Four improvements that have Arsenal fans (and rivals) dreaming

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Everyone is going Iwobi and Arsenal crazy at the moment. Even Sir Alex Ferguson has us as title contenders, citing Alex Iwobi as a player…

‘The team is more sturdy. They’ve got better and more aggressive. I’m impressed with the young boy Alex Iwobi.’

To be fair, the exUnited manager has said similar things in the past, so has Jose Mourinho. It feels like they’re more genuine this time, but I’m still very much seated in the, ‘we’ve been here’ before phase of my hope journey.

We have a very good squad this year, but look, beating Reading and Nottingham Forest is not proof the squad is good enough to compete during the back end of the season. We used to have a League Cup team of children that made mincemeat of Premier League first teams. A comfortable win over struggling Reading should be par the course.

There are some things that give me pause for excitement.

Fitness:

In years gone past, you’d have to factor in our usual December collapse wrapped in poor form, fatigued players and injury pile ups. This season could still go that way, but it’s impossible to deny that massive strides have been taken by the club over the past 3-4 seasons with the hiring of fitness experts from around the world as well as the addition this season of a special pitch that’s better on the ankles. We pick up

We pick up less injuries for sure. However, I’m still not sure Wenger quite understands rotation, he’s addicted to using the same team over and over again which adds to the prospect of fatigue, which he’s highlighted as an issue this season… which can progress to muscle injuries. I think Southampton’s Puel has used 44 players this season, not sure that’s all about rotation, but his team have been good. No point in having lots of players if you don’t use them.

Also, I felt that the back half of last season was particularly lackluster. We just didn’t seem to have anything in the tank. Part of that was guts, part of that was surely heavy legs.

Style:

There seems to be a vision of style this year. We have what looks like a strategic pressing game, whilst not the most advanced in Europe, it at least looks intelligent. We have a bit of intensity about our passing again, the set up is far more mobile and fast and we have interchangeable cogs moving forward which makes our movment very hard to follow and nullify.

We still have Arsenal moments, like Boro or even Burnley to a degree… and some ingame management would be nice from Wenger, but that’ll likely only come when he moves on.

Flexibility:

Whilst it’d be unlikely we’ll ever see tactical flexibility like we do with struggling Pep G, Conte or a Thomas Tuchel… we are going to see flexibility in the players we use. If we’re struggling with height, we can bring on WELBZ or Giroud, if we need more steel in midfield, we can play Xhaka next to Coquelin. We have multiple options across the front three. We can make smart subs to change games… we’ve not had that for quite a while.

… remember the days of bringing on 4 strikers and Kanu would score the winner? Great times.

Competition:

Hearing Walcott moan at the start of the year about not getting games, seeing Chambo and Lucas bitching about the same thing… it means the players want to play and they’re fired up by competition. Wenger does a bad job keeping everyone involved, and he has to improve there… but players are coming back into contention and doing a job. Case in point… Lucas and Chamberlain.

So what are the concerns, the league is in the bag right?

Firstly, I think Pep will work things out at City eventually. He’s going through a rough patch at the moment, but he’ll try everything to make things work there. He has an excellent squad and he’s the best in the biz by a long distance.

Secondly, the big worry for me is that Chelsea and Liverpool don’t have Champions League. It’s a massive bonus not having heavy legs going into the weekend’s games. We’ve seen Leicester win the league off the back of that, a few seasons back, Liverpool nearly won the league under Brendan Rodgers. So when you have two brilliant managers with a whole week to plan their attack on the league, well, it’s a massive bonus…. it makes it harder for Jurgen Klopp to do his usual in damaging his squad and it gives tactical mastermind Conte the opportunity to plan like a demon.

So it’ll be a very hard season, but the good things, and where I can’t complain, is Wenger eventually put enough names on the squad list. Where I can’t complain is that he didn’t get plan A, so he bought plan C. Where I can’t complain is our scouting department worked smart, instead of going big because we could have.

I’m in a good spot this season. I still think Wenger should hang up the red tie this summer, but he’s given himself a chance this year… and that’s all we ask for, am I right?

YEAH I’M RIGHT! x

 

121 Responses to “Four improvements that have Arsenal fans (and rivals) dreaming”

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  1. GoonerDave

    There certainly seems to be a change in our mentality this season, but November is a big test for both our fitness and mental strength.
    We always had great midfielders and forwards, but for the first time in years we have a back 5 of real quality, with decent options in reserve. I think this is why so many fans are feeling more positive. After all, not long ago we had players like Almunia, Senderos, Djourou, Silvestre etc. starting regularly for us.

  2. karim

    Lucas is injured but Giroud will be motivated to show he still has a future at the club.
    That’s what competition brings to a team, that’s a new thing here and that’s good for us.

  3. reality check

    I dont get why people are happy about Girouds return. Ramseys return. We know what they bring.

    If we go back to the same set up as last season, what would be good about that?

  4. TallestTiz

    Reality Check

    Ramsey is a very important member of the squad.
    Sometimes, there is need to switch systems.
    And Santi cannot play all games

  5. reality check

    FreddylekgunnerOctober 27, 2016 15:32:45
    reality check, there are some games we’ll need them to start.

    Seriously? I wish i could be so calm about those two starting in any game.

    Ramsey ahead of Elneny Coq xhaka or Santi is a big no no. The only reason i see ramsey starting ahead of any of them would be because of injuries.. mass injuries.

    As for starting on the right when we have Theo Ox Iwobi. No need.

    I just cant see why Giroud or Ramsey could ever be 1st team again.

  6. Ankit_gooner

    I think klopp will get his team into an injury crisis sometime or later,despite the lack of midweek games.Conte is the one I am worried about.Personally,I think he should be disappointed if chelsea are not top at new year’s.Man city will be back.I think we should just touch 80 pts this season.Lets see.

  7. TallestTiz

    Reality Check

    In central midfield against mid table and low teams who park marcopolo buses, I’d prefer Ramsey in CM over Elneny

  8. Do one gambon

    Giroud coming back is a good thing because it gives us another option if plan a of small quick forward play isn’t working.

    Boro was case in point. They defended well, all 4 of our starting forward line had poor games and we were forced wide time and again becausexwe weren’t ever going through the centre.

    It was screaming for giroud to come on but he wasn’t fit.

    I don’t get the giroud hate, I really don’t. Sure he’s not a first place striker for a title challenging club but he’s very effective in certain situations and a great option for a plan b.

  9. Louis Almeida

    Giroud and Ramsey both have roles to play. Ramsey still has more scope to start because of his versatility and high workrate. I’m convinced Wenger still wants to trial Ramsey-Xhaka as a partnership at some stage too. At least there are options.

  10. gonsterous

    My co worker who is a big Dortmund fan claims he doesn’t like tuchel.. his training methods are leading to a lot of injuries. The team ran half as Much as when they were coached by klopp but has twice the injury. I dont watch much that team so I can’t confer or confirm anything !!

  11. karim

    Pedro

    Exactly, we all know about his limitations but we sometimes fail to acknowledge what he brings, most defenders don’t like him and there’s a reason for that : he’s physically strong !

    We missed him last week-end, would have been very useful in the last 30 minutes.

  12. Louis Almeida

    Our next 8 fixtures: Sunderland A
    Ludogorets A
    Tottenham H
    Man Utd A
    PSG H
    Bournemouth H
    Southampton H
    West Ham A

    November/December is where our form usually nosedives a bit as injuries pile up. Some very tough fixtures in there too. Southampton at home won’t be easy in the next round of the cup too, a very hard game it will be. Sofiane Boufal is an amazing talent. Good to see him fit. The goal he scored last night was awesome.

  13. James wood

    Not buying a top striker will be our undoing again.

    And that’s why Wengers decision making on and off the pitch
    will sign him off as a manager but not a legend.

  14. reality check

    Ok fair point to all of you. There is a need for more options at the club. What i mean is, there are other better options now with regards to midfield.

  15. Brooklyn

    Lol, Tuchel in same sentence as Conte and Pep….get over Tuchel Pedro…he is as average a coach as they come…another Roberto Martinez for me…..I will have Allegri as first choice replacement for Wenger…and Ancelloti, Simeone second in line…I will rather Wenger gets another 2-3 year contract then bring in Tuchel…I have been impressed with Puel and Koeman is a decent option to bring in from inside the league…. I think coaches who build their team slowly but can also make use of quality players already in squad should be brought in…Allegri and Ancelloti are best in business for that….Simeone will need his own squad so I have him a bit behind those two in my preferred choice manager’s pecking order…

  16. karim

    First 2 appointments made by Marseille’s brand new American CEO are Rudi Garcia and Andoni Zubizareta as a sport director.

    Who said the Yanks didn’t know shit about football again ?

  17. Brooklyn

    I mean coach who can get in quality players when they are available(Arsenal/Wenger style) and can tailor tactics according to player available on his disposal…

  18. Brooklyn

    Garcia wasn’t very good at Roma…but Roma’s squad strength in that league helped him cling onto 2nd-3rd position…he was decent for Lille though…

  19. gonsterous

    Pete

    As I said I don’t follow Dortmund but If he’s having problems in just his 2nd season then you have to wonder how long he could do the job for us !!

  20. Mark S

    DM-Work got in the way of me looking for the post earlier today. Stupid job…

    I’ve come to the realization that it is best to take Arsenal “one match at a time”. I’m looking forward to seeing Giroud hopefully getting some time this weekend. It’s a great opportunity to bring him on and see him get on the end of some crosses. His layoff for Ox’s second goal on Tuesday night is something that we have been missing. He’s not a “world class” striker, but he isn’t a bad “Plan B”.

  21. karim

    Brooklyn

    Disagree. He won his first 10 league games ( ! ), fought for the title in his first season, which hadn’t happened for ages. With the same team.
    His second season was also rather good in spite of a few CL results ( Bayern won 7/1 for example )
    Last one was difficult, I’ll give it to you.
    Overall, he did rather well.

  22. reality check

    As for Giroud. Ok heres my theory.
    Sanchez is being played CF to try to appease him during these contract negotiations..For ambitious players, increased wages is good, but also giving the player what he needs to ENJOY his football is just as important.

    Like giving someone the captains armband as a token gesture. Higher status, increased sense of importance.

    Even though they are not the best person for the job. Even though they show signs of being mentally weak. We want them to stay at the club, so we give them things which will encourage them to reconsider leaving.

    Sanchez playing CF is just another token gesture. He will not be our starting CF once Giroud is ready to play 90mins.

    Just a theory.

  23. Do one gambon

    Reality check.

    Not just aimed at you but in general I hate the term “starting 11” unless used in the context of players actually starting on a given day.

    Surely the point of a squad is to have different options for different situations and not to be found out by having a definitive starting 11. You have your nigh on undropables sure, I.e. a Sanchez, koscielny or ozil for us but other than that every team should aim to have different players of different skill sets for different situations.

    We have that now and long may it continue.

  24. tunnygriffboy

    Agree with you about Giroud. I’ve got on his case but sa different option he’s very good. An example is the header he nearly scored against Reading. We could certainly have done with him against Burnley and Middlesbrough. Also as Karim said he should be super motivated.

    Pity about Lucas. We could do with him as an option as well. Bad tackle by a clogger has done for him leading into a very busy part of the season.

  25. reality check

    Do one gambon

    I’d completely agree with you if it wasn’t for the.fact that wenger has favourites. More than 5. The undropables + The favourites = 4-1-Mess-1.

    Now we’re in a new era, we have a new set of players, but one thing remains the same. Wenger.

    If he continues to favour favourites regardless of form over players who deserve (see Joel last season playing well, dropped for no apparent reason, not a favourite) to start. The whole squad suffers.

    We’ll see what happens i guess, they saying things have changed. Even Pedro is saying things have changed, and he’s supposed to be the El Capo of this Wenger Out shit..

  26. Do one gambon

    Reality

    Totally.on the same page as you.

    I don’t think Wenger has changed, see cazorla in cm against ludogorets for evidence of that. Plus I think xhaka was dropped for coquelin for that game as well wasn’t he? Despite being suspended for 3 domestic games after.

    He needs to get smart with the rotation (don’t think he will) or they’ll all start dropping like flies come December

  27. karim

    Tunny

    People, me included , are frustrated because we thought he’d remain close to the level he showed during THAT season.
    He was playing like that during the Euros and that’s even more frustrating not to see him perform that way when he’s playing for us.

    To me, he’s still Aaron ” Hollywood ” Ramsey, I want more substance.
    Hope Xhaka’s arrival and how Wally and the Ox appear to have stepped up their game will boost him the right way.

  28. Pedro

    Brooklyn, he’s not average. Madrid are sniffing around him. Honigstein reckons he’s the second best in the world.

    We’ll see. Super smart. Really like him.

  29. tunnygriffboy

    Wallace

    Will Wenger use Ramsey the same way as Iwobi on the right when the youngster needs a rest ?

    Will he use Ramsey on the right, Alexis on the left and Giroud up top if we’re playing the likes of Middlesbrough at home ?

    Will he use Ramsey alongside Xhaka in certain games ?

    All very interesting. Expect both to get a few minutes on Saturday if they on the bench and things going well.

    Any news on Santi’s injury and availability for Sunderland ? Perhaps we’ll rotate a few for Ludogrets with spurs coming up next week.

  30. jwl

    Gary Lineker hosted 30 minute show yesterday about European football in New York; Vieira, Lampard, Pirlo interviewed.

    About 17 minutes into show, there is good section on Vieira and how his managing career going in NY. I would take Vieira as our next manager if Arsenal going to choose young, upcoming manager to replace Wenger.

    He comes from Senegal
    He plays for Arsenal
    Vieira, whoa oh oh oh

  31. Leedsgunner

    Does Giroud have a role at the club? Sure but in light of Lucas’ injury, I hope Wenger doesn’t revert to type because the truth is he makes our attack so pedestrian. He is an impact striker. He is a hammer to bring on when our scalpel in Sanchez have failed to open stubborn defenses.

    I have to confess I remember Giroud missing chances more than him taking them. Case in point? Chelsea and Reading this season…

  32. Pires7

    Reality check

    If you can’t see the benefit of Ramsey and big OG coming back into the squad then i don’t know what to say to you.

    Not definite starters but great squad depth to have quality replacements for injuries and a plan b off the bench.

  33. Pires7

    Leeds

    ‘I have to confess I remember Giroud missing chances more than him taking them. Case in point? Chelsea and Reading this season…’

    Games that we won 3-0 and 2-0? He’s hardly played this season and you can’t deny his consistency of 15-20 goals every season. A great option to bring on in the 67th minute.

  34. Wallace

    yeah, having Giroud & Ramsey available again is great news. two players who have been regulars, but who now find themselves having to fight for a place in the side. I don’t expect either of them to be a regular this season, but their presence on the bench will definitely keep those who are in the first eleven on their toes.

  35. Wallace

    I thought Mkhitaryan was injured. didn’t realise Mourinho just hasn’t been selecting him. voted best player in the Bundesliga last year, and can’t even make the bench of a struggling side for the league cup. baffling.

  36. vicky

    Arsene – Perez out for 6 to 8 weeks, knowing Wenger it must be closer to 8 weeks than 6 weeks. He’s waxing lyrical over Santi but I wonder why he’s not offering him a new contract. ” Slight hamstring” problem for Theo. Won’t be available against Sunderland.

  37. Romford Ozil Pele

    Dream, didn’t hear anything about being “injured”. Wenger just said he’lol undergo a test to see if he’s ok along with the other two.

    Bit wary about tomorrow’s game. Sunderland have been awful but law of averages suggest their due a win soon, hopefully not against us. Hope they don’t turn into Barca 2009 and ’11 against us.

  38. Romford Ozil Pele

    Rambo, it’a the go-to option I guess. Just feel like it sets us back a couple steps stylistically as we’ve seen. We know what L’Oréal contributes. It’s a shame Perez got injured at the wrong time because this would’ve been a great game to start him him up top if Theo wasn’t fit.

  39. vicky

    I think Wenger took a dig at Ronaldo without naming him when he said some players play for themselves just to boost their chances of winning Ballon D’Or.

  40. Dream10

    Romford

    AW said Monreal has muscle tightness. Walcott has a slight hamstring issue (touch and go for tmrw, should be alright for Ludogorets on Tuesday).
    Almost certain Ox will start on the right. Expecting Gibbs to start the next two matches.

    Regarding Sunderland, my big fear is to do with set pieces. With Coquelin and Elneny both likely start, think we’ll need Ozil to drop deeper. Perhaps leave Iwobi on the bench and go

    Cech
    Bellerin Mustafi Koscielny Gibbs
    Elneny Coquelin
    Ox Ozil Sanchez
    Giroud

  41. Romford Ozil Pele

    Dream, ‘it really an issue to play Gibbs, more worried about what’s happening further forward.

    As we’ve seen with coquelin-Elneny, it’s quite well balanced but not exactly creative on the front foot. Özil will probably have to drop back and play more of a classical playmaker role. The bad thing with bringing back L’Oréal into the fold as well is that Alexis has to drop deeper too and he’s nowhere near as good in the middle third. And his overdribbling and holding onto the ball in dangerous areas become prevalent. Then there’s the fact that him and L’Oréal have no chemistry on the field. His best bouts of form always come with more mobile players around him. I do agree though that if we’re gonna start L’Oréal, we have to start Ox as it’s the kind of player L’Oréal will thrive with and Ox will help to keep better width rather than everything becoming centralised. Let’s see. I hope the players come through the tests unfazed tomorrow otherwise wenger has some interesting decisions to make this weekend.

  42. Wallace

    bit concerned if Walcott’s also out this weekend. bizarre how quickly(you know what i mean) he’s become quite important. would stil start Alexis up top though.

    I’ve read that Cazorla’s keen to stay. sure there’ll be a new contract offered.

  43. vicky

    Wrong decision to not appeal against Xhaka’s red card. I am sure the decision would have been overturned. Coq-Elneny combo was painstakingly pedestrian against Borough. We can’t afford to drop points against Sunderland again. Is Ramsey fit for tomorrow ?

  44. Romford Ozil Pele

    Yeah against Boro we either Santi or Xhaka would’ve been helpful in breaking lines from deep or playing through balls over the top. Elneny and Coquelin while good in their own right lack this sort of penetrative passing from deep.

    Ramsey is fit but he doesn’t really sort the creativity issue and him and Coquelin as a pivot really doesn’t work in terms of facilitating fluidity as neither of them are particularly adept in building play.

  45. vicky

    Wilshere has done nothing special so far at Bournemouth. Even though I rate Jack as a talented midfielder it would be a foolish decision to not renew Santi’s contract just because he will be back.

  46. Jim Lahey

    Since the Xhaka sending off, I have already seen numerous “tackles” that fit the criteria of a red card under the new rules but have at most been given a yellow.

    This is the lack of consistency we are all so familiar with when it comes to referees in the Primer League. Either it is a red card offence or it isn’t. Same with the pulling of shirts in the box, some refs seem to pick and choose if it is an offence worthy of a penalty or not.

  47. Dream10

    Hope there is permanent divorce between Arsenal and Wilshere, rather than the current separation. Having him back in the squad means it’s unlikely we’ll sign a CM better than him to be the heir to Cazorla or a right sided player with dribbling penetration and (hopefully) end product. Iwobi has replaced Wilshere in being a continuity player to make the football flow better. Also, because of his status, JW next contract (probably till 2021) will probably start at 100k a week. Money can be spent more wisely.

  48. Wallace

    I missed the Boro game, but tomorrow will be Elneny’s third game in a row. any rustiness should be gone, and I think he’s more than capable of working the ball up into the areas where the forwards can cause some damage.

  49. Redtruth

    It’s time for Pedro to wrap up this blog and call it a day.

    The claim was to offer an alternative critique analysis of Wenger with the core thrust being that of regime change.

    If true, then Pedro has utterly failed to deliver and should do the honourable thing and step down as Wenger remains firmly in place almost 10 years after legrove’s inception.

  50. Wallace

    some small concerns, but shows you we have quite a deep squad when we can be missing possibly 7 players in – Monreal, Xhaka, Cazorla, Ramsey, Walcott, Lucas & Welbeck – yet still be putting out a strong side.

  51. Dream10

    On second thoughts, think Cazorla will make the XI. Coquelin-Cazorla tomorrow
    with 20 or so minutes for Ramsey followed by Xhaka-Elneny on Tuesday, another 30 minutes for Ramsey plus a midweek rest for our cheerful Spaniard.

  52. Wallace

    vicky

    agree there’s 3 or 4 better midfield pairings than Coq/Elneny but I still think it’s a decent pairing, and maybe better suited to an away game than a home game where the opposition come to defend.

  53. Romford Ozil Pele

    Vicky, true, but at some stage you give the younger player the chance or he’all go, its one of the tough decisions being a manager. Still upset we let Gnabry go personally but oh well.

    Jim, yeah it’s been doing my head in. The inconsistency in the decision-making has been terrible. I think it’s partly because Arsenal aren’t seen as an aggressive team so when we do anything remotely bad refs come down hard on it. Spurs are honestly one of the most cynical teams in the league yet get away with murder time and again.

  54. Romford Ozil Pele

    Vicky, Wallace. Think Elneny is a very good player. Helps to facilitate fluidity. Keeps the ball moving well and is always available for the pass. His problem though is that maybe his game is too safe and if he wants to carve out a niche for himself as a starter, he’s going to have to specialise in something. Him and Coq together is a decent pairing but it’s very safe and not a threat offensively.

  55. vicky

    Rom – yes, that’s what I was saying a few days ago, he needs to add something to his game. He has got a good technique, I wonder why doesn’t he attempt long passes or through balls often enough. Besides, he has a good shot on him, scored a few peach of long range shoots at Basel but here at Arsenal he seems to have lost that.

  56. Romford Ozil Pele

    Vicky, yeah it’s a good point and at this stage I’m at a loss really to wonder why he doesn’t. He definitely has a hit on him though. The one and only goal he scored for us at the Nou Camp was a peach so he has it in him. At the same time I guesss it’s important to remember we only signed him in January and he’s the youngest of all the CMs so he still has time to grow. Hopefully sooner than later. All the other CMs have a key trait which marks them out. He might have to forge his own.

  57. Wallace

    maybe the key thing for now re Elneny is that he can play with all the other central midfielders without having to adjust his natural game too much.

  58. Red&White4life

    “Pedro has utterly failed to deliver and should do the honourable thing and step down as Wenger remains firmly in place almost 10 years after legrove’s inception.”
    lol

  59. Romford Ozil Pele

    Wallace, good point. Elneny seems to fit in seamlessly with every other CM. The simple things he does is what Ramsey is lambasted for not doing. I still do agree that he could add a bit more though but he’s a great squad option and you can’t argue with his contribution considering how cheap he was at £7m.

  60. Emiratesstroller

    ROP

    I am not personally a great fan of Elneny. He is okay as a squad player to come into games which are already won, but I do not see him as someone to play in strategically important games such as Tottenham next weekend.

    He has on paper a very good % passing success rate, which I would expect if you are making short or square passes, and he is reasonably intelligent. On the
    other hand I do have concerns about the defensive side of his game.He is not
    physically strong in the tackle.

    My view is that he would be an understudy for Xhaka who is a better footballer
    or Coquelin who is defensively better. He is not a replacement for Cazorla or
    Ramsey.

  61. Romford Ozil Pele

    Emirates, at the moment Elneny isn’t more than a squad player but he’s still only 23. He’s definitely capable though. In the NLD in March he was running the game until Coq’s sending off. His ability to always be available for the pass as well as making first time passes through the lines to break waves of pressure should be applauded. He also has a great engine which we see every time he plays. Considering how much of a threat he is from range, I wouldn’t mind seeing him try his luck from there a bit more. Sure, Coq is better defensively, Xhaka and Santi are better passers but all of our players have their flaws. Elneny actually helps to cover up a lot of them which is why he’s such a valued member. His game is simple, sure. But more often than not simple football is the most effective type. I’d like to see him stamp his authority a bit more higher up the pitch but other than that I’m very happy with him.

  62. Wallace

    Romford

    “I’d like to see him stamp his authority a bit more higher up the pitch but other than that I’m very happy with him.”

    same here. at the very least I think he’ll be an excellent squad player for us, but I’m hoping he develops into Xhaka’s long term midfield partner.

  63. Romford Ozil Pele

    Wallace, that’s my hope to. They’ve only played together once, and I liked what I saw, albeit against limited opposition. They both accentuate each other’s positives and cover each other’s weaknesses. We’ll see though. I’m sure Ramsey will have something to say about it and Wilshere too if he comes back. Not forgetting that cazorla always starts when fit and shows no signs of slowing down yet.

  64. Romford Ozil Pele

    Also Coquelin is an outrageous ball winner who is tenacious and facilitates us playing at a high tempo. Every player brings something different which is why we have a nice balance of players but the manager will find to hard to pick a settled pivot.

  65. Steveyg87

    “His problem though is that maybe his game is too safe and if he wants to carve out a niche for himself as a starter, he’s going to have to specialise in something”

    Agree mate, this is not on Coquelin. Coqs purpose is to break up play and win the ball higher up the pitch. Now i know that stats dont tell the full story but he has been really impressive. I have yet to see Elneny make a tackle. His passing is neat and movement off the ball as well but, like you say, he doesnt have something that sets him apart or, warrants a starting place in the team. Once Ramsey comes back into the fold you can bet your bottom dollar wenger will start experimenting in the middle, hope to god that this does ot cost us dearly

  66. Confidentgoner

    Not convinced about Elneny. He has no pace, foes not tackle, not creative. What’s the point? Why pay for him?

  67. Confidentgoner

    Giroud I reckon should be on the Bench for Sunderland. We needed him against Boro. Also Ramsey can contribute to our attack if played further forward, the way Wales play him. We have options with these guys back.

  68. steve

    @Confidentgunner

    His biggest problem is he never puts in a tackle. He’s supposed to be a defensive minded midfielder but he never tackles.

  69. Louis Almeida

    Sounds weird but tackling isn’t the only way of retrieving a ball. You can intercept or press/harry somebody into giving the ball away. Xabi Alonso always says that if he has to slide tackle to win the ball, he was in the wrong position to start with.

  70. Louis Almeida

    Chambers didn’t start the first few games at ‘Boro so it’s good if he’s managed to work his way in. Their results haven’t been great, the draw to us aside, but you can’t put it all down to him.

  71. tom

    Chambers has been very good for Boro so far.

    I watched them against West Ham and Watford and Chambers was a standout in both games, not just for his defensive contribution that was steady and reliable, but for his work further up the field. Very positive and very busy.

    His new team mates trust him and I think his manager does too.

    Same for Jack at Bournemouth.

    His experience as been positive at Bournemouth so far.

    Garnering praise from Howe and good stats behind it.

    Also he seems to have brought out the very best from Carter and Surman, which is great for Cherries.

    I expect his influence to grow as season progresses.

    Best of all , nine straight starts and a full ninety now too.

  72. Spanishdave

    Your Comment Herethe only options we have with Ramsey and Giroud is to leave them on the bench, we haven’t missed them and both do not offer much to us .
    Ramsey runs around like a headless chicken Giroud ambles about sticking out his tongue