    8 Yannick Bolasie Crystal Palace 4
    8 Yohan Cabaye Crystal Palace 4
    8 Kevin De Bruyne Manchester City 4
    8 Jermain Defoe Sunderland 4
    8 Steven Fletcher Sunderland 4
    8 Bafétimbi Gomis Swansea City 4

  17. vicky

    We should be winning this league as convincingly as Chelsea won it last year.

    City average, United poor and Chelsea pathetic and yet we can’t seal the deal.

  18. nigel tufnel

    You like a lot of people here liked some of Bonys attributes, and thought he could maybe make us better.

    Bamford, and some others, always think the non arsenal players arenalways better, and never see the quality of our guys.

    I criticize our guys whenever its appropriate, but the under estimation of gunners here is a little over the top.
    If people cant at least see talent in guys like ramsey, wilshire, etc, even some here refused to admit coquelins a great dm. .. then they are biased against arsenal.

    Other very good teams would love to have these guys that we take for granted.

    I forgot to mention Ozil. I didnt need assist stats to see how great he is. His chances created and contribution to our game is always there, even if people dont finish his chances. Though i agree with Arsene, id like him to more of a goal threat, but i see signs of him trying to shoot more.

  19. Wallace


    thanks, but underrated was joking(i think). there was a small discussion going on on the previous thread w/r/t the relative merits of Walcott & Aubameyang. there’s a perception(inaccurate) that if a player doesn’t get paid by Arsenal I won’t rate him.

  20. tunnygriffboy


    Yeah. Bloody City. I maintain if we can stay in touch until we get some players back AND we get cover for Coquelin in January (be nice to get one more) then we have a chance. We barely a third of the way through the season


    Are the top teams that bad ? I don’t think they’re vintage but could it be a mix of that and some of the other teams improving due to money in the league ? Also in years gone by teams playing in Europe could play some games at 80% being tired post midweek and still ease out winners . They can’t now.

    It’s why we need a squad that isn’t full of injury prone players and why we need to sort our prevention and cure out. It’s not necessarily the quality of what we have in the squad but the bloody constant unavailability we have.

  21. Cesc Appeal


    Well, I think to be honest the top teams in terms of City, United and Arsenal all have past it managers as well which doesn’t help. But very inconsistent this year.

    Well that’s been our problem for years, 25 man squad that is actually 18 because Wilshere, Walcott, Ramsey, Arteta, Rosicky, Gibbs, Oxlade are all sick notes.

    When you look at those names as well, Ramsey and Walcott are first team, the rest are that wedge of players who sit between first team and then the lesser talent in our squad, the filler and youth. These are the players who you rotate with, who are pushing for first team places, who add energy and you can use t employ tactics…they are missing for large parts of the season, Wilshere and Rosicky in particular are terrible for injuries, Walcott isn’t much better and Oxlade is quickly gaining on them with Ramsey always liable to pull up at some point.

    That has to change, but then that has needed changing for years, another of my problems with Wenger, not ruthless and so slow to change things. ‘Just one more chance, just one more chance’ seems to be how he thinks.

  22. underrated Coq

    How bad must that’ve been for those Swansea players and fans though?

    I think one win in twelve- the commentator mentioned, all the drama of the change in management, playing really well at the home of the Class of the League ( Lol ), suffering bitter disappointment seeing a goal disallowed, then managing to put the ball in the net again and feel elated….only to concede a freak deflected goal in the very next minute to suck out all the joy and condemn them to yet another defeat.


  23. virg

    To Giroud doubters:
    The treble against Olympiacos took his tally in all competitions for the calendar year to 26. It leaves him level with Tottenham’s Harry Kane and only one behind Romelu Lukaku, the Evertonforward who is in the best form of his career.

  24. WengerEagle


    France, Switzerland, Romania, Albania.


    England, Wales, Slovakia, Russia.


    Northern Ireland, Germany, Ukraine, Poland.


    Spain, Turkey, Czech Republic, Croatia.


    Republic of Ireland, Belgium, Italy, Sweden.


    Portugal, Iceland, Hungary, Austria.

    Fuck me, The Emerald Isle was shafted big time in this draw.

  25. WengerEagle

    You’re absolutely right though, as tough as it’ll be, what a fantastic 3 matches we have to look forward to.

    Belgium will top the group IMO and funnily enough, I don’t expect Italy to comfortably get through. They are nowhere close to their past sides, Pelle is their first choice CF now which says it all really. (I like Pelle but he’s no Vieri, Totti, Del Piero, Inzaghi, Toni, Di Natale, Cassano, Balotelli of 2012, etc).

    I give Sweden more than a punchers chance with Ibra up front and even though we lack quality, our boys will be right up for it.

  26. Rhys Jaggar

    France were guaranteed passage as Group Winners;

    Germany demanded and got Group C so they can play in Paris and the NE;

    Ronaldo was pandered to in Group F;

    England could have been better, could have been worse.

    Quelle Surprise!

  27. karim

    The Belgians think they’re the favourites of the competition and I remember them starting last WC slowly enough.

    Agree Italy’s generation isn’t the best although they’re always there when it matters.

    Sweden absolutely rely on Zlatan and he’s getting older.

    There’s room to qualify imo, especially when 4 nations finishing 3rd will get through.

  28. vicky


    Benzema will be a big miss. I doubt Giroud will score big goals on big occasions like semi-final or final of Euro. Besides, Pogba is not in red-hot form anymore. Germany and Spain are a cut above them at the moment, I guess. But yes, France,Belzium and Italy do have an outside chance but won’t be among the favorites.

  29. london gunner

    City got so lucky.

    Its the type of game you look back on and think if they hadn’t got those three points we might have been champions.

  30. WengerEagle

    Javier Hernandez had smashed in a hat-rick today, Leverkusen humiliating a very good Borussia Monchengladbach side 5-0.

    17 goals in 20 apps for him since he joined in the summer.

    How badly must LVG regret that one now?

  31. Bamford10

    The system matters, chemistry between players matters, and spirit and work rate matter.

    United are deficient in all of these things, Bournemouth are not. LVG continues to look a bit terrible.

  32. Marc

    I think you’re all being really harsh on ManU – they’ve only spent a paltry £250 million pounds everyone one knows to build a decent team you’ve got to spend real cash.

  33. Mick Kartun

    Great Manure beaten again. What a day, and LVG, still laughing at him. He reminded me like the old fossil wenger, same kind. While arse kicked by promoted club and his strikers are impotent, in another place, Hernandez scored hattrick for Leverkusen, and Wilson scored for Brighton. Talked about dinosaur management, now we”ve really seen how Martial’s worth huh? 35m? LMAO.

    With no game is easy, Oezil still have to play for Villa.

    Shoot, Man City’s last save grasped at last dying seconds scored to win really makes me sick.
    Indeed this season PL, is the weakest as long as I remember.
    How can anyone here convince AW to buy the DM and maybe ST for our extra ammo eh?
    We just don’t have the killer instinct to grab the trophy, it’s wide open FFS.

  34. Mick Kartun

    Wenger’s stubbornness with that unshakable ability to not yield to pressure, doing things only when he is absolutely convinced it’s right and never pressured to do it. Only problem is when a lot of people suggest things to him to buy players, he turns his back even if he had already made up his mind to do that.

    Wenger will want to win the EPL on his own way with his choice crocked team unit rather than with world class starts. If he’s made up his mind he’d manage Flamini and Arteta till Coquelin returns, then forget your Wanyamas, Neves, and others, that’s how it’ll pan out. If only he listens to Piers Morgan.

  35. reggie 57

    I think Whyte surprised Joshua with his durability he took some mammoth shots in there and still kept coming back for more.

  36. underrated Coq

    “He ( Joel Campbell ) shows slowly, game by game, that he has the talent to do it,” the Boss said. “If you look at his numbers since he played, you look at the number of goals he has scored and the number of assists he has given, you can say it is much better than people think it is.

    “The other night, the ball he gives for the second goal absolutely shows that there is something special in him. On top of that I think he is a guy who puts his body on the line for the team. He works really hard. He is not only a player who shows talent but he is a guy who puts a shift in for the team.”


  37. Marc

    I see there’s talk of Wenger interest in Michy Batshuayi. I really really hope Arsenal pay the asking price for this guy. Here is a player who’s fast, skilled, agile and strong and with a nose for goals. Walcott+ Giroud + a bit extra in one package.
    I would not be surprised if Vertonghen, Dembele et al. were not ganging up on Pochettino to bring him to Spurs.

  38. Wallace

    I think Campbell’s been fantastic since he got his chance. surprised me as i didn’t think he was at the required level. great energy, and very calm in the crucial moments. I hope he can maintain it.

  39. Dissenter

    If Ozil is fit then he should play. It seems he got some rest from training on Saturday.
    All these “I hope Ozil gets a break” talk is comical.