Can we talk about Petr? | Does our lack of system really matter?

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Say it quietly, or loudly… but there’s something up with Petr Cech.

The saviour of our goal last season is fast slipping into a pool of bad form so deep, you could probably hash together a video of his nasties.

Maybe he’s not used to playing in a team that’s so defensively fragile. Maybe his helmet plays games with his balance. Whatever it is, he’s making the prospect of David Ospina look tantalising, which is shocking in itself, even though there are many who sit in firmly in his fan club because he consistently makes a 7 course meal out of most things that come his way.

You look at the challenges Manchester City had in the same position, and the way they dealt with it and you wonder why Arsenal haven’t at least attempted something similar.

Our approach to defence is to press high up the pitch. I mean, surely that can be the only reason Coquelin is so far up the pitch with everyone all the time. Kamikaze defensive units could probably do with a Bravo / Neuer style keeping system. Petr Cech on the ball looks like a great uncle joining the boys for a kickabout 9 pints deep at a family gathering. He’s big into that Cruyff turn at the moment, learnt off the awful Szecseny.

Anyway, some work to be done on the Czech’s form for sure. I think Arsene Wenger could have kept a clean sheet against Hull. Shocking a star name of ours couldn’t. Factor in that freekick he tipped onto his back last week and some of the mistakes last season toward the back end… well, he’s either not motivated to perform, or his heading into the decay years very young.

A few people thought Coquelin had a superb game yesterday. He made 100 touches and completed 110% of them, made many slide tackles and interceptions. I look at him through a different lens (one that isn’t playing an awful 10 man Hull). Like what he’s supposed to do for the shape of the team, where he’s supposed to cover, where we need him collecting the ball.

Feel like we’re going to get into a Denilson type argument about him this season… He’s a good player, but he’s not what we need. Pep Guardiola wouldn’t have him sitting in that role, that’s for sure.

Pep Guardiola made a massive statement yesterday saying KDB was up there with the best players he’s ever manager.

“He makes everything. Without the ball he’s the first fighter, and with the ball it’s clear he sees absolutely everything. He decides what he has to do in the right moment every single time.

“Sometimes you have to pass with the first touch, sometimes you have to control. Sometimes you have to attack the ball. Every time he makes the right decision.

“I am lucky, we are happy. Hopefully he can enjoy with us to play his amazing football.

“He is one of [the best players I have managed]. Messi can sit alone in the table, it’s not allowed anyone else, but in the table beside, Kevin can sit there, there’s no doubt.”

It’s this sort of comment you read and you look at our superstars and how little we get out of them in return. Ozil is a world class passer of the ball, but does he give you all the other bits you need to be truly world class?

Same with Alexis, there’s a beast inside his mind, but it’s not a focused one. I don’t think either players are particularly well drilled on what they’re supposed to be doing. Our system is so basic it’s unreal. The new Premier League is starting to highlight how loose we are defensively. Players don’t really know when to press, when to drop, how to build shape fluidly moving forward. Arsene Wenger works on the *hope* that good players can figure it out.

… and look, they often can. But now there are lots of good teams in the Premier League. So you need to be a bit more strategic. You need to have a bit more flexibility to change things up. You need to move with the times.

Eddie Howe kind of showed he had a lot to learn yesterday after being drubbed by City. Slaven Bilic is also off to an absolute shocker. You can say it’s unfair to suggest Bournemouth should be playing well against MEGA TEAM CITY, but look, Tuchel was going toe-to-toe with Bayern when he was at Mainz. Playing a big team means you have to work out a plan to take them down. Stifle them. Confuse their play. Howe did not do that yesterday.

I took in the Dortmund game. Zorc and Tuchel have pulled off a summer masterclass. They’ve shipped out top talent and raised the bar with the names they’ve brought in. Dembele is raw unadulterated talent, his turn of pace is unreal to watch. Guerrero looks an absolute steal from Lorient drifting in and out of play, constantly buzzing balls into the front men whilst also offering an attacking threat of his own. Pulisic, a very classic looking winger, at 17, looks immense… The whole team has style, a smart pressing game, beautiful intricate passing and an excitement I’d kill for at Arsenal.

Staying with the German league… Serge Gnabry smashed home and incredible volley. He looks on fire. Is he going to be our KDB? Looking that way. Especially upsetting as we’re still suffering away with Theo Walcott and The Ox.

Also, over to Spain, everyone shitting their pants that Simeone is going to leave at the end of the year. Where is he going to go? Everyone has a pretty good coach? OH MY IMAGINE. We’re the last of the giants… Fingers crossed Chelsea don’t lob out Conte to make way for a hotter crazier coach.

We’ll learn a lot this summer. Who do Arsenal ‘really’ want to be over the next ten years? Champions of the world? Or the sort of club that wants to do things on the cheap in the desperate hope that ‘maybe’ a trophy might drop. Is Stan a ‘let it tick over’ kind of guy, or was he being truthful when he said he wanted to win things?

The worry is we’ve been sold to a man who is more interested in the portfolio winning, over his clubs. Which would be beyond sad…

But hey, look, we’re up to 3rd in the league, 5 points off the top… behind Everton, who look like they might have made a next level jump under Ronald Koeman… who knows how to defend!

It’s an exciting league this year. It’s exciting all over Europe to be honest. Good footballing times are being had everywhere!

Nottingham Forest next. Xhaka and Elneny might get a run out. Bring the class out for the big games, amirite?


401 Responses to “Can we talk about Petr? | Does our lack of system really matter?”

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  1. Wenker-wanger

    Jose not getting it right lately…,he needs to face off with Wenger to restore his winning streak!
    Big up to Watford, scoring for fun lately. Interesting prem so far.

  2. rollen

    So Ozil Coq and Petr was problem yesterday?
    Do you guys even watch games?
    How many 100% chances Theo and Alexis wasted?
    Santi Theo and Alexis had worst games than Ozil and Francis.

  3. karim


    Sorry for the late answer, Lacazette is currently injured but that’s minor.
    He’s had a great start to the season to be fair and I agree he could have helped us a lot.

    Vote leave

    I didn’t like the sulky attitude on Tuesday to be honest and as far as I’m concerned, any player can be subbed, you have to respect the players who’ve been waiting on the bench for 2/3 of the game as well.
    Especially if you haven’t performed that well.

  4. rollen

    Now Ramsey is the solution.
    You make Wenger WC tactician.
    When we drop Ozil there will be zero creativity in this side.
    Ozil is not all action hero and will never be one no matter how much you guys cry about it. He is a assist machine in team without decent finisher and any movement.
    Getting 19 assist in this team is big achievement. Only bad ting about Ozil he himself is not great finisher.

  5. BacaryisGod

    I’m going to make a bold early prediction that Lucas Perez doesn’t last more than two years with us, and quite possibly heads back to Spain after one year.

    Giroud, Welbeck and Alexis are all ahead of him at CF and Theo, Iwobi, Alexis, Welbeck, Ramsey and Ox are all ahead of him on the flanks. Joel Campbell is 90% out but still on our books too. There’s also the Jeff coming through fast.

    The only thing that might keep Lucas here is if we Alexis doesn’t renew and we have to sell him in the summer or if we offload Ox and Joel.

  6. Akilan

    Ozil is the best player in the squad or one of the best. He’s been quiet for a while but nowhere near shite. For those who think he should dribble past 3,4 players and score, he’s never gonna do that. He should buckle up and shoot more and it’s baffling how he is such a poor finisher given his ability. But I don’t think there’s much difference between a dribbling no10 and a passing no10. I don’t have a problem with the Ozil way of playing. He rarely loses the ball and always tries to move it. Against PSG, some of his ridiculous one touch lay offs were repeatedly wasted by coq, ox and Alexis. Playing without a focal point isn’t helping his passing either. Instead of dropping the playmaker, we should try to play with a striker. Hope Lucas scores against Forest so that he comes into the manager’s plan at least. It’s pathetic even for arsene to continue with Alexis as our cf.

    Santi did play the 10 at Leicester and was pretty poor. Would rather not play a 10 at all if we have to drop Ozil. Ramsey at 10? You’re joking right… He shouldn’t be in the playing 11 at all. May be in a 433 as third cm, if both ozil and santi are unavailable.

  7. karim

    Hope you’re right cuz it’s Chelsea next week.
    Can’t help thinking he won’t have much of an influence unfortunately.
    Wish him well but he’s already disappointed me a couple of times too many.

  8. BacaryisGod

    Absolutely right Rollen.

    The anti-Ozil brigade are idiots. He’s been remarkably injury-free (touch wood) for club and country for several years.

    I love how people want to go after one of our few world-class players. Just like Ozil, the team is slowling hitting its groove after an ugly start. Losing 4-3 at home to Liverpool was probably a good wake-up call. I think the team we have at the end of the season will look very different to the Liverpool version:

  9. BacaryisGod

    As for Chelsea, if we think Cech is creaking then the same applies to some of his teammates.

    Terry, Ivanovic, Fabregas all slowing down and Cahill looks five years older than he should.

    BUT, I think it will be a mistake to play with Coquelin high up as we did vs Hull. We can afford that against teams like Hull but not with players like Hazard, Oscar, Costa and Willian.

    The Chelsea game is ripe for a counter-attacking line up. Here’s what I think we will do (or at least should do)

    Back Four unchanged but have Coquelin and Xhaka sitting in front of the defence and not press high up. Let them come to us and we’ll try to hit them on the break.

    Front 4 of Alexis, Iwobi, Ozil and Giroud

    We will definitely need Giroud for set pieces. It will be a tight game and could easily be decided by a free-kick or corner.

    I think we’ll need to rest Santi on this one but if he does play with Coq then they should both be deeper rather than just one of the two.

    I can see a tight game with Chelsea, maybe a 0-0, 1-1 or 1-0 either way.

  10. Vote leave

    The reason ozil has a good injury record is that he doesn’t exert himself physically
    How do you grt injured if you just trots around passing the ball sideways?
    There is plenty of creativity in the side
    Xakha cazorla Ramsey alexis
    Theo’s crossing has been delightful
    Yiure acting as though we can’t score goals without ozil.
    I’m not saying drop him completely
    I’m saying try another option
    We cannot rely on one man
    Especially when that man is not exactly the playmaker we need and all hoped he would be.
    Let’s see
    Maybe with a front 3 of Walcott alexis and giroud/Perez he may have more runners to aim at and maybe he will spark into life but I’m still of the opinion that a no10 is there to add the spark to the team not the other way around.
    Coutinho doesn’t need Suarez to run a game
    Neither does gotze or silva or modric or mata or payet
    They all go out and make things happen
    They drive the rest of the team on. They don’t just wait around for a deep runner looking like they’d rather be in the bath

  11. gnarleygeorge9

    I wonder what the odds are on Maureen getting the size 12 Doc Martins up the naught b4 Xmas. Don’t worry about Pogpoo being a world record signing. Maureen might be the 1st manager to bitch to his suger daddy to spend a £1,000,000,000 in less than 12 months on transfers.

    I reckon she didn’t have her glasses on when he signed Pogpoo, he thought it said Drogba on the form 🙂

  12. The Godfather

    Ozil world class? ROFLMAO …..

    World class players Carry their teams …. This sloth has been carried by Arsenal throughout his career.

    Season 1 was Ramsey’s purple patch season.

    Season 2 was all Alexis.

    Last season with Alexis and Santi out for extended periods, did Ozil lift his game once the years changed? Nah couldn’t hack it. World class players take the challenge and life their teams.

    Would this team miss Ozil if he wasn’t there? Hell no. It would actually give us more balance and structure as we wouldn’t have a drifting tart on the field who couldn’t be bothered.

    Santi, Iwobi or even Alexis could easily fill the playmaking role and allow the central deeper roles to be occupied by El Neny, Xhaka and Le Coq.

  13. Vince

    At this point in time I will sell Ozil and buy any of Javier Pastore, Hakan Calhanoglu or Dimitri Payet. We can’t afford to build our team around a nothing player.

  14. rollen

    You guys deserve Wenger as manager forever, no clue about football.
    Ozil was always this type of player. Why did we bought him? Why everyone was so happy like DB10 again?

  15. Mick Kartun

    Santi – Xhaka – Elneny – midfield three might be better option with front three of Iwobi – Sanchez – Walnut.

    Might actually work with 4-3-3:


    Bell Mus Kos Mon

    Elneny Xhaka Santi

    Walnut Sanchez Iwobi

  16. Shaun Wilson

    I too wish that Ozil would leave the club, like many misguided folk on this site. I wish he would leave because someone of his consumate abilities and vision should not be squandering his gifts with this bunch of journeymen managed by a hopelessly adrift sad old relic. I think that it’s inevitable that his performances are suffering when you consider the absolute lack of any other player even close to his abilities in this team. He is not and has never been a ‘Roy of the Rover’s’ type player (apologies to our younger viewers here!) critics on this site should realise that. He must love London life and our money, I can’t think of another reason he stays here.

  17. Doctore

    some very shocking comments here this morning,sell Ozil for Pastore or Hakan? Even Payet doesn’t even come close to Ozil when you talk of creative vision on the pitch.

  18. gonsterous

    Too much ozil bashing. The solution Is always to sell and buy someone for you lot. How about we start selling deadweights like ox and wilchair as well as get in a better striker before we get to ozil !! Also there’s a thing called losing form in football ( look it up people )
    And in my opinion Sanchez loses the ball more often than ozil. Sell ozil and you will see how quickly Sanchez will want to follow out the door !!

  19. The Iceman

    LOL at ‘football supporters’.

    Sell Ozil our best player?

    The player that creates the most chances?

    The player that runs the furthest?

    The player that links midfield and attack?

    The player that has the most passes?

    The player that help control the game with those passes?

    Cluesless fucking idiots.

    I bet half of you clowns have never even played a proper game of football to appreciate what he actually brings to the table.

    It’s ok though sell the cunt cos he doesn’t score or assist every game.

  20. The Iceman

    Of all the problems in our squad let’s sell fucking mesut Ozil…what a bunch of thick fuckers.

    While we’re at it why don’t we sell Sanchez, xhaka and kos?

    Form is temporary class is permanent. Even though he hasn’t even played badly or been anonymous.

  21. OleGunner

    We’d be mad to let Ozil go.
    Grovers wanting him gone for players like Pastore is hilarious.

    The guy isn’t at top form but he’s not playing shit either, we need him in our team.

    He’s shown what insane ability he has last year with 19 assists!
    And that was with sweet fuck all front options to work with.

    There’s more deserving candidates to ship off like Wilshere and Chamberlain.
    Selling Ozil is quite literally insane.

  22. arsene's used sock

    our problem right now is that we have to play a 4-2-3-1 to accommodate ozil while having no backups for the position, sure santi or iwobi could play there, maybe even ramsey but i really don’t think he is a #10, and i feel our personnel would be better suited to a 4-3-3.

    do we need ozil? on the evidence of last season i would have to say we do but i do think if he doesn’t find form and arsene decides to try the 4-3-3 with any combination of xhaka, elneny, cazorla, ramsey, or coquelin that he’ll stick with it for the season and either wait for özil to adapt to it or sell him in the summer.

    i will echo my agreement that ozil doesn’t have the drive to push the team forward on his own and he requires the team to be on form around him, or perhaps just the attacking 3 that play ahead of him.

    some displays from last season might make me say otherwise if i see those kinds of games again this season, i don’t recall who but there was a game we were struggling to play out from the back and ozil dropped deep to facilitate the team, he looked like a 20yo cesc making the team click, but it was just one game.

    i also need to hold my hand up on iwobi, on first impression i didn’t believe he had the technique to succeed at arsenal while having all the other attributes required, but he’s proven me wrong and i’m quite delighted to be proven wrong.
    hoping arsene knows when to take him out of the spotlight but with chamberlain and walcott as backups i feel arsene will be forced to play the boy as often as possible.

    hoping for a breakout season from adelaide and two starts for zelalem, i rate zelalem as a midfield conductor but i feel he would need to have the protection of xhaka and coq/elneny to not get shown up defensively.

    perez will likely not make it at arsenal, and it’s certainly not the curse of the #9 that would restrain him, he simply isn’t a good finisher.

    looking back at the transfer window i do have to wonder why gnabry was let go, more so than campbell, perhaps the german fa insisted that he either be given first team games or arsenal sell him to a German club as they do reckon he is a marvellous prospect.

    if the ox doesn’t kick on this season then he should definitely be shown the door, iwobi is better than him, walcott can at the least find the net and there’s likely some kid in the u21’s that can preform better than him.
    if campbell comes back from this loan spell without being bought then the ox should 100% be sold, if not loaned out for two seasons to a premier league club.

    our fullback situation is so fragile too, gibbs is a half decent backup for monreal but he is by no means the successor to the lb slot, arsene needs to find someone better.
    right back should fine for the season, holding can cover if debuchy is unmotivated or bellerin is injured,
    i really do fear we will lose bellerin for some lengthy amount of time this season and our right side will struggle to replace the value he brings in attack, but we should have a decent line-up of replacements that can do a job in the position if that so happens.

    cech needs to be rested for a while, silly to play him after he’s crashed his car in the parking lot after shipping 4 goals, take him out the team for a month, protect him from the media, and then put him back in with the instruction to do better than ospina.

    otherwise, I’m not particularly worried about this team failing in the league, just have to pray to all the deities that arsene gets his team selection right cause he won’t give any tactical instructions to whoever he puts on the field.
    hoping for first, allow me this dream

  23. arsene's used sock

    the thing about ozil is that if he isn’t racking up assists or making key passes, then what is he doing?
    he doesn’t defend, he prefers to find a pass instead of scoring, so his contribution is one dimensional (delightful touches of the ball aside).

    he also forces us to play with a cam in the formation and like I’ve said i don’t think our personnel is suited to that formation (regarding our midfielders), regardless for as long as he is here and we play 4-2-3-1 he will be a key player, but our defence will continue to struggle imo.

  24. arsene's used sock

    the flipside to the 4-3-3 argument is that i don’t think our midfield is smart enough for it, xhaka might correct that but it likely won’t click without him in the team and then we’re back to the cesc years where losing him means we win no games while he’s injured.

    i very much would like to skip to the end of the season to see who wins out the battle for positions in the midfield trio, arsene is spoiled for choice but i cant see him getting it right for long before we lose a key player to injury

  25. Emiratesstroller

    Manchester City have a 5 point lead over us after 5 games and that is I am afraid self inflicted, because had the club better planned the start of its season this could have been avoided.

    No club should be going into the first game of the season ‘missing’ more than half their first team whether through extended holidays or the lateness of their transfer business. Frankly it will be very difficult to claw back this deficit, because I do think that Man City will be difficult to beat this season, because
    of the resources in their squad.

    Also I think that Tottenham Hotspur will be in the frame, because they have a
    settled squad and team.

    Arsenal are still making some rather strange decisions in their team selections in midfield and up front.

    Wenger is picking Coquelin and Cazorla in deep lying midfield positions. Personally I don’t see Cazorla as a starting eleven player particularly when we are
    playing “pressing and counterattacking” teams.

    Coquelin is not half as bad as some who post on LG may believe, but I have some difficulty understanding the role he is supposed to be playing. If you are going to play DMF then you should be expected to keep on station at all times. If you are a box to box player then I think that you need a better skill set than Coquelin offers.

    Xhaka as I have suggested on several occasions offers more than both Coquelin and Cazorla. He may not be the quickest player on the planet, but he
    has excellent positional sense and also superior passing skills if you want someone to pass the ball accurately more than 5 yards.

    The striker position in the team remains as ever a mystery. Giroud has been
    our first choice for three seasons despite much criticism. There was a huge clamour for his replacement and we recruited Perez. Yet neither now plays and we persist with Sanchez who is not someone that I would pick for team in
    that position.

    The so-called ‘super agent’ of Pogba made a criticism yesterday about Arsenal
    and the Manager suggesting that the club were frightened of spending big money on players.

    In the case of Pogba I have to agree on this occasion that spending a world record fee and wages on this player would be a mistake. Pogba may be a very good player, but he is not a match winner and if you are going to spend that amount of money that is what I would want Arsenal to spend that sort of money on.

    Arsenal spent just under £70 million on two decent players in Xhaka and Mustafi. Neither is a mega star, but they will hopefully improve our team.
    It should fill two of the three major holes in our team.

    The largest hole remains as ever the striker position, but it is also the most problematic, because very few such players are scoring consistently goals
    over three or four seasons. The small number that exist are like gold dust
    and very difficult to dislodge.

  26. Vince

    Stop calling people’s opinion shit. If I think I’ll rather have Payet, Calhanoglu or Pastore in place of him it’s my opinion. You can ignore it. You can’t change it. Some of us think he has amazing technique and shows it once in every 5 games but prefer others that will graft and have better skillset as it pertains to dribbling, shooting and deadball relevance. I rather a playmaker that has a little of everything that a playmaker should possess rather than a player who is irrelevant without his assists. Deal with it.

  27. Leedsgunner

    Let’s not look for problems where there isn’t any.

    Would Özil strengthen our rivals? Yes. Therefore all this talk of selling Özil is silly. I think people want Özil to be something he is not… and never has been (ie. like Xhaka) an all action shoot on sight hero. Before blaming Özil, in the next game he plays — watch what he does off the ball and the space he creates for his team mates with his pin point passing…

    We need to keep our best players not sell them.

  28. Black Hei

    Btw, did Peds realise that Coquelin isn’t our deepest lying mid?

    Coquelin is the guy playing ahead of Carzola as a shield for Carzola himself. Carzola is our deep lying playmaker.

    Coquelin’s job is to win possession when we do not have the ball by pressing high up the pitch.
    This requires him to anticipate the state of play when in possession and to be there when we lose it.
    I think he does that really well.

    Xhaka in contrast is a bona fide deep lying playmaker. If he gets into the squad, we will move Carzola into Coquelin’s position but with a different set of instructions.

  29. Leedsgunner

    Am I the only person that sees the next game against Nottingham Forest as a complete distraction?

    I hope we play a fringe players/youth side — if we get through with them great… if we don’t… no great loss. The EPL game against Chelsea is where we should we be focussing our energy and our best players.

    When are Ramsey, Jenkinson and welbeck due back? We could have used them for a game like this…

  30. Emiratesstroller

    Black Hei

    As I have said I think that Xhaka should be playing in the starting lineup.

    Coquelin should be competing with Ramsey when fit for the second midfield position. The selection should depend on the opposition we play.

    Cazorla is a very good footballer, but I do not think that he has the physicality or intensity required to play 90 minutes or back to back games. However, if
    you take him out of starting lineup then Arsenal will need to resolve who takes penalties. Messrs Ozil, Sanchez and Xhaka have all missed recently penalties either for Arsenal or National Teams or both.

    Those who advocate that we offload Ozil are plain daft. The grass is always greener on the horizon!

  31. DivineSherlock

    Black Hei

    What a bunch of glowing positive sunflowers we are at Le Grove. After a comfortable 4-1 win, this site is just overflowing with sunny goodness.

    Imagine spending 100million on a player , not to mention buying a big egoistic ST , and Winger who hasn’t yet adapted to PL on big wages in our team and having a big narcissist egomaniac as a manager and losing 3 games in a week .

    Now contrast this with a team who after opening day defeat have bounced back with 3 wins , the last one coming after an CL away tie. There that should help you be little appreciative of our efforts.

  32. Leedsgunner

    “Xhaka in contrast is a bona fide deep lying playmaker. If he gets into the squad, we will move Carzola into Coquelin’s position but with a different set of instructions.”


    Well said thus, for the life of me I don’t understand why Wenger wants to change him into a box to box player. Like I said before we already have a decent one in Ramsey. Keep Ramsey fit and play him in the centre and instruct him to make smart powerful runs for Özil to pick out…

  33. arsene's used sock

    the thing about pogba is that i see no way he can fail at United, might need some time to adjust to the league but I’m pretty sure he will turn out to have been worth the outlay once he starts playing next to carrick or heavens forbid jose brings schweinsteiger back, also after rooney has been dropped from the starting 11.

    my main gripe with the pogba deal is that arsene didn’t try to sign him two or three seasons ago when his value was gettable for us and it was clear as day he was going to make a big splash in the footballing world

  34. DivineSherlock


    Again this is a myth , Cazorla cannot play for 90min . I wonder where you get that data from?
    He just played 3games in a row. He is fit , and his role is to play deep or free the ball when in tight midfield area . Kind of like Iniesta just doing it from deep .

  35. arsene's used sock

    i feel it’s a strategic error for arsene to be relying on cazorla and starting coquelin ahead of either xhaka or elneny, tactically i can’t disagree with it if we get the three points

    i feel we are firstly better balanced when xhaka and elneny play at the base of the midfield, and secondly that cazorla will either start to decline physically during the season or after it and i would rather know what our midfield looks like without him and get the players that will be occupying his position moving forward bedded into the team and system

  36. Emiratesstroller

    Divine Sherlock

    Sorry but I disagree Cazorla cannot play 90 minutes in back to back games and indeed was subbed in last two.

    Also Cazorla and Coquelin struggled collectively in PSG game in first half. I am a big fan of Cazorla, but I don’t think that he is now a starting lineup player.

  37. TallestTiz


    I wonder whats up with Debuchy.
    Also I can imagine a feud between Alexis and Santi at half time after the penalty miss.
    Tuesday should see Ospina, Debuchy(wonder where he is at), Holding, Gabriel, Gibbs, Xhaka, Elneny, Rambo/Ozil/Iwobi/Santi, Ox, Perez, Aunty Giroud

  38. du vi

    The reason why this team collapses from an attacking standpoint against opposition with any semblance of decent technique is that in starting with Walcott and Ozil each game begins with a deficit of minus 2.Anyone with any modicum of football intelligence realises that because the manager feels obligated to start him game in game our attacking play is always lethargic Iwobi Sanchez ,Cazorla, and Coquelin all have to carry him and make up for his many deficiences!!!!!In any other Top 5 club in the Premiership he would have been shipped out after his first season

  39. du vi

    But arsenal and a vocal minorityof its English domiciled fan base live in a fools paradise and keeping telling us his great A logic that i have since come to rationalise as being steeped in a feeling of gratitude that a Madrid player deemed the club worthy to come on play in……

  40. DivineSherlock


    He was subbed cause he was on a yellow and later got a warning. Precautionary sub . Nothing to do with his fitness.

  41. Rambo Ramsey

    Emiratesstroller, complain about Cazorla’s diminishing physical attributes but to suggest Xhaka is a superior passer to Cazorla is just nonsensical. Just because Cazorla doesn’t hit hopeful longballs every five minutes doesn’t mean Xhaka is a better passer.

  42. Emiratesstroller


    In both games?

    The real test will come in games against teams like Man Utd and Spurs who
    will play high intensity and physical games against us.

    As I said I consider Cazorla a fantastic player and in his absence we will need to resolve who is a reliable penalty taker. However, I don’t see him as
    a long term starting eleven player this season.

    Sooner rather than later Xhaka must be brought into starting lineup and I
    think that Ramsey when fit will also expect to play as well. This will provide
    Arsenal with a more direct style of football.

  43. Dissenter

    The shit storm is really going to start when Ramsey returns from injury. That’s when Wenger’s brain is going to get frazzled and the bizzare team selections will begin.

    By the way how’s the golden boy doing at Bournemouth?
    I hear he’s been pathetic and was the worst player oj the field yesterday..

  44. DivineSherlock


    Its the experience , Cazorla trumps Xhaka on that . Wenger gave that reason , you know he prefers experience more in that position. I’d rather have Xhaka too in the lineup but Cazorla has demonstrated his fitness and frankly he is a good playmaker.

  45. Rambo Ramsey

    How in the hell do you select two out of Cazorla, Coquelin, Ramsey, Xhaka and Elneny? One of them would need to sit out of the matchday squad altogether. Yikes

    Unless…this is why Wenger is so insistent on playing Sanchez as striker? So that he’ll have the wide role vacant to shoehorn Ramsey into.

  46. Romford Ozil Pele

    Hate the way Wenger is using Coq as a decoy in the build up play. If the ball gets turns over then you’re asking Santi to cover huge swathes of space which is going to leave us so vulnerable. The logic is that by pushing Coq up it opens up good passing angles for the CBs and Santi but you’d be lacking in transition.

    I guess the argument is that Wenger may be using it as a blueprint for when Ramsey returns so he can pair him with Xhaka.

  47. Romford Ozil Pele

    I think people will be impressed with Xhaka the more they watched him. He hasn’t even scratched the surface in terms of what he’s capable of showing yet. There’s a reason he cost what he did. Dude is elite.

  48. Sam

    Good moaning moaners!!!!

    I can see today is consipary theory

    nope, Ramsey and Giroud are now bench players unless we suffer injuries
    Don’t forget that superstitious Wenger doesn’t change a winning team

  49. Ben

    So you want us to get rid of Ozil and buy Pastore, who is older than him and has had one genuinely very good season at Palermo five years ago and a decent one 2 years back? Dude doesn’t score, is not that creative considering the talent in front of him and the general quality of the league.
    I don’t know if you even watch any of those players or you are just throwing about names. There is no way someone who watches the wildly inconsistent Pastore can advocate having him over Ozil.
    Also Calahanoglu is not that creative and aside from his set pieces, doesn’t score enough. He is a talent though.

  50. Bamford10

    Sanchez is a terrible CF, but given our other choices, playing him there might actually be our best option. If we play him through the center, I’d play Walcott and Iwobi wide. At least then we have pace and movement across the front three.

  51. Micheal

    The Under 23s/Academy have a game against Everton tonight which will give a good indicator who plays at Forrest tomorrow. If Zalalem, Aliadiere, etc are in the side tonight, they are unlikely to figure tomorrow.

    Against Forrest, I think we will go;

    Debuchey Holding Bielik (Gabriel) Gibbs
    Xhaka Elneny
    Oxlade Iwobi Lucas

    Depending who plays for U-23s, I would have Akpom, Zalalem and Willock on the bench and given decent run-out.

  52. Romford Ozil Pele

    Nah leave Iwobi man. We need a player like him. A retainer in the final third. Bring in Jeff or Chris Willock for the Forest game. If L’Oreal is back play him and Lucas wide but I really wanna see Lucas up top for a stretch.

  53. Bamford10


    Ozil may be our most talented player, but he has no shot and he has no battle; he rarely if ever beats defenders off the dribble, and he rarely does anything exceptional.

    Most of the time he drifts about, playing the simplest of passes and affecting the game not in the slightest. What did he do against PSG? Nothing. What did he do against Hull? Nothing. A great #10 tries to affect each and every game he plays in, tries to do something special each and every games he plays in. Not Ozil.

    Talented player, yes, but not one of the greats. Not even close.

  54. Romford Ozil Pele

    Bamford, he has no shot or he doesn’t shoot? There are various examples of him scoring great goals in his career. I don’t understand why he doesn’t shoot more tbh. Also the dribble thing is also BS as I posted last week many videos of him running past people.

    If you truly think he’s made it to the top of world football by playing simple nothing passes and not affecting the game then I don’t really know what to tell you. This is a player that starts for the world champions and who Mourinho said there’s no other copy of him. Who Klopp said everyone would love to have him in his team. Who Xavi and Iniesta said he was the player he feared most at Madrid. His ability isn’t in doubt IMO. You could argue the merits of why Wenger isn’t getting more out of him but his ability isn’t in question and I’ll argue that until the cows come home.

  55. Romford Ozil Pele

    Bamford, what’s weak about it? Özil isn’t a matchwinner but I’ve said that numerous times on here. He isn’t a dictator of a game but I’ve said that numerous times too. A player wouldn’t have his success if you think he has as many limitations as you do. What you deem weak/limited is purely subjective unless you can prove it, no?

  56. Red&White4life

    “Özil isn’t a matchwinner”
    Yes but I was hoping that he would show more hunger for trophies, but it seems that he’s only interested by money and good life in london.

  57. Leedsgunner

    This might have been answered already… but why oh why didn’t Cazorla take the penalty? I didn’t watch the game so I initially thought that Cazorla had been subbed off but if he was still on the pitch — why didn’t he take it?

    Nice that Alexis is hungry but if you’re going to step up and take it away from the natural penalty taker, make sure you put it away!!!

    Switching focus… Is it unacceptable to say I don’t really care about this match with Nottingham Forest? I want Wenger to rotate and keep our strongest team for Chelsea.

    The only regular first teamers I would play from the weekend against versus Forest is Theo, Oxlade and Giroud — just because they are such confidence players… Theo plays in spurts — when he is in good confidence, he goes and scores a lot in a few games and then disappears for a while.

    I heard Ramsey is training again… if he can play I would play him.

    Debuchy Holding Bielik Gibbs



    Rest Sanchez, Özil, Bellerin, Mustafi, Kos, Iwobi…

  58. BigCheese

    We need Ozil so much more than he needs us. Let him hand in a transfer request then we’ll see how much he’s worth.

    All this talk of him being shit is ridiculous. Look at the Leicester game – they defended in 2 banks of 4 all game and we just couldn’t do jackshit. Ozil comes on and all of a sudden he’s finding space by dragging opposition players out of position. We end up making more chances in those 15 minutes than the entire time before.

    This is the problem with the Premier League – unless a player is huffing and puffing and running around like a lunatic then he’s shit and lazy.

    For me he’s not a number 10 and his performance is much more than assists and goals. His position is more like Iniesta’s at Barcelona. Dictate from deep and the middle and let the front line do the rest.

    Unfortunately where one has Neymar, Suarez and Messi the other has Alexis, Theo and The Ox.

    This is why I can’t fathom why Xhaka doesn’t play so much. It removes the burden of Ozil having to go deep when space is at a premium. Xhaka’s range of passing is filthy and would free up Ozil to go weave his magic in the final third AND perhaps get on the end of things like he did at Watford.

    Far from being lazy I’d say the opposite – Ozil is trying too hard to create and score because our front line is crap. How many times has he started a move with a deft touch or pass then move into the final 3rd to do something but the ball is passed fucking sideways by Coquelin or backwards by Monreal? Or a bad touch from Alexis to Walcott?

    Naturally I’d look pissed off too.

  59. Paulinho

    There seems to be no in-between with Ozil – either he is incredible or a waste of space.

    I think we’ve seen the best of him, and at nearly 28 he is never going to fulfill this mythical potential; never going to actually score enough goals, never is he going to influence the game in general play more than he does. I wouldn’t be averse at all to selling him.

    However, he is incredibly useful player to have in the squad and probably has the best dead ball delivery in football – even in open play situations. Just needs to stop being seen as automatic starter because there are players offer more in certain matches.

    He can’t be an elite player when you know for pretty much certain he’s going to do jackshit in general play against top sides 90% of the time. It’s almost expected he will do nothing – even his most ardent fans give him a pass for that. “That’s Ozil, he’s not that type of player”.

  60. China

    I don’t think it’s a lack of huff and puff that annoys people about ozil, it’s that for 1/3 of a season they forget if he’s on the pitch or not lol

    And it’s certainly true that he’s miles away from our biggest problem – the issue is that we are a team with a few issues and we don’t have the luxury of allowing those with genuine world class talent like ozil to only show up when he’s in the mood

    It’s not his fault that Wally giroud and ox are in his team – but if they are, he has more than enough ability to help out more than he does in our performances

    Sometimes cesc was playing with bendtner diaby song and denilson but nobody regularly found his contribution to be quiet. Cesc was a player who had the talent but also made it count week in week out

    It’s a compound issue of too much responsibility falls at ozil’s feet to compensate for a lack of world class players around him – and paradoxically the club put him under zero actual pressure to make up the difference with that remarkable talent he has. He knows that so lon as plays a couple of killer balls a game he’s entirely exempt from any form of criticism from the club and most of the fans

    So that leaves him knowing his team mates aren’t good enough and having to compensate whilst being evidently a less than motivated footballer. The manager doesn’t motivate him and the player doesn’t motivate himself beyond said passing

    Wenger should talk to ozil the same way he talked to cesc. Tell them you know the players around them aren’t all that but that they can make the difference and do great things if they act as the focal point of each game. I don’t expect him to play the exact same game as cesc but I do expect a comparable contribution to our performances

    He needs to make his presence known, be involved and use his vast talent to be the difference. The fact that other players are far worse isn’t an excuse for him to be less than he can be. We know ox and Wally aren’t world class so as annoying as they are the expectation will never be there. Ozil has the talent which is why he’s held to higher standards (and so it should be)

  61. STV

    I can understand why some grovers want Ozil out.

    1. They need someone who runs around from minute1 untill the last

    2.They need a creative no.10 to score shit load of goals and make up for the lamp post Giroud, 5 goals in 100 Chamberlain, hapless CF Alexis, and the Lolcott.

    3. They are not able to see how his key passes and would be assists are going wasted because of the clowns in our front line

    4.They want him to defend and tracking back something he’s least capable of.

    5. Theyre dreaded to think abt that 42 m which is “wasted”. Arsenal fans care about money afterall..

    See these are the people who’d call for Iniesta for his ‘lack of goals’, Modric for his ‘lack of physique’ and James Rodriguez for his ‘lack of pace’..

    However they’d love a ‘sterdy’ and ‘robust’ midfielder in Coquelin and praise Ramsey’s ‘work ethic’ all day.

    Enough said! Complete morons..

  62. STV

    I can understand why some grovers want Ozil out.

    1. They need someone who runs around from minute1 untill the last

    2.They need a creative no.10 to score shit load of goals and make up for the lamp post Giroud, 5 goals in 100 Chamberlain, hapless CF Alexis, and the Lolcott.

    3. They are not able to see how his key passes and would be assists are going wasted because of the clowns in our front line

    4.They want him to defend and tracking back something he’s least capable of.

    5. Theyre dreaded to think abt that 42 m which is “wasted”. Arsenal fans care about money afterall..

    See these are the people who’d call out Iniesta for his ‘lack of goals’, Modric for his ‘lack of physique’ and James Rodriguez for his ‘lack of pace’..

    However they’d love a ‘sterdy’ and ‘robust’ midfielder in Coquelin and praise Ramsey’s ‘work ethic’ all day.

    Enough said! Complete morons..

  63. China

    Think of the ozil bashing this way

    Each parent will give their child (and even different children in the same family) different levels of praise and criticism for the same achievements because they’re all going to be different and with different abilities and expectations

    I’ve given kids I’ve taught massive praise for getting only 20% in tests because it was a 10% improvement on their average scores and I’ve given kids 90% and said ‘can do better’.

    That’s what we’re seeing with ozil.

  64. China

    This is why if walnut is anonymous and manages to score one of his instinctive wonder finishes we are more likely to lavish praise on him than ozil for being anonymous but providing the great assist.

    One of them has minimal talent, no brain and low expectations whereas the other is reportedly one of the world’s most gifted players

    Of course the benchmark of a good performance is completely different

  65. China

    I think ozil’s value to our setup may have just increased with the arrival of xhaka.

    Rather than having a singular outlet for killer passing we now appear to have two, meaning that both players can hopefully drag opponents off one another to open up spaces for each other to play those passes

    And if xhaka can actually shoot well from range regularly then those two could have a killer relationship on the edge of the box

    Part of ozil’s issue is that he doesn’t have anyone to share central creative work with. Having someone alongside him who can create really dangerously means that it won’t be so easily to mark ozil out the game



  66. Park Chu-young's left testicle

    Sanogo is in the squad!

    Oi, Yaya – get in the queue behind Sanchez, Giroud, Perez, Walcott and Akpom.

  67. du vi

    Arsenal need to ask themselves how come no club with considerable gravitas ever bids or shows remote interest in “Arsenals” supposedly best player yet these dunces are offering him improved terms on a new contract.

  68. somerandomperson

    The reason Xhaka is not starting is he is not capable defensively. Arsene seems comfortable with Cazorla in the deep position , but as soon as Xhaka came on the midfield shape changed to rigid 4-2-3-1 with Coquelin dropping alongside Xhaka.

    Also Xhaka gets bypassed too easily , in the lead up to the goal he was taken out of the game way too easily. If Xhaka plays we are going to be a counter attacking team , we cannot press or play high up the pitch like we are trying to do.

    But then again Xhaka and Coqueli or Elneny would been good against PSG or other big .

    Not rotating midfield is a big problem. Dont know how long Coquelin and Cazorla are going to be fit.

  69. The Godfather

    Hmm so Iwobi is the team leader in assists this calendar year …. He also leads the team in assists this season even though he has played in only three games.

    So much for our great #10 who plays no defense, wins no 50-50 balls and is terrified to shoot on goal …. But oh well lol.

    I guess other teams know better ….they are after Bellerin and Sanchez but surprisingly can’t be bothered with the supposed best #10 in the world lol