5 things we learned from Arsenal vs Bournemouth

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Goooooooood morning kids! And adults. And the trolls.

Welcome to another match report from me.

So yesterday was the chance to pick ourselves up and jump back into the title race.

Pregame, we had strong results from Spurs, a point from United and Chelsea (mwhaha!) and some other teams continuing to progress on the sly (like Palace).

So it was all on us to take down a Bournemouth team that have pulled off shock results against United and Chelsea already. Eddie Howe is a very good young English coach and he’s doing wonders with a pretty limited budget and team.

It was banana skin on toast yesterday. I really thought we could drop our level, play the victims and lose some points.

I was wrong.

I didn’t count on Arsene having a reshuffle of the pack (finally). He brought in Chambers at DM (HOORAY), he slipped Chamberlain in for Campbell (oooohhhhh) and he swapped out Koscielny for Gabriel (HOOORAY).

What was the result?

A high energy performance!

(HOOORAY!)

Really, it was kind of the Mesut Ozil show. He ripped them to shreds creating 9 clearcut chances. He didn’t even look like breaking sweat (by the way, Arsenal fans online, give it a rest with the, ‘you should have listened to me when I said he’d be incredible’ malarkey… every, single, game. We get it. Mesut it grateful and your tweets from 1986 predicting this moment make you the sage of sages)

We took the lead when he flew a speculative ball into the box, Gabriel was the only man following in and his header into the top corner gave us the deserved lead.

We struggled to convert all the chances we were being given by Mesut which gave me the jitters.

In the second half we picked up our much needed second goal, Mesut started the move again finding Giroud by eluding 4 players, the Frenchman nonchalantly flicked the ball back to the German on the one two, he cooly slotted home sauntering off with that weird celebration he does with his fingers (thanking the 462,000 Arsenal tweeters who were RIGHT about his superpowers).

We shut down after that not seeking to risk out clean sheet (and Petr Cech’s Premier League record).

No injuries. No drama. Just points.

So what did we learn?

Giroud:

Lot of angst over the Frenchman’s performance and I feel some of it is a little unfair. This happens most years, he starts off really well, then he hits breaking point, his performances drop and he gets injured. He’s carried our frontline for a long time and he’s had very few breaks in-between. I think he’s a tireless workhorse and I think he needs a few games off to recharge.

Bigger issue is that even when he’s fit he’s not quite what we need, but we’ll have to worry about that next summer.

Ozil:

He has too much class for our frontline. He’s in dream like form at the moment, but we don’t have the players to finish off what he’s providing. This is up to Arsene to address in the summer because we’re currently wasting the talent we have. Imagine if there was a Robin on the end of those chances? It’d be crazy.

Imagine, if those fans that made Mesut the player he is today via Twitter, could conjure up a solution?

Rotation:

Whenever I talk about rotation, fans message back and say… ‘well, if we rotated and we lost, you’d be annoyed’… sure, great well thought out response. The plan would usually be to rotate and win. The issue then isn’t the rotation, it’s on the motivation of the second string. Yesterday showed that in the right games, rotation works. My argument is that Bournemouth were far more dangerous that Sunderland and Aston Villa before them. We need to take our moments when to rest players. We need to have more belief in the fringe players and we need to make sure we always have energy on the park. Southampton is what happens when you ignore players needs.

Chambers:

He had a pretty good game. He looks more at ease on the ball than Flamini and his range of passing looked good just in front of the back four. I also think his background as a defender will put him on a good footing to develop. Is he ready for Barca? Probably not, but he’s ready to play more games for us and he’s ready to transition Flamini into retirement? I’d say so.

Title Race:

You’re out of it. You’re in it. It’s so messed up this year, you might as well not talk about the impact one result will have.

It’s all about focus. The team that decides it wants to focus will be king.

It’s exciting though. Money isn’t the dark overlord anymore, great news. The top is closer to the bottom. Great coaching is the hero.

Hooray indeed.

Let’s hope Wenger can prove that when the playing field is levelled, his ways are the best ways.

447 Responses to “5 things we learned from Arsenal vs Bournemouth”

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  1. NYCgooner

    Romford,

    I do think you were a little harsh on Theo but tbh I was saying the same thing yesterday during the game. Perhaps out of fear of the wasted chances coming back to bite us. Theo does score some big goals in some big games so I won’t hold yesterday against him for too long.

  2. Dissenter

    Why aren’t we going after Steven Naismith.
    There’s talk Everton is selling him to Norwich for 8 million.

    That’s a very easy decision for me, get him in quickly. He would have buried half of the chances that were spurned yesterday and will relieve Giroud.

  3. Wallace

    Dissenter

    “Why aren’t we going after Steven Naismith.”

    a guy who’s being sold to Norwich because he can’t get a game at Everton?

  4. Romford Ozil Pele

    NYC, yes wasted chances, but generally speaking it’s criminal to have such a poor conversion rate when we’re such a creative team. It’s not every game you’re gonna get a hatful of chances so we need to learn to be more efficient and to improve our goal difference as well. Theo is gonna be here until he’s 30 due to his new contract but he needs to start playing more like it IMO. He holds the club to ransom for massive wages. Needs to back it up with talk.

    Dissenter, Steven Naismith? Are you drunk?

  5. Wallace

    Romford

    “but generally speaking it’s criminal to have such a poor conversion rate when we’re such a creative team.”

    we don’t. when it comes to ‘big chances’ (as defined by OPTA) we’ve got a 40% conversion rate. which is pretty normal.

  6. Emiratesstroller

    I keep on reading ridiculous negative posts about Giroud. People seem to forget his recent contribution in game against Man City just 9 days ago.

    This is a striker who cost us just £12 million and is more than capable of scoring 30 goals for us this season. He may lack pace but he has a good all-round finishing ability with head and feet.

    When I read some of the ridiculous alternatives that certain posters seem to believe are better than him like Hernandez or Naismith it tells me a lot about
    their intelligence. Bluntly neither of these players could lick Giroud’s boots
    and I for one wouldn’t want to see either of them at the Arsenal.

    Let’s get realistic there are very few prolific goalscorers who manage to score
    25+ goals a season on a regular basis and most of these are tied up with major clubs.

  7. Sam

    Naismith, Everton reject. Really?

    I am sure we can afford to spend on Lukaku, Cash plus Giroud going to merseyside. Their new Duncan Ferguson

  8. Romford Ozil Pele

    Wallace, I don’t know mate. Look at our goal tally half way through the season now. We’re not on course for a big total and that might cost us in the end. We score nowhere near enough goals as we should

  9. Nasri's Mouth

    Dissenter: Why aren’t we going after Steven Naismith.

    I don’t know, why aren’t we going after Steven Naismith

    Dissenter: There’s talk Everton is selling him to Norwich for 8 million.

    Ahh, OK.

    (you kinda answered your own question)

  10. WengerEagle

    That’s the beauty of football isn’t it?

    Being proven completely wrong by a player.

    I thought that Ross Barkley was overrated and that he lacked any quality in his end product.

    I thought that Lukaku was a lumbering oaf with the first touch of a drunken Walrus.

    I thought that Giroud would never amount to anything more than a painfully slow bang average 15-20 goal a season striker that would never in a million years spearhead a potential title challenge for us.

    The list goes on.

  11. vicky

    Interestingly Sergei Samper linked to Arsenal again by Mundo Deportivo.

    With Elneny,Coq and now Chambers as possible options, it’s unlikely we go for another DM. But we will be offloading Arteta,Rosicky and Flamini in the summer, so there is space for another midfielder. I like Samper, looks classy.

  12. Nasri's Mouth

    Ozil creates a lot of chances and Giroud scores a decent percentage of his chances.

    I think we’re missing goals from other players like Alexis, who was on a nice scoring run when he got injured, and we’re not getting the goals from other players that we should be

  13. WengerEagle

    Barkley has been mustard this season, really does look every inch a future world class player. Was always exciting with his outrageous physical gifts being 6 foot 2 and explosively fast over 15 yards, he’s hitting new heights now with his end product too.

    He hasn’t just trebled his goals and his assists count from last season in just over half the number of matches, he’s completing more dribbles than ever before, surrendering possession of the ball less, creating much more chances per match and is far more heavily involved in the build up play towards the opposition goal.

    No one has reaped the benefits more than Lukaku who is now odds on favourite to win the golden boot.

    If it weren’t for the performances of these two, Everton would be involved in the relegation scrap.

  14. Nasri's Mouth

    WengerEagle: I thought that Giroud would never amount to anything more than a painfully slow bang average 15-20 goal a season striker

    His improvement has been pretty impressive really, given his age. Every season he’s become more efficient in front of goal.
    I remember 3 seasons ago Gambon criticising the number of chances he needed for every goal, and how he’d never improve that much, and it being hard to disagree with, but he’s basically scoring twice as many per chance.

  15. Nasri's Mouth

    vicky: Interestingly Sergei Samper linked to Arsenal again by Mundo Deportivo.

    I bet that story is being pushed for a reason

  16. underrated Coq

    WE, haha, Atleast you appreciate that! Can think of certain someone who stubbornly refuse to accept being proven wrong / keep moving the goalpost 😉

    I can only hope Ox Chamberlain makes the list soon.

  17. Nasri's Mouth

    WengerEagle: Barkley has been mustard this season, really does look every inch a future world class player

    Yeah, he’s another who’s finally made a step up. Has had the potential for ages now it seems, but could never get his final ball right, this season it’s all coming together

  18. vicky

    Jack was supposed to be doing exactly what Barkley is doing this season. Probably Ox too. Our British core has flattered to deceive. Imagine Jack, Ramsey and Ox playing to their true potential for us !!

  19. gambon

    Our British core really were always heavily overrated.

    Wilshere being the most disappointing.

    Barkley isnt the answer though.

    They were talking 50m before this season….what would they want now?

    He doesnt defend well enough to be
    a CM and isnt creative enough to be a number 10 at a top club.

    I expect one of the manchester clubs to buy him then regret it.

  20. Wallace

    WE

    I think if you gave Wenger the choice of any English player in the league he’d take Barkley.

    also remember you trashing Messi a few years back. ‘criminally overrated’ was your verdict.

  21. WengerEagle

    I think that it’s time we all gave Giroud some well-earned praise tbh.

    No he’s not a ‘world class’ striker, I’d be the first to agree with that.

    He’ll never be good enough to give Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, etc any trouble at the back or turn a tie on its head for us. He’s not alone in this though, it’s arguable that only 2-3 of our players at a stretch would get anywhere near the first XI of these three powerhouses. We’ll simply be flattened when we play Barcelona and it will have nothing to do with Giroud lacking the pace to run on behind to one of the 2-3 chances that we will likely create in the entire match.

    In truth we are nowhere near competing for the UCL and a Higuain or even a Lewandowski wouldn’t change this. As it happens, neither are gettable.

    For whatever reason, be it his own extra hours of sacrifice to improve his finishing after training, Henry’s influence (he knocks about the training ground doesn’t he?), Gunz and Claude’s unconditional support and the former’s unlimited nougat supply inspiring him to up his goal count or his realization that Ozil, Santi and Ramsey would one day ‘soap him up’ Full Metal Jacket style if he didn’t get his act together in front of goal.

    The facts are that for all his faults and limitations, he has scored 15 goals in the UCL and BPL this season. He scored a hat-rick away from home in a tough place vs Olympiacos who have an outstanding home record in a huge match that we needed to win for pride and avoiding the Europa League if nothing else (we weren’t to know we’d draw Barcelona although knowing us, was there ever another outcome?).

    He scored a big goal vs City last week, hugely important in that it virtually killed off the game, City were chasing it for the second half and we had tonnes of chances to bury them on the counter which we squandered (looking at you Aaron).

    The BPL quality-wise is probably the worst it has been in well over a decade, it’s entirely possible that Giroud could fire us to the league title (never thought that I would be saying that).

  22. Wallace

    Romford

    that 40% figure was prior to Ozil going into full-on God mode. would imagine we are converting less than 40% at the present time. should even out over time, but that’s dependent on our strikers sticking them away, or Ozil dropping back to 2/3 ‘big chances’ a game rather than the 8/9 he’s currently rocking.

  23. WengerEagle

    underrated coq

    Haha look mate, the truth is that I watch a shit-load of football bordering on obsessional amounts.

    I like to think that I know a fair bit about the sport and that I have a decent eye for a player but I get it wrong a lot of the time too.

    Barkley, Lukaku, Kane (am still hoping that he turns back to being useless), Giroud, Firmino (jury is still out and will be interesting to see if Klopp persists with him, atm he has looked pretty rubbish), etc.

    The difference is that I have no problem in admitting it.

    I just enjoy watching football and giving my opinion on it, at the end of the day it isn’t my profession or something that I feel I offer more on than anyone else.

  24. Romford Ozil Pele

    Yeah Wallace, Özil’s current level isn’t sustainable. Creating 9 chances per game is pretty unheard of. His season average is 4.5 and that’s still much better than anybody else. He’s in God mode right now and even if we converted 10% more of the chances we’d have a comfortable lead at the top right now. It’s fine margins like that which could hurt us.

  25. underrated Coq

    I think its fair to say: Barkley making this step-up would have been less likelier had he moved to a bigger club( Think he was linked with a move to United and Chelsea, couple of years back? )

    Look at Rodwell, another promising Evertonian, who probably made his big move prematurely and is loitering around at Sunderland now.

    Mind you, there’s still no guarantee that Barkley will be able to adjust and go on to be a success story if he makes his big move now. Not many players can make that step-up. I still have doubts about Lukaku in this regard. He could well be Benteke 2.0.

    But it probably helps to be at a smaller club during your development phase. More opportunities to play, a bit of leeway to make mistakes and learn, likely to receive more individual attention from the coaches and manager ( especially if you are a talent ), less pressure and less of a media glare to deal with etc

  26. Romford Ozil Pele

    Barkley has definitely improved. Physically he’s an absolute unit, plays like Rooney when he was younger. Agree with Gambon though, like Rooney he isn’t really creative enough to be a #10 but doesn’t have the defensive nous to be a CM. Probably best as s supporting striker so he can use his dribbling ability to get off shots and play Lukaku in if possible. Lukaku’s goal scoring record for a 22-year-old is phenomenal. Still think he has a toilet first touch though and that would be exposed at a bigger club currently. Has time to improve that though.

    RE L’Oreal, can’t really argue with his contribution considering what we spent on him, it’s been great value. The problem has been that we’ve been over-reliant on him and he makes our attack too predictable. I’d still be putting Theo up top when Alexis returns.

  27. WengerEagle

    NM

    Yeah pretty much, for all of the hype I just didn’t buy into the notion that he had world class ability, too often he just looked out of ideas after going on an impressive dribble and he used to run with his head down.

    This season he’s more than sorted it out, he’s playing as well as any other attacking midfielder in the league.

    The difference being,he’s 22.

    Ozil is 27, Payet is 28, even Mahrez is 24.

    He reminds me so much of 2005-2008 Rooney right now.

  28. Relieable Sauce

    Next 2 windows

    Release – Arteta, Flamini, Rosicky

    Sell – Ospina, Szczesney, Debuchy, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Campbell, Welbeck, Sanogo, (possibly Walcott for the right bid). Total – £60-£80m(£100-£140m)

    Sign young(18-24), top quality GK, CB, CM & CF (total – £100-£120m), a proven wide player(£25-£35m), and fill the rest with smart buys and prospects.
    £50 – £100m spent well and we might even have a chance to win the UCL in the next few years.

    Neves sounds ideal, but if he is destined for great things he will likely join one of the top, top clubs.
    Batshuayi looks like one of the soundest buys out there right now for CF and could still be gettable if no big club go after him.
    Teams like Spurs and Palace will be able to afford him next season – in the unlikely event he doesnt move to a big club -…Spurs’ best chance of top 4 in a long time though, and the wages EPL teams can now offer will be a massive draw.

  29. Sam

    Chambers nearly 21 years old n still have alot to learn
    But great to see him play well in midfield for the first time
    Project yuff paying off with internal solutions n helping the club avoid overpriced transfer market.
    I really wished we sign Carvalho but £30M?

  30. gambon

    Romford

    I would say the opposite.

    I would say Barkleys best chance of making it will be as a proper B2B cm. In the Pogba mould.

    Would be a shame to curb his attacking insticts but he’ll never be a Bergkamp.

  31. WengerEagle

    Wallace

    Haha, he definitely did ‘shoot his bolt’ circa 2012, has been playing like an overrated vertically challenged headless chicken ever since. Doesn’t hold a candle to my man Gerd.

    Could easily see Wenger entertaining signing Barkley, problem is though, can you see Everton parting with him for anything under £50 million given he’s only going to get better and he’s 22 and English?

  32. london gunner

    I did say Barkley>>Wilshere two seasons ago… Said he had great potential and would be a special player.,,

    Many of the le grove experts told me how wrong I was 😉

  33. Romford Ozil Pele

    Gambon, see I disagree. Barkley’s best attributes are his dribbling and shooting so I could see him being a real threat in a counter side. He’s not really much of a tackler. Maybe you can convert him as he’s young but I feel it’d be a shame to waste those sort of attributes defensively

  34. WengerEagle

    Barkley is versatile enough to play wide IMO.

    He doesn’t have to worry about his lack of ingenuity right now as Everton are a pretty average side, if he moved to a better club though I agree that he doesn’t play like a 10.

    No reason why he couldn’t operate with a free role on the left though. Has the pace to beat defenders on the outside and is a threat whenever he cuts in on his right peg.

  35. Romford Ozil Pele

    Thing you guys need to remember when selling the British core is that we need to meet a HG quota. Even if they’re not amazing or don’t harness their full potential, they can still be decent squad players.

  36. london gunner

    Barkley as a b2b makes most sense. It gives him the scope to go on rampaging runs and take shots from distance as he will have the space to shoot.

    Just need a good DM who knows his business behind to allow him to attack.

    Barkley to me is like a yaya/ramsey like player

  37. Samesong

    the way you guys describe Barkley sounds like a young paul scholes

    We all know he wasn’t the best at tackling but had an eye for goal. And passing was second to none.

  38. Romford Ozil Pele

    Scholes was a fantastic passer. Barkley is nothing like that. Scholes was the blueprint for La Masia as Xavi says. Barkley is very Rooney-like to me. Explosive attacker with an eye for goal. Just found out he’s half Nigerian, that explains a lot!

  39. gambon

    WengerEagle

    Back at Schalke that was very much Rakitic’ game.

    He became more of a central player once he went to sevile.

    I would like to see Barkley do the same.

  40. WengerEagle

    LG

    I’m a huge fan of Sterling, he’s easily the most exciting u21 year old in the BPL and arguably around Europe.

    He’s already playing on par with the best wingers in the league, 9 goals this season already I think with 3 in the UCL including 2 big goals to top the group for City and avoid Barca, Bayern. etc.

    So I’d sooner have Sterling, liking Barkley more by the week though.

  41. london gunner

    WE

    Sterlings good, but he’s no walcott 😉

    In all honesty I think Fekir is quite a bit better than him.

    Would love to Sign Fekir and Griezmann

    Offload Walcott and Welbeck.

    Offload wilshere for Barkley

  42. vicky

    “I did say Barkley>>Wilshere two seasons ago”

    I have always appreciated the way Barkley plays but I don’t agree that Jack is a lesser player than him as you seem to imply. Jack’s injury has ruined his career but Jack has almost everything that you would want to see in a midfielder bar absolute physical power a la Pogba. Yeah, he has not really performed and I don’t have numbers to back him up but Jack is some player.

  43. Romford Ozil Pele

    LG I wouldn’t really know what to do with Barkley if I bought him. He plays as a #10 for Everton now but I’m not sure if he’s good enough there for a top club. Could maybe use him on the wings for Arsenal. I’m not sure. Fantastic talent for sure, would just need to work out how we fit him in.

    Samesong, Scholes was a dictator of tempo like Xavi. Barkley plays way too high up the pitch and hasn’t got that discipline. Yeah he can spray diagonals like Rooney but controlling the whole tempo of a game is a different thing entirely. Speaking of scholes just makes me facepalm how he was used left mid for England. Criminal

  44. alexanderhenry

    Well, not only am I enjoying seeing arsenal top, but- along with many other fans- I’m enjoying the man u/chelsea implosions.
    Has there ever been a more overrated and objectionable manager than mourihno? Taking over a series of already great sides, then spending more than any other manager in the last ten years and turning out the most depressing kind of cynical, percentage football does not make you a great manager. Blaming everyone but yourself when things go wrong and running away from teams when things get tough through engineering your own exit makes mourihno, not only overrated, but a cowardly, nasty, egomaniac. Glad to see the back of him but I almost hope he takes the man u job. He’ll fail.
    Has there ever been a more wasteful manager than LVG in recent years? Not only has he wasted nearly £300 million on players but he got rid of rvp and hernandez, to accommodate the massive ego of rooney. Now they can’t score. What a cock up.
    In contrast, wenger always makes the most of what he has. Giroud (12 million). kos (7million), bellerin, ramsay, caz, monreal- all bought for relatively little and the two big signings of ozil and sanchez are proving their value.
    An arsenal premiership this year will be a victory for football. not just for arsenal fans.

  45. Romford Ozil Pele

    Poor Fekir, still not gonna be back for another few months. Even the Lyon president was saying the other day that they would’ve qualified from their CL group had he been fit and would be close to PSG in the league. Crazy how much of a difference he makes for them. Still young though so recover from the ACL injury.

  46. Romford Ozil Pele

    Yeah I’m with Vicky and will still stick my neck out for Wilshere. I think he’s a phenomenal player IF fit but pointless discussing him because at this stage he looks like his career is heading Diaby.

  47. WengerEagle

    gambon

    I didn’t really watch Rakitic much in his Schalke days, surprises though because he played very differently for Sevilla. Played more like your Pjanic’s, Cesc’s (before he semi-retired).

    He was incredible for Sevilla, as well as he has fitted in at Barcelona he’s had to sacrifice so much of what made him the man at Sevilla.

    Well worth it for the treble mind.

  48. london gunner

    Vicky

    My valuation of a player isn’t just his positives and skillsets, but whether he can play or not.

    Jack was is and forever will be a hopeless crock. Barkley is the opposite with more pace, strength, a better shot, end product with comparable dribbling skills.

    Jack is some player that we had a much higher loss percentage with him in the team, he is some player he had terrible dispossession stats, he is some player he always manages to throw himself into every 50/50 and lose them, he is some player he managed to butcher our counter attacking game.

    He is capable of a few moments of magic, but his assist rate and goal scoring rate is absurdly horrendous for such a “top talent”.

  49. WengerEagle

    underrated coq

    Maybe but he’s more than fit in at City which says a lot about his quality given his age. He’s only 2 goals off equaling his entire goal tally for last season, even if he is more subdued than he was at Liverpool.

    You can’t really argue with the numbers he is producing, he’s outperforming basically everyone barring De Bruyne, Yaya and Silva.

  50. london gunner

    ROP

    “Yeah I’m with Vicky and will still stick my neck out for Wilshere. I think he’s a phenomenal player IF fit but pointless discussing him because at this stage he looks like his career is heading Diaby.”

    Yet you will constantly bash walcott who has contributed a decent amount of goals and assists leading to points on board in his time at Arsenal, all the while also suffering injury woes like jack, yet with Jack its ok because he plays the Arsenal “hipster” football. Of not doing much, but because he has fancy technique its all ok.

  51. underrated Coq

    “I don’t have numbers to back him up but Jack is some player.”

    But you aren’t even looking at a acceptable sample size. I mean, the last time he played consistently was what when he was 18? That a long time ago.

    Could as well sing praises of Pato in the same way.

  52. london gunner

    WE

    I spent an hour studying Debruyne passing.

    Guy has the execution of Kross. Doesn’t have great passing accuracy, but its more due to the fact he tries to pull of so many high risk passes.

    I’m thinking Debruyne>Kross>goetze

  53. Romford Ozil Pele

    LG, Theo is ok but for what he’s on and the time he misses through injury we could do better.

    To blame Wilshere for some defeats is pretty disingenuous considering it’s a team game. But for what it’s worth, I agree with you. He’s on a massive salary considering he rarely contributes and I’d get rid unless he shows signs of improved fitness. But the debate was about his ability. I think he’s a hugely talented player although I doubt his potential will ever be realised.

  54. WengerEagle

    LG

    Fekir did look great last season but I would have huge reservations on judging what a player has done in a season in an awful Ligue 1 if we’re being honest (sorry karim) as to whether he looks the real deal.

    Look at Lacazette [you were wrong on him ;)]

    It’s a massive shame that he did his ACL at the start of the season as I was looking forward to watching him in the UCL this season.

    Firstly, will he even return the same player?

    And if he does, how do we know he’s at the level needed?

    Max Gradel battered the same league last season.

  55. gambon

    The reason people praise Wilshere ahead of Walcott is that he has levels more talent that can be harnessed.

    While i personally think he is a pretty average player it is obvious how much potential there is….or was.

    Walcott has never had much of a ceiling due to limited raw talent.

  56. Redtruth

    It just shows how far off the pace Arsenal have been these last few seasons when we can’t even make an impact in what is the weakest Premier league of all time.

  57. underrated Coq

    WE, true, he’s producing impressive numbers at City but that probably goes in line with the fact that City are a side that create loads and score lots of goals. I just think his overall play was better at Liverpool and he’s regressing in that regard.

    He looked unplayable at one stage. Now? Not so much.

  58. Cesc Appeal

    I don’t think Wilshere is all that, in flashes he shows outstanding potential, but then will go on a run of very average to poor matches where he constantly turns over possession and has little impact on the game.

    People will say, how can you expect him to be consistent if he’s always injured, but again, what’s the point then.

    His body is broken, he’s rarely going to play, when he is fit he doesn’t fit and can’t last the required amount of time to get some form going.

    We should try and mug someone off for him, play on the passport and ‘potential.’

    Keeping Wilshere is fine, but not on £100 000 plus a week and not when his name is constantly brought up as ‘like a new signing’ and being a reason not to buy anyone.

    Wilshere should be seen as a luxury player and a bonus if fit. Nothing more.

    Won’t this be the second time in a very short career that he goes a season without playing? Shocking.

  59. vicky

    London

    I already admitted it’s very difficult for anyone to make a case for Jack based on stats. I wrote above as well Jack should be doing exactly what Barkley is doing. Barkley is not only impacting games but is also notching up assists/goals. Fair enough but I am talking from a skill-set perspective.

    Jack can pass, can play one touch (Goal against Norwich)

    He can tackle, dribble and run the show.

    He can play box to box, can run all day long if fit, track back to defend.

    He can shoot, get in to the box to score goals, has got vision.

    I mean he has got all the attributes. I have pinned my hopes on him solely because of skill-set. But yes, I would not be able to put forward a strong case until Jack can be the player he ideally should be.

    All the criticism that you have laid at him is true but I believe it’s largely down to his lack of fitness. He seems to be always bothered about his knee and this impacts his game.

  60. Nasri's Mouth

    Underrated Coq: Could as well sing praises of Pato in the same way.

    The difference is that Pato has been playing poorly for a long time rather than being injured.

  61. Romford Ozil Pele

    Pato is such a lost cause. Considering the lad is still only 25 and has spent the last 2/3 years in Brazil you feel it’s such wasted potential. As a teenager he was better than Aguero and scored outrageous goals

  62. Isaiah

    Are you guys serious? There are no better forwards than Giroud, oh please. Is Giroud our level of striker now. Stop listening to the media and ask yourself. I will put £20.m on Ighalo and get this guy. Someone who can create something for himself. There’re so many strikers better than Giroud so please wake up. I’m not saying he’s bad but we can do better.

  63. Romford Ozil Pele

    I think it goes under the radar because of some of the amazing goals Ramsey has scored for us but Jack has notched a fair few decent ones for us too. Just a shame he’s never on the pitch to show it. As has been said he has so much natural material to work with but is a crock now. One of the only players we have comfortable when pressed and receiving the ball facing away from play. Turns 24 in a couple days so his career is definitely at risk of passing him by.

  64. underrated Coq

    “The reason people praise Wilshere ahead of Walcott is that he has levels more talent that can be harnessed.”

    Much the same is said of Ox but time’s passing him by and he looks no closer to realizing all that ‘high ceiling’ than he did 3 years ago.

    Walcott, for all complaints of being less gifted, was showing much better progress of harnessing his attributes at that age. Though he’s struggled a bit since that ACL injury.

  65. london gunner

    ROP

    Failures

    Walcott/Welbeck/Ox/Wilshere/gibbs

    All completely below the level we need.

    Very disappointed with English talent.

    Even the inconistent Ramsey is someway ahead in terms of level of ability on matchday.

    Have to say Ox dribbling and skills looked so lush against Bournemouth at times, but then he does nothing with it.

    Walcott needs shipping out as soon as we can bring in Griezmann.
    Really lost my patience with him (refuses to use his pace to beat player just passes sideways and jogs on), but lets not act as if Walcott is the only problem. This is a myth all our English talent stinks no point scapegoating one player.

  66. WengerEagle

    underrated coq

    I don’t know, to me it’s the necessary transition a player must make from a smaller club to an elite club.

    Look at Suarez last season for Barcelona, he was stunning but he wasn’t even close to his Liverpool 2013/14 level.

    He played a completely different role, he went from being the central cog at Liverpool where everything revolved around him to being a supporting player at Barcelona for Messi (supporting is overstating it of course but he was no longer the best player).

    Similar to Neymar when he joined Barcelona in 2013/14, he went from being a force of nature at Santos to being a supporting act at Barcelona that at times was dropped in favour of Alexis and Pedro.

    Happens to most of the top players at smaller clubs making the step up, go back to TH14 when he joined Barcelona.

    Hazard when he joined Chelsea.

    Cesc when he went back to Barcelona.

    IMO, Sterling will mature into a better player by playing with the likes of Yaya, Silva and De Bruyne.

    And in time to come, he will step up and be the main man for City.

  67. Nasri's Mouth

    N.eil Ashton ‏@n.eilashton_ 25m25 minutes ago
    Those moments when you wish you had taken a deep breath before typing. Thank you for all the retweets this year.
    MailOnline Sport @MailSport
    Mesut Ozil may have cost £42.5m, but you wouldn’t pay two-bob for him, says @ne.ilashton_ http://dailym.ai/1cOho4E

    Hahaha, at least he’s finally admitted he got it wrong

    ARGHHH! Pedro, sort out your banned words!

  68. london gunner

    Underrated

    I used to be a Walcott defender, but he lost basic but very effective qualities of his game.

    He refuses to sprint at/past defenders. It dawned on my yesterday. don’t think I have seen him beat a player out wide this season.

    He only sprints if he is the last man, he has however improved his defensive contribution, but now his attacking game has suffered. So its like one step forward two steps back.

    I do think there are weaker links in the team that need addressing before him, but with talent like Griezmann out their who are younger and a fair few levels higher we can do better.

  69. Romford Ozil Pele

    LG I agree that the British core have been underwhelming as a whole but we have to keep them for HG reasons.

    Ox was much improved from a lot of the shit he’s served up this season. Good dribbling yesterday as you say. Unlucky not to score as he hit the post. Hopefully he’ll continue to improve.

  70. Nasri's Mouth

    Wilshere is valued because he’s much more of a complete player than a lot of our players. His skill set combines both Ramsey’s and Cazorla’s.

  71. Cesc Appeal

    ‘Have to say Ox dribbling and skills looked so lush against Bournemouth at times, but then he does nothing with it.’

    Agree with this completely.

    In flashes against Bournemouth Oxlade showed why he could be such a great player, but he’s a bit thick. That really is the perfect word for how he plays ‘stupid’ or ‘thick.’

  72. Cesc Appeal

    I just don’t know how anyone can talk about Wilshere’s ‘value’ or ‘worth’ to us, it is zilch.

    A player who doesn’t play is worth nothing. A few months back there was a stat that Wilshere had missed something like 129 games for Arsenal, no idea what it would be now, he brings nothing at all.

  73. WengerEagle

    Not going to lie, not exactly thrilled that we are on the verge of signing Elneny.

    Never heard of him before a week ago.

    Have no problem with taking a gamble on a potential bargain but we are in involved in a title challenge here, Elneny alone doesn’t exactly fill anyone with inspiration.

    No reason why he couldn’t be signed in supplement to a CM that has been a top class performer for at least a couple of seasons like Xhaka.

    Even Wanyama would be tempting as we know that he can cut in in the BPL.

  74. vicky

    Ox is very unlucky. He seems to hit the woodwork so often. Just a little bit of luck and we would be talking about a few wonderful goals of Ox.

    And he is not “thick” as many seem to suggest here. Not the most cultured player, perhaps raw even but he’s not thick. Everyone knows who has been the “thick” player in our squad for a while now 😛

  75. Nasri's Mouth

    WengerEagle: Even Wanyama would be tempting as we know that he can cut in in the BPL.

    Wanyama isn’t very inspiring though. He’s a decent player, but nothing great, and he’d cost a lot.

  76. WengerEagle

    NM

    It’s all about levels though.

    Wanyama is no world beater but he’s a more than adequate CM in the BPL that arguably gets into any side. (Certainly ours without Coquelin, City’s given Yaya is allergic to his defensive responsibilities)

    Compare that with a player that is unproven outside of the Swiss league and Europa League.

    And regarding price, would anyone care if we have to overpay a little for him if he goes on to help us win the league?

  77. Romford Ozil Pele

    Lol Özil has dribbled past loads of players. He’s exceptionally quick as well but only ever hits top speed on the counter. But generally speaking he’s more of a passer than dribbler, whereas Di Maria is the other way round.

  78. WengerEagle

    Bayern Munich massively overpaid to get Javi Martinez.

    After helping them win the treble, I can’t imagine a single Bayern supporter had a problem with the €40 million they spent on him.

  79. underrated Coq

    WE, good point. Fair enough.

    LG, tbf only in the last 3-4 games he’s played wide. Yeah, he doesn’t do as much a wing-play as he used to but I don’t think its because he can’t. It probably shows his development as a player.

    Receive the ball at one end, run with it to the other end and deliver a useless final ball. This was how he started out. A bit like the current Chambo. The final ball gradually improved to great effect but Theo was still a bit one-dimensional. Only used to get his head up after he had run all the way. Now he gets his head up early and sees a better picture.

    Disagree with you regarding him not running at the defenders. He still does, but only if there aren’t any better options.

    For instance: in the last game, he got the ball deep in our half. Instead of going the classic Theo route, he dribbled past two players, came infield and passed it to Ozil who was in a much better position to orchestrate a counter. Another example ( which game I can’t recall ) is when he received the ball, deep again, and straight away got his head up and delivered a defense splitting pass to Ozil who went on to get an assist.

  80. WengerEagle

    Romford

    Ozil was definitely more of a dribbler when he was at Bremen.

    Just like James was when he was at Porto.

    Neither ever excelled running at players though in comparison to some of the best dribblers, all of their damage is done from their eye for a pass and their execution of their final ball.

    James being the better finisher and Ozil being the better creator of chances.

  81. Nasri's Mouth

    @WengerEagle

    I don’t really rate Wanyama though, so personally I wouldn’t sign him, because he is going to cost £20m I’d imagine.

    He’s not as good as Coq, so we’re going to spend a load of money on someone who’s only a back up.

    I’d rather we spent more on a player who is an upgrade

  82. vicky

    Gambon yes you are correct there. I was trying to insinuate he needs the rub of the green in his favor a bit. When he plays well but does not get goals/assists , it impacts his confidence and people also forget his good performances.

  83. Rhys Jaggar

    My hunch on Barkley this year is that either someone sat him down or he worked out on his own what ‘being world class’ actually means:

    It means playing to a consistent standard week in week out and delivering match-winning contributions at the highest level on a regular basis.

    There are implications to that in how you train, how you prepare for each match, how you respect your opponents and what you set out to do each time you go onto the field of play.

    I also wonder whether the emergence of Harry Kane from nowhere last season jolted his badge of ‘the most talented of his generation’ which he was maybe tagged with growing up, when actually his superior physicality provided him with an unfair advantage which always manifests itself less in the grown up professional game.

    So I think he realised he had to actually knuckle down, work hard and earn the right to be an EPL star, an England star or whatever.

    Good on the bloke if that’s what happened. He’s got three years of rapid improvement in front of him if he can keep it up, stay fit and impress the right people.

  84. Romford Ozil Pele

    Eagle, yeah loads at Bremen, even at Madrid due to Mourinho’s counterattacking style. If you look back through his first season here there are loads of clips of him dribbling past opponents. I think Wenger has morphed into more what he wants which is a creative hub who gets goals. Generally Wenger isn’t a fan of dribbling anyway as he thinks it’s inefficient and doesn’t focus enough on the collective.

  85. vicky

    Trevor Sinclair ✔ @trevor8sinclair
    Not left my phone or a new story but reliable source @Arsenal have been chasing Pep for years and Arsene could be moved upstairs this summer

    Trevor Sinclair ✔ @trevor8sinclair
    They’ve been after Pep from when he had his sabbatical in NY

  86. Romford Ozil Pele

    The simplicity of Özil’s game is the most beautiful bit. The best players do the simple stuff right more often than not. Xavi is testament to this. His languid style is great IMO but probably pisses people off if he’s not playing well.

  87. jwl

    WengerEagle

    Nobody thrilled with Elneny signing but Wenger is who he is.

    Never know this year either with Ighalo, Mahrez or Vardy – lets hope our analytics team know their formulas and we getting similar impact player.

  88. WengerEagle

    NM

    I agree but the problem is, Coquelin is out until March at the earliest (we all know what that usually means on the Arsenal treatment table).

    We have Liverpool away, Stoke away, Chelsea at home, Barcelona at Home, United away, Tottenham away, Barcelona away and potentially important F.A Cup ties before Coquelin returns.

    So do we depend on Elneny/Flamini for all of those season-defining matches?

    Doesn’t sit well with me.

  89. jwl

    Before this season, I thought Ozil looked underwhelming only because he didn’t have world class striker to pass to. Now, this season Ozil seems different, maybe he adjusted his game, Ozil seems more cohere with the forwards and we look a better team.

  90. underrated Coq

    Yes, WE , I know you’re a big fan of Hazard and you know I’m not 😀

    ” So do we depend on Elneny/Flamini for all of those season-defining matches?Doesn’t sit well with me. ”

    Agree and I made similar sentiments known the other day. Should go for a PL experienced player in our current situation.

  91. Nasri's Mouth

    @WengerEagle

    I just think Wanyama kinda restricts us in the future. I also think it’d be extremely hard for us to get him out of Southampton this January given how they’re struggling in the league at the moment and I suspect he’d want assurances of being first choice too.

    Wenger had a chance of buying Wanyama before and passed on him, I can’t see him wanting him now.

  92. TheBayingMob

    “Why aren’t we going after Steven Naismith.”

    a guy who’s being sold to Norwich because he can’t get a game at Everton?”

    Yet we signed a striker who couldn’t get a job as a fucking postman and people think the boss is a genius! He’s not. He’s a cunt.

  93. gonsterous

    If wilshere does a rvp on us and leaves after having one good season after a few years, I’m going to flip.. when everyone wanted him out, Wenger was the one saving his neck.. wasnt there talks of a new contract not too long ago ??

  94. Nasri's Mouth

    TheBayingMob:Yet we signed a striker who couldn’t get a job as a fucking postman and people think the boss is a genius!

    So we should spend £8m and big wages on a 29 yr old who isn’t very good and has a short career span?

  95. TheBayingMob

    NM, no not really … but it should be considered we’ve bought a lot of young donkeys who turned out to be crocks and shipped an absolute fortune into a big black hole for less. Naismith is a grafter, we’d spend a great deal less and get a great deal more out of him in a that short span than we got out of the 70k a week plus Diaby and The Fuckjob Postman.

    Parlour would never get signed by Arsene, all the Arsene ring sniffers would turn their noses up in disgust, he’s still one of the most important players Arsene had during his good years.

    all that glistens is not gold, and all that smells of shit is not necessarily a turd!

  96. TheBayingMob

    Does sanogo even have a career ??”

    He blew his big chance at a career in the post office when Arsene told him he could be a 50m quid striker. Turns out someone was a raving lunatic, but it wasn’t all bad as he ended up fleecing the club for 10s of thousands in wages before never being heard of again

  97. Sam

    اندبندنت: النني سيلعب في #أرسنال حتى 2020

    This arabic tweet that people even journalists are using to tell us Elneny passed medical n signed till 2020 also quoting independent as source. Smh

  98. Nasri's Mouth

    @TheBayingMob

    Naismith might be a grafter, but he’s not a very good grafter. He’ll want a contract that means we’re paying him for years when his already limited talent/ability is lessening.

    I keep saying this about Sanogo, so I apologise for saying it again, but there was NOTHING wrong with signing him. He was cheap, had potential, and was young, (Naismith has none of those attributes) The issue was NOT signing someone better than him AS WELL.

    If we’re going to compete with teams that have more money than us, we need to avoid wasting money. Sanogo has turned out to be a (relatively small) waste of money, lets not compound our mistakes by wasting more money.

    As for Parlour, impossible to know whether Wenger would have signed him or not. What we do know is he kept him till he was 31 and played him regularly throughout his career.
    Suggests he valued him pretty bloody highly

  99. Nasri's Mouth

    I’d love a Leicester win, if only because it’ll keep ManC’s away form shit, which is going to start being a mental issue for them

  100. Sam

    Karim,

    Leicester are more consistent than Man city this season
    Bad news if they get all 3 points

    plus I want Arsenal to stay top

  101. daz

    Leicester win for me keep city down don’t mind losing top spot for now, would rather Leicester lose to a mid table team

  102. Dissenter

    Elneny is eligible to play in the Champions League after Basel failed to qualify for this season’s group stage.

    I see people took me too seriously with my Naismith remark 🙂

  103. somerandomperson

    @WE and others doubting Eleny

    Our transfer record with the players we signed has been very very good.

    Our signings from 2012/13 till date (no youth signings)

    — Peter Cech
    — Alexis Sanchez
    — Welbeck
    — Gabriel
    — Ospina
    — Debuchy
    — Giroud
    — Podolski
    — Cazorla
    — Monreal
    — Ozil
    — Flamini
    — Chambers (even though he was teenager he cost 16m)

    Out of this there is no clear flops .

    Very good signings
    ————————-
    Cech
    Ozil
    Sanchez
    Giroud
    Cazorla
    Monreal
    Gabriel (May be not yet ready to put in this bracket)

    Good signings
    ——————–
    Podolski
    Welbeck

    Decent signings who did the job.
    ———————————————
    Flamini
    Debuchy
    Ospina

    Chambers ??? He may be the one who turn out to be a flop. But he is young.

    Out of 13 signings 6-7 of them were very very good. And none of them can be called as flops.