Mesut injury update | Superstar linked to Italian giants | English superkid linked

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*Remember this Instagram filter? Remember, as an Arsenal fan, vowing never to use it again because it had ‘RVP’ in the frame? Old school digital football angst…

Today is going to be a delightful news round-up because there’s very little to bite into as we pull away from this drab international break.

First up, England haven’t been beaten in qualifiers since 2009. That’s despite us having one of the most embarrassing teams in Europe. I really don’t understand why clubs don’t pull the governing bodies to one side and ask them to address this ridiculous song and dance their players have to adhere to during the season. They have all the power, they know it as well… I hear through the grapevine the major CEOs still meet in private in London hotels to discuss taking over the world. Maybe someone could slip my agenda in there… slip a not in the toast rack or something?

Anyway, the qualifiers are next to worthless. The games are of a poor standard. It doesn’t factor in the outrageous workload the players take on in their paid jobs. It’s just a farce. Even the tournaments are dull these days. The quality of football just isn’t there bar a couple of sides…

Even the might Theo can’t be arsed to up his game. Am I right? Yeah, I’m right. That’s why he didn’t play well.

Mesut Ozil had the cheek to look like he’d picked up and injury, BUT FEAR NOT, he’s actually in fine fettle. UNLESS HE IS LYING.

“Thanks for taking care because of my substitution but everything is all right guys,” < Said his Twitter account.


Talking of Mesut, he reckons Iwobi is the blend of Edgar Davids and Jay Jay Okocha. Hmmm?

“Alex reminds me of a mixture of him and Edgar Davids. He’s really strong on the ball, also defensively, but he’s good in front of goal too.

“He’s developing really well and if he continues the way he’s been playing for the whole season, he will enhance his game.

Do what Mesut? Edgar Davids? Did you run out of black players to compare him against? Just call a black guy a white guy… it’s fine. He is a cross breed of Alex Hleb and Tomas Rosicky… but maybe, just maybe, a bit of Bobby Pires from a finishing perspective. Yet to happen, but I feel he has it in him to be that prolific at one point. I love his delicate touch, the way the ball sticks to both feet, the deft movement on and off the ball and the sheer confidence he has at such a young age. I hope he’s given that contract he deserves… a real superstar in the making.

Some cheeky rumours are floating around that Santi Cazorla is talking to Juventus… I have 100% faith that these are just games to wrangle a better contract with Arsenal. Arguably… or not so arguably, he’s been one of our most consistent performers of the last however many years he’s been with us. He’s hitting the final stretch of his career… and Juve are not afraid to bite on older players (Danny Alves), so it’s realistic he might head there if he doesn’t earn what he needs. My concern is less about his contract, more about who we see as the successor? Do we buy in? Have we already bought in? Is there a youth product?

Talk about the perfect segue into the next comment… we’re chasing some WUNDERKID called Matt O’Reilly. He’s ripping it up for the cottagers. Incidentally, I know someone who works in their marketing department… rough job, right? How do you polish that?


‘No John, no’


‘No John, not really’


‘Well done, now go out and mow the grass’

Anyway, good we’re stocking up on the local boys and good to read that the wunderkids these days are from England ENGLAND SHUT UP YOU MUG ENGLAND. You can read more and see the video here.

Also not mentioned in the news this week, but flagged to me by Doug, is that two Arsenal greats recently passed away. Mel Charles was transferred to Arsenal for £42,750 in 1959 after we beat off competition from Spurs and Chelsea (GET IN). He scored 26 goals in 60 games. David Herd was bought for £10k in 1954. Pretty sweet return on the goal front, he was our top scorer for 4 seasons running, banging in 97 goals in 166 appearances. What a POWERHOUSE. Thoughts are with their families, big shout out from the Gooner faithful young and old.

How about a bit of a plug now because I support small businesses and DO NOT ask for a penny. My man Luke over at Art of Football has some new designs in, so if you, like me, have a parent who likes to wear replica shirts… don’t lambast them on your blog, instead, educate them… lead them to the light with stylish attire created in tandem with local artistic talent. They also do lovely prints as well.


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185 Responses to “Mesut injury update | Superstar linked to Italian giants | English superkid linked”

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  1. WengerEagle


    You’re right on Sanchez but tbf to the guy, when he’s on it he brings the best out of all of our players (barring Giroud of course lol). Walcott actually looks like a footballer when he’s paired with Sanchez going forward and his sheer industry and aura gravitates defenders’ attention affording the likes of Ozil and Walcott and Iwobi the space to cause damage.

    Alexis has had a hand in nearly every goal we’ve scored lately, when he’s on-song it elevates us. Downside of course being he’s not the most consistent player in the world and when he goes on one of his seasonal goal droughts and little he tries comes off, we suffer badly.

    I’m not sure if I agree re Ozil though, Real Madrid in 2014/15 actually looked so much better balanced when they played Di Maria as the most advanced player in the 3 in their 4-3-3 than when Ozil was the CAM the seasons before.

    I don’t like the disconnect between Ozil and the pivot, he likes to play in a free role basically as the CF right up the arse of the striker which hurts us in the bigger matches or when we’re playing superior possession sides because he just flitters about when we’re trying to win the ball back and has no virtually no impact on the game.

  2. underrated Coq

    Not liking the noise coming out of the club regarding any of the contractual negotiation stuff.

    Wenger making it all about himself and putting it off until season end–instead opting for the classic ”Judge me in may” for the umpteenth time.

    Gazidis and the rest of the board typically failing to address the situation with any authority. The lack of seriousness regarding succession planning is sad to witness, especially when you compare it to how City go about their business.

    Our two established superstars no closer to signing extensions while the Up and coming superstar is being courted by other top clubs. How can you expect players to commit their futures to the club when there are huge question marks over who may be managing them.

    Cazorla and Mert going public in an attempt to get Arsenal to cough up terms of extension. Would it not be a tragedy if after keeping the likes of Arteta and Rosicky until retirement age, we let these two go in their early thirties?

    Lastly, links to Eddie Howe that just won’t go away. Oh dear God, I hope not. Its got David Moyes mk 2 written all over it. I’d rather see Wenger struggling with his zipper for another season or two if that meant we are able to land someone like Ancelloti.

  3. Pierre

    ““First couple of games of the season allude to this fact. We’ve looked much better since OZIL’s* been in the side. He makes the team play better even if its indirect”

    Agree…. Is it also just a coincidence that Ramsey is out injured during our winning run ….I don’t think so…

  4. Sam

    # Vicky, they aren’t really. I don’t know if you read Swissramble? He’s the Arsenal financial guru and breaks it down really well. I’d advise to read his latest blog. Arsenal’s current cash balance is more than Real Madrid, Barca and Bayern Munich combined: #

    and people still boring us with Van Persie story
    Ozil and Sanchez are not going anywhere, they are the foundation of Los Gunnacticos n more big signings will come.

    Surely their agents know Wenger is loaded n want to twist his arm to pay up
    play hard ball to get some extras from Le tightwad

  5. WengerEagle

    underrated coq

    How are you pal, haven’t seen you here in a while.

    Would be nothing short of a war-crime if Wenger opted against renewing Santi’s contract after fattening up Flamteta’s pockets for years.

    I think you’re being harsh on Eddie Howe, I think he’s a very promising young coach but I agree that he’d be an underwhelming choice when you look at who our rivals have been appointing.

    He needs to manage a 6th-8th place side and achieve something noteworthy before making the jump to a UCL club, tbh he’s taken Bournemouth about as far as they can go already.

  6. Louis Almeida

    WengerEagle, don’t get me wrong. It’s not to slander Alexis. Him and Ozil both have major influences on the side in differing ways. But part of the reason we’re playing much better football this season is because we’ve removed Alexis from the middle third so he doesn’t participate in build-up and Walcott has gone back to being an outlet for the possession-based guys like he was in 2010/11. Part of the reason Alexis at CF functions well is because Walcott always occupies the spaces he vacates and vice versa. If you replaced Theo with Ox, it wouldn’t look anywhere near as good because Ox doesn’t penetrate the final lines like Theo does.

    You can’t really argue against Madrid in 2014/15 because they won La Decima and were great but it sounds a bit disingenuous to me to say they simply one it because Ozil wasn’t there. Madrid won the title against Pep’s Barca with Ozil at #10 and it didn’t seem a problem there. And you could argue that’s a better barometer to judge against as it’s a 38-game season rather than knockout games.

    I do agree that because of how high he likes to play up, which is why you need to play with a controller and a B2B (Alonso-Kheidra/Modric). It’s why I hope we go Xhaka-Elneny long-term but that’s just me. It’s a structural problem but one you can work round because while Ozil is high up, if you win the ball back you’re in the best position to transition. Look at the third goal we scored against Chelsea as an example. It depends how you want to set-up because IMO there is no such thing as a winning formation.

  7. vicky


    Agree with you regarding Isco and James Rodriguez. Draxler is talented but I wouldn’t thrust upon him the role of our chief creator for he is still very young and even inconsistent.


    Many people here like Ramsey but I strongly believe his presence in our starting 11 inhibits our game. It’s no coincidence we are having a good run when he’s not around. Ramsey is not a bad player but he’s not a good fit in our system.


    Yes, we are a cash rich club but my point was more about the way we operate both in the transfer market and giving wages to our players. We’ve always been somewhat conservative and something tells me we won’t offer 2 players 250K per week if the numbers touted in the media are correct.

  8. Louis Almeida

    Underrated Coq, I never said Alexis doesn’t play for the team. I said it’s better that he’s not involved in build-up in the middle third as he takes too long on the ball and doesn’t circulate it quickly enough. Having him up front allows him to use his energy in the best places possible. He can take more risks, knowing that if he loses the ball, we won’t be as susceptible to being countered. Inadvertently, his positioning as a striker also allows him to press the front, coupled with our quick CBs, means we’re able to squeeze the pitch and play in our opponents half most of the time.

  9. Louis Almeida

    Vicky, I wasn’t disputing the way we operate. I frankly disagreed with it and said that we are going to have to break the barrier if we hope to push onto the top level because everyone is getting richer and paying more money, which is why I said we should pay it, whether we think they’re worth it or not.

  10. Sam

    Lets start with Adelaide—Lucas— Chamberlain up front this weekend

    its not a risk coz Cazorla n Coq had a good rest
    a day off for Iwobi, Theo n Sanchez
    the back four stays the same.
    Especially Lucas n Jeff, they need to start playing, I am sure they’ll be fine

  11. vicky

    I agree with Louis on Alexis. In my opinion he is our MVP along with Santi Cazorla but there’s no doubt his habit of trying to do everything on his own hampered our game last season. Worse still was the predictability of his dribbling. Now that he has moved to CF role, our game has become more fluid and we have a pacey outlet compared to Giroud in the opposition third. Credit to Wenger though for switching his role , I didn’t think Sanchez would do better than Giroud as a CF.

  12. underrated Coq

    Hey there, WE. Doing well, I hope?

    I don’t really see what Howe’s all about tbh, the chap knows how to say the right things in the media that’s for certain. But his teams are so-and-so, he’s largely untested and I struggle to come up with any characterization of his management methods, or associate a unique style of play with him.

    If we are going to take a punt, I’d rather it be Koeman than Howe.

  13. WengerEagle


    It’s something I’ll never understand about Sanchez, I don’t know whether he overestimates his own ability on the ball from deep or whether he’s just been instructed to operate there but for me, he always looks ten-fold more dangerous when he’s playing further forward and making penetrating runs in behind the defence even though he doesn’t seem to be too fond of it or quick incisive give and go passes with the likes of Ozil, Walcott, Iwobi, etc. If he kept it simple most of the time he’d be an even better player, a bit like Ramsey in this respect.

    Get the vibe that he actually believes that he’s on the level of his old Barcelona team mates which is good and bad I suppose.

    No I’m not saying that they won the UCL because they replaced Ozil with Di Maria, however it certainly helped, Di Maria was arguably their best player in the latter stages of the competition and they looked so much more balanced and dynamic. That’s a fair assumption with the 38 match test but tbh, Real Madrid and Barcelona both basically win 30+ matches a season every year, they are far stronger than all of the other sides barring Atletico so it pretty much comes down to the 8 or so matches against the top 4-5 teams , didn’t Real Madrid fail to win the league with 99 points in a season?

    In the matches where they didn’t just blitz teams, more often than not Ozil was ineffectual, especially in the UCL. I remember he was totally anonymous home and away to Borussia Dortmund one season and he rarely performed in the Clasico’s.

    That puts a lot of emphasis on Elneny’s role as the glue in our CM, is he really good enough for such a role when you look at the calibre of player’s that we are competing against in Pogba for United, Gundogan for Citeh, Kante for Chelsea, Dembele for Spurs?

  14. freddylekgunner

    “Credit to Wenger though for switching his role , I didn’t think Sanchez would do better than Giroud as a CF”
    Wenger only switched his because there’s lack of quality striker in the team.

  15. Louis Almeida

    I will try and find the stat but there are also a few metrics showing Ozil’s key passes per game, chance creation stat taking a dip since Iwobi came into the team. Not really a bad thing, just means we’re diversifying our threat/sharing the creative workload and being less reliant on one player. It’s better because we always needed more creativity IMO. Last season we did a lot of crosses (natural with the type of striker we used) whereas this season so far it’s non-existent. Also seems that Cazorla has moved back ahead of Ozil to take corners and crossing free-kicks too.

  16. underrated Coq


    ” But part of the reason we’re playing much better football this season is because we’ve removed Alexis from the middle third so he doesn’t participate in build-up ”

    Come on, this is not remotely true. Much of our build up play is going through Alexis this season. He’s been brilliant in dropping deep, receiving the ball from mids and create chances for runners up-field. It was when he was deployed wide that he struggled to utilize his full talent.

  17. WengerEagle


    You’re right re Draxler really, the guy has shown flashes of brilliance in the Champions League and for the German national team but tbh he’s been pretty ordinary in the Bundesliga for a while now which should always be a player’s bread and butter.

    It’s probably combined with crap luck re injuries why he’s 23 and still playing for a relatively lowly side in Wolfsburg. He needs to put together a season of 15 goals + 15 assists before one of the top dogs takes a hefty punt on him, a De Bruyne season basically.

  18. underrated Coq


    ‘I will try and find the stat but there are also a few metrics showing Ozil’s key passes per game, chance creation stat taking a dip since Iwobi came into the team.’

    It has little to do with Iwobi, more to do with Sanchez playing an almost CF-CAM hybrid role. He’s raking up the chances created stats.

  19. Louis Almeida

    WengeEagle, I think Alexis just likes everything to go through him. It’s good that he likes the expectation but unless it’s Messi, I’d rather our play not go through one player. Also with us being more creative this season, there’s no need for him to drop deep and go searching for the ball as in previous seasons. Give and go is always the best football. It’s why Barca and BVB are the best teams to watch IMO. And it’s why I support pro-active teams over reactive teams any day of the week. He’s a great player and has a killer mentality but you’re right, at times he may over-estimate his ability. Neymar, for example, knows when to dribble and when to play give and go.

    I remember that it worked great for them in the CL but their league form was horrendous and they got beat by a lot of mediocre La Liga teams, which handed the initiative to Barca in the title race so the formation definitely wasn’t flawless. I felt the formation was one of the big games rather than one for all seasons. It’s very true that Real/Barca win most of their games which is why the small margins count and I think having a consistent style of play would stand them in better stead rather than just chopping and changing.

    I think like every footballer there were bad and good games. Ozil had many good Classico’s too, a couple where they destroyed Barca on the counter and he was the catalyst.

    I peerosnally like what I’ve seen of Elneny so far but you’re never going to know good a player is unless they play a stretch of games without interruption, no? Kante was given his chance and took it. I like Elneny’s engine and his ability to make himself constantly available for the pass while also covering copious distances. As a pivot I still feel him and Xhaka would be our most balanced, even if a little unspectacular.

  20. WengerEagle

    underrated coq

    Not too bad mate, all well with you?

    Yeah Howe is a bit bland, he’s done a good job at Bournemouth though and an underrated one if anything as he comfortably kept them up in the maiden BPL season without 2-3 of his best players/top summer signings (injured). Wouldn’t say that his team plays sexy football but they are certainly much more ambitious in how they go after teams than the likes of West Brom, Burnley, Hull, Sunderland.

    Like I said, he should look to manage someone like a Southampton before making the step up to UCL football.

    I like Koeman too, did a remarkable job at Southampton. Not like he’s perfect himself though, guy has form in mediocrity himself if you scope out his managerial past.

  21. underrated Coq


    ‘I don’t know whether he overestimates his own ability on the ball from deep or whether he’s just been instructed to operate there but for me, he always looks ten-fold more dangerous when he’s playing further forward and making penetrating runs in behind the defence’

    Really? I have rarely seen Sanchez play off defenders, even less so making runs in behind them. When he restricts his in-field movement and stays up-top, he becomes predictable, erratic and an easy challenge for the defenders. The difference when he was playing wide and now is like night and day and I reckon its all down to the freedom and space.

  22. vicky

    “‘I will try and find the stat but there are also a few metrics showing Ozil’s key passes per game, chance creation stat taking a dip since Iwobi came into the team.’”

    I think Giroud not playing is going to impact Ozil’s numbers a lot. Last season Ozil raked up 19 assists out of which more than 10 were from corners, free kicks and aerial crosses to Giroud from wide. I agree Iwobi is involved a lot in our build up play but I don’t think Ozil would try stuff which Iwobi does- moving nicely in to spaces, releasing nice little short passes evading pressing from opposition. Ozil nowadays doesn’t even attempt to play the way Iwobi does. Not comparing iwobi to Ozil now for Iwobi still has a long way to go but merely stating what Iwobi is doing is over and above what Ozil would have done rather than taking anything away from or restricting Ozil.

  23. Louis Almeida

    Underrated Coq, I don’t think our build-up is going through any particular player. What we’re doing is overloading teams in the middle. Ozil, Iwobi and Cazorla are cutting through lines in the middle which os helping to create space for the likes of Alexis and Walcott. What we’re doing is focusing play down one side and then quickly switching to the outlets where Alexis and Theo have more damage to do space.

    I’m really staggered you don’t think much of Iwobi’s contribution. We’ve been crying out for a retainer/dribbler/creative threat from wide for a while and he has contributed to that and overall helped us to play better football and not rely on one player. According to WhoScored he has 1.4 key passes per game this dribble and averaging just over 1 dribble a game. When you can do that in key areas and help us to overload, circulate better, it will inevitably help the team to create more chances. He has 3 assists to show for it this season. He’s taking up a lot of spaces Ozil usually does.

    All this isn’t to say that Alexis hasn’t done anything. Of course he has and along with Koscielny has been our best player so far this season IMO. But Alexis’ form is a result of our ability to circulate the ball better and allow him to receive the ball in more dangerous positions where he can do the most damage. As is often said, an individual will only function at his best when the collective is running smoothly.

  24. Louis Almeida

    Vicky, I don’t agree and I think it’s disingenuous to say that Ozil only assists from crosses and set-pieces. You adapt to the pieces that are round you. Giroud is the first target man type player Ozil’s ever played with for a period of time. At Madrid he was known for being a through ball specialist but that’s because there were loads of off-the-ball runners. Only Theo really does that at Arsenal whereas all our players prefer to come in behind. Part of the reason Alexis works at CF is because Theo plays very close him so when Theo makes a run in behind, Alexis can either slip him in or go for a dribble himself. Alexis at CF will fall down if Theo gets injured as there will be a lack of movement. It’s why despite it working right now, I’d prefer a more conventional #9 which is why I’m hoping Lucas works.

    I’m shocked because everything you say is what Ozil does, I saw him do the exact for that when he assisted Muller for Germany the other day. In this new remodelled look of what Wenger is trying to do, I think Ozil will be more of a scorer than an assister which will hopefully bode well for us. He’s scored twice but could’ve had a few more already as he’s finding himself in more goalscoring positions. Players are just adapting to what’s round them at the moment.

  25. underrated Coq


    ‘I’m really staggered you don’t think much of Iwobi’s contribution.’

    No, you attributed Ozil’s diminishing key-passes to Iwobi. Whereas I attribute it to Sanchez playing false nine and as a result Ozil dropping even deeper.

  26. Louis Almeida

    Underrated Coq, I have to say we just view things differently. I think Ozil has become more of a runner and off the ball player (not a bad thing). I think it a mix of both though. Alexis dropping deep off the CBs at times and Iwobi coming in off the line to create overloads/combine with the others.

  27. vicky


    “because everything you say is what Ozil does”

    Let me be more specific to clarify my point. Iwobi runs in to opposition players, uses dribble and even his pace to move in to narrow spaces whereas Ozil of late has developed a tendency to drift wide rather than taking players. In that regard I said Iwobi is not quite eating in to Ozil’s territory. Besides, as you rightly pointed out Iwobi creating chances gives Ozil opportunities to get balls in the final third and score goals. So, overall he’s not quite restricting Ozil.

  28. Louis Almeida

    Vicky, yes I definitely agree that Iwobi runs with the ball more and takes more risks. But then maybe with Iwobi, Alexis and Theo as risk takers we don’t really need anymore? It could upset balance? I’m only saying that because we saw Ozil’s goal against Chelsea and he can accelerate very fast with the ball at his feet (I did think he had lost pace at one stage) which kind of shows to me that he’s very selective in terms of how he uses his speed.

    Yes that’s a good point. My terminology was slightly off. Not necessarily restricting Ozil but forced him to change/adapt how he contributes to the team as he’s getting into the box more whereas last season he played like a classical #10.

  29. gnarleygeorge9

    Kartman: LOL, I thought I’m the one on weed?

    I’m certainly not on misery pills like the anti Wenger stuck records.

    But, I might have missed judged you 🙂