How much do Arsenal want it?

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Very quick post today because I have things to do!

Big game against Liverpool this evening. Not often we have massive game on a Wednesday these days! Maybe that’s because this isn’t a massive game in the eyes of the Sky people? Or the BT People? Or the foreign TV channels!

Anyway, here are some things I’m looking forward to seeing this evening…

How is Klopp going to play?

He knows he doesn’t have the talent to beat us at our own game, as he said yesterday, he fears our possession football and the counter attack. So is he going to play deep and look to break? Is he going to bulk out his midfield and try and kick us out of the game? Is he going to take advantage of some shady performances from Bellerin of late? His plan will be interesting. He’s going to be revved up. I imagine the Liverpool players coming into the changing room with him half-naked lightly covered by a sheep skin he’s ripped from a freshly slaughtered carcass.

The madman…

How is Wenger going to play?

Does this sort of game require a nullification exercise, or is this a business as usual game for Arsene and his team of enthusiastic tacticians? We have Ozil and Flamini coming back into this mix. Is he going to go all out for pace, maybe resting Giroud? Is he going to let JC continue in the side after a few good games? It’ll be interesting to see if any special thought has gone into this evening. Wenger knows dropped points here could signal the start of a dismal run.

How is Ozil going to play?

This for me is a massive game. This is one of those games we need our star man to carry us. The atmosphere will be big, he’ll probably get a brutalising from Henderson and Lucas. How will he cope. Will he have the eye of the tiger? That’s the big question for me. Can he deal with a wet evening up north…? Post Christmas is where titles are won. It seems like we’re a long way from the end of the road, the excitement of festivities are over and legs start to feel the burn. I hope we have the best Ozil out there this evening!

Are we title contenders?

These are the games that matter. The games where champions in waiting step forward. Are the whole team up for the fight? Do they have the focus? Do they actually believe this is possible.

They should do, they are good enough. It’s all about how much they want it though.

Switch off and we’re back with the rest of them… win, and it’s about proving it all over again at the weekend.



1,519 Responses to “How much do Arsenal want it?”

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  1. Andy

    Bad feeling about tonight, just feel if Southampton can press us and we disintegrate then Liverpool are very capable of the same.

  2. Steve Boulds velvet glove

    Klopp undoubtedly has the tactical knowhow to stop us but I don’t think he has anywhere near enough talent available to do so.
    At the start of the season we would have looked at this as a real tough game but I don’t think they have enough going forward with all their injuries and if Toure is in defence we are laughing

  3. psymon001

    DM again with the trophy! Can he do it for 20 consecutive years like our very own Arsene??
    Game tonight is on bt sport. Really don’t know what will happen but kind of confident we can win. Has Elneny signed yet?

  4. Danny

    I n our last away game, we were destroyed by the mighty Southampton, so has Wenger bought anybody to make up for that embarrassment? No of course not, so why should tonight be any different? Oh wait we’ve got the superb Arteta back.

  5. Savage

    “Klopp undoubtedly has the tactical knowhow to stop us”

    Going on his interview, I’m not so sure. He said that the pressing game will force us into playing long balls. Wenger says the pressing game requires us to play quicker, which I think makes a lot of sense. If you play quickly against a pressing team then you can find space behind the players. Remember that Arshavin goal against Barca, perfect example.

  6. Alex Cutter

    “Is he going to take advantage of some shady performances from Bellerin of late?”

    “Shady” and “of late” may mean something different over there, but he had two great assists last time out…

  7. Andy

    Long balls ain’t a bad option, if pool are pressing and Walcott is up front it could work, give Ozil even more diminished responsibility and get him high on the pitch, lurking for the killer pass.

  8. ADKB

    Yeah, Klopp’s often complaining about long balls as if L’pool players never play long balls. It’s going to start sounding boring even though I admire him.

  9. Savage

    “Long balls ain’t a bad option”

    True, but actually with Giroud instead of Theo. We’re a very decent aerial team these days.

  10. BacaryisGod

    Nice to see Man U dropping another two points yesterday. It seems strange to say it, but this might be the earliest we’ve wrapped up a Champions League spot for a long time. Recent history tells us Arsenal don’t handle being in first very well though.

  11. Dan Ahern

    We’re going to wreck Liverpool, no two ways about it. It’ll be interesting to see what we go with for DM though. I’d rather play Cal than deal with Flamini ever again, personally. I can’t be alone in that, right?

  12. shad

    The beginning of the crunch fixtures you have to think. We can defo beat them but they always have that odd guy Skrtel who can nick in a weird one. Our defence will have to be properly switched on and counting on another big game from Petr Cech.
    The next 4 games will define our season: hoping we can get 10/12 points but you know there’s one game that always throws a clusterfuck.

  13. shad

    Our dilemma is actually our finishing. When we are switched on, we are irresistible. When we are off, ..

    And yeah hopefully Flamini will keep sober. Can’t afford playing with 10 men and making Özil do defensive work.

  14. gambon


    We have always struggled significantly against a press.

    Its all well and good saying “playing at pace is the best thing” but that idea goes out the window when you realise your players arent particularly adept at doing just that.

    I remember the way Arteta was singed out in the 2013/14 season and we were outplayed significantly as a result.

    Im sure Wenger knew what was coming but he couldnt deal with it.

    I would say tonight there is roughly equal chances of a Win/Loss/Draw, but i certainly expect us to struggle to cope with the game, as we always do in these scenarios.

  15. Savage

    I don’t think Flamini is doing that badly. He could be upgraded for sure, but the defence behind him are strong enough, and Ramsey and JC get around a lot.

  16. Dan Ahern

    We would only struggle initially and mentally with this match. Once we have figured out their game plan our quality is orders of magnitude above theirs. Can’t see them seriously troubling us at all.

  17. BacaryisGod

    Btw, we may have had a reputation of being a selling club but it’s interesting to see that in the Guardian’s Top 100 players of 2015 list, Man U have no fewer than 5 former players in the top half of that list (Ronaldo #2, Pogba #11, Tevez #17, di Maria #39 and Pique #44).

    Somehow the voters included Rooney, Mata, Martial, Schweinsteiger and Depay in the bottom half of the list along with De Gea at #18. You would think that with 6 out of the supposedly top 100 players in the world, Man U would be doing a little better right now but the quality of their former list is miles ahead of their current list.

    In contrast, Arsenal have only one former player listed (Fabregas) but 5 current players (Alexis, Ozil, Santi, Cech and Koscielny)

    Of our rivals:

    Spurs Former: Bale and Modric
    Spurs Current: Kane

    Chelsea Former (6): De Bruyne, Mata,Robben, Cech, Salah and a much cheaper Matic
    Chelsea Current (6): Fabregas, Coutois, Willian, Costa, Matic,Hazard

    Man City Former (2) Tevez and Boateng
    Man City Current (5) Toure, Aguero, Silva, Sterling, Kompany, De Bruyne

    Liverpool Former: (4) Xabi, Suarez, Sterling and Mascherano.
    Liverpool Current (1) Coutinho

  18. Andy

    When a DM is to deep and Ramsey is pushing forward it leaves a massive GAP in midfield, Wenger stumbled across a pairing of carzola and coq, and it’s works because carzola sits enough to contemplate coq, Ramsay is the opposite, he wants the glory.

  19. tunnygriffboy

    Be great to win for all sorts of reasons but the CM worries me

    If we don’t win then is it a disaster. Not imo. Iv we can be within 3/4points of the leaders going into March with the run of fixtures and fresh players coming back after injury we still give ourselves a chance

    Obviously 3 points continues to put pressure on those around us. With our lack of options in midfield and attack we are sailing very close to the wind in getting results away at Anfield and Stoke. I hope it doesn’t catch up with us.

  20. Cesc Appeal

    Really not sure formation and selection wise tonight, Arsenal just don’t respond well to a high tempo press used against them, you just know Klopp will set up to not give us a second in possession.

    Have a bad feeling about tonight, but to be honest I do whenever we go away to ‘big’ clubs.

  21. naijagunner

    “I n our last away game, we were destroyed by the mighty Southampton, so has Wenger bought anybody to make up for that embarrassment? No of course not, so why should tonight be any different? Oh wait we’ve got the superb Arteta back.

    Wasn’t aware you are meant to buy new players once you loose a football match .

  22. Dan T

    “Really not sure formation and selection wise tonight, Arsenal just don’t respond well to a high tempo press used against them, you just know Klopp will set up to not give us a second in possession.”

    I’m not sure how long Liverpool will be able to sustain a high tempo press after a busy christmas schedule. I think we could be picking them after 65 minutes.

  23. Andy

    I always wonder why others are so confident, it’s like the Newcastle and Southampton games never happened. Since we beat city we have looked bang average.

  24. Danny

    Wasn’t aware you are meant to buy new players once you loose a football match .
    Another smart ass AKB.

  25. naijagunner

    No team is meant to look great all season……this bang average Arsenal u keep talking about here have been more consistent than the rest of the nineteen teams in the prem.

    We are confident cos we know what our players are capable of on a good day. if you do not have as much confidence then good for u. it’s not my place nor yours to tell posters how to feel before a game .

  26. Rhys Jaggar

    Actually, one of Arsenal’s big tests this next 6 weeks will be the weather. Of course, no long term weather forecast is certain, but those I trust the most on long-term (i.e. the rest of winter) forecasts (who are most certainly NOT the Met Office), are saying that we could be in for a fairly prolonged very cold snap. This may bring snow as far south as London and it will certainly mean the possibility for having to play matches at temperatures close to freezing for 3pm kick offs or significantly below for mid-week evening games.

    Arsene Wenger has always put great store in the explosive power of those with the genes of black West Africans. I understand why and, when the weather is warm and sunny, I heartily agree with him.

    However, with monotonous, if irregular, predictability, every few winters we get a prolonged cold snap which requires the characteristics more closely found in Scandinavians, Scotsmen, Eastern Europeans or Americans from the Northern midwest/central Canada. Those characteristics are the ability to function in the cold, something which can be trained for (I know this as I spent 7 years in the winter mountains of Scotland and my body became far more attuned to cold and my mentality learned to cope with it better as well). I would certainly either be suggesting wearing thermal undershirts or alternatively designing specialist winter shirts to retain heat on certain evenings.

    Proper warming up, especially of substitutes, will also be critical. No need to pull or tear muscles through being insufficiently warmed up. Also, anyone being substituted needs to ensure that they don’t contract flu through sitting on the touchline with drying sweat. I would strongly recommend going straight for a shower before returning to the bench, if time to return still exists. Bugger team ethic if you’re out for 2 weeks due to avoidable illness…..

    There’s also the issue of training. I’m sure no EPL ground now gets frozen due to undersoil heating but are similar facilities available at Colney? No need to cause injuries training on rock hard pitches either…..

    The players in the squad best adapted to cold will probably be: Cech, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Ramsey, Wilshere (if fit), Rosicky, Chambers.

    Those who should adapt well with good mental attitude will be: Ospina, Sanchez, Ozil, Bellerin, Debuchy, Giroud, Gibbs, Coquelin (if fit), Gabriel.

    Those who need to make a real effort as their genetics is against them: Campbell, AOC, Walcott, Iwobi, Reine Adelaide.

    I would be training Arsenal players in cold adaptation the next three weeks – it’s just the same as heat adaptation, except the temperature direction is opposite. They are going to have to spend 2hrs on pitches in cold conditions, so they might as well train for it.

    It may not be as bad or prolonged as the predictions are, but I would plan for now until the end of February being consistently cold, occasionally snowing and with plenty of potential for ice to form.

    Champions plan for such eventualities. I hope Arsenal do too……

  27. nigel tufnel

    Gotta say that yesterday reading the same old Arsenal haters gambon and Bamford tear down our players all day is irritating…

    I know they hate themselves for what their fathers did to them, but do they have to take it out on Arsenal here?

    Everybody else, enjoy the match. Let’s put them away and continue the march.

  28. Danny

    On paper this has got to be the worse Liverpool starting eleven since they last won the league and therefore we should win but with our manager…….

  29. nigel tufnel


    Wanna say anything about mourinhos implosion at cbelsea?

    Just wondering what it was like for you to witness, because you were in hiding from us here.

    Oh, not hiding? Just too busy until miraculously the same weeks mourinho went away and chelsea put a couple wins together?

    Im sure that’s it.

  30. naijagunner

    @ Gambon

    We have played every one in the division once…juts like all the other teams have .

    I guess Chelsea have had a tough fixture list compared to ours in your humble opinion. And also city when they were whipped at home by Liverpool .

  31. BacaryisGod


    Are those West African genes the ones also found in Vieira, Henry,Kolo and Yaya Toure, Lauren, Sagna and countless others etc? What a truly idiotic comment to make. Where is your empirical evidence?

    The only impact the genetic background has on a player’s performance is if he actually happens to be African and buggers off to the African Cup of Nations every other year. That typically puts them out of action for a quarter of the season.

  32. vicky

    Just having Klopp on the sidelines does not guarantee a great pressing game from his players. Liverpool players are not nearly as good as Dortmund team was at its peak. Generally they run out of steam after 30-40 minutes. Liverpool defense is also prone to making school-boy error, No Sturridge, no Coutinho……I think we will win today, In fact, I think this game is more winnable than the next two matches against Stoke and Chelsea.

  33. Louis Almeida

    I agree with naija though, the season is long. You’re not going to play well all the time. And many people thought we’d collapse when Coquelin, Cazorla and Alexis went down but we’re top by 2 points. If we’re three points off the top around March time with a more healthy injury list then I think many more will be confident. While Flamini is playing we will have to grind hard lol.

  34. BacaryisGod

    Even more laughably you include guys like Coquelin, Alexis and Gabriel in that list who certainly don’t come from your required ‘ Scandinavians, Scotsmen, Eastern Europeans or Americans from the Northern midwest/central Canada’.

    I’m not going to take the obvious route by calling you a racist but instead just label you the nutjob that you so clearly are.

  35. slade

    “I know this as I spent 7 years in the winter mountains of Scotland and my body became far more attuned to cold and my mentality learned to cope with it better as well). This was during the time I was working with Steve Jobs and directing his empire. Also during this time I was controlling the economies of several African and European nations: single-handedly. I am Rhys. I am better. I am at an undisclosed location.”

  36. BacaryisGod

    Very funny Slade.

    A large part of me hopes Rhys is trolling but I fear that’s not the case. His 7 years in Scotland somehow allowed him to adjust better than the 19-26 years of cold winters experienced by Theo, Ox and Iwobi.

  37. Bade

    Not losing is much more important this evening.

    I believe we’re capable of winning it if we play with patience.

    My X-factor for tonight is the OX. It’s his game to shine

  38. bennydevito

    Proper demolition job tonight, 4 nil to the good guys, Wally hat trick, JC and 4 assists from Ozil.

    Also could some kind soul put a good link up as I can’t get to the pub as my 2 yr old daughter won’t let me out of her sight at the moment and will scream the place down for 2 hours otherwise.


    Evening Grovers!

  39. BacaryisGod

    Rudi Garcia sacked as Roma manager. There goes another one of those ‘Anyone but Arsene’ managers some people on here have been craving for.

    Serious question Gambon. If you had the authority to replace Wenger right now with Mourinho, would you do it?

  40. nigel tufnel

    having said all that,

    gambons jimmy saville comment yesterday was priceless. Also some borderline raacist stuff the other day was funny.

    I said borderline. Calm down ladies.

  41. BacaryisGod

    Big night tonight. Top 4 teams all playing (plus Chelsea…)

    We could end up 5 points ahead or in third place after these games. Big swing.

  42. Leedsgunner

    Any Grovers know anything substantial about the two Nigerian lads we are supposedly signing very soon? If it happens I make that 11 new young players brought in under Joncker’s direction. He clearly doesn’t think much of Brady’s handy work in the academy.

    It has to be said, although Brady is one of Arsenal’s all time greats as a player, as our Academy head he really hasn’t done us any favours…

  43. gambon


    Man City, Man UTD, Spurs, West Ham, Liverpool, Stoke, Everton all at home in the first half of the season.

    Even someone as dumb as you cant think its all even cos everyones played the same teams?

    If you look at our away form, we wouldnt even be top of the PL, so to dismiss this is ridiculous.

    Im sure you were saying the same in 2013/14 and look what happened there.

    You crawled back into your call centre and started your scam calls/emails again.

  44. somerandomperson

    Wenger’s record against Klopp is not bad 3 wins and a draw in 6 matches. I am not at all worried about Klopp factor.

    It is just our big game credentials , pressure of being top of the table before a big game.

    These 3 games will most likely determine our title assault .

  45. Nasri's Mouth


    I love that we hijack these polls.

    Not because it shows we have the biggest social media presence, but because this type of poll is so utterly pointless in the first place.

  46. bennydevito

    Anybody care to enlighten me gambon’s Jimmy saville comment as I must of missed it?

    Incidently, good to see you back gambon it’s been some time, the comments section certainly livens up with you about!

  47. Joe


    Enjoy racist stuff do you? How about I tie a rope around your neck and drag you around behind my truck for a while.

    Haha. That’s funny.


  48. Nasri's Mouth

    Leedsgunner: It has to be said, although Brady is one of Arsenal’s all time greats as a player, as our Academy head he really hasn’t done us any favours…

    He’s been there for 20 years, and we had good results at youth level early on, but something went wrong in the last few seasons.

  49. gambon


    How are you?

    I think i said “Sam” was the blogs very own Savile cos he is completely obsessed with youths.

    He basically only has interests in young players and former academy players.

    Wouldnt surprise me if his name is Jeorge Bird.

  50. Carts

    I know Roma have invested heavily during Garcia’s tenure – not to mention slipping behind the top 2, but to sack him seems very harsh.

    Even more comical is to recycle and old gaffer – something Italian teams love to do. Spaletti isn’t the worst but I’m not sure he’s the answer right now.

  51. Samesong

    Those who need to make a real effort as their genetics is against them: Campbell, AOC, Walcott, Iwobi, Reine Adelaide

    That’s some Ron Noades bollox.

  52. Carts

    “Borderline racist stuff “= funny

    Ayy, listen I’m all for free speech and can’t stand PC – but to announce it in that way is very bizarre.

    As you were…

  53. MidwestGun

    What up peeps! Haha Rhys and his genetic predisposition to cold diatribe.

    Hilarious. All I know is I was born in a cold state, grew up in a cold state, my ancestors were from cold countries and I freakin hate the cold. Guess my dna didn’t get the memo.

    Not overly nervous about tonight. …. which is making me nervous. I would start Campbell til….. the temperature drops then put in Ox.

  54. gambon


    Reminds me of my days at Oxford.

    I once encountered a black man and was both disturbed yet fascinated.

    We got close that summer, spending many a moonlit night strolling the river banks. We were young, we were carefree.

    Alas winter drew in and he disappeared…and he broke my heart.

    The savage freeze of 2001 took my soulmate.

  55. Dissenter

    Rhys is really capable of the most bizarre stuff.
    When you think you’ve seen it all, he will surpass his own wacko-ness.

  56. Nasri's Mouth

    gambon: Alas winter drew in and he disappeared…and he broke my heart.

    I think he just got fed up with your small cock

  57. MidwestGun

    Bell,Mert,Kos, Monreal
    Campbell, Ozil, Theo

    Pretty much guaranteed to be our lineup isn’t it?. Not much choice imo. Actually we usually do best when Wenger has no choice so maybe it’s for the
    best. Not much on the bench to change things so hope we get the first goal and don’t have to chase a late goal.

  58. gambon


    Im not sure if im honest.

    Hes an elite manager, but he isnt a long term team builder.

    We should go all out to get Guardiola this summer. If not, and if we win the league, I would let Wenger see his contract out.

    If we dont win the league there will be no more excuses and i would certainly bring a new manager in.

    Its all irrelevant….Mourinho will never manage Arsenal.

  59. somerandomperson

    @gambon regarding fixture list and 2012-2013 . I agree we may be in a false position because of the fixtures.

    Some difference I see between 2012-2013 and now
    — Our big game record has improved considerably since then .
    — We were riding on the wave of Ramsey . He got injured and with few other injuries combined with fixture list we got screwed. We are doing reasonably well with our current injury wave.
    — We have won 2 more trophies since then.
    — We have got Ozil (WC winner) and Sanchez (Copa America winner) , Cech (Serial winner)

    Also if we get next 3 games out of the way then our fixture list will be on par with rest of the league ?

  60. gambon


    You must have seen me on a cold day.

    My genitals are much like West African footballers…..they go missing in the cold.

  61. BacaryisGod

    Getting back to our fixtures, Gambon has a point but I’m not sure it’s a huge one (ok, I’ll let it go now).

    When I looked at the fixtures at the beginning of the season, the noticeable feature was that apart from this short stretch our tough games were nicely spread out from the ones that we were expected to win.

    What this means is that for every tough away match we have coming up, we’ll mostly have a softer home fixture before it and hopefully this will allow us to rotate better if we ever get players like Welbeck and Wilshere back to fitness.

    Of course, getting knocked out of the Champions League by Barcelona will help a little too (as long as it’s not an obliteration).

  62. gambon


    If we get 7 points from our next 3 games i will go on record saying we are favourites for the PL

    Right now im not so sure.

  63. VP

    Last time we played Liverpool at home the game should have been over by half time but most people seem to have forgotten this along with other numerous unacceptable, abysmal displays. Tonight’s going to a deliver a much needed reality check to those who should really know better.

    Still to this day can’t believe that Wellbeck’s an Arsenal player.
    what’s even harder to believe is that Walcott apparently practices everyday….
    what i can believe is that the same mugs are falling for the same crap this year.

  64. gambon

    When i see us going away to City 2nd to last game i do have a horrible feeling about whats going to happen.

    Considering we dont look like building a great goal difference, we really need to go into that game with a 4 point gap.

    Quite a challenge.

  65. BacaryisGod

    Fair enough Gambon. I don’t think there would be too many people upset if Pep would come to us but it’s irrelevant as Mourinho being our manager, at least for a few years.

    Here’s what Arsene said in a December press conference:

    “Yes [I’d welcome him]. Welcome to the competition.”

    Arsene’s going nowhere unless he’s been secretly battling cancer for the last 18 months.

  66. MidwestGun

    VP –
    Not really sure it’s fair to say people falling for same crap. What other season has Chelsea had an epic collapse, Man U. Struggling and look horrible and possibly heading for a manager sacking and City with defensive struggles and aging and injury problems? Our competition is Leicester and Spurs, ffs.

  67. nigel tufnel

    Joe is ok with muslims crowd raping euro women and using young english girls.

    But im glad you’re not racist.

  68. BacaryisGod

    Not so sure about the goal difference. We were down by 4 in GD and then jumped ahead of City until our 4-0 crushing to Southampton. If we can play tighter in the away games and deliver a few thumpings at home then we should be neck and neck on goal difference (we also need Aguero to get injured again).

    My real concern is that we are just not simply playing very well right now and have also had to play guys like Bellerin a little too much in the last few weeks.

    We get more firepower with Ramsey in central midfield but we’ve lost some solidity as a result. The promising element has been the form of Flamini and Campbell to minimize the lossses of Coquelin and Alexis but today’s game will be a big test.

  69. somerandomperson

    @Midwest I would say it has got a lot to do with the raise of Westham/Stoke/Leicester/Spurs etc. I think this will be a trend (total league winning points will be lower) rather than a one off.

  70. Dan Ahern

    Liverpool 3pts
    Stoke 3pts
    Chelsea 1pt

    Picking up 7pts in the next 3 is actually a fairly easy proposition compared to what’s coming after.

    @ Soton
    @ Leicester
    @ Barcelona
    all in Feb

  71. BacaryisGod


    Man City still have to be expected to win. However, I saw an interesting analysis recently showing that although YaYa puts in a decent amount of miles a game, his number of sprints per game is way below average. For me, that would be a real cause of concern.

  72. BacaryisGod


    We just played at Soton and beat Leicester away 5-2. I like the look of both those games at the Emirates. Barca is another story.

  73. MidwestGun

    Maybe… next month will tell for sure but Yaya has literally been walking thru matches for a few seasons and Kompany out. Silva a bit off form and Aguero has a touch of the Wilshere’s. So given that and our current position, hard to say we are underdogs.

  74. Joe

    You a Fucken idiot Nigel.

    the intelligence of a maggot.

    Guess it only bad if Muslims are doing the raping. The centuries of white men taping women is ok.

    What a Fucken fool you are Nigel

  75. slade

    You forgot the 7 years in the summer deserts of Saudia Arabia…….

    Yes, this was a very difficult time for Rhys: gone were the days of private reflection on nation building, space exploration and medical experimentation ala Dr. Mengele. For those 7 years the Earth’s population wandered in the dark without guidance, without Rhys. Sad times.