Arsenal 2-1 Southampton. Arsene Wenger’s testimonial season

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Morning all Alex here.

To avoid being overly negative, as is my wont when it comes to watching football these days, I am going to split this post into the following format; 2 GOOD and 2 BAD. A completely original concept I came up with all by myself.


• Winning the game with a completely unfair penalty in extra time
I was watching the game on a grainy feed that cut out 5 minutes before the end, so I missed the drama and the joy of the late penalty. However, based on past experience, it really is one of the best feelings in football, especially if the preceding 90 minutes have been complete dross.

Was it actually a penalty? Alan Shearer and the banter lads on Match of the Day didn’t think so, but no one cares a fig what they think. And to be honest, there is no way of knowing. Penalty decisions have been so inconsistent this season that me writing this sentence right now might actually be a penalty. I don’t know.

The important thing to be aware of is that the lads didn’t kick the ball out. Not when Shane Long fell over like a bag of potatoes and not when their own captain took a toe to the eyeball. It was absolutely ruthless behaviour and an important lesson to children everywhere – if you show wilful disregard for another person’s wellbeing, you will get your rewards.

• Laurent Koscielny is a god
When he first joined Arsenal he looked like a kid who’d just got back from holidaying with his parents in Nice where he’d done nothing but play petanque and rubix cube all summer. Now he’s T1000. A half human, half titanium defending machine that eats strikers for breakfast and scores f***** overhead kicks. I mean what the hell? He was bleeding from his EYE yesterday. Put that on a washbag and I will buy some of your merchandise Arsenal.


• Francis Coquelin is an atrocious footballer
The game yesterday was terrible. We didn’t deserve to win, we played badly against a Southampton team that had all the dynamism of an egg and cress sandwich. And I’m not being dramatic when I say it was all Francis Coquelin’s fault. Well I am, but seriously who does this guy have to kill to get dropped?

It’s not that he’s bad in a conventional sense. Compared to me or you, he’s obviously a very good footballer. But when your team is built around controlling the midfield so you can build play out from the back AND providing sufficient cover to your back four when you don’t have possession, it makes no sense to play a guy who can do neither. Especially when you have two players on the bench who can. Maybe Xhaka was being rested for PSG, but why wasn’t Elneny starting alongside Cazorla?

If you just watch Coquelin in a game for 90 minutes you will see what I’m talking about. When we are not in possession he chases the ball like a dog, leaving huge gaps in front of the back four. When our defenders are bringing the ball out from the back, he is either in the wrong place to be a passing option or is so limited in his passing that, if he receives the ball, he cannot play the ball forward and will play it back to the defender.

Playing alongside Cazorla, who is good on the ball but doesn’t have the legs to play the role for 90 minutes, is why the team has no fluidity.

Case in point. Southampton’s first goal was a tidy free kick, but Arsenal’s defending in the build-up was Sunday league, under-6s stuff. The ball was headed into space in front of the back four. One of Cazorla or Coquelin should have been occupying the space to deal with it. Instead Laurent Koscielny was pulled out of position as he attacked the ball, leaving a huge space for Redmond to run into. It forced Monreal into a last ditch tackle which led to the free kick.

Later in the game, Shane Long had a guilt-edge chance to score when he found himself one on one with Cech. In the build-up, Coquelin got caught chasing the ball high up the pitch, meaning only Cazorla and his tired legs could provide cover. The back four were left exposed yet again. Long and Tadic linked up well, while Monreal decided to stand and watch, and they split us open like a week old banana.

• Arsene Wenger’s testimonial season
Luckily most fans, Ivan Gazidis and hopefully now Arsene Wenger recognise that we are coming to the end of the manager’s tenure. The briefing about Eddie Howe, while I hope untrue, came from the club, so there must be an acknowledgement from Weng that this is his last year at the helm.

There can be no doubt his achievements warrant some form of testimonial. Unfortunately for us it looks set to last the whole season.

After watching the Manchester derby earlier in the day, and seeing the tactical astuteness of both teams (admittedly one had slightly more than the other), it is clear that we are miles off our supposed title rivals.

We have a team packed to the brim with talent, and often we are relying on the individual brilliance of our players (Ozil, Sanchez, Cazorla, Koscielny) or refereeing high japery to win us games in a tactically limited set up.

The only thing holding the team back now is the manager.

Most Arsenal fans know this. It is out of an admirable but ever diminishing sense of loyalty to Arsene that he has been given the opportunity to try for one more season what hasn’t come close to working for the last eight. It comes at considerable personal expense to the fans, especially those who pay to go to games. But also to the club as world class players such as Ozil and Sanchez see us celebrate an abysmal but lucky performance like yesterday’s and wonder if they can’t do better elsewhere.

Finally, a word on Petr Cech (because James asked me to mention him). While not necessarily a terrible performance, he’s starting to make a fair few number of errors. His positioning was poor for the free kick yesterday. While not Ospina-esque, he was too far off his line to make a decent save. Do we need to talk about Petr?

Right that’s enough post-victory misery from me. You can follow me on twitter @aldo_doel

Have a lovely Sunday x

269 Responses to “Arsenal 2-1 Southampton. Arsene Wenger’s testimonial season”

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  1. Majestic gooner

    Your Comment Heredanish great minds think alike, I was just thinking the same thing as you, the question we have to ask really is what is the point of wenger? What is he actually contributing as of now to Arsenal football club? I personally do not see any reason for him to be there.

  2. Samesong

    We played well against both United and Citeh at home last

    Lol only 2 games that you can think of that we played well. That United seems like a fluke.

  3. leon

    Rspc I don’t think thoe has the intelligence time and time again thoe has proven he cant play upfront and even on the wing liability for me letting Joe Campbell go out on loan was a big mistake.

    I would play girude upfront and play perez on the wing but not thoe

  4. Sam

    I also think arrival of Holding n Mustafi shaped our defense
    Elneny n Xhaka changed our midfield
    Only upfront needs fixing
    We still don’t score in the first half like last season
    Koscielny saved our backsides yesterday

  5. leon

    I still think we could do with top right winger, I think it’s too soon to make any judgements on perez although I think him and girude upfront would do some real damage particularly playing at home.

    I really like couqulin but his passing is shocking at times its just not his strong point his strengths is his tackling ability and is extremely dynamic

  6. Sam

    For me Giroud already failed
    Only way to get rid of him is the Arsenal way
    He gets injured n someone steps in n bang goals
    Wenger not gonna buy to replace him

  7. LegendMax

    “No it’s not. Oxlade has tons of ability. He just hasn’t been managed, disciplined or instructed properly. He has been pampered, over-paid and over-praised. And this is why he has turned into the player he has turned into.

    Walcott doesn’t have as much technical ability as Oxlade, but he certainly could’ve become a better player than he has with better instruction.

    Your comments here thus far are not impressing.”

    In oxlaide’s case, I would agree. However his improvement would be minimal at best. He doesn’t have tons of ability as you think.

    In walcott’s…..nope. we’ve seen the best of him.
    He and all the others I mentioned as underperformers. This is their level, they won’t get better.

    Name me one player who consistently underperformed for us but improved significantly at another top club

    Let me rephrase……Name one player who, despite being given enough chances, consistently underperformed for us but improved significantly under a better coach at another top club or improved at a lesser club, earned a moved to a Top club and performed well for them

    If you can’t, then please keep your silly assumptions to yourself.

    Wenger has many faults but failing to nurture talent isn’t one of them

    Go ahead I’m waiting

  8. LegendMax

    On the other hand, I can give you many examples of former players who weren’t good enough here and never stepped up after they left the club.

    Or who even performed here but couldn’t or haven’t done better elsewhere.

    Hleb, song, cesc, vermaelen, flamini, Djourou, senderos, Denilson, bendtner, adebayor……just to name a few.

    Rvp, nasri and sagna maintained the levels they reached for us when they left and have declined in varying degrees with age.

    I maintain my stance that our underperforming players are just what they are……average and not good enough!

  9. LegendMax


    the same way he ruined RVP so much that he won United the title in his 1st season there……Yea right.

    I seem to be getting into too many arguments with dumb posters 2day

  10. Redtruth

    “I maintain my stance that our underperforming players are just what they are……average and not good enough!”

    Wenger is to blame, it is his players, his tactics, his motivating skills which have resulted in a poor team with no guidance….

  11. Redtruth


    Wenger never rated Cole and was set to offload him to Crystal Palace until Silvinho’s passport issues arose and forced him to stop the deal going through..

  12. LegendMax

    Lol Red….I’m just gonna humour you 2day

    “Wenger is to blame, it is his players, his tactics, his motivating skills which have resulted in a poor team with no guidance….”

    I’m not saying wenger’s not at fault. He has once again assembled a team which isn’t good enough to win the title. our inevitable failure this season and in seasons past is undoubtedly of his own doing and he should take the blame for that.

    but it’s not his fault that our underperforming players eg ox, Theo, wilshere, Gibbs and many more havent improved despite being given chance after chance to do so.

    Bamford says their lack of improvement is wengers fault and these players would perform better under a top coach.

    that I don’t agree with. doesn’t matter who coaches them, they still won’t improve.

    Surely if, as bamford says, our players will improve under a better coach, there must be at least one or two examples from the past 10 years he can give to back his theory.

  13. Redtruth

    Taken from an Article in 2012:

    The trend of promising talent coming to Arsenal and failing is the norm more than the exception. This is the unfortunate truth of Wenger’s legacy.Buy cheap and young and sell on to make profit is the philosophy they have. Well if it wasn’t for Man City pumping millions into that idea then it would have looked rather foolish. Who has really become a great player in his time at Arsenal? You can name a handful. Arsenal either destroys careers or is a platform to move on and become better. There is a serious problem in the way Wenger develops players.

    The players who arrived at Arsenal who came with a great reputation and yet failed is quite shocking. Most notably was Jose Antonio Reyes who arrived from Sevilla; touted as one of the best talents to come from Spain, his potential was ruined at Arsenal. Arsenal’s highest transfer at that time left after fulfilling none of his promise. He recaptured some of his form when returning to Spain yet didn’t hit the heights expected of him.
    Tomas Rosicky arrived from Dortmund with an excellent reputation and was regarded as one of the best creative playmakers in Europe. Arriving for £7 million he has looked a shadow of his former self and one must wonder why this has happened.

    Where am I playing?
    Arsenal’s biggest transfer involved Andrei Asharvin, coming over for £15 million during the January transfer window. It was seen as a show of intent that Arsenal were now able to bring in the best talent again. It seemed a great signing yet has become another showing of a signing failing at Arsenal. His position must be questioned in the team, for Russia in his “coming out” tournament he played a free role behind Pavlyuchenko after serving his two match ban and took Russia to the semi’s with goals against Sweden and Holland. His performances made the world stand up and wonder who this talent was. Granted there is a common trend for Russians not to succeed in England, however the Arshavin situation is similar to many players who not succeeded at Arsenal.

    Wenger is also a poor judge of English talent; his apparent reluctance to buy English players probably comes from his decisions to sign Richard Wright and Francis Jeffers who both failed miserably at Highbury and were shipped out quickly, yet does no-one ask why they failed? They were regarded as the future of England and after spending time at Highbury they lost all confidence and were deemed poor players. Since then only Sol Campbell has been a successful English signing. Ashley Cole proved to be a good product of the Academy yet apart from them Walcott has not improved since moving, Gibbs seems average when not injured and Wilshere showed so much promise yet consistent injuries seem to restrict his potential. I wonder how Wilshere will develop at Arsenal, without Cesc and Nasri with him the picture is different to last season. And now with Chamberlain showing so much promise am I the only one worried that it is Wenger who is in control of future.

    This leads me on to Theo Walcott, who was once regarded as one of the best young players to come out of England, his move to Arsenal appeared perfect and one which would excel his development and give Arsenal a new Thierry Henry. However, buying young appears to be Wenger’s way of moulding players, believing that at a young age he can shape them into the Wenger way. Yet we must ask if Wenger’s way is a good method to be teaching a player?! Walcott is a player who has been duped into believing that keeping the ball is more important than trying to attack, that losing possession is the worst thing you can do. His game has gone from exciting attacking play involving speed, agility and guile to becoming one dimensional, offering no creativity and only occasional bursts of speed to get behind defences. Most often Walcott receives with his back to goal, refusing to turn and passes back. He is afraid and lacks confidence. Is this what we want Chamberlain to become?

    These examples reflect a fallacy about Wenger; that he develops world class talent. He more often than not destroys it than improves it. Only Fabregas and Van Persie have become world class in their time at Arsenal, and it will require Van Perise to move on in order to fulfil his promise. What are Arsenal doing with these players that restricts their performances?

  14. David Smith

    Wenger……the slate is clean……he has spent a lot of money, he is up against the best. Let’s be open minded, charitable,give him a fresh start ……see how he does this season. Success….whether we like it or not, he will take the offer clearly already on the table. Failure, difficult to see how he can carry on.
    Just depends on the definition of success, that of Stan, the media, the players, Wenger himself or the fans…..not necessecerily in that order.
    Then we shall know.

  15. Redtruth

    Taken from an Article in 2012

    When people talk of Arsene Wenger he is widely regarded as one of the world’s best managers. He has been dubbed a “miracle worker” by former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein and we are told he has “revolutionised” the Premier League. It is true he improved standards at Arsenal yet his methods were not new; he brought methods and science that had been prevalent on the continent for years before. As always, we lag behind on new ideas and are so surprised when they are introduced to us.

    His record at Arsenal cannot be questioned, he was successful; league titles , cups and a champions league final is impressive. He certainly matched Ferguson for a long time. Yet, in the last six years there has been a shortage of trophies, poorer performances and a gradual decline of Arsenal and their manager.

    The Wenger philosophy

    A change in Wenger’s philosophy after the invincible season set in motion where we are now. One cannot doubt that the absence of David Dein at Arsenal has had a great effect on the fortunes of Arsenal. Excuses are made in regards to the stadium, about how costs have had to be reduced, yet look past the excuses, questions must still be asked about the signings being made by Wenger.

    Ferguson is very fond of saying there is no value in the market and Wenger has the same views. It cries of men who have made mistakes with their decisions and the cost has literally weighed heavily on them. It is a fallacy that Arsenal have not spent money, especially in the last 5 years. Why people think this is because the signings have been average at best. Except for Ramsay, Sagna, Nasri and Vermalean the signings made have been disastrous. From a manager who has some of the best scouts around the world and who we are told is very patient to make the right decision to ensure the correct players comes in, the results are clear, the signings made by Wenger are not good enough, or put another way, fail to perform at Arsenal.

    Even those mentioned have not been as great as hoped; Ramsay appears a shadow of himself, perhaps the passing of Speed has had a longing influence on him; it should be noted that he played his best for Wales not Arsenal since recovering from a horrible leg break. Vermalean has struggled to keep fit and the injury curse at Arsenal appears to have claimed another victim. More questions need to be asked as to why Arsenal appear to be suffer more muscle tissue injuries than most teams. Nasri had one good half of a season and then deemed himself too good for the Emirates, the bright lights and dollar signs adding to his desire.

    Wenger is often prasied yet should be slaughtered for his painful persistence with players who continually underperform, or have long since proven themselves substandard; Almunia, Eboue, Rosicky, Hleb, Arshavin, Squillaci, Diaby, Denilson, and Walcott has led to fans believing that perhaps Wenger isn’t all that great. Many excuses have kept him the role but when one looks at his record, especially at developing players, he falls short of the mark.

  16. David Smith

    Players will improve under a top coach…..maybe some will , but hard to argue any other coach will get more out of the likes of kos, bellerin, cazorla , giroud, Iwobi and even ozil.
    Some coaches do better with some but not all players.
    Just wish our keepers had better coaching

  17. Sam


    If Klopp was a super coach like people here think how did he get rid of Benteke?
    and he’s not getting along with Sturrige
    why not just coach them?

    I think Managing is the right word, you keep n bring in players you can work with then get rid of those you think they are not good for you.
    the problem with Wenger he cannot tell the difference between patience n time wasting. He keeps players for too long

  18. LegendMax

    Red what a load of bollocks. esp the first article. blaming Wenger for the failure of those players is idiotic really.

    Reyes left for real. Was he a success there? where did he end up later? did he make it at the top level?

    Arshavin couldn’t sustain his performances for long cos that was his peak. He peaked at Euro 08 and sustained that level for a year or so before he started declining. wasn’t wengers fault. it would have been the same at any other club.

    Rosicky always played well for us. the injuries ruined him.

    blaming Wenger for walcotts lack of confidence to take on opponents is dumb really. shows a willingness to turn a blind eye to the real problem and just dump the blame on Wenger.

    does Sanchez not take defenders on? Campbell, last season, used to take his man on.

    Iwobi, cazorla and even bellerin dribble past opponents often. so how is it wengers fault that Walcott can’t do the same?

    his lack of confidence to take his man on stems from a lack of ability not coaching.

    the notion in the 2nd article, that injuries suffered by our players is cos of Wenger and his training methods is another commonly held misconception.

    when vermaelen eventually left for barca, did his injury problems stop?

    diaby who was also often injured here has continued the same trend at marseille. Was injured for almost the whole of last season. He is currently injured now as well.

    the same injury problems RVP had here resurfaced after his 1st season at manutd and also at fenerbahce

    I’m a staunch wengerout believer but the bollocks spouted on here is baffling at times.

  19. LegendMax

    correct Sam correct….finally a sensible poster.

    even the post today from Alex bashing coquelin when he was one of the better performers on Saturday shows how nuts some of our fans are.

    I’ve had enough bollocks for a day.

    bamford still waiting for your answer.

    good night fellas i.e the sensible ones

  20. Arsenal not Arsene

    I don’t think it solely lies in the hands of the coach to develop a player. The said player should be hungry enough to develop and become a world better. What we are seeing at Arsenal is young players who can’t be arsed to perform because of being overpaid and less pressure to perform and LARGELY having no will to become better. With that said Wenger’s main problem is persisting with such players hoping they would finally turn good which is pretty stupid and has caused Arsenal big time through the years.

  21. tunnygriffboy


    Interesting article

    There was another one, an analysis of the way Wenger wants to play and the reson he bought Xhaka, Ozil and why he kept Theo a couple of days ago. It was more positive than the one above.

    You takes your pick 🙂

  22. Arsenal not Arsene

    I remember doing the
    long walk to the tunnel alongside Dwight Yorke and he
    asked: “Where the hell did you get that centre-half
    from?” “Look, it’s a long story …” 🙂

    It’s sad that the year is 2016 and the above statement could be said of some of our players. Who Wenger decides to stick with regardless. Clueless indeed.

  23. Leedsgunner

    Coquelin is the least of our problems. It is real concern that after 10 years Walcott at 26 still looks one dimensional and Oxlade has completely regressed. Where’s the player that was ripping up in the pre season?

    A note about the pre season — instead of travelling all over the world to play Mickey Mouse teams — can we do our transfers early and play challenging teams? It would be great to be ready for the season as everybody else.

  24. peanuts&monkeys

    ‘only thing holding the team back is Arsene Wenger’

    almost true. could have been 100% correct if Wenger had brought a Sturridge/Lacazzette/Hig/Vardy.

    we all believe we will be soon be rid of this evil fossil.

    That said, the season is there and it cannot be put at the altar of wishes of seeing Wenger’s back after all. Wenger has a chance to using Perez and Sanchez interestingly. Perez shd be used to play the role Sanchez played last two seasons, and Sanchez shd go up and play no.9. For this to happen Perez has to be given few more games. Half games at least.

    Cazorla Ozil Ramsey


  25. Emiratesstroller


    I think that the majority of genuine supporters are acutely aware that Wenger has been for a very long time past his “sell by date” and that the team until now
    has been ill prepared pre-season and has been relatively poor in first four games of this season.

    On paper we have a half decent squad, which is probably at least as strong as
    most of our major rivals in EPL. As I wrote two weeks ago there are now eight
    positions in my first eleven which pick themselves as automatic starters in key games.

    The only positions which I feel are still open to discussion are central midfield
    between Ramsey and Cazorla, right wing/midfield which remains weak and
    the striker position.

    However, the problems as far too many critics point out is not just our perennial injury crisis, team selections, but our style of play, which has been too often based on entertainment rather than substance.

    The problem is now that we are too often ‘lacking in entertainment” as well as
    playing overcomplicated and on occasions utterly ineffective football as was
    demonstrated to a large degree in games against Leicester and Southampton.

    One of the key differences between early Wenger teams when we were winning consistently trophies is that the team played with football intelligence,
    efficiency and simplicity. The ball was played from the back to the front in the
    blink of the eye often with end product i.e. scoring a goal.

    Today everything gets bogged down with short passes and very little game plan. On Saturday there was plenty of space on the wings. Yet we failed to
    often to capitalise on it.

    We spent most of the game playing a short passing game affording Southampton plenty of time to recover.

    I know that you are a fan of rotation. However, I have always believed that the
    best option is to play your best team unless there is a reason to change it.

    Our back 5 seldom changes when fit and frankly I would choose to keep my
    best “holding midfield” player on the same basis. Xhaka in contrast to Coquelin does not run around the pitch like a “headless chicken”. He plays the
    game with intelligence, good positioning and is unquestionably the best passer in the squad whether it short or long balls.

    Saturday’s game was crying out for Xhaka’s craft. Personally I am surprised that he was not in starting lineup for either Liverpool or Southampton games.

    I feel that Mustafi, Xhaka and Holding were decent buys. I will reserve judgment on Peres.

    Hopefully by next summer we will have a new manager and can then resolve
    the two remaining pieces in the jigsaw namely top class winger and striker.

  26. China

    In a performance so ram packed with shite, koscielny was such a beacon of quality and effort.

    He’s world class but unlike Sanchez and ozil you can expect him present every time he laces up his boots. Bicycle kicks and running through walls as standard for a CB who absolutely dominates forwards week in week out.

    Where the fuck would we be without his contribution???

    All hail lord kosser

  27. Gregg

    Interesting post. Not disputing the comments re Coquelin but to contrast it against a ‘Tactical’ masterclass in the Manc Derby ? Jeez Man City cut through a non existant Utd midfield like a hot knife through butter, at will. Pogba and Fellini were no where to be seen. Criticise Le Coq all you like but think about what you’re contrasting him with.

  28. tunnygriffboy

    Speaking against the grain on here.

    Players late back from Euros and given extra time off ( Wenger choice), ridiculous international break (lot of managers moaning about it) and two new players in at the eleventh hour ( our fault)

    I reckon once the squad has had a bit of time ALL together then the quality of our performances will improve.

    Thing that irks me a little bit.

    Man u score last second win v Hull. They battled through, showed resilience and mourinho really went for it throwing attackers on showing he really wanted to win

    We do the same on Saturday we’re lucky and our signings after one game are shite.

    Shows real perceptions and agenda of our wonderful footballing journos, none of which have played a meaningful game of football in their life. Pah 🙂

    Rant over.

  29. Leedsgunner

    On one hand Wenger says he will only sign players who will improve his squad. However, when they don’t perform he asks us to have patience. Surely if the players he signs are so good… they should be ready to go…

    Although, it is one game, and even Henry didn’t fire on all cylinders from the get go.

    I hope we give a proper account of ourselves against PSG.

  30. gonsterous

    I thought wally did well in the weekend. Unlike ox he really wanted to make a difference. I think he’ll hit form soon and start scoring goals unless he gets injured or he’s playing for a new contract.. either way, only time will tell !!

  31. tunnygriffboy


    Good post.

    You say we have a half decent squad. Annually players are overplayed a break down. There is then the fair enough anger that this happens. Last season should we decide to rest any of our CMs we had the injured Wilshere and Flamini and Arteta in reserve. Not good enough therefore to rotate

    This season we have more depth there so we can rotate. Players have been away this week. Alexis was back late Thursday and played two full games for Chile. It seems that Wenger is damned if he does rotate and damned if he doesn’t.

    Also I think Wenger would like to be more direct but many teams in football now tend to sit deep so it is difficult to pass through them, hence we get the short passing

    I agree we don’t use the width enough. When Ramsey plays on the right Bellerin looks more effective. I also agree Xhaka’s craft would help. He’ll get more and more games as he adjusts to the intensity of the PL

  32. tunnygriffboy


    You’ve got to give the new guys a bit of time.

    Lucas upfront needs to work with all the players in and around him to learn where they run, when they drop off and what spaces they fill etc

    Bear in mind he’ll have had virtually no time to train with them this week due to bloody internationals.

    We’ve had hardly anytime to work together as a squad as a whole. I’m convinced performances will improve once they start working together more

    There are very few gimmes in the PL now and you have to bust a gut in every game to get a win. We were pretty average on the weekend but we managed the win. A good 3 points imo.

  33. sam

    Lucas Perez will make it at Arsenal as a winger and Walcott is also working hard

    now Wenger has to test Sanchez—— Walcott—-Perez strikeforce maybe it’s gonna pay off.

    or use Iwobi till Perez starts firing

  34. Emiratesstroller


    Yes of course I accept that every team is allowed one off day particularly after
    the internationals.

    The trouble is that we have not played well in the first 4 games of season. We
    have put out in all these games either an ill prepared or weakened team.

    We are now 5 points behind Man City, but it could have been 7 or 8 points but
    for a last minute fortuitous penalty.

  35. Gregg

    Emirates, I hear you mate but a team like Arsenal needs continuity, stop, start doesn’t help. i’m hoping to see a bit more fluency in our game now that we’re into the two games a week situation.

  36. tunnygriffboy


    The penalty was fortunate in that it was the 94th minute but it was a definite penalty. It’s what Giroud physical presence can do

    I agree we have had weakened teams out. As I said earlier we’ve hardly had any time when the full squad has been together. We had an excellent first half v Watford when Xhaka, Ozil and Alexis were on the field together. Other than that we’ve huffed and puffed a bit

    As the squad trains and plays more together I would expect our performances to improve.

  37. Leedsgunner


    Fairs points…

    “Lucas upfront needs to work with all the players in and around him to learn where they run, when they drop off and what spaces they fill etc”

    Sign them early. Let them settle in during pre-season. After isn’t that what the preseason is for?

    What’s the use of playing youngsters like JRA and Chuba on preseason tours and getting them match fit if they aren’t going to see action in the beginning of the season? Makes a mockery of the preseason really…

    Why don’t we start paying our players from October then. Physically and mentally they don’t seem to be all there until then! It happens year after year… why isn’t this error being rectified? Where’s the accountability…?

  38. tunnygriffboy

    Tell me. City were very good yesterday particularly in the first 40 minutes. Was it revelatory as the journos are w.nking over ? Didn’t city do that to teams any way ? Didn’t lpool do it to us ? Didn’t we do it to man u last season ?

    How good was man u defence ? How good is city’s defence ?

    It’s only 4 games in ffs

  39. tunnygriffboy


    Agree. Ideally we needed our players in early for the valid reasons you give.

    However for what ever reason two of them came in late. Hence they need time to adapt (probably forwards find it more difficult than defenders)

    Pre season was a shambles anyway. Euros and managers insistence the players have 4 weeks off ( in theory a good thing imo), injuries to key players, then late signings and a international week as well

    Very few sides got players in early. Man u, lpool and city to a certain extent. Bravo came into city only two weeks ago and it showed. Hopefully he’ll find the physicality and crosses in PL difficult to deal with

    I think Gregg may have a fair point. Playing two games a week may now hopefully start to get our fluency back.

  40. Emiratesstroller


    I don’t want to split hairs about penalty, but I think it was highly debatable. Many referees would have blown the whistle before the foul, because Koscielny was lying prostrate and motionless in front of Southampton goal with Forster looking concerned.

    For all the referee knew it could have been a head injury.

    Anyway let’s see if there is any improvement against PSG.

  41. mysticleaves

    legend Max.

    you are both right and wrong. Wenger knows how to harness talent and potential as he showed from 2006 to 2011 there’s no question.

    but sometimes his man management skills is called into question because he seems so biased especially to some players you feel could contribute more IG given the run. now that’s not the problem. the problem is that Wenger recently at least has proven not to be able to manage stars.

    look at Sanchez for example. he has being here for a while and still does the same things he has being doing from day one. no change in his play, no improvement, no instructions! same thing with Ozil.these are people who hope to build your team around. but it just seems like he tells them to go and play the way they know how to.

    you don’t look at our play these days and feel there’s any tactical input. just a bunch of players relying on their individual prowess.

    the team of 2008 to 2011 had a lot of tactical awareness and input about them it was almost telepathic. that ability now is gone with Wenger.

    you just look at our current players and feel that with their individual prowess they could do more as a team. I think that’s what Bamford generally meant and I feel so too.

  42. Thank you and goodnight


    Difference is the journos and every sane fan knows what’s coming with Arsenal….same shit as always. That article pedro put link up for was brilliant and it’s what I’ve been saying for years. Wenger is out of his depth and is no more than an average manager, doesn’t matter who we sign as the problem is wenger not the players. By way that guy legend max or whoever is just champagne charlie under a different namr

  43. mysticleaves

    Alex the writer

    for the record I think you are poop! as a writer and as an analyst. if you don’t see what Coquelin does in our midfield then maybe its your eyes that’s atrocious.

    xhaka is a marvellous player and all but isn’t close to mobile as Coq is. Coq is better played against teams that pack the bus because they feed on counters and that’s exactly where you need your most mobile players.

    Coq broke a few counters yesterday and was always ready for a race. so because he was caught out of position on one occasion he’s an atrocious footballer?

    bury your head in shame

  44. tunnygriffboy


    Agree game should have been stopped as Kos was on the ground. Fonte though was definitely pulling Giroud shirt and he tripped him


    We have had more pens already this season (3) than we had the whole of last season.

  45. Leedsgunner

    We have had more pens already this season (3) than we had the whole of last season…

    Maybe Theo scuffing the first one of the season — is a blessing in disguise… in a high pressured situation more often than not, he crumbles.

    In recent times our best penalty taker by far was Arteta. He virtually never missed from the spot.

  46. Leedsgunner

    “I think Gregg may have a fair point. Playing two games a week may now hopefully start to get our fluency back.”

    Or get them injured twice as quickly. 🙁

  47. mysticleaves

    considering the players on the pitch against Liverpool Theo was a very decent choice to take the penalty.

    they practice these things you know? that he missed doesn’t mean he can’t play.

  48. mysticleaves

    Perez should also be cut some slack. going by someone who hasn’t trained with the team for he did enough to suggest he has more to offer.

    pogba meanwhile with all his super quality is not impressing yet

  49. David Smith

    Sadly, I think those expecting Wenger to depart next summer are being wildly optimistic.
    I know one of the guys in the academy set up, a while back there were apparently rumors throughout the club Wenger would not see the end of this current deal, they came to nothing.
    The reality, the board will not sack him barring a disaster, and as we know, wenger is pretty consistent in avoiding absolute disaster.
    We also know that Wenger is not the sort to splash out ninety million to benefit his successor.
    If those Howe briefings really came from the club, I would guess they were a non too subtle attempt to get the manager to commit.
    My guess…Wenger will stay and manage what he sees is a squad that can genuinely challenge….whether you or I would agree that a wenger squad, no matter how talented could challenge is another matter.

  50. Emiratesstroller


    Yes we have had three penalties. Fortunately we have got two decent penalties
    in Cazorla and Giroud, but if neither plays who would you pick to take them?

    The options are fairly limited. Ozil’s recent record both for Germany and Club has been poor.

  51. Leedsgunner


    Fair enough… you and I can disagree and that’s ok.:)

    I might be mistaken but doesn’t Ramsey take pens for Wales when Bale isn’t available?

    Hindsight is 20/20 and all that but if we could roll the tape again I personally would have told Ramsey to step up and take it.

  52. Romford Ozil Pele

    Pretty meh performance on Saturday. Three points good but performance needs to improve. It’s good that we have options and can rotate but at the same time we need to find the right balance and let our best team get a few games together to build up chemistry.

    Coquelin is an atrocious footballer. Great ball winner but has a nosebleed on the ball. I can see why he played because Xhaka played over the international break as did Elneny but Santi-Coquelin is a poor pivot. Two players attempting to do the job of one. Xhaka-Elneny would be what I’d start.

    Neither Ox or Theo are creative. The latter at least can use his off the ball movement to run in behind. Wasn’t helped by Özil having one of his worst games for the club. Perez really lacked any kind of service but I think he’d improve if flanked by Iwobi and Alexis.

    Would like to see this tomorrow:
    Bellerin Mustafi Kos (if fit) Monreal
    Elneny Xhaka
    Alexis Özil Iwobi

    Ox and Theo would be better as impact subs. Same with L’Oreal.

  53. DivineSherlock


    You agree with the sentiments here ? I thought it was very Unlike Arsene against Southampton , he rotated his midfielders . Gave Alexis , Xhaka rest . It was very crap football yes , but we came away with 3 points . Now we face PSG with near full strength squad

  54. peanuts&monkeys

    Marcus Rashford. What a player! seriously. There would be thosands and thousands of boys who would fall in love with ManU for this boy. Is there an explanation with anyone why Arsenal has not been able to land a boy even half as good as this? With Ibra, Martial, Memphis and Rooney around, this was a unique opportunity for a club like Arsenal (who has not had a young star/who has not had striker since 2011) to get this boy in. But Alas! this fossilised evil manager would not want to do business with Mourinho.

  55. Romford Ozil Pele

    RSPC, yeah mate. Dropped points in the first two games by not having our signings ready in time. We’ve got a decent list of winnable fixtures now (although no league game is easy) so really need to start picking up points because once a Pep team gets infront they’re almost impossible to catch.

  56. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Your Comment Here

    Ron also

    I agree about coq, his play is a bit of a let down whilst in possession , however he does have a way of geeing up,those around him ?
    Not sure that warrants a place In the team ?

    I agree

    Let’s give el an gran a run in the team ….at least till the next international break in three weeks..

  57. DivineSherlock

    Here is a significant stat . Cazorla has already surpassed his goal and assists(4) tally from last season (3). Mustafi made the most number of passes (84) than any other Premier League player .

  58. Romford Ozil Pele

    Divine, for sure. Maybe I’m being a bit too harsh because the game came after a two week international break where our best players were away. But I guess I’m just comparing us to City and they look a good level ahead. Obviously it’s good we got the win but if Santi hadn’t have gotten that pen last minute it’d been really bad. I can see why he rested Xhaka and Alexis. But partnerships are important. Neither Theo or Ox are combination players and they aren’t creative either so this left Lucas isolated a lot of the time.

  59. Romford Ozil Pele

    RSPC, just a passion merchant to me. Nothing more than a squad player. Great energy but doesn’t help us to be cohesive when going forward. Would rather Elneny there for me.

    If Kos isn’t fit then just play Holding mate. We have enough CBs now that we don’t need to be playing players out of position.

  60. peanuts&monkeys

    The biggest shame for Arsenal fans should be Vardy not wanting to join them even after triggering his release clause and paying him what he is getting at Leicester. Had Wenger not been the manager – even if it was Howie – Vardy would have joined.

  61. DivineSherlock


    City are the frontrunners for sure but the way I see it Wenger does look like hes planning a long game . I remember Sanchez being played forcibly upfront in his first season , He could’ve easily played him & Xhaka back in the game . We had no fluidity in our game I agree , but I dont like the Coquelin bashing going on here , he is very good at what he does that is break up play , tackles and stuff . So for doing what he did against Southampton and taking criticism is unfair . Ox and Walcott will get dropped soon , I am sure . We will know it by the PSG game.

  62. tunnygriffboy


    Fair enough comment. Worth having a look at an article on ” 7 am kick off” about the way Wenger is looking to play and why he bought Xhaka, Perez and why he kept Walcott. Also explains why Ozil is so important in this

    Just gives a different view from the article Pedro has put up and it’s an interesting comparison to look at


    Delighted with the win but not the performance. We will get better. Interesting to not when man u won in last minute v Hull there was a completely different reaction in the press

    Like your team. It’s the midfield I’d go for. Even though Santi was excellent on Saturday I’d go for the extra legs of Elneny to counter Verratti and Matuidi. We need to look after Santi. He can’t play every game

    I think he’ll go for the experience of Giroud with Lucas on the bench. The next time Perez starts will be the CC match

    Hope to goodness the Don is ok and his face not too badly damaged.

  63. Bishop

    People quick to judge Perez based on 45mins forgetting he was been flanked by OX the moron and Walcott mr hot and cold.

    Put Sanchez and Iwobi and it’s a different ballgame

  64. sam

    Vardy said it was easy decision to turn down Arsenal
    When you really read Vardy lips ( I prefer Rebekah Vardy’s lips actually)
    He really meant its not easy to fill the boot left by Henry. He’s better off retiring as Legend for a tiny club in Midland

    Honest lad now lets move on

  65. sam

    the usual cunts want to make it like a big blow Vardy said no to Arsenal,
    Maybe he enjoys relegation dogfights, something we never had at Arsenal fc
    They are having one soon so good luck to him

  66. LegendMax

    Mystic….bang on. I agree with you .
    wenger’s playing style or lack of it is not bringing the best out of our players.

    but it’s not his fault ox and Theo are still playing garbage after 5 plus years. individually, regardless of wengers poor tactics and system, they should be playing much better if they really had it in them

    tyag I’m not champagne Charlie. that’s almost an insult mate.

  67. Frank Mc

    Legend but it’s Wenger’s fault for hanging on to them for so long, for not selling either of them and rewarding Walcott with a bumper deal…..